Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Travels With a Biscuit Bully ~ Part Four

Current mood:  tired

Eventually, despite feeling sick, I convinced Mum to come down for music night.  David was supposed to be knocking on our door when it was time to go down to the restaurant, so that we could all walk down together...so we waited for him.  And waited...
In the end, Mum walked across the corridor and began hammering on his door.  When he didn't answer, she started to panic.  She got down on the floor, and tried to peek under the door.  "Look, his light's on, so he can't have left the room.  He must have collapsed in there!"
I tried to calm her down, and went back into our room.  "He's probably gone downstairs, and just forgotten to turn his light off."  I said.  "He wouldn't have gone without us."  I rolled my eyes at her. "Really?  Well, let's go and see."
Reluctantly, she agreed to walk down to the restaurant.  No sign of David...so we returned to our room again.  His light was still on, but there was no sound to be heard behind the door, and no response to Mum's repeated knocking.
Suddenly, there was a familiar knock on our door.  It was David, of course.  "Someone said you came downstairs while I was in a the toilet.  Did you want me to get you a sandwich?  They said they'd send one up to the room."
I thought Mum was going to kill him.  "YOU WENT DOWNSTAIRS WITHOUT US?!"  "You...you...you said you didn't want to go."  David stammered.  Why does he never listen to us?
Mum sulked for a while, saying she wouldn't go downstairs since it was quite clear that she wasn't wanted, but I convinced her (again) not to miss out on the fun...  Although whatever would they serve up for her to eat tonight?
First came the obligatory plate of salad.  Although tonight there was no melon; instead we got a cheese and potato croquet.  Mum didn't even attempt to eat any of the actual salad, "in case it hadn't been washed properly".  I tried to convince her to eat the croquet (It WAS delicious!), but she was too scared to eat it now in case she needed the loo (which she loudly told us in front of everyone else at the table!) so she made a big palava of wrapping it up in a serviette for later.
While we waited for the next course to be served, we somehow got talking to the nice couple who were sitting opposite us....I think maybe the smuggling of the potato croquet had something to do with it!  The woman was also a vegetarian, which was a good starting point for conversation, I guess, although Mum was embarrassing me by moaning so much about the lack of vegetarian food (that she would eat) in Luxembourg.
Then the music night officially began.  Basically, the couple who owned the hotel sang karaoke-style to a range of tunes from the 40s right up to the present day...and admittedly, at one point "Elvis" did make an appearance.
(Sorry for the terrible quality of these pictures.  The lighting was kind of odd in the hotel restaurant)

The next course finally arrived...and the vegetarian option?  A plate full of dry noodles with a few creamed mushrooms dumped on top.  Again, Mum refused to eat anything.  Which made me feel further pressurised to eat as much as I could from my plate.  The woman opposite didn't seem too keen either, but we tried our best to eat a polite amount.
Mum was still clasping her potato croquet in her hand, and suddenly realised that the tissue had gone cold and soggy.  So the croquet went to waste, as you can probably guess.  Agh, if you weren't going to eat it, you could have at least offered it to me.  They were just too tasty to waste!
It was while we were waiting for dessert that things went a little mad.  David kept drinking - just fantastic, when he's not supposed to drink while taking his current medication.  Also, so much for Mum stopping him from drinking!  And then the hippo collecting woman began singing "Knock Three Times" on her karaoke machine.  So every time she sang the title lyrics, Mum stood up, punched the air three times in time to the tune, and sang along (Yes, I kid you not!)  All the time, the hippo collector was grinning away at her, pleased to see someone enjoying the music night.
Then for dessert - a slice of apple tart, with one slice of orange, one slice of strawberry and one slice of - you guessed it - the dreaded salad cream-coated melon!  And then a miracle happened.  Mum decided to eat!  First one nibble, and suddenly the whole apple tart was gone.  And the strawberry too!  I was just trying to eat mine when David, in his semi-drunken state, decided to dump his strawberry slice on my plate, telling me, "Well, you like strawberries, and  I don't."  Er, but I don't like food that's come off of your dirty spoon.  After finishing my food, I got my own spoon and dumped my orange and melon slices on his plate along with the strawberry.  Hah!  Served him right!
He went off to see the nasty Paul about booking the afternoon coach trip for the next day, while Mum and I stayed at the table, talking to the friendly couple opposite (who weren't going on the trip).  However, almost as soon as I had finished my dessert, the female singer/hotel owner came waltzing up to me singing wartime songs, got hold of my hand and practically pulled me all the way around the room.  Eventually I gave in, and started marching in time to the music and singing along...  Once she had got me wrapped around her little finger, she got hold of Mum's arm.  And before I knew it, MUM was leading NINETEEN other women from the coach trip round and round the room to renditions of "We're Going To Hang Out The Washing On The Siegfried Line" and "It's a Long Way To Tipperary".  Gosh, I wish I had a photo of her, but unfortunately I was...er, I'm afraid to say I was kind of also in that line of dancing, marching lunatics.   Despite having tried to get back to my seat, that darn karaoke woman had made sure I stayed in the line-up...
This humiliation went on for maybe fifteen minutes or so, then everyone went into line dancing...and I escaped back to my seat!  Not the best picture, but I'm sure you can get the idea of the loonie line dancing!

Blushing bright red and feeling like an idiot, I agreed to join in with the final Hokey Kokey dance, and returned to bed, David taunting me all the way.  Nice.
The next day (December 10th 2008) we walked all the way up to Viandem Castle.  Having been down for a huge breakfast though, David got us out later than everyone else, so by the time we got there, it was too late to be worth paying to go in.
There was a beautiful photo opportunity right outside.  The scenery looked like a backdrop in a photographer's studio.  So Mum and I had our pictures taken.  David declined my offer to take his, sulking that we "weren't allowing him" to go in the castle.

I also tried to snap a photo of myself outside the pretty castle on the equally pretty snowy hill  (Mum had wandered off to watch birds in a nearby garden by this point).  It didn't come out too well, but it should give you a bit more idea of what the place looked like at least.

On the way back, we just had time to dash into a little toy shop located right opposite the hotel, where I saw the "On The Go!" remote-controlled Scootaloo, but there was no way I could afford her, and I wouldn't have liked to risk bringing a big box like that back with me through customs either!
Mum had hoped to get a chance to rest back at the hotel before we had to set off again, but it wasn't to be, as everyone was already boarding the coach when we arrived back.  "So how are you today?" Paul asked Mum, but without waiting for an answer, continued, "I saw you enjoying yourself last night - we have the video to prove it!  But you must surely eat something today.  You can't survive on biscuits."  My mind retraced what had been said the previous day, and I did recall Mum telling him that she was quite happy eating the biscuits she had brought along with her in response to his pesterings about why we didn't eat meat.
We drove through Little Switzerland, which was beautifully pituresque but there was nowhere to stop the coach to actually take any pictures.  After quite a long journey, we stopped by an interesting rock formation.  Paul told us all that we could get off if we liked.  "I'm not going to go all the way up there with you though - I'm not in the mood for any of that!"  WHAT?  You're our tour guide!  It's your job to guide us and make sure we all stay safe!  "So if anyone feels like leaving their bags on the coach, they can do so."  He turned the microphone off, and spoke to Mum directly.  "I wouldn't leave my bag on the coach if I were you though.  Glenn and I might get hungry on here, and you wouldn't want anything to happen to your biscuits!"  Mum and I glared at him, but quietly stepped off the coach - with our bags.
Mum took one look at the narrow crevices between the rocks and got claustrophobic.  "I can't go up there!" she said.

"Well, I'm not waiting here while you make your petty little mind up." David said, still angry about missing out on seeing the castle.  And so he took off up the slope (in fact, I think he's in that photo above...not that you can make anything out in the dark!).  Mum got upset, of course, so I told her not to let him win.  I took her bag, and helped her up the slope as quickly as I could, snapping photos all the way.

When we finally came out at the other end of the narrow crevice, we saw David coming back down towards us.
Mum stood and looked at him with the fiercest, venom-filled look she could muster.  "You rotten b*****d!" she yelled at him.  "You came all the way up here without me, knowing that I couldn't get up here with my bag!  You really don't give a d*** about me, do you?"

David walked down towards us, head held high, not looking the slightest bit guilty about what he had done, or worried by Mum's temper.

"I was going to come back down and get you, you stupid woman.  I just wanted to check what it was like up here."  Yeah right.
Well, this is what it did look like up there, once I had helped Mum to the top of the steps.

It probably could have done with a bit more snow to make it look scenic and winter wonderland-ish, but I'm not sure I'd have wanted any more slippery slush beneath my feet!  See, there's an up side to everything when you look for it.
However, I had really wanted a snowy Myspace profile picture, and these were the best I got while my parents continued to argue about what David's intentions were by climbing the slope before us.

The second (which has been edited to make it look half decent, in case you hadn't guessed!) was taken on our way back down to the coach.  It was actually a lot worse going down than it had been coming up, due to the fact we had to descend down a large winding set of steps with no handrail whatsoever.

Mum had her usual trouble getting down, of course.  I tried to get a photo of all three of us, but I kind of got the best effect so far for it, by cutting myself out!   Still, you can see how she wanted me to hold her hand the whole way.

Until she decided to shuffle down sideways in a semi-sitting position, that is!

Soon we were back on the coach.  "Now you have got your bag safe, haven't you, Mrs. A?  Wouldn't want you to starve without those biscuits now, would we?  Although we are off to Echternach next, where there are loads of shops, so you could easily get some more bisuits if you lost the old ones.  Can I maybe try one of these biscuits later?  I really want to know what these biscuits taste like!" Paul kept on and on until his voice was just a droning background noise.  I tried to shut him out and began writing some lyrics for a new song.  Maybe by the time we reached Echternach, he would have grown tired of his own "joke".
I shall conclude this story tomorrow, I promise!  Then I can get back on with my quick catching up with the more boring stories of life here in Grottsville.  Maybe eventually I will actually catch up for good, and be able to write on a daily basis again...  Fingers crossed!
Thanks for remaining my faithful readers through such a boringly long story.
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

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