Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Travels With a Biscuit Bully - Part One

Current mood:  worried

Well, as I mentioned in my last blog, I stayed up all night before Luxembourg.  I heaved all the rubbish out of the bath, and enjoyed a luxury soak.  I must have spent about two hours in the bathroom in all, and for once I actually felt comfortable (but very tired) when the time came to leave.  It was FREEZING outside, so I wrapped myself up in my hoodie and my nice new coat...a scarf and gloves, and those huge fur-lined boots I showed in my last blog.
The taxi was late, meaning I had time to get into one of my obsessive compulsive type anxiety attacks.  Basically, I started crazily trying to line up all my ponies as neatly as possible, which meant bending over my table full of Ponyville ponies.  Somehow, my coat became entangled in Rainbow Dash's house and the whole lot fell on the floor...so David yelled at me, of course.
The taxi finally showed up right in the middle of all of this, and so the trip didn't get off to the best start, as David was still yelling at me, and I was worried about a tiny little framed picture from the Rainbow Dash set that I hadn't been able to find on the floor.
Being "late", we arrived at Ealing Broadway just in time (we'd aimed to be early, if you get what I mean), and the coach was actually right in front of us, meaning at least we didn't have to freeze while we waited for the trip down to Dover.
I fell asleep on the coach, and only woke up once we reached Dover and needed to switch coaches.  The driver made a joke about how my snoring had kept him awake the whole way.  I laughed, but was embarrassed at the time.  However, it was kind of tame, compared to what was to come...
After a big confusion, with loads of different coaches on their way to different destinations, we eventually found ours.  The tour guide took one look at us, and it was loathing at first sight or something.  "YOU look miserable."  He said to me, in a thick Irish accent.  "What's the matter - got out of bed too early in the morning?"  I glared at him.  "I didn't go to bed, in case I overslept."  I said, simply.  "Oh for Christ's sake, it's a damn holiday!"  Yeah, right.  Really sounds like one, with you as our tour guide.  I take it he got out of bed the wrong side too.
We drove for literally two minutes, and then got booted off the coach again, to board the ferry...where I continued to sleep.  Please remind me that I MUST sleep the night before a holiday next time, OK?!
To be quite honest, the first day of our trip was rather boring, and I can't think of much to note.  We spent the entire day on the coach, listening to Paul the big-headed "tour guide" (who hadn't given us anything in the way of a commentary) talking to the driver, Glenn. (We were unlucky enough to be right at the front of the coach, and had to listen to every word he said about his house, his girlfriend, his "music career" - don't ask! - his latest holidays...ugh, I really couldn't bear much more of his bragging!)  We only stopped once to stretch our legs...Mum and I didn't even get off the coach then, because it was too cold to go walking for the sake of it.  We'd pulled up outside a house, and there were two gorgeous dogs stuck out in the cold garden, behind a fence.  They came and greeted the whole coach party, and one woman was there feeding them her sandwiches.  She could just as easily have been giving them poison!  And the fence was so short that even I could have climbed over and got them out of there, if I'd wanted to.  What kind of people keep their dogs out in a garden where anybody could get to them like that?
We arrived at our hotel at about 7pm; a beautiful little place on the top of a scenic hill.  It was run by a friendly, helpful family...the only slightly un-nerving thing being that the entire hotel was filled with hippos!  There were stuffed hippos hanging from the ceiling, and lying on the floor, hippo clocks, hippo calendars, hippo ornaments, hippo bookends...  It was weird.  But we soon found out that they belonged to the mother of the family who ran the hotel, and I can hardly complain about a fellow obsessive collector of any kind, can I?!
Dinner was served at 8.30pm, but Mum refused to go downstairs.  She felt too sick after a day on the coach, but asked me and David to go and let her know what it was like for reference the next couple of nights.  So, despite feeling rather sick myself, I stupidly agreed.
The restaurant was very grand...rather too grand really.  I felt out of place there.  At least they had remembered Mum and I were vegetarians - in fact, they had made us substitute meals especially, and seemed very disappointed that she was too ill to come to dinner.  So, despite feeling so ill, there wasn't much I could do but eat whatever they served up.
First came a plate of salad.  Now, don't get me wrong, I like salad (well, most - I can't stand raw tomatoes!)...but I think of it as a "summer dish" really.  They also included a tiny slice of egg which was smothered in salad cream, and had made everything else taste weird.  Everybody got salad, not just the vegetarians...the only difference being I got a large chunk of melon instead of the chicken slices included in the meat option.
The second course consisted of a stuffed pepper, and cooked tomato topped with cheese.  David (and everyone else at the table) had more chicken in place of the stuffed pepper, in case you were wondering.  They missed a treat, in my opinion, but perhaps that's just because I love stuffed peppers.  Mum probably couldn't have eaten it though, because onions make her sick, and there were bits of onion in the pepper filling, along with cooked tomato (another thing she can't stand).  So maybe it was best that she hadn't come down for dinner, after all!
And then for dessert - a delicious strawberry ice cream.  It was while I was eating the ice cream that Paul appeared at our table.  "Hello, Mr A!" He said. in a drunken voice.  "So where's your wife?"  David told him Mum wasn't feeling well.  "Well, she won't feel well unless she eats!  I'm gonna tell her you ate her ice cream as well as your own." He said to me, as though joking...but he didn't really sound very funny.
After what seemed like an eternity of difficult questions, while he leaned further and further into my face, he finally left us in peace.  The remainder of my delicious ice cream had melted by this point, so I was not best pleased at having had my dessert ruined by the idiotic tour guide.
I returned to the bedroom to find Mum already asleep.  At least I had my own bed for once, but the room was freezing cold.  We turned the radiators on, but they switched themselves back off after an hour or so.  It was crazy, and I'm surprised nobody died of pneumonia while we were staying there.
Anyways, I guess that's about it for the first day of our trip.  I will try to be better about catching up with this blog from now on, and get the rest of our trip written about at least by Tuesday, if not before.
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

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