Fading Memories

Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Another lesson in Grandparenting

While alone with the elder three today, Misters Ten and Six and Miss Seven, a suggestion may have been made that the mess in the boys’ room was in need of remedial attention.   When said suggestion was taken as a piece of general conversation rather than an instruction, and with the boys due to fly out of the country tomorrow, desperate measures were employed:

“Do you know when you go to the airport tomorrow you have to be checked by the security people?”  

This question was met by silent nods all round, a sign that it had been heard at least, so feeling as though I was on a roll I continued:  

“Well, they are going to ask your Mum for a photo of your bedroom and if it’s not tidy they won’t let you through.  They’ll just send you home to sort it out before they let you leave the country.” 

“Well” replied Miss Seven, who is not accompanying her cousins on the holiday, and sounding surprisingly relieved, “I’m glad I don’t have to go through security!”


Friday, June 16, 2017

Jude Arthur Lewis Friday June 16
Tokyo to Brisbane

With the help of a tailwind we arrived earlier than scheduled, landing in the pink glow of a new day dawning. 

We weren’t the only ones who arrived early today however.  The whole purpose of our mid-year return was to be around for the arrival of our new grandson in a few weeks’ time, but Jude Arthur Lewis must have heard we were coming and in his excitement brought his entry forward a bit.

This was a little inconvenient as his mother was supposed to be picking us up from the airport at the time he was making his presence felt, but it was an inconvenience we were delighted to have foist upon us.  By mid morning we were checking out every wrinkle in his tiny four hour old countenance while he slept on, hiding his excitement much better than we could hide ours, no doubt exhausted and a tiny bit battered after his long journey.

We knew exactly how he felt.

Are we there yet? Friday June 16
Tokyo to Brisbane

 The first rays of the morning sun bathe the underside of the aircraft long before its presence is felt on the surface of the planet below.

Sunrise is a sign that our journey is almost at an end, and we begin to grow restless.   We've missed a day somewhere, we always do coming this way, but our clocks and calendars are now set firmly to East Coast - Australia mode, and it's a small price to pay.  

We'll find it again on our return journey.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

The long and winding road…. Wednesday June 14
Xures to Tokyo

Paulo suggested he could pick us up on his beloved Chopper but that would take three round trips to the station and one of us wasn’t keen, so he turned up in his Fiat Panda exactly at the appointed time, looking the part in his black “Death Before Dishonour” tee shirt in stark contrast to the stuffed Panda on the dashboard. 

In our curiously relaxed state and even with our “travel heads” on, while sitting around with a coffee and what could only be described as “international railway sandwiches” we almost missed the TGV.   Perhaps it was a subconscious desire not to be on a plane, or perhaps it was that we’d planned our connections with multiple contingencies and we wanted to see if they’d work.

We made it onto the plane in Paris of course without the need for contingency with seven hours to spare, and eventually popped out in Tokyo straight after breakfast to find it was already tomorrow afternoon.

Ready - Tuesday June 13
Lagarde to Xures

We don’t normally suffer from pre-flight nerves, so I suspect the butterflies stomping around in our stomachs were more of the post-procrastination kind.  Or of the puzzled kind that couldn’t figure out how after a week of not actually doing a lot, we were actually pretty much ready to go without a hit of stress.

So with the strangest feeling that our year here is at end, even though it isn’t, we pottered ever so slowly down the two locks to Xures, ambled around the village, gave Phillip whatever was left in the fridge, and declared ourselves ready to set off into the wild blue yonder.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It’s not just because of the weather… Monday June 12

It’s funny how unmistakable the sound of a deadline flying by can be even when there’s plenty of time before it arrives.   It’s a sound we must really enjoy at some sort of subconscious level we think, because we do nothing to prevent it.

Today for instance we thought we might start after talking to the propeller bloke in England.  An hour later he exhibited no desire to stop talking despite talking us out of buying anything from him, because he seemed to be in love with my accent.  Then Dick and Linda offered to take us to the supermarket, and despite us not actually needing or even wanting anything of course we accepted.

Thereafter followed stops for refreshments, aperitifs and that particular kind of conversation that could go on all night if there wasn’t packing and tidying to do.  There’s this wonderment among our British friends, who simply don’t believe we are returning to winter, and temperatures that are not dissimilar to this terrible summer heatwave we are currently experiencing.

But we'd better get going.   Tomorrow.

BeforeTwilight - Sunday June 11

It’s odd to think that next Sunday evening where we will be at eight-thirty, the church bells won’t ring, the sun won’t be shining and there won’t be hours of twilight to look forward to, in fact it won’t be evening at all.  It will be night and we may well not be parading around in shorts and tee shirts either.

It was warmish today, so we spent a lot of it sitting in the shade until that became too arduous and then we lay down for a bit.  By day’s end the only real progress was made towards departure was a measurable depletion of perishable foodstuff. With a small boatload of people moored beside us and at least two boatloads worth of food prepared, disposal was never going to be a great issue.   It was tempered with an element of guilt however, because Sunday night in Lagarde is the night that the old bloke who used to run the little corner store fires up his oven on the footpath and makes pizza for his family and anyone who comes along with a little change in their pockets.  

There was a small conflict happening in our heads which was easily assuaged by assuring ourselves that he’ll have to do without our custom next week anyway, and besides there are a lot of hire boat crews in port who are more than wiling to make up for our absence.
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