Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday 23rd It’s genetic!
Luneville to Xures and then to Lagarde

One gets out of bed one day, sits around for the duration of at least the next and then some more, moves from bus to bus to aeroplane to aeroplane to tram to train to bus to train to taxi as the brain fog increases until eventually rational thought seems to require more effort than its worth.  We pretend we’re used to it though, and bumble our way through the day(s), arriving in Luneville and gratefully collapse once again into a bed for the first time in more than forty hours. 

There, we sleep fitfully and wake during the night in what, judging by the disarray of our surroundings appears to be one of our grandchildren’s bedrooms.   The absence of Lego pieces piercing bare feet mid-stagger to the bathroom in the dark only adds to the disorientation, but as the first warm rays of morning sun begin to peek through the crack in the blackout shades it is more than the day that dawns.  

With the new day comes the realisation that we have arrived, or we have almost arrived, that the stuff spread around the room is ours, and that despite appearances the place has not been trashed while we slept.   No matter how carefully we pack there is always one item that is necessary for the night that has somehow found it’s way into a crevice beneath every thing else in our bag, and no matter how carefully we remove the things above it, the result is always the same.

The carpet swirls, no doubt deliberately designed to minimise staining in the event of spillage of all manner of unseemly fluids, do nothing to take from the untidiness, but we don’t even notice them in our haste to find breakfast and be gone.

One more taxi ride, one more rental car drive and we are on our way to Xures and the boat. 

By lunch time we were in Lagarde.  


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Up in the Air! - Monday 21st August
Dicky Beach to Paris

As we sat on the bus this morning on the way to the airport we were oddly relaxed.  

A week ago, with the combination of medical procedure and mid week public holiday looming it seemed inconceivable that our passports with seven months until expiry could be considered invalid for our journey.  As the nice man in the Passport office in Brisbane sliced the electronic chip from their covers, the message sunk home in no uncertain terms, but there is nothing that cannot be fixed it seems by attention to detail, persistence, politeness, and just a bit of luck in finding exactly the right person to help, perhaps with the payment of fee for urgent processing that verges on extortion thrown in for good measure.  

Thus it was after battling the inner city traffic for the second time in three days, and being once again relieved of almost sixty dollars for a little over an hour in a parking station, we were able to wend our way northward once more on Thursday morning to the privacy of some borrowed facilities to begin what the medical profession euphemistically calls “preparation” for the next day’s procedure.

The specialist’s note on Friday was particularly blunt: “All Normal”, he wrote, “Enjoy your trip!”

After a brief visit to our brand new floor, and an even briefer time to throw some things in a suitcase, we intend to do exactly that!


When it all goes “Up-eye-down " - Sunday 13th
Dicky Beach

Yes well… let me recap.

On Friday last we would head to the Big Smoke for a bit of a weekend catch-up with the entire family, before heading home on Sunday in order to get that three weeks’ worth of reorganising done in one afternoon.   Then the nice flooring people would arrive on Monday, and while they were doing their thing we could quietly sort out the mess in the garage that Sunday had created, perhaps in time to leave the house just in time for the floor coating to start on Wednesday, with no need to return until November on our return from the Northern hemisphere.

That was our plan in the morning of course, and with that in mind one of us had taken off the night before by train, just to get a bit of a head start.

The other, having pretty much mopped up all that could be mopped up by lunch time, checked his mail box to discover a note from the Government Bowel Screening people which indicated that further tests would be appropriate.   On a Friday afternoon, one week from the commencement of a lengthy jaunt overseas, the only course of action that seemed available was to try to get to see a doctor!

“DON’T PANIC!” was the very clear advice, but at the same time the doctor’s advice was that a colonscopy would be required, that it could be done one week from today, and that IF a further procedure was required, perhaps travelling on the following Monday would not be wise.  

Without panic, the weekend went ahead completely as planned, the moving on Sunday as well as could be expected, and all was well until late at night when a quick check of our airline ticket conditions revealed a note from our travel agent previously ignored that while our passports were not due to expire until March next year, they required a validity of six months after the ticketed date of our return.  In short, we would not be allowed to leave on Monday week!

Hmmm… at what point is PANIC appropriate?  Certainly not at midnight on a Sunday!


Biting off more than he can chew then chewing like mad. Friday 11th August
Dicky Beach

With two months to fill in and grandchildren busy at school (except for the newest of course) he had this clever thought:  "Why not, just knock off all the big hard things that remain to be done on the house.  What can possibly go wrong?”

Thus it was that while one of us busied herself with the tasks that come with being the grandmother of a newborn, the other resumed his position with hammer and render and waterproofing compound and shovel and saw.   According to the plan, six or seven weeks of solid work after the birth of the new grandson would leave a few weeks of gentle re-shuffling of tools and equipment to ready the floor for its timber cladding when we returned home later in the year.

Then the wheels fell off.  Jude arrived early, the tiler finished early, so early that the timber floor people had a sniff of a chance of getting done before our next departure, Mat was looking for a few weeks work and a new, in retrospect quite stupidly optimistic plan was hatched.

By working just a bit too hard for just a bit too long, we had a chance of getting the whole catastrophe to within a whisker of done.   So it came to be that the downstairs bathroom is complete, the laundry operational, the tiling to outdoor areas and garage done, the roof to the back verandah on, the pergolas and trellises are finished, the garage and workshop is lined in its oh so effete lime washed ply, even the shed for the dust extractor is out of the way.  It only had to be done so that we could evacuate by the Wednesday before we left, so that the timber floors downstairs could be finished too.

By Friday morning, with a week to go, if we could compress three weeks of work moving all the stuff from the garage and workshop back out of the living area into just Sunday, all would work out just fine.
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