Sunday 16 March 2008


A collective sigh of relief went around the Country on Friday when they found Shannon Matthews the 9-year old schoolgirl who had been missing for 24 days hidden in the apartment of her stepfather’s brothers flat.

This then set me to thinking what a tragic life some children lead and how thankful we are that our family is “normal”. OK, we had/have our share of “isms” but, on the whole, we have great love and concern for each other, especially the children.

Our French family came for the weekend full of exciting tales of their new life in France. They look really good. Relaxed, healthy and – tanned? It’s hard to imagine the weather being good enough to get a tan. How does that one go?

The only stress they have experienced in the last few weeks was when they booked their hire car on line. They had the option of upgrading, looked at the deal, decided not to, paid an extra £4 a day to guarantee full insurance cover with no additional charges or hidden extras, booked, received the confirmation which – surprise, surprise – included the upgrade.

It took them THREE DAYS of frustration getting no-where dealing with English call centres before it was finally resolved by someone with a bit of sense in Spain who even waived the £20 alteration fee!

Forgive me go asking a silly question, but why was it beyond the wit of everyone they spoke to realise that this could be a serious system error that should be looked into, apologise and resolve the problem. They probably thought it was just another old codger complaining about the same old thing all the other old codgers are complaining about!

Their next problem was when they went to pick up the car they were were asked for a deposit of several hundred pounds and the fact that they had already paid £4 to avoid this happening cut no ice. They where told to take it up with the airline they had booked it through. And the icing on the cake was that because it was an unusually high amount to put through on a credit card that was being presented at an airport and hadn't been used for several weeks the credit card put a stop on payment for "security reasons". Scream!!!!

It was so good to see them again and yesterday we managed to get together for lunch as a family. I did 10lb of sausages and onions cooked slowly in the oven and fresh warm baguettes, everyone bought cakes and goodies and the children had an early Easter Egg hunt. Today we are having a smaller gathering for Sunday lunch and then they fly off again tonight. Boo Hoo!

We are also getting ready for our trip to Cambridge tomorrow, provided they don't postpone the operation, which they have the option of doing if they have emergency admissions!Old Grumpy's operation will be on Tuesday and last for between 4 to 8 hours. He will then be in the high dependency unit and will not look very pretty for a while!

One of our grandsons lives in Cambridge and has taken three days off work to look after me although he may be deserting me on Thursday evening because he has a lady friend in corporate hospitality who might be able wangle him a backstage pass to the Eagles concert at the O2 Stadium in London.

He offered for me to stay with him, but I declined because he shares a house with three bachelor friends and I thought that they might cramp my style so I will be staying at a local hotel!

As there is no point waiting around the hospital during the operation and he has reserved us a table at the restaurant where he works, which is only minutes away. Another couple of friends have also offered to accommodate me. They have all been so kind to us and Davy is content in the knowledge that I will be well looked after. In fact, I may have such a good time that I may never want to come home again! We are so fortunate to have such wonderful family and friends.


laurie said...

i hope he comes through with flying colors.

and pounds of sausages cooked slowly in the oven and served with baguettes.....yum!

Dusty Spider said...

You left the bit you're worrying about till the end of your post. It's obviously a difficult time but I, and your other blogging friends, will be with you both in spirit on Tuesday. Love and hugs. Flick x

aims said...

You are indeed blessed with friends and family.

The worst part will be trying to remain calm while you wait to hear the results...

Good luck all around!! said...

Thanks again Laurie, and happy St Patrick's day! said...

How observant you are DS, and all your thoughts will help me through this frightening time. said...

Aims you are so right, I'm actually terrified, but can't let myself think the unthinkable.

Maggie May said...

10lbs of sausages ..... almost like the school dinners, in quantity!
It is always a wrench when the family go back to another country. At least France is fairly near.I know only too well the agonies of partings, but the excitement of visits.
Will definitely be thinking of you both during this difficult time & its good to know that you are being so well looked after. Hope all goes very well.
My hubby is waiting the results of an important blood test to see if things are stable or not.
Till next time............

DogLover said...

Jacky and I are off to the garden centre for lunch. Old Grumpy must be having his operation now and our thoughts are with you both. said...

Maggie May - school dinners? I loved them. My sausages were organic, award winning and from our local butcher. There are only 6 to the lb instead of the normal 8and they are delicious.

We are with you and your husband in thought while you wait for the blood test results. It's the waiting that is so dibilitating isn't it? Good luck to you both.

dulwichmum said...

Lovely Retired and Crazy,

Please don't tell a soul - my blog is satirical, DM is not about me!(I can't find an email address on your blog).

Best wishes,