Well here I am again after a long gap – what’s new? We just had two lovely weeks in Austria, though The Grouch was ill the first week in Vienna because it was too hot, and Genius Brat was ill the second week in the mountains because he caught a cold. At least I had a good time! (actually so did they really when they weren’t being ill).
Funniest moment of the holiday, to match the menu on our last trip that offered ‘Tart of the House’, was the English menu which declared that its Carinthian cheese noodles (which are not actually noodles but a sort of giant ravioli) were filled with ‘cheese, mint and pot’. I think they meant potatoes… I was also amused by the toilet paper dispenser (with no toilet paper) that announced its name as ‘Triple Willy’. Nasty condition, that…
Nothing broadens the mind like foreign travel, though you should always ask for the English menu which is guaranteed to give you a laugh.
Meanwhile, we finally got some tuition in Maths and Physics for Genius Brat, just two weeks before we went away! I have asked for the rest of the 40 hours tuition we were offered to be delivered in the holidays, since we had waited six months and had to book our holiday without knowing tuition would be offered, but the borough has refused since it is their policy not to give tuition in holidays. However the lovely tutor has offered to come in this week (which brings us up to about half of our offered tuition time) and to see if he can do anything after that – but not next week as GB is going away again to gifted camp! (just like that humorous card – you know, the one where the extremely intelligent child is pushing on a door marked PULL).
The master (or mistress) plan for the next month or so is for me to spend the mornings working on some writing ideas and the afternoons doing clutter clearance. It remains to be seen how much of this actually gets done. A lot depends on the weather, as if we suddenly get an unexpected summer it may be too hot to waltz around clearing cupboards. OTOH I am booking some nice central London events which will only benefit from warm weather – including a rare opportunity to go up the BT tower (which I remember going up decades ago before it closed), and lots of lovely retro events at the Festival Hall, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain, an event I would have liked to be at if I had not been aged minus two at the time.
I’ve been and gone and done it! (actually i haven’t been and gone yet, but as a result of doing it I will be and go this summer). Yes folks, I have booked three flights with a well known carrier to the good old U S of A, and am in process of working out a complicated itinerary which enables me and my hardworking family to stay in four different places and visit (or, in USspeak, ‘visit with’) seven different pairs of friends who have in the past been on the staff of the London Mennonite Centre and part of our congregation. Indeed, we will be ‘Mennoniting our way’.
Not only that, but I have done the whole process (well, most of it, of which more later) online, grappling yesterday and today with multiple websites and dates and prices which sent my head into a total spin. I am still not out of the woods, since I need to book two ‘roomettes’ on an overnight train from Chicago to Pennsylvania, but can’t do that until I hear from the Pennsylvania friends as to whether the dates we have chosen suit them. By which time, the ‘roomettes’ may very probably be booked up. Incidentally, the Amtrak website assured me that the standard bedroom could accommodate three people at a push, but when I tried to book one, it kept telling me the room was too small for the number of travellers. Make your minds up, Amtrak!
Somehow, (she says, crossing everything crossable and uttering a silent prayer), in a couple of months’ time we will be literally winging (and I mean literally literally) our way across the Pond that divides us by a common language. Whoopee! Well actually I am too exhausted to shout Whoopee, having been awake half the night worrying about the trip, but I promise I’ll shout Whoopee when I’ve had some sleep.
..mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Yes, I know I haven’t blogged for nearly a month. My only excuse is that for half that time I was in Austria, where although I did have access to hubby’s laptop, I was more interested in swimming every day, going to the sauna, having a massage and a manicure (and you can’t write your blog while your nails are drying).
That was the second bit of the Austria trip, in a hotel we’d stayed in before, by a lake high up in the mountains, with luxury food and all sorts of indulgences. The first bit was in Vienna, where we definitely chose the wrong week as there was a heatwave including Austria’s hottest ever day at 39C. This curtailed our sightseeing considerably but we managed to do enough for Genius Brat to say he would like to see Vienna again when it’s cooler (it was the first time we had actually stayed there with him as opposed to rushing through on the way to somewhere else). We also managed to have a meal with my cousin, and spend a lot of time in cafés, which is after all what Vienna is really for.
It was a great holiday but since we’ve been back I have been more down than for a very long time, partly induced by the foul weather in London and the fact that I wasn’t on holiday any more. I have spent large amounts of each day in bed asleep and other large amounts playing Lexulous or messing about on Facebook. This is a bad thing, apart from the Lexulous which is great but my opponents keep getting brilliant scores and I don’t (and I thought I was good).
All of this has not been conducive to blogging. I think I’ve probably turned the corner now as I am only spending part of each day thinking my life stinks, as opposed to all of it. The irony is that my plan on returning from holiday was to talk to the doc about reducing my meds, as I had been well most of the time for a longish time. Methinks it is new therapist time (I am currently therapist-less but have some leads). Of course in order to do anything as constructive as finding a therapist, I have to be well enough to face making phone calls and sending emails…
Just to make life even better, The Grouch has just had another blood test for PSA, which is not a theological concept but the marker that indicates prostate cancer. He has gone from 3.9 which is borderline dodgy and necessitated a horrible biopsy, to 7.2 which is decidedly unwelcome and calls for an MRI scan and another biopsy, this time under general. Prayers very welcome from those who pray.
In the midst of all this we are about to celebrate GB’s 15th birthday. It may not be the best ever.