Aug 27, 2008


Ah…less than 48 hours to go and the holiday feeling is almost upon me! Suitcase packed; passport and e-ticket in order; house tidy; spare key ready to bring to neighbour (for plant watering); contact details next to phone; etc.. etc..

O.K. and now like Geri’s esteemed ancestors, who pre-enacted their hunting strategies in red ochre on the walls of their caves, I plot my route methodically by scribbling it down in red ink on a bit of paper. Not as you may think, to pre savour the journey - but more as a precaution against getting hopelessly lost en route; if not at Schiphol/Amsterdam airport, then definitely at Gatwick/London, during transit, or Inverness airport car park.

I hate Gatwick. I have been told that it is not a large airport but I just cannot get it ordered in my mind. I'm never sure which terminal I have arrived in, let alone the one I am supposed to fly from. So getting from South to North terminal (or vice-versa) on the tube-train, with only minutes to spare to catch a connecting domestic flight, is a heart stopping nightmare… !

But this time I am cannily prepared and determined to get to my destination in one piece, complete with luggage (do you hear that BA!?).
Travel plus waiting and transfer times = a 10 hour journey from the completely flat (nether) lands of Holland, to a mountaintop in Scotland. OK, so now I have disclosed my holiday destination, hopefully it will not be jinxed – again! (ref': Holiday Curse, 14/07/08)

Plan: Lock front door and trundle suitcase, handbag and self onto tram - train - 1st plane - tube train - second plane – mountain jeep.
Note: Fill handbag with brain food: i.e., chocolate of all varieties, to help with thinking and concentration during journey.

Of course the biggest dragon on this journey for me, is that self-service check-in machine at Amsterdam airport…(gulp…shudder…). I can never work out which buttons to press and it always tells me it can’t find my booking and doesn’t recognise my passport etc.. So knowing the instant panic I shall feel at the sight of the thing, I plan to skip the hyperventilation stage - and immediately clamp myself around the knees of one of those young uniformed attendants and querulously beg her to ‘please, oh please, please, please check me in!’ (It worked last time, heh-heh..).

OK folks, that’s yours truely done for a while then! No television, computer, cell-phone, ipod. I’m off to look at wild birds, wee beasties and men in kilts; yodel from the mountaintops and try and get some fantastic photos. Probably be misty all the time I am there… no, no, be optimistic Geri. This time you will not forget to take your camera; get into any embarrassing senile situations, cause any international incidents, get lost or break any bones!

T.t.f.n. everyone. Enjoy your own holidays - and be safe xxx !


Anonymous said...

Did you mention Men in Kilts?
I'll have one of those instead of a stick of rock!

Enjoy your holiday and come back with plenty of stories for us. Bon voyage!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Gatwick! Loathsome place. I'd be happy not to see it ever again, but sadly for some destinations, I'll have to.

Enjoy your holiday - and may your travels go unexpectedly smoothly! :)

Geri Atric said...

grannymar ~ LOL! A toyboy in tartan it is then! I'll make room in my suitcase.

jay ~ I shall rush through Gatwick on a hope and a prayer (!) pretending I'm not there.

Thanks to both of you for the well wishes. Happy blogging and bye for now!

Anonymous said...

Missing you already, Geri!

Have a great 'fling' and bring us back lots of tales of your antics in bonnie wee Scotland.

Safe travels!

Lilly said...

I used to live in Scotland for a while (I am in Australia now). Hoep you have a great holiday and your blog is wonderful!

Geri Atric said...

Hi Steph ~ Thanks for your kindly wellwishes!

I'm back now and it was great! (Still trying to work out how to upload photos to the computer from my new digital camera...)

Hello Lilly's Life ~ welcome to AU and thank you for your kind comment!
Yes the Scottish Higlands are wonderful... except for the midges ~ aarrgghh!
Hope you don't have them in Australia...

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one to send the airport computers into a frenzy and needing the help of everyone of the airlines customer service staff..to get me on the plane..:))

Geri Atric said...

Hello confused - Welcome to AU -
and take heart, you are indeed not alone!

(In fact, was that you, clamped pleadingly around my airport assistant's other leg)?!

Seriously though, one thing I did notice on this trip, was the readiness of more and more frustrated senior citizens to organise themselves into strident mobs (!) and demand assistance. In fact, there were so many airport assistants available this time, I actually almost learned how to work one of those check-in thingies. (Just another couple of holidays - and I'll have it down pat)!

Good luck to you on your own travels! Bon Voyage.

Anonymous said...

BTW, there is an award waiting for you at my place. :)

Sandi McBride said...

The Douglas in me wants to scream with joy at your adventures to come! But the fear of flying across the pond right now mutters "not me, not me!" I wanted to come round to say congratulations on the award from Jay...I'm busy trying to meet every one...enjoy your vacation!

Geri Atric said...

Thank you Jay! (Have left a message on your blog). I'm really glad you won this award. I love the 'depp effect'!

Hi Sandi ~ nice to meet you!
Och aye - just had a peek at your 'eggstremely' funny blog - LOL! Shouldn't think there's ever a dull moment with grandparents like that!

Anonymous said...

Where art Thou, Geri?

I'm missing your wonderfully ungraceful romp through life!

Hope all okay in the geri atric world?

Geri Atric said...

Hi Steph ~ Thank you for your kind query as to my whereabouts!

I actually came back from Scotland quite a while ago but had to leave home again almost immediately (although still in Holland) to lend a hand with a family crisis (sickness). Have been returning home every 5 days or so, to check my mail and get a bit of sleep..zz.. before dashing off again. (Going again this Saturday).

I've been doing night-shifts, caring for two little grandsons...YAWN.. and it seems that as soon as I've fed the baby and settled the little chap down (for the umpteenth time between midnight and dawn) the 3 year old gets up needing a drink of water, a pee, a cuddle and a bit of a chat..(SCREAM!).
Ah, I don't mean that. I could eat them up with a spoon really.

But Steph, I have plummed depths of energy unplummed for almost 40 years (since my youngest was a babe) and have battled the complexity of applying expensive, modern day elasticated paper nappies, to a tiny wriggling bottom - and having the fastening tags keep tearing off (necessitating the sneaky buying of new packets - before mum finds out how incompetent granny really is)! Whatever happened to Terry toweling and safety pins?
And working out how to open a modern day box of baby milk designed to reduce Houdini to tears of frustration..
And then there are the finger fumbling, technological baby appliances; such as child car seats; adjustable high-chairs; and folding pushchairs and prams; and all of them bristling with immovable levers, knobs and complicated strap fasteners (!) grr.. How did (we) the older generation(s) manage without all this stuff?
Phew! I sound a right 'moaning minny', don't I. Oh dear, don't mean too be.
Still, I do wonder about the sanity of women in their sixties going off to that Italian fertility specialist for IVF...!!

Thanks again for asking after me Steph and I am really looking forward to sitting down and reading 'the biopsy report' over a morning cuppa again - plus catching up with all the other blogs I so enjoy.

Till then though, ta-ta for now. I'm off to get some shut-eye while I can!

Anonymous said...

Aw! Poor Geri...

I'm really sorry to hear there is an illness in the family but Hey! Talk about being a super duper Gran... you sound like you're an invaluable help in the circumstances. Who cares anyway if the nappies are on back to front or upside down!

Geri, there's a 7-year gap (unplanned) between my two children and by the time my second arrived (now aged 18), I felt like a first-time mother all over again as so much had changed in the interim. How well I can imagine what it must feel like after 40 years!

I'm full of admiration for you and look forward to hearing that you're home again, enjoying an undisturbed night's sleep!

Take care x

Geri Atric said...

Hi Steph ~ Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Geri, I bet you're having a wonderful time with the grandchildren, despite the tiredness! Oh, my, I SO don't miss that part of having a baby around the place!

By the way, I tagged you today! :)

Geri Atric said...

Yes you are right Jay, tired I may be but they are great kids and I am loving helping to take care of them.

Thanks for the tag...I'll have a go!