Posted by: glenswatman | April 13, 2010

20100401-10 ENGLAND

2010 –
It is a cloudy day but we fit in a bit of last minute
sunbathing.  Our taxi arrives at 2pm and
takes us to the bus stop, R28 (£10), and there we connect with the bus to the
airport (1001 bus R5, 1.90).  It is a
nice bus with air conditioning but the driver must be on a tight schedule as he
swerves around the bends so fast I actually slide off my seat at one
point.  Arrive at Rio airport around
3.30pm and we are surprised that we cannot see our flight on the departures board.  At the Air France desk we find out our 7pm
flight has not been running this year and our travel agent should have notified
us.   Their last flight of the day is
closed and now boarding so they offer to put us up in a hotel overnight and fly
us out tomorrow.  We ask if there is an
alternative and she find out we can go on the British Airways flight leaving at
11pm.  After confirming that the BA
strike is not on and this flight will be operating we take that option.  We are given a meal voucher and told check in
begins at 7pm so we have lots of time to kill. 
Seating is poor with only hard metal seats and all in noisy areas.  There is just one TV in a café so in order to
watch Liverpool lose Steve has to pay their extortionate price for a beer.  Needless to say by the time we sit down to
our free buffet meal he is not happy and even less so when he sees the poor
choices offered.   At least we make the BA flight and it takes
off on time.  Due to the strike there are
very few cabin crew and most of those are “light crew”.  This means they are other BA staff such as
check in or baggage handlers who have done a 1 month crash course in order to
be flight attendants.  The only thing they
have not learnt is to use the ovens so the meal is a chicken and salad at 1.30am!



plane makes rather a bumpy and serving landing – maybe we have a baggage
handler as pilot!  At least we are early
which will help with our tight connection but we are at a stand without the
tunnel connection and for some reason there are only 2 buses available to
shuttle people to the terminal.  As a
full flight we ended up getting seats in the next to last row at the back so
wait ages to get off and into the terminal. 
By scurrying along we make it through the various security checks and
passport control to connect with our Manchester flight. It is cold and raining
when we land in Manchester around 4.30pm. 
Claire & Daniel are waiting for us and we notice a big change in
Daniel who has grown taller and thinner. 
Claire drives us to Prestwich so we can have a quick chat with
David.  Back in Keighley we go straight
to Mom & Dads.  Dad came out of
hospital on Wednesday and looks a bit better than we expected.  Lisa and family arrive shortly after and I
think we tire him out as he keeps dozing off. 
Return to Claire’s to meet the new pet rabbit “Snowflake” and to settle
back into Claire’s bedroom.



Claire goes out in the morning to the hairdressers and returns mid
afternoon.  I’ve cooked up a gammon joint
which goes down well with egg and chips. 
We call round to Mom & Dad’s and Steve sits with Dad whilst Mom and
I go shopping.  I am so out of touch with
prices I have to keep asking whether stuff is a good price or not, certainly
petrol at £1.19 a litre is not! With no car Mom has to drive us back to Claire’s.  When we pull up it is hail stoning and so bad
we sit in the car for a few minutes in the hope it will pass.  It doesn’t so I dash for the door with some
of the shopping bags but the door is locked. 
I hammer on the door and shout through the letter box to Daniel to open
up to no avail.  I then peer through the
letter box and realise the carpet is a funny colour and we are at another house
with a red door – luckily no one is home. 
At night Claire is out at a friend’s 40th party and staying
over so we stay in with Daniel. carpet. 
We are only at the wrong house! 
Luckily no one is home!  In the
evening Claire goes out to a friend’s 40th birthday party.



all get up late. Daniel has double eggs for breakfast, scrambled egg on toast
followed by Easter eggs.  Claire arrives
back early afternoon and I cook us all an Easter turkey dinner. 



must still be on Brazilian time as we don’t get up until 11amIn the afternoon
we do our version of the meals on wheels – “food on foot” as we take some
turkey dinner down for Mom and Dad and spend the afternoon helping with some of
their paperwork.  .  In the evening Natasha arrives back from her
swimming trip to Germany.  She has us in
stitches as she brings out her bag of presents then explains that she has been
using the perfume she bought for Claire, has eaten the big egg that came in the
bag of small ones she bought for us and so on. 
She has some coloured hard boiled eggs and shows Daniel the traditional
German game where you bash each others’ egg a bit like playing conkers. 



It is Claire’s birthday and I have a cup of coffee and fruit plate ready for
her breakfast.  Natasha has to get up
early as Steve & I have doctor’s appointments. Unfortunately the doctor
will only deal with 2 complaints at a time so Steve has to decide between the
knife wound in his hand, his frozen shoulder, the tumour in his little finger,
blood blister on his face that keeps bleeding and his hearing!  Big decision but the knife wound and the
shoulder win and the others will be dealt with at a later stage.  Claire has requested a special meal for her
birthday and really enjoys the mash, roast veg and sea bass followed by toffee
pudding and ice cream. 



Claire has bought a treasure hunt on line, so in the afternoon we
take the kids to Haworth where it starts. 
It takes about 1 hour and a few things are debatable, when asked what
age a boy died I put 2 because the tomb said he died in his 3rd year
but the quiz says the answer was 3.  None
the less it is a pleasant walk and fun to do. 



The kids were at Daz’s last night and Claire stayed out so we were
expecting a nice lie in, not so as the postman knocks us up at 8.30am.  This is followed by one of those really
frustrating phone calls with an automated voice trying to sell you
something.  We visit Sandra and Keith in
the afternoon, catch up on their news and look at the new campervan which they
have been unable to use due to her Dad being ill.  Rod & Nancy come round for an evening
meal, a kind of Indian Christmas dinner with homemade pumpkin soup, turkey
curry then Christmas pudding and ice cream. 
We all go down to bowling and in spite of his frozen shoulder and hand
Steve manages to bowl. 



a dinner down to Mom & Dad’s.  Each
time we see Dad he is showing good signs of improvement and today has even
taken a few steps outside.  I need to do
another big shop, Mom can’t believe it considering how much I bought last time
but feeding a family of 5 you get through loads of food.  Early to bed as we are off to the theme park



We’ve offered the kids money for a treat on the basis that they plan
and work out the costs themselves. 
Daniel has chosen a day out at Lightwater Valley and already bought the
tickets on line to save money. Claire’s car only seats 4 so Steve opts to stay at
home.   Arriving at the park there are just a few cars
ahead of us but as we already have tickets we are the first into the theme park
and feel a bit like a celebrity wondering round alone.  Even for the new rides and the white knuckle
rides there are hardly any queues and the kids even do “The Ultimate” 4
times.  In fact by 4pm we’ve all done
everything we want and are ready to head home. 
We cannot believe how quiet the park was as it has been a lovely sunny
day but maybe this is a sign of the recession. 



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