Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Italy holiday post 6

Husband frequently points out, quite rightly, that I am an optimist, and it was as an optimist that I said, 'It's a town on the lake: the ferry is bound to go from there.'

And I was right. The ferry did go from there - but not to the island I wanted to visit. That involved driving to the opposite side of the lake. And guess what? Ms Clever Clogs Sat Nav said it wasn't possible.
'Nonsense,' says I. 'There are roads on the map.'
'Okay,' says Husband, 'you can navigate.'

And guess what again?

I did it perfectly!

We caught the ferry from San Feliciano to Isola Polvese, the largest of three islands in Lake Trasimane.

There was nothing there - well there was but we couldn't find it - but we had a lovely peaceful walk around the island. (Actually that was unintentional; I only meant us to walk halfway since I am a considerate wife with a recent-heart-attack husband, but we missed the turning. I blame the map.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Italy holiday post 5

Now how did I manage to add a fraction to yesterday's title?

Anyway trip fail this morning. We planned to go to a nearby nature reserve complete with spectacular views and a haunted cave. And we would have got there if it hadn't been for the last four kilometres of - to call it road is inaccurate, even track would be generous. We persevered for one kilometre and decided the risk of damage to the hire car was too high.

Reluctantly gave up and came back via an ice cream shop. I am going to say something now that you will never have heard me say before: I met an ice cream I didn't like.

There are lots of ice creams I don't like but I know which they are and avoid them. Today's choice was caramel and what I thought was honey. I don't know what it actually was but I didn't like it. I even left some!!!! (Number of exclamation marks indicates just how unusual this is.)

But the sun is shining and we have a pool to lie next to so the day can only get better. And after siesta we can visit the castle.

Italy holiday post 4⅝

Fortunately sat nav did work today as we travelled inland from Park Albatross on the Tuscan coast to Sarteane.

Where the last site was huge and busy this campsite is small and very quiet, just right for two old codgers.
One of the paddling pools at Park Albatros

The pool at our new site
The pool here is fed by thermal springs and a steady 24 degrees. No chlorine just a constant water flow.

This afternoon we went for a walk around the old town forgetting siesta time so everything was closed.

Yesterday the Med was most un-Med-like. With Ed flags being flown and lifeguards blowing their whistles at anyone who ventured in too far.

In the afternoon we went to the beach at Baratti to that we'd visited previously when it had been ideal for GrandSon4 as it was shallow for very long way. The wind and tides had changed even that.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Italy holiday post 3

Sat navs are wonderful. I have no idea how they know exactly where I am or the way I need to go to get where I want to. They are an incredible invention except when they don't know about new roads and get very upset when you insist on driving through what they are convinced is a field.

And when they don't work at all of course and the driver has to fling himself on the mercy of the navigator.

'Which way do I go? Tell me quickly.'
'How am I supposed to know?'
'You have the map.'
'I don't know where we're going.'
'South west.'
Blank stare.
'Do I go left or right?'
'Left. Or maybe right. We need to go left but they drive on the other side here so maybe we go right.' (It made perfect sense at the time.)
Some time later.
'Are we on the right road now?'
'Um yes, I think so ... but we might be going the wrong way on it.'

Seventy-five minutes and a motorway toll later we were finally back where we started.

And we'd been on holiday for all of twelve hours ...

Better add navigating to ballroom dancing and kayaking as things Husband and I shouldn't do together.

It's not that I'm a bad navigator; I just get - oh, look we're going over a pretty river.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Italy holiday post 2

Final full day in this campsite. Tomorrow we head inland a bit. Final opportunity to do the jungle trail - but I won't be. The man who runs it is horrible and shouts at young girls who panic; imagine what he would say to an old woman. Younger Son and Nuora were in the playground (underneath the trail) and listened to him. Then they said, 'You are not going on that!' So I agreed. Phew.

A red squirrel ran across the roof of the caravan opposite. Very excited.

The courier came to clean the empty caravan and the woman in the van next to her said, 'It is filthy under our bed. I just wanted you to know that it's not our dirt. It was here when we got here.'

Younger Son and Nuora fly home today. We have had a lovely week in the sun with them. The campsite is huge and very family orientated with six swimming pools including three enormous paddling pools with slides and showers and tunnels. GrandSon4 is a complete water baby who loved it and never wanted to come out. 'Come on the slide, Granny!'  It appears I have the second least slidy bum in the world: Husband takes first prize. While everyone else goes shooting down we end up like beached whales halfway down.

Now let's see if I can remember how to add photos.

Internet keeps disappearing so I'll try again later.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Italy holiday post 1

Sitting in a playground in the middle of a campsite in Italy looking not at all suspicious.

It's the only way I can get reasonably good internet so I have to pretend I'm keeping an eye on a child. (Actually that probably looks even more suspicious.)

The woman in the caravan opposite us has brought her kitten on holiday. Another man has brought his parrot. Just saying.

Beautiful weather, lovely warm sea, terrible bread.

Have spotted a heron, lizards, frogs, and - most exciting of all - a coypu. I know it was a coypu not a beaver because there is only one beaver in Italy and he lives in the north west.

There is a jungle trail through the trees in the playground. (See photo above.) I am torn. I want to fight my fear but fear I will get to the top and throw a wobbly and have to be rescued. Ignominiously.

Great things about being on holiday no. 1859: not caring enough to wear a bra.

Also having a picnic on the beach after sunset.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

I told you I was ill

My latest article for The Bay magazine is out now and available here. In it I talk about Husband's heart attack. The illustrator for the magazine is very good and he came up with this.
The editor sent it to me prior to using it to make sure Husband wouldn't mind. He's married to me; he puts up with a lot.

The things they say

I didn't have highlights put in this week as Mark, my hairdresser - I never dreamed I'd be the sort of woman who had a 'hairdresser' - said it was very bleached blonde and when I went into the sun for a bit that would show through again. So at the moment my hair has changed from very blonde to dark red. 

When GrandSon2 saw me he stopped in his tracks. 'You've had your hair done.'
'Yes. Do you like it?'
He slowly walked around me viewing me from every angle. At last he said, 'A bit.'

He's very polite, unlike his little sister.

She was asking me what the brown spots on my neck were. I said, 'Beauty spots. That's how I know I must be beautiful because I have so many beauty spots.'
GrandDaughter2 said, 'You're not beautiful.'

GrandDaughter1 was appalled. 'Don't be mean to Granny,' she said. Then to me, 'They're not beauty spots but you are beautiful.'

Husband meanwhile has been packing for our holiday. 'I've packed seven pairs of pants,' he said.
'We're going for two weeks.'
'I know. Each pair will last two days.'

Before you judge him - no, on second thoughts judge away - he is planning to spend a lot of time in his swimming trunks. Although walking around Florence in a bathing costume may be frowned upon.

I, on the other hand, went out and bought new pants to make sure I wouldn't run out. I think probably I have packed about twenty pairs now. Just in case.

I have finished packing and, in spite of the number of pants and books, my case seems surprisingly empty. I wonder what I've forgotten. Then again I have pants and books so it can't be important.

We are spending one week near a beach in Tuscany where Younger Son and family are joining us before we go on, alone, inland so we can do some touristy stuff, sightseeing etc. Eurocamping all the way. Husband showed me the websites about the camp sites, all the info on pools and accommodation, and activities, and the only thing that I focused on was the headline: home-made gelato.

As far as I know this trip does not include any kayaking. (Reference our France holiday last year.)

Daughter and family are using our absence as an excuse to move in to our house while the builders continue to work on theirs. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Raising my blood pressure

I had to call into the doctor's today to pick up a prescription for Husband and as I was there I thought - seeing as Husband had recently had a heart attack and it might be catching - I'd check my blood pressure using the DIY machine they have in the corridor.

blood pressure machine
First task is to adjust the seat height so my heart is on the same level as the sleeve. I pull on the lever at the side of the chair and go shooting backwards.

I look and see there's another lever so try again. This is the right one: it goes up and down, or rather it goes up. And up. Soon I am peering down unable to even put my arm in the sleeve.

I dismount and try to adjust it, make it go back down. But the chair is adamant: it will not shift. 

I hover for a while hoping  someone who knows will pass by but eventually give up, move the chair further along the corridor, and pull up an ordinary seat. 

I slot my arm in and press the button. Nothing happens. I try again. Still nothing happens.

The nurse comes out of her room so I ask her if it's out of order. 'Is it switched on?' she says.
I look down at the plug. 'Oh no.' I switch it on and finally, at last, with my blood pressure probably now as high as the rising chair, it gets measured.

I am pleased: 115 over 60. Pretty good. 

I leave quietly hoping somebody can repair the chair.