Saturday, July 08, 2023

Chuff chuff chuff

Well, life has been, unusually for us, full of event. It all started some months ago, when we were thinking how much Big Grandson, who's transport-mad (particularly about trains/trams/buses) would enjoy being in Hamburg and going round the enormous model train exhibition where Mr L went for his 70th birthday. I mean, I went too. But Mr L is a train enthusiast. I just wandered around. 

So we decided that Mr L would offer to take him. And then Mr L realised that Big G would really like to go on the Eurostar, under the English Channel, rather than flying. This meant a train to London, a stay overnight beside St Pancras Station, the Eurostar and then various changes of train on the way to Hamburg. And back again. Somewhat to Mr L's relief, Big G's dad said he would like to go too, and crucially, as well as being a nice chap, Son-in-Law 1 has a first-class honours degree in German with distinction in spoken German. Big Grandson has been learning German on Duolingo for some months in preparation but is not yet at his father's level. 

Doing it this way was much more of a palaver, as well as being considerably more expensive, than flying. However, it did provide the train-mad nearly-12-year-old with lots of interesting trains to ride on. And, as it turned out, buses and undergrounds on the free days in Hamburg. 

Meanwhile Daughter 1 and I took his sister (who has no interest in trains but thought she might like theme parks) to Legoland in Windsor, in the south of England. This was much simpler but still involved a train to London, another to Slough, a third to Windsor, a very short walk to the hotel, a day at Legoland (travelling by taxi), another night in Windsor and then the journey in reverse, meeting up at King's Cross with Daughter 2 for a (my) birthday lunch. 

Big Granddaughter turned out not to be so keen on theme parks as she'd imagined... or at least, not on the scary rides. But there were various unscary rides that she and her mother went on, and other things to see such as this model world. There are also good playparks and shops, though it's an expensive way to to go playparks and shops... However, we had a good time and I think this may be, hooray, the last theme park I ever have to go to. We did EuroDisney and Florida Disney with our kids in their day and queuing in the sun is not my very favourite thing to do. Nor are scary rides (not that I did them. Good old Mr L took on that task).

The female side of the party got home on Tuesday, and then Daughter 1 had to go to work, while Biggest Granddaughter and I did various things in Edinburgh such as going to the Zoo,

buying books at a nice bookshop, having lunch out and so on, for the rest of the week. The male side of things got back to London yesterday after a very stressful day of cancelled and delayed trains (but in the end they caught their Eurostar - just - whew) and are now at Daughter 2's. Mr L and SIL 1 have had a quiet day, while Daughter 2 has nobly been taking glutton-for-punishment Big Grandson for
a London train/tube/bus day. This culminated in his being invited into the cab of the final train (which was stationary at the time!) and allowed to play with the buttons - seeing the camera's-eye view of the carriages, blowing the horn etc. I imagine this made his day!

Today I had a nice slow start and was just changing the sheets on our bed when I looked out of the window and saw the two friends I'd forgotten that I'd invited for coffee, coming down the path. Never have I sprung into action so quickly! Fortunately I had coffee and biscuits available and it was lovely to see them so all was well. Oh dear, brain overload...


  1. After all that you needed friends turning up to give you a break!!

  2. You have been busy! Mr L and SIL #1 had an adventurous and ambitious trip. I got a little tired (and stressed) even reading about it--but how special to have the time and experiences together. I'm not big on theme parks either; in fact, I've never been to DisneyWorld. (FL)

  3. Oh My ... you have had a busy, (exhausting!) time. Sitting with friends having a coffee is a much better idea than changing the sheets! They can wait. And the look on Grandson's face, sitting at the wheel of that train tells the story, doesn't it. I wonder where that love of transport will take him - only time will tell.

  4. What a busy time - and maybe exhausting, as well. Very exciting for your grandson.