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Easy Airport Transfers

After spending years begging friends and family to take me to the airport for business flights and pleasure I have now discovered how I should have been doing it – Airport take all the pain away, and it’s not just in this country, pretty much wherever you want to go you’ll be able to use them.

I put our lad in touch with them last week and he’s dead chuffed, and it saves the embarrassment of having to give the family or friends money which you know they need, but which also they try not to take. And it doesn’t matter if the plane is late, they’ll wait.

So what of the weather then? The airport transfers thing came up in conversation in the pub when everyone was talking about their trips to the sun, but those who have been away these last two weeks haven’t had any better than here I can’t imagine.

Just think what it would have been like to be in Cornwall last week on the beach – perfect, and I bet it was empty too, it is most of the time other than in July and August. Just a load of Germans doing their recce for their next invasion while posing as tourists. I hope they take that in the humour it was intended to convey!

Talking of the pub. It’s a comedy night at The Beech tonight and so I’d best pull my finger out and get down there.


Robin Hoods Bay

Getting away for the weekend is a lovely thing to do and we still see it as a treat, even though as a pretty much retired couple we could take off whenever we feel like it.

This past weekend we headed off to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast and rented a cottage for six of us, that’s the in-laws too.

Funny old place Robin Hoods Bay. the cottages are lovely and being at the seaside is always brilliant, but it’s just a shame that it’s the east coast where the sea so often just looks a bit grim. Still, that didn’t deter us from having a top old time.

The trip was for a wonderful old lady’s 90th birthday and family had come from all over the place, including her son from Canada. Poor fellow confided in us that even though he has lived in Canada longer than he did in England, his mother still hasn’t forgiven him for going.

The high point for me was a hard but brilliant walk along the less obvious beach to the north of the town. It involved clambering over all sorts of rocks and boulders, many of which were fascinating as they held fossils of all sorts of ancient creatures. The first fossil you see is an amazing experience, but then before long you will have seen so many that one has to be truly special for you to stop and share it with the gang.

Our cottage needed some work, but it was very comfortable and spacious, and best of all you could pretty much roll out of the door and down the hill a hundred yards to the beach.

Blinking tired today though. I reckon I’ll be off to bed soon.

London how I love you!

I could never live in London again, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the place.

I think the constant noise, throng and costs would drive me to distraction if I tried to move back, I’m rather senior these days after all, but I love a short break.

We have just been staying at The Jesmond Dene Hotel which is where we often go as it’s a good price and so convenient. You can just wheel your bags across from St Pancras or Kings Cross and then walk everywhere. The walking can get knackering and next time I’ll take my wonderful bus pass, but this time around we had allowed ourselves a generous budget, so rather than make do with sandwiches we ate in cafes and restaurants as and when we fancied it. You can get so tired if you don’t stop and eat often enough.


I particularly wanted to go to the Lichenstein exhibition at the Tate Modern. It makes me laugh when people look at me and wonder why an old geezer would be interested in pop art – well Lichenstein himself is a lot older than me!

I don’t care though. It’s fun to show the kids that I know more about the stuff they may be studying than they do themselves!

The price of beer always comes up after I’ve been to London, and this time I was pleasantly surprised. I actually reckon I didn’t pay more than 20p a pint more than I would have done in the north. I did drink in some dodgy dives though!


To all my mates on the Costas…

I do love my holidays, but I won’t go abroad for the sake of it. I feel that there is so much of my own country (and Scotland and Wales for avoidance of doubt and confusion) that I haven’t seen yet, so it’s not an automatic thing that holidays mean travel abroad for me.

All the boys from the pub have decided to go on a trip together to Costa Adeje on Tenerife for a sun sea and letching holiday. you know the thing, it would have been sun sea and sex 30 years ago, but now they’ll be exhausted just thinking about it. They have a top old time and it’s one of the newest resorts on the island. They didn’t even pay much. They have all cooked up a plan to offer their partners the opportunity of a girls holiday to Tenerife and their reward is to do their own trip a bit later in the year. It’s a cunning ploy as that then gets them two weeks away from the old girls, one which they can spend in teh pub at home, and one which they get their share of sunshine. Bingo. Yea, probably bongo too!

When it comes to the time I’ll probably regret not having tagged along, I was just being a bit of an arse and getting a bit high and mighty really. Thank fully they are used to me being a silly bugger. I’m sure I could go later if I wanted to.


I am going on a Caribbean holiday

Being retired and having a little spare cash available is, of course, the perfect combination for someone who loves travelling. In my younger days I used to go to far-off destinations such as Australia and New Zealand, but now that I am older a weekend in Paris is usually enough to satisfy my travel urges. Up to now, the winter has been just too much for me to handle. It seems that as one grows older the winters become colder and wetter. This one has been the worst in a row of bad ones. That’s when I started reading up about tropical holiday destinations; places where the sun always shines and where it never snows.

After going through a lot of travel brochures I settled on one featuring Caribbean holidays from ITC. Most of the others I got from the local travel agent, but this one I ordered through the ITC website. I must admit they have a huge selection and I found it very hard to choose a specific destination.

After ordering the brochure from the ITC site I requested a live quote. I was very impressed with how quickly they responded. Later they even called me back to explain a few things I was not clear about.

If you had to choose between such inviting destinations as Bermuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Antiqua, Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, the French Caribbean, Grenada or Jamaica for a tropical holiday, which one would you go for? Eventually I settled on Grenada. It has everything the other islands can offer in terms of beaches and sunshine, but it has that extra allure, which one can’t find on most of the others, spices. I have always been intrigued by spices since my youth and to visit a real spice island is, in a certain sense, the fulfilment of a dream.

I am going to stay in the Spice Island Beach Resort. What a perfect name for a holiday resort on a real spice island. I am really looking forward to wandering through the narrow streets of the capital, St Georges and admiring the beautiful French villas to be found there.

The ITC site has a huge selection of different accommodation options, from hotels to resorts to luxury self-catering apartments. I chose the resort, because it is situated right on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. They have two restaurants on site, as well as a bar and there’s also a beautiful swimming pool.

Paris in the sixties

I don’t have unlimited funds and my garden is also taking up quite a lot of my time, so I don’t get around to travelling as often as I would like. Now and again though I do take the odd trip; for example, next weekend I am going to Paris.

The idea for the trip was born when I ran into an old girlfriend of mine in the local shopping mall. We hadn’t seen each other since our ways parted in Paris in the sixties. We sat down at one of the coffee shops and talked about old times.

The two of us were studying at one of the universities in Paris at the time and for both of us it was more a way of getting away from home and being masters of our own universe for the first time than about studying.

I rented an attic from a grumpy old Parisian lady and Claire took a similar room next door. We often bumped into each other on the street outside, eventually becoming friends and later much more than friends. We would stroll along the narrow avenues of the Marais district for hours over weekends, admiring the work of the artists and enjoying the coffee shops and the nightlife.

Those were the days of the student unrest in France and we enjoyed our fair share of action. I remember that once we were holed up in a one bedroom apartment for a whole weekend while the police were barricading the streets below and throwing teargas at the marching students.

How can I ever forget strolling along the banks of the Seine, hand in hand, enjoying the lovely spring weather? We thought it would last forever; that nothing would ever tear us apart, but sadly fate arrived in the form of a burly South African rugby player. He studied at the Sorbonne and must have had something that I didn’t, because one day Clair, right out of the blue, announced that she was moving in with him. I must admit I didn’t see that one coming.

It’s funny how things turn out, isn’t it? Of course all this memory lane meandering meant that I had the perfect excuse – if I needed any excuse – to plan a surprise trip to Paris with my wife. It may not have worked out with Clair, but I was fortunate enough to find the true love of my life shortly after…so here’s to a romantic weekend for two in the city of love.