Archive for May, 2016

Ice And Slice?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

My wife was flying to London on a business trip last week, and I tagged along for the ride to catch up with children and grand children. I kept a diary of events for posterity purposes:

Saturday (April 30:) My wife had an assigned seat in punters’ class, and I was on the standby list, but fortunate to be assigned a seat in business class. The trip was off to a splendid beginning, and fingers were crossed that the good fortune would continue.

Sunday: We touched down at Heathrow 71/2 hours later. I was quite refreshed having managed a few hours shut eye, but my wife resembled a rag doll suffering from sleep deprivation. We were staying at The Aviator Hotel in Farnborough approximately 20 miles from Heathrow. It has a ultra modern design favored by the business elite, but I do dispute the need for subdued lighting, reception located on the first floor and a mundane grey décor. We caught up with my son, grandson and granddaughter a couple of hours later and watched in awe as the Swans put Liverpool Juniors to the sword, winning 3-1. We had lunch at the Wyvern, Aldershot and dinner at an Indian restaurant in Farnham. In between we put our theatrical grandson through his paces as a budding goalkeeper at a local park.

Monday: I said my goodbyes to my wife who was now in business mode. It was such a lovely, sunny day and my son and I entertained my grandchildren at the local park where my grandson negotiated the assault course with great dexterity.  Meanwhile, my granddaughter tripped and fell running back and fore the house causing a bump the size of an egg to appear on her forehead. She recovered relatively quickly following cuddles from her dad.

My son and I headed for Aldershot to watch the Monday Night game between Spurs and Chelsea at a local hostelry, The Green King which was preceded by eating dubious Italian cuisine at” Frankies and Bennies.” I didn’t realize until late in the game that the pub was a Chelsea supporters haven which explained why I was the only one celebrating Spurs’ two goal advantage at half time. The place erupted when Hazard scored Chelsea’s equalizer near the end, and I meekly exited stage right lamenting yet another Spurs capitulation which generously gave the title to Leicester City.

Tuesday: While my wife was waiting for a taxi to transport her and  colleagues to the office for another series of meetings I was on my way to play golf with an old friend at the Manor House Golf Club, Castlecombe nestled in the heart of the exquisite Cotswolds. The weather couldn’t have been better, the shot making was generally a delight, but the scoring was in need of a transplant. We finished off the afternoon’s great entertainment with a beer and sandwich at the Salutation Inn.

Wednesday: My grandson had returned to school (Monday was a Bank Holiday,) and as the weather was on its best behavior,  we decided to have lunch at the Prince of Wales Pub where my granddaughter could attempt to build sand castles and make new friends in the play area. The children were excited to see the hotel room particularly the chiq bathroom. Curiosity got the better of them and my grandson took a brief but involuntary  shower fully clothed creating mayhem while his sister squealed with delight. Dinner was partaken at the Brewers Fayre where we bid farewell to the grand children before embarking on the second leg of our trip. We enjoyed a night cap with my son at the Faulkner Arms, and returned to the Aviator.

Thursday: The fine weather continued unabated. My wife was free of the shackles of Corporate America, and we began the four hour journey in glorious sunshine to Devon along the A30 passing Stonehenge as an added bonus. I was looking forward to a few more relaxing days with family when the grandchild jinx struck again.

We drove down to the seafront for a couple of drinks to enjoy the unusual splendid weather England was enjoying at this time. My son-in-law and I were buying the drinks and my daughter went outside carrying my 3 year old grandson. Unfortunately she tripped on the threshold; falling  to her knees while gallantly  attempting to save my grandson.

My grandson, however, fell flat on his face, followed by earth shattering screams. We rushed outside to find my daughter clutching her son both of whom were covered in blood. It was my grandson’s blood that had been spilled, bleeding profusely from his lip which in instant was so swollen it would have done Mick Jagger proud. With apologies to Charles Dickens, my granddaughter said solemnly: “This is the worst of times.”

My grandson looks like an angel, but is a tough cookie and recovered fairly quickly despite having a graze from head to chin.

Friday: The next morning my granddaughter was dropped off at school, and we drove out to Burry Head which formerly supported a stone fortress built during the Napoleonic Wars. It is now more famous for suicidal locals leaping off the cliff’s edge onto rocks 200 feet below. We enjoyed lunch at the Guard House Café and my wife and I experienced the best clam chowder that’s passed our lips.

Saturday: This was, sadly, travelling day back to London in preparation for our flight home on Sunday. We bid farewell to our family, but not before I enjoyed a breakfast of kippers. Why don’t they sell them in  the USA?  The Heathrow Hilton provided a safe and comfortable haven in readiness for  our 9 hour flight home.

Sunday: I couldn’t be lucky twice, and was allocated a seat in the back in punters’ class, but luckily sitting next to my wife who was already esconsed in her assigned seat. I’m not sure whether she wanted to laugh or cry when I sat next to her. Anyway it proved to be  cool trip despite the mishaps with the grandchildren. They are all healthy and happy, and that’s what really matters.