Thursday, 31 August 2006

Dishwasher grime

If you have a dishwasher I dare you to take a closer look at the hinge area inside the bottom of the door.

Lovely, isn't it?!

I wipe it at least every month but this morning I ran a blunt blade under the rubber seal. Double urgh.

I may not do as much domestic work as I could but I do specialise in cleaning filters and drains. Maybe it is a female thing on par with squeezing zits or digging out odd bits from the body, usually hubby's body!

Original Comments:

Britmum said...

I hear you girlfriend... double yuck. I wipe mine down but probably not as often as I should. Dare I try the knife? Hmmm.

Take care xx

Friday, September 01, 2006 12:09:00 AM

Atyllah said...

Eeewww, eewwww and double eeeewwww! to the grime and the bodily bits. Humans! Really!

Friday, September 01, 2006 8:12:00 AM

Anji said...

You've just made me feel glad I haven't got a dishwasher!

Friday, September 01, 2006 9:26:00 AM

Stegbeetle said...

Oh yes, grime around seal of dishwasher, particularly as you say, the hinges. Disgusterous!

Friday, September 01, 2006 9:38:00 AM

Jo said...

I don't take your dare Doris! Too scary.

What's your position on our dog bounding up to the dishwasher to lick the dirty plates as soon as we stack them!!

(I'm doing OK btw...things still tough on the domestic front, but hey...Just thought I'd look in...thanks for the tribute on the blog list!)

Friday, September 01, 2006 4:26:00 PM

Annie said...

Ewww - yuck! Have a nice weekend, and I've moved the blog again - not my fault this time!

Friday, September 01, 2006 8:37:00 PM

Gerald Ford said...

Maybe it is a female thing on par with squeezing zits or digging out odd bits from the body, usually hubby's body!

Ah, the sancitity of marriage. ;p

(but yes, I can relate...ha ha ha)

Saturday, September 02, 2006 9:49:00 AM

Ally said...


Also, I first read 'squeezing zits' as 'squeezing tits', which led to some confusion :).

Saturday, September 02, 2006 1:32:00 PM

ChelseaFCChick said...


Still wish I had a dishwasher though! :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:25:00 PM

Ghone said...

I'm so glad that there was no photo!

Saturday, September 02, 2006 11:58:00 PM

jane said...

Ugh...yes, I use a dishwasher but NO I don't want to check the grime! LOL
Won't you PLEASE come do it for me? Now I'm gonna have to hunt this stuff down & kill it.
I'm sure glad to see you're posting on a regular basis again. :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006 3:37:00 AM

Sunday, 27 August 2006

Glass half-empty

For the past forty minutes I've lain on the chaise lounge in front of the telly thinking about my glass half-empty attitude. What prompted this line of thought was the fact that I realised that I had spent the last five hours laid on the chaise doing nothing and how lazy I was. It seems I spend a great chunk of every day in this same position either watching TV or asleep and what a way to waste my life. I do nothing.

Then I reflected on what I had been doing earlier. We had been out for about six hours. Quality time with my Mr Doris and son. Yesterday I had been out all day renewing acquaintance with one of my English cousins; the day before out for the day at museums chaperoning my mother who had wanted to take two of her grandsons (including my son) out for the day; the day before that I know I did quite a bit of "work" work.... and I can't remember too much of any specifics before then but I know that there are times I work hard: day and night; and other times I flaff around. Though I've done a lot of flaffing around for a very long time now.

So why do I think I do nothing. Why do I think I am wasting away my life and not achieving what I could achieve. This evening was that eureka moment. I realised that instead of bigging up all that I do I have a glass half empty attitude. If I instead thought good thoughts about all that I do then that would attract a better attitude. For the last few years I have dwelt on the "negatives" that need not be negatives at all. Surely I am allowed to relax. Allowed to do nothing, just watch TV or whatever.

It would be important to say that if my dear Mr Doris reads this he would say "Doh!". He always supports me and reminds me how much I do. But that is like having someone who loves you always telling you want they think you want to hear. The problem is within me. It is how I process.

So I shall now return to the chaise with a feigned air of encouragement and will try not to be kicking myself in a few days time for still doing nothing and try and remember the glass half-full attitude to which I usually give lip service.

Original Comments:

Britmum said...

I feel like that too sometimes and I don't think that I allow myself to do it to often. I think I should. I am always beating myself up over things I think that I should be doing. I think for me it's my inner demon whispering "You'll end up like your Mother"!

You enjoy your chaise lounge, you deserve it.

I loved hearing the word faffing. I miss hearing the little English sayings. Listening to these darn Yanks get a bit tiring. LOL

Take care xx

Monday, August 28, 2006 3:12:00 PM

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

Monday, August 28, 2006 3:12:00 PM

Curly K said...

enjoy your chaise-longue and stop feeling guilty, everyone deserves down-time and me-time even busy mums (or grans :-))

Monday, August 28, 2006 9:19:00 PM

Karn said...

Nice post. Check out to help you stay on the couch and like it!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 7:19:00 AM

ChelseaFCChick said...

Generally I try to keep the glass half full attitude but I often find myself feeling guilty if I've spent the day doing nothing. It's silly really!

Anyway, like Britmum and Curly K said, go ahead and enjoy your chaise lounge!


Wednesday, August 30, 2006 5:15:00 PM

Astryngia said...

I always admire your ability to chill out without any guilt whatsoever. I aspire to the same so please don't change! You're a great role model!! ;-) It's a great skill to be able to go with the flow and even fall asleep amongst friends! :-)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11:37:00 PM

Atyllah said...

Sounds like a bad case of Ye Olde Protestant Worke Ethic. Perhaps it's time to follow the Way of the Taoists who espouse "do nothing doing". It's a far more accepting attitude to life.
And stay on that chaise longue - you sound like you've more than earned it!

Thursday, August 31, 2006 2:52:00 PM

Anji said...

I'm a glass half full person myself. Sounds to me that you deserve your time an the chaise lounge (with a full glass of wine, I hope!) I feel guilty about watching TV because I'm unemployed, but I rarely have time to watch TV. Isn't it strange the funny rules we set ourselves?

Friday, September 01, 2006 9:32:00 AM

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Vine tomatoes

Curious thing vine tomatoes. It costs more than twice the price to buy the tomatoes still connected to bits of the vine. You can't eat this greenery (I don't think) and yet it is added to the weight of what you are buying.

One would have thought there were more costs involved in stripping the tomatoes completely of its shrubbery.

Vine tomatoes certainly smell and taste nicer. Now why is that? I don't think they are especially a different breed.

Following Cheryl's comment I did a Google and found:
  1. it is a fruit "because it is a ripened mature ovary containing seed" but then explains why it is a vegetable! Tomato Debate
  2. the names of the different types as well as a clear explanation of vine tomatoes Cooks Thesaurus
  3. an economic discussion of why vine tomatoes cost more via reference to the phallic nature of the vine Vine is Money and then moving on to the cost of dry cleaning!

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...

Maybe because they were ripened on the vine and not pulled off weeks ago when they were solid and green and transported half way round the world or put into bulk storage in the mean time?
At a guess.

I bet Ally would know why...


Wednesday, August 23, 2006 6:58:00 PM

doris said...

Oh dear, that seems quite plausible and obvious. My ignorance is showing! Maybe I should google...


Wednesday, August 23, 2006 7:05:00 PM

Ghone said...

I do so love the smell of vine tomatoes. That and geraniums.
Takes me right back to being 8 years old and standing in my late grandfather's greenhouse.


Still, nostalgia's not what it used to be!

PS. Welcome back!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 9:38:00 PM

Ghone said...

Oh, and can we expect more traveller's tales. So loved the below!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 9:39:00 PM

Britmum said...

I am not fond of toms but that could be because I have been knowto buy the ones that have travelled half way round the world. LOL Maybe I will pay the extra and try the vine ones.

Take care xx

Thursday, August 24, 2006 5:48:00 PM

ChelseaFCChick said...

My entire family are mad about growing their own tomatoes and all different kinds as well.

I'm the black sheep of the family though, I can't stand them (whether their home grown, on the vine, off the vine or flown half way around the world)! :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006 8:08:00 PM

Gerald Ford said...

Ach! I knew there was a conspiracy involved. :p

Friday, August 25, 2006 5:31:00 AM

The Elusive Loo said...

I think they add crack cocaine to them...

...well, perhaps not. I've got some tomatoes growing in the garden at the minute. Homegrown tommies taste the greatest!

Sunday, August 27, 2006 8:59:00 PM

decrepitoldfool said...

The most comments I ever got was a post about tomatoes. People must really care a lot about them. If I write about Rwandan genocide, maybe 1 comment. Tomatoes? 22 comments.

Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:51:00 PM

doris said...

Tomato posts, like tomatoes, are rather yielding. Easy to get along with and make comment about unlike the mega issues like Rwanda.

It is a sad reflection isn't it.

On the other hand, concerning your post regarding ugly tomatoes, maybe tomato growing and purchase can be seen as a metaphor on life? Or maybe we can be light hearted or serious about them and it is easier than the cruel issues in this world.

Saturday, September 02, 2006 6:47:00 PM

Sunday, 20 August 2006


Thank goodness the latest series has finally ended. Thirteen weeks is far too long that I don't know how other countries even attempt year long series. Too long and too many characters is my main criticism.

This series has been a mixed bag at times terrifying with the viciousness between the housemates. Stirred up by the manipulations of Big Brother. I'm surprised it hasn't yet been formally moved from the world of light entertainment to serious psychological experimentation.

My favourite task would have to be the prison task where they actually chose if they were going to be a prisoner or an officer and then after the first horrible task of peeling onions by the prisoners they were given a mock escape to a luxurious spa dodging the visits of the prison officers so they wouldn't be found out. Pure comedy.

Nikki may specialise in her tantrums and be a spoilt brat but there was an honesty about her that I liked. On Big brother forums I regularly read about people doubting that Pete had Tourettes or how much he put it on. Purlease! The ignorance was just incredible. However I never was a great fan of his and even less so when in his last week he started talking about his visions and that winning Big Brother was part of it. On the other hand, when Nikki came back into the house he was glowing with such happiness that he looked beautiful. Those were some beautiful moments that stirred me.

Aisleyne was a character I never much liked but it was something to see her soften in the last week or so. Good on her and least she has one of the good last night eviction interviews. Richard too turned out OK and rather sweet. Jennie did well coming sixth but she needs to relax just a little! What a scary hothead she is sometimes.

I can't forget Shabaz. He may have been extremely annoying but no-one ever deserves the bullying he received en-masse from the rest of his housemates. His mental health along with Nikki's are cause for concern but I hope they both survive and do well. Come to think of it, the mental health also of Aisleyne, Jennie, Lea and Sam are also worrying! And maybe mine for watching it all.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...

Nikki was certifiable poor girl, and way too peculiar. Gorss.
At least she couldnt help it, unlike slippy smarmy Susie and Jane the walking anus - puke!!!
Richard in my eyes remained a double dealing wanker who simply got more skilled at sowing seeds of panic and discord with a gentle smile on his face.
I had no winner in mind this year and I fear they were recruited as 'good TV', ie circus freaks, so even the contestants were let down by BB this year.
We keep saying 'never again', but still......


Sunday, August 20, 2006 5:08:00 PM

The Elusive Loo said...

I am proud to say I haven't watched a single episode this year as 13 weeks is too long out of anyone's life to become obsessed with a TV show which I did every other year!

Hello by the way :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:20:00 PM

ChelseaFCChick said...

I missed a lot of BB this year (mainly due to the World Cup) but I was rooting for Pete or Glyn to win.

Nikki was entertaining at first but when she went back in it was excruciating to watch her.

I thought Richard was going to be great, but for some reason I grew to dislike him.

And I agree with Cheryl that the contestants seemed to have been recruited as circus freaks to make 'good tv'. (Although that didn't stop me getting sucked in to the hype lol!)

Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:43:00 PM

Britmum said...

O.k. BB over here sucks big donkey whats its so I haven't watched it but I am glad that you are back Doris. I have missed you lovey.

Take care xx

Monday, August 21, 2006 7:01:00 AM

Curly K said...

I'm with in that I'm glad it's over. Didn't watch it too much near the end as found it just too much, too much drama, screaming etc. But you do end up getting sucked in to a certain extent. Whilst I did like Nikki's honesty her behaviour was worse than a toddler going through the terrible twos and I have to say I found Pete boring and a bit tedious in the fact that he had no clue as to how to read people. I actually began to really quite like Richard!

Monday, August 21, 2006 10:05:00 AM

MattyD said...

Oh dear Doris, I didn't think you were the kind of person who would get sucked into yet another series of Big Brother.

I watched some of it due to being commissioned to create a fan-site by some of Pete's friends.

I didn't watch much of the programme, maybe once or twice a week. Pete seemed interesting at the start, but he doesn't have much of a personality hiding behind the tourettes. Glyn was pretty hilarious throughout and I think he'll have a great time at University in September.

The rest of the assembled 'characters' weren't that great and I think they were a bit disappointing overall.

They need to cancel this programme before they turn all the children in our country into idiots.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 1:46:00 AM

doris said...

Hello All!

Like in an AA counselling session I hold my head up and admit that "My name is Doris and I watch Big brother!" :-D

Great site Matt - I love the rollover tab buttons in the top navigation. I find the whole idea of calling anyone "perfect" just a tad scary but that's what some call him.

Special hello to the elusive loo who I don't think I've met before :-)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:12:00 AM

Chandira said...

Haven't seen that one, but I find when I do watch things like Survivor, I get hooked.. lol
I think the TV companies do a lot to exaggerate and maniplate and edit these shows for more drama, but you're right, human nature is under question huh? Talk about ego. Serious psychological experiments..

I happen to like the Paris Hilton & Nicole Ritchie series for some sick messed up reason.. I just can't help myself. ;-)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 4:50:00 PM

Annie said...

I think BB peaked at BB3 and has been downhill from then on. Too many people chosen for their 'weird' potential, and too many stupid twists. I didn't even watch the final eviction.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 7:27:00 PM

Saturday, 19 August 2006

h2g2: Dinner for one

On my recent adventures in Germany my blood almost ran pure champagne as at each friends house a bottle would be cracked open in my honour and a glass thrust in my hand. And even a Union flag was raised in the garden. It was great! At my middle set of friends we started off with the champagne, then the wine and then after our barbeque I moved on to tasting the whiskies! I'm rather partial to whisky and although my better instincts told me I may be consuming too much alcohol my friend's husband had that look in his eye that he doesn't always come across people prepared to imbibe. So naturally I obliged.

I don't smoke but when offered a cigar, well, I just couldn't refuse. I was offered a choice and unsurprisingly it was the larger one that smelt fab in a melting chocolate kind of way. Resistance was futile and I was having a ball.

My friends were telling me about the German (and a few other countries) New Year tradition of showing a terribly English short film and it even holds the world record for the "most frequently repeated TV programme ever". Dinner for One: The 90th Birthday is just 18 minutes but an 11 minute version can be watched online at Google. It is English slapstick comedy about an elderly woman, Miss Sophie, whose butler, James, has to play the parts of her long dead friends during dinner and who becomes more drunk as the evening passes. Before each round of drinks in honour of Miss Sophie the catch phrase is:
James: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year, James!

I had never seen nor heard about this film before and my friends produced a little book with the dialogue. Being English I naturally tackled the dialogue with great gusto and a mock aristocratic accent and we fell about laughing.

The evening progressed and I was just so happy and mellow and didn't feel too bad or even drunk. The cigar was nearly finished as was one of the bottles of single malt. At this point it hit me and I knew I needed to go to the bathroom and that maybe I was going to throw up. Like a lady, I rose gracefully from the table on the patio and began to walk towards the door. I didn't get far before the world began to swallow me up as blackness drowned me in a faint. Amazingly I landed in a sitting up position and came too rubbing my temples desperately trying to work out where I was and what had happened. I couldn't open my eyes and I couldn't respond to my friends who were becoming extremely worried.

I sat there for a few moments rubbing my temples and then knew I was likely to throw up. Within milliseconds I contemplated taking off the cardigan I was wearing and being sick in that but as it was my friend's then that was not a great idea. The patio I sat on had fine grooves and I could imagine the mess so I finally requested a bucket. Within seconds one appeared and in the dark candlelight I swiftly emptied my guts. All still ladylike. The British flag flew above my head and I couldn't help think what a typical British tourist I was. At this point I actually felt alright and wasn't in the least bit dizzy and even managed to crack a joke "Same procedure next year, James?" in a mock posh English accent. Thankfully my friends saw the funny side and are still talking to me.

The Dinner for One is something one either loves or hates and it seems it appeals to the Germanic sense of humour. Interestingly, they demand only the original English version and re-makes in German are despised. What a curious bunch our German neighbours are. No wonder they speak second languages with such ease that they have such traditions that involve a different language.

Original Comments:

Ally said...
Doris! I now have a completely different image of you than previously! :).

I am off to watch the film ...
Saturday, August 19, 2006 10:14:00 PM
Curly K said...
Doris, know for a fact that us typically Irish tourists could've kept up with your drunken escapades! No surprise that it's three am and I'm writing this reply far from sober but love the fact you've lived it large outside home ;-)
Sunday, August 20, 2006 3:07:00 AM
Chandira said...

Awesome Doris, I too, have an utterly different image of you now, and love you all the more.
How many times have I felt that rising feeling of 'oh my god, where's the toilet??'. Haven't done it in quite a while, but it's been, uh, 'known to happen'.

Must've been the cigar. Not the drink, of course. ;-)

Friends that you've thrown up in front of are friends for life. At least, that's true of all my old school/drinking friends that I'm still in touch with.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 4:59:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
It must be the cigar. There are a couple brands I get queasy when around, and I don't even smoke!

Oh, yeah, good friends who produce a bucket upon request are good friends forevermore.
Thursday, August 24, 2006 9:11:00 PM

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

h2g2: Keyboards

The computer kind. German ones have some of the keys swapped around and a difficult to find @ sign. It was a very interesting and curious business using a different keyboard. Constantly having to go back and correct.

I hadn't quite appreciated that keyboards come in different flavours according the language.

Even more interesting was the internet computer area at the airport on my return. Some joker had prised off a few keys and transposed them. So when I logged into one of my email accounts it required both the transposed letters and not being sure if I typed the right letter as we know passwords are usually hidden by asterixes. Or is it asterixii?

Original Comments:

Jo said...
Asterisks :-)

Try a Greek keyboard. Plenty of letters that aren't even in our alphabet!
Thursday, August 03, 2006 1:22:00 AM
Chandira said...
I'm still mad mine doesn't have an English pound sign, and I have to go into Word to insert a symbol.. lol
Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:36:00 AM
Britmum said...
I find myself when on the computer upstairs tying to use the mouse that isn't in the middle of the keyboard like it is on my laptop.

LOL too funny.

Take care xx
Thursday, August 03, 2006 6:05:00 AM
Britmum said...
Thanks for commenting on my blog. We did have a fab time on holiday, thanks for thinking of us.

Sometimes I am so glad that I found your blog because you are so wonderful. You give such great prespective on things and make it much clearer. What you said about my Mum is so true. We most definately should start a Bad Mothers Group with Jo.

Take care Doris and have a super fab weekend with your lovely family xxx
Saturday, August 05, 2006 7:08:00 PM
Cheryl said...
Tut - been reading your RSS - didnt realise you had re-installed commenting.
Blogged you and dared you, btw....

- Know where we could get naughty nuns outfits?
Saturday, August 05, 2006 8:06:00 PM
Neutron said...
Thought you had evaporated in a cloud...glad to have you back. The best thing about different keyboards is if you have a friend who uses one here (deepest Bavaria) and then goes back to England for a bit and sends you a mail. The Zs for Ys make everzthing zou saz seem verz French and sexz!
Sunday, August 06, 2006 12:06:00 AM
decrepitoldfool said...
I've always thought the Dvorak keyboard layout would be great, for someone else. I've become totally accustomed to the supposedly inefficient qwerty layout. Doomed to use it for all my days, I guess.
Sunday, August 06, 2006 4:21:00 AM
CyberCelt said...
Howdy, here from Jane Loves Tarzan for Click and Comment Monday. I have a hard time with English because I am Texan (LOL).

Cool blog and I like your porn "handle." I think mine would be
Find it Through the Fat ...
Monday, August 07, 2006 10:38:00 PM
Curly K said...
God it can be hard enough getting to grips with an English keyboard, I reckon I'd feel the same frustration I feel when my mother asks me to send a text for her from her phone. She refuses to have predictive text on and to send a simple text takes forever - ahhh!
Tuesday, August 08, 2006 12:32:00 PM
Anji said...
I'm glad you're back again.
I use a french keyboard which I'm used to now. I wonder how big a chinese keyboard is?
Tuesday, August 08, 2006 3:39:00 PM
Jo said...
Hi seem to have vanished again :-( Anyway. To coax you out of your semi retirement I have tagged you :-)
Friday, August 11, 2006 9:35:00 AM
Ally said...
I bought a keyboard to plug in to my laptop for long copy-typing stints - and it has an US layout. I have told my laptop that it is a UK keyboard and it's fine so long as I don't think about it; but when I forget and actually look for at the keys I get really confused :).
Friday, August 11, 2006 10:05:00 PM
Gerald Ford said...
While in Japan, I used my wife's old computer, which had Japanese and English letters on it. CONFUSING!

P.S. Glad to see you're back. :)
Saturday, August 12, 2006 7:11:00 PM
ChelseaFCChick said...
Hi Doris,

I'm back-although under a new nickname and I've switched back to my old url, just to confuse you! :)

Hope you are well! Both me and the bump are doing well, it's not long to go now!

As for the keyboard thing, I have the same problem as Chandira with the pound sign or rather the lack of a pound sign! Very frustrating sometimes!
Monday, August 14, 2006 8:20:00 AM
Annie said...
I find myself looking for the character map when my son has to do his German homework. With my typing it often looks like a foreign language anyway! Hope you are ok.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006 10:18:00 PM
Steve said...
Sorry I am late Miss, I did have a note from me mum but the dog ate it;)
When you said you were going walkabout, I thought that you were speaking metaphorically, not that you were actually going to do it.
I always enjoy reading your bl*g so welcome back, I was a little worried that we had lost your wonderful thought provoking blogging but happily I was wrong
Thursday, August 17, 2006 1:54:00 PM
Jo said...
Where are you hon? Some stuff I'm hoping you'll read at my blog...but you've gone :-(

Friday, August 18, 2006 1:40:00 PM

h2g2: Lightning

That evening as the time of my flight approached and I had completed check-in I found an internet point and was happily emailing Mr Doris about the impressive thunder and lightning outside. After I had logged off I noticed that the planes were still were they were on the runway.

A while later with my food and drink in hand I made my way to the gate for my flight. I notice again the planes were still where they were and then as I approached the terminal that it was full of people sitting around. The information was starting to filter through my skull that something wasn't right and sure enough, all flights in and out had been grounded due to the weather.

The air in the terminal was thick with sweat and humidity and I found myself a little out of the way corner with soft wheelchairs to sit in, and fresh cool air to breathe that I nick-named it the first class waiting area. I pulled my wheelchair up to the window for a front-row seat of the storm and the rain cascading in buckets down the windows.

After about an hour of the storm, and my departure time passed, announcements starting coming through every few minutes with regret that such and such a flight had been cancelled and that people should make their way back to the main airport. I thought most people took it well considering it was a massive hassle. Only the German, an Austrian and Italian flights remained. Indeed the Austrian and an Italian flight was boarding and set off. Apparently they didn't get far and were returned to the airport.

Eventually, regretful notice of the cancellation of my flight was announced along with every other flight that evening. I too was sent to the scrum that was the main airport full of heaving bodies trying to re-book flights. After my mega journey to get to the airport this was not what I needed. Phone calls are flying between the UK and my first set of friends in Germany to warn of possible delays and now cancellation. Meanwhile they had been told by the airport their end that the flight had set off and drove the hour to the airport to pick me up! It is bad enough me being put out but I am so sorry they had a wasted journey on top of it all.

Mr Doris has family about an hour from the airport so I phoned them to ask for advice. Part of me was prepared to sleep in the airport for the night for the first flight and part of me desires a certain amount of softness and that airport has precious few seats let alone anywhere comfortable. His sister kindly fetched me whilst Mr Doris scoured the internet and found me an alternative flight on another airline at another airport the next day. He just paid up and we are hoping the insurance will cover the extra costs.

It was a lovely night catching up with family and quaffing a glass of wine. An unexpected and pleasurable detour. The next day my brother-in-law drove me all the way to London City airport for my flight in the afternoon. There I treated myself to a slap-up lunch in a restaurant overlooking the runway watching the flights effortlessly take off.

At long last, seated on the plane, the pilot warned us there were storms near our destination airport but for the moment it was clear so we would go. The engines roared to life, the plane shuddered and was approaching the point of take-off at which point, like the broken down truck on the motorway it choked to a stop. I began to grin again like a demented person with a life completely out of my control, and then audibly chuckle as the pilot began to announce we were told by air traffic control to stop and return to the terminal. My life flashes before me and I consider any bad karma I am due but then we are assured it was a simple reason and we do a circuit of the runway and take off.

The turbulance was particularly bad the entire trip and I did wonder if the plane would crash and if I would ever arrive but I did to be greeted by my friends with a welcome poster. I don't think I've ever had one of those before with a welcome message and my name on it and it brought tears to my eyes. I had finally arrived more than a day late after my long journey into the arms of a friend.

Original Comments:

Jo said...

What a nightmare. You just have to laugh, I guess (following on from my reply to your last post) - this goes beyond stress.

The turbulence thing. I flew to Bangkok and back a few months back and it was whisper smooth for 11 hours. Three months before that I took a 50 minute London-Newcastle BA flight and the turbulence as we approached landing was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. It took 3 attempts to land, screaming engines, people crying in the cabin etc (no kidding). I really thought...this could be it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006 1:20:00 AM

Chandira said...

Oh, nightmare Doris!! I'm so glad you made it back safely and had a nice welcomehome again. I hate flying in turbulence.

Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:41:00 AM

Astryngia said...

WOT an Adventure (capital 'A'!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11:45:00 PM

h2g2: Hitchhiking

It has been many years, since before I had kids, that I have travelled on holiday on my own. I've been away on work but this is different. The morning of departure on my apparently well organised holiday I joked to Mr Doris I felt like a teen again with a rucksack on my back but with the benefit of a credit card in my pocket and the security of a husband at home. He quipped he bet I was the only back-packer carrying a Prada handbag! Anyway....

Hitchhiking was not part of the travel itinerary but that is exactly what happened. My first train broke down before it started and the replacement train was too late to make the next train connection and would miss the flight. I didn't want to drag Mr Doris on a car journey all the way down the country to Stansted and decided to hitch a lift instead. On the mobile Mr Doris was initially shocked but then saw my sense!!!

Me being me and my independent spirit busting forth, I refused any further help from him such as a lift to the nearest motorway. After all, if I was going to hitch I wasn't going to do this by halves. I bought a marker pen and penned out the motorway name on the back of my travel itinerary and set off walking in that direction. It wasn't a trucking area and I ended up walking much further than I expected with my face becoming as red as the tight red pedal pusher trousers I was wearing. My first lift took me about 10 miles to the motorway where I waited barely 8 minutes and caught my first truck on the slip-road to the motorway.

The last time I hitched lifts was when I was 17 and travelled up to Scotland. I had bought a great paperback which extolled the virtues of hitchhiking and how best to do it. Truck drivers during daylight hours have to get from A to B and sometimes don't mind having a passenger for company. It is important to recognise the main travel routes and to break your journey up into chunks as it is unlikely to get a truck going the entire same route. Back in those days, I recklessly enjoyed the sights of Edinburgh that I stayed an extra night and then had to get back to London with only 78p in my pocket and had to do it that day as I was back to work the next. I did it with pennies to spare. I had not hitchhiked since.

Anyway, this time round, I am clambering up into the truck cabins and had forgotten what the climb was like and I'm trying to gracefully do it with Prada handbag and rucksack in tow! The sun was shining and I was excited to be so daring. The other thing that occurred to me was how ecological it was. After all, I wasn't using additional fuel and was joining in on journeys that were already happening. It was great to be seated up so high with a good view of the roads and sky but I had forgotten that trucks can only do 55 mph on the motorway and so I settled back and accepted that I'd get to the airport when I did. It was better than waiting at the station for a train that I knew was definitely going to be late. This way I had a chance.

It seems that truck drivers and I share something in common. We look younger than our ages! Strange that. I would like to say so much about each of the drivers and the wide ranges of our conversations from the metaphysical to the current political situation or the education of our children but it would be as long as a novel.

Truck drivers are fab in that they are prepared to suggest slight detours to drop me off at good truck stops to pick up my next lift in the correct direction, or take a road that goes by the airport rather than the one they were originally going to take. There is a camaraderie on the road and that great trucking song "Convoy" comes to mind.

My time for checking in at the airport was ticking away but the final nail was when the last truck broke down on the M25 motorway. I have never seen a truck break down on the middle lane of the motorway but here we were. His brakes under the cabin suddenly seized up, we had been in a slight traffic jam but now the traffic was moving again, except we weren't. A motorway is not the place to suddenly decide to get out and find an alternative lift. And definitely not the middle lane when you are in a Dutch truck and getting out means the fast lane. The driver finally got out his side (thankfully the slower lane) and stood tweaking under the cabin. I sat chuckling. There was nothing I could do so no point me getting upset.

After a while he got the truck working and off we went. He dropped me off at the service station near the airport and I skedaddled up to the car park where I knew there was a shuttle bus service into the terminal. No tickets are needed as it is assumed that everyone has paid the high fees for the parking and it is in the middle of nowhere and unlikely to have passing pedestrians!

I was only about an hour late for my flight but obviously it had flown. They were able to book me into the next flight that evening for only a modest sum extra. At that point I cried with relief. I was there and was going to be travelling that day after all. But my adventures were not over and that's another story!

Of the few adults I have told this story to I have asked them not to tell my children or their children about my hitchhiking. I am not sure I could cope with them ever doing it and would worry they would not be as "safe" as I am about it. On the one hand I do not want to encourage it as there are so many dangerous people around. On the other hand I think these are far outweighed by the thousands and thousands of trucks driving our roads and it would be more efficient, and interesting, for them to have a passenger. It makes me think of the sometimes double standards of being a parent ..... do as I say not as I do.

I probably wouldn't go hitchhiking again but there is a sense of achievement in knowing that I could if I needed, and that it is possible to get around the country for next to nothing.

Original Comments:

Britmum said...
What can I say except a big hug wow... sounds most interesting and I am looking forward to reading more.

Glad you are back you little dare devil.

Take care xx
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 5:00:00 PM
doris said...
Thanks Britmum ;-) I wonder how your travels went and will catch up soon.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 6:19:00 PM
Jo said...
You know Doris, you have my truck after another, time ticking by till your flight, then missing it...

I'd have been having a minor nervous breakdown.

What's your secret hon ? ;-)
Thursday, August 03, 2006 1:11:00 AM
Chandira said...
Go you!!

You know, people give me crap about being into astrology sometimes. But while you were on vacation, Mercury (planet of travel and communications) was going... retrograde. (backwards, for all intents and purposes.) So thanks, but sorry you were, for being a great example of what can happen! ;-)
It's ok, it's gone direct again now. You're safe.. Glad to have you back blogging again. You're inspiring.
And thanks for keeping me on the blog roll..
Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:49:00 AM
Ally said...
I don't know that I would ever hitch-hike alone. But I think that there is a massively overestimated sense of danger in the world around us these days - because of all the bad news that sells papers, we live in fear. Actually there aren't more bad people per head of population around than there were twenty, fifty, a hundred years ago. We just hear about things more. I would be happy for my hypothetical teenage kids to hitch-hike - provided they did it safely.
Friday, August 11, 2006 10:01:00 PM
Ally said...
I don't know that I would ever hitch-hike alone. But I think that there is a massively overestimated sense of danger in the world around us these days - because of all the bad news that sells papers, we live in fear. Actually there aren't more bad people per head of population around than there were twenty, fifty, a hundred years ago. We just hear about things more. I would be happy for my hypothetical teenage kids to hitch-hike - provided they did it safely.
Friday, August 11, 2006 10:02:00 PM
Badaunt said...
Good grief, what a wonderful beginning to your trip!

It makes me laugh, though, you telling people not to tell kids about the hitchhiking. When I was a student I hitchhiked all the time, but I was always careful not to let my parents know!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006 8:38:00 PM
Astryngia said...
Yessss...I hitchhiked through Franch in my early 20s as a student. I'm sure it was my total innocence which saved me from a challenging fate. But I know what it's like to sleep in the cab of a lorry! (It's quite luxurious.)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11:44:00 PM

h2g2: Home

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in her spangled shoes, I have clicked my heels and am now home. Through adventures, hurdles, rainbows and angels for friends there is nothing like being home. Catching up with my kids, finding out what they have been up to and sharing my own adventures. All of us under the same roof, but most of all being in the arms of dear Mr Doris. I am encased in his love and I am home.

In between chunks of work I may write snippets of my journeys and observations. Blogging seems to get under the skin and just wants to burst out. Hee-hee I'm back! At least to journal my travels.

Original Comments:

Ally said...
Ooooh, jolly good! I am looking forward to some of your adventures ... .
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 2:39:00 PM
doris said...
Thanks Ally and Hi! I'll come visiting soon (your blog!) and hope you are enjoying your new home :-)
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 4:01:00 PM
Curly K said...
Whey, hey, she's back - fantastic. Can't wait to hear all about it!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 5:26:00 PM
doris said...
Thanks Curly K - so you've come out of hiding too ;-)
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 6:19:00 PM
Stegbeetle said...
Ooh! You're back!

*walks off to pass blindingly obvious comments somewhere else*

Welcome back!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:12:00 PM
jane said...
Welcome back, Doris!
Thursday, August 03, 2006 9:19:00 AM
Astryngia said...
You're back! I thought you'd stopped. Have missed you!! So pleased to catch up with your adventures. :-)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11:41:00 PM