Hello for another day!

Monday began in earnest with the  grandchildren at our house (remind me when school goes back?)

And it turned out to be the day I learned how to make goo. It was quite a revelation and it proved to me that children do not always want expensive toys or electronic games to make them happy. Alice and Violet taught me this today. Something as easy as goo made them happy. Quick, grab the recipe:

Ingredients needed:

  • two young children
  • a cup of cornflour
  • 200 ml water coloured pink or blue in a plastic jug

Method (for one): Place the cornflour  in an old bowl, gradually get the children to mix in some coloured water with their hands until a goo-ey consistency is achieved (you’ll know by the look of it). Place child  outside where a mess can be tolerated and put papers down if necessary and they will play with that goo for over an hour – no fighting (as long as they have one each) squishing their hands through the goo to their heart’s content.

So there! That is my practical tip for the day for mothers, grandparents and anyone else who may wish to take part in a goo session. The goo has been put away now for another day. I am not sure how long it will last but will let you know. I let each child make it, with my help, SEPARATELY. It is not something you want both to be doing at once.

Now that we have the goo making out-of-the-way, let us get down to business. Do you realise it was fourteen days yesterday that I commenced my blog? I can hardly believe it. It still seems a daunting task at times (like yesterday when I just wanted it to go away but I persevered!) Still, I have another 351 days to go, counting today’s blog!

I give you this information because I want you to share the journey WITH me and by sharing how I am going, you then become part of my 366 day Challenge. In fact, without all my blog readers, the blog writing would not be half as interesting so I want to say ‘thank-you’ to you all. Your encouragement always helps.

Now, I have another travel snippet from 2008 to share with you today. Keep in mind that the snippets I am sharing are not your normal  travel stories, but the unique and interesting things that happened to us along the way.

On yesterday’s blog, we were leaving London on the Chunnel train which came out in France at Calais and with the beautiful French countryside as a back-drop, we relaxed all the way to Paris.  And I had some chats too (of course).

After arriving at The Hotel Madrid Opera near Montmartre in Paris, I wrote in my Journal about the hotel:

 Fri 11th April 2008

“We have a room on the 4th floor that overlooks just about every shop from shoe shops to souvenirs to cafes to pubs and other hotels. Most of them are squashed into premises the size of a postage stamp. The Hotel is old and quite unique and yes, our room has sloping floors. Also, I had an encounter with the lift upon arrival and refused to travel in it.

Geoff and the maid (who could not speak English) tried in vain to get me to go into the lift and the door kept closing  as I refused to go in it. Why was this so? Because it was so small and looked like a dumb-waiter and I was genuinely petrified of travelling in it.  All it could hold was one person and one suitcase squashed in!

Finally, after the lift closed THREE times (putting your hand in it to make it open did not work; all it did was squash your hand).  Each time, the maid would lean over in front of me to push a button on the bottom right of the lift which made it open again (gibbering in French each time), but because she wasn’t fast enough, it would close and then Geoff would have to press the UP button to get it back.

The three of us kept tripping over each other and all the suitcases in this postage stamp area in this postage stamp hotel, as Geoff tried to get me into the postage stamp lift. Finally, in desperation, Geoff managed to get into the lift with one suitcase. I felt as if I was sending him up in a rocket to the moon!

When the lift finally came down (yes, it worked), I gathered my wits enough to get in the lift with my luggage, say a prayer and press the 4th floor button, wondering where I might end up. When the lift opened on the 4th floor I was indeed surprised but as I got the suitcase out onto the postage stamp landing, I nearly fell down the spiral staircase.

You think this is an exaggeration? Believe me, even Geoff agrees with my assessment and he is not prone to exaggeration. It actually has us in gales of laughter as I write.”

But, we were in Paris and who cared that it was a dodgy hotel?! I cared later when I badly twisted my ankle when a step appeared out of nowhere (on the sloping floors) as we were leaving for dinner. It was bad. Geoff massaged it and I was given ice for it. After a while the swelling subsided and I refused to be daunted (I could not see myself left behind in a hospital in Paris) so out to dinner we went. I was in agony but I managed somehow, although the ankle was to haunt me for the next few days as we travelled on the trains, up and down platforms and all that goes with this sort of travel. No porter to take your bags either! 

The next morning, we would catch the train through Switzerland and the Austrian Alps to Innsbruck where we would spend the night.  But let’s stop there – more on that tomorrow.

For today, I will leave you with a saying:  “If you waste today crying over yesterday, you’ll be able to waste tomorrow crying over today.”

This was my adage in Paris combined with a lot of cries for help for prayers from my friends in Australia (text messages of course!) The more I tried to walk on my ankle the better it became.

Work that one out…