A few little issues before liftoff!

Our trouble started before liftoff on Thursday. Heaven forbid – we hadn’t even got ourselves to the airport when we decided, after the haircuts, to pop into St Joseph’s to midday Mass before we left because we needed to remind God that the two of us really need to be looked after on this 2-month journey and to thank Him for getting us well enough to go! So into the Church we went only to be confronted with a guy coming in from the other end of the Church and flapping his arms around and yelling at us to get out. Now this gave me quite a shock – what on earth was going on? After recent events in NZ we needed a quick explanation as to his panic but I can tell you we got ourselves out smartly! The problem turned out to be a fire in a cupboard somewhere so within 10 minutes two appliances arrived and we took off! Next step was to get the Lotto ticket with my numbers I have taken for about 20 years (with little luck I might add!) But for some crazy reason the lady gave me back the 10 week ticket and I ripped it in half and put it in the bin! I suddenly realised that I had left the brain somewhere else that morning and had to take the lid off the bin and search for my ripped ticket which the lady at the shop then cellotaped back together for me whilst laughing at the stupid lady who ripped the ticket in half 10 seconds after paying for it!

The next thing was to call up an Uber to take us back to Remuera – why was this stupid App telling me there were no cars available – what? After trying this for 10 minutes or so we decided to walk to the bus station and use the Gold Cards and Hop Cards to get to the city. All fine until we get to the bus and the boss finds that his Hop Card is in Pauanui which is totally unhelpful because we don’t have any cash in the wallets and the bus driver can’t take a card – well he could take the Hop Card if the blimmin thing wasn’t sitting in Pauanui! We are meeting Dene at the hospital for a quick coffee before we go so I give him a call to tell him of our predicament – “Oh dear” says he “well let me know if you are stuck”. “We are stuck!” I tell him to no avail because the problems at ADHB are more concerning than his folks being in a pickle in Takapuna! The boss then decides to call a Co-Op cab at my suggestion so he calls up the cab company and orders the cab. After 15 minutes the cab is nowhere to be seen when my brain suddenly has a reboot and I am wondering if by turning the phone off and back on might work – it does and within 3 minutes the Uber is here and the cab man is probably still circling Takapuna trying to find us because we couldn’t cancel. Then, we were heading over the bridge to Auckland Hospital when we check the emails on this phone which has come back to life and there is an email from Viking River Cruises saying “due to low water levels on the Elbe River it is unlikely your boat will sail, however ………”. “Well, I say to the boss – we will just go with the flow” whereupon he tells me that clearly there is no flow to go with!

Well I can tell you that by the time we were collected for the airport we couldn’t have cared less about any flow because at least we were on our way and I can also report that when we got aboard that Emirates flight and were offered the glass of champagne I felt like putting a straw in the bottle to recover from the afternoon’s events!

So now we look forward to the riverboat not sailing but according to the Viking man here in the ‘Otel all will be well and we will have a vunderful time – guaranteed!

Liftoff to Prague

Well, almost exactly one year ago we had to abandon our China-Japan trip which was so long in the planning and which we were looking forward to so much. With all the clothes out ready to pack we only got as far as the local hospital so the chopsticks had to go back in the drawer! BUT, after many consultations, two holidays in North Shore Hospital and more medications, here we are – ready for takeoff! So Prague, here we come and we are excited to see your beauty and learn your history which means, dear friends and relatives, we will keep you updated on our journey from Prague to Berlin, then to Paris and Normandy, then to Budapest and on to Amsterdam all the while sailing peacefully on beautiful river boats amongst magnificent scenery. When we have completed the journeys on the rivers we are off to London to travel through the Lake District and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. We love sharing our journeys with you so come along for the ride where there are sure to be more bathroom hiccups and tons of laughs along the way. I am thinking that we are experienced in the use of some of the more unusual bathrooms of France and Germany but what about Prague and those little villages down the river? I am wondering what challenges might be awaiting us. The Guide Books and Wikipedia don’t give us any help at all with this! The one in charge of the B’s – the boss! (Budget, baggage) is ready to go (but the bags will get a thorough going over before we reach the airport and I am thinking that some of the things I have slipped in might not make the cut!! In fact I am thinking, based on previous experience, that I will likely only make the cut if I can fit it all into a backpack!) Once again I am in charge of the P’s (paperwork, people, passports) but with all this new technology actually there isn’t too much paper but we will be in a pickle if I lose the iPhone or the iPad. I have loaded all the Apps and have about 48 hours to learn how to use them! Heaven forbid! So bye bye to our GP, our ophthalmologist, our gastroenterologist, our cardiologist, our Trinity radiologists, our hospital consultants, doctors and nurses, and our family – thank you to you all for getting us at least onto the plane albeit with a caseload of meds!! We are blessed. We really hope that we wont need your excellent support whilst we are away but we have all your phone numbers and emails loaded!!!