A very French connection….

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2014 at 15:46

Funny how things pan out.  Was sat sitting in a very secluded and lovely private villa in the Bordeaux region of France scratching my head as to why, even after just coming off the phone to EE, I still had no wifi connection on my roaming (pay as you go) SIM.  Sad thing is, I was rather stressed about this event even though, all things being relative, it doesn”t actually matter a jot.

A few years ago such a thing never even existed and if it did it would have been considered the devils work!

Worse still, an Elton John track had been playing in the back ground (not mine I might add, it was in the villa on a compilation CD – honest!) thankfully that finished, and peace & good taste was restored within the confines of the McHale family unit.

Notwithstanding, I had no wifi and was suitably pissed off. And that makes me a  sad twat!

Me and the family unit together, finally, as one, in an idyllic corner of my favourite country – and that is grand.  And that makes me a very lucky bloke!

So, to get to where I meant to start.

Its holiday time for the family unit and that is an interesting phenomena as we come together in an annual pilgrimage of realignment shocked into a new awakening by our differing objectives, similarities and rarely complementary running speeds.

My usual failing is to allow the lovely Marianne to do all the packing, and once again I let her down and left her to it, as did the boys – like father like son!  And, the result was a stressed Madge, annoyed by my inability to man up and help with the basic of packing, planning and general husbandry support. I really need to learn my lessons

*note to self, learn your lessons!*

Anyway our trip down to the airport for the overnight stay before the early morning flight was a little tedious however it was worth doing given the horrendous queues which were set to greet us on the flight out (another note to self – *avoid Birmingham airport on a bank holiday weekend!*).

Staying at the Novotel by the short stay car park is not the height of quality or excess that the AA four start might suggest, the evening meal was rubbish but the bed was comfy enough. Four to a two person room is – I imagine – like being aboard a submarine, however we endured the relative cosiness, but shan”t be doing it again.  Not complaining but, shall we say, some lessons were learned!

The holiday itself was awash with rain and when it wasn’t raining it was cold and overcast for the most part.  Nevertheless spending time with the family unit and ‘just being’ was a welcome break from the day to day humdrum – much beloved by Morrisy in his hazy hour.

The great expectations one has of the family week away in a foreign land is – to my mind – always more of a memory than the actual event itself, however this quiet week away in Bordeaux was relaxing, not too taxing, and was certainly waste band expanding!  Hanging around indoors meant far too much food and wine has been consumed, during the periods when not out throwing a frisby at the kids or kicking a ball at them.

A week away from the constant nag of work and timetables is a good grounding and makes for a great time for reflection and drawing a line. Making plans for moving forward was helped by our quite country idle.  And for that I am thankful.

Back on the plane heading home, and  I find myself in the same seat as I flew out on, and, once again I popped my iPad into the document pounch where some nerd has left chewing gum! My new Logitic case has now got chewing gum on it – again!  I moaned about this very issue on the way out and gave the stewards the inflight documents, and clearly nothing was done – ironic!

Trying to be philosophical about the ignorant selfish twat who put it there. Karma?

My views on Monarch customer care and quality are somewhat blurred by this event and I can`t get the bloody chewing gum off (and can`t put the case in the freezer as it has a key pad).

Another lesson learned about customer care and feedback which I can utilise to my advantage when I get back into work!! So, take only the posives out of any given situation and all will be well.

So in summary no sun, but plenty of family fun and a few good life and work lessons learned.  I am looking forward to the next trip – and getting back into the gym to shift the excess.

Ah France


TTFN Globalagogogo…




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