Cold Feet

An Autosleeper Harmony Campervan on a Talbot E...

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For just over a week I have done nothing on the massive to do list. Still no camper van booked, no dollars bought, and it is all the dishwashers fault. It broke down.

After many phone calls and days waiting in for the ‘man’ to fix it, then to take it away be ‘put on the bench’ it turns out it can’t be fixed. We have rented out the house and the dishwasher was part of the deal, so felt obliged to replace it. Handily?! The man had a refurbished Bosch which was much cheaper than a new one, so a deal was done. And it’s better and quieter than my old one.

The thing is, a dishwasher crisis wasn’t on my ‘to do list’ and it has tipped me off balance. Add to that a visit to the mother in law to sort domestic issues and my involvement in  library camp and you have a person who is denial that she is embarking on a trip of a lifetime in five days time. The butterflies in my stomach are on speed, I feel sick and have a permanent headache.

Also having a tea party for friends old and new, has contributed to the cold feet. It was lovely to see everyone, but saying goodbye has made it real. I am jolly glad no one is seeing us off at the airport. And that the bus that takes us to Heathrow is at 4am.

Anyway onwards and upwards, theatre visit tonight The Old Rep with people from Make Friends with a Book Shared Reading which will cheer me up.

On the up side, I have lost half a stone. Off for a walk I think. I need to get a grip, get active and power through it! Next blog will be cheerier, promise.

Getting to the airport on time.

Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport

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It is just over two weeks until I embark on the round the world trip with my husband, Phil. I have had two major tasks to complete this week for the trip and they have been most frustrating. One is to book a campervan in New Zealand, (and that’s another blog) the other is to book transportation to the airport.

We are flying from Heathrow (the dreaded T5) at 11.30 am on a Sunday. So decisions had to be made as to the best way to get there in plenty of time for the flight.

The options were:

Go by train: According to  Trainline http://www.thetrainline.com and National Rail Enquiries http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ it will take 9 hours to get there. This is because there are no trains after midnight on Saturday to Euston, and the tube to Heathrow doesn’t start till 8am. Neither site factored in Marylebone to Paddington for The Heathrow Express. No early Sunday trains from Birmingham to London so that was crossed off the list.

Stay with my daughter in Wandsworth: this would involve a train and tube journey on Saturday, getting up crack of dawn to get to Paddington or booking a taxi, lots of modes of transport. I love my daughter, but traipsing across London on a Sunday morning was not ever going to happen.

A Heathrow hotel:hotels at the airport are very expensive and the those a distance away would involve more buses and taxis and are not cheap either. None included breakfast in the price.

National Express http://www.nationalexpress.com : which is what we are doing. This is after two frustrating days to find out how to book a return journey with outward and return more than 3 months apart. I could go on for ages and indeed did on Facebook, however the short version is that you have to book an ‘open jaw‘ ticket, that is not available on their web pages, nor do they tell you about it on their website. You can book singles, two singles an open return or a return, but not an open jaw. Instead you spend 10p a minute on their booking line. Fortunately the lady who took my booking was lovely and very helpful, which meant that I didn’t vent my rage on her. Just on Facebook and Twitter.

This was not necessarily the cheapest option;  indeed internal flights in Australia are cheaper. However, a combination of trains, taxis, tube and buses on a Sunday morning gave me palpitations. This is one bus, early in the morning, there will be no traffic and it drops off at T5. Less to go wrong. I hope.

We have to catch the coach at 4.30 am from Bearwood, to get there in ample time for our flight. I will be in the departure lounge for over 3 hours.  Coming back we have 3 hours at Heathrow as we are due to land at 6am from Bangkok, and there is a coach at 7 am which would be cutting it fine, or 9.30. Hopefully there is free wifi so I can vent my rage on Facebook and update my blog. You have been warned.