Showing posts from 2017

Empty nesters

With Daughter No 1 away having a ball at Uni and Daughter No 2 at college/the boyfriend’s/independently self-contained, this Autumn seemed like the perfect time to cash in on the empty nest and begin recouping some of the extortionate flight and accommodation costs we’ve coughed up over the years. Here was a chance to swing the balance back in our favour by flagrantly short-breaking in term time.   First, we booked an October trip to Ireland with some fellow empty nesters. A weekend was carefully scheduled that would offer cheap travel and a location sufficiently distant to feel we were getting away properly. Westport in County Mayo seemed to fit the bill, sitting invitingly on the wild Atlantic coast and yet only a short drive from Knock Airport. Then Ryanair cancelled 2,000 flights in September and October because they had run out of pilots. That’s a pretty fundamental cock up. Initially, this most unscrupulous of airlines was going to release details about which flights had


‘Don’t bring pineapples’. Not your usual Reading Festival advice from the organisers. ‘And don’t bring weapons or drones either’, mocked the headline in the Reading Chronicle. It was all to do with The Galls Animals and their ditty ‘Pork Soda’ where the line “pineapples in my head” had prompted fans to bring the fruit to earlier gigs. Daughter No 1 was getting packed for Reading. She listened to the song and said she didn’t like it much so wouldn’t be taking exotic fruits along. I was getting her packed for Reading too. My contribution mainly involved emptying out her tent after the Wilderness Festival a couple of weeks before. This consisted of a goodly sprinkling of Oxfordshire clay, together with a colourful range of glitter spots and face paint debris. I wasn’t sure how much more the £15 Tesco four-man tent would take. The flysheet zip had already broken and we sent her off with some safety pins to hold it together. Had there been much rain, the safety pins would have