I have already booked my flight back to the UK for this Sunday. I will be flying to Bournemouth to stay with my sister and her husband and then we will drive up to Wales for the funeral on Friday. My oldest son and his wife can't make the funeral but since they were good enough to fly out and see my brother while he was still alive nobody has any problem with them not being able to make it! Nobody would have any problem in any case because that's just the way it is sometimes isn't it. My youngest son, on the other hand, has said that he really wants to go as both he and his fiancée have been able to get the Thursday and Friday off. But trying to figure out the best way to get us all to meet up was tricky. Flying in to Liverpool was a non-starter for them so we looked at Manchester and managed to get half-decent priced flights. When I asked my son how he felt about my renting a car at the airport and him driving (on the left) to get to Wales he said he didn't feel too bad about that part but he was worried about changing gears with his left hand so could he maybe get an automatic! And then, bless him, he wanted to know what paperwork he would have to show at the border! Which border? He meant the England/Wales border! Ah, that's sweet! It never occurred to me that he wouldn't know that there is no physical border between the two countries, no customs, no border crossing and so on. But then, he's never been to Wales and has only ever been to family in England so why should he think it would be any different from here where we cross the Swiss/French border constantly!
Anyway, in the end we decided that they would get the train to Wales and I would rent a car in Wales that we would use to run around and I would fly back out with them from Manchester, dropping the rental car off at the airport. Phew, that's one thing sorted! Also, since only my brother's oldest son and gf will be staying at his house, the kids and I can stay there too (my credit card is saying "thank you, thank you, thank you", as I have paid for the kids' flights too and my credit card is groaning at the moment!). Either way, we could have stayed in Llandudno in a hotel and driven the 10 minutes to Conwy or stayed in Conwy at my brother's where it is just a 10 minute walk into town, so it's a good solution for all of us. Then my friend will pick the three of us up from the airport in Geneva so that cuts out worrying about expensive taxis!
As I am slowly getting the hang of this retirement business, I realize I have to make an effort to actually get things done now, whereas before I constantly had my diary in front of me at work and it felt easier to just knock out things on my "to do" list. Today's project was to get my train tickets sorted for my trip to Sri Lanka. I will be flying Zurich/Colombo so decided to take the train to Zurich rather than fly but every time I tried to book it it has always been "too early". In the meantime, the timings of both my outgoing and incoming flights have changed (slightly) but at least I was able to get the return train tickets booked and printed today. When I arrive back it will be around 8 p.m. in Zurich and as I don't want to run the risk of missing the last flight to Geneva and I don't want to be making a three-hour train journey and arriving in Geneva around midnight I decided I will spend the night at Zurich airport, so more expense (and more groans from my credit card). Oh well, it was all planned for!
Also, a friend and I decided that this year we would definitely make the trip to Cinque Terre in Italy. My friend phoned up today and the places are booking up fast! In fact, the single rooms have all gone so we dashed down there and booked a double room with twin beds - just hope she can cope with my snoring as I could honestly snore for Britain! Anyway, that's done, (the trip is in April) and while we were at it we paid for our next day trip (in May) to the market in Turin! So all done. These are bus trips (I reckon six hours to Cinque Terre) so not as expensive as you might imagine but needing to be booked sooner rather than later.
And finally, I have been very good about exercising recently and managed seven for seven last week. Then on Sunday we got very heavy rain/snow so I took a break, but am hoping to get back on the bandwagon again soon. We'll see how that works won't we! It seems like I already have so many things planned (weekly as well as one-off) I think I might need to hire a PA - oh that's right, I was one! So onwards and upwards then!