Two hours to go then. The house is clean, and relatively tidy, the bags are packed, the dog is packed, the boy is full of sugar, all the bird feeders in the garden are full. The dog curls up on the sofa and goes to sleep. Adrian is hiding upstairs. An hour to go and the sadness that leaving my beloved dog behind means starts to hit me. Then I notice that it’s started raining and I still have washing hanging outside so run outside like a lunatic to grab it all before it gets soaked. Adrian does the ritual unplugging of everything upstairs and then nips down to the cashpoint for money and to top up the credit on his mobile phone. Then it’s the last minute sweep of the house before going through the “tickets, money, passport” ritual fifty times and then loading up the car. We’re off. The first thing we have to do is drive to my parents’ house to drop off the dog and pick up Nanny Lesley. This goes relatively smoothly as Willow knows this house and its contents well. We leave my dad instructions on how much to feed her and remind him a thousand times to make sure the dogs have water. Men have a genetic deficiency that makes them incapable of putting water into a dogs bowl. We load Nanny Lesley’s one bag with an empty bag inside it into our car and we are off to the airport. It’s pouring with rain. The first “are we there yet” comes about 2 minutes into the journey. We do it deliberately to annoy Mr A. About halfway to the airport Mr A asks me if I have phoned Auntie Jo to let her know that we have commenced our journey. Well no of course I haven’t because that’s his job. But he’s driving so I was supposed to do it. Sigh... I phone Auntie Jo’s mobile and she is nearly at the hotel already. About five minutes later after a lot of shouting to turn off here and look there it is, we pull into the car park. Here we are introduced to Auntie Jo’s suitcase which is quickly renamed The Behemoth. I’ve slept in smaller rooms than this case. The rooms are 2 down from each other on the same corridor. They are well worth £23 a night, but not much more quite frankly. Still they give us a good laugh and as it’s only one night we don’t really care. We go back to reception to secure some extra bedding and then say goodbye to Auntie Jo’s husband before heading back to our rooms for a chat and a laugh. There is a perfectly adequate bar menu service available here. I had chicken satay noodles and a beer. Or two. The boy had the same without the beer. The food is pretty good and soon the boy is covered in satay sauce and sat with a menu on his head. After dinner I took Steven back to the room where we snuggled up in the big bed together and attempted to find something watchable on the 3.5 television channels available to us. Eventually we settled on some kind of athletics event being televised. Adrian was still down in the bar with his sister drinking more alcoholic beverages no doubt. He eventually returns around 9pm by which time Steven has found a Yorkie in one of the bags, eaten it, and is now running around the walls. I am turfed out of the big bed and designated the single bed for the night as Steven wants to go on the laptop with Daddy. After about an hour of this we decide that we really need to try and get some sleep as we have a long day ahead tomorrow. At about this time I become aware that you can hear the rumble of planes taking off so we must be somewhere near the airport runway. After the latest rumble I peer out of the window to see that the planes are taking off right behind the trees we can see over the road. Of course I make the mistake of sharing this information so for the next hour every time there is a rumble Steven leaps out of bed and jumps on me to catch a glimpse of the plane as it takes off. As a plane takes off here about every 3 minutes he soon tires of this thankfully: seen one plane seen them all apparently. For the next 3 minutes there is silence. Then the rumble of the next plane ap-pears and a little voice pipes us, “Plane.” Of course the room descends into giggles and for the next hour the arrival of each plane is acknowledged by one or more of us before we each tell each other to shut up and go to sleep. Eventually I drift off to sleep with the guitar riff to Smoke on the Water stuck in my head for no apparent reason.