Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Thursday 25 January 2018

Blimey! What a day!

We had to be up early as our flight was at 10.00. Timbo was busy all the day before, washing and drying dirty bedclothes, letting the bed air, putting on clean bedclothes, washing and drying clothes to take with him. You humans are a funny lot. Us Bärlis have our own coat for life. We do not have to replace it when fashion changes.

I got Timbo to set the alarm for 06.30, and when the alarm duly went off at the appointed hour, he slowly struggled to achieve consciousness. This hour of the day is not well known to Timbo as a planned waking hour so I was kind and let him lie in a bit. However, I did get him up not long after and we had some breakfast. We then made our way to the Tube as I made sure he had packed all his things yesterday, just like I had.

Timbo is not used to the rush hour like he used to be, if he ever was, my poor old darling human, but he tolerated it without attempting to maim or murder anybody. He does not like most other people very much when travelling on the Tube, especially at such an extremely early hour.

We changed onto the DLR, and there were so few people my grumpy old grown up cheered up very quickly.

When we got to London City Airport, loads and loads of people were coming out. The airport's IATA airport code is LCY, and Timbo told me he and Laing sometimes called the airport Elsie becasue of this. I cannot but wonder if they were the only looney grown up humans in the world or if all grown up humans are like that. Anyway, masses were coming out but not so many going in which was very good for us. We even got through the horrid security check without the bags being opened and every item scrutinised. This all helped to lighten Timbo's mood.

The incoming flight arrived early and as a result we were called to the gate early. You will not be surprised to learn we boarded early, the doors were closed fifteen minutes before our scheduled departure.

Seat belt fastened ready for take-off
The plane taxied five minutes before the scheduled departure time and we were off! We took off to the west and did a big turn. This takes us just south of home. I waved bye-bye and told the house we will be back very soon.

Not long after take off we had our scrummy yummy noshlings. Timbo had asked for the vegan option. It makes for a change from the usual mixed cold meats. We had cucumber and tomato, melon and orange and grapes, a portion of tofu and a dollop of coarse hummus. We also had a yummy teensy-weensy cold rice pudding with raisins and some flavouring I could not identify.

The special vegan snack
Because Timbo looks after me with masses of love, we were in business class. One disadvantage of flying from Elsie (giggle) is the plane does not usually park at a proper gate. Because we flew in business class we get a bus that drives us first to the terminal. I rather like that.

Hello! I am on the special mini coach!
Timbo went through passport control in next to no time. Bärlis have freedom for travel and do not need them. As we had hand baggage only (nur Handgepäck in proper German) we were through very fast. Timbo drew out some Swiss money from a bank machine at the airport. He bought a train ticket (ordered it in German) and gave me a treat, first class on the train. I do not I expect it all the time, but he is a kind human grown-up. 

Hello! I am on the train!
First Class Bärli, in First Class Sitzli!
Once we arrived in Zurich it was merely a short, brisk walk to the hotel. Timbo had stayed there three decades ago, when he came to Switzerland with Laing for the christening of Alexandra, Heidi's daughter. There is a long story attached to that and I do not have time to go into it now. Maybe another day. Especially if you bribe me with nice nosh.

Timbo impressed me again when he checked in in German. He is always nervous and worried he cannot do it, but the lady did not laugh or tell him off, so the words he used must have been at least 99% correct. German grammar, however, is such a nightmare I think foreigners are always forgiven a lot of sins.

We got in the room, unpacked, rested and caught up with the rest of the world on the internet. 

Testing the bed and guarding the Toblerone
After all that tiring work, we eventually had a little nibble to eat. It was nothing exciting, but we were not that hungry either. We took the train from Zürich to Winterthur for a concert of music from lots of countries, but especially Georgia and Switzerland. The concert was given by the Singfrauen Winterthur (literally singing women Winterthur), and my lovely chum Heidi is one of the singing ladies.

Well! It was really a very lovely evening. The clever singing ladies sang without any help apart from the conducting ladies giving them the notes. Timbo explained to me how they get the notes. They bang a tuning fork which vibrates. When they place it near their ear, or on a bony part of the head they can hear the note of the tuning fork. If that is not one of the starting notes, the clever conducting ladies sing a different note and then they give out the other notes in the starting chord. It is all clever stuff, but Timbo tells me most clever stuff is simple when you know how.

The ladies sang songs from Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Turkey as well as the Georgian and Swiss ones. It was not very helpful for us that the links between the groups of songs were in Swiss German. Timbo admitted he was all at sea trying to make sense of it.

After the concert we had a few drinks and a chat with Heidi, as well as her sister Brigitte and husband, Felix, who were also at the concert, at a party the choir had laid on. Timbo tried his best to chat in German and he did quite well, I think. He did need to use a few translation tools and his iPhone to say somethings (how many non German speakers know the correct word for the medical ailment shingles, I wonder?) but most of the time he kept going with a little help.

Before we knew where we were it was getting on for 11 o'clock. Heidi was kind enough to drive us to the station. We said our goodbyes and we were on the platform a few minutes before the train arrived.

Poor old Timbo is exhausted. All that chatting in German, plus being in a situation with loads of people around him. It has taken it out of him a bit.

I borrowed Timbo's iPhone to write my first draft for the blog. He is scratching his head trying to work out how the battery ran down so much and so fast! Time for bed, and I hope he does not read my blog or I might be in trouble.

No comments:

Post a Comment