Tag Archives: island life

Planes, trains and automobiles (and ferries).

Apologies for the break in communication, it’s been busy month.

We braved the trip to the UK for Christmas. The visit itself was wonderful. Family, food and food. The getting there and back was something I’m not keen to repeat in a hurry. It’s one hell of a schlep from Islesboro to Wales – car, ferry, car, train, taxi, plane, two trains and car – and not one that’s easy when you have a crawling baby that can’t stand to be held and can’t just drink the journey away and bosh a Valium like you would have pre kid.

We sipped on our small glass of Chablis in the posh airport wine bar with desperate “oh God this is all we can responsibly drink isn’t it?” looks exchanged. The wee lad was well into the snooty charcuterie board much to my proud amusement and scoffed all the fancy figs, pickles, slivers of aged meat and yak cheese stuffed olives. Classy lad.

I had officially gone in to germ melt down by this time and had sprayed my hands so often with hand sanitiser that I set an alarm off going through security.

I then set an alarm off when I was taken aside to be hand swabbed. Apparently there was a high alcohol content due to the over use of the supposedly hippy natural spray.

This resulted in them grimly announcing “the child will have to go to his Father” and “we’ll need to get her bags pulled” and me having images of being locked in a bamboo cell and poked with sticks for Christmas. In the end I just got a lovely body search (minus the bum bit thankfully) which I regretted turning down the chance to do it in private as they did have a little tickle around my Crown Jewels much to the amusement of the other half.

That done, pre flight we hung out in Boston Logan’s kids area. All very civilised. Making small talk with the other harried looking parents about how we were sure our kids wouldn’t cry on the night flights we’d misguidedly, insanely and stupidly booked our mini Hilters on to.

Obviously our angel didn’t cry but I’m glad we weren’t on the same flights as some of the hyperactive little bastards in that soft play area. I’m betting nobody on those flights got much sleep.

Due to Nakomis being laid off just before and not knowing if we could make it all work we’d booked really last minute and the flight was pretty much sold out.

I’d already decided I didn’t like the look of the only seats left. They weren’t fully reclinable. Clearly no good for our little prince to get a good night’s sleep in as he’d be on my lap.

So being a dutiful mother I held up the check in line whining about infant privileges then when that proved fruitless I pestered the poor staff at the gate a few times. “If he can’t sleep then nobody will be sleeping trust me”, I grimly told them.

I even managed to squeeze out a bit of a tear. Admittedly that was by thinking of days gone past where I’d quaff a glass of champagne and wobble around in a warm lovely fuzz until I bought yet another ridiculous pair of sunglasses.

Anyway it worked, they changed our seats and I felt like super smug Mum and we commenced the wait of standing smack bang up against the doors to board the plane at the gate (yes we’re those parents), glaring at anyone who dares come near unless they too had infants or looked like they could possibly be first class (a good game in itself).

I say infants as when a couple of families with 6 and 8 year olds came to stand with us too, my pent up stress from the germ avoidance started to bubble over into a pretty audible snarl of “pre boarding is clearly for people with INFANTS not near fucking teenagers. What do they need help with? They can even help carry bags”, stomping of feet and nashing of teeth.

Upon getting on the plane I decide I don’t like our new seats. They are bulkhead and next to the toilets and far too high traffic and noisy for baby to sleep. By this time my poor husband has developed a twitch in one eye and started humming to himself.

So I decide to sit in our original seats and tell the confused people who’ve already been swapped that they’ve been swapped back didn’t anyone tell them?

Anyway it was all for the best as babe did sleep for a short time but I admit it, since I’ve had a baby I’ve become an insufferable asshole to travel with.

Apart from the trip we’ve done little else bar have the flu and Norovirus. Which was fun.

At this present moment I’m tippy tapping this out on my phone, waiting for the ferry to take me back to the island to await THE STORM. It’s meant to be a stinker with 18-30 inches of snow and high wind.

Bye bye power for a few days. It’s ok though because I hopped over to the mainland for important provisions like bacon.

I forgot any alcohol which was short sighted as I’ll be stuck in the house with Daddy pig, Baby Pig, crazy dog and shitty pissy cats for the foreseeable.

Oh great, I’m the first car on the ferry. That means they stick you at the front with a little rope to stop you plunging into the ocean. I nearly had some weird vertigo/panic type attack last time.

For those of you about to be braving the blizzard – good luck and for all those others – wish us luck!

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Snot, scary tug boats and dodgy Pad Thai.

Most of the last week has been very dull. We’ve been pretty much shut in on the island with productive colds. Productive in the ‘loads of snot’ sense rather than the ‘getting lots of things done’ sense.

In fact I think the only thing I managed to get done was get little man addicted to Peppa Pig (amazing British children’s tv show about a family of pigs who are friends with other families of different animal species. Daddy Pig the blithering idiot being my favourite.) And only 5-10 minutes a day while I was distracting him from his snot sucking before anyone starts quoting horrific AAP, ‘your child will become an insular, troubled nincompoop if you subject them to any screen time ever before the age of two’ statistics at me.

Well that and giving wee man his first haircut which unfortunately made him look like either Adolph Hitler or Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber.

So the dullness ended on Sunday when we did the big move. The big move consisted of having half an hour to throw as much crap as we could into the back of the other half’s pick up truck and my car to make the last ferry of the morning. And remember important things such as the dog and baby. Which we did. Just.

I’d like to say we did it in style but we probably looked pretty pikey. (American word equivalent being something like ‘trashy gypsies’.) Definitely compounded by the huge, cheap, leopard print suitcases I bought to emigrate with. Purely for the amusement factor of the other half having to fly back and forth with them.

In retrospect it wasn’t the best laid plan. The boat hadn’t been cleaned yet, it was frigging freezing (actually, 6 below freezing) and we were meant to be at a party by 2pm. Just to add a little more stress to the affair.

After lugging our copious amounts of stuff on to the boat I’ve since decided a large amount isn’t needed and now needs to be taken back to the island. Oops. I say we, obviously I did nothing bar bitch and moan about how it was all being lugged on and how I’d be doing it much better.

After a few hours the smell of diesel had cleared and it had warmed to a balmy freezing so we settled down for a night in.

Being able to walk out and get a take-away is something I have missed so so much from London. Not all the time, just knowing that you can. The island we live on has two stores, the nearest being 20 minutes drive away and shuts at 5.30. Oh and it’s shut Sundays. Then that’s it. You need anything and you’re looking at a four hour long round trip to the mainland. And the last ferry off is 4.30 so that’s not even possible.

This is especially hard when you’re pregnant and decide you have a craving for something. Tough shit love, crave away.

Although the other half did do an incredibly sweet thing when I was pregnant and craving McDonalds. (I know, I know.) He called in some favours, got a taxi to pick some up on the mainland and got it flown in. I’d like to point out before he starts looking like superman, that I was in a huge rage with him at the time. He’d probably done something horrific like not use a plate to eat toast or look at me funny (I had wicked bad pregnancy rages I’m ashamed to say). Anyway, it’s safe to say it’s the first warm Maccy D’s that’s been eaten on Islesboro. And hopefully the last.

So after a joyous Pad Thai which only bore a passing resemblance to a Pad Thai (Maine’s ethnic cuisines sometimes lacking a tad on the authenticity front), we bedded down for the night.

All was going as swimmingly as it ever does these days having a co-sleeping baby- nurse, slap, snore, nurse, slap, snore, when we got catapulted out of our cosy little aft cabin nest due to the fact that some twat (guess who that could have been, Daddy Pig) had docked us right next to two honking great working tug boats who had to warm up their 500 million horsepower engines for an hour before roaring off to see some ship up the bay. At 1am.

This apparently was exciting and cool. It wasn’t. We shall be moving the boat this evening…….

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