Day 54

Maddy starts as she means to go on by bouncing on the trampoline before work! Level 2 Chi Kung. Microcosmic orbit. Took a moment to think about Charlie, my parents’ beloved companion animal, who took his last trip to the vet while I was in Crete, and feel grateful to Marg Matheson who has looked after Charlie since Dad died 6 years ago. As Ann Eade said, ‘sometimes we have no choice but to watch the people we love suffer when they would rather go, but with our beloved pets, we have a choice’. I won’t say RIP Charlie, as, dogs having nothing to atone for, I expect he has already trotted off to his next incarnation.

Tidying, organising, feeding children, clearing up. Bye Sherlock (piteous whining from dog, lumps in throats of departing humans). Taxi to the arse of the world. Katie (who gets motion sickness) managed to survive the journey before throwing up just outside the terminal building. Bag drop, security, waiting, boarding, flying, landing. Yes! Safely on the ground and no one has vomited on the plane. Experience moment of intense gratitude. Strangled cry from Jack who is beginning to vomit – which sets Katie off and she starts throwing up all over the aisle of the plane. Meanwhile Dash wants to discuss the various meanings of the word ‘aspect’! Get everyone off plane, herded onto almost full bus for very short trip to terminal building. Expecting bus to leave promptly but no, rather than have the bus make two 60 sec trips, they keep everyone on the bus until the whole plane load of passengers has been crammed on (and people are beginning to say: ‘Oh my God, what is that smell – that’s disgusting’.) Arrive at terminal building – feeling appropriately terminal – and discover no toilets before passport control. Passport control. Toilets – swab down all three children (Dash hasn’t vomited but has become the victim of a major spill of fruit smoothie) and dress in fresh clothes. Baggage claim. Wait for shuttle bus to rental car office. Get car. Beautiful, but very twisty, drive along the Almalfi Coast. Big half moon. Much vomiting. At least, unlike the last time we brought the kids to Italy, this time we aren’t staying with bad-tempered nuns.

Installed in hotel, 3 children tolerably clean, tucked up in bed asleep. Will collapse now, I think.

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