Eldest:- no crisis – Christmas and partay season plus has a birthday coming up.
Middle :- slight crisis – pale skin and sunlight lying by the pool in Johannesburg don’t always mix .
Youngest:–major crisis – Stomach pains and nausea!
Me :- major crisis – just realised Christmas is nearly upon us and still much to do.
Other Half:- major crisis– too much work, too little time – needing to wrap up work ready to shut down for Christmas. (Should also be panicking in case he hasn’t wrapped up my pressie).
A long weekend to Amsterdam seems an excellent idea for empty nesters when you book it back in the summer. As it approached, along with my Christmas to-do list, I realised it may not have been one of my finest. Still, we were booked so we were off.
Youngest:-‘ I’m not feeling well.’
Not the kind of message you want to get on your way to the airport.
Me:- ‘Oh dear. Symptoms?’
Youngest:- ‘Bad stomach pains, feeling sick, don’t want to eat.’’
He’s definitely ill. For youngest not to eat is like the world not spinning.
Me:- ‘So, at worst it could be appendicitis. At best you need to do a good poo. I need more details.’
Airport negotiated. I settled into seat 27C. It’s only a 50 minute flight. Youngest will be alright until I land. I will not feel guilty.
Top tip:- don’t get a cab at the airport from the men who harass you outside saying it’s only 40 euros. They mean 40 euros each! We went to the taxi rank and paid 45 euros for four people.
Our legitimate taxi driver got us here:- Max Brown Hotels
Breakfast was a do-it-yourself job; perfectly nice, very continental. O.H. worked out how to make the perfect coffee from the machine which, of course, endeared him to me.
Walking along the canal, I sent a message:
Me:- How’s the pain now?
Youngest:- Whenever I move it gets worse like a twisting all across my stomach.
Blimey that doesn’t sound good.
Me:- Best get yourself to the walk-in or ring 111 for advice. Have you pressed your right side? Do you have acute pain?
Youngest:- what’s acute pain?
Me:- So bad you’re doubling up.
Youngest:- Doubling up?
It can’t be acute – he’d be doing it, not asking about it.
I skipped onto the pavement to avoid being knocked down by a bicycle outside the shops.
There are more profound words than I can ever say on this but how they managed to stay sane in those small dark rooms for so long is beyond me.
Youngest:- ‘The walk-in takes hours. That’s what my friends have said.’
Me:- ‘Well that’s an option if you’re bad. Better waiting hours than a burst appendix. What have you been eating?’
Youngest:- ‘Chicken burger, baguette, chicken pasta dinner. Breakfast – regular hash browns, beans, egg and sausage. Best get walking into town. Hope I don’t chun.’
Dinner was a bad Argentine steak. Chewy and fatty. But the chef came out when I (nicely) complained, to apologise and give us a dessert platter to say sorry. Can’t moan too much when he was trying to make amends. Dessert was delicious but a bit off the bill as well would have guaranteed to raise his trip advisor rankings.
Another breakfast. This time I managed to get the perfect coffee combo.
We found the sex museum. Verdict? It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I’m not a prude but I was amazed at how promiscuous the photos were from the 1800’s. And once you’ve seen one willy – you’ve seen ’em all, eh? Best if you have a photo of a pretty street instead.
Woops, you may have a bell but mind my back you cycle, road hog!
Me:- ‘How’s the pain?’
Youngest:- ‘Still terrible. I haven’t eaten anything.’
Me:- Not always a bad thing. ‘Sometimes it’s good to have a fast, in case it’s a bug. Are you drinking? Water?’
We queued for the Van Gogh museum. Such a talent. So many paintings from such a tortured soul. He only started painting at 27 years. Proves there’s hope for anyone.
Youngest:- ‘Can’t drink the water it’s cloudy.’
Me:- ‘Boil up the kettle and use that then.’
Youngest:- ‘But it will be hot.’
Not only Van Gogh who is feeling tortured.
Youngest:- ‘Just rung 111. They said go to the walk-in.’ Funny, is it me or did I not suggest this earlier?
Van Gogh’ed out, we caught the tram back to the hotel before heading out for dinner.
Youngest:- ‘The walk-in’s a long way. I don’t feel quite so bad now. What’s good for getting poos out food wise?’
Hmmmm. Not so sure about this delicious burger now. Black and Blue.
Youngest:- ‘Went to the walk-in.’ Blimey. Must still be feeling bad to warrant that.
Me:- ‘And? ‘
Youngest:- ‘She poked my side to see about the appendicitis and gave me some anti-sickness pills.’
Well, at least he’s been checked out by a health professional. He must be ok. I’ll remove the ‘flights from Amsterdam to Newcastle’ page from my ipad.
Youngest;- ‘How’s Dam?’