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Tony Grist

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Summer Holiday [Nov. 6th, 2004|09:57 am]
Tony Grist
We've booked a holiday. We're going by coach to Northern Spain to look at the Picassos.

Then the brochure arrived. All the people in all the publicity shots are grey. There's not a single, young, fit, happening twenty-year old. Everyone- but everyone- is over 50.

Young people do not travel by coach to Northern Spain to look at the Picassos.

I should have guessed as much. But I didn't. My very ignorance betrays how out of touch I am.

We have booked ourselves onto a package holiday for senior citizens.

(Long pause for reflection.)

Oh...........
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sorenr
2004-11-06 10:49 am (UTC)
Sort of thing that could happen to anyone, really!

(I don't quite understand why coach-travel is supposed to be the preferred mode of transport for senior citizens in the first place, as my abhorrance of coach-travelling is more based on the complete lack of comfort, the tediousness of the motorways and whatnot, than on its image.)

Picassos in Northern Spain sounds very good, though...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 11:00 am (UTC)
I hate flying. It hurts my ears. Airports are ghastly.

I took a couple of coach holidays in the early 90s when I was still young(ish). The first was to Czechoslovakia (as it then was) the second was to Switzerland. I like the leisureliness. I like looking out the window and watching the scenery scroll by.

I'm excited at the prospect of driving through the Pyrenees.

And this is going to be a super luxury coach with bags of leg-room.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2004-11-06 11:16 am (UTC)
I think I might actually prefer trains; they are more comfortable than busses, you don't get the hazzle of airports, and the view is normally better than on a motorway...

Especially French trains (including the EuroStar); whizzing away at 200mph is really rather nice, especially as they have full service on the first class. (</i>Remembering the days of working in the travel trade and being able to whisk boyfriend and self off to Paris on EuroStar first class, staying in a 4* hotel for the weekend, all for less than the price of a B&B trip to B'mouth...</i> -Of course it would be rather pricey to go for a weekend in B'mouth now, given that I live in CPH, and anyway I don't have a boyfriend, so I'm probably better off without the travel trade!)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 11:27 am (UTC)
Yes, I like trains.

I like trains on principle, but the British rail network is a bit dodgy at present. It's one of the things of which we should be thoroughly ashamed- as a nation- that we let our wonderful railways get so run down.

I haven't travelled on a French train since c.1970. :)
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2004-11-06 11:49 am (UTC)
Oh, but the TGVs are wonderfull!

-And yes... English trains... They're so... quaint! (=shoddy)
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-11-06 12:47 pm (UTC)
A scenic train ride through the Pyrenees, and then to Spain to see Picassos--it sounds like a wonderful trip!

When are you going? During the holidays?

You never know: among those old folks might be people you will like very much. After all, they already have something in common with you both: they like Picasso.

Kate and I keep talking about flying to Scotland next year or so, but I keep pushing it back. I find the idea of flying high in the air and then over the ocean just horrifying.

My daughter thinks I should take some pills, get on board, and wake up in Scotland.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 12:59 pm (UTC)
Next June. It seems a long way off.

Yes, I'm hoping we may make friends on the coach.

The worst part about flying is the airport. And the sitting doing nothing for seven hours. But the view can be amazing. I have a little mental album of wonderful things I've seen from the air.

The ice glittering in the Nova Scotia fjords.
The Alps
The Nile- with gardens and grainfields on either side of it- winding through the desert.

You should visit Scotland. And you might consider a little detour to take in Manchester (hint, hint)
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-11-06 01:12 pm (UTC)
The ice glittering in the Nova Scotia fjords.
The Alps
The Nile- with gardens and grainfields on either side of it- winding through the desert.

You should visit Scotland. And you might consider a little detour to take in Manchester (hint, hint)


The Nile--it would be worth a panic attack for that sight.

Even better: ice glittering on fjords. I have always wanted to see Norway, and the Northern lights. I have Norway mixed up with Santa Claus, and I picture it as a dark blue country with water and ice everywhere, and snowy forests.

If we did come to Scotland, why, it would be a fine and worthy goal to seek you and Ailz out! Of course!



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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 01:47 pm (UTC)
We would like that.

Manchester has an international airport.

So where in Scotland do you want to visit? Are there family connections?
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-11-06 01:56 pm (UTC)
We want to see Edinbourough.

We do have connections through the Shaw family, and we have tartans my sister brought back from Scotland (she and her husband spent some time there while she researched women's roles in Welsh coal mines).

But we really want to see castles. And I have heard the Hebrides are beautiful.

My son has red hair, as does one of my grandsons. My father, Maston Jones, was pretty obviously Welsh! But he also had reddish hair. Janice told us that Scotland is teeming with red-haired people! She was amazed.

We're also British and Irish--my grandfather was Jack McCarty.

Typical Americans.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 02:17 pm (UTC)
Edinburgh is the handsomest small city I know. People go on about Prague, but I've seen 'em both and I think Edinburgh wins out.

Ailz is half Irish protestant which almost certainly means that her ancestors originated in Scotland. I'm entirely English as far back as I can trace, but I entertain hopes that the origins of my surname- Grist- may be French.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-11-07 06:14 pm (UTC)
I don't think Edinburgh is quite as wonderful as is made out. Yes it is nice but there is a lot of building going on which jars with the surroundings (I would love to blow up the Scottish Parliament which is just down the road from me on those grounds alone). My parents came to visit and Dad was so disappointed with Princes St which he hadn't seen since the 50s.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-07 07:54 pm (UTC)
I last saw Edinburgh in the early 90s. I guess it's changed....
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-11-06 06:03 pm (UTC)
The worst part about flying is the airport. And the sitting doing nothing for seven hours.

I think that airports have improved.

I also don't think I could sit and do nothing for 7 hours, but I listen to books-on-mp3, I knit, I read, I talk to people, I write. It's a great time without interruption. That being said, most of my trips have been less than 5 hours in recent years...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 07:10 pm (UTC)
I've got to admit it's a long time since I was last in an airport.

On most of the long flights I've taken I had small children with me. This has certainly coloured my view.

I guess if I were doing it now I'd take along a very fat novel.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-11-06 07:20 pm (UTC)
Small children color everyone's view.:)

I guess the key for me is not to think of it as an interruption in my arriving at my destination--that only leads to impatience. I try to think of it as an experience in its own right. I do also try to get up and walk around every two hours or so. And I take aspirin. (This is a hint from my sister the paramedic--to stave off traveler's thrombosis.)
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-11-06 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the laugh.:)

However you get there, the Picassos will be sublime.

I remember going to the Picasso museum in Paris, and being astonished at the furniture and other "decorative arts". Do they have that in Spain as well (she asked ignorantly)?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 06:07 pm (UTC)
The Picasso museum in Barcelona seems to have early pre-cubist paintings, engravings from all periods and ceramics. I can't find anything on the website about furniture.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-11-06 06:13 pm (UTC)
I mostly remember a chair. And there were some ceramics. I'm sure the whole inventory is on the web somewhere.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 06:56 pm (UTC)
Picasso is one of my heroes. I find the level of creativity he kept up through his long-life, constantly reinventing his art and trying new things, absolutely astonishing.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-11-06 09:30 pm (UTC)
An American man once wrote Picasso a big check and asked him to please, please sketch him something, anything!

Picasso drew a droll little man on the back of the check and sent it to the man.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, that is so characteristic.

The man was a force of Nature. Mischievous too.

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From: morrison_maiden
2004-11-06 07:17 pm (UTC)
Aw, there have to be some younger folks there too! I wouldn't worry about it...You're 4 years younger than my dad, and I never think of him as being old. It's just a state of mind, I guess. Either way, I'm sure it would be wonderful to see the Picasso's up close and in person :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-06 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks Jess,

We're going to the Salvador Dali museum too.

And we'll be staying in a fishing village.

Yay!
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From: morrison_maiden
2004-11-06 07:41 pm (UTC)
That sounds great! I'm sure you'll have a grand ole' time ;)
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-11-07 04:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, what wonders on this itinerary! I want to be a senior citizen, too!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-07 04:35 pm (UTC)
I think they let younger people on the coach. It's just that the advertising seems to be aimed exclusively at us grey panthers.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-11-07 04:54 pm (UTC)
I would so go with you guys. It sounds like such a fantastic trip to take, so beautiful and inspiring. And by coach, no less! That is my cup of tea. And crumpets!

I hope you take a lot of pictures and have a blast!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-07 04:57 pm (UTC)
Cheers!
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