Hi folks I’m finally back. My goodness what an adventure!
I will share my thoughts and escapades in France over the next couple of posts so I don’t bore you with my enthusiasm all in one go.
My “Gone Fishing” post was hurriedly added on Thursday 28th April as a result of a phone call from our daughter in France – she had finally gone into labour and was in hospital. No more “false” alarms this was it!
Mr. Piglet and I immediately went into “headless chicken” mode as we checked out flights on the internet and contemplated the quickest way to travel to France during a very busy holiday period. We abandoned all earlier plans of taking the plane and train and decided to drive the 2000 kilometres from Portugal, across Spain and into France.
We quickly threw clothes into the suitcases, gathered together anything that we thought might be remotely useful (most of which was not), mobilized an army of friends to care for our garden and pool, made my “Gone Fishing” blog post and we were off!
During the course of the afternoon, as we were racing across Spain, we received a text from our daughter to say baby Pigleta should be born in 30 minutes, the wonders of modern technology…but then no further communication for hours.
What was happening? Was everything OK? How were Mummy Piglet (Piglet in France) and baby Pigleta faring…?
We then received a text confirming Lily-May (Pigleta), our first granddaughter, was born at 16.13, measuring 49cms and weighing 3.540 kg. We felt elated! However, this elation turned to concern when we later learned all was not well with our daughter. She had experienced problems during the birth and may have broken her coccyx.
After 800km the journey was taking its toll so we made the decision to make a stop-over in Madrid and continue early the next morning. As we programmed our GPS system our thoughts were in turmoil, and with 1200km still to travel it would be touch-and-go as to whether we would make it to the hospital before visiting time ended. Oh what an unbelievably frustrating day – we not only encountered miles on miles of road works but then came the Friday evening traffic jams as we hit the French motorways. It was motoring hell!
Reality then dawned on us, as three lanes of traffic ground to a complete standstill, that after all this effort we may not make it to the hospital to hug our daughter and meet Lily-May this evening, and yet another day would pass. Living in an area of Portugal where four cars represented a traffic jam we had completely forgotten the “stress” and “volume” of Friday afternoon traffic. Tears of frustration rolled down my cheeks as I saw miles of red tail-lights disappear over the horizon.
To top it all our mobile phone then rang and a friend from Portugal informed us they had just experienced the worst electrical storm in a decade and our electricity had tripped. In our rush to depart yesterday morning none of our friends had our house key so they could reset the electric. Pooh! Pooh POOH!!! We were going to lose all the contents of our freezer and fridge, which were both stacked to capacity due to us taking advantage of a generous supermarket discount voucher, just last week. I don’t know if someone “above” at this point suddenly took pity on us but the traffic miraculously started to clear and we were on the move. As our speed increased a glimmer of hope was rekindled – we may just make it!
We finally arrived at the hospital, physically and mentally exhausted from our journey, just an hour before visiting time ended. Our son-in-law fortunately came to meet us at the entrance of the maternity building to save us precious minutes in hunting for the correct ward. I almost fell into his arms with relief. As we walked in to our daughter’s room and was introduced to our granddaughter our hearts melted and the long, hot and frustrating journey was quickly forgotten. We were immediately smitten with Lily-May and I suddenly understood the joys of being a grandparent.
Any tips gratefully received!