Tonight we are ensconsed in a Premier Inn in Woking. We were meant to have the grandsons with us but, sensibly for their dad to eliminate a lot of travelling, they elected to stay with their Aunty Olga in Putney, close to where Tim lives. We are not taking it personally that they want to stay with Olga, Savas and their three children. We know they love spending time with their cousins, and we also know that we are exhausted. Five weeks of constantly travelling, packing, unpacking has taken its toll.
The grandsons are great, well behaved and the most lovely kids anywhere - yes, they are - don't argue. Our grandsons are the absolute best! But we are no longer in our 30s or even our 40s or 50s, and we certainly don't have the stamina we once had!
I said to David one morning this week that I remember when I first realised my dad was getting old - he was 65, had had grey hair with a seriously receded hairline since I could remember (he attributed both to me) so in my eyes he had always looked the same. One day, we were putting up the old canvas tent at the bach and he was puffing, and I thought 'Bloody hell, Dad, you are old!' (Note thought, not said...) This week, I feel the same. Tim keeps saying that David and I do really well, but I have been in bed before the kids a few nights since we've had them with us. How pathetic is that!!?
Tomorrow is Tim's 41st birthday, so it's 30 years since he was Olek's age and 35 years since he was Karol's age.
Was I ever that young? I don't feel old, or, more to the point, I certainly don't feel grown up enough to be 65 (nearly 66). And I try not to grunt or groan when sitting down which is a sure sign of being over 50, I am told.
But I am looking forward to my business class bed on the way home on Monday and my own bed back in Waikanae ...
(David says 'Ditto' in failing tones.)
But first there is The Lion King tomorrow for Tim's birthday, and we are looking forward to that immensely. It is great going to the theatre with kids - their response is so primal and spontaneous.
Another memory: back in 1990 we took Tim and Kirsty to Starlight Express and Miss Saigon here in London. Their reactions to both shows were highlights of that trip for David and me. So tomorrow afternoon, I expect we will both be smiling mightily, even though a few hours later we will be saying a sad good bye to the boys and Tim until May next year.