Annoying Europe one traveller at a time

I’ve spent the past month annoying people, and for once it wasn’t even by forcing them to read my blog or boring them with my absurdly thorough knowledge of Italian building terms.

We went back to England for a few weeks to catch up with family and friends, which of course sounds great until you realise that it involves a ridiculously long car journey, a hotel, several restaurants and a ferry, all with a small baby and a dog in tow.

At the hotel, we caused a huge queue at check-in… the room has to be quiet, you see, but it mustn’t be too far from anything, and there needs to be enough space for the travel cot and the dog’s crate, and can we have some extra towels please? Urgh… I think I hate myself!

And then we went to the restaurant. Thankfully, the baby didn’t cry, she hardly ever does. But she did sing. Really loudly, throughout the entire meal. Actually, I lie. She stopped for about five minutes to allow Otto time to bark incessantly at a cat he’d seen through the window. It turns out the French don’t have much patience…

Woof! The French suck! Woof!
Woof! The French suck! Woof!

And then there was the Gotthard Tunnel, all 15 kilometres of it, cutting through the Swiss Alps. There we were, in a traffic jam a few hundred metres from the entrance, baby perched on the boot, bare behind twinkling in the early morning sun as we changed her nappy in the fast lane of the motorway. To be fair, other people were taking the opportunity to walk their dogs along the motorway so we weren’t the only annoying ones in this instance. And this really was a true emergency situation. Trust me.

I nearly forgot to mention the ferry. It’s possible we didn’t help ourselves with this one, but we thought we’d get away from the riff raff by treating ourselves to an hour-and-a-half in the Club Lounge. They give you free champagne you know (which is great when almost everyone in there is driving). Bee decided, once again, that not only would it be a great place to practice her scales but that the leather sofas would look better with a bit of puke on them. Much like the French, business travellers, it conspires, are quite low on patience.

Me? Noisy? But I'm an angel...
Me? Noisy? But I’m an angel…

Still, the rest of Europe can sleep easy now because we’re back in Italy and we’re finally moving back to the Langhe to keep a closer eye on the build, make decisions more quickly and maybe even get involved a bit (cue DIY disasters nos. 3 to 500).

The builders sent us daily updates while we were away and it really looks to be taking shape. Of course, they may have been being sneaky and only showing us the good bits, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Roof going on 2

The wood, which we had just chosen before we went away, now looks a lot more roof-like and the dreaded asbestos sheeting is but a distant memory. Next up are the back road and the internal walls. It’s so exciting to see it all happening after staring at plans for months on end. We’ve been living away from the place for about eight months now so I really can’t wait to get back there and, of course, introduce noisy Bee to what will one day become her new home!

Scaffold renovation



19 thoughts on “Annoying Europe one traveller at a time

    1. It was close… we considered jettisoning one or other of them at various points. I really never realised quite how difficult travelling with a baby is. It took an hour every morning just to reload the car!!

  1. The joys of children and cars! It could have been worse at least Bee sang! I find the best places to stay are campaniles they seem very tolerant of children and pets. The first time we brought our Italian dogs and cat back to England they cried for hours and when they stopped for air the cat pitifully miaowed just to let us know they were driving her mad too. It does get better we have four kids and one who gets travel sick! It was those mini tape players that saved the day when they were young, I even used them when we went shopping!

    1. You’re right, it could have been far worse. Bee was actually really easy. It’s just the planning that has to go into everything that shocks me. I honestly don’t know how I’d cope with four kids!!

      By the way, can we please come and try some of your wine some time?

  2. Your lovely baby is worth every bit of fuss that she creates. She is blessed to be able to grow up in that grand new house. Congrats on all counts. Doggie included.

  3. The building is shaping up great from what I can see on my screen. Traveling with baby and dog? You should be given an immunity pin (and I watch way too much Masterchef Australia on Cielo).

  4. Reminds me of the times we traveled with little kids and dog in tow. I enjoyed remembering our own mishaps while reading about yours! I’ll look forward to seeing your home come together.

  5. Your journey sounds like when I travel with my wife and 4 kids
    (1 – 6 years). so I have to laugh!!
    I actually send thank you cards to those who we annoy and
    those who are helpful!
    Better NOT to burn bridges.
    The project looks great!! Best wishes.

    Paul Lancia
    Turku, Finland

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