Well the trip is off.
Not my trip, yet, but the trip that my mum and dad were supposed to go on is off.
The lift has defeated our plans.
When we first heard that the lift would be out for six weeks, I was eight months away from my holiday and it would be completed well before I left. No problems, I paid for our flights. Cheap business class tickets that meant we could fly in comfort but not alter them once confirmed,
Then they announced the lift was delayed.
The next delay took the proposed finish date to just after we were due to fly out. My parents would be left stranded up in their flat for a couple of weeks so a plan was hatched for them to visit my brother in Thailand for a holiday. I could put them on a plane, my brother could meet them and before you could say ‘sawadee’ the lift would be fixed and they would be on their way back home.
Then they moved the date again.
By this time my brother in Thailand had decided to visit for a holiday. The plan was for him now to fly back with my parents late enough so they could enjoy a month of exotic warmth and return to a working lift. I would still be away when they returned but it would not matter.
Then they shut the lift off and moved the date yet again. They have been listless for a fortnight already will remain liftless until mid October.
My brother is currently staying with them for a few more days so is helping with the shopping. My father, though he may feel mildly confused on occasion as to why he is using the stairs, can actually manage them OK, despite being 85. As long as nothing weird happens with his blood pressure he should be OK.
It is my mother who will find it difficult. She has very bad arthritis (something I have to look forward to unless they hurry the hell up and work out how to 3D print cartilage). The stairs are a world of pain for her and carrying shopping up them even more exhausting.
The problem is, Thailand was probably going to be no more easy. My brother will be at work all day and unable to ferry them about, so the question ended up being in which country would they prefer to be trapped in a flat.
Turns out the answer is this country, where they at least speak the language and have a fighting chance of negotiating the medical system if it should be required.
So my brother will return to Thailand alone and my parents will stay trapped in their flat until I leave for the big trip. Before I go I will be lugging supplies up and down the stairs to enable my parents to survive. I am currently calculating bottles of wine and bags of potatoes and UHT milk and canned goods – like some weird practice run to simulate survival in the event of nuclear holocaust.
Although now I think about it, I guess given the sabre rattling that is going on between the two maddest haircuts on the planet at the moment, preparing to survive nuclear devastation may not be a bad thing after all.