A tour of the Trenhotel Paris – Barcelona 2013.

Next leg. The Trenhotel. Train Hotel.Overland. Paris to Barcelona.

Paris to Barcelona.

Crossed  to Paris Austerlitz from Gare Du Nord and there we were. En France. Hot sunny. And as usual gagging on a drink and something to eat.

Shoved our stuff in left luggage and luck found us in a wee restaurant right next to the Sorbonne where none of us studied or were likely to know the significance of if it hadn’t been for Peter Sarstedt song all those years ago …Where do you go to my lovely….la la la la la la la….So……Pastis and veal stew Magnifiquie – . C’est la vie or veal as it turned out which was delicious.

Honed and ready for the train we had read google and  several people had said ‘Its not the Orient Express’

Well that is a fact.

It is an ancient rusty sort of contraption. We boarded at 10,30pm and were told to go the restaurant car immediately where we were given a strange meal of nodules, dry things and Vino Sol wine – we were truly on our way now.

We put off going to bed for as long as we could but we were tired. Tres fatigue.

Here’s a vid to tell the story – oh and check out the train guard – a very handsome chap who loved having his photo taken but insisted in seeing it to check if he looked good enough.  If they all looked like this charming man then cars would be annulled and we would all be letting the train take the strain.  So here we are……

 

 

Arriving in Barcelona the next morning was a joy as we ate breakfast looking out over the Spanish countryside. The comfort of the beds felt a little like being dragged over the tracks in a sack but hey ho we are intrepid travellers and that’s the sort of thing you have to accept.  Especially when you have no choice.

Stags, rib of beef, Yorkshire puds & The Perfect Storm – Day 3

Morning!

Woke up this morning in the NW of Scotland, the highlands to this sight. A stag. A great Monarch of The Glen right outside our bedroom window. as soon as it saw me it was like a shot – well I was naked and had no make-up on so can you blame it. Still I managed to get  a quick snap before it louped over the fence and away.

As I lay there contemplating what an amazing place Scotland is – yes it is! – my mind tailed back to last nights meal. Lordy. Are you ready for this.

Roast rib of beef.  Locally sourced from the west, and roasted to perfect.  Along with celeriac – look like an extra from Dr Who, and look at the yorkshire puds. Wahay!

Beef ready for a roastin' mamaRoasty toastie!Roasty toastie!

 

Yorkshire pudding! What a beezer.

 

Roasty toastie!UFO UFO? No celeriac.

 

For pud we had ice cream, meringues and raspeberrys before an enthusiastic game of ping pong and then face down. When we awok this morning it was to this news. News of The Perfect Storm…..a real one, coming our way. Yup the west is to be deluged with rain, wind and stormy nasties. So more food then. And fires. And jigsaws and ping pong and cards.

Does this mean finally George Clooney will manifest himself in my life ni a cable knit jumper with a captains hat on his head and a twinkle in his eye? Well as we batton down the hatches. I live, as ever, in hope, with camera in hand and optimisim in my heart.

Dynamite ramping up for a day to remember – with the aid of photographs and an overhead projector.

Di and I ready to roll

Today is going to be wild.

There I said it.

No not Teenwolf he will be face down asleep for hours yet.

No today is all about Dynamite, my oldest and dearest pal – well after today definitely oldest is celebrating her birthday.

The plan?

Well a table of 23 women having lunch at an undisclosed location in Scotland’s Capital.

Undisclosed? You may think how pretentious!

Well not really, the proprietors would want us to keep it schtumm, after all which self respecting bloke would go into a loud shrieking horror environment like that?

My Dad took me to Murrayfield to watch Scotland play like this!

Especially when it is the last rugby international of the year and they want geezers with empty beer bellies and big wallets to enter their premises.

 

Scotland V Italy.

 

So kilt clad rugby fans will be rollocking around the town, as will thousands of Italians who also love to party.

Oh God Alisons they've found me in your room!

It’s a bit like the Perfect Storm.

3 different party fronts all heading slowly but surely towards the epicentre.

You may recall in the film, the weather men didn’t realise what was going on until there was no going back.

A situation the publicans of Edinburgh will be able to identify in just a few hours.
So as Teenwolf sleeps, his hypocrite mother is getting ready to roll and put a rock in front of that – it’s my turn to behave badly today. A speciality of the house.

Photos may or may not be posted tomorrow depending on one thing. How much money the girls will give me not.  Money will go to Comic Relief and will provide a huge relief.

Teenwolf Day 2 – The Alien Concept.

Click on this for larger image - beware.

24 hours ago I gave Teenwolf a laundry basket, with these instructions, ‘nothing will be washed unless it gets put in here’. So it was with great trepidation and an ill-advised feeling of optimism that I trudged through the detritus in his room this morning. Gas mask on face and long stick in hand I made my through to the new concept,

The alien concept, the new and in my case very welcome member of the household. The laundry basket.

Imagine my shock? Despair? Or to be truthful feeling of resignation as I glanced in to find ?

One sock.

Not even two. Just one.

Lucky for the wolf he is at school or if I, with the help of a couple of sherpas, would got out of the corner of that room FAST and gone through him like a dose of salts.

BUT. He was at school- chatting no doubt. That is a family failing.

Anyway, needing a drink – a coffee I don’t start the hard stuff until much later – well a wee bit later – I made my way to the coffee machine in the kitchen.

To be more specific the Nespresso machine  which I purchased during a particularly hormonal day after seeing George Clooney advertising them. Swoon. If it brings Clooney calling I thought I’m having one of those. I am still waiting. Looking at the state of me it’s just as well. George would just runaway to be honest.

So slumped on a kitchen stool sipping my ‘Cosi’ with extra creamy milk and a biscuit I looked over at the two bemused mutts. Sensing despair Sam, the lab (the lights are on and nobodys home) came shuffling over to offer me a gift.

She often offers potatoes, eggs, apples, bits of paper, shoes whatever she has found and secreted on her beanbag. ‘Thank you’ I said as she thumped her tail on the kitchen floor and released the gift into my hand.

It was only the other bloody sock.

The matching pair from The Lone Ranger sock in the laundry basket.

No - she always looks like she has just been hit. She hasn't.

So she must have been in the basket to retrieve it which explains the mono sock.

Either that or Teenwolf only put one in there. But my blood pressure can’t take that thought.

I am sticking to my guns though – and at this rate the carpet – I am not washing anything that doesn’t go into that basket.

So Teenwolf came back from school.

My jaw was set but I refrained from saying a word.

‘Hi Mum’ he said and gave me a big hug – nowadays this is just to compare his height against mine – he is a good 5” taller than me which amuses his testosterone flushed form rather than a genuine hug of affection. Still you take it where you can get it.

Day 3 tomorrow…..things can only get better. And to help the day let’s have a bit of George….swoontastic.

Ab Fab friend back from the Caribbean – I may have to kill her.

Quite realistic really

Off to meet old pal who has just had 2 weeks in the Caribbean. This proves I have completely lost it. Permanently.  I mean who in their right mind would have a friend who would bugger off to such an exotic part of the world only to come back and gloat. So I am off for the gloat. I am.

I guarantee she will be dressed head to toe in white which have the added effect of making her teeth and eyes look whiter and better and already I feel a slumping depression will have kicked in by 3pm Greenwich mean time. Very mean.

Clarted in fake tan, big pants strapped on in an attempt to restrict the giant arse, too much make-up in an attempt to hide the inevitable horror of July in Scotland turning me into a static eating machine. Off I shuffle ready to bear my yellow teeth and eyes with enthusiasm as she regales me with the highlights of the holiday. I have already heard about Wayne Rooney pitching up during the world cup, Colleen in a tiny green bikini and Ruby Wax in the gym.

I can always bat back with my ‘ I saw George Clooney in a loin cloth’

Really?

No I’m lying now shut up and buy me a drink.

I will report back.

Alison’s Diary at The Oscars, exclusive with Clooney.

Spitting Baccy on stage - never a good look.

All the money in the world.
Jewellers scrambling over their mountains of precious stones to offer up priceless baubles for the glitteratti to hing round their toned, honed and fully made-up necks. On that basis perfection is what the baying public expect so what happened to this lot? It’s nae a  hoe down at Caesars Palace,  Hawick you know. Here’s Sandra, a close personal friend, dear  dear Sandy as I call her, clearly she  has a great sense of humour and she scrubbed up well  in this  lush frock but the old Bullock Blowhole or as we Aberdonians call it the fish wifies gub destroyed the vision and returned her in our eyes to mere mortal.

George! In desperate need of a Ronco Hair Trimmer

Now this next piece – a hair piece if you like – not in the wig sense of the word but in the ‘lordy as soon as a geezer feels happy and content in the arms of a gorgeous Italian supermodel he neglects his crowning glory and starts to turn from George Clooney wanton sex object  into George Hamilton V’. Sob. Check out the Long, lifeless hair – no not her!  Him! Our George (or Dod as I like to call him) has brushed his hair 100 times before bed like his Mum told him too and then  swept  it to the side.  Now with the help of state-of-the art technology

Dod in 6 months if he doesn't get a grip (a kirby grip)
We can confirm with time lapsed photography that this what that barnett will look like in 6 months. 

Now dry your eyes and let’s try to move on as happily there were other distractions there to keep our minds off the fact George is almost definately off the market – not cos of the new bird – but enough is enough we have standards you know.

Jake The Peg

J-Lo always looks fabulous and it is a well known fact that  in the past she has spent many hours concealing her quite chunky extra leg. However last night she received a rapturous round of applause when for the first time she publically acknowledged it  citing the fact her twins were aware of it and didn’t bat an eyelid when she wandered around in her bra and pants  so it seemed the opportune moment to stop the pretence of being a bi-ped and just get on with it.  Well good On you Jen!  Opening the floodgates for all other Hollywood Leg Ends to stand up and be counted we hope.

A laugh a minute this one
A laugh a minute this one.

So you’re blonde, gorgeous, floating into the Oscars in a beautiful gown. You’re line free, cellulite is something you’ve heard of but aren’t sure if it’s a face cream or a urinary infection. You have legs up to your neck, they are honed and firm, you have not a trace of facial hair or hormonal inbalance so why may I ask do you look so ******** miserable?  If Alison’s Diary had been young, firm, rich and lucky enough to there it  would have filled it’s handbag with freebies, half the buffet and gone round getting it’s photograph taken with every star in the place  (except George’s hair I’m afraid) whilst necking a bottle of champagne. So ! This little madam needs a reality check. Come to Govan for an afternoon dear then tell me you don’t live in a fantasy bubble of marvellousness.  Can’t be doing with that.

Oscar modelled on this young man
Oscar modelled on this young man with David Niven

Many people wonder who the Oscar was made in the  image of, well the answer was in 1972 when David Niven introduced live on stage during the ceremony the actual model for the statue, a Dundonian jute baron called Bill Gordon. As you can see a lively individual and worthy of such an accolade I am sure you will agree.

Quite like that geezer from the 70's actually.

Though on reflection he looks very like David Wilkie the Olympic swimmer and another well known Scot but not, as far as I am aware, a Jute Baron of note.

Ah well last but not least let’s finish on a high.
Wasn’t it great to see gorgeous non surgically enhanced Kathryn Bigelow collecting her Oscar for The Hurt Locker as her ex-husband James Cameron him of Avatar aka the blue faced meanies looked on with gritted teeth. 

Liz Hurley lookalike with her Mother Beryl

It was a joy to see her relatively small budget film (though I hear it is turgid)  kick his squillion dollar epic in the nads.

Allegedly later on  after a couple of snakebites, as you can see by the photo below,  he lost his self control and tried to chase her out of the building but rest easy he was apprehended by security before he could do any real damage.  Hey ho. Hooray for Hollywood.

I'll gie you Hurt Locker!

Karen Koren – Gilded Balloon Girl’s Birthday Whammy

Monday

OH dear there’s a theme developing here. It’s the Monday morning review of the over indulged weekend. Saturday we were at Karen Korens birthday, aka the comedy doyenne of Edinburghat Winton House in Pentcaitland where the place was daundered up to look fabulous. Not as fabulous as the birthday girl herself resplendant in a full length sequin number looking half her age. So many familiar faces and behaviour patterns. Had a good goss with Bill Bailey, Fred MacAulay, the plumber who used to work at Radio Forth, the guy who runs the Glasgow Comedy Festival – who I told to marry his girlfriend cos she’s lovely. All done whilst glugging whisky – again. I’ve waited this long and now I have a complete pash for the grain. Dearie me. As our lift home waited I was spotted dancing with my whisky Jean Jeanie.Let yourself Go -o-o-o-o-o-o- and I did.

Tuesday Photo)

Off to the Theatre to see Traces, a French Canadian bunch of clowns, in the original sense of the word. Most of them were brought up in the Circus with some starting performing when they were age 7! How they contort their bodies to ping themselves through hoops that are suspended 8 feet in the air beggars belief. Never have so many people been so quiet as our hearts were in our mouths at some of the stunts they performed. The highlight for teenwof and I was a Robert Downie Junior lookalike Antoine– yes ok maybe he was a highlight for a different reason in my case! – he straddled (cough cough) a massive hula hoop and proceeded to whirl it round with him on the edge of it. Left feeling like the elephant woman, tried to jump up on my tiptoes on the way back to the car, teenwolf crossed the road.

Wednesday

News on the wire is the Clooney is finally getting married. The girls are reeling. In order to come to terms with this devastating news we wear black armbands to the cinema to watch Up In The Air. It is our collective swansong of staring at George. We watch agog as his charm emanates from the screen. Alone in a vast cinema we feel free enough to sigh as we watch him in action. We enjoy it despite having heavy hearts. As we leave Fiona Duff produces a cutting she tore out of a magazine, a bit desperate I think as a quick glance shows a man with a mono-brow,bushy moustache and lumberjack shirt. What is that? George! she answers smugly in the 80’s. Mightily cheered we agree the Italian supermodel is welcome to him. RIP our crush.

Thursday
I am doing a heck of a lot of voice overs at the moment and no two are the same. I built my own wee studio in a cupboard in the house in December and have never been busier. This week I have been an angry French Pirate, a tourist guide for a Bavarian town, the identity of a new Literary internet radio station and a few corporate things too. It’s getting to the stage I can’t remember my real voice or what daylight looks like. If I had known how busy I would be I might have made it a little bigger, warmer and more luxurious as opposed to a dark cupboard. So keep fit routine is nil, complexion is waxy,eyes are red but as Dave booms from the bottom of the stairs ‘At least the voice is bearing up! Keep at it! ‘ Yes boss.
Friday

In Glasgow to complete judging process for The Restaurant of the Year Awards, give fellow judge a lift.. He gets into the car cluthcing a big black coffee. It is so full he is in danger of pouring it all over his breeks. Have you got a tissue? A quick look into the back of car answered the question, 3 picture frames, one broken, a pair of lurid pink wellies on their way to the charity shop, a few plastic bags so I don’t get new ones in the shops, one plastic shoe, magazines in case I get bored and a clumped up double sheet. No but I have a double sheet. Unfazed he yanked it bit by bit into the front seat until he sat swaddled in it sipping his coffee. Clearly a fellow non-minimalist. Winners announced 22nd February.

Saturday

Aye feel better when I hear others tales of badness. Old stalwart chum Tracy went out with her friends for a quiet birthday tea in Banchory on Friday early evening. They met in The Stag ,which has a bar with a place to meet through the back. They ate their meal and then the next thing was she found herself bullying the DJ into playing the music they wanted to hear ‘Sister Sledge! Sister Sledge!’ by this time they had lost 6 hours – it was midnightand they were stylishly dancing round a small bar table. To quote Tracy the place was packed with surprised middle aged men and not so much surprised as disgusted younger ones. See that makes us all feel better.