TAM Airbus A330-200 in the former livery

The Magic Red Carpet

The big day when we go back to the UK on the magic red carpet for a few weeks is fast approaching.  I think my brother is more excited about it than anyone else and he has dubbed it T-Day.  Every time I talk to him it tells me it is T-Day minus 25 days, or whatever it is.

We went back last November to introduce Thomas to my family and friends, but we are going back again now to take advantage of the fact that Thomas flies (almost) for free until he is 2.  Here are some of the things I am looking forward to, and some that I am also dreading.

Friends and family

It goes without saying that the best thing is going to be seeing my folks and my old friends again.  It is one thing keeping in touch on Facebook or talking on Skype, but an altogether different thing seeing people face to face.  This time around we will hopefully have a few friends come to visit us in Birmingham as well as making it down to London for a couple of days to meet up with various people.


English: Athenry Castle - Ireland

The fields of Athenry Castle

My family is all originally from Ireland and so we are going to be spending a few days in Athenry, Galway this year.  It is ages since I was last in Ireland and I am really looking forward to it.  My wife was once there when she was about 10 so she is very excited as well.  It is going to be brilliant for Thomas as the place we are staying at is also a working farm and so there are lots of cows, sheep, ducks and what have you.  If the weather is anything near decent he might well go berserk, but that is ok as there is loads of space for him to go berserk in.

The weather

The last couple of times we have been to the UK the weather has been abysmal.  My memories of going to Ireland as a kid are of rain, rain and more rain.  I remember going into Galway once and it was sunny but we didn’t know what to do as we only had wellies and jumpers, no t-shirts or shorts.

I am just hoping that it doesn’t rain too much.  it can be as cold as it likes, if it isn’t raining Thomas can get out in the garden and help granddad dig up some worms. We can also go off and visit parks and go for walks.  I have every part of my body crossed for this.

Guinness is good for you

Guinness is good for you


Although the quality of the beer is improving in Brazil, it still has nothing compared to a good pint in a pub.  This is perhaps one of the things that I most miss about Britain.


British food has a terrible reputation, but it is totally undeserved.  I have a list of things I want to have, including a Balti, a big bag of chips, a visit to Nathaniel’s in Mosley, lunch and beer at The Peacock, a proper breakfast, whatever gems my brother has discovered in the last  months and, of course, my mother’s delightful fare.

The flight

We went back to the UK last year for a few weeks, so the flight out there doesn’t really hold any fears for me.  It is a night flight and we have loads of tricks to entertain him for the 11 hours if he doesn’t sleep all the time.  The problem is coming home.  My wife can only be away for 2 weeks as she has to teach at university so, when we booked the flight, I thought it would be a great idea if I stayed on an extra week or so.  I mean, if you are going to be going all that way and you don’t have to be back for work then why not; it would at last make the grandparents happy.  As we get closer to the dat I am beginning to have serious concerns about coming back on my own with a nearly 2 year old but who finds it very difficult to sit down for more that 2 minutes at the best of times.  It will be bad for me and for Thomas.  It will be even worse for whoever has to sit next to us.

Language learning

The last time we were in the UK Thomas was only just starting to experiment with different words and sounds.  He still managed to pick up some words though, including my brother’s name which he still uses for any white van that he sees.  I am hoping that this time he will pick up even more vocabulary while he is exposed to English 24 hours a day.

Coming home

Did I mention that I am coming back on the plane alone with Thomas?  Just think of the beer!

Anyone got any handy hints for flying long haul with a toddler?

Related articles

Fly with Babies, Toddlers and Kids – Deliciousbaby.com

10 Tips for Flying Alone with Kids – Aintnomomjeans.com


6 thoughts on “T-Day

  1. ‘Calpol’ Years ago there used to be a child’s medicine called Dozal. There is a clue in the name but unfortunately it is now banned but it worked wonders on you and your brother!

    • I’ve read about other parents giving their kids drugs on the plane. Some said it worked a treat while others said it was horrible and they had a drugged up kid singing random songs for the whole flight. I think I’ll give it a miss and just suffer. I’ll treat myself to half of the bottle of whisky I get in future free when I finally arrive

  2. Hi, I got to know about your blog through Multicultural Kids and I think it´s pretty cool. I lived in England for nearly two years when I was a bit younger and I did have the time of my life. Even if I´m not British I try to come back whenever I (we) can to visit friends and have a taste of England. I do enjoy good British food (people who say it is not good is because they don´t know the good dishes). I felt in love with lamb chops in homemade gravy, blond pints and ales, the North Sea, your language and so many other things than it is almost painful to talk about it

    It was nice to read you 🙂

    • Thanks for finding your way to my blog.

      It’s great that you had such a positive experience in the UK. Your mention of gravy and ales has made my mouth water. After a few years enjoying the beaches of Brazil, though, I am not too sure of the advantges of the North Sea. 😉

      I hope to see you around these parts again soon and I’ll be making my way over to your blog.

  3. Hi, this is exciting ! You’ll be so close to NL! 😉 We’ll be in the UK in two weeks too and I totally agree about what you say about the food. And, yes, madrexilio, you’re totally right: “people who say it is not good is because they don´t know the good dishes”! – As for long haul flights with toddlers, find some advice here (it’s a bit “old”: http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/going/long-flights.html#0109), here: http://blogs.babycenter.com/life_and_home/20-kid-friendly-tips-for-long-flights/, http://www.babycenter.com/400_how-can-i-keep-my-children-entertained-on-a-long-flight_500555_1.bc (with good advices if your kid has problems with the pressure in the plane or gets nervous). I don’t like much to show DVD’s to kids under 4/5, but in this case, I would make an exception. You can load some films from Charlie and Lola, Little Einstein or those you think are more appropriate for him etc. to show him when you would like to have a rest. What I did with my kids was to prepare a little bag with small pencils & paper and books they really like and their favourite little toy(s). I hid them until we got on the plane, so it felt like “new” and they were relatively calm during the first hour. I know, every child is different… What I recommend: ignore the other passengers if they comment on anything and get help from the crew. They are usually very helpful. And don’t forget to pack some spare clothes… 😉 I really wish you an easy flight!

    • Thanks for the tips and the links. I’ll check them out later today. I know what you are saying about being wary about showing too many DVDs and films, but I am making an exception for this 24 hour trip. I like your idea about hiding the books and toys until we are on the plane, I think I’ll definitely try that one out.


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