Thirteen and a half hour journey to Germany. Ready to shoot myself on our arrival at friend's house. I could blame the snow which delayed us in the UK, and meant we had to divert to an airport 230km away from our final destination in Germany. But fundamentally, I am not sure travelling with children is worth it.
Driving conditions were desperate - icy sleet and rain, darkness and no speed limits. The boys kept turning on the lights in the back of the car which would make my husband start yelling "Lampen Auf! Lampen Auf!". ( I do not think he will ever consider himself a true European.) To ramp it up that little bit more, my three-year-old daughter refused to wear her seat belt, preferring instead to crawl through the gap and drive the car herself. We ended up pulling off the autobahn, hauling her out and doing that "If I have to get you out again I am leaving you here, OK?. I am not kidding." It was really nice to see my friends whom I love, but you do think sometimes - "What does it take?". We had a massive snowball fight, the kids went sledging, they went to a Christmas market and round and round on a gilt-painted carousel, the boys were bought tickets to a big football match, our friend's daughter has a WII which they played on, and oh yes, our visit happened to coincide with St Nicolaus day which meant they left out their shoes and in the morning "St Nicolaus" had mysteriously filled them with sweeties and toys. On the other hand, I had night after night of broken sleep courtesy of my daughter's refusal to consider the travel cot, one of those silent rows you have with your husband when you are staying with old friends and can't shout at each other, a missed US radio interview (courtesy of my communication problems and general incompetence) , and a bad cough, sandwiched between journies from hell. We got back last night and Granny rang. She obviously asked my eldest son how was the trip to Germany. "A bit good, a bit bad," he said. She should have asked me.