Betty Twyford goes on holiday

PUBLISHED: 11:17 05 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:05 20 February 2013

Betty Twyford goes on holiday

Betty Twyford goes on holiday

Betty Twyford is the county's domestic goddess... who prefers her breakfasts served the Herefordshire way

Too excited to sleep and anxious to make sure I wake up at 2.30am, I toss and turn before the alarm shocks me into life. We are off to Italy, in Georges sports car. This car, not built for comfort, is the bane of my life. George imagines himself to be James Bond in his Aston Martin, but truth be told, our old Mercedes has seen better days. However, the idea of motoring through France into Italy, to finish off at the Venice Biennale, persuades me to agree to the inevitable sunburnt nose, tousled hair and stiff shoulder blades.

George has decided that we must commune with technology, and acquire a satnav. This is a particularly old one, given to us (or rather, discarded) by our son. The minute George has entered his post code of the day i.e. the Dover Ferry, the satnav begins to converse. At first, it is amusing. The thing chats away but we soon start to tire of the endless chatter from what we are now referring to as she. She has just told me to do a U-turn at the next junction, says George petulantly. What does she think she is doing? Stupid woman!

On reaching the M50, we notice there is a diversion that dreaded word and George starts to argue with the road signs, the satnav and me. I patiently tell him that if we join the motorway, even if it looks like we are going the wrong way; it will all come out right in the end. I am not believed, so we start to take the scenic route, and after endless miles and a lot of arguing, we realise we have lost a good hour! I am muttering I told you so under my breath, and then I start to hum. This annoys George, and I know it does, but somehow, cannot resist.

After a long silence when she appears to have become totally confused we begin to talk again and to gain ground and all three of us start to become more cheerful and almost friendly.

Against all odds, we arrive in good time to board Brittany Ferries. George was so impressed the last time he travelled with them (a good few years ago) that he insists I will be highly delighted with the full English breakfast served in the restaurant. Busting for the loo, I descend into the depths of the ship to join a long queue of similarly afflicted females. By the time I return, George has ordered for me. Bad move. I am not turned on by beef sausage in grease, over-cooked fried eggs and tinned tomatoes and tell him so. I summon a bemused French waiter and explain that my eggs are not only black but also undercooked with a slimy yolk, the sausages are revolting and I havent eaten tinned tomatoes in this way since school. George gives him a look of sympathy.

I make do with coffee (instant, not French and served with cold toast, not a croissant), and look petulantly out of the window.

We arrive in France, and magically, the holiday begins. We start to relax, enjoy the beauty and the privilege of pleasing ourselves what we do and when we do it.

We make it to Venice. It is hot and crowded and slightly smelly, but wonderful, full of art and music
and joy.

I decide I am not travelling with Brittany Ferries again until they employ me to sort out the chef and the loos.

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