Friday, 11 April 2014

Group Hug


Sometime in the near future, I am accompanying Chris to a conference in Denmark. On our way to the train station this morning , he started to bang on about booking me on one of the guided tours that have been organised especially for partners, when their academic loved ones are thrashing out their research papers.
Picture the scene
Two local guides ( in traditional " native dress")' a confined and claustrophobic coach, and a captive audience that are strangers to one another.
To me Hell looks more attractive.
Now, I have to say in my defence, that the older I get, the more sociable I have become, but it has to be made known that the thought of organised group activities drag me back to a time when I was a slightly awkward , socially shy youngster who blushed a great deal.
If it was a choice between forcing out a " my names's John, what's your name?" Small talk and sticking needles into my eyes........the needles would win every time.


" I'm sure all the other partners will be going on the trip" Chris told me this morning.. Trying very hard to sell it." There is even a trip to a local museum and a famous stadium!"
I gave him one of those after all this time together, do you really need to ask looks.
" I'll bring some books" I informed him shortly.

Ps.....duh...we're actually going to Stockholm 

79 comments:

  1. You never know who you'll meet. I'd go on the trip x

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  2. Oh go ON, you can always bail at the museum if you hate it. It could be hilarious!

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  3. I'm right with you on this, stopped going to the hairdressers cos I can't do smalltalk!

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    Replies
    1. I'm considering growing my hair long for that very reasonable

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    2. I'm lucky. My hairdresser just talks non-stop. No interaction needed. :)

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  4. Hell on earth John. Takes your books and enjoy the sights on your own. Leave the group events to corporate bonding boat building sessions.

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  5. You never know, perhaps it will be a scotch egg factory.........

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    Replies
    1. Do Danes eat scotch eggs?

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    2. If they do it'll have a herring in it....

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    3. Has Stockholm moved?

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    4. I got an E FOR MY A LEVEL GEOGRAPHY

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  6. I would skip the bus and go for a nice walk, or explore on public transit. I agree, hell on earth.

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  7. There must be plenty of interesting things to see by foot or public transport.

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  8. ten out of ten to chris for trying but hire a bike or belingo and go out and see the sights and try the food (if you like fish) you will love it just keep away from the back streets

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  9. He wants you to go along, that should be all it takes and for cripes sake, it won't kill you. Go along for him. Yes, I am a bit grouchy this morning, but even on a good day, I would say the same.

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  10. i hate those organized things and much prefer rambling around and exploring on my own.

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  11. Ick. Sounds awful.

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  12. Poor you! I hate enfoced 'activities'. Have you ever watched coach trip? With a bit of luck, if you play up you will be ousted from the coach! x

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    Replies
    1. I think I have once.... It was full of awful common people as I recall

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  13. Grouch! I'd go...you could get up to all sorts of mischief....

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    Replies
    1. I'd rather have a coffee

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  14. I can appreciate your distaste for guided tours, but if it only took up a portion of my free time, I'd do it just to get an overall view of the highlights. Then I could go off and do my own thing. Besides, I bet the guide would be fun to look at; the Danish are an attractive bunch.

    On the other hand, I get the feeling you're a lot more comfortable being "lonely" than I am. To each his own.

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    Replies
    1. Alison
      I seldom, if ever feel lonely.
      Strange that I spend great chunks of my time alone

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    2. Not to be the know-it-all, here, but Stockholm is not in Denmark. hehe
      So, hopefully, all those attractive Danish are out on a day trip in Sweden.

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  15. Since nobody knows each other, you will all be in the same boat, I mean bus. I don't think there is a need to talk to anyone, but you just might find yourself chatting to one or two people. Just show someone a picture of Winifred and you will be the most popular person there.

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  16. You are so social here with us....I can't imagine you would be shy! Go out of your comfort zone and then blog about it.

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  17. The Navy were forever doing this...I preferred to do my own thing.
    Jane x

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  18. My paternal grandmother was Danish.
    Denmark was the country where I first saw a hard-core porno film.
    No connection between the two facts.

    Have a nice time. Copious notes are expected, plus some pertinent illustrations of your activities.

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    Replies
    1. Too much information!

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    2. I do apologise for revealing that bit about my Grandma (who died long, long before I arrived).

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  19. That kind of thing brings on the migraine...

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  20. Having spent half my life travelling the world with complete strangers in coaches, on ships and even on the backs of elephants and camels all I can say is go do it. The strangest things can happen - and it can be enormous fun...

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  21. I'm with you on this one....in fact, I wouldn't even go on the trip.

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  22. Is there not some kind of Borgen/crime drama tour you could go on instead?

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  23. Go. It will give them all something to talk about.

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  24. John! You are turning into a SOCIAL RECLUSE! There are more than chickens/geese/turkeys to talk to in this world! lol
    I kinda get what you are getting at. But go! And maybe there will be a situation/setting where you will 'connect' with someone you may even like.

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  25. Drama queen, now change that attitude and go have fun.

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    Replies
    1. PS
      Make sure you have on clean undies in case you get hit by a tour bus….just saying.

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    2. Drama Queen ? DRAMA QUEEN?
      DRAMAAAAAA QUUUUEEEEEEEENNNNN?
      How very dare you!

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  26. Don't you dare spend time with books when you are in Stockholm!!!!! Don't give a hoot about the others. You will never see them again, but DO NOT miss out on sightseeing in a foreign place. Ever. If you do, I'm gonna have to hit you upside the head! ;)

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    Replies
    1. We are in a spa resort 2 hours from the city!

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    2. Ah, great! Plenty of time then to bond with your fellow travelers on the bus! (I'm sorry, this is just too good.)

      You could take advantage of the spa and get yourself all spruced up.

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  27. I agree that if it's not the whole day but only part, it might be nice to see some of the things and make notes to see later on your own. And, being stuck with all those people on the bus may provide lots of blog fodder.

    I tend to be happier on my own, too, but every so often, it does me good to socialise. Even if i don't like it.

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    Replies
    1. I'll suss out the other " partners" at the bar on the first night, I promise!

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  28. I had a hoot with my Mom on a tour around Italy. When the coach stopped for the guided tour, we ran off to find the markets, cafes, bars and did our own thing only returning to RV point ready to be taken to the next interesting place. many others did the same, much to the disgruntlement of the sour faced guide....Go on go! just so you can tell us all about it x

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  29. My initial reaction would be very very similar.
    BTW, I'll be in Denmark too - but not until mid-summer. Have fun!

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    Replies
    1. ooops, just saw that you're going to Sweden instead!

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  30. My first ex mother in law was Danish.
    Our families never got on.
    Some say it was because they had connections with the Danish aristocracy and felt superior to us lot.
    I still think it's because at the wedding my uncle Derek asked her if she had it stamped on every slice !!
    She never seemed to have much of a sense of humour after that.

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    1. Sorry to break your bubble.. But I now know we're off to Sweden

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    2. Denmark, Sweden, very close, almost the same.
      Blondes and raw fish.

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    3. Abba and Borgen

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  31. For selfish reasons, and giving no thought to your feelings, I think you should go! Think of the rich seam of silliness provided for your blog. The characters you will be able to bring to life (hope they don't really die on the trip) for us. ooh Go on Pleeeese!

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  32. Some supportive husband you'll turn out to be. 'Behind every great man, there is a bloke who keeps chickens and cleans up dog shit'.

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    Replies
    1. I can be a hostess with the mostess
      But I just don't do coach trips with abba lookalikes

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    2. Whoa, stingingly judgemental!Get down off thy elevated steed and just do it! You never know, you might actually enjoy yourself. x

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  33. A sense of overwhelming claustrophobia is what I foresee.

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  34. Be very careful and don't rent bikes! I broke my wrist last July 27 5 km outside Stockholm whilst clumsily dismounting my (cursed and evil) bike (actually I was having a bit of a paddy at the time), necessitating an expensive taxi ride to the ER, another expensive taxi ride back to retrieve the bikes, and a painful and expensive 33rd wedding anniversary weekend in a split cast....you don't want to do that! (The ER was actually very nice, the morphine nicer, and chaining me to the wall whilst they set my wrist was even more interesting!)

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    Replies
    1. Right that caps it!
      I'm not coming out of my hotel room

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  35. If you do go, please take pictures of the ABBA lookalikes and post them here, along with your misadventures, so at least we can get a good chuckle.

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  36. I would love to do all of those things, but either alone or with one friend. I totally hear you!

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  37. If you end up on the bus, at least pack a flask.

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  38. Tea, coffee, or something more interesting?

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  39. Don't complain - Stockholm will be fine. But it means you won't be able to use my favourite useful/less Danish fact - their word for bookshop is Boghandel.

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    1. Yegods.
      That's absolutely marvellous.
      My ex mother in law was such a snob I wish I had known the word for her favourite snooty haunt was actually a toilet handle.

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  40. I even take my book (and knitting) to parties these days.
    The more I read your blog the more I realise its "not just me"

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  41. Is this the first time you've accompanied Chris on a foreign business trip? With a wedding on the horizon, perhaps he just wants to show you off?

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  42. I agree with you about group outings. Unless you just happen to sit next to someone unusually interesting and amusing, which is seldom the case, such things can be absolutely dire. Yes, surely Chris knows better than to try and sign you up?

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  43. At each location, why not offer 'John's alternative guided tour'. I wouldn't mind betting there'd be plenty of takers!

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  44. How about taking some of your regular readers along on this trip. I am looking forward to you & Hippo, Tom, Bitch on the blog, Raybeard, Cro Magnon etc. etc. commenting on and interacting with the rest of the party. (Sorry, I have to decline the invitation, I get carsick ;-') )
    Also the blog will need hourly updates, so we, the readers, can cheer you along and keep you sane (-ish)
    love

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  45. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, they're all the same really aren't they?
    Don't you be persuaded on to the jolly tour - wander round on your own, sit in the cafes (coffee costs an arm and a leg in Scandinavia) with a pastry, look in the shop windows and only enter an art gallery or museum if you are absolutely fascinated by the thought,

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  46. I'm afraid I'm with all the nosy readers who told you to go on the tour - because I want to read about it later!! Besides, if you're in a spa resort 2 hours from the city, you can't go wandering far on your own! Yep, take advantage of the spa, then jump on the bus in all your splendor!!!

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  47. Glad to see by the comments that you DO realize they moved Stockholm to Sweden. It would be a shame if you arrived in Denmark and were disappointed.

    I'm with you (or without you)... I avoid those group tours like the plague.

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  48. Stockholm, Denmark .... I'm just glad you're not driving the coach!!

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