You can´t take it with you

I stopped posting the weather on Queenies Daily Snippets for a week while Jim and I were in the UK for our daughter’s 40th birthday. We gave up buying presents for Christmas and birthdays a few years ago and instead take them on holiday.  They seem to like this as they can get to places they couldn’t easily afford themselves and as OH and I are quite intrepid travellers they enjoy wandering off the beaten track with us which they probably wouldn’t do on their own.

Ours and thankfully their philosophy is you can’t take it with you, and they would rather enjoy whatever we have while we are all together as it has provided us with some wonderful memories.  This time however the treat was that we would get the tickets for the Harry Potter Tour.

We arrived at Gatwick on Tuesday evening and Kate came to collect us.  She had terrible difficulty getting out of the car park as her power steering had ‘gone’ but she finally succeeded and we made it home in one piece. The following day, her birthday, we went shopping and ended up at a garage because the car was so bad, however after a bit of TLC from Manuel (yeah a Spanish mechanic she uses) we went for one of the best curries I have ever tasted.  Although the restaurant used to be a country pub it now has no alcohol license but you can to take your own which really reduces the bill. We were also eating early as Tilly had exams the following morning but while we were there it did get busy with customers.

The following day Kate and I looked at cars and for a laugh had a couple of test drives. Their Fiesta is almost 10 years old and has had plenty of prangs along the way and is now costing money.  I got the idea of roughly how much a decent newish car would cost but didn’t mention it except to OH.

Friday and we were off to the Harry Potter Studios. Jim and I hired a car for the day but we were able to keep it free for the weekend as the office was closed. When we collected it a little Fiat 500 it looked very trendy with its two tone white and grey leather interior and we thought we had a bargain but it was HORRIBLE to drive and we ended up calling it a skateboard and returning it to the secure pound rather keep it.  It had a mind of its own and kept drifting off to the left.

Ours was like this but grey where this is brown

So back to Harry Potter.  I wasn´t sure what to expect but it was a glorious day.  I assume young children would get bored because there is so much detail to discover in how the films were made, but as adults we were thoroughly immersed and will no doubt be watching the films again.  Some of us for the first time (as I’ve never been a big fan until now).  The birthday girl elbowed her way to the front when invited to open the great doors to the Hall, not the least bit embarrassed as she shared this pleasure with a 5 year old.

I refused to buy her a Hogwarts Sorting Hat but snuck in a  Hermione Granger wand, thought it would go well with the ‘fairy dust’ her boss had bought her along with the bottle of Moet.  She is also as we used to say, her mother’s daughter and like her mother makes endless lists, so she also got a Gryffindor notebook.  The merchandise in my opinion was extremely expensive but you are only 40 once however if you are on a budget I would suggest you don’t stop for a coffee and a cake (silly prices) but take a picnic and enjoy it halfway through the tour or in the huge car park.

Saturday dawned and Kate was in surgery all day so Jim and I put our plan together.  We made a shortlist of cars we thought she would like and that we could afford and tried to not mention it during the evening while everyone was home.  It was hard as we were both a bit excited!  Wonder who she gets being a big kid from?  Anyway Sunday morning arrives, Ashley is given a list of really exciting jobs like creosoting the new fence panels to be getting on with while we just ‘nip to the shops’.

We headed to Slough where there are several car trade lots and gave her the choice of 4 makes and models, the Chevrolet Spark, there were 3 to choose from but all black. The Peugeot 107 several including an automatic and a pretty blue one. The brand new Dacia Ambiance (bit of an unknown quantity) and the Hyundai i10.  She had driven them all except the Hyundai on our girls day out so went for a test drive and loved it.  It was only at this point when we started talking about how quickly it could be turned around and be hers that the tears started to flow.  She really had no idea what we were up to, because she is used to her parents doing daft things just to fill a few hours.


Faster than a speeding bullet, the money travelled from Spain to the UK bank account and she collected her new car on Tuesday afternoon after dropping us back at the airport. It was a great trip even if it did turn out slightly unpredictable but hey we have always been impulsive so why should things suddenly change just because we are old!  And what is the point of hanging on to your money until you are ‘pushing up daisies’ when your family can make the most of it when it is needed.

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10 Responses to You can´t take it with you

  1. missmoonpoppie says:

    You just made me cry….. I’m so so so happy for Kate !!! And the things you wrote hun, are o so true !! Big hug ! xxx

    • Well as Karel said, she is worth it as she wears a Ramones t-shirt!!

      And I added ALL those Harry Potter photos just for you ROFL xxx

      • missmoonpoppie says:

        Karel has a Ramones t-shirt, a Ramones hoodie… Thx for the pictures ! But not to make me jealous 😉 ( I’m never jealous ! ) We have one big-huge priority for the moment and we will not stop till we’re there !!! 🙂 xxx

      • I know your priority and know you will achieve it because it is right for you both. x

  2. Holly, Mark, Megan and Lilly says:

    That brought a tear to my eye, love you both x

  3. Susan O'Gorman says:

    You made me cry. What wonderful parents you are and you were able to enjoy their joy at the “present”.

  4. You are amazing. What a lovely post! I am glad that you had a good trip xxx

  5. Val says:

    Lovely way to spread a little happiness to the ones you love 🙂 x

  6. ceejayblue says:

    Sounds like an eventful and happy trip.

    I agree with the you can’t take it with you philosphy in life. My late mum, scrimped and scraped all her life and wouldn’t spend anything without thinking that she had to make sure we were alright when she died. She bought charity shop clothes (nothing wrong with that but she would never get anything new unless we bought it!) and saved wrapping paper and bits and pieces – just in case!. When she died she left her property to my sister and I and after repaying the Equity Release bill of nearly £40K, we had over £175K to share. My sister got 60% because she was the main carer for mum and I was happy with that till she squandered over half of it on supporting her children who were too lazy to get a job or even help round the house. The money was supposed to be for my sister’s retirement as she has no pension plan, now its almost gone!

    So, I have discussed with my children that I am happy to help them out whenever and lend them money, if I have it, but when we go there will be no cash left as we’ll have spent it! What they get from the house they can do what they like with but I know that both mine will not squander it. If they need a large amount of cash and we can help then we will but it will come out of their inheritance.

    When we go on holiday in September, we will not scrimp on things as in the past, being careful what we spend and worrying that we will run short. We are going to spend, spend, spend! LOL! (We probably won’t go mad but we do intend to enjoy ourselves!). Plus we are also buying things now that we want, not necessarily what we need! LOL!

    I really think that where parents can help out their children (like you with the car for your daughter) and make their lives better it is a wonderful thing to be able to do but where my sister came a cropper was that her children assumed that because she got a large sum of money from our mum, that she was then a soft touch.

    Oops! Didn’t mean to waffle! LOL! A sign of old age me thinks!

    Great blog as usual though and I love to read them. x

  7. trisha says:

    this is a lovely story of your trip.

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