Wednesday, September 29, 2010

almost time to check out of the UK

and what a busy trip it's been! Since I last wrote we have been to:
Yorskhire, Shrewsbury, Wales, Hereford, Dartmoor and Salisbury before whizzing back to Oxshott. Saw cathedrals, a Benedictine Abbey, the moors, stone bridges and LOTS of caravans.
Here's some photos for you:
 In Mytholroyd (Yorkshire) where I saw narrow boats using a lock (which I had never seen before).

 See, weird things still happen in Dartmoor!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Greetings from Oxshott

hello you lot. What a busy week it has been. We left Peterborough on Monday and came to Oxshott to stay with friends, then spent Tuesday and Wednesday in London, where Robin had 2 presentations. We found a great hotel in Covent Garden - The Fielding Hotel - which by London standards was a bargain at 140 pounds a night. Easy walking to everywhere interesting. The presentations were popular, so let' shope some people sign up for the treks next year.
Didn't do much sightseeing, but I did buy a cardie at Marks and Spencer. And I discovered that almost all service jobs are done by people whose names are probably Igor and Olga - there seems to be an enormous number of Eastern Europeans working in hotels, cafes and restaurants. Except the Indian one I had dinner in last night. Which was rather good.
Anyway, the lovely weather of the past 2 days (it was 25 degrees in London yesterday) has gone and we had torrential downpours today. We are now back in Oxshott in front of a log fire, getting ready for dinner and gossiping.
Today we were fortunate enough to go for lunch with a friend of Robin's dad to the Honourable Artillery club for lunch. A fine 3 course lunch with drinks was had in the grand surrounds - it was set up in 1537 by Henry VIII and the reigning monarch is the Captain. So there. And the splendid rugby field/cricket pitch is rumoured to have been a burial ground in the plague, so any cuts etc that players get when on the field end up septic. Lovely.

Here is our host GT being the ghost that haunted the folly at Painshill where we went for a wander the other day. He never reads blogs so he'll never know he's up here!

TTFN as we say over here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Village life in Peterborough

Here we are Sunday morning, Tony Blair has been on the radio, the Pope is in town and the sun is NOT out.

Yesterday we went to a very thrilling Bronze Age settlement nearby, called Flag Fen.

Once again I managed to get us lost (this time without the help of the sat nav) - we were on the right road but heading in the wrong direction. It was pretty daggy but since I had never seen a bronze age anything I wanted to go. Well, I had seen crappy dioramas in the museum at home about the bronze age, but that was about it.

There was also a peat bog thing inside a shed - does anyone else remember Peat Bog man?
Isn't that exciting looking!! And it ponged.

So only 1 more night on the cold wet Fens before we head down London way.  I'm still appalled at how fast everyone here drives, and I don't get the road system at all. And the roundabouts make me feel sick every time we whizz around them as the camber is different to the ones at home. 

And in local news, some 'yobs' threw a yoghurt pot at someone's front door and busted their letter slot. CRIME WAVE!!

Right then I'm off to drink more tea.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peterborough news

well that must have been the worst flights I ever had. Both were full and rather uncomfortable (about 23 hours all up) and then I had to join the 'I'm not European' queue (which wasted 1 hour and 4 minutes of my life) only to discover that I could have gone with Robin into the UK passport queue and gotten out much earlier. Oh well. At least I made some new friends in the queue, and now I know why people go in the back of freezer vans to cross the border, rather than wait in line.
So we drove to Peterborough, even though I managed to stuff up the sat nav - never used one before and don't understand it - where we had some sandwiches and I had my first bakewell tart, closely followed by my second. delicious.Took the 15 pet dogs for a walk on the soggy paddock, then a drive to the post office and bottle shop, followed by some pints at the pub ( I had halves) and dinner. Then finally a big sleep after being awake for nearly 2 days.
Will get some pics - shame I didn't have my camera for the lovely rainbow over the ploughed fields we saw on the way to the pub yesterday. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

at the airport

getting ready for our FULL flight to London. Yuck. BUT.. we ran into our ex neighbour Geoff who we hadn't seen for a few years so we got to pass the time over expensive beers.
Missy is in the pussy prison for a couple of weeks and is not happy - I am expecting the RSPCA to arrest me anytime now!
The all new Sydney airport has more shops (over priced no doubt) and longer queues but seems much the same as before the squillion dollar refurbishment.

Enjoy the footy finals and I will report in from the mother country later.

Friday, September 10, 2010

almost time for the UK

That's right this time next week I shall be freezing somewhere in the UK. They say travel broadens the mind, but it also narrows the wallet. Especially if you are trying to book a hotel in London. Hey, I just want a room not the whole blasted hotel! Robin thinks in our few spare days we should head for Dartmoor - isn't that where people get murdered? I do hope not.
Meanwhile, I had an eye test to try to find out why I can't see for $hit in my left eye (I have been wearing specs/contacts since I was 4) and it seems I probably have a cataract there which is blurring vision. Great. Oh but it is an EASY operation and you will see better than ever! Yes, but since my health cover isn't sufficient it will cost me about $6000. If I'm lucky. Which I am not usually. And where am I getting the money from? I'm glad you asked. I'll have to get back to you on that. All donations gratefully accepted.
So this week is the first week of my 'between contracts' life. I have: watched next door's tree get lopped and mulched, had 2 eye tests, shopped, done a bunch of stuff for Robin on the GHT website, houseworked, gone back to bed to escape reality, and helped our charming Rotarian dentist with arrangements for their 60th anniversary dinner tonight. Robin has been invited to give a presentation in return for a free feed for the 2 of us. It should be a good evening. But who gets to be the designated driver - I bet it's me.
And of course we finally got our PM (good on you Julia) - unlike Nepal who has had 6 goes now and still nothing.
The best news of all this week is that we no longer have to do hospital visits as both mad nanna and the clumsy neighbour are home.
Here's the tree lopper up the tree and the crane taking away one of the big bits from next door.
Just in from Nepal: 'thunderbolt' has killed 24 goats who were lead to shelter under a tree by 3 people who are now being treated in hospital after the tree was struck by lightning in a hailstorm. AND civil servants participated in a 1 hour 'pen-down' protest about the government (such as it is) being unable to reach consensus on the hot topic of 'Who is the PM'.

Have a great weekend - hope your team wins.

Monday, September 6, 2010

and the fun just keeps coming

now where was I up to before? Ah yes, hospital visits. Well they are still on, but we are hopeful that both patients will be out in the next few days. Both are making good progress and starting to get BORED in their repetitious existences. That's always a good sign. And I for one will be glad to see both of them back home and within 'visiting without a packed lunch' distance.

So, I have now finished work for what may be the rest of the year. Feels a bit weird not having a job but I am sure I will adjust. OOH better already!

On Friday night we graced the Australian Himalayan Foundation annual dinner with our presence. Ran into some of the now ex young boys we took trekking to Nepal many years ago - I'd never get away with giving them a clip over the ear these days! They are delightful young men and it is good to think that the trip has had a lasting influence on them in some positive way. Also ran into an old mate from Nepal (what a surprise that was to see Balaram all togged up in his Nepali suit and topi). Had a leeeetle too much wine so Saturday was a little slow.It was crappy weather anyway so who cares?

Sunday (yesterday) there were big spring winds through town which took out the top few branches of our absent neighbour's tree - which luckily didn't cause too much damage. But it did need to be dealt with, so we called the SES. What a lovely hard working bunch they are. They were out in Neal's yard till about 11.30pm getting rid of the very dangerous bits and now we have some more big blokes with a crane and a giant mulcher thingy. Very loud and exciting. But also quite messy. Sorry Neal if this is news to you but you should read your email more often! Or trim your giant tree more often! and that is just one of the branches. There were plenty more.
Wow just went out the back and there isn't much tree left at all now. How weird.
Well I'm off to check out the crane etc.