Sunday, February 27, 2011

How can Feb almost be finished?

Strewth, didn't that go quickly!If I tried to tell you all this week's goings on it would take forever.
Robin has now left Ghunsa and is headed for Kanch Base Camp area. The weather is pretty damn cold but luckily they've not had any rain so far. There was snow on the ground but nothing falling on them as far as I know.
Everyone seems to be going along OK, but then again it has only been about 10 days and there's 147 to go for Toni and Greg who are going for the lot. Better them than me. Oh and they had Goat A La Mode the other night. My favourite, as you all know...NOT.
Meanwhile I have been toiling away at the office, trying to get our collection figures down even though it seems that nobody wants to pay anything. Some days all I seem to do is leave messages for people who never call me back. Perhaps they like getting increasingly stern voicemails - maybe they get off on that sort of thing. I mean, you never can tell these days!
I've been keeping myself entertained with, among other things, the XBox we got with our new telly. It came with some stupid car game thing, but also a thing called Kinect Adventures. It's like a video game I guess (stupid old fart doesn't know anything) except that your movements are on the screen - like a WiiFit so I am told. Anyway, I was playing a stupid stand up rafting game jumping around the loungeroom and treading on the cat, but at least I didn't break any priceless Ming vases - mostly because we don't own any!
So then I decided I would buy the Zumba disc - remember when I had a go at Zumba last year? Well I got it home and unpacked it, moved one of the chairs into the hall to give me room and off I went. Ha ha it was so hilarious - and after the first 'dance' or whatever I had sweat running off me. Puss came to investigate and promptly sneered at me and wandered back to her bowl. I did one more then had to rest. For several days. Such fun and much cheaper than a stupid gym membership. The bonus is that nobody else can see how ridiculous I look, or how I keep getting my feet mixed up. Hand eye co-ordination was never my strong suit.
Last night was my nephew's engagement party so off I went, crystal wine vessels in hand. Met some of my sister's friends I've not seen for decades, and all us old gits hung around the back moaning about how the music was 'ours' (Village People, Cindy Lauper, Tina Turner etc) and they should get their own. It was very Bankstown Sports Club 1979 except I wasn't tanked and I wasn't dancing. And my goodness the dresses - I've got larger handkerchiefs! Good luck to them  if they can get away with it, but here's a tip girls - wear something short if you have the figure for it, but don't keep tugging at the hemline trying to get it longer...

Here's some soggy Blue Poppies in Bhutan for you. Have a good week and try to be nice to everyone - even the idiots at Town Hall station who barge past to get on the escalator or into the train. It's probably not their fault they're so ignorant.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lovely day to walk to Chiruwa

So Robin tells me anyway. They got to their destination yesterday in good time and were able to have a swim in the river (very briefly apparently!) before  10 hour sleep.
Today they are headed for Chiruwa, where they will be in a gorge and possibly out of phone range.
For anyone who doesn't know the area, here's a link to a map of Kanchenjunga. They started at Taplejung which is on the left hand side, inbetween grid G and H. Follow the dotted yellow line (the left hand side one) north and you will see where they are going. Sorry the map isn't very large but you should be able to make out enough detail to follow.
Welcome to my new follower Don - I hope you enjoy.
I think it is time for me to head to the swimming pool - it's way too steamy here now and I can't be bothered doing any more jobs. I've already had my bizarre visit with mum today and think I need to float for a bit to recover from it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The GHT is underway at last

I spoke to Robin a few hours ago and the happy trekkers were just emerging for breakfast in delightful Taplejung before loading up and heading off towards Kanchenjunga. The weather is OK and the views were, apparently, quite good. However the road from Bhadrapur was awful and so they had to travel very slowly. Well, they won't have to worry about that for a while now.
I am doing weather reports once again, and it looks as though although it will be very cold, there won't be any snow or rain at in the next 4-5 days. More than that I cannot say.
Here is an article from the Nepal media about the trip.
I still don't have the info about the BBC Radio interview with Jo Jolly - perhaps she's run out electricity! Everyone else there has by the sounds of it.
Those of you who haven't signed up for Robin's GHT newsletter won't know about the gofundraise site, where all donations for the GHT will be sent.
Also, World Expeditions will be doing a blog based on sat phone calls from the guides - first cab off the rank will be Brave Sir Robin. Click here to check it out (though they've not got anything at the time of this posting - but it should be there in the next day or so).  
Meanwhile, the life of a city office worker continues for yours truly. Had to do the grocery shopping at the Village of the Damned this morning - always so enjoyable.  Yesterday one of my mates at work got handed this menu for a local Indian restaurant and I couldn't resist this - though I may never actually order it.

Time for more hilarious house cleaning.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And they're OFF!

Robin and his band of happy trekkers flew safely to Bhadrapur today and are currently on a very wiggly road for a 2 day drive to Taplejung. Better them than me.
Yesterday in Kathmandu was the official launch of the World Ex GHT trip, and here is a press item about it. Robin also did a radio interview and TV interview with Jo Jolly from the BBC - when I get details I will post them here.
If you sign up to his GHT website you can check out the newsletter and sign up for the next edition. But of course you will also get the news here.
Meanwhile puss is being just too naughty for words, and tomorrow the Super-whatever-number-it-is Rugby starts, with the Tahs up against the new Melbourne team whose name I cannot recall. But I shall be enjoying it across the road as per usual.
The funniest thing this week was on Valentines Day. My boss Jeff was going to buy his wife some flowers - we tried to talk him out of wasting money on flowers and going to Tiffany instead - he could always pinch some flowers out of a garden on the way home we reasoned. Contrary to our very sensible advice, he purchased a bunch of flowers, which he proudly told us was 'a bunch of gerbils'. Imagine.... ha ha ha.
Time for a refresher in this heat methinks.
Stay tuned

Saturday, February 12, 2011

home alone 2

I survived the first week of being 'IT' at work, relatively unscathed. And now I'm all alone except for Princess Lakshmi the Wonder Cat.
Robin narrowly avoided excess luggage charges on Thursday and had, so he says, a rather uneventful trip to Kathmandu. With a BIG sleep in Bangkok on the way. Last night he went to our local and I'm still waiting to hear who was there and what the gossip is. Though as it's only early Feb I doubt there's much going on as only crazy people are in Kathmandu this time of year.
The powercuts are 14 hours a day now in the 'du so Robin was scrambling to get some work done when I just rang him, as there was only 15 minutes of 'bhatti' left.
Mum got out of hospital today and seems rather cranky - about life in general I think. And she is being difficult to deal with and insists on putting everything down the bottom of cupboards, shelves etc - it's driving me nuts. So I told her if she falls over bending down to get things don't ring my phone asking for help. She doesn't even want to eat vanilla slices anymore, and Di told me mum only weighs 45 kilos. That's considerably less than either of us!
So tonight I have been invited across the road for dinner, only they forgot to buy chicken for me so I have to BYO! Better get going and make something.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Finally cooling down....

 I give you Exhibit A - the fridge magnet yesterday afternoon at 4pm. PHEW! Then the hot wind got stronger. Luckily we were headed across the road to our charming neighbours who have air con. But best of all was the pool party. All 6 of us were sitting on plastic chairs, with our feet in the 3 inches of water in the kiddy pool, drinking champagne. So classy! And eating chips and dip. It was better than all of us trying to squeeze into the pool. The southerly buster never happened, and we suffered the warm nor'west winds all night. Of course, by the time we staggered home at 11.30pm the house was like an oven - even though we left the doors open (or perhaps because we did) and the ambient temp had dropped to a beautiful 30 degrees. So another night of sweating profusely and another morning of sheet washing.
This afternoon I whipped up a Jamaican Jerked Chicken marinade from this wonderful website. That is now festering in the fridge and I'll let you know after dinner tomorrow how it tastes.
I'm taking this opportunity to remember a friend of ours who succumbed to the heatwave last week. Glenn was a big guy and had some health problems in the last few years but we sure never expected this to happen. OM my friend. I do hope it isn't the start of another year of final goodbyes.
I'm off to enjoy a cup of tea without melting for a change. robin is off on Thursday so I'll keep you posted on all his adventures. I'm not doing his logistics now as visas are too much of a hassle - staying here to rebuild the bank account is a much more useful way to spend my time. So I won't be seeing him for maybe 5 or 6 months. Think of all the chocolate I can eat in bed!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Feelin' hot hot hot

That's what it is in the kitchen right now  @2pm. And the sun still hasn't hit the back of the house properly. There is a delightful hot wind that reminds me of Delhi last year, so the doors are shut which means no hot wind comes in. It also means no air comes in so I expect to suffocate very soon. Robin is busy working away on the website in the front room, and I have been trying to distract him to get the curtains down so I can wash them - no luck there I'm afraid.Will have to wait till after he leaves on Thursday next week.
Remember I mentioned last time that I was dyeing my hair? Well it has been SO hot all week as you may know (over 30 every day for 6 days and not much less at night). I was lying in bed trying to sleep, without much luck I might add, sweating all over the sheets (now I know how the Shroud of Turin was made!) when to my horror I saw that my lustrous Violet Vision has leaked all over the once white Egyptian cotton sheets. Oh dear...Don't they look delightful.
Brave Sir Robin has been busy accumulating gadgets and the like for his trip and just took delivery of a Kindle and a new iPod nano - it is SOOOOO tiny. The Kindle is a ripper and he has lots of books on it that he never had time to read - frankly if I had the time I wouldn't be reading most of what he put there but it isn't mine so it doesn't matter. It is seriously funky and I think he will enjoy not having to lug heavy books or read the same things 10 times over on a trek!
Meanwhile I have been enjoying the daily commute on unairconditioned trains with squillions of sweaty workers - it really puts me in a bad mood. And of course there are the lovely summer outfits. Saw one yesterday that was just awful - large round young lady about late 20's. Spartan sandals that wrapped right around her ankles, chopping her off. Knee length tights, chopping her off. Short dress with belt around the non existent waist, chopping her off. Poor girl looked like a string of sausages in a frock. And don't get me started on anybody who wears stupid cut-off denims that are so short the pockets (or something else - eeewwww!!!) hangs out the bottom. I can't imagine that they are cool or comfortable, and they aren't much chop of a look. Still, perhaps young males like the look....
And poor Princess Lakshmi the Wonder Cat just wonders when she won't be melting in her fur coat.
But at least we have avoided floods, fires and cyclones here in Sydney. And cold snaps, and earthquakes, and revolutions. So you so see, it really could be worse. Try telling that to Robin at 3am when it is 26 degrees C and we don't have air con in the house...
Stay comfortable and dry wherever you are on the planet.