Friday, 25 November 2011

london calling

We've had a very busy week since sunday. Carol drove us, as I said, to Whitby where I spent too much money on a stunning victorian Whitby jet brooch. We walked up to the Abbey ruins and got in free because of our English Heritage cards. Stayed at the Ravenscar Hotel and had a lovely night.
Monday morning we had breaky then walked around the grounds. I want to live here. The moors rolling down to the cliff edge, the crazy wild and cold wind, the sound of the ocean down below crashing against the rocks. My idea of perfection in a location.
Monday we drove to Fountains Abbey and had a wander through the fog encrouching grounds. Very atmospheric indeed and such a huge complex.
We arrived in Harrogate in the early evening, checked in to our little bnb and then walked up the road to "Graveleys" the BEST fish and chips resturant I've been too in ages.

The next day we went and visited my good friend Sonia's mum and dad. They are such lovely people. We had a "light" lunch of soup, quich and potatoes then poached pears with icecream and choc sauce. I think we rolled out of their beautiful home. We then went to art gallery in town that was displaying the viking hoard found back in 2007. Believe it or not we then had tea and SHARED a toasted teacake at Betty's. It was lovely in tea and location and setting-I want to go back next time.
Stayed that night too and the next morning Carol drove us back to Nottingham Train station on her way home so we could catch the train to London for the day.

London train was a very easy and pleasant 2hr journey. Caught the bus to the royal albert hall and then walked alot further then I thought to the hotel. NOT the nicest but at least the bathroom was clean and ensuited. the sheets were clean too. Just full of young rowdy people that thought ringing the fire alarm at 2am would be funny. It wasn't!
We got ready and changed and walked back to the Albert Hall to see the Princes Trust Rock Gala. Overall quite enjoyable. I found Chris de Burg and Pete Townsend living in self absorbed bubbles (sorry fans) and Boy George's voice has not really held up through the years. Alison Moyet sounded wonderful and looked SOO hot. Nik Kershaw (yes NIK KERSHAW) performed guitar with the house band and sang "Wouldn't it be good". I being a child of the 80's was in a bit of bliss while he sang. Voice still really strong- possibly better now.
Tim Minchin (the reason we came to the concert and London) was great. Veryy happy.
Walked back to the hotel chatting with G all the way. After having had dinner before the show and the chill night air I was just really happy. Dont like London though.
The energy is anxious and frantic and unhappy all mixed together and I just felt unhappy most of the time we were there.
The next day we spent at the Natural History museum and V&A. Saw the newly opened medieval and renaissance display at V&A and was a bit disappointed. It used to be crammed full and now its streamlined and shmick and alittle lacking in personality. Why does this happen every time things are "renovated"?
Tired and full of Pret-a-Manger food and coffee we caught the 8pm train back to Nottingham.
Tram then to Moores bridge where Carol collected us(she is wonderful). We got in and went to sleep. I slept right through for almost 9hrs. Sooo tired but a very successful 5 days was had by us both.
Also know that I really dont want to visit London again except for special events. Give me Paris or Whitby or Harrogate!!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Our 1st week in uk

So a while week has gone by and it feels like so much longer.
It's taken about 5-6 days to really get over the jetlag and G is still a bit tired due to the virus he's had.
Sunday we just got to Nottingham sorted and slept.
Monday was a rest day with me waiting for a collection of my broken suitcase and G went to the dr for the virus. It's becoming a habit for one of us having to see medical assistance on each trip.
Tuesday we did a bit of shopping and slept
Wednesday we waited for the new replacement suitcase. It came early and we went for a walk.
Thursday we headed into Nottingham for shopping for boots and a great coffee and lunch at Pret.
Friday we went to castleton and did the Speedwell cave then onto Buxton after a lunch at a pub at Sparrowpit. Went with Carol and Terry. The cave was almost 200 stairs down and up and a little boat down a narrow water filled cavern. Quite interesting.
Sat morning we went to the Bestwood winding house for a look see then a lovely walk to the Bestwood park hotel for a drink and walk back.
Sunday we drove (Carol that is) to whitby. The fog was thick Til halfway up the moors. Whitby was wonderful and the many stairs up to the abbey was worth it. Stayed the night at Ravenscar hotel and had a lovely venison dinner.

Monday, 14 November 2011

The amazing business class experience!

We had to fly the long leg from Brisbane to Dubai in economy. Which was. Fine because we fly with Emirates and Ecomony is as pleasant as it can be. Food not bad and water whenever we needed it. Due to the flights we've been doing the last few years g has been upgraded fro. Blue to silver clad with the rewards programme so in Dubai we went to the business lounge. Big toilets and free food and drinks.
Strange observations in Dubai airport- the ladies toilet had no mirrored benches seperate to the sinks. So when I came out of the loo needing to wash my hands I had to push women doing makeup out of the way.
Also people do not seem to have a sense of space in airports. So many just stop in walkways and don't move to the side. It's a bit irritating.
So after about an hour in the lounge we headed to our gate via the swatch outlet for my ritual of buying a swatch watch each time I fly os. This is my last time doing it. I'll. Be flying the other way from now on so a new ritual perhaps. Got a chrono automatic. Just. Red it resized to fit as its about 3-4 links too big.
We checked in at business class because G the awesome upgraded us to business class for the Dubai to London leg with points we'd earned. OMG. The seats were the flatbed ones in individual pods on the upper floor of the airbus 380. Sooooo wonderful. I actually slept for about 2 hrs.
Food was amazing and served on linen covered trays. Linen napkins in metal napkin rings, proper cutlery and glasses, Verv Cliquot champagne flowing and so many attentive staff. Noise reducing headphones that really worked, tea warm and tasty. All in all I wouldn't have said b4 that the over double cost would have been worth it. I was wrong. There's a bar area with seats to sit and chat if you want. Toilets are bigger and they have combs,razor kits and full size toothbrush kits. I honesty dont think I can fly economy again. That sounds pretentious I know but it was SO different. Just wonderful. I felt less insane when I left the plane.
I felt calm enough that when I got my new luggage off the conveyor belt and found massive cracks in it I was able to calmly report the problem to the luggage people. Hopefully j will get a replacement for the $189 bag as its samsonite so to crack it like they did and leave massive drag marks on the front the baggage crew must have rolled over it or something. Also my moisturisers were smashed because of the cracks/rents. 2 to be precise.

Uk stopover

Such an adventure so far and not even on French soil yet.
This last week has been so crazy. We and I actually mean Chris sold his scooter on tues and then thur night he successfully sold the Fiat. So we had to get a roadworthy fri afternoon amidst everything else. It was nice to sit for 1/2 hour actually so it ended up not being a problem at all.
We stayed with my wonderful mum for just over a week, exploding possessions all over the place when we arrived and mostly cleared up on the day we left. Everyday we drive up to Brisbane from Waterford to spend the days doing soooo much. I also did my lat 2 French classes and thur G spend the day with his wonderful daughter. I got to spend the afternoon with them both and I have to say she is a treasure and a peach. I love her and so love seeing her with G ( & me).
Sat we had a lovely lunch with friends. Booked an outside table at Vagelis cafe (I keep calling it vagina cafe- it does look very similar you have to admit ). When we for there the table was too small and so we HAD to use the airconditioned function room. It was lovely. Food was great, service damn fine and company of the friends that could make it was just perfect.
Dearest Jane drove us to the airport and her plus the Maynards stayed for a short time before we headed through customs. Then a 2 hr wait and we boarded the plane.

Friday, 4 November 2011

one step closer

We have moved and handed back the keys at our place in Bardon QLD. It took about 2 weeks to get everything shipped off, garaged saled, cleaned and packed and now it looks like we've exploded ALL OVER my mum's little house.
Very VERY big thanks go to Mat, Jane, Garth, Shaun, Sue and all our friends that bought stuff.
We have just over 1 week til we fly and have lots of little things to sort and throw and sell.

The cargo box pack was strange. 2 people came and within 7 hours they had packed everything in our house- upstairs and downstairs. It took them then 4 hours to put all items in the container. It felt strange to have an almost empty house and then to have strangers through 2 days later and buying our leftover stuff.

this weekend is our farewell party. then lots of appointments and the flight on sat.
wow this is coming on too fast now......but bring it on