The Anniversary Easter.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

We’ve had a busy week leading up to Easter. Em had an appointment for a check-up at the hospital in Leicester on Wednesday (19th), and as you’ll know from previous posts, we decided to go away for a few days. It was our anniversary (the big 10th anniversary) on Good Friday, so instead of going away right over Easter, we decided to do it just before.

I think we had very good timing because this is what it looked like this Easter Sunday morning.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

Happy Easter, welcome to spring!!

Anyway, to the adventures of the break. We headed off late Monday morning. We shelved going to the wildlife park at Shepreth for going somewhere else closer to Leicester. We just made our way up to Stamford, stopped there at the local Morrison’s supermarket, then made our way to the Travelodge. We were both pretty tired from having a late night and early morning, so that’s basically what we did for Monday.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

Tuesday we headed over to Leicester and we went to Tropical Birdland, which is in this little village outside Leicester. We were following the signpostings for the place. I swear we went around the whole village before we got to the place! It was a freezing cold morning, around 6-8 degrees, with a slight fog hanging in the air.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

The signs for the place were NOT good. We went in. No one was manning the pay window. I wish we’d sneaked into the place because it was TWELVE POUNDS (for both of us – IE: not each) to get in. There were emus and and owls at the front entrance, here are some pics.

We were only there an hour. We saw everything we could see by that time. I’m sure the place would be nicer in warmer weather and more of a crowd there. There were loads of macaws flying free. Apart from the emus, there were different types of cockatoos as well as a red-cheeked bulbul and a lovely kookaburra. It was SSSOOO cold though. I could see some of the birds shivering! The poor things. Not exactly the kind of weather conditions for these birds. They were lovely birds though. They had a few different types of toucans there with different coloured beaks.

Time passed quickly though and so we left tropical birdland and took the park and ride into Leicester. We went into Primark and had a look around. Cheap jeans man!! Jeans for £6 and £8. Em bought a pair of jeans and a cardigan from there. Then we went across the mall to New Look and got some bargain tops as well. We killed a few hours there. Had a big costa coffee. Em had her decaf cappuccino and I had a huge decaf mocha. Em’s cup was so huge it had handles on the side like a toddlers sipping cup!

We left Leicester and stocked up on supplies at a Morrison’s nearby. Then we ended up on our first traffic jam, going to Morrison’s! We ate there and then had another early night. We had to be at the hospital early the next day and negate the ring road around Leicester.

Next day, we did start to get lost around the ring road. We took a wrong turn and went off track for a bit, but recovered, so we still got to the hospital on time. All was wrapped up by midday.

Then it was off to Birmingham to watch U2:3D. We thought we’d overspent the day before so we didn’t have 2 brass razoos to rub together. I thought I had £10 left though, so I knew we had enough left to have something to eat at a motorway services. We stopped at a services on the M6. I got myself a KFC twister meal, got the money out to pay and then realised my £10 was only £5!!! Em had yet to buy anything!! So we bought some milk so she could eat bran flakes that we bought from home!!! Poor love, I felt so guilty!

We got to Birmingham HOURS early. We tried to negate the city centre (frig me, Birmingham is the world’s scariest city! – to navigate around that is) and stop at The Bull Ring shopping mall, but every time we went by, we’d miss the car parks, so we gave up in the end. We went and parked near the Thinktank place that has the Imax cinema. We had to kill around 2 hours, cos we only had enough money to park in the Thinktank car park for an hour, so we decided to wait until 5.30pm when parking would be £1. The movie started at 6pm, so we had time to get in and park and get into the cinema. It was cold in the car, but the sun was out, so it kept us warm for an hour or so, until the sun started to go down.

The movie was really good. Some really good 3D effects and the sound quality was fab!! It wasn’t like being at a concert as such, and in a lot of respects it was better than a concert experience. I enjoyed it. A good playlist of songs and really well edited together. It was good.

Then afterwards as we exited the cinema, we had to go down 4 flights of escalators! They were SSSOOO fast, I missed my footing and ended up on my bum. I hate escalators. And if they are high and exposed (IE: I can see down either side of the escalator), it’s 10 times worse. These particular escalators ticked all the boxes. And they were fast speed. I didn’t want to get on it when I approached it, but couldn’t see any lift available, so I had no choice. The steps were going around so bloody quickly. I kept trying to step on, but it just was going around so bloody fast. Anyway, I went and still didn’t hit the step right, tried to recover, but just kept losing my footing, then ended up on my bum. Thank God that’s what happened and I didn’t end up falling!! I screamed out to Em, who was already half-way down. Like she could do anything. I felt so embarrassed and upset. I was shaking! I SSSOOO didn’t want to get on the next one. But I had no choice. I was shaking like a leaf. Anyway, I somehow managed to get down the rest of them without any further mishap.

We got to the car and were leaving Birmingham, going round a roundabout. Em almost clipped the side of the car to the left of us, wanting to get in the left lane. My leg started to sting. I’d grazed my leg on the escalator edge! We left Birmingham. Em was tired as hell, so we stopped at a services for a rest. Then later stopped again. She was almost falling asleep behind the wheel! She had a sleep at the next services. We finally got home around 10.45pm. Freezing cold and extremely tired!!

For Easter I had my treat of a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Chew Chew ice cream (which was divine!) with 3 creme eggs, which I dropped into the ice cream every now and then. It was GORGEOUS!!! Our anniversary was quiet, but lovely.

All that scrimping on the last day and we’d been paid early because of Easter and were totally fine!! Damn it.

We’re on day 2 of the trip away and already…

we’ve changed our plans.

We didn’t go to Shepreth yesterday, we just went straight to Stamford. We had an early night which meant I was out of sleep by 4.20am. Today we’re going to Tropical Birdworld. I hope it’s going to be good. I’ll let you know the verdict later. Ciao

The plan of events when we go away

We’re off to a wildlife park the 1st afternoon away. Then a day in Stamford, Oakham and/or Rutland Water. The next day, hospital check-up, then to B’ham to watch U2:3D on Imax. I hope we have a great time. Ciao.

The weather is now meant to be…

pretty pooey for the rest of the week.

I just hope it gets better next week. Em and I are off for a few days next week as an early anniversary present to ourselves. It’s our 10th one! A milestone in modern times. We’re going to Lincolnshire for 2 days. Around Stamford, Oakham and Rutland Water. All our old haunts. We love these places. Not much else to report at the mo. Ciao

Things coming up (or that have been) that are exciting me.

After you see the list, you’ll see I’m VERY easy to please 🙂

Firstly, I purchased myself a “new” used mobile phone on eBay. When I was in Oz, my niece had a Samsung D520, I thought it was a nice looking phone and had the things I wanted to upgrade my phone for – mp3 playing and ringtones, video play and record and Bluetooth. I knew it was a Samsung, but had to check with her what model it was. After getting her reply, I looked on eBay (before that I’d be chasing a Nokia 5200 but wasn’t having much luck getting one for the £40 mark) and someone was selling a used D520 for £30. I thought great price for a well specified phone, so jumped at it. Now I am EAGERLY awaiting its arrival in the post.

Samsung D520

The other thing that is exciting me is the sight of two baby goldfinches in the garden. They arrived yesterday with the regular pair, who I can only assume are mum and dad of these babies.

Last but not least, the prospect of being able to get out and about next week as we might be hiring a car for several days so Em can help out a mate of hers with his computer stuff. Somehow getting around the UK on public transport is just not very appealing. I’ll give you an example why.

We live around 35 miles (around 56 kms) from Cambridge. When we had a car, we might visit Cambridge 2-3 times a year. Needless to say we’ve not been there since being without a car. That journey to Cambridge by car would take around 45 minutes.  That same journey via public transport would take at least an extra hour and cost £40 (around $95 Australian) for two people!! We could hire a car for the day and be able to buy the fuel to get us to and from Cambridge for the same amount of money! It’s obscene!  That’s why we “don’t do” public transport in Britain. Not because we don’t want to, but because it’s a total waste of time and money.

It’s been a LONG time.

Hello Everyone,

I have been away for just over 4 months. I went to Australia and had all intention of writing about my travels in another blog I created called “Return 2 Oz”, but I ended up with the most DISMAL Internet connection in Oz. Let me tell you now, if you are planning to stay in Oz for an extended period, and are looking to use an ISP while there, on my recommendation, do NOT use Brown Bear Internet. I thought it was a good deal. It was $9.90 a month for 160mb of use, then something like 5 cents a MB for exceeding that, capped at $16.95. I thought I wouldn’t go over the monthly usage and I didn’t in the end because it was almost unusable! I would have to dial in several times as I continued to be disconnected after around 3 minutes. And the connection…although I know it’s dial-up and I expected it to be slow…MY LORD, was it SSSLLLLOOOOWWW!! As a consequence I didn’t spend any real time on the Internet when I was there as the experience was just beyond infuriating.

I think I only made one blog entry while I was Oz. Not exactly productive.

As a result, there is much to catch up on. I will get to it over the next coupe of weeks. Not much to report really. I spent most of my time at my mums house just wasting the days away.

The death march tolls…

for the car.

The cars problems have continued. After the last post I left re: the car, Colin tried to sort out the MOT failure points. Namely a hole in the exhaust. Other than that, the car seemed like it was running fine. It seemed fixed. So, he did the repairs needed to the exhaust. We had a chance to re-test within 10 days of the original test, for half the cost. Em took the car to the garage on Monday. The car started really rough, and didn’t want to move and kept trying to cut out. The garage is only 1/2 of a mile down the road – luckily, because it only just made it! It PASSED its re-test, but Em only just managed to get it back to her parents house. So now we are in the position of having a fully MOT’ed car, but still can’t tax it because now the engine of the car has seized. There is no point taxing a car we can’t use. We are not going to have a car for some time to come.

I gave Barbara another lesson yesterday. She is getting pretty good. She’s not scared to explore the PC which is great, because the worst thing you can be when you want to learn to use PC’s is a procrastinator.

My birthday ended up a very low-key affair. Didn’t really do much at all. In fact, I stayed home all day. Mum gave me a quick call, just to say happy birthday. I got cards from my sister Cheryl and my niece Bec, and photos of my great-nephew, Landon (Bec’s son). And I got cards from mum (which arrived about 10 days before my birthday, she likes to give herself plenty of time), Mozzy and Em.

In a few days it’ll be bonfire night, so I’m looking forward to going to Borehamwood for the fireworks there. We’ve gone there for the last few years. It’s a good little display. I say little, but it’s a decent size, and better to get to than Luton’s own fireworks. It’ll be on the night of the 5th.