The Weymouth Way.

Hmm. What an interesting (if only) adventure that was!

The night before, we were doing some last minute packing, etc, when I could feel my left heel starting to play up really badly. It’s been like it for weeks. The ball of my left heel gets PAINFULLY sore, like I’ve got an Achilles tendon or gout or something. After a while I can hardly walk and look like a hobbling old invalid. Obviously, the longer I’m on my feet, the worse it gets. It can even be painful when I’m sitting if I have no way of keeping my leg elevated or manoeuvrable. I think it was brought on by compensating so much for my right leg when my knee was at it’s most painful.

Anyway, I could feel the pain coming on and went to bed with a dull thud in my left heel. Unsurprisingly I woke early next morning to put my foot on the floor and feel instant pain. “Oh fabulous! Thanks! We’re off to Weymouth today!” I was thinking.

We were up before the crack of dawn at 5am. We were like zombies. We had barely four hours sleep. Well I did anyway. Em might have got an extra hour. We had a cup of tea, got changed, fed the fish, made sure Chris’ food was plentiful and her water clean, then we called a cab.

I was really nervous and apprehensive, partly because I was worried things (the coach, the tube, the train to Weymouth) wouldn’t match, but mostly because my foot was already aching. We were on the coach and leaving Luton airport at 7am. It all looked smooth on the motorway (small mercies) and we ended up at Victoria station in plenty of time. Luckily, as Victoria was HEAVING with rush-hour commuters. We had to wait for the 3rd train to come by before we could even board! We had to change lines to get to Waterloo at Westminster, which was a *little* quieter, thankfully.

We were at Waterloo by 9.10am and the train to Weymouth was leaving at 10.05, so we refueled. We had a strawberry yoghurt each, and Em had an apple (she was extra peckish) and I had a lovely M&S vanilla and maple syrup smoothie.

We were on the train by 9.53 waiting to go!

It was a surprisingly pleasant journey down. The train was really lovely. Comfy, roomy seats, nice staff, a good, clean toilet. A nice quiet carriage, apart from a bloke directly behind us wheeling and dealing on TWO mobile phones. All you could hear when he called someone was him saying “can you hear, can you hear me?” and then him hang up and try his OTHER mobile! God knows what network he was on. A crap one by all accounts! He finally left the train at Bournemouth. Peace, at last!

We arrived in Weymouth at 1pm and the sun was shining. We headed straight for beach front. It was nice. Not as shingled as Brighton, but not entirely sandy like I thought it would be. There was quite a number of people around on the beach for a Thursday and for October 1st. It was a bit mild, around 20 degrees. There were even a few men with their shirts off (all over 50, so there wasn’t really anything worth gawking at!)!

We slowly (we had to, my foot was stuffed by now) made our way to the Premier Inn we were staying at. Em kept thinking we had to be on the road and kept worrying we’d overshoot or go too far, despite my reassurances. And despite me forgetting to take a map to show the way from the station to the motel, we found it easy enough. It was amazingly close to the beach front. No sea views, which I wasn’t expecting anyway, but the beach was only a few minutes walk away. Luckily for me, as I wouldn’t have got to enjoy any of the beach front at all otherwise.

We settled into our room, had a cup of tea and then went to the restaurant next door to eat. It’s a pub food chain called Brewer’s Fayre. We used to go there a lot when we had a car. Our nearest one is not really accessible via public transport, so we haven’t been to one in years.

We filled up our bellies and went back to the room. I was knackered by now. I was tired, bloated from eating, and my foot was at its worst. I stayed in the motel while Em went back off to the town centre for a gander, take some shots and find a few provisions for later.

Having been so knackered sleep eluded me until late in the evening, around midnight. I read from about 10.30pm onwards in the hope it would help me drift off. I didn’t fully wake the next morning until around 9.45am. Once I’d gone to sleep, I’d slept like a log.

With my foot the way it was, I had no plans to do anything that day other than eat! We eventually moved our butts out about midday. Well, I moved mine. Em had already been off and into the town centre again in the mean time. We spent an hour or so on the beach (well, more accurately, on a bench BY the beach), then we went to the Brewer’s Fayre again. Last time Em had a cheese and onion pasty with mash and baked beans, and I had gammon, eggs, chips and peas. This time, Em was going to have the only meal she normally has when we go to Brewer’s Fayre (they’re not normally fab with the vegie meals Em likes, they’ve had the odd thing she likes – like the cheese and onion pasty for example), fish and chips, and I had the most GORGEOUS liver and onions, with bacon, mash and peas, in a giant square Yorkshire pudding! And afters, Em had an caramel apple crumble cake with ice cream, and I had a banoffee waffle with pouring cream. Divine! We were so stuffed (again), we spent the afternoon (and the rest of day, admittedly) in the motel room.

Em was starting to feel the effects of a head cold. I was hoping we could go to the Sea Life centre next door as a last day treat, but of course Miss Tight-wad almost went into cardiac arrest when she heard adult tickets were £17 each. A Sea Life visit was looking VERY unlikely. I felt rested, but my foot was not any better. Miss Cardiac-Arrest had a horrible nights sleep trying to breathe with her head cold.

Last day we had to be out of the motel by midday. We were out by 10.30am and my foot was feeling better initially. We walked along the beach front into the town centre. Looked through some of the shops, realised we had HOURS to kill before our 5pm train, so decided to see a film. The weather wasn’t conducive to being on the beach. It had gotten chilly in 48 hours, and was now 15 degrees and blowing a gale! It was also overcast and drizzling with rain on and off.

We had a fish and chip lunch, then went and saw Creation, the film about Darwin completing The Origin of Species. It was a good film. The plot wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It was quite sad, but wonderfully done. There was a kleenex moment for both of us. Nice bit of irony when we paid for the tickets, little vouchers offering 2 for 1 tickets to Sea Life with a cinema ticket! Oh how I laughed – not!

After we came out of the cinema, there was STILL time to kill, so we wandered a bit. Sat in the local library before it shut, then went to the station just after 4pm. The train was already on the platform, so by 4.25 we were already seated, waiting to get back to Waterloo. Not as nice a journey home. The carriage was quite full, and there were a few Saturday night revellers getting on and off, and the toilet was small and there was urine on the floor – always nice!

We got to Waterloo at 7.50pm and the fun hadn’t quite finished yet. Of course we had to get back Victoria. We were going to go back the way we came, which meant a trip on the Jubilee line to Westminster, and then from there on the District and Circle line to Victoria. Only problem was, the Jubilee line was closed!!! Flipping hell! So we had to change our route. We had to go on the Bakerloo line to Embankment (which is MILES further underground than Jubilee – it’s like a mile just to get to the Bakerloo platforms FFS!) and then from there on the District and Circle back to Victoria!

I was about ready to collapse when we got to Victoria. We had some food there, then got on the coach back to Luton. From there, a quick cab ride back home. We were back at home around 10.45pm and as we were scrabbling for the keys I was saying to Em “I can hear something that sounds scarily like one of our fire alarms.” Lo and behold when we opened the front door, the wailing became louder. Sure enough, it was one of ours! Fig! It took Em a minute or so to turn the damn thing off. Chris was nowhere to be seen. God knows how long the flipping thing had been activated. Hopefully not 15 minutes after we left.

We eventually found Chris cowered under the sofa. Poor sweetheart, she was as jumpy as anything for the next few hours, poor baby girl 😦

A fitting crescendo. Still, it was time away. I was hoping to see a few different birds down there, but all I saw were gulls. Gulls, gulls and even more flippin’ gulls!

Pictures will be put online soon.

Apathetic Lethargy.

I haven’t been spending much time on the Internet of late (as you might have been able to tell). I haven’t even updated my blog too regularly (oh, the irony) recently either.

I’m just counting the days until Weymouth. I didn’t realise until I booked it just how much I’m longing for a trip away. I feel like I’m sort of on hold until I go. Apathy and lethargy (well one could argue I’ve ALWAYS had the lethargy) are setting in and I don’t really want them to.

I suppose the non interest in the Internet is sort of spurred on by my “nothing to report” status. I haven’t really updated twitter or Facebook much lately. I’m just at home all the time, lulling about, doing not much. Maybe I’m just a bear readying herself for hibernation?

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The weather has turned quite cool in the last 48 hours. You can feel autumn in the air. I’m really not ready for it this year! It doesn’t feel like we’re going to have any kind of Indian summer, so it’s going to make the autumn and winter a LOOONG drawn out season to go through. Any other time I’d cope, but this year was such a non-start with summer, I don’t think I’m going to cope well with a long drawn out winter.

Even the things I normally look forward to, my birthday, Guy Fawkes night (November 5th), are filling me with dread this year. I’m going to be 39. Not much to cheer about there, and with no car to get us to a display, fireworks on November 5th are hardly going to cheer me up. This year it feels like the death knell.

Anyway, this has descended into something quite dark (for me anyway) and I just was writing to say I was alive (in theory) but that there were not many creative juices flowing in me lately and that our time in Weymouth just cannot come soon enough!

Outage From Lightning

Sorry if this is looking funny or has typos. I’m using the email on my phone.

Today has been “black Friday” for us. There was a rumble of thunder and a bolt of lightning and then my netbook died. We thought initially that was it, but after an inspection it became apparent there were MORE casualties. We’ve lost the netbook, the Mac Mini, the cable modem, and the wireless router.

So we have no internet, I’ve lost my netbook, but we at least have a backup old style Mac tower.

Sky is now getting £17 a month for a Sky Player package I can’t watch. I’m back to having to listen to the cricket on the radio. Despite the weather we’ve had here, there has been play at Lords today.

Em has just gone off to catch the bus to in to her parents to contact our ISP re: loss of cable modem. I’m sure we won’t get anyone out here before Monday at the earliest. She just called me as I’m typing this to say she’d missed the bus. It never rains!

I’m sure we’ll be able to get it all back over time, but it’s not really something we need.

God damn weather!


Larelle

It Ain’t ‘Alf Hot Mum. Heatwave Alert!

The UK is on Level 2 heatwave alert. I kid you not! This is really real!
Here is the guidelines for the alert levels from the Department of Health.

Heatwave Plan for England http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=16953929&access_key=key-1rzunppkhw94pbd69s8x&page=1&version=1&viewMode=

I was listening to the radio last night. A talkback programme with a guy Em likes to listen to called Clive Bull on the London station LBC. A lady called in talking about the heatwave warning levels. Clive wasn’t sure what the levels represented, so the lady was setting him straight…

She said “Well, level 2 is two consecutive days of temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius and level 3 is death…”. At this point Clive, somewhat shocked interrupted and said, “Level 3 is DEATH?!”

I’m not sure where this lady got her facts from, but level 3 is NOT death! lol She went on to elaborate that she meant “potential of death” – still incorrect. Clive’s reaction to the lady’s interpretation of the meaning of level 3 DID make me giggle though!

It *IS* making me laugh that there is a contingency plan in place for the weather to get hotter than any Brit is used to. Coming from a country where the average summertime temperature is rarely BELOW 30 degrees Celsius, makes the Brit contingency plan seem somewhat alarmist.

LEVEL 3 = DEATH!!!!!!

Be warned people!
LOL

Bafta Television Awards 2009.

From the start I want to say that for £50 a ticket, I hope there were people who had a better time than us!

 

The journey starts at around 12.30pm. I’m tossing up whether to wear my tailored trousers down, or take my jeans and change. I decide to wear my jeans with my trainers (obviously NOT wear my heels – for reasons that WILL become apparent), and carry my trousers on my arm.

 

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Em’s dressed in her suit and the shoes we bought the previous day. She looks fab! (no pic, ‘cos you KNOW how Em is!)

 

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The jacket in detail.

 

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We got a cab at about 12.50pm and got to airport to take the coach into London a few mins later.

 

By 2.30pm we’re at Victoria station. We went inside the little shopping mall there and had something to eat in the food court upstairs. Then we made our way to the Royal Festival Hall where the Baftas were being held.

 

Em thought the best idea was (because the London marathon was also on Yesterday, the route going past the river on the other side where the Festival Hall is – and the nearest tube station) instead of taking the tube the three stops from Victoria to Embankment, we’d change at Westminster and go to Waterloo, so we’d be on the same side of the river as the Festival Hall. Nice idea in theory – but it made for one long-winded journey!!

 

Once we’d come out of Waterloo I needed somewhere to change into my trousers and put my shoes on. It was only when I departed the toilet at the Haywood Gallery opposite (where I changed into my attire) that my trousers instead of being comfortable (as I’d thought when I tried them on on Friday) were in fact LOOSE and prone to fall off me!! As well as that, I haven’t walked in heels in over 10 years and my ambitious purchase (swayed by the fact they were only £7.99) was almost instantly regretted when I realised I’d look like a crippled dwarf trying to walk in my heels! I had lots of steps to negate and all. I wasn’t feeling good at this point. And in the afternoon sun I was getting hot and flustered.

 

I wanted to stay by the red carpet to see the celebs arrive, but I also wanted to get off my feet!! There was no obvious entrance route for us plebs going in with our £50 tickets. I got the attention of one staff member, and he had us waiting for a way to get in for about 10 minutes. I thought I was going to collapse with the pain my legs were under! I kept on having to stand there in bare feet as I just could NOT take standing in the heels.

 

Eventually we were given a way in – right down the red carpet!! OMG! I hobbled down in my heels, all hot and sweaty, pain most likely evident on my face. God I must have looked like a fat ogre! Em went on ahead of me, down the red carpet. Leaving me to walk down it on my own. It was a nightmare!! When I got the end of the red carpet and rejoined Em I was SO pissed off. I said to her “thanks for sticking by my side!” She wasn’t even conscious of her faux par at first. Too wrapped in her own self-consciousness of walking down the red carpet.

 

We get ushered into the hall, and from there we saw NONE of the celeb red carpet arrival! We weren’t the only ones either. Nearly all the ticket holders ended up cut off from watching the arrivals. We were taken to the 5th floor and you could go out on the balcony and look, but all you saw from that height were the tops of celebs heads! You couldn’t even make out who was who!

 

We were there on the 5th floor for about an hour. We had to go one more floor up to take our seats. We were the first in, and the ceremony was set to start at 7pm.

 

We were up in the rafters! I could tell from what we could see on stage that we’d be spending most of the evening watching on a screen. The celebs started rolling in about 20 mins before the start. I saw Russell T. Davies walk in and thought “Oh, well that’s Doctor Who represented then, NO chance of seeing David Tennant now!” But just a few minutes later, I spotted him! He was there! I was in the same room as David Tennant! Even though I was so far away from him, I could barely make him out really. I think Georgia Moffet was with him. What a bitch! lol

 

We kept having it drummed into us that the event was black tie, DT rocks up in a jacket and t-shirt! The man’s beyond reproach! I’m sure he just smiles that flashy smile and peeps go “Aw, go on!!”

 

As it transpired he was there to present an award.

 

Chris Moyles is the un-funniest thing on two (fat) legs! Sorry, I REALLY don’t get him! And I feel like a Nana for saying it, but it’s true.

 

The ceremony ran smooth. Graham Norton was professional and funny. It was good to watch. A great “once in a lifetime” experience, but I will make sure I *NEVER* enter a comp like that again, for fear of winning it!

 

I wish I’d worn flat shoes!! And it really wasn’t the celeb “gawk-fest” I was hoping it would be. The award wins I was happy with? The I.T. Crowd (for Sit Com), Harry Hill (for Entertainment Performance), and David Mitchell (for Comedy Performance). A lot of references being made today about shock wins and the less popular choices winning gongs. It *was* odd!

 

Final thought? I really would NOT have wanted to spend £100 of my own money for those tickets, but the ceremony was good.

Odd Juxtaposing Day.

I feel very drained today. We ventured out yesterday. Got this free bus travel around the region and have hardly used it so far. We just went to Stevenage again. There’s a pet store there that I wanted to go to. It’s quite large and they have lots of small animals for sale. Bunnies, guinea pigs, chinchilla’s, gerbils, as well as degu’s. One of the gerbils looked just like our little Banjie, and he came up to the glass to say hello to me! Too cute. And me and Em were both going gaga over all the lovely CAVEY’S!

Anyway, we didn’t go there for the fluffy creatures, we went there to try and get some replacement equipment for the fish tank. There’s a split in the under-gravel filter and we need to get a new one. Of course they didn’t have one! But we were able to get a replacement glass scraper/cleaner and we bought two tubs of this stuff they are selling, which is kind of like a chewy version of Bonito tuna flakes/Kitty Kaviar. I was really hoping Chris would like it, ‘cos she goes MENTAL over the Kitty Kaviar, but she’s not keen. The texture is too heavy and chewy. It’s not light, dry and flaky like the Kitty Kaviar. She kept investigating it, went to eat it a couple of times, but then stopped. I just don’t think she likes the texture. BUM!

Anyway, while in Stevenage, we checked out Aldi and we got a little tray of mini Ritter Sport’s chocolates. Em got all dark chocs and marzipan, and I got all milk chocs with different centres.

And the local Tesco has an in-store Krispy Kreme counter, so I got my big Easter treat of a dozen original glazed doughnuts!!! YUM!

We went back to Hitchin for a while. We got some flower and vegetable seeds from the 9TP (where everything is 90p – hence the name. Cute pun!) shop. 15 packs of seeds for 90p! Then we got a couple of fruit tree/shrub/plants from another discount store. We got one blackberry and one blackcurrant for £2 each.

Anyway, on to today. As a result of yesterday’s adventures, I feel TRULY knackered. My legs started to hurt before we got home. By the time we were home, they’d died. My feet were aching like mad, and at that point, once I’ve rested, for next 36 hours, I find it incredibly uncomfortable to put any weight on my legs. They just ached and throbbed in bed all last night.

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I didn’t want to put weight on my legs and feet. I stayed in bed until 11.30am, then I knew I had to get up. Luckily I did, as my “friends” had just arrived and left a spot on my underwear – GODDAMNIT!! Just to add insult to injury, they arrive!

So, it’s a lovely sunny day, Em’s just gone off to some allotment society thing at another allotment nearby to join and get some supplies. And two weird juxtaposing events are happening in England today. The Grand National and Jade’s funeral. At least it’s a lovely sunny day for both.

Today is a weird day…

Australian Red Cross, Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

I don’t ever really do this on my blog, but this is an exception. Please, if you can, make a donation to the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal. A minimum donation of $A5.00 is required for online donations. Please donate whatever you can by clicking the link below.

Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

The (Sun) Burnt Country.

Bush fires in Australia have now, so far claimed 84 lives. Scenes like this now shower the Oz landscape once more. Not the image Colin Hay was thinking of, surely, when he wrote the lyrics to Down Under. “Travelling in a fried-out Combi”.

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What makes the decimation and loss of life worse is knowing most of the bush fires have been attacks of arson. When will these people learn? I hope the law that I know was brought into New South Wales under the Carr government still exists and is now nationwide and the culprits get caught and sentenced for what I think is now a minimum 15 year jail term. It is the very least they deserve.

My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones. I hope that soon relief, at least weather-wise, will come your way.

White Valentine’s Day?!

http://www.facebook.com/v/75244359744

Here’s the scene in Luton this morning. Yet more bloomin’ snow. I know I shouldn’t complain. It’s lovely really, and it doesn’t inconvenience me like it does many others. It’s just that it’s so FREEZING cold! But I’d much prefer it to sitting in 43 degree heat, like my family and peeps in Sydney are.

I did some online grocery shopping for my mum the previous day. She had it delivered this morning, Oz time and she was telling it was already in the 30’s, and that was at 8am!! Lord almighty!! So glad I don’t have to suffer Oz summers any more.

Photo of The Day

This pretty much sums up the Brit attitude and APTITUDE for dealing with the snow! The snowmans face says it all!!

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