Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Happy Birth-Week To Me!

It has been decreed that in the wonderful world of me a single birthDAY, just a paltry 24 hours, is simply not enough. Thus, this year I have instigated the birthWEEK, a whole host of festivites over the days surrounding my actual birthday (29th November, in case you were wondering when to send the card/gifts).

Saturday last hubby and I went to Bristol to stay with my parentals. Hubby stayed in with Father and set up the new Setanta box so Father can watch more sport and Mother has to sit in the kitchen to watch Corrie. Mother and I went to the Mall shopping. Fab; I love shopping. And, joy of joys, who should be at the Mall promoting (and autographing?!) her new perfume, but the one and only Jordan (Katie Price/Andre or whatever her name is); although we couldn't actually see her, or her mammoth mammaries, due to the crowds. So sad...

Sunday we drove from Bristol to Hamble to have lunch with my friends Wart, Tania & Penny. Wart cooked us a fabalicious 3-course extravaganza and we were well and truly stuffed by the end. Hubby and Wart's other half Greg went to the pub to discuss my website which Greg is building/hosting (think that's correct). It is all up and running now (, although you may notice some anomalies which I might explain on here at a later date.

Today, Wednesday, I went to the hairdressers and had about 5 inches lopped off the old barnet. Felt like a change - must be old age setting in. Then met Tania & Ange for dinner and a discussion of the latest book club read (44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith) - got a general thumbs up although we all felt like the characters needed more developing. Perhaps that happens in the next book in the series and this is a clever ploy by Mr McCall Smith to get us to buy more of his books...

Thursday, my actual birthday will be filled with eating and pressie-opening; I hope

Friday hubby and I are going to lunch (can you see a theme developing here?) at the Five Horseshoes in Maidensgrove with Granny Rachel and Grampy Gordon, then in the evening I'm going to ZenZeni in High Wycombe with Liz and Brenda.

And Saturday hubby and I are going to London to see the King Tut exhibition - soooo excited! Have seen King Tut in situ in his tomb in Luxor, but am looking forward to seeing more goodies at the Dome. Then we're going to see our friends Kesh & Kate in their swanky penthouse apartment overlooking Canary Wharf - get them!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Chicken-opolis - the end is nigh...

Prepare to shed a collective tear. In preparation for our departure in 50 days time (eek - so much to do!), our lovely chickens Rita, Mavis & Deirdre are due to depart for the sunnier climes of Wargrave - just across the river from Henley. We've sold their Eglu home on Ebay and the 'winners' are coming all the way from Ross-on-Wye to pick that up on Sunday, and on Friday the chooks are going to live with their new family. We've had Rita & Mavis for almost 2 years and Deirdre for about 8 months so it will be a sad day when they lay their last egg and cluck their last cluck at the bottom of the garden. But such is the price you pay when you set off on a 7-month holiday...

Friday, 23 November 2007

Two Steps Forward

Countdown is progressing. It's now 54 days til we leave for our trip. Hubby often says he can't believe we're really going, and I say I won't believe it til we actually get off the plane in LA cos, being the voice of doom, who knows what could happen between now and then to stop us from actually leaving..?

On the plus side, things feel a little more real since I handed in my notice at work yesterday. I only have to go to work 22 more times before we leave, what with a day off for my birthday and the fact that the Library is closed for 10 days over Xmas - HOORAY! I do enjoy my job but the commute is pants. On a good day it takes me about 40mins, although it has been known to take 1hr 15mins. Now, this might not seem like the longest commute in the world, except for the fact that I only live 9 miles from the Library. If (and that's a REALLY big 'if') I were a fit and healthy human being I could run to work and back in the time it takes me to drive... However, a life of eating chocolates, biscuits and cakes has ensured that 'fit and healthy' are two words that definitely can't be used to describe me.

And another plus: hubby has booked the first three nights accommodation for the first section of our big trip. We are staying at the Sea Shore Motel ( in Santa Monica. Everytime I/he says 'Santa Monica' I have to add 'Boulevard' in a singsong voice; that Sheryl Crowe (or is it Shania Twaine?) has a lot to answer for, and hubby is finding it somewhat annoying to say the least. Hopefully it'll wear off soon...

Our house is now being marketed FOUR estate agents in a desparate attempt to find a tenant before we leave. Unfortunately none of them seems to hold out much hope - they were definitely erring on the side of caution and telling us how slow the market is. Doesn't bode well.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

So, there I was in work on Friday bemoaning the fact that I never get colds, or at least not proper colds, the ones that mean you can actually have a day off work without feeling like you're swinging the lead. I tend to get those pathetic little damp squibs of colds which mean you wake up with a bit of an itchy throat or a bit of a runny nose and then 10 minutes later you're right as rain again. Also, have felt hard-done-by cos hubby has had man flu for the last couple of weeks and he had a day off.

Anyway, there we were on Saturday night having dinner at The White Hart in Nettlebed (v.g. food) and I started feeling a bit under the weather (and I was only drinking lime and lemonade so that hubby could have a beerage or two [am world's best wife] so it wasn't like I was suffering from over indulgence in the alcohol department). Woke up Sunday morning with a cold! Hooray, a proper cold! (Must have been the result of drinking out of damp glasses as my Gramps would have said). Spent all of Sunday welded to sofa, didn't even get out of pyjamas until 7pm when it was time to have a shower and put pyjamas straight back on again. And now it's Monday and I had the day off! Yay! Funny how the day has gone by so much quicker than if I'd been at work... Had to walk in to Henley to pick up a parcel from the sorting office. Managed to leave the house just as it started raining (and boy did it rain) so got a bit damp (that should help to sustain the cold for another day or so). Thought arms were going to drop off by the time I got home as parcel weighed approx 3kilos - Xmas pressie for mother as purchased from Ebay (cheapskate, moi?).

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Apologies to Hubby

Clearly hubby knows more about the world of celebrity than I give him credit for. When he read the last sentence of my first posting he told me that he does indeed know who Paris Hilton is. She is, and I quote "that posh bird who's always getting in trouble". Succintly put, I think you'll agree. So, there you have it; clearly my subscription to Hello magazine is not a waste of money.

Am I Addicted? Presume Novelty Will Wear Off Soon

At what point do you become officially addicted to being a blogger (is that the correct name for someone who has a blog?)? No doubt the novelty of this will wear off soon. I do seem to have the attention span of a gnat at times, except when watching any tv programmes re property developing or travel (but not the current series of Michael Palin's travels which I thought was pants. Did he spend more than 5 minutes in any one country?)

Since I posted my last (and first) blog I've been thinking about what to write in my next one (ie this one). Since I last wrote I have watched 2 re-runs of Selling Houses as recorded by the marvellous little Sky+ box whilst drinking coffee and taste-testing all the varities of choc biccies in Mr Tesco's Chocolate Biscuit Selection Box (all good so far, need to taste them all again in order to form proper opinion, although I'd rather shop at Sainsbury's so I guess I'll have to buy one of their selection boxes and go through this rather trying process all over again.) Then I put the chickens away (poor things looked a bit worse for wear due to the rain; unfortunately we have to find a new home for them while we swan off to the other side of the world) and packed up a box of kitchenalia (v fancy word for tea towels and a potato masher) to go in the loft. And all that time I was thinking of the witty things I would write here. There are so many things to tell about the plans that we have made/are making for our trip, such as how we tried to sell our house but no-one wanted to buy it (humph), and how we are now trying to rent our house but still no-one wants it (double humph), and how we found out that our next-door neighbours have sold their house for £20k more than we wanted for ours without even putting it on the market (and they sold it to someone who had looked at our house first - AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!) So, all those hours I have spent taking in every word uttered by Ms Beeny and Andrew Winter about what to do/not to do to your house when you are refurbing and selling it have been wasted. No one wants to live in our house. :(

Do you know anyone who wants to rent an ugly house in Henley?

My first ever blog post!

Ooooo, how exciting. Am techno-person. Have created my very own blog. Clever me. Didn't even need husband to show me what to do. Slightly disappointed as didn't actually want to call my blog 'Did You Lock The Front Door?'. The title I really wanted was 'Are We Nearly There Yet?', but it would seem that someone else has already snaffled that witty tag for themselves. Just hope their blog is worth it. Humph.

The reason I wanted that title is because I'm going to use this blog to document my and hubby's travels, and I thought I was being really clever. Clever perhaps, but clearly not techno-fast and clever. Hence some other blogger beating me to it. Still, let's not dwell on it, shall we?

So, where are you two going?, I hear you cry. Well, how kind of you to ask! We're leaving the UK on Weds 16th January 2008 for a bit of a jaunt round North and Central America, and if you have a passing interest in whether we are still alive or perhaps a little evil hope that we have both contracted beri-beri or been bitten by rabid dogs or poisonous snakes, then this is the place where you can find out.

Currently our plan is to fly back to the UK on May 1st for about a week and then go off to Australia and SEAsia for a few months, although that may change. Even though the return flights from Mexico are already booked we have discovered from past experience that airlines/travel agents are usually more than happy to let us change our homeward travel dates, in return for the princely sum of £50 EACH ("yes madam, that's the admininstration charge" - ah, of course, I can totally understand how it must cost £50 to delete my name from one flight list and put it on another). Hmm.

Anyway, that's more than enough for now. Am in need of a coffee and a chocolate biscuit (or three). Come back soon for more interesting news on the planning stages of this jaunt. You'll find out whether we've decided to pack a plastic plate and bowl plus a set of cutlery, whether my typhoid jab means I'll need a day off work, and whether hubby's trip to the dentist was a success. (Will hubby's teeth look any less yellow so that when we get to the bright lights of LA he can out-shine Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise? [Although hubby probably doesn't even know who Ms Hilton is, let alone give two hoots whether his scale and polish is a match for hers]).