Monday, May 19, 2008

So where was I?

... oh yeah, that's right. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New job, old place

It really is very strange starting a new role in a place where you've worked before. The pros: you're ahead on how everything works and what your ed is looking for. The cons: that sinking feeling that the office politics which sucked last time you worked there still suck this time round.
Rise above it, rise above it: that's my new mantra.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More on England

Since arriving back in Australia we have been afflicted with the most awful cold/flu for years. Shaun and I have both had it, E missed it ... which probably means he'll wake up fevered tomorrow, the day I'm due to start my new job and when Shaun is bang on deadline.
Anyhow, still feeling very weary and washed out, so here's more pics and fewer words. It's all I can manage right now.

I think we were a little bit obsessed with the loveliness of the garden of our cottage in England. Shaun and I each photographed it on several occasions and when we loaded our photos we had about 30 pictures like this one!

I picked up this sweet little navy duffle coat in the secondhand shop for $5 shortly before we left. It got PLENTY of use! The weather was mighty brisk the whole time we were in the UK.

This house was literally across the the road from where we stayed. Amazing.

Chocolate-box pretty, or what?

This is one of my favourite photos. Across from where we stayed was an old-fashioned sweet shop. I'd been promising him that if he was a good boy I would take him in and he could choose whichever sweets he wanted. This is him moments after making his selection...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jumping the gun

I realised that before I get too far into waxing lyrical about our holiday I really need to write about the getting there. For it was most eventful.

The day we were travelling passed fairly smoothly, you know, just the scrabble to find my blow-up neck pillow (an essential for me) and a dash to the shops for paracetamol, that kind of thing. Our flight was at 5pm, so we got to the airport at a bit after 2pm, checked the bags in and found a sunny spot in the surprisingly lovely beer garden at the airport's pub. We'd ordered some lunch when Shaun realised he'd left his international driver's licence somewhere at home.

We debated whether or not he should go back and get it, because he probably could have got another one in the UK, and we weren't sure if we'd need it to drive in Montenegro anyway. The final decision was that he would run (literally) to the taxi line and if it wasn't too long, hop in one, grab the licence (not that he was sure where it was) and meet me at the gate.
The clock was ticking, but - incredibly - he was there and back in the space of half an hour. One of the major benefits of living almost next door to the airport.
We get on the aeroplane and everything seems fine. Then not long after takeoff there's an announcement:

"Ladies and gentleman, just informing you that we're having a few problems with the inflight entertainment system. We're rebooting it now and we'll keep you posted."

Then another announcement follows:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid we haven't been able to get the inflight entertainment system working."

Shaun and I look at each other in dismay: this is not good.

There were movies shown on the "default" entertainment they could offer, but they were old and boring and there was nothing really suitable or of interest to E.

Twenty four hours.

One wriggling two-year-old.

Twenty or so "presents" from our carry-on bags all presented one after the other to provide E with, ooh, 10 minutes or so of distraction at a time. That, sadly, does not add up to 24 hours.

Then the guy in front of us turned around and complained that E was kicking the back of his seat. I totally understand why he was angry; I would be too. But I was telling E every 5 seconds not to kick the seat. Sigh. The only solution I could think of was to swap seats with E ... so he could then kick the guy's girlfriend's seat.

The real horror (and I am not exaggerating) of the flight occurred a couple of hours in, not far from Singapore when most of the plane was asleep.

There was an announcement:

"This is an emergency announcement. You are required to put on your oxygen masks immediately. The plane is descending to a lower altitude. This is an emergency; put on your oxygen masks immediately."

I'm not kidding.

To say I freaked out is possibly the understatement of the year. I was screaming and crying, going "Oh my God, where is the oxygen? Where's the oxygen?" Of course no oxygen masks had fallen.

It was a very strange feeling to be woken from sleep to an emergency situation like this. Half the plane were, like me, standing up out of their seats, panicking. The rest were laughing.

It seemed like an ETERNITY (but was probably only 30 seconds) before the captain came over the PA and said, in the most ridiculously laidback way:

"Sorry about that ladies and gentlemen, that's just a fault of our automated announcement system and we're trying to switch it off now. There's no cause for concern."

For a jittery flyer such as myself that was it. I switched from panicked to just downright upset. I couldn't stop crying, almost to the point of hyperventilating. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I was so distressed.

I thought we were all going to die!

Anyhow, a hostess did calm me and brought me some red wine. Small consolation for what can only be described as a horrific trip.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


This post is being brought to you through a haze of nausea and tiredness. I'm not sure if it's the jet lag or if I've picked up a bit of a bug, but feeling pretty weak and spaced out. Anyhow, we took trillions of photos while we were away. Here are a couple of my favourites from the first week, which we spent in Suffolk, England.
Shaun's 93yo nan lives in this region, which is why we visited. I'd done a bit of research before we left and booked a self-catering cottage in the village of Lavenham. This is one of England's finest medieval towns. Check it out:

That's the street we stayed on. Seriously. I just couldn't get enough of its gorgeousness!
It really worked in our favour that we visited the time of year we did. Sure, it was COLD but apparently in summer this village swarms with tour buses. I can imagine it would.
The cottage was an absolute dream. This is the view through our lounge room window:

The little one really enjoyed himself being in England ... I mean, ducks, squirrels ... what's not to love?!

Urgh, I'm feeling queasy again ... so I will leave this post here and resume later.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Home again

At 5am today we landed back home in Sydney. Believe me, at that hour it's a blessing to live so very close to airport. We hauled our tired bodies into a taxi and after a big pep talk with E about it still being night-time, one swift nappy change and a quick play with favourite toys, we were all back in our own beds by 6am. Thank goodness it's still dark at that hour. We crashed out till 10.30am and then got up to try to adjust to our timezone.
So tired.
Much, much to tell and photos to show but first I must sleep!...