Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hurray, a day off. Tourism here we come!!

Immy and I spent/wasted the whole of Saturday zooming here there and everywhere around the Manly area looking at houses yesterday. They have an odd system here that you can't just got to an estate agents, look at house listings and then go and take a looke around, decide you like and say "yep, I'll take this one". Oh no, that is far too inconvenient for the precious estate agents, after all, all that show people around and actually earning a living might get in the way of Doug their nails and choosing sharp suits. So instead you, as the punter, are required to come along to open house viewings at times that suit the estate agents. Except the only time that suits them is a Saturday. And because they have so many properties to cover in the same day (because they couldn't be bothered all week) you only get a fifteen minute window to look at each before the agent locks and scurries off....whether you are finished or not!!

Well here's an idea people - meet people during the week, or spread the opendays through the week so that a swarm of 50 people don't have to race across town all day trying to fit in all the viewings...and usually missing half of them.

Anyway, with that tedious day behind us, and too tired of house hunting to start again this morning we decided to be tourists for a day and headed to Sydney Aquarium. And it was cracking!! Yes it was just another city aquerium with loads of big tanks, walk threw tunnels and a penguin enclosure like so many other such places. But there were two things that really caught me.

First was the way the place was 'constructed'. The main entrance, shop, cafe and smaller tanks were all on the quay in Darling Harbour. However the two major exibits, which were huge tanks containing sharks in one and Dugongs in the other, were two huge barges with the big tanks entirely self contained. Genius! It appears a great idea to me because it saves loads of space quay side but also allows the aquarium to have third barge off somewhere else being prepared for the next display (if they ever change them that is) and just towed into place ready to go with minimum disruption to the service. That's brilliant in my book.

The other was the dougong tanks. It was great to see these creatures, the possible presence of which had plagued a project of mine in UAQ. But what really amazed me having seen these creatures in the flesh was the theory that they are the source of the mermaid legends.

I mean, how long would you have to be at sea, and how despirate would a sailor have to be for a bit of 'companionship' to mistake these huge lumps of blubber for the beautifully nubile mermaids we see depicted in Coppenhagen!!

Or maybe it says a lot more about the sort of women the sailors were leaving behind....I mean...dougongs have WISKERS!!

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cravings....nooooo, no cravings here

They say when girlies get pregnant that they get cravi gs for odd stuff. They also say that girlies MAY become a bit emotional unbalanced and given to getting upset at the strangest things or people mentioning their cravings,....which they don't have. Nor do their cravings change from one day to the next.

In fact I have theory that cravings (if they were to exist) arnt in any way linked to any need from the baby for certain things for growing etc. Instead they are a need by the mothers brain to test the loyalty of the husband.....and how far his patience can be pushed by demands for Jaffa cakes and poppdums at 10:45pm......while in China town.

Last week it was (or wasn't) salted crisps and hot chocolate.

And in case you are wondering yes, I am writting this while wondering around the supermarket looking for that perfectly normal combination if poppdoms and Jaffa cakes.....

I usually like to include a picture of some sort which is somehow linked to the post you are reading....but as i found no trace of the Jaffa cakes or the poppdoms here's one of the beach we went to earlier today.

That is the beach with the crap cafe that doesn't do jaffa cakes or bloody poppdoms either!!

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Ey Eyhab, here's to your dreams!!

Well the weather here in Sydney has finally started to break which has had two very favourable results. The first being that the humidity has started to ease (although not quite completely yet) and secondly there are some pretty darn impressive storm clouds rolling across the evening sky last night when we went out for awalj about. This of course gave me fantastic photo opportunities.....just when I didn't have the camera with me.

Still I had the trusty iPhone so had to rely on Chase Jarvis's maxim of the best camera is the one you have with you. And I promise, this is the actual shot with actual colours....there has been no Photoshop jiggery pokery here.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good morning Australia!!

After a lovely few days back in Dubai saying good bye to all our very good friends in Dubai (I won't go on too much with a long drawn out good bye, our friends know they are great) we set off for Sydney.

The co-pilot adopted her usual strategy of sleeping through the safety video andwaking up as we landed in Sydney - yep she slept for almost the entire 13 hour flight but then I guess she is sleeping for two isn't she. I tried to play catch up and downed the sleeping tablet at g&t and managed 8 hours followed by two movies and we arived in Sydney to start our new life down under.

The serviced appartments we arrived at prooved to be a reminder of how spoilt we are in Dubai with regards our expectations from hotels, the place more closely resembling a travel lodge/student halls than the luxury establishment promised. And being in the heart of china town we were able to spend our jet lagged evening listening to police syrens, drunken revellers and stuff getting knocked over, nit to mention the two drunks we had to dodge pasted to get into the hotel. Still, we didn't leave Dubai to experience the same stuff so while it was a litttle disheartening at the time at least it made fore something to mention here.

So at 6am this morning we have decided to abandon all hope of sleeping and got our selves up, threw back the curtains and greater with the glorious sight of Darling Habour shrouded in rain and blanketed is a uninterupted abundence of grey

Those who know of our previous adventures in Sydney will know that this is out seventh day in Sydney in the last 18 months......and our 7th day of rain. Don't be fooled by the tourist blurb. To quote the co-pilot's embracement of the Aussie lingo "Oi Steveo, it's on blaady pissin' Down again"

So starts our adventure....

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Need a weee

Day two off the rest off our life....and we are off to the Doctor for poking, prodding and a scan to establish how long ago the deed was done.

The co-pilot was initially checked out by the doc then it was off to the clinic for a scan and she was told to drink at least 1.5l of liquid before arriving. So at 9.30am this morning We arrived with CPs bladder fit to burst and praying we weren't sat around waiting too long. And thankfully it was a very slick in and through to the change room

And with the sexy gown donned we went through to the darkened room with the big TV and lots of probes and tubes of jelly where CP was strapped down and...

[Stop being silly Steven, and there will be absolutly NO discription or photos of that bit!!]

:Yes boss

Well, moving swiftly on, the scan went well, if a little uncomfortable looking and it would seem we are definatly going to be parents, and CP is now keeping our 5week and 4day old peanut warm!! And it has a heart rate of 97bpm

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oh my god!!!

The co-pilot and I have had a little bit of a shock this week and as they say, a picture tells a thousand words so here's a thousand.....summarized in one clear blue word:

We don't know how far along it is or anything other than The Co-pilot went for a wee and everything changed from there!!

We are off to the doctors tomorrow to be checked out and hopefully get some kind of educated guess from the Doc on how far along because all we know is that we had 'that chat' and decided the Co-pilot would stop taking the pill five weeks ago, and now the clear blue says we are more than three weeks gone but no more details than this space.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

The final leg

Well after a few days rest in Nantwich recharging our batteries we went back out into the wilds of the British winter and headed up to Gala'...because eveybody knows Scotland never gets bad weather in winter....don't they?

And as expected the weather was awful, snow relentless and the GPS useless, taking us off the A7 onto icey B roads presumably because it was half a second quicker.

However it was great to get up there and visit Oliver and Charlotte (oh and Fran and Simon as well of course) and Imogen got to chat and catch up on 'news' (not gossip of course).

The snow and the commencement of the thaw and melt also afforded some great opportunites for photos

[pictures to follow once I get to a computer]

The trip back down was equally interesting as the thaw water flowed across the roads causing some interesting cornering corections. Still once we were on the M6 the co-pilot soon settled in to enjoy the rest of the trip.

I have to admit that while I might refute it around Ashley, Scotland is a beautiful place, with dramatic scenary and great landscapes.....I can understand why we British took it off the Scotts!!

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Battling our way to Hastings

Well we survived the channel crossing in force 7 winds by varied tactics; The co-pilot eating a breakfast the size of her head then strapping herself in to sleep, me by keeping busy with JAmy's wedding photos and trying to avoid noticing the 45 degree angles we were pitching at*

We eventually arrived in Portsmouth, engaged the GPS and set off for Hastings....and the promptly ignored the GPS as it wanted us to go west towards Plymouth!!

As we headed east we very quickly realised that the weather forecasts we'd been reading all week might not be as far off the mark as we expected and so we were pushing on through a winter wonderland to visit the McInnes

But as we pushed on our determination was meet with an equal determination on the part of the weather combined with lack of determination in the part of the local gritter driver who presumably lived along the A22 towards Eastbourn because that was as far as the road clearing seemed to extend and we were left to soldier on by ourselves.

So it was that an hour later and three complete road slides, one roundabout dodgems and a hill that nearly beat us that we finally made into the lovely Edwardian Hastings and Chez McInnes (more commonly known as the crumbling mansion) where we were greated with a warm welcome, beer, bangers and mash, far too good a whisky and a comfortable bed for the night (thanks fellas)....there might have also have been lots of rubbished talked as well, but it too late and boozey to recall.

Next morning we were up for a hearty breakfast (including home made choc spread on saucages) and then off up to West Hill with the sledge and snowboards!! Could life get any better for a couple from Dubai who hadn't seen real snow in years.

And sillyness aside I was reminded of why the UK does have some great sides. Where else could we build a snow ramp and we, as well as a load of other complete strangers, get together to watch Mr J and Mr McI as well as a loonstic sledger attempt to jump far enough to seriously injury themselves followed by a mad kid with a dangersous combination of summersault skills and no sense on self preservation. It was loads of fun and killed an entire afternoon. [Action shots will follow tomorrow once editted]

A few hours later we retired to a local cafe for food and hot chocolate....all except Mr J who had his food so cruelly stollen by the co-pilot.

Sadly our time in Hastings came To an end way too soon and we had to be on our way to Worcestershire. Thanks to the McInns for their hospitality, Mr J and Eva for the company and their combined kids for their patience being photographed constantly. And no thanks at all to Mr Gritter Driver who still didn't seem to know of the existance of ANY of the roads in to this really what I don't pay takes for!!

There are some days that make Britain seem great!

*Editors note - I think you might be exagurating a little there don't you? No!! It was bloody near capsizing

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm not taking like a paper cup...

Well, we made it through quite a lot of snow and Ice and road gritters and we are now in Caen. We arrived at our selubrious hotel which was located in an industrial estate.

We were so inspired by the decor (based on crap student halls I am sure of it) that we immediately headed out into the snow again to take a look around Caen and find food.

And our search ended at that international symbol for kwality and valu.... Mc Donalds!! And you know what, pulp fiction is right. You can have a glass of beer with your meal....and I don't mean no paper cup, I'm talking a glass of beer!!

Although I think a combination of the cold and the beer might have gone to the poor co-ilots head:

I'll say no more.

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Just another winters day

Well it's another morning and the co-pilot and I were awoken for the first time in the last month by that indignaty of the working masses - the alarm clock!!

Now normally we would tend to stay in blissful slumber until we ran out of sleep whereupon we would prise our eyelids open in our own sweet time and make our way to the sofa for tea and toast, with phillip scofield for company.

But not today, instead the alarm was set for the ungoddly hour of 6.30!!! And after turning it off (while questioning it's parentage, suggesting it could retain water on a river and that it should go on a journey involving sex and travel) I rolled over and went back to sleep....only to be reminded 5minutrs later how well my wife knows me as her alarm went off, I didn't know she'd set that but she knew I'd turn mine off. Cowbag.

So it was that 40minutrs later we had vacated our hotel room, scrapped the ice off the car (which started like a dream despite her age) and we braved the frozen roads of the Caen Perry Fairy Kay (as the SatNsv insisted on calling it).

The ferry terminal is unsuprisingly empty and the crossing predicted to be rough (7-8 winds and the Tricalor was standing full to attention) so we had a breakfast in port, took a quick look at the white horses breaking just outide the harbour and decided to retire to our cabin for a bumpy ride.

Now a word here to the gritters and keeper cleaners of roads in the UK. We have managed to drive from Trgiuer to Caen along a combination of major and minor roads with the ground around all crisp and even and not a hint of ice in the roads but plenty of 'le gritters' in l'operation.

Even thus morning at ungodly o'clock all the main roads were clear, although we did gave a moment of automotive Torvin and Deanism across the car park access road. Now as we cross from the frozen lands of northern France to the wastelands of Britain-cum-artica I think back to what the news has been showing if a UK struggling and grinding to a halt and I wonder if the old girl Toyota is going to be able to get us through our gruelling schedule of friends and relations visiting....I suspect there may be troubles ahead.....

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Imogen Enjoys a nice bit of Black Cock

A regular reader (if the blog ever had one) will note that there has been and extended abscence of posts. This is due to the fact the the co-pilot and I have been busy with leaving the UAE, Christmas and New Year. But fear not!! I have a back log of things to blog and now have blogger on my iPhone so can start blogging wherever!! So I thought I start with the bottom of the barrel and work my way up. ;0)

The Co-Pilot and I are currently in France visiting the In Laws for a belated Christmas get together. As this is our last day here we have decided to make roast dinner for our hosts. While wondering around the Super-U decideding what meat to go for the co-pilot got the giggles and her mind was made up....we have to have a nice big 'cock noir'

If there is something garunteed to make a girl happy it's a nice big black cock!!

Happy New Year!!

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