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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Oscar's first trip to the pool

We have just gotten back from Oscar's first ever trip to the pool! It's been a bit cold and rainy this weekend, but the pools were indoor and heated, so it was quite warm when we got there.

Initially we took him into the baby pool. I'm sure mum and dad can guess his first reaction - he kicked around like he was in the bath :) However after a bit of that I think he realised he was somewhere different, and spent the remainder of the time studying everything he could with a detached expression of mild curiosity.

The pool we went to has these weird mushroom things which rain water down, and he rather enjoyed that. It also has a sea creature which sprays water from it's head and he really tried to grab that water, even though it just made it spray into his face :D

After a bit of a play in both the baby and the kids pool (he was a bit weirded out by floating I think) we changed him, wrapped him up and he instantly fell asleep. He's still asleep now that we're home :)

We didn't take any photos at the actual pool, but there are a few shots of his cute little outfit on flickr and facebook, so check them out :) He looks very tall in that first one..

Friday, 28 August 2009

Kerkyra, Greek Island

Our second-to-last day in Kerkyra today -- we fly out at 6am tomorrow morning -- and we're at our first Internet cafe, trying to operate a Greek keyboard and drinking a tasty local beer ("Mythos"). It's been fun, relaxing and very hot, even with a pool at our doorstep and a coastline full of various beaches. When we get home I'll try to upload some photos!

One slight problem with our flight tomorrow morning, of course -- we don't have a room tonight! Standard practise for this particular "package holiday", apparently: we checked out today, and a bus comes to take us to the airport at 3am tonight/tomorrow morning. Package holidays from Britain are not all they're cracked up to be, that's for sure. No wonder the Brits are always complaining...

We flew in a week ago, and we're bussed from the airport to our "resort" -- and the word "resort" has to be in inverted-commas for the simple reason that it was the most basic room and facilities any of us (Dee, brother Chris and I) have ever seen. Including the complete dive we stayed at in Amsterdam! Two narrow beds for Dee and I and a camp stretcher for Chris; empty cupboards without handles; an electric hot-plate which electrocuted me twice; undrinkable tap-water (so they say -- we've been boiling it and it tastes fine); a smelly toilet (you don't flush the toilet paper here, but rather drop it in a bin... good practise for China, where they do the same thing).

But on the positive side: a balcony with an awesome view across the ocean to the Greek mainland; a bright blue pool for early morning dips (and you need 'em, it's 36 today); friendly (enough) bar staff selling cheap Mythos, Ouzo (more about that later) and chilled local wine. So, despite our dismay at finding neither drinkable water nor anywhere to buy some we arrived at 3am on the first night (again, the package holiday standard) we were all feeling positive when we woke late the next morning.

And overall it's been quite a positive stay! We hired a car from the very start, so have been able to explore the island -- from Canal d'Amour in the north to the seedy little nightclub town of Kavos in the south -- and find some really good beaches (Issos -- seems to be the locals hangout). We drove one day into Corfu Town, the main metropolis, and almost drove off Mount Pantocratos one day too, but mostly we've just been relaxing. We're all kind of keen to get home now, however -- the heat gets to you in the end, and we're all brown enough (even after putting on sunscreen twice a day!).

But yes, photos and maybe a little more detail when I have longer on the Internet!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Please Help Me

Can you please help me with an assignment im doing on the globe theatre and romeo and juliet?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Crossbows and winos

I wandered down to the Tower Of London from work one lunch-time last week, planning to mingle with the tourists and pretend/imagine I was one of them. Instead, I stumbled upon a demonstration of archaic weaponry! (Hopefully you can see the video above?)

Last night we had a nice, grown-up wine-tasting session at Vinopolis, a massive wine centre near Borough Market. We started with a "How To" session, where the most patronising (matronising?) woman I've ever seen outside of a kindergarten children's show taught us the basics of wine-tasting (hint: don't just knock it back in a single gulp, then belch loudly and ask for another). *Slurp-slurp-slurp* "Can you hear the noise I'm making, children? Can YOU make a slurping noise too? Big slurps for Madame Winey, that's riiight."


When M. Winey had finished our lessons we were let out to play with the other kids. We walked from table to table, exchanging tokens for tiny glasses of champagne, chardonnay, pinot noir, then onto reds: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, rioja. The tables were arranged by theme -- usually location, but there was a "premium" table all by itself -- and our tokens gave us 3 champagne tastes, 5 wines, 2 premium wines. To round out the reds, and because 9:30pm was approaching, I swapped two of my tokens for a tiny glass of madeira -- a bit like port, and delicious! Sweet and honeyed, with hints of burnt timber... or so I deluded myself!

It's not the amount of wine (as each glass was a mouthful at most) but the fact that you're sucking air through your teeth and coating your tongue with the stuff. So we were all feeling pretty "mellow" by the time we walked into the Bombay Sapphire Bar for a complimentary gin cocktail (I had a delicious one made with pear-juice ... but I like gin. Dee had a different one and didn't like it!)


So after all that you might think we were done for the night. You'd be right, but we still had two free tastings of rum to get through! Actually, that's not quite right -- we had two rums each ... but as you might imagine, some people (*cough*Tina*cough*) didn't actually want their rum, so it was more for meeeee!

(I think the major enjoyment I get from drinking rum is pretending I'm a pirate. Considering all the wine, gin and champagne I'd already consumed, it was just lucky for everyone that I didn't actually start singing a sea-shanty and hopping around on a wooden leg. "Yo-ho-ho an' a bottle o' rum!")

Anyway, I've just uploaded the pictures from this, and the weapons demonstration, to the ever-entertaining Life In London photoset!

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Hello from Korea!

It took us a very long time (7 hr flight to Dubai, 3 hr stop-over, 8 hr flight to Korea) and we were all tired by the time we got here. Fortunately, we were met by two lovely Korean lads with a sign (as you can see) - they even pushed our luggage trolley for us. It was hot and humid, so we waited inside until the bus arrived to take us to the hotel.

There were some hassles with check-in - we'd been put into twin rooms so Lea was sharing with a spanish woman we'd not met. Unfortunately, we'd been put into smoking rooms, so they STANK!! peeeewwwwwww!! We asked to change rooms - Becs and I were moved straight away, but because Lea was sharing with someone, they said she needed to ask her "room-mate". No one had her number, we'd not met her and it was all becoming a bit much for us to deal with - especially after no sleep for 24hrs, so I asked if we could get a triple room. After much to-ing and fro-ing between the hotel and the organisers, they put an extra bed in with Becs and I and we're all sharing. Gareth is still sharing with a spanish man who doesn't speak english, but he said it's all fine. :-)

I've got more to tell about the Korea Science Festival, but I'll leave that until next time - hopefully I'll be able to get online again while I'm here. I'll just say that I'm keeping busy - not much time for sight-seeing yet, but we're going on a tour tonight. :-)

Hope everyone is well.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Photos photos everywhere, and all the boards did shrink

For those of you who have been waiting patiently for the photographic evidence of our trip to sunny (actually quite freezing cold) Bendigo, here they are in all their glory. We took a lot more, but trust me, these are the best ;)

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Happy Birthday Cheryl

Happy birthday beautiful!

I would have posted this yesterday but we were in transit.

And so ends the triumvirate of birthdays ;)