26 July, 2005

I am still here

I feel compelled to write something just to let you know that I am still here. So here goes. B is back and has gone again - back tomorrow night. I am suffering here on my own... I have unpacked most of the boxes, and found places for most of our things, although, we have a distinct lack of storage, and what does look like storage aka one of the built in wardrobes, has no shelves. A trip to IKEA is needed.

In addition to all the unpacking, I have spent the last 3 weeks at work and on weekends working on the house, namely replacing glass which I would have given up on if it were not for dad (and mum providing the sustenance). The glass is all replaced now and after a productive weekend the light is replaced in our bedroom (brought with us from the old place), we have wall lights in the dining room, an austrian blind and curtain material has been purchased for the bay window, a new letterbox is in place, and more of the privet has been chopped down.

We have met the neighbours to the South, and that is another story......

14 July, 2005

On the buses….

Over the last two days, I feel as though I have done nothing but sit on a bus!!! Yesterday, after the day’s conference proceedings, I jumped on the Llandudno Tour Bus, which went around town from the North Shore to the West Beach, which by way of chance is the home of Alice (Alice in Wonderland) and that of Conway. Conway, is best known for Conway Castle.

Conway Castle

Conway Castle

Alice In Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland
Then, in the evening, we had a function (sponsored by Syngenta) out at Kinmel Manor, Abergele. This was a great function, where I teamed up with some fellow aussies from Western Australia. We sat down at a table in towards the centre of the room, when all of a sudden, the MC for the evening announced the arrival of the Ladymayor'ss and her Consort and they came and sat at OUR table! And, what's more, we also had the CEO of Syngenta also at our table! How embarrassing, but it did have its pluses. That is, when it came to getting dinner, we were the first table to go to the Buffet to get served!!!!!

Then today, the day started early with the technical tours and for me it was off to Edgebaston Cricket Oval, where in two weeks will see the Test match between the Australian team and England in the ashes battle, and toDunstalll Park Racecourse. We had an additional stop that was not advertised to Birmingham City Football Club, and wow what a stop.
So, after a very long day, here are some more pics….

Edgebaston strip

Birmingham City Football

Llandudno garden

Rear Grt Orme

12 July, 2005

This must be a dream…

Monday 11th July 2005

If so, please do not wake me up! I feel as though I am in the French Riviera, Monte Carlos or some other exotic location. In fact, in today's welcome by the Lady Mayoress and fellow Council member, we were told that this place is the 'Preferred Resort Location for many Brit's' and it is not hard to see why!

This morning, after waking at around 5.30am local time, I went for a walk along the Promenade. It was already so warm that I went for a swim in the little pool at the Eastern end. Then upon returning to the hotel and showering and getting dressed, I went downstairs for another hearty breakfast before heading to the first day of the conference. You know, what I actually came here for!

The day lingered on and on, and I finally got to meet two of the absolute gurus of the Turf world. They are Jim Beard and Prof. Bill Adams. Two of the worlds most highly regarded Turf Scientists in the world.

Anyway, the day continued on until 5pm, which marked the end of the day, so it was now time to hit the town, beach or what ever. I took the swimming option after getting some more pics of the place. Remember though, it is still daylight here until 10PM! That is, the sun is STILL up, so a walk along the Promenade quite late is very comforting indeed.

So here are some more pics:

Llandudno houses

Llandudno Pier

Grand Hotel from Pier

Grand Hotel footings

Little Orme view from hotel
Orme view from Hotel

11 July, 2005

Pics added, so go BACK!!!

Pics added, so go BACK!!!

Tremendous view

Today, I walked up to the cable-tram that takes you to the summit of the Great Orme. This, at first, looked rather... umm scary, but once we were on our way, it was quite peaceful. It took about 20 mins to reach the halfway house, here we change cable cars, and then about another 15 mins to reach the summit. From here, it is a spectacular view of Llandudno and its surrounds. All I can say is a picture tells a thousand words!!

Llandudno street

Llandudno square

Llandudno shops

Llandudno prom night

Llandudno Prom

Grt Orme half view

Crossing meeting

City view

City views

Cable Tram

What a beautiful day….

The day started with a lovely breakfast, served approximately 2 hours after waking (6.30am). I had orange juice with corn flakes followed with a 2 x Danish Bacon, poached egg, sausage and tomatoes all served with toast and coffee. After which I scurried on upstairs to my room to wait for the call from Australia. And I waited…. Waited and waited…. In the end I called to confirm the number, (previously sent via SMS) and thought to be a fax by some (L). L was rather surprised to hear from me but excited all the same, and proclaimed that she had just seen off the MIL & FIL and was about to call. So I hung up and within minutes, she had called through as promised. After about 1 hour and 10 or so mins, we decided to call it a morning (for me) and a night for her, as there were more important things to do. For me it was to climb the Great Orme, and explore the sights of Llandudno and for L it was a long soak in a hot tub!

So off I went downstairs where I met the lovely owner’s wife. She was commenting to the head of housekeeping to my size (6’3”) and so on, and after about 20 mins or so, it was all about me the colonial lodger whom needed a longer bed! Not that there was anything wrong with my bed (or view) apart from the fact the wardrobe at the end made a lovely stop for my feet!!! So, they decided I needed better and I was moved as a ‘Person of size’! Can you believe it? When I have watched Airlines on TV, they use this line to make a person pay for two seats! I hope they are not going to charge me for two rooms!!! But, seriously though, they are truly lovely people here as they even offered to do my (small) amount of laundry, and I get to use their Internet connection!!!

Why I here you ask? Because the stupid Department of Environment and Conservation gave me a laptop with NO Internet to connect to, bloody idiots!

A comedy of errors…

The day started with fond farewells with Auntie Pat. We walked up to the nearby bus stop and I jumped on the No 53 to Liverpool Lime Street to catch the train back to Manchester Airport. Once on the train, which was full by the way, there were two young girls travelling chatting on how one of them met this Australian guy, “6’3” he was” in a rather strong scouser accent. Anyways, they trying to determine what was 6’3” so me being me couldn’t resist myself stood up and said in my strongest Aussie accent, “about this tall!” They then asked if I was an aussie, (as if they had to ask) and that was about the end of it as the train was approaching their stop.
Next thing you know, we were pulling into Manchester Piccadilly, where I had to change trains (huh) to the airport. Upon arrival, I was informed that I had to go out and catch a bus, which is when I panicked as I had to catch a shuttle to Llandudno at 2.30! Well, out I went and catch the bus I did which seemed to go on for ages. I arrived at the airport at 1.45 and tried to find out where I had to go to catch the shuttle. After looking around for a while, there was nothing to see that might indicate where I was going so I went to the information booth for some help and was told that there were a few other delegates here and we would be called.

Move ahead to 4 pm when there was no sign of any shuttle so we huddled together and decided that we now had to get our own way there. I went off to the car rental people, where 4 of the 5 had nothing and the last had one for 86 pounds. The lady from Sygenta had a driver and a mini bus for 156 pounds and off we went.

After arrival I found the hotel (very VERY nice) and unpacked. I then went off in search of dinner (1.20 pounds of chips) ate dinner, went for a walk, SMS ‘L’ and off to sleep.

Ormescliffe Hotel

101 view

10 July, 2005

while you were sleeping addendum

or should it be 'glass replacement 101'. I didn't get near the privet, and the glass is yet to be replaced in the windows ......

Glass replacement lesson no. 1
Measure the frame for the window pane twice ..... did that to the nearest millimetre for no less than 15 window panes.
Measure the frame from the outside ..... or you will be out by up to 1cm .... and this is where I went wrong.
Have a first aid kit on hand (pardon the pun) .... for the repair needed for the slicing of finger whilst handling freshly cut (and wrong sized) glass .... something I didn't have on hand (pardon the pun), so am now sporting a strip of old flannellette nightie from the rag bag wrapped around finger with masking tap holding it in place (thank you, mum).
Stay calm when all goes wrong (thank you, dad) have a cup of tea and piece of sweet bun, continue to spend the rest of the day chiselling out putty, measure windows twice from the outside and with a metal ruler (dad came prepared, he had a feeling about this job), and if you're as pathetic at the home handyperson stuff as I obviously am, and have a great mum and dad, they will come back during the week to finish the job.

Next weekend ... 'pointing 101' or remortaring brickwork.

while you were sleeping

please excuse me, but I am not sure which email address I am meant to be using to converse with my husband.

B, I must apologise for the dozen or so SMS's I sent you this morning (your night), it was lovely to get your SMS to say goodnight/morning. I did try calling but the number you gave me at the B&B went to a fax machine. I should have tried the mobile (by the way can you please get that 2 card thingy for your mobile) however, I just do not know which number to call. It took me some time to work out the area codes and Miss Jas (the little witch) had left me a wet present on the floor, so that by the time I rang and got the fax machine, and sent the SMS's, I was quite worked up.

Anyway, so far whilst you have been sleeping I
  • have moved quite a few of the pot plants off the front lawn and out back, including the lime, it looks quite good.
  • mopped the floors, I figured if I had to clean Jas's mess I might as well do the lot.
  • got the ladder out and attempted to reach the gutters out front (it looked like rain) but gave up when I realised the ladder was about a metre short and I could do myself an injury.

I am now waiting for mum and dad to arrive so that we can cut down some of the privet and replace the broken window panes. It is not going to be fun, it is a really horrible day, with howling winds that are icy cold. I have the heater on and am huddled under a quilt at the computer at present.

On a pleasant not though, I have discovered that sitting at the computer and looking from this window I can see Centerpoint Tower. Another reason why the Liquid Amber must go.

I will ring you around 6ish my time, I am guessing that they might switch the phones to fax after a certain time. Although could you check the number you sent me?


09 July, 2005

a day of mixed fortunes

Well yesterday, I went down to Furness Vale to visit Gaynor with whom we stayed with last year. Gaynor is a relative of 'L's Manager Ruth. So I caught the train down and changed at Stockport for the final leg into Furness Vale. But, when I got off the train, I knew I had to walk up the hill up a very narrow road and turn at a Y junction but which one was it?? After about 30 mins or so, I gave up as I was getting more than a little and not wanting to get LOST!!!!
When I did get back to Liverpool, I had a 'date' with Auntie Pat to go to the Bingo here at the Retirement Village. It would have been a hoot except for the fact that I had a 'quick' lie down at 6.20pm which ended up being a 2am wake-up!! WOW I must have been dog tired.

Today, in about 20-30 mins actually, I will be off back to Liverpool Lime Street station to catch the train back up to Manchester Airport. It is from here that the conference organisers have put on a shuttle bus service into Llandudno. So hopefully there will be some spectacular scenery that I can get some photo's of. And I promise that when I get to the hotel I will send across some pics!!

Oh, before I go, today marks the return of summer here with temperatures ranging from 26-28 degrees!!!!

08 July, 2005

what happened to summer????

Ok, now some of you might be thinking huh bad luck, but I thought I was coming over to the UK for a summer. But, I am saddened to say it is not the case as it is bloody cold here!
After all of the good news from yesterday with London being granted the Olympics, it went into chaos this morning with the bombings in Central London. Big news over here really, but we were still to hear about it when my brother 'D' called here to see if I was alright! Mind you, Liverpool is nowhere near London!!!!
Today, we walked along the Mersey River where there are about 30-40 bronze statues positioned along in the sand. Very weird really with all these statues either well out of the water, just in or way out in the 'surf' so to speak!!!

Mersey exhib

Pat on Mersey
We also went up to my Uncle Joes place who has recently come out of hospital. After that, we came back to the flat and I had a 'quick rest' which ended up being a full on sleep with Auntie Pat knocking at the door at the time that we were due at the restaurant for dinner!!
After a yummy dinner, I am now back at the flat and about to go and have a well earned sleep.

06 July, 2005

my god it's wet in Japan!

Hi, and welcome to Japan,
I arrived after the night flyer of QF21 to Narita. I was really lucky in my seating, as I changed my pre-assigned seat, in an attempt to get an exit row. The seat I was assigned was 20C (aisle) but when I got onbord, there was almost no leg room as it was up against a wall!! The lovely check-in agent gave me 65K, which was not obly a window seat, but 2 window seat!!! There was a tonne of leg room, even though the child in front was for the most part of the first 3-4 hours, putting here seat up then down then up and then down. Thank goodness her mother finally got jack of it and told her to stop it or the plane will fall out of the sky!!
Looking out the window here in the internet cafe, all I can see is rain, rain and more bloody rain. The approach was almost not visible due to the low cloud (rain) and it was a bit bumpy.

Narita airport
We arrived a little late, even though we left Sydney early. I had a quick look around here for any goodies to bring home, but I will get them on the return I think.
Well best be off for now, and I will add in the pics when I use the laptop so stay tuned!!
Note, Japan time is 1 hour behind!

05 July, 2005

off to warmer climes....

Passport..... Check

Passport..... Check again (I am British too you know!!)

Ticket(s)..... Check

Greencard to exit Australia..... Check

Bags packed..... NO!!!

Well, guess I know what I have to do over the next couple of hours then!!!!!
Well one and all, it is off I go, but it will be a couple of days until I get back (almost) full time online. So until then, it will be a matter of internet cafes and the like. Actually, I recall that in Tokyo airport, there is a nice window view in the Internet cafe, maybe I will go there again whilst I am in transit!!
Hoo Roo until I get to the other side!!!
See ya

02 July, 2005

lost kitty in first time out of the new house....

This evening, I took the trailer we had been using in the move, (which thankfully is now complete) back to the F.I.L!

Upon my return, I was thinking "god am I glad to be home, 'L' was going to have cooked dinner to which we could sit down and rest afterwards...... NO"!!

'L' came out to me with the engine barely turned off FRANTIC......... "she's gone, we've lost her"
Oh god I thought, this is the last thing we (I) need, as on Tuesday, I am off to Wales... Did I tell you I am going overseas, No? I will later...

Anyway, back to the story, 'L' told me she looked EVERYWHERE!! And everywhere included under the new bed (thanx Stevie), in boxes, cupboards EVERYWHERE!!

She had been outside calling her, I went outside call her (god knows why as she doesn't like me, and why would you go to someone you don't like???), and the best I could say to 'L' was "lets not get stressed here (Outright LIE as I was stressed out about how stressed 'L' was going to be!!!), lets just let it go for a little bit, and see what happens.

Well, 'L' had cooked dinner, a roast rack of Lamb, YUMM! But, the stress she was under, and the fact that the new house has a fan forced oven, meant that it was now well and truly cooked and there was no sign of any thing else to go with it (potatoes, veges etc)...

'L'' started to get some rice cooked and some peas, and I snuck out around the block which would have been particularly nice if it wasn't for the circumstances, calling for Jasmine. I even snuck out the back when I got back, with her full bowl of food, tapping the side of it with a spoon which normally gets her into the house double time!!

So we sat down for dinner when all of a sudden L got all excited and asked if I had heard that??? You see, this is new to us as Jasmine has a new collar on with her name and phone number that tinkles a lot.... So I listened a bit, and upset her with all I could hear was a cricket *sigh*
Well after an hour, L was in the rear lounge room and I got an SMS from my friend Josh, the other 'B's brother and went to my mobile to get it, read it, answer it and send it on its way. I thought, I will go outside in the cold (glad to be going to the UK where it will be warm) and have another look, when at the door was our little white ball of fluff sitting waiting patiently to gain her entrance pass. Apart from wanting to kick her to kingdom come (something I would NEVER do by the way) I let her in without saying a word and followed her to the rear lounge. It wasn't until she shook herself that 'L' looked at her and just stared at her for about 20 seconds before realising that she was actually looking at Jasmine. Needless to say she was very happy to see her again, but also cross with the fact that she had gone on her own little holiday at the same time. Tears were now flowing.....

A happy ending after all.

Now, with me going overseas next Tuesday, I am off to Llandudno Wales to attend the 10th International Turfgrass Research Conference. I am going via Tokyo Japan, then onto Copenhagen Denmark before landing in Manchester, where I will go to my Auntie Pat's place in Liverpool. After the conference, I will be going down to London for a couple of days (4-5), and I might catch the Eurostar across to France for a treat before heading back home. Can't wait to get on the plane, but I will miss the lovely 'L', who as we bought the new house, can not come along, but she has until Tuesday to change her mind, so stay tuned!!!

Gotta go and unpack my bag so as I can start packing for my trip hey....

'L'' how can I help.......