Tag Archives: travel

Christmas comes but once a year..

Long time no blog. Not because I haven’t meant to, or wanted to, or even because I didn’t have anything to say. But more because I couldn’t quite seem to get round to saying it. I think I’ve said this before, the problem with blogging is that when you have things to blog you don’t have time to.  Anyway, I thought I should catch up, before I head off into the wild blue yonder.

Due to being away for Christmas (the first time ever I’ve not been at home, I would have to go to extremes and be on a different continent!) we had Christmas early this year. Twice in fact. Two weeks ago was Christmas number one with my parents. We had Christmas dinner, Christmas pudding, crackers, the tree was up (slightly early especially for us!), we exchanged presents, the whole works. I was thinking it was going to be odd trying to have it early, kinda like forcing it. But it made me realise, its not about what the date is on the calendar, but how you spend the time. That day, for us, was as much Christmas as it could have been. And this year we had cards, and presents, for *us*, together. A real milestone, and the feeling that this was something real, something lasting.

Christmas number two was last weekend, in London, just the two of us. This time we had presents for each other, although not all of Chris’ present made it to London- the entire West Wing box set is a little heavy, so he made do with one seasons worth! For me, the first series of Life on Mars J and some pretty necklaces from Accessorize, as well as some rather yummy posh chocolates infused with Earl Grey tea!!! Tea and chocolate, all in one! I think that was a ‘saw this and thought of you’ moment.. no idea why. With the presents we had mulled wine and Christmas music (which wasn’t quite the same as carols round the piano in Swansea, but was nice all the same), and then a nice meal Ask down the road with bubbly and everything. All in all, I think we’ve done quite well for Christmas so far.

And then tomorrow we fly, quite literally off into the wild blue yonder. Arriving in Nairobi, travelling through the Masai Mara, down to Lake Nakuru in the Rift Valley, and to Amboseli in the shadow of Kilimanjaro, ending on the coast at Mombasa. I’m off to London tonight, and then we fly tomorrow evening, back after New Year. So excited, its just sunk in, I think, particularly when packing last night. I can’t believe any of it, that its finally arrived, this trip we’ve been talking about for so long, that I’m going to Africa. And that I’m going as part of their family, just cos. It still amazes me, that they’re happy to take me with them, to let me be part of it all.

After all this, all that is left is to wish you all a very happy Christmas, whatever you do and wherever you may be. We’ll see you in the new year, and hopefully bring back some photos to share!

Of preaching and needles

Wow, blogging two days in a row.. its almost like I’ve got free time or something. So, other things which happened this week, not course-related.

On Tuesday I went to my first Local Preachers meeting here. Scary or what? No idea what to expect, I’ve met the Super once (when he didn’t know I was me, if that makes sense!), and spoken the secretary on the phone. The minutes had a slot specifically devoted to discussing what to do with me (I paraphrase here). Interesting. The other thing which bugged me a little was the secretary insisting on using titles at all times in the agenda, therefore labelling me as Miss on at least 3 occasions. Those who know me know this isn’t smart. A little annoying, given a) he had no idea whether I was married or single, if in doubt surely even the most trad would stick with Ms? b) Miss always conjours up images of an 8 year old in a frilly dress. That or happy families. And needless to say I’m neither. Maybe thats just me. Hmm.

Anyway, the meeting went well in the end. A friendly, if not large group, of which I managed to lower the average age quite significantly! It was agreed that I could basically take on some dates planned for other preachers, and that they could then come along and observe/help out etc but basically get a day off. I think this idea went down well. There were suggestions of forming a queue. All in all, quite a positive result. Now I just have to remember this whole sermon-writing thing. Gulp.

The other thing that happened this week is I went to my GP yesterday to ask about vaccinations. I’ve not mentioned this here yet, but for Christmas this year we’re going to Africa! Chris’ parents are off on what can best be described as a gap year, travelling and volunteering in various African countries for 8 or 9 months, and are having us all (him and brothers, and me!) over to Kenya for Christmas. Like you do. So, my first Christmas away from home, not just another city, a whole different continent. Never do things by halves eh? But its all very exiting, so many new experiences all at once, but we’re doing it together, so whatever happens it’ll be good. So anyway, I thought I should get some idea of how many times they’ll want to stab me with needles before I go. It turns out not much, 3 in fact, two of which were free and could be given straight away. So in less than half an hour I was in, punctured in each arm, and out again. One more but thats lots closer to when we go, and thats it. The last time I had injections was probably school. I’d forgotten how much the upper arm hurts afterwards, the muscles just don’t like being used right now! Or lay on.

So there, it feels like its been a rather full week. And today I’m off to sunny south Wales for the proms in the park, so if you’re around there I might see you. Just don’t be offended if you hug me and I yelp!

Travellin’ folkie

Two blog posts in a week, wow I am on a roll.. Hmm, maybe not. But everything’s relative. Anyway, I’m just saying hello and I’m ok. Pretty much. This may have something to do with the fact I have one day of work left, then a holiday 🙂 To Canada for a couple of weeks with the parents 😀 This amazing trip was booked over a year ago now (I think, it feels like a long time) and after holding out for a while ‘in case I got a job’ (so we’d know something about the best time/holidays etc) we went for it. And then I got a job. Well, not quite that soon, but anyway. They have to let me go, even mid-newting, cos its booked! Hoorah!

So, we’re flying on Thursday, to Toronto, and then getting on a little (but rather impressive sounding) train that takes us all the way into Jasper, Alberta, where we then spend some time looking round, and going on trips up to pretty lakes and walking on glaciers and so on. Then we go on a bit further west and into a couple of other national parks before ending up in Vancouver for a couple of days. So when people have said where in Canada are you going, there’s not really a short answer!

I’m actually looking forward to it now. Which hadn’t happened up untill an hour or so when I started packing.. before then it didn’t quite seem real, all it was was a time when I wasn’t working. I’ve been too busy and shattered to think about it more than that. But now its starting to be real. I’ve got my stuff (more or less) packed. And found my passport. And when I finish work tomorrow I get to drive home. It will be lovely to see my parents and get to spend some actual time with them when we’re not all really busy, which we don’t get a lot of these days.

The only downside is due to my new job starting part way through the holiday year, I only have enough days for this holiday, and not really anything else. I’ve managed to swing a day off for Chris’ graduation 🙂 but we had to cancel our trip to Scotland which was a shame. But I don’t think there’s any danger of us not managing to get up there sometime. The more places I see, the longer the list of places I want to see seems to get. Maybe its easier to say where I don’t want to go. That wouldn’t take long!

Well, I might manage to pop in sometime while I’m away, but if not, I’ll see you in June!

Food, wine and music.

A joint Christmas and birthday present from one aunt and uncle was a free stay for me and Chris in their flat in Paris. No way we were going to turn that down.. The bonus was that we were there for my birthday last weekend. My surprise birthday present was a meal on board the “Melody Blues” boat, with live jazz as we sailed up and down the Seine. Good food, good music, good company. Very Happy Folkie. Nuf said.

Jazz boat!!




Destination: Anywhere

I seem to manage a blog about every month or so these days. I’m not quite sure when life got so busy, or maybe its just that I don’t feel that whats happening is worthy of sharing. I don’t know. But I thought I should pay a visit and try to get myself back into this blogging thing. I do miss it.

So anyway, whats new you ask? Thats just it, I don’t know. And when you get out of the habit of blogging regularly, you feel like you have to have something amazingly earth shattering to say or it seems like an anticlimax.

Well, I’ve had a busy couple of months running up and down the country.. feels like I’ve not really been at home properly at all! Since my last blog, I’ve had… a weekend in London with my parents, seeing the Renoir landscapes exhibition in the National Gallery, and the Watersons in the Albert Hall… a lovely long weekend in Paris, with (partly) glorious sunshine (and a fantastic thunderstorm thrown in for good measure!) and good company :D, a good mix of sightseeing and sitting around doing nowt 🙂 … and a weekend at home for my *youngest* cousins wedding! A lovely service in the Catholic Church I went to as a child, and glorious weather all day. A nice chance to catch up with the family, aside from the ‘you’re next’ comments (err, not just yet I’m not!). Add to that three trips to Birmingham for various SCM stuff, at least two (unsuccessful) job applications, a Local Preachers meeting (as a visitor, not quite that mad yet!) and a fair amount of working, and you don’t get much time leftover. Phew. I feel tired just thinking about it.

And just to keep up the trend, I’m away this weekend in Sheffield for the SCM summer gathering, where I get to hand over my responsibility (and maybe swap it for a different one..) and see this delightful (!) city for the first time. I have a feeling it won’t be the last. Day off tomorrow, I might manage to breathe a little before I go off again. I’ll try to stop by a little more regularly, feel free to prod me if I dissappear again!