Monthly Archives: October 2011
After a crazy couple of weeks we have managed to escape to the coast for a lovely day in Southwold and Dunwich.
In fact I’ve had a lovely day. It started with Richard bringing me breakfast in bed. A wonderfully thoughtful treat.
We love Suffolk and there is nothing better than spending a relaxing day on the coast. The weather was lovely (especially for October) and regardless of the time of year it’s always quiet and relaxing.
It’s been so nice to take in the fresh air, the sun, great food and exercise
I was up exceptionally early this morning (4:30 am) and read about the news of Steve Jobs passing pretty much as it broke.
I obviously didn’t know Steve Jobs but like so many I have been touched by his passion, his expertise and his genius and feel that we have lost a true innovator of our time.
It is amazing and humbling that this one man could have such a profound effect on all of our lives.
I am working hard on a major global project at work and during the inaugural event today I was touched when I heard our key speaker (the Senior Vice President of Marketing), include a personal note regarding Steve Jobs. And he did so with a real lump in his throat and a tear in his eye.
It is both profound and right that Steve Jobs should command such respect from us all globally.
Steve Jobs will be missed and he leaves behind an amazing legacy.
History was written today.
The first week was spent in the UK, splitting our time between home (Essex) and family visits in Devon.Richards mum came up to visit us the Thursday before our holiday and stayed with us until the middle of the first week. We took advantage of her visiting to show her the sights around our new local area and broader afield. She is a fan of the royal family so it was only natural that we took her to Sandringham in Norfolk as its just over and hour away.
We spent a relaxing day in the grounds and enjoyed viewing the house – the trip was different from previous visits as the Queen is having some remodelling done so parts of the house were closed.
As we were in Norfolk we took Richards mum to the Norfolk Lavender centre where we enjoyed afternoon tea and took in all the sensory delights of this true English farm.
On the Sunday we made our was to Aldeburgh where we finally managed to experience the renowned fish and chips. I am glad I only had a medium portion as that left me quite full. We followed this lunch with a walk along the beach before breaking for ice cream and a tour of the Lifeboat.
Monday was spent in the local designer village and although Richard and I had been before we could not believe how long it took to do with Richards mum in tow. She certainly knows how to shop!
Annoyingly we ended up back in the designer village the following day on the way to Plymouth as the jumper I bought in Hilfiger had marks all over it. For what it cost I was determined to send it back and managed to get a straight swap without any fuss (I don’t think the acid ginger queen was prepared to take me on!).
The drive home was ok although a bit busy in places, typically it rained when we hit the south west but thankfully this only remained for Tuesday and the rest of the week was warm and sunny.
I cannot confess to liking the new drive to Devon (or the drive back) as the average length is now 6 hours. Richard is kind enough to drive it most times but it does seem to accommodate most of the day, whatever time you leave!We had the usual run around Plymouth, punctuated with a trip to Mount Edgcumbe and Cawsand with my parents, a visit to the local garden centre and a lovely day in Dartmouth with Richards mum. Of course all the obligatory family visits took up the remainder of our free time as it always seems to.
It was however lovely to catch up with my friends and my god daughter. I have not had the chance to see them since Christmas and I cannot quite believe how much they have grown. My god daughter is now 11 and has started to attend my old secondary school. She’s finding the transition difficult but I must admit so did I. Plymstock is a very big school and daunting when you first attend.
Following the trip to Devon we came home for a day to decamp everything, to give Brandy cat lots of fuss and to pack before heading out to Spain.
Flying out on the Monday was much busier than I expected but it all went without hitch. Richard made the point we have done it so often we are used to it and I guess he’s right.Once again we find ourselves in Spain and I am typing this whilst looking out on the sea with the breeze blowing around us. It’s been a balmy 27 degrees every day and apart from a little haze today it’s been lovely and clear.
We soon found ourselves in our routine of long breakfasts on the balcony, walks along the prom, taking in some sights, siestas, swimming and late al fresco dinners. The resort does not seem as busy as it has done previously but there are still quite a few people here. Mustn’t grumble though as the pool is practically empty – giving Richard and I plenty of opportunity to get in quite a few lengths.
During our first evening we decided to check out a new ice cream parlour which was recommended to us. We enjoyed the ice cream we ordered (although half of mine ended up on the floor!) but the biggest treat was the Mojitos I ordered. It would seem there is either a glut of rum in Spain or all the bars have cottoned onto the Mojito fad which seems to be everywhere. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to try the Spanish equivalent I ordered two Mojitos at a very reasonable €4 each. The barman appeared later with two half pint glasses and announced our drinks with some flare as he put them on the table.
We were a little concerned when the drinks that were made were brown but we realised this was due to the brown sugar he had laced along the top. What we didn’t expect was the kick the cocktails gave us. It was hard to gauge what was in the glasses apart from the brown sugar, crushed ice and what tasted like 95% rum! Needless to say we enjoyed them and were quite giddy when we finished drinkingI cannot remember if I’ve previously mentioned the Germans who holiday in this part of Spain. I find them a curious race and one that’s all to easy to spot… Most German men either have their Speedos pulled up so high they are giving themselves a wedgy or they are striding down the prom in three-quarter length white shorts held up by braces. I have no idea where this trend originates but it’s prevalent in all generations as old timers and guys in their 20′s all dress the same. Can anyone name a famous German fashion designer?
Thursday started with me waking at 7:10 screaming thanks to a rather vivid nightmare. Luckily for me Richard was there to reassure me and cuddle me back to sleep. I am not sure what brought it on but I have a feeling the after dinner orange schnapps might have something to do with it.
This was proceeded by Richard dropping his iPhone into a sink of running water at the supermarket. After an anxious day worrying about how to restore it without a Mac or being able to get it fully functioning (the Home button wouldn’t work and Richards iPhone contains the Spanish version of Navigon which we needed to get back to the airport), we managed to resurrect it. It would seem Spanish sunshine cures all as the heat of the day dried the iPhone out and thankfully it’s working properly again!
Although we have all this Apple kit with us the inclusion of my 3G Kindle has once again proved invaluable. I wish Apple would learn from Amazons business model – a model which means I do not have to pay for any roaming costs over 3G and therefore can use my Kindle anywhere to browse, surf and shop. Admittedly it’s not perfect but for checking the weather forecast, our flights, twitter and the news back home; it is invaluable. I did hear about the new Kindles whilst away but that will take further investigation when I get back.
Now did I tan? Yes and no. I have gone brown in places and I am still white in places but to be honest we are not ones for lounging on the beach so I have come back with colour but it doesn’t look like I have been worshipping the sun (which I haven’t). Actually I don’t have a tee shirt tan but a vest one thanks to the Aussiebum vest I was wearing when we took a stroll along the prom on Friday.
I always find it interesting to be a Brit abroad. I hate being a Brit abroad but feel I fare much better than most of my fellow Britons. If you want to see the worst of the British then stick them in a queue at an airport – people get wound up about the silliest things.
If I learnt one thing from this holiday that would be not to read Attitude or Gay Times on my iPad on the plane – I don’t usually feel embarrassed but the Attitude Sex issues was especially risqué. I am not sure if the lady sat next to me appreciated the content as much as I did!
It’s been a lovely two weeks off and much over due – thankfully I haven’t got to wait too long until I have more time off in November when my parents pay us a visit to see the house.