Thursday, 25 August 2011

Wales, Hampton Court Palace and a new house

Since my first post, we have had lots more adventures; we have moved into our new home (more about that later) been to Cardiff to visit our friend Kasey and had excursions to Bath, Oxford and Hampton Court Palace.

In the three years I lived in London, I never made it to Cardiff, so when we heard our dear friend Kasey would be there it seemed like a great opportunity to escape our hotel (which had become a prison of sorts) and head west. What a bizarre language the Welsh speak! We had a very entertaining drive reading all the funny road signs and after months of making no sense of Max’s babble Jason and I are now convinced he speaks Welsh. I had a great time exploring the shops in Cardiff (so much better than Swindon) and bought a cute new picture for our wall (you can check out the artist Steve John at: http://www.bang-bang-art.com/page2.htm). Later on while Jason and Kasey headed to the Socceroos game, Max and I went to Hungry Jacks in the mall for dinner.  However, we were a little spooked by all the news of rioting, so after hearing a siren we got scared and legged it back to our hotel.

So far we are not shivering in Shrivenham, in fact, it’s probably a little warmer here than it was when we left Australia, especially at night. I do keep reminding myself that this is summer though.

We moved into our place over a week ago now and I spent the first 24 hours in panic mode. Let’s get something straight, this is without a doubt the ugliest house I have ever lived in. Green carpet, burgundy curtains and a brown leather lounge were never meant to grace the same room, but thankfully, a few weeks later (and a few trips to Ikea) I am coming to terms with it all. In fact, just the other day I caught myself relaxing in my royal blue carpeted bedroom with blue daisy print curtains thinking, this room has just got SO much character.

Yesterday we had an excursion with the other Aussie families to Hampton Court Palace. I was convinced I had been before, but I must have been thinking of another palace (let’s face it, there are tonnes of them here). Unfortunately a lot of the sights weren’t stroller friendly, so after checking out the beautiful gardens and the world’s oldest maze, we had lunch and a few lovely ciders in the sun and took a walk through Bushy Park where we were amazed by the wild deer.


Byddwn yn colli chi ac rydym yn caru chi!

Till next time…  xxoo

Friday, 12 August 2011

Day 1

Well technically I think it might be about day 3 and by the time this is finished and published, it’ll quite possibly be day 5 (it is in fact Day 7!). Out trip started about 7pm on the 5th. After some very difficult goodbyes, Max, Jason and I jumped on a bus to Brisbane International Airport. After a quick trip we arrived with hours to spare and despite having sworn that the Phenergan was for ‘emergency’ use only, within minutes of getting into the SilverKris lounge (the equivalent of Qantas Club for those not in the know) we decided it was time for Max to sleep (in fairness, it was nearing 9pm). I think I walked around 5 kms up and down the deserted gates, before finally giving up and handing him over to Jason, who had him asleep within about 5 mins. We then finally relaxed after a stressful and emotional few weeks with a nice glass of wine!
The first leg of the flight from Brisbane to Singapore was great, it was a lovely modern plane with plenty of space for us all, Max was asleep when we boarded and stayed that way until about 1 ½ before we landed. We were lulled into a false sense of security. This was too easy!
After disembarking we spent 3 hours in Singapore airport, again in the SilverKris lounge (red papaya for breakfast Andrea, yum).  It was Max’s birthday by this stage so I took him for a walk, found a great indoor playground and bought him a Dora camera.  Despite all the fun, he was getting a little hyped up and crazy, so I handed him over to Jason and had a blissful shower, utilizing the fantastic facilities in the lounge, oh how lovely! The second leg boarded and initially all was going well, however the seating configuration wasn’t  great as two of our seats were separated in the middle which meant that in order to access the other side of the plane (and our other seats) we had to take a detour through economy (oh my goodness, it was just awful!). Max slept for about two hours but once he woke up the next 7 hours were torture!  He was hyper, he was bored, he was running randomly through first class… finally with about 3 hours to go he fell into an exhausted sleep and stayed that way right through disembarking, immigration, customs, baggage reclaim until he reluctantly woke up for the drive down to Swindon.
The story of our first day wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the angel of immigration, who plucked us randomly out of the crowd of thousands to ‘fast-track’ through to passport control. Random immigration lady, if I knew your name I would name my second born after you.
Highlights so far
1.       Max being serenaded on his birthday by Singapore Airlines hostess.
2.       Being fast tracked through immigration, ahead of around 1000 others, for no apparent reason.
3.       A punnet of raspberries for less than $2. Bananas for less than 40 cents.
Lowlights for far
1.       Saying farewell to some very special friends and family. We miss you all so much.
2.       Lunch time on business class flight, crying baby, crying toddler, almost crying mother!