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2019 - August Pre Holiday Catch Up

The Return of the Blog.

What really is blogging? Does it mean different things to different people? What does it mean to me? What does it mean to anyone reading this?

This blog seems to have taken on a life of its own. I am still astonished by the number of people reading it. I am not talking millions of people but far more than I would have imagined. I think that most people just dip in and out, but what surprises me is that they continue to do so despite it not being updated between trips. I have even had a suggestion that there may be some interest in getting it ‘published’ (Ed - we really must find time to have that conversation soon).

Anyhow the Blog is back which must mean we are now about to embark on another trip. This time it is a 3 week road trip starting in Seattle, through many Cities, even more National Parks and Lakes, culminating with a weekend in Las Vegas before flying home. If we don’t deviate off course or do any sightseeing then the route alone is about 2000 miles. Karen has been really looking forward to this trip, me less so. I know I’m strange (in more ways than one), but I have been really enjoyed the summer weather so far at home. Being able to sit outside in the garden as well as going out and about in the warmth is something I cherish. Plus there have been so many summer events that we have been too and thoroughly enjoyed. It has been lovely even for a short period having Karen not working meaning we can do things together during the week.

It is nevertheless a sad truth that I have been more excited about our next Florida trip in October than this one. Thats due to three reasons though 1. It’s Florida! 2. The weather will be grim at home at that time yet glorious there 3. Barry & Ellie are coming along for part of the trip (Neil is unsure if he can make it, but we are all really hoping he will join us as well).

I expect though by the second day of this trip I will have chilled into it.

One of the reasons Karen has been especially looking forward to this trip is that we have been quite busy. Actually that would be a massive understatement. For the past four days I have been up at 6am in order to cram everything in. That is really my fault. I think I am finally realising that I do struggle with doing nothing or having nothing planned . I’m not sure if it is that I feel guilty about doing nothing or whether sublimely I think that since retiring that I don’t want to slow down. I know I feel Life is for living and I want to make the most of it whilst we are both fit and able to do so. We had a run of about 10 nights out on the trot which was rather over the top, but I didn’t plan it that way. It was very enjoyable though.

I know that I actively enjoying the company of others and getting my strength from all of them. This why I like meeting up regularly meeting up with a very wide range of people. Trouble is I do perhaps try and fit too much in. Karen finds it harder to make herself meet up with people but is getting better at it. Her worry is that she is taking up other peoples time without realising that other people will appreciate and enjoy meeting with her too.

We have tried to catch up with all family and friends since we got back from Japan. I have been with Barry & Neil to see see the Yankees play the Red Sox at the London Stadium and last week took them watch the Ashes at Edgbaston. Barry & Ellie have been on a Scandinavian adventure (read their blog which I think is much more entertaining than this one!). I have also tried to support Barry through a job change which now sees him commuting to Yarmouth each day. Neil continues to be a man of mystery with his comings, goings and plans. We don’t mind what he does as long as he is happy.

I have some more reviews published for the EDP which I have enjoyed doing. It amused me last week when a friend started telling me about a review he had read in the EDP without realising I had written it. However the writing for my ‘book’ has not progressed. In fairness I never anticipated doing much whilst the weather was good, but it has been many months since I put in real effort. Time is obviously one issue, but not the complete blocker. As Karen says ‘You always find time for something that you really want to do”. So what is it? I am now finding it easier to write and am getting more confident in doing so. I think it comes down to two reasons: Firstly I want to do the story justice and want to do it myself. Secondly I still don’t know if I am a natural story teller as such, which is what this needs. I think I can do the Fact part but trying to turn that into Faction requires creativity that doesn’t come naturally to me. But I still have every intention in completing what I know will be a very long task.

Well that’s enough catching up and introversion for now and so onto this trip. The first day will follow shortly. But the day before we left was quite a day in itself. As our flight was out of Heathrow we had been keeping an eye on the proposed industrial action by some of its workers. I kind of expected it to be cancelled but then before we heard it actually was happening. About 1 in 7 flights were cancelled and Virgin said they were moving some flights to depart from Gatwick. I kept checking online and ours didn’t seem to have been impacted but there was an advisory to get to the airport extra early. We contemplated driving down the night before but we didn’t think we had enough time to do so and so agreed we would instead be on the road by 5am. When I completed the Online Check in I had a message flash up (incorrectly as it turned out) saying our flight had been moved to Gatwick. Minor panic about car parking and implications ensued. I then had an online chat with Virgin who confirmed the message was wrong and we were still scheduled to depart from Heathrow. So we all went off to a rather nice and chilled BBQ at Graham & Jo’s. On the drive home we got a text message saying that all airlines would only be accepting minimum hand luggage to reduce the queues going through Security. Everything else would need to be checked in.

So after Karen had had her nails rather professionally done by Ellie, a frantic repacking exercise took place. Karen had just finished this when we got another text message that the strike has now been suspended! What fun, and boy was Karen happy!

Oh and the bloody mole is back in the garden. Neil is on mole watch whilst we are away.

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