Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rewind, Part One

Sometimes blogging just takes a backseat. I'm not sure exactly why but it's become apparent to all that I'm not a holiday blogger. I live in the moment for the time I'm away and pretty much put this baby to bed for the duration. But now I'm home and have been home for two weeks, and I'm still not exactly bursting with the urge to put fingers to keyboard.

Pembrokeshire, the south of Spain and East Sussex were all grand. I've finally finished grabbing the photos I dumped on Roger's more petite, easy-to-haul lappie and installed them on my comparably huge laptop so now I can just share a few images and comments starting with:

Pembrokeshire, Day One

LAX to Heathrow is just a test of one's patience and Virgin makes it easier than many airlines, especially when you can upgrade your seats. Roger's good company but, more importantly, he's a sensible travelling companion so instead of hunkering down for post-prandial drinks and a movie marathon, he suggests the time would be perfect for trying to sleep for a bit since the moment we touch down we'll be grabbing the rental car and aiming it to points westwards. Sometimes the man just makes too much sense. This was our first journey using melatonin and I was feeling pretty relaxed and sleepy so when the cabin lights dimmed I didn't get all jiggy but instead settled down for some rest.

An uneventful flight is a good flight and we cleared Heathrow and were at the Hertz counter in record time and not too awfully tired, thanks to Roger being so sensible. We got to the car and he continued being wise and handed me the keys. He has some real issues with driving on the left which neither of us understands since he is English, so I pretty much am the designated driver when we're in the UK. We headed left on the M4 and got lucky. Traffic was light, it wasn't raining and the green of it all just made us grin and then moan about hunger and how much we love English food (it's nursery food we miss, so shoot us), so much so that we stopped an hour later for a cup of tea and a nibble. To Roger's great disappointment, there were no savoury pies. The menu was all trendy and modern and healthy. hmmmph. A big bonus, though, was my UK mobile phone was still working, even though it hadn't been used in over six months.

First stop on this journey was Kim & Jenny's place in Pembrokeshire. It is heaven. Beautiful, ancient farm buildings hunkered down in the midst of intensely green rolling countryside. Perfection. Close friends, beautiful home, comfortable bed and our very own ensuite bathroom...bliss.

We made this our first stop since we were loaded down this flight with a ton of baby clothes for a wee little girl who had yet to be born. Jane had sorted out a load of hand-me-downs from Sophie and Lottie for Jeni's baby-to-be and since Virgin has a very liberal luggage allowance if you fork out more for your seat, we were hauling all sorts of clobber.

But here we are.

The view from the front 'garden' to the adjacent field.

A good night's sleep...amazing...(is melatonin a miracle drug?) and we woke up at a somewhat normal hour. Young Jeni, her husband Dominic and beautiful boy Iolo (Welsh name, sounds like Yollow, rhyming with hollow) came round for a cup of tea and a visit. Her baby is due any second so we just sat around, chattering and contemplating how life would soon change for the better. Young Jeni is the daughter of my friend Jenny (we don't call her old Jenny). They share a first name since Jeni was born in Spain and that's wot you do over there.

A very pregnant Jeni (with Iolo in the field behind) playing the waiting game.

The most darling Iolo waiting for his little sister to come.

Later in the long British summer's day, we headed over to Saundersfoot for a late fish and chips lunch. Perfection.

Day Two, Still no Baby

Today was our day to share with Roger's sister who lives a bit further east in Monmouthshire (still Wales). We decided to do a round-West Wales drive and just go where the car took us; you know, places like the National Welsh Wool Museum (to quote them, "Discover the Spellbinding Story of the Welsh Woolen Industry"). I don't know if I'd exactly call it spellbinding, but here's their address: Dre-Fach Felindre, near Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire and that's kind of exciting.

After that we went to a corracle museum. I know. Spellbinding. The 'museum' was only about 300 sq. ft. and we had a docent. She sure knew a lot and now I do, too.

And then...this (above). Honestly, I had no idea the day could get this exciting. I am only being marginally sarcastic. This place was fantastic and we were having a great time and good walks in the most beautiful countryside and best of all, Roger's sister was really enjoying herself. She lives alone and aside from a very tedious job, her primary joy comes from her absolute devotion to her LDS faith (um, she is one of those people who when the clean-cut Mormon boys came a'knocking at her door said yes) . We no longer go the religion chat route and she knows it's not a good idea to give any Mormon our address with the advice to stop on by and chat to us. That happened...once. I told them that unless they were prepared to give me their home address and all their contact info, they'd best just sod off. So now we don't go that route because, quite frankly, Roger won't let me. I am fascinated by all things Mormon, but in the tell me more weird things way than the yes faith is important way. Still, we had a nice day together and ended it all with, um, more fish and chips in Saundersfoot. I know, I know, but it was the best and freshest tasting fish I'd had in years. I'm not exaggerating. It was late at night when we returned Yvonne to her car in the mega Tesco's parking lot in Carmarthen.

And headed back to Llandewi Velfrey. Did too. That's where Kim and Jenny live.
to be cont.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I'm back. My bed feels soft and accommodating.

I miss my Mum. I miss my dear friends in Pembrokeshire. I miss being around Iolo and Baby Beti and I miss having a wireless internet connection.

Right now I'm on dial-up. Last night I had an hour conversation with a Charter tech in Asia. Where in Asia I'm not sure. When I asked him where he was he said, "Asia." He didn't like my attitude, either. He didn't like that I couldn't understand but every fifth word out of his mouth. When I asked him to speak more slowly, he pitched an attitude. He was walking me through some bullshit where I had to type nonsensical letters into command boxes. This is pretty much how he instructed me to type 'command go.'

C for Cincinnati
O for Oregano
M for Milwaukee
M for Macintosh
A for Anchorage
N for Nova Scotia
D for Dumb
O for Okeefenokee

Okay, I get it. You can speak English and I can't speak Hindi, but STOP IT. NOW!

That's when I started speaking so quickly that there was no way he could understand me. Yeah, I'm mature like that. He then had to keep asking me what I was saying. I suggested that we start over again and that if he didn't act like a pissed off 18 year old, I would pitch my pissed off menopausal routine. He didn't understand everything I said, but he did get the essence. We started over and got nowhere. So now I'm on dial-up until tomorrow when I will agree to pay Charter more money for a faster stronger connection (with a month to back out) and when I'll also begin to start seriously researching other options.