Thursday, 13 November 2008

Ready to roll!

Well here we go again - all packed up and ready (almost) to roll!

A few last minute things still to attend to; disconnect the car battery, read the electricity meter and put those last few 'personal' bits and bobs away into what we now call the 'store room' aka what used to be the dining room!

Our bags are packed, labelled and ready to go - I've already checked-in online with BA so we have seat reservations and boarding cards; then it's the Fast Bag Drop at Heathrow and we're all set!

So au revoir everyone - we'll see you again in just a few months or so.

I'm signing off my UK Blog now and if you have time, inclination or just want to know what we're doing, just check in to my Aussie Blog - the link is to the right here.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Getting ready........

Well it’s chaos of course – slightly more so this year as we’re renting our apartment out while we’re away so all our ‘personal’ bits and pieces have to be securely stored!

And with only a couple of days to go we haven’t even started to pack our bags!!

It’s that time of the year when nature tells you that there’s somewhere warmer, somewhere else in the world! Here, the leaves are almost completely off the trees now after a quite spectacular autumn and now we have heavy rain and storms to blow the leaf every which way which makes for slippery driving conditions!

As the postman said to me this morning, today isn’t a day to be out and about!! One place I REALLY wouldn't want to be is at sea in the Vendee Globe Race which set off from France yesterday! But if you're interested you can follow the race here.

It’s dark in the mornings too and by late afternoon (often earlier) the light starts to fade and we’re into the cold, dark evenings we just love – TO ESCAPE from!!

Talking to Andrew on Saturday he says the weather in Sydney has been good recently – in the high 20’s – so we’re looking forward to getting some much needed sun on our skins!

Our flight is scheduled to depart from Heathrow soon after 9pm Thursday and all being well we should touch down at Sydney around 6am Saturday morning, local time which is currently +11 hours ahead of UK time.

Yes, it’s a tedious flight whichever way you look at it but with food and drink, a movie or three and a good book it’s surprising how quickly the time passes and then suddenly you peek through the aircraft window shutter and you’re looking down on the dawn sunrise breaking over the spectacular Red Centre - the awesome Australian Outback - and in no time at all you see the Sydney Harbour Bridge below!

Oops did I just get rather carried away with excitement?!

G’day mate!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Democracy at work – UK style!

I'm on a roll now!!

There aren’t too many ‘reasons to be cheerful’ in the UK at present but there is one glimmer of hope I’ve stumbled upon – it’s the Prime Minister’s website where you’ll find something quite special – it’s an online Petition facility; anyone can initiate one but it saves the old system of getting umpteen signatures on a sheet of paper and delivering this physically to No. 10. Remember those days?

I’ve actually subscribed to 2 or 3 petitions since I discovered it – the latest was in response to an ‘alleged’ attempt to increase the charge government make against the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) - which is a Registered Charity funded wholly through voluntary public donations – for their use of Maritime radio frequencies. The Petition actually said:

“As reported in the Sunday Telegraph on the 28th September 2008, Ofcom wants to bring “market forces” into the maritime and aviation communications. The RNLI will have to pay £250,000 a year, and “smaller search and rescue charities fear they may have to close”. This proposal must be rejected wholeheartedly.”

Now isn’t that scandalous?

Well, it seems that ‘government’ is listening and I’ve just had an email with the Government’s response which seems on the face of it to be promising – click on the embedded link to read what they say.

Somehow now I feel slightly more encouraged with the democratic process in the UK!

………..I’m not quite sure how long it will last!!

A day history was made!

Yes, ok – I guess I’ve been remiss lately; no regular Blog posting!

Well, feeling slightly guilty whenever someone says ‘why haven’t you kept your Blog going?’ I’m going to do my best to get back on track. It might not be every day of course but I’ll try to post something I think may be of interest to ‘my readers’ as well as things that amuse, arouse or even amaze me from time to time; topical stuff I guess you’d call it.

It’s also that time of the year again when we start to think about packing our bags and heading for warmer shores Downunder – its quite astounding really as it only just seems like yesterday that we flew back from Sydney although it was actually mid April.

I listened and watched Barack Obama’s victory speech on TV this morning and was struck how what he said and how he said it reminded me of John F Kennedy – I hope and pray that God in His wisdom allows President Obama truly to fulfil all the expectations which rest on his shoulders but I admit to being moved and excited by what happened yesterday.

For sure he faces an absolutely awesome number of BIG challenges but maybe like lots of folks I sense a change for the better. Watching those folks in Chicago mouthing his words ‘Yes, we can’ in unison was quite remarkable theatre, wasn’t it?

Every day, every event is history in some way but yesterday was one of those special days when maybe folks say ‘I was there, I remember what I was doing when the first black American President was elected’ – powerful stuff.

If only WE had inspirational and statesmanlike politicians!!