Sep 30, 2009

Mind you own business!! and pick up your Poo!

No pictures or else I may be sued for slander.. Gary and I were taking our constitutional yesterday afternoon and as he does, he has to stop and do his business. I stand, pooh bag at the ready, waiting to pounce when suddenly I hear a window opening and a blind being drawn. A middle-aged black woman sticks her head out and cackles at me 'pick that up!’ I turned around livid because I quite obviously have a bright green bag on my hand ready to pick up at a moments notice. 'I always pick up...what do you think this is?' shaking my bagged hand at her! 'It's the rules you know' she continues....(if you are a regular reader you'll know I already have a problem with people who don’t pick up) I turned again to face her and told her in no uncertain terms to mind her own business.
I then picked up the poo...and carried on back to the apartment...It was as I was walking back that a thought occurred to me...what if she was a crazy with a gun...being English I don't really think about these things, but hubby says I should always think hard about who I'm prepared to piss off....oh well I'm still here now, but maybe I'll avoid walking by her apartment for a while!

Sep 29, 2009

The Sebel Hotel, Mandurah, Western Australia

Catching up with all my blogs after being in Australia feels like a big weight on my shoulders, but I'm gradually working my way through them.

Last time I worked in Kwinana, Nr Perth, Australia,  I stayed in Perth driving down everyday.. Kwinana is not the most picturesque area, and its accomodation is limited to the Kwinana Lodge Hotel, where the rooms look like prison cells and I imagine I'd get called Sheila, and a request for a G&T would receive blank looks...

Whilst my hotel was modern in Perth and had all the amenities required, there was no parking and this poses a problem when getting home in the evenings.. So this time I decided to stay in Mandurah at the new Sebel Hotel by Mirvac and drive up to Kwinana everyday. What a good decision (pats self on back) and at only AUS$119 (approx $100) a great deal. If you every find yourself working in Kwinana, stay here. In fact if you ever are visiting this part of the world, stay here, it's that good. These were the views from my room ( and I didn't pay for the sea view - all views look out on water)

And what was my room like you ask?

A snazzy bathroom, office space and flat screen - can't really ask for more!

So all checked in and very happy with my room I decided to take myself on a walk around the vicinity. OK so if I had a free million I'd consider buying around the marina here. Really tastefully done and the views are to dies for...and still just about affordable...They have laid it all out in a canal style with moorings...very nice
Views on my walk around the marina

The weather looks nice, but this is early spring and soon the skies darkened and it was time for a glass of wine, so I headed back. Just by the hotel I saw this lovely weed...I wouldn't normally photograph weeds, but I thought this was beautiful. Even with my Blackberry I managed to capture it's beauty (I think) let me know if you know what it is!

Back a the hotel and I wasn't in the mood to venture out too far for dinner. I'd missed lunch and was starving. Downstairs was 'M at the Point' restaurant. ' Unique Modern Australian cuisine that may include anything from a wagyu beef burger to a delicious gourmet pizza.' was the description...sounded good to me!.

I love eating fish in Australia and had the fish of the day...not sure what it was called but it was delicious. Served on a bed of roasted potatoes and a creamy sauce, I soon polished the lot. I did make a mistake in ordering the roasted vegetable side dish as it was so large - enough for 4, but again yummy. Recommended. Not the cheapest, but the food was  note worthy.

Bye Mandurah, I'll be back one day!

Giving up smoking...

This blog is for my friend, who knows who she, so doesn't need naming and shaming. Actually there is no shame involved as slipping back into smoking is so easy. I was really proud of her earlier in the year as she had given up after being a puffaholic. After a recent relapse I have been investigating some tips to help her get back on track.

It seems there are two factors that will determine wether you will suceed in giving up...

Will - You must have the desire to give up your habit of smoking and create a strong will to avoid a smoking relapse.

Mindset – You must learn about the effects of smoking, understand its consequences and face the fact that you need to stop smoking and follow, finish and maintain a quit smoking plan.
I think this website would be a good help to her, but the best motivation is she's not allowed back to my house in 3 weeks time if she's still smoking...come on chick can do me if you fancy a fag and I'll talk you down!

Ps. Gary says this year he will not be passive smoking!

Sep 28, 2009

Why I love Emirates ....again!

Hello, just a quick one to heap praise on Emirates Airlines again. If you've been reading you'll know I used them and Jet Blue to get to Australia in the last few weeks. Well low and behold in my inbox today was a message from them to say I'd moved from normal rewards to silver Skyreward status. Whilst this in itself does not really mean much apart from miles bonuses and access to the Silver lounge in Dubai, the kicker is that when I go to Australia again in a couple of months I will get up to Gold...the best bit about that...access to all the lounges around the world...yipeeee...I've been flying Virgin for ages and even in the years that I've racked up nearly 100,000 miles I never made lounge status..thank you Emirates, I can't wait!

Sep 22, 2009

Red Spot...recommended at Perth Airport

Following the poor service from the hotel (it was the Comfort Inn in Belmont near Perth!!! (that's for my friend Anne who said I should name and shame!!), I was stranded at the internal airport. I went to the Red Spot desk on the off chance that they would be there to pick my car up here rather than international....I mosied up to the desk and you could hear the dust balls whistling one to be seen, I started looking for a transfer to the international terminal. I was just turning myself round with all my luggage and I spied a phone on the desk...hmmmm I wonder....Yes Yes...pick up phone for attention....'Hello'...ooh ooh... is there any chance i can pick my car at internal airport? 'Of course, we are international (typical!!!) and it will take us 20 mins to get over there...why don't you get a coffee in the Dome and we'll be back soon' - no worries! I turned around and hoofed it up to the Dome coffee shop.... Look at the pictures of the Dome's gorgeous inside, and the cappuccino was to die for...I stirred it before taking the picture (sorry!!), the top was like eating a coffee dessert :-)
20 mins later as promised the Red Spot people arrived at within 10 mins I was standing next to 'Tilda' my little Nissan car that I had for the week. Ok, so it's not what you would expect me to drive, but it was cheap and cheerful and was good miles / gallon, so it did the job! One day I'll rent something sexy, but this week I was all about utilitarian!!!

Sep 19, 2009

Customer service in Perth.....hmmmm

Arrived in Perth at 1am, through customs and immigration in a breeze ( thank you Perth airport employees for being so professional and friendly so early in the morning). I had booked a stopover night in a hotel close to the airport and they were supposed to collect me from the airport. I called the number answer, number unobtainable....hmm so looked like I was getting a taxi... Perth taxi drivers are living the life! lol... $30 for 5 mins...I'm in the wrong job! I arrived at the hotel and they played dumb about the number..typical, and was given the key to my room. What a hole...and for stupid money. I'm not going to name them, but they are close the airport so you can Google it yourself and use your common sense! The next morning I asked to go back to the airport to collect my hire car...I needed to get back to international...they wouldn't take me as I was only collecting a car...hmmm...I acted a little pissed as they didn't collect me and just said check me out and order me a taxi...seeing how angry I was they compromised saying that they would take me to the internal airport... well thanks, I think... customer service...obviously a bit behind the rest of the world in Perth.

Emirates, the good and the bad!

I think I jinxed Emirates with my praise at JFK airport. Not that the flight to Dubai wasn't fantastic, it was. I had three seats to myself, which with the addition of an Unisom, meant that all I had to worry about was when I had to wake up and change my lying position! A great nights sleep later and we were dropping into Dubai.

It was 7.30am when we arrived (early...congrats again Emirates as we were slightly delayed at JFK) and 1st stop was to find a shower. I would be sitting next to someone on the next flight for another 11 hours and it would be polite to make myself smell slightly better ;-)

20 Aus$ later and I was in the super showers of the health club in Hotel East at the airport. I wish I had some pictures to show you, jets from every angle and all the amenities you can think of provided FOC. I felt like a celebrity ( and it gave me ideas for our shower at home - sorry husband!!) I was soon refreshed, smelling lovely and ready for the next 11 hrs.

The next plane was an Airbus and compared to my Boeing 777 a real let down. Cramped and uncomfortable and something is seriously wrong with how high the seats are off the ground ( and before you wags say 32,000 ft I mean where you are sitting). You can't touch the floor if you recline your seat and you get terrible stress strain above your knees..the man next to me had the same problem. In the end I put my handbag under my feet, but I'd rather not treat my designer bag as a foot rest! Emirates...please either add footrests or change you seat configuration!...The Qantas A380 has little nets to put your feet in and it's actually quite good!

Ok, enough about the seats ...we had a more major problem. The man I sat next to was really nice, he was on his way home from visiting family in Dubai. Thank goodness for small mercies as you never know who you are going to get (I normally get a Linebacker type and spend the whole flight in misery!) Anyway, both our entertainment systems were down. Hmmm no movies, TV or music for 11 hours. Emirates staff tried to do what they could, in the end giving up and delivering some magazines. Slight problem there was that it was soon dark and we had no lights either...and the call button did not work for a drink !....hmmm you can see my predicament!

I luckily had some
Unisom which I swear by when I'm travelling long distance. Popped one with dinner and was suitably sleepy within an hour. I did offer one for my travelling companion, however he did not take me up on my offer and had 11 hours without sleep or entertainment...I felt guilty for sleeping, but would have felt crappy if I hadn't.

Emirates staff were very apologetic, but I think they need a contingency plan. Virgin have some personal DVD players that they can give out...I think Emirates are missing a trick here!

It won't stop me booking again, and of course I have the return flights yet!!!

Sep 16, 2009

What happens to Gary whilst I'm away...

So some of you may be worried that Gary is being neglected whilst I am in Australia...don't worry...he gets to go to doggy day care (Camp Bow Wow) where he plays all day with other dogs... I can log on to a doggy cam to check on him (See him circled above) ..neat huh?...It's a kin to childcare and about as expensive, but Gary is worth it!!!

Sep 13, 2009

Dubai Airport.....

I've not been to Dubai before and this was my first view from my seat as we approached to land. A little hazy at 7.30am, well it was 104 degrees already!
This will be just a short blog about Dubai airport. I've never seen a more beautiful airport (T3) - can you call an airport beautiful..? Although it looks like a long, alien hangar from the outside!
Despite being busy the sounds of running water and areas of soft music were relaxing. Stunning etched glass everywhere and the shopping rivaled Singapore airport which is amazing, although Dubai certainly was more light and airy. Mind you how you'd get these sparklies into your hand luggage I just dont know!!

Sep 11, 2009

Waiting at JFK....

My Boeing 777 being fueled for the 12 hour journey to Dubai from New York

So this seems to be a reoccurring event with me just recently...waiting at JFK!.. however today I am sat at gate A6 to go to Dubai, on route to Perth Australia. Spare me a thought as I will have 12 hours to endure to Dubai and then another 11..

The consolation, I'm flying with Emirates, one of the world's best airlines, and if the beautiful staff that just walked past are anything to go by everything will just be gorgeous...toodle pip!

Seat 45K...great entertainment system..!!

Update: Flight was fantastic, 3 seats to myself. Watched The Proposal and Terminator Salvation again and slept the rest of the time...arrived in Dubai refreshed! Pics follow!

Sep 1, 2009

Murder in Paradise...

Whilst I was away in England last week there was a murder at the apartments where we live in Jacksonville. I walk past the scene (about 100ft from our apartment) everyday with Gary and know the girl's car as she had a naval base pass on the window (she worked in the health clinic on the naval base). I should be shocked I suppose, but it was a crime of passion and as such fits into the statistics of 90% of all murders. It sounds horrible and very bloody from the reports, but they have the responsible party, the husband, and hopefully he'll go away for a long time.

Here's the report from the paper..

He came knocking at their Jacksonville apartment Wednesday under the ruse of being a pizza delivery man but was armed instead with a tire iron and hatred in his heart, police said.
Though neither Roya Gordon nor her sister had placed an order, Gordon tried looking through the peephole. Finding the hole covered from the outside, Gordon opened the door.
When the bloody struggle was over, Gordon's sister, Elkie Jean-Philippe, had been stabbed repeatedly. Jean-Philippe, 24, died at Shands Jacksonville hospital an hour later. Her estranged husband, Lesly Jean-Philippe, was hospitalized in critical condition after suffering what police said were self-inflicted stab wounds.
Gordon, smacked in the head with the tire iron, managed to escape. Police whisked away Elkie Jean-Philippe's unharmed 5-year-old son, who was clutching a pillow.
Police charged Lesly Jean-Philippe, 23, with murder and aggravated battery in the bloody attack at The Preserve at Paradise Island, 8787 Southside Blvd.
Two friends of Elkie Jean-Philippe's said she and her husband recently separated and that he told her Saturday he was leaving town. The friends, sisters Neisha Menzies and Jeneice Anderson, said Elkie Jean-Philippe told them the couple was constantly arguing and she feared for her life.
Lesly Jean-Philippe returned at some point Wednesday unbeknownst to his wife and barged into her apartment shortly after 10 p.m., police said. Gordon, 22, fled to a bathroom as she bled from her head injury. She heard her sister begging the man to stop. At one point, Gordon ran from the apartment crying for help, an arrest report said.
Neighbors Greg and Kacey Baxter said they heard Gordon scream for anyone to call 911 and mentioned that someone was in the apartment she came from. The Baxters said a neighbor told them she went to the apartment and heard a woman inside scream, "Don't hurt my baby."
Police swarmed the area moments later. Officers found Elkie Jean-Philippe on the floor with multiple stab wounds, while her husband laid wounded nearby. Several bloody knives were recovered.
The Baxters said they saw an officer leading a boy outside holding a pillow. He appeared to be 4 or 5 years old, they said. Neighbors said he was the female victim's son.
Gordon declined to comment when reached by phone. Schmitt said the husband had no local arrest record and there was no local record of previous domestic violence involving the couple.
The sisters who knew Elkie Jean-Philippe said she was in the Navy and worked in the health clinic at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. They said she worshiped her son, who wasn't her husband's child. Her slaying left both women in tears.
"She was a beautiful girl," Menzies said. "She didn't deserve this."

Anja's new dog Frosty

This is Barney and Anja's new Jack Russell, Frosty. Family and friends are what I miss most since emigrating ( well it would be wrong to say a good curry wouldn't it!!) and so its great to just hang out with them when I'm back. Thank you Anja for a lovely roast chicken & salad, love you xx

Friends, family and retro dinners in UK

So the end of August bought a trip home to the UK. As you may have read already I used Jet Blue and Virgin to get home...recommend both if only for the staff, who are always cheery and professional..Delta please take note. First stop when I was home was to see Anja, one of my best friends. She is a jeweller in Worcester and made my beautiful wedding and engagement rings... I think she looks great in this pic, sporting some suitably expensive pearls..just working on finding her a new beau....any offers filter through me....

The Saturday my Mom pictured below, Dad hiding under the tree out of the sun (yes sometimes there is sun in the UK!!) organised a barbecue for me with my other bestie Anne, my brother and his girlfriend Penny. Penny's kids and then some of the kids from the farm came around too. Also pictured below is Tess, my Mom's lovable Lab..she is so sweet natured and loves all over me when I go back home.Anne catching some rays...she blogged on the barbecue too .The next day my Dad took Anne and I for Sunday lunch ...we went to the The Royal Oak at Broadwas for a carvery. Anne and I decided to have retro starters, she a huge portion of prawn cocktail and I chose Whitebait....we were in retro heaven.. and after a huge carvery lunch we waddled out sated ...a great two days with family and friends..later in the week I would be going for dinner at Anjas to meet her new dog Frosty...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...