Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fun Times

The PQQ for HS2 went in and looks promising, sadly the ITT has been pushed out until April-ish, and they don't want to pay for staff to sit there doing nothing for 5 months, so us loyal, hardworking contractors got stood email, at 9 pm on a Thursday night, while I was on holidays. C'est la vie.

It has been a crazy few weeks, the last 3 weeks of the bid were manic and long, with weekend work and 12+ hour days not unusual. I had planned the week post-submission to be spent with friends from Oz, Nancy and Myf. We met up with them in Wales and spent a few days down at Little White Alice, an old friend of a holiday stay near Redruth in Cornwall where we have stayed previously with my parents as well as just the Hussyband and I when we need a recharge and escape from life.

Slightly stoked!
While in Cornwall we laughed, got adopted by a cat who would not leave our side (or maybe it was just that it knew we would spoil it...), soaked in a wood burning hot tub, ate well, and decompressed. Myf got to meet all the animals, visit a seal sanctuary and had an amazing pony ride which is still being talked about.

The day before we went away, my passport came back from the Home Office after a six-month holiday while it was processed for my Indefinite Leave to Remain. To celebrate, I got approval for a second week off (dont know why I bothered as a few days later we were stood down anyway!) and booked us a week in St Lucia for some much-needed sun. Sun is something you miss as an Australian living in London!

But first we had to get back to London. It was a loooong drive. We stopped off in Plymouth for lunch (I still dream about the mussels from The Samphire Bush) and an aborted attempted at finding the Beatles Bums sculpture on the Hoe. We flew past Stonehenge and could just make out the outline in the fast-falling dusk (next time Nancy!)

Kew at night!
The Thursday night saw us going out on a Girls Night, with Gerry staying home to study while we ladies (and the wee one) went to view the Christmas Lights at Kew Gardens. I highly recommend the excursion if you are in London - it is still on for a few more weeks!

Friday we said goodbye to our guests, who I still miss, hearing Myf giggle with my mother-in-law was priceless!

Heading out and looking in
dire need of sun
Early Saturday morning (way too early for a Saturday) we headed to Gatwick Airport for our flight to St Lucia. The flight was only 9-hours but felt so much longer as we had been up since sparrows. We were met by Gerry's cousin and godmother Marie and her husband Mike who took us to our resort Ti Kaye and then for dinner at The Hideaway (which you had to take a floating gazebo to get there!)

We had a glorious 5-days at Ti Kaye, swimming, snorkeling, lazing, sunning and laughing.  We took a guided tour and swam under a waterfall, walked through an active volcanic caldera and ate local food. Our last 2-days were spent with Marie and Mike, shopping, swimming, sunning (are you noticing a theme) and chilling out.

Coming back to London has been hard - not only due to the 20°C difference in temperatures, but I had picked up an 8-day contract that started (and with it long hours and working this weekend!)

And we have had Sleeve Wins while away (I have saved the best for last in this post)!
Say cheese!

  • I am 400 grams away from having lost 20 kgs (that is 44 lbs for you non-metric people), I seem to be averaging 1-1.5 kgs a week now) - on track for being 125kgs by Christmas!
  • I did not have to use the seatbelt extender on the flights
  • I wore a bikini (OK - I like swimming naked, but St Lucia is not one of those countries where I can do so)
  • The guys doing the renovations at the hotel liked watching me in the shower (OK - that was a win the first time, weird the second, then it just got creepy)
  • I did not drink my holiday away - just a pina colada or rum punch a day and I was happy
  • I smiled the entire holiday.

Stats and pics next week - I might have to break out a silly season jumper in honour!

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