Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holiday in Barcelona

Adam, Nicky and I have just come home from a lovely short holiday with Chris and Xavier in Villasar. We did the usual things - the Sagrada Familia church, the Parc Guell, and the Picasso museum. They are the usual things because they are well worth seeing, and we really enjoyed it all. Gaudi was a truly original mind.

We also went for a walk on the mountain, and down to the beach. Unfortunately the beach created a huge allergic reaction in Adam, and his eyes were streaming and itchy, so we had to give up and go back to the flat. I've no idea what caused it because he hasn't had a violent reaction like that before. Luckily the anti hystamine sorted it out.

The weather was great, as it was warm and sunny with a bit of wind, like a nice summer day here. we were out in t shirts and , had we brought them, could have worn sandals.

There are some pictures on Picassa here

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Love for librarians

I'm fairly sure certain members of the family will enjoy this:

(I'm clearly doing something wrong with Blogger as it doesn't seem to want to activate the link - copy and paste it into your brower instead!)


Monday, March 22, 2010

Day at the races

So having a sister who works for a National Hunt trainer has finally paid off :) I had a marvellous day out at the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday which is something of a tradition where I work, and was happily joined for much of the day by said sister and sister's best friend Sally. It's always a brilliant day out and this year was no different despite the absolutely vile weather (it rained all day). Luckily I'd been to Asda and bought a brolly the day before so was well prepared and it was probably the best £1 I've ever spent.

Two days before hand, Nicky had given me an outside tip for a horse at her yard who was running in the first race. Barizan was priced on William Hill at 40 - 1 but rumour had it Tony McCoy (ace jockey) might decide to ride him on the day in which case his odds would plummet. So I thought I'd place a little bet online. Unlike my gambling mother, I didn't already have an online betting account and setting one up was a real pain because I'm currently between surnames and between swapping addresses so it's all very confusing when registering for anything at the moment. I was going to give up at one point but persevered. And wasn't I glad when Barizan surprised almost everyone, nearly winning by about 20 lengths! He was unfortunately pipped to the winning post at the last but as I'd bet each (as advised) I knew I was in the money. So for the rest of the day I gambled and drank with gay abandon knowing that I had that money in the bank, it was fabulous! I had two more seconds and the winner in the Gold Cup itself too.

It was lovely to spend the day with Nicky who was christened 'Mini McNabb' by the boys I work with, and after the stress of moving and an incredibly busy time at work, it was brilliant just to have a fun day out. Boringly, normal service resumed on Saturday with the painting of our Swindon house, which is very nearly done now - hurrah!

And I've just tried to add some pictures of Barizan the horse and also a comedy picture of Nicky from her work's website which I just stumbled across when searching for the horse picture, but Blogger doesn't seem to want to upload them for some reason :(
Love Kate xxxx

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Further adventures of Erin

For those of an envious disposition I would ignore this post. This is all Thailand and it all looks fantastic and most of the pictures seem to involve eating and drinking.
Apparently they had to catch a night ferry where the accommodation was just mattresses on the floor. When they got going they turned off the fans and the lights and the cockroaches all came out! Yuck - not all perfect in paradise!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Language and Travels

Well, we just had a marvellous weekend in Grenoble with Sue. But before that, a new word from National Express. On a slow journey to work last week, the driver announced there was a failed train ahead, and the driver of that train was "de-passengerising".... He spluttered a bit as he wanted to say "his passengers", but changed it to "getting them off the train". So watch out if you travel National Express..

To France and beautiful sunny weather, but with some cold wind and nights. We saw a cornucopia of birds on Sue's terrace, including: Robin, Sparrow, Blackbird, (hmm, no one impressed yet)Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch,(still no excitement) Serin, Brambling, GoldCrest, Hawfinch, Siskin and Long Tailed Tit (good finish eh?)

One or two pictures below.

First a Great Tit and two Goldcrests (in the original file size it is more impressive)

Here is the classic coffee stop, note snowdrops in the background.

I forgot to mention the yellow and black salamanders. The head is at the bottom of this picture.

Then we noticed on the bus back to the airport the English translation was machine driven. Say in your head in a French accent "Place de la Resistance" and then repeat the same words but with English pronunciations of "Place" and Resistance". Made us giggle.

I'll let my wife tell you about the joy of Lyons airport in another post.

Finally two girls in the mountains;

Monday, March 08, 2010

London Zoo

For my birthday treat we went to London Zoo! Inspired by Kate and Carl's adventures in South Africa we decided to have our own safari with Kieran and Alice. OK no Sani pass (think that was Erin not K and C) but instead we got lost in the one way system in Camden High Street - almost as adventurous.
I love London Zoo but the catering is a bit rubbish. The cafe was so cramped that the chairs were clearly designed for people without limbs. We decided to brave the elements and sit outside for lunch.
It was a lovely day but very cold. So cold in fact that Trev's glasses were so steamed up when we went into the butterfly house that he almost trod on a butterfly. I literally had to push him out of the way. I bet they lose a few butterflies that way each year.
London zoo is plagued by brilliant architecture like the penguin pool ,snazzy, but unsuitable for Pingu and friends and now empty and the Mappin terrace which now has Australian animals as it wasn't suitable for the bears it was meant for. These things are grade 1 listed so the poor zoo is stuck with them. The upside of that is that you can enjoy architecture and animals on you zoo visit.

Who let these animals out?

Our big 5 didn't include the usually kind as the bigger creatures are mostly in Whipsnade where they have more room. Here they are
Number one Ocapi. This really is a horse designed by a committee

Otters, singing and playing waiting for their lunch (horsemeat rather mysteriously)
Warthogs with snazzy Flock of Seagulls hairstyles
The excellently named Spledid Starling
And finally these guys need no introduction

Thursday, March 04, 2010


As promised, here's a link to a Picasa album of our honeymoon shots. Again, there are hundreds so have pruned them but thanks largely in part to Mum's super duper camera there are some pretty great shots so there are quite a lot of pics to browse through.

Who needs New Zealand, hey Erin? Pah! A few months travelling is nothing compared with what we crammed into two weeks in South Africa....not that I'm jealous that her trip is still going and ours is over...


Kate xxxx

Catching up

So now we're into the new house and I have at least some internet access (courtesy of a shaky 3G dongle) I am making an attempt to catch up on my photos which I'm aware are horribly overdue.

For starters I've done a Picasa album of some of the official pictures of the wedding. There are literally hundreds so I've just done a selection. I have all the originals on a CD so if you'd like copies of any just let me know and I'll post them to you. As I say, there are lots I've not included here but I don't want to bore everyone!

South Africa pics are to follow and then some of the new house!

I'm then going to start keeping a log of my training as I've signed up to do the Bristol half marathon in September. I'm quite horrified I've agreed to do this as I've done no exercise since before the wedding and have managed to stick back on quite a bit of weight in the meantime. Rubbish. But the challenge will do me good I feel and I'm going to raise money for charity which can only be a good thing.

Here's the link to the Picasa album - never done one of these before so if you can't see it let me know and I'll change the settings!

Official Wedding Pics