Saturday, 30 June 2007

It was a dark and stormy night

Friday June 29

Hi all! And yes it was a stormy night though I don’t think that either of us really noticed it. When we woke up the ship was really rocking back and forth. In fact, the flowers in the vase on the desk slid right off and into the rubbish bin. Lucky it was there! After that, we put everything away so that nothing else went flying! Cliff tells we that the wind was a force 10 gale. I took sea sick pills to ensure that I didn’t get sick and spent most of the day wanting to fall asleep.

This morning we went to a lecture about Warner Brothers during the war years and at the beginning of television. Tonight after dinner we are going to a RADA performance of two one-act plays. Should be good. After that, it’s a big band concert. I still haven’t swum. I intended to this morning but the wind was too bad. Perhaps tomorrow.

Today’s picture is of the waves. They were very impressive! Thanks to Emma for the info on the restaurant. An even greater thanks to GB for watering and feeding the plants.

Saturday June 30th

It's just gone 6:30 am and I've come up to the dining room to have a little something to eat, finish a book I was reading and post on the blog. Sorry that I didn't get to it yesterday but I was knocked out most of the day by the motion sickness pill. That's the last time I take one of those!

Last night Cliff and I had dinner again in the lovely restaurant where it's quiet and there are no stuffy table companions. Afterwards we went and saw two plays by Alan Acheborne. (I know I've spelled his name incorrectly! He wrote 'The Norman Conquests'. Do you remember Emma and Naomi, we saw the garden play from that trilogy at Foley's.

The only picture I have to add at the moment is of the seas yesterday, taken from the safety of inside on deck 2.

PS Cliff is eating his way across the Atlantic!

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Thursday and heading for gale force winds!

Oh dear, we were up round the pool at noon when the captain came on the PA with his daily announcements. Apparently, we will have fair weather till later this evening and then we will sail near a low depression which will bring gale force winds and 25 foot high waves. Needles to say, the boat will be subject to some movement and we've been advised to put everything away in our cabins and take motion sickness pills if we need them.

So far Cliff has not ventured out on deck except to take my photo. When I hear this announcement, I dragged him out to have a walk before the bad weather hit. That was a mistake! The wind was so strong that I'm sure he'll never venture forth again! So, no shuffle board for me!

This morning we went to a talk by a fiction writer, Salley Vickers. Has anyone heard of her? She had some interesting things to say about her development as a writer and the themes which have predominated her writing. Tomorrow (weather permitting), we're listening to a talk by a man who worked for Warner Bros. in the old days.

Last night we changed restaurants and at at the Carvery. I had the most amazing piece of prime rib. It would have done a Texas restaurant proud but it was definitely too big for me.
After dinner we went to a show at the Royal court Theatre (Rock@the Opera). It was very well done and there were excellent special effects. After that we went for a drink in an English pub and got caught up in a musical pub quiz.

This afternoon, I'm going to take some pictures of the library for Emma. (Does she secretly want to be a librarian on a cruise ship?) They have chairs that look out over the Atlantic (facing what will be North America). It's a wonderful place to read!

Hope all is well with everyone. I am picking up email on my acs email account and hotmail so please drop us a line.

As to the pictures, Cliff's was taken at breakfast. He is eating his way across the Atlantic and should need new trousers by the time we get to New York. Mine was taken on deck, by Cliff so it will be the last!

Thursday morning

I'm in the dining room which is one of the wifi hotspots, having a tea and some fruit. I'll write more for the blog later, off line, because it costs so much to be on line. It will probably be up by late this afternoon. Thanks for all the messages.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

First Day on Board!

Hello all! Yes, we are out at sea and it’s wonderful. So far the main impression has been of wonderful service and lots of food! I imagine that you could eat 24 hours a day if you wanted to! And it all looks so good!

When we arrived on board we discovered two bottle of champagne in our cabin. There isn’t any left now! No, we didn’t drink it all at once but it was all gone by bed time! We had life boat drill at 4. It isn’t really life boat drill anymore because they don’t expect you to end up in one so all they want you to know how do is put on your life jacket.

There was a champagne reception afterwards but we had had quite a lot by then so instead we watched as the boat left port. Dinner was at 8:30. I think that was a mistake since all the shows are either on at 8:45 or 10:45. I certainly couldn’t make it to the 10:45 so we will probably eat in one of the other restaurants so that we can catch early movies or shows. The people at our table were ‘home county’ or trying to be and deadly boring. Another reason for eating elsewhere.

Today it’s rather cloudy and the sun has only come out a few times. I decided at 7:30 to take a brisk walk round deck 7. Three laps equal a mile! It was more like a brisk shove as the wind pushed me one way and on the other side of the boat, tried to blow me off. I made 1/3rd of a mile only and retired for tea.

We went up to the library a short while ago. It’s amazing! Bigger than the ACS library and so beautiful. The shelving was polished mahogany! I have a book now and will return later this afternoon to sit in the big, comfy chairs facing out to sea.

Bye for now!

Monday, 25 June 2007

The morning of the day before the day

Yes, tomorrow we leave on the QM2 for New York. I think that I'm becoming excited! I'm hoping to figure out today how to send pictures from my phone to my laptop so that I can post some pictures while we are on board. I don't have a digital camera but my regular camera takes exceptional pictures so I don't want to get rid of it.

The MacMillan nurse phoned me on the weekend. They have been wonderful through my entire illness. They have made a substantial difference in my life! This fall I'm going to start some fund raising activities for them.

Today is our 30th wedding anniversary. Funnily enough we received two 25th wedding anniversary cards on Saturday. It was really funny, especially since both the senders had been at my original wedding. 25th anniversary is silver. I wonder what 30th is?

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Monday, 18 June 2007

Absolutely exhausted

We're off on the Queen Mary 2 a week tomorrow! I can't wait! I'll really need the rest be the time it rolls around. I'm trying to get the house sorted out, take the bunk beds down (they're going to friends at work), and make sure that the garden is sorted out before we leave. I have courgettes!! (zucchinis for our North American friends) and beans growing. I suppose that I won't be the first to eat the veggies from my garden this year but that's alright. The joy has been in the growing.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Pictures of cancer run

Sorry that it has taken so long to post these photographs from the run that Emma did with some of the people I work with. She managed to raise over £200! On Saturday she received a commemorative key chain from the sponsors of the run and that reminded me of the photographs. So here they are!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Winnie the Pooh returns, again!

Yes, the author of Winnie the Pooh, ACS style has returned, inspired by the performance related pay awards which were announced on Friday. I think I mentioned that my efforts were rewarded with £142 for the year. I would have felt better if I hadn't received anything. At least then I could have blamed it on my illness and sued!

Back to Winnie the Pooh! The writer was much angrier than ever before and the tale ended with Baby Roo telling the Forest Management Committee to sit and swivel, all the while holding up his little middle finger.

Oh dear, things go from bad to worse. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Mike and James

I posted pictures of Naomi and Emma this weekend but not of James and Mike so there they are! Well, actually James is hiding behind Naomi. I must get one of him on his own next time! Mike is enjoying the cricket club tea before continuing the match.

I'll bore you one more time with my garden!

My front garden is very small and completely graveled. However it is the sunniest spot on our property. I decided to grow vegetables in pots. We have tomatoes, green beans, courgettes, pumpkins, peppers, flowers (such as sunflowers, pelargoniums and lavender) and an assortment of herbs. It really looks spectacular. I wish I had thought of it sooner!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

A Busy Weekend

It's 10pm and I'm exhausted. Naomi and James arrived last night for a short visit (they leave tomorrow at 11 am). We go up, went to the farm shop and butcher's, came home, went to the hairdressers (Naomi looks great!), came home, went out immediately to the village fête, walked home and then went immediately to watch Mike play cricket. I'm feeling even more tired just writing about it. At four we came back home and I set to doing some work in the garden until Doctor Who started at 7. It was a very scary episode and nearly all of us wished that we had a sofa to hide behind. Ah, this was traditional Doctor Who stuff! Some pictures of the day! Naomi at the fête and Emma at cricket.

My Garden

I've been working hard on my garden. Probably one of the reasons why I haven't been posting all that much. I don't know if you can get much of an idea of what it is really like. It's very small but it gives me a great deal of pleasure.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

How strange people are!

You must read this news article. In Devon a zoo has culled a number of peacocks because a neighbour was upset about the noise they made during mating season (which lasts about 6 weeks a year). What is the world coming to?

Monday, 4 June 2007

Fingerprinting Revisited

I received a comment to my posting about fingerprinting our students for buying lunch. I was shocked to discover what an issue it was in the UK. I've heard nothing much about it in the press. Apparently, many schools are using fingerprints or considering using them. Why aren't more parents concerned. Perhaps they are but don't think that they can do anything about it. My children are grown up now but I do have a concern for the students I teach. I will fight the school to ensure that they don't introduce such an intrusive and potentially dangerous measure. If you are interested in looking at the website Leavethemkidsalone, click here or on the link to the left.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

No fingerprinting after all!

Yes, they've backed down. It probably had to do with finance and not civil rights but hey, at least it's not going to happen for the time being. Emma discovered yesterday that if there were a crime in the area of the school and the school had biometric information on anyone, the police would have the right to take it and add it to their data base. I don't think that our parents would go for that.

The weather is beautiful this weekend. I've been out in the garden again and again, I've exhausted myself. I must stop for the rest of today. Both my courgettes and my pumpkins have flowers and the tomatoes are covered in them. I hope I don't miss to much while I'm away. I will try and get Michael to take photographs of the garden tomorrow at Emma's birthday party...oh yes I forgot to say that it's her party tomorrow. Her actual birthday is on Monday.

Emma is off watching Mike's team playing cricket at the moment. Mike's team fielded first and Mike caught one person out and took 4 wickets when he bowled. This is quite impressive to cricket people.

Tomorrow I'm hoping that my website will go live. So if it does happen, I'll post the site address.

I'm off to watch Dr. Who now and don't ask, 'Who's that!'