Tag Archives: holiday

2011 Project365 (days 213-217)

5th August:

5th August 2011

The last day of our holiday was a treat, as we went to the Ancient Roman City and visited Kerensa. This beauty is from her garden which I found inspirational (reason to be blogged about some other time). It was fantastic to see her again, though embarrassing to look back through her visitors’ book to find an entry from me, with a different name, London address and a date of 6 whole years ago! We mustn’t leave it that long next time.

4th August:

4th August 2011

This is a wee view of the centre of HD’s parents’ home town. We spent the day with them and the nieces/grandchildren (ours/theirs), with a meal out followed by a look in the historic town centre and a couple of little museums.

3rd August:

3rd August 2011

We spent the day in Birmingham, visiting the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter including a very interesting guided tour, and then looking round a couple of nearby cemeteries (from which this picture came).

2nd August:

2nd August 2011

I was a bit stuck for a photo this day so here’s a picture of my Womad purchases.

1st August:

1st August 2011

This cute sign welcomes visitors to HD’s sister’s place, where we stayed after Womad for a few days.

2011 Project365 (days 119-122)

2nd May:

2nd May 2011

Amazingly, it’s not only been a bank holiday, but the sky has been this colour all day! This was taken in the back garden and isn’t really representative of my day (apart from the blue sky), but this morning I had a job interview* (I decided against asking the panel to pose for the camera before I left) and this afternoon we sort of meant to go and explore a local country park but in the end didn’t get beyond the tip, Halfords and Sainsbury’s. So I took this just now before the sun goes down and the blue sky disappears. I wonder if the pigeon is the ****** that crapped on my washing the other week (the washing line is just below).

* the interview went OK, but I could hear my voice shaking as I spoke and it took ages to calm down, so I’m really not sure how I came across. I’m not hugely confident I got the job, of course I thought of a good few things I should have said while I was driving home, but think that shaky voice notwithstanding I didn’t make a fool of myself and acquitted myself well enough overall. I should hear by the end of the week.

1st May:

1st May 2011

This represents the joys of interview preparation. The job involves working with vulnerable people, so I had to fill in the pages and pages of an Disclosure Scotland form (the Scottish equivalent of the CRB check).

30th April:

30th April 2011

Our final stop on our holiday before heading for the ferry home was to see my friend S, who left London for Northern Ireland just after I left London for Glasgow. This is a picture of Anoushka, her cat, who is a real character. I don’t think she’s quite realised she’s not a leopard – her movements are astonishingly big cat-like.

29th April:

29th April 2011

Whilst people were glued to the Royal Wedding, we were at another wedding: HD’s brother got married on the same day as the royal wedding. It was an absolutely lovely day. The weather was perfect all day, the ceremony was beautiful, it was fantastic to catch up with family members, the kids were all lovely, and of course the happy couple looked amazing. I have chosen a blurred picture as they do not read this blog; I really like this picture though as although it is blurred you can still see how they are gazing at each other and for this moment there’s nobody else in the world, just the two of them.

2011 Project365 (days 113-118)

We are just back from a lovely holiday in Ireland (more of which in a separate post, probably tomorrow). We started off last Saturday heading over to Co. Clare on the west coast of Ireland, in the heart of the region known as the Burren staying in this cottage in the village of Carron which I’d definitely recommend, it was a lovely little quirky place to use as a base to explore the area. We were really lucky with the weather, there were odd days that were a bit overcast but we never got wet, and mostly it was really sunny and lovely, which was quite a surprise for the Irish Atlantic coast! I am now feeling very mellowed out and rested, and don’t want to go back to work next week! Anyway, here are some photos from Saturday-Thursday:

28th April:

28th April 2011

On Thursday we left Co. Clare and headed on up to Northern Ireland (more of that in another post), and on the way we went to the amazing Bru na Boinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Co. Meath (north of Dublin) which is around 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. The main site consists of three large passage burial sites, of which we visited two, this picture shows the burial site at Newgrange (we also visited the site at Knowth which reminded me of the Teletubby garden!).

27th April:

27th April 2011

This is the Poulnabrone Dolmen, in the heart of County Clare. It is a portal burial site, and is probably the most photographed monument in the Burren. That slab on the top apparently weighs 5 tons. Like Bru na Boinne, Poulnabrone is a neolithic monument.

26th April:

26th April 2011

This is a traditional music session at O’Connor’s pub in Doolin, Co. Clare (Doolin is well known for a number of pubs which have regular traditional music sessions). My dad will be *so* jealous I went to this!

25th April:

25th April 2011

This is another very famous Clare site, the Cliffs of Moher. Those of you who are fans of the film The Princess Bride might recognise them as the Cliffs of Insanity (they’ve also featured in one of the Harry Potter films). We had hoped to walk from the visitor centre south towards Hag’s Head, where there is apparently an amazing view north back towards the cliffs. However the clifftop walk was fenced off (not that that stopped quite a lot of people from walking a bit of the way) so we didn’t get to do that.

24th April:

24th April 2011

Easter Sunday. This place was the top of my list of must-sees while in Co. Clare – it turned out we were only 15-20 minutes drive away from THE CRAGGY ISLAND PAROCHIAL HOUSE!!!!!!! Any Father Ted fans will surely understand my excitement. There were another handful of pilgrims at the gate taking pictures (you can go for afternoon tea there but it needs to be arranged in advance; I was happy enough to just stand at the gate) and I very much enjoyed the banter (why say ‘cheese’ when you can say ‘DrrrrInk!’?). The dog belongs to the owners of the house.

23rd April:

23rd April 2011

Here’s the mysterious island of Ailsa Craig (also featured in my photo from January 3rd) – we passed quite close as you can see while on the ferry from Troon to Larne. I can’t believe people used to live here – it is so bleak and must have been such a hard life.

This week I shall mostly be …

* marking OU essays, and
* writing a thesis chapter, and
* working full time, while
* trying not to cough up any more of my lungs (a fine image for a professional health promoter, no?).

No wonder I’m knackered.

But, excitingly, today HD and I booked our first proper holiday since our honeymoon almost 2 years ago. We are off adventuring in February, I can’t wait!

Looking forward

Next weekend we’re off to the WOMAD festival. I absolutely can’t wait. We’re both so tired, and generally weary with the world, that a break away, even just for a few days, will do us the world of good. HD’s sister, brother-in-law, brother and their assorted offspring will also be there, so I’ll have the new experience (for me) of being in the family camping area. I’m looking forward to it though – the kids (aged between 5 and 13) are all lovely and real characters, and actually last year when we were camping amongst strangers I did feel a bit like we were Mr & Mrs No-Mates, so having people around we know will be fun. I’ve just taken a look at the line up, there are fewer people this year that I’d heard of, but I’ve still found several acts I really really want to see (Eliades Ochoa, Youssou N’Dour, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Besh o droM, The Skatalites, Jim Moray, Johnny Kalsi) – hopefully they won’t be playing simultaneously! There’s always loads going on, so I plan on wandering round and just seeing what I come across – we heard a few good acts this way last year.

The long-range weather forecast for next weekend is apparently good, so I’m happy about that. I’m counting the days now!

Munich photos



Between Viktualienmarkt and Marienplatz:


Marienplatz (including the glockenspiel):


On the way to lunch:


New Synagogue (this is a rather controversial building – I thought it was beautiful, especially close up):


Bizarre statue:


Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady – the Catholic Cathedral, and probably, along with the New Town Hall Munich’s most famous sight):


Heading towards the English Garden: Opera House, rubbing the lion for luck, a couple of the square where Hitler once made a speech (my brother-in-law’s grandparents couldn’t walk through there for years afterwards and would go out of their way to avoid it, because of the connotations of the place), cellist busking in the Hofgarten, Bavarian Parliament Building:


Photos from the English Garden. The first one is a bit of the Berlin Wall apparently, followed by four of a small stream, only about 30 feet across, which attracts mad surfers (you’ll see in the first one the sign which even I as a non-German speaker knew said “Surfing and Bathing Forbidden”!). Then some beery ones (including one of me looking very flabby – argh! – which is why I made it smaller!!):


On the way back – Monument to the White Rose movement (an anti-Nazi movement in Munich in the early 40s), and an ad for an unfortunately-named doctor I saw in the tube that made me laugh):


Next up are lots of pictures from the Deutsches Museum. Forgive the indulgence, there’s rather a lot of clarinets! The fourth one is me playing the theremin:


Next up are pictures from Schliersee. As you will see, the weather wasn’t great!:


Finally, here’s some conker pictures. Check out the little figures – I think the giraffe and hedgehog are my favourites:


Back from Munich

We had a lovely long weekend in Munich – although the weather was rubbish! I have lots of photos, but can’t face uploading them at the moment, so I’ll put a collage together for another post. On Friday we went into town (me, HD, my sister and niece) and we had a wander round the centre – Viktualienmarkt, Marienplatz (where we made HD, the only one of us who’d not been to Munich before, to do the tourist thing and watch the glockenspiel chiming from the Town Hall. You can’t go to Munich and not see the glockenspiel), lunch, Hofgarten, and the English Garden. On Saturday HD and I headed off to the Deutsches Museum (following Ian’s recommendation – I was embarrassed to admit I’d never been, despite having been to Munich several times, so thought I’d better rectify that!). It is their museum of technology, and is enormous. We started off in the astronomy section, which sadly was rather out of date (the display on the planets was talking about the most recent probe to Jupiter being expected to arrive there in 1995, and they still had Pluto included, although they had stuck a bit of paper over the explanatory bit saying “er, actually it’s not a planet any more). But that could really do with updating! Downstairs the stuff on amateur radio also included mention of the Federal Republic of Germany, so I think that’s a bit old as well! We also saw stuff on telescopes and physics and musical instruments and planes and all sorts of things, but we missed out large parts of the museum even so! It’s definitely an all-day place, and one you probably need to visit over several visits to get the most out of it.

On Sunday we all headed off to the Alps, to a lake called Schliersee. Unfortunately the weather was so rubbish we couldn’t actually see any mountains as they were all shrouded by very low (and wet!) clouds! We did go up in a cable car and had a huge Bavarian meal in a mountainside restaurant, but the weather just got progressively worse, so in the end we gave up and went back home again! Sunday afternoon saw a very serious conker tournament – we’d picked up lots in the English Garden, and my brother-in-law and niece were making figures from them, as that is the German tradition. So HD, my sister and I showed them how we play conkers in the UK – it was very amusing watching my brother-in-law drilling a hole in his conker (surely that’s cheating?!), it was very vorsprung durch technik! The resulting tournament was very amusing, as without exception we were all rubbish at it and hit ourselves much more often than the opposing conkers!

And then yesterday we came home. I went into London yesterday afternoon, just after we got back, to go to a seminar which was by an American student who is doing a similar PhD to me but in another former Soviet country. It was really excellent, and she found very similar things to me, which is very encouraging as it’s further proof that I’m not barking up the wrong tree but am actually onto something (which is always good to know at the writing-up stage of a PhD, let’s face it!). It also inspired a few more lightbulb moments for me, which this time I have managed to write down before I forgot them. That’s always a good thing. I have to say though, it was weird being in London. Too big and busy. I miss people ever such a lot, I still have lots of friends there who I don’t see nearly often enough, but I’m not really missing the place very much at all. I really do see Glasgow as home now (even though I’m spending more time in Luton. Or maybe because I’m spending more time in Luton!).

I’ll try and sort out photos tomorrow.

In concediu

This is Romanian for “on leave”, and it is what the entire country (or at least the subsection of the country I want to interview) is on at the moment. Very very frustrating! September is going to be bonkers, as I have to catch up with everyone who isn’t here now.

Accommodation is currently a bit of an issue for me. The people I’m staying with have family coming over to stay from Italy, so I have to move out tomorrow. There was somewhere lined up for me to stay, but due to some issue that I’m not party to, they can now only have me for a week. The person who arranged it all for me is out of the country till next week. So goodness knows where I’ll be next week! It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have so much Stuff – having to pack each week is a right pain! At least because everyone’s “in concediu” I’m not moving whilst simultaneously doing lots of interviews, so I suppose that’s something, but it’s very unsettling. I’m realising that I’m not very good at being dependent on other people, and am much better off living in my own place rather than other people’s long-term.

I so need a holiday. 16 sleeps to go.


Nothing much to report really, other than I’m still here. Had a meeting, and had a phone call from a Very Very Big Cheese Indeed who was very gushing and enthusiastic and seems to think I’m very impressive (I suspect largely based on the introductory email I sent, which was largely full of correct Romanian thanks to my teacher at the language school who corrected my very incorrect original). Fortunately she’s on holiday (as is the rest of the population of people I need to talk to – cultural norm = take all of August off and totally shut down everything, and never mind about poor English PhD students who need interviews) till the end of August, so I have a few weeks to work on being as impressive as she seems to think I am.

In other news, only 19 sleeps till I fly home for a holiday myself (if it’s good enough for the Moldovans …). Hooray!