Capri

Sep. 18th, 2009 09:37 pm
cybermule: (Default)
http://cybermule.net/photo/capri/index.html

I really would like to go back there. I love Italy in general, but Capri in particular. Although I admit I'd probably hate it in the tourist season :)
cybermule: (Default)
One thing I've been missing since becoming a momma is my own little jaunts. Random rambles, unnecessary public transport, unexpected meetings and revealing shortcuts. It's just not that easy with a baby, and time away from the sprog is at the best both difficult and guilt inducing.

Anyway, the sprog is older and more flexible about how he spends his time, so we took a camping trip to Charmouth. I used to holiday there when I was a kid, and again while I was at uni, so toddling down the M5 to the strains of Thin White Rope was pleasantly nostalgic. We were comfortably stuffed with Chicitos lunch (the child preferred Vegetable Fajitas to chios - whodathunkit?) so sprog fell asleep pretty much after the Avonmouth Bridge, and I meandered happily down and off on the A358.

There was a teeny bit of a tits-up at this point - recently I've visited East Dorset rather a lot, so automatically started for Weymouth on the A37 as soon as I had an option, which meant I was too far north and slightly too east by the time my innate sense of direction kicked in. And I was tempted to just go straight on to the normal campsite, but instead I stuck some Spirit on the CD player (love that album at the moment) and started cross-country along teeny-tiny meandering lanes, just following my nose.

And I'm glad I did. I saw some beautiful tiny little villages with golden dorset stone cottages, and remembered how much I liked Crewkerne. I also nearly ran over some lamas (or maybe alpacas) that were being grazed on the verge, nodded to a lot of random motorists coming the other way across narrow bridges, and saw some fab gardens. Even the dark fog didn't dampen my spirits and I found my way from the wrong place to the right place via tiny lanes without looking at the map.

After refuelling and doing tyre pressures at Bridport(*), child woke up and we got to the site in about 15 minutes, pitched tents, ate beans and played in the park. Or rather, sprog played in the park while I sat on a bench and drank beer. And this was ok, as it was posh beer in a Caravan and Camping Club site, which pretty much let you get away with anything once you've paid membership. I offer the huge percentage of "strictly adult sites" in their brochure as evidence ;) Actually, I did play a bit, as the sprog thought my throwing a slightly flat pink football through a netball hoop was absolutelyfeckinhilarious.

We watched bats (AND A FROG), had a shower and fell asleep under the same duvet. And the next morning we woke up to rain, which was not forecast and sucked a great deal. I got us both dressed and started breakfast, then a lovely posh lady took pity on us and invited us into her static caravan for breakfast. I nearly refused out of politeness, but I had forgotten the coffee...

Anyway, she made me really nice coffee - two cups - and egg on toast. I might well send her a thank you card. She was also a bit scary in that she hated her husband and daughter-in-law and mostly openly bitched about them, and seemed to want to adopt me and Sprog instead. She was nice overall, though, and I do like just meeting random folk and chatting.

And then it had stopped raining so we packed up and went to Lyme Regis, which was chilly. Doing these things is always a bit disappointing - you expect the sprog to scamper excitedly on the beach, throwing stones and paddling. And the reality is that they whinge for ice-cream and rides on the Bob-the-sodding-builder digger that they could play on in Morrisons. But it was still fun, and he was knackered enough to sleep all the way home. And the drive home was sunny, non-circuitous, and fuelled with Purdeys and Scampi Fries.

(*) I wish mechanics would stop misreading the tyre pressure in the manual. I know they look up the correct version of my car in the table and read 2,6. Then I'm pretty sure they inflate it to 26 PSI thinking that 2,6 is just a "funny French way" of writing 26 PSI. But it's not - that's the Euro-pressure, and there's a conversion table right underneath that says 2,6 = 38 PSI. And that converted tyre pressure has the added advantage of not leaving the tyres looking all soft and bulgy :P
cybermule: (Default)
Well, lots has happened, and it should be updated about.

First of all, our wedding was fab. It was surrounded by stress and woe, but once we got down to Huntstile Farm on the Friday, I felt I could put that stuff aside and get on with it for 24 hours. I decorated the marquee myself - lots of spring flowers, a general butterfly theme, and tables named after GFs from Final Fantasy 8. Absolutely perfect. Making a table plan is harder than you think, especially when you want to keep your inlaws away from your bitchy family members, but it worked ok. And I even managed to get some sleep Friday night :)

Saturday morning was more of the busy, then around lunchtime I went to get ready, with help from the able Ninneviane. Although, to be fair to my own abilities, I have got the hang of make-up now. The photos actually do a reasonable job of making me look somewhere between presentable and reasonably attractive (:P) which is really where a gaming-girl-geek should aim for her wedding day.

The ceremony was fab and everything we could have wished for - the druids did a great job of making something meaningful, an having the whle of the Somerset Levels spread in front of you as you make your vows has to be inspiring. Lots of wonderful people came, I made a speech, we ate and drank to our hearts' content and partied late courtesy of the Jellied Reels. T be honest, I could say so much more, but it's a strangely personal event that I'd have to dwell on a long while before I regurgitated in any meaningful fashion, so that it the that about it, really.

The honeymoon was also good, despite having to break for 0ct0pus' grandma's funeral. It was a wedding sandwiched in death, which made it kind of bizarre. Although wonderful, I still feel a layer of detachment from it and a certain residual stress at the huge conflict of emotions around the whole thing. It was great to meet some more in-laws. Glen Coe moved me deeply. And then we spent a week parked up in a beautiful campsite near Arisaig. Ten steps from the beach of silvery sands cupping shallow blue lagoons. Cuckoos and boat trips to Muck (with an orca) and lovely walks. Gazing at the gentle breathing of the water in and out of the estuary next to the van. We will most definitely go back.

Two down points. A first mild one in the most boring hitcher known to man. Either don't say anything, or earn your keep with interesting tales, will ya? And the second much more serious in that the brakes locked (or something - I'm still unclear) on the M6 on the way back and someone rear-ended us. Which could have been a lot worse (we were in a roadworks zone doing 50) but still has shaken me and put me right off camper vans for life.

Time since we got back has been spent going to my own grandparent funeral, and trying to integrate back into real life. Like I said, the strain of so much going on in such a short space of time has left me uncharacteristically knackered, but given that I've not stopped in four or five years, this is probably a god thing and only to be expected. I've been working on my garden a lot, and slowly getting back to my gardening jobs. I've volunteered for an artistic collaboration with a total stranger just to push the boundaries, but other than that I will be taking it rather easy for the summer.
cybermule: (Default)
Well, getting hitched was better than I expected, and clears the way of stress for the big proper event in May. Woot.

Then we went to Pembrokeshire for a few days of freezing holiday. Down points were the cold, leading to controlled skids along 3 miles of back road. Further down was not learning my lesson on that the first time ;) Up points were two very fine coastpath runs, watching the child totally max out on the happy of being by the beach and having a log burner to inch towards. And finally the extreme beauty of the beach on the final day. I can't describe it adequately, just to say the freezing weather made the small enclosed beach near daybreak into a shimmering mass of water and ice. Turquoise, pink and silver. Like an amazing icicled frost palace by the sea.

And even running through half frozen sea water up to my ankles couldn't spoil this :) Absolutely perfect.

Dorset

Jul. 8th, 2007 07:17 pm
cybermule: (Default)
Drove down to Dorset on Friday night, with numerous stops for food and feeds. Found a nice campsite and stayed there for 2 nights - mixed success with baby, as he squawked both nights. Stressful. We're trying to nudge him towrds a routine, so maybe this was an ambitious venture, but hey-ho.

There was some nettle beer, and some delicious blueberries. They were bought from a cute guy who lived in a solar powered caravan on the edge of a blueberry field.

Corfe Castle was brilliant. Sunny and tea garden-y. Felt very poignant and super-alive. Also chilled on Lulworth beach for a while. Funnily enough, we were there shortly after Ben came into being, and it was a really weirdly wonderful time there then, which I can remember every detail of. I didn't know I was carrying Ben, but for some reasonable all the time seemed memorable.

Also paid a brief visit to Stourhead. It's beautiful - I'd like to go back there when it's not raining.

It was an ambitious but overall rewarding break. Home is still here, both good and bad.
cybermule: (Default)
I actually went on a really nice holiday last week, but haven't had chance to post. It got off to a really bad start, as I'd been going to drop [profile] 0ct0pus off in Cardiff on the way, but got scuppered by a broken cambelt on the mighty gold-car, which proved to be its doom :(

Finally arrived at a very cute chalet in Oxwich, got down to my holiday project (sorting getting on for 30 years worth of photos) and went for a walk around Oxwich Point, which was only a few miles but very enjoyable. The weather was bright and pleasant, so I wandered down to the beach just as twilight was falling and watched the waves for a bit too.

The second day was drizzly, so I went to the National Botanical Garden with some sandwiches, and took loads of geeky pictures of plants for my RHS course. Following that, I went for an amazing walk on the big spit of land sticking out the north of the Gower peninsula at LLanmadoc. This is one of the most isolated spots you can imagine - one side is rolling waves and sand dunes, the other is salt marshes and wild ponies. All you can hear is the roar of the sea and the rush of the breeze through the pines, and you can just meander for miles through the sand dunes and pine groves.

And the final day I went for a walk near Three Cliffs Bay, and looked at some cliffs and ruins. Then I went home. So as I'd put all my photos in albums, taken some good plant shots and done some brilliant walks, it was a holiday success.
cybermule: (Default)
Had a brilliant one night break in the Gower - sleeping on an airbed is actually pretty damn comfortable when you're pregnant. Hiking shorts aren't :( I was hoping to keep wearing them right up until the end :((

Walked along the big ridge that I missed in my epic tour of the Gower last year. Lots of cairns and stone ruins. Grumbled a lot about how being pregnant was slowing me down. Took some good pictures. The man camping next to us was a tosser - made some lame joke about how only big tents were allowed next to the sea, then drove up to the toilet block in his jag.

We did BBQ, walking, sitting on the beach and pub lunch, and it was all best :)
cybermule: (Default)
I like to start a break with a bit of a tidy up. Especially when that gets rid of the mountain of bits of paper that have been obscuring my desk at home for weeks now. I've improved the layout of my room - there's a new bookcase to give some nursery space, and my dad's set of shelves is now on my desk, which I'm really pleased with.

Other than that, from now on I'm limited to one useful chore around the house per day. The only exception to that is anything to do with plants or photos - I can do as much as I want there as they're both relaxing and sadly neglected right now. It'll be good to catch up.

Basically, I don't have to go back to work until the 23rd. Woot!

One thing - I want to get myself a cheap printer. Colour would be nice, along with low running costs (although I'm not going to print much). The crunch is that it needs to work with Linux (specifically Ubuntu). This is the sort of thing I hate organising with Linux, so if anyone knows one that will work...

We had our first ante-natal class yesterday. Along with the expectant couple from hell - they've had sickness, diabetes, waters breaking, separating pubis, wrong shaped coccyx, and the local nappy scheme didn't cover the expensive american nappies they'd had their eye on ;) Seriously, I've been blessed with an easy pregnancy, and I really do have sympathy for them. But some people just seem to be disaster areas that you can spot coming...

My mum's still ensconced in hospital. Which is great, because as she's now one week clear of any vodka consumption, she's actually reasonably pleasant company. Physically she's knackered - she can't even sit up of her own accord. If I were more religious, I would say that that sort of alcoholism is a demon possession - it sucks you dry of everything, then just re-animates you into a vicious banshee. Here's hoping it'll last a couple of months. Wouldn't it be great if she were sober for the birth of her first grandchild?*

* I know that this is probably hideously unrealistic, but it doesn't seem to help anything much to assume the worst is going to happen, so I'm just going to hope for the best
cybermule: (Default)
Them there spartans sure did good!

Thanks for sympathetic comments for all the "mum stuff". Each one was much appreciated, but I'm not going to answer them all because that's all I'd say.

(Edit: this was a good resource: http://www.committment.com/mamaswaltz.html)

We had a lovely few days in Italy. Capri was brilliant - did some walking, and went up to Jove's villa, which was my personal highlight along with the spiffy hotel :)

Am starting to feel a little like a football balanced on two cocktail sticks, but am feeling generally more energetic and less achey, so that's good. Only 10 more weeks to go...
cybermule: (Default)
Had a brilliant holiday. I already forgot what I did the first weekend, but on Monday, [livejournal.com profile] 0ct0pus and I (and the cat) headed off to Pembrokeshire for a few days chilling in an eco-house with a 180 degree sea view.

Did a lot of brilliant walks - rain swept hills and exhilirating windy coastal paths. Only about 6 or 7 miles each day, I would think, but when you're up to your ankles in bog water in a gale, that's quite a hefty hike.

I also had a Withnail moment - the bull didn't want to get into that other field to fuck the cows, but it was very interested in my rucksack. Mostly when I had my back turned.

And yes, I did run at it. Shouting.

With my fist stretched out.

Saturday night was spent out with [personal profile] ninneviane and [livejournal.com profile] jo_kat. Which was best night out ever. Most definitely. Even though we inadvertently skipped the bill at the restaurant, and didn't get back in until about 4 in the morning.

*yawn*

And then, I got home and got whisked to the spa by [livejournal.com profile] 0ct0pus, who was a total sweetie and even did all the driving. And that was also great - I love swimming around in a bubbly pool on a brisk April evening :))

Now, having got back to work, I really notice that it sucks. The suckdom was relieved by a lunchtime jaunt in my friend's new Audi convertible. Which, when you put your foot down, feels somewhat like being at Alton Towers.

Ehm. That's it. Except I finally got my web hosting sorted out (thanks K, and tell R that I'm looking into that database thing - definitely seems like a possibility for us).

New website will be posted soon. And I made some new icons :)
cybermule: (Default)
I finished my Women into Enterprise course today. I'm pretty sure I passed, and I'm getting a big buzz from that, but on the other hand I'm really sad that it's come to an end.

I also arranged to take a term's break from my Women's counselling group. My life is going to be stunningly unstructured.

Except I got another landscaping commission.

Last night I went to see "Nights at the Circus" at the Bristol Old Vic, and it was really good. Made me want to go off and re-read my Angela Carter.

I nearly got minced by a really evil white van driver on the M4 on the way home this morning.

And I'm on holiday next week. So no updates. Although I would finally like to type up my weekend in Rome.
cybermule: (Default)
I've been putting off booking the moggy into a cattery for weeks. Now I've finally done it! Which is good, as I'm off to Rome at the end of the month, and she does need to be looked after.

The thing that always puts me off is having to take in the vaccination card. As usual, I've lost it. Which entails yet another embarrassing trip to the vet to get a replacement.

There's not a lot of news here.

I got my Sherlock Holmes DVDs, entirely through the medium of flogging stuff on EBay. Looking forward to watching those tonight.

I've got filthy rotten flu. Still.

My new lodger's not nuts.
cybermule: (Default)
But in the nicest possible way.

Or at least it was after Friday when I went for a disastrous night out with my brother, the depths of which are best left unplumbed.

Spent a lovely few days in Pembrokeshire. Mostly eating, reading and occasionally walking. Most notable was a day spent visiting Pentre Ifan, a truly spectacular megalith, and scanning round Nevern church, before heading to St DAvid's for an ice-cream and a potter round the cathedral.

Feeling relaxed and refreshed - shame I had to head back to work...

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