Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Summer's Eve

It finally feels as if Summer may have arrived. I may have spent the majority of this gorgeous day confined within the walls of my office suffering from a mid-morning migraine (which I'm sure came on because as humans we weren't designed to spend so much time staring at screens), but it all proved worth it to come home. Not only do I better appreciate my free time these days, but the place that I spend the majority of my waking hours during the week funds the place I get to return to in the evenings - and right now at this point in my life I wouldn't trade this place.

I've had a holiday-type feeling tonight and feel relaxed. It probably helps that I'm having a pretty darn good week at work (much better than the nightmare that was last week). I kicked off Monday morning with a deal, and represented the team during our company's audit today. We remain compliant and all is good. I went out for a walk at lunch to get away from the screen and to spend some time in the Sun. Taking my book with me, I found a bench and let the warmth surround me as I entered the world of the Dark Tower. It's also how I spent my evening.

I think it's a mixture of aspects that have put me in that holiday mood when I'm not actually on holiday. For starters, we live a 2 minute walk up the road from the High Street which I've noticed is becoming evermore full of cafes, diners, take-aways and restaurants. I walk past these as I make my way home. I then walk away from the hustle-and-bustle just enough so that it can no longer be heard, but not so far in that I can easily pop back into it if need - or want - be. I then pass the river besides which we reside and tonight there were plenty of people playing out in the river, be it in canoes, boats, or just jumping in. In fact all evening we've been able to hear a group of kids jumping in the river over and over again, and it reminds of being on holiday somewhere pleasant and being able to hear the sounds of people playing in a nearby swimming pool. Then, there's the fact that as soon as I arrived home, I shed the suit that encases me during the days and slipped into something a little more comfortable - that being my shorts and t-shirt. My socks were also removed for added effect. And finally, Stacey and I enjoyed our simple meal of vegetarian burgers (not actually that bad - thanks Sainsbury's), southern style potato wedges and salad out on our balcony as the sun continued too shine into the evening. As previously mentioned, I topped things off by continuing with my reading of the latest Stephen King epic which I've just polished off. And what better way to wash that down than by writing a blog, eh?

On a side note, I'd just like to once again mention that I can't remember the Stephen King Dark Tower books enough. The new one which fits in between what were originally the fourth and fifth book can be read as a stand alone novel (although a few references may not be fully understood) and becomes a story within a story within a story. It's provides two fantastic tales that are told during the events of the series within each other. I'm just a little sad to think that it's all over, again.

I'm now to conclude my day with a shower, as we have clean sheets tonight that always feel better with a clean body to match. All that's left is for me to wish you all long days and pleasant nights.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Adventures Happened

It's been a busy few weeks. Work continues to bring its highs and lows, its ups and downs. 'That's recruitment' I'm told. I enjoy having a job that brings variety every single day, even if I have to deal with the odd fool or douche.

Outside of my workapades, life is passing me by at a rapid rate. I guess time does fly when you're having fun.

A couple of weeks back, Stacey and I travelled to Holland for a long weekend to visit her family out there. Her Uncle, Aunt and very young cousins allowed us into their home for what was a terrific getaway. Her cousins can both run around now and it was mayhem of the best kind. I personally had the best time playing the role of 'kid' myself; throwing cushions, jumping around, etc. Stacey meanwhile had the best calming effect on her littlest cuz in particular.

Our Holland visit was jam-packed with a ton of bike-riding, visits to the park and pancake house, Grolsh and another visit to a theme park. The Dutch theme park was Efteling and for anybody into their fairy tales, fantasy and theme parks will just love this place. The Flying Dutchman themed rollercoaster/water ride won my ride of the day as it pulled in elements of two different ride types to give a fantastic experience - even the queue was worth standing in as the set was awesome.

In terms of the cycling in Holland, we just can't compete over here. The infrastructure is just incredible, as for every single road, there's a cycle-road running parallel. As a result the roads are much quieter and there's a nice, relaxed atmosphere to travel. We did a lot of cycling on our few days out there, including to the restaurant/bar for an evening out (no drink driving needed when you cycle) and to the park with the boys in tow.

We had an absolutely awesome time in Holland and it was great to get reacquainted with Brian, Kate and the rot-pots!

On the set

Yesterday, Stacey found herself driving someplace else. With Nick, John and my little sister in the back, we travelled to Watford to the Warner Bros. Studios to see The Making of Harry Potter. For those of you that are a fan of the franchise or the films, I'd highly recommend this day out. We spent four hours wandering around the place seeing the sets, props and special effects that went into making the eight Potter films and finding the Snitches hidden throughout.
Highlights of the day included getting to try out the green screens, tasting actual Butterbeer (kind of creamy-toffee flavoured stuff) and the grand finale that was the exterior of Hogwarts. Hell everything was a highlight including the damn giftshop in which you could spend an absolute fortune of you had one.

Special thanks to Nick and John also, who very kindly bought Popster a collectible replica of the Elder Wand.

Adventures yet to come...

Well, we're off to an 80s/90s night this Friday, but there is something bigger planned. Something so exciting that as we were booking it, I couldn't sit at all still in my chair in the travel agents'. 

2013: New York; Florida.

It's going to be the holiday of a lifetime and neither of us can wait.