Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Well hello there!

G'day all!

I've been missing in action.

Well I've certainly been active.

Early this month DH resigned from his old job.  He had found a new job.

This means going and getting new visas.

yay.

not.


Peonies, taken on the new phone
Actually getting the visas is fine.  It is the amount of work I have to do to organise it all that is the PITA.  Y'see it is up to me to deal with the paperwork.  This means encrypting mountainloads of images and scans and getting more scans and information together for the immigration lawyers, and providing all sorts of details for their side of the deal.  This takes a number of hours.  Then one has to do stuff online to schedule an appointment at any of the US consulates in Oz, Canada or the UK.  Canada is close and we've never been to Quebec and it is close to Nathan's works head office, relatively....

Then when one has just spent three hours online putting All One's Own Details and those of one's Beloved (aka by now why can't one just throttle him and get him to do his own blasted work?) into a computer system, again, for the umpteenth time, and then one gets to schedule a visa appointment in Canada and it tells one....

No available appointments

and the next US consulate in Canada tells one

one
hundred
and
thirty-one days before the next appointment is available,

and one has ten days to get out of the country under the terms and conditions of one's current, expiring visa,

one might have had just a little wee tad of a meltdown.  A sobbing, panicked, heartbroken sort of wee tad of a meltdown.

Send yarn.  Send lots of yarn.  Like in this
department store.

So it seemed Canada was off the list of places we could get new visas.  We couldn't wait four months - we'd go bankrupt and also be homeless.

The options were going home to Oz and going to London (UK, not Ontario, Canada!).


Can you guess where we went?

Uh, yeah.  Maybe not obvious enough?

London is closer and much closer than Oz is to DH's new work's head office in NYC.  Plus it had only a short waiting before we could get an appointment.

So the company agreed to send us there and put us on a plane (Air Canada) and sent us off to London!

Holy guacamole did we have a fantastic time!

Oh and we got the new visas, though we thought for a little while that the Border Force guy would not let us into England at all.... but it was ok.

I had thought that London would be suffering from austerity.  Nuh-uh.  Venture capital, or so I am told, is funding new buildings all over the place.  I remember London as being a bit stuffy last I was there but it has leapt into the 21st century.  It is an amazing mix of traditional and modern architecture, and the modern stuff isn't just tall glass boxes.  They are quirky glass boxes.  There are weird shapes and interesting bits and the place is growing upwards madly.

We walked and walked and walked and walked.  And rode the tube.  We happened to walk past Horse Guards when they were selling tickets for their annual parade and retreat (not the trooping of the colours, a different event) so we bought cheap tickets to that.  Even the cheap seats were good.  We walked some more and gawped at the architecture and at Regent Street and Oxford Street and the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and its tower and Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.   We went to Greenwich and also to the Natural History Museum.  We moved from Paddington in a hotel to a cousin's place in Wimbledon, and kept riding the tube and the train and walking walking walking.  We went out to Hampton Court Palace (by train!  LOL) and DH asked me lots of questions that I could not answer about Henry VIII cos I am not AJ.

The life and the energy of the place was amazing.  I don't know if people are spending their hard earned pounds but there are certainly people out and about in London.

And do you have to ask if I went to any yarn shops?

I did a meet up with a Ravelry BC mate at I Knit London:

I'm a bit yarn-crazed and Y is leery of me....
Both of them were very adequate yarn shops with lovely selections, but I Knit London has something super special:


DH hurried down when he heard this

Yep.  What I call grog and others would call alcohol.

In a yarn shop.

Honestly!

See?  yarn.  and alcohol.  In the one shop.
I think this is a winning combo and I don't drink!

and on the last day in London we got to Loop after picking up our passports with shiny new visas and walking via St Pancras/Kings Cross stations.


Loop is an excellent yarn store

Relegated to the husband seat,
somewhat camouflaged

And there is yarn in the department stores there, nice yarn too, and I may have gone to Liberty of London and what a bottler of a store that is, particularly the upper levels with its weird (overpriced) stuff.  I always thought I had tacky taste but it turns out I've just got expensive taste.  Many LOLZ.

It was an amazing trip, so different to what I expected.  We only had one day off in the hmm ten that we were there.  There was just so much to see and do, and we really didn't scratch the surface of the attractions.  I have not walked so much in months and now that I am home and have been horribly jetlagged (I realised that I was awake for almost 24 hours after five hours sleep, with two flights and a five hour layover in between times), I have hardly walked at all.  Today I am back at work, which means only doing my exercises and going out to the garage.  Yep, that is a loooong way.

But I did do the naked bike ride on Saturday.  There was one the previous weekend in London but it was a really starkers bike ride, not a painted person bike ride, and the only bike available to me was a Boris bike (one of the bike share ones).  Can you imagine riding around nekkid on a bike that has been lord knows were?  Or riding one of the Boris bikes after some nekkid person has been riding it?

Ick.

So if you get the chance, do go to London, especially during the longer days of the year (rather than the long nights part of the year).  Maybe like us you will have a ball!

I think I will stick a few pics (ok, this is me, there will be thousands) up on my travel blog - the link is on the side bar.  Just bear with me for the nonce as I should be slightly discriminatory.

anon!

PS I have been knitting!

Two Aviatrices to distribute to those with kids