27 December 2007

Last minute preparation

This time tomorrow we'll be half way to Singapore.

We pretty much packed everything, done our last minute shopping, bought some pounds and euros and worked out what we really don't need to take. We've even been loading music onto the laptop to we can change what's on our Ipods while we're away.

I just discovered I discovered I didn't know how to change the time on my watch. I've only had it a few months, but in that time I've managed to misplace the instructions that came with it. The good old internet to the rescue. I've downloaded the instructions from the Casio website and now I won't have to keep asking Donna the local time, or subtracting from Brisbane time.


I found someone that's been on the London Eye, my very own step-daughter. Jess was over there a couple of years ago and she said it was a pretty good ride. She didn't like the Seaworld Eye much, but she said she enjoyed the London Eye. So there you go.

22 December 2007

Swimming with the dolphins

Ever since she was young, Sarah, my youngest step-daughter, has wanted to swim with dolphins. So, when we asked her a few months ago what she wanted to do for her 21st, she didn't say she wanted a party, she said she wanted to swim with the dolphins at Seaworld.

Well, yesterday was the big day and as you can see from the picture below, she got her wish.

That's Sarah at the top right of the picture. Going clockwise from Sarah, the others are Jess, my oldest stepdaughter, Michael, Olivia and Jenn, Sarah's friends, and Roy, Jenn's brother. All but Jess work together.

The swim lasted about 45 minutes all up. It was split into a deep water part and a shallow water part. The picture above is of the deep water part, where they got the dolphin to respond to different commands. Here, they're all swimming round in circles. The shallow water part was where they had their photos taken with the dolphin.

After the swim we spent a few hours checking out the rest of Seaworld. Donna and I found the animals the most interesting, including the window cleaners in one of the tanks. The two of us did go on one ride though. As we'll be in London soon, and London has the 135 metre tall London Eye, we thought we'd try out the Seaworld Eye, which is only 60 metres tall. Neither of us are that keen on heights, even though I'm a pilot, and if you go right back to one of my very first blog entries, you'll find a picture of me sitting on my parent's roof. We thought we'd try out the Seaworld Eye and if we enjoyed that we'd go on the London Eye.

I don't think we'll be going on the London Eye. The view was great, but every time the ride stops, the pod you're sitting in swings, especially if you're right at the top. I've seen pictures of the London Eye that suggest to me that the pods on that don't swing, because of the way they're fitted, so I'm not absolutely sure that I won't go up in it. I'll probably need a lot of encouragement though.

If anyone has been in the London Eye, leave a comment and let me know what it's like. I know one of my regular readers lives in London (or at least has their internet access through there), but I don't know who they are.

Anyway, getting back to Seaworld, if you want to see more of the day, have a look here. There's even a pic of the window cleaners.

If you ever visit Seaworld on the Gold Coast and want to swim with the dolphins, or the sea lions or sharks for that matter, check out their website here. The dolphin adventure costs $175 per person and your entry into the park is about $65. If you do the family dolphin adventure it works out a lot cheaper. Oh, and the price includes one photo of you and the dolphin.

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16 December 2007

Not long now

Donna just complained that it's hot and she's right, it is rather warm today. It's not so hot that we've put the airconditioning on, about 27 degrees celsius, but it's warm enough that I'm sitting here without a shirt on.

Actually, there's a bit of a sea breeze blowing in the window I'm sitting next to, so it's quite comfortable. The only place that's really hot is my lap, as I'm typing this on a laptop.

Two weeks from now, we'll be complaining it's cold, because we'll be in England. At the moment it's -1 in Poole, where we'll be staying for the first week.

Just about everything that needs to be booked is booked. We'll be staying in the Latin quarter when we get to Paris. The hotel is within walking distance of Notre Dame Cathedral. Once we leave Paris we'll play it by ear, but the intention at the moment is to catch the night train to Rome and spend a couple of days there.

So, now I've just got to get the next four work days out of the way and I'll be on holidays for seven weeks.

With the contract that's been signed with IBM, it'll be interesting to see where I'll be working when I get back, if at all.

09 December 2007

Sore bum

One of the chooks must have a sore bum today if what I found in the nest this afternoon is anything to go by.

The egg on the left is about the size they normally lay, even that's not small. They're usually around 65 grams. The one on the right weighed in at 100 grams and I guarantee it won't fit in an egg carton.

I'm curious to find out just how many yolks it has. I'm pretty sure the last time we had an egg that size it had three yolks.

07 December 2007

Change of plans

We had a call from our travel agent yesterday.

It seems that one of the coach tours we'd booked with Trafalgar has been cancelled, most likely due to lack of numbers. What annoys me about this is that we had to make sure we paid in full to get on the tour about three weeks ago. I assume that was the cutoff for the tour and no other bookings could be made after that. In which case, Trafalgar would have known three weeks ago that the tour wasn't viable and could have advised our travel agent then.

Our agent has suggested different dates for the two tours, but we've already made arrangements around the old dates and it would throw everything into disarray.

So what we've decided is, we're going to stick with our original timetable up to when we would have left for the second tour. That is, we head down to Dorset to stay with my aunt as soon as we arrive at Heathrow, then we head up to London for a night before doing a six day tour to Edinburgh and back. We've then got four days in London, which would have lead us into a seven day tour to Rome, this is the one that's been cancelled.

Instead we'll jump on the Eurostar to Paris, then use our Eurail pass for a leisurely tour around Europe for two weeks on the trains. We had intended to do that after arriving in Rome. We have a fifteen day pass, but would have probably only used it for about a week to see the places we didn't see on the tour.

Once we get back to England, we'll have time to see most of my family in Hertfordshire. Although, we don't know who we're staying with as yet, we're still looking for volunteers. Donna's looking forward to seeing where I was born and where I went to school.

Needless to say, I'm taking the laptop, my cameras and plenty of batteries and memory cards and I'll be blogging about the trip as much as I can while we're away. Donna will most likely do the same on her blog.

It seems that I've won a tour of the Cider Press, the best pub in Torquay as a result of correctly identifying a picture on Dave's blog. I do suspect however, that the odds were stacked in my favour. Dave knew I was going to be over that way soon and the picture in question was taken on the Gold Coast not far from here. We were going to meet up for a drink while Dave was over here on holidays, but I couldn't make it at the time. So there may be three people blogging about the same event.