Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More form and function..

Money burns a hole in my pocket and I've just bought us a new Apple MacBook. When I say new I actually mean an Apple refurbished Macbook which looks brand new but comes with a 32% discount. Fan-tas-tic. Very impressed so far. It's a 13" laptop, with a 60GB hard drive, bluetooth, wireless (B&G), dvd and cd burner, inbuilt web cam and a remote control. Having a Intel chip rather than the usual PowerPC chip I can run windows on it too. In fact I'm currently running Max OS X and Windows right now switching between the two to work. How cool is that. All for under £600. I know a bargin when I see one

Oh and I hope you like the new Blog layout. It looks fantastic on the new MAC.

A long overdue update

Just a short update on what we've been up to recently.

We took the bikes out on Saturday but only managed to get a mile before I got a puncture. I'm going to look at alternative routes or try and work out how to reinforce my tires. When farmers cut hedges it would be nice if they cleared up after themselves rather than leaving crap all over the path. I'm sure my puncture was caused by a stray thorn!!! Once we were home I popped next door to give my neighbour a hand clearing some ground in front of our houses. After about 20 minutes I was struggling with some roots and strained my back. All I could manage after that was helping clear up and putting down the weed killer. I've been hobbling around like a geriatric for most of the week. Abi and I babysat that evening. A total non event and it all seems pretty easy to me. You go round, check on the baby every hour or so and enjoy a nice meal, watch a movie and scoff bags of chocolate. Parenting is simple!!

We're planning to take part in a 100KM (62 Miles) walk in Ypres this summer. Held over three days it involves a hell of a lot of walking. With that in mind we've purchased some good walking boots/socks but have yet to undertake a serious walk. This weekend is our first attempt. We plan to walk 20KM (it's actually 12 miles but using kilometres makes it sound a hell of a lot longer) from Bramley to Cranleigh and back. Not that far but we thought it was best to start small and work our way up to 30 - 40 KM's. I'll let you know how we get on.

It's only two weeks & three days until we leave for the US. I can't wait although I'm still a little apprehensive about driving a 30ft RV. The highway should be fine it's what happens when we leave it that worries me. I downloaded the owner's manual the other night and its 140 pages long. This thing is more like a boat. It's got storage tanks, outlets and power sockets, air conditioning units and all sorts.

We booked our first two camp sites last night. The first is in Sedona, Arizona and the second is just outside Monument Valley just over the border in Utah. From there we plan to stop for the day at a place called Chinle in Arizona and then move on to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. It's interesting to note that although we're in the desert (think John Wayne and Clint Eastwood) the places we are visiting are a minimum of 3000ft above sea level, some are 5000 - 6000 ft. So it's not going to be as warm as you might think. Phoenix has an average temperature of 70+ (20 Degrees C) degrees but the four corners area (Utah/Colorado/Arizona & New Mexico) will have a maximum temperature today of 33 degrees (1 Degree c) with light snow showers. Looks like the thermal underwear and fleeces are coming with us :-)

More to come before we leave.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A message from my sister....

I'm taking part in the Bedford Race for Life on 22/07/2007 to raise money for Cancer Research UK and would really welcome your support.

Please take a moment to sponsor me. It's really easy - you can donate online by credit or debit card at the following address:

All donations are secure and sent electronically to Cancer Research UK. If you are a UK taxpayer, Justgiving will add an automatic 28% bonus to your donation at no cost to you. Please join me in supporting Cancer Research UK and a fabulous cause!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mountain Biking

Abi decided she wanted to go Mountain Biking today after our walk along a dissused rail line yesterday. So we were off to Halfords this morning to pick up a bike rack then home to prepare.

I'm not going to go into too much detail here but to summerise we've both got sore bums, the bikes were covered in mud and Abi got a puncture. We're off to pick up some padded saddles during the week and try again next weekend.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nine Point Turn....

Another week has gone by without a blog update!!! Shock horror!!!!! Well very few people read this anyway so I’m sure my ramblings haven’t been missed. I’ve been back for ten days and don’t have a lot to talk about. Jet Lag is over although I’m still tired in the evenings (must be the fact that the Brits work longer hours than the Aussies). I’ve settled back into work and home but the cold weather is awful. We had a few inches of snow this morning which made for an interesting drive into work and it appears that I’ve got a cold. Fantastic!!!!

Work is dragging on. I’m waiting to hear if my current role is part of the new organisation. We should hear something next week but I’m wont hold my breath. I’ve asked my boss if there’s an opportunity to do something different. I’ve been doing the same thing for the past seven years and it’s probably time to move on. I don’t think my current role as a long shelf life so in the words of ‘Gunny Highway’ it’s time to ‘Adapt, Improvise and Overcome!!!’

Only five weeks until our holiday and I’m getting a little nervous. The paperwork for the RV arrived last week and the reality of attempting to drive a 30ft vehicle is sinking in. Abi’s a great driver and I’m sure we’ll be fine but the first few days will be interesting. It’s not the highways or back roads that bother me, it’s the national parks and the smaller towns. Where do you park one of these things and how the hell do you do a three point turn. Comments please.

The next step is to plan the holiday or well at least get a rough idea of the area we want to cover then I can start looking for RV parks!!!! At the moment we plan to head north east from Phoenix to the Four Corners area with a few side trips along the way. We are hoping to visit Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley, The CanyonLands, Moab, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. It’s a real Wild West tour and any suggestions would be appreciated.