Sunday, January 25, 2009

You Gotta Love the Bank

Copy & pasted is the email below we received from the bank:

Thanks



Grateful if you would give me the EC equivalent for 150 000 dirhams



I am sorry but this currency is new to me



I would appreciate your assistance in this matter



Thanks again

Dedicated to Charles Morland from the Sloth



Now, this is what happens to Teva flips after 6 months of continual wear.....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our first crop of cumbers as the kids call them


There's a funny caption in here somewhere.....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thanks so much!

Ollie's wishlist since arriving here has been simple - Kung Fu Panda stickers. Bought the DVD and the game - no good - back to basics - I want the stickers for my sticker book was his weekly request. Uncle Chris came to the rescue and on Friday the parcel was waiting for us. After a patient queue - well I just dodged from one line to another as when I reached the end I was in the 'no, this is for posting', 'no, this is for opening boxes only' 'no, this is the cashier' lines - we finally got our little package inspected. The duty was EC$2.03. Who knows how they calculated that and I only had a EC$10 dollar note. Sorry, no change. Not, sorry no change you can take it but sorry, no change, you'll have to wait. Nothing could dampen Ollie's excitement though and 45 mins later (a GPO wih no money in?) we were on our Kung Fu way...enjoy his Oscar winning acceptance speech - no, he was overjoyed, honest....his sister just overshadows him somewhat....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today in Portsmouth




It was busy - well there was more than us 5 on the beach.
Lots of smart boats in the marina (well, if there was a marina).
Strange elderly women on the beach with bleached white hair, make-up and bikini bottoms up to the ribs - having their Shirley Valentine moments no doubt.
As we leave, the Shirley Valentines and several Ross University doctors in training (my body is a temple?) are partaking in a sweet smelling moment.
By next week, I'm sure all will be deserted again.
There were 4 cruise ships in today afterall.
These pesky tourists leading us astray....anyway, we got home in time for the sunset and left them all to it....

No, it's not finished yet


We've finally found decent contractors. Let me tell you, the only way to find reliable and skilled workers is to do the hard graft yourself and search and look and inspect work. The other option is to take a chance on 'new' workers as it were - those that have always reported to others but have never branched out for themselves. Well, we plucked two of these out and gave them their first contract to complete from start to finish. They are doing the pool decking and fencing. Having learned the hard way ie. flying a so called skilled labourer out from the UK, who instead just enjoyed a free scuba diving holiday with his girlfriend and then being recomended a few duffers who called themselves by various professions that they must have chosen from a lucky dip hat - ie. the housekeeper who wouldn't iron in the rain (so half the year) to the temporary nanny who told the children to go and play whilst she watched TV, we are now on our way to having a pool of people to call on that are skilled and actually show up - even in the rain. Talking of pools, here's a teaser......

It's only 82 degrees


After 6 months my children are getting aclimatised I guess.

Checking on Ollie as I went to bed one night this week, I found him like this. Next morning he told me he was freezing and thought that the earmuffs (having been discarded to the dressing up box) would do the trick.

Next we'll be getting the fan heater out.....

Stop-pinnnn


Had to catch the bus last week. So, I find the correct bus stop and there's 10 buses in a row so I go to the front one. No, that's not right, the correct procedure is to find the one that's completely full and then you squeeze in. Well, actually you find the one with no seats, lots of shouting ensues and then you are directed into a small space - with 2 kids on your lap with 2 school backpacks. Chloe gave me that, 'are you completely mad' look and I smile and give her that fixed 'what an adventure this is, don't argue with me' smile. So we set off - not as the crow flies but some strange back route but at least we're working our way up the mountain (we live at the top) so things are looking up ('scuse the pun). Suddently a lound 'stop-pinnn' is shouted out from somewhere - it has to be loud because of blaring IPOD's, numerous cell phones going and a conversation taking place between the driver and the person on the back seat and front seat at the same time, of course. Anyway, the bus stops and everyone looks at me but I'm not quite sure why. Then I twig, I'm next to the door so I'm doorman/woman/whatever. So, how do I open the door with 2 kids on my lap and nowhere to put them whilst trying to get the door. So I do this leaning right over thing and just about manage it. More looking at me. Umm, I have to close it too I guess. More leaning and sweating and humiliation as I can't quite do it - well it's a sliding door on a minibus half-way up a mountain - it's heavy ok and I've just been given specific instructions 'don't let it slam'. How can you not slam a sliding door on a 45 degree angle. More looking at me. Then my cell phone (I'd say mobile b I've been brainwashed here to cell language) bleeps with a text message saying 'In Belga Queen, having champagne and oysters, wish you were here'. How my life's changed....miss you loads Mel XX