Archive | May, 2016

Daydreaming

20 May

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I’m sitting at home in the UK, missing Neil and all things Abu Dhabi even as I cherish every moment with my family. Although it’s wonderful to be able to spend time outside I’m fed up of feeling cold. I’m longing for warmer climes.
Friday still feels like the weekend and friends are posting pictures of brunch so I really don’t want to do any more housework or DIY. So I’m spending my time looking at pictures of the boat and remembering our life as a liveaboard. I now have the urge to share some of the said pictures from our first year in the Ionian on dear old Seren Mor.

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There you go. I feel better now.

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Turning Left

6 May

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I’m an Economy Class traveller. In fact most of my travel experience has been on the budget airlines so more Cattle Class really. Now, for my last flight from Abu Dhabi, I’ve been upgraded with our “points” to Business Class. Just to be clear this is the first time, ever, turning left on boarding.
The chauffeur service to and from the airport made me rather nervous. Not because I’m not used to being driven around – the taxi service in AD is superb – but rather I didn’t quite expect it to turn up. I’m still not confident the one in Manchester will be waiting. But it was all smoothly efficient even if the driver obviously didn’t think my tip was enough. I understood why after the porter he’d transferred my bags to informed me (once my bags were on the check-in scales) that what I thought was a tip for five minutes work had a “company charge” of four times the amount. The desk crew shook her head at my expression “It’s a scam”. Ah well, lesson learnt. Except, of course, I won’t be making the trip again.
Having said that, check in, security and boarding were a delight. No queuing for me, thank you very much. There’s even a separate all-seater shuttle bus to the plane that delivers you to the steps separately from everyone else so there’s no mingling with the plebs.
Then there’s the seats on board. I’d booked a window seat and was doubting my decision, being one of those annoying people who have to keep getting up all the time. I needn’t have worried. They’re cunningly designed so every seat has access to an aisle yet still feeling pleasantly enclosed and private. And, omg, the leg room! There’s a foot-stool so you can lie almost flat or just recline with your feet up to watch the movies. These are the same as economy but the headphones are bigger and more comfortable as well as a proper cushion with fleecy quilt rather than a flimsy blanket. Even so, my first thought was “Ooh! Goody bag!”
So here I am, several glasses of fizz and a movie in, totally chilled and building up an  appetite for my lunch which will be served – when I ask for it. Not a plastic beaker or multi-compartment tray in sight.

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Lunch came complete with starched white linen napkins and individual salt and pepper pots. The bread seemed freshly baked. Is that even possible on a plane? Not what you’d call a leisurely dining experience but probably just as well as the turbulence hit just as I was finishing a rather good glass of Shiraz. When it settles I’m going to need a little siesta before I pick my next movie.
I could get used to this. Fat chance. Even so, you have to wonder about First…

Leaving

5 May

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I hate goodbyes. There are so many with our rather itinerate life. Everything is “ this is the last time” I’ll do this or that, whether it’s a favourite walk, a coffee morning, a quiz night or a beach excursion. You can’t help it.
And you know that the life you are leaving will go on without you. Events are organised, friends make arrangements to meet up and you’re no longer part of it.
You hug those you’ve come to care about as tears fill traitorous eyes, not knowing when, or even if, you will ever see them again.
Don’t get me wrong. We have so much to look forward to. But leaving is never easy.