Toe truck

Jul. 2nd, 2009 11:38 am
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Serious damage on big toe sustained in fall from top bunk, exacerbated by lunge to rescue Ringbear from fall into London Underground. Every step around London is happy agony. Now at Hamleys giant toy shop on Regent Street. DD is exploring while Ringbear and I have a pot of tea at the cafe on the top floor.

Having a wonderful time, actually.

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Final days

Apr. 19th, 2009 07:28 am
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Beauty and books. That's the message of the past couple of days. Friday we walked through this beautiful autumn city from bookshop to bookshop. I was good, though I bent enough to buy a guide to Amsterdam, venue for next year's convention.

Dinner at the Dux de Lux. Newk and I got stuck into the red, again, and had a grand and rowdy time.

Meet'n'greet at the Cathedral Grammar School. More fun, welcomes, hugs. Books. Lots of books. There was an icebreaker game, played with books and people, airmiles and smiles. "Where in the world is Skyring?"

I rang up home later. My son answered. "Where are you now, Dad?"

Saturday was the day for release walking. Again, Newk and I were out of control, pressing each others buttons, making awful puns, leaving books in unlikely places.

But Christchurch is the real star here. What a lovely city it is! The weather was mild and the leaves golden. We stuck books in trees, on benches, and dropt onto a passing punt.

Lunch at the Arts Centre, home of a million great release spots. Then talks and presentations back at the school, including a live Skype video link with Bookcrossing's CEO.

Dinner and trivia. This didn't work out well at all. My team didn't win.

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Apr. 14th, 2009 11:30 am
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Just arriving, we roadtrippers, at Picton on the South Island. Some seriously beautiful scenery, and I'm not talking about Discoverylover's smile for a change.

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There I was in St Malo, fresh off the boat from Guernsey, where I'd bought a fair dinkum guernsey. A thick blue woolen jumper as worn by Guernsey fishermen for centuries, and now sold to tourists. A lovely warm garment, but I was feeling very self-conscious, so when Kerri suggested I buy one of the Breton fisherman caps, as sold in every single one of St Malo's many souvenir shops along with the chocolate fish and the wooden lighthouses, I declined.

Since then, I've gone through a Canberra winter loving my guernsey. If there's a nip in the air, I snuggle into its baggy blue comfort.

So happy am I with it, that I'm sorry I didn't buy a Breton fisherman cap to go with it. Next time, I told myself. Brittany is a long way to go for an item of headwear, but well worth the trip.

Williamstown last week, and we (Ken and his charmant parents) had just finished lunch, settling it down with a walk along the Gem Pier. While the older two ventured aboard the museum ship HMAS Castlemaine - "They served aboard during the battle of Jutland!" I yelled from the pier, hoping to score them a discount and maybe a quick spin around the bay - and Ken remained perforce ashore in his wheelchair, I went back to move the car to a better position.

On the way, I noticed that the maritime historical society was having a sale and of course, I stuck my nose in. A half price brass divers helmet us still enough to put a dent in even the boldest credit card, but amongst the t-shirts and compasses I noticed a pile of dark blue caps. Breton fisherfolk caps. Half price!

I'm sorry now that I didn't buy two, but I guess I can always go back.

It will go well with my guernsey, but I also had my Silver Service uniform in mind. I like a cap or hat to cover my bald spot in sun and cold and the official wide brimmed uniform slouch hat is quite impractical in a car. Other drivers wear non- uniform baseball or flat caps, but I hadn't seen anything that I truly loved.

Until now.

I felt a little self-conscious at first, especially when other drivers pulled up alongside and peered curiously in at me, but all my worries evaporated when one of the older drivers smiled and said, "That is one righteous cap!"

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