Friday, 22 August 2008

Broadstairs, London, Airshow and more

I've just returned from a short break with mum, dad, sister, niece and nephew. A family holiday in Broadstairs, Kent. While we were there, our friends came to stay for a couple of days before returning home to play "Sing star."

We had a good time and the weather was much better than was forecast. We managed to get on the beach, saw some fireworks and a fun-fair (see pic). Yesterday I did another mini-coastal walk from Margate round to Broadstairs after bowling in the town with my nephew and sister.

Before that, I went to London to meet a VSO friend and to Eastbourne to see the Airshow. The Red Arrows are pretty spectacular - I got some good photos.

Finally, in the middle of August, my French friends ( a teaching family I met through school) came to visit. On one of the days we visited London and saw the changing of the guard.

I now only have two weeks until I return to Ethiopia... I will miss the opulent lifestyle of the last six weeks (although I need to lose some weight and stem my spending spree!)

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Spending lots of money... Gaining weight.. coastal visits!

In the last couple of weeks I have spent about double what I earnt in Ethiopia in 9 months (hire car, fuel, hotels, Amazon, that kind of thing!) I have also (with the aid of sweets, puddings and fast food) put on about 9lbs (4kg)!!!

Hightlights of the last couple of weeks include:

17-18 Jul: Travelled to York and visited my old University - lots of memories.

18-21 Jul: Scarborough - lots of walking + Sealife centre!

22 Jul: PTCPS Leavers service - saw some children I taught last year who are leaving the school to go to secondary school.

23 Jul: VSO Wealden group lunch - spreading the word.

Lots of family events including birthdays and seeing my niece and nephew.

29 Jul - 02 Aug: To Tenby - lots of walking, coastal path etc Lots of heavy rain! Took a boat to Caldey Island, about 3km from Tenby - beautiful sandy beaches and cliffs.

02-04 Aug: The Gower, Wales inc. walking out to Worm's head (see photo) and then along to Porthcawl and Barry Island near Cardiff.

I love the coast and walking along it - the river is good in Gilgel, but not the same as the coast with the tides, the wind and the waves.

Things I have noticed:
I am still putting things from my left hand to my right hand before passing them to people. I also keep getting flashbacks of Gilgel. It's so strange, it's like the memories belong to another person. It's like I've been here in the UK all the time, but some things have changed. I really notice how many old people there are - like in a supermarket today. In Ethiopia the average life expectancy is only 49 years so there really aren't that many old people.