Saturday 28 January 2012


That's all the accommodation and travel arrangements made for the first leg of my amazing journey  around the world when we (my granddaughter and two great granddaughters) meet up with my grandson and his girlfriend in Brisbane on 11th February. 

We are going to the Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast, Hils parents' farm and Sydney.  After two weeks the girls go home and Vinnie, Hils and I  go on a road trip until 15th April, just following our noses, probably staying in hostels and camping. 

The next leg of the journey begins on 15th April when I take a cruise ship from Sydney, stopping off at Dunedin, Auckland, Fiji, Papo Pago, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Morea, Honalulu and Hawaii, arriving San Francisco on 13th May. 

I then fly down to meet my friends Jack and Betsy in their winter home at Desert Hot Springs.  Thankfully they seem happy to have me stay there with them for a few days until it's time to pack up and head north to their summer home in Hoodspost, near Seattle. Then another amazing road trip back to Seattle with them, only this time NOT staying in hostels or campsites!

I guess I had better start up my travel blog again! But how did I do it last year?  The problem, with age is that it's accompanied by fading memory and with fading memory comes the need to relearn every darn thing over and over again. 

With this trip in mind my girls at the office gave me a wonderful Christmas present of a new IPod Touch.  It's something that I'm sure will prove to be very useful because if I don't have access to my netbook (packed in the rucksack) I can whip out my very prortable IPod in a suitable wifi hotspot and skype, facetime, and update photographs to facebook, on the go, to my hearts content, as it where.  Well, this is the theory.

The problem is that my head is so full of technology that I have to regularly delete old stuff from my memory board.  Consequently whenever I want to do something quite fundemental I have to relearn it. Every minute of the day has become like Groundhog Day. Life is getting very complicated for me.

So, back to the travel blog. How did I do it?  And, more important, why did I do it?  I think it was because the travel blog tracks my position in the world.  But doesn't blogger do that now too?  I have to research this.  F****** H*** more stuff to learn. But I have to make the effort because if I don't record the journey I'll forget it!  At times life can a bitch can't it?

Tuesday 17 January 2012


My life spiralled out of control for a couple of weeks, but I think that I've sorted it now (fingers crossed and all that good stuff!). I have (had) a few problems which are (were) all good but time consuming and looking for immediate decisions, so it did get a bit stressful. 

First on the agenda was my new house build.  I think that I have mentioned before that I have a plot of land beside my house. My first inclination was to build it myself using sub-contractors.  Then I got cold feet, got in builders quotes, saw the prices and decided to go back to Plan A to save myself money.  So I've been trying to get this underway asap.  In all honesty I don't see this happening until at least the summer, but I'm not in any real hurry.  

In the meantime I have arranged to go to Australia on 10th February with my granddaughter and two great granddaughters to visit my grandson and his girlfriend who live there.  The challenge here was to give the girls the time of their lives in 2 weeks which proved to be quite stressful.  Trying to liaise and organise has been almost impossible because of the time difference and the fact that Vinnie and Hils work long hours.  But I think that we finally sorted it out yesterday.  I will then stay on and do a road trip with Vinnie and Hills "until the inheritance runs out" as he put it. 

I have also arranged to visit my friends in America early May to take a look at their new home in Desert Hot Springs and then do another amazing road trip with them back to their other home in Seattle.

So, in my infinite wisdom I thought "why go back to the UK?  I should just stay on in Australia until the end of April and then fly there direct".  In other words cut out the middle man - the UK. Note to self "don't be so bloody stupid next time" because it proved to be a nightmare. Although we made sure that my return flight ticket date could be changed as it turned out the destination could not and the ticket could not be converted to World Traveller or anything sensible like that!

But it still made sense to throw away my "home" portion of the ticket and book fresh from Australia to USA and then back to London.  But the cost of that jolly jaunt was absolutely extortionate. Reason?  They are two single tickets and single tickets come at a premium.  I 'phoned my friend who worked in BA and she confirmed this was correct.    I know that by shopping around I can get this cost much lower, but I was raging about it. I feel a swear coming on - f****** airlines need to get their act together!

However, whilst I was on an OzBus reunion in London this weekend one of my friends wondered if there might be a cruise liner going across and there is. The Sea Princess leaves Sydney on 15th April for a 29 day cruise to San Francisco via New Zealand and the Polynesian Islands arriving on 13th May. And, believe it or not, there is little difference in the cost!  I had to check that this was OK with my friends because they had planned to leave DHS the 1st week of May, but thankfully they have agreed to hang on for a while so that I can take this trip of a lifetime.
So today I hope to get this nailed on the head.