Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Back From Holiday

Hello :-) We're back from St Bees.

We didn't get away as soon as we had hoped and we didn't get to stay for as long as we'd hoped either, but we did have a wonderfully refreshing and relaxing break while it lasted :-)

The weather was, um, Autumnal, which is of course as it should be. Besides, it's such a beautiful place that even when it's grey it still has a great deal of magic about it. The beach was mostly deserted, and Emily loved practising her tai chi on it!

Jon took a *lot* of orb photos while we were away; I couldn't believe how many there were! Most of them don't look at their best when scaled down to go on the blog, but here are a few taken on St Bees beach at night.

We didn't go visiting many places while we were away, as the whole point was to relax instead of rushing off from one place to another. We did make a return trip to Keswick and bought some beautiful beaded wall hangings and a huge bamboo windchime. We also made it to Carlisle Castle, which unfortunately was a bit like Lincoln Castle in that it was very, very empty and pretty unimpressive, in now way living up to the hype in the tourist brochure. Warwick Castle it was not. Carlisle Cathedral was nice though, and we loved Carlisle city centre. Bought dozens and dozens of books from charity shops :-))

We went on long beach walks every day and Emily had an absolute ball beachcoming and rockpooling, as normal. She saw lots and lots of starfish this time, and collected more carrier bags full of shells. We also visited a beach we'd never been to before, just a few miles away at Parton on the outskirts of Whitehaven. It's apparently well known for its plant fossils, and we did find a few, along with an absolute ton of pottery fragments and what Emily likes to call "wave-ified glass", so she collected all of those too and wants to make a mosaic with them.

We also went to the cinema and saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age - brilliant film, loved that. And we played endless games of scrabble, skip-bo, uno and other things we rarely get the time to do at home :-))

A highlight of the week was our trip to Muncaster Castle on Halloween night. We were all in fancy dress and we'd booked a ghost tour too, which was fascinating. The whole evening was very dark, very spooky and very fun! Didn't see any ghosts on the ghost tour (boo!!) but yet more of Jon's photos contained orbs, like the bottom one of this little lot:

We were invited to watch a firework display at one of the neighbouring caravans, and we rounded off the holiday with some spectacular sunsets :-))

We arrived back home to find that Romeo had injured himself for the second time in a row on the day of our return :-(( Hope he's not going to make a habit of it! This time he'd managed to somehow rip most of the flesh off one of his front "toes". It looked awful. My Mum and Dad took him to the vets the day we got back and brought him home with antibiotic pills and lotion to bathe the wound - he's not impressed with either, but he's being quite good natured about it. He has to go back next Monday once it's hopefully healed a little so they can assess the damage to his claws.

All three big cats were pleased to see us and so were out little kibbies who seem to have grown a lot while we were away. It's good to be surrounded by purrs again :-))

One piece of news did put a heck of a damper on our return: while we were away, a huge London agency contacted us offering me a £1000 contract for what would have been, quite literally, just a few paragraphs of work. Unfortunately, they got in touch on Monday the 29th October, and their deadline was that Friday, the 2nd November. We didn't get any of the messages until we got back on Monday the 5th. I got straight in touch with them, but they had in the end given the job to someone else, naturally enough. They're going to come back to us next time they need something similar, but that could be who knows when. So we've waved goodbye to a thousand pounds not to mention an "in" to a huge agency who could no doubt have been very good for us.

Given our somewhat dire financial straits, this was *extremely* upsetting news and has provoked a few tears of pure frustration. I can't believe such bad luck. Of all the weeks for them to get in touch. I could get all resentful now and point out that it wasn't even our free choice to go away during that particular week - it was the only time we *could* go given, ahem, "family commitments" piled up on either side of the holiday. Had we had a choice, we wouldn't have gone at that time. But I won't point that out. Oooops, I just did.

Trying to be philosophical about it now; I guess spirit, the cosmos, call it what you will, is perhaps trying to teach us something. Maybe we're being taught that we don't truly need as much money as we think we need (although if that's the case, I'd like spirit to take a somewhat closer look at our bank balance and debts!). Or maybe we're being taught to work even harder and forget about being lazy and going on holiday. I'm sure that's the interpretation someone I know would like to put on it. Maybe taking the contract would have someone been A Bad Thing in the long run, or maybe not taking it has cleared the way for something else to come along. I'm trying to believe, however, that we're learning (the hard way) that no matter how tough day to day rob Peter to pay Paul life is getting, and no matter how stressful dealing with extended family issues is becoming, the *really* important things in life, such as family time for me, Jon and Emily, are free.

On a more positive note, it looks as if Quarto are on the verge of a publishing deal for my Astrologer's Toolkit book; apparently someone's flying to the US shortly to finalise the details, which is exciting :-))

Took Grandad to the diabetic clinic this morning. They didn't have his hospital notes. Who knows why. They would have seen him anyway, but there was going to be a delay of an hour or so while they tried to find some of his history. He threw an absolute tantrum and insisted that he wasn't willing to wait more than five minutes past his appointment time. After a set-to with the staff, he stormed out with me following meekly, as you do. That's reasonable. Not. It was hugely embarrassing and he was extremely rude to the staff. I've been ordered to get in touch with the complaints manager at the hospital again, but with strict instructions to make sure she has our phone number, not his, because he doesn't want to speak to some "bloody foreigner". Some things never change. It's sure good to be home.


Anonymous said...

glad you had a nice break.
lovely photos, the first one is fab!

Elle said...

Nice to have you back and so glad you had a lovely holiday. Love the photos especially the orb ones, they are amazing. Exciting news about the book - very positive. Elle

Nikki said...

Thank you Elle and Liza :-)