Sunday, 5 October 2014

Fall (already!) update - photo heavy!

Renee Verde, a 1997 Renault Clio. Proud owner: ME! :)

There I go again - sneaking away without telling anyone where I'm going and when I'll be back! I don't always feeling like posting either, so tend to put it off whereas it would be better to just pop in to say 'hello.' A very lovely lady (Jane) assures me that the community does like to hear from me, despite my less-than-regular updates. I appreciate that.

All I can say is that I've been having a great time and am SO very glad I didn't put a time limit on this adventure. As it is, I'm finding it hard to believe I'll have been here a year at the end of October. Wow.

So what have I been doing exactly?

  • Work is going well. I'm at the same job, still enjoying it. I'm looking for a permanent job, but not very hard. It's the whole interview process that's sort of holding me back, as well as trying to figure out what I want to do. Admin is NOT well paid here - although admittedly, Yukon Government wages aren't necessarily a realistic comparison - depending on what level you're at, and although a PA is good money, I don't have the right type of personality for that and I'm not keen on the "baby sitting" aspect of it. So in that respect I'd like to go back to school, but I'm just not sure what I'd like to do. HR keeps popping up, so I'm considering that, but have to have a good think as education isn't cheap here either.
  • I got a car (see above photo) at the end of July! Ridiculously excited about it, too, as it gave me my freedom and independence back. I bought it from a co-worker of my cousin - who had bought it from the original owner just six weeks previously - as her daughter was visiting from China for the summer. The car is PRISTINE - honestly! - as the original owner babied it and essentially kept it in a garage the whole time. She hardly drove it at all, really. The purchase price was less than £600, I got a great price on the insurance, and am looking to the end of October now, when both road tax & MOT are due. I have to change my Canadian driver's licence over, but need to talk to someone at the DVLA about that as I actually already have a British driver's licence, but haven't seen/used it since 1986, so have to figure out which is better to do. Sometimes this dual citizenship thing is a bit tricky...
  • I was in Wales in July with my brother, SIL & sister for a weekend. We went to Skomer Island, which is a bird sanctuary in Pembrokeshire (far west) and home to tens of thousands of puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, various gulls and Manx Shearwaters (the bird nerds were particularly excited to see these lovely creatures - approx half the world's population of these birds nests on the Island!).

Puffins are smaller than I thought, but lovely, funny little birds.

The start of our evening boat trip.

Herring gull guest. He smelled our fish and chips.

Kittiwakes and Guillemots make their nests along ledges such as these.

The evening was perfect, warm and sunny.

Skokholm Island lighthouse.

Puffins at their burrows.

Pretty snail shells I found.

Part of an old farm on the Island. Now a small hotel and the only building on the Island.

Our lunch spot, on the North side of Skomer.

Warnings in English and Cymru!

  • I had a photo workshop in August, which was great. A group of only 3 of us (plus instructor) went onto the Forest to catch the colours of the heather. I enjoyed it very much and have another one booked with the same fellow at the beginning of November.

If there are ponies anywhere in the vicinity, I will find a way 
to include them in my photos. :)

I start out doing what's we're working on (in this case the fall colours of the heather) and then get drawn into what's closer to the ground. The instructor suggested I might like his macro workshop. He might be right! :)
  • My cousin is on holiday in Canada for 3 weeks - the first time in almost 20 years! - and is due back on Wednesday. From all accounts she's thoroughly enjoying herself and has managed to do both a lot and very little, which is great. She started out in BC, visiting family in Vancouver and Victoria and is now in Toronto, visiting an auntie and cousin there. I've missed her and I'm looking forward to hearing all about her time away. 
  • I've had two weeks off myself which has been absolutely fantastic! A friend from Whitehorse visited me for a week and we went to London for several days. We stayed with my brother & SIL, which will be the last time I see them (here) as they're moving to South Africa October 15th on a new adventure of their own. My friend and I walked for MILES and saw plenty of sights:

Grand Union Canal, NW London.

Daniel Craig at Madame Tussaud's!

Regent's Park.

Piccadilly Circus & the (in)famous Eros statue.

Trafalgar Square - with a slightly surprising addition!

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben at Westminster.

Westminster Abbey.

The London Eye.

Tower of London and the WWI remembrance project. Those poppies are handmade in ceramic and 888,294 will be 'planted' until November 11, in remembrance of all the British soldiers who perished in WWI. It's quite a sight.
  • My second week has been quieter but started out with a visit by the fabulous Jane! I was so excited to meet her after her week of walking in the Cotswolds. I picked her up at her B&B in Gloucestershire, and after a couple of wrong turns, we made it safely back to the New Forest where we sat and chatted over tea. After a week on the hoof, all she wanted was to sit and relax. We had a pub dinner and off she went the next morning on the final leg of her trip! I can confirm that she's as awesome as she comes across on her blog - thank you, Jane, for taking the time to come and see me. So fantastic to finally meet you!
  • I joined the gym a couple of months ago and have sort of been going regularly. I've been almost every day last week, to get myself into a routine, but the evenings are the only time I can go and it tends to be packed, as that's the only time everyone else can go too, apparently. It gets a bit frustrating to wait for some of the machines, so I have forsaken an exercise on occasion and just kept moving, which I figure is better than standing around. It does help me relax and I am enjoying it, but I've also come home feeling really wound up because of the sheer number of people in the small space. I would go before work, but they don't open until 6:30 and I have to catch a train at 7:10. If I worked closer/started later, that would be ideal, but unfortunately that's not the case. It's been nice going during the day because there's hardly anyone there! :)
Anyway, I think that's more than enough right now. I can't think of anything else really and those are definitely my highlights. I promise to try harder to post more regularly...


Jane said...

Hi Annie! You take great photos! I really like getting up close to things on the ground too - one of these days I should take a digital workshop - I KNOW that I only use a few features of my camera and could take much better photos than I do currently.
My adventure does seem long ago now but I am going to finally upload all my photos today and it'll be another adventure going through them and remembering each day.
My brother got back from Ireland the day after I got back from Britain and my other brother leaves for Scotland on the 14th!! I went to visit him yesterday and we're going to try to ALL get together before he leaves on the 14th.
You had enough material in this post for about 5 posts!! Don't wait so long to do another update. What I do is ALWAYS carry my camera with me and take photos EVERY single day. Then when I go to write a post I check what photos I took that day and they become the basis for my post :) And then of course the diary is just me rambling without really having topic. I just let out whatever wants to come out lol!
Thanks for all of your encouragement. It may be awhile til I get started as I feel like there is so much to do around here. And then there are the kittens - oh I love them so much already!! They are very loving and playful and make me laugh so much which is what I need right now. There is always a bit of a letdown after a trip and the feeling of "what's next"? So I must get organized and then the ideas will flow more smoothly. Plus I need to visit so many people, friends and family, and Thanksgiving is next weekend and I have NO plans yet. It's a good thing I'm retired - I just couldn't squeeze WORK into my days lol!

Dannie said...

Great to hear everything is going well and it sounds like you've been busy.

Beautiful photos ans fantastic that you have been doing a photography course as that will help you hone your skills.

Great buy on the car, £600 is a bargain:-)

Gill - That British Woman said...

that's a super price for the car. Are you planning on staying in Britain for good?

its me, sam said...

Love the photos of the heather... there's a few that would make beautiful paintings... So glad you got to meet Jane... ( gotta love FB) She's fun! Glad to know all is well in your world... Sam

The Asian Pear said...

Great price for the car! Also, lovely pictures. The one with the puffin is amazing. How did you get so close without it freaking out on you!?? anyhow, I'm glad to hear everything is well. :)

Northern Living Allowance said...

Loving your updates, Jane! The photos are fantastic and I've already bookmarked "Cotswolds Walks" so I can peruse at my leisure. Looking forward to more! xo

Thanks Dannie! Yes, very pleased about the good deal on the car. Really couldn't have asked for better. xx

Gill - I'm really not sure. I'm here for now and that's all I can say. Regardless, the car is a perfect addition to my adventure, as it means I'm able to get around much more easily. I don't go far right now, but did get a Sat Nav from my brother & SIL so if I need to go further I'll be able to (hopefully) find my way.

Hi Sam! Yes, Jane is terrific. We had a wonderful, inspiring chat at a pub and I'm re-focusing on my book now. I'm so lucky to have met her!!

Hi Pear! The puffins were everywhere and must be quite used to people as they weren't at all bothered. You can only get so close as their burrows make the land quite dangerous (for both birds and humans) to walk on. Some shots were zoomed in, too, so I wasn't actually as close as it appears. But they are such funny little birds!