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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Week commencing 17th May 2009

Bobby giving me the evil eye after his journey. One of my leaving presents - a book seat!

Monday we had to go and visit the Tax specialist. This is one area that I have been worried about. Jar is relying on me to get it right because of my financial background but I must admit I was quite scared by what I perceived as the scary American system of completing your own returns and the reputation of the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Drove an hour and a half to the north of Baltimore which was a pleasant drive anyway. Had an hours meeting with two of the specialists at the tax accountants and realized that it is not dissimilar to the UK tax laws except that everyone has to complete an annual return and they set their own tax code at the start of each year by listing their expected exemptions. Our case is slightly complicated by having our UK house rented but Jars company are paying for the tax Accountants to complete the first two years returns so I have plenty of time to pick it up.
Decided to treat ourselves to lunch so drove back to Rockville, MD and went to a Greek Meze place. It is like a Spanish tapas bar but Greek – Anne C, you would love it! We had Hummus, pita bread, feta cheese with honey, Shrimp Souvlaki and Lollipop lamp chops – yum, yum.
We then decided to buy ourselves a couple of fairly cheap tennis rackets and balls ($60 all in). Beside our house (5 minutes walk) there are two set of two public tennis courts which are open 24 hours a day and have floodlights for night playing until 11.00 p.m. They are in great condition given they are just open to anyone (unlike what they would be like at home we sadly commented!). So we decided to get the rackets to give us the option to play a light game for fresh air and exercise whenever we want. They are free and work on an honour system where you start playing on the hour and if someone is waiting you have to come off after an hour. We decided to try them out right away to went down and tried to have a game. Now given that neither of us play and just hit the ball and hope for the best, we ended up in stitches laughing as balls flew all over the place. It was good fun and exercise so I see that being a regular event for us – as long as Jar doesn’t lob the ball into the road again and nearly knock another driver out through his open car window!!!
It would be really difficult around here to not be fit and get lots of fresh air; there is just so much to offer and so many facilities.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I officially became the Lady that lunches – oh god I better not turn into one of them, lol. Tuesday I had lunch with the VP of HR from Jarlaths work. Donna is a lovely lady who is about 50 but looks and acts a lot younger. I have met her before and we always get on great and seem to be able to just chat as if we are old friends. She is the lady that keeps lending me books and I have lent her some, although she has not read any of mine yet. We went to a local sushi place which was nice. I also found the strawberry bushes in my garden and got the first lot of strawberries from them – see attached.
On Wednesday I met Richard from Robert Half International recruiters. I have been chatting to him via email over the last couple of months and asked if he fancied meeting. We met at the local Irish Inn at Glen Echo which is about 1.5 miles from the house. It was a lovely day so I walked down to meet him, had lunch and a chat and then walked back. On my way back I wandered into the Glen Echo park (see last weeks blog) and they have opened up an old fashioned Carousel. I just stood and watched in the sunshine for a while and drank in the relaxed family atmosphere from all the Moms (sp) and children.
In the evening Jar and I went to have a “game” of tennis. Here is a photo – I was going for the young Tracy Austin look with my hair!!!

It was hilarious again with us blaming “the bad bounce” on nearly every missed shot, no references made to the fact that we can’t play tennis for toffee. Did an hour of running around, in which I managed to stretch my hamstring too far but it seems ok now. We then spent a lovely relaxing evening eating pasta out on the back porch and then watched the end of The American Idol final drinking a nice glass of red wine – could life get any better.

Now I know I said I was going to take time off and not look for a job but after lunch on Wednesday I got a referral to one of Richards colleagues in Virginia. He employs professionals as consultants and then hires them out on projects to his customers. He contacted me to see if I would be interested as he has a client that has SAP reporting system and they are struggling with the Financial reporting and input and may need a trainer – SAP is my speciality from my last job. So on Thursday I drove down to meet with him and register as a consultant. Told him I would only be interested in working at most 3 days a week and would be quite picky about what I took. He seemed interesting and is going to see what he has. It is the ideal situation for me because I don’t have to accept anything he brings to me but it gives me the option of doing some project work if any comes up and keep my brain ticking over while earning some money – the hourly rate is not great but still a lot more than minimum wage. It was worth registering even if I never accept/get any work from it.
After wards, as I was down in Virginia anyway, I did the grocery shopping at Wegmans. Found out this week that in Virginia the alcohol laws are different to Maryland and DC. They are allowed to sell beer and wine in supermarkets in Virginia but not in the other two! This makes Wegmans worth going to even more as I can stock up on Jars Weisse Beer and my red wine without having to go to a separate liquor store. Got lots of lovely things for a BBQ – a full rack of BBQ ribs and lots of deli bits and pieces for a picnic dinner on Friday night.
In the afternoon my plan was to put on the swimming cossie and go to the community outdoor pool which just opened for the season on Monday but when I got there it was closed. I hadn’t paid prope attention to the opening hours and it only opens until 1.00p.m. until the school holidays start on 15 th June, so I was very disappointed. Just came home and sat out the back reading as I was in a bit of a sulk at not getting a swim.
In the evening I picked Jar up from work and we went straight to the cinema to see Star Trek. I never watched any of the old Star Trek series or movies except Enterprise, so I didn’t really know the characters. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it was well cast and a good mix of humour and seriousness.

Friday I got up to see Jar off to work at seven and then decided to go along to the gym and join for real. Got my “free” T shirt and water. Decdied to try a Barre class which is supposed to be based on ballet and lots of muscle work done against a ballet Barre. Yes I can hear you all laughing at this great clod hopper trying to be graceful but it was vey good and hard. My description of it is that you work your muscles until they are shaking so much that you fall to the floor in agony and then can’t actually get up or walk for the rest of the day. I have to walk home after it and my legs, seriously, felt like they were made of jelly and wouldn’t actually hold me up. So I have booked in again for next week – masochist or what!
After playing around with some housework I decided to cycle up to Great Falls again but to go on my road bike around the road rather than the canal path. Now I mustr admit that it was not my greatest decision to do a ten mile bike ride staright after a barre class but the views once I got there were worth it. I remembered my camera so include some photos but they don’t do it justice. I had also taken my book with me and as my legs were aching I sat and read for an hour to try and gain some strength for the cycle home. Luckily after an initial climb up from the bills it was mostly downhill and was actually quite fun.
Friday evening was a quiet picnic lunch and some red wine in the house with Jar.

Saturday morning dawns and I can feel every muscle from the boobs down aching – some muscles I didn’t even realized existed are hurting. We decided to get up and take an hour and a half trip into Virginia to go and see the Luray Caverns. Here is some of the facts from the caverns
For more than 125 years, Luray Caverns has been renowned as a spectacular natural wonder. Today the caverns remain as magical and majestic as when they were first discovered in 1878 by a tinsmith and a local photographer. Millions of visitors have wandered the subterranean pathways and discovered for themselves the natural draw of Luray Caverns.
During the continental drift about 600 million years ago, the Americas separated from the continents of Europe and Africa. A broad, shallow depression from Alabama north to Newfoundland was formed. Then, for 400 million years an ancient sea flooded the area that is now the Appalachian Mountains. Layers of water-borne sediments accumulated on the ocean floor, followed by limestone sediments composed of fossilized marine animals and shells. The weight of the sediments eventually compressed the two layers into metamorphic rock. As a result of the eons-old shifting of the earth's tectonic, or crystal, plates, North America and Africa collided. This elevated and fractured the sea floor, causing the older, underlying layer of metamorphic rock to tilt upward and slide over the younger layer, creating a towering mountain range, the Appalachians.
As the large volumes of water drained away, nature began crafting the stone formations left in the caverns today. Inside a cave created by the shifting earth, a solution of calcium carbonate gave up some of its carbon dioxide, allowing a precipitation of lime to form. This precipitation began as a thin deposit ring of crystallized calcite, but continued to collect, creating stalactites that hung from the ceiling. As water drops flowed down these deposits and fell to the floor, deposits built upwards, forming stalagmites. When a stalactite growing down from the ceiling met a stalagmite growing up from the floor, a column or pillar was formed. The growth process, also called dripstone, continues in Luray Caverns. Ours is an active cave where new deposits accumulate at the rate of one cubic inch every 120 years.
Stalactites are often formed in a fluted and uniformed fashion from the ceiling down. Stalagmites, too, build with distinct mounds and ridges on their way toward the ceiling. Dripstone, in addition to covering the ceilings and floors, is also abundant on cavern walls. Sometimes dripstone results in massive decorations called flowstone, when mineral-bearing water spreads over limestone walls or builds its deposits from a protruding edge. These crystalline deposits can form draperies and stone waterfall formations. There are many factors that can impact the shape and color of formations, including the rate and direction of the seepage, the amount of acid in the water, the temperature and humidity content of a cave, air currents, the above ground climate, the amount of annual rainfall and the density of the plant cover. All coloration in Luray Caverns is natural, caused by different minerals in the seeping ground water. White is the color of calcium carbonate in its pure form. Other elements absorbed from the soil and rock layers create impure forms of calcite. Reds and yellows are caused by iron and iron-stained clays, black is the result of manganese dioxide, and blues and greens are the result of solutions of copper minerals.

It was an amazing sight to see and we took loads of photos which I will post on facebook and a link on RISI as too many to include here. Again the photos do not do them justice and the sheer size and age of these formations just take your breath away. They also have an organ which they have built and linked to play tunes by using the natural tuning of the formations, difficult to explain but it is in a cave called the Cathedral (and people actually get married there) and sounded very ethereal.
Drove back to Bethesda late afternoon and decided to go for a couple of drinks and some food, needless to say this ended up with us meeting some friends in Flannagans pub, leaving the car and getting a taxi home at midnight but all good fun and I met a couple of new girls – Laurel and Vikki – and hopefully will become friends with them.

Well another fun week for us. Take care all. H Xx

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Week commencing 10th May 2009

Sunday is another glorious sunny day, although there is a breeze which is keeping the temperature cool (by cool I mean low 70 degrees!). Went out a walk along the canal for a couple of miles to get some fresh air and light exercise. I was invited over to the house of one of the girls that Jar works with along with a couple of her friends. I was a bit shy but thought what the hell it will get me to meet some new people. Ailsa lives half an hour away near a place called Damascus in Maryland. Damascus is actually a dry town – I think that just means they don’t have any bars or beer and wine stores but people still drink in their own houses – don’t see the point of this myself. Anyway, I turned up first as usual and had a nice ten minutes on my own chatting to Ailsa the hostess – she is Scottish but moved over here years and years ago. Then Nicole turned up, she works in HR and is probably about early thirties and is absolutely hilarious with all her stories. She went to college in New Orleans and speaks with a right Southern accent. Her funniest quotes were “ you couldn’t handle all this brown sugar” and “we are only one pay check away from the pole” ! Then Andrew and Linn appeared, a couple also from Scotland who moved out years ago. Linn is due to give birth in a week and was involved in a car accident a couple of weeks ago, so lots to talk about. This is a regular group that go out a lot so glad I was invited and hopefully will be a good source of some social fun for me.

Monday came after an awful night of waking up with a migraine at 3.30a.m. but managed to take some tablets and sleep it off. I was going to get up early and take the bus to the metro to go down town but needed to sleep it off. Eventually got up to find the oven elements had blown a fuse so no toast for breakfast but already arranged an electrician to come out tomorrow so no big hassle. I then drove to Bethesda to get the metro downtown to The Mall where all the Smithsonian museums are. Took a bit faint on the metro but managed to get off and decided to go to The Museum of American History. It was all very well organized and professionally presented with a lot of interaction for adults and children alike and a couple of live shows to see. I wouldn’t say it was the most interesting museum I have visited but still a pleasant little day out. Spent the rest of the day there and then got the metro back home at 4.00p.m. to avoid the rush hour. Quite proud of myself for navigating two metro lines on my own and not getting lost. Keep forgetting to take my camera with me so apologies for no photos yet, but plenty of time for that. Just a quiet evening doing some paperwork, packaging up my first bookmooch agreed since I moved and then chill tonight with a movie.

Tuesday and I had a rude awakening at 7.45a.m. with a live bird flying into my bedroom closely pursued by Bobby. No idea if it got in on its own or if Bobster brought it in. I had to jump out of bed and chase the bird and Bobby around the bedroom, bathroom and dressing room until I trapped myself and the bird inside the dressing room and Bobby outside. I then had to work out how to remove the wire screen from the window to let the bird out. Success, I got the screen out and the bird just flew straight out. Had to wait in for the Oven repair man to come so just decided to clean the house as I was up anyway. Got the cleaning done but he didn’t manage to repair the oven so he needs to re-schedule and come back, which is a pain as I need the oven and grill for most recipes and toast for breakfast until my toaster arrives.
Decided to blow some steam off and do some exploring by going out on my road bike. So cycled down towards Glen Echo park and had a good look round. The Glen Echo park is run by a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging public participation in all that the Park has to offer, as well as preserving the Park’s historic resources for generations to come. Glen Echo park is a former amusement park that encompasses a variety of art-deco and historic buildings in a nine-acre National Park setting. I picked up a brochure of summer events to take home and make some plans. I then cycled on towards DC and got as far as Palisades, a suburb of DC, but then got tired. I did get the details of a second hand book sale the Palisades Library is having this weekend, so will pop down there on Saturday after I pick Jar up from the airport.
Got back home and started planning some summer activities at Glen Echo. There is the Washington Folk Festival on 30th May in the afternoon and evening which is free. So going to pack a picnic and a rug and go there with Jar to enjoy some music and crafts – just waiting to see if Jar wants me to invite some friends along as well. I also booked us into a 4 session Ballroom Dance Sampler classes. They start on Monday 8th June and run for the next four Mondays. They are based in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo which is a beautifully restored 1933 Mediterranean style Art Deco building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So these will be fun as well as located in a nice building – watch this space to see if we become the next Fred and Ginger!!!!

Wednesday woke up and decided to “Do a Treez” as we at RISI must now call it. I went along to the local gym for a look. They offered me a weeks free trial and one free class so I went into the class that was just about to start. It was called Sweat and Abs and was basically Aerobics with some Ab work at the end. Not particularly great but I really felt how unfit I am. In the afternoon I up to Rockville to have a look at some shops that had been recommended to me by a girl at Jars work. I went into the Filenes basement – a discount designer store like an upmarket TK Maxx. Pottered about some other shops before taking the car into the Audi garage to see why my spare keys were not working. After an hour I was told that they have given the spare keys to the wrong car when we bought the car a couple of months ago. This doesn’t surprise me as this garage has no organisational skills or customer service since we bought the car. Spoke to the service manager while I was there and gave them some polite advoice bout customer service. I then went up to the Washingtonian Centre a bit retail, eating and drinking centred around a lovely man made lake. Went into Target for some curtains and then to Red rock Canyon Grill where I was meeting a girl called Kim Yang. Kim works in Marketing at Jarlaths work and is America/Vietnamese. She is early thirties and is lovely and really easy to chat to. I was half an hour early so sat outside in the sunshine reading my book and enjoying a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (it was 73 degrees today). We had a couple of drinks and some food and before I knew it was 8.00p.m so we headed home. Then watched the movie version of Mitch Alboms the five people you meet in Heaven. I didn’t really like the book but the movie was slightly better.

Thursday and Friday just passed with chores, gym and walks in the sunshine. Spent most of Friday afternoon with the Oven engineer but it still didn’t get fixed – needs to order a new circuit board. A bit annoyed as lots of cooking and baking planned which I can’t do. Drove down to Fairfax, Virginia to the supermarket. The local supermarkets are quite smallish and their fresh fruit and vegs not that great. There is a Wegmans in Fairfax which was a family supermarket that started in Rochester, NY and is renowned for its fresh produce so that Is where I will be doing my may shopping. Well worth the twenty minute drive and you can’t even begin to imagine the choices that you have in this big market.

Two highlights from Saturday were Jar getting home from India, a little later than expected due to a delay at Newark airport. He was tired after travelling for about 36 hours but after a shower and a walk and chilling around the house he seemed to be ok. He never seems to suffer from Jetlag but I guess that is because he does so much travelling and just never lets his mind and body suffer – he is very good and mind over matter. The second highlight was the second hand book sale at the Palisades Library. It was like RISI heaven! One whole floor of all sorts of books in al different genres from 10 cents to a dollar each. I only had an hour to browse but could have spent so much longer. There were a lot of excited people and it was like a little community with everyone chatting to each other and discussin the books they had found. I came away with 6 for 4 dollars and 20 cents – although I nearly made 5 dollars as the lady gave me the wrong change but of course I pointed her mistake out to her right away.
I got:
Never Let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro – I have read and liked it so much I thought Jar would enjoy it and I will put it back on my tbr as a re-read.
The Remains of the day by Kazuo Ishiguro – as I enjoyed the two other books of his that I have already read
Middlemarch by George Elliot – not sure why I picked this up (it was only 10 cents) but I remember seeing it recommended somewhere.
The iliad by Homer – always wanted to read this and again it was only 10 cents
The Falling boy by David Long – never heard of this book or author but thought it looked good
The Road by Cormac McCarthy – again think I have seen this mentioned on RISI and fancied trying this author

Sunday brought cool weather in the low 60s, so had a lie in then I made some pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast (very American). Went to gym with Jar for a short workout and it really woke us up. Then just shopping in mall for some summer work clothers for Jar. So weekend just very chilled and relaxing. Was going to go to Zoo today but the weather said it was going to rain so left it for another day.
Another good week for me. H Xx

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My First week – week commencing May 3rd 2009

Well Spent Sunday with Jarlath buying all my electrical items to replace those that I could not bring over from the UK. I bought the boring things like Hairdryer, hair straighteners, clock radio and electric toothbrush in Target - a shop similar to Big W in that it stocks almost anything you could need for house and family and is quite cheap. More exciting though, I bought a new laptop. This will replace my PC from the UK and with wireless in the house means that I can come online in the garden as well. I bought a HP notebook which had a built in webcam for Skyping friends and family at home and a good size widescreen for watching dvds as well, if I choose. I am happy with it so far as everything seems to have loaded fairly easily. It is a nice looking silvery/bronze colour.
On Monday Jarlath took the day off and we all loaded into the car to drive up to Gettysburg. It was pouring with rain the whole day so not the best day to do this trip. The Visitor centre was $7.50 to enter and this included a movie, the cyclorama and the museum and was well worth the money. We then did the Auto tour of the battle sites (I,.e. drove around following the signs). It was all very interesting and educational – my American History is very poor so I learned lots from this day. When I get my social security number and join a library I plan to educate myself a bit on some American History.
Tuesday was chores day for me. I had to get up at 6.30 a.m. to run Jar to work (we only have one car now) so I could have the car for the day. I then went to the Social Security office and waited until it opened its doors at 8.30 and started dealing with us at 9.00 a.m. You, basically, don’t exist in this country until you get your social security number. I was taken very quickly and was done in about fifteen minutes. Now just have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for them to send my number through to me. Some of the sights you see in that office are heartbreaking or frightening, depending on what mood you are in. Out of the people waiting to be seen I would say only 10% actually spoke English as a first language and 10% had obvious mental health issues. The people working there were very different as well. There was one lady (who Jar remembered getting) who was very unhelpful to everyone she was supposed to be helping. She seemed to work in slow motion and lacked urgency or interest in her job. One of the girls, who I dealt with before was very efficient, helpful and knew what she was doing. The girl I got this time was young and while she was trying to be helpful, she just didn’t seem to have the knowledge of what she was trying to do – but at least she went to ask her supervisor when she was stuck.
Wednesday decided to start tackling the housework. The house hasn’t been properly cleaned for some time obviously. Got up at 6.30 to make Jar his breakfast and send him off to work with a packed lunch – not sure how long the perfect housewife act will last. Went back to bed to try and shake my cold but didn’t really work. Spent the day cleaning, coming online and reading so nice and relaxing. It is the last night of my BIL and friends holidays so we went out to Bethesda for dinner and drinks to say farewell. Had a Chinese for dinner but ordered way too much food so I have four boxes in the fridge of leftovers for lunch – but I don’t like going back to leftovers from Chinese so will probably end up throwing it out. The weather had been nice all day but about 5.00p.m. a storm came in. The rain was torrential and there was lightning and everything. This meant that Jar and I just stayed out for one drink and then got a cab home and left the boys to their night out. I am still slightly jetlagged so off to bed at 10.30 again.
Not sure I am liking the weather at the moment, it is very similar to home with sun one minute and rain the next. The only difference is that it is a slightly higher temperature during the day. I bought myself a lot of sundresses looking out for lovely weather, well I guess I will give it another couple of weeks to see\ if summer kicks in.
Thursday another early start to run Jar to work for 8.00a.m.. Got back about 8.30 and spent a lovely couple of hours just reading. Then starting to tackle some paperwork like contents insurance, finding a doctor etc. It is nice to be able to spend some time reading all the documents and making informed decisions as if I was at work unlike when I was actually working and all personal documents/decisions were made in a rush. Other than that I was just hanging about as our house guests went home and I had to run them to the airport. The highlight of today was the two gifts of live field mice as produced by Bobby, at least he is comfortable in his new home. They were both brought to me alive and completely intact, in fact the 2nd one was really funny ‘cause Bobby came running in and I could hear an indignant squeaking coming from him, only to see the back legs of something hanging out his mouth and struggling to free themselves. Luckily he dropped it into Jars hand and we let the mouse live another day.
Friday and the sun is splitting the sky. Went out on a bike ride along the canal up to Great Falls. The Great Canal runs just near our house and it is about 5 miles on the towpath up to the waterfalls at Great Falls. The water was wild today as there has been a lot of rain and storms this week, it was very cool to see and a lot of people say it is even better than Niagara falls! My bike ride was a positive nature trail - I saw turtles in the water, squirrels, huge dragon fly type thingies, some beautiful bright red birds that were like mini phoenixs a la Harry Potter and lots more. It was so peaceful just riding along in the sunshine. I had planned to take my book to stay and read in the sun for a while but forgot to pack it – do’h. The evening we cancelled plans to meet friends in downtown DC and just walked the couple of miles to the local Irish inn for dinner and rinks as we were both tired.
Saturday dawns and brings with it the glorious sunshine – it is in the mid eighties already. I am trying to avoid putting on the air conditioning to save on the utility bills but it is damn hot. Just pottered about today and no heading to the airport to deliver hubby as he is flying off to India for a week for work. It sucks a little as we have only had one day together on our own so far, what with house guests, so it is not ideal. On the plus side being on my own for a week in my new location will make me go out and explore more as I will have the car all week and don’t have any meetings or schedules to meet.
Well hope you have all had a good week as well. Will update you next week on my first week on my own in my new home. Take Care H Xx

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Amazing American Adventures of Hazel and Bobby

My Journey Over – Thursday April 30th 2009.
Well I have eventually arrived in America after many months of talking and planning.
My flight over was pretty uneventful except I had a heavy cold and fever and was not very well but just kept dosing myself with Flu and cold remedy and made it in one piece. I swear the air steward was monitoring me for Swine flu or something as he kept asking how I was and seemed to be monitoring me more than I would have expected. I didn’t read very much because of my cold but managed to get through some of Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult, although slightly disappointed in it after hearing a lot of hype from my friends on RISI.
Arrived at Washington Dulles airport 15 minutes early and got through passport control in 30 seconds (it normally takes at least an hour) but there was no queue and I was in the first 3 from our flight to get there (I did have to knock over a few grannies though - lol). My bags were also waiting for me and so I then walked through arrivals for my loving welcome from my husband but he wasn't there! He had mixed up my flight times and with me being early and sailing through passport control he had only just left the house, so I waited 20 minutes for him outside. I must say I wasn’t that impressed as I was hoping for a warm welcome. There is something nice about coming through the doors at an airport arrivals to be met by someone to give you a cuddle. That is one thing I always missed when travelling on business and having no-one there to meet me. Not quite the warm welcome i expected after 6 week but I got over it. Got a lovely welcome from Bobby the cat back at the house and from our house guests of my brother in law and his friend. Bobby had survived his long journey over via Dunfermline and Frankfurt and has already been outside and he seems to have settled into his new house very well. Hubby thought I was mad as I would swear that Bobby had a wee hoarse voice when I first arrived and I put it down to him having whinged his head off the whole way over and straining his throat – he just sounded slightly different!!
I am still trying to get over my cold so not been doing very much yet. I have despatched hubby and house guests off to the baseball this afternoon (Saturday) so I can chill on my own for a bit. Hope to go shopping on Sunday to get my own laptop and some other bits and pieces. Still treating it like a holiday at the moment but will click into real life next week I think.
Will try and keep a weekly diary so everyone can see what I am up to.
Hope everyone is ok. Xx