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Posts Tagged ‘sunshine’

  1. An absurdly posh weekend in the Cotswolds

    May 25, 2010 by superlative

    I had the most lovely and amazingly posh weekend in the Cotswolds, it really was outstanding.

    One of our friend’s parents have a second home there, and they said ages ago “Oh you must use it sometime, really you must, that’s what it’s there for.” It took us quite a while to arrange anything, but eventually a group of us settled on going up there last weekend, just for a night, to have a little road trip and get away from work and things for a bit.

    I didn’t really know much about the place where we were staying; just that it was a private estate (sort of like a gated community) and that there was a swimming pool and spa thing on it for all the estate residents to use. I did see a few pictures of the pool, and thought “oo that looks quite nice”, but that was it really.

    So it came as quite a surprise when we got there that it was actually THE POSHEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. Oh my god it was so nice! Her parents must be loaded, as the house was so immaculate I didn’t even want to touch anything.

    This is the view from the back of the house, where my and Chris’ bedroom was:

    And this is the lovely decked area where we ate:

    And this is the pool!

    It was honestly LOVELY. The weather was scorching, and it was so beautifully silent there with lakes all around (the whole thing is a nature reserve) and just a few (rich) families pottering about. Most of the houses were empty!

    Apparently the house was custom-built, as they all are there. You buy a plot of land and choose a design, and then you modify the design as you want and they build it. There was even a bit within the estate called Millionaire’s Row (unofficially anyway) where I’m told Brad Pitt was going to buy a house. THAT’S how posh it was.

    It was so nice and swanky there that even the staff seemed posher than us and I kept thinking we’d get thrown out by security for daring to drive our little red, slightly beaten up Ford Ka onto the premises.

    We had a lovely time anyway, just sitting around and drinking wine, cooking dinner together, and then lazing in the sunshine by one of the (three) swimming pools. I got a little sunburnt of course, but not too bad considering it’s me and an anglepoise lamp is normally enough to give me sunburn.

    The three hour drive home in scorching weather on Sunday was a bit of a downer after our nice relaxing weekend, but it was still totally worth it. And the huge upside is we’ll probably be allowed to go again sometime! We managed not to spill or break anything (no mean feat given the ineptitude of one of my friends when she’s near any containers of liquid), so hopefully the parents in question will be kindly disposed to us sneaking up there again.

    If you want to make yourself any more sick with envy, check out the website of the estate: http://www.lowermillestate.com/


  2. Sun, vodka, boys and insects

    November 2, 2009 by superlative

    I had a lovely time in Gran Canaria, and the weather did indeed stay nice for us. It was closer to 80 degrees sometimes I think, so I was even grateful for the bit of cloud we had towards the end of the week.

    We were only there for five days, but to be honest that was quite enough for me. It’s a rare occasion now that I’d want to go out two nights in a row, so going out five nights in a row was quite a struggle for me. Thank goodness all I had to do in the daytime afterwards was lay on a plastic sun lounger in my skimpies for hours in end (see photo).
    For those of you who haven’t been to Gran Canaria before, it really is your basic sun and booze holiday. There’s not actually that much else to do there, although you can hire a car and go inland if you want to, which we’ve done in previous years. But all we did this time was get up late, sunbathe, go out for dinner at reasonably priced restaurants where you have to sit on patio furniture, drink vodka from the Spar, and then go out bar hopping around the Yumbo Centre. It was great. The only thing that could have been improved really was that there weren’t that many fit boys there this year. There were some, mostly fit waiters, but I think some people have been put off by how expensive the euro is right now. Plus of course it was half term, and what kind of fool goes on holiday in half term unless they have to? Such is my lot as the wife of a teacher.
    Oh yes, and the other thing that could have been improved was that they could have put a tent over the whole island and fumigated it before we arrived. I got SO many mosquito bites! I had about 20 in the end, and some of them have only just gone down. So with them, plus the cockroaches who occasionally scuttle across your bungalow floor, I’d had quite enough of insects by the time we left.
    Our accommodation was nice, we stayed at Club Mancha which is right by the Yumbo Centre where all the gay bars are. It’s a small complex of about 12 bungalows around a pool. The staff there were really friendly, and I couldn’t fault it really. I’d definitely go there again, but having been to Gran Canaria about four times now I think maybe we should try another destination next time we go away.
    I was exhausted by the time we got home from all the going out, so it is actually sort of nice to be back at work where I can sit down all day and drink tea. I’ve got a bit of tan but not loads as I didn’t want to burn, but at least it has given me a bit of colour for the winter. Chris, of course, has turned into a sub-saharan African again because he tans really quickly, so he’ll probably still be tanned long after mine has faded. It’s a shame I can’t really pull of Nicole Kidman-esque pale beauty, it would be so much easier for me! I just go pink in the sun. No danger of that though now that I’m back. Still, Christmas is just around the corner, so I shall look forward to that now instead.

  3. The sun is back!

    March 16, 2009 by superlative

    Yay the sun has returned and it has been a lovely couple of days in Brighton. I can’t actually see the sun, or the outside world at all, from my desk at work unfortunately, but I know it’s there and that’s the main thing.

    As it was nice and warm yesterday Chris and I were able to make our first boy-watching trip of 2009 along Brighton seafront. It’s not been nice enough until now. Have I written about the analogue boy clock before? Well, it’s our system for spotting cute boys anyway. We came up with it after too many frustrating walks involving the conversation “he’s nice. Who? Him over there. Which one? He’s gone now, you missed him. Damn!”. It works a bit like when you’re in a jet fighter (a regular occurrence for us all), where 12 o’clock is dead ahead, 3 o’clock is directly on your right, 6 o’clock is behind you, etc. So using that, with a brief description, you can pinpoint anyone in a matter of moments. E.g. “blond hair, 2 o’clock”, “grey t-shirt, 10 o’clock”, “Dubcek, 1 o’clock”.

    • A Dubcek (doop-check) is someone who looks good from behind, but is disappointing when they turn around. We stole it from Third Rock From The Sun.
    • A Butterface is someone who looks good everywhere (body etc) but their face. They can also be called a King Prawn: rip off the head and eat the body.
    • A Monet is someone who looks good from far away, but rubbish close up.

    There are other names for special cases, but I can’t think of them right now.

    So yes, that’s the analogue boy clock. It’s a fun game.

    I’ve also given up trying to grow my hair longer, it just wasn’t looking good. Someone said to me on Saturday “what exactly are you going for with it?”, and that was the final straw. So Chris has cut it all off for me and I feel much happier with it short and a bit spikey again.


  4. Explosive drama

    May 8, 2008 by superlative

    Yesterday was an unusual day, as I was only at work until about 12 and then we all got evacuated because of a bomb scare. It was terribly exciting… A caretaker man came round and said in a quiet voice “we all need to leave the building immediately, we’re not setting the fire alarm off because we don’t want to cause panic”. So clearly we were all much more panicked by that than we would have been by the alarm, the fire alarm goes off all the time. So anyway, because he was verbally asking everyone to leave it took about 15 minutes to get everyone out, and none of us knew what was going on.

    After a while we found out that the builders on campus had dug up a suspected incendiary device. I was quite disappointed to learn it was something from World War II, that seemed much less exciting than if we had been attacked by misguided terrorists who for some reason thought a couple of buildings in a field were a high-profile target. And seeing as the closest bomb squad lived an hour away in Portsmouth and we’d already been stood around for an hour, they said we should all go home. I think some students got chucked out of a final exam because of it, and lots more had to leave the students residences so God knows where they were meant to go… We were allowed a 10-minute window to go back into the building and get our stuff, which I also thought was a bit odd – if it’s unsafe it’s unsafe isn’t it? They don’t normally say “yes go back inside but make it quick”. Explosions are pretty quick themselves, so if you were standing next to one the fact that you were only going to be there for a couple of minutes would be small consolation as your head flew one way and your body another.

    Fortunately, no-one got exploded, and a couple of hours later they decided it was a spent artillery shell that had no chance of exploding and not a bomb after all. Of course, by that time it wasn’t worth coming back to work so I had a nice afternoon in the sun instead, and very smugly thought “I’m getting paid to get a tan at the moment”.

    How annoying would it have been if it had been pouring with rain though?? You weren’t allowed to shelter anywhere, so we would have had to stand there and be miserable. So yay for sunshine, yay for dodgy German workmanship in making bombs that don’t actually explode, and yay for artillery shells that masquerade successfully as bombs without actually endangering anyone.

    In other news, Magenta is currently eating a fly that I stunned with a rolled up newspaper. She hasn’t caught anything on her own yet, so I thought I’d help her out. It should take her 5 days fully to eat the fly, providing she doesn’t spit it out like last time. Honestly, who would have thought a fly trap would be so fussy…

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