Monday, April 28, 2008
A Word From Wellington
I am actually in an internet cafe in the Civic Square, as it turns out my sister does not have wifi.... although it seems that plenty of places around the city do. It is raining, which is an interesting novelty after Cyprus, so I decided to seek shelter. We've just been out to the airport to put Mummy on the plane to Napier, and my sister got off the airport bus before I did on the way back, to go to the supermarket. I carried on, and have been to KnitWorld (not bad) and Golding Handcrafts (not very impressive), also had lunch.

The flight out here was trouble-free, even at Heathrow T5, just terribly, terribly long, and I am informed the flight back is longer, because of the winds. Good thing Air New Zealand has an excellent selection of movies and tv. I watched "Atonement", "Ballet Shoes" and Inspector Barnaby on the way over, and I plan to watch "Jane Austen Book Club" and a few others on the way back. The beds are comfortable, and at Hong Kong one can have a shower.

Of course it has been good to see my mother and sister again, after about five years, and we have been around town quite a bit. I took them to the Logan Brown restaurant on Saturday night, this is one where they have a tv series as well, which Mummy watches avidly, and they had been informed it was an 80th birthday, so there was personal attention. Apart from that, we have been to TePapa, the Katherine Mansfield House and the Botanic Gardens, as well as a fish restaurant, Nancy's Embroidery and the James Cook several times, as Mummy stayed there (I am on my sister's convertible sofa up the Terrace).

As far as I can make out from email, nothing terrible is happening at work.... but I'll be back in Paris on Thursday evening, so time enough to check that out then.
posted by Ally at 5:50 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, April 21, 2008
Briefly in Paris
I had the most terrible flight back here on Saturday, it was gruesome from beginning to end - I got to the airport, to find that the business class queue was enormous, and it took an hour to check in. Then half an hour to go through security, with people in both queues just pushing past me, the whole thing was chaos, and I am black and blue with the bruises I picked up there! I got on to the plane, sharing a bus out there with dozens of school children, and then we waited half an hour for remaining passengers.

And get this! Remaining passengers for business class were the "chaperones" of the school children, all these girls of about 18 years old, who took ages to sit themselves down etc etc. Every seat was full, and I had one of these beside me. Of course I took the opportunity to ask what it was, and apparently it is French language and culture for Cypriot school children, there were 700 of them departing over three days. They are all staying at Novotels around Paris, and they are going to be taken to the Parc Asterix, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, en masse, God help Paris!

Anyway the chaperone sitting next to me confided that she and the other chaperones had economy class tickets, but they had been upgraded so that even more children could be squeezed on the plane. In tones, as though it was a great privilege for the airline to carry even more children and a great privilege for Paris to receive them. Then she asked me what the weather was like in Paris, and I said probably very wet (Suzette had told me this, and in fact it has been pouring since I got back), and she looked terribly concerned, and said, that will be a big problem for the children. I'm afraid I gave a smile and said I expected it would be an interesting novelty for them.

Then when we got to Paris, it became evident that all the luggage had been mixed up, so I had to wait well over an hour for mine, surrounded by the screaming hordes. By that time, I was practically comatose, so I got home and went to bed and stayed there until Sunday morning. And in fact I went back there on Sunday afternoon for a time as well, I was completely poleaxed.

I feel somewhat better now, as I went out later and bought books, including a new Dalziell and Pascoe one that is inspired by Jane Austen's unfinished work "Sanditon". Very good. Today I have done bank, epilation and pharmacy, and bought a new sponge bag from Etam, who have the nicest ones. I am kind of half-packed, will finish after the hairdresser tomorrow.

I am not sure whether I will get a chance to write anything while I am away......... I have got no idea what sort of connection my sister has, or whether cafes in Wellington have wifi, I guess I will find out.
posted by Ally at 4:27 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Bella Bella..............
This is Bella the Bee, photographed on my silver grey cashmere shawl, doesn't this colour provide a perfect background for her? The button bouquet is not glued in place yet - I don't know the Greek for "hot glue" and my attempts to explain this just led to "such a thing exists?" and sceptical looks.

Today we have no water at work, continuing from yesterday afternoon. I went home early, because I needed to go to the bathroom, and have already taken one trip out for this purpose today. Another one is needed shortly, I think!
posted by Ally at 2:34 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, April 14, 2008
Hot Weekend
On both Saturday and Sunday the temperatures were into the 30s........... Saturday I had to go to Jacques Dessange for a facial, and I was exhausted by the time I got back, it was so hot. Yesterday I stayed inside for most of the day, then went to Wagamama's for an early dinner about 7pm.

I have finished Bella Bee, but no photo yet, as it was quite late last night. Also finished a grey cashmere shawl, of no interest whatever photographically, as it is a quite plain triangle with garter stitch border, the aim of this is to keep me comfortable on the plane. I did a little bit of Victoria's Quaker as well, I shall have to get going with that again. I am taking that, and the barely-started Wiehenburg Mystery to NZ with me.

My temporary replacement arrives today, hope he is OK.... he hasn't fronted yet, as he was on the plane that arrives at 4:30am.
posted by Ally at 10:25 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Two Weeks To Go!
In two weeks time, I will be sitting at the hairdresser, thinking about going to the airport and getting on the plane........... I am going to have my hair done the morning I leave Paris, as my flight to London is not until about 5pm. It is relaxing at the hairdressers, and of course my hair looks much smarter when the hairdresser does it, so that is better for travelling.

Over the weekend I started sorting out and packing, since I am only taking two suitcases back to Paris and will have to leave stuff in the office. I also went for a long walk on Saturday, practically all morning, ending up at the Hilton Hotel, and a shorter walk on Sunday, into the centre to see the hole in the wall. The main street was more crowded than I have ever seen it on a Sunday, and there was a steady stream of people crossing from one side to another. It exhausted me so much that actually I went home and had a nap! And that was practically all I did all weekend, very little stitching or knitting, just a few stitches of each.

I hate to think how dusty my place in Paris will be, since I have not been there since the beginning of February. I also hope it will not be too cold, Suzette told me there was snow there yesterday. But then I think New Zealand will be cold, I am taking winter clothes, as I have got no idea what sort of heating my sister has in her place. I have never actually been to her place, and am slightly worried about what it may be like! One good thing is that it is in the centre of Wellington, not some far-flung suburb, so at least there will be no problems getting around.
posted by Ally at 12:31 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Friday, April 04, 2008
Extremely Lazy Week
This week I have done practically nothing, either at home or at work............. no pictures to show! I've kept up with work, but that is about it, and I've put a few stitches into Victoria's Quaker and knitted a skein of Debbie Bliss Cashmere into my shawl that I want to wear on the plane. I now have three and a half skeins to go, not much, as each skein only contains about fifty meters, it really is an expensive yarn. It is a plain stocking stitch triangle with garter stitch borders, and the idea is that I can use it as a cover or fold it into an extra pillow on the plane, really quite utilitarian.

My last day at work here (for the moment) is in two weeks' time, I fly back to Paris on the Saturday. In a plane that is entirely booked out, even in business class, horrible. So I need to leave some stuff here in the office, I had better start bringing it in with me next week, as obviously I cannot take a lot of excess baggage on a crowded plane. I gather it is because of Easter (Greek Easter, that is). I hope my plane to NZ will not be too crowded, I already have my seat number, 15A, and it is by itself, thank goodness.

Of course the big news from here is the opening of the Ledra Street checkpoint - yesterday my hotel was full of reporters, I have never seen so many people there. And the tv news had hours of footage about it. It was all taking place about a kilometer away from chez moi, but I did not go there, still less attempt the crossing, it all looked far too crowded. Leo had wanted to, but he went home the night before. He would have been waiting for hours. And for what? They showed some views of the old town on the other side also, and it seems to be filled with junk shops. I don't think I'll be crossing any time soon, the other thing is, I don't speak a word of Turkish!
posted by Ally at 11:47 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments