Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Other Side Of The World
I think I've recovered enough from the jetlag to describe my journey a little - my long journey, goodness, it was long with all those connections, including eight hours in Bangkok airport.

I had sleeper seats from Copenhagen to Bangkok and Bangkok to Melbourne, although they were not as good (or as expensive) as Air New Zealand sleeper seats. However I could at least stretch out and nap a little, so that was something. At Bangkok, I had a shower and sat in the lounge dozing, it was way too complicated to try and find anything else to do. Oddly enough, in the lounge there, they had beer and spirits, as well as regular soft drinks, but no wine. But, in this lounge, I put the last few stitches into my La-D-Da "Act Justly", as I hadn't quite got to them before I left. I now need to unpack the camera, and also whatever new stitching and WIPs I packed. Which I actually cannot remember, as it was all done in a blur. Not sure if there's any needlework shops in Hobart, so any advice will be gratefully received.

At Melbourne, there was the usual chaos - why do they make one lift one's suitcases through a security screener? I haven't been to any other airport that does this, I suspect that other airports do put all the suitcases through something behind the scenes, but it just seems weird making the passengers lift them up to do this after baggage claim. Not to mention that, after a long flight, some of us are not as coordinated as we might be, and drop the suitcase.

Finally I got to Hobart Airport, I was really quite exhausted by this time, and the taxi drive to my hotel seemed really long. I distinguished myself by pulling out 50 euros instead of 50 dollars for the driver. I've since put away all other money, but keep on saying "euros" instead of "dollars".....

The hotel is nice, my room, which is really a studio apartment, is actually bigger than my apartment in Paris. It's right in the centre, near the harbour, and the Salamanca Market, so is conveniently located. I suspect this is an expensive area, judging by how much everything is in the supermarket, athough it is confusing for me, as everything comes in bigger packets than in France.

I had to come to work on Monday, which I told our Resources Manager was cruelty to the aged. I was nearly asleep by 6pm, you can imagine, but yesterday and today have been better. I really, really hope that I get to take the public holidays on Friday and Monday, I need some time where I don't go anywhere and don't have any obligations.
posted by Ally at 3:51 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Friday, March 26, 2010
Really Tasmania
I leave this afternoon at 6pm from CDG, and here I am still in my bed - I suppose it is only 8:30am, but I have lots and lots to do this morning.

Yesterday I came back from Tallinn with four suitcases, which was not great fun, although when I got home, there was a delivery man in the foyer, and he offered to carry them upstairs for me. Really nice guy, I gave him 20 euros, because it is four flights and they were heavy, and he tried to tell me that was too much. But he was just the right person sent at the right time for me. I had had a hellish ride from the airport, the taxi driver was screaming into his cellphone in Vietnamese (I think) all the way, and we nearly crashed into another car at one point. Then he dumped the bags right in front of the front door, so it was very difficult to open it and drove off, after taking 60 euros from me. So Mr Delivery Man was sent from heaven after that.

Now I am going to get up, do packing, tidy apartment, go to the bank and the pharmacy, then in the afternoon, off to CDG again to catch my flight to Copenhagen, so I can be on the late flight to Bangkok and Melbourne! Such fun.....
posted by Ally at 9:14 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Friday, March 19, 2010
Completely Disoriented
Things are quite, quite mad here - which is Paris until Sunday, then Tallinn until Thursday, then probably off to Tasmania on Friday. I say probably because of course we are still waiting for a signed contract plus approval for my airfare. Meanwhile I am going mad trying to decide what to pack, as I have no idea what the weather in Tasmania will be like, plus stressing about the flight, because we all know how much I love flying - not!!! One of my colleagues yesterday gave my manager a rather good description of sitting next to me on the Easyjet flights to Belfast, which I endured twice a week for eight months. I hoped it might make them change their minds about sending me, but no luck so far.

My readers are correct in thinking this whole thing is quite crazy. I don't think I could go much further from Tallinn than Tasmania, and I love the phrase from Kathryn's Mum, "from the sublime to the corblimey"! Apparently there is an urgent short-term need there, and of course I don't need a work permit, so that makes it feasible. I am still being told by all my colleagues how lucky I am, and how they want to go! And now I am also being told my my sister that I really must come to New Zealand while I am there, which is neither cheap nor quick from Tasmania, given that there appear to be no international flights from Hobart. I am actually going to turn the tables and suggest she come to Tasmania instead, thank you again, Kathryn, but I am fairly sure that there will be a lot of reasons why she can't....

By the way, our Special Snowflake thinks people who don't like flying are silly - I think she means me again! Whereas I tend to think anyone who likes sitting inside a giant tin can wedged against strangers is silly, it's really not my sort of thing. It's actually really funny, there is another guy from work who is going on holiday to Thailand about the same time as I am leaving for Hobart, and he is so looking forward to his flight - he has a really cheap flight and is only taking a small cabin-sized backpack for a month's holiday, and the whole idea makes me shudder, but then he is at least twenty years younger than I am, and I am sure that he doesn't have to worry about whether his knees will ever work properly again. This is the thing about Snowflake, she assumes that everyone is like her, without thinking that people's situations may be different.

With all this stress I have not been stitching much, except on the plane on Wednesday, when a nice flight attendant admired my very nearly finished La-D-Da "Act Justly". This one WILL get finished pre-Tasmania, because I have a few things from Nashville that have arrived and cheered up an otherwise horrid week. I will take some photos when I can, some things are quite nice, I am very taken with the LHN pin bed and pillow, which I think may be the first start of the bunch. By the way, "Mrs Waddelow" is recommended to be done in one strand of reversible cross-stitch, that could be interesting!
posted by Ally at 2:02 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, March 15, 2010
Monday Again
I've spent the weekend packing things, and not sleeping well. Also I spent three hours on Saturday on our corporate travel site trying to book a ticket to Hobart, this was just such fun, since every time I put in "Hobart", the answer was something like 5000 euros via Katmandu. I have ended up, I hope, with a ticket for Melbourne, so I have to brave the site again to get a Melbourne to Hobart return. Honestly I'm not sure how they expect us to do long-haul stuff on a website that is weird at the best of times.

Of course I still don't know where I am staying or what I shall be doing there.... I've sent off emails about these things, but answer comes there none, hence the not sleeping well.

On Wednesday I'm going home for a few days, to try and sort out a few things, and get a head start on packing for Hobart. I really, really hope my Nashville package is there, that will be the one positive note in the whole thing. I was talking to David earlier, and telling him that I was rather annoyed and disorientated about all of this, and unusually for him, he said he didn't blame me. He tends to try and make me see the funny side of things, but Tasmania for a month at short notice defeated even him.
posted by Ally at 8:34 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 2 comments
Friday, March 12, 2010
Such Fun
Well, it started snowing again today - after a thaw, so the footpaths are nice and icy. Great, I loved going out to dinner tonight in that weather. Mind you, I have consumed prawn cakes, chicken curry and naan bread, plus rather a lot of NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

And remember the idea that I should go and work in Australia for a while? Well, what do you think about Hobart for the whole of April. Which means I leave Paris on 26th March - two weeks today!!! Apparently there is some crisis there....... it means that (as of now, it could all change tomorrow), I have to leave here on a Thursday, spend twenty four hours at home, then get on a plane for Singapore, Melbourne and Hobart on the Friday night, arriving in Hobart on Sunday morning. Before then, I have to go home next week for a couple of days, as I have to do a few things, like go to the doctor, the bank manager and the hairdresser, so basically I may as well take up residence at the airport.

This has all happened over the last twenty four hours, so little wonder that I am slightly disorientated at present. This will be my last weekend in Tallinn, so I have to do a little shopping, plus a lot of packing.

I suppose there are some bright spots, on my credit card I noticed a charge for my Nashville purchases, so they will arrive home before I leave. And I am making a lrge list for Singapore duty-free.
posted by Ally at 10:18 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Visite A La Campagne
I have made some progress with my La-D-Da WIP:

Even though I had two days this week when I did none, because I went for an overnight visit to my friend Roddy, who was at his French home near Saumur this week. Saumur is in the Loire, so naturally has a castle:

But Roddy's place is outside, not even in a village, but in a hamlet of about ten farmhouses. He doesn't have land, apart from a reasonably sized garden, but there are fields around and we met the farmer and some other neighbours, who are all lovely. There was another person there from our team at work as well, he's actually had the week off and was staying with Roddy all week. I caught the train down there, it's only 2 and a half hours, on Wednesday morning, and we did sightseeing and shopping - because the neighbours were invited to dinner and we were cooking. It was a lovely evening, very late, but we all slept in, and then went for a long walk on Thursday. I was home again about 9pm on Thursday, so it really was a flying visit. The weather down there was great, although windy, so I felt quite refreshed by the excursion.
Yesterday and today I've done some shopping, off to Modes et Travaux for some linen and DMC threads, and today to Muji for yet more storage boxes. It's off to Tallinn again on Monday for my final month there.

posted by Ally at 8:37 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, March 01, 2010
Spring in Paris
Well, today is beautiful, the sun is shining and it's warm, no rain so far at all. You wouldn't think there had been a storm at all - but sadly nearly 50 people were killed, mostly on the west coast of France, where it was very bad indeed. We were very lucky in the Paris area, from what I saw on television. There were trees down, including some at Versailles, but nothing like the storm of 1999-2000 when the park at Versailles was terribly damaged, as well as many other forests in the region.

I've been to the office to do my expenses cutting and gluing (I'm actually a week late with this, but I tend to spend my time in Tallinn working!), then left immediately afterwards, as the only other person there was Sylvain, who depresses me, and I don't want to be depressed. It's nearly the end of my working day now - when I'm at home, I try to stop at 5pm Tallinn time, since I always check my email when I wake up , which is 7am or earlier. It's worth doing that, to get a headstart on the day, and to know whether I'm going to be able to finish early and take advantage of the lengthening days. The weather is so much better than last time I was home, and I've already been able to walk around quite a bit, without freezing to death or being rained or snowed on.

Time to go and do a bit of work, then get the stitching out!
posted by Ally at 4:00 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments