Sunday, July 31, 2005

Club Med - Nabeul - Tunisia

Back from holiday at Club Med - Nabeul (Tunisia) where it ranged from 32 to 42 degrees (Celsius) every day and it rained maybe one night while we were asleep.

The departure was rough as we had to leave home at 04:15 (in the morning) and it was a relatively long trip (taxi, airport wait, plane (2 hours) and a coach trip (2 hours) to the club). Once we arrived however it was Club Med as always and we were welcomed royally.

Although this was definitely my least favourite of all of the Club Meds we have been to (Olympie, Hammamet and Metaponto) it was still a wonderfully relaxing holiday and no worries or responsibilities for 2 whole weeks.

To prove we had been to Tunisia we had to do the classic camel trip which was a great chance to get away for a bit...

The girls were in their respective clubs (8-10 and 14-17) which they participated in whenever they felt like it... mostly for the shows, meals and parties.

Although Alexandra participated in shows both weeks, as well as being the star of the second week's show, she spent most of her time at the beach or by the pool.

Jessica too participated in the shows. She spent most mornings, through to noon, in bed and most nights out on the beach. Most of the time she just danced and partied...

I'm sure we'll have more photos and news in our annual newsletter...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Arlene Was Here

Three Girls
Arlene was here from July 4th through to this morning. Rise and shine relatively early and off to the airport where she is now flying back to NYC as I write these words.

We all had a wonderful time in what breaks down in to 3 trips: pre-London, London and post-London.

Pre-London was a bit of a rush and desperately tring to get over jet lag...

London was a blast to use Arlene's own words and probably the type of trip which will take much more than a few days to get over...

Three Girls
Post-London was basically HOT with temperatures rising up to 32 degrees C. A lot of time spent at home hiding from the sun and the heat and watching a bit of TV or reading books up on the terrace in the shade.

The girls went in to town to the Musée de la Mode et du Textile where they caught the Yamamoto exhibit and seemed to have a great time.

July 13th was spent getting ready for our night out and Asnières certainly gave a great party in the Parc de Robinson with dancing and fireworks until midnight...

July 14th was spent watching the parades on television and just relaxing and enjoying our last day together... all of us... finished with a barbecue on the terrace and Jackie Brown on DVD.

And now... back to reality!

Arlene's vacation ends... and ours begins!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

In the wrong city at the wrong time

I got in to the London office a bit late as I had been working at the hotel before leaving.

As I started my training session the television was on in the room and there were talks of power surges and problems in tube stations. However before I actually got started with my class the news changed to bombs and explosions and images of the first bus. We all sat there silent and watching as the events happened in front of us.

Eventually we decided to turn the television off for a bit and go on with the class. I continued for about and hour or two up til just about lunch time.

We then decided to put the television back on and found that there had been even more bombings and even more explosions around us.

At this point we decided lunch was a good idea...

The Head of Department decided, most kindly, to take us all out to lunch together. As we got out of the building we found that we had actually been inside of a blocked area. There were police all over us, with machine guns, and police borders around us. We walked up the street and were escorted by police to the closest restaurant.

We had a rather long lunch, especially under UK standards, which was accompanied by rather continuous quantities of wine. We tried to talk about anything else but the definite central point of our conversations was what was going on around us.

One of the women with us has a daughter who was in London on a school trip and she could not get through to her. We were all using each other's mobile phones to try and get through to friends and family as each mobile network would be saturated and others would not. It was a frustrating period of try, try and try again to get through. It appeared much easier to get through with foreign phone calls than domestic phone calls. It also seems that the 3G (IP) network was by far the more stable as one of us with a 3G phone had constantly no problem getting through.

After lunch we headed back to the office. One of us had I.D. which had the office address on it so the police let us through and in to the office.

We did not stay long in the office and left by about 15:30 - 15:45.

I walked up to Oxford Street to perhaps go shopping before heading back to the hotel. Almost all of the stores on Oxford Street were closed. I headed back to the hotel and the safety of my room. I watched the news for a while and finally fell asleep in the early evening...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

London 2012

What the f***?

I am in London at my client's office and everyone is listening to the radio on their computers via the Internet or watching the television where possible.

The suspense mounted and mounted...

Paris was the by far favourite and I had bet quite a reasonable amount on Paris (Betfair) and Desney and I were sort of counting on being able to rent out our house during the Olympics and make some money towards the mortgage...

The announcement came out slowly...

The winner is...


London 2012

There are celebrations in the streets, people yelling and screaming, and everyone is in shock. London believed they would win... and they did...

Paris is devastated... it's bad enough losing the competition... but to London and the Brits???


Saturday, July 02, 2005

The aftermath of Jessica's Party

We started cleaning up after Jessica's party today...

The garage was a disaster area but easy to clean...


It turns out they had had a water fight or something and they bust the water barrel in the garden... they also had apparently jumped up and down on our wooden bench and bust that... they also must have knocked down one of the wooden speakers from the stereo as they bust that as well...

We'll be thinking twice before we do that again!