Tuesday, December 27


Well I've left lovely Rushden where I was living for the past few months - in between being everywhere else!! All I have thought of so far that I've left behind is my toothpaste! Thats aside from an assortment of things I left delibarately which only really included my PJs, some bath things and soap people gave me and some sunscreen because it wouldn't fit! Now I am at the Clowney's house in West London and about an hour I'll be heading off for Heathrow. At 10pm UK time I get the first of 3 flights which will take me home at last! I'll arrive no doubt somewhat sleepy, overdressed for the weather and happy to be home on Wednesday morning Tassie time (6am to Melbourne and a bit later to Hobart). Pity about the flight in between... not long now though!

Sunday, December 25

Stockings, Stars and a Saviour.

I've just come back from a Christmas Eve service at Wymington Chapel. It was much fuller than I've ever seen it (more than a dozen!) - actually there were no free pews! I have to say - some of the poems about sleigh bells and snow flakes struck me as irrelevant... having never seen either at Christmas in Australia, and by the looks of things, I won't here either. There is a possibility of snow boxing day, but I'll be heading off then!
Anyway, aside from the poems, someone spoke about the letter 'S'. She'd thought of 3 things starting with S:
Stockings - which I don't expect this year, although I helped 'Santa' wrap things for Helen, Robert and Jenny's stockings.
Stars - in the Sahara desert Max/Mohammed and I climbed a sand dune in the dark and sat and looked at the extremely clear stars. But for me, the stars are different to the way I'm used to - I can make out the saucepan (a part of Orion's belt) but there is no Southern Cross! But of course, at chapel they spoke of the guiding star, the 'star of wonder, star of light' guiding the wise men to Bethlehem. I think I'd like a nice visibile guiding star to follow in my life - instead I seem to have to work a bit harder to what I think, or what I think God wants for my life.
And Saviour. The best gift of Christmas. The reason why people anywhere in the world celebrate Christmas, although they may not say so. I have been trying to make sure I don't get bogged down in 'festive spirit' and remember what its really about. Stockings and gifts - yes, food - yes, decoratings and stars, yes.. but more than that it was the birth a baby that changed the world and still does.
Happy Christmas.


'Home' from one trip, soon going 'home' from a bigger trip!

I'm back in England. I spent a night in Cambridge with Myra who went to school with my grandmother and is a lovely lady. She picked me up from the airport on Monday and we had a very pleasant evening together and the next mroning she took me to the bus station. Now I'm back in Rushden with my cousins. I had a day in Pavenham with Hugh and Jo's cousins on Wednesday and a morning with the kids at 'grandma's' (my great aunt Margarets) on friday morning. The days are going by, and now there is only Christmas day and on Boxing Day I leave!
I have arranged to visit Tessa and her family in London on Boxing day (and as it happens do some cleaning for them, because they are going away and need it done and were willing to pay me!!) before heading to Heathrow. Not long now... the Falls, summer, friends, family.... hooray!
When I saw Dad in Morocco he asked if I'd enjoyed my time in England, and whether i'd do it again if I had the time over. I have definately had good times and number of unrepeatable experiences. Its interesting to think about the time - there were some low points but not many. The worst I can think of was unexpectedly losing my job. In fact - I am drinking a bottle of French wine (sharing with Rachel and Gordon) given to me for my brithday and on my 2nd last day of work by the medical secretary. Strange. And at times I did miss people, although I also enjoyed seeing and meeting people here. And many high points.. perhaps i will highlight some in a future post.

Saturday, December 17

Snowy fun and stuff

I've been having lots of fun here in Östersund staying with some friends I met at the Mirror Sailing World Championships in Tas in 2003. I've been ice skating which was great - mostly good ice on the lake although a few bits were double ice. This is where there is a layer of water between 2 layers of ice, and isn't so good. We kept testing the ice and at one point water came through the first time Anton poked it with the metal 'ice testing poker' (or something) so we turned back! I've also been snowboarding. We went to Åre yesterday and did just a little bit and then today Anton, his sister Emma, and 2 of their friends and I went to Vemdalen and did more. I didn't leave the ski school slopes, but I did improve. I also got much better at getting up after a fall.. mostly because I had a lot of practice at falling. I now have a slightly sore backside and knees but hey, it was great fun! And last night we went to help Kalle put his snow mobile on the trailor and had a little go... that was great fun as well. Especially after I got less nervous and went faster (at first I went too slowly and couldn't make it up the hill!). Not sure what else is planned before I leave Sweden on monday, but its all good fun - and beautiful to see everything covered in snow.

Tuesday, December 13


Yay after a taxi, plane, train, plane, bus, train, and another train )and some time sitting in stations) I have arrived in Sweden!

Sunday, December 11

Tagine and Couscous land

Tomorrow I leave Marocco after a fun filled and action packed 2 weeks. We've been all over the place and had a brilliant time!
By the way this keyboard is not a nice qwerty so this is taking me much longer than usual and somethings i just cant find!!
Anyway my trip to Marocco got off to a bad start when I turned up at London Gatwick airport at 3pm to find my flight had been changed to that morning. They had emailed me but for some reason I canùt remember I had put my cousins email address - probably because it was on their credit card!! Anyway instead of arriving an hour before Dad and Kate in Marrakesh, i ended up going via Marseille (which has a fairly boring airport when its 9pm and you didnt want to be there anyway!!) and arriving in Marrakesh about midnight.
The next day we went by bus to Essouaira.. bus was slow - took 5 hours to go 160km, stopping everywhere and then getting stuck in mud!!!
anyway i'm running out of time on the net for today, but we went to Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes, Fes, then thru the Atlas mountains to some little places -about the only name i rememeber is Ouarzazat cos it sounds like 'whereitsat'!!! Some amazing places, hospitality, people, cqrpets, places, food... and lots of Mohammeds!!
If i get a chance i'll describe how coffee with 2 guys turned into buying carpets (easy enough to do) and driving through mountains!!
Anyway all is good, i might be slqck with emails a bit longer sorry... and tomorrow i go bqck to england for a night i don't look forward to-and 6:35am flight to Sweden!!