Saturday, February 25, 2006

Resigned to my fate

I handed my notice in this week. Then retracted it. Then handed it in again. Rach noticed that I'd put 28th April down as my last day, but the following Monday is a bank holiday. I may as well get paid for it, so I rescued the letter to HR from the pigeon hole and swapped the one I'd given to my boss. So my new leaving date is the 2nd of May. I hope to build up enough flex that I don't actually have to go in that day. I am also owed a fair bit of holiday which I'll just get paid for. It all feels like its coming together now.

We haven't booked the tickets yet as we are waiting for Gemmas blood tests to come back and confirm that she is fit to go away, as she has been ill for the best part of a month. Nicola told us last night that the airlines have requested that the tickets be booked or the hold released on them for some portions of the journey by 2nd March. Gemma's blood test results should be back by then hopefully so we should be able to book. If not I have told Nicola that we are completely flexible on the dates.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Inject me for gods sake

I took the whole day off in order to go to the North Sea Medical centre in Gorleston for my consultation about travel jabs. We arrived far too early and were forced to wander up and down Gorleston's high street for amusement. We didn't find any.

Eventually it we had the consultation, the nurse looked up a bunch of stuff on a website, wrote us a list each and printed some web pages about Malaria. For which she charged us the princely sum of £40. She went on to say that they would charge us loads to give us the actual jabs and that we should go to the GP. I feel somewhat like I am being passed from pillar to post now, but Gemma has arranged another appointment with the nurse at our surgery. I can get all the normal jabs there, but I'll have to go back to Gorleston if I want jabs for Japanese B Encephelitis and Rabies. 3 times. I may not bother.

Gorleston really drained me. I felt like a cloud of depression fell over me as soon as we stepped into the town centre. Over a cup of lukewarm chocolate I questioned Gemma about the sheer futility of life. As soon as we were in the car and pointing towards Lowestoft I cheered up.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Waste of time

What a monumental waste of time that was for all concerned. Gemma had booked us both an appointment with the nurse at our GPs surgery to look at getting the jabs we'll need to go away. When we went in and started to explain where we were going the nurse jumped up, disappeared off out of the door and then came back saying, 'Sorry, with complex travel plans we've got to refer you off to the specialist clinic at North Sea Medical Centre'. I don't see what the problem is, I guess the jabs required for Malaysia (for instance) will be a superset of those required elsewhere. If I'd gone in and just said I was going to Malaysia, I'd probably have had several needles in my arm by now. So I've wasted an afternoons flexi-time, they've wasted a 40 minute appointment slot at the surgery and now I'm going to have to pay for my jabs at a private clinic. At least Gemma won't have to pay much because she got mostly everything when we went to Mauritius (I didn't bother). I have a headache now and I'm grumpy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New blog

I've just set up this blog to be a kind of online travel journal for our forthcoming trip. We had a similar sort of thing when we were in Australia 3 or 4 years ago. Only then 'blogging' wasn't such a huge thing and I'd written a very very basic blog system myself. Now its all available for free so I may as well use it.

Plans are firming up somewhat. Nicola has put holds on all our flights, discovering along the way that Virgin only run the direct London - Cape Town flight in the winter time, which means we'll have to book an extra South African airways flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. It's difficult having to jump on another flight after going all that way. You kind of just want to crash out. We are going for the Great Escapade fare which is pretty good value, although because of the mileage we're doing we have to pay a supplement over the base 29,000 mile fare.

The basic route will take us to Cape Town (transit via Jo'burg) for 1 month, Singapore and 3 months in South East Asia. Flying back out of Singapore we head to Perth, where we hope to walk the Bibbulmun track. After WA we fly on to New Zealand, firstly Christchurch then on to Auckland, totalling around a month. After Auckland the current plan is to spend a month in Fiji, followed by a month in the Cook Islands. At this point the dates are quite hazy and will be depending on whether we have any cash left. We'll be flying back via LA, and hopefully will have enough time and cash to get to San Fransisco for a little while. Although we have to book dates in advance, we should be allowed free date changes, especially if we are on electronic ticketing, which I hope we are.

I have an appointment with the nurse tomorrow to discuss (and possibly get) injections, etc. So it's all moving forward. Exciting.