Friday, April 28, 2006

Finished work

I had my last day at work yesterday. I had mixed emotions about it really. I'm sad because I'm leaving the people I work with, but excited because I am having a year long holiday. I had the customary presentation, and got a very generous cheque. I'd cleared my desk, computer and e-mail by that point though so I was a little bored between the presentation and going to the pub.

Today we move out of the flat, again something I'll be a bit sad about.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Gemma has finished work

Gemma's last day at work was Friday, she was understandably excited about it. I have another four days left. I have mixed feelings, as I will miss the people I work with, but then, I'd rather not work at all. Thursday next week is my last day at work, then we move our stuff out of the flat and into storage on the Friday. Next week will be busy with boxing things up I feel.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Flickr group

I made a group on flickr to post photos from our trip in a single place: It's a private group so only my photos and Gemma's photos will be getting posted to it, at least at the minute anyway.

Physical Tickets

We went out for dinner with Nicola & Karl on Monday, and Nicola gave us our tickets. Wooop!

Unfortunately because of Air New Zealand, we have to have physical tickets not e-tickets. Which is annoying because it is something to lose. Hopefully that won't happen though. It seems that because the fare is a single booking, through ticketing, that we have to have paper tickets for all legs of the journey, even though only Air New Zealand are requiring them.

Other than that everything seems in order, except that we've already had a time change so need to revalidate our tickets anyway -plus we have to put back our last flight (from San Francisco) otherwise we'll only have 3 days in the USA.

Also on Monday we had the second set of expensive jabs for Japanese B Encephalitis and Rabies.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I had the afternoon off today so that we could go to Gorleston to get our Japanese B Encephalitis and Rabies jabs. The reason I entitled this post ouch was not because of the jabs themselves but the cost. Because they aren't available on the NHS we had to get them privately from North Sea Medical Centre. At a cost of £110 for each of us. And we have another two sets of jabs each. What is even more galling is that the Rabies jab isn't even really a proper vaccination. It simply buys you time to get to a hospital if you are exposed. I almost feel like getting bitten by a dog to get my monies worth!

This time in Gorleston I had no feeling of crusing depression, which was nice.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cash Money

Something that I found really irritating when we spent a year in Australia was getting cash out from my UK accounts. It wasn't so bad because we were able to transfer money to Australian accounts that we set up whilst there. There were occasions when we needed cash in more of a hurry and had to take it out of our UK accounts from an ATM. Not only did we have to pay an ATM usage fee, but also a handling fee from the UK bank and a currency conversion fee. This is despite being a customer of HSBC (who market themselves as the world bank) and making the withdrawl at an HSBC ATM. Daylight robbery if you ask me. The total cost of these transactions can dd up if you use the ATM a lot.

I noticed in planning this trip that the Nationwide do an account with no fees (other than those imposed by the bank you are withdrawing from) for foreign withdrawls -so no processing or currency conversion fees, only ATM fees. I can live with that, so I've opened a joint account with them for use while we are away. We'll keep moving chunks of cash in from our savings accounts every month or so and hopefully avoid the fees.


After many hours poring over various policies on the net we decided to go with Endsleigh for our insurance. The policy has cost us roughly £400, covering both of us and including quite a lot of sports/activities as standard. We went for a policy without luggage cover, because we aren't planning on taking anything valuable other than our cameras and the premium plus excess makes it not worth the bother insuring. We chose the 'long term holiday' policy over the 'backpacker' and the 'gap year' policies. Mainly because the cover seems to be identical as far as I can tell, yet the backpacker insurance would have cost an extra £30. I think it may be another one of those cases of marketing as the budget option but actually slightly increasing the price. We had initially looked at STA, but they just resell Endsleigh, and Endsleigh were cheaper and the website much more comprehensible so they won the business directly.