Thursday, May 11, 2006


I thought that the two weeks between leaving work and our flight to South Africa would be a nice and relaxing time. Utter twaddle. It's only really today that I've felt like I'm on holiday. We've been pretty busy since leaving work.

  • Moving out. We got the majority of our stuff boxed up and Roger drove it in a van to Big Yellow at Norwich. It's amazing what you can fit in a 3 foot by 5 foot room. The whole thing was like an ultra complicated 3D jigsaw, and was very satisfying once packed up. We actually drove some more stuff over there on the Monday. We didn't do any moving out related things on the Saturday as Gemma managed to injure her foot and I went to Nicola & Karl's (see below). Sunday we cleaned the flat with the excellent assistance of Gemma's mum.
  • Shed destruction. I spent the Saturday after leaving work at Nicola and Karl's house demolishing two of their sheds. That took up most of the day and left my already aching limbs in a much more aching state. Knocking down sheds is real manly work, and something I have discovered I have a natural talent for. I sense a career change in the offing.
  • Tidying up the mess at Gemma's mums. This actually took a couple of days to do, because the stuff that wasn't in storage ended up being littered around the house. It is mostly done now, with the exception of our room.
  • Getting jabs/medication. We had our last set of super expensive jabs, so we are fully prepared for all illnesses now. We also picked up our antimalarials (Doxycycline) too.
  • Going out for Gemma's mums birthday.We had a very nice day out in Wroxham for Gemma's mum's birthday. Gemma's sister and nephew came too.
  • Visiting Nottingham. Gemma hadn't previously driven a long way, or on the motorway and decided she might like to get a little experience before she goes to foreign countries and does it. Her Mum and Dad were up for the trip and so we packed her little car up and set off for Nottingham. Gemma drove to Nottingham, only swapping at West Bridgford so that Roger could deal with the more tricky city centre part. After checking in to the Travel Lodge in the city we spent the afternoon by the canal. In the evening we met our friends to say goodbye. Neil got me the Caravan Gallery book as a going away present. It's ace. We spent the best part of the next day shopping for rucksacks and other essentials. I'm afraid that we are going to look a bit sad on our travels as we both have the same rucksacks and waterproof jackets. Daniel Dustbin was in town to sign up to be a smoking beagle or something, so we met him for a pint by the canal.
  • Visiting Wakefield. Gemma has relatives in Wakefield so we carried on up there from Nottingham. We went to a first birthday party on the Saturday. It was nice to see some of Gemma's family that I've never met before, but also a little strange. I kept having to do double takes at her cousin who looks a lot like Gemma's sister. We also managed a walk round Wakefield town and a very nice park.
  • Visting Great Lumley. We left Gemma's parents in Wakefield and bravely set off on our own towards the North East. Gemma's first experience of motorway driving was a solo one and she acquited herself admirably. We stayed at Mam's house and had a very nice meal with the whole family all together, which is something which hasn't happened in decades I would think. I got to see my neices and nephews which was very cool. I also managed a visit to see my friend Lisa, who I haven't seen for years. I was glad to catch up with her and see that she has become the very model of domesticity. The next day we drove back to Wakefield and picked up Gemma's parents before heading back to Lowestoft.
  • More Shopping. We spent a last day shopping and picking stuff up, as well as meeting Scott for lunch.
  • A pub meal. We got together with some of Gemma's mates for a goodbye pub meal. It turned into a bit of a Broadside fest for me.
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Gemma's birthday gift to her Mum was tickets to go see Ladysmith Black Mambazo in Cambridge. They've gone and done that today.

I'm sure I've left some stuff off the list. I spent today sorting out a few address changes and cancellations and things as well as copying our important documents (passports, tickets, etc). I also spent a good proportion of the day uploading some of my backlog of photos to Flickr.

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