Travel

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The once in a decade day

Published March 6, 2014 by iftheshoefits

I’ve been absent without leave from the blogosphere, which means that I’ve been busy.  And when I say busy, I mean sleep-deprived busy.  As has Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits.

Which is why we were stunned, dazed and confused when our schedules combined within a 2.5 mile radius in London on Monday.  We were in the same place at the same time.  In the 10 years we’ve lived south of the border, this is unheard of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I quickly booked a hotel for us in Kensington for Sunday night – this meant that we could get up slowly on Sunday and head through to the big smoke for the day.  We could shop, we could enjoy a glass of wine or two, and then we could shop.  Between us we bought three pairs of shoes, two for me one for him.  This is a normal and healthy ratio for a female:male shoe-off.  Although, I haven’t seen my new shoes since then.  Hmm, I may be the victim of a hostage situation – he may actually be holding me to the ‘one pair in, one pair out rule’.  I don’t remember that discussion over late night gin in a tin.

We did all that and more and headed off our separate ways on Monday morning.  My conference was less than a 30 minute tube ride away, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits was a 15 minute drive away so I left for work later than I do every day I’m in the office – a brilliant start to a Monday I find.  He finished filming 30 minutes earlier than I did and came to collect me so that we could drive home together.  My own windswept and interesting chauffeur – all I had to do was keep a steady supply of coffee and chewing gum flowing on the journey home.

I’m still in a state of shock, and no matter what this week has since thrown at me, I remain well and truly inside my happy bubble.

Thus, our once in a decade day will be remembered as happily as eating warm apple strudel in the restaurant at the top of Grossglockner.

Mary Poppins expose

Published February 5, 2014 by iftheshoefits

Today, on the way to work, I really was Mary Poppins – the wind made me fly (sadly, very unlike Ms Poppins) way up in the air with my rather large umbrella.  At this point I faced with the impossible choice – wrestle with my umbrella or keep some dignity intact and hold my skirt down – there was no time for both.  So apologies to any car drivers who saw a small flurry of an oversized purple umbrella and grey woolly tights fighting their way through the cobbled slippery streets.

Once I’d reconnected with mother earth I stepped off of the pavement straight into a puddle so deep it overflowed my little chelsea boots.  Not exactly the best start to the day and thus I arrived at work battered, bedraggled and bemused – like most of my colleagues.

A surreal start to the day for everyone means that you share little moments of hilarity throughout the remainder – any subject was open for ridicule, planking (of course), prostrate examinations, dubious code changes, top end graphic cards and cooling units.  Not my top 10 funny moments ever, but instead an endearingly dorky day – nerds vs weather.  The weather won.

Now for a 40 second planking session now that my feet have dried out.

“Security isn’t a dirty word, Blackadder”

Published January 6, 2014 by iftheshoefits

 

 

 

 

 

I’m with General Melchett on that one.  I wish the world was a safer, happier, healthier place to live and procreate in.

However, there is one aspect of security that I hate, although I do realise that it is a necessary evil – airport security.  We live in a time when it’s essential, I understand that, it’s just that there must be a better way.

I’m sure that I’m not alone when I feel ever so slightly violated whilst going through – all of your liquid toiletries in a clear plastic bag – there’s a reason that the contents of a lady’s handbag are sacred and that clear plastic little bag takes away some of the mystery in being a woman.  And then there’s the fact that you have to take half of your layers off and usually your shoes – this makes for an interesting balancing act, undressing whilst walking is never a good option for a clumsy person.  Not to mention the fact that your underwear is on display at on all fronts – what with your belt being removed and your jacket off – pants and bra straps aplenty.  I’ve learned to keep my jacket and belt on until I’ve taken my shoes off – the order you undress is important, you don’t want more of yourself falling out than is absolutely necessary.

The smaller the airport, the more scrutiny you get, probably because they have less sophisticated equipment to hand and more manpower available per passenger.  I usually get frisked at the smaller airports.

I don’t mind my luggage or my person being searched, scrutinised or patted down – I just wish we could incorporate a little more technology to help us along the way.  The full body scanners are controversial – but I’m all for them.  Anything that stops me inadvertently flashing at strangers is a plus in my book.  Hopefully, there’s some lovely new sci-fi inspired technology to come before too long.

In the meantime, “Crevice is a dirty word, but security isn’t”.

When Christmas comes early…

Published December 9, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits and I have peaked too early this festive season.

In the last 2 weeks I’ve attended a black tie dinner, survived the office Christmas party and celebrated Christmas early with our families north of the border.  It’s only the 9th of December and I’ve eaten and drunk more in the last 10 days than I have over the previous 10 months.

We had a fabulous time with our families, where we had too much of everything, including the weather – one week into December and we had to sit on the Inverness runway for 45 minutes waiting for our plane to be de-iced – I’m heading back up on Friday 13th (cue ominous organ music) to see my brother, sister-in-law and nephews and like the proverbial Christmas family, I’ll pretty much be sleeping in the stables (well, under the dining room table anyway).

The office Christmas party was last Friday so today is the post-mortem.  I’ve heard about the £100 cab rides, the hi-jacking of a DJ booth in a Bavarian Christmas Bar, the colleague who slept in his car, a member of our senior management team having an impromptu quick change of clothes because of an unfortunate being vomited-upon incident, and an ‘as disturbing as Miley Cyrus’ twerking session.  All in all a roaring success – hmmm.  Thank goodness I was home, sober(ish) and sensible well ahead of the witching hour.

I’ve come through the first half of the month with my reindeer antlers, my dignity and my ankles intact, if not a little sore-footed.

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And I received an absolutely darling secret santa present from someone who knows me too well.

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Here’s to surviving the rest of the festive season with a bit of a swagger and a helping of good cheer.  Season’s greetings one and all.

 

On the road, toothpaste in absentia

Published November 4, 2013 by iftheshoefits

But on the plus side – I have a great manicure:

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Until late last year I spent a lot of time on the road – and I mean a lot. I spent 15 working weeks travelling in 2012 so I know what I’m talking about.
Today is my first overnight work trip since March and I’m in the industrial north without any toothpaste.
I honestly don’t know how this happened. In my mind I’m blaming MrShoeThatAlwaysFits for stealing my travel tube, but that’s not the truth of it. We ran out at home and used the tube from my soap bag until supplies were replenished – I just forgot to put another tube in my travel bag – eek !
I’ve gargled tonight but will have to beg colleagues for assistance in the morning – they will think the earth has spun off its axis – I usually have everything & usually a little bit more to boot. Sewing kit – check; migraine tablets – check; shoe shine wipes – check; anti bacterial handwipes – check; poppies for 5 – check. Great lolloping buggery bollocks – I am infallible. Feck.

… 28 mosquito bites later

Published September 22, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I have seven little bites, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits has twenty-one rather angry ones and this has turned him into Mr Itchy McScratchy.  I know he has twenty-one because I counted them after a mammoth scratching session. Most of them are clustered on his upper body, although he does have a particularly fruity one on his rump (and no, I don’t have any pictures of that one)!

You’d think that two Scots would know better, that an idyllic lake-side view with an open bedroom window is just asking for trouble.  But, as we weren’t on holiday on the west coast of Scotland, midge control was far from our minds as we went down to a wine induced sleep blissfully unaware of what we were doing to ourselves.

I was rudely awakened at 4am by Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits apologising as he switched on lights and morphed into The Naked Mosquito Hunter.  It was quite the sight I can tell you.  The walls were soon smeared in our own blood as mosquito after mosquito fell to his dextrous hands.  We thought we had got them all and tried to settle down to sleep once again, but I was buzzed once more and leapt shrieking from the bed.  And there we were, Mosquito Massacre part deux.

In the morning, we were comparing bites to blood-smeared walls and believed we must have got them all.  Alas, this was not the case.  Some sneakily smart blighters went commando on us and waited until we were asleep the next night too as we awoke to more bites than we’d gone to bed with.

Luckily, I had packed enough anti-histamines for both of us which managed to reduce the itching if not the bites themselves.

The very last hotel we stayed at had fly screens on the windows so you could sleep with the windows open without being feasted upon – talk about too little too late.

Note to self for next trip, pack some insect repellant.

Turns out these boots were made for walking after all

Published September 22, 2013 by iftheshoefits

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Safely back in Brizzle with a mournful lament at leaving The Alps behind us and an alarming amount of washing it’s back to life as we know it.  Reality hit hard with an 06:40 alarm call for Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits as he headed off to film in some spectacularly unglamorous location.

And, in between loading and unloading the washing machine, I thought I would update you on how well these little beauties did.  They safely jogged across Schipol Airport to meet a rather tight connection; they gazelle-like leapt on and off hop-on-hop-off city bus tours; they were nimbly secure up and down the 700 steps (some of which at a 45 degree angle) of the Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves; they were sure footed on the snowy tips of the Grossglockner mountain range; and most of all, they made me smile every time I did something mildly energetic.

I’m not saying that they should replace my hiking boots, but if you’re already used to stomping around the world in impractical footwear you can’t beat these.  They were in my top three holiday in the rainy Alps hero items – the other two included my lightweight cream North Face jacket (I needed both windproof and waterproof) and my large leather Boden bag with built-in iPad pocket and security purse.  If only we’d packed some insect repellant – more of that on a later post…

…28 mosquito bites later

View from hotel, Salzkammergut Region

Published September 17, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Well, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits and I are half way through our 10 day trip around Austria.
We’ve experienced culture in Vienna; kitschness & lederhosen in Graz; schnapps & stuffed marmosets up Grossglockner; detours & landslides around Innsbruck; coffee, cake and hills alive with the sound of music in Salzburg; and now we’re in the idyllic Salzkammergut region.
We’ve got a few more days exploring to go – ice caves a go go and more alpine villages than you can shake a cow bell at. And that’s without an endless supply of Mozart balls.
It may have been stressful getting here but, boy, are we enjoying ourselves.
Will post again once back in Blighty.

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Pre-holiday stresses

Published September 8, 2013 by iftheshoefits

You’ve got to ask yourself with less than 4 days to go – is going on holiday actually worth it?

It will be, but right around this time you think you’re going mad.  Mad as a bucket of frogs to be precise. It all gets a bit overwhelming –  bills need to be paid, the washing and ironing need to be up-to-date, getting the right amount of food in the fridge is a black art and you want to change your bed linen so that you have a lovely clean bed to come back to.  And that’s just at home – the countdown at work is worse, appraisals and 1:1 meetings need to be held, interviews for new posts need to be conducted, paperwork needs to completed and filed, and handover meetings on key projects must be prioritised.

And I still need to pluck, preen and pedicure my way into holiday mode.  I also need a manicure and if I can fit it in, a visit to the hairdresser to cover up those sneaky grey strands that have so very conveniently reappeared this morning.

So if anyone asks me if I’m looking forward to my break, the answer on Wednesday evening when all of this is done will be a resounding “yes”, but until then I’ll be running around like an idiot making sure everything’s done.  And probably swearing, under my breath admittedly, but swearing nonetheless.

My mantra for the next few days, “Going on holiday is fun, no really, it is”.

Counting Down to Summer

Published September 2, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I have 7 working days left before I go on my summer holiday – this is both fabulous and daunting.

I’m really looking forward to 10 days off travelling around with Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits who also needs a break as he’s been working his derriere off. We’re not very good at staying in one place and relaxing, we get cabin fever so we’re flying off to Europe on a 10 day road trip. I love road trips – he drives and I read interesting things out of guide books to him (in between naps). We roam and take photos all the while looking for interesting coffee shops and enticing patisseries. He loves mountains and I love the sea – our last break was to the seaside, therefore this time we’re heading to the Alps.

And so, I’m in countdown mode – frantically crossing items off my work to-do lists and adding more onto the bottom. It’s comforting (kind of) and it relaxes my control freak mentality. But the best part of all is reworking the holiday essentials packing list, tweaking and amending ad infinitum until it’s perfect. The red wedge hi tops are en route to me so here’s hoping that they fit – if not, I’ve found an alternative pair in town so all is not lost. I showed them to the Mr and he was surprised at how nearly practical they were – I’ll take that as approval then. Although my Mum, on hearing that I needed yet more shoes, lamented the loss of my white kicker boots that I’d had since primary school (yes that would make them more than 30 years old) which would have done me just fine ! Ho hum, you can’t win them all.

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