With thanks… Heading to Scotland…

November 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm (Uncategorized)

With thanks… Saturday November 2… NaNoWriMo – 4000 words… Flying away…

It’s been a crazy few weeks, getting everything finished so we could go away, but finally the day has come! Time to fly away! So excited 🙂

I got home from work at midnight last night, and stayed up for a few hours sorting stuff out for the trip and pondering packing, but I got a few hours sleep before getting up early this morning to do my final RushFit workout. It was a strange feeling, knowing it was the last one (for now at least) – and the last time I have to do that same 11-minute daily warm up. It’s been awesome, and I’m really grateful to my two workout buddies who did it with me – it was so much more fun doing it together, and it helped too, when it was really tough, knowing they were doing the same one, and that if they could get through it I could too. It was a brutal eight weeks, with two workouts a day at least three or four times a week, all of them super-challenging and hard, and painful too, but I’m kinda proud that we got through the advanced program, never missed a day, pushed through mental and physical challenges and finished it. I was a bit sore today, and stressed about packing and getting a story off, but there was no way I was missing the last day 🙂

Next up I had a last read through and edit of a story about faeries that I wrote for a magazine (kinda fitting as we head off to Scotland), and am happy that they really liked it…

Then it was finally time to pack, before Mum came over for lunch before taking us to the airport. I’m so glad we got to hang out for a while one last time, since I couldn’t make our dinner last night, and happy that we got to catch up a fair bit while she was here.

And then we were away! I watched Behind the Candelabra and Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, which was interesting cos I’d worked for Nene King for a while, and knew of some of the people and events in it. I was bemused by my tomato surprise vegetarian dinner (Juz gave me his salad and bread roll though, and his dessert, so I was fine), but happy that the one several hours later was ricotta and spinach sans tomato… We swapped seats so a family could sit together, which meant we had a bit of extra leg room,  but that I couldn’t get painkillers for my back cos our backs were in the overhead lockers in another section… And we read for a while, and slept for a little bit before a short break to refuel (and have a $15 coffee) in Dubai. Then, as Saturday stretched out for an extra 12 hours or so, I wrote 4000 words for NaNoWriMo, for yesterday and today, listening to Alice Cooper, Green Day, Nickelbac k and Metallica as I typed as fast as I could with the guy on my left spreading his arms over into my little seat and squishing my arms up as he snored…  Part of me wanted to watch more movies – or try to sleep – instead of writing, but I don’t want to fall behind. And when tomorrow finally arrives, we’ll be driving for much of the day, then having dinner with a friend, so I don’t want to have to write 5000 words in a single day…

The time thing is amusing/bemusing me – in Sydney it’s late Sunday night, and nearly time for bed, but we’re landing at 6am London time, so it will be another long day. But it’s all part of the adventure! Looking forward to landing, and being able to walk around a bit, and breathe in the cold invigorating air 🙂 And I can’t wait to drive up to Stratford, find our little cottage and do some yoga, but that’s still a long way off…

 

With thanks… Sunday November 3… NaNoWriMo  – 450 words… Stratford Upon Avon…

Today I’m grateful for the beautiful drive north from London, past gorgeous autumnal trees, all shades of red and gold, and green fields and cute sheep, under a beautiful blue sky and the sparkling sun. I giggled that I was standing outside the terminal at Heathrow at 7am in a t-shirt, and not freezing to death, although the wind got pretty chilly later on…

We made it to Stratford early, given our early start, so we found where our little cottage was then went for a wander through the grounds of Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare apparently lies, along the River Avon, admiring the beautiful swans and the huge geese and the occasional little swamp hen that reminded us of home. We had scones, jam and cream and a pot of tea for lunch, bought a couple of cds for the long drive to Scotland, admired the Christmas lights and decorations, then went back to meet the guy and get the keys to our cottage (called As You Like It, hee hee). We drank tea for a while, then our sweet friend popped over to say hello. We really wanted to go out for dinner with him then watch his gig, but exhaustion had finally hit 😦

I tried to write a bit more towards my NaNoWriMo word count, but my back was so sore I couldn’t sit down. I tried standing up at the kitchen bench, but even that hurt too much, and combined with my gradually drooping eyelids, I was in bed by 7.30. Guess it was 6.30am in Sydney, and we hadn’t slept for days, so I shouldn’t worry too much. I managed 450 words before collapsing into bed, in the cosy little upstairs bedroom under the low ceiling, with a view out over Holy Trinity Church…

 

With thanks… Monday November 4… NaNoWriMo – 1300 words… Stratford On Avon…

Slept a little, then got up at 4.30am and decided now was as good a time as any to do some yoga. My back still hurt, but I hoped it would help somewhat to stretch, and it wasn’t worse afterwards, which is good. It was kinda funny, I had to be careful stretching upwards in sun salutes and the rest, cos it was easy to hit the beams in the roof. Ceilings here are really low, at least in the old houses…

The hot shower afterwards was amazing, and it was nice to snuggle up on the couch with tea and yoghurt and raspberries, have a little read, then try to up my NaNo word count. But my eyes kept closing and I eventually admitted defeat and dozed off for an hour, before switching my laptop back on and getting back to it. (And yes, I know it may seem a bit crazy to be struggling through NaNoWriMo while jetlagged and exhausted and aching-backed – we had a cool pep talk from James Patterson re: the insanity of the undertaking, but it also acknowledged that it’s worth it – and that sanity is over-rated, ha ha…) So I caught up on yesterday’s word count, and will see how I go today…

Our friend came round to pick us up, and we headed off to a very cute ye olde tea room and hung out there for a while, then we headed to Warwick Castle, which was surprisingly awesome. The grounds were amazing, and we wandered along the river, up through a huge field surrounded by autumn coloured trees, into a garden with hedges sculpted into peacock sillhouettes, through which vividly coloured peacocks wandered. So pretty. Then we explored the castle, much of it set up to look as it would have done back in the day, with lots of cool info throughout. One of the Countesses of Warwick had an eight-year affair with the Prince of Wales, and was something of a revolutionary, standing for the Labour Party and supporting workers rights and the formation of unions. There was an interactive Merlin show, which was lots of fun, and a talking dragon that asked my name and told me to stay true and avoid the dark side like Morgana, hee hee, then we headed off for dinner before going home for tea and cookie with Cam and having a relatively early night…

 

With thanks… Tuesday November 5… Stratford On Avon…

I got up early to do Jillian yoga, and while I’m still a bit sore, I’m definitely on the mend…

Then our friend came over and we headed off to Birmingham, to get Juz some boots, and check out a new place we wouldn’t have otherwise. The sun was out for most of the day, which made it almost pretty, and it amused us no end how long it takes to layer up to go outside (jacket, scarf, sometimes gloves), then strip all the layers off as soon as you go inside anywhere… 

It was a lovely day, mostly sitting in cafes drinking tea and catching up and waxing lyrical about everything from the serious to the silly, and everything in between (including Duran Duran, who we have all loved for so long, and who were from here – although it was a Black Sabbath song I had in my head all day…).

No writing today – will have to catch up when we get to Orkney – but I am really grateful for friendship despite distance, and precious time to spend together…

 

With thanks… Wednesday November 6… Heading to Edinburgh…

This morning it was drizzling a little, for the first time since we got here, and it was nice to see Holy Trinity Church against the grey sky. We got up and did Jillian yoga, then packed up and sadly farewelled pretty Stratford, then headed off on our long drive to Edinburgh. It took us a little bit to get our bearings and get back to the motorway, but once we did it was fine – we’d bought the new Michael Monroe CD cos we forgot to bring any, so we turned it up loud and headed north. The countryside was so pretty – all green fields and autumn coloured trees and cute sheep with black faces, and no more than a sprinkle of rain all day. We didn’t even have to rug up when we stopped for coffee breaks. It is weird that it’s dark by 5pm though 🙂 It was dark by the time we got to Edinburgh, but we found our little flat surprisingly easily, and discovered a sweet café around the corner, before we collapsed into bed or another early night…

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