Sunday, January 10, 2010


It's still very snowy in Southampton, which is unusual for this part of the world. I took Spike for a long walk on the common. He enjoyed himself and seemed to take great pleasure in running off into the bushes with his ball and then emerging a few moments later without it.

I still can't get over how much snow there is. I have lived in Southampton for years and the most snow I have seen before this was last year, when there was snow on the ground for approximately one day. By contrast, this snow has been here since Tuesday evening and is only just starting to melt now.

There were countless snowmen on the common. One of them seemed bigger than the rest, even from a very long way away.

Getting close, it became apparent that this was a seriously big snowman. So big that even Spike was almost impressed.

The lake was still frozen over too. I thought that this was very dangerous but it turned out that there was barely any water beneath the ice.

I can't decide if I want it to remain this snowy. On the plus side, snow is awesome and this is the first time in eight years that we've had much of it. On the negative side, after a week of working from home, it might be nice to actually be able to get to work.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Back in Blighty

As you may well be aware, I am now back in the UK, just in time for the country's coldest weather for the past century or so. I still have quite a few blog posts from Australia in draft, so I will attempt to publish those, now that I have access to t'internet again.

The UK is not so bad. OK, so we might not have hot sunny beaches but we do have this:

Instead of lush tropical rainforests, we have this:

I still wouldn't mind going back to Australia, though.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Voyage Home

My journey home from Sydney back to the freezing cold UK was very eventful. After checking out of the relative luxury of the Menzies Hotel, we checked Hannah in to the oddly titled Y Hotel (or Sydney YWCA, as it turned out to be). We then got on a train and headed to the airport.

After killing time waiting for check in for my flight to open, we finally made it to the checkin desk, to discover that the flight was overbooked and the airline were looking for volunteers to move to the next flight. I was more than happy to volunteer, given that I had been trying for the past week to get onto the next day's flight in order to spend an extra day in Sydney with Hannah. Even better, the airline put us up in a nice hotel, gave me S$500 in compensation (that's 500 Singapore dollars) and also gave me a US$200 (that's 200 US dollars) voucher for the inflight duty free shop. It's very nice to be given compensation in order to accept something that you've been asking for all week.

While we waited to find out if I would definitely be getting the next day's flight, we went for dinner at the airport's Wagama restaurant. This proved to be a bizarre experience, as we managed to witness a fight break out between one of the chefs and one of the waiters. This ended when the waiter stormed off, leaving the only other waiter to try to clear up all of the mess. The end of our meal was even more surreal as five or six coppers descended on the place, trying to find out what had happened.

After we finished our meal, we went back to the Singapore Airlines desk and were told that I would indeed be on the next day's flight. Result. The airline put us up in the Mercure hotel near the airport. Sadly, it wasn't nearly as posh as the Menzies but it was a bit nicer than the YWCA. The airline paid for our dinner, too, which was very nice.

The next day, I said goodbye to Hannah and got on the plane. The journey home wasn't particularly exciting, involving lots of trying to sleep in the plane, waiting around for hours in Singapore airport and then finally arriving in Heathrow in the early hours of Sunday morning, jetlagged and very cold.

So is it nice to be home? Well, it's quite good and all but I miss Hannah. And my feet nearly froze off walking home from the National Express coach station.