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The Itinerary

It's nearly the end of August. Which means it's nearly September. Which means it's nearly time for me to chuff off.

The itinerary as it stands today:
17th Fly out, Perth to KL, KL to Amsterdam
18th Arrive Amsterdam at sparrow's (i.e. 5.55am!).  Work out what to do until I can book into the Piet Hein Hotel in the arvo.  The Hotel is around the corner from the Van Gogh Museum, which is exciting.
19th - 22nd, Amsterdam. I have been advised by a friend who has just returned that I should take a day trip on the train to Harlem as it's very lovely.
22nd Fly to Oslo
22nd - 25th  Best Western Kampen Hotel, Olso.
25th  Norway in a Nutshell to Bergen on the west coast
25th - 28th Bergen, Citybox Hotel.  I did want to go back to Oslo on the 27th but the trains aren't running that day, so it's an extra day in Bergen.  Which is no hardship as it looks to be a beautiful place.
28th Train back to Oslo, BW Kampen Hotel
29th Oslo to Trondheim by train. Arrive in Trondheim at 18:00, catch the sleeper to Fauske at 23:30ish
30th Arrive Fauske 8:25, catch the bus to Narvik at 8:50. I posted a very naive comment on the Lonely Planet Scandiwegian forum asking if it was possible to make the connection from train to bus in 25 minutes.  The response was, why ever not??  This is Scandinavia, where the trains run on time and the buses are right next to the train.
30th - 1st Narvik. I booked a cheap room in the Narvik Budget Rooms hotel, then discovered that the place is actually up a steep hill, and while the bus station may be short in distance, it's long in time. A taxi may be in order.
2nd. Narvik to Kiruna in Sweden via the Arctic Circle railway. Forgot to mention that Narvik and Kiruna are above the Arctic Circle. Woot.
2nd Kiruna, the Bishops Arms Hotel.
3rd Kiruna to Stockholm via SAS. I was going to get the sleeper train (17.5 hours) but couldn't work out how to buy a bed, so I gave up and had a look at flights. Loads cheaper and only 1.5 hours.
3rd - 5th Stockholm, Omana Hotel, which is part of a chain as I've also booked an Omana in Turku.
5th Stockholm to Turku on the MS Amorella. Leaves at 20:00 and arrives in Turku at 7:35.
5th to ....some time.  I had wanted to book the Convent again but no beds! So I'm in the Omana, which is near the railway station and has a microwave.
Finland, Finland, Finland to Helsinki
12th Helsinki. Hmm, haven't booked accommodation yet.
13th Helsinki to London, via Stockholm with SAS, arriving terminal 2 at 12:50.
13th Luna and Simone Hotel, Pimlico
14th Train to Stratford upon Avon to pick up the hire car.
UK, UK, UK - definitely heading to Glencoe and the Pencil Museum in Keswick (it's a tradition), hopefully Bletchley, tempted to go to the updated Who Experience in Cardiff.
20th Stratford
21st Drop off the car and back to London. L and S Hotel, must remember to book
22nd London
23rd London to Amsterdam with BA. Amsterdam to Singapore
24th Singapore to Perth, arriving home at 2355.

And there you mostly have it.

April? Really? Already??

It's been a busy week. Tuesday night we went to Reading Cinemas in Belmont and watched the Lego Movie in Glod Lounge. Lovely! Great food (fish and chips and ice cream sundae), funny film and very comfy surroundings.

On Thursday we went to a panto at UWA. Apparently they have a panto society - we did not know this! Keeping our eyes out for future productions.

And last night we went to the drives to see Captain America and Thor. A full house, by the look of it. I got there at 5.25ish and was fifth in line.

Plans for travel in September are slowly coming together. I've booked my hotel in Amsterdam and Oslo and the return flight from London to Amsterdam. The bit in the middle is still a bit of a mystery.

March already

It's been a while and the first third of the year is nearly over.

When I first booked by flights in Sept/Oct, the final leg from Asia was with Qantas from Singapore; however, now that they will no longer be flying to Singers, this has changed. I've been in touch with KLM who followed up for me and advised that the final leg will be with Singapore Airlines. Yay. The other carrier flying on that date, albeit three hours later, is Jetstar, who I didn't fancy flying with. Nor did I want to hang around the airport for a further 3 hours (6 hours is too short to do anything but long to be boring and risk falling asleep). Singapore Airlines will be leaving Singers and landing in Perth at the same time as the Qantas flight.

And speaking of travel, my passport expired in January and I finally got around to renewing it last week. Bloody awful photo taken at the chemist's, though the lass in Aust Post reassured me that it wasn't too bad and she had seen some shockers.  I've missed out on the flight I wanted from Amsterdam to Oslo because I don't have a passport number to quote on the booking page. I was told it would take about two weeks to get the new passport so I'll just have to be patient.

Today we're off to Astrofest at Curtin Uni. The temp today will be 26 C, which is a damn sight cooler than we're been having, and cloudy. Not so good for the telescopes but much nicer for walking around and looking at stuff.

Another weekend

Not a long one, sadly.

Still cleaning, tidying, throwing things out.

I did get to see the Desolation of Smaug last Monday and enjoyed it immensely. Wasn't struck on the first film, thought it dragged a bit thanks to the padding; this, however, was much better, despite the unnecessary, IMHO, elf/dwarf love triangle (Tauriel and Kili, and Legolas with himself).  Leece, who knows these things, was very taken with the depiction of Smaug.

Last night I usheretted at the New Fortune for GRADS' latest production of Hamlet. I think I may have been suckered into rejoining the committee... Almost got the gig of secretary but told them I'll be away for a couple of months this year. Whew!

Off to Leece and Rob's for dins tonight. I have made gingerbread from scratch. Ok, from a packet. Coles do a very nice gluten free model that I've added cinnamon sugar, nutmeg and mixed spice to.

And it's nearly the end of January 2014.

Christmas and New Year have been and gone and I'm on the downward slide to my 57th birthday.

The weather has been bloody horrible, though today is rather nice. I have the front and back doors of the flat open and a lovely cross breeze is coming through. Top of 27 C forecast, with a min tonight of only 15. Hopefully this means I won't have to leave the fan on all night.

Chrimbo was lovely. Brother, Sister in law and I went to a restaurant in Roleystone and had a 3 course meal. Delicious and so filling that I didn't eat dinner that nigh.

| had a couple of weeks off during the Xmas/New Year break. As the weather was so horrid, I didn't get up to much; though I did catch the train with friends to Mandurah and had a great day out. Got a bit sunburnt as I forgot to take my hat.

And we saw Day of the Doctor in 3D at the cinema in Leederville. It was fabulous being surround by so many Doctor geeks - sonic screwdrivers galore. I bought a new t shirt for the occasion. I'm not usually a huge fan of 3D and would probably prefer the 2D version of most movies; however, this time it really worked. The Gallifreyan 3D art was gorgeous. The couple of shorts before the film were very funny - Strax's guide to cinema etiquette was a hoot.

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot is also very, very funny.

Work  is quite frantic at the moment at it's reporting time for the Ethics Committee.

I have another rent inspection coming up but am taking time out from cleaning to (probably) see the Hobbit this arvo.

Two thirds the way through December

And I'm on leave for a couple of weeks. It's been a long time since I've had time off over Xmas - other than the actual public hols, that is. I'm hoping to have a day trip to Mandurah on the train.

I hope I get some calendars for Chrimbo, otherwise I'll have to wait until the new year to buy myself some on sale. Love calendars. I have Sherlock in the loo, Doctor Who in the lounge room (both bought in Forbidden  Planet,  London last year), and Bambrough Castle art work and Lyme Regis in the kitchen, also bought in the UK.

Brother, sis in law and I are off to a restaurant for lunch on Xmas Day - they've been before and say that it's lovely. I'm looking forward to it.

Off to the doctor again on Monday to see how the latest lot of blood pressure pills are doing. I thought they were working but the last couple of days I have had the pulsing in my ears again. I'm hoping for diuretics as my feet keep swelling up.

Another BBQ for dinner. I've made some spicy kebabs - lemon, olive oil, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, chili,  coriander - and bought a kebab holder thingie for the kettle. To be eaten with a very simple salad made from spinach leaves, peas and fetta with a lemon and olive oil dressing.


December? Really?

It's December, Jim, but not as we know it. It's summer, but it's only going to be 27 today and the nights are still coolish. The rest of the week, however, is going to be a bastard - 35 by Wed and up to 37 on Sat.  Boo. Do not want. etc etc.

L and R for dinner last night. I bought a dinky kettle BBQ during the week, something I've never owned before, and experimented on them. Rob, being the experienced Scout, and Leece, being the experienced camper, had to help me get the thing going. I tried but just ended up with a lot of smoke and no coals. The trick is to use more firelighters and pile the charcoal on in a pyramid. Worked a treat and we had pork and apple, and chorizo snossidges from Coles. They do a very nice range of gluten free snags. Served with a salad of lettuce leaves, avocado, chia seeds, two different kinds of sprouts, pumpkin seeds and fetta with a dressing made from apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and seeded mustard.  L and R brought some delicious biscuits they had made and Strange Grains fruit mince pies. Love a fruit mince pie, me.

Viewing was varied - another good M:I from the 80s, Haven, Dresden and Once Upon a Time.

Today I'm off to Northam for Xmas lunch at the boss's place.

No more real planning for Le Grand Tour next year - it's a bit too early. Just lots of research, which is fun.

And now it's November

Busy at work with Ethics Committee stuff - SOPs to write or update, procedures manual to put together. External Review panel to organise.

The exciting news, however, is that I've booked my flights to Europe next year.  Woot.  Perth to Amsterdam and return for $1661 with KLM. The day before I booked it was $1571 - going over with Malaysian to KL and then KLM to Amsterdam and vice versa coming back. In the space of a day, it had been changed to going with Malaysian, coming back via Singapore with Qantas. And no Malaysian option.

I've also paid for Economy comfort seats - lots of leg room and no one in front.

The itinerary looks a little like this:
17.9 Perth to KL,
18.9 KL to Amsterdam
18-22 Amsterdam
22.9 Amsterdam to Oslo
22.9 Oslo and then up and down Scandinavia
Some time in October, Tampere Finland to London, up and down the UK for a few days
23.10 London to Amsterdam and then home.




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