London Travel Diary – Day 2

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1 if you missed it.

Bobo-plane to UK

Day 2: Saturday, October 31

Our second day started on the plane. We know this because Steven and I were both still awake. Also present on the flight was Steven’s plush Canadian Mountie bear, Bobo. (He’s keeping an eye on our progress in the picture above.)

They served us some breakfast snacks and drinks on the plane. I had a croissant that didn’t quite agree with me. Perhaps I oughtn’t to have jumped back into eating gluten so suddenly. But a croissant is a tough thing to resist while on vacation! As it turned out, that particular croissant was literally tough. What a waste of gluten consumption! Of course, it could have been the “proper” tea I drank with it. (By “proper”, I mean not herbal.) Based on later experience, I do blame the tea and not the wheat. Either way, I arrived in the UK with one doozy of a stomach ache. Continue reading

New Christmas Memories

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m far, far from my family and all the things that make up most of my Christmas memories. Happily, my Edmonton family, my wonderful spouse Steven, helped make this year’s Christmas Eve Day lovely. Christmas Eve was always the big day for my family. We spent it together cooking and eating and playing games and opening presents. Christmas Day was nice, but it was for seeing what Santa brought and then spending the day playing with all the presents. Presents are nice, but nothing compared to a day of family time when it comes to making memories.

My new Christmas Eve Day memories include going out to eat at our favorite Indian buffet, New Asian Village.* I ate more than I should have and indulged in naan and gulab jamun because I’m taking a holiday from avoiding gluten.** When we were good and stuffed, we headed to the movie theatre to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the third time. This time I tried to purposely draw my eye to the parts of the frame I don’t normally look at. I tried to focus on the backdrops and the action in the distance. It ended up being a really Zen way to watch the movie. I felt less caught up in the action, but more immersed in the world, if that makes any sense. I loved it. And I can’t wait to see if a fourth time, when I’ll decide to focus on something else. Continue reading

Random Christmas Memories

E-Christmas

Happy holidays everyone! Thought I’d jot down some random Christmas memories that always bring me cheer. I’m killing time until Steven gets home. Apparently having Christmas Eve off isn’t a thing in Alberta. He’s working a half day. In some ways, I am still getting used to Canada. Then again, Boxing Day is a holiday here, so that’s a nice bonus. When he gets home, we’re going out for Indian buffet and then to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens again. Third time will almost certainly be a charm!

Anyway, on to the random Christmas memories! (And this is me trying to stay cheery, even though the folks involved in these memories are 1500 miles away.) Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 1

As promised, here’s the first installment of  my travel diary from the UK. It’ll be sparse in places because I didn’t remember to take notes every day, but it should give an idea of what we got up to and how much fun we had!

YEG-ORD-LHR

Day 1: Friday, October 30

Steven and I woke up at a decent hour because our flight didn’t leave until the afternoon. It’s been ages since I haven’t had to get up at stupid’o’clock to get to the airport. We packed up all our stuff to drive to the airport around 11:30am. So civilised!

We recently got NEXUS cards, but we hadn’t done the retina scans yet, so we waited for a while at the enrollment centre office at the airport to have our eyeballs scanned. Our NEXUS enrollment is now complete! (In case you’re not familiar with NEXUS/Global Entry, that means we can bypass the regular customs lines in Canada and the US. We get to use automated kiosks instead because we’re “trusted travellers”.)

Then we immediately got to use our NEXUS cards for the first time. That got us through both security and customs faster! Not all airports have a separate NEXUS line for security, but Edmonton International does! Hooray!

We made a stop at the little news stand where we bought our wedding rings to buy (another) backup ring for me. Yes, I’ve already lost one. Continue reading

My Evolving Fan-tasies

Something odd occurred to me the other night. I don’t “fan” over things the same way I used to. I don’t want to put myself in the action in my imagination anymore. I used to have elaborate fantasies for how the real world would collide with my favorite fictional universes, and I can’t remember the last time I did.

Whether it was the 5th Doctor whisking me away in the TARDIS or somehow being banished to the Satellite of Love to be trapped with Joel* and the Bots, I’d spend hours living in my head, in those places.

I constructed a detailed Red Dwarf fantasy in which the boys from the Dwarf encountered a weak spot in space-time that allowed them to watch me living out my life–but just me–nothing around me (except my clothes because the rules in Red Dwarf were never internally consistent anyway). And of course, Continue reading

Back in the Saddle…Sorta

rocking horse

After a long silence due to international and intercontinental travel, I am back home in Edmonton and working on re-acclimating to real life. Or something like real life. I have to admit, the re-entry hasn’t been entirely pretty. I’d never spent a month away from home before, and while it was exhilarating, it’s a weird thing to just stop. And picking back up at home is rougher when things aren’t the same as when I left.

I’m now sans job, so there’s not much structure in my day. That’s something I always struggle with. And the joblessness brings mild nervousness with it. Job-hunting in a less-than-ideal Edmonton economy isn’t the most fun thing. Nor is all the housework that awaits one after travelling for a while. Then there’s the feeling of isolation at being in a city that’s at least 1500 miles away from most of my friends and family. So while I meant to jump back into the blogging thing immediately upon returning home, that just didn’t happen.

Instead, I’ve been doing oodles of self-care in the week-plus that I’ve been back. Continue reading