Richard and Weez Excellent Adventure - June 1999...
Friday 25th June
Look at that... it just happens to be Friday again! For those of you who have popped by recently, this page seems to have been stuck on Friday 30th April, which it has - all due to being busy, tired and a bit lazy! I'm just having a look back myself at the April archive to see what we actually did do.
So what's happened since then? Well, the big thing for us was three weeks in Italy. We spent the first 11 days with a Contiki trip and the last 8 days traveling by ourselves. It seems so long ago now but we had a fantastic time. On the Contiki trip we started in Rome, traveled north through San Gimignano and the Chianti region to Florence... on up through Pisa into the Dolomites to the shores of Lake Como... through Verona and into Venice... south again through Urbino to Assisi and then on to Sorrento, the Isle of Capri and finally back to Rome.
When we left the Contiki trip we made our own way back up to Siena, then across to Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, the Chinque Terre (five lands) coast and finally back to Rome again for a couple of days before our flight home. For those of you who are geographically challenged like myself!!, if you follow the hyperlinks above you will see maps and get information on the places we visited.
We had a fantastic time. Most days we were awake around 6am or 7am and in bed around 12am to 1am. We were flat out the whole time we were there... even with complaints in the final two days in Rome from one of the party who was completely exhausted (the old guy!).
So, what about in depth details? Well, I carried my trusty Psion with me and kept a record of what we did for those days where I could find the time to do so - as I said, we were full on for 18 hours a day so it was difficult! Those days that I wasn't able to, I made brief notes where I could fill in the gaps when I got home. So where do I find these details? Well, right at this moment they are still tucked away in my computer in their raw form waiting for the big job of editing. On top of that there are photographs that need to be added which still need scanning which is another story in itself and when that gets done will be anyone's guess. So for the time being... you'll all just have to wait! However, to round off Italy for now, we had an absolutely fantastic time - we really did. The Contiki Trip was a great way for us to ease ourselves into traveling in a foreign country before we set off alone. Traveling by ourselves was a wonderful experience just turning up in places not knowing whether or not we would find somewhere to stay or not! I thoroughly recommend it to everyone. Daunting at first, stressful at times, but thoroughly enjoyable and dare I say it... perhaps even character building.
The pictures for the Web page? Up until now, I have been sending my films to Kodak in Scotland for developing and scanning onto CD. The reason I have been sending them there is because they scan directly from the film which produces a far superior result to scanning from an image printed on photographic paper. After returning from Italy, we had eleven films to be processed which was going to cost an arm and a leg. So, the boss commissioned me to do what turned out to be a two page cost benefit analysis. If you don't know what Louise does for a living, then I guess you can figure it out from that! After the analysis it turns out that it is going to be cheaper for us to purchase a Nikon LS-30 film scanner of our own based on present and projected usage forecasts (don't you love those techy accountants phrases!) When we buy it... again who knows. We can afford to buy it... I just don't want to cut into our savings (that must be the half Scottish bit coming out in me!!)
Work wise? I am looking for a new contract. I have contacted agencies about nine jobs of which I have had responses on two of the positions - one of which I am particularly interested in so I'm hoping things work out there. We arrived back from Italy unsure of whether Louise would still have a job. As it turns out, her contract has been extended again till November 30th which is perfect for us because we fly out then through Singapore to New Zealand for a seven week holiday to catch up with our family and friends who by then we won't have seen for nearly two years... so we are really looking forward to that.
Norma and Tony are staying with us for a few days while they are at the Regents Park flower show. I even went down yesterday for a peek at some English culture before all the crowds arrived today!
The All Blacks play France tonight... I should have said, the All Blacks will give France a hiding tonight at 3am our time so we will be watching that - Louise will no doubt be cheering and yelling her instructions to the team and the Ref... where she got that from is difficult to pinpoint!!!! Up until now, we have always gone down town to a Sports Cafe to watch the rugby and cricket, but since this and other games to come are early in the morning we have got a connection to ONdigital since they are now giving away their decoders for free provided you subscribe with them for a year. So, on that note, I will finish up, upload this and then go and buy some nibbles for the big game. Damn, I wish you could get Maggi Onion soup over here to make dip....
Richard and Weez...