Friday, 30 August 2013

European Tour - Post 2; Wild White Water

Squelch, squelch. Squige Squige. Some how the even scorching midday heat just isn't enough to dry out the sodden wet-shoes provided as part of the kit here at 'activate water-sports'. They suck onto my feet like soggy limpets. "Oo it's quite refreshing really, putting on wet kit on such a hot day," mum says, proudly yanking on her 'size small' wet-suit which the nice instructor-man picked out for her. Somehow I can't agree with her. It feels like I have wet-fish wrapped around my feet. Not a pleasant feeling.
We've all already signed our lives away on the form which basically states "if you break a leg, don't blame us," so I suppose there's no turning back now. White water rafting, here we come.
One rickety land-rover drive along the riverside later, we were clambering into our assigned places according to weight. My family were all in one boat along with a foreign family - possibly polish - so the two Dads where the driving force at the front, then my sister and I just behind, the Mums behind us and the other children at the back. To my delight, our boat was governed by the more lovely-looking of the two instructor-men, who turned out to have the wit as well as the looks (score!), and told us later that he actually used to be a banker but is now 'trying something different' this summer... Pretty huge contrast!
After a regulatory instruction about how to survive in the 'unlikely' event of falling out the boat, our boat was the first of two to set off onto the raging river.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

European Tour - Post 1; The Early Yawning Start

My journey to the beautiful Austrian alps begins with an annoying buzz of the alarm. I ignore it. I've been tossing and turning from the heat all night (well, half the night - 2:50am isn't exactly the usual morning start for me!). Even with my window open right next to me, I'm boiling. This is when the pleasant privacy of having a room on the top floor of a 3-story house comes to bite me in the bum. When i rule the world, heat will sink or rise at my demand. No more silly convection currents.
BUZZ BUZZ! I put my alarm on snooze.
Gone are the days when the pure excitement of knowing I'm going on holiday gives me all the energy i need and more to get me up in the pre-dawn time of the morning. Oh, to be six again...
Right Jen, stop being pathetic and get up. You should be excited.

Introducing my European Tour...

Last Saturday, my family and I returned home after a ten day trip which took us through four of some of the most stunning and breathtaking (sometimes literally!) spots of Europe. From the scenic Austrian mountains, to the heaving beer festival of the German Hofbräuhaus, to the uniquely enchanting water-city of Venice, and finally settling with family friends on the banks of a picturesque lake on the edge of the Italian alps. I'm lucky enough to have been on many family holidays in the past, all memorable in their own right (touring Greece last year and seeing the Parthenon - for example), but I reckon this one will remain up there with the best of them for many, many years to come ;)
Reasons include (well, reason. There's one big one) - I can safely say I've successfully ticked off ridiculous amounts of wishes off my mental bucket list for such a short time! White water rafting, almost getting chucked out of the Hofbräuhaus for dancing on the benches, getting up first time when water-skiing, getting more drunk than I know I've ever been, getting a water-taxi through the canals of Venice,

Sunday, 10 February 2013

How to be a 'bad student'

I'm searching through my school bag at the beginning of my chemistry lesson. I get to thinking about how I really need to clear out the dense jungle of half-used bits of paper and old worksheets accumulating around my books. Seeing as I hold the record for the taking the longest time to get ready for, well, anything (including a lesson) I'm still fumbling through my bag whilst most other people have already got their book and a pen out on the desk, and are chatting whist waiting for the lesson to start. Whereas I'm still head-deep in my school bag, searching... still searching... please be there... really?...Oh crap not again. No chemistry book to be found. Double checking... nope. Not a sign. Not even underneath the rubble of folded papers. Great start.