Welcome, and stuff.
We only had five days for our honeymoon, for multiple reasons. One, Belgium only allows those who’ve successfully provided their paperwork maximum 14 days prior to the wedding day (see previous entry). We had to therefore be in Brussels two weeks before the day. Second, the company I work for closes for the festive period, and takes two weeks out of our annual leave. Conclusion, I had to get leave-without-pay to go away.
So anyways, five days, where should we go ? Well, we’ve been traveling for a few years now, we’ve been to a lot of countries, and in reality, not many were in Europe. Okay, that’s the continent sorted. Now, which country ? We want to relax, visit something interesting, enjoy the food, be in the sun, and don’t want to fly for too long, preferably therefore a city. We both hate resorts, expensive hotels. Vienna ? Barcelona ? Paris ? Florence ? Madrid ? Copenhagen ? Amsterdam ? Porto ? Oslo ? … okay, Venice ! Done ! And sod the cliches. Read More
The first hurdle was of course the administration. Maybe (definitely) I was too confident, and I should not have trusted whoever told me (this was an official email from the town hall, back in December 2014) that all we needed to get married was our passport. Or maybe I should have known this would end badly. Just because organising a wedding from the other side of the world is bound to go wrong. Read More
They’ve been coming more and more often, and they are more and more brutal each time. On average, I’d say once a week, sometimes less, often more. These migraines are just debilitating. We haven’t yet figured what caused them, I know for a fact if I slouch for too long on the sofa, it’s going to be a difficult few days. Sometimes though, just one hour using a computer that is too “low” like a laptop for instance, where the display is not at eye level, just one hour is enough to trigger the massive migraine. Not cool when laptops are an inherent part of my job. (maybe I need a new job, we’ll discuss that in another article someday).
Especially for a cruising WE. Technically this should have happened a month ago, but when we picked up the bike, the clutch cable had snapped and we had to cancel.
This time, the clutch is fixed, the sun is shining, and so are the chromes. Harley Davidson Heritage Softail. 350 kilos of classic Harley. Maybe not my first choice when it comes to styling or torque, but for comfort, this is probably as close to a sofa as you can get. And since this is Claire’s first real biking experience, I thought maybe it’s best if she doesn’t hate it after ten minutes. Read More
We left an overheated Perth and arrived in a much cooler Hobart after a very uncomfortable flight, delayed of course, thank you Jetstar. The minivan was waiting for us. I do say minivan as opposed to the camping-car advertised on the website. The Youtube video showed a brand spanking new vehicle, with room enough for a football team and the comfort of a hotel room.
It started with Claire being really tired, so I loaded up Troopy with all the camping gear, a full fridge, and instructions for her to leave on Thursday morning, direction: out of the city. Basically, go to Nanga Mill, in the Lane Poole Reserve, where we always go. Spend a few days in the woods, sleep as much as you can, there will be no cell phone, no TV, no Internet, no noise.
And so she went. She only had one instruction: activate the Spot Messenger so I know her GPS position and I can meet her on Friday night after work. She also had to turn on the UHF radio on channel 28 every 15 minutes so we could communicate once I got in range.
It’s almost 9 AM and it’s already hot. And I mean, real freaking hot. It’s 34 degrees outside, at nine in the morning. Crazy. Last night I went to bed at around 10, and it was still 36. We hit 47 at one point according to my phone (well it isn’t a real thermometer but it reads weather updates via the 4G connection). It’s a strange couple of days, everybody tries to lock themselves indoors, or go to the shopping malls, or the cinema. Anything to avoid the heat. I guess a lot of people are at the beach, but I find it hard to imagine anyone lying there, getting their tan, so they must be all in the water, therefore the fist few yards of sea must be absolutely packed. You couldn’t even swim if you wanted to I bet. Anyway, I might go down and check it out myself later this afternoon. For now, the crappy aircon unit in the house blows some vaguely coldish air in the living room and it’s bearable. But everything is hot. The walls, the floor, every object you touch, cold water comes out boiling hot from the tap as it’s been sitting in the pipes for a while. Last night I laughed when I brushed my teeth because my toothbrush was hot when I put it in my mouth.
So last night I went through an interesting phase. I was blind.
Not completely blind, but almost. I could make out shapes, and colours but everything was blurred. Like seeing through a dirty glass bottle.
I probably shouldn’t have used these drops, but they were my last resort as my migraine, once again, was killing me. For about three weeks now, my immune system has decided I had a virus in my eyes. But I don’t have a virus. So my immune system is “eating” my eyes. It’s quite painful, so the ophthalmologist I was referred to has prescribed two things to kill this iritis (it’s called either an iritis, or an uveitis, look it up but don’t be alarmed by the Wikipedia picture, I’m nowhere near as bad). For the first week I had to use homatropine drops, which has a freaky side effect, it dilates the pupil. The effect is pretty weird, I look like Montgomery Burns in “The Springfield Files”. (for those who aren’t Simpsons fans, let’s say I look like I’ve smoked a looooot of weed, or taken LSD, it’s really freaky).
It took a lot longer than expected, and a lot more money than planned, but finally, Troopy is parked outside, home and hosed.
So what happened ? Well, the guys in Thailand had one job : clean the car for quarantine inspection. Well they botched it. As a result, the first inspection was a disaster, and the AQIS decided to strip the car and clean it thoroughly. Boy did they took their sweet time. I have the result of the company that specialises in cleaning vehicles for import, twenty three hours worth of labour. That’s how long it took, apparently so, because quite frankly I could have done the same in half a day. But let’s not argue.
When we first drank the homebrew, back in July, it was, let’s be honest, bloody awful. The colour was good, a light amber ale, slightly cloudy, nothing wrong there. But that’s just it, it lacked everything else. No body, no head, no nothing, and if you drank the whole 23 bottles you’d still be legally allowed to drive. Even in Iran.