Monday, 12 September 2011

10th Anniversary

Ten years is a long time, often when I look back on a moment, a day, a memory is feels like yesterday. For September 11th 2001 it feels like years and years ago. However I think like other life changing moments in my life I can still remember the thoughts, feelings and reactions that I had that day.

It was like any other fall Tuesday and I was off to class. I was finished University and moved back home briefly with my parents while I worked full time, went to school part time and paid off my student loan. It was a very middle time in my life where I had lived on my own and been completely independent and self sufficient and then returned back to my childhood bedroom.

That morning I had class at 11 downtown so I didn’t have to wake early but I did and I was getting ready for class pottering around my room with the television on watching Good Morning America (I’m pretty sure it was this and not the Today show) when they cut in to announce that a plan had hit the WDC tower, I sat at the end of the bed and watched, but I remember thinking that was weird, not shock or disbelief. There was confusion on the news, what size plane no one was quite sure what happened and they chatted about it for several minutes when I remember watching a life feed when the second plane hit the second tower.

I then called my dad at work, explaining what had happened he didn’t believe me. As someone who works in shipping he deals with a number of companies in the World Trade Centre as the Port Authority is (was) based there. He didn’t believe me and I kept saying that he needed to go on the internet – which was nothing like that of today – or to find a television. He was due to leave for New York for business either that afternoon or certainly for a meeting the following day. He wasn’t going.

Mostly I remember the confusion that day, from the beginnings on television, trying to understand what was happening in different places in the United States and reaching a level of uncertainty – do I go to class in one of the taller buildings in Montreal, will there still be class, so I went into Montreal and there was a sense of stillness in a busy city on a business day.

What I also remember the most is the sense of loss, I working at a children’s hospital at the time, I in the Emergency and my Mother in the Operating Room. There were discussions on whether there should be a Code Orange called for staff, whether we would be needed to provide support, care, help or assistance. But there was no one that needed these as the news changed from devastation and injuries to death.

The following days still break my heart – the images of the thousands of posters across NY city of people searching for loved ones, pleading for help, news and slowly losing hope.

I chose not to watch television yesterday, I remembered my own 10 years ago and the little memories that I have in my mind.

The feeling for today....

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

William Wordsworth

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Vacation day 7 - relaxing at sea

**As I am away on holidays, this post has been written in advance**

And so my favourite day of cruising arrives, the day at sea.

The only down side to this cruise is that there is only 1 day at sea where normally they have 2. There are good things and bad things about sea days but I always think the good outweighs the bad.

The bad is really that the ship can be quite full, especially around the pool. On days at port many of the passengers get off to look around and although the pool can get busy near the end of the day during the hottest times it’s usually comparable with plenty of seating and no trouble to find a spot if you’re lucky in the adult only solarium section. However when you have all 3,500 plus passengers on the ship and looking for a spot by the pool at the same time it can become a little more tricky, which is when we head up alllllll the way to the top crowns nest for unobstructed sun and normally somewhere to  lie back and relax. You can forget about the solarium, unless you’re there at 8 am the best seats are gone.

The good part is that sea days have way more to do on board, if it’s sadly not sunny there’s onboard bingo! Plus the dining room is open at lunch time and I SO much more perfect the dining room than the Windjammer. Although you can’t really fault the food on the ship!

Also I like the buzz on the ship on sea days, the shops and casino are open all day and the bars are staffed from around lunchtime. It’s just a nice feeling – oh and you can go ice skating!!!

I’ll be looking forward to this day all week.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Vacation Day 6

**As I am away on holidays, this post has been written in advance**

And so we arrive in Dubrovnik, I have been looking forward to visiting here, in fact when we were booking our holidays for June I looked into visiting Dubrovnik however the flights were too complicated and we were looking for a lazy way to get from point a to point b….

At least I can promise that we will be getting off the ship today!

I have done my research and the port where we are arriving is a short ride away from the walled city which is worth a visit. The ship will charge 20 USD each for bus transfers to the city but a taxi will cost only €20 each way and you can come and go as you like – lazy wins every time!

I hope to take many photos here – although will need to see about my camera as it has been missing since the wedding and I suspect stolen at some point but just don’t know where are when or by whom.

This is our last stop before arriving back at Venice port on Friday. I’m going to make it worth my while – I probably should have had some money exchanged!

Hindsight is 20/20…

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Vacation Day 5

**As I am away on holidays, this post has been written in advance**

What do you do in Bari, Italy? Well if you’re Derek you pretend you’re in an episode of Gavin and Stacey and you’re in Wales!

We arrive in Bari at 11:00am – my plan is to be by the pool at this time and watch it dock from the comfort of my lounge chair!

However should I decide to venture off the ship there is a castle nearby which is part of the UNESCO world heritage sites?

Also, it’s the capital of the heal of Italy!

And yet, I’m still not tempted to get my ass off my chair!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Vacation Day 4

**As I am away on holidays, this post has been written in advance**

A lazy day for me!!

Today we’re arriving in Ravenna Italy and I don’t think I’m going to be doing much.

I did have a look at what was nearby and there is a big amusement park but I think I’d rather spend the day by the pool reading – a real holiday time!

But you never know I could at the last minute go ahead and throw caution to the wind and leave the ship… IMAGINE!

But likely you’ll find me by the pool.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Vacation Day 3

`**As I am away on holidays, this post has been written in advance**

Hello from a (hopefully) sunny and hot Koper, Slovenia.

Although at times I don’t get off the ship (I like to hide when we come to port by the pool) this is one of the stops where I plan to disembark and check the place out.

This is what I know about Koper:
  • It’s bilingual – Slovene and Italian! (I know neither!!)
  • There are no beaches so it will be seeing the city here!
  • Da Pointe fountain is something to see..
  • Bell tower (this better not be as thrilling as the one we waiting around so see in Sicily!) But you can clim this one!
  • Koper is an island, linked to the mainland! And it used to be called Goats Island
  • It has a majestic appearance!

Sounds like something to see, a stroll is in order!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Vacation Day 2 - Set Sail

**As I am away on holidays, this post has been written in advance**

Today we’re leaving the UK very very early in the morning for Venice, Italy. Derek will be excited, I will be stressed. Mainly trying to work out how we’re going to get from the airport to the port when there are almost no streets in Venice – I’m a little worried already!

I hope that we’re on the cruise nice a early, with a s pot by the pool in the adults only section, this is the plan! (and I love to plan)

We have cruised twice before but this will be our first time without a balcony – we’re going for the complete darkness – an interior room with no window!
Here’s what I hope we have to make for a successful cruise:
  • Good stops – with Dubrovnick, Slovenia and Venice I think we’re alright on this one
  • Good weather – cross my fingers!
  • Good table company – we’re at a table for 8 people so I’m hoping that we get some nice, outgoing people to talk to at dinner – my big worry is that no one shows up!
  • A spot by the pool – a good one, preferable in the Solarium
  • A smooth sailing!

Happy cruising!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Vacation day 1

Dear Internet,

This is a live post, my posts over the next few days have been written in advanced and narrate where we are on our trip. We're off on an Adriatic cruise out of Venice on the Voyager of the Seas with Royal Caribbean.

This will be our second cruise in 2 months - we seem to be a bit addicted. But sure there's worst things you can be addicted to.

Anyhow yesterday at 4:45 I skipped out of work off for a full 6 days, it's great to be away - even today, although I don't really have anything to do it's a luxury to get up change the bed, put on a load of laundry and make myself a cup of tea and settle here to type to you - on my new MacBook!

I could get used to this. I often think we, and I included, work too hard and don't take the time to stop, sit and think about what's going on in life, feelings and reassess things. It's nice to take the time every now and then to re-aligne myself. Today I'm doing that.

Derek is off at work and the apartment is clean, bags are packed and I only have a few more things to do before we head off this evening. I am finally starting to feel in the holiday spirit and I know I'll feel like I have a day off when Dr. Phil comes on - my little luxury.

Anyhow, I'm not going to spend too long sitting here typing to you, I'm off to read the internet, see what's going in the world and do the things that I want.

Internet, I hope you do something for yourself today too.


Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Big Thanks!

Dear Internet,

I've been keeping you a little bit busier and we need to give a big thanks to our new visitors, last month we have the highest number of visitors ever - let's see if we can beat that in September!!



Oh before I forget

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month!

How is it possibly September?!

Tick tock...

Dear Internet,

I can’t wait! I am counting down the minutes to my holiday and I’m just not ready, which is so not like me.

Truth is I’m usually all packed and ready to go days (if it was up to me it would be weeks) before I go anywhere and yet for some reason I just don’t feel like its holiday time.

First let me be clear, I might not feel like its holiday time but I’m not going to say no to a holiday!  Work has been heavy the last few weeks, others have been on holiday and so there’s been work to get done and now it’s my turn J - big smile there!!

So perhaps tonight, when I get home I will pour myself a glass of something alcoholic and sit back for five minutes before I have to start packing and planning.

Thankfully I have tomorrow off work to make everything perfect and have clean sheets and a neet home to come back to. Tomorrow will be a rather unpleasant night (sleeping on the floor of the airport) so I’ll be resting – thankfully not at work.

Clearly from this I’m thankful.

I’ll keep trying to psych myself up for this!!