Monday, 3 January 2011

Still alive!

Despite the fact that it has been more than a year since my last post, it’s nothing to do with my demise, untimely or otherwise. It is purely that, to quote my No.2 Son, I CBA. It just got to the stage where I couldn't bring myself to sit down and ramble, although the family will be able to vouch for the fact that I continued to do so at home.

It’s also not because nothing happened during 2010, because I did have quite a busy year. My real job kept me busy and even got me a trip to Portugal for the ERC Congress. I'd never been to Portugal before, in fact, I'd never been to the Iberian Peninsula before, and it was even better because it was all paid for by my department

However, we were lucky to get there, as we flew at the time that the UK was again grinding to a halt because of snow. The whole of the east of the UK was in chaos, including the M25 seeming to have been turned into a car park for lorries, but we flew from Heathrow, which was clear.

We were also lucky to get back, as the day that we were flying back was the same day that the Spanish air traffic controllers decided to go on strike. Fortunately, because we flew with TAP, we were able to get back, because unlike airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair, TAP didn't cancel all of their flights at the mention of a strike.

The city of Porto was very nice, from what I saw of it, as the Congress did interfere a little with the sight-seeing. However, courtesy of one of the medical companies, we did get to have a nice meal at, and a tour of, the Taylor's Port Lodge. Now, as I do like my port........... It’s definitely somewhere that I would revisit, hopefully next time with m'Julie.

The TA part of my life has also kept me quite busy, and in July I spent a week in Holland as part of the British Military Contingent providing support during the Nijmegen Marches, or Vierdaagse in Dutch. It was an interesting but tiring week, although we weren't as tired as those that were actually marching. Some of the blisters were horrendous, and I saw my first ever case of trench foot from a man who'd not looked after his feet properly.

And in September, although not as cosmopolitan, the camp was on the Isle of Wight, reached via landing craft, which was an interesting experience.

So now Christmas and New Year is over for another year and 2011 has the potential to be as busy as last year. The first of these is No.1 Son's "Last Meal" this Friday before I drive him to Sandhurst on Sunday to begin his Commissioning Course.

Watch this space!

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