susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

phones and last minute panics

Talking to Rachel from Shanghai, we're idly nattering, and I tell her I've got a simcard so I can be rung up while I'm away. So she thinks now is the time to spring on me the news that it's not necessarily the simcard, but the farking phone itself... Oh faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark - all I need last minute..

Down to the Carphone Warehouse, which is yer cheapest all over the world phone, gasps I at the slightly wary salesgirl. She starts the sales talk - which I override rather irritably. I then make her show me how to get the back on and off the bluddddy phone - virtually impossible simply vile I hate it and she says other ones are worse and the simcard has to be wrestled into place with the edge of the now removed back and when I try it over and over again it wont go in.

But I buy the wretched thing. Last time, I took one camera and a charger for the cigar charger on J's boat. This time, I've got two phones and two cameras plus all attendant chargers .. I'll bet something goes wrong. It's overkill. More lecky stuff than clothes. Not forgetting all the dental stuff associated with braces.

Why do I rush around like a headless chicken these days? I used to throw a spare pair of nix in a bag, check the passport, tickets and money (apart from not taking the credit cards to France ..) and off I go. Where did it all get so complicated? Why do I have to be able to be contacted at all seconds of the day and night?

Grumble grumble

Now drinking pastis - a rather moreish aperitif which a very subversive friend introduced me to this year .. innocuous (one 'n' or two? Do I care by now?) and a descendent of the much more exciting but now banned absinthe. Lots of bye bye phone calls (landline) - so absinthe must be making my heart grow fonder! I'm now wishing I could be here and there at the same time. How things have changed in the last couple of years...

Still, I'm packed. J will have to suffer a suitcase on his boat, but as I'll have it at the foot of my bunk in the forepeak, I shall be the one who will have to sleep in a foetal position. No doubt I'll be sharing the forepeak with spare sails, a couple of cockpit seats and all the rest of the boaty stuff not able to be put in lockers anyway. Plus ca change, hein?

Actually, I'm really looking forward to going!

And now Kate has dropped in to say goodbye - so - byeeeee!

Monday, July 28, 2008


I've clumsily sorted out my email contacts into groups, so I can email group messages more quickly. If you get a message twice, you'll know I didn't do it very well, but I'm sorry - I can't be arsed to cancel and try again - it's tedious in Hotters. Then you can't use more than one group at a time in the BCC box, because it won't accept over 50 addresses in all at one time ..

Off to get more vital stuff .. speak soon

Sunday, July 27, 2008

If it aint broke

Guess who succumbed to the lure of updating this blog's layout...

I've just spent hours this evening fiddling with the changes to the template and layout. It's claimed it's easier to achieve the layout you want.

Complete rubbish.

It's now all cramped up and difficult to read, no matter what options I try. I'm REALLY SORRY everyone. I've put up a query in blogger help, got one answer so far with I hope the promise of more HTML help... hmm.

(Edit) Oh, and now I see it's reverted to the original ... the Blog Fairy must have been at work!

And to all those naggers ..

I knew there was a reason I'd taken a break - this is addictive ... even when I've got nothing to say.

However - to all my dear readers, PLEASE leave comments! I love getting them - and keeping in touch.

My eldest daughter Rachel

Did I say she and her husband and baby Isabella are living in Shanghai? Well, I've just added her Shanghai blog to the sidebar on the right hand side of this page. It's called 'Living the Hai Life', but when I changed the template it looks as if A Chile Tale is repeated twice. Unless it updates - which it should - her Chinese blog is the first link. I shall have another go. Do read it - she loves living in Shanghai.

(signed) Fond Mama

PS (blushes and hangs head) I overlooked a bit of the program - it should be ok now... It's been well over two years since I worked in IT. I've wiped my brain of anything to do with computers, apart from using the internet, and even that's a bit dodgy...

It's getting exciting now

I'm off on Thursday for Canada, and today has been spent sorting out the lotions and potions bag for the hold luggage. I've come across some things I haven't seen since I last went sailing with Jack - and I'm now wearing the stone with a hole in it, given to me by Jeanne d'Arc (really!) on Cow Head, Newfoundland. I had it made into a bracelet with a thong in Princeton. A mussel shell, picked when I found some and cooked them, and J wouldn't eat things not from a shop. A feather on leaving Newfoundland for the Bras d'Or Lakes...

J rang the other night. He's currently back in the Bras d'Or Lakes, and will be leaving for Sydney, at the top of NS. We're meeting at the yacht club there.

I can honestly say I've been having the time of my life over the last two years. And it still doesn't show any signs of even slowing down, let alone stopping. Several trips to France, Amsterdam and Marrakesh already this year.

Couple of useful tips

Tamari sauce - wheat-free soy sauce, and MUCH smoother than ordinary soy. Not so salty either.

Best economy in these hard-pressed times - squash your loo rolls flat - the family can't pull off those YARDS of the stuff every time they do a wee...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I bought a skirt from Tesco the other day

Deep Salmon pink gypsy style crinkle cotton, with gold ricrac edging round the hem, and little jingly bells on dangly strings round the waist. Jolly handy for the boat trip, I thought - I can wear it as a skirt if J and I go out anywhere away from the boat, or as a dress/coverup/dressing gown on board. Until I looked in the mirror just now.

Miss Bubbles from Little Britain to the life...

What Susy Did Next

Dying my hair.

Hmm, says Daisy - what colour? Brown, says I. It's not very radical, is it? she retorts. I jus' looks glum.. Mind you - given the amount of gray creeping in, maybe it IS radical these days ...

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's been going on?

It was pointed out to me last night - rather pointedly, I have to say - that I haven't written anything on the blog for ages. Since June, in fact, as I was told. Smack ma wrist!!

Oh and since I wrote THAT sentence, two more people have been nagging ...

So just a quick update:

Hmm, now what HAVE I been up to? Well, not standing still, that's for sure - in fact, I shouldn't be writing now as I'm waking up dead early remembering things I still need to get done. I'm leaving the UK on Thursday - less than a week now - and apart from a quick dental trip home, I'll be away till almost the end of October, and then off again in November.

So - where have I been? I've been sailing (and feeling rough first day) out of the Clyde, diving with seals off the Scilly Isles (aaaahhh), going up to York to meet up with friends and a penfriend, dashing to, from and around France, having lunch at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, visiting the dentist frequently and getting the brace wires changed and teeth levelled and bevelled, seeing Mama Mia (Meryl Streep is astoundingly excellent), climbing high high high bell towers (and like the weedy weed I am, squeaking with fear at the tiny uneven spiral steps), and most recently getting a visa for China. Nothing like running out of time and urgent official stuff needing to be done to get the adrenaline going... Oh, and a visit to the Tate Modern. And singing on the swingseat under the stars with candles and rosemary incense and being serenaded by a guitar playing chum! Oh, how wonderful is that!

I just love living outdoors...

Talking of outdoors, Jack rang the other night from Nova Scotia - I'm meeting him at the top end of NS next Thursday evening - he says the weather is awful .. so at 5 this morning, I'm leaping out of bed looking for, and failing to find, my waterproof jacket. Looks like I shall have to take the heavy sailing jacket after all.

My tree trunk coffee table is in pieces across the sitting room floor - my hopes for genteel living, with the artful arrangement of tealight holders, pot pourri, old wooden tray and tulips, are dashed.

Little postscript: in the pub the other night, a man, his young daughter and a little fat old white rough coated terrier - Pip. Off goes the little girl and the dog, only to return in a couple of minutes. 'He won't go past the Chinese takeaway, Da-ad...!' At the bar, people talk, drink and joke with Horace, and Richard, having eaten his dinner, snores on his chair next to the fireplace. It's a thatched local pub for local people.

Now being nagged by my grandson Zia, who wants to play Runescape on my computer ...

Speak soon!