Monday, July 31, 2006

Home Again

We got back from La Rochelle the day before yesterday after one of the most eventful weeks ever.

S's passport didn't arrive until Tuesday last week so she had to stay home with Cathy until it arrived. I went ahead on Saturday to our rented home for the week, Villa Souka. We went by air and had an uneventful trip, having had the TV and immersion heater damaged by a near lightning strike at home on Saturday morning before we left.

Later in the day two bedrooms were flooded by another thunderstorm via our Velux windows which I had left open. The girls were at Mead Open Farm.

We went to the Ile de Re on Sunday to see the Phare des Baleines and go to the beach.

On Monday we went to the Aquarium and on Tuesday we went to the Maritime Museum.

The cost of Mobile phone roaming in Europe is criminal. I burned £30 of credit in two days in about 30 minutes of calls and you can only top up your phone via Vodaphone in the UK. This meant that Cathy couldn't reach me when the passport arrived to tell me when she and S would arrive. I couldn't call until Tuesday morning: there are no French payphones that take coins any more, you have to buy an international card from a tabac. I finally thought to call the friend who gave the girls a lift to the station when I got no reply at home or from Cathy's mobile. Then I had to try to remember how long the train journey was via Eurostar and TGV to deduce their probable time of arrival.

On Wednesday Ewan was ill. I took S and D to the beach and the Museum of Automata and the nearby Model Museum.

On thursday we went to Planete Futuroscope. And Cathy and I were ill that night. On Friday S was ill and I took D to the beach. On Saturday we came home.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Early Sketchup Efforts

I've been learning sketchup in an effort to visualise the narrowboat to be. Here are my efforts so far:

This is a work in progress but it has already allowed me to even better visualise my design than before. Well done Google for this excellent entry level CAD package!

All For Charity

We went to the Puzzle Pre-School Charity ball this week. It was held at Pendley Manor Hotel, a rather lovely four star hotel in Tring at the edge of the Chilterns. The Manor is set in 26 acres of parkland with dozens of peacocks in residence. We stayed overnight on Saturday after the ball, having parked the children at a very kind friend's for the duration. It was only when I was leaving that I realised the hotel grounds actually border on the Grand Union canal! Here's a map. Curses! I missed a perfect chance to indulge in a little gongoozling.