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Have job, will travel

9 Nov

My job allows me to travel around the country.  And really, I am grateful for it.  I’ve been to interesting places (mostly for conferences and meetings so zero sightseeing opportunities, but like I said, I’m not complaining!).

Today I got up at silly o’clock to get ready to go to Manchester to meet with clients.  I got home after 9PM tonight.  The option to stay overnight was there.  I didn’t take it.  I probably should’ve considering how exhausted I am right now.  I’m due to travel again at the end of the month.  And I’ve decided that I’m going to stay overnight.  I don’t want to feel as horrible as I feel now.

I feel a little sad though that I can’t really enjoy my days out.  I wasn’t even able to take any sort of pictures!  All I saw of Manchester was the train station, the inside of two taxi cabs (which were like the black London cabs, funnily enough!), and the meeting room where we had our meeting!

Right.  Whine over.  Too bad I’m lactose-intolerant and can’t have any cheese with all that whining!

Manchester Piccadilly Station

 

Photo credits:

Manchester Piccadilly Station – en.wikipedia.org

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Hello…Goodbye Liverpool!

13 Sep

I got to Liverpool last night and I left today.

All I really got to see was the train station, the inside of a hotel (and no, I’ll never stay in the Adelphi Hotel ever again!), the inside of a cab and the meeting room where I was meeting with clients.

One day, I’ll get to see Liverpool again and I’ll get a chance to get my picture taken beside the Eleanor Rigby statue and I’ll get to do all sorts of touristy stuff related to the Beatles.

One day…

Liverpool Lime Street by Jason Connolly

 

Photo credits:

Liverpool Lime Street by Jason Connolly – redbubble.com

On the road

11 Aug

I’m away from my lovely (and blessedly familiar) flat tonight.  After a long journey (6 hours travel time in total from Colchester), I am finally in Newcastle where I have a series of site visits tomorrow.

So far, what I’ve seen of Newcastle is: the inside of the train station, the entrance of the train station, the hotel that I’m staying in, my hotel room (of course!) and the nearest Sainsbury Local (in the train station, which incidentally is located conveniently just across from the hotel).  Oh I did see a Gregg’s, a Starbucks (which was closed and somehow, I was quite disappointed–I’d subconsciously wanted a venti chai tea latte I think!) and a Subway (I was considering this for supper, but to be honest, I didn’t fancy eating anything much).

I looked out the window and took a photograph of what I could see outside.  There wasn’t a lot too see as it was after 10 at night and the windows were shut.  I noticed that there were wires connected to the window.  Thank goodness I’d noticed this because if I’d tried to open the window, I might’ve set off the alarms and that would’ve been embarassing to say the least!

So I should probably start prepping for tomorrow, in terms of reading up on what I have to do, questions I have to ask, etc.  And besides, there’s nothing really exciting on telly to distract me!

Newcastle-Gateshead at Night, August 2011

I should also probably say that the lights are mostly from Gateshead, which is the area across the river!

I want…

5 Jul

…a car!

While it might seem like such a luxury, and petrol prices are rising by the minute, I still think it would be cheaper for me to travel by car than to travel by rail (add that to the comfort that I wouldn’t be coughed or sneezed on or my bag tossed aside by some woman who wants a backward facing seat near the back of the second to the last train carriage!  Now that would be worth the price of a new car.  Health, after all, as the adage says, is wealth!).  I don’t want a new car, but I’d like to at least have my own transport.  I’d like to be a little independent of train and bus times, and if I’m late for anything, I’d like to be able to blame myself.

I miss driving 😦

Right.  Moan over.

 

Off to see Robin Hood today!

4 May

Well, not really.  I’m off to go look at a conference venue in Nottingham.  I know I’m not going to get to see much of anything today.  It’ll be train to London, tube to St Pancras, train to Nottingham (no changes, thank goodness!), taxi to venue, venue, taxi to Nottingham train station, train back to London, tube back to Liverpool Street and then back home.  It’s a lot of hullaballoo for not a lot of anything.

The sad bit is, when I was growing up, I had this Robin Hood obsession (mostly fuelled by Michael Praed and the Robin of Sherwood show).  I had several different versions of the Robin Hood story and anything Robin Hood, I read (I even read Ivanhoe because I’d read somewhere that there was a mention of Robin Hood in the story!).  I know I won’t see anything, not the sights, not the historical stuff and I know that even the slightest glimpse of Sherwood Forest will be an impossibility!

Such is the life of a meeting planner!  C’ést la vie!

In other news, it is my cousin Mags’ birthday today.  He, like me, is working away from home and his beautiful family.  I hope that he is blessed with happiness today despite the distance from his loved ones and that this day is doubly blessed.

Happy birthday Kuya!

Goodbye Durham!

30 Mar

The conference is finished and my long, protracted journey back to my lovely little flat is finished.  I’m back enjoying home comforts.  After a wonderful dinner of beef stew and dumplings (yum! yum!), I’m enjoying the quiet comfort. There’s something infinitely comforting about coming back to something wonderfully familiar.  I was tired but it was as if all my stresses just melted away the minute I stepped into the flat!

And to be quite honest, I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.  I was sleeping in student accommodation.  Now mind you, minus the TV, I think it could give the nearest single occupancy Premier Inn room a run for its money.  I’m not necessarily complaining.  But the walls were thin and there were far too many strange noises in the adjoining rooms.   And, let’s face it, there’s really nothing like sleeping in one’s own bed.

The conference seemed to be a success, although I wouldn’t suggest that venue again.  While I got a much-needed work out going up and down the hills of the University of Durham, it can be quite a chore.  It wasn’t a good feeling, feeling already tired before the day actually started.  A majorly major disappointment was that I didn’t get to see the Durham Cathedral.  I love visiting churches.  Every chance I get, when there’s a church or a small chapel, I go and look at it.  I don’t know why I’m so attached to churches   I only got to see the cathedral from afar.  I promised myself that I’d be able to visit the Durham Cathedral soon.  I would love to see this beautiful building up close and personal.

On the way back, I had to change trains at York.  I loved looking at the train stations on my way to Durham because the train stations looked beautiful with their tall arches.  I’m not sure what style the train station in York was, whether it Victoria, Georgian or Edwardian, but I loved the quaintness of it.

Anyway, while I was waiting for the train that was going to take me to London King’s Cross St. Pancras (where you can find Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4—if you’ve never been, there really is a Platform 9 3/4, with one half of a trolley still stuck to the wall!), I happened to look up and noticed the beautifully decorated arches.  Mind you, if I hadn’t just finished reading Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen, it wouldn’t have held as much significance to me.  It was the white flowers that caught my attention.  Then I noticed the coat of arms.  The white “flowers” were a representation of the white roses that the Yorkists wore during the War of the Roses (the war between the Yorks and the Lancasters).  I had to laugh at myself because there I was, clutching my little trolley case, smiling up at train station arches.  I must have looked so strange to the people walking past; this little weird Filipina (not that they would probably know I’m Filipino) smiling bizarrely at the train arches!  There is something to be said about reading books.  They make your surroundings come alive and become even more significant.  This is one of the reasons why I love living in England.  It is quite literally living in history.  I hope everyone in England appreciates how fortunate they are to be surrounded by so much history!

 

My EPL Countries

1 Jan

My father has always encouraged us to travel while and when we can.  I guess it’s because he knew that it would have a great impact on our way of thinking, that it would broaden our experiences and open our minds to a different way of living life.

I always wanted to grow up and have the same experiences that my father had.  He went to so many countries!  He’s been to Austria, the States, Israel, Belgium, Japan, Yugoslavia (when it was still called that, they’ve since decided to break up haven’t they?), China, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Portugal, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, and France and I’m sure I might have missed other countries because he’s been EVERYWHERE.  He’s never had to really pay for the tickets himself because his work took him everywhere (he’s a geneticist, if anyone wants to know) and people invited him to speak at conferences and training sessions.  I wanted to do that!  I wanted to travel—not be a geneticist.  But let me tell you, I spent enough time in his lab during the summers to value science and to have a deep respect of the importance of understanding the sciences of life!

My father travelled to a country in 1985 that made the most impact in my life.  He travelled to England.  He brought home books and story tapes that made me want to go to this country with this very interesting way of speaking English (one of the records that I used to listen to when I was little was a recorded reading of Snow White.  my parents, after hearing me mimic the way the evil queen say “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” in a British accent made me say it to everyone at most of the parties that we went to.  And at 9 years old, I was aware enough of everything to be mortified!  you can probably start calling me Sideshow Evie because at the time, that was how I felt!  I felt like such an oddity!).   I wanted to see Oxford, see more of Peter Rabbit and visit the country where Princess Diana lived.  It was the things that he brought back that turned me into an anglophile.  If my dad curses the day I moved to England, he has only himself to blame!

I’ve always wanted to be in England.  I’ve always wanted to be surrounded by so much history.  So living here is quite the dream come true.  Not everyone can say that they’re living their dream.  I am.

But now, I’ve allowed myself to dream a little more.  If I can achieve my dream of dreams, then I know I can achieve anything I set my mind to.  After reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love, I am now ready to broaden my travel horizons a little bit further.

While England is the country of my dreams, I would like to go to Japan because I love the food!  I want to just soak up the culture and enjoy the Japanese food!  I can’t make sushi…yet.  But Japan is the place I would like to go to eat.

I would still want to be in England to pray.  The churches in this country are fabulously spiritual.  You can just sit and feel the journeys of faith the people who worshipped in years past have gone through.  To know that a lot of people had to fight to keep their faith in the churches adds to the atmosphere.  I’ve never entered a church in England where I felt completely creeped out.

To love, I want to go to Italy!  I want to go to see the Spanish Steps.  I want to go to the Piazza San Marco.  And after seeing it in the movie Letters to Juliet, I want to see Casa di Giulietta.  I just want to sit in a small cafe in Italy and just soak up the romantic air (and not die of bronchitis or pneumonia!).  I want to see if it’s true that Italian men really do girl-watching as unabashedly as people describe it or if that is just another Italian cliche.