Archive for January, 2011

Morning Adventure

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

When you are hurtling towards a tree on the beach it’s hard to remember the instructions you were given just 20 minutes earlier.  I needed to stand straight and the machine would stop.  But instead I wanted to pull on the handlebars, effectively making the thing jump backwards.  (No matter what Marty tells you I did not hit that tree.  I stopped right at the tree, just before I hit it.)

Marty managed to talk me into riding a Segway.  I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to try this, but he was really keen.  Before we were allowed on we had to watch a safety video.  Seeing all the different ways that you could fall off and injure yourself wasn’t exactly inspiring but by that stage I was already committed.

Getting on the Segway wasn’t overly difficult, but once I was on it I could feel it trying to get away from me.  Every time I moved it responded.  Just the other night I saw part of one of the early Harry Potter movies.  Harry was learning how to ride a broomstick, and you could see the sticks hopping about eager to fly.  Well, the Segway felt like it was eager to be off on the island tour.  It’s built to respond to your movements but it still felt strange.  And I wasn’t overly happy when it started to move backwards.

It was fun though, and it responded very much like skis do, well apart from the ability to go backwards.  To stop all you have to do is stand up straight.  Sounds incredibly easy and it works as long as your body is relaxed.  When you are in a flap the Segway tends to get confused.

I like to take new things slowly and was perfectly happy riding the Segway along the roads and paths.  I wasn’t so good at the bumpy surface of the grass and I felt completely out of control when I got to the beach.  Turns out that not only don’t I like the feel of sand under my feet, but I’m not fussed on how bumpy it feels under a Segway.

Marty and Karen on Segways

Segway Fun

Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I love the part of the year when it’s obvious that Marty is older than me.

Marty Birthday

Birthday Cake

Here Comes The Rain, Again…

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I’m sitting in the dark.  My hotel room doesn’t have windows, the electricity has gone off, and there is a  storm raging outside. The phone lines are back up so I image that the electricity will follow soon.

I didn’t notice that the hotel room had no windows until we turned off all the lights on the first night.  At first I thought that my eyes were not adjusting well to the darkness, but it really was pitch black inside.  We had to find a light to keep on through the night as we were likely to get tangled up in the mosquito net if we tried to get out of bed.

Having no windows can make it sound grim but this room is beautiful.

Hotel Bedroom

We also have our own front porch with a day bed, a balcony, and a private back garden complete with plunge pool.  They don’t let any light in though as they are hidden behind solid wood doors.  I imagine that the lack of windows helps keep the building cool, which is a good thing at the minute as the air conditioner is off.

The rain is amazing.  It’s been raining for hours and it’s still so heavy that it would take only seconds to soak you right through. For now I’m going to continue sitting in the dark.

Stormy Day

Husband Repellent

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

“What is that horrible smell?”, Marty asked as I was liberally spraying myself in the bathroom. I like things, including myself, to smell nice so he’s used to me wearing perfumes.   But today I reek of insect repellent. Unfortunately, this appears to repel Marty more than the insects.

I have my legs covered up when I venture outside so I assume that I’m being bitten in the bedroom, which is nowhere near as much fun as that statement might sound. The large four-poster bed is covered in a mosquito net and I did feel safe in it until earlier today.  It wasn’t a mosquito that bit me though, but a large ant.  The unexpected sharp nip made me yell, unlike mosquito bites that are painless at the time and then grow into itchy red bumps.

And talking of yelling, I frightened Marty when we got back to our room tonight.  I switched on the light and saw a huge insect scurry down the wall.  I made a girly screeching noise until I realised that the large insect was actually a small lizard.  So now I need to check my clothes and shoes for lizards as well as insects.  Of course Marty is thrilled and wants to adopt the lizard. I wonder if he is still going to want to keep me if I keep spraying myself with nasty smelly oils?

In Singapore

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

For some reason my suitcase was freezing when I collected it. When I got outside it quickly became covered in condensation. And it wasn’t long until I was also dripping with water. Singapore is not as hot as I feared but it is very humid.

Welcome Gift

Postal Delays

Monday, January 10th, 2011

In December I ordered a new bikini for the holiday I’m going on tomorrow.  Unfortunately, because of the weather in Europe, the post has been delayed.  I wear an unusual size and wasn’t able to find anywhere in Tokyo to buy something.  I’m not really into beaches but I did spend some time on one during the summer of 2005.  Today I spent an hour or so hunting down the bikini I wore then.  It’s not very nice.  It’s a pale pink colour that doesn’t suit me but it’s better than no bikini.  It also isn’t a good fit, but with a bit of work I should be able to alter the strap.  I had also ordered a couple of new blouses to wear but they have also been delayed.

If I’m lucky when I get back from my holiday my new clothes and bikini will be waiting for me in one of the parcel boxes in the apartment.  But the way things are going I won’t be surprised if they arrive 5 minutes after I leave, need to be signed for, and are shipped back to Europe before I get home.

I’m also trying to find out what happened with some of the Christmas presents I sent.  I’m particularly annoyed at the box that has sat for 20 days with CityLink.  Instead of trying to deliver my parcel they have now decided to send it back to Amazon.  I’m going to try to be less grumpy, but I think I’ve been spoilt by the amazing postal service in Japan.

Holiday Reading

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

I’m going on holiday on Tuesday.  Last year Marty bought me a Kindle.  I love books but I didn’t want an electronic book reader.  I had looked at these before and thought the page refresh rate was too slow for the speed at which I read fiction.  But the Kindle has improved and I’m in love.  It’s a magic device that can hold up to 3,500 books that fits into my handbag.

The last time I went on holiday I had 12 books in my suitcase and 2 in my handbag.  This time I’m going to put my Kindle in my handbag and a couple of books in the suitcase.  I’ll also have to carry the charger for the Kindle.  I know that the battery life should last but I don’t want to risk running out of books because I’ve run out of power.

I haven’t completely sorted out my book list yet, but I’m planning on reading the following books:

Dental Visit

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I was a bit worried about going to the dentist this morning.  I was only going for my six-monthly check-up and clean but I was concerned that they are going to hurt me with a sharp pointy drill thing. The dentist surgery is beautiful and they do their best to make you feel comfortable, going as far as putting a blanket over my legs when I was lying on the chair.  If it wasn’t for the strange cleaning implements it would feel more like a spa than a dental surgery.

The cleaning wasn’t as gentle as promised, as the pointy thing slipped and hit my gum at some point, but it wasn’t terrible.  It all sounds worse than it feels.

Chocolate Bad, Exercise Good

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Yesterday I found a box of revels that I had bought when I was in Belfast.  A yummy box of chocolate goodness that I managed to scoff in under 10 minutes.  This caused me a problem. There were 480 calories in that box, 480 calories that I really didn’t need to eat yesterday.

During the winter my thyroid disease gets worse.  I can tell this by the way I feel, but just in case I am not convinced my last hospital visit provided me with a print-out of my blood tests clearly showing the problem.  A side effect of the condition is weight gain.  I have been told that this can be controlled with a low calorie diet and exercise.  Funny enough a box of revels doesn’t exactly fit into a low calorie diet.

There are times when I let things slip, but that’s usually because I’m on holiday or I am travelling.  Yesterday was a normal day in a normal week.  This morning as penance I fitted in an extra gym visit.   It didn’t start well.  I think I was still half-asleep and maybe sprayed the deodorant on my face instead of under my arms as I started to sneeze violently.  Or maybe I was just allergic to the concept of going to the gym.  Once I got over my sneezing fit I dragged myself out and did manage to use the cross trainer for an hour.  I’m really glad that there are more benefits to exercise than burning calories.  The thought that I have to sweat for an hour just to counteract the effects of a few minutes of eating is fairly horrible.  But maybe not horrible enough to make me give up chocolate.

New Year, New Exercise

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

I decided to give push-ups another go.  I tried this last year but I find them nearly impossible to do.  This year I’m going to start by doing push-ups on my knees.  I’ve always felt that these weren’t good enough but I think that doing this has to be better than doing no push-ups at all.  I can do about 20 of these in one set, unlike the 1 I can manage of the proper form push-ups.

Every month or so I buy a new exercise DVD.  This month I bought Pussycat Dolls Workout.  I tried this yesterday for the first time and I’m not sure what I make of it.  I suppose it is fun, but there is a really strange section in the middle the requires the use of a feather boa.  I can’t imagine exercising in underwear, high heels, and a boa.  So instead I wore my gym wear and used a wooly scarf – not quite “pussycat”.  It’s not a fantastic workout but it’s a fun one and there are a couple of dance moves that I wouldn’t mind mastering.

January won’t be a good month for exercise as I’m going to be on holiday for most it.  Sure, I’ll try to swim and go to the gym whilst I’m away, but I won’t be surprised if I give that up for lounging around and reading books.