Sunday 31 December 2017

2017: Part 2


The first month of holidays. I began in Spain, with the students, eating churros and trying not to go blind.

I took the students on a slave trail walk around Bristol and went to the usual history conference. This year I just took picture and videoed bits of other people's sessions. It was great.

Then, before most schools had broken up, on a half empty plane (yes, that's an entire empty row of seats I am taking a selfie with), I flew to Lima, where I spent 10 hours before flying to Quito, then the Galapagos, then Quito again, then back to Lima, then to Cusco, then back to Lima, over the course of three weeks. I met a lot of interesting people, snorkelled with sea lions and turtles, saw Machu Picchu, practised my Spanish and enjoyed my own company. It was quite an epic holiday.

Galapagos. So many amazing experiences.

Machu Picchu. Top of my bucket list for so long. And I was the only one there in a dress.

Qorikancha, in Cusco.

With Sib's girlfriend's sister and brother-in-law, in Lima.

I ended the month doing much the same thing as I had done at the start:


The second month of holidays. I began the month in Lima. I went for a very expensive but very amazing sushi tasting lunch at Maido. Two of the courses were served on rocks. One of the rocks was edible. Best not to mix those up.

I flew home from Lima and celebrated my birthday, at home for the first time in years. I went to knitting group, had afternoon tea with my local friends and then went for a nice dinner with Mr Z. On Sunday I hung out with Tutt.

On Monday, I flew to Italy with Mother Hand. Five days just outside Siena in a grand hotel on a vineyard, with its own pool; two days in a really nice AirBnB in Lucca.

After arriving back from Italy at Gatwick, I drove to Heathrow, via Sib's new flat, and spent a short night there before flying to Newcastle the next morning for a teacher course at Durham University. I very much enjoyed the opportunity to live like a student for three days, even oversleeping on the second day just to make it realistic. The course was great and included dinner and a ceilidh in the grand hall of Castle College. I did a bit of Harry Pottering.

Upon my return from Durham, I stayed at home for two whole days before going off to Wales with Mr Z for my friend Tom's wedding. It was in a castle. Epic.

Bank Holiday weekend saw me popping off the France with Tutt. We stayed in southwest Normandy. You could see Mont St Michel on the skyline. Once again, we lucked out with a lovely AirBnB on a farm with its own pool.

Tutt bought me this Minnie Mouse sippy cup so I could drink my Fanta Limon in the pool. In return, I let her use my watermelon rubber ring.

This is actually the last time I saw Tutt. She has gone off the radar. I'm not really sure why.


Back to school, all ready for my second year and feeling happier than ever.

The first weekend I went to London for a conference. I caught up with Zoe for an early birthday celebration and went to an education conference on the Saturday. I found this cool thing nearby, at lunchtime.

The next day I went to mooch around Hampton Court with my friend Sian. I ended up getting a membership, so I can come back and impersonate Henry VIII any time I like.

I was back in the Smoke at the end of September for another exam board meeting, but it was just a flying visit.


I started the month in Portsmouth, Southampton (for another conference) and Winchester, for some History lectures. Mother Hand came with me to the one on Sunday. I ate a lot of sushi in a restaurant obsessed with dry ice.

I have eaten a lot of sushi this year, it seems.

At the end of the month, Mr Z and I flew to Vegas. For some reason, it seemed sensible to fly to LA (half the price) and rent a car and drive to Vegas, since it's a brief hop, skip and 4 hour jump across the Mojave to get there. Yeah. The drive there did not go so well. We drove for an hour each at a time while the other one slept. It wasn't fun. When we got there at 3am, we'd been up for 29 hours. Luckily Max was pleased to see us and didn't go mental when we got inside.

We did a few Vegas tourist things while we were there, for once, including a hike up Mt Charleston.

And the downtown zipline, under the Fremont St Experience. This was soooooo fun. I would have done it again immediately if it hadn't been so costly and so busy.

I did a bit of bikram, too. The first time, the instructor was British, which was weird. The second time, I got sick from the water. I think I already wrote about it. Very odd.


I started the month with another History lecture, this time in Bristol. It was really good, since it was delivered by local favourite Ronald Hutton, but the jet lag was strong and I might have dozed a little. The first week back at school was a toughie.

I went to see an ex-colleague Priscilla Queen of the Desert on stage in Bath. It was hilarious and very rude. Sib came to visit his friend for the weekend and we went up to view the bridge.

I went to see the English National Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet, with Parpy Jo - absolutely amazing, if very long. I had my usual tramp around the Christmas markets, with Tom and Paul. They found me by the gin stall. Not surprising.


I did a bit more Christmas marketing. I went to my 100th Bikram. There was the staff do - I should have worn the lower shoes, since I had to leave early due to being basically hobbled by my choice.

It was Christmas. Now it's New Year. I have doggedly blogged every day, sort of, for the past two months, so you are probably feeling quite up-to-date with my life recently.

Happy 2018, everyone!

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