Wednesday, July 9, 2008


We've spent the last few weeks manically dashing around the UK with a side trip to France to boot! (blog entry to follow). On our arrival we were stunned by prices that have risen considerably since our last visit to our native land only 6 months earlier. The papers were and still are full of headlines regarding the inflation of food, petrol and just about every consumer item one can imagine, including lemons of all things!

Our first encounter was at the airport where we attempted to buy a bottle of water priced just under £2 with a £10 note only to be told the shop had no change. At the airport? We complain about other countries lack of customer focus... A girl in the shop next door restored our faith for a bit with a nice tip about getting free water with a newspaper purchase. Our regained faith was then shattered by the prices of public transport, £3 for the two of us on the transit bus to the nearest train station and another £8 to get back to Anna's Mum's house the other side of Liverpool. Crazy. We were then stung by the price of petrol, then 113.9p a litre, now 115.9p, Britain it seems is heading for a serious bit of financial difficulty, thankfully we leave it tomorrow for the next 4 months!

Since our initial shocks we've continued to become accustomed to being poor, and decided to purchase a tent to keep down the costs when visiting the Lake District and my parents place down south. This has been the best purchase of our time in the UK as we've used it loads. On its maiden outing we made sure it was up to high winds and rain in the Lakes thankfully the weather was very accommodating. Another windy night followed a week later at the farm.

We had a day in London on the way down south which was nice. Anna's brother and Lorraine had arranged for us to see 'The 39 Steps' in Piccadilly which was great. We had a slap up meal nearby at an Italian he'd found on toptable,com. Very reasonable on our meagre budget! All the big museums are free now too, so we spent a bit of time in the Science and Natural History Museums before a wander through Hyde Park and a nice catch up meal with my cousin on Southbank.

Whilst down south in between catching up with my family we squeezed in visits to Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton. Time flew and before we'd managed half of what we'd intended we were back on the dreaded six and a bit hour drive back up North.

With our side trip to France out of the way we've spent the last few days panicking about what we've forgotten to pack or book already. We thought we'd have had time to think more about what we intend to do in NZ and Oz but it just hasn't happened. With ten days on a Caribbean Island coming up we hope we'll find time between all the snorkeling and cocktails to do some planning!!!

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