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There are some words which just sound great on the ear, aren't there. "All sorted" is one of them. While I have been busy recently, not a lot of it has actually been stuff I feel like writing about. I like writing about successes and at the moment there is a lot of work in progress stuff happening rather than successes to write home about. Things such as the renovations take a lot of time and only seem to move slowly.
Anyway, things of interest...
A few weeks ago, the UK got snow. I love this country - a few flakes hit and stick and the country goes into panic mode. In Swnasea, they closed down the schools and sent the children home at about 2PM, just when the snow was at its worst. Because the children were sent home, a lot of businesses, such as the University, closed early. This was a real Koala Park of a thing to do. Just as the snow was at its worst, a large number of drivers who aren't used to driving with snow are suddenly on the roads. The entire area gets jammed with cars. The trucks with grit and whatever else they use to clear the roads weren't able to get through, and things just went downhill from there. Some people took as many as 7 hours for a normally 30 minute drive.
On our side, Bec had taken a day off to go to the dentist. I left when the university closed. I was supposed to have a dentist appointment too, but it didn't quite happen. Yep, you guessed it, the dentist was closed too. Being on foot though, I was able to join Bec for a late lunch - a place was trialling smoke-free. It was so much more pleasant.
Incidentally, here are all the reasons I can think of for why people should be allowed to smoke in restaurants or pubs.
Ok, back to the story
Walking back from lunch afterwards, the backstreets were easy to walk through - the snow had started to clear and they had been able to clear the roads - but the foot path was still snowy and slushy.
Last weekend, we went to stay at a hostel near Llanddewi Brefi. It was as close as we get to remote in Wales. The hostel is 7 miles from the village, and the village is a distance from anywhere else. (NB: sorry, all specific distances are in miles because that is what they were quoted in)
We went with one of the Tawe Trekkers and some of her friends from her previous walking group. They were a nice group of people and we had a good time. On the Saturday we did a 14 mile walk. There was so much water everywhere that we couldn't cross a stream we were supposed to cross. By the time we walked around, it had added quite some distance. The walk leader had the idea of a short cut. This was through some rough, boggy land which was hard going. After a couple of hundred metres, half the group turned back (one of the advantages of having big groups and lots of maps) and went back through the bog. I figured 'twere as tedious to return as to go oer, so I went oer. I was right. While the path was difficult for the next couple of kilometres, the group who turned back did so halfway through the boggy bit.
When we got back to the hostel, we got back just before the other group. It was a good day, although it could have done with a few more of the dry spells and a bit less rain. Someone measured out the route we took and the route the other group took. Both were 14 miles, so our shortcut, while harder, didn't actually save any distance by the time we got back. I enjoyed it though. It was nice to do a harder walk for something different.
After a communal dinner, we played some games such as taboo, where someone stupidly put me and Bec in the same team. It made it far easier, as we were able to say things like, "your Mum used to volunteer here".
Sunday's walk was "only" 9 miles or so, but the rain had made the tracks harder going, and some of the places which were a little damp the day before were now streams to be jumped across. As the wind picked up (blowing Bec about) the walk became harder and harder. In fact, it was probably more difficult than the previous day's walk.
At work, I've had a couple of problems recently. One was the lab leaking, so that is out of action and I can't do any experiments until it reopens. The other problem is that Fedex wanted us to pay VAT on something we had an exemption for. While the suggestion was that we just pay it, I decided otherwise. A couple of phone calls later and we were told that we just needed to send the original exemption certificate and it would be fine. It was sent on the Friday to the place they told me to have it addressed to. All sorted, thought I. Tuesday, we received a letter of intent, saying that they would launch legal action if we didn't pay within 72 hours. A few phone calls later, they said they would look into it. Amazingly, the certificate turned up on the Wednesday (convenient, isn't it? 1st class post normally only takes a day). I have now been told that it is "All sorted". I hope so.
Comment from Gillian
I heartily concur with your list of reasons for allowing smoking in places people eat.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.