Happy reunion

For the first time this summer we experienced a lovely, warm day yesterday which was fortuitous as we had organised a BBQ for the friends we met in Egypt in 2010. For the past three years we have held a reunion at one of the couples houses and this year it was our turn. We kept an eye on the forecast all week  and were relieved to see that yesterday was going to be perfect outdoor eating weather, with temperatures likely to rise up to the high twenties.

Everyone duly arrived late afternoon (including an edition to the group as one couple had a baby girl earlier in the year) and we were soon catching up on news, enjoying the warm weather which reminded us of our happy times in Egypt three years earlier. It was really nice that we have kept in touch especially as we are such a diverse group of individuals, with a wide age gap too.

The youngest couple, Santosh (postman) and Catherine (solicitor) were blessed with a girl, Riya, in January and she was so laid back and calm throughout the day. Catherine told us all about their recent trip to Nepal (where Santosh was from) and how they coped with a baby under six months old in such a remote part of the world. Karen (Teacher) and John (between jobs) hadn’t changed at all and were grateful for the invite, using the opportunity to see Karen’s brother who lives at nearby Sywell. John had explained that he’d lost his contract job at the MOD earlier in the year and was considering his  employment options but was enjoying working outdoors in a temporary job clearing lakes. And finally Stuart and Barbara who have been retired a few years and had recently become great-grandparents.

Of course for us the news was of Rio, who was the new addition to our family. I was a bit apprehensive on how he would be with so many people in the house, but he behaved remarkably well. We had to keep him on a close lead for most of the afternoon/evening and everyone said he was a lovely, well behaved dog.

I cooked the food on our new BBQ, using it fully for the first time this year and it was such a nice, relaxing evening; it’s amazing how some decent weather can make outdoors eating such great experience. The only downer was the insects that decided to join the party late on. As soon as the sun went down we started getting bitten; both John and I being attacked by ants on our feet and others being pestered by kamikaze mosquitos. I woke this morning with two itchy bites on my legs and a large, double bite on my back which I know will drive me crazy for days to come.

Still, it didn’t really spoil the evening and as everyone left we were already organising the next reunion in 2013 when Karen and John will play hosts at their house in Dorset.

Friends for life…

Having a small circle of friends, it is somewhat surprising that when we go on holiday we meet people that we get on with really well and end up keeping in contact for years afterwards.

This first occurred in 2001 when we were holidaying in Corfu. We met John and Caroline, who had two children of similar ages to Matt and Abby. By the end of the two weeks away we were meeting at the swimming pool during the day and dining together in the evenings. When we got back to the UK we kept in contact and even went up to Scarborough to meet them again. We still keep in contact with Caroline and a couple of years ago even attended her second wedding ceremony after the marriage to John ended in divorce.

The second was when we were holidaying in Ibiza in 2007. We were sitting in the hotel bar when we  coincidentally spotted someone who’s son played for Thrapston Town Juniors, the club where I was Secretary at the time. Again they had children of similar ages to ours so it wasn’t long before we were enjoying each others company for the remainder of the vacation. The chap was of course Paul who now regularly contributes to this blog.

And so to the most recent holiday friendship. This time it’s not one couple, or two, but three couples. We met Barbara and Stewart, John and Karen and Catherine and Santosh whilst we were on our Nile cruise in 2010. The three couple were on our dinner table and we got on so well we all agreed to hold a reunion the following September. We had a great evening at Catherine and Santosh’s and agreed to meet for another reunion in June last year. That evening at Barbara and Stewart’s started where we’d left off and we all had a lovely time, catching  up on news and reminiscing about Egypt. By the end of the evening we once agreed to meet up again this year and Tina and I suggested it would be our turn to be the hosts. Things will be slightly different this year though as there will be an extra guest attending who didn’t attend the cruise as Catherine and Santosh have a baby girl, born last month. It’s going to be good to see everyone again, especially the little one as the new parents are such a lovely couple.

So all in all we’ve done well extending our circle of friends from some chance encounters on holiday and it’s pleasing that even away from the confinement of a holiday destination you really can make friends for life.

Egypt

Blimey, we were there only a year ago; what a contrast!

It is sad to see an ancient country in such turmoil but I can understand why there has been an uprising.

Although we didn’t witness any trouble whilst we were on our Nile cruise last May, there was a feeling that the people were downtrodden; posters of the nearly deposed President Mubarak were plastered everywhere, defiantly watching his citizens to make sure they were behaving. And police on every corner. Poverty could be observed, even in the larger cities.

I don’t agree that violent protest is the way to get change but I can see why it has happened. I do hope that the current President realises that his time is up and allows the people to choose their destiny.

Being ill

I hate it!

As mentioned in an earlier post I managed to get a virus or something similar whilst in Egypt which kept me close to the toilet, if you get my drift. I decided to starve myself on Tuesday to kill the bug. Also on Tuesday morning I woke up with a sore throat and snotty nose, but it didn’t seem too bad at the time.

And so Wednesday morning I went to work, eating some breakfast before leaving the house….no reaction down below so decided to have a light lunch. What a mistake as I spent the afternoon gingerly sitting at work daring not to move as my stomach was churning away like a good un. Hmm this is not good I thought. Got home and sure enough two or three visits to the loo confirmed he bug is still prevalent in my guts. And the cold-like symptoms were getting worse.

Thursday morning and I felt like like crap. No work for me then and no food again, I’ll starve the bugger out if it kills me! Thursday night still no better and now I’m developing a cough. Great. A good dose of Night Nurse will do the trick. Yeah right. Woke a few times coughing.

Friday morning breakfast after my forced twenty four hours starvation and things were looking good as no diarrhoea so ate light all day. Cold-like symptoms not improved though, three doses of ‘Beechams Three in One’ helped with the cough that has progressively got worse. Went to bed with another dose of Night Nurse and had a reasonably good night but still woke coughing on a number of occasions.

And so to this morning…feeling like crap still, have a temperature, still coughing, nose running and to cap it all my stomach problems have started again and I need to stay close to the toilet. Doh!

As I said at the start of this tale of woe, I hate being ill.

Cruising the Nile

Bags are packed, camera batteries charged & Sky+ checked to ensure the final Lost is set to record and so we’re off on our Nile cruise adventure.

I will admit I’m a little apprehensive; unsure what to expect, unsure whether I will be able to cope with the heat, unsure whether there will be any gluten-free food to eat, but I’m sure things will turn out OK.

I intend to keep a diary of the trip and will publish extracts when I get home, assuming we have a home with the kids looking after it for a week or so!

Planning for Egypt

Well we’ve only gone and done it and booked for a Nile cruise in May!

This will be our first visit away from Europe (excepting USA of course) which means a few extra things we need to consider, one of which is vaccinations. It seems that Egypt is in Africa and therefore has lots of nasty things you can catch and so over the coming month or so we will need to visit our GP practice nurse for some injections. Ouch!

Apparently we will need to have vaccinations for Typhoid, Diphtheria, Heptatitus A and also have Tetanus and Polio boosters. I know we’re going for a cruise on the Nile but I have no intention of drinking the river water!

Thankfully Malaria is not rife in Eygpt so at least we don’t have to worry about that one though!