It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

From The Archive

Germany : 1st June 2009

Okay, picture the scene .....

It's a gorgeous Monday morning, hubby is at work, I'm sitting in my dressing gown and uggies reading my emails on the laptop whilst seated inside on the sofa.  The big glass door to the garden is wide open and Archie is amusing himself outside.

I hear a big rustling from outside and then Archie barking hysterically.  I get up to tell him off and see him chasing something across the back yard fast.  Whatever he's chasing is flying low and I figure he's scared a pigeon out of the garden.

I sit back down and something catches the corner of my eye so I stand up again, only to watch six very small ducklings running flat out from the garden, under the outdoor setting, through the open door, into my dining room.  I repeat, into my dining room.

These small and very squeaky ducklings are now huddled on the furthest side of the dining room from the door, underneath one of the wall mounted heaters and they're screaming blue murder, and covering the floor with squishy duckling poo.

I quickly run through ideas and come up with very little.  Each time I move towards them, they run away towards the sofa area and I know I might be able to catch one, but not six.  So I ring hubby at work, advise him of the situation and tell him to come home.  FAST.  In the meantime I've locked Archie outside and the ducklings have made a break for it past the book cupboards on the long wall, down the far side of the sofa, and are huddling between the sofa and the wall.

I grab one of the plastic "clap boxes" that I use for grocery shopping, assemble it and take a hand towel from the kitchen whilst I watch the ducklings make a break for it down the side of the sofa, underneath the built in bookcases and run behind the Chinese step chest.  

Taking full advantage of the lull in proceedings, I grab some anti-bac wipes and clean up the poo and pooey duck prints off the dining room floor.  The "Duckling 6" are still raising hell with their squeaking but something sounds different, so I check behind the sofa and one has become stuck between the back of the sofa and our wedding photo album so I reach in and grab it and put it in the box with the hand towel over the top.

I open the door and call Archie inside with the promise of breakfast and hustle him up the hallway to the laundry, throw some food in the direction of his bowl and lock him inside the room.

As I enter the dining room again one of the "Duckling 6" has made a break to check out its squealing sibling in the plastic box prison and I divert him into the kitchen and grab him when he is cornered, then add him to the box with the other one.

Hubby arrives home and the remainders of the free "Duckling 6" are either in behind the corner of the Chinese chest, or in behind the wooden chest, tangled amongst all the modem and computer wires.  Hubby reaches in behind the chest and grabs two of them to add to the box.  Then we focus our attention on the two left behind the Chinese chest.  They panic and wedge themselves in between the chest and the wall and I'm down on my hands and knees at one end with a long wooden spoon gently trying to poke them towards hubby's long arms at the other.  Eventually they make a break for it and he gets them both.

So, now we're left with 6 ducklings in a plastic box and no mother anywhere in sight.

We've put the plastic box and the ducklings out under a shady tree in the garden in the hope that Mum will come back for them, and I'm typing this from an outside chair watching for her so I can release the ducklings as soon as she comes back.

Keep your fingers crossed for a speedy reunion and file this little adventure under "it could only happen to Kristy".

Monday, July 25, 2011

Horses, Friends, Sunshine = Fabulous!

Yesterday was one of those fantastic days that you know will stick in your memory for years to come.

Many of you know that I ride several times a week at a barn about 15 minutes from home.  I ride a little German bred mare called Jeany, who I really enjoy, but she's a little bit challenging speed-wise (e.g. she's a small turbo charged rocket ship).  Through riding up there regularly, I've met some really lovely people (hi Andrea and Karin!) and one of my absolute favourites is the utterly gorgeous Elke.

She and her husband, HP, welcomed me to the barn with such warmth that I was blown away.  They are always so friendly and kind that it's great to spend time with them.

Elke has her own horse, Luna,  but HP doesn't ride so much anymore.  Elke and her friend Christian ride out into the forest on the weekends quite often and yesterday they invited me along.

The weather here has been very strange for summer, lots of grey skies, rain and cool temperatures.  Yesterday things just started to clear up and we had a largely rain-free day, with good amounts of sunshine.  

Elke rode Luna, Christian rode Sally and I had my old mate, Jeany, and we headed off into the forest around 11.30am yesterday morning.  There are a lot of forests around the area and we rode for around 4 hours and didn't see a car.  Only a few hikers and a some other riders.  There are many logging tracks and we keep to those where it's safe.

After a few hours we rode through a field to a small pub/cafe, Litz Bauernstube, in the middle of nowhere.  It was attached to a farmhouse and you had to ride down their driveway to get in.  Now, Jeany wasn't at all keen to go down the driveway, as there was a paddock with some donkeys and goats in it, and a barn with calves in it, all looking at her. 

I had to get off, as she wasn't going anywhere, and I tried to lead her in, but she absolutely refused.  Every muscle in her body was tense with terror and you could tell from her stance that she was trying to say "Are you serious?  There's no way I'm going in there!  Can you see those donkeys?  And the goats?  No waaaaaaaaay!  What on earth is that?  Cows?  Small cows?  They are making a strange noise!  Are you mad, seriously mad?  Everything is going to kill me."

Cows - Horses Only Known Predator (obviously)

Eventually Christian encouraged Sally to go down, and Elke and lovely brave Luna rode down, but then had to come back and get me.  Jeany decided she could walk through if Luna was with her, "Yay for the sisterhood!", and we were absolutely fine.

The place was amazing, they even had a small paddock for the horses, so we unsaddled and left them grazing whilst we went in.  None of us had any money, but Germany is such an honest place that they let us have food and drink without any payment, just with the promise that we'd bring the money back later (which, of course, we did).

So we sat and chatted, ate and drank, and watched the horses graze happily in the sunshine - just perfect.

After we'd had a break, we saddled up and headed back out into the sunshine to ride slowly back to the barn where we treated the horses with apples, carrots and grain.  The apple trees are laden right now, so you can ride under them and pull the apples off for your horses.

It was a seriously great day and I really enjoyed myself - so here's a big "THANK YOU" to Elke & Christian for including me in their adventures.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We've Got A Shop!

A new shop has opened up in Rado.  A shop with things in it that I want to buy - fabulous!  Rado has a population of around 25,000 and we do have a selection of shops, but the fashion is a bit challenging and there's not terribly much in the way of modern things for your home - and I'm a home wares nut.

I was interested to see what would open up in the space vacated by the "young fashion" store Charles Vogele and it sat empty for a while, taunting me.  But then Depot arrived!

I'm in the small mall where it's located around once a week and I'm going in to the store every single time.  I just want to encourage them to stay around with their pretty things.  I'm not the only one, I've never seen so many women in a store in this town before.  Every now and then you see a man in there as well, but they're making the "Ikea Face", e.g. dead behind the eyes.  It's definitely a shop for women.

I think it's great and I'm supporting it where I can.  And, to add to my thrills, someone has knocked through around three stores that have been empty since we arrived, next to the Post Office, and turned it into a bookshop cafe.  This wouldn't ordinarily excite me, as my German isn't good enough to read the books and I don't like the coffee with long life milk that they make over here, but there's a shelf of second hand English language books inside!  I bought three for only 4Euro.  Great stuff.

Secondhand books?  Count me in!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hausherrenfest Photos

Hubby helped me download the shots from Hausherrenfest on Tuesday and here they are.  Normally I like to put captions on photos, but, as I actually don't know what's going on, I'll let the shots speak for themselves.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Bad Hair Trinity

Pfft.  I wish my hair looked this good.

Unfortunately I've been blessed with the genetic bad hair trinity.  Bad hair trinity?  You don't know?  That means I've got dead straight, fine AND oily hair.  Fabulous.

Now, thanks to the valiant efforts of the gorgeous Julia at Haar Moden in Singen who is a fabulous cut and colour merchant, my hair is manageable.  And thanks to liberal applications of volumising shampoo, volumising conditioner, volumising mousse and some basic dexterity with a blow dryer, I can leave the house without frightening the neighbours.

"What's this got to do with travel?" I hear you ask.  Well, if my hair is ordinary on a normal day, it's extra tragic when I'm flying long haul and can't "do" anything to it.  I come off a long haul flight looking like my hair has been glued flat onto my head.

But, and this is a big but, I've discovered some products that give me BIG HAIR!  Yes, the big hair that I've dreamed of all my life.  Big, like beauty pageant big.

Introduce yourself to dry hair shampoo ...

Now, this is the first dry shampoo product I used, from Lee Stafford, and I loved it for a long time.  With dry shampoo, you spray it directly onto the roots and then rub the powder in with your fingers to absorb oil.  This stuff works and it gives fantastic volume as well.

Then, a few years ago I discovered Batiste and it's better (and cheaper) than Lee Stafford.

You can buy both Batiste and Lee Stafford in normal sized cans for home and little cans for flying.  I'm never without a little can of Batiste in my carry-on (it's allowable size) to make me look presentable as I crawl off the plane after 12 hours in economy.

A squirt of Batiste and a swipe of lippy and I'm good to go.  Or slightly less scary anyway.

Cheryl Cole, I want your hair (and your handbags)!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Detroit : 9th March 2007

Last night hubby and I went to T.G.I.Fridays for dinner. It was absolutely groaning with people but we got a table for two and "our server for this evening" came over to introduce herself and her name was Tequila. Really.  How did we know this?  Cleverly, as well as having it written on her name tag, it was tattooed on her neck.  In big letters.

She asked for our drinks order and I had a Diet Coke.  Hubby asked for a beer, whereupon she asked him for ID! Really. He's 42. She said he didn't look 42 and wanted to see his ID. Hell, he might not look 42 but he certainly doesn't look 21. Without an ID she refused to serve him alcohol.

We asked to see a manager. The tubby manager waddled up to the table and asked what the problem was. We told her and then she also demanded to see an ID!  Eventually we convinced her that he was over 21 and he was allowed a beer, but admonished and told he had to bring an ID next time. Strangely enough, I don't think there'll be a next time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VW : Drop It Like It's Hot!

After my awful experience with the "sales" guy at VW last week, I thought I'd post these funny VW clips from YouTube.  Just click on the arrow in the box on the photo.  Not, of course, that I'm encouraging anyone to buy VW after my experience!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Germany has a fantastic array of celebrations throughout the year, and Germans love to get together and have some fun, enjoy their food and drink, and listen to great dancing music.

Many of the celebrations revolve around religious occasions and this morning I was up and out early with hubby's big camera, down by the edge of the Lake, to try and get some shots of the procession of boats that row over from Moos, a neighbouring village, to Radolfzell on the 3rd Monday of July to celebrate Hausherrenfest.

Since the 9th century, Radolfzell and its citizens are under the protection of the town patron saints. The Hausherrenfest takes place annually on the third weekend in July, and is a town holiday.

Not only the town and its citizens but also many friends of the surrounding area join in the celebration and fascination of this weekend of history, tradition and folklore.

Up to the 18th and 19th century whole parishes from southern Germany made pilgrimages to the Radolfzell patron saints to pray for help and support.

In the year 830, the founder of the town, Bishop Radolf of Verona brought the relics of the patrons to Radolfzell. This was at the height of relic veneration. A Venetian friend of the bishop, according to the chronicle of the Monastery of Reichenau, even arranged for the relics of St. Marcus to be transferred to the Monastery of Reichenau. From the Monastery of Nonantuola near Treviso he received parts of the relics of the martyrs St. Theopont and St. Senesius. In  the year 1052 the relics of the holy Bishop Zeno also came to the town. Thus, in the 9th century the development to one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the lake area began.

After the boats arrive and people disembark, hymns are sung and important members of the religious community speak.  Then an official walking procession forms, moving along the edge of the Lake, up over the bridge and into town where there is music and celebration.

There was a huge crowd of people during the presentations by the Lake and I moved off with them as the procession headed into town.  I didn't realise it, but I must have been walking quickly, and found myself walking next to the Mayor and just behind the bishops!

I ducked out to the side and moved along, trying to get some good shots and I think I got some, but the small problem is that I used hubby's camera and am not sure how to download them to my computer, so I'll get them done tonight and post any good ones tomorrow.

So, the celebrations continue in town all day, and lots of people have the day off and are attending.  There's also lots of people visiting from other towns enjoying the fun.  So, of course, with all these people in town on a weekday, what do they do?  Yes, that's right, close all the shops.  Germany?  Different from other places.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cute Photo to Make You Smile

Saw this article in the UK Daily Mail and particularly loved this photo:-

See that one furthest to the right?  The cheeky one making a break for freedom?  Well, if it was a brown Labrador puppy that would certainly be our Archie, the cheekiest dog in Germany.

Arch, heading towards the Lake

London : 15th October 2007

I'm back in London and staying with lovely Jim whilst hubby is in Germany for a few meetings. Since leaving Detroit we've been to Paris, staying in gorgeous Versailles and Montparnasse, spent a day in London before flying up to Glasgow to see hubby's parents, driven down to see his brother and family, celebrated with Craig & Mel at their wedding in Newcastle-under- Lyme, and then driven through to London and back to Jim's. Whew - we've only been away just over a week!


Paris was fantastic and Versailles is just so beautiful. We caught the Metro into Paris to watch the Wallabies get thumped by the English on the big screen in the centre of town, then back on the train to Versailles to watch the French triumph over the All Blacks. Versailles went totally insane when the final whistle was blown; screaming, yelling, blowing horns and going generally mad. We walked back to our hotel amongst all this happy craziness and a group of Americans stopped me to ask who'd won the match - seriously. I asked them if they were joking (the French were celebrating so hard that you could hear them in other galaxies), but they really couldn't figure it out and I had to point out that the French had won. Bless.

We had some great meals in Paris and I've eaten far too much scrumptious and incredibly fattening duck confit - I think I'll start quacking like a duck soon! Luckily we've been getting up so late that we've missed breakfast most days so I'm only eating two meals, which may just be my saving grace. Dieting when you're on holidays is just WRONG, but I'll have to get on it when I get home again.

Duck Confit - YUM!

We had been very lucky in the draw for Rugby World Cup final tickets and had purchased some spares. Since the UK is now in the final (again) the tickets are incredibly valuable over here and we think we've managed to sell our spares (and mine) for fairly amazing prices. I'm more than happy to watch the game on the tv in the Paris hotel with a room service meal in exchange for a wodge of cash. Hubby is still going, along with Daithi, Mark and Fiona, and it should be a great game.

It's great being back in London again and I'm having a ball reading all my favourite newspapers (I just love newspapers!) , walking in Hyde Park and joining the chaos in Primark on Oxford Street. I've always known that the UK is expensive, but after living in Bangkok and now in Detroit, have I realised just how expensive it is over here. The prices on identical items in the UK are double what you'd pay in the US - it's totally mad. I'm steering well clear of the shops (except Primark which is very cheap and cheerful) to stop my credit cards going into meltdown.

I fly back to Paris on Thursday for the final celebrations and hubby will be back in Paris from Germany on Friday, then we've got a few days there before flying back home to Detroit on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How NOT To Sell Me A Car

Now, if you're one of those people who doesn't like shopping for a new car because of the pushy, over enthusiastic, over fabricating, fibbers that work the car showrooms, please, come to Germany, I guarantee you'll be cured.

I guess we've met with about 15 car reps since we've been living here, whilst buying both of our cars, and the standard seems to run from indifferent to totally indifferent.  That's a generalisation of course, the guy who sold me my first car was lovely, as were two others I've dealt with recently, but the bulk of them honestly couldn't care if you were there or not.  And, yes, they are paid on commission.

We're thinking about trading my car in on a bigger car and I'm in the process of test driving a few different cars so I can narrow my focus down a little.

On Tuesday I tested the Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S Countryman and the Ford Kuga (Kluger in Australia).  Yesterday I tried the Mercedes B Class in the morning and had a 2pm appointment at VW to try the Touareg, even though I wanted to try the Tiguan, but they said they didn't have one.

You have to make appointments here to test drive cars, you can't just walk in and take one for a try.  I actually went to VW in person on Tuesday to make an appointment for 2pm Wednesday, so I know I had it set up.

I lobbed in at 2pm and the conversation went something like this (me in italics):-

  • Hi, I'm here for my 2pm appointment to test the Touareg.
  • I didn't know you were coming at 2pm?
  • Well, yes, you did.  That piece of paper in front of you with my name on it has 2pm written on it.
  • I've got another appointment at 2pm.
  • And?  (This is the point where I started to get bolshy, there's only so much bad service I can stand).
  • Are you just here for fun or do you actually want to buy a car?
  • Um, sorry?  (And this is the point where he figured he'd be able to push around the blonde "auslander" chick).
  • Well, yesterday you said you wanted to drive a Tiguan.
  • Yes, but you said you didn't have one, so I thought I'd try the Touareg.
  • Well, we do have one.
  • Okay, can I drive it?
  • If you want to drive it you have to hire it by the hour.
  • I don't want to hire it, I want to test drive it to see if I want to buy it.  (And this is when I knew for a FACT that I would never spend a cent with this man, but there was no way I was backing down).
  • You can have it for 15 minutes only.
  • Okaaaaay.
  • And if you damage it you have to pay me 1,000 euros.
  • Right, I'll try not to damage it then.  (And I'll try not to stab you in the eye with your pen.)
  • I will expect you back in 15 minutes.  Have fun.
  • That's highly unlikely.  (Muttered under my breath).

Now, there was nothing wrong with the Tiguan (that I could tell in my allotted 15 minutes).  It was a perfectly nice car, not terribly exciting, but fine.

But there's no way I'm even going to consider buying anything from that man EVER, or probably from VW in general.  No way.

Customer service?  It's not just words.

Oh, and I told some of my German friends this story last night and they were horrified, so please don't think all car sales people over here are as rude at the VW guy.  One even wanted to get straight on the phone and give the guy a piece of her mind - yay for you Petra!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thank You!

I just wanted to say a very heartfelt thank you to all who've visited my blog since I started it up.  There have been over 1,000 visits to check it out and I really appreciate it.

I really didn't know how it was going to be received when I started - who would be interested in my adventures or advice?  But, hey, it seems that some of you are and yay for you!

So, thank you, thank you, and thrice thank you - you've made my day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Agra, India : 12th November 2006

Safely made it to Agra yesterday after a five hour drive from Delhi on the crazy Indian roads. The actual distance covered was only 200km or so, but everything just seems to take longer here. Passed all kinds of animals including the ubiquitous cows, horses, donkeys, camels, sheep, goats, dogs, pigs and monkeys. The cows were doing their usual “I’m worshipped and can wander about at will” thing amongst, and in front of, all the cars and trucks.  They just have no fear of anything at all. 

Had a bit of fun in Delhi with Mel and Gyumi. On Friday we grabbed a driver and a hotel car and had him take us to the Red Fort , which was huge and great to see. We didn’t see any other Western women around at all and found that we were being tailed by a bunch of Indian guys who were surreptitiously taking our photos.

This went on for the whole time we were inside the Red Fort. It got very irritating and a little bit scary and we decided we’d had enough and left, only to find that they followed us outside and kept snapping shots. They weren’t actually in any of the photos with us and we couldn’t figure out why they were bothering, but our Indian friends later told us that they were just photos to boast about amongst their friends because they’d seen Western women. Very strange and unpleasant really. Paris Hilton is welcome to a life of photographers – we didn’t like it at all.

Had a lovely dinner that night with all of our Indian 
friends at a yummy restaurant oddly located at the top of a shopping mall (along with a disco). The area where we were staying is called Gurgaon and it has only been established for about 6 years. It used to just be wasteland and now it’s wasteland with lots of malls, call centres and housing for the people who are working in the area. And cows. Lots of cows. Everywhere. The area really is just growing out of the dust and there doesn’t seem to be much of a plan.

Hotels are making big money catering for all the international businesses who have set up in the sector. The corporate rate for the hotel we were in was $US270/night and it wasn’t anything to write home about. There is such a scarcity of hotel accommodation (though lots are being built), that the hotels can charge whatever they like really.

I had my case gone through twice in the first day by the cleaning staff and complained to the manager (nothing was taken luckily) who apologised strongly and insisted it would never happen again. The hotel is quite new and I think they’re having trouble getting good staff. One night it took 30 minutes for us to get 1 x Diet Coke, 1 x Beer and 1 x Juice – there were 7 floor staff and only 10 people in the bar! Service is generally pretty average and, unfortunately, you come to expect it.

We’re now in Agra at the Sheraton Mughal and it’s gorgeous. In typical hotel fashion, you can pay extra for a room with a “Taj View” (we didn’t), but when you get to the room it doesn’t actually have a Taj View at all - it did once and now they’ve built something in front of it!

Had a lazy day today and hubby got to have a good sleep in (he needed it). Then had lunch by the pool with Gary, Gyumi, Craig and Mel (it’s her birthday today). I was reading my book after lunch on a lounger by the pool and, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving under hubby’s lounger. I didn’t really pay attention but all of a sudden I turned around and it was a mongoose! It had snuck out of the garden and was hoovering up all the little crumbs that had been dropped from lunch. Gave me a hell of a shock and I’ve been looking apprehensively at the gardens ever since!

Tonight is the opening dinner for the conference that the boys are here for and David has just arrived from Australia for that as well. The girls aren’t really interested in the very long business oriented dinner tonight, so we’re off to the bar and then the Chinese restaurant in the hotel for dinner. Had dinner at “Peshwari” in the hotel last night and some gorgeous Indian food – my favourite is paneer tikka which is marinaded and grilled cottage cheese, absolutely scrumptious.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Random Grabs

We've got no travel for the next little while, so I thought I might dip back into my diary archive and throw out a few "random grabs" from the last five and a half years of us living overseas.  Enjoy!

Bangkok : 27th February 2006

Afternoon All,

Just a quick Bugle today as I'm off home to see how
Khun Prakat and his sidekick are going with my garden.
I bought the plants and pond last week and the boys
arrived this morning to put it all in. 

I'd worked out a basic garden plan in my head and with
a few words of bad Thai, bad English and lots of arm
waving, pointing and smiling, we seem to have got it
sorted out.  When I left they were in deep
conversation about extending a powercord so I could
have a fountain in the pond.

Have discovered some huge supermarkets, Tesco Lotus
(from the UK) and Carrefour (from France).  Carrefour
is so big that the staff wear rollerblades so they can
get around quickly.  It'd have around 40 checkouts and
sells everything from washing machines to live fish,
and lots of food in the middle.  Tesco Lotus is the
same but on a slightly smaller scale.  There are lots
of little local supermarkets too, and apparently
there's a Foodland on Sukhumvit (our main street)
that's having an Australia Food Week at the moment
with lots of stuff from home, so I'm going to try to
find that shortly.

Caught up with Gary, Gyumi, Simon, Binny, Craig &
Millie over the weekend and everyone seems to be
settling in well.  I'm picking up a few new words of
Thae each day and, whilst it makes the Thai's laugh
when I try to speak it, it does make a difference.

Finally used our pool on the weekend and it's lovely. 
It's so hot here and just gorgeous to do a big dive
bomb into the pool and then paddle around for a while.
There's a few lazy pool loungers around under some
shady trees and they're perfect for reading and
watching the world go by.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Movie Review - "The Conspirator"

I've now been to the movies twice in three weeks - unheard of!  Due to the lack of English movies shown in our area, the chance to see a new release movie is something I jump at if I get the chance whilst travelling.

When we were in Birmingham, I dragged the boys along to see "Hangover 2", and after that I definitely needed something to stretch my brain a little more.  Many of you know that I'm a bit of an American history fan, particularly the Civil War, so the opportunity to see this seriously good movie wasn't going to pass me by in Manchester this week.

Even those with a sketchy knowledge of American history will probably know that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by the actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre on April 14th, 1865.  Okay, you might not know the date, but you'll probably vaguely know that Booth snuck into the President's box and shot him in the head during a play.  Booth then leapt from the box onto the stage and escaped the theatre on horseback down a back lane.

Lincoln was carried from the theatre, still alive, to a boarding house across the street, where he was lain diagonally (he was too tall at 6'4" to lay straight) on the bed of a resident, and clung weakly to life until the next morning when he passed away.

Anyway, this movie begins with the assassination and weaves a story of the trial of Mary Surratt, who was accused of involvement in the conspiracy to murder Lincoln.  Her involvement was assumed as she owned the boarding house where Booth and the other conspirators (including her son, John Surratt) met regularly to formulate their plans (which started off as a plan to kidnap the President, but then all went a bit pear shaped).

Robert Redford directed this fantastic fleshing out of the life of one of the lesser known players, Mary, portrayed by Robin Wright, and her lawyer,  Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy).

Mary (Robin Wright) and Frederick (James McAvoy)

You don't have to be a history junky like me to enjoy this.  See it if you can.

And now I'm going to have to dig around and find my copy of "Manhunt, The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" and have another read of it.  Sorry honey, that's the housework on the back burner for a while ...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Photo - SeV Carry-On Coat (Scottevest)

I know the photo for this disappeared from my blog last week, so here it is again.

This was the seriously amazing jacket I saw on one of my expat forums.  It's worth a look at the webpage just to get some ideas.  They do clothing for women too, including a really nifty trench coat.

FYI, there's nothing in this for me and I don't have one of these jackets, I just think they're a fantastic solution to a problem that everyone has when they travel.  I bet Ryanair HATE THEM!

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, on hearing about the Scottevest.