Saturday, 27 July 2013

Holiday Catchup Times

So it's been... uh... like three weeks since I last posted. Wow. I am a terrible blogger! In all honesty, as I told you last year, this time of year doesn't really happen for me. The shop's slow, I'm hot, my birthday happens and I just want to sleep and forget about everything until the cold weather comes. I think I may be acclimatising to the heat though (or it's got significantly cooler which is most likely - I'm avoiding weather forecasts btw, too depressing).

This is my first day back after a week or so's holiday and I'm loving seeing everybody again and I forgot (how could I!?) about Pride so it's been a colourful morning so far. I have tidying to do. So. Much. Tidying. I'm just waiting for the sun to move so the shop doesn't feel like a greenhouse. In the meantime, I'll tell you about my week off and holiday in the sun. :)

So, it all started badly to be frank. at the end of last week I had a boozing session and woke up with a throat infection (before you ask there was no kissing men - we were playing dominoes in my back garden). It got slowly worse over the week despite lots of Soothers and co-codamol. I knew it was a throat infection but when I rang 111 they told me that it was viral and there was no way they'd give me antibiotics. So I sucked it up and me and my sister got on the coach to the Isle of Wight.

We booked a holiday without knowing where we were going because it was cheap. To be frank, we knew we were going to the Isle of Wight but where within the Isle of Wight was a mystery. It was a good £40 cheaper! More money for booze! We were hoping to go to Shanklin because we had vague memories of going there as children but to be honest, we just wanted a beach and some pubs. The bus was a little late, but we were straight on the bus to the Isle of Wight so we didn't have to change over which left more time for medicinal ice cream at the services whilst everybody else swapped coaches.

I didn't knit for the whole nine hour coach drive.

I'm going to put that in it's own little paragraph because seriously!? I didn't knit! (Or crochet - no cheating!). That's how ill I was.

When we got there we had dinner straight away and headed down to the beach. We spent a good hour and a half, maybe two, in the sea. It was beautiful. Such a hot day. Such a cool sea. There was a patch of stoney bits as you walked into the sea that was soooo painful for our little feet but as we were finally getting out the Tridess (female version of the Trident. Made up) sent some massive waves to get us over the hurdle and we ended up like beached whales at the other side of the rocks - like funny looking mermaids. It set us up for a holiday-long Tridess joke. Dead good.

Me at the beach looking dead impressed. 

We wandered around for a bit, found an Irish bar, played some pool, had another medicinal ice cream. At the side of one of the bars was a red room with some really plush sofas so we sat down (and left little puddles of sand...). It had a massive open window onto the seafront and it was lovely. Two of the ladies from the coach trip walked past the window and amiably told us we looked like prostitutes. Another good joke. 

Then we headed back the the hotel fairly early. Caroline fell right asleep and I barely slept a wink. It was a horrid night. Horrid. So at five in the morning I rang back the 111 service and got this really lovely woman who sorted me out with a bus timetable to get me to the hospital in Newport. She said that I had to get there in six hours which I class as an emergency. Another joke was born - rushed to hospital on a bus. Two buses actually. I set off straight away more or less, trundled into town, got on the bus, got on another bus, got to the hospital an hour early, sat about with no knitting, got in the queue, was examined by a lovely but sarcastic doctor and got my drugs. Thank god! I rang my mum and she told me to take two at first, a fat dose, to help it kick in quicker (she's a nurse not just making it up...) so I did and I trundled back to the hotel again. 

On the way home I found a Sports Direct < 3 : 

Where I bought some more dominoes because we'd forgotten them. 

And when I got back into Shanklin I took a wrong turning because it was hot and the street was busy and I was in pain. And low and behold, I found a bloody wool shop!!!!

It looks like it appeared from heaven doesn't it!? Strictly Knitting.

The ladies were lovely. I wasn't on top form, I usually end up in an hours conversation with other LYSO's - there's just so much to talk about! But I wasn't feeling it this time and it wasn't their fault, they were knowledgeable and friendly and the shop was stunning. Properly tidy! IMAGINE! And posh. I did think I'd write a whole blog post about them but I didn't take enough photos and I didn't speak to them enough to get much of a story so I'll leave it be. 

As you know, I always buy something when I go to a wool shop, and here it is: 

I love Araucania yarn, I've had lots of it before and I loved this colourway in the skein but I should have thought more closely about it because there was a beautiful deep red version that would have been stunning as something. This ended up a little wishy-washy for me. But it's made a lovely easy scarf that I promise I will show you at some point. 

When I got back to the hotel, they'd saved my breakfast for me which was brill of them and everybody was really concerned because Caroline had only half heard me saying I was going, as if in a dream, and then I'd had to turn my phone off in the hospital so she had no real idea what was happening. Ha. We sat outside in the sun whilst I slowly ate my breakfast and we played some more dominoes. It was windy and at one point the big umbrella things flew right out of the tables, over the wall and into the road, nearly causing a crash and landing on top of an old bloke on a scooter. I ran out to rescue the situation and felt dead embarrassed but after that I was a ninja, catching two blowing umbrellas before they had chance to get over the wall. HA. 

The afternoon was spent at a lovely cafe on the sea front: 

And then the beach: 

That evening we headed down the seafront to Shanklin Chine. It's a much loved part of our childhood memory bank and we were excited about going there. But alas, and alack, Caroline got into a competition with a Nottingham man at pool (he won, just) and we were too late by the time we got there but I did catch this photo: 

Looks magical doesn't it!? 

We walked back down the esplanade, and traveled up the cliff lift (our companions were thrilled to save 40p because they were old) and wandered back to the hotel. 

When we got back to the hotel I went to bed and Caroline got drunk with the other holidaymakers. She did a real good job of waking me up when she finally came to bed but I know some of her students read this so I won't go into details... 

The next morning we toyed with the idea of heading into Sandown but, being more experienced at beach-side walking than Cazza, I persuaded her that it was too far to go and that we ought to just go to the beach. So in the morning we played dominoes and some cards, headed the opposite way to Sandown and found a gorgeous cafe to have lunch in at the top of a cliff: 

Seriously - look at that!

Dominoes set up. 

Lunch. Cheesy chips and crab sandwiches. Heaven. 

We spent the rest of the day on the beach, preparing ourselves for what we envisaged would be a hard walk in the evening. I can't believe I went on holiday and did nothing of any cultural relevance at all. Whatsoever. I blame the bloody NHS for not giving me drugs sooner. 

In the evening Caroline found her perfect man: 

She looks confused about it. 

And then she beat me at old fashioned bowling. Just. 

We walked down to the beach and the Tridess had given us one last gift: 

A lovely piece of washed up mdf covered in seaweed. We placed it, like an offering, next to a bin. It's what she would want. 

And we finally made it to the chine!!!

It's essentially a gorge that's been planted (naturally or not, we never found out) with all sorts of magical looking plants. It looks like a jungle and it's the kind of place that would be interested in conservation. At night time (it's open 'till 10) it's lit up in lots of different colours. It's definitely the kind of place that fairies would live and I remember discussing it quite seriously with Mum when I was a kid. It isn't really a place for me and Cazza though - no pub and too much walking. Also too many kids and helicopter parents who actually brought a tripod - you what!?!? I think it was worth going though. 

And one last photo because Caroline played a blinder: 

That's the waterfall at the very end. Lovely. 

We went back to the hotel where everybody ordered a beer, apart from me, I ordered milk: 


We... played dominoes... And went to bed. 

The journey back was uneventful, but it was the first time I've ever been able to properly sleep on a coach, probably all the drugs. 

It's horrible being back home in this heat. By the sea there is the breeze and you can go for a swim and there's no work but when I got home all I could do was sleep. So I was feeling a bit down because of the heat and the holiday homecoming etc. etc. and then I got dumped. By a massive moronic bastard who isn't over his ex. Jeez, how exactly do you think you're going to get over your ex when you cancel a date with the new one to see the old one!? What a tit. Who wouldn't want a mad knitter with half a head of hair and a throat infection?! Ha. 

Then it was my birthday which was miserable because of pain and men and my parents forgetting... And  then I went to visit Dee who cheered me right up with a bottle of wine and a toffee pavlova. Such a good woman. 

So that's it. Fully caught up. And no knitting. I know how you lot feel. So looking forward to winter. Seriously cannot wait for some snow. 

Right, tidying time. 

Love Eleanor. xx

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