Monday, 27 February 2006

Vilnius, Lithuania

It's just over a month to our departure, wifey's knocking herself out to close the business by the end of the week and the house is so full of shite we can't move- so what do we do? Correct, we go on holiday...

Look, we've done Estonia and Latvia in previous years so this completes the set, all right?

Anyhoo, we'd booked it up ages ago and with return flights from Gatwick with British Airways at a tidy £55/head and then a four/five star hotel at £33/night it was certainly cheap enough. We ended up staying three nights which would have been more expensive if we'd tried to get B & Bs in Southend!

We were also exceptionally lucky with the weather conditions- the week prior to our arrival it was apparently minus 35 degrees Centigrade and now that we're back it is heading towards minus 20. We had -1 to 0 which was positively tropical.

Being entirely honest I was a tad disappointed with first impressions- the city looked a bit dull and grey and had the whole "Eastern Bloc" feel to it. However, after a couple of very cheap beers (£1.00- £1.30/pint of 6% lager) I felt quite at home.

Then we found the old town and it all fell into place.

Vilnius is quite lovely and the people are very warm, generous and helpful. There is so much to see and do that I could quite happily have stayed for at least a month or two before needing to move on.

I suppose this was a taster of things to come when we begin our tour in earnest and now I really can't wait to leave.

If you've never been, treat yourself and you won't be disappointed. I preferred it to Tallinn and Riga though they were great places too and it really is cheap to live out there if you do the sensible thing and go off the beaten path.

Friday, 24 February 2006

Today's Puzzling Question

Guide Dogs For the Blind.

Are they at liberty to take a dump on the pavement and leave their dog's eggs for the world to view?

I can't see (sic) how the "person with impaired vision" can know where to pick up the crap to dispose of it correctly, so what happens?

Now you know what happens after a few beers in the local...

Sunday, 12 February 2006

Last Day At Work

Was due to have been Friday, 31st March 2006 and then we embark on our "trip" the next day.

However, my line of work is not quite a standard 9-5 job and since last year I have been doing three day weeks. Sure, it's bloody fantastic to have a four day weekend but the financial rewards are not quite on par with a full working week. Still, it was my choice and one that I have yet to live to regret.

Anyhoo, at certain times during the year I have to do additional days to ensure the workload is kept on top of and also during critical times when Auditors are present. I checked back in my diary and was surprised to find that I was in fact owed nine days- nearly a whole month if you work on the three day/week ratio.

"Top banana" I thought, I could leave on the 6th March and still get a whole month's wages.

Sadly, our Regional Manager felt that the people he had taken on to cover my role within the company were not sufficiently up to speed with the requirements of the job and so requested I stay on for a further three weeks on full pay.

Sucker for a sad story that I am, I agreed and now my final day of work, hopefully for ever...will be 27th March 2006.

Of course it's a dull post- we haven't even started our adventure yet and there a gazillion things to be done aside from post on here. Just be patient- it will get all dead funny, poigniant and interesting when we leave and have no more TV to watch.

Saturday, 4 February 2006

The Service

New brake pads front and back, including new front disks as they were scoured. New plugs and HT leads, new oil and filter, new coolants throughout and full service + MOT (now at 40 sovs a pop as it's "computerised"!) Also a new heavy duty battery at 70 quid- mind you it's a Bosch so top of the range.

Spares included: Clutch and brake cables, brake pads, spark plugs, fan belt, headlight conversion kit, bulb and fuse kit and a rubber spray tye fix kit. Not that I can fit any of them mind...

All of that, including at least a day's labour?

£640.00! Strewth. Luckily I was sitting down.

Bugger better start first time, that's all I can say...