“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes….”

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You have gotta love the Pound Stirling!

After spending what seemed like days at Heathrow airport, we decided to have one last pub meal… No supprises what I had – Burger and chips and Philippa managed to down her last brittish pint.

Sitting there, clacking glasses together and chanting Cheers, Skol, Prost and whatever other bits of various languages we had managed to pick up, it finally dawned on me that we where heading home. I showed my dutch passport to the appropriately grumpy brit lady after joining the perfectly formed queue for the last time and boarded our plane for Bangkok (ever heard the one about the man who walked through the metal detector sideways??).

The flight, as usual was uneventful, and Bangkok was just as we remembered it – dirty, smelly, sleezy yet somehow wonderful. With only a few days in town – we spent most of our time shopping. It was rather liberating going to the markets and not having to haggle for a decent price to much as we already -kinda- knew what everything was worth. In fact, it took some of the fun out of it (for the shop-keepers and us). After just three days of shopping, we jumped on another flight down to Phuket – think Thai Gold Coast!

I’m sick of writing…off to the beach 😉

Farewell Bedford and Edinburgh

Farewell Bedford!Hi, this is a real quick one because I am racing the clock at the internet cafe.

We left Bedford last night…very sad saying good bye to good friends! after racing down to the charity shop with our towels and bedding we raced to get a train that missed the airport station that we had to get off at. We jumped on another train and finally got to Luton airport, where we landed 8 months ago. still not British we chose the worst check in line, taking over an hour to check in. The flight was short and sweet and Edinburgh is beautiful. they currently have a winter wonderland theme park set up at the base of the cliff with the castle. It has an ice skating rink and a German market and a Ferris Wheel…which we will check out tonihgt. Today has manly been retail therapy, recovering from a hectic week of packing up and shopping for christmas pressies. We discovered that the scotts cannot cook any better than the English at lunch time, tonight we are going out in search of a deep fried mars bar…to celebrate matt’s 27th birthday.

love you all and hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas….

Retrospective: Family, Friends, a little Piening History and Work!

Water Mill at Kollen Near NuenenWow, time really does fly when you are having fun!

Looking at the history of our blog, it has been nearly 5 months since my last post! Whoops!

Where have I been you ask? Well, for the most part I have been sitting on my bum watching telly. We have had a few small trips thrown in here and there (which Philippa has updated you all on), and the past two-three months have seen me in my Vietnamese suits (well, sort of) working with Fujifilm in their support department (well, when I say support – I mean call logging – easy mistake to make). Tomorrow will be my last day, and I have really been lucky to not only score a decent temp job for the past few months, learn heaps about mini-lab equipment (and print off all our trip pics), but also more importantly to meet some really great locals,… of course locals being a few Brits, an Irish and an American gal!

OK… Just to wind back a little bit. After a brief visit from my brother Simon sometime in mid-August, we packed our wonderful little Rover up with food, clothing, camping gear and what seemed like the kitchen sink and headed down south to Dover where we caught a ferry to France. Following a brief stopover overnight in Antwerp, Belgium – we found ourselves in Eindhoven, Holland about 11 hours later. It was quite an experience stopping for petrol early in the afternoon and ordering in English, filling up again a few hours later and ordering in French and than the following morning ordering Petrol in Flemish and than Dutch! Well, if the truth be know – these smarty-pants Europeans can all speak English better than us Aussies, but that is besides the point – we did try!

Upon arrival at our swish Holiday Inn hotel (Mum and Dad’s shout) in Eindhoven, it crossed my mind that I should have listened to Philippa when she suggested (nay, insisted) we purchase the international AA (like RACV/Q) membership. Steam was pouring out of the poor little Rover and the needle on the temperature gage had nearly done a 360.

Thankfully the whole family was there to meet us at the hotel, and Dad, tired from all his own travel, was strait back into his fatherly routine by looking at the car and assuring me that no damage had been done as the car had simply overheated! The wonderful hotel staff managed to track down a local Rover mechanic for us and finally managed to book the sick girl in to the shop. Thankfully the only problem was a fan sensor, which caused the fan to stop when it shouldn’t have (at least I think that’s what the invoice says).

The real reason we all (that’s me, Philippa, Simon, Mum and Dad) met up in Eindhoven was to see the town Neunen (about 30 KMs out of Eindhoven) where Dad was born and spent the first 6 years of his life. It was a sweet, definitely off the tourist trail, little town. We saw the house where Dad lived and the surrounding area. He was even lucky enough to get invited inside for a few minutes – soon learning that he knew more Dutch then he originally thought! It was truly a magical and special day!

After a few more days pottering about Eindhoven (and dipping down to Belgium for the day) we all parted ways, picking up in Germany and Philippa’s blog from a while ago 🙂 I had better run as I’m at work, and writing this between calls!

Off to Venice this weekend for our Aniversary, Miss you all!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes….”

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