Leaving on a jet plane

… except I do know when I’ll be back!

We waved goodbye to this gorgeous duo before 6.30 this morning and headed to the airport. As I write this we are at 38000 feet heading south west and we’re off the coast of Canada, near somewhere called Goose Bay (when I say near, obviously I mean 38000 feet above it). We’ve travelled 2200 miles and we have 2833 miles to go. It’s -50 outside. Toasty in here though.

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Obviously I’m not going to be able to post this until I get to somewhere with WiFi, but I thought I’d help pass the time by documenting the day so far. We’re on a Boeing 787, otherwise known as a Dreamliner. This is Boeing’s newest addition to their range, and, if I’m not wrong, was recently the first plane to fly non-stop to Australia from the UK.

You can tell it’s new. It’s fancy pants! The windows have a button that adjusts the tint in the glass so it’s either completely transparent, completely opaque, or anywhere in between. None of the old window shutters that you normally get on a plane.

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When we got on, the windows were all normal transparent glass but after we took off the crew activated the ambient lighting which is supposed to replicate the conditions in the time zone that you’re flying to, which allegedly reduces jet lag, so now the windows are semi-opaque. I never really get jet lag when flying west, so we’ll see what effect it has on the return journey (not that I’m thinking about that yet!)

When they activated the ambient lighting, all the lights down the ceiling of the plane changed colour. I was too busy marvelling at it and forgot to take a photo, but hopefully they’ll do it again so I can show you (update – they didn’t!)

Seatback screens are nothing new for anyone who’s flown long haul on a decent airline, but I don’t recall them having USB slots before. Fab! No need to worry about how much candy crush I play then, I can just charge my phone if need be.

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So far we’ve done quite a bit of eating (which is fine because calories don’t count up here, right?) We had breakfast in Wetherspoons at Birmingham airport (once we’d found a seat that is! Very busy airport this morning).

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Apparently it was lunchtime a while ago (I have no idea, what with being up at the crack of dawn and all this ambient lighting business) so we were served a meal. I know lots of people don’t like aeroplane food, but I really like it.

We had chicken in tarragon sauce with roast potatoes, broccoli and carrots with a bread roll. Then we had cheese and crackers and a chocolate orange ganache dessert. Yum!

Apparently we’ve been flying for four hours and thirty four minutes, and in that time I’ve been luxuriously unproductive! Lots of procrastination, faffing and generally doing entirely what I want while not having to organise, remember or be reliable. That, while I’m here, is someone else’s job, and they are welcome to it!

I have started to crochet a gift for my new baby niece who is currently incubating in utero.

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I have candy crushed all my lives several times (including changing the time to trick it into giving me more!) Level 2518 completed! (Update: levels 2519, 2520 and 2521 also completed). I’ve played a million games of traffic rush. I’m sure my high score used to be 287, but it appears to have forgotten that, so I was determined to beat 200 before I stopped.

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What else to do now? I have Red magazine from ages ago that I hadn’t got round to reading. It has Keeley Hawes on the front and I’m interested to see what she has to say about the Bodyguard (update: nothing about the Bodyguard but she seems lovely).

I have Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine to read, which my best friend bought me for my birthday. I’m looking forward to this – I never read actual books anymore, unless they’re non-fiction with pictures that don’t translate well to my kindle, and this is an actual book, with pages and everything. I find the kindle easier normally because I do most of my reading before I go to sleep when I like to turn the light off to ease my eyes, so a book’s no good and also, there’s a very real risk of dropping an actual book on your face when reading lying down, and that hurts and you feel a bit silly if your husband sees! I’m going to have plenty of time and opportunity for actual book reading over the next week though. What bliss!

There’s always more eating to be done too. Apparently we get afternoon tea later! (Update: we did!)

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Think I’ll get on with some more completely unproductive things now.

We flew out over Ireland, under Iceland and down the east coast of the states. This, believe it or not, is Cape Canaveral. You can see the Assembly Building (largest single storey building in the world) if you look close enough.

It’s funny how you look on the map and think, how have we got another four hours to go, it’s only a couple of inches on the map. Then you realise those couple of inches actually constitute the entire east coast of America! America is BIG!

So as you can tell by the fact that this is published, we have now arrived. Completely exhausted but happy.

Our bags got randomly searched at the airport. The guy seemed to find my wool strangely amusing and was utterly bemused by the copious amounts of Fisherman’s Friends that hubby has (he uses them as an anti-smoking aid).

Haven’t seen much of the hotel yet but our room is lovely (and huge!)

And it has optics!!

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This could be dangerous!

And this is the view from the balcony.

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We’ve already seen a capybara in the grounds. No photo unfortunately but I have a week to remedy that. We can hear parrots outside and there are, allegedly, coatis roaming around.

Not sure if we’ll do much exploring tonight. It’s not 6pm yet here, but our bodies think it’s 11pm and we were up at 5.30am so I think bed may win over exploring.

My day in photos

I’ve had quite a productive day today, unlike this gorgeous twosome who have spent most of the day snoozing!

I know I’m biased, but I’m convinced we have the two cutest puddy tats in the world. They’re so beautiful, they make my heart flutter a little bit.

I decided to use my extra hour today to make a start on this lovely craft project that one of my favourite people bought me for my birthday.

It’s make your own sequin Christmas baubles. This was all in a kit, but I’m quite sure you could get the equipment separately from somewhere like Hobbycraft.

You need a polystyrene ball, a bauble hanging cap (this is the metal ring that you get in the top of old fashioned style baubles – you could recycle from an old/broken one), sequins, pins and ribbon. That’s it!

After you’ve pushed your hanging cap into the ball you get going with the sequins. You literally just work round in circles, slightly overlapping the sequins as you go. It was actually really therapeutic and I really enjoyed the slow circular rhythm. I found after a while that it helped to balance the ball on a little candle that I have, and, happy bonus, every time I moved it round I got the gentle scent of fresh linen from my candle.

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Heres the finished bauble. I LOVE it. So pretty and sparkly. Can’t wait for December to get the tree out and let it fulfil its festive destiny.

After my dressing room clearout yesterday we decided to go to the tip. I know it’s a bit sad, but I love going to the tip. Although I don’t like clear surfaces and have to have bits and bobs around, much to the chagrin of my lovely hubby who tends to be in charge of the family duster, I find it so cathartic getting rid of junk and clutter. We had three Gousto boxes which are too bulky to go in the regular recycling bin, and various other bits of cardboard as well as a load of rubbish that wasn’t good enough for the charity shop and a mahoosive bag of garden rubbish. All gone now!

I needed to pick up our click and collect shopping, and while I was there I spotted M&S and, inspired by the lovely Butterflies and Boundaries blog post that I read this morning I decided to nip in to get some lunch. Can’t beat M&S ready meals, and this is one of their best.

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Spaghetti Carbonara. Yum!

Whilst I was out I decided to go and get a birthday present for my special friend whose birthday was actually last week, but I’m not seeing her until Tuesday. Obviously I can’t show you what I bought her in case she reads this before Tuesday, but as with any great shopping trip, I also came home with a couple of little treats for myself.

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I’ve been trying to work out all afternoon if this is irony. It’s a Crassula which is toxic to cats, in a cat pot. Is that ironic or just misleading? Isn’t it just typically British to create a concept, that no one is ever actually quite sure how to define. We all know that Alanis Morrisette got it all wrong with her ten thousands spoons when all you need is a knife and all that. The only way that would’ve been ironic is if it turned out at a later date that actually a spoon would’ve done! Is my Crassula/cat pot ironic? Really not sure! Anyway, it had to stay in the car to avoid cat ingestion and is coming to work with me tomorrow.

I also got some new socks. Somehow mine all seem to have holes in the heel. Socks are so expensive! £20 for these nine pairs. Nice though, eh?

Back at Chez Green Girl I decided to construct the second raised bed, despite the absence of my lovely hubby. Not as easy with one, but stubborn to a fault I am, and determined, so I succeeded. I did have to admit defeat when it comes to moving them to their final resting point – that is definitely going to take two (if not three) pairs of arms.

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Ta daaaaa! We will have our own fruit and veg next year!

I had a quick look round the garden, just to reassure myself that everything is ok. It pretty much is, although it’s very sad to see everything starting to shut down for the winter.

My Acer is still tiny, and it is supposed to go red in the Autumn, which is hasn’t really, but you can just about see that it’s trying.

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And my Euphorbia has got some beautiful white flowers. It’s so so pretty waving around in the breeze.

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By now I was getting peckish, so I came in and cooked the first of this week’s Gousto meals – Goat’s Cheese and Red Pepper Pizza with Rocket Salad.

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Delicious! I love goat’s cheese.

Right, time to ease my aching back after the weekend’s exertions in a nice hot bubble bath with the last episode of the Cry on my iPad. I’ve watched the first three today and I’m hooked – I’ve got to find out what the conclusion is!

Toodles!

A bitty day

Today started with a very VERY long snooze! Nine hours and fifty one minutes to be precise.

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You can see from my Fitbit why I needed to catch up. For some people, I know, this is perfectly enough sleep, but I think I must’ve been a cat or a sloth in a former life, and anything less than eight hours isn’t enough for me. Couple that with the dark mornings, and it doesn’t make for a very happy Green Girl Gardener! I think I must be the only person in the world who actually likes the clock change at the end of October. Of course I don’t like the fact that it’s dark before I leave work, however, first of all, we get an extra hour in bed, and most importantly, it’s lighter in the mornings for a couple of weeks and that makes me feel sooooo much better.

Along with lots of people, I suffer from the effects of SAD when the days get darker. I’ve had my SAD light on every morning for the last week, which just about keeps the edge off it. Before I bought the light, I spent most of the time from late October to the beginning of March like the proverbial bear with a sore head, and a tired one at that. I mostly just wanted someone to put me out of my misery! That might sound melodramatic, but that’s really what SAD makes you feel like. The SAD light I have is this one.

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I’d highly recommend it for anyone needing a boost in the winter.

After my epic sleep I started the day in typical autumnal fashion.

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Snuggly dressing gown and teddy bear blanket, crumpets (Warburtons, the king of crumpets!) with lashings of butter and the teeniest scrape of marmite (I’m convinced that marmite haters are just those who have put too much marmite on their preferred choice of carbohydrate) and some mindless Candy Crushing.

I had a hair appointment booked today. This is exciting for two reasons. Firstly, because I love getting my hair done. It always feels like such a luxury to be coiffured by a professional, and I hate drying my hair so I love getting my hair washed and dried by my hairdresser. Secondly, because when I booked this appointment for today, it was with our holiday in mind, so this means it’s finally nearly here!

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Holiday hair in process! Never an attractive look, but worth it for the end result.

Never one to miss up an opportunity to crochet, I made full use of the time while my hair was ‘cooking’.

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Ive cracked the waistcoat stitch now so I’m zooming on with my September Little Box of Crochet. I’m determined to finish it before our holiday (thirteen days and counting!) so that I can take the October box with me.

We left one member of the family at the hairdresser’s.

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This is Bella. I can’t remember if I’ve talked to you about Bella before. I won her a few months ago in a ‘guess the name’ competition run by the Animal House, a wonderful charity based in South Birmingham who do amazing work for animals. Do check out their web page. When I won Bella, I didn’t realise quite how big she was! It’s hard to see the scale in the photo, but that sofa is designed for three people! My hairdresser is Blowers which is owned and run by my brother in law, and when I mentioned Bella to him and how we really couldn’t keep her because of her size, but that I wanted her to go to a good home, he said he knew someone who worked for a charity and suggested that we donate her. So that’s what we’ve done. I feel quite sad that she’s gone, and the dining room looks bare, but I’m pleased that she’ll make even more money for good causes.

Last weekend we bought eight sleepers with which to make our raised beds so that we can grow our own fruit and veg next year.

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The sleepers are 1.2 metres long, so they’re only going to be small raised beds, but I figure for my first foray into fruit and veg growing, they’ll be fine. There’s plenty of space in our garden if we decide we need more beds.

Unfortunately the weather didn’t behave and, as well as being freezing cold, it decided to rain on us, so we only managed to get one put together before we admitted defeat and retreated inside to the radiator!

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I’m a little bit in love with it! I’m so excited for the spring when I can plant it. First things first though. I need to clear and level the area that it will live in, and decide if I want slabs around it. Some fun garden designing to get on with. Hopefully I’ll be able to get out and put the second one together tomorrow.

On the subject of the garden: a couple of our fence panels had been on their last legs for some time, and Storm Callum proved to be the final straw and they gave in, so we had them replaced yesterday. Oh my goodness it looks good now!

After our garden exploits were foiled, I decided to have a clear out of my dressing room. I realise that sounds really posh! I’m not the Queen honestly, I just commandeered our little third bedroom when we moved in and stuck my wardrobe in it!

Does anyone else have a bit of an obsession with boxes?

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I found this one in my wardrobe that was given to me as a gift with a mug in it. The mug is in regular use, but I hadn’t found a use for the lovely box. I put it in the pile of rubbish to go to the tip and took it out twice because I couldn’t bear to let it go. I couldn’t find a use for it in my dressing room, so I’ve put it to work in the kitchen.

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It’s definitely been a bitty kind of a day today! I feel like this post has jumped around all over the place – sorry if you get a headache from the bouncing!