Sunday, July 30, 2006


(posted by Elizma)

(Read: HART-ford-cher - the cher as in Sonny and Cher. The English have a funny way of not spelling things the way you would say it...)

In any case, the main reason for this blog is not to give you a lesson about the English, but to say that we spent a lovely day yesterday with very good friends of ours (Johan and Celia) in their valley - about an hour away from us.

We had a lovely day of just hanging out - some of it in a rowing boat on a quaint little lake.

It was just a nice relaxing day out with really good friends.

Friday, July 28, 2006

O, one more thing...

(posted by Elizma)

South Africa isn't the only country that can't cope with the demands for power - electric that is. Power Cuts Causes Chaos

Is the new Superman meant to be Jesus?

(posted by Elizma)

All through watching the movie with Leon last week I picked up certain nuances and parallels with Jesus, but thought I'm just seeing things. And today I found this article - Superman. I'd appreciate your thoughts if you've seen the movie. Or even if you haven't...

Last Schengen...

(posted by Elizma)

I went to London today to (hopefully) apply for my last Schengen - ever. I'm again going to Finland (Nokia) the week after next. I'm not really looking forward to it as I will be away the whole week. Not so much fun at all.

In my quest to get more exercise, I decided to take the tube and walk the last 20 minutes to the Embassy and not take a black cab as usual. BIG MISTAKE! The humidity nearly killed me. I can stand very hot weather, but the humidity we are experiencing at the moment is the worst we've had in the 5 and a half years we've been here. It's also the longest summer, driest summer and yesterday we had a rain storm like the ones you get in South Africa. An hour of pouring rain with thunder and lightning and afterwards the sun came out. Also very welcome first for us...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer in Windsor

(posted by Elizma)

One of my best friends from university visited me yesterday and we spent a glorious Summers day in Windsor. It was GREAT to see her and I spent most of the day trying to convince her to move to the UK for a couple of years. I really hope my hard work pays off!

We also went on a very relaxing boat trip on the Thames which offered beautiful views of Windsor Castle - the Queen's little 'weekend retreat'.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Next Steps and Holidays...

(posted by Elizma)

We submitted our applications for naturalisation yesterday. Hopefully it's only a formality and we should know in a few weeks or so.

There was one section in the form where you had to list all the trips you took out of the UK in the last five years. It was a really good exercise as it again made me realise how blessed we are. What struck me was how many times we've actually been on holiday. Twenty trips in total in the last 5 years! That's an average of 4 trips a year including Mexico, Egypt, Norway, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Tunisie, Italy (several times).

I was getting a bit frustrated as we've only been away once this year, but this put it in perspective. I'm just constantly aware of the fact that if we don't make use of our opportunities here in terms of travelling, we might as well go back to South Africa - otherwise, what's the point? I know for Leon there are more to living in the UK than travelling, but for me, it's the highlight.

So I'm hinting for a trip as my birthday present. I hope it works...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sell the house:

(posted by Elizma)

We have accepted an offer on our house this morning. It went so quickly. It's only been on the market a week and we are really pleased with the offer. We pushed the boundaries a bit with our asking price and it was worth it. I am a bit sad as I really loved living there, but as I've probably mentioned before - there always comes a time to move on. And we'll probably do it a few more times in our lives. Now we just hope the rest of the process goes as smoothly.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Spoilt Rotten!

(posted by Elizma)

Leon and I spent this weekend at the best spa in the whole of the UK - Penny Hill Park.

The weekend was Leon's birthday gift, but I could not let him go alone, so I went along - completely unselfishly of course ;-)

It was a weekend of pure indulgence - two days spent relaxing around an array of indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pools at the 5-star hotel and spa. We each had two treatments and it was with great reluctance that we left this afternoon.

I really felt totally spoilt every second of the day and hope that we never lose that feeling of wonder and awe if we are lucky enough to visit more places like this in future.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The ball is rolling

(posted by Elizma)

Our house details went on RightMove today and we already have a viewing on Friday. I must admit, I can't help feeling a bit sad as we really loved living there. But I'm sure we'll always feel that way and that that's the way life goes. There always comes a time to move on....

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Estate Agents

(posted by Elizma)

After getting valuations from various estate agents, we've selected one to market our property for us. He came around yesterday and it will in the market from tomorrow. Our hopes are more for a smooth sale than a quick one, but we'll keep you posted. The challenge will be to keep the house neat and tidy to be able to fit in last-minute viewings. It's really difficult to keep the garden looking good as we are still under water restrictions and the temperatures reaches up to 33C some days.

US Grand Prix

(posted by Elizma)

Leon is in his element - watching the US Grand Prix on television and constantly seeing the live timing on his new laptop. Money well spent he would say... The TV is on loan from friends as our previous one broke and we are waiting for delivery of the new one.

Itsy Bitsy Spider

(posted by Elizma)

If you want to see a day's labour wasted, this is it. We came home on Friday and Mr Spider was waiting for us, having spun his web during the day whilst we were away (labouring ourselves). I was really surprised at the detail of the web and that it only took him so much time to do. Of course Leon had to remove it immediately after the pictures were taken. I'm no fan of spiders...

Wisley Gardens

(posted by Elizma)

My mom's cousin and his wife visited us this week and yesterday we went to Wisley Gardens. It was really beautiful. I've now become a member and I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time there over the seasons. As always it was really nice to have family around...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ok, so a geek-ish blog from me...

(posted by Leon)

(Apologies to the non-techies out there reading this blog! You may safely skip this entry.)

It's been a very long time since my last geek blog entry, so I thought to post this.

I have several partitions on my harddrive (on my main home PC). I run Windows on one, and Fedora on another, with the 3rd just a FAT32 data partition (to share data between Windows and Fedora). A few other little ones are also hanging around, like the swap partition for Fedora, Dell's recovery partition, etc.

Today I needed more space (who doesn't!?). So, seeing as I have a completely seperate PC running Fedora too, I decided to lay the axe to my Fedora copy on this PC. I booted off an Ubuntu 6 CD (which rocks, btw), and used the bundled GParted partitioning tool. I blew away the Fedora and swap partitions, and resized the FAT32 partition.

I rebooted. Oh dear.

I forgot that my Grub boot manager (the 2nd stage of it), lived inside my Fedora partition. So, my PC was dead. Error 22.

A quick reboot into Ubuntu again (why I didn't just use my wireless laptop evades me!), and a search on the Net later, I rebooted onto the WinXP CD, chose recovery mode, logged into C:\WINDOWS (by guessing the Administrator password is blank!), typed "fixmbr", IGNORED the serious warnings about dataloss (!!), and hit Yes.

Not breathing, I rebooted. Whew!! All good again. Thank heavens. (I omitted to say that I'm in the middle of a weekend oncall for work, so it was kinda urgent to get it fixed!).

All this space.....!? Now, if only someone would invent peer-to-peer downloads..... :-)