today is my birthday. i am 18. yey emma
so i figured i’d make a last post…
so let’s see.. where did I leave off?
last thursday i flew back down to england, friday i lazed around and worked on my model plane some. saturday was horseback riding with everybody, and that was good fun. it’s funny to watch my dad ride.. he’s only done it once before. the twins and kenneth were doing really well, it’s the first time we’ve all gone together as the twins just turned 6 this year (the age you have to be to go on a trek with this riding school we always go to). they are doing a trot really well. liz and i stayed behind a few times with one of the instructors and then did a good canter to catch up with the rest. i enjoy cantering more than trotting because it’s so smooth and just rocks back and forth, unlike the bouncy bouncy trot.
so sunday.. i dont remember what we did. but monday i… dont remember that either. tuesday was another riding lesson, which was good fun. wednesday (aka today) is the twins sports day, and it’s rainy, as usual, but it should be some fun watching them run around and hopefully win some things.
tomorrow i go into town (probably the metrocentre) with my grandmother, which should be fun. you know how grandparents are… so i might come back with some goodies of some kind or another. probably it’ll be her birthday present for me.
Yey! i’m going to be 18 in 14 days!! i’ll be able to legally drink over here.. and do anything, really, but i wont be, of course. my dad wants me to buy him a drink, though.
friday we leave to go to loch ness, i think we’ll actually be arriving on the saturday, and getting our boat then. we’re in a boat for 8, so we’ll have two extra beds. we’ll probably pile food on them, cuz there’ll be few places to stop and stock up. i found out that loch ness is deeper than the north sea…. that’s a bit scary.. i’ve discovered i definitely have a fear of deep, open water. (to add to my weird kneecap fear)
after that it’s around scotland for a week, hotel hopping, and aberdeen for 2-3 days, then to the cottage for 2-3 days and down to gatwick, and back to the USA. i just cant keep still, me. : P. the place i’ll have stayed the most is here at the cottage for one week : ).
i dont think i’ll be taking my laptop.. as i just have this bad feeling about it and water. plus, i wont have internet access so there’s not much point, really. i’ll take my palm pilot for any thought i want to jot down.
anyway.. i think that’s about it. this is the last post you’ll get for a while, maybe till i get back. feel free to send me any texts (*** *** **** (number removed Dec 2006)) you want.. i’ll get them whenever i have signal (no idea what signal will be like on loch ness. bloody monster.). feel free to send me emails, too, i’ll get them when i get back to the cottage. i shall see you all in a mere 22 day-os.
ps: check out this site.. a little funny, methinks.. but beware his ‘games’.. a little disturbing… The Robot Song
also.. got spare gmail invites? i just heard about this site, so i donno if it’s any good, but check it out, cuz some of the offers are very humorous. Gmail Swap.
i filled out one of those survey things… *sigh*.. go read it if you want.
another one of those annoying quizzes
So. Wow. So much to tell about.. Iâ€™m always so busy over here, thatâ€™s the way life is with my dad, as you know. Always doing a million things. Since I left you at the airport Iâ€™ve hardly had a second to stay in once place.
So, are you sitting comfortably? Then Iâ€™ll begin:
I was met off the plane by Kenneth, Alice, Heather, and my Dadâ€¦ I just realised at this second really sadly that up until the moment they saw me by my lonesome, they probably all held secret hopes that somehow, magically, Libby had changed her mind at the last minute and decided to come after all. That makes me sad, and angry at Libby. Anyway, theyâ€™d spent the night at the hotel in the airport, so we went back up to the room while they finished packing up, and then had some breakfast, and headed out. We jumped on the little train to the north terminal, where we caught the Gatwick express to Victoria station, then a train to Waterloo, and there jumped on the Eurostar to Calais. Well, I fell asleep on the Eurostar, so I missed that whole experience, only to be woken up as we clambered to get off when we arrived in Calais. Getting off the train was like some bad western: We stood there as the train pulled off in a cloud of dust and realised we were the only people who had left the train, and that nobody had boarded. The platform was completely deserted! We had been seemingly dumped in the middle of nowhere. Oh. And it was windy. I mean like gale force winds. It kept like that the whole time we were thereâ€¦ just slightly annoying.
Two amused looking customs men checked our passports, and then we stood in the empty lobby and looked bemused for a while. We discovered there was no Avis dealer in the station, as promised. So we had to wait for ages while my dad chased down the Avis people and got them to bring us a car. Luckily, we got one, and got lost on our way into the town of Calais. We stayed at a Holiday Inn overlooking the harbour, which was actually pretty cool, because Calais is the shortest point across the channel, so lots and lots of ferries go across. We could watch them come and go all day. I took a nap in the room while everyone else went off on a little tour of the town. Weâ€™d booked three rooms, but without Libby we gave one up. The twins, my dad, and Liz, stayed in one room, and Kenneth and I in another. After they got back they woke me up and we went out to tea. Then sleep.
The next morning we drove out to an old secret German base, where theyâ€™d been developing V3 missiles in this huge underground system of passages â€“ pretty much an underground city. Much of it is buried now, because just before the Germans could launch any V3â€™s (this is all during WWII of course) the Brits hit it with three Tallboy bombs, and then when they liberated it, they bombed it pretty good to make sure it wouldnâ€™t be used. Theyâ€™ve excavated a bit of it though, so we could walk around. Itâ€™s pretty HUGE! When I say passages, I donâ€™t mean little stoop-down, mind-your-head minesâ€¦ I mean two story stone-lined tunnels. Those Germans, eh? You can look up some info on the V-series of missiles, if you likeâ€¦ theyâ€™re pretty interesting. (V1, V2â€™s were successfully made & launched). The guy who designed them all, btw, was captured by the Americans, and designed the first space rockets. We wandered around and looked at all the junk in the mines, and heard about when the Tallboys struck, and how itâ€™d buried thousands of slave-labour workers in the lower passagesâ€¦ Their bodies are still down there, so that creeped me out, thinking theyâ€™d be pissed at me walking all over their heads and stuff.
So we then went off to an air show weâ€™d seen a poster of in the tea-room at the V3 base. It was, going with our growing theme, a display of WWII-era planes and cars. It was pretty cool, except it started pouring. We managed to ooh over some planes, though, and look at some old army jeeps and stuff, and then headed off, past some old German pillboxes in the fields, now used for cow-houses.
We then arrived at this old, WWII (of course) German military base, right on the coast, with a huge gun in it. It had been converted into an old museum, with lots of old weapons and Nazi memorabilia, which I took pictures of. They also had some cool helmets, like SS helmets and very typical swastika helmets. It was cool. I wish Iâ€™d been able to see the gun, though, they got rid of that, thoughâ€¦ probably when it was liberated, to stop it from being shot at Britain, since it was very easily within range of London (and fired/hit it many times during the war).
After that, another museum, this one just in a normal building. Lots and lots of cool uniforms from all sides during the war, and a really interesting video. I bought a model plane to build, which Iâ€™ve always wanted to do. Itâ€™s an American plane. I really wanted a Spitfire or a Messerschmitt, but they were all out, blah.
We headed back to the hotel after this, and headed out to have tea. Then we all fell asleep, I think. Oh… I played some Half-Life with Kenneth.
Our last day, we packed up, checked out, and headed to Dunkirk and its beaches. Iâ€™m not sure if you know, but Dunkirk is the famous place where, while the British were trying to protect France, they got cornered as the Nazis invaded. A flotilla of boats of every size (from row boats to fishing boats to ferries to proper military boats) was sent across the channel to rescue the trapped soldiers. They got thousands off, but still some were caught and slaughtered. Lizâ€™s dad was one of the last ones off. So we stood on the beaches and played in the sand and thought about all that had happened there, and how much blood soaked into the sand and dyed the foam red.
Off from there to the train station, this time it wasnâ€™t deserted â€“ yey! The train was late, though. This is bad when youâ€™re making air-tight connections through London. We met some Canadians and helped them, because theyâ€™d missed their first Eurostar because of some car rally that made traffic horrible and had to get through the tube and stuff fast, so my dad helped them plan a route. They were nice, so I thought was cool, for my first encounter with Canadiansâ€¦
By the time we got to Waterloo (I didnâ€™t sleep through the tunnel this time, but itâ€™s not exciting, just like 20 minutes of darkness â€“ a long tunnel.) we were half an hour late, so we arrived at 3:25 and raced outside the station at top speed to catch the nearest taxi or bus. We saw a bus with â€˜Victoriaâ€™ on the front, so grabbed it and tried to speed (how fast can you speed on a bus? : P ) to the station. At 3:45 we arrived at the station, and by about 3:55 were on our seats on the Gatwick express. It left on time at 4:00. The journeyâ€™s supposed to be 30 mins long, but from the start they told us it would be 35. Of course, there were more delays so we didnâ€™t arrive till 4:40. From there, we had to jump on the mini-train to the south terminal and check in, get through security, and get to the gate by 5:05. Well, we did it, but boy, was it rushed. Fun, thoughâ€¦ nothing like some adrenaline pumping to get you going.
So we arrived back at Newcastle and drove back to the cottage, where I played some more Half-Life with Kenneth and we then all went off to bed.
Monday morning when I woke up the twins and Kenneth were gone to school, so I got dressed quickly and went into Hexham with Liz to get my passport verified by a bank person so I can open this bank account. Liz then had to do some stuff, and we got some shopping. Then, I came home and took a good long shower and washed my hair before watching Yentz the computer guy mess with my dadâ€™s computer and install broadband, which we now have down there. He should be coming back later to put in a wireless router, so I can get internet from my room directly above the computer room, but shh, donâ€™t tell my dad. Hopefully Iâ€™ll be online more, but I canâ€™t make any promises. Then I read some magazines through the day till Kenneth came home and we walked Rex (the dog). I have been taking pictures this whole time, of course, and I got some great ones of the countryside. Later, after KH&A; were in bed, I watched a documentary on WWII, to stay with our apparent holiday theme, and it was good.
Tuesday was today, so my dad and I were up early to drive to Newcastle and catch the plane up. It was delayed for ages, and then suddenly a guy came down and said â€˜er, sorry, but youâ€™ve all been waiting at the wrong gate.â€™ So that was fun. Arriving in Aberdeen was really niceâ€¦ I felt this sigh, because I really know this town. Itâ€™s my second Arlington, no matter how much time I spend at the cottage. I rode my lovely bike that I adore and wish I could take back to America with me to the local bike shop to get the tires pumped up, and then went by the library on the way home, and some books.
Then I rode to Duthie park to feed the ducks, only to find out they drained the duck pond for cleaningâ€¦ So no duck feeding for poor Emma. I took loads of pictures of the park and the trip there, though. Then I rode to the store and picked up some milk and bread, before arriving home rather tired and watching some TV.
My dad came back from the office and we went to the Ashvale and had good old fish and chips, yummy. We then drove about Aberdeen a bit to refresh my memory for my trip into town tomorrow and went down to the beach, where we walked for a while, before getting some ice creams and â€˜gamblingâ€™ some 2pâ€™s at the fun house by the beach. Then we came home and watched a tv programme called â€˜Inventions that Changed the Worldâ€™, which was all about computers, and had a large segment, on, of course, WWII. The guy who hosts it, though, is really funny, so itâ€™s a good show. Then I came up to bed and here I am.
Wowâ€¦ that was a lot. Took me like 45 minutes to write all that. My battery in my laptopâ€™ll be dead soon… better wrap it up, I guess. Tomorrow Iâ€™m going to go to the dentists, go into town for some shopping (I love shopping over hereâ€¦ itâ€™s nothing like doing it in the States), go to a Quentin Blake (illustrator of Rhol Dhal (sp?)â€™s stories) exhibit, and then go to my dadâ€™s office.
My computerâ€™s complaining now, so Iâ€™d best go. Feel free to send me an email or a text, texts are free you know! It just costs me 35c to text back, so you prolly wont get an answer, but I will be reading it, 6 hours in the future! : )