26 November 2008

Expensive France

I'm so used to having it drummed into my head that the UK is so uber expensive, only a dolt would live there that I actually thought our trip to France would be a pretty cheap affair.

Where do I get my info? This place is stupid expensive. As the Euro is currently hovering around £1 = €.90 (when you actually get money converted, not the crazy quoted official conversion rate that NO ONE ever gets), you start to see how expensive things are.... like beer at €6 a pint (x .9 = £5.40), or Fallout 3 at Game is €70 (x .9 = £63!!!). I paid £29.99 and I thought that was too much.

Petrol's even pricier here at around €1.16 per litre (x .9 = £1.04) when it's hover in the low 90p in the UK. There's other things are are expensive, but not in a direct comparison. Suffice it to say, blowing €50 a night on dinner for Sue and I is a one way ticket to the poor house. I'm having fun, but for my wallet's sake, I'm glad we're only here a week.

25 November 2008

In Toulouse

I've been blogging about it on my Emily blog, so I thought I'd mention it here that I've managed to break away for a bit of a break with Sue and Emily to the south of France. We're in Toulouse, as Sue is doing several days of lectures for school and I'm here as the manny, or Mr Mum as the case may be.

We arrived Sunday evening, and promptly went out for dinner, having checked into our hotel (pictured) and de-bagged.

Monday, the weather was rather unsightly, so Em and I waited until it cleared up in the apres midi and went for a wander, taking in a number of sights along the way.

Today, Sue has the afternoon off, so we're going to go for a mooch. The last couple of days, Sue's really only been able to leave the hotel to go for dinner, so the sightseeing has been quite minimal.

It's been nice to get away, but yesterday walking around town, I felt quite lost and dispondent. I'm not sure if it was because I was exhausted or if the thrill of seeing new cities has really left me. I couldn't even go shopping for comics or videogames because they're all in French, and I've pretty much given up buying CDs. It was just Em and I, walking aimlessly around town, stopping occasionally to take photos and to make sure Em was OK ("au quay").

Hope my "inner turmoil" bucks up by Christmas. I don't enjoy feeling down, and thought a nice holiday would do me the world of good. Maybe a nap would be a better idea?
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07 November 2008

Rudderless or just growing up?

A lot of the things in my life I took for granted or kept me grounded, seem to have evaporated in the last couple of years. It's almost like I've had to redefine who I am. I realise when you become a husband or a father you get redefined anyway, but I'm talking more from a physcological point of view.

One of the many reasons I moved back to the UK all those years ago was to do with music - music was always a massive part of my life - from cataloguing, playing, collecting, etc. The UK was the hub of all things from wonderful used record shops, a vibrant CD singles industry, a close knit collection of amazing venues and all the music I loved was UK based.

Move on 8 years later and I no longer drop £100 every Saturday down Berwick Street on CDs.

It may seem lame and materialistic, but I don't really feel I'm the same person I was, and I guess as you lose one tether or hobby you should replace it with another. I guess it would have been a good time to do something outdoors, like take up cycling, etc. Instead, I seem to have rediscovered my love of videogaming.

Oh well. That, coupled with being a father and a husband means I don't really have much time for hobbies at the moment anyway, so losing one is probably not a bad thing.

Now playing: Simple Minds - Speed Your Love to Me
via FoxyTunes