Thursday, December 20, 2007

December 20th 2007

So I obviously survived the snow and the drive home ( my first ever in real snow) we had 8" over night and it was a fun morning trying to dig the car out so I could get back to work. They obviously clear the roads very quickly here so they were fine on the Friday.

Saturday morning was a bright clear day although the temperature had dropped to 20 degree Fahrenheit which is minus 7 in real money !! Had an early breakfast at one of the local diners it was just me and all the guys off night shift from snow plough duty so I caused a little bit of a stir. I heard one guy had a British accent and as he was paying his bill the same time as me I asked how long he had been over here. He said he came over in 1968!! so please don't expect me to lose my accent anytime soon. His observations on the people and the area were the same as mine. they really are a very open hearted generous bunch and like nothing more than to either feed you or try and do something for you . Later drove around looking for a mall to at least start my Christmas shopping and eventually settled for one in Newburgh. Stuck it out till at least four and then took a drive to a very pretty town called Cold Spring -- It is full of little antique shops, restaurants and gifts shops and is really nice to walk around. The only downside was the cold -- when there is no wind you really do not realise just how cold it is until you are out in it for about 15 mins and then you suddenly realise you; are to the bone cold!

I decided to pick up a take away pizza from a really nice Italian place they have there and headed home with no plans to do anything on the Sunday as the forecast was for more snow and freezing ice. Sundays forecast was accurate so spent the day reading and sorting the place out for my last week before coming back to the UK. Monday morning I had to be in the office for 6.15 as we had some big announcements to make. But first I had to chip away the 4" of ice on my car windows. Made it into work on time and what a day it was - wall to wall meetings - we had to tell all the staff that I was taking over as GM from the 1st January and at the same time announce that we had put in to buy another company that will grow our retail team from 350 to 900 employees. I know my future is safe but do not yet know what my role will be when the acquisition completes ( although I have a very good idea :-) )

The rest of the week has been as normal as you can expect - no major news, just looking forward to flying back on Friday and seeing everyone. I have to say it is really pretty when you drive around out here, although the picture below is a little extreme most of them are very tastefully decorated and the towns look really lovely. See you all soon XXX

Thursday, December 13, 2007

13th December 2007

It has been a few days since my last blog and such a lot has happened. Monday was really great, spent the day at Sarah's flat on granny duty as you can see it was all go, go, go!

We took a walk to the surgery to get Alana registered, I carried Alana in the baby pouch which I am sure I enjoyed far more than she did. We seemed to cause issues at the surgery because Alana did not wait to be born at the hospital it seemed to confuse everyone and they were not sure how to get a NHS number. Problem was eventually resolved and home we went for some more quality cuddling time.

Tuesday we collected Toni and drove up to London ready to see Crowded House in concert. Got there early and went into Kensington for a very nice Thai meal. Great seats at the concert and Crowded House were really excellent. The only black spot on the entire evening was that they decided to close the M4 so our journey home took nearly 2 hours and we got to bed at 12.45. Only just in time for us to get up again at 5 so that Rob could run me to the airport.

Caught the 9am flight back to Newark and then picked up my super cool new car! It is an Acura MDX technical, basically a 4 X 4 with lots of really great gadgets, drove back to the office and then off home for a well deserved sleep.

Thursday - well I guess I get to see how my new car copes with the Snow, it started snowing at 9.30 and we are forecast to get 12" today. This is my new car in the car park at work and it is only 11am. More news to follow soon

Saturday, December 8, 2007

8th December 2007

So the long a awaited event is finally here !!! after a long trip back to New York from Seattle , snowing, minus 2 degrees and windy I got back to the apartment at 8pm. Awoke on Thursday morning to a text from Sarah," I think I might be having contractions mum !!!" ran round the kitchen like a headless chicken, burst into tears racked with guilt that I was not there holding her hand then had a cup of tea calmed down and rang for a more detailed update.

No panic just very mild contractions and pretty far apart. Drove to work, arranged a flight back to the UK and rang for regular updates. At 5pm UK time spoke to Cindy (Peters Mother), Sarah was still having contractions but quite light and irregular, left the office to go home and pack and at 5.30 UK time got a text to ring Sarah urgently. Cindy answered absolutely over the moon, we have a granddaughter, born on the hall floor, paramedics only just got there in time. Mother and daughter doing very well, 7lb 4oz and called Alana.

Drove to the airport floating on air, put a deposit on a new car on the way, Acura MDX Tech, and found my new social security number had arrived -- what a day !!!

Landed at Heathrow at 6.30am, Rob drove me straight over to see Sarah and Alana, got to cuddle the baby for about 6 hours, Sarah is doing a marvellous job and makes a great mother.

Went shopping with Toni on Saturday, a really rainy windy day in Windsor. Managed to find a nice outfit for the wedding. Rob and I went to see the Golden Compass this evening, it was really good. Things are all progressing nicely for the wedding - thanks to Ruth and the rest of Rob's family.

Monday, December 3, 2007

3rd December 2007

I am officially Sleepless and in Seattle! what a week I have had. Rob travelled back to the UK on Tuesday and on Thursday I drove to Newark so that I could get home for the weekend. Managed to miss the junction on the way and had fun trying to find the airport so I was running a little late by the time I got there. Thought everything turned out OK until I realised later that I had left my apartment keys in the returned hire car!

Arrived in the UK early Friday morning and had a few hours sleep before going into town to transfer the money over for the new house. We then went to the registrar office and booked a slot for the wedding - Yes it's official we are getting married on 29Th December, more information on the party that evening to follow. Rob and I then went looking for a wedding ring and after finding the one we wanted, off to meet Toni for a coffee and a chat.

On Saturday off to take Sarah and Peter out to lunch, Sarah's bump is huge now I am sure she should have some scaffolding to help support the weight. We then drove down to Southampton and spent a few hours with Sue, Malcolm and Patrick they are all looking really well. Off to Rob's mums and a quick chat with them and also Tom and Jill who were down for the weekend and then the main event! Ruth's 40Th birthday party( sorry Ruth but not many people read this anyway !!)

Great time there with all the family and then a drive back to pick up Sarah and back to the house. Spent Sunday packing and then Toni came and picked me up so that I could fly to Seattle. Trip was very uneventful until I landed as Seattle. There was a customs guy waiting at the plane door for me eek! seems that someone had entered my passport number into the system wrongly and so it set off alerts when I checked in. It took about 30 Min's to sort it out and then everything was OK although he did warn me that I may get issues for my next few trips.

Seattle has gale force winds and torrential rain - and there is heavy snow forecast for NY state on Tuesday - so I will change my flight to the Wednesday if possible.

Anyway I think that is enough surprise, celebrations and scares for one week XX