crystal's capers

one girl's international adventures

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The What Now

Just a few free minutes.

Yes, I arrived safely from Canada, just two weeks late due to the volcanic eruption. Since then I've been battling pretty consistently with our travel insurance company to get compensation - minimal as it is. For the two week delay, we're expecting about 400 quid, total. Nice. I still don't quite understand how KLM can avoid paying any compensation whatsoever. According to EU travel law, they HAVE to, but you know what it's like with big companies. Anyway, I can conclusively say that I will pay extra to fly with any other airline from now on, since KLM's customer service during and after the disaster has been appauling. It's too bad though, because their actual flights are generally comfortable. What's more, I'm also currently battling my lovely employers who don't want to pay me for the time I missed, despite having incurred no additional expenses themselves and the fact that I'm in a salaried position! Buggers.

So with all that, plus a 530 pound annual water bill, 260 pounds for Riccardo's visa medical check, 300 pounds for the completion of our bathroom, 450 pounds for Riccardo's car insurance renewal, a trip to Germany and a trip to Scotland - it's been an expensive month!

Whinging aside, things are back in gear. Actually, out of gear again, since I'm on my last half-term break. Spoiled, I know. The past 4 weeks of work were manic with catching up from my absense, sending off exam entries, running last-minute revision classes for exams, tutoring 2 pupils outside school time for extra cash, etc. Now though, all my year 11s have finished, and my year 12s have about 6 weeks of study leave, so I'm down to roughly half a timetable. Phew!

As I write our carpeter/handy-man is out back putting the finishing touches on our downstairs loo. Of course, Riccardo and I will still have some DIY work to complete before it's totally done, but it's really coming together. Same with our garden! Most of the flowers I planted are taking root, our rose bush is growing like crazy, and I'm super proud of the clematis I pruned back to a twig this spring - it's grown huge and healthy!

Riccardo and I just returned from a whirlwind visit to Germany and the in-laws. It was excellent timing, as my sister-in-law and her BF were also there from Italy. As usual, I was spoiled bloody rotten; loved every minute of it. I think it took us the 2.5 years since our last roadtrip to Germany, however, to forget how crap the drive is. We'll have to remember to fly from now on. On the plus side, we stopped over in Bruges, Belgium on the way there - what a fantastic city! I so recommend a visit if you're ever passing through! I can also recommend a great hotel there.

AND tomorrow, Riccardo and I are back on the road (well, the track really, since we're taking the train) to Edinburgh. It was my birthday present to him, which he will celebrate on Friday. We're both really excited - all the more so since we got one night accommodation FREE through Riccardo's Holiday Inn points card. Woo-woo!

After we return from Scotland, it's back to the grind... for 7 weeks at least. One more half term before summer. Plans for summer are still tentative. I'm still trying to get back to Canada for a couple big events, but that is dependent on our claims being settled with our travel insurance, because otherwise I can't afford it. Even if it comes together, I will be travelling on my own. Riccardo and I are thinking of a short trip to Granada in Spain though, so we can have some summer together.

In other news, it seems my parents are wrapping up Phase 1 of the renovations on their new Savona place. I can't wait to see the finished result. As far as I know, they are also planning an extended holiday, to the Mayan Riviera next winter. So jealous!

My niece, Kyra, has started walking. She's going to be trouble on legs before long! Awesome!

Kelsey has officially joined the working world. She's finished her year-long practicum, gained full time, permanent employment at Vancouver General Hospital and settled in to an apartment with a new roommate. We're all very proud of the young working woman!

That's all folks! xx


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