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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day xxx - Wednesday 22nd April 2009

I like big toys and I cannot lie...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 110 - Wednesday 15th April 2009

We're off to see Paul Weller in a few hours... I'm quite excited...

It's a surprise for Sunny, a couple of months ago I asked her to keep the date free (and to make sure she wasn't out of town.)

Then a few weeks ago we were sitting in the pub enjoying a couple of pints and looking at one of Seattle's entertainment papers and she saw the advert (she had mentioned that she wanted to go when it was first announced, but then forgot.)

When she saw the advert her face lit up and she announced excitedly that she knew where we were going on April 15th, and pointed at the advert. So, as I didn't want to spoil the surprise I looked down at the page and noticed that the musical 'Cats' was also opening on April 15th. I put on my best "oh dear I've made a mistake" face and said that I had bought Cats tickets (as we both love our pet cats). Sunny assumed I was joking about the Cats tickets, which spurred me on to look sad and offer to sell the tickets on ebay and see whether there were any Paul Weller tickets left.

Being the great wife that she is, she bolstered up and said that Cats would be fun, all the time looking a little disappointed that we wouldn't be going to see Paul Weller.

So since that day I've not been able to drop the charade, to reveal the secret. I bought the special Paul Weller package (which is basically a couple of CDs and some badges) which I intended to give to her in preparation for the show, but not wanting to reveal that we are not going to Cats I've not yet given them to her.

I did mention that we maybe should wear black noses and whiskers to the fictitious Cats show. (Sunny joined in that we should wear cat ears headbands too, sounded quite excited...) So tonight we might have to wear the Cat ears (but I will stop the idea of black nose and whiskers..)

I am now slightly worried that the idea of the Cats show has grown on her, and that she will be disappointed when we walk to the other theatre...

I have been back and forwarding about whether I should reveal where we are actually going, so I figured if I write this up here now then Sunny may or may not see it before we go out, and therefore I have left it in the hands of fate as to whether she finds out before we actually leave the Elephant and Castle pub downtown and start walking the 'wrong' way.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Day 102 - Tuesday 7th April 2009

Cycled to work this morning, without having to wear a fleece for the first stretch to Fremont (usually as you hit Fremont you hit the first of the small hills which warms you up enough).

And on the way home there was no Jacket Required, Just a nice Marmite cycling jersey... The sky had turned over by the time Sunny got home, which was sad, but gave us a perfect excuse to stay in, order a pizza and watch the Tale of Desperaux, which was really rather good... (Pretty looking any upliftingly fairytale-like..)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Day 101 - Monday 6th April 2009

The weather is still fantastic, sad to spend a large amount of it in the office.

And sadder still to spend an hour of the evening sun after work at the bank, talking to a mortgage advisor to work out whether it was worth re-financing our mortgage to take advantage of the lower interest rates.

As we already have a reasonable deal on our mortgage it wouldn’t really gain us much partly due to re-financing/closing fees and partly due to the $300 per month PMI (private mortgage insurance) which due to the new rules we would have to pay. We didn’t have to pay when we bought the house due to slightly different rules and putting down a large enough deposit. So overall I think we have made the correct decision not to refinance.

We have made the positive step of setting up an auto-pay to increase the amount we are paying against the principle of our Mortgage, which effectively drops 15 years off the life of the mortgage. We’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but never quite gotten around to it. If in the future we can’t sustain the amount we are putting against the principle we are not committed to it so can cancel/reduce it at a moments notice.

The thought of being mortgage free in 13 years instead of 28 years is very uplifting/exciting.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Day 100 - Sunday 5th April 2009

Today was a great day.

Woke up early (partly due to our bedside clock being one of those which adjusts itself automatically for Daylight Saving. Sadly it does it based on calendar, and as the daylight saving date shifted a couple of years ago it doesn’t take this into account. So even though we are already on Summer time, the clock sprang forward an hour.) We knew before we got out of bed that this had happened, but that first start of looking at the clock and assuming that we had slept later meant that we were up.

Having been sick we have fallen off with the running, so we quickly dressed and headed out to pound the pavement in the beautiful sunny almost summer feeling morning. The smells of the trees blooming, and the feeling of spring life starting was wonderful. I insisted on only doing our standard short run up to the overlook of golden gardens. The sound/ocean was looking really pretty with the twinkling sunlight on the water, (this means we only ran four miles, but four miles is better than a skipped run.)

We got home and had a nice chat with my folks over skype then went for a summery walk down to Ballard, it was nice to see the farmers market packed with people who, just like us, were clearly enjoying the warmth and the sun.

Lunch comprised of a Carrot Cupcake for me, (as Mum asked that I have one for her) and a Chocolate cupcake for Sunny (which was for Dad, as there were no Pretzels available). The Cupcakes were from Cupcake Royale, as Mike & Alison’s heavenly bakery didn’t have a stall on the market (which was as we had expected).

We headed home, and spent the afternoon enjoying the Sun in backyard, listening the BBC Radio 4’s Saturday and afternoon plays, streaming from the iPlayer… (I am so happy that most of Radio 4 is available to listen to online and onDemand.)

I had been hankering for a good old fashioned Sunday Dinner, so that’s what we had for our evening meal. Roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, Carrots, Peas, beans and half a veggie burger all drenched in onion Bisto (which my parents brought over last year).

Great day…

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Day 99 - Saturday 4th April 2009

Woke up bright and early this morning, with a huge desire to be practical and do stuff. Over the past two years the pantry has become a disorganized mess of cans, sauces, pasta & all general foodstuffs… Today was the day to empty it, clean it and restock it in an organized manner.

It now looks wonderful, is totally organized, isn’t rammed full (but has more stuff in it than before…)

As we were going through it we made shopping lists and went out shopping. The precise lists meant we had a super efficient shopping trip in the afternoon

Drove to IKEA to exchange a broken light plug from a few weeks ago, just walked in, got it done and walked out; all in less than 10 minutes.

We then went to the Big Wall Mall which is around the corner from IKEA (and is effectively a huge Asian supermarket). We often spend a long time wandering round trying and buying new stuff, but not today. Efficiently walked in stocked up on coconut milk, sushi vinegar, sushi nori and cans of weird tofu based fake meat (all off our shopping list) and were out of there in again roughly 10-15 minutes.

Headed back towards Ballard, knowing that we had the horror of Costco at a weekend to encounter before we got home. (Costco is kind of like a Cash and Carry bulk items type store when canned food comes in slabs of 10, everything in Costco is sized large. It is open to the public, and usually best avoided at busy times). With our shopping list in hand we grabbed a trolley and went directly to each item on the list grabbed it and moved on. We lucked out on a reasonably short line, and while this in and out wasn’t quite 10 minutes it was significantly shorter than any previous visit.

Then to Fred Myer for Baked Beans, it’s unbelievable to a Brit that the vast majority of baked beans in the States contain either bacon or some other meat product. So even though they did have a nice cheap 12 pack of beans at Costco they happily declared that they had the extra flavour that only bacon fat can deliver. L In the UK I would assume that Beans are vegetarian, where as over here, we have to make sure that we pick up the special ones which are marked ‘vegetarian’ as their flavour…

Our final stop on this shopping spree was the Liquor store to replenish our Vodka and Rum stock… (In Washington State the only place where you can buy spirits, or ‘Hard Liquor’ as they call it, is from state owned and operated Liquor stores. Supermarkets carry beer and wine…)

I got carded (which is pretty standard, as I was buying), but the clerk also wanted to see Sunny’s ID as we were obviously together, so she had to come over to the checkout to show it… We must have been looking so youthful.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Day 98 - Friday 3rd April 2009

Friday, Friday, Friday…. Sooooo looking forward to a weekend of taking things easy and doing a bit of house work (two sick people is a good excuse as to why the standard household tasks have been getting less attention than they need for the last week or two)

Xbox is fixed/replaced, the repair status has been updated and the warranty has been extended, hope they have sent me a new one with the Jasper chips inside it (doubtful, but at least it should have all the new heat sync stuff that mine didn’t have).

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Day 97 - Thursday 2nd April 2009

Sunny stayed home safe and sound in bed today. I trundled through my day… My xbox has finally got to the repair shop in Texas… Yay….

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Day 96 - Wednesday 1st April 2009

I heart Magenta Day for spirit week… The day Sunny had been looking forward to, here she is on the way to work.

Wednesday is also her big day of meetings so the poor sick thing is going to have to make it through the full day.

Seattle had snow again today (here’s a pic from my office window, can’t really see the snow, but it is there mixed with rain..)