Pink Icing

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stormy clouds

Dear UK

Weather changed, storm last night. Felt lovely sitting on a porch of a Victorian house snug in a rocking chair listening to the downpour.

Settled in St Augustine in the end. Went to Cassablinkingdaga, quaint in its way. Of course the worse weekend, or the best depending on your view, to go there. Halloween. Big thing for all these clairvoyants. The town was actually quite cute and when all the Halloween dressing is taken down, probably looks even better. Its definitely a fun place, not to be taken seriously. The place was fully booked, a year in advance apparently. Well it probably seemed like that to the totally spaced out old hippies.....

St Augustine seems good. Lots of history. Didn't know that and, so it would seem do many Americans..... Just off on a trolley tour, old jail house, old wooden house, old something or another. And actually it is quite old. The British took it from the Spanish in the 1800's. Good old Francis Drake, burn the city to the ground so that they know you mean business.

Anyway I have Snoop Dog playing on the tv behind me and a couple of Dudes trying to sort out a pot of 'half and half' behind this cafe's counter. I just love being a tourist...........xxxxxx

Friday, October 27, 2006

North by Northwest

Bags all packed and I'm ready to go.....

I was chomping at the bit to get on but I had a free night at the Inn and at those prices I wasn't gonna let that go. So here I am in the Library, car parked in the car park with a boot full of stuff. How did I manage that? My suitcase won't close properly, even with the extendable section extended..... I have loads of bags that I was desperately trying to downsize last night before bed. Sort of worked....Might have to buy one of those bags to put in the overhead storage on the plane. Blast.

No idea where I'm going, except North. Might try St Augustine, sounds lovely, historical and all that. Or then there's Cassadaga, a tiny place with one hotel, no gas station or ATM and an entire population that practices, spiritual healing, tarot cards, fortune telling etc. That could be fun!

I haven't booked a room anywhere as usual, besides, if I'm going to Cassadaga I'm sure they'll know before I get there.........boom boom!

You'll all be pleased to know it's windy and overcast here today, with 70% chance of a storm. Now what I don't know is what sort of a storm that could be. If it's hurricane and thunder stuff then I want to head for cover naturally, if it's just a downpour then I'll carry on driving. Better speak to the kindly librarians.

Actually there is one lady here that seems to think I'm an idiot, her expression says a million words. Tomato, tomate - oh, what's the difference??!!!

I hope I don't do that to foreigners.

Oh gracious I've just twigged that the huffy puffy noise coming from the Germaine Greerlike lady in the corner is actually the automated doors opening and closing. I thought she had real trouble with her breathing! Cos of the acoustics it sounds like she had some sort of serious nasal difficulty; huge long noisy inhaling and exhaling. She's been in here every time I've been in here and I have really done her an injustice, drat. Not that she would know, well hopefully. I've apologised in my head to her.

Actually I've just smiled, I think she thinks I'm odd...

Right time to log off and flee Melbourne Beach xxxxx

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ground control to Major Tom

Dear UK

Picture the scene; the breeze gently blowing, the sky dark and full of twinkling stars, the ocean laping the darkened sand. Add to the oicture a raised decking with white ballustrades. Then add 2 chairs a table and wine. Then add 5 glamorous people.

Now deduct the wine and replce with mugs of coffee. Deduct the glamorous people and add 2 people in pj's and bathrobes (sorry CJ, yep me) ((in my defence so was Beth the Owner)), one female person droning on and on on a mobile/cell phone, and a couple from Philly.

Oh my God, what sort of an accent did he have?! I couldn't understand a word, it was like babbling baby talk. Remember the Western with John Wayne and Dean Martin? Rio Bravo or something like that. Well, the daft old sidekick that did the muttering? Mr Philly sounded a worse version of that, bizarre.......

Get back to the scene, the view, the setting, the people. Okay then picture a huge light in the sky, the light burning and going up and up, lighting up the ocean. It was so amazing I didn't realise it could be quite as beautiful. Then my mind went all wobbly. I'd never really paid much attention to space stuff before but I thought that rockets were supposed to go straight up. They are aren't they??! Anyway as I watch the burning rocket travel up and up, dropping 2 lots of booster stuff that twinkled like fireworks as they hit the ocean, it travels like an arch til it disappears. How weird is that my mind says. My head knows it should go straight up but my eyes see it go in a perfect arch. This has to be the most amazing way to experience just how fast the earth is spinning, it really does. Cos of the wind the sound wasn't as loud as I thought it would be, but it was still loud, speed of light and sound thing, and the earth definitely moved for me...........

Not beach weather yesterday either. Am I ever going to get a tan?! Maybe by December eh......
Lots of New Yorker's have migrated to this area, not far to travel I guess. It's quite funny to hear the accents, I love 'em actually. Spent some time at a beach cafe and chatted to the locals. Actually they chatted to me, these New Yorkers sure know how to talk, even I could hardly get a word in.....

Got chatting to Debi at the Inn yesterday, another New Yorker. Was originally from Miami, moved to New York, now here. Her house got totalled in the last hurricane and she's still overseeing work. Remember it's not just the devastion, it's getting all the materials and labour to do it. There's only so many roofers, electricians, plumbers etc. Oh and boy are the insurance companies making them pay now......

Anyway back to Debi, in 15 mins I knew all about her, her family, her life and all she wanted to know about me was that I was British, loved the British (don't we all), had been to Ireland and London, London was wonderful and she loved cities not rural. Gave me her cell phone number, I just had to call her when I was back in Miami, always best to know someone wherever you go. She gobbled 2 pieces of lemon curd cheesecake, a wonder bar and her skinny little ass whooshed off to a gym class, all the time having her cell phone plugged into an ear with an iPod hanging on the other. 'Bye' I managed as I heard the front door slam. 'What a lovely lady' Beth said as she breezed in with more tea. 'Mmm' I managed as I started on my first piece of cheesecake.......

Beth is a supreme hostess, she really is. She notices all the little details that make you feel welcome and special without being in your face. She worked in Hong Kong for a number of years and then gave it all up to be back here and seems to have found the perfect place. Her Mom, Celestine, told me as we walked to the pizza place together.

My benchmark for feeling special is Amberley Castle in Sussex. I can honestly say that the Winderemere Inn is not to be missed if you are in Florida. Seek it out and you will not be disappointed. Amberely gets an 8.5 and the Winderemere gets an 8.5.

Oh and at breakfast Debi entertained a friend, can't at her house as no kitchen. Mr & Mrs Philly were just leaving as I sat down, phew. Then Mr Philly came over and started talking, yee gads, it's scary not understanding when you know that he's talking English. I muttered a couple of 'uh hu's' then shoved my head in the Daily Florida News in a very British kind of way........

The only other time I can remember being really scared cos I couldn't understand was in Liberia, Africa. The common language spoken is English but I did have to concentrate. I sadly contracted Malaria there in 1979 and was really ill. Thought I was going to die actually. Anyway, I clearly did recover but it took longer than it should according to the houseboys. Whilst not medically trained naturally, I respected their knowledge of the disease, after all what did we lilly white Brits know about it in the UK and they saw it day in day out??? Well finally I was well enough to be checked out at a clinic so I was driven to a clinic and instructed to climb the stairs to the 2nd floor of a very rough dirty building. As I stood in front of a glass shielded receptionist I asked if I was in the right place. I could not understand what she was saying, and as she repeated it my fear rose. Around me was a room full of very ill looking Africans who were by now almost laughing. In what seemed like a horror movie scene I felt my knees buckle and tears spring to my eyes. At this point the woman behind the glass scribbled something on a piece of paper and shoved it on the glass, it read, 'what is your name and who do you want to see'.........................

In my defence I was just recovering from Malaria......

love to all xxx

ps: in the Library and all the children have just come out of the kiddies section in Halloween costumes, they look soooo cute. Blimey they're excited....!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

X rated, parental guidance req!

Dear UK

Had a mooching day yesterday, really lovely. Pottering around doing nothing in particular, all without guilt.

Stopped by a Toys R Us to see if i could get something for The Boy's first birthday. Only thing that i saw that was really good and different was a rocking horse that sang when you tweaked his ears. Trouble is it would not fit in the suitcase so I left it. And he really wanted to come back to the UK with me I could tell..........

Had afternoon tea at the Inn; peanut butter brownies and english breakfast tea. No sherry today. China plates and teacups & saucers with napkins, a floating candle and oh so much more. Must remember to take a photo today.

The weather was much cooler and a terrific wind was up on the beach. I sat on the beach with an umbrella up that Steve (Inn assistant) had impaled deep in the sand for me. I sat there looking very typically British, all stoic in the face of the raging wind and sandstorm........... Actually it was lots of fun, I was all wrapped up and found it very invigorating, the sea was crashing around, it was wonderful. Every so often I wondered what it would be like for you the other side......

Had an early supper, fortunately very uneventful and then craved an early night. Well actually I craved some peace to read 'Love In a Cold Climate' by Nancy Astor. I filled the enormous jacuzzi bath up, lit lots of candles and read my book. Simply heaven!

That is until I realised that I wasn't the only guest after all at the Inn that night.........

X Rated
Do not read if you are of a sensitive nature, my daughter, or indeed my parentals.

Of all the rooms in all the world he had to stay in the room next to me. He was loud and obnoxious, waffling on and on on his cell phone. Yikes am I getting Americanised, I do of course mean his mobile phone. I was still content swishing around in the huge bath with the sort of bubbles that envelope the female stars in a Hollywood bath movie scene. I'd finally got to the bit in the book that explains Polly's behaviour when I heard noises the other side of the wall. Oh good Lord no. Right concentrate, what had Polly divulged? Not the Lecherous Lecturer! Heavens. Ooooo, okay.....I seem to remember that sound. Fanny didn't realise? NO! The sounds from the adjoining bathroom could only be......... Lord Montdore would cut them off?.......maybe that would bring Polly to her senses...... the sound of male sexual gratification....on his own?......No.....yuk!

I giggled to myself realising that he clearly did not think he was overheard, or perhaps indeed care that he was. Men, ha!

I should be intrigued to come across the gentleman at breakfast.

Cept he'd high tailed it at 7.30am, skipping breakfast, and me the pleasure of a loaded smile.........

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

what are little boys made of....

Dear UK
Sorry to hear the weather isn't so good and you're all getting colds. You'll be pleased to note it's 20degrees cooler here today....................

Actually it's really pleasant and quite bearable. I even have a cardigan on!

Went to the Historic district and Melbourne town yesterday. Did loads and loads of window shopping. Found a Mall and lost 4 hours!! Bought The Boy some clothes for his first birthday and a cinnamen pretzel for me. I am clearly in tourist mode you know, aimlessly wandering at a snails pace. This was clearly a joy for the Israeli team of men who were trying to flog some sort of nail preparation stuff. As I was dithering I allowed myself to be accosted and from then on the Israeli lads thought they had me in the bank. They stripped, buffed and treated my left index fingernail, gushing about the properties of the products, they just love the UK (don't we all), that I'd save soooo much money with their products, he'd give it to me cheap. Sorry I'd drifted off completely and really had no idea what he was saying other than I now wanted my finger back. I had continually mumbled 'no thankyou' throughout the pitch but now I wanted to get inside Macy's (or is it Macey's?). The salesman clearly felt that my finger was the downpayment on $75.
'No thankyou , I don't need it'
'okay, look cos I like the UK, $60'
'Thank you but no I don't need it'
'alright, okay, you're a nice lady, $50, look this lady paid $129'
shows a receipt book
'you're soooo kind, but no thank you'
'look, don't tell everybody, I like you so I'll let you have this for $44.99'
(hmm, haven't I used these very words myself before??)
'Thank you no, my finger please?'
'Fine, okay, $29.99 for 2, you'll never get that deal anywhere else, they don't sell it in the UK'
I yank my finger away
'wait, $19.99 for one, that's what I get it for, no profit for me'
'right that's you're last chance, if you walk away the price goes up'
'oh well'
intense glares from the Israeli sales lads
intense glare and smile from me

Well that was a bit of fun for a while

Today I have decided to stay on at Melbourne Beach and use as a base to see some more of this East coast. There is a space shuttle launch tomorrow night at 8.30-8.45pm, Florida time. I'd really like to get into to see that. As I'm here. If I can't I just hope I can see it from the roadside in the sky.

Oh and that fish I ate was called a Talapea, actually I have no idea how it's spelt but that's what it sounds like.

Oh but by far the most upsetting thing I experienced was at the Mall yesterday. They have animals in small static cages in pet shops here. Little puppies of all breeds were kept caged up in tiny cages and the sight made me well up. I struggled so hard not to sob actually. It's cruel. These little puppies are kept in the cages until they are sold and have little or no human contact. No hugs, no play, nothing. Okay so the cages are clean and they have water and are presumably fed regularly but come on, I thought the US was a civilised country. I suddenly felt an overwhelming gratitude to be British. How is this still possible in the US? The practice of keeping puppies and kittens visible like this isn't good for them physically or mentally and condones the practice of pets as accessories. How can you promote a 'dog is for life' when it's displayed next to an effing handbag. It's unnecessary and barbaric. Stop this NOW.

It may seem like a little thing but it's the little things that shape our perceptions and the US is a paradox of them, and today, well today I want to come home.........

Monday, October 23, 2006


No not get married again.... Or even another tattoo......

Far worse...


I just don't care, it's too hot. I look ridiculous, I really do. There will be absolutely no photos of me in this state of dress however it feels decidedly comfortable. I'll give you a picture of the shorts, just not me in 'em.

I am really enjoying Melbourne beach so much that I have extended my stay at the Windermere Inn. Yes yes, over budget but I feel particularly safe and that's worth every cent.

Spent the day on the beach yesterday, under an umbrella, watching the world and the sea go by. Started writing furiously, just kept pouring out of me, and dipped into Nancy Mitford's Love In A Cold Climate. Cos of the enormous gourmet breakfasts I do not eat for the rest of the day, save a nibble at tea time. Still not making any difference to the waistline, still enormous and no sight of it dicipating.......

As I sat watching crabs of all shapes and sizes pop in and out of little sand holes and birds with long beaks furiously ravage the shoreline I felt blessed for the opportunity of peace, despite the cost.

Lots to tell really but too wiped out. Must be the heat, maybe a touch of sunstroke, no I didn't drink the sea water..... I did however get a tad sunburnt on a few patches yesterday. The indside of my left elbow is very red and a little sore.

I'm leaving Melbourne on Tuesday morning and will go....actually I have no idea where I'll go yet. Just know that I missed Octoberfest at Daytona this weekend. What a plonker am I?! All the Harley riders gather there. Saw the news last night, said 4 bike deaths happened, but not actually at the Fest itself. I know loads of people go without bikes but for me I feel it really would rub salt into the wound that is sorer than my sunburnt arm..................

Maybe I'll try a little window shopping in the historic bit later today. Gotta try and find something good for The Boy's first birthday. Almost one, can you believe it!!??!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tea and no crumpets

Don't understand what's happening to the sequence of the entries. Before this it should have been 'smiley smiley people'

Found another Library. Now in Melbourne. Ooooh I like it here. Staying in an upmarket B&B, The Windermere Inn, I deserve it I think. Over my daily budget but what the heck. Staying 2 nights cos it's all so divine here. Can't justify a 3rd night though...... My cottage room is sea front and I can hear the ocean. I'm Atlantic side and it has waves, just like an ocean should I think. Can anyone please tell me why the Gulf side doesn't have waves???

The owner of the &B is Beth and she's a Justice of the Peace, which means on her raised decking over private bit of beach she performs weddings. Last night there was a beautiful wedding and tonight at 5pm there's another small wedding. On Sunday at 8am 35 will be celebrating! I can lie on my bed and watch the whole event, how cool is that? Even better it's that dark glass which means I can see out and they can't see in, well until I put the light on.......

Think of the beach scenes in Somethings Gotta Give, same sort of thing, cept less wind, less steps and more sun........ Bee - utti - full

Ah I should probably tell you about last night. Sort of embarrased. On Beth's recommendation I went to an Italian Restaurant. Had an early reservation, found it easily and decided upon the daily fish special. Drat, can't remember what it's called now, hadn't had it before, will tell you later, wrote it down. Anyway I relaxed into my booth, drank a glass of Chianti with the salad, pasta and fish dish and drank loads of water to keep hydrated. Thing is keeping myself hydrated has a side effect of needing to pee frequently. On my second trip to the bathroom I somehow managed to lift the faucet cover off, it fell on the floor and I couldn't stem the water that was now filling the basin. This was not relaxing and it mewant that I had to go out and ask for help. I tried to speak quietly but urgently to a waitress but was overheard by the Chef(who also turns out to be the owner). Suddenly 4 people come rushing into the bathroom, I go red in the face and want to hide in the cubicle. I would have if I wasn't now paranoid that I'd break the lock..... The Chef is shouting all sorts of things, mostly in Italian and I find myself fighting back tears. I feel trapped in a bathroom and all I want is to flee, preferably to Leatherhead.........

After what seems an eternity the water is stemmed and they all start to fuss over me. Turns out Chef is shouting at them for me having to experience this, why didn't they check it etc. Suddenly I am mightily relieved and go to sit down and finish my suupper.

Oh no oh no, I am whisked away and sat in the booth nearest the kitchen and Chef and others all sit with me, feed me more food, more wine, coffee and liquers (can't spell that either but you get the picture). I am powerless to resist all this hospitality. I try saying I can't drink but all that happens is they call Beth and let her know I'm safe (was I ever not??!) and that they'd be bringing me home. Well they did and I had a great time, totally unexpected but very appreciated.

I slept like a log on my exquisite bed and to awake with the waves gently breaking was divine. Breakfast was:
Fruit cup (refreshing)
Pumkin pancakes with cinnamon syrup ((Ambrosia, must get recipe)
Bread basket (couldn't manage)
Organge juice (freshly squeezed)
Coffee (just right)

Afternoon tea served at 4pm. Yesterday had chocolate and coconut nibbly things with 2 pots of Englis tea. Declined the Sherry..............

Okay now off to purchase a pair of shorts. Yes really, have to find some. Then off to the beach, will be using the chairs, umbrellas etc supplied....and all in a stones throw of my suite. Tough life this travelling.................................xxxx

ps: Melbourne gets a big recommendation........ Oh and visited the Navy Seal Museum yesterday afternoon. Also recommend driving on 1A takes a long time but well worth it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bug off

Hmm, this gets frustrating, this here Internet in foreign lands.....

On some pc's I can't access (sorry another shameless plug) I guess it's how they're configured, seems to be a problem for the US. I can however access the Blogspot thing by going in directly. Am just mumbling cos I'm tired and driven loads of miles. Have just booked into a Holiday Inn just somewhere on the beach at Fort Lauderdale. I think. It's dark.....

I didn't go to Naples inthe end, I went in the opposite direction. I visited the Everglades Museum in Everglades City and got chatting to the lady there. Turned out she was sitting next to me in the Library yesterday, small world. Well hardly it's a really really small town, even by US standards..... Anyway she was telling me all sorts of things about the history of the place when the waitress that served me in the Seafood Depot came in waving a long stick. Geez I thought I left a big enough tip..... Turns out she is President of the Everglades City Ladies Guild (the waitress, keep up!) and has just purchased (or I do believe she said acquired) a double 3 tier perspex display unit. I sat down momentarily to fan myself, not wanting to interupt this lady weilding a long stick and curious to know what would occur next. A step ladder appeared and The Waitress/President got up and took a tee shirt down and replaced it with one that was, well, exactly the same. They asked me my opinion. I paused for a drink at the water fountain. What should I say? They looked the same? As I was fumbling to get my heat addled brain into gear, the answer was answered by the LAdies themselves. It was a different size........

After much toing and froing (that doesn't look right!) The Waitress/President left and The Museum Lady started to tell me all about the places in Florida I should visit. As a result I went to a Semole Indian Reservation earlier today, spent ages in a museum there. Oh that visit deserves an entry all of its own. Maybe you'll just have to wait until you read the book (yep you heard right!)

How these indiginous folk survived, well not just survived but lead fabulous happy lives in the Everglade swamplands is truly amazing. Oh that is until the British arrived, then the Americans. Actually they never ever signed the Peace Treaty, the only tribe not to. How could America find them, the land was far too unappealing. Well for a while at least.

Went for a trek through the Everglades, phew it wiped me out. Drank a litre of water, sweated, yep I'm afraid sweated, not perspired, the whole lot out. I have seen alligators, egrets, hawks etc, it's fabulous.

Drove on route 41 then I95 to Spaghetti Junction. No not really, just seemed like it, was a sprawling set of roads that I hit at rush hour. Was trying to get to Fort Lauderdale to get on Highway 1A, was told by Museum Lady that it is lovely and scenic. OMIGOD, just what do these people who live along the waters edge do that they can afford such luxury? No I mean it, it's obscene. They're amazing and all that but1.5 hrs down the road and you see the devastation that the hurricanes have meeted out and the slow, and sometimes zero, help to get them back on track. Only in America eh????!

Decided to stop as getting dark and I wanted to see everything in daylight. That and I was bushed. Ate some sort of Indian chilli bread before I left the reservation, woofed it down as I hadn't eaten since early am. Oh no, just realised I'm in a hotel, hotels have restaurants and room service. They serve pancakes and bacon for breakfast............................

Don't know what I'll do tomorrow, think it's Saturday. Will see what the area is like in the morning and decide then. Til later xxxx

Oh forgot to tell you I have been bitten to buggery by a load of mosquitos and no-see-ums. Think it's the latter, whatever they are, as I haven't seen a mozzie on me. I have horrid big bites. That was in Key West, sprayed myself with insect repellant today for the Everglades. Was hoping the repellant only works on insects.......

Sweaty Betty

Back in the Library (I know it's lower case but I'm making a point!).

Mrs Francis is nearly a 100 and she's moved from her tiny shack to a bigger place, housing association. She had so much stuff and she's still trying to fit all her old stuff in the new place. Thing is everyone knows it's rubbish. That's what 100 years of life'll do to ya. Jed (no idea who he is) is getting impatient and it then upsets her. The Friendly Library Lady (FLL) says that they gotta make her feel it's her decision then it'll be okay. FLL says that she went over a few times to help for half an hour but ends up staying at least 4 hours. Mrs Francis lives on her own. She doesn't like the airconditioning and keeps putting cushions over it, thing is it's on when she does that. The last time FLL went over Mrs Francis was getting ready to go to church, declind FLL's offer of a lift as someone was collecting her. After the service FLL gave The Pastor a roasting cos Mrs Francis wasn't there. Mrs Francis has been picked up without fail since........

Isn't it wonderful, village life the world over is rich and bountiful.

Stayed at the Ivey (their spelling not mine) Inn last night and a Brit family appeared at breakfast. They kept themselves to themselves....well they were from Cumbria...... Thing is they missed all this. I tried to engage in pleasantries but they seemed nervous. Not sure if that was of me or just that they were being typically British and standoffish. Anyway when someone is like that it makes me wanna talk even more.

Had supper at the Seafood Depot, didn't have fish, bit fished out actually.... Beautiful seat overlooking the lake (think that's what it is), anyway a big expanse of freshwater. Sat under twinkly lights and kept myself to myself. happy for some me time, do ya know what i mean?

Not sure where I'm heading today. Might be Naples, might be Marco Island, could be St Peter (local pronunciation of St Petersburg). Just don't know. Need to get some shorts. Have resisted as I look damn hideous in them, the sight offends me. But I need to clomp away in Big Cypress Park and a dress and trainers looks even worse. Besides some of these Americans have bigger bums and tums than me, aand I aint ever gonna see any of em again.......

I had a look at the pics of the alligators approaching the airboat. Tee hee, mosty are not clear, must have been me panicking. Got an eye here, a tail there. Will get them uploaded anyway as they make me laugh cos i was obviously anxious!!!! It was all very safe and tame. Well as long as we stayed in the boat!!

love ya'll lots and lots xxx

Oh forgot to say one of the British couples at the Simonton Inn turned out to be good fun. I met them on the second morning and we chatted for hours. Ian and Karen. They were about to take a week on a cruise liner out of Miami. Sounded good fun. I'm meeting up with Karen when I get back. She lives in Hampshire and is a manager in Estate Agency. Mentioned she could diversify into Property Developers. She'd be good at it.

MAybe the thing is that Brits are generally reserved and are okay after a bit. We do have that reputation don't we, reserved. Thing is I haven't got time now or ever have. Snub me once you're not likely to get another chance and I'll go away thinking you're rude when in fact you may not be. I would hate for someone to think i was being rude when i wasn't. Believe me I can be rude when I want and need to be, I'm no angel. Well actually I am. That's for my Mom and Dad. I'm a perfect angel eh........

Drat, think i forgot to put deodorant on, phewy. I actually perspire out here, very unpleasant. No hot flushes though, what does that mean? Oh and don't get me started on my poos.............

smiley smiley people

Am I talking to myself? Where are you all..........

Well I think it's actually Friday, too embarassed to ask. Oh yeah, will go and check the TV.

Yup, fell prey to the lure of pancakes and crispy bacon.....drat.....!

But it was overlooking the ocean. Think it's the Atlantic side, was never very good at geography, suprised I'm even able to navigate around in all honesty.

Will continue up route 1A today and see what's what, maybe try and get to see Cape Canaveral (hmm that doesn't spell right does it, but you know where I mean). I do feel a tad guilty about missing all the beaches and pools, longing around and sunbathing. But to be honest that's not what I'm feeling I want in thruth but still feels a bit weird passing it all by.

FOund out I stayed at the Holiday Inn at Highland Beach last night. Mean anything? Nah, me neither.........

I honestly don't know why I try and blow dry my hair all sleek and fab when I can. I look in the mirror, think it's okay and then BAM, I walk out the door and the humidity hits and I turn into a wispy mass of uncontrolled hair, yuk. DO you remember the Charlie Brown cartoons? The one with the messy thing going on with his head? Yep that's me.....

Actually I feel like Austin Powers, I really do. It's sapping my confidence. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has perfect teeth. I hate mine, I really really do. It's almost worth going back to a mouse wheel job to get the money to get perfect teeth.

Apart from the teeth I'm having a good time, they won't stop me

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Carpet freshener

Dear UK
In The Everglades. Went to Homestaed/Florida City yesterday. Spent the night in a B&B that was, well a comedown from SImonton Inn...... At breakfast this morning I asked Paul The Host who played the electric piano that was next to the dining table and Big Bible on a lecturn. Ah ha, Paul then told me he had been in showbusiness, danced with the stars, was in London with Liza (of course!) when she was accepting awards for Cabaret. It was all entertaining stuff.

A travelling tip for single women is to always find gay friendly B&B's, it's much safer.

Paul The Host told me he was an activist and fought for the Everglades Preservation nowadays. The Hurricane Andrew wiped out almost all of Homestead and he and a few others were making sure they keep fending off the Developers. Gulp, what do i do?? Ah yes, well that'll be condoning a Developer then........ Paul The Host took it well as Tanie The Guest skipped over that and recounted the days in the '70's when she was an activist, had protested and yelled to all about global warming, became disillusioned and got a job in the Corporate World. Became disillusioned once again and was looking for inspiration. Now everyone knows about global warming but doesn't do anything of importance. Paul The Host was practically cheering, bought the dogs in (a rareity) and made more coffee. Tanie The Guest was apparently a soulmate.....

Hmmm, not so sure, Paul The Host was shirtless and his nipples and nipple piercings were really really huge and when he kept shifting uncomfortably every so often, I thought.......well I thought we'd bonded enough..........

I did take an Airboat around The Everglades, wow, that was fun. Going through grassy reeds without an obvious path was both scary and exhilarating at the same time. We were subject to a few 360 degree turns and a couple of double loops, pheeeew. Hiraldo, our guide and driver had warned us to keep seated when the boat speeded up, put cotton wool in our ears and don't put our hands over the side of the boat. OVER THE SIDE OF THE BOAT? Was he mad, who on earth would do that? I on the other hand, sat on an outside edge and clung tightly, so tightly that I thought he might have to prise my hands off with a blow torch!!!! Anyway, it was fab, got to see loads of alligators close up.

Then I saw an Alligator Show. Hmmm, not so good. I'm afraid I can't see anything in captivity and certainly not perform for humans. The poor alligator looked pretty peeped off when the Show Host (photos to follow) started to get him to perform tricks. Then at the end, he got out 2 baby gators, taped their snouts with black gaffer tape and let people handle them and have their picture taken. I declined and left.

The Show Host was kinda cute and I thought of a few tricks I'd put him through................

Drank and ate in a Bar last night that said 'We Welcome Bikers'. If I can't be on a bike then at least I can smell the gasolene and smelly leathers! Actually the place was hardly rocking, only me and 2 others there, think the sign should have said, 'we welcome anyone'..........

On my last night in Key West I sat outside The HardRock Cafe and 141 big bikes went passed, how cruel was that! I can't stand it, it's really upsetting me at the moment. Hey ho. I say big bikes as there were quite a few race reps and a couple of old Triumphs.

Oh yeah, forgot to say, I'm in a Library!!! Yep a Libray, well a portocabin actually as the main building here in Everglade City (tiny place) is under complete renovation.

Right off to find a place to sleep, been chatting to the locals in here, very friendly lot!!! xxx

ps, wasn't Everglade a carpet freshener???????

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lonely Planet

Dear UK
As I suspected, it's been a quiet, lazy day here in Key West. Had a light breakfast, took a gallon of water and sat by one of the pools. The nearest one to my room, why should I walk anywhere.... See, look how well I'm fitting in with the Americans....

Had the poolside area all to myself which was fab, showered and lazed on my enormous sofa on my veranda (isn't there an 'h' in that word??) reading the paper and tried to get into anyone of the 3 novels I got at the airport. It felt total bliss, I'd recommend it to anyone.

Talking of recommendations, if anyone is thinking of coming to Key West and hasn't been here before, here's my advice.
1) Arrive by car
2)Stay in a Motel/Inn off Duval Street and as center as possible. That way you can get to everything on foot.
3) Do NOT pay for parking, not needed, 2 blocks off Duval and you have safe free parking, despite what your motel/Inn or travel agent will tell you.
4) You do NOT need a reservation. The place is almost at its high season and there are loads and loads of vacancies, at all levels. All official recommendations get a backhander. That said I was very grateful to the Tourist Center at the start of the Keys that 'recommended' the Simonton Inn
5) If you must have transport to get around, hire a bike or scooter, of which there are an abundance. That's how everyone gets around here.
6) DO take the Conch City Tour before you do anything
7) Pick up all the free mags, they have loads of money off coupons, and the YAnks lurve their coupons.
8) Do visit Hemmingway's House
9) Do have at least one drink at the original Sloppy Joe's & Willy T's
10) Do catch a sunset at Mallory square, make sure it's a clear night, they're not so good on a cloudy day.
11) Most of all remember it's relaively safe and have loads and loads of fun.....

The heat is on

Hi there Uk

Feeling chilled, don't want to move on. Bit like the man who is sitting on the sofa infront of me, he has his sunglasses on but he's asleep and is always in here. Hey maybe I'll try that on the other sofa......

I have been bitten big mosquito's. I even have one under my middle toe on my left foot. How did that happen?! My toe looks deformed now, i hope it goes down quickly.

Right off to find a beauty salon for a pedicure, that is if they'll want to touch my newly deformed foot....

DId I tell you about the Drag Show? Can't remember. Me and The Boys went there after a scrummy meal at Duffy's, think I said that bit. Anyway we went upstairs of the pink bar. Mike sat us down at the front of the bar which happened to be facing the stage, central too. My seat was directly facing the end of the stage runway. Oh dear, I just knew what that meant! I gulped my vodka and cranberry, had to have some dutch courage. The show was funny, not all 'live', mostly mimed but funny nevertheless. Oh and yes, I was right in the firing line. Let's see; from the UK, flanked by gay guys, short, big boobs, no make up, it was really funny and not vicious and I had a great time.

Planning to leave Key West tomorrow, heading up to Emerald City....oh no, I mean Everglade City.

Better make the most of my last night in Key West

Sunday, October 15, 2006

planes, trains & automobiles

Dear UK
Oh please, please save my liver.............
Never ever thought I'd beg like a dog for rain either......

Seems like such a long time ago that I was at Heathrow but forgot to tell you how that all panned out. After Karen L deposited me at the airport I deposited my suitcase and went in search of duty free, didn't need anything but you never know. Actually I did need a face cream. Wandered around feeling slighty glazed as Chanel, Gucci, Mulberry all beckoned me. Ahem, small confession, I succumbed to purchasing a Christian Dior purse/wallet. Well it's becoming a tradition now. Got a Gucci one last time..... Anyway, it's fab. Expensive, but fab. I lusted after a handbag/purse but pulled myself together very quickly. Well actually not at all quickly and found myself in such a quandary. It was only reminding myself that I could stay in a reasonable hotel for 14 days or have the handbag/purse. Phew, lucky escape.

Picked up a few frothy novels, which I knew I wouldn't read, for the flight. Got sidetracked by the Givency shop,,,,, The sales lady was wonderful, letting me try all the bags. Again that almost worked. I found another $1200 bag that suited me perfectly when the alarm bells started ringing. I impressed myself with the very real resonance in my head. I thought it was only in cartoons the bells rang like that??? Gosh, they were really really loud. How clever. What did you say nice Givency Sales Lady? Sorry the bells are too loud, I can't hear. Fire alarm??! Shit. Suddenly I heard the tannoy clearly; ding dong 'all passengers must go to the nearest fire exit immediately'. My God, you're joking, quick, where's the nearest exit. Oh goodness, all the shop gates are coming down. Okay don't panic. Keep calm. Walk in an orderly fashion and all that. Ouch, for goodness sake Nice Givency Sales Lady, let go of me. How desperate for a sale are you? Aaah, umm, ooops. Yes of course you want your bag back....................

Well as you know, all was well and I got here. But cattle class now that's another story...........

New best friends have left today and hopefully taken my ability to pickle my liver with them.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Alice's restaurant

Dear UK
Definitely the morning after the night before.......

This town knows how to party

Now whilst I'm happy to find solace on this solid chair in a cool Internet Cafe I'll stay awhile and tell you what's in my head. Finally took pictures yesterday, now just gotta work out how to upload to the Blog.....ooooo not this mornings job....

Hmmm, not much in my head but cotton wool. Bit like the weather here, 8.30am and hot, humid and overcast.

Spent the day with Mike, Flight Attendent and Glen, Customer Service Senior Manager. We headed down towards a beach and caught up with Sherry (I think!!) who cooked us lunch and made us rip roaring frozen cocktails. Does this town ever stop partying????? Needless to say we missed getting to Hemmingways house, not to worry cos we seem to be carrying on in at least one of his traditions........

In the evening we took a stroll to Mallory Square and I saw my first real Key West sunset. Wow, can't really describe it but it is definitely one on things to do before you die. The square descends into a party atmosphere, no surprise there then, and we slowly winded our way to the other side, the old port and had shrimp and beer in Turtles Bar. Think it was called Turtles, maybe it wasn't. oh blast, will remember later. Oh yep and I tried Conch Chowder. Yuk! Eeiow, not for me. Fresh shrimp was good though. Trying to try most things but couldn't bring myself to have Dolphin. Isn't that outlawed now?? Thought they were a protected species and all that.

We sat eating and drinking into the night and completely forgot to get to the Drag Show. Ah well, tonight maybe. I love this 'there's always tomorrow' feeling. The guys have just booked in for another night, they're really good fun and such a bad influence...... Mike has taken to saying 'lovely' a lot now. Apparently my influence, didn't realise I said it so much!! They live in Cinncennati, oh bugger, how is that spelt, oh well you know where I mean. Maybe we'll get to the show tonight...............

Would quite like to find Camilla's before I move on, supposed to be lovely breakfasts.

The B&B has filled up for the weekend, lots of tanned, taut gay men and, I can barely say it, a family!!!!! Well I say family, my God, they're a picture. I think it's the sort of family that receives handouts from the state and should be called the hill billies or something. Oh shut up what do I care, it's not snobbish, just statement of almost fact.......

Actually I'm only moaning cos the Inn is adult only and the big fat white Momma with white straw hair and brilliant blue polyester tent dress has an objectionable obese ginger haired brat that dived bombed into 'my' pool when me, Mike and Glen were in it just hanging and they were telling me all about their lives. Glen's New Jersey Mom is in denial and doesn't like Mike, has kept his teenage bedroom exactly the same, Glen's grandfather invented the Saltene cracker and famously sold the company in a poker game losing millions, Mike's parents divorced in the 60's, Mom raging alcoholic now dead, Dad remarried, now dead, did the stepmom kill him, she's on 4th husband now and collecting all the money as she goes, he lived with his Grandparents, that sort of thing........

I just love Americans....they love talking about themselves..........

Better get back and have breakfast and see what the day unfolds xxx

Friday, October 13, 2006

Trees of distinction

Phew the respite of the air con in this Internet cafe is soooo welcome. 87 out there and it's not even lunchtime yet.............

Took a Conch (pronounced Conk, but I can't get my head round it) Train Tour round the town, definitely recommend it. Know where what's what and in what direction I should be heading. Well that's the theory...

I'm finding the humidity a killer. Kept drinking water whilst on the train, then jumped off and walked briskly to the pier (200 yards) and felt really woozy. Had to stop into a bar to refresh myself. No seriously, it was a necessity.

Met a lovely couple, Mike and Glen who are staying at the same place and we went out for a little drinky poo in the evening. Didn't want to join them for supper, had eaten at lunchtime and all I fancied was a slice of Key Lime Pie. Well I say fancied, I hadn't any real idea what it should taste like and wanted to try a slice that was reasonably authentic. Hmmm, well can now say I've done that one....wouldn't do it again.....

Anyway, sat drinking a strawberry dacquari (err how do you spell that!) with the guys and then wandered the streets of Key West joing in all the partying atmosphere. Went to the original Sloppy Joe's, Hemmingway's haunt apparently. Off to Hemmingway's house in a mo.

Saw some really lovely architecture yeaterday, the tour guide proudly showed us some of the oldest buildings here, over a hundred years old........'of Victorian Queen Anne period'........

Oh and those Banyan tree roots, how fabulous are they?! For those like me who didn't know what they were, they apparently originate in India but have this enormous spreading external tree root system. Looks fabulous. Again our Tour Guide Eduardo told us there's one in India that's 5 acres wide. Is that possible????

Oh and I've given up trying to hide my fat wobbly bits, far too hot. Why should I care no one else seems to!

Oh and by the way the Bush/Striesand duet wasn't real, he was a doppleganger, duh!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Enjoy Coca Cola

I'm confused. No really, I have no idea what the time is here let alone in the UK, how good is that???! It's hot and the shops and bars are open, what else do I need to know......

I'm at til Tuesday. Good deals as it's out of season. It's a peaceful oasis, no kids allowed and lots of places to just hang out and expose myself as a large white beached whale without offended the locals..... Oh and no more pigs for breakfast, grapefruit, bananas and bagels, yum.

Decided to be friendly and speak to the Brits staying there. Hmmm, what a mistake! Did the usual thing of hello, how are you, where are you from, how long are you here for. When I said I'm in the States til just before Christmas they all went silent. What the hell was that about???! One woman from Birmingham looked at her watch. Well thanks for that. I wasn't the one droning on and on about crap, (well i don't think so!) that was the pompous Yank. I'm hoping that it's because I'm single, don't know what else I've done.....oh maybe cos I've got big tits!!! Anyway, said 'fuck you' in my head, smiled and walked off.

Off to explore now, will try and catch up later. Need to tell you about the airport. Oh and I'm in a quandary. There are places here to swim with the dolphins, I really really want to do it but....I'm so against captivity and zoos, especially performing zoos and I don't think I can wrestle with my conscience. What to do? I chose to have a look at the Dolphin Research Center, sounded like they would be good, they are a non profit making facility apparently. Rare in the USA!!! Oh it was awful, I didn't get a good vibe, they seemed overly keen to get me to sign up, and it wasn't exactly a 'research' center as I would expect in the UK. I don't want some poor trapped dolphin to perform for me, it wouldn't be the experience it should. The nice man at the tourist center said it's best to see them in their natural environment and I do agree. Oh blast.

Outside the Hilton in Miami they had 4 cages of various exotic bids. I found that really offensive, all caged birds I find offensive. WHY? What's the point of it? No really what is the point? It's the same principle with the dolphins and I don't want to condone it.

Hmmm, that's how I feel about myself I think........

Did you all get to see lucky Barabara Striesand singing with President Bush? Good Lord, did you see his face at the end??? And he's in charge, help!

Okay off to drink a CocaCola to break down my bone density, rot my teeth, explode my intestines. Mmmmm, yum, CocaCola, a classic......

Which way.....Hemmingway

I've found it! That feeling of freedom. Well a little bit anyway. Driving on Highway 1 down through The Keys is good. Leaving the bustle of Miami behind felt sensational. I am now settled in Key West til Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Found a lovely B&B, for the US an historic building, a Victorian cigar factory. The factory itself was smal and had outhouses for the workers. Well it's all rather sumptious now and a miriad of lush plants and trees, with 4 small pools nestled in amongst it all. Will take pictures.

Now I can really relax. Will catch up tomorrow with all the stuff to date. Have to get off shortly to Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebrations, every night apparently so if I miss tonight it's okay. Pity Emma S is on holiday cos she's been here and she could tell me all the fabulous things to note and not miss.

Only fly in my ointment is all the blessed Brits that are in abundance in Florida. The guy runn9ing this Internet cafe is from Sollihull! 3 sets of Brits arrived at the Guest House just as I left, yuk. I know Florida is very tourist based but I'm thinking of trying out different accents. Might try a Cuban one, that'd set them all running.

Weather really hot, late 80's. Hope to actually sit out in it tomorrow for a while. I get the thing about humidity as well.........

Oh yeah, Natalie bought me a gorgeous PINK MP3 player and loaded it up the day before I left. Having music somewhere other than the car is a lifesaver.

Right need to find a Nail Bar, a supermarket and a

Remind me to tell you about swimming with the dolphins

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dear UK
Things noted:
1) Miami women wear tight white trousers, have camel hooves and VPL's and sprinkly strappy shoes..........

Funny how the Art Deco district looks so different on celluloid and in books. And erm, well, I will not be hanging around any of the beaches. Good Lord, this body is not meant for Miami.....

Okay off towards the Keys today. Have once again consumed so much food that my stretchy dress has stretch marks. I am craving a bananas, apples and English salad.

I quite liked Coral Gables though. Stood for a bit looking at the Bacardi family mansion. Did think that if I had that much money then I would prefer to own an estate in the UK, that shocked me. Oh yes and the Venitian Pool, quite pretty, didn't go in the pool, was doing my search and survive trek. Would definitely return and try that out. AFter tea or something at the Biltmore Hotel.

Oh and do you ever have the feeling that you've forgotton something? I always do when I go away. Well I did forget something. I forgot The connection from my camera to a computer so guess what that means??? Ah ha, no pics until I can get something, well if it's possible without attaching an entire Radio Shack warehouse to the camera before it hits the pc.......

speak later xxx

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Roly poly

Dear Uk
Lessons learnt so far:
1) Do not travel cattle class on a plane wherever possible
2) Always be polite and courteous to your fellow passengers wherever possible
3) Tanie's hormones kick in and make up for lost time on vacations....
3) Spain Spanish is very different to Hispanic Spanish
4) Do not eat entire selection of Buffet Breakfasts....

Went for a little sojorn in the car yesterday afternoon, getting my bearings and all that. Seemed to drive for ages round all the back roads. Got dustier and dirtier as I ventured out of the touristy bits. Obvious really. Stopped at a cafe for a drink. Couldn't understand a bloody word, all in Hispanic Spanish. Managed to get something to drink that was hot and wet, not sure it was indeed coffee, had a tang to it. Ah well still here.... The hire car looked very posh in amongst the beat up old vehicles and I realised I looked an oddity. Ah well nothing new there then.... No one approached me , for which I was very grateful, just stared. I stared back. Well I say stared but I had forgotton my sunglasses and when I looked in the car mirror, realised that I was in fact scowling.....

This morning I have once again consumed the entire Breakfast Buffet and can barely walk. Okay though as I have been sensible and booked a City Tour. Very civilised and lasts about 3 hours. Just hope we don't do much walking....

Monday, October 09, 2006

somewhere over the rainbow

I'm Miami, a hotel......bushed.....totally....too tired to speak just now.....later....after pancakes and crispy bacon in the morning here.......zzzzzzzzzzzz
Okay morning all, phew feel somewhat human again. That is after a full buffet breakfast. Oh God, I'm so full it actually hurts.....

Joseph attended my needs this morning, and they were simple; pancakes and bacon, very crispy. I know bacon rashers come very thin but after 3 plates (I'm not joking) I have, and feel like, I've devoured an entire pig............

I need to find an Internet cafe as the 'business center, at the hotel charges silly nmoney to use the internet. Well I knew I have to pay for Paris Hilton's ridiculous life somehow..

Din nada (i think!) ((SUzanne, I could do with your Spanish skills)) xx

Saturday, October 07, 2006

my bags are packed and I'm ready to go, hate to wake you up before I go..........

BUT I'M LEAVING ON A JET PLANE..........(well a 747 I Think)........DON'T KNOW WHEN I'LL BE BACK AGAIN....... (well I do but who cares for now)

Oh babe I hate to go....... Absolutely not, I really really love to go.

I'm flying in less than 24hrs, suddenly it's here......


Thursday, October 05, 2006

daily rushes

Oh God oh God oh God, running out of time and still have things to do........

I'd planned my week, lists filling pages of my book of 'things to do before I go' and I'd planned to have nothing to do by tomorrow. Eeeek.

Had a deep throat massage last night. Oh no, it was a deep muscle massage, sorry. I can't seem to get that phrase out of my head!!!!

Right off to get appointment with the doctor now, you never know when you might need a strong painkiller or tranquiliser.............. only kidding kids

oh God oh God oh God........

see ya later

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Major Tom to Ground Control

Major Tom to Ground control, I'm in the countdown engine zone and the ignition is definitely on.....

Phew, getting excited in waves now, supplemented with waves of panic as I realise I haven't done everything on my 'to do today' lists.

Okay, I've booked flights, car hire for a bit and 1st 2 nights in a hotel. Sorted. All I need to remember is my passport....yes yes CJ I HAVE checked it's in date.... Have I ever mentioned to you my birthday present from CJ & Martin a few years back? Ah well, I'll save that tale for a quiet day on the trip......

Oh yes, I had my grey hair banished yesterday and all the straggly ends chopped off and a new looking me emerged. I got quite a shock when I fumbled for my toothbrush this morning, the power surge from the electric toothbrush always jolts me into life but I got more of a shock when I saw a different me staring back at me from the mirror. Why did I think I could allow myself to be au naturel.....???!

I have also hurt my back, think I did it lugging the Wedgewood china into the car last night. Whatever the cause, it's hurting and I am a little anxious to say the least of sitting on a plane for 10 hours. Can I take strong painkillers with me??

3 days now, blimey. Better get on with it. All I want to do is be with The Boy until I go.

Speak soon.....

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sunday lunch


I'm flying with BA, not sure if that's a good or bad thing, we'll see. I think they should upgrade me to fabulous there such a thing???? Okay so I can close my eyes in cattle class and pretend.....

Going on 8 Oct, tee hee, really getting excited now. Karen L has agreed to deposit me at the airport (not really desperate to see me go eh!!) thankfully. I love airports and going somewhere. Anywhere. Just going makes me smile. Hate returning though, it's such a chore, it really is. That's when fabulous class would be really really good. Mind you arriving from fabulous class makes me feel a million dollars......

I love taking off on a plane and landing, maybe it's the frustrated racing driver in me...... I'm the one with the big grin whilst everyone else is puking in a bag or deathly white and gripping the armrests.

Flights are booked, car booked. I decided to be frugal and not hire a soft top and have gone for a sensible ' compact' instead. Save the pennies, or dimes, to get into Disney and all those other Florida excursions. Or rather all the pancakes and crispy bacon.

So the flight is at 13.40 and I will be mightily peed off if Al Qaida decides to put in an appearance. I will explode myself so they won't need any blinking bombs.

Right off to have a glass of vino with Darling Daughter and Father of the Boy, speak soon xxx