Sep 16 2010
The 16th of March saw us leaving Evesham, but we managed to catch up with Irina on the way back to Swansea. (IrinaG to be more specific. My Irina met IrinaG in Cheltenham, I think at her office. The spooky thing is that IrinaG also comes from Kazakhstan. The fact two ladies called Irina randomly meet in an office is probably reasonably rare, but then to add Kazakhstan as a common factor must make it reasonably rare!)
We met up at a pub that I’ve forgotten the name of (either Irina, can you help out here?), and Anna behaved herself very well whilst we munched through a delicious lunch. Cheltenham’s big race week was starting that day, and I’m glad we lived in Cheltenham for so long, as we managed to use a few country lanes to avoid the traffic that was beginning to pour into the area!
Sep 15 2010
This is (almost) it! Four more photo based posts and this site will be up to date with pictures taken during our last trip to the UK! All the videos have been published already, and if you check out this site’s YouTube channel, you’ll see I’ve already uploaded the last 4.5 months worth of videos recorded in Kazakhstan. This means there are now 538 videos there! I will try and increase the amount of posts written per week until we get close to real time publishing again. I still need to go through and title most of the recent videos, and select which photos to use and then process them.
Anyway, these photos were shot on the same day (15th of March 2010) as the A Promenade Around Cheltenham Promenade post. Since March, she is now happy (sometimes too eager and wants to go solo) climbing stairs, and can almost manage all of the four floors up to our flat!
Sep 15 2010
I was playing with PockeTwit yesterday, checking if all the features still worked OK, when I ran my saved search for tweets that mention Cheltenham. (For those that have only come to know me and this site since moving to Kazakhstan, I a lot of my childhood years in Cheltenham, after moving from Yeovil before secondary school.) Ignoring the tweets that were obviously for a Cheltenham in America (which apparently has a shopping mall that teenagers love to write about, and the residents there seem to think a local town is far inferior to their version of a Cheltenham), I came across some vacancies for customer service jobs, more specifically technical support manager. I favourited the tweet (I check twitter on my phone whilst having a smoke, and look up any interesting links on a PC later) just to see what the details were. It turned out the agency was based in Cheltenham, but the job was in London. The salary wasn’t too bad, and to my surprise I only lacked one essential skill, and ticked quite a few of the desired ones. I’m not sure right now if I’d want to be in a management role when we return to Britain (or if I’d be selected), but it was reassuring that there are jobs that pay a living wage or more that I could at least feasibly get an interview for!
This post’s title refers to a point that was raised during the last English club I ran where locals reminded me that the title manager does not infer the same job responsibilities over here at all. You will most likely not be in charge of anyone, and can be quite junior within an organization and still be a “manager” in Russian.
Sep 08 2010
The 15th of March was the day we all went into Cheltenham for a walk around the town centre (Anna still often preferred to have someone’s hand to hold onto when walking around outdoors at the time, and wasn’t shy about letting you know when she had walked far enough, and expected to be carried the rest of the way!). Anyway, the Promenade itself hasn’t changed much in the four years or so since we moved out of Cheltenham to move to Kazakhstan. I think this is FINALLY the last of the UK videos we recorded on our trip over there this year. There are still a few more post’s worth of pictures to publish, but after that we will be into Kazakhstan based pictures and movies.
Sep 07 2010
Delayed in two senses. When Nick came up to Evesham (btw big congratulations to him for recently passing his driving test!) he bought the Christmas and Birthday presents that we had not been able to open due to being in Kazakhstan at the time. Even though his son Jack was about to be born, we really appreciated him making the effort and making sure we had some more time together (he also had a job interview in Cheltenham, so the timing was perfect). The second part of the delay? The video of this evening was posted a little over a month ago. I have been very slack recently at posting to this blog, other than occasional tweets. Now that PockeTwit (my preferred Windows Mobile twitter client) isn’t working due to OAuth being required for logins, the site has been quite bare recently. I am hoping to put up a few more posts by the end of the week, and if I can just create 36 hours in a day, I might even manage to post more next week 🙂 Oh, 12th of March is the date these photos were taken, which reminds me, I need to check if AnnaMerriman.com is still pulling these posts in automatically, and also start manually embedding those videos that don’t make it across.
Jul 27 2010
Still in Evehsam at Dad’s place (the same evening (12th March 2010) as the duck feeding video), Nick came over to say hello. He had a job interview in Cheltenham, so we decided to all converge at Dad’s at the same time. Roz couldn’t make it as she was very close to giving birth to Anna’s cousin at the time. Nick bought up all the Christmas and Birthday presents that we hadn’t been able to receive whilst in Kazakhstan, and Anna seemed to enjoy another paper ripping ceremony :). I look forward to using mine in earnest when Winter once more hits Astana, and Anna still plays with hers regularly. The Big Hungry Caterpillar is also a big hit with Anna, and I’m very glad Nick and Roz got it, as it seems to be a “proper” childrens’ book to me 🙂 The hand puppets and toys also get played with often, and Anna seemed to lose interest in the wrapping paper and sellotape very quickly…
Obviously since the clip was taken, we now know that the baby was a beautiful boy (Jack), but Nick and Roz didn’t know that at the time. PS Nick, it has been a good 15 years or so since I studied French, but I’m pretty sure they have male and female endings to words, and it is German that has neutral as well? ;-P The last of the three clips shows me trying on all my Christmas presents at the same time. It wasn’t cold in the house 🙂
Jul 27 2010
On the same day that we saw some friends in Cheltenham (11th of March), we had also set up camp in Evesham, over at my Dad’s house. He seemed very happy to see Anna, and she seemed totally content with the new surroundings to investigate. The year before when Anna had been there, she obviously hadn’t been able to move around really. In case you’re wondering, that is Anna’s little suitcase you can see in the bottom left hand corner there. Always have a good supply of toys with you at all times 🙂 We were all waiting anxiously to discover whether we would soon have a new niece/nephew / grandson/granddaughter, as my younger brother (Nick) and Roz hadn’t discovered whether they were to be having a boy or a girl, and Nick came down that weekend as he had an interview in the area, and we didn’t know for sure whether we’d be able to cross paths again before our return to Kazakhstan, as for some reason babies don’t always arrive exactly when the doctors guess 🙂
Anyway, enough for now, I think there are some photos or videos of Nick still to come.
Jul 27 2010
We did not have long in Cheltenham whilst we were in Britain, and as luck would have it, just before we left race week started, meaning travelling anywhere in the area could suddenly involve hundreds of cars on roads that were designed with about 1/10 of the traffic flow in mind. We did manage to meet up with a few people though, as you can see from the photo below, taken on the 11th of March. We were at Emma’s house and her daughter was a little star, playing with Anna and keeping her entertained 🙂
Jul 26 2010
The 11th of March saw us visiting my Dad over in Evesham, and later some friends in Cheltenham. Apparently Anna had already had enough of being held that day, and she seemed to want to thoroughly investigate her Grandad’s house – she was barely a couple of months old when last there, so we can’t blame her for her curiosity. Anyway, we have about four videos left of Anna in Britain I think, and about fourteen more photo posts left to publish. I’ll try and complete another four or five pic/vid posts today.
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