Just another one of those days…

It was a pretty hectic day for me but I still managed to squeeze in some time to update my blog and provide you with stories and news about my so-called existence. Yesterday, I had a taste of what it was like to be in the office alone. But somehow, I think I did pretty good despite some bloopers and blunders. I’ve been getting personal and phone enquiries since I started working but somehow, there are still a lot of times when I can’t understand what they’re saying. I guess it would have been easier if I were talking to Americans because I can easily adapt to their twang. But it’s really different when you’re dealing with the British.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually love their accent. The British are sweet when they talk. It’s just difficult to understand especially when they speak fast. They seem to be eating their words all the time. I’m pretty sure they’re also having difficulty understanding me at times because I am using American English all the time. It happens all the time between me and BIL, who is a native Bristolian (they have a different accent too over there). It’s only now that I realized that despite being able to speak and understand English fairly well, there still seems to be a language barrier amongst English-speaking people all together because of the accent and the culture they grew up with. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be more at ease in listening to them speak and I won’t have to say “Pardon me!” all the time when I can’t understand them. I can already speak like the British does but in the end, I notice myself just speaking more comfortably the American way.

Anyhoo, I’m taking the day off tomorrow to go with my sister and nephew to Oakwood. My sister tells me that it’s like our Enchanted Kingdom back home (maybe only much bigger and maybe even more beautiful). I really can’t enjoy the rides because of my vertigo but I can always take pictures of the place. I’m still waiting for Bling to come home with the battery charger for Sly. I can’t wait to take pictures again! We’ll be leaving before 9am tomorrow and come back just in time for my sister’s twilight shift which starts at 4pm. I’m still thinking of whether to take the weekend off at some place and relax but I might just stay home and watch the telly.

I got to check my e-mails and I’ve had a couple that made me laugh. There’s this essay written by someone who applied for a job in a call center. Oh dear! That made me squirm a bit in my seat. I’m in no position to say that I’m a good English speaker but at least I can make decent and understandable English sentences.

I don’t mean to be a meanie but that “Keys Me” video is my best bet for video of the month! I had to research on who Alyssa Alano was. I am just so out of touch with the showbiz happenings back home. Well, admittedly she’s very pretty and sexy too (no wonder, she landed a slot in the Viva Hot Babes group). But as they always say, you can’t have it all! After watching the video, it became my LSS for the week as well! Oh dear!

I just wanna tag some people to answer this little survey that was sent to me through e-mail as well. I sent this to some people yesterday so my answers were from yesterday as well. I’ll let you in on a little secret that I have. *whispers* “I now know what toilet papering means!!!” LOL! To my dear friend Karen, you are not alone!! LOL!

I wanna tag:
Ate Girlie
Ate Fions

1. What time did you get up this morning? For good? 5:30AM; for good would be 6:45AM LOL!
2. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? X-Men 3
3. What is your favorite TV show? Supernanny, Nanny 911, Cheaters, Friends, basta pwedeng mapanood at maganda, pinapanood ko
4. What did you have for breakfast? egg, rice and bacon
5. What is your middle name? Bautista
6. What is your favorite cuisine? Japanese, Italian, Chinese
7. Your favorite Potato chip? Pringles
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Wala
9. What kind of car do you drive? Corolla Altis
10. Favorite sandwich? egg, tuna or chicken
11. What characteristic do you despise? traydor
12. Favorite item of clothing? shorts
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? France
14. What color is your bathroom? Beige
15. Favorite brand of clothing? Old Navy, things from Primark, Marks and Spencer, Tubby
16. Where would you want to retire? In the province
17. Where were you born? Makati
18. Favorite sport to watch? basketball, billiards
19. Who do you least expect to send this back? yung mga tamad
20. Person you expect to send it back first? yung mga masisipag mag-email
21. What laundry detergent do you use? Ariel and Bold 2-in-1
22. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi
23. Are you a morning person or night owl? dati night, ngayon morning na
24. Do you have any pets? wala
25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share with everyone? From 210, 200lbs na lang ako ngayon! LOL!
26. What did you want to be when you were little? pianist, then naging doctor, tapos naging CPA-Lawyer, ngayon, street rat ako! LOL!
27. Favorite candy bar? Kit-Kat pa rin!
28. What is your best childhood memory? lagi akong pinapakanta basta pwede akong pakantahin! LOL!
29. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? office assistant sa PNB, administrative assistant, factory worker sa Canada, babysitter sa Canada, technical support representative ng mga Kano, credit card customer service assistant ng mga Kano, mother, executive assistant sa UK at paminsan-minsan nagiging DH pag kinakailangan 😀
30. What color underwear are you wearing? black
31. Nicknames? Liezl, Zel, Liz, Darla, yayaba, MommyBa
32. Piercing? earlobes
33. Eye color? dark brown
34. Ever been to Africa? baka mahunting ako dun!
35. Ever been toilet papering? When? ano ba itong toilet papering na ito?
36. Love someone so much it made you cry? always!
37. Been in a car accident? nothing serious
38. Croutons or bacon bits? croutons
39. Favorite day of the week? Friday
40. Favorite restaurant? Friday’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Dulcinea, Heaven and Eggs, Tony Roma’s
41. Favorite flower? roses
(ngayon ko lang na-realize na wala palang #42)
43. Disney or Warner brothers? kahit ano!
44. Favorite fast food restaurant? McDonald’s (pero namimiss ko na ang Jollibee!!!)
45. What color is your bedroom carpet? blue
46. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? 0
47. Besides this one, from whom did you get your last email from? Suzanne
48. What store would you choose to max out your credit card? Debenhams, Rustans or any electronic store basta me gadget!
49. What do you do most often when you are bored? write or sleep; worst habit of all mag-yosi!
50. Bedtime? 10pm
51. Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire? silang lahat kaya nga gusto ko e sagutan sana nila ito
52. What are you listening to right now? the noise from my keyboard
53. What is your favorite color? black
54. Lake, Ocean or river? ocean (kahit di ako marunong lumangoy)
55. How many tattoos do you have? none
56. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? the! LOL!
57. How many people are you sending this email to? 15 or more I think 🙂

It was a pretty good day today. The sun was shining but the breeze was awesome! I can’t wait for summer to come. It’s just around the corner now!

Ta ra!

No promises…but I’m back… (updated 28 June)

Hi everyone! I know I’ve been away for more than a month already. Well, now I’m ready to share with you the newest journey that I’ve been trekking the past couple of weeks. I don’t have ready access to a computer unlike before so I went back to writing down (in my ever-reliable Starbucks planner) the eventful and otherwise experiences I’ve had and I’m continuing to have while in the turf of Queen Elizabeth and Harry Potter – the United Kingdom.

You will find that I will be writing events in backward order, starting from today until such time I’m done typing the journal that I’ve kept since I stepped on the plane to the UK. I will be updating this particular entry when I’m able. But from today (still keeping my fingers crossed), I will do my best to diligently and directly type my daily events as they happen.

Today was another pretty quiet day at the office. My boss came in for like 10 minutes then breezed through the door like the Flash. The day started out cold and overcast but towards mid-day, the skies cleared and the sun came out shining though the breeze was still cool and very nice. Good thing I only brought along a light jacket that I can chuck in my bag when necessary.

After lunch, I got some calls and finished off the work that I needed to do. By half past 3, I was already tapping my desk with my pen and was left with nothing to do. I hate it when it happens but it does happen almost every single day. How I wish I had more to do, but really, there’s nothing more I can do.

I took the time to read and reply to a couple of personal e-mails clamoring for my attention. By the time I answered most of them, it was already half past 4 and I’ve got 30 more minutes to clean my desk and double-check on the things that needs attention by the bosses by tomorrow.

I decided to check out the The Scrapping Garden just to take a look at what’s happening to the Creative Team that I left last month. I was so awed by the wonderful and numerous layouts that I saw, especially that of Suzanne’s who made special mention of me in her bio layout. I was teary-eyed because I miss scrapping so much and also the friends that I made over the year that I was so into my passion. Hopefully, when I have saved enough money, I’ll be able to buy my own laptop and go back to scrapping again.

I waited for 5pm to strike and then called AM to ask if he still wants me to man the office or leave for the day. He gave me the go signal to leave and there I was rushing to get on the 5:05 bus but didn’t make it. It was already too late. I lit my last cigarette in the pack and waited for 10 minutes to pass. By my last puff, the bus was already there.

I had to wait for another 20 minutes to catch my next bus so after dilly-dallying about whether or not to buy another pack of cigarettes, I decided to swipe my card and buy that pack I wanted. I know it’s a horrendous price to pay almost 5 quid for a pack but that’s life here. 500 pesos is still 500 pesos and is too much for a pack of cigarettes. God bless me for being such a big spender! LOL!

I popped in 70p for a can of Diet Coke and had my fag while waiting for the bus. There was this interesting character by my side waiting for the bus too. She had hot pink hair and wore a heavily patched skirt – more like a rag I should say. But she’s pretty. I must admit – she’s cool and her hair’s just awesome. LOL!

I decided to call MH’s cousin in London for a little chat to while I’m waiting for the bus to get home. We spoke for about 20 minutes and made little plans about my trip to London in the next couple of weeks to meet her and the rest of her friends. I’m really looking forward to this trip and I’m very excited about it. I might have to change my plans on the date though. The trip might be moved to the 21st of July instead of the 14th. Whatever date it will be, it will still be something to look forward to as a break.

I got home quarter past 6 but I was outside for about an hour because my sister and her sons were asleep. I’ve already had my fag again and was chatting away with a friend on the mobile phone. It was a relief when I finally sat down on the setty to rest my heavy body! 😀

I can smell dinner now and I’m starving. My sister did her grocery shopping today so the fridge is full of stuff again. At least I have something to cook for breakfast tomorrow before going to work. It’s half past 8 now and I need to get some things done before going to bed.

As a treat to all of my friends, here’s a little something from my little guy back home:

and he has photos here too!

‘Til the next entry! Ta!

June 26-Monday
It was a slow day at work today. It was raining and ALL I ever wanted to do was actually sleep and just stay in bed. I was a little drenched because I had to wait for the bus for a couple of minutes. I was cold and my jacket’s a bit soaked by the heavy drizzle.

Anyway, when Kuya Lawrence and I got to the office, we noticed that the window was broken. We reported the matter to my boss and he told us about what happened. The CCTV showed that there were a bunch of kids playing football and the ball hit the window so hard that’s why the whole panel shattered.

FM was not in the whole day and I started taking calls from customers. I was kinda jittery but it was just in passing. The day ended fairly good and caught the buses on time so I got home early which was good.

Before I forget, happy, happy birthday to my ever-loyal kumpare, Ricky, a.k.a. Kardo, but better known as Kalbow! LOL! I love ya my dear!!! Enjoy your special day 😀

It’s another work day tomorrow and it’s time to go to bed. Good night!

June 24-25-Saturday and Sunday
I was up early but I still managed to take a couple of minutes to snuggle up under my duvee and relax before I went for that trip to Bristol. By half past 8, I was already prepared to go but still waited for Bling who was going to work for an hour.

The bus to Bristol was late by about 10 minutes. I was excited yet quite nervous at the same time. I was going on an overnight trip alone – not that I’m not used to travelling by myself – but I found England’s roads to be far more complicated than that of other countries like Canada. I’ve been here for a month and yet I’m still too chicken to drive around. I guess I have to blame it on my poor sense of direction.

We had a short stopover at Cardiff. It was my first time to see the place besides the fact that I came from their airport. The bus station is by the city centre and the buildings around are very interesting to look at. I would’ve wanted to look around but there was no time to do that. Maybe one of these days I will be booking myself to a trip there to see at least a great part of it.

Anyway, BIL told me that I can get maps and other stuff at the bus station so it really won’t be so difficult for me. I got to Bristol shortly before 1pm. I got maps and asked for directions going to the hotel and the Hippodrome where I’ll be watching Miss Saigon. I have to admit that I’m a dimwit when it comes to road directions and sometimes I still wonder how I can get by driving without really getting lost.

Speaking of lost, I did get lost in the middle of Bristol! LOL! I couldn’t find the Hippodrome nor couldn’t I find my way to the hotel where I’ll be checking in. I rang BIL and all the more did I get lost around unfamiliar territory. I followed some of his instructions and grabbed a McDonald’s meal along the way. I was already tired and have been walking for 45 minutes when I decided to take a cab from across St. James’ Place to check into the hotel. The matinee was at half past 2 so I was already rushing by that time. I got in a people carrier driven by an Indian guy. It was my first cab ride in the UK and for some reason, I did not trust the route that he took going to the hotel. But since a friend rang me then, I didn’t pay too much attention to my gut feel.

I placed my phone back in my jacket’s pocket after the phone conversation then shortly after I arrived at the hotel. He charged me 7.90 for the trip. I know it was way too much but I just paid it anyway to get rid of him and rush to change for the matinee.

I went up to my room after checking in and that was when I realized that my phone was missing. I looked for it everywhere in my bag and in my pockets but it was not there. I figured it might have fallen off my jacket when I alighted the cab. I tried to ring my phone but it was not being answered although it was ringing. I reported the incident to the hotel manager but they needed the cab body number as there are about 500 cab drivers around the city. I was so frustrated because I wasn’t able to get that damn number and the name of the cab company. It was something that slipped my mind when I hopped into the cab. But in an effort to appease my stressed being, the manager told me that they will do what they can to try and locate the driver and get my handset back.

I was running very, very late for the matinee so I had no choice but to get a cab to the Hippodrome. I told the cab driver about what happened and he radioed his colleagues to try and find the driver. He was really very nice and it made me feel better although I know there wasn’t really much he could do for me at that time.

I got to the box office just in time before closing their doors for the show and even upgraded my ticket. I bought the cheapest ticket at 17.50 and I got upgraded to the 37.50 seat. It made my day a bit better, really!

Going through the hassle of everything that happened earlier was all worth it after watching Miss Saigon. 3/4 of the cast were Filipinos and it made me so proud looking at the Englishmen clap and give their standing ovation to them after the performance. I don’t know if it was Ima Castro who played Kim or the alternate, who’s also a Filipina but she was wonderful! The Engineer, Jon-Jon Briones was just magnificent! I looked around the venue and I don’t think I ever saw a fellow Asian watching the show. Miss Saigon was really worth the trip! Too bad I wasn’t able to watch it back home when it was the original cast who played but now I know why this musicale made our very own Lea Salonga a sensational international star!

Miss Saigon’s a typical love story with its twists and turns with a tragic ending. Primarily being set in war-torn Vietnam made their love story complicated on its own. There were a number of parts in the musicale where I got teary-eyed. But the scenes between Kim and her son, Tam, were the ones that really touched my heart because I got reminded that I left a son back home. The last couple of scenes made me cry. And when that gunshot was fired and Kim was in Chris’ arms waiting for her last breath but still with that hope that it will still be them forever – tears just kept on flowing. I’m a real sucker for love stories! Well, at least, I’m not the only one who’s crying.

The show ended about 5 past 5 and then I hopped into a cab once again to go back to the hotel. I decided to call BIL over at my spare phone (the one on international roaming) and told him that I lost my phone. He told me to go down to the police station and report the loss so that I will be able to report properly to Orange about what happened. I went down the hotel lobby again and asked for a cab to bring me to the nearest police station so I could report my phone. The cab driver was kind enough to wait for me so there was no need for me to hail another cab back to the hotel. Reporting the matter to the police took only about 20 minutes or even less. I was happy with the service. They gave me a crime reference number and printed out the details on paper. How I wish things are that efficient back home.

I texted my number at the hotel to MH and then he rang me. We spoke for a couple of minutes then I told him that I needed to get supper and probably a couple of drinks at the hotel lobby. I ate the fries from my McDonald’s meal and then decided to check out the hotel bar for some drinks. Smirnoff Ice caught my fancy and I drank it in sips while watching football. I spent 7.20 for the 2 bottles then decided to go back to my room and sleep.

Even on a vacation, I managed to wake up at quarter past 6. After watching the news, I dozed off to sleep again and woke up at half past 8. I took a bath and went down to the hotel’s restaurant for my breakfast. It was a very decent self-service buffet, enough to fill me ’til lunch time.

I relaxed for about an hour and a half then checked out of the hotel before 12 noon. I then went to the Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery. It’s 4 floors of beautiful and varied works of art and history in an enormous place. I won’t be on the bus ’til about 4pm so I spent all that vacant time looking around and enjoying history.

The admission to the museum’s free and photos were allowed to be taken. I brought along the Ixus because I wasn’t able to bring Sly’s charger with me. I was only halfway through the lobby when the camera’s battery pack died. So much for the museum photos. I was able to take about 100 or so of them that I’ll be posting very soon.

They also have a Wildlife Museum that boasts of animals that went through a taxidermist which includes, Alfred the Gorilla. He was brought to the Bristol Zoo in the 1930’s and died there in 1948.

I didn’t know that all of the tiger’s subspecies are already endangered and that there are a lot of animals in the same status because their habitat is already being wiped out. I guess this is just a timely reminder for all of us to be conscious of our environment and the other living things that abound this earth and that we need to be more caring towards them.

I was awed by the beautiful paintings created by the artists from Bristol’s earlier times. Some of the painting are even well-preserved in a climate-controlled room and they are just gorgeous to look at. There were a lot of religious paintings and a lot that depicted the social life of Bristolians in the earlier days.

The museum also boasts of the first aircraft that flew/took off vertically. It’s on display in the middle of the lobby and I took pictures of it too.

One section of the museum has pottery and chinaware displayed from the early 19th century up to the present. It was really nice to look at especially if you fancy this stuff.

The other thing that amazed me is their collection of pure silverware dating back to the 18th or 19th century. Teamakers, soup cookers, tableware, etc. abound the collection. I didn’t seen any silver jewelry though. That collection must be worth millions of pounds if bought.

The museum also has a display of dinosaur relics found in Bristol and in other parts of Europe. I read an article that there was a lady who dug up a part of a dinosaur’s leg under her shed when she was having her garden renovated. The relic was authenticated by the museum experts.

I finished wandering about the 4 floors at around half past 2. I decided to get something to eat at the museum cafe before I went to the bus station for my trip back to Swansea. I fancied on getting jacket potato with beans, cheese and fresh greens salad with a bottle of Diet Coke. I sent pictures to MH of the food I was eating and he was disgusted. I didn’t like the idea of eating beans at all but because I paid 5.45 for it, I’d rather eat it than let my money go to waste.

After eating I walked a couple of yards to the taxi stand for my ride to the bus station. A younger George Clooney look-alike greeted me with a warm “Hello!” and asked where I was going. After about 5 minutes, I was already there and I handed him a 20 to pay for my 6.90 cab fare. After he gave me the change, that was goodbye Mr. George Clooney look-alike 😀

I went to the public toilet first and paid 20p for the use. I grabbed some mints by the store and had my fag outside the station. A beggar started asking everyone for a spare cigarette. When it was my turn to be asked, I told him that I’m having my last stick. These people get financial help from the government weekly and yet they don’t try to do their best to get their lives liveable. KWIM? My philosophy in life is that, if you don’t have a cigarette, then don’t smoke. I don’t think one needs to beg for it!

The trip back home was okay except for the fact that I rode a bus full of smelly people. Kung meron mang convention ng mga me baktol, sila na siguro ang kasama ko sa bus! I was too dizzy to figure out who was the stinky one. I was more concerned of the fact that I might smell like them once I alight the bus!

From Cardiff, a Kirsten Dunst look-alike alighted the bus with her boyfriend and sat on the seats in front of me. I was pretty sure that “fresh scent” of smelly underarms came from either one of them. Imagine being on a bus for 45 minutes smelling that stuff? You can just imagine how much I wanted to spray Lysol at them or even hand them my deodorant in the bag just to keep the smell from spreading. The blower of the bus from above them was on and she raised her arms to stretch and that stench was just horrible. I almost puked but my instant reaction was just to put a hand on my nose. It was terrible I know but I just had to protect my nostrils really bad! LOL!

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, the overnight trip to Bristol may have been full of funny and irritating stories but it was one of the best getaways I’ve had in years. I went over my budget when I realized that I spent almost 140 for an overnight trip. I know it’s crazy and I so wanted to bang my head on the wall for a moment there. But the good thing was that I worked for the money I spent and it’s such a wonderful feeling to be finally independent again!

My next stop? London, baby!!!

June 22 – Thursday
I got home quite late because I got off from work at around quarter to 7 already. I had supper and spent about 2-3 hours surfing the internet for a hotel where I can stay for the night in Bristol. After countless of pages, I decided to the get the cheapest room near the city centre for 45 quid. There are bed and breakfast places in Bristol that run for as low as 25 quid. However, transportation costs would be from 10-15 quid one way. Summing it ip, I’ll be spending almost the same price as that when I get a room in the city. Ramada is 4-star so I guess it’s not really that bad after all. I was suprised that Travelodge, Days Inn and Comfort Inn prices are horrendous whereas in Canada, they’ll be one of the cheapest you can find for a place to stay. I guess different strokes for different folks, eh? Just like what my British friend told me, England is a rip off! LOL!

I still have to call Ticketmaster for my ticket to Miss Saigon on Saturday. I’m watching the matinee and I decided to just get the 17.50 ticket that would give me a good view of the stage. I’m very excited and it’s just gonna be a wonderful adventure for me especially because I’ll be alone – sort of like a lonely backpackin’ lady. LOL! Will I come across a Prince William look-alike? Who knows?!

June 21 – Wednesday
It was a cold and overcast day today. I take there was wind chill and the temperature was like at 4-5 degrees centigrade when I got off from work. I got off earlier than usual and was able to catch the bus en route by our house just on time. It was great to be home before half past 6.

Michelle was expecting some visitors so I caught her preparing lumpiang shanghai and steamed fish for supper. It wasn’t really a bad idea because I’ve had meat every single day since I got here – it would either be chicken, pork or beef, beef, pork or chicken! LOL!

I went online and booked myself a bus return to Bristol for Saturday. I’m going to watch the last show of Miss Saigon for this season and I’m very excited about it! I’m still thinking of whether to buy the 37.50 ticket or just the 17.50 one. My eyes aren’t very good so I’m thinking deeply about this. I wasn’t able to watch the play when it came to Manila so I’m definitely going to grab this chance. I’ll book the ticket tomorrow.

I’m still looking for a hotel to book for an overnight stay. Hotels here are pretty expensive (as if there’s cheap stuff around here! LOL!). I might just go for a bed and breakfast stay which would be a bit cheaper compared to regular hotels. Besides, I’m only staying for the night. Miss Saigon has 2 shows for Saturday – the matinee at 2:30 and the evening performance at 7:30. Either way, I won’t be able to catch the last bus out of Bristol to Swansea which leaves at 4pm, so I’m left with no choice but to stay overnight. My BIL says there are lots of places to go to and visit in Bristol so I’ll have all the time to do that (hopefully when I’m not too lazy to move around).

Michelle’s friends came in at around half past 7 and there was boisterous laughing everywhere in the house. I went down and was formally introduced to Gladys and Nora. Later, Chris, Gladys’ fiancee came and we were formally introduced too. They are getting married back home in January. Chris can speak and understand Tagalog fully, unlike my BIL who hardly knows a thing about it except for the expletives! LOL!

Chris shared stories about their recent trip to Manila and you can tell that he really had a grand time over there. My BIL enjoyed his stay too. I kept teasing BIL about the little secret that I know of him that until this day, my sister has no clue about. It’s gonna remain to be a secret forever! LOL!

Everyone called it a night by half past 11. We were all sleepy but everyone enjoyed the little break that we had from the usual routine that we have at night. Hopefully, I’ll be able to meet more Filipinos around here in the next couple of weeks. With summer not far behind, I hope I’ll have the hang of simply having fun in a place that’s not my home.

June 20 – Tuesday
It was a super boring day at work. I was left half of the day with nothing to do. I came in at 8:55 and finished off whatever phone calls I needed to make in like 5-10 minutes. I surfed the web and checked my e-mails. Connection was pretty good and fast here at the office. I tried to get some information from Swansea College and Swansea University because I have plans of taking up further studies. I also gathered information about taking the IELTS. The earlies I could take the test in Cardiff would be in August. The test costs 90 quid and I think that’s feasible enough for me to get in a month’s time.

FM came shortly after noon time and discussed some stuff with me. There was this Indian guy who came to see my boss looking for some equipment. I haven’t had lunch yet and there was that most disgusting smell I’ve ever smelled in my whole life! I almost puked in front of him and when my boss went down to get him to see the showroom, I went straight to the toilet and puked my heart out. I really couldn’t take it. I was pale for a couple of minutes when I looked at myself in the mirror. It was really a bad time for me.

I had a hard time eating lunch but I managed to eat a little just to fill me up. FM left after talking with the smelly bloke and I was left again all by myself to take calls and other enquiries that may come up. I was bored but I was being paid to get bored! LOL! It wasn’t really as bad as I thought it would be.

FM returned shortly before 5pm and there were a couple of things that he asked me to do for him. A client came in shortly before half past 5 so I finally got out of the office by 6pm. I got home at around half past 7 because the bus didn’t go via the route he was supposed to take. I had to walk for about 20 minutes. It wasn’t really bad though because it’s exercise for me.

Off to bed for me for now as it’s already half past midnight! Ta!

June 18 – Sunday
Michelle was on early shift today and so was BIL. I was left with the kids the whole day. It gave me ample time to check my mails and play catch up on the things I needed to do.

In the afternoon, we went to a Filipino community mass officiated by a Filipino priest. It was a very unorganized mass because the kids are very noisy and somehow, the parents couldn’t control the chaos inside the church. I did my best to intently listen to the homily and of course understand the readings. It’s been a while since I last went to mass so that one hour was very important to me. I’m glad that I didn’t have to go running around for Justin nor Miguel.

The church wasn’t even full – must be the proof that there are not so many Filipinos going to church on Sundays or a lot of them are not Catholics at all. The mass officiated by a Filipino priest is only held every 3rd Sundays of the month. I am still in the lookout for a Catholic church that I can go to in here during Sundays.

I will be going to work at 10:30 tomorrow morning so I really don’t need to rush myself to sleeping early tonight. I’ll be watching TV before going to bed!

See ya tomorrow! Ta!

June 17 – Saturday
It was an ordinary Saturday for all of us at home. I rested the whole time and just did the laundry. In the afternoon, I went to the convenience store and bought some scratchcards for me to play on. I won 4 quid in the 2 cards that I bought. Not bad I think! I’ll have to go and exchange it for some cash when I’m free to go.

It’s just great that I’m able to spend a day without worrying too much on spending!

June 16 – Friday
After doing some stuff at the office, I was asked to go to the house next door to help Kuya Lawrence with the cleaning. The couple renting one of the rooms will be moving in tomorrow so there’s a lot of work to be done and had to be done at the soonest time possible. I helped Kuya Lawrence by cleaning the windows. Of course, I’m not used to doing that stuff but I had to for the money. I almost fell from outside the window while I was cleaning it. I am just glad that my guardian angel protected me from slipping eventually from the ladder.

By mid-day, I’ve already cleaned the windows in the 2 out of the 3 rooms in the upper level of the house. I went to lunch after cleaning the windows in the toilet. I can feel the pain at my back growing in intensity but I kept it to myself because it won’t do me any good complaining. I rested for a while after eating then continued my work cleaning the windows in the living room, kitchen and bathroom.

By 6pm, I was already mopping the floors to clean it up. I started with the bathroom then the kitchen then onto the living room. My boss came in and asked if I could iron the curtains needed to be hanged up the bedroom windows. There were 4 large curtains that I ironed until about 8pm. By the time I finished folding the last of the 4 curtains, I was exhausted and very, very tired.

My boss gave us a lift home in his very cool 2-door Mercedes. It was actually my first time to ride such a car and since the weather was great, he didn’t have the roof up and we were just like the coolest people in town! LOL!

By the time I got home, I was too weak to speak and too weak to even smile. All I ever wanted for now is to rest and sleep!

June 15 – Thursday
I woke up very early again this morning so as not to miss my 9am work. Today was just all about cleaning out FM’s backlog stuff on his desk. There’s so many things to do and yet there are only a handful of people doing it. The backlog on work is understandable considering that there are only 2 people manning the office – my boss and his son. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help them a lot ease the operations in the long run.

My boss told me that he just acquired the property next door very recently and someone will already be moving in in one of the rooms of the house by Saturday. Work’s being rushed and I might be helping out there tomorrow if I’m needed to clean stuff.

It was another tiring day but I’ll get by.

June 14 – Wednesday
I met Kuya Lawrence in the bus on my way to work. He would teach me where to go so that if ever I need to go by myself early in the day, I can manage to go to the office without getting lost.

I was interviewed by FM and he gave me a brief introduction of what I will be doing at the office as the official secretary for his small company. Basic clerical work I should say and some accounting work. As agreed upon before he would sometimes pull me out from the office and would have to do some domestic cleaning for him at some of the houses he rents out. It’s pretty much okay for me for as long as he wouldn’t need me to tend to his garden! LOL!

I got home after office hours and it was kinda tiring because I had information overload on my part. It’s been a while since I’ve been given loads of instructions to follow but I gues I’ll be able to manage sometime very soon once I’ve adjusted to the workload.

Tomorrow will be another day!

June 13 – Tuesday
We went to Bristol today and I was excited because it was going to be my first trip out of Wales. Bristol’s about an hour and a half drive from Swansea and we brought the kids along for picture taking and some sightseeing since both Michelle and BIL are off from work.

I really couldn’t remember which of the bridges we passed by went first but there were 2 – the Severn Bridge and the Avonmouth Bridge in Bristol. It was cool passing by those bridges. 🙂 We first went to Alan’s former workplace at the Royal Portbury Dock. BIL used to be a car surveyor for the cars that enter the port for sale in the UK or for sale in other European countries such as Spain and France. There was a ship from the Philippines there called Noble Ace. The place was pretty cool considering it was my first time to actually be in a dock. Pretty interesting I should say!

Then we went to Almondsbury where Michelle bought her garden pond. The place is teeming with beautiful trees and it’s really a grand example of a beautiful countryside. Then we went to the Clifton Hill Suspension Bridge where I got some pictures taken. I tried to cross the suspension bridge but I chickened out when I saw the sight from below. I really can’t cross that bridge at all! It was too high for me to cross!

Then we went around the city proper before going to Ashton Court Estate. The place is enormous and is very beautiful; more like the countryside really! We spent a couple of minutes there then decided that it was time to go back home.

We passed by Newport to visit BIL’s friend, Robin, who is my nephew’s godfather. It was already 9pm when we left and we travelled about an hour more before getting home. I was left with Miguel at home because he had school in the morning while the rest of the family went to a friend’s place for a birthday party. I was too tired to go and I will start working tomorrow for FM. Oh boy! This was an exciting day and I’m looking forward to the work that I will be doing for FM starting tomorrow.

Before I forget, here are the pictures I took from our trip! Have fun viewing them!

June 3 – Saturday
It’s Ryan’s birthday today! We called him up this morning to disturb him from his sleep just to greet him. Apparently, he was not asleep yet as they were just heading home from playing billiards. He said that he’s going fishing to San Diego today for his birthday. That’s pretty interesting of him to do! At least, he has now found a hobby to keep him busy aside from work.

Michelle brought me to the Singleton car boot. Now, what is a car boot? From my own understanding, it’s a place where people bring in their cars full of their second-hand or new stuff that they don’t need for selling. More like a garage sale of sorts. I was actually amazed by the variety of stuff they’re selling because most of them are like new or if used, then it was hardly used at all. I bought a number of books – both paperback and hardbound ones. I even got this Jean Auel novel for 50p and books about Princess Diana for 3 for a quid which were all hardbound. By the end of my book search, I ended up with 2 full bags of books and spent only about 4 quid for everything. A real bargain indeed!

My sister told me that there’s even a bigger one about an hour’s drive from our place and she will see about going there one of these days when the schedule permits.

We went to the Mumbles in the afternoon since the weather’s been lovely! People from all walks of life are trekking the roads leading to the Mumbles wearing only their bras and shorts. Men are naked waist up, willingly exposing their bodies to the sun. I enjoyed basking under the sun but I soon realized that my color has darkened a bit and I know it will take me a while before I get my natural color back. But of course, these people still love my color! LOL!

We planned to go to the lighthouse since it’s still low tide and there’s plenty of time for us to trek the beautiful sea while it’s still not covered with water. Gian told me that there used to be a rail station underneath that transported ammunition to the Welsh camp during the war. Of course, my goody pal, Sly, took over in capturing those perfect Kodak moments.

It was already 7pm but the sun was still shining so brightly! We decided to just go back to the pier because no one seems to be going to the lighthouse anymore. I felt that it wasn’t a good idea to trek the path to the lighthouse because there might be not-so-good people lurking in the area searching for prey. It’s always better to be safe than be sorry.

I fancied on buying an ice cream cone here. It was mint flavored but it wasn’t as yummy as the Walls’ Magnum ice cream bar. Wall’s is our Selecta back home. The cone was worth 1.30. Too expensive for an ice cream cone, don’t you think?

Anyway, speaking of ice cream, Walls’ Magnum bar costs around 3 quid for 3 pieces if I’m not mistaken. Michelle bought boxes of it when it went on sale at Tesco’s for 1.50 buy 1 get 1 free. No bad huh! The good thing out here is that when they go on sale, it’s really a great deal most of the time. How I wish it’s the same thing over back home as well.

You can view my pictures from my day out today here.