Archive for August, 2007

I’m Normal!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Before you disagree too quickly with the title, read on: You all know that I’m currently at New Wine – and I hope you’re all spending some time taking part in the Six Degrees of GottleBlog project I told you about in the last post. But in acknowledging that spending two weeks of your annual leave working on a medical team isn’t exactly what normal people do, I thought I’d reassure you that I DO have normal holidays as well.

If you discount the week in Devon at Easter, my last normal holiday was in May 1999. I went on a fly-drive to Amerikaland with my ham radio chums Mike and Sheila: OK, the main point of the trip was to spend three days at the Dayton Ham Radio Convention – the world’s biggest excuse for gadget addicts to spend money – but we did also do normal touristy things for the other eleven days. We started and finished in Washington DC, visiting Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, the Great Smokey Mountains…incidentally, followers of English comedy TV detectives may be interested to know that there’s a place in the Great Smokies called Jonathon Creek. But probably not.

We visited theatres and museums, we drove through scenery, and we visited the factory where Ten-Tec ham radio kit is made. OK, maybe we’re not TOTALLY normal. We also ate loads: The two meals that stick in my mind the most are the all-you-can-eat chinese buffet in Charlottesville, and the chinese restaurant in Dayton, where we ordered three portions of sweet and sour. It duly arrived, and we thought that while it wasn’t bad by English standards, it wasn’t the portion size we’d come to expect in the states.

Then two more portions the same appeared.

We had lots of fun, spent loads of money (I bought my first laptop at Dayton), ate far too much, and then we went home. The End. But stay tuned – in a future episode of Paul’s Normal Holidays I’ll tell you about Israel.