Spoke too soon

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Well I got the quote from the camera repair place, and it's not pretty. Unfortunately they didn't tell me what exactly was wrong with the lens, just what they were going to go and the parts that needed replacing. I e-mailed them back to see if I could get a direct answer from them, but for now, I know that the labor and parts on the lens alone add up to £291.65. That's over £130 in parts and another £90 in labor, not including 15% VAT. Plus, that's not a final count. If I okay the repairs and they find more stuff wrong that value could go up. 

At this rate, it's more worth my while to get a new lens bought for me back home at the Canadian cost of $750 or about (£370), rather than paying almost £300 in repairs and risk the chance that they could find something new that's wrong and have that figure jump higher than the cost of purchasing a new one. Fortunately I have a group of friends coming to visit me on the 9th of June, and they could bring me a new lens. 

It's very frustrating and upsetting - mainly because this could've been completely avoided if I had just been more careful. Somehow its not really the money - about a month ago I had come to terms with the fact that I might need to replace my laptop while I was here - but that was because it was a pos and Vista sucks, not because I threw it down the stairs. It's the same amount of money, yet the fact that it is my fault makes it that much worse. Plus now, I'm going to be without a camera for the next 3 weeks - a HUGE amount of time for me. 

Either way, it sucks. A lot. So very very much. But, I guess it's just one of those things that happens. Not the end of the world I guess. 

Back from Vacation Land!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hello! I am just starting to get readjusted to home life after a whirlwind of a month of vacation with my mother and aunt. As a quick recap, I'll go over quickly what we did:

My Mom and aunt arrived on the 25th of April. We spent the weekend in London before hopping an early morning train on Monday to Salisbury. We spent three nights at a lovely B&B in Salisbury, sightseeing and spending one day out to see Stonehenge. Thursday we took the train from Salisbury to Bath, where we spent two nights at another B&B. The first couple of days we sightsaw (is that even a word?!) around Bath. I saw the Roman Baths and the Salisbury Cathedral. The final day, before we returned to London, we took a day trip out to see Avebury Stone Circle, Stonehenge (again!), and two little villages called Castle Combe and Lacock. We took a late train back to London that night. 

We arrived back in London on May 2nd, and spent the next 9 days in London. We took one day trip out to see a village called St. Alban's, but other than that we toured around London. 

On May 11th, my aunt flew home and my mother and I flew to Edinburgh. My aunt had limited vacation time, while my mother had more, so she opted to stay longer. We spent 4 nights in Edinburgh and toured the city. We saw the several castles, a beach (I know!), the Royal Mile, and took a trip out to see Rosslyn Chapel. Very lovely. 

From Friday night on my mom and I spent the next 4-5 days in London. We saw some new parts of London, like the far East docklands and deep into the South Bank, which was a nice change for me from the usual. She flew home on Wednesday the 20th and I have just started readjusting to non-vacation life again. 

The month didn't hurt me as bad as I thought it was going to after the first week. Looking at the money we spent in our first week in Salisbury and Bath (which was more than I had planned!) threw me off, although I recuperated well and spent very little while in London. Edinburgh was also reasonably cheap - the flights cost less than 80 quid each and my lovely mother treated me to the B&B. 

It was a bit strange, thought, being treated to things again. Here, on my own, no one buys me things - we also buy ourselves dinner when we go out, and I'm not much of a dater. It was nice to have people buy me things, and lovely, but it also felt a bit awkward, especially when I know my mother worked hard to save money and come here. 

All in all I finished £855 shorter than I started the month with (and I got a paycheque from the old job, too) - and I'm waiting for my awful camera repair quote to come (eeek!). I'm pleased that I had an awesome vacation without going too much overboard.

It's also nice to know that I still have £6,527.96 left to last me. I'm glad to know that even with pumped up spending over the summer I could survive until the end of January 2010 without working again. Of course I am going to seek out work, most likely starting in August, and with that extra money I should live comfortably until I am ready to go home next spring. 

In the meantime, I am comfortably surfing the next week, waiting patiently for my camera repair bill (uuugh...) and looking forward to more friend visits next month!