On Saturday, we went to the zoo with our friends N and H and their kids J and L (L is only a little baby though and slept most of the time). I love the zoo – the kids can safely zoom about on their scooters without too much danger (although there are zoo vehicles, they seem to be used to small children). While I was there, I had a little looky look at the plants they have – never looks scruffy so I assume that they have a team of gardeners. Also, they plant to attract bees and butterflies which is what I try to do.
I just love this photo of a load of euphorbia – I’ve always liked euphorbia, I find the idea of green flowers really exotic. Even the euphorbia weeds that come up are beautiful.
Separately, my friend M and I are going on a weekend trip to St Petersburg! We are very excited – my last childfree weekend away got cancelled because my husband broke his ankle. So far, I have booked the flights and given BA both sets of passenger information. M has booked the hotel. So far, so good. However, I’ve also been having a look at the visa requirements – basically, you need a visa to visit Russia for any length of time, unless you are on a cruise.
It’s rather amusing because on the visa form, you need to list all the countries you’ve been to in the last ten years. For countries outside the EU, this is no problem – I have stamps in my passport. For countries within the EU it is a bit more tricky and poses a few questions:
- If I went to France but flew into Geneva, do I also need to list Switzerland?
- If I was skiing in France and one day skied into Switzerland, do I need to list Switzerland?
- In any case, exactly which years did we go to Switzerland, France, Italy etc? I only started using Facebook in 2007 so don’t have great records.
- For heaven’s sake, did I and T get married before us or after us? What year was that? Ugh.
We also need to get a Tourist voucher / Tourist confirmation document stamped and signed by an authorised person at the hotel (I think M will sort this), a passport photo, a copy of the eTicket and bank statements to show that we have some money. Also about £100 in visa fees etc. Still, these are extremely First World problems and my being surprised is just the result of being spoilt – some people live in countries where they have to provide this sort of information every time they go to another country.
Good luck to all the people waiting to see what primary schools their 4 year old will be going to in September. Today is National Offer Day and people in London and Surrey will get their emails after 5pm (I think some people outside London have already found out what schools they got).