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November 28, 2008

Back to normality - almost

Depends I suppose on what you call normality. At least I'm back home and trying to catch up with everything that has been waiting for me here at home. There is certainly plenty needing attention.

The contrast between Almaty and here is a lot more than simply the difference in location and climate, and believe me it's cold there. You notice it as soon as you step out of the direct sun, the temperature in the shade is a lot lower than the sunny areas. Partly I guess this is due to the altitude, after all Almaty is roughly 900 metres above sea level, but the other part is that it is right on the back edge of the Himalayas - and they have a neat blanket of snow. There it is cold a dry - the Gobi Desert is a bare couple of hundred miles to the East - but it is also exposed to the North and, as I discovered yesterday during the flight home, Astana, the new Capital City (and it is new - barely 10 years old, all of it!) is a good two hours flight from Almaty. And where Almaty had some snow in shaded spots, Astana had snow. All of it. And a wind that didn't even make the attempt to go round you, it just drove straight through without even nodding. But then, Astana is on the Southern edge of Siberia.....

It was an incredibly long day. There is a six hour time difference between Almaty and here, plus six hours flying between Astana and FRankfurt an hour and half waiting at Frankfurt and another hour flying to Heathrow, plus two hours from Almaty to Astana and the waiting around at both airports for flights ..... In short, I was up at roughly 0230 GMT and got home at 2330 GMT last night. Then the Jetlag kicked in - and I didn't manage to get to sleep until around 0200 this morning - only to wake again at 0630 because Madam insisted!

Ah well, at least I have managed to get the laundry done, to sort out the mail and a couple of other things, cleaned and tidyied a bit and tried to make a few calls to sort out next week. At least the news on my brother's hip is good, he's back on his feet again and feeling a lot more content with life, the universe and everything.

OK, back to the grindstone - the last of the laundry needs hanging and the temperature is falling fast round here.

Posted by The Gray Monk at November 28, 2008 03:03 PM

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