My shiny new YHA membership card arrived today. It is shiny, in fact, because when my membership expired last month the reminder came with an offer to upgrade to a lifetime gold membership for a reduced price. And when I did the calculations, I worked out that over the years I’ve renewed my membership enough times that a lifetime membership would have already have paid for itself. And I stay in YHAs often enough that having a membership is definitely worth it, between the hostel discounts and free wi-fi. So I took the plunge and upgraded.
Now I just have to plan lots of exciting trips over the next few years to justify paying all that money for my new shiny gold card.  Lytteltonwitch and I have a wee road trip planned for Easter that will give it a bit of use, so that’s a start…

Harvestbird and I actually managed to have lunch together today, for the first time in what seems like forever. She’s been teaching summer school, so hasn’t been able to get in from Lincoln in her lunch breaks. But now that we’re into first semester, her schedule has freed up a bit, so we went to our favourite yum cha place today and enjoyed much steamed bun and fried squid goodness.
Oh yeah, and some good conversation too. But really it’s all about the food 😉

In the ongoing saga of the eaves, theoretically the work is all finished, because the painter came and painted the repaired section a few days ago. The building company (that is project managing the repair) sent me a form to sign to say the work was complete, so I thought I’d better have another look at the repairs before I signed it off… and I discovered that the new section was painted cream, while the rest of the soffit (which I’ve learnt is the proper name for what I’ve been calling “that underneath part of the eaves, you know what I mean”) is white. So much for colour-matching the paint. So I emailed the administrator at the building company and mentioned this (in a really nice “I was just wondering” sort of way, because I feel a bit guilty complaining about it at all, given that I’m going to have to repaint the entire thing sometime soon anyway, because the paint is starting to flake in another area (and it’s probably 20 years since it was last painted), but the scope of works did say that the paint was to match the existing colour), and she replied with a rather weak excuse that the painter hadn’t been able to take a paint sample to do a proper match because of the asbestos danger (yeah, right – I reckon he just had half a tin left over from another job and thought he could get away with it. I know when it comes to paint there’s a lot of shades of white, but surely you don’t need to take a sample to tell the difference between white and cream), but they’d be happy to send the painter back to try again. So I suggested just good old fashioned “brilliant white” would be an acceptable match.
So it’s back to waiting again now to see how long before the painter comes back, and if he manages to get a closer approximation to white this time… (Harvestbird and I were contemplating at lunch what the painter equivalent of a waiter spitting in your food if you send it back is – maybe “accidentally” dripping white paint down the brickwork?)

I can’t remember if I mentioned this the other day, but my call for Friends of CEISMIC volunteers has already paid off!  I got an email the other day from someone who works as an archivist and wants to get some experience in digital archiving, asking if she could come and volunteer with us!  It’s very exciting, because we’ll be able to learn just as much from her as she does from us (none of us have any formal archiving background), plus it’s a fantastic endorsement of the project that someone like that would be interested.  So I’m feeling pretty proud of my wee idea 🙂

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  1. It is a pity that I couldn’t get anyone interested in volunteering for you. YHAs and road trips are the perfect mix. Best thing I did was get a life membership.

    1. Youth Hostel Association (I think they’re called Hostelling International in the USA) – among other things they run backpackers’ hostels all over the world. Great places to stay if you’re more concerned about a cheap and safe place to sleep than about luxury, and membership gives you a decent discount. And despite the “youth” bit in the name, there’s no age restriction 😉

  2. I took out lifetime membership of YHA Australia about 10 years ago. The price was the equivalent of 10 annual memberships so I guess I'm breaking even around about now. Anything from now on is a bonus!
    Up until last year there wasn't any extra bonuses to YHA membership apart from a slightly discounted nightly rate. And the odd discount for day tours and some adventure equipment shops. However, last year they introduced a free night deal for lifetime members. It entitles you to one free night in a multi-bed dorm per year. Not a huge fan of mult-bed dorms but I'll put up with it if it's free!

    1. They haven’t offered me any free nights, so I assume that’s just an Australian thing. They do offer free wi-fi to members at most NZ hostels though, which is a nice bonus when I want to spend an evening registering every book on their exchange shelf 🙂

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