London’s still

…a blog about an ordinary Australian living in London

Youse arksed for it! July 28, 2008

Filed under: Friends and Family,The Social Scene,Travel — Annaleis @ 1:54 pm

Here are some pics from Italy, hope you enjoy

(sorry, know I’m really late and need to update desperately, had lots going on!)

We had just got to our Tuscan Chateau, it was stinkin’ hot!

This is our wicked awesome pool that we got to swim in and youse didn’t.

This is the view of the castle where James and Aggie got married, from our joint. Isn’t it pretty?

This is me and Dernie and my huge fat chops, just about to go in and sit in the church in 30+ degree heat, despite the wedding being at 5:30pm! Phoar!

Agatha and James – Newlyweds!

An amazing cathedral we happened to stumble upon in Siena, we had no idea it was there, one minute we were lost down a tiny alley way, next we turn a corner and there we are!

The square in Siena where it’s all happenin’!

See what I mean?  We were innocently sitting at a cafe, eating an innocent (yet delicious) pizza or two, and lo and behold, a parade enters the square and does a lap of honour, stopping and singing at each corner!  It was absolutely incredible!  They were celebrating because their team had won the horse race around the square, and they had a huge following of young and old, and most of them had dummies around their necks.  Couldn’t quite figure that one out but hey, I’ll let it slide.

Well, I hope youse enjoyed that little update.  I would just like to add that I was talking to Nicoooooole while I was writing this post, and she may have influenced me somewhat.

That is all.

 

A Grand Day Out June 29, 2008

Filed under: England,Friends and Family,Travel — Annaleis @ 8:06 pm

Marcus and Hayley have come to visit, and Dernie and I have been showing them around!
Here’s what we’ve been up to:

They arrived;

We went to see Trafalgar Square;

We got hungry and ate stuff,

We visited some old friends at Madame Tussauds’ joint,

And giggled at various things on the London Eye (OK, they giggled at me…).

Last but not least we checked out the Tower of London, before heading to Euston so Marcus and Hayley could check into their hotel.  Tomorrow at dawn they set off for Europe on a bus.

Have fun guys, see you in a few weeks!

 

The day Gio came to stay April 9, 2008

Filed under: England,Friends and Family — Annaleis @ 9:21 am

Roight!

Some of youse have been wondering what I’ve been up to lately, and I’ve been saving my blogging prowess until something exciting happened, and guess what? It has!

The first exciting thing that happened is that Gio made it to ‘Londinium’ after all this time, and we celebrated this miraculous occurrence starting on Friday afternoon by first picking him up from Paddington station (I recognised him immediately because he described himself as being dressed as a twat), organising him an Oyster, then going straight to Piccadilly for a whistle-stop tour of central London (and over here to your ‘yawn’ left, is Big Ben, millennium wheel, Downing Street etc blah blah). I’ve done this quite a few times now and I’m really starting to take it for granted…not good.

Big Ben and the London Eye

We ended up getting very hungry and thirsty and going to the Porterhouse pub in Covent Garden for some much needed Boags Premium, and when that got too crowded moved on to the Walkabout pub next door for some Crownies and…Sambucca… 😉 Not to mention the Chocolate Mini Eggs that Gio ate off the (sticky) floor

Crownies at the Walkabout

Dernie Showed up some time after that specifically to laugh at us and buy us some drinks, because we were still thirsty. Noice of him! We left the pub at closing time and took the bus back to my flat. By this time I was very tired…and sober…

Go the number 13 bus!

I don\'t remember this bit, ergo, it didn\'t happen.

See? There’s me being sober

Everything else that night has been made up.  I reasoned that if something is not in my memory then it (obviously) did not happen. Suffice it to say that my flatmates, Gio and Dernie all laughed at me the next day. Ha blimmin’ ha.

At this point I need to say that Friday was the warmest day London has seen this year, it was full-on shorts weather, though I refused to suffer the indignity of bearing my pasty legs. The Saturday must have been one of the coldest days of the year, and on the Sunday I woke up and the whole city looked like this:

The backyard

This was about 10am, in the garden at my flat. Snowfights ensued. 😀

The snow ball

He was aiming for me!

An old Irish trick

‘Just stand under this tree for a minute – there’s a good girl…’

revenge

Revenge

What a shot!

Tulip Icecreams

We made it through our snow war, then went to Hampstead Heath to experience a bit more.  There were some crazy people there wandering around in shorts, but unfortunately I don’t have those photos.  The snow had melted almost completely by the afternoon. 😦 but it was great while it lasted!

That night was another party, this time in my flat, organised by my flatmates. about 10 of us consumed about 5 pizzas, plus sides and 15 bottles of wine.  I did not feel very well halfway through the night so piked it really early (hehe sorry Gio!)  The next day was G’s last day so we went back into town, did a little more sightseeing (this time at the National Gallery – very swish!) then I dropped him back at Paddington Bear station, and he was never heard of again.

Since then I’ve done nothing but sleep, so thanks Gio for coming to visit me and making the snowy weekend even better!

Until next time something exciting happens…

 

Workity work March 5, 2008

Filed under: Education,Friends and Family — Annaleis @ 5:11 pm

This is the height of procrastination…I’m at school, after hours (the school is open late tonight due to a meeting that I need not attend) and I prepared myself for a work lock-in.  Thus far exactly NONE work has been started.  NONE.

But, Gio has got himself a mobile phone and called me! He’s apparently coming to see me the weekend after Easter for some drinks and chats.  I’ll hold him to that.  My day has just gotten brighter (Well, metaphorically speaking of course, the day is actually getting darker as it’s now after 5pm.  But I didn’t have to tell you that did I?).

Now, back to work!

 

Onwards and Upwards October 25, 2007

Filed under: Friends and Family,Travel — Annaleis @ 5:48 pm

OK everyone, B R E A T H E !

Yeah yeah, I’m back, and without an apology for my tardiness in regards to keeping up this bloglet. The truth is I’ve had far more pressing matters to attend to since my last post, namely employment. Busy busy busy.

So, in an attempt to get back on some sort of track, let me redirect your attentions to where we left off in the last episode. Let me see…

Ah yes, we’d just visited York, the jewel of the North. Well, I thought it was pretty good anyway.

 

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Onwards and upwards to Scotland next, we spent the next 2 nights in glorious Edinburgh, checkin’ out the castle and other such things. I really liked the tartan weaving mill, amazing stuff. I think if I wasn’t a teacher the one thing I’d really enjoy doing would be working in the textiles industry. Incredibly, the whole time we were in Scotland we didn’t touch a single drop of whiskey. If only they were famous for distilling Rum, I’d still be there for sure.

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Edinburgh Castle from far far away

After our lovely two nights in a cosy B&B in the heart of the city (Dad was rapt after he heard our host say ‘aye’ and ‘wee’ for the first time, hehe) we packed our bags up again and drifted further north in search of Inverness. Along the way we saw some funny things, such as this:

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Which kept us laughing all day, and some spectacular patchworky scenery such as this:

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and this, which isn’t very patchworky but is very slishy sloshy:

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on the way to Balmoral Castle (the Queen’s official residence in Scotland).

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Balmoral Castle

After Balmoral we ended up in Inverness, where we started our cruise down the Loch Ness. It was a beautiful sunny day, but there were no suspiciously big fishes swimming around for me to take photos of. There were some big something-elses sticking out elsewhere on the cruise that I couldn’t resist taking photos of…

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She stood like that for most of the trip. I had to pretend it was the wind that was making my eyes water. Sheesh.

Here’s my favourite photo of me and Mump, taken on Loch Ness:

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Cheese!

This cruise boat was full of surprises…check out what we found screwed to the back of the toilet doors:

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I was a bit concerned about having to eat my toilet paper…at first.

Off the boat and back on solid Inverness ground, but not for long! We got out of there as fast as we could, and even that wasn’t quick enough. Inverness is a very industrial town with lots of gloomy places to get lost in. I think we found them all. The best part was the night we got there, and we were looking for our accommodation. We stopped to ask a local if he could help us with directions. His answer was a very curt ‘I recommend the lamb chops.’ Then he hightailed it away from us. Apparently lost tourists are the most dangerous specimens in Inverness.

From Inverness we headed up the eastern coast through Wick, and up to John O’Groats, which is one end of the most extreme points of mainland Britain (the other being Land’s End in Cornwall, but I’ll tell you about that when we come to it).

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This is a spectacular storm we drove through on our way from Wick to John O’Groats.
At that moment it was over the water and heading inland.

We had a good nights sleep and a good feed in ol’ Groatsey, but I had the shower from hell. Stupid shower.

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This is the furthermost ‘house’ (souvenier shop)in British Mainland.
We could see the Orkney Islands from here.

Next on the map was Dunnet Head, which is the Northern-most tip of mainland Britain. We found it after going up some windy roads and backtracking a few times after deciphering Scottish signs that said something along the lines of ‘this road doesn’t go to Dunnet Head’. I think it said something more like: Thy raed daesne gota Dunnet Haed’ or something. Whatever it said it took us a good 5 minutes to work it out. But I didn’t feel bad; my mate Dave is from Glasgow, and he said when he went touring to the far north of Scotland, he couldn’t even understand what they were saying!

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The Beautiful Dunnet Head

Moving right along, I’m going to skip a few bits now because this is going to be way too long. From Dunnet Head we travelled west through Tongue (you heard me), and this is about where we saw some of these lollygegging along the roadside:

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They’re Highland Cows, and the only reason they can survive up here is because they face the wind head on.
I think their shaggy dreds help a bit too.

The Scottish call them ‘Wee Hieland Coo’s’, and yeah they spell it like that too. I think they’re awesome.

Here’s the most incredible picture I got in Scotland…Look closely.

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See that little white blob in the middle, slightly to the left? I’d magnify it for you and put a circle around it but can’t figure out how to get it into WordPress, but anyway it’s someone’s house.

A house, and two sheds. In the middle of nowhere. The only man-made structures around as far as the eye could see.

Isolation at its best.

 

July/August 2007 August 25, 2007

Filed under: England,Friends and Family — Annaleis @ 7:51 pm

Although the English weather tried its best to destroy my spirits, I still managed to have a great summer, helped mainly by the presence of me Ma and Da, who as you avid followers of blogdom know, came over to visit Europe for 3 weeks, and me for 7.

I’m pleased to announce that they made it back to Australia safely, and are still suffering the pangs of jetlag.

Enough of that formal bollocks, let’s get down to the real stuff!

One sunny weekend we took a train to Brighton for a grand day out. The beach there is fantastic, not a grain of sand in sight, and those funny little deckchairs are for hire that you thought you would only see on telly.

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Check out the sand:

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That’s something I don’t wanna get in my eyes.

Enough of that gallivanting about on beaches.

On Saturday July 21 we packed our bags, left Golders Green, tubed to Edgware with our bags in tow and picked up our hire car. No Air-con, but that’s OK, right? Not so right. Anyway, from London we travelled North on the M1 until we reached York, about 3 hours drive away, methinks.

York is a smaller city in the county of Yorkshire, and was settled by the Romans way back in the day, and also has a long and bloody viking history too. It’s got a cute little castle called Clifford’s Tower, where many of the Jewish community were burned alive for some real or imagined slight back in the days of old.

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It used to be made of wood, and you can pay a few quid to go up into it and see the car park next door.

York Minster was pretty amazing

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I particularly liked these kingly dudes, who were camped out inside

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Sorry they’re so blurry, my camera is afraid ofthe dark.

We also went to a car/plane/bike show. Interesting stuff.

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That’s enough for now, my eyes are pulsating and it just doesn’t feel right.  Coming up in the next installment, Edinburgh, Loch Ness, John O’Groats and much more!

Stay tuned.

 

 

Up and Down and Back Again August 4, 2007

Filed under: England,Friends and Family,Ramblings,The Social Scene — Annaleis @ 5:53 pm

Hi once again from the Emerald Isle!
Just a little update for you avid fans out there…

After touring in a hired Fiat Punto around Scotland, then south through Cumbria and into Wales (visiting some rather quaint little unpronouncable villages along the way – some with buildings older than the nation in which I was born), we have now arrived in the greenest of the green lands – no, not Greenland, you fools – Ireland!

We have just finished day 1 of an 8 day bus tour which promises to take us around the coastal areas of the Republic of Ireland, and into Northern Ireland. We have been promised a world of fun, and so far the tour company have delivered, and I have sampled the kiss of the Blarney Stone, which may to some extent explain why I’m dribbling so much today. And so eloquently too.

Over the next few days we’ll go see the Gaint’s Causeway and other such attractions, and probably drink lots o’f Guinness. After the tour we’re heading straight back to Bristol, picking up our new hire car and heading to South West England, where we’ll tour the likes of Weston-super-Mare (Bottom fans will understand), Cornwall and Devon.

In Cornwall we’ll be going to Lands end, which ties into where we went in Scotland, a lovely little place called John O’Groats, which just happens to be the furthest distance in Britain from Lands end in Cornwall. I’ll have been to both extremes! Hurrah.
OK, signing off now –
It’s going to be great Craic!