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.

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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!

 

I gots technology… May 18, 2008

Filed under: England,The Social Scene,Travel — Annaleis @ 6:08 pm

Heya youse blokes, just checkin’ in and updating things that have happened recently:

I received a belated Christmas pressie last week that I am totally rapt with, in the form of an IPod Nano! I was so excited and scared of scratching it that I went out the next day and used some of my John Lewis (bit like pommy Myers) vouchers that my old school gave me as a leaving present and bought a swish red leather case.

Here is my pride and joy pictured with my new Laptop – if you look closely you can see whose website I was looking at at the time…

Marcus’! I thought it only fitting as the gift was from him and Hayley. Thankyou guys, I love it!

You might be thinking ‘Good one Annaleis, bout time you got a lap top! Geez!’ and you’re right, it was about time, so I managed to acquire one thanks to Dernie 🙂 He set it all up for me and fixes it when I can’t figure out what it’s doing or when the internet connection drops out, causing me to nearly slug it up the chops. Which for anyone who knows me, is unsurprisingly often.

My social calendar is quickly filling up these days, not only am I working full weeks supply teaching (not bad really!) but my weekends are being overrun with activities. Take last weekend for example, Dernie found out on Friday that he’d landed a new job, and we couldn’t let that go uncelebrated, so we celebrated in the central London pubs and drank rum and Diet coke (with lime, people – I’m posh now!). The next day I nursed a hangover while lounging around in the 27 degree heat in Richmond Park, near Wimbledon (ah what a life!)

This weekend was very quiet. The highlight was that I had a kebab for tea last night. It was very nice thankyou. Precisely NONE alcohol was consumed.

Moving right along, next Saturday I am going Air-softing (yay!) with my flatmates! I’ve been once before and loved it. Everyone there gets dressed up in hardcore army gear (except Andy J and myself, who aren’t hardcore in the least) and shoot big black guns filled with little white pellets at each other. They sting when you’re up close, believe me!

The day is set up into different games, and is a lot like Unreal Tournament, because you play ‘capture the flag’ style games, and each team (there are two teams, red and blue) might have a different objective, like protect the box full of nothing, but you only have one life, and the other team has to capture the box, but they might have unlimited lives etc.

It’s a pretty full day, we’ll be out of the flat at around 6am to drive up north to this place, and we’ll be back probably by nightfall. Lots of fun though!

The weekend AFTER all that, Dernie and I are going to Ireland for the weekend – partly so I can meet the family (eek!) and partly to attend his mate’s wedding. I got to buy a pretty dress to wear so I’m happy. Wanna see it? Too bad! I still have to buy shoes that match, and Andy T reckons I need a big flouncy hat…I don’t think so Tim.

Anyway, that’s enough blogging for one month. Until next time kids!

ps. Happy birthday Bread Bread! Have fun in Hobart with the kiddies!

 

More from Stockholm February 21, 2008

Filed under: Travel — Annaleis @ 11:04 pm

Hiya!  Some of youse blokes have been wondering what Stockholm was like, what we got up to and how cold it was.

Well, when we landed in Skavsta Airport, we found our way on the rainbow bus into Central Station where my mate Lindy was waiting to pick us up in her trusty Volvo.

Initially she drove us around in the middle of the night (we arrived at about 10:30 Sweden time) before finally letting us off at her house out in the ‘burbs to meet her husband Johan and their mate Rob-from-Bristol, who was very funny and very pissed!

After a few welcome late night drinks we turned in for the night, then awoke the next morning to meet Lindy and Johan’s energetic four year old son Emil, who insisted we play table hockey with him for hours!

We eventually escaped with the promise of another game upon our inevitable return, and Lindy whisked us out of the house to see the sights of Gamla Sta – the Old Town.

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There was lots to see there, we went into the local church,

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and learned a bit of history about the area, like the feature stones around the windows of this building:

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which represented each Danish head that was severed during one of the times Sweden ruled Denmark (or vice versa, Lindy wasn’t entirely sure!)

We also saw a cannon ball sticking out of the corner of the building next to this one…apparently it’s been there for centuries…

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See it? SEE IT?! It’s just above the round sign on the corner.

After that we sat down for a Semla (marzipan flavoured Swedish cream bun) and a cuppa tea, then waddled off for more sight seeing.  By this time it was about 3pm and starting to get dark.

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There’s lots of photos like these – check out my Flickr account to see them properly (right hand side)

Hrm, what else?

Oh yes…There was ice at the train station…well pretty much everywhere.  The train station near Lindy’s house was really cool because it was inside a MOUNTAIN!!!

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We sampled some authentic Swedish cuisine, which involved a sort of flat bread, with mashed potato, seafood salad, mustard and a hot dog with sauce all in the one package.  In some kind of crazy maverick move, Dernie decided to go for the double-dog option.  Suffice it to say, neither of us could finish this delicacy.

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Delightful!

After that lively meal we decided to become a bit more bold with our food choices, and thus purchased one Plopp.

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I couldn’t resist a quick nibble. It was pretty much Chickenfeed chocolate with a funny name.

 By far the best bit of site-seeing we did was on our last day – we went to the Vasamuseum, where the Vasa Viking ship resides.  Apologies for the dodgy pic, my camera isn’t much good in bad light, but it was really incredible.  All hand built of course, all wooden, a magnificent structure that had us standing with our mouths open in absolute awe.  Brilliant.

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It had two cannon levels which could hold about 200 people each.  Huge!

Anyway, I’d better be off, I’ve waffled on here long enough.  Like I said if you want to see more, go check out my Flickr account!

Seeeeeeeyas!

 

Stockholm Syndrome February 14, 2008

Filed under: Travel — Annaleis @ 4:07 pm

I’m going to Stockholm!

Just thought I’d tell you quickly, cos I’m soooo excited!

Me and Dernie (awww – you’ll meet him soon) are off for 3 nights to visit a friend who I met randomly in London (on her trip over to interview Tony Blair) in 2006.

We fly into Stockholm on Saturday evening, then make our way to some jazz club to hear her sing, as she’s got a gig on that night, so it should be good!

Apparently it’s about -7 deg C there at the moment – let’s hope it stays that way.

I’m in the market for a huge warm coat now. Not surprising really.

Swedish photos coming, ja!

 

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.