Saturday, December 31, 2005

The London Underground map: an iconic symbol of London if ever there was one!(apparently the poor lad who designed the map back in the day only got paid the equivalent of one pound for doing it - even though it is world-famous today and helps makes sense of one of the most complicated transport systems in the world - ripped off!) Anyways, I am blabbing! This is the theme for our NYE party tonight- you have to come dressed as a London tube station, and although a lot of people are keeping theirs secret, it sounds like there are going to be some good outfits!

Hope everyone back home has a great New Year. I've heard the theme on the Sydney Harbour Bridge this year is "Have a Heart", which is feelgood-nice. Pretty apt considering the disturbing news of racial riots we've been getting over here. What's going on? Honestly, I leave the country for three months.....

Anyway, must be off as there is punch to make and fireworks to buy. A safe and Happy New Year to all. Here's to 2006!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

So this is Christmas...

After a few days of the most (and best) Xmas food and drink that I think I have ever consumed, I'm back in London feeling like a little fat pudding.. and yet I must continue the indulgences, as it is almost New Year and there is still lots of celebrating to be done! (the pic is not from xmas day, but from our orphan xmas dinner at our place last week).

Christmas was lovely and I was rewarded with a gorgeous (but brief) snowfall in the country and in London. (I even did the whole ten-year-old kid thing: "Wake up everyone, it's snowing!!" and then running outside in to the snowflakes in nothing but my PJ's and jumping around stupidly - yes, i was a tad excited). Paul's family were all so nice to Ben and I (us being orphans and all), and we had a very decent present haul, and they didn't even mind when it became obvious that there is truth to the rumour that Aussies tend to drink a lot. (I felt a little sheepish when Paul's 80 year old aunt said to me the next day 'Are you feeling ok dear, it all seemed to hit you at once didn't it?'!). Oh well, I always like to operate on the basis that even though yes, I may have been drinking from midday to 8pm, I still appear to be as eloquent and sober as a judge at all times :)

The extremely exciting development of the last couple of days is that Shell and Ray have arrived to live in London, and they will be the next fabulous addition to our expanding gang of Aussies. Being the London vet/tourguide/expert and all, I'll be showing them all the wonders of this fine city and revelling in the virgin excitement of the newly arrived traveller (awww, it's so cute when they don't know what money to pay with!).

Stay tuned for more exciting news about the NYE party of the century...

Oh, and for more exciting pics from the Xmas party, go here

Friday, December 23, 2005


London is getting pumped for Christmas, only two days away! I spent a good ten minutes transfixed by the HUGE Xmas tree in Covent Garden last night, apparently donated to London each year by Norway (or somewhere like that). The famous Xmas lights on Oxford Street and Barnaby Street are also really cool.

This might be my last post before the big day, as Ben, Paul and I are off to the Cotswolds for a country Christmas (and hopefully it will snow!). There has a lot of drinking and eating this week, and not much else. I'm in my office at the moment and it is completely empty since everyone has jetted off early. Probably because everyone has been driven more than a little mad by the insanely repetitive Christmas songs everyone goes crazy for. You can't escape them. I think every crap band from the Spice Girls to the Sugababes have released a Xmas single over the years, which get dragged out and massacred again and again every year.

It's my first Christmas away from home, and it doesn't really feel the same. It's cool being in a big new city though and seeing how it's done over the other side of the world. It's a cool 38 degrees in Sydney at the moment which I'm missing, but I'm also hanging out for some mulled wine and turkey by the fire, with the snow falling outside frosted windows (I'm living the Bridget Jones/Love Actually Christmas!)

Anyways, better get back to pretending I'm finishing up lots of important work before I leave for my little holiday. A very merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Thank God for Coke and Ribena

I'm nursing a terrible hangover at work today after a fabulous night of festivities at our Christmas party last night (what kind of crazy people have Christmas parties on Monday night?!). This morning on the tube I was extremely glum, with a bottle of Coke in one hand, and a Ribena in the other (they are my hangover cures). I may as well have had 'seedy drunk' plastered on my forehead as I tentatively sipped the Coke at eight o'clock in the morning, much to the disgust of fellow passengers (who gave me some dirty, disapproving looks).
This is me at the party with Stacey and Matt - fellow members of my trust editorial team (Matt in the middle is actually my boss, the Senior Editor). It was a really great night, although fairly tame for a Christmas party! I was very well-behaved and in bed by 12 (albeit more than a little bit sozzled). The funny photos have been circulating around the office all day and there are a few red faces - bless Christmas!!!

Getting in to the festive spirit again: my funny Santa site of the week is one that Phil sent me and kept me amused for hours this morning when I was incapable of anything requiring more than the brain capacity of an ant. You can make Santa do whatever you want! Go to

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I went out every night this week and have now been left on Saturday feeling really tired and headachey - how does that work? I should definitely do these things the other way around. Looks like next week will be no different though, as everyone is gearing up for Christmas and there is so much to do! I've got my Christmas party on Monday night (and then i will suffer through work on Tuesday), of course I still have a ton of xmas shopping to do, and I'm also having a Christmas dinner at our flat for everyone one night this week, then heading up to Gloucestershire for christmas...very exciting! :) My bank account has taken a huge bashing but spirits are high AND I found out yesterday that my work is sending me to Greece next year for a week!!! (I have to work there, but hey, it's Greece and I get excited about things like getting on a plane!) There's also talk of Paris but that's not definite yet and just a little too exciting to think about. It's a nice Chrissie present, seeing as I was getting all depressed last night cause my flatmates are off to Switzerland and Australia, respectively, today. But all is well and Christmas is near - wooohoo!

Check out this funny Santa site that made me laugh - there's some Santas looking like they just got out of jail and some poor scared little kids, what a recipe for comedy.... Scared of Santa??

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Aussies in the World Cup!!

Ahh, perhaps Aussie sport is not dead after all! I got sent this photo today - this is my lovely friend Shell from back home celebrating after the Aussies qualified for the World Cup. Seeing the Sydney Morning Herald made me miss home! Shell is also sitting in what used to be my office back in Australia (before the OE adventures started). i'm sure she'll be featuring lots more over the next few months, as she arrives on London's doorstep for a working holiday on the 28 Dec.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas cheer and lots of beer (and how having friends smarter than yourself works to your advantage)

As I sit here and gaze at my tackily decorated office Christmas tree (I can't complain, it was me that added the purple tinsel), I'm missing the sunny build up to an Aussie Christmas. BUT, we are doing enough celebrating to compensate, and today was my team's Christmas lunch which was a lovely decadent three hour booze-up at the delightfully titled Giraffe cafe. Next week is the real Xmas party for the whole office which should be great. In the spirit - here's a letter I pulled from the Metro this morning which made me giggle so much on the tube everyone looked at me strangely...

Letter from Chris in Edinburgh:
"We had our annual office Christmas party the other night. I heroically did my bit for the common person by telling my boss he was a fat slob, two girls had a serious slap fight over a Spanish barman, and another normally quiet guy fell off his seat and vomited all over my boss' wife. Needless to say, it's a very quiet office this week. I love Christmas."

OK, so I've only been working here for a couple of months, so I'm going to be very well-behaved!

In other exciting news, our Trivia/Quiz night team made it's spectacular debut last night, with no help from me whatsoever! The Heathrow Injections (plus one Pom) stormed the Jolly Gardener to take out the £50 bonus round cash prize (but came in a measly fourth place thanks to my poor Charade skills). We didn't even use the old 'mobile phone in the toilet to check answers' trick, and now Ben (my brother) has enough money to buy some groceries this week - woohoo!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Pru's English observations for the day...

They drink so much tea here it's ridiculous! Now I'm not adverse to a nice hot cuppa of Tetley's every now and again, but the UK should adopt tea drinking as a national sport. And it's not just little old ladies sitting down to their afternoon tea, it's the big English blokes, and they all have it so milky and sugary it's horrible!

I've been sucked in to the 'tea cycle' at work - the endless tea runs that have someone coming to your desk every 5 minutes asking if you want a cup of tea while they are fetching their own, will have you drinking gallons before you know it (and have me needing to go the bathroom every five seconds because I've drunk so much). I appreciate the friendly service - but I had TEN cups of tea the other day and it's got to stop! I've bought some green tea now, so I've started getting cups of hot water delivered instead. What I would give for an espresso machine....

The tea thing I can kind of understand (and it's definitely acceptable at work when a trip on a tea run is the perfect distraction) - the English obsession with Neighbours however, is still a completely mysterious phenomenon. A man here can also profess his love of Kylie, Take That and gossip endlessly about the results of the 'I'm a Celebrity..get me out of here!' show and 'X-Factor', and no-one will even question his masculinity. Maybe Aussie men are missing out :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

In the latest news...

I realised today that I have been in London for over three months and have not yet set foot outside of the country! This needs to be rectified immediately, however I just looked at my calendar, and don't have any spare time until the beginning of February!! (just call me Miss Popularity :) I think I may go to Karneval in Germany, but I really want to go to Edinburgh as well, and just about everywhere else! I never even thought about going to the US while I am here, but now I really want to go there too because it is much closer to here than Australia (and people go to New York just for the weekend! crazy). I definitely want to get something organised soon - heaps of people from my work are going away for Christmas and were making me very jealous yesterday with their plans for Morocco, New York, Italy etc. At least I know I have plenty of time - I've just been so happy about being in London that I haven't thought yet about going anywhere else!

In other good news for travellers - of my friends who arrived from Australia about a month ago and settled in around the corner from me, two of them have found jobs they really like (one of the girls is now working for Associated Press), and two of them have found temping work. So more evidence that it can be done.

Last night we attempted to resume our quest for the best 'Quiz night' which has so far been unfruitful due to our complete lack of effort. The pub we went to has theirs on Monday nights (not Tuesdays) so I'm sure we will go soon.

We ended up having a great night at this brilliant pub though (plug here for the Jolly Gardener in Putney) - really cosy pub and they have..wait for it....board games! What could be better than a beer and Monopoly? We actually played Taboo, which can get a little violent once everyone has had a little bit to drink... :)

My photo for the day is this one - This is me feeding a squirrel in Hyde Park - how cute!! (the squirrel, not me :).

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Comfortable country living

hey all,

After a lovely weekend of country living in the Cotswolds I'm back in London - all the country villages are looking so beautiful with all their Christmas lights, but getting woken up at 6am on Sunday morning by the cows mooing next door was not that enjoyable. Back in the big city, there's only the ducks in the river to worry about (and the psycho seagulls that divebomb me when i'm on my way to work in the morning).

London is getting excited about Christmas and the shops are manic. And of course, everyone is buzzing about just which song will make the number one Christmas single on Top of the Pops (yes, I thought this was something they just made up for Love Actually but apparently not)
It's late and i'm dreading going back to work tomorrow but this lavish lifestyle of mine must be funded. And there's always the Christmas party which is in a couple of weeks to look forward to....

Friday, December 02, 2005

I'm currently at work trying not to get caught writing something I really shouldn't be - but it's all good because it's 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon and I am SO ready to go home and have a lovely relaxing weekend! We had a little soiree at our apartment last night which has left me feeling slightly hungover and tired from the effects of too much (but very good) red wine. This weekend will be lovely though, as I am going to the Cotwolds for the weekend where everything (hopefully) will be covered in snow. The north of England had a lot of snow at the beginning of the week but I'm not sure if there will be any left. I'm still hoping for that White Christmas! Although in London, it's more likely to be a sleety, dark and wet Christmas:) It was so weird today reading the Sydney Morning Herald online (my favourite Good Living section) and reading recipes for festive seafood dishes, cold desserts and for 'Cooling down on sweltering days with a bright, luscious, juicy chunk of watermelon'. Ah well, I'm still loving it all despite reaching new levels of cold I didn't know existed and dreaming of hot beaches back home! I'm like Albert Camus who said: " In the midst of winter, I finally realised that deep within me there lay an invincible summer". Although I'm sure he didn't mean that quite so literally, I will adopt that slant here for my purposes! Despite freezing on the outside and loving it here, my love of baking in the Aussie sun eating watermelon will never die! :)