Monday, January 30, 2006

Hello from London everyone! I have a new guestbook (see to the right-hand column) so feel free to leave me a message/comment/helpful suggestion/compliment! (or everyone from home - just to tell me you miss me!) It was horribly cold and windy yesterday, so this is what I spent my time doing (yes, I'm turning into a blogging nerd...)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Just got back from Heathrow and am a bit sad cause had to say bye to Greg who as we speak is on a flight back to Australia. It's been a fun six months with him, and it's sad that our London adventures with him are over! It's weird that he's left, and it's made me think about if/when I'll come home this year - technically I'm not supposed to work after October (because of the 12 month thing) so it will be interesting to see if I can work something out so I am able to stay and keep some sort of a job (although I could just be a lady of leisure for a while - having brunch and coffee all day and rely on my lovely English boyfriend...hmmmmm tempting, but perhaps not so practical!). Getting sponsored with a work permit is not really looking like an option, as unfortunately for moi, the UK is not short of editors, and even if my employer decides to sponsor me I have to go back to Australia and apply from there (and of course they can't tell you how long that will definitely take). I can maybe get a HSMP visa, but not too sure about that yet, have to do some investigating!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Well I was only a little bit hungover today so the Gods were not too evil! It was probably all good because due to our utmosat efforts we couldn't get in to a Walkabout ANYWHERE last night! (shock, horror, tragedy!). No, we really did want to go, but apparently every other Australian in London had the same idea (although some were a lot more willing than others to stand outside waiting in the freezing cold for an hour - which I certainly wasn't!)

Anyways, we went to the Jolly Gardener In Putney and had a great night wearing our garish Aussie scarfs :) The rest of ork yesterday was actually quite good - and even the singloang eventuated. One of the Aussies I work with is apparently a professional singer, and sang 'I still call Australia home' to the rest of our whole office (about 60 people) - fair play! All the Poms were a little bit miffed as to why we were all so patriotic about celebrating the day that australia actually got invaded by the English (and yeh, it does sound a little bit stupid when you put it like that), but we had to explain that Australia probably loves it so much because it is a chance to have a day off work in the sun and have a barbie. Ah, i miss the beach! Australia Day just wasn't the same without the beach and a barbie!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

"We are one....but we are mannnnnyyyyy" - and yes, for the SECOND year in a row, I find myself in London for good old Australia Day. Last year I was only here for a four week sojourn, but who would have thought I'd be back here for good this year, to sing Waltzing Matilda in a dirty English Walkabout with a bunch of drunken louts in thongs (ok, here I'm just forseeing the rest of my night, once I leave work, but you get the drift!)
I was a little homesick this morning when I got out of bed and got my Australian scarf (we had Aussie Dress Up day here at work - I think they feel a little sorry for the nine Aussies in the office here who are pining after sun, sand and surf). But even though I'm not sunning it up at home (thanks everyone for the text messages telling me stories of BBQs and 38 degrees,by the way), I've had a great day so far, and think that I am now even more patriotic on Australia Day since I am now officially an expatriate. And my boss even bought me some Tim Tams so it can't be all bad! We had everything: Tim Tams, Minities, Fruit Tingles, Burger Rings - there's even talk of a national anthem singalong later in the afternoon. Yes, we are truly bringing the Aussie spirit to London! Strewth!

Work is almost over and I'm off to the Walkabout (cringe- but it must be done). If I don't have too much of a hangover tomorrow, I'll let you know how it all goes!
Many happy returns to everyone back home and Happy Birthday Australia! (I hope some joker didn't get Australian of the Year this year? And who won Triple J's Hottest 100?)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A wee matter....

I was walking through Soho on Friday night and was faced with another reason why this country is sometimes just a bit strange - public, very public, urinals on the side of the road!!! I'm sorry, what?! Apparently they have such a problem here with men urinating in the street, that they install these four sided trough-like things on the side of the road for drunken people to pee in! I found it very, very disturbing, especially when a couple of guys we saw apparently couldn't be bothered crossing the road to use the specialist peeing area, so just went in the gutter anyway! eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww....! (apparently in Bristol they have peeing troughs that are installed in the ground, and stay hidden during the days, and are elevated at night for the drunken masses - can just imagine that happening on Oxford Street Sydney!!???!)

Anyways, after an obviously respectable night out in Soho on Friday night, had a lovely weekend out of London on a little one-night trip to the countryside, but still no snow :( We're at home watching the soccer at the moment (I'm still yet to start getting excited about this game - but I'm trying!). It was another lovely sunny winter weekend in London, am looking forward to some summer days but can definitely cope in the meantime!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

OK, this is cheating a little bit, since i haven't ACTUALLY been to Edinburgh yet - but my friends went for Hogmanay, which is the awesome New Years festival there where everyone kisses in the street at midnight, and I wanted to put a couple of their photos here! Before I came to the UK, I had never really considered going there (as everyone wants to go to Europe first), but I've heard such good things about it, and from the photos, it looks really beautiful (especially the old city). You can get really cheap train trips there, and flights as well, so it is next on my list (we might even drive up there for the weekend- it only takes eight hours or so I think).

Would you believe it's actually a tad warmer in London at the moment? (I think the city is in excited anticpation for Australia Day next week). I honestly got excited yesterday when it hit ten degrees (how sad is that!). I had some comfort from home though, when I was told that the weather in Sydney hasn't been brilliant.

In celebration that some of my favourite TV shows are back on TV (bring on the O.C and Desperate Housewives!), my favourite site of the week is Check it out, it can brighten up a boring day at work (and teach you a bit about the beloved trashy parts of UK culture!!

Friday, January 13, 2006

What you've all been waiting for!

Pics from my first New Year's Eve in London - I claim responsibility for everyone's state as I made some fairly lethal punch. But it was all in good fun :)
I love the mo on my friend Ray (he's an 80s Wimbledon player)

Look here!

For the past three years I've spent New Years in a different country (Australia, Germany and now England) which I think is quite cool (and very worldly of me!)

Tomorrow my birthday festival comes to an end with a night out in Chelsea. It's always a bit depressing the few days after your birthday isn't it? Now I have to wait a whole another year! Oh well - I think I can still milk it for another few days at least.

In traveller news: I think I said here a while ago that working travellers were not able to claim back their National Insurance Contributions they made while working in the Uk (which is what I heard). BUT my friends who arrived a couple of weeks ago have been told that you can do something when you apply for the number which means you can transfer the funds you contribute back to your superannuation fund in your own country (which means your contributions are not wasted!). So, I'm on the case to find out exactly what is going on. Watch this space!

Also, with my technical genius I have worked out how to put news headlines at the bottom of my site for your viewing pleasure - hope there's something interesting there!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Birthday girl!

I'm going to be completely self-gratuitous and tell you all that it's my birthday today (and I've been milking it all day!)
Have had a brilliant day, and just want to say thanks to all my wonderful friends and family from Oz and here, who have made it such a wonderful day. Thanks for all your emails/phone calls/messages - I love you all!
Just got home - we have been out for dinner at a beautiful Thai restaurant by the Thames and I even got cake! (thanks to the Putney girls!). The birthday celebrations are not over yet though - I think I can get another week out of this yet! Saturday will be more parties, more drinks and more partying to celebrate my 23rd (everyone at work keeps telling me how young I am? makes me feel good about having moved to another country when I'm apparently I'm so young!)
Anyways, it's really sad I know, but I've got to go now to watch the final episode of Lost (I missed it back in Australia). I do love Jack and he is calling me...:) (The OC is also back this week - wooohoo!!)

New Year's photos are still on the way - plus updates on my pending trips to Venice and Greece!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It's very, very disturbing when you can pass by an entire Sunday watching back-to-back episodes of America's Next Top Model. Yet that is exactly what I have done today, sitting on my couch, and I'm now getting motivated to go off to the pub. The reason for my lethargy today is that I am still recovering from a big Friday night (I'm very ashamed to admit that I voluntarily went to a Walkabout! cringe). Despite bad music, embarrassing Aussie paraphernalia (ie signpost marked "11,120 miles to Wee Waa"), and really bad DJing, it was actually a fun night and we didn't manage to get home until after 4. Needless to say, most of Saturday was spent, in true London style, sitting in a cafe, eating bacon and eggs and drinking coffee.
I'm feeling so lazy right now, that I really hate what is on TV at the moment, but the batteries in my remote are dead, and I can't be bothered actually getting off the couch to change the channel. Oh dear.
In other news, my brother has ended his suffering on a casual wage at the Telemarketing centre, and has again found a web-design job in a publishing company to tide him over for the next few months, and possibly permanently. Yay for working travellers!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I promised my friends Shell and Ray, who arrived in London to live about a week ago, that the weather was sunny and not really that cold. Suddenly they think I'm a liar, as this week the big chill has definitely hit - and apparently it will snow tomorrow. It's all well and good when you're wrapped up cosy inside, but it's a bit of a killer when I'm walking home by the river! Ah well - lots of time to enjoy the creme of English TV. Last night we stayed up (well, we just couldn't be bothered moving really) and subjected ourselves to 'Big Brothers Most Scandalous Scenes Ever'. It makes me think Aussies are a bunch of prudes, as if even a fraction of what I saw on TV last night made it on to Aussie television screens, there would be a massive public outcry and letters of disgust in major national newspapers (Remember the Hot Dogs incident last year - absolutely nothing compared to what goes in the English BB!).

I'm reliving the 'newly arrived in London' vibe through Shell and Ray - they are in the throes of flat hunting/job hunting/bank account opening/holiday planning. I just love every bit of it! They've got me inspired and we're all off to Venice soon. Can't wait!

Yes I haven't forgotten the New Year's pics - some have to be censored, but they'll be up here soon.

Monday, January 02, 2006

And on to another year...

It's only now, two days after our party, that I have found the strength and stamina to write about what was an awesome night, and a fantastic way to herald in the New Year. I think for most people the night passed by in a drunken punch-filled blur, but there were some great costumes and at least one person ended up face down on the kitchen floor at 4 in the morning - always a sign of a good time :)
Shell and I were ABBA (obviously coming as Waterloo - see pic), and there were lots of Angels, an Elvis (Kings Cross), St John, Chalk Farm, Maida Vales, Shaft (Shaftesbury Avenue) and Shepherd's Bush. No music was too corny, and I apparently thought my Abba moves were very cool, when they were in fact, not. At the end of the night we all had to fight the drunk people who had taken up residence in our beds for the right to sleep there, but it was all in good fun (everything except the copious redwine stains that still inhabit our hallway).
I can't write anymore now as the computer is in demand but I will write more and add mor embarrassing pics later.
Happy New Year!