Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I just got back from a four day jaunt in Germany which has, officially, gone World Cup crazy. Although it was a traitor to my Aussie roots - when you've had a couple of Steins (and some awesome sausages) and are getting in to the German spirit we couldn't help but singalong to this impossibly catchy tune: "54,74,90,2006...we'll become World Champions" - it's the quasi-official chant of the German masses and says all the years Germany has won the World Cup. And just like some of the German pop we know and love, it is incredibly cheesy but very addictive! (better than the English World Cup song! Does Australia have an equally cheesy song? This whole theme song for sporting events thing is unfamiliar to me!)
But rest assured, when the real time comes I will be Green and Gold all over (although all the Germans seem to find it highly amusing that we are in the same group as Brazil - poor little Aussies!). Anyways, Germany was lovely and I caught up with Katrin and my little sister who is living in Tuebingen (near Stuttgart). We went to Nuremburg and got a private tour of the stadium thanks to Katrin's inside contacts and spend the rest of the weekend drinking beer, practising our amateur German skills and eating sausages! After France (where I am going on Saturday) we hope to go back to Germany for a couple of days to experience the "Berg" - the lesser known, but just as fabulous, German beer festival in Erlangen. Although the festival attracts more than a million visitors, and is the second-largest beer festival in Germany after Oktoberfest, hardly any international visitors go there Well I will be representing the Aussie contingent this year!
A couple of pics from Nuremberg:
The adorable German marketplaces I love
Paul in the Schlossgarten (when I was here last year it was minus five and it was covered in snow! this was a little more pleasant)
Paul and his ladies: out and about in Erlangen
Now I am back at work but all is ok because in five days we are off to France for a week cruising the canals of Bordeaux on our own private vessel...the weather is looking brilliant and I can't wait.
BUT, we musn't forget London. Although I have been a little grumpy with London of late (due to the lack of sunshine) we can not bite the hand that feeds us with all it's big-city urban brilliance. A Kiwi guy has been making some poignant observations about his first few weeks in London which are quite amusing - especially the tendency of London men to wear pink (it's true, they're everywhere) and the chocolate (I haven't met one traveller yet who hasn't commented on the fact that the chocolate tastes different here - but most say it's better!). Check out his site here.
Must get back to work - have a lot to do and France is calling!
Friday, May 26, 2006
Sorry it's been a while between tricks - had a stressful week trying to find someone to live but that is another story. Let's just say we are not completely loving the joys of hunting for the new dream home!
Anyways, i'm currently at the airport (it's 5am or some stupid time) and I am off to Germany for four days! woohooo - had to get on the Net because typically I forgot to check any flight details and ended up taking a guess at what airport we were flying from and now had to quickly check our booking number! oh well - it just wouldn't be me if something didn't go wrong!
Will write more updates later - we are off to Nuremberg for some stein-soaked fun. Have a great long weekend everyone!
Friday, May 19, 2006
The world stopped turning for Arsenal and Barcelona fans on Wednesday night as the Champions League final ran it's course. I know i have said it before, but this country goes mad for football, and at the end of this game, I don't think there was a dry eye anywhere. Being the unfortunate girlfriend of a die-hard Arsenal supporter, I had to cope with a very sullen and depressed boy after his team suffered a heart-breaking defeat. One man down and they were ahead in the 75th minute, until Barcelona scored two more goals and took the game. Although I was interested in nothing more than watching Thierry Henry (the incredibly cute French captain) - even I was a little disappointed (especially since that Ronaldinho guy is so hideously ugly). Apparently beauty just isn't enough :)
The other thing that will no doubt be consuming the hearts and minds of the UK over the next few months is....disgustingly..the new Big Brother, series 7. It started last night and oh.my.god...what a freak show. The latest loser mix includes a hyper Tourettes sufferer, a gay Pakistani Muslim who has never left Glasgow, a hideous plastic surgery bimbo, a homophobic public school boy, a muscled 'sexual terrorist' and a sexist mummy's boy, amongst other weirdos, just makes me want to poke my eyes out. Or as my favourite low culture website put it, it's all enough to make one want to share a romantic bath with a toaster. I don't know where they find these people.
In other, more brilliant, news: it's Friday! I have a glorious weekend of house-hunting and poker planned (as pay day is not until next week). We are also going to the theatre to absorb some culture tonight so stay tuned for an amateur review of the Woman in Black. Apparently it is terrifying, I can't wait!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
OK, so the name isn't brilliant, but our very own mixed netball team made up of antipodeans and a token Englishman, made it's debut in a burst of fanfare of Shepherd's Bush last night. The fact that no-one really knew the rules and we hadn't done any exercise in months didn't put a dampener on the 40 minutes of hilarity (nor did the fact that we actually lost in the end). Seeing Paul sail daintily through the air as GK to intercept an incoming pass and then give the umpire the filthiest look ever when he then steps straight off court is a priceless sight.
Social sports in London is a massive culture, fuelled mostly by the thousands of antipodeans who come to the capital and are eager to lose their Heathrow Injection bulge or get some of the AFL/touch footy or netball fix they have been missing from home (probably also keen to take advantage of the discount drinks after the game or the end-of-season Contiki trips to Europe). There are competitions literally everywhere, but heaps are based in the south west. We are playing with Social Sports who also organise footy comps and same-sex comps. We made our own team but you can also register on your own and you will get placed with a team who needs an extra player.
So we played hard, fought hard and some, like Shell, fell pretty hard too - but we had fun and made some friends - which just makes you feel all gooey inside! :) Stay tuned for more news from the hapless Pirates....
Monday, May 15, 2006
Long awaited Croatia photos..Here are some of my photos from my holiday to Pula, Croatia and Trieste, Italy - two of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. There's not many (and none from Italy, sorry) but you get the idea - lots of crystal clear beaches and sunsets to die for. And my personal favourite, me enjoying a cocktail by the Mediteranean (you can see my lethal sunburn peeking out from my white shirt).
World Cup news: After many sleepless nights by the laptop Shell, Ray and Sim have scored tickets to Australia Vs Brazil. C'mon Aussie! For other travellers coming to the Cup, I have read about this Weltmeister Pass you might be able to get cheaper train travel with as flights are all now obscenely expensive (although I'm thinking if you haven't organised travel by now you're in a bit of trouble!) London is going World Cup mad - they even have multiple theme songs for the England team which they play on the radio (?). I've also never seen so much tacky merchandise in my life... I actually saw an edible England g-string made entirely from lollies - obviously a must for any die-hard England fan.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Saturday and the sun is gone
It's the damn weekend sun-curse! Boiling throughout the week and now Saturday is grey :( No matter though - at least it's still warm - I can definitely cope.
My little sister and her friend Rhiannon arrived in London yesterday, and we took them out for a drink and a curry on Brick Lane (managing to bargain the restaurant touters down to 20% off and two free bottles of wine - you have to be fierce, but I do get the feeling that they were giving everyone the same deal?). Brick Lane is a London hub - and although it seems dodgy at first, you'll find the coolest collection of curry houses, funky bars, retro shops and an ultra-trendy crowd all in close vicinity. I've also seen Pete Doherty wandering around there in a drug-induced haze, a feast for my celebrity-spotting eyes.
Anyways, it is the day of the FA Cup final which means everyone in London is going a bit mental and I'm off to meet the girls in Leicester Square and then find somewhere neutral to watch the game. I still haven't done my photos but have given you another taster - this is what Sim and I adopted as our watering hole:
and the view from just near our hotel out over the ocean..
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Well I never thought it would happen but the days are getting lovely and warm, and today was a deadset scorcher mate! Actually it was probably low 20s but when you've been living in the UK, you get excited when it gets above 15. Everyone is out and about, and in a fantastic mood. The park near my work was crammed with people with their pants rolled up, shirts off (seriously!), soaking up every ounce of sunshine possible. There was even an ice-cream truck - so funny!
I haven't had a chance to download my photos from Croatia - but here is a taster. This is a beautiful sunset we watched while sitting in a lounge bar, draped over white day beds, sipping cosmopolitans - ahhhh, bliss. I'd definitely love to go there again - it's so gorgeous. Next time I will venture further south to Split and Dubrovnik.
I will post some more of my pics later - I've also got to tell about our exciting trip on the London Eye. I'm rediscovering the tourist within.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
just another quick update..I am in Italy now! I have been in three countries today...from Croatia to Slovenia to Italy, by bus (very cheap and easy). We are now in Trieste which is a gorgeous coastal town in Italy, and we are staying here for one night before flying back to London tomorrow (god bless Ryan Air). Although there is not enough to keep you occupied for more than a few days here, the shopping is great (Sim has already acquired her first pair of Italian shoes) and there are some beautiful buildings and great views...not to mention the wonderful cafes you can sit in for hours (or the Italian stallions who sidle up way too close beside you and ask "you wanna some company"?). I'm already missing Croatia and cant wait to go back..we only managed to stay in the north and see a few towns in the area called Istria.
I'll write more about that later though..I'm currently scamming free Internet from our hotel (I would thoroughly recommend it..really nice, friendly and only 75 euro for a double bed per night...yes Simone and I are getting very friendly! It's called Hotel Alabarda)
There are a few funny stories from Croatia, not least the day we planned to visit this beach bar everyone was raving about, so we made the two bus trips and half an hour walk in the blistering sun after getting dropped off literally in the middle of nowhere only to walk to the end of the dirt road where this 'amazing bar' was supposed to be, only to find a few guys working on a construction site. Simone was about to turn around and go back home (having seen too many movies, and Wolf Creek most recently, she was convinced we were going to get raped and murdered if we spoke to anyone strange)..but I was cranky at having come all this way for nothing and wanted something to drink so I went and asked them if they spoke English. Turns out they were Poms, were in fact BUILDING this bar we had heard so much about (apparently it was open briefly last summer) and that it wasn't even going to open for another three weeks. Obviously we felt like the biggest idiots ever (being two blonde Aussies, just having trekked 40 minutes in scorching sun in search of a bar..oh dear..and yet how typical..:) But the three guys and a girl were obviously excited about their first customers for 2006 and were very accommodating and eally nice...We got the deluxe treatment, complete with a (brief) grand tour of the construction site, beers, deck chairs and portable stereo..it felt just like home.. ;) The place looks set to be awesome in the summer...its called Bura Beach and can be found in Liznjan, just outside Pula, so anyone heading around that area make sure you go visit, and tell them Pru and Simone say hi!
I think i'm really taking advantage of this free internet now...better go. More stories and beautiful photos to follow...
Thursday, May 04, 2006
just a quick update...Im currently out of blogging action as I am in Croatia! Simone and I, both as blonde and silly as each other, are taking Pula by storm.....
will write more when I get back to London, lots of tales to tell (I am also now the most sunburnt person ever ..got a little too excited about the sun!!)
luv Pru xxxx