Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tiger Tim and Wimbledon

Yes it's tough being a freelancer. I've currently got my feet up in the office watching Wimbledon streamed live onto my computer. Tim Henman is playing Carlos Moya and might actually win (he's known for being a bit of a choker). Everyone is quite excited as he is the only British hopeful - as Scot Andy Murray bowed out over the weekend with an injury. I love the 'popping' sound of tennis balls resonating around a silent stadium packed with thousands of people.
I'm praying for the sun to come out in force cause I'm planning to brave the queue for Wimbledon on Saturday. I think visiting the hallowed tennis ground, drinking Pimms and eating the iconic strawberries and cream is something every Aussie should do while here - especially since being Australian has meant that we're usually glued to the tournament every year since birth. Apparently you have to queue for a couple of hours - so it better not rain. We can't have soggy strawberries!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Paris for a day

It's got to be one of the best things about living in London. Paris is literally a short train ride away and you can, like Paul has done today, just head over for lunch and be back in London for dinner. The lucky bugger was supposed to be going for work but the guy he was supposed to be going to the conference with cancelled, so instead of letting the Eurostar ticket go to waste, Paul thought the sensible thing to do would be, of course, to go anyway. So while I'm whiling away the day staring at a computer screen, he is wandering down the Champs Elysses and drinking cafe au lait. As alluring as the Pret a Manger on Tottenham Court Road is, I think I know where I would rather be!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weather forecast spells doom for Glastonbury

Good old UK - put on a festival and you're guaranteed a forecast of rain, rain, couple of thunderstorms and more rain. The famous Glastonbury festival is this weekend and according to BBC weather, it's not looking good. Due to my hatred of all things camping, I won't be attending this year, but Shell and Ray are heading off complete with new tent, gumboots, copious amounts of alcohol and a set of Travel Johns (I won't even go into what Travel Johns are - I'll let you do your own research. Lets just say Shell is also looking forward to the ShePee tent!) The line-up looks good (The Killers, The Who, Arctic Monkets, Kaiser Chiefs) and I'm sure it's going to be a fab weekend - if a muddy one.

The O2 Wireless Festival was this last weekend (and escaped the rain) - apparently it was another great fest. Upcoming is Hyde Park Calling, Reading Festival, Fruitstock (the Innocent Village Fete), Get Loaded in the Park etc etc etc... the UK is the place to be if you love to get amongst thousands of other dirty revellers! For some reason, I'm not attending a single one. Yes, a little bit dull I know - I've been trying to save money and just haven't got around to getting tickets to anything (and getting tickets to events like Glastonbury requires the same amount of effort as taking over a small country). If only I wasn't so lazy...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why I should have stayed working at Elephant & Castle

Working in a dodgy area with no shops or shiny things is sometimes a good thing. Now that I work about 5 mins from Oxford St, here is what I went out at lunch time to get:

1 birthday card.

This is what I actually came back with:

2 postcards
1 copy of To Kill a Mockingbird (which although I have read, apparently I need)
1 cappuccino frappe (I was thirsty)
1 pair of shiny new red shoes
1 birthday card

hmmmmmm...if only I had any kind of willpower, I could be a rich woman.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Berg pics and Planning US Adventure Part 1

I was very proud of myself and thought I had taken some great videos with my digital camera at the Berg, but I must have had a little too much beer because when I have actually looked at them on screen, they are too dark to see anything! So, in lieu of my video, I've uploaded a couple of photos instead. You can't really see much, but you get a bit of the idea ie beautiful, leafy Germany and thousands of beer-drinking revellers!

I don't know if I have mentioned it here before but my next BIG trip is to the US for two weeks in August/September. I am very excited. Although going to the US never interested me that much before, after travelling quite a lot in Europe last year (and a short jaunt to North Africa) I'm looking for travel opps further afield! So far, our itinerary is: flying into San Francisco, driving down to LA (taking three nights and leaving ample time to explore Californian wineries), driving from LA to Vegas (not that keen on Vegas but I guess you have to go once in your life - am steering Paul WELL AWAY from any little chapels) and then, on request from Paul, going to Austin, Texas for two nights. Everyone seems miffed by this last choice - Paul just wants to go because he has been once before and loved it - although I suspect he is having tobacco-chewing cowboy fantasies again. I have read into Austin a bit and it looks like quite a nice place so hopefully it will be ok! Will update when more plans are made!

Monday, June 11, 2007

A touch of Portugal in...Kennington?

Back at work now on Monday but had a lovely weekend - well, had a lovely Sunday since I had to work a whole day on Saturday (oh the things contractors are expected to do for NO extra pay above normal day rate....). Anyways, I'm still carrying a bug thanks to no sleep and lots of beer last weekend so was not feeling too peachy but we still managed to make it along to a bizarre but quite fun portugese festival in Kennington yesterday. Think hundreds of portugese families, topless men and scantily-clad girls in Ronaldo tops, the latest portugese pop stars belting their tunes out to the crowd, and plates piled high with chargrilled (black) chicken, sardines and chorizo. The beer and portugese wine was flowing (as well as some suspicious looking pineapple-flavoured soft drink thing) and it was a lovely afternoon in the sun. Thanks to some badly-applied fake tan (during the past year in England I have gone even whiter than i ever thought possible, even for me) I was grateful for the chance to bask in the rays and even up the stark line down my arm! The humidity has stuck around but it's gone a bit cloudy today - at least we have daylight till about 10pm now.

Started a new contract today so have gladly left the hideous roundabout of Elephant and Castle and am now loving working back at Tottenham Court Rd, a mere 15 mins from Miss Selfridge, Top Shop etc. Not great for my bank balance but a girl's gotta live..

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In recovery...

Note: going back to work after a long weekend at a German beer festival is very, very difficult. Also note: flying back into London at 7am and then going to work is also not much fun.

But, yes, it was worth it. We had a mad weekend at the Berg in Erlangen and the fact that I can barely flutter my eyelids to awake mode right now is irrelevant. It is impossible to describe the feeling of standing on a bench looking down over a sea of thousands of Germans, all jumping, dancing, singing (some of them half-naked depending on the time) and all clutching to a giant stein of beer from the cellar of their choice (of which there are over a dozen to choose from). But it's not all about the beer - it's an entire carnival with sideshows, rides and of course the devilish German carb-pumped cuisine which I have come to love. I defy anyone who says they wouldn't enjoy munching into a giant pretzel smothered with Emmental cheese - or my fave currywurst mit pommes frites. It's enough to send the scales running from my bathroom but tasty, oh so tasty! I actually have a video to show of my travels this time (yes, i finally remembered to use this function on my camera - as the music, lights and drunken yelling of the Berg can not possibly be conveyed through stills....). I will upload soon!