Wednesday 31st December
2003 to Monday 5th January 2004
--- Her New Years Celebrations
Photos are being put on CD as I type.
I have a feeling there will be upwards of 350 on there - so be prepared Dad.
I am going to post the disc either today or tomorrow.
I am also going to post the list over to you because I don't particlularly want to copy type what I have written!
Anyway, I am sure you will love them and there are heaps of me!
Better organise heaps of coffee Mum because Dad is going to need it when he gets the CD!
Following is my latest diary extract.
Here we go with another big story to tell you about my big couple of days!
New Years Eve and New Years Day
I worked for three days last week finishing up at Blake Turner.
We finished at 3.00pm on New Years Eve.
During the day I had rung Andria, Nat and Mark and Mum to say Happy New Year.
I had changed my mind on Chemical Brothers deciding that being in a club in my first New Years in London wasn't quite what I wanted.
Lucky I didn't go to Hogmanay either because they cancelled it at about 11pm.
The word at the Nevern was that we were going to sit around home and have a few drinks and then head into Trafalgar Square for midnight so that is just what I did
Amanda (a girl I worked with at Blake Turner) came over as well.
I showered and had dinner before any drinking was done.
Everyone was in a really good mood and the tv was tuned to music which we had going pretty loud.
At one stage there was probably 30 of us in the room.
Chris couldn't be bothered going downstairs to the fridge whenever he wanted a drink so he lined up his Fosters on the window sill outside and just opened the window and pulled one in whenever he got thirsty!
It was quite amusing.
At about 10.00pm-ish we headed down to the Tube station and went to Leicester Square.
The place was packed and we all had to hold hands so we didn't get lost.
We walked down to Trafalgar Square and found a spot where we could see the Christmas Tree (a traditional gift from Norway every year) and the big screen.
There were people everywhere but we were in a pretty good spot.
We ended up losing a few of the group but we later found out that they were able to stay together.
I was in a group of five including me - James and Jean (Sth African) and Adam and Amanda both Australian
It was good fun but right on midnight it started to rain.
People headed for the tube because it was free but because it was so packed we found ourselves a dodgy cab and went home.
A dodgy cab is an unlicensed taxi - people just drive their own cars around.
They aren't particularly safe so we never use them own our own but we figured one guy would have trouble trying to take on five of us!
We got back to Earls Court at about 1.30am and got kebabs and went home.
I only lasted until about 3.00am and then crashed.
I got woken up by Ben at 10.30am - wanted to know if I was going to the New Years Day Parade
I had already organised to go with Amira and Cath (Aussie girls) so I told him that.he was going with them too
I got up and dressed and we headed in to Piccadilly Circus.
The road was fenced off and we found a good spot where we could all be on the fence.
A street vendor walked past selling flags so we three girls all brought Union Jack flags and waved them at everybody that came by in the parade.
It was really good fun
There were heaps of different floats etc
I really like the big floaty things
There were also American Cheerleaders and heaps of old cars and motorbikes and bicycles
All the English were very quiet.
The four of us were talking to everyone that came past and saying Happy New Year and getting the truck drivers to give us a toot etc.
There was a really flash car that was green with two gold stripes down the middle and a boxing kangaroo on it and an Aussie flag.
It stopped right in front of us on the other side of the road and we started calling out Aussie Aussie Aussie to get their attention.
They looked over so we waved our flags and cheered but then realised we were waving Union Jacks!
The parade lasted for about two and a half hours and we walked back to Westminster Tube and went home.
It was early night because we were pretty stuffed from the night before.
I didn't have to work on Friday 2nd January.
Karen and I went Ice Skating.
It was quite disappointing.
It wasn't actually ice - it was weird plastic stuff that you couldn't really get going on.
I didn't fall over though and I am looking to try somewhere else before the end of January
After that I went shopping with Christmas money from Brett.
My new favourite store is Lillywhites
It is a five level sports store and I could have gone nuts in there.
I brought a jumper for £2.
It is just a fleecy thing to wear with trackies but is very very warm.
It is LA Gear brand so it isn't too crappy.
I also brought a coat.
I am yet to get a new work coat but the coat I brought is a Columbia Brand ski coat.
You will see it in the photos.
It was £40.00 down from £70.00 so it was just the right price for Brett's present - Thanx Brett.
Hope you like it when you see it.
Then I went to Covent Garden to have a hair cut
The salon was recommended by Amanda
It is called Hair By Fairy
It was quite nice
They get a bit of a production line happening.- as soon as you get there they wash your hair and then you sit back down and wait until there is an available hairdresser.
My hair was washed by a lovely young boy from Venezuela.
It is luck of the draw if you get a hairdresser speaks English.
And she did a good job.
I am very happy with it - even though she graded my fringe, Mum!
That was about it on Friday.
Another quiet night because I had been staying up to watch bits and pieces of the cricket so just stayed home.
Saturday was very uneventful.
I put my washing in at the laundromat to be washed (I couldn't be bothered doing it myself) and went for coffee with James.
Then I went and had lunch with Ben and Pete and then Ben and I went to High Street Kensington so he could book his going away dinner.
He is going home on Thursday and is spending a month in Thailand on the way
I bought a hat (you will see it in the photos) that looks like a train drivers hat but I love it.
I spent the afternoon tidying all my stuff and putting away things that I don't use a lot - ie short sleeve tops and open toe shoes!
Saturday night I went to the Kings Head pub in Earls Court with Aaron and Daniel and Kim and Glen.
We met an Australian couple who had been here for three days.
We sat and had a few drinks until close (which is only 11pm) and then I went home.
Sunday I had to get early as we had planned a trip.
Me and Amanda and her friend Catherine and Jonathon and Ben from the hostel went to Bath
Bath is absolutely beautiful
I don't think my photos quite do it justice but I hope you get the idea.
I was walking around the Roman Baths on original stones and paving that date back to 4th Century AD.
It was quite amazing to think about.
I took a photo of a mosaic that was about the same age too - we could actually touch it
It was great.
We had lunch in a pub and took an open top bus tour
Emily Bronte spent a lot of time there as did heaps of other famous people.
The thing that kind of put things in perspective by way of time was that we drove past the house where Captain Arthur Phillip
lived before he took the first fleet to Australia!
Anyway.we had lunch at a pub and toured the Baths and toured Bath Abbey
I will say now that I did swear inside the Abbey when I walked in and looked at the stained glass windows (you will see in the photos)
I think it was something like "Holy Shit".
I got postcards and brochures too so they will all be posted with the photos.
We got back in at about 9.30pm so it was straight to bed and up again at 5.30am to go out to the orthodontist.
I am about to go and have a bit of a nanna-nap I think!
I am a bit tired and I start by new job tomorrow!
Fingers crossed for me!
See you all later.
Monday 5th to Thursday 8th January 2004
Dentist on Monday so we won't talk about that!
Tuesday I started work - Capsticks Solicitors
I didn't have to start until 9.30am because it was my first day so when I caught the train I was the only one in the carriage.
I decided that I loved this job already and I hadn't even started yet.
Such a change from sixteen stops, three trains and being stuck in peak hour armpits!
I am working for two people - Serena Davis and Rebecca Hunt (trainee).
They both seem really nice but I have a feeling that Serena will be quite demanding because she is very busy!
Anyway I am on the 5th floor of the building.
I did my IT training with a Kiwi boy and including me there are four Aussies on my floor and there are seven floors so I expect there are a few more around.
We have a tea lady that comes arund with her trolley and makes us tea/coffee twice a day and at about 11.30am a boy comes around with sandwhiches and wraps and chocolates to keep us satisfied too.
The office social club has organised ice skating on Monday night so I am going to that
Hopefully it will be better than what I did last Friday.
If you search for Somerset House on the net you will find it.
Apparently it is the best one around.
It is blowing an absolute gale here today...the wind whistling around sounds like a cyclone and English people freaking out.
I said that we get wind like this quite often at home!
I am really busy but liking it too.
The cases are really interesting and Serena is away tomorrow so I should be able to get organised and sort some stuff out!
I can also use the internet during lunch times so that is what I am doing now.
Mightn't need the internet cafe too much now - that will be nice because it is getting cold outside and I would rather not have to go out when I get home after work!
I am going to Stonehenge on Saturday
The tour I am taking is with Astral Travels
Their web site is www.AstralTravels.co.uk and is called the Magical Tour
If it is raining and miserable they change it to Stones and Bones but I will let you know.
I am going with Cath a girl from the hostel so there will be more photos to come.
I went to dinner on Tuesday night for Ben's going away back to Australia via a month in Thailand and have some shots of that night to send back as well
You are going to be so busy uploading Dad.
What are you going to do when Brett's season starts?
Please let me know as soon as the parcel arrives.
On Tuesday night the fire alarm went off at about 3.00am in the hostel.
Linda and I got up and swore and then started thinking about where my passport and bank stuff and camera was so that I could take that out.
Then it stopped so we calmed down.
Then it started again and we panicked again and then it stopped.
We put our coats over our pj's and went downstairs.
Apparently someone had left the oven on and it started to smoke out the kitchen.
It was all sorted and there was no fire!
I thought Mum might have written to me and told me what she thought of my trip to Bath
I am still totally amazed by seeing where Captain Arthur Phillip lived before coming to Australia!
Anyway...now for my big news!
Well I have been doing happy dances anyway.
I booked and paid for my flights to Turkey yesterday!
I am flying with Alitalia.
I leave Heathrow at 6.10am on 22 April and arrive at Malpensa Airport, Milan Italy at 9.15am.
Then we leave Milan at 10.00am and arrive in Istanbul Airport in Istanbul, Turkey at 1.45pm.
On the way back on 28 April I leave Istanbul at 6.05am and get to Milan at 8.00am, leave Milan at 10.15am and get back to Heathrow at 11.25am.
How cool is that?
I am so excited and even though I will have no time to do anything I will have been to Milan!
The travel time between London and Milan is 2 hours and 10 minutes and between Milan and Istanbul it is 2 hours and 50 mintutes.
I can't believe how close things are here.
Anyway...of to call the Travel Agent about Paris for Valentines Day now....
Saturday 10th to Monday 12th January 2004
Here we go again....
Stonehenge - I had organised to go on the tour with Cath who lives at the hostel
We purchased the "Magical Tour" but due to rainy weather we ended up doing the "Stone and Bones Tour"
We really didn't care as long as we went to Stonehenge!
The bus was almost an hour late picking us up so we got a bit worried but apparently there was bad traffic so that was why.
The bus is only a little 16 seater and there was six girls on the tour including me and Cath.
It was a good group - three Aussies, a Canadian and two Brazillians.
Our first stop was Old Sarum which is the ruins of a castle and cathedral at the top of a hill.
The place was adandoned in the 13th Century.
There was two huge man made trenches surrounding the place to stop attackers I guess - you can see them really well from the postcards that I brought.
On the way there the driver was talking to us about how the whole landscape has a chalk covering - a bit like topsoil.
It goes all the way to the white Cliffs of Dover - so I guess that means they are made of chalk!
Anyway...after that we went into Salisbury to the Cathedral there.
It was really amazing.
I could spend all day in these kinds of old churches.
The Salisbury Cathedreal has the tallest spire in England and it is pretty damn big
Another thing that they had at Salisbury Cathedral is the original Magna Carta
I had a good look at that and bought a translation
I remember a print of it used to be hanging at Reaston Lawyers when I worked there.
So I thought that was pretty cool.
Then Cath and I found a nice little handmade chocolate shop and had some truffles!
Then we got back in the bus and went to Amesbury where we had lunch at "The George".
It is a pub.
Apparently the Beatles once stayed there.
Which I guess is pretty cool and I must says that the roast turkey I had was pretty bloody tasty.
After lunch it was time to go to Stonehenge
I absolutely loved it.
It was quite bizzare though in that you just come up over the hill and it is sitting beside the main highway.
I guess I thought you would have to drive down a little dirt track or something like you do to most places at home!
Shows how much I know.
You can't get right up to them but we got close enough.
It was really amazing and I could have spent much longer there
Then our next drive was to Avebury which is a town built in the middle of an ancient stone circle - the postcard I got shows it really well.
You can actually get right up to these stones and while we were there we did some divining for lay lines
A lay line is an imaginary line that runs in a straight line and along each line are 13 churches dedicated to a particular saint - I can't remember their names.
Between two stones called the Gateway Stones we had pieces of wire in our hands.
We had to walk slowly between them and at the point of each lay line the wires crossed in front of us!
It was a bit spooky but fun too.
That was the end of our trip but driving along we saw two of the Chalk Horses
When farmers wanted to show their wealth they paid someone to carve the horses into the ground - which at the top is chalk so they show up white.
It was done on the side of a hill and they look like huge white paintings on a green background.
One of them was 2000 years old but the ones that we saw were 1780 and 1812 - still pretty bloody old!
Anyway - that tour was one of the best that I have been on.
It was different from when we went to Bath because we just caught a coach up there and did our own thing.
On this tour the guide spoke to us all the time about things that we were passing by and a bit of the history of places.
I am going to do at least one more of their tours.
They were quite expensive at £57 but we didn't have to pay for a thing - even lunch and the bit of extra money is worth it by having the guide.
On Saturday night we all went out for Leticia's birthday - there is a photo of her in the CD that you just got.
About 20 of us went to a local and then to a club.
It was fun but I was pretty tired!
I slept in until 10.30 on Sunday and then went and met Jaci for lunch
It was really nice to see someone from home
We went to a nice pub where I had £10 worth of food and drink vouchers.
I had the all day breakfast (at 2pm) but it was sooo yummy!
We chatted for a while and had a few drinks but then I had to go and get ready for my big date.
Sunday night I went to a Justin Timberlake concert
One of the staff at the hostel wanted to go but couldn't find anyone to go with her so I did and I am glad I did.
It was pretty much covered in little groupies but we enjoyed it.
We were on the side of the stage but only 7 rows back
Seriously that boy can move!
I was able to get quite a few really good shots.
There was fireworks and fire and lights and dancing was fantastic
I have been to concerts but nothing like that.
Earls Court Exhibition Centre is the second larges in Europe
I think and it holds 16,000 people and four concerts were sold out.
We went to the last one.
Anyway it was great - we turned into little groupies ourselves and brought programs and a poster each!
Yesterday I organised to have 26th January 2004 off work.
It is Australia Day.
A friend of mine, Jason, said it is a pubic holiday and he doesn't work on public holidays!
We are going to see Aussie band "You Am I" at the Shepherds Busy Empire on Sunday 25th and then going to head to a pub on Monday.
A few of us are going so it is going to be good fun.
I also organised Friday 13th February off work for Paris
Karen is booking this very second so fingers crossed they haven't booked out.
This is what you have brought me for Christmas!
Last night I went ice skating
After my initial attempt at Sloane Square was so disappointing, I was hoping for better and I got it
Somerset house is beautiful
It was like a fairy tale with lights and music.
It was such good fun.
I can skate
I was cruising around like I was a pro - sort of.
I didn't fall over and after I got over my initial wobbles I was fine.
My feet were sore and my left leg is sore.
We went around in a circle anticlockwise for an hour so the pressure was all on one foot.
We got there about half way through the session before us so we were able to have a hot chocolate and watch them.
They have marshalls on the ice that take you around if you need help - they hold your hand and pick you up if you fall down - which I will again say I didn't.
By the end of it I was starting to be able to go backwards and I could also do a little spin type thing (sort off) - but I didn't fall over!
I went with a group from work to the ice rink.
One of the girls drove.
It was the first time I have been in a car since I got to London and we went right through Central London past Big Ben and Westminster Abbey and along the Thames, and down the Strand where all the theatres are.
I am going to see the "Lion King" at the West End in two weeks time.
I can't wait.
And "When Harry Met Sally" is being turned into a play too so me and Ella are going to go and see that.
Anyway, that is all I have to say.
I am going to try and do some things a bit cheaper for the next few weeks before Paris.
As much as I have done I still can't believe I haven't even seen London Bridge or the Tower Bridge yet!
Oh Dad, I need you to let me know if you like the way I did the photos or not.
Because I have been so busy and taking so many I thought it might be better instead of trying to email them.
Can you please also let me know when the money is in my account...thanx.
PS #01 - I forgot to mention in my big long email that I am making tuna mornay for dinner tonight for the first time!
PS #02 - Paris is booked and confirmed!
Friday 16th January 2004
I have got a meeting with the Human Resources Department at 5.00pm today to discuss my contract.
Just got offered a contract for 12 months.
It will be £XX which is a bit more than I thought it would be.
How nice it will be to know I have a job for the next year!
My agency called and said that they were very happy with me.