Thursday 22nd January 2004
I am now on an employment contract and can't just 'up-and-go" for months at a time.
I have made a decision on my holidays for this year ---
One week in Turkey - April
One week in Ireland - June
One week in Scotland - August
One week in Egypt - November - cruising down the Nile on a Felucca sailboat on the 9th!
I can do weekenders to France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden.
That way I can save most of Europe for next year,
and do bus tours and stuff in Greece and Italy and Spain and Portugal and take a long time to do it like one or two months.
Eastern Europe is somewhere else I want to go as well.
Countries like Russian, Croatia, Chec Republic.
Those are a bit further away so I need longer to do that.
Could change but I reckon that is the best way to do it.
Friday 23rd January 2004
Going to a gym
Well, I have been thinking about it for a while, but I wasn't really interested before I got a job.
But if I will be here for a year I guess I should join.
So I joined "Holmes Place" today
It is across the road from work, and I think it will be a good investment.
Got my first personal training session on Sunday at 11.00am!
And it has tanning beds....I might even get the tan I never had at home!
Anyway...I will let you know how it goes.
The long range forecast for this place next week is negative temps and arctic winds and snow by Wednesday!
Us Aussies at work are a bit excited and the English folks on staff just don't understand it!
Did I tell you yesterday that I landed three months ago yesterday - 22nd.
Can you believe that I have been away for 3 months or 12 weeks or 84 days already!
Thursday 22nd January to Monday 26th January 2004 --- Australia Day Celebrations
Here goes on my weekend.
On Thursday I went for drinks with my old work-mates.
Shani (my old boss) was leaving to go back to Australia and asked me to come.
It was nice to go back out there and not do it in peak hour.
On Friday I was asked to move rooms to live with Karen and a girl called Nikki (Sth African girl).
I was thinking about it because it is a much bigger room and has a balcony
but it is on the road and there is an extra person
but I liked the idea of not having to use my suitcase anymore.
I had a talk to Ryan who is the manager of the Nevern Hotel and Gerry who owns it and they both said I would be silly to move as we have the best room in the place
I said that I knew that but I needed more cupboard space which was the only thing making me want to move.
Ryan and I walked around the hostel checking in all the rooms looking for things for my room.
Then we found a great cupboard and that got moved in on Saturday!
I don't have to use my suitcase anymore and I feel like a normal person.
I said that while we were at it can Linda and I please have coat hooks behind the door so we got them too.
Ryan said that me and Linda are the two most demanding tenants - always asking questions - but we can't be that bad because I reckon we get looked after pretty well too.
After re-dectorating on Saturday morning I went to another Rugby Union game at the Stoop
It was fun but I was a bit tired.
I picked up my photo of me and Duncan with the World Cup and it turned out great
At half time they sang a send up of Waltzing Matilda that was really clever....I am going to send the words home but try this to the tune...
"And they cried as they watched and waited 'til our plane took off.
You'll never see Bill again said we!"
It was really funny.
All the people I met from last time were there and they all remembered me and we had a laugh as usual.
Saturday night I didn't do much at all...just had a quite night in the hostel doing a list of photographs for Dad!
Kim and Glen came over and we just sat around and talked.
Sunday I went to the gym and the personal trainer they gave me was awful
He didn't listen to anything I said so I have asked Sonya to write me a basic all over toning program.
He sucked...lucky I didn't have to pay for it.
Sunday arv me and Karen went to the Fulham Tup
We were "dressed to kill" in our Aussie gear
It was really good fun
We met Jason and Elly and Sarah and Paul and Tania and Katie there.
The crowd was good and the bar staff were all dressed up to.
When we got there there was an Aussie Rules game on the big screen and then they changed it to the movie, "The Castle"
We sang the National Anthem and Waltzing Matilda and all sorts of things.
About 6.45pm we left to go to Shepherd's Bush to see "You Am I"
When we got there we met Anthony at O'Neills and had a drink there.
Then we went into see the band and met Michelle and Byron and Chris.
We all got a good spot near the bar and listened.
Unfortunately, they didn't play any music that I knew!
Never mind it was a good fun crowd.
Apparently Shepherd's Bush is only about 20 minutes from Earls Court.
Ryan has often given me a bit of grief about the fact that I catch the train there so me, Michelle and Byron thought we would walk home.
Unfortunately we got lost and about one-and-a half-hours later and a shopping trolley ride later we got home - we were a bit cold too!
I slept in until about 11.00am and then rang Jason for "part two" of our Australia Day Celebrations
We met at the Fullham "Slug and Lettuce" at 2.30pm and had a few pints of Fosters and listened to some great music.
It was such fun!
About two hours later Greg and Aaron arrived and then Anthony came down and then Tamara and then Cath and Amira.
It was a good crowd there as well.
I had a meat pie (YUM!) cause you can't usually get them here and we shared packets of burger rings and cheezels too because you can't get them over here either.
I got knocked over by the drunk girl at about 9.00pm and pretty much went straight home from there.
I was in bed by 10.00pm.
Anyway, it was great fun and Australia Day in London was fantastic
Everyone was so patriotic and they kept playing "Up there Cazaly" at the Slug on Monday...everyone was singing and yes, we even got John Farnham again!
That is it....
I will let you know as soon as I post the photos.
Tuesday 27th January 2004
I am here and back at work but only just!
I got knocked over in the pub yesterday and I have done my knee again.
It feels just as bad as it did the first time.--(click here for details of the original injury - December 2000)
After such a fun weekend it all got kind of ruined because now I can hardly walk!
Haven't been to a doctor yet...going to look up some physios which is more what I need.
I'll be right.
Wednesday 28th January and Thursday 29th January 2004
Snowing!!! - and last night was such fun
I know I have seen snow before - that was actually on ski slopes where it is meant to be!
I had been checking the 'net all day because I was sure that it was going to snow.
That is what everyone else said anyway.
We got a bit of snow in the morning, but at about 5.15pm a few people said that it was really coming down.
We ran to the window and when we saw that it was we just grabbed our coats and ran out the door.
I shouted to Serena "See you tomorrow, I'm going to play in the snow!".
She just laughed.
When the elevator finally came (which seemed like forever) we all got in and everyone laughed at us.
On the ground floor we have commissionaires who usually get the door for us in the morning and afternoons.
We just stood there still getting dressed and getting our cameras out.
(which luckily I now carry with me all of the time!)
Bob held the door and we walked outside.
It was such a strange sight because everything was white and the snow was still falling and my coat was instantly white
I was with Trina and Tracey who are on my floor and we were kind of going slowly looking around and taking photos.
I got some good ones and Trina got some good ones of me too.
The Putney Bridge station is only partially covered so both ends of the platform were white and everyone waiting had snow on them.
We got on the train and all but some of the stations I pass are outside so there was snow everywhere and on everyone!
The trains did go quite slowly.
The walk from the train station home was funny too.
There were people using umbrellas and they were completely white on the top.
I just didn't bother because I had my beanie on and was carrying two bags of stuff.
When I rounded the corner into my street I could see people crouching behind cars on both sides of the road and throwing things at each other and I knew I was in trouble!
When I got to the house before us Ryan, who manages the hostel, called out "Here's Tanya" and then about six boys starting pelting me with snowballs!
There was nothing I could do but try and get to the door which I finally did.
I went upstairs and changed and came back down again but didn't go outside.
It was far too cold and it had stopped snowing.
I listened to Karen's radio a bit and London had basically stopped.
The tubes were delayed and some stations closed and roads closed because of a lorry jack-knife.
I can't believe it happens like this every year!
We have been warned for a week that it was going to happen but it still seemed like a surprise to most locals!
This morning I woke up and looked out my window over the other hotel grounds.
They were completely white as were all of the cars in their parking lot
I got dressed nice and warmly because it is still freezing and left for work 20 minutes early.
I knew the walk to the tube would be bad but I had no idea.
The snow had turned to ice which made the footpath very very very slippery
I was wearing my runners 'cause my high heel boots would have been to scary particularly with my sore knee
(but it didn't stop some people - watching the girls tottering around was quite funny)
I ended up getting to work on time which was lucky.
My section of the Underground is actually above ground and we got past a few fields and school ovals and they were all white.
It was so pretty
When I got upstairs at work I took out my camera and took photos out across London at all the white tops of the houses
It was a lovely view and I got some good shots.
When I went out at lunch time there was still snow around but not a lot.
Most of the ice had melted but some of the footpaths were still quite slippery.
It was a very strange experience walking to the shops to do my grocery shopping with snow around - in the trees and driveways and gutters!
I will admit that I have been walking around with a silly grin on my face since last night - "I live and work in London and its cold and snowing and pretty and so different to anything I have ever experienced before."
It was great fun!
Saturday 31st January and Sunday 1st February 2004
Just saying hi...
Didn't do much this weekend.
Just boring sitting around type stuff.
Friday 6th February 2004
I am going to Greenwich on Saturday if the weather is nice.
and maybe out somewhere for a drink tomorrow night.
Not got a lot of cash to spend at the moment!
I want to make sure that I have enough for Paris!
This time next week I will be there.
I just checked the weather and they are predicting rain for the three days that I am there!
I am thinking of going to Egypt later this year
I talked to the travel people about this trip and they said that I need to book 3-4 months ahead as that is one of the most popular tours
The one I am considering at looks great
And I would be cruising on the Nile River on my birthday...who'd have thought!
At this stage I am thinking of going on my own
and there is a maximum group of eighteen so it should be really nice
By the way, I printed out a whole lot of photos and I put them up in my room the other night and it looks really good.
And as of the 3rd February, I have been in the Nevern Hostel for three months
Happy Anniversary to me!
Saturday 7th February to Monday 9th February 2004
Not much exciting happened this weekend.
I was invited out after work for a drink with the secretaries on my floor.
We went across the road to a little bar/cafe thing and had a few drinks.
It was a nice way to get to know a few more people in the office.
On Saturday Amanda came over and me and her and Karen went to Greenwich.
Greenwich is a really lovely place and even though it is only an hour away on the trains we could have been a million miles away.
It is green and old and on the river.
The Naval Colleges and museums are all old and they are also free!
We then walked up a great big hill to the Royal Observatory and the place where they measure time from
The is a line at zero longitude and it divides the world into Western and Eastern Hemispheres
Everyone has their photo taken with one leg on either side - so we did to
It was a lovely place with lots of old clocks and that sort of thing.
We also set our watches to the exact time so I know if anyone is late!
We had lunch in a nice noodle bar and walked in a tunnel that goes from one side of the Thames to another
It was built over 100 years ago and we walked it.
You go down a long spiral staircase and then walk the tunnel.
It is a bit eerie but as far as I could see there were no leaks!
Went to the pub on Saturday night for a few with Kaz and Ella and met Nathan and Jason and Greg and Aaron there.
Greg is going home so it was a farewell drink for him.
On Sunday Amanda came around again and we walked up to High Street Kensington for some window shopping.
I brought some stuff for my hair and that is all.
Last night I was all ready to cook dinner but it was far too packed in the kitchen.
I was just about to go and get money to buy takeaway and Brendan asked me if I wanted some pasta cause he cooked too much.
We had dinner and then I took him to the pub for a pint.
Monday and Thursday is "pound-pints" at the Richmond.
A heap of us ended up down there and one turned into four!
Into bed at midnight!
Going for dinner tonight at Amanda's and then the orthodontist in the morning.
Three more sleeps until Paris!
Wednesday 11th February 2004
Tamara (see Australia Day photos - girl in red shirt) rang and said that she wanted to talk to me.
She had been looking at places to move and found a nice one but wanted a second opinion.
It is a three story house owned by a couple
You walk in the front door and up stairs to their apartment which is completely separate from us.
On the floor that you walk in the front door on there are two bedrooms and and a bathroom.
You go down stairs and there are two more bedrooms and another bathroom and the kitchen and dining room and door out to the garden.
I will still be sharing a room (with Tamara) but it is bigger than the one I am in.
The bathrooms and there is two baths - YAY!
The room has two single beds, a desk, a fridge and a TV in our room as well as cupboards.
The kitchen is about the same size as the one we have at the hostel for 100 people and this one is used by just 8 girls.
The kitchen also has a dishwasher and there is a washing machine for us to use free of charge.
There is a landline phone which we can receive calls on and make calls on using a phone card.
The cost of £70 a week inclusive of all bills so there is nothing else to pay but that - no electricity, gas, phone etc.
The deposit is £150.
It is a saving of £14 a week plus about £10-£15 on washing each week.
An extra £100 in my account will be nice.
They want a minimum stay of six months and if we go before then we are responsible for advsertising costs.
It is at Hammersmith...still on the Green Line and we take a bus ride of about 2 minutes from the train station - in the day time and summer we will be able to walk it!
Brett - Jaci lives at Hammersmith.
It is really close to the Thames.
Tamara is going away for a month in April so I will have the place to myself while she is away.
One of the reasons I hadn't moved out is because most places want bond of four weeks and a month rent in advance and I just couldn't afford it and travel too.
Also I don't particularly want to be on a lease and have that responsibility!
This way it is cheaper and I am in a nicer place!
I know I will miss the hostel (mainly the people ) but it is only two stops from Earls Court and if I take the tube to work I have to go via Earls Court...I think it will be faster to take a bus though which will be nice - and cheaper.
My bed is available on 29th February and my rent is paid up to 1st March so it is perfect.
Tamara is moving in this weekend and I will be giving her my deposit to take over with her.
I will probably move on Sunday 29th.
BTW - just two more sleeps until Paris!