Monday 17th May 2004
Ireland - I'm back
Had a great time
Hope you liked "My Diary"
Do you know that I go to Belgium in just 13 days?
Tuesday 18th May 2004
Don't you think that a four hour cruise on the Thames with food and music sounds nice?
Duncan Gordon-Smith of Capsticks Solicitors
Subject - Summer Boat Party
Just a reminder about the Summer Boat Party which is happening on Friday 25th June
leaving Putney Pier (at Putney Bridge/Bar M) at 7.00pm and returning to Putney at about 11.00pm.
There is a small charge of £5 each and this covers the trip, buffet and disco.
If you would like to take "a-special-other" then they are more than welcome but the charge is £20.
Please let me know if you would like to come along.
Wednesday 19th May 2004
Dates for teeth are changed
Getting these braces off on 16th June and then fitted for retainer on 18th
I still can't believe the braces are coming off...I am very excited!!
Thursday 20th May 2004
Amanda came over for dinner last night and we had a good goss.
She is going away in six weeks for two months.
I am going to have no one to play with when she goes...never mind.
Friday 21st May 2004
Registered with the doctor this morning and now heading to Toting Bec to get my National Insurance (tax file number) number.
I love spending time in government departments.
Saturday 22nd May 2004
A Cricket Test Match was on between England and New Zealand
And I went!!
And sat in the grandstands at Lord's Cricket Ground!!
And it was awesome!!
It was so nice to sit out in the sun.
There was quite a bit of action too - and two streakers!
I rang and spoke to Mum,
and also rang Matt Bolton who was very jealous - plus I also rang Ritchie Mounsey to tell him.
He was quite surprised 'cause he had a call from me and a call from Brett on the same day!
Did it look nice on the telly?
The day was soo nice.
...and here is the full story from Tanya
We had to get up really early and get to Lords so we could get to the grounds and line up for tickets.
I met Johnathon at the hostel at 7.45am.
By the time we got there, there was probably 150 people in line for tickets but there was plenty of tickets left and they just lined us up.
We had our tickets by about 9.00am and I think there was still about 400 in line behind us.
After taking photos of each other by all the signs that said Lords we went in
We wandered around the gift shop a little bit and made a couple of purchases.
Then we went to our seat.
It was in the top deck near the media centre and the big screen
It was perfect.
The sun was out and the sky was blue.
I made a few gloating phone calls - one to mum and one to Matty Bolton and one to Ritchie Mounsey (who had got a call from both me and Brett that day, lucky fella).
The first ball was bowled and it was game on
I watched Richardson reach his century and Naser Hussain have an awesome day in the field.
I saw Steven Harmison bowl, Daniel Vettori bowl and Chris Cairns bat - it was, well, cool.
The wave went around quite a few times as well
It stopped when it got to the members section and the rest of the crowd booed.
Then one bloke on the top level of the members stood up and waved.
He got a big cheer every time it went round.
He was the only member in the whole stand to get involved.
It was really funny.
We saw two streakers - one of them was prepared and ran out "butt nekked" but was wearing his backpack full of his clothes
The other one ran out with his jeans on which I though was a total waste of time but when he got to the pitch he dropped his pants and rubbed his bot-bot on the stumps - thats class!!
We had fish and chips for lunch and sat in the sun all day.
It was a fab day and I cant wait to go back for a game with the Fanatics when Australia are playing.
Tuesday 25th May 2004
The "offy" (bottle shop) about three doors up from me wants someone to work 3-4 nights a week.
I am going to check it out.
I think it would keep me out of trouble!!
Get me saving and stuff!!
Plus I don't have to travel to get there which is good.
They close at 10.00pm so it isn't too late.
Just have to see "what they pay and how they pay it" - might not be worth it if I get taxed a crapload.
"State of Origin Game One" is on tomorrow...please do not send me scores!
Gonna try and avoid them all and watch the game without knowing.
Might not be able to manage it though!!
Wednesday 26th May 2004
The "State Of Origin Game One - Queensland v New South Wales" is on tonight.
Go the Maroons!
I'm going the watch the game replay after work in Wimbledon.
and after the game - Thursday 27th May 2004
Anyway, the game wasn't that good last night - result disappointing (the Maroons lost!) but there didn't seem to be much fire from either team.
Friday 28th May 2004
I am thinking of buying a bike
They are everywhere.
Tamara got one on Wednesday and said that it is really good - she gets to ride to work through Hyde Park.
It will be cheaper.
And the weather is nice and it is light until 9.00pm at the moment and it will stay that way all through the summer.
And the traffic is fine and you don't have to wear I helmet but I would.
My route to work would be the track beside the Thames from Hammersmith to Putney.
You can take them on trains so I can take it if I go away at weekends.
Think that I will do it.
Friday 28th May to Monday 31st May 2004
My trip to Belgium
Friday 28th May------(simply click on the date to see photos of everything Tanya mentions below)
The Friday night before we left was pay day so we went for one drink after work.
After four pints and a couple of tequila shots later I finally left the bar and headed home.
I hadnt packed so when I got home I pulled things out of the cupboard that I thought I needed and piled them on the floor to pack in the morning.
Saturday 29th May------(simply click on the date to see photos of everything Tanya mentions below)
On Saturday morning I got up (not seedy but a little slower than I should have been) and packed the pile from the floor into my suitcase and left for the station.
Amanda and I get the same train most places so we meet in the middle of the platform at Hammersmith and when the train comes she sticks her head out the door and I jump on.
When I got to the station Amanda was already there.
She said Geez, I thought I got the times wrong you are usually always waiting for me.
Anyway, we got to Waterloo International in plenty of time.
Found the guide, got the tickets and jumped on the train.
I had to get some boys to put my suitcase up in the overhead locker cause I couldnt lift it.
The journey was fine.
The Eurostar is very smooth.
After going through the country side of England, under the Channel and through France we were in Belgium.
The trip was about 2 hours 45 minutes all up.
We got planning Amandas Busabout of Europe - how many nights here and there etc.
Made me quite jealous!!
We got met by the bus and taken for a bit of a drive around Brussels.
We went to the arch built to commemorate a war victory.
It wasnt all that flash compared to the Arc De Triomphe but was still nice.
There was a half marathon on the next day so they had the finish line all set up.
I had Amanda take a photo of me have just crossed the line.
I can guarantee you that I didnt run it!
Then we drove to the Atomium which was built for the World Fair.
It is supposed to represent an iron atom magnified about 25 million times.
It was a bit of a strange thing to be looking at but was quite cool.
After that it was time to check into the hotel.
It was lovely.
Amanda and I shared a room and we changed and went and got some food - we were starving by this time.
We found a nice outdoor café and had a meal.
Then it was back to the hotel to meet the guide for the walking tour of Brussels.
Apparently we were quite close to the Grand Place.
It turned out that we were and the walk was quite nice.
We went through the restaurant area which was fantastic lots of shops very close together with staff standing outside trying to bribe us for our business with free deserts and free cocktails.
We said we might come back later and headed through to the Grand Place.
The square was lovely.
The buildings were so old.
Everyone was very friendly.
We took lots of photos.
Then we headed down to see the Manekken Pis.
It wasnt very far from the Square but there were so many people trying to get a photo of this little bloke - I reckon about 250 when we went there.
And he was dressed which I wasnt happy about.
In some little chefs outfit type thing.
We went and found ourselves some dinner at one of the restaurants in the strip.
We went back to the square to wait for the lights to come on the buildings.
We were looking at the Hotel de Ville up close and two boys came up to us.
They asked us if we noticed anything about the building.
We didnt really.
They then pointed out that the door way wasnt in the middle.
We saw that it wasnt.
They told us when the designer saw that he ran up to the top of the tower and jumped off and killed himself.
We wandered back down the road to see the Manekken Pis Statue again and thought that we might be able to get a better photo of him if there was less people around.
There was basically no people and he was nekked!
We got some pretty good shots I think.
Behind the statue was a great chocolate shop with a chocolate fountain in the window.
Amanda and I got some funny shots of that too - drooling over the chocolate.
We decided to get our first waffles of the trip.
They lady was really nice that served us and posed for photos we are definitely tourists!
We ate them in the square and we were still waiting for it to get dark and the lights to come on.
It didnt get dark until about 9.30pm.
But they were lovely when then did.
We walked down to the area where all the bars were and as we were walking by we heard a guy singing a 'Crowded House' song so we went in.
We had a drink and a guy came and started talking to us.
He was American and worked for Nato.
He had been living in Brussels for a month and really liked it.
He was quite nice.
Then we were sitting there listening to the band and the American boys from our tour (who lifted my suitcase for me) came in.
We sat and drank with them for quite a while.
They were very young and I felt like "a bit of a nanna" but they were great fun too.
The funniest thing they did was ask if me and Amanda were together ie lesbians.
It was pretty funny though because we are pretty close and Amanda always put her arm and me and we will talk to each other with a hand on the others knee.
Those boys were convinced of it but they were wrong.
Sunday 30th May------(simply click on the date to see photos of everything Tanya mentions below)
Sunday was the half day trip to Gent.
We had to wait 30 minutes for the American girls to have a shower because I am not going anywhere with out a shower which made us a bit cranky.
As per Paris we stole cheese and crackers from breakfast to have during the day.
It was raining in Gent but it didnt really matter.
The thing that bothered us was our guide had never been to Gent.
Not exactly sure how he was meant to guide us so we wandered off on our own.
There was an animal market near where the bus dropped us of so we went back and had a look.
There were baby ducks and chicks and rabbits and guinea pigs and we had a nice time playing with them all.
There were also the older animals which looked like they were ready for eating - did like that so much.
We went up towards the square.
It wasnt quite as nice as Brussels but was still nice.
Took a few photos in the rain and kept walking.
I could see some balls going up and down in the air so we headed in that direction.
It turned out to be the Belgian National Beach Volleyball Titles.
It was raining, there was no sun, and they were on artificial courts in the middle of a town!
It was also pretty funny to see the Nivea Sun signs everywhere and people with umbrellas.
We stopped and watched for a bit they all looked pretty terrible actually.
As we were walking off I got smacked in the head with a ball.
It came from behind out of nowhere.
We basically just wandered in Gent and found a lace shop (where "Mum's Little Lady" came from) and a chocolate shop where I had the best chocolate of the trip.
It was chocolate filled with fresh cream .so so so so good!
Gent was quite pretty.
We had some chips with mayonnaise and headed back to the bus.
We were probably about 3 minutes late and we watched the bus come around a corner it had left without us.
We were lucky that one of the girls saw us and got the driver to stop.
We were furious with the guide.
He knew that we were coming back (the idiot didnt take a list of who was going back on the bus and who was going on to Bruges).
We wait 30 minutes for the girls to have a shower and we are 3 minutes late and he knows we are coming and leaves!!
Anyway we got back to Brussels.
We went to the Cartoon Museum in the afternoon back in Brussels.
The only problem with that was that none of the signs were in English so we had to carry a book around and flick the pages until we found the right one in the end we didnt bother and just looked at the pictures.
The smurf stuff was really cool and we spent ages there.
My neck was getting pretty sore by this stage - must have been the knock in the head!
After that we found the train station (the guide couldnt tell us where it was) and checked times and brought tickets to go to Bruges the next day.
Again we ran into the American boys - we think they were following us!
We went back to the square and did our tourist shopping chocolates and lace and other touristy stuff like postcards.
I brought Brett a t-shirt which he must take a photo of him wearing it and send it to me.
We were a bit stuffed so we headed back to the hotel for a nap.
We got ready for dinner (my neck was really really sore).
We went back to a restaurant we had seen the night before.
They guy remembered us and said "thank you for coming back, have a free drink", etc etc etc.
It was hilarious.
They really really try hard.
He asked us to come back when the restaurant closed and he and his staff would show us his Brussels.
We said that we have to get up really early and he said that was no problem and he would wake us up - CHEEKY!
One of the waiters from a restaurant over the road kept calling out to us that we were so pretty.
It was just bizarre.
When we left with promises to come back (but no intention of keeping our promises) the man from the restaurant right next door tried to get us to go into his restaurant.
We said we have just had a three course meal next day and he had seen us.
He said "no no just come in for a drink on the house".
We went in and had a free beer and then left.
It was funny though because he put us at a table right outside the restaurant so the guy where we had just came from could see us.
He was quite gutted.
It must be a competition between them all.
We had been told by our guide about the statue of the little girl called the Jeanekken Pis (but he didnt know where it was - very helpful) .
Apparently it had been put up by the restaurateurs to attract customers to the other side of the Square from the boy statue.
We asked the guy who gave us the beers if he knew where it was.
He said that he would take us.
He walked us both down the road past all the restaurants with one arm around each of us - he got lots of cat calls from staff at all the other restaurants!!
Amanda and I thought it was hilarious and this bloke was loving it.
We didnt have to go far, just two blocks and he showed us where it was.
We could not believe how funny this statue was.
I cant believe that is meant to be a tourist attraction.
Anyway, I had a very sore neck by this stage so we went back to the hotel for the night.
Amanda offered to give me a neck rub cause my neck was sore so there we were in our pjs with her giving me a neck rub.
The American boys were in the room over from us and we could hear them outside our door - we cracked up laughing wondering what they would think if they could see what we were doing!
Monday 31st May------(simply click on the date to see photos of everything Tanya mentions below)
We were up early again for breakfast and to catch the train to Bruges.
We stole more food for lunch and jumped in the train.
It was raining in Brussels but by the time that we got to Bruges it was gorgeous as you will see in the photos.
We walked to the square and it was gorgeous.
The town itself was a bit like Gent but only parts of Gent were pretty whereas all of Bruges was stunning.
We took photos in the square and sat on the statue and had cheese and crackers.
We watched the horse and carts take tourists off on rides around the town.
It was definitely like being in another time.
We walked down to the canals and took a cruise.
It was different to Amsterdam where the canals are mostly lined with roads.
In Bruges most of the canals are right up against buildings.
It was lovely.
We saw lots of stuff the tiny window was very strange.
I took a photo of a house that had their washing hanging out for the world to see and a great drainpipe with a dragon on the end of it.
There were also parking garages for the boats and you could see the steps up to the houses.
We went to go and see the Madonna and Child but the church was closed until 1.30pm so we went and sat in the sun in a little square and had a drink until it opened.
We went and saw it and it was lovely.
It is apparently the only Michelangelo sculpture outside of Italy.
Once again we ran into the American boys - definitely following us!
We walked to the Bejinhof (there was one in Amsterdam too).
It was different but still lovely.
To get to it you had to walk over a canal on a little bridge were the cruise boats go through.
After we had wandered around for a while we found a nice sunny spot in a park by the canals and had a waffle and basically chilled out and might have even had a bit of a snooze.
I had set my phone alarm so we didnt have to watch the clock and was very disappointed when it went off.
It was so relaxing there.
We missed the train by about a minute so we had to wait half an hour for the next one so we sat on the platform and ate the rest of our cheese and crackers.
While we were waiting a few of the girls from the tour came and sat with us.
We got back to the Brussels and found somewhere for dinner.
We wanted to stay right away from the blokes from last night so we found a nice Chinese place.
The only thing was that one of the blokes from the night before walked past and stopped and talked to us!
I tried some of Amandas soup that she had.
It was hot and she said that she would blow on it for me to make to cooler - then we cracked up laughing again.
Another thing those American boys could misconstrue - eating from each other's plates!
Anyway, we went back to the hotel and jumped on the bus - it waited for us this time!!
We had a drink at the train station with a few of the Aussie girls that were on our trip - some of them had gone to Luxembourg for the day and they told us all about that.
Then it was the train trip home.
I was very tired but it was a lovely trip.
Bruges is one of my favourite places - it was so relaxing.
Oh, and I got another stamp in my passport!!
Tuesday 1st June 2004
Belgium was lovely...very beautiful!
We had great weather on Saturday
and on Monday I got sunburnt lying in a park in Bruges beside the canal with little boats and swans and pretty bridges and willows and had waffles and coffee!
It was a nice relaxing holiday...
it isn't really a sightseeing place like Paris is with so much to see but it is pretty and everyone is friendly and happy!
We saw everything we wanted to see
and had plenty of downtime too so I wasn't completely exhausted when I got back.
Anyway...stories of lesbians and volleyball and americans and michaelangelo and chocolate and squatting and boat rides and beer will follow some time this week!
Friday 4th June 2004
I am looking forward to nice weekend.
The temperature is 24 and 25 each day and it is only getting down to 14 overnight.
It is almost summer!
Funny that I think that with temps of just 14 now!
Going bike shopping tomorrow.
I had a haircut last night - and you will be pleased to know that I have had some long layers put in the bottom and it doesn't look too bad.
Going to the Porterhouse (my local pub) on Sunday for Johnathon's "going-home" drinks
His Mum has breast cancer so he is going home while she has treatment
Thats about it.
Saturday 5th June 2004
Just saying hi.
I am waiting at the 'net cafe' for Amanda and we are going to Piccadilly Circus to have a look at Lillywhites sportstore.
I brought a bike today
It cost £40
It is second-hand and I spent another £55ish on locks, mudguards and lights, helmet
And flouro stuff to wear on my ankles so you can see me although I don't think I will be missed on my hot pink bike!
We are going to town to buy a backpack because I haven't got one to use when I am riding.
I think about £100 for a bike ready-to-go is fine.
Gonna give it a test run tomorrow morning and see how long it takes me to get to work.
Amanda will be here soon and I have to go.
Tonight I am going for a drink for Nikki's birthday(I used to work with her at Canary Wharf)
and then Byron is cooking dinner for me.
He is a boy from the hostel and it is our mate's birthday so we are going over for a feed and a few brews.
Anyway...must dash...talk to you on Monday.
Tuesday 8th June 2004
I cycled to work today and obviously arrived safely
It was a lovely ride down the river.
The path is wide but it is dirt and very shady and cool.
There was heaps of people riding and walking and running and dawdling along.
It got a bit hectic when I got to Putney Bridge though...that is where I have to turn off the river to Putney High Street.
I had found a few backroads so I miss the high street traffic.
I walked out the front door at 8.00am this morning...I had to go round the back to get my bike and when I got to work I put it in the shed and stepped out of the lift on the fifth floor at 8.24am.
So fast and so much nicer than the hot stinky tube!
That is going to be so bad in summer but I have my bike to ride now.
It was lovely and feel quite awake which is a change from being asleep at my desk in the morning...takes me a little while to warm up.
This was a great idea!
I had coffee with Ryan (Nevern hostel manager) last night
They are having a first birthday party at the hostel and want the old residents to come back
They are putting on food and drink.
It should be a good night if the weather stays nice and it is light until 10pm.
It was 29 degrees yesterday which is the hottest so far.
This office doesn't have airconditioning.
We all have desktop fans.
I need to buy some summer work clothes.
When I get my braces off next week I go to Beckton which is near an Asda stores.
Asda is a bit like Big W so I will try and get some short sleeve tops and skirts - and show off my white legs.
It seems I might have to start using the tanning beds at the gym.
Apparently last summer they had dress down everyday so you could wear your casual summer clothes (ie little singlet tops) all the time.
Anyway - must start work now.
PS - it hit 30 degrees today.
Jeepers...a big change from the snow and cold, hey?
I want to start my big Europe trip time next year in Pamps for the running of the bulls,
and then "Busabout" through the rest of Spain, Portugal, Moroco, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany Chec Republic, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland, and Greece.
This is the website - http://www.busabout.com/
You just buy a pass for as long as you want and you can get on and off as often as you like.
The route only goes one way and they drop you at the doorstep of hostels in every city you get to.
Amanda is doing it in about four weeks time and will be away for about six weeks.
I am so anxious to get there myself.
Gonna wait until I have enough money though so it is definitely next year for me.
Just thought you might like to see it.
I got the brochure sent to me last week and it is another thing to help keep me saving.
Good way of doing it don't you think?
Wednesday 9th June 2004
"Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts"
This weekend is the London Open Gardens and Squares Weekend so all the private gardens around London are open to the public and you can go in.
The one I want to go and see is the Lansdowne and Elgin Crescent Garden which is the one from Notting Hill that Hugh Grant said "whoopsy daisy" when he couldn't climb the fence! (Movie -
Let me know if you want to come!
Thursday 10th June 2004
Had a stack on the way home last night!
Was trying to go up a gutter sideways but my wheel skidded and I fell over
Nothing really hurt - think I pulled a muscle trying to stay standing but it didn't work.
A nice man asked if I was okay but I just wanted to get out of there asap!!
Was slightly embarrassed!!
Went the whole way today without stopping.
Sometimes I have gotten off and crossed the road but this time I was in with all all the traffic in the right lanes and turning.
Was very proud of myself!!
Guess where I am going on Monday night?
To the theatre to see -- FAME - the musical!
Am very excited!!
My first show in London!!
It is Lesley's birthday and I am going with her and Ella their friend Emma.