Friday 11th June 2004
I won tickets to this today - "Toast Life"
It's an Australian Festival being held in July
Four tickets at £25 pounds each...nice score!
Obviously going to the Aussie one.
Friday night I went straight from work to the hostel
They were having their first birthday party and we were invited back to celebrate
It was strange being back there and there were heaps of people that I didn't know but heaps still that I did.
The owners Roger and Jerry were there and kept joking that I had to leave because no visitors were allowed after 10pm.
I had a nice chat to Bruce and Jenny
They are an older couple (you will see the photos) that have been there almost the whole year the place has been open
They don't want to move out.
They said that they miss their kids at home like crazy and like being around all of us.
They said that there are sometimes they would rather their own place but on the whole like it there.
They said that they missed seeing me around which was nice.
I ran into them in Turkey too - so they get around just like us young ones and they have grandkids!
That was the same with me.
I think I might still be there if Tamara hadn't found my room.
They put on lots of grog and a big feed and we had a heap of fun.
Sunday 13th June 2004
Sunday morning I went to some of the private gardens that were open for the weekend
Me, Kaz, Ella, Michelle and Cassie went to the park that Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts broke into in Notting Hill
The bench they sat on was missing - they said that people try and steal it
But the had a concrete bench there so we all sat on it and took photos
It was quite good fun.
The garden is lovely and the houses around it are worth upwards of £5 millions pounds each - do the conversion on that number!
Cassie and Michelle are two Aussie girls that have moved into our house.
They are really nice and I spend heaps of time with them.
Saturday 12th June and Sunday 13th June 2004
(a phone call from Tanya)
"I have just been to the semi-finals of the Stella Artois Tennis Championships held at the Queen's Club!!!"
Now to the best bit of my weekend.
On Saturday I was sitting at home watching the BBC and they said that the first semi at Queens was starting in 30 mintues and that after that would be the second semi and the match of the day - Hewitt and Roddick
The court is only at Barrons Court which is one stop from Hammersmith so I got my Wallabies Jersey and hat went and lined up for a ticket at Queens Club.
Some woman out the front of the courts came by with a single ticket for sale but the girl in front of me was the next single in line so she got first option.
Except she didn't have cash and I did so she sold me the ticket and I went in.
I wandered around quite excited and brought a t-shirt and that kind of thing.
When I went to sit in my seat, someone was in it - I checked my ticket and it turned out the women had sold me a ticket for the final on Sunday not the semi which I wanted to see on Saturday.
I was furious but she said that she would give me my money back as it was an honest mistake but I thought I would risk it and stayed.
We found seats that were unoccupied and watched the two semi finals.
Unfortunately Lleyton lost but Roddick was on fire and served at world record speed 153 MPH...it was awesome
About half way through the Hewitt match the lady that sold me the ticket asked to see it.
I was a bit nervous to actually hand it to her so I held onto it.
She said that the stub was torn off so I couldn't use it.
I said that I had actually been out already that day and got back in no problem so it would be fine tomorrow.
She said "Ok, I was just looking out for you love".
When the game finished she asked if I was definately going to go Sunday.
I said "hell yeah" and she asked me to give it back to her and she wasn't going to give me my money back.
She said that I got to see the game I wanted and shouldn't be selfish.
She was an alcoholic and just wanted to sell it on again.
When I said "no, this is what you sold me" she started yelling at me that I was selfish and a terrible ambassador for my country.
She stormed off.
Then she stormed back and said I didn't buy her the drink I promised (I didn't promise and she had definitely had enough).
Then she stormed off again.
Then she stormed back and yelled that she had tickets to Wimbledon and I couldn't have any!
She was very strange and very drunk.
The people around me were very nice and one nice English boy gave me a beer and said that I handled her very well.
For the Hewitt game I was dressed in my Aussie gear and made it onto the BBC coverage and got messages from friends in London and Scotland saying they had seen me
I rang Dad and told him to tape the replay and they might see me or I might get cut
When I rang Mum she said that she did see me
I think that is pretty cool!
Anyway after going to the gardens on Sunday morning I went to the tennis again and they let me straight through.
I was stoked.
There was a continuation of a doubles semi and Wayne Arthurs was playing in that - another Aussie so I cheered them on
They lost though...never mind
I was slightly concerned that I would have to sit next to that screaming lady from Saturday but she didn't turn up so I had two seats all to myself.
Dad, at the final I reckon my seat was pretty much where the third photo was taken from that you have put on the web page
Had a great time again but Roddick only served 152MPH.
It was a fun, alcohol free, non travelling weekend!
Monday 14th June 2004
"FAME" was great!!!
It is loud and fun and colourful and there was lots of great dancing and excellent singing
At the very end we all got up and danced and sang the song:-
"...look and me, and tell me what you see, you ain't seen the best of me yet, give me time I'll make you forget the rest....FAME, I'm gonna live forever..."
I don't know all the words but it sort of goes like that.
It was a lovely night and I definately enjoyed my first show!
Anyway...I want to tell you about my bus ride last night
I went from work to Hammersmith Station and caught the No 9 bus which goes all the way to Aldwych - the last stop is the theatre so I didn't have to change.
It was sitting at the front of the top deck of the No 9 bus by myself - I was meeting the girls at the theatre.
I like taking the No 9 because it is one of the old fashioned buses where you can get on and off the back while it is moving (just like in Notting Hill).
It was a beautiful sunny day.
The bus goes from Hammersmith to High Street Kensington round the corner past Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, Royal Albert Hall, along Hyde Park, around the round-about at Hyde Park Corner and Wellington Arch, past the Hard Rock Cafe, up the past Green Park with lots of green striped deck chairs in it and people sunning themselves, past the Ritz (another Notting Hill landmark), through Trafalgar Square where there were people sitting on the side of the fountains dangling their feet in the water, from Trafalgar Square you see the National Gallery, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, then up to Picadilly Circus with all the bright lights and digital adverrtisement screens along the Strand past all the theatres to Aldwych
I was sitting there thinking to myself "I live here!"
Even though I have been here for a little while now I still find it quite amazing that this is my home (at the moment Mum)
and still get quite excited when I see these places even though I see them all the time.
On the way home we all caught the No 9 back and three of us Aussies and one Kiwi sat up the top in the front row of the old red bus and talked about going to have afternoon tea the Ritz (there is a dress code though)
and sunbaking in the park with a book, spotting celebs in Green Park and generally about how cool London is
Despite the fact that I have to get up and go to work every day, when I do things like that simple bus ride last night going past all of those places I had only ever read about or seen pictures off, I still feel like I am on holidays
Tuesday 15th June 2004
You know that by the time I check my email tomorrow they will be off
I still can't quite believe it
Thursday 17th June 2004
A few girls from work are going on the "Monopoly Board Pub Crawl" and I am going too!!
It looks like good fun!!
Saturday 19th June to Monday 21st June 2004
Not much to report today...very quiet weekend.
Had a drink with Jaci on Saturday arv and basically did not do much.
The weather was a bit yuck too.
I caught the bus up to Picadilly Circus yesterday and had planned to just wander a bit
But had to get off at Hyde Park Corner as there was a "Hari Krishna March" from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square!
They were everywhere!!
Wimbledon starts today
I am heading down after work in the hope of getting in
The weather is meant to be rainy and yucky but I don't care.
Anyway, that is about it.
After the tennis at Wimbledon on Monday------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
I saw these guys play:-
Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alicia Molik, Wayne Arthurs, Jelena Dokic, Guillermo Coria
AND then when I went to CENTRE COURT AT WIMBLEDON I saw these two play:-
Carlos Moya, Anna Myskina.
Man, the chicks go a lot harder than I thought!!
Wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of any of those serves!!
Friday 25th June 2004
"Summer Boat Party on the Thames" tonight
and then up and 4.30am tomorrow to go to the tennis - at Wimbledon
I am feeling "a bit spewy" this morning so I hope I am better by tonight otherwise I will skip the cruise.
Wanna be right for the tennis tomorrow!!
I've got my 'XXXX' esky packed with muesli bars and kit kats and gonna make vegemite sangas to take too - am very excited!
England lost the soccer last night on penalties.
It was awful.
I was hiding under my blanket!
David Beckham took the first penalty.
The camera shot they used was terrible - it was from right at the top of the Stadium and it showed him walking all by himself down the pitch to the goal - he looked so little!
Then he missed!!
That wasn't the end of the game though and the poor bloke that missed in the end cried.
That was awful again.
Anyway, the tennis today - Lleyton is playing Goran.
I am a bit concerned about that one.
'The Poo' is on today as well...hope they both win.
The Poms - Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski play too.
Would be funny if they lost too.
Because that would mean last night the soccer, today the tennis and tomorrow the Rugby Union!!
Friday 25th June to Monday 28th June 2004
The "Summer Boat Party" was fabulous!------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
Despite feeling 'a bit yuck' I ended up going and am so glad that I did.
We had an absolute ball - far too much tequila but a lot of dancing too!!
We sailed past a lot of landmarks and it was great to see them from such a different perspective.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, MI5 (the British CIA), and we went under Tower Bridge.
The sky was beautiful and I got some great photos.
When we got off the boat there was fireworks over the city so I got a nice shot of that too.
Everyone kicked on but I went home - I had a very early start in the morning.
Home at midnight and up at 4.30am.
Got ready for the tennis (Wimbledon)------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
and caught a taxi with Cassie and Michelle to meet Karen at Putney Bridge Station.
We were on the only people on the train and when we got in line at the tennis we were 879th in line!!
Everyone was really excited and there was a pretty good feeling about it.
We were in line behind a few nice Aussies and chatted to them.
Each day they sell 500 tickets to Centre Court, Court 1 and Court 2.
We wanted Court 2 tickets because that was where "The Poo" was playing!
The stewards come along the line and give everyone an armband for the Court they want and then you go through the turnstile and are guaranteed a seat on that court.
We got the ones we wanted and went in.
It didn't take too long actually.
We got in and went straight to Centre Court for the lighting of the Olympic Torch.
It was pretty cool.
The person that lit it was Sir Roger Bannister (who ran the first sub-four-minute mile).
It was pretty cool and then he took it to Tim Heman and they ran it around Wimbledon a bit then off into London.
It had started to rain by then and it just didn't stop.
We had coffee and found a dry place to sit.
The rain stopped slightly and we went to the hill.
Watched a bit of last year's Championships on the big screen - saw "The Poo" in action - it just wasn't live.
We then went and checked out our seats.
They were third row on the sideline.
Totally amazing and it would have been awesome to actually see some tennis instead we just sat there and watched them re-inflate the covers when the rain started again!!
We wandered around a bit a saw quite a few "famous faces"
Fernando Gonzalez - who "The Poo" was going to play that day.
Vincent Spaeda (very very nice looking!!)
The first face of the day we saw was John Newcombe - he walked past us while we were lining up and gave us a wave when we called out!
We also saw Martina Navratalova getting out of her cab and going in to the courts.
Despite the rain it was fun and I guess there isn't much you can do about the weather.
Yesterday was lovely though as is today so it is just the luck of the draw.
Karen and I wore my "Bikini Shirts" and watching people do double takes on us was very very funny!
A few people wanted photos taken with us and we obliged!
It was fun!
The last thing we did before giving up and going home was to get some strawberries and cream!
It was quite cool - and yes there are photos of me eating strawberries and cream at Wimbledon!
Saturday night we were all so stuffed that we were all in our pjs by 6pm and Tamara got videos.
We watched "Love Actually" and it was so funny to be able to pick out landmarks that I have been too.
Sunday was spent watching more videos and generally being lazy.
Lleyton Hewitt and "The Poo" are both playing today so depending on where they are at with the games I might head down after work - they are both playing on Centre Court so we can watch the action on the big screen on the hill.
Righto...going to work now...bye!
Monday 28th June and Tuesday 29th June 2004
I went to Wimbledon straight from work------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
Paula came too and we sat on the hill to watch the Heman/Phillipousis match on Centre Court
The "Henman Hill" was totally packed.
They had security guards there and wouldn't let anyone else in but we found a good spot and jammed ourselves in.
We were hoping that "Henman Hill" would have become "Mount Phillipousis" by the end of the game but it wasn't to be!
"The Poo" didn't play very well at all and was beaten quite soundly.
It was pretty funny at the end of the third set when Mark won.
I let out a big cheer and then thought that maybe I got the call wrong and he hadn't won the set yet because it was so quiet.
I then realised that basically everyone else was English so they had no reason at all to cheer when Henman lost the set!!
It was quite funny to be in a minority for once - normally us Aussies can make a pretty big impact wherever we are but we had no chance last night!
I saw on the big screen a close up of some Aussie fans - it turned out to be Ledge (my Fanatics tour guide from Turkey) and Adam ("The Undie Achiever").
I ran into them outside and we had a bit of a chat - we swapped numbers so hopefully we can catch up soonish - maybe State of Origin.
Anyway now "Little Lleyton" is our last hope at the tennis and with him playing defending champion Federer tomorrow it might be all over!
Will be sure to let you know if I head down again.
PS - I had a fiver on the match with my boss!
There is a tube strike tomorrow.
It starts at 6.30pm tonight and lasts until 6.30pm tomorrow night.
There are millions of people that won't be able to get home tonight or to work or home tomorrow.
It will be just mad.
Am so glad I don't use it anymore!
I can use a normal overland train but the one I catch goes to central London so it will be loaded up with people who usually take the tube.
Will definitely be on the bike tomorrow!
Haven't been on it much in the last week and a half with the tennis being on but I have a feeling there won't be much happening down there that I will be interested in now I don't think.
Friday 2nd July 2004
Today I walked to work
Just to see how long it took me - and to take some photos along the cycle path
It was really nice and took about a hour and five minutes.
But I dawdled and took photos and went to 'Starbucks' too so if I do it properly it shouldn' take me too long at all.
This is the "Monopoly Board Pub Crawl" weekend - and I can't wait!!
I plan to not drink very much at all because I want to make it to the end of the night!!
I want to take a photo of every place we go.
Going on lunch in about three minutes.
Not sure how long I will be - 'cause I gotta book my flights to CAIRO EGYPT!!!!!!
That is it.
Saturday 3rd July 2004
The Monopoly Board Pub Crawl------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
After cooking myself a massive big brekky (to line the stomach) and having a milkshake (also to line the stomach) I met Paula at the station and we headed to Whitechapel.
We got there about 11.00am and the pub was already packed.
We had our names ticked off and collected, then changed into, our t-shirts.
Stacey was already there and she had a drink in her hand.
I also ran into Kylie who 'temped' at Capsticks for a while.
Tim had a hooter that he blew everythime we had to leave a pub
The tube rides were quite funny because 100 of us piled into a carriage in our blue shirts and then piled off.
The poor people who were already on them must have wondered what the hell was going on!!
At the second pub we went to (The Elusive Camel) we were given free shots (which I avoided as I was pacing myself) and laybacks (which I did - it makes a good photo)
Then they did boat races which I also avoided because of the fact that you had to skull a bottle of drink like a relay with your team mate and I knew I would be useless at that!!
Not everywhere we went had a tube station or a sign so I didnt get photos all of the spots on the board but definitely a lot.
I met some really nice people - Ainsley, Carrie and Adam - and I going to catch up with them soon.
We got to the last pub and Karen met me there with a friend Damo.
We had two more drinks and then took the bus home together.
I was very proud of doing all fourteen pubs and having an alcoholic drink at every pub and still being totally fine (maybe a little tipsy!!)
Most importantly there was no hangover.
Tamara couldnt believe it.
She said that she was going to check my pulse when she got home from her shift at the hospital but I was up and cleaning and washing!
I will confess however that I drank half pint lager shandys all day so I was actually having a quarter of a pint of alcohol at each pub which after fourteen pubs meant I had only had three-and-a-half pints all day!
Is that cheating?
Tuesday 6th July 2004
Hyde Park, the Diana Memorial, and Formula One
As I was meeting David Barron on Wednesday I went home from work on Tuesday.
I had a shower and took the bus to Hyde Park.
The new Diana Memorial was being opened by the Queen that day and I wanted to check it out
The Queen had done her business by the time I got there but I still went to have a look.
It was quite nice.
I was very disappointed to see that there were kids and people paddling and swimming in the fountain
It seemed to me that they didn't quite understand that it was supposed to be respectful and I felt like telling them to all get out.
The stage was still set up where "Aunty Lizzy" did her speech so I went up to get a better view
All the seats had stickers on them as to where people were to sit
There was a sticker for the Queen and a sticker for Earl Charles Spencer (Di's brother)
There were others too, but I had no idea who they were!
It was a lovely sunny day and I had taken a book so that I could sit and read.
I walked by the Serpentine in Hyde Park until I found a likely spot.
I propped myself in a deck chair and took in the sights of folks in row boats and peddle boats and roller blading and horse-riding all around me.
It is a lovely place to be.
I sat there and read and ate my cheese and crackers until it was time to head to Picadilly to watch the Formula One cars go round!
I was quite disappointed when I got there.
I was there about two hours before it started and the rows to the track were already about ten deep.
I pushed my way through for a while and soon realised that I wasn't going to get a good spot so I hopped on a bus and went home and watched it on the news!
Wednesday 7th July 2004
"State of Origin Game Three"
I met David Barron from home at the tube station at Earls Court and we headed to the Slug and Lettuce
Andy and two other guys from the hostel came with us and we got there before it even opened!
A friend of mine Pauly also came down too
Once it opened we headed in and got a good seat and started on the 'snakes' from the start!
A 'snakebite' is half a pint of lager, half a pint of cider and black currant cordial
It is very potent!!
David kept buying rounds and rounds and saying that it would all get lost in expenses somewhere!
We were all "pretty pissed" and having a good fun, rowdy time!!
We had far too many 'snakes'.
David also brought us some shots - mmmm tequila! but it was a fun day.
Wasn't happy with the result but you get that.
It was "three-on-three" so there was some good natured ribbing to go with it!!
It was a fun catch up with David and we will be seeing each other again before he goes.
Saturday 10th July and Sunday 11th July 2004
More "Celebrity Sightings"!!
While in Covent Garden on Saturday I saw....
wait for it...
He wasn't quite in his red 'Baywatch' shorts nor did I see 'KIT' hanging around from his 'Knightrider' days...
But it was a celebrity nonetheless!
He was on the phone and then went straight in the stage door of the theatre.
He is in the musical "Chicago!"
I had my camera in my hand...but just missed him.
But I did manage to get another shot on Sunday of me and Spencer McLaren at "Toast Australia" yesterday
He was in the TV show 'Secret Life of Us' in Australia and also was in 'Footloose', the musical in Melbourne or Sydney
I was out on Saturday night with some folks from the hostel.
I was talking to a girl who has just moved in there about two weeks ago.
She is a dental nurse and is just getting started over here, etc.
During the conversation she said to me - "You have really great teeth"
When I told her I had my braces off just over three weeks ago she couldn't believe it!
It was pretty funny - but definitely glad I spent the money now!
Monday 12th July 2004
I went and saw this last night. (Monday)
I sat in the front row of the dress circle.
The tickets were £35 if you bought them at the theatre, but I went to Leicester Square after work at lined up at the cheap tickets booth and got mine for £21.50.
The show finishes on Saturday and I have wanted to see it since April so I decided to go last night.
It was so good.
Julia Stiles was excellent and she is so pretty.
It was quite amazing to see her that close when she is a movie star.
I kept remembering her dancing in "Saved the Last Dance"!
Anyway, after I got my ticket I wandered around to go and see the "Spiderman 2" premiere.
There was so many people that you couldn't see anything.
Every so often I head a bit of a scream and figured that someone famous had just got out of the car!!
I wanted to see Kirsten Dunst but I think you would have had to line up from about 10.00am to get a good spot!!
I went and had dinner at Mr Wu's which is a chinese buffet recommended by a girl at work - all you can eat for £4.75 - so I stuffed myself silly and then went to the show.
It was a spur of the moment thing and I had a good night!