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#16 - Friday 24th September to Friday 22nd October 2004

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Friday 24th September 2004
I am doing a very very very yucky job at work right at the moment.
I have to re-organise a file that has about five separate indexes, and about 20 ring binders full of documents!!
I haven't done much at all on it but lucky me gets to fix it - this is why I have been working late this week doing file reviews - the boss gets to go home!
Anyway - am tired and bored with this file so thought I would send you an email.
Went for a look in the shops with Amanda last night and saw some nice coats and boots and I am going back Saturday on my own so that I can try on every pair!!
Going to my roomates boyfriend's house tonight so that I can get up early to watch the Australian Footy League Grand Final tomorrow.
It starts at 5.00am our time and I will be stuffed but it will be good!!
Also, I have cancelled the Wallabies trip during November!!
There has been a change of venue from Edinburgh to Glasgow and also there is now no train option
Decided I can't handle the bus ride there and back

Monday 27th September 2004
Went out for coffee with Karen and it was lovely.
We tried a coffee shop near her house that is also a florist - it was a lovely place that smelt really good and the coffee was good too.
Anyway, I got new shoes on the weekend which you will hate!!
I just wanted something covered and flat to wear with my jeans because I only have boots and runners - got a leather pair for £15.00.
I also got a coat which covers my bottom - it is a canvassy-type-army-type material and it is brown with a big hood that has fur around the hood.
You will see it in my photos of Norway and Denmark later in the month!
Then I went home and the other three Aussies in the house were having a night in and we all sat around in the other girls room on the floor and gossipped and ate and had a very nice time.
Got woken up at 12.30am by the landlord screaming down the stairs thinking she had heard something outside!!
She was screaming "help me, help me, help me!"
She couldn't find anything and it was quite scary and took me a while to get back to sleep.
This morning she thinks that it may have been the telly but she said that it was so vivid.
Going to sort out my wardrobe at home this week - pack my summer stuff away and get out the winter stuff!
It is quite odd having two wardrobes!!
Anyway...nearly 9.00am and time to start work - going to get a coffee and get stuck into it!
PS - Hey, I just won £49.00!!
Each week I pay £1.00 for a lottery number (I have two numbers) and the number that comes up as a supplementary (bonus ball over here) is the winner each week.
It is just secretaries that are allowed to enter because the fee-earners earn enough money and my number came up Saturday...yay!
Going now to look at boots at lunch time.
Another note on Monday 27th September 2004
I got boots with my cash - they cost £49.99 which after my win meant I had to pay £1.00!
They are just for work and are only mid calf length and have a wedge heel not a high one - and they are black and basically boring but didn't cost much!
Tuesday 28th September 2004
Having a bad week and it is only Tuesday!!
Really struggling with work but maybe I will be better after the audit has been done and there is a bit less stress.
Anyway - got my new boots on today and they are really comfy so far.
Rearranged all my cupboards last night - out with the summer stuff in with the winter stuff.
Was a bit depressing but I quite like getting my nice jumpers out.
Threw out heaps of stuff - don't know where it all came from!!
I came over with one suitcase and the overnight bag and have no idea how I had managed to get so much stuff!!
I threw out four pairs of shoes.
Thursday 30th September 2004
My day yesterday was crappy.
I worked through lunch and was exhausted by the time I got home.
Had a big feed of bangers and mash and gravy but I am feeling like I might be getting a bit sick - oh no!
Going shopping at lunch time in Wimbledon today.
I want to see if they have some work tops because I am still wearing the stuff I brought with me which is fine but I wear the same black pants to work everyday except Friday when I am in jeans.
Just can't find a pair of pants that I like tho - must just be fussy!!
Matt at work just came and bragged to me that he got a parcel from home packed with Twisties, light and tangy thins chips, Fantales, Minties, Cheesels, Cherry Ripes - hint, hint!!
Please get me some of that stuff - it is called having withdrawal symptoms!!
And a tin of milo for winter
Mum, if you are shopping for this stuff and happen to see Vegemite in a tube could you please sent me two of those as well - you can get Vegemite over here but the travel pack tubes are great to pack for a holiday. (of which I have lots!)

Haven't had a chance to wear my new coat yet - maybe tomorrow - it is rainy but not all that cold at the moment.
Ok bye.
Friday 1st October 2004
You know it's winter when you walk out of the house in the morning and for the first time this season you can see your breath!
Just found out that this office gives us free flu shots each winter - I am going to get one.
I guess it is in their best interests that we don't get sick, isn't it!
Monday 4th October 2004
It is rainy here but that is to be expected I guess!
Rode to work today in the rain - wasn't too cold but I need to get some proper gear if I am going to keep riding all through winter!
I will be sending a parcel to you tomorrow.
And I am going to start writing the "Tanya and Brett Holiday Story" at lunch time today - I have all of my notes but have been so busy with the audit at work that I haven't had a chance.
And the "treaties" are anxsiously awaited as well!
I went to the Zeta Bar at the Park Lane Hilton on Saturday night - was on a guest list (of someone I had never met) so didn't have to pay the £25.00 cover charge - convert that to dollars!!
It was full of people who had money but didn't know what to do with it and the guy outside the door revving the crap out of his Ferrari gave us a good laugh!
Drinks were pretty pricey so my two friends and I ordered the "cheapest bottle of wine you have" - we are all class!!
It was nice to be out somewhere nice though

It was very posh with a 'no denim' rule (which sucked - I live in my jeans!) but gave us a chance to get all dressed up and not end up with
'snakebikes' down our clothes from drunk slobbery Aussie boys!
Going to do some work now.
Tuesday 5th October 2004
I am drinking "Lemsip Max" cause I don't feel all that well - quite a sore throat!
I caught the train to work today which is probably worse with all the people in it - but didn't think that riding in the cold was such a great idea and I slept in (on purpose) so I didn't have time to walk.
Supposed to be going to the movies tonight but I don't know if I will go.
An early night might be just what I need.
And it was absolutely-peeing-down at lunch time so didn't go out and post the parcel and photo disc to you.
Wednesday 6th October 2004
Saw the movie "Wimbledon" last night - it was really good - a chick-flick but still a 'nice feel good' movie.
I don't think I can have my flu shot today.
I am still sick (I was in bed at about nine last night) and feel crappy.
It apparently isn't good to have the shot while you are sick - oh well.
Anyway, hope you had a good day - is anything exciting going on over there?
I am planning a nice quiet week/weekend but a friend is going away for six weeks so there is a get together for that sometime on Saturday.
I am going to Norway and Denmark next weekend
On the 15th October, Oslo's max is 8 and min is 2 and raining.
Copenhagen is 13 and 7 and also raining!
But it's not long until Egypt either
Cairo is in the 29-31 range and sunny - perfect!
Thursday 7th October 2004
I made vege soup last night with Tabasco sauce to try and burn the cold out of me but it didn't work.
I think I am getting worse!
I couldn't have the flu shot either - never mind.
It is gorgeous here today.
I love the winter days where the sky is clear and blue and the sun is out and it is nice and crisp - much better than a rainy winter day!
Capsticks Christmas Party - this looks like fun!
Friday 8th October 2004
I am shopping for winter cycling gear tomorrow morning - gloves, fluro coat, rain gear and something to keep my ears warm!!!
I really want to keep riding in winter but I am having trouble getting a balance between being cold and being hot!
Have a nice weekend.
Monday 11th October 2004
Very bright!
You should see me now in my bright yellow riding jacket - windproof and water proof and I definately won't be missed in it
I also got waterproof and windproof gloves and a head band to wear under my helmet to keep my ears warm!
I was toasty this morning!

I will say that the gear cost more than my bike but it was definately worth it - and if I want to keep riding through winter I need the right gear, right?
I also picked up some socks and stuff.
Tamara was wearing socks up to her knees under her jeans the other day and I thought it was a good idea to keep the legs warm so I got some of those too - nice bright funky colours - not that they will be seen!
Thinking that my Christmas might not be white this year because I have "sorta decided" to do the following next year
Scotland - for 4 or 5 days when my work contract runs out,
Russia - for six days from 5th March,
Then my trip to Europe for 2-3 months,
Then Africa on the way home (the trip I like is 42 days),
And Thailand after that,
Then Cairns.
and I might need to save the cash I would spend at Christmas for those.
Anyway, that could all change so I will just have to wait and see.
I am looking forward to the "treaties" parcel arriving - I might be taking some of those snacks on holiday this weekend if they get here in time.
Looking forward to watching the video as well - wanna see all the Olympic stuff and what was said about my little bro.
My Anniversary!!! - 1 year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days etc etc etc - did you think I would make it or did you think I would come crawling home?
Anway, I haven't made it yet - still 10 days to go!
Getting over "the plague" - but still not 100% but I rode to work today in all my new gear and feel quite good so hopefully I am on the mend.
Oslo is going to be freezing with a top of 8 degrees while there...brrrrrr!
Tuesday 12th October 2004
I am feeling good!
Got up and rode to work - it was drizzling rain
I told you on the weekend I splashed out and purchased winter riding gear
Don't have proper pants yet but they can wait
My new coat has a pully thing an the neck so I can tighten it and the wind and rain doesn't get in - it is really warm actually
I wear my helmet on my head and my new nike headband to keep my ears warm...it is really good!

My work clothes do get carried in a backpack but they are folded and it is cold so I always have my coat on anyway - I leave my boots at work so I don't have to carry them back and forth.
On the way I went to the gym and did fourty minutes on the treadmill - I ran a little bit... honestly!!
There are showers at my gym and they supply shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturising cream and hairdryers - sweet - so I don't have to carry all that crap around.
Showered and got to work at 9.00am on the dot!
Looking at Christmas stuff - found a three-day tour of Scotland
It includes a nice big Christmas Dinner up in the Highlands with a chance of snow
Might be cheaper than skiing which I am not interested in anyway
I just want something different - I did London last year so would (if I can) like to be out of London this year

I am going to go to the orthodonist tomorrow - just for a checkup, I'm not getting them back on!
And I am also going to get my visa for Egypt.
By the way, the London Eye videos - I don't recall Mum saying anything about them - did you like seeing me?
And, Mum, you were funny at the airport in that video!! - you big sook!!
Anyway...that's about it for today - nothing exciting - but there is only three more sleeps until I go away...again!
Wednesday 13th October 2004
Got all my chores done - teeth checked and was told they were really good
Got my Egypt visa today - all ready to gooooo!! - can't wait!!
Thursday 14th October 2004
It is currently 3 degrees in Oslo
Tomorrow night when we land it expected to be 5 degrees and in Copenhagen on Sunday it is expected to be 12 degrees

When we get back to London on Sunday night it is meant to be 6 degrees.
What fun!
They are expecting this winter to be the coldest one in years with lots more snowfall - looking forward to that!
Will send a photo of me in my fluro yellow coat on my fluro pink bike with my fluro yellow reflective ankle straps and my funky Nike earwarmer headband!!
That's about it - just catching up after being away yesterday - my work was pretty much covered which was nice.
Having Amanda over for din-dins tonight and packing but that is about all my news.
Friday 15th October 2004
Norway and Denmark!
Will be a blast - leaving soon
I am off to Scandinavia!

Friday 15th October to Sunday 17th October 2004
Nordic Express Tour
Day One------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
Left work at 2.00pm with Matt.
He works in the post room at work so we went together.
Karen and Yasmin were meeting us at the airport as they live together as were Cassie and Michelle who were coming on the bus.
There had been train dramas all day but we had no problems.
We got to the airport and checked in and went to the pub.
We had a drink there and then we went through security and went to the pub (another?)
"Tim the Tourman" was there and we sat with him and had some food.
Karen and Yaz arrived.
I messaged Cassie and Michelle to let them know where we were but they were still on the bus.
I couldn’t believe it and they actually ended up missing the flight!
They talked to Tim and he said that another two had missed the plane too so the girls ended up staying overnight at the airport with them and took the first flight out in the morning.
There was 22 of us on the trip in total.
We landed and had to get the bus into Oslo.
The bus was completely overloaded and the driver ended up letting everyone who had to stand up on for free.
As luck would have it…there was a spare seat so I got to sit down without paying for the 100 minute journey.
Everyone ended up sitting in the aisles and a few even went to sleep.
We got to the hostel which was really nice.
Me, Kaz, Yaz and Matt shared a room.
There was two spare beds which were meant to be for the girls but they were still in London!
Tim said for us to go and settle in and then meet him back to head out at 12.45am!
Way past 'pumpkin hour' for me but I made it.
We went for a wander and ended up in two different bars and back at the hostel in bed by 3.00am - we had to be up by 9.30am.
Day Two------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
We got up early, stored our bags and headed off to explore Oslo!
After a quick brekky stop at Maccas we jumped on the train and headed up into the mountains to the Olympic Ski Jump.
It was a lovely ride and the houses were so cute.
Very alpine I guess!
The seasons are changing and the leaves are turning their autumn colours.
It was beautiful.
We got off the train and climbed a hill to the ski jump.
It was so tall.
I couldn’t begin to imagine flying down it on skis and hurling myself off the end!
We went to the top and it was a fab view.
There was even a bit of sleety snow falling while we were up there.
We hit the souvenir shop and a few of the group did the virtual jump.
I am not good on rides so I didn’t do that one.
We headed back down the mountain and picked up the boys and Cassie and Michelle at the train station.
They got a round of applause when we finally found them.
After we all said our hellos we headed off to the Sculpture Park.
It was lovely.
The sculptures and the big monolith were fab.
My fave was the little boy having a tantrum and there were a few action shots that we copied for photos.
The leaves on the trees were beautiful and I could have sat there all day looking around at the statues and colours.
But we had to keep moving.
We took a taxi to the Viking Ship Museum and headed in there.
The ships were amazing.
They were huge and so well preserved.
Matt and I just kind of stood there wondering how something that big was actually rowed.
After that we caught the bus back to town and had a bit of free time before we had to be at the hostel.
We went into the Town Hall and had a look where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year which was kind of cool.
We got back to the hostel and collected our bags and jumped in taxis to the port to catch our boat.
I was really excited…it was the first time that I have been on one of those!
The tickets were all allocated in booking order not name order so everyone’s tickets were mixed up so that they could be in the cabins with their mates.
I ended up with John’s ticket.
Anyway it was fine.
I was in a room with Matt, Josh and Declan.
I got to the room after the boys had been and gone and when I walking in I could only see two beds.
I thought there had been a mistake but then I saw that they come down from the wall.
I grabbed a top bunk because I am only little and it was fine.
I went and met the four girls and we went for a wander around.
We went to the gym and spa and went up to the top deck and stayed until we had set sail.
I could feel the movement of the boat so I took one of Cassie’s sea sick tablets to be on the safe side and I was fine.
Matt and I then hit the duty free shop.
Everything was really really cheap because we were outside the European Union.
I got two perfumes and some chocolate.
I helped Matt pick a present for his mum too.
I had a shower and got dressed - we had all taken some nice clothes for the cruise.
Did the hair and makeup and then went and met Cassie and Michelle in the bar.
I must just say that sitting on the Piano Bar drinking cocktails watching the cost of Sweden pass us by from couches through floor to ceiling windows was great!
It definitely didn’t feel like we were backpacking and budget travellers!
We met the rest of the group at the Admiral Bar and had drink before dinner.
The buffet was awesome - prawns, lobsters, calamari, roast, veges, tacos, salad, cheeses, cakes as far as the eye can see.
I hit the buffet five times which I reckon was pretty good!
After that we went back to the bar for a bit while we waited for the night club to open.
We went in there and we basically took over the place.
Dancing and drinking and having a great time.
I went to bed first from my room as I was pretty tired still from the previous night and the big day.
I heard Declan and Josh come back and then the door opened again and there were two people standing outside.
I didn’t have my contacts in and one of them said do you know this person…I had a closer look and saw it was Matt.
They guy then said that he could go in.
It turns out that Matt had lost his room key and we didn’t hear him knocking so he lay down in the hall way to sleep!
He got found by a crew member and had to try and explain about the room keys being switched and that he was in fact Yasmin!
It was really pretty funny!
Day Three------(simply click on this link to see photos of what Tanya mentions below)
I woke up at about 7.30 on Sunday morning.
There was a message from the phone service provider welcoming me to Sweden…we had docked there at about 6.00am for 15 minutes - does that count as a visit?
I got up and showered - I had the lights on and wasn’t being particularly quiet but the boys were all passed out and none of them even stirred.
I ran into Karen on the deck and we had coffee and a Danish plus a banana that I had nicked from the dessert bar at dinner!
We docked and left the ship.
We all got together again and caught taxis to the train station and put our gear in lockers and headed out to explore Copenhagen.
First stop, the Carlsberg Brewery!
The Brewery wasn’t actually much chop…all the usual boring stuff about how they make it etc etc etc and then we went to the stables where the big horses are kept.
They were just beautiful.
We all hung around in there for a while and then hit the bar for our two free beers - a few of the boys struggled after the previous night but mine went down really well…I had a Carlsberg Pilsner which was okay and I had a Tuborg Luxury which was really really nice.
I purchased a bottle opener in the gift shop and nicked a Carlsberg glass.
I would have bought them but they only sold them in packs of six and I just wanted one.
We caught the bus back to town and walked down the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe.
Unfortunately most of it was closed as it was a Sunday which probably saved my credit card!
We walked to an ice cream shop on our way to our canal cruise - it was awesome chocolate ice cream.
We went down a street that had lots of coloured buildings on it.
There were also lots of boats in the canals and I can just imagine how fantastic it would have looked in summer but the day we were there was rainy and a bit miserable - never mind.
We jumped in the canal boat which was okay as well…we couldn’t see much though cause of the weather.
We saw the Royal Palaces and the house that Mary lived in before she got married.
We also saw the back of the mermaid which is a tourist landmark there.
We then went for a late lunch (3.00pm) at an award winning vegetarian restaurant called Riz Raz.
The food was sensational…falafels and vege lasagne, and salads and pizza and dips…was so good but again I was way too full after a few visits to the buffet!
After that everyone went their own way…we had to be back at the train station by 7.00pm.
Some people went to Christiania (an old US military base now a hippy commune) and I wanted to go and see the mermaid properly so Kaz offered to come with me.
Most people took their time wandering back to the station and then went to the pub that was there.
Tim showed us where to catch the bus to see the mermaid and we jumped on.
We got there and saw the back of a sand sculpture that was surrounded by perspecs so the weather wouldn’t destroy it.
We went around to the front of it and found that it was a bigger than life size sculpture of Princess Mary and Prince Frederick sitting on a sofa.
It was very very well done and I got a few shots of that.
We moved on to the mermaid and got some shots of that too.
If the weather had been better we may have posed like her (the same way we did in the sculpture park in Oslo) but the rocks were wet and slippery and I didn’t want to fall in!
We caught the bus back to the station and went and got some cokes at the pub.
The odd thing was that instead of giving us say nuts with our drinks we got a big basket of popcorn!
I guess it makes you thirsty so you buy more drinks but I thought it was strange!
We collect our bags from storage and then caught the train to the airport and waiting for the plane to take off.
Thankfully it wasn’t delayed as we were going to be cutting it fine for the trains back to London from Stansted as it was.
We landed in London and found that the trains from the airport were not running.
We jumped on a replacement bus to the nearest station, Bishops Stortford, and got on the train.
The train sat at the platform for about thirty minutes which was really frustrating.
We eventually got back to London Liverpool Street and ran to the underground station.
The central line and circle line had stopped running and there was one train still to go through the station - the Hammersmith and City Line!
That was our train.
We bolted through the station to Platform 2 and the digital screen said that the train was one minute away - we had made it.
It took about twenty-five minutes to get to Hammersmith instead of the one-and-half hours it would have taken on the night bus.
When I got to the bus station at Hammersmith my bus arrived as I did which was perfect timing.
I got home and was in bed by 1.15am - not much sleep for the next day but it was better than nothing.
I had a great time and was very impressed with Tim’s tour.
He isn’t the 'Nazi' tour guide that you sometimes get and he was very easy going and helpful.
I am going to be looking and more of his tours next year.
Oh and my passport was stamped too!
That is one for everywhere I have been so far!
Monday 18th October 2004
I am tired!!!!!!
Got to bed at about 1.15am this morning.
I am very tired but at least I am not hungover...that would be way worse!!
A bagel and a coffee and hopefully I will be raring to go.
Trip was tops - had a blast - great duty free on the boat and soooo much food
Anyway...must work...see you later.
The "treaties' parcel
Just landed on the my desk - thanx so much

And I ripped it all open at my desk - and it definintely made my day!
Gonna watch the video tonight with a hot milo and a cherry ripe!
Got your kiss too, Mum...thanx!
Those undies are great too...a bit nervous about the tiny green one tho...looks more like a hair scrunchie than undies!!!!
Back to work now...bye!
Thursday 21st October 2004
Can you believe it?
1 year
12 months
52 weeks
365 days
8,760 hours......

It has gone so fast - did you think I would still be here after a year? - be honest now!
Half of my Visa has been used up and now I am counting down the year, months, weeks, days and hours until I have to leave and go back to Oz!
I remember landing at Heathrow Airport all by myself and wondering where to start
I needed to find a place to live, a job and some friends
I reckon I have done pretty well starting from scratch in such a big city!
I can't believe it has been so long since I have seen Mum and Dad but while I am sitting here typing I am looking at my mini souvenirs that I keep on my desk
------Coaster from Wales
------Eiffel Tower from France
------Clogs from Holland
------Manneken Pis from Belgium
------Leprechaun from Ireland
------Rosary beads from Italy
------Evil eye good luck charm and my rock from the beach at Anzac Cove from Turkey
------Viking ship from Norway
------Mermaid from Denmark
and I remember why I moved to the other side of the world and how lucky I am to have such a supportive family (eventually hey Dad?) who helped me get here
I never in a million years would ever have thought that I would have visited ten countries (including the one I currently live in) in just one year
------Paris was a dream that I never thought would happen but I have been there twice this year
------A weekend cruising between Norway and Denmark was never contemplated (or even thought possible)
------------but I have done that too
------I have kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland
------had waffles in Belgium
------and seen windmills in Holland
------Christmas in Hyde Park
------and New Years Eve in Trafalgar Square
------Rome and Paris with my little brother was just amazing
------I have been in the Colosseum
------and admired the work of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City
------ANZAC Day at Gallipoli is still something I can't quite believe I have done
------------but will definitely never forget how emotional it was
------And my birthday in Egypt is still to come
------as is Christmas in Scotland!
The fact that a year is over also reminds me that I haven't got a whole lot of time left and so much more to see and so much more planned and still to plan
I have a basic idea of what I want to see but the list just keeps getting longer!
Love you three very much and miss you terribly but not enough to make me want to come home just yet - give it a year!
Thursday 21st October 2004
Tamara and I have made some some changes to our room - we had the big desk taken out - so I am going out at lunch time to buy a few things to make it nice - not much but just a couple of things - a light maybe.
Definately decided on Scotland for Christmas
Going to book next week when I transfer some money out of my savings to pay for it
Going to go by myself which I was worried about at first but I will be in the Scottish Highlands near Loch Ness and I haven't been there yet
I think that the area and atmosphere will be quite relaxing and I can chill out on my own
I am going to have two extra days in Einburgh after the tour

Talk soon!
Thursday 21st October 2004
And now the Cairns' Edge Hill Post Office!
Andii is getting this email as well because I think she is the only one I know who might go to this Post Office.
I just got off the phone from Brenda McFadden!
She rang me at work
Apparently 'someone' went and posted me a parcel to work from the Edge Hill Post Office where Billy (Brenda's mum) works
The parcel was addressed to Tanya Roneberg c/- Capsticks
Billy emailed Brenda and told her where I worked so she rang me!
I can't believe it - she is leaving in three weeks to go home via South Africa (where her husband is from) and she has a new baby, 6 month old Ella!
It is totally bizarre - I am going over to her house next week to catch up

Here is a picture of us on our last day of high school
Friday 22nd October 2004
The Rugby League is on this weekend
Australia v New Zealand - should be good.
And Australia are playing another soccer match here in November against Norway
Gonna get tickets for that and also the Fanatics Ashes Cricket packages go on sale on Monday for Australia touring over here next year.
Can't wait for that.