Archive for the 'stuff' Category

Australia, Australia, Australia, God bless her

h1 Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Well it’s almost the end of my little holiday back in Oz, well OK, not so little, I’ve been here 5 weeks now so I thought I’d put some pics up for y’all. After working for a week in Melbourne I went up to Canberra to see my friend Paul and get myself an ancestry visa. He’s got himself a small castle on the outskirts with a fantastic view from both the verandha and spa.


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christmassy new year time

h1 Saturday, December 31st, 2005

It’s been a while since I’ve put anything up, probably cause not much has been going on. Happy New Year to those of you for whom it’s now New Year (most of the people who’d be reading this I assume) and I must say I’m quite happy to be away from the 40 degree + heat you’re all going through right now.

Didn’t have a white christmas over here unless you count the fact that it snowed on the Christmas Day Bank (public) Holiday (27th Dec) so I guess technically it was a white christmas. Christmas Day itself was bright and sunny and not too cold. Spent the day at Graham’s (guy I work with) place with him and some of his housemates eating and drinking. Typical Christmas Day really. Anyway on the snowy day we (me and Graham) went out to Windsor Castle. I had a good look around but didn’t find any evidence of reptilian activity (if you don’t know what I’m talking about there’s a quick summary here (and an interview here) but you should really read more David Icke (and here and here) to find out more about what’s really going on). Anyway the lack of reptiles was made up for with the little crowns hanging off the christmas tree, no photos of that since you can’t photograph inside the buildings which is suspicious in itself….. That and the fire of 1992 which burnt out most of the area where tourists are now allowed to go to. It’s all been remodelled now so it’s probably not suprising that I saw nothing, it all burnt away 13 years ago.

Enough of the conspiracy’s now for some photos

Garden in the castle showing that it really did snow.

snow garden 1.jpg snow garden 2.jpg

It also snowed in Ealing but just as I was leaving so no snow pics from home.

St. George’s Chapel and the Changing of the Guard

chapel.jpg guards.jpgThe guards take far too long to change. We watched for about 15 minutes then got bored and went through the chapel. By the time we came out they were still changing over.

plane.jpgYou’d think they wouldn’t have built one of The Queen’s homes under a flight path

Various castle pics

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A big courtyard just outside the state apartments


They claimed there was a moat, there wasn’t. Very disappointing


And the castle from outside, looking back from the Eton side of The Thames.

castle outside.jpg

The day after that I went down to Fareham near Portsmouth to see Matthew who was back from Germany for Christmas. Went out to an aussie pub (you can’t seem to get away from them over here) with him and a whole lot of his friends and spent some of the next day wandering round the docks in Portsmouth. Apparantly it’s the biggest naval port in Europe. They have a big historic section with lots of old boats and history around. warrior.jpg Firstly there’s The Warrior which was the first iron clad warship in England. It runs under sail and steam and there’s a cool remote control model of it in the visitors centre, they don’t let you play with it though. Not sure if the real one moves any more or if they’ve concreted it in. victory.jpgThey also have The Victory in dry dock which was Nelsons flag ship in the Battle Of Trafalgar. I think this one’s concreted in too pretty much. We didn’t have time to go on board either of them but did have a look at the remains of The Mary Rose which was one of King Henry VIII’s boats and was the first purpose built warship in England. It sank after about 35 years of use and was dug up again in the early 80′s. They’ve been spraying it continuously with water soluable wax for the past 13 years to preserve it and intend to keep spraying for a few more years until it’s air dried for 5 years and ready to be housed in a museum that’s not at 100% humidity. This should be sometime around 2012 which is the 500th anniversary of it’s launch.

tower.jpgWell wasn’t that a lot of boring facts. Only one more. This tower was planned as part of Portsmouth’s millenium celebrations. It only opened this year…..

OK, hope you all had a good Xmas and a fun New Years. Am heading out for mine tonight to some bar in Kensington with my housemate and some of her relatives and friends. Should be fun. Though the Tube staff are currently on strike, isn’t that reasonable of them. Luckily we’ve already booked our cab there and back.

Have fun all….


h1 Friday, December 2nd, 2005

Well, finally did it.

You can’t be an Australian in London and not go to the Shepherd’s Bush Walkabout at least once. It’s just one of those things you’ve got to do. Well I’ve been there once, got the t-shirt (didn’t actually, could of, but didn’t). At least I can now go home and not be ridiculed but I’m not going there again unless it’s to take another one of you there. The place is a dive. Obviously they don’t think you can trust Aussies with glass cause everything comes in plastic.

Only got to do The Church one Sunday now. I’m sure it’ll be worse.

And there’s no way you’re getting me to drink a Snakebite.


h1 Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Flew over to Barcelona last weekend to catch up with Tim and Jeff 3 idiots.jpg who are both now living in Germany. Yeah, I know, it might of been more sensible to go to a country that at least one of us was already in but given how freezing it is here (the week before was frosts every night and it’s snowing for them in Germany now) we thought we’d get together some place ‘warm’. Can’t believe I’m calling 11 degrees warm but even 8 feels warm after a week of around 5. Arrived late Saturday afternoon after a delayed flight then Jeff and I searched for the Hostel by the tried and true method of walking down random streets which looked about right. This almost worked and we only had to midread the directions once to find the place. Stayed at Kabul Hostel on Plaça Reial just off Las Rambala. One of the better hostels I’ve been in, actually has decent security and they serve dinner every night. Well, usually just pasta and cheese but it’s better than nothing before you get something decent (or at least try too). Went and wandered round a bit to find a snack and some coffee (my first decent purchased coffee since coming to this hemisphere!) while waiting for Tim to turn up. Then just went out and wandered round a few bars. Was good to actually be in a bar again as opposed to a pub, felt much more like at home apart from the Euro-Trash music being played. Yay for Plastic Bertrand! Actually the music wasn’t too bad, quite a bit of noise which is always good if you ignore the noise as the crap djs tried to mix between tracks. It seriously sounded like they were pulling leads in and out to mix between laptops.

cathedral front entrance 1.jpg
cathedral front entrance 2.jpgWas woken up at 8am after about 3 1/2 hours sleep by stupid american women who had to catch a 9 o’clock train. “Wake up”, “What?”, “Wake up it’s 8 o’clock”, “In the morning?”. This from the same idiot who was turning the light on and locking herself out of the room at about 4:30. She eventually convinced her friend to let her sleep another 15 minutes so had to go through it all again then. cathedral inside 1.jpg cathedral ceiling.jpg We eventually got up and navigated the underground system out to the Temple de la Sagrada Família. It’s a new cathedral designed by Gaudí that has been under construction since 1882. It’s full of huge organic pillars and ceilings and some weird mixes of modern and ancient designs. The insides are full of scaffolding so you can’t see much and the outside is surrounded by cranes. stained glass window.jpg There’s 12 huge bell towers but only 8 are finished and of course you can climb all the way up them. spiral stairs up tower.jpgUnfortunately there was a lot of people (it was a Sunday) so it was pretty much 3 or 4 steps then wait a minute or 2 to get up there. You’ve also got to be careful going somewhere like this with 2 rockclimbers cause all they want to do is climb up the outside rather than the stairs.

cathedral tower.jpg cathedral inside 2.jpg cathedral towers.jpg

barcelona 1.jpg barcelona 2.jpg barcelona 3.jpg

cathedral back entrance 1.jpg cathedral back entrance 2.jpg After the Cathedral we went down to the gothic part of town (no goths there though) which was where Barcelona started and was walled in until only a couple of hundred years ago. This where I saw the Barcelona I’d imagined, all narrow streets where there’s never sunlight and people hanging off their balconies talking to people in the street. streets 1.jpg
streets 2.jpg At street level though it was mostly roller doors. Was a pretty small area all up and only takes about 5 minutes to walk from one end of it to the other. Finished the day wandering up Las Ramblas looking at the markets and watching people trying to pull the old pea and cup scam on the tourists. It only took about 30 seconds to work out who was in on the scam and didn’t see any marks get sucked in.

old city wall.jpg

Went out for a Tapas crawl on Sunday night and was bitterly disappointed. Tried a tourist restaurant near the hostel which was pretty bad and a local place down in the gothic area which was worse. We weren’t feeling too inspired and the beer wasn’t going down too well so decided to find somewhere to have some tequila. Just around the corner we found a place called (surprisingly) Tequila which advertised itself as a Heavy Metal bar and listed heaps of metal bands on the board. heavy metal.jpg The place was completely empty but we tried it out anyway and had a great time. They had headphones hanging off the bar but the music sounded better through the pa. So we spent the rest of the night drinking tequila shots and gin, requesting bands from the dj and talking with some of the local metal heads as they turned up. Went to sleep at about 4am, woke at 8 to go to the airport, still drunk, and saw some mountains from the plane.


If you’re interested Jeff has some more photos on his website.

Next adventure, going to Oxford next weekend for the work christmas party so will be spending Saturday around there. Then on Monday I’m off to Amsterdam but that’s only for the day, and for work, so I’ll probably only see the airport and inside an office.

have fun!