Monday, January 31, 2005

Daniel's Fancy Dress House Party

Come as your favourite Movie Star or Rock Star!

Last night Dan had held one of these house parties before, but the rest of us all had something else on on that night just before christmas so we couldn't make it - and so after all the stories he told us from that night, we couldn't miss this next one..

We had been out shopping at Camden that morning for the last bits of our costumes, and then spent the afternoon at the Waitangi Day Circle Line Pub crawl, so by the time we got home it was time to begin getting dressed into our costumes as two of the Matrix characters: 'Agent Smith', and 'Trinity' - see the great photos below.. Carly applied a whole tube of black-coloured hair gel to get the required jet black slicked short-hair look for the Trinity character, and got into her new £2 leather pants and £5 long coat acquired from an op shop at Hammersmith during the week.. with her black boots and new sunnies she looked absolutely in character! All I had to do was don a black suit, put in my pretend 'agents' earpiece, a tie clip, slick the hair down, and put on this very dodgy black tie I got for £5 from a stall in Camden.

Karen (as Nicole Kidman) and Andy (Elvis lives!!) met us at our tube station and we were on our way.. We met friends Renee W. and Shane as we arrived at Dan's place at Ealing (dressed as John Travolta and Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction, including wigs!!).. We went inside to find Dan in 'Wayne' from Wayne's World attire, and his flatmates all dressed up as well.. Dan's brother Ben was there as well so it was good to catch up with him now that he too has moved over here to work and travel. Amongst the rest of the people at the party, there was a great Ali G, Marilyn Munroe, Madonna, a great Elton John, Morticia Adams, and plenty more..


Trinity & Agent Smith; Trinity and those leather pants and boots


Trinity and Agent Smith again..


The night rolled along with plenty of drinking, and soon enough it was time for Dan to roll out the Twister mat in the lounge room.. And so the night continued -


Shane and Dan starting their Twister battle to 'Eye of the Tiger'

Everyone got into the game (despite some people never actually having seen it or played it before!!) and we soon realised that most people were having trouble not only with getting the colours right, but many couldn't tell their left from right!!


Agent Smith on the Twister mat



Dan and Carly; and Dan and Shane


Shane in Dan's 'Mullet' wig


After hours of Twister and dancing in the lounge room, Dan and I thought, as we always do at 3am at parties, it'd be a great idea to call Gav and Ang in Australia 'cause they'd love to talk to us!!


Dan and I on the phone to Gav and Ang..


With the international phone card depleted, we then hit the streets at 5am to kick the Sherrin across the usually congested Uxbridge Road, that was until Dan put it over the adjoining property's fence - game over..


Kickin' the Sherrin on the road outside Dan's


With the football lost, and the sun now up, Carly and I headed home on one of the early tube trains.. Getting home at 9am, we went to bed and have slept all day recovering..

Apparently the next house party at Dan's is to be a Hawaiian beach party to celebrate the arrival of summer! We'll be there..

-shane


Currently listening to: The Chemical Brothers - Push the button (their new album); favourite song, track 6 - The Big Jump, and of course track 1 - Galvanize

Sunday, January 30, 2005

NZ Waitangi Day, and the Circle Line Pub Crawl

Well last week we celebrated Australia Day over here, but this week it was the London-based Kiwi's who came out in force to celebrate their equivilent National Day of-sorts: Waitangi Day..

Instead of just hanging around the Walkabout pubs, or en-mass invading the local Slug & Lettuce's to drink Snake-bites and sing John Farnham, the Kiwi's in London have a fantastic tradition called the Waitangi Day Circle Line pub crawl, which we couldn't resist taking part in..

Most of you back home wouldn't know know where or what the Circle Line is, so take a look at the London Undergound Tube map by clicking on the map linked below - it is the yellow line which travels more or less around the central area of London, and comprises over 20 stations along its length, and with the usual delays and dramas takes plenty of time to get around - most locals avoid it where possible..



Normally the Waitangi Day pub crawl happens on the closest weekend to Waitangi Day (its on the 6th of February), however this year, London Underground thought they'd get one step ahead of them all and programmed a weekend of engineering works which shut down the Circle Line on that weekend... But a smart kiwi a few weeks back decided that they would all simply move it forward one weekend, when the line would be open and the day could happen as usual! So a notice went up the internet, and word of mouth did the rest..

The idea of the circle line pub crawl is to travel from stop to stop, hopping out at each station, staggering to the closest or least crowded pub, having a pint (or a half if you stand any chance of getting all the round!), going back to the station and getting on the next train, travelling to the next stop, hopping off and repeating... Imagine though, with 20+ stops, this ends up in various states of messyness!


Chris outside the pub of choice near Sloane Square tube

We met up with a Kiwi guy I work with, Chris, who's a transport planner from Auckland, and his group of friends who had made a late start at Sloane Square on their crawl - our first stop with them was at a pub next to Victoria Station (bottom of the map) after we'd already been to St James Park looking for them.. There were literally thousands of kiwi's everywhere along the circle line, singing to the tube staff, chanting on the station platforms, attempting to drunkenly ride in the tube carriages standing up without holding on; you name it they were doing it!


One of the packed pub's near Sth Kensington tube station, on the way round to Westminster

Once our pints had been downed there we had to make a mad dash east to Westminster Station to make sure we got to see the traditional 4pm mass-'Haka', performed by 100's of shirt-less kiwi's in Parliament Square, which is a huge rectangular park in the middle of a roundabout directly opposite the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and in the shadow of Big Ben!


Photos from the 4pm Haka

We arrived 30 seconds too late for the 4pm performance, so we quickly headed down the street ahead of the crowd to have our 'Westminster Station' pint at the Red Lion - 45 minutes later we returned to Parliament Square, where the crowd was gathering again, but this time the guys that we were crawling with took it apon themselves to gather and lead the 5pm Haka!! A proud moment for the guys as they screamed with 50 or so very white & shirtless kiwi's behind them - unfortunetly for once I actually didn't have my camera with me, so it will be just a memory for them to tell the grandkids.. (Correction: I have obtained photos of the 5pm Haka!!) as one of them said to me afterwards as I passed him back his shirt and jumper: "I'll be able to tell my grandson I led a Waitangi Day Haka in Parliamant Square in London"


Chris's mate prepares to lead the 5pm Haka!


The lads in action, with the Houses of Parliament as the backdrop - Awesome!!!


The final roar at the end of the Haka and handshakes/high five's all round!!


crazy kiwi's playing Rugby in Parliament Square earlier in the afternoon

The atmosphere at each of the unfortunate pubs closest to the tube stations was fantastic, with everyone in All Blacks jerseys, their favourite NZ provincial Rugby team jersey, or NZ cricket team shirts and some wearing the very popular 'beige brigade' 80's-style World Series Cricket tight poo brown t-shirts.. There was also plenty of fancy dress such as a group of guys dressed in sheep outfits, a NZ police officer, and plenty of groups with union footballs and even a few blow-up sheep making the crawl with their owners..


one of the sheep on the pub crawl; and the NZ policeman complete with woolly hat with badge!

While a few of our group continued on along the circle line after Westminster towards Temple and beyond, we had to head home to begin getting ready for Daniel's fancy dress house party that night..

Finally the Kiwi's have something over us - this was a fantastic day that Australia Day never came close too!

-shane


Note: Some photos in this post courtesy of the Gum Tree website, because I forgot to take my camera with us - www.gumtree.com

Friday, January 28, 2005

Australia Day - London, 2005

Poor Carly came down with her first London flu, with the worst timing imaginable - the day of our first Australia Day in London.. All week the aussies in my office had been buzzing with excitement, with this Australia Day being the first for most of us in the Ealing Council transport team. I arrived at work somewhat late after staying back at home to listen to the last of the Triple J Hottest 100 via the web (as per my last post) - and yes! Franz Ferdinand come through as a convincing winner in number one for 2004 with Take Me Out, scoring double the votes of the number two track.

The day went quick enough, and once 5pm came around our group took what has become a well-worn route to the tube station via the Hanger Lane Off-Licence's to get some traveller cans of 'The Amber Nectar', Fosters, and then onto the Central Line tube for our trip to the first destination for the night - the Temple Walkabout pub in the City..

We arrived there to find just about every other Australian in London that day, forming up a 500m long queue which we were never going to see the front off - so we changed plans and headed up into the West End to the Shaftsbury Avenue Walkabout pub in Piccadilly, where the line was empty and we could go straight in.. But once inside we found that the bar was packed, and too busy for some of our group who opted out for a quieter pub across the street - but the faithful stayed true, with Amanda from my office, and my good mate Dan (who arrived shortly after we did), staying behind to party with the rest of the messy Aussies there..

We danced to all of the Walkabout Australia Day aussie song soundtrack long into the night (Land down under, Throw your arms around me, Sounds of then, etc, etc!), and as promised to the people at work, I wore my very ocker black 'Chesty Bonds' singlet which made an appearance later in the night!!


Me with the chesty bonds on and a Walkabout 'Snake-Bite' pint - very Aussie in London!


Amanda and me and my lipstick-marks!


And when i'd finally recovered my shirt and decided it was time to call it a night and begin to make my way out and home, a 'misunderstanding' with one of the security staff resulted in me being politely asked to leave the venue by the manager - I couldn't beleive it! being walked out of a Walkabout on Australia Day!! - it couldn't have been too serious though, the guys allowed me to get my coat from the Cloak Room, let me say goodbye to dan and amanda and have a chat, and just let me stroll out the door! If only they were so graceful in Australia!

And so began my long trip home via the 24hr bus from Piccadilly Circus back home to Putney Bridge - problem was, on this trip, I actually got the chance to visit Putney Heath at the end of the line.. I fell asleep somewhere around Knightsbridge, and the next thing I remember being waking up to the sound of a stationary bus and a view of a bus stop i'd never seen before!! - luckily the driver was making the return trip a few minutes later and I got home not long after.. Carly has very happy to be woken up at 2:30am to hear all about my adventure..


Amanda attempting pole-dancing with her stolen Fosters hat, and me and one of the many fans of my chesty bonds singlet (I don't remember who she was?)


-shane

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Triple J Hottest 100, listening over the web in Fulham

As I sit here in the lounge room in Fulham, and the Number 92 song (Confortably Numb by The Scissor Sisters!) in the Triple J Hottest 100 Australia Day countdown is streaming out of the laptop from the internet and into the stereo, I thought I should get in now and make my prediction of the Number 1 in this years countdown: Franz Ferdinand - Take me out

I'll post again in the next few days with all the news from our first Australia Day in London.. We're all off to the Temple Walkabout tomorrow afternoon with the work people for their Foster's Australia Day roof-top party - a big traditional event for the beer-swilling antipodeons over here!

Tomorrow morning as I walk to work in the freezing cold (-1c), I'll be missing the traditional BBQ out the back at Gav's or Buse's place..

-shane


Currently listening to: The Triple J Hottest 100, streaming from Australia via the internet thanks to the ABC

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Cuban Jazz in Angel

Carly read this during the week in a gig guide we always keep an eye on, and just from the write-up we had an inkling that this might be good:

Afro Cubism
....with live Cuban music high on the agenda with 10 piece Latin-jazz band Lido 66 playing a blistering improvised Cuban jam session. Led by Hal Ritson, who helped produce and performed on Eric Prydz massive number one smash Call on Me last year, the band mixes upbeat Latin vibes with Cuban rumba and contemporary dance music to produce an awesome racket that's shot through with passion and energy.

And so we ended up having our best London bar/club night out yet last night when we travelled up to Angel in North London for a Cuban latin-jazz night at The Chapel bar on Penton Street, just off Pentonville Road. The venue was a cosy dimly-lit bar with great big leather couches along the walls leaving plenty of room for a lively dancing crowd.. We settled at the bar on a pair of stools and with our tab running we got very comfortable with a bottle of red while listening to the 10-piece latin jazz band Lido 66 on the small stage area in the front of the main room..

Most, if not all of the mojito-fuelled crowd was up dancing (including the bar staff between mixing cocktails), the percussion members were playing some of their rhythm sections on whatever they could get his hands on (including the timber window venetians behind them!), and the amazing solo's from the brass section had everyone cheering them on and on for more.. by the start of their second set we had fallen in love and began planning our trip to Havana! - it was just such exciting, improvised, and energetic music.. once the band was done a D.J. came on with a set of even more funky jazz and latin beats for the crowd, which seemed like it was going to be staying on well after we had left at about 2am to begin our journey across the city to home - in future we will be taking Carly's hot tips on what to see and where!

I've found a great write-up on the band on the web, click here

-shane


Currently listening to: Lido 66 - Manteca (single track); of course!!??

Friday, January 21, 2005

Brisbane town planner Fiona visits and we go to our first English football game

This week we have had Brisbane planner Fiona F. staying with us on her way home from 4 months work with ING in The Hague in Holland.. She arrived on Monday night after spending a week or so with other friends in London, and has got plenty of sightseeing done in the last 3 days while we were at work.

We went over to Brick Lane in East London for a curry on Tuesday night, and then on Wednesday night I organised some last minute tickets to see Fulham vs Watford in a 3rd Round F.A. Cup game. Somehow we managed to get 2nd row tickets and were right up against the sideline for what turned out to be a great game, with Fulham downing the Hornets 2-0.. After the game we raced back through the crowds to our local pub, The Eight Bells, for a few pints on our way home. I've added some photos below of the night at the football.


Fiona and me at Craven Cottage, Fulham


Carly and me at the game


Me and Fiona at The Eight Bells, on the phone to John G. back at the BVTP offices in Brisbane


Fiona spent her last day doing some quick sightseeing and getting packed for the last leg of her trip back to Brisbane - so with her massive overweight suitcase bursting at the seams and bordering on the Qantas luggage weight limit, I took her up to Paddington station to get the Heathrow Express instead of having to haul the case in and out of the Piccadilly Line tube!

-shane


On the web: http://www.themanwhofellasleep.com/gossip.html - this great webpage, described as: "A weekly update of what people are saying on the London Underground" has been picked up and is now a regular article in the Time Out London magazine over here.. its a great read and if you go back into the older entries you can see references to major events of the time - a real finger on the pulse of what real people are talking about. Is it real?, is it not?, who knows, but it is a great read anyway.
Currently listening to: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds album; I finally went out and brought this classic CD, and managed to get the release that contains the original mono recordings, and also the remastered stereo versions.. a brilliant piece of work, even still today.
In the news: U.S. President George W. Bush is inaugurated to commence his second term - this is not good news..

Monday, January 17, 2005

First European Ski Trip booked!

With help from our friends Karen and partner Ski Master Payne, we have booked ourselves into a catered chalet with a large group of friends for a 8 days skiing and partying in Les Deux Alps - a french resort sporting a skiable glacier area up top, a large skiing area with a good variety of runs, and some of the highest skiing areas in Europe (over 3200m!!). See http://www.2alpes.com/winter for more info..

So we will be heading off on that adventure in the week before we return to Australia, so we will have plenty of stories and photos for those back home when we return for the wedding trip.

Other than that, London life has just been rolling along as usual - we both had a good night out on Friday night down at Wimbledon with friends of mine from work; sporting hangovers on Saturday morning we did very little besides me being sent on a grocery shopping adventure, which I got distracted from trying on hiking boots for the ski trip in my favourite stores on Kensington High Street; we had dinner with Karen and Andy on Saturday night at her place in Putney with Andy and I talking non-stop about the ski trip; and then yesterday we went over to east London for a look around the Spitelfield Markets and to sample a Square Pie (which were everything our friends hyped them up to be, I had a Chirizo Sausage pie: Delicious! - see http://www.squarepie.com/ for info), and while we were around there we took a walk around the Tower Hill area and a stroll over the famous Tower Bridge - now that i've typed all that up it reads as a pretty good example of a normal London weekend for us..

My brother Michael and his partner Rebecca arrive into Cork in Ireland later this week, and right into some forecast rain, gales and possible snow!! - We are planning to get over there for a weekend trip sometime in late February once they get themselves settled in and start working etc.

We also have to book flights for our post-Australia trip to Spain shortly, which will take us to the south-western coast and the area around Cadiz.

And we realised yesterday we only have month left in our current apartment - it's going to be sad to say goodbye to the amazing river views from the 8th floor here and the brilliant winter morning sunrises eastwards over Wandsworth Town..

-shane


Currently listening to: Scissor Sisters (self-titled album) - absolutely brilliant album, and as Dan has told me from a quote he heard: "Camper than Ian Thorpe in a tent"
Weather: Windy, wet, and starting to get cold again, more storms and gales across the UK in the next week

Thursday, January 13, 2005

An alternative to the gym

Well apparently everyone is doing it, aren’t you all? Pole dancing I mean, the new way to get fit.

One of the girls at work had heard about lessons and we all decided to go for a bit of a laugh. After seeing the list of requirements (high heels and short skirts ‘so your legs can grip the pole’) we set off appropriately attired for a night of fun and games. It was great as a one off night out with a difference. An experienced umm ‘dancer’, showed us the basics and then we all got to have a go, ending up with plenty of posy photos to show off at work the next day.


Me and the other pole-dancers from SOS


The best part was that it turned out to be free after one of us broke a temporary pole in a particularly energetic movement, forcing 10 of us to share one pole for the evening. This, in the end, was more fun anyway as it gave us more opportunity to check out how good the others moves were.

-carly

the 'Spargo - A Place For Men' Mens Salon business in San Francisco sends an e-mail to 'the spargo blog'

If you've read the Public Comments added below our earlier Cardiff Road Trip post from December (see http://tinyurl.com/68or8) you would have seen where the developer of the http://www.spargoman.com/ website responded to our link and comment on the site in our blog.. if you don't know what the spargoman website and the business behind it is all about, read here: http://www.spargoman.com/story.htm

Just to add to that excitement, we have received an e-mail yesterday from the business owner and creator of the 'Spargo - A Place For Men' Mens Salon business in San Francisco, Cynthia Batt, thanking us for our interest and also inviting me to drop in to say hi when in town!

Not sure when we'll be through San Francisco, but if there's any chance I fully intend to go get myself a 'foot massage'!! Perhaps if Dioth gets a chance for a West Coast stop-over on one his New York trips he may want to visit 'Spargo' himself..??

Here's the e-mail from Cynthia:

Thank you for the interest you have in Spargo...
I would consider it a great pleasure if you would come to the salon... men and straight men everywhere are now indulging themselves. Nothing feels as good as a massage or a pedicure which is really a foot massage.
Please visit when you are in town and introduce yourself...

Cynthia Batt

Good to see 'the spargo blog' and my name is getting some good international exposure, even if it's by accident!!

-shane


On the web: take a look at the pictures website of my Ealing Council work collegue Katrina, at http://kaswa.textamerica.com, where you'll find some photos of me and the work team at various work functions, and also our new years night which she came to with all of our friends..

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

End of an era for 'Tree inside Cricket field'

Just thought i'd make a short post about this piece of cricketing folk-lore -

End of innings for cricket tree
see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/4160973.stm
A famous lime tree inside the boundary of Canterbury's cricket ground has been a victim of the weekend's high winds.

The tree, more than 200 years old, has been a landmark at the St Lawrence Ground - home of Kent County Cricket Club - since it opened. It had been in ill health for a few years and was broken in half by a strong gust of wind on Friday night. The club hopes to replace the tree with a new one and pieces of the dead tree may be sold off to fans.

The ground opened in 1847 - built around the tree - and while it is not unique in having a tree inside the boundary, it is the most famous. If the ball hits the tree it counts as four runs. The demise of the tree was discovered on Saturday morning when staff arrived at the ground to find a 7ft stump.

Club chief executive Paul Millman said: "It's been in intensive care for several years and we planted a substitute about four years ago in anticipation of this sad day." Mr Millman said the club would remove the stump and would discuss whether to replace the tree or not.

I'm a bit dissapointed as i'd always wanted to see it standing in the field! I just thought my cricket fan mates back home would be interested in this tragic event..

-shane


On the web: I had heard about this record store before getting to London, but never knew where it was until I saw a segment of a BBC lifestyle show last night - see http://www.roughtrade.com/ - this store has a reputation for picking winners well before mainstream listener even knows the artist exists.. i must check it out.

Monday, January 10, 2005

8th January 2005: 1 Year Engagement Anniversary night out in The City (well, almost!)

After all the excitement of last years big surprise event at Bondi in Sydney, last night we decided to make a night of the 1 year anniversary of our engagement – so we got ourselves some champagne, set ourselves up in the lounge room looking over the river to celebrate what has been an amazing year!

But, after too many drinks and several phone calls home to the Price's and Smith's in Australia for a bit of a laugh, we realized we were far to messy to get ourselves to the Tube and into Shoreditch for our planned cocktails and dancing at a few of the bars and clubs we wanted to visit, so we quickly changed our plans and ran over the river to met up with friends instead to celebrate Darren West's birthday at the Spotted Horse in Putney, where we had heaps of fun with John Willet, Darren and Andy Payne, and by the end we were watching Carly dancing on the tables, followed up by a group finale of New York, New York, complete with in-sync leg kicks and very bad loud singing!!

Nevertheless it was still a great night, which our heads are feeling today – luckily, the weather outside is gale force wind and rain, so we aren’t going anywhere anyway.. More time relaxing on the couch watching the tide go out on the Thames!

Perhaps we'll try for The City next weekend!?

-shane

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Krispy Kreme Donuts at Harrods!

We headed into Knightsbridge this afternoon to visit the Harrod’s Store January sale which started earlier in the week, we could tell that this was the one time of the year that things were actually affordable, and unusually for a Saturday the store wasn’t too crowded..

We stayed away from the Mens and Womens clothes and accessories as we are on our post-xmas January budget, but we could still scrape up a few quid for a Crispy Cream donut and a coffee to go in the Food Hall.. you have to try these donuts If ever given the chance, they are amazing!!

-shane

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Willow’s quick trip back to Australia

Our new friend Renee Wilson returns to Australia today for a quick 2 week Wedding Trip.. As we watched her pack up her stuff over the past week (she is also moving house when she returns), we are beginning to imagine what we will be going through when it is time to pack up our current apartment in mid-February, and move to our new temporary accommodation prior to our European ski trip and our own 3 week Wedding Trip in March/April – time to stop buying stuff!! I burnt Renee a CD of photos to take with her, highlighting all the parties we have shared with her

-shane


Currently listening to: The Waifs – a brief history (live) album
In the News: Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt officially end their marriage and call it quits. Apparently someone cares..

Shane’s first work meeting in the City

I had my first work meeting in town today, at Westminster, just near the houses of parliament, No. 10 Downing Street, and Westminster Abbey.. I traveled in on the tube from my office way out at Hanger Lane (well, it feels like its out in the sticks in comparison!!) into Westminster, and on exiting the station I had one of those traveling moments when it really hits home you aren’t in Kansas anymore –

I walked out onto Parliament Square, where I was able to look straight up as I left the station and check the time on Big Ben as I walked to my meeting just around the corner in Great George Street at the Society of Civil Engineers building..

The meeting was for the new Crossrail rail project (see http://www.crossrail.gov.uk/), which involves a new high speed, high capacity underground and overland rail connection from the proposed Olympic site to the east of the city and beyond, all the way underneath the city in 12kms of tunnels passing beneath and stopping at new stations at Oxford Street and Ealing Broadway, on its way to Heathrow Airport in the west – very exciting for a transport infrastructure nutter like me..

while there’ll be plenty more moments like this as my work starts to ramp up and get more involving, it was just one of those afternoon’s I won’t forget..

-shane


Currently listening to: Faithless – No Roots album
Weather: windy with passing showers
In the news: Britain officially announces that the death/missing toll from the Indian Ocean Tsunami rises above 400, the greatest single loss of life in the UK since WWII.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Back to work for Shane

After the gap between Xmas and New Year off work because of the Council closing down, I headed back to work today to share stories with all the other Antipodeans in the team about their Xmas’s and New Year celebrations..

-shane


Currently listening to: Groove Armada - Best of Groove Armada album

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Back to good old-fashioned sightseeing

Today we decided that seeming we both had a weekday off because of a Bank Holiday, we would head out to St John’s Wood to visit the Abbey Road studios and the level crossing off of The Beatles Abbey Road title cover. In just the time that we were there taking a look, we witnessed over 40 other people doing exactly the same thing, even on a weekday! We avoided joining the crowds in crossing the crossing and getting photos that mimic the album cover where the 4 legends were in stride walking away from the studios over the level crossing, with the VW Beatle in the left background..



Our visit to Abbey Road, St Johns Wood, NW8


Just around the corner was the Lords Cricket Ground – the home of the Marylebone Cricket Club and the official 'home of cricket', so we had a look around the outside and I made Carly take a photo of me near the entrance; after that we headed to Downing Street at Westminster to take a peep at the famous Number 10, I think we were obviously a bit disillusioned, but because of the media show that they turn on when people arrive to visit Number 10, we were both expecting to be able to walk down the street and past the front door.. but alas, because of obvious security concerns the whole street is blocked off and tightly guarded by armed Met officers, so the closest we got was about 200m, but luckily we could see the seasonal Xmas tree at the font door and the doors of the adjacent Number 12 etc.


Lords Cricket Ground - the home of cricket



Number 10 Downing Street (through a 10 foot high fence from a distance..)


After Downing Street we headed along Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square – on our way we came across the Queens Horse Guards, which is a traditional mounted guard that keeps charge over a vehicular entrance to a road access to the adjacent Park next to Buckingham Palace. Their stables and building is near Admiralty Arch at the end of The Mall. While we were there we were able to watch a fantastic changing of the mounted guard at the entrance to the arch which was great. While we haven’t seen the Buckingham Palace guard changing yet, this was a small spectacle in itself, and one that is steeped in tradition for the Royals.

A great unique day out! Its great to know that everytime we head out to take a look around we see so many things that you simply cannot compare to anywhere else.

-shane

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Years Day 2005

Very little movement off of the couch in front of the television for myself, cs and our friend Renée Wilson who stayed over, not much else to say, except, oh yeah, that’s right, Renee has been driving the porcelain bus this morning! – We are all very seedy!

I’ll utilise my energy to put some notes together on last night and post something soon before this one! Uggghhhh.. my head hurts, with the only consolation that Carly’s hurts more – I think she is headed to Karen Willett’s place with Renée this afternoon to watch Sex and the City DVD episodes.. I might go visit Dan tonight to see how he pulled up.

-shane

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Years Eve in London 2004

I hadn’t been working all week so it was left to me to pull together some pre-party drinks at our place, for some of our friends before we headed to Brogan’s pub at Fulham Broadway (see http://www.brogansfulham.co.uk/).. by the time Carly got home at 5:30 after a few drinks with work people, I had the place ready for a party!

Our friends started rolling in shortly after with Dan, Renee Wilson, and several others dropping by for some Harvey Wallbanger cocktails, and some bottles of Moet and Veuve (quality stuff, thanks Willow!!!) before he headed to the Broadway.. when we finally got to the pub after our warm up event, we were all ready for a big one. The pub was fantastic, not too crowded, and all of our friends were there, including a few of mine from work who joined us for what became a great night.


"Breakfast at Tiffany's" dancing yet again!


Karen and Shane


Willow, Karen, and Tim


Willow, Carly, and Ryan


Carly and Darren


Karen and Willow


Darren, Carly, Willow, Dan, and Karen


Carly as the night rolls on


Shane with Ealing Council workmate and fellow brisbane-ite Katrina


Shane and Dan

After plenty of pints and some bottles of champagne brought from the midnight celebrations, the pub shut its doors at 2pm (late for London!!) and we headed home via the 24 hour free Tube back to Putney Bridge. On the way across the Broadway to the station, Carly scored an Indian Chief’s headdress of a complete stranger who was happy to give it away – she promptly put it on and amused plenty of fellow passengers on our journey home.. the photos say it all – a great night!


Carly and Willow on Fulham Broadway (just scored the head-dress!!)


Carly's walk home with that indian head-dress!


Carly on the phone to home ("your just jealous you don't have an indian head-dress!")


-shane


Currently listening to: The Weekend – Michael Gray (our 2004/5 new years party song!)