Friday, May 26, 2006

off to Turkey

With our backpacks loaded and hiking boots on, tonight we head off to Istanbul and the western side of Turkey for 9 days - taking in sites from Gallipoli, down to Ephesus, and anything else we can manage to see. We're travelling with our friend Daniel, and fellow Aussie Londoners Jane & Mick.

More to come soon - either while we're on the road, or when we get back on the 4th of June.

-shane

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Blank Blogging?

For the regular readers of our tales and photos, you've probably noticed that there's been a whole heap of 'blank blogging' going on.

In the past few weeks the combination of the arrival of the English summer, a list of weekends away in Europe, and some very busy times in our working lives has meant that we've been struggling to keep up to date online.

But never fear - work is underway in the background and I hope to get the blanks filled in the coming weeks.

Trust me, we're having the time of our lives - shame it gets in the way of telling some great stories!!

-shane

London's 'Living Room'

Another work function, another famous building ticked off the list.

This time I blagged my way into a launch function for the London Food Strategy, which is an initiative by some collegues of mine at the LDA to "improve the health of Londoners and look at ways of making London's food sustainable over the next 10 years." It's a great initiative and something that I will be keeping in my file to take home as one of those projects that you just don't see happening in Australia, but is viewed as critical to sustainability and health in a big city like London.

City Hall with Tower Bridge in the background

But anyway, about the function - the Food Unit put on a gathering on the top floor 'Living Room' area of City Hall to celebrate the launch of the strategy. The function included stalls of local producers showing of samples of their products (including locally grown UK wines and micro-brewed beers), and a great crowd of food industry people to mingle amongst. The beers brewed locally in Greenwich were my favourites, followed by the goats cheese - great stuff.

-shane

Monday, May 22, 2006

The 'Dam

Our first fantastic weekend trip to Amsterdam - photos and stories coming soon..

-shane

Friday, May 19, 2006

Airbus A380 arrives at London Heathrow

Despite some overcast weather I managed some shots of the first Airbus A380 to visit London Heathrow, as it circled the city and approached the airport over the roof of our flat.

Photos coming soon.

-shane

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Arsenal lose the UEFA Champions League Final

After making it through to the final with a dramatic 0-0 draw (1-0 on aggregate) against Villareal, the Arsenal have gone down in the UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona FC at the Stade de France in Paris tonight.

A huge contingent of Arsenal fans travelled across the Channel to watch the game in Paris, but closer to home a group of us including Dan, Wilkie, the Bull, and Mick & Jane ventured to the Puzzle Pub on Fulham Palace Road at Hammersmith to watch the match after work.

There were cheers, tears, too many beers, and the ever amazing Thierry Henry who gave it everything in their attempts to overcome the likes of the brilliant Brazilian Ronaldhino - but it wasn't enough and they lost the match 2-1 to what was a better side.

Now, we await Henry's decision on whether he will stay with Arsenal or (as rumoured) leave to sign with the same team they lost to - Barcelona FC.

-shane

(update: days after this loss, Henry resigned with the Arsenal, citing the teams determination in the match as the reason he chose to stay! Things look good for 2007)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A weekend of pubs

We literally spent the whole weekend in some of the best of London's pubs, all across the Capital from Friday night after work until sunday afternoon - but what a great three days together and with friends.

Stories and photos to come soon.

-shane

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Royal Opera House drinks

Another work function, more free drinks, more work networking, and another famous London function venue visited.

After our last BRE function at 'the Gherkin' (30 St Mary Axe/Swiss RE building), Bronwen and I received another call up to attend the BRE's annual conference at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

The afternoon was set aside for what was a good presentation and discussion session between panelists and the audience covering architecture, sustainable development, town planning, and urban design; and following that delegates filled the huge glass atrium function area on the first floor for plenty of free drinks and networking with some pretty interesting attendees to chat to.

We eventually left when the drinks ran out and Brownen took me down the street to have a very strong 9% beer at the Lowlander Bar - this is a great bar I'd recommend to anyone stuck for somewhere to go in tourist-trodden Covent Garden.

-shane

Monday, May 08, 2006

Our Secret Walks of London

Photos here - blog entry coming soon.

-shane

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Sultans Elephant in London

While I get the blog entry written up, see my photos here..

-shane

Friday, May 05, 2006

Summer has arrived?

Last night we finally got the chance to light up some coals in our new BBQ and have dinner up on the roof. We hauled the old superceded dining table up onto the roof, got out the outdoor chairs, lit the bbq, and settled in to watch the sunset with some pink champagne..

After a 27 degree day (with the usual 'Adverse Weather Condition' Tube delays on the way home on the District Line), the City had a blurry heat haze across it making it feel all the more like the English Summer has arrived. Even today the sun is out again and the temperatures are heading up into the 20's. Fantastic stuff after what has seemed like a never ending winter of coat wearing.

Sadly though, the BBC Weather forecast for tomorrow is more rain. Right on time for the weekend..

-shane

Monday, May 01, 2006

Visit to Gozo on the ferry

More to come soon.

See the photos here.

-shane