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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

East Timor/Timor Leste

Does anyone know anything about east timor or timor leste

Sunday, 26 August 2007

The weekend once more; where'd the week go?

The weekend has come around once again, and I just wonder where the week went!

Work has been okay, fairly standard really. I still don't have a confirmation of what I'm going to be doing in the long run (well, I know which project I'm on, but I've asked for a clarification of roles because at the moment I seem to just be passed tasks from every which-way). I spoke to a guy I'm working with on configuration management (no, not quite a management position) and he said he'll probably be taken off that ... which will just leave me? That could be fun, as much as work can be called "fun".


The real fun, of course, happens after work and on the weekends. We've finally got the phone line and Internets (it's not a big truck, it's an inside joke) connected, although even that has been an effort and a half. We still need to talk to our ISP about the speed -- 500kbps instead of the (theoretical) 8Mbps. Yup, that means our connection is 1/16th the speed it should be; the speed we're paying for. Regardless, having the wacky web has meant Dee can do her job application-y stuff from the comfort of home. We hope to have some good news by next week ;-).

This last week we have been very good with our pennies -- planning to live on one salary for as long as is needed (although I'm hoping not long -- Dee said she's going to buy herself a Wii when she gets a job, yay!) -- and it's actually been really, really good. For one thing, we've not been eating out (much cheaper) but best of all we've been cooking from scratch! There are so many markets and stalls around here that it is in fact cheaper to just buy the raw ingredients and put it all together ourselves, including growing our own veges out on the balcony. The food really has been awesome -- we even managed a barbecue one fine night. Yup, loving the balcony.

More cheap-osity -- about half-way between my work and home is a college or University or something, because there's a little street that is always filled with trendy students eating (and being students, drinking) on the cheap from one of the student-focused eateries. One day this week I met Dee there and we sat on wooden bench seats eating hamburgers with every type of salad we could find, all for £3.50. Okay, it doesn't sound cheap when you do the conversion back into Aussie dollar$, but it really is (consider that a normal sandwich from the bank canteen -- subsidised canteen, mind -- can cost around £2.80).

This weekend is a long weekend, but because we're being cheap (and because there is a mass-exodus from London on long-weekends) we're not going to either Brighton or Stonehenge, which were our two preferred options. Instead, we went to the London Science Museum (Dayna would approve, ;-))! For the cost of a bus then the Underground back home (too tired to walk to and from the bus stop :-D) we saw all manner of crazy science stuff -- the history of medicine, flight, computers, mathematics, stuff about the future of physics (the Large Hadron Collider will smash particles at higher energies than have ever been done before, hopefully shedding light (heh heh) on the nature of gravity. Dee thinks it will blow up the world. Hmm).

Today we're off to the markets again -- what a surprise! -- and then may catch a Horror movie in Leicester Square as it's the annual FrightFest here this weekend. Guess I better go jump in the shower, huh?


More photos in my new Life In London photoset, including a couple of the new apartment.

We Won Aggregate

We Won Aggregate at horsham. That was up against div 9 & 6. 1:3rd,1:2nd & 4:1sts. :) YAY

Friday, 17 August 2007

The story by parts

I Love the story so far but the start of the 2nd chapter is a little odd so far i don't know how it fits in. by the way can i add to it

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Cali on the weekend

Hi on Saturday I had cali in melbourne at besen. We got 2 3rds and 1 HM 1 3rd in freearm & the other in medaly, HM in Clubs.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Our weekend...

... not as action-packed as Glenn & Dee's, but it was fun!
Yesterday we went to China town & the markets for a bit of shopping and lunch, and then drove out to one of the cinemas and watched the Simpsons movie. The movie was quite good. Not fantastic... but still very entertaining.
Today Damien surprised me with a picnic lunch! I thought we were heading to the supermarket, but Damien drove right past. Then he explained that while I was in the shower he was quickly making sandwiches & looking for directions to Mt Lofty on the net. Everything was already in the car so I didn't suspect a thing. It was very sweet! :)

The magpie that tried really hard to share our lunch

The big black hole in the middle of the lake. As you can see from Damien's expression we were a bit confused by it at first, but it's actually a drain that allows the overflow to help fill the lake next to this one.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Third time's a lucky charm

In an attempt to shame the rest of the family by how many posts I've had in a row, especially considering we don't have Internet access at home yet, I thought I'd tell you all about last night. :-) Nyah!

As mentioned, we had dinner and drinks with Jools and Paul, starting at the Phoenix (a pub) and migrating to a Spanish restaurant for tapas, sangria and some kind of alcoholic coffee. It was fun, although we were at the pub by ourselves for a little while until Julie could manage to pull herself away from work -- I think she's addicted to the stress of IT support! Go figure.

Dinner was awesome, we bought three little dishes each and shared: meatballs, ensaladas (salad), calamari, some omelettey thing, chorizo and yummy paella. All washed down with sangria which, for anyone who doesn't know, is some kind of white wine and lemonade and fruit juice and pieces of fruit floating on top. Pretty good, especially with the hot weather we've been having recently.

What else? Our phone still isn't connected and the BT engineers haven't contacted me with an update (which they said they would! Argh!), so it's unlikely that our broadband will be working by tonight (which it's meant to be! Double argh!). So today we're off to a movie, some shopping (well, window shopping at least), then a housewarming next door.

Anyway, what's everyone else been up to? :-)

Friday, 10 August 2007

Spiderglenn, spiderglenn

I've been trying to get our phone line connected for over a week now -- you would think it would be easy! Worse, the phone needs to be connected before the broadband connection, since ADSL uses the same phone line. I just spent three hours on the (work) phone to BT trying to get it figured out -- apparently they've sent out an engineer now, and we'll get updates by SMS.

Seriously, how hard is it? So frustrating, especially as I've already organised to have the ADSL connection done on Saturday. Even more galling is the fact that BT have already sent us a bill! The cheek of it! So in righteous fury I stole somebody's hands-free headset, jumped on the phone and set in to do battle with BT. I was on hold for most of the three hours, then transferred between departments getting a little bit of info each time, before finally ending up on the line with the one person in the company who knew what she was doing. A quick line-test, then repeated to make sure it wasn't a once off, and she sent out for the engineer AND contacted the billing department to make sure we weren't paying for a service we'd not yet enjoyed.

Thank the stars there is someone paying attention at BT.

But it's been a bit of a traumatic week really -- okay, "traumatic" is dramatic (heh heh), but it's sporadic and emphatic in a paddock full of haddock. Thank badness it's Friday!

Forgot to mention some good luck on Sunday afternoon: whilst looking for el cheapo bargains, Dee bought a couple of "scratchies" and gave me one ... and I won £50! Nice one! Spent it almost immediately on lunch and (some on) the Wicked tix, but still good to win one. Could've been the £250,000 of course ...

Work this week has been wacky -- lots to do, not a lot of time to do it in -- and my "to do" list has grown and grown.

Dee's had a couple of job interviews now, which I'm sure she can tell you about, so to celebrate we went out on Wednesday night to a Turkish restaurant on Brick Lane (yep, we love Brick Lane). Very nice food, hopefully traditional (it looked that way -- cooked over hot coals under an ornately decorated brass range hood thingy) and not too expensive. It was meant to be our "night out" for the week (weekend notwithstanding -- still have to fill it with glee).

Unfortunately, and here comes the trauma, we got locked out last night by the cleaner! I know, it's very cosmopolitan to have a cleaner, but I think he cleans all the flats in the building and it seemed like a small price to pay (considering we don't have a broom, a mop, etc). Anyway, he arrived just as Dee was leaving, so we were both looking forward to returning to a nice clean house.

Which we did. We just couldn't get in.

When Martin had finished he left and locked all the doors, including the deadbolt which we haven't been using for a couple of reasons (deadbolts are dangerous; there's a heavy door downstairs; it's 93 steps up to our flat; we don't really have anything worth stealing) and therefore left the key inside. Bugger.

With Martin's phone number also inside the flat, we knew we wouldn't be able to track him down. Dee looked, in case he was doing another apartment, to no avail. We also knew that our landlord-neighbour would have a spare key, but the mobile number we had for him was now disconnected! A conspiracy, I tells ya!

Nothing to do but leave a note on the landlord's door, head out for dinner somewhere and hope that he was coming home tonight. We ate at the Dove -- the solid pub-grub place mentioned in a previous post -- and this time I got to try a beer I'd last had in Belgium, the Chimay Blanc (or white, as the brit's would have it). Yum!

The night wore on with no call from our landlord, and we began to despair ever getting in, until Dee had the bright idea of knocking on our other neighbour's door and, if home, climbing over the wall that separates our balconies and in through one of our windows. A bright idea primarily because it would be me doing the climbing, not her. Luckily there's no neighbourhood watch four floors up.

Long story short (altogether: too late!), he was home and I managed to scuffle over the trellis and onto our side -- don't worry Mumsie, it's a fairly low wall and I crossed on the roof side, not the down-down-down to the road side, so there was never any danger. The windows were open (they're quite big windows) so I could quickly get in, open the door from the inside, and stand around basking in the glory of being the hero of the hour.

Even better, we got invited to our neighbours house-warming party on Saturday night, huzzah! So I think a movie during the day, Lis, then a party at night. As for tonight, Dee already organised dinner (Spanish this time) and drinks with a friend named Julie -- "Jools" -- from her old work. We're meeting near Liverpool Station at around 6:30pm. Shouldn't be too late a night but it's always nice to meet new people.

Ooh, before I forget, here's our new address and phone number, providing it ever gets connected. I'll also update the Contact Details page in the sidebar.

26 Minstrel Court
Teesdale Close
London E2 6PQ

Monday, 6 August 2007

Dayna visiting us

A quick post (aren't they always?) because, regrettably, I'm at work, but I had to tell y'all about the action-packed weekend we've just shared with Dayna. Tons of fun, but I'm a little bit tired now on Monday morning.

Dayna arrived on Friday and Dee met her at Bethnal Green station -- I was still at work! (Hmmm, it gets in the way, work.) We went out for some drinks and a lot of good Indian food on Brick Lane on Friday night -- by the end of the evening I seriously thought I would never need to eat again. (I later also realised that white wine, although deceptively tasty and easy to quaff in the rare London-evening sun, was merciless if you don't have enough water before going to bed. Still, I recovered soundly by Saturday morning.

Dayna headed off quite early on Saturday morning to meet her round-the-world friends Mez and Carly, while Dee and I took it a little easier and headed out for shopping along the market-esque Bethnal Green Road. Talk about cheap! We had fun searching for housey stuff (pegs, coat hangers, an iron) in the plethora of discount shops and stalls. Our new iron was £5! Bargain!

We met Dayna (and co.) in the city that night and went to see the stage show Wicked -- the true story of the Wicked Witches of Oz. Very funny, very entertaining, great music, fun fun fun! I think Mez and Carly were almost falling asleep tho' -- they'd been up and traveling for some ridiculous amount of time.

Sunday we took it easy. Well, Dee and I took it easy -- Dayna got up early to go meet her friends and do touristy stuff (sensing a pattern here?). Heh heh, probably shouldn't have stayed up so late when we got home from Wicked, sorry Dayna -- guess we were just being wicked. Anyway, we got up eventually (tee hee!) and toddled off to met Dee's friend Emily, stopping at a couple of the Sunday markets along the way -- the Flower Market and Spitalfields. (We'd intended to hit Cambden Market too, but didn't quite make it as you'll read soon.)

When we finally caught up with Emily we were tired (from walking) and hot -- it was sunny! We had to wear sunscreen! I might get a tan! Luckily Emily invited us into a cool underground cinema to see a movie with her -- but not, as it turned out, exactly what we were expecting!

Em's brother was the director, for one thing, which is cool in itself. The film was a documentary about the Zawoses, a family of musicians living in Tanzania, and how they struggled (are struggling) to keep their music alive now that the head of the family has died. Tanzania suffers from the same problems that much of Africa does -- the shortages of food and water, difficulties in education and health, and the epidemic of HIV -- and training the new generations in the music making skills of the Wagogo tribe whilst staying alive is a difficult proposition.

At the end of the film there was a question and answer session with the director and one of the Zawose band members, followed by a live performance! Now we don't generally listen to African music (or even world music really) but the beats and drums and handmade instruments and dancing was so cool! Complex rhythms and timings, harmonies and just such a wide vocal range. Very cool -- I bought the CD to put on my MP3 player and listen to whilst at the gym!

Afterwards we caught up with Dayna, Mez and Carly again for dinner and drinks at "The Dove". Good solid pub grub, and plenty of different beers. Dayna bought a jug of strawberry früli beer, I had one called "Lucifer" (very strong) and then we tried a chocolate beer which was surprisingly chocolatey. (I know, I know, what was I expecting? But it was weird that "beer" and "chocolate" could go so well together.)

So a busy weekend indeed. Needless to say we're having a night in tonight, maybe watching a DVD (we bought The Last King Of Scotland after renting and watching half of it back in Edinburgh). Now don't tell Dee, but I'm trying to figure out how we can cram even more into next weekend ;-).

Could be my wicked side again, I s'pose. >;-P

We'll have to organise to go see Dayna one weekend.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Happy Birthday Cheryl

To finalise the triptych..

Happy Birthday Cheryl!