Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Svalbard Weather Watch

Ok, I'll admit it. Despite the fact that
  1. I've paid close to £500 in hard weather gear for this trip to Svalbard
  2. Distressingly, I've realised that despite the years of coca-cola propaganda, polar bears are in fact not our friends
  3. I could die in a horrid plane accident when our 2 stroke, probably made of MDF, light aircraft tries to land on, what can essentially be called an ice rink
I am getting pretty damn excited about this trip.

So, I'm going to keep you updated, for the next 3 days, of the temperature in Svalbard, to appreciate the slight apprehension I'm feeling as a soft southern Sydney girl, going as far north as a girl should go:

Temperature at 6am this morning (with windchill) : -30C
Current Temparture in Longyearbyen : -9.6C
Current Temparture in Longyearbyen (with windchill) : -21.1C

-21.1C!!!! In Sydney, if it dips below 10C people start going worrying about the ensuing cold snap, destined to take down the city and start wearing thermals underwear and long johns.. This is going to be weird.

Sunset Appreciation

Here's something for Mayren's Sunset Appreciation post - a stormy sky taken on our Roadtrip, between El Paso and the Grand Canyon through the US a few years ago....

All these pics were taken from the middle "captains chair" seats on our Dodge Grand Caravan - hurtling down freeways at hundreds of k's per hour.. or whatever the speed limit was...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Easiest way to make a man come running

  1. Walk past the man's bedroom, muttering slightly
  2. Walk past again, this time holding a tool box - this obviously makes him prick his ears.
  3. Open tool box, spilling some of the screwdrivers on the floor - this is to pique his interest and make him knit his eyebrows together a little.
  4. Walk into the bathroom, screwdriver in hand - he's getting more interested/nervous
  5. Start unscrewing the piece of wood behind the toilet, to get to the toilet cistern - his head pops out the door. At this point, he will ask "do you need a hand?", to which you have to look around, smile and say "no thanks!"
  6. Put the 'blue loo' cleaning block in cistern, then start screwing the wood back into place. When inevitably, it does not end up quite flush against the wall, say loudly "oh damnit, that's not supposed to go like that" - this makes the man ask his brother, who is on a call from Australia, to hold on a minute.
  7. Go back to the hall, take out hammer from the toolbox, then start hitting the wood, to try and get it back in place.

This is my sure fire, never fail, guaranteed way to make the man (aka The Flatmate) throw the phone down on his international call, run out the door, down the hall, into the bathroom, saying "Um, ok, are you sure you don't need some help? Don't need me to come to the rescue then?"

Hmmm, and I'm supposed to be owning a house soon? Now I'm not sure that's the best idea is it...

Brussels Trip Roundup

After 3 days, and averaging about 4 hours sleep a night, we've gotten back from my spiritual home of Brussels. I really love it there, and would move back in an instant if I had the oppurtunity.

Will blog the trip, but here is the slideshow of some pics from the weekend, which you can also see here. I'm trying out different things on my digital SLR, for my next trip, in 3 days time, to Norway!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Makes you want to smash your head repeatedly against a wall


After 5 freaking months, I am still not the owner of my god damned flat.

I was expecting to be able to exchange early this week, but lo and behold, it's Thursday and still no joy. My solicitor called me today to say that as far as they were concerned they have all the necessary paperwork, and asked for which dates I would like to complete on (i.e. which day do I want to get the keys to my first flat). After much deliberation and thought, I replied back with "I want the keys yesterday or sooner". So I call the estate agent, a sleazy little man, who if I ever hear his voice or see him from now until the end of time, it will be too soon, to tell him that I want my house now, and to this he says:

"Well, because this whole process has taken so long, it seems that the vendors original mortgage offer has fallen through, so he is in the process of getting a new one approved. We don't think it will take too long, and hopefully he will not need another survey done. This will obviously put a delay on completion."


I am not the very soul of a good human as I am fuming, angry, and want everyone involved with this house sale to get into a car, cover themselves with petrol, light a match, and drive off a cliff.

So when I tell the estate agent that I can't believe that this is happening, and that the sale of this house is going to fall through, he says in his sleazy, disgusting little way:

"Don't get stressed. Go and drink some camomile tea or something". - No, why don't you go and shove your camomile tea up your arse you nonce.

I am not impressed. I am now waiting to see if the vendor his gets his new mortgage offer, and am now planning on moving to my new place, ooh, I dunno, March, 2008. I wouldn't want to be too optimistic about the date now would I?

On the vaguest of vague plus sides, I'm off to Brussels tonight, which is my spiritual home, for the weekend, so I won't be back until Monday. I'm sure I'll have lots of pics of us eating gaffres and chocolate. To the minus side, my stomach is still going crazy, so right after I eat the gaffre and chocolate, I'll probably need to go run for a loo to not injest calories again. Damn damn damn.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No more feelings of rejection

It's finally got me. On my birthday, after too much fondue, meat, cheese and chocolate variety, the gastro bug that's taken everyone down got me too. Whilst it is annoying throwing up everything you've eaten, I've taken the pragmatic approach of thinking "my female friends will be proud of me.. at least I'm not injesting any calories".

Unfortunately it wasn't so bad that I couldn't go whoreing myself (AKA doing a presales demo/meeting/training) at a large financial institution at Canary Wharf , but I was sick enough to go home halfway through the day yesterday and stay at home today.

The thing about being home from work is that I always end up padding about the house, unshowered and in my pj's... lying on the couch, feeling sorry for myself, and smelling slightly ripe... The good thing about having a stomach bug is that I have absolutely no appetite, because everytime I eat, my belly feels like it's full of little dwarfs, doing summersaults, with little shoes that have spikes in them.

So today, I've watched the 1940's Noel Coward classic "Brief Encounter", which is a terrific example of stoic british angst at it's finest. Lots of long looks, sighs, fainting spells and "oh darling, don't look at me like that, it's awfully shamefull what we're doing. One must keep one's composure". The Flatmate as less than impressed with the whole film. And now I'm off to show my xbox some love, since it's sulking because I've not paid it any attention today. The Flatmate is off to have lunch, because he says there is a funny smell here... maybe I'd better shower first... hmmm

Monday, February 19, 2007

On this day..

  1. 1473 - Nicolaus Copernicus, famous astronomer, whose at the time controversial theory called "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" is percieved as the starting point of modern astronomy, was born on this day
  2. 1985 - EastEnders is first aired on the BBC! (You can see my new and old house on the map in the start of the show). I love a show which can make you think "no matter how bad I think my life is, at least I'm not pregnant and still in love with the man who I am having an affair with, who doesn't want to have an affair with me, but is only doing it because his wife wants to buy my child".
  3. 1861 - Serfdom was abolished in Russia
  4. 2007 - It's my birthday, and I am now "officially" in my "late 20s". 28 was my mid-late 20s. Undeniable, 29 is my late-late 20s.

As it's my birthday, and to honour my german ancestry, to celebrate chinese new year, and because it's the last day of my "Birthday Season", we went to Kurz & Lang for a german pork sausages and sauerkraut for lunch. Tonight, a few of us are off to a Swiss fondue restaurant, where The Flatmate will try not to be sick, since he reckons he's now been hit with the gastro bug that's making the rounds of our group.

Present wise I have done exceptionally well. Dr D got me a DIY book, my friend Pop, who has amazing taste in fashion, gave me a cool pair of earings that appeal to my catholic side by having what looks like bits of rosary beads dangling from them ! Lee got me a cool book chocka full of American Diner recipes. My friend, Campbelly got me a champagne recorker so that I can safely induldge in Champagne Thursdays without feeling the need to neck the whole bottle in one go. And finally The Flatmate, C, Calv, Magic and Dr D gave me an XBox 360!! WOW!! I can now play Halo, which I love, as well as Gears of War, which is just plain frightening!

I also got these beautiful roses from my mum.

On Saturday night, C and I had a lovely dinner at a local pub, which 20 of our closest friends came to. On the way back to our place, for the inevitable party, I walked everyone past the soon-to-be-mine flat, where we all stood outside freaked out the vendor... Why having 15 or so people standing outside their flat, pointing and going "oooh" and "so when do they move out?" would freak someone out is anyones guess. They didn't look too happy looking out of their windows, desperately trying to call the cops...

And yes, if you're wondering, the inevitable party did end at 4 am when we sang our voices dry with some awful/awsome Singstar.... A really serendipitous finding that night was that I own all the ingredients needed to make some kick arse cosmopolitans, which Lee, Pop and I drank by the huge red wine glass full.. no wonder I didn't surface from my room until 1 in the afternoon!

All in all, it's been a pretty good birthday season. I'm not too worried about getting older.. though I'm sure that's going to change soon. But right this very minute, I will own a house soon, I'm going to Brussels for the weekend, then I'm off to Svaldbard and China in a few weeks, so at this moment in time, life is pretty damn tasty!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Hats made of seals are bad

For some insane reason, The Flatmate, Calv, Magic, Dr D and myself are all off on holiday in a few weeks time to Svalbard. Officially a part of Norway, it is Europe's northernmost territory, and is way inside the Arctic circle, being about 1000 km from the North Pole. In fact, I think it's as far north as you can get before they slap the title "explorer" on you. The whole territory has only 5 towns, the smallest one having a grand population of 10 people and the "capital" having a population of 1,800... My last job employed more people than that!

The fact that there will be no sun for the whole time we're there means we will hopefully see the Aurora borealis, which I think is the main reason for us going... The fact that the average temperature is about -12C, which goes down to about -30C with windchill, is not the thing that's freaking me out the most... It's the fact that for years now I've always thought of polar bears as cute and cuddly animals, who drink bottles of coke, nuzzle their young, are romantic to their partners, and love to give humans hugs. However, the 500 or so white cutie pies which are on the territory are the biggest threat to people, and if one tries to attack you, you are advised to keep shooting it until it stops. Killed by lead poisoning. Thus, you are told to never leave a settlement without carrying a rifle.

Which you can hire.

Without the need of a license or even the knowledge of how to use one....

So in honour of this new found polar bear fear, this is my Friday Moment of Zen: Of all the freezing, north pole equipped, fuck off hard core weather gear I will be wearing in Svaldbard, not one item will be a hat, shaped like a seal.


Posts, posts, posts

I've been uber slack for the last week, but I do actually have a ligitimate excuse: that stupid monkey called "work" has been on my back for the last week, so I've not had much of chance to write things up. But hopefully these 4 posts will make up for a week of bludging (well blog bludging..)

Yours in slackness,

Infatuated again

I wrote a couple of months ago about a horrendous crush I'd developed on Superman (yes, you read right. Not much of a mind blowing announcement: "Geek girl fancies comic book hero. "). Oh god, how pathetic).

However, the revolving door of fictional men I get crushes on seems to have stopped right firmly at the door of Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester.

This is of course helped by the fact that he's recently been played with Toby Stephen's in the BBC production, which is just amazing. After watching the BBC production, I was in the throes of the 19th century novel, and I have to say, I don't know where this novel has been all my life! And on top of that, I can't get over it was written by a Bronte, considering how I can't even count the ways in which I loathe and despise Emily Bronte and her pathetic book "Wuthering Heights" (for god's sake Catherine and Heathcliff. Get a god damn fucking room, or go get lost on the moors until collapse of starvation and wild dogs eat you).

Mr Rochester though. God damn. Whilst it's sad for someone my age to lust after a fictional character, especially the youngest son of a wealthy man who ends up (LOOK AWAY IF YOU DON'T WANT ME TO SPOIL IT) locking his wife away in a tower and becomes a brooding, angry, depressed, hollow shell of a man. But there you go. It's too late. He's long "dead" and I think he's great.

Finally! Finally!!!!!

After 5 months, and 17 agonising days, I have finally been told by my lawyers that they might have all the necessary paper work, so I could possibly exchange contracts for my new house next Monday, which just happens to be my BIRTHDAY!

I refuse to let myself get excited, and start thinking things like appliances, light fittings, curtains, and removalists, until they can guarantee that I will have the keys of my flat in my hot litte greedy hands.


Ok calm down. I will not allow myself to get excited about this, because the feeling of elation when I've been told that there is only 1 thing left to get, followed by the absolute dismal feeling of being let down when I'm told something else hasn't come through yet has left a horrid taste in my mouth, so I refuse to let myself get disappointed again.

Still, I just can't stop myself from being excited! Watch this space, because I am going to INUNDATE this blog with the crappy things I want to fill my house with. Starting with this cool, cool, cool retro lamp (at the insane price of £1,980):

It sucks to be me... so many beautiful things, so little money...

Night of firsts

Going out with people from work usually means that our group from the office end up in a pub 2 minutes from our desks. It also means that I always end up getting the tube or a taxi with either Dr D or Calv (cause they live very close to my house). However this time, Calv was too sick to go out, and Dr D was just getting over being sick (both boys had a horrendous case of gastro, which I was practially willing myself to get... it's pretty pathetic when you want gastrointeritous just so you can feel a bit thinner, and that you actually feel the sting of rejection when a stomach bug refuses to not infect you and leave you lying on the tiles of your bathroom floor... ). So at about 9pm Dr D left the pub and me, for me to make my own way home...

So tonight was definitely a night of firsts. The first time I went out with work people on my own (how wierd is that?). The first time I ended up in KFC on my own, eating my dinner at a table in the corner by my lonesome (hey, love me, love my KFC!).. and for some reason I kindof saw my future - a sad image of myself, staring back at me in the flourecent lit reflection of the door. A sad woman, siting alone, slightly pissed, nibbling on chicken wings...

And thinking about it now, I'm not too sure how I feel about that....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Birthday C!

It's C's 29th birthday today (6 days before mine) so this post goes out to you:

C is very much into 1940's looks (hair, dancing and dress), so I have been trying to find a picture of a cheesecake girl that she might like. The only problem with this is that it means that I need to type the words "pinup", "girl" and "cheesecake" into google, which obviously puts my work pc into worlds of problems. I'm seriously waiting for the internet police to come and take me away for looking up porn.... albeit 1940's porn...

So C, Happy Birthday! Hope you're having a good day :) Don't worry, we've still got 365 (372 if you're me) more days in our 20s...... It's possible it could go all downhill from there....

Oops: I forgot to mention that I found this picture here

Friday, February 09, 2007

Mayren as an M&M

In the new "You as an M&M" exhibition, here's Mayren (of Mayren Abashed fame) in M&M form! Nice hair & bear combo!

Remember, if you'd like to take part, go to becomeanmm.com and sculpt yourself out of a piece of virtual candy, send it to me, and I'll post it!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

C as an M&M

I'm going to blog anyone who has made an M&M person of themselves. If you want to send it to me, then let me know and I'll send you my email address.

This is C. She said she think she looks rubbish, but I reckon she looks hot! Look at those shoes!

Remember, if you want to be an M&M person, check this out!

Snow in London

Today it snowed for the second time this year! As an Aussie girl, even after almost 6 years in London, I am still excited everytime I see the snow, even if it is only about 2 cm deep and has all melted by midday. At lunch today, I found all the swept clumps of snow, and jumped up and down in them like a 5 year old. I'm never going to grow tired of that!

Check out my slideshow here

Me in M&M form

Clearly whilst being very busy at work, I stumbled across this from those crazy kids at M&M.

Try it, it's fantastic fun!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

For The Flatmate

Whilst watching an episode of 'Friends', Ross' g/f comes in and finds them playing Strip Happy Days, and goes "Ok, I'll catch up" and takes her top off.

The Flatmate: "Damnit! I came in late, and only saw the end of that!"
Me: "Damnit! If only we had a tivo box of some type which was recording what we were watching!"
The Flatmate: "Damnit! And if only that tivo box meant I could rewind and see her in her bra!"
Me: "Well why don't you then?"
The Flatmate: "Well, I would, but if I did, you'd blog it."

The Flatmate - you're so damn right.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Screaming my rebel yell

Since Friday night, roughly 60 hours ago, this is the sum total of all I've eaten:
  • Approx 2 dozen pieces of chicken wings. All with hot sauce.
  • 2 servings of fries
  • 2 x 1/4 massive serving of nachos
  • 1/2 a family size bag of corn chips
  • 1 whole rack of baby back ribs, fries, and 'slaw
  • 1 serve Chinese noodles
  • 6 pints of beer (I think...)
  • Too many bottles of beer to count
  • Cocktails - including shots (too many to count + don't actually remember how many I had bought for me)
A truley mature, healthy and varied diet huh?

This is how the blame is being organised for this weekend of glut:
  1. Beer/shots/beer/shoots/first serve of chicken wings: Going out on Friday night after my ex-ex boyfriend told me he was definitely moving to Ireland to be with his g/f, even though he told me he would never leave Australia when I moved to London. I needed all the extra beer and shots to help me fuel me for the inevitable drink and dial I ended up doing...
  2. 1/2 family size bag of corn chips: Being horrendously hung over on Saturday morning, dragging my sorry arse onto the couch, and finding a pack of Doritos on the table. I had to substitute my coke/corn chip cure for just corn chips and water to try and feel human enough to go to orchestra...
  3. Beer/Fries/Ribs + fries + slaw/cocktails: Hair of the dog + we were going out for dinner anyway... AND I can't go to Bodeans and not have ribs.. That would just be plain wrong.
  4. The Beer+Wings+Nachos Blowout: Superbowl Sunday and watching the Chicago Bears bend over and receive a spanking from the Colts.

In fact, this whole weekend has just been one big be as naughty as I can possibly be weekend.

Firstly: The ex-ex: I believe that all phones should have the "Don't Make An Arse Of Yourself" feature, where it recognises when you're drunk and if you call a number you KNOW you shouldn't, either blocks said number from being dialed, or at the very least gives you a recorded message with something like "if you make this phone call, you know you will end up waking up tomorrow, realising that you've made a complete tit of yourself, and end up wishing you were dead, because frankly, your now in your late 20's and you're still acting like a fucking teenager".

Damn you Drink+Dial. I don't really remember what I said but I'm sure it contained the words "why didn't you move for me? What the fuck was wrong with me?" and "you bastard", even though I know that this is not this guys fault, and it was like 1000 years ago for fuck sake, and given the choice, I wouldn't have changed a single thing, because we both know it all worked out for the best anyway.

Secondly: C and I bunked off 3rd period musicianship class at orchestra this Saturday, because 1) we couldn't stand listening to Viola Woman drone on and on about crap that has nothing to do with the class, 2) the sun was actually shining, and we wanted to sit and bask in it's cancer omitting rays. I've never bunked off class in high school, and I felt like such a rebel. I was practically Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club (though obviously without the being a boy and smoking dope bit).

Thirdly: HOW MUCH JUNK HAVE I EATEN THIS WEEKEND? I can't add up all those calories because I don't believe numbers can get that big. The Superbowl has the most to answer to for my poor diet. Despite the fact that I know nothing American football, I happily used Superbowl Sunday as my excuse for staying up until 3.30 am on a school night, help demolish 2 massive Pyrex serving dishes of nachos + guacamole, drink copious amounts of beer, and gorge myself on delicious spicy, buffalo chicken wings. The Flatmate and I went to Dr K's and Calv's house last night, where they cheered the colts, and I of course cheered on the Bears.. who lost. Typical. Calv and his friend Mappy were supposed to do a podcast for their website, which I was going to special guest star on, so on Sunday morning, (with another hangover), I boned up on my Superbowl knowledge. I was desperate to say on the podcast how I believed that "Chicago would take a very similar approach to what they did in the NFC Championship game against the Saints, and play a very physical game." And how I thought that "The Bears would try and get as many hits on Manning as they could, whilst their corners would do all they could within the rules to manhandle the Colts receivers and throw off the timing of their passing game." However we never recorded the podcast, and around 2 am, I kept falling asleep, waking up, eating some more chicken, taking a slug of beer, then fall asleep again.

Ok, this week I'm going to be uber virtuous and v angelic. I'm going running and cycling, eating only salads, fish and low fat soups.

OOOHH, someone at work just gave me a caramel egg... Ok right after this I'm going to good.

Who am I kidding, I just can't do virtuous and angelic.. I'd best just go buy myself some eatin' pants.

Friday, February 02, 2007

In Loving Memory

There will be no Friday Moment of Zen this week for 2 reasons:

1) I wanted to talk about the gorgefest that Sunday night will be thanks to the Superbowl. I don't even watch american football, but any excuse to eat nachos, buffalo wings, ribs, and guzzle bottles of beer is ok with me (I'm so classy!). And whilst I do have a full post about Gorgefest Sunday Superbowl, I can not find any pictures of chicken wings that do them justice.

2) Today's entry will be in loving memory of The Flatmates Nintendo Wii.

Which I apparently bricked by sending him an email.

Oh yes, that's right. The Flatmate's Wii, which we got him for Christmas, and which you can not now buy for love or money is bricked. Dead. Fucked. Gone. Bye bye.

Apparently by sending him an email which has loads of html tags in it (who knew that a Eurostar itinerary could so lethal?), I've managed to kill his Wii. It starts up, begins to play the Wii music, then boom. Dead. It just stops working. He's been on the phone with Nintendo customer support, and they've never seen this before, so he's now had to send it back the very same day he bought a brand new controller so we could play 3 player Mario Carts.


So to help stop him from topping himself, we took him out last night to get a bit pissed. And in loving memory of the games console that everyone wants, but no one can get, I'm missing out on the Friday Moment of Zen, because for him, there can no longer be zen like state of being.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Embarrassing Kareoke Flashbacks

I've just had the most embarrasing flashback of me standing in my living room, mic in hand, singing my guts out to Belinda Carlise's "Heaven is a place on earth":

"OOOH baby do you know what that's worth?
OOOH heaven is a place on earth
They say in heaven, love comes first
OOOH heaven is a place on earth
You make heaven a place on earth...."

Oh dear.... I thought it was a bit wierd that I seemed to know all the words.....

So here I sit at my desk, blushing slightly, starting off quietly singing, though gradually getting louder and louder, until people start throwing things at me to try and stop the music: "you know we're just beginning, to understand the miracle of living, I know I was scared before, but I'm not AFRAID ANYMORE!!! OOOH BABY DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT'S WORTH? OOOH HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH!"

I know no shame.