Tuesday, 25 December 2007
A couple of Bruges shots to convince you to bother checking out flickr.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Somewhat typically, the battery in my camera ran out right after we got out of the jeep to walk across the park, and as the spare was in the car, I couldn't take any photos. I have added these couple from Alisha onto the flickr site but since there are only 2, and they're almost my favourites of the whole trip (although The Boyfriend and the bicycle is up there), I have posted them below.
We're slogging through the last couple of weeks of work before Christmas. Bruges in 9 days.
Saturday, 1 December 2007
At this time of year it's all Christmas lights in Oxford Street. D-grade celebrities like X Factor contestants and S Club 7 usually turn them on during November. I was on a mission for pillows the other night so here are some shots of the street.
These are some of the more pretentious Christmas windows along the Bond Street end - Selfridges:
(Still can't seem to hold that camera straight.)
And Debenhams' more family-friendly ones. All of the bears were on strings and moving; tangling themselves in ribbons and decorations or stuck in the Christmas tree ... actually pretty cute.
Saturday, 17 November 2007
I have too many Iceland photos I wanted to post, so I have put them all on flickr.com at this link.
If that link doesn't work, you might need to join flickr.com to check them out but please send me an email or make a comment below if that is the case, and I can send you my login details if you like.
Monday, 12 November 2007
Sunday, 4 November 2007
This is at Richmond, which is a short-ish tube ride from our flat. It's full of very grand houses and posh shops. The Thames also flows through here, in a far more picturesque fashion than in it does in Central London. There are little boats huddling under bridges, and weeping willows and crumbling mansions on the banks.
We actually went there in search of warm clothes for our Iceland trip this weekend as braving the crowds on Oxford Street or Kensington High Street is not a happy weekend excursion.
I took these from a tiny little restaurant perched halfway up a park hillside. The Boyfriend had an awesomely delicious wild mushroom tart (which we'd seen for sale earlier in a farmer's market in town) which I kindly helped him eat. I didn't order anything myself as he keeps cooking bacon and eggs for breakfast on the weekends, removing the need for proper lunches.
You can just see the Thames through the trees here.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
The Boyfriend, looking a little jetlagged. Or like he's planning an armed robbery before lunch.
The Prince Albert Memorial and the Albert Hall. We couldn't help but comment about how we felt Queen Victoria went a little over the top.
It was slightly more pleasant than Monday morning this last week, when the train I was on stopped at Notting Hill Gate, and the driver announced in a friendly yet neutral tone that he didn't know when we'd have clearance to move again. Signal failure or something. After waiting 10 minutes I got out and walked to work. It took an hour and 20 minutes, including about half an hour walking the length of Hyde Park into the city. Enjoyable at first but after about 40 minutes, with a whole day of work ahead, I was cursing the London Underground.
Friday, 26 October 2007
Monday, 8 October 2007
I heard a security guard say they were filming a movie to be released next year. He said the title but it's completely slipped my mind... something with the word 'Harvest' in it?
Sunday, 7 October 2007
Anyhoo, my trip was to Paris to meet some ex-Australian Voices friends. Kent and Kelly have been travelling through Mongolia (on horse-back for 2 weeks!) and then through Russia. They met up with Kelly's sister Sarah, and we all met in Paris along with Anika who now lives in Cologne (Germany) with her boyfriend Florian, Andy who lives near Bath (England), Clare who lives near Glencoe (Scotland) with her boyfriend Jamie, and Brodie who is living in Besancon (France).
Kent, Sarah, Brodie, Kelly and I hit Sacre Coeur early(ish) on Saturday morning as our hostel was only a few hundred metres away. Absolutely gorgeous day. It's weird the way London is so close to Paris, and Paris' weather looks like this, while London manages to be overcast 90% of the time.
Then we caught the Metro down into the Centre of town. Unfortunately, and unusually for me, I was not the wielder of the guidebook, so now I can't remember the name of this building. Quite embarrassing because it's the scene of the major events of the French Revolution.
We wandered onto the Ile de Cite to Notre Dame. I was tempted to make a hunchback joke but luckily I curbed that impulse in time.
After some amazing ice-cream (for the others) and a croissant (for me), we found ourselves in the Jardins des Tuileries where we took some sun. Unfortunately you are not allowed to sit on the grass in this park (or many of the other Paris parks, it seems) so some of us squeezed onto a bench, and the rest onto the autumn leaf-covered gravel. I think we're still searching in vain for grass without a 'Pelouse Interdite' sign.
We had dinner at a Greek/French restaurant not far from where some of my family and I stayed in 1995. The restaurant was very touristy and the food was not fantastic but with the 12 of us, we were not likely to get a table anywhere else.
In any case, it was the night of the France/Argentina Rugby World Cup game so every restaurant had a big screen TV and hordes of excited Frenchmen. They actually shushed everyone when the game started. Luckily France won, or the jubilation in the streets after the game could have become something much uglier. There were people absolutely everywhere dancing and drinking and celebrating the win. I am utterly sick of rugby after all the attention it gets in England, but it was an experience to be on the streets of Paris and see the excitement. We walked down the Seine in the moonlight, and there were car horns going non-stop and people hanging (very dangerously) out of cars brandishing French flags. The guy in the middle below was a random excited French guy who wanted to be in our photo.
The next day I just had time for a Metro trip to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris' most famous cemetery. Hundreds of famous people are buried here, including Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, and Oscar Wilde. My camera's battery died shortly before reaching any of these graves but here are some shots in the cemetery.
I was exhausted on Sunday night - our hostel room was right on the courtyard and consequently we all spent a few early morning hours listening to inane backpacker conversation - but I am still amazed about being able to just pop over to Paris for the weekend.
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
The streets branch off and double back and loop and are not sufficiently signed and even if they are there is a much wider range of things that may be a street name than one is used to. They have roads, streets, lanes, courts, crescents, squares, rows, drives, ways, closes, places and terraces which together are about the extent of what you might expect a road to be called in Australia. Here there is also [ ] Villas, [ ] Gardens, [ ] Hill, [ ] Fields, (despite having no common features with a villa, garden, hill or field), [ ] Mews, [ ] Viaduct, or something not even resembling a street name at all like "West Smithfield". So until you become familiar with the street sign layout in the particular borough it's very, very easy to get lost.
As an added level of trickiness most people look at you like a) you do not exist or b) they want you and everyone else to die a painful, slow death so unless you're really desperate, asking for directions is not very appealing.
So, in summary, if I'm not back in 24 hours, send help. And thank goodness for Google Maps.
Saturday, 29 September 2007
This is St Paul's from just near my work.
If you then walk around St Paul's and towards the Thames, you come to the Millennium Bridge (which the British Government built for the 2000 celebrations and then took a lot of flak for as the the bridge was architecturally flawed and wobbled). From the bridge you look one way and see the Tate Modern, and the other way, back north to St Paul's.
Here's a better view of the bridge itself.
The galleries and museums are all open till 10pm. I wasn't allowed to take photos in the Tate, but they have some really interesting and sometimes controversial art (being a modern art gallery). A lot of things that you think a 6-year-old could create, but also some really amazing things, and some famous works from people like Andy Warhol, Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Joan Miro. I particularly liked the photos by an artist called Francesca Woodman - a bit depressing, especially because she killed herself at 22 - but very original. So anyway, I took a photo of an installation outside just to get one art photo, and also one of me because I know how dull photos with no people can get. I also took a shot of the escalators because they were kind of beautiful all on their own.
And finally a night shot of St Paul's on the way home to the Tube.