Monday, July 30, 2007

24 hours in Ireland

After leaving home early and rushing to get to the airport to make my 2pm flight only to realise my flight doesn't leave until 4pm and standing in the Easy Jet queue for an hour and then realising I'm actually flying with Ryan Air, I finally made it to Ireland.

Typical Simone dramas and I'm sure you're all laughing at me right now (and those of you who saw me off at Tullamarine airport would be laughing even harder, I'm sure - but I handled this situation in Maddie style this time -calm, cool and collected!)

So, I found my way rather easily to the hostel and it's actually a really nice hostel. Nice beds, awesome showers, lots of hot water - no complaints at all. I met these two random people in my hostel room when I arrived who were heading out when I got into the room and they invited me out with them. So, I agreed, not realising they were planning on taking a taxi (think: money!!!) Anyways I'd already said yes, so off I go with them in this cab to this really upmarket bar (think: expensive!!!). I offered to buy ONE of the guys a drink because he footed the cab bill but the other girl expected a drink too. So, I got stuck buying the first round - and for three drinks it cost me £14! They ended up shouting the next rounds but man there is no way I'd have spent £14 on drinks for me that entire night and my share of the taxi wouldn't have been that much so I was frustrated because I consider that to be such a waste of money. In 24 hours I have managed to spend a total of 80 Euros. I'm hoping that my spending eases up once I am on tour, which I guess it will because all I'll need to buy is food and souvineers (Jade said alcohol but I'd rather drink cocktails in Greece than beer in Ireland).

Random note but Ireland has no talent at all in the men department. They're all bloody ugly and in the club that I went to last night (read: another 10 Euro entry fee!!!) they were disgustingly drunk and kept stepping on my toes and spilling drinks all over my nice, clean clothes. Not impressed.

Aside from Ireland being the most expensive place I've been to thus far, I am enjoying it alot. Today I went on a hop on-hop off bus which took me around to all of the sights - I snapped a fair few photos and went into Kilmainham Gaol which was a bit creepy.

Sorry to those of you who I haven't emailed in ages, I have been slack and there is no excuse for that! I do miss all of you and I do think of you but am just not good on the whole email thing.

P.S Do you really think I can be Maddie still or is that just wrong??

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Vegemite Tales

Since I've only heard great things about The Vegemite Tales, I've wanted to see it for ages. So, when Kirra told me she could get cheap tickets, I was definitely in!

It was an awesome show which definitely touched a chord with all of us antipodeans who are living in London. One of the characters stated that 'living in London is like putting real life on hold for a while' and that particularly runs true with me. It does feel like your life is in a massive limbo while you are in London. Another thing that stuck out was when one of the characters mentioned that in London there are no responsibilities except for making sure rent is paid on time. So true. Life is easy in London but at the same time, the show also pointed out that at times 'real life' does show its ugly face, bringing us back down to reality and making us realise that at some point we are going to have to return home and face reality.

But, for now it is fun enjoying the atmosphere which is London and hopefully I will start experiencing more fun now that I'm moving into my large share house.

And for those of you who are thinking about seeing The Vegemite Tales, I definitely recommend it for a good laugh. It truly does represent what Aussies are like living in London and there is a character that everyone can relate to in some way or another.

On a random note - why have I sprouted out in pimples just as I'm going to go on my tour of Ireland! Eeek!

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Travels

I spoke to Kelly this morning and the lovely lady that she is told me that RyanAir are doing awesomely cheap flights for £0.01! So, she had booked a trip to Stockholm and I decided to join her even though I am meant to be working that week - who cares, cheap flights are great and I am here to travel so I think work will survive without me for that week! I kept looking at more flights and decide that I also want to go to Brussles - so I'm off to Brussles as well!

All up, these two flights cost me £30 return! This is what living in London is all about. Mind you, I'm not sure there will be enough money on my credit card to pay for all of this but I have since discovered the whole philosophy of 'book now, think later' works extremely well.

We also booked our flights to Paris for New Years so now all we need to do with that is wait for Kirra to book her flights and then we need to find some accommodation. How cool is it that I'll be spending New Years in PARIS!

So, it's all exciting for me at the moment. I am thrilled at the prospect of seeing even more countries, especially as it was so unplanned! So, lots of blogging will be done to tell the tales of those adventures! It seems like I spent the first 6 months working my way up to being able to travel. Now I feel more in control of my finances and I think that things are working themselves out beautifully. This has helped me to stress less because now I am learning that no matter what things were like before, they always turn around and work out in ways I wouldn't have expected.

So to sum it all up my travel plans are as follows:
  1. Ireland
  2. Greek Islands
  3. Scotland (hopefully)
  4. Stockholm
  5. Brussles
  6. Seattle (for Christmas)
  7. Paris (for NEW YEARS!)

Wow, that is a pretty amazing effort.

The British Truely Believe a Cup of Tea Fixes Everything!

The title statement is true! Whenever I am feeling upset, stressed, unhappy or the like, Laura (my British house mate) always offers me a cup of tea because "it is good for you and will make you feel better". Even at work everyone keeps offering me cups of tea, "Simone would you like a cup of tea" and when I refuse, people stare at me as though I'm an alien from outer-space. Those of you who know me well, know that I absolutely detest drinking tea of any kind. Seriously, it's not that great! But the British firmly believe that tea fixes any problem, big or small.

Some examples of tea coming to the rescue...

Girl on tube: My boyfriend just broke up with me *sobs*
Friend's response: Oh dear. Have a cup of tea and you'll feel much better.

Male driver: I just ran over a cat!
Male friend response: Sod it, let's go get a cup of tea.

Old lady: Boy it is cold today
Granddaughter: Let's have a cup of tea to warm us up then, shall we?

Ok so I haven't exactly heard those conversations but seriously, the British will use any excuse to have a cup of tea. I am never going to jump on board the tea drinking bandwagon. I would rather be an alien from outer-space than drink that sweet smelling but vile tasting liquid. But, each to their own and bless the British and their tea.

I have to admit though, I can understand the British wanting a warm drink these days because it has been raining so much lately. Jade summed things up nicely. She said that we always wake up to a false sense of security. First thing in the morning it appears to be a nice day, the sun may even be shining... but we all know that, without fail, at 3pm the weather is going to take a turn for the worse and will pelt down with rain. My usual outfit these days is jeans and a singlet because it is semi-warm in the mornings and then I always make sure my umbrella is packed in my bag for that afternoon rain.

Anyway, today I met Kelly at Baker Street Station for a nice, hot Starbucks coffee because by this stage the weather had gone downhill. After I said goodbye to Kelly I jumped back on the tube and headed to Bayswater where I watched the latest 'must-see' movie of the year.

The Simpsons Movie!

I have to say that it was a great movie with lots of funny scenes. I wouldn't say that it was the best movie of all time but it is The Simpsons on the big screen. Basically, Homer screws up and turns Springfield into a toxic dump site. The people of Springfield aren't happy and chase Homer and family out and they move to Alaska only to find that the government wants to try and abolish their beloved Springfield - so they have to try and save the day. It made me laugh and there are plenty of classic jokes that you would only find in The Simpsons. Well worth watching.

I have found that my confidence in using public transport in London has grown considerably since arriving 6 months ago. Never before would I have considered catching a bus home. Normally I take the tube but lately I have become more reliant on the bus system and I have found that buses, despite having to wait longer for them than the tube, are quite convenient to use. There are heaps of buses that take you to heaps of different places. I think that the reason it took me so long to become confident catching buses is because I am now more familiar with London geography - I generally know which way I'm meant to be going and I've pretty much sorted out which buses go where in my area. Moving to Chiswick will be fun because I'm going to have to sort out the bus situation again. I'm sure it will be a lot easier now that I've worked out the system.

Lots of blogging has been done by me lately! Leave comments so I know if anyone is still even reading my blog. I don't care if no one does read it cos this blog is also for me to remember things but it's still nice to know that people read it!


Thursday, July 26, 2007


I am a big believer in procrastination! This is why I am sitting in front of my laptop blogging rather than doing the millions of other tasks that I should be doing!

I really don't have millions of tasks to do but I do need to pack for Ireland before shipping all my stuff off to my new house. This has proved to be a massive pain in my arse because I have managed to accumulate so much crap in 6 months that it takes 2 HUGE suitcases and several small bags to transfer what used to be just one HUGE suitcase and one small carry on sized bag. Even though I praise myself on not being a hoarder I just can't seem to get rid of anything that I've bought thus far. Most of it is useful or will be at some point (esp those jeans that WILL fit me when I start my diet - I promise!)

Kelly actually laughed at me the other day because I wrote this comment on her Facebook page..

my room is looking incredibly bare and i am shoving things into my suitcase - loads of fun cos i'm trying to work out what can be shuffled into hiding while i go to Ireland! Either way I still have a shitload of stuff - where do I get it from?! I went shopping today and bought some jumpers for Ireland and tomorrow I think I will buy a bag to take on board the plane for random stuff like - hair dryers, lol.

She then went on to respond with this message and I had to laugh.. It just goes to show what a shoppoholic I am!

I think it's funny that you wrote 'I don't know where I get this stuff from.' immediately followed by 'I went shopping today.' You're hilarious! I hope you're getting excited about your trip and packing up isn't being too evil!

Cos it is so true - I seem to always come home with something or another - mainly food so that gets eaten so I don't understand how I end up with so much stuff. Although I sometimes *ahem* buy unnecessary stuff.. here is a list of several things which I probably could have gotten away with not buying but at the time I just had to have...
  1. a handheld fan (it is hot on the tube but I've never actually used this, even at home!)
  2. green contacts (because I thought it would be fun to change my eye colour but I can't even put them in)
  3. deodorant when I don't even need any at the moment (but it was on sale!! And I will use it - eventually!)
  4. photo frames (I really could just blu-tack the photos onto my wall)
There are probably countless more things which were not needed but I can't seem to help it! I will make more of an effort to not buy so much but now that I'm paying less rent I can afford to shop more! Oh dear!

I have just gotten back from coffee with Kirra (hmm maybe I should add that to my list of unnecessary purchases) and we were discussing our Friday night plans! Turns out that Kirra can get cheap tickets to The Vegemite Tales from work so we are going to see that. Blair from Big Brother / Neighbors is in it and it is all about Antipodeans living in London so it should be good. We should relate well to it. I am also going to be staying with Kirra while she dog sits in Richmond because I am trying to move out of this place and it'll be great to spend some time with Kirra before I go on my travels. It's funny how much I miss my friends when I travel.

Oooh I just heard my taxi driver ring the doorbell to collect all my suitcases! More from me later!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Weather, Harry Potter and HOLIDAYS!!!

I woke up this morning expecting to see more rain - but - the sun is actually out! I couldn't quite believe it and I had to check a few times to make sure I wasn't dreaming, but yes - the sun is actually out. But the question still remains...

How long will the sun stay out for?

It is a question I grapple with each day because it makes choosing what to wear extremely difficult. I think I will wear what I wore yesterday, a white singlet top and jeans (and I will wear this for the next few days regardless of weather since I have no clothes cos they're all packed and ready for the move) but then it will probably turn really cold. Or, turn so hot that I wish I hadn't worn jeans. You just don't know with London!

On the weekend, I went to the TOAST festival. Basically, this hosts a collection of Aussie food and wine, even Aussie entertainment. I saw Kath and Kim and Ella and Jessie Hooper from Killing Heidi (and those of you who know me really well would know that I *loved* Killing Heidi when I was younger!) so it was a good day. I got a free ticket through my teaching agency SANZA but I went alone which kind of sucked cos it was the kind of day that would have been better had friends come along (they couldn't because tickets were sold out). Although I did meet up with Kristie at some point during the day and I spoke to some of the SANZA crew at the stand. I bought some Milo and some cheap Havianna's that even have an Aussie flag on them! Excellent. I got free lolly bags with chickos, strawberries and cream, snakes, minties, etc. You can't get them in London. Ok that is actually a lie - you can get these from London but a) not in supermarkets so Londoners don't know about them anyways, and b) they're bloody expensive (think £2.50 for a bag of lollies!)

Other random news is that I gave in and bought the latest installment of Harry Potter because the book was only £9 for hardcover which you have to admit is pretty good value. So that might be either an Ireland or Greece read.

Speaking of Ireland and Greece, I am so excited about both! I can't wait to blog when I get back. And when I'm back from Ireland, I move straight into my new place. I met more of my flat mates last night and they seem really nice. One seems like she could be a bit of trouble if I get on the wrong side of her but I'm hoping that she just takes some time to warm up to people. With 10 people there is always one I may not get along with the best but at least I'm not sharing with her!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Chiswick Girl

As you all know, I've been house hunting again because I haven't been happy in my current situation. Well, I've viewed several houses, several rooms. The most recent room I looked at, I would have been sharing with this over-hyped Aussie girl who seems that she would be bouncing off the walls constantly. Seemed like a fun house, maybe too much of a fun house so I decided even if they called me up saying I'd gotten the room I would have declined. I still haven't heard back from them anyway.

One of the other rooms I viewed was in a gorgeous house in Chiswick. I'd never been to Chiswick before but it is an amazing area. Loads of cafes, restaurants and shops on the High Street and trees everywhere (which in London is uncommon!) So I decided that regardless of whether or not I got this room I would love to move to Chiswick anyway. I wasn't holding my breath about the room though because I've been disappointed when I've wanted something before.

Turns out that they did decide they wanted me for the room though so that was a bit exciting! I am now going to be living in this awesome house in Chiswick! It will be a room share - meaning I am sharing the room with a Kiwi girl but hey - it's cheap and it's going to be a lot more fun than the houses I've been living in for the past 6 months. I never thought I'd be able to share a room but I don't think it will be a problem because I lived in a hostel for a month and I think I've become a little more laid back about things. Sharing a room will be fine - hopefully she doesn't snore! And I did wonder about farting but you know what, it will work out and if I turn out to hate it, I can always move!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

5 and a half months - Wow!

Ahh well it's Wednesday and while school doesn't officially end until Friday, there is little chance that I will be getting work for the next few days. Meaning, my summer holidays start from NOW! Except for the small fact that I've got to make my way down to the school where I might be teaching Year 6 on Friday's next year to meet the head teacher...

I'm once again in the process of trying to find a new house which is once again proving quite difficult. I did find a gorgeous house in a great location only to have the house mates choose someone else for the room. Always disappointing but I'll find something else. Only, I need to move out by the end of this week OR have found a room ready for me to move into once I am back from Ireland. It sounds complicated but it'll all work out - it always does. I'm also not looking for a single room anymore, I'm looking at sharing. It works out so much cheaper. I don't know if you remember me telling you this but I always swore I would never share a room while I was in London. I was adamant that I would always have my own room. It's funny how things change. I don't doubt that sharing a room could be hard at times but I want to live in a house which has alot of people in it so that I don't get so bored. I've got a few that I'm checking out tonight so I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Can you believe that I've been in London for 5 and a half months already? It has gone so fast and there are so many things that I still want to do! I've decided that next summer I'm going to Ibiza and Croatia and as my main summer holiday. I'm going to try and fit Scotland in this year, during the October school break but we'll see how my finances hold up! I've actually done a lot of traveling this year even though I've gone back to some places that I've already visited.

I will keep you posted about my house hunt and I can't wait to write all about my travels to Ireland and the Greek Islands!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Missing Madeleine


I'm sure most of you would have already heard all about missing Madeleine McCann. I'm not sure about the rest of the world but I know in the UK the publicity surrounding her disappearance is huge! There is so much controversy about why she should get so much attention when other children go missing every day but nothing is mentioned in the papers. A valid point I guess but at the same time, if her parents can afford to get Madeleine's face plastered all over the world then there would be a better chance of her being found. It is horrible that other children go missing and don't get this publicity but things aren't always fair.

Madeleine is promoting awareness for other children who are abducted too. So while other children may not get the publicity, the awareness amongst us now is that abductions do happen on a regular basis and that it is easy for it to happen. We need to remember that we can't think that these things just won't happen to us. We all think we're great parents (or would never let something like this happen to us) but hopefully this awareness makes us think twice about the decisions that we make.

I don't believe what this world is coming to though. Terrorism, abductions, murderers, etc. Why does all this stuff happen? Was it always like this when we were kids or were we just naive and oblivious to it all? It makes me really sad to know that the world we live in and the world we will be bringing up our children in is not the safe haven that I hoped it would be. You can only shield children from so much and after teaching such a wide range of children in British schools I have learnt that they are growing up so much quicker. Gone are the days of playing with dolls and living in innocence. Children know way more than they should at the ages of 5-9! And to think, this is our future generation. That is actually quite a scary thought because half of these kids are growing up without learning respect - thanks to the Australian government offering $3000 or something for each child born - does anyone else think that is a ridiculous idea?

Anyways, there are my random thoughts for today.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Shock Horror!

Oh my goodness - I am shocked!

I knew London was the worlds worst place to be when it came to weather but even today shocked me! I was at work when it started to rain - which I have to admit has happened quite a few times in the supposed British summer...

Anyway I was on my merry way heading home when I came out of the tube station and stopped dead in my tracks. Surely I had only been on the tube for an hour and it was still only 5pm... so I checked my watch to make sure that I didn't lose track of those extra 5 hours because outside it was dark, gray and overcast - a threatening storm looming!

So, I make my way to the local Sainsburys and spent 5 minutes browsing before I go to exit the store.. When I went to leave the rain had started and it was bucketing down so hard that there was no way I would be leaving the store without getting completely soaked within the first... hmm.. 2 seconds! It was shocking! To make matters worse - there was HAIL! Yes I kid you not - hail in London during their supposed SUMMER!

I couldn't believe it but you wouldn't guess what happened about half an hour after the storm - yep, the sun came out!

Bloody London!!