24 April 2005


yep, so it's been a little while guys... sorry (hahahaha... yeah, so SORRY that we've been out and about doing things that aren't work, being on holidays etc.)... thanks for emails and notes on blog. furryhat people ARE called beefeaters, hilariously... i have also seen a store/factory/warehouse near brent cross shopping centre which has a giant blow-up furryhat on the roof. i think this means that (a) they manufacture the furryhats there, and ship them off in cartons to the palace and to the tower of london or (b) there is a high demand for inflatable furryhats, due to some english fetish... however, given the size of the inflatable furryhat on the roof, i think that this fetish only occurs in GIANTS, of which i've seen none.

last week we went to greenwich, to stand on the prime median. given that this is such a geeky thing to do, i didn't expect to see so many people there. SO MANY. admittedly, this also included a few hundred groups of russian schoolkids (actually, i think they may have been german, or danish, or... not russian), nevertheless, who would have thought that longitude 0 would be so popular? The line itself is very linear, and is next to about 4 other lines which have been used through the centuries as the prime median. i think this one was only agreed upon a couple of hundred years ago... the museum is pretty cool, with lots of sextants and quadrants and other paraphernalia. big. shiny. things... the HIGHLIGHT of the trip, however, came after we'd done that stuff, and went for a wander around the grounds. walking down a semi-secluded path, we found ourselves surrounded by SQUIRRELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'd never seen squirrels before and OH MY GOD! they're SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they are TINY! and these ones were so friendly that thy ate out of our hands and climbed on my lap when i kneeled down! i thought they'd be ring-tail possum sized, but they're SO SMALL! about the size of a rat with a ginormous furry tail. there are a couple of photos on the photo site, so go and have a look!

that day also included a trip to london city (which was slightly disappointing to me on that day - much greyer and dirtier and generally uglier than i expected), where we met one of dan's uni friends who is now a cop. unfortunately he was not in a hatty uniform, but (how excitement) he HAS a hat, and he said he would GIVE IT TO ME!!! EEP!... we had a few pints in a couple of nice little places - bradley's spanish bar in soho (i think) is recommended. the downstairs part is about the size of a toilet, and has a great jukebox.

on friday, we went into the city again. we started at trafalgar square, which was SO MUCH NICER than picadilly circus etc. they have these HUGE lions at the base of nelson's column, which are probably not for climbing on. so we climbed on them. it was a nice sunny day (yep, your eyes have served you correctly) so that probably helped make the place more inviting. the national gallery is on the square, so we went there as well. wow. it's like walking into a book. so much art. so many famous pictures. i've discovered that an hour is my ideal art-watching time block, because after that i go a little stir-crazy... gorged on art (uccello, snail man, rembrandt, van eyck... lots of old stuff, because we didn't get past the rennaissance), then headed to the east end, to brick lane.

now, brick lane comes recommended in lonely planet as THE PLACE for bagels, and i'm glad we went in search of bagels, because it forced us to walk up the ENTIRE street to the bakery (because shoreditch station only runs in peak hours)... however, if you do want to go, arrive with a completely empty stomach, and then buy bits and pieces from the curry houses and cafes that catch your eye. this place is PACKED with bengali restaurants... i really liked it. it's the closest equivalent to brunswick/fitzroy that i've been to in london - vibrant, familiar, VERY dirty (london in general is a dirty city compared to melbourne)... the bagels weren't that great. LP recommends brick lane beigel bake... don't bother. go to the one next door, which claims to be the original and the best, and is... well, it's better and has more options. but still, not as good as glicks in st kilda east!!!

other interesting things i've noticed about london... no power lines. it's all underground. this is GREAT - unlike in, say, canberra where it's scary and sterile... also, they have weird toilets. they all have levers for a flush, they don't have half-flush, and they generally don't work very well... bees! heehee!!! so big and bumbly. almost as if they should be called bumble bees!... bins. very random to comment on these, but there are SO MANY TYPES OF BIN!!! the best looking bins i've ever seen live in east finchley, while central london just DOESN'T HAVE them - i think because people put bombs in them. very annoying, though, when you have some rubbish to put in one. no wonder there's so much litter on the streets.

now i have to go and book hostels in spain, which has been proving stressful and crappo. let's hope we actually have somewhere to sleep in barcelona! NMToD people, how are you all coping? has the band taken off yet? esther noo, say hi to kane with his fluffy dices, etc... we all knew that orbost was the underground queer hotspot of australia, didn't we?!? S-J, potter pals is great... but still not as good as the christmas special. how cute is ron at the end of it? esther j, i am a toaster. what are you? mum and dad, HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are getting your texts, but are trying to conserve credit just a bit. erin and julia, was the home hostel in barcelona worth the train ride? we will probably stay there, but we're just wondering. rachel b, i met dan't long lost 3rd cousin or something, who liked the yami/yugi badge i was wearing. we have been wearing them everywhere.

ok, guys, spak to you soon. GOING TO MANCHESTER TO VISIT ROSS!!! TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!! very excited, as i am missing all my friends! adios!


  1. lapping up a loose poached....5:17 pm, April 25, 2005

    hello travellers! it sounds like u are having oh-so much fun!

    school is back and I'm over it. SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER....SCHOOL'S OUT FOR EVER!

    Anyway...in regards to your question, I would say the Home hostel IS worth the train ride (www.likeathome.net)...it's very relaxing and calm and you feel safe - unlike a lot of the hostels we heard about in barcelona - and they have all the facilities you would want (kitchen, bathrooms are fine, outdoor area, tv etc etc - rooms can be a bit cramped though) and it's not SOOO expensive to catch a cab back there in the middle of the night when you've had too much sangria. The train ride is probably only 20 minutes but in european terms it's perceived as the equivalent of orbost ---> melbourne. And of course there are the hammocks on the roof which are perfect for your siestas. I would say it's worth it...but then again, if you're planning on 'partying' every night in barcelona central, it may not be ideal for ya...anyway...we liked it...they have beer in the vending maching....is that vague and non-committal enough for you?

  2. Ah-ha! Yes, tis I…Jonny Switchblade! (Don’t you be mockin’ Jonny Switchblade…even if you’re in different hemisphere!)

    Well, well…you kids have been busy little Britons haven’t you! Squirrels and sextants and weddings and Guinness and soldiers in silly uniforms = FUN. Were the sextants nice? Were they shiny? Did you want to fondle them? I’m horrendously jealous! Ah…I wish I was an early 19th century Lieutenant on a British Frigate…oh yes I do!

    I’m glad you guys are all badge-ed and that you’re exposing tender English people to “The Cleaver.”

    Rachel, I felt the same way about the National Gallery…I walked in and there was Van Gough’s “Sun Flowers.” I think I had to force my eyeballs back into my head. I couldn’t believe that all those famous paintings actually existed outside the realm of art history books!

    Bumblebees are amusing, aren’t they? They’re all fluffy and much more friendly looking than Aussie bees. I saw a great swam of them in a graveyard somewhere in Reading (I thoroughly recommend lurking in graveyards as a tourist activity).

    Tis’ Anzac Day today in the Antipodes! There’s been parading and 24/7 broadcasting from Gallipoli…but alas, not biscuits in the Bowen household, only some slightly suspect chocolate cake. Yesterday I ran the kid’s book club and we did concrete poems. This one Kiwi kid wrote an incredibly witty poem about the various assassination attempts made on Queen Victoria’s life and drew it in the shape of a bullet. COOOOOL! Meanwhile mine was about a duck…in the shape of a duck. I’m intellectually inferior to an 11-year-old New Zealander! Woe is me!

    We miss you! (Esther is suffering from Rachel & Dan withdrawal…I’ve noticed her twitching and muttering about fan-fiction…)

    Rachel AKA Jonny S. (I have a better coat than Seto Kaiba…)

  3. "take it all, bitch," said flich to dumbledore9:59 am, April 27, 2005

    Yo! What up??

    I am busy being front desk biatch at joy this morning. I just gave away a prize. Muy excitante!

    I had my final "Meat Wench 101" training and am qualified to begin the soul-destroying (sole-destroying?) work of chicken (raw & cooked) handling!

    Esther von otter, I am sorry I have not yet emailed you but my computer's screen has rooted itself and thus I'm not spending all my time on the internets. Oh NOES! Does sort of Pansy/Pansy interest you at all? Coz I found one. YOU WILL receive an email soon. I promise.

    So, yar, back to Rachel and Dan, those loveable scamps. Legs astride the meridian and all that? Sounds like nerd-a-licious fun!!! MMm, sextants.

    I am just rambling so I will leave you alone now.



    See ya.


  4. the spirit of jazz5:20 pm, April 27, 2005

    i'm gonna get inside you boy... crawl inside you like a warm kitten...

    hee hee hee. no. really. hello. johnny switchblade is a lying fiend, i HAVE NOT been twitching. muttering, maybe; but no twitching!

    my desk has a serious overhang happening, with all these books, papers, junk and miscellaneous other on it (alas, not miscellaneous otters!) landslide is a serious possibility. i'll keep you posted on any disasters, natural or otherwise in my bedroom.

    oh oh oh - the punk's name is cathy. by 'punk' i mean dan's hot-to-trot 21 year old sister. phwoaar. not that i've seen her since before. but hey, i thought i'd update you. plus young genna agrees that she is H-O-T.

    anyway, UPDATE MORE. see you round like a pumpkin, a potato, a pear, a round thing, a ball? something anyway.

    love, yami esther (like the spirit of jazz, also likes to crawl inside people! - makes me think yami bakura and the spirit of jazz should *get* *it* *on*! you know whatta mean?)