Mo In London

Travel Blog - COMING SOON!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Welcome to the Jungle

I am so tired it's not even funny, but it was worth it!
Last night we went to see Guns N' Roses perform. What an amazing show.

But first, we had a long tube ride there. I took a sneaky (that's Murray's shoulder on the left) picture of this guy on the tube wearing a headband with tiger ears on it - very strange! (but funny!)

The opening act was a whole different story. They were called Bullet for my Valentine (lovely name ha)? It seriously sounded like they played the same song 6 times in a row while head banging - I will not be buying their cd.

And their stage wasn't great - very low budget

The Gunners didn't even get started until 10:30 pm, but from the first note out of Axl Rose's mouth it was like no rock show I have ever seen. The entire crowd was singing aloud, so loudly that at first it was hard to hear Axl's voice. But then he worked his way up to those high notes while running up and down the stage - that's when we knew we were at a Gunners concert. He had 3 guitarists, and a base guitar player, 2 keyboardists and a drummer - quite a crowd! There were huge flames that came out of the stage (so hot we could even feel them way up in our balcony seats), explosions, fireworks, unbelievable. Axel was on top form - he belted them out like the good old days & played many of the classics - from Welcome to the Jungle to November Rain (which he accompanied on the grand piano). I'm not a huge fan - but I was really impressed.

My not so great picture of the stage - shows how we weren't that terribly far away though as this was taken with my camera phone.

The one funny thing was that every time there was a musical interlude he would run off stage and only come back when it was time for him to sing. We thought it was a bit strange. Then, for the last few songs, he disappeared completed. He was replaced by Sebastian Bach - lead singer of Skid Row. We were saying afterwards that we need to find out what conditioner Sebass uses - ha - his long flowing 80's hair band locks were all over the place! He can sing, but no one can sing an Axel Rose song like Axl Rose. Mr. Bach closed with Paradise City - but he just couldn't quite hit those high notes.

I found this on - a picture of Axl & Sebastian.

(I swear Sebastian's hair was about 6 inches longer than in this photo though!)

Sebastian did a good job finishing off the show though - helped along with massive amounts of confetti sprayed onto the sweaty mosh pit, flames, fireworks, and of COURSE half a dozen midgets waving American flags. Hmmm

The show finished off just after midnight, but it was suppose to go until 10 to one. I suppose that was because Axl was feeling sick. But it didn't matter, it was still a fantastic night. G N R's manager came onstage when the show finished to let us know that the performance almost didn't happen. Axl was really sick that morning, but said there was no way he wouldn't perform that night (it was the last night of their European tour). That's why there was no encore and why he didn't join Sebastian to finish off the show. It didn't matter though - the grass was green and the girls were pretty - he took took us home! Thank you Axl - even though you weren't feeling well you put on an absolutely amazing rock show!!!

Why oh why though did the people who run the tube station near Wembley decide they should close down the station for the night at quarter to 11? Thanks guys. So, after the concert 10,000 people were wandering the streets trying to find a way home. Thankfully we had one genius in our group who booked a cab ahead of time, so we were able to laugh at those tons & tons of people waiting for the night bus.

Other than seeing a rock God, we had a nice weekend. Saturday we picnicked with friends which was really nice.

Abby & Eva stopped by on Sunday as well .

Abby curled up in Murray's lap for a rest from running in circles around our living room

(she had a HUGE temper tantrum when she had to be ripped from Murray's lap because it was time to leave - ahhhhh sweet:)

Oh - and I almost forgot! (warning - shamesless promotion!) PLEASE CLICK HERE and click on 'Jani Bialke & Joni Hogie.' It pops up an address for you to email, with their names as the text (just click Send). 51% of the decision is made by the radio station, so most likely these internet votes will help tip the scale if it's a close competition. GOOD LUCK Joni & Jani I really really really hope you win!

Friday, July 28, 2006

A very tired Friday

Last night I had an eventful journey home.

First, the bus I was on from our work site to the tube was speeding down the road, as usual, and suddenly veered sharply to the left. I was just about knocked off my seat! Everyone on the bus was looking up at the driver wondering what had happened. It was pouring with rain, so I thought maybe the wheels had slipped, but I heard a guy giving the driver grief as he got off for 'waving at his friend.' Hmmmm not smart Mr. Bus Driver!

Then, I got onto a VERY crowded train, which is unusual as it's near the start of the line where I get on. We stood in the carriage for a few minutes before they announced that the whole line was suspended due to a bridge being down further up the line. So, hundreds of people, including myself, had to go back up to street level to find another way home. I ended up on a very very slow moving bus to the overland station. Actually, it didn't take as long as I thought it would - only 2 hours to get home - I thought it would be much more. My normal journey is an hour and a half, so that wasn't too bad. I read in the paper this morning that what happened was that 400 tons of debris was washed onto the tracks because of the heavy rain fall and they had to evacuate 600 people from trains. If I hadn't worked late yesterday that may have been me! No one was hurt, but I bet they were all REALLY annoyed!

And it’s Friday - thank goodness - I hope it's a nice weekend weather wise!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Very Random

This is very random - but I just thought it was SO SO funny

Make your baby earn their keep

The Food that kept their Upper Lip Stiff!

I read this yesterday & thought it was pretty funny!

So what makes the British so tough back in the old days? What made them
scoff in the face of the certain death at the hands of the Hun? - humbly
declaring - "One simply does, what one must do, for one's King and Country, Tally Ho lads."

The secret to their eccentric bravery was actually their previous
experiences of traditional British food, which made any man feel that they
could conquer anything after surviving a childhood of British foods.

Some examples -
Bath Chaps - Pigs Cheeks smoked and coated in breadcrumbs
Jugged Hare - Hare Blood and mixed with Port
Brawn - Jellied Pig's Head (Steam head for days until all material slips off
skull - collect, add fat jelly and cool to serve)
and let's not forget -
Calf Foot Jelly
Spotted Dick

Anyhow, on another note - a picture of the sun setting last night - Murray ran to grab his camera when he saw how gorgeous the sunset was. Thankfully he did, as in another 5 minutes it was gone!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Happy Graduation to Us

Happy Graduation to Us
Happy graduating to Ussssssssss
Happy Graduation to Us

Our pictures finally arrived - actually I must admit I completely forgot we ordered them!
Finally - proof that we did actually graduate!

The dentist wasn't too bad. He's actually a really good dentist (Australian, of course). It only took an hour and wasn't too painful. Actually I wasn't as swollen as I thought I'd be from the novicane, so no drooling on the tube thank goodness! He did use some sort of file drill thing though that I don't think I've ever had before that made me feel like my brain was vibrating. I'm sore today though - had to take ibuprofen to get to sleep last night because it was aching, and took 2 this morning to keep the pain away.

I hear Joni and Jani's Radio Debut went really well last night. I desperately wanted to stay up and listen - but that would have been until 2am, and I really can't work on less than at least 7 hours sleep. Bummer. But if you click on the link you can listen to a small excerpt of their 2 hour show. Looking forward to voting like CRAZY on Friday - the decision of who wins is determined by 51% the radio station and 49% by internet voting (AND you're not limited to how many times you can vote)!


As of last night we have a new flat mate - Kirsty. Nice to have another girl around the flat now:)

Now - I must go and either beg the people who sit by me to turn on the air conditioner or steal their fan and point it at me. It's going to be a hot day!

Go Jani - Go Joni - Undiscovered Divas!!!

Wishing luck across the miles to my very funny twin aunts Joni & Jani.
They entered a local radio station to find Undiscovered Divas to host their own radio talk show.
They are 1 of the 10 pairs of finalists, each of whom gets there own 2 hour slot to show prove live on air why they should have their own show.
Tonight is their slot - they are on at 11:45 pm London time, so I won't be able to listen (too late for me)! But you can also listen later by clicking on 'listen now' on the site - which I will do tomorrow. But if you're in the states - it's 107.1 FM - at 5:45 central standard time.

This is what they say their show is about:

'Attempting to achieve world peace
with love and laughter
through the radio waves......
Joni and Jani
(the other Minnesota Twins!)'

GOOD LUCK YOU TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday is the voting day - I'll post the link to remind everyone to vote!!!

(as Jani said) "Now, we expect everyone to be fair and square and listen to the other contestants, decide whom you like best, and then vote for us!"

As for me, I worked late last night and got in early today so I am exhausted!

Looking forward to leaving early today though - even though it is because I have to the dentist to have two fillings replaced:( I hope I don't drool on the tube on the way home. Theywill have to numb both sides of my mouth because the there's one on either side that needs to be replaced. I can't wait!

Monday, July 24, 2006


Not a super exciting weekend, but I do feel nice and relaxed today.

Friday night we went to see 'Fool for Love' - a play starring Hollywood star Juliette Lewis.
The best part of the night was, because the theatre was so undersold, we got bumped up to floor seats - fantastic! The show itself was ok. It was nice to see something different, but the storyline wasn't great. Juliette was very good though - and it was cool to see her in person.

Over the weekend we went to the 'International British Car Show.' It actually was pretty good! Top sightings: 3 corvette's (we both LOVE LOVE LOVE vettes), the 'super car paddock' (the most expensive car in there was a £450,000 ferrari, and getting to sit in a convertible lotus (wow was that thing hard to get in & out of)!
Also, we did the 'Land Rover Experience' which involvedqueuingg for half an hour to ride in a land rover over a course they set up with a professional driver. It was pretty amazing how that vehicle could so easily climb a huge incline, drive on a sideways angle, over a steep edge, and compensate for only being on 2 wheels at a time over some huge speed bumps.

I read in the paper this morning that we have another heat wave coming our way this week - I think it's about time I invested in one of those little personal fans to fan myself on the tube! Eekkk

Oh - and CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS to our friends Cassie & Hamish on their recent engagement - we're so happy for you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Supercar Paddock (i.e. awesome cars roped off so we couldn't touch them)

The most expensive car we saw that day


Me in my lotus

I love jeep's!

The new corvette was HOT!

A cool concept car - the DJ car

Cool old restored Mercedes

Super cute mini - too bad the design was stickers & not painted on though

Cool concept car based on a jet (or so they say)

A display of all the parts from a racing car - one part per string!

Our dream land rover expedition

on the Land Rover experience

this one was scary!

It felt like we were going to tip when 2 of the wheels weren't touching anything!

It stopped part way up with no problem

Check out that air suspension!

(and check out me talking like I know what I'm talking about!)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Life is all about the simple things

A bunch of simple things that made me happy

1. Last night finally realizing that the gym has fantastic air conditioning, I actually enjoyed my workout because it was so cool and lovely in there.

2. Poking my head out the window to watch a great firework show last night - it was nearly 10 minutes long! I have no idea what it was for - but it was beautiful!

3. Seeing someone roller skate past me this morning while I was waiting for the bus - I did a double take - I haven't seen someone on roller skates in years! And I admit I did giggle a bit when she ran herself straight into a wall to stop before coming to a curb because she couldn't stop properly.

4. Laughing to myself as the bus driver pulled over to run in and get a paper & a bottle of water in a little convenience store this morning - I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to do that - but he was on time picking me so I don't mind!

5. Coming to work to find my friends have left me 2 little fudge bars on my desk and it's FRIDAY!

6. Random pictures from home that my Mom sent me:)

My youngest sister Mariah on her 18th birthday in April with our cousin Jenny

Mariah & my brother Marcus celebrating his graduation at the Minnesota Twin's baseball game last weekend.

When I go home we end up doing these Monique with ____ (everyone) pictures.
They are nice to have though:)

Dad & Mo

Aunt Joni & Mo

Grandma Sis & Mo

Two of my sisters - Mariah & Mandie & myself

Mo & Mom

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thank goodness it's almost the weekend!

Is it just me?
I just can't remember this happening EVER before - and now 4 times in past few months!
Always on the way home, never in the morning.

Last night on my way home I was reading my book on the tube (also known as the London oven - WOW it was hot!) and someone on my carriage was blasting music out of their mobile phone. Now, I'm not an overly sensitive person - people talking, headphones too loud, talking on your mobile - all normal tube stuff NOT to get stressed over. BUT, lately the 'cool' thing for teenagers to do is to play music out loud on their mobile in a crowded tube carriage.

I admit, I did like the song she was playing, but it was so disrespectful to the rest of us stuck in a small space with her. I reread the same sentence in my book a bunch of times and finally leaned forward to see if I could see who's mobile it was. I couldn't tell because it was crowded and they were too far down from me. So, I went back to my book, and the mobile continued blaring.

I looked up to see if this was bothering other people as well - the grimaces, shaking of heads, closing eyes & rubbing of temples, etc. confirmed that it was not just me - everyone was annoyed! I leaned forward a few more times over the next 4-5 stops to try to see who it was - the guy across from me looked at me and just rolled his eyes. I said to him 'isn't it just annoying?' and he agreed. Finally I could take no more - the British politeness is a very nice trait - but why can't people just stand up and politely say please stop!

SO I leaned forward and said 'Excuse me, who's mobile phone is that?'
Everyone turned and looked at me and no one said anything. A guy a few people down from me was texting and I asked if it was his, he said no, I said sorry. Then a girl across from the aisle from me discreetly started pointing at a girl across from her and mouthed the words 'it's her.'

So I looked at the girl and said 'Excuse me, can you please put your headphones on or turn that off, it's really disrespectful to the rest of us.' As usually when I politely ask someone this (yes, this is the 4th time) she stared at me with her mouth open before shutting it off.
It just confirms my suspicion that they KNOW this is annoying, and they do it simply because they can. They do it because they know no one will say anything. She went back to chatting with her friend and everyone was happy, especially me. No worries!

It just seems like common courtesy when travelling on crowded public transport that you don't carry a boom box & blast your music, and you shouldn't do that with your mobile phone either.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

WOW I forgot how stubborn a 2 year old can be!

Last night after work I babysat Abigail while her Mom & Dad went off to see the Chili Peppers.
When I arrived I went in to the kitchen to chat to Eva about what to feed her, how to get her off to bed, etc. while Abby ran in and out stark naked to show me toys!

I know I'm biased, but she is just SO SO cute! We played with her toys, watched some VERY strange kiddy tv (one about some odd looking bunnies and one about 3 friends - a little girl who's an explorer, a talking big and a yellow monster with orange spots) very odd! At one point a bunch of characters were on screen and she said 'eight' - I said back to her 'yes, ocho' (spanish for 8) and she said 'ocho' back to me. I was very impressed!

Eventually by 8pm I thought I'd try to start getting her to settle down for bed. So, we filled up her cup with milk and put on her nappy (diaper) for bed time and we went to lay down to read bed time books.

She really surprised me by how many words she knew! Eva had told me that she could say all her numbers to 10 in English and Spanish and lots of other words, but to actually hear her say them to me was amazing really. And when I wasn't paying enough attention she'd grab my arm and say 'Neek' (short for Monique I think:)

Anyhow, so after about half an hour of reading in bed, she had finished her milk and I THOUGHT she was settling down. Then she jumped out of bed and ran to the living room yelling 'wee wee, wee wee.' She has only just started using her little 'potty' in the last few weeks (so it's still all very exciting). She was very good, and I followed the routine by going to the bathroom with her afterwards, sorting it out, washing our hands, and then most exciting part of course - flushing! Ha ha, she's so cute. Afterwards she stood up on the closed toilet seat to wash her hands with some of that fun super sudsy hand wash. She held out both of her hands so I'd put some on each hand - then she proceeded to wipe the soap all over her arm and shoulder! HA - I wish I had had a camera. She also brushed her teeth (i.e. sucked the toothpaste off the brush, then shook her head around a bit), and rinsed her mouth out with water (i.e. holding her hands under the stream then spilling it all before getting a few drops to her mouth).

By this time though she was really over tired, so of course did NOT want to go to bed. To make a long story short, it took me until nearly 10pm to get her to sleep. I tried everything! Reason (I know, trying this with a 2 year old is just useless), offer of book reading (Abby's response - no), offer of putting her 'babies' and bears to bed (no), picking her up and carrying her into bed (no - screaming), more milk (no), cookie (no) - well yes - then no to the offer of eating it in bed, etc etc.

Eventually I just had to give up. I just didn't want her to be up until they got home though, she was SO over tired as it was. By 10 she finally said yes to me when I asked if she wanted to go to bed. By this time she had her dressy shoes on (not sure why - but she wanted them on so I didn't argue), and she refused to put her nappy on (she still needs it for the evenings). So, we read for about 15 minutes (until I thought my arm was going to fall off - holding a book in one hand is HEAVY! She likes to hold onto your thumb when she's sleepy so can rub it - she's done this since she was little for comfort - but that only leaves one hand for book holding and page turning!) Then she was sleeping!!!!! I thought. I tried to sneak her nappy on and she opened her eyes - looked straight at me and said 'no, no, no!'
Read a bit more (I couldn't see the book by then cause it was so dark so I just made it up - quite amused myself actually), tried to sneak it onto her again - no no no.
So I gave up.
I'd rather she was sleeping then fight her all night to get her nappy on.

Then I finally ate the nice dinner Eva made for me at 10pm and relaxed **SIGH**

When they got home we peeked in on Abby and she had moved across the bed laying sprawled sideways, with her shoes on, stark naked laying on her tummy - we were all laughing - SO cute!

Today - I am exhausted! I love watching Abby, but wow it's SO much easier to have her during the day, then give her back to Mom when she gets tired. Eva - I salute you!

oh - and a random side note

I was happy to read that commuters on public transport yesterday were travelling in higher temps than those in which cattle are transported. Buses reached 52c and the tube reached 47c. EU guidelines say cattle shouldn't be transferred in temps above 27 - hmmmm
Gosh I can't WAIT to travel home today as we are expected to hit 36c (97f) today - the hottest July temperature in the UK on record!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I'm in a great mood today - lots of good things happening.

My little brother Marcus just graduated from University - Congrats Marcus!

I got a text message this morning from my good friend Jen in Australia telling me that she just went for her 20 week scan and found out that she's having a baby girl!!!! How exciting!

And even though the bus was 5 minutes early today, I ran down the street wildly waving my arms for him to stop and he did:) So I made it to work on time!

The sun was so lovely this morning that I decided to take a few flat photos as well:)

The living room

The other end of the living room

The kitchen

Monday, July 17, 2006

Can't stop addicted to the shin dig

The world I love, The tears I drop, To be part of, The wave can't stop Ever wonder if it's all for you?

Not my photo (obviously) - but I like it - they look so relaxed!

Bad pictures I know! But they ARE from my camera phone!

I just had to post these because it was SUCH a cool stage!!!

Ahhhh I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We went to see them perform on Saturday night and they were FANTASTIC! There we thousands and thousands of people there, the most people I have ever seen in a stadium! The standing area was gigantic, just a sea of heads, I'm so glad we had seats. They were on top form - playing a bit of new stuff, a bunch of their top hits and even a few old songs. The amount of energy those guys have is amazing! We were talking on the way home about how we just love how they combine rap, punk & rock. It felt like one of those once in a lifetime concerts, and I'm really glad that I have seen them live on stage once.

Otherwise, it was a nice weekend of BBQs & tennis. Saturday we BBQed and played tennis with friends. Sunday we went to our friend Debs' house for a BBQ in her garden which was lovely.

And I hate the bus again. This morning I waited for quite a while at the stop and figured I had missed it by a few minutes. So, I started walking to the other stop which is further away, and wouldn't you know - the bus that I had been waiting for flew by me. That did NOT put me in a good mood for this absolutely gorgeous day while I am stuck in the office. Ok - I promise to stop complaining about the bus - from now on I'm riding to work in my my chauffeured limousine instead!

Abby practising her tennis skills
Rolling the ball around on the racket was about all the progress we made

She looks SO grown up (and so tiny without her nappy!) (i.e. diaper)
They next Wimbledon champion
cool strings

Yummm ice cream break

Eva, Lisa & Abby

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