Mo In London

Travel Blog - COMING SOON!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Only Wednesday?

I'm so tired - I can't believe it's only Wednesday.... bring on FRIDAY!

Last night's Spanish class was excellent! Our teacher went through a ton of vocab and covered LOADS in just 2 hours. Now I have a LOT of studying to do, there sure is a lot to commit to memory!

I got home in time last night to catch the show 'The O.C'.' It was great. We're a few episodes into this last season, and I'm enjoying it. I can see why it's been cancelled though, since one of the main characters was killed off it sort of lost it's momentum.

I'm going to try to get to the gym again tonight, and listen to Spanish cd number 1 again! I figure I'll listen to one tape a week - which means in 10 weeks I should HOPEFULLY have made some progress. Between 10 weeks of courses, and 10 weeks of cds on my ipod at the gym I should!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


It's the little things that make you happy....

Three and a half weeks ago when I moved into this new office I brought in a mug from home because they only have plastic cups in this new kitchen (and they are TINY!)
That night I washed it, and set it on my desk. The next morning it was GONE! I figured the cleaners had probably picked it up and put it in the dishwasher. But I checked - it wasn't in the dishwasher, or in the cupboards - it was GONE! For the past few weeks I have looked in the dishwasher & cupboards every day and kept an eye out for it to no avail.

This morning while walking to my desk, I saw a guy walk past me towards the kitchen HOLDING MY MUG. I quickly followed him into the kitchen and said 'Excuse me, but where did you find that mug'?

He answered that he found it in the cupboard. I said that it was mine, and that it had gone missing off my desk 3 weeks ago. He informed me that the cleaners would have brought it into the kitchen to wash, he found it there so has been using it, and that I should have locked it in my desk.

Ok, yes fine, I understand that now (that I should lock my cup in my desk). But WHY did he take it then? It wasn't his.

So anyhow, I stood there as he finished washing it and took it back - YAY! (and then I went & washed it again before I used it - gross - I can't believe someone would just steal a cup that wasn't theres - the nerve!)

Also, last night at the gym I listened to the first of my learn Spanish cd's which was great! Although I did get some strange looks while I was repeating 'Quiero comer porque tengo hambre.' he he
(I want to eat because I am hungry).

Oh well - most people have headphones on & can't hear me anyway..... :)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Another lovely London Weekend.....

Had a lovely weekend. Saturday was great - Abby came over to play. Murray entertained her with sock puppets (it just NEVER gets old). We had some really cute videos of the sock puppets (she was covering them in blankets - also know as tissues so they could sleep), but you tube wouldn't let me upload them because they were too big:( She also had quite a vocabulary this weekend - we were impressed with not only how much she is talking now - but also how much she can say & understand!

Saturday evening we decided to head into central London to see what we could find to do last minute. We ended up at a comedy show which was fun. The lead comedian was really witty and spent most of his time picking on the audience, but it was funny. Afterwards we grabbed dinner at a unique little Moroccan place - which I had never noticed before - but it is right next to The Ivy (a restaurant where you always here about the stars eating at while they are in London).

Sunday we decided to check out a market we had never been to before - Spitafields Market near Liverpool Street. It was a unique mix of funky clothing stalls & food. Fun to look around! We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around, Murray taking photos, enjoying the mild day, and a bit of Oxford Street shopping.

My legs are aching today after all that walk (5+ hours!!!) but it was fun to do something new!

Friday, January 26, 2007



A short history about Australia Day (click above for more info)

On January 26, 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor.

The fledging colony soon began to celebrate the anniversary of this date. Manning Clarke notes that in 1808 the "anniversary of the foundation of the colony" was observed in the traditional manner with "drinking and merriment".

In 1946, the Commonwealth Government, States and Territories agreed to observe one national day 'Australia Day' under one banner and on the same day.

& a special wish to my sister-in-law Helen who is celebrating her first Australia Day as an Australian Citizen!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sólo Jueves?

Only Thursday?
I wish it was Friday!

Spanish on Tuesday night was good. There are only 6 of us in the class which is great! However from the start he ONLY spoke Spanish. After looking at us staring back at him with wide eyes & not much understanding he did a bit of translating. He said he is going to try to speak mostly in Spanish during the class & we are expected to do the same. It made the class SO interesting, and I feel like I learned a lot just from those 2 hours!!! Now if I bulk up on my vocab studying on the weekends I think I might actually be able to progress a bit towards knowing how to speak properly! Also at the end of the class he gave us each a cd and a packet of lyrics - a dozen Spanish songs. He said he likes to end each class with one song. We read through the lyrics of a song, then watched the music video on his laptop - great way to end the class!

Last night I hit the gym before Murray & I went to see Rocky. While I was running on the treadmill my ear suddenly hurt - I thought that was strange so took off my head phones until I was done sprinting. While walking I put my headhphones back in & it was fine. Next time I started to sprint my ear hurt again - I reached up to might right ear and the headphone shocked my hand - OUCH! Turns out it had been shocking my ears too! I guess it must be really dry in the gym & staticy!!! Ah well.

Bring on Friday!!!!!

AND..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my cousin Jolie :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Finally some pictures....

Abby & Me the weekend before last - heading out to the shops!

Abby eating like a big girl with her lap desk :)

And..... the CAKE!

Murray putting some strawberry jam on top of the bottom layer

and also some vanilla frosting... YUMM

And MORE frosting on the top too - of course!

Happy New Home decorations for Heather & Jason

The cake's VIP spot on the bus (in the luggage rack - worked well too!)

It snowed last night in LONDON! (Murray's bike covered in snow!)
This is the most snow I have seen in the South West EVER in my 5 years here!!!
Just gorgeous!
but COLD!!!!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hola Gordos!

The paper said this morning that today is officially the coldest day yet this winter - 2c (34f) in London. Burrrrr! It was COLD waiting for the bus! Now I know I'm from a very cold place, but then I never stood outside for 10 minutes at a bus stop in Minnesota EVER!

I took my hat off once I got on the bus (because I had a good blow dry day & didn't want to ruin my hair). However when I stood up to get OFF the bus I forgot to grab my hat. When I got on the tube I realized it was gone, must have fallen off my lap onto the floor. Bummer. Especially since I have to wait for a bus from Spanish home tonight too! Shoot.

BUT it was SO bright and sunny this morning - it put me in a GREAT mood!

And I get to leave work half an hour early today to resume my Spanish lessons!!!! This is level 2 'elementary' Spanish. I'm looking forward to it! This time I'm going to try to schedule study time into my week as well. The class is good for practicing speaking, but you really do have to study vocab on your own as well.

I asked some of my international friends who are learning another language and came up with the best way for me - that hopefully I can stick to!!! Will try it for a week or 2 & see how it goes. I'm going to get the Spanish cd's a guy at work gave me onto my ipod to listen to at the gym, I'm going to study flash cards every night right before bed for 10 minutes or so (to work on vocab) and I'm going to set aside a few hours Saturday morning to go to the gym then study.

All in all not ALL that much, but hopefully enough to help me progress a bit more. And realistic for me. I just can't fathom giving up my leisure reading time. For my morning commute I always read the paper, and on the way home I read a book - it's how I unwind from work.

Anyhow - wish me luck!

Hasta Mañana!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ahhhhh how could I forget?

American Idol premiered in the UK on Friday night.
Yes - I admit it - I watched all 4 hours - 2 hours of Minneapolis auditions, and 2 hours of Seattle auditions.

I was a bit embarrassed by most of the Minnesotan contestants - a bunch of VERY strange people (and a FEW good ones). Simon ended up calling it 'Minnehopeless.'


There was a guy from my HOME TOWN on the show though - which I thought was hilarious because I come from such a small town. (he wasn't any good either)

And I must say - WHAT was wrong with Paula Abdul???? She was fine during the Seattle auditions - but during the Minneapolis show she looked extremely out of it. She was on something that's for sure. She could barely speak and slurred when she did manage to say something. At one point it looked like she nearly slid off her chair. I don't know if it's the fame or what, but lately Paula seems to be having issues having issues. Thank goodness they had Jewel there to judge as well, since Paula was a mess!

I LOVE American Idol though -so glad it has started up again!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mexico Monday

Well today officially Winter has come to London. Last week when it was 15c (60f) I thought maybe the seasons had got confused - this IS January isn't it? However, today it's back to a chilly 4c (38f) - burrrrr!

I feel like what I mostly did this weekend was loads of laundry and cleaning. I had fallen behind because I worked last weekend and I swear I did a dozen loads of laundry (that's what happens when you have a tiny European washing machine)!

Saturday Abby was sick, so she stayed home with her Dad. Saturday night we went over to Heather & Jason's new place for a great dinner! Was nice to see their new place and to catch up on what they've been up to:)

Sunday Murray worked all day, I stayed home to do laundry and clean - fun fun!

I have a very busy schedule this week, so need to get started.
I honor of this chilly weather - here are some Mexico videos from Christmas that I uploaded to you tube last night:)

Grandma's Birthday - Christmas Eve 2006 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Dinner at an authentic Mexican Restaurant

Diving - I have the pink fins, dad has the bright blue fins & the close up is of Marcus (the moaning you can here is Murray - his ears were hurting)

Puffer Fish

More diving....

Murray Para sailing with great views of Puerto Vallarta

Crazy cab ride up the hills to a restaurant for dinner!

A rainy last night out at a hilltop restaurant - with a great view!


Friday, January 19, 2007

YAY almost the weekend!!!!

It's been a long week, work has been very very busy, and I'm tired.

Looking forward to a relaxing weekend catching up with friends, playing with Abby and cleaning our flat.

Yesterday there was record winds blowing around London & the UK - nearly knocked me over on my walk home. It was 15c (60f) during the day (WOW is this January???) but the wind made it feel CHILLY! The paper said it was the worst storm in the UK in 17 years!!!

Blackpool Pier yesterday

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I have moved.....


Well, almost. Turns out no one could solve the cold air conditioner pointing right on my desk problem. So I asked the guy who sits next to me (who also has another desk & is barely ever here) if we could switch desks. He said no problem!

So IT came by thing morning and moved my PC, and I switched all the stuff in our desk drawers. Then the IT guy took off, and when I tried to log in it didn't work! Turns out the network connection at that desk is faulty, so they need to get a longer cord for me to connect up. SO the IT guy came back, moved my PC back to my old desk, and I'm awaiting a new longer orange cord. YAY!

I just finished reading the 12th book in the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series. I LOVE her writing! I just fly through those books because they are so well written & with such interesting stories. My auntie got me into them, and I am now officially an Evanovich addict. I believe I have now borrowed every book that our borough library has by her, and I can't wait until number 13 comes out here! The Stephanie Plum series is the main series she write (#1 best sellers!) based on a character who is a hopeless bounty hunter, and her friends & family. However, she also has a number of romance novels and other comedy crime solving novels!

I also just finished reading We Need to Talk About Kevin. The first third of the book really got me down and I found it really hard to read and follow what was going on. However, I was told by a friend that it got better - so I continued on. And it did get better, very very interesting, shocking ending, with lots of unanswered questions in the end to think about. It's the story of a Mother - the whole book is her writing letters to her husband about their son Kevin who committed a school massacre. Not the most uplifting book, but very very interesting.

AND last night we saw Apocalypto. Oh. My. Gosh. It was incredibly engaging, amazing acting, fantastic costumes, an epic amazing movie. It's the story of love and courage in the Aztec time. I won't give too much away, but WOW. It's bloody, and all in subtitles, but you get so engrossed it feels real. People were throwing their hands up in the theatre yelling for the main character to keep running, people were groaning and at times yelling out loud, I was biting my nails. Go and see it!

Now, back to work - I still have a TON to do!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Counting Crows - Mr. Jones

And just because I LOVE this Song - the story behind Mr. Jones - from VH1 Storytellers.

Oh NO!

I can't believe I forgot to blog yesterday! Just shows how VERY busy I have been!

I'm hoping tonight will be the first night in over a week that I'll go home on time as we're planning on seeing a movie tonight.

I have a few Abby pictures to post and a video from last weekend - will try to get those uploaded soon!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday Already?

Busy weekend.

We babysat Abby Saturday morning which was fun. We took her to the library, the toy shop (she insisted), and watched Toy Story and Ice Age 2 (for the millionth time). She was super cute at our place - grabbed a framed photo of herself and sat down talking to it - calling it 'Princess,' and then she proceeded to sing Happy Birthday to the frame. Ha ha! She also was very much insistant on the 'horsey rides' this weekend. Murray and I took turns with her on our back, galloping around with her singing 'clip clop clip clop.'

Saturday evening (after I did some work) we went to see a Snowboard / Skiing movie. It was good (those back country skiers are crazy).

Yesterday I worked in the morning (spreadsheets - fun fun!) and then we went to lunch at our friend Debs' house. She made a gorgeous Paella and then we had homemade Banoffee Pie for dessert - SO good! Then it was back home for more work (for me) while sorta watching the first couple episodes of 24 season 1.

I don't really feel refreshed from the weekend, just tired. I'm hoping now that the worst of it is done though, and hopefully this week won't be as stressful - fingers crossed!

and HAPPY 75th BIRTHDAY to my father-in-law Peter in Australia!!!
We hope you had a wonderful day:)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wedding Bells are Ringing this weekend!

It's a wedding weekend - how exciting!

Andrea & Lee are getting married tomorrow in Atlanta. (Congrats to both of you I hope you have a wonderful day!!!!!!)

And our friends Cassie & Hamish are getting married in Sydney on Sunday. (Congrats!!!!! We so so wish we could be there. Have a wonderful day and enjoy every single moment. Can't wait to see the pictures - and those from the fancy dress party)!

Meanwhile in London.....
We're babysitting Abby tomorrow morning (YAY), we're meeting with a friend for lunch on Sunday, and I'm taking home a spreadsheet that HAS to be finished by Monday. So - busy busy!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Now - It's Winter

Although the temperatures seem to still be quite 'warm' for January (around 10c, 50f), the wind chill is definitely picking up! This morning while I was running for the bus the wind nearly knocked me over - I couldn't believe how strong it was!

I have a TON of work to complete again today, so just quickly. The OC premiere was on this week - fantastic! Although now I know this is the last season, I'll still watch it. Seems like now with Marissa gone it might just get interesting! Also, I've decided to cut down on what shows I watch (so it isn't every night) - so for this season I am watch only 2 - The OC and ER. (dvds don't count of course - still need to start on box set 1 of the show 24:)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ahhhhh Mid Week Already?

Late blog today because I am SO busy! I have a lot to complete for work by Friday!

I went to the gym last night and had a great workout! It felt good to really start getting back into the habit of going.

I ALSO briefly checked out the after Christmas sales at a few shops before I hit the gym and got a pair of shoes I had tried on a few months ago (but decided they were way overpriced) for 70% off! I got the LAST pair in my size, then went home and modeled them in the mirror after hitting the gym. Sales make me happy:)

Now - back to work!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Stupid Bus

Murray and I stood at the bus stop for 10 minutes today staring at the corner as it usually flies around to pick us up at 7:30. It never came. I guess we must have missed it by a few minutes which is SO annoying because that means he came over 10 minutes early! Shame. So then we had to go wait for a different bus (cause that one only comes every half an hour), then to the bridge to wait for ANOTHER bus, then the tube, and then another bus. I hate taking the bus. At least with the tube, if you miss one, another one will come in just a few minutes. With the bus, sometimes the wait is 10 mintues +, which when you add it up means half an hour late to work.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Monday Again.....

Had a nice weekend:) Murray and I started our joint New Year's resolution this weekend - to do more things in London and really start experiencing the city. We went to the National Portrait Gallery to see The Photographic Portrait Prize 2006. It was excellent! Some gorgeous portraits, some strange ones, and a few rubbish ones. But overall, very good! Then we went out for a yummy Mexican dinner!

Sunday we caught up with Eva & Abby in the morning - Abby was up for LOTS of playing. Her favourite words of the moment seem to be 'Again again again' and 'No.' She's still gorgeous as ever though!

Pants (underwear) on the head - a good look!

Me with Abby in her armchair tent

Murray and Eva with their new toys - Murray's cool new Pumas & Eva's new laptop!

Cutie in the tent!

And time for a nap

Ahhhhs so precious :)

Sunday afternoon I went to the ballet with Heather. We saw Alice In Wonderland performed by the English National Ballet. GORGEOUS costumes and stunning dancing - I really loved it! It really is a bit hard to follow a show with no speaking though I must say! Although, they did some of the scenes really really well - I loved the mad hatter scene!



hope you have a great day!

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Onion Cracks me up!

My brother Marcus got me a tear off daily calendar as part of my Christmas present. Every day there is a different 'news story' by The Onion - a website that makes up their news. They are hilarious - every day's story makes me smile. Today's breaking story '180 Trillion Leisure Hours Lost to Work in 2004.' Ha ha! The story talks about how the hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.p. are ideally suited to browising stores, dozing in front of the t.v. and finishing the morning newspaper.


Thanks goodness it's Friday. We are down to the last episode of '24' season 3 now - and I'm really looking forward to watching that tonight! The premiere of the new season ER was on last night. Oh how I love that show - it makes me cry - but I love the characters. Great great storylines!

We're planning on taking it easy this weekend, but still feeling a bit worn down from jet lag.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Almost Friday?

Still feeling knackered from the jet lag, last night I was still wide awake at midnight - which means I'm feeling VERY sleepy today. I'm not too happy with this new office either. There are some good things, but other bits are harder to get used to. There's no silverware in the kitchen, so I end up having to go get plastic stuff from the canteen which isn't fun. I brought in a mug yesterday, as there aren't any here now (because it's not just our team now, it's a huge floor with tons of teams). I got here this morning and MY mug that I had cleaned last night and left on my desk was gone, and not in the kitchen cupboards, or the dishwasher. What - did someone just take it home? How annoying. Good thing I brought an old one, will bring another one tomorrow and from now on will lock it in my desk when I leave at night. I also had to had a plain salad yesterday as there was no can opener for my tuna in the kitchen. I have one today - which of course will be locked away in my desk drawer tonight!

Ok - enough complaining. Oh no - one more thing. They tried to freeze me to death yesterday! A few of the guys decided it was too warm in the office, so they cranked down the air conditioning and of course one of the vents blows RIGHT on me! So I sat shivering for awhile before asking them to turn it up a bit. Although it still feels FREEZING! Today I have a t-shirt, a sweater and a fleece jacket on and I'm feeling much better:)

And it's almost FRIDAY!

Thanks goodness!

I took a photo of this painting in (it think???) Heathrow airport - I thought it was quite a cute picture of Australia & New Zealand:)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ahhhh 2007

Well I'm starting to recover from jet lag now which feels good.
Murray and I have been feeding our new '24' addiction lately - and WOW is it good! My brother Marcus brought season 3 with him to Mexico - and within a few days we were hooked. So we picked up the box set at Target and brought it back with us. We'll finish this season, then go back and watch 1 & 2 (which Mom gave Murray for Christmas). It's like 24 movies - action packed, always ending on cliff hangers - an EXCELLENT show!

Other than that, I've made my usual New Year's Resolutions.
Healthy Eating
Going to the Gym
Getting Fit

But this year I am REALLY going to do it! I've started off well, and once I get over this jet lag will get back to the gym and make it a habit! As for now - my goal is just to get our suitcase unpacked!

One funny Mexico story. We were sitting in the square having dippin' dots (yummy little ice cream balls) and a big truck went by hauling a flat bed trailer with 3 camels on it!!!! They were advertising for the circus which was in town. Those poor camels looks so miserable and cramped - it was terrible! The next day we saw them hauling a cage with leopards! Three black and three spotted! The bars were SO wide as well - wide enough for them to hang their paws out - right by the sidewalk. Oh my gosh - I've never seen anything like that in my life!

Oh and while we were very very briefly in Minnesota, we were able to catch up with auntie Joni and uncle Kevin and their sons Johnny and Kyle (and also auntie Jani)! Was great to see them and have a good old American breakfast at Perkins! It's a bummer our time there was so short, we would have loved to see other family and my friends, but there just wan't time. Next time for sure!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Hola Chicos!

We had a great time! Warm weather, great restaurants and good company!
Our condo is the top floor on the furthest left of this building.

Murray's view from parasailing in the bay

Downtown Puerto Vallarta

Our first night there (Dec. 24th) we went out to a French restaurant Cafe des Artistes for Grandma Sis's birthday. The food was AMAZING! (above is my appetiser - sashimi)

We told them it was Grandma's birthday - so they brought out a dessert for her - a large glass plate with TONS of desserts and wow were they fantastic!

The view from our apartment down onto the neighbour's balcony.

They had gorgeous sculptures along the boardwalk.

This one symbol was all over the place, but we were never really sure what it meant.

They also had rocks precariously balanced all along the beach - really amazing!

Murray & I

Ahhhh nothing like a cold Corona on the beach in Mexico!

Group portrait before dinner - from left Mariah, Marcus, Mom, Mandie, Dad, Megan, Murray and I.

Out to dinner at a fantastic Mexican restaurant - the Margaritas were lethal! (also the home made tequila!)

The pirate ship that sails by every night and sets off fireworks with a stunning sunset in the background. This was our view from a great restaurant about a block from our place - SO gorgeous!

Our last night we went up the mountain to a restaurant with fantastic views of the city! It rained really hard though - which gave us this amazing view!
Me telling Murray all is 'OK'
We did 2 dives - and they were great! Saw lots of unusual fish, eels and water snakes!
Me with a very fogged up left part of my googles on our second dive

Dad with a puffer fish - it had the cutest little fins! You had to be super careful handling it though.

So, a GREAT trip! We went to lots of fantastic restaurants, got some sun, caught up with family - and took a LOT of airplane trips! It was a nice break, and hard to come back to cold London. Looking forward to 2007 though - should be an interesting year!

Me with my gorgeous dog Minnie - oh I miss her! She was so good too - I put these ears on her and she posed for the camera! She was SO SO lonely from everyone being in Mexico - would follow me around the house l ike a shadow!

And..... a gross picture Murray insisted I post - I only posted it small cause- ewwwww. (so don't scroll down if you don't want to be grossed out). We saw this in the grocery store and couldn't believe it!






We think this is a Cow's head - it was in the refridgerated meats section at the grocery store - I nearly yelled out loud when we walked by it - gross!

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