Mo In London

Travel Blog - COMING SOON!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Sunny Monday

Quick blog this morning cause I have a busy work day ahead of me.

Friday night we hit the gym and then rushed home to watch American Idol. This week was 'Idol Gives Back' so they had lots of charity performances and the whole thing was THREE hours long. Unfortunately, again, our darn presenter Kat Deeley interrupted SO much. The 'UK version' of the show has this presenter Kat who blabs between segments.... however this week we missed SO much due to having to watch her & her lame interviews. I heard from friends yesterday that actually some of the PERFORMANCES were cut out in our version - for what??? *SIGH* But anyhow, it was a great show. I thought one of the highlights was seeing Celine Dion sing 'If I can dream' with a hologram Elvis - really amazing technology! Looked AND sounded amazing!

Saturday I hit the gym in the afternoon which was weird! (because I'm usually to lazy to go to the gym on the weekend:) I attended a 'Body Attack' class - thinking ahhhh it's Saturday will be a nice quiet class. Ummmm no! There was over 20 people in the class and two instructors! (I think one of them was training?) It was GREAT though- I love that class - SUCH a fantastic exhausting workout (it's like super aerobics - jump jump jumping around)! And can I just say I am proud of myself for going to the gym 4 days last week. That's my weekly goal - I will try to do at least that much again this week!
Saturday afternoon headed over to a friend's house for a Braai (South African for BBQ). Had some yummy Boerewors (sausage) with spicy chakalaka (veggie relish side), watched some Cricket and had a lovely time:)

Sunday I met up with a couple American friends for a picnic in Kensington Park. It was SO lovely to catch up and just sit and chat in the sun!!!!! I brought some spinach dip..... which I made for the FIRST time without an American spice mix pack (how we usually make it). Instead I followed my Better Crocker recipe which said I could just use a packet of veggie soup mix. It's just spinach (steamed and the water drained and squeezed out), sour cream, mayo and the soup mix. You mix it up & then refrigerate for a few hours - and then you have a yummy dip that's great with some chunks of bread, or veggies to dip, or even crackers! Yummmmmmy! I actually made so much that Murray and I ended up snacking on that for dinner as well - very nice. Also in the states I always just bought frozen spinach for the mix (or ok - just bought the store made mix which oh my gosh is good). But over here I have never come across bags of frozen spinach, so it's a long process of sticking bags full of fresh spinach into the steamer in many batches until it's all done - fun fun! Does taste nice & fresh though!

I did have to leave the picnic at 5 though to make sure I got home in time to see the last EVER episode of the OC. Hmmmmmmmmm I dunno - it was ok? It just felt very rushed - like they tried to fit SO much into one corrected" episode.... but I liked it. I must admit I'm kinda glad it's over now - one less show to have to rush home for now that the weather is improving and I just want to be outside!

I can't believe tomorrow is MAY - already? Where has the time gone? This year has flown by so quickly! AND a week from today is another Bank Holiday which means NO WORK!!!! Can't wait!

Friday, April 27, 2007

My ONE YEAR Blogging Anniversary :)


Is 'MoInLondon's' ONE YEAR Blogging Anniversary!!!!

Wow how time flies .... I can't quite believe it!

It all started because I had a few expat friends who blogged and I thought it was a great way to stay in touch with friends and family:) Now, 303 posts and 365 days later, I'm definitely a blogging addict!


photos by the talented Murray:) some old ones i found in our webshots albums!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

London Pics

Did you knw that Hyde Park consists of 360 acres? and is just one of London's 1,700 parks!!!
Me in Hyde Park last Sunday.... SUCH a lovely day
Another interesting Hyde Park fact!!! (I didn't know this til TODAY!) 'Hyde Park is the most prominent and famous London park. It was once part of a wild and ancient forest, inhabited by wolves, wild bulls and boar. It was fenced off as a royal deer park in Tudor times, and later open to the public.'
Murray with a 'smoked salmon tongue' he he
This lady came and stood by us and practiced her 'art' - or ummm i don't know what to call it - material waving? It was quite a pretty site:)
There was a goofy brass band playing down by the water - they were pretty good!

YAY BRIXTON!!!!!!!!!!

Lorraine and Murray getting interviewed for Capital Radio.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hey! I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right!

Last night we went back to Brixton Academy to see Paolo Nutini.

I think the words to his song 'New Shoes' are wonderful..... and I have followed them today by wearing some (kinda) new shoes and oh yes they do make me happy and everything is right!

'Hey, i put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right, i said, hey, i put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling, it so inviting, oh, short on money, but long on time, slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine, and I'm running late, and i don't need an excuse, 'cause I'm wearing my brand new shoes.'

He was pretty good! I admit I don't know tons of his songs, but he's a good little singer:) He hunches a LOT though and is SUCH a mumbler (partly his STRONG Scottish accent - partly his mumbling - but we couldn't understand ONE word when he was talking between songs).

I also REALLY like his songs 'Jenny don't be hasty' and 'Rewind.'

That darn Jenny song has been in my head for DAYSSSSSSSSSSSS now!

The opening band Ghost was pretty good too, the lead singer had a great voice!

After the concert I looked over and Lorraine and Murray were being interviewed by someone from Capital radio!!!!! She had a little tape recorder and was asking them questions... apparently it will be on from 4-6 today - will have to try to listen online!

And thankfully the crowd this time was SO SO SO much better than last week. Very crowded venue, but no one we saw was nasty and pushing and all that. We had a really great view and had a lovely time. Heather and I ended up getting right up on a the railing up at the side of the floor - so had a GREAT view!!!!! However Lorraine had the best view - RIGHT at the front! I sent her a text message that after the opening act, before Paolo came on, telling her to stick her arms up so we could see where she was - we were SHOCKED how close she was! Exciting! And thankfully we didn't see any more people getting hit by cars (did I mention that last Thursday we saw a girl get hit and then have to be carried to the side of the road??? scary!)

I will try to get some photos/videos on later....


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy St. George's Day!

Happy St. George's Day!

A few facts....

St. George is the patron saint of England.

His emblem, a red cross on a white background is the flag of England... and part of the British Flag.

St. George was a brave Roman soldier who protested against the Romans' torture of Christians and died for his beliefs.

Anyhow.............. it was a LOVELY weekend! I LOVE when the good weather holds out for Saturay and Sunday.... and then rain JUST holds on until Monday morning (like today)!

Friday - Sanjaya says Goodbaya (he he - yes Suz I stole that directly from your email!). Sanjaya finally finally went home on American Idol. Thank goodness, now this show can stop acting like a joke and Jordin can win!

Saturday was SUCH a nice day. We went into the city to go look at camera stuff, then walked down Oxford Street to check out the new Adidas store (disappointing). That end of Oxford Street has a massive M&S (grocery store), so we popped in and picked up some lovely picnic food! Then we walked over to Hyde Park and down to where we had a very nice view of the Serpentine (the lake in the Hyde Park). It was SO nice to have a spontaneous picnic! Although we had no picnic blanket, and limited plastic utensils, it was just SO nice! There was a brass band played down by the water (they were excellent) and a pontoon on the lake (what? I've never seen that before!) and I was silly and didn't wear comfortable shoes (WHAT was I thinking.... ah well..... but NO I will not get rid of them - they are SO pretty).

Yesterday we watched a bit of the London Marathon on tv and then went to the gym to workout and then Yoga too.... it was a different instructor this week and he was Excellent!!!! I loved that he gave us so many options... rather than just showing us the difficult versions and then watching as we struggled to dothe poses! By the way Murray .... I DID see that you mastered 'the Crane' and no I still can NOT do it :(

Caught up on the OC and ER last night..... ah dear! The OC - second to last episode - I must say I though it was kinda lame! I hope the last one is better! ER was SOOOOOOOOO depressing! I stopped watching years ago because it was such a downer, but now I'm all wrapped up in the characters again - I just can't look away. Very very upsetting episode though!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh... And...

I forgot to say earlier
HAPPY BIRTHDAY (tomorrow) to my cousin Kyle!

Turn off my TV??????????

Next week is Turn Off Your TV Week ....

I dunno.... the last episode of the OC is on next week...... what about turn off your TV Week other than the OC, ER and American Idol? Now THAT I could do!

I am TOO old for moshing

Last night we took Lorraine (for a late b-day present) to go see an AMAZING London band... Bloc Party.

Murray walked by as I was trying to take a photo of the outside of Brixton ......

Last night was the worst crowd experience that I've ever had (or maybe I'm just getting old and like to watch a band without a girl sticking her elbow in my back to try to get me to move so she can take my spot?) I won't go into a long rant on here about it...... but just suffice to say there was a group of about 20 teenagers near us who were VERY determined to get to the front and did all that was necessary to get there. They were childish and rude and then threw their hands up and said 'what?' when I turned around and said 'do NOT put your elbow in my back.'
Ah well....

There! Now you can see that it says 'Brixton' and 'Bloc Party' !!!

Thankfully we moved out of the crazy mosh area after the second opening act (Biffy Clyro - who was actually pretty cool - like alternative hard rock). We went and got some water and then stood in area where we could actually breathe and still watch the band. Although then, of course, crazy dancer girl behind us who was dancing wildly with a drink in each hand spilled ALL over me:( Soaking my hair, left side of my face, and shoulder - nice ha? Then smelly dancer girl came and stood in front of us and kept bumping into us with her sweaty arms... ewwwww. I told Lorraine we'd have to wet wipe down our bare arms after all those gross people around us!

Kele - the lead singer - encouraging the audience to sing along

But you know what - it was worth it!
Bloc Party was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are fantastic musicians... they put on a GREAT show.... I think they just ROCK! And apparently so do a lot of other people - that is the most crowded I have EVER seen Brixton Academy!

And now for anyone who's interested.... some videos from my mobile phone....

Song for Clay (Disappear Here) ....
(wow this video is rubbish quality - but I really LOVE this song! sounded MUCH better in person!)

Same song.... this is towards the end where they sing 'East London is a Vampire...'

again.... terrible video - but the sound isn't bad! 'I Still Remember'

Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song... one of my FAVOURITES! 'Two More Years'


Thursday, April 19, 2007



what Live Earth is... according to the website

'Live Earth is a monumental music event. It’s going to bring together more than 2 billion people to combat the climate crisis with performances from 100 headliners.'

'Live Earth’s 24 hours of music across 7 continents will deliver a call to action to combat the climate crisis – and the solutions needed to answer the call. Live Earth will mark the beginning of a multi-year mass persuasion campaign led by The Alliance for Climate Protection to move individuals, corporations and governments to solve the climate crisis.'

Last week there was an ad in the paper saying you could register for the opportunity to buy tickets, so I did. Yesterday was the day where you were supposed to get a text if you were chosen in the lottery to buy tickets.... I never did get a text! BUT a friend of mine got a code and a link that worked to buy tickets (by signing up on one of the bands' website). So YAY me and 5 friends all got tickets in the same area!!!!!!!!!!! It's 7 July at the new Wembley Stadium!

I'm not sure yet how it's gonna work - the confirmation says it starts at 7pm? I know each band will probably only play a few songs - but it's gonna be an AMAZING concert!!!!

This is who is playing at the London show (and my reviews!)

Madonna (YAY)
Genesis (oh that'll be good)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (YAY)
Corinne Bailey Rae (don't really know her....)
Bloc Party (YAY YAY)
Foo Fighters (YAY I hear they are GREAT live!)
James Blunt (ok - seen him live once before and he was pretty good!)
Duran Duran (hmmm could be ok!)
Damien Rice (ok)
Razorlight (good!)
Snow Patrol (YAY!)
Paolo Nutini (oh we see him next week too!)
David Gray (ok)
John Legend (ok)
Black Eyed Peas (oh I bet they are fun to watch)
Keane (YAY! I hear they are great live)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Yoga is HARD!

I never thought I would say that!

I always (naively) thought that yoga was chanting & putting your hands in the prayer position while standing on one leg or something, but wow - nope - it's an actual work out!

Last night was my third ever yoga class. The two others I have attended were in the last few weeks. Those two were fine. I was a bit sore afterwards, and I certainly wasn't as flexible as the regulars, but they were enjoyable classes.

Last night - oh my gosh - whole different story.

Because the class was an hour and a half rather than the normal hour I asked at the desk if the class would be at the same level as the others I had been to. She said yes (but I really don't think she knew - she was just guessing).

It started off tough from the word go, that darn 'downward dog'! After we did it for what felt like 100 times, I thought - I just can't take it anymore - I hate this dog! (it's a pose where you stick your bum up and have your hands and feet flat on the floor - kinda like a reverse bridge) Doesn't sound hard - I know - but try holding it for MANY minutes, then jumping up to standing, doing a few other things, then back to the dog - again - for many minutes.

After half an hour I was exhausted! I looked over to Murray and mouthed ' OH MY GOD ' he started laughing silently, then I did too, and had to look away so I wouldn't burst out laughing out loud.

After 45 minutes, one of the girls who's a regular in the easier classes we like snuck out and I looked after her with a very sad 'i want to leave toooooooooo' face. But I continued on.

We did one exercise where we had our arms wrapped around the back of our legs, and that was hard enough! Then I looked over at the girl next to me and she was doing a head stand. I looked over a few minutes later and she was doing a HAND STAND! WHAT? Oh my!

Then we finally got to the part where we balance on one leg, with the other tucked up and put our hands over our head. Felt so relaxing and easy compared to the rest of the class.

After an hour - I was looking at the clock every few minutes. In my head was the running commentary 'oh thank goodness - only 13 minutes left, only 5.5 minutes left, etc etc.'

After one hour and twenty five minutes - we had the last 5 minutes to relax. All you literally do is lie on the mat with your eyes closed. It feels like HOURS but is only 5 minutes, however by the end I was nearly asleep - very relaxing!

So overall, I will not be attending THAT particular class again. It was just too advanced. And oh oh oh am I SORE today! I do enjoy Yoga - but hour classes are enough thank you very much!

However I must say the very loud nose breather in the class kept me entertained. I never did figure out which girl it was, but it sounded like a mix between someone snoring and a dog growling softly. I almost started giggling a few times - sounded SO bizarre!

And yes - now I can say - Yoga is hard - it very much IS a workout - and that Tuesday night teacher - she frightens me! She is super duper fit (I couldn't believe some of the things she could do) but she was also super duper serious about the whole thing - scary! I'll stick to beginners classes from now on!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Picutres from Lingfield! (Horse Racing)

I love this jockey's outfit! Cute!

Lots of fancy outfits!

Some of the horses had these gorgeous designs shaved onto their rumps!

View from where we were standing, granted with LOTS of zoom - they were SO far away:(


Someone.... talked his way into getting a Press Pass!

And got RIGHT up close to the action!
Levitating horses - check out their legs!

Debs and I checking out the racing booklets

Oh now that looks tough - standing up AND riding!
This is the guy we lost £5 to (we're not big gamblers)

Debs and I weighing out the odds
Gorgeous photos! Check out those glistening muscles!

Murray and his 'Lingfield Park Racecourse official photographer' arm band -

ahhh he's such a sweet talker!

Parsons green on Sunday..... the closet London gets to having a beach!


Monday, April 16, 2007

A little weekend blog

A quick 'what we got up to this weekend' blog entry too........

Saturday we went to the 'the races' at Lingfield. I was a bit disappointed because the horses were SO far away:( There were two tracks, and all of the races were held on the furthest one, so you couldn't really see much. Ah well. It was a nice day though! I got my chicken legs out in the sun for the first time this year - they were blindingly white! Felt good to wear sandals though. The sun was exhausting - but so so nice! Murray somehow talked his way into getting a press pass so got right up close, capturing some AMAZING photos!!!

Yesterday we went to Yoga at our gym which was nice and relaxing. Walked back home via Parsons Green where the 'White Horse' pub is. A famous South West London place to go... especially on a sunny day! I sat back and admired 2 things I have never experienced before coming to London.

1. Buying a pint and a burger - then taking your GLASSpint glasses to the park. SO SO strange to me (still) to buy a drink - then take it out to the PARK to drink - nice and relaxing!

2. The ice cream man. Because I grew up in the country, the only ice cream trucks I had ever seen was in the movies. Yesterday the 'ding ding ding' music of the ice cream man truck was blasted across the park as he pulled up. I had to laugh to myself as adults went running towards it for their 'cone and flake.' (Ice Cream cone and a 'flake' chocolate).

Lovely weekend - I really hope this weather holds up!

Oh - and a little shameless promotion....
There's a show on BBC4 tonight called 'Edwardian Supersize Me.' Our flatmate Kirsty worked on it - she says it should be pretty good:)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Istanbul - Easter 2006

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Photos! I don't have my guidebook with me..... so will try to caption them as best as I can :)

Murray and I on top of the Galata Tower - overlooking Istanbul

The group - in front of the Blue Mosque (from left) Murray, Me, Steve and Anabela

A traditional Turkish tea (tiny little cups - always on a cute saucer like this - I'm not sure why)

Busy shopping area .... I can't remember what it's called (Steve??) We went up there Friday and Saturday night to check out the shops and grab dinner
The area where our hotel was had these huge buildings with glass windows and more mannequins than I have ever seen before. We decided that the two richest people in Istanbul must be the person who manufactures mannequins, and the one who makes satellite dishes (they were EVERYWHERE!)

Heading into the Grand Bazaar for some shopping (spot the kitty!)

The Grand Bazaar main hallway

There were street merchants everywhere - this guy was selling chestnuts
Just outside the Grand Bazaar - busy busy markets!

This is a walkway under the street. The people of Istanbul seem to stick shops in every available place - even under the main road!
Out to dinner with our Efes beers

At dinner on Friday night - LOTS of very very loud traditional music for dinner (played live)!

View from our hotel - Isn't the Blue Mosque just stunning! Those towers all have speakers on them, and when the prayers are conducted 5 times a day they are broadcast on the speakers - pretty cool!
Our last day we went out to one of the Prince's Islands Büyükada. There are no motorised vehicles on the island (not allowed apparently - but we DID see a big dump truck there for building work). So we had to take a horse drawn carriage up to visit the monastery on the top of the hill. (the photo is Murray and Steve in on very wobbly carriage ride)

Murray & I and the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque (really really beautiful!)
Me in my koala headscarf - ready for Mosque viewing!

The landscaping around was beautiful - this is in the shape of the Turkish flag! (star & moon)

These guys were everywhere! Shoe shiners.

The Galata Bridge. Loads of fisherman line up along the bridge, when we were on a boat ride we had to duck down when crossing under, as MANY hooks caught on our boat. The fisherman are ready with a knife to cut the line as it happens all the time!

Down by the docks they had these VERY VERY smelly fish cooking - ready to throw on a bun for a fishy sandwich (gross, the smell kept me away!)

Ghost Ship. We went on a boat tour of the Bosphorus (the Istanbul Strait - nice body of water running through the city connecting the Marmara Sea at the south to the black sea Black Sea in the north). It was so foggy the day we went that this is all we could see of the cruise liner that was docked.

Another street merchant
View from the top of the hill on Büyükada, beautiful sunset.
The Spice Markets!!! This lovely shop owner invited us into his shop for a spot of Apple tea and as many Turkish delights (candy) as we wanted. Really fantastic customer service!
A HUGE selection of Turkish Delights. I have only really tried Turkish Delights once or twice in the UK and never liked them. However REAL Turkish Delights are completely different - YUMMY! They are a gummy like candy - sometimes with nuts as well - coated in powdered sugar.
Spices - in the Spice Market
The markets!

And there's no better way to conclude these Istanbul photos - by showing you one of the highlights - REAL FRESH BAKLAVA!!!!!!!!!!! WOW was it GOOD!


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