Mo In London

Travel Blog - COMING SOON!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tonsils - Gone

Well I won't get into too much detail. But suffice to say - the tonsils are gone - and the surgeon said it was definitely NOT done in vain - they were very bad!

Yesterday I got home early and we travelled to the hospital together. Got checked in, shown his room, met the doctor, filled out some forms, etc, etc - all good. Then the next part happened so fast I didn't know what to do. Ok - firstly - I have never really been in a hospital before - well not to see someone who's had surgery at least - so I didn't really know what to expect. They rolled in his bed to take him down to the anesthesiologist - and then before I could kiss him or just say a word of 'good luck' he was gone - in an elevator - to the basement!!! I just stood in his room shocked and burst into tears. Tried to sit down and read something, but couldn't really see.

So I called my Mom and got some much needed reassurance. Then I called my friend Beth and chatted. It helped so much to keep my mind off of what was going on. I just hated not KNOWING! I asked if I could go down to recovery, no, so I asked can you TELL me when he's in recovery at least, no. OK - so I will just sit here then. I guess they all just consider it to be so routine & easy - but um - this is the person who means everything to me OK! I wanna know!

I was SO relieved when they wheeled him back in. At first he had his eyes closed and that started to make me nervous! Then the nurse patted his hand and he looked at me & grabbed my hand & all was ok. So he's super sore and drugged up, but he's home now - I'm glad about that.

The best part - he told me that while he was in the recovery room he called one of the nurses over to tell her something. He told her that he was able to feel and hear everything during the surgery - but that he couldn't move to tell someone! She freaked out and grabbed the other nurse to hear what he was saying!!! He then told them how he heard the surgeons discussing golf - ha ha - just kidding. Thank goodness they laughed:) That's when I knew he'd be ok. I just don't know anyone else who would joke like that after surgery!!! Ha ha - especially when it's so hard to talk after having stuff cut out of your throat!

So I'm hoping to leave work soon and do a bit of work from home so I can bring him food & drink as needed. Fingers crossed the boss is ok with that!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Spider Pig, Spider Pig, Does whatever a spider pig does

Yes, we went and saw the Simpson movie on Saturday. Now we cannot stop singing that darn super pig song - pretty funny though! We also stocked up on post tonsil surgery food for Murray on Saturday (jello, iced lollies, soft fruit, etc etc). Murray is having his tonsils removed today - please cross your fingers, say a little prayer, or whatever it is that you do for him. I am leaving work soon to go to the hospital with him, and I really hope all goes well.

Sunday morning we got picked up at 6am and we headed up to North London with friends to recreate the Abbey Road album cover photo taken 38 years ago.
The Beatles.... or not (from left to right)
Steve as Ringo, Murray as John Lennon, Stuart as Paul McCartney, and Lance as George

In front of the studio (check out that kickin' white suit!)

Murray (sorry, John) and I crossing Abbey Road

This hair do kinda freaks me out!

It was a fun morning! We felt a bit like tourists, but you know it was a fun memory for all of - and we got a great keepsake photo! Highlights include a bus stopping right by Murray as he was changing on the street into his white suit. There were also a few tourists who had come to take photos of the Abbey Road Stuios who managened to stand in the way of our photo while staring at us. And me standing in the middle of the road to snap the photos before cars came along - fun time!

The final photo we got of the 4 boys looks EXCELLENT!!! (I took it) However the file is so big I was not able to post it today - stay tuned - I'll post it soon:)


Friday, July 27, 2007


Oh my gosh I could not be more glad that it's Friday. I'm SO tired and need a sleep in and some time to relax!

Last night we went over to our friend Sonali's house (she works with Murray). She made us a fantastic Indian meal - we still felt full this morning!

Me & Sonali
Sonali & Steve with the Iranian Rice (VERY nice)! You cook the rice about 3/4 through and then take it out & drain it. Then you put some oil back in the pan and lay down pieces of pita bread. You put the rice on top of that, and let it cook on a low heat until the rice is done. (adding a bit of water along the way as needed). The pita ends up crunchy and gives the rice a lovely taste!

Sonali and her tree (the boys kept teasing her about having a tree in the house - I love it though - so pretty & green!)

Sonali & Murray after the meal. Murray had to take his belt off & untuck his shirt. The food was THAT good!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday - Blah Day

I'm feeling a bit down today. This weather is getting to me. It's not awful or anything - about 20c (70f) every day - and not as much rain now. But this is supposed to be summer!!! I want it to be in the 80's (25ish) - warm & lovely so we can sit in the park and relax and let the sun cheer us up! I miss summer:(

So I'm not really sure what's going on with the postal strike. The paper this morning said it will actually only be two 24 hour strikes spread out so that there is disruption for two weeks. However, they will keep all the offices open and will still try and deliver mail, etc. Hmmmm. So we may still get mail, it may just be slow.

Had a bit of a bad 24 hours - I suppose that's why I'm crabby today. I forgot my tube pass in my desk, so had to pay cash for my journeys home last night & in this morning. WOW it's expensive to pay that way - especially when I have already pre-paid travel for a month. SO I wrote out my claim form today to get that money back, still annoying though. And this morning to try and cheer myself up I popped into Starbucks for a Chai Latte. As I was coming down the stairs to the platform I saw that my train was about to depart. SO I booked it down the platform and jumped on to the first set of open doors JUST as they were closing. So the doors banged into me and caused me to spill a bit of my tea on myself and the floor - nice. Thank goodness I was wearing a black jacket.

Well - the good news. Looking forward to a yummy home made Indian meal tonight at a friend's house and tomorrow is Friday. Can't be too down I guess! Oh and when I left starbucks this morning I got a free paper fan - pretty! I don't know what they were handing them out for - but the girls were dressed in flamenco dresses - and I like my litttle fan. Not that it's actually warm enough to need it! Ahhhh I just opened it & it says 'i'm a fan' on it - cute - I like it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I HATE Royal Mail !!

My vent for this sorta overcast Wednesday. I am beginning to really hate Royal Mail. I sent a package 7 working days ago to my friend with a home made gift for her new baby and some cute clothing - and it seems to have disappeared! Royal Mail does have record of selling the label to me (I paid extra for tracking and signed delivery!!) but it doesn't seem to have been scanned since. They are trying to tell me this CAN happen due to human error. However every time I call they exclaim 'oh, that's strange' so I know this isn't normal. I'm thinking the package was stolen from the post office or fell off a truck somewhere. All I know for sure is that it has not arrived in the states, and I can't can't a refund until 25 working days have passed *SIGH*. THIS is why I paid EXTRA for tracking and signed delivery - because I didn't want it to go missing!!!!

On top of that today the Industrial Action starts - they are going on strike for TWO WEEKS!!!! According to their website there still will be SOME limited service - but I'm not really sure what that means!

I really hope that package turns up, but after having had 2 packages I sent to Australia go missing forever into mail limbo, I am not very hopeful:(

Last night Murray startled me at midnight by yelling at me to quickly get dressed as he thought the fire alarm downstairs was going off. So we jumped up and went to race out of the flat, but when he stuck his head out the window we realised it was actually just a car alarm. It just happened that at that same time the chick in the flat downstairs had a shouting match with her drunk boyfriend (we think). Nice. So - I'm tired today. Oh well - already mid week right?

Oh and I saw something that made me chuckle a bit this morning. There has been a spate of fridge thefts at work lately - I had a yogurt go missing last week! So a guy showed me this morning how he tries to deter people from stealing his milk - he wrote POISON on the side - ha ha! I wonder if it works?

Oh and - it's still not summer here - it's August NEXT WEEK and it's still around 20c (70f) every day and rainy. Where is our darn summer darn it? This is my last London summer - and I want one like the past 5 - warm & lovely - picnics on the weekend - relaxing by the river with a glass of Pimms. But this darn rain & not warm enough for summer weather is getting me down. So COME OUT SUN (((stomping my feet))). Let's hope that works:)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Well it's sunny today - I can't quite believe it. This has been my weirdest London summer yet. Yes, it usually rains a bit around Wimbledon time - but for it to continue into late July? This is VERY unusual. It's supposed to get to a high of 22c (74f) today - then continue to rain for the rest of the week. Fun fun. And our roof is still leaking, and I just don't care anymore. It only seems to leak when the rain comes down really hard though, and the rain lately has been steady but not hard lately which is good. Who knows if they will ever fix the roof. I'm just glad it's not my flat, as the ceiling is rotting away before our eyes!
And now - some weekend pictures !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our to Lunch (from Left) Niece Lorraine, Nephew Justin, Murray & I

The infamous cheesy fries from The Eagle Bar Diner - wow I could eat some of those right now - yummy..............!

A nice view of Putney Bridge

Abby sitting with Helen & showing off her pink cake
Funny girl

Wow - I LOVE this photo - she looks so gorgeous - modeling her new hat (and hair clips) from Helen. She decided it was best to wear all three hair clips AND the hat at the same time- cute:)

Brother & Sister
Helen & I by the Thames

Murray, Helen & I on Parsons Green relaxing in the sun

The Thames viewed from Putney Bridge

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Great Weekend!

Gosh we did so much this weekend I'm having trouble remembering everything!

Friday night we surprised our niece Lorraine (she didn't know her auntie Helen was in town). OH MY GOSH it was great! We got to the restaurant early and Helen hid in the corner of the booth. Murray and I said Hello to her, and then Helen popped her head out and said Hello. Lorraine screamed, threw her hand bag on the floor, ran away, then ran back and screamed again. Ha ha - fabulous surprise!

We had a great dinner at the Eagle Bar Diner. WOW their cheesy fries are to die for - YUMM! The burgers are good - but to be honest - not better than GBK. Then we went to see The Sound of Music in the west end. It was GREAT! I loved the girl who played Maria - she was fab. The stage was sensational and the kids were oh so cute! The only things I missed.... the puppet show with the goats - wish they would have kept that in, and it was annoying that Liesel talked with such a baby voice. However, still a fabulous show - loved it! I have NEVER EVER seen a stage like that - wow! Stunning!

Saturday Helen met up early with Lorraine for some shopping, and even arranged for her brother Justin to come in to London to surprise Helen as well! Murray and I met the three of them later that afternoon for a lovely lunch at our favourite Italian place in Soho Pulcinella's. Very nice lunch with massive pizzas! It was nice to see Justin as well!!! After lunch we all walked down to the National Portrait Gallery to see the 4 Corners exhibition which brought together Londoners from the 4 corners of the city. Each group expressed their cultural heritage through different means of art - it was very good! We also popped over to see BP Portrait Award 2007 - wow their were some stunning painted portraits on display!!! We loved the painting that won - it was huge and really striking! I also liked the one that won the Young Artist Award - looked SO much like a photo rather than a painting - amazing!

That evening we decided to take it easy, as we were all exhausted. So Lorraine, Helen and I went back to the flat to relax with popcorn and a good 80's flick - Mystic Pizza. When Murray got back (he had gone out on his own in the POURING rain for a bit of shopping) we decided to make a lasagna and watch Smoking Aces. Hmmm if you haven't seen it - don't bother. It was just full of TOO much information - and SO SO violent.

Sunday.... we got a great surprise - Eva and Abby came by! In the morning we popped over to Carluccio's for some pastries and coffee, and walked home via the park. Then Eva & Abby popped by to say Hello and meet Helen. Abby LOVED her gifts from Helen, and I was so so touched that they came up - it really meant ALOT to us. A joy to see Abby as usual - she's so sweet, and I was pleased that Helen got to finally meet the lovely Eva.

After they had to head home we decided to walk to the movies. We stopped on the way in at the White Horse pub in Parsons Green and got a jug of Pimms and took it to the park for some chatting. It was actually an ok day - not your normal hot July day - but warm enough to sit comfortably in the sun. We went to the movies to see Transformers - you know, it was actually pretty good! I'm sure if Steven Spielberg hadn't been involved it would have been oozing with cheese. But because the special effects were so amazing, and the movie didn't take itself to seriously (they played up some of the cheesy moments) overall I thought it was pretty good (and VERY loud)!! After a lovely Nandos dinner (gotta love that Portuguese chicken!) we went home to pack. Lovely Helen offered to take some stuff back with her for us, so Murray spent a few hours bubble wrapping & getting things ready for her bags. SO nice of her to help us with that!

Sad to see her go today though! We had SUCH a lovely time - so much so that the time just flew by! Lots of great memories though:)

I will try and get some pictures from the weekend posted tomorrow............

The view down our street yesterday morning

Friday, July 20, 2007

G'Day Mate

OK so I don't have the accent - but I can still work on the lingo because...........

I GOT IT!!!!

My Australian Permanent Residency visa was granted today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will wait until we're back from Russia to have it put in my passport, just to make sure we don't cut THAT visa too close. But there's not rush - I just have to have it in my passport before we leave the UK in October!

HOORAY! I dropped off my application at the London embassy on 26 February with LOTS of supporting documents. I never did have an interview, which I think is quite unusual - but then I DID provide LOADS of paperwork proof of our relationship. Part of the process is that you have to have a medical exam and x-rays.... strange I never had to do that for my UK visas! Luckily they don't deny you entry because of gangly limbs and fat toes - lucky me! Then I had to get police background checks from every country I have lived in in the past 10 years - which was the UK and the USA. The UK one I got back in 4 weeks. The USA one.......... 18 weeks!!! THAT is why this visa took so darn long! Oh well - it's done now:)

I'll get my visa in my passport in early September, then in October, and when I enter Australia they stamp it, THAT is when I am officially a legal resident! This visa allows me to live and work in Australia, and if I live there for 4 years consecutive I can apply for citizenship. Would be my third - which would be kinda cool! Of course I would NEVER EVER give up my USA citizenship - luckily the UK and Australia are both cool with you having joint citizenship. But that doesn't really matter right now - all that matters is that I will legally be able to work and live there straight away - no more paperwork - WHOOO HOOOO.

!!! TGIF !!!

It's a miserable day today - rainy & dark & gloomy outside. But it's Friday so I AM in a good mood:)

I have not heard back from the Australian embassy yet - but I'm still crossing my fingers & my toes & maybe my hair that I will hear back from them today!

Royal Mail is giving me a headache this morning *sigh* I sent a package recently and apparently they 'can't find it' in their system. And yes this time I DID pay the ridiculous fees for tracking, and insurance, and signed delivery. If they lost it I am going to be furious! Fingers crossed that it just got scanned wrong somewhere along the way!!!!!

Tonight we are surprising our niece Lorraine (this still feels weird for me to say - I feel like I should say 'Murray's niece' although she IS my niece now too). She still doesn't know her auntie Helen is in town (yes Lorraine - this confirms that you do NOT read my blog - but that's ok)! So we're meeting her at Eagle Bar Diner for some yummy food before going to see the Sound of Music on stage. I'm really looking forward to the whole evening - I love that restaurant (they serve some 'American' food and their cheesy fries are to die for!) and I have been wanting to see this show on stage for ages - can't wait!

The rest of the weekend - we'll just hang out with Lorraine a bit more, maybe go see the Transformers movie which starts today? I think - and spend some more quality time with Helen before she has to leave on Monday. It's strange - I'm so used to her being here now that it'll feel weird when she leaves! We have had SUCH a wonderful time though - looking forward to another great weekend:)

Oh and that photo is of 'Dil and Muz' at the bike ride last Sunday:) Cute pic!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Almost the weekend! But no tea :( :(

Good day yesterday.

I got a lot of work done.

Came home to a lovely gift from my very thoughtful sister-in-law (I think I actually said out loud - to myself - wow she can read my mind).

Got some laundry done.

And had a long chat with good friend Beth about babies and family and just life. I got off the phone call with a big smile on my face. I miss her SO much - but those kind of phone calls are just wonderful - nice to know you're still good friends even though you have lived thousands of miles away from one another for years. And nice to know we can still blab for an hour and a half with no awkward silences. Miss ya Bethy:)

And today - the horror of it - I forgot my desk key. All the way into work this morning I was dreaming about buying some milk from the canteen and mixing in the lovely chai latte drink mix Helen brought me from Australia and enjoying a cuppa at my desk. But I forgot my desk key:( DARN IT! This always seems to happen when I switch bags. I packed my gym bag for tonight because Helen and Murray are off to the theatre to see 'We Will Rock You' and I figured I should be productive and maybe go exercise for a bit. I checked and double checked my purse (or hand bag as it's known here) to make sure that I had everything - because I always seem to forget something. However I forgot to check the pocket where a little tiny key was resting. So now, no chai today, no green tea, and 7 hours and 29 minutes to go - major bummer:(

Oh and one more bit of good news - PLEASE CROSS YOUR FINGERS for me!!!! I spoke to the Australian embassy this morning. Apparently my case worker is on holiday, so someone else called me back to say they did receive my police check. She also said that she will go through my file today, and if indeed that was the last piece of paperwork they were missing and everything else is in order she will make her decision today or tomorrow !!! She said she'll let me know via email, then I can drop my passport off in person, get the visa put in it, then I'm DONE! Fingers Crossed !!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday Already?

I guess time flies when you are having fun! I can't believe it's already Wednesday!

We had a great dinner out at our old favourite MasCalzone - love that place! Had a nice dinner with our friend Steve. And yes we ordered the same thing we ALWAYS do! You know how you find something you like and every time you try something new it's just NOT as good? Well that's why we always order the Fantasia Pizza (artichokes, pepperoni, mushrooms) and the Carbonara - yumm.

I added a little count down to my template (see the 'dancing girl' to the right). Wow - time is flying - ekkk and we still have SO much to do!

Oh AND very exciting - this morning my USA (FBI) background check was delivered to the Australian embassy! My case worked said he'd make his decision (on whether to grant me a permanent residency visa) within 10 working days once he had that last piece of paperwork - so fingers crossed it happens SOON! Will be nice to have that drama checked off my 'to do' list as well (since I applied in MARCH)!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I had the time of my LIFE !!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to use that post title - cause last night we saw Dirty Dancing!!!! And now I cannot stop singing that song........... And I NEVER felt this was before.... and I swear.... it's the TRUTH... and I owe it all to you...... (ok I will stop now)

But first - some weekend pics

Helen and I ready for some Saturday shopping (check out all the boxes ready for shipping in the back - eeeeeeeeeek!)

Helen with the exotic eggs display at Whole Foods

Me with our fabulous salads at Whole Foods.... Yummmmm

Helen, Me and Murray - at Gaucho's for her birthday dinner

The birthday girl

What our living room looked like yesterday (with one random packer guy)

All of our clothing vacuum packed up ready for boxing and shipping (we're hoping this will mean nothing will get damp or mold - fingers crossed)!

A guy in the bike race Murray did on Sunday - how cute is this dog!
He even had a little seat belt on to keep him safe
And a hot corvette down at the Putney riverside

SO the packing / shipping is done! We had it all ready to go, so the shipping guys just had to box it all up (we were not allowed to pack it ourselves due to insurance reasons). When I came home last night it felt like a different flat - so empty! I think this is actually the first time it has really hit me - we really ARE leaving London - wow! But I'm so glad we shipped now! We have kept enough clothing, footwear, etc to last us the next 3 months - and now I feel like we can focus on our other tasks - it's nice to have that big shipping worry behind us. Our stuff should arrive in Australia 8-12 weeks from now and they will store it until we're there in October to arrange delivery to our garage. However, no rest for the weary, now we just need to start hacking away at the rest of our trip 'to do' list - there is still a LOT to do!

Last night Helen and I went with Heather and Andrea and had a great girl's night out. We started with some of the best Mexican food you'll find in London at Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden. I had a yummy chimichanga - nice! Then we walked down to the theatre (and I DID manage to keep it a secret from Helen which was fun)! She was excited when she saw what we were going to see (and I was SO excited too)!

SO..... my show review of Dirty Dancing in the West End

The Audience: surprisingly mostly locals - I suppose because it's quite a new show (less than a year i think) the tickets are still quite hard to get - so not too many tourists there. However, the crowd did get quite rowdy which was strange in a theatre! Everyone whistled and clapped when the first song started up, when Johnny stripped down to his boxers, when the final dance commenced, etc. Kinda fun I guess! Although I did end up shushing the child behind us who was old enough to know better than talking during the show - or at least her Mother should have told her to be quiet. I don't pay to go to the theatre to listen to a child asking her Mom 'oh is that real water, oh but they aren't getting wet.' As far as I am concerned - if they cannot sit quietly for an hour - please just bring them to a matinee! They got the point after I finally turned around with my finger over my mouth and shushed them - so rude! And please - someone help me - let's start a petition to ban the selling of sweets in wrappers at theatres. Oh my gosh - if you are
going to eat a candy that is really loud to unwrap - please do it before the show starts!

The set: Wow - cool set! The stage was smaller than what I expected - but it was also very very clever. They had all sorts of things that popped up and down, and cool screens they projected on (they did the water scene really well actually - I was super impressed).

The cast:
Baby - was great! I was surprised to find out at intermission that she is actually the understudy! She had the look (cute & small, big nose, curly hair - which was probably a wig but looked great). Her accent was spot on, and I liked her acting and dancing! She played it just like Jennifer Gray!
Johnny - the biggest disappointment of the show really! Don't get me wrong - he is an AMAZING dancer!! Great body, kinda freaky hair (kinda looked like a poofy wig or something...), but his accent - oh my goodness. I actually think I gasped after he said his first line. I was trying to portray what I thought his accent sounded like to a work colleague this morning - and you know what - it sounds like if I tried to talk like Barry White. Very deep - fakey sounding. I had heard that his accent wasn't good and that he slipped a lot into his native accent - Australian. But I must say I think I only heard that once or twice! However, it just sounded too put on - like he was trying to hard to sound like Patrick Swayze. I think - maybe - being American I may be a bit more sensitive to the accents? I dunno - but it was bad - however he more than made up for it by dancing like a star! (I did put my head in my hands when he said 'No one puts baby in a corner' though - oh dear it sounded silly)
Vivian - oh dear. I think 'she' was actually a man. Stunning woman - but really big & tall and her voice was SO low it was frightening. I didn't like how she made a parody of the character in the movie - she way overplayed it.
Lisa (baby's sister) - I must say it really bothered me that she was a blonde in the stage show (she has dark black hair in the movie). It made it confusing cause from a distance it was hard to distinguish her from some of the rest of the cast. I liked her though - her hula song was great!
Penny - WOW great WOW. Amazing freakin body - wow. She was a fantastic dancer, looked JUST like Penny from the movie (tall & super skinny). Her dancing was great - accent was ok - and I liked her long (you could tell it was her own - not a wig) blonde hair. Fabulous darling!
The parents - they were ok. I didn't really like the Mom's accent (sounded awfully fake east coast - she over did it) but she was really beautiful and played the role well. And the Dad was very handsome & did a good job.

The story: Well they only added one scene to the first acting (a campfire scene). It seemed REALLY out of place and weird - and I didn't like the song - and why the picture of Martin Luther King? Huh? I didn't like that at ALL - should be cut from the show if you ask me! The second half - they added a few funny things as well..... But the biggest issue - they CHANGED the story ??? I didn't like the change they made (won't totally give it away in case anyone's going to see the show). But I don't understand why it was necessary? Like we were saying afterwards, the show was nearly 3 hours long - they totally could have cut all those weird little additions and just followed the whole story from the movie! And also - surely 99% of the audience was like me - who has seen the movie hundreds of times..... it really was not necessary to explain every little thing.

The music: I liked what they did with the music. Some of the music was just the orchestra - with dancers and no singing. Some of the music was the orchestra along with two live singers who you could see on stage (that was unusual - but I liked it)! The male had a very strong voice (Helen and I agreed he could totally be an Elvis impersonator)! And thankfully for some of the songs they just played the soundtrack. When the pounding bass for Hungry Eyes came on I think nearly everyone in the theatre cheered a little bit!

Overall: LOVED IT! It was a fun experience. I loved the dancing, loved that they followed most of the movie and I LOVE the music - I would definitely recommend it! And it was great to see it with three good friends:)


Monday, July 16, 2007


I'm in a great mood - what a fantastic weekend!

Saturday it was fun to get up and wish the birthday girl Helen Happy Birthday in person!

Murray had some packing tasks to do, so Helen and I ran a few errands and then headed into Kensington. We did a bit of shopping (I FINALLY found a pair of cute low heeled sandals YAY!) and then we stopped by Whole Foods for a shop and lunch. That store is so great - love it! We both got fabulous salads and went up to the seating area to enjoy them - a really lovely afternoon. Then we headed back to the flat to get ready and travel with Murray to Gaucho's restaurant in Richmond. We all had gorgeous steaks (because it is an Argentinian steak restaurant) with lovely fresh veggies and yummy sauces - all with a lovely view of the Thames river! Dessert was heavenly as well - I had flan with berries, Murray had churros with chocolate dipping sauce, and Helen had a yummy chocolate mouse cake. A great end to a fun birthday day!
Sunday Helen and I hit the gym so early that there were only 3 people in the entire place! We did some cardio and weights and then finished with some core exercises. Felt good at the time, and OH OH OH and I sore today! Big shock to my body since I haven't done much in the past few weeks due to packing duties!

We then spent the rest of the day organising and cleaning and packing in preparation for the movers coming today! Murray also rode in a 26 mile charity bike ride for Leukemia research on Sunday with some friends. He came home happy but exhausted - sounds like it was an excellent bike ride around the London!

We were up late last night finishing our packing.... last minute panic! I think we're ready now though! The guys come today and pack everything up and then we get billed tomorrow. It should be on a ship for Sydney soon and hopefully will all arrive there (in one piece!) before we arrive in October!

Oh and also my FBI check FINALLY came back!!!! I have been waiting EIGHTEEN WEEKS for my USA background check which I need for my Australian residency visa. They require a background check from every country you have lived in in the past ten years. So I applied for my UK and USA checks back in March when I turned in my visa application. The UK one came back in about 4 weeks - 18 weeks for the USA one *sigh*. It FINALLY arrived on Friday!!! I am SO excited & happy! So now I send it on to the Australian embassy in London and they say they will make their decision within 2 weeks - hooray!

Also - here is the link to Beth & Mike's new blog - The Rhode Family - with pictures of gorgeous little Tommy who was born on Friday the 13th - a good luck sign for sure!

Tonight - I am surprising Helen with night out to celebrate her b-day..... I can NOT wait! SO looking forward to it!

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's a BOY!

CONGRATS to our good friends Mike & Beth !!!

Their baby Thomas Steven was born early this morning weighing in at a massive 9 pounds 15 ounces.

SO SO happy for you guys :)

The secret is out...... HELEN is here in London!

SO I have kept this surprise for.............. 4 months i think? ( must be a new record for me)!

HELEN (my sister-in-law) IS HERE - IN LONDON !!

She called me months ago, saying she was thinking of coming and wanted to surprise Murray!
I agreed straight away and we set the plans in motion.

She arrived yesterday morning and I met her at the airport to give her my keys to our flat.
I said goodbye as she went off to a different train - and then got a phone call from Murray ??

He said I had somehow dialed his number (HOW? I'm not sure - it was in my bag!) and he overheard me talking to Helen, telling her how to get to the shopping centre from our flat! Darn technology let us down:( I am really disappointed that that happened.... I feel so bad for ruining the surprise:( But I didn't do it on purpose - stupid phone!


I have kept this surprise for MONTHS and now with only 6 hours til the surprise THIS happens?


I told him I was in a meeting and had to go, he said 'can you hear me' and I replied 'No I can't hear you' hmmmm that was a bit of a blonde moment - then I 'lost signal' i.e. hung up.

He's great at getting secrets out of me, so I knew I had to get off the phone.

He heard her voice and me giving her directions in OUR area, so he pretty much knew what was happening - I couldn't think of a good lie to cover it up!

So I avoided his phone calls and emails all day, and just sent him a quick message saying I was in an all day meeting and would call him later on.

She travelled to his work in the afternoon and he was still surprised!!!! I guess he convinced himself that he had misheard the conversation cause he's so overtired! YAY! She's here for about 10 days - 1 full week & 2 weekends AND her b-day is tomorrow - so should be fun!

I haven't seen her for over a year and a half - so will be a nice catch up! We have lots of fun things planned - so looking forward to a fun weekend and upcoming week!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Late Blog Today

Because I have a big secret.... and didn't want to give it away.... will post about it tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

YAY a title!

I went to dinner last night at Ping Pong with our friend Debs. Wow - we ordered WAY WAY too much food. I let her do the ordering because I have no idea what to get when it comes to Dim Sum. She did a great job - got lots of yummy stuff - but just way way way too much! Argh I'm still feeling a bit sick/full today - oops! Oh well - it was yummy. The best part of that place is - the tea. She ordered a Jasmine tea for after the meal. They brought out a large glass that had a ball of something in the bottom - looks like a ball of tea or grass or something. Then the waiter poured in hot water directly onto the little ball and it started expanding. Eventually it started opening up like a flower - oh it was a flower! Then petals/ leaves I don't know what they are called opened and floated up the glass. Really beautiful - and it takes yummy - I guess that's what you call REAL Jasmine tea! (I found the picture on the right on their website).

I'm SO tired today! I hope this day goes quickly - have lots to get done tonight and I badly need some more sleep! Not a good thing to be feeling already at 9am I suppose - oh well!

Oh and a BIG THANKS shout out to auntie Joni - thanks SO much for the salad dressings & the book. Just so everyone knows - other than missing my family and friends - the hardest part of living in London is the lack of salad dressing selection!!! I can't WAIT to have my salad today with Catalina dressing - whooooo hooooo! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's Tuesday - and um why isn't blogger letting me title my posts anymore - strange....

Nothing much to say. Out to dinner with a friend tonight (gotta love Nandos - Portuguese chicken - yumm)!

Last night we watched the first episode of Courtney Cox's new show DIRT. It was ok, actually I thought it was a bit slow and boring. Like Murray said - I wonder if it'll be the next 'Joey' (Joey from friends' spin off that got cancelled cause it was rubbish).

I'm in a great mood today though! The sun is out (kinda) and it's a good week:)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Live Earth - my review

First, before the concert we went to GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) to eat a nice big meal in preparation for 9 hours of sitting (this is what Murray calls the 'Muz Burger). Chicken, camembert, avocado (underneath the chicken) & topping - YUMM!

Our view - 65,000 people there I believe! (check out the 3 guys in suits our on the end of the stage - it's the BEASTIE BOYS!!!!)

Genesis - opps we got there late and missed them:( I heard they were not that great though.
Razorlight - Ummm why was the lead singer wearing a woman's shirt? But the music was ok.
Snow Patrol - excellent band - too bad they were only allowed to play a few songs - they rock!
Damien Rice & David Gray - they played out at the end of the stage together - WOW shame they didn't play a few more songs - they were great!
Kasabian - OH nah nah nah nah nah - I am still singing that song - LOVE them - they ROCK!!Paolo Nutini - I'm starting to wonder if he is a hunchback - the man cannot stand up straight! But his singing is excellent
Black Eyed Peas - ummmm OK - they weren't bad - but I wasn't thrilled
John Legend - bathroom break time for me - I wasn't really bothered
Duran Duran - they were good - but um WHERE WAS JUSTIN???!!!??? I was REALLY disappointed that Justin Timberlake did not make his rumoured appearance with them:( Shame on you Justin for teasing us like that and then not showing :(
Red Hot Chili Peppers - They Rock! Don't know why Anthony cut his hair though:( I would have liked to have heard a few more tunes!
Bloc Party - OH MY GOSH they are so amazing!!! LOVE Bloc Party !!!!!!! The people around us were staring at us, I guess not many people know this band, but Murray and I were standing up and clapping and cheering and singing along!
The lead singer of Bloc Party - Kele Okereke AMAZING drummer - Matt Tong

Corinne Bailey Rae - Boring
Keane - Wow he has a great voice - and how come I never noticed before that they are a guitar-less band? Interesting! And they do have a GREAT sound!
Shakira (video link from Hamburg) - she has lost so much weight that she didn't have much to shake like she usually does - but I do like that song Hips Don't Lie!
Metalica - Surprisingly good! Even though the lead singer has a long grey beard (why?) he still sounds the same as he did in the 90's - I was impressed!
Spinal Tap - HUH? I have never seen the movie - but oh my they were boring & silly.
James Blunt - he's ok - but I'm getting sick of his songs - WAY too overplayed
Keith Urban & Alicia Keys (via video link from USA) - weird combo - not a great song either
Beastie Boys - ROCK!!!!!!!!!!! I love the B-Boys - they did a great job - even though the mikes kept cutting out!!! They sang my favourite song - What Cha' Want and a few other classics like 'Sabotage' and others - loved it!
Mix Master Mike doing his magic

Pussycat Dolls - HUH? WHAT? Why were they even there? Really? And in with the headliners at the end of the show??? They did a lot of drop squats and wore tiny clothes - that is their 'talent' - I'm not impressed

Foo Fighters - WOW WOW WOW - best band of the night by far! They had an amazing set and the lead singer is so dynamic - LOVED THEM!!!
Madonna - Wow is she muscly! I enjoyed her version of La Isla Bonita - but 3 songs wasn't enough - would have liked at least 2 more.
It was fun to see the refurbished Wembley Stadium as well!
OVERALL - great concert! I'm so glad we had seats - even though we were there for 9 hours, it was comfortable and because each band only played a few songs it kept it interesting. I also liked the ads they showed between bands - about how each person can make a difference. This isn't about politics or whatever, it's about knowing that you can still do your part for the environment - whether you believe in global warming or not. I for one will continue to try and cut down on plastic bags and try and remember to bring my own reusable bag to the grocery store !!

Me enjoying the concert

Wembley from above (not our photo obviously)

Yesterday - we went to Richmond to see some Polo.

Murray stamping down some divots

Check out all those hoof marks!

(click on a photo to view it in a larger format)

We really enjoyed going see Polo (my first time)! The announcer was hilarious (Oh goodness what are they doing - looks like they are herding cats) ha ha. He really made the afternoon interesting - but also the players were SO skilled and the horses so athletic - interesting sport!

Then we decided to hike (well - walk) to test our our new boots (does this photo look posed?)

We walked from Kew Bridge to Putney - just over 6 miles!

Me with our guide book

Hammersmith Bridge

I even carried the VERY heavy camera backpack for a bit - not too bad thanks to the waist strap!

A rower on the river Thames with Putney in the background - just lovely!

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