Archive: December, 2006

transport dramas

Had a fun day today battling England’s Boxing Day transport. No trains were running at all to get us back from the Isle of Wight so headed to Portsmouth to get a bus. Arrived and waited for the first bus only to learn that they were booked out for the entire aftrenoon. Lacking options, and with our cousin needing to work on Wednesday we ended up catching a taxi – £210 later (thankfully we rounded up a few others needing to make the trip) we made it London only to learn that we couldn’t get into our house for another 3 hours!

All sorted now – preparing for our trip tomorrow.

bring out the board games!

Last day at work – very little to do as you can probably tell. I have finally managed to download our pictures from our time in Scotland – have updated previous posts with relevant images.

I hope everyone has an excellent Christmas wherever that may be, the next report is likely to be from Israel (or maybe once we are back).

panto

Panto Fun

We have just returned from our first bona-fide British Pantomime experience. We saw James & the Giant Peach (admittedly not a classic panto tale but fun nevertheless). Surrounded by hordes of screaming children – “that peach is plastic!” “You’re ugly too Aunt Spiker”, “look behind you James!” it was certainly memorable. We were attending as we had met one of the actors (pictured on the right with those sweet glasses) previously through a friend. We received a back stage tour on our way out checking out the over the top costumes, the disappointingly cardboard shark and the not for childrens’ eyes cast graffiti.

backstage

My only wish was for the set to have been more Quentin Blake influenced – then I would truly have been transported back to childhood – as it was James & the Giant Peach was one of my least preferred Roald Dahl books.
We wrap up our year in Glasgow tommorrow with a quick venture to one of Glasgow’s finest curry houses – quite suprisingly this will be our first attempt at dining out for Britain’s national dish followed by a house party before we head south for Christmas on Saturday morning.

online again

housewarming invite

This is coming to you live from our lounge room as we finally have broadband connected at our new place (after several false starts). I should be posting a little more regularly now. All we need now is the cable for our camera and I’ll get some of our UK photos posted.
Recovering from our housewarming last night which was fun though somewhat lightly attended! Glaswegians certainly have stamina as we had our work Christmas break-up Friday, had people here until 3.30 this morning and were called out for a whiskey by the same folk this afternoon! Not sure if our livers will survive the winter.
We also somewhat randomly booked flights to Israel on Friday night, to catch up with a friend from Brisvegas and grab a taste of the Middle East. We are heading to the promised land on the 27th after Christmas on the Isle of Wight, returning on the 7th of Jan for a new year in front of the computer screen at JM (at least for me Chhay is still deciding her fate post holiday).

pitlochry (almost)

on the way to pitlochary

We hit the road early on Saturday morning after an unexpectedly late Friday night spent chatting in our flat (after watching Pan’s Labyrith – a must see at Glasgow’s world’s tallest cineplex). Our destination was a small pub and Scotland’s smallest distillery in Pitlochry in the Grampian Mountains. While we didn’t quite make it as far as we had hoped due to a few unintentional diversions, we did see some breathtaking scenery, manage a pub lunch and visit not just a distlerry but the ‘World of Whiskey’ no less.

Loch Lomond

Our initial destination was Loch Lomond (above) – Scotland’s largest Loch and not far up the road from our place. It was quite a beautiful drive along it’s banks, with a brief stop at Luss for a few very rugged up happy snaps and later in an unassuming roadside pub for a fireside coffee. The walls of the pub were covered in notes from walkers of the West Highland Way – provoking enthusiastic planning of walking trips that have been quite effectively doused by this morning’s weather.

After taking a slight detour back almost to where we began, we ended up on a stunning tourist road through bare hills dotted with isolated white farmhouses in front of a backdrop of snow dusted peaks. This was all very well but tummys were rumbling so we pulled up for a pub lunch beside an open fire (the fire was the highlight rather than the food) in a picturesque little town called Aberfeldy coicedentially the name of a cute Edinburgh band whose music a friend has introduced us to.

World of Whiskey

Time was getting away from us after lunch so instead of Scotlands smallest distillery, which was still a way up the road we opted to the close at hand Dewars World of Whiskey, whose cheesey kitch entertained us for quite a while. We left, confident in the knowledge that Dewar’s is the world best marketed whiskey (if not actually any good) and sped home via the motorway – 1 & 1/2 hours as opposed to the 4 it had taken us to get there!!

pictures courtesy of Chris Haan

visitors

Glasgow University

In true Australian fashion we were in our place less than 3 days before we received our first visitor. There is plenty of room, and the sofa bed seems to work ok – so anyone else is more than welcome!

We have been catching up for the last few days, but are hitting the town tonight and hiring a car and exploring a few lochs and glens this weekend. We have a home phone number now, but our phone isn’t working so we are not quite contactable at home yet.

picture courtesy of Chris Haan

the sigh of relief

our place

Finally moved into our own place yesteday – a ground floor tenement flat in the West End of Glasgow. It isn’t ideal (a bit over the top actually) but it will do while we get settled, and was better than much of the dross we were looking at. I’ll post some pictures once our boxes of stuff arrive – hopefully tommorrow!

We are about 20 min from work if we catch the train and close to lots of interesting stuff in the West End, in fact this weekend there is a little art project happening right around the corner from us.