A Travellerspoint blog

United Kingdom

Spinal Tap at Wembley Arena

... Hello Wimbledon!

sunny 28 °C

London has seen the Majesty of Rock that is... Spinal Tap.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Mocumentary 'This is Spinal Tap', and the release of the new album 'Back from the dead', the lads kicked off their one night only world tour with a single show at Wembley Arena. There was a great array of classic heavy metal t-shirts on display. Tour shirts from the 70s & 80s featuring the usual suspects. I imagine middle aged men all over Britain had entered the secret code to the unlock the rock merchandise draw, removed the ADCD, Led Zeppelin or Metalica T-shirt from it's protective plastic sleeve and stretched it over the beer belly. This was not a night for half measures. An array of cardboard or inflatable guitars, fake Derek Smalls moustashes, long blonde wigs and a sea of black clothing prevailed. Looking around the crowd, It was a little like combining a Star Trek convention and a public funeral.

Tap were in good company with American folk legends 'The Folksmen' as the support act. This slick trio were note perfect, as you would expect. They had the audience cheering and clapping along to their self styled 'Eclectrified Folk". The stand out songs were their 1962 top 70 hit 'Old Joe's Place' and the sombre 'Blood on the coal' "Over the years we have noticed that about 50% of folk songs are about terrible tragedies" said Bassist Marta Shubb (until recently Mark) " The other 50% are about mediocre tragedies. Most involve either a coal mine disaster or a train wreck. I think this is the first song, however, to feature both". They took the audience on a rambling tour of hits including "Loco Man" and "Never did no wanderin'". The Folksmen - Jerry Palter, Alan Barrows and Marta Shubb -performed expertly with smooth vocal harmony and masterful guitar and mandolin playing. Displaying the musical savvy that has seen them become America's "most popular late addition to folk festivals within a day’s auto travel of their homes".

After a short interval, the house lights dropped and a roar went out accross the arena. We could hear the stage manager calling Tap to the stage but there was no sign of them. "Tap, Tap , Tap..." the crowd chanted, but still no sign of the band. A greenroom camera revealed David and Nigel playing Xbox, oblivious to the fact that it was showtime. The stage manager threw to a clip of "The Magesty of Rock" and shortly after the arena erupted up as Spinal Tap took to the stage. "Hello Wimbledon, we are Spinal Tap". They opened with the powerful "Tonight I'm gonna rock you tonight" and the crowd went crazy. What followed was a journey through the back catalogue of hits including "Gimme Some Money", "All the Way Home", "Cups and Cakes", "(Listen to the) Flower People" and a reworked, funk version of the classic hit "Sex Farm". It sounded sounded slick and the skull motif on the screen behind the band was now sporting an afro and 'Bootsy Collins' star shaped sunglasses. Could this be a preview of their new direction?
The crowd was on it's feet for the whole show and obediently thrust fists in the air as they called out the choruses of "Hell Hole" and "Heavy Duty". London was treated to the genius of David St Hubbins in the form of the completed work "Saucy Jack" the definitive musical exploration of the infamous East End serial killer, Jack 'the ripper'. The band also played more recent offerrings like "Warmer than Hell" and "Rock and Roll Nightmare" "Do you want to go back... right back to the very beginning"? asked David St Hubbins, the lights dimmed and Nigel stepped to the mic. "In the beginning.." a roar went up from the crowd as the band played the immortal 'Stonehenge" halfway though the song a huge inflatable replica of the monolith slowly rose on stage left. A little too slowly actually. As the two dwarves, dressed in medievil costume, arrived on stage, Nigel emplored them to 'Push it up... push it up" eventually it stood tall... Stonehenge. The dwarves did a kind of Morriss Dance around the statue until it toppled over, trapping them underneath. When the song was over the arena thundered with applause. Tap did 3 encores the last of which was "Big Bottom" and featured, among others, Frankie Poullain (the Darkness) & Andy Scott (Sweet) on bass. "Goodnight London, We love you" and it was over. Almost as soon as the World Tour had begun, it was over. Spinal Tap had again rocked the house and silenced those who would consign them to the 'Where are they now?" file.

History had been made, and history will show that anytime Spinal Tap sound the call to their fans, 5000 overweight, middle-aged man in poorly fitting shirts will answer. I should know... I was one of them.

Posted by StephenJen 23:18 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (0)

The East Finchley Festival

community spirit complete with songs, sausages & squirrels.

semi-overcast 25 °C

Sunday saw the celebration of our beautiful town with the yearly East Finchley festival. It is held on the common at Cherry Tree Wood and is a real community celebration. Stalls are set up by the local community groups, schools and charities with all the usual fare available - books, clothes, trinkets and collectables. An array of culinary options from Caribbean jerk chicken to Indian curries and healthy salads were on offer. We chose the barbequed snag in bread (Aussie Aussie Aussie).

The entertainment was housed on two stages, one at each end of the common. A series of bands played on the larger and a series of nervous school children danced on the smaller. Nothing says 'Community' like a group of 25 badly co-ordinated, terrified primary school kids who have been forced, by their parents, to flail around on a little stage whilst being filmed for future humiliation on their 21st birthday!


We sat on the grass and listened to a couple of the bands before walking through the treed area in search of some squirrels to feed. We thought they might have gone to visit relatives for the day, but neither the noise of the bands or the East Finchley Primary School choreography had driven them away. The sun was filtered through the pale green canopy of leaves and the squirrels were in fine form.


After a couple of hours at the festival we were sporting 'I Love N2' badges and T-Shirts, had full tummies and no more peanuts. Next year we will do it all again... talk about living life on the edge!

Posted by StephenJen 22:39 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (1)

ZSL London Zoo

Prairie Dogs & Primates

sunny 19 °C
View London to Melbourne on StephenJen's travel map.

It was an unusually sunny day in London today and with Stephen in Australia, i thought i needed to do something to occupy my mind and get me out of the house.

I jumped on the tube and headed towards Camden, before doing the ten minute walk from Camden Town to Regents Park - and to the London Zoo. The London Zoo is the worlds oldest scientific zoo, and opened in 1828.


Though it is the last weekend of the school half term holidays, and the sunniest day in weeks - the lines and crowds were manageable (much to my surprise). The entry into the Zoo is not cheap however once in, i was able to wander around in my own time checking out what London Zoo has to offer.

The London Zoo was a far smaller than i expected it to be. I have not been to a zoo in a few years however i do strongly feel that Melbourne Zoo in Australia is much much bigger that this was today. Some of the bigger animals like the Rhinos and Elephants, i am pleased to say, have been moved out of London Zoo to a bigger one in Bedfordshire (Whipsnade Zoo)

There were a wide range of animals on display - some stranger than others, and i managed to get around to see most of them. The lack of clear signposting and route planning within the zoo makes it easy to miss areas altogether - so i never did manage to find the otters or meerkats (shame - I love Meerkats).

Red Panda - my favourites!

Monkeying around

I enjoyed wandering around the Zoo, it was a great day out in the sunshine and an opportunity to check out another London sight i had never done before...

Posted by StephenJen 11:56 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Ladies and Gentlemen... Frank McComb.

Warning! The following blog contains mercilessly lengthy musical critique.

sunny 27 °C

On Monday I read an article about a piano player/singer named Frank McComb. He was playing one show only in London that night. I had not heard of him previously but I read who his influences were and thought it may well be a set that we would enjoy. I also thought it would be nice for Jen and I to get out and treat ourselves to dinner and a show. I got online and reserved a table at the Pigalle Club in Piccadilly. We had been to the club before but, having been to the Moulin Rouge in the Pigalle region of Paris, we had an idea of the sort of club it might be. We arrived and our waiter met us at the door upstairs. He led us down several flights of stairs and showed us to our table. We were staggered to find ourselves at front of the stage about three tables back. The club was a very authentic Paris supper club, the type of place you could imagine Dexter Gordon or Miles playing back in the day. We were feeling very special, but trying not to be too obvious in our excitement. We ordered a bottle of French red and chose our courses.
The lights were dimmed as we ate to the sounds of Monk, Bird, miles and Trane. By desert the DJ had started his set and we had moved to George Benson and Barry White. It was all very romantic and we were feeling pampered and relaxed.

Shortly after our meal Patrick, who hosts the Monday music night, took to the mike to introduce the evenings guest, Frank McComb. Frank sat at the Rhodes and the band followed. Drums, bass, percussion, sax and trombone. From the first 4 bars we were pretty sure we had made the right choice. When the vocal came in we were certain. The man has a voice, the quality of which I have only heard a couple of times before. Frank McComb gave us a combination of the smooth, soulful styles of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway but with the clever scat lines of a be bop horn player. He is the personification of everything I love about music. Jen and I were blown away. The band was a group of London guys who were doing just this one night and they nailed it! The set was fantastic. A brilliant fusion of jazz, soul and R&B. Add some funk and Gospel overtones, present it with a dynamic honesty and vocal fearlessness, what you get is Frank McComb.

Posted by StephenJen 13:05 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (1)

Wallabies vs Wales

World Cup Victory!

all seasons in one day
View London to Cardiff on StephenJen's travel map.

On Friday 14th September, I did something that I never thought I would do in a million years. I picked up a brand new hire car from Waterloo (Central London) and drove it back to our good old flat in the Western Suburbs of London.

Well, after not having driven in nine months - I think I did pretty well - particularly in a big city in the middle of the day. Though the car was equipped with Sat Nav and was telling me where to turn - I still managed to miss my turn a few times and ended up driving past Buckingham Palace, Royal Albert Hall, Big Ben/Houses of Parliament and a few other sights. Quite an enjoyable drive (however what takes around 20 minutes by train took over an hour driving thanks to missed turns and London Traffic!). Anyway, already running late - Stephen and I packed our little blue hire Vauxhall (Holden) Astra with our Australian Scarves and clothes and drove in the direction of Cardiff, Wales.

Along the way - we stopped to take a look at Stonehenge and managed to see it in various lights thanks to the quickly setting sun. Stonehenge was quite amazing, it is wierd to see something in person that you have seen so may times in print or on film - the same feeling I got when I saw the Mona Lisa (but this was as big as I thought it would be - unlike the Mona Lisa). Stonehenge is really quite cool, and I can recommend the free audio guide that you can utilise when visiting as it is really fascinating to hear different theories about the purpose or history of such a bizarre structure (and though they did not mention it - I am sure that the Scientologists may also have a theory about Stonhenge that relates somehow to their master plan).



As it was getting dark, we drove through Salisbury (singing Peter Gabriels song Solsbury Hill. We since realised that this is not where he was singing about - hence the different spelling) then, Bath and Bristol. Adam and Meaghan were driving towards Cardiff in their own little Silver Citroen at the same time, though they managed to cover few more km's than us and managed to get run off the road by other drivers! It was getting late, we were tired and had nowhere to sleep. We found a cool little coach-inn called The Three Salmon which had a room for us, and there we stayed for the night (and the complimentary brekfast) until it was again time to hit the road.


We arrived in Cardiff at around mid-morning and after driving down a closed street and being "cautioned" by the police, managed to find a car park quite close to Millenium Stadium where we would be in a few hours time. We saw the Wallabies leaving their hotel as we were coming into town, and started to get excited about the prospect of watching them beat Wales in the Rugby surrounded by other Aussies who had travelled from various places to see it. Cardiff was FULL of Aussies. There is nothing quite like being surrounded by so much green and gold miles from home and all there to cheer on fellow Aussies at a huge stadium. We donned green and gold, Aussie & Boxing Kangaroo Flags and even some face paint before heading to the stadium.




What can I say about the Game? There was so much green and gold, so many people, so much good singing (okay... that was the Welsh, not us.....) and it was a very cool game to see. During the half time break - it was interesting to note that the sound system belted out "Delilah" by Tom Jones to lift the Welsh Spirits and what did we get?...... AC/DC "Long Way to The Top. Noice.


Australia beat Wales by a decent margin however there were some real edge of the seat moments, and the Welsh played with some fierce determination. It was a great feeling to see the Wallabies doing a lap of victory and wave to all of the Aussies that had come out to see them win. This was AWESOME and it was great to have been part of it.



So, the game was over and we came to the very quick realisation that none of us (Adam & Megs or Stephen and I) had anywhere to sleep. We called around hotels/motels/campsites/hostels, drove to Bath, called around again - with no luck). We ended up out in the sticks eating fish and chips and eventually found a cheap hotel that furnish us with two rooms. Nice.

The next morning we headed back to Bath for breakfast and to have a look around. Bath is a very pretty city with a lot to look at, however we stayed only a few hours after Adam and Meaghan said goodbye (again.... which was hard) and headed off again to continue their adventure. Stephen and I looked at the Roman Baths, purchased some tasty-but-expensive toffee and headed back towards London. It took us under 1.5 Hours to drive in total from Cardiff to London (excluding stops) which we were amazed at! What a trip.





NB: I did return the car to the Europcar Office on a Monday morning before work - driving in Central London in Peak Hour - without a scratch, dent or a missed turn! Not a bad effort!?

Jen xxx

Posted by StephenJen 06:05 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (1)

Notting Hill Carnival

sunny 22 °C

Hi All

Yesterday Stephen and I headed down to Notting Hill for the annual Notting Hill Carnival which has been held every August Bank Holiday Weekend since 1966, and is the largest celebration of its kind in Europe.

It originally started as a local festival set up by the West Indian immigrants of the area and has now become a full-blooded Caribbean carnival, attracting millions of visitors from around the world. With scores of massive sound systems, many spectacular floats and, of course, the traditional steel drum bands, plus hundreds of stalls lining the streets. Music is at the heart of Notting Hill Carnival - Historically steel bands, Soca & Calypso Music have been at the heart of Carnival but in recent years these the website reports that these have been overtaken by the static sound systems playing anything from Reggae to R&B, Funk, House, and Dub.

Stephen and I arrived and were met with some awesome sounds as soon as we got off the tube - the music was coming from the nearby church and there were people everywhere of every nationality headed down towards Portobello Road. There was the smells of awesome Caribbean food in the air, Curried Goat, Rice & Peas, Jerk Chicken and Red Beans and Rice everywhere and the soungs of whistles coming from every second person (Its tradition to blow whistles when the parade goes past).

We made our way down to the parade (Mas) area just in time to see them start to come past - and loved the spectacular costumes, headpieces, dancing and music that came from each of the floats.




As you can see - so much effort goes into the costumes for Mas and people really get into it, both in the parade and those watching from the sidelines. We stayed for a few hours and soaked it all in but did not feel game to go into any of the venues that had live music, as they were so jam packed that we would have had to fight and push our way in - people were spilling out of every doorway....

Loved the Carnival and will definitely go again next yeat if we are still around London (we have new hopes of winning the Euro-Millions Lotto and buying a house on Portobello Road with a Balcony so we have prime position next year but we will have to see how that pans out.... )

Lots of love to all at home and scattered across the planet....

Jen & Stephen x

Posted by StephenJen 03:09 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (1)

Hyde Park Calling

Why standing in the rain for hours really rocks!

all seasons in one day 8 °C

Over the weekend Hyde Park hosted a two day concert called “Hyde Park Calling” … we answered the call.

The main stage at Hyde Park Calling

This ride rocks - Adam and Jen braved it and survived

After a short time in the queue, we found ourselves in the midst of a peculiarly reasonable and courteous bunch of concert goers. I think it was, largely, due to the fact that the headline acts on the first day were Crowded House and Peter Gabriel. We expected to struggle to find a spot close to the action as we had made the decision not to get to the park early. When we walked to the staging area we were surprised to find there was plenty of room on the grassy expanse to lay out a tarp and stretch out our legs. It was a relatively warm and sunny day and a picnic atmosphere predominated.

Surprise packet for the day was local outfit The Feeling restored my faith in diversity. Check them out.

We had a few fleeting moment of scattered rain and when Neil Finn sang "Weather with you" we found the wide blue sky and sunshine a further reminder of home.

Sally & Phil enjoying Crowded House in the sunshine....

Jen & Megs

Stephen & Jen

BUT THEN... the wind picked up, the clouds blackened the sky and it bucketted down. It was some of the heaviest rain we have ever been in, and it didn't look like letting up. Roadies leapt into action and pulled covers over the gear nearer the front of the stage. Neil Finn stood at the back and did a solo set to steel the spirit of the crowd... it worked. We all sang along loudly and felt a kind of bond as the legs of our jeans soaked with rain and turned the backs of our legs icy cold. The band finished and shortly thereafter so did the rain.

Neil Finn - Crowded House

This is Londons Summer?

Phil - Still during Crowded House

The headline act was Peter Gabriel and I, for one, was very excited to finally see him live. His set was amazing! His voice was brilliant as was the band. Wayne would be happy to know that Tony Levin and his Stick were both in fine form. We all jumped about to "Steam" and "Sledgehammer" and felt somewhat connected to "Salisbury Hill" when it rang out around Hyde Park London.

Peter Gabriel

Stephen during Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

Day Two we went better prepared for what promised to be an even wetter day. Suffice it to say, over the two days of the concert the country received the equivilent to a months rain! We were covered in Rain coats and packed umbrellas (for the intervals between the bands). The first couple of bands were a bit ordinary but by the time Irish rock outfit, the Answer, hit the stage it felt like a 1970's festival. The set was heavily derivative of all the most important British rock acts of the late 60's and early 70's. Jet followed and the day was building momentum nicely. We felt great when they introduced themselves as a band from Melbourne... So are we!...except for the band bit that is.


Adam and Megs

Chris Cornell opened his set with "Spoonman" and the place went nuts, His voice was brilliant and the band was tight. I can't fault the performance.

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell

By the time he had finished we were all feeling a little fatigued and, not being big Aerosmith fans, had felt we had already got what we came for. After a little while the rain suddenly cleared and the giant screens lit up with a video clip featuring a long list of Aerosmith hits. Suddenly the stage was bathed in light and the band kicked out "Love in an elevator" Steve Tyler subtly decked out in a white suit and white cowboy hat! Now, I have to admit... I thought the band would put on a good show but sound pretty terrible. Boy was I wrong. These old guys were polished, sounded great and delivered every rock cliche in the book. Shirts off, prancing down the ego ramp ( a VERY long peice of stage ramp from the middle of the stage well into the crowd). Fantastic! If only we had lighters for "Don't wanna miss a thing" nobody does cheesy rock ballads like Aerosmith. The encore for the night was "Walk this Way" - complete with Darryl Mac from Run DMC.


All in all we had a very wet, very enjoyable time. Rock lives on and the bands didn't let us down.



Posted by StephenJen 04:47 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (1)

Mad dogs and Englishmen...

why our favourite pub is... well... our favourite.

all seasons in one day 8 °C

In recent days Jen, myself and our housemate Dave have been trotting down to one of our local public houses, The Wheatsheaf. It has a very warm and relaxed atmosphere, comfy (well worn in) big armchairs and lounges, many fine ales and lagers, a friendly host and his charming bitch.. Maggie.

When we first met Maggie she was lying in a heap on the floor... naked. She was begging for food at an adjacent table and eventually came to us looking for a hand out. We dropped a bit of the fat left from our meals and she seemed gratified. We tried to extend our hands in friendship, but she was reticent to return our greeting. After some coaxing with a bit of food she mounted the back of our lounge and I was able to rub her tummy for a while. By closing time we felt sure we would eventually become friends.

Last night our entire household - Jen, Mark, Kelly, myself and Dave (plus Dave's pseudo Canadian cousin Sarah) - decided to visit the Wheat for a rollicking night of trivia. It was quite busy and most of the groups participated in the trivia. Our witty Irish host collected our 1 pound coins, we collected a jug of Fosters and a jug of something called "Snakebite" (beer, cider & grenadine) and we were off and running.

We had a very good first round and were positioned about 4th. Our second round started with a football question.. we all looked to Mark (sport nut) he didn't let us down! Kellys thorough knowledge of all things celebrity had us icorrectly identifying Anna Nicole Smiths chin (if only we listened to her about the Lasagna question!)

With questions spanning food, history, picture questions on movies and music, and many others, we felt a little shaky... maybe it was that fourth jug... not quite sure. We exchanged our answer sheets and waited. When the dust settled we had finished in equal first place! We were ecstatic!

It was then... a lone voice, in a low Irish tone, said those immortal words.... SUDDEN DEATH PLAY-OFF. I reluctantly rose and stepped to the centre of the room. A hush fell over the crowd (and I think some women fainted) "Name the year" said our host. My throat dried, body tensed. The clues ensued. 1998 is shrieked. WRONG! 1997 shouted the opposition. Wrong! And so it went, guess for guess. Like two proud heavyweight boxers in a world title fight ( bearing in mind we were both middle-aged, overweight and had no clue what bloody year it was). It seemed that everyone else in the room apart from the two of us actually able to answer knew the answer! 1995 is screamed. Wrong! '1994' said the little balding Indian man. We have a winner!

But a fleeting moment in the sun. A lifetime in shame.
Although the publican did reward our fine performance with a free jug of snakebite.

We will re-group and return to the Wheat next week... and cover ourselves in glory, for we are brave... we are easily intoxicated... and damn it... we are AUSTRALIANS!!

Flying the Flag....



Jen & Kelly


Kelly, Mark & Stephen


Dave & Sarah




Stephen & Maggie

To see all the pics - click here

BTW: regarding "why our favourite" etc. The very coolest thing about London pubs is the fact that you are able to take your best (four legged) friend inside with you for a drink. I wish our little black buddy was here to share a night out! Having Maggie come and attack our shoelaces or play fetch or just fall asleep in the armchair beside us, warms our hearts. Having said farewell to our own dogs,having Maggie (and an array of other local dogs) to pat is very nice indeed.

Bye all and give your pets a pat (they're worth it).


Posted by StephenJen 12:00 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (1)

Valentines Day


Hi everyone!

Happy Valentines Day! For those of you that dont already know - Stephen and I actually celebrated Valentines Day twice! We woke up on the 13th, had showers and got dressed up nicely before one of the housemates informed us that we were a day early!
You lose track of dates when you are in holiday mode....

Anyway.... On the 14th we got up and got dressed up again and headed to the London Eye for a special champagne flight - thanks to Stephen! He took me on the thing i most wanted to do in London... despite being scared of heights!


The London Eye

We got to check in and wait in the Belvedere Room, where i was given a single rose and we each got a delicious chocolate for the "flight". At 2pm we were ushered through straight into our pod on the eye (much to the dismay of those people who had normal tickets and had to queue!), with about 5 other couples.


Stephen and I on the Eye!

We coped marvellously with the whole fear of heights issue, and only suffered a brief spell of vertigo as we neared the top of the eye. It is a VERY long way down.... We were given champage and looked out over every angle of London for 30 minutes. It was Awesome!


One of the views from the London Eye

Best Valentines Day ever! (Though we had hoped to see someone propose - no-one did... though our "host" mentioned that last year there had been 50 proposals on the eye).

That afternoon we headed down to Trafalgar Square and had a wander round in the sunshine... saw one person feeding the pigeons but unfortunately they have now officially banned the feeding of them in this area.... Trafalgar Square is cool, especially on such a sunny day... there were people everywhere....


Stephen at Trafalgar Square

To see LOTS more photos of London Eye & Trafalgar Square - click here

Posted by StephenJen 12:42 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Victoria & Albert Museum and Harrods!

all seasons in one day

Today we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum and Harrods, where we saw the Born to Rock Exhibition (yes - something FREE in Harrods!)....

The V&A was amazing - we especially liked the Fashion Exhibition that is on at the moment and the musical instruments section....


Instruments at the V&A


Cast at the V&A

I really want to see the Kylie exhibition that has just opened too, however the line was way too long for us to consider it today! Thats okay - its an excuse to go back!

After this - we dropped into Harrods and wandered around looking for celebrities and things we could afford (we didnt see either one of these things...).... before heading up to the Born to Rock Exhibtion... which i thought was VERY cool - basically an exhibtion of rare, vintage and custom electric guitars... as well as stories behind them, etc.




Born to Rock Exhibition

Stephen then shopped around for a Grand Piano, and we settled on one that was 16,000 GBP. Not Bad. We might get two.


Something closer to our budget (well.... almost)

We jumped off the bus in Chelsea on the way back and had a wander around looking at rich people. Stephen thinks he saw Elizabeth Hurley (Shes a model/bad actress for those that dont know)... but i missed her!

Anyway - thats all for now - enjoy the pics (and as usual - if you want to see all of the pics... click here.... )

Stay safe all...

Love Jen x0x

Posted by StephenJen 13:18 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

London Wetlands Centre


Hi all

Well, we hummed and ahh'd over whether we would go to theWetlands Centre with Jane today as though it had started out a sunny morning, by 11am it was pouring with rain. We spoke to Jane on the phone and agreed we would rug up and brave the rain - after all - wetlands are supposed to be wet, right?

We drove out to Barnes (not too far from home at all) and went in courtesy of Jane as she has compimentary guestpasses having been a volunteer there for some years.

Jane gave us a personal tour of one side of the centre before lunch, then had her afternoon tour as a volunteer in the afternoon - which also turned out to be a personalised tour as the wet weather had put the crowds off!

All the better for us though - the birds were in fine form and really put on a show for us - they were loving the rain! Jane taught us so much about the different types of birds we saw, with the aid of a great pair of binoculars! Just as well there was no quiz at the end though - i am not sure howmuch we will retain!

The centre is fantastic and i would highly recommend anyone coming to London must go there, its amazing that something so amazing could be so close to one of the biggest cities in the world.



See more of our pics from the London Wetlands Centre here.

Posted by StephenJen 14:11 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Its snowing ! ! !

snow -2 °C

This is what we woke up to this morning!

Snow from our window at 7:15am

Tree in Hurlingham Park

If you want to see more of the glorious stuff... see more pics here

Jen x0x

Posted by StephenJen 00:39 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Socceroos vs Denmark


Well, we went and saw the Socceroos vs Denmark at Loftus Road Stadium (Queens Park Rangers) at White City.

We were full of Australian Pride and hopeful that we could go home feeling even prouder. It did not work out that way. We sucked. We finally scored one and lost 3-1.

Great to see so many Aussies out supporting the Socceroos though hopefully next time we do a bit better.


See some more photos here

Posted by StephenJen 13:53 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (0)

Day out with Jane

Fulham Palace & Hurlingham Club

semi-overcast 9 °C

Well, we caught up with Jane today - for those that dont know - Jane is Jens Mums cousin who has lived in London for some time and who we caught up with back in Melbourne a few months ago.

Putney Bridge over the Thames

We met up in Putney and took a great walk down the Thames to Fulham Palace - which was fantastic. There were so many birds and it was so quiet that you would not know you were so close to such a huge city! We had a Hot Choc and a yummy pastry before taking a walk around the grounds.

Grounds at Fulham Palace

Our new friend the Squirrel at Fulham Palace

After this we went back to Janes place and had a snack and a quick drink

Jen and Jane at Janes Place

....before heading to her exclusive club - The Hurlingham Club where she was able to sign us in and give us a tour of a place we would never be able to see under normal circumstances! It was a great day out and we may even bump into Jane out and about as we are in the same general area!

Take Care all
Jen x0x

Posted by StephenJen 03:19 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

Our New Digs...

overcast 8 °C

Hi everyone.

Well, we have moved into our new place and have been in here for nearly a week now! Its very cool, and we are coping quite well with sharing with other peple which is something we were both nervous about. We are in with some pretty cool people who are very helpful in answering all the questions we have about just about everything!

Here are some pics of our place...

Stephen in our room

The loungeroom

View from the balcony

View from the front door over a school and towards Parsons Green

It actually looks smaller than it is in real life, its actually quite a spacious flat compared to some others that we looked at!

So, we have a few things planned for next week - we are going to see the football on Tuesday - Australia vs Denmark which will be cool - all of the housemates are going together... will let you know how it goes....

Oh - for those of you that dont know - i went for my fisrt job interview yesterday - and withing ten minutes of walking out of the interview - they had called my consultant and offered me the position. Very bizzare. Its a great job - but have told them that i will not start until 21st (After we come back from Paris) and my consultant will let me know if one closer to home comes up for me in the meantime. This is a great job which i think i could do standing on my head - along the same lines as what i was doing at home - but would be a 40 minute bus ride there each morning (which i actually wouldnt mind too much - am loving double deckers buses!).

Anyway - its afer 11am and i am still not dressed and ready to go - so will leave it there as we are catching up with Sally and Phil again today...

Take Care
Jen x0x

Posted by StephenJen 02:28 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

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