Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hong Kong Stewie

Hong Kong was HOT, steamy and incredibly polluted. My skin broke out like I was seventeen thirty-four all over again.

Work was tiring - I was giving about 7 hours of training and presentations each day but everyone was so friendly and enthusiastic I forgave them making me lose my voice.

I went wandering a little bit around the Causeway Bay shopping area where my hotel was. It was completely chaotic and it was quite exciting to be in Asia again.

My favourite thing of the whole week was the supermarket next door to the hotel that sold trays of tropical fruit, for about a pound. Papaya, watermelon and pineapple was my favourite combo. YUM.

I love this street art I saw in an alley, just around the corner from a string of designer stores

...Hong Kong Banksy

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cycling Weekends

A few pics from a couple of kinda recent cycling trip. Smithy cycled and I was support knitting crew.

In June we went to Italy near Milan/Lake Como to meet up with Smithy's hard core cycling friends (we're talking 200km a day for a mountains). It was fun observing the action though. The gang had assembled from Canada, Singapore, London and Dubai for the event. The scenery around Lake Como was beautiful. I always love being in the mountains. It was a lot more populated than I expected though.

This church is at the top of a steep climb and is dedicated to cyclists. It is kind of a cycling museum as there are bikes from famous cyclists over the years hung all over the walls. Bikes haven't changed very much in 100 years.

We had lunch in Bellagio on the lake. I had the best icecream I've ever tasted. It was the flavour of Baccio chocolates. Ahhh.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

T in the Park

When Nic first mentioned this festival I imagined it was spelt "Tea" and was intended to be a bit ironic. Or cosy. Or something. I didn't realise T was for Tennants lager of which copious amounts were drunk over the weekend. Not so much by me incidentally, as I had truly written myself off on the Friday night before (accidentally, like, oops) and almost couldn't make the flight to Glasgow. Luckily I rose above the pain and constant spewing (sorry Mum, I really don't do that much any more) and made it up there as it was an awesome weekend.

Not having been a festival goer before I didn't really know what to expect. What does one do for two days while stuck in a muddly field with thousands of other unwashed people? It was all pretty chilled out. We alternated between watching bands, queuing for drinks and eating dodgy burgers.

The mud was horrendous when we arrived and I had to chuck my work shoes out that I was wearing due to being too drunk the night before to remember to change them. But they gave me blisters anyway so it was a good excuse. Happily N had purchased wellies for us which I gratefully wore for the entire weekend. It dried out over the weekend as it didn't rain at all after Friday night and the weather on Sunday was really nice.
The music was really good although noone was very impressed with Babyshambles and Amy Winehouse was a total shambles and didn't even show up. We saw Razorlight and the Killers on Saturday night for a fun headline show. See you next year for a nice cup of tea.

PS. I think it would have been a lot cooler if I hadn't been wearing my glasses but then I would't have seen the awesome view up there. Note to self - wear my contacts more.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Its been awhile

And some silliness via Kimbofo for my return. Apparently I'm a rarity among personalities! OK stop sniggering you guys. I will have to check this against the full test we did at work a while back - I think its the same from memory.

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lyme Regis

We loved it here so much I wanted to bring the Robbos as they started their roadtrip to Cornwall and Wales. On Saturday we walked around Lyme Regis and had a lovely devonshire tea at a cafe terrace overlooking the beach. Then we went for a stroll along the cliffs at neighboring Charmouth beach.

Lewis is captivated by the grass - he loves it.

We stayed at a lovely cottage - very cosy with a beautiful garden. There is a summer house and a deck with a creek running by. I only took this quick snap which doesn't do it justice at all as we were leaving.

It was a lovely relaxing weekend and we didn't do much except eat, chat and read (and knit for one of us). Smithy made an exceptional dinner, inspired by the River Cottage cookbook. Butternut pumpkins hollowed out and baked with a soup inside. Yum.

Topped off by a three hour drive back to London and no delays - incredible for a Sunday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hampstead Village Walk

I had a dream week off work last week, hanging out with the Robbos, sleeping in and eating nice food. Ahhhh.

On Tuesday we had a lazy day and hung out in ED (East Dulwich for short). We went to lunch at the Bishop and I noticed for the first time what an excellent veggie menu they have. Said hi to Clarence the pub wiemerana who is just beautiful. Robbo and I managed to do a bit of shopping, while they boys patiently waited.

I tried out this Delia Roasted Veggie and Brown Rice Gratin which received the seal of approval of the veggies and even the carnivores.

On Wednesday we ventured far afield north of the river and went for a London Walk in Hampstead Village. It was a gorgeous day and our guide Peter was excellent. It wasn't until the end of the walk that I realised Peter was the same guide as I had for the only other walk I had done (half of) with P over a year ago.

We went through an atmospheric church graveyard. Almost every second house had a blue plaque and we learnt some interesting London history.

Bebe Robbo slept through half the walk and enjoyed the second half very much...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Paris continued...

On Easter Sunday we started the day with some treats from the Boulangerie. Delicious!

I had one of the scrumptions rasberry tarts on the left.Then we went for a marathon walk from Marias to Musee d'Orsay via Isle St Louis and Isle de la Cite. We hadn't discovered Isle St Louis before but were completely charmed. Notre Dame in the sunshine was spectular.

More photos of the weekend here at flickr.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter in Paris

We jumped on the Eurostar on Thursday afternoon, excited to be escaping work for a few days. In Paris we found our appartment in the Marais district and met up with the Robbos who arrived earlier. We experienced a weekend in Paris at baby pace. Which meant doing and seeing much more than Smithy and I ever would have, left to our own devices...


We walked down past the Bastille, through Place des Vosges and had lunch at Cafe Hotel de Ville.

Pompidou centre where we spent more time in the cafe than looking at the Art. Robbo and I went to visit the baby change facilities and came out to find R & Smithy looking down from the balcony bar, beers in hand looking quite pleased with themselves.


Designated as shopping day. We went back to the amazing Marche St Ouen full of treasures and interesting things.

Monday, February 26, 2007

La Fromagerie

A few weeks ago we were invited to a cheese and wine tasting at La Fromagerie. Three courses of cheese with accompanying wines. Fromage-tastic.

It was such a fab shop I went back with Tim on the weekend.

We stopped for a flat white and brunch at the Tapa Room. Here we are loving the flat whites....

Then we wandered up the road to La Fromagerie. The cheese room is incredible.

Goats cheese selection

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Le Weekend

Its been a recovery weekend of eating, cleaning, washing, crafting and blogging. No socialising and very little leaving the house.

Except on Saturday when I ventured across the road to the hairdressers for a much needed colour and trim. Somehow a trim turned into a major lopping of several inches.

I'm very happy with it and it has passed the Day Two test of looking ok without salon expertise. This is with no product and no blowdrying which is pretty much how I run out the door every morning so I'm relieved.

How does it compare Robbo? (My friend Robbo and I have an uncanny ability to get the same haircuts despite living on opposite sides of the world and not discussing styles).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wales v Ireland

Wales v Ireland

On Sunday afternoon we drove from Lyme Regis to Cardiff for the Wales v Ireland in the six nations rugby. The city centre was buzzing and the stadium is right in the middle of the city next to the beautiful Cardiff Castle. We joined over 74,000 people in the stadium and enjoyed the fine weather with the roof off.

It didn't seem like a particularly dramatic game to me - a complete non-expert when it comes to rugby. I asked Smithy if it was a good game - he said it was "ok". I was cheering for Ireland who won 19-9.

Smithy convinced me to go to the game by saying the atmosphere and singing is great and it was very impressive. I would have liked to spend more time in Cardiff but we had to drive back to London (very slowly due to one or two traffic accidents - Sunday night joy)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Weekend at Lyme Regis

I booked a cottage in Lyme Regis over Christmas in the dead of winter. I never imagined that when we were there it would be the most beautiful winter weather I've ever seen here.

I also had no idea that it was right in the middle of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for dinosour fossils. At the beginning of our walk along the coast I popped into a dusty, dark fossil shop and was awestruck by a dinosour fossil. We had a rather leisurely walk along the beach and over the cliffs. I definitely didn't need my new waterproof jacket that I rushed out to buy at lunch on Friday. We enjoyed sarnies and Beths yummy chocolate and banana cake. A Bill Grainger recipe - apparently the secret is to double the recommended amount of chocolate!

Beth was looking for fossils...

She found this one

Friday, February 02, 2007


Taxis & St Pauls

After an awesome weekend in NYC with Miss Jo I have been struggling all week.

We mostly shopped and ate. This photo is taken from the World Trade Centre area where there are huge photos of 9/11 on display. It is still very emotional to be there and see it. There were a lot of people in tears and I was feeling a bit choked up.

Then we went across the road to Century 21 for a bit more shopping. What a fabulous place - great bargains if you have the patience. On your receipt they have the total spent in small font then how much you have saved in massive print - very satisfying.

It was very very cold and there was much talk on the news about the first snow of the season.

Back in London its a balmy 11 degrees. Hardly even coat weather!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


A rare sight in London this morning. Snow covered trees in our back garden when we woke up. After weeks of mild weather we are finally experiencing winter.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Windy city

Chicago has nothin' on London today. I almost got blown off London Bridge walking to work this morning. Lunchtime was even worse when I ventured out to go to the gym. A girl walking past me in the other direction was blown into me and we both almost landed on the street.

Tonight almost all the tube lines were suspended. Information on the web said trains were operating from London Bridge but by the time I walked there, the whole station was cordoned off and closed. I jumped on the number 40 bus which took about 50mins but at least got me home.

On another topic, we've signed up for the Reading half marathon in March to really kick start the fitness thing. I've been for a few short runs but am yet to get into a routine. Its a start.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Staying resolved

Lifehacker has an article on web sites to help you keep your resolutions. I could probably use all of them but am going to take a close look at using Fitday to help track weight loss goals and the online running log at Coolrunning.

There is a definite fitness theme running through my (non-environmental) goals. As usual. But since my recent fitness test revealled that my fat percentage is 34% which is off the scale, beyond 'very fat' and even beyond 'really really fat' I have been even more motivated.

The personal trainer I have enlisted to help bust the fat has assured me the only way is to create more muscle. This is because I am not all that big - well a UK 12 is considered pretty big these days next to bloody Posh's size zero but not compared to 50s starlets at least. But I admit there are still a couple of kilos to loose in any case.

I think if my PT really knew the situation she would probably say "create more muscle and eat A LOT less cheese". I'm addicted to cheese. And recent experience shows that if I cut out chocolate and alcohol the cravings just get worse. This latest episode falling off the wagon started on New Years Eve when the choice was chips (crisps) or a massive block of Blue Stilton. Well it was conveniently located near me and the half of the block I consumed unassisted (ok ok more like 3/4) was divine. Ever since then I've had cravings. I'll be in the middle of a meeting at work and drift off thinking about the cheese on biccies I'm going to have in the evening. It has got to stop! From this point forward I am going to replace Blue Stilton with carrot sticks.

Yeah right.

P.S. sorry if this is all too much information.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I have some environmental new years resolutions this year:
  • Turn things off more (computer, work and home, TV, lights, heating)
  • Only buy veggies without packaging. Harder than it sounds, but more than half the veggies in our local big supermarket are wrapped in two layers of packaging. Possible solution - buy elsewhere - this will definitely take more organisation and planning.
  • Recycle more - I have been lazy about this in the past - No longer!
  • Use environmentally friendly products in our renovations
  • Consume less generally
  • Avoid flying and catch trains whenever possible

And this is not a resolution but I am going to at least think about cycling to work. But that would mean getting over my fear of the Elephant and Castle roundabout which is not going to happen in a hurry. But I think I will start going to spinning classes so at least the concept might be physically possible!

I'm sure there are more things I can do and I will also get more educated.

PS tonight we went to the supermarket and managed to buy all the vegies we needed without any packaging Yay! - there were packaged versions for everything we bought though.

Delicious Sunday

Delicious not just for the food, but also for the chance to savour time spent with friends.

We train and tubed it in to Marylebone High Street to The Providores. This cafe & restuarant, wasn't hard to find as we spotted the queue of people out the door from halfway down the street. The Tapa Room which is the cafe downstairs was heaving. Happily we had a booking in the restaurant upstairs and swanned past the anxious, drooling queuers.

The Kiwi roots of Chef and Owner Peter Gordon are revealed through the menu by gems like Boiled eggs with Vegemite soldiers and FLAT WHITE coffees! Probably only an Aussie or Kiwi living in London can really appreciate the excitement seeing those two unassuming words on a menu can bring. It is fresh fusion style food and impeccable yet warm and friendly service. Apparently the wine list is a winner too.

I find it hard to resist French toast on a brunch menu. But when it is French Toast stuffed with Banana and Pecans with grilled, smoked streaky bacon and vanilla verjus syrup there is no chance of me passing it up. Ahhhh.

When we left the queue had grown to about twenty people waiting with anticipation outside.

After that we made our way to far north London, having been invited to Afternoon Tea. The day just got more and more civilised. We had a lovely afternoon chatting and enjoying German style Honig cake and another delicious creation with lemon butter icing. With cups and cups of tea from a teapot. Yumola.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Year in Reflection

Recent years have been dominated by travel, long distance relationships, running, moving countries and upheaval. In contrast this year has been distinctly domestic with house buying, wedding and planning renovations. My cancerian homebody soul definitely is happier with the recent trend!

Its been an incredibly busy year with some amazing highs but a lot of hard work in between. I'm looking forward to a quiet year with just a small renovation project in 2007 ;)

January:: Australia::hot::London::cold::February:: 10km "Love Run"::House surveys::March:: Paris ::Impatiently waiting for house::April:: Completion:Moving:: New house::Switzerland:: May:: Painting rooms::Making Curtains::Cricket at Lords ::Jo Visiting::Wales::June:: Birthday::Istanbul::Turf::July:: Backyard BBQs::London TOAST::Isle of Wight::August:: Provence cycling::Indian Monsoon wedding::Started Craft Actually::Wedding Invitations::September:: London Girls Night Out::Dancing Lessons ::October:: Australia::Mum’s 60th::Noosa Wedding::November:: Maldives Honeymoon::New job::December:: Architect plans:: Wedding Thankyous::Christmas parties

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas

Joe the Christmas dog

Cheers! Hope you're having a lovely day and thanks for dropping by here throughout the year.

We're having a very low key day today. After breakfast we decided to go for a walk in Greenwich Park. We were joined by a few hundred dog walkers. This festive guy is called Joe.

As you can see its a bit grey but still a nice day.

Smithy is now prepping the turkey to a soundtrack of cheesy Christmas carols and I'm getting really hungry.

Monday, December 18, 2006

At Last

On the day of the wedding time behaved in a very strange way - speeding up, then slowing down to almost slow motion at times. I had expected this to some extent - everyone had said it all goes very quickly - it just didn't happen when I expected.

The preparations were very relaxed and leisurely, apart from some pre-exam like nerves from still working on my speech at the last minute I felt great. All the girls were chilled out and our make up and hair guy set up at about 8am and worked like a demon to get us all ready in time.

In the end we were ready early and had to wait in the bedroom for ages while the guests arrived. When we finally got the nod to head down, I was so impatient I was practically sprinting. Jo had been the one really keeping me cool over the past couple of days and said "er, Hels....aren't we meant to walk in front of you?!" Ah yes, you go ahead!

I don't really know what I was feeling during the ceremony. It was a bit sureal that it was actually happening at last, I was worrying about Smithy as he was as white as a ghost, and I was also quite distracted as bead after bead of sweat trickled down my front in the 30+ degree heat. At this point time slowed down and I felt that the ceremony took a really long time.
The setting was stunning. I tried to take in the details of people's faces and how cool everyone looked gathered in the rainforest glen surrounded by the massive gum trees. And listen to what the celebrant was saying and get my vows out coherently.

I'm pretty happy at this point, walking down the aisle together. Ready to get the party started.

All in all it went incredibly smoothly. The flowers were stunning, the food was sensational, the weather was perfect. I think my favourite part of the evening was sitting down to dinner and having a chance to draw breath and enjoy the amazing surroundings and see everyone around us having a good time. I think we had the perfect number of people there. Everyone there was very close to us, but any more and I think it would be too many to really speak to. As it was I felt like I missed out on speaking to people I would have like to spend more time with.

We had a great time dancing to our first dance "At Last" by Etta James, despite me forgetting most of the steps. Luckily I had a long forgiving frock.

I think I spent most of the night on the dance floor. I certainly felt like it the next day!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thank you

Looking at all the photos of the wedding is bringing back such great memories. We are so grateful for everyone who was able to come and share the day with us. And of course so many other friends who have given us best wishes and the most beautiful gifts. I wanted to make some thank you cards in the same style as the invites. They turned out to be much quicker and easier to create as I wasn't writing any wording for inside. We will spend a cosy evening or two writing messages instead.

Party season

On Friday night we did a quick change in the work loos into sparkly tops and black trousers for our work Christmas party. Except for the one girl who attracted plenty of attention in sparkly hotpants and a black top.

The venue was a boat and we cruised and boozed on the Thames up to Parliament house and back. Most of our team was there and we shared a big table for the sit down dinner. It was a clear crisp night, making it chilly, but we remained on deck for a long time taking in Tower Bridge, the Tate Modern and other iconic buildings. The art deco style interior and the fantastic views outside made it a glamorous evening.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wedding stories: The day before

Our wedding venue doubled as our holiday house for the week of the wedding. This was perfect as it was in such a beautiful serene setting we couldn’t help be relaxed. The day before the wedding we had yet more girly indulging planned. Two fabulous manicurists came to the house and we lounged around having toenails and fingernails painted. My bridesmaids made sure I was spoilt rotten and ensured I was supplied with a steady stream of fruit, champers and chocolate. For me getting married was all about the treatments.

Lewis still managed to steal the show and no-one wanted to have the nails done as that meant giving up cuddling rights. Eventually both he and Zannah succumbed to the strain of it all.

I was feeling pretty chilled until our wedding planner (love saying that even still) mentioned that all FIVE weather sites were predicting afternoon storms the next day. There are five weather sites?!! As my eyes bulged on stalks and bridezilla started to make her first murmurs, she calmly said “Now you don’t have to decide right now, but we need to know soon if you want a marquee?”. My guts sank to my feet as my vision of tables with glowing candles under the stars was dashed by a potential tropical downpour.

Eventually I caved in and let them put one up – but just to the side out of the way as I was convinced it wouldn’t happen. After all, every day for the past week had been completely cloudless.

Steve had also organised a lunch with his extended family who had flown in from all corners of the globe, NZ, London and Shanghai. I know his Sis and Mum pretty well but there was an element of stranger danger as I met his Dad and wife, and brother and girlfriend for the first time. After the initial awkwardness – “Hi I’m Helen, I’m crashing your family ... tomorrow”, all was fine. We went to the Spirit House at Yandina. Set around a lake full of waterdragons and turtles, it’s a lush exotic restaurant and cooking school for Thai food. Luckily everyone was too busy eating the divine food for there to be any uncomfortable silences.

That evening we had drinks at a Noosa pub for a reunion with the Singapore gang, mates from NZ and some Brissie locals. It was shaping up to be quite a party but our “minders” aka best man and chief bridesmaid made sure we didn’t turn into pumpkins. As it was I think I might have been a bit enthusiastic with the mojitos. Steve went to stay with his brother while I went back to the house and pottered around aimlessly, amusing myself trying on my Nubra - possibly the sexiest underwear ever (if chicken breast fillets are your thing) and panicking about my lack of coherent speech and the predicted cyclones. Yeah I know, it was just a storm before…but still!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

autumn colours

autumn tree

We had lovely weather this weekend although the temperature is now dropping after being mild so far. I think the winter coat will be out this week.

It was a quiet weekend with little to do. A lovely dinner with friends on Saturday night at our favourite local curry house and a visit to a friend and her new bebe on Sunday.

A completed project and a lazy afternoon nap. A perfect weekend.

Some wedding pics from the photographer came through too so more on that later.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Have almost survived first week in the new job. It is a huge company compared to my last job but has a really nice, friendly vibe. In fact everyone is so nice I can't quite work it out. It is a law firm after all. Maybe they're putting something in the water.

The routine is not any different from before as I'm only around the corner. The only difference is that it is now dark when going to and coming home from work and the trains seem to be a lot more packed. Possibly due to cyclists putting away their wheels for winter?

We reconvened at Wednesday night knitting this week with great enthusiasm. It has been a small but select group for awhile but two lapsed members (who were regulars, but before my time) arrived this week so it was great to meet them and we celebrated with a couple of vinos (bottles that is).

PS: I have been harrasing begging our photographer to email me a couple of wedding shots to no avail (probably most of those who were there have plenty but we don't have any!) but no joy yet. But have posted a some pics from Robbo which slightly embarrasingly, is really a tribute to Bebe Robbo. But he's so cute - go check them out ;)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wedding Lead-up

I haven't posted about the wedding yet - I'm not deliberately withholding, but we are still waiting, v. impatiently, for the (professional) photos to arrive. I can't wait to see them, as predicted by those who have been there, the day did go in a bit of a blur. I want to see what actually happened!

We had a fantastic time in the lead up to the wedding as well as the day itself. It was Mum's 60th birthday while we were back which was a wonderful event to be home to celebrate in itself. On the day we went to Eve's on the River at Teneriffe for brunch. Being a school day morning, we were the only ones there for quite a while so were able to have a neighbouring table for flowers and presents. We reverted to typical family gatherings with general silly behaviour of us three girls.

Following breakfast Dad left "the girls" to go off to an incredibly indulgent spa day. I had a couple of half day passes as part of wedding makeup stuff so Mum, Kirsty, Suze and bridesmaid Robbo all luxuriated in the spas, saunas and each had a treatment. Afterwards we lounged around having sushi, fruit and a chatfest.

On Saturday, Dad and Kirsty had organised a party for Mum. I was impressed by the guests being from all stages of Mum's life from primary school, high school, uni, about three locations around the state where we had lived and work. Dad had secretly organised for someone from each 'era' to make a short speech and it turned out to be a major highlight with photos and a LOT of teasing especially from school and uni friends. I had a tear in my eye several times at the lovely comments people made and it was pretty funny to hear the old stories we'd heard over the years but now coming from the alternative viewpoints, and not from Mum's carefully censored versions :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Back in London (home)

We arrived back in London from our wedding and honeymoon extravaganza on Monday night. With all the suitcases and various handbags and plastic bags of bits and pieces to get inside, we were both too distracted for any of the carrying over the threshold stuff.

Steve walked in first. “I thought we had tidied up before we left?” he said sounding very confused. I followed him in and had to admit it was a bit like the scene from the yellow pages add (in Aus) where the girl thinks her neighbour’s flat has been broken into and ransacked when in fact it is in its normal state.

Most floor areas were covered with clothes, papers and in my study all the books, papers and other items (rubbish) I couldn’t bear to throw out from my desk at work which I had cleared in a huge hurry the day before we left. At least we had thought to chuck out any perishable food before we left. (Unlike the time we went away for four days to return to the rotting chicken carcass Smithy had been making "stock" out of, still waiting on top of the stove!! iyeee)

Spending the first day back from such an amazing trip cleaning the house was not very romantic but surprisingly effective in keeping the post holiday blues at bay. The blues are bad but its really the insipid watery winter light here that gets to me. See photo above taken at 2pm today (although it could have been anytime all day). Ooops - whinging already!! Noooo!

But I admit, part of me is glad to be back (home). It has felt a lot more like home here since we took the plunge and bought the house earlier this year. There has been more of a sense of at least semi-permanency (sorry Mum!) and I think we will feel even more settled now.

When we flew off, me armed with my master wedding spreadsheet and Smithy with his list of people he wanted to go drinking with, we were full of excitement. Not just about the wedding but having over three weeks of holidays all in one go. It worked out perfectly having two weeks beforehand to recover from jetlag and recent work stress and enjoy the lead up to the wedding then a week afterwards for a bit of a romantic getaway.

While Steve continued on from Brisbane to NZ to catch up with family and mates for a few days, I stayed in Bris to get going on preparations. Important stuff like hair and make up trial, a final dress fitting and of course the second Not-Hen's.

We put on our best frocks and joined the cool young things at the Cru Bar. It was a bit tamer than the London girls night as we didn't end up at a heaving nightclub. But we were still kicked out of the place in the wee hours with champane cocktails fueling about 5 conversations cutting across the table at once. We had a lot to catch up on! Here are some of the gorgeous girls...

Some more pics over at flickr here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Interruption to normal services

Apologies for the interruption to the Monsoon Wedding series but other events had taken over somewhat. My job hunting which consisted of applying randomly for one job was unexpectedly successful so I have been distracted by the details of finishing up current job this week and once again going through the work visa application process (my version of hell). That and preparing for wedding and holiday, presents for new babies and mum’s 60th, and not very effective attempts to get into beach honeymoon shape all before Friday. I’m feeling a bit anxious as my spreadsheets are NOT up to date any more!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Monsoon Wedding - Part I

We arrived home in London at about midnight from our road trip to Provence. A quick check on the web for the current hand baggage allowances (at that time changing on a daily basis). Packing a borrowed sari and trying to imagine what else would be required for an Indian wedding in between trying to use BA’s excellent online check-in. Usually excellent but for some reason access was denied. I thought maybe it was due to heightened security and decided to focus on important clothes decisions instead.

We left for Heathrow at about 10am for our 2pm flight, not knowing how chaotic it would be. Again we couldn’t use the fast track terminals to check in so it was the horrendously long queue for us. When we finally got to the front about an hour and a half later the check-in guy said it was because the were doing a security check on the credit card we had booked on….but that he would make it up to us with an upgrade. Woohooo! Premium economy, not quite business but very nice all the same.

We walked out into the heat and dust at Bangalore at four in the morning, disoriented by the sudden chaos. Even at that hour of the morning the streets were teeming with bright yellow tuk-tuks, cars and bicycles, converging and diverging in front of us, seemingly controlled by some magnetic force.

We arrived at the Bangalore Club, a colonial compound of light blue buildings where most out of towners were staying. Nick, the Groom to be met us at this unsociable hour and his excitement was infectious. I don’t think Nick actually slept for the 3 days we were there – he was constantly hosting and organising, making sure everyone was ok. Sonali, Bride to be was also working behind the scenes making sure all the events (yes there were quite a few) were perfect. They had guests from all over the world from the US to Australia and many countries in between to coordinate so it was an impressive feat.

We checked into our room, the rather grand ‘Brigadier Hill Suite’ with rooftop terrace, two bathrooms, and as we discovered later a bed on the migration route of a colony of little furry black catapillers. It was a bit unnerving to wake up to find Steve with extra furry eyebrows on unexpected parts of his face each moring but we got used to it after a while.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Laughter is the best medicine

For all my loyal fans, those two of you out there, big apologies for lack of posting. Three weeks and three days til we fly out for the wedding means not just lack of time for writing but also lack of inspiration. I know, poor excuse.

I'm loving this time actually - especially getting REAL mail in the form of RSVPs. Its very exciting getting envelopes with handwriting and no plastic windows. I'm getting all emotional now - I can't imagine what a blubbering mess I'll be on the day. Lets just hope to God it doesn't co-oincide with PMT. I should probably do some calculations. Get on the medication now if necessary.

Work has been a shambles. I don't usually post about work at all on policy, not fancying being dooced and all that. But with a round of protracted redundancies, and several people taking maters into their own hands and resigning, leaving about two of us to do the work it hasn't been a barrel of laughs. Thats why I'm adding job hunting to my list of to dos before we go away. Just to add that extra little frission of excitement to the next few weeks.

Anyway to cut a long whinge short, I just wanted to share two things that gave me a sore stomach from laughing so much this week. Go see Little Miss Sunshine for an off beat warm fuzzy feeling. Kind of like a cross between Monty Python and Muriel's Wedding.

And read v. funny blogging and one of the best spewing stories ever from Nic over at Craftapalooza.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pre Wedding Activites Taken Up a Notch

While Smithy headed off with the lads to a mysterious location in the Cotswalds for the girls took me out for a rather large one in London.

It started off extremely sophis at Hakkasan. Everyone looked totally glam and I managed to take a few sneaky photos while the eagle eyed waiters were looking the other way. We had divine food with wine especially chosen by the attentive Somelier with the gorgeous French accent. "I would rrrrecomend for you zis one with just a leeetle sugar" Hmmm...."OK!!"

The party organisers had even got me a GNO cake!! Still no sign of anything henny - so far so good.

But they were just lulling me into a false sense of security.

Once we got to the fabulously cheesy Strawberry Moons it started to get a bit messy. Especially after Beth started handing out the penis straws and the stickers.

Beth and Bec did an amazing job of organising the evening and giving me a suitably rowdy farewell to my single days. Love youse guys.