Monday, 25 November 2013

Exploring London: Camden and Regent's Park

Today I finally ventured into the world of London markets. 

Camden Markets are huge! The Adelaide Central Market ain't got nothin' on this baby!

We went a wee bit further on the Northern Line (tube) and got of at Chalk Farm to walk through the Stables Market. Although there were no ACTUAL horses galloping around the place, the Stables Market is the site of the old Pickfords Stables and was a Grade II listed horse hospital. I did find many horses of the bronze variety though. 

Horses are coming for ya!

Smile for the camera!

Wandering through the labyrinth of stalls was hungry work, so of course our next stop on the Market train was the food stalls! 

I had a delicious chicken fajita (yes, I know I'm gonna suffer for the gluten intake later) from a local Mexican stall and it was DE-LIC-IOUS!! Betraying my inner foodie, I unfortunately did not get a photo of the deliciousness. 

Camden Lock eating area is unlike any of your usual eating areas - no picnic tables or such, just old Vespas as chairs looking over the canal. YES, London has canals! (I only found this out today) The view from the benches is lovely..

                                                                                     ... even with the seagulls trying to get some. 

The scrumpdiddlyumptious fajita filled my tummy and required a walk to burn it off. 

We headed to Primrose Hill in Regent's Park. 

Regent's Park is one of the eight Royal Parks of London and is home to the London Zoo. 
At the moment the park is also home to lots of fallen leaves. I may have wanted to make a pile of leaves and jump into it - but I refrained because I am a mature adult. 

After a lovely stroll through the park we made our way up hill (I hate hills!) to the lookout at Primrose Hill. Primrose Hill has a wonderful view of the City. 

The photo is a wee bit dark, the sun thought it was bedtime, even though it was only 4.30pm. 
The big stick looking thing is the BT Tower and to the right of that you can just see the London Eye. 

Due to a quick Wikipedia search I found out that Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman and Harry Styles all live in the area, as well as many other rich and famous people! Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any of these British icons :(

It was near dark by the time we headed home, but on the plus side London will never keep us in the dark - 

Lights to guide our way

Although I didn't buy anything (besides the food - saving for the Northern Ireland trip!) I had a very chill day.

The last thing to top it off - as we were walking to the tube station we passed this bad boy -

For those of you who DON"T know who lives at 221b Baker Street...

It was the home of Robert Downey Jr!

Ok, so it was the home of a CHARACTER the sexy beast played, but still. 

One of the things I absolutely love about London is that you can go pretty much anywhere and found something amazing.

Have you seen anything iconically British lately?

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Lazy London

Today was one of those days where I just couldn't be doing anything. This could partly be on part of the dismal, dreary weather that is encasing London at the moment, but I think it's more to do with my financial situation.

So there I was, kicking back, watching movies in bed, half asleep when I heard loud bangs! 
I jumped out of bed and looked out the window, half expecting someone to be laying in the middle of the road, surrounded by a pool of blood. 

Turns out someone has a stash of fireworks that they decided to let loose! 

click here to see my fabulous video skills capturing the moment. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Bucket List

Something that everybody should have and attempt to do is A Bucket List.

The good thing about a Bucket List is that it can be fluid, forever changing as you cross things of and add others.
Here is mine so far...

Places to Visit:

  • The Eiffel Tower (June, 2013)
  • The Colosseum (July, 2013)
  • Anzac Cove, Gallipoli (April, 2014)  blog post here
  • Niagara Falls
  • Cinque terre, Italy
  • The Palace of Versailles, France
  • Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  • Taj Mahal, India
  • The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland (November, 2013)  blog link
  • Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  • Uluru, Australia
  • Visit all 7 continents (Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Antarctica, Australasia)
  • Laze on a beach in the Caribbean
  • Harry Potter Studio Tour, England (September, 2014)
  • The Dead Sea
  • The Crooked Forest, Poland
  • The Grand Canyon, USA (September, 2016)
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa (June, 2013)
  • Pearl Harbour, Hawaii (October, 2016)
  • Stonehenge, England
  • Dachau, Germany (2013)
  • Auschwitz-Berkenau, Poland (October, 2014) photo essay
  • La Sagrada Familia, Spain (July, 2013)
  • Red Square, Russia
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia (July, 2013)
  • Valley of the Kings, Egypt
  • See the cherry blossoms of Japan

Adventures to Have:

  • Walk the Kokoda Trail
  • Go to La Tomatina (2013)
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Skydiving (Switerland, 2013) Scariest thing ever!
  • Go sea cave canoeing (Phuket, 2012)
  • Stay in a treehouse (April, 2014 / May, 2014)
  • Do a Segway tour
  • Attend a football (soccer) match in England
  • Drive in a country where they drive on the opposite side of the road (Switzerland, 2013)
  • Go white water rafting (Phuket, 2008)
  • Go parasailing (Phuket, 2008)
  • Ride a helicoper (Australia, 2004; Switzerland, 2013)
  • Ride in a hot air balloon (Cappadoccia, Turkey, 2014)
  • See a play on Broadway (October, 2016)
  • See a play in the West End (Book of Mormon, January 2015, Jersey Boys, March 2015)
  • Ride in a gondola in Venice (2013)
  • Go on a safari
  • Ride a camel in the desert (September, 2014)
  • Go on a cruise down the River Nile
  • Go abseiling (Australia, 2009)
  • Go caving (Australia, 2009)
  • Go to Mardi Gras
  • Drive rather aimlessly around a foreign country
  • Sail the Croatian Islands
  • Sail the Greek Islands (2013)
  • Cage diving with crocodiles (Darwin, Australia, 2010)
  • See a polar bear
  • Take a Gap Year (2009)
  • Live in another country (moved to London, August 2013) 
  • Visit the Grand Bazaar, Turkey (April, 2014)
  • Drive on a race track (Monaco, 2013)
  • Go ski-ing (Bulgaria, March, 2014)
  • Go to a random festival (British Summer Time, July, 2014)
  • Travel on the TransSiberian Railway
  • Travel on the Ghan

Food and drink to Try:

  • Es Cargot (snails) (France, 2013)
  • Frog's legs
  • Haggis (July, 2014)
  • Crocodile (Australia, 2012)
  • Kangaroo (Australia, 2011)
  • Cheese Fondue (Switzerland, 2013)
  • Jerk chicken (London, 2013)
  • Fugu, 'Pufferfish'
  • Stroopwafel (Amsterdam, 2013)
  • Pizza in Naples
  • Spacecake
  • Borscht (Poland, 2014)
  • Gumbo
  • Sauerkraut (Munich, 2013) 
  • Absinthe (February, 2014 - thanks housemates!)
  • Rosti (Switzerland, 2013)
  • Steak and Guiness Pie (London, 2013)

Remembrance Day in London 2013

One of the most important dates in world history is 11 November. 
At the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month the official ceasefire of the First World War was declared. 
The day is known by different names throughout the world - Veterans Day in America, Armistice Day in France, Belgium and New Zealand, and Remembrance Day in most Commonwealth countries. 

I, along with one of my housemate's decided to go to the Trafalgar Square Memorial Service. 

We just made it in time for the minute silence. The service had a great turnout, with hundreds of supporters turning up.

After the silence, people were then welcomed to throw poppies into the fountain. 

Many people elected to throw wreaths with personal messages. This one, from Bromley College Public Services Level 2, reads 'You fought the world to save our country! Which saved our lives. you are heroes, NEVER FORGOTTEN!' 

It is always such a poignant moment to see a crowd of hundreds of people fall silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives protecting us. Even if you do not agree with war -  Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day, whatever you call it, is about remembering those who fought and gave their lives so you could live yours!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A Few days in Perth

On my way from home to home (Adelaide to London) I stopped in for a few days to visit my friend Ruby in Perth. 

Ruby and I were able to spend a few moments - between sleep and Ruby's work - exploring the awesome city of Perth. 

We went down to the City of Fremantle and had a lovely dinner at the Sail and Anchor before heading to the Fremantle Prison for a Torchlight Tour. 

Fremantle Prison entrance

There were a few tense moments that were a little bit scary, but it could have definitely been a whole lot scarier. 
Our tour guide, Chris, was really good and full of interesting facts about the history of the prison. 

<<<<< This bucket is all the prisoners had to use as a toilet. The bucket was left in the 2x2 cell with the prisoner, who was in there for about 23 out of 24 hours of the day. 
The bucket was a part of the prison system up until it closed in 1991.

Cell 53, of the solitary division, is the cell that has the most deaths/suicides than all the other cells. 
The solitary cells have there own exercise courtyards, and they did have the luxury of a flushing toilet until ...

... Some bloke decided to take a handstand, giving himself a swirlie, then fall over to the side - breaking his neck! 
Needless to say, the toilet was then cemeted up and the prisoners went back to using the bucket system!

We also got to see the Execution Room. Western Australia was the last state in Australia to get rid of the death penalty. Fremantle Prison was the only legal place of execution in WA between 1888 and 1984. 
During that time 43 men and one woman were hanged at the prison. 

The last woman to be legally hanged in Fremantle Prison was Marth Rendell. 
Actress portraying Martha Rendell

 According to Wikipedia (home of the most reliant facts) Martha used hydrochloric acid to kill her de facto's three children.

Ruby and I also spent some time exploring the Swan Valley. 
The Margaret River Chocolate Factory has an outlet in the Swan Valley, which is awesome as the chocolate factory produce some delicious, delicious desserts!

We also visited Whistler's Chocolate Factory, which had an aquarium full of chocolate fish and candy coral. 

We visited many relaxing places such as the Cottage Tea Rooms ....

Pot of Rose Garden tea and a scone with jam and cream. 

..... and The Cheese Barrel ...

... Which had some delicious cheese and a relaxing view. 

While in Perth I also got to catch up with a recently-made new friend, Ameera.

This beautiful lady was part of my European tour with Topdeck.
We had a lovely meal of fish and chips on the beach down at Cottesloe. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Back Home in RAdelaide!

I recently went back to my home town of RAdelaide for a family wedding.

It turned out to be a beautiful day, if a little bit hot in the morning, but the sun was shining and everybody was looking gorgeous!

Bride and I

Hair was done by the bride's hairdresser Kelly and it turned out brilliant! The bride had her hair over the left shoulder in curls. The bridesmaids all had something similar to this..


Kelly, the hairdresser, did a wonderful job and she did 7 people in about 4 hours. 

The makeup was done by Lively Makeup. I know the makeup is going to look awesome in the photos, but I have never before had my eyebrows drawn in, and I kind of thought that I looked a little bit like a transvestite....
Luckily, it all blended together and we all looked amazing!

The professional photography was done by Marina Birch Photography, and Marina and her helper. Marina took some awesome photos of the bride and groom and the bridal party.

The ceremony was held in the bride's family church and the reception at the bride's parent's acreage in Roseworthy. The theme of the wedding was rustic and everybody involved put heaps of effort into making the day fantastic.
There was a huge marquee with ten tables seating ten and the bridal table of 9. Also in the main marquee was a cheese-cake (actual cheese, with different varieties for each layer) on the top of a wine barrel and the cake table. 

The cake was a mudcake made by the mother of a high school friend. There was also a smaller tent set up as a bar and another for the catering by Rob's Roast. 

In front of the tent was a dance floor, overheard a string of fairy lights.