101 things about me

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Incredible London...

Well here I am, back in the motherland and still a little bit amazed I am here!

Good friends from when I lived here 15 years ago contacted me in July to say they were off to Brazil for a month and offered me and my Mum the use of their flat. Refusal was not an option of course. What an incredible offer.

As you know, I have been here since Sunday... since then I have been jumping on busses into central London and locally, walking heaps, and stopping every now and again to pinch myself. I have been talking about returning for so long now, it still doesn't quite feel real. And yet funnily enough it all feels very comfortable and familiar. Strange.

Mum arrives tomorrow and will take a few days to recover and then we'll be go go go. Mum is keen to do some family history research and the national archives are within walking distance, so that's perfect and London is definitely calling!

We have no set plans, but will spend quite a bit of time in London, galleries, museums, soaking up the atmosphere visiting a few old favourite places, and probably do a few side trips.

We're planning a trip to Aberdeen to visit with friends and hopefully a short break in Barcelona to get some sun and see the Gaudi sights.

No doubt it all sounds rather vague, and it is... But we will make some decisions in the coming days and then prob change them as we go! We head back to Australia via Abu Dhabi on Oct 29, so we have time to be a bit flexible.

I have never been to Barcelona before, so any advice/recommendations would be great.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Same same but different

Well I'm back in London. After 15 years absence. I got to thinking on the plane (at some point in my 24 hour plus journey) what the hell was I doing? Spending 6 weeks of my leave in the UK, much of which will be covering old ground. The trek to get here was as direct as nearly 17,000kms can be, But it is SUCH a long way. And uncomfortable. And more than a little scary.

BUT. Travel aside and less than 24 hours in the UK? I'm so pleased I have come. And whilst I last left London in 1996, and there have definitely been changes, everything is so so familiar. The tube. The busses. The hustle and bustle. The same old winding streets. The Thames.

I walked from my hotel down and along the Thames to meet up with good friends coming to meet me walking in the opposite direction. It was a beautiful walk along a familiar path and I wandered along quite happily breathing it all in. The sun was out, as were fellow wanderers, a few squirrels, Canadian geese, white swans. And 40 minutes later I was reunited with my good friends Lucia and Felipe. The smiles were broad, the hugs tight and filled with laughter. 15 years since we saw each other last, and it was the same as it always was.

It was a great first day.

It's nearly 3am here. I've been awake for an hour now. Jetlag of course. But with a few more hours sleep and a decent breakfast, I'll be out and about and checking the sights.

I will continue to blog as much as I can and stay in touch. I don't expect three will be many 3am posts after tonight though.

I definitely have to post about the guesthouse which is my home until Wednesday. It looks like a castle from the outside and more than needing a little TLC on the inside. And just a little bit spooky on my own!

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Ten years ago on September 11 2001, our lives were changed at the hands of a select group of people crazed by hatred. It denied the free world of their innocence and it stole thousands of people of their lives and their futures.

One year ago, I stood at ground zero on this morning and paused in silence as NYC stopped to reflect and remember their terrible loss.

This year, on this ten year anniversary, my thoughts are again in NYC.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Blogging on the run...

A friend just sent me a message to let me know blogger now has a ap for my phone. Thought I'd better give it a try... With just one week before I head to the UK, if it works well, I'll be using it a lot over the next few weeks.