Monday, September 19, 2005

London

I was in London for the weekend to visit Katie (friend from uni) and to go to Anna (family friend)'s birthday. I had a great weekend. It only took 3 1/4 hours to get down there on the train from Newcastle- very convenient!

On Friday Katie met me at the station and I stayed at her place in East Acton. She has a really nice apartment there with two other Australians and is enjoying the London life. We went out for a quite drink in Shepards Bush, after fending off the drunk Aussie guy who was insisting we had a drink with him and his mates. But really he looked well dodgy and was very drunk so we thought better of that one.

On Saturday we ventured into the city to St Paul's and across the millennium foot bridge to the Tate modern. We watched "the Budgieman" do a little show beside the river, so very hilarious! He has about 10 budgies trained to basically be really placid while he picks them up on a stick and waves them around in the air. Then he gets a couple of the little things to run up ladders and across ropes. All the while he's singing some tunes that go something along the lines of "I'm the budgieman with the budgies in old London town, been here for 20 years with the little budgies...etc". It was hilarious!

The Tate was very interesting. Saw some great Picasso's and an interesting display of propaganda art from the Stalin era. The moving image art wasn't totally my thing, and neither was the piece of cardboard with holes punched through it with a pencil, but I totally loved Rodin's The Kiss. Fabulous.

Katie and I made our way across town then on the tube to Anna's place in Greenwich. She has a BBQ from the afternoon and afterwards we went into town to a club called Tiger Tiger. It was really nice seeing all of Anna's family at her place. The most hilarious part was getting a group of 20 people from Anna's place via bus and 2 tubes. Good fun night.

On Saturday, after a restless night's sleep on the couch, Katie and I went for a walk to the Greenwich museum and observatory, and ended up chatting outside under the grey sky for a few hours. Was really nice catching up. We will have to go back to Greenwich again to do it properly and see the museum and Cutty Sark. I spent the afternoon chilling out at Anna's with her family, before catching a late train home, arriving into Newcastle at 12.30am.

I enjoyed going down to London for the weekend. It is very different to Newcastle though... London is such a huge city, and so multicultural. It doesn't feel very English though. In London you feel like you could be anywhere in the world with the variety of accents and sprawling suburbs. Newcastle is much easier to handle, and so easy to get around. And it is quite English here. It has made me appreciate how easy and good I have it up here, not having to tackle crowds and the tube everyday. But it is exciting down there. Would be fun to live there I think, but I would have to be earning the big bucks to enjoy it properly- my Newcastle wage wouldn't go too far!

Tomorrow night I start my Spanish class- 3 1/2 hours of it every week. I'm really looking forward to it. And seeing as I think I will visit Lizzie (my sister) in Costa Rica early next year I should be able to put it into practice too! Most exciting. Lizzie has just moved to San Diego by the way to be a nanny for a family whose parents work on a marlin fishing yacht. So she there until December when they go to Costa Rica for 4 months. I am somewhat jealous and hoping that some other position will open up on this luxury yacht :)

Chris is still travelling around Europe- currently in Berlin I believe after a hazy few days in Amsterdam. I am off to Paris this weekend to visit Bolt. Very excited to see her and also to see Paris as I've never been there before. I'm catching a direct flight from Newcastle and taking a half day of work of Friday to go- so very easy!

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