Sunday, December 30, 2007
This year was no different, what a fiasco it turned out to be - I booked my trip arrived as expected, had to stay with another friend because the one I expected to stay with didn't answer their phone, messages or emails: thanks!
I got to see China and as expected the atmosphere was frosty (even for this time of year), I took her out for the day and got her to help me choose what she wanted for Christmas, last year I went a little crazy with the presents, but this time I took it easier - I managed to spend around 8 hours with China before returning her home, which again was no simple task.
If you ever have had to leave someone behind you care for so dearly you will know how hard this is, to walk away knowing the next time you see them could be months from now.
My ex decided she wanted to "chat" as she had company there I declined (when I say company her new guy) - then got loads of phone calls 'telling me' what I MUST do, sorry to say once I left that relationship I have no responsibility to her, only China. Which I try to do what I can but when I don't get the simple things like time with her, it makes me bitter to even do that.
Anyway very long story short - it ended in a full blown row on the phone the conclusion been - "you can no longer see your daughter" (said my ex) - GREAT !! Merry Fucking Christmas!!! Why is it that the person that matters always loses out? Why is it when you treat someone well they shit on you? Why is it life is so unfair?
Well the long and short of this week is this I shall not be returning to the UK at all next year (unless its an emergency), I simply cannot put up with this bullshit anymore. I have tried to be cordial, I have helped, I have tried to make the most of what we have and its never enough, so no more!
On the flip side of the trip I got to catch up with my cousin who sadly needs some guidance in her life as she is surrounded by nobodys and people going no where fast - No I'm not saying I'm all that, but at 18 you do need some guidance, and I really hope she gets it. Her boyfriend is a knob and a waste of oxygen, her mom is trying hard but keeps falling, its a shame that the family unit in England isn't like that of Indians or Spaniards because they stick together and help each other get what they need; family is the MOST important thing in their culture, in English culture, no! Its who has the most Bling or the best this or that, sad really!!
Question: Why is it we put up with things that don't make us happy?? Yes it would be far harder to change it for something else or go it alone, but why stay in a situation that you are miserable with?? Is it ultimately worth it -=- When I have changed my situations I usually feel far better for it and usually regret not doing it sooner, so why do some people stick in a bad situation?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
This week I decided to go back to Vaughan Town as an anglo just as I started one year ago - since then I have done 20 programs, and have enjoyed each of them, its good to see how much I've grown looking back.
The week was full of talented people from all over the world and each person participanted fully, which made the week fly by - as usual it hard to say goodbye at the end but there were a few 'master' students who I'm bound to see again as they have to do 4 programs before they finish.
So what did the week have install? Well we did a Christmas theme Vaughan Town - Marissa read Twas the night before Xmas in Spanglish! We had carols, a Xmas tree and eggnog!
I did my dance in a mask which was very funny - got a standing ovation; but nearly died in the process as i couldn't breath - and trust me doing 48 dances in 6 minutes you NEED to breath!! hehe - but it was SO worth it. Having thrown down that gauntlet Rob had to pull out something big - no not that!!!!
He did a portrait of yours truly in 5 minutes!! and it was awesome: its now on my wall at home - this was his present to me for Xmas which got me a little teary. Rob being Rob also gave something to everyone else - A VIRUS!!! This time it was just the flu - the antibiotics cleared up the other one ehh mate!?! (just kidding)
As usual the photos of the week are HERE
Where ever you are from - Feliz Navidad - Merry Christmas - Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
It was cool - well cold! But not as cold as expected (not yet anyway). It even snowed!!
I have come to the conclusion that most city's are all alike, a few differences here and there but mainly all alike - the big chains such as H&M, McDonalds, Burger King keep popping up where ever I go keeps things slightly familiar.
However the main differences are the culture and the customs - they speak Hurdy Gurdy in Oslo (at least that's how it sounded), very pale and blonde for the most part - they even had a Viking Santa!
Alot of the labels and and signage are just plain funny - SMAK (means taste), FORSKNSPLINTTER (work it out) and FORSKNINGSPARKEN (a train stop) even a FORSKNCENTRE, and many more - i just cant recall them just now!!!! check this one out :-
Sign in a store "Stengt mellom god jul og godt nytt aar." which means "Closed between merry christmas and a happy new year."
They have a great statue of a crying boy, looks to me like he deserves a good smack and sent to bed, spoilt brat - check out the picture.
I went to the Olympic ski jump slope - that is scarily steep, but even scarier is at the very end hiding in the bushes is a huge stone troll!! They have a thing for trolls and who would argue with them their vikings!! They were also hosting the Nobel Peace Prize there when I visited.
My tour guide was a good friend (Altaire) who not only got me drunk but also took me around and told me about the city she also gave me life advice - now that's a tour guide people!!
The trip was quite long but no adventures to speak of, but I had a good time and saw many cool wonderful things, will I return!??! Maybe do the REAL vikings lair next time and go to Sweden!
P.S. they eat Rudolph!! While we are celebrating the fact he helped Santa guide his sleigh and lavish us in gifts these guys are tucking into to him, literally!
Its also a very expensive place to visit!
I also have photos of my trip; which can be found HERE
I can now say thank you in 10 different languages ;) takk!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
very funny, some of the signs are just DAM funny!!!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Why do some friends feel that they need to be kept informed and have the right to be pissed off at you if they don't like what you are doing?
This has happened to me several times, and I'm curious as to why some friends feel there are no boundaries and others let you do as you wish but still support you - is it the closeness?
Its strange because i can have 3 friends (I have more honest), one is happy for what I do, the other doesn't really mind and the finally one gets mad because they were involved/invited/known - whats that about??
The role of family members is clear, the role of emergency services is obvious but...
....WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A FRIEND?
A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be
Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.
If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.
Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.
To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.
A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.
True friendship isn't about being there when it's convenient; it's about being there when it's not.
Friends are like bras: close to your heart and there for support.
ps - my ankle is still fucked!!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I was in a VERY nice hotel with excellent surroundings, nice students and good teachers, Peter is very outgoing and inclusive (I like his style) not to mention talented too.
This week for me was more of what I expected and I felt more at home teaching here, knowing I had support too also helped with confidence and questions. The week went by quite quickly and no issues to speak of.
Although I must admit I do miss MY job. Teaching is good but I really prefer the more active hands on and entertainment side of my work (as an MC). I will start writing some more scripts over my free time and planning what to do next year.
Christmas is now 25 days away!!!! I have a short trip to Oslo planned now and seriously considering going to the UK for a week over Christmas, as China wont be coming to Spain :'(
I will have to decide soon as tickets are rapidly selling out - but I think I will be going, the house will be empty and Christmas alone is no fun!
Friday, November 23, 2007
What a fun trip that turned out to be! Up bright and early (well early anyway) – off to Airport: limping all the way!
Arrival with just over an hour to spare – nice work considering all those stairs with case and damaged foot! Where next, check in, long queues – aren’t there always, get to counter – emr no with this number you have to check in via a cash machine like terminal, another queue, get to machine print ticket, now need to check in luggage and confirm ticket, yet another queue! Finally get to the desk, takes case, then looks strangely at the screen (not a good sign) – it appears somehow I am checked into 5 different flights??!? WTF??
It now takes him a further 15 minutes to decipher what has happened and where I should be – now times ticking folks, I have 10 minutes to get onto the plane – my luggage gets checked – I have apparently been upgraded now to business class (nice work)!!! BUT, “the gate is closing” he said, ok I dash through (well hobble) to the security check point – more queues! DAM IT!!!!
I am almost through when the person ahead of me gets stopped – he beeped and keeps beeping but the cant see why?? His bag also has to be searched, tick tick tick (thats time ticking away not a bomb), I get to go through after a further 2 minutes waiting and dam it, I BEEP! NO!!!!
Luckily after a wave of their wand they let me through – however the zone I need to be in is 9 minutes away! I hobble off as quick as I can, only to arrive too late the gate has closed and plane ready to taxi!
So back to get another flight – flight booked I'm on the next flight out, we start to board then suddenly, sorry folks there is a problem the fuel is leaking! Book yet another flight – bear in mind I have now had 5 virtual flights and 3 actual flights – the 3rd flight is another 1 hours time (my original flight would just to be touching down now) and it was; with my case!!!
I asked the guy at the check in desk if my case had moved planes accordingly and was told confidently it had – I had the feeling it had not – the day was going so badly it had to disappear (sods law).
So eventually I get on the plane – not business class, (what I would say is they happily moved me around the planes with no quibbling which was nice – but I have a feeling this happens often) I sit on the plane and relax – with my head whispering you know they’ve lost case, you have everything in that case etc etc!!
Inner voices they will be the death of me (especially at that height, they tell me to jump - hehehe) anyway I arrive in Barcelona – the carousel starts about 10 mins later and after 20 minutes of watching everyone else’s cases go round and round – I realise mine is nowhere to be found – to the lost luggage dept, yes it was on a plane but none of mine, eventually it shows up from who knows where – but I have it!!! OK onwards (finally), I get to see Barcelona only from the coach – as I then go underground and catch a train to Girona – 2 hours away!!!
I arrive at Ripoll to then get picked up and taken to the middle of nothing – journey time for what I thought was a 2 hours trip - 12 hours!!!
It was a very small “hotel” no where with very little to offer – oh boy this is going to be fun (said the inner voices again)
We are looking into getting our own access shortly, so what have we been up to in the last few weeks?
Well my last Vaughan Town as an MC was good, no problems with the group some excellent characters – Aussie birds huh!!
I tried out a new piece – Body Orchestra which was very funny (and clever, but mostly funny!) Each evening was action packed with lots of talented people sharing their skills and knowledge.
I have noticed that some of the Spanish participants are not so keen on the entertainment hour and want more 1 to 1’s – they are missing the point I think of this period – not only is it a team building exercise but it indirectly teaches you how to communicate, present and relax.
After 6 hours of 1 to 1’s you need shut off time and the anglos actually enjoy this section (for the most part) – if it were all work and no play it would be quite boring (in my opinion) Well all was going well until party night, and whilst dancing crazy style to the Rednex – I slipped on the wet floor and my ankle took the brunt of the fall – lucky for me the alcohol in my system acted as a painkiller; so I was not aware of just how much it REALLY hurt; until the following day, and walking became a big problem.
The day after it started to bruise at the base of my foot – obviously where I had fell onto it; and became more painful, DAM IT!!! So going out parting further with some of the group was out of the question as I had to seek medical attention.
But no time for all business as I have a plane to catch to BARCELONA!
Here are the photos of the last week - CLICK ME
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I only wish the UK would see what they are missing by closing their theatres down or worse still hiking their prices up!
(Didn't take 12 hours of queues but did take 2 days to sort.)
Saturday, October 27, 2007
This was an awesome program with everyone giving as much as they could. I met some wonderful people and yet again formed connections, this is the beauty of these programs you meet wonderful people who otherwise your life's may never come into direct contact and through the program you learn and them their lives and what motivates them. I am so pleased that I have this position and opportunity to meet these kinds of people and it shows me humans are great - you can escape the horrors and disasters in the world and for one week at least just so the greatness in life and human beings.
I met a couple who were/are amazing, they were full of life and up for anything thrown at them - great personalities and energies. Sadly not only was Chet good at everything he was good looking too, come on give me a break! lol! When his partner Michelle turned up a in a slinky black dress - OMG!!! (she's the kind of girl that would make a paperbag look hot!)
We had a lot of laughs and I got to work with Eva who I hope I see more of in the future - which ever path you choose, all the best ;)
I also managed to do 48 dances in just over 6 minutes - nearly hit my 50 target!! Well I need my rest long emotional weeks.
As usual photos of the week are HERE
Friday, October 19, 2007
I must say though, a very good and highly enjoyable time was had. We had a lot of very talented individuals, from flute playing, operatic singing (in the church was amazing), murder mysteries, Shakespearean recitals (sadly we ran out of time to hear these), and proper actors - whether amateur dramatics or not, which all led to a much better week, so well done for offering so much of yourselves.
Everyone behaved themselves this week too - no late-comers, Dylan made his on stage debut (and sadly killed himself later; NO, he didn't die on stage!), only problem was he was SOOOoooo HUNGRY!!! Carmen and I were parodied and we found out Carmen has a hidden side!! ;)
Photos of the week are of course available for your viewing and downloading pleasure HERE
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
So we met the Anglos and surprisingly full of life - I say this as its fair to say they were a mature group. What REALLY surprised me was the oldest was also one of the most fun, and kept me on my toes: BOB! He also had a lot to offer and took part in what ever he could, great work; some younger folks could learn a lot from you ;)
Well the week started off badly, Oris was late (which became a trademark of hers), but worse still the bus broke down causing the already long journey to be an extra hour! However the rest of the week was good, alot of activities and performances, some new material: I actually completed Sudoku live in 1 minute 45 seconds which was great. Sceptics insisting I cheated! Huh! burn them all, lol!!!
I contact Houdini during the evening, which surprised everyone - although I'm happy to say DYLAN is here all the way from America!!! So get ready to meet my "new" friend!
I think I mentioned this before but the one thing which is REALLY starting to annoy me is the Anglos which are habitually late for EVERYTHING!!! I mean come on, how hard is it to be somewhere on time, it ain't like they have trains and planes to catch, once you are at the venue you are a captive audience. It shows disrespect to the program and the other participants. So I urge you if you are going to repeat a program and reading this, please take note!!!
Well you were on this program if you:
Spent an extra hour on the bus!
Went swimming in the river,
Had your name in Bob's notebook (mine was several times),
Had it harder than anyone else, and had to live in a lake!
Hardly remember Friday morning,
Danced the Macarena,
Were always looking for Oris
Went for Tapa's instead of eating at the hotel!
I'm sure each person has their own highlights, lets hear them!
In the meantime, here are the photos I managed to take of the week
Lets see yours!
Friday, September 28, 2007
This week was action packed - quite slow to start off but picked up quickly. As usual a good mixture of Anglos and Spaniards, and most of them willing to participate in one thing or another. I saw from this week however that I have to work harder to start cliches forming - as once it had started there was no way of breaking them up! Which I found was a slight issue in bringing the 'whole' group together.
The entertainment sections went over very well, and yet again I tried some of my new material and I'm pleased to say it worked! It's always good when that happens, so time off well spent, I think. Just to push things even more I actually managed 45 dances in 6 minutes this week!!! It nearly killed me, but I enjoyed it alot! I may post a video, it depends :S
In a team building exercise - most of the messages left for me were "hard on the outside but soft inside", yeah I am a bit, but don't tell everyone!!!
Well like a fine wine I'm getting better with age (or experience anyway), although it helps to have such a great Director - she does the hard work really ;)
Anyway as usual photos of the week are HERE
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
of course I dont need to fight for kisses - their all waiting for me...
...I just need to know where!??!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Well last night I went to see STAR TRIP with a friend and what a treat it turned out to be.
The humour was VERY good and the content simple and easy to follow - also (even better for me) it was done without speech!! As I don't speak Spanish I thought alot of the jokes would be wasted on me, but low and behold the humour was presented through visual and audial gags - basically they all speak noise, not words per se.
They also incorporated some awesome effects into the show making it very enjoyable and entertaining.
here is a link to their site
please check it out and yes its as wild and as wonderful as it seems!!!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Darth shows what a good father he is, well he tries!
Lord Vader tries another apporach!!
The whole crew give it a go: Star Wars Rap
Before he became Darth Vader he was: Monty Vader
We all love: Jaws
Hopefully something there amused you and helped you pass the day ;)
What can I say I was bored... ...its dangerous you know!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It now has a new look, new playlist, new address and hopefully many new stories to come. I have enjoyed sharing the blog with Carrie who has finally headed off back to New Zealand although she is hoping to return to the UK once visa issues have been resolved: fingers crossed for her!
As for me I have had yet another two weeks off - so what to do!? Well I wrote and rewrote some scripts, and now need to test them to see how they work, also I have invested in a new friend details to come - needless to say I am looking forward to getting to know them and spend alot of time with my hand up up their ass! It's a puppet!!! boy you so rude!
Anyway hope you like the new improved site - any comments feel free to post ;)
Saturday, September 08, 2007
I spent a few of the weeks developing scripts - writing plays and learning dance routines. Which as I aw this week was well worth the effort.
It kicked my ass, but I really enjoyed what I had put together for this program - it involved ALOT of new material - which could have fell flat - on the whole I think two scripts need rewriting - the rest worked well; some VERY well: ACT NATURALLY!
Each night developed more with the confidence of the group and people even started to write their own material; which was great to see although "its just not cricket" lol!
I was so glad to be back doing what I love the most entertaining and meeting folks. I will try to keep this enthusiasm alive, but I have a feeling when the group is THAT good it makes my life so much easier.
Thank you all for being so receptive to the program, the ideas and too each other ;)
I have posted a lot of photos HERE
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
A very unique idea and wonderfully performed - simple to reproduce? I don't think so, where would I find a giant slinky?
QUICK CHANGE ARTISTS
As a performing Magician I have seen many of these and they are indeed very good - however my favourite is a Japanese performing woman who name escapes my just now, I have a few quick change ideas for shows.
This guy WON the America's Got Talent show and rightly so!!! He is by far the best vent I have ever seen and again I have seen quite a few - but the guy is skilled in so many ways; all the best for your future my friend.
Nice simple and original - This guy was on Britain's Got Talent, he got to the final but he appears to be a one trick 'monkey' sadly. However as a performance piece nice and original.
ENNIO - QUICK CHANGE ARTIST / PERFORMER
Now this guy - OH MY GOD!!!! I'm simply dying to do his stuff!! He is amazing and original with well thought out routines and such great costume design!
ENNIO 2 - QUICK CHANGE ARTIST / PERFORMER
As I like Ennio Marchetto so much I thought I would share some of his other characters - If anyone can make these costumes - GET IN TOUCH NOW!!!
Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did; the real question is can I perform any of that in a show??
Monday, August 20, 2007
I went to pick up China to take her away for 2 weeks of excitement (little did I realise how much that would cost).
We went to Telford for a while, got bored after a few days - but we watched The Simpsons movie (yeah Spiderpig!) then moved onto Wales (Rhyl) spent some time there and alot of money - I can see the British coastal beaches are dying a slow death, crap beaches, expensive & outdated rides, crappy prizes (in the grabby machine things) and shitty weather 12 degrees!! (to think I left behind 42 degrees).
Anyway then we headed off to London for a week - alot of walking and sight-seeing and a few photos later we went down to Portsmouth for a few days - VERY cold and wet; sadly (perfect for Carrie to do her diving course). Whilst waiting for our coach we watched Rush Hour 3, boy Jackie Chan was SO desperate to have America ccept him, such a shame; he used to be awesome - sadly this film was as predictable as a shower scene in a horror movie!
So back to London before we head off to Leicester for our final leg of the journey.
All in all we have had fun - the weather has not been kind at all, but I did get to spend time with China and see her grow. I hope that next time she can come out to Spain and see what that has to offer; if only for the weather.
Nice to see that none of my 'FRIENDS' I contacted got in touch cheers guys ;)
I did bring back most of my DVD boxsets as Spanish TV isnt very exciting, so I have something to watch at least. Although I did have to pay a huge excess on the weight at the airport!
Well here are some pictures of her adventures
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Been in my new place a week now, and it's great!
It's closer to work, I've a leisurely walk to the high street for my bus in the mornings (and so far every morning has been sunny - though i am tempting fate saying that!) and i don't even need to catch a bus to the restaurant anymore.
It's in a quiet suburban street, with NO football stadium within hearing distance!
The river is a short walk to my right, the high street a short walk to my left, with lots of pleasant bars with waterfront views.
The house mates aren't unemployed party animals, though I haven't even met one of them yet.
There is TV, though having not had it for 8months I sort of out of the habit of watching it at home!
There is a kitchen, AND a living room, plus, added bonus - there is a garden AND a BBQ! A flat warming BBQ soon me thinks!
I imagined that once I had moved, into this far more tranquil house, that my life would calm down and things would be far less hectic and stressful, given I would NEED to go out to avoid spending time at home - not sure where I got that thought from though, as since I moved I have only been home once before 10pm (and one night it was even past 3am!)...
hmmm I guess I just like my life that way...
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I wondered up and down the streets taking in the sights and getting a mild case of heatstroke so it seems as by the evening I was not a happy bunny - maybe lack of food and water didn't help?
So I had to eat and where better than with my 'YELLOW FRIENDS' I cant believe Spaniards call the Chinese yellow people!? In the UK I would be in big trouble (in little china).
Anyway, the following day I wondered around checking out the other parts I didn't get to see and it was far cooler which was nice.
I saw the castle that inspired Walt Disney and it is very nice too. As usual it had more than the required number of churches, each trying to be different to make themselves more important, then the long train ride home.
I was going to do Toledo too but I will leave that until I return from the UK after seeing you China!!! Only a few days left - I really cant wait, I bet you are huge now with giant smelly feet! I will soon see, lol.
I was able to spend more time getting to know the individuals too as I now know the schedule and what activities to do with the group; more or less. (so less setup time)
We had a few veterans such as Sandra who really came out of herself this time round, which was nice to see because she has a wonderful personality. It is also great to see that when they return they are slightly more relaxed and have an idea of what to expect - however I always try to offer something new; to keep them on their toes.
The Spaniards were well behaved no Spanish spoken (well maybe once), and everyone only partied when it was aloud which helped to make my job much easier - and Carmen's; I finally got to work alone with her and she did an excellent job and I think we worked very well together; thank you for making my week run smoothly ;)
The only sad thing is saying goodbye - its a shame that the connection you make last for such a short time - I hope however I left a lasting impression on you all. (oohhh matron!)
I will keep in touch if you guys do, is that a deal?!
As usual I have posted our weeks fun and games HERE
Friday, July 27, 2007
So was it worth it?? I must say there was a lot of speculation and apprehension before the start of the program - having worked with kids, teens & adults I tried to keep an open mind give them benefit of the doubt and see how it went, but I expected it to be full of energy.
I was too right for the most part. The week flew by with very few issues, the key factor for every night was the alcohol consumption (something I think will be monitored closer next time) as a few could not handle it or handled it badly. Although I'm pleased to say the majority were in fact well behaved and responsible: Well done guys.
So will Richard do the program again? I'm sure he will; A. theres a market B. there was no real problems. After all it was a success, only time will tell if there were any REAL issues - I reckon 9 months should be long enough to see ;)
All of them got involved and again I managed to see the magic of the program unfold as people slowly came out of themselves and their characters shone through. The already confident folks naturally blossomed and encouraged the others - and I am even more pleased to say that no ego's came with either group, which helped to build relationships quickly, although we have an MC in the making with Craig! Think about it dude!
All in all I was more than happy - although I must admit didn't offer 100% of myself as I was slightly distracted with issues back in the UK. I am due back in only 10 days now, and don't know whether I will get to see and have my daughter - which is really messing with my head. China I miss you so much baby and cant wait to see you and tell you all about my travels. I'm hoping for good news and to spend quality time with her; also after having my wallet stolen I have no recent photos so i need some of them too, I bet your real big now?!
As usual all the photos are posted HERE
Anyway only one more week and I'll be there, until then, bye for now!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
"It’s not meant to be winter, no, but it's definetly not summer…"
Just to prove my point, here's a comparison of the weather at the moment
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (current season = winter!)
LONDON, ENGLAND (current season = summer, supposedly!)
Though that rain cloud does not really do the current weather situation here justice!
For a better idea here are a few pictures taken last Friday as torrential rain and flash floods across the country left streets under water after nearly a month's rain fell in a few hours.
For a more detailed report see here…
Now what’s really ironic is that Andy choose Friday to come back from Spain…
Now Andy, if you’d stayed there, this is what you’d be experiencing today…
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday night I attended a Céilidh (Scottish dance pronounced K-LEE) with my mate Harry and some of his friends - I didn't really have a choice in the matter - a few weeks earlier I'd missed a call from Harry, in fact I'd missed 2 calls from Harry, the first asking is I wanted to go to the Ceilidh, the second, about half an hour later saying, since I hadn't replied to the first call I WAS going to the Ceilidh as he'd already bought the tickets - so that was that! Now don't get me wrong about my mates, Harry is not the typical Ceilidh attending type, but friends of his are getting married soon, and she's Scottish, and having a Ceilidh at their reception so she wanted to make sure everyone knew what they were doing - especially the groom! It was lots of fun though, not to mention a rather good work out!! How the Scottish manage to drink as much as they do AND dance like that is beyond me! I think I only managed a couple of glasses of wine because the dancing was far too energetic to be drinking at the same time! Not to mention all the spinning involved wouldn't have mixed well with a head full of alcohol! A 'different' way to spend a Friday night!
Monday night, was opening night of another friend's play Intimacy, playing as part of the Abbey Fest 2007. It was a Jean Paul Satre story adapted for the theatre and was great!
"Two young women with turbulent love lives, a white sheet, two chairs, atable….and let INTIMACY begin…A penetrating, very funny study oflove, friendship, jealousy and betrayal. "IMPOTENCE. What abeautiful word that is. My friend Rirette thinks the most beautiful wordin the language is HAPPINESS. Rubbish. For my money, its im-po-tence." Susy and her friend were the only two actors and the set held only a piano which at times was used as a bed, a taxi and a cafe table. I was definetly glad I made the effort to get there. They did themselves proud and I hope that they had a successful week as they were self funding the production themselves and she was so excited about it all.
Well I think I forgot to write much more about it after that, but basically my friend Janine from work had managed to get free tickets for the privilege to be part of a live audience for the filming of the new Roisin Murphy music video 'Overpowered' (formerly of Moloko fame).
It was a, hmmm, long evening, which I did find mildly interesting, working in the tv industry and all, but even I had to admit that screaming, cheering and looking 'really enthusiastic' whilst listening to the same song for a period of about three hours did start to wear a little thin.... Well, when the video came out maybe it'd all be worth it.... we thought optimistically as we left that evening....
Well the video has finally been released... Take a look for yourself and see if you can spot us...
Music Videos - Overpowered
Do you think our three hours of pain gained us any fame?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Well the place certainly has allot to do if you like canoeing, climbing and pony trekking and the scenery is amazing. We went very high into the mountains I'm sure if there is a God I would have seen him (or her)!?
After trekking all the way up there time to go back and hit the beach, and turn my white body brown, well not joy there more a redy brown (not sure of the colour) but it ain't white no more, lol!
Then after all the fun at the beach and mountains time to return home, another long journey - but I spent the following day at Parque De Attractions (Alton Towers kind of place) - nearly died twice going on rides that man should not attempt to do; at least not without making a monkey go first to prove is safe!!
Anyway I survived, I have the guts of a Spanish woman - if you are a Spanish woman and missing yours please call me, I have them.
Now a week of boredom what to do.... shave head? tattoos? piercings? erm....
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday evening, we were picked up from work, taken to meet a luxury tour coach (and by luxury, I mean think rock star style – with TVs, leather seats, a bar, kitchenette, and circle couch at the back!) watered and fed and taken here…
And what a blast! It was like being a bird, a plane, and superman! All at the same time!!! I absolutely loved it, and even got the hang of it quite quickly – receiving cheers from the group and ‘Awesome Flying’ marked on my certificate! I was amazed though by the amount of effort needed just to hold your arms and legs in the correct position and surprised that it felt like I’d done a workout afterwards, with various muscles in shoulders, arms, back and butt aching the next day! We are meant to be getting a DVD of us flying, so when I do I’ll try upload some of it so watch this space!
Oh, life in the media is so hard…
Each year I work at the Regatta, for the last two running a private party marquee for 1500+ people. It’s great fun, and a break from the norm, but long long hours (I did 45 hours on top of my normal 'day' job last week though the pay packet afterwards and the people are worth it!). This year I also came away with quite a few dozen beer that people seemed to not have time to drink in the twelve hours they were there, nor could be bothered to lug back home with them! (The marquee is BYO).
Apart from loving the event’s atmosphere, being beside the river, and this weekend, the rare appearance of the British sun! I also find it highly amusing observing the deterioration of ‘poshness’ in direct relation to consumption of alcohol. Its incredible how the effect alcohol has on people doesn’t change regardless of the class of society they are in! Sometimes I think its even more amusing to see drunk posh people slurring their accents, falling off their high heeled shoes and generally in a state of dishevel!
(nb: no offence is meant by this post to any ‘posh’ readers of this blog – they are purely the observations of a small country girl no often exposed to the elite of society!)
Sunday, July 08, 2007
I'm sure it wasn't the gay community that took it but from what I heard the event was full of thieves; mobiles, wallets and bags going missing all night long. Not a lot of pride to be associated with that. Strangely enough I also found out they have names for this: Mary Annie & Mary Ellen - definition: A pickpocket that pretends to be gay in order to pickpocket another mans wallet. Although I must say the event was huge and well setup, but not well managed - thousands of folks forced down little streets with no obvious direction, and not much of a police presence.
So the following day off to Gredos again to start another program. As you can imagine my mind was on stopping my cards before ran up a huge debt for me - luckily I checked my balance through the net and nothing appeared to have gone.
So how was the rest of the week? Well apart from the desire by the Spaniards to speak Spanish (what was that about??) it went well, earlish to bed maybe 1am most nights, the one night we did stay up I took alot of hassle for - I don't get the fact they want people to bond between certain hours?? seems strange - although noise travels at night more so maybe it was loud?
Party night went well and all joined in activities which helped to make everything very smooth indeed. In fact not a lot to say - good program, nice group and fun was had by all - oh one small point not many photos from me this time as my battery on my camera died, so Nelson took over my role on that, so I'm hoping to get them soon.
Well I'm off for 2 weeks now may go somewhere nice who knows??
photos are posted HERE
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Well, so as you all actually get the end of my post, and find out all what I've been up to I'll try to keep this short and sweet - Dade I think I need to take some lessons from you on summarising - how you manage to capture all the going ons and feelings of each week into such short posts always amazes me!
Anyway, I've already rambled away for two paragraphs and still not really said anything - see what I mean!!
Last weekend amazingly I was only rostered to work Sunday day at the restaurant, so Ellen jumped at the opportunity to see me and organised my whole Saturday for me! Firstly we spent the afternoon at a BBQ, which I found out when we got there was for someone who I vaguely knew's 40th - I didn't even know I had friends turning 40! I mean I remember being at my parents' 40ths!
We then spent the evening in Windsor, drinking wine, and enjoying a good comedy preview of what's in store up at the Edinburgh Festival this year - enjoyed it so much Ellen and I started thinking about maybe taking a trip up there this year - Shame Chris and Alice will be in NZ at the time!
At work our holiday year ends on 30th June, and I still had two holiday days to take, so I decided to use them constructively - I always feel like I am wasting holidays if I'm not actually doing something! So Tuesday and Wednesday saw me down in the Surrey countryside learning how to dive - yes you read that right - DIVE! Surrey, an odd place to learn I admit, but I found this dive school down there who were offering the PADI Open Water Diver referral course at a really cheap rate for mid week dates - when I got down there I discovered I'd really hit the jackpot as the others booked on the course had cancelled so I actually had the instructor all to myself! The referral course means I did all my theory and confined water components of the course and now just have my 4 qualifying open water dives still to do. I was planning on waiting and doing them overseas somewhere hot later in the year, but I enjoyed the course so much I don't think I want to wait to long before finishing it, so watch this space! All those of you who have your PADIs start dusting off your dive gear! Those who don't yet - get booked and learn! It's great fun (not to mention a good work out without even noticing it at the time!).
Wednesday night I tried to go see Shrek 3 with my mate Dave, but we turned up a day early, as it was officially opening in cinemas on the Thursday! So, since we were at the cinema anyway we saw The Fantastic Four instead. I enjoyed it considering I had no expectations of it since I didn't know I was going to see it! We followed it up at our favourite half price curry house - if you are ever in the Hampton area of London it's definitely worth a taste!
Thursday was back to work - and what a hard day back at work it was - including a long boozy lunch, a massage and then celebratory drinks after work as my boss is off for all of July, getting married and on her honeymoon. Understandably Friday was rather quiet in the office!
Friday night, Janine and I had a lovely girls night out in Clapham - cocktails then dinner and wine for £15 (thanks to a TheLondonPaper offer) - although by the time we had all the cocktails, desserts and supplement charges the evening did admittedly cost us a bit more than £15, but it was a great night out and that's the important thing!
Have worked both days this weekend, although haven't minded since the weather has been really bad - still! - NZ are basically having the same weather as us at the moment - which is pretty sad really considering it really is winter over there!! Fingers crossed it improves over here this week as I am down working at the Henley Royal Regatta next weekend and don't really fancy traipsing around knee deep in mud! Although seeing all the 'posh' regatta goers sinking on their high heels is always a good laugh!...
Saturday, June 30, 2007
When I arrived at the venue and saw I knew 4 of the master students that made me smile, as the ice is already broken, they know me and vice versa, which helps! Not to mention one of them was Rodrigo (the clown) the guy is amazing and has plenty of energy.
After giving the speeches we decided there would be no parties; just gatherings. Essentially the same thing but without the mess, lol. Well there were a few of them throughout the week and luckily for us there was no mess and no damages! ;)
Eduardo was the party animal of the group and kept everyone well stocked and amused, it was a pleasure meeting him and several of the others Javier, Fernando, Mar to name but a few. We also had some old favourites such as Jimmy Casanova - who has insured he's not forgotten by writing his name is permanent marker on the board (muppet, lol), Katrina, Mike and Fred. Who know the program and gave it their all too; which helps make my job far more enjoyable.
I also made what I hope will be a long term relationship with a very special person who had plenty of positive energy for everyone: Heidi. I really hope our paths cross again and her life gives her everything she needs, she is such a beautiful person; if you meet her hug her - she wont mind, in fact she'll insist!
And Kenny who took great pleasure in throwing me around the grass (he's a Judo Instructor) and a great guy to boot.
What else to say well loads but it will just bore you, if you think your missing out - YOU ARE!! COME ON!!! Join in the fun and sign up to Vaughan Town I promise you wont regret it.
As usual the photos are posted and you can see them HERE
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The usual mix of activities to get people bonding and maybe knowing more about you than you would normally reveal, 1 to 1's and telephone sessions kept them all very busy, but I felt this week very draining and struggled to keep my energy levels up and biting my lip - obviously something I'm going to keep working on.
The theatre went well again lessons learn't there too - a new sketch which was funny almost fell flat (work in progress), although we had some excellent input from the participants which is always nice.
Party night was fun and David and I danced to its raining men - dont ask! Anyway it was really cool and he danced very well, in fact i think he carried me through it really, but i noticed camera flashes galour so the must be some interesting photos out there! Not satisfied with making me sweat he turned to Marisa and they cha cha cha'd there asses off, very cool indeed.
When I returned to Madrid, I went to find my new flat and move in, so glad to have a place to call home again, it wont be lonely as I'm sharing with a guy and a girl, so that will be nice too, the place is very cool has what I need - which isnt alot. And tonight I'm off to do it all over again with a new bunch of Anglos - keep smiling ;)
If you want to see a selection of photos of the time we shared check HERE
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The European Space agency are looking for volunteers to spend 500 days in an isolation chamber to simulate a trip to Mars, to study the effect the boredom of it would have on people...
€60,000 does sound tempting, but i know i definitely wouldn't be able to hack that long with so little to do - heck i get bored if i have two nights at home in a row!
Though might get my book written if i did.... hmmm
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Definitely had a better feeling about it than where I am at the moment and there are less house mates, more living areas, a far more chilled out feel to it over all, so should be good for me. Its alos only 15mins walk to Chiswick High Street and about 8mins walk to the river with lots of pubs along the edge. Looking forward to being able to invite you all around!!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Well today I got home to discover an email in my inbox saying I'd been successfully selected and a package of 'equipment to be tested' was on its way to me!
Talk about timing! Not only do I now find myself without a test partner, I had just walked in the door from finding myself a new place to live - which happens to have a single bed!
Well, what can I say? I applied for a laugh while Dade and I were still living together, in the same country!!
It started of with the gig I went to at the Jazz Cafe on Wednesday night, featuring the Sound Sytlistics, who started life as a production music band (which you all should have read about in my previous post!) and was rounded off nicely on Sunday evening by free tickets to see the KPM Allstars play as part of Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre (thank you KPM! - Another music company we use at work!).
Meltdown Festival is an annual event, curated each year by a different famous person who chooses the line up etc. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Jarvis, as he was next door at the Royal Festival Hall singing Disney classics (I kid you not!!), but we did get to see an amazing show.
It was a 14 peice orchestral line up, and compeered by a selection of production music composers - they played a whole heap of wicked tunes including some well known theme tunes - admittedly not having grown up here, nor having a TV currently i didn't know a lot of them, but hey, i still managed to bop my head to it all!
Since being back in London I have been doing a lot of thinking about life, where I am in it and where I want to be. For the past few months I have been not overly happy living in London, and about this time last week had pretty much decide was going to leave the UK and take off travelling again for a few months, decide what I want to do in life, where I want to do it, and who (if anyone) I want to do it with. Heck I'd even bought a ticket back to Spain with Dade when he flies back after his two week trip here in August. I thought i was set, just plans to firm up, money to save...Still a lot of stress involved, since everything i wanted to do would cost a bit, but hey, I could work my guts off (harder) and make it happen like i always do. Some of you with eagle eyes may even had seen, for a brief moment a post on this blog hinting at my plans and with 6 goals i wanted to achieve by the end of the year...
Then something triggered a moment of clarity and it suddenly dawned on me it was the situation i had put myself in that was getting me down, stressing me out and by constant thinking that i didn't want to be here, i was not giving my job or London a chance. Basically for the past six months I've been so busy looking forward and planning and wanting more exciting things that i have been forgetting to live a lot of the time.
Add to that the fact that realistically if I took off in August I would maybe just have scrapped together enough money to survive the year but i would come out the other side of it with 1) no money 2) no job 3) no visa for the UK and would probably have set myself back to where i was a few year ago... Yeah i would have experienced and seen amazing things, but those things are not going anywhere... and to be fair i have not really experienced all that the UK has to offer.
So, I've decided to stay and make a proper go of it here. I have a good job, with potential to develop in it, i just hadn't been giving it anywhere near my full potential. I had a steady income from working two jobs, and with careful management i will be able to pay of debt, save and have a life at the same time. I just have to remember to live a little and not get bogged down in all the negatives of it all...
So here is my updated list of goals...
1. Take some time for myself, do the things I've always wanted to do and stop living for the approval of other people.
2. Learn to just chill and relax - not to think so much and slow down and give each day the attention that it deserves.
3. Learn to dive.
4. Discover and make the most of what living in London means.
5. Give my all to my job, gain valuable work experience and take every opportunity they offer. Learn from the pros there.
6. Learn a new language.
7. Spend Christmas with those who mean something to me (though admittedly I can't entirely control the outcome of this one - what are YOU up to a Christmas??)
They are pretty much the same as the ones i had made this time last week as surprisingly i have found with an open mind i can achieve my dreams whether here or elsewhere in the world... Plus if i stick it out for another year, i can continue the progress I've made financially, so that I can realistically take off travelling and discover the rest of the world, whilst not crippliing myself again, plus i might even be able to secure my working future in Europe...
Since I've made that decision its like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and the constant knot at the base of my neck has slowly started to unwind...
Will finish this here for now, but stay tuned for updates of how I am going...
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The Jazz Café is quiet a chilled venue, nice comfy seating area near the bar, for those pre gig drinks, where we just chilled and chatted through the support act (The Grits I think) before moving to the comfortably intimate space in front of the stage when the main act came on. The Sound Stylistics started life making production music together (that’s non commercial music that is used in Movies, Promos, TV Shows, commercials etc that doesn’t cost anywhere near as much to use as the commercial stuff ) but have now released a commercial album together. They are a deep funk 'super group', featuring members of Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, Galliano, The New Mastersounds, The Herbaliser and the James Taylor Quartet and last night was their first live gig. And a very good gig it was indeed. There were about 10 of them – reminded me of a school band as they came on stage, but boy, the sound was nothing like one! They were very very good, and great to bop along too. All the musicians obviously love what they do, as you could see it in their whole body language as they performed. It was so cool to watch, especially the bongo drum guy, and the keyboardist, when they got going! Didn’t get any pics of them, and can’t find any online but they are definitely worth seeing if you get a chance.
If there is one thing that always makes me regret not learning to play an instrument, its going to live gigs like this! Though I don’t get to nearly enough of them. Must try harder.
DAYS 1 -3 - Be restricted to a diet of liquids and ice creams for 3 days
(supposedly without alcohol, though alcohol is useful to numb the pain!).
DAY 4 - Once able to eat slightly solid foods again, go out for a curry.
Get food poisoning
DAY 5 - Spend 24 hours in the bathroom ridding your body of entire stomach contents.
Having no appetite for a further 2-3 days will help to maintain this new body weight….
NB: Location is unimportant, though I found that by situating myself in a foreign city for the first 2 steps particularly beneficial, as I had no access to a kitchen in which to prepare wholesale ‘liquids’ such as soups and mashed up food!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
If you have the attention span of a goldfish (like I do) you know how easy it is to get bored and create mischief, well it happened - first was the hair - i went to a Spanish hairdressers, I swear he never once picked up a pair of scissors just a razor and hacked into my hair, which left me feeling that I had to take action myself. So for 2 days I fought the urge then I decided right I'm gonna do it - so I headed off to El Corte Ingles to buy some clippers - only they were closed; DAM!
The following day after trying to get another style outta the hair (which wasn't happening) I headed straight for the centre and bought some clippers - went back and started to restyle my hair, boy I didn't realise how much silver i was hiding under there - I could have pawned my head and made a fortune - needless to say a dye was required!
This 'haircut' is getting expensive. OK so dye on beard trimmed and hair sorted, I'm happy right?? Well no, I want something else but what??
I know a piercing, but where? Got it!
I'll get my eyebrow pierced (again)! But along my eyebrow rather than down like normal - just to be a bit different.
Anyway why not check out my new look for yourself.
Friday, June 08, 2007
The weeks seem to go by very quickly, its like Carrie only left a few days ago when it been a week already. Shes now back in the UK planning when to leave and see the rest of the world - London seems to suck you in and refuse to let you go if you let it. Break free and show the world who and what you are.
I on the other hand am here (and loving it) with somewhere to live as of next week; Yeah!
Highlights of the week:
Rob rocking on his guitar,
Participants bonding so quickly made our lives so much easier (well done guys),
Karaoke night; boy that night hurt, but its all practise!
I did some magic never performed live before (scary biscuits!!) but it worked out, yea me!
Party night rocked - I'm still recovering!
The surprise birthday bash for Rob - dude you rock!
After such a varied week I realise there is far more to this job than as an Anglo you appreciate (I say that as having been one), no complaints here just observations. I sincerely hope that yet again the friends we met will make the effort to keep in touch
As usual all photos are posted HERE
and please upload and share the photos that you have so we can all enjoy them too ;)
I've just spent the last 24 hours alternating between bed and the bathroom with either a tummy bug or food poisoning. Not sure which - i did go out for a curry for our work team building day on Tuesday, but as far as i know, no one else in the office is ill... hmmm
I'm going to brave going into the office today as I have sooo much to do, but I definetly do not feel my complete self!
Is this a sign that London is wearing me down?
Dade and I spent a lovely two days together wondering the streets of Madrid, trying to find the elusive market at Fuencarrel (btw Dade i now know where we went wrong, ask me next time we speak!), getting my tounge pierced, therefore not so much enjoying the lovely tapas as the lovely cool spanish beer, milkshakes and ice creams...
Dade unfortunately then had to go back to work on the Sunday morning, so I had two days to amuse myself, so on Sunday i jumped on a train to Toldeo, only 30min south of Madrid (I even bought my ticket completely in Spanish - so proud :-D ). Toldeo was gorgeous, lots of winding narrow streets and alley ways to get lost in. For those who ever get a chance to visit it do, but I would definetly recommend talking the bus up to the old town - don't try to walk it, at least not up from the train station. Also its probably best a town to visit with others as, other than wondering the old streets there wasn't a lot else to do except enjoy the tapas bars.
Sunday night I caught up with Esther and her boyfriend, who very kindly took my out for Tapas near their place - they live in one of the outer suburbs of Madrid, but it used to be a completely seperate village, and it definetly had the sort of feel too it. The tapas was great though, even if it did take me a long time to eat it - being the first solids i'd had since getting my tounge done!
Monday I took the bus out to Segovia, another beautiful town, about 1.5 north west of Madrid. It seemed bigger than Toledo, at least the historic centre was, and sported an amazing Aquaduct, and also is home of the castle that inspired Walt Disney.
Spent the day there before heading back to Madrid for a final drink and some calamares in our favourite tapas bar then met up with Esther again who kindly took me to the airport. So bye bye sunny Spain and hello again to England.
I got so used to the 28+ degree weather in Spain that on Tuesday morning when i saw the blue skies outside in London I left the house without my jacket. I quickly return to retrieve it, and a jumper as while the skies were blue, the temperature was not quiet the same!!