Sunday, April 29, 2007

Just kickin it in Madrid

Well after all my travels I have a few days to kill in Madrid, and this is a sample of what I've done and seen over this time. Thought as usual I'd share with you all, just in case anyone really cared.

Well I had to stay in the other hostel the other night met some cool folks and hung out in an Irish bar, and actually found 1 Irish guy there! Although the music was hip hop, in Spain and full of various other nationalities.

The next day I walked around Madrid aimlessly but no plan, then a friend from Vaughan Town came to the same hostel so we went round to Rob's and chilled there, and when i say chilled i mean it we got caught in a HUGE downpour! Lucky for me Cassey was with me so at least she knew where she was going, right!??! WRONG! It's up here, no here okay definetly this one, needless to say we were soaked, lol!

We got to Rob's street and it was flooded, and also a car smash (see photos). We got there then we went out for a meal and got stung big time!!! The meal came to 70 Euros far more than the 30 Euros we expected it appears they gave us large portions! Dam it, watch out for that one!

And today we wondered around taking in the sites and enjoying Cassey's company and easy chat, we walked around went to the pyramid (yes in Spain) and headed for a huge gallery but it was closed :(
But we did find a big park, so we played Hide and Seek; as you can see Cassey was rubbish!

Then hunger set in, so off we went in search for food, we found the perfect Indian Restaraunt , only to be told (by an Indian waiter) they dont do Indian - check out the sign outside and see for yourself, they certainly fooled us!?

Once fed from a Chinese (at least they knew what they did, although Cassey did make a meal of ordering a meal, lol) We headed back to the hostel, and my fav performer was out, you have to check this guy, he rocks like a rock concert with huge rocks!

I need a siesta now - it's been a hard day.

Cool Slideshows

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Back to the future

For those of you who really know me, know I was very into the Amiga and BBS's (bulletin boards - its what existed before the web) and may well be aware of the circles I operated in from my own group - The Lost Boys to Traders Dreams, Red Nex and Ultima (as well as several others). Basically back in the day, I would hack and slash software and hardware to bits.

Well the Amiga was a popular computer in the mid 80s and early 90s that could perform feats that seemed to come from computers ten years in the future, thanks to its custom graphics and sound chips and lightning fast pre-emptive multitasking operating system.
However, managerial incompetence at Commodore led the company to declare bankruptcy in 1994.

Amiga Inc., the company that purchased the rights to the Amiga line of computers back in 1999, has risen from its perpetual slumber to announce a new line of PowerPC-based computers that will run Amiga, the first machine will be a "consumer-level" system that will run at around $500, to be followed up with a more powerful system for $1,500.

Exactly what Amiga Inc. hopes to achieve in the future remains somewhat of a mystery, but it may revolve around the mobile market. OS 4 runs very quickly even on very low resources, and as such may find a niche on handhelds. The desktop version has so far been an attraction only for the most die-hard enthusiasts, but if a $500 system can be released it might pick up a few more of the once five million-strong classic Amiga user base, as well as curious onlookers—just as the Mac mini appealed to enthusiast "adders" looking for an inexpensive way to experiment with alternative platforms.

I for one will watch with anticipation as to where the Amiga is heading and what it's capable of achieving this time around.

End of another week

Well yet another week comes to an end, and yet again what a week. Full of highs and very little lows (if any). It was a real pleasure to work along side Rob and Carmen, who's experience shines through what they do. I only hope to be half as good.

I got some excellent feedback from Spaniards and Anglos alike which really helped boost my confidence. I'm really looking forward to putting together programs and having MY programs spoke highly of.

As for Rob I finally got my revenge, by writing him a poem and reading it aloud to the group on party night (and there were a few of them, lol). It was reat to see that yet again the magic of Vaughan town working away, and I kid you not if you haven't experienced it you really are missing out!

Well I wont say too much as it will spoil the fun when you see it all for yourself. However I will of course post photos - they can be found HERE

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Up for a swim?

Right! Now I know the world is getting smaller by the day, with countries and continents once in accessible to others seeming a lot closer than they ever were... BUT...

Have a look at what I came across on Google Maps...

Follow these steps [in order of course]...

1. Go to
2. Click on MAPS
4. Go from "LONDON" to "NEW YORK"
5. Scroll down the directions to number 37...

Anyone up for a quick trip to New York?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Its a hard life

So this week I'm in Gredos (Avila), shadowing a Master of Ceremonies called ROB. It has been good to see someone elses input into what Vaughan has to offer, I only hope I can live up to it.
It will be interesting because I know we will push each other and hopefully learn so much from each other.

Rob is extremely talented from painting to music and even doing some magic!

He kindly said to me that Tuesday was my day to shine - and boy did I try. First off we had a simple psychological game then a treasure hunt, and what fun it turned out to be. In the evening we had been preparing sketches for the night, and they were so funny!!!!

The Anglos and Spaniards did me proud. I also did something new, I painting a picture, that's all I'll say but the I was very happy with the results and so was the audience and the lady (Giovanni) who posed for me; she kept the painting.

At night I read the Quemada, and drunk plenty too. Then on with the karaoke which was so funny, I sang; well I say sang! Like a Virgin (and why not), I got very merry and had a very good night, although the mornings a bit of a struggle, if you know what I mean, lol!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bargains Galore

Those of you who know me, know I love a bargain even better FREE stuff!!
Well check out what I found for you, I cant use them being in Spain and all, but hopefully someone will grab themselves a slice of the action and let me know ;)

Alton Towers has a fiery red hot offer to celebrate England's patron saint next Monday 23rd April. Pls note : 1 Dragon needed per person :)
On St George's Day, bring a dragon, be it plastic, metal, soft, Komodo or other and enter Alton Towers free.

Eat all you can Tapas for £10, just what Tapas should be

Apple iPod shuffle Armband
Whether jogging or working out, the specially designed iPod shuffle Armband is a stylish accessory for use with your iPod shuffle.
Asda are getting rid of these for a ridiculous 9p!!! (Apple store selling them for £19)

To celebrate Rimmel London's Launch of their new MAXX nail polish - they are giving away a Free full size sample worth £4.49 in a choice of three colours.
Only 10,000 samples available and ends 9th May

Free tickets to This is England, London Screening, 23rd April
Where: Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue, Trocadero, Coventry Street, London, W1D 7DH

If you haven't yet got an Oyster card, get one free
Only one card per application, only one card per person. New customers only. 100,000 cards available. UK residents only.

BATFINK : 4 dvd boxset featuring all 100 crime busting episodes in 8 hours of fun!! ONLY £11.48 (

For one weekend only, entry wont cost you a penny at Historic Scotlands magnificent attractions. On 21 and 22 April 2007, Historic Scotland opens the doors, drawbridges, hatches, portcullises and gates to over 70 of their attractions for the Free Weekend. The annual event encourages visitors to discover more about the nations fascinating history and heritage

Terry's Chocolate Oranges 49p at Jacksons!

Orange and the Star on Sunday have hooked up to give you this great deal: a Free Orange Pay as you go SIM card loaded with £100 worth of free texts.
Just fill out the form and when you get your free SIM, register it by calling 0800 079 0006 and soon you will be texting away.

Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock: Legends Of The Rock [Box Set] 3 discs 6 hours of fun only £5.99 (woolworths)

Well I hope you get lucky - if you know of any bargains post a comment saying where and how much.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Salamanca - Day 5

Final day up early-ish to see that all the necessary things are taken care of, rooms are sorted and lost clothes are found and returned.

Lunch was interesting with all the teachers wearing wigs, it made for quite a sight. Then after a few more photos we got ourselves ready to for the long trip home. But first Luis and I couldn't resist winding up the Chica's (girls) so we went onto their bus and said from the heart that after this week and getting to know them all we would miss them so much... ...NOT!!
They responded in a typical girlie way, so we fled.

The trip back was long and yet again we got dropped where we didn't expect so yet again we took over local transport. Finally at 9pm i made it to the hostel before it all starts again next week for me at least its with adults for the other teachers its with a whole new bunch of kids, i just hope they enjoy it as much as I'm sure they really did this week - good luck guys!!

Well for the photos I taken over the week check out:
HERE ARE THE PHOTOS and yes it was THAT much fun!!

Don't just take my word for it here are some quotes;
David says: He enjoyed the treasure hunt the most!
Juan says: Painting rocks was TOMA (cool)
2 Chica's say: SWIMMING!!!
another 2 chica's say: the loved the treasure hunt

Martha (camp organiser) says: The night shows, were brilliant
Mario (camp organiser) says: he enjoyed spending his freetime with the kids
Luis says: Playing football as the kids are so competitive
Emma says: Interacting with the various personalities
Helen says: the fashion show was very funny
Siobhan says: the talent show / and the stone they painted for her
Carmen says: she enjoyed the nature walk

Salamanca - Day 4

Up in time for breakfast, my neck is sore (from sunburn), after two coffees I am ready to take on the world – well at least the kids. It’s off to swimming for lesson one, let the screaming commence! After that we had football and tennis, boy it makes you know how old you really are.
Then after lunch more swimming; I’m beginning to grow gills! In my free time I walked around the golf course, the peace and quiet was remarkable. I took a few pictures and had a go on the driving range which was fun; although I must confess I can’t hit a ball properly for toffee, (where did that saying come from?).

Tonight is a talent show and disco so should be fun. The kids have their own gossip mill and have paired all the teachers up and one teacher with a waiter (although that one is true, let me tell you; well.... they’ve got me at it now, lol).

Anyway the talent show went without a hitch only problem was it took a long time; with 8 groups each doing ‘their bit’ and also a Vaughan Town newspaper which the kids put together – gossip really but very funny then straight after we went into the disco which the kids loved and certain members of the teaching crew got a chance to shine on the dance floor.

Our suspicions about a waiter’s orientation were confirmed, when shown up later that night (enough said). The kids danced until they exhausted themselves, which was great; off to bed, very little messing about, and left us with some time to have adult conversation – it’s been SO long!

Salamanca - Day 3

Up earlier today although the night was long, at least I got breakfast. We organised a treasure hunt, each tree had a clue attached to it, and the children had to perform a task before they could move on. The final treasure was a teacher with a pocket full of sweets (needless to say all they all loved him, lol.)

The first group went out and for an hour we were out in the hot sun, and didn’t we know it – my forehead was red hot. The kids found the prize and went off happy enough. Group two, yet another hour in the sun for us – now my arms are getting red and the kids really got into the games and completed in 45 minutes. Then a break, sandwiches and refreshments and welcomed they were as we knew we had another 2 hours ahead.

The next group we took out they were even quicker and finished the tasks in 30 minutes – so we played Ball Tick (where you throw the ball whoever it touches then has to throw the ball etc), now I’m not being funny but as Lucia and I were the biggest we were singled out but as I am a better dodger than Lucia, she was targeted far more. What I found very amusing was to watch her plead with 8 year olds “no not again, leave me”

The final group went out and again almost record speed as they too had completed it in 30 mins (they are very competitive) The boys almost lost as they refused to do task 11, because they thought they had completed 12 already – after much heated discussion from their team mates as the other team were ahead at this point they finally completed task 11 and went onto 12; at this point the girls team had already found the item (a smiley faced golf ball) – but the real treasure as mentioned was the teacher with sweets, so the boys ran their socks off and found the teacher!

I was very pleased that mostly all the children really enjoyed the games and got VERY involved with the tasks – from singing happy birthday to Lucia (she loved it really) to building human pyramids.
Later that night we had an amazing fashion show with each group of children playing roles such as superstars or mummies, the groups were extremely creative but one group in particular had an advantage as their male teacher (for some reason) had a vast array of wigs to share with his class. The show had an added bonus with Mario and Luis dressing as sporty ladies – you have to see the photos!!

All in all today has been a most enjoyable day, with plenty of variety for both teachers and students, as a side note I’m sun burnt pretty bad, just taken off my shirt and suddenly all becomes clear (well red really with white bits), all I can say is
oOwWW in advance.

Salamanca - Day 2

Today started later for me not only did I not get a lot of sleep because of the children making noise, going the bathroom and knocking on the walls etc, but also because my cough is still playing up and worse at night when lying down. So I arose at 10am, to no breakfast and kids running everywhere, lol.

The sun was back out the day was set to be very nice indeed. In my free time I prepared for the show I have to perform in tonight – magic and tongue twisters, more on that later when I have done it.

I taken the children to play Tennis and Football – lost at football 5 – 2 because I was on the girls side; really, girls need to learn how to play football! I watched the classes in full swing and they were going very well, although I don’t envy them one bit, having said that they ARE getting invaluable experience with the children.

Okay, we had dinner and it took 1hour 20 mins as appose to the 50 mins usual – we found out that because the boss had gone home they were taking their time and with a room full of 75 children didn’t we just know it! With dinner out of the way, we got down to the fun. Due to time I dropped a few parts of the act and just as well, it reminded me why I don’t perform magic for children.

I did a few basic tricks to get them involved then had their teachers doing tongue twisters – which the children really enjoyed and wanted every teacher including me to have a go at. I was told that I have again started to speak my famous broken English, DOH!

Anyway along comes bedtime, and yet again all hell breaks loose, kids don’t ya just love em!!

Salamanca - Day 1

This is day one of my Salamanca Training Camp with 75 children aged 9 – 12. Well things didn’t get off to the best start when the bus we all turned up for early didn’t show!
We then had to get a public bus to the school and meet the coach, OK picture the scene – 8 teachers fully laden with bags and suitcases taking up most of the public transport; it was like a day trip for gypsies.

Anyway we finally met the coach and then had a 200km trip to Salamanca. The trip was long but kept busy with the hundreds of questions kids ask from “where are you from” to “how many tattoos do you have”. They are really perceptive and their grasp of English was better than expected. So I looked forward even more to the camp. Rather than teaching on this one I was going as a ‘monitor’ to ensure the children behave and are entertained, that at least I can do.

First lessons start and I survey my surroundings – OK first we are in a prestigious golf course, nice facilities; sauna, jacuzzi, driving range, squash court, tennis court, basketball, swimming pool etc you get the picture it’s the business, oh and by the way the weather is beautiful. When the lessons finished for the afternoon the games began; my bit. We started with a quick throw with the Frisbee, then joined by another group so we played a capture the flag type game (Quake to computer users) only on the field giving them an object to retrieve, that went well only I was on the girls team and they have obviously never played Quake, needless to say we lost 4 – 1.

However the boys had their own dirty tactics by getting four of them to hold my legs and stop me running or even walking, but it was funny. Then just to finish off a three legged race – which in itself took only two minutes but 10 to untie the laces

Then I took them swimming and to the jacuzzi they loved it, bodies diving in the water in every angle possible and some not so, but enjoying themselves; such a small area though the noise was amplified and soon a headache was on the way.

After dinner we had some games, we got the groups into teams – allowed them to pick their own names, shout out all their energy, and tax them one last time mentally with a quick fire quiz, this went down very well I thought, and it appeared all enjoyed it; even the teachers.We finished off with each group having to make a song using the following words – Spaghetti, Helicopter and Bumble Bee, it was like the Eurovision Song Contest all over again, words that make no sense and no real tune to hum to, but they loved the chance to perform.

Looking forward to tomorrow where we do it all over again, but different, that is if we all get through tonight.

Life is short...

I must admit I am not a big one for forwarded emails, especially when the person forwarding the email doesn’t even bother to take out all the other email headers etc from everyone else who has forwarded it before them, nor add a little personal message at the top, to as why they felt the need to forward that particular email to me in the first place. Generally they get a quick read, then a swift click of the X…It is very occasionally though that I receive a little verse that strikes a chord, or seems to fit where I am emotionally at the time…
Yesterday, I received one such one, from my Mum, that I want to share with you all…

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will.
You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.
You'll fight with your best friend.
You'll blame a new love for things an old one did.
You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

You have all probably received this at some stage via an email, but how many of you have really actually thought about it? Don’t sit back and wait for your life to happen to you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A walk in the park

Well, after more excitement from Dade's part of Europe, what can I say from this side...

Last week, for me, was one of those weeks that both seems to drag by, but before you know it, its Friday already, you've survived the week and the weekend lies ahead of you. I was particularly looking forward to this weekend because for once, I was not working Saturday (i had a double shift on Sunday to make up for it!) AND the weather forecast was amazing (as i may have already pointed out in a previous post...).

I am loving the fact that its still light well after I get home from work these days, and it hasn't rained in ages (tho having said that it probably will now! sorry folks!).

So, not wanting to let a potentially gorgeous Saturday go to waste, I decided to head out of the London, and escape the rush for a bit.

Friday night I headed up to Amersham, and far far reaches of the London Underground system (which was actually overland by this stage), where Ellen picked me up. Had a girls night on at hers and then a very lazy Saturday morning, before another friend came round and we headed down to Marlow for a picnic by the river. Again, did i mention how gorgeous the weather was? We spent a lovely afternoon people watching, and were both amazed and astounded by the variety, and hidousity of outfits this sort of weather in April brings out!!

Saturday evening I spent at my Aunty Elaine's cottage near Great Missiden. It was ever so peaceful up there, and being able to lie outside in the garden was great. That is something I really miss here.

Sunday was another gorgeous day weather wise - tho sadly I worked from 9am-10pm, so while I got to see the day, did not get to benefit from it much!

So that's about it from this end...

Now we are almost mid way through another week and I am busy planning my trip out to Spain to see Dade for his birthday... only 13 more sleeps till I'm there .... ;-p

Dade is off in Salamanca this week being run raggered by Spanish kids. He's got no Internet access there so you'll all have to be patient along with me to find out what exciting tales he's got to tell....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What to do

Below are some of the films I am looking forward to this summer - just hope I can see them in English.

28 Weeks Later


Shrek 3

Spiderman 3

Others to watch out for are Die Hard 4, The Simpsons Movie, Fantastic Four; rise of the Silver Surfer, Harry Potter; Order of the Pheonix and if you haven't watched 300 where have you been!! This is a MUST!

Ones to avoid are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Babel, Oceans 13 (not sure about this one, 12 sucked to me; so not to sure) & How I planned to kill Tony Blair - really should this made into a film i. he didnt suceed ii. what happens with the sequel iii. copycats: how I planned to kill George Bush (just so they get their 15 mins)!?

That aside the summer has some cracking films coming up - so if it aint to hot and you have nothing to do, go watch a movie with someone and share the experience.

SIDENOTE: Whilst out drinking the other night I saw a 7 foot ostrich walking the streets in Spain (cheuca), I know I thought that too! But its true Nokia had hired a guy to operate a robotic ostrich with a huge Nokia type walkman phone attached to it, they also had projectors flashing up on buildings, and a guy was hired to dance his ass off whilst listening to the music from the phone - great marketing: I certainly wont forget it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

First week

Well I've just finished week one. Boy what a hard task, everyday homework, grammar lessons, and projects to make and bring into the next class; and that was us!!

I thought that for my first week, it went well. I have never taught English before so all this was very new to me. although it's my native tongue teaching is a whole new ball game. I got my appraisals back from my students and for the most part I was very pleased with them as I did better than I expected. There were one or two issues which I will look into and see what I can do about them.

For the upcoming week I'm off to Salamanca to teach (9 - 12 year old Spaniards) English, which again will be a real challenge (although I am mostly doing a supporting role, then taking over where required).

I'm looking forward to escaping Madrid for a while. It's so noisy when trying to sleep, what with drunken Spaniards "singing" (actually yelling) down the streets, and room mates that come and go at all hours, and when sharing with 10 it gets pretty busy. Why do hostels always have metal lockers? They are SO noisy, even when do quiet things.

I was up bright and early, well OK I was up early this morning, to go to the Police Station to get an NID number (Social Security or National Insurance Number) so I can get paid, after all that's an important part of working. After standing in line for 3 hours I left to go back to teaching, a colleague stayed it took him a further 3 hours to get his papers stamped - reason all the Bulgarians and Romainians that have descended onto Spain since April 1st. The queues were massive, it was worst than trying to get Glastonbury tickets!

Well I'm off out tonight to see the sites and get slightly drunk - so they may be slightly wavy sites but hey.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ironic or simply Climate change…

I don’t normally like talking about the weather, and don’t even normally look at forecasts as I figure what the weather is going to do the weather is going to do and knowing in advance doesn’t always help anyway since half the time the forecasts are wrong anyway!


I couldn’t help giggling when I read in a free London paper on the tube last night that the following has been predicted for London:

The BBC aren’t quite as optimistic, but their forecast still backs London being warmer, and sunnier, than Madrid!

Hmmm, now I thought one of the plus sides of moving to Spain was to escape the fickle English weather for a climate more amenable and predictable….

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm a teacher, I am a teacher, am I a teacher..?

So it would appear I am now a teacher, or am I? I realised that even though English is my native tongue and I use it all the time, I actually know very little about it or it's grammatical structure. Needless to say - I have to learn this and quick!

Well today with lesson plans in hand I tackled teaching head on, my plans seemed to complex at first glance, but as I realised the level of the student it fell into place nicely and a rapport was soon built. I have a mixed bag of English teaching methods to pull from and utilised them the best way i knew how - with a smattering of humour and a light hearted approach.

I get graded by the students to see how well I done, however I don't get to find out until Friday! talk about torture.

After teaching them for 2 hours I felt quietly confident that it went better than expected and on the Metro journey home I reflected. Did I do this, yes. Did I do that, yes. Then panic did I set any homework, NO! Oh no this was a crucial part of the lesson, sh**!
Oh well, I hope I'm a better MC than a teacher as it looks like I'll may be doing more of that, lol!

Anyway can't chat here all day got studying to do for tomorrow.

Thought for the day: Be the best you can be

Sunday, April 08, 2007

...Meanwhile, back in London...

Compared to Dade’s adventurous weekend, mine seems rather dull. But I wanted to post something so you know I am still around… (since this is after all and we are still Carrie & Dade, despite the annoyingly obvious physical distance which separates us for the time being…)

As usual, whilst major upheaval is going on in my mind and life, the world just keeps ticking by as dependable as a best mate, but a lot less sympathetic…

Since Dade left 37 hours ago (I am NOT counting I just know what time he left! HONEST!) I’ve worked 3 shifts at the restaurant, all of which were unusually quiet – it seems that the entire population of London has left for Easter – not that I blame them, the weather has been amazing and I was feeling rather jealous of Dade being in Spain and near the beach (until I read his blog update that is!)… Whilst I’ve been out slaving, our ever considerate housemates have unfortunately not left London for Easter however but have instead been staging a mammoth drinking session, which still continues…. We are on night 4 now but I am not even going to go into my feelings on that subject! My only respite this evening is, though the beer is still flowing, their heads seem a little more sensitive than previous evenings so the music is not rocking the house. YAY, I may be able to actually sleep! (Dade, you’re not the only one who had a sleepless night last night!)….

ANYWAY! This is not meant to be a negative blog entry, as negativity gets us nowhere… So here are three thought that I am focusing on right now…

“Whatever does not destroy us makes us stronger“
(Did not want to use this one, wanted something a bit more poetic, but nothing else actually sums this up as well!)


“Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.”


“Nothing is difficult in the eyes of a lover”

A Fresh Start

Well the day started early yet again on Saturday, I hate mornings. Got the bus and noticed that I only had £2 left on my Oyster card, oops. Anyway got to tube station and managed to go through the barriers that open for prams – just hope I get the same option when I get off, and I did, result!

So onto the coach which wasn’t where I thought it would be; and I only had 5 minutes to find it!! So off I go, found it and nothing there! NO!!! Then it shows up, phew.
Only he just sat there, didn’t open the doors or even confirm he was my coach, 10 minutes passed and I knocked the window he just waved at me!?! Then after 20 minutes (at which point we should have left 20 minutes ago) he opened the door and allowed us to board, I breathe a sigh of relief – but wait somethings amiss? He didn’t get back on the coach and I hear whispers that the coach has a leak, and he needs a new part! This is not going to plan.

Another 20 minutes later the part arrives and we head off now 40 minutes late!
I get to the airport within my check in time, so have no queues, nice! Check in my new case which was supposed to be 20kg mine weighs 24kg (I pretend not to notice, as does the check in guy) it goes through no charges no complaints, which is just as well as my hand luggage was weighing around 10kg, lol.
I check in my hand luggage, left the hard drive in the bag, so it got rejected and opened, decks of cards spilled out, the guy just looked at me, I grinned. I took out the drive and put it through again, he picked up the bag (with a struggle) looks at me! I replied I checked it in. He accepts this and it goes though no problem. I board the plane and finally set off to leave London behind, perhaps for ever.

We touch down in Vallencia nice place, but overcast with rain clouds, and no beach in sight!? It appears we are a good 5k+ in from the coast! Dam! So I set off to find a hostel or pension. I find a few, FULL! FULL! FULL! EXPENSIVE! Oh no I think. Then I get one, almost right near where I started which is just my luck to walk around in a big circle, lol. So I have somewhere to shack up for the night. I go exploring, Vallencia seems expensive with designer shops on every street. As I idly go about my business the police raid a street where street traders are selling pirate goods, im caught in the midst of bodies running in every direction, there goods being thrown to the ground as they flee. I quickly get away before the question me or worse.

Put my head down for the night and wouldn’t you believe it – the hostel is noisy and loud, sleeps broken, so I decide to get an early start to Madrid, only to find that ALL the tickets are sold on all 5 trains today!! Oh no!! I quickly think as I try to find an alternate route, and I get one – its round the houses abit but it gets me there at least, well I say that – im currently typing this out on the train to Madrid.

I've arrived in Madrid just over 4 hours later, found the hostel Los Amigos (sign says full!) but i take a chance and ring it anyway, they have two spaces, sweet! I check in for what could be home for the next few weeks if i dont get myself somewhere to stay. I may need a few favours from the Spaniards I've met so far (hint hint)!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The end or just the beginning..?

There are a few things in life some of which affect you and haunt you forever.
Some things that touch me for example was 9.11 which I'm sure touched so many of us, from the images to the concept; it just seemed so unreal, it made the reality even more disturbing!
and of course more recently the Tsunami.

The one thing that strikes me as amazing is our resilience to start over, pick ourselves up dust ourselves off and begin again. But it does make me wonder what happens when we can no longer do that?

What happens when someone messes it up for us all? This clip will give you an idea of what could be if we dont start to make changes to our lives and towards each other - its OUR planet, not yours or mine, we have come so far yet it seems at times for what?

Mankind needs to choose not just accept his destiny!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not what it says on the tin...

After all the walking and chatting we did on Saturday, you would have thought we would have had a quiet Sunday, but no, I decided I wanted to investigate what other rooms to rent London had to offer, in an effort to cut my costs once Dade has flown off to sunny (or not) Spain….

I had arranged 3 viewings from ads on Gumtree, all with in a good price range and with positive points going for all of them. Unfortunately none of them were particularly near to each other, and no one was available a consecutive times so we had time and distance to fill in between viewings…I went to the first one on my own as the 11am appointment time, meant leaving before Dade considered it reasonable to be up on a Sunday! The room was nice enough and the two housemates I meet seemed sane, but with no communal area other than a galley kitchen I had the feeling things could get a bit claustrophobic. Dade then joined me to walk to the second appointment for 1pm – I thought it was A LOT closer to ours than it turned out to be so made us walk…. And when we got in site of the place we kept on walking as the area was rotten and the black bin bags in the windows didn’t fill me with great desire to live there! So, having put in the walked 45mins we didn’t really feel like just turning around and going home again, even though our next viewing wasn’t till 6.30pm.

So we headed into Leicester Square and went in search of the National Gallery, as Dade had seen a poster advertising a dinosaur exhibition that he fancied seeing. On finding the gallery, centrally located on Trafalgar Square we could see no sign of any dinosaurs and didn’t really think it seems the right place… So Dade racked his brains to remember where it was he saw it advertised and on seeing a brochure for the British Museum discarded on the floor decided that’s where it actually was! So after Dade got a free hug from a guy giving them out in Trafalgar Square, off we walked in the opposite direction back thru Leicester Square, to the British Museum, up off Bloomsbury Avenue. This one seemed more likely to be hosting an exhibition on Dinosaurs than a gallery full on portraits! But on arriving, again we saw no sign of them, so Dade asked, after a moment or twos confusion was told it was actually the Natural History Museum that was playing host to the prehistoric monsters! (Side note: Later, on looking up the Natural History Museum in our trusty A-Z we discovered it was in fact right next door to the V&A museum, no where near where we were today!). Never mind, we decided to browse the British Museum anyway and saw some interesting sites from Egypt before deciding the V&A Museum from Saturday was far more interesting, and far less crowded. By this point I was also suffering considerably from an aching foot, with pain slowly creeping up my leg. No idea why, as can’t remember having done anything to it at all! So we headed off again and found a nice grassy patch of sunshine to lie in for a while and just let London pass on by, before heading out to Camden Town, to full in a the last hour or so before viewing the last room. After waiting on the door step for ½ an hour, thinking karma was getting us back for standing up our previous appointment, a friendly Turkish girl arrived and showed us the room in question. It was large, very large, and had 2 beds in it… but something seemed a miss… it turns out she was actually looking for someone to share not only the flat with her, but the actual room as well!

So all in all the day involved a lot of walking (or hobbling, in my case) and not a lot of luck room wise. But it wasn’t a complete waste of a day - we did discover more parts of central London that we’d not seen before and spent a lovely last Sunday in London together.

As far as rooms go, I’ve decide to stick it out where I am, as at least I know the score there, and its close and convenient to most things I do…

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Life, Love & Happiness

We spent our last weekend seeing another part of London and discovered a Museum. Not a huge fan of museums but they do have some interesting things in most of them so worth a look - even better is it was FREE! - gotta be done then huh!

I met up with a dear friend from Sky, Janine. We walked and chatted and as I say stumbled across this Museum (The Victoria & Albert Museum). So we all piled inside and to be honest I was impressed with what they had there - considering my last visit to the Tate - im sorry but a blob of paint is NOT ART!!!!

Anyway, we looked around then Janine had to leave, I do hope she stays in touch through any means, and I too will try - but life seems to get in the way and before you know it its been months since you last spoke. I guess that s just the way it is!? I saw one of my best friends online the other day and immediately questioned why he'd not been in touch - and even though I had sent an email and text I could have done more myself.

Is the purpose of friends to be there and share the moments that matter with you?! We went out last night to one of Carrie's friends birthday party (shes a thirty-something). It was a pleasant enough experience and a good time seemed to be had by all, but i cant help thinking: what are we all searching for and would we know if we had it!? But one thing that did stand out was the fact that most people that cared enough made the effort to share her moment (even though Carrie is poorly just now).

I think sometimes we sweat the small stuff too much and miss the bigger picture - when there is no turning back we should concern ourselves only with the best way to move forward.

anyway below is a few of the things we saw that I thought I'd share.

Cool Slideshows
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