So we got here safely after the long 25 hour flight. Dan used the eye patches to try and get to sleep, had a reaction to the material and ended up with bulbous lower lids for the first day of the trip...pretty bogus. I honestly thought they would pop when we got to Abu Dhabi, which was a blinging airport, looking forward to hanging out in the emirates some time in the future. Watched Avatar, invention of lying, the book of eli and fantastic mr fox on the plane, which really was awesome, it was one of my favourite books as a young chap!
Anyway after a slight hitch with heathrow's arival information we met up with dans cousin estella and her uncle phil and made our way out to kent to relax a little and catch up with dans family including cousin camilla and her son William who's a right bundle of energy. It's been really cool seeing some parts of England outside of the main city and tourist attractions, like where Dan's family came from, and having Phil's commentary of it. He's the kind of english man who actually knows the history and meaning behind the local estates
etc and many english traditions that influence language in Australia but of which we've really got no idea of. Some fantastic quotes have included a politically education for dan and I on the way home from the pub last friday where we were informed "politicians are all liars....well, except for churchill" I laughed pretty hard at that one and "this roads wider than the rest you'll see, because the Romans built it...ten men abreast, for marching" I get a kick out of the small things you'd be oblivious to without some local knowledge.
Caught up with my Brother Matt in London and his girlfriend Gabi, aswell as my mate drew who I havent seen in a year and a half. That was all saturday, including a visit to Hamleys toy store, which turned 250 this year, those of you who know I still collect star wars figures will know how much I love toy stores! haha. They have a 'marvins magic' sections in the shop and when matt and I visted Hamleys in xmas 1990 it blew our minds. 20 years later and the tricks seem even better, one of the instore magicians turned a 7 of hearts into
a 6 of clubs while it was under my hand - it really was magic, no joke! the lad would have made griffindor for sure! awesome .
On the sunday me and matt went to Craven Cottage to watch Fulham vs West Ham. It was a rad morning before the match, getting the paper and reading all the match reports from saturday over a full english and a pint with matty. When the news back home is so covered with NRL its great to have English football news and features all around you for a change. Fulham won 3-2 and craven cottage had a really different atmosphere to other grounds I've been to in europe, really quaint, classy and there was some good football to watch. City got a great result against Villa on the saturday which sets up a massive match against spurs tomorrow night which Dan and I, and Delaney will be at in Manchester. Can't wait.
So today we had a a day of sightseeing around central london including changing of the guard, the tower of london and harrods, all of whcih were a bit disapointing to be honest, a bit over-done and tacky. Still was heaps of fun jumping on and off the tube and we came across some characters along the way. I know we clearly are tourists being backpackers but some people you see around the world I cant imagine how they pay a phone bill let alone book a plane ticket (and make the flight! haha). Tonight we had dinner with Matt and Gabi in covent garden and then Dan and I went to Love Never Dies which is the sequel to Phantom of the Opera (its what I bought Dan for xmas - long time coming!). It really was a blast, everytime I see a stage production I'm blown away by it, they're getting so innovative with the lighting and effects these days and their voices were massive. The Phantom himself scared the daylights out of me when I was younger but i'm all good with him now, and he could bellow a tune, I'll tell you what!!
All in all its been a perfect start to the trip, we severly underestimated how cold it would be here and have been wearing all our clothes, but we're surviving, we'll be craving the cold when we're sweating our you know whats off in beijing in two months!
Onto manchester tomorrow, for now sleep.
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