Update and Xmas

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February 17th 2007
Published: February 18th 2007
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Tottenham vs Middlesborough
Hello everyone,

Yes it is us! The long lost travellers - my apologies for not keeping you a little more up to date with what has been happening.

So, we arrived back in London and we have settled in quite well here. We share a house in Shepherds Bush with 3 others who have made us feel quite at home. Steve is still working North of London and I got a 2 week contract with a government agency over here just before Christmas.... I am still there. My contract finishes (for good!) at the end of March so I am currently putting my feelers out to see if I can find something else.

The lead up to Christmas was pretty uneventful. We attended a football match between Tottenham and Middlesborough which was good fun. I have honestly never seen anything like it, segregated fans otherwise there might be trouble and the suppourters I think were quiet for about 1 second of the entire match. They had chants for everything! A good night - Thanks Derek.

We had the Christmas Dinner at Burton Latimer which was a spirited evening (both alcohol and emotion 'spirit') Great to see everyone
Us at the FootballUs at the FootballUs at the Football

Steve with his Tottenham headgear
again and we are looking forward to heading up there again in the summer. Sadly other than the fact that everyone got quite drunk there wasnt any really good goss from the evening.

Then Steve, Jade and I headed off to Bulgaria for Christmas. We arrived late at night and one of the ladies on the same tour as us earnt the title of 'whinging Pom' (Is it against the law to call them that now?) by complaining about everything she could. Once we got to the hotel and got rid of her things were looking up. Hotel Rila was situated right at the foot of the slopes in the ski resort of Borovets. Although they (as well as the rest of Europe) have had a really bad start to the season in terms of snow fall there was still plenty for my liking considering I was a skiing holiday virgin.

Our first day we walked around the town and then caught the cable car up to the top of the mountain. The views were spectacular and we feasted on one of the best chicken burgers we have ever tasted. We also learnt a lesson that day -
Regent StreetRegent StreetRegent Street

Regent Street in London
When you are eating burger and chips outside at a cafe on top of a mountain, when you have finished the burger the chips are cose to frozen again. Just a tip for you there. In the evening we went for a couple of cocktails (when I say a couple I mean lots). Just so happened it was happy hour not long after we arrived. A fun night was had and became more entertaining when we all spoke to Steve's parents - I quote Steve 'Im not drunk, Ive just got the hiccups'.

The next day (Christmas) was our first day on the snow. Steve decided to try snowboarding and Jade tried skiing and I was also on the ski's. As previously mentioned there had been a lack of snow so there was only a couple of lifts open. The begginers slope had a really long wait so we all had a look at the intermediate slope and decided to give that I try - I would just take my time. Unfortunately my 'snow plow' (what you use to stop) was not as effective as I had hoped and I built up much more speed than I had anticipated.
Burton DinnerBurton DinnerBurton Dinner

Steve, Tony, Tony and Andy
I now understand how people get seriously injured or killed skiing. You will be happy to know that I managed to get to the bottom of the run with only my nerves shaken and with a resolve to stay on the beginners slopes for a while. Poor Steve couldnt quite work the pull bar on the snowboard and so ended up having to walk back up the hill on foot. We had a few more runs after lunch on the beginners slopes and Jade went back down the scary run and then we headed back down the mountain for our Christmas dinner at the hotel. Christmas dinner was good fun and quite a few drinks were had and we were also introduced to 'fire water' the local alcoholic drink which tastes like a mixture between rice wine and vodka. Some local brews can contain up to 60% alcohol so we took it easy on that.

On Tuesday not a great deal happened. We had a nice easy day wandering around and checking out the town. Sorry not much to report about that. Jade went walking and took some photos around the place and we all just met up for

Jade and I in one of the side streets
dinner later in the afternoon. On Wednesday we took a bus trip out to the Rila Monastery. The bus trip was interesting with some of the roads in Bulgaria not exactly the standard that we are used to. We also didnt have seatbelts on the bus which made us feel even safer. We arrived safetly at the Monastery which was quite facinating, our tour guide was quite knowledgable. It was a clear sky but feezing as it is nestled into the mountains so it was hard to find centuries ago when they were being attacked. Quite lovely place to visit, Jade took lots of pictures. Then it was a nice traditional Bulgarian Lunch and back to the hotel. That evening we were in for a treat as 50 of us headed to a Bulgarian house for a traditional meal. The older lady in charge did not speak a word of English but that didnt stop her trying to have a good chat to everyone that she ran into. She also sang some traditional songs whilst spinning a yarn (why not?) then tried to get me to do it, I wasnt very good. Steve also fell victim to the ladies antics
On top of the MountainOn top of the MountainOn top of the Mountain

Stunning views that day
as he was swept away for 5 minutes with 2 other men and returned wearing a Bulgarian female dress dancing to music. He seemed to enjoy it.

The next 2 days were spent skiing. Steve went back to the ski's and Jade got back onto the board. We didnt see much of Jade as the best run for her to take was down the mountain and then to catch the gondala back up to avoid the pomalift. Steve was very patient with me and took some time out with me on the beginners slope. On Friday I got the guts up to try the run we did on the first day. My first run down was a little scary but the second was much better. I still have not yet figured out how to stop properly - I must try to figure that out. Overall the skiing wasnt too bad and I am quite sure we all enjoyed the fact that we had great weather. Over the week we had discovered a small bar that was rarely busy and served fantastic (cheap!) cocktails. You also got a free welcome shot and a complimentary shot every second drink. The Friday
Christmas TimeChristmas TimeChristmas Time

Us with Santa - he took some time out to hit the slopes
night we all had way too many but poor Jade was a little worse for wear the next day.

Our final day on the Saturday at mid day we caught the bus into the capital Sofia. We had a good tour through the city, church, national theatre and ancient ruins which were quite facinating. Once again it was a cold day, but a nice city to walk around. We eventually made it back to the airport and flew into London late that night. We had a really fun time in Bulgaria despite the lack of snow. The people were so friendly and welcoming it would be hard not to enjoy yourself - plus we got some really cheap ski gear!

We spent New Years in London with friends Wayne and Stacey. The weather was horrendous early in the evening but cleared up enough to enjoy the fireworks at the River Thames.

Friends Matty and Pete came to visit us early Jan. Although I couldnt take any time off work we had some good evenings out and I dont think the dancefloor at Shepherds Bush Walkabout knew what hit it! Great to see them and I was sad to see them head off to Amsterdam.

I was lucky enough to head back to Aus for a couple of weeks at the end of Jan. My sister has gotten engaged so I headed back to see all the family and help her do some of the girly things associated with the wedding. I had a great time hanging out with everyone although it was pretty busy. I realised that even though I had been gone 10 months and so much had happened, nothing had really changed. Still sad to leave again though but I know we will be back before we know it.

Since then not a much has happened. Working hard, keeping warm and catching up with people as much as possible. We head to Switzerland on Wednesday with Tony and Debbie which should be good fun. I think Steve is planning on writing the next entry of the blog which should be a treat for you all!!

Until next time - miss you all, take care, lots of love and all the rest!

Liz and Steve

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Snow Angel Snow Angel
Snow Angel

Snow angels - aint they pretty?

Do you feel safe?
Bulgarian DinnerBulgarian Dinner
Bulgarian Dinner

Our host who loved the 'fire water' and easily drank us all under the table
Spinning a YarnSpinning a Yarn
Spinning a Yarn

Really much harder than it looks
Miss Steve ClarkeMiss Steve Clarke
Miss Steve Clarke

Steve exploring his Bulgarian feminine side.

Eat quickly!

With Wayne and Stacy

London Eye
Snow in Shepherds BushSnow in Shepherds Bush
Snow in Shepherds Bush

Snow a couple of weeks back
Friendly facesFriendly faces
Friendly faces

Matty and Pete come to visit
Engagement CelebrationEngagement Celebration
Engagement Celebration

Al, Susan, Jorge and Mum

Susan, Jorge and the kids. A fun bunch!
At Pa's placeAt Pa's place
At Pa's place

Going out to dinner

18th February 2007

Mark Viduka's chant
Good to see you've updated. You really have seen more of Europe than most of the English population (insular meatheads). Australia not no 1 anymore, shame!!! Suprised not to see the words of the Mark Viduka chant written for all of your Aussie mates to see........still there's only one Robbie Keane. Looking forward to seeing you both soon.
24th February 2007

Hi guys, good to read your updated blog and nice to see I made an appearance! Just one issue, I can accept Steve wearing his Bulgarian lady boy headgear, but why oh why the Tottenham hat? Surely you have been in the Uk long enough now to realise there is only one team. If you need a clue, they stuffed Barcelone this week! Take care you two, hope to see you soon.

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