Hi all! Time for a long overdue blog!!
As most of you know, we left Asia to arrive in London in mid January - greeted by ridiculously grim weather! Although on the plus side, not long after arriving we did get to enjoy a ‘Snow Day’ - London’s heaviest snowfall in something like 20 years. The city pretty much shut down - schools were closed (Martin was stoked!) and transport came to a standstill meaning barely anyone went to work and most companies had to stay closed (so Kristi got the day off too!). But it was really fun! We were staying at Pants and Robbie’s house at the time and we spent some good times making a very classy snowman that literally had cars (the odd ones still on the road, out to explore in the snow!) stopping to peer at our snowman. He lasted much longer than the snow, I think he finally became a puddle about 7 days later - I think the snow lasted about 2!
Martin and Pants resumed their English beer sampling the day after we arrived in London and a few weeks later we headed off in Pants’ work car to the
east of England in search of a regional brewery where they could try more local drinks. We ended up in England’s most easterly point of Lowestoft which was quite a quaint seaside town. After wandering around the area for a little while we found an awesome little pub called The Triangle Tavern where we ended up wiling away the entire afternoon. It was great fun, Martin and Pants tried about a dozen new beers, most of which were from their own award winning brewery: Green Jack of Oakham. The pub had a really traditional feel and the walls were covered in great beer memorabilia and posters. Martin and Pants got quite excited when they saw a poster for “Worthog 13.5% Beer” and sure enough by the end of the day they were pretty drunk and walked out wearing “Worthog” t-shirts (that the bar owner kindly drove over for them). It was a great afternoon chatting with the locals and playing pool. After an obligatory KFC stop for the boys, we headed back to London with two loudly singing yobo’s in the back seat ;-) On arriving back at the house, we talked Pants into his first game of “Singstar” and
together, Martin(AKA: Eye of the Tiger), Pants(AKA Ice Ice Baby) and Kristi(AKA Pretty much Everything) managed to keep the neighbours up until about 3am with our caterwauling. A fantastic day overall! (although the morning after was very grim indeed...)
In late February we made the move to Ealing Broadway. We really like the area, everything you need is right on your doorstep in Ealing but it does mean you have to make a real effort to go into the city of London as it is so easy to stay around our area! We got settled pretty quickly, actually the most settled we’ve been in a couple of years now given our constant travelling in ‘07 and living in the construction zone that was our house last year as we renovated.
We’ve enjoyed some great evenings with Andrew and Emilie, who also introduced us to the great little restaurant Dante’s in Ealing Common. It’s also been great catching up with Tori and Carl as much as we can - althouh all four of us are only rarely in the same country at the moment! We caught up with Matt and Ange just before they headed back to NZ, which
was great - we met them for a leaving-do at the Temperance Bar in Clapham - on the same day as the historic Oxford vs Cambridge rowing race on the Thames (Oxford smashed them...), which was quite an event - the whole riverside was PACKED with people. BBQ’s and Singstar at Pants’ house are always a good day/night, albeit ones where we usually have to spend the next day recovering ;-) Chris and Katrina also live close by in Ealing Broadway and we love going to “Pancake Madness” with them for massive pancakes on Mondays!
We have spent a few days wandering around London central, just trying to make the most of our time here. One particularly sunny day we went out to Camden markets to watch all the weirdo’s and do a spot of browsing, then lazed away the afternoon walking through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens - could not believe the sheer number of Londoners who head out into the parks/commons when the sun comes out!
We have even started our own London tradition of going to the movies every wednesday (well when we can...) - had forgotten how much fun the cinema is :-)
Over Easter weekend Kristi went up to visit Ginny in Bath.....
Bath is such a gorgeous town, quite jealous that Ginny gets to live there ;-) We wandered around town, went to the Assembly rooms and the Fashion Museum where there was a special room to try on corsets and big hoop skirts. They were really funny, the corsets looked more like a cross between a life jacket and a corset and they were great bright colours! But we had fun twirling around and getting dizzy in the costumes! After another walk around town and dinner back at Ginny’s place we realised that “Fast and Furious” had come out at the movies that day and were both keen as mustard!! So we drove to the cinema and loved every second of that film. The next day it was time for Kristi to go back to London so we could fly out to Malta.
In the meantime.....
Martin and Carl had flown out to Lyon to visit Heath Nola who was in France with Westlake Boys High School on a rugby trip. They met up with him in Vienne and had a great time catching up and watching the boys
play rugby, albeit they did have to spend a King’s ransom on transport because of dopey French timetabling. Overall had a really great time in the two short days they were away!
It’s hard to believe we’ve now been living and working in London for almost 4 months already. The weather is now definitely more on the warmer side - Kristi relinquished her ugg boots a couple of weeks ago which is quite a massive step for her! We had a great trip to Malta, and are looking forward to our trip to Romania.
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