Steve n Jen's UK adventures

UK and European adventures. Read on my pretties, and discover what two stray Aussies can get up to on their travels.......

19 October 2007

Sep 2007 b

Sun 16 Sep 2007
In the morning Jen stopped in to the South Bank markets to try and buy a wind-swirl thingy but to no avail. The one thing she wanted to do was go for a swim at the (man-made) beach at South Bank, only to find for the first time in 17 years, its shut for re-fitting of the lagoon lining. Darn it!!!!
Here's a little of what the parklands famously look like.

In the afternoon Steve continued his birthday fun with a few hands of 'magic the gathering' card games at Alex and Rachel's. It was nice to catch up!
Dinner was spent with Jen's family.

Mon 17 Sep 2007
Trip to the dentist and some tourist shopping, such as a new watch for Steve's birthday.
Also, Jen scours through the boxes and boxes of our stuff in the attic, and picks out some much loved favourite items to take back to old Blightey. We travelled with only carry-on luggage to Oz, with every intention of taking two full suitcases "home" with us.

Tue 18 Sep 2007
For lunch Steve catches up with his old workmates (not of the destroyed place, that was a different job) and so does Jen. Here's a photo of Jen with Netty from her time working at Quest newspapers.

Jen caught a train back to the city. For the London friends - here's a main road (below) which goes straight into the heart of the city, only 15 mintues walk from CBD and check out the pedestrian and vehicle traffic - or lack thereof. Wow - space to move! Mind you, the train only comes every half hour or so, rather than every 2-3 min as in London.

Above: also, notice the "queenslander" - traditional house architecture in Brisbane.
Below: ...and this style is used on this "heritage" buiding in the heart of the city...

In the evening we hung out again at Alex and Rachel's new house - also proud home owners for the first time, like us!

Wed 19 Sep 2007
Since Jen was determined to spend time at a beach, she decided we would visit Bribie Island. On the way, (since she lives on the way) we visited Sharon (squire we saw on Sat night) and here she is with her daughter Emily.

OK, we got to the beach, Jen stuck in a toe, and decided the ocean was too cold. But we went for a nice walk along the beach and relaxed on the sand, just enjoying the sunshine and lack of people (necessary when you've lived with London overcrowding).

We're both pale after a year and a half in the UK!

As we drove off the bridge onto the mainland, we saw a big grey Kangaroo, the same height as Steve, by the side of the highway! First time Jen's seen a big kangaroo outside a zoo, let alone in suburbia.
In the evening, we visited old friends at the A&S hall in River Haven, north-side Brisbane. We were surprised to have Wolfgang get all patriotic at us about Drachenwald! Its was cool! Here he is with his wife Nina.

Thu 20 Sep 2007
The beauhenias are still in full bloom at this time of year. Very romantic for us, as they were just starting to bloom when we married (August 2001).

While here, we saw a dingo in the park! The drought must be desperate for them to be so close into the city!
Tonight, the final pack.

Fri 21 Sep 2007
Jen says farewell to her parents and we jet off to Sydney and stay with Paul and Laj again. They'd conveniently arranged a series of dinners for the next few days to catch up with more friends.

From left: Paul (squire), bart (ex-squire), Nick, Jen, Steve, Laj... about to order some fabulous seafood dinners.
Below: Paul's message to his brother: "when are you getting married?" :-) ...its a long story.

Sat 22 Sep 2007
The next in a series of catch-up-with-old-mates dinners....

Above: Funny mugshot of Soph! (niece who couldn't see us in Brisbane so chose Sydney instead)

Sun 23 Sep 2007
Fantastic roast dinner at "home" courtesy of Laj's kitchen. Caught up with B&B of Rowany, plus various other guests!

Mon 24 Sep 2007
Today we ventured out into Sydney and went shopping in the Queen Vic Building (QVB for short) with Sophia. Bought a new suitcase since one was destroyed enroute Bris to Sydney.

Above: Soph and Steve go to town.
Below: Tonight, another dinner, at a local pub this time.

Tue 25 Sep 2007
Final pack and weigh of suitcases. Everything's about two kilos over, each, but we get away with it! Take off about 5pm....

Wed 26 Sep 2007
Touch down London Heathrow, 6:30am. Welcome to the UK - and queuing (customs took ages, as did baggage claim). Arrive through our own front door about 11am. Well, we do live on the East-side, and Heathrow is West. Thankfully the house is fine, the car hasn't been stolen or broken into - everything's good. Except of course we haven't yet arranged a plumber, tv, telephone or internet connection etc etc etc! Well, while we have some business hours to organise things, we do!

Thu 27 Sep 2007
Steve is so tough, he goes to work! Has an OK day.
Plumber turns up for a total of an hour. The cold water in the shower just needed a connector in the pipe set to 'open' (hoorah for simple fixes!) and they made everything nice and watertight for the clothes-washing machine. Just in time really!

But we discover that the bath is watertight, and they suggest the water-on-the-bathroom-floor problem we've been having is actually due to the wood panelling on the wall in the shower/bath having cracks between the panels. The guy who sold us the house obviously didn't quite manage to 100% finish the bathroom renovation.

Tonight we visited Argos and also Ikea. We bought and fit into the car in one trip: two executive leather (gas lift) chairs, a vacuum cleaner, four dining chairs, a queen size bed and matress, wine rack and shoe storage cabinet. Hoorah for flat packing! Mind you it did take us most of a half hour to attached the mattress to the roof rack.

Fri 28 Sep 2007
Steve goes to work again, but the jet-lag hits hard around 11am, with 3 cups of coffee not having any helpful effect!
He tells his workmates if there's any brain-dead work that needs doing he's their man! Steve says: "I've got nothing left in the tank. Anyone want me to hold a screwdriver?"
Meanwhile, Jen attends the big annual staff conference. Not exactly back at work, but really fantastic to see the workmates again!

Above: Steve sits on one gas-lift chair while assembling the other.
Below: The smaller bedroom comfortably fits our new bed. The wardrobes were left by the guy we bought the house from. They'd been assembled in that room and he didn't really want to take them apart.

Sat 29 Sep 2007
Jen does some fitting of stuff in the bathroom: extendy shaving mirror, toilet roll holder, towel rack, and (with help from Steve) a full length mirror on the back of the door.

Sun 30 Sep 2007
Jen does DIY in the bathroom.... filling in the cracks, and painting over these. Regrouted the corner, and repainted the ledge which pools water. Everything to make that shower water-tight damn it! Mission accomplished!!! Meanwhile, Steve relaxes and recovers from jet lag. :-P


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