Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Just wanted to upload this pic- i quite like it- taken with my phone whilst walking over Waterloo bridge (i think??). In the background you can see the London CBD skyline. I work behind all the cranes. On the left is the dome is St Pauls (where princess Di got married... i think) and the on the far right you can see the Gherkin (a famous building home to lots of bankers and lawyers).
As mentioned earlier please see a picture of my rash on my arm....Yuk, it ended up covering me fro head to toe... and quarantined me from my office-It has almost entirely gone now and i think it was actually hives at the grand old age of 26 ... funny last outbreak of this happened when i was about 10- a reaction to my throat infection.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
You know you have made it when....you get invited to the same party as Claudia Schiffer, Helen Boheme Carter, Slash and Kim Catrall- despite the fact that you are ZZZ list, well actually nothing list!
That was how I felt when 'a pants man' aka Ben invited me to the Royal Academy Summer Show Preview.
Held on Piccadilly opposite the Ritz, it is said to be one of the most 'important' art openings in the world...and the thing everybody should go to after Cannes darling.
I frocked up after work in the bathrooms and wore a lemon yellow dress on loan from my flatmates wardrobe and met Ben at Green Park Tube (the only way to travel) before strutting the red carpet that was actually yellow. My level or co-ordination had reached a new level.
It was a spectacular event, so extravagant and opulent i felt a little out of place but did my best evapourate into the crowds.
The food was delicious- i made a place for myself at the oyster bar and ate like no one was watching me. The art was a bit of a let down, it was miss matched and hodge podge and nothing really took my fancy and whilst i am not the most qualified judge, Ben was the prettiest picture there (so corney- but he is undeniably beautiful).
I am not sure what exactly that I have made and do not fear, I am not a changed person for hanging around a load of beautiful wankers- and laughing at them behind their back for their use of ladee da language. To me the night felt like a debutantes ball without the frilly white dress, bad hair and ugly boy to escort you. My London coming of age party of soughts.
The night was cut short though by the presence of a unsightly red rash on my extremities, nothing the beautiful people really want to get close too (except Ben that is), a head ache and sore throat. The next morning at the doctors (quarantined from work), i discovered I had a strep throat and a rash to match.
Never fear, i am recovering quietly at home and will be back to good health in no time.
I have always wanted to go to Brilon, my sister in law Maren has talked about it for years and it is the now the home of her parents and also where my brother got married over 10 years ago.
I had heard of it's beauty for years and was keen to see it for myself. It is stunning, idealic and relaxing.
Roddy and I picked up a posh hire car at Frankfurt airport and headed down the autobarn.
On arrival, night was falling and i was over joyed to see my euro family again and even more excited to see Mars and my god daughter Noonie and nephew Jules.
The next week was spent lounging, eating cake, taking country walks and playing with the kids.
It was the injection of home after almost a year away that i did not know how badly i needed. I felt at peace with the familiarity that only your family can give... I even joked that if i ate anything more i would need to get rolled on to the plane back to London.
The time we spent went far too quickly but i cherish the memories and look forward to more lazy summer days with family.
I met Roddy at the airport straight after arriving from Istanbul- his flight from Tokyo arrived a few minutes after mine and we quickly set about making the most of our time in London.
First stop my flat to deposit his 60 kilos of luggage (it must be a family trait to travel heavy). We visited some old bookshops in charring cross and Notting Hill before taking in the photographers gallery.
It was a short visit less than 24 hours in total before we boarded a flight bound from Frankfurt to pick our our hire car and head to Brilon, in the North Rhine district where Maren's family (my sister in law) have a country house.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The sound finds you even when you least expect it. Dow a dark alley on the footpath, there is no escaping the gentle rattle of the dice and you know that you are in Tavla town, any backgammoners paradise... KP Welcome to Istanbul.
Istanbul was unlike anything i had expected, i thought that my 5 days would be reminiscent of something out of Arabian Nights, perhaps a little like Ali Baba but i was wrong. Istanbul is a sophisticated secular European city that is exciting, charming and interesting.
Arriving at the airport i was delighted to see Paulius, dressed every bit the successful aristocrat we jumped into a cab to trendy G-hanger (ok it is not spelt that way), a cool neighbourhood filled with rich turks and X-pats.
I was gobsmacked- Paulius had always has had nice digs in Oxford but this was something of another dimension- with 270 degree views of the city, a post card panorama that encompasses the Blue Mosque, the water, cruise liners and a sunny outlook, i felt like i had stepped onto the set of 'lifestyles of the rich and the famous'.
Paulius set about making me a gin and tonic and we relaxed on his terrace, overlooking the city and watching the night come alive with fairy lights, call to prayer and sunset.
Next we opened a bottle of champers and set about celebrating our reunion in style, we successful to an upmarket restaurant called lips of the seas (where the two seas met - it happens in Istanbul apparently) and together we sipped cocktails till dawn.
Next day, i awoke with a fairy extreme hangover, but with no rest in sight, Paulius and I tackled the major sights, a fantastic host, Paulius told me of the Romans, the architects, the sultans and the harem like a professional. We saw my favourite building this side of Angkor- Hagia Sophia a Byzantine church renovated into a mosque some 1000 years ago, the blue mosque and the head quarters of the Ottoman empire.
Next it was my turn to teach Paulius something and i gave him my skills at tavla. We sat on the Galanta bridge and watched the sun set. Paulius with impressive instinct and natural intellect was a master after one game and was soon my equal and even sooner my tormentor, beating me consistently within 30 minutes.
The next day we went on a boat ride to asia and that took in the mighty bospouhrs and afterwards we had cocktails and a quiet dinner before I persuaded a Turkish man to play me at gammon.... I was out with something to prove. At first the gent laughed figuring me to be easy oposition but he was soon surprised when some of my NC skills came into force and i gammoned hm twice before defeating him 5-4. I was then asked to play a local legend, i nicknamed him the champion and before i even begun i was defeated- the guy was something of an enigma to me and whilst the games lasted on average 3 minutes i feel that i learnt from his greatness at the table and i achieved what i set out too in turkey.
The next day with Paulius at work, i went to the grand bizarre and was slightly disappointed- it was significantly less consuming than expected. I purchased a new backgammon set and a couple of prints for my London flat before meeting Paulius in the eve to sip one final bottle of champagne before i headed back to back to London and into the arms of my brother.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Together we pondered London, our relationships and Maxine introduced me to an expression I had not heard before... Single Sundays. Like a topic those female characters I used to worship would write about- think Carrie Bradshaw or perhaps my very own British version Bridget Jones, I was sucked in and could think of nothing better to blog about.
I never noticed before but Sundays seem to have the capacity to be the loneliest days of all. Perhaps that is why they have always been associated with the day of rest. Or in my own case family and the friends I have known forever.
Have you ever noticed how the propensity for real intimacy increases dramatically on a Sunday morning (and I am not just talking about sex)? Have you ever noticed how your Sunday friends are the ones you can be around with ease? Perhaps if only because of the intolerable hangover you are suffering. It does seem that our tolerance for new friends decreases dramatically on the Sabbath. Could it be that a Sunday date is more special than those held on the more traditional date nights??
After our conversation, I recalled that I had spent my last Sunday without anyone to share my fruit salad with and whilst I was not lonely, choosing instead to explore North London on foot, read the papers and laze in bed- I was the embodiment of a single Sunday girl. I am not sure if I loved it or loathed it- I lived it like I live every day with a smile resting in the corners of my mouth embracing completely what it is to be in the present.
Earlier this year, I had spent most Sundays laying in the park with a nameless boy who until a few weeks ago was my main fella here. An English lad I casually dated. I do not regret the ending of the association I really think a big part of me embraced it (that is another story). Funny, how it is only when you have a single Sunday that you take stock of life. As i wandered through Regents Park I realised how far I have come and still i also noted how far I have to go…
On the upside, I am off to Turkey this week to explore with Paulius (a Lithuanian boy i met in Oxford), I am more than excited, it is a country I have always wanted to go too, steeped in Australian myth. The following Sunday I will be in Germany with my Bobbi and Mars and the one after with Jen sailing in Italy- so don’t send the gin and razor blades just yet.
Missing home- KP
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The last 7 days have been just like that.
In la the last week I have played my first real poker game (Texas hold'em), seen my first West End show (Les Mis), been the Belle of my first UK ball (London Young Lawyers), attend my first house party (in London.. not ever- a massive affair in Shoreditch), feel single .. (no comment), fall in love (with a book... The End of the Affair.. really, it is that good), feel young and old at the same time (I had root canal- am I falling apart?- is it all down hill from here?), enjoy my first soccer ganne (how good are the hammers!) miss home (it was Mothers Day), meet some boys (but I won't kiss and tell- save that one for the ladies and the Aunts), and love London (how can you not)!
Life seems to carry on here at a frenetic pace and it is good to stay at home and catch my breath even if it is only for one night. Tonight, James came over and I cooked him dinner and we reminisced about the days when we were London room mates (it was only 3 months ago- but a lifetime when the weeks fly by). James has quickly become my best friend here, a blessing in a big city!
My gorgeous cousin Jen is arriving from Switzerland tomorrow and I am beyond excited, we are having dinner in/at Little Venice (a suburb, i have not been there yet- so i am not sure if the name is apt).
This weekend looks like it could be a quiet affair (but you never can tell), I contemplated going to Cows with Jen for a weekend of sailing and sunshine in Cornwell but decided against it given I am heading to Turkey next week and Germany with my Bobbi (my brother) the one after that.
No rest for the wicked!Have some Autumn fun for me, miss you (you know who).
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Given I had not seen Andy in years (it must be about 5) it was amazing to see that nothing had really changed, we both laughed at the same things, joked and relived old times well into the wee hours (had to get that in). I adore that about old friends and have been so lucky to have had that reception from all of those that I have looked up on this current adventure. Thank you!
Andy had a plan and he was keen to impress on me all the wonderful things about Scotland … as if the accent and the men are not enough!!!
In accordance with the plan, the next morning we headed to Oban, home of some of the nicest scotch the world has ever tasted.
The train took about 3 hours and the scenery was stunning, for the most part I felt like singing Kate Bush at the top of my lungs… it really is like that, we took in loch after loch, mountain after mountain and it was hard to wipe the smile off my face. To pass the time, between gazing out the window in astonishment at the sheer beauty of the place, we completed a cross word with the help of an elderly couple who looked like they were still in love and well into their 70’s.
On arrival at whiskey town, we decided to explore and got as far as the Oban Inn before the heavens decided to open up and my desire form some scotch took hold. We stayed there till closing and pondered puns for this very blog- my favourite an Andy creation- Oban for Pissedness!
Next morning, we caught a ferry to the isle of Mull. When we got to the dock, we boarded a massive ship (a ferry cross between the PNO fairstar luxury liner) for the 45 min journey. I have never been on a boat that big- it takes cars, has an amusement parlor, restaurant and massive windows to allow the curious like KP to take in everything.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
After spending a gorgeous day lazing in Hazel's garden, shopping and eating chocolate we decided to visit the King's greenhouses. Open for 3 weeks a year- i knew not what to expect when one visits a palace.
On arrival i was gobsmacked- one of the most beautiful places known to mankind- have a look at the pctures on flickr.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Despite my best attempts, I was not able to locate John Claude Van Dam on my short weekend away in Belgium- i searched high and low but the little man with the guns that make the girls go weak at the knees was not to be seen anywhere.
I arrived courtesy of the Eurostar- which saw me leave my office and standing in Hazel's amazing 'home beautiful' apartment in just over 3 hours.
Exhausted from a big week work wise and feeling a little emotionally drained (it was my mum's birthday a few days earlier...a time that is always a little sad for me)- i was glad to get on with things and create some fun for myself.
First stop- a cafe/bar that was heaving and allowed me to sample some of Belgium's finest beers- after only a couple- they are STRONG i was on the way.
Next morning, i awoke in the home beautiful apartment- it is equisite with 4 metre ceilings, glass windows over looking a rustic garden with a lilac tree, a white broome tree, a delicious coloured camellia in bloom and an abundance of lady beetles.
Soon we headed off in search of chocolate- not very hard around here and a waffle (for me).
We wandered down the lush Avenue Louise, as we strolled past Prada, Louis Vitton and D&G- i was discovered an entirely knew phenomena- people in Brussels wear a lot of brown! After the discovery was made it was all i could see- tan pants, chocolate coloured tops, right down to scuffed shoes- the city is teaming with a brigade of designer dressed brown aficionados and i felt out of place in my stripey yellow T and green cap.....
First we went to a lovely square with an arguable 'antique' market, full of the odd piece of treasure but by and by new things meant to look old with the occasional chandelier for effect. next we paraded the chocolate shop, my favourite moment of the weekend- i sampled some of the finest chocolate known to man- flavours rich, soft in texture and delicious in taste. HEAVEN.
Next we headed to Manakin Pis- a bizarre tourist attraction which essentially is a 40 centimetre statue of a boy doing a wee....lucky for me- it was a special day at the statue and instead of the usual water he was relieving him self through a reverse catheter of beer... only in Belgium- people lined in a quest for the holy piss and i laughed- took photos and found it all rather bizarre.
Next stop was the main square, possibly the nicest spot in town- reminiscent o the main square in Venice- gold glittered on windows, statues bathed in sunshine... very European.
In the afternoon- after walking most of the city- H and I decided it was time for a power nap before we met up with 6 other lawyers for dinner- i discovered that 25% of the population are expats- mostly centered around the EU offices.
Dinner was a slow affair- the service invariably bad but the food was good.
We ended the night downing cocktails in a swanky city bar.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
In my last entry about Iceland- i forgot to mention the handsome man who tried to pick me up at a bar.... thinking nothing of it (he is human ... ok a joke), i talked and chatted away like usual, in an attempt to get an insight into the Icelandic phyche... his friend told me that by occupation the guy i was talking to was a professional soccer player and famous in Iceland.....
Noting that everyone is a professional soccer player when they met a foreigner-or at least should be... i laughed it off until..... the other day he sent me an email to say hello... intrigued as to whether he really was a soccer star... i googled him (as i had his full name..) and to my surprise he used to play for none other than the hotties... AKA The Tottenham Hotspurs- my team! it is a small world after all
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
After disappointingly going through passport control and receiving only a standard EU stamp when I was in pursuit of something much more exotic, I boarded a coach bound for the YHA- the bus driver, extremely jovial given it was 1:00am delighted in taking me.
With eyes glued to the window, I noticed a low rise landscape of grey pebbled ash buildings with only the occasional splash of colour and neons lighting up the black night.
From my window the influence of American culture surprised me- hot dog bars, pizza and American kebab shops made up most of the food outlets i saw from the bus. The roads were wide and i could not help but thinking i was in an Artic version of Canberra. Not surprising that Reykjavik has a population just over 100, 000 is built by a harbour (that looks like Lake George) and is surrounded by mountains (although ice capped).
Up early the next morning after only a short sleep, I went on a whale watching adventure, braving the cold in my pink puffa jacket that Jen gave me- I resembled a walking doona. I boarded my boat and was quickly overcome with cold- lucky for me i was given all in one fishing overalls- tre sexy but I did manage to regain the feeling in my legs.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I thought I was about time I did some maintenance on my site and given that my Internet and PC are now both working at home- look out.
I can't promise the excitement or the adventure that I provided you with from Asia.
The last few weeks have seen me really dig my nails into London- little routines have developed and I feel like an official resident. Signs include the fact that I recently received my National Insurance number in the mail... similar to a tax file number, I also have a 12 month mobile phone contract and I own more books than one could ever read in a lifetime.... i just love them!
This weekend, James Rigney, George Nguyen (Uni Mates) and I checked out the Temple Walk About- a terrible brand of Australian themed pubs that broadcast the best sport-noticed the prominance of setanta Conor... unfortunately I missed watching the swans live but I heard about their defeat... we watched Liverpool take on Arsenal.... and old favourite Peter Crouch got an amazing hat trick- is there nothing he cant do.... boys???
I have let myself love soccer and am learning the talk and will enter fantasy football tipping contest next season... boys send your tips... I would love to teach English boys in my office a lesson. Conor maybe i could enter the same team you do??
On Sunday, James and I went to Hoxten Square- apparently the coolest place for people to be seen in the east end on Sunday afternoons. I laughed out loud at the cool kids in abundance- it seems that fashion here whilst similar to Sydney is so OTT. If i see another person in fluro tight jeans i will vomit... and the sun glasses... white sunnies never suited anyone, least of all a pastie English people!
It seems that people try and look ugly on purpose and choose to wear colours that don't match, fabrics that clash and shapes that are wrong on purpose- i wonder if it is for attention or the look? I realise now that i am turning into an old lady and i will soon be the one that says 'turn it down' and 'in my day' ....
I am off to Iceland this weekend, which should be spectacular- i will go to the blue lagoon, wat ch whales, ride a snow mobile across a glacier and take a trip to the golden circle...a lot for one weekend. I toyed with the idea of a side trip to Greenland but i figure one Arctic adventure per month is enough for the kid.
Write of Iceland soon.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Since arriving in London, I have not written very much, not because of lack of inspiration, the city buzzes with energy and it feels like every day I discover something new; about the place; myself; or both.
I like the adventure and the knowledge quest this city has become to me. It feels like I am always finding something new, looking at the same things but each day seeing the light reflect things another way and things feel like they are becoming clearer every second I am here. Pangs of joy readily escape when I discover a new short cut, or simply how things meet up together… the other day I discovered china town hiding just behind Soho.
The feelings of suffocation I felt I suffered seem to have evaporated and I whilst I am still battling the mundane in many ways it is just so much more exciting here... for the moment.
My job is going well but has been a massive adjustment. I have discovered I know nothing about the market or my clients and the processes at my office feel so anti user that my first few weeks have been hard. Couple this with the fact that most brits seem to be more reserved and just not Australian… it has been an exciting but challenging time.
The more time I spend at the office the more I like it, I am beginning to feel apart of the team slowly but things are so different in my office than they were in Sydney that I have struggled at times. Put simply- I loved NC, I loved going to work and laughing till I cried almost everyday and realizing that this won’t ever happen here has been hard.
On the up side, I have spent my weekends doing what I love best- anyone who has ever traveled with me knows about my propensity for a great walk. Today I strolled up to Primrose Hill which gives one a stunning view of the entire city… the horizon is dotted with more landmarks in one vista than you could think possible, the eye, St Pauls, the zoo, Regents Park and Kings Cross all play in the same skyline.
Afterwards, I wandered around colourful streets with buildings in varying pastel shades, noting provadores, fromagires and bakeries where I will spend my pounds... when I have more of them. Before I knew it I was in Camden- the home of the punk, tartan and black fishnets replaced the Georgian mansions and you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped back in time. Camden is electric, narrow streets teaming with the curious, the bargain hunter, the tourist and the locals all wandering together like sardines on a Sunday afternoon.
Later I strolled down to Oxford Circus and finally and to my beloved Marylebone High Street- a gorgeous street filled with expensive boutiques with pretty window displays you could get lost in. I stopped in my new favourite book shop (Daunts Books) ad the recommendation of my cousin and fell in love with the arched windows and old fashioned ladders on wheels. Next stop, the Oxfam book store where I overloaded myself with Jane Austen (something’s never change- when you assumed I had read them all… twice), Capote, Kerourac and JD Salinger et al.
There is something I love about being surrounded by books, it feels like surrounding yourself with friends- shelves loaded with people you will soon love, loathe or leave. Shelves loaded with people you loved and lost, characters you will remember years after they came into your world- so much like life. I guess that explains why I forced my dad to except 10 boxes full of them, ready to be loved again on my return.
On my way home, I stopped at Waitrose a posh supermarket and picked up some ingredients for my gourmet hot beef salad. It was delicious.
My house is fantastic, a great relief. My flat mates are unreal and it does feel like a home, somewhere I know I am going to be happy in. My old friend James Rigney is staying with me (we went to uni together) and he remarked that is very similar to my old digs at Abercrombie street- which is a fair comparison and probably explains why I loved it the second I saw it- it is kinda run down, the floors are not quite level but it is charming even though the walls are in need of a paint- and the furniture could have been purchased at the Tempe tip.
My room has become an oasis- it measures about 8 meters by 5 meters- is bathed in light and overlooks a retro electrical company. With mint green walls and one that is a slightly odd shade of federation green that despite my initial revulsion I have learned to like. Whilst furnished out of an Ikea catalogue, it has a certain charm generated by the odd Asian souvenir I lugged on my travels. The house is situated on the same street as one of London highest towers- it is well and truly in the middle of everything and yet in still feels like a village.
My street is littered with cafes, shoe repairers an old launderette, 3 quaint pubs and it is within spitting distance of Regents Park. I also live in the shadow of greatness and my suburb Fitzrovia was once home to George Orwell, Virgina Wolf and George Bernard Shaw.
Yesterday, I did something terribly spontaneous but great. I went to the travel agent to book some holidays for Easter and a long weekend in May and despite going in there with the intention of going to Egypt, morocco, Tunisia, Russia, or Greece- I am now going to Turkey and Iceland… random but exiting, I am still comprehending the fact I can travel and still work… anyone with tips on Iceland please pass them on!
It is good to be alive. Well, that’s about it from me- Hope you are well, my real home is in my thoughts.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I am sorry to my fans for not posting lately. I will be better i promise.
I am settled in London and having a ball. I have moved into the nicest house, a 200 year old Georgian building that is full of charm and character. I am sharing with 2 amazing boys... who are such a blessing.
Gareth who work in music publishing and is the epitome of cool- a skinny pant wearing drummer and Andy a funny, charming Liverpudlian who can fix anything (including washing machines when KP breaks them).
The flat is in W1, the best post code the city has to offer and is right near Regents Park, Great Portland Street and Oxford Circus and close enough to everything to make walking practical even when it is zero degrees.
I have wireless Internet at my flat and I am lucky enough to listen to abc stremmed online, I love hearing the traffic reports as I prepare for slumber- weird that everything is in reverse.
I went to Oxford last weekend and it felt like going home. It was great to be in the countryside and surrounded by the familiar in such an unfamiliar time.
I am managing to fill most nights with some form of activity, from visiting friends to drinks with my colleagues i feel like I am getting settled.
I am off to an Australia day party on Friday night which should be wild, I hear that people tend to celebrate national days here more than they do at home.
I will give you all the BIG update soon...
In the meantime,
I will be thinking of you in your sleep.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Every day up until Christmas I was praying for snow. I seemed to gain a slight obsession with mother nature and began researching about when you can tell it is about to snow so i would be prepared... werid i know.
I was spending Christmas in a small Swiss village near St Galland in Appenzel (where the cheese comes from). Excited by Robbi (my cousin in laws predictions) of the ground being covered in snow, I couldn't wait and felt like a kid again. I was worried that it was too warm as it was about 3 degrees in Zug.
On Christmas eve we left Jen''s for the two hour journey and the scenery was amazing; mountains; lakes and snow covered trees were in abundance and I was well and truly in fairy land.
We were joined by some other cousins- Caroline and Pino (from Bondi) and their two gorgeous girls Isabella and Claudia and it was so wonderful to be around family again. Caroline and the girls had just spent a year living in iskia (off the Italian coast) and the girls had learnt to speak Italian and brought so much fun to our Christmas adventure.
Christmas was incredibly luxurious, on arrival at the village that was entirely white we went for a scenic walk and played in the snow. It was an previously unseen beauty, the type that takes your breath away (maybe that was because it was so cold). Next we had a sauna, which involved getting really hot and running into the cold pool, drinking a beer and repeating the process. Finally we sat down to a never ending feast of fish, caviar, ham, potatoes and loads of other yummy treats.
Next it was time for presents and i was spoilt rotten, considering I was away from home. That night i spoke to my family and my my brother got my nieces and nephews to sing me jingle bells down the phone- i couldn't hold back the tears and their cute little cartoony voices made my Christmas unforgettable.
The next morning, after one of the nicest breakfasts in the history of breakfast where i even ate reindeer from Lapland we set off on our drive to St Anton an Austrian ski resort in the alps.
When we got there, we loaded the luggage into the chalet and set about cooking our Australian meal. We had roast turkey and veggies followed by Australian delights including caramello koalas and tim tams.