Orphans Christmas 2012

Ever since Matt and I met, we’ve spent Christmas in either Canada with my family or New Zealand with his. In addition to this being our first Christmas in London, it was also the first time it would be just the two of us. Most of our friends have family here in London so we weren’t quite sure what we’d do with ourselves.

Luckily, a couple we know (Leah and Jason) were in the same boat and we decided to organise an Orphans Christmas.

Matt’s sister gets a free turkey through work each year and since she would be in Vietnam, she offered it to us (thanks again, Sarah!). I wasn’t sure just how many people were coming and we had to order the turkey quite far in advance so I decided to go big or go home and got the biggest size available.

After weeks of worrying it wouldn’t fit in our oven, we picked up the bird on Christmas Eve. It was the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen.

Here it is! One of the biggest turkeys I've ever seen.

(Now imagine me carrying that in a backpack on the Tube and a bus)

The rest of the day was spent decorating and cleaning our flat. We also continued my family tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve and our own of watching Love Actually (and possibly started a new one – drinking port).

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Wine, Christmas music, and decorating!

At 8am Christmas morning, it was the moment of truth. While I prepared the stuffing, Matt had the (stomach turning…at least at that time of the morning) job of massaging the bird with butter and herbs. We manhandled it into the oven and it just fit. The foot part of the leg had been left on the bird and they touched the sides of the oven (I had to rip them off half way through cooking).

In between basting the turkey (hardest job ever when you DON’T have a turkey baster and have to use a measuring spoon instead), we opened our presents to each other.

Our tree

Matt opening his gift

My Christmas presents

Then our guests started to arrive! Our little gathering turned into a big group of 13 people and everyone was in charge of a dish. I think the plan kind of backfired when each person brought enough food to feed the entire group. There was an incredible amount of food! Just the appies were enough to fill everyone up!

Appies

I was so impressed with how much effort everyone put into the food, Christmas jumpers, and secret santa gifts. Even though most of us had only met for the first time that day, it really made it feel like Christmas.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa

Before we (had too much to drink and) dug into the turkey, we decided to take a ‘family’ photo.

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And it wouldn’t be a family photo shoot without some outtakes:

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Our second moment of truth came when deciding whether or not the turkey was ready. Thankfully at that point, there were a few more cooks in the kitchen to help with the decision.

Biggest turkey ever

It was time to dig in!!

Matt carving the turkey

Salads etc

In addition to the turkey there were salads, roast potatoes/sweet potato/pumpkin, 3 hams, and vegetables.

Christmas Dinner

And then we all drifted into a food coma…

Thank you to everyone for making it a Christmas to remember!

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The Christmas party

One of the perks of working at a Hedge Fund in London is the Christmas party. Dayna’s work had their Christmas party before mine but it didn’t sound too enticing the way Dayna described it. Something along the lines of “It’s at a crap bar in Croydon and they only pay for your first 2 drinks”. Either way we opted to just go for the Hedge Fund Christmas party this year.

My work organised a coach to pick most of us up from Central London (outside Madame Tussauds to be exact…which, excuse me for going off on a tangent, but I just do not understand why people go to this place – fake, creepy looking wax statues of famous people? No thanks, you would have to pay me to go).

Anyway, we then crawled our way through London traffic out to Hertfordshire and our mansion-y hotel in the countryside. The last part of the ride got pretty interesting as our angry bus driver swore his way through the narrow English lanes that were most definitely not built with a large bus in mind.

The theme for the night was Masquerade/Venetian black tie so I opted for the funniest/cheapest mask I could find and Dayna picked up a slightly nicer yet still cheap Venetian themed one.

Masquerading it up!

I think they worked out OK. The bow tie part of the suit I hired not-so-much. After about 10 minutes of playing with the thing we decided that yes it was in fact missing a part (it was a sort of clip on one). After another 20 minutes we (Dayna) finally managed to secure it well enough (a hair clip was involved) so that we could finally go down for drinks.

Drinks

After a few drinks and a lot of double kissing/European style greetings (still getting used to it) we had a little photo shoot with the night’s official photographer. He was good fun –it felt like Austin Powers was taking the photos (“Yeah baby, that’s perfect, looking nice, just like that!”).

Us

The rest of the night was a blur of great food, tasty wine, vodka luges at the ice sculpture/drinking device, and awesome music (there was a really cool live band and the DJ wasn’t that bad either). It’s nice working at a place with such a fun, diverse bunch of people so that definitely helped too.

The ice sculpture/vodka luge

I could talk about the next morning and how much fun the bus ride home was (it really wasn’t) but better to just finish with some more photos from the night I think!

The Band

Matt luging

Vodka luge!

Dance Floor

Family Reunions in London

I have a big family.

I never realised just how big until we started wedding planning. When it came to thinking about the invite list, my immediate family came to nearly 30 people while Matt’s barely reached double digits.

In addition to my family being very big, they also live all over Canada (and different parts of the world) so I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with extended family.

As soon as Matt and I decided that we were definitely moving to London, I knew I had to contact my cousin Carrie in Belgium to arrange to meet up. After many emails and failed attempts, we finally booked a trip to see her in Belgium for mid January. Thanks to all her tips and list of must-see places, I really cannot wait to go there.

Last weekend Carrie came to London for a day trip. After a bit of searching on the busy streets of London, we met up and spent the day walking all over the city. We went to Islington to check out a cute little yarn store, Trafalgar Square to see the Canadian flags on Canada House, and the Southbank Christmas market.

The last time we saw each other was at her first wedding in Ottawa in 1991 and I was 4 years old. That’s the great thing about family, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been you just carry on talking and laughing like no time has passed at all. Can’t wait to see you again in January, Carrie!Carrie and I

Birthday Paintball in Essex

Dayna’s birthday was back at the end of September and like most girls turning 25, there was only one thing she wanted to do for it – play paintball!

I had a lot of people think I was crazy for setting up a game of paintball for my girlfriend’s birthday but don’t worry this was Dayna’s idea really. Apparently it has always been on her list of things to do and so we added it to our 100 Things List at the start of the year (I wasn’t too adverse to the idea either).

We rounded up a pretty sweet crew of 8 to head out to Essex on a perfect sunny day.  Our “Team Yellow” (we had yellow armbands on) was an all kiwi contingent of mainly fresh off the boat Kiwis; Craig, Jono, Cath, Jase, plus my sister Sarah and her (slightly hungover) partner-in-crime Demelza (plus me and Dayna of course). What we were lacking in paintball experience we made up for in enthusiasm, competitiveness and experience with video games and war movies.

After lucking out with the weather, we also lucked out with our extra teammates for the day as our team was bolstered by 2 gun paintballers (well one experienced guy and his heavily made up, giant fake eyelash wearing girlfriend who turned out to be pretty much just as good as him even though it was her first time).

I had asked that we get put with the most rubbish rookies there but as we sat waiting around to get teamed up there was a disturbing amount of big soldier type men walking around.  The fact everyone is dressed in army fatigues may have been contributing to the soldier look though.  We got our hopes up when we saw a bunch of little kids come in as surely we could take them but, alas, they were teamed up with other kids their own size. Eventually we found ourselves pitted up against a pretty timid looking bunch of newbies like us so we were happy to accept them as our foes for the day.

After kitting up with all our gear and guns, having a safety briefing (mainly “DON’T TAKE OFF YOUR HELMET OR YOU’LL LOSE AN EYE”), and trying out our guns, we went straight out to our first map of the day.  The rest of the day is based on my limited view of the matches and stories from the rest of the guys.

The Group

The first map was an open field with hay bales dotted around with the odd vehicle for cover. It was still early in the morning but we managed to psyche ourselves up pretty well (I may or may not have channelled Mel Gibson in Braveheart and yelled out “Freedom” as we started). They came out a little more timid than us and we took most of them out in the first 30 seconds.  I’ll admit to taking a certain glee in sprinting around the side of the map and sneaking up behind a couple of our cowering opponents to shoot them in the back from point-blank range. I didn’t think much of it at the time but later on I was to find out that getting shot at point-blank range HURTS so I now feel a little bad for those guys. Our refs for the day said the first match was the quickest they ever saw (we got all of them out in about 2 minutes without any of us taking a hit).

The second game was a little closer but still went pretty quickly and we racked up our second win of the day to go 2-0 up.  I was struggling to find anyone to shoot on the second game and was wandering around the map in the open trying to draw them out.  Some of our team members (*cough* Jase *cough*) were so eager they even took to shooting our foes when they had already been hit (when you get hit you put your hand up and walk off and people are supposed to leave you alone. Supposed to anyway.).  Maybe this fired them up as they improved quite a bit from this point.

After the “deathmatch” style first round (where you just have to shoot all the opposing players) we moved on to another map. I can’t remember what it was called but it had a Barn which was apparently “really important to take first”.  We were supposed to be playing a new game where we tried to rescue a dummy (I think it was called “Sheila”) from the middle and take her to the enemy’s base.  A small group of us decided it would be a good idea to leave the Barn to the others and head towards “Sheila” where there was a car that looked like a nice little spot to set up and take cover. We found out the hard way it was not a nice little spot.

As soon as we got to the car we had paintballs zipping everywhere around us. Every time we popped out and tried to fire off a shot, we would nearly get hit. I looked up and saw Jono and Craig trudging off covered in paint (only 30 seconds in) followed by Sarah from a different part of the map and I thought this isn’t going great, we need to change tactics. So I said “I have to MOVE!!!”, took a step out…and got a paintball right in the face. Thankfully I was wearing a thick helmet and didn’t feel it at all but it is an alarming thing to have paint explode all over your face and I did have to do the walk of shame off to our dugout.

Barn Map

The One With The Barn (photocredit: Mayhem Paintball)

The numbers of our team in the dugout were getting pretty high and we realised we were probably going to lose this one. It was at that point that our new teammate for the day showed us he was actually Rambo in disguise and started gunning down all our competition (along with a little help from our remaining team members). It ended up that all our opponents joined us in the dugout and still paintballs were flying everywhere. Eventually our guys realised they were all on the same team and we emerged victorious again. 3-0.

The second round on the barn map went only slightly better for me.  I again left the barn to others and ended up hanging out stuck behind a hay bale for most of the game.  My main memory from this round was Jase trying to figure out who was in the barn by screaming “HAS YELLOW GOT THE BARN?!?!” repeatedly, getting more and more desperate every time.   Finally, Dayna responded (just as frantically) with “YELLOW HAS THE BARN! YELLOW HAS THE BAAAAARRRNN!!!”  Demelza showed her bravery at the end of the second round here and went sprinting straight towards the remaining group of foes guns blazing.  Unfortunately for her, their guns were also blazing and she ended up with some nice welts from getting shot from only a couple of metres away.

Luckily for us Craig stepped up and snuck around to take the last foes out for us.  Unluckily for Craig, Jono was still shooting at them from the opposite side and managed to catch Craig with a couple of good hits of friendly fire (a recurring theme of our day). 4-0.

It was at this stage in the day that events took a dramatic turn.  A couple of the opposing team pulled out “injured” so our dream team couple from Essex deserted us and switched sides to the opposite team.  We were distraught.

Taking a break

So with heavy hearts (and belly’s since we had just had lunch – yay for £2 burgers!), we headed to the next map “Jungle”.  I won’t say much about this map other than we sucked at it, got shot a lot and the score moved to 4-2 (Rambo being responsible for taking most of us out).

Junge

The One Where We Sucked (Photocredit: Mayhem Paintball)

To finish the day we went to the map that us boys had been looking forward to all day “Bog” (which is a replica of a Call of Duty map).  We were playing a game where we had to take a “bomb” from a mound in the middle of the map and take it to our opponent’s base.  The map had loads of different features with a bit of a house on one side, and storage containers, a bus, sheds and mounds spread around the rest.  The first round was a really tight fought match where it was down to Craig and a couple of opponents at the end with time running down.  Craig miscalculated thinking the other team would just hang back so he went running for the bomb only to get shot and hand the victory to our foes.  4-3.

Bog from COD

The One From Call Of Duty Where Craig Shot Me (Photocredit: Mayhem Paintball

And so we went in to what turned out to be the dramatic last match of the day.  At this stage a few of us (myself included) were having technical issues with our guns and we were getting pretty sore (well at least I was) so it took a bit of extra effort to psyche ourselves up for one last big effort.  The match started with everyone sprinting to different positions on the map and then we all got held down in different spots.  I thought we were doing pretty well but every time I had a clear shot at one of our enemies my gun decided not to work.  Then when I called the ref over to help me out the gun would work fine when I tried to show him.  I couldn’t figure it out but soon after I ran out of paintballs so there at least was an issue I could understand.

At this stage, everyone seemed quite distracted and nobody had gone for the “bomb” so I decided I would take matters in to my own hands and went and grabbed it. I had an amazing plan of sneaking around the side of the map and coming up to our opponents’ base without them realising it.  I was going to be a hero.

Craig and Jase were nearby and we had been talking with each other so I ran around, with the bomb in hand, to where they were.  I ran passed Jase and then came up behind Craig thinking “sweet, I have these two guys to cover me” only for Craig to jump around like a startled cat and unleash paintballs all over me.  From a couple of metres away.  To make matters worse the ref was right there (laughing) to tell us that yes, friendly fire counts and I’m out.  It was tragic.

I gave Craig what was probably a very moving speech to tell him that he had to win it for us now.  Then my final act was going to be handing back the paintballs I had borrowed off Jase.  Unfortunately as I was trying to offload the paintballs I was hit in the face for the second time that day.  A suitable way to end the game for me I think.

Craig (driven with the guilt of taking out his buddy and inspired by my parting speech) managed to take the bomb from where I left it with him and, with help from our remaining team members, got it to our opponents’ base to secure a heroic 5-3 win for Team Yellow.  Special mention should go to the rest of our team who dealt with Rambo for the last 2 matches and kept him out of the way.  Apparently Demelza managed to hit him in the butt to knock him out on that last game.  Nice.

Overcome with the joy of winning, Cath then proceeded to shoot Dayna in the leg as a celebration (leaving Dayna with a nice little bruise for a few days).  Dayna’s attempts at retaliating didn’t hit Cath apparently.

I think everyone agreed it was a pretty amazing day – if you’re ever going paintballing in London/Essex then I would definitely recommend Mayhem paintball.

Team Yellow (Photocredit: Mayhem Paintball

Like right proper Londoners, we ended the day at the pub.  A beer never tasted better.

Oh and Happy Birthday Dayna!  Thanks for being the type of girlfriend who can celebrate her 25th birthday playing paintball in Essex!

Gangsta

Cake!

Flaming cocktail

Distracting Myself with Travel Plans

Sunset

I have been struggling lately. I miss New Zealand immensely, I feel extremely unsettled, and (without going into too much detail on this public blog) a major aspect of my life is making me very grumpy (not Matt, just to clarify, we’re GOOD). Hopefully a change is on the horizon…

I’ve also started feeling like I have to do a lot of the things I want within the next couple years or I’ll never get around to doing them. I don’t know what brought it on but perhaps it’s because I’ve been putting them off for so long already or that my birthday is coming up and I always get all ‘AHH, I’VE JUST LOST ANOTHER YEAR!’

As usual, I have a plan/list and I’m going to start focusing on things that make me happy instead of sad.

One thing I will put on the London ‘pro’ list is that there is so much to DO here. Classes! Concerts (Florence and the Machine in December)! Comedy gigs! Canadian Thanksgiving dinner at the Maple Leaf pub! Cupcake decorating! And the list goes on and on. Weekends and evenings are quickly filling up and I’m loving it. Never in my life have I had so much going on that I’ve had to use a diary to keep track of it all (thanks be to Google calendar).

By now, you are aware of our 100 Things list. Just had a look at it again myself and had yet another ‘HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET ALL THESE THINGS DONE’ moment. We don’t even have 100 things on there yet! For some reason, I thought we had done more of them than we actually have.

Anyway, we have started to chip away at it and by the end of this year, we should have another 9 or 10 completed!

Our first Europe trip is a mere 6 days away. Unfortunately, it’s not to visit my cousin in Belgium cause we left it too late for tickets and she’s also busy with trips of her own! Hopefully early next year (how’s your 3rd weekend in January looking, Carrie?).

This will be the first of what I’m sure will be many trips to Italy. We’ll fly into Pisa and spend one night there before catching a train to Florence for 3 nights. Did you know Michaelangelo’s David is in Florence? We didn’t anyway. We plan on seeing that for sure and we’ve heard that biking around the area is really fun too. Plus it’s a good way to work off all that yummy Italian food and wine!

As I mentioned earlier, my birthday is coming up and we’ve got a group together to play paintball. I’m blissfully unaware of how much it’s going to hurt…

In October, we will be checking ‘drinking Champagne in Champagne’ off the list by spending a long weekend in Reims, France. We’ll be catching a train from London which I’m sure will be a beautiful trip. Still lots of research needed to figure out what else there is to do there but definitely looking forward to it.

November, we’ll be flying to Tromso, Norway to try our luck at seeing the Northern Lights. I’m probably the most excited about this trip cause there’s so much to do there! Ice fishing, dog sledding, and waiting around in the snow with a hot drink for the lights to start flickering.

Did you know that Norway is really expensive? Like, $12 USD for ONE small beer expensive. And we’ve also heard that the food isn’t very good so we’ll be living on the 2 minute noodles we brought with us, I think.

Christmas plans are still up in the air. Originally, I wanted to go to Canada for a visit but flights at that time are expensive (and Matt has to work) so we’ll probably end up having a stay-cation. Depending on what our flatmates are doing, I’m playing with the idea of hosting a Christmas dinner with our friends who aren’t able to spend it with family. Never made Christmas dinner so it may be a bit of a challenge!

So those are the big things for us over the next few months. We’re already looking at things we can do next year as trains and flights are usually cheapest if booked 3-6 months in advance. There definitely is a bit of pressure we’ve put on ourselves to get quite a few of these things done, but the motivation is not just to tick items off the list. There are events besides travel that will come up in the next couple years (like getting a place to ourselves) and impact on our disposable income so we need to sort out the timing of these trips so we can accomplish them all. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of pressing the ‘Book Now’ button.

A UK road trip – Stony beaches, mystical paddocks, and old baths

We’re back!  We finally have internet at home again so hopefully we’ll be able to update this a little more often now.

We have been working pretty hard since we started our jobs here so last weekend we rewarded ourselves with our first road trip out of London with our NZ buddies (and fellow Clapham residents) Jono and Cath.

We hired a car but since Dayna and I are somewhat lacking in the ability to drive a manual car, we just got chauffeured around for the weekend (going to have to add manual driving lessons to the list of things to do here).  We will have to wait a bit longer before our first taste of driving in the UK although based on our trip, we’ll have to get used to driving a lot faster than in NZ.

We had a Bank holiday on the Monday so that meant 3 days to set off and get a taste of what’s around London.

Our first stop was a classic UK beach destination – Brighton.  Compared to pretty much any beach in NZ, it was a bit rubbish from the beach perspective (stony, grey etc) but that didn’t worry us too much as we were also getting some classic UK summer weather which meant the beach wasn’t really an option any way.

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach

We had left super early thinking that traffic would be terrible (thanks pessimistic English co-workers) but it took no time at all so we got there early and had time to kill.  We wandered aimlessly around for a while and found a cool little free museum (which are everywhere in the UK – a great idea) and had a look at a bit of Brighton’s history.  Apparently Brighton got really popular in the 18th century when some crazy doctor decided drinking and bathing in sea water could cure pretty much everything.

Royal Pavilion

Brighton Eye

Brighton Pier was our next stop which was about as cheesy as I imagined it would be.  A lot of those funny pictures with cut out faces everywhere and I Heart Brighton t-shirts on sale at every second shop.  They also have some dodgy looking rides (all built on a pier jutting out in to the ocean) that we decided to take a spin on.  A silver lining of the rough weather was that a few of the dodgier rides were closed so we ended up going for the slightly safer looking Log Flume ride and the bumper cars.  Both good choices despite everyone deciding to go on the Bumper cars at the same time as us (turned in to a bit of a traffic jam but at least we could smash people out of our way).

Brighton Pier

Playing around

After the log ride

So excited!

We refueled at a pub for lunch before I made the huge error of buying some of the dodgiest donuts I’ve ever eaten from a stall by the pier.  We got 12 between us for cheap (it sounded like a great deal) and I got stuck with nearly half of that and, of course, had to finish them (I think it’s a trait of an accountant that I struggle to throw food away after spending money on it).

After a quick power nap at our dodgy maze of a hostel, we ventured out in to the pubs and clubs of Brighton.  Since it was a Saturday night we got to see Brighton’s finest out and about.  Some of the local’s attire was a bit interesting.  The best example was the girl who appeared to have forgotten to put pants on and was just walking around in her underwear.  We felt quite overdressed really.

Brighton looked much nicer in the sun the next morning as we set off for our next destination – Stonehenge.  We detoured pretty much all the way back to London all in the name of finding a Macdonald’s for breakfast but still made reasonable time on the drive.

We were all thinking Stonehenge was going to be miles off the road so we were quite surprised to see it right there on the other side of a fence as we drove up to the car park.  I can see why some people don’t pay the £7 admission fee and are just happy to take photos from the road.  Those people all miss out on the amazing audio tour that we got though.  The gist of the audio tour basically being “we actually have no idea what this stuff is here for or how it got it here but it’s really old and here are some stories that could be true.  Possibly.”.

Stonehenge in the distance

Stonehenge was actually pretty cool though despite getting off to a rocky start having to wait in a queue next to crazy people for half an hour.  I don’t know if I would agree with the audio tour’s parting line though – it  went something like this: “Look behind you and spin in a circle slowly.  Even if you took away Stonehenge and everything else, this would still be a mystical and special place”  Take away Stonehenge and you have a paddock between a few roads so I really don’t know what they’re talking about there.

Us

Stonehenge

So leaving the mystical and special paddock behind us, we set off for the home of everyone’s favourite world cup winning All Black, Stephen Donald – Bath.  Finding our Hostel felt a bit like we were completing a challenge on Amazing Race.  They had hidden the place up a steep, winding driveway with a tiny sign and Google showed it as being on a completely different street.  We found it eventually though.

After a quick wander and snack we joined a winding queue for the modern thermal baths.  We ended up waiting about an hour but after paying a whopping £104 for 4 people to get in there (more than we paid for our accommodation), we thought it was going to be amazing.  Unfortunately thermal baths is another area where we are spoiled in NZ I think.  The water here was more tepid bath than hot pools.  We had to make the most of it after paying that much to get in so we sat around until we were all suitably pruned.  We did also get to watch a nice sunset from the rooftop pool so it wasn’t a complete waste.

The next morning we ventured out to the slightly older version of the thermal baths – the original roman baths and museum.  These are really well preserved considering they are 2000 years old so I loved looking around everywhere and listening to another audio tour (this one even featured one of my favourite authors Bill Bryson).  Walking on the same pavement that the Roman’s did 2000 years ago is a cool feeling plus you really get a good feel of what it would of been like all those years ago.  I apparently enjoyed the baths a bit too much as everyone else was waiting (im)patiently for me in the gift shop.

Matt, me, and Jono

Trying to fit in

The main bath

The baths with the cathedral in the background

We were pretty hungry by these stage so we headed to another Bath institution, Sally Lunn’s, for some morning tea.  Jono went for the classic Jam and Clotted cream version of the bun while the rest of us chose the Lemon Curd option.  Both were as good as expected and capped off a pretty fun weekend.

Sally Lunns buns!

So our first trip away since arriving in the UK was a good one but we do have a few more trips booked this year already and they will take us slightly further away from London too.  But that’s another post!

London living: food, shows, and new flats

Oh, hello! Thought a bit of an update was in order seeing as we haven’t posted in a couple weeks!

We’ve been saying for over a year that once we moved to the UK we’d get ourselves flash new phones. Last week, we did! Thanks to my company,  we got ourselves a sweet discount which meant less guilt in the spending department (and the phones were free with our contracts). We even went all ‘His and Hers’ as we knew that if we got different ones, there would be a lot of phone envy.

His and Hers

These new phones have meant that taking photos while out has been a lot easier and more frequent which means this post will be a lot more interesting!

London Eye

We’ve seen a couple more shows – Shrek, The Musical was pretty much as good as you’d expect. Nice to know the story line and see how they managed to make Lord Farquad so short (the actor walked on his knees for most of the show which was hilarious) but it was nothing compared to Wicked. Wicked will be the forever be the ruler that all other musicals are judged against.

High swing

Matt managed to get us free tickets to a Cabaret/Circus show called Boom Boom Club. I don’t know how he managed to keep me in the dark as to what the show would contain (and really, Boom Boom Club should’ve been a giveaway) but besides the occasional flash and having a girl (barely) dressed as a sexy Pink Panther spit milk at me, it was pretty tame in the Boom Boom department. They had a couple of acrobats who did all kinds of lifts and throws that defied gravity and made my jaw drop for pretty much their entire set. The girl wasn’t tiny either which made it all the more amazing when he tossed her in the air. There was a man who called himself a ‘Wanker Banker’ and told a story in song of how he had changed his ways and learnt to appreciate the little things in life. He went around the audience and improvised a bit to include them in the song and when he came to me he sang something about how I was holding back because I still had my purse over my shoulder (there was no where to put it!). Elvis even made an appearance and performed amazing tricks with about a 100 hula hoops!

Honestly, it was probably one of the coolest shows I’ve seen.

Boom Boom club

We moved into a rather large room in a flat next to the Common about a week ago. Together with the 4 other people in the flat, we represent the following countries: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, France, and Russia. There’s a few issues that have come up over the last week that have made living here a little stressful but it’s nothing to do with people themselves so hopefully it’ll all be sorted soon. The most annoying thing is that we don’t have internet so this post is being done on my phone.

It’s so nice to have a room that’s a decent size and be able to make it our own. After being in it for a week, we decided there was a few things we needed so we made a trip to Ikea (!) to stock up. Ikea is one of my favourite places in the world and it’s been far too long since I’ve been there. I was like a kid in a candy store.

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Three hours, 30 meatballs, and lots of walking later, we had crossed off pretty much everything on the list.

Before

After

(A lot more on flickr)

We’ll also be getting a TV and PS3 in time for winter and need a couple things on the walls so we’re thinking a map of the world and getting one of our travel photos printed onto canvas.

Matt’s also convinced we need a rug so looks like we’ll be making trip back to Ikea this weekend (although I think the real reason is to eat more meatballs).

Speaking of food, here’s photos of some of the yummy things we’ve been eating.

Delicious Pizza

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Also on the list – join a gym.