Monday, December 04, 2006

Over and out....

Hi everyone. Well it is only 25 hours before I leave these shores for a time, heading back to Godzone (albeit slowly). I had a fab leaving party on Friday night - a few of the crew managed to make it *grin* and we sunk a few in the salubrious surrounds of the Landor Pub, down the road from our old flat in Stockwell. No photos for the time being as we don't have internet access from our 'puter. Phil and I caught up with Ngaere and Chris last night in Putney, checking out a band that Chris is managing. Quite a good send off really. We've had a nice weekend, looking after Luke and Cindy's place (and Squeak the cat) in Kilburn Park, and we went out for an Italian meal tonight in West Hampstead. I've managed to get all my packing finished today so will spend the day tomorrow with Briddy before heading to the airport at 6. I've had a great time in London and met some of the best people. So... bye to you all guys - thanks for being such great mates and really making my time in London so good. To all the mates back home - I'll be seeing you soon - stand by for photos from Porto, my leaving do's, and the trip home. Ka kite ano.... xox

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Setting my soul to music

Tonight I'm sitting in the house alone, listening to some superb but melancholic music - some songs I have found myself, some have been contributed by others at various points along the line (thanks guys!). So far it's been a bit of Manu Chao and Nitin Sawhney. Though I admit I started off with Paul Oakenfold and Madonna. I guess as my time here in London comes to a close, I've been thinking about my connections with people, place and home. It's weird to think that some of the people that I have met and made friends with here I may never see again, the UK is so far away from little ol' NZ. I've had my ups and downs (particularly in London's famous winters) but the time here has made such a HUGE effect on my life, I'm never going to forget it, good or bad. The pull of home has become too strong though. A collegue at work told me that she would be heading to NZ in a couple of months for a holiday (after some muck ups with travel arrangements) - and I got soooo excited - there were so many great places that I can send her and her partner off towards...and to think - I'll be back there soon! Britain and Europe have some amazing sights (some of which I have seen, some I have not) but I miss home. I miss driving the long straight roads, the view from Christchurch to the mountains on a cold winters day, the view of Wellington harbour on a stormy day from Roseneath, being bitten by sandflys, going out on a Friday night, and most of all I miss my old friends and family. Guys - I'll be home soon....

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Angel of the North

I managed to get this shot out of the bus window as we headed past on our way out of Newcastle. So my other objective has been realised, yay!

An uneventful trip back, and 5 days later, no pain or stiffness (I did have a nice massage on Tuesday morning - thanks Hans).

I'm going along to Run London on Sunday, but only as bag lady for my fellow Clapham Runners - though I could easily do a 10k run at present (at least that's what I feel like).

Monday, October 02, 2006

Great North Run, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1 Oct 2006

Been there

Done that

Got the t-shirt

2hours 26mins

Photos coming soon!

(Unfortunately we have missed seeing the Angel of the North today as it took so long to get back to Newcastle from South Shields this afternoon - which was the only other thing I really really wanted to see here). Have had great fish & chips though. Oo ooo ooo and we had the BEST chinese meal last night in Newcastle's Chinatown too (but blew our food budget - hmmmm Drunken Chicken)....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Royal visits

I have officially now seen up close 5 Royals (Queen, Prince Philip, Charles, Camilla and today - WILLIAM) and one leader of the opposition (David Cameron for those of you that aren't up with the latest British politics). Prince Willy was visiting the hospital today and walked past our offices. Hee hee!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Immersing ourselves in Bath

Our friends Dan and Jen who we stayed with in Bath. That's Dan's yummy breakfast (close up below) - home made baked beans, perfectly poached eggs and hollandaise sauce - yummy! Dan had preserved his own bacon which was deeelliiicccious.

Balloons outside Dan & Jen's flat - on a misty evening.

Dan & Jen's living room. Huge!

Jen & the River Avon, Bradford upon Avon.

Phil and Dan outside the Bridge Tea Rooms (or as Phil would put it, the 'Bloody Expensive' Tea Rooms), in Bradford upon Avon. The best cream teas in Britain apparently. We ordered one to share and it was yummy. Very light crumbly scones and scrummy clotted cream (sorry Dad, I like the stuff). And the tea was 'top notch'!

'The Bradford Gudgeon' - a weather vane on the Bradford Town Bridge. Nice fishy!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The further adventures of Tim & CB

Yesterday, Tim and Christmas Bear had a friend join them in an attempt to recreate the famous stunt from their days in the the Peabody Bros Flying Circus. Unfortunately there was no motorbike available. Practice is important - they need to keep their eye in!.
4 Sept 2006 - What are they up to now!
01 Sept 2006 - Further proof that I have far too much time on my hands at work ; - )xx

Monday, August 28, 2006

I love the night sky

Hi kids! I thought I would post a piccie that sums up summertime London for you all. It's bank holiday weekend here. Today was fine after we've had a lot of rain in the past week. Phil and I have just been blobbing round the house really though I did catch up with Cath yesterday. Currently Phil is watching Pearl Jam on TV live at the Reading/Leeds festivals. It's quite weird to see them as 'old men' on stage. They're not quite as decrepit as Mick and Keith though. Speaking of which, Phil and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 last weekend. I would recommend that you wait for it to come out on video. It's much like the Two Towers - filling the gap between the 1st and the 3rd movies. That said, there's plenty of Johnny eye-candy to be had in the movie, and Keira & Johnny's snog has a lot more passione in it that when she kisses Orlando! xx

The countdown is progressing...

South Island Place
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
A gentle reminder of the pull of home... about a km from our flat in South London, Phil and I spotted this street sign on our way home on a warm London summer's evening. See all you guys soon!

Tim the sheep and Christmas Bear

Tim & Bear
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, St Mary's Hospital. We really do spend our days working... we do!

Photos of us, and some of our friends here in London

Here is Phil and I outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square (you might see some pigeons if you look closely enough). We were on our way to see the Rebels & Martyrs exhibition (thanks Lou for the tickets!) which featured the work of artists in Europe in the 18th & 19th century. Lots of self portraits that examined the role of the artist starting with shots of the suffering 'artist-as-Martyr' through those who challenged the establishment more directly, culminating with the 'flaneur'. A good afternoon.

Mel and Paula
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Me and Paula (that's Chris in the background), at the local Spanish tapas restaurant at Clapham North.

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Me and Mark on the tube, the last time he visited London. Well done Mark! I'll be seeing you in January!

London graffiti art by Arofish

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Saw this stencil on the way to Vinopolis in Borough. Took a step closer and liked the signature (see below for close up). Turns out the artist has done a lot of political stencils around London and in 2004 travelled through Iraq and the Lebanon. A lot of his? work is influenced by these travels. For more images, go to

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.

Summer in London

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Me, Cath and friend in Regents Park. The fence behind was for the Taste New Zealand festival. £30 to see Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga and then you had to pay for the wine and food as well! Nahhh we'll just sit over the fence for free and listen to the music whilst sipping on lovely bubbles and eating raspberries in the sun. Twas a fab afternoon....

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
See - it doesn't always rain in London...

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Taken from outside the Tate Modern Gallery on South Bank.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Buckingham Palace, 20 July 2006

Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Nadia and I outside the palace, after popping in to see Liz and Phil. The cucumber sandwiches were a bit soggy but the iced coffee was excellent!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sky at night, London (from our flat)

we have had some of the most brilliant sunsets this summer. The heat has been quite extreme though in the past week it has been a bit cooler, thank god!

'This is a journey...'

Yes, yes, I know, it's been ages since we were in Europe - in my defence, I have been having issues with our internet connection (cough cough). This is me in Parliament Square, Athens.

Acropolis, Athens
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Acropolis, Athens (ooh err couldn't that be a postcard!)

Church, Athens
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
After we arrived we went looking for a bite to eat. This church was in a square near our hostel. We had the best 'gyro' kebabs I've ever eaten...Mmmmmm

Theatre, Acropolis, Athens
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
as you walked up to the Acropolis, this theatre was on the way up the hill

Booga and the Acropolis
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Booga on the Acropolis - moments later we got a scolding from one of the guides for putting Booga in a photo - oops! Interestingly a Greek Aussie friend that we know explained that a lot of Aussie tourists had been taking the piss by taking all manner of things up the Acropolis and taking photos, then selling them to advertising agencies - hence, the ban on taking such photos...

Acropolis and dog
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Acropolis and (another) dog. Stray dogs are everywhere, lying on the street and in the gutters, on the pavements etc. People just walk around them. If a car comes along, the dog just yawns and moves as far as it needs to without being run over. Nice doggie!
The buildings on the Acropolis were amazing. Mum was freaking out because I was so close to the edge. It is pretty high up!

Main port, Kefalonia, Greece
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Argostoli harbour, Kefalonia. We stopped briefly at Kefalonia before the ferry continued on to Ithaki.
Carob Cottage, Lefki, Ithaki, Greece. Our accommodation whilst on the island.

Lefki, Ithaki, Greece
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Mum and Dad's sleepout at Carob Cottage
The sea from our window, Ithaki. Pretty tough view to wake up to, ay?

Hee hee! Lefki, Ithaki, Greece
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Hee hee! Lefki, Ithaki. These three wheelers are used everywhere (in Italy too)
Mel at Vathy Harbour, Ithaki

Stavros Beach, Ithaki, Greece
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Stavros Beach. I actually went swimming there! (well I did put my head under, and take my feet off the bottom)
Happy families ; - ), Carob Cottage

Cats, Ithaki, Greece
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Cats - they're everywhere! This is at a waterside restaurant in Kioni. There was an amazing jewellery shop in the village as well.
Ag. Ioannis, Ithaki. The beach down the road from our cottage (you had to drive to get there though)...
View from the Monastery at the top of Ithaki, looking towards Vathy - we're both looking pale for a reason - we're at 600 metres above sea level - and the road up there was seriously narrow and windy - and we were sharing it with the goats!

The Monastery, Ithaki, Greece
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
The Monastery of Kathariotissa, Ithaki
Anogi, the highest village on the island, coming back down from the monastery
More than one macho man! What more can I say....
"Cruisin' on the Interislander" - leaving Vathy, and Ithaki, en route to Italy

Milan, Italy
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
Milan. This is a typical building near the railway station. In Milan, we stayed at the most expensive hotel on our whole trip - and it was not much better than the £10 a night hostel in Athens! Damn fashion capital of the world!

'Ciao' - Firenze, Italy
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy.
'Ciao' - Vespas in Firenze, Italy. After travelling on the train from Milan, we spent a morning there before picking up our rental car and heading south into Tuscany.