Tuesday, December 27


Well I've left lovely Rushden where I was living for the past few months - in between being everywhere else!! All I have thought of so far that I've left behind is my toothpaste! Thats aside from an assortment of things I left delibarately which only really included my PJs, some bath things and soap people gave me and some sunscreen because it wouldn't fit! Now I am at the Clowney's house in West London and about an hour I'll be heading off for Heathrow. At 10pm UK time I get the first of 3 flights which will take me home at last! I'll arrive no doubt somewhat sleepy, overdressed for the weather and happy to be home on Wednesday morning Tassie time (6am to Melbourne and a bit later to Hobart). Pity about the flight in between... not long now though!

Sunday, December 25

Stockings, Stars and a Saviour.

I've just come back from a Christmas Eve service at Wymington Chapel. It was much fuller than I've ever seen it (more than a dozen!) - actually there were no free pews! I have to say - some of the poems about sleigh bells and snow flakes struck me as irrelevant... having never seen either at Christmas in Australia, and by the looks of things, I won't here either. There is a possibility of snow boxing day, but I'll be heading off then!
Anyway, aside from the poems, someone spoke about the letter 'S'. She'd thought of 3 things starting with S:
Stockings - which I don't expect this year, although I helped 'Santa' wrap things for Helen, Robert and Jenny's stockings.
Stars - in the Sahara desert Max/Mohammed and I climbed a sand dune in the dark and sat and looked at the extremely clear stars. But for me, the stars are different to the way I'm used to - I can make out the saucepan (a part of Orion's belt) but there is no Southern Cross! But of course, at chapel they spoke of the guiding star, the 'star of wonder, star of light' guiding the wise men to Bethlehem. I think I'd like a nice visibile guiding star to follow in my life - instead I seem to have to work a bit harder to what I think, or what I think God wants for my life.
And Saviour. The best gift of Christmas. The reason why people anywhere in the world celebrate Christmas, although they may not say so. I have been trying to make sure I don't get bogged down in 'festive spirit' and remember what its really about. Stockings and gifts - yes, food - yes, decoratings and stars, yes.. but more than that it was the birth a baby that changed the world and still does.
Happy Christmas.


'Home' from one trip, soon going 'home' from a bigger trip!

I'm back in England. I spent a night in Cambridge with Myra who went to school with my grandmother and is a lovely lady. She picked me up from the airport on Monday and we had a very pleasant evening together and the next mroning she took me to the bus station. Now I'm back in Rushden with my cousins. I had a day in Pavenham with Hugh and Jo's cousins on Wednesday and a morning with the kids at 'grandma's' (my great aunt Margarets) on friday morning. The days are going by, and now there is only Christmas day and on Boxing Day I leave!
I have arranged to visit Tessa and her family in London on Boxing day (and as it happens do some cleaning for them, because they are going away and need it done and were willing to pay me!!) before heading to Heathrow. Not long now... the Falls, summer, friends, family.... hooray!
When I saw Dad in Morocco he asked if I'd enjoyed my time in England, and whether i'd do it again if I had the time over. I have definately had good times and number of unrepeatable experiences. Its interesting to think about the time - there were some low points but not many. The worst I can think of was unexpectedly losing my job. In fact - I am drinking a bottle of French wine (sharing with Rachel and Gordon) given to me for my brithday and on my 2nd last day of work by the medical secretary. Strange. And at times I did miss people, although I also enjoyed seeing and meeting people here. And many high points.. perhaps i will highlight some in a future post.

Saturday, December 17

Snowy fun and stuff

I've been having lots of fun here in Östersund staying with some friends I met at the Mirror Sailing World Championships in Tas in 2003. I've been ice skating which was great - mostly good ice on the lake although a few bits were double ice. This is where there is a layer of water between 2 layers of ice, and isn't so good. We kept testing the ice and at one point water came through the first time Anton poked it with the metal 'ice testing poker' (or something) so we turned back! I've also been snowboarding. We went to Åre yesterday and did just a little bit and then today Anton, his sister Emma, and 2 of their friends and I went to Vemdalen and did more. I didn't leave the ski school slopes, but I did improve. I also got much better at getting up after a fall.. mostly because I had a lot of practice at falling. I now have a slightly sore backside and knees but hey, it was great fun! And last night we went to help Kalle put his snow mobile on the trailor and had a little go... that was great fun as well. Especially after I got less nervous and went faster (at first I went too slowly and couldn't make it up the hill!). Not sure what else is planned before I leave Sweden on monday, but its all good fun - and beautiful to see everything covered in snow.

Tuesday, December 13


Yay after a taxi, plane, train, plane, bus, train, and another train )and some time sitting in stations) I have arrived in Sweden!

Sunday, December 11

Tagine and Couscous land

Tomorrow I leave Marocco after a fun filled and action packed 2 weeks. We've been all over the place and had a brilliant time!
By the way this keyboard is not a nice qwerty so this is taking me much longer than usual and somethings i just cant find!!
Anyway my trip to Marocco got off to a bad start when I turned up at London Gatwick airport at 3pm to find my flight had been changed to that morning. They had emailed me but for some reason I canùt remember I had put my cousins email address - probably because it was on their credit card!! Anyway instead of arriving an hour before Dad and Kate in Marrakesh, i ended up going via Marseille (which has a fairly boring airport when its 9pm and you didnt want to be there anyway!!) and arriving in Marrakesh about midnight.
The next day we went by bus to Essouaira.. bus was slow - took 5 hours to go 160km, stopping everywhere and then getting stuck in mud!!!
anyway i'm running out of time on the net for today, but we went to Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes, Fes, then thru the Atlas mountains to some little places -about the only name i rememeber is Ouarzazat cos it sounds like 'whereitsat'!!! Some amazing places, hospitality, people, cqrpets, places, food... and lots of Mohammeds!!
If i get a chance i'll describe how coffee with 2 guys turned into buying carpets (easy enough to do) and driving through mountains!!
Anyway all is good, i might be slqck with emails a bit longer sorry... and tomorrow i go bqck to england for a night i don't look forward to-and 6:35am flight to Sweden!!

Saturday, November 26

Souper Duper Cold!

Well its chilly enough in little Higham Ferres this morning. We have have been selling soup at the farmers market here - just having a quick sit in the library to warm up the old toes, then back to it! Its still a bit quiet but I think it will pick up as it gets closer to lunch time!! The lovely soups on offer today are spicy parsnip, celery and stilton, leek and potato, and carrot and coriander. Having sampled them all several times this morning (nice to hold a cup to keep my hands warm) I'd suggest you all come and buy some.. but I guess thats not gonna happen!!! Anyway... back to it!


Hi to any little blog-followers. Its nice to get messages from you now and then - thanks for those!
Anyway I've just returned to little Rshden (yes the U is left out deliberately to give you an idea of what the locals call the place!) after a week of galivanting around. Amazingly I fitted in all the people I'd aimed for, although it meant there were some fairly brief visits!
The last few days included a visit to Hamish's parents in Hastings and a drive around the area with them - we looked around Old Hastings, Winchelsea, Oxney Marsh and a couple of marshy churches in the area, cheked out the inside of a good English pub, and came back via Bodiam Castle and through Battle (of 1066 fame). The next day (yesterday) we were going to look at a chalk figure in the downs but it was cold and rainy and Chris and Prue and things to do so I sat and played around with some beads Prue was planning to make things out of, before heading over to Chichester. Today Sarah and I went into Chichester and did some CHRISTMAS shopping! Its coming so fast - and I have a fairly full schedule between now and then so it was good to get some more done!

Tuesday, November 22

UK travels

I'm back in the UK. Mum's cousin Sarah and partner Jeremy were coming up to Rushden (thats where I'm technically living) on Friday and were able to come via Stansted airport and take me back too. Saw a bit of them on the weekend, went to swimming for the disabled even though it was a freezing cold day and it wasn't really what we felt like! There was frost on the ground ALL DAY - not something that happens ever in llittle old Tasmania! And my we t-shirts on the line were frozen solid! We had a lovely meal with my great Aunt Margaret and everyone else on Saturday night before I went back south with Sarah and Jeremy on Sunday morning - they kindly took me as far as one of the out London tube stops.

Realising that time is going by so fast, I have organised this week to be a whirlwind trip to see some of the people I'd been meaning to see here in the UK! I stayed 1 night in London with Tessa (friends of my aunt and uncle from home), tonight is with the Church family who have 3 lovely kids, then tomorrow I head to Hastings to meet Hamish's parents and sister and family. I plan to have 2 nights there and then stay 1 night with Sarah and Jeremy in Chichester. All that before getting back to Rushden on Friday in time for soup selling at the farmers market on Saturday. Rachel and Gordon are going to France for Sunday night so I get to look after the kidliewinks, before heading off myself to Morocco on Monday... I do think the time is going to go quite fast and I'll be home in no time!

Friday, November 18

drinking cafe latte in italy!

well.. im sitting in a little cafe using a laptop which seems to be padlocked to the trolley... i had to give the guy my passport before i could use the computer, but he gave it back which was a relief! Ive had a nice day so far wandering around (and around and around.. found the same cathedral at least 4 times just wandering!). Lots of things shut at about 12 for lunch or siesta or something.. whcih seems to be until about 4 or half past... so ill go out shortly and see more things again. Its also fairly quiet cos its winter so some things arent open at all.. but the old city has nice walls and alleys and things and is pleasant to wander around.

I also had a good 2 days in barcelona.. did some shopping! barcelona has this vibe about it that you cant help shopping!! but i also enjoyed just walking in the streets, and the market, and Las Ramblas.. and eventually on the 2nd day i went to see the Sagrada Familia again and some other Gaudi architecture. I even ate some tapas at the restaraunt TapaTapa which i remembered from last year.

anyway.. time to see more of sardinia.. hopefully caves tomorrow but the only bus is at 9:15 so ill have to wake earlier than i did today!!

Thursday, November 10


If you ever wanted to go zorbing, then the travel insurance company World Nomads which I've been looking at will cover you! What do you mean you don't know what zorbing is!! Some interesting photos:


This site named above is a very dangerous site... full of tempting offers! I have given up looking for work and instead, after consulting the ryanair website, am concocting a trip next week. My flights were £0.01 and €0.01 plus tax! First, leaving Monday 2 nights in Barcelona, then 2 nights in Sardinia, then back to UK. The hardest bit of all to organise is getting from Stansted airport back to bedford or Wellingborough when the flight gets in around 7pm Friday night! I have booked a hostel in Barcelona and B&B in Alghero, Sardinia! What fun!! Will let post about how it goes! The week after will be busy too - suddenly last week in UK before trip to Morocco and I keep thinking of people to see! Couldn't possibly have fitted a job in as well hehe!

Monday, November 7

Heroes and Villains

This weekend I was back in Liverpool staying with Jonathan and his family. We went to a friends 18th birthday on Saturday night which was heroes and villains theme - Jon went as a ring wrait, Pete (Jon's brother) was Frodo and I was some sort of secret agent going to USSR (I can't tell you any more than that because its a secret and you'd blow my cover.. or I'd have to kill you but I'm busy this week!).

Tudor Times

Also on weekend near Brighton, we went to Lewes. This was with my great aunt Pauline (my grandmother's sister) and her daughter Harriet and husband Richard. We went to Lewes castle where there were tudor thigns to dress up in.. so we did. We also went to Anne of Cleves house (a nice divorce settlement from Henry VIII) and there were tudor thigns to dress up in there as well. Harriet wore the only dress so I had to suffice with teh rather magnificent cloaks and things that were strictly mens clothes.. not that that I was bothered. (Richard, who was looking on and waiting for us to stop playing dress ups might have been more bothered in general.. but we had fun!!) Also a photo of Pauline and Harriet and I in Pauline's garden of her relatively new house.


A couple of photos - the boxes with kids in them are an indication of 'normal' no scrap that... 'life' at the Bates!! Its great. The other photos are a selection from a recent weekend (last weekend) in Haywards Heath near Brighton. We saw the brighton Pavilion (the demented Taj Mahal-ish thing) and the Brighton pier and some other bits and pieces. A lovely weekend!

Tuesday, November 1

Another piece of profoundness... but strangely appealing to my humour!

Your Fortune Is

Support bacteria -- it's the only culture some people have!

These blog things are fun! And I couldn't fail this one!

Your Inner Child Is Happy

You see life as simple, and simple is a very good thing.
You're cheerful and upbeat, taking everything as it comes.
And you decide not to worry, even when things look bad.
You figure there's just so many great things to look forward to.

Monday, October 31

Procrastinating... and thats before I'm a student

I am however back to being unemployed. Put nicely, this sucks! I didn't choose to be but on Friday morning only 20 minutes befor ei was about to set off to walk to work, my work agency rang me and said my employer no longer required me. As of that day. Nasty people couldn't even tell me themselves.
Rational me takes over, and I can see that they had just got a new permanent person who'd had to give a months notice and I filled in the gap until she started.
However, my mind is now less forgiving, as I went to the job centre (a regular haunt of old I hadn't missed in the slightest). And there is are 2 jobs advertised for a medical centre through the same agency, so I'm asuming its still them. They are temporary 13 week jobs, but I don't know why the couldn't have kept me in the mean time. Grrrr.
So now I have 1 month before I have planned to go to Morocco (having calculated I should have earned nearly enough by then.. but now Im' not earning its a bit different). I NEED A JOB. There is even a job at Iceland I'm going to ring up about.. its a supermarket where nearly everything is available frozen... I don't think I approve but I don't want to come and stay in England and be unemployed!!
Ok rant over... time to go and ring places and find me some work. I hope.


Maybe i can do better next time!


You know that you remembered to put on underwear today...
But really, that's about it!

Friday, October 28


Well... it's come and gone, and I'm now officially 19.
I got a message from my friend in Australia with the same birthday as me late on Tuesday night. I replied and said he'd jumped the gun as in my timezone it wasn't yet my birthday.. but then I thought about it and decided in reality, I was born in Australia so it probably still counted! But of course, now I'm in the UK, so it still lasted until the end of the 26th here! I stretch things out however I can!
Anyway enough of that... I had a great day. Thankyou to anyone who sent a text or card - much appreciated. I even had a few little presents to open at home which had arrived in the preceeding days (mail before birthdays is still exciting at then nearly 19!).
I received a couple of very nice cheques in pounds - done my Barclays account some good! Also some little things from Mum - nice necklace and beads, and from Katherine some little cloth dolls which are cute!! Jonathan had hidden some gifts in my room when he visited on the weekend and left clues to find them which was fun. I found a book on Celtic art, a poster he'd spent hours on and some bits from Venice.
Anyway, I had a leisurely morning - the kids are on half term holiday for a week, so we sat around for a while. Rachel gave me a lift to work via Budgens to pick up a couple of packs of tarts and cakes to share at work. At work quite a few people had little gifts and cards for me which was great! I gota great little puppy toy which is sleeping and yawns and snores and its chest goes up and down when you press its foot! Very useful!!! And some nice use-up-able bath/cosmetic type products. In the evening after work Rachel and I went to visit Gregory in his group home - we sat and talked about Australian animals for a bit! Then Margaret came over to the Bates' house for drinks and nibbles and to give me her present - some nice amethyst earrings.
Anyway... enjoyable day, and now its over. I'm back at work and going on as normal. I'm going away for the weekend again - off to Haywards Heath near Brighton to stay with my Nanna's sister. Should be good!
Take care all, and if your in Tassie, enjoy the lengthening days while here it gets darker quicker!

Monday, October 17


Someone made sure I added that the mess in his room is partly due to me leaving stuff in it!! I didn't even sleep in it though so I'm not taking too much blame!!! Its a nice room though - and James (the roommate) seems nice too.

Weekend in Durham

This weekend I've been in Durham, catching up with Jonathan and seeing a bit of university college life. Without the going out to all hours... we did meet up with friends Robin and Nina and play bridge till late like old people.. but anyway. Here are a few photos and hopefully I'll get some of the cathedral tonight as we are going to a candlelit service thingy. Its a beautiful place - pity its a long way from my 'home' in Rushden (or as the locals there say... Rshden!).
Hopefully I'll post more about it all soon... but must go find somewhere to eat!

Kids will be kids

Here's a pic of Helen enjoying the flying fox at Wimpole hall/farm. Also her on the climbing 'tractor' (which I think Rob enjoyed too when he wasn't playing pokemon on his gameboy!!). And me... dressed up in armour in the kids dress up area of the Mary Rose exhibition (gotta be a strong kid..it was HEAVY!) in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Photos

I think I mentioned I had a lovely weekend in Chichester a week or so ago. On the Sunday before heading home Sarah and Jeremy and I had a wander into Portsmouth where we got to have a good look around the historic harbour - went on a harbour boat tour, and looked over HMS Victory. We didn't quite get up to HMS Warrior, but the ticket is valid for a year so if I get a change I might go back. We also saw the Mary Rose, which was quite impressive (Henry VIIIs favourite battleship) despite being in a large tank constantly being sprayed with waxy something or other to preserve it! Apparently in a few years they can dry it out slowly. I also enjoyed the display of bits and pieces they found on the wreck - tudor crockery, weapons armour etc. Then we went to Gunwharf Quays and had a lovely lunch before heading back to Chichester and me jumping on a train home again!

Friday, September 30


Hey all - thanks for the comments here and there! Hope you (ie anyone who ever looks at this) are well. I'm now well into my first week of working.. its friday at last! And the days of the week have come to mean something again! So work... its going fine. The work itself is fine - in some ways more limited than the med reception work I'd done before (only stuff in the office... phones, patients etc) so no steralising or cleaning up stuff. But we also print out the repeat prescriptions for people - it seems a bit different than the repeat system I'm used to at home. But anyway, its going ok. Some bits of the afternoon are a bit slow - like when patients stop coming in around 5:30-6 and we sit there till 6:30 having finished our evening list ages before! But that might get better - next week they are trialing us (the ones that finished at 6:30 which is 2 of us) starting 1/2 hour earlier and finishing at 6.
Also finally got most people's names sorted out now - took me a few days! I still don't know which doctor is which though - 5 drs and 6 nurses... and when someone asks for an asthma check up I'm sposed to know which of them does it!! Ah well I'll get there. Also beginning to see the dynamics within the reception bunch.. more or less a divide between the med escretary and her deputy and everyone else.. and guess who's in charge of hours/pay/duties etc.... yep the secretary! She seems nice enough so far but I guess I may meet another side when I try to arrange some holidays before Christmas... but I plan to quite not long after anyway, so if its an issue I'll quit earlier!! All good.
I'm going to Chichester tonight - south of UK to visit my cousin (give or take a generation.. if you want to be precise Mum's cousin, and Rachel who i'm living withs sister) Sarah and her partner Jeremy. Weather permitting we'll get a sail in but it its not looking good.
I'll keep you posted :)

Monday, September 26

Return of Kate

Just a quick post - i start work tomorrow, so still can't share any work place stories! However, just to let you know I am very much intending to come home leaving UK 26th of December and arriving 28th. This will leave me about 24 hours to get pumped for FALLS FESTIVAL um.. the next day! So hopefully I'll catch up with you all soon after that - for those that aren't at Falls! I really shoudl organise that flight from Melbourne to Hobart :)

Thursday, September 22


Hooray, hooray, if all goes well I shouldn't have to be making more daily visits to the Rushden (if your a local that is said Rshden) job centre! I will have to go and sign off (i think i only signed on today) for jobseekers allowance althoughi filled in so many forms and i'm still not quite sureif I'm valid or not! But I start work in a doctors surgery on monday - not as many hours as i planned on, but better pay than lots of the jobs I looked at and with a possiblity of more hours, and some flexiblity. So hopefully.. soon the pounds will be coming in! Yay. And they didn't ask how long i'll be around for so I didn't have to make anything up!

Tuesday, September 20


oops i obviosuly clicked the wrong photo - thats me making a silver ring which i had just heated up to red hot with a blog torch to melt the solder before dropping it into water... then acid... at Greenbelt. It was great fun. And this is the version i didn't cut my finger with a hacksaw.
Will do my best to put the right photo on some time!

one ring to rule them all

Actually this was supposed to be a photo of my cousins, but since it seems it isn't (my fault!) I'll tell you what it really is! Its a ring I made at greenbelt - unfortuanetly not even a sharp picture! And it was glowing more red than purple really, but i did make it! And it wasn't the one i cut my finger on while making it.. that was the previous attempt!

Anyway - hopefully I will get more on here but i'm doing it 1 at a time because it keeps dying!!

Monday, September 19

View from the Fells

I spent this weekend at Jonathan's grandparents caravan in Troutbeck in the lake district - we climbed some lumps of rock called the Langdale pikes. Lovely view down to Lake Windermere from the top of this noe - not sure which of the 5 pikes it was. But after our walk/climb (we did take the adventurous route up beside a waterfall and then up some other rocky bits rather than the vague path, but it was all perfectly safe!) we arrived down at Coniston just in time for a well earned hot chocolate, giant meringue and luscious chocolate and caramel short bread slice at 'Jumping Jenny's Tea Shop'! Brilliant. Pity it took us too long to get moving from the caravan to get dinner anyway because the place we tried had just closed its kitchen when we arrived at 9pm so we had to cook with what we had! All good - tune and wensleydale cheese with cranberries, a tin of tomatoes and some pasta... hwat more could you want! I took a good 70 photos before it got to cloudy but this website is being too slow to put many more up today.

ok no photos yet!

well they aren't quite there yet.. despite it saying 'uploading images' I can't see my pictures so I don't expect anyone else can either... still working on it!
Here are some photos of Sail and Surf on Lake Windermere, in the Lake District, as well as a pic from Greenbelt, and a photo of Jon and I at his 19th birthday dinner.

Photos attempt 2

This is the one from Jon's birthday dinner - still trying so I'm doing photos one at a time! This was before Jonathan had a unwilling haircut (which I diplomatically decidedly neither encouraged him or discouraged him from, though I think it looks nice now!!!)

Tuesday, September 6


Long time no post.
However, I am alive!!
I have has a busy few weeks. I set out on a train to Liverpool Lime St station where I met up with my friend becky from Iona last year. I stayed a few days with her - we went into Chester in the rain and also into Liverpool to look around some museums. We even had a meal at the famous (well locally anyway) Mr Chow's Chinese restaraunt! We had the full banquet, it was great!
From there on Saturday I went back to my friend Jonathan's place to stay a night before Merseyfest began the next day. We went to church on Sunday and afterwards spent a while at 'the Bank' which is the village youth project - comfy place with a pool table, bar area, table tennis etc which is a drop in centre after school in the week and venue for other bits and pieces, all run by St Mary's Church. That night and the rest of the week was spent camping in Croxteth Park in Liverpool. The general format for each day was waking up (sometimes a struggle!) then a little Bible study with our group from the bank, then heading over to the 'big top' for some music and talks. There were some good bits. Then the 1800 of us there all headed out on buses to the train stations to get various places all over Liverpool for an afternoon of work of various sorts. Most of our group went to Upton - where their church is, along with some people who'd come from near London. Another 5 of us went to a nearby project in Bidston to help clear out some paths - with a lot of rubbish along them! On the Tuesday they said the needed a volunteer to go yet another different project as a 1 off from our already separated 5 - so as one of the 2 over 18s I went. I got to go a church where they were running an even for elderly people to raise awareness of bogus house callers - accompanied by an hour of English folk music, and then serving tea and coffee and cakes! It was quite fun really - and the hardest bit was staying awake through the music! Then some old lady was trying to set me up with the good looking policeman despite me protests!!
The week went really well and it was great to spend more time with my friend Jonathan and his friends doing things for God by doing practical work for people in their communities. We got a couple of keen kids who joined in and helped us pick up rubbish over the week and had fun chatting to them and other people passing by.

From there I went straight to the Lake District to lead on a camp in Windermere. There were a few leaders I remembered from last year as well as some new ones I got to know better as the week went on. There was much better weather than last year - ie wind and sun at the same time for most of the week which was amazing!! 1 afternoon and the next morning were rained out mid week but that provided a good opportunity to go into the village of Bowness, catch up on some sailing theory and have a very funny pub quiz! It was a great week - and even though I was teaching the beginner sailing group, I had a few good sails as well. I even got to wear the stunning shiny red shirt of shame when I went out sailing without a buoancy aid on!!! But hey... red suits me!!!!

As if I wasn't already exhausted, I no sooner left Sail and Surf (actually I left Friday night instead of Saturday) than I arrived a couple of trains later in Cheltenham for Greenbelt. Not really knowing what to expect, it was great. Jonathan picked me up from the station and we went back to the race course where the whole thing was held - basically its a big Christian festival with a mixture of arts and music and good festival vibe! We had a camp site about 15 minutes walk from everything. I had already organised to do some work there - so i had about 5 hours each day working in an internet cafe on site - serving drinks, charging phones as fast as we could and organising queues of people to use the internet. It was actually quite good fun - and got me a free ticket and some meal vouchers!!! Mostly there were bands I'd never heard of which were quite good, but we also saw a bit of the Proclaimers! They were actually quite good tho unfortunately i worked through most of it, but i could hear it through the door! Jonathan and I also went to a Taize service which was great - and really full. While I was there I recognised someone - it was Sue who was the leader of the group i sort of adopted at Iona last year! A nice co-incidence to see her (especially as she's now moved to Vancouver in the past week).

After Greenbelt, Jonathan, his friend Robin and I drove back to Liverpol the scenic way to avoid the motorway. It was a pleasant journey, although we added to it slightly with an accidental 15 mile detour when we turned south instead of north on the A49!! But hey... Since then I had a few days with Jonathan and his family in Liverpool, mostly catching up on sleep, but also it was Jonathan's 19th birhtday so he had a formal dinner with about 19 people! We also went to the Bank again where a crazy irish guy who'd been working there 3 years had his last day and got coated in water, flour, tomato sauce, chocolate sauce and mustard as a farewell... gesture!!

Now I'm back in Rushden. I had a rather too eventful trip yesterday - first the train parked for half an hour at no particular stop because a freight train broke down ahead of us, then I missed the next connection and the one after that was cancelled! Eventually the train company put the 25 or so of us wanting to go to Leicester all in taxis... so we arrived there and I got the next train to Wellingborough, arriving 20:40ish rather than 19:18 like I'd hoped - but it could have been worse!! And despite all that I'm planning to go back to see Jonathan in Liverpool in about 2 weeks time but that will be another story! In the mean time I'm beginning looking for work around Rushden, and there is a rememberance service for my great uncle David this Sunday.

Monday, August 8


What fun.... I've been to Job Centre Plus in Rushden... printed out lots of little things about jobs I could apply for... well its a start!! In the mean time, I'm off for Merseyfest (big thing with lots of fun, and some community work in Liverpool... sounds wierd but will let you know!), then a sailing camp inthe Lake District (Sail&Surf - I went last year and may have mentioned it), and then Greenbelt - a big Christian arts/music festival. Should be great. Then I'll get a job. And apparently I can get 'jobseekers' allowance while I hunt for a job... so thats good I guess. Anyway... I'm back at the library and my free 20 minutes are ticking away!

Tuesday, August 2


I'm in Ireland to be sure, to be sure, and having a wonderful time. I have done a 6 day Paddywagon tour which was brilliant. I now know a lot more about the history and politics of Ireland - including the troubles in the North which I knew almost nothing about.
I am now staying in Dublin, although i leave this evening. I had an amazing day yesterday even though it was a bank holiday seeing Trinity College and the book of Kells, as well as the Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery. All good here... will update more later on.

Friday, July 22

London Still.. safe and sound

What a day - not entirely the day I'd had in mind as the las day with Tahnee before she heads home and I'm left here. We went into London after a relaxed but fairly late start with Tahnee's cousin Brendan. After a wander around some shops, we had noted the large number of sirens going by. Lunch in a french wine bar where someone said some bombs had gone off 200m from where we were in the West End. Eventually set off to walk somewhere - Euston station was closed, other tubes in the area were closed. Finally got a cab (after heaps went by with a whole 1 passenger) and headed back to Brendans. Have been watching news - no casualties, only detenators perhaps and not bombs. We had heard there was a nail bomb (ie creat carnage) but BBC hasn't mentioned it. So now things are getting back to normal and later we are getting cab - Tahnee to the airport and me to meet Tessa, a friend of my aunt and uncles. So despite being a bit scared stuck in the centre of london, with lots of police and closed roads and transport, we are out now, safe and sound!!

Thursday, July 21

on my own.. nearly

Well I said goodbye to Mum and my grandfather yesterday, and nowTahnee and I have our last day in London before she leave tonight.. then I'll be all on my own! Got a few thigns planned - Ireland with Emily (friend from Tassie), visiting people and other random things. Should be fun - but it will be sad to say goodbye and be on my own.

Wednesday, July 20

England and onwards

back in the UK now, fortunately we were no where near when the bombs were in London. We have had a great time in Austria, then just Tahnee and I in Munich then Paris. Lots of adventures and fun but not enough time to write about them. Highlights including a free tour in Munich which took us around royal residences, parks, beer gardens and left us near the 'english garden' which had a bizarre man made wave which people were actually surfing on!! They were so kind - taking turns and then getting out and walking back along the bank to take another turn on the wave. Then in Paris we stayed witha delightful SERVAS host family - they fed us coffee and fresh croissants everyday and had a gorgeos baby Salomé. We climbed up part of the Eiffel tower and got a lift the rest of the way to the top, and also climbed up the Notre Dame tower which had a great view of the gargoyles.
We arrived back in the UK yesterday - picked up from Luton airport by my Mum and grandfather. He had come to see his brother to say goodbye, as David is currently in hospital not doing extremely well. He has lung cancer we think, although it seemed to take an extremely long time to see an oncologist and now the only option is palliative care. In the mean time we are staying with his wife Margaret who has had a huge amount to organise by phone today - planning to drive him somewhere from the hospital for a dose of chemo, but then finding he'd had a fall in the night and he wasn't really well enough to travel so cancelling everything and changing plans. As well as that the phone rang non-stop with people asking how he was - so having to explain it all over and over which was clearly painful.
Tomorrow Mum and Papa fly out from Heathrow leaving Tahnee and I to stay a night with her cousin Brendan. The next day Tahnee leaves then I'm all on my own!! I'm staying with a friend of my aunt's in London before going to Ireland on Sunday with Emily Gough. So all should be good I hope.
If anyone reads this feel free to leave a post and let me know any news or comments or anything from home.
Otherwise - I'm having a great time, although not entirely looking forward to saying goodbye to papa, Mum and Tahnee in the next few days.

Monday, July 11


Tahnee has put some photos on her blog (see link on my sight) and hopefully i will get some up today either to here or to my mac site (see other link). And feel free to elave comments on my blog - its nice to know when people have visited!


I am in Austria now. We left Portugal last Thursday. Had a long day flying to London, sitting in Stansted airport for 5 hours, and then flying to Salzburg. ONefun thing was to be in London airport when they announced that Londo won the bid to host the 2012 games. Picked up at the airport by Erika Lange - the wife of Mum´s uncle. (Its complicated, because actually Graham was married to my grandfathers sister before she died.) We were stunned by all the mountains we could see in every direction!

The next day we got a train to Vienna. While we were travelling we had messages from Australia to ask whether we were in London, and were we alright, as it was at this time that the bombing in London became known. We arrived and fuond our hotel where we spent a while watching CNN (the only available English station) until it began another repeat of the same information before embarking on Vienna. We were remarkably dead - managed to walk past the cathedral, have a quick look inside and find a ´kaffeehaus´ for cofee and cake to perk us up a bit. Tahnee managed to take a photo of a scary street performer dressed up as Mozart just for the record but then his even scarier accomplice came and squeeked like mad at us (and made wierd noises) until she point a coin in his bucket... then he blew her a kiss which was equally as disturbing (he was painted white too). We went to an unhepful tourist office, and took a tram loop to sit and watch the the impressive buildings of Vienna go past. There was the apparently necessary visit to net cafe... dodgy but cheap, and near hotel, and who needs to breathe anything except smoke anyway?!
We found a good place for dinner and had a big salad and a plate of mixed meat. And good beer! As we left, our helpful waiter said ´so back tomorrow for ribs?´and we were!

Friday in Vienna: After retrieving Mum from the internet cafe we went to a museum but then found it was free the next day so we left and went to a differnt one. We went to the ´KunstHausWein´which was designed by Hundertwasser. It was also a museum of this guys work. Even the timeline of his life was very interesting - he travelled a lot, particularly to New Zealand. He was behind the public toilets somewhere in New Zealand that are aparently facinating! He was politically and environmentally active, but also had strong ideas on design - straight lines ´are evil´! This meant that even the floors of the buildings were uneven!
Here is one of his pictures:
After the museum, we walked to the nearby Hundertwasser something else - some appartment buildings designed by the same man. From there, we walked along the Danube back to the centre, planning to see the palace from the outside, but instead got the U-bahn back to eat ribs! After our delicious feast accompanied by beer, we gave Mum a headstart at the internet cafe, and then joined her before all collapsing in our hot and stuffy hotel room with a noisy street below.

Saturday: Went in the rain with our packs to the Secession Building (museum!) to see the Gustav Klimt Beethoven Freize, then left our bags there to wander around the nearby market and find lunch in the rain. There was lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as dried fruit, Turkish things (baklava!), stuffed olives and peppers, and further to one end, the flea market part. After fantastic turkish kebabs for lunch, back to the museum, but the rest of the art was wierd (even I think that printed out pictures of planets (the even say on the image `courtesy of hubble´) up different ways are barely worth framing... but maybe I just don´t get it! From there we went to the MAK (Museum Angenwandte Kunst or something which means Museum of Applied Art). Enjoyed another Klimt freize, a Margaret Macdonald freize, and some other attractive art nouveau objects. Another coffee intermission, some more museum (amazingly detailed lace, and beautiful glass) then with our packs to the train station. Apparently we got the wrong train to Salzburg and made Graham wait - i think the other one must have been going through to somewhere else and not said ´Salzburg´on the board... oh well we got the extra stops train!

Sunday: Church with Graham and Erika. It was in german of course, but Graham who has no doubt had a lot of practice translated very well for us. He is in fact not just bilingual but trilingual because he speaks fluent French as well! Makes us feel ignorant! The songs at church were mostly unfamiliar, but those that we knew the tune for were quite old! Lunch was at Graham and Erika´s with Erikas daughter Ruth and Husband, and there 2 girls age 6 and 7. They had little English, but Tahnee and I played with them for most of the afternoon - if we stopped or tried to sleep on the couch they tugged and pulled and tickled us until we did!! In the evening we went to a concert in a castle. It was most enjoyable - despite the solid rain outside, the programme was varied and lively and the musicians all seemed to be enjoying themselves! Tahnee (the discerning musician) says that most of the times they smiled it was because they made a mistake, but I wouldn´t know!!

Monday: It is raining and we got up late, and spent the morning dong emails and postcards. Maybe we will go into Salzburg later. We did some washign yesterday which we took to a friend of Erikas with a drier. In the mean time, i´m wearing 3/4 shorts as i washed my other 2 pairs I have here! Then again thats less material to get wet in the rain!

Tomorrow Tahnee and I go to Munich by train, then a few days later to Paris, and then we fly to Luton (London) on Monday. Mum will pick us up there, and we have another 2 nights in Podington (great uncle and aunt David and Margaret near Northampton) before Mum and Tahnee fly home. My grandfather is flying to London as I type this to see his brother David who is unfortunately getting sicker, and then he flys back on the same flight as Mum.

Monday, July 4


Today I am sitting in a yellow truck which has free internet connected through a mobile phone on the wall next to me! We have filled out Spanish days full of adventures lately, so I'll see how i go recounting them in the time I have.
Thursday we managed to find a skunk funk shop in Santiago (same brand as a couple of things i bought in spain last year, so that was a priority) then went to mass in Spanish at the cathedral in Santiago. Spent some time later at the internet place, rang Dad, pottered around... did some shopping etc.
The next day we drove to Pontevedra where we stayed in a fancy 'Parador' which used to be a solid palace/fort thing. Enjoyed a wander around the area, had a great vegetarian meal after sitting in one of many squares enjoying surroundings.
The next day we set out for Sabucedo having found out from the tourist info place about the 'Rapa de Bestas' festival on this weekend. Eachyear they round up the wild horses from the hills and take them into the arena in this small village, cut their manes and brand the young ones (originating from someone giving horses to a saint to prevent the plague) as well as having another 3 or so thousand ppl for a big party. Anyway, we met a good looking guy with an Australian Tshirt and got talking to him (he was from canary islands, never been to AUs but worked in UK so had good english)anyway... he and his friend bought us coffee, then we wandered around and enjoyed the atmosphere. Later we went to Tui and looked at the cathedral and stayed out of the heat for a bit.
Had a fwe more adventures going to a the langostina festival (lobster) in A Guarda, and then a drive up the coast and back in the mountains in spain, before staying in another fancy building in portugal.
Having fun!

Wednesday, June 29


Sunday - arrived in Podington to see my great aunt and uncle. David isn´t looking very well - and later that day was sent to hospital to have a lung effusion (?). Apparently felt much better after going in and being given oxygen. Apart from that, we had a rest in the afternoon - had been doig lots and not caught up on sleep for a while!! Went to mum´s cousin Rachel and Gordons for dinner, Gregory (other cousin who is disabled) was there, as well as children Helen, Jenny and Robert. It is at their place I will be staying later on.
MOnday- very quiet day, slept in, did washing, Mum and Margaret went to visit David in the hospital in the evening, and we didn´t do much else. Made bags lighter for Ryanair flight (15kg limit)
Tuesday - got up early, drove to Stansted. I was in a daze most of the way - couldn´t stay awake even though i was navigating! Lined up for ages, i did a last minute job of getting a resume in envelope to send to a school (where Jean Richardsons sister works!!) I already sent one to the school where their kids go via Rachel! Anyway, arrived in Santiago, found hotel - not bad choice. Clean and there´s a lift up the 6 floors! Wandered round shops - tahnee bought a nice leather jacket, then we wandered to old city. wandered back to find food and as we had no idea what we were ordering, had some fun... and then accidently ordered frogs legs and ears... interesting. legs were nice, but ear was sticky. Also had potato, bread, calamari.. nice normal tapas!!
anyway today we went to go to the cathedral but got there after service started. Will try again tomorrow. Had churros with chocolate for breakfast! now on for the day... OH and i sold my works that were in the Handmark Gallery! Yay!

Sunday, June 26


i have some photos on my other sight (one of too many at the moment!!)
just a small selection don't worry there are more!

Cambridge and Sutton Hoo

Arrivied here in Cambridge on Thursday by train, and that afternoon we have had a wander around the colleges. Serveral were closed to visitors but we went through Clare's which had a lvoely garden which apparently isn't open very often.
Friday: we went into town and looked at the market, had lunch with Myra and her friend Wynne at an Italian place. Then coffee, and then Tahnee and I went wandering. We found CULT a very cool shop (its has SKUNK FUNK!!). Tahnee bought a skunk funk top and i bought a t-shirt with a hood... its cool! Our plan had been to go punting, but the weather didn't look great - but then a guy asked us if we wanted a tour on a punt. We hesitated (knowing we had planned to find a bathroom) so he knocked 10 pounds of the ticket and we agreed on the condition we could stop off at the ladies room on the way (he took us into a pub!). It started raining really quite heavily while we were on board and despite being rugged up with a blanket and an unbrella we got wet. Not as wet as our half Australian (can't tell by accent) med student punter. And it wasn't as sunny as the day before so not so many shirtless males (ours wasn't as fine a specimen as some!!!). By the time we found the bus stop we were soaked, but got home in time for a quick meal and heading out to an outdoor concert. Perfect for the weather.. not! But once again, blankets, raincoats and umbrellas got us through, and the weather cleared up for a while, before raining again and then finally clearing. The concert on Kings College lawn was spectacular - Kings College Choir, Elgar something (pomp and circumstance) and Elgar Cello Concerto (very familiar from studying Hilary and Jackie), themes from harry Potter, Star Wars, ET, Schindlers List, a quartet and visually the falcon parachutists and impressive fireworks! Most Enjoyable (and our nasty complaining neighbours who complained aout not being able to see past our umbrellas to the see of.. umbrellas didn't come back after the interval!)

Today (Saturday) we headed off to Suffolk and visited the Sutton Hoo sight (burial ground from 600s-ish - some probably kings with boats and jewels and cool TREASURE). Did a tour of the sight, saw exhibition and had lunch. Then headed to Lavenham to admire old tudor buidlings - leaning sideways, and some even leaning voer the road. Then short cut (little narrow roads) to Melford to see a Tudor Manor. Looked around there, admired and then drove on more small roads back to a lovely roast lamb joint that Myra had prepared. Great time in Cambridge.

As we drove we listened to some new cd's we bought from a fairly cheap funky shop in Cambridge, as well as the radio reporting LIVE from GLASTONBURY. As soem of you many know Tahnee and I were hoping to go to this masssive festival, but missed out on tickets (they sold out in 3 hours adn we checked after 5). Although we are still sad, the footage we've seen shows LOTS of mud, (as we mentioned it rained solidly yesterday), many muddy poeple, and some tents which were flooded up to the top of the door. And a toilet block flooded, 1 man died, and apparently the main tent was struck by lightning! Coldplay are on TV now though - with fireworks!

Tomorrow we go to Northampton where my cousins (well mum's aunt and uncle) are. Sadly my great Uncle David has been diagnosed with cancer recently so things are all a bit unsure as to his prognosis. (lung cancer, secondaries in abdomen). My grandparents may be coming over to see him, but in the mean time they still said we could stay. It seems being given free cigarettes with the army in Korea was not a good thing.

Thursday, June 23

Thats tahnee on the london eye - you can see her on the right in white pants Posted by Hello

Tahnee and Mum by thames.. in the sun! Posted by Hello

Albert Hall Posted by Hello

tahnee meeting a dog in hyde park Posted by Hello

st pauls from millenium bridge Posted by Hello

st pauls Posted by Hello

tube Posted by Hello

double decker bus cooling down Posted by Hello

Tempest Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20


I have now changed my settings (thanks Stu for that tip) so now hopefully anyone can add comments. I still need to iron out some things and work out a better way of putting pictures on here, so i haven't decided which blog I will continue with. The other one is imkate.modblog.com feel free to let me know if you have a preference as a viewer. I haven't had a chance to make the other one look cool yet.

st paul's from a distance Posted by Hello