Archive for the ‘ the uk ’ Category

Far East Abound

So. Finally all the plans have come together. Tickets have been confirmed and insurance bought. Flip-flops dusted down and suncream dug from the back of the bathroom cabinet. Jen and I are off to the other side of the world again.

Our trip this time is going to take us to Thailand for Alex and Jules’ wedding on Koh Samui; a whistle sopt stay by all accounts but enough time for us to enjoy the five star resort the nuptials are to take place at and soak up a little sunshine (update: weather looks wet, oh dear!). I’m the official photographer for the wedding so I’m praying for the sun to shine.

Following the wedding an our earlier-than-most departure, we’re off to Australia’s east coast starting in Sydney. A catch up with old friends for Jen and a first time experience for me; we’re going to take a walk across the Harbor Bridge, cruise around the seafront in a luxury yacht and eat the best seafood on offer. We’ll be staying with some old friends of Jen’s both from her time there at from CBA in London who have moved back. It will be great to catch up with people.

From here we fly up to The Gold Coast to stay with our friend Trev’s parents. A little surfing and wildlife parks finished off with a BBQ i think is what we have to look forward to there. Finally we fly up to the Whitsunday Islands and the part I’m looking forward to the most; sailing around the idyllic islands in our own catamaran for two days and two nights.

So; this is just a small update, more to come once we’re on our way. We fly Friday night at about 10pm so updates will come from the road/air/beach 🙂

A Theory About the Fight

It wasn’t a big fight or anything: just a little punch up between two commuters this morning at London Bridge that got me thinking about the state of mind of a few people around me on the way into work.

You see the strange thing was that neither of them looked like the sort of people who would ever get into a fight. They were both small fellas, both well dressed and groomed and both ‘friendly’ looking (no facial scars, no ‘f*ck off’ tattoos on their foreheads, that kind of thing).

So what might have happened?

My theory goes like this:

We all know that it only takes the cancellation of one train, timed correctly to completely ruin a commute into work and that happened this morning. Firstly, the train was late: this meant that there were more people than normal waiting for the train: some of the people standing around would have naturally missed the train and be waiting for the next one. This same thing had affected the stations further down the line so, secondly, by the time the train did arrive it was full.

Now, the only people who successfully make it on to a full train in these circumstances are people who have a naturally more aggressive demeanor; these people will force their way on to the train sacrificing a little comfort in the process but nonetheless still making it on to the train.

The pacifists remain on the platform. We don’t really want to be crammed into the carriage, my comfort is not to be sacrificed in order for me to arrive at work early. So the platform is full of pacifists. Not a bad thing. Maybe.

There comes a time when even the pacifists need to get to work. After seeing a few equally full trains come and go without taking aboard enough of the waiting (cold) commuters some of the pacifists start to get agitated. There’s nothing worse than as agitated pacifist. You see some of them have been storing this up for a while. There’s only so many times you can count to 10 when something gets to you; only so many times you can let ‘it’ slide before cracking.

My guess is that this exact thing happened. Two normally calm individuals found themselves in an unfamiliar situation and were pushed too far by one another.

And that’s it! That’s my theory for the day, and the solution. Beware of the pacifists; let them on the train first! 🙂

tickets arrived this morning

and to be honest i’d totally forgotten that they hadn’t arrived yet, how’s that for getting caught up in the excitment?!?

all set then…9 days to go!

oh yeah! and how’s this for good news…

…wayne ‘the mane’, dave and macca (sa-wat-dee!) are going to be about in thailand the first two weeks of april just in time for the full moon party on koh phangan apr 2nd! can’t wait to meet up with you guys, will be a blast.

the replacement

i’m very glad to be able to say that the final task before going has been accomplished! 🙂 someone has been found to take over my room while i’m away! the first person to come and see the flat has given me a deposit, a date has been set and i can relax *sigh*

less than 3 weeks now.

i’ve been getting my work ready to hand over, gotten everything i (think i) need for the trip (tickets aren’t here yet, but they’re not supposed to arrive for another week or so, not panicking) and now i know there’s someone cool to look after the place and be ‘dad of the house’ in my absence.

starting to get nervous.

more excited anticipation than nerves i think but the time between getting the tickets bought and now has flown and it’s now very real! cool.

can’t wait to get over there and start taking photos and writing about it. 🙂

the final hurdle

ok, so now that new years is out of the way, (fantastic party btw! pictures here -> nye photos) the one and only thing left to do is get someone cool in to rent my room!

so, if anyone reading this know of anyone who wants a room from the end of jan to the end of april, please get in touch…there are details on the room ad on gumtree

3 weeks and 1 day to go as of posting this. seems to have crept up very quickly. i guess i was looking forward to xmas and nye as they’re always a blast and always take some organising and that now they are done and dusted the next thing is the trip.

oh there is one other thing…i have to go and buy some shoes…

i’m invincible! ha ha!

you know that moment where eric eats the banana? that’s kinda how i feel now! i’ve totally had enough of vaccinations (i still like bananas tho) and they better be worth the weekly trips to the nurse (lovely she was too, ‘Hey Kerry :)’ if you’re reading); i’m not going to catch any nasties while i’m away (famous last words maybe…touching wood, crossing fingers, etc.)

the only part i have very little idea about, apart from a few sporadic scare stories, are the malaria tablets. i went for Malarone (thanks jakk, those ‘crackhead dreams’ are just what i don’t want :s) costing a total of £203.55 for enough of the little-fellas to last the duration. i get to take them 2 days before i go, so if i do have a problem…well, maybe too late to sort until i get out there.

nevermind…mozzies are no match for bananaman!

7 down, 2 to go.

*JAB* Ouch!..*JAB* Ouch! 😦

Vaccinations; I’m really not a fan of being a human pin cushion but needs must i guess. So far…tetanus, polio, hep-a, diptheria and yellow fever. I currently have the plasters on from typhoid and hep-b. For japanese encephalitis and rabies I have to go privately, not read up on where to do this yet, but I’ve heard of a place on Oxford Street, still have plenty of time tho.

And then there’s the malaria tablets…didn’t see that one coming…£250 or there abouts to get enough pills for the duration. I’ve been advised to go for Malarone, the most effective (most expensive) with the least side effects. The alternatives sounded nasty; risk of psychosis, vomiting and varied effectivness against malaria itself, to name but a few potential side effects.

Who reckons that all this time and expence is worth it when traveling to the Far East? I’d raise my hand in an instant, but the numbness and pain caused by the last jab limits my ability.

visas and sh*t

cool, just had one of the smaller queries in my mind cleared up by the ace people at sta travel…visas!

i knew i’d be able to get visas for laos, vietnam and cambodia when i got to bangkok; just turn up to a travel agent, hand over some cash and watch they scurry about like chickens and in no time at all you have the paper work…heard that from a few people.

thailand and malaysia apparently you can leave and re-enter as many times as for want as long as you only stay for 30 days at a time. liking the place already!

…but slowly gathering what i need

awesome…i love the british postal service!

i ordered an new lens; a sigma 70-300mm, all the way from hong kong (thanks to an awesome seller on ebay) last friday and it arrived well ahead of schedule this morning before i left for work!

i’ve not had a chance to try any shots with it yet but if the weather clears up any i’ll get out tonite.

saving my pennies now to see if i can get hold of a 10.5mm fisheye, and i’ll be set 🙂

btw, coolest piece of kit found yet after a fruitless search for an affordable, light, small tripod… no-one should be without this!