Friday, January 30

Travel / NY Resolution Update

Have just booked a few more holidays in keeping with my NY resolution!

  • February - Vancouver for work & NY/CT for a few days
  • March - Morocco with mom for 4 days
  • April - probably Germany for Easter
  • May - Sofia, Bulgaria & NY for mom's birthday
  • June - Warsaw, Poland
  • July - Budapest, Hungary with Louise has been added :)
  • August - Vienna, Austria again with Lou has been added as well!!
  • September - TN for Patty's 30th birthday party
  • October - hopefully Rwanda again
  • November & December are still unplanned - any suggestions?

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Thursday, January 29

Keeping up with my new year resolution

As you know I've started off my 2009 new years resolution as planned (for those of you who've forgotten, it's to visit a different (and preferably new) country every month. I started off the new year in Germany, then back in England until last weekend when I went to Switzerland, so I think 3 countries in 4 weeks is a good start! PLUS Switzerland was a "new" one for my list :) Here are the next few months planned out:
  • February - Vancouver for work & NY/CT for a few days
  • March - Morocco with mom for 4 days
  • April - probably Germany for Easter
  • May - Sofia, Bulgaria & NY for mom's birthday
  • June - Warsaw, Poland
  • July - maybe Copenhagen (but not planned yet)
  • August - waiting to see where the good deals on flights will be & then make a decision.
  • September - TN for Patty's 30th birthday party
  • October - hopefully Rwanda again
  • November & December are still unplanned - any suggestions?
Making my new "total" 25 countries visited in 31 years!
England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Thailand, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Laos, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Canada, USA, Rwanda, South Africa, Burundi, Kenya

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Monday, January 26

Back in London for a week and a few days

I'm safely back from Geneva, we had a great time - it's a small, very walkable city. You can see the photos HERE aside from that I've not got much to report. I've booked my tickets to come home for my sister's 30th birthday this September :) Gotta love Virgin Atlantic's sale days!!!!!

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Friday, January 23

Geneva, Switzerland or bust

I'm leaving soon, well as soon as I finish packing, okay okay I need to start first, but as I'm sure you're all well aware I NEVER do these things in advance, especially when I've had 2 days home with the stomach flu, which btw is gone now but wasn't any fun at all!!

Kaylie & I fly out tonight at 5.10pm GMT and come back on Burns Day (Scottish holiday) which just so happens to be my birthday & the day before Australia Day, see it's a great time of year for everyone!

Okay can't delay the start of packing any more . . .

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Wednesday, January 21

my famous God-mother

can be seen here at about 2 minutes into the video.

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Tuesday, January 20

Two hours well spent online!

Came home from work early with some sort of norovirus :( Planned to watch the inauguration live but after spending 2 hours with the toilet I was exhausted & fell asleep, when I woke up it was all over :( First I watched this:

And now I'm about to watch this:

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Here are some photos from the recent past for those of you who can't see the links I posted.
Nik & me walking down the stairs after being on top of the
world's largest wine barrel in Heidelberg
katelynn & me at Heidelberg castle
john & me on millennium bridge with st Paul's in the background
nicola, me & lucie after my birthday bowling
Nim & I celebrating cause our team won!
me & Iain (the reason our team won at bowling)


Monday, January 19

UGH, Monday!

hope you're having a good day . . . mine is off to a very slow start, tube station was closed due to over crowding, buses were heaving full so couldn't really get on, late for meeting at 9.15 so now have to go back during my lunch break, by time I got into lab I discovered it was more of a pool than a lab, as in there were inches of water in one of the small rooms and when I opened the door, it just spread all over the main lab - rain water from Saturday night, so as you can imagine the wet cardboard smell is LOVELY around here. and as I'm sure you can guess others "saw" a problem but didn't know who to call so they just left it alone - What the heck?
TGIALT (thank goodness it's almost lunch time)

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Saturday, January 17

Birthday Bowling

Last night Nim, Andy, Kaylie, Jaiden, John, Nicola, Lucie, Rob, Iain & I went bowling for my birthday. We had a blast, played two games of which Iain won both, but I came in second place in the second game :) Here's the link to the photos, hope you can see them.

Tonight I'm off to Dan & Kirsty's house in Oval for dinner but until them I'm just relaxing at home, catching up on Grey's Anatomy Season 4 episodes (thanks again lil sis - you & Matt rock!)

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Friday, January 16


As I'm sure most people have now heard, a US Airways A320 plane crashed into the Hudson River yesterday & all (about 150) passengers survived, how amazing is that? One passenger broke both legs, but aside from that 80 other passengers were treated for minor injuries. These photos are from BBC's website:

So be sure to read those "emergency cards" & listen to your airline staff cause it could save your life!!

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Would you date these guys?

So my mates Lucie, Nicola and I went out the other night and ended up speaking with a few guys - We all agreed it was well worth the giggle factor after the fact. Do you reckon you'd date any of these guys??

Guy #1:
has a job
well travelled

no sense of humour
biologically 39 but acts 59
complained how in Brazil & South Africa people try to mug him (attempt to show off money?)
brags about never taking public transport in London
drives a Bentley convertible

Guy #2:
not even going to go for a pros & con list after you hear his intelligent convo . . .
"fancy a f*** after a drink you dirty little minx"

my mate's reply:
"sorry i have other plans so unfortunately i can't give your callused palms a reprieve"

Guy #3:
couldn't say much cause he was so drunk that whenever he opened his mouth all that came out was drool & moans, understand we went out at 7pm, so apparently they'd been drinking ALL day long.

So take your pick, which would you choose?


Tuesday, January 13

Warsaw, Poland

Got a great deal on a flight today so Kaylie & I are off to Warsaw, Poland from June 12-15! I mean how can you pass up a £62.50 return flight per person??

So that means my NY resolution so far is holding true:
  • January = Switzerland
  • February = Canada & USA
  • March = Morocco
  • April = undecided
  • May = Bulgaria
  • June = Poland
How bout them apples??


Some days are just crap!

Like today for instance, the engineer who was suppose to come & work today through Thursday so he can fix stuff at work called around 10am to say he is delayed. He hopes to arrive sometime this afternoon/evening. This means that now he has to work tomorrow to Friday, meaning we can't start our experiment on Friday like we had planned and wanted to do. Especially as my coworker is gone all next week in skiing and the week after that is the week before we leave for the Keystone meeting in Vancouver, Canada so we'll be busy getting posters and presentations ready for that, etc . . . UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have I told you lately how much I dislike science?!?!?!?!?!!?

UPDATE 14.41: you learn that you've "won" the caption this contest over on Carmi's page, check it out, here I am feeling much, much better now! It's the little things in life I tell ya - sorta like video skype (right AM & DB?)

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Monday, January 12

videos from Germany

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Randomly meet in DC in '03 and now again in London!

As I had told some of you last week I found out on Tuesday that a friend (John) from long ago who I'd not been in contact with in a long time was arriving into London on Thursday night and staying in Russell Square. Thanks to the internet & facebook, he & I were able to reconnect after 7 years of not seeing each other aside from a brief bumping into at the zoo in Washington DC probably in 2003 (but neither of us is really sure when it was.) We met for the first time in '98 in at his frat house at Brown University. I was dating his best mate so we ended up spending a lot of time hang out for about 4 years, during which time we discovered we had lots in "common" like his birthday was the same as my dad and he was at Brown University where my dad had gone some years before. During his time at Brown he met Malina, a girl I'd grown up with since 3rd grade! Come to find out they'd gotten married about a year ago . . . what a small world it is!

Well as I said earlier, he'd sent me a message on facebook saying he'd be in town & would love to meet up for brunch or something on Sunday. Friday morning on my way back to LSHTM from Imperial I went by his hotel to left a message. That night since I'd not heard from him I called the hotel & spoke with Andrea, one of his co-workers, who told me where they had planned to all meet up. Halfway there he called me so we made plans to met at his hotel & we go to the bar together.

After a bit of chatting with his conference group, Andrea, John & I went off to have a fish & chips dinner at a pub near Holburn and then as they were rather jet lagged, I dropped them back at their hotel with plans to pick him up at 9am on Saturday.

The next morning I underestimated the outside temperature and when I got out at Russell Square tube it was soooo cold out I walked faster than normal to try to stay warm & arrived at 8.50am! After a quick breakfast at the hotel (for free) and the addition of more socks & long johns they were ready to head to Borough Market. We taste tested our way around there for a bit until it was too cold for our noses & toes to manage. We then headed over to the river and down to the Tate Modern, which in my 3+ years had never been to. After about 2 hours of viewing the art work we made a bee line for one of many of Monet's famous Water Lilies, Sea-Roses (Yellow Nirwana) . After admiring the painting we had finally warmed up & decided to venture over millennium bridge to St Paul's. Andrea made the executive decision that it wasn't worth £12 to go inside especially as she was on her way to Rome where she'd see many more cathedrals! We then took the tube back to Tottenham Court Rd, where we split up so they could go to the British Museum whilst I went home to get my flat ready (make up the beds) & put on an addition layer of clothes.

The three of us met back up at Sketch, a really awesome tea place on Conduit Street (Mayfair - I highly recommend it, esp the toilets!) where we met Andrea's mate Oliver. Another American who's been living in London for just over 3 years and who works on Climate Change etc.

Around 7 we headed down Oxford Street to Selfridges for a bit of window shopping before we headed back over by Carnaby Street for dinner at Cha Cha Moon. By the time we were done eating we were all exhausted & ended up just going to their hotel to pick up their bags & back to my place for the night! We did however stay up until 2am chatting on Skype to Mike, Mr & Mrs T, Malina, and Andrea's mum.

Up early on Sunday (7am to be exact) so we could all get showered & out of my flat by 8am. Down to Kentish Town train station where we discovered that no overland trains would be running through central London so we all got on the tube via Bank & I gave Andrea directions on how to get to Gatwick from London Bridge via the First Capital Connect trains. John & I switched over to the Piccadilly line & went out to Heathrow. After dropping John off at the airport I headed back into central London to meet Kaylie at the cinema to see The Reader, which I really liked and then later in the afternoon I met up with my American mate Adrienne who I've met through the NU Alumni of Europe Group (which btw I started) to see Slumdog Millionaire which was also a very good movie.

Next on my list of want to see are Australia (even though it's gotten crap reviews & every Aussie I know doesn't like it) and Milk which came recommended by John and my god-brother Sam , but of course the latter isn't out yet over here, we are always behind in these movies!

On a side note, I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of my Cineworld Monthly Membership, since the beginning of December, I've seen the above named movies, along with:
  • Four Christmases (Vince Vaugh & Reese Witherspoon) pretty good and rather funny
  • Changeling (Angelina Jolie) VERY very good!
  • Burn After Reading (Brad Pitt, George Clooney) horrible!!!
  • Zack & Miri Make a Porno (Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks) stupid funny, which I'm not a fan of, but we missed the movie we'd planned on seeing
  • My Best Friend's Girl (Kate Hudson, Alex Baldwin) pretty good
  • Secret Life of Bees (Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifa) not as good a book of course
  • Twilight (Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson) good but I'm told didn't follow the book
Well I can't believe 2 weeks from yesterday is my thirty first birthday, but should get back to work now!

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Thursday, January 8

Christmas in Germany 2008 Photos

You can find some photos Here and also Here and the third of four albumns is Here and the final albumn can be found Here

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Wednesday, January 7

trying to sort out some new year resolutions!

I think I mentioned before that my new years resolution is to try to go to a different country once a month . . . well if I hadn't told you, there I've told ya now . . . ideally I'd like to visit places I've never been before, but some months that is going to be harder to do cause there are only so many days in a month & mostly cause there is only so much money in my bank account!!!

Now this might seem easy, but since I've been quite a few places it becomes more difficult to go away for a weekend cheaply cause the places become further away & less common touristy . . . but I'm doing well so far with planning!

  • January - Geneva, Switzerland to visit Louise for our birthday :)
  • February - Vancouver, Canada for a Keystone Meeting (I've never been to western CA) and then stopping in Montreal & driving into NY & CT
  • March - Marrakesh, Morocco with mum
  • April - possibly Copenhagen over Easter - just have to find out if it's open
  • May - Sofia, Bulgaria with Kaylie - has anyone been there, tips are welcome!
That's all I've got planned thus far, but pretty darn good in my mind for only being 7 days into January.

Happy Birthday Jim tomorrow - ya old git!!
Happy Birthday Kristen (aka AI) on Saturday - ya old bint on a stick ;)

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Tuesday, January 6

home to london

i made it safely back to london on sunday night & had a great time in germany - just trying to sort out how to upload the photos as the DVD we made doesn't seem to work :( too much stuff to do at the moment to write about it all, but we did manage to have christmas at melissa & mike's house (mike, melissa, madison, blake, ben, neala, neala's mum, chris, nik, katelynn, kaylie & me) then off via train to heidleberg (sans mike & melissa's family) on boxing day, then to triberg via car on the 27th (sans nik who spent the night throwing up) only to have kaylie end up getting sick the whole day too so she slept in the car in the -12C temps, but all bundled up in fleece blankets while the rest of us wondered around & visited the largest coocoo clock in the world! 28th & 29th we spent rather low keyish as nik & kaylie were still under the weather, 30th neala, kaylie & I went shopping at the BX and booked a trip to munich, 31st we didn't go out late cause our train left from kaiserslauten at 6.10am so we packed & watched movies with the kids. 31st kaylie, katelynn & i went to munich for 2 nights & 3 days - a day trip out to oberaumenagau (sp?) and to see linderoff & neuschwanstein castles (built by King Ludwig II) all in all it was great - thanks to ben's military issue long johns that is!!!!

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