A Travellerspoint blog

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Hi all,

I do have a blog entry for Paris with pics but unfortunately due to our recent move..we don't have the internet at home. (I'm sneaking on this at work right now!) We should have it up and running in a couple weeks...but of course BT take their sweet time!! I will also post more pics of our new flat. We are so loving the space we have now! It's so nice to come home and ask Rich where he is rather then bump him with the door when I open it!! haha. Of course those of you on Facebook can see the Pics I have posted for Paris as I have them up there...

Will be back soon...! xx

Posted by ashleym66 07:05 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Busy Month

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I can't believe its been a month already since I last blogged. We've been so busy since we returned from our trip to Amsterdam that I haven't had very much time to sit down and write.

We have finally found a new flat! not that we looked very much to be honest. We viewed this place before we went on holiday and then thought..well if its available in a month then we'll take it. I didn't really think it would be but it was way to early to apply for anything. When we came back I still couldn't stop thinking about it so we went for another look. The agency agreed to gut it and put a new bathroom in, new carpets, paint, etc. With that agreed we couldn't refuse! it's a gorgeous 1930's mock tudor building that's closer to town then we already are..and we're pretty close! But it's really secluded from any main roads and it's like a little community. Plus we have friends in the building a couple floors above..which is how we even came about finding it.

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So we signed up and we're moving the 1-June. Well technically we get the keys that day but we still have our current flat for another 3 weeks after that so it will be a leisurely move! Since we are going from a furnished to unfurnished flat I've been spending all my free time shopping. Oh tough life eh?? Buying a dining room table, a bed, wardrobes, etc. We got a couch from a friend from work so that was a bonus.

The other exciting news is that we are going to Paris in a week and a half! It hasn't really sunk in yet and plus its over a long weekend and no time off work is involved it doesn't feel like a holiday yet. But I am still so excited. I always dreamed about going to Paris! I will have lots of pics to post once we're back.

My friend Jenn is going to Singapore next week and shes doing a verrry long layover in London so I've taken the day off and am meeting her there. I can't wait! I don't get to see anyone from home that often so it will be so awesome to spend the day showing her around London and talking to someone I already know and not trying to suss out who they are. I'm so excited that I'm taking a 6am coach to Heathrow to meet her shortly after her flight arrives..mad!

My course hsa been keeping me pretty busy lately. I've started studying at work on my lunch break..an hour completely uninterrupted and shut away in a room. It has turned out to be really productive so I'm really glad. After working all week, coming home everyday to study and spending my weekends studying is becoming really mundane and hard to keep up. I will be finished this course in July and write my exam on the 16th thankfully. Only 7 more classes to go until I get my degree...it will take ages but well worth it in the end.

So to end this I'm going to post a picture of a nasty surprise I had the other day..this thing is massive!!

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A SLUG!! Omg I was so grossed out..just sitting there beside the computer..ughhh can't wait to move!! The damn moisture in this country brings out nasty things.

Au revoir!!

Posted by ashleym66 15:18 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

Amsterdam

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View Amsterdam on ashleym66's travel map.

We spent the first night of our trip in Amsterdam before we headed to Brussels for 2 days and then back again for the rest of our trip. Since we went over Easter holidays it was mad busy and booking a hotel for the weekend was not very easy which is why we spent the weekend in Brussels first.

Everything went really smoothly, arriving in Amsterdam, finding the train to central station and then of course the thing we were dreading..finding a hotel for 1 night before the long weekend. We went to the tourist office outside central station and everyone else seemed to have the same idea so we waited about 40 minutes before talking to someone. It wasn;t looking good as we kept seeing people walk away upset or stand there for so long as the guy at the counter called around numerous hotels. When we got our turn the guy told us that there was nothing under 150 Euros for the night all over Amsterdam. The notion of staying up all night and sitting in a coffee shop was looking more appealing! By chance the guy got a break when he called a hotel and they said they just had a room become available and for only 70 Euros! Thank goodness!

We took the tram across down the Damrak and across the canal and found the hotel pretty easily thanks to Rich! My map skills are abhorrent! the hotel, Crystal Palace, ended up being really sweet! Though this was the beggining of our luck at having rooms on the top floor! Up 6 flights of the steepest stairs I have ever seen, so steep you were actually climbing them with your hands and feet..and also carrying luggage!

The hotel we stayed the first night
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We changed and dropped our stuff and debated about what to do. I wanted to head to the red light district as I was curious as hell about it. By chance, 2 of Richard's friends, Justin and Chris, who were on a backpacking trip around Europe, showed up in Amsterdam that evening as well. So we all met up at central station and headed over the red light district together. It wasn't quit dark yet, so we found a coffee shop...what an experience!! We walked around the area and was I ever shocked. I mean, I knew what it was like from reading and hearing people talk about it..but to see the ladies in the store windows like dolls for sale was a bit different! I eventually got used to it but always felt a little weird about it. I wanted to take more pictures but unfortunately it's frowned upon in that area because of the women in the windows. So I didn't want to get into any altercations with anyone!

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We made it an early night as we had to catch a train th next day for Brussels. Some cool things I noticed at first about Amsterdam is that in the loos at the airport (or bathrooms for you Canadians!) they had disinfectant toilet wipes in the stalls...maybe not cool for some but I was totally chuffed as i absolutely hate public bathrooms! Also, the dutch speak fantastic english and some signs and almost all menus have english on them making it so much easier to go about things! Another thing is that the metro has double decker trains. Such a damn good idea as everyone wasn't mashed into a car with luggage and all.


Back from Brussels Days 4 - 8

Back in Amsterdam and another hotel, Hotel Manofa which was right on Damrak across from the red light district. I was disappointed as this hotel wasn't as nice as the others we stayed in, and of course on the top floor again! but location was what the hotel has as it was right in the middle of everything which was cool. We went and walked around the canals and had dutch frites which were really yummy. We made another trip to the coffee shops and then went and had cocktails at a little spanish bar.

The next day we set out for a canal cruise. Really awesome although packed and couldn't get any great pics. It was nice to sit in the back of the boat though and look at all the house boats lining the canals. it is said there are about 2500 house boats in Amsterdam. There are even shops on the boats and little gardens.

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We found an amazing restaurant, The Soup Kitchen, where they had the tastiest soups I've ever had. This was the only restaurant that we went back to more then once the whole trip!

We wanted to see more of the non touristy areas in the city so we just wandered through the canal streets and eventaully ended up far enough away that there were less shops and more houses. The flats here on the bottom level of the houses looked like shops with windows in the front. Really interesing architecture in amsterdam..the buildings are so lovely. They are also bike mad which are predominant all over the city. Bike paths line the streets and I must say there are way more bikes then cars. I almost got run down numerous times as you don't realize you have to watch for them too! On the canal cruise we even saw a massive 3-floor bike parking lot by central station. so crazy!

Bike parking
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That afternoon we went to see Anne Franks house. I had read the book in school many years ago and didn't remember alot about it but still was really interested to visit the house. There were sooo many tourists there and although it is a must see when visiting Amsterdam, the fact that your cattled around inside is really disappointing. it was eery to see the small rooms and the pictures that are still on the walls that Anne put there (although covered with plastic now). After we finished the tour, I bought the book. I read it in 2 days and it was by far the best book I've ever read. I must not have paid attention in school when I read it! I would highly recommend reading it before you go to get the full experience. I wish i could have gone back after. Again I couldn't take pics inside but heres one from the outside anyways.

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Of course the evening was filled with more good food, eating through the belgian chocolate we bought in Brussels, drinks, strolls around the city and coffee shops!

On Wednesday, we finally made the free breakfast downstairs which always consists of bread, meat and cheese over here. Then we set off early and took the train to Leiden, which is an hour out of Amsterdam. We were going to Lisse to visit Keukenhof Gardens which is 77 acres of woods and flowers, and Holland's most famous gardens.

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There were so many beautiful flowers , art sculptures, artistic flower displays, and the grounds were amazing. There was a massive windmill on the edge of the fields where rows and rowns of tuplips grow. Of course, Holland is famous for their tulips and windmills. I was so mad as after we got home I realized that my camera was on some multi burst function which made all my pictures do this...

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We spent most of the day in Keukenhof and headed back to Amsterdam in the evening. On the train back, there was an accordian player walking through the cars playing and asking for change. It was quite amusing as all you ever see at home in Toronto is bums and crazy people begging! In England I have yet to see anyone begging on the trains. Anyways, rich tried to be nice and dug into his pocket to get some change and ended up coming up with only 25 cents, all the change he had...haha! Better then nothing right.

We were wiped out from the day and the fact that the guys in the room next to us were running up and down the halls all night in a manic drunk state. We decided just to have a nice dinner and chill out, after all it was our holidays! We went and ate at an Indonesian restaurant, which was a first for us both. We figured it would be similar to Thai food. So wrong, it was really different, in a fabulous way! I've never had quite a mix of so many different flavours or food on one plate. I'm anxious to check out one here soon.

Our last full day in Amsterdam, and I was in shopping mode. I tend to not shop for the first part of the trip whenever we go somewhere as I always think that I'll find something better, which I usually do! Plus I'm always consious of the fact we have limited room in the bags to cart things home. I hit the souvenier shops and grabbed some stuff to send home, and for us. Amsterdam has some really great shopping, alot of stores that aren't in the UK.

After I had depleted most of my Euros fund we decided to go to the sex museum. It was literally 2 mins from our hotel, a definate must see just for laughs. Some seriously old porn pictures from the 1800's even! haha.

We wandered around the canals the rest of the afteroon, looking in shops and taking pictures. We found a great bookstore that at the back of the store had a big collection of old books in english. Some dating back to the 1600's. They also had old war time issues of Life magazine which Rich was really excited about. We ended up getting to magazine issues and I picked up a book for someone for a present.

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We went for dinner at a steakhouse in the Rembrandt area. Really great food and lovely people. As it was our last night we just wanted to go and have drinks and have fun. We headed over to the red light district one last time and hit the bars and coffee shops.

The next day we had to catch a flight home, but not until the afternoon. We decided we wanted to get some more Life magazine issues so after breakfest we went to find that book shop. Of course after a half hour of wandering we couldn't find it! I headed back to pack our stuff and Rich continued looking. Check out time came and Rich returned with no luck. Ah well, at lease we got a couple. We checked out and went to a cafe down the street to sit outside and veg out before we headed to the airport. It was an absolutely beautiful day, quite hot out even!

Amsterdam turned out to be much more then I thought. I envisioned it being more seedy because of the red light district, legal prostitution and legal pot smoking. It turned out that's just a small part of the city. I was surprised that so many families visited there and were even bringing their kids and walking around the red light district...how would you explain that?? but I realized it's really just my North American view on these things as in Europe it's much more laid back. It's a very interesting city full of artistic people and trendy shops and cafes.

Also, it's less then an hours flight from Southampton so we will definately be making a trip back!

xx

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Posted by ashleym66 09:58 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

2 Days in Brussels

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View Amsterdam on ashleym66's travel map.

We arrived in Brussels on Friday afternoon (April 6th) after a 3 hour train ride from Amsterdam. We spent 1 night in Amsterdam before heading to Brussels, of course returning 2 days later.

The first thing I noticed was that the language barrier was going to be much more difficult. In Belgium, the languages are French and Flemish. Unlike in Holland where the Dutch people speak exceptional English, in Brussels it wasn't the same. We were lucky that our hotel was just 1 stop on the Metro from Central station at Ste Catherine and close by the station. I was glad that i still had some french language skills and between the 2 of us we could figure out signs and ask some questions. Our hotel was nice, on a quiet street and although there was construction at the end of the road, we arrived on a Friday and left on Sunday so we never heard them working.

Of course when we arrived the woman that checked us in didn't speak english so it was alot of hand gestures and my broken french coming into play again! We were given a room on the top floor, 6 flights of stairs to the top. In Belgium, like Holland, the stairs are very narrow and very steep. Lots of fun!

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We dropped our bags and then headed out to explore the city. We were very close to the city centre, about a 10 minute walk. We headed over that way and just checked out the stores and restuarants along the way. Fresh seafood restaurants are the predominant here and tables and seats set out along the pavement outside the restaurants beckon you to chill out and have a seat.

The one thing on my mind was chocolate! I wanted to try some famous belgian chocolate and luckily for me there were chocolate shops everywhere. We had dinner outside at a cute little italian bistro and just watched everyone walking by. The culture here is very cafe oriented and where we were eating was a little square of cafes with lots of tables outside and everyone drinking beers and wine.

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After dinner we headed over to a shop to try the infamous belgian waffles..sooo good! I realized then that our trip would be dominated by alot of great food!

Me eating a belgian waffle!

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The next day we did more sightseeing. Brussels was surprisingly small and there weren't alot of tourist sights to check out. That wasn't a problem as Rich and I tend to just wander around new cities anyways and hate to follow the tourist circuit as there are always way too many people around.

We checked out the most famous sculpture in Belgium, the 'mannequin Piss'. Sculpture of a little boy holding himself. There were hordes of people around taking pictures of it. I wasn't that impressed but it was kinda cute. The sculpture is dressed in a different outfit everyday for some reason. The day we were there it was a scuba outfit.

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We went to the Grand Place square. This was impressive! Gorgeous buildings surround you whilst you stand in the middle. There are cafes with tables outside along the side, and stands selling flowers and paintings in the middle. I stood there in awe as it was quite magnificent. We also checked out Hubert Plaza, built in 1847, and has a beautiful glass roof. There were lots of little shops inside and one of the oldest chocolatiers in Belgium, Neuhaus, which has been around since 1857. Very posh chocolates!

Grand place square

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St Hubert

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In the evening we went and had dinner at another italian restaurant. For some reason we kept eating italian, and then steered clear of it the rest of the trip! This restaurant looked really nice as it was streetside tables again, and in a rather touristy area so lots to look it. The food was great, unfortunately the service was horrendous! Not that it mattered as we were just chilling and not in a rush to get anywhere anyways.

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After dinner we just strolled back to the hotel and since it was Easter weekend we saw quite alot of people all walking into this beautiful church just up the road from out hotel. It was dark out already and there was sounds of people singing hymns in the church wafting outside. Neither myself or Richard are religious at all but we were curious about what the church looked like inside! So we went in and everyone was just gathered around holding candles and singing french hyms. It was really nice so we stood there for awhile and watched everyone.

This is the church (sorry the pic is a little lopsided!)
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Eventually we headed back to the hotel and had an early night as we had to catch a train back to Amsterdam the next morning.

Brussels was really nice, artistic and very chilled out. Although after 2 days there I was ready to move on as there isn't that much to see. One thing that I noticed is that they had quite alot of really interesting graffiti painted everywhere. They had quite alot of shops selling paintings and pictures which really inspired me to start looking at art, something I've never really been that into. At home Graffitti is more about branding and bored kids, here it was really an artform and a beautiful feature throughout the city.

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Isn't this the cutest thing? I can't belive his dad was letting him play with it though!!

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Posted by ashleym66 08:03 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

The New Forest

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I can't believe it has already been a month since I last blogged. That's quite sad really that I haven't found the time to sit down and write some words about what I've been up to lately! To be honest I've just been working and doing my school work like mad. I had a awful cold for 2 weeks and was literally laid up in bed and feeling shit. I'm feeling much better now.

My course work is taking alot more time then I envisaged which I guess I just didn't plan for it properly, or I was much to optimistic! Most of it is pretty interesting so at least it's not boringly dragging on like some courses I took in college. I'm sure after this course though there will be some that I will have to force myself to focus on.

We've really just been saving money for our vacations coming up (3 weeks ya ya!!). I've met some cool people lately and have actually started to have more of social life but it's about time since I've been here a year already!! Making friends only gets more difficult as you get older I swear.

I have officially developed a taste for something that is kinda like beer. lol. It's cider!! I thought it was beer or something but I stand corrected as it's actually made from apples. Thinking..hot apple cider?? Thats what I thought at first anyways. Nope, it's not like that. Ok, so I like the fruity tasting ones that kinda taste like your drinking a cooler anyways..but hey!

Last weekend Rich and I went for a walk and Sunday pub lunch in the New Forest. The New Forest is spread out over 142,000 acres and includes many counties and villages within. It was designated as a royal forest in 1079 and 90% is still owned by the crown.

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I love that there are wild animals running around and there is so much open space that it almost makes you forget about the clauisterphobic feeling that you get in most places in England! We went to Brockenhurst which is a village within the New Forest. It's quite cute with its thatched cottages and quaint high street. They also have a ford (not the car!) which is a shallow area of a river that you can cross. This is at the end of the high street. Quite odd as you could see that the water has risen very high at points and I'm not sure how people could get into town!

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The thing that made me most excited was that there were wild horses roaming all over the fields and even in town. As we walked down the road we passed an old converted barn house and there standing on the front doorstep was a horse. It just looked as if it was waiting on someone to come out and play! So random! Another was when we were coming out of the pub in town and we passed a beautiful cottage house right by a main road and there standing outside again was another horse! It looked so out of place.

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This weekend I went to Winchester for a girly lunch with my friend from work, Catherine, and some of her friends. We drank way too much wine and shopped all afternoon. Just what I needed!! Richard and I also went our first BBQ of the season at our friend James's house on Friday night. It was a bit chilly in the evening but who cares! We all watched Comic Relief, which is a week long charity fundraiser that's done in Britain every other year to raise money for Africa. Tons of celebs take part and they have everything from one off versions of the Apprentice and Fame and comedy skits just for comic relief. Quite entertaining!

Now that it's Sunday, I'm back to the books. Although I'm distracting myself with this blog and also listing some items on Ebay. Damn it's already past 3 in the afternoon!

Will write again soon!

xx

Posted by ashleym66 16:53 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Paris Trip booked!

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I've been apprehensive about blogging lately as since I've been here a year I'm not sure if that qualifies me as a traveller anymore. Ideally I would like to create my own website and just randomly post about whatever and show my pictures and what not. Of course this takes time and effort as I'm not very technical when it comes to html formatting. Eventually I will find some time...or someone who is! So until then as I've searched around for other blog sites, I shall remain here as this is the best I have found to post pics.

Lately I've just had my head in the books and have been tackling my studies. It's proving to be alot of motivational work on my part to keep at it rather then just do something else..anything else! But I'm enjoying what I'm studying so I'm trying to perservere. I've managed to find an invigilation centre in Basingstoke which is just outside London. The university has approved them and I'm good to go. Well almost...I have to finish the work first!

I've started trolling the website Facebook in the past couple weeks....oh my god I'm addicted! It's like walking into a virtual room and seeing everyone you used to know from school, past jobs, and random places....it's quite amazing.

Rich and I went to the harbour Lights Theatre a couple weeks ago. It's just a small place with 2 theatres and they play alot of old movies. We watched Ferris Buellers Day Off which is a great film. The theatre is down by the harbour..hence the name lol. It's a really nice area called Ocean Village where all the boats dock.

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We ended up walking around town that day as it was a beautiful crisp day. This is what I love about not having a car sometimes. It's a hassle at times but you have to bite the bullet and just walk everywhere instead. If I drove I don't think I would take the time to walk across town and enjoy the day by foot. This of course comes from years of having a car and being lazy!

Last week I decided to give up my mangy cell phone that I got when I frist arrived. I had bought it second hand and thought it would only be temporary as I just needed something quickly at that time. Almost a year later and I've still been using this phone. The battery slips off and the phone shorts out too often in the middle of long text messages. It's scratched and old looking to the point I was embaressed to use it in public! So I broke down and bought a new phone. It's not that I didn't want to but rather I see it as something that is a necessity to have but an indulgence nonetheless. Of course I had to buy something pretty! I got a new Motorola Razer..look so pretty compared to the old one!

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The weather is so weird over here. This week it started to get lighter in the evenings..almost like winter is over already. It's been really nice..around 10 degrees! Nice as I know in Canada it's lots of snow and cold as heck.

Well more on the travel front...we've booked a trip to Paris!! We're going for a 3 days the last weekend in May. Rich's work organizes trips all year long to cities around Europe. They have great packages and reduced rates for staff and partners. So we managed to book a great weekend in a 3 star hotel in the city with tours to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, river trips, etc. It should be fantastic. I'll have to start using the french language pack that Rich got me at Christmas so I can at least make an effort! Damn I wish I had paid more attention when I was getting free classes all through school! At least I know the basics so that should help.

So now another month or so and our trips will begin and I'll start to feel like I'm using my geographical location to my advantage!

xxx

Posted by ashleym66 13:49 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

This and That

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Well winter has arrived in Southampton..or if you can call it that. I wish I had some winter white pics to show of lovely snow and rooftops covered. But of course all I can show (but I won't) is rain, and more rain. I can't complain too much as it's been fairly mild in temperature as of late. I spoke to my mom today and it's already snowed a couple times and they're enjoying wonderful temps as low as -20! I don't think it's dipped below 0 here yet.

There was a massive wind storm across England last week and sadly 12 people dies in accidents caused by it. It was so windy and rainy that as I walked to work in the morning I was physically stopped by the wind and got pushed against a wall! It was funny but scary at the same time that it could be that strong.

In the news, the story of the minute is about Celebrity Big Brother. For those who aren't in the UK you can't imagine how big it is over here. I'm fairly new to it as it was never a hit at home. This year the antics of a "celebrity" Jade Goody has resulted in international controversy and people burning posters and having riots in India. Ironically Jade started her career as a contestant on the non-celebrity version 4 years ago. She has now virtually ended her career on the same show. She bullied and made racial comments to a massive Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty, in the house. This has resulted in an outroar from both the British and Indian public. It went as far as the Prime Minister being forced to make comments about it on a recent trip to India. I just don't get how people can "forget" they're on tv and act like such morons. Serious grovelling has ensued now as she was voted out last Friday.

This past weekend Rich and I finally bought a tv. You might be thinking "what?!?" Relax. We did have an aerial thingy that gave us 5 channels. More then enough most often. We just rent movies and tv series instead. Also, we download North American shows, as well as my Young & the Restless so I can catch up from time to time. It's not all bad. but Rich was whining as the "TV" is also his computer and we were bickering over it more often then not. I think we'll break down and buy a digital box soon as well.

I've enrolled in University to finish my degree by distance learning from a Canadian school, Athabasca University. I'm hoping I'll complete my Bachelor of Management before I'm 30! lol Seriously though, I'm taking my time as between work and other activities I don't want to burn out.

Work is going well at the moment, I've been really busy. We're all just waiting at the moment as they're doing a massive corporate shuffle and departments are getting merged and changed up. They've just expanded to Australia and have opened a new buying office in Hong Kong. I'm still on contract at the moment but my manager has already said to me that they will approach me with a job offer soon. At least my newly tuned negotiation skills will come in handy for that!

I don't have any pics this week. I just realized today it had been awhile since I had blogged so I thought It better to do it while I was motivated rather then wait!

Posted by ashleym66 15:08 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Welcome 2007

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Well it's a brand new year and I'm living in a new country. I think 2007 will be a good one. This past year of 2006 has been a crazy one for me. I've been put so far outside my comfort zone I didn't even know which way was up. I think after almost 10 months of living here in England, I'm just now starting to get comfortable.

Since I arrived in England we've both been so busy settling into our flat, starting new jobs, and getting use to living together. We haven't had alot of time to explore. We've pledged that 2007 will be a travel year and we're going to experience as much as we can. We have to take advantage of our 5 weeks of holidays!

Speaking of such, we've just booked a holiday in April for a week. We're going to Amsterdam and then Brussels in Belgium for a couple days. Sooo excited! It's great because we can fly out of Southampton, thus reducing costs and time to travel to London to fly out.

New Years was a great night. We went round Richard's mates house, Alun. He made some vodka jelly (or as we say and I kept getting corrected, Jell-O) and we played funny drinking games and had a laugh. At the end of the night Rich and I dragged ourselves home and I ended up in bed all day New Years day with a massive hangover. I'm such a light weight now!

Here are some pics from New Years.

James, Alun, Kevin & Adam
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Ian & Richard

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Who's got the lowest number?

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Me..making another drink..

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Kevin & Alice

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This week Rich and I had an anniversary. Neither of us are that big on celebrating anything other then yearly anniversaries...but figured 1 1/2 years together was pretty cool. We've now been together here longer then we did the long distance thing. Worth celebrating. Rich got me some lovely flowers and surprised me when I got home that night.

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Posted by ashleym66 12:47 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Christmas in England

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Merry Christmas everyone! I just wanted to post some pics of our Christmas. It was a little quiet I guess because I'm use to a house full of people on Christmas eve and then a lazy day eating with my family on xmas day. This year we just relaxed and watched movies, slept late and slaved over a hot stove. You know your getting older when the first thing you think about when you wake up xmas morn is stuffing the bird and getting it in the oven!

My first turkey..turned out perfect!

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Our TINY tree...

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Our Christmas shrine instead...lol

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We had a big Canadian breakfast on xmas eve morning as I knew there would be no time or room in the kitchen the next day. One thing I will never get used to over here is the traditional English breakfast. Oh yum, beans and black pudding with eggs. Blech. I made pancakes, sausages and bacon with maple syrup. Now that's proper.

I was a little home sick on christmas eve, felt really restless and bored. Richard kept me busy by letting me pick the movies and actually watching them with me! (you knew he was being nice!)

It was weird not to have snow on xmas morning but from what I hear there wasn't any at home anyways!

My mom spoiled us by sending us stockings and new pajamas which is our family tradition. Richard, bless him, would probably buy me toothpaste and oranges for my stocking. My mom has the job for many more years to come!

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He bought me a beautiful present though, a white gold locket in the shape of a tear drop. It's so beautiful I haven't taken it off since I opened it. (It helps when you walk around the mall to point things out that you like...tee hee)

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Richard was a happy bunny with the Wok I gave him. He just used it tonight to cook what else, Turkey curry lol. We have enough turkey to eat it for weeks.

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All in all it was a good christmas. We were back to work today which was a downer. It was quiet and I got alot of work done that had been piled on my desk so it turned out to be a good thing.

New Years eve is coming up this weekend. Richard's friend from work is having a big party so we're heading over there for the evening.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful new Year!

xxx

Posted by ashleym66 11:39 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

An English Wedding

overcast 7 °C

Last weekend Richard and I went to the wedding of his former housemates Jodie and James. He lived with james for 2 years and then when James went into the Navy, jodie moved in. I lived there for 3 months with Jodie as well before we all moved out.

They had the wedding in the Midlands about 2 hours or so north of Southampton, in a town called Droitwich. Brommie town! The hotel we stayed at was in Bromsgrove and the accent is quite distinct in that area.

James is a naval officer now and he's doing his pilot training. Jodie just finished her nursing degree and she's also a navy girl, she was part of the Southampton navy reserves. Needless to say there were quite alot of men in uniform at this wedding!

We went up on the Saturday with Rich's friend Rachel and her boyfriend Lee who are both doctors. Rachel just qualified a few days after the wedding, good job! This was all quite good since I got quite sick at the wedding, (not from alcohol!) but from a needling cold that came to full force.

The wedding was really beautiful, small and elegant and held at a refurbished barn. Ya totally not the same thing as my canadian readers are thinking right now. Refurbished barn over here is a liveable place! It was a gorgous old building and had some really beautiful antique features. Of course there were still cows in the fields behind! This was the country after all.

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See, cows right off the parking area!

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On the way to the wedding we had a star sighting. We walked past Amy Winehouse in the motorway stop (An english singer), and a bedraggled looking one at that.

We had to leave the reception fairly early due to it being a Sunday, a 2-hour commute home and we all had to work the next day. I was glad to see my bed since I was in such a bad way. I ended up staying in bed for 2 days straight, couldn't make it into work. I watched 3 seasons of sex in the city and ran Rich ragged making food and getting medication. Nice little mini-vacation!

Work is going well. It's been pretty manic since I got back from holidays. Can't be a bad thing I guess!

On a sad note, I got some bad news last week. One of my good friend's had a rough time as her father passed away the week I came back from Canada. My heart goes out to her and her husband and her mom. He was a great person and will be missed. She's proving to be a trooper though and is holding up strong. Things like this always make my distance seem so much greater.

The holidays are upon us shortly. I have mixed emotions as this is my first time away from home for the season. I already am feeling sad as I will miss being at my mom's for Christmas morning and her yummy turkey dinner.

We don't really have plans yet as I think we'll just stay close to home and relax. We plan to make ourselves a christmas feast and maybe I will coerce Rich into going ice skating. (He's never been on skates - - - oh the joy!)

Happy holidays to everyone!'

Posted by ashleym66 12:40 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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