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All over

February 5, 2011

We’ve had enough and have left England. It was fun. Thanks for the memories. More importantly thanks to everyone who commented on our posts. To those who weren’t so keen on our views – you have won and we have gone back home to Sydney. Look out though because we might come back for the Olympics.

Hummingbird Bakery

January 6, 2011

Sorry Martin but Hummingbird Bakery’s cupcakes are weirdly the best in the world. They are extremely tasty, popular and expensive cups of joy. Packaged in pink boxes and served to you by overly happy staff, Hummingbird’s cupcakes and cakes are fantastic. Unfortunately most of the stores are too small to sit and enjoy your sweets so takeaway is the best option. I’m not sure if they are trying to provide a truly American experience but avoid the coffee.

Stores are in South Kensington, Notting Hill and now Soho. Check them out here.

Fishing in tiny ponds

January 5, 2011

clapham fishing

Sorry Martin but what is with the English fishing in tiny ponds? We lived near Clapham Common and often see people fishing in very small ponds. Do they catch any fish? We’ve never seen any. Lambeth council permit fishing in this pond for some reason but Hounslow council ban it on Feltham Pond. Despite a big sign saying ‘No Fishing’ it doesn’t stop the Feltham chavs dropping a line and swinging back a few Fosters.

Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather people fish than loiter, sell drugs, graffiti or sit on the bus playing loud music from their mobile. It just seems a very strange hobby especially given the caught fish would probably be smaller than this blog post.

Daylight Hours

May 27, 2010

Sorry Martin but the daylight hours in England are simply fantastic. London’s sunrise on June 21 will be 4:42 a.m. and the sun will set at 9:20 p.m.

You can finish your work day and then, weather permitting, enjoy a light evening. Some offices (not mine!) offer ‘summer hours’ which means that everyone finishes work at 12pm on a Friday between May and September in order to benefit from the extra leisure or family time.

The flip side is that during winter it’s quote common to commute in darkness.

The Observer reported in March that both Labour and the Tories were considering including in their election manifestos a plan to move British clocks permanently forward by one hour. Britain would move between GMT+1 for winter and GMT+2 for summer. Sounds great to me. Wonder where this now sits with the Coalition Government? Probably not that high on the to-do list.

Gutted

April 29, 2010

Sorry Martin but the use of the word gutted is weird. I thought it was used to described a destroyed building but it can also be used to suggest extreme disappointment. When/if England gets knocked out of the World Cup in June, most English people will be ‘gutted’. If you just miss the train to work and miss morning tea you are ‘gutted’. If you miss out on the dream job or the last Scotch Egg you are ‘gutted’. When the volcano erupts and you miss your flight home or realise that Ant and Deck will probably be on TV forever, you are ‘gutted’.

Could you BEE more cliched?

April 10, 2010

As an Australian, you come to London and people say things such as: ‘oh you’re from the land of things that can seriously f*** you up.’ I always play up to this. ALWAYS! ‘I’ve been catching spiders since I was five,’ I’ll brag. Although that statement is true. It’s what you get for having a mum and two baby brothers who are arachnophobic pussies (sorry Tom and Jack – I know you’re big, muscled things now so please don’t hurt me). I also did my first dive in a shark tank when I was 20 which is also something you can impress Brits with. But the truth is, as a Sydneysider, I really don’t come in to contact with anything that could kill me. Unlike here, where in Summer I feel scared out of my mind about those bees. For people who haven’t come to UK, the bees here are like something out of a 1940s Japanese Horror film. They’re big and nasty and they make a beeline for you if you have anything remotely sweet. I’ve had one fly straight into my diet coke – yes, it was diet, the bees here don’t even mind sugar free – sweetner will do.

Now let’s have a think, how many people per year would be injured by a bee sting (due to allergies or otherwise) vs the amount of Aussies who have been injured by a shark, spider or snake? I’ve got no mathematical proof about any of this of course but I wouldn’t been surprised if they’re are more bee-related injuries than Aussie shark/spider ones. Those bees are relentless little buggers and they’ve got an advantage over our dangerous Australian wildlife – wings.

The Tube’s Thought of the Day

March 21, 2010

Sorry Martin but the tube’s ‘Thought of the Days’ is fantastically weird. For those who haven’t seen them, as you pass through the ticket (oyster) gates at some tube stations you will see a white board (as above) with a thought of the day. Quite often it’s a quote from a notable thinker. The photo above was taken at Oval station which has a bit of a ‘Thought of the day’ reputation.

In my ignorance and snobbery I always thought people who worked in public transport were…hmm..how do I say this without getting a thousand negative comments? On another tac, I didn’t think people who worked at tube stations would put notes like this on signs (that are usually reserved for service updates). I love that someone at Oval tube wants to express themselves via quotes of notable others. Getting the tube can be such a tiresome experience but coming across these glimpses of insight help you take a step back from your mindless obsession with getting a seat or getting to the right tube exit. They give London living some perspective. Hats off to the TFL.

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