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Confessions of a Shopaholic

I have been shopping.

BIG TIME.

For the last 5 days in New York. Have also seen some great shows - the Little Mermaid, In the Heights and Will Ferrel's "You're welcome America" on George Bush which was brilliant.

Have wandered around, dosed up on cold and flu and kept going as much as possible! The weather's been pretty good but I'm tired of feeling cold! Plus I don't think my bank account can take much more of this!

Arwen

Vienna tomorrow!

Hi!

Went exploring round Prague today, saw some sights, did some shopping, limped back to the hotel. Learned that bandage in Czech is "obvas" :P

We head to Vienna tomorrow - I'm looking forward to it!

In Prague

Okay, so I've been lax on the posting, but the UK tour was so amazing that I just didn't have time. I have time here in Prague - nuff said :)

Berlin was amazing - not a pretty city but it has such an amazing vibe - I love it! Did an alternative tour of Berlin which focused on the underground culture, graffiti and artist squats. It was really interesting and I saw some cool places. Did some shopping, especially after all that trudging through the snow DESTROYED my boots - I was squelching for the last hour! The snow is heavy and I even got to slide down a snowbank - funfunfun.

The shopping was great in Berlin and so cheap - I could have bought so much!

Did a few walking tours, saw all the Nazi, Berlin Wall and Graffiti-type sites which was really interesting - will post the photos when I get the chance. Prague was minus 9 today which made the walking tour something of an endurance test, especially when it started dandruffing on us! The palace and church here are beautiful though. Went to the communist museum today which was interesting too, although ironically housed between a Maccas and a casino!

Went to a bar last night called the Beer Factory, where you have beer taps on the table and your pour your own - they put a tally on the wall of which table has drunk the most - we won :P

Have hurt my ankle - one too many slips on the ice, so resting up tonight as pushed it too far walking today and can barely bend it! :( Am starting to look forward to returning to the heat and sunshine...

So I suck at posting...

I've done so much in the last week and a half that my head explodes at the thought of typing it all out right now. Suffice to say I had an awesome week - Hogmanay in Edinburgh ROCKED, I went sledding and had a snowball fight,got drunk in the Cavern Club in Liverpool (and lost my scarf there), saw "Nessie" at Loch Ness, witnessed a fake marriage at Gretna Green and went to Oxford and Wales.

Tomorrow I'm going to London and probly seeing Wicked again for the third time in a year :P and then I fly to Berlin to start my next tour. I'm keeping a faithful diary and have posted my pics on Facebook - the rest will have to wait!

Love to all, Yols, hope you had an awesome birthday and I'll update in more detail if I can be arsed in the futured, otherwise you'll all just have to come to my eventual slide night :P

xx

Merry Christmas all!

So, spent much of the last few days at the Woolgers having Christmas Eve drinks, Christmas lunch and Boxing Day lunch - so much foooood.....! It was awesome though. Got to meet Gem and Meeg's boyfriends who are just lovely, and went shooting at Gem's bf's family's farm yesterday. I actually managed to hit 3 out of 8 clay pigeons!

Am now packing last minute for my trip round Scotland - I head down to London today to begin it tomorrow.

La'ers!

I just keep on falling...

I've had a fairly lazy week this week...

Monday I headed into London - originally with Mel but then hung around at the station the five minutes they insist I wait before they would sell me an off-peak ticket. I then went to meet her at her office which was just up Regent St from Oxford Circus. Easy, right?

Wrong.

I went waaaay down Regent St in the wrong direction. Along the way I got to see Hamleys - the big toy store which had a ringleader out the front welcoming in the punters and a giant double decker bus inside. I also checked out Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and Ted Baker, saw the new National Geographic flagship store and got hit on by a charity worker in the street (why does this always happen when I'm in London? Is it the accent?)

When I hit Piccadilly Circus I knew I'd gone too far, so after some txting with Mel I worked out where I went wrong and headed back up to meet her and drop off my by now extremely heavy bags.

Shoulders aching from the backpack of heaviness, I headed to Covent Garden to check out the Apple Market and David & Goliath, and general shopping around.

I ended up caving at Ted Baker and bought a bag and belt, both of which are awesome - just fell in love with them, and as they were having 20% off everything that day on a special, they were as horrendously priced as they could have been...

Headed back to collect my stuff about 4 and went to Paddington to catch my train. While there I stopped to drop off my first bookcrossing book - left it with the Paddington Bear statue and indulged my chai latte addiction at Starbucks.

This last proved foolish as I then missed my train, seeing it pull out as I got to the platform, and spilled chai on myself while trying to retrieve my ticket from my pocket. I then found out when/where the next train was leaving (which was now off-peak so I could have paid a lot less for my ticket...) and headed over to the platform.

The train pulled in, I got on, and as it was leaving, I realised it was leaving way too early - wrong train, awesome. I established from the nice old gent opposite me that I could changed at Reading. (He was pretending to work on his laptop but I could distinctly hear the sounds of games emanating from it...)

At Reading I managed to change without toooo much of a wait, and made it to Hungerford only 45 minutes after I'd originally planned. I rang home to see if someone could pick me up only to find there was no car there. Mid-convo my phone died, it's battery finally giving up on me, so I headed to the high street to look at the bus schedule and find a payphone. Found that, luckily, the three-hourly bus was leaving in only 20 mins, tried to ring home to let them know I was catching it but it failed to connect. I figured I'd be home before Ian anyway, so caught it.

Walked up the street in Ramsbury from the bus stop, passing what I later found out was Carole doing the Lions collecting (passed Santa looking very cold in his sleigh)and walked in to find the family mobilising. Ian had just arrived home and they were preparing to go searching for me, figuring I'd be looking for a payphone.

Amy, Meegan and I then went to the Woolgers' to house/dogsit. We watched the end of Stardust on Sky then watched a film with Sienna Miller and Kiera Knightly about their relationships with Dylan Thomas - brilliant film. Wish I could remember the name of it...

Got up about 10 and walked Beluga and Gordon with Amy, then we headed home briefly then out to Swindon to do some shopping. Stocked up on cheap tights and socks at Primark and even found myself some £8 skinny jeans so that I finally have jeans I can wear tucked into the boots and actually have a hope of staying semi-dry. More shopping ensued, and then we got Cornish pasties from the Cornish Bakehouse and headed out to Marlborough where we picked up a gilet for Carole as it was her birthday.

Ran into Will while we were there so went to the Castle & Bull for coffees (which he kindly scammed for us from his mate who was working there) and met Carole. That night we had dinner (and the cakes we picked up for Carole at Waitrose) and went through the ritual of hiding her presents and giving her clues to find them (a Walker tradition). We then went to an advent carol service in Lyenham (magnificent old church which was apparently used to film a scene in Sense and Sensibility).

I then stayed up waaaay too late that night trying to do the damn wasjig Amy got out. This, for the record, is a cool jigsaw which gives you a picture, then the puzzle is of what one of the characters in it is seeing. Gives you clues but then you have to work out the picture yourself.

Wednesday was largely devoted to the wasjig and watching Disney channel, which Amy mocked me for. In the afternoon I went for a walk with Carol about 3.45. I mention the time as it starts getting dark around 4 at the moment.

We headed on up into the muddy field and down a track in the woods. Then Carole got lost, not sure where to go from there. We came out into another field, crossed it to find another, then another. By this time the sun was well and truly setting and civilisation was nowhere in sight. I, of course, had left my mobile at home, so we were on our own. I was navigating by the direction of the sunset as we climbed through thickets and barbed wire fences. Could see a village in the distance at the bottom of the hill and at this point didn't care if it was the right village - just wanted a road and lights before it got too dark to see.

Made our way down the hill, through more woods and fences (luckily spotted the electrified fences) and through a farm. Came out to find it was indeed Ramsbury and made it home a mere two hours after setting out. Am hating the wellies right now though as I have a bruised toe on one foot and a blister on the heel of the other.

That night we got a visit from a genuine peddlar, a victim of the recession and now self-employed who of course Carole invited in. I then watched the Royal Variety performance and worked on the wasjig some more.

Yesterday I addressed Christmas cards for Ian's work contacts, went to Wantage with Carole to collect the last of the personal items from the Peugeot as it's being scrapped following Amy's accident, grabbed lunch and did the recycling in Marlborough then headed to the place Gemma is housesitting to feed and walk their horse-like dogs.

Again, it was dark by this point, and as I was walking down the dark driveway I stepped half in a pothole and crashed to the ground quite spectacularly. Sprained my ankle mildly which meant I couldn't do the Lions doorknocking with Carole last night - I felt really bad about that.

But I did enjoy my soak in the bath in the warm instead...

Today went to help out at the Jubilee Centre with Amy - set up the projector and helped a few of the olds get about, but didn't really do too much. Tonight is Ian's birthday, so I'm guessing we'll probably hit the pub...

Overrun by Mad Skating Santas

Okay, slight change of plan today - hit the Christmas markets. There was a German Christmas market on the south bank of the Thames today, with lots of cool stuff and foods for sale. `Had a krakauer (cheese sausage) and a German sweet dumpling with had cherry sauce in it and was covered in custard and cinnamon - can't remember the name of it but it was awesome.

Also went to the Winter Wonderland, named for the 17th century festival they used to have on the Thames when it froze over. To get there, we walked from the south bank past Westminster, Buckingham Palace and Hyde, Green and St James parks. Along the way we encountered a large crowd of skating Santas, reindeer and elves, some of which were rather disturbing...

The Wonderland had similar stalls, more food like Dutch pancakes and waffles and we stopped for some hot chocolate and egg nog as we were pretty cold by this point.

From there we walked up to the Serpentine to check out a modern Indian art exhibition and then walked down to the V&A Museum. There the group went for coffees and I went for a wander through the galleries - highlights were some Rodin statues, a recreation of Trajan's Column and some gorgeous Art Nouveau furniture.

By the time I was done there it was long since dark, so headed back home. Am currently chilling on the couch watching Sky and wasting time on Facebook :P
And it just took me 3 goes to get the letters of London in the right order...yeah, I'm with it. Also wrote year first, not yeah...

I'm spending the weekend with Carmela and Tony. Thursday night I discovered I still can't escape tupperwareness even halfway across the globe as Carole had a "pampered chef" night - it was kinda fun though, and Amy and I perfected the art of making mulled wine for it, even when we had to switch from Jacob's Creek to generic SA woodsy wine. After nearly cancelling it because Carole worried no one would come, we had a great turnout and a good night, and they even scored some free stuff from the sales.

That day I went to Hungerford with Gemma for the Christmas Fair and had a wander around the shops while I was there. Gemma was working it so when I got bored I headed back on the bus. Went for a walk around and did try to scope out a running route but between ice and mud it seems a fairly suicidal option around the area... what to do... at the moment, nothing...

Caught a lift into London with Jarvis on Friday. When I got it, couldn't decide what to do. I mean, I did a lot of the touristy things in Jan and it was freezing, so didn't really want to be wandering around out in the cold too long... noted that on the nearest underground line when I got to Waterloo from dropping my stuff at the di Prinzios' house I could get straight to Bond St. Shopping it is - the fates decided...

Spent most of the day in Debenhams and House of Fraser, and already bought a bunch of clothes. Awesome clothes...

Met Carmela for lunch at Starbucks and then met up with her again when she got off work. Met Calvin, her partner, and went for drinks in Carnaby St with them and Calvin's friends Ross (SO much fun in a Julian Clary kinda way) and Emily. Got fairly drunk as had little to eat or drink all day. Oh, and you'll be delighted to know I continued with my tradition of dumping wine all over near strangers - gestured and knocked my glass of rose alllll over Calvin...

Met up with Tony for dinner a bit later - had Italian at Sergios. It was pretty awesome and all the bread and lasagna soaked up a lot of the alcohol, although the limoncello kinda undid that a bit. We had this grumpy old Italian guy serving us who would randomly wander up to us and look disapproving in between throwing down tablecloths and plates on cleared tables.

After dinner we went to Salvidor and Amanda's, a cool Spanish bar with a Dali theme. It was downstairs with framed screens showing Dali's work and bullfighting posters, and lots of old wooden furniture. There we met a bunch of their friends for drinks. Hung out and chatted a while and mocked the guys group dancing in the gazebo, then Mel eventually took pity on me and escorted me home as I was literally falling asleep - damn jetlag!!!

Today slept in for aggggeeees as it is pouring with rain and windy. In fact, completely failed to leave the house today. Just sent Mel and Calvin out for food while I lazed in front of the tv - bad!

Hopefully the worst of this weather will have blown itself out by tomorrow morning so we can hit the markets... Camden and Covent and Spitalfield - oh my!

Well, I'm in jolly ol' England

and it's freakin miserable weather...

Got in yesterday morning at stoopid o'clock and came back to Wiltshire via Weighbridge so Ian could check on a job he's been working on. It's particularly cool this winter (yesterday was a balmy 2 degrees...) and recession has everyone pretty miserable around here. Still, it means the sales are good as they try to attract the Christmas shoppers :P It's still so cold now at 11 in the morning that there is still ice on the roads...still, fingers crossed for a white Christmas!

Went into Marlborough with Amy yesterday to do some shopping - or at least cruise the new shops in the High Street and stock up on cold and flu stuff as I seem to have picked up some kind of dreaded throat lurgy just prior to leaving the country. There are some funky new shops there that I will have to explore more thoroughly when I have more time. Amy was getting her hair cut, so I met her and Carole in the hairdressers where we sipped mulled wine while they cut her hair. Cruise some shops afterward then picked up the ingredients to make our own mulled wine that night - love the stuff!

As for the flight, well, I don't know why I ever let Jared talk me into flying Royal Brunei again - the lack of alcohol on their flights makes the crap service that much harder to bear. Don't freakin wake me up to give me a freakin hot towel and then get cranky when I now want a glass of water! The first leg the plane was so old it didn't have individual screens or adjustable headrests - I watched our one movie - Journey to the Centre of the Earth (which was fairly lame) and a doco on the history of the aluminum [sic] can. Truly thrilling. All this and I had finished my novel long before the 5 hour wait was over at Brunei airport; the world's smallest and dingiest airports - makes Joburg look like paradise. Got molested by a security official in Dubai when they made us get off the plane for precisely 20 minutes while they refeulled - just enough time to get out, get the most disturbingly thorough patting down for potential weapons I've ever, be forced to remove all belts and shoes, wander downstairs and get straight back on the plane into our old seats. So pointless.

Still, I'm here now and the weather isn't getting to me as much as the locals as I haven't had to put up with it as long as they have. Was very jetlagged yesterday - I did sleep a bit on the flight, but kept getting woken up. I managed to watch the Mummy 3, Ghost Town and Wall-E, as well as most of Swing Vote before they switched it off half an hour before the end of our flight, forcing me to miss the ending - good one...

Crashed pretty early last night around 9 after trying to nap in the afternoon but getting woken up by familiy (probly just as well) and struggling to stay awake through dinner - the wine probably didn't help either... Am going shopping with Carole today and we have some kind of Tupperware-like party tomorrow night with these pots and pans which is like a big dinner party. Then I'm planning to head down to London for the weekend on Friday with Jarv in order to catch up with Carmela and Tony - should be fun.

Hope everyone is well and having fun, and that summer will eventually arrive!

Liked this Meme

Put your MP3 player thingy on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty five songs. Post the poem that results.

This is a song for Carol
Here I am
King Kong in Cannes
Little sister why do you walk alone
Well we don't need no one to tell us what to do
It's 12 o'clock and it's a wonderful day
Don't ask me what you know is true
Sometimes I feel so alone
Welcome to feeling
Oh my love, please don't cry
You may notice certain things before you die
The mountain is high, the valley is low
I want to break free
What I've got you've got to give it to your mama
Felt someone calling me into the howling of the wind
My insides all turn to ash
Oh my, oh my God, in my mind they got us singing suicide
When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah, tala
We're playing those mind games together
Just the two of us
I met her at the Sailor's Arms
That's the one
Your gun went off - you shot off your mouth and look where it got you
I'll tell you anything but not the truth
Everything is open; nothing is set in stone