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Chris's Adventure to France and beyond

The Adventure continues: after France Mk 1, Moscow, the train trip across Siberia, and 6 relaxing, and also busy, weeks in Mongolia I've returned to France in the hope of finding work as a WWOOFer!! That is a Willing Worker On an Organic Farm, though I think in this day and age of illegal workers and free trade, it now stands for WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms... much more politically correct!
Read on for more...
PS:My travelling companion, and your intrepid travel correspondent, Tiny, has returned to France as well. See what he's been up to already.

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Location: Paris, France

Paris again and it's fantastic, as ever.

Plenty of photos to check out. Seems the photos are telling more about my adventures that me directly.

Hope you enjoy Christmas - I'll be celebrating at Rouen north of Paris and then NYE in Paris with Australian friends, Nik and Simone.

Keep well, look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, 17 October 2005

Hello. A quick entry to say: check out my latest photos. Some pretty crazy times in the last 6 weeks or so. That'll continue this week too when I leave Cambria and fly to Moscow from Marseille on Friday morning. Then it's the train trip that puts all others to shame. From Moscow to Ulan Baatar. More than four days on the train. Can't wait.

Will update you on the regattas once I arrive in Mongolia. Suffice to say it was hard work, hard partying, and a helluva lot of fun. I was thinking that when I return I might just drop into the Royal Yacht Club in Rushcutters Bay to see if any yachts need crew.

Leave me a message in the box on the right of screen or email me on yahoo, I'd love to hear your news.

Thursday, 08 September 2005

Location: Cannes, France

Bonjour, Buongiorno and G'day,
Back from a month away in Italian waters. Photos are uploaded. Off to Monaco tomorrow to finalise preparations for our first regatta. Then it's straight down to Corsica for about 5 days to host relatives of the owner then back to Cannes for Les Régates Royales and then St Tropez for the big one: Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. Exciting, daunting, hectic, tiring, but hopefully very satisfying and without doubt very memorable. THEN... Moscow and Mongolia! Travelling again... can't wait.
Stay tuned for more regular photo uploads - i promise. ;-)

Wednesday, 03 August 2005

Location: Cannes, France

Again it's been a while - so much for making this journal a once-a -fortnight thing! And our special overseas envoy and man on the ground, Tiny, hasn't been heard from for a while. No doubt he's down on Boulevard de la Croisette in Cannes sipping champagne, clubbing with hot young things and getting about in a red Ferrari. Red Ferraris (as well as yellow, white, and black too) are dime a dozen in Cannes alongwith big Bentleys, massive Mercs, poncey Porsches, and that good old French favourite, the Citroen 2CV.

So I'm off out of Cannes on the yacht tomorrow, heading for Sicily to collect the owner and his family for their annual summer holiday. Should be interesting. Hard work I expect but fun all the same. Looks like we'll even do a crew cruise on the return journey. That is, we'll take our time to get back to Cannes from Sicily stopping at bays or ports in (hopefully) Sardinia or Corsica. We'll make it up as we go... though I've no idea at all where it would be good to sail to! Though I've heard that Isla de la Gomera in the Canary Islands is pretty good this time of year. Hola Lozza, GG, Clarice. Como estas, chicas?!

I've been doing a bit of jogging/walking of a morning checking out Cannes and hoping to gain some fitness. When gourmet lunches and dinners are prepared for you it's kinda hard to resist not trying everything! And here's me thinking when I left Australia that when you travel you're supposed to lose weight! Ha - no fear of that, for the moment at least. When I actually go travelling again it'll be a different story.

Speaking of which I've almost finalised the purchase of one one-way ticket on the TransMongolian Express from Moscow to Ulan Baatar (capital of Mongolia)! Once the yacht season finishes in the Mediterranean in October I'll help deliver Cambria back to La Ciotat so she can finally have her new mast fitted and then leave the boat, my 'contract' finished. Planning to fly out of Marseille to Moscow, spend the weekend checking out Moscow, then take the train - non-stop for 4 days, 5 hours, 3 minutes - across Russia and into Mongolia. There I'll get to see Jojo for the first time since departing Australia in April - cannot wait for that!
So it should be great - more adventure awaits. I'll return to Europe for more travel - Spain, Portugal - depending on funds and more work - France - depending on funds. Which of the two comes first I'll work out during the return flight!

So I'll be back on planetranger in early September to regale you with tales of life on the high seas. Drop me a line in the meantime to update me with your news. Hope you're well.

Saturday, 25 June 2005

Location: La Ciotat, France

It's been a while but it's worth the wait. Plenty to tell...
As mentioned in the previous entry I went for a job on Cambria and as you see in the photos I got the job. Been with the boat just over a month and I 'll continue til mid Oct when the season in the Med finishes and the boats go their separate ways: some into the dry dock for maintenance, some to other parts of the Med and others still to cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean to pick up charters and race in regattas.
Cambria's been in the shipyard for about 3 months now and the plan was to have a new mast fitted, alongwith several other quite major upgrades including fitting 2 new winches worth 27000 Euros each (!) and important work in the engine room. However with delays in the delivery of the spruce to make the mast and the shipyard workshop also falling behind schedule we've had to put the old mast back in to be ready for the owner's annual family cruising in August and the regatta season during September/October. Cambria will return to La Ciotat in late Oct to have the new mast fitted. The mast is 47 metres long and the current (old) mast has a 15 metre carbon section at the top. This handicaps the boat in regattas. So the new mast will be all wood to remove the handicap and to return the boat to its full glory of a wooden Classic. Apparently the boating industry has been keen for this to happen as they appreciate that Cambria is one of the best - if not the best - boat sailing. I hear these anecdotes of other Classic boat owners saying their own boat is beautiful but never as beautiful as Cambria. And here's me, a bloke who's done maybe 5 days of windsurfing in his life (with many more days to come I assure you) plus a couple of days on a hobie cat with his uncle and cousin on summer holidays (in the 1980s!!) working as a deckhand/ steward on THIS yacht!! Someone wake me up, this can't be real!!!
So... what have I actually been doing as part of the Cambria crew?
When I started the boat had been lifted out of the water and was 'on the dry' (see photos). That first week was filled with preparing for painting the hull: lots of sanding of the hull with wet and dry sandpaper and scotch brite, taping up certain sections of the hull, wiping over with acetone, wiping over with tack (sticky) cloths to remove specks of dust. Finally the paint day arrived... we started at 5:30 doing a final wipe down with the tack cloth before Chris (Captain) and Hamish (First Mate) painted. They were finished by 11:30.
Then it was on to sanding the teak deck. I used a palm sander, and hand blocks to sand around all the fittings before Rob (temporary) came along with the belt sander and sanded the main 'open' areas of the deck. Needless to say this was slow, hot, dusty, noisy work. Gave me plenty of time to think. Sometimes I'd break out song from the Les Miserables musical... I think it was mainly Empty Chairs At Empty Tables and Red And Black!!
As steward I'm responsible for all drinks on board: alcoholic, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Sara (Chef) and I go grocery shopping at this football oval-sized supermarket-cum-department store. I load one trolley full of beverages - rosé by the carton, soft drinks by the dozen, and bottles and bottles and bottles of bottled water. Comes to about 120 Euros (200 Aussie dollars) for the weekly drinks shop alone!
Cambria was returned to the water on 8 june, and even though she's mastless it's a pretty special sight. We motored from one side of the shipyard to moor at another dock. Did a big clean of the living/sleeping quarters. I also started tidying the lazarette, the hold in the stern of the boat where tools, cleaning products, spare parts, and a small work bench are stored. It's cramped, especially for a 6'1'' tall person, and airless and hot. Sounds terrible I know but I enjoyed knowing where everything was kept. Was that obsessive compulsive that I heard you just say??!!
In the last couple of weeks I've been helping put the various parts of the mast back together. This includes the 'spreader bars' which tension and spread (funny that) the thick steel rods that stay the mast. We've had to clean all the very sharp threads of the fittings before putting them together as you can't have grit inside the thread. So now that that's done we can cool our heels for a couple of days and complete other jobs: yesterday (Friday 24) I helped Sam (Engineer) move the old boat batteries out of the bilge and then carry in the new ones. Now let me just relate how taxing moving these batteries was: think of the heaviest thing you've ever had to lift... might be a piece of furniture, might be the weights at the gym, might be a bale of hay (go Mum and Dad!), it might even be a heavy battery. But now multiply that by at least 10 and now we're getting the picture! It wasn't just how bloody heavy they were, it was the course we had to negotiate to get them to their final place. To transport the new ones it went thus: From truck tray to side of the dock then along the makeshift gangway (the 'diving board' as we call it) down onto the deck then down the narrow, steep stairway into the saloon and I was going backwards all the way! After doing this 12 times I was redder than a beetroot, puffing as if I'd run a marathon, and sweating gallons. But you know it was sure as hell satisfying once it was done.

I realise this entry has been very work specific. There have been plenty of great nights out over the past month - you'd expect nothing less fom yours truly - the best of which would be the Wednesday night at the La Ciotat yacht club, 'Sur les Quais', which is Salsa night. The young, hip and happening Ciotadens strut their stuff like you wouldn't believe. They are really good and know certain routines for certain tunes. I drank a suitable quantity of drinks before getting up to be part of the dancefloorful of people mimicing the moves of several grooving guys on stage. Very cool.

I'm going windsurfing again tomorrow, first time was last Sunday. the wind has been light so I've been taking it fairly steadily. Loving it though and I hope the Mistral's blowing tomorrow so i can get up a good few knots.

Oh yeah I almost forgot - the wedding. Estelle, whom Lippo met and who stayed with us in Redfern for a month last year, invited me to her good friend's wedding where Estelle was bridesmaid.
I'll let the photos speak for themselves. It was a great day and night.

Friday, 13 May 2005

Location: Antibes, France

On the job front I went to La Ciotat, between Marseille and Toulon, on Tuesday for an interview/ trial with Cambria, a big racing sail boat. It was built in 1928 and was one of the original America's Cup yachts, competing throughout the 1930s. My job would be as deckhand and steward, looking after the drinks and food service as well as basic cleaning. Also I'd be on deck actually helping to sail the boat - a new experience for me that's for sure. I find out if I have it today (Fri).

Been staying in a cool apartment with some good flatties - mostly Aussies, but also a pom and now a kiwi. Couple of weekends ago it was a funny (Sunday) night out - we were rockin to AC/DC in the bar where we were drinking. I'll post photos soon -don't have camera on me.

Finished Anthony Kiedis' autobiography: he's searingly honest about his 'indiscretions' and the terrible way he's treated people around him, least of all himself. A messed up bloke, no doubt. Though, seemingly, coming to grips with it nowadays. Cool to find out about the names/ lyrics in some of the songs. Under the Bridge is all about being lonely and having Los Angeles as the only friend in his life as well as about scoring heroin 'under the bridge, where I drew some blood'. In 'Give it Away' he sings something like: "Now there is good man called river, he'll make you shiver, come on everybody time to deliver.... Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away now." This refers to River Phoenix, who OD'd outside the Viper Room (club in LA), and was one of Anthony's and Flea's good friends.
Now reading The Da Vinci Code. Something of a change in style you might say! Bit formulaic in style, though very readable and it rolls along at a good pace. At times Dan Brown tends to show off his knowledge and research by throwing in an aside about, for example, "how modern card players would react if they knew that the four suits related to the Tarot card game, with its roots in pagan goddess worship"!!! Spare me.

Been keeping tabs on the news at home. Go the Waratahs! Top of the Super 12 table! The final is being telecast in a pub here - at god knows what hour of the day or night - but if I'm free I'm going to try and get to it. So it looks as if Schapelle Corby will be staying behind those Bali bars. Gotta feel for the girl - I can only imagine how I'd be if something like that happened to me. And it serves as a reminder that as a visitor to a country one is subject to that country's laws. There're a few Anglos in Antibes who think they're still at home, carrying on like idiots. And here's me thinking that travel was sposed to open the mind and bring an acceptance of other cultures and people!

Not much planned for weekend - quiet one in fact. Hope you enjoy your weekend, wherever you're reading this.
Au revoir. A la prochaine.

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Recent Messages

From chloe
hia every one does any one know how long it would take to get across siberia on a train??

many thanks xxx
Response: Hi Chloe,
Check this website:
Excellent info on all sorts of train trips including Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian, which is the one I took. Hope this message gets back to you in time!
From lippo
yo whites!
Living it up must get tough after a while! Look forward to seeing you VERY soon and hearing all the stories in full. Can't wait brother.
From Rita
Dear Chris,

I am not sure that you have recieved my mail, as you did not answer. Anyway, I wish you very good luck on your very long way home. Have a nice trip (another one, and the last one for this european period of two great travellers - Chris R. White and YT)!

From Seals
Hey YT

Nice pics. Thought id take a break from the AWB Scandal that is consuming my life at the moment and see how your classy french style vacation is going. All that good food and tasty vino....must be tough, but Im sure you're up to the task.
Response: Hey Seals,
The extra kilos sure prove I'm up to the task, the thing now will be to get rid of them again!
Hope you and Kate are on track to 'do Europe' this year too.
On my way home I'm stopping in Hong Kong for 48 hours so hopefully will catch up with Rossy.
From Rita
Merry Chris, merry Christmas!

All the best this coming year, new advantages, new friends, new impressions!


Response: Hello Rita
Hope you had a merry Christmas too and a fun New Year's Eve. I had a very memorable French-Polish Christmas and then a big night for NYE in Paris with an international group of people.
Hello to Timothy! Hope he's well.
All the best wishes for 2006.
From Seals
I've said it before - but reading this page is like being back in history class - only this time I like the teacher much better, and the pics are much more interesting. Have a Merry Christmas, and be sure to shout your intrepid travelling partner (M. Tiny) a few tasty ales for me!
Response: Holidays are here so there won't be any classes for a couple of weeks. I hope you remember that there'll be a brief exam when 'school' gets back - open (web)page, like open book, so it won't be too hard!

Look forward to hearing your news of holidays and Christmas. Safe travels Sealos.
From Morgane
Hi Chris!
So, what have you been up to? Saw your last pictures, fantactic!
Everything's good for me in Paris, school interesting, Ben is in Bayonne now, and I'm going to see him for Christmas holidays.
Hope everything goes well fro you and Jojo,
See you'
Response: Salut Morgane,
I'm pleased you emailed as I've been trying to call your mobile in the last couple of days. I'm back in France - just west of Paris. I'll send en email direct from my yahoo. Hope we can meet up soon.
Jojo is well.
A bientôt
From kentoski
hey ghengis chris, glad to hear that you're living large in the land of the mongols.

some superb photos on your site and always glad to read about the adventures.

let me know if you see any promising mongolian comedians ;)
Response: Thanks Kento, good to hear from you. Hope you're well. Briefly saw a standup show on TV the other evening but it was a Russian channel so I understood nothing though it was quite funny to laugh at the faces the guy pulled. Jo's Mongolian flatmate knows Russian and she was laughing constantly so the guy must've been good!
From Ma & Da
Wonderful photos Christoph... we log on each day hoping to see something...not much else happens in our life obviously!!! Harvest has to follow (when I take them!!) and summer is looming. Great group of young friends on the must have had a wonderful time. Lot slove Ma XXXXX
From Seals
Hey YT

You ahave cemented your position as the all time KING of remembering birthdays. Kate was super chuffed to get your message - but then again it's always good to hear from ya. Hope you are having a blast in Mongo with Jo and GG. Talk to you soon.
Response: Thanks Seals, Received Kate's email too.
Mongo has ben great so far... it snowed for the first time last Friday and we awoke this morning to about 10cms of it! So it's definitely winter and it's definitely cold! Brass monkey weather!
Jojo and I confirmed yesterday our 10 day trip to the far west of the country. We'll be hiking, riding horses, staying with local families, checking out glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, and, best of all, meeting and staying with an eagle hunter and family. That is they use eagles to hunt for them - should be super interesting.
We - Jo, GG and I - are a bit poorly at the moment. Sore throats and upset stomachs so nothing major. Otherwise it's been really good hanging out with G again and especially spending time with Jojo.
Hope you're well and enjoying the start of summer.
From Clare Atkins
Hey White Boy,

Wow. Your travels sound incredible. A world away from life here in Sydney...although life here isn't half bad either. I'm now happily settled into Coogee and loving the beach lifestyle...summer is starting to kick in! But yeah, just wanted to say I can't wait to hear your next update from Mongolia - I can't believe three of our friends have now ended up there, with more to visit next year. Much love and best wishes, Clare
Response: Howdy Clarice,
How are you? Thanks for the messages - much appreciated. Loving Mongolia at the moment. Great to see Jo and GG - they have a comfortable, warm apartment in a safe area so that's good.
Pleased to hear Coogee's fun and happening for you. Fantastic news about your exciting project in Redfern - best of luck with it!
Am uploading photos now too so please check 'em out.
Bye for now.
From jean and Phillip
Just a note to say happy,happy birthday and whatever your plans, have a great day! We'll be thinking of you.
Us All.

Mongolia was awesome - the countryside so vast and varied that words and photos can't do it justice. You'll be blown away we're sure.
Response: Hello,
Thank you for the birthday wishes - lovely to hear from you. The day was spent working as we had guests aboard the yacht. Still it was very pleasant as we were anchored off western Corsica with fine warm weather so it wasn't soo bad!
Received my Moscow to Ulan Baatar train ticket the other day and my Mongolian visa last week - just the Russian one to go and a France-Moscow flight to book and I'm there. I leave Moscow Tuesday 25th! Can't wait - it'll be really exciting and fantastic to see Jo.
Thank you again. Hope you're all well.
From Vickers
YT, I have just spent the last half hour catching up on your travels. Looks like life's fairly tough on the med, you poor thing! I bet you never come home, what a grand old life the French Riviera has to offer hey! You realise you are making us all very envious of your "cruisy" lifestyle. Keep up the entries and of course keep the good times rollin!
P.S. I'm keeping Hipsley in line back home, she keeps having all these wild parties at our house... he he.
Love Vickers x
Response: Hey Vickers,
Great to hear from you. Hope all's well in Syd. Life's sure been pretty good for me in recent months. And fear not, I'll be home. Surprising how much I miss it actually.
I knew your house would be a party house just as soon as I heard you two were flatting together. Pleased to hear it!
Keep well, more photos soon(ish)!
From morgane
Hey, Good pictures with the sunset and everything!
I was happy to talk to you and hope to see you again soon, enjoy, Morgane
Response: Hi Morgane,
Thank you. I will call you and Ben soon... I hope to meet you in Marseille in mid October.
A bientot,
From borz
white thang. i'm jealous man: green as fungus. great to hear you're having an awesome time!

love the photos too, especially the ones with you in crutchless fur undies. riveting.

keep us updated. borz.
Response: Borzmamama,
Updates have been few and far between in recent times, I admit. Profuse apologies.
It is awesome - though am keen to travel again soon. I'm also excited about returning home in April. Love home, love friends and love family.

PS: if you liked the crutchless undies, you should've seen the other outfit: leather chaps, tight sparkly vest, big stetson and Elton John style sunnies. Rivetting? Downright sexy! ;-)
From anne White
Hi Toff
Great to touch base with your news again. Sorry you couldn't make it to Paris when we were all there but another time. Needless to say we had a hell of a time.
Really enjoying your adventures - give our love to Moscow we had marvellous time there.
All is well here. Jess is to be published by Penguin next year so that should be happening when you get back.
Heaps of love from me and him
Response: Hi Annie,
Lovely to hear from you. Spoke with Hads and he said you'd really enjoyed yourselves - a pity not to have seen you but as you say another time.
In Moscow for three and a bit days before catching the train on Oct 25. Anything you can recommend? I'm sure it'll be amazing.
So excited for Jess - just the best news. Can't wait for the book launch - Jojo and I will be there! Jojo and I may well be in London for new year so will see Jess and Hads then hopefully.
Lots of love,
From Jess Rich
Mate ... great site. I'll admit, I only just logged onto it for the first time ... and its a cracker! Enjoyed all the pics ... and the stories (yes there's a lot of fill in time on these early parliament house shifts). How did you get the crewing gig? I almost escaped the world to do it last year .. and didnt quiet get there ...fill me in!! take care chicken. Jess.
Response: Hi Jess, Thanks for dropping by and dropping me a line. How's parli treating you? I recall you were transferred to Canberra - that right?
Hope you're well.
From Marina
Hi Chris,
This is the French mates you met in Sydney with Noelle.
It seems you are having a great time in France experiencing different situations. I hope your French is improving also and your photos are really amazing. I am waiting for more of your impressions about France.
A +

Response: Bonsoir Marina et Jean,
Je suis au pub en ce moment (alors il est19h00!) et je peux envoyer les emails d'ici!
J'ecrirai mon petit journal très tôt.. je vous promets! J'aime bien la France... et je trouve le travail sur bateau très interessant. J'espère que vous soyez content... Je vous remercie pour ton message... c'est super génial.
From Lizard
So nice to talk briefly on Saturday - I am on holiday at the moment, so I might come and see you. Memory is a little rusty - where will you be for the next two weeks Cannes?
x Liz
Response: Hello... Was great chatting with you and, yes, I'm in the port of Cannes on the Mediterranean in the south of France. Here til probably July 29. Let me know what you're thinking by sending me a normal email. Love,
From Derek
Hey mister,

Spoke to Josie about a month ago and she gave me an update on your adventure (which sounds just awesome), and just remembered you mentioning this site and here you are. I will drop in regularly for more travel stories but I'm really glad everything's working out so well. Isn't Anthony Kiedis' bio inetersting! Oh yeah, could you please email me Josie's email address because I have misplaced it. Best wishes man, Derek. And how goddamn good is Roger Federer...look forward to having a revenge when you get back x
Response: Monsieur Derek,
Comment vas tu? Je te remercie pour ton message - très génial de lire tes nouvelles.
Federer est certainement le mieux - il est numéro un mondial pour une raison, non?!
J'éspère que tu vas bien.
A plus,
From Mum & Dad
Go the sailor!! Even without captions we got the gist. More mundane things happening here....Dad continues to work on the road and hopefully the forecast rain will stay away for tomorrow's Wean. Feels funny to have no visitors or houseguests at all for it! Still feeding the cows and will be so for another month until the oats and lucerne are well established. Lovely crops seen from the air on Le Tour...and lovely lots of cyclists tres exciting. Maybe phone you after the weekend. Lots love Ma
Response: Hi M&D,
Haven't caught any of Le Tour unfortunately. It would've come through the south on Thursday I think. I was working hard, even though it was Bastille Day holiday, helping to put the mainsail in position. It took the best part of the whole day. I enjoyed the fireworks display - Sam and I took turns to go up the mast to get an unbelieveable view of the harbour and the town. Also cool:after the show all the boats, large and small, got on their horns and blared them for about 5 minutes. It was just this crazy chorus of sound.
Look forward to chatting soon - will try you Sun night (17th)
aka 'Thailor Boy'
I trust
From Beth
Mr Christopher Whitey..
Loving the updates, they just keep getting better and better. Your little adventures prove how 'exciting' life really can be.
Good luck with your sea legs, and be sure not to end up with a parrot on your shoulder or leather eye patch on one eye... Arghaa me matey!
Keep it coming.. Bx
Response: Hi Beth,
This adventure sure hasn't happened the way I was thinking when I left home and that's the best part about it. I can see this experience continuing for quite a while yet!
And didn't you know? If you take a job on one of these sailing boats it's obligatory to get a wooden leg. You should see me go! At least I only need to buy one shoe now, one sock too. Very economical... no idea why it hasn't caught on in other 'walks' of life.
Sorry had to be said.
Hey whites!

Awesome shots of the wedding. It is cool to see those guys again. That photo of you with the brazillian dancer will go down in history!! Truly funny shot. Both your expressions are priceless. Wish I could have been there, but I'm stuck in a cold and gloomy melbourne right now.

Cold isn't so bad. I went to the snow last weekend. Just for the day. It's just 3 hours away!! Very good very good.

The weekend before that, loz and I went down the great ocean road. Goooood drive.

All is well otherwise. Laying low this weekend trying to save some funds.

Keep up the larfs over there mate.

your mate
Response: LIPSONIAN!
Yes 'YT style' was the order of the day at the wedding.
Got your email - very cool to hear from you. That Ocean Road sure sounds Great!
Leave La Ciotat tomorrow, Mon 4th, for Cannes. Should be a good change. Busy month coming up tho.
Big hug to Loz and one of those palm cracking high fives for you!
From Marney
Hey Chris
Sounds like you're having a great time - YAY! We are going to stay in Biarritz for two or three weeks in mid september - maybe we can cath you then hopefully
Love Marney
Response: Hello Marney,
Certainly am having a blast so far. I'm involved in a sailing regatta in Monaco from 13-18 September, another in Cannes from 25 Sep-1 Oct and another in St Tropez from 2 Oct. Depending on your plans I may be able to get to Biarritz before 13 Sept or after 18 Sept. I'd reckon it'll be difficult to get time off then but I'll have a chat to the captain.
Having said that I'm going to ask for a day or two off to take a long weekend to London in early August to have a big catch up with friends and family. Email me your phone numbers to my yahoo address and I'll call you when I know what I'm doing so we can organise to meet.
Be great to see you both.
From Anna Banann
Hi hon. You probably dont remember me because I am such a crap emailer. But I wanted you to know I have been thinking of you often and dropping into your site to see where you are. Makes me reminisce about being on the road, flooding me with nostalgia. It hasn't actually been the same since you left. It feels like you've taken everyone with you! I'm housesitting with Vickers at GGs and we're going househunting this weekend. Thinking Balmain because she's so posh. I was pushing for Redfern actually but Sarah put her foot down. The big dinner party is this weekend. But as for the gang, we've only got Clare and Em making an appearance. A very sad state of affairs I tell you. Work wise, I'm at the ABC working as a reporter on RN Breakfast again. I did a documentary on gas wells being sunk in the Wyong valley and as a result the CEO was sacked this week and their shares plummeted so I am infused with power and the sense of my own selfimportance at the moment. Your travels sound awesome and i wish i was there to hear you converse in french. miss you dearly. much love. anna xxx
Response: Cue 'Price is Right' theme music. Larry Emdur puts the mic to his lips and shouts:
''Come on down..... Annaaaa HIPSLEEEEEEEEYYYYY.'
Welcome to the World of Whitey, we've been expecting you. Come a little closer to the microphone, that's it. It's great to have you here today. You have the chance to take home the entire showcase today. You must be excited?! Let's play then.....''

Truly fantastic to hear from you Hipsley. Hope you received my postcard-I sent it to Alpha Rd so hopefully your Mum or Dad passed it on.
I trust you and Vickers have been living it up while in the GG pad, très très jaloux. And Balmain will be cool, tho I'm with you:Redfern still has it for me.
The gang may be far apart at the moment but we'll definitely always be close. For me living in Aus again is a while into the future but looking forward to a having a unit with Jojo somewhere.

Congrats on the CEO scalp, you make me soo proud! Where to now? The skeletons in Johnnie Howard's closet?!! If he has to say 'I'm not out of puff' then he certainly must be running the reserves pretty low. Go for the jugular Hipsley.

I'm having a pretty damn cool time at the moment - missing Jojo and you and our crew but love knowing that I know you.
Lots of love,
PS. Send me a pic or two of the new house once you move in.