Location: Bristol, UK
Hey guys, I've finally managed to upload some of the Anzac photos!! There are more to come but library computers are a bit slow.
Look extra hard though in the second set there's a quote from Ataturk to the mothers of those who died - it's beautiful!!
Anyway, will book again for Saturday and update some more then.
Love you lots and miss you heaps,
PS I have started on the packing - we have a book box and the makings of a tea chest. I just need to pack everything into it properly. I've even wrapped up the ornaments but Mr Rooster will be travelling with me!!
Location: Bristol, UK
thought it best to do another entry! I have been patiently waiting for Dan to do one but tough luck sorry!!
We are all good. Starting to prepare for coming home. We have had the shipping boxes arrive and filled one with books, I've been sussing out what I have to do with the bank, council tax etc, I've got the number for the travel insurance! We are trying to plan our trip up to Scotland too so need to pin down some dates and look at transport options.
Not much has been happening here. The weather has improved - some of the time!! Today was gorgeous at lunch time but cold and threatening to rain when I left work..
I'm working again. I've just been temping so I had a week at a property managament company and for the last couple of weeks I've been working at a PR company which is cool. I'll be there for another couple of weeks and then see what happens...
Dan has had a promotion - he's now Kitchen Supervisor which means he has to order in all the food etc, and plan menus, organise staff... He's had loads of experience in the kitchen so it's not hugely different - just the ordering and menus etc.
Anyway, I really really need to go to the toilet so I'll stop there. I'll email again when more exciting stuff happens I promise!!
Thank you for checking - we're up over a hundred hits now!
By the way, I don't know if I've actually explained about going home but we fly out on the 30th of August to Brisbane where we've got some time with Mum and Dad then we're going to Abby's wedding on the Whitsundays. After that, I'm going to stay with Mum and Dad for a few weeks and then who knows... but we are coming home for good.
Lots of love,
Location: Bristol, UK
So we're really slack and haven't updated for a couple of weeks!!!!
I had planned to get Dan to do the next one but it just hasn't happened sorry. I have time to do it today because I'm unemployed again! I found out on Friday that yesterday was my last day so I'm enjoying a quiet day today - not really - everyone's busy and I'm bored out my tree and it's only 1.30!
Not much has been happening at this end - the weather has stayed reasonably warm but there is lots of drizzly rain - it's been quite muggy (such a kiwi word!). We thought we had a ride through to Poland with some friends but that's not happening now so my next task is to see if we can figure out some other way of getting there - I'm thinking train or bus...
I'm really sorry but that's about all that's happening - life really is quite boring! Anyway, I'm starting to get excited as we down to less than 3 months till we get on the plane now so what I should really be doing with my free time is sussing out how to ship stuff home, tidying the flat and going through all our stuff to see what we want to send home etc etc and maybe if I'm still unemployed tomorrow I will but not today!
Anyway, now that you know we are alive and our lives are as boring as ever, I let you go.
Location: Bristol, UK
Just thought I'd let you know that it's beautiful sunshine and really warm here at the moment!! It'll probably rain now that I've told you but hey, it can only be as bad as last year!
I had a really cool weekend - my friend Carla was over from Italy. We met when we first got to Bristol - we were all looking at getting a flat together but couldn't agree! She moved back to Italy earlier in the year but was here for a few days. It was really wicked to catch up with her as it was a big surprise. She phoned me on Saturday to let me know she was here! I caught up with her briefly on Saturday and then met her and our friend Nicole for lunch yesterday. We sat out on the balcony at Watershed but the tables and chairs were black and it was a bit too hot! Oh yeah - and on my way back to work I did a superman through the doorway! Lucky it was open as I was sprawled full length half in and half out the door. I've got some pretty good grazes on my arms, and a bit of one on my knee but other than I'm OK. I winded myself a bit though as I kind of landed with my chest on a slightly raised bit. I think I actually said ouch! It serves me right for rushing!! I'm a bit stiff today though as I still went to Pilates last night as I didn't want to miss too much.
Anyway, we spent lots of time chilling in the park in the sunshine! I was told today I seem to have a bit of a tan even! Just as well for Primark! I went and got 3 new t-shirts and some crop jean things for £12.50 in total so that's my summer wardrobe extended a bit! It's really hard now that I wear casual to work too to feel like you have enough tidy things for work but anyway - I'd moan if my pants were on fire!
Dan is all good - tired and rather burnt - but good. Back to work today though! Anyway, I'll try and get him to do this next time so you can hear the other side of things for a change!
Location: Bristol, UK
We had a message!! Anyway, just thought I'd do a quick update about my weekend as I went to London to catch up with my friend from home. It was bank holiday weekend so I couldn't go up both nights but I managed to get a hostel for Sunday night. I got up there about 10.30am and by the time I checked in at the hostel and got to Picadilly Circus to meet Jane, it was about lunchtime. We headed to Covent Garden market for a wander round which was quite cool. It's a mixture of permanent shops and also stalls under cover so there was lots of jewellery and crafty things. We had a good old Cornish pasty for lunch followed by a delicious Belgian waffle! Afterward we tried to find some other market and ended up in some dodgy part of Soho! We eventually found our way to Carnaby St and found Liberty's which is a department store in the most amazing Tudor? building. It's all wooden with the dark beams and the white panelling and is about 5 stories tall. It was so posh it had valet parking and a concierge!! They didn't kick us out though so we had a good look round all the furniture and stuff (Jane's an interior designer!). We kind of wandered round Oxford St for a bit and then decided to try and see a show. Unfortunately, there are no shows on Sundays! We ended up seeing this improv comedy show in what looked like a conference room at the Thistle hotel for a fiver each. It wasn't bad but a bit weird. There were just the three people doing it and a lot of the things were similar. They did poke lots of fun at the Aussies and the Yanks though so that was good. Worst they came up with for us was calling us hobbits! We had dinner in Chinatown (about 5 minutes walk from Leicester Sq) which was really good. So cheap too! I ordered BBQ pork and noodles thinking at £6 it would be for one person but it was actually enough for 2! Eventually got back to the hostel bout 11ish I think.
Next day I met Jane and Mark at the V&A for a look as it has lots of design-y kind of stuff. We had a good wander and then Mark headed off to do some other stuff. Jane and I headed to Portobello Rd to see if the market was on which it wasn't but there were enough shops open to have plenty to do. And it was nice and quiet!
By the time we finished there we were running low on time so we headed to Oxford St again for something to eat and a wee look at the cheaper end but by the time we'd eaten and waited in the shoe shop for 20 minutes it was time for me to head off to get my stuff and to the coach station.
It was a really cool weekend though as that's probably the most time I've spent with a girl in about 3 years! And Jane is really cool too - they motorbiked through Russia so she definitely shares my travel bug and had some good stories.
Anyway, just a quick update. Hope everyone is all good and pleased to know you're checking!
Lots of love,
Location: Bristol, UK
I've just checked the last entry I wrote and I am really really slack!!! Though in my defence there was a fire at the library and the computers weren't available! And not much has been happening. But now there is lots to tell!
We just got back from Turkey for Anzac day on Sunday. It was an awesome trip though with a few minor glitches!
Got to the airport all Ok - no hassles. Got to customs and I forgot I'd just tucked a bottle of coke in the backpack which I gave Dan to take through. So he was pulled up with a bottle of coke and also a bottle of deoderant he was trying to smuggle through! The lady was OK about it but I felt really stupid! We got through, got some lunch and then went to get some cash. I'd transferred all the money to my account so that if anyone copied the card they'd only be able to access that account. I kind of forgot that I the PIN number was different though so we ended up doing cash advances from the credit card as Dan though I had it all in hand and so had left his card for the joint account at home as had I. Anyway, made it to the gate etc on time and sat waiting. The boarding time got closer and then passed so Dan lay back on the seats to have a nap as we'd been up since bout 5am. Tried to sit up when the made an announcement and put his back out. Really wasn't sure he was going to make it on the plane - me sitting in tears convinced we weren't going and trying to justify going on my own! Dan reiki'd his back and it was OK for the plane. We finally got to Istanbul and transfers etc OK. Got to the hotel and discovered we were leaving at 6.45am the next day! Dan's back was killing him so he reiki'd it some more while I packed everything we'd need for the overnight trip into the one backpack we'd brought with us as we had to carry whatever we took all the way up the hill at Gallipoli. Finally managed to squish it all in and made it to bed in time to get up really early. Breakfast was OK but bread arrived just as we were leaving and they only had about 5 bowls so I lucked out on cereal!
We got on the bus and made it OK to the first stop. Dan bought a lighter with no fluid in it and we paid .50 lira to go to the toilet. I think there were only a couple of european toilets so us girls were queueing up for them! Had pringles and toblerone for morning tea! The next stop was the supermarket so we got some bits there - biscuits - yummy and so healthy! and our lovely stylish pink blanket which I'm so pleased we got. Dan got some real lighters too! We had one last toilet stop (squat toilet!!!) and finally made it to Gallipoli bout 2.30 ish. We did a quick tour of the sites - we had time to get out and have a look at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. There are lots of trenches at Chunuk Bair but they don't look like they would have provided much cover. They came up to maybe my chest and they were pretty skinny! After that we headed down the hill to the Anzac cove.
We had to queue to get frisked and our bags searched before we were allowed in and then we went to find our spot. We got a really good spot near the water and the stage and lay down to sunbathe. Facilities were very limited - you could buy souvenirs, water, soft drink and kebabs and the toilets were long drop port-a-loos! I have to say actually the toilets were pretty clean though!
Anyway, all was going well till bout 10 or 11 when the guy started telling us to squish up and let people in. We did and the new people promptly stretched out taking up loads of space even though they knew we'd squished for them. That pretty much carried on through the night which meant we didn't get a lot of sleep. It was a good way to keep warm though but not a good idea to attempt to get through everyone for the toilet while half asleep! I did OK getting out but coming back lost my balance and landed on someone. They sound pretty pissed off so I pointed out I didn't actually intend to land on their face!!
There was stuff on the big screens most of the night - documentaries from the Aussie and NZ point of view, from the Turkish point of view etc with snippets from letters and diaries from the soldiers. The military bands played a few times as well which was cool. At dawn, we had about 20 minutes silence and they had the water and the hills all lit up to hightlight what they would have seen when they landed. It was quite incredible when you think that if they made it to the beach having seen all the mates getting fired on by the Turks, they then would have seen this enormous steep cliff that they had to get up to even reach the Turks. And they still went and kept going for 8 months!
Anyway, the dawn service was quite simple - led by Judy Bailey!! with Winston Peters etc talking. It only lasted about an hour but Dan fell asleep again when they were laying all the wreaths!
Once that was all over we decided to start making our way up to Chunuk Bair for the NZ service. They'd said it would take a good couple of hours so we thought we'd take our time. We had a wander round a couple of the cemetries and had a good look at Anzac Cove - if you're on facebook there's a very attractive photo of us there!! We were making OK time and starting to warm up and we got stuck in a bottle neck at Lone Pine where the Aussie service was. The were saying that everyone had to get searched so girls to the right, boys to the left and kiwis in the middle!!! We ended up sneaking up the left as there wasn't really a middle for us to go. It's about an hour to Lone Pine then another hour or so up to Chunuk Bair but it must have taken us longer than that. It was quite a steep hill though! We passed some Turkish school kids on the way to their service and they were all waving and saying hello!!
We finally made it to the top bout 10.30 and the only space left really was in the cemetery. We weren't sitting on marked graves but were spread out looking out over the Dardenelles. It was so cold though that pretty much everyone was in their sleeping bags! We had kebabs for brunch while we were waiting for the service to start at 12.30. It was good but the sound wasn't great. We were watching on a big screen as all the stands had been taken. It was really moving though looking out from the highest point seeing everything they'd overcome to get there.
It was definitely a good experience - they explained in much more detail what happend and why etc. And they pointed out that they youngest Anzac to be killed was a volunteer at 14 years and 9 months, but the Turks had lost so many they were conscripting anynone old enough to hold a gun! NZ only lost 2,500 but the Turks lost 80,000!! Anyway, I'm going to shut up on that now!!!
We finally got back to Istanbul at 10.30 that night so it was another straight to bed night! We didn't have to be up till 9am the next day for our walking tour though which was cool.
The next day however, it was raining!!! We had a look at th Hippodrome area and then went to the Hagia Sofia which is a church turned mosque turned church etc. I scored an umbrella for 7 lira apparently because I was a Kiwi!! After that, we headed to the Topkapi Palace which was pretty amazing too. We did most of the treasure rooms but the last one was busy so we skipped it only to find out it actually held a really famous diamond someone sold for 3 spoons! We had a look at the holy relics room too which was cool. I saw what was supposedly Moses' rod! The rest of the time pretty much I queued for the toilet!! We had some free time after that so we headed to the Grand Bazaar which was cool. Dan got a T-Shirt and I got a tile but we didn't have long as we only had a couple of hours before our boat trip. We had a look at the Blue Mosque after that and then headed for the boat trip. That was a bit of a disaster really as it was pretty much a piss trip and you couldn't even hear the commentary! But anyway!
After that we went for some dinner as a group. We were walking round and everyone was speaking Aussie to us! Someone said "Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie" and we replied "Kiwi Kiwi Kiwi!".
We had this Aussie guy negotiating for us and we got a free apple tea each, we didn't have to pay tax and we got 1 whole lira off each beer!! It was quite good though! We went along to a bar after that to catch up with the other top deck tours but didn't stay too long. We caught up with Dan's friend Lisa and Dan finally tried Shisha but we had to be up again at 5 for the taxi to the airport. Apparently it got better after we left....
Next day didn't start well. The shower doors wouldn't shut and I must've pulled to hard cos it broke! I'm not a happy chappy without a shower so it was not good! Anyway, the only minor mishap at the airport was me dropping the passports and not realising till Dan needed his boarding pass to buy tobacco! Luckily it wasn't long and they were still there!!!! There was a Gloria Jean's there too which I remember from Northlands and the Palms!!
Anyway, we survived and my stomach is only having minor issues with spending that long surviving on biscuits and kebabs!
Hope you are all good and enjoyed my nice long waffle!! I don't know why but I seem to have to go into minute detail!
Anyway, catching up hopefully this weekend with my friend Jane from school in London so should have some more gossip for next week. Other than that, I'm trying not to start counting down!!!
Love you lots and miss you heaps,
Keep checking - we've broken the 200 visit mark!!