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Michael’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 18 Feb 2007

Location: London, England

MapHolden Caulfield.... whoever this kid is, he uses the word goddamn, too goddamn much. I just finished reading "Catcher in the Rye" which has been considered a classic for god knows how long, and even mandatory reading back in the old days when my Dad was at school. It was the most stupid book I have ever read. It basically detailed the life of some adolescent high school kid over 3 days in NYC, and nothing interesting happened in the 3 days. Every single sentance seemed to be repeated twice, apparently for effect, and each time it was repreated, the word goddamn was thrown in. In any case, wasted too much time reading that garbage... don't recommend you do the same.

OK, onto the weekend. It was a good weekend, and thankfully I am much better than I was last weekend. I headed in Friday night to London and caught up with Alyshia who I met on Contiki. After some pizza and take-away drinks from the local off-license, we headed with her housemate Liz to Fulham to have a few drinks. Initially we headed to Brogan's, but it was quiet, but busy enough not to be able to get a seat, so, after a lap, we haeaded across the road to Slug @ Fulham. Another Aussie bogan pub, along the lines of the Walkie and Belushi's and it looked it too. NRL and AFL scarfs hung up behind the bar, Aussie, NZ and South African flags (and accents) littering the place, and many a drunk young lad acting as if they had been transported directly from 1130pm at the Irish at Knox. Funnily enough, didn't make me homesick... just kinda sick.

We didn't stick around there long (one beer), and soon found ourselves crossing the road and heading to the Elk Bar, which I knew I would visit again the following night for Shernell's going away party. Whilst the clientelle was very similar to the Slug in many sense, it just seemed a touch classier, and more enjoyable... even if I did hear nothing but Madonna, Wham and the Bengals for most of the night. At around 1am we packed it up and headed home.

The next day, I said my goodbyes and headed in to Covent Garden to catch up with Gill who moved over here in January to do a bit of teaching and start the travels with Anzac Day. As an added surprise, Pickles was coming along as well (friends with Clint) as he'd just flown into London 3 weeks ago. We caught up and headed to the Porterhouse for a beer and a burger (damn tasty big ole burgers) and have a chat, exchanging travels plans and tips. It was good fun, but most importantly, EVERYONE in London seemed happy as the sun was out. Still wasn't warm, but our long lost friend the Sun was back. From the Porterhouse, we passed the DMC Delorean, and then headed to another pub for a final beer and then headed our separate ways around 430pm.

From Covent Garden area, I headed to the River Thames, passed the Temple Walkie without going in (though they looked like they had pumped quite a bit of money into their AV setup) and jumped on the tube to head out to join the cast of Eastenders! I took the train east to Mile End and jumped off there and headed up Bow Rd to catch up with Stef. We had a few beers there and take-away Chineese, and then headed back to the West side of London to get back to the Elk Bar... yeah, I saw plenty of tube this weekend!

So, got to Fulham Broadway in about 45 minutes, which felt much longer. In the end, it is quicker than a train ride from Lilydale to the city by about 15 minutes, but it just felt so much longer, cos you never seem to spend much time on the tube... well I don't anyway.

So we got to the Elk Bar, and caught up with Kristy, Shernell and many other faces I had seen go in and out of their place the few times I had been over there. Shernell, who I met on the Anzac Day tour is headed off back to Australia tomorrow (Monday) and is waving goodbye to England. Her Mum and her sister (Merin) have been travelling the last few weeks with her and were both there for the party. Kristy has decided to stick around in London for another month or so, but will be calling it quits when she gets home, and not threatening to come back. So, a few beers, including Stef's first (and last) Foster's and a bit of a boogie (to more recent tunes on Saturday night) and we calledit quits a bit earlier to ensure that we could make it home on the train - which we did. Crashed at Stef's place, and then bailed the next morning to come home and coach the football training session.

Thanks to Alyshia and Stef for putting me up over the weekend and your hospitality. Thanks for the invite to the party Shernell, safe travels home, and thanks for being a part of what made Anzac bearable, Pamps so so fun, and Oktoberfest, oh so forgetable (or was that the beer?)!

Well, that was my weekend in a nutshell, more details as they develop through the week. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, and you Melbournians are loving the Sun.

Cheers!