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Michael’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 20 Sep 2007

Location: Southampton, England

MapOkay, so I have plenty of filling in to do, just to get me up to the point where my parents arrived... Where do I start? It was a pretty quiet couple of weeks waiting for the arrival of Mum and Dad, but there were a couple events that were a little out of the ordinary. Let's see... after the weekend in Newquay, I tried to retain all the relaxation that I had caught over the weekend... that didn't last long. Tuesday after work I headed off to the driving range with Gerard, and on the Wednesday night I managed to squeeze in a lazy 11 holes while Gerard was getting a lesson from the golf pro... given how bad I played I should have done the same! Though, admittedly, I was playing for the first time in over 18 months, on a course I had never played, as it was getting dark, and with hire clubs... it was a recipe for disaster. But I posted a 57 on 11 holes, about the point I'd usually start breaking clubs....

Friday night was post work drinks on the Isle of Wight followed by the last 20 minutes of the first Rugby World Cup game (France – Argentina) at the Walkabout, then off to Olly's place for his and Selina's going home (Melbourne) party. Was a top night, and the first true house party ( on a grand scale) that I had been to since I left Australia. Good times, and the DJ had the music pumping loud as hell till after 4 am.

Saturday night was the tenuous date for Nat's birthday party, but given she didn't know if she'd be working, it ended up in a fry up at Nat and Cari's place. A good night, and as usual with the girls, plenty of champagne and high spirits all round. Sunday I was up early(ish) to finish the big move. I had to be out of the house (Malmesbury Rd, Southampton) on Monday, so packed the rest of my stuff up (thanks to Stef, Nat & Cari for storing my stuff) and headed to the island. Huge thanks to Laura and James who put me up for the week, and I lobbed up around 9 pm to start living the island life....

So, what is the island life? I dunno, but Monday night I ended up at the pub with Laura and met one of her friends that she hasn't seen in 15 years. I found the NFL on TV and tuned out of all conversations pretty quickly. Tuesday was the big night – I went 'sailing' for the first time ever. And not only sailing, I went night sailing. Although, I must admit there wasn't a breath of wind and it was more drifting than sailing. But it was very interesting, educational, and something I will consider doing again... on a windy day! Wednesday I cooked a monster BBQ with boervors, steak, chicken, salmon, and mushrooms – gotta make the most of the good weather!

Thursday night Laura and I headed to the mainland for the Southampton Titans Best & Fairest Presentation Night. It was a good night, and thanks to everyone that rocked up, especially those with no affiliation with the club (Laura, Nat). Tommy, who won the league B&F, also took the Titans B&F by 9 votes (96-87) over yours truly. During the vote count in the last round.

Friday I headed back to the mainland after work and 'moved in' to Nat and Cari's. Thanks to Laura and James for letting me leave my crap there on the island, and thanks to Nat & Cari for letting me crash... I headed into town to watch the RWC game between South Africa and England, and what a game it was. That turned into celebrations at the Walkabout, and I was there till about 1 am before calling it quits and heading back to the girls place.

The next morning I woke up early, and eventually made it to the airport to meet Mum and Dad. Unfortunately their flight was delayed by and hour, but they eventually arrived. We picked up the hire car and headed back to N&C where I cooked breakfast. Around lunchtime we headed into Southampton to go watch the rugby (Aus vs Wales) at the Walkie and show Mum and Dad around town, including my old place. That night we headed out for a Sunday carvery before I dropped Mum and Dad off to the hotel for some much needed sleep and headed out with Nat, Cari & Simon to celebrate Nat's birthday in style! We started at Orange Rooms, and then from Nat's suggestion, headed to the strippers at FYEO. At 3 am, after Nat had her birthday lap dance, we finally packed it in, and we got home around 330 am. For some reason, it was decided that we needed breakfast at this time, and a massive cook-up was prepared and consumed. Finally made it to sleep some time after 4 am, and was up just after 7 am to get to the ferry to the Isle of Wight for Day 1 of the monster UK Road trip with Mum & Dad.