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Michael’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 16 Jan 2008

Location: Southampton, England

MapHey guys,

I know it has been a little slow on here of late, but to be frank it is a travel website and aside from traveling to and from work, I haven’t been much of anywhere else.

I got back from Budapest on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. As customary when heading back to the island, I headed into the Walkie for a beer and to say hi to everyone and wish them a Happy New Year. Unfortunately I had the wrong time in my head for the last ferry crossing of the evening, and before I knew it, the 1915 sailing had left, and the 1945, which I thought was the last ferry, was only returning from the island and not headed there from Southampton. Even the last vehicle ferry had left, with the 1900 boat. That meant I was stuck in Southampton, with most people I knew from town elsewhere for the night… only one choice remained, stay at the Walkie. It didn’t take me long to figure that also would get boring, will all the staff going to be busy working, and before I knew it I had agreed and spent most of the night leading up to the new year working at the pub… every New Year’s is something different, just the way I like it. I also managed to win a Snowboard in the pub raffle which was the icing on the cake.

Once the pub shut, and the clean up was done, we headed up to Bar Risa up the road, a pub owned by the same company as the Walkie, and all the staff and security from both venues were winding down at 4 am and drinking the free supplies…. And there were plenty. Cases of beer, wine, champagne, and at one stage a string of 45 Jagerbombs lined up on the bar. Drinks, drinks, drinks. Eventually we left, some time as the late English winter Sun started rising, and headed back to the Walkie. I still had an hour to kill waiting for the 915 first ferry sailing.

At some point I must have dozed off and woke up just in time to miss the first ferry, and waited at the terminal for the next ferry half an hour later. Finally arriving home, throwing on the laundry, I slumped into bed and dozed for a few hours, trying not to sleep too much and ruin my chances of catching up on sleep that night.

Since then everything has been straight forward. Working, overtime, dealing with the football club (yep, it is that time of year again) then repeat. But I must say it is OK. I need the rest, and I need to save some money! I spent the first 10 days or so of the New Year quite sick, probably something to do with no sleep on New Years (really?) and am still only just getting over it now.

But also in brief:
I am now a land owner! Cari bought me an acre of land on the surface of the moon! Hahaha, I just hope I get a chance to visit one day. And it is on the side of the moon that faces Earth, so in theory I can see it from here.

I am jumping out of an aeroplane… in March I believe. I have started writing a list of 100 things to do before I die, and it looks like this will be the second one that I cross off of the list. The only problem is, the list is still 27 items long, and I have finished one of them already. What is on there is mine for now, but one day may be a source of another diary entry… in the mean time, please send through any ideas.

So, back to the plane. Lyall, the manager of the Walkabout has tee’d it up as part of a charity thing that approached the pub. In any case, I presume that we need to raise funds, and then we get a free jump. I am still waiting on details from Lyall, so will let you all know.

So, back to the one thing to do before I die that has been crossed off – I solved the Rubik’s Cube… twice now actually. 95% of it is easy, it is the last part that takes forever, well, apparently not once you practice it, but it takes me a long time to figure it all out. I got hooked while in Budapest (Mr Rubik was Hungarian and he called it his magic cube), and the people in the hostel all knew how to solve it, so I studied them and asked them for help. I bought one when I got back to Southampton and after a few days managed to solve it… then a few days later solved it again. I haven’t been game to change it again yet…

Back to charity… The Movember experiment has raised over 1970 pounds, with about 280 more to be collected, so we should make 2250. When work doubles it we will have raised 4500 pounds for charity – about $10,000 Aussie.

Hmm, that seems to be about it. I am booked to fly out to Krakow, Poland, on the 2nd of Feb, and am there for Superbowl weekend. Just a weekend wandering around Krakow, but we are doing a day trip to Auschwitz & Birkenau, the Nazi death camps – that is sure to be a real pick me up day….

Before then, Australia day will be spent with a morning BBQ, then an afternoon BBQ and snake handling at the Walkabout…

Till next time, happy travels!

P.S. Ljubljana and Budapest photos finally up.