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Where The Bloody Hell Are We?

Welcome to Tom and Steph's travel blog. This is where we will be journalling our adventures, misadventures and whatever else we get up to over the next 12 months or so. We hope you find it interesting and if you don't, then just pretend that you do. We'd also love to hear news from home and we'll pretend to be interested, so please leave a comment.

Diary Entries

Friday, 11 May 2007

Location: Burberry, Piccadilly Circus, England

Thanks for all the messages we've received!! Its great to hear from home and we can't wait to catch up with everyone when we get back to Oz at the end of August.
Things have been very quiet over here for the last month or so, as we are trying to save our pounds for our trip around Europe. We will be finishing work and leaving London mid July, then hanging out in Europe for 6 weeks, including a 7 night yacht cruise through the islands of Croatia....ahh its a hard life!!
The weather over here has been great over the last few weeks, with very little rain and temperatures in the high teens. It is also light until about 8.30-9.00 at night. The spirit of the place has really improved with the weather and everyone seems to be that bit happier now that Summer has arrived....but it is England and I'm sure it won't be long before the pohms (Prisoners of Her Majesty, apparently that's how its spelt and that is why we call them pohms. Nana, is this true??) are winging about the heat!!
This blog entry may be waffling on a bit, but thats because I'm doing my 68th hour at work this week. Its 10pm on Friday night and I'm winding the clock down to knock off at 11!
Anyway, please keep the messages coming. It's great to hear from home. We hope you are all staying safe and well.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Location: London (mostly), England

On St Patricks Day, we managed to get into O'Neills Irish pub in the city with about 35000 other people!! The Guinness was flowing freely and the mood of the crowd was enhanced by a big win by the Ireland rugby team in the 6 nations rugby and an upset win in the World Cup cricket. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone had a great time (see photos).

I spent the next weekend visiting my mate Kerr-E in Canterbury (usually about an hour and a half east of London, but on this occasion 3 and a half hours east of London due to a flat tyre on the bus!!). Managed to see a bit of Canterbury and the surrounding area, but am keen to take Steph back as there is a lot to explore including the Isle of Thanet (famous for cabbage I think!!??) and the White Cliffs of Dover (may not sound exciting, but quite spectacular)

Last weekend, a mate from home, Katie Hallinan spent her last weekend in London before returning to Oz and led both of us astray, starting with Steph, Min, Channy and Al on the Friday night when a couple of drinks turned into an all night drinking bender that resulted in huge branches of pussy willow being pulled from the trees, and me on Saturday night where somehow I ended up at The Ministry of Sound nightclub in East London.....

Armed with our 99p road atlas and 99p English Pub Guide, KerrE, Steph and I left London on Good Friday for a road trip. First stop, once we got clear of the city, was Stonehenge. It was an absolutely beautiful day and this added to the peaceful and intriguing aura surrounding this historic site. Despite not being able to get that close to the stones, the audio tour was very interesting and its strange having something you've seen so many times in pictures right in front of you. Luckily, after a few warnings from Nick and others, there were no Clark Griswald moments resulting in the destruction of one of the greatest historical sites in the world (Just get in the car Russ!!). After Stonehenge, we made our way to a lovely little pub tucked away in a picturesque ye olde English village. After a big lunch and quiet ale, we dragged ourselves away from the chatty locals and headed for the ancient Roman Baths in the aptly named city of Bath. Another amazing piece of English heritage, with the natural springs and original drainage systems still operating as they did when the Romans occupied the area some 2000 years ago. We spent the night at an old English pub in the Cotswolds and headed off the next morning (KerrE even successfully tackled the magic roundabout) back to London via Oxford, where we stopped for lunch and a wander around.

We returned to London on Saturday afternoon and for those of you who haven't heard, Steph and I got engaged!! Its exciting times and we can't wait to get home and celebrate with everyone later in the year. We're both really happy and a big thanks for all the messages and well wishing comments we've received from home. There are a couple of photos of the ring (or 'the precious', as it has become known) in the photo page for all those who requested a picture.

Easter Sunday was spent in Green Park on deck chairs enjoying the wonderful English Spring weather. A few champagnes, throwing of the frisby followed by a meal in China Town completed a fantastic weekend.

This weekend Min cooked Tom and I a special engagement dinner. We meet Min at Angel for a quick cider after work on friday, and then headed to her pad in Hackney where Tom and I were spoilt with a beautiful meal and lovely wine. With all the wedding talk and travel plans, the night got away from us and before we knew it the sun was up and we decided to call it a night - Thanks Minny.

Thanks again for all the messages. Can't wait to catchup with everyone.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Location: and Paris, UK

Well...after many complaints we have finally realised how slack we have been with the BLOG. I could give you loads of excuses but.....

Anyway, we will give a quick update from December to today and then promise we will try and be a little more frequent with the entires!

ps...we have added a few photos too!

05/12/06 - called in to see Adrian Russell and his girlfriend Kristen at the pub they manage in Hammersmith. Pete Murray happened to be touring and he and his manager and entourage had had a few lock – in’s at the pub with AR and Kristen. They happened to be given a few free tickets to the concert that night and offered them to Tom and I. So, the 4 of us headed out to watch Pete Murray support Richard Ashcroft (lead from the Verve) and had our first snakebites in their pub following.

16/12/06 - We went with Chan and Min to see the musical Wicked which was fantastic! I hope it comes to Oz as it is a must see for musical lovers.

18/12/06 – Tom and I experience our first Premier League game – Fulham v’s Middlesborough. It was pretty cold that night and we wore extra layers of clothes – 36 items of clothing between us + 2 umbrellas and a handbag to be exact!

20/12/06 – Tom and I were surprised to have an early trip to Paris for Christmas thanks to Burberry. Tom was sent to work in their showroom in Paris for 2 days all expenses paid for both of us!... Oh the perks dating a high flyer in the fashion industry!

Christmas – We met Mum, Dad, Sarah and my Uncle Mat and his girlfriend Isabella in Paris on the Friday before Christmas and spent the weekend wandering around freezing Paris and making preparations for Christmas Day. Mum and Dad were staying in a lovely little old stone-walled apartment in the middle of Paris and this is where we all got together for a Christmas Day consisting of presents, a viewing of 'We Can Be Heroes' ("Physics is Phun" - Ricky Wong) and plenty of beautiful French food and wine.

Mum, Dad and Sarah then came back to London for a couple of days where we showed them around Ealing, Mum took Sarah to see Wicked (while we took Dad to see the pub), and we wandered around Central London checking out Hyde Park and Buckinghuge Palace. It was great to see the family and experience a Parisian style Christmas together.

NYE 2006 – Back in sunny England, Tom and I went to see Min for the weekend and to plan New Years Eve. Well….while planning the three of us got a little carried away and thought it would be nice to try and see in the Aussie New Year. Needless to say the following day (NYE) none of use felt like celebrating so we had a dry NYE and spent 5 hours out in London to watch 10 minutes of fireworks exploding from the London Eye.

Early Jan 07 – We decided (well I did) that it was time for us to see some of the cultural sights. I dragged Tom kicking and screaming to the British Museum for a Sunday afternoon. It was pretty amazing seeing the Rosetta stone, Cleopatra’s mummy, half of the Parthenon that a Pommy Lord pillaged from the Greeks (the Greek Government are still fighting to reclaim them) and the original Astro Boy drawing!

For our second cultural outing, we were meeting Min and Channy in Trafalgar Square at 2pm to spend the afternoon wandering around the National Gallery. Min, Tom and I (Chan was running late) walked into the Gallery, picked up the map, looked at each other, turned around and went to the local pub for some winter afternoon “cultural” beers - at least we tried!!

24/01/07 – Tom and I got a lovely surprise when we walked outside for work and stepped onto several inches of beautiful white snow! Everything was glistening and looked like we were in a fairytale.

06/02/07 - Tom, Keato and I went and watched the Socceroo’s v’s Denmark @ Loftus Road Stadium. It was freezing and we got flogged. The highlight of the night was definitely Jimmy Barnes walking on the field singing the National Anthem.

10/02/07 – We spent a weekend in Brighton – England's summer holiday capital on the coast. Rocky beaches and a Tacky Pier……but a nice weekend (will let the photo’s do the talking when they are down loaded)

2-4/03/07 – Weekend in Edinburgh - this is such a great city and we would love to leave London and spend several months there if we could find a job there…fingers crossed!!

10/03/07 – The weekend that brought us Chan’s Birthday and the arrival of Katie Hal! Unfortunately Tom and I did not make it to the airport to greet Kate on her arrival into London at 6.30am. It took us a little over three hours and 3 night buses to get home from Chan’s! Next time we will sleep on the floor!

Well…sorry about the onslaught of information. Now we are updated though and will be more regular with the updating. It’s always great to hear from home. Take care,

Steph and Tom

Friday, 01 December 2006

Location: Various, England

We visited Nick Newton in Oxford for a weekend. We were due to meet him around midday Saturday, but we didn't actually find our bus and leave London until then due partly to a few quiet Friday night beers!! We finally met Nick and set out on a guided tour of down town Oxford. It's a beautiful place, especially around Autumn with lots of big trees and leaves dropping. The highlight of the day was the visit to 'The Turf'. We followed Nick down a few backstreets, through a narrow little lane way, past some rubbish bins and found ourselves in the beergarden of a pearler of a little pub called 'The Turf'. The only signage indicating the presence of a pub along the way is where someone has scratched 'turf' into a small brick at the top of the alleyway. Obviously a popular hangout for students, it is also the place where Bob Hawke set a new world record for skulling the fastest pint during his studying days in Oxford. What a legend!! Only advice while at the turf, don't drink the old rosies cider, or horse piss, as it was quickly renamed. We struggled through the old rosies, had a lovely meal at an italian restaurant, another visit to the turf for a couple more and then back to Nick's for an early night.
Sunday was spent doing a spot of shopping around Oxford for the morning, then heading a few k's out of town to visit another pub for lunch on the banks of the Thames. At first we had no idea where the hell we were, but after driving for about 15 minutes along single lane country roads, we arrived at 'the perch', a beautiful old style English pub sitting a stones throw from the Thames. As inviting as the open fireplace and pints of Guinness were, Nick advised us that there was better to come, so we set off on a walk along the banks of the river. It was a great setting with fishermen dotted along the edge of the water with much more equipment than seemed necessary and the longest fishing rods that I'd ever seen. Getting all the gear there and back must have been some feat, but these guys looked like they lived to fish, although there wasn't much catching being done, so maybe they just lived to sit on the edge of the Thames and relax in a lovely country setting, can't blame them really!!
The walking track led us to 'the Trout', another pub nestled in against a loch along the Thames. Again, open fireplaces and an inviting warmth welcomed us and this time we settled in for a couple of quiet ones and a nice hot hearty lunch. With full bellies and a nice Guinness glow, the walk back was much slower and very cold, but it was a great experience to get out of London and see the English countryside. After heading back into town, we found one last Oxford pub, an O'Neills Irish bar showing the Wallabies v Ireland rugby test. We got flogged, so made a quiet and quick exit just prior to fulltime. It was great to catch up with Nick and have him show us around this beautiful and relaxing part of the world.
Due to the sudden and unexpected arrival of Chantell's landlord, we needed to find some short term accomodation quite quickly and the next week was spent between a hostel in Hammersmith in West London and a friends flat in Clapham in South London. A massive thanks has to go out to Keato and Emma for taking us in on short notice and letting us stay in their flat while they were away for the weekend.
Steph started her new job on the 20th November at Cabe, which is a government department responsible for architecture and building. Her role is Assistant to the General Manager's PA - ie... PAA!!!
We moved back into Peckham for a couple of days prior to moving out and the lease starting on our own place at the beginning of December. To celebrate the occasion, we did something different and stocked up with booze at the off licence and pissed off the neighbours one last time. Nursing hangovers, the next day was spent packing up, then catching a cab across town with all our gear and starting the next phase of out London time at Ealing Common.

Wednesday, 08 November 2006

Location: Peckham Ghetto, South London, England

A friend of ours, Anthony Kerr, gave me a call last week to say he had a spare ticket to see the Wallabies play Wales in Cardiff at the Millenium Stadium. Needless to say, I was a little excited at this opportunity, said yes without giving it a second thought and it turned out to be an amazing weekend.

We arrived in Merthyr Tydfil at a friends place about lunchtime Saturday, after a 4 hour drive from London, memorable for the ‘passport joke’, which involves a seasoned UK resident (Claire, Anthony’s girlfriend) asking the naïve, slightly excited, yet gullible Aussie traveler (Tom) if he brought his passport for entry into Wales. Needless to say I didn’t have my passport with me and that we were too far into the trip to have time to go back. I shit myself and instantly had visions of being left at the border to catch a bus back to London. For everyone else though, this proved to be a great laugh, and obviously a joke the Welsh play on all international visitors, as I lost count of the times I heard ‘so you fell for the old passport trick hey??’ during the weekend.

We caught the train into Cardiff, where the atmosphere was incredible. The whole city comes to a standstill for rugby internationals. They close off the streets and it a sea of red. The stadium is right in the heart of the city, and if the locals don’t have tickets they all still come into town and watch the game at a pub. The game was fantastic, with a 29-29 draw a good result for everyone and meaning that we got out alive. Highlights of the weekend were definitely Joey, the blowup kangaroo, having intimate relationships with more fully grown Welsh men than I care to remember! Anthony and I being invited up to sing (murder) ‘Land Down Under’ on stage in a packed Welsh pub after the whole pub had just sung Waltzing Matilda to their Australian visitors. The scenery and views surrounding the little village where we were staying, Merthyr Tydfil, about 40 minutes west of Cardiff were amazing . In was a great weekend and the hospitality shown by the Welsh people is something I’ll never forget. Everywhere we went, we were welcomed. The Welsh seem very proud of their country and keen for visitors to experience it. As we were told many times, they just ‘love the craic!’

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Recent Messages

From Mel, Brad and Lila
All the best for your travels guys! Your photos are fantastic, cant wait to see you both soon and hear all about your adventures! Thinking of you both, enjoy every moment!
With Love,
Mel, Brad and Lila
From Max Brideson
It's my birthday on Saturday and I haven't got my present yet uncle Tom and Aunty Steph. Mum won't let me drink beer from the pewter you bought me but I've bent the rim and made it look like a real mans beer challis. (my little crooked teeth also had fun biting into it). Don't forget to have a beer or twenty for me on Saturday. (I'm only one once you know)
Gotta go and unleash on the Huggie

Love from
Max (Little Fat as I get called)
From Louise M
Hi there Tom and Steph, What a small world this is...up here in Darwin, I was at the hairdressers last week and the lady doing my hair is from Maitland..Kylie...a very good friend of your best friend Steph, who has just had a baby!! I said I would write and tell you. Can't hide anywhere!!!! lots of love to you both, Louise.xx PS, your ring is just beautiful Steph. Good picking!!
Response: Hey Lou, small world hey?? we've run into people in London from Maitland that we didn't even know were over here.
From Amanda, Pete and Kas
Hi Tom and Steph, I see from the messages below, that I am the last to send a message from the north of Australia. You know what they say, better late than never. I have just had a wonderful time going through all your photos and it looks like you and Steph are having a blast. When are you coming back to Australia? Look forward to hearing about your wedding plans. Would love to be able to get the whole family toegther again with the two new additions, Kassie & Max. I am sure those two could relive some memories of childhood!! Kassie now three and thriving each day. She is like a sponge! Take care and love to Steph who I look forward to meeting one day. Love Amanda, Pete & Kassie, Humpty Doo, NT
Response: Hey guys, thanks so much for the message. Great to hear from all you lot up north. At the moment wedding plans are taking a back seat to plans for our 6-week trip around Europe over July/August, which we are counting down too!! We head home after that and will then start organising the wedding. Can't wait to catch up with you guys and meet Kassie!! Keep in touch, S&T.
From Louise Moredo
Hello Tom and Steph,
Heard via the family grapevine you've announced your engagement. Congratulations, that's lovely news. But I'm not entirely surprised..thought it would happen one day!!! You're obviously having a wonderful life at the moment, so keep up the good times.!!
love from Louise
From James and Sarah the
Hey! Just a small note to say you look a tad shannon nollish with your little goaty Tom!! You should enter London Idol. Anyway congratulatiuons again we are thrilled!! Love the lost siblings Jimmy and Sarah
From Sarah the sis
hey brother and now i can officially say sister in law!!! YAY!! i know ive said it many many times but CONGRATS!!!! Have a great timne celebrating and the ring looks absoluetly gorgeous!!!!!! Good choice Tomo! have fun. love Sarah! xoxox
From Di
WOW!! Congratulations!!! Big kisses and hugs to both of you!
From Erin
Hi Stefarnie!!!! (yes the spelling is correct) Congrats on your engagement. That is so exciting!!!!! I am so happy for you, miss talking you heaps. We will have a huge catch up when you get home. Love Ez
From Kezz
Congrats again guys...sorry for the ever so frequent Saturday night calls lately...having a quiet one this weekend so you may not hear from us :o)
Love ya's....Stephs - the precious looks spectacular!!
From harry
i hope the astro boy picture is neatly stashed in your carry on luggage ready for the trip back. wedding planner is a formidable title but i think i could squeeze you in between the two lesbian mullet weddings and the N.R.A end of year keg show.
From Mike, Cyndy, Andrew
HI Tom & Stephanie,
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS! on getting engaged! Sounds like you are having a ball over there - good on you both - have you set a date when you are getting married yet? We are finally moving into our house that we built out in the sticks after 12 long months of living in a caravan - still have to paint the walls yet - but dont care at this stage we are eager to get out of small caravan we have been living in - after this idea - we never want to spend out retirement in a caravan going around australia that's for sure! Bye for now - love from the Territorians Mike Cyndy Jason & Andrew
Response: Thanks guys!! Great to hear from you. No date organised yet....sometime in 2008??!! Congratulations on finishing your house, you deserve a big 'bowls clap'.
From harris
Congrats you pair
Response: Thanks so much Harry...and thanks for the wedding ideas. Would you consider being our wedding planner??
From kezz
Hey kids, just checked out your pics and man you guys look cold...lucky thing the pubs are all so warm! Will call soon, lots to catch up on xxx
From Sarah
YOU ARE IN THE WONG LAB! get it.. in Ricky Wong's lab...ahhh good times!!
Your blog is real funny and while i was reading it i was faced with some awesome,interesting and dam straight funny xmas times!!! Like me and Tom sitting on the silent tube listening 2 Lano and Woodley and having the whole train stare at us while we cryed with laughter haha. Anyaway... keep having an awesome time and ill see you at the airport when you get back( yes i am flying over from Adelaide to meet you!!)
Lots of love
Sarah xo
From Emma
Hi Tom & Steph,
Long time no see, speak, e-mail, call!!!!! Thought I'd stick my 2 bobs worth on your Web Page and say g'day! But tut tut - Must be having too much fun cause I only know anything about you guys from 3 months ago - Slackening off a bit as the trip goes on hey! Tom it would be great to catch up again one day. From memory the last time we saw each other was at Mandys wedding when you stayed over at Mums place and we got drunk drinking Wine of all things - then we both got on the plane a little teary eyed the following morning to our respective states/territories. Weather is very soggy up here at the moment as we have been feeling theafter effecst of 2 cyclones an it's been raining none stop for at least 1 week@!@! Backyard is just about flooded. Ceddy is doing well and Tyson - well he's 11 years old now! Time flies. Love to hear more from your trip. Catch up again someday. Love Emma. P.S Mandy also has this address now too so she may even surprise you as well!
From Louise M
What a great time you're having, Tom and Steph. Like the sound of the pubs, fires and beers!! Good passport trick Tom..?!
luv Louise.xx
From Jimmy
hey Tom and Steph, hope you're having a good time in London, cause Adelaide is boring and over-rated. Tom, im going to kick your arse in the footy tipping dis year. Dad was acutally winning last yr, until i stopped doing his tips for him.
From Sarah (Ur favourite
HI!!!!! ( i should say gday) how r u all ? I cant wait to see ur enrty about christmas time (good times good times)!! Thanx for the email. Its always good to hear from you. talk next sunday.
luv sarah xoxo have fun!!
From Courtney
Hi Steph and Tom,
Love your blog, it hilarious. Hope you're both enjoying yourself.
Nothing too exciting to report on in sunny Melbourne, I'm still having fun and enjoying myself.
Just getting geared up for the footy season Tommy. Go the Swans!
Take care and safe travels
love to you both
XX Courts
From Skinny
Hey guys
I Noticed Kez got a post card, ours must have got lost in the mail, never mind.
Be well, talk soon
we didn't send you one.
From Cath
Hey guys!!!! Sounds like your having an amazing time.... I hope you all have an awesome christmas and new year!!! Take care, all my love Cath
PS. Dont worry i have no exciting news from home to bore you with!!!
From Ben Grabau
Gday Guys,
All i can say is, I hope the "Flash Beer" effort was caught on camera!!

Have Fun.
Response: Ben, thankfully it wasn't!
From Kezz
Thanks for the postcard kids.... the detail in the stories was just and miss ya's both. Kezz xoxoxo
From the demasis
Hi from Verdun. All is well here. Its very hot and dry, probably a little different to your weather. We're on fire watch, with many days over 35 degrees. Joanna is nearly on holidays and Eliza is about to join the checkout chicks ar Coles Mt Barker. Take care. We''ll write again soon - love the Demasis