Friday, December 23, 2005

no net...

grrr.. rash.. its itchy...*scratch*

yes Eva, I've broken out in a rash because I have no NET ACCESS!!!!

Lulu too actually.. "It must be contagious! OH NO!!"

Thursday, December 22, 2005

hmm... lazy...

Yesterday.. Tuesday, 20th December 2005... Last work day for Lulu at British Airways, and I popped around my old work place at Netengines to say a final goodbye (since I finished up on the 7th). Sad, sad sad... We've both made some good friends at work and we'll miss them dearly. Lulu got a Molton Brown boxset of liquid bath soaps and a box of Thorntons chocolates. Lulu has always liked the dress sense of one of my work collegues, Viresh... funky cool hip hop yet conservative kinda guy - thats wot she describes him as. So for my going away pressie I got a nice wool sweater from UNIGLO. Ironically its made from ozzie lamb's wool. hahahaha. Baaaa.. Baaaa :D

It really hit me sitting on the 88 bus going to the old work place that I'm really going to miss the ride in. You see, the tube (ie train) in the mornings is a bitch. Hence I catch the bus. Nicer.. cleaner.. but longer to get into the office. Best of all though the bus right is scenic! The old 88 goes via the MI6 building (you know the one from the James Bond movies!), Westminister Chapel, Big Ben, Whitehall (with the government offices - Ministery of Defense, No10 Dowling St, etc), and Trafalgar Square. Gonna miss that bus ride in a lot!

*Sigh*

Gonna miss London Town!

I've cancelled my broadband connection, and so Lulu and I find ourselves sitting in the Bellevue pub using their free wifi service stuffed after a nice luncheon. We're stuffed, we've packed.. and hmmm.. feeling so lazy too....

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Grrr Kong Roars!

We were invited to family friends Tedman and Annie's place for a lovely dinner. We had a nice seafood pasta dish topped with a complimenting white wine. Good food, good company... what more could a guy and his girl ask for....???? ROAR!!! a movie... ROAR... KING KONG!!!

We found ourselves at the local theatre waiting patiently for the movie to start. Well I won't give any spoilers for anybody who hasn't seen it.. but let me tell you.. that 3 hours of roaring black furballs went by so fast I dont think I even had time to blink.

Yes you might say that Lulu and I enjoyed it. Dang we sure did.. and not because I have a thing for Naomi Watts... *ahem*

Friday, December 16, 2005

Flight of the Siberian Swan.

Yes folks its true. Siberia has swans. More so they have been sighted in the skys of London.

And as everyone and their dogs' know that means there is going to be a white christmas this year for 'l London Town.

Lulu and I of course won't be in London for christmas, we'll be spending it with friends in Antwerp and Brussels. Brussels is a city of grey skys. Great. Hopefully we'll see some blue sky in Antwerp though. Fingers crossed for Antwerp.

Denz's farewell drinks

Last night Denz had his farewell drinkies at The Porterhouse in Covent Garden. We originally wanted to have it at either the Sirocco Bar or Jewel Bar (its worth having a look at their websites for the pics!). But due to damn corporate Xmas parties booking out the venues we had to change last minute.

We knew it was going to be packed out (as it always is) but we managed to find a little bit of space with a little table against a pillar to huddle around for some drinks and chit chat.
Afterwards, Denz, Irfan, Cindy, Natasha, Damien & I headed to China town's Crispy Duck Cafe for some late night supper which was very fulfilling after a nights drinking.

Tonight is my turn with colleagues. We're all going to for a Curry at this really good family-run authentic Indian restaurant. Denz & Irfan are joing us too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oh no.... now even my programming language of choice is old fashioned like a pair of flaired chordaroys! I haven't heard of this new technology called LAMP but I have heard of Ruby on Rails (thanks to Jonno). Maybe its time I jump the bandwagon and learn Ruby. Jonno will be so pleased: "HA... I remember the day that you scorned RoR"
Oh I'm so glad I'm not a sysadmin!! Its hard enough providing tech support for family and friends so I'm so happy to report that user support is not really part of my job function.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I dream she screams...

Primark is an retail chain that has discount prices. The same girls top that would sell in any other store for £7 sells for £2 or £3. Its no wonder this chain is a woman's (read Lulu's) idea of heaven.

I have a dream... of a 3 floor Primark and everything on sale. The men's items encircle the women's - because men dont like to shop and just like to find what they need (not want) and head for the nearest cash register. Women like to hunt, scavenge, and claw each other's eyes out to obtain the better bargain. I liken it to men watching mud/jelly wrestling with the promise of catching a glimpse of titty.

Today Tuesday 13th December 2005 on the news - discount store chain Primark has announced it is to open a store on the fashionable Oxford Street. Oxford Street is perhaps the widest of all London streets where people can walk 15 - 20 across and still be crushed in the wide crush of female shopping frenzy. Add Primark. The already crazied females on shopping highes in the mud wrestling pits that is Primark. Its no wonder Lulu got so excited!

Still its kinda pyshic that I had the dream then heard the news.

Monday, December 12, 2005

BA Christmas Party

This year BA's Xmas party was at On Anon night club in Central London. Here are some of the people who partied into the night.



Carmen & Tracey
Half of the gang



Carmen & Gary
Aisha, Candice & Carmen

Did you know... Graphite Pencils

This from the Metro factfile:

The first pencils were sticks of Cumbria graphite used by the 16th century farmers to mark their sheep. The Germans later made pencils from powdered graphite held together with string. The Italians thought of the wooden casing still in use today. New Yorker Joseph Rachendorfer invented the rubber-tipped pencil in 1858.

Did you know... Peeping Tom

This from the Metro Factfile:
The term 'peeping Tom' can be traced back to the 11th century Coventry. The town's ruler Earl Leofric, had challenged his wife, Lady Godiva, to ride a horse naked through town to top him imposing an oppressive tax. She did - and a tailer called Peeping Tom was the only person who ignored her request to not be watched.

On Spontonaity

I wonder if my male friends have the same issues as me.. or is it just me....

Behind closed doors... ie in front of lulu.... and in response to a Starwars Revenge of the Sith radio ad I break out in quotes from the movie:

Denzil Obiwan
: But you were the chosen one [makes lightsabre sound and corresponding hand movements to indicate sabre slashing]

Princess Leia-Lu (unfortunately without the hair bun curls): Wot is wrong with you?!?! Are you right there?? You've lost it!!! See what computers do to you? The inner geek is coming out! [all the while looking over her eyebrows at me]

So do other males get the same sort of reactions from their partners when they break out in spontaneous bursts of random movie quoting/song/dance? Please leave comments and make me feel like I'm normal!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Yes Gordan I'm Another Year Older.

Another year, another year older. Time certainly does travel faster when you get older!! This year certainly has gone in the blink of an eye. I'm now alittle older at 33, and perhaps abit wiser.

For my birthday Lulu was able to secure a reservation at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at Claridge's. Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity chief in much the same way Jamie Oliver is. (side note is Gordon Ramsay known back home in Australia?)

We had a brilliant 3 course meal with classy silver service. This is the kind of restaurant that celebrities and the social elite dine... commoners like myself generally have to book 6 months in advance! How on earth Lulu managed the reservation is beyond me! Gotta love that woman!

I can't get by the quality of service at this place. A waiter comes by with our orders while 2 other waiters present the food to our table. Considering that a glass of orange juice costs 5.00 pounds I don't know if this would be a regular occurance - despite that the quality and size of the servings being exceptional.

And the best part of the experience was that we saw the man himself - Gordon Ramsay! But unlike his cooking shows we didn't hear him swear.. hahahaha. Seeing Gordon at the restaurant added a special element to the lunch because we thought he would be like Jamie Oliver and not actually work in his restaurants anymore. Unfortunately he left before we could pin him down to get a photo with him! It's nice to know that Gordon himself could have made my lunch :D

Monday, December 05, 2005

Xmas Dinner Party

Last Sunday Belinda, Denz and I joined Cindy and her flatmate Christian for a Pre-Christmas Dinner. We all had a lovely night of cooking and eating together.

Our menu consisted of:
Canapes/Starters:
  • Mini pancakes with smoked salmon & cream cheese.
  • Black olives & cheeses with crackers

Main:

  • Roasted Leg of Lamb with mixed herbs served with Cranberry sauce
  • Roasted potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes & zuchinnis.

Dessert:

  • Light apple tart
  • Baileys chocolate mousse tiramisu

Everything was made from scratch so a big thank you to Cindy for the lovely roast!

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    FAME!!!

    "FAME!!! I wanna live forever.... I wanna learn how to fly.. FLY!!! "

    We saw Fame, the musical tonite. But I guess you figured that out already!! Cindy and Rossie joined us also. They too loved it. I think they loved it for the music, the dancing.. and most of all the hot guy dancers!!! I'm sure they were more than a bit flushed!!!

    To be fair, I enjoyed it for most of the same reasons - except for the hot guy dancers.. the female dancers where drop dead geogous too! Definite something for him and her to look at!!

    What really amazed all of us was how talented all the people in the cast are. Not only were they brilliant dancers but boy could they sing. The songs perhaps weren't as catchy as say Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserable, but the energy on stage and the story was great.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    4 Weeks notice

    Yep..I've done it..I've given my 4 weeks notice. Time is going so fast - i can't believe i've only got another 3.5 weeks work left at BA ;(

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Baby

    Denzil's an uncle again!
    Selwyn, Maria and little Kaitlyn welcomed their new family member on Thursday 24th Nov at 11.45pm. She's a little girl weighing only 2.71kg!
    We're looking forward to meeting the newest Chong member in January.

    Congratulations Selwyn, Maria & Kaitlyn!!

    Guess who's in town?

    Oh my gawd! Yes its Patrick Swayze! hahaha
    Denz heard on the radio this morning he'll be in London for a film premier in Leicester Sq. I'm so excited! Denz is going to try to get some photos for me!! Now I really wished I didnt work so far from the city.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    weekend markets

    Last weekend was spent going to various markets around London. The weather is getting really cold now but that didn't stop us going out!
    Saturday morning we firstly met up with Cindy at Borough Market. Its purely a fresh produce market. Jamie Oliver apparently pays frequent visits too! Although everyones intentions are to do their grocery shopping, ours were mainly to take photos (especially Denzil!).

    We got some really great pics of organic veggies/fruit, fresh seafood, bread & pastries and gourmet cheeses and olives - plenty shots for windows wall paper! We had lunch there at one of the many hot food stalls. We shared a salty beef with mustard baguette roll, hot apple juice with cinnamon and some very chocolatey brownies - mmmm... (photos to follow of the brownies!)

    Lily & Andrew then joined us for the punk-central Camden markets. I love Camden coz its always buzzing with people and theres always something interesting to see! Whether its the punks or goths hanging around the streets or all the little stores selling alternative crafts or funky clothing stores, its always a cool place to hangout and soak up the diverse atmosphere.

    My favourite shop there has to be Cyberdog. Its a huge punk clothing shop that looks more like a nightclub. All day and night it plays hardcore house & dance music in dark lit rooms full of glow-in-the-dark apparrel and its always interesting to see what the shop assistants are wearing too! Its definately an eye opener.

    Sunday we all headed out to Spitalfields Market. This market is more the designer-crafty-type alternative to Paddington market in Sydney. They have recently extended the market so it was packed with people by the time we got there. We didn't spend too much time there mainly because it was way too crowded and bloody cold! So later on, we caught up with Lily & my cousin, Amy and Menelik for something to eat.

    I'm definately gonna miss the markets here when we leave.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Denzil and Irfan

    Sometimes I wonder about Denzil and his male colleagues...

    Denzil Chong wrote:

    Irffie and I just moisturized together… awww… :D hahaha


    hmmm...

    What we've been up to recently

    Lily my sister flew over from Jo'burg to London last week and I took a couple of days off and went shopping with her. She wanted to get all her shopping out of the way before Andrew arrived so they would have more time to do more touristy things. We managed to do Regent St and Oxford St and of course my favourite bargain shop Primark!

    Last Friday, Cindy & Bel came over for dinner after work. It was a busy week so it was nice to wind down over a home cooked meal and a bottle of red wine.

    On Saturday, Andrew arrived and we spent the morning catching up. We then all headed into Soho to attend our friends Cheryl (Denz's ex-colleague) and Corin's farewell. They are going back to NZ so it will be a while 'til we next see them.
    Their farewell was at the Guanabara Bar - a Brazillian night club that had half price drinks until 7pm! We arrived nice and early so we could make the most of Happy hour and by 8pm the club was packed and pumping with people, music and more people. It was a great night out but sad to see them leave.

    Sunday morning we had a nice sleep in. Lily had organised a get together to celebrate Andrew's B'day, so we all went to an English plub called The Holly Bush in Hampstead. We pretty much spent the whole afternoon there. By the time we left the pub at 5pm, it was already pitch dark(you know its winter in England when it gets dark at 4)!

    Monday Andrew, Lily, Denz & I met up with Tedman and Annie for dinner at a chinese restaurant called Phoenix Palace. We had a selection of Crab, duck, tofu, prawns and veggies...mmm. Our tummies were very satisfied.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    She doesn't know it yet...

    Lulu is fanatical about Australian Idol. I think it's worse that we're in London because its hard to see episodes and two, she watches to mock / cringe at the Ozzie accent. Without a doubt her favourite and hopeful to win is Emily, and she doesn't really like any of the blokes.

    She'd be very upset if one of the blokes won. They just don't seem as strong as the sheilas.

    She'll be happy to know that the final will be an all-girl shootout between Emily and Kate.

    Lulu's faith in the Australian public's taste has finally been restored...

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Daily Horoscopes

    This a real horoscope that was shown on public transport in London.

    Sagitarious (Denzil): The universe comes together to bring you closer to your loved one.
    Capricorn (Lulu): Your relationship is definitely over.

    Weird. Contradictory horoscopes. Horror-scopes. With predictions like these its no wonder people don't really believe in this stuff. Still it amuses me reading them (but then the daily comic strips also amuse me).

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    I worry about my friends back home.

    I worry about some of my friends.

    Obsessive compulsive disorder. Net addicts. Physchological dependancy.

    A mate of mine seems to log onto the net just so he can say goodnight to people. Ofcourse I could just be taking an extreme explaination of a perfectly ok situation - he (yes it's a he) could have been logged in for hours already. He probably had been. But I wonder if that really makes the situation any better.

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Hampton Court Palace 16 Oct 2005


    A couple of weekends ago Cindy, Belinda, Denzil & I visited Hampton Court Palace.
    Being one the most popular historical royal palaces, we put our tourist-hats on and made it a day trip. There was a 2-for-1 deal going on so we only had to pay 6pounds each for entry fee (I don't think I would've gone if I had to pay 12 pounds which is about AU$30!).
    The day was well spent walking through the palace and gardens eventhough we had some cloudy weather. Denzil has taken heaps of photos. We'll post some more up soon so watch this space!

    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    Always wanting to be helpful...

    A day in the life of Denzil:

    Denzil: Let me do the washing...
    Denzil: You thirsty? I'll get you a drink....
    Denzil: I can see your cold... I'll get you a blanket...

    I always like to be helpful and considerate of Lulu.

    Rewind.. 5 minutes earlier....

    Lulu: Do you remember what I got you for our first christmas ?
    Denzil: ummm......
    [DING]
    Lulu: Remember what I got you for your 30th birthday?
    Denzil: ummm....
    [DING]
    Lulu: Do you remember when we went to New Zealand?
    Denzil: ummm...
    [DING]

    For those of us who are hearing impaired, the [DING] is the sound of Denzil rapidly loosing brownie points.

    You Gotta Worry...

    You gotta worry when a conversation with a mate goes something like this:

    Chicken Hawk: im so depressed i want to go shopping
    Chicken Hawk: and if i could eat
    Chicken Hawk: id want some chocolate or ice cream
    dwagn: hahahaa. spoken like a true woman!

    perhaps.. hmmm.. i really don't know what else to say on that point.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    How to make rubber.

    Forget the rubber tree. I've discovered a new way to make rubber... but wait it gets better... it's eatable too!!

    6:00am... its dark.. its cold.. and my alarm goes off.
    6:15am... I muster the energy to get up.
    6:17am... Rolled oats + protein suppliment + milk + microwave = breakfast
    6:22am... Ding... 5mins in the microwave. I pull out my breakfast. There's a big white blob in it.
    6:22,50am... Realisation. Enlightenment. Call it what you will. I realise the protein has solidified into a rubber white mass...
    6:23am... that tastes like shit. But then again most protein supplements do.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    weekend

    We had lovely sunny weather over the weekend (suprising eh), but Denz and I spent half of it inside at home sick. Infact all day Saturday we stayed indoors.

    Sunday I felt well enough to go out, so I met up with Cindy for some morning tea. We went to Covent Garden, one of my favourite areas in Central London. Its a maze of small cobbled stone streets with a variety cafes, boutique and high street shops, art and 2 very touristy markets.
    If you go beyond the tourist part of it, it really is a nice area to hang out on a Sunday. After some really nice fresh mint and cinammin tea we got our hair cut and went for some shopping.

    Denz met up with us after lunch and we wondered onto Chinatown for a chinese-grocery-stock-up! Cindy and I don't work in the city so when we visit Chinatown its an opportunity to get some fresh supplies for the week. We bought a variety of chinese vegies, some roast duck and roast pork and some chinese cakes & breads. Yum!
    We also dropped by the Japan Centre as they have a basement supermarket and sushi kitchen where you can buy fresh (you can see all the little japanese ladies makng sushi packs in front of you) sushi packs for quite a good deal.
    Channel 5 were having a movie marathon playing "Into the groove" with Madonna in it; "Dirty Dancing" and "Cocktail"! So of course I watched "Dirty Dancing" (again!) for a bit of a Patrick Swayze perve (Kathleen would've been proud of me). "Ghost" is on this Wed night...so i'm gonna have to watch that too! It was a great way to end the weekend.

    Saturday, October 08, 2005

    Album update

    Our album is finally updated with recent trips Boston, Ireland and NYC. Sorry for the delay- this was due to a slight "technical" failure (in other words Denz finally uploading them!).

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    The cravings..

    Weird....

    Maybe its because I'm sick with the flu, but today I've had weird cravings... for red meat just after I got into the office for work, and just now for hot popcorn with butter... That was even after the 4 (yes FOUR) bread rolls and yoghurt that Lu made for lunch. Thank god I still have a banana, and rice cakes to snack on!

    If I was a girl, I would be wondering if I was having some weird hormonal shifts... perhaps I'm pregnant.

    Stranger things have happened.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    NYC... We back!

    Well folks Lulu and I got back from New York City this morning. We both enjoyed the city immensely. Lulu for the shopping... me for the shopping...

    What?
    Wait!
    Rewind...
    What was that?

    Me for the shopping?? Well heck yeah!! But only because of this one shop. Ok. So its a camera shop. And I finally bought my new digital camera. I'm so happy I was literally bouncing on the bed the morning that I went to buy it!!! Stop laughing. I know you are laughing because I am :D

    For those who care (most of you probably don't) I got the Canon 350D digital SLR. Actually in the States its named Canon Rebel XT. The Yanks like to give everything names. I prefer the 350D designation myself. But then I'm a geek (and photographer - most photographers have the same preference too).

    We'll blog NYC properly later.... I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for my new camera first! hahaha.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    The Ashes...

    Trafalgar Square erupted in celebration for the home coming of The Ashes.

    Men of Valour fought to retain it in foreign Australian soil.
    Men of Courage claim the victory.

    Never before have I seen so many people in Trafalgar Square. Not even the announcement of the Olympic bid did Trafalgar draw so many people. Never before have I seen the English so jubulant in their excitement. So many voices ring out in victory song.

    (And if you listened very carefully... you could hear the distance rumblings of "Aussie Aussie Aussie!!!")

    hmm....

    Its not a good day to be an Australian in Londontown.

    Photos will be posted later.

    The cravings...

    Cravingings...
    I have needs...
    I have wants...
    Chicken..
    BBQ chicken goodness...
    Greasy KFC....
    Protein...
    Protein shakes...

    Every since I wolfed down an entire chicken and tried a few protein shakes I've been getting cravings for protein. I've starving... Went to the gym yesterday. And today. I'm craving. I need a chicken...

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    For all you women out there - RETAIL THERAPY

    *sigh*

    The Sydney Morning Herald has a short video with tips to become an expert shopper.

    The high streets of London have great sales on. Some places you can get everything in store for £5!!! Lulu and Cindy has already hit those.... good thing they havent seen this video yet...

    On protein shakes...

    Many moons and winters ago, a younger Denzil once tried his eldest brother's protein shake. It tastes like shit...

    Fast forward to today.

    Denzil gets up early.
    Denzil goes to the gym.
    Denzil feels pain.

    Denzil tries a protein shake £3.60 for 46grams of whey protein in a milk chocolate shake.

    It still tastes like shit. To be fair it tasted ok - the first half did. The taste became overpowering in the second half and made me feel sick. The sway of the bus (note to self: don't sit on the top deck of the bus - this exaggerates the sway) didn't help.

    You'd think after many years they'd be able to improve the taste.

    Last time I went to the gym I ate an entire chicken afterwards. I didn't feel that crash hot afterwards either. Maybe steak is the way to go to get my protein...

    Read this if your interested about protein shakes.

    Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Saturday Gym Junkie

    11am - 1pm... Oh my lordie! Did I really spend all that time at the gym??

    Must have... coz afterwards I was so hungry I could have eaten a horse... Of course no horses were hurt in the preparation of my meal, but one entire medium BBQ chicken did sucumb to my stomach of steal. I'm also thinking about starting to drink protein suppliments for muscle growth.



    Denzil's 3 point plan for muscle growth:

      This is what I looked like before I started going to the gym. Skin and bones despite having a pretty healthy appetite. One day I hope a small t-shirt will not look like a large on me.
    Me. Perhaps in a few more months, many gym sessions and lots of protein shakes later - me with a decent bit of muscle. Perhaps I'll have to start wearing medium t-shirts.

    This is what I would like to look like. A solid ball of muscle that would rip a t-shirt at the slightest flex of a muscle. Ok, ok.. so I probably could do that now, but that would mean wearing very very tight t-shirts.

    Saturday Afternoon Movie: Paint Your Wagon

    It always amuses me where you find pearls of wisdom and things for thought. This one is from Paint Your Wagon, the only musical Clint Eastwood starred and sang in.

    PARDNER: Ben, do you uh.. you get the feeling you need a drink?
    BEN: How did you know?
    PARDNER: 'Cause I do too.
    BEN: But Pardner, you don't drink.
    PARDNER: No, but I'm changing.
    BEN: Hmmm, and it takes a woman to do it. Bless their hearts

    And another:

    Mrs. Fenty: You should read the Bible, Mr. Rumson.
    Ben Rumson: I have read the Bible, Mrs. Fenty.
    Mrs. Fenty: Didn't that discourage you about drinking?
    Ben Rumson: No, but it sure killed my appetite for readin'!

    More here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064782/quotes

    I'd say this movie has more good quotes than a single episode of The Simpson.

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    Weekend trip to Boston with Carmen 19-21Aug05

      
    The original Cheers Bar The most unusual block of flats i've seen in Cambridge - Harvard University's home town
     
    Carmen and I having cocktails after getting rejected entry at night clubs becoz we forgot our ID!
    Girls would've got free entry before 11pm too! damn!
     Boston Duck Tours

    Michael & Yvonne's visit 17Aug05

    Visitors from Sydney - Mike & Yvonne enjoy a good 'ol pub meal with Dan, Belinda, Denzil and I at Covent Garden.

    Monday, August 22, 2005

    Sunday Nite Blues...

    Sunday night. Last few hours of my 72 hour pass. Lulu gets home in the morning and heads straight for work (good thing she doesn't have to travel too far from airport) so I don't see her until Monday night.

    Its true. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I believe too, I can appreciate her more for it.

    So what have I done in during my free weekend? I made bread. I gymed. I ate some suspect olives that didn't agree with me. Went to the park to relax. Caught up with Cindy. Did some reiki. Did the ironing. Cleaned the room. Burnt some incense. Killed a nasty spider.

    See. When the cat's away, the mice don't always come out to play!

    Oh.. and I also blogged.. but i think you gathered that one already :D

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    It even tastes good!

    Our friend Cindy came over today to entertain me while Lulu is away. You see last week we organised a baking-date. Below are the spoils of our wonderful time together:



    Bread. Wonderful bread. Onion, garlic and herb makes for wonderful bread. The 4 buns on right didn't last long.. all that kneading makes one hungry!!

    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    She left me!!!

    I'm sad...
    She's gone...
    She left me...

    For a woman...

    Yes its true... I'm a free man now... for a count of 72...

    Lulu works in the airline industry and gets some great perks. One of these is called an ID72 - a free return flight to just about anywhere on the map, the catch? You must be back in your original port of departure within 72 hours.

    Her original plan was to go to Montreal, Canada, but that didn't happen as the flight was full. After much nail biting and calling back to the help desk they re-scheduled for Boston, USA. The only cost for the flight is the airport taxes - a whooping $GBP12!!!!

    Being a standby flight you get no choice of seats - which means you could get cattle class... or... business class with flat beds, good food, free alcohol, more space...

    but....

    the catering firm is still in dispute with its workers so they have no food or alcohol on board!!! ARGH!!! They have to buy their own food for the 8+hours of flight time!!! Does that suck? Hell yeah!!!!

    Still, $GBP12.00 business class return to Boston is still a deal! Man I'm jealous!

    The 72 hour pass.

    So how is Denzil planning on spending his 72 hours of Lulu-free bliss?!??

    I'll be missing her dearly of course!!!

    Other than that I can see myself do some very man-ly things.

    Sports. Don't think so.
    Down at the local. Definely not.
    Gym. Perhaps.
    Baking. Yes, most definitely!!!

    My last loaf of bread that I made actually was pretty reasonable, and eatable too. So some of that is on the cards - now you know why I was looking at bread recipes on the net earlier :D

    Oh yeah.. I have to put the apron on and do some house chores too...

    I think I'm a Londoner now...

    Before I arrived in London, those that came before me said "many afternoons in the pubs on a pure liquid carb diet". Yes it is true. Much of the London lifestyle is spent down at the local beer glass in hand getting pissed.

    No. Before you gaze at wonder at your screen and disbelief that I have become the latest member of Alcoholics Anonymous, NO I have not adopted this habit as my own.

    After a nice lunch in Chinatown (conveniently located within minutes of my office at Picadilly Circus), I get back to the office for about 1/2 hour, my boss screams "pack your bags and grab your jackets... we're going to the pub!"

    Who am I to question the wisdom of the elders... :D

    (Note to self: why did I pause and first want to finish what I was doing!?? Perhaps its true, you can lead a Denzil to London, but you can't put the London in Denzil. Actually scratch that. I wasn't lead here, I chose to come on my own accord)

    Friday, August 19, 2005

    I Love Bread Baking Websites

    I just love bread recipes that say put all the ingredients into your bread machine and turn it on!!!

    Kinda defeats the purpose of learning to make bread really doesn't it!!

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    All BA flights suspended

    Great..today is going to be a busy day with calls as all BA fights from Heathrow Airport are suspended until 6pm today due to Airport staff going on strike in support of Union colleagues who were fired by catering firm for BA in-flight food!
    All staff travel is suspended today and over the weekend aswell. My colleague flew to Dubai and was originally planning on returning to London on Sunday, so it looks like she'll be stuck over there for a little longer! Luckily I hadn't planned any travel this weekend but fingers crossed for next week coz I'm going to Montreal.

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    A few Barcelona pictures.

    The photo album has been updated with pictures from Vienna, Hong Kong and Barcelona.

    Below are some from our most recent at Barcelona:

      
    Beach made from reclaimed land. There was even a muscle beachsection.Along the promenade of the beach.
    The city of Barcelona, Spain, as viewed from the castle fortress. The fortress was originally a castle, then converted to a fortress for navel defense.Dude selling donuts whilst singing and dancing with that thing on his head.
    Sculpture by the Sea. Okay so it's not the same as the annual Sculpture by the Sea event Bondi Beach, Sydney holds, but this is a permanent piece.Mussels, Salty prawns & Seafood Paella. Mouth watering. Seafood there was, is, always will be amazing. My favourite were the salty prawns!! *drool*
    Roof top terrace at La Pedrera. La Pedrera is an apartment block designed by Barcelona's favourite (though dead) architect, Gaudi. His organic style of design makes Barcelona architecturally unique and breathtaking.Another of Gaudi's works. The Sagrada Familia. A temple dedicated to the Holy Family. Unfortunately Gaudi died by being knocked over by a tram stepping out of the very building. He himself anticipated that its building would take several generations, much like the building of any cathedral. Its funding is purely by donations - the $EUR8 entry fee is really that... a donation.

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Barcelona, Spain 28Jul - 31Jul 2005

    Denz and I just returned from a lovely trip to Barcelona!
    After a nice early flight, we were greeted by nice hot sunny weather.
    We managed to do a little bit of everything a holiday should consist of. We saw the unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral designed by the city's most loved architect Antoni Gaudi (1882-1926). It looks amazing both close up and from afar as it dominates the whole of Barcelona city. Due to limited funding and original plans being lost and burnt, there is still at least 30years til its completion date!
    Another famous piece of Gaudi's work we visited is the La Pedrera (Casa Mila) building. This used to be an apartment block but is now a museum and cultural centre. What makes this building unique is the external rippled stone facade design and sculptural roof terrace. (photos to follow)
    We also took the funicular train up to the castle which was a lovely view of the coast and the whole city. Wondering through the Old Gothic Town and Catalyuna area was nice too where we discovered lots of cute little shops, tapas bars and restaurants.

    Shopping was good! The sales were on..so Denz had to put up with my visits to Mango and Zara stores. Luckily I didn't buy too much considering we only had 2 pieces of hand luggage.

    After lots of walking around, we managed to get to the beaches for some sunbathing and more photo opportunities. Although we lied under the sun, we didn't seem to pick up much of a tan, but it was nice to relax on the beach anyway. We both enjoyed some of the eye candy on the beach aswell. I found a cute, tall, toned, dark Spanish hunk to perve at so that prevented me from getting bored!

    We ate plenty of yummy foods including seafood, tapas, paella, gelati and drank sangria! Unfortunately we ran out of time, so we missed out on alot of museums and other attractions. Maybe one day, we'll have another chance to go see the rest of Spain.

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Oh its so hard!!!

    Life is oh so hard when you've spent 4 days in beautiful, sunny, blue-skyed Barcelona, Spain and you get back to shitty, grey, gloomy London.

    Barcelona is a gorgeous city. Remarkable architecture, the most notable pieces by their beloved son Antonio Gaudi. Its tempting to write all about it but I won't go into a full write up of our adventures in Spain - I'll leave that for a later post. I just wanted to announce my great displeasure of having to come back to the overcast skies, the rude fair-skinned locals (Spanish people all have tans!!), people scared of terror attacks, shitty transport systems that shutdown if its too cold, or too hot - just don't mention the rain.

    Its a low energy level day today I think....

    Its been scientifically proven that sunlight affects peoples moods. This goes a long way to explain the rudeness of people...

    I think perhaps I need a reiki treatment... and damn I left my crystals at home too.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    The Lure of the Dark Side...

    Jonathan and I have had a long standing argument about a (not so) new programming language called Ruby and one available framework it has called Ruby On Rails - RoR.

    Myself I have been a Java programmer for a while and I'm at the point where I probably can do anything I want with the language. Java is similar to C in that its in many ways a low level language - meaning you have to work harder to get the same result. Ruby on the otherhand (especially when coupled with RoR) is more of a higher level language and promises to reduce the effort to produce the same result.

    Perhaps it was curiosity, perhaps I was fishing for arguements against Ruby/RoR but I have started to read some of the RoR websites... And I'm liking what I'm reading. If it delivers on its promises and reduces the pain of development, surely that is a good thing??!? Then again, my personal trainer at the gym says: "pain is the weakness leaving your body".. Ruby then is for weaklings. Java is for real men!

    There are 2 things I actually don't like about Ruby.
    1. The syntax. It isn't as readible as Java as it borrows somethings from Perl.
    2. You can dynampically add methods to objects. Doesn't anybody else hear the word VIRUS or DANGER when you hear that?

    Addicted To New � Blog Archive � Ruby on Rails < First Impressions

    Gawd I hope Jonathan doesn't read this entry....

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    Its good to be Aussie

    I copped a lot of crap from my English colleges this morning. Australia is playing English for The Ashes. Australia was loosing. "It's the weather.. its too cold, we're used to a warmer climate! We can't function under these colder conditions. You just wait until we thaw out!" I scream in defiance!

    I believe The Green and Gold has thawed. 21 for 5 wickets... According to my English college, this may be the worse Ashes score in history.

    The whimpers of pain eminating from the English corner of the office amuses me greatly...

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Feeling Kinda Buff Today...

    On a slightly different topic than the previous entry....

    One of the benefits of working at my current employer, Netengines, is that I get £50 to put towards gym membership. Monday I finally got up my fat arse and joined after looking at several gyms close to where I work in the city. The Soho Gym that I joined is close to where we live which was the deciding factor.

    My trainer put me through my paces and worked out a program to achieve my goals. It seems I'm quite unfit. No shit Sherlock! It only took my 5minutes on a treadmill to turn my legs to jelly (I wasn't just walking it, I was really pushing against the treadmill too!!).

    With the explosions today, I might walk home again and cut my training short tonight.

    More London Explosions... But we're OK!!!

    More blasts have hit London. Both Lulu and I are fine.

    The blasts this time around appear to me to be copy-cat like with no real intention to cause the devastation. Three blast on trains, and a single blast on a bus. The explosions themselves appear to have been rather small. Not serious injuries have been reported. Witnesses suggest that the people responsible where British (no mention of them being from any ethnic background)

    It is possible that no harm was actually meant by the incidents - perhaps this was some sort of (sic) prank. Or its a warning to say we still can hurt London.

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    Oh one more thing...

    The attacks were no were near where we work or live. They were also not widespread across all of London. Most of London was actually untouched, and now it seems the attacks are over. I say that based upon what has happened elsewhere.. 9/11, Madrid train bombings.. they were not prolonged attacks, but targetted to go off all at once.

    I'm not suggesting its all over... sure the attacks seem to be... there is still the aftermath... the clean up.. the investigations to perform, etc

    We safe! Don't worry!

    Yes we are safe at home. But you probably heard it first here or there.

    I left work about 2pm this afternoon to avoid any problems getting home. I had atleast a 2 hour walk back. I knew the route back, atleast the bus route. The problem is that my bus route takes me past Whitehall (where the goverment offices are - e.g. MoD / Ministry of Defense, etc , the Houses of Parliment (i.e Big Ben), Westminister Abbey, and the MI6 building (remember the one used in a James Bond film?). To me these would also be targets for terrorist attacks as they are large tourist attractions. Where possible I walked the back streets.

    Lulu and her mother couldn't resist the lure of the bargin. There is nothing like a 4 letter word to elicit such excitement, such anticipation like the word "SALE". This I know from experience with Lulu. Harrods was having a sale. An upto 50% off sale.

    My 2 hour march home turned into a hike to Harrods. Unfortunately my trail through the back streets meant that I over shot Harrods and ended up at South Kensington (where many of London's great museums are located). My first savour was in the fact shops were closing early due to the attacks, so we didn't stay long at all (it closed at 5pm, normally 8pm).

    My second savour was the resumption of bus services, which otherwise would have meant probably another hour walking! Due to an accident up ahead, the bus had to detour close to our home, so we had to walk the final part of the journey.

    When we finally got home I was dead tired. Lulu and her mum were lucky, they didn't have to walk as much as me!

    Lulu's mum certainly has had an exciting trip to Europe. They were in Paris when it was announced Paris lost the Olympic bid (while I was in Trafalgar Square, London :) She's seen how London can respond to terrorist attacks. I wish now that she could resume being a normal tourist and go back to shopping and seeing the best London has to offer. Tomorrow I hope things will be more normal.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    London - Ghost Town

    In the wake of the explosions, which the authorities are saying are terrorist attacks, London has turned into bit of a ghost town. Below is a picture of the streets outside the office building where I work. Few people seem to be on the streets. Few cars on the roads. The eerie silence is broken by the sirens of police and ambulances.


    My office is between Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square (they are very close). Picadilly Circus, for those not London savy, is where that big neon Coca-Cola billboard blazes away over the Eros statue. The funny thing about the Coca-Cola billboard, yes it mainly advertises Coke, is that there are McDonalds signs below it, and below that there is a Hungry Jacks. Does that amuse me? You bet!

    By an order of magnitude.

    Regular readers might remember I posted an entry about Jonathan my work colleage who runs his own blog and wrote up a 'Denzil Squirts' entry. The other day Jon (who I might add looks like Dean Cain and somehow also like Johnny Bravo) was showing me his site statistics.

    Should I be worried that the average hit for any entry on his blog is no more than 10, while the Denzil Squirts one was a whopping 54?!?!?

    Perhaps its google's fault and the 1000's of old geezers / pimply kids who google with 'squirt' as a keyword.

    *sigh*

    What will my mum think if she only knew...

    2012.. And the winner is... **BOOM**

    Yesterday the city of London celebrated at the news that London will be an Olympic city in the year 2012 and hold the 30th Olympics. At 12:30pm Irfan (work colleage) and I went down to Trafalgar Sq to here the vote live on big screens. The hoards of people cheered at the announcement as jets flew overhead streaming coloured smoke in their afterburners.

    Today London is in chaos as explosion rip through the capital. Explosions on trains, and stations. Explosions on buses, tearing them open like a can of sardines. It started out with the tube (ie the trains) and a couple of explosions. At first they are saying it was power surges, but the power companys were saying there was nothing to indicate that. 3 buses have reportedly been bombed also, only one have been confirmed.

    Getting in to work was murder (probably a bad choice of words for the current situation). But people were not being allowed onto the tube. Score of people were waiting at the gates of the stations. Others tried to catch buses which were already overcrowded. A screaming mother told off my bus driver because he would not let her and her baby in a pram get on. With the number of people on the bus it would not be safe for her and her baby he argued. I could see his point.

    As I got into work I called Lulu. I told her what was happening but still wanted to come into the city to go shopping with her mum. Later news reports told of the havic in the city. The bombing of buses. Dead bodies covered on the pavement. I was getting really worried about Lulu. Her mobile was not ringing (the mobile networks overloaded), and no answer on the house phone either! I kept trying until I finally got through. She and her mum had gone down the road to the supermarket for food. I was so relieved that she hadn't come out!!

    We're ok. No need to worry. Although I'm stuck in the city for abit. Not sure if / how i'll be able to get home yet. But I will, don't you worry about that. I can always walk... 2 hours is all it'll take :D

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    7-5, 6-4, 6-2 - Wimbledon

    In a satifying 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 win over Karol Beck, Mark Philippoussis goes to the next round of Wimbledon on the first day of play.

    Andrew, Lulu and I made our way in blistering 32 degree heat and humidity to Wimbledon to support the green and gold. We figured we should go at least once to Wimbledon to hear the crowds roar. The hiss of the ball as it speeds across court... And the agony of people in pain as they get whiplash from swinging their heads left to right to left at incredible speeds!


    Wimbledon 2005 lawn/Andrew and Lulu by the 2005 Wimbledon lawn.
    Acting cool.. Acting swarve.Mark Philippoussis about to serve another ace.

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    Bread making. You learn something new every day.

    My dough... my dough.. my dough won't rise!

    I followed the same steps as last time to make my pimpkin seed bread, but for some reason the dough refused to rise. Bummer! The used by on the yeast is fine. I used a little less butter this time, but that shouldn't stop the dough rising.

    Google. Google is my friend. Google good.

    Yeast is a living thing. A plant / fungus that eats gluten that comes in packets perfect for one loaf when mixed with warm water. Warm water it seems does not mean adding yeast to boiled water, and then adding cold water. The problem is that this kills the yeast culture.

    Damn.

    Wish I had known that before. The bread faq is now required reading it seems.

    I'd wager the bread is going to come out heavy again because of the yeast. Note to self - yeast + sugar works... should give a softer loaf.

    Oh.. and if you like sourdough then you might like to read the faqs available here.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    It just doesn't pay...

    It doesn't pay to work with fellow geeks especially when they blog too. Jonathan is more geek than the rest of the team put together but I probably wouldn't encourage him by saying that to his face (the fact that he reads my blog defeats that though!). Either way, Jon is a wonderful bloke, cheers to you mate!

    Reading through more of Jon's blog, I seem to get mentioned every so often... the latest regarding twig tea!!

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    Here's the rest

    A couple of posts ago I posted a Dilbert comic strip... here's a few more in the series:





    Monday, June 06, 2005

    We 'av bread G'ovna

    Harrods isn't just a place of expensive merchandise. It is the reason for my latest inspiration for a bit of bread making (despite walking out with a loaf of pumpkin bread). This attempt sure beat the first time when I made Chinese Fighting Muffins, or bread that was just eatable.

    This is the way we knead the bread, knead the bread, knead the bread...Flour, yeast, heabs, butter, salt and bird seed = the basis of one nice bread loaf.
    I actually used a pack of Omega Seed Mix that I got from a health food store in Bath, UK.And there it is folks.
    It turned out a bit heavy (could do with more rising) but quite tasty!! All in all I think I'm getting closer. Closer to the perfect loaf!

    Sunday, June 05, 2005

    I never thought I'd hear ..

    I dont believe it... Denzil just asked if I wanted to go shopping!?!!
    I'd never thought I'd hear that from him! Now I just hope his shopping urge holds until we go to HongKong in 3 weeks!

    Friday, June 03, 2005

    The English Accent

    When I come home to Australia, I hope I come back with an accent (and not sound like Kylie Minogue):