Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

Smith and Jones

I don't blog unless I am travelling. I don't think the world needs more mundane drivel.

But I will blog for the greatest traveller of them all :)

Ladies and Gentlmen, Please be upstanding for the 3rd series of the new Doctor Who!. It has started in the U.K as of 31st of March and it is (on the words of his Ninth Regeneration)


You have to wonder about a show that can make a man in his early thirties 'Squeeee' with joy at the sight and sound of a old blue police box.

Watch it.. love it... The Tenth Doctor has found his stride and his new companion, Martha, looks like a fiesty new girl in the 900 year old time lords life

Monday, January 08, 2007

Home again, Home again, Jiggedy-Jig-Jig!

Flew into Bris-Vegas early in the morning after a 15 hour flight. It is amazing how one becomes used to long haul flights. I was wedged in between a stranger on my right (who had nabbed the important window seat!) and Girlclumsy on my left. I thought i was going to have a problem being stuck in the middle but i was very zen about the whole situation (after having a minor freakout at Dubai airport).

Coming from a scottish winter into an australian summer has be kicking me around. Not the temperature, which has been very nice all things considering, but the sunlight. Right now in Glasgow the sun doesn't get up until after 8:30am (which is a sensible time to be up, if you ask me) and goes down about 4pm. This morning i was awoken by very loud and impolite australian birds screeching at each other about how great the day was... at 5am! By 7:30am the sun had risen higher in the sky than it ever does in scotland and seems to be intent on reaching the zenith as soon as possible. After many months away I am a stranger in a strange land.

Things look odd to me at the moment. 2L softdrink bottles are fat and round where in the U.K they are taller and slender. The trees have leaves on them. Australian birds are very impolite! The European birds seem to talk to each other in measured tones where aussie birds yell at top volume. I can hear in the background people out mowing their lawns (which are surprisingly green considering Brisbane is in the middle of level 4 water restrictions)

I have started moving all my stuff into the new flat. I am glad i turfed so much of my collected rubbish before i went away but after living from one backpack for 5 months i am appalled how much more rubbish i seem to have. One only needs a pair of shoes, a few pairs of underwear, a shirt or two and pair of good jeans... and a swiss army knife. Anything else is an extravagence!

I am back in Brisbane... i'll get back to the relative 'goodness' or 'badness'of this fact later ;)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Dubai, Dubai, Wipe that tear from your eye

Salaam Ali Koomb from the United Arab Emirates!

Instead of stampeding for home in a 24 hour marathon flight, Girlclumsy and I decided to break the journey up by stopping at the extraordinary Dubai. The flight on Emirates was great. The seats are comfortable and they dont squash you right up against the seat in front. The inflight entertainment was amazing with hundreds of movies, tv shows and radio to enjoy.. they even had games. If you get bored on planes now it really is your own fault! I even liked the food! A very enjoyable flight all round.

Dubai is an amazing place especially if you like shopping. There are more posh shopping centres here than anywhere I have ever seen and more extravagent (but tasteful) displays of mega-wealth than anywhere else. Of course there is more to Dubai than just shopping and you can get a godo feel of the 'normal' people here but walking around the streets in souks and markets.

Girlclumsy has come down with some sort of illness. We thought she had caught my flu from a few days ago but she has been slightly more seriuosly ill than that! (Dont get tooo worried. she aint dyin'!)

We went to the Mall of the Emirates and saw the 400m long indoor skiing field they have built. The place is huuuuuuuuge and it even have mock swiss chalets inside it so the skiers can get a hot chocolate.

35 years ago Dubai was basically desert but now it ruptures out of the sand next to the beautiful arabian gulf. It is amazing what stability and extreme wealth can do to make a city bloom in the desert.

On the bus yesterday we started talking to a local man. He was very happy to help us with directions and local information as long as we told everybody back in Australia that Muslims are not all terrorists. He felt that western media portrayed muslims in a bad light andhe really wanted us to address that balance. As far as im concerned muslims are just people like everybody else. It is the lunatics that can be found in ALL countries and ALL religons that make life difficult for the average peace loving person.

We went to stare at the Burj Al Arab. It is the hotel that instantly comes to mind when you think of Dubai. Rising 320 metres above the sea it looks like a white sale and won the Hotel of the Millenium a few years ago. I found out it is based slightly on the Sydney Opera House and Eiffel Tower. You cant go in there just to look around anymore and the rooms cost from $2500 a night! Girlclumsy and I made do with looking at the outside for free.

This city is constant flux with many many many new skyscrapers going up all around. There is a new train system being built and i get the feeling this city will be considered one of the greatest cities on earth very very soon. Dont get me worng.. there is awful poverty here as well but the city has a very modern vibe to it that makes it very easy to like.. even for a non-shopper like me!

We dont really have enough time to explore this city at any great depth but it is somewhere we would like to come back to in the future..especially when we can afford $2500 a night for a room!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Movin' on into 2007


The sun was shining bright today here in Glasgow today. Clear blue skies and a bright sun is not the norm for this time of year. I keep being told it is 'unseasonably warm'. I like to think my Sun-God powers grow ever greater with each passing year.. or maybe it is Global Warming... Wah Divinity or Pollution... the great debate!

I have to point out one thing.. ice is hard and wet! I know you are sitting there thinking DUH! but for me ice has always been something that gummed up your freezer. It wasnt something that occured naturally on the ground! Solid water and liquid water co-existing together in the same place! a miracle! I have uploaded all the photos to date at this URL. To see me struggling with the concept of solid water overlaying liquid water in a pond have a look at the 'Muir of Ord' photos.

New Years Eve was a hoot! I have come down with some kind of cold/flu thingame and it really has been kicking me around but a few lagers and wee drams of whisky and i was ready to ceilidh the night away. You can see how ill i am in the photos ... some of it is my usual ugly moosh but a lot of it is nasty flu. Outside was blowing a huge gale. The outside celebrations for most of Scotland was cancelled due to the dangerous winds but we were safe inside an old stone church in the middle of the city. I have uploaded all the photos from NYE as well... what does a mock-scotsman wear up his kilt??? The Ceilidh dancing was great. I had my first taste of it at my sister's wedding and i was chuffed to do it again for New Years Eve. It is a great, inclusive style of mass dancing and if you are crap at it is doesnt matter as everybody gets bad as the whisky flows! huzzah! It ended with Auld Lang Syne yelled at top volume at least three times and loads of hugging and kissing all round .. aaaw. Girlclumsy and I even had a romantic waltz.. double aaaw. The night didnt end there! Nooooo sireeee! We whisked ourselves through the gale to Wes and Julie's flat .. kinda near the Gorbals but i was pretty wasted at the time and that might be wrong :) There we got down to listening to scottish tunes.. such as the Proclaimers and many renditions of 'Flower of Scotland' ('..and sent them home, to think again'). i know there was a video camera wandering about and i know i did 'something' in front of it. It might just destroy my future political career ;) All in all a fabulous night with fabulous people.

I have had many different types of single malt whisky poured down my gullet over the last few weeks and i have developed a taste for the expensive stuff :) I am now a Whisky-Snob in training :) There are so many types of whisky... but it is called the Water of Life so if i drink a lot of it i am sure i will have enough years to sample them all.

I am going to miss my sister Deb and her new husband Eoghann. They have been oh so welcoming. They had only bought this house a little before we arrived and with the wedding and us swanning in and out over 2 months they really havent had much time to enjoy it by themselves. I can only hope they come out to Oz pretty damn sharpish!

Tomorrow we are off again! Boarding a midday-ish plane to go to the United Arab Emirates and more particularly Dubai. Who knows what madness awaits us there but it cant be any 'worse' than Morocco!

Sky Wagons Ho!