Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The people we meet

Today I was thinking about some of the interesting people you meet when going about your day -to-day life. You know, a person whose name you don't know but face you recognise, a person that is a complete stranger bar the odd incidental conversation. I am sure you can think of a few that appear in your daily routine, and I'm interested to hear about it. These are a few of mine:

1. The girl in the store outside Victoria Station that sells me Chupachups from Lublin, Poland. Yesterday she told me that Chupachups are more common in Lublin than London, and went on to say that she used to think Lublin was a big city until she moved here.

2. The Kurdish guy that sells me Diet Coke in Ealing Station. Although he grew up in Iraq he's adamant that he's Kurdish, not Iraqi. He's currently setting up a Shisha Bar in South Ealing, which I assume has gotten off the ground as these last few days there has been another Kurdish guy selling the Diet Coke.

3. The men that run an awesome diner in St Martin's Court, part of the maze of streets between Leicester Square and Covent Garden. One is half Greek and half French, and the other Italian. They both have massive smiles and greet customers with a mix of Greek, French and Italian which I find hilarious.

Who are yours?

Monday, 20 April 2009

Two years

We've been hitched two years. Yay! It's been grand, being married (or should I say Civil Unioned) is cool, although think it is my choice of husband that has made it such. Although I could go on, to spare you more OTT cheesiness, I'll just post some pics instead.

Two years ago ...

One year ago, in Paris ...
Now! In New York ...

Friday, 17 April 2009


Last weekend we were walking to the White House and noticed a crowd. Nosey as ever, we went to investigate. On closer inspection, we realised that not only were there lots of people standing around, but plenty of police as well. Eventually, we also noticed this sniper hanging out on the building above us.
Given that the entire situation felt like something from a movie, I was not surprised to find out that the Obama clan were inside the church across the road. Naturally, we hung around in the hope we'd see them. The wait was fun - the crowd was in good spirits in spite of the number of police around, including one on a bike that would cruise up and down to eyeball us every now and then. Strangers were chatting, and everyone was clutching their cameras ready to pounce the moment the First Couple appeared.Sadly for us, Obama snuck out a side door and we only got a fleeting glimpse of Michelle. The whole situation was hilarious though, and another reminder of both what an important man Obama is and that Washington D.C. is where it's at. Anyway, with cut-outs like the ones below, who needs to see him in the flesh anyway? ;)

Monday, 13 April 2009

Best jumping photos ever

I love jumping photos. Sure, you look ridiculous while taking them, and a lot of the time your camera ends up filled with photos of people in weird squats. Ones like these taken yesterday in the lovely city of Washington D.C. make it all worth while though - even if Ngaire did land on a strange angle after the last one and had a limp for the remainder of the day. Good times.

The Washington Monument
The Lincoln Memorial

Sunday, 12 April 2009

New York, New York

There is reason that so many people wear t-shirts that say "I Heart New York". New York rocks. It's a crazy place filled with yellow cabs, bagels and places that remind me of the movies, and more fun in an "I cannot believe I am actually here" kind of way than anywhere I have visited yet.
Tane at Wall Street.

There were three highlights for me during our visit - going to Planet Hollywood and a Broadway show with Ngaire, visiting the top of the Rockefeller Centre, and taking a boat to Liberty Island. Seeing the Statue of Liberty was especially fun after we decided to by green foam hats to mark the occasion as these were perfect for some shameless posing.

If I were to name my top place in New York, though, it would have to be Times Square. Before I saw Times Square, I considered NY all hassle and no charm. Who knew that dozens of crazy neon lights and a three level M&Ms store would change my mind?

I loved New York, and can't wait to go back again one day. For a small island, Manhattan is somewhere that I could happily spend a lot of time in, even if dodging the yellow taxis is a daily occurrence. I didn't buy one of those cheesy t-shirts, but if I feel the same next time might just. Brooklyn Bridge, right before we approached some sifty looking Italian-Americans (one with a cut lip) in a parking lot for directions. We are sure that we interrupted a clandestine meeting and are lucky not to be swimming with the fishes ...

Monday, 6 April 2009


Last week I visited the American Civil War battle site Gettysburg, the location of what many historians argue to have been where the Civil War turned against the South.

Like many other battlefields, little remains apart from grass, memorials, plaques and the odd cannon. It is still well worth a visit, however, especially to the gift shop where you are able to buy Confederate flags, Civil War chess sets and Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. The town of Gettysburg is charming, and my only regret is not reading up more about the battle before going there. I really enjoyed visiting nonetheless, and look forward to going back one day with Tane in tow.

On the left, Mikey looks a tad happy for someone born in the South. The photo on the right shows one of the many Confederate flags shown at the site.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

London in the spring

In case you were wondering if Lauren was the only one having a good time, over there in the US, I should say that its pretty darn wonderful here in London at the moment. It's funny, it's not until living in this part of the world that I really appreciated what a big difference the change in the seasons makes. New Zealand doesn't have the major shift from winter to spring that the UK does, particularly because it's closer to the equator and most of the trees are evergreens. Here it was dark at 4pm back in December, but is now light until 8pm. All the trees that were grey skeletons a little while ago are now either covered in blossoms or emerging leaves. This weekend we could wear shorts and the parks were packed. It's amazing what a lift it gives to people. Sitting St James' Park yesterday, surrounded by groups of people chatting, laughing or reading, you could almost see the happiness radiating off everyone.

So here are a few reasons why spring is great.

1) Flowers! The daffodils are out everywhere and the flowerbeds are filled with colours.

Yes, I've put up two flower photos. It's true. I am a girl.

Perfect weather for football in Kensington Gardens.

Andrew Burge is in town!

OK, so my old uni flatmate, divemaster and traveller extraordinare Andrew visiting Europe actually has nothing to do with spring, but it was really cool catching up with him after a few years. Pity my photo in front of the Diplodocus in the awesome Natural History Museum was a lot less than awesome.

But despite it being so nice in London at the moment, I'm really, really looking forward to joining Lauren over in the States on Thursday. Yay!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Roadtrip, wooo!

I have been spending the last few days on the road with my best friend from school, Rachel, and her two kids. It has been great fun, especially spending time with them and watching the USA whizz by out the window. It really is a massive country, we drove for two days yet only passed through four states and covered in area of about 1 cm on my map.

Rachel with Mikey and Emmelia

The highlight for me, apart from spending time with the kids and catching up on years of conversations with Rachel, was seeing two Amish people on a horse and buggy in Upstate New York. That, and discovering dark chocolate peanut M&Ms. Happy. The wee Deck whanau has headed to South Carolina now, but I'm hoping to see them again soon. It's great that my friends live all over the world and that I am travelling myself, but it does make me a little sad that there are all these little people that I am not seeing growing up.