Friday, July 28, 2006


This weekend we are heading down to the Isle of Wight for a cycling trip with a bit of a gang from Smithy's work.

I am looking forward to it. We are staying in what looks like a very nice hotel.

But I am a bit nervous for a few reasons:
1. I haven't been on my bike for over two years. I had to get it serviced last week and the back wheel straightened as it went a bit wonky on its latest flight from Aus.
2. The tone of the girl organising the trip. In her emails she says v. worrying things like "a short 35 mile ride to the hotel at Freshwater" and, "day two we can take it easy on the 30 mile return". What the?!!

3. I don't know these people but I suspect they are very fit and sporty. Stranger danger.
4. It wasn't until yesterday that it dawned on me that catching the ferry over = no car. ie carrying stuff for the night in a back pack! I'm not sure if I can cope with any excess baggage.
5. When I mentioned IOW at work everyone started chanting "Cows, Cows....for Cows?". This made me very confused until they explained Cowes week is some major yachting thing. So it will be very busy there.

But on the bright side, today when I went to the bike shop I discovered these excellent cycling pants that have the regular cycle pants with the sexy padded bit on the inside and regular shorts on the outside!! I can appear in public in these things without dying of celulite/muffin top shame inside. YAY!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


WIP Bebe Robbo Quilt
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Making steady progress with Bebe Robbo's quilt. I can now confirm he is no longer nameless. Lewis Alexander is very very cute. And perfect.

A couple of thunderstorms have broken the record breaking heat. So now it is hot and humid. Still loving it though - as long as I can avoid public transport as much as possible. I have taken to buying a Calypo at either the beginning or end of my journy home. I can give you the fascinating information that a Calypo at Blackfriars Station snack bar is £1, at the corner shop at East Dulwich its 75p and at the offie a bit futher down the road they are 65p. But they are all slightly melted whereever you get them at the moment.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Welcome Bebe Robbo

Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

You beat me to it...I'm still making your pressie. But it might be finished before your parents choose your name.

Congratulations Robbo & Robert


Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bebe Robbo

This little fellow is definitely taking his time getting here. To be fair he's only a couple of days late. His parents are a little impatient but I'm secretly (not any more) quite relieved. It will give me some more time to make a bit more progress than this one patch.

London T.O.A.S.T

We went to Regents Park for the TOAST festival on Saturday for the NZ day of food and wine tasting. We went to the North Is vs South Island wine tasting. I like the "younger" South Island reisling but was completely out of sync with the rest of the crowd. Everybody liked the Pinot Noir.

We regrouped in the afternoon for the Dave Dobbin concert. Being a uncouth Aussie I didn't have a true appeciation for his genious but he does have a few goodies. To be honest the only one I recognised was Slice of Heaven that they play at the rugby ;)

Great weather, great wine and a fab day out in the sun. Loving summer this year. Apparently its due to be THIRTY EIGHT degrees here tomorrow (about 100 degrees for those working in the weird system).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tower bridge from London bridge

I haven't posted much for awhile as I started my "60 days of exercise" (on the day that Australia was evicted from the WC. By those ch**ting....ha well we'll never really know. But anyway). So that night I obviously didn't exercise but it has been going pretty well since then with at least a 80% hit rate. Conversely, since that point I have been socialising randomly more than I have since...awhile (one or two quiet ones).

Last Friday night after afore mentioned one or two (LARGE) quiet ones I decided it would be best if I walked to London Bridge before heading home (damage limitation). Somehow I thought the alcohol might be diluted by the exercise. Unfortunately it had the effect of the alcohol levels rising to the point of "peaking" as I arrived home (another story). Anyway. If I hadn't decided to do my daily exercise on the way home I would have missed an incredible sunset over the Thames and "beautiful light". At the time i thought it was possibly a divine nod to the aniversary of 7/7. But thinking back I'm not sure if it was "beautiful light" but "diesel fueled light". I'll let you be the judge.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Second bedroom reborn

Second bedroom AFTER

The new curtains in the second bedroom - and the Icelandic Blue walls. I still need to paint the skirting boards but it may be awhile before that happens but thought I'd show these off in the meantime. I love this fabric its so glam and pretty. Steve came to the rescue with his power tools and helped me put up the curtain rail.

Second bedroom BEFORE

This room wins the award for "most improved carpet" although you can't see that in the picture above. Just be comforted that this minging stuff has gone, along with the scary weapon.

Istanbul Birthday Weekend

Its been a bit quiet around here because I've been busy celebrating my birthday week. Last weekend Steve took me to the cool city of Istanbul for my birthday. We stayed in the old city around the corner from the Hagha Sophia and the Blue Mosque (above).

We took Friday off work and caught the three hour flight early Friday morning. On Friday night we went to Rami - a restaurant with a roof terrace overlooking the Blue Mosque. There was the sound of turkish music floating up from the coffee shops in the markets below and later in the evening the eerie sound of the call to prayer sounded out from it and other neibouring mosques in answer.

We set out on Saturday morning to visit Haghia Sophia but the Armenian Arch Bishop was visiting so about 1000 police were out in force keeping tourist away. We made our way down to Topkapi Palance instead. The highlight was a tour through the Harem, although our militaristic tour guide (necessary for this part of the palace) kept us going through it at a trot. "Ladiiiiies and Gentlemen we have only 20 minutes. Follow me please. NOW!" was her mantra throughout. I managed to take a whole lot of photos still and am very grateful for the invention of digital camerals yet again. There are apparently over 300 room in the harem but we only ran through about 20 of them - but all spectalularly tiled and decorated with stained glass windows and inlay wood cabinets.

We also went underground to the cool, dark Cisterns where I moronically asked Steve why there was water everywhere. huh?!! Well the Cistene Chappel doesn't have water all over the place! This was a massive underground building with 336 columns supporting the roof. It was built by the Romans at the same time as the Haghia Sophia and forgotten, only resdisovered in 1545. The purpose is obviously to store the city's supply of water and it is mind blowing that it still works 1400 years later.

In the afternoon we went to the Grand Bazaar after being waylaid by a hopeful carpet seller on the way who was disappointed when we didn't snap one up. We did enjoy the apple tea though. It was good preparation for bargaining in the market though. After saying "no" a few times the prices came down dramatically. I used this technique to snap up a couple of leather handbags at great prices.

We made it back to the Haghia Sophia on Sunday morning. I don't think I've been to another building as old - built in the 6th century which makes it over 1,400 years old and its spectacular. Originally a Byzantine christian church, converted into a mosque in the 15th century and then deconsecrated and turned into a museum when the Greeks and Italians were trying to turn it back into a Christian church at the fall of the Ottoman empire in 1934.

Finally we went into the Blue Mosque for a brief gawk after removing shoes and covering hair and shoulders. Most of it is roped off for men only, women are allowed to hang out at the back.