Friday, November 24, 2006

Big Birds In The Snow

The Bond Street lights were switched on today by Thandie Newton. I missed the actual switching on bit as was still slaving away at work but was still charmed later by the sight of snow swirling down the street as Christmas lights shone beautifully all around and giant women stode through the crowd.

Not something that you see everyday, that's for sure.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Hand-in-hand, fighting our way past the vast hoardes of shoppers, bags bulging mostly with things nobody really wants at prices that anyone in their right mind shouldn't pay. (Wait for the sales, a little voice in my head says.)

Hmmm, it's easier to negogiate this lot singly, holding hands, when everyone aims for the gap between the two of you, is a lot harder.

Visiting shops or sections of shops that blokes shouldn't be in / aren't comfortable in but have to to please the other halves.

It has to be done, compromise or something like that being a foundation of a good relationship. Communication being another, the rest yet to be figured out...


*sigh* Here we go again...

Xbox360 broken. Microsoft Support excelling once more.

"Please try everything in this knowledge base article and if that doesn't work contact Xbox support." is the reply I received from the support robot.




Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Since I've been off sick for the past two days, I don't really have anything to blog about other than I'm glad that I managed to nab a few seasons of the very funny "Family Guy" on DVD in HMV last week as it's given me something to watch and cheer me up whilst I'm convalescing.

Oh, yeah. My XBOX360 is broken and Microsoft's free helpline is perma-engaged so I've had to e-mail them and wait for a reply, one day...*sigh* Microsoft helpline hell again...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yet More Fireworks

I've not been feeling too brilliant all weekend. I've one of those colds that start as a sore throat and then a temperature etc.

Bloody annoying. I always seem to come down with whatever is going around. Being thrust into the sardine can of humanity that we call our tube system twice a day probably isn't helping.

Nevertheless I managed to pop out yesterday to see a nice though rather fluffy, feel-good British-set romantic comedy called "Starter For Ten." The cinema was nice and warm and I scoffed a pack of Maltesers for their obvious medicinal qualities and then braved the cold for a while to watch a firework display on the Thames.

Unfortunately ended up feeling the worse for wear as it took over half an hour to get back across the river to the north side and apart from popping out to church and to get medicine have stayed in all Sunday feeling tired.

I hate feeling ill!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Popped into Vietnam today

I popped along to the Vietnamese embassy this morning to sort out the Visa for my upcoming holiday in January.

It's on Victoria Road, just five minutes walk from High Street Kensington and you can't miss it thanks to the huge red flag with a gold star prominently waving from the front of the building.

Embassies are funny old places. They never look the same inside as out and of course there's that bit of international law which means that once you are inside an embassy, you are counted as being on that land's soil beholden to its laws, rather than that of the country where the embassy itself is located. (Hence the title of this post.)

As it was, the building seemed quite grand from the outside but inside had the impression of a slightly run down but cosy home. It made up for it's lack of square footage by having lots of floors, none of which I would have the chance to explore as the consulate section was just across from the main door.

And by consulate section, I mean a small hallway with two sofas tucked away in one corner and two chairs placed in front of the two windows behind which sat two members of the consulate staff.

One window was for applying for your visa, the other for paying for it and getting a receipt.

There was only a short queue but annoyingly the first guy at the front was making a non-standard request that was taking up all the time. Annoying, because I had hoped to pop in and out quickly and get on to work as soon as possible.

Then, some bloke came along asking if he could also get his visa for Laos here.
Yes.....Laos. A completely different country, a concept that he evidently hadn't quite grasped.

"No sir," he was told, "you'll have to go to their embassy in Paris for that!"

When I did eventually get to the front, after about twenty minutes, the women behind the window took all of thirty seconds to process my application form (downloaded from their web site and pre-filled in by me along with one wonderfully posed photograph of me looking like the spy that came in from the cold) and then spent the next minute excruciatingly unwinding the cord on her phone before allowing me to move into the next queue for the cashier's window. *sigh*

For some reason, I'd thought that the visa was only 30 quid but it turned out that it was 38! *another sigh* Luckily I had the exact cash so handed it over, got a receipt in return (as I had to leave my passport with them) and was told to come back next Thursday to collect it.

So ended my trip to Vietnamese territory.

I'll be popping back there next week and will hopefully stay in the real thing a bit longer come January...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Christmas Baubles

People say that Christmas seems to arrive earlier every year. Personally I'm pretty sure it arrives every October, right on cue.

I wandered down Oxford Street today and up to Piccadilly and around to Regent Street.

The Regent Street lights are bloody awful. For a street with so many prestigious stores, it beggars belief that all they can manage year-on-year is an animated movie sponsorship deal which leaves us with cartoon characters on lights rather than anything even half decent. What's that all about?!

The Oxford Street lights (which get switched on this Thursday) are rather chandelier themed but I still think that Liberace styled lights beat unknown cartoon characters any day.

Oh, and bumped into the lovely Anne of
InTheFray fame at Bond Street tube on my way to Piccadilly. The other half had originally thought that I was talking to a member of LU staff as Anne has underground roundel badges on her hat and jacket. Hehe.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Happy Christmas (Aussie Style)

Yes, it's a Christmas tree made out of Fosters cans!
Pretty normal for Acton, I guess...


God, these things are bloody hard to photograph...
Here's one that turned out okay from Saturday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Eat And Two Veg

The first (and maybe last) of my restaurant reviews. Places me and the other half have tried...

Eat And Two Veg - A cosy diner type restaurant, on Marylebone High Street, catering for those of the vegetarian/vegan persuasion.

We turned up around about half-6pm-ish on a Friday and half the booth seating areas were free. Despite this we were directed to a central table and when we asked if we could sit in a booth or a seat around the edge where at least one of the seats would be a comfy booth-type seat, we were told that all the booths and the nine edge-tables were booked up for people arriving at 7pm.

We stayed until 7:30 and nobody had turned up to occupy any of these seats, which was a tad annoying.

This asides, I had a nice Lancashire Hot Pot, washed down with alcohol free Cobra. I was intrigued by the concept of an alcohol free version, so thought I'd try it. As it was, it was very nice with a slight honey-like taste. The Hot Pot was okay but not really filling enough for me and the other half ordered something a schnitzel that included oodles of spinach but not a lot of mash so was also slightly disappointed. The other half, also, wasn't all that pleased with the range on their menu but I thought that it was okay. (She is a fussy eater though.)

I finished with a fruit crumble which was delicious and large compared to what I had expected. It certainly filled me up in a way that the main course hadn't.