Thursday, 22 November 2007


So our trip to Ireland was the least organised of all our trips so far. We basically bought the flights about 2 weeks before leaving and only sorted out the hire car and accomodation the day before leaving !! But it all worked out and we had a lovely relaxing time away.

On the tuesday evening straight after work we got a flight through to Dublin, picked up the hire car and set off to find the hotel. And after a few circles of the temple bar area we finally spotted the hotel and then had to start trying to find parking ...and finally settle on a parking garage nearby that did turn out to be the right place as the hotel provided a discount for that particular one. After check in we basically went up to the room and crashed as it was now 1am - but not without a little tv watching since we are Tv-less at home.

Wednesday consisted of a Hop on Hop off bus tour of Dublin with use stopping and doing the tourist thing at the guinness factory (started in 1759 and still there), the Kilmainham goal (very interesting place and learnt loads about irish history), and the Jamison whiskey distillery (ok so this one was more for Callum - but it was still very cool) We then headed back to the temple bar area and settled down in the Bull and Castle for dinner of a HUGE steak and deep fryed mars bar from desert (more known as a Scottish thing tho) We then rolled back to the hotel and finished off the day by lying there holding our stomachs from the over indulgence of food and watching tv again :)

Thursday started off nice and slow and we head off and found the most stunning little shop called the Queen of Tarts for breakfast which was so yummy! Def a reamendattion to anyone going to Dublin. We then walked down to the end of the road to Trinity college (stopping off first to buy a memory card for the camera since its one had been left at home rendering us pictureless for the first day) In Trinity college we saw the book of Kells and the exhibition. Afterwards we headed down the shopping roads and then back to the car.

Once in the car we headed off North to the Passage tombs. This is truely an amazing experience. The Tomb we went to was the largest in the area and was built in 3000 BC - just think that is 5000 years ago ! Insane to think. We got a guided tours and went inside which was very strange - it is a long narrow passage way to a small 'room' with the 3 little niches on the sides that held the carved stone basins that used to hold remains. There were also tons of beautiful stone carving inside the tomb. It then has earth and stones piled on top of it - about 3m deep. And on the winter solstice the sun rises and shines up the passage way and into the tomb. They tried to recreate it with light bulbs which meant that we were in the small tomb with 25 people (it is pretty tight) and in pitch black darkness for sometime.

After that we headed back to Dublin for Dinner and found and lovely italian restruant and had our selves some pizza and wine.

Friday - we said goodbye to Dublin after breakfast in an american styled diner and headed off down the coast to Cork. We took some nice little back roads along the way and got to see ruins from the roadside and then finally stopped in Duncannon for a little walk on the blue flag status beach and have a look at the fort (which was very impressive for a fort - like a little village itself)

We then headed off to try find out way back to the main route and found a car ferry that crossed the river making our journey even shorter. Plus is was just so cool to drive the car onto a ferry to cross a body of water - its the kind of thing you see in the movies all the time but have never done. Was so cool ! We then headed through waterford which is *surprise surprise* where waterford crystal comes from and onto a small little town with a pretty (but polluted) harbour for lunch/dinner. We found a pub called the moorings on the harbour front that was populated with locals speaking a incompreshable form of english with such a think irish accent. We had a very difficult time understanding the waiter/barman - was very funny.

Finally we made it to Cork at about 19:30 and after doing circles of the city we found our way to the B&B - they do love their one way roads in Ireland. We then crashed once again after a lovely day.

Saturday - We found ourselves a bus tour of the city and learnt alot about the city in the medeviel times and the fact that the city centre was originally 14 islands and now is one big land mass with the river still running underneath it. Was very weird to think about it. We then went for a wonder around town - it is very small. And then around lunch time we head back to the B&B to grab the car and head to Blarney Castle outside of Cork.

Blarney Castle was AWESOME. It was a large home and it has been left in whatever condition it has landed up in - it hasnt been rebuilt or gussyed up to look like it used to. you have to use your imagination to see what it was like. You get to roam the castle exploring all the little places and rooms and staircases etc. as you work your way up to the blarney stone. We even went climbing up pitch black staircases in caves to try and discover the prisons and secret passage ways of the castle. We finally got to the top of the castle to kiss the Blarney yes we have now kissed the Blarney Stone, which let me tell you was seriously scary for me as you sit on the stone edge of the top of the castle and then get held over backward to kiss the stone by a guy that sits there and hold people all day long. It was even more scary for me since i'm so short that my butt had to go right over the edge of the stone that you sit on!

After the castle and the obligatory picture buying experience we were back in Cork wondering what to do with our last evening. This is were my ever handy blackberry came into its own as I searched the web and found out what shows were on in Cork. We settled on the Irish comedy musical improbable frequency. So we set off on the normal 10 min walk into the city centre from the B&B in a light drizzle which proceeded to to an out right downpour of rain which made walking even slower as we got more and more drenched. Thank heavens for my longer coat which stopped the top half of my jean from getting soaking wet and the umbrella that kept my head dry otherwise the rest of me was completely and utterly WET. Callum was even worse and the wringing out of his coat was hysterical and amazing all rolled into one. We finally got to the Opera house and got tickets for the show and then tackled the idea of dinner. That landed up being at the closest resturant we could see so that we were not in the rain any more then we needed to be.

The musical was great - i think alot of the Irish jokes went over our heads - but it was still funny and they took the piss out of themselves and the British. It was also a little rocky horroresque in the sci fi/fantasy sense which was great.

Sunday morning dawned as a beautiful sunny morning (albeit cold) much to our distaste ! especially since all we have time for was packing the bags and driving to the airport and getting on the plane. This all went smoothly even with the hour delay of the plane. But it hardly affected us as we were just too chilled out. Then of course once back in London having to taking the tube home which takes as long as the flight.

Luckily I had taken Monday off work as well so got an extra day to do absolutely nothing which was great !! And on Sunday night Paul and Alice had us round to their place for dinner - pasta and whiskey was the theme. And after a long day is was great to have someone else cooking dinner.

Well that is it - finally all written down - this has taken an entire day of broken up intervals of typing and a fire drill as well to get it complete.

Below is the link to the photos, they are not all uploaded there yet as i'm waiting for the ones off the other camera but should be there soon. Have a lookie see....
Ireland 2007

Monday, 19 November 2007

Ray's birthday party

So again i've fallen behind in all the stuff i should be posting up on my blog - but hey this is just how busy life is at the moment - and it is going to get worse running up to the end of the year ! So am going to get as many posts in as i can at the moment - on my day off. we'll see how well that goes. Mostly am also trying to just post up all the pictures that i've been saving up. So here is the first bunch of pics - am also trying to link in the pics from my picasa photo albums so we'll see if i can get that right.

These are from the heaven and hell fancy dress party for ray's birthday. A friend of C's who he works with....

Rays Birthday - Nov 2007

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

First Office Design

So my first design and build is completed. It def had its hiccups along the way including a disinterested project manager, a client that was cutting costs all along the way and a very difficult boss above him.

I had 2 weeks to do the design on this job and then only 3 weeks to get a contract pack together and sort out the building control paper work etc. So i'm very happy with the results despite the hiccups. Plus we did complete the install on a ridiculously tight time programme.

So I had to go and do the as builts last Friday and took a few sneaky pics - sorry some of them are a bit blurry - camera isnt too happy with the one handed picture taking stablility.

This is the stunning building that is the middle of nowhere in the docklands where the office is. And the setting sun was just too stunning (even though it was depressing as it was setting at 4pm !!!)

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Guy Fawkes

I must say that I had no idea what a thing guy Fawkes (or Bonfire night) is in London!! I mean we've always sort of celebrated it in SA and I just expected the same sort of thing. Basically a few random events of fireworks and that would be it. But OH no - not a chance. They go all out here. Everyone buys fireworks and sets them off all over London from about 2 weeks before growing in intensity until the 5th Nov.

I just couldn't get over the amount of random fireworks being set off. Apparently it is more hectic on the estates where there are constant fireworks being set off.

At first it was too reminiscent of gunfire and really unsettled me - but you do get used to it. On the actual 5th Nov I was working late and had a great view out of our 5th floor windows at a myriad of fireworks. Then on the way home as I got out the bus and was walking up our road a someone set off a whole load of fireworks right across the road as I was walking - it was stunning!!! then as I carried along the road all i could hear we the bangs of fireworks everywhere. I started to think that this must have been similar to what it was like to walk around London in war time with the bombs raining down (possibly just a whole lot louder if they were closeby) It was a very strange feeling to be thinking this and walking home.

I'm also amazed that there seems that people can just freely set off fireworks anywhere. As far as I know SA has strict regulations about that. I must say that I saw a hell of a lot more fire trucks and ambulances rushing around. But I suppose as I had forgotten that this holiday is part of London tradition. I mean it all comes from Gay Fawkes trying to blow up the houses of Parliament here. And then my mind realised that hold on that was an act of terrorism. So seriously it is nothing new ...only the media is stronger and further reaching.

And here ends my ramble

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Saturday, 13 October 2007


So on wednesday this week Miss organised for all of us to go to Fifteen (Jamie Olivers resturant) for dinner. Which was a great idea for Owen to go as what a 'tourist' opportunity! Since Miss M has connections there we got the best table in the 'cheap' upstairs section and free starters as well :) I must say that it was a great evening even though I was so finished from the day at work and still not feeling 100% ! Anyways am just going to post the pics quickly and then need to get going to get down to Miss M's for a braai.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Sunday evening

So its Sunday evening and it feels like it has been an incredibly long day even though i've done nothing. I was wake early this morning at around 8 am in serious pain. So am thinking the hangover on Friday and what I thought was a continuation of it on Saturday was actually something else underlying. So today was spent trying not to feel so shit.

Yesterday we went climbing as usual and it was great as always but also frustrating as I felt so shit and therefore unable to push my grade. I did however get loads of belay practice done including belaying tony as he continually tried to dyno for a grip and falling! (dyno = using weight to swing yourself upwards as you leap for a grip out of reach!) I did however push myself to make a move that I was struggling with but did land up with my first climbing injury - just a little graze but strangely enough and proud of it cause the move was definitely worth it ! I still have to return to the route and complete it - this is def a vendetta route for me!

My Injury:

Well here hoping I am better tmr - otherwise it is off to the doc !

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Owen's arrival

Monday heralded the arrival of my friend Owen to the city of London for the first time. We’ve been preparing for his arrival for ages now by attempting to clean the house up but of course the plans are easier said then done. A frenzied clean on Sunday night sufficed with a pretty good result.

I got to take the day off as I have extra leave that I would lose if I don’t take it. Was so great to have a little lie in on a Monday morning and not having to rush off to work. As Owen and I hadn’t made set plans to meet at the airport I wasn’t keen to cut the timing fine so started off for the airport at 11:30 for his arrival time of 13:00 – damn it is a long journey to heathrow!

All I can say is thank heavens I have an ipod and am loving the blackberry. I got to shut out the noisy little children screaming around me with some nice loud music and sat surfing the web (and still dealing with work emails) while occasionally reading my book. Was great, so much better then the usual airport experience.

Then found Owen and took him back to ours to settle in and introducing to things he needs to know about London – like standing on the right of the escalators and that the open buttons on the tube don’t work ! I love it when I catch people thinking that they can use them or trying to push them sneakily.

We then did some fish and chips at Owen’s request and then after some emailing and waiting for C to get home we then headed out to meet Miss M and Kat and Tony for some drinks at Porterhouse and the walkabout in Covent Garden.

Was a great evening out, lots of fun and giggles had by all. And of course had to take some pics…see below.

Then off he headed to Amsterdam first thing the next morning and will be back in a week.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

More evidence of my climbing addiction ...

So it is official - the climbing thing is here to stay. it is an addiction that i'm happy to say i have. I've now taken steps futher into it by buying my own shoes and chalk bag :) they are nice and red and they match as well! :) I have to still girly about it all!

So here are pics of my new shoes and chalk bag ... yip i'm that addicited that i'm so proud of my pretty shoes - plus they really make a huge difference to my climbing and def working more on form and movement and problem solving. C just laughs at Miss M and I standing at a route discussing it like real climbers ! LOL

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Climbing - my new addiction

For the last 3 weekend saturdays I've been fully consumed in trying out climbing. Didnt think I would be that into it. Went the first time as I knew that sometime I would have to try it out with C - but didnt really want to be the only newbie and make a fool of myself. Then my newly reacquainted friend Miss M had been convinced to give it a try by her friend Tony (also a new friend of ours) who is also a climber. So we all made plans to go together. Miss M and myself being the girl newbies and the boys being the experienced climbers. It was great and has been really good starting it with a fellow girl.

From the first 6 hour session we have been addicted and cant wait till the next saturday to go climbing! The sense of achievement that you have when you walk away at the end of the day is great. And even the incredible sore muscles are worth it. It feels more satisfying then the sore muscles you would get from going to the gym (which is just so boring compared)

getting the instant gratification from it. WhenIt is also really awesome pushing yourself to do soemthing you dont think that you can do and you push yourself to get up a 15m wall and make it when you think you cant you get such a rush ! I've also learnt that i'm a very strong willed and will not be defeated by a wall or a route.

After 3 weeks i'm already climbing in a grade which is uk 4A which isnt even the very bottom grade at all. I do have to push myself to do some very hectic moves as I am short and dont have the reach that others have. So I have to get very inventive!

There is a great deal of learning to trust yourself and others and what you body can do. You have to trust that you will be able to stand up of tiny little grips, you have to trust that you can use your shoes and hands on the wall. you have to trust that you can hold on and pull up on the grips and that you can pull off moves that you dont think you can. The other trust element is trusting the person that is belaying you (holding you on the rope) Miss M and I have now learnt to belay and we were both the first people we belayed which is a huge element of trust.

Eventually we will also learn to trust our climbing skills to be able to lead climb instead of just top rope climbs. The difference is that with top rope the rop is already placed at the top of the already has you pretty tight and you wont fall much at all. But with lead climbing you are placing the rop as you climb which then means that you mostly dont have the safety of the rope to rely on . You will fall further then the top roping but you still have the rope as safety compared to solo climbing without ropes.

Well i could go on and on about my new obsession ...but i'll leave it for now and just add some pics of yesterdays climbing. And to just say that I hope to even get myself a pair of climbing shoes asap :)

Sorry for the unrotated images - i have no idea why they are like that!

Friday, 14 September 2007


Am going to post some visuals of designs i've done lately ...I cant say for who and give any details ...but am going to post them anyway. They are a secret so dont tell anyone ;)

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Shoes, shoes

shoes, shoes glorious shoes. Its it strange that a pair of shoes can make you feel so great! It is the strangest feeling when you put on that pair of shoes that just suits you so well, that makes you walk down the road with a strut that makes you feel like a million bucks.

A couple of weeks ago I bought my most expensive shoes to date. They are a pair of leather boots in a tan colour (a colour that I never thought I would get) and again with the killer heel height. I was actually out looking for a pair for shoes with a lower heel for work - but these boots just beckoned to me. It also didnt help that the bf was also drawn to them (he has such good taste!) I tried them on fulling intending to take them off and leave the store sans the shoes. But they were beautiful. It was like they were just made for my foot alone. The perfect fit !

I've wore them to work a couple of times and they always get noticed. my boss commented that you couldnt miss them as I was struting up and down the office. And as I was walking home today bobbing along to my ipod in my beautiful boots I realised how great I felt in these boots! and was amazed that something as simple as finding a great pair of shoes that fit you just right and suit your can change how you think of your body. I felt thinner, more confident and just generally felt good. It was then helped by the fact that the bf commented once again about how great they really are !

So all I can say now is that i'm screwed as I have a thing for great shoes and this comes at a price. firstly the costly price tag that most of the shoes I like come with and secondly it makes me even more fussy about the shoes i buy. I'm not willing to compromise for an ok shoe that maybe a necessity but will only want the amazing, wonderful and stunning shoe. And this is a very hard thing to find when your trying to find something practical ! Oh why do I love such expensive, killer heeled shoes!!!!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Chat with Boss

Today saw me finally making it out of bed (thanks to being literally dragged out by the bf) and into the bus to get me to work. The bus being thanks to the whole tube strike thing!
So i'm sitting at my comp all blurry eyed wondering how to wake up (even the coffee wasnt helping) when the answar was presented in the fact that I just had to as the boss wanted to take me to coffee to discuss my future --- eeek. Well it doesnt sounds as bad as that. It was more about the fact that the design dept is needing some more structure and organisation and I def need more support from a senior designer. But since we were running low on those i've been having to just cope with figuring things out on my own. Now we have taken on 2 new senior designers and another designer at my level and have some set CAD support people as well as hopefully moving upstairs soon (as we are bursting out of where we are) So it was just to discuss where I wanted to fit in and whos team I wanted to be part of etc. So it was a good meeting and nice to have an update on how i'm doing and also to know that the hard work is appreciated.

It was def an interesting conversation and I had a strange realisation, well more like a reminder cause I definitely forget, that i'm very strong willed and that made sometimes it isnt a good thing. I can be a bit pig headed and can cause me to get very defensive when there is no need to be.

I then started to think where I was at in life this time last year. About how I could never have imagine back then that I would be here in London working in a pretty high profile company getting to learn some great concept design and practical tools that are going to help me some much later. And it is strange to think that the company I'm with actually sees me having a career path with them and what to help me along it as much as possible. That other people see the ambition in me that I even have trouble seeing. But then I also get scared that the ambition I have is let down by my body mostly not being able to keep up sometimes. But I feel that it is all about steps and that I'm getting to make them now. That the career success will come with practice as my skills are developed and life management skills with come with that and I will get everything I want. Well as C says that first one to 100k pa gets to be the breadwinner. ... Now if they could only figure out how to get males to take on being pregnant - LOL

I just wanted to say how lucky I feel in my life and how grateful I am for the man I have in my life to love and support me and the great job (even when it is stressful) and the extremely interesting city that i'm now living in!

Apple Trailers...

So I just have to say that after sitting and watching 2 and 1/2 hours of trailers online that we are officially one very nutty couple !!!
This consisted of us sitting with my actual Mac and the one they got wrong (needs to be returned to them sadly) and we would queue the trailers up so that once one had played on the first laptop we could play the next one on the second laptop.

So Movies coming up that we think look great ...

Dedication - Def looks very qirky - talk about Obssesive complusive
Eastern promises - Viggo mortensen playing Russian mafia type
The Hunting Party
Self medicated (most award winning independant film of 2006)
Dan in real life
Elizabeth, the golden age - Squel
Lars and the real girl - most interesting use of a blow up doll so far
Resurrecting the champ - Samuel L Jackson is one amazing actor
Things we lost in the fire - the ever brooding benichi (sp?) Del Toro
The Darjeeling Limited - Got love owen wilson and adrien brody
December Boys - Daniel Radcliff with an australian accent (he is actually a very talented actor - as I witnessed in the west end play Equus)

Our trailer watching site:

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Evil Hangover

I'm suffering today - am not a very happy person and moving my body just feels wrong! I havent had a hangover like this in a very long time ! And I dont understand how i went from tipsy to so ill so quickly. Oh well it is done and today i'm suffering. I personally think it is a very very bad idea when club sell you bottles of booze instead of shots! It was still a good night out tho - minus having the boyfriend walk you out the club and home and to the bathroom and undress you and put you in your nightie and put you to bed. He is too good to me ! ok i'm going to go back to suffering and watching 'the riches' tv series.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Random furniture

These are just some examples for a furniture design duo in London ...Cant wait to use them in a design - or have one of my own pieces!


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