Thursday, June 29, 2006

Der Roadtrip

Hi All, Katie, Aidan and I got back from Germany on Tuesday at 4.45am after leaving Cologne at 8.30 the night before, where we watched the Socceroos' World Cup dream evaporate with a dodgy last minute dive from the Italians. Enuf said.

The trip itself was fantatsic. We did 1800 miles (2100 Km) in 12 days. Because I'm at work, and this is all taking a bit too much time, here's an extract from Simon's blog summary of the trip:

.....We met up with the crew in Munich where a friend of Scott's owns a flat. So we had our own pad and spent a few days drinking giant 1L beers, eating loads of pig and hanging out. The fan fest near the Olympic Stadium for the big game with Brazil was loads of fun, and the Brazilians were gracious in victory. Lots of fun, those guys.

The following day we had a swim in the English Garden which has this amazing fast-flowing river. You jump in and in seconds you're carried downstream. Very exciting and the water is freezing, so just what we needed on a hot day.

We did a day trip out to Fussen, home of the classic fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein which was every bit as fabulous as you'd expect. Being stinking hot, we then had a swim in Germany's deepest lake. Very refreshing.

Next was Stuttgart where we also hooked up with John and Anne. They, lucky buggers, had tickets to the game against Croatia. We weren't so lucky and had to make do with the fan fest. Still, what an exciting game! We were all hoarse for the next few days from all our screaming. Amazing stuff!

Next stop was Heidelberg, camping on a cable water skiing lake. Nice place and nice swimming. Then Trier, an old town on the Moselle, camping in a nice little place. Scott even swam in the river. Brave man!

We meandered along the Moselle and camped in another place further downstream. It's a gorgeous river.

Finally we ended up in Cologne. Sadly Australia was robbed at the match, which we watched in a little bar near the giant cathedral. Here we parted ways with Scott, Katie and Aidan. They're back in London now and we hopped the train to Hamburg...........

Anyhow, there's shedloads of photos. For a reasonably abbreviated version, click here. To view the whole damn lot, click here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

In Stuttgart

Hey there, we´re all in Stuttgart waiting for the mighty Socceroos' third qualifier against Croatia. We went to the Fan Zone in the town square last night, whch was excellent. There was a bit of a Croatian\Australian fan standoff on the Town Hall steps after the game. I reckon it will be reasonably tense there tonight......The great thing about this World CupĆ¼ thingo is that they´re not trying to rip you off, eg beer and food is generally about the same price and quality as it is everywhere else. Stuttgart beer is obviously not as good as the mighty Bavarain Helles und Weisen, but at €4 for half a litre, we're still not complaining. Weather has been bloody hot..have been swimming just about every day, from the rivulet that streams theru the English Garden in Munich to beautiful Alpine Lakes near the Austrian border, to a place we found yesterday called "Autobahn See", which was basically a quarry used for the autobahn that was now a lake.....
Anyway, just dropped into this webcafe to check mail and get a bit on the blog. Forgot my disc of photos, so that will have to come at a later post.
Great times being had by all,

Auf weidersen.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The Cahill Expressway runs rampant. Drunken revelry ensues. Bring on Brazil! We're on the road on Thursday night. Hopefully I'll drop a post or two from the fatherland.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Voxpop: Braz

Edition 1 -SAT 10 JUN 2006, Page B02

With Mid-Winter Festival co-ordinator Andrew Brassington.
What are you most passionate about?
Physical theatre and, in particular, circus. It crosses a boundary that's called The Fourth Wall, so you can use people from the public in your show.
What can't you live without?
Coffee. It's part of my life. A nice latte or flat white is a habitual thing in the morning.
What song always gets you dancing?
Burn Hollywood Burn by Left Field. It was my first fire-twirling song. I love the bass.
What are you reading?
An Iain Pears book, The Last Judgement. It's a crime fiction set in Rome about the Italian police squad.
Favourite film?
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The visual effects and physical movement are fantastic and all woven in together with a love story -- well, a romance that cannot be.
Favourite patch of Tasmania?
The Western Arthurs. There's an amazing walk you can do there. Just the sheer ruggedness . . .
What's your biggest indulgence?
Costumes. As a performer you use many costumes and it's fantastic. I can't do without my sequined trousers.
What do you always get enough of?
Renovating -- too much! I want it over with. It's been going on for two years.
What do you never leave home without?
It's a boring one, I'm afraid: my mobile phone. Oh, my juggling balls are always in the back of the car, too.
Favourite trashy TV show?
West Wing. It's semi-trashy. I like the power movement of the people and it has a very clever script.
What do you eat when no one is watching you?
Egg-and-bacon rolls. I'm at home renovating, so no one is around to watch!
One word other people might use to describe you?
Energetic. I've just always had that buzz for life and lots of energy.
What dish do you make best?
Rendang curry, beef. Asian food is just fantastic. I love really hot food.
Most romantic thing you've ever done?
New flowers in the house and cooking dinner.
Any unfulfilled ambition?
To travel to South America.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie-The first match

For those of you in London, and with **ahem** flexible working arrangements, there will be a bit of an Aussie Posse watching the Socceroos' first World Cup encounter sionce 1974 upstairs at The Nellie Dean, Cnr Carlisle & Dean Streets in Soho. 2pm KO. Cya there!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"It's not our fault he's short."

Gillard kicked out again

June 1, 2006 - 5:04PM

The Sydney Morning Herald

Labor frontbencher Julia Gillard has been ordered out of parliament for the second day in a row.

Ms Gillard was one of four opposition MPs turfed out of the House of Representatives for an hour in an acrimonious Question Time.

Speaker David Hawker will also review the videotape of proceedings to determine whether two Labor frontbenchers deliberately stood up to block camera shots of Prime Minister John Howard as he answered questions.

Ms Gillard was ejected for an hour for heckling as Health Minister Tony Abbott added to an answer about the government's plans to sell Medibank Private.

It came a day after she was thrown out for 24 hours for calling Mr Abbott a snivelling grub - and then apologising to grubs.

"The member for Lalor has been warned and continues to interject. The member for Lalor will remove herself under standing order 94a," Mr Hawker said.

Earlier, opposition industrial relations spokesman Stephen Smith, environment spokesman Anthony Albanese and backbencher Julia Irwin were kicked out for heckling Mr Howard - prompting Opposition Leader Kim Beazley to rise to his feet.

"I seek leave to make a personal explanation while there's still an opposition member left in this place," he said.

Mr Howard was heckled as he was answering a question about comments by Fair Pay Commission head Ian Harper that his commission might have to cut the minimum wage if the economy went into recession.

Mr Howard ignored Professor Harper's comments, choosing instead to read out a series of 13-year-old quotes from Mr Beazley.

During the answer, Mr Albanese and Mr Smith each stood with their backs to Mr Howard and began talking to members of the backbench.

After Mr Smith was evicted, Labor's treasury spokesman Wayne Swan also stood up, turned around and began talking to MPs sitting behind him.

Mr Abbott and Treasurer Peter Costello accused the trio of deliberately trying to block the fixed camera shots of Mr Howard.

"Mr Speaker, it was fairly obvious during the course of Question Time today that a number of opposition members, in particular the member for Grayndler, the member for Swan (sic) and the member for Lilley, were standing during prime ministerial answers in ways which were clearly designed to block the camera shot of the prime minister while he was giving answers," Mr Abbott said.

"I'd be grateful if you could review the footage and consider whether this is the kind of conduct which raises the dignity of the House."

Mr Hawker said he would look into the matter.

Labor frontbencher Lindsay Tanner was warned for interjecting: "It's not our fault he's short."

The opposition began Question Time complaining about Mr Hawker's impartiality after he ruled the first question of the day out of order.

Mr Beazley had asked Mr Howard about comments by Liberal MP Cameron Thompson criticising the prime minister over his role in the failed merger of the Liberals and Nationals in Queensland.

Mr Hawker ruled that questions about internal party matters were out of order.


Development at what cost?

Went on a ride this afternoon around Dalston, Hackney and London Fields, taking photos of streetscapes and buildings that could (and some that definetley will, or have already) be threatened with demolition. London is by nature a constantly evolving city, but there really needs to be a bit of sensitivity with re-development, especially with the current craze of whacking up blocks of "luxury apartments" everybloodywhere. Rant over. Pictures here.