Christchurch, New Zealand

Spent a few days in Wellington, NZ, to attend the "Civil Union" of my friends Felix & Sarah.
A most wonderful event, combining the performance of a play (written by Felix), with the ceremony itself.
Strangely, also an opportunity to catch up with friends from Oxford whom I hardly ever see.  :)

Now much hungover and sleep-deprived, both from wedding partying and an all-night game of Arkham Horror the night after, I have arrived in the south island, to see what can be seen.
  • Current Mood
    exhausted exhausted


I figured (correctly) that my big family lunch on Sunday would go all day, so I changed my flight to the red-eye, and arrived in Melbourne at 6am Monday morning. Dropped my big backpack at Rob's office (to drive home later to southeast Melbourne), then wandered about the city. Much as I remember from years ago, Melbourne is a friendly place, with much of interest, and trams!

Caught up with Anthony & Lyndall (and Imogen and Finn) later in the day, in south Melbourne, and talked travel, Atlantis, programming, etc.

Caught up on some sleep Tuesday, then wandered along the southbank of the Yarra, back along Flinders St and the (new to me) Federation Square. Rob ended up working late,  a fairly usual occurrence while delivering a big Telstra project, but I caught up with tikiwanderer for drinks at the riverside pub beneath Fed Square, next to Princes' Bridge. Tim joined us, and we found a fantastic greek place for dinner. Caught up with Rob finally sometime after midnight for a bit of a chat.

Today (Wednesday), I caught the tram out to north Melbourne, to spend the day with Kirsten&Shane (and Holly), my ex-housemates. They've settled into their nice big house, and enjoyed the chance to spread out (a joy after living in London!). We've wandered around the cool local markets, and had a picnic out in the back yard. Tonight, perhaps a bit of touristing, then tomorrow morning I'm off to NZ ...
  • Current Mood
    chilled out

Last days in Perth, and INVITE!

It's been great catching up with friends, enjoying the sunshine, and spending time with my sister and new niece.
But never enough time in Perth!

After the obligatory big family lunch, I'll be flying out Sunday night to Melbourne, to see a few more friends.

So, before I go, please come to the grassy bit at Cottesloe Beach, this Saturday from 1pm, to catch up. 
Depending on how many people are around, we will probably do something like fish&chips for dinner. 
Fallback plan is Tropicana Cafe, if it rains.
Please help spread the word to people who know me.

You can call me on mobile 0424269633 while in Australia.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful
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Took a day trip out of Jakarta to see Yogyakarta ("Jogja"), including the Sultan's Palace, and the fabulous Borobodur Temple.

Now after a horrible taxi ride to the airport in Jakarta, during which the taxi crashed not once, twice, but three times (1.bus, 2.pedestrian, 3.van), I managed to switch flights and finally make it to Perth. Lovely weather, relaxing, will start catching up with friends soon ..
  • Current Music
    dance hits

China! With Photos!

Spent a bit longer in Beijing than originally planned, and got a real feel for the place.
I think I could comfortably live there, and will consider going there for a while to study or work (or both!).

Flew to Jakarta (via Shanghai and Singapore), missing the frantic "don't come here, it's flooded" texts from my hosts. But fortunately (as the Jakarta locals on my flight told me), I was on the first flight into Jakarta where I stood a chance of actually getting out of the airport. Matt and Ellis were there to pick me up, and despite a long drive home (through puddles and traffic) the flooding hasn't affected me so much. Bit of wandering about the shops, but mostly just catching up with old friends and going for coffee.

Now let's try some photos  (see  my flickr page  for more)!

  • Current Music
    Loud ipod techno made long visa queue a joy


Said a sad goodbye to China, now in Singapore for half a day. It was originally going to be a few days, but I've been to Singapore a few times and China fascinated.
Choices are internet, veg out, or perhaps a bus tour.

Looking forward to exiting the cold, dry, dusty weather of Beijing which has left me a tickle cough.

  • Current Music
    Madder Rose / Holiday (off a compilation)

The "Real" China

I've been remembering how to speak chinese (from spending a "gap" year here back in '88). It really makes a difference.

A new appreciation of modern-day China, at least from the point of view of the big cities (Beijing, Shanghai), clearing out the misconceptions and stereotypes fogging my brain. I'm looking forward to the day, real soon now, when chinese overtakes english as the most common language on the internet.

It's always the little things that I love about travelling -- the amusing signs, funny shops, meeting people, even those small hassles along the way. The way you can take in the culture without seeming to.

(I've downloaded photos off my camera ..  look forward to some LJ photos in the next few posts)
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful


After a mad few days in hectic ultra-modern Shanghai, I took the night train to Beijing.
Life is quieter here, and it's a lot more like the Beijing that I remember, although the whole city is getting ready for the Olympics.

After the obligatory wander around the Forbidden City, Jinshang temples, Beihai park, a bicycle-taxi tour of the old alleys, and of course the Great Wall, I'm now enjoying some peace and quiet.

Tonight, Peking Duck, and another visit to the trendy bars around back of Beihai lake.
  • Current Music
    peace and quiet!

Round the World!

Since I'm between jobs, and have the mortgage covered,
I've set off on a big round-the-world trip, over two or three months,
which will take me to China, Indonesia, Australia, NZ, Rarotonga, then across the USA!

I hope to see a few of you along the way.
I'll arrive in Perth on 9th Feb (my birthday), then fly over to Melbourne towards the end of Feb.

  • Current Music
    the sounds of the street