Friday, December 28, 2007

Sightseeing In Singas

After the camp we had a few days to ourselves before flying back home.

Some of the things we did, besides shopping, were: going on the night safari tour (a must - shame you can't use flash photography... rendering any photo useless), Jurong Bird Park (another must - and you must go to the huge aviary and pay S$2 for the nectar), Recycled Water Plant (aah, wouldn't recommend it, unless you're into drinking "cleaned" toilet water), Changi chapel and prison museum (sad), and... did I mention shopping?

Here are some photos...

Mark not too impressed with discovering what he's really been drinking all this week (ignorance truly is bliss)...



Mark getting a nipple cripple for insufficiently meeting the needs of colourful birdie #2...



Some poor kid getting hammered for not sharing the nectar luvin' around adequately...



"Who you looking at?"



Dan and I at Jurong Bird Park trying to figure out just what type of birds these creatures are??!!??



World's largest man-made waterfall (I wasn't prepared to jump off it to find out)...

Dorm 21

My boys...



You guys rock.

Singas

Well I hope you all had a nice Christmas (oops, sorry... "happy holiday") and with 2008 fast approaching I hope 2007's new year's resolutions were met!

Looks like mine will need to be rolled over again. ;o)

Anyhoo, a week prior to Christmas this year I was invited on a missions trip by my church to Singapore where I met up with other people from similar independent baptist churches around Australia.

Initially I was a little anxious about the ordeal as I had never been on a missions trip before, but upon arriving in Singapore I was ready to go.

Our primary task on our trip was to help out at a youth camp. Surprisingly when we arrived at the Metro-YMCA lodge we found that the surrounding area was... umm... Singapore's red-light district (and we wondered why on so many taxi trips why the taxi drivers kept making sex jokes??).

Unfortunately the surrounding area wasn't the only thing that was dirty. We soon discovered that the showers and toilet area of the campsite were mould-ridden! Everybody was encouraged to wear thongs/sandals in the shower (and have a guess who forgot to pack their sandals?? *sigh*).

But apart from all those things the camp was awesome. The Singaporean kids were a ball of fun.

Heck, I was probably the biggest kid on camp!

The fellowship, the preaching, the great questions the kids asked about the bible, the fun, the games, and (dare I say it)... even the camp food was awesome!!

If I were given the chance to do it again I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Apparently next year's trip will be either in Zambia, or Vanuatu, with subsequent years being back in Singapore, or to other areas such as PNG and Canada!

Can't wait.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

TB

No I don't have tuberculosis, but after the world wind tour I must admit I definitely want to travel again.

One question many have asked upon hearing my adventures is: where next?

And I have to admit, the first thing that Dan and I agreed upon as a next destination on our flight home was either Canada or New Zealand.

Both of us, almost in unison said that we had to try skiing.

I have never even seen snow, except on TV. Heck I haven't even seen pretend snow unless you count that white lump at the back of your freezer as "sorta snow"?!

But yeah I think my next trip will either be Cunada or New Zealand.

Interestingly Dan noted that Oasis (the budget airline that flew us from HK to London) apparently does HK to Vancouver! Hmm that's tempting considering I loved HK - I'd definitely spend a few more days in HK.

I just don't know how I'd handle the cold though. I think I'll be screaming like a little girl - I'm such a wimp even when it gets below 10C here - and I've even be blessed with hair everywhere!! LOL

So if I'm loaded in a year's time I'll probably go to Canada see the Rocky Mountains, ski some where, scream like a girl everywhere, and then climatise back to the heat when in HK, or otherwise take a swim over to New Zealand, ski some where, and scream like a girl everywhere (or is that called the haka over there?) LOL

(Since being back I've heard of two friends who've returned from Canada recently. One went on the popular train trip between the Canada-US border and did the Rockies and spent a bucketload of money, but said he had the best time ever. And another did it on the cheap (in comparison to friend #1 and also did the States, he didn't like the States but fell in love with Canada. Although they did warn about the cold... especially the wind which apparently can kill you if you don't wear the right protective clothing! Huh? Wind that can kill you?? In amongst the frickin huge man eating bears and wolves??)

*faints*

Beach Beach Beach

It feels like aeons have passed since my last post! I guess that happens when you're lazing down at the beach.

But seriously the beaches have been awesome. I've been even getting up early prior to going to work to enjoy it!

I suppose there's a sweet sorrow to it as I'll be moving in a few weeks back down south of the river, and while we do have some nice beaches south they're not as fun as the ones at Ocean Reef and Mullaloo.

Apart from moving I have guests from England to entertain this weekend (Dan's cousins that we met in Bristol).

We're either going to take them to Rottnest Island or Margaret River. I must admit taking tourists around Perth is a little different to how tourists are taken around in London, NY & Paris... because there isn't much exquisite here unless you enjoy seeing natural things - coral reefs, beautiful beaches, rainforests (etc).

But besides the perfect weather and awesome waves I suppose this beach frenzy I've been on was bought about because of the miserable weather we encountered in the UK! I almost cried the first day I hit the beach after my world wind tour!

I refrained myself from hugging the warm sand and sobbing "I'll never leave you ever again. I missed you soooo much" as the lifeguards may have prevented me from going into the water.

More beach action tomorrow morning.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

World Wind Tour Photos

Here are some of my favourite photos (out of the 15,678,309 photos taken between Dan and I) of the world-wind tour (captions/commentary below) - and BTW these are in no particular order...



-> Out of all the cities that I visited I'd have to say that I enjoyed Hong Kong the most. Even though it was one of the more busiest cities things were cheap, colourful, and I guess the company was great too. The photo above was taken at Kowloon's Avenue of the Stars which provides an excellent opportunity to take photos of Hong Kong's panoramic city.



-> Here's another view of the city skyline (dude, it's one huge city).



-> The Avenue of the Stars isn't as spectacular during the day as it as at night, but the company I travelled with are here: Melissa (Dan's wife), Gav, Dan, and Steve. It was good having Steve along as he had travelled to Hong Kong many times before and we were easily able to get to places without too much local help.



-> In Hong Kong we went to Disneyland which wasn't bad except for the rain... and dude when it rains in Hong Kong IT RAINS! If you look closely you can see that Gav and Dan are fairly drenched already... and in this pic we're about to enter the 4D theatre which made us even more wetter! (You'd have to experience a 4D cinema to understand)



-> Here we're at Bath going through the old Roman baths museum with Dan's first lot of relatives that we stayed with (Tom, Paul, William & Dan in this photo). The museum was quite interesting and the water was still warm and bubbling!



-> They also gave us these phone things to go around with to better understand the history of these old Roman baths, and we soon discovered that everywhere we went people were selling info-phones. As they waste so much time we eventually passed when we entered other museums - I'd only recommend buying one if you're really interested in the museum you're at, and/or, you've got plenty of time to spare.



-> Upon leaving the old Roman baths I couldn't help but write in the visitors book, "Water tasted great!" (and can you tell that I hadn't shaved in a couple of days?)



-> Disneyland... with the weight of the world on my shoulders.



-> On our way to March we decided to pop in to Bladdon and see Winston Churchill's grave. I have to admit it was difficult to find, and there were no signs - it was just tucked away behind this small little church.



-> After Roman baths we were invited to a family get together at a Greek restaurant. I just kept to myself whilst everyone caught up and kept shovelling Greek souvlaki in my mouth (it was one HUGE plate and it took me all night to negotiate it).



-> The London Eye. Dan and I went on it and I'm glad it was a clear night, considering how miserable the weather had been during the first couple of weeks driving around London. Although we never went on the London Eye during the day, I have to say that it was pretty good at night... very romantic.




-> Like I mentioned above the view at night of London was pretty spectacular.



-> If there was one thing we had to try in New York and that was to eat a New York pizza. Dude, these were friggin huge! I could normally finish off a whole pizza back home, but could barely get through two slices here. I can't believe people can eat an entire NY pizza pie!!



-> Samson the wonder-mut. The people we stayed with in March had this gorgeous little fat staffie called Samson. He didn't do much except chew on his toy, but he always enjoyed a scratch or two... or twenty.



-> Cardiff castle in Wales. As this was our second day in England we thought that we were going to have this awesome weather throughout the remainder of our stay. Unfortunately this was the last day we ever saw sun for about two weeks! I enjoyed Wales too. I like how they have signs with their own language on it, like instead of Cardiff the sign would say Caerffidd - apparently when you see double d's they're pronounced f.



-> The Concorde. It would've been fantastic if we had rode in one of these on our way to London (or NY)! Leather seats for every passenger, and travelling at MACH 2 speeds! But then again at 8800 quid for a few of hours on a seat, would it be worth it? O_O!



-> We hadn't realised how cold it was going to be in Paris. In fact, the taxi driver warned us on our way to the Euro-star terminal, but we thought we'd be okay. NOT SO! Especially being on the top deck of a bus! (I think someone mentioned that it was 8 degrees [~45 degrees F])


-> On the Euro-star... that smile doesn't last too much longer once we arrive in Paris!



-> The Louvre. Dude this museum was MASSIVE (probably the biggest we had ever seen)! And although we rushed through it, I still think we missed half of it. You could easily spend a few days in there. (And what's with the fascination of naked bodies in Paris - I swear every second statue is starkers!?)



-> Ah, de Eiffel. I have to admit, this thing doesn't look too big until you go to the very top. My sister warned me about going to the top - it takes quite awhile to get there, and then quite awhile to get back down.




-> I'm glad that we did get a chance to go to the top. We were cutting it fine though, as we had to catch the Paris subway back to the Euro-star... and if there was one thing we were in for a shock for and that was Paris' subway - had never been so crammed before in my entire life - heck, Hong Kong was packed, but in Paris my eyeballs were about to pop!



-> On our last day in London, Dan and I decided to go to Greenwich, which we both enjoyed. Here though we have the London Bridge.



-> The Meridian Line at Greenwich. Greenwich had a great view of London city, and standing on the Meridian line was fun. Who would've thought that an imaginary line would draw such a crowd?




-> Near Times Square. A place full of nothing but ads.



-> Top of Rockefeller Plaza. I think Rockefeller Plaza is waaay better than the Empire State Building. Not only do you have clear glass dividing walls, but you've also get a second story where you can take photos without any dividers in the way.



-> HMS Victory at Portmouth. I can't believe men used to travel on these things. It was quite claustrophobic in certain parts for a 6'3" bloke!




-> Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower. The only place that really does seem to take your breath away when you look down!



-> Trafalgar Square London.




-> Seven Oaks Park with Astria and Dan... and Bambi.



-> And I was getting no love from Bambi's older brother. He wouldn't come close to me at all... and yet he was the one with the antlers!




-> Stonehenge. Maybe they're just primitive pencil sharpeners?



-> Tangmere. The latest top gun recruit... after going Mach 2.



-> Dana and I in Times Square... with a bomb attached to my back!! That definitely made for some lively entertainment! And thanks Dana for allowing me to drive in your car - it was really weird driving stick on the other side (i.e. with my right hand instead of my left).



-> Museum of Natural History in London. Okay, don't get crabby but I'm off to enjoy the sunshine.

(There's a heap more photos, and maybe I'll upload a few more later.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Aah The Sun

If there was one thing that I missed within the first week upon arriving in London that would've been the lack of sun.

In fact Dan and I started to get all depressed and glum with the constant London drizzle and dreary weather. When we finally did get some sun we screamed and rejoiced like school girls watching the finale of Idol.

But I'm glad that it wasn't constantly that way as our trip to NY broke up the dreariness with some beautiful sunny days! And it seems were finally getting ready for summer with gorgeous weather like this forecasted for the next few days:

Perth weather

And dare I even mention the magic B word with Sunday touching 30 degrees?

Oh beloved beach it has felt like ages have passed since we last touched.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dan The Terrorist

(Okay I'm up at 3 again.)

Probably the most funniest thing that happened on the worldwind tour was in March. One of Dan's relatives was giving us a guided tour of the town and he took us by a prison where one of his daughters currently works.

Now being the snap happy tourist that Dan had been throughout the day he hung out the passenger side window and began taking photos of the building. Unbeknownst to him was a lady standing out the front of the building looking at us do our slow driveby.

I didn't think much of it until a couple of hours later when we had made our way back home that someone in uniform was knocking on the door.

It was two police officers!

"Excuse me sir," they said to Dan's relative, "but are you the owner of this vehicle." They pointed to the car we drove around in.

"Yes," replied Arnold.

"We have received a report that someone was taking photos of the prison today. Would you know who this may have been?"

By this time Dan had poked his head around the corner to see what all the noise was about.

"That was me!" he admitted.

Both cops then entered the house and began questioning Dan, as well as some ID which he produced.

It was at this point that I began thinking maybe I should wrap a towel around my head and introduce myself as Dan's friend Muhammed bin Allah!

Thankfully though the matter was taken quite jovially and when they left we all burst out into laughter.

Our only regret being that we didn't take photos of the officers!

Although at the end of the day it did cause me to wonder if we were likely to receive any visit from the military police considering Dan was taking photos at an air base in Stamford on the same day!
Thankfully no one with AK-47s knocked on our door!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Being Let Jagged Isn't Fun

Okay this isn't fun.

I'm wide awake and it's only 4 in the morning.

*sigh*


Maybe if I tell a story it might help me get to sleep again.

The first set of relatives we saw were a family living just outside of Bristol. As we drove down the motorways faster than a speeding bullet we suddenly realised that each of us stunk. See prior to the flight over from Hong Kong we walked around the main shopping area on North Road. It wasn't until it was getting late that we thought it best to make our way back to the hotel to then head off to the airport.

Unfortunately one thing we didn't know is that after a certain time North Road gets closed to traffic! We tried searching for a taxi, and after trying all the alleyways and sideroads we couldn't find a cab. So what did we do?

We walked back to our hotel. This had both a negative and positive effect on our long haul flight to London later that night: the walk would help us sleep on the flight, yet due to the humidity our clothes reeked of body odour. :op

Thankfully I had an aisle seat for the trip and Dan was on the other side.

But yes when we arrived into Gatwick at 7 in the morning at 7 degrees wearing only shorts and t-shirt the freezing cold air kept us awake. It wasn't until we got our little Fiat hatchback hire car and put the heaters on that we could smell each other.

"Dude we can't go to my reli's like this."

I had to agree. We were unshaven, smelly and messy.

We decided to find a place along the way where we could stop and get changed. Unfortunately there aren't too many places on the motorways where one can do such activity. In the end we found a service station several clicks away from their house where we changed.

And were we a sight to behold! Any person passing would've thought Manpower were in town and were practising some of their new moves with a bowser!

In fact two motor mechanics came out of their workshop to see what was going on. They didn't seem impressed supposing that we were either gay or Dutch.

I tried to smile and wave at them, but when your jeans are around your ankles and you're frantically trying your level best to dress as quick as possible you can only but nod your head and hope they understand...which is what I tried but banged my head on the door in the process.

So that wasn't particularly fun at all, however, we looked much better and smelt much better too.

And have a guess what we asked for when Dan' relatives asked us if there was anything they could do for us?

"SHOWER!"

Monday, October 15, 2007

I's Back

I'm still running on London time here, so if this post comes across as a little incoherent then forgive me - I'm currently in slow-mo mode (well that's what it feels like anyway).

Well after 5 countries, 50-something hours of flying time, and 12,789 cups of tea I've finally made it back in one piece.

I'd like to make a special thank you to Dan's relatives that put up with us during the first couple of weeks in England... we hardly lifted a finger, or spent a pence (cent?).

Some of the memorable moments of the trip were (in no particular order too, because dude I'm struggling to even think):
> Disneyland in Hong Kong (dude when it rains in Honkers, it rains!)
> Shopping in Honkers (dude it's cheap... and this was what won this city over the rest)
> Driving 90mph on the motorways in England (dude we can't even do over 60mph here... well, we can, you just get slapped with huge fines and demerit points)
> Stonehenge (it's just a clothes line for giants I swear)
> The 2,789 cathedrals we saw in England (I really enjoyed Salisbury and Ely cathedrals)
> The London Eye at night (didn't think I'd be able to see much, but the Poms have electricity... fancy that!)
> Ian's cooking in March (dude that was the best meal of the entire trip - and I loved their fat little staffie who's name eludes me in my let jagged state) ;o)
> Greenwich - standing on the Meridian
> Paris - I loved Paris, and I can see why my sister loved it... shame it was frickin freezing (Dan and I only wore a t-shirt and jeans - typical Aussies).
> The Louvre (dude it's friggin HUGE... I think we only pinched it from the stuff we saw).
> The Eiffel Tower at sunset (very romantic... Dan and I held hands). ROFL
> Times Square in New York (who needs sunlight with beaming ads like that?)
> Catching up with the Amazing Dana in NY (dude, she gives the best hugs EVER)
> Getting lost in New York with Dana (it was fun, but at one stage I thought we were going to hit Toledo)
> Rockefeller Plaza (preferred it over the Empire State Building)
> The NY Subway (dude I have never been so lost, so shocked, so confused, and so squished in all my life - no wait, Paris' subway was waaay squishier, scrub the squishy)
> British Museums (okay so I'm a bit of a geek, but those things were friggin huge too)
> The Avenue of the Stars in Honkers (dude, best skyline view at night by far)
> Dan nearly getting arrested (funny story)
> Backpackers in Piccadilly (dude worst experience of the holiday - I'll never stay at a backpackers again)
> Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth (never been so scared walking on glass)

I'm sure there's heaps more, but I'm struggling to remember my name (kanojo kare, D?).

Anyway, here's a pic for the reason behind the last point mentioned above...



Ya.

When you're 100 meters above the ground with only a thin piece of glass separating you from the floor below the only thought running through your head are: how fat am I again? And okay I was also thinking - please don't do a nervous fart, that would definitely crack the glass! ROFL

More later when I've caught more z's and am thinking a little more normally.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Off

Well just a quick post to let everybody know that I've packed and am ready to fly. I've been flapping my arms all week and have even applied special aerodynamic feathers to help make my flights run all the more smoother!

Just in case anybody is still wondering about the 9 truths and 1 lie post the lie was...

#2 - I have never had my hair set on fire at any time in my life (but if I go bald I might have to - because then I'll have a legitimate reason for it!).

Whereas #7 happened when we used to play hide and seek on the high school's roof when we were young. A group of us would climb on top of this high school's two storey building and would play chasey on it!! I'm surprised nothing bad happened considering how high up we were and I think tis concern was felt by some of the neighbours so they called the school's security to come sort us out.

Thankfully we never got caught, but there were a few instances where it got pretty close! Eventually the school placed some steel mesh in the areas preventing us from any further fun on the roof.

Anyhoo, let the adventures begin! Woohoo!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Packing Considerations

If there's one thing I've had to ponder during my packing it's what is acceptable to take with on the onboard luggage.

Having flown around Australia I've had some of the most bizarre stuff confiscated from me, apparently due to it being deemed "a weapon"... probably the most neurotic (I thought) was a pair of nail clippers!?

Nail clippers??

How in the heck are terrorists meant to overthrow the plane with a pair of nail clippers?

Terrorist: Nobody move, otherwise the stewardess gets her fingernails cut!

I couldn't help but gasp and then laugh at the images running through my head as the stern lady told me I couldn't take it onboard (laughing didn't help proceedings either).

So I wonder if other countries are stricter?

Would it be okay to take toothpaste? Or could this be boiled, wrapped in ailfoil, inserted into a rolled up inflight entertainment magazine and used as a weapon too? Or how about an innocent pen? Oh no, this could cause mass destruction on a plane! You could fill it with the inflight chicken parmigiana, wave two blonde hairs together while reflecting the sunlight onto the pen, then dip it in Coca-Cola, and stomp on it and you've now just created a nuclear device that would even make MacGyver jealous.

So it's all for our satefy see.

Well so long as I'm able to board with the clothes on my back I shouldn't complain, right?

(PS - this reminds me of the Chaser guys who also thought that airport security was a little too tight and decided to board a flight wearing nothing but their underwear on and a big clear plastic bag over their bodies... it was hilarious... and yet they were stilled refused entry!?!?)

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Missed My Calling

I think I missed my calling: I should've been a politician!

Why?

Well I'm beginning to think that maybe I'm a really good liar, especially after this post.

So after multiple guesses here's how it's panned out...

1. Sent somebody to hospital after causing a cut near their left eye - I liked Likalia's guess on this as maybe the lie was due to the fact that it happened on the persons right eye instead of the left. Nice thinking, but no this actually did happen. If you missed it:
When I was young I pushed my sister (or was it "she accidentally tripped"??), anyhoo when she fell her face collected the only solid object in the room - a lounge room chair's arm. Amidst her screaming and crying when she got up the left-side of her face had blood everywhere... my parent's freaked out (and so did I!) and everyone thought that I had blinded her. My buttocks were given a good tanning (obviously that was more important than attending to my sister?!) and my parents raced my sister down to the hospital where thankfully she only required a few stitches below her brow (just above the eyelid).


2. Had my hair on fire after playing with firecrackers - one of two left... would this be something I'd do??

3. Was stabbed in the back with a real knife - Fiona remarked that it was likely this one as I probably would've said something about it, and indeed she'd be right, but I'm a cunning kind of bloke, and I was merely embellishing here. So this did happen. I had this big freckle on my back (I think my father has similar) and every summer my mum would look at it and see if it had moved. One day she thought it had become cancerous, and even amidst my protest, she dragged me into the doctor surgery and had the doctor cut it out. When they checked it for cancer there were no traces. Great! Now I feel like a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing!

4. Made over a million playing the stock market during the tech boom - Dana's first guess was a good one, I mean surely I'd be driving around in a flash car and all by now, right? Well yes, I would be if the market hadn't of crashed! But yes this did indeed happen. In fact the stock that helped propel me to the 7 figure sum was a mining company called Pilbara Mines (I think it's gone now), I was able to get in at the IPO at 20c and watched it skyrocket to $8.00 (a 4000% return on an initial outlay of $25,000)!! But just as easy as it came it also went. I sure had some sleepless nights during those days, and some very painful ones afterwards.

5. Stole a bicycle and then had it stolen from me on the same day - Dana's last guess was this one, but this did indeed happen!
It occurred during high school sport one day where we were told by our phys-ed teacher to borrow someone's bike to get to indoor cricket down the road. I couldn't find a friend who rode to school who would lend me their bike so I decided to "borrow" one poor kid's bike who hadn't locked his up! After riding to the indoor cricket stadium when it came time to leave I couldn't find his bike anywhere - someone had stolen it! In fact, another friend of mine had his bike stolen too! We raced around trying to look for the thief, but couldn't find them. When I arrived back at school I was taken to the principal's office and given a "talking" to. Due to the lengthy "talk" I missed my bus home and my parents had to come pick me up. As the kid who's bike I stole also couldn't get home I offered him a lift home (it was the least I could do, and boy did I ever feel guilty!). After telling the story to my mum as we drove this kid home my mum gave him some money to pay for his twice stolen bike. It was the last time the phys-ed teacher ever asked for us to borrow a bike, they hired buses from that moment on.

6. Swam in the ocean amongst sharks whilst bleeding from the head - Dana's second jab was towards this one, but it wasn't this one. If you missed it...

That was the incident at Coral Bay where my brother threw a snorkel at my head and I kept swimming with the fishes. The area has a few Port Jackson sharks, but PJs are relatively harmless to humans... even if the humans are bleeding from the head!


7. Hid from high school security on the school's roof - one of two left... or would it be this rather bland one??

8. Charged a police officer with theft - Fiona's second guess was this one, and a good one too as it is true I'm definitely no lawyer (heck, the only law unit I ever did at university I failed!), so I can understand why she'd pick this one. But, alas, weird things happened in my little life and this is indeed one of those weird moments. If you missed my answer here it was:

I did charge a police officer with theft when he stole my licence plates... that's a loooooong story (and what made it worse was that I was with my woman at the time!). After giving a statement and having the matter investigated by the chief of police the charges were dropped... but at least I got my plates back.


9. Caused a 12 year old girl to nearly drown whilst canoeing - Dana's fourth guess was on this one, but it did indeed happen (with a little embellishment ;o)). Here's what happened:

It all occurred during a church winter camp when I was 14. I remember the ages well because you had to be a teenager (at least) to come along and when we were paired up and given a canoe I realised my partner was underage. I didn't think much of it until we approached a set of rapids and I told her that we needed to gather some speed to get through them... unfortunately we didn't paddle fast enough and our canoe capsized! Both of us were okay, but for the remainder of the day we were wet and freezin'.

10. Wore a tight bikini for a play - Dana's third guess was on this one even though she kinda thought that this could happen to me, because it did! If you missed it:

I did this at a *church* camp where we had to create our own play and then film it. For some strange reason the plot in our play required a skanky ho (or was it a bimbo?) and everyone thought I'd be able to play that role reallly well - and they had me wear some poor petite girl's bikini. I tried to object by letting them know that, umm, I've got hair everywhere, but they insisted that I do it for the benefit of the "team". Anyhoo, let's just say that, ummm... it turned people off bikinis for awhile, which was a shame because it was summer camp too!


So there you have it - I'm still standing and there's now only 2 left!! Is it something crazy like #2 or something somewhat bland and boring #7??

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Time Stands Still

During the weekend I dusted off my old luggage bags and came across a small package that I hadn't seen in quite awhile.

As I dusted off the top of the small black case, "Pierre Cardin" written on white on top, I slowly opened it up unsure on what to expect - even though I knew the contents wouldn't have changed.

And sure enough the stylish watch my folks bought in my 21st year was still there... and still lifeless.

As I picked it up out of its case, still wrapped around its soft cushion, I reflected back on its memorable moments.

See, a couple of years had passed since it was given as a gift and when I began dating Ella she came across it one day and wondered why I hadn't worn it out yet.

"Oh, I've just forgotten to buy new batteries for it," I remarked.

Knowing me a little too well she knew the likely chances of me purchasing a battery for it in the near future were slim.

"I'll go and get a battery for you, because you'll want to wear it to the ball," she said placing it in her bag.

I insisted that I would get a battery for it, but she was adamant with her decision - she wanted to bring life back into this little machine's lifeless body.

So, come ball night (6 weeks after our initial date) she handed me back my Pierre Cardin watch complete with beating heart again - it was alive.

From that point forward I wore the watch whenever we went out, and surprisingly the battery lasted ages! I don't know what she did to it, but the thing had a heart of energy that lasted for nearly 5 years!!

Until the day we went our separate ways.

Now I only wore this watch on special occasions, so I don't know if it exactly failed on the day we broke up (I'd like to think that it did), but a couple of months after our break up I had an outing to attend and I decided to wear the beloved watch - only to notice upon opening the case that it had died.

As the clock face had analog dials for displaying day and month I noticed that it's last tock was about 6 weeks after our break! (Unfortunately it never kept correct dates though... so that's why I couldn't be 100% certain that the date it did stop was the *actual* date.)

I wondered at this for a short moment, placed it back on the shelf and since then Pierre Cardin has been lifeless for over 3 years now.

Maybe he'll be back, maybe another woman will give him a new heart and restore his lifeless body again... maybe.

But back to packing...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rye And Spelt Addiction

To the cute tart behind the counter at the bakery today,

I think your bakery is the bestest in town.

I really really love your rye and spelt loaf. I don't know what it is with that dark bread but it sure is divine.

Kind of like you really, especially your smile, which is almost as white as your skin!

So apologies for bumping into the door on my exit out... I, umm, didn't realise the store was *that* small, and the door *that* close. *sheepish grin*

I hope I didn't break anything. If I did, please let me know and I'd be more than happy to come in and fix it.

From your faithful little rye and spelt bread patron,

Ryan
*rubs sore head*

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

I thought I'd continue on with the same challenge Dana and Victoria done on their blogs.

All you have to do is pick the odd one out (hint: one is a complete fib, the rest are true):

1. Sent somebody to hospital after causing a cut near their left eye
2. Had my hair on fire after playing with firecrackers
3. Was stabbed in the back with a real knife
4. Made over a million playing the stock market during the tech boom
5. Stole a bicycle and then had it stolen from me on the same day
6. Swam in the ocean amongst sharks whilst bleeding from the head
7. Hid from high school security on the school's roof
8. Charged a police officer with theft
9. Caused a 12 year old girl to nearly drown whilst canoeing
10. Wore a tight bikini for a play

So, if you're up for it pick one or two of the above 10 and see if you can pick the lie.

PS - finding 9 truths about myself that seem a little far-fetched was actually harder than I thought! If you undertake this task be sure to let me know.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

If It Doesn't Rain

I just read this and had a nice little chuckle...

The young man poured out his heart's devotion on paper as he wrote to the girl of his dreams:

Darling:

I would climb the highest mountain,
I would swim the widest stream,
I would cross the burning desert,
I would die at the stake for you.

P.S. I will see you on Saturday... if it doesn t rain.


;o)

My Good Ol' Gut

Ah.

Okay, now I get it.

Since visiting facebook several weeks ago a certain someone has been emailing me back and forth throughout the past few weeks (I think I mentioned something before in a prior post about not mentioning her name, so if you've been following you'll know who).

Anyhoo, *that* awkward situation we had several months ago reared its ugly head again with our correspondence and when it did I decided to let it all out and I explained what I said with what I said on *that* night (heck everybody else knew the reasons by my actions by now, so I guess she was the only one left!).

After sending that message off I didn't hear back from her for about a week or so. When she did reply she mentioned that she was hurt by what I had said and was prepared to leave it in the past and move on as friends - if that's what I wanted.

I replied to something of the effect of "this was all I ever wanted" (obviously smooching a "friend" is considered okay for this woman, and if you're a woman and smooching is okay for you please be careful - some blokes out there, myself included, kinda prefer to reserve smooching to the woman they're in love with).

Thinking that things were now finally settled she sent us another message asking for us to come down and watch her play in her team's basketball grand final on the weekend.

Initially I waved it away by wishing her luck, but she insisted that I come down and watch. A little reluctant I told her that if I were in the area I'd pop in for a quick look, but made no guarantees.

Strangely enough I ended up being in the area around her game and thought what the heck... and boy was I glad I went! Besides catching up with old friends at the stadium, I saw her play and was surprised at how she spat the dummy when things didn't go her way - it was an excellent insight!

Now I know when I play a sport that I'm not fully adept at I try and either:
a) do the best I can with what I know (if I'm required to be serious for the benefit of the team), or
b) have fun and joke around.

I unfortunately had to stop myself from laughing numerous times whenever this woman was called for a foul by the referee. Besides profusely denying that it was her that was at fault she put that same face on that I saw on that night where I let rip - it's the I-can't-believe-someone-dented-my-ego look.

It was great.

And then when she was fouled out towards the end of the game, do you think she left gracefully... oh no, she let fly and went off in a tempest.

It was great.

After the game I strolled over and congratulated them on a good fight (albeit a loss) and when she saw us we exchanged greetings before I then went and spoke to their coach. As I began talking to their coach I noticed off to the side that a male friend (?) had similarly wandered over and began consoling her, but consolation soon turned to being all over each other! I really wasn't paying attention, so I don't know if they were smooching, but from the corner of my eye I could tell they were doing things that seemed, to my innocent mind, a little puppy lovish!

It was during my conversation with their coach that the reason for why she wanted me here twigged - she was with someone, or, she was showing off that somebody was really into her! And I couldn't help but feel that it was somewhat rubbed in... I mean, when I had finished talking to the coach she came over and began talking to us without ever introducing the guy who was by her side (and he even joined in on our conversation)... maybe in her mind they were just "friends" (although in his eyes I couldn't help but feel as though he thought there was something more)!?!

Anyhoo, after staying behind once everyone had left I watched another basketball game. As I sat there I began to thank God and my gut about this woman. I'll admit that there was a moment there where I began to doubt myself about the whole situation - maybe I was reading things too much, maybe I was totally wrong about this woman (etc etc), but after yesterday I was so glad to see that my gut still worked (I exercise it three times a day too!! LOL).

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dude, It's Been Long Time

Wow, it's felt like a bazillion years since my last post in here!

Unfortunately the hardest part has been trying to find the time to write something down. Besides work, searching for presents (we have this unique medley of birthdays in our family that are separated by exactly 7 days! What are people in our family doing around new years?? Hmm...) and I've been preparing for the world-wind tour, so as you can tell I haven't had much time to do... much!

Today though I went back to the city and returned a pair of jeans that I had bought from the previous week (why is that when you try to shop for someone else you end up buying stuff for yourself??), and just like last week I decided to take my camera and take some more photos of the wildflowers that are beginning to bloom in Kings Park.





So at least amongst the craziness I've had time to stop and smell the flowers (roses?)!

I'm hoping in the week prior to my departure I'll be able to have the time to blog about some more interesting stuff.

I hope everyone else is healthy and if you're north of the equator I'm sorry but it's time to hand over summer now... I've had enough of the cold and the rain this winter (although I'm thankful for the rain as we do need the rain down here).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Relax As You Slowly Evaporate Away

Yesterday I set out on an arduous mission. A mission most men struggle with throughout their entire lives... and that is...

Finding a present for a woman.

Thankfully though there has been one great ingenuity in the shopping industry that has helped mankind conquer this dilemma, and that is: gift vouchers. However, I believe gift vouchers should be the item of last resort and I always make an effort to go hunting first before selecting the default gift.

So, with that I went hunting with Willo to find a gift for my sister's 25th birthday (which is to happen next Sunday).

After spending the first hour searching for things *I* needed, we set out and began looking through departments fit for womankind.

Now I personally don't go buying ANY woman clothes, there are several reasons for this:
1. I'm colourblind. If you want me to buy you a red dress, there's a 50% chance you'll either get a red dress or a brown one as they both look the same to me!
2. I wouldn't have a clue how sizes work. With blokes it's simply M, L, XL, and XXL, with women you've got numbers, letters, and sometimes hieroglyphics - totally confusing.
3. I only know simple jargon such as dress, skirt, bikini and top... I don't have a clue about anything else. So if you ask me to get a flip-flop-sash-tied-cartigan-pocketed-panty-collarless-doily you've lost me.

So with clothing cut out of the equation my shopping field was cut down quite considerably. It wasn't until I aimlessly wandered around the shopping mall that I bumped into these massage things.

"Would you like to try it sir, we have a 20% discount as this will be our last day."

To be honest I had walked passed these things hundreds of times before and I had always been a little hesitant about the whole concept, especially considering that they seemed so small for a big bloke such as myself!

"I don't think I'd be able to fit in," I said.

"Oh you'll be fine," she replied and motioned me to get in.

I waved Willo over and said that we'd try the 5 minute "quickie" just to at least say that we had tried it. And with we were given some simple instructions, took our shoes off and hopped in.

And to my surprise I was pleasantly massaged by these water jet thingies as they pulsated on my back. I let the soothing music calm me down and I watched an aquatic DVD play several inches from my face.

Hmm, I thought, I wonder if maybe my sister would want one of these babies in the living room?

But no sooner had I begun to get into the groove of things did the 5 minutes of fun end. Drat. But it seemed Willo was enjoying himself too much and didn't want to get out...



"Go another 15," he mumbled and they placed the pod back down on top of us and we lingered another 15.

Over the next 15 minutes I was SO relaxed that I fell asleep and began losing all muscular control on my face causing me to drool onto the DVD screen...



(Thankfully the thing was water-proof and I didn't short-circuit it!)

Throughout the remainder of the session though I was beginning to get a little hot as the temperature of the water was quite warm. I unfortunately began to break out in sweat and hoped that by the time this thing had finished I hadn't evaporated into steam!!

But sure enough, just before things were beginning to get a little too uncomfortable the machine ended (I even thought I heard a microwave *ding* sound as the pod's hood lifted!?).

Willo on the other hand loved every minute of it and probably would've stayed there all day and night...



Unfortunately it was probably the worst thing I could've done because after it I was feeling rather light-headed and I even had great difficulty trying to remember where I parked the car! I was *that* relaxed that if you had bumped into me you could've sworn I was on drugs!

But after all that. I was still clueless... and just a little hotter and more relaxed.

So it looks like I'll have to continue shopping during this week.

*sigh*