Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas 2008

My first real Christmas tree.
This Christmas I decided to stay at home (also because there is no public transport operating on Christmas day which makes it almost impossible to go anywhere) and have it with some of my flatties.
Pre Christmas dinner treats ---->

We prepared a fantastic Christmas feast with roast pork and roast turkey (something I have never had before but quite enjoyed) and washed it down with apple pie, cheese cake and ice cream yum!



After our feast we lounged around on the coach laxing out and watching tv. Was a nice relaxing day before the adventures of New Years in the French Alps.

<------Someone who had too much Christmas dinner!


Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland was on in Hyde Park and they have an outside ice skating rink that I was dying to try out so I invited Tim, Louisa and Amanda along to help me test it out.

We got there bright and early on Sunday morning to avoid the crowds. Once geared up we hit the ice – ohhh, the disappointment! I could hardly move on the damm ice (and I am a pro – ok well not a pro, but I was in a show!). Nasty rent-a-skates and slippery early morning ice were not a winning combination. After a while though, once the ice was a little munched up, I was able to skate around freely (and carefully – I wasn’t wanting to break a bone again!) and have a good time.

After the ice skating we had a walk around the stalls looking at the crafts and sampling some mulled wine, eggnog and winter pims.

There was a pile of ice on the ground and we couldn’t resist making a snow man. His name was Harry and he was ever so cute!

We then spent the afternoon having a nice walk around the Hyde Park. It was really funny, the water had a thin layer of ice over it and birds were standing and walking on it. It looked like they were ice skating and it was really funny when they plunged over the side.

Friday, 28 November 2008

San Francisco

San Francisco
28 November 2008- 3 December 2008

28 November 2008
Today I am taking my first journey to America, yah! I am going to San Francisco in the state of California to meet Debra who has just spent some time in NZ, she is bringing me some New Zealand snacks, Yum!

Upon landing at San Francisco airport (security wasn’t as bad as what everyone has said) I went and jumped into my coach and was on my way to our fancy pancy hotel.

Once there I meet up with Debra and we ventured the streets, in the dark (careful to avoid crack central!!) and went to Chinatown for one of many chinese dinners.

29 November 2008 – Saturday
This morning we rose and headed to an all American diner for some breakfast and then headed down to Pier 39 which is a popular tourist attraction in “the bay”. Pier 39 is a favourite place for Californian Sea Lions to hang out .

That afternoon we were tested to our limits (physically) when we had to walk up and down some of San Fran’s famous steep streets. When we finally made it to the top (after lots of panting and dread of the pain tomorrow) we were rewarded with viewing Lombard Street the crookedest [most winding] street in the world.
<-- Lombard Street Super steep street -->

After our walk we went back to our hotel for a rest after our exhausting afternoon and then got dressed up to hit San Francisco’s nightlife. We got the hotel to order us a cab (we are so posh) and jumped in and headed to Holy Cow. Holy Cow alright, we felt a bit over dressed at this place (we were the only ones in dresses) and even though the place was good for our egos we decided it wasn’t really for us and headed back to find a taxi. We asked the taxi driver where we should go and he directed us up to the Starlight Lounge, which was on the 21st floor of some fancy pancy hotel. After paying a ridiculous cover charge and upon dragging Debra away from the Norwegians we hit the dance floor and danced to some tunes. Unfortunately though its closes at 1.30am dumb, so we were only there for about an hour and as had no where else to go deciced to head back to the hotel to bed.

30 November 2008 – Sunday
After the events of last night, we decided it would be best if we slept in for a while. At 12pm we decided though that we should drag our arses our of bed (oh the pain) because it was a beautiful day. We headed back down to Pier 39 to rent some bicycles to go for a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. I haven’t riden a bike for years, so was a little nervous but actually had a really good time. We had perfect weather and it really was amazing to bike over the enormous bridge. In all we biked 13kms and I would totally recommend it to anyone going to San Fran.

1 December 2008 – Monday
This morning we had booked a morning tour to go to Alcatraz Island - sometimes informally referred to as simply Alcatraz or locally as the Rock, is a small island located in the middle of
San Francisco Bay in California, United States. It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963. It was a misty, foggy day – perfect for sailing out to an old prison in the middle of San Francisco bay! has a lot of history and was interesting to see how it all came about, because it really is a small island in the middle of the bay. There are lots of stories and movies about Alcatraz and apparently three men escaped from there but it is not known whether they survived or not.

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39 (not on foggy day!) -->

After our adventure on the Rock we took a tram ride on the famous trams down to Union Street for a spot of shopping/guess the price of this in Bloomingdales before heading back to the hotel.

Every night the hotel has a free wine evening where you get free wine and cheesy music. Now I am not usually a fan of wine at all but this wine was super deslish its called - White Zinfandel. So here I am thinking that I am super sophisticated and posh that I like wine until I read this - White Zinfandel is a quaffing wine that is sweet, soft, and low in alcohol, making it a popular choice with those who would not otherwise drink wine. Anyone not familiar with what quaffing wine is, it means - A wine considered unsophisticated or simple in taste, but pleasant to quaff – brill so I like a wine but apparently its not sophisticated enough!!


2 December 2008 – Tuesday
This morning we had another breakfast in another American diner before more exercise in San Francisco. Debra and I decided that it would be good to live in San Fran because of the fact we would be super skinny (because of all the hills and forced exercise) but the fog made our hair go frizzy and we decided that nice hair was more important that being skinny!

Anyway, we walked to see the famous “Painted Ladies” (the correct street this time! (there is a funny story behind that)) at "Postcard Row." These houses also appear in the opening credits of the television series Full House.

After seeing the houses we wandered around the massive Golden Gate Park (which I don't really recommend) and then headed back to the hotel to rest up on the super comfy beds.


3 December 2008 – Wednesday
This morning was the day of departure from our hotel and each other. If you go to San Francisco I would totally recommend this hotel, it wasn’t too expensive and its super close to everything and everyone was really nice - Hotel Carlton.

Debra had an earlier flight than me this morning so after our goodbyes, I headed back down to Union Square for a spot of shopping and then I headed back to the hotel for my transfer to the airport. I had a good night flight with three seats to myself so I could get to snooze.

As per usual you can see all my pictures in my new photo gallery or on my facebook.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

My introduction into modelling ...


No... you don't think so ... ok just me in TNT magazine!


Monday, 24 November 2008

The Church - The second time

No banana, no, naughty banana!
Richard was coming down to London this weekend and suggested we hit The Church, I needed no arm twisting, I was so there!

< --- me and the michaels (my flatmates)
Banana in Pjamas (Richard) ------------------>

A theme was decided (it was supposed to be fairy tale or story book characters) and we were all set to go. Everyone battled the snow and came round to my house for some Rashuns, cup cakes WITH sprinkles (hand baked, not from a packet mix thank you very much Louisa) and some pre-church drinks before going outside to battle the elements again and head to the church (see here for explanation of what the church is and previous experience). I even made it on the church web site photo gallery this time with Tim - photo.
Puss 'n' boots ------->
<---- The cow that jumped over the moon ... with two Smirnoff ices...?

We made it to The Church in good time for the 12pm door opening and most of us got in for £4 because we were dressed up, Richard got free entry because he was way dressed up - me and Louisa are already thinking about what we could be next time to get in free!

Aladdin --------->

The usual carryons were had (posing photos, photos with other people in costume, hat swapping, excessive consumption of alcohol, singing, dancing, falling down stairs x2, etc, etc) until closing time and then we all trekked it to the She Bu Walkie. Once there the mandatory pie was had before checking in the coat and dancing all night long to some tunes and boy did I dance (I could hardly walk the next day)! I finally had to leave the place when it was closing at 11pm which to be honest was probably a good thing as I had work the next day and I probably would of kept on going and going and going, just like the energiser … cow!
Check out my facebook and photo gallery for more pics!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hayley’s last night partying in London Town

Tonight was Hayley’s last time to go out partying with all the girlies in London town, so we frocked up and headed to Louisa’s for some quality girl talk, chocolate fish and green frogs (Wicked, Smirnoff Ice and Orange Bacardi Breezer mixed into one). Once the fish and frogs were gone we headed into the city for some dancing to 90’s tunes.

On the way into town on the tube, we found ourselves in an empty carriage and at a stop so some of us decided it might be quite fun to swing off the poles or maybe do a little pole dancing and fashion parading. We knew there were CCTV cameras operating but we put that to the back of our minds and were giggling and dancing away as you do after a few drinks. It wasn’t until the tube driver announced that we were delayed and that he appreciated our dancing did the embarrassment engulf our bodies!! Oh the shame!! And then if that wasn’t bad enough upon leaving the tube the girls started waving to tube and the tube driver came out of the tube and started waving back at us.

We then continued to our destination on foot. The night was full of other embarrassing moments the highlights for me were Louisa’s camera moment and where she slapped someone in the face with her over enthusiastic clapping. We had such a good night dancing, singing, watching Baywatch and partying in the big city, even on a broken heel!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Holidays in the Pipeline

Now that I have finished writing about holidays already been, I can now write about holidays to come, I figured I would put them on here as I have lost track who I have told and people keep saying to me your going to __________ I never knew that ...
SAN FRANSISCO
Debra flew to NZ a couple of weeks ago and on her way home was stopping in San Francisco for a couple of days, so jumped at the chance and quickly invited myself to come along. I fly to San Fran on Friday (yes less than a week!!) and return home on Thursday 4 December. I can’t wait to go to America and get some green money that all looks the same. I am, however, unfortunately going to miss Blair and Rebecca’s wedding as that falls on the same weekend. But I hope to see lots and lots of pictures!! (hint hint).
FRANCE - SKIING
I decided to do something exciting for New Years this year so me and Debra are going skiing in the French Alps Les Deux Alpes to be exact. We leave on 27 December and arrive back in London on 4 January 2009. I am super excited and you can read all about our trip here.
Highlights are
  • Free lift pass with access to 3 resorts! (covers 6 ½ days at Les Deux Alpes, 2 days at L’Alpe d’Huez and 1 day Serre Chevalier)
  • Free ski hire - not really free is it, as we have already paid ...
  • 12 hours of free lessons (beginner or intermediate)
  • Guaranteed natural snow
  • Free leisure pass (Access to swimming pool and ice rink)
  • Welcome party with live music and dj’s
  • New Years Eve party including wine, live music & dj’s

This is with the same company I did my big tour with so should be good.

I have never been skiing before and, until a couple of weeks ago, have never seen it snowing so am really looking forward to it! I am, however, not looking forward to the painful body that I expect will follow after the first day!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Since I have been back in London

Just a few notes about what I have been doing since I have been back in London, aside from the highlights which get their own special blogs!!

Job
Since I got back it was a little difficult to get a job. The job market is really quiet with lots of people being made redundant. After about two and half weeks I finally managed to get some work and it was been quite steady ever since. I have been working in the same place for about a month. It’s a patent firm and totally boring, but, I sooooo need the money to pay for my holidays that I have lined up.
House
After living at Hayley’s for … a while … I managed to find a nice house in Dollis Hill (up the Jubilee line for those in the know) which is in NW London. So it’s a little closer to the other girls, but not that much really!! I have a single room that is super cheap in an old house, but its nice enough and suits me fine. It has wifi Internet which I am loving (as you can probably tell) and free calls to NZ, Aus and other places, so send me your landline number. I live with four other people (five at the moment though, we have a dosser). So there are 4 guys and 2 girls there at the moment and they are all really nice which makes a huge change from the last flat.
Netball
I signed up to play netball the other day as felt I needed to do some exercise. I rang them up and they put me in an A Grade team - gulp! I had my first game last night and it wasn’t as bad as expected. I didn’t pass out (phew), hurt an ankle (yah) and I can still walk today (bonus)! Had a really good time and once we have a full team it will be really good.
Books
I have been doing lots of reading lately, tube commuting does that for you and just thought I would suggest some books I recommend to read

Anyway that’s enough about my mundane life for now, looking forward to hearing about everyone else's.

Lots of love

Toni xoxo

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Friday, 31 October 2008

Halloween

We had all been invited over to Nicola's toot toot crew's Halloween party, and there were suggestions that singstar might make an appearance so I was totally there.

I headed over to Hayley's after work on Friday and we all dressed up in our wacky costumes (some more wacky that others!) and after a few (deadly) drinks headed off down the road.

We bowled on up into the decorated house and started partying with all the other dresser upperra's. At about 10.30 we had run out of booze (a whole bottle of peach snapps and half a bottle of vodka already down the hatch) and missioned it to Tesco, with a few photo ops on the way (and we may have accidentally set off someones motorcycle alarm). Once at Tesco's we realised we didn't bring ID, crap 26 (well some of us) and still need to think about ID, luckily with my smooth talking skills (that is what I like to think persuaded the guy) we managed to purchase our bottle of vodka and head back to the party and continue our night.

After a couple of hours people started dropping off, first Tim and Louisa and then Hayley and Niki (Hayley was already chucking her guts up) but since I can totally handle my alcohol(!) I kept on partying. Now here is where it gets a bit fuzzy, at about, lets say, 2amish I thought it was time I left the party so I bolted out the door onto the high street and couple of minutes later I am outside Hayley's door taking in the fresh air and wishing I hadn't let Hayley pour my drinks all night (she is lethal!). Once feeling, lets say, not like I wanted to throw up anymore, I open the back door and blank, I don't remember what happens after then (and I always remember, ask anyone!!). It isn't until 6am I hear "Toni, Toni, wake up, you are in the bath, they are gone, come and sleep on the couch". What the??? How did I get in the bath? Why was I in the bath? I have no memory of anything after opening the back door! Hmmmm ... so I climbed out of the bath, took my contacts out and resumed my sleeping on the couch. Luckily, I didn't wake up with a hangover unlike some other people who could hardly move on Saturday.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Snow in London

At about 10.00pm tonight it started snowing. I was sitting in the lounge chatting when someone and they said, "hey, whats that outside? It looks like ..." "SNOW" someone yelped and everyone fought to get out of the lounge to have a look. It was amazing! The first time I had ever seen it snow before and I never even knew it actually snowed so close to London city. It was so pretty and unexpected. A nice little surprise.

video

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Imperial War Museum

Today me and Niki decided to do an outing to the Imperial War Museum. I was particularly interested to go as they have a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Holocaust.

The war museum is huge and has many different floor and themes. We were only there for a couple of hours but could of easily spent much more time there. I particularly like the Holocaust exhibition which had lots of stories, photos, memorabilia and the exhibition of a World War trench where you could actually walk though a make shift trench and see how the soldiers would have lived in the trench.

I would recommend it, if you are interested in the World Wars or the Holocaust and a bonus, its free!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Dancing in Clapham

On Saturday night Hayley and I decided to get gussied up and go dancing. We were originally going to go into the city to a 90's club but lack of recruits meant that instead we headed into Clapham which was more closer to home.

We decided to head to a vodka bar that Hayley had been to before and thought was really good. On our way from the tube, we accidentally went the wrong way which meant that we ended up there after 11pm and had to pay the £5.00 entry, doh! Once in we headed upstairs to the loo and coat check and then decided that shots were in order. We got six different shots of some different types of vodka and then headed downstairs to dance. Unfortunately, the music was shite so I thought maybe a pitcher might pick us up, I downed half of that in about 20 minutes and tried to dance but, honestly, the music was crap some house shite that had annoying repetitive beats so we decided to get outta there and find some quality beats.

My two "short" friends --->

As we were walking down the street the "Cazabar" were playing rocking tunes and we decided to go in. We were warned at the door that is was a gay bar but as we could see no necking going on decided to head in. We pretty much stayed in the corner and danced until it closed.

As we were all enthusiastic (shots and a pitchers will have that effect) we kept on looking for somewhere else to go. We headed into another bar and had an awesome time dancing to heaps of totally danceable songs, meeting foreign boys and staying out past our bedtime (we are still young!!).

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Rainman

Josh Harnett is hot!! Tonight was the much anticipated viewing of the stage show "Rainman" with Josh Harnett a real life Hollywood actor and ever so cute (especially in Pearl Harbour – insert picture) so the chicks (and Tim) headed to Apollo Theatre in Leicester Square. We were at the back, very high up but still head a reasonable view, gutted I didn't bring binoculars though!

When Hayley first mentioned it, I had never seen "Rainman" before so I watched it on DVD a couple of weeks ago so that I knew what it would be about. The play was really good, Josh was hot (he even got his shirt off) and the person who played Raymond was fantastic.. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good photo when he came out for his bows but now I can say I have see Josh Harnett in real life!


Famous people I have seen in London

  • The Queen

  • Josh Harnett

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The Church


Today was the much anticipated (and planned) day at the Church. I was still suffering from severe never ending European cold but still managed to get it together on the day.

Our theme of the day was wearing all of one colour, being crayons in a box. Of course, mine was pink, unfortunately I couldn't find pink tights but highlighter pink leg warmers did the job.

At 9amish we hightailed it up to Tim and Louisa's (which meant we actually go there around 10ish) for a champagne breakfast with scrummy food, Asti (wine haters wine!) and some yager shots. We then missioned it down to Kentish Town and into the Church - only open Sunday afternoons from 12 - 4pm, mostly frequented by Antipodeans - for some afternoon drinking. We had such a great time, dancing, singing, drinking, posing (some more than others Louisa!!).

When the church closed at 4.00pm we headed to "She Bu" for those who aren't up with the lingo (Shepherds Bush Walkabout). After a boring hour on the tube we made it to She Bu before our alcohol buzz wore off. Shepherds Bush Walkabout is a pub that is aimed at the OZ/Kiwi market so as soon as we walked in the door we headed to the mince pie stand and munched into some pastry goodness (thanks Tim!). We then headed to the dance floor and danced and sang to, oh I dunno, 8.30pm (early drinking is great). At that time my European flu was bringing me down so I left the others and made the trek (the long way) home on the tube, de-colourised and went to bed.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Shakespeare

About four months ago I purchased tickets for the gang to go and see a Shakespeare Play at the Shakespeare Globe and the time had finally come around. So all bundled up in our winter woollies and a supply of tissues (I felt like death (sick again, remember, could feel it coming on from Amsterdam!) but I wasn't waiting another four months) and tubed it to the Globe.

After meeting up with the crew we took our £15 seats (they were a bit obstructed) but at least we weren't standing like some other unfortunates in the rain (their tickets were only £5 - yes Zac I was one of the "suckers sitting behind"). The play was Midsummer's Nights Dream. I studied this in third form .. and can tell you I remembered nothing about it (only what I learnt from that movie that has Kirsten Dunst is in and they turn it into a musical) anywho, after the first half Louisa went and brought the programme which was super handy as it explained the plot and we could understood the second half which made it totally more enjoyable and rather funny. I had a pretty good time and would recommend it - my tip would be to make sure you know what the story is about first!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

1 October 2008


1 October 2008
FOUR COUNTRIES IN ONE DAY - try doing that at home!!

Amsterdam, Netherlands to Brugge, Belgium, to Calais, France to London, England

Today was our last day on tour. We packed up, said goodbye to Amsterdam and headed to Brugge for some Belgium waffles and chocolate and then onto the ferry to Dover. The bus ride was quiet and we were all reflecting on what a fantastic time we head. That night I stayed in the hostel with some of the others and to say a last goodbye.

I had such a great time on my holiday and would totally recommend it to everyone.

Most of the people on my tour - Rome


Highlights
- Skydiving in Switzerland
- Going up Jungfrau in Switzerland
- Drinking giant daiquiris in Florence
- Venice - everything
- Partying in Amsterdam

Lowlights
- Being sick - all the time (but it happens with every tour)
- Manky boat sailing
- Food in some places

The pro's totally outweigh the negatives though and am saving hard for my next adventures - which I am sure you are totally amped to hear about.

Monday, 29 September 2008

29 September 2008 - 1 October 2008

Can you see me?

29 September 2008 - 1 October 2008
Rhine Valley, Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands

29 September 2008
Rhine Valley (St Goar), Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands

Before we headed off to Amsterdam, we stopped off in St Goar for a beer stein and cuckoo clock demonstration. Left is the largest free standing cuckoo clock in the world.

And then once in the Netherlands we stopped off for a cheese and traditional clog making demonstration where we got to sample the cheese and purchase souvenirs (I love souvenirs!!)

Once checked into our hostel it was time to head into the "red light district" to see the "Moulin Rouge" sex show. What can I say ... it was interesting and entertaining and a bit uncomfortable. After that we had a walk around "skinny alley" which is pretty girls standing in shop windows waiting to be ... brought ... is that the right word? Once that was over and done with we headed to St Christopher's Inn where we spent the night drinking cheap two for ones!!

30 September 2008
Amsterdam, Netherlands
This morning we were supposed to get up bright and early and head out on a bike tour of the city, unfortunately it was pouring (and I was getting sick AGAIN!! and maybe a little worse for wear after the night before) so decided to can it and have a lie in. Once awake and out of bed we headed off to the Anne Frank Museum - Anne Frank gained fame posthumously following the publication of
her diary which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Anne and her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933 after the Nazis gained power in Germany, and were trapped by the occupation of the Netherlands, which began in 1940. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Seven months after her arrest, Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, within days of the death of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl.

This museum was sad but nice to go and see, I have become somewhat fascinated with the Holocaust since my trip away.

After the museum we spent the next couple of hours looking around and having pictures taken and then went back to the hostel to pack, for the last time (weep weep) and then headed off to the floating Chinese restaurant for dinner.

After dinner we had booked a (booze) cruise on the river. We had a great time on the boat drinking to our hearts content and then headed into another bar in Amsterdam where we danced until we got booted out and ... had to pay 50 cents to use the toilet! Ripped!!