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sort of an update [Sep. 7th, 2007|10:59 am]
We left Leicester on 14/7 and have been travelling and doing loads, but Mike is about to kick me off so he can watch an AFL game so I might not get to write much. I will start a chronologican dot-point summary...

13/7/07 - last day at school. Night out with friends Ceri and Chris. Tearful farewells everywhere (actually I was the only tearful one come to think of it).

14/7 - left our house at Overton Rd, More tears, not jusrt me this time, all our lovely Indian family we adopted, Kavin and his parents Geeta and Ojash, and Mike was teary too. We really miss them! Drove to Bury St Edmunds to stay wit5h Uncle Bon abd Auntie Gabriele. Highlights during this stay - trip to Dunwich via Westleton where some of my ancestors lived (didn't see their house tho), Ely - Oliver Cromwell museum, drive through the Fens, Norwich - this city has more churches than pubs. amazing.
18/7 - drove to Anne and Keith's (dad's cousin) at Ayot St Lawrence. On the way I had a costume fitting at Angel's Costumiers in London for my part as Princess Elizabeth in Churchill's War. Brown army suit. During stay with A&K we went to a talk by Abba Buruma, costume designer, visited George Bernard Shaws house, went to Bletchley Park where they broke the Enigma code among others, saw the play Mrs Warren's Profession outside at Shaw's Corner, it ended up starring a girl Mike knew rom Bitesize.
22/7 - spent the day filming in London. I got my own trailer (sharing with Princess Margaret) ate loads of lovely food, and stood on the balcony of "Buckingham Palace" (actually Lancaster House) with Churchill and King George. Highlight of this was the King saying to Churchill "did you ever wanna be a rock star?" (he is American) and Churchill (who is Irish) replying "oh yeah" and the king replying "FUCK YEAH!" and punching the air in rock-star style, as the thousands of virtual people on the green screen cheer. Very surreal.
23 & 24/7 - we went to Paradise Park at Newhaven, discovered it by change. Massive park with gardens, museums about the formation of the world, dinosaurs, fossils, rocks etc. really good.
24/7 - drove to Edward and Tara Cassidy's at Langton Maltravers, near Corfe Castle in Dorset. I had no idea who these people were, but they were sooo lovely, mum picked them up in Adelaide somewhere. During this stay, we saw a white chalk horse (of which there are many) walked along Weymouth Beach in the rain, went to Tolpuddle Martyrs museum, saw Cerne Giant and Homer Simpson, got steam train from Swanage to Corfe Castle, drove through Sandbanks (most expensive place to live in the WORLD!), SAW cORFE MINIATURE VILLAGE.

mIKE'S GAME IS ON NOW SO WILL TRY TO CONTINUE LATER!
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TORCHWOOD [May. 30th, 2007|03:50 pm]
this is cut and pasted from the email we sent parents and known Dr Who fans...sorry for being lazy and doubling up. This all happened Thursday 10th May.

Well... we got up at 5am, Mike had made sandwiches the night before and we'd packed a huge suitcase with costume options in. Drove to Cardiff, pulling over on the way to report Mike sick and me looking after him (mopping up vomit etc). Felt really awful lying but hoped it would be worth it. Got to the Cardiff docks really early. Drove into the city in search of a charity (op) shop to buy non-striped ties and a nice jacket for Mike, got all that, went back to the site. Met nice people, some professional extras that do this all the time, lots on Casualty, Dr Who and Torchwood. Had an amazing breakfast served around 12pm. Got squished into a car and driven to the other side of the river to Cardiff Bay where they were filming. The plot was Toshiko (Japanese character) has fallen in love with a guy who was frozen during WWI and had been thawed out, but they have to send him back to his own time to repair the rift which Owen opened last series. Or something like that. We sat in the car for a while, then had to get out and stand in various places around the bay where Tosh and the WWI guy were. It was pouring with rain all day I must add. Then we were told to go back to the car and keep dry and we realised that was just a rehearsal. We sat in the car and watched through the fogged-up windows and rain the two main actors rehearsing for ages. Too far away to hear anything. There were 20 of us extras all up, 5 of us in this posh car thingie and the rest in a mini bus. After a while they asked all of us in the car to get out so Tosh could get in. At this time Mike and I both spoke to her...Mike held the back door open for her to get in and she didn't look happy so he said "would you rather sit in the front" and she said "yes please" and smiled at him and sat in the front and said "thanks". Then we were told to get all out stuff out the car as well so I opened the back door and got my stuff and noticed Tosh was sitting on a jacket which had been provided by costume for someone else to wear so I said "excuse-me, sorry, I just need to get this jacket" and tried to tug it out from under her, but she ignored me so i just gave up and ran away, then i told the guy whose jacket it was and he went back and got it. So that was out brush with fame. We were due to be in 2 scenes with 2 different costumes (most of us were just told to change our jackets/coats). Our car group stood under the tent where all the filming equipment is, waiting for Tosh to come back for quite some time. Then the director (or it might have been 3rd director) who looked a bit like David Tennant apologised to us all and said none of the extras were going to be used because it was too difficult with the rain EXCEPT me and a young guy called James. So i said Mike was my husband and he'd stay around too if he could be used at all so he said he'd keep that in mind. So we waited a bit more for the car to come back with Tosh, but then the director man came back and said he was signing us ALL out after all. So the car came back and not only Tosh got out (still looking miserable) but OWEN too who looked fresh and smiling (mind you he hadn't been standing in the rain all day) and they walked past us, and we all got back into the car and waited for a driver, but then some of the other extras got out of the minibus and walked around a bit and we didn't know if they were being used or not. So we sat there for a long time, then we were all told to get out the car and into the bus and then the lot of us were driven in the bus back to the base, signed out and went home at around 6:30pm. Had a Wimpey burger for dinner on the way back. Mike was told he would make a fantastic next Dr Who, unfortunately it was the young very inexperienced guy James (who said at the start of the day he didn't like waiting around much!) who said this and no one with any say in the matter.

So yes...when the episode is shown next January (in UK at least) with Tosh and the frozen WWI guy, and you see them chatting in the rain at Cardiff Bay, just remember WE COULD HAVE BEEN STANDING IN THE BACKGROUND!

i swear since we arrived in England on the 16th June we have not had a single day where it has continuously rained for the entire day until yesterday. Oh well, good for the farmers I suppose.


Love Pru and Mike xxx
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third time unlucky [May. 30th, 2007|03:44 pm]
I have to add that that night we went to the Savoy was one of the best nights of my life, I was so happy sitting in the park eating my egg sandwich I had tears of joy in my eyes.

Our third attempt at seeing last-minute amazing theatre didn't go so well. I booked tickets to see Robert Lindsey in The Entertainer at the Old Vic for last Wednesday. Mike got of work early and we had stacks of time to go down there, but there was an accident on the M1 and we got stuck and didn't get to Highgate until 7:45, the performance starting at 7:30 and still at least 1/2 hour away on tube and foot. So we went for a walk through Highgate Wood and looked at 105 and 196 Muswell Hill Road where Dad used to live, and had a drink and some cheese at the Woodman pub and watched a football match on the big screen. Not exactly what I'd been looking forward to but it still ended up a nice evening nonetheless. It was a warm night, the last few days it's been cold and rainy again. I quite like cold and rainey really, and I've just washed my scarf so it's fit to be worn again so I'm nice and cosy.
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the baby squirrel etc... [May. 30th, 2007|03:42 pm]
After we went to the toilets at the Savoy, which were worth the trip to London on their own (I got a photo on my phone)we found a park to sit and eat our egg sandwiches that Mike had made. He also got us a can of drink each and some crisps (chips) and chocolate. We spread all our bits out on our bench, and I put my drink on the ground by my foot, AND THEN a baby squirrel sat on my foot and tried to steal my drink. It was so cute, and we named it Squidge, and it sat between Mike's feet and ate bread, and about 20 Italian tourists walked past and stopped and looked at him. Mike had never had 20 Italians looking between his legs before. The gardeners passed and they said it was unusual for one to be so tame. We could pat him and everything.



Then we saw the show which was amazing, then we went to the Savoy toilets again, and then we went home, got back to Leicester about 2am.



The next day at school Mrs Fisher the deputy-head was boasting that she was going to see Ian McKellan in King Lear at Stratford-upon-Avon in a couple of weeks time. I thought "I'd like to see that" but assumed it would have sold out months ago. I went on the internet and there weren't any tickets, so i rang just to see if there was anything, and the lady said she had a couple for 48 pounds, sitting apart, and then she said "if you want to sit together there are 2 8 pound tickets for tonight's performance left" and I said "YES PLEASE" and we were off again. It was brilliant. On the way to Stratford in the car I read the study guide, comic strip version and the proper play, but we needn't have done because the acting was so brilliant and natural there was never any lack of understanding. Ian McKellan played King Lear, and Sylvester McCoy played the fool, and William Gaunt was Gloucester. The latter 2 were in Dr Who so that kept Mike happy. We were right up the back but could see everything perfectly, and I took our binoculars which helped. Ian McKellan took his clothes off briefly which was impressive. It was pretty amazing seeing a Shakespeare play in the town where he was born with such high-profile actors in...if we'd wanted to we could have thrown stuff at them really easily. I wouldn't take kids from school there.
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AMAZING PLAYS WE HAVE SEEN [May. 21st, 2007|05:14 pm]
We have been on two spontaneous amazing trips to see amazing plays recently, with another one coming up next week. The two we have been to recently are as follows:

1 - PORGY AND BESS at the Savoy Theatre in London on Wednesday 2nd May. Directed and adapted into a musical (as opposed to an opera) by Trevor Nunn. The Savoy Theatre was the first in London to have electric lights and was built by D'Oyly Carte for Gilbert and Sullivan to put their shows on. So seeing a Gershwin show in THE G&S theatre was a big tip of the hat to Mr Peter Pole, he would have loved it there and we were sure he was watching...probably through one of the extremely ornate air-conditioning vents. The show was brilliant and closed that week which is why we rushed to see it...we got cheap tickets through a special offer in the Telegraph, all thanks to Sarah Kennedy on the radio who Mike hates but we have to thank her for this.

Brilliant show aside, there were 2 other main highlights to the evening. Actually I'll just tell you the whole night. Mike met me after school, 2 very busy stressful days because we had and OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education) inspection and I was in charge of the library because Mary's husband died (she didn't mind about that but then she got bronchitis from quitting smoking so had to have a lot of time off). We drove to Highgate tube station (past dad's street Muswell Hill Road) and parked LOU-Pole on the street (she was so good, didn't get broken into or anything) and got the tube to Charing Cross. Popped out from underground and saw the cross which was cool. Mike had made sandwiches and had drinks and chocolates so we went looking for a bit of park to sit in and ended up in lovely gardens i think it was "The Embankment Gardens" or something like that just behind the theatre. oooh but FIRST we needed the toilet so we picked up the tickets from the theatre and asked if we could use their toilets and they said they weren't open yet so just go to the hotel and use theirs. Well ladies and gentlemen, "the hotel" was THE Savoy Hotel. Dunno what came first out of the theatre and the hotel but they are both beautiful and amazing. The toilets were absolutely stunning. There was a lady sitting in a booth outside to take people's coats and things, and inside each cubicle had its own individual light switch, and there were basins with modern flower arrangements around them, and dressing tables with lots of mirrors and little stools, and to dry your hands there were individual fluffy white towels that you used then put in a basket underneath and they got taken away and replaced regularly. oooh and they had boxes of tissues with "The Savoy" embossed on them. It was amazing. I have to say the soap wasn't very moisturing but maybe that was because my hands are rubbish from touching books all day and washing up all weekend.

TO BE CONTINUED.... next entry: Highlight number II: THE BABY SQUIRREL.

and if I have time: LEAR!
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**** RETURN TO OZ **** [May. 21st, 2007|05:06 pm]
Just so you know, we will be back in Adelaide at 9:40am on 21st October 2007, Cathay Pacific flight CX105 from Hong Kong. We are a bit depressed about going back but it will be nice to see people and animals we know and love. (And afford to eat properly, or at least stay with people who can afford to eat properly.) Especially as I never managed to get a hamster over here...or even touch one. Oh but we DID get to pat a baby squirrel which sat on my foot. I will tell you about that in a new entry so this one about the flight stands out hopefully.
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continuation of Easter holiday adventures [May. 16th, 2007|04:42 pm]
At the Munich airport I bought a 1-litre bottle of gin for 11 euro. I wasn't sure whether to get a pack of 4 little bottles of Bavarian brandy for 13 euro, then I saw Gordon's gin for 13 also,THEN I saw this cheap dodgy brand for 11, and considering I like gin more than brandy that was that. It tastes fine and I'm still getting through it and it's very necessary after a day of trying to coax Ryan out from inside his jumper, or dodging missiles being thrown by Keith who is in remand custody, or spelling c-a-t or p-u-p-p-y (pronounced "poohpeh" in new-Leicesterish) over and over again for Katrina, or all of the above and more. Also it was a momentous occasion because I've never bought anything for myself duty-free. So now we don't go to the pub any more (no smoking laws come in on 1st July hooray!) I just have my gin at home and i'm happy.

We got back to Leicester around 4am, slept for a bit then on Friday drove to Southampton where Kirra and Michael are(until this Monday!). Michael kindly took a very late lunchbreak and met us and we parked LOU-Pole at their place then caught the train into London where Mike had an audition at the National Opera Studio for a non-speaking/singing role of either a shepherd, guard or a soldier. He had to walk across the room, then push a sofa gracefully across the room, then stand in a circle and say his favourite colour (red). He thought he did all this better than most of the people there, but unfortunately didn't get the part, probably due to his height (or lack of). After that we trained back to Kirra and Michael's where the poor people had been waiting for us to eat (it was about 10). I have to say Kirra and Michael are probably the most kind, caring and generous people we know. On par with mum I guess. Very similar actually in their self-sacrificial ways and always remembering to send cards for birthdays and anniversaries so we feel guilty when we forget or just don't. Anyway they were lovely and we stayed the night then on Saturday walked to the "beach" (Thames Estuary) and looked around the funfair. Kirra and the Michaels went on a terrifying-looking rollercoaster while I waved and took photos. We had fish and chips for lunch the Mike and I said goodbye for probably the last time we're with K&M in England and drove to my cousin Rachel and her husband John's flat near Heathrow. R&J were out at a church meeting (they're Baptists) so we had to wait for a bit, and while we were waiting the people in the flat below theirs had a huge widescreen tv that we could see perfectly through their window. Dr Who came on so mike got to watch the whole episode without sound, which he was rather distressed about. More fun that way I say. When Rachel and John came back we watched the dvd John had made of Auntie Ruth's 70th Birthday party which wouldn't work on our tv so that was good. We went to bed at about 11:30. I'd had a niggly headachefor the last few days, so Kirra had given me a tablet "derived from morphine" to take half an hour before bed to get rid of it. Because I didn't know when we were going to bed I took it just before I got into bed. If I'd had a good 8-12 hours sleep it probably would have worked a treat, but because we had to get up quite early to go to church with R&J, it was still doing its thing and I felt terribly queer (as Daphne Du Maurier would say). My entire body was numb and i could hardly walk and i felt all dizzy. I had a cold shower and tried to have some coffee and breakfast, but couldn't stomach much (and there were CRUMPETS there dammit which I couldn't eat). I had a lie down before we went off to church, and the car journey was awful even though it wasn't particularly bumpy or windy it felt like it. The church service was nice but really long...i'm forgetting now but I think it went for a good 3 hours. i felt awful and wan't good at standing up and sitting down. Then the highlight for all the Baptists was a visiting preacher from America who shouted at us about going to hell and damnation, and it was all a bit much and I had to run out and vomit everywhere. After the service I had another nap and felt much better once i woke up. While I was asleep Auntie Ruth rang Rachel, and she put her on speaker phone so she could make lunch. Dad had told Ruth I had pleursy so Ruth was worried about me, and Rachel said "she's fine, she felt a bit unwell this morning so she's having a lie down" to which Ruth replied "she's probably pregnant" so Rachel quickly took her off speaker phone, but not before Mike had heard that. Oh well, I'm not, and my cough and headache and everything is gone, I am the peak of physical perfection (but a bit tubby 'cos since Mike's been back I've had to stop my rice and spinach diet brought about by not being able to afford much else). Once i was up we watched our wedding video, and then it was time to drive back to Leicester and reality again. We had a great time with R&J and K&M though. hopefully we'll see more of Rachel and John in September.

gotta go as Mike on his way.
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more Munich [May. 15th, 2007|05:21 pm]
Cast your minds back to Wednesday 11th April. What were you doing? Actually we're genuinely interested to know what you were doing, except mum and dad because they tell us what they do every day anyway, but no one else does. Well we were in the ALPS! Big spikey snow-capped alps. Bavarian alps to be precise. Claudia and Marcus (beautiful people) drove us there, we stopped by a big lake on the way, then went higher and higher and ended up having lunch at the place where C&M got married 4 years ago. It has been built up a bit more now which they were a bit sad about, but it was still beautiful sitting outside in the sun with the snowy bits only looking a hop-skip-and-a-jump away (probably more realistically a day's walk). I got sunburnt which I thought was pretty amazing. After lunch (schnitzel...the best ever...better than Mawson Lakes pub even) we drove down to another lake. But not just any lake, a whopping huge one with islands on, and on one island was a palace. It was built by King Ludwig II who was a mate of Wagner's and modelled on Versailles. Only the middle bit got finished though, the left and right wings never got built and a lot of the inside is incomplete because he ran out of money and then drowned mysteriously. King Lud was a big fan of Louis 14th (?) The Sun King, even though it was way before his time, and he made the rooms in his palace identical to Versailles, except one hall of mirrors which was bigger and better than Versailles. We were on the last tour and it was just us and an Italian family, who couldn't speak English or German, so I tried to translate for them using Charades. Outside the palace are 2 fountains based on fame and fortune, and one of them has people turning into animals (I think fish? I forget, it was a long time ago. Maybe frogs. We have a photo of it.).

Thursday 12th C&M had an appointment so Mike and I got the tube into the city and looked around. we got the best seats outside a cafe to watch the glockenspiel on the clock tower which is quite famous, at 11am little figures come out and move around and it plays a tune...at least we think it was supposed to be a tune. I guess it's old. Worth the wait at least. While waiting I had a white Bavarian sausage with sweet mustard. Apparently you must eat them before 12pm, this is because in the olden days they would have gone off by that time. It was ok... the mustard was nice. I don't like the texture of sausages when the skin bursts when you bite it, and I always worry what's in them. Actually Mike had one too I think, just not the mustard. Lucky I'm writing this now, it's going fuzzy already. Now that Mike's got his new job and I have to sit around waiting for him hopefully this will get updated good and proper.
After the clock we went to the toy museum which was lovely, then we climbed up a church tower (St Peters?) and walked around looking at shops. I considered buying a Derndle (traditional Bavarian costume) but couldn't justify it and wasn't sure where I'd wear it, unless someone had a German-themed fancy-dress party which would be asking for trouble as Prince Harry proved.
For dinner we had amazing pasta salad that Claudia made, then we went to the airport and that was that.

But that's not the end of our amazing Easter holiday, there is more, but Mike will be outside now so maybe tomorrow. Excuse all spelling and typos, spellcheck on this livejournal thing is rubbish.

Love Pru xxx
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sorry.... [May. 11th, 2007|05:33 pm]
[Current Location |school library]

I am a bad bad blogger. I'm sure our millions of readers are on the edge of their seats waiting to hear the rest of our Bavarian adventures, not to mention our encounters with Ian McKellan, the Torchwood cast and our trips to the Savoy toilets. And Mike's fantastic new job selling insurance which he loves so much he is unable to put his glee into words when we see each other at the end of the day. In fact he doesn't speak at all, he must just be wanting to get back there and learn more about ripping people off.

Well I'm sorry, you'll have to wait because I'm sitting at school waiting for Mike to pick me up and I'm sure he'll be here any minute. I promise this will be properly updated one day.... maybe next year when I'm trying to avoid uni homework.

Love to you all!
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Springtime, for Prichael, and Germany.... [Apr. 17th, 2007|03:40 pm]
[Current Location |Leicester]
[mood |sleepysleepy]

Back in the library at school now, this will be rushed sorry.

Our last full day in Holland was good, Mike and I were left to our own devices while Nelly went to her auntie's birthday party. We got the tram in to the city and started off at the Rijk Museum. We ended up spending six hours there. There were two types of audio tours, one by the curator and one but a Dutch actor/artist, so we got one of each and kept swapping so we got double the commentary. The museum is famous for its Rembrandts but there were heaps of other works or art there that were just as good. And it was all Dutch artists, ss opposed to the London National that has things by Monet etc, these people manage to fill a gallery just with stuff from their own country. As the museum is being renovated, we could only get onto one wing, which was lucky otherwise we'd have been there for weeks. I felt rather hot and tired and hungry by the end of it, but it was very worthwhile. Afterwards we went to the Heinekin factory for Mike, but it was just closing and they wouldn't let us in, we had to watch the last group leaving with their free beer. We tried to find a puppet theatre that was on the map in our Lonely Planet book, but there was just a school in its place and no one knew anything about any puppets. So we went to the film museum and watched "The Night of the Hunter". A 50's American film about a man that pretends to be a preacher but goes around killing people with a flick-knife. Rather strange.

Saturday morning 6th April we got the train to Monchengladbach where Anita and Stephan met us around lunchtime. They'd just had a row with Hannah (age 15) because they don't approve of her boyfriend's friend because his parents do nothing but online gaming all day. The boyfriend is ok but he is always with his friend and his parents and they are bad. Apparently Hannah's had a different boyfriend every 6 months since she was 11....alright for some! Anyway her mum thinks she always picks types that are not quite as intelligent/skilled/motivated as her, so that her ego is inflated and they like her because she's better than them, or something like that. It all seemed reasonable to me but Anita is quite worried about the whole thing. Anyway Hannah was lovely with us, gave us a tour of the town, including an icecream shop that makes spaghetti icecream, and a couple of churches, and a funfair. By the time we went out to dinner at a German pub with Anita and Stephan and Philip, Hannah had had another row so stayed home.
Easter Sunday was lovely, the kids hunted for hard-boiled painted eggs in the woods near by, and the Omas (grandmas) came for brunch, and then we went on a long bike ride with the dogs Bronco and Leon through the woods to a beer garden past Gallwoay cows. In the afternoon Hannah took us to her riding stables and we watched her ride her horse Nervada, and I had a go riding bareback! Galloping across the fields....or rather being led gently hanging on for dear life.
Monday morning we took the dogs for another bike ride (they weren't on bikes tho), before my bottom had had a chance to recover from the bike and horse the day before. Then Philip went to a friend's house while the rest of us went to Cologne. We looked around the cathedral which was amazing and Mike, Stephan and I climbed the dome...500-something steps and watched the bells ringing. There was a market by the river Rhine selling books and antiques. I was temped to buy a tuba but talked myself out of it. Got a book about Australia for Hannah and Philip as they're planning to go there soon. In the evening I named all their fish while Mike talked to the guinea-pigs. Oh also they have a cat called Ferris who sits on command and begs at the table.

On Tuesday we said goodbye to the lovely kind Kamphausens (actually we said bye to half of them the night before) and got the train to Munich. We didn't get there until 2pmish. Claudia and Marcus met us, they are the most lovely beautiful people ever. They took us straight for a coffe at a posh Austrian coffee place, then we went on an open-top bus tour of Munich, then walked around the city, then had dinner at a Bavarian resteraunt. I had Knoodles - dumplings, the were amazing.
i want to go home now so shall finish Munich tomorrow.
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