Friday, July 29, 2011


Albino toad, Animal House at Kuala Lumpur Tower


Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Horrible Bosses" Premier

I went to the European Premier of "Horrible Bosses" the other night. Actually, I'm not sure if I can really say that, seeing as I didn't go in and see the movie. I just stood three-deep behind the railing at the blue carpet and took photos with my big zoom lens. To be perfectly honest, I didn't recognise many of the people I took photos of either. Gee I really hope Medicine works out. I don't think "celebrity blogger" will be a good Plan B. Um, Jennifer Aniston looked really pretty?


I think this guy's in some boy band. Apparently they still have boy bands here.

Everybody else was taking photos of her, and she had a minder (you can see his arm).

No idea who this is either.

My friends on Facebook tell me this is Jason Bateman. He's in the movie. He spent much of the time walking up and down the blue carpet making sure everybody had seen him.

Jason Sudeikis. My friend Kat held his hand for a good 20seconds and will possibly never wash her hand again.

I recognised Jennifer Aniston, with the help of everybody in the crowd screaming out "Jen-ni-fer! Jen-ni-fer!"

Jennifer Aniston with her creepy minder

The minder looks so disgusted. "Fine, hold my arm ... if you must"

Opposite side of the carpet to the paparazzi, so Jen didn't pose for us, but as you can see she was wearing a very pretty dress.

London in Black and White

Because I really like using the "Monochrome" setting on my fancy new camera ...

Stairs at "The Monument". I much prefer taking photos of spiral staircases to actually climbing them, but unfortunately you need to take the photo from the top.

Fountain near the Thames.

Tower Bridge. Much fancier than London Bridge

London Bridge. Interesting historical fact: This week in 2011, I walked around with the song "London Bridge is falling down" in my head for two days straight.

Gargoyles at the Tower of London

Saturday, July 23, 2011

London in Pictures

A little Summer snapshot.

HMS Belfast (and part of the Tower Bridge)

Guard at the Tower of London

Changing of the Guards, Buckingham Palace


Telephone Boxes

Tower of London

An Incident at Heathrow Airport

8pm at London's Heathrow Airport.

Tension is rising as passengers are informed that British Airways has overbooked some of its flights to Singapore.

Some of them may be delayed by up to 24 hours.

Their lives will be changed forever by the delay, and the best the airline can do is offer them 600 euro for their pain and suffering, and find them a hotel for the night.

Some are inconsolable.

Suddenly a woman breaks out of line, all guns firing at the poor messenger as she yells in a voice that occasionally breaks into a high-pitched squeal: this isn't good enough! I must be on this flight! This ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH!

She stamps her feet on the ground several times for emphasis, her shoes making a sharp slap against the linoleum floor.

The messenger bravely holds his ground, prepared to lay down his life for his airline. Which flight are you on, ma'am?

She unleashes her full fury on the man, The 11.30 flight to Singapore! And this ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH!

Another foot stamp for emphasis.

Ma'am, we're not talking about your flight.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

London for the horse-lovers

A lot of European cities have pretty horse-drawn carriages showing tourists around the local streets for exorbitant prices. I haven't seen any in London - probably because of the constant rain, people prefer ridiculous-looking taxis and big red double-decker buses. But a London cab wouldn't look as impressive at the Changing of the Guards, and a double-decker bus would have been impractical for jousting, so horses are celebrated in history and groomed for parades and it's all very impressive.

 Wooden horses at the Tower of London

Horse Helmet

Horse Helmet

Stirrup at Tower of London

Wooden horse head, Tower of London

Horse guard at the Changing of the Guards, Buckingham Palace

Horse Guards

My favourite horse at the Changing of the Guards

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Amsterdam: The Umbrella Graveyard

Amsterdam is where umbrellas go to die. We've been here for three days, and for three days it has been cold, wet, and windy. It takes remarkable umbrellamanship (yes it's all one word) to keep one's umbrella alive in this city. I took mine out for a two-hour stroll and had to manouvre it carefully against the wind to keep it all in one piece. Other umbrellas were not so fortunate.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Das schöner Kleid

"Was ist schön? Das Kleid ist schön!" (what is pretty? This dress is pretty!) was one of the first things I learnt to say in German. I thought, what rot, and got my hands on some cassette tapes that taught me to say things like, "Das Volkswagon ist ein Deutche wagon" (The Volkswagon is a German car), "Das ist ein kleiner Hund" (This is a little dog) and "Das ist kein Hund - das ist eine Katze!" (That's not a dog, that's a cat!).

By the time I'd mastered such phrases it was time for me to go to Austria without being able to say "What's your name?", "Where can I find food?" or "How to I get to my hotel?" and I lost all faith in the language-learning system.

Until a few days ago when, strolling through Salzburg's Old Town, I saw a woman stop, point to a dress in a shop window and exclaim, "Ein schöner Kleid!". If only she'd noticed a small dog / cat and a Volkswagon, all my learning would have been worthwhile.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Haha ... Tourists

It was a good day at the Eagle's Nest ... especially when I was joined at my quiet rocky perch by a group of middle-aged American men with shirts emblazoned with the Harley Davidson logo.

"I'd get a bottle of water but I don't trust the water here either!" American man (referring to the Alpine spring water ...)

"I wonder if Deadliest Catch is on here!" American biker man couldn't think of anything better to do that night

"I bought a pair of 6 dollar suglasses for 13 bucks!" American super-shopper

"Apparently it was someone's 18th birthday present from Hitler" American man educating his friends on the origins of the Eagle's nest

"Did you bring a first-aid kit? Oh good, I brought one too!" English parents after their daughter scraped her knee on a rock at the Eagle's Nest

Tsk ... tourists.


Spotting a large model Samson in an Austrian village, I pointed out to my sister that he was even carrying a jawbone.

"The jawbone of what? A sheep?" She offered

"No not a sheep. Think about it" I coaxed

"Of ... another man?"

Above: Not a jawbone. And not the skull of an ass either.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Eagle's Nest

The "Eagle's Nest" or Kehlsteinhaus, present from Hitler's party on his 50th birthday.

Who would want to take over the world from here? I'd just chill out in the mountains ...

Vienna at Night

Haha ... Wiener

My sister and I went to a classical music concert in Vienna. I'd been to one a few years ago during my last visit, so I knew that the 20 Euro tickets didn't get you VIP seats in the State Opera - it was a small concert in a small room. You don't always get the best view past the (fellow) scruffy backpackers with hand-held video cmaeras, but you get to see classical music performed in Vienna, and that's what makes it fun.

The well-travelled Canadian family behind us didn't share that view - they had actually expected to be watching a 20-million-piece orchestra in the State Opera. When their little girl started giggling at Johann Strauss' "Wiener Blut" on the list, the father announced, "the chances of us being around for the wiener dance, are zero!" And they weren't ... their loss.