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Showing posts from November, 2003
I surprised myself too

Well in the end it was an adventure leaving work for the last time (especially after noting on the JAL website that the flight was landing in ten minutes).

Marc breezed through customs and was already waiting by the time I got to Heathrow Terminal Three.

He just looked at me and laughed and various airport meetup scenes from movies of past ensued.

Apparently he figured something was up when nobody emailed him back after his emails from Osaka. Darn forgot that. So much for the great cunning plan. But hey it didn't matter...

So now I am going to bid farwell to my trusty bloggersite. I am leaving paulinlondon.blogspot.com and now you will be able to see my continuing adventures at Paul and Marc in London...

Over and out...
Aha! The counter-surprise operation is still in full swing...

I thought after yesterday's posting the game might be up but then I got this email this morning...

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 18:40:26 -0800 (PST)
From: "Marc"
Subject: is something brewing????
To: "Paul"

Hey there pauley.... sorry I haven't called or emailed in the last 24... hope you haven't been worried too much. All is well....... Lets just say that there is a little surprise coming your way....you won't know when and how it is going to hit you but I think you'll get a kick out oif it!!!

Love you lots pauley and will talk again real soon


M


Well really, it is all good. We will be back together in less than four hours... not that I am counting down. JAL reports the flight is 20 minutes ahead of time as well... Will Paul make it to the airport in time? Will Marc breeze through immigration and be left waiting for Paul to show up? I have decided not to arrive in disguise given t…
Outplotting the plotter or the plotting and planning in London...

Ok lets talk about Marc. After working out he was arriving this FRIDAY and not MONDAY I have been plotting a suitable counter-surprise... Here's what I emailed Skye earlier this week...

Subject: ok here's the plan...
To: "Skye"
From: Paul
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 13:51:41 +0000

Skye,

At 11pm tonight Marc will be in the air... he may try and call you... lets pretend that all is still going to be as he planned... I am assuming that he will try and contact you in Japan either by phone or email so as possible talking points....

* If he starts to waver about the surprise thing then say no you have all set it up and that I seem to be getting over my cold. I informed him that I am getting over my cold just now so he will be aware of that...

* Tell him that you talked him into having my farewell work drinks near West Hampstead at (insert name) bar since it isn't that far from work anyway (he won't …
What the punters have emailed me about Finchley Road...

Oh the humanity! Been very busy the last two days setting up the new place...

Compared to other parts of London (ie Haringey) it was a no-brainer moving to this part of London, and this is what a colleague (an Australian from Melbourne) said:

Finchley road is a really nice spot... close to city, a bit posh without being over the top, great transport links, o2 centre is good (this is the large shopping centre with multiplex cinema and gym), close to hampstead heath/regents park/etc, and quite safe...

It was exactly what I was thinking... Of course the downside is that it is a busy road and the studio is much smaller than where I was... But I do have double glazed windows and the street isn't strewn with litter and scummy vegetables from the 24-hour fruit and vegetable stores.

More on Haringey

Speaking of 24-hour vegetable stores, who is going to go out at 3am and buy mouldy vegetables from one of these stores on Green Lanes? …
Hmmm
The end of the week and not much to report...
Except that for tomorrow I try to start moving to finchley Road...
I get the feeling that the next week will be very interesting as I finish up in my old (two month) job...
Right now I am in Soho making use of the free Wifi access!
A grey area...

Today I spent a good deal of the day setting up my private company for my new job. If you work through an agency on a temporary basis you can do this and not have to pay PAYE tax. When you work in government and know where your 27% of your earnings goes, it makes for an even more sensible idea...

There are loads of companys that advertise on the Aus/NZ/SA TNT magazine to do this. It is a little bit of a grey area in tax law but well worth the effort in doing so. After my 8am meeting to set this up and then a 3pm bank appointment, I could do with an early night! Zzzz
Guy Fawkes Night

Well as I am working back in the office reading emails and the news (and updating the blog), I can see fireworks out of every office window. All good fun and much more fun than the rocket that went off after 1am in my neighbourhood. Meanwhile The Times released new data on "what if" Guy Fawkes succeeded in blowing up Parliament? The answer is that he would have destroyed the whole Whitehall area.

Work

Working on the South Bank gives you spectacular views of the city, and is handy for Tate Modern and the National, but isn’t so great for doing most of the daily routine things like shopping, eateries etc...

Actually the area is underdeveloped... The nearby Oxo Tower is a bit of a white elephant and some substantial reworking of the area needs to happen before the area becomes popular... Part of the problem is that it is just too far away from the major walking bridges (the Golden Jubilee Bridge near the London Eye and the formerly wobbly Millennium Bridge ne…
Aa-choo

Last night on the tube home. A large man sits down next to another man opposite me on the Circle Line. Not all these seats have arm rests so I think it was an issue of personal space that made the man who was sitting down get up. It was a wise move. Next the large man lets fly some really wet sneezes. He sort of covers his nose but he sort of doesn't. I register my discomfort in my scrawled up face. Other passengers concur. He lets another one rip. Achooooooooooooo. I am just imagining the fine particles of mucus now flying around as we pass between Blackfriars and Temple tube stops. So THIS is how you catch a cold in London.

So much for the bang...

It turns out Londoners aren't so easy going about these late night fireworks. The Guardian reports that the Government is set to introduce 11pm curfews on fireworks and stop children from carrying them in the street. There are too many louts about afterall.

Wildcat postal strikes

It started over some dead rottin…
Bang, crash etc...

Guy Fawkes night isn't so much of a night anymore but it is a season. Especially since November 5 is a Wednesday, and due to the fact that an Indian / Asian festival event also falls around this time, the nights over the past few weeks have been full of bangs and pops. Walking home from my bus stop at Haringey the other night I heard an explosion. As I looked I saw the tell-tale cloud of smoke from yet another banger gone off. Since the UK isn't a nanny-state like Australia all that seems fine and dandy with the punters. People are free to blow whatever they like up... Of course there are also the official bangs and pops on the usual river barges and parks sponsored by insert name of company or local government borough. But the odd banger on the street is much more interesting... even if it is at 3am

Tube glorious tube

One of the nicest things about working where I am (well for the next two weeks now) is the nearest station. Public works here in Londo…
All I want is a room somewhere...
Well a room
* Within zones 1 and 2
* Wooden floors
* Washing machine
* Own bathroom
* Walking distance with the tube and near night busses
* For around £170 p.w including as many bills as I can get away with fitting in within that tight budget.
* In a decent neighbourhood
These are the things that you come to realise are the priorities of life in London. Well failing that there is always the streets... I can say: Welcome to London I live very central. Its Oxford Circus tube exit six. Bring your own cup.

Addios IDS (as The Sun reported)
It had to happen. The Conservatives have dumped Iain Duncan Smith. It was a necessary business as the only time IDS ever made headlines since I arrived was when his leadership was in question. Michael Howard is poised to take over and will be the first Jewish leader of any major party (well one who hasn't been baptised)...

Uxbridge
Didn't make it to Pinewood Studios last night as we couldn't get a cab to…