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Movember

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A New Name, A New Site

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Having gained a new surname 6 months ago, I've decided to ditch the old website and setup a new site. What better way to spend a Sunday then installing, configuring and playing with nerdy computer stuff. Hmmn, that kinda sounds like what I do 5 days a week anyhow...

So new email address: julie@juliewilliams.info

New blog: http://juliewilliams.info

New ancestry website: http://ancestry.juliewilliams.info

A Stroll On A Winter's Day

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One of the pleasures of living in London is the great range of activities. Today I awoke to find the sun shining through the windows, a nice change to the constant drizzle and overcast skies that have been around lately. We have lived here now for 3.5 months and sadly have not yet headed over to Hyde Park. Since the sun was out, it seemed like the perfect day to head out for a stroll.

Naturally, I hadn't actually got out of bed until nearly midday and if we were going to go burn some energy, then we first needed a fry up to provide that energy. Thus we didn't walk out the front door until about 2pm.

We wandered past Tower Bridge and weaved through the crowds of tourists towards London Bridge Station via More London and caught the tube to Green Park.

Green Park

We strolled through Green Park towards Buckingham Palace, along one edge of the park looking at the mansions overlooking the park. We then headed along another edge towards Hyde Park. The weather was a little nippy, but I kept going through the ritual of - stopping, removing gloves, taking photos, putting gloves back on - repeatedly.

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Hyde Park

Between Green Park & Hyde Park is Wellingtons Arch. One one side of it is the Australian War Memorial which lists the names of Australian towns. Late last year they added a New Zealand War Memorial , so we stopped to have a look.

Over in Hyde Park we decided to walk along the southern side of the Serpentine, watching the rollerbladers playing.

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Kensington Gardens

At the end of Hyde Park we crossed over to Kensington Gardens. When we first came to the UK, we stayed in Bayswater not far from Kensington Gardens and spent many hours in this park. We used to cross from one side of Kensington Gardens to the other, to get to the museum area. Every time we come back here it feels a little like being home.

A few days ago there were very strong winds across the UK. It seemed they had hit Kensington Gardens too, as we saw two large trees that had been uprooted.

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Kensington Palace Gardens

At the far edge of Kensington Gardens is Kensington Palace. Behind the palace is a road known as Kensington Palace Gardens, containing some of the most expensive houses in the world. The street contains a combination of embassies and private houses. There are guard houses at either end and police patrolling the road. Pedestrians are allowed to walk along the road, but photography is not allowed. For some reason we've never actually walked along here, so with some glee we strolled along the road towards Notting Hill, checking out the mansions, daydreaming.

The sun was now disappearing, so we stopped in for a coffee at Caffe Nero. We then decided to head out to Canary Wharf to see a movie. We decided to do a test on the way to see which was the quickest way to the cinema on the tube. Pete went via the Central Line & then the DLR. I went via the Central Line and then the Jubilee Line. I just missed my connection and had to wait a huge 9 minutes for the next train - this was pretty unlucky as usually there are trains every 3-5 minutes. But even if I hadn't missed the conenction, Pete still would have beat me.

More Nothing

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So another week, but haven't done anything really. I spent the entire day today doing stuff on the house - mundane stuff such as installing rails in the cupboard, or at least passing Justin the drill. Spending so much time in B&Q warehouse looking at diy stuff to buy is very depressing. I don't understand people who actually enjoy doing this.

Heading to Birmingham for 2 weeks before enjoying the fun task of loading a van up with all our stuff in storage to move into centre of London.

I guess at least I can look forward to going to the theatre every week in London!!!

Back to Reality

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A wedding, a six week honeymoon around the world, and now back in the UK - back to reality. I have just completed my first week of work after a nine week break.

It's been a busy couple of weeks since we returned. Pete and I have done a few trips to London, looking for accommodation to rent. Finally found an apartment in Shad Thames area, in Cayenne Court building. It's a 1 bed furnished apartment - so no 2nd bedroom for people to live with us. The complex has a gym, pool, jacuzzi and sauna. We move in on 2nd October.

So the plan is that I will mainly be working in London area. Shad Thames is right near Tower Bridge - so yep right in the centre. Too lazy to add my own photos at this stage.

In the meantime, we've been staying at Admiralty11 with Justin, whilst Tamsin is galavanting around Malaysia with Suzie. Nothing exciting happening really. We completed on our new apartment in Southampton, so we've been buying stuff for it and doing the usual fun setup. I'm sure there'll be a post about Elmfield3 as soon as we've taken some pics and got a bit more organised.

The 1000 Quid Toy

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So yes, we've just been to Orlando, Florida, USA for a week.

Why?
1. For Julie to give a presentation at the ASUG 2006 Conference

Here's a pic of me just before we flew out, all baggy eyed from last minute changes to my presentation.
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2. To enjoy some sun - and there was plenty of it.
3. To relax by the pool.
4. To drive around in a convertible.
5. To go on some cool rollercoasters

But no.. the main reason was for Peter to buy his latest toy... yes this little silver box really cost 1000 quid. It has 4 x 500gb hdd in it - in raid configuration it holds 1.3Tb.

The ReadyNAS NV
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The best place to buy this toy? Eaegis

nb. Next to it is a sexy picture of Peter's brother, Smelly Ev. Why do I have such a lovely photo of him on my desk? It was a precious birthday gift from Smelly Ev.

SLK Dreaming

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Just ask the boys... At the moment I wont shut up about SLK's... I want one.. and having just received a 12k payrise I reckon I've earnt one!!


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Frisbee & Cooking?

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What’s the best way to get Pete to cook? Bribery! Today there was more nice weather, although not as good as yesterday. We headed to Willow’s for a BLT for brunch. Then back home to get some chores done before taking off up north again. As the end of the day was approaching, Pete started going on about wanting to go down to the park to play Frisbee. So I agreed that we would, on the condition that he made dinner. He agreed – which shows how desperately he wanted to play Frisbee.

We headed across to the park, and got an hour of Frisbee in before it started getting dark and chilly. I managed to hit my head with the Frisbee – it’s a bit sore. Justin decided he should do a left hand throw and his first attempt was a really good throw. His second (and last) attempt well um, it went out of the park over the hedges onto the edge of the road. Yes, Justin is the first one to have managed to chuck the Frisbee out of the park.

I fear there is no going back now – Pete will want to play Frisbee at every possible chance. We headed home and yes Pete did make dinner.

Spring

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Spring is here. It may be 2 days until the Spring equinox, but it has decided to come early. It is that delightful time of year where it reaches an amazing 15+ degrees and it seems oh so warm – well at least that is what my brain now says having been acclimatised to English weather. Friday lunchtime as I walked in to town to post my invoice off, I found myself heating up quickly. It showed great promise for the weekend.

Good weather means there is no excuse for staying indoors. So today since I was back down South for the weekend, we decided to head to Salisbury for a walk. Of course I had caught up on a little sleep, so our first stop had to be the pub for lunch. Pete had consulted his pub guide and gave us 2 choices. We opted for the pub with the beer garden, so we could sit outside in the sun. We strolled through Salisbury, wandering why we hadn’t come to this town before now. It is only a 30 minute drive to Salisbury, I guess we have driven through it a number of times on the way to Stonehenge.

So, 2 pubs , 1 chosen, and guess what – Pete managed to take us to the wrong one. He of course came up with some feeble excuse, blaming it on the book or something like that, but we just paid him out. We then headed to the correct pub.

Grub in our tumtums, we headed through town to the side of the River Avon. On the way we passed a pub called ‘The Mill’ with outside seating near the river – Pete decided we would have to visit that later. The plan was to follow a path alongside the river to Old Sarum. Old Sarum was the original site of Salisbury where there was a castle and a church. Somewhere along the way they decided it was no good because of lack of water supply and thus moved down the hill beside the river and built a new cathedral – the Salisbury Cathedral – and thus New Sarum (Salisbury) was born.

The walk along the river was lovely in the sun. On the way we saw lots of baby ducks – they were so cute. There was also an abundance of swans, which appeared to be tagged. We then diverted from the river, crossing it where people were paddling and a dog was fetching a stick in the river, and headed up the hill. The path was overgrown in one bit and I got a great shot of Pete’s backside as he crawled through the brush. At the top of the hill were the ruins of Old Sarum an English Heritage site. The views from the top of the hill were spectacular – unfortunately it was a little hazy. Our shadows on the hillside amused us.

As the visitor season doesn’t start until April, or in the case of this year, Easter – we arrived just as the main site was closing. We headed back into Salisbury to the cathedral. Once again we were unlucky – we made it in time but it was closed for a concert. So we walked around the outside, took some photos and listened to the music seeping out. So now we have 2 things to come back to Salisbury for.

We went back to the pub we’d seen earlier. I did want to go to the tearooms, but they were closed. It took ages to get served in the pub. The barmaid was searching everywhere for a pen until I pointed out that she had on stuck in her hair. It started to turn chilly so we downed our drinks and headed home.

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