Friday, 26 November 2010

time flies?

I've probably had a post called that before... oh well... so sorry... maybe I should 'close' this blog? Leave it in the past and forget about it? Somehow, I just can't. Even if I don't post often, it's always there in the back of my mind... so here I am.

Since August life has been hectic, and not. Black and white. Up and down.

It's been everything and nothing.

I went to Paris with T for our second anniversary. And as much as I've dreamed of going to Paris for my whole life, it didn't live up to the dream. I'll post on that one day.

For now, I just want to say I haven't forgotten you... I'm still here and I'm still thinking, even if I'm not writing...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


It's been much too long... and I know I promised a post on my new flat, but thought I'd catch up on the last few months first... since I don't have any good pictures of the house yet... Maybe later this week if it's sunny...

So, in late May I went to Austria. It was only a few days - and I was there for work, but did actually have a little time to wander around Graz a bit.

The city centre is a UNESCO world cultural heritage site. The architecture varies greatly and some of the buildings date back to the 1300's.

This is the 'Mur island' in the middle of the Mur River which runs through the city. Kind of weird how some of the city is so modern and other parts are so ancient.

Since I was there to cover the England v Japan friendly ahead of the World Cup, we had to travel into the mountains to their training camp... It was really beautiful and reminiscent of Switzerland.

From the resort hotel where the team were staying.

The game was pretty rubbish - I don't even remember the score!

In June I got to go to Wembley Stadium for the first time - and to see Chelsea play Portsmmouth in the FA Cup Final... of course, Chelsea won!
Wembley Stadium, before the match.
After we won!

I know people are always saying I have a really cool job, and well, I do. I try to play it down a lot, but seriously, professional football, to awesome music festivals to the Prime Minister's house... We (I) cover it all. And this year, I got to go to the Hard Rock Calling Festival in Hyde Park again... where Pearl Jam were playing! And while I didn't get an interview with them, but at least I got to see them! (sort of)

Yes, that is Eddie Vedder!

There he is!

And then I got to spend some time with my very good friend from university - Maria! We hadn't seen each other in about three or four years and she happened to be in London for a couple of weeks on an NYU exchange program.

Maria and me in Brixton

In July, Tom and I celebrated his birthday by going to Maze Grill, one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants in London. It was probably the best meal I've ever had in a restaurant!

Happy birthday, my love!

mmm... soft shell crab for a starter.

The best calamari ever!

We both ordered steak... what else would we have gotten?!?

The waiter came around before we ordered and showed us the various cuts of meat and explained the difference and where they all come from. I got the Hereford 21 day grass fed fillet - for a mere £28! and Tom got the same but in rib eye. Then we ordered chips, salad and onion rings for the sides. The meat came with roasted garlic and a sprig of fresh herbs.

So, I've been busy... which is one reason for the lack of posting... Coming up - all about our new home - which is awesome! I promise not to make you wait too long!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Just a quickie!

I realise it's been ages... and I've been meaning to upload photos from Tenerife (the good part) and my recent work trip to Austria, but my iPhoto is acting up (or my computer is dying, which is more likely at five years old) so have been having trouble with photos.

So, I thought I'd go old fashioned and just write a quick update. We are moving on Friday!!! After what feels like an eternity looking for a new flatshare we've found one that hopefully will be good. It's in a house, which is nice because we'll live on a regular street and not a dodgy apartment block and also great because it has a GARDEN!!! Well, more of a yard, but with a little work it could be really nice. We've got a large double bedroom on the first floor and a huge bay window. There are four other bedrooms (one single) but they haven't been let yet, so we don't know who will be living with us. Hopefully nice, considerate and clean people.

The woman who is renting the rooms is part owner of the house and lives in the loft conversion, so hopefully she'll get decent people in. I'm pretty sure she will anyway. There's also a small living/dining area and obviously a kitchen! One of the double rooms has an en-suite bathroom and there are two other bathrooms so we won't have any problems getting in the shower... oh, there's no bath, which kind of sucks, but I dealt with it in Korea and will just have to do it again.

Anyway, it's also next door to a super huge Tesco (grocery store) and about a 7 minute walk from the tube. On paper it's pretty ideal... we'll see how it works out, and if we're not happy then the search will start again!

Things art work are going ok, aside from the announcement of more lay-offs. Several of my colleagues have left in the last week and two more of us will be going soon... fingers crossed it isn't me! I feel pretty secure, but you never know. Last week I went to the Prime Minister's house on Downing Street and actually went inside for a two crew interview with him (myself being one of them), a highlight of my career so far, I suppose. A lot of people probably think this is pretty cool and crazy, but it's just part of the job really... suppose I'm a little blase about it...

Anyway, not much else in the way of news... just looking forward to the move, really. Coming up photos of the house, Tenerife, and Austria!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Long Road Home

So, as you may, or may not know, Tom and I went on our first holiday together in April. We went to Tenerife (another post to follow on that) in the Canary Islands. We had a lovely six days before turning on the news the morning before we were leaving to sea that British Airspace was closed because of a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland. I thought Tom was joking when he said it, but sure enough, there it was all over the telly...

We thought we might be okay since it was still a day and a half until we were flying, but by check out the next morning (Friday April 16th) it was looking like we were stranded. The first thing we did was try to contact our airline... that didn't happen, so we found a cheaper hotel (the one we were staying in was trying to 200 Euros a night).

The Chipeque was a downgrade, but it did the job at 35 Euros a night! By Friday afternoon our flight was officially canceled. We decided to just try and enjoy the next few days until our re-booked flight on Monday, April 19th. We were low on money, so we couldn't live it up - we shopped and cooked and bought some booze at the shop - no more eating out and pubs/clubs/bars for us... But that was ok, we were together.

On Sunday, we met Andy, Denise and Diane - they had been staying at the same resort as us, but decided a downgrade was needed as well. We spent the day drinking and hanging out by the pool. At the end of the evening, we all decided to head to a travel agency in the morning to see about getting to the mainland. Oh, our Monday flight was canceled by then too and the next flight they were offering me was on Tuesday, April 27th - 11 days after we were supposed to leave.

So, Monday morning, the five of us headed to the travel agency - by 10:30 AM we were booked with Iberworld flight at 4:30 to fly from Tenerife to Sevilla, Spain on the mainland. For only 69 Euros too! We had to buy a second suitcase as they wouldn't let us put our weight limit together in one bag, but I managed to find a decent one for cheap.

1 PM Monday April 19th - Leaving from the Chipeque... we knew it was going to be hard... but we were optimistic.
Left to right - Andy, Diane, Tom, Me, Denise.

On the bus... going to the airport, at last! Only three days late!

Woot! Airplane! I don't think I've ever been so happy to be getting on a flight!

So, by 7:30 local time we landed in Sevilla and headed straight to the train station. The plan was to get to Madrid and from there find a coach or train to either Paris or Calais. That's what the news kept telling people to do anyway, so we thought we'd be all right.

My one memory of Sevilla... There was some promotion going on in the train station, so we took a minute to enjoy this!

At 9:45 we pulled out of Sevilla Train Station on our way to Madrid - for 89 Euros each this time - we were quickly running out of money!

Some government building in Madrid... the only picture I really got there.

We arrived in Madrid around 12:30 PM. We were planning on spending the night in the train or coach station, but they kicked us out as soon as we got there. We couldn't find any information on where the coach station was and decided to stay the night in a hotel even if it would only be a few hours. The first hotel we asked at was quoting around 70 Euros for a room for the night - and we needed two. So, we went to eat something and then went back and the price had gone up to 110 Euros! Nice, take advantage of the poor stranded travelers. It was ridiculous. We'd seen another hotel around the corner and when asked, they only want 45 Euros for the night. We checked in at 2:30 AM and planned to meet in the lobby at 5:45 to get to the coach station as soon as it opened.

Our lovely hotel room in Madrid. At least there was a bed and it was clean.

So we got to the coach station at around 6AM only to find out we had to wait until 8 for the ticket office to open... but there was already a queue so, it was good we got there early. We met an American who had just arrived from Barcelona (he was trying to get to Germany). He told us there were no trains going through the south of France because of a rail strike - the first any of us had heard of that!

So we waited. and when we got into the ticket office we were told the next available seats on a coach to Paris was the following Monday (April 26th) - At that rate, we could have stayed in Tenerife and waited for our flight on the 27th! There was a group of 8 students ahead of us and one of them, Sophie, and I decided to see if we could rent our own coach and driver to take us to Calais to get the ferry across the channel.

It turned out that about 30 other people behind us, were into the idea too. So, we started trying to figure out how to rent a bus in Spain. The only problem was that there were no coaches for hire. They were all rented out - everywhere we went and asked there was nothing. Then, John, a man from Scotland who was traveling with his three kids, got a text message from his wife in Glasgow giving him the phone number of a guy who was hiring coaches to ferry people to and from Madrid to Calais.

I called him and he told us that there was a coach already leaving the next day (more than 24 hours later) and we were all welcome to get on it if we wanted to pay 250 Euros each! Well, we all decided that a) we didn't want to wait that long and b) that was too much. The regular coach from Madrid to London (not even Calais which is what he was offering) is only 120 Euros. So I negotiated with him. I asked him if he could get us a coach that day and how much it would be if we filled it. We had to wait an hour and a half for him to call me back. It was tense, but by the time he rang back we had over 50 people who wanted to get on our coach.

It was a beautiful moment when he said he could get us a coach at 6PM and we'd only have to pay 215 Euros (still not great, but better) and he'd take us to Calais - a 20 hour drive. So it was settled. 52 of us. 6PM at Madrid coach station. One bus. Two drivers. We couldn't believe it. Some people had already been traveling for three days by the time we met in the station.

It funny I don't have any pictures from the coach station... We spent so long there. By lunchtime, with the relief of knowing we had a way to Calais, we all had a little party - the rum we'd bought in Tenerife came out; we went to the grocery store and got stuff to make sandwiches; we were all stoked.

At some point the media showed up. Reuters, ITV and the BBC. They interviewed us (two of them interviewed me) and we were on the news back home as the people taking matters into their own hands. (Not sure the links will work outside the UK) We were on more reports, but I can't link to them anymore...

So after waiting all day, we headed out of the station to wait for the coach to actually arrive... at 6:15 PM it did.

Waiting outside for the coach to arrive.

My group of travelers... new friends and "parents"

By 6:45 we were on our way... about 30 hours after we set out from the Chipeque it felt like we were really going home.

Andy and Nise - our new parents!

Going home!!!

So a fitful sleep through Spain and Franc, a quick drop off in Paris (two people were getting out there) and 21 hours later we got to Calais, France.

There were only about 3000 people in line ahead of us. While it was disheartening, it was even worse when we heard that it was going to cost 65 Euros each - the normal price for a foot passenger is around 25. Getting screwed again. We complained to the first British officials we'd seen for the whole trip and they said there was nothing they could do. The problem was that Tom and I were out of money. We could get on the ferry, but wouldn't have anything left to get the train back to London from Dover.

It didn't matter though. We'd be on British soil and what else were we going to do, stay in France Andy and Denise kept telling us not to worry, that they'd get us home. It was really great to have that kind of support with us.

Andy being interviewed for TV in Calais.

Almost inside... to be fair it only took about two hours in the queue.

Finally, at 5:45 PM on Wednesday, April 21st, we were on a ferry and pulling out of the port. It definitely warranted a drink!
Cheers! We're on our way!

Bye bye France and mainland Europe...

My silly boy... he really was happy to be in Britain!

On the ferry Denise shoved £60 in my hand to get us from Dover to London - we'd heard the train was about £30 each. As it turned out it only cost that much for both of us, so we had a little money left to get bread and milk. (The advance on my pay that work was supposed to give me came through the day after we got home!)

So, we got on a train, straight to London Victoria (a two-hour train ride) where we had a short tube ride and then a walk home. We got in the door around 11:30 on Wednesday, April 21st... four days, and 19 hours after we were supposed to. After 58 hours of travel across mainland Europe using just about every mode of transport that exists.

While it was exhausting, it was an adventure that I will never forget. It taught me a lot about my and Tom's relationship too. We can get through anything together. If you'd have asked me beforehand what I thought would have happened it wouldn't have been that we'd get on the whole time and support each other and be strong... to be honest I thought we would have argued at least once. But we didn't. If anything, it's brought us closer. So, good things do come when you least expect them...

Finally home and in my own bed!!!

So, sorry this post is so long... but it really did warrant it this time... and hopefully that will help you understand what has taken me so long to write it. I'm sure there is more I could say. But I will leave you with this as it is. Up next, Tenerife: the holiday - before the ash.

Friday, 30 April 2010

i promise...

I know I've been promising to write more, and I'm going to continue that promise...

I'm having some issues with my camera and iPhoto... which will make any posts on the average/boring side, so am waiting for a day to be able to deal with it all before giving you the whole account...

But, quickly...

My first real holiday since Thailand (in August 2007) went to hell, thanks to Iceland.

To make a long story short I (and my love Tom) were stranded in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands (google it)... in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Morocco, but 'owned' by Spain..

Our flight on Friday, April 16th (10:30 PM) was canceled. We re-booked for the Monday the 19th, but that was also canceled... So, with no end in sight, we got a flight to Seville, Spain. Then a train to Madrid; from there a coach (bus) to Calais, France (21 hours); then a ferry across the channel and then a train almost all the way home....

There IS A LOT more to it than that... and that will all follow, for now, life is back to 'normal'.

Damn you Iceland.... more to follow, (with photos) soon, I promise!

Friday, 23 April 2010

It's been an insane week. Thanks to the volcano in Iceland Tom and I were stranded in Tenerife and afte ra 56 hour overland journey did make it home nearly 6 days after we were supposed to. There is a LOOOOONg post coming up on all of it, but for now I just don't have the energy... stay tuned.

Friday, 19 March 2010


I probably shouldn't be posting anything on here right now... after an evening out at the pub with (my lovely) work mates... but here goes anyway. (please, excuse any spelling or etc errors since i've had more than my share of pints...)

My running has been severely waylaid (sp?) first because I was working like a mother f$@!er (7 out of 8 days for 10 hours a day for a few weeks...) and now because my back has decided to revert to its old ways and give me constant pain. I was on week 4 of my 10 week training for about three weeks... which was ok, given I was only running once or twice a week and I just didn't feel ready to move on... of course as soon as I thought "oh! next time I'll move to week five", my back went into spasm, where it has remained for a week or so. It's not as bad as it has been in the past. Maybe because I know the signs and what to do, or maybe because it just isn't as bad, I don't know, either way, there is no running for me at the moment :( I'm rather upset about it, because it (the running) makes me feel really good and as much as it hurts, I really have to push myself and it's amazing when I succeed.... the whole point of the exercise (literally and figuratively).

Anyway, I was on my first 'out and about' VJ shift today and it wasn't so much the carrying of the kit as the standing for long periods that really bothered it... but I made it through the day, which I think is a testament to my dedication to my job. Which, by the way, I really do love, even if I moan about it. Mostly I get lazy and don't feel like going out, but I'm always hapy and surprised by the outcome.

I know that I'm really good at what I do, (and not to try and sound conceited) but I think I would be no matter what it was, since I care. You really do have to enjoy what you do, or it's a big waste of time for everyone... especially in journalism.

It seems to me that you can tell when something has been done out of love versus something that has been done out of obligation, whether it be for work, or in general life. But in video journalism, you really can see the difference when someone cares about what they are doing.

For example... a few weeks ago, London Fashion Week (LFW) hit this beautiful city, and while I didn't attend any of the shows, I was specifically scheduled on packaging (editing the raw footage into 'watchable' segments. It wasn't by accident. I LOVE editing. I love being able to get creative with my editing. LFW gives the perfect opportunity to do this. Using effects and motion and letting the "art" (as I consider most catwalk fashion to be art) speak for itself. (I wish I had a copy of something I could post here...) Suffice it to say, that I loved doing it, and it really showed. People at work commented on how good it was and they could see the shine in my eyes when it was done...

All this to say, that for the most part I really do love my job. I love the people I work with (mostly) and I love the diversity it provides me (especially). Now, with the prospect of potentially (and I don't want to jinx it, but probably am in writing this) working at the same kind of job for a different company, I just don't know. I suppose, it will all come clear after I talk to them a little more... And again, while not trying to jinx it all, it's really nice to feel like maybe I am really good at what I do after all...

I'm not being wooed, per say, as I have been actively looking elsewhere (if you don't appreciate the talent you have, it will go elsewhere!) but it's just such a scary, uncertain jump to make. God I hope no one from work has happened upon this... And I'm rambling now, so, I apologise... but I have a big week ahead of me, and while I haven't got the new job, it may just come sooner than I think...

Everyone I've spoken to thinks this is a good thing, and it may very well be, but who can tell the future?

As I said this evening to one of my (now former - it was her leaving drinks tonight) colleagues... journalists don't like change... since we deal with it on an almost minute to minute basis, but what we need to realise is that in the grand scheme of things, change can be really good. The thing is, is that as soon as you get used to something it seems the time for change has already come around again...

adendum... Woah. Talk about getting into it, sort of. Not the post I had in mind when I started... but that's the great thing about this... I can just ramble on and talk out loud... thanks for listening... hope I make some kind of sense!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


I seem to be missing it at the moment.

I haven't been for a run in over a week - but that's mostly because I've been working 10-12 hour days for the last eight out of nine, and I am (understandably) tired after that. But, I'm off today and I just can't seem to find the gung-ho to go running in the rain. Probably because it's actually raining. Anyway, I'll see if I feel like it a little later on, and if not, then will force myself tomorrow. I'm just a little worried about what this has done to my schedule. I'm not sure I can do week four again... I'll try but might be stuck on it for another week. It was hard last time, and now I haven't been in ages, it's going to be even harder!

So, I haven't got much to update, because (as I said) I've been working like a madwoman. Monday to Thursday, Friday off, and then Saturday to Tuesday. I'm finally off today and I don't want to do anything - but I'll have to go to the grocery store later as we're out of just about everything!

Tomorrow I'm making Kimchi fried rice - I picked up some kimchi a couple of weeks ago when I was in Tottenham Court road, and Tom has been bugging me to make it... But I just haven't had time. If you don't marinate the pork for a few hours, it just isn't as good. I've also looked up a few other Korean recipes and am planning on trying my hand at them again in the near future.

I guess that's it for now... just a quick update... until we meet again!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

route mapper

So, I've done week three of my podrunner twice now... It's not easy, but it's getting easier! I decided to try and find out how far I actually go so I found this nifty website called Map My Fitness where you can create a map of your route and it will tell you how far it is, among other things. I thought I'd share it here...

I know it doesn't look very far, but the map assures me it's 2.82 KM. I'll need to step up things if I'm ever going to do a 5k! But let's give it some time, eh!?

The start and finish are at my house and the route takes me to (and through) Vauxhall Park and back again. Sometimes I deviate a little, but not by much. I imaging that once I'm actually running more (as opposed to walking part of the time) I'll have to go further afield, I'll probably end up going to Kennington Park (which you can see on the far right corner of the map). That's also down the road, but I hate going down the main road so for now I'm sticking to side streets.

I'm also thinking of looking into getting some new shoes. The ones I have are still in OK condition (well they look ok anyway) but I know that every pair of shoes has a life to them, and I've had these for a few years now. I actually bought them in Korea when I started exercising, so it probably is time for some new ones.

I'm hoping to go to one of those stores wherethey assess how you run and help you find the right shoe for your foot. Since I'm flat footed, I probably walk (and run) funny... Will let you know when the time comes!

For now, keep on runnin'!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

running, running, running

So, when I lived in Korea I managed to drop (more than) a few dress sizes by getting fit and healthy. I did this by going to the gym 5-6 times a week and following weight watchers online... Well, a year of laziness and bad eating have got me back to almost where I started... so, I'm doing it again. The difference this time is that I won't be going to the gym 5-6 times a week, instead I'm going to run.

I started running last year (before becoming a sloth again) because I got bored with the gym. This posed several problems for me including the fact that I don't (didn't) like running and I didn't know how to run for longer than to catch the bus. So, I downloaded Podrunner by DJ Beatsmith.

Podrunner is music - but the beat and music changes at intervals - so you walk to start, then job when the music changes, and then walk, and then jog... you get the point. It's supposed to help you work your way up to running a full thirty minutes (or 5k) after ten weeks.

I managed to make it about week 5 the first time around - I've just finished week 2. You do each week three times in one week and then move on to the next level. So Monday morning I'll start week three - more running.

So far I'm feeling really good about it. I always get a little high when I finish my workout and it gives me confidence. the other day I actually 'ran' home from work... amazing!

Anyway, hopefully by mid-April I'll be up and running (pun intended!). I'm aiming for July though - just to be kind to myself... That's when I hope to take part in Cancer Research UK's Race for Life. So, watch this space for more on that and my odyssey of learning how to run.