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By: Anthony and Bron in UK

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Thursday, 11-Dec-2008 10:31 Email | Share | | Bookmark
We're off again!!!

Hi all,
just thought we'd let you know that we're off on another adventure soon, to Scotland this time! We've created a new fotopage to keep you all up to date as this one's nearly full. Our new site is
Don't forget to subscribe to the new one, it'll have lots of stories on it soon.

Speak soon, Anth & Bron xoxo

Friday, 3-Feb-2006 09:34 Email | Share | | Bookmark
What a crazy past few weeks!!

Sunday sippers at Chadders cricket club
One last night at Donnie Walkabout
Awesome skiing at Grindelwald, Switzerland
View all 12 photos...
Hello everyone!

Wow the past few weeks have really flown by so fast, its been such a crazy time. I could write about what weve done in detail but we would miss our train (and probably our flight on Monday too!) so I'll write about how we are feeling right now.

Its our last morning in Stoke and we have everything packed up ready to go now, with just under three hours till we leave for London, its sad to leave this place behind. Weve said goodbye to our buddies at the West End, had our last meal there (Bron had her FAVOURITE king prawn tagliatelle and my favourite lamb shanks in rosemary and red wine sauce yum!) on wednesday night as could not be bothered cooking with the current state of the kitchen - or the rest of the house, we pity our poor landlord showing potential tenants around the obstacles (or rubbish) everywhere! I got to play our djembe one last time at the music night, and also lucky enough to be given a lift home by the wonderful owners Mick and Les again, they are such wonderful people who along with their pub have made our stay in Stoke better than we could have thought. A late night again with Will meant we woke up a little weary but prepared to attack the battle of packing our room up. What a day! We had to make some VERY tough decisions of what to take, what to give away and what to throw out, Bron coped really well and was very proud of her. Ketan dropped around while I was madly running around the house and throwing everything around the room to fix up the lease (and more importantly our bond yay!) so we got to say goodbye as well. We were very lucky to have a nice landlord and Ketan was a little sad to see us go. Will booked a table at an indian resturaunt he's been raving about since September, so after our big packing up and lease thingy finished up we (and Yuxiao came out too yay!) grabbed a cab to meet Ben and Neil - some uni mates from cricket, and Emma too (Will's ex girlfriend from York). Luckily we bumped into a uni mate from Sweden as well, it was great to say goodbye to Magdelina as we hadnt been able to catch her one last time. Will's indian resturaunt lived up to his glowing reviews, and it was sad to say goodbye to Ben and Neil, we will miss our get togethers for a feed and drink at uni. So grabbing a cab we headed back home, but then hastily decided we'd have one last stop at the West End for a drink. Kenny the act-as-old-as-you-feel-not-as-you-are singer was performing his cheesy Gold 104 hits again, so we got to say goodbye to him as well. And the most amazing thing happened - Big Barry, the other owner, who is a bear of a bloke who everyone is scared of and wouldnt dare step out of line in his pub, got all emotional when he found out we were leaving and gave Bron a big hug and shook my hand! If you knew him, this really would be amazing to see, Will nearly fell over in shock! Will's just-as-crazy mate Mummy (he calls his best friend Mummy) came up to meet us as well, and along with Andy from the pub we got to have one last game of monopoly at our house. And to top off the night a delivery from Kebab City was needed too yum! I in particular will miss our local Kebab store, just a five minute walk from home and open seven nights a week, great stuff. So after lots of hugs goodbye to Mummy we finally made it to bed to catch some form of sleep.

Well I must sign off, now down to two hours till we leave. Some library books have to be put back and must visit the charity shop to drop off a garbage bag of clothes were leaving behind, plus a trip to the post office is needed to mail some stuff to ourselves. Plus a train to catch too, cant forget that! Will has been in denial we are leaving, not sure how he will be, were going to miss him and his excentric habits. And I havent even talked about our trip to Switzerland, Berlin, Prague, or even our trip to Doncaster to see Chadders again, or my last exams, or what were doing in London this weekend, but we're home next week so maybe they can wait till then. REALLY looking forward to getting home and seeing our wonderful parents and awesome mates and family, can't wait to give you all a big hug - but be prepared, if you ask to see some photos, that may take a while, nearly 2000 stored on the computer! Alright, must head off now, see you all in person very soon!! Yay!!

Lots of hugs

Anthony and Bronnie

Wednesday, 11-Jan-2006 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
almost a white christmas...

& more pressies!!
enjoying a chrissy feast!
View all 18 photos...
well the Chrissy & new year celebrations have come to a close but not without having lots of fun in the process.

Christmas eve was nice and chilly, we wandered up to the Westend and enjoyed relaxing with gorgeous food, good wine and fun company. After dinner we had a few drinks at the bar before coming home to wait for Santa to arrive.

Sleeping in the next morning, Bron really enjoyed this after working a 56 hour week, we got up and armed with warm clothes and cups of tea, headed out to the phonebox to talk to our families back home. It was so great to hear everyones voices and enjoy their tales from a christmas day almost over.

Sitting under the Christmas tree, we looked through all our photos, reminiscing the past few months and taking in how much we've actually managed to see and do! It took a while to get through all 1064 photos (just preparing you to get your WOW faces perfected!) it was a special way to share christmas together and make sure we didn't miss home too much.

We then spent our day opening pressies, and eating and drinking a feast. It was strange not being hot on christmas day, but good fun eating chrissy faire in it's proper environment. Anth enjoyed a HUGE steak as a special treat and there was plenty of fresh seafood to make bron happy. When our phones ran out of credit due to messaging home, we got some mugs of mulled wine (fruity red wine you drink warm) and went for a walk to top it up. We felt very in the spirit of things enjoying this drink to warm up!

Having way too much food for 2 people, we invited Yuxiao to our Australian-English christmas dinner which she enjoyed, and just in case you were wondering, cracker jokes are as funnily bad as they are back home!

We managed to stay up to listen to a bit of the boxing day test over the net but then decided the results from day 1 could wait till the morning. Bron was back to work on Boxing day, ready to endure all the boxing day sale customers and Anth was able to relax.

The next week carried on as normal, Bron working, Anth enjoying the snow flakes that fell through the week, then New Years Eve arrived and along with it Amanda!! With her first day off since Christmas, Bron rushed round Stoke's op shops and fabric stores to find the bits and pieces to turn her into a Kangaroo before we headed to the station to meet Amanda, a Langy friend who's been working in the USA & London as a nanny. It'd been ages since we'd seen her and as we badly timed our departure to miss her and Pozza's wedding by a week it was great to get some good fun catch up time.

Anth was particularly looking forward to Amanda's arrival as she was also bringing a nice bottle of bundy! I think he managed to get home before demanding it was unveiled! The afternoon was spent enjoying a few beers and bundy's, creating costumes and preparing for the big night ahead.

When we arrived later, dressed as Croc dundee (along with his sidekick blow-up croc), a kangaroo, a cat and a piratess, at the Westend, it looked at first as though we were the only people not behind the bar dressed in costume, I think that is everyone's worst nightmare walking into a party and feeling like the only ones dressed up, but we soon discovered it wasn't the case and round the other side of the bar were plenty of colourful costumes. The night was slightly segregated with dressed up people on one side and boring people on the other but it was a great night with much off key karioke and lots of laughs. Amanda was even lucky enough to recieve a midnight phonecall from Pozza, who was still far away in oz, which made her night but I think she was more interested in telling him all about the cheese and onion sandwich she'd just eaten than anything else!
Sadly Anth's sidekick didn't make it through the night. He was such a big hit with the ladies that some of the guys thought he may get dangerous so bring on the steve irwin impersonators! We're not sure exactly who beat the croc in the end but are almost positive that whoever it was would have been wearing sharp stilletto heels!

After a few hours sleep, Amanda headed to the station & Bron to work. I think Will & Anth emerged at somestage during the day, but managed to relax as much as possible. It was so great to have Amanda there for New years, and we wish them luck for their bucks & hens nights and all the best for their wedding. Sorry we can't be there but we'll have a celebratory drink with you on your return from your honeymoon.

Since New Years Bron has finished up her Christmas job at HMV but got so much enjoyment out of it and has made great friends that will hopefully make it to Oz some day. She loved the atmosphere of work and can't have been too bad as she was the last Christmas temp to finish (out of 12).
Fellow international students have also started heading home and we had a goodbye for Sarah (a North Carolina friend) on Sunday night. It was great to see everyone again and hear how they'd spent their Christmas & New Years. A lot of the European and Irish students could head home to their families and some of the others headed to varies parts of Europe and UK, I think everyone had one thing in common though, and that was fun. It was sad to say goodbye to Sarah but she's promised to come to Australia. We prolonged the goodbye for as long as possible heading back to their residents after the bar shut and enjoying Jenny's recipe of fried potatos with the odd shot of vodka for good measure.

We are now really getting to the tail end of our trip, Anth's got 2 exams to get through then we head back to Europe for another fleeting visit before saying goodbye to stoke, having a few days in London and then working out how to get everything on the plane.

Don;t think this is the end though, there will be a couple more updates before we see you but we can't wait to catch up with you all and hear all your news too.

Enjoy the sunshine for us and we look forward to thawing out in a few weeks.
Love Bron & Anthony

Friday, 23-Dec-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Have a great Christmas everyone!!

Anth with his Dr Who scarf at Lincoln
Carnival atmosphere at Lincoln markets
More of Lincoln christmas markets
View all 24 photos...
Gday gday

Wow only TWO more sleeps till Santa comes - time is just flying by. It's under two months now till we are homeward bound, and with so much to do in that time too - two exams and an essay for Anth, HMV to 'sack' Bronnie, pack up all this stuff we've accumulated (there is so much its scary!), head off to see a bit of Europe again (more on that later) plus Chrissie and New Years too, it's gonna be a full on six weeks or so.

Bron has been absolutely flat out with work, her HMV store is just chokkas full of stressed out shoppers and her boss keeps giving her extra hours (fifty odd our week leading to christmas its crazy) so she is very happy but pretty busy at the moment. Which also brings an interesting change - Anth has found himself the one doing things like cooking tea, washing clothes, doing the shopping - the poor bugger feels he is losing his male identity!! He has turned into a sort of "housewife" which he is VERY embarressed to admit but can't do anything about Feel free to insult him as much as you like, Scotty has had a good go of it so far (thanks mate ).

Now with Bron only having one day off a week we were still lucky enough to stay in Yorkshire's grand medieval city of York. This place is just steeped in history - the vikings and normans ruled at various stages, even a roman emperor was titled so here. There is a roman wall surrounding the central city where most of it still remains, along with its huge gates (bit like check point charlie in medieval times). There are also plenty of weird medieval buildings built about three stories high, where each story juts out across the laneway further than the story below, so by the time the highest story is built it nearly touches its opposite building. Scotty told us a few months ago that they were designed so people could pour their waste into the laneway without splashing it down the story below them (yuck!!). There are so many churches here too, really old and interesting too, but the highlight of the city is the York Minster. This building is massive, and unbelievable when considering it took 250 years to build from the 1200's. The construction must have been so tedious, every block being winched up one after the other. Inside it is just as impressive - huge ceilings and pillars, massive old stained glass windows and plenty of finely decorated tombs of past archbishops too. Unfortunately Bron was not too healthy on this trip, and her coughs and splutters echoed throughout the minster, she was a bit embarrassed poor thing. She wasn't feeling well enough to climb 250 odd stairs up the minster tower, so Anth took plenty of photos to show her what it was like - great views over York up there too. So after a day of walking around and taking heaps of pics we jumped on a train and headed down to Doncaster to meet our good mate Chadders again! Unfortunately Bron decided she wasn't well enough to party in Doncaster and felt a big sleep at home will help her get better. We gave her a big hug and once the boys said goodbye it was off to the pub for a feed, pint and a go at the quiz night there. Chadder's mate Sam and his missus came too, he is a funny bloke Samburger. Once we lost the quiz Sam's missus dropped us off into town, and we hit the Walkabout for a few much missed VB stubbies. Chadders is in with the cycling crowd in Doncaster, he introduced Anth to some blokes who are hopeful of competing in the Commonwealth Games next year - good luck to them. They were cool guys to have a beer and a chat with but hope they get flogged by us aussies!! Sam was very funny - he kept putting on this silly grin and doing the Mr Bean dance - sticking his belly out all over the shop, Anth was in tears! So eventually we made it home, and Anth headed back to Stoke the next day feeling a bit hungover but was heaps of fun in Donnie with Chadders again. And Bron was feeling much better than the previous days too.

We also said seeya to our american buddy Heather - most of the US/Canadian guys have to head back home as their uni year starts in January, so they have a much shorter study abroad experience than everyone else. It was fun hanging out with Heather at uni, the poor bugger had a pretty bad time with some idiots in her dorm, one guy wrecked her laptop early in the semester and refused to pay for it - but she got a some revenge recently by tipping a full pint of snakebite (beer and blackcurrant) all over his head, very funny!! On the subject of uni, its a completely different lifestyle now - as classes have finished everyone has headed back to their various parts of the UK, Europe and the States (some of our mates are lucky enough to be touring italy) so the place has gone from a vibrant community to a ghost town in a matter of days. If we didn't have each other, or our Stoke buddies at our local to socialise with, it would be just torture. But it works out alright as Anth has a good chance to get some study done, especially with Will gone for christmas the house is very quiet!

On the topic of study, Anth is getting a bit distracted in planning our little trip into Europe after his last exam. We are very excited - after much researching (some prices are ridiculous) Anth has found us a cool hostel high in the Swiss Alps at Grindelwald - so Bron will have her dream of skiing in Europe realised!! After Switzerland we plan to head up to Berlin and visit Tim again, then make our way to Prague so we can meet Will who is planning to be there as well. Really looking forward to it, will be heaps of fun, just got to get this study done first . . .

Well we wish everyone a GREAT Christmas - tell us how you spent it and make us really jealous about the sun and people you were with too. We will miss you all and hope we can make you jealous back if it snows on Sunday - its getting pretty frosty leading up to the day, it would be so cool if it snows!

All the best take care and have fun

Anth and Bron xx

Saturday, 17-Dec-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Will an Aussie sports team win something in this country??

A quiet sunday beer with Clint
A rare Will defeat by Yuxiao
Yeah Socceroos!!!!
View all 6 photos...
Howdy all!

Its been a month since we last did an update, very lazy on our part. Where do I start, so much has happened, think this will be another novel - sized update again . . .

Last time we left off was the weekend when the wallabies took on the englishman in the rugby. To make it more interesting we caught a train to Southampton so we could watch it with Clint and his workmates at his local Walkabout. A big sports day was ahead for us, first the rugby then the poms were taking on argentina in the soccer, promising to be a pretty spiteful match. It was great to catch up with Clint again, he is doing well laying carpet for work and living with his boss. However his workmates Chris and Ryan are completely nutters - they didn't like to see us with an empty hand and thought nothing of reguarly disappearing off to the bar for more beer, just in case the stockpile of jugs on our table werent enough. The game was massive, you could hardly move the pub was absolutely chokkas with white england shirts, us aussies felt pretty claustrophobic! When the wallabies scored their first try the place went silent, so Anth took advantage and screamed out an "Aussie Aussie Aussie" chant - and only got one reply, and that bloke was Welsh!! So you can imagine the roars when the english eventually won, it was deafening. Us aussies just can't win anything in this country lately, it really has been the worst time to come over as a sports fan, we couldnt even beat Wales in the rugby. Once the rugby finished the soccer started, but missed seeing the finishing moments as a long and slightly messy afternoon took its toll and we decided to depart for some dinner before we were told to. Which was good as it would have been too much seeing two england victories in the one afternoon. So that was pretty much our Southampton experience, not a touristy trip like our others, but loads of laughs, Chris and Ryan were very hospitable and it was great to see Clint once again (although not sure if the staff at southampton walkabout would embrace us with open arms for a while). Looking forward to having him up in our neck of the woods next year so we can have more laughs.

When we got back to Stoke we had one of the best weeks possible - Bronnie had two job interviews and was finally accepted to work for HMV Music in Hanley!! Bron has had a pretty hard time getting work, she was accepted for two positions in the disability field but offered no hours, and has put in tons of applications for all sorts of stuff to hear nothing. In one of my lectures at uni Anth was told Stoke-on-Trent has one of the worst unemployment rates in the country, not something we really wanted to know. However, it was a massive relief for Bronnie to get work, she was so happy! Its a full time christmas temp position, six days a week with Thursdays off, so it keeps her pretty busy but she really enjoys it. She can bop around to music all day and they have a big screen tv in the tea room with xbox and playstation hooked up too, Anth wishes that Safeway did the same. So she isnt getting the disability field work she was planning, but Bronnie is enjoying her retail experience. Her workmates rib her a bit for her friendly customer service, they think its strange for someone to say "have a nice day" to customers! HMV are putting on a christmas party tonight in a function room booked in one of the big Hanley nightclubs, should be a good night.

The soccer qualifier was pretty massive news for us - Anth was in class for most of the game and was itching to get off to the labs in the library and see if the socceroos were playing in next year's world cup. His classmate Rich came along to check it out too. Unfortunately the game wasnt televised in the UK so we had to rely on the BBC website, which gave updates every two minutes. Those two minute intervals felt like hours, it was so frustrating, Anth was going out of his mind. By the time the penalties were on there was six of us crowded around a computer, madly clicking the refresh button, desperate to find out the result, and when the report came in Anth jumped out of his seat and cheered "yeah!!" (much to the disgust of the poor buggers trying to study) and it was off to the bar for a celebratory pint. We felt a little homesick, it looked like heaps of fun at home that night, but txt messages from the guys helped out thanks! Although its bad luck being grouped with Brazil Japan and Croatia, its going to be awesome next year having our own team to cheer for.

One monday Anth jumped out of bed, opened the curtains to see the street covered with snow and flakes falling from the sky - it was just amazing! Any thought of study was abandoned, he rugged up and spent the afternoon walking around Stoke taking pictures like a daft tourist. It was really exciting! Will wouldnt have a bar of it though, he reckons snow is boring after living all his life in the northern hemisphere. Uni looked amazing, Keele is higher up in altitude than Stoke so the snow lasted for a few days, the place looked like Falls Creek. It was really weird walking to class and having to negotiate icy footpaths and shaking snow off your shoes.

We were also lucky enough to meet up with Cass and Liz, who are touring through England for five weeks. Cass is an old client of Bron's and Liz is her partner, it was really cool seeing them on the other side of the planet. Anth took a thursday off uni for us to spend the day with them in the Peak District where we took them to Castleton, the little village we stayed in for our hike in October. Their UK experience is a bit different to us, as they have to keep in mind accessability and facilities for Cass to be catered for her needs. This means things like hiring cars, accessible footpaths, single story accommodation and toilets for Cass come into the planning for their trip, things usually not even thought about. But they have done a great job of it, Liz is amazing, and it was great to meet up and have a chat about how different and backward some things in the UK are compared to home. Before they go home they're off to Paris to see Disneyland, hope they have heaps of fun and a smooth time ensuring Cass's needs are met while dealing with a new language at the same time.

Anth also got to go on a uni trip to the christmas markets in Lincoln. With Bron working on fridays she was unlucky to miss out, but Anth brought some little pressies home to make her feel better. After weeks of begging from Bron he finally submitted and also bought himself a huge wooly "Dr Who" scarf, so he could rug up and get rid of the sore throat he's had for the previous fortnight. Anyway, the markets were just packed full of tourists, even the local police had streets cordoned off just for coaches to park, offload their passengers, then take off for the next coach to come and do the same. Felt a bit like cattle off to the stock market! It was good fun though, carols singing everywhere, stall owners dressed up in christmas gear, and heaps of stalls selling mulled wine and beer - its bizarre trying to shop with one hand while the other held a cup of grog! Mulled wine is really weird, it is served hot like coffee and has brandy and fruit mixed in too, but cause it is just freezing in December it warms you up and is nice once you get used to it. Need to be careful not to drink too much though, or you could get too merry and end up buying all sorts of needless things! Some of the european students reckon there are better markets in their homelands, but having never experienced winter christmas markets Anth thought it was pretty cool.

A couple of weeks ago Anth came back from uni to find a big box sent from home - he was very excited and we just had to open it there and then. Aussie version of Monopoly, gloves and head wrap for Bron, a VB beanie for Anth, Billy Tea, chrissie decorations and a picture from leah, but best of all were the two packets of Tim Tam's!! It was so good to have Tim Tams again, although we have to lock them up from Will he was as excited about them as us! Thanks heaps Mum Phil Mark Kym and Leah they made us really happy and a bit homesick too! Bron's folks have sent a box of goodies too but were going to leave that for christmas day to open up, will be fun! Weve played the aussie monopoly game a few times with our housemates, they think its weird with the streets being different, the dollar signs and little koala as a game piece, but Will is pretty happy as his favourite Pall Mall is called William Street in our version.

On the subject of Will he held a massive christmas party last monday, he had been planning and driving everyone nuts about it since September. As everyone at uni comes from different parts of the UK and all head home for christmas Will and his friends do a chrissie party at the start of december. He did a great job using the two ovens and every single bit of cutlery in our house to cook up a huge feast. He also went nuts stockpiling the place with wines beers champagne punch mulled wine and his vodka, so no-one went thirsty. You can just imagine the mess left, especially after pass the parcel, it wasnt pretty! It took a few days to get the place back in order, still isnt really.

Well if I keep going this will be far too long. Although Bron only has one day off a week we were still able to stay in York this week and visit Chadders too. It was heaps of fun but I'll put that in the next update. Hope your chrissie planning is going well, and not getting too sunburnt in those thirty odd degree days you've been having! Thanks for the text messages, msn chats, emails phone calls and christmas cards too everyone, its cool hearing how things are going. Have a good one!

Anth and Bron xxxooo

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