09 June, 2004

When the sun is up around 4:30am, and does not set till around midnight, it makes for a very long day!! Thank goodness the hotel here has heavy curtains!!
It is really lovely here, some nice (old) buildings, lots of little lanes with shops down them, and lots of parks!
I have taken 2 panoramic pics (and loaded them to the 'Briefcase' to show you the views.
I have tried to find some of the memorial coins from Freddrick and Mary's wedding, but they had to be pre ordered. But I am on the trail for them thanks to the lovely people in the visitor centre.
Yesterday, we went to the top of the Aalborg Tower here, it was worth the look!!
Both L & R are at the conference now, and I am about to go and look through town, so see you later.

08 June, 2004

It is 8.30pm Denmark time. R and I have just arrived in Aalborg. We are in fact still at the airport, at the free web station, waiting for the bus to arrive. We must have been on the smallest plane in the British Airways fleet from Oslo to Aalborg. It seated 18 passengers. It was a bit claustrophobic for my liking.

I am pleased that we are almost finished for the day. We have been traveling all day if you include the hair raising taxi trip to Heathrow with Darius the taxi driver who was definitely trying to hit on R. I kept thinking just keep your eyes on the road, stop using the mobile, and writing his phone number out for R.

More later, the bus is due in less than 10 minutes.
Well, here I am in Aalborg, Denmark. After a hot, humid day yesterday, it is cold, wet and miserable here!!! But, I am not complaining, it is just a bit of a shock to the system!!
I have just had a call from L to say that they were in Oslo late, and may be late here in Aalborg, but I am fine with watching a few (very small airport) planes come and go.
I have just had a 'snack' whilst waiting, and it was a bowl of 'fries'! I say it like this as they were fried to within an inch of there lives, and in some cases, they were!!!
The hotel here looks quite good. I have only been in it for probably less than an hour, as I wanted to get to know the transport system. I located the bus that goes to and from the 'Lufthaven' from the city centre.
I have not had a chance to get all of the pics loaded up yet, sorry, but I will do it over the next couple of days, hopefully tomorrow!
Oh well, I had better go now.

07 June, 2004

It's 11.35pm. We have just packed our bags. Oh my, where has all this stuff come from? and yesterday we posted a 10kg box back to work.

We have had a good weekend. Yesterday we all went to Camden Town Markets, which took us through to early afternoon. B and I got new shoes. I really needed some walkers, the paths here are all uneven with cobblestones just about everywhere, and the shoes I brought with me were just not good enough. I have real London walkers, they are called Fly London. I gave them a workout today, at Kew Gardens.

Yesterday, B and I also took the ferry down the Thames to Greenwich. Greenwich looked great but by this stage we were both quite tired. We should have stayed on the Ferry for the return journey as it was the last one for the day. Instead we caught the light rail, messed up with the train lines and after what seemed like half a dozen trains later ended up at Bayswater where we needed to get off for the walk back to the hotel.

The day at Kew was good. I don't know what we were thinking though - the plan was to do Kew in the morning and the Crown Jewels in the afternoon. We never got to the Crown Jewels though. Kew is a fantastic Botanic Gardens, in particular the tree top walk.

Tomorrow we leave for the conference in Aalborg. So it is time to pack up the computer and get a good night sleep.

04 June, 2004

It is now 11.15pm so this is going to be a quick one. It is taking a bit of getting used to the fact that it doesn't start getting dark till really late. I mean really late, you think it is about 7pm and it is actually 10pm.

Wednesday we had a really good meeting with South Gloucestershire, it is really amazing the size of some of these councils. Again this Council has 70 Councillors! and I think it was 9000 employees. The range of their functions though is more than local government in Australia, including schools amongst other things.

We tried our first 'cream tea', which is a devonshire tea in our language. It was recommended to us by the Officers at South Gloucestershire, I thought it was actually going to be a cup of tea with clotted cream instead of milk, it didn't sound at all appetising for someone who doesn't even like milk in their tea. R and B seemed to know exactly what it was, silly me.

We traveled back to London today via a fly by visit of Bath. I could have easily spent a week in Bath. This has been my favourite spot so far - I am already planning a holiday just to Bath. It is such a fascinating place, the streets and buildings, the Roman Baths, and the shopping.

We got back to London and have returned to the hotel we first stayed in, in Kensington Gardens. We have been given rooms under the street level. They are a bit bigger, which has made it a bit easier to sort out our paperwork for the next Council visits. We grabbed dinner from the local Marks and Spencers - I am really getting into this prepackaged but fresh meal concept. Tonight was steamed green thai chicken, and raspberry and chardonnay dessert. It enabled us to get through our work and still eat at a reasonable hour.

Anyway gotta go. We have an early start to get to Ealing tomorrow and a visit with the Chair of the Ealing Local Agenda 21 Pollution and Public Health Project Group.
Well, after leaving Bristol this morning, we headed for Bath. It only took about 30-45 mins to get too, and was FANTASTIC!
Bath was full of old world charm and the buildings were great. We went to the Roman Baths, (I will post the pics tomorrow as it is 11pm here and we are tired)! I am sure that Lou will also want to make an entry about Bath, so I will leave it for her!
Today was also a bad day for the air system. There was a computer system upgrade overnight, and when they rebooted it after it's install, it did not work! The follow-on effect was that ALL airports in the UK could only land, NO take-offs at all, until mid morning, but had problems all day! I hope that we do not have that sort of problem on Monday for the flight to Denmark.
We have had a bit of rain tonight, I hope it is raining at home!

03 June, 2004

Hi Folks!
Well, it is 8:10pm and it is still broad daylight!!! After trying to get adjusted with the daylight till almost 10pm, Louise has gone to bed totally, and physically exhausted!!
Last night, we had dinner with Ginnie Parker, who is the 'Sustainable City Policy Manager' for Bristol Council. We had 'Bangers 'n' Mash' which were organic pork and garlic. We also had onion gravy!! Dinner was great, thanx Ginnie!
Both Louise and Ruth had a long day of meetings with Bristol Council, whislt I did the Big Bus Tour around Bristol. It was great seeing the River Avon which has a tide of around 13 metres! Bristol is fantastic in it's history and culture. Very easy going.
Dinner tonight whilst Ruth visited friends, was from 'Marks and Spencer'. They have a HUGE range of meals. Louise had (for a starter) Crispy Mushrooms with Garlic Mayo and then Sicilian Orange Chicken with Pecorino Roast Potatoes. Where as I had boring old Southern Fried Chicken & Fries!!!
I have updated the pics yesterday, and I am about to add in the pics so far from Bristol, so do go and have a look!!
Today, the girls had a meeting up at Sth Gloucestershire. The Council chambers were in a little country town named Thornbury. Quite quaint really, and they had at the entrance to town, a little 'Community Garden' project. When I went to the visitor centre to ask about it, the lady there told me that they are the 'Allotments'! Also in town, they have a Sensory Garden, and some of the trees in ther are good old aussie Eucalyptus!!! And, whats more, in one there was even a Black Bird's nest. See the pics!
Oh well then, I had better go and up-load the pics.
Take care.

02 June, 2004

"Dull and damp, becoming brighter" was the weather report for today.

It is 5.45pm, Tuesday, 2 June, and we are not long back at the unit. We had a really great day with Bristol Council today. We met with half a dozen council officers and it was all really interesting stuff. I could easily spend the rest of the week here learning from these people. They have a great setup, situated within the CREATE centre, which is a remodeled warehouse with exhibition space, meeting rooms and their offices. Attached to the centre is also a demonstration eco-home operated by volunteers.

We got so much information today we are quite exhausted. Thank goodness we don't have to think about dinner as have been invited to dinner at Ginnie, the Managers tonight, how friendly is that.

We did manage to see some of the sights from the harbour, when we caught a ferry back from the Council. Unfortunately, my camera battery went flat before we caught the ferry so I cannot share the views.

B did some sightseeing and sorted the leak from the apartment above, which didn't look like much when R and I left this morning but really began to flow mid morning. This place is a bit dodgy in some areas - wait till you see a photo of the ironing board when it gets posted.

Anyway gotta go - bangers and mash awaits.

01 June, 2004

Hi folks,
Well it's now 10:25am June first and what am I doing??
I am doing the washing on a cold and damp Bristol morning. Have just come back from breakfast, where I saw both Louise and Ruth off to work, and sat down (after trying to work out how the washing machine/dryer combo works) to update the pics in the yahoo briefcase. I was sitting here and suddenly I could hear this dripping sound.... DAMN, the unit above us has got a water leak into our dining room (where I am sitting) and it is running down the wall, into a POWER POINT!!
I have been down to the management desk, and there is a plumber on the way!
It seems to be my (un)luck, because when I arrived the day before Lou and Ruth at the hotel in Kensington Gardens, I was upgraded to the 'Executive Suite' as the room I was allocated to was un-made, and with dirty laundry from the bathroom still there!!! I was glad with the up-grade though!!
Once the dryer has finished, I am off to hop on the Big Red Bus tour of Bristol. 7.50 (GBP) will get me a 24 hour commentary trip around all of Bristol. Then, I will take the girls along the same route and tell them what I was told, (we are on a budget here and they are working after all)!!!
Well, I had better go now and get ready. Machine just about finished, and there is a lot to see (I hope).
It is now 10pm, Monday, 1 June.

We are in Bristol and it is wet. Today was pretty much a travel day, we hired a car to get to Bristol, which I am very grateful for. I don't think I could have handled lugging bags on and off trains, and up and down stairs. As it was bank holiday here and nothing much was open, it was a good day to travel and get organised for the weeks meetings.

Photos will be loaded up for viewing tomorrow.