Monday, 15 October 2012

Reading: Oktobefest 2012

I am not a big beer drinker although it seems that everyone around me is.  :-P  In the UK, pubs aka beer gardens are everywhere.  Everyone seem to have their favourite pubs.  I think it's their way of catching up with friends during their busy week.  I haven't gotten the idea fully yet but I think I'm getting there.  :-)

I don't know if you know this but I get bored very quickly.  I am unemployed still(eBaying doesn't count as proper work in my opinion) and my husband has found a way of entertaining me.  He usually take me on long drives, dinner with his family and the occasional parties but will go into details when I get around to blogging about it.  I've been quite lazy lately.  

It was my first "almost" Oktoberfest festival.  Almost as it is not in Germany but the details are there.  Beers were served by wench(please google, I wasn't even sure if I use the word in the right sentence), people are wearing costumes, the drinks are served by the litre, they had a band that forces you to drink quickly and dancing drank people.  It was a lot of fun but not so much if you are not hammered.  I suggest drinking to your limit.  Hehehe.  I loved the experience.  Hopefully, Luke and I can travel to Germany in the future for the authentic experience.  We still have 2 years before we start our family.

What to expect:
Lots of drinking, dancing and merriment.

What to wear:
In the Oktoberfest Reading, they had a mud dance floor.  So I suggest wearing comfortable clothes if you are not gonna dress up.

Booking in advance is a must.

Bring loads of cash as all transactions are cash only.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Windsor: More than just the Castle

 The Crooked House.
 This is so cool.  I have been to Windsor several times before but this is the first time that I noticed this. 
 The Great Park.
 Only the red post box marked with ER is working.  The GR is from the George V reign.  ER is Elizabeth Regina as in Elizabeth Reigns.  Husband pointed that out yesterday. He is so cool. 
 The Last Supper. 

As a joke, I told my husband to take me on a weekly date.  I don't know if he took me seriously as dating when you live together is more than cooking meals for each other and watching DVDs.

Luke drove to Windsor yesterday but I didn't say anything.  I love Windsor but it is where his late father used to live.  True enough, before we reach the town centre, he told me that he was sad.  His dad's old office is next to the shops.

Windsor is very interesting.  They have THE Windsor Castle for one, a ferris wheel or big wheel as some British people call it,  a high street that reminds you of Covent Garden in London, a massive park and they have The Last Supper painting from the 1600's.  The area in my opinion is full of character and more posh than Reading where we live.  :)

In Windsor, don't forget to:

1.  Go inside the Windsor Castle if you like to take a peek at the life of royalties.  I did went once in 2008 and I was only disappointed on the restricted areas.  The tour of the castle will probably take 2 hours.

2.  Canoe and Kayak.  This is only applicable if few members if not all can kayak or canoe.  Otherwise, take the boat trip.  My friends and I canoe through the canal and there were only 2 people maneuvering the canoe.

3.  Take the wheel if you wanna see the surrounding areas.  When I went in 2008, it was very green.  

4.  Visit the CROOKED HOUSE IN WINDSOR.  No purchase necessary.  :)

5.  Visit the painting of The Last Supper at The Parish Church of St. John The Baptist.
Free Entrance.  Donation optional.

6.  Look for the ancient well which is beside the blue and red post boxes.

7.  Go for a walk in the Windsor Great Park.
Free Entrance.

Summer Screens: a movie date at the park

I am a very cheesy person.  When I was single, I made a list of "creative" dates that I should go to.  Luckily, I met my match with my husband who is willing to do anything to make me happy(read: to keep my mouth shut and stop me from pouting).  :-P  One of the creative dates include outdoor cinema.  I know, it maybe nothing new to where you are from but from my side of the world(I used to live in the Philippines), it was something that we don't do often.  

Cinema Paradiso is one of the best films in my opinion.  Although I have it on DVD, I asked my husband to take me as he hasn't seen it yet.  I don't wanna go through the details of the film but I will say this, I cried from the moment his mum called that someone has died until the end.  I remember the lady beside me sobbing at the same moment that I was crying and also I remember my husband glancing my way whilst I was having difficulty catching my breath in between sobs.  You should choose wisely when going to an outdoor cinema.  Hehehe!

This year, the Summer Screens 2012 was held at Caversham Court Gardens.  It was a wonderful area at the side of the River Thames.  I never knew that garden actually existed although we used to pass by that road on our way to Oxford.  This is why we should always pay attention people.  :-)  

Tickets:  Seats are limited so I suggest booking in advance.  The seats weren't numbered too. So arrive early so you can choose your seat.
Food and Drinks:  On site drinks available and people are encouraged not to bring their own food.
Toilet:  I only saw one male and one female toilet


Don't forget to bring blanket.  We forgot to bring ours and I swear, I felt like my hands are gonna fall off!!   

Interested to go?  Please click on the link.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Portobello Market, London

I have been to Portobello Market before as I have lived in the UK for 3.5 years from 2006 to 2009.  We did everything that tourists do.  We go to museums, watch West End shows, go to Trafalgar Square or any square for that matter, visit different parks - paid or not, shop in Oxford Circus, the list is endless.

As I have written on my previous blog, we went to London on a Sunday.  Portobello Weekend Market as the name suggest, is only open on weekends apart from the shops that is open daily.  Since it's the Olympics, I've expected the place to be full of tourists and eclectic people.  Boy, time did change.  The streets are empty.  I only saw a handful of tourists.  Can I say I'm disappointed?  Yeah, I am a bit.  I have painted my niece a different Portobello picture.  As per usual, we took photo of the George Orwell flat, took a photo with Portobello Road sign on it, took photo of the gorge coloured flats and took her to the Notting Hill Bookstore.  She said she haven't seen the film.  I forgot that she is only 16.  So she was a baby when the film was shown on the movies.  :-P

This was the Portobello Market that I was expecting:

 Versus this at present:

Tube Nearest Portobello Market:  Notting Hill Gate

Go if you like flea markets, vintage stores and antique finds.

Sherlock Holmes Museum

I have moved to the UK since my last post.  Been here for over a month now.  Anyone who's following my personal blog or my twitter account will know.

Weeks have been busy for me and Luke.  It's the summer here and we've been attending social functions weekly.  Last Sunday, my sister, my mum and I met my niece from the US for the first time.  She is currently staying in London with her aunt.  She requested to go to the Sherlock Holmes museum.  I haven't been and was delighted to go. :)

Location:  221B Baker St., Nearest Tube Baker St.
Days Open:  Daily
Fee:  £6 for Adults, £4 for children.  You can buy personalised tickets online too.

Fact:  221B Baker street is the same addressed that was used by the author on Sherlock Holmes book series.

You may be interested to go so here are some photos that we took from our tour:

I think, buying a personalised ticket is worthy but you have to queue up still as the museum can only accommodate a certain number of people.

 Whilst waiting, you can take a photo either as Sherlock or Dr. Watson.

 Do not forget to include yourself on the visitor's book.

Buy souvenirs.  Even if you don't want to, it is still worth looking around.
Don't forget to take a free Sherlock Holmes card from the lady on the door.  It's FREE and geeky cool.  :)

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Seri Fantasy Land

I am in Manila still.  I celebrated my birthday, 2 Sundays in a row with my relatives.  First I went with my 2 young cousins and my brother and the following week, I celebrated it with my brother and his girlfriend.  I know, it's odd that I'm celebrating this with relatives but I didn't dare ask friends to celebrate the special day with me as I assumed that they were busy and most of them lived in the province.  I don't give a fuzz on birthdays anyway as I meet up with my friends of on a regular basis.  I don't have to write about it everytime do I?  :P

I never heard of Seri Fantasy Land until I saw it in ensogo, 2 attractions for 149PHP.  I am not particulary interested to go but my brother's girlfriend said they were interested so I bought 3 tickets.  I was first disappointed with the size of the Trick Art Museum.  It was more like a room than a museum and everything looked flat but once you take a photo, everything comes to life.  You just have to be creative and let yourself go.  The Mirror Maze was as small as the Trick Art Museum but finding the exit is fun.  It's not very difficult and your tour is guided.  The tour guide actually helps you how to pose and take photo for free.    I know filos love a good photo.  :)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

3.6.12: Amber Fort, Jaipur

Mr. Khan, Aunty Truli's friend in Jaipur arranged a driver for us to tour around the city and beyond.  Beyond because later that evening, he drove 35km to get to Chowki Dhani but I will write about that later.  :P  When we were in Hawa Mahal, I heard the guide pointed out to Amber Fort.  I was curious so Luke and I consulted the book.  It turns out to be one of our most amazing finds in Jaipur.  :)

Amber Fort or Amer Palace is the only place in India where we hired a guide.  Mainly because it was 200 Rupees cheap.  Few things I found interesting about Amber Fort and the area:

1.  They have two entrances, the moon and the sun door.  As I remember, the sun door is for common people and the moon door for royalties.
2.    The queen was kept hidden from everyone.  She watched shows or parades over her small window facing the courtyard.
3.  There are two palaces inside, the Winter Palace and the Summer Palace for obvious reasons.  Each queen got her own room.
4.  The Summer Palace used to be adorned by actual precious stones.  The Winter Palace is made of mirrors so the fire will reflect during performances.
5.  The rooms for the king's mistresses is constructed in labyrinth style and noone is allowed to see anyone, not even the mistresses unless they are in the common ground.
6.  The king tried to make saffron garden to no success.  The soil  is unsuitable for growing saffron.
7.  The fort is surrounded by man-made Lake.
8.  There are still royalties, ei Kings and Queens in Rajasthan. 
9.  Just like most palaces in India, the design on the palace entrance is hand painted with natural dye.  Gold and precious stones were used too.

I was attacked by a black faced monkey in Amber Fort.  Good thing I was quick to react, quick to react "fuckkkk!"  LOL!  I wasn't even looking at it.  I think it saw it's reflection on my sunnies and was distraught by it.  You can certainly feel my embarrassment and fear after the incident.
Amber Fort is located on top of a hill.  The drive was amazing.  It feels like I'm on a different country.  Well I was, but it feels more like Morocco as described by my friend.  :)

This entrance is hand painted with natural dyes, precious stones and gold.
The garden inside the palace.
The Winter Palace being cleaned.  I can imagine how it was a painful task.
The saffron garden and the man-made lake surrounding it.
Original piece of door from centuries ago.
Snake charmer. It sucks his snake didn't dance!  He didn't do a very good job of "charming" it and yet we still need to pay.  :P


1.  Take a guide.  He will tell you inside secrets and tell you the story of each room.  We paid 200 Rupees for the both of us.
2.  Bring food and water but keep your litter.  There was only few cafes at the end of the tour.
3.  Do not tease the animals to avoid getting attacked.
4.  Do not go with the guide when they say, I'm gonna show you something about Rajasthan, how they make this and that.  Yeah, it was interesting but they will take you to a big building selling souvenirs and you can't exit until you see everything.  Luke and I were a victim of this.  Thank God we have the courage to say no.  Hehehe.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

3.6.12: Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Three places to visit whilst in Jaipur's Pink City - 1.  Jantar Mantar  2.  City Palace  and 3.  Hawa Mahal.  These places are within close proximity with each other. When in doubt, ask.  :)

I wasn't interested in Jantar Mantar nor the City Palace.  Luke wanted to see Jantar Mantar though.  I told him that we saw the exact same thing in Delhi(only in red) on our way from Janpath but he couldn't recall.  

Jantar means instrument and Mantar, calculation.  It is a collection of astronomical instruments. But if you ask me, it looked more like a sculpture exhibit.  I didn't how know it functions but it is amazing to see how they can built something so modern hundreds of years ago. 

If you want to know more about Jantar Mantar, click here.
 Hawa Mahal can be seen from Jantar Mantar too. :)

 There are lots of squirrels in India. I've seen lots in Red Fort.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

3.6.12: Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Luke always consider what I want.  I won't disagree with that.  When he asked me where I wanted to go, I said Jaipur and Goa immediately without thinking and researching.  Little did I know that that's the best decision that I did.  I had so much fun everyday on this trip and still enamoured with India but I was most stimulated on the places that I picked.  :)

We only had a full day in Jaipur and for our first stop, Hawa Mahal.

Hawa Mahal means Palace of the Winds.  It is made of pink and red sandstone. That's how much I know about it.  We didn't pay for a guide. :P  It's architecture design is amazing and made me wish that I know more about architecture and design.  It's honeycomb fascade is the thing that attracted me most to it.

Entrance Fee:  50 Rupees


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