Reclaim the Beach

Last night we went to Reclaim the Beach, a party on the Thames. Perfect Summer Solstice weather and loads of people milling around and dancing to old-school funk tunes. Good fun! Only downer was the lack of toilet facilities -- we ended up walking all the way to Waterloo Station so Holly could expel all the beer we were drinking.

The only photos on my crappy, flashless camera that came out were the ones of the firetwirler. He was amazing: two sticks and total control, despite the uneven ground.

Have we gone native?

In case you missed it, the UK temperature record was broken yesterday with temperatures reaching 38.1° Celsius in Gravesend, East of London.

Holly and I really felt the heat. Back in Oz, we wouldn't be too worried about such temperatures, though we would have fans and air-conditioned workplaces to make life a bit more bearable. Over here, buying a fan would be a bit of a luxury, considering it's only needed for a few weeks a year.

There are, I guess, some other factors. The air was very still for most of yesterday, no cooling breezes. In Sydney, we expect a spectacular afternoon storm on a hot day. That doesn't often happen in London.

Still, the fact that we're really feeling the heat can't help but remind me that we've been here quite a while now. Mabye we're getting used to the weather? Well I sure hope it gets cooler in the South of France by September or we'll be melting.

Badger Rampage

And they say Australia has dangerous animals. Watch out for the badgers. Sounds like a bad horror flick!

Mr Weaver said there was no need for people to start fearing an onslaught of badger attacks.

Oh no Mr Weaver, you won't be fooling me this time! Badgers, and all badger-like animals, should be shot on sight.

My god, we won!

We went to an English pub in Kennington to watch the match last night, Australia vs England. We were the only Aussies in the pub but it was a good natured crowd, considering we whupped their butts.

A 3-1 win is just inconceivable. The fact that the first two goals were scored against England's top team and it was England's completely new second-half team, testing out their up-and-coming talent, who scored against us just caps it. Amazing! Of course the England squad isn't helped by some its key players being well off top form. Michael Owen hasn't scored in months and Beckham seemed to just be holding back for some reason.

With more wins like this, Soccer Australia can look forward to becoming the third most popular football code in Australia. After the next World Cup with our virtual guaranteed qualification, it could set its sights on League.

So the big question is: has somebody burnt down the football and put the ashes into an urn?

And of course we'll need to get into this English tradition of writing ourselves a World Cup song. You know, like the "Playing for England" tune by New Order. Any Australian anthem would have to make some reference to wogball...

Circular party

Last Friday, Holly and I managed to make it along to a party on the Circle Line. For those who don't know London, the Circle Line is the tube line that loops around the centre of London, the party advantages of which I'll explain later.

Anyway, the premise of the party was for people to turn up in disguise, looking like ordinary commuters on their way home. The crew who organised it, Space Hijackers, have done it once before on a much smaller scale. Internet-speed communications meant that word on this one spread like wildfire and they estimate about 600 people turned up!

Holly and I were actually a bit miffed because we'd bought tickets to see Tipsy, a San Franciscan space-age pop band on DJ Spooky's Asphodel label. I'd booked these about a week before finding out about the Circle Line party and Tipsy were certainly on my "must see" band, particularly with Luke Vibert DJing.

So anyway, we go to the gig. It actually turned out to be a bit of a fizzer. They hadn't sold many tickets, evidently, and in the cavernous Queen Elizabeth Hall, the atmosphere was, shall we say, sparse. Anyway, after Tipsy's remarkably short set, we figured bugger it and headed across the bridge to Embankment tube station to see if we could find the party.

Now the Circle Line is pretty big and it would take about 45 minutes to make a full circuit, so our chances of catching the party were pretty slim. Regardless we thought we'd try. As we descended into the station, a train pulled in. We ran down to check it out and it wasn't the right one. However, the train that pulled in on the opposite platform actually was! Amazing. So we sprinted up and over to just make it onto the train. What's more, a couple of stops later we wandered further down the train and managed to find a bunch of our mates.

So we made it, and it was excellent. Here's some pictures and reports:, and Fantastic party with music blaring from a guitar amplifier and everyone dancing and singing along.

At Edgeware Road, the train stopped. Clearly the Underground thought this would be a good place to stop the train and get all the revellers off. This is where the choice of the Circle Line is brilliant. The problem with London Underground's plan is that if the train was stopped, every other train on the Circle Line, and the three other lines that share sections of it, would be heavily delayed while ours was taken out of service. So everyone ended going around until Barbican, when the party ended.

Great party and keep an eye out for the next one. I can see this becoming a real tradition!