Major Adventures

Just a bloke's records of how his life unfolds.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

JULY 14-21, 2006

Hey there you!!
Sorry this is a combined Major Adventures, I have been soooo busy with moving countries and flats and houses and catching boats, avoiding drowning, floods and sunstroke let alone wild Kangaroo steaks, wild Jewish kids and the like. It's been a great fornight including the birfdee of my beautiful baby sister. Happy Birthday Sis!! I am currently sitting here writing about my adventures as emails from friends are coming in its a sweet sweet medium this electronic age we are all living in. Makes the world all that bit smaller. I am listening to some good Aussie music too, INXS and John Farnham. I have found this wonderful website which warrants anyone who buys CDs monthly to have the internet. is a russian LEGAL MP3 site and charges around US$2.50 per CD and for me on £ stirling it costs me only a fraction of that. It certainly means that the unlimited ADSL is paying for itself as I have downloaded near on 8 albums for US$15. Its great as it has the TOP 50 albums from many countries and includes France, Italy, USA, UK, Russia, plus heaps of tunes from around the world. You can download the whole album or song by song for about 0.09c each.
Have a great week and until next edition ... Cheers, Beers and Hooroo!!


YAYAYAY is all I could say to being on holidays at the end of the 5 week working assignment I had at the Jewish school in London. Yay for summer holidays and Yay for going back to France.

The end of year function was a BBQ – Aussie themed as there are so many Aussies over here and at the school. We are a popular bunch of people, as I think in the PE department 80% are Aussies. In the technology department there is only me! So a huge Jewish BBQ to end the school year was had with an Australian theme. I need not rave about the function itself, as we all know end of year good byes n speeches and all that jazz… Let me explore the ideas of Judaism and food…

It can all start 3 days earlier when I was invited to my line manager’s house for a a BBQ with the rest of the Technology department in order to celebrate a good year’s work. It was also a good opportunity to meet the lady I have been replacing who is on sick leave due to aggressive cancer, which, I hope she is beating, she is extremely positive about it all and in good form with her forked tongue and sense of humour. My initiation to the Jewish food fare was by Shelley’s husband who simply said, to be Jewish in a Jewish household, just eat, eat and eat all that is offered and is on offer. It sounds like the same advice given to me by my Italian friends, Greek friends, Pakistani friends and of course the French. I like how Food is a social adhesive in so many circles of friends.

Now, with that being said, the BBQ at work starts with the Food Technology kitchen spaces being covered with Foil, then plastic cling wrap then foil again to ensure that nothing ‘non kosher’ can happen … apparently the foil is blessed and plastic wrap too. Only the head food guy (Shomar) was allowed to light the BBQs and I had to use his knives to separate the beef Kosher sausages, couldn’t use other knives in the Jewish school as they perhaps we not Kosher.

As a BBQ is only used once a year or so in this school, they cannot afford the upkeep in keeping the BBQ Kosher and clean as it would have to be blessed, sealed and blessed again by the religious Jewish food guru and apparently its impossible regardless of the different suggestions I made for next year. Alas, we were cooking on 15 disposable BBQ bought from the local TESCO supermarket, I take it he had blessed them too before unwrapping them. It was certainly an interesting sight to witness and one that I would never be associated with again from a logistics point of view, if it was a gig of mine I would have been stressed out of my head, however, it was Shelley’s gig so I was calm. The vegetarians weren’t so impressed that I placed all the Vegetarian foods under a large blow up Kangaroo though. Woops … I just thought it would be a good indicator and the fact that Kangaroos are vegetarians too.

North to South … Opposite Poles … Electricity

It's all done with sound and lights!

The sky turns pitch black at least 2 hours earlier than the sun is scheduled to part. Looking in the rear view mirror, it is blacker than you could possibly remember, it was like a see you had just been reading with the kids in a Jewish studies cover. The sky is pitch black but so dramatically lit up by fork lightning strikes which start from the heavens and reach down to the ground going deep into the depths of the Devil’s den. This is all beautifully contrasted by the gentle and non intimidating sheet lightning which gave a serene, somewhat calming effect. Suddenly, you reach the turn off you need which takes me to the autoroute you need to get to Malesherbes. Then it starts: the sheets and sheets of academy award winning rain that pelts down in a Jack The Ripper Movie style, so much so that visibility is zero, the road turns into an instant babbling brook going through puberty. It’s necessary to park on the bridge of the road so as the great aluminous bright white eyes approaching from behind at 120kms per hour do not collect you and take you back to the mother ship.

The road that you normally take, and you have taken over 20 times all of a sudden no longer resembles the road you thought you knew so well and takes on a personality all of its own. There is a new sign ahead that says ‘detour’, you at this stage, think this is all a little bit ‘Scary Movie’ ‘Psycho’ in plot and wonder whether in fact you have travelled through a portal and ended up on a film set of the latest Hollywood thriller. You know the town you are being detoured to and through, however, you don’t understand why you are being taken this way, then that way, and why couldn’t you go down that road … finally after more furiously falling rain, you end up back on the road that you originally wanted, still being cautious of the fact that visibility was as good as Grand Pa’s coke bottle lenses smeared with Vaseline.

Finally navigating the roads, you find the exit off the autoroute and the road leading to Milly le Foret and finally into Malesherbes, you hope you are going to make it, it’s now 10:15pm you left London some 10 hours ago. Driving along, no lights except those of your tiny Twingo, 1.2 litre, 16 valve guacamole green in colour, how is this going to beat the evil spirits when my very own Scooby-do was in Malesherbes and all you had was your Superman lanyard? Getting back to the pitch black road, night sky, not a single light could be seen for kilometres, there was eeriness in the air as your lights shone through this fog that was lifting from the dark depths of the bitumen. It was seriously spooky just like from a horror movie, all the towns were dead quiet you drove through them, no lights on in the houses, many street lights were out, churches seemed to be under the cover of dark clouds and they seemed to have less of a presence tonight than ever before.

Arriving home, again no lights on, Froggie not answering the door at first ring of the bell, you could hear the snuffles of Scooby-do’s Aussie mate, Harry, who recognised the sounds of El -Gringo the guacamole green Twingo turn up.

The Perfect European Mix?

So when you speak to most of the other staff that I work with at the school, they own a house in country France and of course, like me, live and work in London. It sounds like a ‘dreamy’ concept. I was speaking to Gary about it and we were saying what a great concept it would be. He then so pointedly showed me that I in fact, live and work in London and have a house in country France. How lucky am I?

I woke up this morning, cuddling the Harrymeister who was ecstatic to see me when I returned on Wednesday evening. There was a cooler breeze last night so a better night’s sleep. I woke up to the smell of croissants and pains au chocolates and a nice freshly brewed pot of café.

I have always loved the stone buildings and houses and walls in all the picture perfect European guide books. Only to discover this morning as I was sipping on my chilled freshly pressed cloudy apple juice that I was facing a beautiful stone wall, covered in ivy with the dog by my feet at a table eating a nice French breakfast after being in London slaving away for 5 weeks. Perhaps this is the Utopia people have been describing. I know one thing, its very nice to be back in the country and not in the city.

I love the city and all it has to offer, however, this is my ideal post, to sit and relax, lying son on the sofa bed with dog watching DVDs, downloading music, blogging, learning Italian and all the likes. Taking a casual stroll through the streets of the country town in which we live, to the supermarket and hearing all the crazy French being crazy. I went through the supermarket yesterday and just walked around like the Cheshire cat, all smiles. It is really nice to be back in France.

Harry went on a 4 week holiday in Portugal whilst his papa went to the UK to work. I think its only fair that he gets a few pictures up for himself. I tried to log into his collar cam but it wouldn't come on line remotely.
I have asked him to describe the holiday, he said that the car ride was OK a little too long in his books but reminded him of the fun he used to have on the road in Australia.
He said that riding in the Alfa was fun and it felt good on his fur. He did go on to say that he would have preferred if Grand-Ma had ridden in the front so as Harry could have full view of the road ahead. "Next Time Perhaps".
Harry, Froggie and Grandma all went to Portugal together down to the holiday house which Froggie's parents have been doing up beautifully to restore it to its original state. Its in a area that you could swear was good rugged Australian bush with miles and miles of eucalyptus trees. The climate here in summer is beautiful and dry and a very very hot, searing, 38°C.
These photos are of Harry on his own Major Adventure with the Frog. He's a good actor as you can tell, he was asked to pretend to be 'road-kill' with all the kangaroos we have seen on Australian roads, he was quite convincing in his role, I believe.
He is all safe and sound back in his bedroom in Malesherbes awaiting my return this week. I could not wait to see him. HARRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

My love of holidays increases so much more when I am in France and able to read all of the books I bought in England on e-bay for next to nics price. This book, has a face value of £16,30 in the UK, I paid £4,75 including postage, so a deal and a half. Thanks!

The book is simply written about a 9 year old boy and his move from Berlin with his parents to 'Out-With'. It follows his adventures as only 9 year old boys can go on. Its got some really nice images and others that just stop you in your track. There is no blurb on the book from the authors it just says to follow the adventures of this little boy. You can wish that he never found that fence, its always nice to read a story from another perspective and from the eyes of a 9 year old and his innocent perspective. A very easy read but not an easy topic.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why dogs attack their owners...Pourquoi les chiens attaquent-ils leurs propriétaires...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Adult Movie Rating,,, who said I wasnt a grown up?

Just a bit of fun to see if I have a life and what films I would like to see or identify with. Hrmmm why dont you try it. Talking of films, I saw Superman the other night, for a Superman film in all its corniness, not a bad flick at all. Wednesday night will be Jonny in Pirates.

Ciao Ciao

My life has been rated:
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Created by Bart King

What does this mean?

Suitable for 18 years or older. This is real life. Anything in this category is considered to be of subject matter relating to adult life, that happens day in and day out. Walking down the street is an 18 certificate. You have a life, well done.

Examples: American Beauty, Fight Club, any film that’s good

More Travel Needed

I have been looking at this website and thinking that I need to see more places and do more things so its time for some serious 'plans for future travels'. This map shows the countries I have been to, nto necessarily stayed for a long time but enough to get my passport stamped, if I had the chance.

create your own visited country map

create your personalized map of europe
or check out our Barcelona travel guide

July 17 2006

Major Adventures & London Times

So I decided that I needed to explore a little of the West End and the shows that are on offer. I have had so many friends who have lived in London and whom have visited London purely for seeing a show on the West End. Off I hopped onto the net to and picked myself up a ticket in the front rows for the musical Chicago. It was a sexy, sensual explosion of talent that was performed in a small theatre with only props, no sets. On Thursday night, I headed back into town to a small theatre on Russell St to see a great play, The Woman in Black. 2 guys on a stage, 5 props and fantastic display of talent, its the first piece of theatre that has actually made me jump in my seat with a fright.
Of course, there is the opening of Superman the movie, which I went and saw on the opening night in London with my flat mate.
There were the fanantic fans there with their t-shirts on. Me, I had my lanyard that the gorgeous Jo Fasola gave me and I wore it with pride, I did, however, ensure that I left my jocks on the inside of my pants and not on the outside.

The Week at Work
Its been a very very interesting week at work this week with the advancements between Isreal and Lebanon, the school I work at is an active publically political pro-Isreal school, and of course with the action in the Middle East, all security has been stepped up at the school as well. Its been very interesting to be 'listening' to the conversations of the the 'High Jews' during break times. They have been great with me and explaining things to me that I have been ingnorant about. We will see what happens after the retaliations this weekend and see if Iran stays out or not. Its not looking too promising though.

The students
have been well behaved on the most part, I have described already the 'unreal' aspect of teaching these robotic, boot camp products. I have been impressed that a few of them have tried to rebel and test me. Last week one student had the audacity to say that one of my lessons was repeditive and irrelavent. Hrmmm listen here Princess... After a good talking too her in the class an opportunity for her to proove her wealth of knowledge of GCSE Food Technology, she then slouched back to her chair and sooked. The next lesson, she entered the room all chirpy, 'Hi Sir, how are you?' and was and angel telling her peers to concentrate and do their work. One student I had sent to Room 17 was released a week later, she is a new person! So its gone around the school that Mr. Major is strict, but funny! You try to get students to hate you and get a bad reputation but you can just never succeed, students are just too forgiving aren't they!

The week was broken up nicely with a delicious BBQ at Gary and Dave's house; a nice home cooked meal in a house with a lounge room. Thanks guys, again!!

A Saturday With Sa
Finally, I was able to catch up with Sam and we ventured out into the big smoke of London, first of all the goal was to do the Monopoly Board Tour of London. This, however, proved to be too hard whilst finding so many other attractions that took our attention away... so the Monopoly pictures can be placed now as a work in progress! The question was of course, which way to go, where, when and how. So, we meandered through the city...Initially searching for Monopoly sights then just getting dsitracted by the hive of activity which honestly did my head it. There were millions of people ust buzzing around everywhere. The feel of London in summer is so much more positive and enthralling than that of London in winter. The Londoners are more friendly, happier, more helpful and personable. We had lunch at a wonder chain 'modern asian' called Wagamama: this restaurant has provided me with my next objective whilst staying the next 5 months in London, to try something from the menu every week. Reasonable prices and huge servings in a cool, calm and relaxed environment. After Chilli chicken and ginger noodles and a slice of white chocolate and ginger cheesecake, we decided it was time for a little exercise.
Walking through Leister Square, the 'cheaptix' capital for theatre goers, we headed for Covent Garden markets where there were a heap of street performers, buskers and all things interesting, TOO MANY PEOPLE but a great atmsphere. We found some of the icon of London and they were fairly easily accessible as the town was being prepped for a festival and parade on Sunday. Here I am, somewhere in town with Big Ben behind me.

The London eye was very very appealing until I considered being stuck in a glass capsule for 45 minutes on a full strength 32°C day in London town, great views no doubt, but I dont they have invented a deodourant quite industrious enough. So we continued on a walk right along the Thames river, through book markets, street performers, through a 'snack time' Turkish festival and fnially ending up at London Bridge, 7.5 hours later ready to take the tube back home for me to die on the bed and not move until 11am Sunday.

The London Buses on a River Thames Bridge, the colourful lit footpaths in London and of course the famous Punch and Judy in Covent Garden.

Tate's Modern Art Museum, was the old Power Utilities off the Monopoly board, now a magical transformation into a superb space I was so very impressed.

Traditional red phone boxes, I am still in search of the Dr. Who blue Police Box, but no luck so far. Just as there was no luck for the people who ended up in the clink here in London. This is the notorious jail house which gave the name 'clink' to all other prisons in the world. It's a dark, grime place down under in the sewers of London.

I am currently searching for summer work, preferably in Europe somewhere as I have six weeks to kill, I'd like to be working somewhere else and earn some money, meet some nex people and see more places. I have placed my CV with a couple of job agencies offereing camp work: I'd be good at that one!! ;) I have not heard from the job interview in Italy as of yet. Saying that, however, I did buy a Learn Italian book and CD today and have done 1/2 an hours practice.
Still not enough money in the pocket to get back to Australia for the contract at Overnewton, with not getting paid over the 6 weeks holidays, it is just a no goer, unfortunately. The position I am currently working in has been definitely extended to the 23rd of December 2006, unfortuntately it is a replacement position for a lady who is so very sick with cancer. Its not a nice position to replace a sick person. I hope that I have the opportunity to give the post back to her. I wrote to Overnewton and said that I couldnt take up the position, they were very understanding, disappointed as too am I: no thanks to the end of contract in France.
Travel plans in the air at the moment for Australia and will keep you posted, you know it would just be easier for you all to come over here!!

Everybody take care of yourselves and send positive energy and positive thinking vibes out there to the people in the middle of all the bombing and attacks. The world is going mad, finally its not just me!!

Beers n Cheers


Monday, July 10, 2006



LONDON TIMES : July 10, 2006

July 7 – 1 year after the London Blasts

This was an emotional day in London, I think for the UK in general. There was a 2 minutes observance of silence across the UK in remembrance of the waste of lives as a result of the bombing on London's transport network. It was broadcast on the BBC including a vigil in Reagent's Park.
We all observed the 2 minutes silence at work, including all the students, we all stood for the time. Staff shared their stories from where they lived, the loss of friends and family members. I have to tell you, I wanted to go into Reagent's Park for the ceremony but I wasn't feeling the most confident pour throwing myself down into the bowels of London.

A Walk Through My Neighbourhood
I have been doing a bit of walking of late, trying to find new and interesting places around the place I live. I have been going into the city a couple of times a week to see different sites and meet new people. It's a bit fun really!
There was a French market on High Street last Thursday and Friday, so it provided me with the perfect opportunity to speak French and tell the stall holders that they were charging far too much for the generic brands of foods. They were charging up to 5 times the French shelf value, making a killing