Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve 2005

This is me about to leave for the New Year's Eve Party:


Rich relaxing not long before the champagne was handed out:


And finally Brett toasts 2006:


Last Day Brunch

This morning Rich hosted a "Last Day" (of 2005) brunch for some friends. Pictured are (L-R) Darren, Brian, Rich, Michael and Brett.


Cosy Moment

A lovely Christmassy scene in Rich's lounge, with the Christmas tree all lit-up and an open fire burning in the grate. Quite the moment to enjoy before brunch.


Friday, December 30, 2005

Michael & Rich

A rather grainy, enhanced picture of Richard (right) and Michael his new boyfriend (left) as we partied on Austin's 4th Street.


Austin: Lake Travis

Austin's Lake Travis, looking rather low on water.


Austin Skyline

Downtown Austin viewed across the Colorado River


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Austin: The Lights of 37th Street

In Dallas they did it too, but I didn't see anything on quite the scale of Austin's 37th Street. Most of the residents had clearly gone to a lot of trouble to plan and construct their house's Christmas light display. Most of them seemed to have some kind of a theme (for no readily apparant reason) and would create tableaux or decorate household objects with lights.

This is the view from the end of the street:

This house had an aquatic theme to their display:

And this one was just SO over the top it left my jaw hanging. You were able to walk around the house, through the front and back gardens, to experience this pretty idea run-wild.

Here you see the corner of the house, festooned with sets of Christmas lamps still all lined up in their packaging and nailed to the wall...



I liked the simplicity of this one, although I hate to think how many strings of lights are involve and how much it would cost to run them.

Here's Brett, basking in the warmth given off by the lights.

Bored on I-35

The scenery on the road from Dallas to Austin proved to be not very exciting so I started mucking around with the camera on my phone to alleviate the boredom. Here's a picture of how bored I was:


Followed by some slightly better shots of sunset over the plains of Texas:



Share The Guilt

Ice cream, cake, chocolate sauce, butterscotch topping? Four spoons please!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

An Unusual Christmas Gift

After lunch, Chris drove me around some of the different neighbourhoods in their area. Everything from low-rent to grand mansions on 'Swiss Avenue'. Below is a picture of one of the mansions where I thought the Christmas decorations were a little bit over the top - especially gift-wrapping the extension!


Cycling along Turtle Creek

A very pleasant ride along the cycle track near Kevin & Chris' home in Dallas took me to a public park area around Dallas' Turtle Creek. A little bit yellow, as their grass dies off over the winter, but the sunshine helped make the morning.




Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Not saying anything about the portion sizes you get served here, but this is a label I spotted on a pile of t-shirts in a Dallas branch of Foot Locker...


Lunch with Alex

Here's Alex B driving us back from lunch. See here for more.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Firearms Prohibited

This polite sign reminding people not to bring their lethal weapons in with them to watch the movie spotted at a cinema in Dallas.


Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Christmas Present Frenzy

Last night we were all at Brett's sister's house with the family to have a Christmas Dinner and unwrap the presents.

The 'before' shot. All of the presents under the tree. Roughly six sets of adults buying presents for somewhere in the region of nine children AND each other makes for a lot of acreage required to pile them all up.

The chaos begins; Steve plays Santa and hands out gifts one at a time while trying to maintain an exclusion zone around the tree.

The 'after' shot. Most of the presents are unwrapped by this point and most of the children gone elsewhere to play with the gifts. All that remains is for the adults to clear up the mess. In the end we filled three bin bags just with wrapping paper and had a mountain of cardboard boxes...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bush: I don't think you're ready for this jelly!

I don't think you're ready for this jelly!

President Bush practicing his Bootylicious choreography for a special guest appearance at the LGMC's Christmas Concerts perhaps?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

How Christmas Should Be

Christmas as it should be

Us enjoying the Christmas season, lazing at home before heading out to the LGMC's Christmas Concert in Brighton.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Oh, Christmas Tree...!

Oh, Christmas Tree...!

Brett and I have been decking the halls ready for the festive season.

Deck The Halls

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dinner with Friends

Had dinner with a few friends last night. We were at The Laughing Gravy on Blackfriars Road, which is becoming a bit of a regular haunt. Nine people were able to make it in the end (Rosie had called-off as she wanted a quiet night in after all of her recent exertions)


It was good to see Rod & Jess again; the book business is going well (it being just before Christmas) so they are very busy – and then there’s the day job!


Dan (looking a little bored here!) is getting settled into his new job working for an investment group. It’s hard work as he is setting up their London office and so working long hours, but it looks like it’s going to be worth it.


Paul has had his teaching contract extended and he and David (who wasn’t there) are shortly celebrating their anniversary. He was also giving us some interesting tips on Housing Associations and shared purchasing options which we hadn’t considered before.


I didn’t get to talk to Ping much, but as we’d only had lunch together the previous day, I expect I already had all of his news.


Russell is busy with his new job, working on the edge of the political sphere near Westminster, while he and his partner Ed are sorting out their new house in Hampstead and standing for the local council.

John is in the country again for the near future and, as well as frittering away this last week that he had taken off, he’s planning on spending Christmas with his family.

It was a pleasant evening on the whole, catching up on the people I haven’t seen in a while and hearing everyone’s plans for Christmas.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


On the train home this evening, I spotted this guy:
watching either a movie or a series of music videos on his mobile phone. Two thoughts went through my mind:
  1. He is so showing-off his 3G mobile phone because,
  2. That looks like an such uncomfortable position to keep your arm for a couple of hours!
Am I just becoming an old fuddy-duddy when I think, "why would anyone want to watch a movie - or even a regular TV programme - on such a tiny screen in such an intrusive environment as a commuter train?"

Pass me the pipe and slippers, darling.

Thank you.