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Secession Session

Today I'd like to take the opportunity to congratulate His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I of the Principality of Hutt River on the fortieth anniversary of Hutt River's "secession" from Australia.

While the Principality of Hutt River is not recognised as a sovereign state by Australia (or anyone else for that matter), this man and his family declared independence from the Commonwealth of Australia back in 1970 and now pay no tax to Australia. That's right, in 1977, after demands for tax from the ATO and a refusal on the part of Australia Post to deliver mail there, the Hutt River Province (as it was then known) declared "war" on Australia. Hostilities ceased a few days later, mail service was restored and no more demands for tax was made. So... he went to war against Australia and won...

The guy is probably mad, but it's a good story. I hear that if you head up to the Principality, you get a visa in your passport. Apparently the place is quite the tourist draw card. They also have their own coins.

Check out the website.

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Things to get excited about

I'm taking advantage of next weekend being the ANZAC Day long weekend to go and see Sam in Adelaide, woo! My second ever trip to the eastern states in the eight and a half years I've lived here, if you can include SA as eastern. My friend Richard, the one I met in India, gave Perth his tick of approval as being better than Adelaide (in your face, Adelaide!) so I'm not sure what there is to do there, but really I'm going to see Sam so who cares if the place is boring?

In other travel plan news, I now have a vague itinerary of sorts for Euro10. I'll spend a couple of weeks in England doing the rounds of the rellies before flying out to meet the_moriarty in Athens. Already bought my flight for that; after adding on baggage and carbon offsetting (which the cynic in me thinks is possibly a big fat load of crap, but for 2 quid why not? I might as well appease my guilty global warming conscious side) it still only came to $80. This makes my return trip to Adelaide seem v. expensive at a whopping $320.

Anyhoo, after Athens, we're going to hop through the Cyclades down to Crete (still need to sort out the logistics of this, since it will be October and at the tail end of the tourist season. I don't know what this means for all the ferries). From Crete it's onwards to Rome, hopefully get to Pompeii, then up to Venice and across to France. The plan is to go to Marseille, which I've heard people say is a bit of a dump, but I think it sounds quite interesting. After that we'll be heading to Toulouse to check out some small places in the area and then we're going to Strasbourg to visit sci_fi_lullaby who'll be living there by then. BUT! On the way to Stras, we're going to stop off in Geneva (because it's kind of on the way) and do this: http://outreach.web.cern.ch/outreach/visits/ Sweet.

We were thinking about going to Cologne, which I've already been to, but one of the people I work with recommended Heidelberg as a beautiful and worth-visiting German town close to France, and since I've never been there, I'd like to go there instead. Then it's off to Paris (in all my years living in England, I never made it to Paris. Quel dommage) for a few days before popping back over to England to potter around a bit and see Ireland (yep, never made it to Ireland either. You really take these things for granted when they're on your doorstep. And I suppose when you're a child you don't really have the opportunity to do it anyway).

I have to sort out getting a Eurail pass but the whole thing confuses me somewhat so I'll have to pay a visit to STA and hope that Moriarty's friend there is as good as he says he is. Also, I'm kind of concerned about the money situation, in that I don't have any and this travel plan seems quite ambitious. Saving is however going quite well and my tax return will hopefully be quite good, so yeah... it should be ok. Hopefully. Also, hopefully all this travel will seem worthwhile when I'm 50 and still don't own my own home...

On a completely different topic, the new series of Doctor Who starts tonight, a mere two weeks after starting in ye olde UK. Brilliant. I am very, very excited. Here is an amusing video about Doctor Who fans by the Chaser:



Super.

In other entertainment news, I saw Showgirls last night and it was hands down the worst movie I've ever seen, and yet also the best, because watching awful movies with your friends is good entertaining fun. I love you goise.

Not in my house!

Outrage as Scrabble throws out the rule book and lets kids play with proper nouns | News.com.au

I am going to pretend this rule change never happened. It's a bit of a travesty, and removes part of the challenge of the game, but people often have house rules that relax or restrict official game rules anyway; I'll just have to be the humourless bastard who insists on the old rules.

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Perthpocalypse

I feel obliged to write about Monday's storm. I know I'm late to the party, but my electricity was off for 18 hours and I've only just really had time to put fingers to keys.

Well, what a mental day it was. I wish I had photos but all I had was my phone, and since I was fortunate enough to be inside for the worst of it, any photos I did take are just not worth it.

I was at work when the storm hit at about 4 - I have never seen anything like it. I sit by a window and the QV1 building is about 150 metres away. It was completely obscured. Hail literally as big as golf balls (or bigger...). I dreaded leaving work, but when I did it was during a lull, so I managed to get from office to bus without mishap, only for it to start peeing it down as soon as I stepped on the bus.

The water was so high it started to enter the bus. It got into the brakes and made them scream. We passed flooded cars and houses - utter carnage. Surprisingly it only took me an hour and twenty minutes to get home, where we had no power. The power came back on at 11 the next morning. We were lucky though; Noranda missed the worst of the storm and our cars live in a garage so no dents and smashed windscreens for us. I keep seeing pockmarked cars everywhere and I hear many are insurance write-offs.

The worst of it for me was that the lovely Winthrop Hall's stained glass windows were utterly destroyed, meaning that my graduation, that event signifying the completion of six loooooooooong years at uni.... was held in the gym. Super. Kind of took some of the magic out of it, but oh well, at least it was still held I suppose. I am now Jennifer Tate LLB BA W. Aust. WACKY.

The destruction of the Winthrop windows also led to the death of some of the ducks, from what I hear, though rumours of the death of one of the Arts peacocks are apparently unsubstantiated.

Thankfully, it seems there were no serious injuries or deaths from Monday, which is amazing and lucky, considering the level of the flash flooding and the mudslides around Kings Park. It is an insurance disaster though, but property is property.

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What have I done? Or, Woohoo!

I, er, just booked flights to England. I'm going 4 October and coming back 20 December. That's nearly two and a half months! I must be mad. It'll be freezing. But it'll also be the lead up to Christmas... Which will be amazing. The plan is to hit up Europe as well of course.

I can't afford this. Well, maybe I can but argh it's financial lunacy! Oh well. I do have to see my Grandparents soon so really I have to go anyway.

I think I'll have to buy thermal undies before I go.

In other news, I'm going to a 21st tonight of a person I haven't seen for about 18 months and barely know. The theme is to go dressed as a beloved character from your childhood. I do not have a costume because I am a bad, bad person. My brother says I'll stick out like a sore thumb. He's probably right.

Jan. 28th, 2010

A British man in the Australian Open final and I'm going to sodding miss it.

OK, so being at the Big Day Out is better than being glued to the TV, but still.

Triple J Hottest 100 2009

It's that time again! When the most stressful part of your day is trying to work out your top ten songs of the year, you know that you are a bum and that life is good.

My vote, in alphabetical orderCollapse )

Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh

Two weeks after arriving home, I've finally bothered to organise and upload my photos and actually write something about my trip!

I went to India and here's the evidence of a good timeCollapse )

So there you have it. India was brilliant and intense. It was emotionally and physically exhausting to travel there, and three weeks was definitely long enough, but I would go again some time and to anyone who wants to go I would say DO IT. I was however pretty cheesed off about getting food poisoning (from a place recommended by the Lonely Planet!) on our last day there and spending the entire morning puking. That was uncool. But otherwise, a great trip, and don't let fears of food poisoning put you off. Constant vigilance!

Triumphant return

Oh hi, I'm back. I arrived home on Monday night after three brilliant weeks and one godawful day in India (on the last day my brother and I had epic food poisoning and spent the day puking. Best way to end a trip, hm?). Refusing to allow one dodgy meal to ruin my trip, I can safely say it was a fantastic experience. I met some really great people and had a lot of fun, though sometimes it was a little difficult - it's a very intense place.

I also lost my phone unfortunately, but 3 has already sent me a replacement and I think I've managed to sort out my contacts (I backed up my old phone a while ago so most of my address book was recoverable), but I'm sure some people that I've missed will come out of the works. So if you message me and I reply to ask who it is, don't be offended!

I have many, many photos and I'll upload them to Flickr and Facebook soon but right now I just have to sift through them all and eliminate the crap.

It's a small world, after all

The most awesome thing happened last night. I met a friend of a friend, in South Perth, Western Australia, who comes from the same small English town (population 6,500) as me. We went to the same primary school (at different times; he's older than me) and knew some of the same people (e.g. our postman) and everything. When he said he was from Winchester I was just thrilled that he would have even heard of Bishop's Waltham, but when I told him that's where I used to live, his face just froze with shock.

It was good to have a chat about the place, but alas! Now I'm feeling a bit homesick. I didn't go back to Hampshire the last time I went to England, so the next time I go I should really pay the area a visit.