Whirlwind trip to Australia

Helen and I have just finishing up a two-week trip to Australia. Unfortunately we couldn’t see all the people we wanted to see because it was such a whirlwind trip. We stopped off in Tokyo for a night and went out with our friends for dinner. Tim and Anna showed us a current phenomenon in Tokyo at the tiny expat bars, which is loud 80’s music, photos of posing expats plastered over the walls, and lots of very drunk expats boisterously working their way to horizontal in the bar itself. We adjourned for some very tasty mojito cocktails at the Grand Hyatt in Rapongi. This was actually where we were staying, and very nice it was too! The room had one of those deep Japanese-style baths, and two showers. We certainly felt squeaky clean when we explored Tokyo.

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Winter Paris

Last weekend Helen and I, with our friends Mike and Alecia, and Glen and Claire went to Paris. The Eurostar is so quick and convenient… it’s pretty much 2.5 hours door to door. Claire and Glen have an apartment in Paris. It’s near the St Germaine area, which is a very funky part of town. Because they had lived in Paris for 4 years, we got taken to some very cool bars and clubs. Now Helen and I want to get a place over there!

Eye surgery

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning I went in to have Lasik eye surgery on my eye. It was a little freaky. Fortunately the freakiness didn’t last too long, and I walked out about an hour later a bit shakey and with foggy but clearer eye-sight. Helen helped me to walk home, and as I walked the anesthetic drops in my eyes wore off, and my eyes both hurt and started streaming with tears. I got home and took some asprin and lay in bed and listened to an audio book on my iPod.

My eyes started feeling a lot better yesterday evening, and today I feel almost completely normal (only with 20-20 vision!). I’m still a little worried of my eyes getting infected or something, but I am putting in my eyedrops regularly (anti-inflamitories and anti-bactarials). Tomorrow I’m going back in to work, and I’m blown away by how fast this whole process was. I reckon that if you told someone 10 years ago that they would be able to correct their myopia and be back to normal(-ish) within 48 hours, they wouldn’t have believed it.

Amato Saltone

Last night Helen and I, along with our friends Ben and Kate went to see Shunt’s production – Amato Saltone. It was very entertaining — and I love the space that it was showing in! I’d heard that Shunt had made so much money from a previous production, that they’d been able to buy the space they were performing in – the vaults in London Bridge.

In Amsterdam!

Helen and I, and our friends Mike and Alecia, were in Amsterdam last weekend. We had a great time over there! It reminded me a lot of Venice with all the canals. It was freezing cold over there – below zero (although not as cold as Russia is at the moment!). We stayed at Victoria Hotel, which is near the central train station (about 5 minutes walk). It is a very nice 4 star hotel, and I’d definitely stay there again. We went to Magazijn nightclub, which is a very nice and chilled-out club.

Alecia, Mike and Helen in Amsterdam

Using CVS and ssh under Emacs…

The easiest way to use CVS with ssh is to use ssh-keygen to generate a public/private key without a passphrase (so ssh won’t prompt you for a password). Upload the public key and put it in your ~/.ssh/authorized_keys directory on the ssh server. Try checking out your project now – you should be able to check it out without having to type in a password. Make sure the environment variable CVS_RSH is set to ssh so you are using ssh as the transport.

Put the following line in your .emacs file and you should be able to check stuff in and do version control using emacs and VC:

(setenv "CVS_RSH" "ssh")

Laziest days ever

Helen and I just had the laziest New Years day ever! We just had our own Kagami Baraki of DVD watching, specifically Veronica Mars, a very cool TV series about (I know it sounds lame) a girl who helps her father who is a private investigator. It’s a very cool detective story – thoroughly recommended.

For the 99.9% of people who don’t know what Kagami Baraki is, it’s a Japanese ceremony held at the start of the year, where you are supposed to reflect about your life and actions of the previous year, and (if you are involved in martial arts especially) reaffirm your commitment to training. Well we certainly didn’t “energize our whole year” this weekend, but it was great having such a relaxing time.

Photos from New Years Eve 2005/2006

Here are some photos I took from my phone last night. We had a great night, with some good friends over. We drank lots of champagne, ate lots of food, and the boys won at Pictionary! Then we walked down to watch the fireworks at midnight.

Group photo Watching the fireworks

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s the eve of another year here in Covent Garden, London. We’re looking forward to a lot more travel in 2006. For us, 2005 was:

  1. New Years with friends in Margaret River, Western Australia
  2. Sydney, Australia
  3. London, UK
  4. Paris, France
  5. Venice, Italy
  6. Barcelona, Spain
  7. South of France
  8. Andorra
  9. Sydney, Australia
  10. Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
  11. Auckland, New Zealand
  12. Queenstown, New Zealand
  13. Tokyo, Japan
  14. Scotland, UK
  15. London, UK

We immigrated to London in August on the highly-skilled migrant programme, so as you can see it’s been a busy year!