Summer plans are coming together

Yes, its been a busy month here in Istanbul. Finished my work on Vodafone live! and now starting a new project.  But Ian and I have been really lucky got a few things coming up.

First off, we got tickets for Glastonbury … along with 170,000 other people. My first Glastonbury. Everyone pray for fine sunny weather please!

The in July, we are going to Glade Festival, this is my 3rd Glade and I’m really happy to be going back.

A little bit sad, as we are not going to Sonar in Spain, but really its the week before Glastonbury so can’t do that as well. Ho hum.

Actually June and July are going to be crazy months for me. Look out for more info on what I’m doing and your own personal invite to join something new.

War on Words?

File this under … Bloody Brits or Bloody Aussies??

Britain may no longer parrot the US on the “war on terror”, but George Bush can still count on his other loyal ally, Australia, following a ruckus over a British diplomat’s remarks on the war in Iraq.

The tough-talking Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, today took issue
with the British high commissioner to Australia, Helen Liddell, who had
told reporters that Iraq was never seen as part of the “war against

In doing so, Ms Liddell, who was in Tony Blair’s cabinet when the decision was made to invade Iraq in 2003, has sparked a right row
in Australia as opposition politicans gleefully seized upon her remarks
to attack John Howard’s government over its staunch support for George
Bush over Iraq. The government was quick to back the US invasion,
providing some 2,000 troops to help topple Saddam Hussein and about 300
Australian troops remain in Iraq.

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Amina Album

The Sigur Ros email this month is all about Amina and their new album! Ian and I saw them a couple of times in London last year. I was really excited at the time about their music and now here comes and album!

Equally, if not more importantly, amiina’s debut album, ‘Kurr’, will be available through their website from March 21st. It can be preordered now here along with a new range of related merchandise and will also be available on the tour. Amiina are currently negotiating record deals to release the new album through traditional routes, but meantime, this is best and only the way to acquire this quiet gem of a debut. In addition, the existing EPs are now available as a download here.



Originally uploaded by DamienOz.

I was going through some old photos of me and decided to upload a few ‘classics’ from my days in Sydney.

There are a few funny ones – like this lovely white look, one I miss the most! and yes that was a big piercing in my eyebrow!

They have all been added to Flickr but you must be a ‘friend’ ie you have your own account on Flickr so that you can see them,

London in A Bag

London in A Bag

Originally uploaded by DamienOz.

No I haven’t forgotten about London … and to remind myself of home, I went a bit crazy and brought myself these wooden toys from Muji.

Hours of fun to be had – pushing some little wooden blocks around and creating new city landscapes … or even using them as a map to try to show people where I live! How great is that!

Nice one Andy!

Andy who?

Originally uploaded by DamienOz.

So Andy made it to the Aussie open and I think a lot of people were hoping the UK No 1 could do good.

The result seemed predictable … BUT BUT BUT if he has a good year on court, who knows where he might be in the Aussie Open next year.

Hmm was Leyton Hewitt one of the youngest people ever to get to No 1 ?

2006 NYE

If you haven’t figured out yet that I came to London for NYE … then maybe you could get in touch …

We both came back from Istanbul, I get to go to the office and Ian went back to work earlier than he planned. Which is actually good news as that means he has more annual leave to come see me.

We ended up at Brixton Academy for a party – this is a really old theatre with a great main room (slippery vinyl and yucky old carpets to keep you on your toes.  Amazing sound and a great recap of some of the best in house and trance from the last couple of years … good party stuff.

Anyway off to Ian’s parents for the weekend, before heading back to Istanbul for work.

a few of my favourite things from 2006

In no particular order here are a few of my favourite things that

1. Barcelona for Sonar Music Festival – 3 days and 2 nights of music and arts/visuals associated with electronic music

2. Moving to Turkey for 6 months (kind of) work

3. Back to Aus and NZ with Ian

4. e.s.t. jazz trio as part of the London Jazz Festival

5. Sigur Ros live with Amina

6. Radiohead live

7. International Gourmet Veg Dining – Level 42 Sydney, Sketch London, Christophs Amsterdam – and so many others!

8. Shakespeare at the RSC  in Stratford-upon-Avon and in particular, the Knee High Theatre Company

6am from my London home

6am from my London home

Originally uploaded by DamienOz.

In case you missed me last week … I was in London for 2 days. Came back as part of my team were in London doing systems training and I wanted to be sure of supporting them.

While I was there … got the chance to head to the London Jazz Festival and check out some cutting edge new jazz.

Ian grabbed a few of his things and came down to Istanbul for the weekend … we got up really early on the Friday morning by London standards, so I managed to get this shot on camera … phone … pretty good I reckon

Halloween and more

Pumpkin Head

Originally uploaded by DamienOz.

It’s getting dark, the days are colder and shorter. Halloween has beeb and Guy Fawkes night is here.

Tonight all we can see from the apartment are fireworks across the London skyline … really amazing and something more. So much to watch.

I’ve finished my packing and just doing the last washing / drying before closing the suitcase. Heading off to Istanbul first thing in the morning.

Save the Children Christmas Wish List

Save the Children has launched its ‘Wish List’ range of Christmas gifts for the developing world, which is sold purely online.

The charity has set up a ‘Wish List’ online shop, to sell a range of around 25 gifts intended to help the lot of children in poor countries.

If you have any spare change for Christmas presents or want to give a gift that ‘keeps on giving’ then try this out.

As you know, I’ll be in Turkey so make sure you send my birthday presents!! and then buy me a Christmas present from here!

… oh and the elephant is sneezing because it tried to eat a chilli plant!

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20060930 Dad’s coming back

So my father returns from his pilgrims walk around northern Spain on Monday. Having been gone only 7 weeks, he did the walk faster than we all expected and went on to see more.

Since finishing the walk 2 weeks ago, he has travelled to Portugal – Fatima as part of the pilgrimage and then to Lisbon. He then bused to Madrid and took a slow slow painful bus to Paris. He’s there right now and I hope he’s enjoying himself. I’m betting he comes back a little more tired a little too sore and probably never wants to walk anywhere ever again! But congrats on actually doing the walk.

This week I’ll try to organise for him to come to visit Istanbul with me. It’s something to jump at. I’ll be down there this week for meetings with my project team and possible partners to work with. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go out and look around some more. Thanks to JJ for his steady support and supply of articles on where to go out.

20060927 Shakespeares’ Cymbelline @ Stratford-Upon-Avon

As the RSC this year is doing all the works of Shakespeare, it’s time to dust off one of the lesser known plays. This one is part tragedy, part comedy – your left not too sure what it wants to be. It’s a great story – the King, Cymbelline has been lost in his depression since his 2 sons were kidnapped 20 years before and his only daughter has gone against and married his adopted son. He’s remarried and the former nurse is just power hungry and her son is worse. Complicated … just like Shakespeare really!

This new production by Kneehigh Thearte Company – who did Tristan and Yseult last year that I loved so much … is full of energy, flashing lights, explosions, songs and dance. Done in a small thearte ‘in the round’ style and very experimental, you’d be forgiven to think it even was Shakespearian drama.

After an astonishing few years of creative frenzy, Kneehigh has emerged as a major force in contemporary theatre. With its vivid, physical storytelling style, Cornwall’s award-winning, and ground breaking theatre company interpret Shakespeare for the first time.

Artistic Director Emma Rice and writer Carl Grose will create a new adaptation of the rarely performed Cymbeline. This wild, giddy and elemental production will see Kneehigh dance through invasions, misunderstandings, intimacies and betrayals, with heart-stopping poetry, live music and touching madness. Never has confusion been so pleasurable and surprising.

20060916 Back home for a few days

Well I have been getting around a bit lately … just home today from my visit to Istanbul. A very busy couple of days work and some good times. I stayed in an old palace now converted to hotel – Çırağan Palace (say jiraan) on the banks of the Bosporus.

By Friday rolled around I had exhausted myself and headed back to the old town. Walked past a few of the places I visited in 2004 before getting lost in the maze of the Grand Bazaar.

Lights in the Bazaar

So a few hours of great shopping later … I headed back to the hotel. Thinking I’d have a nice soak in the hamaam before heading out, I was thrown by the fact they wanted 70USD for this! So I’ll just have to find a good place next time.

This week, I’ll be off to Johannesburg. I think I’m starting to miss my home comforts so just having a quiet night at home.

20060911 The coming week

Ok it’s a solemn day today – 5 years on since the WTC was removed from the NY skyline along with a few thousand good people. This week is going to be busy with a trip away to Istanbul, TR and next week I’m off to Johannesburg, ZA for work.

Walked into work today listening to Aerosmith‘s album from 1989 – Pump. You so quickly forget how much of a masterpiece this was for its time. Just about every track on this album got released and did bloody well in NZ at the. ‘Love in an Elevator’ I remember as a hit of that summer.

I think at the time, I might have gone along to see them live … but now I’m not sure. The power of Google doesn’t extend to what I was doing in 1989.

I’m heading back to Turkey this week too … Istanbul. Yes, going to talk to them about Vodafone live! and a few organisational things. They have put me in an old summer palace that is now a hotel … on the Bosphorous, I hope the weather is nice. Yay!

Back on Friday night and maybe Rick will be here – or maybe he won’t. Not sure just yet.

Out on Sunday night to see an interesting progressive/electronica act called Matmos with Levon. Going along without Ian (thanks for the tickets) as he’s off to his Grandfathers 80th!

Some more on Dad

Well he is in a town of 80 people right now called Terradillos de los Templarios. Its HERE on the map. He’s heading towards a city called Leon which is quite big and famous for its history and culture.

He’s got about 400kms to go and thinks he should be in Santiago within 15 days … so um thats still a lot of walking to do!

20060829 Away again to Iceland

Well I have a ‘full’ week ahead of me … off to Iceland tomorrow for work. First work trip of the ‘year’ now that summer is ending. Will be going up there to talk to them about mobiles, segmentation, internet, propositions and generally all that stuff. I get back Friday night.
It’s Ian’s birthday next week so we are off to dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s at Claridges mmmm vegitarian degustation tasting menu …….. oh I’m a food junky. He’s chosen his presents (dinner was one) and so there won’t be any last minute surprise I think. I did however buy a rather flash Digital SLR from Canon and it came with a couple of funky lens so maybe Ill offer to take a portrait shoot or two. Though photos are not very nice.

I also sorted out a trip to South Africa – you might have noticed it in the section of what I’m up to on the right. So that will be good, I just hope to actually get to do some tourist stuff this time. Rather than just go from compound to compound. Let’s hope.

20060822 No more festivals for 2006

Well its been a busy and if some what hectic couple of weeks. We went to Wales on the weekend for an alt.folk / indie / rock festival called the Greenman – so still feeling tired from that. Festivals and camping can be quite cool I think, here are some Laws that seem to be fixed …

1) festivals involve lots of good music. If there is shit music or no music there is Beer

2) festivals in England are usually sunny … festivals in Wales involve RAIN (copious amounts).

3) festivals give the excuse that you can eat anything – but you’ll pay 10x the amount you’d pay in an corner store.

4) there are great people there – all getting pissed, all wanting to have an argument when you are sleeping at 3am.

5) if the weather is shit, you can be guaranteed there will be a mud bath and people will flock to it

6) toilets … errr (just shut your eyes and hold your breath for 3 mins then run in)

7) the tent part is great, so long as you don’t have to carry the damn thing the 30 mins from where the car is

I’m sure there are many more Laws of music festivals – I’ll remember some more, maybe I’ll read up on Murphy’s Laws!

20060810 Another Day Another Closed Airport

Well the early morning news today wasn’t very good for quite a few people who were suddenly stuck at a London airport. Extra searches, extra security, unable to take any hand luggage on the plane – hmmm I’m glad I wasn’t flying today.

I have a colleague from Germany who is stuck here an extra night – but is now going home tomorrow on the train. Sounds so nice … a 6hr comfortable train ride home. And another workmate is trying to get to Ireland for a wedding tomorrow – she just left the office and her flight isn’t for another 5hrs.

Having only seen tired, stressed people stuck in the terminals at Heathrow – you got to wonder how long security can be kept this tight. Another 24hrs at the most.

This weekend we’re getting out of the city – off to the country to get fresh air, read a book, pick some fruit and chill. Hopefully I’ll get to see the Swans and their ‘babies’ paddling around the ponds outside Ian’s parents place.

20060803 fire evacuation does and don’ts

Oh well you can never get it right – we had a fire evacuation in the middle of workshop with people from Luxembourg. Though I felt it was a good time for a coffee break, obviously our fire warden didn’t!

Today’s unplanned fire evacuation was caused by someone breaking a break glass in the basement, as yet we do not know why.

Thank you all for leaving the building quickly and in good humour as this is the second day running we have experienced this.

Would also like to remind everyone that our assembly point is the bandstand at the far end of Embankment Gardens, and not Cafe Nero, Starbucks Topshop etc.

20060801 First day in town

So the big question is always – what do you do on your first day in London? After a morning of work, checking mail and few phone calls we headed into town – walking of course.

It’s not that far from my place to Big Ben, Westminster so headed up that way for a couple of photo op’s before heading up Horseguards Parade and over the Palace. We just missed the changing of the guard but thats ok, too many people hanging around hoping to see something. Headed back to Trafalgar Sq, where Nelson and his lions have just been freshly cleaned – more photo op’s.

After more ramblings around Leicester Sq and SOHO we ended up at Mildreds for lunch – great veggie place next to Carnaby St. Yum! Then over to Covent Garden before heading back home, footsore and exhausted.

With more veggie delights this evening at a gastropub in Angel, I’m now stuffed silly and ready for bed.

What to do tomorrow!! ??

20060728 the flat is warmed

Yes, after a month of being in the new place in Borough we finally got everyone over for a few drinks and the lure of the balcony with a fine evening paid off. Several bottles of Vodka, too much wine, beer, a devine cheese platter and getting to bed at 4am. Thanks!

So we won’t be having any more parties – as I suspect its now downhill for the weather. I might just have to buy a disposable BBQ to at least ‘show willing’ in the cooking outside department.


Yes, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m now starting to sound like a pom and look like one too. It’s hard to think that I’ve been here two years!

It’s been so bloody hot too – you would think I lived in Sydney – official temperatures got up to 36C last week, but the tubes and buses make it feel more like 45C or 50C. Nothing here is air conditioned either, which makes the whole matter even more miserable.

So to ‘celebrate’ this milestone, we were off to the National Theatre to see Market Boy a feel good play set in the mid 80’s, during the peak of Thatcherism – with all that bad music, bad hair and bad clothes! What a good laugh and nice story, based on the people working in a street market – something you don’t see much of in Sydney or Auckland.

20060629 Antony & Cleopatra and Don Giovanni

If you’re into rape, ‘licentous’ behaviour, unrequited love and murder then this weeks post is for you. We had a busy week with moving and setting up the new flat and so had to take a break from this and get cultured with a play and an opera.

My first Mozart opera experience was Don Giovanni. I have to say it was a bit of a struggle after 2 very late nights moving and unpacking. Our ‘modern day’ Don Juan is caught attempting to get in bed with Donna Maria and then kills her father before making off. He then tries to get it on with Zinefrea who only that day married … adding more twist. Though not fully staged the cast all have been ‘working’ on this production for some time, all were from an Italian theatre so they knew what they were doing and a few costumes or props might have helped. Of course it comes to a dramatic end for the Don and a very short moral number to remind us about the price we pay for this kind of behaviour.

Later in the week we went down to the Globe Theatre on the banks of the Thames. A brilliant venue constructed in wood with a thatched roof. We also had good weather and good seats so didnt have stand or rained on from the open roof. Antony and Cleopatra is maybe not as well known as Romeo + Juliet but at least it has battles, sex, suicide and more melodrama than a night in front of Neighbours. Good ol’ Shakespeare!

So that was 2 very different bits of cultural activity by 2 brilliant creators – and anyway, if all the classics have this much bloody action and drama then I’ll go see more

20060625 Depeche Mode

By the time you make it to The 30’s it’s not often that you get to ‘pop a cherry’ so when I was offered a ticket to see Depeche Mode live, I jumped. Well thanks to Levon, he had a spare ticket to the o2 wireless festival,

This ‘festival’ in Hyde Park has to be the most corporate over-branded, over-hypeed and awful MOR music event I’ve been too. Ad’s for SMS competitions every 20mins and if you weren’t with o2 it seemed like you could barely use a loo, let alone enjoy yourself.
Anyway back to Depeche Mode – well they have been around since the 1980’s but it wasn’t really until Violator (c.1989) that they managed to top the single charts with pretty much every track off that Album. Their earlier album Songs of Faith and Devotion (thanks Jamie) had also given them a credible swag of emo-loaded numbers to pull out and play. So the set list had to be a mix of the new album Playing the Angel and much older stuff The setlists are on the bands’ website but included A Pain That I’m Used To(new), Suffer Well (new), from sofad Walking In My Shoes with superb Red visuals, In Your Room, Judas and from Barrel of a Gun we have Martin singing Home while Dave freshens up. From Violator you could pick any track but I think we only got Policy of Truth and Personal Jesus. Finishing with a flashback to the encore started with another track sung by Martin – leading some people to wonder if Dave is losing his voice??


20060523 the new flat

'A fantastic two double bedroom apartment situated on the fifth floor of this modern development close to Borough High Street. The property benefits from a fully fitted open plan kitchen, secure parking space and a balcony from the reception. 'Did I mention that it comes with a balcony! and the view is superb – we can see Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and I think even the top of the Gerkin.

(The balcony is along the top of the beige facade and is quite long). Great for a party if you're into line dancing, but not wide enough for out door dining. BBQ anyone???