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Deviant Esq's Blog

On my OE

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Well, blogging eh? Have to say I'm totally new to it, have never done it before or even read many, but I'm so bored I don't know what to do right at the moment. So here goes a random post.

At the moment I'm three months through a four month working holiday in the UK, based in Leeds. Totally the wrong time of the year to come - most of the tourist attractions are closed during the off season, so there's been a number of things we haven't been able to do, but the assignment term for my girlfriend's secondment dictated that. We arrived over here on December 13, 2006, landing in Glasgow. We could have chosen to arrive at Heathrow, but we wanted to see Scotland anyway, and since my Uncle (who lives about a half hour from Heathrow) was away at the time, the choice was made to land at Glasgow instead. Good choice, the airport was empty and we breezed through in less than 10 minutes. Next day we hired a car and drove North of Glasgow past a few lochs, which were all quite flooded due to the amount of rain that had fallen recently.

On around to Dunoon, onto the ferry across to the mainland again, and on down the west coast, stopping at places of interest and staying at B&Bs when night fell - at that time of the year it was getting dark just before 4pm, but even at 1pm the sun was very low in the sky, so sunstrike was ever an issue. Still, it was great, dry stone walls everywhere, old buildings and towns. After five days of that we took a train down to Reading where we met with my Uncle. Stayed with him and my Aunt for three weeks at their place in Ascot, basing from there to see the sights of London, Windsor, and other southern things like Stonehenge and Avebury. Pretty cold at that time of the year, but still good to do what we did.

Took a train up to Leeds in early January 2007 so my girlfriend could start her work assignment. I got myself a job doing office work as a temp as well, and since then we've been working full time, and going for trips on the weekends. Met up with a local biker through KB, conveniently he's planning on moving to New Zealand in the next year or so with his family. Have been out with him as a pillion and seen some nice roads and small villages around the outskirts of Leeds which has been good fun... taken at a very *cough* sedate pace.

Overall I've had a good time over here. The UK is pretty different to New Zealand - you don't really come here for the scenery or the culture - but the history of the place is pretty amazing. There's been people living on this land for over 5000 years, and visiting old towns, castles, and abbeys gives you a real sense of history. York for example - it has still got a complete intact city wall, over five metres high in places and a couple of metres thick... and about 800 years old, built on the foundations of the Roman wall, which is about 2000 years old. Parts of the old Roman wall are still intact. Pretty incredible, and not like New Zealand. Before we came over here I'd not been out of New Zealand and didn't have any real desire to travel. But I'm glad I've done it, it's been an experience I won't forget. Looking forward to getting back home though - I miss my bike!

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