Travel games…

I may not have left the UK in a few years, but I have managed to do a fair bit of travelling in my life. And I know that you all have your iPods, Nintendo DS and fancy phones, but sometimes the batteries run out. Sometimes, it’s illegal to use them because you’re the one driving. Sometimes it just seems boring AND anti-social. What happens when you get delayed in an airport, stuck in a traffic jam or the kids get bored?

Well, I got crowned the Queen of car games last weekend, and I’m hear to share my faves with you!

1. Squares

All you need for this is one writing implement and a bit of paper. You  do rows of dots. Each person draws a line between two dots horizontally or vertically on each turn. If you make a square, you get your initials, and another turn. You want to make sure your opponents can’t make a square (or chains of squares) on their turn. We played it lots on the trains to and from London back in April, and it’s one we did a lot in airports and on planes when I was a kiddle!

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taken by friend Vicky!

2. Noughts and Crosses

easy to do in small patches of the blank paper around your ‘squares’!

3. The Radio Game

This is one we played as it got later and we got tireder on our road trip back from Cornwall. The idea is that you ask the radio a question, hit ‘search’ for stations on the radio, and whatever music or waffle comes out the first station it lands on is your answer.

My friend Althea asked the Radio what they’d discussed at the G8 summit while we’d been away, and the answer from the radio?  Timbaland singing “You tell me that you need me / Then you go and cut me down, but wait / You tell me that you’re sorry / Didn’t think I’d turn around and say / That it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late / I said it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late“. And no, I’m not making that up. The radio said I’d meet an Australian husband while being deported from Spain and Portugal. We also asked the radio how we should greet our friend’s mother when she answered the door to us on arrival at her home. The radio started playing a Jazz band. We obliged with our imaginary piano, double bass, saxophone and drumkit. :)

This also works well if you put your iPod songs on shuffle!

4. Etch-a-Sketch pictionary

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Waiting for a flight to Johannesburg…

One of my friends got me pocket etch-a-sketch before I went to South Africa so we had something to do on the 12 hour plane ride.

God bless them. I confess that because my friends slept on the plane (it was an overnight flight) we didn’t use it, but we DID try it out while delayed due to thunderstorms at London Heathrow.

This etch-a-sketch also went with my friends to India, and also kept us entertained on our Cornish road trip adventure. The game we played was that one person in the backseat told the other person in the backseat what to draw, and the people in the front had to guess what it was meant to be and vice versa.

We had a cow pat, a canoe, a puddle of pee, a castle, a chocolate bar, a dragon…the possibilities are endless!

5. Silly pictures

Sometimes when your friends can’t be there in person you bring a laminated version of them on sticks and they can get up to all sorts of mischief on the road…

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6. The Alphabet Game

What do you do when you don’t have paper, a pen and that train ride seems to be taking forever or you get stuck in a traffic jam? Well, you do the alphabet game!

It goes something like this ‘A’ my name is ………. and my husband/wife’s name is…………….., we live in ………. and we like to eat ……………. (next person could say B my name is Bertha and my husband’s name is Bob. We live in Blackpool and we like to eat burgers).

If you do that a few times and you’re still in a traffic jam, you can change it up by doing something like ‘A’ my name is Althea, my husband’s name is Bert. We live in Cairo and we like to eat Dates. And if you’re still not moving you can change it up by saying your name, where you live, what you do for a job and what you like to sell. (C my name is Caroline, I live in Cumbernauld, I’m a carpenter and I like to sell coffins).

And if all else fails….

7. I spy.

I’ve discovered it’s fun to pick something really obvious you can see everywhere. Like ‘branches’ when the road is lined with trees. It took them FOREVER to get that one. Tee hee. ;)

And so friends, there you are. My main travel games. Of course, really when all else fails, I bring out the campfire songs. Mini Kahuna has gotten really good at some of them thanks to me travelling with them to church on Sundays over the last few months.

Plus my friends are now cottoned on to the fact that most Eddie Stobart trucks have been christened with names printed on their driver doors. 3 more people trying not to crash the car as they check out that truck’s name as they overtake on the motorway…

A return to London town?

Keep your eyes peeled for flying cars

So last year I took a wee road trip as we had a Partners Away Day in Hertfordshire. It was AMAZING to meet up with friends old and new.

I wasn’t expecting to be heading down South again until November at the earliest, but it turns out I’ve to head back to Basingstoke on 13th July.

And since I don’t get holidays, I’m thinking of spending a wee bit of time in London/South West England if I can around that time. I won’t be driving – I will be at the mercy of the London Underground/Overground/East Coast Railways/South West Trains. :)

Anyone up for a catch up?

Going Northwards

…except here that means it’s getting hotter!

We got the overnight train from Melbourne to Sydney on Friday night, arriving in Sydney at 6.53 a.m. or something equally ridiculous…woke up the poor people in our hostel too by checking into our room, getting showers then locating our ‘swimmies’ (to use an Aussie term) and headed to Bondi Beach for the day. Kate and Viks both fell asleep in the sun. On return to Sydney we used the shower facilities – the three of us being in separate shower cubicles next to each other. Both of them started crying out as the shower water hit their sunburn. Poor Kate got the worst of it – a touch of sunstroke and she now has got #1 spot for weirdest belly button just now – yes, she managed to burn the inside of her belly button!

Who knew I owned a takeaway in Bondi?!

We had tea at Pancakes on the Rocks…fully stuffed, we returned to our hostel – our room was a renovated railway carriage – although this one was much comfier than the one from the night before.

We then got up at 5.45 a.m. to catch the early morning train to Casino. Lasting memories…..TRAIN FOOD. Yep, it’s really gross. In fact I think it’s competing highly with aeroplane or ARI food. I had Singapore Noodles – and the only way I could describe them is that they were like soggy super noodles with no flavouring. Yuk yuk yuk. However, the views were amazing, and we went through rainforest….as it got darker we entered into a proper rainstorm with the sky lighting up constantly with lightning. Luckily, we were given a brief break from it when we went from train to the coach to Byron Bay, then again when we arrived in Byron Bay to walk to the Youth Hostel.

There are so many cool things to do here. I’m not saying what I’ll be getting up to, in case I don’t get the chance to do it, but hopefully there will be some interesting tales to tell in the coming days before we head up to Brisbane….

Love to you all from the rainy and humid Byron Bay.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Dave the Rave (aka Monkey)! 12 today….how scary. Rach – say Happy Birthday to Roderick for yesterday too (scarier that he’s a teenager now).

La x

Living in Erinsborough

Yes, that’s right. I’m living nearby to Toadie, Dr Karl and the Neighbours crew!! Vikki and I arrived in Melbourne this morning, and we’re staying in the district of St Kilda which is where ‘Neighbours’ is filmed.

We got the overnight train (a 12 hour journey from Sydney) and we’re both sleep deprived and desperate to check into our room so we can get some sleep before heading into the city to meet with Kate.My last 2 days in Sydney were really good. I took the train on my own to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains (2 hrs from Sydney) and met 3 lovely Irish girls on train. We went to Echo Point where we saw the Three Sisters, and then over to Scenic World – where we took the steepest railway in the world down into the Blue Mountains National Park, walked round part of the rainforest canopy and then back up on the cable car. Katoomba was a lovely wee town – a cross between somewhere in Switzerland or Black Forest with somewhere in the US or Canada!

Blue Mountains National Park

On my last day Vikki, Susan, Cal and I went on a search for souvenirs and a camera charger in Sydney, then lazed in Hyde Park. Susan and Cal left for the UK and I headed to Circular Quay, Government House and the Botanical Gardens, then back to the Rocks to get a bus back to Glebe. A storm was brewing as I arrived back in Glebe, and me and Vikki got soaked going from the Rooftop Garden to the stairs inside the Youth Hostel in a massive downpour. Luckily the rain stopped before we had to collect our luggage to get the bus to Central Station. Not sure what we’re getting up to down here in Victoria yet….to be discussed over lunch with Kate me thinks…but me and Vikki not looking forward to another overnight train when we start heading North and back to the sunshine…