Thursday, December 27, 2007

[The Life of Shaun #181] Lisboa, aqui eu venho!

After just short of a week since her arrival, Schnookums and I were joined by Mary Keany this evening, returning triumphantly from New York.  The three of us are off to Lisbon tomorrow (Mary Keany at 06:15, Schnookums and I at 13:30).  Very excited!  I've never been and all I know about the city is it's full of Portuguese people and near water, so I've little idea what to expect.

It's been a great week with Schnookums here in London; I became spectacularly ill the morning she arrived (owing nothing to the five Absinthes from the night before, I am sure) and have been sick, though improving, since.  Saturday and Sunday were pretty much a wash, but she has been very kind about my inability to do much.  However, I went to the doc today and she gave me some antibiotics, so hopefully I will be in full form for the weekend adventure starting tomorrow, or at least close enough I can power through it.

So have a great weekend and a happy New Year's Eve everybody!  If I don't say hi again before, I'll talk to you in 2008!

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Monday, December 24, 2007

[The Life of Shaun #180] Waiting for the 341

Couple pics to share.

First one is of me waiting for the 341 on my block when Schnookums arrived this Saturday and we were thwarted (yet again, after every try in 2005) trying to ride the Eye. The second pic is why we were thwarted. Third one shows it even better; that is the gorgeous view across the Thames towards Parliament from the Southbank!

Hope you're all having a great Xmas Eve! We're off to a couple straight pubs to appease Schnookums pre-Lisbon. ;-)

Cheers,
Shaun



--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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[The Life of Shaun #179] Happy Christmas 2007!

So wow, my third Xmas in the Olde World...  well, since moving here, at least, as last year I was actually at the Petronis' in Vegas having a delightful meal and cocktails on Christmas day. 

See, Natasha's and my first year here we were so excited about Christmas in London, and then Christmas came and we realised what a naïvité that was.  London is a city of migrants; 1/3 of the population is foreign-born (hi!) and huge portions of the native-born have internally migrated here.  Come Christmas time, they all go home, leaving the city to the newly-arrived hopefuls and the few sticking around to prosper off of us.  It is so dead in this country on Xmas and Boxing Day you can't even take transport between towns at all on the 25th, and very little on the 26th.  We realised there was no reason to ever spend another Christmas in London again and spent Christmas 2006 visiting sundry friends and family across the seaboards.

This year I am using London's realities to my advantage.  My very good friend Schnookums, who I've known since I was 15, arrived on Saturday to spend two whole deliciously slovenly, lazy, TV- and drinking-filled weeks with me to relax our way out of 2007 and into 2008.  We have honestly relished the idea of holing ourselves up in my flat with as much bad TV as possible and not leaving except for liquor runs for two days.  It's one of our favourite things to do together and, since I moved across one of the few bodies of water wider than the Hudson, we don't get to do it nearly enough anymore.  So we're stocked up on wine and groceries, and just looking to see what MTV marathon awaits us.

So, anyway, Schnookums, Mary Keany and I are heading to Lisbon for the New Year's Eve weekend, so wanted to get my holiday wishes out now.

Happy Xmas, everyone!

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Monday, December 17, 2007

[The Life of Shaun #178] Monday

This is how Mondays should all be at work.

Today was comp day, where all those who have been at MS more than two minutes like I find out their bonuses, salaries for the next year and whether or not they were promoted.

So we find out, everyone says yay or boo, then at 12:30 we head to the pub to celebrate/commiserate, courtesy of the VPs and above of our areas. Even with this celebration, though, the pressure's not off; we had to rush back at 16:00 so we could catch the official firm champagne reception by 16:15! I barely got six glasses down me before I decided to head home. Talk about demanding!

But I managed to survive it all, even after the wines & cheeses from around the world party from last Friday after work. <whew> I think I need a break!

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Monday, December 10, 2007

[The Life of Shaun #177] More alumni ball pics...

Hi all,

Just thought I'd share a few pics from the alumni ball my friend Ajay took.  Pretty cool our table was next to the dinosaur.  :-)

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Sunday, December 09, 2007

[The Life of Shaun #176] #2

Hi all,

Just thought I'd share a picture of my sister Lisa and my new niece, Danai.  Lara is due with niece/nephew #3 in February and I am going out that way to meet them both before Lisa ups stakes and heads back to the Olde World.  Can't wait.

Cheers,
Shaun

--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism
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Monday, December 03, 2007

[The Life of Shaun #175] 48 hours in Berlin

I headed to Berlin on Friday with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The juxtaposition was because I became rather unexpectedly smitten with the city on my first visit in 2003 and this visit could just serve to reinforce that feeling or it could pop my Teutonic bubble. Well, I am already trying to figure out when I can go back again, so there you have it. I really, really, really like this city. It's so laid back, edgy and gritty in the way the New York and San Francisco I knew when I first moved to them were. It's as if the East Village decided its outgrown the confines of Manhattan, moved away from home and became a city all its own; and this time safely away from the antiseptic hands of Giuliani & Co. It totally fits me and I can't wait to explore it more soon.

And it's *SO* cheap. I only spent €70 the first day, and €20 of that was for the taxi from the airport - it's almost as if you can't give your money away. I think the most I spent on a pint was €2.70. And someone I met randomly told me he only pays €420/month for his great central West apartment with views of the Reichstag. This combination of affordability and a great city is something you don't come across too often; the only other obvious example I can think of is Montréal.

Travelling alone was a cool experience. I have to admit I didn't get up to much touristwise, but I love I didn't have to because I wasn't raining on anyone's parade. I did see the new Hauptbahnhof, which is pretty darn cool, and I did my little bit of shopping in Alexanderplatz, old East Berlin's 'centre', which, though adorned a little more, is still Ostiechic, and walked down Ünter den Linden, Berlin's pre-war pre-eminent high street. The Holocaust Memorial and Reichstag will have to wait for the next visit.

But now it's back to my London life. It's the wrap-up of the fiscal year at Morgan Stanley so I am expecting a long week ahead of me. Busy December ahead; this weekend I am here and can catch my breath a little; the week after that I am off to Middlesbrough with some classmates (a potential surprise contender to my favourite cities lists perhaps?); the weekend after that Schnookums arrives in town for the holidays, and then she, Mary Keany and I head off to Lisboa for the New Year's Eve weekend. I've realised lately my passport is filling up - I only have about four spaces left in it. I need to get pages added - and it's only five years old! It's been a good five years.

OK, bedtime here - the few pics I did take are below, the first several from my (€35/night) apartment I rented in Shöneberg. Did I mention Berlin is cheap?

(Don't worry Montréal, I still love you!)

Cheers,
Shaun









--
Shaun Coley
Clerkenwell, Islington
London, UK

http://www.friendster.com/shaunism


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