Nivi's Adventures

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Janan's Birthday

My cousin Janan's 18th Birthday! My aunt in NZ hasn't seen Janan in ages and still thinks of him as a little boy - not any longer! Here are some pics:

Janan with his cake :)

And with the fam, Jeni, Sugirtha Aunty, Janan & Ranjan Uncle

Majuran, Vasi, Janan and me. You can see the mistrust in his eyes- hmm can't blame him really...

And Janan with the newest addition to the family - Prince. A Stafford Bull cross I believe, about 3 months old in this photo

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Monument to the Great Fire of London

As much as one can claim that the Metro & London Lite newspapers don't actually contain much by way of news, they sometimes do have some useful info. For example I found out that Monument was closing for cleaning on Sunday 29 July, for 18th months!!! I wanted to check out Monument at some point and knowing it would be closed for 18months was just the impetus I needed.

As it was a glorious summers day I decided to walk there, along the bank of the Thames, clicking away, again not quite believing that I am indeed living in London!

This is a random sculpture on the South Bank of the River Thames. I find it rather poignant that a creator and inventor like Leonardo Da Vinci wrote such a statement

My favouritest bridge, with the Gherkin making an appearance too.


The base of the monument - she is a bit grubby eh?

The view from the top - not the most spectacular of views but you can see St Paul's, which incidentally was destroyed in the Great Fire

311 steps baby ;)

If you click on the photo it should open a larger photo if you want to read the info... The height of the monument is the exact distance from this point that the Great Fire started in 1666.

I'm glad I managed to get to monument - the actual monument wasn't spectacular, nor were the views but some reading that I did about the Great Fire was extremely interesting. For instance, this picture is from Wikipedia:
"Detail of painting from 1666 of the Great Fire of London by an unknown artist, depicting the fire as it would have appeared on the evening of Tuesday, 4 September from a boat in the vicinity of Tower Wharf. The Tower of London is on the right and London Bridge on the left, with St Paul's Cathedral in the distance, surrounded by the tallest flames."

Although London's skyline has changed a bit, it's amazing that parts of it are still the same and hundreds of years old!!!

OK I'm gonna stop ranting about London, this link has some more info so check it out if you're interested and thanks for reading :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

National Portrait Gallery

Deciding it was time to get a bit of culture, Jo (friend from Auckland) and I decided to catch up and check out the National Portrait Gallery - a gallery that houses portraits of "historically important and famous British people".

I wasn't too sure how interesting a gallery of just portraits would be, but it was fabulous and the £2 audio guide a good investment - overall a great evening out (the yummy food at wagamama's after helped too :)

Photos -as per most galleries, photos weren't allowed but I've got a few snaps...

The impressive facade

Gorgeous mosaic in the foyer.

It was a warm summers night so after dinner I decided to walk to Waterloo before hopping on the bus. This is looking East along the river, taken from Waterloo Bridge (I love being able to say that!)

And looking west - full moon and the London Eye. As you can see I'm still not over my fascination with London - I HAD to stop and take photos of this like a common tourist ;) As much as I miss home, for the time being I'm OK living in this magnificent city!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oxford - Easy like Sunday morning

So having thankfully made it through the night (we were issued with a severe flood warning "imminent danger to life and property") we woke to no rain and blue skies :)

After a lazy Sunday breakfast we decided to watch the start of the European Grand Prix (incidentally Peter works for Spyker, one of the smaller teams). I don't usually watch the F1 but boy was this start exciting. The weather prediction was for rain to start JUST as the race did but most teams elected to start with dry tyres (which meant loads of excitement as drivers crashed out).

However Spyker's debutant driver Markus Winkelhock started with wet-weather tyres so as everyone else pulled into the pits to change tyres, Spyker was actually leading the race for a lap or two (which has never happened for Spyker before!) Well I guess maybe you had to be there - but it just seemed so appropriate to share Spykers (albeit short) success with an employee!

Anyways time for photos!

The river was pretty high

Check out how little clearance there is from the bottom of the bridge

This is a shot from Emily & Peter's place - gives you an idea of just how close they were to the river (but thankfully on the first, not ground floor)

This illustrates an important lesson. Beautiful old buildings do NOT look cool with a big green crane behind them!

The grounds of one of the colleges, I think... Anyway I really like the tree on the right - she is funky :)

The roof of the awesome Pitt Rivers Museum. Emily & Peter had been in Oxford for 2 years and had never checked this out! (Em vowed to make sure Peter visited before they left in August - did you ever go again em?)

A friend once likened me to a pufferfish... I don't look like that do I? :(

Oh and this was so very morbidly fascinating. This is an actual shrunken head. It's about the size of my fist. There was a glass case of them but this was the best photo - check out how well preserved it is! I'd go into detail as to how they used to shrink heads but perhaps that's not so cool to post on a blog...

So yet again another wonderful trip to Oxford, hosted even more wonderfully by my dear friends. Thank you Em & Peter, hopefully see you soon in Reading :)

Friday, July 20, 2007


OK I realise I have been exceedingly slack with keeping my blog updated, but I guess better late than never... I visited Emily and Peter in Oxford the weekend of 20/21 July, luckily we managed to find a weekend we were both free as they are about to move to Reading.

I had visited Em & Peter in Oxford before, but it was when my other Kiwi friends (Anna & Matt) were over visiting so I was so distracted by them I never did the touristy stuff. So this time round, I made sure I did a walking tour. It was very interesting to hear detailed info about Oxford - I've had an infatuation with Oxford University since I read an article about it in National Geographic probably about 15 years ago (in fact I'm pretty sure I still have the clipping in my parent's house somewhere). Anyway, enough of the blab, photos!

Exeter College

The Quad of Jesus College

The Dining Room of Jesus College.
Note the portrait of Old Boy, Lawrence of Arabia

The house that Bill Clinton lived in when he studied here as a Rhodes Scholar

Christ Church College - the old college of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland

After my walking tour, Emily joined me (Peter was recording in the studio with his band) and we checked out the Museum of the History of Science.

Blurry, but check out this magic Tamil Square!

The Tamil has changed a little bit over the times (or maybe I need to start going to Tamil lessons again ;)

Ah, another infatuation I had, with all things related to the Titanic. This newspaper is actually from 1914!

And the last "must do" that I had for Oxford...

Kinda geeky I know, but where better to get an OED but in Oxford! Perhaps one of the most 'grown up' things I have ever purchased :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Shyam & Anushya's Wedding Reception

Photos from the wedding reception, also at Kew Gardens.

The handsome couple who up next in October :)

Shyam & Anushya taking their seats

The relocated cousins


Shyam partaking in a wine to calm his pre-speech nerves

More cousins

They're drinking our wine here!

Cutting the cake

First dance

The brothers...

The pond
And that sadly ended the night and my parent's whirlwind week trip to London :( Oh well not too long before heading to NZ for Vasi & Majuran's big day.

Shyam & Anushya's Wedding Ceremony

My youngest cousin (on dad's side) Shyam, got married to Anushya at Kew Gardens on sunday. A beautiful ceremony, with lots of family from all over the world attending, not least of all my parents :)

Here are some pics

The gates to Kew

The manavarai (altar). Priest, Shyam and Anushya's brother

Both sets of parents

My dad cracking the coconut (some symbolic thing to do in Hinduism)

The bride enters with her parents. Awwww

My dad was the only dude who got onto the altar who could tie his own head dress thingy :D
The priest had to do it for periappa (Shyam's dad)

Mum and Dad were asked to take the tray containing the Koorai (wedding sari) around to the guest for it to be blessed

The bridge in her koorai. Part of the reason Hindu ceremonies take so long, the bride has to change saris, not an easy/quick feat I can tell you!!!

Just about to tie the thali (necklace that symbolises marriage)

Shyam tying the thali, spot the petals in the air, being thrown by guests

Done and dusted :)

Cousins: Dilini (UK), Ramya (AUS) and me

Me and Sivani (AUS)

Family shots

The grooms family, minus Shyam. Periamma, Natalia (Ram's partner), Ram, Periappa & Nim