Thursday, November 29, 2007

My New Toy

I decided to puchase myself a new toy...yes, another motorcycle. It is a VTX 1300. I pick it up tomorrow so I am super excited.
Other big news, Justine has just arrived in Australia and will be staying for approx three months.
And...finally... I have my permanent visa to stay in Australia!
Keep Safe

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Killers - Live

The picture above was taken at a recent night out at Star City Casino in Sydney, Rangers played Celt*c. Rangers won 3-0 :)

Tonight I went to see The Killers and quite frankly, they were great. I thought they would be good but the surpassed expectations. They are playing again tomorrow night so, I may go again if I can get a ticket. The following night, Ratt and Winger are also playing. The last time I saw Ratt was 22 years ago at Castle Donington Monsters of Rock. It really makes me realise that I am actually quite old now.

The picture above was taken from tonights show. Apologies for the poor quality shot, it was taken from my phone.
Anyway, for now, it is bed time. The weather has been great so let's see what tomorrow brings, possibly Bondi Beach if it is nice. Or Whale Watching.
Keep Safe

Friday, November 09, 2007

Not another 3 months without a post...

Yikes, where do I start? If i need to update this from when i last made a post...well...I was born in 1969....

So, lots of small points. I am loving Mac's. I bought an iMac and it is amazing, so easy to use, great quality.

I have been super busy at work. Also playing lots of poker. I am listening to loads of music, mainly 'Say Anything' as they have a new album out.

I am going to see The Killers tomorrow night. I went to see Fall Out Boy about a month back. I have recently seen Kelly Clarkson (a 'secret' show in front of a really small audience) - (Did I really just admit to that?) I went to see Blue King Brown again, and Missy much.

I have moved to another rented house, in the same building but this one is GORGEOUS. Although to be fair, it is a lot more pricey but, worth the extra.

Justine is still in Greece but not sure when she will be back as of yet. She has been gone now for about 4 months I think.

I have been to New Zealand a few times.

I spent a fair amount of time watching AFL, Aussie Rules Football (I know, that is ARF). The Sydney Swans are the local side. It is pretty entertaining. More than can be said for the local football team, Sydney FC. It is like watching football on the park. Only more annoying because they call it Soccer. Morons.

I have added a photo but no idea if I have done that one before so apologies if I have.

OK, so, does that get me off the hook if I start updating again soon? I will...seriously.....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dalai Lama, Live Earth and Guppy Fish

I have been so bad, yet again. I really do not have any idea how I manage to go so long without updating this thing. In the main, I actually quite enjoy doing it, but, time is the issue.
So firstly, above is a small boat that went past the house (photo is taken from the balcony). From a quick look, nothing seems unusual however, if you click on the photo, it will open a larger one. You should look at the name of the boat. Very funny...
So much has happened since my last post. I went to watch a 'concert' that was held by the Dalai Lama. It was excellent and was even worth standing in torrential for the best part of five hours.
There was a small concert that took place just after his speech. It was predominately small Australian bands although the headliner was Ben Lee who has had a few hits around the world. In fact, I actually saw him in Las Vegas in 2006 when he supported Dashboard Confessional. Also appearing on the bill were a group called Blue King Brown. They are kind of reggae (which I hate) but with a real upbeat tempo to many of their songs. The reason that I paid particular attention to them was because they were due to open the 'Live Earth' show in Sydney. In fact, they were opening the full event by the very nature of the fact that Sydney was the first one to take place. So...onto the 'Live Earth' show; The line up was Crowded House, Jack Johnson, Wolfmother, John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins, Eskimo Joe, Sneaky Sound System and Blue King Brown. there were a few other bands but I had no idea who most of them were.
John Butler was superb. Other favourites were Missy Higgins, Blue King Brown and Eskimo Joe. I can't make my mind up about Wolfmother. The song 'Jpker and the Thief' was probably the best part of the whole day for me but, the rest of the set was average. It was still quite a thrill to go to the event, even though I do not believe that it matched the line-ups of New York and London.
I have started to enjoy Aussie Rules Football, in particular following the Sydney Swans and do not think that I have missed a home game since arriving in Australia. It is a very different sport to our own football, as is the atmosphere at one of the games. It is however, quite endearing.
Apologies for the disjointed post, it is late and I need my bed.
Keep Safe

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Visit to help save your seas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Room with a View...

The top picture is a night view from our living room window, the bottom shot is another from the Botanical Gardens

Obligatory Opera House Photo

The top picture needs no introduction, the Opera House is one of the most photographed images in the world. This shot was taken while getting a water taxi home on Saturday. Although they say you should not take a photograph in to the sun, I did and was quite pleased with the outcome.
The second shot however is pretty cool. Every night at dawn, we see, literally, tens of thousands of bats flying out of the Botanical Gardens which are opposite our house. My parents are over from France for a month so, jet lagged, I took them for a quick tour on their first day here! All of the hanging things in the tree are fruit bats! The gardens were actually lovely and I will follow this with a few more shots from that area.
Anyway, this is a super short one, all is good here, Mum and Adrien arrived safely and have now gone out in a camper van to tour for eleven days.
More updates soon
Keep Safe.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New House

We have finally moved in to a new house. It is in an area called Woolloomooloo. I have dreamt of the day that I can say I live somewhere with eight 'o's. The Dream is over....
OK, so maybe not but, it is a lovely area and we live on the waterfront. The building is an old wharf and if you click on those words, it will take you to a link with all of the details. Apparently, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban live here as well, not just Russell Crowe. That will probably explain the security needed to get in to the building!
The two photos above are taken from our balcony looking towards Sydney.
Work is going very well although I am incredibly busy. Only to be expected I guess.
Great news for me is that my parents are coming out to Australia to see me for a month, they arrive this coming Friday. It has been nearly a year since I last saw them so it will be awesome.
Anyway, for now, Keep Safe

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Melbourne Cricket Ground

I found this photo on my camera (as are the two below, hence the low quality) which was taken at the Australia v England One Day International in Melbourne. The MCG is a great stadium and unlike any other cricket arena that I have seen before.
Keep Safe...

A Lovely Day Off

We had today and yesterday off and the weather has been absolutely fabulous. We met up with Maria and went to a new bar (the view is pictured above), had a bite to eat and drank champagne for the next five hours! As it has been so hot, we are all a little red from sitting outside for so long but, a lovely day was had by all.
Only a few days until we leave for Australia so I guess we should probably thing about packing in the not too distant future. I am dreading the 24 hour flight, the only saving grace is that we are travelling Upper Class so at least we have a bed on the plane and hopefully will be able to get a decent amount of sleep. There are only two days from arriving until we start work so not time for jet lag...
Until next time, Keep Safe

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy Easter

A very happy and belated Easter to everyone. As you are no doubt aware, Easter is the biggest time of year in Greece, by quite some way. There is always plenty to do by way of festivals and food a plenty. We went to the Church on the Saturday night to see in Easter and get the flame. I wish I could give more details but I am afraid my knowledge is, at best, somewhat limited. I think somebody said that it comes from Jerusalem via Olympic Airways but, I could be wrong with some of the details. Anyway, we got our candle home in one piece and managed to put a cross above our door and our Landlady's as she always like that. It is actually our first Easter here without her so we did it in her absence as she is very religious and believes that the house is now blessed. When I say a cross, you make it with the black smoke coming off the candles. I recall the first time that I saw her do it actually, I thought she had too much wine or something and was drunk. Whoops.

Anyway, it is a great church here, really nice and while I did not understand a large part of the ceremony, it was nice to get in to the spirit of things. Once it had completed (post fireworks), we headed back home for some much needed fruit punch that I had made earlier that day. It has been so hot that it seemed somewhat appropriate. For loads who want the recipe, it is loads of alcohol, a bit of fruit juice and some fruit. Easy.

Actually, in all seriousness, there was quite a bit of alcohol in it. I put half a bottle of Vodka, Half a bottle of gin, some whiskey, a litre of fresh orange juice, a litre of "five fruits" juice and a litre of another fruit juice that I do not know the word for in English. Then fresh apples, pears, melons, oranges and some lemons. It was great!

The following day I awoke early to get the barbecue on and get the lamb cooking (pictured above. Is it me or does it look like a Pterodactyl??). As Sia was away this year (landlady), we only bought a small lamb, mainly as Justine has been a vegetarian for well over a year now. Loads of others thing, potatoes from the oven (it is a great dish and the translation does not do it justice), homemade beetroot salad, Tarama (what you would call taramasalata in English - 'Salata' actually means Salad in Greek so they don't use that bit), Tzatziki, Aubergine dip, a lovely vegetarian stuffing, a few salads, stuffed peppers, Feta from the oven with fresh tomatoes, A different type of stuffed peppers, soya chunks (for Justine), fresh fish, mushrooms...It is just dawning on me quite how much we ate on Sunday. Anyway, it was a lovely day and to be honest, it is always my favourite day of the year. I will miss Easter when we move to Australia.

Work has been going quite well but mainly taken up with preparation work for the upcoming Oz trip. Poker has been average at best but to be honest, I just can't be bothered to play properly.

In case I don't do an update before I leave next week, text me if you do not have my Australian mobile number and I will text you the details.

Anyway, far too much text from me for one day!

Keep Safe...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sexy Post

I am posting for this for no other reason than when I was trying to find a suitable picture for the post below, I saw it and thought what a great bike it was. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The News...

OK, so I finally have confirmation of the news that I was talking about a month or so ago. On April 18th, we are heading back to Sydney for three months. Part of this is because I have been promoted at work but the second reason is because it is more than likely that the move will become permanent. I will go in to more details later.

Keep Safe

p.s, That is not my phone number above!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

My 100th's a dull one...

OK, I didn't quite make the post a week or two ago like I said. Anyway, I just finished a small Omaha Tournament (its a poker game for those that don't know!) and won it. I am dreadful at Omaha so thought I should play some more to improve (hence why it was only $30 to enter). First prize was $480. Not a huge win but still, it was nice to take it down as I am so inexperienced at the game. Before it, I thought I fancied a change from Hold 'em and Stud, glad I did now!
The update on work has been delayed very slightly but I gather all will be revealed on Tuesday of next week, stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quick Update

A super quick post as I have been so crap updating this lately. I have three days off from today so will get around to a "real" update. In short, life has been good. Work has been so incredibly busy and after a hard day at work (and four hours of poker), I admit to lacking any desire to update my blog....bad me.
As the family know, I was presented with a few opportunities with work last year which I did not move forward with. There have been further developments on this front of late and I am hoping I can post details here by the end of the week. As the odd person from work has this address (bad move on my part!) I will not disclose too much at this point but in the main, it is all positive.
My Mother has not been so well unfortunately with a recent hospital visit but she seems to be making good improvements and hopefully now has a clear bill of health.
Poker is going very well though I am missing some big game action. Pending the recent developments from work, I am hoping to make it over to Vegas for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in a few months time. I have put £10,000 in my building Society for "playing purposes only" so if it goes, it goes, but either way, I will have a great time playing a few of the WSOP events again this year. I only managed two last year, but I am hoping to make it at least 5 or 6 this year including the Main Event.
As per last year, I will probably be selling percentages in me. The buy in is $10,000, first prize will be in the region of $10-$15 Million US . Pieces are available at £150 for each 1% of any winnings from the Main Event.
I will give more details nearer to the time for those who wish to do this again.
Until next time, Keep Safe

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Blog Web Address

My blog can now be accessed by entering the URL as is shown above (The individual numbers 1-9-6-9 in words!). It is a domain that I have held for some time but really never got around to doing anything with.

Swimming With Dolphins

Here is the photograph as mentioned below, as are the full details about the trip.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Belated Catch Up

I have had a read through the last couple of posts as I had forgotten what I have, and haven't said! Well, by way of a final update on the New Zealand trip, the day out trying to swim with Dolphins was successful, I finally managed to fulfil a life long dream and swim with them in the wild. One of the things that suprised me about the experience was that for some reason, I expected us to be going in to the water from the beach and the dolphins would be close by. Far from it. We went a very long way out to sea, I would guess somewhere between one and two miles out, maybe further. It was only towards the end of the trip that we got anywhere near the land (as shown by the photograph above). The first few dolphins that we saw were maybe in two's or three's and left fairly quickly so there was a lot of 'in and out' of the sea initially. After about an hour, in the distance (well, as far as I could see as it was so foggy we could barely see at all) I spotted a group (pod?) of around two hundred.

It really was quite a thrill. The boat caught up with them and in we went. It was an incredible experience. The only downside for me was that I was feeling very sea sick and had to miss the last (and best) swim due to the fact that I was throwing up all over the boat. I knew it was coming so could not risk going in to the water. I still manage to see a lot of what was going on and Justine said it was amazing looking down and seeing all the dolphins swimming underneath her. and it certainly appeared so. I am hoping that we will return, probably sooner than expect, and see / experience this again.
The picture above (of Justine) was taken on the beach at Kaikoura. Everyone that has seen it really likes it so, I guess you could say, 'by popular demand' it is.
I will do a post very soon with all of the latest updates over the next day or so, possibly even today. Until then, Keep Safe.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Aussie Millions

Whilst in Australia I played in the Aussie Millions Poker Tournament. I will try and fill in more details over the coming weeks but it was reasonably successful, the highlight being that I made the final table of the Team Event with Troy from the Australian Office, eventually finishing in sixth position. I also played the $10,000 buy in Main Event and finished a respectable 95th out of approximately 800 runners. I fell just short of the money which was of course disappointing but, I went there with one goal. That was to win it. I could have easily limped in to the money and made $15,000 but decided to try for the big one ($1,500,000 first prize). I also went deep in the Feature event, only being knocked out by a 'horrific bad beat' against one of the world best players, Scott Fischman (my AK v his AQ). It was a tremendous experience and one I hope to do again next year. There were some very complimentary things said about my play whilst there, some verbally, some in print. One nice section was on the PokerStars Blog which read as follows:
"PokerStars own Greece-based Simon Cook staged a tremendous comeback on Day 2, after falling as low as 6k in chips, Cook spent a lot of the middle levels with about 13k to his credit. By the end of the final session, he had amassed 59.6k to be above the average stack.
Simon rallied with a cunning bluffing exhibition, the highlight of the key pots he won:- With J-10 in the hole, Simon called pre-flop.The flop came: 8 7 4 and his opponent bet out 2k. Simon called, with obvious intentions of taking the pot down on the later streets.The turn came: 5. Again Simon's opponent bet, this time 5k, but with the 1 card straight on the board, Simon came over the top for another 17k, setting his opponent all-in. After deliberating, thinking, shaking his head and squirming, the initial raiser flashed his K8 (top pair, second best kicker) to the gallery and threw it away. Simon cheekily showed his JT bluff to the table and took down another pot.
Simon Cook is one player who mixes his game up enough and plays a wide range of hands, as all of the top (aggressive) tournament pros do, to give him a chance of figuring the finish on the back of his first day performance."
p.s The photo at the side is actually from last years World Series of Poker, not the Aussie Millions.

Christmas Lunch (belated...)

I can not recall if I said in a previous post but we had a fabulous lunch on Christmas Day. We drove to a seal colony nearby (in New Zealand), stopped off on the way and picked up some freshly caught Mussels. It is, for want of a better phrase, a roadside caravan that sells crayfish and mussels. All freshly caught, and all freshly cooked. We added that to the platter that had been prepared for us by the hotel (pictured to the left) and had a lovely lunch, all capped off with a bottle of champagne (you pronounce the 'T' you know...sorry, an 'in joke') and a fresh orange juice. As you can see, they were not shy with the lunch and included all manner of delicacies to get the taste buds dancing!

As you can see, there was fresh salmon, beef, salami, turkey, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, olives, cheeses, cucumber, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, melon, cherries, all manner of nuts, crackers and toasted bread. It really was an awesome lunch. The one downside being that it made Christmas Dinner a bit of a struggle in the evening!

Australian Open Tennis 2007

We went to watch the tennis that was taking place in Melbourne at the same time as the Aussie Million Poker Tournament that I played in. It was nice to take a day off from the poker as it provided a great break from the pressures of the previous four days. Maria Sharapova was the highlight of the trip :-). Davydenko was better at tennis but for some reason didn't quite meet the exacting standards set by Ms Sharapova. As the weather was so hot, it also gave me an excuse to spend some of the $7,500 winnings from the day before on a nice new pair of Prada sunglasses!

The slow catch up begins...

If a picture paints a thousands words, above is my 2000 word essay.
The top picture is obviously part of the New Years Eve Celebrations in Sydney. Below, that is quite obviously Justine and John (Oscar). John was out in Australia for the cricket. The funny thing is, we only ever seem to meet up at various exotic locations around the world watching sporting events! (Pride Park in Derby does *not* fall in to the exotic section, we will save that for Sydney and the World Cup in Nuremburg).