I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you live

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I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you live

Postby sarah t » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:23 pm

bit more insomnia got me up about 4.00am and knocked this thread idea out...

Do you have a strong opinion about the city/town where you live? What are the positives and negatives of your daily environment? I thought it a good idea to have a forum thread to share your thoughts and opinions plus perhaps even support your argument with photos which could help to make us all feel that this whole world in which we live is just that little bit smaller than we sometimes think it is. After all given the vast distance and range of locations where members of the Human League forum live I’m sure it’s a great opportunity to get a feel for what it is like living ‘in your own neck of the woods’.

Initially not sure how to tackle this myself (sure I’ll come back to it) but as thread starter I’ll have a go with this…

Given that I’ve lived in Southampton for over twenty years you got to say that it is now my home city so I guess I know it very well. I like the general layout of the city centre whether it is a shopping trip for food (from ASDA) and other items (like stationery from Staples office supplies or flicking through magazines and books in WH Smith and Waterstones bookshop) or spending time in the central library. The city centre also offers a Friday and Saturday central market whilst come December we have an extensive German market with exclusive Bavarian items on sale. Running alongside I like the city centre parks, a calmer less congested way of making my way across the central area of the city. Personally I’m not overly keen on the central library and much prefer spending time at either Portswood or very occasionally Burgess Road, much smaller locations with friendlier, more personal staff whom I can spend time chatting with. There is even a ‘friends of Portswood library’ group whom occasionally hold coffee mornings where you can chat whilst enjoying free liquid and cake refreshments… you’d never get that at the central library!

I guess a negative is the aging City Council civic centre, particularly the music venue of the Guildhall which has been snubbed by the Human League since their 2005 Synth City tour visit and having been inside on that single December occasion I can understand why. However although there is little chance at present of a new music venue the surrounding Guildhall square area continues to be heavily refurbished and construction of a new arts complex is well advanced on the directly opposite former Tyrell and Green department store site. I suspect that possibly the Nuffield Theatre up at Southampton University, north of the centre in Highfield, might be used for live music, a site which I believe has good parking although it is a bit out of the city centre, good for buses and taxis but a long way from a train station.

Aside from the city centre part of the appeal for me of Southampton is how easy it is to walk or cycle out to find more peaceful, less crowded places either in the surrounding area or further afield in Hampshire. On foot there are Lordshill woods, North Baddesley, Toothill, Chilworth, Ampfield and Itchen Valley Country Park whilst back in the saddle I can easily peddle out to the New Forest, Calshot, Lepe and Milford on Sea in the south while north, west and east places like Stockbridge, Winchester and Bishops Waltham are just a few of the places I can reach in a days cycling.

Apart from the recent bad storms Southampton generally has fairly favourable weather most of the year usually avoiding winter snow. There is a lot of good history to the city with museums and the remnants of the old walls and Bargate building (recently converted into an occasionally used art gallery (although steps up to the main area are extremely steep!)). I used to like going to Mayflower park down by the waters edge (just along from the Red Funnel ferry service to the Isle of Wight and next to the former Southampton pier building (keeping its period exterior now heavily refurbished as Kuti’s Indian restaurant) but the demolition of the covered seating has killed off any appeal that this area had for me. Guess it is another concession to the September world famous International Boat Show. It is a constantly evolving developing city with lots of new building projects of both retail and residential uses going up at present so I think Southampton has in many ways an exciting future.

Lastly we are a Premier League football city with an impressive St Marys stadium certainly worthy of top flight competitive status with a strong loyal fanbase and living close by on match days the vocal support our team gets shows the passion there is for ‘the Saints’!
:)
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby SubHuman » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:00 pm

I live in a "village" on the edge of Melksham Wiltshire. Good points: it's quiet, now that the RAF have stopped flying Hercules transport aircraft over us everyday; you get the best of both worlds living within a two minute walk of the countryside but only a fifteen minute walk from the town centre; I live only a short car journey from Salisbury Plain, the Cotswolds and the Mendip Hills, all excellent walking countryside. The bad points: the smell when the local farmers are muck spreading; the very conservative parochialism of many of the locals, no new development is too small for them not to complain about it; people tend to vote for the Tories, at the last election we finally got a lib dem MP but this was probably because the Tory candidate was not a traditional Tory, next time I expect many to vote for UKIP. I could say much more but I tend to talk too much so I'll shut up now.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby amyjade456_ » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:10 pm

I live in a tiny outskirt village in Coventry, and to be honest I really don't like it. I seem to remember reading in the paper that Coventry has a really high crime rate, which isn't a good thing. as for my actual village, it is quite small with only one shop, so you have to go to town to get things like your weekly shop. a good thing is that is really quiet (unless the young adults go to the park (which is right opposite my house), so that if you just want a break from it all you can just go sit down the fields or something.

I'd much prefer to live somewhere in Yorkshire like Sheffield or Leeds, or in North Wales because that's where i'm from =D
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby JJ » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:30 am

I have a lot to say about Sydney - some good, some bad, and also in comparison to London which was home for the first 41 years. Will need to sit down when I've got some time,and do it properly. So some time in about 2016.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby Sandrine 7557 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:18 am

Okay, will give it a whirl; this may be a best time for me! I live in the suburb of Naperville, which is about 30 minutes drive west of Chicago. The population is 144,000, so it's a decent-sized city. Money magazine named it one of the top places to live, and I do like living here. The school system is top-notch, which was very important for me regarding our daughter. There are oodles of restaurants of all kinds and ethnicities, and good ones at that. A Chinese friend told her husband that our favorite sushi house had the best California rolls she'd ever eaten. There are two universities in Naperville, and 3 others a stones-throw away, so there are many guest speakers and plays, bands, and shows. Several movie theaters, as I like movies. The downtown is beautiful--it looks quaint, yet there are many great places to go. All the parking is still free. We have an upscale Riverwalk along the river, and people walk it constantly when the weather is nice. I could go on. But the thing I hate is the winter weather, and this has been an especially brutal one. My husband says we got over 80 inches of snow! Seems like more....yet previous years, we got almost none...then it just turns on you!! And cold--how's 17 below zero on select days, for you? The summers and spring are usually very pretty, though. It's like every place--good and bad, but sometimes you just need to get away for awhile and go about ANYWHERE else!!
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Sandrine 7557 wrote:Okay, will give it a whirl; this may be a best time for me! I live in the suburb of Naperville, which is about 30 minutes drive west of Chicago. The population is 144,000, so it's a decent-sized city. Money magazine named it one of the top places to live, and I do like living here. The school system is top-notch, which was very important for me regarding our daughter. There are oodles of restaurants of all kinds and ethnicities, and good ones at that. A Chinese friend told her husband that our favorite sushi house had the best California rolls she'd ever eaten. There are two universities in Naperville, and 3 others a stones-throw away, so there are many guest speakers and plays, bands, and shows. Several movie theaters, as I like movies. The downtown is beautiful--it looks quaint, yet there are many great places to go. All the parking is still free. We have an upscale Riverwalk along the river, and people walk it constantly when the weather is nice. I could go on. But the thing I hate is the winter weather, and this has been an especially brutal one. My husband says we got over 80 inches of snow! Seems like more....yet previous years, we got almost none...then it just turns on you!! And cold--how's 17 below zero on select days, for you? The summers and spring are usually very pretty, though. It's like every place--good and bad, but sometimes you just need to get away for awhile and go about ANYWHERE else!!


Sorry Sandrine meant to come back and say great post about where you live! Sounds like a very pleasant place to live with a lot of positives that you touched on... well most of the time, don't know how I, and probably most of us in a lot of the UK, would cope with 80 inches of snow and those sub zero temperatures could be challenging to say the least. I for one definitely welcome hearing about your locale, perhaps you've got some photos you could share?
:)

Back here for me I forgot to mention, as plugged on the front cover of the local rag, Southern Daily Echo, 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Southampton gaining City status.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby Sandrine 7557 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:25 am

Hi Sarah, Here is a link of pictures of Naperville--the city put together a grouping of photos--if you want to see it. It pretty much shows it exactly like it is. There's the Riverwalk and some sculptures and there's a Carillon Bell Tower. The thing is 16 stories & has 72 bells, and musicians come from all over the world to give free concerts. You can walk 253 steps to the top & view from it, no-thank-you. You can see Chicago's skyline from it, though. Anyway, here's the link, lol: https://www.google.com/search?q=picture ... B566%3B377

We also have a yearly Ribfest, and I enjoyed seeing Eric Burdon a few years ago. Anyway, home sweet home, eh?
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:52 pm

Sandrine 7557 wrote:Hi Sarah, Here is a link of pictures of Naperville--the city put together a grouping of photos--if you want to see it. It pretty much shows it exactly like it is. There's the Riverwalk and some sculptures and there's a Carillon Bell Tower. The thing is 16 stories & has 72 bells, and musicians come from all over the world to give free concerts. You can walk 253 steps to the top & view from it, no-thank-you. You can see Chicago's skyline from it, though. Anyway, here's the link, lol: https://www.google.com/search?q=picture ... B566%3B377

We also have a yearly Ribfest, and I enjoyed seeing Eric Burdon a few years ago. Anyway, home sweet home, eh?


Thanks for the link to the pics of Naperville Sandrine, good to see what your city looks like! ;)

Err sorry for being a bit out of touch, who is Eric Burdon???
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby SubHuman » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:26 pm

sarah t wrote:Err sorry for being a bit out of touch, who is Eric Burdon???


Sarah, you'll be too young to remember but Eric Burdon was the lead singer/songwriter with a sixties band called The Animals, biggest hit The House Of The Rising Sun which got to number 1 in the British and US charts in 1964. They were one of a number of heavily blues influenced bands that followed in the wake of The Beatles and the Stones.

The House Of The Rising Sun:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgTSfJEf_jM

The song was a traditional folksong from the American south and there is a lot on unsubstantiated mythology about it, e,g, that Burdon cleaned up the lyrics which were originally about a New Orleans brothel frequented by jazz and blues musicians.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:37 am

SubHuman wrote:
sarah t wrote:Err sorry for being a bit out of touch, who is Eric Burdon???


Sarah, you'll be too young to remember but Eric Burdon was the lead singer/songwriter with a sixties band called The Animals, biggest hit The House Of The Rising Sun which got to number 1 in the British and US charts in 1964. They were one of a number of heavily blues influenced bands that followed in the wake of The Beatles and the Stones.

The House Of The Rising Sun:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgTSfJEf_jM

The song was a traditional folksong from the American south and there is a lot on unsubstantiated mythology about it, e,g, that Burdon cleaned up the lyrics which were originally about a New Orleans brothel frequented by jazz and blues musicians.


thanks for the info and the link! ;)
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby Sandrine 7557 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:31 am

By the way, the brothel that Dave speaks of in New Orleans, "The House of the Rising Sun," that property has long been turned into rental rooms. Back in the late 70's, a friend of mine, Elaine, lived for many years in New Orleans in a set of rooms in that original "House of the Rising Sun." I used to visit and stay with her there for weeks on end. Across from that house was a rather rough tattoo parlor. The owners always watched out for Elaine's safety. It's a decadent but rough city to live in. Anyway, many years later I asked her about the tattoo parlor and she answered, "Oh that place blew up!" Memories...
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby SubHuman » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:24 pm

Sandrine 7557 wrote:By the way, the brothel that Dave speaks of in New Orleans, "The House of the Rising Sun," that property has long been turned into rental rooms. Back in the late 70's, a friend of mine, Elaine, lived for many years in New Orleans in a set of rooms in that original "House of the Rising Sun." I used to visit and stay with her there for weeks on end. Across from that house was a rather rough tattoo parlor. The owners always watched out for Elaine's safety. It's a decadent but rough city to live in. Anyway, many years later I asked her about the tattoo parlor and she answered, "Oh that place blew up!" Memories...


Sandrine does that mean your a southern belle?
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby Sandrine 7557 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:43 am

Sandrine does that mean your a southern belle?[/quote]

Hardly! Born in Chicago, grew up in suburbs just outside of Chicago. I just had friends in different states I used to hang with on occasion!
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:48 pm

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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:21 am

At the Guildhall (now rebranded as the O2 Guildhall) where Human League played last way back in 2005 they have currently got the stone masons in and with scaffolding up are dong work on the exterior of the entrance to this venue. Hopefully the renovation work will extend to upgrading/updating the interior.

In front of this, in Guildhall square a large wooden structure (apparently a theatre) is atypically taking shape and should be in use between the 1st to 17th August... hopefully I'll take a picture nearer its completion.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:50 pm

sarah t wrote:At the Guildhall (now rebranded as the O2 Guildhall) where Human League played last way back in 2005 they have currently got the stone masons in and with scaffolding up are dong work on the exterior of the entrance to this venue. Hopefully the renovation work will extend to upgrading/updating the interior.

In front of this, in Guildhall square a large wooden structure (apparently a theatre) is atypically taking shape and should be in use between the 1st to 17th August... hopefully I'll take a picture nearer its completion.


Here's a pic taken out of one of the upper windows of the Civic Centre library...
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/sarahta1102/P7310299_zpse5030dc4.jpg
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby SubHuman » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:01 pm

It's fairly peaceful where I live, which I like in the summer. But not much to do in the winter, so I go on trips to Bath or Bristol where there is always something interesting going on.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:07 am

Scaffolding has been going up around the Civic Centre clock tower which was damaged (had part of its roof torn off) in the winter storms. Must have found some money from somewhere I guess!
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby JJ » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:29 am

OK, got a bit of time (unusually!) to have a go at this, so... Sydney

First off, as I'm not from here, I have to put a big fat caveat around this, because I don't think as a Sydneysider living in Sydney, but as a Londoner living in Sydney.

What's good

The climate - everyone says it, because it's true. After first visiting as just a tourist, when I was going through a pretty bad time in the UK, I fell in love with the place, and my best mate who moved here back in 1995 asked me what I thought was the biggest difference. My answer was "blue sky". Yeah you get blue sky in England, but compared to the deeper blue here it looks pale and insipid. The sky here is beautiful. Sydney shares a similar weather range to north Africa in terms of nearness to the equator. I love that I can walk around in winter in a t-shirt.

The roads are wide. Having lived and driven in London for so long, and having to pull into a gap all the time to let an oncoming car through, I was amazed at how much room you normally have here. I also like that at most junctions, you can turn left even at a red light if nothing is coming. That's just common sense, but it's also really useful at times. And of course we get to drive on the correct side of the road here too.

The beaches. Wow. Beautiful sand, crystal clear water, terrifyingly dangerous waves that are still great to mess about in, and all still technically in Sydney. Bondi Beach is derided due to the people that frequent it, but as just a beach, it's great. But there are others that are even better. Our favourites are Curl Curl, Manly (again despite the tourists) and Freshwater.

Barbecuing. In England, you'd have a little round thing, with coals that took two hours to heat up, and which would successfully turn anything placed over them to a blackened cinder before you could even say "chuck a shrimp on the barbie..." But here it's different, oh yes... hotplate on one side, grill on the other, another grill off to the side to use for a wok, and away we go. Louise insisted on getting one as soon as we moved into our own place. JJ: "Why? Do we really need one?" Answer: "Yes. We do." And she was spot on. I've learnt to cook on it much better than I could do with an oven. The first thing I did on one - ever - was kangaroo (well, you've gotta eat the badge, haven't you?) Kangaroo has to be cooked somewhere between rare and medium rare, or it gets too tough. I like mine still basically skipping around. And fish done on the bbq is delicious - my favourite is swordfish, beautiful! Done properly is very moist and just about melts in your mouth.

The night sky. I have a f*ck off big telescope (ahem) and yet I haven't used it even once since I got here, which is just criminal as I love astronomy. Different constellations here than in the northern hemisphere of course, with the Southern Cross part of the flag etc. But my favourite is Scorpio - visible most of the year, and beautiful as it curves through the sky.

What's not so good

It's true to say that when it comes to my nationality, the Aussies are well balanced - they have a large chip on both shoulders. It's obviously not true of everyone, and is a sweeping generalisation. But certainly in my nearly 6 years here I've noticed it more and more, especially in the lower end of press which never fails to take any opportunity to have a dig in order to satisfy its bogan readers. I'd be lying now if I said I feel like I'm truly welcome here, because the anti-England thing is, if not quite relentless, always there nonetheless, and it really if you keep taking notice it does wear you down a bit. An Aussie local probably wouldn't notice, but just wait until the Olympics or better still the Commonwealth Games comes around. In those things the only objective is apparently to finish higher than GB / England respectively. Didn't quite go to plan this time though, eh...

Curry. They don't do it well - nowhere near it, in fact. Funnily enough, I had the best one I've had since moving here a couple of weeks ago, of all places in a shopping mall. They did a proper chicken tikka masala. Over here some people confuse that with what must be an Aussie invention, called butter chicken. But a good CTM is unbeatable I reckon, and now I've found one. But generally if you go to an Indian restaurant...nope, not up to scratch compared to London.

They are very confused about football. The English invented football - it's the thing played with a ball, kicking it with your foot: Foot / Ball = football, it's really not tricky. A ball is a sphere, not an oval shaped thing. The people who invented it call it football, and therefore it is football. Rugby Union is not football. Thugby League is not football / footy. Aussie Rules is not football / footy. And none of them are played with a sphere, ie a ball. It's back to that whole America-Lite thing: Aussies can create as much as they like about calling it "socca", just like in the US. But the rest of the world is up to speed. Funnily enough, the football "powers that be" here changed to using the word football a few years ago. My physio works for Sydney FC, and the other day he referred to "socca". I asked him did the F in Sydney FC stand for "focca" (or something like that). Seriously Australia, get over yourselves, pick up the pace with the rest of the world, and recognise that everyone (except the US to whom you aspire) calls the beautiful game by it's rightful name.

Adverts on TV every 5 minutes. Drives me feckin' crazy! I'll give you one example: they have the Graham Norton show here, which I really like. He does his stand-up bit right at the start, introduces the guests, deals the first question, and... bang: more adverts. Did I mentin it was getting more and more like America?...

I steer well clear of politics, and by and large I can't stand politicians who, in my opinion, are professional avoid-answering-any-question-ers. But I find it amazing in a way that a small-minded, bigoted, mysogynistic moron can be elected as the Prime Minister of a supposed First World country.

Quality of the popular press (including TV and radio.) Imagine a farmer with his large wooden house, in the middle of a vast expanse of dusty red fields. His highly flammable house has a nice verandah on which he can sit and enjoy a few tinnies after a hard day doing whatever it is he does with his sheep. He has grey stubble, wears a dirty white vest (or singlet as they call it here), and tries to simultaneously belch and fart at the same time as it amuses him. This is the sort of person at which the popular press is aimed. It makes the BBC look polished. Hell, it makes Channel 4 look polished!

Shortening things. Correspondence is not "corro", it is "correspondence". A truck driver is not a "truckie", he is a truck driver. The people who operate ambulances are not "ambos" etc etc. Trouble is, on one or two occasions I've sometimes caught myself doing it. I really must stop.


I think that's it for now. And for what it's worth, NONE of the Aussies I know on here are anything like those people I've described above, although I bet if pushed, Crowbaby would probably refer to AFL as footy - but she's forgiven. :)
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:30 am

fantastic post John, enjoyed reading your lengthy detailed ex-pat opinions about Sydney! ;)
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby SubHuman » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:38 am

JJ I hope too many Australians didn't read that or you may have to come back. "Your name Spike Milligan? Several hours later I woke up with an aching head". This after a tour in which Spike told Aussies what he thought of their culture.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby JJ » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:28 pm

Like I said Dave, none of that applies to the Aussies I've met from on here, all of whom without fail are genuinely nice people. Just saying it as I see it, otherwise what's the point?

At the end of the day, I love London, and it'll always be home to me. But I also love living in Sydney, and to be honest I can't see us ever going back to London permanently. The negatives above are far outweighed by the positives. The kids are growing up as Aussies, as they should, as it's their home. They sing Advance Australia Fair every Monday at school and I'm very proud watching them do it, and Daniel especially has more Aussie in his accent, because here is where learned to speak - he was only 7 months old when we left London, and he obviously doesn't remembee living there. It's a fabulous place for kids to grow up in, with such a great outdoor life.

So if they want to give me grief, that's fine. I'll still love living here.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby SubHuman » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:58 pm

It was said tongue in cheek JJ. They'll just rib you about it. It sounds wonderful; as I speak it's August, wet and about 18 deg C where I am. My mum had a school friend who emigrated with her husband, an Aussie, and, although there were things she missed, she told my mum that she won't came back permanently for all the tea in china.
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Re: I Love this city – What's good (& bad) about where you l

Postby sarah t » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:25 pm

I suspect Southampton will be heaving with more people than usual today as firstly ‘Saints’ are playing Newcastle at St Marys Stadium close to where I live. This is also the first full weekend of this years International Boat Show which I noticed on my walk into city centre ASDA this morning has a large pure white coloured Ferris Wheel, surely the first time for this event! Not to be outdone there is a Ferris Wheel outside St Marys Stadium but it is nowhere near as large and impressive as the Mayflower park one.
:)
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