Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Back to the pages

So it’s been awhile, and my additions to this blog have been a random article here and there over the last few months.

When I started this blog (back when it was Marianne in Asia) I was living the life of a nomad, travelling around and seeing the world. Ah the days. Now I’m living in London, travelling as much as I can and (lucky me) working for a travel company, so hey, things haven’t gone too badly.

But I’m back! I miss writing and I hope perhaps you’ve missed me just a tiny bit? Just a little?

So here we go, the resurrection of Filling The Pages. Watch this space.

Coming up: Remembering why I do love the States, and my recent exploration of Tenerife.

Speak to you soon




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Meet Marianne, a 10-pound Pom

15 DEC 09 @ 08:50PM BY ALEX WARD

Marianne Mcphee - Now living in Lane Cove

Marianne Mcphee - Now living in Lane Cove

MARIANNE McPhee camped for two days outside a London travel agency to win the chance to become a 10-pound Pom.

The agency offered 150 British travellers with working holiday visas the 10 tickets to Australia as part of its 30th birthday celebrations.

Ms Mcphee, 23, now living in Lane Cove, determinedly queued outside the STA office near London’s Victoria Station to get one of the highly sought-after Qantas tickets.

“Camping on the streets of London was an experience” said Ms McPhee of sleeping in a tent.

“I still can’t really believe it has happened. I just bought a flight to Australia for 10!”

The term 10-pound Pom was given to British immigrants who travelled to Australia between the 1940s and ‘70s under an assisted-passage scheme. More than one million people journeyed to Australia this way.

An avid traveller, Ms McPhee plans to work in Sydney over the summer before exploring and working in other parts of the country.

Tourism Australia UK and Europe general manager Rodney Harrex said the promotion was to raise awareness of the working holiday visa among young Brits at a time when increasing numbers were looking to travel Down Under.  – By Alex Ward

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STA Travel Buzz

Some of you may know that I teamed up with the lovely folks at STA Travel Buzz and they’ll be following this blog as I go along as well.

You can check out their website where you’ll find blogs about myself and the other ‘Explorers’ to find out where we all are!

My latest appearance is here:


Just more ways to find out what I’m up to!


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So I know I haven’t even set foot in Australia yet, but I’ve already been thinking about the next place I want to go. While South America is actually at the top of my list, for now, I’m thinking of trying to head to Senegal next winter if I can. A good friend of mine, Amanda, is currently living there, working for the Peace Corps and has sent me and her other friends and open invitation to visit. Pretty tempting offer I have to say. I’ll keep you updated.

But for now, Amanda needs a bit of help. There are two things you can do to make her life in Senegal easier.

One: e-mail her MP3s. She is dying for some jams to rock to while she rides her bike through the bush into town. If you would like to do this, please e-mail them to me and I will forward them on to her on your behalf. (My contact details are on the ‘Contact’ tab).

Two: Donate a couple of pounds to help her build a well.  She lives in a village of 197 people where she is working to improve the conditions of their health hut in order to try and provide some basic, sanitary care for the people living there, as the closest town is a few hours away by bicycle. She is currently starting to build a well in the hut grounds so that the village has access to clean water.

The well project is only $500 which should hopefully be an easy target to reach. So if you’re looking for a good cause, this is one that wouldn’t otherwise get much attention. Any amount helps if you want to donate.

That’s all, I promise, just thought I’d pass it around and see if I can help out a friend.

You can read more about it and donate in the link below:


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Black Tomato recently released a pretty cool old-school newsletter with loads of great tips on where to travel and what to do when you’re there.

There’s some pretty nice, upmarket hotels that maybe not all of us can afford, but it’s a great way to get some inspiration for your next holiday!

I really recommend looking at it, even if you’re not looking to travel right now, I just love the design!

Download it here

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Do you have swine flu?!?

I leave England for three weeks and what happens? Swine flu cases go through the roof. The UK now has the third largest number of cases after the US and Mexico and the UK is a WAY more concentrated population. Small islands – not a lot of room to move around.

But here’s my question: Should I really be that worried? It’s just a flu right? Ok, it’s a bad flu with no vaccine yet, but I never get the flu vaccine anyway and I’ve had some pretty nasty flu in my time. I once had a mild case of pneumonia during a particularly bad flu back in high school.

Is this thing any worse than any of the other flu viruses that travel around this planet? Or is it just new and therefore people are more scared of it? What do you think?

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James Bond has starred in 22 films over  47 years of filming starting back in 1962 with Dr. No starring the dashing Mr. Connery as Agent 007.

Harry Potter’s first film was in 2001. A mere eight years ago, with only five (soon to be six) movies released, and yet it has (or is about to) make MORE MONEY than the man with a license to kill! Who ever thought that was possible?

This is just my own guess, but I’d say that the James Bond film franchise is one of the most famous film series out there. It’s definitely up there with Mission Impossible, Die Hard, even The Godfather; and it has more movies than those three combined; so it’s simple math. How could a franchise with six films beat one with 22?! Well it has, and I’m amazed.

What I think it really says is something about who is going to the cinema these days. The James Bond target audience probably starts with early teens, especially boys who like to see things blown up, but it’s range goes through adults and was certainly more focused on it’s older audience back in the day when Mr. Connery was playing the dashing agent.

Harry Potter does appeal to adults who like to relive a little childhood fun and magic, but it’s main appeal is to the younger generations. It appeals to males and females too, unlike Bond’s action packed sequences and cool cars that typically appeal to members of the public with a Y chromosome.

So I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re a person looking to make the next blockbuster, look no further than Generations Y and Z because apparently they’re the ones lining up at the box office multiple times, and they’ll probably bring their parents along for the ride.

BY the way. Back to James Bond. Agent 007 is supposed to be this handsome, ever so polite, refined ENGLISH gentleman right? I know a lot of people were up in arms when Daniel Craig was announced as the new Bond because his look was too ‘rugged’ or something like that. But at least he’s from the right country! He’s only the SECOND English person to play the big man. Even the first Bond was Scottish! He was interrupted by an Australian (George Lazenby… it’s okay if you forgot about him, most people do since he was only in one film, and Connery did one more after him, making him even easier to disregard). It wasn’t until the third James Bond (Roger Moore) that we actually got an Englishman, and he was followed by a Welshman and an Irishman!

Secondly, why is it that he’s supposed to be English anyway? If you actually look into it (or just read this blog since I already did this for you), James Bond’s dad is Scottish and his mum is from Switzerland!

This is all off the topic of Harry Potter, but it’s interesting. At least I think so.

So here’s to Harry Potter, beating 007’s record in about one quarter the amount of episodes. Also – I have a ticket to go see the sixth film with my parents after which I will be driving straight to the airport to fly back to London. See I told you – a Generation Y child hiking up those box offices sales and bringing her parents to help too.

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