Subject: White Christmas & London tips?
Hi Peter,

I can't help you with info regarding White Christmas but am keen to seek your experienced advice, if you don't mind.

Aussies presently living in London might be able to help us with some advice re accommodation, tips and tricks for getting around London. Where are you from and how long have you been there?

John and I have WON a top-deck cruise on QE2 and are booked to sail from Southampton to New York on 24th October. As it's not transferable we can't even give it away, so are doing everything we can to get there, as low budget as possible. As an RN, I work for a specialist surgeon who wants me to spend a couple of days at St Marks Hospital (Harrow area) observing as they are top in our field, so we now need 3 nights in London. Currently the best we can do is accommodation at the hospital itself, GP50 per night (exchange rate today = AUD2.81!!) double room.

Through the we've got some fantastic info on accommodation and all around London from Richard Bloomfield, a Kiwi who's travelled a couple of years ago. He's got some amazing details which has been very helpful, although my time to explore his info thoroughly has been limited We've also tapped into a number of UK websites looking for B&Bs and anything under the GP50 but seems to be absolutely nothing. The good thing about the hospital is we also have access to a shared kitchen and there's a large supermarket nearby, so we would be able to be frugal with our food costs.

If you've got some tips, tricks, clues, advice and/or wisdom you'd be able to share we'd be grateful to receive same! I will have at least 1-1.5 days at the hospital after our first day recovering (as necessary) from travel Brisbane to London (not yet booked but we have a travel agent friend who's going to give us the best deal around at the last minute - whatever that means!). John will be on his own for that time, but my idea is that we need to see as much of London as we possibly can in our limited time and with very limited budget.

We will also be spending 2 nights in NYC so are open to wisdom and suggestions for rock-bottom budget accommodation there. We have a married daughter living in Seattle, WA, and will be spending a week with them on the way home.

One day, not too far away we hope, we too will be looking to a White Christmas!!!

Warmest regards Margot - Gold Coast, Australia.