Living in London

So I’ve had… nearly 4 weeks of real work since I last wrote. Yes, thrown in the deep end, I couldn’t agree more!

Fortunately, I haven’t experienced a school as rowdy as my first. In fact, I’ve had completely the opposite end of the scale – one in particular so very strict, that I myself was reprimanded and belittled to feel like a naughty school girl, merely for being time efficient and marking a student’s work in class. There was absolutely no joy in the school.. no one said hello, thank you or anything.. it was as sterile as they come! A horrid place to work.. and glad that I never have to go back there!

Other than that, every other school I have been to has been Catholic, so while one can never guarantee the quality of kids, at least the staff are always pleasant and willing to help me out. And I tell you – I certainly am familiarizing myself with S-W London! Although it was just last week I realised the reason I had no bearings was because I had been reading my AZ upside down. I’m still the same me.

Work has been fairly consistent the past few weeks – I’ve been getting between 4-5 days/week. And, I have been keeping myself rather busy on the weekends too. Looking ahead, my first free weekend doesn’t fall until Nov 21st! Yay to having a life again! Jayne has been a lifesaver.. showing me around all the important sites like a true local.. like, the markets and the huge, new Westfields at Sheppards Bush… We’ve also had our fair share of dates together, preferring the steak as it is our once weekly intake of red meat. I’ve also met up with new friends, through random connections that only London encourages. Plus, the girls I traveled to Croatia with have just arrived in London, so that’s another 5 instant friends to add to my list of reasons for staying here (Kate, Louise, Claire, Amanda and Kylie).

The housing situation keeps getting worse, but I am determined to stick it out until Dec. The girl’s have secured a house in Clapham South, which I would love to move into, but I don’t see the point right now, if I still have to give a month’s notice where I am, then I intend to travel for 2 months over Christmas. So fingers crossed they’ll be keen to have me after that!

The turn-over in my current house is fairly high.. I’m now sharing a bathroom (well, was.. I refuse to use it now) with 1 Asian guy (he’s ok), and 2 untoilet-trained Italian guys who repetitively urinate on the bathroom floor, and leave the seat up. Many a Saturday morning, I have to lug the heavy, stinking, urine-saturated bathmat down to the laundry and wash it, simply because the smell of it upstairs is so overpowering.. Then I wrote a kind note to please leave the seat down. It was repaid by throwing the note out and deliberately leaving the seat up. I seem to attract these sorts of housemates, if anyone can remember back to my uni days.. arghhhh! There’s never enough hot water and no one even says boo to each other when passing them up the stairs. Oh, and I haven’t even got started on them thinking it’s cool to leave prawns out on the kitchen bench over the weekend..

On another note, I have found myself a church to attend. It’s All Souls in the city (on Regent St I think.. yes, a green one on the Monopoly board..), a recommendation by the parentials, as it is John Stott’s church (he’s like.. famous I hear).. It was so encouraging my first week to have Stephen Lungu from African Enterprise speak. He’s spoken before at my church in Sydney. Hmm, I could read into this that maybe this is my calling… I will have to develop these thoughts AFTER my European adventures..  Anyway, 2 weeks later, Nathan Tasker played, and he’s an Aussie Christian artist, and the first CD I ever bought! This coming weekend I am actually going on a 20s and 30s weekend away to Kent. I haven’t met anyone from the church in that age bracket yet (despite it being 80% 20s and 30s).. I guess I’ve been hanging out in the uncool pews at church :p

The rowing club I never-quite joined has been a little disappointing. I get the impression they’re only keen for me to come down if I cox. And coxing isn’t fun at the best of times, but especially not when it’s a freezing day down on the Thames, and you’re coxing blind and wet with a crew full of ungrateful boys. Been there, done that before! When I told them I wanted to row,  I was assured “oh yes, I like to keep my fitness up too. You can just go on the ergs”. Haha.. no thanks.

I recently discovered – much to my delight – that the Thames is only a 5 min walk from my house, as is Chelsea Harbour. So I am actually living in a half descent hood! I have been religiously walking, every day 🙂

School holidays start in 1.5 weeks, and I am ever so excited, as I am in such desperate need of another holiday (jokes). So I have booked 4 nights in Munich, Germany, then taking the train to Holland, and spending 3 days there (Amsterdam and the Hague, as Andrew’s friend Tom lives/works there.. and we get a private tour of the Peace Palace!!), then down to Belgium for some hot chocolate in Brussels and Bruges.  Leah is coming with me too!! I’m so glad I bought a warm down/feather jacket!!

It has been getting increasingly cooler here. I nearly came home today to find my room burnt down because today was the day they decided to turn the gas heating on, which I was using as a giant coat hanger. Woops. Lucky teachers don’t work late hours or we could have been in serious trouble! And I tell you, I am in desperate need of some warmth, as I’ve developed such a lovely chesty cough, I keep everyone awake at night, and people cross to the other side of the road when they hear me cough from miles away.. all in the name of sharing I say..

Anyway, that’s about it until after the school holidays!

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