Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

Monday, July 26, 2010

HI-HO HI-HO IT'S OFF TO SPAIN WE GO (YES, AGAIN)!

It is my first day off in about a month. My temp contract has come to and end and I am actually at a bit of a loss as to what to do now! I am looking for work, obviously, but there's little temp work at the moment. The agency I am with has nothing for me at the moment.

But I have a LOT to look forward to in the next 2 weeks. The most exciting news of the moment is Sara's imminent arrival. She lands Friday morning and the advantage of having no job is that I can go get her from the airport! I am so excited to see her cause it's like a little slice of home coupled with the fact that, well, I adore her! 

 Proof of adoration!

I have Friday night with her and then I am abandoning her for Jabir and Aiysha's wedding on Saturday. I am headed to Birmingham with the boyfriend (oh yes, there's a boyfriend now), Ste and Jayne on Saturday morning and we are there until Sunday evening. THEN - and this is where it gets even more exciting - Sara and I are off to Paris on Monday and then Barcelona on Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ALL MOVED IN

Finally, I bought hangers and have hung all my clothes. There are no longer suitcases in my room! I rearranged a little as well and am very happy. 

I am terribly nervous, however, about the money situation as I now regularly have rent coming out of my account. Being an adult is really not that fun. Because, let’s face it, until this moment I haven’t really been a grownup have I? I’ve lived at home my whole life and while I paid into the house, it was nowhere near what I pay now that I live on my own. It’s not just the money though is it? I am now responsible for my eating habits as well as every little thing I took advantage of before. I have to make sure there’s always milk. There’s no one else to worry about that now. Little things like that are what make me miss Toronto!

It is a lovely house though. It is a fully refurbished Victorian and I have 7 other flatmates. Yes, 7. SEVEN! The house is certainly large enough to accommodate us though. We also have intensely varying schedules which actually means it can get a bit lonely.

My room is on the main floor and I pretty much have my own bathroom, except when someone is too lazy to go upstairs to their own.

I can only hope I have the ability to get myself a good job to keep the house and also to make sure I can stay in London. I have a lot more to stay for than when I first moved here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

STE'S AND JAYNE'S WEDDING (PART 2)

Ste and Jayne recently had their wedding in Morocco. I missed it as I was in Toronto at the time but have seen the pictures and really did Wish I Was There!

The two were nice enough to throw a reception in England for all those unable to attend the main Moroccan event. It was out in Sarratt, a nice countryside-y village outside London - the kind of place you expect an English wedding to be!

Monica drove us all there, and after some rather scary blind turns on a tree-lined winding road, we arrived! And were one of the first to, as well!

One of my favourite things about the night was getting to see Zab, Sanam and Abu. I even got to be Mrs. Adam for the night. Which, let's face it, has very few advantages to it but is still a fun game to play.


We will all be reunited again in two weeks for Jabir and Aiysha's wedding!


I ended up leaving my camera there, though. Oops. Will be heading to Watford to get it from the Fricker-Coote's sometime this week!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

MOVING DAY

I moved to Clapham South! I am very excited as I now have my own space. I have my own room with my own bed, my own dresser and – the best bit – TWO of my very own double wardrobes! My shoes have a lovely home now and that makes me quite happy.

I am still living out of my suitcases as I do not own any hangers!

Also, I didn’t bring pillows or a duvet with me . . . d’oh!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

O MADRID!

Having turned into somewhat of a slacker when it comes to updating the blog, I have a new resolution to blog at least once a week. I don't want to forget anything about London, in all it's strangeness and difference. For example, no one here seems to wear sunglasses! Even on the sunniest day, there's a serious lack of sunglasses across this city. Everyone just walking around bare-eyed.

Anyway, I have recently been to Madrid! And what an experience! Ste and I went to see his sister for her birthday. She is currently in Madrid with her friend Matt while she immerses herself in Spanish. This weekend was special as they used it as an opportunity to celebrate their birthdays (though neither was actually this weekend). Sair's boyfriend Keith and another couple named Jim and Gem were also there.
Our trip happened to coincide with gay pride weekend as well as a World Cup Spain win and, so, we got to see Madrid at peak party time! Red and yellow Spanish flags intermingled with rainbow Pride flags, everyone was ready to celebrate and the city literally roared with energy.

Here is the summary as concisely as possible:

Friday July 2: Arrive after midnight due to delayed Ryanair flight and go straight to Sair's place. Drop our stuff off, freshen up a little and out to a salsa bar with Matt, Sair and Keith! Come home, pass right out.

Saturday July 3: Once awake and ready, we all head to Parque del Buen Retiro and rent boats. After, we stroll around the park, get an ice cream as it is sweltering and then we take cable cars across Madrid and see the absolutely breathtaking expanse of the city. In the distance, you can see the Palace and the Cathedral, both famous landmarks in Madrid.


In the evening, we go to Plaza San Miguel, an open buffet style market that seems to specialize in seafood. I grab a few sangrias and then Ste and I head to Plaza Mayor. It's a square in the heart of Madrid, a little quieter than the other places (especially Sol!). This is the same night that Spain wins their game against Paraguay. They are only 2 steps away from World Cup victory! The streets are wild and the parties go all night!

Sunday July 4: Keith, Sair, Ste and I head over to the palace and the cathedral to see it up close. Unfortunately, we miss visiting times so do not get to see it from the inside. We spend the day walking around the main city. We head home and, that evening, head out for dinner in Plaza de Santa Ana. There's an amazing fireshow from a street performer as well (video below)! The only sad news of the day is that Keith has gone back to Zurich.

video

Monday July 5: Ste and I decide we need some water! There's a waterpark in Madrid in a town called Villanueva de la Canada so we mission on over. It takes so long to get there that we only get 2 hours in the park but it really is enough for the day. Jim and Gem head back to the UK in the afternoon as well. That evening, we look for a flamenco bar but cannot find an open one as we have left it till too late. We eat at Vips, which is about as American as you can get and then back to the apartment.

Tuesday July 6: Having had our previous attempt at entering the palace thwarted by our ill-timing, Ste and I head over there on our last day to see it inside. We are not disappointed! It's a grand palace and we have decided to buy it! This is our last full day in Madrid so we head back the house early to spend some time with Sair before we leave. Our flight home is delayed by about an hour and so I am back at my front door by about midnight.

Two things about Madrid I found interesting and both are related to garbage:
  • They trash the streets at night and then clean them up by morning. And when I say trash, I mean TRASH! EVERYWHERE!
  • They collect recycling and garbage everday . . . at 6 am!!
And that's it! Barcelona and Paris are next when Sara gets here in 3 weeks.