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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I've realized that I've recently deviated from making this a blog about how to survive London as a foreigner so here is a fascinating post about garbage aka detritus, dreck, dross, offal, rubbish, rubble, scrap, scrapings, slop, sweepings, swill, trash, waste.

In Toronto, as is anywhere in Canada, there is a garbage collection day depending on the area you live in. The men come in their big, smelly truck and pick up the garbage that must (MUST) be placed on the curb (read: pavement) for them. The garbage goes in black bags and the recycling usually goes into 2 different boxes depending on the type of material it is. You are allowed a maximum of 3 bags if I remember correctly but it might even be just 2. If you have more and have kind neighbours who tend to be thriftier and, perhaps, hoardier than you they will let you add your extra bag to their pile. Otherwise, too bad for you.

Anyway, in London, there is a garbage collection day depending on the area you live in. The men come in their big, smelly truck and pick up the rubbish that must (MUST) be in your front garden, not the pavement (read: curb) as that is public property. The garbage goes in black bags and the recycling usually goes into transparent orange bags. We put all of it in the same bin, though I think you're meant to separate them. Recycling trucks come before the garbage ones. There is no limit to the amount of bags either, it would seem, though I would assume that's within reason!

If you are looking for more exciting information about rubbish collection and when yours is, the Directgov website has lots of great information.

I hope this post has allayed any fears about your waste collection.

Friday, August 19, 2011


It's been a tough week for me. I've been very upset about various things that I feel are going wrong in my life. But, every so often, someone finally says the right thing - something that you've needed to hear even if you didn't realize it. Today, from Arpen, I got all the words of encouragement I needed after this pretty hard week:

You are a very strong person having done what you have this past 15 months. Leaving your home, family and friends to come to a new place, with no work nor established ties. You've found a job in this climate, you've seen more of london, and frankly england, than I have and you settled into what I'm sure is a very strong relationship, that like most, has a few speed bumps now and then. You've made a massive achievement. An achievement that some wish they had the courage to do.

He made me remember that I have actually done what I always wanted to do, something I had forgotten in the last couple of weeks.

I have some really exciting holidays ahead, as well as the arrival of Sara, my mommy visiting in October and Jessica visiting in November! 

I also have some exciting weekend plans coming up, including  Batman Live on Saturday!

And, finally, Arpen helped me realize that I have some really good friends here and I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


It is day 4. Already, 3 days of riots and looting have engulfed London. Reports have all stated that this stemmed from a peaceful protest for Mark Duggan and that turned into a raging war between police and . . . who exactly?

News reports have shown people of all ages - some as young as 8! - from all races, both genders and varied communities coming together for one purpose: STUFF. They want stuff! They must have the stuff!

There are no political motives behind this, and this is no social uprising. This is sheer greed, stemming from the want of a thousand ego-centric children with a mislaid sense of entitlement. And nowhere is this better shown than in Mark Stone's video from Clapham Junction. He asks a woman why she is looting and her reply is, 'I'm getting my taxes back!' I bet she thought this was a really clever answer. It's not. It's laughable.

Lady, if you want your taxes back, leave the TVs and cheap laptops and go and demand better childcare, better health service and affordable homes. Put your efforts into larger causes that may eventually help you and your family in the long run, and not just make your DVD quality sharper.

These people have lost their sense of purpose - and they have done exactly the opposite of what I bet the original protesters wanted. Where, in the beginning, Mark Duggan's supporters hoped to uncover some criminality within the police department, the people affected by the looting are now hailing the police as heroes.

You have failed your own cause, rioters.

PS For ways to help your community, see Riot Clean Up and Catch A Looter.

PPS Family and friends, I am safe.

Monday, August 8, 2011


In exciting news of the month, Sara has booked her ticket to London! She will move here on September 13th as a teacher and will be here for a year to start. Who knows what will happen in that year, right?

I'm really looking forward to having a good friend around, and I believe she won't live too far away from me either! We're going to have a big party to welcome her to London (checking with flatmates first, OF COURSE!) and hopefully she will enjoy London and settle in well!