Sightseeing, adventures and accommodations

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been in London for over a week already. It’s gone by so fast.

Things have been busy in a good way. Last week I did a lot of house hunting which meant I got a crash course in London Transit. Needless to say I’m now rather proficient at getting to where I need to be!

On Friday I had a job interview at an Anglican School in North West London. The interview went well, although it was for a higher grade than I’m hoping for (Year 5 which is grade 4 in Canada). I just got a call about half an hour ago telling me that I didn’t get it. I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would be. There are still lots of jobs coming available and I really am hoping for a reception or Year One Position.

In the meantime I’ve been focussing on getting settled into London and finding permanent accommodations. Adeola has been most gracious in allowing me to stay here for as long as I need to, but it’s really small and cramped and I’m really sick of living out of suitcases (I can’t find anything!).

In any case, I have found a place to live. It’s a flat above a music store in a nice North East Neighbourhood about 10 minutes from one of the main subway lines. It’s been well cared for and is a really nice flat with hardwood floors a really modern kitchen and bathroom, a large sitting room and a decent sized bedroom with furnishings. There’s also a garden although I didn’t see it while I was there. It’s £465/per month and that includes all bills other than my phone and food so that’s pretty good for London. The girl who owns it is named Jenia and she was born in London although her family is from Nigeria originally so that’s kind of neat. She’s 32 and works full time and we got along quite well when I went to look at the place.  She’s going to call me tonight and we’ll finalize some of the details like WHEN I’ll move in. I’ll also get the address from her so I can pass that on to those of you that might want it!

Other great things about the place is that there’s a bus stop RIGHT outside the door, shops nearby, and it’s only a 20 min bus ride to a large market where you can get great organic produce for fairly cheap. There’s also a Catholic Church right along the bus route about 10 min away so I’ll be able to go to Mass easily!

This weekend I went to the Royal Albert Hall and saw the Doctor Who Proms which was a huge musical event. Basically they have a full orchestra that plays selected pieces from the show. They also played some classical pieces like “Ride of the Vallkeries” and “Mars”. It was an amazing concert and I’m so glad I went. Totally worth the £5!

Sunday I met up again with Louise, a friend of my friend Ali (who lives with her husband and children in Germany). Louise was Ali and Johannes’ aupair a few years ago and Ali got us in touch when I arrived. Lou has been great in giving me advice on areas in London and things to do. We met one evening last week after my house hunting and then on Sunday I took the bus down to her area of London and we went to the Cinema to see Toy Story 3 (in 3d!). It was just as fantastic as everyone has been saying so I’m glad I went. It was the first movie I’ve been to in MONTHS.

So this week I’ll be continuing to get acquainted with London, hopefully get some more job interviews, and prepare to move and settle into my new home. I’m looking forward to it! Also, this weekend a friend of mine who’s currently in Northern England is coming down to see me and I think we’ll have a lot of fun.

I finally managed to get my pictures and video uploaded! It took ages! To see them all, (complete with captions) and the videos (at the end) Click on the image below and it will take you to the album. I’ll add more photos to that album as I take them so you may want to bookmark it! (although I will let you know here when I’ve updated it!

Cheers!

 

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11 responses to “Sightseeing, adventures and accommodations

  1. The new place sounds awesome! And it’s above a music store? That’s perfect!

    It’s wonderful that so many people are helping you out, and you seem to be navigating quite expertly on your own, so kudos to you.

    Good luck on the job front! I know something fabulous will come along soon. In the meantime, keep soaking it all in, and enjoy yourself! 🙂

    • It is! I’ll take pictures once I can. And yes! A music store. I think it’s more a guitar store, and the guy who owns it is in a band, but hey, I always wanted to learn to play guitar…

      I’ve been very lucky and yes, I’m definitely finding my way around. Even when I’ve gotten “lost” I haven’t really been lost.

      I’m just waiting for the perfect job to come along. I don’t think that other one was it – I really would prefer younger kids and I think that comes across. And I’m okay with that. I’d rather wait longer and get the right position.

  2. The new place sounds like an amazing deal! It’s even less than what we’re paying in Cambridge 🙂

  3. That flat is a *hell* of a deal (I couldn’t do that well in podunky Portland, Maine!). And right above a music store – heaven! 😀

    I am so in awe of you for doing this. I’ve picked up and moved to another part of the US, but another country??? WOW. You are amazing! I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you on the job front.

  4. Wonderful news!! What a relief to have your own space now. (Well, sort of – I gather that you will be sharing with a roommate.). Keep your chin up job-wise. Something will turn up. Perserverence is a hard-won virtue. Someone is bound to pay attention if you show up regularly enough.

    • Yes! If only I was there already! She’s supposed to call me later today for us to set up the actual move in date. She’s super busy at work so it’s probably going to be an evening this coming week. I’ll be SO happy to not be living out of suitcases and bags anymore. I feel like I’ve been doing that for MONTHS.

      As far as the job goes, I’m trying not to worry about it too much. The agency says they do 60% o f their long term placements in September. Plus, that other job was really not at the grade level I want so I think I just need to wait and the right job will come along. For now I’m going to enjoy getting to know London!

  5. Hi – thanks for the photo tour. Haven’t you found a red telephone box yet? I know they are scarce. Are you used to driving on the left hand side? Glad you’ve found an apartment. I think you may be happy to have a room-mate. Living on your own might be nerve racking. The hot weather continues, but we’re feeling a more constant cool breeze – probably eventually bringing clouds and a bit of rain. I’m on day 12 of a horrendous cold. I don’t ever want a ‘summer cold’ again. Good luck job hunting.

    • Hi Marjorie!

      Actually I’ve seen lots of red telephone boxes, I just haven’t thought to take a picture yet. I’ll do that today.

      Driving on the wrong side of the road is still weird. I’m glad I’m not actually driving (I use public transit) Traffic here is insane. I’m starting to remember to look left first instead of right though. It’s very odd.

      Ugh, I remember those hot valley summers in Port, it muxs be a relief to know that some rain is coming to cool things off a bit. It’s been warm here, but nothing like that.

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re not well. I hope the cold goes away soon. Will you be seeing the kids much this summer?

  6. Hi Hannah – Bravo – you are doing such a nice job of getting to know London. Don’t you love the literary connections? It seems that every second block has some street or place name where some story or play occurred!
    Another exhausting hot day; my cold is marginally better; we had Gwen and Rob and the kids here for 5 days in mid-July. We’ll look after them for 5 days at the end of September while Gwen and Rob hit San Francisco! Clare finally decided to take a few steps. She does it so confidently, I get the feeling she’s saying – I can do this any time. I just don’t care to yet!
    Take care.
    Marjorie

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