Hello friends and family!
My sincere apologies for the lengthy gap in updates. Life happened and I’ve been in a bit of a bubble.
So just what have I been up to in the past month and a half? Well, last time I wrote, I was in Germany visiting my friend Ali and her family. A few weeks after that, she came up here to see me which was really fun. We had a good time exploring the city – although we learned that the Southbank during the Mayors festival is a place to be avoided. There were more people there than I’ve ever seen, even in Oxford Circus. You couldn’t move there were so many people and poor Ali was so uncomfortable. We left there as soon as we could.
One weekend in August I took the train up to Cambridge to visit my friends Leanna and Dave who I know from Canada. They’ve been living there a year and they love it. After showing me around the town a bit – including Clare’s College where Dave goes, we walked over the Fens (common fields along the river where livestock are allowed to graze) to a place called the Grantchester Orchards where we got to take tea on lawn chair under the fruit trees. It was wonderful (aside from the bees who terrorized David). It was a long walk to get there (nearly 2.5 hours) but it was worth it, and the walk back somehow seemed to go faster.
September brought with it the return of school (and a lot of rain!) and so I began the not so fun task of calling the agency at 7 am every morning to see about supply work. I ended up getting two days as an assitant at a school that opened a week earlier than everywhere else, which was a nice start, but then Mon and Tues of the following week there was NOTHING. 😦 I was starting worry, but on Wednesday of that week I connected with the rep responsible for my area and he managed to send me out to a school not far from here for the day. Thursday of that week I again had nothing, but this turned out to be a blessing because at about 11:30 that morning I got a call from the same rep from Wed with a job interview THAT afternoon. I went in at 3, and by the time I left the school at 4:30 I had been offered and had accepted the job.
Everything happened really quickly after that – I started on Friday so it was a whirl wind of getting to know the kids 3 days after school had already started. It’s a small little private school that’s located in an old mansion in quite a nice area. I have to take 2 buses to get there, but it only takes about 25 minutes (in good traffic) and apart from recent construction issues it hasn’t been too bad. I’m teaching a class of 7 year one students (which means they are 5 and 6 years old). It’s a nice little group – 5 girls, 2 boys and I’m having a blast with them. The first few weeks were spent just settling in and getting the classroom organized the way I want it, but now we’ve reached the point where things are running smoothly and both myself and the kids are getting into a routine so that’s nice. Next week, is the last week before our TWO WEEK half term break and then we’ll be back at it for another 6 weeks until Christmas.
Aside from work, I’ve still managed to do some fun things. I’ve been to see two shows recently – Wicked, and a “play” called Celebrity Autobiography. Both were fantastic! I also went to the London Museum a few weeks ago with Sarah, a fellow Canadian teacher that I’ve met here. They have an amazing exhibit that takes you through London history from the Victorian era right through to the future. It’s really impressive.
I’ve been trying hard to also get myself in shape and be healthier. I’ve been eating a LOT of salads lately, and tons of vegetables (I love living near good markets!) and I joined a rec centre nearby. Before I got my job I was doing really well, then there was a 3 week void where I just didn’t have much time to go because I had so much to do, but last week I forced myself to get back into it and this week I’ve been to the gym on my way home every day this week. If I leave the school around 4:30 I can get in a reasonable workout and still come home, make dinner and have time to relax. I’m finding that I really do have more energy and I feel a lot better so this is a great thing!
Last Sunday I took the train to Cambridge again to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with Leanna and David and another friend of theirs. It was so nice to see them again so soon and to celebrate the holiday. It was really strange having to go to work on Monday. But I’m not complaining – I have a two week break coming up so I’ll be fine! 🙂
So, there you have it. The super condensed version of my last two months. I promise I will post again soon. My ultimate goal is to update this at least once a week. Feel free to poke me if I get lax again.