I’ve had a fairly mellow first week off and it’s been lovely.
I did end up going into the school for a few hours on Monday, and again today to get a few things done, but otherwise I’ve been enjoying the time off.
I’ve had a lie in most days (the british way of saying “Sleeping in”) and, since I’ve been a bit broke until today (payday!!!) I’ve mostly been staying close to home.
Last weekend I decided to explore my neighbourhood a bit more and window shop at some of the lovely shops up the street. I really am lucky – we’ve got everything around here – supermarket, 99p stores, shoe stores, clothing shops, all kinds of restaurants and cafes, banks, travel agents, pubs. It’s really very nice. A few days ago I did go up and get the boots I mentioned in my last post and I’ve been loving them. They keep my feet and legs really warm. I wore a skirt with tights and the boots yesterday and I barely felt the cold at all!
Monday night I decided to try one of the classes at the gym instead of just working out in the gym. So I signed up for “Bums, Tums and Thighs”. OMG! It was an hour long class that had aerobics mixed in with the squats, lunges and situps and by the end not only was I sweating but I was sore. Muscles I never knew I had were aching. It was effective – I definitely noticed some toning after that, but I was achy and sore for 3 days afterward – even now, days later, my thighs are still sore when I stand up or sit down. Needless to say I ended up taking a mini break from the gym after that – I mean on Tuesday I could barely walk!!!
On Wednesday I decided to get out for a bit and explore something new so I took a bus I’d never taken before to the end of the line. It turns out the bus I picked went all the way through East London to London Bridge. Now the London Bridge station is an area I’ve been to before, but on the hour long bus ride I got to see some new areas of the city that I hadn’t seen before. When I ride the bus, particularly a new one, I always sit up top so I can see the streets better – I love the way you can look down at the street below and see far ahead of you.
After I got off at London Bridge, I made my way down to the southbank and walked it a little bit. It was nearing dinner time, so I stopped in at a greek restaurant that’s right on the water and had a delicious greek meal – Chicken Souvlaki (though with a tomatoey sauce that is apparently authentic greek as well as the tzaziki – very good), greek salad and an appetizer of greek flat bread with olive oil and a really delicious blend of spices and nuts that you dip it in.
When dinner was over, I wandered up the southbank, stopping to admire the Globe Theatre (again – I love that place!) and then stopping at the Tate Modern before heading back to the bus stop at London Bridge. I have to say that I think the Southbank is rapidly becoming one of my favourite places in London – I find myself ending up there a lot and I never regret it. (Except maybe that time with Ali when there was a festival going on and it was more crowded than Oxford Circus on Saturday afternoon!)
Yesterday, I took the bus to Iilford (which is actually in Essex – it borders the northern part of London) and met up with one of my coworkers for a lovely Chinese Buffet and movie. We saw “Social Network” which was absolutely fantastic. Even though, I don’t actually use facebook these days I found the movie incredibly interesting. Plus it was well made and well written. But it’s Aaron Sorkin so I’m really not surprised. (He created “The West Wing”).
Today I went in to the school again, mostly to get my paycheck but while I waited I puttered a bit in my classroom. If I can I’ll go in once more before school starts again on the 8th of November, but if not, I’m pretty much good to go.
Since it was payday today, I started looking into holiday options for next week. It’s very last minute now, so sadly any sun vacations are out, but I’ve found some decent prices. The cheapest I’ve found were flights to Germany so I’ve decided I’m going to fly in to either Berlin or Munich and after having some time there, take the train to Mainz to see Ali for a day or so before I fly back out of Frankfurt. Ali’s due on November 4th, so hopefully there will be a new baby for me to fawn over when I get there. Right now I’m trying to decide if I want to try and do BOTH Berlin and Munich (2 nights in each place) or just one and stay a bit longer. I think I’ll sleep on it an make the booking tomorrow morning. But either way, I’ll be off by Monday or Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be nice to get away.