Goodbye Is Impossible

I promised an Edinburgh blog and it will come. But this is more important.

I have three days. Three short days left in this country, in this city that I love. Thinking back now to when I made this decision I couldn’t imagine not only how hard it would be to leave, but how hard it would be to leave early. I was intending to write this blog, my goodbye blog, as a look back on all the good memories I’ve had here, confident that I am heading back to Canada having made the right decision. That blog I had in my head doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not that I don’t feel I’ve made a good decision to go back. There are so many things to look forward to and people I want to reconnect with. I want to go back to Canada. The problem is, I just don’t want to leave here.

I made the decision to move to England pretty quickly. It was the right time for me, it was something I’d always wanted to do, and things just seemed to fall into place perfectly. Part of me thought that I was leaving Canada to put on hold all of the “adult things” that I had waiting for me. Finding a career, coming to terms with the fact that while I’m still young, I am getting older, “settling down”. I know now that while that may have been my motivation, it had the opposite effect. I have grown so much just by being here. I feel like more of a whole person, if that makes any sense at all. I’m looking forward to a career in Canada that I had been running away from. I’m anxious to begin life as a “proper adult”.

When I decided to move back I thought that starting my life started with leaving the UK. I have absolutely no way of telling at this moment whether that’s true. I will probably never know. When I return to Canada I will have no way of knowing what would have happened had I chosen to stay. The same way that if I chose to stay I would not have known what would have happened if I decided to go back early. The decision has been made, and so now I must trust myself that I will make the best of it.

What I do know is this. It is incredibly, incredibly hard to leave this place. My heart has been aching for days, weeks. The more people I have to say goodbye to, the bigger the pit in my stomach opens into a chasm. I have gained so many amazing, wonderful people. I have shared in some of the most fantastic experiences of my life. What I do know is that I will be back. I can’t take this year and a half and chalk it up to good people and good experiences and leave it at that. Whether it’s just as many visits as I can manage, I know I will return, and often.

I have two homes now. An ocean apart. And as hard as that is, I am so grateful for it.

Posted in Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

UK Journey Days 5&6 – Glasgow

By the time I got to Glasgow it was evening, right in the time after dinner has finished but before the city wakes up to party on Saturday nights. I was sharing in the in-between state of the city. My brain telling me that it was still early, my body telling my I was exhausted and I should just go find my hostel. I let my body win the argument and hopped on a bus to the west end of Glasgow and my cozy hostel.

The thing about backpacking alone, is that despite how good you think you are at being alone with your own thoughts, it really can get lonely if you don’t open up and learn to talk to strangers. When I checked into my hostel I met another fellow Canadian (I’m telling you, we’re everywhere), and he and I decided to grab a pint, just because it was Saturday. We returned to the hostel early, but it was enough to talk to a fellow traveller to rejuvenate my eagerness to see the city. 
In the morning I went out with the intention of finding a full Scottish breakfast, but I chickened out mainly because it was just so much food and black pudding scares me a little bit, and I ordered something else instead. I enjoyed my leisurely breakfast, taking my time to enjoy my tea and finally headed out to explore Glasgow’s west end. The day was mostly composed of walking and reading. While on my walk I picked up a book for £1 from a charity shop, and finished it before I left Glasgow. I walked to and around the Botanic Gardens, around the shopping district, through Kelvingrove Park, and around Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. I walked in the art gallery at just the right time, it seemed, as an orchestra had just begun to play. I had a beautiful soundtrack to my museum visit and a great vantage point from the top balcony. (I’ll attempt to attach the video from my phone at the end of the blog if I can.)
I finished at the Art gallery, went to have some dinner, and then headed back to my hostel, where I spent the evening hanging out in the common room, making conversation and playing cards with my fellow hostel dwellers. 
The next morning I woke early, knowing I was feeling the strain of the last few days, and really wanting to take it easy that day. Rather than staying in bed, I decided to take a city bus tour in favour of walking or figuring out public transport in the generally spread-out city of Glasgow. I tend to like to explore things on my own, to figure out where the good places are and get lost among them, but I’m certain I made the right decision on this one. I got to see the highlights of the city from a warm and comfortable bus, and get off when I decided I wanted to see something in more detail. 
I spent some time in Glasgow Cathedral and walked around the Necropolis, where I wrote a poem. I don’t think it’s any good, but here it is.
I ponder on the times we spent
How much to me you once had meant
And how I left with no regard
For those who said “do not depart”
And here alone I cannot say
If I feel you with me here today 
Though I cannot guess now where you went
I cherish all the times we spent
I dunno. Graveyards always make me emo.
After that experience my next stop off my tour bus was Buchanan Street. My Canadian friend had spoken wonders about it but I wasn’t blown away. I can’t much tell one shopping district from another. I did however treat myself to afternoon tea at the willow tea rooms, designed by Charles Mackintosh. I walked around the museum of modern art for a while until I decided I was tired, and went back to my hostel.
After a rest, I decided I did want to waste my last night in Glasgow, and so I booked a ticket to see a comedy show supporting Motor Neuron Disease research. Several Scottish comedians (and a very punny Canadian) were part of the show including Frankie Boyle,Gary Little, Janey Godley, and Patrick Monahan. The show was great, but what more can you say about a good time?

My original plan was to spend a third day in Glasgow, and head to Edinburgh in the evening but I felt that I’d seen what I wanted to see in Glasgow, and I was itching to get to Edinburgh, so I booked an earlier train and headed there this morning. Which is where I am now. 

Playlists are below, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some pictures and maybe even a video up today! 

Day 5 Playlist

We Shall Not Overcome – Frank Turner
I’m Yours – Joel Plaskett Emergency
The Fisher King Blues – Frank Turner
This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks
Hey Soul Sister – Train
Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) – Pater Sarstedt
Roll Away Your Stone – Mumford and Sons
When I Am King – Great Big Sea

Day 6 Playlist

Colour In Your Cheeks – The Mountain Goats
Jefferson Airplane – Relient K (Anatomy Version)
All My Only Dreams – The Wonders (That Thing You Do!)
Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford and Sons
I Am Disappeared – Frank Turner
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Bob Dylan (yes again)
Blues in Dallas – The Mountain Goats

   

  

 

Posted in Meanderings | Leave a comment

UK Journey Days 3&4 – Liverpool

It seems as tough I’ve had far too short a time in Liverpool, after arriving much later from Cardiff than I had originally planned. In fact I think I’ve missed a lot of the really great parts of the city, but I’ll try my best to give a good idea of what it’s like. 


I got into Liverpool at about 4pm on Friday, and my intention was to go to my hostel to drop off my bag and get changed, and then see a bit of Liverpool in the evening. My intention was to go to the Cavern Club, where the Beatles played over two hundred shows before 1963. My plans had to change, and I really just blame Wayne Rooney for that fact. I had unknowingly planned the Liverpool part of my journey right on the weekend of the Liverpool v. Manchester United match. (For my Canadian friends, this is Premiere League Football, or “soccer” if you prefer.) This meant that all the good places to stay were either booked or way too expensive, so instead I booked in Everton, a half hour’s walk from Lime Street Station. (Clearly, as you can see, all Wayne Rooney’s fault, the bulldog-looking jerk.) 

Not wanting to waste an hour going back and forth to my hostel, I set out in search of a Costa. I am, it seems, constantly in search of a Costa, due to the fact that they have an abundance of wall sockets and free wifi, and that is pretty much all you really need when you are backpacking with an iPhone and essentially homeless.

Having whiled away my time at Costa, I walked over to Matthew Street and read all the Beatles-themed shops and restaurants on my way to The Cavern Club. When I arrived there, however, I realized that I was exhausted, hungry, and carrying a backpack full of things I did not want to lose in a loud club full of people. So I treated myself to dinner in an actual restaurant and went back to my hostel for the rest of the evening. 

I woke naturally early in the morning, which is my favourite kind of waking, with the exception of sleeping in. My hostel was not the best; I had been told the wifi would work in the rooms, it didn’t; I had been told there would be somewhere to store my bag in the morning, there wasn’t, and breakfast was naught more than a couple slices of bread and a toaster. So I took my bag with me, stored it with left luggage at the station and went off to explore the city. I walked for a bit, trying to take in as much as I could.

Liverpool, it seems to me, can either be exactly what you’d like it to be, or nothing you’d ever expected. Liverpool doesn’t pander much, with the exception of Mathew Street and Albert Dock it seemed rather empty of tourists, despite the upcoming match. Liverpudlians get about their lives whether you are in their way or not. Not to say they aren’t friendly; every local I spoke to was lovely and kind and helpful. 

I could be wrong about all of this, though. Perhaps the reason I feel I didn’t get quite the right feel for the city, is because I spent the entire day being the most touristy tourist who ever did tour things. After my walk in the morning I went on a tour very appropriately titled the “Magical Mystery Tour”. It was a coach bus that took us around Liverpool and its suburbs to see some sites that were important in Beatles History. The childhood houses of all four Beatles, the church where John and Paul first met, places the Quarrymen played, Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, we saw it all. After the tour we ended up back at Mathew Street, and I entered the Cavern Club, just to see what it was like. It was dark, somewhat small, and fairly empty. I’m sure it would have been amazing later in the evening, but I don’t regret going back to my hostel early on Friday night, not really. 

I stopped for a quick lunch, and then headed back to Albert Dock for the Beatles Story, a museum-like exhibition that went through the Beatles’ career from start to finish. It was fabulous, and I wish I had been able to spend more time, but I had to leave to catch my train to Glasgow, which is where I’m headed as I type this. 

As promised, you can find each day’s playlist below, as well as some pictures from my two days in Liverpool. 

Day 3 Playlist
  • Lover of the Light – Mumford and Sons
  • Furr – Blitzen Trapper
  • Don’t Blink – Relient K
  • Who Loves the Sun – The Velvet Underground
  • Slow Motion – Phox
  • Goodnight Goodbye – The Julie Ruin
  • Mirror – Justin Timberlake

Day 4 Playlist
  • In My Life – The Beatles
  • Let It Be – The Beatles
  • Something – The Beatles
  • Get Back – The Beatles
  • Ticket to Ride – The Beatles
  • Back in the USSR – The Beatles
  • Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles
  • All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  • Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles
  • Penny Lane – The Beatles
  • Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles
Posted in Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Journey Days 1&2 – Cardiff

I’m sure by now I’ve told most everyone this, but I’m sure there are people who I’ve missed or haven’t had the chance to speak to yet, so before I start my travel blog, I want to make a formal announcement that my time in London is coming to an end. I’m sad to leave, and looking forward to being home, but I’ll write a proper blog about that when May arrives and I have to face that fact for good. For the next month or so, I’ll be in and out of London on many adventures, and I intend on blogging the whole thing for you here. At the moment I am embarking on my first solo backpacking trip longer than a weekend since I went to Chicago about three years ago. It feels so nice to be out travelling again. As I have several stops on this leg of my journey, I’ll be posting a new blog when I leave a city. I’m currently leaving Cardiff on my way to Liverpool, but I’ll start at the beginning why don’t I? 

My adventure began on a Wednesday, which is a good day for adventures, I think. Contrary to my usual state of being, I got up before my alarm went off and managed to get to Paddington with far too much time to spare. (I looked around for lost bears, but didn’t see any.) I got some breakfast and set myself up by a window to do some people watching. It was so strange, having finished my job only five days before, to see the Londoners rushing about, off to work and various other important things, as I used to do. Strange, but not unpleasant. I will miss my job and my coworkers so very much, but this whole trip just feels like a beginning. 

A short train ride had me in Cardiff before noon, so I dropped my bag off at my hostel and set out to explore the city. When I travel alone, especially in the first couple of days, I find myself talking to anyone who will give me the time of day, for as long as they will tolerate me, which is how I found myself chatting with a charity worker attempting to sign me up for a charity that I couldn’t sign up for. (You may recall that I found myself in the exact situation when I was in Chicago. I think it’s because charity workers are literally paid to talk to me.) This lovely woman spent fifteen minutes chatting with me before I thought I’d better let her get back to her job, but not before she suggested I go to Bute Park for the afternoon. 

The weather was gorgeous, and Cardiff seems, when I was there at least, to be about a hundred times more sunny than London, so I took to opportunity to have a picnic by myself in the park. I wrote a while back about taking myself on dates. Even though I’m travelling alone, finding a quiet space to have your own thoughts can be difficult, especially when you’re in a big city and staying in a hostel, so I cherish these moments like one of those dates. 

Cardiff was beautifully quiet, almost alarmingly so coming from London, which so loud even the quiet parts of it are interrupted by the noise of traffic or barking dogs. I strolled leisurely back to my hostel taking in the sunshine and the absence of crowds.

Some hostels are great. Some hostels are full of friendly people and ambiance and free wifi. Other hostels have you in a room with a bunch of people who don’t want to talk to you, or want to talk to you way too much. I was very grateful to be in one of the good ones. Two girls were in my dorm when I arrived, a Canadian and an Australian. This should not be a surprise, because Canadians and Australians are everywhere all the time. The three of us decided to go out for dinner and we spent the evening creating new friendships. 

I slept in late the next morning, deciding that the sun was much too sunny and anything outside of my bed was much too cold. Finally though, hunger drove me out into the streets of Cardiff once again. After a leisurely lunch, I spent most of the day around Cardiff Bay, taking endless pictures of anything anyone has ever seen in an episode of Doctor Who, and intending to make my way to the Doctor Who Experience before it closed at five. Unfortunately I did not realize until I got there at 3:45 that though it closed at 5, last entry at the Doctor Who Experience was at 3:30. Having done most of the things I had wanted to do, and not being able to get into the Experience, I decided to treat myself to some quiet time in a dark room with a bunch of strangers and go see a film. I hadn’t taken myself to see a movie since The Muppets Most Wanted, I figured I owed it to myself to watch the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was the perfect thing to end my day with, and when it was over I returned to my hostel for a cup of tea followed by an early bedtime. 

My train to Liverpool was scheduled for 6:50am, and I was quite proud of myself for getting up, dressed, checked out of the hostel, and to the station with a generous twenty minutes until my train arrived. I was feeling quite confident in myself until the train guard told me I was on the wrong train and had to turn back to Cardiff. At least one thing goes wrong on every trip, and I’ve taken this as getting it out of the way early, and that everything will be fine from now on. I also took this as a sign that I shouldn’t leave Cardiff without going to Doctor Who, so I booked a new ticket for later in the day, and made my way back to Cardiff Bay. 

The Doctor Who Experience was exciting and nerdy and way better than I had expected it to be, really. It may also have convinced me to pick up Twelve’s season from where I gave up on it two episodes in. I hated to leave Doctor Who off of my must-watch list, and I’m glad the Experience convinced me to give it another go, Stephen Moffatt’s terrible show direction be damned. 

From there I caught my train to Liverpool, which is where I sit now. One final thing before I go; for every day of this trip, I’ll be posting a playlist or short collection of songs which either stuck with me or jumped out at me throughout the day, and I’ll post these at the end of each blog, along with some pictures from that leg of the trip. 

Day 1 Playlist 

  • Until I Am Whole – The Mountain Goats 
  • Out the Door – Kate Micucci
  • Corbeau – Coeur de Pirate 
  • The Stage – Nathan Reich
  • Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Bob Dylan 
  • Old Friends – Joel Plaskett Emergency 
  • Savannah – Relient K 
  • Dood – Kapabel 
  • Neapolitan Dreams – Lisa Mitchell 
  • Lighthouse – Jamie Willetts
  • Mardy Bum – Arctic Monkeys 

Day 2 Playlist 

  • On day two, I elected to listen to the sounds of the city over music, and so I have only one song to share, which went through my head pretty much all day.
  • My Interpretation – Mika

Enjoying the sun in Bute Park

Adorable tea at my adorable hostel

  

Ready for my trip in the TARDIS at the Doctor Who Experience!

 

Posted in Meanderings | Leave a comment

Birthday Month

It’s officially Winter in London now. I can’t say it’s any worse than winter in Canada and I really don’t miss all the snow, but the air is crisper, the chill seems to get through your scarf no matter how you tie it, fairy lights are up all over the city, and I am fighting my urge to play Christmas music as loud as I can almost daily.

December for me is always a countdown to two things; Christmas, and my birthday. I’m going home to Canada for Christmas this year and so my countdown to the holiday is doubly exciting, but since I moved to London I harboured a secret fear that my birthday wouldn’t turn out as grand as I wanted it to be.

I’m not shy of the fact that I’m the kind of person who likes attention. My birthday is the one time of the year where I get to reasonably say that everything is all about me. Last year I turned 24, I had multiple celebrations and an entire Birthday Week dedicated to celebrating the fact that I am on the earth. This year is the big 25, a quarter of a century, so it’s reasonable to think that this year should be Big. But when I moved to England I didn’t know that many people, I thought my birthday would be one huge reminder of the fact that all my friends are in Canada. Now? I’m not so sure.

This year I get Birthday Month. One whole month, one (or two) celebrations every weekend, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world. My birthday isn’t a reminder of how far away my friends are. It’s a reminder that I have friends all over the world.

December is going to Rock.

Posted in Meanderings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Summer In London

Summer, regardless of whether you have a real life job and responsibilities and stuff, always seems to be rather freeing. So freeing, in fact, that I found myself doing so many things, I completely left blogging by the wayside. I don’t regret this. Sometimes, you just have to pay attention to what’s going on around you. If I had been blogging regularly this summer, I’m not entirely sure it would have turned out the same way. I don’t know if I’d be enjoying my life as much as I am now.

I did miss you all though. And now that it is autumn, and winter is on its way, I feel like it’s time to be blogging again. It feels right. But first, I thought I’d share what the last couple of months looked like for me. So, summer in bullet points;

What I Did This Summer

  • became an Auntie to the best little girl in the world
  • met new people
  • found a new musical hobby
  • went to see PHOX live in London
  • met more new people
  • went to Paris for the weekend
  • took endless pictures of the Eiffel Tower
  • went to see lots of plays
  • got sick (and taken care of by lovely surrogate family)
  • saw my sister at the airport for three hours and was amazingly happy about it
  • got a haircut
  • met more new people
  • started actually enjoying a social life in place of Netflix
  • had a picnic
  • went to see Hudson Taylor live in Camden
  • met more new people
  • moved to my own flat all by myself like a real grown up
  • stopped having to commute 3 hours a day
  • solidified friendships
  • missed Essex
  • missed Canada
  • got way too into the World Cup (as always)
  • Mourned England’s loss
  • Celebrated Canada Day with as many Canadians as I could find in London
  • met more new people
  • Went to see Neil Gaiman live in London
  • Finally, finally got to see my parents again for the first time since moving
  • Pretended I was any good at speaking French in Paris
  • Showed my parents the city I love and live in!
  • Finally did all the touristy things I didn’t want to do alone
  • Spent a couple nights on the West End!
  • Went to see (and meet) Nice Peter live in London!
  • Dealt with total six days of unbearable heat
  • Complained with the rest of the country
  • Missed the heat
  • Finally got tired of people getting my name wrong
  • Did nothing to address the problem
  • Went to North Yorkshire
  • Reconnected with old friends
  • Met more new people
  • Lost Robin Williams
  • Felt rather useless at work during the quiet season
  • Struggled through August
  • Considered getting a new tattoo
  • Went HOME to Canada!
  • Met my perfect, wonderful, amazing niece
  • Spent a glorious week reconnecting with my favourite people
  • Dumped a bucket of ice water on my head
  • Started to miss England a little bit
  • Went back to England
  • Definitely didn’t cry
  • Lied about not crying
  • Jet lagged through the beginning of September
  • Met more new people
  • Realized I actually have friends in England
  • Benefited from being in one of the world’s major cities with a visit from a relative passing through
  • Went to Amsterdam
  • Met more new people
  • Had a visit from my amazing Bestie!
  • Went to Euro Disney
  • Realized it’s not summer anymore
  • Wrote this blog
Posted in Meanderings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visiting Strangers

When I decided to move I told myself that I would travel every weekend, as much as I could. And on the weekends I was in London I would spend doing London Things. During my first couple of months in England my weekends were generally spent hiding in my room, not doing things, and not trying to do things. Eventually, I snapped out of it, started doing “London Things” whatever that means, and a couple of weeks ago I took my first trip abroad since moving my life across the Atlantic.

When I told people I was going to Sweden for my Easter break, they were either slightly confused or eagerly enthusiastic. The people who had never been to Sweden wanted to know why I would go to Sweden “what is there?” they cried, “why choose somewhere colder than here when it is so nice out right now?”. The people who had been to Sweden would instantly jump into tales of how fantastic the country is and how much they love it. My trip, however, was not influenced by the weather, or even by the attractions of the country if I’m being honest. My trip was for the sole purpose of spending some time with some people I had never met before.

I’ve written about my keyboard-pal Miriam before. She and I have been friends for almost six years. (Quite possibly more, we were never quite able to pin that down.) And since I was finally on the same continent, only a short flight away, I had no excuse not to get my butt over there and finally meet her.

I was a bit nervous; Miri and I had sent emails back and forth to each other for years, an in that time we had Skyped, and sent YouTube videos to each other, and added each other on Facebook, so I knew she was who she said she was, but there was this nagging worry of “what if we just aren’t the same in real life?”. The minute I got there, that worry was set aside. Miri met me at the airport with a huge hug and it was as if we had been real friends the whole time. As if we lived across the street from each other, it’s just that our street was 4,000 miles wide.

During my time in Sweden I was introduced to a new country, a new culture, new foods, new sights to see, new friends, and one Old Friend.

HannahandMiri

Posted in Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dates With Myself

I’ve hit the point in my journey of living in a new country where I can’t use the excuse of being new to this anymore. I’m not sure what the exact limit is, but I think at four months I’ve passed it.

I spent my first couple months “adjusting”, by which I mean spending a lot of time holed up in my room watching Netflix because I was too scared to actually go out and do things. But there came a time where I had to actually get off my butt and get to the Adventure part of this adventure. As such, I have spent a lot of time on my own. I figured keeping myself from doing things just because I didn’t have anyone to do things with was a waste of my time as a foreigner in England; so I decided to get my Tourist on.

My first venture in taking myself on dates was to see the Veronica Mars movie when it came out in March. I walked to Leicester Square from work in the beautiful weather, and made friends with all the other people who had gone to see Veronica Mars by themselves. (It was amazing, of course.)

Next I went on a date with myself to see Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit. I took myself to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, and doodled cartoon pigs all over my napkin, making secret jokes to myself in my head. And then I went to the theatre, and played the Law and Order game by myself (I lost, I think the Law and Order game is not as easy on the West End). I even made small talk with the German guys sitting next to me.

After that I took myself on a date to the Natural History Museum (I have Thoughts, they will follow). The great thing about going on dates with yourself is that you don’t have to try to impress anyone. I wore my “I don’t want to do my hair today” hat and sweatpants and trudged around the museum blissfully listening to NPR like the pretentious hipster I pretend not to be. Then I went shopping, and ordered way too much snack food for one person at the cinema to see The Muppets, and chortled like a lunatic in perfect bliss.

Most recently, I went to Sweden, and I will of course follow with a blog about my first holiday since the Big Move. That one takes requires a lot more detail, so I’ll post another blog detailing my trip in the next few days.

I actually have quite a good time doing things by myself. The key, I think, is the fact that I just really enjoy my own company. (I mean really, I’m hilarious!) When you get used to the sound of your own thoughts, spending time alone is actually really enjoyable.

Posted in Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What I Put My Umbrella Through

I’m adjusting to London Life pretty well, I think. And aside from the fact that I’ve developed a cold which I attribute to the constant damp that surrounds me, I’ve almost gotten used to the rain. It’s interesting, living in a city where no matter how cold it is, it’s considered a beautiful day as long as you can see the sky. (Although cold for me is relative here, considering how much snow I’ve left back in Canada.)

Before I left Canada I had a beautiful yellow umbrella that was given to me by a friend and I cherished it. I left it at home, because I am not that smart. Luckily, I was also given a wonderful black umbrella at my going away party. It was perfect; it fit in my purse, it had a little flippy button, and I blended in perfectly with the black umbrella masses. This is what happened to it.

First day in London: I love my black umbrella. I can’t wait until I finally get to use it!

Day 2: Still no rain

Day 3: Getting tired of carrying the stupid heavy thing around with me if I don’t ever get to use it.

Day 4: Finally some rain! Have carefully folded umbrella back into its case after letting it dry

Day 7: No longer care about folding umbrella. Is probably getting moldy because I don’t care about letting it dry either.

Week two, Day 12: Umbrella has let me down several times due to wind. Umbrellas clearly useless against gale-like forces.

Day 14: Carried around stupid umbrella all day but came in useful at end of night.

Day 15: Have left beautiful, magnificent umbrella in a cab yesterday. Has probably been stepped on or worse. Will never see it again. Hope it knows I loved it.

Day 17: Purchased new umbrella from Boots. This one has flowers.

Day 19: New umbrella is tiny but works fine.

Day 25 (today): New umbrella is tiny and of no use to anyone. Hate it. Also flowers are ugly. I miss my yellow umbrella. And my black one.  

Posted in Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I guess I live in London now

It’s been two weeks. When I finished Blogging Every Day All Year I swore that I would keep up blogging frequently. At least once a week, I told myself. And of course after the New Year I waited two weeks before posting a blog about my emotions and then another two weeks in London and I’m sure you’ve all thought by now that I’ve died or forgotten about you. I promise neither of those things have happened.

I’d like to update you on my life in England. I’d like to tell you all the things I’ve gotten up to in the last two weeks since I’ve moved here. But unfortunately I’m not sure how much there is to tell. My job is fabulous, but it takes a lot of learning, and my commute from Essex is long. I’ve met some fabulous people who make me feel less lonely than I should, really. I have done exactly zero of the touristy London things I wanted to do before I got here. I’ll get to them, I swear.

It’s strange, really, but I haven’t felt that sort of culture shock I was expecting. I mean, the toilets here use a lot more water than the ones in Canada, and the cars drive on the other side of the road so that I have to keep telling myself to look the other way or I’ll get hit by a car, but really everything’s quite… normal.

I think it has to do with having a routine. I get up, I go to work, I come home, I have dinner and chat with my adopted family that has so graciously taken me in, and then I hole up in my room hoping to speak to some people from home. I’m lucky enough to get to talk to my parents often. Even with the time difference, it’s not too hard to talk to people when you have internet.

I’m marvelously happy. I miss people, quite a lot, and there are some things I wish would just figure themselves out already, but I have no complaints. I love London. I’m happy that I feel like I’ve made the right decision, especially with all the up and down emotions leading up to my decision to leave.

I promise that I will blog more.

I promise that I will try to blog more.

Love you all.

Posted in Wanderings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments