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Published: January 17th 2008
Well another couple of weeks have gone past and I'm still here. Now some of my reading public (at least one person) has asked about my life in London - not just the partying and travelling, but life. So, despite finding it a bit wanky, I've decided to permit myself an introspective moment to share my new life with those who were part of my old ... and random strangers since this is public!
London - well I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I waver between great affection for London and not wanting to be here. It's not that I'm hankering for home (although I miss lots of you), but more when I'm away having fun and think about returning to life here, I want to stay in the the place I'm discovering. Admittedly that's also because when I'm away I've been lucky to be with friends and sharing adventures with others is wonderful. I have many more trips planned, but my main big trip this year will be an African overland.
In keeping with my plans I'm still temping, and basically in the process of knocking back a good permanent job at the company I'm currently
Fi, Bek & Me
temping at. They're a good bunch and while there's a smattering of Antipodeans, it's primarily an English company with French management. Everyone warned me how much more formal it would be in England, well I've managed to find possibly the one company where that isn't the case. Everyone is lovely, welcoming and friendly and I've told them I'm happy to stay, but I'm off to Africa for a couple of months later in the year, so don't feel a permanent role suits me at the moment. It would be very easy to join them, but I'll make what impact I can until I get my Africa plans finalised and then I'll think of them with affection. There have been 2 little flies in my enjoyment of the position, however one has gone, hopefully never to return and the other is behaving now and if gets out of line, I'll have to practice being forward (such a challenge for me ... not). So it looks like I'm going to be at my current job until I wander off to traipse around the dark continent!
I've joined a couple of social networking websites to tackle goal number 2 ... make some
not a friend, but he was funny
new friends. I've been so lucky thus far as I've had friend & friends of friends in London or inviting me to come and play around Europe, but I'm now pretty much on my own so I've had to be a little more proactive! So I'm now a member of citysocialising.com and meetup.com - both sites are made up of groups who get together and do stuff. Saturday was my first 'event' a pub quiz and drinks and I met a lot of really normal and lovely people (and I got numbers!).
Over the next couple of weeks my life will be a twirl of drinks, dinners, trips and lots of activities! I'm booked into the blessing of the clowns, movies, Gloucester cheese rolling and am off to Valencia with a couple of girls I haven't met yet in a couple of weeks. I've even booked into group training on the common ... yep ... organised excercise once a week. The rest of the week I'll keep running up & down the escalators in the underground, wandering around London and further afield and taking part in lots of lovely activities like my ice skating outing this weekend (haven't met
Same Group ...
Those you meet for pub trivia
that person yet either!).
Home life is less rosy as I made the error of sharing with an English person. I thought I was up for the challenge, but I guess I don't want to have to work that hard. So I think I'll stay until Africa then find new when I get back. The advantages of my current living arrangement is that the room is great, well located and affordable, plus I'm not here that often and when I am I now have tv, dvd and internet to keep me occupied! The disadvantages is the woman I'm sharing with. So more on one side than the other so I'll stick it out until I can't stand it, go to Africa and/or something better comes along.
The downside of the whole living with a dirty, lazy English person is that it shades your overall impression of the English as a race. Now I hate to generalise, but I'm already starting to fall in line with the images a lot of us have of the English. In general they are friendly enough as long as you don't think a conversation actually means they want to keep in touch. I
don't get the 'you all right' as a greeting, as they don't really give a damn. On the plus side they many are very friendly, but you take that for then and there as you can't overstep the 'line', oh and don't talk to them on the tube ... well ... actually it's fun to see the panic in their eyes so I try to do it at least once a day.
Daily life here is a bit different to back home. I actually get up and put on make up before leaving the house ... ok not a lot, but I've finally graduated to eye liner as well as mascara, even on the weekend. I've learned to find space on the Tube and am working out the buses (night bus included), but am still unsure of the overground. I probably dress better, definitely dress warmer and have reacquired layering skills. I don't actually think it's that cold or miserable and I see the sun when it shines, which despite the stories is quite often (but not for long). Probably the biggest thing for me in London is that I don't feel invisible anymore.
Well if you hung on for the whole of my indulgent moment, don't worry I'll be back to travel before you know it! With Love Jane
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