If you are looking for a witty travelog ... it's best to look away now ... it's time for another indulgent update on life in general. Time to bring you up to speed with the everyday monotony that is my existence between the odd trip around the UK since it's been months since I crossed the channel.
Starting with the important things - my happy new home. After the nightmare of my first attempt to share, the new place is going wonderfully well. It's affordable for London, relaxed and Mike and Jane are great. Jane (yes another one) is an Aussie teacher who is just about to head back to Melbourne and Mike is English and owns the place and he never makes either of us feel unwelcome or that we are 'renting a room' in his house. It probably helps that we have completely different shifts. Jane is up first and out of the house by 8, which is my cue to drag myself out of bed to get ready for the hike to work. Mike is up late as he works nights. Jane is home first, I'm home occasionally and Mike is home late to pick up the
dog and head out to the pub - wonderful thing about the UK - dogs in pubs, dogs on public transport, really everywhere! Probably the only time we are all home at the same time is Sunday night, but even then Jane gets the house to herself a lot.
I'm still going with my 6 week contract which started in mid December. They seem to like me at work and as I've replaced on not so nice person and the second not so nice and kind of lazy one quit today (wooo hooo) it's a really pleasant place to work. I'm doing Property Management or surveying as they call it here and despite being 'unqualified' according to the British system I haven't noticed any problems with getting the job done. I'm working for a Leisure firm and my job is basically a head office, operational role. I have 4 General Managers who report to me (yep someone let me have staff) and I deal with budgets, operational decisions and head office level liaison with tenants on alterations, licences, issues, service charges (outgoings in Austalian Property speak), etc. The work environment is really good as the people are nice, we
don't start until 9.30 and there is a never ending supply of cake, biscuits and other goodies for every birthday or whenever someone traipses off on a trip (often). I socialise quite often outside work with two of the girls, Jenni and Catherine, but that's understandable as Jen is from Oz and Catherine is Canadian. In fact I'm gate crashing Catherine's hens' party next weekend (she did invite me honest!).
I've well and truely gotten over my desire to stay in and tend to be out probably 5 days a week, traipsing all over London and the suburbs catching up with people for social outings. On the weekends if I'm not on a trip I'll try and get out of town for at least a day, usually to do some outdoor activity - walking, cycling, horse riding or the like. Luckily most of the groups I'm hooked into here involve people who want to do fun things as opposed to just going to the pub, although that does feature quite often as well. I'm in the process of looking for a push bike to cut down on my reliance on public transport and so that I can get out
with friends and see some other parts of London from street level rather than bus.
I have made friends from all over the world including ... shock horror ... English people. Many people told me it would never happen, despite my best efforts, but I've managed to steam roll them into submission. I think most people think I'm a little mad, but that's not such a bad thing. I'm genuinely happy with very few down times, usually because I'm so busy I never have a chance to get maudlin. The good thing about London is that I feel like I fit in here, probably because because most people you meet are from somewhere else and happy to get to know more people. Guess I'm not coming home in a hurry - don't think anyone is surprised about that.
I'm looking forward to summer here as there is so much that goes on in London. Between day trips in the UK, weekenders planned to Prague and Normandie, my holiday (ok my life is one big one) later this year to Turkey and neighbouring regions I'm having a great time. I'm getting to travel with old and new friends and
think my days of solo trips may be at an end. I now know enough people there is usually someone who will come and do stuff with me. Even when I stay in London there is always something happening - in the next couple of weeks there are lots of grown up activities like a mass water fight to welcome the summer, the ballet and opera free on the big screen in trafalgar square, an innocent country fair, flower shows, bike rides, picnics and just hanging out at the common reading the paper with friends. The best thing is I don't have to organise everything, other people do and then they invite me, I think I'm losing my touch.
Well hope this has satiated your need for news of the Miss Jane variety and given you a window into my London life.
Love to all Jane
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