I know it has been a while since our last blog entry. We have been very busy setting up our little place in Grays and I have been busy getting use to working in an English school. We have become well acquainted with our surroundings and I would say that we are coping very well. Grays has everything we could ever need and it is quite easy for us to get around. It may not be the most picturesque or particularly nice part of England, but it is home for now. I am still finding it unnatural to be getting up and going to work in the dark every morning, but the just in the last week the sun has been coming up a little earlier. Adam walks me to the train station every morning in the dark, so he has to get up too!
Our place is fairly livable now - after we received our delivery from the local Ikea and spent a weekend assembling various pieces of furniture. I now have a desk to do my school work at with some funky red bits and bobs from Ikea. We got a dining table and set of chairs, which we also put together ourselves - and did a very fine job of might I add. We were also very lucky to have received some secondhand stuff from my cousin who left London to live in the Netherlands. We got televisions with a surround sound system, dvd and vcr players, one beast of a vacuum (or hoover here) and heaps of other little things to make our place a bit more like a home.
I had a really great birthday on Thursday despite the fact that I had to work. The children were lovely and I was showered with cute cars and some gifts at school. I got chocolates and some cute little knickknacks. Adam got me tickets to see 'Phantom of the Opera' in her Majesty's Theatre in London on the 11 of February. I am really excited! Adam and I went out for dinner and saw a movie at the cinemas at Lakeside shopping centre. We saw 'P.S I Love You', which was sad but still enjoyable. I got lots of cards in the mail and I just wanted to thank everyone who sent them - it was just so nice to get something from home! I am planning to buy a nice watch with my birthday money - just need the time to go and shop for just the right one.
So with our home being a little more livable now, we set off today into London. I wanted to go and check out the Science Museum because I am taking my class on an excursion to it next Friday. We stopped off to have a sticky at the Tower Bridge tube station and ended up going in to see the Tower of London - we were glad we did it. We ended up taking a tour with one of the Yeoman (or Beefeater) tour guides - who were once the guards of the Tower of London. Our tour guide was very dramatic and full of information - the tour was really good. He told us many stories about the many famous and noble people who had been executed there (never excluding the gory details) and about the various parts of the Tower itself (and how they have changed). The place is so thick with history that it is impossible to blog about it all - all I can say is that is was so fascinating. It was amazing to walk through a place that so many famous people had also walked. I never really knew just how bloody English history was - it made me kind of glad I did not live back then. I got to have my picture taken with the first female Yeoman and we also got to see the crown jewels, kept within the walls of the Tower of London inside a huge vault. The jewels were enough to dazzle and make your mouth water. There was one particular diamond that would have been at least the size of my fist and enough gold to sink a small island.
We had to keep on moving, so we headed to the Science Museum. The museum was huge and is full of impressive historical collections and treasures. We saw a real life mummy and some ancient Egyptian artifacts dating back to 600BC. These were part of an exhibit on ancient medicine, but very cool all the same. There were lots of other artifacts dating back hundreds and hundreds of years. We played in the launch pad - which is a bit like our science centre in Brisbane. It was full of kids though and kind of hard to get a play on some of the exhibits - they just don't seem to realise that adults want to play too!
We headed back towards the centre of London and enjoyed a scrumptious 3 course dinner before heading home. We had planned to go to one of the many Australian themed Walkabout bars to celebrate Australia day, but it was just utter bedlam there -there did not appear to be many Australians actually there - it was just full of poms decked out in Aussie gear off their face drunk - just using it as an excuse to get smashed. We had a drink with dinner to celebrate Australia Day - the poms can have their fun…. We hope everybody back home enjoyed their Australia Day and had a barbecue for us - Adam really misses his steak.
Anyways, that most of it for now. Adam and I have been research places to start trekking to. We have some plans in the works and we hope to be off on an adventure soon, but for now we are happy to explore things closer to home. Please do keep in touch with us - it is always good to hear from everybody back home.
Till next time… X
P.S - It was really sad to hear about Heath Ledger…