Can hardly believe it myself, I have been calling this big city home for 6 months now. I still remember like yesterday sitting at the airport with friends and family, eating pop corn chicken, nervously waiting to be called for our flight. Giving and receiving tearful hugs, walking through the gates and bawling, not from and fear of what lay ahead, but simply of what was being left behind.
Thankfully 1p per minute phone calls to NZ landlines and Skype have been my saviour in staying in contact, and of course daily Gmails.
|Lucy and I lapping up the sunshine in Clapham Common|
Well you Kiwis sure did have a lot of fun while I've been gone, snow in Auckland, the RWC and the Big Day Out finale! Don't worry I have been having a lot of fun of my own and I only consider the last 6 months settling in! I am so excited for what is ahead of me.
|Celebrating a WIN at The Church|
|Three very patriotic Ladies|
|Two very stoked Men|
When we arrived in London it was a bit hard to get my head around that every 'house' was joined to the neighbour, which looked exactly like its two neighbours on either side. And that a street name and number meant nothing without a postcode.
|Just like Corrie|
The weather was amazing and it didn't get dark till 10 at night only for the sun to rise again at 4am. I wondered where London got its rep for rain and grey skies. Six months later I can see now what they are talking about.
|A picnic in in Hyde Park with friends in summer|
Our first weekend we spent in Brighton and again I felt shocked to find mid summer the sea was cold and the beach was covered in rocks, not too impressed. Brighton itself was a lovely town though!
|The Palace in Brighton|
|I ain't no New Chums|
After a week or two of exploring London I headed to stay with Lucy's family and experienced small town England, castles and all, nothing like the hustle and bustle of London. I'm very thankful to be able to see more than one side of the UK and look forward to seeing more.
|Lucy and I in Bewdly|
|Stopped for a photo opportunity on the way to Bewdly|
|King of the castle|
My first trip abroad was a wonderful week in Croatia as I previously spoke of here so I'll spare the details. Returning to London was I must say an anti climax, I woke up sick, and stayed sick for 5 weeks, a real class act at job interviews! I didn't think it would be easy to sign up to a Dr so I procrastinated and just rode the bugs out. That and tearing ligaments made for a couple of woeful months to be honest, but no one ever said it would easy....
After two weeks of job hunting I accepted a position at Encore Tickets Ltd. I must say I think I took the first thing that came along but it does have its perks, top price seats for free... I am definitely making up for the less glamorous parts of the job.
Kelly and I moved into a flat together in Tooting, into a room together which was cheap and only a little nasty but a great location. This place served us well for the three months we spent together, just like sharing a room with your sister, but no fighting of whos side of the room was whos!
|Dressed up for Halloween|
We decided we needed a trip away come September so a few of us took a short plane ride to Sweden, you can read about it here. This was the first time I really thought, 'yeah, this is what I came for, to travel!' even if it was a weekend taster.
Spending xmas with friends not family and NY in Amsterdam not Coro Gold sure was a big change, but change is good, exciting and most of all change is learning.
I spend a lot of time on weekends exploring markets and parks around London, there are so many! From the Borough food markets, yum! To the quirky Camden markets with the most delicious donuts IN THE WORLD. London is huge with endless amounts of site seeing to be done! There is always something to do any night of the week which is great, but tempting when you are trying to save for more travel!
Winter so far has been intentionally quiet, not as cold as I was expecting but I am hear it is yet to come.
|Barclays Bikes, awesome way to explore the city|
So many times I have found myself comparing The UK to NZ, but there comes a point where you have to tell yourself, get over it you aren't in NZ and you can't use your eftpos card everywhere!
I miss most of all my family and my friends, The Coromandel, I miss walking up Mt Eden every day and having a 360 view from the Waitaks to the Coromandel. I miss my car, I miss the spare time I had.
Here I love that everything is open late, you can drink pretty much anywhere in the city (spent many a 1pound on cans of beer at the Offie when I first arrived, just because I could!), I love stopping every now and then and thinking 'I am in one of the greatest cities in the world'.
Whatever your mood there is something for you in London! Yes this is a big hint for everyone to come visit. You are on Europe's door step. There are so many people from all over the world here that I don't think I am only learning about London but about Eastern Europe and Western Europe as well.
|Buckingham Palace. I am almost as tall as the gate!|
|Fancy hedges at Regents Park|
|Uncle Dave at Shephards Bush O2|
|Lucy and I front row for Katchafire|
It sure has a been six months of learning and experiencing new things, lots of highs and yes some lows. I feel settled in this place now and am embracing what it has to give me. Looking forward to St Paddy's day in Dublin, a girls trip to Berlin & Salzburg, ANZAC day in Turkey and many many more trips not yet booked.
Apologies the photos in the last two blogs have been a bit all over the show #stupidblogspot. Also apologies this blog went on a bit longer than I intended. With Love.