So, it appears that I haven’t updated my blog in over two months.
Oops… I guess we have a lot to catch up on!
When I last posted I was in Canada getting ready for my holiday in London. I was also weighing my options on what comes next, as I’d entered remission and was finally able to work and travel again.
For anyone who doesn’t know, I never did make my return flight back home.
I arrived in London in late November and within a few days was able to return to my old job, get some leads on potential internships, and arrange viewings for room rentals. By the first week of December I was working full-time and signing a rental agreement, and moving myself from Orla’s floor to my new digs by the following weekend. Things were falling into place with an ease that was, quite frankly, well outside my comfort zone.
But things have continued to move forward, and life is good.
I’m living in Zone 1, which has been beyond fantastic. I’m in South London, which so many people warned against, but I love it. I’m a 5 minute walk from a multi-line tube station, can reach Covent Garden by bus in 20 minutes or less, have every shop and service I need within arms reach, and can even walk to work (well, when the weather cooperates).
The neighbourhood is eclectic and lively, and I’m living in a lovely townhouse share just off the high street. There’s four of us in the house: An Aussie, Argentinian, a Brit (who grew up in the Caribbean), and myself, so it’s quite the international share. The house has its quirks, as you can imagine any building in central London would. The plumbing pre-dates the industrial revolution, the “garden” is a concrete box, there’s no dryer (very common), and when the weather gets a little too wet outside mice like to drop in. But the heating is excellent, there’s tons of natural light, the rent is cheap, the roomies are fantastic, and the hot water (almost) always works.
Oh, and there’s a rooftop terrace!
I’m back working at my old job for the time being. The work is tedious, but it pays the bills and the people there are great. Plus, I get to wander up to the top and take photos when I’m bored.
Aside from work I spent most of December catching up with friends. Orla and I have been enjoying actually living in the same city for the first time (she moved to London October after finally escaping her dead-end, thankless job in Belfast) so there have been a lot of cinema and Pizza Express trips. We spent most weekends at the Prince Charles Cinema after discovering it’s existence. They hosted things like The Muppets Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long through the holidays, and Clueless Quote-A-Long and Serenity screenings in the new year. Plus, it’s cheap.
I had my first ever solo Christmas, which was odd. Two of my housemates left town for a few weeks, and the Aussie who stayed in town spent the day at her partners house (though they did surprise me with a turkey dinner on Boxing Day!). I spent the morning on Facetime with my mom, the afternoon marathoning Sherlock in preparation for the start of series three, and the evening on Skype with Tara and Lily, so it was an enjoyable day. I was really just thrilled to not have to go to work, as a racked up 65 hours on my time sheet that week.
I gave myself an early birthday gift and went to see The Book of Mormon in early Dec, which was amazing. On my actual birthday I took the day off from work and went to wander around Greenwich park in the afternoon, and dinner with friends in the evening. Again, a lovely day.
Things have also been good on the internship front. The one I had a lead on when I first arrived ended up not being quite the right fit, so I continued applying in December. When January rolled around I found myself with a slew of interviews arranged, and in the last week three offers. When it rains, it pours.
I had some debate over which to choose. There was one from a large organization that would look good on my CV and offer the opportunity for networking, but the position itself sounded like it would be much more administrative than necessary. There was a second from a smaller organization that I briefly volunteered with in Toronto, for a very hands-on position that I’m confident will be much more beneficial. In the end I decided on the latter, and I begin the first week of February. The office also has an incredible view of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which isn’t too shabby either.
Now that I’ve accepted the internship I can say definitely that I’ll be here for at least three months. Honestly, I imagine I’ll be here until the end of my visa this summer. A number of people have mentioned that they’d like to come and visit in the spring/summer, so I mind as well stick around and play tour guide to friends and family!
I’m peoplesick (homesick, but missing people rather than places), but am thankful for cheap international calling and video chatting making that easier to get through. Baby Thorne-Koski is due to arrive in February and I’m really upset that I won’t be meeting him until the summer. But that won’t stop me from spoiling him and his big sister from afar!
Hmm, what else? I’ve been doing some urban exploration, visited the London Sewing Machine Museum, paid the same for a film that a flight from London to Oslo costs, found some excellent restaurants, finally made it to the Tate Modern, and met Chris Pine.
I have a good feeling about 2014.