Thursday, 30 September 2010

5 day work week :)

This week was my first 5 day work week! And I am already planning my shopping trip next weekend after I get paid! Haha.

It started Monday with a call from the agency telling me hesitantly that they had work, was I ready?
I said: yes.
They said: well.... it's secondary..... french - How do you feel about that?
Me: uhh grreat?
And off I went on the 'hike' (they were not kidding) to find this school.  I arrived to find out that I would be teaching French 11, English 8, and Spanish 7.  Yes, I am just that talented (apparently).
But I survived, even enjoyed most of the day, and now know that I can pretty much teach anything - which is a definitely plus when on call!
Tuesday and Friday I have a regular position, but I was called in to this same school  Wed & Thurs because the teacher that I cover on Tuesdays has the flu.  So tomorrow I am there as usual, either teaching French to all grades - my regular assignment - or with the year 5's again if Taryn is still not well.

Then Saturday Sam and I jet off to Scotland!!!! TGIF tomorrow, Scotland on Saturday - Man LIFE IS GOOD!!   =D

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Off to the Races!!

Another chill Friday movie night for me and Angela (Sam & Heather met new Aussie friend from last week at a pub). I was feeling a little run down, having been hit with allergies, and Ang was feeling a little tight for cash, so we stayed in. Things are slowly picking up and this week was the first week to see everyone get work. I am working my steady 3 days/week and am hoping to pick up some extra days soon. Sam finally had her hard copy of BC criminal record check arrive so she could work and ended up with 2.5 days this week. Heather got 2 days and Angela got one.

Saturday we chilled around the house most of the day. I walked in to Wimbledon for a bit, got some used books etc, just got out of the house for a bit. Then Ang and I decided to hit the races!
We walked to Wimbledon and hopped on a bus to Wimbledon staium for the greyhound races. We got in for free and got a £3 drink voucher thanks to the coupon I found in the paper :) (Laugh all you want...)

It was great, we walked in and the crowds were huge! Tons of people mingling about, placing bets, eating and drinking. A definite night out activity for Londoners. Everything from the high-betting professionals to kids birthday parties.
 Angela and I headed outside to watch trackside for the first bit and it is pretty unreal. The 'hare' whizzes past and scares the crap out of you, followed closely by the 6 dogs in the race who are unbelievable to watch! There are races every 15minutes and 13 in total. It was definitely quite the experience! All the dogs have great names and their stats are all printed up in the book they give you upon entrance. Of the first 4 races, the dog I 'picked' won 3 times! But then my strategy of choosing based on the coolest name showed some flaws by the end of the night...

We watched a few races trackside, then got some dinner and ate in the stands. After that we were pretty cold so we grabbed a spot to watch from inside. A group was just leaving after celebrating Alfie's 11th birthday, and they told us to help ourselves to the left over cake (2 pieces!).... so we did :) It was delicious!

All in all, a great new experience. Ang and I are pretty sure we could win big if we keep going to the races and figure out what the stats mean! haha

Monday, 20 September 2010

What happens when a group of Canadian teachers get together.....

Another work week down, we decided to keep it low key with some sushi and a movie night on Friday.. and it was a good thing we did!

On the 'wobbly' Millenium Bridge
Saturday we got up and headed into town for a city 'walk about' with other Impact teachers.  There were about 15 of us, mostly Canadian with a few Aussies.  We toured around the financial district of London and our tour guide from Australia filled us in on some interesting facts about this part of town.  Also pointed out some nice free activities that can't be found on the tourist guides :)

At the end of the tour, in true Canadian fashion, we were looking for a pub. So we hopped on a bus heading for the Maple Leaf - Canadian of course!

Maple Leaf Pub on the left

After a couple of pints in the crowded Maple Leaf we went down the road to another labyrinth of a pub, the place was huge! We came out of this one only to discover it was still broad daylight! .... oops
Yup... BROAD daylight!

Free icecream samples??  YES Please =)

From here most went their separate ways, after they had all given me emails on a trusty napkin.  But, those of little faith, the napkin did survive the night and we got a nice mailing list going on Sunday and are ready to get together again to share our crazy teaching stories!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Where time began..

No one got 'the call' this morning, so after doing some laundry the four roomies were trying to find a way to ward off cabin fever.  So naturally I asked them if they would like to join me in a journey to where time began..... and off to Greenwich we went!

nice walk.. before the hill

view from the top of the hill

our 'gift' to Greenwich (from Canada)
Greenwich is a small suburb to the southeast of London which contains the prime 'zero' meridian.  And of course Greenwich Mean Time is th basis of standard time, hour zero! We got some lovely shots of the hike up to the zero meridian, standing on the meridian, and of course a west vs. east roomie shot!

On the zero meridian :)

West side is the Best side!!

There is also a small market that we checked out before getting back on the train and heading for some nice home cooked pub food in our neighbourhood :)

bangers & mash = heavenly

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Which way to the beach?!

Our first weekend with the house to ourselves all settled in... so we get up to no good ;)

seems like a good idea?
Friday was Angela's birthday so we started with some innocnt festivities at the house. The usual- present, cake, tiddly winks with wine shots.. no big deal.  Then when we were out of wine we decided to head to our new 'local pub', The Grove, for dinner.  It was Brazilian night at The Grove so we hung around til night time rolled arond and got some free ramba dancing lessons :)

at The Grove with bartender Joel

Saturday was a bit more of a recouperating day, just a lazy day at home.

Sunday morning we set our alarms and jumped on a morning train to Brighton on the coast.  We spent the day wandering along the beach, had lunch at a beachside pub and made our way to the Royal Pavillion.  There was some sort of festivity going on as the town was over run with bikers and all their bikes.  Some roads were closed off too with food stands and live music.  Weather was beautiful and it was great to smell the ocean air again, definitely a spot we will be visiting again.

beach  *sigh*

me Sam Angela

Brighton Pier

Royal Pavillion

PS: is anyone reading this?? leave comments!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Day Trip

Yesterday it was time for a day trip out of the city. I set out with Sam and her mom in the morning tohead to the coach station.  We got on a bus and headed for Oxford.  It was about one and a half hours on the bus then we started our wandering around the university town. 

 Lots of shops, including an Alice in Wonderland Shop!  We had lunch at a little cafe then went to Christ Church to se where they filmed Harry Potter!

Checked out the beautiful university grounds and stopped at a little pub for a drink to cap off the day :)

Harry Potter dining hall

yes I got in trouble for using the cutlery.. oops
Oxford campus

PS: sorry this post is so ugly.. blog decided to hate me and I couldn't rearrange the photos.. grr

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood :)

I am writing this post on my couch in my jammies!!!!! YAY We have internet in our house now!! :)

So today was my first day of work, much needed after a 9 week summer vacation! Getting into a routine is nice.  Yesterday roomie Sam and I checked out a local gym, great facilities, nice views ;) We will definitely be motivating each other to hang out there.
Today I got up early to head to work with transport a little unpredictable with a tube strike on. But I made it to work and felt like I was right back into the swing of things.

Tuesday I cover year 5 (gr.4) while their teacher has admin time. I teach them geography and art on this day.  It is a class of 14 and they are great kids, quite entertaining! Fridays I will be going into each of the 4 classes that make up the school to teach french.  Each class has a Teacher Assistant to help with any of those pesky tasks I don't feel like doing, and every class also has a smart board! (our school in cr had one.. and we were cutting edge!)  Even has a colour photo copier! I know, space aged!! haha 
Of course, the biggest learning curve is getting used to a new schedule and all of the little daily routine things that they take for granted but I need to learn.

After school I met the roomies at the local pub just down the road from our place where we had some drinks and got to know our new pal Joe the bartender. We are all settling in nicely as I have started this job and each of the roomies has gotten calls to start some supply jobs. Things are good :)

Saturday, 4 September 2010


My street
So after more than a month of being a nomad I have a place to live!!! It is a great house that I am sharing with 3 other Canadian girls all working for Impact Teachers :)  We moved in yesterday and started getting the things we need to feel at home here in London.  We don't yet have internet, hopefully Tuesday, but everything is falling into place.

Our Place!
Yesterday I also had an interview for a part time job.  My goal here was to work supply (substituting) in  order to keep a flexible schedule for travelling. But this job came up and they thought of me so I figured I'd go for it.  It is Tuesdays and Fridays at a small private school of about 60 students from grades 3-6. Yes that means SMALL classes, the largest has 18 kids :) It is a religious school, so I have to wear a skirt (hello shopping!).  I am covering the gr 5 class on Tuesdays for the teacher's prep time, teaching them geography and art. On Fridays I will go to all of the classes in turn and teach them core french (intro to french).  This job is more than enough to cover all of my bills which means any supply I do on other days of the week can all go towards my travel fund =D
Pretty excited everything is falling into place, so far so GREAT!

Angela and I celebrating our first night in the new place with a couple (few..) Goblets of wine:)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Falling into Place...

Well the past few days have been kind of hectic... I am still at the hostel and have been concentrating on finding a place to live (so I can leave the hostel!).  On Tuesday I made my way to the Impact office for my meeting to go over the details and get everything organized to begin working.  While there, a girl walks up to me and says, "Do you have a place to live?"  "No"  "I have a place with 2 other girls from Canada,wanna live with us?"   "Yes, yes I do".. is pretty much how it went.
So I got details from her so I could check the place out, and meanwhile was setting up appointments to view other places a little closer to the city blah blah.
Went to view one place and discovered just how cut throat the London rental market is.  My viewing involved meeting at the place along with half a dozen other people, being given a basic tour and adding my name, age, profession etc to a long list of others who had also seen the place.  From there the tenants get to hand pick their "perfect match". In other words it could take FOREVER to find a place!! So the next day I arranged to see the 'Canadian' shared flat. It is Fabulous!!! Such a nice neighbourhood, close to anything you could possibly need, clean and available ASAP!! Sign Me Up :)

So today we all met (for the first time) tried, not so successfully, to scrounge up enough cash to pay the landlord and sign the papers. Move in day is TOMORROW!!   :)  Which is also the day of my first interview for a 2 day/week position, if I can find the school.  Another busy day tomorrow, but glad to have a more permanent place to sleep with my own key.