Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Day #99: The one with the Heat Wave

So far, our London summer has been incredible! Jake's job is going really well and he has enjoyed the challenge of taking part in his first IPO. Don't ask me the details! All I know is, it's big, it's challenging, it's great experience, and he is loving it....That's what she said! I have been getting to work a ton at Southbank and definitely feel at home at my new job. The staff has been fantastic and the best advice I have received so far was, "Don't try to turn this into an American school. It's different here and you will not win the battle of structure!"

I am getting used to the different method of education and trying to let go a little. I like walking in straight lines, I love a controlled classroom where all the kids are working together, and I adore listening to the kids use respectful language with each other. I am learning here that it's ok for the students to stampede screaming in the stairwells, it's fine for the kids to crawl under tables during maths (not sure why it's plural here!), and to solve problems, it's perfectly normal for them to yell and say rude things to each other! It's not the way I would typically do things, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Everyday I leave work and try to reflect on some things I learned that I will be able to put to use when we are back home. I definitely feel like I will have two years of my own education while teaching here and I am really grateful for the experience.

We have had two visitors grace our tiny flat! Paul Ketchum was here for work and got to spend two weekends with us. It was absolutely incredible to get to see him and we had a blast. We took a train down to Rye and spent the day discovering the beautiful town. Highlights included climbing through the roof of a church from the 1100's (we seem to keep finding ourselves in church roofs!), taking some great photos with a cannon and armor, checkers in a tiny pub, and a fabulous modern (and furry) art exhibit. He and I also got to have a fun play date one day when I wasn't called in to teach. We had a delicious lunch and hit up the Winston Churchill War Rooms! Jake came to meet us and the day ended with a torrential rain storm, running into a pub to escape, dinner at a convenience store, crazy drinks at a prohibition themed bar, and a gay pub in southern Islington. Classic! Genna, a teacher friend from Sage, also came to stay and it was amazing to see her too! She and her friend were traveling through Europe and crashed at our house while we were away this past weekend. We got to see her on Sunday night and had a wonderful time catching up. Familiar faces and friends are something Jake and I have both come to appreciate SO very much!

Jake and I got to celebrate our anniversary in Prestbury this past weekend. I can't believe it has been three years - I remember our wedding day like it was yesterday. Highlights of this trip included:
1. Jake driving on the left for the first time. We almost died ONLY ONCE when he accidentally ended up in the right lane. To his defense, we were VERY lost in the back woods of Cheshire County and I think he scared the driver of the other car more than he scared us. He did a great job and I would drive with him again anytime!
2. Staying at the most wonderful little B&B in the Earl Gray room. We had coffee in the sun room, breakfast in bed, and got to truly relax!
3. Strolling through the town and finding that once we saw the 4 restaurants, 2 pubs, 1 church, 1 post office, and 6 houses we had seen the whole thing! It was adorable.
4. Having two DELICIOUS meals and closing down the Italian restaurant on Saturday night. In fact, the chef actually came out and we chatted with him for an hour before he locked up!
5. Crashing Becky's birthday party at one of the pubs on Saturday after dinner. We walked in and found 20 people total (including the bar tender, her kids, and her dog), strobe lights, karaoke, and the karaoke guy's extremely drunk wife. We made great friends, celebrated Becky's big day (no we didn't know Becky before this evening), and watched as she attempted the 'Dirty Dancing' lift with the Karaoke guy. She ended the night by convincing the bar tender to stay open an additional 2 hours past closing. Amazing.

We got back into town on Sunday and realized London was in the middle of a BLAZING heat wave. When we left town on Friday it was 44 degrees. On Sunday it was 87. We are talking the kind of muggy heat that takes your breath away, leaves your shirt clinging to your back, and makes the city stink from the rotting trash. The heat finally broke today and THANK GOD...literally! I think God himself duked it out with devil and put out the blazing flames of hell that have been burning in London for 2 days. Yesterday, when I got home from an extreme bus adventure, I took off my tank top and was able to wring sweat out of the fabric. I am tough when it comes to heat too! I was born in raised in Arizona. On our wedding day it was 112 degrees and I did not complain. Let me tell you, London just won the gold medal in this 'heat' - pun totally intended. Take a step down Phoenix, you are now the silver medal winner...this London heat just kicked your ass. You can have peace of mind however, because today it poured rain and the oven has been turned down to a comfortable 62 degrees.

Lesson's Learned: 1) Familiar faces are like a little piece of home, 2) Extreme London weather is the real deal, 3) I love my husband and am honored to be celebrating 3 years as his wife :)
Celebrating Paul's arrival at 'Cask' - one of our favorite beer bars in London.

On our way to the 'Old Cheshire Cheese,' a historic pub in on Fleet Street.

The lighting was just too perfect! Check out St. Paul's in the distance. London is so beautiful!

On the cathedral rooftop in Rye. How great are those red tile rooftops in this tiny village?

Paul, Jake, and I on Main Street in Rye.

Fun with canons. Enough said.

Leader of the Goose Clan, Jake Singleton. Beware vikings...you better hope it doesn't rain or death will surely follow.


Anniversary fun!!! Jake and I outside the Village Pub after Becky's birthday.

Here's to three excellent years!!!

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