Is it really Monday morning already? Where did the week go? If I were to summarize this week it would be diverse. I have been mingling with a culturally diverse group of fabulous people.
My Monday Zumba class is one I always look forward to. It’s always good for a serious sweat and this week was worse than usual with the A/C conveniently not working on a warm, muggy day in London. Hasta la vista toxins! I have met a few people in the class and am starting to feel a sense of community on my Monday nights. I also met up with a new friend on Monday, who is actually the girlfriend of Phil’s co-worker. She is from Italy, so I took her to the one place with good food that I knew of – you guessed it – Ottolenghi. She is from just outside Naples though, so I’m guessing the food still didn’t hold a candle to the fabulous pastas, wines and pizza available in northern Italy.
Wednesday was an amazing presentation about sustainability and design, but that will have to wait for a separate post. And Thursday I met up with a fellow Canadian for, you guessed it again, Ottolenghi. This is a very bad habit. If I am starting to look thicker in my pictures, you’ll understand why. Me and my fellow Canadian met at an event at the Victoria & Albert Museum last week and bonded over our lack of employment. However, also noting that it allowed us to go to the V&A in the middle of the day and walk home in the sunshine whilst sipping iced soy cappuccinos.
Thursday I also met up with a new German friend at a Zumba class. With only six people in the class, we again sweated like ravers on ecstasy (on this matter I can only guess that it was a similar experience). Friday rolled around and I met up with a friend who I went to highschool with, Elan, and her friend who is born and raised British. We met in Shoreditch, which is amazing in the evening. And you don’t feel pressured to get all dressed up, wear heals and generally be uncomfortable. Every pub or venue we walked past had people spilling out onto the streets. It was so great to get together with Elan, as it had been 12 years since she left our highschool to move to Florida. She is now a wildly successful banker who has lived in New York and London and we had a lot of years to catch up on. I’m concerned we bored her friend to pieces though.
By Saturday, we wanted to soak up the sunshine and squeeze every ounce of enjoyability out of it, so we headed to the posh neighbourhood of Hampstead Heath. We found the Farmer’s Market, which didn’t even compare to our lovely market in Islington. I am so glad we have that available to us. It’s the highlight of Phil and I’s week really. Sad, but true. We grabbed lunch at the market and lazed in the field with our bottle of Crabbie’s, which is our newly discovered favourite drink in small doses (thanks Guy for the introduction to our newest bad habit!). It’s a delicious, ginger beer and the company has been around since 1801, which means it is older than Canada. The park at Hampstead Heath is massive and covers 320 hecatares. It’s completely insane to have such a space in London. The views from the top of Parliament Hill are pretty good, although I prefer the lush, greenery to the urban city that we spend most of our time in. In the evening, we met up with some new acquaintances – the Canadian friend above and her husband who is originally from Poland but grew up in Toronto. We met at the Landseer Pub in Holloway, which is about a 40 minute walk north from our house. It was a beautiful evening to sit out front on picnic benches. The pub itself was a little gem just off the busy Holloway Road.
Sunday we decided to do some sight-seeing, so we hopped on a tourist bus and 2 hours later arrived at Oxford. The city is the picturesque, university town you would expect. We wandered around for a bit and got a little intimidated at trying to figure out what was what, so we joined a walking tour put together by some of the students at Oxford that explained what all the buildings were and gave a brief history of Oxford. Many of the colleges at Oxford University, of which there are 38, are over 750 years old. The buildings have been designed by famous architects, such as Christopher Wren and the famous academics that have come from this school are too many to name. It is the location that inspired C.S. Lewis to write the Chronicles of Narnia. On the home page of Oxford’s website, the first noted alumni to come up is Lester B. Pearson, the former Prime Minister of Canada. This place is oozing with wealth. They recently completed a fundraiser to maintain all of the buildings in their pristine shape. The alumni raised £1.5 billion. This is me being cynical, but can you imagine if that kind of effort was put towards other efforts – like hunger, global warming, etc? For Harry Potter fans, this is also where many of the Harry Potter scenes were filmed.
Just some general updates – Phil’s leg is totally fine it turns out (according the MRI). So another Phil medical mystery. He’s been doing stretches though and it seems to be improving. And he hasn’t randomly fallen asleep anywhere lately. And you can note that there are no comments on the job front. I am supposed to hear back early this week from the place I had the interview a week ago Friday, but I’m not holding my breath. Tis another week, onwards and upwards.