Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The best bits of our time in London... so far (Long version)



Since our rocky start on the shores of Great Britain, things have begun to show signs of order. Although the money is tight right now, Pip and I both have jobs, a roof over our heads and most of the essentials.

Since we've been here, I guess we have done a fair bit, albeit mostly the free stuff London has to offer. Our first three nights in London staying in a hotel were fantastic, we even stayed in Westminster on a beautiful street and ate a wonderful Thai dinner. Food seems to be the constant that we seem to have enjoyed the best of so far, bar a few exceptions (Subway and  Hickeys). One day we did a random tube ride, got off at Baker street with no clue where we were going, only to find ourselves in a lovely Italian restaurant. The curry in Brick Lane was a bit crap, but we've found all sorts of great food from kebabs, and pizzas, to Thai at the O2 Arena.

I believe that cold, wet morning when we left Oxford the only certainty we had in this country with nothing but two heavy bags and each other has really showed the strength of our relationship. I challenge to any couple to do something silly like that. Not that things are perfect now, but we both know we can pull through in a tough situation like that. I have a new love and appreciation for her that I could never have gotten without this experience. The main example was finally finding a place to stay, we sat down with dinner and released a sigh of relief and dared to feel comfortable, only to discover that the bed we were on was infested with bed bugs... Pip took control and got us to a new room when I was ready to say that I'd had enough.

The job hunting was a bit of work too, you have to run all over town chasing leads and job interviews which mostly lead to nothing at all. Pip got a job first at Belmont Thornton which involved a classroom-like environment where you could not speak and had to churn out mindless letters all day. Add to that her 2 hours on the tube each day, it didn't take long to become a bit hard. Luckily my girl is very talented and now works at a music photography gallery. Although it's only a couple of days a week, it pays well and to be honest, it's pretty cool. www.snapgalleries.com


So I decided that a career in audio production wouldn't work after talking to a mate of mine who works in a large recording studio over here and is worse off than we... What to do... what to do... Oh how about trying a new career? What do I like the most after music?... Coffee! no... wait YES! So I did a day coffee training and landed a job at a brand-new cafe in the center of London called Dryland www.dryland.com So I am now a trained Barista, having be trained by a fellow who is on the international Barista champ judging panel... Ok I'm not THAT good, but I'm learning fast, and I've found that I love this job. Without speaking too soon, I now want to set up a cafe one day back in New Zealand.

Just a couple more things to add before I wrap this long post up.

We've done the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern,  and the National Portrait Gallery, and seen all the sights, some of which we will go inside once we can afford the tours.

We watched the Rugby World Cup semi final and final in a bar called the Green Room in Shepherds Bush. I must say; I have never been so nervous watching sport in my life. We went with Pip's friend Bradley and two of his friends.

Pip and I have been to our first gig too. Arctic Monkeys at the O2 arena. Very cool! What a night. It was the band whom we initially bonded over so it was quite fitting really. We also went to the O2 for the British Music Experience which was an interactive museum that our flat mate from Gisborne, Gav, got us tickets to before we left home. Oh and we've been to the Uncut magazine photo exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall which was fun.

Now, we are in our new house. We'll be here till July next year. We plan to work and enjoy what London has to offer before we leave prior to the Olympic price rises  in London.Pip's the only one who has left London since we moved back here. She went to visit her long time friend Holly who has also come to stay with us a couple of times.

That will do for my big catchup post. More to come, in more edible portions.

Steve