Monday, February 26, 2007

Lab Bar

We went to Lab Bar in Soho on Friday night. Kelly and I got there around 10 and waited for Deenesh to arrive. It was a really cool bar with a relaxed atmosphere. A pity that the cocktails were expensive though. Deenesh arrived a little bit later with one of his friends and we sat around for a few hours drinking awesome cocktails. There were so many cocktails that they had a book menu instead of just one of those double sided, laminated sheets! Awesome - Belinda, you so should have been there. Anyways, Deenesh took photos (as did we but I can't upload them yet) and was kind enough to email them to me so here are my first lot of London photos!

Kelly and I

Deenesh and I

As for Speed Dating - it was so boring. You had 3 minutes to 'sell yourself' which was horrible. Although, I did make a new friend at speed dating - this crazy Saffa (South African) chick. She is awesome although sometimes I think she needs to calm down a little (although some might say the same of me!)

Well, there you go. Two posts from me all on the same day! Must be a record :)
P.S I know they didn't work the first time I posted this, thats cos the computer was being a complete turd!

Joys of Hostels

I swear someone has been stealing random shit from me at the hostel. My shampoo went missing, my diary that was in my suitcase went missing, people are drinking my chocolate milk and eating my food... Basically, I am over living at the hostel.

Kelly reckons that it helps build character, but character or not, I want OUT! I sent Gaby a text today telling her that I am going to come and doss at her place from Tues to Sunday cause I really can't take this any more. Plus I want real food. I am sick of eating packaged food!

Yup, this is my first 'whinge' post. I am tired and cross as you would expect if people stole your shit too. But of course, this is probably just a typical Simone reaction. I'm very frustrated at the moment. Loving London but I can still have my moments of frustration!

Next time I will tell you all about my speed dating experience - where I met a chick instead of guys!!!

Love Maddie

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My New Pad

I have done it. I have finally got my own room and my own space!

A cute little flat down in East Putney. It is so gorgeous. A tad expensive but then again the location is fantastic and the house is gorgeous. I move in on March 1st. Yay! No more hostel. I'm sharing with one Aussie girl and one Austrian guy who both seem lovely.

Haha, I have a funny story about one of the people in my dorm room... Kelly and I went to Chinese New Year yesterday and as we were heading towards Oxford Circus Station, we saw one of the girls in our dorm room screaming her lungs out, preaching something (we don't know what she was saying, it was incomprehensible). We think she was saying something about Jesus - but we weren't sure. We didn't want to go up to her cos she had a big cane on her arm and we thought she might smack us with it. So, we just went our own way. Later that night, I saw her at the hostel and she was all smiles and I was too scared to ask her what she was doing at Oxford Circus.

The joys of hostels - drug dealers, preachers ... what else can you ask for for £85 a week!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Our Mission - Finding Hagen Dazs

I had been telling Kelly how absolutely awesome Hagan Dazs ice-cream is so we decided to make it our mission to find a store. I was positive there was one close to Tower Bridge station and we were headed towards that area to check out the Tower of London. Anyways, we searched high and low for Hagen Dazs and couldn't find it - so headed home empty handed.

Later that week we headed to an old English pub with this Brazillian guy we met at the hostel - Celso - and we included him on our mission to find Hagen Dazs. By this stage, Kelly was fully hooked on the mission and Celso was curious indeed about this 'fantastic' ice-cream that I had been ravign about. As it so happened, Deenesh called me as we were trying to complete our mission so I asked him if he knew where there was a Hagen Dazs store and he told us to trek down to Leicester Square (or as Kelly likes to call it - Leichester Sqaure) tube station to find this ice-cream. We got there and by this stage it had started to rain, but undetered we kept searching for our ice-cream... I have to admit, at one stage I thought Deenesh was fibbing as I couldn't see any Hagen Dazs, then... all of a sudden, like a mirage - Hagan Dazs appeared right in front of our eyes.

So, we wandered in to this small store to choose our 2 flavours for £3 (yes, please don't convert to Australian $$$). We took our ice-cream outside (cos it was packed in the store) and huddled under a doorway eating our delicious ice-cream in the freezing rain! Oh man though, it was worth it. The best ice-cream in the world. Celso was highly impressed. Actually, so was Kelly. We made it our next mission to try all of the flavours at least twice!

On a completely different note - I have been sick, I think I've caught the flu or something cos I feel horrible. I've sort of stopped house-hunting at the moment because I am really hoping that I get this place that I looked at the other day. It is GORGEOUS. Small room (but anything is better than hostel) but it is really nice. Awesome location - close to the tube station, close to a gym (YAY) and really lovely housemates (only 2 other people in the house). I would be sharing a bathroom with the Austrian guy but he seems like he wants it clean (probably cleaner than me) which is good. The Aussie girl has her own bathroom. So, I find out tomorrow if I've got the room or not - if I don't get it then that's fine but it's back to house-hunting again which is a pain in the arse.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Money Woes!

Got paid today - got paid £183 which is crap cos I worked 3 days - 1 full day and 2 half days so it all added up to £250 (or similar) and I worked it out and they took out a whole half days worth of tax, so pretty much I just worked for 1 and a half days and the other day was just tax. How crap is that?! So yeah, money situation is scary!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Living it up London Style!


It is so hard to find a place in London! Well, in the area I want to live in. There are flats but the people who I ring up sound either snobbish (so don't want to live there), or too far from the tube (walking in the rain sucks), or can't understand their English (no fun!) It's driving me crazy and I need to find a place ASAP cos the hostel is booked out and my booking ends on Sunday! So, gotta get cracking. I could find a place easily if I wasn't so damn fussy!

Anyways, the agency rang asking if I want full time work - I've said no so many times but they keep ringing me up. They have rung 3 times since I've arrived and each time I said no - when will they get it? I'm almost thinking if they keep it up they're gonna hate me cos I keep saying no - so, it's a good thing I have other agencies up my sleeve.

As for work, it's going reasonably well.

Kelly has found a place and moved in today so I don't know what I'm going to do without her to bitch about things to. She's a teacher too and we have been hanging out a bit which is nice.

The other night, I came home in a cranky mood - I was sick, tired (been working then checked out 2 flats) and came back to the hostel to find this guys shit was half over my luggage, he put his dirty, smelly jacket on my clean towels and had shit right in the way of my bed. So I grumbled to Kelly and anyone else who would listen. He came into the room later and I had a massive go at him... I told him to move his shit out of my way so I could get up to my bunk bed, I told him to move the banana peels cos it was absolutely disgusting, I told him he should NOT put his dirty things on my luggage and he needed to move the things out the way. He was on drugs so he thought it was all amusing and was trying to touch my head which aggravated me even more. I thought I was being quite nice about the whole thing, however as soon as he left the room after I nicely grumbled at him the whole dorm room started cracking up laughing - they thought the whole thing was hilarious. But seriously, he is a wanker and shouldn't put his shit on mine. Plus, I was meant to have his bed and he wasn't even meant to be in our room so I told him he had to give me his bed - which he did the next day and then got kicked out of our room cos he wasn't meant to be in there (but apparently he's back again tonight, lucky us). I was so proud of myself for sticking up for what is mine. And I really don't know why they laughed at me!!

I got my bank card yesterday - too bad I haven't been paid yet. I get paid on Friday which is great - I should have £200 which really isn't a lot but still better than nothing. Yay!

Anyways I am off to the agency to pick up some mail - presumably stuff which the bank has sent out - crap really. Then I am going to hassle people for rooms and if I have energy I might meet one of the girls from the hostel for a Valentine's Day drink with some of her friends.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Elk in Fulham

I have been in London for almost a week and I am LOVING it! I have met some awesome people and have caught up with Gaby and she has taken me out to some place down in Fulham - we had an awesome night - I ended up losing my jumper somehow and Kelly ended up going home with some random! I love it!

I don't miss home at all because at the moment there is just so much going on - although I had a quick look at someones myspace (sorry I don't leave msgs but internet time is so precious!) and they mentioned something about going out and I was like 'awww' but hey - I'm in London!

Later today I am going out with Kelly (she is another teacher in my dorm room) and will do some sightseeing.

I love you all and even though I don't miss home I do miss you guys!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

First day of work!

Well I am actually at work at the moment. My first day was teaching reception (more like kinder than prep) and it was awesome. The kids were so lovely and the teacher invited me back to teach in her classroom again next week for 3 days - which is good because it means she thinks I am an alright teacher :) It also means I get to have a bit more say as to what I do in the classroom. It is a challenging grade though but all the kids are great. Although, what do I do on my first day - I lose the locker key they gave me to put my bag in. So, had to get the maintenence guy to see if he had a spare key which luckily he did otherwise I'd have been screwed!!! Only I could do something so stupid! Oh well, lol.

It's funny because whenever I ask the kids how they are they always say 'fine' which is weird cos I am expecting them to say 'good'. Like, who replies that they are 'fine'?? Well, I thought it was strange!

I looked at a house last night which claimed to be 10 mins walk from the tube station - try 15 and the room was expensive! So, not going to be living there. The hostel is ok for the moment anyways - it is just that the shower is so bloody tiny that drives me nuts.

Tonight I am going out to dinner with a friend I used to work with in Melbourne - he is in London at the moment and has been living / working here for the past 2 years so he is almost at the end of his visa (damn).

The weather has actually been really nice - cold but nice. Today I even saw sun and it would have been nice to go on the London Eye but - work! So, one weekend I will go!

I've been homesick a bit - mainly at night. During the day I am fine but at night I don't know what to do with myself.

Oh, I found an awesome drink today - a mars bar drink! Tastes so yummy - but, can't drink too many of those :) I've actually been eating really well - sandwiches for lunch and something light for dinner and there is a free continental breakfast at the hostel which means I have cereal and a piece of bread with jam so really I'm not doing bad at all! And all the walking around I've been doing (and getting lost on tube stations) means Heathrow Injection may be kept at bay!

Anyways I need to go and get my time sheet signed and then I am off to go and do some shopping (well, window shopping - I haven't got paid as of yet!)

Hope all is well in the land of Oz! Keep me posted.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Destination: London!

Well! After having to unpack and repack my bags at the airport in Melbourne, I have finally made it to London! The flight was really good - on the way from Melbourne to Hong Kong I sat next to this girl who has been living in London for 4 years so we had a bit of a chat. From Hong Kong to London I managed to move to a spot on the plane where there were 4 empty seats so I had the whole row to myself - it was awesome, made the plane ride so much more bearable.

On my flight, we could choose what we wanted to watch and I was able to pause, rewind, etc so that was pretty cool - I watched 4 movies and an episode of the Simpsons.

The hostel - well - I was dreading coming here cos of my last hostel experience in London but actually the hostel is pretty nice. There aren't very many showers (2 on each level!!) and they are tiny but for now, it's ok.

I'm not really missing home at the moment - I'm sure I will soon enough though. There is a girl in my room who is also teaching and she arrived in the UK last week so I was talking to her for a bit and we're going to check out the London nightlife sometime this week. There is also a drug dealer in my dorm room who goes down to the bar to sell his stuff - interesting. Nice guy though.

Not much has happened so far - except it's bloody freezing and I decided to go for a jog this morning cos I couldn't sleep. Not sure what possessed me to do that but it was actually really refreshing and I might do it again tomorrow. I have to keep off the kilos somehow. I can see why people put on weight when they come to London - I haven't actually eaten any food since getting off the plane but everywhere you turn there are different food options - chinese, kebabs, thai, fruit! So, I've sussed out where I can buy my fruit and sandwich for lunch - but man it is hard to resist the tempation of all that food (and starbucks).

Oh and I've been telling people my name is Simone but my friends call me Maddie - haha. Let me know what's going on back home!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Departure Day

The day I thought would never come has arrived. Honestly, it still doesn't even feel like I am going. I'm thinking about the fact that I won't see my friends and family for such a long time but the reality hasn't sunk in yet!

So this is my last entry from Australia - my next one will be from somewhere in London! Oh and don't forget to leave comments on this blog cos otherwise I'll think no one is reading this and you've forgotten about me.

I hope you don't miss me too much while I am gone ;)