Nik came and picked da as I up around 8 PM and we drove to the airport. Then we a hung out in the executive lounge courtesy of Nik and his frequent flying. Finally got on board, 25 minutes late. Da and I were in the seats from hell. Emergency exit so they didn't recline as next to the bathrooms. Neither of us got much sleep.
Took a cab with Nik & Jason to Anthea's for brunch. Took a nap and then went to the children's class. Senses had me and Nik and Anthea do a jiwaza demo.
|the view from Nikka's window.|
Day 2 Saturday
Woke up at 8 and ate breakfast with da and James. Did aikido from
10 until 12 and than 1.30 to 2.30z then I watch park of and took ukemi for part of Roslyn's 1st kyu test. It was beautiful.
Came back and napped for a spell before the party, which was here at Anthea's. Talked to Hilary for a bit, and Oonagh. And Jason.
Nikka ended up coming home for the night so I crashed on her floor instead of her bed, ha.
Went to bed around half 10.
|hakamas on the mat during the lunch break.|
Day 3 Sunday
Woke up at 7, ate breakfast with da and Anthea.
Went and did Aikido from 10 until 2 ish, then went for lunch with the dojo at The Elgin. I had a burger, was alright. Chatted with Debbie for a bit and then Chris (london) and Roselyn.
We all went back and put away the mats and stuff.
Da as I walked around portobello road for a bit, trough the vintage part mostly.
Went into Apple Tree but did't but anything.
Came back to Anthea's and I've been napping for a bit, I might go to dinner with Jason, Nik & Chris (bda) so da can have dinner with sensei and Anthea in peace.
May also stay here and take a bath and go to bed.
Ended up going out with them to a restaurant called Durber on Westbourne Grove. It was delicious food and it was a really enjoyable evening. I like the three f them very much and I was especially happy to hang out since Chris ( and Nik) are leaving pretty early in the morning. They came and picked me up, we walked over, and then they were kind enough to walk me back to Anthea's. Most likely because da told them too, ha.
Tomorrow da, Jason and I. & possible Sensei are going to go see the Gunther von Hagens exhibit at the natural history museum a maybe pop over to the V&A while we're on the area.
I'm pretty sore from the weekend, especially my back so I'm thrilled to be able to sleep in slightly in the morning.
Da also talked to Nancy today and we're almost sure we're going to meet up on Tuesday for lunch.
|what was left of our dinner at Durber.|
Day 4 Monday
Woke up around 8.30, took a shower which made me feel heaps better. Ate breakfast with da, Anthea and Sensei. I went for a short walk in the gardens behind the house.
|who doesn't love tulips?|
Jason, da, Sensei and myself all went to the Natural History Museum to see the Gunther von Hagens exhibit. I thought it was absolutely outstanding. Unfortunately you weren't allowed to take photos, but here are a few official ones so you can get the jist of it. My favourite things were the horse head and the blood vessel pig & goat. It was all terribly interesting. and I got to go see my all time favourite exhibit at the NHM: the hummingbirds. Don't ask why I love it so much but it's been my favourite for years, I even have a favourite particular hummingbird.
|father/daughter photo of the trip.|
|jason is trilled.|
|shark's blood vessels.|
After that Sensei left to go visit his son before he goes home and da and I went for a walk, which was shopping centred. For me anyway! We went to the YUMI store and then walked down portobello until da got tired and went home. Went into a store that was literally lines with sewing machines, it was hard to even get a photo showing how many there were. I also walked down some more and ended up getting a present for my friend Sarah. And since she'll have it before this is posted, I can tell you it's a tote bag with Billy Holiday's face and it says 'life is beautiful'. I'm pretty sure she's told me she likes the photo so hopefully she likes it!
I also got a pair of shoes for myself, they're Oxford types that are turquoise with pink and yellow roses, and some glitter. I love them. And they were on sale for £6 so that makes them even better.
Made my way back to Anthea's and chatted with her, Dayla & Zephyr for a spell.
Got ready for class and went to aikido, da was teaching. It was a nice class, though a bit low energy. That was definitely partially my fault, I was dead from the weekend. After Anthea, Jason, da and I all decided to go back to Durber for dinner. Rachel came and had some wine before going home too, it was such a nice dinner. I felt so much better than I did last night so I enjoyed it far more. We walked home and bought tickets to see the Damien Hurst exhibit at the Tate Modern tomorrow. Anthea and Zephyr went and loved it, so I'm excited.
I also have my interview at Leith's tomorrow morning; in properly nervous now.
Day 5 Tuesday
Gt up and Anthea drove da and I to Leith's for my interview. It went swimmingly and I have a place there should I choose to go. She showed me around the kitchens and then talked me through the curriculum, in real time. Seemed really swell though! I still have some thinking to do, but I'm happy it's my choice and not theirs you know?
Stopped by Nancy's flat to catch up, briefly. It was nice to see her.
Went back to Anthea's and ate a lovely lunch of leftover chili and pasta.
Da and I are currently on the tube on the way to St. Paul's station where we will them meet Jason and go see the Damien Hurst show along with the rest of the Tate Modern.
Successfully made it to the Tate. Met up with Jason and we went to see the show. As always with awesome shows, there was a no photography rule but here are a few from the magic of the Internet. My favourite things were the shark (a large part of the reason I wanted go see the show was that, so glad it wasn't a disappointment!), the cow cut in half, the dove in formaldehyde, and the angel sculpture where you could see some of her bones. I often don't love the whole normal/ bones/zombie this but it was gorgeous.
We then saw another show, called Poetry and Dreams, by various artists. I spent most of my Rome watching an awesome, black and white, mini documentary on the life cycle of a seahorse. Also looked at this drawing/ sculpture for at least a quarter of an hour, obsessed!
We all caught the tube back to Holland Park and stopped to get a snack.
Back and Anthea's now, we're ordering sushi later, I'm excited.
Unfortunately Da's leaving tomorrow morning, I'm going to miss him.
Tomorrow Jason and I are going to the Tower in the morning and in not sure if we have an afternoon plan until aikido at like half five.
|more tulips! these are in front of St. Paul's Cathedral.|
|Untitled - Jannic Kounellis 1979. One of my favourite pieces.|
|look how nice this is! (this isn't my photo, it wasn't allowed. So thank you google for this.)|
Day 6 Wednesday
Woke up at a bit past seven to say goodbye to da before he left.
Ate some toast and when walked up to Ladbrooke Grove tube station and bought an Oyster Card so I can get around for the rest of my trip. Waiting for Jason and we got on the train that would take up to Algate East.
About 15 minutes in we ended up reversing to Baker Street station because someone had jumped on the tracks at King's Cross. So we waiting for like 30 minutes and eventually got another train and made it to the Tower. Feat we walked down and took the classic photo in front of London Bridge, horribly touristy really. Then we saw Beauchamp Tower which is where Anne Boleyn was held before her execution and Elizabeth I was also held. As was Lady Jane Grey, Robert Dudley, Sir Walter Rileigh and heaps of others. We saw where the private execution site was where people like Anne Boleyn, Jane Parker, Catherine Howard, Margaret Poole, and George Boleyn were beheaded. There a bit of an ugly (in my opinion) statue this in memory.
We walked all around the White Tower which had tons of armour and information on the Royal Mint. Also saw the Crown Jewels. They're pretty gosh darn great.
We also hung out with a raven for a bit, I like them a lot and it makes me want my raven tattoos even more now!
|I was deeply thrilled by Tower Bridge.|
|I was deeply thrilled by the Tower though.|
After that Jason went to the Bloody Tower to learn about torture and the Princes in the Tower but I walked back to the station and eventually ended back up on Portobello Road to meet my friend Indigo for lunch. I'm actually friends with her brother, but I met her when I was in Chicago in February and she's nice. Ate at the Electric Café, it was alright. I mean it was good but it was also not too cheap.
She had to go catch a train so I walked up and down Portobello for a bit, tried on a ton of stuff but didn't end up getting anything in the end. I also posted some postcards.
Went back to Anthea's where I talked to her and Zephyr for a bit and then moved all my stuff into the guest room (I've been staying in Nikka's room, but she's coming home for the weekend) and then went to aikido. It was just me, Jason, Rachel, Roslyn, and Regina. It was a good class though, I like them all very much!
Came back and ate a delicious salad Anthea made with quinoa, feta cheese, peas, spring onions, arugula, and spinach. There were also tomatoes but I picked around those. Because I am six years old.
I'm planning on sleeping in a bit tomorrow and then maybe doing some shopping? I just want to walk around a lot. I may go to Baker Street and fangirl.
Day 7 Thursday
I had the hardest time sleeping last night, I was awake until like half twelve. Erufhb. Slept until around eight and then dozed on and of until tenish. Showered, ate some really delicious cereal with fresh bananas and strawberries.
I got an email from Da saying he got home safely, which is good!
Read my book for a bit and than decided I was going to go to Camden market for the afternoon.
Got on the tube but ended up getting off at Baker Street because there was a lady in my car wearing such strong perfume it was making me sick. So I went and walked around there for a while. Went searching for the Lord's Cricket Ground because I saw a sign, but failed to find it. I walked around some back streets. Also found the Sherlock Holmes museum but I didn't care to wait 45 minutes to get in. I popped into Boots and got some varnish remover and a new colour from Rinmel London (they make the best nail varnish I've ever used) while I was near one.
Got back on the tube and went to Piccadilly Circus, for a good time.
|oh, the joy.|
Walked around there and then down to Trafalgar Square. From there I crossed the street and went to St. James Park. I walked the whole loop there, with a slight detour to see Buckingham Palace, since I was in the area it seemed the right thing to do.
It was really quite lovely. I saw tons of cool birds, including the pelicans! I was quite chuffed to have seen them honestly.
That walk (stroll really) took me about an hour and a bit. So I walked back to the tube station and went back to Baker Street Station which I got momentarily lost in. Found my way to my line and came back to Anthea's. I painted my nails, which made me feel better because I cannot bare having chipped nail varnish.
Drank some tea and read my book for a bit, talked in Anthea and now I'm relaxing after my difficult day.
|the ever exciting pelicans!|
Day 8 Friday
Texted woke me up when he texted me this morning at half past 7 to say he couldn't hang out until 10. I drank some tea and talked to Anthea'd choir mates for a bit.
Slowly made my way to where I was meeting Jason, took a on of photos of plants.
Met Jason at 10 and we walked around Portobello market for a few hours. I got presents for mum and Magnus, I'm pleased. I may go back tomorrow to find something for myself, we'll see. I did almost but a ferret food brooch, but wasn't sure I could pull it off, you know?
Then we decided to go to the restaurant that Mateusz works at for lunch. It took us a while to get there since it's way out in Hanmersmith. Anyway, it food was delicious. We both had cannelloni with aubergine and goats cheese. I met Mateusz, who's lovely.
|it's blurry, but look at how ridiculously delicious that looks!|
Then Jason and I parted ways to take different routes home. In currently relaxing before going to Anthea'd children's class and then to dinner with her, James and Jason.
I went to class, it was actually really fun. I kind of like children's classes, they're fun. And it's adorable to see how much children love me. But I remember how I lied ever girl who was between the ages of 15 and 18 when i was their age, so.
After class James, Jason, Anthea, Rachel and I went for Thai food. It was so delicious! We all just charged lots of stuff. The vegetable tempura and the thai green curry chicken were my personal highlights, but everything was wonderful.
After we went and got ice cream, I got 'William & Kate' which was pear sorbet with dark chocolate chips.
It was almost stupidly perfect.
Anthea and I walked Rachel home, where I met her husband who's also very nice.
Came back as now I'm about ready to sleep.
I'm waking up in the morning to have coffee with Anthea, and Jason before he leaves.
My other two goals are to buy this one ring I tried on heaps of times today and go do my best to find a new iPhone case.
Day 9 Saturday
Woke up at around 8 and at 9 Anthea and I went and met Jason for coffee at Coffee Plant, I made it mistake of having a coffee instead of my normal tea and have been reminded why I don't drink coffee, it doesn't make me feel especially fantastic. Anyway, we walked around a bit and I got a small purse with cats on it and Jason bought some shoes. Anthea went home as Jason went go go to the airport so I walked around a little. Stopped to listen to a guy sing for a while, bought his CD and took his portrait. It was all in all a nice experience.
Came home and ate a bagel with peanut butter. How thrilling is that to know?
Think I'm going to go to Barrow Market now, hopefully Anthea will come with since I'm in the mood for company.
I'm meeting Skye and her friend for dinner too, it'll be nice to catch up after.... A long time. Years, really.
I went to Barrow Market, and with Anthea no less! It was really wonderful. We looked all around and I mean really I just really fucking love food. So I was pretty much in heaven. I got goat milk ice cream which was as good, if not better, than 'normal' ice cream. I can feel the sugar from that & last night, but it's ok because there's no cow milk-free ice cream for me to eat in Lunenburg anyway.
We also got some of the most delicious goat cheese I've ever had, whatever I end up eating for dinner will include it, for sure!
After walking around and having me photograph everything in sight we decided on fish and chips for lunch since I haven't had for real fish and chips this trip. So good. We ate on a bench outside a church, which I went inside after only to discover they were in the middle of a catholic marriage, about halfway though mass I would say. I read a memorial for the people lost when the Marchioness sank, then left.
We walked to the tube and came back.
|best goats cheese I've ever had.|
|no trip to london would be complete without fish and chips.|
Skye texted me saying she's not coming into London after all, so I went and took (another) long walk around Portobello. I got a ring. Not the rig I was looking at yesterday, but this one has a fox on it.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do tonight, we'll see. I'm relaxing for a bit now, I'm exhausted. I'm also a bit sick, I've been stuffed up all day.
Tomorrow I'm hanging out with Julia and my only goal is to go to the Huntarian Museum. A lot of body parts in formaldehyde & heaps of creepy old medical things. I'm psyched!
Well, forgot to check it's hours so it turns out it's closed on Sunday, such a shame.
Nikka, Anthea and James went to see the Bob Marley movie, which they all say was amazing, and I cleaned the kitchen, listened to Lana Del Rey, and hung out with Dayla. It was really nice.
Day 10 Sunday
Got up, showered, ate breakfast.
Nikka, Dayla & I watched a bunch of fan fiction-y Hunger Games videos. There's this one channel that had us dying with laughter. Partially because I admitted one of the videos about Finnick & Annie had made me cry. So, yes.
Julia came over and we decided to go to Camden market. Took the tube there, when to like 6 thrift stores, walked all around the market, Julia got two bags, we went to CyberDog which was suitably odd. I actually would totally like to work there. Julia did by share my like. I can't say I loved the stuff in it, but I dunno, it was cool.
Julia had to leave to go to work, so we parted ways. I walked about some more, bought a dress (it has cats on it!) and went to a mini thing put on by the London Swing Society, but they didn't have anywhere for people to leave their bags so in the end I left.
|across from the station.|
|Julia and me.|
Came back, managed to miss my station and got stuck at Angel Station for over half an hour. Eventually got back to Ladbroke alive. Stopped and got some flowers as a thank you for letting me stay in your house.
Came back, talked to Anthea while she messes about with her car break lights, ate some vegan chocolate she got me today (isn't she lovely?) and I just finished packing all my stuff. We're all going out for Chinese food since it's my last night. I have to leave the house at half seven or eight tomorrow, shame really.
Went for Chinese, it actually wasn't bad. Chinese isn't 'safe food' so I almost never eat it. But it was nice to have dinner with everyone! We went to an Asian grocery store after and it just reminded me of how, soon, I won't be able to I anywhere and know what the labels say. Boom.
Then James, Dayla and I went for ice cream one last time. That is three days in a row with ice cream for me, I can feel the sugar like mad. It was nice though!
Now I can't sleep. Oh well, tomorrow I'm waking up at 7 and leaving the house at 8 to go to the airport.
I'm super excited to see my family, I miss them.
Day 11 Monday
Woke up 1 minute before my alarm. Fun fact: I love when that happens because I hate being woken up by an alarm but normally if I am awake first it means I've been away for ages. So.
Ate some toast, got everything into my bag, said goodbye to James & Anthea was kind enough to drive me to Paddington Station, to save me the tube ride.
Got on the Heathrow Express and, with no trouble for once, got to the airport.
Checked in, walked around , got some water/ granola bars. Watched people. Popped into Jo Malone and got some of mum's favourite hand cream for her.
How I'm sitting at my gate, we're to start boarding in 3 minutes.
Then I get to enjoy a 5 1/2 hour flight home!
It's a bit funny how I can easily tell who's England/ not Canadian an who's Canadian. From the people waiting. There's only two or three people I'm got 100% sure on.
I wonder where people think I'm from. Anthea told me yesterday that she'd think I want from London if she saw me there, perhaps these people would feel the same.
Apparently I have roughly 2 hours left on the plane.
It's been a nice flight thus far. I was sitting in a full row of three but then I asked if I could move and now there's an old lady on the other aisle and no one in the middle. I watches Tower Heist, it had funny moments though it was predictable. Then I watched the first episode of Switched At Birth which is about 16 year old girls who've found out they've been switched at birth. It kind of is maybe the worst show I've ever seen. I don't even think it is a true story.
I enjoyed come pretzels & the sugar free chocolate Anthea bought me. Might nap now, I'm exhausted since I slept badly last night & I want to go to aikido tonight.
Well it is now May 21st.
I obviously got home safely, but unfortunately immediately got terribly ill. I felt jet lagged for the few days, then my throat hurt, then I couldn't stop coughing, then I just felt like I was swimming through jello, then the cough came back, and now I've been blowing my nose every 10 minutes for 3 days. Thursday was the first day I felt like a normal person in something like 10 days.
We're having an aikido seminar this coming weekend, same sensei we just saw in London. Since he's me father's teacher as well as Anthea's.
I did treat myself to three new dresses & a pair of trousers yesterday, so I'll probably do some sort of summer fashion type post soon.