oh man oh man oh man! I am so behind in my updating, you know I knew this day would come, this day of guilt, and pressure to catch up on all of my experiences here.
So let me dig in....Last week I took Thursday off from the office and went to the pre-launch party for LGBT History Month (which takes place in the UK in February...October for the US). It was really interesting, and if you want to hear more about it then shoot me an email, I think that particular day was more personal and hit the spot more than I would like to share with all of cyber space, some privacy is a good thing.
Friday, I went in until about 2:00 when Clea and Mik arrived back in London. They had been traveling all over France and Switzerland, lucky them, oh la la yes I know, but I was the first to hear of their travels, and well I feel quite special about that. I led them back to their flat (although they could have done it by themselves, but I won't lie here, I wanted to spend some more time with them. We grabbed some food at my new favorite pub, the Trafalger, it is a free house, so they have a much larger variety of beer than I am used to, yummy...After food, energy was pumped up, anxiety was flowing (because in just over an hour I was about to say goodbye to them and head to Ireland...by myself...yikes), and we headed off to Harrods, just like that. Harrods is a magical place, full of delicious looking goodies, highly expensive everything, but colorful, and very much in the christmas/holiday spirit. Also a good place to get gifts for people...I will be back.
We said out ta tas, and I parted and off I went to the train station to get on the plane which would take me to the bus which would lead me to a greeting hug from Daniel in Limerick Ireland. Everything went smoothly, no harm there, just a lot of waiting around. (I kept myself entertained by listening to the moth podcasts, I just discovered how absolutely brilliant these are...look them up, The Moth podcasts) Finally reached Daniel, walked briskly in the bitter cold and made it to his house, his really quite gross house, but heck, it is 6 people who have probably never lived on their own before with no cleaning crew at all. It makes me very thankful to have our cleaning ladies (ha, and it is Thanksgiving!). Anywho, on Saturday, our most eventful day we made a day trip to Cork, kissed the Blarney stone in the castle, and shopped (spent too much money) at the Old Woolen Mills. Sunday the weather absolutely was horrible, but I did manage to have a traditional Irish breakfast (not guiness though, sorry Mik), and I honestly enjoyed the white pudding, the black pudding, eh, don't think congealed blood is my thing. Anyways, we headed back to the house because the rain just proved to be too much, and I for the first time watched Indiana Jones. Funny film, I might be interested in seeing the rest of the series.
Monday, said goodbye to Daniel after the tour of campus, it is massive, think of like the state schools at home, big, concrete, not so great architecture, and can accommodate thousands of people, impressive. I headed back downtown, to the same Locke Bar as the day before, had a very yummy lunch, dessert, guiness, and tea over the course of almost 3 hours, wrote some postcards, and wrote in my journal...a lot. I think that is why I haven't written in so long, I already debriefed in my own handwriting. Finished up there, walked around downtown, bought a cute purple knit hat, and then got on a bus to a plane to a train to a cab back to my flat. Vented to Kelsey and then fell asleep.
Last night, Wednesday, I went to work in the afternoon and stayed for the training on difficult people. It was really interesting, the same trainer as a few weeks prior, many more participants though, that was surprising and inspiring, to realize these volunteers are dedicated to their work at London Friend. Rita had me do the shopping for goodies beforehand, so there were yummies on the table, and people definitely enjoyed themselves. After the training, some of the men were going out for a drink, and they asked if I wanted to come, I said what the hay, no reason not too. Although, I wasn't sure if they were asking me to be polite, or if they wanted me to go. I went, decided not to think too much about it, I probably won't see them again, so no real harm could be done. And it was quite lovely, we did end up talking about some differences between Americans and Brits, always a fun convo. I also had Jack Daniels for the first time...not my favorite.
Today, I actually did work at the office, Rita wasn't around so our usual chit chat was a no go, which meant I had to focus. I sent out the facebook group message, made some pie charts, proof read some articles, and inputted some data into the computer. Oh the joys of being an intern. I actually really like it there/here London Friend. I will be sad to leave it I think.
Today is thanksgiving. Oh not such a big holiday here. Actually, not at all. However, I was texting with my mother earlier and she gave me full permission to have a nice dinner out. So I did. With Kelsey, Walter and Shauna. It was so lovely, I found this restaurant, The Kensington Wine Rooms, my family would have loved it, totally our kind of place/food...yummy, fois gras, rack of lamb and for dessert bombay sapphire with tonic sorbet and fresh berries.......YES PLEASE. oh man it was so delicious. It is so nice to be reminded what really good food tastes like...oh oh oh, there was wine pairing with all the courses, that was a fun treat (I still can't do that in the states, totally lame, but it makes me really excited to turn 21 and go on wine tastings). We had a really nice time with each other, hadn't really hung out much in the last few weeks, so it was quite special to be with them again. We laughed a lot.
Now, I am waiting to skype with my family, still have half an hour to go, maybe a little longer. All packed for Paris for the weekend, seeing Uncle Dan and Tara. Pretty excited to go on the train, see them and be in Paris! Ready to chill, hang out, see some museums, and the new light show for the Eiffel Tower.
I do want to say though, since it is Thanksgiving and all that I really appreciate your support. Just knowing that someone is reading my thoughts really makes my smile, and keeps me going. I want to also just give a shout out to Guilford for giving me this opportunity to explore, share, and discover some more of the wonders of this world. Be safe today, have fun, hug your family, and smile...and drink some yummy wine!
Be well dear ones,
ps - pictures of Ireland will probably be posted when Paris is done.