Friday, 3 December 2010

November 2010

Finally, I have finished posting about my 1/2 Term Break, which actually happened a while ago now. Since then, I have started a new teaching position (Year 6 at Monteagle) and it has been a pleasure to teach such vibrant students.....Behaviour problems guaranteed, but I loved them so much.

I actually start ANOTHER teaching position on Monday, but this time it is in Year 1 (Kindergarten) so I am a little nervous about that because I was getting used to the older children being able to fend for themselves, and stay seated (SOMEtimes) When I start on Monday, I won't have time to sit down, and I'll be surrounded by runny noses and tattlers, HAHAHA! Butttttttttt, I'll let you know how it goes.

Halloween has come and gone, and of course I HAD to dress up, so I stuck white school glue all over one side of my face, applied toilet paper on top of that and then finished it off with make-up and fake blood. I guess I was a burn vicitim of some sort, but I think Crsitin said I looked like a Widower risen from the dead. Whatever I was, the costume looked great and I enjoyed my time out with sime friends (Zombie, Count Duckula, Dead Alcie in Wonderland, Angel of Death and the Insane Clown Possie brothers, lol!)
Well, if I would have known my make-up was going to affect me weeks later, I probably would have NEVR put it on.

Almost 2 weeks later, I noticed that my face was feeling irritated, and was red on one side (bet you can guess which side!) It took about 2 full days to really break out into a red rash which started under my eye and continue down my cheek until it got to my neck. WHAT A MESS I WAS IN. My second day at Monteagle, and I had to rush to a clinic to make sure I wasn't have a serious reaction to anything ( I mean, in all seriousness, it COULD have been a coincidence that the rash was on the same side of my face as the white school glue had been on, *sigh) Anyway, this horrible state lasted over a week, and by the end of it, I was avoiding public places and even considered calling in sick to work. God love the kids though, they were so used to it by the second day, that each time it got a little better, they noticed and tried to cheer me up! xo

In conclusion, I will NEVER refrain from putting shit on my face as part of an awesome costume, BUT I will NEVER put white school glue near my face again. I'm just going to have to find something better, and more gruesome next time!

Oh, and then it was my Birthday (rash never exsited then, thank god) A few of us went out to supper and had cake later on. I don't like to make a big deal out of my birthday and so this year was no excpetion. It quickly ended and life went on. :) We celebrated mine and Jennifer's birthday the next weekend by going into London for some dancing with a few great friends we met since we've been here. xo

  • Well, it's 9:40 am here, and I should still be sleeping in. I know it's Friday and I SHOULD be at work, but England can't handle weather. We had a tiny snowfall on Tuesday morning, and by the time I got the bus, waited in traffic for over an hour, I arrived at school to find out it had been cancelled for the day due to conditions........3 DAYS LATER AND SCHOOL IS STILL CLOSED! I mean, comon' people. On days like these, at home, we are expected to get to work, have duty outside AND send the children out to play at recess and lunch.....Jeeesus. I wouldn't mind so much, but No Work= No Pay! and THAT is never good when you're renting, lol.
Until next time......Keep Fit and Have Fun...HAHA

1/2 Term Break: (Part 3) Paris, France

So on our way from Belgium to France, I was pretty much interrogated on the train by security (because I apparently bought the wrong pass, and I was actually supposed to pay 54 pounds MORE than I had), and was almost thrown off. It was a great first impression of what the people were like in Paris, yuck! I told him he was being extremely rude to me, and because he didn't like my comment, he said, "Why don't you go back to where you came from!" As you can see, our bond strengthened and we became life long friends!! LOL
  • We had to attempt to speak French when talking to anyone because it seemed as though no one wanted to speak English to us, even if they could. Fair enough. We did a great job the whole time we were there, and by the end of it, Jennifer was reading everything she could set her eyes on! We hopped in a cab and made our way to our final hostel. It was decorated for Halloween, and of course I fell in love with it right away.
  • We did the touristy things of course, and bought a hop on, hop off bus pass. I noticed that all the guys over there would make a hissing and kissing sound when they wanted to get your attention (this did NOT go over very well with me, and so on more than one occasion, I had to tell them that I wasn't an animal!!) It must work for the french chicks...huh.
  • We booked a package so we could see the main things in Paris: The Eiffel Tower (including a 3 course meal up in the Tower, overlooking the city, A bout tour down the Riviera (during the night, watching the Eiffel Tower light up, as well as seeing the beautiful historic buildings, etc,)  and then going to The Moulin Rouge to see the burlesque show. It was awesome and well worth the money! We never had to worry about times, and transportation because it was all organised and ready to go!
  • On our last night there, we met an extremely cute Australian guy at our Hostel, and ended up going for drinks at a bar, close by. There was live music, and the guy who was singing was amazing. He had a huge binder full of songs (like something you would see at a Karaoke bar) only, he could play and sing ALL of them himself. I requested some Pearl Jam, Nirvana and I think Three Doors Down. I had some great videos of him, but recently lost most of my files :(
  • It was a great time in Paris, and I was asked out by the guy on the front desk at our hostel, but of course, time had run out and I couldn't! Maybe next time!
There you have it......our first travelling experience in Europe! Our next one is coming up over Christmas: we are headed back to France, in the French Alps for some skiing and New Years celebrations..Should be a time! I'll keep you posted!

1/2 Term Break: (Part 2) Brussels Belguim

I really need to get this posted, so I can move onto daily posts about my daily life, haha!

  • Anyway, we left Amsterdam, knowing we would be back again someday....well I WILL, anyway! I absolutely loved it there- the atmosphere and the recreational activities, hahaha!
  • We left with our new Canadian friend, Chantel, and made our way to the train station. We had to run to catch our train, because we were only a little late after waiting in line for food, and being served by the slowest worker of life- no joke! It's friggin hard running as fast as you can through a crowded train station with a huge rucksack on your back, let me tell ya! But we finally made it to the platform just in the nick of time, and boarded the train.
  • When we got on the train, we noticed there weren't many people around, so we had it made! Big comfy seats and peace and quiet. Well, too good to be true because we were told soon enough that we had boarded First Class, hahahaa. Shortly after that, we were sent to the back of the train with the rest of the commoners, lol. We fit right in!
  • Once in Brussels, we wander around for a half hour and accidentally stumble upon our hostel.  We grab a quick nap, and then head out to a world famous bar, Delirium.  Here they serve about 400 types of beer, and if you are ever there, trust me, the cherry beer is divine!  So, we drink some beer, meet some people who barely speak English and listen to some great live music.  All in all, an awesome night!
  • The next day, of course we do the touristy things:
    -Le Grand Place, which is absolutely beautiful and I cannot describe it, so see picture.
    - Atomium, this weird molecule shaped building with various exhibits, but pretty cool (ate a Belgium waffle).
    -Mini Europe (Yes, you guessed it, the sights of Europe in mini form! Exciting at first, but excitement does wear off once you hit Greece).
    - Le Mannequin-Pis or the Peeing Boy (a famous fountain in Brussels, not that exciting).
    -Supper at a nice restaurant looking out over Le Grand Place.
  • Overall, Belgium is a beautiful place to visit and the shopping is divine! I loved the old architecture and I have some pictures to prove it. Hopefully I cn get my next blog finished today, so keep reading!

Monday, 15 November 2010

1/2 Term Break: (Part 1) Amsterdam, Netherlands

Well, it has been a while (seems like I say that every time I blog..but anyway) I'm back to work again since the break, and have been busy with planning, correcting, and sleeping (when I can, lol).

During our half term break  at the end of October, myself and Jenn took a trip which became an adventure in itself. I have a lot to write about, so I was thinking about highlighting the main points. Here we goooooo.

  • After arriving in Eindhoven, we hop on a train which takes us into Amsterdam, where we walk for what seems like miles, to our Christian Hostel which just so happens to be located within the Red Light District. Great combo hey?!?!....After prayer meetings at 7pm, just stroll on down to the meat market, take your pick,  and afterwards ask for forgiveness for the fun you endured only hours before. It's such a great place!! lol
  • To start the day, we unpacked a little and then did some sight seeing. We found a carnival in the city's centre, and rode the huge Ferris Wheel which overlooked the surrounding area. After that, we searched around for a coffee shop. You didn't have to look far, and we were lucky to choose a great place the first time, to enjoy some coffee with our Space Cake and "afters." This shop was wicked....You sit to the counter, and you are greeted with two menus: one with  too many coffees to choose from, and another with many types of weed and hash for desert! The space cake was just to get you started....LOL. Great people, tourists everywhere, yet many locals just hanging out rolling joints and listening to Bob Marley. Ahhh, I would go back in a second.
  • After that, we walked through the Red Light District to actually see what it was like. This was in the middle of the day, and to be honest, it was quite depressing and uncomfortable to look these ladies in the eyes...which was a hard task to do anyway....There they were, each in their own full length window, dancing and motioning for any man to come try 'em out. I didn't really know what to expect, but what I did know was that I would have to go back there at night time to be able to make a final decision about the place....and that's what I did.
  • After a complimentary supper at the hostel, we bailed before the prayer meetings started, walked two steps from the front door, and arrived back at the Red Light District. We walked around a bit, and it was a completely different atmosphere at pumping, lights glowing, and lots of "action." Guaranteeing that we experience all of what Amsterdam had to offer, we bought tickets to a live sex show, and brought our new roommate with us. Sitting in the front row would have been exciting, and of course, I was boisterous, but the main actors were pathetic....At one point, the girl who was in the middle of doing her job, rolled her eyes as if she were counting down the minutes until her shift was up. I thought the acting was terrible, but I never really knew what to expect. On the way out, I let the doorman know how bad the "performance" was, but not before I got up on stage with the next act: a dancer with her banana!! She called me up on stage and I took part of a banana from her cleavage! A few guys across the way cheered and I was loving it, HAHAH. We chatted with the guys after the show and planned to meet up with them the next day.
  • The next day, we went on a 3 hour walking tour around Amsterdam in the freezing cold rain. It was so interesting to learn about the place, but by the time it was over...another coffee shop called our names...and we made our way into a smoke-filled room once again. This time though, we brought some new friends we met on the tour, and spent a few hours talking, eating, and smoking.
  • A nap was in order, followed by meeting up with the guys from the night before, for supper! We met another Canadian chick at the hostel the night before, and she hung out with us for the rest of the trip...she even came to Brussels with us!
  • After supper, we went to a peep show and then a strip club, where I saw the funniest sight: Jenn getting a lap dance from one of the strippers...ass cheek to face cheek, and everything in between. I think Jenn was cursing the moment she decided to sit in the corner. We should have noticed the handles and landing behind the corner seat....used for the stripper's performance.....wish I would have got this on video is all I can say!
  • Bought some souvenirs and went shopping before hopping on the train to Belguim the next morning. What a time had by all in Amsterda
When I get a chance, I will write about Belgium and France.
Hope you enjoyed this blog....sound like fun??? Ohhhhhh, it was! ;)
Until Next Time,

Friday, 29 October 2010

Wow...It's Been A While.

It certianly has been a while. I even forget what has happened since my last post, yet I have so much to write since I got back from my week long trip. I figured I would just write a general blog first, and then continue with my trip, deal? Deal.

Well since I last wrote, I have been to the Thames River Festival here in London, where there was lots of food, music and different cultures all the way down the river. Myself and Jenn ended up buying a nice bracelet made out of a fork! It was the coolest thing, so of course, I had to buy it. We watched as the designer curved the bracelet and he showed us how he made the designs for each piece of cultery. He also made bracelets from spoons and knives....creative hey!

We also went to a Timeplan social where we met some new friends (also teachers obviously) and got some free drinks. It's nice to meet people in the same situation as us, and some were even newer than we were!! I feel like this place is becoming home to me. Took some emails and numbers and have met up with some of them since then. I met one girl, Jenn, who also likes horror movies and concerts, so we have been to see Devil (which was ok, but had to see it) and we are gonna keep an eye out for some good shows in London!!

There has been a lot of sickness in our house here in Essex during the month of September and October..I think everyone is so busy- go, go, go, and it has finally caught up to us. Jenn was so sick, that she had to go to the hospital to get checked out. They gave her antibiotics and as luck would have it, she had an illergic reaction to the penecillin. Fun times let me tell ya. I lost my voice for more than a week and had a horrible cough for about a month (no lies) but during my trip it was bessst kind! Now that I think of it though, I have been coughing all day and my chest has been feeling heavy....Maybe its the dust in my room?!?! Hmmmm...good question.

We went to see a musical last week with some friends of ours called 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' and it was HILARIOUS! A friend of ours found the tickets for only 13 pounds when they usually cost about 60 I believe...We had a resrticed view but it wasn't too bad at all. The show is funny and colourful and so entertaining! I LOVED it.....and I look forward to seeing more shows soon!

There have been a few encounters with strangers that I just have to share before I move on. A few weeks ago, on my way home from work, I stopped into the grocery store. After having picked up all my groceries, I proceeded to the checkout and paid with my Scotia card. For some reason, it wouldn't work and they couldn't do much to help me. I was sent to the service desk with my food, where the lady suggested I go out to the bank machine and try to take out cash. I was rotted at this point (after having put most of the groceries strategically into my back pack, and bagging up the rest) and so I unpacked everything again before going to the ATM. While I was in line to "attempt" to get money, this young girl about my age comes up to me and asks me if everything worked out after (she, along with other people were in the line up behind me when my card first got declined). I told her I was trying to take money out, and she asked me how much my groceries were. They were only about 25 pounds but this girl OFFERED to pay for my groceries and she didn't expect to be paid back?!?!?! I thought she was one of the sweetest people I've met since I have been over here, and I told her I would never forget her: Cynthia. There is a little bit of Newfoundlander in everyone. I really do believe.

Another embarassing incident happened to me while I was on the bus. It was super packed one day, on my way home from work (seems to be when everything happens to me, lol) Anyway, I was standing close to the driver as there was no where to go. A man got on with his two kids, and the children sat down while he stood up across from me. Well, the bus driver seemed to like it when he played footies with the gas a break pedals, because at one point he stepped on the gas, and I wasn't holding on. It's only instinct to reach your hand out to grab something, and in the process, I ended up SCRATCHING the man's cheek with my fingernail! Can you imagine how embarassing that was for me? I apologized a million times over, and we both ended up laughing about it during the ride home. He even started making remarks like "I wouldn't want to see you beat me might break out your black belt moves on me" and "How am I going to explain this to my wife?" HAHAHAH Oh my....only me, I tell ya...Only me!

Well, my position in year 6 is finished up at Lansdowne Primary School. It took the good out of me in the way that I didn't agree much with how the school was organized as well as the atmoshpere around the school. I will miss my kids soo much, and I know they will miss me. Some of them brought in chocolates and cards, a necklace and one child even brought in a cake for me. It was a great last day, and I will definitely visit when I get the chance. The teacher I was in for, Kylie, ended up becoming a friend of mine, and we are planning a  skii trip over the Christmas holidays together......PUMPED for that!

Ok, need to finish up my Halloween costume....don't have much to work with...but it should be fine!
Until next time!!

Hope everyone is doing good..Miss you all!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

"Miss Clarke, that's Rubbish!"

 While I have the chance, I will keep you up to date on my job over here- TEACHING. We initially came over here to substitute. but when we arrived, we asked our agency if there was any chance that they could hook us up with long term positions. Like most people who come over, it is usually first come, first serve, but because we are charming newfies......Liz found us positions- at the same school.... Fairly far away. Well, she DID do what we asked.....we just never got everything we wanted- a school close by, and a longer position. Having said that, I LOVE my school (and it continues to grow on me) AND I love my students even for some details.

 My school is located in a place called Tilbury Town (which sounds like Strawberry Shortcake's home or somethin') It is about an hour away, when you take the bus annnnd the C2C- National Express Train. We have to get up about 6, and be out the door for about 7. We then catch a bus to a place where we catch another bus which takes us to Barking (filthy place from what I've seen, but manageable). We hop on the train from there and take a 25 minute, quiet train ride to Tilbury Town. We get off the train, and walk about 5 minutes up the road where we arrive at Landsdowne Primary School :)

  I started to teach year 6 on the 2nd day of the school (which is grade 5 back home). When I was asked if i accept, I actually started to panic a little, because I am so used to the smaller kids, and honestly I am a little intimidated by the material I have to teach! Buttttttt, having said that, I went in there with a positive attitude and prepared myself with fun creative starters and "the first few days of school activities" jussssst in case. To my surprise, there wasn't time for anything I had brought with me. The day I got there, I was introduced to the Deputy Head (Vice Principal) and I was brought to my classroom where I was to wait for the other year 6 teachers. One had been there for years, and the other one was as new as I was (but she had some time to prepare before school even started!) I was thrown right into Guided Reading, Literacy (English) and Maths (yes, there is an "s" on Math..) I had to give them a test in Maths, and then later one in Science. They were to follow the schedule as it was presented, and there was NO time for anything "extra." I was a little dissapointed at first, thinking that it was just too structured! What if I don't get my math lesson finished and I need to go over it tomorrow (yet, we are moving on to another completely different topic). What if they need more time to work on their storyboards in Literacy, but we are changing books tomorrow?!?! Like, Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat's going on? And that was pretty much how it was the first week.

 The second week (13th-17th) I was still getting the hang of it, but I also tried to fit a few things in for myself. At the beginning of school, I always think it's nice to come together as a class, and create the rules of your classroom, and decorate something as a group. We did both. The rules were straight forward (even though they continue to break them). As for the small art activity, I gave them each a puzzle piece (made from bristol board) and told them that they were a very important part of our class, and without them, we would't be complete . They could decorate their puzzle piece however they wanted, and eventually we put it together by our classroom door. It is a big puzzle, surrounded by their homemade sheilds (about themselves) and above it all reads: We are each a piece, but we come together as a whole! (My LSA came up with that, which sounds great!) Anyway, I fit things in when I can, but there isn't much time at all!

 So, as a year 6 teacher, I teach guided reading, literacy, maths & mental maths, religion (help!!) debate, ICT(computers), topic (whatever it is, it relates to other subjects- right now, it's Charles Darwin), art, science, and phys. ed. The kids also learn french, music and PHSE (which is about emotional and positive schol behaviour). Instead of having plans weeks in advance, I get them week to week and sometimes day to day (depending on the subject) It kind of stresses me out a little bit, but I try my best to keep up and teach myself the shit I don't know. Another thing that is nuts, is the fact that they don't have textbooks here..I am serious. These kids have nothing to look at when they are learning math, or science. It's up to me to creat questions, visuals, and introductions to topics, etc. Like I don't have enough to do...craaazy.

 The kids come to class with their uniforms on (colors are blue, white and grey) and can interchange the colors when they want. All students have the same bookbag, the same pens, pencils, rubbers (erasers) and the same excersizes. It is good because a lot of the students come from poor families, and unfortunately....messed up home environments. It's sad for me to think that these kids don't have breakfast before coming to school, some of them are abused, some of them have prostitutes, addicts and criminals for parents, not to mention delinquint siblings. My class for the most part, are a good group of kids, but they do act up with anger and disruptive behaviour. I am working with them to get things on track. Rewards are in order for attendence (coming to school everyday is valued here, and stressed, because a lot of kids are kept home by parents who don't care, or can't wake up until 1pm to bring their child to school) I give rewards for students who try their best, and show respect to classmate, etc. Tryin to stay positve here! Whenever a student gets in trouble or I have to talk to them (mostly a boy), he tends to respond back with, "Miss Clarke, that's' Rubbish!" as if to say "That's bullshit Miss." They also have a tendency to cover their face, and make a moaning sound (like a 3 yr old) when I have to say their name or keep them focused. It drives me NUTSSSSSSSSS, and I am trying to squash that, ASAP.

 Anyway, I was asked last week to stay until half term (end of October because the Australian teacher I am in for, won't be back until then) so of course, I accepted. I went out and bought a month train/bus pass because I was spending so much money on it, and then I get some interesting news from the SECRETARY- not even the principal. She tells me that the Australian is coming bacl Oct. 1st, and that my position will be ending at that time. Needless to say, I was rottttttted!!! I'm still trying to get more info from the school, PLUS my agency and so I have to wait until tomorrow to see about it. I never signed a contract (as most teachers haven't) and so I guess they can do whatever they want. It just rots me because I bought a month pass (in the district I am teaching in) and I was asked to stay, but now it's changing?!? UGH!

 If I can get a job this quick, and this easily, Timeplan guarantees that I will hook into something else, So I hope! The Head and Deputy Head at Landsdowne School say very good things about me there, and they actually wish they could keep me. They have visited my classroom and they told the kids that they were the best behaved  in year 6! I am happy to get some good feedback, and so it should travel fast. I'm not worried...I just don't want to get attatched to my kids, and then have to leave them!

 Ok, HAND CRAMP!!.....But, next blog.......British kids and their language/slang...friggin' hilarious!
 Until next time..Take Care...xoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxxo

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Time is flyyyyyyin...'s 8 am on Sunday morning, and right now, I feel wide awake, but give me about an hour or so and I will be droppin' again. I have been super busy this past week and a half especially, but I'm still managing to go out for some drinks, with new friends and foreigners..haha.

 The week before last, my friend Cristin who lives in Harlow with her awesome boyfriend, Neil, came to pick us up for lunch and show us their new flat, etc. It was great to see a familiar face, and to still be able to click after all these years was also awesome. She brought us to see the MUN campus in Harlow, which isn't' very big at all, but it's so beautiful! Their flat is also in a beautiful spot and they seem to be very happy with life! I haven't been able to see them since, because I have been so busy, but we are definately past due...

 We also managed to explore Covent garden a bit, which is in London and is where all the buskers and street performers are, as well as a market with all kinds of things! It was extremely busy but worth taking a look. Statue people, a uni-cycle man, singers, a small orchestra type group, comedians, and jugglers. etc. I took a few pictures to post....someday, lol.

 So then, last weekend rolled around, and we figured we would see a show on Friday night, and then go out with the girls Saturday night. We bought tickets to see STOMP, and it was amazing. I loved every minute of it, and would see it again. The rhythm and beats that a group of people can make while putting on a show with characters who don't talk, yet engage the audience, is something I would reccomend everyone to see. They were using match boxes, making a sweeping sound with brooms, strapping a kitchen sink to themselves and creating music with that too!  Two thumbs up.

 By the time we walked around a bit afterwards, we decided to hop on the train before last call. Something disturbing kept coming on the announcements while we were waiting for our train: that one of the routes was cancelled due to someone under the train!!! He would repeat this every 3 minutes or so, and by the end of it, I was sick thinking about it. Stuff like that happens all the time here, but it was still shocking and sad to me :(

 Saturday night, we ventured into London yet again to start off at a Canadian bar called the Maple Leaf...haha.. WHY you ask?....why not! It was very close to the Canadian store where they sell Tim Hortons coffee, Kraft dinner (and very likely, savoury) but when we got there, it was closed. A few beers later, we moved onto a pub called O'Neils which was 3 floors of pub style atmosphere, live band, and dance bar...enough to keep everyone happy! Good night had by all.

 Sunday was  a lazy day, where we sat around, and chatted with each other. Watching tv, wrapped in a blanket and loving it. I'm glad I had the chance to relax, because what happened still keeping me going, and I am UUber busy from now until mid break (Oct.22) You will have to stay posted in order to find

 Well, that was LAST weekend, and this weekend is almost up too....Friday night I passed out at about 10:00 due to exhaustion.....loved my bed that night! Lastnight we had a low key night at a pub in Wanstead, where the beer is good and the atmosphere is even better. Chatted with a guy from Italy and plenty of English guys (most of em Rugby players dressed as cowboys?!) and was asked for my number twice, so I did what I was supposed to do....and took their numbers instead! Smart I know. I'm not having strangers call and text my phone if I'm not interested. It's the best way to go about it really. Better luck next time, HAHAHA.

 It's now quarter to 9 (am) and I am starting to get tired again. I'm going to take advantage of my sleep while it's a Sunday....the week brings work, work, work.

 Fill you in soon enough. Cheers! xo

Monday, 6 September 2010

Man, people are......people, I guess.

 I haven't posted since last Monday, and so I figured if I want to keep up to date, then I'm gonna have to post at LEAST once a week. I could do more, but when I get started, I haven trouble stoppin, not sure if you noticed.

Well, it's 12:10 am here and while I should be sleeping, due to work tomorrow (fill you in later)....I am here feeling anxious about work, etc, so of course, I can't sleep. It might also be due to the fact that another damn SPIDER WAS CRAWLING UP MY ARM!!! Jesus, if I'm not friends with spiders by the end of this, I'll be surprised, eeeek!

 There are some interesting people around here, and that's part of why I love it so much. Much like home I guess, only 50 times MORE! Sometime last week, taking the bus home, I looked out the window only to see some guy pissing in a random driveway on the main road! Disguisting really, but he must have had to maneuvere his goods in between the gate posts from what it looked like. Plus, he was probably drunk. I do know who WAS drunk for sure though....

 This guy at the supermarket the other day was flipping out because there was only one cash open. I can understand his frustration for sure, but if you want something bad enough, you're gonna wait for it....or not. This man was about 6 bodies behind me, and he was complaining, swearing and making a scene in the store because he wanted to be served Right Now! When he saw the second cashier approach the register, dude skipped everyone, slammed money on the counter and demanded ALCOHOL. At this point, I was ready to tell buddy where to go and not put up with his shit (human nature) but I figured maybe serving this guy first just to get him out of there was the best option. Wow, that was fun.

 The next three people I saw made me laugh actually. I was on a bus (yet again) and this lady got on with her two kids, probably aged 4 and 5?! The little cuties were eating soft serve ice cream cones...well, attemping to. The mother must have bought them ONE huge scoop each on a cone, and then let them fend for themselves, because these kids weren't able to really enjoy the ice cream. More than half of it was dripping down their arms and onto their coats. It was a friggin' mess, and Mom didn't give a shit. The kids were a little stressed about it too because they were probably uncomfortable when their hands stuck to there cones, with the constant drippage of liquid sugar mushed into their fingers. I felt bad for the kids, but I was laughing on the inside cause it was a sight!

I was gonna go on, but I should really get to bed. Tomorrow I was called into a grade 5 class for the FIRST day of school, and apparently they are looking to hire me for the rest of the term. I am super excited about having a job over here now, but the fact that I wasn't able to plan anything, or see my classroom etc. etc. etc. kind of freaks me out a little...eeeeeek! And hence the reason I can't really go to sleep (plus the spidersssssss) I will fill you in on my day and my past week within the next day or two....gotta keep it going :)

Stay Thirsty My Friends (cravin' a Dos Equis right about now, lol.)

Monday, 30 August 2010

The Church and its after-effects...

 I lay here in bed today, with a killer headache, and it's all because of our unforgettable experience at The Church yesterday. We woke up around 9am in the morning, so we could get a good base of Sarah's cooked breakfast in our tummies, and so we could give ourselves time to put on our well-needed rocker make-up. The church is an Australian bar which is known for it's weekly BASH every Sunday from 12-4pm (hence the name), where all sorts of people come to party, dressed up as anything from Smurfs to Santas!! I took some awesome pictures that I will eventually post on facebook. During this party, the music is blairing, people are havin' a laugh drinkin' and socializing, a beer chuggin contest takes place, and we are entertained by a stripper! This particular party at The Church landed on a long weekend, so us ladies were lucky to get some entertainment from a male stripper as well, LOL!!!!

 If you know me at all, you know that Halloween is my favorite occasion, and so any opportunity to dress up, I jump at it! Myself, Jenn and our roomate Sarah decided to be rockers, and so that's what we did!! The tube station was a funny experience because we got some weird looks, but I stayed in character the whole time, haha.

 When we got to the Church, it was mayhem! People were lined up down the street waiting to get into the huge party! We saw everything from Ghostbusters, smurfs, elves, cowboys, gladiators, robots, slumber party GUYS, angels, and a Hannibal Lector, Muuaahhahhah. It was wicked. !0 Pounds got you 3 pints of beer or Shmirnoff Ice Coolers.

 After we partied there for the afternoon, we moved onto another bar called the Walkabout, where everyone from The Church "congregated" afterwards.  We tried a famous Australian drink called Snake Bite which consisted of half beer, half cider and a shot of Black Current. When they serve it to you, you can see an "S" on the top of the drink...friggin' tasty!

 We could have stayed longer, as it was only 6:30 when we did actually leave, but we probably made a good decision to leave. I can't imagine what I would be feeling like, if we were there all night! On the way home on the Tube, we met a random, and he had a few drinks with us at a bar before heading home. It was a GREAT day/evening and writing this doesn't do it justice because pictures are worth a million words...Stay posted for them.

 When I went to bed lastnight, I couldn't get to sleep until about 4am, so I stayed in bed for a bit today. I got up and decided to go for a walk in Valentine Park, to get some fresh air because the only air I inhaled within the past 12 hours had been booze, sweat and restaraunt food..HAHAHA What a beautiful park it is too! I saw about 12 squirrels while walking through, and one in particular must have been interested in me. Our squirrels at home would run away and hide in the trees, but the ones around here are always being fed by the children. This one little squirrel (we will name him Tot) kept following me as I walked on by. I tried to keep his attention by making little noises and rustling some leaves on the ground, as if we were playing! It was the cutest thing ever!! Just as long as he doesn't come near my house, or tear up my garbage, we will be close friends...Ha.

 It's off to Jenn's room now so we can look at some prices on trvaelling to France. It might be our first stop!!

Post again to come! xoxoxox

Saturday, 28 August 2010

R is for Rat

 Its been a few days since I posted, so I figured I better stay connected, and write again. This is our second weekend living in England, and we are starting to get to know the place a little more everyday, especially the insects and rodents!!

 I killed about 4 or 5 spiders in my room the other day....apparently in England, they don't use screens on their windows and so every little insect that can get through an open crack...will! So, there was this one spider on my wall and I noticed it when I was in my bed about to go to sleep. He was just chillin above my shelf, and so it was hard to get at him without making him fall somewhere, where he would just make a clean getaway under or IN my bed! I wasn't going to take that chance, so I made sure I got him the first time!

 So from spiders, to rodents. We saw a mouse while waiting in the tube station the other day...very tiny, down in the tracks, looking for food I suppose, no big deal. But when myself and Jennifer were walking down the road last week, we passed Valentine's Park (next to our house) and saw a big RAT just wandering through the fence...not scurrying..just slowly moving...I couldn't believe it! At home, we would have to be quick in order to catch a qlimpse..but this one, I couldn't get it out of my sight when I was desperate for it to run away! I would prefer not to see another one anytime soon because it was friggin' creepy!

 BUTTTTT Not as creepy as the rat we were informed about around here called The European Rat. Apparently there aren't many around, and if you see one, you will know because it is the size of a cat!! Eeeeek, just saying that out loud gives me the willies. Imagine going to put out the garbage only to see a European RAT digging at some food.......k, finished talking about it.

 I have much better things to write about, but it's late and I need my rest before the big party tomorrow....Yea, we are goin to an "Australian hosted" party at a bar called The Church, from 12-4pm (church hours- hence the name) and everyone dresses up in whatever the hell they feel like! My kind of party!!! Us girls are doin the rocker chick thing..and my costume is wicked...I will show a picture of it, and post about the bash when I get the chance... I may be a day or two getting over it first...HAHAH

 Ash xo

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Cheap Yank...WTF?

 So, here it is. The day we visit the Queen's Palace. First off, we weren't really sure of how to get there so we asked our roomate Sarah to help us. She was on her way into London anyway, so she took us there. This time, we took a train to the tube station, instead of a bus. While waiting for the train, I saw some newspapers in a bin, and so I decided to take one and keep up to date on what's happening. I took one and sat down next to the girls. Not even a minute later, a man came up to me telling me that this newspaper is not for free...Jesus, I unknowingly stole a newspaper! Comon', if I was gonna do this right, I would have at least stole something etable, had it open and tasted by the time the guy got there, but no. I never even had the first page read yet! I can be so stupid sometimes!

 We eventually get to Buckingham Palace, and the place is stunning. We couldn't take pictures of the inside of the palace, but we were allowed to take pictures of the Mews (where they kept the carriages, cars and horses) and when we were out in the garden (exiting the tour). I have some pictures I will upload anyway. 30 foot ceilings, decorations dipped in gold, and rooms enough to fit thousands for sure. We did see a lot of the gifts that were given to the Queen from people all over the world, and one special gift we were told about was a horse, given to her by the RCMP back in the 90's. She loved it.

 After what seemed like a 4 hour tour (wasn't far off ) we decided to come back home. Jennifer's leg was killing her (needs to get that checked out) and we wanted to take a nap before going out later that night. Down in the station, waiting for the tube, there was a girl who was clearly pissed about something. Just so happened that she dropped a part of her cell phone down into the tracks. Trying to be the hero, this coolio of a guy tries to jump down and get it for her, when a ladies pissed off voice came onto the intercom syste, frightening the guy who was half way down into the tracks!! What an idiot really. Gave me a fright, and I didn't even care for the guy, LOL.

We get back home, Jennifer naps. I just couldn't. We get ready to go out to a bar called The Edge, where there is some live music, and cheap drinks. I'm down for that. A 45 minute bus ride later because of detours, we arrive at this sketchy town (like ours, lol) and there doesn't seem to be much going on outside. Inside was a different story. The place was packed with all sorts of people. We get some beers, meet some people and listen to the guy singing on stage. He does a good job, but when Sarah's friend, the Birthday Boy, gets up to sing, I was blown away! His voice is amazing and very unique. I loved him, and of course, told him when I got the chance.

 We started socializing with these 2 guys from Romford (where we were) and right off the bat they started making fun of us, and tormenting us for our accent! I can handle that no problem, especially if he's buying us shots, HAHA. They called us "Cheap Yanks" which I've never heard of, but I just couldn't care less really, so we kept talkin. They were douchebags to say the least, and when one of us said something they didn't like, all hell broke loose. One guy started flippin' out callin my roomate a Cunt, and a Bloody Bitch, etc. so we just walked away to enjoy the rest of the music, while Idiot in the background continues to mumble and glare. It was quite funny in my opinion.

 The lights come on at 12 or something like that. Very early, even though it IS a Tuesday night. We walk down to the next bar, and it's Rockin- with tons of gay guys, HA! We go in there for a bit, and dance to some Spice Girls (which I haven't heard at a bar in years- apparently they still can't get enough of it here). The 2 douchebags are there as well, and we just ignore them.

 Wanting to go home eventually, we walk to the bus stop, right across the road, where this guy is eating french fries....I ask him if he has gravy, and he tells me that he is eating Curry-n-Chips.....It was a nasty yellow mushy mess of homemade fries smothered in Curry sauce, yuck! He really doesn't know what he's missin, when I tell him all about Fries, Dressing and Gravy or Poutine...... :)

 Got a little lost on the bus, had to get off at one point, and cross the road. Eventually hailed the over priced black cab, and make our way home!

 It's 3:30pm and my roomates are still in bed, except for Catherine who is still sightseeing with her family.

 Guess I should go wake 'em up?!?! Gone to get the biggest pot we have. Cheerio. xo

Monday, 23 August 2010

Money, Money, Money..eeeek!

 Just got home from a walk down Cranbrook road where the shops are, and of course, I ended up in a grocery seems as though everyday I'm finding more things I need to buy. Today, it was more toilet paper, laundry detergent, and of course some chocolate!

 Myself and Jennifer went to meet the workers from Timeplan today. We were a little bit late because we took the wrong bus, and ended up waaaay past our stop. It was fine. We met 3 important recruiters named Liz, Allan, and Jody. Liz will be helping us with our employment, seeking out full-time jobs for us when they come up. We were told that because we came over earlier than most, we were at a slight advantage now that we have landed. Allan was there to give us half a tree worth of paper work, to get the ball rolling.

 Jody is in charge of accomodations, and made sure we were comfortable, and settled in the house. It definitly didn't hurt that he was a fine looking young man, lol. I was thinking, "He's not gonna want to meet me..." because I had some concerns and I'm obviously a little anal about things. I noticed when I arrived, that the lock on my bedroom door didn't lock, as well as everyone else's doors. They don't seem to have a problem with it, but if I'm paying rent, then I want a lock on my door. He is going to fix that as soon as possible. I never stopped there. I also requested he fix the small gate out front (by just nailing one of the boards back on- no biggie). I asked him if there were ever screens on the windows because I had a small invasion of spiders in my room the other day. Apparenlty, in England, they don't have screens????? Ugh.

 As for my job, I think it will go well. The only problem is that I won't get paid for a while (as in the end of September) and when I do finally get paid, it won't be much because I probably won't be teaching all that much in the first month....Eeeeeek! I have to budget my money big time, and make it stretch over the next month or two, and if you know me at all...I like to spend, shop and drink, HAHAHAHAHA. xo

 Things usually work out over time, and I hope it is the case with me. Until next time.

 Tomorrow, we visit Buckingham Palace, and then we will go listen to some live music, at our roomate's friend's Birthday Party...Bring it on :)

Ps- I think I could get used to writing a blog...It's like venting!!! LOL

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The First Few Days

 So here we are, starting out our year in one of the most popular places in the world. Figured I would start a Blog, so everyone who was interested, could be updated with my life in Essex, England.

 I should start with us boarding the plane in St. John's where myself and Jennifer never ended up sitting together, although she did sit directly in front of kind. I sat next to a very handsome guy named Kirk, who was extremely easy to talk to, and was obviously easy on the eyes. We ended up chatting the WHOLE entire way to England, and even watched Iron Man 2 together, sort of. (We started and ended at the same time, and commented during). He gave me the rest of his Starburst before we got off the plane, and sadly went our seperate ways...but Holy Shit, that plane ride went by so quickly!

 We were met by a taxi driver named Craig, who greeted us with an envelope (cell phone and contract/information from our recruitment agency TimePlan) and a very small vacuum sealed package containing a duvet/4 pillows. These looked as if they were made out of paper towel, like if you pulled on them too hard, they might rip, hahaha. Nevertheless, they were perfect for starting out. (Pillows are soo fluffy, I think I'll keep 'em).

 We started talking to our cab driver, who let us know that Ilford, Essex isn't the "greatest" plasce in England, but that our house was located in the better part of the town. It freaked me out for a minute, but when I got the the house, it all went away. We pulled up to the sweetest town house, with a little gate and an arch door. I immediately fell in love.

 We checked out our rooms, and of course, by luck, Jennifer got the nicest room out of the two. Her room is at the front of the house, with a big bay window and lots of space. My room is next to hers, at the back of the house, with a nice double bed in it, and a view of the tiny backyard (including everyone else's backyard). The perk of my room, is that I have my own personal sink, which is nice when you share a house with 4 other girls. I will have to take a video of the whole house when I get a chance and when everyone has fully moved in and has made it look lived in!

 There is a nice park about 1 minute away, which connects to a main road with lots of needed stores to shop at such as a few grocery stores, a post office, dollar stores, restaurants, a pharamacy etc. We are also right next to many bus stops that take us directly to the "Tube" Station.

 Yesterday, we went into Central London and walked around on Oxford Street. That street alone was wicked....the shopping has excited me already, and I haven't bought anything yet! I just don't think I will go shopping on a Saturday again because the place was Mayhem!!! It was like Primark (a very popluar store) was closing or something because people were running around like craxy buying stuff....You could hardly move in the store! The street was beautiful, so I can only imagine what the rest of London looks like. Lots of pictures are in order.

 We met 2 of the 3 roomates so far. One girl named Catherine is from South Africa and has her family visiting, so we haven't seen her around much at all, except for in the night when they get home from their daily excursion. She seems a little reserved, but we will get her out of her shell in no time, haha. The other girl, Sarah, we just met today because she was travelling. She is very social, loves to party and has been here for 2 years. I think we will be getting along just fine with her, but she is actually planning on moving out in a few months to a place closer to the city.

 On Tuesday, myself and Jennifer will be going to Buckingham Palace to check things out, especially now that the Queen is in Scotland!! We will be able to do the tour that goes inside the palace, which will be awesome. Then, this coming Sunday, we were asked by Sarah, if we wanted to go to ao party called "The Church", held by crazy Aussies, who celebrate every Sunday from 12-4, mainly the hours of chruch service, hence the name, lol. People dress up, drink, and do funny shit when they are there. A female stripper will entertain for a bit, and because it's a long weekend, us ladies will be greeted by a male stripper as well. Yay, us! LOL Not sure what our costumes will be yet, but I'm dressin' up as something!!!

 Ok, so far, you are up to date with things here. We are still settling away, and layin low, because we have lots of time to see and do!

 I will try to keep this updated because I think it's the best way to keep in touch with everyone without having to individually email people.

Love you all, and remember when you're on the tube......... "Mind The Gap!"