Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day of Discovery

After I finished my downer of a blog post yesterday, my neighbor, Anna, invited me over for a Pimm's and some chocolate cake.  Is she awesome or what?  We sat in her back yard while her two kids drove us nuts interrupting our conversation every few minutes.  We had an interesting time trying to explain the concept of U.S. Independence Day to them.  To get them out of Anna's hair for a few minutes, I had them help me take my laundry down from the clothesline.  They aren't so great at folding, but they sure were speedy!

To celebrate the 4th, Josh and I went out for burgers and when it finally got dark, we lit our remaining sparklers in the back yard.
Our neighbor on the other side, Terry, came outside to see what was going on.  He must think we are a bit nutty.  As soon as we went inside, we heard the sound of fireworks, so we ran out front and saw some little starbursts coming from a house about a block away.  I guess we aren't the only Americans in the neighborhood. 

Josh left for Heathrow at 8 am today, so I'm on my own for the rest of the week -- he returns Saturday morning.  Fortunately, I already had some things on my agenda.  Today I took the tube out to Chiswick (pronounced "CHIZ-ick") to meet with someone at the UK Discovery office that a co-worker/friend had put me in touch with.  It took us two months to find a date that we were both available to meet up, so we'd been exchanging emails for a while and were looking forward to finally meeting in person.  The Discovery offices are in a modern-looking office park that's a bit sterile, but has lovely gardens.

We had lunch at one of the restaurants in the complex and she offered up several helpful suggestions both for adapting to life in London and looking for work.  She's originally from Australia, so she's been through it all herself.  It doesn't sound like there's much likelihood of my getting a job at Discovery, as they are currently under a hiring freeze, but she asked me about my experience and interests and said she'd keep her eyes and ears open for me.  It was a good meeting/lunch.

After lunch I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon in Richmond, since I was only 2 tube stops away.  The town center is right on the Thames and has lots of nice shops and restaurants.
I did some window shopping and stopped for a cup of tea...
And had my first experience with a "tea timer."  This little contraption had three separate little hourglasses: 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and 5 minutes.  Depending on how strong you like your tea, you wait until the appropriate timer has run out to remove the tea strainer from the pot.  Clever!
Time for a cuppa
I ran out of steam around 6, which meant I had to contend with rush-hour crowds on the way home.  When I got back to Wimbledon, it was raining pretty hard, and since it was clear and sunny when I left the house in the morning, I didn't have an umbrella with me.  I bought myself a new one at Boots, since I needed one that fit in my purse anyway, so hopefully I won't get caught without one in the future.

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