30 November 2011

barbarians defeated

I met some friends at Clapham Junction where we had lunch, though most had a full English breakfast. Then we joined the cattle drove to the stadium at Twickenham. Seriously, it really was a cattle drove. Near the stadium we had the whole street to walk down and there was a massive flow of crowd and police stopped us temporarily to let traffic pass across our path.

In the stadium I opted for the drink of choice (between my friends anyway). I've had a guinness in Ireland and a whisky in Scotland and even German beer in Germany. I was told I should have a bitter in England. So I did. And I still don't like beer. :P Took me the whole game to drink a pint.

Game on! It was odd to have the atmosphere go quiet as the game started. More of a fun match than a serious one though. I was there to watch a rugby match--Australia vs Barbarians. Pretty much Australia against the select from various other teams. Even some traitors.

Rugby is a strange game to watch in my opinion. It's semi organised fights. Men jumping all over each other with a few rules and tactics to it. He he. I'm not a rugby person. But I was happy to support the Aussies anyway.
And happy to hang out with friends. Happy that they lent me a warm Wallabies scarf. It sure was chilly when the sun went down about 4pm. And happy we gave a good thrashing.

We all went to a local pub afterward (to avoid getting squashed in the train) and sat around and talked for quite a while. Ok, I knitted too. : ) Then I went back to my friend's house and joined them for Chinese and a silly movie that provided quite a few good laughs.

I also squished a book club meeting and a movie with some other aupairs into my weekend. I was a little socialed out by Sunday night. It was a good one though.

21 November 2011

a play in the park

It's easy enough to get to one of the biggest, well-known parks in London for me. Hyde Park. Though I usually go to the Kensington Gardens end. There they have the Princess Diana Memorial Payground (aka the 'pirate ship playground' by the boy) which is a wonderful one to play at. There's loads of paths that lead you to different play areas each with a different theme. Of course one is a pirate ship in a big sandpit. I took the boy and his friend the other day.

They have a teepee area too which I never see many kids playing at. It does look cool but not so much to do. More imagination needed I think but with all the other areas having loads to do and climb on and all that they are easily distracted away from this one. There's also a section with a treasure chest, a water play area and a little farm sort of area with huts and a tractor.

The boys played for ages on these big wobbly circles in the general playground area. They had so much fun just jumping across them from one end to the other and back again. They also climbed across the bridges and slid down the slides. Then we went to the music area that has lots of great clanging and spinning things and these cool squares that ding when you walk across them. Quite an excellent playground. We stayed until they closed the playground at 3:45pm. Seems early but it's starting to get dark by that time here now.
On the weekend I dogsat the family dog while they were away which meant multiple walks a day since we have no back yard or front yard or barely any outdoor area here as the squished up houses in London go. So each afternoon I took her out for a long stroll in the park area of Kensington Gardens.

It was brisk but quite enjoyable. Autumn is a lovely season simply because of the colours. And I do like wearing scarves. : ) I was kicking my way through the leaves and admiring the scene and taking photos. I let the dog stop and sniff things and try to pee even when her tank was empty.
I also let her stalk some squirrels. She would have so loved to be off the lead and really run after them. She'd sneak slowly toward them and then run after them hindered by the lead as they scampered up the tree. She'd jump up at the base and I only assume she was wishing she could climb up after them. He he. It was nice to be forced out into the fresh air, into nature and take a little time to enjoy this autumn. Not that I haven't been. It's definitely nice to have a number of nice parks nearby in the big city though. Keeps me sane.

14 November 2011

new things

Bit of 'new' happened over this weekend.

New age for the boy. He turned 3 years old on Friday. We had a party with a few other children at his grandparents' place. Very simple--toys and food and cake. Once the boy got over being grumpy after being woken up from his nap, he had fun. Lots of presents.

New boots for me. I went shopping on Saturday and for the first time in my life I bought myself some nice black boots. Other than gumboots (aka. wellies) or hiking boots. I keep wanting to buy some every winter but never have. Here there are so many choices and I wanted something nice but warmer than my slip-on shoes. I found some that are reasonably flat, reasonably priced and that I'm more than reasonably happy with. Let's hope they last well.

New bed for the boy. Now that he's 3 he's progressed from a cot to a big boy bed. A bunk bed in fact. He slept in it for the first time last night. He was quite excited about it and woke up happy this morning. (Nice change from the last week.)

New little one on the way. Not for me obviously though it does effect my life. My boss told me this weekend that she's pregnant and all going well there will be a new little baby in about May next year. The sketched future plan at this stage is possibly to have me stay on and help for as long as my visa allows. I'll work with the boy and they'll have a newborn nurse to help out for six weeks or so from birth. Then it'd be me and my boss with the kids and I'd be full time once she's back at work . I love being a part of a new baby coming. It's an exciting time. A wonderful newness.

06 November 2011

guy fawkes day

Er...day. Yes, 5th November though the celebrations go all weekend.

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day (or Bonfire Night). There are literally fireworks all over London all weekend. Last night, since I'm here in London, I decided to go out and see some of the celebrations. I planned to go to Battersea Park because there was loads going on there. They were also going to light a big bonfire and have a big fireworks display. Some friends of mine were looking for something to do after the Rugby so I changed plans to watch the fireworks from the shore of the River Thames (rather than us all paying £10 each to get into the park).
All rugged up in some of my knitteds I waited for them at Sloane Square. Note my new wurm beanie I'd finished early that day. This replaces the one I accidently felted and shrunk. Sloane Square was all pretty with lights for the Christmas/celebration season.

My friends were running late. Public transport was heavily loaded and delayed. So I walked on down to the river by myself, found myself a little area to stop on the packed pavement and waited. Eventually the sky lit up in blasts. It was interesting to see the fireworks with low cloud about. The whole sky seemed to turn bright orange or red for moments. The picture of me in the middle has Chelsea Bridge in the background.

After a lengthy display I turned around and began to wonder how easy it would be to find my friends in the massive moving crowd. Then I spotted them just across a parked car. I went with them to meet some of their other friends and then we walked (quickest mode of transport) to a pub nearby. After a sit, sip, chat we walked again and found another pub we were able to sit inside at (only found room outside at the other one) where we did some more sit, sip, chat. It was a great to have a nice social evening. They are lovely people. Well the girls are. I'm sure the guys are too but I didn't end up talking with them much. From there I decided to head home.
Yep. I knitted all the way home. Even walking around the tube stations changing trains and walking home.

The little project bag works well for knitting on the move. You should check out my little creations in my store at www.kelgellcreations.artfire.com. There's several in there still. :)