Hello everyone! We hope you're all well. Many thanks for keeping us up to date on your comings and goings. Happy birthday to all the many April babes.
Well, mum and dad left two Mondays ago and I’ve been missing them ever since! Before they came over I had been missing Jiselle and the bub the most because I had mum and dad’s trip to look forward to. But Simon and I had such a fantastic time with them that’s probably made it difficult to return to normal life. Our friend Susan is a brilliant friend, not least for the fact that she has a car and took mum, dad and me to Stonehenge and Bath. I had hoped to take them to see these wonderful places; Bath was one of my favourite places on our trip last time and I think Stonehenge is magnificent. The Roman baths are truly fascinating and had this great new audio commentary by the writer Bill Bryson.
It was off to Ireland the next day. We had all been looking forward to getting out the city and had semi-planned a four day driving trip from Dublin to Cork, Waterford, Killarney, Limerick and back to Dublin. This takes in the Ring of Kerry on the south-western coast of the country. To be fair, we probably didn’t see enough of Dublin itself to be impressed by it. As the driver, it certainly didn’t impress dad; Dublin’s city centre roads are like a maze. Once we got out of the city though, we could were able to enjoy the gorgeous, green Irish countryside.
We all loved Cork and Killarney, deciding to try our luck with accommodation when we got there. It is certainly true what is said about Irish hospitality, which was so noticeable after indifferent London service. The two B&Bs we stayed at had wonderful hosts (“Just knock on my door when you get back in at midnight and I’ll make you a cuppa.”) The Ring of Kerry is an absolute must to drive: rolling green hills dotted with white cottages and sheep, stunning coastline and dramatic skies. It’s genuinely breathtaking.
We arrived back in London on the Friday night and soon realised that we only had two more days all together. One of the wonderful things about London is that you can choose almost any central tube stop and find yourself in the middle of some amazing sights. We took mum and dad to Trafalgar Square one evening because it’s staying lighter and lighter every night. I love the huge bronze lions at Trafalgar Square, especially how there are always kids and adults crawling all over them. We walked towards the Thames and showed mum and dad the houses of parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.
Mum, dad and I spent Sunday at St Paul’s and then parted ways: mum and I to Oxford Street for shopping and dad positively glowed after a full day spent at the Museum of London without anyone telling him what to do. Poor dad. Parting ways at the train station on Monday was quite unpleasant. We realised their train to Heathrow was leaving in about ten seconds so I managed to blubber something about “parents” and “Australia” to the platform master, who watched amused as we hugged and said our goodbyes. It probably worked in our favour though, as there was less than half a minute of dramatics at a time that could have been much more dramatic.
I think I last wrote when I had embarked on my quest for employment after two weeks ‘school holidays’ with mum and dad. I had an interview that same afternoon for a marketing assistant position at Robert Walters, a recruitment agency that had been working to place me in a job elsewhere. The interview went well, but they gave the position to someone with actual marketing experience (the nerve.) Semi-despairing I lined up an interview for a nanny position with a mum of three who looked like Sarah Jessica Parker and had a diamond the size of five-cent piece. She offered it to me, but the downside (really not a downside at all) was that I was “required” to travel for two months with the family over the summer to Vienna, Greece, Monaco and Israel. Strange thing to turn down, isn’t it?
I spent a frustrating unemployed week with uni mate Margaret who kept me sane by taking me to lunch and sitting in internet cafes with me (still not connected at home.) If ever you’re unemployed, invite Moogs around; she’s fantastic. Robert Walters called about a second job, again within their company, and I got the job. Thankfully my quest has ended! I haven’t taken to unemployment very well (does anyone?) It is tedious, worrying and frustrating. Funny though, how as soon as I got my job, I was looking forward to all those days off by myself to wander around the British Library and Hyde Park.
The man who will be my boss is called Jim, and I immediately warmed to him. He’s in his thirties, married to a Brisbane woman and has had a really interesting career. I think he’ll be great to work for. My job title is one of those ones that doesn’t really say much: I’ll be a business information assistant. “It’s basically data entry, isn’t it?” I said to the recruitment agent, who often try to make things sound a bit more impressive than they are. But I’m fine with what sounds like a nice working environment, with some pretty easy computer/telephone bits thrown in. Another bonus is that the offices are located just off Trafalgar Square, right near the river. Now I just have to get used to wearing a suit every day.
Having discovered the British Library last week and revisiting Shakespeare’s Globe, I am convinced I must work at these places some day. Teachers who I worked with at Billericay are involved in tutoring uni pre-service teachers and they invited me to a workshop day with them at the library and theatre last Thursday. I had an awesome day. The library receives over 30 000 items every single month that live in shelves underground that are serviced by – presumably – Oompa Loompas who whiz them up through tubes to the reading room when requested. Our guide took us through the Ritblat gallery of the library where some real treasures are kept: Shakespeare’s first folio, the Magna Carta, Scott’s last diary entry from Antarctica, Mozart music, Beatles lyrics on the back of a birthday card and an original Alice in Wonderland. The workshop at the Globe was brilliant; I was able to do some drama again and we saw the company rehearsing for their upcoming season. It was all very special.
Thanks for keeping in touch; we love hearing what you’re up to. Best wishes to you all. Love Laura and Simon.