I feel quite accomplished today, even if I am extremely tired. It feels like I’ve been doing a lot of things in the past few days, socially and at work (even if I don’t have much to show for it for the latter – research stage, nothing finished yet!)
On Friday, we went out to one of my favourite bars in London, The Maple Leaf. It’s really nothing to write home about, but I love it. Outside, it looks like your regular traditional English pub, only with Canadian flags. When you step in, it still is like a traditional sports pub, only it has been decorated with Canadian-related stuff, from hockey sticks to flags. Yes, one of my favourite bars is a sports bar! There’s a picture of a moose and they have what I believe to be a real taxidermied bear, named Charlotte, by the way. Behind the bar, there’s a moose head hanging from the wall which is permanently covered in caps. On the TVs there’s always some sort of sports being played, usually hockey, many times curling, but I’ve also watched WWE, snooker and rugby, all really cool sports to watch while enjoying the beers (I tried to link a couple of Instagram pics on here, but it wasn’t working… Boo!)
It’s become our usual spot to go for a drink and catch up (Sean’s and mine, that is) and people are starting to know. When my friend Brian said to go for a drink and suggested that place, of course I had to say yes! In the end, we were a few of us because we bumped into a colleague there too, the only Canadian in the group. We enjoyed some beers (none Canadian, I’m afraid) and had some poutine).
On Saturday, I had my first night shift at the Ronald McDonald House. I arrived and helped stuffing some envelopes with leaflets (I say some I really mean more like a hundred or something like that!) and made sure the kitchen was tidy at night. A family that had previously stayed there came to cook dinner for the other families, and they cooked enough food for an army so it took me over an hour to tidy it all and put it in a fridge.
Alarm set, house tidy, I went to the flat available for the relief managers to have dinner and write. I couldn’t get the wifi working to post here, so I tried writing on the novel, but I realised I was tired. I went to bed and I couldn’t sleep. I was too worried I was going to be woken up in the middle of the night by one of the alarms and that I would have to either evacuate the house wearing a high visibility vest and my PJs, or maybe deal with an intruder. As the place is near London Bridge, there were noises all night long, which meant that whenever someone shouted outside I would wake up, ready to follow procedure. I didn’t sleep much (or well!) that night and I was awake by 6am, up and running again by 7.
Sunday was both busy and boring. I changed all the linen and towels in the relief managers’ flat and took everything to the laundry. I emptied bins, cleaned the kitchen, turned off the alarm, washed, ironed, prepared a room for a new family, called the homeless centre nearby to donate the leftover food that had been donated to us by that family, stuffed more envelopes, do more washing and more ironing… By the end of my shift, 24 hours after it started, I was knackered.
My plan was to go home and make a Christmas potpourri for a present, bake a cake for the leaving interns (hi ladies!) and write on the blog.
My train was a bit delayed (weird, right?) and when I got to Lewisham the whole street was closed to traffic, with police and firemen on site. I have no clue what happened still, but it was raining and I needed a bus. They said they were reopening the traffic, so I waited. While I was waiting, a guy asked me about the buses, and we started chatting. He was really nice and sweet and works in sound, so he gave me his number so my brother could contact him to try to find a job in that industry. Finally, my bus arrived and I got home. Late and soaked.
I started working on the potpourri, but it was a disaster (I’ll share some photos this week, maybe with a “what not to do” list) and I ended up having to scrub my oven completely, and having to air it, because it smelt horrible, which meant that I couldn’t work on the cake yet.
While waiting for the oven to ventilate a bit, and for the trays to dry, I decided to have dinner, mainly because I’m efficient (Ha! As if…)
Finally, I baked the cake. I’ll also share photos and a proper post about it this week, but I’ll just say now that it took me ages and that if I’m going to bake more often I need a bigger kitchen. Still, I really enjoyed it, and everyone loved the taste and the look, so there you go.
By the time I finished the cake and tidying the kitchen again, it was too late and I was too tired. I attempted to write in bed, as in, I considered sitting in bed with my laptop, but I soon realised that it wasn’t going to happen (I didn’t even get to grab the laptop and my eyes were already closing).
I’m going to start preparing the posts I’ve just promised you for this week now, so they’re ready for you!
What’s coming this week? Well, it’s a busy one!
There are birthday drinks tomorrow, and there’s the book club at work, leaving drinks on Thursday (maybe on Friday too), and I’m attending a photo shoot! Maybe I’ll finally get some nice pictures I can use!
There’s another birthday on Saturday, and a bunch of the guys at work are running 10k for Movember in Greenwich…
I’m going over all the events going on at the moment and I’m half excited, while the other half of my brain is starting to sort out those that can safely be cancelled so I can sleep in and be lazy. How about that?
What have you been up to these days?