It truly has felt like it’s taken me a month to get settled…London takes it out of you! Stressful but exhilarating, I continued to come upon a reoccurring theme – ‘It’s Not Enough!’ which has become my favorite UK mantra thus far.
For a while, I was only sleeping for about 5 hours a night (it’s not enough!), then I added funds onto my oyster card for tube travel (it’s not enough!) and finally, limited time with family and friends (it’s never enough!).
Once mom and dad had left at the end of September (and we had had our fill of Kew Gardens), it was time for school to begin. I got my ID card, met my roommates (who are all from China), met my cohort and spent my 24th birthday making friends, drinking cider, and seeing a play. It was the first play of three that I’ve seen so far (it’ll calm down as classes get more intensive) but it was cheap and a birthday treat. Plus the actress who played Madam Hooch was a main role so this Harry Potter nerd you know me to be was thrilled!
There were lots of skype dates with Tristan, studying and getting my life organised but I managed to spend a full day out with my roommate Jessica (being tourists instead of staying in the University area bubble) which was a ton of fun. We went to Covent Garden, the Globe, ate Japanese food at Borough’s market, checked out a local pub, and viewed the city from a rooftop.
My failure to cook for one has come in handy this month, masquerading instead as ‘meal prepping’. This has let me stay more focused on school and give time to friends and myself. I’ve done a really good job of balancing everything actually. I saw the musical Waitress (I thought it would be corny due to the playbill… it was so moving – I even cried!) before Shelby and Neal popped into London and I got some serious cousin time in. Sure, it was rainy, but that’s nothing new for us PNW kids and we weren’t at all deterred from a day of food carts and antique shops.
Essays to write and practicals each week surprisingly leave time to see my cohort: lunch or coffee dates, movie nights, even a wine and cheese night! I went to Glasgow for a Conflict Archaeology conference, but I also started getting sick and ended up on antibiotics for 10 days… is this how grad school works?
EVEN WITH ALL THIS HAPPENING… Tristan and I managed to plan a trip with him coming here for a multi day walking tour in Southern England followed by a good chunk of days in London. Hurry up November!
With all the changes and constant movement, the cherry on top of October was when Nóra dropped by the other day. She was in town visiting family and made sure to spend an evening with me. We hadn’t seen each other for two months or so and getting to spend 5 hours with one of your best friends, wandering around streets and eating chocolate cake late at night – you can’t beat that.