It’s only been the new year for 10 days. I’m the worst blogger ever.
The kids are back at school this week, after a fortnight break. Plus one PD day on Monday (or, as they call them here, an Inset Day). That extra day, for some reason, made the break seem really long. Anyway, it was a good break, with periods of intense doing-nothing-ness punctuated with periods of intense-doing-cool-stuff and periods of intense-eating-too-much-butter.
Christmas was quiet. It was just us, though we did manage a few Skype/Facetime sessions with family back in Ottawa and Montreal. We took a walk to the park (it was a pretty nice day). Listened to the Queen’s speech. Watched Doctor Who (is it me, or did that episode make no damn sense??). Oh, and what I’m hoping will become a yearly tradition, there was the hanging of the Christmas Sweatpants on the mantel.
I didn’t have the presence of mind to bring stockings with us, and I wasn’t going to buy any, so Craig had the great idea of using a pair of way-too-large sweatpants that I had gotten earlier in the month from a well-meaning relative and knotting the bottoms. It was surprisingly effective.
Highlights from the break include a trip to Edinburgh (which will get its own post. Hopefully before I forget what we did), a trip to Oxford to meet the Orchard family, (note my use of the Oxford comma just now, in honour of our trip, and because it’s just better, dammit) and a trip on the Emirates Airline cable car, whose actual usefulness is up for debate. Also, museums, four performances of Treasure Island in one weekend for Zebula, and lots of knitting (also in its own post. Promises, promises)
Meeting the Orchards in Oxford was fun, both because they’re lovely people, and because the city itself is wonderful. I’d love to go back and spend more time there. We met for lunch, and then quickly saw Christ Church, including the cathedral and the Great Hall. We also visited a tiny fraction of the Ashmolean Museum (which wins for best museum name) before it was time to go. Oxford is a fairly short (an hour’s train ride from London) distance away, so we’ll probably go back.
The Emirates Airlines cable was something the kids had been wanting to do for a while. The cable itself was planned by the Transport for London, but underwritten in large part by Emirates Airlines. Its existence is a mystery. There’s some information about it here, if you’re curious. But basically, it just seems to be there to show off. There are only 4 regular commuters that use it. It’s cool for tourists, but it doesn’t really take you anywhere that interesting. And, of course, its construction went over budget. Anyway, since the best part of taking the cable cars is getting a good view of the city, I kept waiting for a sunny day to do it, which is optimistic around here this time of year. The day started out sunny, but it got cloudy and windier as our trip across happened. Being 90 m above the Thames on a cable made me a little nervous, but the view was great, and the kids loved it.
I started work at my volunteer job this week. I work at the Queen’s House. It was a good first day, and I got to talk to quite a few people even though, since it was the first Wednesday after Christmas Break, it was pretty quiet. My favourite was a retired taxi driver who was finally getting around to visiting the London landmarks he’d driven people to for years but never managed to visit himself. I’m looking forward to next week. Also, there’s a lady in my choir who started this project and asked me if I’d like to volunteer with data entry. So I should be doing that one day a week as well, starting in the next couple of weeks.
While the weather has been pleasant here (highs between 7 and 12 degrees), I miss winter in Canada. And they’re having a doozy this year! We’re expecting ‘arctic winds’ here in the next week. We might even have a hard frost!!
Next up, Edinburgh! (Seriously, if I don’t post anything in the next couple of days, send me scathing emails and comments of protest!)