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10 January 2014

Finally Friday...

First, thank you to all of you for your kind and encouraging words. I cannot thank you enough and tell you how helpful and uplifting you all were to me this week.

It is finally Friday and for the first time since I began driving, I did the entire school run without having another driver honk their horn at me - Success! :)  (It is the small things)

I thought I would share a few of the random snaps (Brit speak for photos) that I have taken throughout the week.
 The Upper School 
School is going well for the girls. Georgia absolutely loves it. Thank Goodness for that since her school day is from 8:10am to 5:20 pm! She says she loves it even more than San Pasqual! Although, the school library is only 1/3 the size! (Bear in mind that it only serves years 4 through 8 - 3rd through 7th, and her old library was Kindergarten through 8th grade)  She is taking French and Latin and Carpentry - cool, huh?

I have finally finished sewing all of the buttons on the girls' uniforms. They are basically adjustable by moving the buttons around to get a good fit. Of course each of the girls' skirts needed adjustment.

Look closely, do you see the bird in the tree? I don't know if someone's pet bird got loose or if England just has really pretty wild birds...

This is the exterior view of our apartment. We are on the top floor - the round window you see is our living room.

 Olivia at art class
The garden behind the lower school. 
The lower school lunch menu for the week. All students eat lunch at school together. 

Olivia loves school too. She is annoyed that everyone in her class can speak French already, but otherwise is really enjoying it!  Sophia, on the other hand, came out of her first day of school and said, "This was the most horriblest day evah".  She said the boys were too loud. Then she said the girls wouldn't play with her (although when pressed she admitted that they wanted to play something she didn't understand and she really just wanted to play alone. Olivia said she saw Sophia playing with girls on the playground.)  She didn't like the carrots she was served at lunch. And she claimed they can all write in cursive and finished their writing assignment before she had even written one sentence. And when she asked to go to the potty, they sent her to the "loom".  I told her to hang in there, that it was sure to get better. (Am I the only one who sees the irony in me giving her that advice? When I have been whispering to myself "you've got this" all week long...)

The Brunswick House is across from our apartment. It houses a restaurant and an antique salvage business. The antique salvage business' website is here - Lassco.  The restaurant's website is here - Brunswick House.  

I drove by this place and I loved the name!

Groceries have been an adventure. There aren't any full sized grocery stores within close walking distance to our apartment, but there are three small versions of major grocery chains. We can grab small items, but for full scale shopping, we have to either carry it all back to our apartment by ourselves (the kids weren't crazy about that idea!) or have it delivered. I have had groceries delivered twice now and I think I am finally getting the hang of ordering online. At first it was challenging because they don't call things the same thing we do. For example, I needed dish soap for washing dishes. It is called "washing up liquid". I needed zucchini, they are called courgettes.  I can't remember some other examples right now, but there are subtle differences all around.  
Check out the pictures of the eggs that I took. You can buy 9 or 15. Chris says, "really? what's wrong with an even dozen?"  Not better or worse, just different.
Also, eggs are not refrigerated in the grocery store here. They are just on a shelf on a regular aisle.

I stopped in to one of the full size grocery stores yesterday. Check this out - you have to pay to get a cart! I didn't need a cart, so I am not sure if you get your pound back when you return the cart or if they keep it. Crazy, huh?
Check out this parking job!
Most everyone knows of my addiction to Starbucks Peppermint Mochas, and as a substitute at home I would drink coffee with Coffeemate Peppermint Mocha creamer.  Well, as it seems, Starbucks doesn't necessarily keep the peppermint syrup year round here, and there is no Coffeemate creamer to be found.  So, I went online and found a recipe to make my own (here). And, you know what, it isn't half bad. 

I am getting used to crossing the streets here, but am always grateful for a reminder on the street of which direction I should be looking for cars!

Good thing I have a cell phone!

This was the view out of my window much of last week, but this week has had much better weather, thankfully. I have even seen the sun some. But, the temperatures have been in the 40s.

My driving has been improving, but maybe I am not quite ready to get a job as a bus driver!  But, they are hiring... ;)

 Yesterday, I found a Starbucks with peppermint syrup still in stock, so I treated myself to a peppermint mocha and it brightened my spirits. (It IS the small things!)

Today, our air shipment was delivered - yahoo! I was running low on all sorts of toiletries after living out of a suitcase since Dec. 19th.  I know I could have bought what I needed at a local store - I'm in the UK after all, not a third-world country. But, I had stocked up on all of my favorite things before I left California, so I knew they would be arriving with my air shipment if I could just hang on a few more days... Well, finally the shipment has arrived. And, it contains my sewing machines - yay!  I shipped over some fabric and goodies to play with, and I may have just possibly bought a new pattern online today... :)

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