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31 January 2014

Views from the week...

On Monday, I attended a meeting at the lower school at 3:30pm, It was an informational meeting for an overnight field trip that Olivia will be going on in March to the Mill on the Brue. (click here for a link) It is an outdoor activity center where the kids get to do all sorts of things - canoeing, hiking, zip-lines - you name it. The girls from Olivia's grade will leave on a Monday morning and return by dinner time on Wednesday.  
The meeting ended at 4pm, but Olivia and Sophia have their drama club after school on Mondays and don't finish until 4:45. The delightful assistant headmistress insisted that I sit in the parlor and wait for them. Then she brought me a cup of tea and the paper to enjoy while I waited. (The Times had an article about a new book in the US, The Happy Wives Club - if you haven't read about it you might find it entertaining).

Krispy Kreme! Sadly, no "hot doughnuts" sign. The girls really enjoyed the doughnut we bought them. Sophia wants to take Krispy Kreme doughnuts in as a treat for her class, on her birthday next week.

Another cider I tried - very good :)

Pigeons are everywhere. Chris calls them "rats with wings". Sophia likes to chase them.

I made this for breakfast one morning.  I had some leftover plain quinoa in the refrigerator. So, I warmed it up in a skillet with a little butter and then topped it with a fried egg and fresh chopped tomato and avocado, and just a sprinkle of my favorite seasoning - Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joes.  I just love that stuff. I put it on almost everything!  I hope that someone will send me some more in a month or so when I run out!

The girls and I saw this rainbow over the Upper School at drop off. It was really gorgeous!

This is the school bus that Olivia and Sophia take from the Upper School to the Lower School each morning.  

This was a restaurant we passed when we were out walking - The Slug and Lettuce.

It is hard to tell from this picture, but this guy is tightrope walking. There were bands stretched between several trees on the Common and he was practicing.

The area that our temporary apartment is in is a busy area called Vauxhall.  The apartment is nice and across the street is a really fancy development and the Thames.  However, the area isn't all that "family-friendly", by American standards.  There is a big bus depot (when they make announcements, we can hear them from inside our apartment). The tube station is a really quick walk, and there is a starbucks and three small chain grocery stores just a minute away. There is also a homeless shelter down the block. I walk past it several times a day. This morning, a very happy, very crazy gentlemen called down to me from an upper story window, "Good Morning Darling".  Then he proceeded to greet my coat and umbrella with equal enthusiasm!  
The billboard I photographed above can be seen from one of our windows.  Don't know who he is, but I should check him out.  There is a huge electronic billboard out another window that is currently advertising the Taylor Swift concerts in town this weekend, among other things.

This brick wall is between the Upper School and the building next door. I wonder what the story is.

Did you read my post about the bicycle riders on the streets in the mornings? It is insane!

This truck cracked me up.

The girls are all learning how to play hockey (called Field Hockey in the US). Georgia played in her first game last week.  She has another game on Saturday morning and Olivia played in her first game this week (I wasn't able to go) and plays in two games next week.
Olivia discovered the importance of wearing a mouth guard when she got hit in the mouth with a ball last week.  She got a busted lip, but was okay otherwise.

The school the girls attend is a private school (although here they call private schools "public schools" and what we would call a public school they call a "state school" - confusing, huh?) and the school is owned by  Lady Colquhoun (pronounced Kahoon), and she is called the Principal, although that doesn't equate to what we consider the Principal of a school in the U.S., as far as I can tell. She is very involved in the school and she came across Georgia in the library one day last week, and was pleased to hear that Georgia just finished reading Little Women.  She even gave her a sticker and note in her "prep diary".  The Prep Diary is a neat little book that each of the girls carries back and forth to school every day. It is similar to the agenda books that some US schools use.  It includes a schedule of school events, and a little calendar blank for each day. The parents and teachers can write notes back and forth to each other and keep track of the students assignments. The teacher looks at it each day to be sure that the parents have initialed the day, and the parents can see the teacher's initials for that day as well.

The girls about died when they saw this sign at a bus stop the first time. They said, "Look! There is a man on a toilet!".  Not exactly what you would see in the US. It is just one of the many signs all around London right now, part of a campaign to keep people from going to A&E (the Emergency Room) for minor complaints.  The white writing you cannot quite read says "Don't go to A&E, go to the pharmacy".  Another sign we have seen from this series says, "A&E won't kiss it and make it better, it is only for real emergencies".  Since they first spotted the toilet sign, they have seen them all over town and always point them out.

See my sad little basil plant?  Sigh. Chris says I have a black thumb. I don't think it is black exactly, maybe just a shade of grey.  I bought the basil plant and brought it home. Chris sighed and said he would give me a week before I killed it.  It has now been here nearly two weeks, but it was having a particularly bad day when I took this picture. Plants need water apparently ;)
It is looking better today though!

You can click on the picture above to make it larger, but basically it is a letter home from the school informing us that they will begin Sex Education in Georgia's class soon. Oh boy. Already? Really? She was like 3 years old just a year or so ago… where did the time go?

Did you see my post on the coffee shop and beauty salon, Sloupe? It is across the street from the Upper School and is a really cool place. I snapped this picture of one of the tables there this week.  I so want to make one like it!!

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