We have reached our 2 month mark of living in London. Like all time, it somehow feels like it has been a lot of time has passed and somehow no time has passed at all. That leaves us with 9 more months until Congress and a few more weeks until we’re done here. The time passes more quickly when we have more active weekends, and this past weekend was one of those. On Friday we went to a Friendship Matinee Concert a the Royal Albert Hall performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert was a tribute to John Williams so we were, naturally, stoked. They played all of the timeless classics you would want to hear at a John Williams concert from E.T. to Jurassic Park to the Star Wars theme and Imperial March. When we were walking back to the tube station, however, I realized I had left my bag under the seat and quickly doubled back to get it. I was particularly worried about leaving in a concert hall because London venue and public areas are particularly wary of bomb threats and mysterious bags left under seats. Jodi and I made it back to our seat quickly enough to retrieve my bag and a sweater that one of our colleagues had also left behind. I may have had to push some people out of my way but hey, it’s London.
On Saturday we decided to go shopping. Being volunteers, this isn’t as exciting as it used to be. Whatever non-essentials shopping we do comes out of the savings we allotted for such expenses. And it isn’t much. Anyway, we both intended to get brown shoes (because color coordination) so we set out to find some. We knew there was a Chipotle in one of the shopping districts near Highbury so we decided that would be a good place to start. After a burrito bowl and a quick discovery that we were searching in the wrong price range, we decided to go to Stratford, which is a massive mall in East London. Stratford, if you don’t know, is always crowded. Like, can’t-walk-without-bumping-into-someone-oh-my-goodness-Disneyland-isn’t-this-bad crowded. And it’s the off-season. It’s also huge. After searching a couple dozen shoe stores (and that’s not an exaggeration), some coffee, and more London shoving, we finally each found some shoes in our price range. By then we were tired of people so we headed home for a quiet night in. But we had new work shoes!
On Sunday we actually made it to Hendon. We intended to go last week but I woke up feeling ill and preferred to miss going to a corps that wasn’t expecting us over missing work. Like many of the other “big corps” in London, the building was far smaller than I was expecting. Maybe I’m just used to American real estate where we have room to build out instead of just up. Their songsters, senior band, youth band, and singing company all participated in the service and we were probably greeted by 15-20 different people over the course of the day. We told Alexa (who, along with Cameron, also came to Hendon) about our trip to Chipotle and she told us that she had been looking for one. We were definitely down to go again because Chipotle is delicious so we did. Burrito bowls.
On Sunday night it was very cold and very rainy and very tea worthy. However, we were (much to our dismay) out of Digestives. Digestives aren’t something that helps you pass food smoothly, as I wrongly assumed. Digestives are a type of biscuit (or cookie) that pair excellently with tea and all other things British. So this was the dilemma: I wanted Digestives but the nearest shop open on a Sunday evening is a kilometer away from our flat and it was raining. Hard. After some convincing, Jodi bundled up, intentionally put on water proof shoes, and followed me to the local Waitrose. We didn’t get too wet on the way there because we managed to time our commute with the bus schedule but when we came out of the store the wait was longer than the walk so decided to tough it out. After a cold, soggy commute back to our flat we were very ready for tea and had digestives to pair with it!
This morning was interesting. I was brushing my teeth when I suddenly saw a bug flying toward me from the window. It looked like a wasp so, naturally, I ducked and spun and did a backwards summersault out of the bathroom. Maybe not quite that dramatic, but I abruptly avoided it. When I regained my bearings and looked back into the bathroom I discovered that it was indeed a wasp. I finished brushing my teeth and grabbed a shoe. I noticed it was trying to fly into the light so I turned it off. When the demon bug realized the light was gone it moved on to the next light source, which was the light over our bed in the flat. Jodi was very helpful in this ordeal. When the wasp flew into the bedroom she helpfully covered her head with the blankets screaming “Kill it! Kill it!” So I did. When I walked back into the bathroom, however, it was back. When I confusedly shouted there was another one Jodi asked if I knew for sure that the other one was dead. It was. Two wasps? What were the chances? I didn’t actually take the time to think this through because, well, there was a wasp flying around my bathroom and I wasn’t wearing very much clothing. It seemed to move every time I was within swinging distance and would have to dodge frantically, swing wildly, look for it, locate it, and then start my approach over again. After more stalking, which may or may not have been accompanied by the Jaws theme from Friday playing in my head, I finally killed it. And then two more flew in from the window. And then two more. At this point I was shaving (or at least attempting to) but wet shaving and dodging wasps at the same time is a dauntingly dangerous task. I ended up only trimming a beard-shaped stubble pattern and pursued the wasps yet again. I managed to kill 3 more (that’s Mejee 5, Wasps 0) but the last two kept hanging around the glass light fixture on the ceiling and I didn’t want to risk breaking it. We decided locking the wasps in the bathroom with the light on was the best idea for the time being. We told the manager of Highbury about the invasion and she said she would have someone look into it. I’m typing from our flat now with the bathroom door open so all is well. For now.
Watch the video blog!