London

Finally made it and settled down. Well, almost…

We were welcomed into Heathrow by Jane, Tamsons Aunty after a long nights flight, ready to explore some of the local scenery. Over the next few days Jane and Kent showed us around the area including Hampton Court, home of Henry VIII, and Kingston, the local retail hub. After seeking out some warm clothes and getting oriented around the various new stores and brands (gave us headaches in the first few days), we were ready to try “The Tube”. Tam needed to get her bearings for job interviews and Mitch had nothing better to do. After navigating from place to place (some only metres apart we later found) in the underground labyrinth, Tam managed to meet some friendly recruiters. Recruitment as we have found is an entirely new concept. Getting a job is not the single employee-employer relationship that it is in New Zealand. Here we have agencies, umbrellas and recruiters as intermediaries. Contracting is commonplace and jobs frequently traded like commodities.

Big Ben
Big Ben

After Jane and Kent left for a summer holiday back in NZ we were blessed with a couple days of heavy snow. Like all children do, we threw snowballs, got snow in our boots and then got wet, cold and miserable.

Tam and the snow
Tam and the snow
Hampton Court
Hampton Court
Deer in King Henry VIII's hunting ground
Deer in King Henry VIII’s hunting ground

We journeyed in to the London showgrounds at the ExCel Centre for the Bike Show, Boat Show and Outdoor show. A bit like the Claudelands show grounds, times ten. We got to see bikes we can’t afford, boats we can’t afford and travel we couldn’t yet afford. What we did afford were some thermal cycling tights – nice!

Pinarello's! You'll like that Richard
Pinarello’s! You’ll like that Richard
Tam putting her feet up in a luxury yacht (note the white shoe covers)
Tam putting her feet up in a luxury yacht (note the white shoe covers)

A reunion with some familiar faces from back home was welcome. We met with a group Annabel and Reeves had met travelling Europe for a “blind dinner” at Dans Le Noir. The restaurant has an atmosphere that is pitch black, with no sources of light. This keeps down overheads and is supposed to heighten the other senses, including the palate. The waiters were all blind and even trusted us with bottles of red wine. Only a few plates were dropped…

Our dinner at Dans le Noir
Our dinner at Dans le Noir
Our waiter - handsome guy
Our waiter – handsome guy
The group enjoying a few reds
The group enjoying a few reds
The bill
The bill

After a couple of weeks we are already becoming veterans at city travel, sourcing interviews and finding the specials bins at TKMaxx, Tesco’s and SportsDirect. The pub’s here are something different. They have started chilling the bitters, but then again, the cellar may be at outdoor temperature.

Tomorrow we head to Maasbrae, near Venlo, Netherlands, for a visit to Mitch’s Dutch relatives with his brother Cam. One of their cousins is having a farewell party. Following that a tour around the streets of Amsterdam will be a different experience. Hopefully jobs will be waiting for us when we get back…

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4 thoughts on “London

  1. Well, it doesn’t soyund as though its taken you both long to settle in to a different life!! Have fun in Maasbrae, as i’m sure you will!! Take care.

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