On weekends when we’re out, we enjoy taking the London double decker buses because it’s fun to sit on the upper deck and sight see! Plenty of things to see without having to walk at all. A single adult fare is £1.45 with my Oyster card no matter how long/short the travel distance is. Children travel for free on buses and tram in London.
We were at the Natural History Museum today! This is a really crowded museum that required us to queue to get into the museum + queue a second time to get into the dinosaur’s room. We didn’t want to queue so much, so we skipped that altogether and looked at fossils instead.
The volcano room was quite awesome because you had to ride an escalator to get in … and you’re supposed to feel as if you’re going into the core of the earth!
We spent quite a bit of time at the human biology room because T likes learning about the human body. Look, I’m 12 – 13 years old in the picture!
I like visiting Ikea stores around the world! We had 4 hours to spare on Sunday … so we took a 1 hour bus to Ikea Tottenham, spent 2 hours there, and took the same 1 hour bus back to central London. There’s a small outdoor play area in this Ikea.
T saw the giraffes on my blog yesterday and said he wished he was me, so he could see them. So off we went to the zoo today! He’s very pleased with the little penguin magnet I bought for him as a souvenier. He doesn’t want to stick it on the fridge but wants to sleep with it instead.
The sign at the tiger enclosure was so cheeky! T told me at the gorilla enclosure that the gorillas think we look “like a piece of bread”, lol!
There was a children’s playground at the zoo, so we lingered there for a while to play.
It’s good to be exercising properly again! For my first month in London, I only managed to squeeze in a couple of 30 minute jogs with T at the children’s park. Today, after dropping him in school, I went for a 2 hour jog at Regent’s Park. I think I only covered 7km but it took so long because I was stopping to check the map, check and sights and take photos. I saw lots of animals in the morning … dogs, squirrels, birds, ducks and giraffes!
Random snippets about T as he makes himself at home in this flat … For now, he stands on a stool to eat his meals right next to where I am cooking because I’ve closed up the living/dining room (less rooms to clean). He does not have a table to write on so he stands and uses mine whenever he needs to write (not very often). He gets a bit of homework on Friday and sits on his mattress to complete them (was cutting shapes last weekend). He enjoys soaking in hot water in the bathtub every night before reading/supper/bed.
London has a long list of excellent (and free) museums. We will not be able to finish visiting all of them in a year. But those that we like, we’ll be visiting again and again. So far, we’ve been to the British Museum twice and the Science Museum twice. The Science Museum is very fun for young children like T because there are a lot of activities to keep them busy!
Mr K: If you’re reading this, I wish you a very Happy Children’s Day!!! Sad that I’m not there to wish you in person, but glad that you’ll be joining me in London really soon!
Instead of moving to Connaught Hall today, I moved to Goodenough College instead! Admission to Goodenough College is very competitive (I even wrote a resume for my application!), so lady luck really visited me last week when out of the blue an offer for a 3 bedroom flat came just days before my tenure for Connaught Hall started. I was able to terminate the Connaught Hall flat with no penalties (phew) because I’ve not physically moved in yet.
I am super happy with my Goodenough College flat because it has NO CARPETS. Since it’s only me and T in the flat now, it’s way tooooooo big for us. I closed up the main bedroom and the living room so the amount of space is more manageable. The kitchen is great as its so well equipped … comes with an oven, microwave, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, cutlery, and even china. I was most pleased with the washing machine and I did two loads of laundry immediately after I unpacked my bags!
Gosh, one month has sped by … just eleven months left in London! This collage is from some of the pictures of me and T at Cotswold. He was sulking in the last picture because he didn’t want us to walk anymore; he just wanted to sit on a bench for a picnic.
I really have to purposely plan more trips out of London otherwise the time will just zip by and before I know it, I’ll have to return to Singapore already …
When we were looking for our hotel on Saturday, we followed a map with public walking trails that brought us through the wilderness. We got lost with our printed map (no GPS and mobile reception there, obviously) and ended up being surrounded by more than a dozen cows in the field above. The cows were curious about us and started licking us. There was a black bull that was quite aggressive. Anyway, the three of us were so terrified and we absolutely didn’t dare to run away because we’re really cornered by the cows and they’re so huge and we didn’t want to appear aggressive to them, lest they start attacking us (or worse, trample T). So we didn’t have any solution except to stand still for a very looooooooong time and allowing them to lick us as much as they wanted. T was terrified (he’s even scared of cats and dogs in Singapore) but he listened to me in keeping still, keeping quiet, hugging me tight, and keeping his head buried in my tummy so he wouldn’t have to see the cows around us. After the cows started losing interest in us, we fled to the nearest gate and climbed over!
Oh my gosh, this is such an unforgettable experience!!! We spent quite a bit of effort washing up after that because we’re all so smelly and wet. Needless to say, we didn’t dare wander into any suspicious public walking trails for the rest of our trip.
Love the vegetables in London! See how pretty the tomatoes are? And they really turned out as nice as they looked =) Whenever I eat out, I’ve been opting for vegetarian mains because the vegetables here are really sweet and juicy.
Likewise, I incorporate as much vegetables as I can into T’s meals. I cook about 2 – 3 times a week for him (same as I did in Singapore) and it’s not too tedious because he eats a one-dish-meal like the pictures above. I’ll usually cook a greater quantity each time so that I can refrigerate two/three portions of food for the next few days for him. So far he’s been getting a home cooked dinner for most days of the week.
T finally turns 5 today! We’ve started celebrating for him as early as a month ago. Today’s celebration was a simple one in school with his new classmates. Classmates sang a birthday song for him, classmates sang some other songs after that, and everyone ate a fruit cup. No cake because teacher said there are a lot of allergies in this class, and besides, T doesn’t like cake as well.
To celebrate T’s 5th birthday, we met up with our friends in London for a Sunday lunch at Little Bay Farringdon Restaurant.
For starters, the adults had chicken liver, calamari rings, crab profiteroles and chicken pastry.
For mains, the adults had fish cakes, lamb steak, beef steak and vegetarian moussaka.
The food was very good and I really enjoyed the Sunday lunch. I shall be bringing KL to this restaurant when he comes to London because I am sure he will like the food too!
A few days ago, we walked to Chinatown to try the Four Seasons Duck that Selena raved about. Woah, the duck skin and fat was soooooo delish and juicy! While we were in Chinatown, we also had bubble tea, snacked on Taiwanese food and just as we were about to leave, we found a shop that sold red bean buns and needless to say, Titus enjoyed his bun very much!
This scooter is the first big ticket item we’re purchasing for T since we arrived in London. He loves scooting in Singapore and apparently, so do all the other children we see in the parks in London. We purchased this scooter off Amazon and it’s worked well for us so far. He scoots between 2 – 3km each day to and from school and there’s no more complaining that he’s tired (of walking too much). Today he even scooted 4km and he was fine!
He told me that there was pear for morning snack and he didn’t eat it because he doesn’t like pears. There was a story reading time and lunch is always served after story reading time. Lunch was rice, veggies (with corn) and cake but he didn’t eat all his veggies and he didn’t eat cake. There is always play time after lunch. There was math today but they are not required to do any writing, just speaking.
We take about 15 minutes to walk from hall to his school. His scooter arrived this afternoon so we’re going to try scooting to school and I hope that shaves at least 5 minutes from our walking time.
T is off to school today! He will have tons to learn, starting from dressing himself, because he does not know how to button his shirt and he does not know how to hook his pants … yet. School hours are slightly shorter for him this week because its his first week. It’ll be 9.00am – 3.30pm from next week onwards, with lunch served in school in the middle of the day.
When I arrived to pick him up on the first day, he was playing on a computer with two other classmates. Teacher said that T adapted well and started to make friends already, so she offered to let him stay for lunch. A classmate was holding his hand to walk into the dining hall together. He did well at lunch too, had macaroni and pudding. So for his second day of school, the teacher offered to let him stay for the full day already. Yohoo, if he’s on full day tomorrow, that means I can go to my own school and participate in some orientation activities.
We went shopping for T’s school uniforms yesterday and at the end of the main shopping street (Oxford Street), we found a Korean eatery aptly named Kimchee! Our shopping companion liked the spicy kimchee soup while I liked T’s beef rice. The kimchi soup came with spaghetti instead of ramen, hahaa …. We want to try their pancakes and bibimbabs the next time we visit =)
We’re staying right next to Coram’s Fields, which is a playground and park for children in London. We can’t wait for K to arrive in London to bring him here to play! T had a swell time chasing birds in the park today. He has this theory (which is of course not true) that if you creep really quietly behind the birds, they will not know you’re there and they will not fly away.
Our first three days was rather hectic trying to settle into our accommodation (lots of things to buy!), register for a primary school (done, whew!), register with a GP, register for a library card, enroll into the university, checking out the after school care etc. There’s still some things left to do like buying school uniforms and signing up for a bank account, but majority of the things that I have to do to settle into London is largely done.
I’ve been so efficient really because T was very well behaved. He followed me everywhere and complained only occasionally about being tired (I ended up having to carry him a lot) because we were walking such long distances everyday. Oh yes, he’s also constantly hungry so I keep having to feed him many times a day!
Our flat at Connaught Hall is not ready yet, so the university is temporarily housing us at a double studio at International Hall. The double studio is tiny, but the queen sized bed is retractable so we do get a little bit more space in the day time. The double studio comes with a small kitchen area (cabinets, sink, microwave, fridge, no pots/pans/cutlery) and a toilet.
I like this hall very much as it’s really family-friendly (many children live in this hall, children eat for half price at the dining hall, children’s park is just across the road, after school care is just across the road) so I’m applying to the university to transfer mee to this hall permanently when a larger flat is available here.
This is the longest flight T has taken in his life. He did very well on the flight cos he slept 8 whole hours on my lap! The rest of the 5 hours was rather messy as he wet himself, I split apple juice over him/me, he puked apple juice, he was sneezing non stop etc. But all in all, I would say its still a rather good flight because he slept so many hours =)
For the last afternoon that me and T are spending in Singapore, we took a walk out for lunch under the HOT sun … simply because we won’t be able to experience weather like that for a very long time. We’re going to say hello to London’s cloudy, misty, foggy, rainy and grey weather in just a few hours time!
Yeah, I got myself a new camera at Comex last week! It’s still a Canon like my last two compacy cameras but I’ve switched from Ixus to Powershot. So far the pictures on the Canon Powershot S200 are turning out sharp and nice. I’ve not played with any of the manual features yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that this new camera will last me more than 2 years (previous cameras have all lasted between 1.5 years – 2 years) …