With Blackjack and Hookers "I'm going to write my own blog. With blackjack. And hookers."

28Jun/161

One week

In a couple of hours, it will have been a full week since I arrived in London - and I've survived (hurray)! It seems like a good time to catch up on what I've been doing; it's been quite a busy, intense week!

According to the pedometer on my phone, I've averaged 19,358 steps a day over the past seven days - 14.3km. It's true that I had two particularly lengthy days, walking-wise, but even my most sedentary day still had me above 10,000 steps. Given I used to find 10,000 difficult, I'm feeling pretty pleased about that! A lot of that has, of course, been spent walking through the city. On Sunday, however, I joined a walking group and headed out to High Wycombe, which is about a 30 minute train ride out from Marylebone, and that ended up being a very, very long walking day indeed. It was worth it, though: the scenery was spectacular (so green!) and it was really lovely to meet some people, talk, and (of course) share a drink at the end.

I've now invested in some proper walking boots, as it has become quite plain to me that I really do need the extra support and comfort. My next step will be to change the insoles, as I'm getting quite a lot of arch pain - they need even more support. Amazon UK should deliver me those in the next couple of days, and hopefully that will help. In the short term, one of my little toes is almost more blister than skin (it was quite painful walking on heels earlier today for my first job interview).

Job interview, yes! I've been pleasantly surprised and pleased by the responses I've been getting to my applications since arriving - I had an interview this morning, and I have a few others scheduled throughout the week as well. I'm not in a huge rush to get a job-- I do have savings to get me through a reasonable amount of time-- but I'm pleased to be making an effort towards it all the same. Interestingly, I've found that a lot of organisations here assign additional tasks after offering you an interview: I had to give a 10 minute presentation for the one this morning, and for others I've been notified of various tests, additional questionnaires, and so on. It's not a bad thing, and I can see how it can be useful, but it's interesting; different.

Otherwise, I've been doing a lot of sightseeing. I've seen (by accident) the changing of the guard. I've been to the British Museum, and the Imperial War Museum. I've shopped (oops). I've walked through Hyde Park, and through Regent's Park. I've found good coffee (and not so good coffee).

I'm liking the place I'm staying. The room is comfortable, and every day they come around and make the bed, carpet the floor, and so on. Every day, wherever my companion bear has ended up, I come home and find her sitting on my pillows again (I could choose to believe she puts herself back there, of course, but...). Breakfast involves cereal, yoghurt, fruit, toast, eggs, bacon, cold meats and cheeses, stewed tomatoes, baked beans, hash browns, orange juice, and sometimes croissants. I'm getting very used to having a proper cooked breakfast every morning. Dinner involves a soup course, a choice of three mains, various side dishes, and then a choice of desserts and cheeses. None of the food is fancy, but I've been enjoying it: I've had salmon, steak, pork ribs, lamb... and with three options, there's always something I'm interested in.

I've not really made any friends or connections in the house, but I'm ok with that. It takes time, and I'm generally quite enjoying being on my own. I did really enjoy going out on that walk on Sunday, and getting to know a few people there - and then today, I had lunch with Kristen, whom I've known since my early days at University. For the moment, I'm feeling very comfortable with my own company. No doubt there will be lower points, but for now, I'm feeling pretty good.

I'm happy, here. I'm loving London, and all of the possibilities that are here for me. I've joined a dozen meetup groups, and am looking forward to going on more adventures with them; I've already booked to go on a weekend to Reims for champagne tasting and Christmas markets in November.

For now, I'm going to take it easy. I have a ticket to see 'In The Heights' tomorrow afternoon, and otherwise I'm going to try and rest my feet a little; I'm allowed.

Honestly, I feel pretty damn lucky at the moment. I wish I could go back in time six months and reassure my past self that things would get better; that amazing things were coming.

Happy week-versary, self!

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