Day 2 – Wandering around England!

DSC00963

Well I had a lovely day yesterday wandering around Maidenhead! I got up early to avoid the traffic as it was going to be my first ever motorway drive out of London and I wanted to avoid traffic. Here are some things I learned about driving in England:

  1. It is impossible to avoid traffic. It is there even at 8.30am on a Saturday morning.
  2. Mrs. Sat Nav saying “Bear Right” does not mean “change into right lane because there is a fork or bendy turn up ahead”. It just means the road curves. Do not, for any reason, get into fast lane.
  3. Sometimes motorways have smaller roads beside them, which can be confusing as the smaller road speed limit signs can look like they belong to the motorway.
  4. Motorway speed limit is NOT forty miles an hour!!! (see above)
  5. British drivers can smell fear. Assertive driving is very important!

After managing to arrive in Maidenhead about an hour later, I drove around where I will be working then found a car park and left the car behind for a good wander on foot. Maidenhead turned out to be absolutely gorgeous! It was really cute and quaint, and I really enjoyed just mooching about, popping into craft shops and looking at the buildings! I looked like a bit of a mad tourist taking pictures of random things, but it was all so pretty!

Flower pots outside a cute little pub Flower pots outside a cute little pub

DSC00956 Statue beside the churchDSC00957 Old-fashioned Post OfficeDSC00958 Merry-go-round at a Farmer’s Market

DSC00960 River Thames after flooding!

DSC00961 Town Hall

After a bit of a wander, I found the local library where I signed up for a card! The girl at the desk was really friendly and helpful, told me about getting a local Advantage card in the Town Hall once I have proof of address in Maidenhead. It will mean cheaper parking and discounts in lots of places!

DSC00962 Library!

DSC00959 Pretty fountain outside library

After the library, I noticed a small art exhibition and decided to pop in to have a look. I was really glad I did! The artist had embarked on a project where she painted one picture a day for 100 days! They were really beautiful, and laid out in chronological order with funny captions underneath. Here’s a link to a blog where you can see the exhibition: http://harrietbrittaine.blogspot.co.uk/

My feet were starting to get tired so I went back to the car to drive home. Unfortunately, there had been a big accident on the motorway, so I ended up stuck in first gear for about half an hour! Eventually I got back, and collapsed on the couch.

Once I had recovered a bit, Peter suggested taking a walk into Wembley to see about getting me a sim card. I got a pretty good deal (£13 pounds per month rolling contract gets me 500mins, unlimited texts and 1gb of data!) and then spent the rest of the evening half watching the rugby, chilling with family and playing around with apps on the phone.

Woke up this morning after a lovely deep sleep! The plan today is to organise my suitcases, then do another practice drive out to Berkshire before coming home and getting myself sorted for my big day tomorrow! Getting nervous!

 

Advertisements

Day 1!

Coming to the end of a very long day here and debating whether 8pm is too early to go to bed!

It started at 4.45am, getting up and ready so I could make my 8.10am flight with plenty of time! I felt pretty good once I arrived at the airport (with a slight glitch when the airport restaurant played “Home” by Michael Bublé – not the kind of thing you want to hear when you are moving away from home for the first time!). I then had a stroke of good luck and discovered that Ryanair had given my a Priority Queue ticket for no reason! Yay!

While waiting to board, I was kept entertained by some twenty-something Dublin guys belting out a bit of One Direction. I could hardly contain my laughter, and eventually they noticed me sniggering away at them and they started chatting to me. I was informed that they were in fact a boy band called “Taken” and that they were flying to London to participate in a celebrity soccer match for charity. I smelled a rat, and told them that if they were going to spend their lads’ weekend away pretending to be a boy band, they could at least pick a better band name than “Taken”. It then transpired that they were actually telling me the truth: https://www.facebook.com/takenlive!!!! Who’d have thought??

After being picked up at the airport by my lovely uncle and cousin, it was back to their house for a quick fry (om nom rashers!) before going to pick up my car. I was simultaneously ridiculously excited and enormously terrified of this. It’s pretty awesome having your own car, but having to drive it through London traffic when you haven’t driven a manual car since your test is not easy… But I’m pleased to report that I made it home in one piece!

My last major task of the day was to organise an English phone number for myself. This started off well, with a very helpful shop assistant discussing all the different options with me, but ended unsuccessfully. Because the billing address for my bank card is Irish, it won’t fit into the standard British address format. Despite me offering details of the English address I’m currently living at, they were unable to process my details, so no English phone number still.

Looking forward to tomorrow and my first trip to where I will be working!