Tuesday, November 22, 2005
adventures in England
I know, I know... where have I been, right? Well, for a while there actually wasn't a lot to report. I spent a few days holed up in my friend's apartment getting addicted to the show "24". Yes, I am the last person on the planet to watch it, so when I saw the first season dvd box set I decided to dedicate some serious viewing time to it.

This weekend was spend out about doing the tourist thing again with my friend and his family (his sister was visiting from Ireland). On Saturday we headed to the River Thames (pronounced "Temz" for reasons that completely escape me) and took a boat down the river for a scenic, if not downright chilly, tour. I was in tourist bliss as I snapped away taking all kinds of pictures along the way. I had noticed that my batteries were low on my camera but I had no fear because I made sure I brought along extra batteries. At least, I thought I had. Seems I had set them out but not packed them in my bag, a fact that eluded me until the pinnacle of tourist moments was upon me... passing right under London's famous Tower Bridge. My reaction was ranged from utter disbelief (since I was sure I had packed the batteries) to total annoyance and swearing. In an effort to find humour in the situation I took pretend pictures with my hands (like directors do).

Once we got off the boat the glaring point of a lack of battery power was really driven home as I stood under good ole Big Ben, the big clock tower in London. Ah yes, isn't every tourist obliged to take a picture of that when there? Let me pretend click some more. As I stood in bewilderment at my own stupidity, my friend, whom I believed was in the washroom, came up to me just in time to hear me bitch and complain about not having batteries to take this gorgeous picture before me. He quickly shut me up by handing me a pack of batteries he had bought at a stand somewhere. YAY!!! Back to picture taking for me. I'll take a picture of Big Ben Please. And one of The London Eye, thank you very much. Lookit me being a tourist!, I squealed.

Eventually after wandering through the streets in Camden Market and Covent Garden, and into shops where I couldn't possibly afford anything, we headed home to warm up.

Sunday was spent outdoors at Eagle Heights Bird of Prey Centre where I got to see all kinds of beautiful birds, large and small. Talk about a great photo opportunity! I got up close to a bald eagle, a vulture, a few falcons and even a snowy owl that posed for a Harry Potter poster!

My friends and I sat for several hours and watched and learned as eagles soared over our heads and sometimes, on a whim, landed on the bench and sat beside us. The audience was small which made for a nice intimate environment, conducive to asking lots of questions and getting nice and close to the birds without scaring them. It was an experience I would highly recommend to anyone. You don't truly understand how large and magnificent these creatures are until you get up close.

And that brings another week to an end here in England..... and at the end of this week comes the end of my adventure. Yes, I have decided to return home after 3 months of world travelling that has taken me through Hungary, Israel, England and a quickstop to France on the way home. At some point I have to step back into the real world and find a job again to pay off the debts of my travels. I decided it would be far more wise to do this now when I can readily find work during Christmas, rather than later, when no one is hiring (January and February are known for being the worst months of the year to look for work).

I will not be returning to my life as I knew it in August... my friend is living in my apartment and is awaiting my return to the workforce so that we can get a 2 bedroom apartment together. Hopefully having a roommate will help me bring down costs as I try to pay back my travelling debt. For now I am going to have to move back in with my parents (*gulp*) while I look for work. You can see where this will be a great motivator for finding work! ;-)

So for this week, I am going to try and work on my friend's laptop before I go and watch as much of season 2 of "24" as I can. I saw my second movie in 3 months (Saw 2) and hope to catch Harry Potter here before I go; it only seems right that I see it in England, ya know?

Saturday morning, bright and early, I fly to Paris and then home to Toronto. My parents are beyond excited.