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Debbie does...round the world
No Photos 25th Jan 2010 - 31st Jan 2010 - London
Another week in London

The week at work went quickly as I was so busy. I have such a lot to do with quite a few deadlines and one case took all day Thursday and part of Friday which didn’t help. Met with the ‘big’ Social Work manager on Tuesday morning who managed to upset although he didn’t know – implied my predecessor wasn’t that good and wanted me to get my supervisees taking on full caseloads – both are still within a year of graduating as well as prepare a report for him on one of my clients who we spend the second highest amount on for care on the borough. Unfortunately because of the risks this person presents they will always need two staff with them – have 2 weeks to produce this report and the manager wont be happy. They have at least put me back on my previous hourly rate and I did finally get paid on Friday as well which does help things. Not much else to report work wise apart from the fact that I do a 36 hour week (irritates me losing 4 hours pay) and I have been working 0830 to 1800 most days to get everything done. These extra hours I work can be used as time in lieu so that my two days off in Venice in 2 weeks have already been worked which is a positive.

In terms of the apartment hunting we put an offer in for Lime House which was accepted. Went there after work on Tuesday to sign over our deposit and to submit reference checks etc. Because I work as a locum the landlord wanted me to pay 6 months rent in advance (apparently common) so we have added Nancy onto the agreement to avoid this so have to wait a few more days for her reference checks. Hopefully we will get to sign an actual contract in the next few days and then move in on 20 March. Andrew and Nancy have to move out of their place next weekend and haven’t yet decided where to go although there are options. Scott and Liz haven’t said anything about me staying on but will ask when the contract has been signed. They are busy saving for their wedding and any money they get from me is extra so it could be ok. I will hopefully get to see the apartment when I sign the contract so will take a few pictures and add then to the site.

I had a bit of annoying news re my right to abode visa and have to totally reapply for it and if I do this in the UK they have a wait of up to 6 months which means my passport will be away for this time. It may be better for me to do all the paperwork and send it to NZ who then sends to Australia as they only have a wait up to 2 months. However there is no 2-3 month period this year that I am not travelling so need my passport. British Immigration couldn’t give me an answer re taking my old passport around with me together with the new one and said officials may or may not let me back into the UK. I know they never check your re entry stuff as you go out so will risk it going to Venice and see what happens. I am also competing with Tim who needs my Mum’s birth / marriage certificate to apply for his ancestry visa so I guess whoever gets there first.

It was my Dad’s 66th birthday on Friday and I had a lovely chat to him. Sounds like he had a wonderful day in Nelson with Diane and the kids and even went 10 pin bowling. He evidently asked Diane to make sultana scones for lunch which she did – must be where I get my love of scones, strawberry jam and cream from.

Liz and Scott were out Thursday night so had the place to myself for the first time. Had pizza and watched crap TV. Played Farmville on Facebook all night – I am addicted.

Saturday I watched the womens tennis final – was going for Henin who didn’t win however did well. Then went to the Adventure Travel Show near Victoria – met Scott and Liz there. Collected lots of travel brochures and ideas – just need the money now. Also went to several talks – one from a 47 yr old who went on a 4 month camping trip from London to Sydney overland with 20 others – organize tour. She looked amazing for her age. Then to one by a travel photographer which was actually very good so will look him up and may go to a couple of his courses. Havent really used my new camera much as 1. Don’t know what I am doing and 2. It is big. Unfortunately I wont be able to take it to Venice as its hand luggage only but maybe I’ll try as have 2 pairs of jeans now that I can wear for days in a row – although saying that I am only going to Venice for 4 days. After the travel show we went to Notting Hill and sat in a pub for several hours reading our travel brochures and dreaming. Then met Andrew and Nancy for dinner at a Ridizio – Brazillian BBQ (like we had in Portugal). It was very expensive but that included 3 large drinks for me (40 pounds). We were celebrating Nancy’s birthday, Andrew and Nancy’s 10th anniversary and our (well, not mine) 1 year anniversary of being in London. We were also supposed to be celebrating our new home but decided we wouldn’t jinx it. It was freezing cold going home and decided to catch the 28 bus which goes all the way which would take longer but would save 3 changes on tube and bus. Waited ages for the bus which then decided to terminate as they do halfway thru the trip. Unfortunately the bus driver decided to let another 28 bus overtake us without informing people that they could have got off at a stop and straight onto the other one. Anyway when we did get off Scott and Liz went absolutely apeshit at the driver – I was so embarrassed pretended not to know them as they were really going for it. They were right in what they were saying but not the way they went about it. Anyway we stood in the freezing cold for another 5 mins and then got on the next one. When it got to Wandsworth – everybody gets off and Scott and Liz ask to be taken further up the road where there is the actual last stop which isn’t used often. The bus driver says no so I get off and then they start yelling and arguing with this driver. Scott does a sit in and refuses to get off. Liz id still yelling saying that she takes this bus everyday and all the other drivers do it so why cant he etc etc. I just hide behind the bus stop. Eventually the driver says he will ring the Police so Liz gets off but Scott refuses to move. Liz and I start walking as she wants to get photographic proof from the next stop that we walk past to put is a complaint. Scott is no where to be seen and the bus eventually goes past us but we couldn’t see if Scott was still on it. By the time we are at the apartment he is finally back having got off under his own steam with no Police involvement – all so unnecessary really.

Spoke to Tim for the second time this week which was lovely. I so miss him. He is back in NZ for 6-8 weeks deciding what to do with the rest of his life – has the option for another 3 months on the cruise ship from beginning of March if he doesn’t find other work in Auckland or Nelson. He is such a lovely person and would be good if everything he wants to do could just happen – guess that not always the way life plays out.

Sunday watched the Mens tennis final. R Fed looking gorgeous in his blue shirt and so pleased he won. Then watched Australia beat Pakistan in the final one dayer . Went out for a walk and to the pharmacy and supermarket and sitting in Starbucks typing up the blog on Word before I go back to the apartment.

Not much planned for the coming week apart from work, hopefully signing a contract, hopefully getting my new passport back.

Next: a new life - passport and apartment
Previous: Working and Apartment hunting Part 2

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