Thursday, 16 February 2012

English bacteria, pineapples and Leicester Square lessons

It has been a massively busy week for me, although unfortunately I am not able to say that my busyness has contributed in any way whatsoever to my (un)employment situation. That's a negative, 10-4, Roger that. I was busy being ill with the nastiest Canuck butt kicking form of English bacteria that just couldn't wait to kick this diva down. Almost a week later, I am still dealing with the aftermath of the germinator army that marched into my immune system and swiftly kicked it in the knees while ignoring the white flag of surrender my white cells were waving furiously in defeat. Immunity initiation-just another welcome gift I have received from this country.

This week has officially been named 'Family Week' as Ben and I will have seen almost all of both of our immediate families by the weeks end. In the midst of my battle for good health (or, what 'good health' is to me, as I am notoriously broken) Ben and I spent 3 hours on Saturday under London on the tube travelling to and from Heathrow to meet my parents as they had a brief stop over on their way to France for the month. Fabulously amazing parents that they are, they brought me thing that I simply can't live without-supplements, hair dryer, and money. You Divas really appreciate having their things after having left them behind (only 2 weeks, but who's counting?!) Thanks M&D!! So after a very brief catch up, we saw them off and decided to eat at the airport since we had travelled all that way, and conveniently, the rugby was on so we watched England faff their way through the match v Italy (where it was snowing!). By the time I had finished dinner I had sunk into a cold coma and could barely endure the journey back home. For those of you who think I was being a lightweight, let me illustrate the distance of travel:

See the red line at the top right?
See the blue line at the bottom left?
Connect those 2, with a change in the middle, 38 stations to stop at, done twice over, feeling pretty poorly.
Now you know.
On Wednesday ('Family Day 2-Valentine's Edition') during the day I decided that I had enough days lacking in tutus and pointe shoes and I would take a class at Pineapple Studios-England's version of Harbour Dance Centre. Cool fact- it was actually an old pineapple warehouse, hence the name. Getting there was easy, quick tube journey and a short walk later and I arrived in a really eclectic, artsy part of Covent Garden and went in to take an Elementary Ballet class. The building is really old and has about 12 studios over 4 floors. I was of course in studio 11 so trekked up the narrow stairs to the studio and took a very fast paced, sweaty class on shaky legs. I realised the next day that it had been WAY too long since I had last danced as I did feel a bit like I had been run over multiple times with tendus and pirouettes.

Here is the studio-sorry I know its a stock photo but I was in a bit of a hurry to have time to take a proper picture!

After class I wobbled gingerly on ballerina legs (ones that apparently took a much-too-long holiday!) down to the basement to get changed quickly to meet Ben, his sister, his dad and his wife, and their friends for dinner at a mysterious pub (literally, it was down a small lane of rowhouses!) in West London. On my way walking to Tottenham Court station to meet Ben from the studio I finally managed to do it-I got lost and began wandering around the streets in and around Leicester Square trying to get my bearings.

It was very difficult as there are seas of people walking every which way causing you walk more involuntarily than anything else as empty standing spots are at a premium on those busy streets, and breaking from the crowd to stand in one requires a fair bit of effort. Being pressed for time, I attempted to recalibrate on the move, in the dark, map barely visible which was a very.bad.idea. I can find most places with pre-planning, but my poor sense of direction plummeted once on the move and I ended up walking around knowing where I should be, but not entirely sure why the streets I'm seeing and the streets on the map aren't exactly corresponding. I came across a few places where at least 5 streets intersect which pretty much blew the fuses on my navigation system and I decided that stopping would be a good idea. It was. I found my location and headed back where I came from (isn't that always the case?!) having originally been going in the right direction in the first place before doubting myself.

So I found Mr. Man and we proceeded to have a lovely evening of conversation, wine, pub food (which won me over from the start-I have been introduced to the beautiful world of sausages and mash-Canadians are so missing out!!) and meeting new friends and family in a very unconventional and un-Hallmark V-Day eve. Next up is Brighton and some B-Day celebrations, and I think that's us finished for a while! I'm keeping this entry a bit short today as I have more job applications to do, including finishing one for a job at the Queen's House! Ill leave you with a few images from my travels around London (I do apologise for the lack of tourist shots-not much time to be touristy lately!)

On my way to Pineapple Studios, didn't notice the red telephone box before! Sorry for the quality-I took these on my Blackberry!

Do you know the Muffin Man? He lives here...

More postings soon, along with healthier days I hope!
your diva abroad x


  1. Hey shana great blog.. sounds so busy... hope you are feeling better and your welcome for the stuff we brought it was good to see ben again. Dad says he so gets the muffin man thing. We have been so busy also.. every day somewhere new.. nice .. cannes.. st raphael... monocco. soon paris and italy. the weather is beautiful and warm. Talk soon.. love ya mom and dad

  2. hey shan, love you and miss you very much, yes ben too. just to add to moms notes, i can get the "getting around chalenge "mom an i have been seen -standing still for what seems hours, reading directions in train stations. after a while we both read the monitors or signs and express our versions, agree on a translation and go for it. lol but we are moving around very well. i have worked out the train schedule quite well -you see you have your local train (tec) that stops at every town, then you have the express type (ictev)that stops only at major cities, then you have the long distance, like the one we take to paris. whew !!! but all in all we manage to get through the language barrier. love you all from st.raphael France D & M