On a remarkably hot day at the end of September N and I took a trip to London town for the interview to get his visa at the American Embassy.
You're not allowed to take anything in with you except for your documents (and I think your wallet is OK), and N didn't fancy going all the way to London and back without a phone, which is understandable, so I went along for the ride and looked after his stuff while he was there.
So I had several hours to kill, alone, in London. As I mentioned, it was extremely hot for the end of September, so rather than spending my time underground on the, well, on the Underground, I took a walk across central London. I ended up in Green Park: it was lovely to find such a green space after all the hot streets.
And found Buckingham Palace, where something was going on, I never did find out what!
I fought my way through the crowds and finally reached my goal: Girlguiding HQ! As well as all the offices of the staff there is a shop there and also, happily, a member's lounge where I could get free tea (well for a donation) and where I could set myself up and get some work done. And avoid the horror of London (I guess I didn't mention yet that I really don't like the place!)
At GGUK there were badges on the walls, including the one below. I'll be living near there soon!
A few hours later N called from a payphone - he waited all that time and only had to have answer a couple of simple questions before his visa was approved - only took a couple of minutes! So anyway, I raced back across town from Victoria to Oxford Circus (this time I did take the tube) to meet him outside the embassy, then we went off in search of fooooddd. We found this lovely place, I think it was Italian, serving the most fantastic paninis. From what I can remember we shared a mozarella, sundried tomato and basil; and a mozarella, tomato and avocado, both of which were incredible:
After lunch we headed back to the underground and made our way to South Kensington to go the Natural History Museum. Neither of us had been before and we were keen to see dinosaurs and things :D And we got to meet Darwin:
The whale room was pretty impressive, although I think I still can't get my head around how big whales are!
Overall I was pretty underwhelmed to be honest, but I did get hugely excited when I saw Mary Anning's icthyosaur and other fossils on the walls. I also really loved the panels on the ceiling. And I found some lemons! (I know several people who will appreciate this, maybe one day I will explain why...)
We enjoyed afternoon tea in the museum then headed back to Paddington to find some dinner before our train home. It was a long day, but worth it for the visa (N's been over there for over two weeks now , more on that soon) and to spend the extra time perusing the museum. It was also just nice to actually spend some time together amidst working so hard on our PhDs for so long!
In other news, as I say, N is now in Baltimore, working hard, and has found an apartment. I'm on the farm in Dorset, also working hard - I sent my first draft of my first results chapter off to my supervisors for their constructive criticism last Monday, scary stuff! And I'm aiming to send them another first draft, of my second results chapter, on Tuesday. So I've mostly been doing that, and walking the dog. And I've started helping out again at my old Guide unit, which is surreal, but fun! Gives me something to look forward to on a Wednesday. And today I made the Christmas cake! So the house smells really Christmassy now, I think I'm getting into the Christmas spirit already, sorry if that offends anyone! But Christmas this year holds a lot for me to look forward to :)
Next blog will probably be about moving, which was already a month ago!