Fall is among us and we have continued to settle in to our new life and routine in the UK. We have made a few more trips to London, met up with an old high school friend, gone to dinner at a proper British pub in a small village close to where we live, and attended many small festivals that the surrounding towns have squeezed in before it gets too cold to spend much time outdoors. The weather has begun to turn, with it visibly colder in the evenings. It was quite a bit cooler and rainy for several weeks after the remnants of Hurricane Bertha came through, but the days recently have been a bit warmer in the upper 60’s and there has been rumour that the UK is going to have an Indian Summer.
In addition to the change in temperature, some of the leaves are starting to change. The girls found fallen leaves in a park in London a few weeks ago that they spent a bit of time playing in.
With fall upon us, one recent change to our daily routine was the start of school. Sparrow and I began school uniform shopping four weeks ago or so, looking for skirts, dresses, blouses, polo shirts, PE clothes and shoes, shoes, tights and sock, all in specific colours.
Tanager began nursery school at the Manor House Nursery a few weeks ago, and Sparrow began Year 1 at Newington Community Primary School the following day. Tanager has been impressed with the bathrooms, so that made her school ok. These days, all places seem to be rated according to their bathrooms. Sparrow really enjoyed the first few days of school, but the size of the lunchroom (500-600 students compared to around 10 in her preschool class last year) has been a bit intimidating for her. While she gets used to the large number of kids in the lunch room, and the number of students in the school itself, it has been arranged for her to eat with a teacher and a small group of students. However, according to Sparrow, the other kids in the group are students who have already managed to get into some type of trouble this early in the school year.
An added bonus for Sparrow was that she lost her first tooth on the first day of school! She had been pretty excited about having a loose tooth and was doing a lot of wiggling of the tooth prior to it falling out. She received a British pound from the tooth fairy.
Sparrow also has had a hard time with the length of the school day. Hopefully she’ll be a little more used to this over the next few weeks. Monday she started weekly French Club after school. We have not been super excited with what she has been learning so far, it has not been very challenging, but realise it is only the first few weeks.
Bill has been cycling the girls to and from school. He calculated 16 miles of riding daily with taking The girls to and from school. The schools are in opposite directions from one another. We decided last week to look into the nursery school that is on the campus of the hospital. Bill visited the Little Oaks Nursery and was really happy with it (not like Eastside Co-op Preschool, but seems decent). We decided to transfer her, and on Monday she started at Little Oaks where she will go every afternoon. This will be a bit easier on Bill, especially as the weather gets not so conducive to cycling.
My work schedule includes a half day on Monday and a 10 AM start on Thursday, as well as every other Friday afternoon off, so I am able to take the girls to school and pick them up some as well.
It is nice to get into more of a routine and to feel a bit more settled. Now if only we had the things we shipped… The boxes as I’m the UK and cleared customs around a month ago. They are basically being held hostage at this point because the shipping company does not want to deliver them because they don’t have any other shipments to our area. It has now been arranged that the boxes will be delivered through another delivery service a week from Friday. It will be nice to have our kitchen items, cool weather clothes, blankets and linens! Then to figure out where to put everything…
My parents are coming to visit in a few weeks which is exciting. It will be nice to see them and fun to show them around east Kent and explore London. They plan to spend some time in Bath and Paris as well.