UK (11.3.09 – 11.9.09)

My first week back in England was fairly low key, which, in all honesty, was welcome after three and a half months straight of running around with my house on my back (I’m a snail!).
I arrived  on Tuesday the 3rd, after a day and a half of travel. When I finally arrived back at my uncle’s house, I contemplated going out and running some errands, but before I could even seriously consider doing anything, I had already fallen asleep. That night was fairly uneventful but pleasant; I stayed in and caught up with my family!
On Wednesday morning, I woke up and repacked by bags in order to go up to Blackpool, and then I did just that. I went up for The Specials concert, which I wrote about in a separate entry, so there’s that. It was an absolutely perfect night. The next morning, I hung out with Katie (my CS host) for a while. We ate lunch and I decided to head back to London because November 5th is what kids? BONFIRE NIGHT!!!! (Or Guy Fawkes Night– either one) I wanted to make it back in good time to drop my bags and see some fireworks. I got back to my uncle’s house, had a small sandwich, and my aunt and I headed out to Clapham Common to catch the local firework display. Both of my cousins were there, but with their respective groups of friends, so we were on strict instruction not to talk to them if we ran into them (only half kidding). The fireworks were fantastic (though not a patch on a 4th of July display); I’ve always loved fireworks.
I enjoyed the display, but I fondly remembered how we used to celebrate Bonfire Night back when we lived in England before. We would go up to my grandma’s house, where we (my dad) would make a huge bonfire out of all of the dead branches from the trees that had been pruned in the year since the last Bonfire Night. My grandma would make a chocolate cake, and we would all bundle up by the fire, drink hot tomato soup, and eat cake while my dad set off fireworks. And of course we had sparklers, and there was always a Catherine wheel (a type of firework).
Anyway. After the display, we went home and I started calling friends and relatives to surprise them with the news that I was in the UK and wanted to see them! An hour later, I had lots of plans to see so many friendly faces– wonderful!!
My Friday was a very lazy one, and I stayed around the house the whole day, napping, reading and watching videos on the internet. Sometimes you need a lazy day!
On Saturday, I went into Central London to go shopping– I was in dire need of a winter coat (one of the few things that I forgot to pack in my last minute packing frenzy that began three hours before I needed to leave for Sky Harbor Airport). My uncle and I caught the train in together, as he also had some shopping that he needed to take care of. Once at Oxford Circus, we went our separate ways. I went to H&M, and Top Shop, in search of a warm coat. I found some nice ones, but at £80 (about $130), I said “No thank you!!” I also attempted to go to Ben Sherman, but once I got off at the underground stop, I realized that I had no idea how to actually get there… this was probably for the best (says my wallet). I got back on the underground and headed back home, with very little to show for the several hours I spent shopping. That night, I stayed in and watched X Factor, (the UK equivalent of American Idol, also featuring Simon Cowell) which I am totally embarrassed to admit!
On Sunday, my aunt took me to Primark in Tooting so that I could once again attempt to buy a coat, but this time I was successful! Primark is the most fantastic shop in all of England; everything is suuuuuper cheap, which I am all about, especially at the moment! I left with a new coat, suede gloves, socks, and shoes, for very little money; I was so pleased.
On Monday, I woke up and packed my bags once again; I was getting ready for the first of my excursions to see a family friend (who my dad has known for around thirty years!), Anne, in Worcester. I arrived at the train station around 5:30PM, where Anne picked me up from the station, accompanied by her younger daughter, Antonia. We went back to their house, and had fish and chips for dinner, and oh gosh, do I LOVE fish and chips. We had a quiet night in, chatting, catching up, watching television, and making plans for the next few days; it was a wonderful night.

I’ve decided to write about England in one week blocks, so I will continue writing about my stay with Anne in my next entry.
But now for some pictures! There are very few, because I didn’t do loads this week, and the pictures from The Specials concert are in a separate entry.

Firework pictures!

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