Nov 12, 2008

Over the Pond (5), day 12 -- Hackney as bookend, and as a potluck of great experiences

As I often do, I spent the last day of my trip with the Turners in the London Borough of Hackney. Not much of a day, actually, as I arrived just in time to help get the kids from school. Rachel, her mother-in-law and I walked through the drizzling rain and collected the kids, with me marvelling at the intercultural nature of their school. For instance, there are 18 languages spoken in the various homes of Eve's classmates -- English, French, Spanish, German, Yiddish, Fante, Twi, Igbo, Yoruba, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Turkish, Tagalog, Arabic, and three others I can't remember.

After getting caught in a rainstorm on the way home, we made dinner for about 10 guests, families from the neighborhood. It was a great time, and I had a nice time cuddling with their 4-yr-old Eve. Then we put all the kids to bed, and I read a few pages before heading to bed. The next morning, I just had time for tea and toast with Andy and the kids before Rachel took me to Mile End Tube station, where I caught a train to Paddington Station and then to Heathrow.

It seems that I either begin or end my trips in Hackney; it's like a bookend to my trip abroad. And there's always something interesting going on, someone interesting to talk to. Here's a sampling of some of the things I've done while with the Turners in Hackney.
  • taking long, lovely walks through the Docklands and Hackney Marsh with Rachel, discussing all kinds of things

  • using too much soap in the washing-up, each and every time

  • eating takeaway curry and kebabs with Billy after Greenbelt

  • walking with Rachel to get the kids from school, seeing all the interesting sites in Hackney

  • sleeping in Jessie's room, sleeping in Millie & Eve's room, sleeping in the lodger's room, sleeping in the lounge, sleeping in the cellar

  • fixing tea (dinner) with Rachel -- for us, for the kids, for 10 dinner guests

  • sleeping late

  • watching Angela's Ashes and Notting Hill by myself

  • watching Doctor Who with Rachel and Millie

  • watching Starter for Ten with Rachel and her friend (whose name escapes me)

  • blogging

  • visiting the Tate Modern museum

  • doing laundry

  • chatting with their lodgers (boarders) -- Rachel, Matsui, Nathan, John

A few years ago I told a man who was considering moving in, "You'll never have a dull day in this house." Fortunately, I've always known that to be true. Until next time!


Ginger said...

I (sort of) applied for a work visa in the UK. I already knew and am sad to confirm that I am not a likely candidate for one.

I'll have to find another way to get there - as in GET the job and then apply or go as a student somehow.

I love reading about your wonderful experiences there. I have had similar ones and am ready to move ahead. This has become exponentially difficult with having a baby and in light of the failing economy. I imagine it will take some time for us to get there.

What was that saying again about patience?


But how lovely for you! And what wonderful people you've met!! (and hi to the Tate from me, though I much prefer Trafalgar Square)

Janet said...

Sigh. Another lovely trip to England comes to an England. Thanks for letting us go with you.