Well, we have now been at our accommodation in London for 3 days. We are staying at the London School of Economics hall of residence ‘Carr-Saunders Hall’. This includes breakfast every morning in their dining hall (eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, toast, croissants, fruit, cereal, yoghurt, baked beans, juice, tea, coffee etc), and each floor has a kitchenette so you can self-cater your other meals if you want. The shared bathrooms are clean and look new, although the showers need more hooks. The bedrooms are a bit old, but clean and warm. The beds are not the most comfortable, but we have slept OK except last night I kept waking up because Andre kept stealing the blanket!
We bought a laptop the other day as mine died just before we left Australia. It helps with working on the internet (searching for flats, blogging, etc) although the British keyboard is just different enough to be annoying!
On Sunday afternoon we decided to be a bit touristy and visited the Museum of London. On the way we passed a Giant bike shop, so of course Andre had to go in and see if they had his bike from home, and have a bit of a sticky-beak. We didn’t spend long at the museum – we only got up to the end of Roman Londinium – because we went fairly late in the day and were a bit tired, but it’s free so only costs a train ride to go back another time.
Yesterday we visited the 1st Contact office, the company we signed up with who help you get settled in the UK. They provided us with UK sim cards, will handle our National Insurance number application, and fast-tracked us to get bank accounts set up. We were able to go straight to the bank afterwards and set up our accounts. They can also act as an ’employer’ for tax purposes for people who do contract or temp work. The girl who helped us was very friendly and helpful. Thanks to Renee from work who recommended them, and we would recommend them too!
After our appointment at the bank yesterday, we had lunch at the serpentine restaurant in Hyde park where we had dinner with Michelle last time we were here. On our way home we did some groceries which should do lunch and dinner for the next two or three days. I came down with a cold over the last day or two, so last night Andre went out to get some strepsils for me – lucky there is a tesco nearby which is open late so he didn’t have to go far.
Well we are going to take a drink break from the flat-hunting now and head to the pub down the road (beers for a pound and hot chocolates for £2!)