First, I love London, if possible, even more than last week. I feel very comfortable here and yet I'm star struck. I can't believe I'm really living and getting on here. It's just fabulous.
Sunday: Church for the first time. It was great! I can't get enough of anything here. I met many more people and really had a good time. Alana, who is the girl who lives at the flat I'm staying in, came with me. She hadn't wanted to come to Singles Ward because she didn't have anyone to come with. Happy to help.
Monday: Orientation for Le Cordon Bleu. Nothing really exciting happened. We had a tour of the school and had to sit and listen to so much information. I was there all day. But I was so excited that it was starting. I was also a bit nervous because I hadn't actually taken a class yet and I wasn't sure how to gauge how difficult it would end up being. I also found out that I had a million more things to buy and prepare before class actually started on Thursday. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep at 6pm! And then woke up at 9pm, and couldn't go back to sleep until 2am...
Tuesday: I had to be at Le Cordon Bleu all day for Health and Safety training. It was so dull, and absolutely freezing in the room. During my break I ran to the shoe store and bought proper shoes and was starving so I popped into this pub for a Steak and Onion Pastie. It was so delicious, and super hot, which was good because it was just beyond cold outside. During the second half of my class I took to drawing the people around me to help me stay awake. Some of them turned out alright. I think I'm the youngest in my class, which is kinda cool. Today I also met the cute young Australian couple who share the room next to mine. They seem very nice.
Wednesday: Today I hung out with Angus all day. We met at the Oxford Circus station around 11 and hopped on a bus to Camden Town. Camden Market is so cool! It was Diagon Alley, for real.
(The Leaky Cauldron?) You wouldn't have been able to find it unless you knew where it was, and it was this crooked, winding cobble-stoned street behind all these storefronts. And it was decked on both sides with innumerable little shops with every crazy retro/indie/insane item that you could imagine. I just loved it.
When we were done there we had lunch at Nandos, pretty good. Then we got a bus back to his house and played around on the guitar and watched silly shows for a few hours. My favorite was The Mighty Boosh, it's a cult British show similar to Flight of the Conchords, and I thought it was hilarious. After a while we made our way to Leicester square (not without getting lost first) and met his friend (from Utah) for the movie Waltz with Bashir. We snuck pizza into the theatre. Their Pizza Hut is fine dining! I'm not even joking. It was ridiculous! Our Pizza Hut is rubbish! The movie was really interesting, and I loved the animation, but I was so beyond tired from walking around all day that I fell asleep before the end and I have no idea what happened. I woke up to Lebanese women screaming and crying...
Hilary got in today, and I couldn't wait to see her.
Something I really like about London: the atmosphere of the Singles Ward. I think it's because everyone is an RM that age doesn't really matter. We all hang out together and no one is bothered by the fact that I'm 19 or someone else is 24 or even 27. No one seems to be labeled by their age and we can all be friends or date without any weird sort of feelings or pressure. I feel that the playing field is even and I really, really like that. In Provo I would feel way too uncomfortable hanging out with someone even 3 years older than myself, but a lot of the people I'm hanging out with are at least 4 years older than me. It has been super fun for me and so different from what I'm used to experiencing in a Singles Ward. Plus, I'm so shocked and happy that I've made friends who invite me to hang out so quickly. I've been here for 2 weeks now and I have so many different friends. I love it! Angus says I have a very "Let's be friends, I'm cool" sort of aura, but I think it's the fact that I'm trying to be so involved in Church. It's wonderful how this Church is set up and I can go anywhere and have an instant base and community and connections.
Thursday: First day of real school.
I had to be at school before 9, which means that I had to leave here by 8, and so I was planning to get up at 7. My alarm didn't go off. I woke up at 7.40! Luckily the buses were quick and I made it on time.
The recipe for our first day was fruit salad and a simple syrup. In the demonstration, our chef showed us how to properly cut all the fruit, and then she showed us really fancy fruit cuts.
I was so excited. I had a lot to worry about though, with little errands I had to run and letters to write to missionaries. I also had forgotten two of the most important knives, so during my 3 hour break between demonstration and practical, I ran home, ate lunch, grabbed my knives, wrote and mailed a letter, and ran back to school. I was really nervous carrying my knives in my purse. Apparently London has a lot of problems with knives... The practical wasn't scary at all. It was super fun! I like everyone in my class and I really had a good time with it. My fruit salad ended up really great and we got to take it all home! The only criticism Chef had for my salad was that the mango pieces were too small compared to the others. Ha! I was so happy when that was done, and I had a delicious fruit salad for my consumption. We also played a bit with sugar.
Friday: Class again. Today we had Chef Christophe doing the demonstration. He muttered to himself in French or sang in French during half of the demonstration. I could hardly contain myself. He was mental and it was so funny. He showed us how to do 3 different kinds of meringues and 3 different types of cremes using a Creme Patissiere as a base. There was a lot of hand whisking involved. I only had an hour and a half before the practical, so my friend Krystin from Texas and I walked around Marylebone ln looking at all the cute boutiques. The practical was great fun. Nothing has been too difficult yet. And, thankfully, my grade wasn't hurt by the fact that I did not want to add rum for flavoring to my creme. My meringues were pretty good.
We were practicing a lot of piping with them and with some whipped cream. I had to hand whisk a lot! My arms were quite tired after that. We had to choose only one of the three cremes to make and I made Creme Diplomate, which is Creme Patissiere folded into Creme Chantilly (which is a very delicious whipped cream). The result was tres magnifique! I had a lot to carry home after class that day. I wanted to take all my extra uniforms home because there just wasn't enough space in my locker.
I went to Angus' for French movie night. It took a while to find it on my own, but I did! My friend Krystin was supposed to come as well, but I'm pretty sure she fell asleep. I should not have eaten dinner before I came because there was a mound of British snacks to eat, and they were all delicious. I ate so much today. Because as well as dinner, Carol had leftover pizza that she gave me... and then I ate all the snacks at Angus'. I brought my leftover fruit salad and my creme diplomate, which when mixed together are amazing! Everyone thought so! :) We watched two cheap french movies and I fell asleep during the second. It was after midnight when we were all going to head out. A very nice guy named Dave had a car and decided to drive me home! Luckily for me, he lives super close to my flat. I also met a guy named Niall from Ireland. It was super fun! Plus, everyone there was speaking french and that made me happy.
Saturday: I slept so well. I didn't wake up until after 11.30. I hung around all day doing different little things with no intentions of doing anything. I was supposed to meet Krystin for dinner, but after an hour of searching for each other at Oxford Circus, we both gave up. I had an expensive dinner at Garfunkels. I got a burger and fries and for dessert, bread and butter pudding with custard. It was £15, but so worth it. I went back home and chatted up Becky online until bed.
Sunday: I woke up early to go to a different ward where Hilary would be going today. It was so good to see her. We didn't have much respect for Sacrament meeting and talked the whole way through it. I left after that and finished knitting my scarf that I started at Thanksgiving.
I have been eating so much lately, and I think it's because I'm so ridiculously happy, and also very cold. Today was not cold though, it was absolutely beautiful. It was a clear, breezy, fabulous day. I went to my ward at 2.30 as well. It was so much fun. I have had the best time here. Everyone was going to a girl named Victoria's house after for a party. Lucky for me Dave was there and willing to give me and a few others a ride. I like to sit shotgun in the "drivers side" of the car. It is so fun to trundle down the wrong side of the road. It was a very long drive to East London, but I loved it because I got to see so much more of the city, which is huge! The party was great. It lasted a few hours and there was tons of food and good company. I got to know Niall from Ireland a bit better, and met a girl from San Diego. I got home around 10 and was asleep before midnight.
I can't say it enough, everything is wonderful and I have never had such a good time in my life. I'm so grateful to have had this time to come to London. I feel that it was most certainly meant to be, and after all the worry about money and getting in, it is very worth it. I wouldn't change a thing about my time here. I hope the next 10 weeks are as great as these past two have been. Thank you to everyone who aided me in getting here. I'm so happy. I'm in love with London.