Monday, March 16, 2015

Life lately - 16 March 2015

Time sure does fly when you're having fun...or when you are just crazy busy!!

Since we last caught up I had my first full pay cheque, and that only means one!! 30 kg's worth of clothing/personal belongings really isn't that much when you unpack it.

We ventured down Oxford Street 2 weeks ago and wandered in and out of the hundreds of shops that line the street, Primark was the most fruitful destination on that day! We went back to Oxford Street on Saturday afternoon, this time for Riaan (ok, mostly for Riaan - I couldn't resist a new handbag from Aldo, mine saw its ass this week!!)

We located the ONLY Steers in London and embarked on an adventure along the South Bank with our eye on the prize - a juicy King Steer Burger!! We ended up walking all the way to Steers (12 miles), which really isn't that bad when you're just strolling along taking in the beauty of the River Thames. It's on adventures like these that we find awesome this craft beer boat!!
We have both got our NI numbers and I'm waiting for my residence card from Home Office, hopefully we get it before the end of April...we need our passports back because we want to go to the Netherlands for our second wedding anniversary, continuing the tradition (or starting the tradition? It can't be a tradition after only doing it once right?? Hmmmm food for thought!!) of going to a new place for every anniversary. *Awwww*

I started my weekend lectures for ACCA the weekend before last, which is why I've been so busy. I spent the week in Oxford, and I'm spending this week there aswell, it's such a pretty little town. Emphasis on the little!

On Saturday we went to Camden Market! It is awesome and I highly recommend this, if you have a open Saturday with nothing to do, head down to Camden Market! Take a few hours and just browse the stalls, there is literally something for everyone there! Art, antiques, food, clothing, home decor and random gadgets. I found a 60's style pin up dress that I love...I see another shopping mission in the near future!
My favourite face!!
After Camden we went to Oxford Street and after all the shopping we were ravenous! We roamed the streets of Soho and in true Riaan and Simone style it took us over an hour to decide where to eat! We eventually settled on a lovely little Italian Restaurant we found called Stefs. We had champs to celebrate Riaan's new job... he starts tomorrow!! Oh and some delicious italian food , creamy mussels, calamari, and linguine with salmon and spinach, accompanied by a smooth red of course!

Somewhere in Soho
Our plans for the next few weekends include the Portobello Road Market, lectures, Brighton for our birthdays and some random wandering adventures!

If you have any suggestions about where we should go or places you'd like to go to that we can test out for you, let me know in the comments below!!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Living in London - 5 Essential Apps

I'm a very excited girl! More than one of my friends is looking to move to London and/or the UK in general in the coming months. Some have spilled the beans recently and some we knew about before we left, either way it's all very exciting!!

So, I have taken it upon myself to help them (and anyone else looking to take an amazing leap of faith) out. I will provide knowledge where I can and share what we've learnt in our first 2 months in London.

My 5 Essential Apps

 1. City Mapper
City mapper is my new BFF...for realsies!! I just tell it where I am, and where I want to be and it will tell me how to get there (walk, cycle, taxi, tube - along with a multitude of different line options, bus), how long my different options will take and how much said option would cost. It gives you to the minute updates on train statuses, which pretty freaking awesome! It also has a "more rain safe" option, perfect for the unpredictable weather in London!! We've actually been rather lucky since we got here, but I do believe it will start raining more as it gets warmer...

2. Google Maps
When I'm looking for my nearest tesco/waitrose/sainsburys I just type it into google maps and they pop up all over my screen, little red dots of convenience! It's just as helpful when you're wandering around London, on a general explore and want to see what's in your immediate surroundings. Don't forget to zoom in and take a screen shot if you're low on battery power, GPS can drain that very quickly!

3. Whatsapp/Viber/Skype
ET phone home! Whatever your preferred method of communicating with your loved ones back home, it will become your daily go to.

These nifty little apps tell you about cool/fun things happening in your area/wherever you find yourself wandering around wondering what to do on a Saturday/Sunday or any day really.

5.Word Lens
This app isn't really applicable for London, we only really used it in France, but if you find yourself if a foreign restaurant/shop in London this will definitely come in handy. You enter your language and the language to be translated and then, using your phone's camera you aim to the text to be translated (as if you were going to take a photo) and your phone will translate the text to your chosen language!

There are a few more apps that I will be trying out over the next few months as we settle in, I'll be sure to let you know what they are and how good/helpful they are.

So, that's it for now, I'll be back soon, sooner than last time, I promise!