A Long Hot Weekend β˜€οΈπŸ”₯

For those of you in the south of England like me, you would know that we have been hit by a massive heatwave πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ (red warning alert! 🚨) With Monday and Tuesday forecasted to be the hottest days ever, I am so glad that my workplace has decided to switch to remote working for the two days (like come on, we don’t even have air con!!), which means I also got a β€œsort of” 4-day long weekend as I head into my final week in London! πŸ˜‰ My work colleagues have been so nice doing leaving-dos with me going bowling and meals for two days in a row, which means I only got some alone time until Sunday and I sure kept my day busy that day!

On Sunday, despite a massive broke down in the Central line, I managed to cross back to the other side of London via the overground visiting the Van Gogh exhibition I have been wanting to see for weeks. (Like literally it’s popping up every other day on my Instagram lol! πŸ˜‚)

The signature sunflowers marking the the entrance
Van Gogh
The famous Starry Night at the top
CafΓ© Terrace at Night – always get a sense of nostalgia seeing this painting as we used to have one back in my old family home
And of course the Sunflowers! 🌻 🌻

I was so surprised when I learnt that Van Gogh has been heavily inspired by Japanese culture (a favourite of mine!) Moreover, it was so amazing to see many of his arts brought into 3–D form.

Wasn’t sure if it was a geisha or a mermaid lolπŸ˜‚
A 3-D replica of Van Gogh’s bedroom
Going back in time πŸ•°
Can you tell this is 3D?

I then also had a play around in the colouring room! 🎨 πŸ˜‚

Everyone is showcasing their skills here hehe!
How does my colouring skills look? πŸ˜‚

And finally into the Immersive Room watching the show as the amazing arts are projected live in the giant room. Here are some of my favourite snapshots!

Swallowed by the big waves! 🌊 🌊
Such beautiful night sky! 😍✨✨
Ambushed by sunflowers haha! πŸ˜‚

After the exhibition, I spent more time exploring the hipster neighbourhood of Shoreditch and the famous Brick Lane, and ended up eating lots of street food. (Was supposed to cut down a bit but I got so tempted! πŸ˜‚)

Yay Shoreditch!
Wow! Curry fish balls from my childhood – and so nice to pump into some fellow Hong Kongers running a stall here! πŸ˜‚ πŸ‘
Cheeeesy corn dog! πŸ§€ πŸ§€ πŸ§€

And after 5 years in London, I finally got around visiting to the famous Brick Lane Beigel Bake! Worth the wait though! (A massive chunk of salt beef covered with gherkins and mustard- what’s not to love? πŸ˜‚)

Very busy inside the store – but the queue moved really quick thank goodness! (Wasn’t sure how long I could bear standing in the sun!)
The world famous salt beef bagel. Look at the size of the meat! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ (And now I am already craving to come back for another one!)

After a rather lazy day on Monday shading away from the heat, I eventually managed to brave the heat in the evening to see the new Minions movie! πŸŽ₯ 🍿 Such a cute and whole movie, have you seen it yet?

A State of Unknown

In the past week, I have found myself reflecting a lot about the 6 years since I moved to London. I started postgraduate teacher training, and then went straight to teaching without really a clue about what I was doing. I had a lot of challenges and pain at the beginning, and almost wanted to quit, but somehow managed to stick with it (call me stubborn I guess). Just as I finally started to feel more at ease with my job, then the pandemic hit and the uncertainty with lockdown made me learnt not to take anything for granted. When society gradually reopened, post-lockdown chaos piled on like a ton of bricks, and new circumstances made me decided to go back to studying – and at last I am two weeks away from officially starting my sabbatical and facing a brave new unknown.

My last bake in my London apartment

I moved out of my flat yesterday and am staying at a hotel as I finish my last two weeks of work. Funny enough my last night in my apartment was instead mostly spent elsewhere as I was away at the annual BBQ with my colleagues (and marking my last bake with a fruit tart which I thought would go well with a summer BBQ! πŸ”₯β˜€οΈ) It’s probably our largest gathering yet with old and new faces all coming together, which I guess put into perspectives of all the people I have met throughout my five years here. You would think I should be feeling stressed about moving, but I wasn’t back home until late after midnight πŸ˜‚ (and bizarrely ended going outside again to buy some grilled chicken πŸ— and chips 🍟 after finishing my final pack at 2am!)

Everything felt like a blur in the morning as I dragged my bags and luggages down the stairs and boarded the Uber, and then rushing back on the tube to drop my key off at the agency before it closes… (Bizarrely a carnival was held there and the reception lady went outside with her young son to the face painting booth and made me stood outside for half an hour! πŸ˜‚ Though I grabbed a hot dog whilst waiting! 🌭)

The hotel room strangely reminds me of my first flat in London (TINY! πŸ˜‚)

I wonder how these final two weeks will turn out? First thing foremost is to make sure I can get up for my hour-long journey to work tomorrow morning! πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸš† πŸŒ…

The Joy of Eating Outside Again πŸ˜‚

Hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend! In London, we are certainly blessed with some glorious weather in the past week! β˜€οΈ β˜€οΈ As my holiday is coming to an end soon, I had a look back to some of the food I have eaten in the past weeks as lockdown eased in the city… πŸ˜‚

Hopefully it’s not too much haha… πŸ€«πŸ˜‚ (In particular, I have really missed visiting food markets.) Nonetheless, it’s just been so nice to be outdoor again and meeting people just like before.πŸ™‚ By no means am I taking these things for granted now, so you just have to enjoy life a day at a time! πŸ˜‰

Let’s hope this joy continues!

A Walk in the Fall

After quite an intense week, I really do feel I need a breather every now and then. Weather had been awful here in London β›ˆβ›ˆβ˜”οΈ, so curling under the cover at home have been the best policy in the past week. (Plus I don’t have much energy left to go outside… πŸ˜›) Thereby, I was lucky to catch a break last Sunday (both from the weather and work lol) and took a stroll around London in the soothing temperature of the fall.

One of my favourite things about living in this big city is that every time I took a new turn down the road, I always made new discoveries that continued to surprise me. This was very much the case when I decided (quite out of the blue) to take the tube to Vauxhall and stroll along the river from that direction. While aimlessly looking at the architecture (and taking random pictures lol πŸ“Έ ), I stumbled across Tate Britain and later passed by the Imperial War Museum by coincidences. I always really enjoyed visiting galleries and museums so it really was a bonus in my little adventure.

Beautiful painting inside Tate Britain ❀️
I don’t know what you think, but I quite like this painting! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Look at those giant cannons!! (No puns intended lol 😜)
Do you take a walk around your city too?

Got to say I was starving by the time I finished walking lol! πŸ˜‚

So many roads that still had never been walked upon before. So many new adventures ahead. Can’t wait for the next time already! πŸ˜„ Why don’t you have a little adventure in your area too? You never know what it lays ahead! πŸ˜‰