Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bad Weather Magnets

We arrived just over a year ago to delightful 15 degree weather (Celsius) in late February, when snowstorms were still very well in the making back home in Canada. This "honeymoon" period lasted for roughly a month. Spring rolled around and with it came the showers. The problem? The showers never really seemed to want to leave, as the UK recorded it's wettest summer. Lucky us, we got to be a part of it. This weather (for us) lasted until we made our way to Portugal for some actual seasonal weather (aka summer).

Upon our return, the weather was once again uninspiring. Not necessarily bad, but again nothing to write home about either. We cruised through fall, with much less fanfare than the so called "wettest summer ever". Winter finally rolled around. It seemed that it was just like fall, but slightly colder. Being the bad weather magnets we are, the UK had a few tricks up it's sleeve. Thrown at us was a slew of days with freezing temperatures, little bits of snow, and strong winds, dubbed "the big freeze". Now being Canadian and having survived winters for a number of years now, we told London to bring it on. We were by no means unprepared, or bundled up to the same extent as our Aussie friends, but we did notice that the cold here is of a slightly different nature. The extreme dampness in the air (probably left-over from the summer) seems to creep into every nook and cranny, sending chills through one's body. Coldest winter in almost 20 years. Enough snow to shutdown major airports for a couple of days. School children being told they couldn't go play outside because it was too cold, too icy, too snowy.

With the start of spring here on March 1st, optimism was high regarding a turn around in the weather. But alas, the big freeze has returned, wreaking havoc on residents all over the UK.
Bad weather magnets.

Here's to summer.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

We've gone a solid two months (and one week) without posting any material whatsoever on our blog. Although we are slightly disappointed that our "streak" is coming to an end it's definitely for the better.

What do you include in a blog post, that is meant to "make up" for the past two months. I guess we'll begin with wishing everyone a happy new year, as this is indeed our first post in 2013 (pathetic, I know). It's not that we've been too lazy to write, on the contrary, work has us busier than ever writing lesson plans, assessments, reports, and marking books, and then doing that thing we're acctualy meant to do, teach. Something British teachers seem to enjoy less of than their Canadian counterparts, as so much "busy" work is expected from teachers, that the educational system is slowly suffocating otherwise passionate, vibrant, and eclectic teachers. So that whole thing has been keeping us quite busy.

We did however get quite the sweet deal in terms of vacation, as we were enjoying a one week (half term) break three weeks after having arrived from home. We filled that week with various exploration expeditions of London and surrounding areas, including visiting Oxford (the highlight of our week off). A couple of museums, markets, and lunches out later, the break was quickly coming to an end. But fear not! This half term is only 5 weeks long, meaning that in 3 1/2 weeks time we'll be off work for another 2 1/2 weeks. More intricate plans have been made for this time off, as we've learned our lesson of waiting until the last minute to make them.

The first day of spring was on the 1st of March here in the UK, and with mother's day coming up this weekend what could possibly provide a better occasion to celebrate fresh starts, new beginnings, and a celebration of a metaphorical re-birth (maybe new year's). Happy new year!