All the little things

It’s my third week being here in London as an au pair. You would think that by now I would be used to it, but I’m not!

With the boys still being on their summer holidays it’s quite hard to get into a routine because no week is like the one before and there a weeks where every day is something complete different. To add to that I have to find my way through the new household.

When you want to apply to become an au pair it’s always useful when you are used to do some household chores at home. But when you then arrive at your host families home you sometimes have to relearn all these things because they just have a different way of doing them.

While getting used to the new surroundings and the work and everything, you have to try to bond with the family.
I won’t lie, at this moment I still have my problems with that. During the day the boys are often gone to sports club and when they come back they want to relax for a bit and spend their time on their devices. When they finally want to go out into the garden, where I then could join them, I have to start preparing dinner.
It’s not that easy, at least it’s not for me. When I first started I was happy that the boys I have to look after are quite old already, but now I understand that they are at this age where they don’t really want to have an au pair because they fell like they’re too old for it, which makes it even harder for me to bond with them.
But I hope that we’ll work things out and connect in the right way when time goes on.

Apart from this I quite enjoy staying here. The boy’s age can be a good thing too. Because of their age I have quite a lot of free time I can spend as I like, except for doing the laundry.

Last weekend the family planned to drive to Oxfordshire to visit my host mother’s sister and her family and I was allowed to join them.
So we left the London home on Friday at around 2 pm and arrived at around 4 pm in Oxfordshire in the small village they live in.
The sister has two daughters, who are 5 and 8 years old. I enjoyed playing with them and doing their hair and let them do mine.

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My hair done by my host mothers niece. I especially love the nice bow.

On Saturday they gave me the opportunity to drive into Oxford. But I’ll write about it in an extra blog entry so you can have all the details.

On Sunday we packed everything to go back to London. But before we could leave Oxfordshire the family showed us the highest hills in Oxfordshire, called the Clumps.

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Climbing the first Clump.

We actually made it and mounted the first of the two Clumps.

Going round the first clump we were able to see the second clump. After descending the first one we climbed up the second one and took a look around there.

On the second clumb we found the poet tree as you can see in the pictures above.

This stone commemorates the 150th anniversary of the poem carved on the nearby beech tree by Joseph Tubb of Warborough Green in 1844-1845. The text above is from a tracing made in 1965 by Dr. Henry Osmasten. The Northmoor Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Westminster Bank, celebrating 150 years of a bank on their site in Wallingford, and ARC Southern for providing the stone.

This text is the third paragraph written on the plate. The poem is also written down there in the first two paragraphs.

“As up the hill with labr’ing steps we treed
Where the twin Clumps their sheltering branches spread
The summit gain’d at ease reclining lay
And all around the wide spread scene survey
Point out each object and instructive tell
The various changes that the land befel.
Where the low bank the country wide surrounds
That ancient earthwork form’d old Murcias bounds.
In misty distance see the barrow heave
There lies, forgotten lonely Culchems grave.
Around this hill the ruthless Danes intrenched
And these fair plains with glory slaughter drench’d
While at our feet where stands that stately tower
In later days appeared monastic pride.
Within that field where lies the grazing herd
Huge walls were found, some coffins disinter’d
Such is the course of time, the wreck which fate
And awful doom award the earthly great.”

After this little lyric lesson we went back to the car, drove to a small café to have a little lunch before we finally made our way back home.

On Monday I’ve received a little surprise from home. My family had sent me a little packet with the last few things I couldn’t take with me on the plane.

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The small packet..

Okay, it’s not that small and it only weighed 26 kg…. But I was only allowed to take a 20kg luggage with me on the plane. The cleaning lady helped me carrying it upstairs to my room because it was just too heavy. But I can tell you how happy I am to finally have all the things I need!
Thank you Mama for packing everything up (you need to come to England in on years time to help me pack everything again to ship it back to Germany)! Thank you my favourite sister for adding the things I forget to tell you on time to pack them! Thank you grandfather for shipping it over to me and paying for it! I have the best family!

Because the boys were at cricket camp every morning this week, I was asked to bake something for the family while I’m at home alone so I would have some treats for the boys.
So I decided to bake some chocolate muffins with cherries inside!
When I came back down on Tuesday morning I found a small note attached to the container: “Delicious!!”

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My self-made muffins in the container with the attached note: “Delicious!!”

I thought it was quite a nice thing to see early in the morning and I felt thankful to receive the compliment and it also picked up my tired morning mood.

This week isn’t easy for me. I’ve been away from home a few times before. Even farther than just London. But I’ve always been away for two weeks and never more. So this week being my third, is the one week that makes the difference to all the other trips I’ve done before. So I got really homesick a few times this weeks.
And I am really thankful for the cleaning lady for giving me advice on how to deal with the situation and just listened and made me feel better. She is a Blessing! 😉

One of her very useful advises was that I need to have a social life for my free time. Because I had free all Thursday afternoon and night I made plans with another au pair to meet up. The only problem is that she lives on the other side of London. So I made my way all the way down to south London. I took the Northern line tube and drove down to Euston where I transferred to a Victorian line tube (yes, I’ve got my own tube line 😉 ) and drove further down to Brixton. Finally there I got to make my first contact with another aupair!

We first went to a market where we sat down in a small Pizzeria to drink a Lemonade and to share a Pizza. We had a great time together and hopefully will see each other lots of times again.

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Organic Lemonade at Franco Manca

Because this post is about all the little things I want to share one last thing that is kinda important to me this week. In Oxford I finally used one of the Postboxes to send my best friend a letter, which she gladly received already. We decided that we want to stay in contact not only by social media, but also by becoming pen pals. So I made the first the step and sent the first letter and I can’t wait to get a letter back.

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For my best friend!

That’s it for now. Next week I’ll be going to Ireland and I’ll tell you all about it when I come back.

Until then,

Vicky xx



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