If I can give you one tip, one kernel of Fiona wisdom, it would be this;

It’s worth getting lost sometimes. I’ve spent much of the last week living life like a dream – no travel guides, no mobile phone, no Internet connection. Nothing but vague desires to reach certain places, and attempting to achieve it.

Sometimes I get to my proposed destination, sometimes I don’t. But I keep on moving, and exploring, and finding…

 In case you’re wondering, I’m happy – really happy. Probably more relaxed than I’ve been in a really long time. My days consist of long coffees at cafes, reading the papers (I’ve discovered the that Londoners have about 20 daily papers, 95% of which are atrocious), jumping on random buses or tubes and seeing where I end up, walking the streets around my amazingly colourful neighbourhood, drinking a glass of wine at the pub across the road from my house (The Florist is a great local – nice bar staff, friendly patrons, reasonably cheap wine… what more can you ask for?) and generally wandering around and seeing postcard images come to life.

I can’t tell you I’ve done anything particularly exciting – mostly I’ve just been submerging myself into life here.

Easter was spent with a lovely English family in the country, about an hour away. When you think that an hour away from Perth is Mandurah, whereas here an hour away is rolling countryside, windy one-car-wide roads, little villages with huge churches and cathedrals, and manor houses which apparently belonged to English royalty, it’s quite a dramatic change!

Other than that, the most exciting day so far has probably been today – because the sun is out and it feels glorious. I walked from my flat to the Thames, alongside the London Tower, across the London bridge, and stumbled on the Design Museum. Which I loved.

Galleries and museums have a lot of competition here – so many to visit, tonnes of ”special exhibitions” running, too many to even contemplate visiting in less than a month period, and even then only if you’re dedicated. But of all the galleries and museums I’ve visited so far, the Design Museum is by far my favourite, and is the first I’m considering buying membership to, so I can go in all year for free (that’s the other thing – they’re bloody expensive to visit! Today cost £7. Which is actually quite cheap – the Dali exhibition I went to was £14, and the Shakespeare one was £11. That’s a small fortune here).

As I said – I’m happy, and relaxed. Everything seems to fit so well here. From the second day I’ve felt as though this is home. I love my flat (although it’s very stark right now, which doesn’t suit my personality, but a few visits to the bric-a-brac markets will fix that!) My neighbourhood is a breath-taking mish mash of Indian curry houses, Sari fashion stores, traditional English pubs, upper market restaurants and ‘workers lunch bars’, bookshops accommodating every known language and churches belonging to nearly every religion I’m aware of.

So yes, I’m happy, I’m settling well and I can’t wait to have visitors!

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