Hello and welcome! I can't believe it's time for our monthly cup of tea again, and I'm absolutely bursting with things to share! I thought we'd have an autumn stroll and picnic at this lovely canal-side spot. Do keep your coat and mittens on - it's sunny but there's a nip in the air. Nothing that a flask of tea and a good wedge of carrot cake won't sort out. The season of cinnamon is upon us. I think I could have cinnamon on everything at this time of year!
First, I want to share a little secret. This is more of a Time-Travel for Tea post. I'm catching up with you a fortnight early as when everyone else holds their monthly soiree, I will be on holiday. I am making the most of having two weeks off this half term and The Man and I are spending a fortnight abroad. Island hopping. In the Caribbean! By the time you read this, our Grand Holiday (as we've been calling it) will be drawing to a close, so perhaps next month I'll be able to tell you all about it. But it was nice that we could both take the opportunity to splash out a bit and see a new part of the world, and it will be lovely to have a whole two weeks together. I'm usually a backpack-and-youth-hostel type of traveller, and so this seems like a very grown-up venture to me.
Having said that, I'm still taking the backpack as I find them so much more convenient than suitcases!
You find me in the middle of packing: with documents and travel guides and clothes strewn about my flat, its nice to be able to take a walk by the canal, enjoy the glorious autumn colours and leave the organised chaos behind. With any luck it will think about what it's done and pack itself. I did finally get that bikini after my two months at the gym. My first ever! Must make sure that gets packed. I was extremely glad to leave the gym behind, but I suppose I have to be grateful that I'm now down over three and a half stone.
What have you been up to this month? Has it kept you busy? I have been adapting to a new job and I find it hard work being the new girl! I've gone from knowing the routines and systems inside out, to not having a clue where my next classroom is. However, I do love my new school. The pupils are lovely, lively and charismatic. They're so engaged and it's a lovely, busy environment to work in. My new colleagues have been so helpful and friendly, and I'm really glad I took the plunge and changed jobs. Even if I do have to get used to being the new girl!
My commute now takes me through the centre of London on the tube, and I've been taking full advantage of the location. I am revelling in being able to get straight into the centre of the city after school, which has lead to no small number of outings and adventures. I've spent evenings watching acrobats, having dinner with friends, sampling the delights of London Cocktail week, indulging in a musical at Evita, and even solved a crime. (More on that another time) All this has left almost no time for crafting though, so I hope as the evenings become colder and darker, that I will spend more time being cosy inside with something creative. Have you managed to find some time to spend crafting? Are you working on anything?
It's also been busy with the Guides as we had a camp for 400 girls across the county. It POURED down, but only at night, so as long as your wellies were on, it was fine. And as long as you didn't climb out of your tent at 5:00am to watch the lightning as some of our girls did. (Not me: I slept through the whole racket!). On the Saturday, 300 Brownies came to join us, and as it got dark, I got to lead the most enormous campfire sing-song. It was incredibly warm as I was so close to the fire, continually circling it and inciting all 700 girls to join in with the songs, and actions. I lead a mean campfire if I say so myself! Everyone had a fab time; weekends with the Guides are always a winner.
Things have also been busy on the international front with Guides. We held the international trip selection weekend recently for the whole of London and the South East, and we've got around 40 very excited girls heading off to Vietnam, California and India. Most exciting for me though, is that I am leading a trip for a group of eight 18-26 year-olds. We began planning our adventure over the weekend and have settled on doing some volunteer work with children in Ecuador, South America. We're investigating the possibility of linking up with Guides there too.
Sitting here and letting this all pour out (speaking of pouring, have a another cuppa - there's plenty in the flask and it's still piping hot!) makes me think about blogging. I miss it when I don't do it in a while, and I think I need to create time to do it. It's a good way to get stories down. And I think I ought to start doing a monthly Guiding post as it's such a huge chunk of my life, but almost never features here.
I also realise that I've been doing all the talking - I've hardly touched my cake! Let me cut you a bit more, and I'm going to sit back and hear about your month now while I gobble up my slice (and perhaps a second...).
When it's time for you to leave, we'll head back along the canal, but we must remember to return here again next autumn as it's so beautiful. And we will also travel forward two weeks in time to the end of the month to hear how everyone else is getting on. It's been really lovely to see you - have a wonderful November!
If you want to share a cup of virtual tea with other corners of the internet, head over to Abi at Creating Paper Dreams. The tea posts were her lovely idea and you can find lots of bloggers to sit down and enjoy a cuppa with.
P.S. When this goes live, I will be in the Cayman Islands. There's no way to type that without seeming at least a little bit smug :D