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The Life & Adventures of Laura The triumphs and tribulations of UK living & teaching.

30 Minutes to Battle

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 26 January 2015 | Views [346]

Chilling in our loungeroom.

Chilling in our loungeroom.

Sometimes smart phones are smarter than you and sometimes they are just ironic. Knowing I like history and knowing the area I was going to live in, my British pal Gary had told me that to see the site of the battle of Hastings, I'd need to visit the town of Battle and not the town of Hastings. Thinking this would be fun, I googled Battle to work out which trains I might need to catch to get there. Holding this search dear, my phone keeps telling me '30 Minutes to Battle' every morning when I leave to work. I thought it was quite fitting, as settlingin in a new country can seem like a bit of a battle somtimes!

I had some expectations of the UK, but its been the small things that have taken up my mental energy. Driving on the same side of the road, but walking on the opposite sides of the foothpath, having the green man to say you can cross the road on the button above where you press and not across the road where you can see it and the absolutely gianormous seagulls. Seriously they are huge and they are everywhere. The country is punctuated by their caws. I'd hate to be eyed off by one whilst eating a chip...I know who the victor would be!

We had a few lovely (but bloody freezing) days in Brighton where I came to terms with the cold, the dark and the time zones. We used this time to chill out and acclimatise ourselves to our new surrounds. After a few days in Brighton, we headed off to Uckfield and I prepared myself for the reaiity of starting work! A new school, new accents, LOTS of children and catching public transport did make some days feel like I was heading off to battle, but as each day and week passes I am feeling much more relaxed and we had our first snow day last week, so who can be sad about that?!

Pete found us the most lovely couple to stay with on Air BnB. We had a small apartment that they'd converted from their garage. From helping us do our washing, to stopping for chats, they were the most accommodating and lovely people and made settling in here much easier. Thankfully now we are in our own place. Pete played bargain hunter extraordinairre and has furnished our apartment (and don't be thinking pokey, we bought bikes and Pete rode mine down the hall, did a uey in the spare room and rode back again!) wonderfully. We are now all settled in and have the best 'on the cheap' expat accommodation around! We are directly next to the train station and bus stop and although we are living in a village, we are very well connected to Eastbourne a big town by the beach and to London. We are also 15 minutes away from the ferry crossing to France (also by train), so we are loving our new location. A defunct train line called the 'cuckoo' line is right on our doorstop and since we had a van to move in, we decided to splurge and buy ourselves new bikes. We had our first spin today and although my legs were feeling it, we are going to keep up the riding and I may even ride to school one day!

So far this month we've been to Brighton, Hastings, London, Eastbourne, Lewes and Polegate (our new home!). We've seen old piers, had beers in tudor pubs, climbed Lewes castle, seen the sights of London, Pete found a job, I've settled in at work and made a home for ourselves. We've not managed to get to Battle yet, but then again I still can't remember my postcode or phone number, so there's a bit more settling in yet!







Tags: brighton, eastbourne, hastings, london, polegate, settling in


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