I have had a great start to the two weeks off, and I'll try not to ramble.
The weekend before the holiday started (so, a week and a half ago) I went to a 500 year anniversary sleep over at Hampton Court Palace, which was incredible. We had a champagne reception, multiple themed tours (including a ghost one after midnight), a Georgian dancing lesson, a Tudor dinner, a Shakespeare re-enactment (I was Lady MacBeth!) and free entry to the house the next day, after spending the night sleeping in a portrait galley. To make it even more awesome, we were given goody bags the next day, which is where we got the terrifying masks in the photo below. It was an incredible experience, and I loved every minute. Check out Hampton Court Palace at http://www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/
On Wednesday evening my housemate had free entry to a restaurants tasting event. It was aaaamazing. The restaurant was on the South side of the Thames, very close to London Bridge, so we had a lovely view. There was a great selection of food and drink which I obviously loved.
Finally, Friday arrived. After school ended, I helped a friend take her class guinea pigs home before we met our work friends for a meal in a great Vietnamese on Kingland Road. Yummy! After that, we went to a mini house party where a lot of wine was drunk!
Despite the hangover I woke up at 7 to go to Oxford with my friend Alice. Luckily I recovered on the train because we had a Oxford Literary Festival Philip Pullman event to go to. Philip Pullman has long been one of my favourite authors, with His Dark Materials topping my favourite book lists since I was 13 (that's 12 years. Ah!). The talk was really interesting and exciting; there were lots of questions from young fans who were still reading the series for the first time, which was great. We learnt that there is a short story about Lyra coming out soon, and that The Book of Dust will (hopefully) be published next year. Afterwards, I was able to get my copy of Northern Lights signed, and I bought a beautiful binding of the trilogy that was signed as well. Instant treasured possessions! Alice and I spent the rest of the day eating waffles, visiting the bench in the Botanic Gardens, and then eating and drinking even more in The Eagle and Child, the pub where the 'inklings' (which JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis were a part of!) met to discuss literature.
I headed straight to my friend Caroline's house once I was back in London, where we chatted, snacked and drank tea until 2.30 am. I spent Sunday relaxing (and sleeping), which was perfect.
On Monday I met my friend Georgia, who I work with, and after a bit of 'which tube stop are you at?!' we wandered through Hampstead Heath till we found Kenwood House. I love historic days out! After staring at all the art we went to a pub down the road (that both Alice and my mom recommended). We only meant to have a drink and dinner, but ended up staying there for 6 hours, and forcing a work friend to join us. A wee bit drunk, we stumbled to the tube to go home.
Another (mini) hangover the next day, when I caught the train home to my mom's house, and that is where I am now. I'm enjoying the chance to raid charity shops for books for my classroom and to sort out the clothes I left here before I moved. It's nice to have some lazy days before I get busy again on Saturday!