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Half Term Fun on a Budget!

Teresa, a Kiwi Secondary Teacher in London, has joined our band of merry bloggers! This half term she explains how she occupies herself during the holidays in London - without breaking the bank...

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Half Term Fun on a Budget

Coming from New Zealand, where you get two weeks off after a ten week term, the holidays in the UK seem quite luxurious.  Six weeks fly past and before you know it, it’s half term already.  I’m feeling poor after a long Christmas holiday, so this half term I’m thinking of things to do that won’t cost very much.

London is hugely expensive, but there are often things you can do for very little, even in the middle of winter.  If, like me, you’ve seen enough churches, museums and art galleries in Europe to satisfy the most artistic soul, you might be looking for something else to do. (Though, if you’re new to London, go to the Victoria and Albert or the Natural History Museum for Friday Lates on the last Friday of the month – it’s brilliant, and there are no children there!)

The first thing I’m going to do (after sleeping in on Saturday) is to take a long walk along the South Bank of the Thames.  I’ll go from the Parliament, across to the Tate Modern, past the Globe, up to Tower Bridge, back through Spittlefields Market and past St Pauls.  This is my all-time favourite walk, a potent mix of architecture, history, commerce and the ageless Thames.  I won’t even go into the buildings, so hopefully I’ll have a sunny day.  When I first arrived in London, I found it quite disorientating because the tube map doesn't show where you are geographically.  I’d see people catching the tube from Charing Cross to Embankment which takes an awful lot longer than if you were to walk above the ground.  Going for a big walk along the river is really helpful in fixing locations in my mind.

I’ve been to the filming of some amazing TV shows while I’ve been in London, one of which, Britain’s Best Dish, gave us a complete meal!  I’ve also been to Take Me Out (a guilty pleasure) and Million Pound Drop.  You can get tickets to BBC, ITV and other shows.  They are always free and oversubscribed, so if you do get a ticket, it pays to queue early.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to eat out in London.  One of my favourite restaurants is Meze on Clapham High Street.  Here the friendly (and slightly bossy proprietor) will encourage you to eat your greens while serving up 10 different dips, a crusty loaf of bread, lamb, chicken, mousakka, vegetables, salad and yogurt.  This will set you back about ten quid.

There are even cheaper options though.  If you go to Tooting you can get a dosa with dal and chutney at Dosa and Chutney for £3.  Add on a cup of rassam, a spicy South Indian soup which will cure all ills, and you’ve a complete meal for under £5.

Then I’ll do some marking and some planning (as well as sleeping in) and it’ll be time to head back to work...

More Blogs:

Time for Travel

Switching from Long-Term to Daily Supply Teaching

Tags: Teresa, Protocol Education, Protoblog, Half Term, New Zealand, Holiday

Category: Australian Teachers

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