When you move somewhere for a few months, you don't expect others to follow. You end up consumed with ideas of meeting new friends abroad and being a little selfish. You leave your home with a sad goodbye, but it's overshadowed with the knowledge that you will see each other again...soon. This is what I expected when I left my apartment in January. After spending a fantastic New Year with my roommates/best friends Joe and Clint, I was off to England-- exciting, wonderful, foggy London Town--and I see them in May when I'd come home.
Instead, they came to me.
Lucky girl, right?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I've eaten too much chocolate. Hopefully you have also.
I have a new-found appreciation for plaques, after having assembling them for three hours today. There's a lot of cutting, winding, twisting, and drilling that goes into it! Naturally, I messed up a few, but they were easy to fix.
I'm so ready for the weekend.
You need to see this movie.
Not only is the story, based on the book by Upton Sinclair, incredible (I was in a state of paralyzed awe for more than two hours), Daniel Day-Lewis has an amazing presence. Just his face tells so much without giving any of the good stuff away. There is no dialogue for the first 30 minutes of the film. The beginning is eerily silent, allowing sound effects and the original soundtrack (written by Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood) to come through, making you wonder what dark road this film takes.
And the ending sequence. Phew! That's worth the trouble it takes to find two seats together.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Another year older. Another February 10th closer to death. Creepy! Don't worry, I haven't gone cynical.
Even though the age to do anything remotely interesting, including drinking, is 18 over here didn't mean that I couldn't have a wonderful birthday. The weekend started with a wonderful trip to Kew Gardens (mentioned below). Saturday I woke up, showered, and realized my hair was a nightmare so I ran down the street and walked into a salon I stroll past everyday. The only appointment available was an hour and a half later with the owner, Andre. He's from South Africa, and he tried to teach me Afrikans and the click language. He also told me to stay away if I wanted to grow out my hair. Anyway, I did a little birthday shopping in the afternoon, which proved to be a success.
Saturday night a few of us met up at The Big Chill Bar for birthday drinks. Obviously there was no harm done, as I am writing this post two days later. No hospital visits and I am still alive!
Sunday was a trip to Brighton Beach with my roommates, Ambika and Kristin. We took a two hour-ish train ride to the coast and spent a lovely afternoon eating seafood and lying on the pebble beach. There's nothing like a vast ocean to put you back in your place, and it couldn't have been at a more appropriate time. We are so insignificant and tiny--little babies standing on ancient rocks, layered over a dynamic, moving, living Earth. And the sunset wasn't too shabby!
But I wasn't finished with the ocean. Monday morning Andrew, Tom and I drove to Dungeness to see more sea.
This place is desolate.
You think it's the sky as you drive into the town, but it's all vast ocean around you. The sparse sprinkling of trees diminishes the closer you get to water. In the distance the silhouette of a power plant emerges in the skyline. Crummy houses line grassy patches a few hundred yards back from an empty pebble shoreline that stretches out to giant waters. It's quiet enough, save for the pulsing crash of waves and deafening crunch of rocks, to make you whisper. Several fishermen stand patiently, faithfully, by their lines, hoping for a catch.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Out of work early on a glorious Friday afternoon, so we went to Kew.
Today felt like February had forgotten to strike and spring was about to come into full bloom. It was that golden-y, sparkly kind of day where the sunlight is perfect in late afternoon, and there are just enough fluffy clouds in the sky. I hope tomorrow's this nice.
We took yet another Wednesday trip. This time all 81 of us visited the lovely castle of Warwick (pronounced War-ick). The grounds, like Leeds, were really beautiful, but the inside was a disappointment. Wait, I mean, I really love wax figures. That's what I'd have in my castle.
Next was Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford. Features included a thatched roof, lumpy floorboards, and the longest gift shop/exit in the world. Oh, and this drawing of a rodent:
We then meandered to Shakespeare's birthplace, skipping through the museum and giftshop to check out where the Bard was born. The visit was followed by a disappointing sweet shop stop, but the situation was later remedied with a mince pie. Delicious!