23 November 2008

Hot Cross Buns

1 a penny
2 a penny
Hot Cross buns
Are delicious
Hot Cross Buns are actually fairly easy to make and I am proud to say that I spent the time (considerable) and made some this weekend. It was a wonderful treat this week before thanksgiving. I only wish that mine had turned out looking as good as the ones in this picture. Oh well, maybe after I've practiced tons...

18 November 2008


"The Sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesends, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth." -Heart of Darkness

You can almost see how the river and the sky meet, so that it's nearly impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends. I have to say that Conrad's novel is beginning to grow on me, maybe one day I will like it. In the mean time I miss London with all the passion of my young girl heart.

05 November 2008

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

"Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
Yes, that is correct, today is indeed Guy Fawkes day. I sorely wish that I had time to parade some sort of effigy around; however unfortunately, there are papers that must needs be written. I will take a brief moment though and remember the fifth of November and I encourage you to do the same.

11 October 2008

Museum Delights

Last night, my roommates and I decided that since it was Friday and none of us wanted to do our homework that we should do something fun. I imagine that it says a lot about my apartment that we decided that it would be utterly delightful to go to the MoA and look at one of the exhibits there. We decided to see the exhibit called "Windows on a Hidden World: Japanese Woodblock Prints."

They were stunning, but as we were wandering through the exhibit it reminded me of home. Here I was, standing in a museum, with my red scarf around my neck, my black bag slung over one shoulder my coat over my arm and my book in hand. It was just like the good old days when I could wander through the National Gallery or the Tate or the British Library. It felt wonderful to be back in that cultural air and remembering how it used to be. It was a wonderful evening, made bettter when we went home and made a pie, but that's besides the point.

28 September 2008


Yesterday I made some delicious pasties. Of course they're not as good as the real cornish thing, but it's the best that I can do at this time. and really they weren't too bad. It made me remember how much I miss Cornwall and Devon though. Both counties are such beautiful areas and filled with such happy memories. The trips we made to the west country I think we by far my favourite.

16 May 2008


well I think that London loved me so much that it felt the need to send me home with a cold so I wouldn't miss it too much. But we'll pretend that's not the case and that some bean head on the airplane gave it to me instead. Yeah I've decided that London is the best place to live. Life was so much simpler then. I didn't worry about how much I spent or where the money was coming from. It didn't matter that I didn't have a job or anything like that. Now here I am with one little tiny part time 12 hour a week job that isn't going to pay the bills. Yeah life was so much simpler. I didn't have to worry about the rising price of oil, or how my car was parked in the garage. Or which side of the road we drive on or anything. I just hopped on The Tube and away I went. Oh good times. And when I felt particularly anxious or worried I could just bop on down to Tesco and get me a nice Dairy Milk bar and life was wonderful again. Now I have to ration the few Dairy Milk bars I had the foresight to bring home because who knows when the next one will be. Oh how I miss the simple times. but perhaps things will get better soon. I suppose this is all just part of going through London withdrawl. anyhow.... Oh the good times in London. And yes this is a rather delightful picture of my dear Great Gherkin.

05 May 2008


This will be very short as I need sleep. but I just need to take a moment and formally say goodbye to my dearest London. She is such an amazing city and I cannot wait till the time when I can once again fly over her lovely landscape and into one of her airports. I will miss dearly everything about this city, except perhaps the people who refuse to stand on the right of the escalators thus clogging them up for those who have places to be and people to meet. but suffice it to say that this was a wonderful trip and I am thoroughly glad that I could have the opportunity to come here and learn and grow and study. I hope that I can manage to come back again soon. Dear London, I love you. I already miss you. Take care of yourself.

06 April 2008

Torch day or Snow day?

well when I got up this morning everyone was feverishly getting ready to go watch the Olympic Torch run by. With out too much questioning it was discovered that it infact was running down the street basically right outside the centre. So I threw on some pants and a coat and joined the not very unwieldy throng of people at the end of my street. I had never seen the torch run by and so I thought it was pretty cool. And there were even protestors (I mean what big event is complete with out its share of protestors?). These ones were complaining about China's treatment of Tibet. I do however think that the olympic people were in for a bit of a surprise. I believe they had planned on running through London in early April for the nice springness of it all, unfortunately for them its snowing outside. When it snowed for three days surrounding easter a couple weeks ago none of it stuck, today though it is sticking to the cars which is rather impressive. Hopefully it won't start sticking to the ground, that would be problematic, though I doubt it will.

30 March 2008

Ferry 'cross the Mersey

So, last Wednesday about 15 of us headed out on a day trip up to one of England's other cities. Liverpool. Liverpool boasts many beauties, not least of all which is the Beatles, as well as several other British Invasion bands (including Gerry and the Pacemakers). They also have the river Mersey, which makes Liverpool a rather large port. In fact, because of Liverpool being a port city this is where the first missionaries landed on opening the British Isles in 1837.

We started our day early, and made the 4 hour drive up to Liverpool, and upon arrival the first thing we did was head to the Beatle's Story. This was a pretty neat museum, and I learned quite a bit about the lives of the Paul, John, Ringo and George. After checking out the museum thoroughly a couple of us went and bought tickets for a mersey ferry ride. They were crazy cheap too, only £3.70! After buying tickets for the next ride we took a few minutes and explored around the Titanic exhibit at the Maritime Museum there. It was a nice exhibit but we didn't have enough time to really see it. The ferry ride was really cool, and it was fun to say I've taken a "ferry 'cross the mersey." After the ferry ride we wandered around the town a little. we found the "hard day's night hotel" and this great little stand that had the BEST donuts. It was a short trip, only 6 hours in Liverpool for a 4 hour coach ride each way, but it was worth every minute of the ride to see this city in the north of the country!

24 March 2008

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

-John Newton (1725-1807)

15 March 2008

Is Beauty Dangerous?

I believe it begins to become a problem when in order to describe the beauty of something one must resort to using negatively connoted words. Such as "painfully beautiful," "devastatingly beautiful," "terrifyingly pretty," etc. What is it about our language that prevents us from being able to actually express our emotions and feelings? I feel that times like these it's not only a matter of our own personal ability to express, but more a lack of the right words in our unruly language.

This picture is a view taken from the Parish Church in Widecombe in the Moor. It is a National trust village in the Dartmoor National Park. Isn't it just the lovliest, most beautiful sight you have ever seen? Could anything look any more classically English? I only wish that cameras did even half justice to the beauty of the surroundings.

If you thought that was as beautiful as it gets (and you really would be nearly right in thinking it) here is another picture to give you a run for your money. This is a picture taken from within Stourhead Gardens. For those of you who don't know one seen from the recent Pride and Prejudice was filmed here, when Mr. Darcy proposes in the rain to Elizabeth. It even rained a bit today setting the mood just perfectly. I think however, that for as beautiful as all this is, and while it does hurt to see it, describing it as "painfully beautiful" seems inadequate and yet I cannot think of a single word in our language with which to describe it in the least.

09 March 2008


Wicked was amazing!!! we went Saturday morning and got tickets for that night. it was amazing. Elphaba and Glinda were both fantastic. They sing SO well. It was a fantastic show. I am so glad that I went, it was totally worth it. Tonight we watched Pirates of Penzance. It was hilarious. I am the very model of a modern major general. And it's been raining all day and a bit windy since we're on the edge of a hurricane. I'm definetly getting to see it all here. what with the earthquake we had a couple weeks ago and all... Certainly exciting times!! for our trip last week we headed to the tower of London and to Greenwich. The home of the time for the WHOLE world, as well as the prime meridian. Greenwich is one of my favorite places. It is simply amazing and quite lovely, yeh? Living here in London is so wonderful, I never want to leave.

08 March 2008

National Gallery

Last night we decided to take advantage of the couple nights a week that the National Gallery is open late and visit it. When we got to Trafalgar Square we realized that it wasn't open. whoops. so we ended up voting to do our Literature homework and pay a visit to Dr. Johnson's house. So after walking down The Strand and visiting his house and the memorial to his cat Hodge, we walked down to the Temple. (may I just say, that Samuel Johnson must be pretty cool if his cat gets a statue...) I hadn't been inside the Temple complex before its pretty neat, especially at 8 at night. I could totally live and work there, except I don't think I could be a lawyer. oh well. The temple abuts the Thames on one side, so we decided to stroll along the Thames down to Westminster. It was so nice. It was a beautiful night and to see the lights playing off the water was a gorgeous sight to behold. We went out on the bridge and read the plaque partway down that has Wordsworth's poem Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802. It's quite a lovely poem. After that we wandered around parliament for a bit, and the abbey and headed home. Even though we didn't go to the National Gallery, it really was a wonderful evening. It felt so good to get out of the house on a friday night and just wander around London. And to wander along the Thames? What could be better?

05 March 2008

a few things have happened...

Pues. Lo siento. So much has happened lately that I don't even know how to begin to describe it all. but for starters the bulbous flowers have started blooming. Everywhere you look there are Daffodils to be seen, it is SO beautiful. These Daffodils are from Hampton Court. The Royal Residence of Henry VIII. It is a very interesting specimen of Tudor History. Quite lovely.
Windsor was also lovely. The Queen was going to come that weekend, so everywhere things were being prepared for her arrival. The moat of Windsor has never had water in it. But it makes a beautiful garden. We finally got our hot water fixed after nearly two weeks of cold showers. And let me tell you, the water in England is like ice that they had to melt to put through the pipes. NOT KIDDING!!! you literally were freezing. you went numb almost instantly and before you had a chance to even get some of the shampoo out of your hair your head was SO cold that your brain hurt, it was awful. Luckily the professors had hot water and let us shower there some. Well I suppose that this catches us up some. Perhaps I'll tell you more later...

11 February 2008

Fires and Falls

well it has been an exciting weekend and I feel the need to report. I had dinner at Camden Town on saturday night. Probably around 18:30. Apparantly shortly after that, (19:20) Fire broke out in the market, which is about 2 blocks from where we ate dinner. From what I hear the fire was huge, 100 firefighters, according to the reports. I don't remember what time we ended up getting home but it must've been sometime about then. that certainly could've ended up being a much more interesting dinner than it was. Then on Sunday after returning from church, I was walking down to the kitchen when I decided walking wasn't fast enough and decided that falling down a whole flight of stairs would be the appropriate thing to do. Luckily no broken bones to report. I've just sprained my ankle a bit and it's already on the mend, and I can hobble around a bit. It was definitely an exciting weekend though. with luck this week will prove to be entertaining as well.

07 February 2008

London Stone

I went and saw the London Stone not too long ago. Legend has it that it is the zero mile marker left from roman times. Now It simply is behind a grill waiting to spring out upon the unsuspecting visitor.

06 February 2008

Oh Oxford!

Oxford is amazing! I can't wait till I can go again. They have these amazing botanical gardens, that were pretty even now in the midst of winter and I can only imagine how beautiful they will be come spring. The colleges are truly a remarkable place and it was delightful to romp around in Merton College this afternoon. I think though that one of my favorite places was Blackwell's Bookshop. One of the rooms, the Norrington room is the biggest single room of books for sale in the whole world. It has the best collection of Penguin books I have ever seen. They even had TWO whole copies of the Penguin Classic of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall That is singularly impressive.
One of the other things I particularly enjoyed was climbing to the top of the tower of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary's and looking out over the whole of Oxford. It was absolutly worth the two pounds I paid. It was so incredible. Seeing The Eagle and Child was a lot of fun too. That is the pub where the Inklings used to meet. It was a wonderful little place, next time I go I think I'll eat there for lunch.

05 February 2008

Down once more

The Paris Opera House is rather lovely to look at, unfortunatly we didn't have time to go inside but the outside is beautiful.

Our trip was full of things that were somewhat unexplainable, like why there were streets named after Woodrow Wilson or FDR, or why there is a statue of Washington in the middle of one of the streets leading toward the Arc du Triomphe.

Versaille was also a fun place, though it thoroughly disgusted me how much gold and silver and stuff was in that place. You could've sold all the finery in the front two rooms and fed all of France, and sold all the wealth and ended world hunger. It was a little ridiculous. Never the less it is a beautiful palace, and the grounds are delightful, and would be even more so in the summer, when they wouldn't be so barren. It was incredibly windy when we were there. It seriously felt like we were going to blow away. But it was a fun trip, and nice to get out of the big city for a bit.

04 February 2008

Paris you know may improve upon closer acquaintance

As it turns out Paris does improve upon closer acquaintance. I am reasonably pleased to say that I wouldn't mind returning, though again I wouldn't need to spend more than a few days. Really I just want a couple days to explore the Louvre and the D'Orsay. then another couple days to explore more of Paris' plethora of delightful museums. We stopped at one the Orangerie, and it was quite delightful. It's main exhibit is a collection of Monets that are displayed in the round. Legend has it that Monet only agreed to donate his paintings if they were displayed the way he wanted them to be. so there are two oval rooms with 4 paintings in each. and it is a wonderful way to feel the paintings, since they all connect to each other creating this wonderful sense of being surrounded by them.

That was a delightful Museum, I really liked it.
Seeing Notre Dame again was quite fun, I climbed all the way to the very top of the towers, and that is a fantastic view of Paris, almost as good as the one from Sacre Couer (whose climb to the top of the tower was sadly closed).

and the view from the top of the Arc du Triomphe is worth the climb as well.

And this one is the promised view from Sacre Couer.

Overall Paris is dirty and has lots of stairs.

03 February 2008

High Street Kensington

This is a picture I took as I walked along High Street Kensington a week or two ago. It was a beautiful night.

25 January 2008

Where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infreuent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours,
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
-TS Eliot, The Waste Land

This morning I got up early and took the tube down to the London Bridge station and flowed with the commuters over the London bridge, and up the hill and down King William Street, in order that I might here the bells of Saint Mary Woolnoth. I was rather upset to find out that the bells no longer ring at 9 am. I'll never be able to find out if the really sound dead on the final stroke of nine now. I can believe that they did though. The start of the work day can be rather deadening.

24 January 2008

time to play a little catch up

last wednesday we took our first fieldtrip, and we went to Canterbury, Rye and Beachy Head. It was incredible! It was so nice to get out of the city to the slower pace of the country. Canterbury, as you may know is known for the Canterbury Cathedral, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is also known for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The story in which several pilgrims chronicle their pilgrimage to Canterbury to see the Tomb of Sir Thomas A Beckett. The cathedral is quite beautiful. I love the Gothic Architecture.

After Canterbury we got back in the coach and traveled to Rye, a beautiful little english town. There isn't really much to see there as such, but it was a beautiful little place, I think I could live there. One interesting thing about Rye is that it is a port town, but over the years the sea has receeded and it is now two miles away from the town. rye is a landlocked port. the below picture is the parish church at rye.

After Rye we went to Beachy Head, which is along the coast, and is the home to the highest part of the White Cliffs. We got there just around sunset and it was spectacular. I only wish that I could capture the beauty on film better.

Overall it was a splendid trip, I can't wait for the next one.

23 January 2008

The Importance of Being Earnest

Is quite a good play. I did thoroughly enjoy it. We went on opening night, that was cool, though our section wasn't full by any means so that was kind of nice. today I went to the Tate Modern, it was very exciting. London so far has been great. going to see another play was really a lot of fun. I hope to do more of that.

20 January 2008


And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England's mountain green
And was the Holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon these Clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
among these Dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of Burning Gold
Bring me my Arrows of Desire
Bring me my Spear: oh clouds unfold
Bring me my Chariot of Fire!

I will not Cease from Mental Fight
Nor Shall my Sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green & pleasant Land

-William Blake 1809

11 January 2008


well the first few days have been a blast. i've been walking, walking, walking and you guesed it more walking. i've seen so much of london though and that is quite amazing. really. In a day or two I'll get a couple pictures up here so you can see them all. quite exciting really. Les Miserables is an AMAZING play. it sums up life so well in so many respects. words don't even describe it. but now it is time for bed.

05 January 2008


We had a beautiful sunset tonight, my new camera captured it pretty well, I'm impressed.