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Final Entry

21 Jun

As my loyal readers may have noticed, the blog has been completely inactive for over a year.

Well, dear readers, I have moved.  I am now a New Yorker.  For the last year. Without mentioning it. I mean, Glasgow and NYC are pretty much the same, right?

WRONG.

It’s been an interesting ride and I’d love to tell you about it, but that’s for another time and another blog. Perhaps one on teaching and learning, rather than just learning. Perhaps one on middle-schoolers. Maybe something people want to read that has nothing to do with my personal life.

You’ll just have to wait and see.

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Reunions

16 Dec

A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to see a friend of mine who was only in Scotland a few days, The Girl with the Red Bag herself!  We met up in Edinburgh and explored the Christmas Market with her mom, which was amazing. I got some mulled cider (which in Britain is alcoholic-yum!).

Happiness in a mug

It’s so lovely to see people you haven’t in a while.  I love a reunion.  While the parting is always really sad, there is something so wonderful about seeing someone you care about for the first time in a long time.  They remind you why having relationships that span continents and oceans are worth it.

Photo credit goes entirely to The Girl with the Red Bag (and her mom). Isn’t she great?

Only 9 More Days ‘Til Christmas!

Gobble Gobble

28 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!  I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by friends and family.  Spread the love and be grateful for the little things.  

And tomorrow, Christmas music and shopping! Sheer joy.

Coffee

30 Aug

I’m anticipating that at some point this blog will have a post dedicated to all of the great loves of my life. Some I’ve certainly already discussed, chocolate being the most prominent, and some lay as of yet uncovered.  On of the things high up on my list currently is coffee.  I find that my morning isn’t quite right without it anymore.  It provides time to take in the day and think or just laze about in one’s pajamas because you’re not done with your coffee yet.

I started using a french press, in the UK the much fancier sounding cafetiere,  in college and have become a believer.  I’m not enough of a coffee aficionado to tell you why I like it, but coffee just always seems, well, better.

French Press

AND it has a bunch of positive health effects, is lo cal (even with milk!), and a wonderful social beverage that has fewer drawbacks then, say, gin.  In a country where it’s cool and often cloudy, nothing puts a smile on my face like a good friend (or Matthew!) and a lovely cup of joe.

Good to the last drop

Do your morning rituals normally include coffee?  Have any recommended brands (either in the UK or the US)?

Illnesses

30 Nov

I am so sick today.  I don’t mean the “I have a really bad cold” kind of sick, but the “I can’t go to a choir concert because I want to do nothing but sleep and huddle in a blanket” sick.  Monday, if I’m still ill, I’m going to the doctor.  Fortunately, I have the most wonderful boyfriend ever who makes me soup and figures out some of my life problems for me.  Alright, I’ve been awake for 5 hours.  It’s time for a nap.  I leave you with something cute that makes me smile.

Cuteness courtesy of cuteoverload!

What I want to be doing

Baking in the UK

3 Nov

Despite my slight boast of being a better baker than any I have come across (literally only the coffee shops on the West End), baking here is a bit of a challenge for me.  First off, everything is in metric measurements.  I don’t know what 2 cups or 8 oz converts to in grams off the top of my head, so purchases have become difficult.  I always have to remember to use my handy converter before I leave the flat. People here also use weights rather than cups and teaspoons, so figuring out why I couldn’t find measuring spoons was baffling initially.  In addition, my oven has had all the numbers indicating temperature scrubbed off, making how hot I’ve sent the oven something of a guessing game (one that is not fun mind you when your toll house cookies, a difficult thing to mess up, come out gooey because your oven wasn’t hot enough).  Because I’m a student, my means for acquiring baking implements is, well, limited.   I have yet to break down and buy the electric mixer, the blender, the cake trays, the second baking tray, etc, etc that I would really like to have in order to have the baking reputation I would like to carry amongst my friends.  That said, I’m going to buy a pie tin here pretty soon so that I can make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! Hopefully I can find canned pumpkin since I don’t have the appropriate mixers to make the puree from a real pumpkin smooth.  The internet tells me that there is a store quite close to me that may occasionally carry it, but I’m mildly skeptical.

I’m pretty excited about my adventures in baking that are up and coming, even if they have the potential to be less than anticipated!  If all else fails, Matthew will still tells me he likes it (because he likes me).

The little things I miss from the US

Staying Warm and Dry

1 Nov

After a year apart, I’d managed to forget some of my least favorite things about Scotland.  Namely, the three things that I don’t like: it’s cold and it’s wet and it’s grey.  While I may describe Scotland as the greenest place I’ve ever been, it’s also the darkest and dampest.  Today, the sun has been shining on and off since 11.  I’m STOKED that I’ve managed to get in three hours of semi-sunshine because I may not see the sun again until next week.  Rain on the other hand, occurs on the daily.  Hence, both green and grey.  With snow storms possible for this Sunday (yes, snow), the California girl has two things on her mind. 1. SNOW!!! YAY! It’s sooo pretty!! 2. How the heck do I stay warm and dry in snow???  My big plan is to buy a nice pair of rubber wellies and call it a day.  I’ll be able to wear them in the rain and (in theory) the snow.  Here are the ones I’m most interested in…

The classic Hunter wellington in navy. Pricey, but high quality and, for a rubber boot, extremely socially acceptable.

Similar wellies with the prestige of a company that makes shoes for boating. These also come in houdstooth!

With faux-fur lining, these Tretorn wellies are fun and snuggly! (And perhaps more attractive than the Uggs that are already on my feet? You be the judge.)

I don’t know what I would do without Zappos.com.  Now to figure out if they ship internationally…

Moved In

19 Oct

After a month of no blog communication, I’m back to blog like crazy.  The last 30 days have been relatively insane, so I’ll try not to bore you with the details and get straight to the big stuff.

I left the US the 27 of September and my life before that was almost entirely dedicated to packing and stress about visas and getting my programme in line appropriately.  I did get to do a lot of catching up with my best friend from childhood (17 years of friendship and counting), Cassidy, which was wonderful.  There is nothing like a good friend to give you faith in yourself and make leaving harder.

Upon arrival in Glasgow, I got to move into my flat.  I use “move in” very loosely here. I put my stuff in my flat, some sheets on the bed, did a quick supermarket run, and crashed.  The time since then has been spent in domestic flurry.  Shopping for new things for the flat and endless cleaning dominated my life.  BUT my cleaning duties are now down to simply the things that I need to do on a regular basis.  It feels like freedom and, almost, like home.

My programme is going well.  My supervisors are really helpful and encouraging.  I love that this project is mine to do what I want with it.  That said, it is also a bit of an adventure to have to do everything on my own.  I’m so used to someone else setting up when things need to be done and how they should be done that having to do it myself is a bit daunting.
The biggest change to my life recently has been getting the internet.  It took so long I was beginning to forget what it looked like!  So thanks to the kind people at the provider, you’ll now get relatively frequent updates of my life!

I leave you with a shot of my front garden. It’s pretty even in the rain.

Preparing for Adventure and a Degree

19 Sep

Admission to graduate school is mine!  After a few harrowing weeks of applications, visa obtaining, and flat hunting, everything seems to be in order.  I have plane tickets, a lovely new flat (which I have yet to see in person…), and a lovely visa that is permanently attached to my passport.

I find myself getting increasingly excited and nervous about the impending flight date.  It’s going to be incredible! But it’s sooo far away. Although I went abroad the while I was an undergrad, this is a much different adventure.  Same city, but it’s a much longer period and might end up being permanent.  Who knows what connections I’ll end up making in graduate school?  I can’t wait to find out!