Saturday, April 30, 2011


A typical letter from Sanna.

My dear friend Sanna is coming to visit at the end of May and I'm over the moon with excitement!!! I've known Sanna for 10 years and each time we see each other its as if we're 13 excited about the new Lord of the Rings film coming out in December again. When I first met Sanna, I did not like hugs. Somehow this annoyed Sanna immensely and she made it her life's ambition to give me a hug every day upon arriving at school. I would run. I would arrive late. I would resist and not hug back. Eventually, Sanna won. We would have sleep overs and talk late into the night, not about boys, but about ideas and stories and music-- things we found we both loved. One night we taught ourselves how to waltz at 2.30 in the morning. When I moved away, we kept in touch through letter writing and a letter from Sanna will still brighten my day. I feel so important and they are lighthearted and profound and funny. Always written in an inkpot and quill, after reading them makes me feel as if I could do anything, particularly commadere a boat a find Treausre Island. (Sanna and I did go snorkeling in Tiomin and I still believe we nearly found it.) Now I get to have Sanna for two glorious weeks which cannot come fast enough!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Will and Kate

The Royal Wedding is on Friday!! I shouldn't be so excited but its now a Naitonal Holiday, so everyone gets off work, street parties will be everywhere, as well as people up at 10 am watching the entourage on their flatscreen toasting their mamosas. Its been on tv all week long, and I'm so embarassed to admit, I've gotten sucked up into all the hype. Yesterday I watched 3 hours of specials on TV regarding Will and Kate. I LIKE Kate. I think she's a representation of any middle class girl and her dream, but I also think her natural grace, charm, and elegance make her completely ideal for her role. What's not to love about a princess to-be inviting her family butcher to the wedding, especially one with such good fashion sense!?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Self Improvement

I have loved the University degree system here. In my courses I had maybe 6 hours of class time a week, leaving me with beaucoups of time. This has been a tremendously relief compared to life at UNC, where from 8-8 days are packed with classes and ECAs and schoolwork and coffee dates. However adjusting to this has been both a blessing and a curse. I feel like I'm a much healthier person over all, this year, no longer stressed and worn. But at the same time, without lots of time contraints, its also a lot harder to motivate myself. It's easier to postpone things, and to say, 'ah I'll get to that tomorrow.' Now I've grown to the point where I'm restless and dissatisfied with myself if I don't do things. So with the days growing lighter and the weather warmer, I've revised myself and my time, and my determination, to get things done. Unfortunately, this starts with a to-do, and its embarassing the pleasure I get from checking off each one. My goal for this week is to get up at 6 each morning, giving myself time, more than I need to bask in small pleasures: a cup of tea, a journal entry, a few pages of Scripture reading, writing a letter to a friend, possibly yoga. T.S. Eliot writes, "There will be time, there will be time, and there will be time." Ah Mr. Eliot, I would that I may know this!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tom Riddle

Tom Riddle and Tom Riddle Jr. did exist! Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Notes About England

After a spring break trekking through England, I began to compare how my ideal of England found in books turned out in reality:

-milk: people to do get milk delivered right to their door a couple mornings a week! It can even come in glass bottles and you do leave them out the night before he comes, so he can recycle them.

-horses: I used to think Kentucky the Mecca for all horse lovers. Never before have I seen so many fields and fields of horses. Driving along, I found dozens of horse farms, and fields filled with more than a dozen horses! This is so rare to the ocassional one in a field on my drives back home. [This makes the rules and numbers of cow poker a little more difficult! We've had to adjust them...]

-fields: the Jane Austen films of Elizabeth trekking through fields to Netherfield? true! farmers have paths just cut right through their fields open to the public and one can trek at leisure. Sometimes there areeven cows or sheep in the fields. I found that cows are curious and tend to follow the trekker, which can be daunting, making your way with a herd of cows behind you!

-shillings and farthings: sadly false

-bowler hats and gloves and queen hats: not so much. Only on special occasions have I seen ladies wear those sorts of hats. Though men do tend to wear cufflinks much more than I've seen in the US

-social cues: tend to be more implicit than explicit. For example, 'would you like the butter?' actually means 'please have some and pass it.'

-greet adults by kissing them on the cheek (if they initiate!): I would go for the hug, they would go for the kiss, awkward moment ensues...

-parish churches: true! the vicar stands at the front, in white robes, greeting all who come. They do live in a vicarage, but unlike Miss Marple stories, do not tend to get involved in nasty murders