It has been a long time since I've wrapped up all that I've been doing.
The last time I wrote was after the Chinese New Year party. Fri 23.01.09
Sat 24.01 I met my friend Niall from Ireland on the steps of St Pauls Cathedral (Not before getting lost...) and we went to the Tate Modern. I enjoyed it.
Then we walked along South Bank and saw a few interesting characters. It was so cold that we had to stop and got hot chocolate in a little cafe: Cafe Pompadou.
It didn't smell very good in there, but it was warm and the chocolate was good. We stayed in there until we felt brave enough to face the cold and head our separate ways.
Sun 25.01 Church was good. A friend of mine gave a talk and he quoted Alice Through the Looking glass. It was such a good quote I thought I'd share it. Alice was talking to the Red Queen about how in England if you want to go anywhere you have to move, while in comparison with the Red Queen Alice had to run as fast as she could just to stay in the same place, and if she wanted to go somewhere else she would have to run twice that fast. He likened this to staying strong in the church or keeping up your good habits. You have to work to stay at the same level, and to get even better you have to work twice that hard. Once you stop working you start moving backward.
I have another friend from Ireland who actually speaks some Irish (which is a real language that is NOT English), and she taught me how to say "Thank You" and "I love you" in Irish.
Phonetically they are: "guhrev mah agut" and "is(th) grah lum huu" respectively. Awesome.
After church Kate, Angus and I headed over to the Parsifal Road flat to hang out with a large group of people. We played a variety of games and generally enjoyed our time. There are two new girls from America who have just moved over here. And, small world, they know someone that I know. I swear the "6 degrees of separation" don't apply to Mormons, it's like the "3 degrees of separation." They are from Arizona and know Kevin Bingham, the eldest brother of my dearest Lauren Bingham. Also, Jimmy Osmond was at church today. Like I said 3 degrees or fewer.
I missed all my friends today though. I've been living here for a month, and I feel like this is the greatest vacation I have ever had the opportunity to enjoy, but I also am anxious to get back to reality and finish school. I sort of crashed today. You can only be all rise for so long.
Mon 26.01 As you know, I registered to run a half marathon in Prague. Accomodation, flights and registration will cost me about $100 in total. Thats well good. (as my cockney speaking friends tell me)
I ran about 2 miles today and treated myself to a traditional English Breakfast: toast, beans, tomatoes, eggs, sausages, rashers, and tea (mint for me).
I also spent too much money on books today... But Sherlock Holmes is AWESOME and I'm so sad that I didn't grow up reading this stuff. At the Baker Street station they pay homage to him.
Tues 27.01 I ran again today. 5.34 km. I'm a quarter of the way there! But I pulled something, very badly. And I'm sure I have shin splints from my poor excuse for running shoes... So I'll have to get better ones and rest my shin for a few days.
I met a friend at Covent Gardens for Cornish Pasties. So good. I think this is my favorite part about London: trying all the food. We hung out there for the afternoon and talked. It got freezing cold as soon as the sun went down and we retreated to Starbucks for hot chocolate. Surprisingly, we were in the only area to NOT have a starbucks on every corner and it took us forever to find it. Then I spilled half of it on myself.
An interesting thing happened today as I was waiting for my friend James to show up. A girl approached me and asked if I wanted to take part in a photography study. I said sure since he hadn't arrived yet and I had a few minutes. She asked whether I believed that life is predetermined or coincidental. I told her I believed that things happen for a reason. She wrote that down and took down my first name as well. Then she had me draw a card from a deck - the King of Hearts- and had me pose with it to represent chance and she took my photo. It was pretty cool.
Wed 28.01 I got a phone today. My friend wasn't using it and she is letting me borrow it. Awesome. This will make life here so much easier.
Thurs 29.01 One month.
I made apple tart today. It was a really interesting method, we made and baked the pastry shell and then made an apple compote on the stove. I filled the shell and topped it with thinly sliced apples and baked it briefly. It was so much faster than my apple pie, and it was very good.
This is my favorite chef: Chef Christophe. He's completely mental. He talks half in English, half in French, and quite often his instructions are made through sound effects. After I took this photo he drained the bottle of Rum to his left.
I went to institute and for the first time since I've lived here I had a real conversation with the woman who lives in the room next door. I say woman, she's 22, but she's been married for a couple years, so it feels a bit different. Anyway we talked and she is really sweet. We could be friends no doubt.
Fri 30.01 Class again. Today I tried a Mars Bar for the first time -you know the one that Harry Potter asks of the lady with the trolley on the Hogwarts Express- it was delicious! It was a 3 Musketeers bar but with caramel. Awesome.
We made puff pastry by hand today. Oh my goodness. We had to roll out and reshape that 10 pound lump of dough so many times. My arms were aching. No wonder no one makes it by hand anymore! Plus it was like 85% butter and 15% flour... not particularly the most healthy dough. We used some premade stuff to make "Jalousie."
Which is a dessert that has puff pastry, almond creme and fruit. We used pears. I didn't shape the pears over the almond cream properly and it turned out a little silly looking. BUT it was beyond delicious. I had a party to go to later and everyone agreed. :)
Sat (Almost done, sorry guys) 31.01 Today was SO cold. London has been receiving an icy gale from Siberia, it is just awful. I went to my friends' house today. They live just by the Church and their whole family is over here for 5 years. They live in a house. A real house. And it is huge. It's bigger than my home in Redding and WAY nicer -surprisingly. I was just stunned. They are from Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
I met Hilary at Piccadilly Circus for Indian food around 530p. It has been a while since we'd talked and there was much to catch up on. After 7 I had to book it up to Angus' house, because I was late for my double date with him and Kate and his friend David Perry. I guess it wasn't really a double date, but it doesn't matter. We had some fish and chips, played Apples to Apples, and we watched Be Kind Rewind. It was a lot of fun. Kate and I got the Night Bus home around 1:45a, and it took forever to get home. I wasn't in bed before 3a.
Sun 01.02 It started to snow when I was at church today, and it didn't stop. Kate and I went home with Angus and we hung out there for the evening. Sebastian made English Breakfast for dinner and around 11p we trudged over to the Parsifal road flat to watch the Superbowl. Oh time difference... It was fun, but it hadn't stopped snowing and there was about 4 inches to walk through, and I was in church clothes! The game was over by 3a and all transportation in London was shut down. I had to sleep on the floor of Angus' house. It was fun though. On the way back, though, we got lost... and it was cold. AND snowy. I'm not impressed by the snow anymore. It's lovely, but from a distance. I did see several foxes running around in it though.
Mon 02.02 I woke up at 8am to nearly a foot of snow. The most snow to hit London in nearly 20 years!
The school children were beside themselves with glee at seeing real snow for the first time ever and getting the day off of school! I hung out at the apartment all day, wearing borrowed clothes. I have such accommodating friends. Angus made "American Pancakes" for breakfast.
The snow didn't stop.
Around 5p we had a snow ball war with the Parsifal road flat and then retired inside for hot chocolate, Apples to Apples (are you seeing a theme?), Scene it, and Speek Racer. Kate and I left by 11p and the snow had FINALLY stopped dropping. The snow feels very Charles Dickens, but beside that I'm not excited that the snow followed me to London. I hadn't had much sleep for a few days and I was dead tired by the time I got back to my room.
Well now that that's all wrapped up I apologize for stealing so much of your time if you actually read all of that. I'll try to keep them shorter in the future. I love all of you! (I just felt compelled to tell you lot.)
P.S. I hate how it takes me an ENTIRE day to load photos onto blogspot. There has to be a better way.