Friday, October 31, 2008


Red Dress: $80
Red Shoes: $50
Red Purse: $18
Tickets to Halloween Party: $16
Glitter Devil Horns: $5

Being left by your date nearly as soon as you walk in and then elbowed in the (already broken) nose by a guy dressed as a bathtub: Priceless.

Hope your Halloween was better!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Day!

Yay! Today is awesome!

The start of today was not a promising one, but it's turned around rather quickly once I got moving.

Today started with some jackass pulling the fire alarm at 4 am. Did I mention that he or she was a jackass? So there was a good half hour of standing outside huddling with Luke to stay warm- okay it wasn't that bad. If you've got to be dragged out of bed by a 4 am false alarm, there better be a cute guy to huddle with once you get to the bottom of the stairs. Later, got back to the room, couldn't get to sleep, so I played on ravelry and read Mansfield Park until it was time to get up.

Had a pop quiz on Mansfield Park (there was only one question I couldn't answer, it was "Who was the landscaper at Mansfield Park?" My answer was "Roger the Shrubber"- I figured if I had to be wrong, I may as well be amusing) and later got into argument with teacher about the theme of morality in Mansfield Park. Considering I've got quite a bit of Jane Austen under my belt, I am NOT a person you want to argue with about anything Jane Austen. He actually looked a bit defeated at the end of the seminar. Paige 1: Musselwhite: 0.

Went to history class....bleh...wishing I hadn't stayed up since 4 am....class was over and I walked out the door to find..wonderful. Sleet. That's totally what my broken nose needs. I should probably mention that while it is getting less and less painful everyday, the bruises are suggesting otherwise. They are spreading and getting darker- I should really go as a zombie for halloween and not take the busted-up playboy bunny route I currently plan on taking. Zombies wear more clothes, and being warm sounds quite nice right now.

On the way home it hit me: Tonight is movie-night with Luke! We're watching Casino Royale again so we can be all caught up for tomorrow's show, which I will try hard to not spoil. Got back to the appartment after happy realization yarn from France is here! Yay! And so is my new credit card- mwahahaha! But I'm thrilled to death with this yarn. I took a few glamour shots for you guys...

For those who missed it, I will be designing socks with Maylin's wonderful yarn for the Knit 1, Dead 2 group on Ravelry, in other words, people who knit and watch True Blood. The middle yarn (yellow and pink) will be representing Sookie Stackhouse, the telepathic heroine, and the one on the right with the orange will be for Lafayette, the gay drug-dealer. He has some of the best lines in the show- it would be wrong to NOT give him a pair of fabulous socks. The green yarn was just something for me- it's a wonderful merino/bamboo blend and it might end up being Rivendell socks or perhaps Falling Leaves. Whatever it ends up being, I love the earthy colors with the subtle shine. Maylin does a wonderful job with her colors.
More big news: Clay got into Ball State! Woohoo! Ball State isn't his first choice, but he won't hear from his first choice (Purdue- Boiler Up!) until nearly Chritmas, so it's great that he's got a backup plan. I know he's definently NOT reading his older sister's knitting blog (because that would be dorky) but congrats anyway, baby bro.
I'm out- gotta get some naptime in before reading and snuggle- I mean movie time. If I don't write tomorrow (I'll try to do a quick pre-party picture posting) then HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 27, 2008

London and Something Embarassing

Happy Monday! As you know I spent Saturday in London and Sunday in pain- but I'll get to that in a minute.

* I don't remember what this building is, but it's pretty*

Sere and I got up far too early and hopped on the earliest bus to the earliest train to London. I was hovering over a hot tea in a attempt to wake up, so I did not knit on the ride there. My knitting did sit in my lap the whole time though. We got off at the London Bridge station and walked over to THE tourist place, the London Dungeons only to find that the line was...a mile and a half long. So we walked across the London Bridge (new one, not the old that Fergie sings about) and headed down the street (or several streets) to see Buckingham Palace. We stood next to the guards and told each other dirty jokes trying to get them to laugh. We got a "Cheers" through closed teeth from one as we were leaving. Mission accomplished, silence broken. It was a bit chilly but the crisp wind and the turning leaves made it one of the more beautiful places I've ever seen. We saw the park where Finding Neverland was shot, and it's spectacular. Perhaps Prince William and I will get married in the would be beautiful for a wedding.

*Picadilly Circus, just after sunset; Caniballistic Zombie Butcher holding sock; Guard with nice hat*

We also did the Princess Diana memorial walk (If you are on facebook, there's an album with about 40 pictures of the trip- I can't put them all on the blog) and that was beautiful. This week? month? is something to do with remembering WWI veterans and there were poppies everywhere. It was beautiful. I bought a paper poppy which is now blue-tacked to my door in attempts to make it look pretty. We also walked around Picadilly Circus (I wore the wrong socks!) and then headed back to London Dungeons so we could get in before it closed. We stood in the line for a little over an hour and were taunted (Monty Python style) by the "undead" characters, and I even got one of them to hold my sock which I had finished about 30 seconds before he came around. He was such a good sport- I'd really feel like a dork if I asked someone to hold a sock and they said no.

We ended the night earlier than expected and it took a little convincing for Sere, but we went and had Balti. It was awesome. It's like Taj of India back home, but I think it's a little more authentic. Plus I love being able to have a glass of wine with my meal- legally. I had a vegetable Balti (big shock!) and Sere had the Chicken Tikka, which is like Indian food for beginners. She approved and I think I may have converted one more person to the Indian food-loving, sock-holding dark side.
So, I bet you're wondering about that "Something Embarassing"? Well, I broke my nose. I won't tell you exactly how it happened since there was a game of beer pong involved and I don't exactly remember how it happened, but I now have a broken nose, 2 black eyes, and Luke's shirt because I got blood all over my own. Isn't he sweet? Not really, but I'm super excited to go see the new James Bond movie with him, Reece and Kam on Friday- that's guys have to wait until November 9th or something and I get to see it Friday! Woot! I'll try not to spoil it too much, Janet and Mandie. But mostly Mandie.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Countdown to London!

Hey there! Here I am, procraftinating again with the help of a new project and a blog. The big news is that I finally (not finally- the entire project took less than 2 weeks) finished the Socks of Dover/Blue Hedera socks! Which of course means, I've started the Guy Fawkes Sawkes in hopes of having them done by the 5th of November (I hope I can remember!) I can just tell they are going to be trouble...
So, I guess to recap on the Hedera socks:

Yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy in the color Lunar Zazzle. Pattern is by Cookie A. from I honestly feel like I let the Dream in Color down- maybe I should have done something else? I just feel- not worthy. The socks are pretty, but I was expecting...I don't know...they just don't feel right. I do have alot leftover- that will go into the mitered square blanket. I'm still only 2 squares in- I have to wait until I finish a pair of socks to make a square.

I also didn't fully appreciate how nice of a yarn the D.I.C. in until I started knitting the Guy Fawkes Sawkes in Plymouth Happy Feet. Yeah, I bought the Happy Feet because it was relatively cheap stashing in the event that the yarn was taken away on the airplane or some other disaster went down, but now that I've spoiled myself with D.I.C., knitting with Happy Feet kind of feels like knitting with flannel. It's just...not great. But the color is perfect for the Guy Fawkes Sawkes, and they are going to London with me on Saturday. Hopefully we will get our picture taken in front of Parliament, or with Johnny Depp at Madame Toussaud's wax museum. Maybe both- who knows!
Hopefully my camera will stop acting up by Saturday's trip- for some reason all my recent pictures are gone and pictures I thought I deleted months ago are back. Hmm. No idea what's going on with it. So the pictures I got of Tom's hat are gone for now, and if they ever come back I'll be sure to post them.

I also met up with Caroline Craftyfox on Tuesday morning at an art gallery/cafe and we got our knit on for a few hours. We were both making socks, and while it felt like I wasn't making any progress at all, the knitting fairy snuck into my bag and knitted a few inches while I was riding the bus back. I just love how that happens. Caroline also gave me a most wonderful and terribly English gift- 2 skiens of Rowan Rowanspun dk in a navy blue that will go perfect with my new coat. I need to find a fun lacy pattern to bring out the best in that yarn. She also lent me a Rowan magazine so I could copy a few patterns without buying the book. I've already picked out my favorite- a ribbed, beaded cardi on size 3 needles. I would have flipped right by it normally, but I did just buy a new skirt that needs a matching shirt. Hmm....maybe the after-Christmas sale rack at Michaels can help me out on this one.

That's about it- I'm feeling a little sleepy and may have a little bit of a nap before I get back to reading Keats. That guy can put me to sleep faster than a carbon monoxide leak.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I know this is terribly American and closed-minded of me, but every once in a while I see something like this and can't help but snicker for a minute. And then take a picture of course:So I went on a walk today to enjoy the arrival of fall and buy more milk and Cheerios. I took a couple pictures for you guys since I don't have a lot of progress to show on my second Hedera sock. I'm loosing momentum and second sock syndrome is setting in and has made me not want to turn the heel. But since I am meeting Craftyfox for knitting over tea tomorrow, I need to turn the heel so I can focus on conversation. I also wanted to thank everyone for voting on what I should name the socks, and with about half an hour left in the vote, I think it's safe to say that we have a winner.
With 7 votes, our winner is "Cliffs of Dover"
Keep them as Bluberry Scones got 4 votes, and Crumpet socks got 3 votes. Jane Bennet, Wivenhoe Blues and Cold feet in Colchester all tied with 2, and this time nobody voted "I don't care" which is a relief. It's a little dissapointing when the highest scoring option is "They're only socks, you idiot. Get on with it."
I believe that I am all set for names on the next few pairs of socks, and I've got to fit in a couple lacy scarves for gifts quite soon, but they might need names.

Oh! I nearly forgot to tell you! Today was the day the Colchester Gazette came out and I'm in it! Luckily my picture didn't make it in because I was on week 2 of Fresher's Flu and looked like a combination of Death and Keith Richards with yarn, but the interview they did of me was quite long. They mentioned 8 times within 2 paragraphs that I was American (Paige, an American studying at Essex working on a pair of American socks with some lovely blue wool she got in America) but talked more about how I was the youngest one there but still totally with it. Score! I still haven't found the article on the website, but you're welcome to look around for it...let me know if you see something!
Another surprise! I'm designing a pair of socks! Actually I've already designed them, done the charts and the math and am now looking for the perfect yarn.

The pattern is for my readers and my fellow Fangbangers in the True Blood group on Ravelry (It's actually called Knit One, Dead Two) but it's about the new Vamp show on HBO. I designed a pair of socks for the main vamp, Bill, an ex-confederate soldier who got vamptified as he was going home after the surrender of the South. But it turns out my totally awesome pattern was already out there and called "Waffle Socks" and there is no point in even writing up my "Bill Compton" socks because I don't want to get sued for copyright infrigement. I have better things to do today.
But I am working on a pair of socks for the character Lafayette, who may be the most awesome character on the show. He's a gay, black, drug-dealing fry-cook at the restaurant where half the show is shot, and he's awesome. His drug of choice is "V" or vampire blood, and it gets people on it super-trippy, so the sock has cabled spirals and little Vs between the spiral repeats. The pattern is bright, bold, complex and trippy, I hope you like it- I sure do! Once I get the perfect yarn and get it knitted up, I will put it on my blog...somehow. Still working on making a link to free patterns in the sidebar. If anyone knows how to do that, please let me know- I'm technologically challenged.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Sock Adventures: Part 2

So there's not been alot going on in my life that's worth blogging about, but apparently the sock has been having a great time with my friends in Colchester.

Yesterday evening, the monster in my belly demanded food that wasn't breakfast cereal or a salad, so I rounded up a few of the flatmates and we headed to Colchester on a quest for food. Since Alex (blonde guy) has recently misplaced(?) his wallet, we couldn't go to a pub for dinner due to his lack of ID and the fact that he still looks at bit like a 15 year old. So we went to Nando's chicken, a cultural must and a huge Mongolian BBQ rip-off (Seriously! Their shirts said Grillaz in the Mist!) famous for their chicken and their hot sauce (Which sounds like a BDubs to me). Since I am a wimpy vegetarian, I didn't get the full experience, but I did put way too much hot sauce on my veggie burger and it singed away my eyebrows, but that's another story. Since the sock was out and about (and my out and about I mean that it happened to be in my purse) we got some lovely sock pictures before our food came. (First picture is of Reece and Kam, the second is of Alex and his gf from Brighton, Jessica)

We headed back after that and I got all dolled up to go salsa dancing with Ricardo. But when I got ready and went to Ricardo's flat to get him (he's 2 floors under us so it's quite easy to get there) he was pretty much sloshed with the help of Sere and Agus. So I went salsa dancing by myself. I think Ricardo may be out of the picture now. Now if he could just leave my classes, the library, the appartment building and the Waterstones I have grown quite fond of, that would be very nice. It's so much easier to forget about someone when you don't see them five times a day. Back to Salsa dancing.

There are an abundance of female salsa dancers (salserinas) in Colchester, and a complete lack of men (salseros). The two men who knew what they were doing were the instructor (from Columbia- go figure) and DJ Carlos, who wasn't supposed to leave his booth. Since I was the only Salserina who had danced prior to last week, I danced with both the Columbian instructor (who told me my form was Cuban, and therefore all wrong) and DJ Carlos (who didn't care if I danced like a Cuban, because he and I share a love for Shakira and the Merengue). So I danced with those guys for a couple hours (one at a time of course, I'm not THAT good) and when other girls braved the dance floor I took a bit of a break. Some guy who was very sure of his Salsa-bilities asked me to dance and assured me he was quite good, and two steps in his lack of rhythm and style contradicted his promise, and I attempted to lead so that we didn't look like Jason Biggs in "Saving Silverman" where his friend wired his nipples and then kept hitting the buttons, making him convulse while dancing. So...I started leading to save him and I from the embarassment of continuing to do whatever the hell dance HE was doing and he tried to spin me...but didn't let go. I hit the wall, twisted my ankle, and called it a night.

I know I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to things like sock yarn and salsa dancing, but there's a reason for that. When someone is overconfident in their ability to dance and they throw you across the room and make you limp home, it pisses me off. Either you know what you're doing or you don't. If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. Asshole.

So today was low-key. I spent most of today reading for tomorrow's classes and keeping ice on my ankle (now down to the size of a grapefruit) and went to the kitchen a minute ago to find this:
A shopping cart in the kitchen of my 6th floor flat and my flatmate, Jess, perched inside it. I don't know why, but it was very funny. It's even more hilarious that she insists on getting pushed around in it for the remainder of the evening. So what do I do to people who sit in shopping carts in the kitchen of a 6th floor appartment? You guess it. I made her hold the sock.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Grumble grumble

So it's been a while since I gave you guys a proper post, hasn't it? Sorry about that. This Freshers Flu has overstayed its welcome and classes are starting to get...time consuming. As in, read this book and we'll talk about it tomorrow. Bleh...why didn't I study something without hundreds of pages of reading every night?!

So there's not a ton going on, just classes and stuffy noses and of course, my trip to Colchester for the Tuesday night SnB that you're dying to hear about! It was really fun! The 2/3 of a sock and I left around noon and decided to spend all day shopping before the 7.30 SnB at Roxi's bar on High Street. So I walked an hour and a half (which isn't so bad when you've got an Ipod and a beautiful day) to Colchester with my purse/knitting bag and started window shopping. My only real mission for the day was to find a Waterstones and pick up a book or two (I finished "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" on Tuesday at a French Bistro with very expensive soup) and start getting ideas for Christmas presents (I do that- I am fully aware that it's not even Halloween).

I found a Cd store and was thrilled to find the sale rack was covered with music that I (and apparently nobody else) like and picked up P!nk's "Not Dead Yet" Cd aswell as the latest Killer's Cd. P!nk's Cd is very political and even more femministic (is that a word? It is now.) and the Killers Cd may have very well be put together during one long-ass acid trip. That being said, I love them both. Moving on...
I did find that Waterstones and spent enirely too long looking in the wrong section for the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series. Yes, I am aware I am a giant dork...I guess Buffy ended too soon. I bought what I thought was the first of the series, but after 10 minutes of reading about characters that aren't in the show yet, I figured I picked up the wrong one. Sure enough, I now have the 6th book, and none of the others. Great. I'm just going to have to put on my blinders with the Ravelry forums.
I was having a lovely time window shopping and around 5 I noticed that all the stores started closing, which did not work with the "shop till you knit" plan, and I ended up going to Roxi's bar about 2 hours early and sitting at the bar and talking to the Polish bar tender. It was all small talk until she realized I wasn't Australian like she thought, and then she began to tell me how much she hated President Bush. Join the club, Polish bartender. After her slightly anarchist rant, we started talking about less political things, which was refreshing. Since I came to England, everyone has wanted to speak to me about Bush, Obama, and of course, Sarah Palin (groan). Sure enough the knitters started coming and, and with them, reporters for the Colchester Gazette. So I've been in England for 3 weeks and am already in the newspaper! Woohoo- I just wish I had worn a little more makeup because they took ALOT of pictures of the blue Hedera sock and I. (Sorry for crappy pictures- it didn't even occur to me to take pictures before dark set in)
The SnB at Colchester is alot bigger than the one back home, but it's funny how similar they are. I instantly picked out replacement Janet and replacement Mandie, and eventually I figured out who the replacement Laurie is...I'm still working on the others. It's amazing how much like home a bar full of knitters can feel like. I managed to make most of Tom's hat (I made the mistake of giving him the hat on Tuesday night and haven't seen him obviously no pictures. ) It did turn out nicely for just an evening of knitting. I even made it Liverpool colors for him.

That's about all for right now...I still have a lot of reading to do and I'm debating taking my laundry to campus and washing it while reading some more of the Lyrical Ballads-bleh. I can't wait until we start getting into the good Literature...

Here's a picture of the stash that somehow continues to grow despite my knitting socks like it's my job. It's amazing how that happens.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Please Vote!

This vote is almost as important as the upcoming presidential elections. Almost. I've put some alternate names for the Dream in Color Hedera Socks and can't decide- so I'm putting it in your hands, readers.

If, for some reason, the poll doesn't work, then leave your choice in the comments below. Or if you have another awesome name for the socks that should be put in the poll immediately, leave that in the comments below aswell.

Thanks so much! Can't wait to see what you guys like!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Isn't Photoshop great?

That's right, I've just photoshopped myself into long curly hair, size 2 jeans, and Dane Cook's arms. Next up, Prince William.

A day in the life of a sock

So...I bet you're dying to know what I'm going to knit next...or not. Either way, I'm going to tell you.

I'm doing a couple firsts with my new pair of socks, first time I'm using Dream in Color (Smooshy- in the Lunar Zazzle colorway, bought at the Village yarn shop in Zionsville) and it's also my first Cookie A pattern! I'm knitting Hedera from knitty. com, I figured it was a safe pattern to start with. I got about 3 inches into Pomatomus, also a Cookie A pattern, but it just looked like I was dropping stitches all over the place and I like my lace to look immaculate. I'm kinda finicky like that. (That being said, I also swatched for Bellatrix and it looks like after I HAD to have the custom dyed yarn for Bellatrix, I'm probably not even going to make that pattern with it. I'm thrilled to death with Hedera though, and I'm thinking that the Bellatrix yarn will be Hedera version 2.0, called something along the lines of "Evil Stepsister" to go along with my Faerie Tales class)
But sock and I had a great day exploring Colchester because I just couldn't tolerate another day of laying in bed with a book and a sore throat. We took a walk through the beautiful English countryside:

Then we walked into town with Sere, my favorite Argentinian in the world! We wondered around Colchester for a while, determined to find Roxi's on High Street (that's where my new SnB meets on tuesday nights....I was thrilled to find out we meet in a pub) and found quite a few things, like a naughty underwear shop which we couldn't resist going in- even if we did laugh the whole time. We found a liquor shop that sells Absynthe (apparently that's legal here) and most importantly, a fish and chips restaurant. Sere was determined that she wouldn't like it so we split a meal and sure enough: she liked it! I'm not sure it was love at first taste, but she was expecting to be disgusted and she ate every bite so it wasn't that bad apparently.

We also found Franklin's, the largest yarn store in Essex county and it's totally walking distance from my flat! Woohoo! They have Rowan out the wazoo and it's not all that expensive either. They also have Twilleys of Stamford (that's what the green and purple striped hoodie is made out of) and Sere bought some so I could make her a scarf...which I will get around to-eventually. I really don't want to put down my Hederas right now, and Tom is starting to doubt that I will actually make him a hat. I did buy yarn for his hat so I don't have to use my sweater yarn, plus I think he will like this new yarn's Liverpool colors. They also had this super fuzzy sock yarn from Regia called Softy, and of course that made it's way into my bag aswell. They will be lovely bumming-around-the-flat socks...and I'm just incapable of turning down lime green sock yarn.
*So you know, the new sock is currently called a most imaginative "Blueberry Scone Socks" and I'm having a very difficult time thinking of a better name for it. I would LOVE it if you guys came up with something more creative (but terribly British, of course) and left it in the comments or my Ravelry inbox. I do love my reader's suggestions on things of this nature*

Friday, October 10, 2008

Goblins, Faeries and Spinning Wheels

I just came from my Faerie Tales (NOT Fairy Tales) class and within the first half hour of class, the teacher begins lecturing on the importance of the tales being passed down maternally, as in a woman would tell tales of goblins and creatures of the night to her children in front of the fire while she sits at a spinning wheel making yarn which she will later knit or weave into clothes for her family. (I was wiggling in my chair with excitement at this point as you could probably imagine, the nearly completed Jaywalker in my purse screaming I WANT TO COME OUT NOW!) She proceeded to talk about how terms like yarn began to be associated with tall tales, as the mother would spin and yarn and tell the story at the same time. The teacher also went off on a little tangent about more similarities between knitting/weaving and the art of passing down faerie tales, the biggest one being that most people don't do these things anymore and it's much easier to buy your sweaters at Tesco and turn on a Disney movie for your children.

So after class I waited until she was finished speaking to another student and I sat down at her desk and pulled out a ball of my handspun I'm using to make a hat and my nearly finished Jaywalkers. She was thrilled! I then proceeded to tell her the story about my spinning wheel and the neighbor kids. They came over a while ago (like maybe 1 or 2 years ago) and wanted to see my room. I showed them and they both grew very quiet and said very little for the rest of the day. I wasn't entirely sure what had gotten into them. Later that day, they apparently asked their mother if I was a witch, like the one on Sleeping Beauty. Apparently they thought that all witches had spinning wheels, and normal people don't. Their mom told me that a couple days later and we both had a good laugh about it. So did my Faerie Tales teacher today.
So that's about it other than my finished Jaywalkers, named the Picadilly Circus socks. I'm quite excited about my first terribly British finished project. I think I'll make poor Tom a hat next to cover up what the Spanish girl did to his hair.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beautiful Day at Essex

It's a surprisingly sunny day here in England and I just had to take advantage of it by wearing my big "tourist" sign and taking pictures of campus as requested by Laurie. I'm sorry these took so long, there just aren't that many pretty days here. I've also been a bit under the weather with the "Fresher's Flu" as they call it here....whatever it is, it's nasty and I will be glad to be rid of it in a few days. It hits freshmen and exchange students within the first week...and it really sucks. Please send Sudafed.

Today I also got my first mail since arriving at Essex! Thanks to reader J for a lovely card, it really made my day. I also finally got my curling iron in the mail (they call them curling tongs here, may have contributed to my not being able to find any in stores) and picked up the last book I'll need (for a few weeks at least) at the bookstore, making the first wave of books cost around 25 pounds. My most expensive ones were at the library thank goodness, and I'd rather run back and forth and renew them for a year than buy them and have to leave them here. Now I can settle in for a long, slow night of really old and really depressing poetry a la Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Did you see it?!

Have you seen Franklin's new blog today? There was a picture of the mannequin with the large knitted skirt from the Windy City Knitting Guild! And guess who added to that skirt?

That's right. Me. About 2 years ago. Because I'm awesome like that.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Day Trip: Cambridge

Hey there...haven't felt much like writing but I figured I'm starting to fall behind in my blogging, so here I am.
On Friday I signed up for a quick day trip to Cambridge with a bunch of other study abroad students and I hung out with the Argentinians all day: they've quickly become my favorites. (I try not to hang out with other Americans, as all the Americans I have seen at Essex are the stereotypical, "Like...Oh. My. God. They want me to eat Fish and Chips? Are they serious? That's so gross. British people are so stupid" Americans. When one asked if I was American today all optimistically, I told her I was Canadian. Eh.)

But yes....Cambridge with the Argentinians was a blast. It rained all day and was a whole new kind of wet cold which made us very uncomfortable and wish we were better equiped for a British day by being....I don't know....a penguin. But we did some really cool stuff. We went on a tour of King's college (which is NOT a University) I'm not entirely sure how the system works between the colleges and universities in the UK, but I can tell you it's very different from the US system. Not worse, not better, just different. We toured King's Cross cathedral, which was beautiful. Unfortunately, there was no flash photography allowed and the only decent pictures I got were of the stained glass. So here they are!
Turns out the stained glass is some of the only original stained glass in a church in England...period. During the Protestant reformation, the Protestants smashed all the stained glass because it was seen as idolatry. Since King Henry the 8th (not the one with all the wives) had JUST finished the church that was started by Henry the 6th (which it turns out is a whole other blood line and a hundred years earlier, thanks to the War of the Roses) and nobody wanted to piss off Henry the 8th, the glass stayed. It was ordered to be taken down during another war (I can't remember which) and since soldiers were using the church as stables and dormatories (it splits in two with a large wooden gate designed for Anne Bolyn....very scandalous) the windows were kept in to keep the soldiers warm. There was actually graffiti left from the soldiers that was never removed showing scratchings and drawings of soldiers on horses. Anyhoo, the soldiers were supposed to destroy the glass as they were leaving but they never got around to it.
During World War 2, the stained glass was taken down bit by bit so that it wasn't blown down, and it took three years to put it all back in, finishing in 1950.

They also talked on the tour about how Cambridge was the second oldest University in the UK, and it was started after Oxford locals began killing Oxford students (my Midieval History prof that looked like Mad-Eye Moody called this the Townies vs. the Gownies) and the King ordered that they shut down Oxford until the conflicts had settled. So the teachers crossed over the Cam Bridge (eh- get it?) and started Cambridge University. For the next 600 years, there were only Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the UK.
We also went to a pub while we were there (there's historical significance- I promise!) called the Eagle. This is where the discovery of DNA was first announced oddly, proving that if it's going to happen in England, it's going to happen with a pint in a pub. They had delicious pies of all sorts, including a vegetable pie which excited me to no end.

Here are a couple more pictures including my new favorite Argentinians, Ricardo (taller one) and Agus. Serenella was taking the pictures.
This picture is the view from the Cam Bridge... it's really very beautiful. I'd like to take another trip there on a slightly warmer and less wet day. Plus I really want another bright green Cambridge hoodie. The one I got is a whole new kind of awesome.
Knitting Content:
The second Picadilly Circus sock is coming along at normal sock pace and it looks exactly like the first one, so no new pictures. Reader Janet was right about the new Trafaglar Squares project being Posey from Knitty, but since my last knitting-related post, Posey has been torn apart (way too big for my itty bitty feet) and had turned into the first square of a Mitered Square blanket, making J.B. right. You'll both be getting terribly British prizes over Christmas break!
Keep the comments coming! I love them!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sad Day.

Toffee died last night. She was 10. In March she was diagnosed with Diabetes and had been going blind and getting slower ever since. She ran out in front of my brother's car last night. I feel terrible that I wasn't there. I miss her so much already.