Friday, November 28, 2008
So...Wedneday was a trip to London with Rosie (flatmate) and James (new friend). We took a later train out so we paid half-price and crammed as much as we could into our 7 hours in London. We went to the Museum of Natural Science (Damn it camera! Those pictures were awesome!) and hung out there for a while. We did a quick run thru of Harrods ( I wanted to stay longer, but once Rosie had found her vibrating mascara, she wanted to go grab lunch) and we went to a map store looking for an Xmas present for my dad. I found a really cool map that was about a square foot, and it looked really old and was all black and white. Flipped it over, had a der Paige moment. The map was from 1442 and was over 800 pounds. Dad will not be getting that for Christmas. I may go to London before I head back for Christmas and look again at the map store- but Rosie and James were not so patient and wanted to go elsewhere. Then we had jam and custard doughnuts the size of our heads. There's a great picture of that to, but it's on demon-camera. Then we split up for a while- they went to Camden town and I went to Waterloo to see iKnit- where the Harlot stopped on her London stop. The place is pretty cool- has a fullout bar in it but I wasn't overly impressed with the yarn selection. It really didn't have all that much. But I still found a couple things I couldn't leave without (use your imagination- the pictures are gone) like 2 skeins of Louet Gems sock yarn in the Dusk colorway which has greens, blues and purples. I'm thinking a fan and feather-ish pattern may work best for that yarn. I also got some Kraemer Sterling "Silk and Silver" in a purple. I love it when some of my favorite things are combined for me like sock yarn, the color purple and sparkles. I couldn't let it go. I carried some Malabrigo sock around for a while but since it was the same colors as the Louet Gems and 3 pounds more, I put it down and bought the Louet and the Silk and Silver. Not too bad for me.
Met up with Rosie and James again and we then realized we had 20 minutes to get back to Liverpool station and onto our returning train before our tickets expired. So, we sprinted across Camden town station and crossed over onto the Jubilee line and then went on the Northern line for a minute...and made it. Whew. Sat down on the train to get back to Colchester and waited. And waited. And waited. Someone had jumped in front of a train and killed themselves and it shut down all the trains north of London for 4 hours. There were a ton of people bitching about how late they were going to be, and yeah, we were late, but when someone died you can shut your mouth and forget about how you're going to be late. It's just rude.
Got back quite late (but not too late to make pumpkin pie!) and so I did just that. While simultaneously reading Mansfield Park and drying my hair. Take that, Martha Stewart. So made the pie, got it ready to take to my American Women's History class (if you have to have class on Thanksgiving, then pumpkin pie better go with it) and got there and nobody wanted to try it. They were all stumped as to why anyone would want to eat a pumpkin. So then Sinead, the Irish teacher of American studied walked in, asked if that was pumpkin pie and asked if she could have a piece. Once she announced it was the best pumpkin pie she'd ever had, everyone else wanted some. Brits can be fickle sometimes. So, instead of having our lecture on women in Utopian societies, we ate pumpkin pie and had girl-talk. Sinead also let me know that she will be calling me Martha for the rest of the year.
Got back from lectures and started baking again. Started with carrot cake. Made the batter, threw it in the oven and left to go check my e-mail. 30 minutes in the whole flat smelled like carrot cake, which was wonderful, but 30 minutes was way too soon. Someone had gone and turned the oven from the "oven" setting to the "grill" setting and turned it up a hundred degree. My carrot cake was burnt to a crisp on top and still raw on the bottom. So, now an hour behind schedule, I started again. The rest of the cooking went without flaw and my friend Simona from Romania even came over at 5:30 to help with the cooking! Alex and Reece, two of the flatmates and declared that a meal without meat is no meal at all went and bought 2 chickens (Tesco was out of Turkey), just-bake-and-eat Yorkshire puddings (so anti-American but we needed a bread of some sort so it worked) and potatoes for roasting. Since only one of our ovens was working and the chickens took twice as long to cook as they were supposed to, we ended up eating at 8 instead of 7 and didn't get to have Sweet Potato Casserole until nearly the end of the meal since we stuck it in after the Chicken came out. Then we stuck in the Pecan Pie which wasn't ready until everyone had already eaten more than they thought they could and we were all miserably sitting around the table groaning. People were a little worried about the Sweet Potato casserole (are there supposed to be marshmallows on it? And you eat it with the main meal? Are you sure? Americans are weird...) but then my Polish-Hawaiian friend, Piotr came in and said "Is that sweet potato casserole?!" and told his just-Polish friend Magda that she had to try some, everyone wanted some. And I have to say so myself, it was a good casserole.
So: the numbers
People fed at Thanksgiving: 22
Hours spent cooking: 6
Pecan pies: 2
Carrot Cakes: 2 (only 1 was edible)
Pumpkin Pies: 2
Potatoes for roasting: 8 pounds (weight, not money)
Potatoes for mashing: 7 pounds
Yorkshire Puddings: 30
Green Beans: 2 pounds
Sweet Corn: 3 pounds
Cranberry sauce: 1 pound
Sweet potatoes for Casserole: 2 pounds plus bag of marshmallows
Standing ovation from flatmates while putting the last dish on the table: Priceless
Having the other people help with the washing up: Even better
All and all it was a good Thanksgiving. Luke, the one who had to have Thanksgiving in the first place, missed out on everything. Including pecan pie- for the second time. I'm a little angry with him for that, but Thanksgiving here isn't about what Luke wants. It's about what I feel like cooking.
So that's about it. Hopefully my pictures will come back one day and I can show you the awesomeness of the fully decked-out table before a single bite was taken.
I'm out- enjoy your black Friday!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
So since I'm making minimal progress on my essays and deadlines are approaching (and about to fly by) I really need to get some work done on those.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Anyhoo- got to Oxford and had 7 hours to do it all, so we did. I went with my favorite Argentinians, Sere and Agus (Sere is forgiven, Luke is a douchebag and I'm really truly over it this time). We went to Christ Church Cathedral and College- which is the most famous one at Oxford. I turned on my camera to get some pictures, but it was nearly dead despite the fact that it charged all night. So I took a few snapshots and then saved my battery for the Oxford Museum of Natural Science (because I'm awesome like that-right?) So here is a small snippet of our day in fairly chronological order:
We then teleported to Pisa to see the leaning tower. Not really, I just decided that this building looked better tipping over.We headed over to the Museum of Natural Science (if you ever go to Oxford- you must do this. The shrunken head exhibit was closed, but the rest was well worth it. How many places do you get to have your picture taken with Charles Darwin...seriously?)
Friday, November 14, 2008
I also lost a dpn from a different set, making 2 sets unknittable right now. I've checked every pocket on every purse but can't find the damn needle!
I worked a little on the handspun top-down raglan, but I really don't like the look of the handspun knitted. I am very proud of how even and sometimes machine-like my knitting is, but this handspun looks like it was made by a beginner. It may get frogged and turned into a lap-blanket. It really hate to spend that much money on a lap blanket though...Any suggestions?
I'm making progress on my essays- progress that makes a snail look like it's moving at the speed of light. Seriously. Yesterday I wrote 700 words and it nearly killed me. These essays have to be at least 8000 words. And there's 4 of them.
And I walked in on Luke and Sere having an intimate moment in the kitchen last night.
I have no idea what I'm doing here.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So, as promised, the pictures of the Guy Fawkes Sawkes on Guy Fawkes day. Not the dramatic pictures you were probably expecting, but considering I have spent all day in the library finding books to help with my term papers, this will have to do for now.
That also means that I probably won't be blogging for a while, as every waking moment will be spent writing term papers and trying to finish Wuthering Heights. I will be knitting (ever so slowly) another top-down raglan out of some off-white handspun, but if you've been reading for very long at all, you know what those look like...
So, goodbye for now and I'll be back after I write 20 pages on the role of separate spheres in womens history, 15 on John Keats, 15 on the Freudian approaches to looking at Evil Stepmothers, and 15 on something interesting about Mansfield Park. Hopefully this will go faster than I think it will, but I'm having doubts of being able to leave my room before December.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
A Wake will be held at Midnight, where I will meet his friend at Top Bar with a small shirt on and watch the election coverage...all night long.
Oh- nearly forgot! I finished the second Guy Fawkes Sawk and did the kitchener stitch-backwards. I now have a perfect purl row at the end of my toe. Pictures tommorow...
Monday, November 3, 2008
This hat was one of the last things I made before I headed to England, and apparently baby Andrew is not all that thrilled about wearing it...oh well. He's a cutie- had to share this.
Those of you who have been reading or have known me for a while have probably figured out what's going on- I've barely touched the needles since I broke my nose. At first I blamed the constant headache, inability to wear glasses to see the lace on the second Guy Fawkes Sock, but now I'm pretty sure it's really just a case of Second Sock Syndrome...or in my case, Sixth Sock Syndrome. Except that I don't want to work on my mitered squares blanket or the scarf I promised Sere, either. Slump. So I made the journey to Tesco today in search of something that would certainly pull me out of my slump...ingredients for a pumpkin pie. But of course, being Britain and all, I am unable to find any pumpkin puree here and it looks like I won't be making pumpkin pie after all. Maybe this is a sign that I should stop procrastinating and just start my damn essays? I've got roughly 40 pages of essays on various topics to write between now and December 1st...and the reality that I need to start working just hasn't sunk in yet. I have read the entire fall ration of cheesy romance novels already and have bought a couple more, I have cleaned my room a million times, I have even reorganized my stash by color and then my fiber content, using high heels as spacers, but I have NOT cracked a book for these damn papers! I haven't even picked my topics yet! Yikes!
I think I'll blame the cold- the one in my face, not the cold outside. I just don't feel like doing anything remotely productive. Hopefully a walk around campus will put my head straight. But I seriously need to get something done on my history essay before SnB tomorrow night so I can go guilt-free, and then pull an all nighter with Luke (not quite on speaking terms yet) and his other friends all majoring in "American Studies" to watch election coverage. I know how to party, eh?