I hadn't realized that it's been FOREVER since we blogged; sorry for that! It's ironic really as I've been thinking about so many of you recently. The holidays here in England are a very different experience, particularly at a time when I could really use a little familiarity. That's right, folks--I'm homesick!!!! Many of you already know this and have been uber-supportive, which I really appreciate. I'm also grateful for those of you who have said htat you've been in the same position. It sucks to feel like a loser with no friends, so it's nice to know others have felt this way too ;)
Anyhoo, I thought I'd dash down a quick note to let you all know wassup. Work. School. And Christmas Market!
First off, I'm plugging away at work. My GM was gone for the week (of to NYC on holiday), so I was large and in charge at Sweaty Betty. Nothing terribly exciting happened, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I had some good bonding times with a couple of the girls at work and was there late to supervise both the free yoga and running clubs. I also did get to go to dinner at Demuth's Restaurant, a really amazing veggie place in Bath with Tara, a super sweet girl in Chad's department. Yay for girl times and yummy food!
Chad, as always, is the graduate student every professor dreams of. He is tirelessly reading, studying, researching, and repeat for papers that aren't even due until mid-January. There are whole new sides to Chad that I never knew existed (who knew I'd married such a nerd?!), like this unbelievable patience he has, and how well he can adapt to a whole new circumstance. I think this is going to be a really important year (and hopefully longer!) for him as a scholar and I feel very honored to be a part of it.
Now to the good stuff: Christmas Market!!!!! This came at the exact right time as I was starting to get kind of weepy and stupid about missing holidays with family. On Thanksgiving, obviously, it was business as usual in the UK and I was a bit mournful about stuffing myself silly and turkey hangovers. Claire, one of my co-workers, came to the rescue and suggested we get festive bagels from around the corner. Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on a bagel - that was about as close as I got to "home" that day, but it was enough. Later on, I swear the entire country of England was in Bath for the ceremonial switching on of the holiday lights and simultaneous kickoff of the Christmas Market. So here's what happened: they basically shut down all the main roads in the city and all the stores (except ours - yay!) stayed open late for Nicholas Cage (what???) to show up and switch on the lights. I missed the actual ceremony but could hear it from the shop. It was just as well. There were just too many darn people around. I did get to see the results, which were pretty spectacular. I'll take some photos to post, but it makes me feel better to JUST miss my train every night because then I have and hour to walk around a winter wonderland (sans snow). The Christmas Market itself is a collection of huts that have sprung up around the Bath Abbey. It's super quaint and cute and if I hadn't been walking through the area every day for a couple of weeks now, it would seem like they all just sort of sprang up out of the pavement. They're all decorated with ivy and spray of holly, and lights and whatnot and there are vendors selling mulled wine and caramel nuts and sausages. The huts themselves are local artisans selling their wares - ornaments, scarves, handmade leather books, jewelery, toys, etc. There are some really beautiful things and I'm really looking forward to making a night of it with Chad later in the week.
Last night was "Victorian Night" here in Keynsham, and we went out with James and Sophie, our roommates. There were rides set up for the kids and camels (what?), and street food (YAY STREET FOOD!!!!). We gorged ourselves on very tiny hotdogs and hamburgers in very large buns with brown sauce (don't ask), chips, pancakes (basically a huge crepe) with toffee and nuts, and hot cocoa. There were carolers and vendors of various sorts and a good time was had by all.
That's it for now kids. I'm headed over to a friend's house later to whip up a slightly tardy Thanksgiving feast involving roast chicken, Aunt Steph's sweet potato casserole, Uncle Matt's crapple sauce, and Dad's brussels sprouts. See? It's just like having them here ;)