Monday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

Last Saturday night we went over to our friends' artsy studio apartment for pizza, wine, and board games. Both our friends do professional photography work (you can google Dizzy Finch London) and got these super dramatic shots of us preparing to dig into the pizza (which we ordered by meter... weird).

I intend to provide a more substantial, wordy update soon, but I never know quite what to say anymore!  Photos are much easier. In brief, I'm settling in nicely... having good days, loving autumn and hot drinks and orange leaves and pumpkin-based foods, taking swing dance lessons, having bad days, getting to know people better, going to Ireland this weekend, still missing American deodorant, deepening my knowledge of Blackberries and Excel... 

You know... life.

I hope everyone had a beautiful October :)

Saturday, October 22

Dorset weekend

Last weekend lots of Mountbatten interns spent the weekend in Dorset, a beautiful green, cliffy area on the south coast. We ate and slept at an outdoors activity center. There was a fire pit and a kitchen where I made a cup of tea every 20 minutes because I was never quite warm and plenty of green hills and footpaths to explore.

We hiked (strolled, compared to the Grand Tetons standard... I'm just saying) down to the rocky beach and did some rock climbing. I loved this Dancing Ledge marker. And I discovered that climbing up a rock face scares me while abseiling down a rock face does not.

We went on a scavenger hunt and I used my map-reading and wilderness skills. (Don't stand too close to the cow that's staring at you, etc.)

We also participated in team-building/leadership development activities, all of which reminded me that I (a) don't like team work and (b) zone out as soon as I discover a task requires substantial quantitative or spatial reasoning. However, I did enjoy our morning at a high-ropes course where I reconquered my natural fear of heights several times. That adrenaline, the healthy dose of country air, and my afternoon nap on the return train to London made for a lovely weekend away.

Saturday, October 8

Try new things: pea shoots

Last night my friend Olivia came over. We caught up on the last two years over homemade tomato soup and two (okay, three) loaves of garlic bread. Dave showed up later, and I loved the three of us hanging out together... there's something comforting about sharing a friend who has known both of us since our early 18-year-old days. This morning we made a big breakfast and Olivia and Dave went on their ways.

And I've been alone all day. It's been lovely.

Personality tests tell me I'm a people person, and I am, but I'm a bit of an introvert, too. I love spending a day or two reading, lounging, walking around, cooking, doing whatever I like with no schedule and no one to talk to.

Random question: have you ever heard of pea shoots? Last week I grabbed a bag in Sainsbury's when I couldn't find spinach... these little green leaves are delicious!

Apparently pea shoots are only grown and sold in the UK?  I had no idea. I was curious and googled "pea shoots" and found an adorable green website with lots of interesting pea shooty information...

If you happen upon this green vegetable, try it. Very good on sandwiches.

Tuesday, October 4


October is my favorite month. The temperature's perfect, the leaves are pretty, and the holidays are coming.

That being said, last week was unseasonably warm but absolutely glorious. I left all my jackets at home, read outside during my lunch breaks, ate a late-night, three-course dinner at a delicious outdoor Turkish cafe, watched the sunset behind Tower Bridge, visited Burough Market for the first time and decided to do all my food shopping there always, danced to 50s music at Shake Rattle and Bowl, a diner/bowling alley/dance club in central London, started the Breakfast Club tradition (more on this in a later post) at Elk in the Woods, read in the Islington's community garden, and generally loved feeling warmth on my skin.

Today was gray and blustery again. But that's okay. I'm in the mood for scarves. And I bought loads of fresh tomatoes at Burough's this weekend and am excited to homemake tomato soup... and I found a place to buy pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns... and I found a place to buy fresh Christmas trees!  Mmmm. I love autumn.

From top to bottom: sunny graveyard on the way to work/sunrise view from our flat/sunny walk around Islington/iced tea and jams at Burough's/veggie burger at Burough's/Zara and I in sunshine at Burough's/olives, tomatoes, and pretty brick buildings near Burough's