London, Visitors and Finger Noodles

Last night we went over to Loic’s for a pizza night. Loic and his sister made their family pizza and my brother Ben and I made ours. And Cara, Jisu and Eva joined us. :)

It was a nice night and we had fun. Jisu brought some sweet sesame Korean snacks and Eva brought saucisson for Ben.

Yesterday morning woke up to Emily tossing rocks in the open window and shouting for her keys she had left in the door.

Went to “The Pub” on Newalk with my friend Joe from class last night. He is really English and fun to hang out with. We had three pints, tons of interesting discussions on government and politics, planned out what we were each going to do with our shared 70 million pound lottery money we were going to win that night, and then taught each other how to do different accents from our home countries with was really hilarious. Had a really good night. I think it was good for me to break out of my shell a bit and do something I don’t usually do. Was really nervous and didn’t want to go out with him that night- and was trying to figure out all these ways to get out of going. But then finally I just decided to do it– Eva convinced me– and I went out and had a really, really unexpectedly nice night.

Ben and Cara went to London today to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Warner Brothers! They have everything— Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, Potions class, DUmbledore’s office, Dobby, the chess pieces, the wand shop— so cool! And Ben apparently went and sat on a broom against a green screen :P

I spent the day relaxing and getting some sun. It’s was hotter in England today than it was in some parts of Africa! Crazy!

Apparently really hot all over Europe— hot for Papa in Berlin as well! Pop’s having fun, and is getting sauerkraut tonight for me. :)

Mom is staying at Uncle Tim’s– she is holding the fort in the US for the Windholz family right now. ;)

Got a new library card today and a bunch of new books.

Read the paper and studied Latin.

So tired again. Really must start writing blog earlier in the day.

Going to start writing 2000 words a day to practice writing. Not necessarily all for the blog, but writing something everyday. See achievement. :)

Back up a bit. Sunday we went to the pub with Eva and Loic and got some major additions to our suntans.

We came back early so Ben could finish his cards for Loic, Emily, Eva and Jisu. The cards were so cute— they loved them. Ben and Cara both wrote sweet notes on the inside. :)

We went over to Loic’s around seven and he fixed a BEAUTIFUL meal for us. Immediately when we walked into the kitchen we all erupted with OOHHHS and AHHHS at the carefully laid color coordinated prep work.

For appetizers we had a half a ciabatta roll with Liege syrup drizzled over the top with green salad and red tomatoes surrounding the roll as if it were an island. This was all topped off with fried bacon with goat cheese inside. Really posh and beautiful. Amazing textures and tastes.

For dinner we had a sort of flat bread pizza with olives, cheese and tomatoes alongside fried eggplant, steamed and spiced tomatoes and prosciutto.

After dinner we played Kemps and drank wine and had a really good night.

Yesterday, Monday, I actually DID lay in bed all day reading Russel Brand’s autobio. That was actually my ENTIRE day. Oh- and i bought tea and did laundry. Oh- and I also moped around about how all I did all day was read Russel Brand’s autobio and make tea and do laundry.

Just downstairs making tea– I’m drinking tea again! Lady Grey Twinings Zesty Orange and Bright, with milk, mmmm –and I saw on the wall a poster for the nhs (the national health coverage). I was so surprised that all contraceptive measures were provided free. I guess this shouldn’t surprise me as it is FREE HEALTHCARE, but I guess I had just assumed it was free doctor’s appointments— not actually free treatment. Anyway. America would have had a cow with a poster like that.

Truth: one’s own viewpoint

There was this evil bird outside the window this morning. It was cackling for a whole thirty minutes or so at 6 am, and we were all too lazy to close the window, so just laid in agony as it continued it’s morning vigilante rampage of horror.

There are green peas in the kitchen kettle every morning. And they grow in quantity daily. It is highly disturbing as it makes me wonder what else is trying to be boiled in the kitchen at night. And now I am sending Ben down to make the coffee so I don’t have to wonder this morning.

—-No, actually, I don’t trust him with this task. I’m going down.

Niagra Falls.

I always want to wake up in the morning and have a hour or so to myself. That is like the biggest joy. But immediately when I step a TOE out of bed, Ben pops up like a little hamster or something and is awake for the day. EVERY SINGLE MORNING, regardless of time. Talk about light sleepers.

Today Ben and I are spending the afternoon downtown writing a sketch. We’ll see how it goes.

Ben bought the most ATROCIOUS soap a few days ago— a sickly orange bar with an overpowering smoky chemical smell that enslaved the entire room while we endured it’s stay here. Last night I threw it out the window. Unfortunately for the rubber trees— it bounced back and has settled on the Botanical Garden pathway. It should be a nice greeting to all of the unwelcome visitors we get in the gardens.

Speaking of visitors in the gardens, people are always peering in our windows, to see who lives in these houses. I feel like the Beast, high up in the West Wing Castle.  I pace with a stony white face across the room, glaring out the window at all the smiling people outside.

Bought Ben some really nice British shoes at Primark last week. They are so good!! Little black pixie shoes. He’s complaining about the quality this morning, but they were— SIX POUNDS!!! Great deal.

My alarm went off every five minutes for two straight hours this morning. And I immediately fell asleep after every punch of the snooze button. Status quo.

Going jogging. My goal is to run off this horrid English diet before I get back to the US. Truly, this year has been an experience. We ALL got fat this year. We ALL got beer bellies and chip ridden faces.

We had a really good day in London.

Buckingham Palace with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee being set up, the Olympic seats set up in the Parliament square, Downing Street and Whitehall, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, tons of street performers, Trifalgo square, Fleet Street and the Golden Globe theater.

Walked in the door of Hastings at midnight after a long day in London, and heard the usual sounds which is my queue to avoid all human contact for the evening. I tried to turn the corner to use the other staircase– but was caught in the act. “ANnniiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeee!!!!!”

Sang and Jelly come down and ensconced me in conversation and gossip swinging a bottle of Lambrusco wine in one hand and vodka in the other.

Making conversation and starting them up the stairs I made a clean exit when the moment came- saying goodbye only as I rounded the corner to my room and made it into the safety zone.

Ben and Cara were, to say the least, a bit shocked. Also, the ride back was a bit sketch as well.

We got back around 11:15. The bus stop is out past city center– not a part of Leicester you really ever want to be at night. That part of downtown is void of people except the random stragglers. A guy came past and shouted at us not two minutes after we sat down.  Cara and Ben wanted to wait at the bus stop still- but I made the executive decision that we leave and walk down to a more populated area of town- and catch the bus by the train station.

At the train station while we were waiting a horrifying drunk staggered past and started verbally assaulting this random woman sitting next to me. Really upsetting. There were a ton of people around though, and I was so thankful for that. If that had happened when we were all alone downtown I don’t know what we would have done. When out: BEING BY PEOPLE IS ALWAYS BETTER. And if you feel uncomfortable waiting— take a taxi. This is what I have learned living in Leicester.

What I learned in big cities on my Euro trip: avoid eye contact. Don’t engage strangers.

Jisu made us lunch this afternoon– typical spicy spicy Korean noodles. We got into two teams– Jisu and I and Ben and Cara– and we had a contest to see who could finish a bowl of the ridiculously hot soup first. It was really fun.

This afternoon we packed– Cara and Ben both stressed– and I am about to go outside which they have both been objecting to, they are very much vampires.

Later we are going to a beer garden with Loic.

Yesterday Ben and Cara left at 7 am– and Loic drove them to the coach station! SO so so sweet.

Talked to Cedric smoking outside before dinner. We talked to a guy named CEDRIC before dinner. This is England.

Today we woke up late, had brunch (I gave Bertrand his US package from Mama and he really appreciated it), then went to ASDA for ingredients for dinner that night. Took FOREVER to find another can of sauerkraut, but finally, THANKFULLY, found a few dusty jars hidden in the corner. :)

Went with Loic to the Grange Farm pub for a drink and soaked up the sun outside. Loic really likes Ben and Cara, I think he will miss them. He officially invited us all the Belgium whenever we would like.

Got over to Loic’s around 6 and started fixing dinner. There were eight of us, the usual people and then Eva’s friend from Paris and his brother. Made three batches of finger noodles, and they all got eaten! Also made three cans of beans with bbq sauce, nice long green beans, and a fruit salad. Loic provided the wine, of course.

So impressed that everyone ate their whole plate– all my friends in the states are terrified to try a bite! And those who do certainly don’t finish the meal— or EVER have seconds! It was a pleasure to cook for them.

Played intense rounds of Kemps and Loic, Jisu and I drank lots of wine. Made brownies and Jisu and I added wine and cinnamon to them. SUPERB.

‘Ignore life if you want to, baby, do what you gotta do’

Can of beans stood regally on the mantleplace

“stinking bishop cheese” in bakery

eggs coffee

carrying books into a bookshop and really hoping the people in the store do not think I am stealing them when I walk out with them again. trying so hard not to look guilty that I start to look guilty– run out of the store with a smile– “I’ve already bought these!” “Oh, I believe you” hit the pavement FEELING guilty now. I might think too much. :P

organic bananas

green and blue checkered duvet

monkey

“If only I had an enemy bigger than apathy, I would have won”

no brands written on British people’s shoes/clothes. What makes them all so astonishingly trendy and lovely.

When hosteling, I would always shove the key into my bra so I was sure to keep track of it. But then when it was time to leave and we were late for our flight— I would panic and search the whole room top to bottom ten times over– not find my key and eventually pay 10 pounds at reception for it. Walking out to catch the bus would reach down and pull out the expensive friggin key.

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