Currently sipping black coffee, plopping pomegranate seeds in my mouth, and wondering how this term has passed so quickly. Too quickly for my liking. A week from tomorrow I’ll be headed home to Minnesota for Christmas, but the thought of leaving Bristol for nearly a month makes me feel ‘homesick.’ Before stepping off the plane in England I actively tried to keep my expectations in check, telling myself I might honestly not make any friends; spend most of my time lost, or just miss home too much. It’s been a sweet surprise to have life in Bristol exceed even my greatest expectations. I’ll soon be approaching three months here, yet the beauty of the city still feels so new to me. Running over the Royal Crescent and past the Bridge still throws me. Sometimes getting myself to the library seems such a task simply because I want to wander round this city till I can walk around with my eyes closed. But it’s probably the variety and novelty that makes me love it so.
This past week has brought many firsts. I tried my first mince pie (yummy, though I’m still partial to apple pie. See, Brady, I do love a couple things about America!), had a glass or two of mulled wine (this recipe I will be bringing home), and had the opportunity to visit Stonehenge and the surrounding town of Salisbury. Almost three years ago now during my first trip to England I had the chance to visit Stonehenge, but alas!, couldn’t afford transportation. This time round, it didn’t cost a penny. Ashley’s husband, Brian, is studying his masters in archaeology here and drove us all in the department’s land rover! There is something about driving in a car here that makes England really feel like home. And the drive was beautiful. We stumbled into a tiny Cotswolds village with thatched roofs and bright little gardens, and of course, I needed to pinch myself.
Stonehenge was brilliant. And a bit frustrating. The mystery of its original purpose has never been discovered and literally thousands of theories exist regarding its purpose. It’s certainly interesting to think of how the stones were somehow transported (they’re said to come from an area 40 km away) and resurrected in prehistoric times. At any rate, it was a thrill to cross Stonehenge from my bucket list, or as my sister Maria would call it, the ‘Living Deliberately” list.
Last night was the “Ugly ‘Jumper’ Christmas Party,” and unable to locate a truly hideous sweater, Madeline, Gen, Ashely and I decided to wear onesies (footie pajamas). It was without a doubt the best ten pounds I’ve ever spent.While the fifteen minute walk from Sinclair to Dean’s Court was filled with stares and even a few chuckles as I premiered my onesie, it was well worth it. It’s impossible to be cold in a onesie. It’s impossible to entertain a bad mood while dressed in a onesie. And onesies happen to be quite forgiving; I could eat an entire turkey and no one would ever know. I could hide another person in my onesie and no one would guess. In short, I felt like I was five again save for missing a pair of stick-on earrings in the shape of half-moons.
And now to take out my caffeine and pomegranate jitters on Posthumous Keats.