Saturday, December 31, 2011


Well it looks like a new year has started.  I know it is cliche to say 2011 passed incredibly fast but there is no other way to describe it.  Despite a rough patch at the end, it's was a fantastic year, really.  I spent a lot of time with some great friends.  Saw a lot of new country in the UK.  And laughed my ass off with the A-team.

I am always amazed at how much happens in one year.  What with all end of year lists (News of the Year, Celebrity Gossip of the Year, Best Films of the Year, Biggest Fashion Mistakes of the Year) posted everywhere last week, it was impossible not to look back on my own highlights.  I tried to sit down and make a list of events but only the biggest ones really came to mind: road trip, summer with the gang, thesis, etc.  In going through my photos and posts from the beginning of the year, I was reminded of many events and adventures I had forgotten.  I suppose that's why we document these things, huh?!  Here are some of the highlights from 2011.

Happy New Year, all!!!!!!

Having left my lovely road-bike back home, I had to purchase a new bike in London.  I was terrified for a long time to get on the roads but I finally bought Rae in January and I've loved cycling again.  Beside the commute time, I've also explored London quite a lot.  One big day out this summer was to Richmond Park. Gorgeous :)

I bought a membership to the Chelsea Physic Garden this fall.  I actually went the first time last November  but I went again this summer and just couldn't get enough.  It's so small compared to the parks and things but it is packed with gorgeous flowers.  As for all the other gardens on my list this year, the only one I haven't made it to is Kew.  That will definitely get checked off when I get back from the trip!!

I was probably the luckiest person in the universe this summer because three of the most incredible people I know came to London and spent several weeks doing nothing but making me laugh, smile, cartwheel, skip, drink, and feel nothing but love, affection, and happiness.  In looking through my posts I can see that the distraction of their presence limited my posts to a grand total of ONE and I should probably put up some pics or things about what we did.  Pretty much the most amazing summer I could have asked for.

Hot Dates in 2011
Jan 1st: Lindsey left London
Feb 7th: First day at Human Rights Watch AND the overthrow of Mubarak.  Fairly epic!!!
March 3rd: Surprised Alex in the frosting aisle and Dad at La Puente ;)
May 2nd: Yafit back in London!!
May 5th: Set out for our Cornwall adventure!
June 27nd: Erin in London!!
July 13th: Alex in London!!
July 13th: Surprised by Sara in London!!!
July 23rd: Edinburgh.  Erin's Birthday. Egregious drinking.  Empty stomach.
Sept 19th: Gram's birthday celebration
Sept 22nd: Mom, Pam and Grandma in London
Dec 8th: Thesis done!!!!!!!
Dec 23rd: Ma and Pa Poulson in London for the holidays :)

I did cross somethings off my list this year and have a plan of attack for several more coming up here soon. The books present the biggest challenge, probably, just because there are so damn many of them. If I can genuinely focus on the list and stop taking new books people give me it's totally doable. So for those of you who know I love reading and want to buy me books, buy from this list please!!!! ;)

UK Life
The best/worst thing I have learned this year is that I do love living in the UK.  For the first year, I had fun wandering around, taking in the sites, learning all I could about the country, the people, the pop culture, and the silly traditions, sayings, and history.  Still, I let myself enjoy it as a visitor trying not to force a future here if it didn't happen organically.  I still worked my ass off, mind you.  I put in everything I had to make sure I was available for any opportunity that came my way.  But I wasn't ready yet to commit to trying to stay forever and always.  I've missed my friends, my family, my house and my mountains, and I wasn't ready to say that they would not be my home any more.  It's hard to know that I might not ever live my life with them in the way I wish I could.  I love them so so so very much and they have stuck with me despite the distance so I know now they will always be there.  It's really really hard to have two places feel like home :(

So that's my 2011.  I just put my dad on the train to Paris this morning and am back to work today so my 2012 really begins now.  I don't like resolutions but I do have some things I hope to accomplish this year.  Another post to come on that :)

Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mulled Wine, Mince Pies, Crackers, and Bank Holidays

Hello dear world,

Long time, no contribute!  Thanks for holding out while I finished my thesis, had a minor meltdown, and spent Christmas with mi familia.  The beginning of December proved more difficult than anticipated but luckily the much-needed break consisting of family time, friend time, drinking, dancing, and various UK holiday traditions has helped me forget the pain of the paper.  Even more lucky, I have a break until Jan 5th! That's pretty hunky dory!!!

Let the blogging resume!



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thoughts While Studying

Bras.  Bras are why men are more "successful" in all things that require long-term sitting: computer programming, executive meetings, courtroom squabbling.  They don't have to wear bras!  Today is a no bra day and let me just say,  I'm much more focused.  Other than writing on this here blag during short breaks, I have been plugging away since 8:00 am with far less distraction than normal.  I am 100% sure this is due to the fact that I have no article of clothing that insists on constantly reminding me of its presence.  Yes, I am wearing clothes.

I have a desperate desire to play my flute.  Embarrassingly I would probably start with Christmas music.  How horrible is that?  I am not a fan of 80% of the Christmas music on the market.  I've been jaded by years of it being sung to me year round.  But I've sat in cafes for two days with nothing but horrible X-mas pop pumped into my ears.  It's making me crave the good, classic melodies.  Also I haven't played for a few months now which always creates a panic because I don't want to forget how to do it.  This should be rectified next year with my 30/30 challenge though as it includes "play in a band again."  

I was just publicly defeated by the complexity of my sweater. 

I am looking forward to spending entire days in cafes reading words someone else wrote. 

When I see old people who are bound by the limitations of a dilapidated body, I feel the need to run out the door and not stop until I'm young again. 

The fact that plates and slaves are the same in text-speak doesn't seem like a big deal, but it has led to some near misses lately. 
- I know it sucks!!!  Maybe we could buy some cheap plates and smash them to bits tonight!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to Make Promises

Is there a list which better highlights the uselessness of management-speak?

"The commitment focuses on:

• Ownership
• Alignment of aid
• Harmonisation
• Mutual accountability
• Management for development results"

ONE WEEK!!!!!!

My thesis is due one week from today.  One week, four hours from fifteen minutes ago, to be precise. Which I suppose would be one week, three hours and forty-five minutes from right now!  I'm at the BL eating a large bowl of overpriced yogurt with museli and fruit and getting set up to write for the rest of this time.  I am only working one day between now and then and, because of the wonder that is the UK mentality re: reasonable work/life balances, I am getting paid for one of those off days.  SWEEEEEET!!!!!    

See you again very soon!!!

OH!  And only 21 days until Ma and Pa Poulson land in the UK!  :D