Sunday, December 29, 2013

Au revoir, Kelsey!

I'm putting Kelsey on a train back to London tonight...and saying good-bye to ten glorious days of rejuvenation (read: a delightful abundance of "Doctor Who" and Christmas-y cheer).

The Edinburgh Christmas Markets are gorgeous...and about to shut down. Time to buy a few last presents for people I'm going to see in Istanbul for the AMENDS Conference.

Mostly, though...seriously time to write three legal essays. Here we go, folks. Into the void I head. To legalise, and beyond!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I am having a fantastic Christmas in Scotland surrounded by beloved friends. And it's wonderful - but not what I'm usually doing!

So, to all of you: Happy Christmas! A greeting from me to you, whoever you are out there, with all my love. :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Carol Service

My Edinburgh church choir led a Carol Service tonight. Thursday's rehearsal and today's service were fun exercises in sightreading. There are many British carols that I've simply never heard before ("Adam lay y'bounden", anyone?). And the "classic" carols are often to different tunes than an American learns. 
About a month ago, George asked us if there were any requests. I mentioned "Oh Holy Night", so he very sweetly ordered an arrangement by Rutter and we sang it as the intro. And thus ended the things Becca knew. 
I was expecting many of the confusing moments. I was not, however, expecting different words and rhythms on "Silent Night". It was very exciting. 
But we made it! And candles were lit, and all was well. :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Ramblings" Reflections

I vlogged for what is scheduled as the last "Ramblings" episode of the year today, with a reflection of what "Ramblings" has done for me and best wishes for everyone's holiday season!

Happy Christmas from Scotland, and a very merry New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas break!

After a whopping four days in the office for my new job, it is now Christmas break. I am officially done through 13 January, when classes start again. 
Mates are coming to stay at Rebecca's Rooms of Requirement for Christmas. We are going to have a fantastic time with Edinburgh Christmas and Hogmanay festivities. 
At some point, I need to write three essays...
And I'm leaving for the AMENDS Sunmit in Turkey on New Year's Day, for which I have some prep to do. But for the most's all carols and bells from here, folks!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This afternoon, my church choir did a few excerpts from Handel's "Messiah" as a benefit for a village in South Africa the community has a relationship with. 
It is always a joy to sing "Hallelujah Chorus", of course. It's been a while since I sung any part of it without an orchestra. We were very intimate with only a piano...and it was really incredibly lovely. A different kind of music than you make with booming timpani and whatnot, but no less lovely. 
It is not snowing in Edinburgh, but between "For Unto Us a Child is Born" and the fact that I'm going to a German Advent Tea this afternoon, I am considering it Yuletide!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rambling into work...

To celebrate my first day on the job, today's "Ramblings" goes on and on about the academic review and publications process, and how articles are usually closed to the public without major costs. I'm working to make more of Edinburgh faculty research available freely online. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Hungary Games

I know, I know. That's a terrible pun. I'm sorry; Spencer kept using it. 

Return flights from London to Budapest for 55 quid are hard to turn down when you're out of classes and have a mate you can stay with for a week. 

Highlights of our time:
-Strawberry hot chocolate. (Deliciousness.)
-Sulfuric baths. Do come take the waters, darling. Don't we feel so healthy?
-A day trip to Vienna. (Because Europe is wonderful like that.)
-Candy floss and hot apple cider at the Christmas markets. 
-Gorgeous architecture. 

I am now in the Budapest Airport heading home. My first day of work is Thursday. Back to "real" life we go!

Friday, December 6, 2013


have arrived in Europe proper. Budapest is most definitely non-English. :)
I'm visiting Spencer, a mate from undergrad who came up to visit me in Edinburgh a month ago. He's finishing up his masters here in Hungary through an exchange programme with the University of Toronto. 
Thursday, Spencer had to take the GRE and his final class. So I had a very (necessarily) lazy day at the flat catching up on emails. 
He and I both have looming PhD application deadlines, so we are doing a "cafe crawl" through Pest's neatest coffee joints and forcing each other to write. 
I'm also getting a wee bit of tourism in there, never fear! Basilica, baths, and tours of the Jewish quarter are on our agenda! And Saturday we are bopping over to Vienna.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying strawberry hot chocolate. :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Norwich yet again!

Since I was in London for the Marshall Thanksgiving, I popped over to Norwich to meet with Mark about a conference we’re planning around water and power in May 2014. And, of course, to see everyone’s favourite mini maestro!
I got to pick up Iorwerth from Little People’s Monday, and got a delightfully large hug. This evening, we had a lovely round of wand/animal/flashlight/marker with mummy and Aunt Nina.
And, of course, some Merchants of Spice, which I’m now happily eating on the train.
It’s back to London to board a plane for Budapest! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Marshall Thanksgiving Dinner

Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Marshall Scholars gather in London for a giant (80+ people) Thanksgiving potluck. Turkey, potatoes, and cranberries, oh my!

We had grand fun. I am most definitely ready for some sleep, into London Thursday night and have been running around since with massive loads of shopping for the dinner, a Friday night meeting about retreats, and a Sunday brunch.

We got to light menorah for Thanksgivukkah in addition to stuffing our faces. Grand fun all around!