Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bye Bye Bailey

To misquote the Bay City Rollers:

Bye bye Bailey, Bailey goodbye
Bailey, Bailey bye bye)
Bye bye
Bailey, don't make me cry
Bailey, Bailey bye bye)

After a delightful holiday (which definitely included watching "Love Actually", from which I know the song tweaked above), Bailey is headed back to Paris to resume her au pair duties. 

I meanwhile, will be locking myself in my room to prepare a massive report due to my supervisor on 12 January. 

Here we go...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas in London!

I did not spend Christmas Day in London, but I have been frolicking about the city with mates attempting to soak in all the delights the capital has to offer during the holidays.

If nothing else, walking about whilst it's dark (let's be honest, you only have to wait till about 3...) is fairly magical with all of the amazing lights. 
Add friends old and new from all around the world, the delights of outdoor markets with hot cider and churros, and a blissful ability to ignore all the work you should probably be doing, and you have one delightful holiday season.

Cat Lady Christmas

Happy Christmas from Becca!

I'm in Norwich with my cousin Effy and undergrad roommate Bailey. We are catsitting for the family I used to nanny for, as they're off with grandparents for the holidays.

Effy moved to London just before Thanksgiving to be Amnesty International's Head of Digital Engagement. Bailey is currently au pairing in Paris. We three "orphans" have dubbed this Cat Lady Christmas and are happily frolicking and lounging about Norwich, watching way too much telly, consuming an amazing quantity of Chinese takeaway, and generally being absurd.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beyond 2015

Cherish Watton, a colleague from Norfolk, and I have just published a thought piece on our work with high school students in the county on environmental education and capacity-building. We submitted the piece to Beyond 2015, an initiative of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Check out our piece at Explore other submissions to Beyond 2015 and learn more about the ACU's work with development and university engagement:

And, a Ramble on the subject:

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I have a Bailey!

My roommate from undergrad happens to be au pairing in Paris this year...and look! She happened to appear in my room!

Bailey and I will be joining cousin Elizabeth in Norwich for Christmas. We are catsitting for the family I nannied for, as they're headed to see relatives. We're calling it "Cat Lady Christmas".

As you can see, Bailey is excessively happy to see me. ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Birthday, Bubba

It's just hit midnight in the United Kingdom.

Ladies and is an auspicious day.

The anniversary of the birth of one Gregory Allan Farnum, better known to me as Bubba.

Happy Birthday to my favourite big brother! (And I'm not only saying that because you're my only big brother...teehee.)

Hope Gregory and everyone else have a fabulous seventeenth of December!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Christmas Panto

So there's this thing in Britain come Christmastime. The "panto", or pantomime. These are absurdly silly plays/musicals based on very classic tales with elements of audience participation. The actors purposefully and explicitly talk to the audience, encouraging them to boo and cheer and yadda yadda. Oftentimes, the action will stop for the actors to call out greetings to various audience members. Candy will get thrown at the kids. Etc.

Farce is the agenda of the day. For the adults, sexual innuendo and satirical political commentary abound. For the young'uns...we find any excuse possible to sing "Let It Go" or whatever the trending thing of the day is.

Cue "Aladdin" (, with an absurd villain's "Mwahahahahahahahaha", a fabulous (by which I mean beyond stereotypically flaming) genie, a drag queen playing Aladdin's widowed mum, and "Defying Gravity" instead of "A Whole New World".

We laughed. We cried. We rolled our eyes.

My favourite part was definitely the evil vizier and Aladdin in a rendition of "We Can Do It" from "The Producers" before going lamp hunting.

These pantos are legitimately a massive part of Christmas in this country. They're an economy in and of themselves.

There are moments when this little island is still a complete and total mystery to me. And I love it.

Friday, December 12, 2014


I am spending Thursday and Friday in meeting-free bliss, happily hibernating post-Tour and pre-Holiday Flurry.

I really think we should all just hibernate for the next few months. Who's with me?

Monday, December 8, 2014

And off they fly!


That was quite the five days. 

I have just put most of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus into Heathrow, heading back to Jerusalem. A few have family in the country, so I escorted a couple to a bus toward Bath (a UK city I've yet to see myself!). 

They were fantastic. They were amazing. They made me cry. They made me laugh. 

We frolicked about London, with selfies at every Christmas tree we could find as well as Westminster, the Horse Guards, and the like. They squealed over squirrels, grass, and how cold it was. They oohed and aahed at the British Museum. 

They sang live on BBC Newsnight. They recorded backup vocals for Duran Duran (no, seriously). They gave concerts at the Aldwych West End Theatre and in Oxford. they are off. And I'm riding the Tube back to central London without getting 25 teenagers on and off it all together. I'm not really quite sure what to do with myself. ;)

Safe flight, my dears! Well done taking London by storm. 

(Photos to follow once the good ones from our actual photographers are processed.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Jerusalem Youth Chorus takes London

They're coming; they're really coming!

100 kosher chocolate chip cookies in hand, I am off to Heathrow to collect the Israeli and Palestinian singers of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus. 

It's been a wild delays and mistaken coach pickup times and volunteer dropouts. But all is well, and the Chorus is flying toward this lovely island now. 

So incredibly excited!!