Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Spring is in the (very cold) air!

The days are getting longer here in Cambridge, and the first signs of Spring are starting to poke through the soil. Though clearly we're not done with winter, as a few snow flurries bore witness to yesterday, it's certainly on the decline!

Today we took a long walk through the fields behind Clare Hall and found Spring bursting out all over the place. I hope you enjoy our photos are much as we enjoyed our perambulation.

Our sky was a magnificent blue today...

Here's a cute house which seems to actually be the club house for some college's sports field!

A beautiful pond behind Robinson College's sports grounds. We scared some birds away before we could get them in the picture, unfortunately.

A pretty (and tiny) blue flower growing on the edge of our path. Not sure what they are, but there sure were lots of them!

One thing that continually impresses us about England is how many kinds of sky they have. And on days like today, it seems to stretch on forever!

The track we followed through the field behind the Rugby field on our home stretch.

A small stream or irrigation ditch we crossed. There were some deer tracks not far from here! Laurie also lost to Lewis playing Pooh Sticks here. Better luck next time!

Some tiny purple flowers growing outside the main entrance to our College.

Snow Drops underneath a tree across the lawn from our house. These were the first flowers to come up and have been opening ever wider each day!

Finally, the Irises growing in the garden behind our house. They're much smaller than any we've ever seen before, but they are still beautiful!

Hopefully all these blooming flowers and the budding trees are an indication of full-blown Spring soon to come. It's sure to be glorious when it arrives!

Many adventures in the coming weeks -- tomorrow is Whisky Tasting Night which Lewis will be attending (Laurie was scared away!), there's another Elmside party on Saturday, and the Lent Bumps are on (some silly Cantabrigian boat competition). Laurie's parents are coming in 11 days, and there's an end of term RCEAL party which will be sure to entertain! We promise to be better about updating the blog. We mean it this time. Really!

The "Whoops, did we forget to post last month?" post

It's been a while since last post, but it has been a busy couple of months! Lewis started school again and has been much busy keeping up with papers, readings, and even his first presentation. It looks to be a very intense last three weeks of class, but amazingly when March 16th rolls around, that will be the end of it! It's so strange to think that the days of Cambridge class are nearly over (which means the rest of our times here is exams, exams, exams..)!

Yet in the midst of all this work, we managed to do a few things, some of which we will now provide photographic evidence of.

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

A few friends from Lewis's program took us to London with them to celebrate Chinese New Year. It was a ton of fun, if perhaps more crowded than imaginable. Dragons snapped up lettuce over doorways. Parades happened simultaneously. And perhaps most importantly, delicious Chinese food was had!

Chinese New Year in Trafalger Square. Look at all these folks!

Another view of the mob at Trafalger Square

The packed streets of London's Chinatown while everyone is trying to find a Chinese restaurant with less than a two hour wait...

We love rugby!

Despite living next door to the rugby field all year, we had yet to attend a game. So we made a point of going over there one afternoon to see what all the yelling and screaming was about. And we were impressed! For a mere pound each we had the joys of watching a game we didn't understand, and listening to cheering, booing, silly English rugby fans. They also served delicious chicken sandwiches at half-time for a decent price as well. All in all, a very enjoyable day watching a very amusing game! We hope to attend another match or two before the season ends in the middle of March.

Rugby seems to involve some kicking...

some pushing...

and some running.

Perhaps next game we'll understand a little more of the rules of the game. Or not.

Foundation Feast

No pictures here, sorry kids. But we did attend the Clare Hall 40th Anniversary Foundation Feast, which was a riot. A bunch of folks from Elmside booked a table together so we were a large, noisy, difficult-to-serve table (we had three vegetarians.. very confusing to the wait staff). But we all had a marvelous time together, aided in some part by the aforementioned Elmsiders managing to comandeer twice our table's allotment of Port. Good times!

International Food Festival

We lamely also forgot to take pictures of this event! Lots of people throughout the college got together and made dishes from their native lands for all us other, more lazy, folk to eat. It was another fabulous night in Cambridge as we got to try all sorts of interesting concoctions and hang out with some of our favorite people. We even got a cook book from the event, safe in the knowledge that the whole night's proceeds were going to Action Against Hunger UK. Charity and good food -- what more could you ask for?

We've Gone Organic!

Not so much an event as a lifestyle change. But during one fateful and random Google search for "vegetables" we came across a local company (River Nene Organic Vegetables) which grows organic vegetables and delivers them right to your door! It's a cute idea - they only offer different sizes of boxes, so you order appropriately and what you get is what you get! We've eaten all sorts of things that we (or perhaps just Laurie) usually wouldn't eat. Right now since the UK isn't in its growing season a lot of the vegetables and all the fruits are imported, but they make sure they're from organic places and are never shipped in cold storage. This should start to change however as they start harvesting the first crops here soon. We've become thoroughly addicted to this scheme and hope to find something similar where ever we end up back in the US. Green is good!

That's all for now, but another update is soon to follow. This time with more flowers and less people shoving into each other!