Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Masters Graduation!


Parkinson Building, where we picked up tickets and gowns

Me in front of the Parkinson Christmas tree

Richard and me with the roses from Kelly

Ximena and me by the Christmas tree

Richard and me outside the Great Hall, where the ceremony was held

Ximena and me in the queue


Ximena, Antigoni and me outside the Great Hall


Just about to go in! The program refers to you as a "graduand" before the ceremony and as a "graduate" after--so this is my last shot as a graduand!


Procession at the end of the ceremony

Antigoni, Ximena and me in the procession


Me, Ruoyi and Sarah after the ceremony

On the way over to the reception at Houldsworth


A few group shots on the Parkinson steps--so many cameras, nobody knows where to look!



The graduation ceremony was great! It was much smaller and more formal than my UW one, but considering that was held in Husky Stadium and Quincy Jones was the keynote speaker, that's not surprising! There was very church-like organ music, and the Vice-Chancellor spoke briefly about how he expects great things from us, etc. They called out everyone's name and we got our actual diplomas there at the ceremony, so that was nice--much more personal than my UW one, where even MA's didn't get their names called. Holding it in the Great Hall keeps it small--maybe 300 graduands and 600 guests. Quite a lot of my friends were there, so that was fun. We went to the reception afterwards and had lunch, then met up with Antigoni for a coffee at Opposite for old times' sake. In the evening I went to the Terrace (another old favorite) with a big group--it was so great to catch up with everybody & celebrate again!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Graduation

This is a video Richard took of my moment on stage--I'll edit & put up photos tomorrow!
video

Thursday, December 10, 2009

24th Birthday!


Richard and me at Golden Acre Park--we actually had some sun!

Posing with my apple cake


Blowing out the candles

Leeds Grand Theatre, where we saw a ballet version of A Christmas Carol

Birthday dress from Mom, with necklace & earrings from Richard


Roses from Richard :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Early december update


Lovely huge holly archway at Meanwood Park

Me in my new shirt--this is one of the birthday presents you got me, Mom!

Another entrance to Christkindlmarkt

A few shots around Leeds City Markets--I went there to look at the kittens at the Pet Market stall :) They're so ridiculously cute!



This stand's probably selling a lot more tea than ice cream--it's cold outside!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, we had dinner at my American friend Mandy's place. It was my first real Thanksgiving since 2006 and I loved it! She made an amazing turkey, with mashed potatoes & gravy, bread stuffing, and roast potatoes. One of the other guests brought a really great butternut squash soup for the starter, served with some homemade bread that Mandy & her French housemate had baked. For desserts, I'd brought pecan and pumpkin pies, plus someone brought a chocolate yule log and another person brought flapjacks (which are not pancakes, they're like an oatmeal-based bar cookie). The pecan pie turned out so well--Mandy said it was the best pecan pie she'd ever had, and the French housemate loved it, too!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving too!

Here's the pecan pie recipe--very easy to make, very sugary & delicious

Ingredients
* 1 cup light brown sugar
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 eggs
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.
3. Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Official Start of the Christmas Season!


Leeds' Christkindlmarkt

Me & Richard at Christkindlmarkt

Victoria Quarter Christmas Tree

Me in Victoria Quarter


Light Switch-On in front of Town Hall

Fireworks at the end of the Light Switch-On show

Christmas tree in front of the Old Post Office

We saw Santa ("Father Christmas") at the Switch-On show, so it's now officially Christmas season! I had Richard watch "Elf" the other night & he liked it :) Last night we went to the Christkindlmarkt--it's just like last year, with Feuerzangenbowle and sausages and all that stuff. We'll have to get dinner down there at some point--apparently they have rotkraut! Woo hoo! England may not have egg nog, but at least we've got the Christkindlmarkt!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bonfire Night


The least blurry of all my pictures...You can vaguely see the crowd & the trees, but it's hard to get a good shot.

Earlier that morning, I saw them stacking up the pallets for the bonfire!

We went to Hyde Park for Bonfire Night again this year. They had a huge turn-out and the bonfire & fireworks were great! After the display, we went to the Chemic to meet up with Katherine, and then we went on to the Oak. It was so great to catch up with Katherine--I hadn't seen her all summer.
On Friday night we met up with some of Richard's work friends at Mr. Foley's, a cask ale house downtown. I'd never been before (it's a bit of an old man pub), but I loved it! They had really crazy ales on--I had a "Treason Treacle Stout", which tasted like a molasses-flavored Guinness! I loved it, too, b/c we were hanging out with professors & researchers, and they're so interesting to talk with--especially when we're all drinking!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!




On Thursday night I carved my little pumpkin from Sainsbury's--the patterns with the carving kit were too big, so I had to redraw a smaller version and carve it from that. Turned out pretty well. I roasted the pumpkin seeds on Friday and they were fantastic! Friday night we went to the movies--"An American Werewolf in London". The reviews made it sound more funny than scary, but it was pretty scary, too--lots of gore with very fake-looking blood. Still, it was perfect for Halloween, and it had some scenes on the North Yorkshire Moors, so that was cool.
On Halloween itself, Saturday, we watched the Disney version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and went out to dinner, then on to Fab Cafe. It was a fantastic place to go for Halloween--they really get into it. The staff dresses up, the place is all decorated, and they give out free snacks and drinks! We had a great time!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birmingham




Victoria Square & Town Hall

Looking down towards New Street (the main shopping area)

Leaves changing on the walk home