Sunday, February 22, 2009
Me and Katherine at Saturday night's gig
The only good thing about England's lack of Mexican restaurants is that it's made me a better cook. My steak fajitas are right up there with Azteca or Veracruz...
This Saturday I had a proper girls' day out with Antigoni. We went shopping at Accessorize (a classier, more expensive version of Claire's) and La Senza (basically like Victoria's Secret), as well as a stop at WH Smith so I could get birthday cards for Pudd & Jason. Then we had a really nice dinner at Pizza Express--I had the mushroom one, Funghi di Bosco, which is similar to that CPK wild mushroom one. For dessert, we had the semi-freddo--it's gelato topped w/ nuts that comes with a demi-tasse of espresso on the side.
We left Pizza Express at 7:55, and the gig was starting at 8. I didn't have time to go home and drop off the stuff I bought, so I just put them in my purse when I got to the club. The show was good, and we went on to another club near campus that I'd never been to before. It was alright, but the crowd was an odd mix--quite a few older people (and when I say older, I mean graying hair and/or balding). It was also extremely hot in there, and I had that purple wrap sweater on. At one point I took it off and was just down to the camisole, but I put it back on b/c I was too self-conscious--esp. w/ the old guys around, haha.
Today I got up early and finally got some studying done for my meeting w/ my dissertation supervisor. Went to the Albion Starbucks and Caffe Nero, then up to the library to get some more books. I've found a couple of interesting angles to ask him about, so that's good--now I just need to rework my research question to fit them...
Friday, February 20, 2009
Inside Clifford's tower, the last remaining part of York Castle
Me at Clifford's tower--with York Minster in the distance
The River Ouse
York's city centre--lots of narrow windy little streets
View from the top of York Minster
More views from the climb up the York Minster Tower (275 steps!)
York Minster from the ground
Had a great time in York today! We started off with a little walk around the city to get our bearings and see what there is to see, then headed back to York Minster to go inside. It's the main tourist attraction in town, and the largest Gothic cathedral in Britain (or anywhere this side of Italy, for that matter). The Minster is amazing--huge beyond belief--but there are some sections corded off that tourists can't enter. We did, however, climb the tower. You can only go up and down at designated times, because the spiral staircase is too narrow for 2 people to pass each other. The views from the top are great, but unfortunately you're sort of in a wire cage. I understand the need to prevent suicide, but it does get in the way of taking pictures.
After that climb (and a stop at the gift shop), we were ready for lunch. We went to the Three Tuns--exactly what you'd think of as a traditional English pub. I had fish & chips & peas, and Seamus had the scampi--I'd never ordered it before, 'cause I assumed 'scampi' was like the shrimp and pasta dish you get in the states. It turned out to be battered shrimp, served w/ chips and peas.
After lunch, we walked around some more. The Jorvik Viking Festival was supposed to be going on, but we didn't see many signs of it. The line at the Viking Museum was really long, and at one point we did see a man dressed (sort of) like a Viking pulling a cart that had a woman similarly dressed standing on it, but the image was a little ruined by the ABBA music the cart was playing...
We went to Clifford's Tower, where the views of the city aren't obstructed by a wire cage, and it doesn't take long to climb to the top. After that, we walked along the River Ouse for a bit and then along the top of the city wall. There really wasn't much else to do around the city, so we went back to Leeds fairly early--York's definitely worth a visit, but don't come specifically for the Viking Festival (unless you're really into Vikings and ABBA...).
Monday, February 16, 2009
Ximena and me at Milo on Friday night
Happy belated Valentine's day! I went to a gig the night before at Milo, then on the day itself I worked on my PhD proposal, did some grocery shopping, and joined Antigone for drinks later. All in all, a good Valentine's.
Life in general is going well. I don't want to sound materialistic, but my student loan money has really cheered me up--I splurged on some new clothes and some nicer groceries (no more living off of pasta! I can buy produce again!) The work load is a bit overwhelming, because I need to get the proposal and an essay done by March 1st. But I've always been good at working under pressure...
Monday, February 2, 2009
Riverside park on the grounds of the abbey
Me at Kirkstall Abbey
The campus cemetery
Millennium Square with ice skating rink and town hall
Last night it snowed, and it's been snowing off and on all day. This morning I went down to Kirkstall Abbey. It was absolutely gorgeous in the snow, and I went early enough that it was fairly deserted. This afternoon I went up to campus to talk with my professor about the PhD proposal. It went really well--looks like I'll be staying in Leeds for the next three years!