cardinals and coins


an open letter to the United Kingdom

Dear Great Britain,
There are several things we must address as winter approaches. I know, I know, you're not likely to listen to an American girl who isn't even staying for more than a year. But something must be said.

First, about the hot water. Hot water is not a morning thing. It's not something we only use before 3 pm. We like to have hot water all day long. Sometimes, a hot shower at night is nice and relaxing. When I go in in my towel and stand there getting cold, waiting for the hot water that never comes, I have to say my opinion of the United Kindom plumets. Furthermore, I would like to do my dishes in the evening with hot water, because it's more sanitary than cold.

Second, about Christmas. I love Christmas just as much as anyone. But you started celebrating Christmas in October, and that's just not okay. The holiday displays in the grocery story have displaced and diminished some important items, such as houseware and food storage. The adds on television are extremely annoying already, and we have another month to go. I'm sorry, but it's just not Christmas yet. Next week, you can start. I'm not in the States, so maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I remember starting to celebrate Christmas after Thanksgiving. I feel that the absence of this holiday is the root of your difficulty, Great Britain. You need Thanksgiving. You need a holiday between Halloween and Christmas.

That's all for now. The Christmas thing, I understand. You have no Thanksgiving, you can't help feeling the need to stretch your holiday season. But the hot water? Please? I don't like having to shower only before 3 pm. I want hot water for my dishes. I want hot water when I wash my face at night. Work on it? Thanks.

Yours Truly,


my college

If you want to know more about Barnard, they just put this up:

Watch the video if you get a chance. It's very cool!


England, part three

The third part of my trip to England began on Monday the 24th. Nina and I took the train from London to Tunbridge Wells, where her mother picked us up. We then visited her adorable grandmother, had tea and drove past Nina's old school. Then, we went to her parents' house and had a lovely home-cooked meal. After some TV and late-night chatting, Nina and I got to sleep in in the quiet country. The next morning, we went for a little country ramble. Here are photos of her house, where I will be spending Christmas this year:

While Nina and family went to pick out a new puppy (I will meet him at Christmas!) I got on a train back to London. There, I met Ben Anderson-Bauer, a "mate" from my middle/high school days. It was really great to see him, we had a lot to talk about. We were two expatriots on levels: Americans in Britain, kids who escaped Itasca County. Anyway, I was feeling a little under the weather, but Ben cheered me right up. That evening, I went out to dinner with Nina and her parents and had a lovely time but began feeling a bit worse... By night, I was feeing awful. I had a slight fever and slept heavily. Back in Edinburgh, after a train ride that never seemed to end, I discovered I had tonsillitis! Oh no! I'm feeling better now, but it was AWFUL. Fortunately, I was healthy for most of my trip, and I had a marvelous time.