Sunday, 27 January 2008

Further Exploration

My apologies for not having posted much of late. It's taken me a while to get settled in, finish term papers, etc. etc. Now however, life seems to be back too a normal, if not slightly too busy, pace. The latest news is that your's truly has been cast in the Lancaster University production of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Yay! I'm playing a bunch of Scottish lords rolled into one lord who might actually be a lady. Got that? Me neither. The director seems to think the gender does not matter so I'm just going with it. Not too many lines, but as I told my mother, the less talking the random cross-dressing American in 15th century Scotland does, the better. I'm doing my best to fake an English accent though. It sounds vaguely Australian with a bit of German thown in, but at least it's something closer to Scottish.

In other news, this weekend a few of my friend Olivia's friends came to visit from Cambridge. This gave Olivia and I a chance to play tour guide in Lancaster, which was good fun. I finally got a chance to see our castle in daylight and must say that it is quite delightful. Below is a picture of the gang contemplating entrance into the castle. Oddly enough the front door is not used as a door, and they get very angry if you try to use it as one. Oops.

Here we have a picture of the front of a church next to the castle. Lovely Gothic (?) architecture and a very nice tree as well.

Next we come to the back of the church and its clock tower.

The statue of Katherine the Conqueror ;-). A part of the castle in the back as well. Note the metal bit with the barbed wire which is the section of the castle still used as a prison. I have to say that while I'd prefer not to be in prison, this one tops my list of prisons to be in.

View of Lancaster from the castle. Also doubles as the set of any old Dickens novel.

Post castle meal at Merchants pub. Built underground in 1688 it is by far my favorite pub in Lancaster (and there are a lot to choose from).

Inside the pub is a series of stone tunnels lined with cozy booths, kegs of ale, etc. The food was amazing! We all ate ourselves silly with such things as fish and chips, clam chowder, ceaser salad, vegetable crepes, veal pie, and so on. Yum!

That, and a brief stop at another pub for some chocolate cake, concluded our tour of Lancaster. However, should any of you wish to visit, I'm happy to give said tour many times over. Cheers, Kate

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Back in England

(No, I have not found any penguins here in Lancaster, but the weather is making me wonder if it might just happen. This is a picture of my friend Karolyn and I on my last night in Berkeley. Some foolish person still had their Christmas penguin display up.)

So begins another five to six months of life in England. It took a 10 hour flight (on Virgin Atlantic, which is just a fantastic way to travel), an hour of navigating the tube in London, and a four hour train ride but I'm finally back in my flat in Lancaster. I have been welcomed home by the worst weather I've seen yet. We're talking freezing temperatures, pelting rain and wind, hail... the works! I cannot believe I forgot to buy wellies while I was home in the land of cheap stuff (compared to the £). I have discovered that Uggs, while very stupid looking, manage to keep my little tootsies warm even when sopping wet. Hey, if sheep skin works for sheep in the rain, why not my feet, eh?

So far all I've managed to do is go grocery shopping. Today was my first full day back and I slept halfway through it. As I told my mother, this meant I was getting up at roughly the same time as all of my flat mates. They had gone out the night before and, as per usual, slept until noon. I'm really hoping the jet lag will be gone soon as I've got a rather large paper due on Wednesday that I have yet to actually start. I'm usually not a last minute kind of gal but my time at home was filled with so much fun that I just ignored all school work. Sigh. If anyone has any brilliant thoughts on what limitations faminist critiques of romance novels bring, do let me know. That's all for now I think. I'll try and update this blog as often as I can once said paper is out of the way. Wishing you all well, Kate