So it has been about a year. What made me think about this is the fact that the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair starts on Friday!
It has been a pretty busy/sometimes unpleasant year, so I took a pretty long break from this. Lots of amazing things happened this year but I got a bit lost in the whole fight to finish work for my PhD, the realization that I have much more work to do/things to fix and also have to write down everything that I have been thinking the past
zillion few years.
I have some nice pictures of these nice things, which I would like to share, because they are pretty, but also because they are a nice visual reminder to myself that there is colour in the grey.
First exciting thing: we adopted a rabbit! Her name is Edith and she is really old and acts like a curmudgeonly old granny. We have actually been fostering her since January – but as my PhD is taking ages and we really liked having her around we decided to keep her.
I ended up doing quite a bit of travelling this year. Most of it was for conferences and meetings, but it was still pleasant. I ended up going to Vienna, Paris and Oxford. All of these places were awesome, and living anywhere in Europe still seems like it would be transit utopia. Vienna was new for me, and really interesting. One odd thing about it is that usually the only vegetarian option in their very starch and meat heavy diet (how are people in Vienna so dainty?!) was deep fried cheese. Brilliant, but overwhelming. Paris is Paris. You know, really nice. I went to Versailles for a day. It is such a nice city. I didn’t visit the palace. Who has time to be in an accordion of a line in the sweltering heat (it was hot as hell while I was there) and also it is pretty expensive. I am going to sound awful when I say this but: I have visited a lot of palaces (childhood tourism I swear!) and once you’ve seen one gold spoon you’ve seen them all. Maybe not, but I only had one day, so I took Monty Don‘s advice and visited the Potager du Roi. I almost died of happiness, it was so beautiful and productive and ramshackle and… the best garden I have ever been in.
Oxford is one of my favourite places and I got to go and visit a really nice and interesting group at the University. I bought a ticket to a performance of (post apocalyptic!) King Lear at Merton College. I took the following picture because I was having tea and thinking about Lewis.
The final trip was a personal one. Etienne and I went to Nova Scotia for a wedding and made a bit of a trip of it. The East Coast is extremely beautiful and full of really nice people. We started it off in Cape Breton. We camped, to save dollars, but forgot most of the things we needed and had to buy them. Less dollars saved, but now we have some really nice camping dishes.
Seeing whales is really important to me… so we did that. It was great! Pilot whales are like black belugas and travel in large groups.
As much as I like whales, Etienne LOVES lighthouses. I entered into a draw to win a quilt with a lighthouse on it (Etienne bought me 5 tickets) but alas it seems I didn’t win.
I hadn’t really appreciated how harrowing it must have been to be a lighthouse keeper… although you may have been isolated and bored enough to bang out a thesis pretty fast!
The East Coast has really mastered the art of mixing quaint and beautiful. There is too much to tell and I don’t really know where to begin… so I won’t for now. Maybe I will tackle that down the road.
We also went to Prince Edward Island for ANNE OF GREEN GABLES uber tourism. I love Anne of Green Gables. It is watched at least once a year with family. Etienne hadn’t watched it before we went there ( how? I know! ) so he was confused when I lost it upon seeing a sign for the Lake of Shining Waters and when I was petrified of the potential of the ghosts of orphans and grandmothers visiting our tent in the park at night… Needless to say, it was awesome and we have started in on the films.
I did end up taking a bit of a fiber break but I am back at it! Here is a hat I am knitting in some Dorset and Alpaca fleece that I bought at the RAWF last year. I skirted, washed, carded and spun it all myself. Considering that, it is working up pretty well!
There are a few other things that happened this year that I may write some posts about, namely: gardening and growing from seed, and a sweater project that I am working on. Hopefully I do this sooner rather than later!
Have a great week!