The holidays are fast approaching and most of us are getting ready to head home at the end of the week. These last few days before the break can be a bit brutal, depending on how many exams and assessments you might have, but the prospect of going home for the first time in three months makes it all worth it. It’ll be strange to be in the U.S. again after so long. I’ll have to train myself to go back to saying “excuse me” instead of “pardon” whenever I bump into people. It sort of snowed yesterday and today. The ground was still warm and the snow melted before being visible, but it is finally beginning to really and truly feel like winter.
Over the weekend I went for a run to a chapel called the Church of St. Martha-on-the-hill. There’s a car park (parking lot) at the bottom so people can hike to it, and apparently it’s the 18th highest hill in the county. After climbing it, I’m pretty sure that anything higher would have to qualify as a mountain, but I’ll leave that to the geologists. Speaking of which, has anyone ever seen the movie The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill And Came Down a Mountain? It might have one of the worst titles ever greenlit, but the movie itself is really sweet and British and has Hugh Grant in it. I’d actually suggest watching a lot of British movies before you move here, because it will really help with the culture shock. And the accents. There are so many different accents here and some of them are almost unintelligible to anyone who’s never heard them, much like some American accents are for British people, no doubt. But definitely stock up on your knowledge of British TV and culture because it will come in handy.
As of last week, when temperatures started averaging in the upper 30’s (Fahrenheit, obviously), it became increasingly apparent why tea is such a big deal here. Basically, you just need something warm to drink when it’s this cold out, and unfortunately you can’t drink coffee all day and live to tell the tale, although I’m sure many have tried. I’ve been experimenting with different tea flavors and it’s seriously becoming an obsession. Most of my fellow North Americans will roll their eyes when I talk about the cold, because anything above freezing for them is basically summer, but as someone from a southern state where it hardly ever freezes and never snows (for the most part), this weather is quite a change. The most shocking part is that I’m actually kind of enjoying it. Cold and damp weather is actually quite comforting in a strange way, but check back in in mid-February. Everyone has their limit.
That’s all for now. I’m off to celebrate my final assessment of the year, which, by unbelievable luck, was today instead of Thursday or Friday. The rest of the week should be plain sailing. I’ll try to check back in when I’m back in the states.