So, I'm going to start trying out various solutions to my image storage problem. Here's a link to my photobucket album
I'll be adding to it over the holiday season, as we do more markets & travelling & such. It's a crazy-busy time of year.
I haven't updated for awhile, so for posterity's sake I'll write up what we've been doing since Hardwick Hall.
Thanksgiving--I spent the day before Thanksgiving making pies. I struggled with a couple of the pie crusts and I accidentally burned two of the pecan pies and had to make two more...I ended up making three pumpkin pies and five pecan pies (and ten pie crusts total!). On the bright side, the pies that did turn out were excellent! I brought three to the office, where they were enjoyed by my fellow PhD students and--most importantly--by my new PhD supervisor Simon, who had never tried pumpkin pie before. The Thanksgiving dinner was great, too. I made everything in the morning, then had to go in for a supervision meeting (hence the pie bribery), and just reheated/finished things off when guests were due to arrive.
We had our friends Steven & Imelda, Kristina and Mat & Matt over for dinner--it was the first Thanksgiving for Steven & Imelda and Kristina, but Mat & Matt had joined other American friends before--they were even going to another Thanksgiving the next day! It was great to have people over for our first Thanksgiving in our new home, and so nice to have matching plates, cutlery, cookware, etc. after the wedding--it felt properly grown-up to host our friends. Cookie even joined us for awhile, going up to each of the guests and letting them pet her. It was a success!
Cody's visit--the day after Thanksgiving Cody came up from Brighton for a visit. It was great to see him and to show him around Leeds :) We went to dinner at the Victoria, which, I've realized, has now become my standard go-to pub for any visitors. It's our favorite! We carried on to Whitelocks, which is also a favorite for visitors because it's so old & its location is amazing--it's tucked away in what used to be an old stable yard, and the rest of downtown has just grown up around it since its founding in 1715. Such a cool place! The next day we met up at Starbucks and went around the shops downtown, then went to the German Christmas Market. Cody tried the hot honey mead on an empty stomach though, and got sick--he recovered quickly, but it was scary. We had just been telling him about another friend getting sick when she tried the mead--we're never recommending it to any of our friends again! Despite the mead incident, it was great to catch up with Cody and show him what it's like up north.
This week: After Cody went for his train, Richard and I went to the movies to see "Nativity 2", which was definitely the mindless distraction that we needed. It was a kid's movie, very slow-paced and silly, but it was still fun to go see something Christmasy. On Sunday, we went to Church, then did a little Christmas shopping at the garden centre in Otley (for some reason, garden centres usually have a lot of non-garden-related stuff, including a big selection of Christmas tree ornaments). I fixed Thanksgiving leftovers up for a 'Sunday roast', too. Monday-Thursday mostly revolved around work, as usual, then on Friday evening we went to dinner & a show. We saw "The Wind in the Willows" at West Yorkshire Playhouse--it was really well done and the set design was very clever. They did a great job of drawing you in to the story, too--even though I know how it goes, I still got worried about Mr. Toad's fate in court! On Saturday we went to the Royal Armouries for a Christmas event that turned out to be much smaller than I thought from looking at the website--they had just set aside a little bit of the museum lobby where you could visit Santa, that was it. We looked at a couple of galleries & the gift shop, and then went shopping at Crown Point. Since I was disappointed about the Christmas non-event at Royal Armouries, we looked up other Christmas markets in the area. Today, after church we went to Skipton for their Christmas Market and it was fabulous. We had delicious food--Richard had a barbecue burger & I had a roast pork sandwich, and we both had mulled wine and mince pies--and saw some great performances--bagpipes and brass bands and some hilarious comedy guys dressed as little old dears. Brilliant reminders of why I love living here!