Winter in York

 

It’s been consistently snowing in York for the past few days. There’s something absolutely pure, silent, and magical about having familiar buildings covered with a fresh and fluffy layer of snow. York, as always, is gorgeous in any season. It’s been so great to walk to seminars and make my way through a winter wonderland.

Here are some snaps I’ve captured on my afternoon walks!
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Remembrance Day

For the past week or so, I’ve been seeing just about everybody sporting a poppy on their lapel or outfit. I asked my British friends what all the fuss was about with these red flowers and learned something very significant about UK culture. On November 11th is called Remembrance Day, a day much like Veterans Day in the US. A way that many UK citizens show support and solidarity with their troops is to wear paper or fabric poppy. Many people buy them at shops or street corners for a small donation, the proceeds go to wounded vets and their families.

Remembrance Day is also marked by two minutes of silence at 11:00am. It happened to fall during our church service on Sunday, so the entire congregation stood and soberly paid their respects. In the UK, Remembrance Day is celebrated with sobriety, not outright celebration. While I think it’s important to honor the members of the armed forces with food, drink, and gratitude, a level of seriousness for those that have given their lives and livelihoods for our freedoms is also extremely appropriate. And during WWII, England suffered in ways that the US will never really be able to understand. I mean, entire cities and historical buildings were bombed relentlessly. Many people lived in fear every time they heard planes flying overhead. Fortunately, that’s not the case today. But the memory of what happened is not out of the public’s consciousness.

As an American participating in Remembrance Day, I found myself thankful for our allies. I’m grateful for these men and women that fought alongside us and continue to do so. In the spirit of the day and in honor of the troops that protect the UK and her interests, I bought myself a poppy and proudly wore it on my lapel.

Happy Remembrance Day!
If you want to know more about this day, please check out info here and here.

Falling Off The Train

Since moving to York, I’ve fallen off the vegan train… hardcore.

No bueno. 

It’s partially because the stress of moving and starting graduate school has just made seeking out vegan products kind of a chore. So I’ve been pretty lax about my eating habits – cheese, eggs, meat a few times a week, etc. I’ve managed to find vegan butter in all these different grocery stores everywhere so I bought myself a big ‘ol tub. It’s sitting in the fridge and it’s delicious, especially on potatoes.

Since my money has officially come in (praises!and most of the relocating/uncomfortable part of moving is over, I’m ditching my dairy ways and gradually transitioning back into a vegan lifestyle. I’m going to eat through the rest of my omni foods, just to be as resourceful as possible. And I’m planning to visit my local farmer’s market way more often.

But the amazing thing about England is that they have tons of veggie options. A lot of places cater to vegetarians and the idea of coming across a vegan is not unheard. They’re pretty great about putting warning labels on all their food and what “allergens” it contains, even trace contaminants.

So, I’m getting back “with it” and vegan-izing my life up.
Stay tuned for more recipes and fun UK veggie finds!

Autumn in York

Well, fall has officially fallen in York. The trees are all various shades of red, yellow, and orange. This city is so beautiful, no matter what time of year. The temperatures have dropped a little bit, so I’m wearing a heavier coat and scarf these days. Classes are going well and I’m already thinking of what to write my dissertation on. But I have to say, the transition into graduate school in a different country definitely requires a learning curve. I’m still learning my place in the department, what’s what, who’s who, where I need to be.

I’m still in the search for a church, I’ve been visiting a few and hopefully will decide on one soon. I’m just hoping to meet other Christians and learn some great stuff here in York. Please pray for me as I navigate my “new” life!

And don’t worry, here are some photos! Enjoy!

Fall view outside of my window

King’s Manor

Self-Portrait

More King’s Manor

Settling In

Well, I’ve only been living in York for two days but it’s already starting to feel pretty comfortable. I guess visiting the city in April really helped me to get a feel for the town and the general “vibe” of Yorkshire. I am, for the most part, all moved in. I’m still working on unpacking my clothes but I should be done by the end of the week. I really like my room. It’s very spacious, with a big desk, shelves, sink to wash my face and brush my teeth, and tons of cabinet space to put my clothes. The room isn’t a horrible shade of purple like it was in France, which is a definite plus. My bed is right up next to the window, so I wake up to the sweetest view. Although, a lot of heat goes out the window at night so I close the curtains and I stay pretty warm. I know that in a few weeks, I’ll definitely have to spring for an electric blanket.

The house I’m living in is really nice and cozy. On my floor, there are several shower rooms, a kitchenette, and a laundry room. No more schlepping my dirty laundry over a mile to wash it! But on the main floor of the house is the big kitchen, which has lots of cabinet and refrigerator space. Right now, we have ten people in our house. We aren’t sure if more are going to arrive, but we’re hoping that our numbers will stay small!

One of the things that I love about England is that I can get really good quality food for a reasonable price. For example, I went to the grocery store today and bought two medium-sized canvas bags full of food for £11, which is amazing. Many products are only £1-2, which works great for my student budget. And it lets me splurge on items that I really want, like high quality olive oil or a pepper mill. Even shopping for my toiletry items wasn’t bad at all. I was able to get everything for about £115, including a hairdryer, flat iron, and electric toothbrush!

This week is pretty chill, I have some orientation activities on the 4th and 5th. And the week after that, I have my department orientation stuff. So… I have a few weeks to get adjusted, see the city, and get my bearings! It’s a nice transition into grad student life. but once my program starts… oy.