whim: an odd or capricious notion or desire; a sudden or freakish fancy

Sunday, May 13, 2012

a few photos from the sort-of-sunny UK

I say "sort of sunny" because we've had a couple of rainy days and a couple of sunshiny days. All beautiful. 

I'm going to blog frequently while I'm in the UK, but I'll probably post photos about once a week. So here they are, with my (at times lengthy) descriptions:


 When we got to the UK (and when I say "we," I mean my little UK group, including Ari, Kayla, Ben, and our facilitator Averyl. Right now I'm living with Ari, so mostly "we" will be applied to us two), I thought we'd all be staying in London, which was I think the plan; however, finding housing for us was turning out to be difficult, so Ari and I ended up going to live with a couple (Kirsteen and Laars) in Haywards Heath until our London housing could be sorted out. It's about a 45 minute train ride from London, and I admit I was a little frustrated because it's pricey to travel between London and Haywards Heath. My frustration quickly evaporated when I met Kirsteen and Laars, who are quite possibly the loveliest people ever in the world. Staying with them has made this first week the best first week I could imagine. I find more and more that it's possible to love people immediately, a claim that is supported by my meeting Kirsteen and Laars. Pictured above is the apartment complex, and our flat is on the first floor to the left (see bottom left window). 


These are the trees outside my window. See the snaky but leafless vines crawling up and down the trees? I love them. I'm a little obsessed, and I tried drawing them in my notebook but I'm such a terrible artist. So I took a picture and try to look at them as much as possible.


Ari and I went around exploring Hayward's Heath, and we happened upon this small, beautiful patch of land. I forgot how green everything is here! It's amazing how many shades of green can be found in one place–green is a very pleasant color, and I doubt I'll ever get sick of it.


The spring flowers are, of course, thriving, thanks to bucket-loads of rain. These flower are in Beech Hurst Gardens.

Ari and I


I made this picture extra large so you could adequately see the gorgeousness. Laars and Kirsteen drove us to South Downs, home to some large hills that you can climb (or drive) and be rewarded with this view. If you turn south, you can see Brighton and the coastline in the distance. We didn't stay for too long, as it was pretty cold, but I was amazed at how beautiful it was. The drive was very interesting: let me just say that British roads are indeed narrow (no tall tales there), and yes, there are roads so small that there's only room for one car at a time, and the road hopefully has small outlets to pull over so you can allow other drivers to pass. Phew! I'm glad I don't have to drive here. 


Of course, Ari and I wanted to be touristy for a bit and go to some markets. This is the Portobello crowd, and this is me with my ridiculous sunglasses.


Portobello Market was all well and good, but BOROUGH MARKET is where the food's at; so naturally, it's where we spent the most time. This is ciabatta bread from one stand and spinach hummus from another–I also bought stuffed grape leaves from the same stand as the hummus. Try to imagine the best hummus you've tasted and multiply that by four, and you'd just about have it.


Does a brownie need much of an introduction? 


I now understand why Edmund betrayed his family for turkish delight. This is pistachio, creamy rose, and milk coconut turkish delight. UHmazing.  We also had goat's milk ice cream, which was also the best thing ever in the world. As we were eating the ice cream, we passed a stand that sold homemade (of course) muesli and granola, and the lady gave us a bit to sprinkle over our ice cream. Heaven.

Indeed.


This is the Natural History Museum. We got there about 10 minutes before close, so we didn't see much, but isn't it an astoundingly majestic building?

There are a few highlights from my first week here in the UK. We're actually going to Brighton this afternoon with Kirsteen and Laars, so next week I might post some pictures by the sea! Hallelujah!