“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” Winnie-the-Pooh
And I guess, in the end, that about covers it, doesn’t it?
Cheers to everyone that was a part of this journey, on either side of the Atlantic.
You mean so much to me and I love you.
Now, keep in touch or get in touch as soon as possible.
Things I’ve Done, Part 2
I’ve tripped on cobblestones.
I’ve spent many an afternoon digging through used bookstores.
I’ve crossed the Millennium Bridge.
I’ve received and sent postcards.
I’ve stood in Cezanne’s studio.
I’ve purchased a number of things from charity shops.
Including Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which I got for a pound.
I’ve stood in the Natural History Museum of Dublin and cowered from all of the stuffed animals.
I’ve played Chinese Whisper-nary (Telenary) on the Tube.
I’ve watched a lot of Pushing Daisies, swooned over a lot of eyebrows, eaten far too many Asda digestives.
I’ve gotten blank stares when I’ve said that I’m from Colorado.
I’ve returned blank stares when I’ve been told that someone is from the Isle of Wight, Bedford, Bristol.
I’ve legally watched Doctor Who in real time.
I’ve learned the hard way what life is like without my iPhone.
I’ve looked like a tourist.
I’ve been asked for directions.
I’ve passed by two barber shops on Fleet Street (and lived to tell the tale).
I’ve been mocked for pronouncing the H in Buckingham.
I’ve become incredibly aware of where I can find free bathrooms.
I mean toilets.
I’ve eaten crepes in France.
I’ve eaten Tex-Mex in Greenwich.
I’ve sat in the nose bleed seats at the Apollo Victoria Theater and been blown away by the musical Wicked.
I’ve picked someone up at Heathrow (and kind of felt like I was in Love Actually).
I’ve introduced my sister to the (dangerous) beauty of digestives.
I’ve walked along the pebbly beach of Brighton on a chilly, overcast day.
I’ve jogged from Greenwich to New Cross in the rain to say goodbye to a great friend.
I’ve Kept Calm and I’ve Carried On.
I don’t know this couple, but they sure were cute walking in Hyde Park this morning.
In which Facebook manages to stir up sentimentality in Taylor.
So many of my wonderful friends were abroad this term, and they got the opportunity like I did to discover a new place and a new people and to grow and change and have overall amazing times.
(A quick reminder to me that I’m not special)
This weekend a lot of those friends are posting bittersweet statuses about returning home to the States. And a lot of my English friends are posting (less bittersweet) statuses about leaving Goldsmiths to spend Christmas holiday at home.
And I realized what a peculiar situation I’m in right now.
I’ve made a home here. I feel like I’m at home, right now, in this beautiful, brilliant city.
But I also can’t ignore the fact that I have a home so far away (that I’m sure I’ll really want to be getting back to any day now). And it’s waiting for me, and the people that I love that make up my home there are waiting with it.
I’m lucky enough to have a little piece of that home with me this week, and Christie arriving from Denver today has been such a gift and I’m already so excited for the things that we’re going to do together over the next seven or eight days.
And at the same time bit by bit the people that have made this such a home from me are being pulled away, back to their families in different parts of the country.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say with this. Except that I guess something beautiful that I’ve gained from study abroad is realizing that the idea of “home” isn’t such a simple one. That my actual home isn’t on a cul-de-sac in Westminster, Colorado and it isn’t in a flat south of the City of Westminster in England.
It’s scary and it hurts, but it’s nothing if not breathtaking.
Things I’ve Done, Part 1
93 Days gives you a long time to do things. And it would seem that between 80 and 93, things get pretty sentimental pretty fast. So here’s a little list I began in my last lecture at Goldsmiths College:
I’ve learned that a “hob” is a burner.
I’ve ridden on the top level of a double decker bus and in a black cab.
I’ve drank (half) a pint of Guinness in Dublin.
I’ve started drinking at least two cups of tea a day.
I’ve watched fireworks and eaten (veggie) sausages on Guy Fawkes Night.
I’ve written a two minute monologue and seen it well performed and well received.
I’ve discovered that “Dang it” is not a very English thing to say.
I’ve caught a bus at 3:15 in the morning on my own and traveled to France, I’ve wandered around a city where I don’t speak the language for seven hours, I’ve found that it was one of the best days that I had.
I’ve written a 70,000 word novel.
I’ve been told by a few natives that I’m “losing my American accent.”
But I’ve also been told that when I actively try to speak with an English accent, I sound like Hugh Grant.
I’ve played Irish Snap for hours into the night and cried from laughter.
I’ve drank mulled wine and eaten mince pies.
I’ve succumbed to buying instant coffee.
I’ve realized that I’ll never again be able to eat American chocolate without a touch of disappointment.
I’ve spent the afternoon sketching at the National Gallery.
I’ve started wearing tights.
I’ve learned how to make scones.
I’ve found my way home from a random Tube stop without getting lost.
I’ve stopped converting from GBP to USD in my head.
I’ve minded the gap.
I’ve ridden on a canal boat in Camden.
I’ve sang on the steps of St. Paul’s in the pouring rain.
I’ve stared at people’s shoes and judged whether they match their faces in Cambridge.
I’ve been told that I don’t seem like a stereotypical American by a drunk Englishman.
That awkward direct enroll/study abroad moment when you think you’ve gotten a D on your term paper and have a mini-panic attack over it, only to look over the institutional marks equivalencies and realize that it’ll count as a B+ in The States.
There has never in my life been a time when I have more wanted this to be a real thing that I could actually have.
Please don’t make me leave, I just don’t think my heart can take it.
Anonymous asked: No one in Ireland(excluding the Gaeltacht areas) speaks Irish as their first language anymore because the Brits came over about 800 years ago and stamped our language, traditions and culture out of us. It's such a pity as it is truly a beautiful language.
Thank you, mystery person! As well as drjuliushibbert and the second anon who graciously answered my query.
The internet is such a lovely place sometimes.
Dubliners didn’t say anything about the sweatpants
Ah, the travels of Taylor continue. This weekend I had another not-so-London adventure to the Republic of Ireland. It was an adventure that began very, very early in the morning.
We arrived in Dublin with the sun around 8 o’clock.
We were incredibly tired. So we parked at one of the MANY cafes of Dublin’s market district while we waited for our check-in time at our hostel.
In Cahoots is adorable and has free Wi-Fi along with adorable coffee related quotes on their walls and menus. We went back here yesterday afternoon before our flight and had lunch, which was also incredibly delicious and not too expensive.
After a few hours of window shopping, we checked into our AMAZING hostel. If you’re ever in Dublin and need a place to stay, I definitely, highly recommend Globetrotters Tourist Hostel/The Townhouse Bed & Breakfast (it’s the same place, but different markets, I suppose). We forked over a few extra euros a night for the “luxury all women’s room,” and it had a kitchen with silverware, plates, and pans for cooking as well as a toaster, oven, and kettle with free coffee, tea, sugar, and milk.
(creeper picture. check)
The bathroom was en suite, and because it’s the off season we were the only two in our ten person room for two of the three nights. The one girl that joined us the second night ended up being American as well, an incredibly cool girl from LA who was traveling around Europe after her masters program in London fell through. We had an amazing time chatting with her.
On our second day, we went to three museums: The National Gallery (which had free audio guides that were given to us by an adorable woman who used the phrase “When I was a youngin”), The Science Gallery (a part of Trinity College that was basically a giant, fancy, water themed science fair), and the Natural History Museum. I was very excited about the last one because the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is one of my favorite museums ever. But I found out the hard way that the two museums actually aren’t too similar. We threw open the doors of the gallery to see… two to three stories of stuffed animals. And not of the teddy bear variety. It was insanely entertaining and a little creepy and, thankfully, very free.
We spent the entire trip being confused as to why everything was written in both English and Irish when no one seemed to be speaking in this other mystical language at all.
If you’d like to fill me in, followers, that would be lovely.
The second day we took an audio walking tour that I downloaded for free offline (wow, I’m cheap). It was actually really beautiful, I think I’ll post the pictures in a separate photo set. It took us around a few churches and important buildings (and a giant gold ball), around the Dublin Castle and its garden, then to Saint Patrick’s gigantic cathedral.
Basically we were just freezing the entire time.
(That’s the most attractive picture I’ve ever taken)
Before you ask, we did indulge in the obligatory Guinness. This picture is blurry but trust me. It’s happening.
I’d say that pretty adequately sums up our activities. Our trip fittingly began with a sunrise and ended with a sunset.
Oh, and the title is in reference to the fact that for some reason half of the men in Ireland seem to find sweatpants or athletic pants the best outerwear for every situation. Which is odd. As coming from London I’m used to fancy jeans and pressed slacks. But whatever floats your boat, eh?
I think the only way to properly convey how I felt when I opened up this care package from my amazing eldest sister is: asdfghjklkjfdsajklgkljsdfasdfjkl.
And that doesn’t even properly cover it.
Two packages of Micky Mac and Cheese, a Dark Mark sucker, a package of mint chocolate toads, a butterbeer stein, a “T” magnetic pad of paper with matching sticky notes, six baby Cliff Bars, gum and chapstick, two boxes of Pocky, a bag of Reeses, two very very adorable packages of tissues (how is one supposed to blow their nose on something so very adorable!?), three pairs of beautiful socks, two pairs of tights (one of which I’m wearing at this VERY MOMENT. A pair of the socks as well actually. And I’m drinking from the butterbeer mug. I’m awesome), aaaaand five square corner bookmarks of varying types of nerdom.
Kelly Christine, I am so very very lucky to be a Grassy Patch Sister and I love you ENDLESS AMOUNTS.