We have been sort of forced to live a pretty simple life here. You have probably already heard of some of the costs here (in case you haven't I plan to post some). It is actually freeing in some respects. All of the standards we have been expected (or thought we were expected) to live up to have been stripped away. It is common for most people to shop at charity shops and dollar-type stores. I never have to worry that our housekeeper could get envious of our nice things because we shop at the same stores! I'm sure there is a different standard of living in New Town where there seems to be more wealth. We are learning that things we once thought were necessity (like a bag of chips or lots of meat) are really luxuries and get creative and even more healthy about snack foods and meals. We now munch on apples rather than chips and I am going to make granola for the first time!
Andrea requested a post about our everyday lives. Not much exciting there. It is pretty predictable right now. I will talk about our meals first, because that is the easiest and most predictable.
For breakfast we have porridge and toast with tea. Sometimes we have OJ. For lunch we have sandwiches and an apple or orange. We toast the bread for a little variety. Living on the edge, I know! For dinner we usually have soup. Since we don't have much room in the fridge for leftovers or ingredients awaiting to be cooked up, I usually cook 2-3 dinners per week, buying the ingredients that day. The other days we finish up the leftovers.
Simple. I am not kidding about how predictable it is. We go through bread like lightening! Good thing I can get it cheap. About $1 for a loaf of brown bread.
Josh only has one 9:00 class, but he still keeps to a 9-5 schedule. He usually spends his time in the library, but sometimes he reads in our flat. It was challenging for me to learn not to disturb him every time some crazy thought popped into my head. We live close enough to the library that Josh can come home for lunch.
I have been spending my days grocery shopping (which occures nearly everyday) and looking for a job. I usually have plenty of time to explore the city, too. Josh was suprised at how well I knew my way around. I have already given tourists directions on 3 separate occassions! I have to spend a little time going through my recipes to find something I can make with the ingredients I know are available. I am not used to the selection yet. I am greatful for those of you who sent me some recipes. I just have a small selection right now as I am waiting for our boxes of books.
Our evenings are pretty low key. We talk and read. We had been spending a lot of time in the computer lab getting business done, but now we are fully hooked up in our flat, praise God! Once in a while we might venture out into the city, but Josh is still recovering from his cold and the temperatures in the morning have only been in the 50s.
We had a little spice added to our schedule this week as New College is hosting a series of lectures on Biblical criticism. Dr. Barton from Oxford has been invited to give the lectures. The lectures are just read and a resident professor is asked to give a rebuttle after the lecture. I kind of laugh at that because it just doesn't seem very inviting to ask someone to come give a lecture, then rubuttle it. Maybe that's how they do it here. It is a great environment for open discussion.
Our pace of life has definately been brought down a few notches. Of course we don't really have friends and other committments right now, but it is nice to sort of take it easy right now.