Thanksgiving is only one month away! Of course, Thanksgiving is not celebrated here, but I plan to ask not to be scheduled that day and cook a small feast. It doesn't feel like November is upon us because there are not Thanksgiving decorations. Not even much in the way of Hallowe'en. I hope to find a ham somewhere, but then, I just realized I don't even have a roaster. Maybe by then I will be brave enough to roast a pumpkin for bread or cheesecake. MMM...
I started to get sad yesterday as I was looking through my dearly missed cookbook and I arrived at the holiday cookie section. It was already enought that the holiday season was going to be different this year. No Christmas shopping, no snow, no Christkindlemarkt, no tree, no family, no friends, no hot spiced cider. Then I realized that I wont even be able to do my usually baking! I don't have the equipment and ingredients, and baking is difficult enough having to weigh everything (and I don't even have a scale!). This probably sounds incredibly silly to some of you. I love to bake and I guess I thought when the wind is blowing and the rain is pouring and friends and family are thousands of miles away, as least I can warm our flat while the oven is baking delicious desserts and scenting the air with familiar smells of Christmas. I know all these things don't make Christmas and we can celebrate our Messiah's birth anywhere in the world we choose to live. The American Expats talk about the 6 month slump, where the excitement has worn off and one gets tired of learning new things, being the outsider. It will only be 4 months by Christmas, but I have a feeling that may be my slump.
I realized that I forgot to answer a question of Andrea's a while back. She asked if we usually stick around campus. The University's buildings are scattered all over the city. New College is not very large with it's 2 buildings. We live in student housing about 100 feet down the street which is not New College's housing, but post-grads. That is the campus around us, so no, we (at least I) do not stick to campus. Unless I am going to a class or lecture with Josh, I am off campus grocery shopping or running other errands.
I had questions about our housekeeper, as well. For those who don't know, the building we got in includs housekeeping. We have been very pleased to have Kate here every week. I am usually here while she cleans so we chat and she tells me where I can find things. Our housekeepers clean the toilet (bathroom) and kitchen and hoover (vacuum) the living area. Kate has even offered to hoover our bedroom and wash our dishes, but I told her I can't make her do more than she has to. Our part is to just have things picked up from the cleaning area so she doesn't have to move too much around, which I am finding is not really that bad. I love how clean our flat feels after she has been here.
I just learned on Sunday as I was talking to my Aussie friend that when Daylight Savings ends they will go forward and hour! This is probably not new to many of you, but I found this interesting. I did not know that the southern hemisphere changes time opposite of how we in the norther hemisphere do. So, she said the time difference between her and her family will not be 9 hours, but 11! This whole conversation came about as she was trying to figure out which way the time will change this weekend and I said, "Fall back, spring forward." She thought it was very cleaver and I was suprised that she had not heard that before. Just thought I'd share. See, I may not be learning about philosophers and creeds, but I am learning the way the world works. :)