Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cake with Dennis (sounds sort of like a 2 PM PBS cooking show)


In case you are wondering they don't say Bonjour in England, they do however in France.  I just felt like the usual, "hello everyone" was getting a bit old so I went with this instead.  Plus, I'm going to Paris for our school break in about a month!  But first, Edinburgh, Scotland in less than two weeks!

The beginning of this week has been wonderful.  Roger Federer is dominating in the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal lost this morning and I just bought some fresh crumpets from Sainsbury's.  Anyways, on to the important stuff: what I've been doing...IN LONDON...sorry I'm still not completely over the fact that I'm here.  On Monday I was standing outside and said something like, "its chilly" and my friend said, "Yeah, how cold is it?" and we saw it was about 43 degrees.  We continued to talk about how it was cold and then someone said, "Guys!  It's below zero back home and here we are complaining about 43 degree temperatures!"  So we had a good laugh about that one.  Sorry fellow Connecticutters (I looked it up and that is how you refer to someone from Connecticut), but I hope you are all surviving the cold!

So, Monday I had no classes.  So, as usual it was an extremely stressful day, which included waking up at around 10:30, taking an hour to eat breakfast, going on a short run, coming back, eating lunch, then taking a walk, then going to the post office, then going to the TESCO express, buying a cheap bottle of red wine and a Twix bar, then going to Sainsbury and buying my friend Dennis a cake (Dennis' birthday was Monday!)  Now, one thing about the cakes.  I never noticed these in the USA, but here they have cakes you can buy off the shelves in a box, that just sit there.  The cake I bought (mainly because it came with candles!) was a Madeira cake filled with raspberry jam and buttercream (whatever that is), covered with soft icing (it wasn't that soft).  I also bought some Sainsbury's cookies.  So after going to the store, me and my other flatmate Andy took Dennis out for dinner at a grill near our flat that he likes.  After that we had a lot of the members of our group over to sing happy birthday and celebrate with us.  It was pretty cool, because what I've been noticing now that we are two weeks in is that we are starting to form so really concrete bonds with each other.  The people here are really amazing and I'm really happy that we are all friends.  I feel like now we are really starting to feel like we've known each other for much longer than two weeks.  Watching everyone come over for Dennis really made it feel like family!  I like that.  It is natural for people to look for others to relate to and share their experiences with.  I'm really happy that this is the group that I get to experience such an amazing point in my life with.  I hope some of the others feel that way, also, I hope that Dennis had some fun. 

Tuesday I did some shopping at the grocery store and also went for a little walk in Clerkenwell.  I went to my history of the Docklands in London course at 5PM.  The course seems as if it is going to be very interesting.  We talked about the 18th and 19th century docks and mainly how the bridges that were built effected the river and the communities.  We also talked about some of the different trading goods that came in and out of the city and why the river is so important culturally, historically and geographical to Londoners.  It was interesting because many of the images from the 1800s that the professor showed included buildings along the River Thames that I recognized that are still there today, including churches and monuments.  I am really looking forward to going to the museums for this course, but we aren't doing that until the second half!

This morning I met with my district director for the London Citizen's Living Wage campaign project.  On Monday I'm going to be going to a secondary school in my district to try and get the students to join in on our campaign.  I'm really excited to do my first pitch for the campaign and also I'm excited to meet some young Brits and see how they differ from American High Schoolers.

Well, tonight I have my global citizens class at 7!  Hopefully it goes well.  Last class they had us take the test that they give people hoping to become British citizens.  You need an 18 to pass, unfortunately I got a 13.  I guess that just means I have more to learn, which I'm fine with.

Just as a note as well.  In one of the earlier blogs I had posted my address.  That address is still great if anyone wants to send anything.  As a note however, please do NOT send parcels through FEDEX, apparently there is some fee the school has to pay to accept them.  Thanks!

Well, I hope you are all well!  Also, out of curiosity.  I know that certain people are certainly following the blog because they are listed as followers.  If you are not listed as a follower that is ok, but out of curiosity if you don't mind emailing me at  I just want to see who is reading and how you are doing!


  1. We will see how you do in a few months on that citizenship test!! Happy Birthday to Dennis and keep enjoying your new friendships. Oh yeah and it is about 25 degrees and snowing, again, here.

  2. Hi Stephen,

    this is a test as I have had trouble submitting comments to the BLOG, but may have figured out the problem. I sent you an email earlier.

    Here goes the test!

    Tom S.

  3. Hey it finally worked!!!

    So glad I figured it out before you returned to the states.

    Check your email.

    Happy Birthday to Dennis!

    Will be in touch again soon, VIA the Blog!

    Tom S.

  4. Mallory wants to know if she can come and stay with you! Ther is TOO MUCH SNOW here for a threelegged dog to cope with! She is from Georgia after all!


  5. Hi All-
    Tom! I'm happy that you have figured out the comments. I did get your email, I'll respond soon!

    Rosalind! Let Mallory now she is welcome ANYTIME! I miss having dogs around. Although from what I hear she should go commiserate with Waggers who is apparently refusing to even go outside. I don't think I've ever appreciated 45 and rainy so much!

    Mom! Don't worry, I'll pass the citizenship test one day, but I don't ever see myself swearing allegiance to the Queen, so I'm sort of stopped there. She does seem like a very sweet lady though!

    Hope you all are well. I'll be posting the next blog sometime in the next couple of days!

  6. Hi Stephen,
    Waggers got stuck today in the snow! I had to go out and get her, she was just stuck in about 3 feet of snow and was barking to me. I put on my boots and went to get her and she got so excited that she started to jump like a dolphin towards me. I lifted her the last couple of feet out of the snow onto a path that I have cut for her into the woods. She was so happy and sure that she was going to get a treat that she ran right to the front door and wagged her tail and jumped. I did give her a treat as soon as I got my boots off! She has a good life, as she should!
    Hope your days are as full of treats and happiness as Waggers!