Fun with British Politics

One of the items on my study abroad bucket list was to deepen my understanding of the UK political system by getting involved with a campaign or political group here. This started to look like a possibility when, a week and a half ago, I ran into someone from the Liberal Democrats student group on campus – he was selling chocolate cake (obviously, this signaled that they’re good people) to help defray the costs of a trip to Parliament they were taking. I bought some (extremely tasty) cake, got myself invited on the Parliament trip (which was incredible), went to a couple of meetings at a local pub, and now I’ve spent a day campaigning for the Liberal Democrat candidate in the contentious Eastleigh by-election.

In case you’re starting to worry: No, I’m not planning on doing a bunch of political blogging here. I have plenty of other platforms for my word vomit about politics. But the experience of participating in a campaign in a foreign country was definitely interesting. Continue reading “Fun with British Politics”

Exploring Stanmer Village

Yesterday, after a productive brunch with friends (we planned and booked a trip to Kraków over full English breakfasts, so expect a post about that adventure mid-March), we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and go for a walk through the South Downs National Park, which surrounds our university’s campus. Considering we’d just had pretty heavy breakfasts, it seemed like a good idea to try and burn a few calories.

After taking in the gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside from the top of a big hill next to campus (and trying/failing to befriend some cows grazing nearby), we noticed the village nestled at the bottom of the other side of the hill. And, you know, it was beautiful out and we were feeling adventurous, so we wandered on down. Continue reading “Exploring Stanmer Village”

Thoughts on Marmite

One of the few things I really knew about British cuisine prior to my arrival here is that Marmite is a source of controversy – people seem to either love it or absolutely hate it. So I knew I had to try it for myself at some point when I was here to see which camp I’d fall into.

Today, almost exactly one month after my arrival, I finally picked up a cheddar and Marmite panini for lunch at a café on campus. Continue reading “Thoughts on Marmite”

Happy Pancake Day!

Growing up Catholic (attending a Catholic elementary school with the plaid skirts and everything – the whole deal), the Lenten season was a reasonably big deal and got a decent amount of attention. So imagine my surprise when I move to the UK and all of a sudden there’s this pre-Ash Wednesday Pancake Day thing that I’d never heard of. My religious education seems to have been woefully incomplete.

To be fair, I thought we had the Lent stuff pretty well-covered with Fat Tuesday, but then, what’s the fun in celebrating by overeating? I can do that any day of the year. A day when it’s acceptable to have pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner? That’s a little more special. Continue reading “Happy Pancake Day!”

A Day in London

So one of my goals for this semester is to travel to as many European cities as possible before I go back to the US and (hopefully) another summer internship and then my last year of school and then (again, hopefully) law school and then (fingers crossed!) a job that requires me to work 80-hour weeks for the rest of my life and never have another chance to travel. Accordingly, I’ll try and document this spring’s mini-trips here so I can look back and reminisce about the good old days when I had free time.

I’m off to a pretty awful start – I was in London two weeks ago and I’m just now posting this. Whoops. Continue reading “A Day in London”