Category Archives: Nottingham

Today I was foolish…

To regale you all with stories of my failure at life and adulthood, I thought I’d share this anecdote about what happened at work yesterday (misleading title I know).

So yesterday I was at work (on a Saturday… sigh) because we had a ton of orders to complete and a lot to catch up on. Working on Saturdays isn’t bad, we usually spoil ourselves a bit and its nice to have the place to ourselves while we busily rush around trying to get ahead for the next week.

The only bad thing about working on Saturdays is that the buildings aren’t fully opened by security. So when I decided to go fill up my water bottle in the main reception, I knew to keep the door propped open with my foot.

Unfortunately due to my clumsy nature I managed to off-balance the water bottle (and myself) and trip over my own feet while trying to avoid a major spill. Of course in the process, I managed to let go of the door and it slammed shut behind me, leaving me trapped in reception.

Yes, we can all acknowledge that I’m a star.

I tried about four different door codes before giving up and calling the other building to have someone come and let me out. I’m not sure they’ll let me go anywhere unsupervised anymore…


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Kelsey Arrives


I had a lovely couple of weeks recently. I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends from Canada visit me at the start of her grand tour of Europe. She arrived safely, but without her baggage, which was lost in the flight transfer. Unfortunately it took almost three days to get her luggage back, even though the airline knew it was in the UK the evening of her arrival.  It was Valentine’s day when Kelsey arrived so I made steak salad for lunch and toad in the hole for dinner (and we had cupcakes to celebrate the occasion). I had to work all week, but we got to spend the evenings together walking around the city and having supper and on the weekend we went on a trip to Cardiff. We went out the Friday night to visit Janice at her new place of business – the illustrious flaming grill establishment called The Old Colonial. Flaming Grills are pretty similar to a Kelsey’s in Canada – pretty mediocre. Janice looked very cute in her black and orange uniform and Kelsey and I played on the quiz machine (and lost badly) while we waited for Janice to be done her shift. Frankly I maintain the pub quiz wasn’t a fair contest because of the random British celebrities and politicians that we’d never heard of… we were unfairly handicapped!

Reassuring everyone back home

On the way out!

Janice in her snazzy uniform

Janice doing her job... sort of.

At the Flaming Grill

Later the next week Kelsey made some day trips by herself to the lovely city of Manchester with its Victorian edifices and fantastic museums, and Kelsey came back wishing she’d gone to university at the beautiful Manchester University campus! She also visited the sweet town of Lincoln with its Cathedral and famous (and not so sweet) story of Little Saint Hugh who was a nine year old Christian boy whose body was discovered down a well in 1255.  His death began a blood libel after a local Jew admitted under torture to killing the boy. The man was executed but due to the political situation at the time, almost one hundred Jews were arrested and held in the Tower of London for being involved with this ‘ritual murder.’ Some of these people were hung for refusing to take part in a Christian trial but the remainder were set free eventually. This is an event I covered in one of my seminar classes at university about the History of Satan and really shows how the prejudice against the Jewish population could spiral out of control. The story is best known through Chaucer’s The Prioress’s Tale (in case it sounds familiar and you don’t know why!) Here’s a quote:

“O yonge Hugh of Lyncoln, slayn also
With cursed Jewes, as it is notable,
For it nis but a litel while ago,
Preye eek for us, we synful folk unstable,
That of his mercy God so merciable
On us his grete mercy multiplie,
For reverence of his mooder Marie. Amen.”

That Friday the three of us went out for dinner – we tried originally for the only Vietnamese restaurant in the East Midlands (to keep in the tradition of the lunch dates Kelsey and I used to have back home) but found that it has since closed and thus settled on a Japanese restaurant. Their raman bowls were pretty good, but a bit overpriced. We had a night out in Nottingham afterwards and met up with one of Janice’s friends from work as well as a Canadian living in Leicester and the next morning, Kelsey set out of the bus for Heathrow airport to fly to Munich. So long and come back soon!

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Our first visitor!

Our very first guest arrived the last weekend in January from France. Our dear friend Chris, originally from Alabama, came to visit for the weekend, taking Friday off from his job teaching English. He arrived late Friday and we went back to our flat to celebrate (a little belatedly) Chinese New Year’s with steamed pork buns, spring rolls and dumplings. We celebrated with the rum Chris had bought at the airport duty free and woke up late the next morning to cinnamon buns.

Janice and Chris

Chris and I

Cinnamon buns before baking (I forgot an after shot)

Later that day we went for a walk in the afternoon in Nottingham, first to the castle and then along the Robin Hood trail (signs telling the stories of Robin Hood throughout the city). We also went to look at a couple churches in Nottingham, and walked past Jamie Oliver’s restaurant! We had a lovely evening at home watching Robin Hood (the Disney version) together and on Sunday we had breakfast together before sending Chris off to the airport for his flight home.

Chris and Robin Hood

Janice and Chris doing?

Church of St Mary


Outside Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant!

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Home sweet home

We’ve settled in Nottingham, finally. It was a long journey to get here, certainly longer than London and back. We had a nice time in London with the people from our hostel, but most of the time was spent doing paperwork and other such things to get our move finalized. We headed back to Nottingham for New Years (although technically we spent New Years at a party in Birmingham) and then we headed to Leeds, which was our original choice of long term city. Unfortunately, after having zero luck in Leeds with job offers, interviews or even interest, as well as no luck finding an apartment we were interested in, we were getting pretty discouraged. One night we decided to randomly apply for a couple jobs in other key cities, just because neither of us were feeling very good about Leeds. As luck would have it, the very next morning I got a call for an interview in Nottingham. Within the week we packed up and moved back to Nottingham and within the next couple of weeks, we both had jobs and a new place to live!
Now I get to take you on a tour of our new two bedroom (or one bedroom plus a broom closet as we like to call it) flat. To begin, here are our stairs. Note the lovely carpeting (we live on the upper floor).


Upstairs you have one bedroom to the left (my current sleeping abode) and a disaster of architecture to the right (see all the open space and the lousy wall making a tiny bedroom? Poor planning.)

My room

The awful waste of space...

Janice's closet... (note the lame red wings flag)

Then you have the lovely bathroom with its vaguely dismembered shower partition. Thing of beauty…


And finally our living space complete with grandma couches (we’re working on how to sleep guests bigger than Janice) and our kitchen (which does me quite well most of the time).

Living room (see Janice in the mirror)

The other side of the living room

Our kitchen!

So there you have it –a tour of our new abode. Doesn’t it feel like y’all have been here already? Wonderful!

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