September 2010

Books read in September 2010:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling.
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling.
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling.

Well, it’s one more book read than last month. You can expect to see more Harry Potter on these lists as I reread the series in preparation for the seventh film(s). It’s been two years since I’ve read any of the series, and it’s surprising how many details I’ve forgotten. The first two are still my least favourite, but Prisoner of Azkaban… for me, that’s where the real story begins.

Across the ocean

I woke up this morning to the shouts of ‘Mountain Day! Mountain Day!’ in the corridors and so now I look forward to joining a Smith College tradition on my first day back in the States. There has already been a 80s disco breakfast, and soon there will be apple picking, putt-putt, and dinner at a diner. It’s a beautiful autumn day outside but to me it’s warm enough to be summer.

Yesterday I rode two buses, two planes, and two more buses to get me from one small town in Scotland to another small town in Massachusetts. As I left town I saw the waves crashing against the pier through the mist and the rain. And as I left the islands of Britain to cross that vast ocean, I saw the afternoon sun casting the western shores of Ireland aglow. The land was dark, dark, but every pool, every lake and every river was shining bright as mirrors in the sun. And the sea, it shone, reflecting the golden sky.


It was still dark when I woke up this morning. We’ve started pulling out jumpers and scarves, and there is an unmistakable crispness to the air. Yes, my dear readers, it is finally autumn.

Today was the first day of term, so now I can say that I am a second-year PhD student. It sounds so much more legitimate and real than I actually feel. But I have a desk of my own now. It’s mine until I finish. I start teaching a medieval tutorial in a couple of weeks. How more legitimate and real can I get?

Haere ra

The group of us at the Dennisons' going-away picnic.

Farewell John, Jannah, Theo, and Emmaus! New Zealand will be glad to have you back, but we in Scotland will miss you.

At the picnic I was dragged from one end of the park to the other, running like an ostrich, playing follow the leader, walking like a flamingo, jumping, going down slides, and in general, hanging out with two very cool little boys. I think one of my favourite roles is that of ‘Aunt Chera’.

Morley and Dashiell.

It’s all yellow

I couldn’t be bothered to go to the store today, so when it came to dinnertime, I rummaged in my fridge and found half a bell pepper, a carrot, a zucchini, and a couple of peppers. I was all prepared to do my standard roast veg & couscous concoction when I decided on a whim to add some red lentils, too. I tossed a vegetable bouillon cube, some cumin and cayenne pepper in with the lentils, and let that cook while I chopped and cooked the vegetables. It was rainy and grey outside, and I in my very yellow and bright kitchen wanted food that was colourful and warm.

It’s not the prettiest of dishes, but it works. Next time I’ll put more spices in, just to give it a little more kick.