December 2018

This December seems to have been calmer than usual, which is rather nice. We’ve both had concerts – Tom’s choir sang a delightful program of Spanish Christmassy music whilst mine performed Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall, and of course there have been some carols too. Other than a single string of lights we haven’t bothered decorating this year, but have been making the most of every opportunity for festive food and drink, with one particularly note-worthy weekend including both the first mulled wine of the season and Tom’s first attempt at hasselback potatoes (an epic success!).

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Thanksgiving 2018

This Thanksgiving was our biggest yet, I think, with 8 of us for lunch. We hosted and cooked for four NY friends and a couple of visitors from England, and it was a lovely day. I was very happy with the way the table looked before everyone arrived

… and even more so when it was laden with food!

This doesn’t look like all that much, but we were very full once we’d finished, and sadly I seem to have forgotten to photograph the pumpkin and pecan pies which followed the main course. Lots to be thankful for.

Finding meaning

The other day I received a comment on a previous blog post from someone who clearly objected to my lifestyle and the way I present it here. Phrases such as “vacuous dross”, and “privileged and meaningless existence” were deployed, and although I didn’t appreciate the tone I have to admit I don’t entirely disagree with their point. I am well aware that this blog is all happy-shiny tales from my extraordinarily-privileged life (a life for which I am perpetually grateful, by the way), and I know that that even the bad days I don’t write about are really not all that bad in the overall scheme of things. And whilst I am perfectly capable of sophisticated textual analysis I choose not to do that here, although perhaps I should…

Pique aside, it’s always valuable to have one’s bubble popped from time to time, and the more I think about it the more I’m grateful for this comment – particularly as I was vaguely thinking about making one of my current volunteer activities more meaningful,  and this has prompted me to sign up for an orientation to explore some options. I’m not sure whether this was the desired response, but there we go.

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Mining history, wilful destruction of property, and giant vegetables

Friday September 1st was going to be our big day out at the Alaska State Fair, until we checked our tickets and realised that it didn’t actually open until noon. Luckily this happened the night before, so we had time to choose another local attraction to visit in the morning – the Independence gold mine. (We very nearly didn’t make it there either thanks to a Google mapping snafu, but happily the wonders of mobile technology set us back on track.) Continue reading

Memorable Memorial weekend

(Interrupting the coverage of our holiday with a post about the long weekend.) Memorial Day is one of the few holiday weekends which coincides with a bank holiday back in the U.K., and it always feels rather nice to be doing long weekendy things at the same time. Unlike back in the U.K., when our bank holidays usually used to involve heading out of town to visit friends or relations, go hiking, or lengthen a trip to somewhere in Europe, here we often tend to use them as an excuse to veg out at home. Not so this time, however, when each day involved something fun with different sets of friends, although we did still manage a decently lazy morning on Monday!
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Easter etc.

So, Easter happened. As usual, we had a busy schedule of choir commitments, to which I added an extra evening by volunteering to masquerade as a chorister on Maundy Thursday. We also invited some friends around for Easter lunch after the two morning services, which meant the usual mad shopping-cleaning-cooking rush on top of everything else – as usual I complained about it all, but of course it was a lot of fun on the day. Continue reading