Exciting variety of adventure: Flat-warming, Rope Swings, Opera, and a Beer Challange (with carrots on top)

Now I feel settled into my new home.  I bought a desk for my room and some extra hanging shelf space I craftily tied to my curtain rod, so everything has a home now.  I’ve also put up pictures so I can stare at the faces of lovely people everyday and remember how my life is awesome.  My third flatmate has moved in, too.  She works full time and is really nice.  She’s going to be easy to live with, I think.  Last weekend we had a proper house-warming party so all our friends here could see our new home.  Maria and I made margarita jello shots that were a hit.  A tad sour- I do recommend sprinkling them with sugar.  Everyone was happy and had a good time.  Thanks to everyone who came and added to the joy.

I live in a quiet area of East Finchley (except when the jolly drunk man upstairs is singing or listening to old music all day) just off the high road.  There’s a lot I want to explore around here.  I live about a 30 minute bus ride from a big park, Hampstead Heath, and a 10 minute walk from the richest road in Europe- Bishop’s Avenue- where they have massive, gorgeous abodes.  I live one tube stop from a nice town called Highgate, which Dilan and I decided to explore the other weekend.  We stumbled upon Highgate Wood, a wooded area of 28 acres with streams, sports areas, and lots of trees!  Also, so many dogs!  Almost everyone we saw had a dog with them.  Yay doggies 🙂  We saw a fox, but now that I’m not in central, I see foxes like, most days.  Foxes love London.  Also, the other night I saw a HEDGEHOG in our yard.  A hedgehog!  The British hedgehog is endangered.  It was so adorable and still.  It was gone when I went to go feed it 😦  So yeah, Highgate Wood is the place everyone around here takes their dogs.  We found a rope swing- so exciting.  It was made so you can actually sit on it like a swing, not just a knot to grab on to.  It swings down a steep hill, so at the climax you’re quite high above the ground.  Very fun.  Will return.

front door of fairy house SAM_2233 SAM_2237 SAM_2239 SAM_2240 Mee in a treee

I forgot to mention: In mid July, we went to a free screening of the opera La Bohème, hosted by the Royal Opera House.  I’ve never been to an opera.  It was in Italian and a very dramatic story.  I liked it more than I thought it would.  It looked pretty and the singing is soothing and enchanting.  It was quite a nice atmosphere- everyone was relaxing, drinking and kicking back on the big concrete slab as if it were a picnic in a field.

This past weekend, I enjoyed a variety of beers at the British Craft Beer Challenge at London Fields Brewery with Maria.  It’s a series of beer festivals, basically, where people vote for their favourite beers in attendance, and this one was Great Britain vs. The Commonwealth.

British Craft Beer Challenge

It was slightly disappointing, to be honest.  We paid a £4 entry fee and did not even get a glass for it.  We got there only a half hour after it started, and some of the best beers that we were most excited to try were already tapped.  They had a day session and didn’t plan well enough to supply for the night session as well.  Planning FAIL.  By the end of the night, almost everything was gone.  Both Maria and I love our American IPAs (num num citrusy hops).  Our favourite beer of the night was Magic Rock’s Cannonball.  Really nice flavour without an overpowering from the bitterness.  Magic Rock makes solid brews in general.  They’re a brewery near Yorkshire.

This Friday, I will be volunteering at the London Craft Beer Festival.  I’ll be sure to report back on my experience there 🙂  The festival is £35 entry (for a glass, lots of beer tastings, and access to all of the beer awesome), and I get a free entry for my time.  Yipeee experience + saving money.

I recently made a recipe that Suri posted over here.  Omg it was delicious. And it’s super nutritious to boot 😀 Everyone: Go make it.  I recommend using a vegetable peeler or a grater.  Slicing carrots into thin strips with a knife is slow and painful.  Don’t be like me and forget that your grater has a function that would probably work just swell.  In the end, I did pretty well with the knife, if I do say so.  Carrot pasta

‘Til next time, web-mates.

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