19 October 2010

'Oh I'm running but you're getting away'

I am now the proud owner of a blender and a stock pot. I predict large amounts of soup/stew being made and consumed in the future. Pumpkin soup, if one wishes to be precise. The Borough market has an amazing fresh produce stand and I spotted pumpkins there a few days ago. I think making pumpkin soup will be my project for this weekend. For those who know me and the state of my current culinary abilities (which is largely limited to sandwiches, quesadillas, and, if I am feeling particularly fancy, stir-fried vegetables), this is a daunting prospect and will be a challenge. Still, it is imperative that I learn how to cook if I ever wish to live alone/feed mouths other than my own. (As I have told my boyfriend, it is fine and well for me to survive on chicken and avocado sandwiches or cooked vegetables, but I don't think it would be sufficient to keep him alive.)

In other news, I had my first classes of the my optional modules last week. Thursday was International Politics of the Middle East. Since it was the first week, we only had lecture; seminars will commence November 4th. The class looks like it will be interesting but intense. We have 150-200 pages of required reading a week and, since my professor is an expert in his field (The fact that he has a Wikipedia page of his own is a clear indication of this), I will really have to come prepared so as not to thoroughly embarrass myself. On Friday, between my Theories of IR lecture at 12 and seminar at 3 I had Open Source Intelligence. It is a class that has no counterpart in other universities. This term will provide the theoretical grounding and practical skills in OSINT collection/analysis while next term we will apply these skills to case studies. I am looking forward to how the course develops.

Friday also brought the arrival of my friend Veronica from the depths of Wales, where she attends university. After an initial poor start (it took me an hour to find her at the enormous Victoria Underground/Railway station), we had a wonderful dinner at the Founder's Arms under Blackfriar's Bridge. Saturday's highlights included shopping (i.e. fighting a war) on Oxford Street and at Primark (which constantly seems to exist in a state similar to Best Buys on Black Friday), eating lunch at Marble Arch, seeing the Royal Albert Hall, and visiting the V&A museum. Sunday brought an early morning visit to Westminster/Parliament, lunch in Hyde Park, a trip to Harrods, glance at Buckingham Palace, tour of the GLobe Theatre, and a Jack the Ripper tour that left us in the back alleys of Whitechapel and forced us to jump over chainlink fences in order to find our way back home, It was thrilling.

Veronica left on Monday and I spent the morning running in Regent's Park, attempting to convince my computer to give up its death grip on my ethernet cable, and begging the internet gods to work their magic on KCL's network. While my laptop still remains firmly in possession of the ethernet cable (a fact that I am willing to let slide until December when I suppose I will have to address the problem in order to pack the computer into my backpack), the other two events were successful. Today was spent comparing blender prices and properties at Argos, buying aforementioned kitchen implements, going to the gym, and reading about liberal theories of IR (and why they are criticized by basically everyone). Tomorrow is my first cross country race of the season at Parliament Hill. It is a short distance, less than 3 miles, but with my achilles tendon the way it is at the moment, every mile seems like 3. Still, there is no rest for me until December (at which time I plan to not run at all and instead TurboJam it up in my basement) and, as always, I will give tomorrow's race my best effort. Despite the fact that I have raced before, I am quite nervous.

Check back tomorrow to see how things went. In the meantime...keep it classy, readers.

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