UK Update

Sunday, 16 March 2014 19:12
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[personal profile] bosonator
Well, maintaining a blog while I was in Montana didn't really happen, and I'm not gonna say I'll stick with it this time either, but that was in part because the web platform I used was clunky & handled like a golf cart in the mud and because everyone needed passwords to read my posts. But now, starting freshly in Birmingham and with some urging from friends, I'm going to give it another shot here on Dreamwidth!

It's late in the day on a Sunday, so this will be a quick post just to fill you in on how things have been going so far in the 18 days I've been here in Birmingham so far.

Let's start by saying I think I'm going to love it here. Yeah, yeah... I'm in the honeymoon phase still, but it's been a pretty sweet honeymoon so far. It took awhile to score an apartment because I'm choosy. (I know, try to hold back your exclamations of shock.) I found one on Harborne Park Road, which is just off the funky local high street. It's bustling, there's a hip grocery store, a chill café built in an old schoolhouse, and there are probably 8 or 9 classic English pubs. (Side note: I'm in beer Shangri La. It's so good here it hurts.) Downtown is only a 10 minute bus ride away, and campus is close enough that I walk...

...which has been easy because the weather is gorgeous right now. You know the secret to really appreciating the weather in your new town? Have everyone speak words of doom about how awful it's going to be in the lead-up to moving there. It has been blue skies & sunshine at least 75% of the time. Today it was +17˚C as I strolled past the crocuses and daffodils on my way to go running along the canal.

People have surprised me with their friendliness too. A fun one is that last week I stopped in at a Middle Eastern take-away place to pick up some supper. They didn't take card, and I only had half the cash I needed, so the guy just told me to come back when I had the rest. (I did, of course.) Last weekend a research collaborator, Alison D., hosted a wine tasting where I got to meet a PhD/postdoc couple from Italy. It came out that I'm a climber, so they invited me over for supper last night so they could introduce me to some friends of theirs who climb! There's also a friend from work, Catt, who has been great about showing me around. She got me hooked up with the local folk music society (FolkSoc for short), so I went and played with them last Tuesday. They meet in a room in the Student Guild, bring some beers up from the pub, and go around the circle playing songs. One of the most fun things was when they learned that I'm from Halifax and then broke out in a rendition of Barrett's Privateers... apparently they all love Stan Rogers, ha!

Want to tell more, but need food now. I'll just add that I'm feeling really at home here so far, and I'll hopefully be posting some pictures soon, although knowing that Scotty will be coming to visit in a month, I'm almost inclined to hold off and let his pro shots be the first ones you see. We'll see how it goes. :)

- Josh
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