It’s been so long…


The semester is nearly over and I’ve done no updates for weeks and weeks. Shameful. So here are some bits and pieces.

1. We just had Thanksgiving break here in the US, and although I worked for most of it I also took some time to eat great food with great people. And I’ve had leftovers for days – perfection.

2. I keep thinking that winter has arrived, and it gets extremely cold, and then it warms up again. At the moment it’s in one of these warm (and by warm I mean I can tolerate two layers of clothing) patches but I expect that won’t last too much longer. I have had some snow experience here already:

Snow at Harvard Forest, where we had a class retreat.

3. Autumn here is as lovely as they say it is – I captured the progression of “the fall” outside my department during downtime at the lab bench. I think it’s interesting how the trees in the centre were first to change colour and lose their leaves, and it progressed outwards:

6th of October

15th of October

22nd of October

11th of November

4. I have settled into several favourite places here in Cambridge and Boston, most of which revolve around food. Two cafes with delightful baked goods and espresso coffee, with real ingredients in the food and none of this sugar-coated-sugar-laden Starbucks nonsense. The North End in Boston, which is a little Italy and is full of incredible food and naughty treats…

Cannoli from the legendary Mike's Pastry in the North End

Another new favourite haunt is a yarn and fabric store called “Gather Here”, where people sit on the couches and bring their knitting/crochet projects and chat or find help from the lovely people who work there. The store sells the most beautiful selection of quilting fabric I  have ever seen – all very cute and modern – and good quality wool and tools. (Good quality = not the cheapest, but I feel like it’s worth it). Also they have several solid Bernina sewing machines that you can spend time on for $10 an hour – luckily my lovely host family will let me use their sewing machine if I want to, but it’s nice to know the Berninas are there, anyway. I was so inspired the first time I stepped foot in Gather Here that I decided on the spot to make an Afghan blanket. My spare time is now often spent crocheting and I think I have made good progress:

My completed granny squares. The blue is actually more of a turquoise but it's hard to get a good picture in artificial light.

5. Work is very tiring and I am looking forward to Christmas break, when I head to London for two and a half weeks. I enjoy my classes and my lab work is fun, but trying to do it all at once is less than ideal. It’ll be great when I am done with classes (in a year or so)…

6. Choir is super great – I have one christmas concert with the Grad student choir, and in the undergrad choir we are rehearsing Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil, which is over an hour of a capella singing. Amazing. In January the undergrad choir (“Collegium”) will be touring NYC and singing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Soooo excited.

It’s my bedtime now so that’s all folks, but I will try to set aside a bit more time in future to post more frequent updates. I miss everyone at home (and abroad-but-not-here). xo


9 thoughts on “It’s been so long…

  1. nice crochet- is this a reflection of the colour palette of your room?
    its interesting how the sky mottles up as fall..falls

  2. Always good to hear from you again Tamsin. Love the Fall pics, the cannoli (makes me hungry) and crochet. Gather Here, what a great idea.
    Your experiences with the choir are amazing too.
    What are your Christmas plans in London?

    • I’m going to spend Christmas with my old flatmate Katie, perhaps get in touch with Mum’s sister Sarah and her family, and otherwise just have an explore around London 🙂 I thought about travelling further but I don’t want to spend too much money, and there’s probably plenty to do in and around London anyway. Maybe go and visit Cambridge and/or Oxford. Any recommendations?

      • Oh wow, so many great places, but you could easily spend all the time in London, there is so much to see. I loved Oxford, and the Cotswolds if you want oh so cute, cute cottages and choc box villages.

  3. Looks like you are well settled in! Love that you have been able to find good coffee – such a challenge here in the US. Love your crochet .. go the ‘granny-squares’, I say!!
    Do enjoy London! There was an Aussie travel article a while back called London Cheap as Chips (or somesuch!) about some of the things to do for free or little. [ found it: When I was there last I found “WalkAbout tours” – ( you meet a guide at a nominated place (train station) and go walking to explore a small-ish area. In the winter (December!!) it was pretty cold, so not so many people in the groups. I enjoyed it – but make sure you rug up. England doesn’t do heat like the Americans do!! I found the old lots-of-layers, including several pairs of warm socks was good!
    At least here on the east coast of the US there’s an opportunity to travel to Europe without a great deal of expense or jet-lag.
    Congrats on the great choir experiences, too!! Very best to you – love your updates! 🙂

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