To start us off, tonight was the first night truly reminiscent of being at Sussex. I haven’t been writing posts as much as I’d like, which makes me feel sadly disconnected. However, tonight has given me a boost in moral to kick start myself back into blogging action. Here’s how it all began…
After making a fine dinner of Dijon-honey shrimp (adapted from a recipe over on normalcooking’s blog) with rice and corn, one of my housemate’s friends came over with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Ok, two things from here. Making dinners, real dinners (because I actually got to planning them before grocery shopping for this past week) has reconnected me with last semester.
Experimenting with new recipes – which I will be posting! – and feeling that sense of accomplishment when taking that first bite has rekindled the growing relationship I had with food since I began this blog. While it was still there over the summer, my actually cooking and baking sort of took a hiatus. So food is proving helpful yet again, and in a new way! My spirit, which has been sort of slumping since getting back to school, is being reinvigorated; like finding a piece of me that was hiding and restoring that confidence in myself.
Now, as for the second thing, the movie. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may recall my reading Sherlock Holmes as well as having a Sherlock Holmes movie weekend with my flatmates at Sussex. I was completely reminded of that weekend, as well as when my family and I saw the second Holmes movie just before I left for England.
Mentions of Brighton, coupled with familiar sights (if set in period) of London and memories of train rides (though less eventful) also played a part in my reminiscing, big time. At this point, though, I must admit a wee bit of snooping around the Sherlock Holmes fandom…Or a lot bit. Readers, prepare yourselves. My geekier side is making another appearance.
On the plane ride back from England I was able to catch an episode of the BBC/PBS show Sherlock. It was the second season opener and I was hooked. I’d heard about it before, and it had been suggested to me by some friends from anim8s and some international student friends. Well over the summer my brother and I watched the first season and wouldn’t you know it? Turns out they were right. It’s a fantastic show and has such perfect actors for the characters. But I won’t get started on that now or I will definitely not get any sleep tonight…so I’ll save it for another post!
I have to say, I partially blame my Social Media Marketing class (which I am loving so far) for this foray as well. You see, readers, we had to sign up for most of the popular forms of social media right now. I’m not sure how savvy you may be with these sites, but I was pretty much behind the curve here. I had a Facebook, a WordPress blog, and a pretty ineffective Twitter. So I’ve now been participating actively in such sites as Pinterest and Tumblr – the particular two causing the “problem” here.
Both act like the art uploading/”favoriting” site, deviantART, in a way – or at least in the way I’ve been utilizing them. It was thus a short matter of time until I discovered the fandom in full swing. Fanart, screen caps with hilarious or meaningful captions, ridiculous crossovers, etc. etc. (data, data, data). My point? I’ve been bombarded with Sherlock things and am now slightly addicted. And Sherlock Holmes in itself makes me think of England. (Though food, too, is a major part of my browsing on Pinterest)
But wait, there’s more! After the movie, four of us (myself, two of my housemates, and one visiting boyfriend) decided to go out for a drink. It’s a little bit odd, still, to place myself in the drinking atmosphere in the States and especially so in Oxford, Ohio. Up until now college has meant being denied into 21 and over bars and not participating in a more casual drinking environment.
Well coupled with the two previous “mood setters”, I was completely on board for hanging out at a bar and sipping a drink. We went to one of the nicer bars uptown, MIA, and sat down in a cozy booth. I wasn’t feeling the complicated drinks on the menu, and I was the driver, so I went with a peach schnapps and lemonade. Simple but good.
Oddly enough, the server said the bartender wasn’t quite sure how to make a peach schnapps and lemonade, so hoped that it was ok. Huh. Must be a new bartender…That aside, it was still very tasty. I do prefer the British version as their lemonade is carbonated and more like a less sugary lemon soda. Regardless, the two housemates tasted it and now it is unanimous that peach schnapps shall be purchased for the house. Boo-ya! Brooke 1, …well yeah, just Brooke up 1.
The atmosphere was a bit fancier than back at Falmer bar at Sussex, but the essential feeling of being with friends and relaxing over a drink was the same. All I could think about while there was the times I spent at the bar with friends from anim8s after our movie, or when Amanda, Betsey, Iris, and I found the drinks we liked best and bonded. And it felt awesome, because I found a piece of Brighton at MIA back in Oxford. That was really the icing on the cake of this Friday night and I’m feeling more like myself than I have since arriving back here. Confident, comfortable, and back in my groove.
Tomorrow is another day, but that doesn’t mean I have to lose this feeling. It may waver when my eyes began to glaze over at the library trying to catch up on the work I should have started today, or when I feel trapped in the “OxBox”, this is true. But at least I know that when I need it, I have meals to plan and cook, British culture to participate in (new Doctor Who episode tomorrow, anyone?), and most importantly, I have a place to go to and friends to bring along to find my center again. While I’m totally missing being in England, it in no way means I don’t enjoy being here, too. They are two very different places, certainly, but I was able to connect them tonight.
So readers, I ask you to think about the places that mean something to you. Every place has a story to tell, a memory to trigger, and I imagine that it would be amazing to find which places connect us so leave a comment and share some of yours places with soul. Give this post a like and remind yourself every once in a while, or mention these places in your own lives, or blog if you have one! This turned out much longer than I intended (big surprise there), and I just want to remind you all how awesome I think you are. Thank for reading, cheers! Until then…