21 days into the new year and I still find myself writing “2015” whenever writing the date. It is crazy how quickly this year arrived! 2016 always felt so far away, especially back in 2012 when I started my degree at Portsmouth. 2016 felt ages away, but here it is. This is the year I will finish my dissertation. This is the year I will graduate. It is all moving too quickly!
So let’s take a step back and talk about what I did over Christmas.
13th of December I flew home to Norway for the holidays. 2,5 weeks at home – bliss! During summer holidays I work as a secretary in my local hospital back home to earn some extra cash, and this time they wanted me to work for a week before Christmas so I could get some training for summer. They wanted me to train how to work in the reception, and I am very happy I had a week to train because I am not a big fan of receptions or making phone calls, especially not when I have to speak to patients and stuff. But it went all good and I even put my English skills to hand. Hopefully some Chinese patients will drop by this summer so I can practice my Chinese with them 😛
Christmas came around and all I remember doing was eating for a week straight. In Norway we typically celebrate 23rd of Decembers as “little Christmas Eve”, so for dinner we usually have rice porridge with sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of butter on top. We put an almond in it, and whoever finds the almond on their plate wins a big marzipan pig. We also celebrate Christmas Eve as our “main” day of Christmas, not Christmas Day. So Christmas Eve we had a lovely dinner with pinnekjøtt, mashed swede, boiled potatoes, and sausages, and rice cream with strawberry sauce for dessert. After the dishes are done we open presents, Santa knocks on the door and you get to meet him (although I haven’t seen Santa since I was 9), we have some sweets and then go to sleep. 25th of December we have a big family breakfast, and typically go around grandma’s house for dinner.
Seeing my family and friends was really nice, and on 29th of December I flew back to Portsmouth. An American friend of mine, Carley, whom I met whilst abroad in China was due to come visit me and stay for ten days! We had planned to meet up at Heathrow Airport and get the train down to Pompey together, but because of a snow storm in the US she was a day delayed. But she made it in the end!
We spent New Year’s Eve in Popworld with some friends of mine, which was a lot of fun.
I had asked her what she wanted to do while in England, and we decided we wanted to go visit some of our other friends who we met in China. One of our friends, Charlotte, lives up in Newcastle, and our friend Ellis lives in Lincoln. So our original plan was to take the train to York on Friday, Charlotte would come down and spend the day with us on Saturday, then we would go to Lincoln on Sunday to see Ellis, then go back home. But sadly, because of the flooding in York we decided not to go there. We were told trains did run as normal, but it did not feel right to go play tourists in an area so affected by the floods.
Obviously we still wanted to go so we ended up going to Nottingham and Lincoln for the weekend. Both cities were really nice! In Nottingham we saw Nottingham Castle Museum, including the caves underneath. We saw the Robin Hood statue, and I introduced Carley to a cheeky Nando’s. In Lincoln we met up with Ellis, and she showed us around town – Lindoln Castle, the Steep Hill, Lincoln Cathedral, and some other nice places. Her mum even made us Sunday roast, yummy!
Luckily I don’t have a 9AM lecture on Monday mornings anymore, so we got a late train back to Portsmouth that day. The next day my lectures started again, and for the next week my evenings were spent showing Carley around Portsmouth, and watching many horror films together.
Lovely Christmas break before the next pile of work!