Friday, 17 October 2008


Yay for September being over! Well, it's halfway through October, but who's counting? Hope everyone (Canadian) had a great Thanksgiving. As it was on a Monday and it wasn't a long weekend here, I wasn't going to do much for it... but my wonderful housemates had other plans. The Kiwi made chicken (he used the Orange Chicken marinade, but put it on chicken thighs instead of the classic chicken breasts) and roasted sweet potatoes. Claire had just returned from a wedding in the Philippines and brought us chocolate and wine.

Did I mention Claire and the Kiwi? Maybe not - things have been a bit hectic. Claire's from Australia and is in the lab for three months as an exchange. I knew that she was coming and was thinking about offering her my back bedroom if she was interested. Just before that, though, the Kiwi (who had been on my course but was supposed to be doing a funded PhD just afterward) had to quit his PhD and was left stranded, with no plans, no house and no income. He begged me to let him move in and I thought he'd be a pretty good housemate... and so it came to pass.

But then Claire turned up. I offered her a place to sleep for as long as she needed, as both the Kiwi and I felt bad that he'd effectively nicked her room. She ended up staying in the attic, and as she had an impossible time finding a short-term lease the week turned into weeks and then a month... However, Claire is so lovely and so good to live with (and insisted on paying us rent even though we didn't ask for it and were happy to let her stay) that we agreed she could stay as long as she wanted. She arrived Sept 5 and has only just now found a place to live in Menai Bridge. It's been great, though. Never would have thought my tiny house could happily hold three people, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Anyway, on Thanksgiving night I went to kick-aerobics class and came back, tired and disgustingly sweaty, to find the table set, food ready, lights dimmed, music on and Claire and the Kiwi wearing nice formal top/dinner jacket & tie! (and trackpants/shorts on the bottom...) It was really sweet.

I had planned to make pumpkin pie but just didn't have the time or energy. However, the Kiwi had bought a pumpkin and I tried making it earlier this week. It turned out perfectly! I've never tried making pumpkin pie by actually roasting a pumpkin (Canadian pumpkin comes in cans) but it was easy enough and gave an excellent result. The upshot is that we are having a sort of potluckish Thanksgiving celebration on Sunday as well. I will make more pie and cabbage rolls, the Kiwi has plans for some kind of pumpkin-coconut soup, and Claire is making Filipino green mango shakes. Perhaps not very traditional, but should be interesting.

And yes, I did get my thesis handed in. It was finished a week early (ie. before the extended deadline) but I was busy trying to write a scholarship application while working full-time. So the Kiwi, brilliant housemate that he is, ran it to the bindery for me and I did manage to hand it in before my trip to London. Now all academic pressure is off, everything is done, and all I have to do is work my hours and go home. big sigh of relief....

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