We spent most of the holiday playing Boggle, Scrabble and Articulate (a really great word game that's kind of like Taboo). Boxing Day, I'm sorry to say, was a sore disappointment. The mall opens at 9am, not 6am, like in Edmonton --and the sales are not worth queuing up for. In fact, the only shopping I did was to buy gym clothes at the over-priced Nike store on Boxing Day, and today, to buy a skirt and sweater at H&M, since we don't have one in Oxford.
|Thai Silk at the O2 Dome|
As for the film, I was not too impressed. Although The Hobbit's cinematography was spectacular, the plot could have been improved and was far, far too long. To be fair, though, the last time I read the book I was twelve, so I can't remember every detail, and can't comment on the plot's originality.
I've really spent the majority of the time studying though ---2.5 essays and my DPhil research proposal down, 2 more intense research essays to go. My goal is to finish them all in 7 days, and have the remaining 7 for editing. I need some New Year's luck to make it happen ---lucky '13!
Luckily, I was able to find a really great place for Kiara to stay that still had room available ---at Top Dog Home Boarding. Ineta, the lady that runs it, is actually a dog trainer who owns two training schools, and takes dogs into her home during the holidays. She only charges £20 a night for large dogs, too (most places I checked are over double that on Christmas week). This week, Ineta had her own two golden retrievers, a lighter golden retriever named Taz, a little dog and Kiara --all sleeping on her living room floor.
|My cousin Tina and 10 year old Taz!|
|Kiara nice and calm at daycare!|
Here is a slideshow of Christmas Day with my family in Kent. Even my grandmother, Jhaiji, came over to the house to open presents! I received a lovely necklace from Sonia, a Gordon Ramsey blender/processor (to go with the Jamie Oliver cookbook I bought myself) from Jhaiji, wall stickers for my house from Tina, an awesome filter/waterbottle for kickboxing and a calendar from Sunny and Nia, and a beautiful Gucci bracelet, a file organizer and some London-themed place mats from Aunty and Uncle. What a great Christmas! I will say though, that Rakhi's pictures of homemade key-lime pie at home looked so delicious. I tried a British kind of pie--minced pie (filled with dried fruit, not mince).
Now, for a few hours off for New Years' Eve...(blog post will be up tomorrow) and then.... (you guessed it)...
.... back to study, study, study --and apply (using all sorts of strategic methods) for PhDs in the UK! I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the end.
Happy New Year's Eve, everyone - and all the best in 2013!