Kellie and Rachel

Once upon a time it was 2003 and I moved into a dorm room with too many people in too small of a space on a big ol’ college campus. And in that dorm were plenty of nice girls, but only a few that I still love with all my heart and who return my affections, even knowing how completely stupid I was when I was 19. And 20. And 21 (loooord, 21, when every “good” American girl really comes out of her shell and spends more nights than anyone should spend in cheap bars). And so on and so forth. Rachel lives in North Carolina now, Kellie’s still in Columbus, but Rachel drove over to hang out and tell old stories and eat brunch and walk around with Kellie and I (and Jon, that wonderful partner of mine who doesn’t mind baring witness to friends catching up and telling all the same old tales of embarassment and youthful revelry).

These are the people most used to me and my ever-present camera. (Plus Lindsey, too).

While walking back to our cars after brunch at Tasi-Columbus people, go there! You will love it!-we came across this giant metal Ohio sign outside one of the antique shops. It obviously once belonged to a car dealership, and I wish I had had the space or expendable income to purchase it. Surely it was only outside anyway because it was a game day. The attempt of O-H-no I just another-O is now permanently ensconsed in (digital) film.

O-HO!

OHO!

Ah dear friends. Till we meet again. It won’t be soon enough.

Folk and Cider Festival at The Fiddler’s Elbow

I’m hard pressed to think of a better way to spend a Sunday when you know you don’t have to work the next day-but I’d saying going to a tiny festival full of cider and rowdy folk music is a good choice! So yesterday Jon and I spent some time inside/outside The Fiddler’s Elbow in Brighton, on a tiny street cordoned off for this ubiquitous Folk and Cider Festival. Everyone seemed to be having a great time-some more than others*coughcoughverydrunkdudes*- and the weather was perfectly warm (plus the rain stayed away!). The cider was strong. Seriously, strong. The one I had was 7%+ and left a solid burn on the innards. I believe it was called “Janet’s Jungle Juice”. My kind of cider.

The bands that we did see were great, although I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to English people singing the stompin’ blues and folk music of the US-I’m talking singing about the sultry nights down south, or the police coming for you, your old lady dying, or spending time in Chicago town. It’s a bit….strange. But I dig it. This fella below was a helluva harmonica player. And I liked his hat. And those two babies in front of him? Couldn’t stop dancing. It was so cute!

So pleased to have found out about this little festival just in time, aka Saturday afternoon the day before it happened. I love that Brighton has these little micro festivals and street fairs and carnivals all year round-it’s such a cool city. High fives to you, Brighton!  I’ll definitely go again next year.

We’re on Rock n Roll Bride!

So honored to be featured over there-I definitely checked it out a time or two (or million) during our own short engagement/wedding planning period. We feel so special! Go see it and read about our awesome tiny wedding here: http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2012/08/an-intimate-ohio-wedding-ashley-jon/#more-125572

Corn on the cob

Another of the myriad reminders that I am, indeed, now permanently ensconced in a world that was not always my own has been the complete lack of seasonal food changes. A strange topic, I realize. At home, in America, so much of our culture is food-based and centered around meals. For better or worse, this is the truth. And summertime means backyard barbecues, firing up the grill with friends whenever possible, cold drinks, iced tea (sun tea!), a bounty of freshly grown fruits and veggies that can’t be so easily found the rest of the year. Cobblers from all the berries, tomatoes until you swear you couldn’t eat another, but you will, and you do, because you should, and it’s summertime. Corn on the cob. Light and fresh dishes when it’s too hot to possibly spend one second over a hot stove. S’mores over a bonfire. And on and on.

Here, the heat never amounted to much, if you didn’t hear. We’re past the neverending rains of June and July, and the crazy winds too, and things have leveled out to days of mostly sunshine, lots of clouds, and temperatures in the mid to high 60s. Perfectly acceptable. But. It’s officially August and I’ve just come across my first couple ears of corn, which I plan to roast for Jon and I soon. And it got me to thinking, to noticing how monotonous things on the food front get when you can just as willingly eat a hot bowl of chilli in July as December. How there is no awe in strawberries big as golf balls coming back into season, finally cheap and affordable. And how I guess I used to depend on that continuity of movement, that change of seasons, change of palate to let me know that time was moving and changing and returning to what it had once been. That memory is just as much taste and smell as actual thoughts.

Beach Barbecue

They do this thing here where you can buy little barbecues for super cheap at the grocery store in order to get your grill on at the beach. The barbecues are less than 2 bucks, and have some sort of sustainably produced “charcoal” made of cotton or something? I don’t know. I mean, I’m uncomfortable with the whole one-off cookery thing, but for an occasional beach dinner, count me in! Also, does this happen in other places? This landbound Ohio girl is unaware.

On one of our evenings at the beach this past week we took down some nice sausages and ciabatta, a few cans of Foster’s, and joined the teeming masses in bathing suits by the seaside. Damn, I could do with more of that! For comparison, today the sun is shining but it’s back to super windy and in the mid-60s with forecasts for more of the same all week (plus rain at the end…); it seems our glorious time of heat is over for the time being. And I’m really, truly okay with it….as long as this doesn’t mean another 3 weeks of all day rain, every day or something. Ugh. My soul can’t take it.

The birds love the heat too….more people at the beach means better meals for them!

Over the fabulous weekend

Ugh, this weekend was so awesome. It was the best we’ve had in a long time. It was finally hot outside (with sunshine and warmth all in one! what?? that never happens!). So it really just seemed like summer. We took advantage of the day and basically wandered around Brighton, doing all there is to do on a gorgeous Saturday in this city.

Keep in mind we didn’t actually leave the house until nearly 2…I slept in until almost noon (high fives!) and Jon had heard it might rain, and was scared to head out too early. But it never did (huge surprise, I know). Eventually we wandered out and got a coffee at Small Batch, our favorite. Then we wandered around the North Laine street market, which is the best thing to do on a Saturday. And I always forget cash, which is lame, so I rarely buy any of the goodies that I want to. Next week I swear I won’t forget! Anyway, after the market, Colin, Jon and I got some frozen yogurt at Lick’s and went to the Pavilion Gardens to watch people. We saw some crazy children tormenting the pigeons and sea gulls (see the photo below for proof of Jon and Colin’s response to that), and then moved the sitting/people watching party to the rocky beach, where we were joined by most of Brighton.

After Colin hit the train back to Hassocks, Jon and I decided it was time for a pint. So we went to find a pub down a side road and stumbled upon Craft Beer Co. right down from our house! It. Is. Great. Like a more English version of Bodega, for my Columbus readers. I look forward to going back! Kal met us for a drink there, and after that it was dinner time and watching Bridesmaids on dvd time.

 

Great Saturday, right?? I know! I don’t have any hopes for another like it in the near future, but I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy American Independence Day dudes and ladies!

Mine started out with a great treat-Jon woke up early and surprised me with American-style pancakes. He’s a keeper, that guy. We didn’t have any syrup, but who cares, right?image

The weather was completely terrible and rainy for most of the day (and even kind of cold, it’s been in the low 60s) but the sun came just in time for my work day to end and for me to hit the gym. Which was needed…..image

because we had dinner plans at this place. image

And I ate this. And a footlong coney. imageAnd the place was rockin! There was an entire table of 20 dressed up in costume. Which I thought was dumb and partially offensive, since I didn’t hear a single American accent at the table, only Brits, but I’m not going to let their ignorance ruin my holiday. (Who dresses up as Mickey Mouse for the 4th of July? Marilyn Monroe? A football player? AN IPOD?? WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH AMERICAN FREEDOM)

Anyway, it was nice. Not as nice as having the day off of work and hanging out in the sunshine drinking beers and cooking out, but it was about as nice as it could get. So happy 4th everyone!