York Haunted Pub Crawl

Right so its been a while since I’ve blogged. Been meaning to do it for ages and I thought today’s post was quite suitable for attempting a come back. Last time I wrote a post it was about losing my cat Indy in the states. On top of all that I was also dealing with a bit of depression and what I found so odd but seemed to explain a lot, culture shock. While it’s not my first time living in the UK or experience things in the north. I was missing the normality I would get in St. Louis and not having a job and getting out of the house was also taking a toil. But now I have a job and a steady income I’m not only able to get out a hell of a lot more, I’m socializing a lot more. I still miss home obviously but I’m doing a lot more and spending so much time doing things and working that by the time I get home I am so worn out and sleeping within minutes of getting into bed. I might still be getting used to the work but I do like how quickly I’m going to sleep considering just a mere few months ago I was struggling to fall asleep at night.

Anyway last weekend my husband, me and our two friends David and Fiona went to York for an overnight trip. We did a haunted pub crawl that I’ve been wanting to do for nearly two years now. I got a booked called Haunted York and in the back with a list of haunted historic places there was a list of 10 pubs that were reported to be haunted with a map to help find our way. The only unfortunate thing was there was no stories as to their hauntings in the book. So I had to do a bit of research for all the different places. We didn’t get to go in all of them, there was only two we didn’t actually even get to see as they were the two farthest out of the main pubs. At least another 3 more that were too crowded to want to get a drink in as my husband and David joked, serving crap beer anyway being John Smiths pubs. Though I want to say one wasn’t and I really wanted to go in it but it was so crowded from a live band that was playing that I figured any spirits in that one wouldn’t be around.

So first we went to the Golden Fleece which had a doorman for such a tiny place. The fleece’s story I would write in my own words but I think its written quite well from a website I found.

Reputedly the most haunted pub in York, this early 16th century inn is certainly one of the oldest, having first been documented in 1503.

It is believed that no fewer than 15 spirits haunt this quaint unsuspecting pub. The most notable of these reports is the spirit of Lady Anne Peckett, the wife of the one time mayor of York, John Peckett. Many guests and staff have reported the sighting of a woman wandering the corridors of the inn, moving things around, and walking up and down the staircase in the dead of night.

Other ghosts include a man dressed in red coat uniform and holding a pistol. He’s known by people as One Eyed Jack, whether this is because he has been seen to wear a patch or is missing an eye is not known. He is also joined by a grumpy old man, both of whom are often sighted in the bottom bar area. A young boy is also seen in the top bar. It’s believed he is the ghost of a boy who was trampled to death by horses outside the inn sometime during the Victorian period.

After the Golden Fleece we got dinner, checked out Dean Court Hotel and decided we didn’t want to pay the prices but I will share the history I got from their website

As York is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the entire world, it’s no surprise that the Dean Court Hotel is haunted, primarily by a cleaner known as the ‘Mad Maid’. Mediums who have visited the hotel in the past came across the mad maid in the basement kitchen, where she told them that she used to work as a cleaner in the guesthouse that used to be next door to the hotel, that later became part of the hotel.

A number of other paranormal happenings have also been reported at the hotel, namely in room 36 on the third floor where most of the activity seems to be concentrated. Guests have reported doors slamming, feeling pressure on their chests late at night whilst they lie in bed, objects being moved around and out of their original positions and terribly cold spots in the rooms, even in the height of summer.

Not far from Dean Court Hotel was the York Arms which so happened to be a Sam Smith’s pub and is one our favourite breweries. Now the ghostly part of York Arms I could not find. The only thing I was able to find was that it was designed by J. P. Pritchett in 1838 and his work involved the demolition of the old Peter Prison and the mediaeval Minster Gate. We liked it there so much we stayed for two drinks. It was nice and quiet which was surprising for a Saturday night. After that we went to one of my favourite pubs Ye Olde Starre Inn in the shambles and that was our first bit of actual ghostly activity.

Ye Olde Starre Inne dates back to 1644, however historians believe the cellar is much older than this. It is from this cellar that most of the activity occurs, with screams and groans often heard. It was here were Royalist soldiers were treated during the inns’ time as a temporary hospital during the Civil War.

Another frequent experience is the sighting of an old lady wearing black clothes. There isn’t much known about the identity of the woman, or how she died, but she is often seen on the staircase.

Perhaps one of the strangest hauntings in this list, is the ghosts of two black cats that reportedly haunt this pub. Local legend says the cats were bricked up between the pillar between the door and the bar. On several occasions, customers have brought their dogs in with them, and whilst having their drinks the dogs have growled, snarled, and in some instances have bolted towards the pillar, with one dog knocking itself out doing so!

The tradition of burying cats in the walls is a tradition that goes back a long way throughout Yorkshire. It is believed this ritual protects the building against both fire and bad luck.

Now I took these pictures before I read the story and saw the first smudge and thought it was the cord of the camera in the picture so I took two more knowing I had a tight hand on the cord and there was still that moving orb. Mike and I believe it might have been the poor cats that were bricked in the pillar. Our friend David kept making fun of the idea so I think that might be why its trying to pick his nose :p It might also explain why I always feel so at home in that place because not being a fan of crowds but being a very big fan of cats, I am never in a rush to move on. I firmly believe that’s the cats visiting our table but then moved on when Mike took over the camera. I did take a few more shots too just to see if it was a flaw with the camera but there was nothing and rather than share an odd picture of my purse I didn’t add it on here. So yeah ghostly cat tails in that place with orbs in lots of other places. Next was The Punch Bowl (not the Wetherspoons one) which also had some orbs in it. They stayed with Fiona mostly.

Said to be haunted, The Punch Bowl has been a pub for over four centuries, or perhaps we should say pubs, as we have suffered two major fires. We have a historical connection with the Whig Party from the 17th Century. Punch was the preferred drink of the Whigs, whilst the Tories liked their claret. Any pub displaying a punch bowl sign was therefore declaring its political allegiance.

As with many of the old pubs in York, the Punch bowl is host to a couple of ghostly figures. In the past, the pub was renown as a brothel. One story is that one women rejected the advances of a client, who then chased her around the pub to one of the rooms where he strangled her to death.

Her ghostly steps and voice have often been heard by the staff and customers. The second being that of a previous landlord who died during a fire in the pub.

After The Punch Bowl we tried to go to the Roman Bath which has a museum downstairs with the Roman bath that was found and is on display. Obviously by this point we couldn’t see the it and it was really crowded so we decided to move on and try it another time. Next was The Old White Swan, we sat at a round table by one of the fireplaces, it was busy but the place was large enough for the crowd. I ended up spilling my cider into my purse which had all my electronics so I had to quickly clean it out. I wasn’t the only one to spill my drink there either so I think it was safe to say we were pretty sloshed. Anyhow the story is here, comes from their website.

Part of a collection of buildings dating back to the 16th century, the Old White Swan is also one of the oldest in the city, and with that comes the history and the stories of hauntings. It is believed that the pub is haunted by a group of papists who have been seen gathering round the fire in the early hours of the morning. The fire itself is often re-ignited by itself after staff have extinguished it shortly before.

Another piece of strange phenomena that occurs at this pub are the reports of furniture being moved and in come cases thrown and toppled over by unseen hands. Muffled voices are also often heard, and the sound of footsteps are a regular occurrence.

The Old White Swan is a collection of buildings with a rather colourful history that dates from the 16th Century. We are one of York’s oldest pubs and are said to be haunted. Buildings at the rear of our courtyard date to medieval times and in 1781, the world’s tallest man, Mr O’Brian, was exhibited here at the pub. O’Brian stood 8 feet tall and the then landlord charged onlookers a shilling.

While I don’t know if the fire we sat by is the one they talk about, there is an orb in one of the photos. So again we didn’t plan to sit by one of the haunted areas before we read the story yet still managed to. Oddly coincidental.

After the white swan we made our way to The Snickleway Inn which sadly was the one with the live band and crammed with people. So we stood outside while I read the story and it took a lot of effort not to just go right in after reading what can happen there.

Situated in the historic centre of York, the Snickleway Inn is one of the oldest pubs in the city with parts of the building dating back to the 15th century. The building was not always linked to the pub trade; evidence suggests it may have once been used as a brothel as well as being the Royalist powder magazine during the English Civil War.

In addition to being one of York’s oldest pubs, the Snickleway Inn is also reputedly one of the most haunted. Derek Acorah names the pub as being amongst Britain’s 100 scariest places to visit, thought to be haunted by at least 5 spirits.

The ghosts include Mrs. Tulliver and her cat, Seamus. Some customers claim to have felt the cat rubbing against their legs. The ghost of a young girl has been seen sitting on the pub stairs. She is the daughter of a past landlord who ran outside into the road one day and was killed by a brewer’s dray. An elderly gent is said to sit on the barrels in the cellar and has been known to throw tools at certain members of staff when they go down there.

Now the part I can’t remember is if we got some food on the way back or before we made our way there but we decided to go to some places that weren’t on the list as the last two were too far out from where we were and our hotel. One place wouldn’t let us in because I forgot my passport in the hotel which was understandable but hey not every place has a doorman so we went to The Red Lion which everyone but me wanted to go to first as they were saying its a pub crawl but it wasn’t on my list and I wanted a haunted pub as we all agreed to do. So I may have pitched a mini fit at the beginning to make sure we stuck with the plan. But now that there was plenty of booze in me and we were pretty much done with our list we went there and it was quite a nice place. Could definitely tell it had some history to it. I’ve yet to see what there is about the place but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something. After that we finished our night with the Wetherspoons that was connected to the hotel. And of course before heading to bed we raided the vending machine just in the lobby. It sadly was not as pleasant a night of sleep as I would have hoped because we had the window open in our room which you could hear traffic and people out later than us. Then very early that morning a family next door woke up us. Or really the 3 kids and dad trying desperately to get the ready for the day. One crying and two were bouncing around, how do I know this? Because the walls were so fucking thin!!! Or they were just ridiculously loud. Which is highly possible as Fiona and David heard them and they were a few doors down and not connected by the wall that we were. What was funny was when the father left the room with one of the kids and the kid started to say something the father immediately hushed the kid. And it was like yeah bit late for that! So we ended our time in York by having a nice breakfast at Bills and our server telling us about more haunted pubs when she asked about our visit to York. And I had just enough time to quickly nip into The Cat Gallery to grab Grey some of his catnip mice. It was a great trip and I know we’ll be visiting the other two places as well as the new ones we were told about. Oh and I’ll share the stories for the two we didn’t get to go to. Which were The Black Swan and The Cock and Bottle. And there I shall leave you with the last of the stories and pictures.

Cock and Bottle

Georgie Porgie

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie

Kissed the girls and made them cry

When the boys came out to play

Georgie Porgie ran away

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628) was the bisexual lover of King James I. By no means monogamous, Villiers also had affairs with ladies at Court as well as with the wives and daughters of powerful nobles. It is believed he used his relationship with the King to force his attention on unwilling ladies:

“Kissed the girls and made them cry”

Whilst avoiding prosecution or retaliation. Parliament finally ordered James I to stop intervening on his lover’s behalf causing all the jealous husbands to vow to get their revenge, so…

“Georgie Porgie ran away”

Said to be the home to the ghost of George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, who was rumoured to have been made famous by the Georgie Porgie nursery rhyme.

The Black Swan

This solid oak 17th century inn was originally built in 1417 and was used as a family residence. However, the pub as you see it today wasn’t built until sometime during the 17th century.

The Black Swan is certainly one of the oldest buildings in our list, and it also has some interesting reports of paranormal goings on. One of which is the sighting of a Chaplinesque looking figure that wears a bowler hat, pacing around the rooms of the pub as if he’s waiting for someone to arrive. After a while he normally disappears!

The ghost of a beautiful young woman with long black hair and wearing a white dress is also seen. She is often seen looking towards the fireplace as if in deep thought.

Perhaps the strangest of all the haunting at the Black Swan, is the male legs that have often been seen walking around the landlord’s living quarters.

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Remembering a Friend

So I found out some pretty horrible news this morning. I woke up and was checking my phone before I even got out of bed, just laying there flipping through the Facebook posts. Then I see one from one of my closest friends about a mutual friend and former classmate has passed away. As soon as I saw that I bolted up in bed. I kept thinking, is this real, is this some cruel joke? I go to her page and find her cousin has posted about her passing it being related to cancer. Still I think, this can’t be real! Cancer? I go to her mom and aunt’s page as well and see a few other friends saying the same thing. She had liver cancer, she only found out last week. I don’t get it. But then I never get it when someone gets cancer. Maybe I’m not meant to cause there really is no rhyme or reason to it as far as who it strikes and why. Anyway I wanted to get on here and share my thoughts about why this bothers me so much.

I met Becky my freshmen year of high school, I guess it was just the group we all hung out with. She was a year above me and was pretty nice. I had some crappy stuff happen at the end of my freshmen year with someone who was meant to be my friend and got all these people to dislike me over something silly in the end. She was one of those people who stood by me and I feel like we hardly knew each other at that point so it meant a lot. I remember rescuing a black kitten and her adopting it, I remember her calling me up once out of the blue like a year or two after high school, she needed a ride to work and I gladly gave it to her though we didn’t start talking up again.  I remember playing some dumb joke on another person who I wasn’t really friends with at the time, this was definitely back in high school, we went to the mall and I was getting annoyed with that person so we snuck out of the store and went around the mall without them and then found them later. These same two people after high school I hung out with. I remember hearing about Becky getting pregnant and then finding out something happened but she was pregnant again like a year after that. We met up with her and caught up on things and I was happy for her to be able to have someone she loved and be having a child. I hung out with her a bit after that. I went to her wedding reception and caught her bouquet. I later didn’t get to see her as much due to other friendships falling by the wayside and they were people I usually saw her with. And I remember being angry at the time because these two friendships while quite different were similar in their ending, I did have other people to talk to but she knew these people and I wanted to warn her about one of them. It was dumb really in the end, I just wanted to talk badly about that person I guess. I remember wanting to warn everyone about her and then realising that people get to make their own decisions about others and just cause they stay friends doesn’t mean they don’t like me. But I remember telling Becky about this girl and Becky then told her about what I said. I found out because then this girl decided to let me know and remind me how cruel she could be and why I ended the friendship. I guess I felt betrayed even though I was in the wrong for stooping to such a level. But I know it did make it hard for me to trust her. We would talk online occasionally after that but our friendship changed. It became more of a Facebook kind of friendship, an I used to go to school with that girl kind of friendship. Not the way I should have left things either. I did miss her as I’ve missed other friends over the years. I can at least say I know better than to leave things like that now. I’ve had other friends I’ve reconciled with after spats and others that I’ve just apologised to but not continued to talk due to either one or both of us just not choosing to continue the friendship. I think that’s probably a big thing in life, not letting the little things keep you apart from those that you were once close with. I have regrets with Becky and while I can’t make it up to her in person, I can at least try to do better with others. I feel so sorry for her family for losing her so young in life. I wonder how her daughter will do, I honestly can’t even remember how old she is now its been so long. All I know is, she’s not suffering anymore and she’s with her son now.

Since it’s an ongoing thing with me anyway, I know I can work on my anger and my negative feelings I get towards others. There’s no point in life in not letting things go over time because it can eat you up inside and I don’t want to keep thinking, if I only I had done this or stopped doing this then we would still be talking. There really is meaning behind the word forgive. So any time I harbor ill feelings towards another, I need to remember where those feelings will get me and that is no where.

So Becky I just wanted to say that I’m sorry I couldn’t be a better friend to you. And I’m sorry you are no longer with us but I am at least happy in the belief that you are in a better place and that you know how I feel.

Getting There…

So It’s been about two weeks since I posted anything. It was a bit busy around here with Christmas and New Years and just enjoying the holidays. I came down with a cold the evening of New Years Day so I’ve been busy battling that but I think I’m at the tipping point of getting better. I had my registration appointment for the doctors today and it went well except for the fact I did not get my prescription for more acid reflux meds cause it was a nurse doing my registration and only 4 nurses can give prescriptions and she was not one of them. I did find out that I can find some meds OTC but the one I found was only 10mg and not as cheap as it would be to get a prescription. But it will do for now until I can get an appointment for a prescription. Mike and me have started on being healthier in the new year. So far my exercise has not been good. I need to make myself get out more but its hard to do when I have nowhere to be and am still struggling with feeling comfortable going anywhere. But I’ll be making myself do that more even if its to go to town and visit the library a few times a week. So that is the plan for tomorrow to go about in town. So for now I’m just chilling out and then making some dinner for when Mike gets back from work. Nothing terribly existing for today but I do find it interesting the difference with the doctors. I do find it a bit harder to get what I need when I want it but they just have a different system for going about things. Hopefully I’ll have more things to share later or at least have the enthusiasm to share but I guess I am just tired today.

Settling Down

So I have gotten a lot done in the last week and I was starting to feel a little lazy! I’ve only been in the country two weeks and I thought I need to get a lot of stuff done but now I’ve mostly done it all! I’m not sure why I thought I wasn’t going to get much done seeing as I’m not working so I really have all the time in the world to do my errands and still chill out. I’ve been trying to get up with my husband when he’s getting up for work but there have been a few days where I’ve just barely opened my eyes as he gives me a kiss goodbye. I think a lot of it has to do with me still settling and getting my internal clock adjusted to the time zone. I’ve also bought some natural sleep aid to help calm my mind as well. It’s a mixture of being next to someone who can snore with cold weather and just getting comfortable. I’m used to only getting woken up to my parents getting ready for work and my cat who would want an early morning cuddle. Now I’m awaking up because one of us has rolled over or I am expecting his alarm clock to go off or I just can’t sleep. A few times I’ve had bad dreams where I’m back in a place I don’t want to be or I had to come home and now don’t have any money to get back to England and my husband. I know those will eventually settle down since sadly this is not the first time I’ve had to deal with weird dreams like that.

 

Anyhow what I’ve been doing since I am somewhat new to the country again is having to change a few things around. Now since this isn’t my first time living in England it was probably far easier than it should have been. What I’ve done this week besides work on my CV and chill out in the front room, has been phoning a few places to change some details around or get some information. I got a NI number a few years ago when I tried to apply for a job but was never able to work the job since the NI number came a lot later than they could wait for one. So what I did today instead of writing to them was to tell them a change in my personal detail which would be my name. I had all the information they needed in order to change it and it was simply “what was your name and what is your name now?” “Okay we’ll sent you info in the next week marking the change”. And then I had to call the old medical practice I went to in Leeds to get my NHS number since I had no idea what it was and the new practice I’m trying to register with (which I don’t have a registration appointment until the new year) has it as a requirement in filling out the forms so that was also quick and easy to do. Then today I went into town to change details with the bank I’m with and then get a library card from the local library. I was so freaking happy when I managed to get all this done by noon! So now all I’m waiting on is to finish my registration forms and go to my appointment and working on my CV so I can apply for jobs after Christmas/New Year. I worried it would all be a long hard process because well, the spouse visa was a long hard process why shouldn’t everything else be right? Now I did have someone I went to school with years ago tell me how he’s interested in my status updates since he has applied for a job in the UK. So if you’re reading this just let me tell you that if you do get the job, your employment should be the one getting you the NI Number but if they don’t you can find out more on it from gov.uk for the National Insurance Number. Now I’m not really sure how it works with getting a NHS number either but since you’ll be new the country they’ll probably apply for one for you from whatever practice you choose to register with but don’t quote me on that cause it could be different and I don’t know it. I’ve found looking on expat forums to be horrible because all the do is worry me more and tell me inaccurate information because every person and case is different when it comes to immigration and trying to get settled. I think I may have it easy since this isn’t my first time and I’m married to a British Citizen. I dread the day when I start taking driving lessons with a manual as well as on the left side of the road. But for now I’m happy to rely on my mother-in-law for a car ride or using the buses or trains or my own two feet to get me anywhere. (Taxis are special occasions when either the public transport is done for the night or it’s too far to get home on a bus).

So yeah I’m pretty settled now I think. We’re all getting used to each other and finding our own ways. Most mornings when Mike leaves I let the cat out and then sometimes let him in my room cause I miss my cuddling and the purring is very soothing. Sadly it does not work at night when we’re in bed cause there is most definitely not enough room for 3! Anyhow today is my husband’s birthday so I’m going to take advantage of the tv and PS4 while he’s still at work! 😉

I am back!

Its been more than a year (two maybe?) since I wrote a post. I am on here now and back for good!

Since I last wrote on here a lot of things happened. My boyfriend from when I was a student at Leeds Met (now Leeds Beckett), is now my husband. We married in October 2013. What we did not expect was the next year to be the hardest for both of us. His father passed away in December 2013 just weeks after we had our second wedding reception in England. Our plans for to apply for the Spouse Visa in early 2014 got Delayed until August. But I am now living in England hopefully for several years to come or at the very least, for the next 2 1/2 years. I’ve only been here a week but there is so much to do!

I need to get my banking changed around since it was done in my maiden name back when I was a student. I’m trying to work on my NI number, I have one but also having to change my name with that. I did an email forum but now I need to call them or visit them in person to verify who I am. Probably because we got married in the states so they don’t have proof of my marriage. I also need to work on my resume or my CV as they call it here and get that online and start looking at jobs (of course that can’t happen until my Ni No is fixed). And before the month is out I need to register with a GP so I can get back on medication that I had been taking over the counter back in the states due to being uninsured.

So while I’ve been away I was back in St. Louis, where I’m from and was working two different jobs mainly. I worked in a university bookstore for over a year as a cashier. I honestly hated the job, I liked most of the people I worked with and I got along with just about everyone but I was glad to leave. Retail is rather unfulfilling even if it’s in something like a bookstore. I also worked at a community college library, in fact it was right by the town of Ferguson (or was in Ferguson, that area is kind of a fine line by the highway) that has on the news worldwide due to coverage of the death of Michael Brown and the riots and protests that have happened since then. Its amazing what the media gets wrong about things and how much they keep the stereotypes going. While its sad and horrible what has happened in the area with the way the police have handle some things and the businesses that have been suffering if not destroyed. I just wish the media would focus on what is really important. But alas, you can’t change something like that overnight. Anyhow that’s really it right now. I haven’t gone out and done much due to a lack of funds and I’ve mostly just been trying to settle myself. But I shall be back soon with another entry!

Hello!

Hello Ladies and Gents!

 

I just thought I’d say if any of you are wondering where I am. I have two other blogs!

One is my wedding blog

http://mikerandlisahwedding.wordpress.com/

The other is my new blog since my old one was only meant to be for when I was in the UK, I’m state side now and have been for a few months. There isn’t many updates but there are a few. I’ve been trying to update when there is something to talk about.

http://littlemissprissblog.wordpress.com/

New Blog

Okay I created a new blog. I couldn’t stay away for long. I just have urges now to write on here and I must give to them.

So if you want to follow me on my other blog, it’s littlemissprissblog.wordpress.com

I’m working on it at the moment so it’s not quite finished. I should have a new blog update on there this week.

So Much Stuff, So Few Bags!

So I’m going through stuff that I want to pack and I’m realizing I just don’t have the room.

I only have two bags and two carry on and it’s just not enough to hold everything. I don’t think I realized how much I had here. Some of it is stuff I asked my mom to send me and I’m beginning to regret it since I don’t have the room. I got tons of shoes that I haven’t worn but asked to be sent and three pairs are converse. I love converse shoes. My first pair was some high top flames that I had been coveting. I stupidly got rid of them a few years ago cause I got unwanted attention from wearing them at church a few times. I was only a teenager but was easily influenced. I think the last time I wore them was to my prom (which I still love that I did) and then got rid of them. They didn’t really go with anything anyway but I loved them still. I got a grey, purple and green pair at the moment. I used to wear them all the time back in St. Louis but then I wasn’t using my feet as my main point of transportation. They are not walking shoes at least the canvas Chuck Taylors aren’t. But I’ve also acquired two new pairs that I can’t live without. They are nice and I can just slip them on and wear them anywhere, dress up or down or just to put out the trash. So I’m beginning to wonder if I should get rid of my chucks. I hate the idea of doing so cause I once wanted to own a pair in every color. It might be one of the many things I asked to be sent back to me or a few things I ask Mike to bring with him at Christmas.

Then there’s a few other things. I got coffee mugs, figures, an antique musical jewelry box, a blanket that was my grandmother’s and I’ve had since she passed away 13 years ago but is falling apart terribly.  I also got a ton of books I’ve acquired as well. I’ve tried hard not to buy books when I’ve been here but when I see a classic that’s on my list of books to read I end up buying it. I think I got the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes books for about £1.50. I have yet to read those because my list has become so long.

I think some of the mugs I’m just keeping here until I either come back for them or ask for them to be sent. My jewelry box I won’t be sure about until I go back home. I do have one more back to pack and I might find I have room for things like some photos or a few books. The shoes are just material things, I’m a lot different now than I used to be and might find I don’t miss them.

But my grandma’s blanket is another thing. I don’t know what to do. It is falling apart so I can’t really use it and I don’t think it’s even repairable. I stopped using it last year around this time because I realized I couldn’t keep washing it without it shedding more and more of its material. I’ve also gotten used to not having a small blanket handy when I get cold though it might be different when I go home. I wouldn’t mind a new one. It’s really hard to say at the moment. I do still have a week before I leave.

I booked my ticket and got my first class train ticket (I’m not dragging four things of luggage with me to fight for a seat in standard.) It really overwhelmed earlier just finding things I can pack now. Luckily I was home alone and could have a good cry. I haven’t really had a chance to cry. Last night and Friday while I was in bed I did well up but I couldn’t really let it out for fear of waking Mike. Leaving him or watching him go has been the hardest thing for me to deal with. I just want to stay with him and that be it. But we got about a year a part to deal with before the wedding and who knows how longer after we’re married. We need to meet certain requirements as far as immigration goes either way.

Anyway don’t mind me as I question what to do. I know things will get better I just need to allow myself to be upset. I don’t want to build it up. I also don’t think it’s truly hit me yet. At least I get Mike for Christmas 🙂

Money Money Money, Must be Funny in A Rich Man’s World

So Friday went well I think.

Besides the fact that I along with many others ran out of time with our presentations so I had to quickly wrap it up. There was so much I wanted to say that I didn’t get to. I also found out I didn’t actually have to be there at 9am. I could have showed up at 2pm and have been fine. I was also late which had me quite anxious and to find it wasn’t an issue was a bit of a relief. But I’m glad I was there all day. I got to support at least one of my fellow classmates that I have gotten along with this year. There was another one whose presentation was in the first section but he ended up being a no-show. I’m quite surprised and was a little disappointed since I had missed his in progress presentation when he had been there for mine. I tried sending him a message but got no response. I just hope everything is okay with him since I don’t think that was a decision made lightly. I know I panicked during the end of the second semester because of having an issue with one of my classes. I did end up turning something in because I spoke with my professor and didn’t fail the class. I also noticed while I was awaiting my presentation that I didn’t have that nervous feeling all day and I wasn’t that nervous when I did my presentation. I do wish I had practiced though. I would have known what I was going to say better.

Anyway I ended up having a headache at the end when it was my turn to present. I had taken something a little bit before but it wasn’t working because when I met up with my fiance and his parents a few hours later for dinner. I still had it and it was worse. I didn’t get a celebratory glass of wine because that does make my headaches worse if I already have one. So I thought I’d try a amaretto and coke (if you haven’t mixed that ever before try it, it tastes like Dr. Pepper) and my headache surprisingly got better. I decided to get a second one that was a double and then the headache came back with a vengeance. I think cause I had been up over 12 hours by that point my body was just like, dude get into bed but I was still at the restaurant so it had to wait a bit. When I got home that night I had every intention to go to bed before 8pm something I probably haven’t done since I was a kid. But when I got into bed I thought I’d keep the tv on so I could possibly fall asleep to it and had Grey under the covers with me (and kneading my belly). I ended up staying up until sometime between 1am and 1:30 because a movie I hadn’t seen in a while came on and then another one and to be honest I was feeling better. Mike was downstairs the whole time until about 2am so he wouldn’t disturb me and then got sucked into doing a little online gambling. It’s funny before I met him I really never gambled. I think mostly because I had to go to a casino to do it and couldn’t be bothered. Here they have fruit machines in restaurants and bars. They’ll also have little chains that you can go into and bet on games or sports or play a multitude of slot machines. I remember the first time I came over to England to meet Mike, we went into this one called Cashino and they were having a Halloween raffle that every person got a ticket for when they came in. I didn’t really understand how the machines worked at the time so I kind of just played. I ended up leaving with 30 quid more than I started with because I won some money on a machine plus I won the raffle of the hour.

I remember when he came to St. Louis we also went to like 3 different casinos, one was just cause it was there and we needed to use the toilet. The second was to try the buffet and then we went in. And the last one was supposed to be where a lot of my friends got to meet him if they couldn’t come to the first event I had. That last one was okay. It was annoying because once we were in the casino we got carded at least 3 or 4 times despite the fact you are carded when you go in. My fiance is going to be 29 this year and looks younger than 18 let alone 21. One person decided to card him because of the way he pronounced amaretto until they realized the reason why was because he was English. But then I won 200 dollars randomly off a slot machine. So that’s a big pro.

I’ve also recently realize how much fun roulette is. Mike got a Groupon for the casino he’s a member of here for a 2 course meal for 2 or 4 people. We went with his friend Hannah and her boyfriend and actually had a pretty good night. It’s one of the kind of places that you don’t feel like you have to spend money cause it’s that nice. His friend didn’t at all if I remember correctly, she just kind of watched and hung out. And at the time I wasn’t sure if I was going to either but I saw the options for roulette and quite enjoyed it. Then getting a few wins on random numbers was nice. I also watched how you play Black Jack too though I didn’t participate. We ended up coming out pretty well having played roulette mathematically as well as on random numbers.

Anyway enough about gambling. Don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea I’ve got a gambling problem because I have an appreciation for it. Once I talked to a guy about the Anheuser-Busch family because I had read a biography about the family and about what they do when you visit the brewery and he accused me of being an alcoholic. Not something I take too lightly considering it runs in my family and while I enjoy alcohol I am careful when I drink.

Anyway despite the finish to my course I still have been a bit stressed and to top it off I’ve gotten another cold. Now that my course is finished, the student loans I had back in the states are no longer in deferment and I didn’t know you only get that 6 months grace period once. So I got some loans due now and I have absolutely no money now and despite me applying for many jobs week after week for many months I still haven’t even gotten an interview with anywhere. That one I thought I had the possibly of getting has completely fallen through. I’ve been trying what I can to try to get out of debt and have asked family for help. But there’s only so much help they can give and only so many times I can ask. I feel terrible asking for help too, I don’t like being in debt to others and I feel like a bum every time I ask for help but I can’t do anything else. I’m starting to think I might need to go home earlier than planned so I can have a better opportunity to get work but then there’s the damn plane ticket! I have been feeling a bit depressed because every time I get an email thanking me for applying also informing me I haven’t been shortlisted kind of kills me a little and getting another email letting me know another bill is due, thankfully it has been fewer emails about bills since some of them have been paid off. But then telling my family I need help and being reminded of what they have already done for me or reminded me they don’t have that much money as well or both. I don’t know what else to do! I’m already doing what I can and I’m not asking for handouts, I’m asking for loans until I can pay them back. And I’m getting married in a year! There are some solutions I’ve come up with to make things cheaper but I still have half the venue plus a deposit to pay for and someone to marry us. It shouldn’t be too hard to do but then there’s all this debt with people and student loans! Plus I need to make sure I got a plane ticket for next November when the UK reception happens. Looks like I won’t be doing a whole lot when I go home. Wish there was something that could make me feel better whether it’s a freaking lifeline, a job, or anything really that involves me taking my mind off money.

You know it’s funny how I sometimes kind of start off positive in a blog or on one subject and I sometimes go the other end of the spectrum. I talked about my presentation and now it’s about my last of money or job prospects. I feel I should end on a positive note though. I think I’ll share a quick and kind of funny story about Grey.

On Friday I got up at 6:30, Grey has recently decided that’s what time he wants to be fed and let out (if the weather isn’t bad). So since I was up I didn’t have an issue with it. Well I ended up going to the bathroom first before I went downstairs. My mother in law got up too cause she had to go teach somewhere and was giving me a ride to the train station. I don’t know if she fed him before he went outside but by the time we were leaving he was wanting in. unfortunately he wanted to bring in the bird he had caught and was dying in his mouth. I was out before my mother in law so I tried to get him to drop it and he wouldn’t. He just kept meowing which I didn’t know a cat could do while holding something like a critter in his mouth. He was also most like he was saying, would you let me in already so I can put this thing down? I wouldn’t let him come in though cause no one else was up and we weren’t sure if the bird was still alive. After both us failed to get him to drop the bird we decided we needed to go. He went to the side of the house and then dropped the bird and there was no movement so I went to pick him up and he picks the bird up again. I realized there was no way he was going to come in without the bird. So I let him be at the side of the house and we left and I sent Mike a warning text in case he tried to bring the bird in later. He didn’t in fact they don’t know what he did with the bird. He either took it somewhere else or he ate it (bleh). He is a pretty good mouser though, just yesterday he left a dead mouse at the backdoor. He seems to like letting us know of his presents and be praised for it. I don’t agree with him killing them (especially the birdy) but at least we know he won’t bring them in alive like Mogs does. She does kill them sometimes but generally she brings them in alive to play with and they get under furniture.

Fall

I think I’m writing a post inspired by a freshly pressed one. It’s about Fall or Autumn for those picky ones who have no idea what Fall is.

Fall is my favorite time of year. I don’t know how it started to be honest. I think when I was a kid it was the time for Halloween. Stores became stocked with Halloween costumes and decorations, I got to think about what I wanted to be and the hot hot St. Louis summer was starting to go away. As I got older I think it became more about the weather and how the leaves changed and fell. I used to love crunching the leaves beneath my feet and especially when I got to a particularly crunchy leaf. It was also a popular time for craft fairs and the smells of apple and cinnamon was usually what dominated those places. I have always loved cinnamon too, I think I have an odd obsession with it. I think it started with Red Hots and Atomic Fireballs.

Then there’s the pumpkins. I loved carving our pumpkins. When I was in elementary school we had a contest around Halloween for the Funniest, Cutest, or Scariest pumpkin. I remember one year entering it and making a little pumpkin look like a baby doll without carving it. One of my teachers really liked it, I remember feeling disappointed when I didn’t win the cutest pumpkin but I think I did get an honorable mention though it is possible everyone got that. I always wondered if I should have carved it but it was so small it would have been a bit hard to do. When I got older my mom introduced me to pumpkin pie at the grocery store. It was a day when they were giving out free samples in order to try to get you to buy it. I remember her saying, you might not like it. And I did find it an odd taste at the first initial try. I guess I didn’t know what to expect. But I learned to love it. I don’t think it really took me long, if I didn’t like it by the end that following Thanksgiving and Christmas, I loved it next year. We’ve only ever made pumpkin pie from real pumpkins once, it was different for sure. I think I prefer the canned pumpkin puree but I know that’s something I’m going to be missing again this year, at least until Christmas. And oh those Pumpkin Spice flavored coffees! I might have to see if the Starbucks they have here carry it, I haven’t actually gone into one while I’ve been here, it’s been Costa Coffee since it has nice alternatives, plus I love the huge mug they bring the mocha in when I dine in.

But there’s so much to Fall I love. I love the changing weather, where it gets crisp and chilly in the morning but not too much to really frost up your windows and the sun is still up at normal time. Then there’s the time change, I think that’s the one I like when you get the extra hour in the morning even if it means sacrificing the extra light in the evening. I have to say I really don’t understand why they keep changing the time change lately. It used to be in sync with the UK one and now they’re a week off. But if you got out early enough when you need a light jacket and can see your breath a bit and then you have the rising sun hit the trees. It’s beautiful with the oranges, reds, and yellows. My mom and I really loved how red some trees turned that when we got a new tree in the front yard we decided to get one that turned red.

In high school, I was in marching band, at least until my senior year. And we always played at the home football games. I hated watching football, I have never gotten into it and always spent the time talking with my friends rather than paying attention to the game. It’s sad that my junior year was the last straw for me and many others to be in it. It changed from something fun and enjoyable to a chore. I hated that because I was in for the enjoyment rather than the perfection of my marching and my music playing I was treated quite badly. I stuck it out for as long as I did because I thought I could be the section leader since most seniors get that role or at least help. But when I was still getting pulled aside to work on my marching as a junior with freshmen, I decided that was it for me. I didn’t care if I joined again next year. I was already doing quite a bit in the music section with being in choir as well. But before all that turned sour. It was fun. Our school colors matched up with Halloween (Orange and Black) and we went from our summer uniforms to our winter ones and I liked how professional we looked. I had made friends with different people on the band and we were kind of our own group. I think my favorite march we did that year was at the best time of year when it was a little bit cold (though with no jacket and a not so thick uniform it was freezing) and the parade ended at one of the school that was holding a craft fair. I got to have one of my favorite types of food at the end and look at the little crafts made and then walk to one of my friend’s houses that lived nearby. Sometimes we’d go to the book fair or a local resell shop for books that was also haunted (it was in the local paper for it). Getting to look at old books and visit the cats that lived there was the best. After my freshmen year I don’t think I really went there but maybe once but I’ll look back on those days as a great memory.

Here in England Fall is a bit different, instead of having the Indian Summer at the beginning of semester, we’ve gotten a mixture of warm and cold weather. It’s been rainy one week and warm and sunny the next. I do believe this week is the turn to be rainy. Then there’s the apple and pumpkin galore lacking. I won’t be going to an apple orchard/pumpkin farm. Nor enjoying watching even adults get excited for Halloween. Beyond the kids it’s not really celebrated as much as it is in America. Though it changed for me too back home when I got too old to trick or treat. I was either in middle school or high school when I went with two friends and the weird looks we got from some of the people when they open the door was enough for me to think I shouldn’t do it anymore. I can understand from the other side. You don’t know if we’re up to no good and wondering how old we are, me and my friends did tend to look a few years older even by the time we were 14. So I decided I would still dress up but I would just hand out candy and watch scary movies. But I found that boring, and then there’s the fact I don’t like a lot of “scary” movies. I think they put horror or scary on the title and just use it as an excuse to make it bloody and disgusting. I don’t like those types of films. But then I got old enough to go to Halloween parties or have some of my own. Though I learned the hard way that parties at mine weren’t that fun with a mom who could hear what you said and gave you grief over it (Sorry Mom! But you know it’s true!) I didn’t really like going to other parties either, I think I loved the planning part where you got to be creative and then that was it. If it was one where there was a lot of people I didn’t know, I just kind of moved around and stuck with the people I knew. I’m not a fan of crowds and I’m not a fan of being noticed either. The few I have enjoyed over the years has been this one at the Koken Art Factory. It’s started a few years ago and a classmate from college had some work in it. You could dress in costume and look at the Halloween themed art. The next year I entered it but wasn’t able to really enjoy the party due to my flight from New York being late back to St. Louis. But that place throws some really cool art shows/parties throughout the year. I don’t think I’ll enter into a Halloween show again because really I don’t see a reason to sell Halloween art, just to make it and the amount of money I put into just framing the two pieces of work I had been too much to do again. Though I would love to do the other shows. They had an Alice in Wonderland themed one I think about two years ago. I loved some of the work and found it quite enjoyable, the hardest part was getting someone to go with me.

Anyway back to Fall. Though I will find parts here of Fall that I will enjoy like Bonfire Night and maybe going to York again to watch the light show they have in October, I can’t wait to get to St. Louis again to experience Fall there, it does help by that point I’ll be getting married and probably spending my last Fall/Winter there for a few years. That’s the main reason why I am choosing to have my wedding in the Fall and having a Fall theme. I loved that time of year in St. Louis above any else. Now to just decided on how and where I’m getting my decorations for the wedding.