Thursday, March 28, 2019


I remember the first time I read Roald Dahl's Matilda as a child, the story about a misunderstood, unappreciated, and precocious bookworm who channels her brainpower into telekinesis to stand up to the bullies in her life. I related to her so strongly that at one point I had completely convinced myself that I too would be able to move things with my mind if I could just concentrate hard enough (spoiler alert: never happened). Though my parents were nothing like the Wormwoods and my principal nothing like Mrs. Trunchbull, there was still something so powerful about the thought of being able to use intelligence, knowledge, and wit to overcome whatever came my way. The story stuck with me then and does still, my childhood paperback copy so well-loved that the cover disappeared years ago. 

It's been a really hard year at work--and relatedly, a really hard year for my mental health. To be honest, I've been so busy that I didn't even realize how bad it had gotten until a couple weeks ago when it brought me, almost literally, to my knees. I'm not super comfortable sharing the details yet (although I hope I will be eventually, because I think it's important to be open about mental health), but suffice to say I needed a little magic, and a little (well.....maybe not-so-little) reminder that I have almost everything I need to stand up to my bullies already inside me--even if my bullies are inside me too. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

St. Augustine's Abbey

St. Augustine's Abbey is a ruined Benedictine monastery founded in 598, considered by many to be the birthplace of Christianity in England. The year prior, the Roman missionary Augustine was commissioned by Pope Gregory I to proselytize in Britain. He headed straight to Canterbury, the main town of the Anglo-Saxon king Ethelbert, who was a pagan--Ethelbert's wife Bertha, however, was a Christian. After meeting with Augustine, Ethelbert converted, granting Augustine a pagan temple and surrounding lands to build a church; this church became St. Augustine's Abbey, and flourished until the Dissolution of the Monasteries saw it demolished in 1538. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

10 Things I Always Pack on a Trip to the UK

Traveling internationally comes with different challenges than domestic travel, and the UK is no exception. Things you wouldn't dream of packing on a trip across state lines can end up ruining your trip if left behind on a journey overseas--or at least costing you much more than anticipated. With a handful of international trip under my belt (and another trip to London tomorrow! Eeeek!) I thought I would share a few of my must-haves for a trip to the UK. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Mermaid Inn: Rye, East Sussex

It's not every day that one of your primary reasons for visiting a town is the accommodations, but then the Mermaid Inn isn't your average hotel. For one thing, it actually pre-dates the town's charter by over 100 years; the inn dates to 1156, and the town officially to 1289. The charter, of course, is just the official establishment--Rye has existed in some form since Roman times--but even so, staying in an establishment that's over 600 years older than my country (even the building is over 350 years older!) is not an opportunity I have every day.

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