Continuing last year’s tradition I thought I would write a post about the books I read in 2018, although it was rather a long time ago now. I didn’t read as many in 2018 as I did in 2017 – I blame starting back with studying (which, as with my bachelor’s, mainly consists of reading), the lack of Harry Potter this year, and the fact that at least two of these are reallly loonng..
Hello, long time no speak!
I’ve rather fallen off the blogging train recently, but this happens so often it shouldn’t really be a surprise anymore, and I don’t think there’s much to be gained by apologising 😛
The main important news since I last posted anything, is that I moved, and have gone back to being a student! Since last August Emmie and I’ve been living in the Netherlands, Nijmegen (Nigh-may-ghuh for you Brits – those Dutch G’s, eh?) to be precise. This is the fourth country I’ve lived in… I’m studying a pre-masters in Environment and Society at the Radboud Universiteit, and will start the actual masters in September this year, if all goes well in this preparation year.
The course is basically looking at the social side of environmental problems. I’m no hard scientist, so this was really the only option for me… As one lecturer summarised neatly, environmental problems are social problems – they have environmental causes, impacts and responses, and let’s be frank, we mostly know that these things are problems in terms of the science, but are still faffing around about how to respond. The pre-masters has been interesting in parts, but it’s also quite focussed on methods, rather than the actual content, so I’m looking forward to that. Coursemates are all lovely.
Nijmegen is a nice city, with a left-wing bent, but feels quite small compared to Brussels. I still feel I need to explore it a bit more widely, and get to know it properly. We haven’t had many visitors yet, so that has reduced the drive to explore.
I’m taking Dutch lessons, playing frisbee, playing board games and still Quaker-ing, so plenty to keep me occupied as ever.
So there’s the big update – any questions?
(P.s. I wrote this in February, but just failed to get around to posting it, so it’s pretty out of date. I’ve finished the pre-masters, will be starting the new course in September, and have had some visitors – more on that in another post).
I was recently on the Island of Ireland (I say recently, it was the end of March/start of April), for the Spring Gathering of European and Middle East Young Friends, and a little holiday. The epistle is here, and the official photos will presumably be available here eventually. In the meantime though here’s my photo journal – (almost) a photo a day from the trip
Rather late, here is an update on the books I read last year.
Every three years, British Quakers have a big get together, where around 1,500 Qs converge for a week or so, usually on a university campus or similar, mainly because they’re the only places big enough to put us all up.
In 2017, it happened in Warwick, and that’s where E and I headed from Oslo (via Lewes). As ever with Quaker gatherings there’s far too much going on for me to detail every little thing that happened, so I will group it into a few main themes: pilgrims, world stuff, business, and everything else.
Feel free to skip bits of less interest for you, and apologies to non-Quaker readers – I’m open to any and all questions you might have (maybe that should be another post..)
We got up on deck about half an hour before we were meant to arrive, and were greeted by the lovely sight of all the picturesque waterside houses gliding by, painted in red, blue, yellow and green, with the water sparkling in the morning sun.
We disembarked, and headed for our airbnb, where E had a nap. Even after that, we got out earlier than we did any other day of our stay… We walked towards the centre of Oslo from where we were staying in St Hanshaugen, through another cemetery, this one with Ibsen and Munch in it.
This year, Emmie and I headed north for our hols. E having never been to Scandinavia fancied a visit, and we worked out a route that would take us from Brussels to Oslo, via Copenhagen, without flying (though we did then fly to London…)
On the first day we took several trains, and a ferry (when the train rolled onto it) to Copenhagen, arriving at our very cute Airbnb, north of Nørrebro in the evening, in time to eat and collapse into bed.