The Engagement

I have truly terrible about updates this past month, but for have good reason! First of all, my final MA essays were due  this past Friday, and miraculously, I got them done: all 12,000 words of ’em. Needless to say, I never want to read anything to do with Ann Radcliffe again. Thomas Hardy, however, is quite another story, and from studying Hardy and Impressionism, I believe I’ve found my dissertation topic. O, the relief!

But for my favorite news of all: there is a yellow-gold solitaire on my ring finger and on October 27th of this year, I will be marrying my best friend. In between the rush of essay-writing and lectures, Brady flew into London and after meeting him at Heathrow, we took the train back into Bristol. That night after a relaxed dinner at The Lido, Brady took my hand and we began strolling through Clifton Village. After sheets of rain all day, the sky had suddenly stopped crying  and the moon had just come up and in the dusky twilight, we reached the Clifton Suspension Bridge. There wasn’t a place in the world I’d rather have been at that moment, and when Brady got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me?” I could only nod and say, “Yeah.”

A couple days later, Brady was on a plane back to Minnesota and I was left with two essays to finish,  but it’s hard to complain about essay-writing when it gave me an excuse to admire the ring as my fingers tapped the keyboard.

Brady et moi

This being engaged feels wonderfully surreal, but now back to dissertation research: more soon.



Three Days in Firenze

Finally (finally!) posting some photos of the romantic capitol of Tuscany: Florence.  As the birthplace of the Renaissance,  a World Heritage Site, and ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world by Forbes, Florence doesn’t need introduction.

Over a month ago now, I stepped off the train having no idea what to expect (Ryanair’s strict cabin luggage forced me to leave even my guide book behind!), but even this was part of the allure. Of course, the Duomo, the domed cathedral of the city, was visible from nearly any point in the city, but even ‘unimportant attractions’–little side streets peppered with cafes and gelaterias, brimmed with charm. Mmmmm….present nostalgia:

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore


The Neptune Fountain (1575) at Piazza della Signoria

The Neptune Fountain (1575) at Piazza della Signoria


Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s oldest bridge built in 1345 (and the only Florentine bridge to survive WWII).

At Ponte Vecchio


The view from Piazza Michelangelo


A panoramic view of Firenze

Yes, wouldn’t mind a visit back!



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May 2012