Spending Christmas and New Year’s in Durham wasn’t my first choice as I hoped to see my family, but, what can one do when the prices of plane tickets home surge especially at this time of year? Luckily, many of my friends, mostly international, decided to stay behind as well, leading to us arranging many festive feasts and trips. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time.
The first of many feasts was on Christmas eve, when my friends and I got together to make traditional Thai food. We had friends visiting from York, making the meal even more pleasurable. The preparation took over 4 hours, but it was more than worth it. We made papaya salad, fried chicken, curry and many more glorious dishes that I sincerely miss as I am writing this.
The second feast was on Christmas day. We created a British-style Christmas meal, cooking everything, including the turkey, from scratch. Roasting the turkey was particularly exciting. Since it was our first time, we weren’t quite sure exactly how long it would take. Even though we checked the oven a little too frequently, scared it would burn, the turkey turned out perfect. We topped the scrumptious meal off with desserts: homemade cheesecake and ice-cream. The rest of the night was spent playing charades. Classic.
On New Year’s Eve we visited Auckland Castle . The journey was a mere 30 to 40-minute bus ride from Durham. We had lunch at the Library Café in the castle – I highly recommend their club sandwich. Not going to lie, since the café had such a lovely atmosphere, we stayed there for around 2 hours before exploring the castle. The castle was rich with history about Durham. We even learned about the Saints of which some Durham colleges were named after!
To end the year, we travelled to Newcastle for the New Years Eve countdown. To say the least, it was an eventful night. Since we arrived in Newcastle at around 9pm, we had 3 hours to spare. We mainly spent those 3 hours walking around the city trying to find a nice place that was open and wasn’t packed. Finally, we found a lovely restaurant/bar near the Millenium bridge where the fireworks were going to happen and hung out there. At around 11:55pm, we went to find a spot to watch the fireworks. Unfortunately, people have already crowded the central area, but the fireworks were still very pretty from where we stood. We then started the year at a different restaurant/bar, where everyone else referred to us as ‘kids’.
2016, and still keeping the youth!
Pichi is studying Psychology at Durham University.