Happy Monday!

I’m thankful to have one week of classes under my belt! With each passing day I feel a little bit more settled. Daily I learn something new, like the fact that there are no drinking fountains on LHU’s campus or that nobody closes the refrigerator doors in the grocers or that it costs £2.50 pounds to send a letter internationally while my groceries for the week only cost £20. Despite the immersive learning, the adjustment process is slow: in our crowded flat kitchen, surrounded by the varying smells of amateur culinary experiments, my flatmates and I describe our “dumb tourist” moments from the day. I always have at least one, usually more, of these facepalming moment.

Whenever I transition into a new place (to be fair though, I’ve only really moved 2.5x), I restart a sporadic running habit. Craving some introverted quietness and fresh air, I’ve run more in the last two weeks than I did during my last two months in the States. I’m not saying I’m running far or fast, because I don’t do either, but in the process, I’ve discovered some lovely places within the neighborhoods surrounding my apartment and LHU’s campus. One of my favorite running spots? Sefton Park.

A “dumb tourist” moment came after my third run in and around Sefton. I was finishing my run when I passed a sign that read: “Get Going! Sefton Park Running Route. Direction: Anti-Clockwise.” The problem? I’d been running the wrong direction. On multiple days. It did cross my mind as odd that people were constantly running at me, and sometimes laughing, but I just chalked it up to the friendly Scousers. Whoops. Lesson learned. 

Sefton Park is a beautiful 235 acre sanctuary of tree-lined paths, gurgling streams, lush fields, and shaded trails nestled within residential neighborhoods. On the weekends, it is crowded and lively. The damp air swells with the sound of children playing, people talking, dogs padding back and forth, rain dripping off the trees, and the wind whirling across the open lawns. Birds of all kinds (ducks, gulls, swans, and blue-grey pigeons) populate the wide lawns and lush grass beside the streams.

Something I’ve noticed about parks here is that most of the countless dogs that frequent the multitude of paths and trails aren’t on their leashes. They trot obediently beside their owners, come when whistled for, play fetch across the lawns, and rarely bark at the other dogs or humans enjoying the park. My dog, Ranger (pictured here, for reference with my little sister), would go ballistic. 

Christmas Break skiing in Northern MI – Ranger was a big help to Esther 😉

I took most of these park pictures on Saturday afternoon with a new friend of mine, Romane, a fellow study abroad student from France. Our little photography excursion highlighted the weather in Liverpool. We were strolling leisurely under blue skies, stopping to admire the tranquil fountains and pointing out the first spring daffodils, when a violent gust of wind swept across the fields. Gray clouds scuttled across the sky and cold raindrops pelted through the skeletal tree branches. We ran towards the idyllic Palm House to wait out the worst of the rain.

The rain quieted to a sprinkle for the rest of the our walk, but I reminded myself, yet again, that I should probably give up my stubborn proclamation that I like walking in the rain and actually buy an umbrella.


New Scouse Word: “Cheerio.” This obviously isn’t a new word, but new in the fact that people say it with complete seriousness. 

Kodak Moment: Sunrise over the River Mersey on a morning run. 

Someone new I met: Stefany, a UK student at LHU, one of the first student who went out of her way to be warm and welcoming to the group of give international students who joined her theology class.

Word(s) of the week: Grace.

Published by Noel Vanderbilt

Class of 2025 English and Political Science Major Liverpool Hope University in England

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