Ok so I’m really not good at keeping blogs, I know this, but I’m eternally optimistic that I will actually stick with it. This is the third time I am writing, in almost 2 weeks, so I guess that’s pretty good? Tomorrow I leave Edinburgh, and it’s been fairly successful. I don’t have a guaranteed job – actually it’s complicated, more on that soon – and I don’t have a flat, but it was always very wishful thinking that I would have both in place by now. What has definitely happened, is I’ve walked around the city, and it is absolutely beautiful. I have a fully functioning bank account and a brand-new phone with a good SIM, and while it’s expensive for UK standards (£15 a month) it is so so cheap by Canadian standards. So I can’t complain too much.
I really should be consistently doing this, but clearly I have not because it is Sunday, and I got here Wednesday. Also I really don’t want to reread my ramble and I can’t remember what I wrote, but let’s try to recap. I am just about over jetlag now, other than the second night I’ve slept fine, so I have a decent schedule. I have done a free walking tour with Sandeman, one of the few tours where the guide was actually from the city! So that was nice.
I don’t have a linear thought process right now so I will just write random paragraphs. That suffices as a post, right?
I have been talking and thinking about doing it for years, and as one of the most irritating things is when people say they will do something but don’t actually do it, I had to just do it. And so I have. That’s a good enough reason to do something, right? To not be a hypocrite? I mean of course it is a beautiful city and I am very excited to be here, but the final push was just the thought that I keep talking about doing it, moving, so I should do it.
Well. It certainly has been a while since I have written a post. Months and months. In my defense, my laptop died (temporarily) in July, and I wrote out a whole blog post on Word, and then….never posted it. And then August was not such a great month, and school started in September, and my go to excuse for not writing a post is I feel guilty about blogging rather than essaying! But anyways. No more excuses, let’s just write. Slight recap perhaps; I’ve been at the University of Victoria since September, and Ollie came over for Christmas. Oh, that really wasn’t a very long recap. Not much has actually happened since my last post. Well what will happen, is I will be going to Aberystwyth! And yes, that is spelt correctly.
My completely spur of the moment random trip to Edinburgh at the end of January this year was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. Seriously, the choice to go is one I definitely don’t regret, and am soooo glad that I did go. I landed in London the 10th of January, then went to Oxfordshire for a few days, still very jetlagged and exhausted. Perhaps not the best state to be in to meet your boyfriend’s parents, but they invited me back so I can’t have been that terrible. I just remember being zombie-like to super-hyper. Extreme exhaustion after not sleeping at all on the plane! Instead I watched movies, Finding Nemo, When Harry met Sally, Hotel Transylvania, and some of Rocky Horror Picture Show. So pretty fun plane ride, just very tired when I landed. When I landed I didn’t rush at all (quite different from last time), slowly walked out, brushed my hair etc, and then by the time I got to passport control there was 1 person in front of me. Not a very long wait then, and my suitcase was one of the few left spinning round. Continue reading
Wow so it has been a looooooooooooooong time since I’ve written a post. Um, yeah no not really any excuses, just haven’t done it. Well, my excuse this month and last month was I had essays to write, so felt guilty about typing this instead of writing. That still hasn’t changed, I haven’t even started my essay due in a week, but thought I could jot down a couple paragraphs. I’m still alive!
Like I said, before leaving to come here I thought I would write so often; and I probably would if it wasn’t for Facebook. Instant gratification nearly, can know that so many are keeping track of me that way. Different people I think on this blog, but I don’t get that many comments so don’t know who/if anyone really reads! Well, that is my own fault I suppose this year, not putting up any content for people to actually comment on…so never mind.
2013! I went to Edinburgh at the end of January, so amazing and gorgeous, loved it so much! So glad I went alone, able to do what I really came to Europe to do: travel. Now I wish I could write more about it, but the guilty feeling of writing that other essay setting in, as is writer’s block, so I think I shall leave it at this little bit and hopefully contribute something sooner than last time! If that sentence made any sense….
Merry Christmas! Well not quite yet, still Christmas Eve and watching Doctor Who. Lovely evening! Especially after cooking all day: Buche de Noel, Gluten-Free Sausage Rolls, Bacon wrapped Sausage, Bacon wrapped Dates stuffed with Almonds, and Nachos. So busy Christmas cooking day, in a kitchen that I will never complain about again. After living in student accommodation, in that kitchen, it’s nice to be home. Not that Lampeter was that bad, but having 7 people share a pretty small space was not the greatest. Plus the oven, which is standard in the UK but so tiny compared to here, was not the fastest. So I will never complain about the kitchen here.
It’s been slightly over a week since I’ve been home, and so happy I am here! The house wasn’t too decorated for Christmas when I got back, so I did the tree, and then the garlands were put up a couple days later. So there has been ‘less’ Christmas than usual, as decorations usually go up weeks in advance. But everything is done now, and looks so great. Christmas is just a few hours away! On Facebook everyone was saying “Happy Christmas”, but not in my timezone it’s not yet! But soon yes it’s Christmas, and it’s nice to be home for it.
Today as I had no classes, I decided to take the bus up to Aberystwyth. Not that I had nothing to do, I would like to finish my essay this week, as well my room needs cleaning before inspections, and laundry would be good too. Yes, we are going to have room inspections, I suppose a good things to make sure things are properly clean, but I, not being the neatest person, don’t know exactly how clean I should make it. Well, I say clean, it is only cluttered, nothing worth fines. Because they do fine you! If a cleaner is required to come in, or something fixed that you broke, it comes out of the deposit you paid at the beginning of the year. So hopefully, she won’t find anything fine-worthy! As well laundry, is really horrible here. Well, meaning that I have to go outside of my building, so two flights of stairs, and then across this complex of buildings before coming to the laundry room, with 4 washers and 4 dryers. Only, for hundreds of students. And then, it costs £2.00 to wash, £1.50 to dry. I really hate doing laundry, firstly there is the walk (lampathy!) then the paying, then the waiting, and then returning to put it in the dryer, and waiting some more. That, if there are even any empty machines.
Anyway, I was going to write about Aberystwyth! The lovely sea side town (Aber mean water, or sea something like that) that is so cute and quaint. Huge, in comparison with Lampeter, but very much a town. Shopped a bit, wandered by the sea, walked through some 700 year old castle ruins, had tea, and finally took the hour long bus back. Yes really, I had tea! Never do you get that in Victoria, just stumble upon castle remains built by Edward I. It is very much in ruins, yet you can still see the outline of it, as well as a few arches are still standing. So you can just walk through it and around it! Very cool.
It was a really nice day, meaning clear and not raining. Freezing cold, or at least, cold, especially by the water, but the sun was shining. It is actually a sizable town, lots of hills to walk up, and holding the national library of Wales, as well as a university. So quite studenty too. Within 3 hours, there are 3 universities in Wales. But one of the…____ signs I saw on the bus, was one that looked like those ‘deer crossing’ signs, but said “elderly people” and actually had an image of 2 people walking hunched with walkers. I didn’t get a picture because it came too fast, but yes it is really what it was as there was another not too far down.
I should really stop procrastinating on this essay, going to Aberystwyth was half shopping, half travel, and half just procrastinating on this essay. I really really want it done, but can’t seem to get past 50 words at a time. But it’ll be so great when it’s finished! Because then I’ll have another one to start…
Since it is Thursday, perhaps I should write the continuation of the previous post, and what actually happens:
I shouldn’t have said Thursday is the funnest day, because up until 9pm it is pretty dull. I don’t have anything until 2:15, and that is a three hour class. Yes, my third three hour lecture of the week. Luckily the last class also, but still. Three hours! So if Wed has been a normal evening, er early night, then Thursdays commence fine, maybe do work, or bake, or just, as it often is, watch TV on this laptop. Because I have access to the BBC! And Channel 4, so I can watch directly online. And I don’t have to pay for a licence fee. There are a few commercials, but I will tolerate them, because I can watch British TV! Without having to rely on YouTube. I mean I do still, because there are less commercials, but if I really wanted to, I could just go to the BBC. For Doctor Who, when that resumes, is what I will do. Anyway, the only good thing about this class is that it is in a semi-normal classroom. There are full sized desks, but only three long rows, which at Camosun I also had, and hated those. Here, slightly brighter room, but still not good. The class is Imagining the Other: Theories of Religion. An actual theology religion class would probably be fun, but the last few weeks have just been about a specific person and their contribution to the the study of religion, so not that fun. The essay though that is due in January should be a good one, though the classes aren’t.
Then, after 5 usually I go to the Supermarket, just because I’m already out, and it’s really not that far. Come back here, make supper, and apparently type out a blog post! Or watch TV or something. Practice violin would be a good thing too though…Until 9pm that is, when at a pub here there is folk music. Once a week in this pub, and yes I say pub not bar, there are people who go with their instruments, violins, mandolins etc, and just play music in this pub. It lasts a couple hours, and it just seems like a very traditional Welsh thing to do, listen to Folk music in a pub. It’s a pretty fun night, lots of people. One of the best seats in the room where the musicians are, is a filled-in fireplace. So you are actually sitting in a fireplace! Narrow hard seat, but still, it is cool.
No classes today, so do work, clean room, or what actually ends up happening is I bake something. Chocolate chip cookies mostly. I have not tried most of the restaurants and cafes in Lampeter yet, but sometimes on Fridays we will go out to the cafe. ‘The’ cafe meaning the same one every time. Soon I shall hopefully have tried all the places here! So during the day nothing happens, then at 8pm there is a ‘jam session’. I joined the Lampeter Folk Society, and not that there are that many people, but still a few, so we get together and play some songs. It is me, lead and only violinist, a guitar, a mandolin, and then someone who has a couple flutes/pipes, a drum, a guitar, and a bouzouki, which is a bit like a mandolin, and it sounds so nice! Afterwards, just go back home. We practice in the SU, the Student Union building, which is right across from my building. So literally, a 2 minute walk.
Weekend next time! TBC…
On the bus back from London (yes, I went to London!) I wrote this post. It was meant to be longer, but my laptop battery died. So I will complete it soon, once my essay is done. I’ll also write about London, when this school work is finished!
“Every time I’m on my laptop and not writing my essays I feel a bit guilty, as I really should be doing them. I have already finished one and handed it in, but at the moment of writing this I am on a bus back from London, and have 2 essays still to write. One of them is due in three days and I haven’t even started it. Like, nothing. Not even read the articles I’m supposed to be writing about. I suppose the next couple days I’ll know what it’s like to have pulled an all nighter writing a paper! I should have started to write it earlier, but the other essay took a bit longer than I thought. Also, I had other things to do in Lampeter. This past week has been ‘Reading Week’, so no classes. So, decided to go to London. Yes, instead of doing actual work. But as an exchange student, travelling and seeing Europe seems more important than school work. So yes, I am rationalizing this to myself. It was a really good week, and I definitely would have regretted not going. But I just have to do a lot when I get back! I brought my laptop with me to London so that I would do some of it, and maybe I did 100 words. But still I do consider it worth it to have brought it, like now I can type out a blog entry, and just post it when I get back to the Internet.
I have not kept this blog as updated as I’d hoped, but that was before I was on Facebook, and had so much to do. A normal week for me is:
Monday: 10:30 am coffee with a group of retired people in Lampeter, because one of them comes on the International Cultural Programme trips, and she invited me for coffee in this society thing, and it’s just nice to go to something like this, people who have held important positions in the university. Connections! Then at 11:15 a one hour meeting with my Personal Tutor, which everyone at TSD has. Basically, he’s supposed to help us with our work and whatever else, these one hour sessions have so far involved a talk on book reviews, essay writing, plagiarism, and general discussion of things. It is about 5 people, and I think I’m the only one doing second year courses, so my essays and stuff are slightly different than the others. But it’s required to go there, and as an exchange student on a visa, if I don’t attend compulsory sessions and my classes, the university will contact the UK border agency. So I can’t really skip classes….And Mondays I do have a class, from 1:15 to 4:15. It’s on European History, so while three hours is a long time, it is a subject I like, and have done before. After class I just walk back to my room, because it is 2 minutes away! At home to get to Camosun it took me an hour and a bit to get there. Here, I can leave my room 5 minutes before class starts. Afterwards on Mondays, at 7:30 there is orchestra. They only have three rehearsals before each concert though, and it is hard music! I’m playing second violin, but it is much harder than I am used to. What is nice about this orchestra though is that there are drums and trumpets and clarinets and flutes. We rehearse in the Old Hall, which is in the old main building of the university. It is such a nice room, though I have not gotten pictures of it yet. So that pretty much does Mondays, a pretty busy day usually.
Tuesday: Nothing in the morning, so I usually go to the supermarket or something. Or just sleep in. At 2:15 I have a Welsh Language class, so now I do know a few sentences in Welsh! It’s a pretty harsh language, reading it is really difficult and saying it with the proper pronunciation is also hard. Right after this class, at 3:15, after a 2 minute run, I have a Religion class, that goes until 6:15. So yes, 4 hours of class on Tuesdays. But the religion class is interesting, the lecturer is from British Columbia, so a bit weird that I come all the way to Wales and my class is in a North American accent. It is in the same classroom as my Euro history, and it is not the greatest. There aren’t any actual desks, just a chair with a extra large armrest type desk. So not used to those. It’s getting better, but 6 hour in 2 days of them is a bit much.
Wednesday: Luckily, Wed is my totally free day. Nothing is planned, so either I do homework, or just walk around the town, watch TV sleep etc. If I looked on my calendar I’m sure there are things on Wed, but nothing regular.
Thursday: ” And that’s where the battery died. Shame, because Thursdays are the funnest day!