Thoughts from LHR

So waiting in the airport on the way coming home for Christmas I thought I should just write down a few thoughts, and so here they are. Keep in mind I was so tired, having not gone to sleep, and excited to be coming home, so if none of it makes sense…anyways I am home now, and so glad I am back in Victoria! Lovely to be with my sisters again, if only for a short while. Continue reading

Aberystwyth

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…

It’s Raining, it’s Pouring…

It has been raining really really hard here for the last couple days, and as a result, the river is flooded. This univeristy is situated right in the town, the tiny town with 3 streets. As you exit the university gates, you are on one of the main streets of Lampeter. As you walk into the actual gates, there are all the buildings, and then there is a tiny river, and over the bridge there are the student housing. So to get to the supermarket, it is less than a 10 minute walk, 5 if you go fast. But really, no reason to rush here, just dawdle.  Continue reading

Part 2

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.

Fridays:

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…

Castle! And Stuff

Today was the beginning of the week for all the students here at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, so finally here are people here on campus! Well, that may not be a good thing, as that mean now the Student Union building is open. Which means the bar is open, and also the club. Which means I can hear the club music, at least the underlying beat, while I am trying to sleep. Soon classes shall start, and then I’ll be too tired to notice! Anyways, today there was a welcome to Lampeter speech, and then we went to a welcome BACK to Lampeter speech, as we are exchange students, so technically in the second year of study. In all, 4 speeches. luckily though all the international students already had the orientation on how to use the computer and library and stuff, so we don’t have to go to those this week. Which means, it is a pretty free week. I want to get a violin tomorrow, and to do that I will have to take an hour long bus ride to Carmarthen. That’s not too bad though, same distance from home to Camosun.

But oh yes the castle! The trip was part of the cultural programme the university offers, one of seven. We had to leave at 9am and it took a little over an hour to reach the bottom of the hill where the castle is situated.  Continue reading

Just a Quick Update

Hello! So I don’t really have time or energy to do a full post, I just wanna say that so far it is pretty great! University experience, halfway across the world:) Except that I am in a hall with other Americans, and 1 Canadian. So not too many accents yet:) Just orientation happened today, so we finally got to meet the International assistant, who I have emailed so many times! Didn’t really get to talk to her much though, busy first with welcoming, then registration. I hate filling out paperwork! But strangely, it isn’t as bad when you are on a table with a dozen other people all doing the same thing.

There is a Starbucks here, merged with a food place, nice sandwiches and daily deals. For $5! Nice place close to my building. It is such a little cute town! Like it looks really old, all the houses and buildings stuck together. I love it! Grocery store is pretty cheap too, I think. Well, some things anyway, just had a quick run through really. Tomorrow is more orientation, so I must go to bed and sleep! Half a dozen of us (USA + 1 BC + me) went out tonight to a real British pub! Well, actually 2. And they were so empty! It is only the international students that are here already, so the place is pretty empty. Next week come all the rest of the students. But still, a real British pub experiwnce, twice in 1 night. I’m not legal to drink in BC, so this was kind of cool, the first one was really homely and food restaurant orientated with a bar, the second was pretty much just a bar. Also completely empty when we got there. So nice people so far, and Sunday we’ll all pitch in for kitchen stuff. Today we bought some plates and bowls, otherwise everything in the kitchen is mine! Utensils and equipment I mean. Food, I haven’t really bought anything, yet;)

3 Days to go. How Lucky am I?

When I tell people that I am off to Wales for nearly a year, a common response is “you’re so lucky!” Well, yes and no. Firstly it is fortunate that I am Canadian, and simply that I am able to go to college. So people I tell are really just as ‘lucky’ as me to be here. Of course there isn’t too much else to say after I tell them I’m going to a tiny town in the middle of Wales, though “you’re so brave/what a great opportunity/it’s gonna be so much fun/so jealous” also has come up. But I digress. I don’t really consider it ‘luck’ that I am going to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Continue reading

Wednesday: Mid Week Ramblings

So Wednesday has arrived! And almost gone, as it is 9pm. No terribly late supper tonight, it was the reasonable hour of ten to 8. In all seriousness, that is pretty normal here, 7:30 the average hour that I try to make things be ready. I made ribs tonight, without using nay artificial sweeteners, molasses, BBQ sauce, or ketchup. Why? Because my family is insane. Well no not really, but since Christmas we have avoided any processed foods, and that includes cane sugar. My solution for sweetness in savoury dishes then is an apple. Simply blitz up an apple with a tomato, and it is pretty equivalent to a BBQ sauce. Add some bustard, spices, and vinegar, and there is a perfectly good crock-pot marinade! Served with coleslaw.  Continue reading

5 More Days…Getting Things More Organized

It’s my last Tuesday this year! And yes I will keep thinking about it that way. Today I finished doing pretty much everything that I could do out of the house, so staying inside the rest of the week and packing! Well not really, still need a haircut, but otherwise yeah. My sisters have all their activities beginning again, and all I’m doing is staying home. Of course that will drastically change by next week, so I’m not really complaining. Just a fact really. Continue reading

My Last Monday…In Victoria. This Year.

I leave in 6 days for Wales! Yet doesn’t seem real. I mean, I have everything prepared (everything is bought, from pens to socks to kitchen supplies all organized on the counter) but still, 6 is just a number. I’ve been thinking about the exchange for 10 months. 10 whole months I’ve thought things like “I won’t be here for Christmas next year. I’m not gonna be able to do Easter Eggs at home next year.” So for the date to finally be here, so close, it doesn’t quite seem like it’s actually going to happen. Obviously it will happen (quite a large scholarship riding on it, as well as all the stuff my parents have bought me) though really, 6 days or 60, same kind of feeling. Continue reading