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Archive for September, 2007

Finicky Computers

Yesterday I managed to comandeer Luke’s Mac for a while, but his computer has this dendency to not like my photos, so it wouldn’t let me put all my pictures on my new flash drive, or Jen’s flash drive and I didn’t want to monopolize Luke’s computer again today to try and upload the London pictures like I promised. Hopefully I’ll be able to get them up tomorrow before we leave for Cambridge on Friday. So never fear, they will eventually be here. Anyway, I should get back to studying for the Irish History test!

 Love to all
April

Edit: As you can see I managed to get the London pictures up as well as some from Bodnant Garden and Oxford. Tomorrow we leave for Cambridge and then Ireland so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to update again. In any case, it’s rather late and tomorrow is a travelling day, so I’m going to head to bed. Love to all- April

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London Calling

So I didn’t get to update in London, but it’s not my fault this time. We just arrived in High Leigh yesterday, so we are back to studying and have free internet again. London was crazy busy so there was definately no studying going on. We had to buy most of our own meals which kind of stank, but we did get an awesome hot breakfast every morning at our hotel. The sites of London are kind of a blur but here are some of the things that I saw.

The day we arrived a bunch of us bought tickets to the major shows that are running. Some saw Le Miserable, others saw Mary Poppins. What did I see? Spamalot. The musical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Was it awesome? Yes.

 The first full day, Luke, Jancina and I went to the National Gallery and the National Portrait gallery next to Trafalgar Square. I had thought that this was a busy day until I went out with Hope, Jancina, and Jen the next day. We started out at the British Museum checking out the highlights such as the Rosetta Stone and all the mummies. The downfall of this was that it was apparently field trip day as there were about 20 different groups of little kids being rowdy and noisy in the mummy room. But that was okay because they were pretty much confined to the mummy room. Needless to say we fled the mummy room as soon as possible, but I did catch a glimpses of a few mummies (I think one was Cleopatra?) and some mummified organs, which was disgusting but cool. We also saw one of those giant Easter Island heads. (This is only funny if you’ve seen Night at the Museum) After lunch we took the tube to Kings Cross to see Platform 9 3/4, took the tube to Tower Hill, missed our switch, almost lost Jancina on the train, found the right train, saw Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, saw Big Ben, and went to the evensong service at Westminster Abbey which was so tranquil that I fell asleep.

Our last full day we went to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, saw the Peter Pan statue at Kensington Gardens, watched the exceptionally funny The Merchant of Venice at the Globe (Launcelot’s conscience vs. the fiend soliloquy was the funniest) and wandered through the Tate Modern Art Museum.

I’ll try to get some pictures of this craziness up this week if I can but it just depends if I can get ahold of Luke’s computer. Better get back to some homework.

Love and miss you all
April

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Oh look, college students!

So we are in Oxford for the time being (as in we leave tomorrow). Have had plenty of time and internet access so have no excuse for not posting. I hang my head in shame. Twelfth Night was completely amazing. As you may have read from Eve’s blog, John Lithgow was Marvolio and he was absolutely brilliant. I managed to take a picture of the set before the show started but was too chicken to take any during the show. When we got to Oxford me and Jen saw Atonement, which was amazing, but very sad. Highly recommended if you like tragic romance.

I must confess I was kind of hoping that we would catch a glimpse of some HP actors, but no such luck. We tried to get into the courtyard where they’ve filmed parts of the movies, but no luck there either. Maybe someday.  I would talk more but there are a lot of people in line for the computer. I will try to update again in London.

Love to all-
April

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Twelfth Night

Tomorrow we are *sigh* leaving the library and moving on to other literary pursuits. Not sure how much internet access Oxford will bring but I’m optimistic. Hopefully I’ll be able to obtain a flash drive so that I don’t have to leave all my pics on Luke’s compy for the whole trip. Also tomorrow we will be seeing Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in Stratford which should be quite funny. Not much else to report as of this moment since we haven’t been doing much of anything except studying and talking to Rosie the librarian about American versus British education and culture. Jen and I will indeed miss our long and rather silly conversations with Rosie. For now I must depart, but never fear, I will find internet again soon and will be sure to update as soon as I am able.

Love to all,
April

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In my last post I believe I mentioned that we were going to be climbing Catbells. We have now climbed Catbells, which was probably the most strenuous hike I have ever done. That isn’t really saying much since I never hike, but I did climb Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, and this was much higher and steeper. Most of the group was faster (or more in shape?) than me and was out of my sight for the majority of the hike. I climbed the entire way with Jen, Eve and Luke, which overall made the experience more enjoyable (or at least funnier). Jen and Eve didn’t go the entire way up (they only made it to Kittenbells) so Luke and I traversed the rest of it without them. The view from the top is phenomenal. I am confident that all the cliche words we have for nature come from views like it, making it impossible to describe without sounding like everyone else who has ever seen some beautiful part of nature.

Moving on. Jen and I went to this awesome used bookstore in Keswick. I ended up buying a 4th Ed. (printed only a few months after the 1st Ed.) A.A. Milne book entitled When We Were Very Young and a copy of a book with songs and poems from Rudyard Kiplings various books.

After Keswick we set out for St. Deinols and took a sidetrip to Chatsworth House where *gasp* parts of Pride and Prejudice were filmed. It is essentially Mr. Darcy’s house. The house itself is absolutely massive and is bigger and more ornate than Holyrood House (where the Queen stays in Edinburgh). What I won’t go into is the awful coach ride that we were made to endure. Essentially we ended up being several hours late in actually getting to St. Deinols. When we did finally get here, everything else was forgotten, because wonderfully enough, we are staying a LIBRARY. Basically everyone on this trip’s dream. The library was founded by prime minister W. Gladstone and it is a private, residential library.

The other day we took a trip over to Liverpool, where I had a lot of fun looking through the things I could buy in the Beatles Museum’s gift shop. Other than that, we went to the Anglican church (absolutely huge) and then the Catholic church (the service there was still going on so we got to sit and listen to the choir sing, it was amazing).  There isn’t much else to report at the moment since we are supposed to be mostly studying while we’re here. But I’m okay with that, it’s nice to be in one place for a little while.

Love to all,
April

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Thank God for Soap

So we made it through the highlands and I am now in Keswick, in the Lake District, closely associated with Beatrix Potter (who wrote Peter Rabbit, etc) and William Wordsworth. But I’ll get to that in a minute. First I must note that gorge walking is the worst activity ever invented. Ever. I was led to believe that there would actually be walking involved in this activity. There wasn’t. I feel lied to. The water was absolutely freezing and my shoes ended up drenched for two days until I managed to dry them with my hairdryer. Anyway. Gorge walking: there were places where we could jump into the stream, which I’ve been told is fun to do. Lies. When I tried to do the second, higher jump I was way dizzy and had to sit down (I think it was because I had too much water in my ears or something) whatever it was, my ears hurt like crazy and that pretty much ruined the entire experience.

Rafting though, which I was not looking forward to in the least, was exceptional fun and everyone should do it at least once. I ended up in the front, and even though I had to put on an already wet wetsuit, it didn’t seem as cold as the gorge walking and I think I got a bit of a sunburn. The next day the group I was with went to a nearby town and walked around, in the afternoon we drove up to where they have skiing in the winter, saw some reindeer and picked some heather (we figured no one would notice since the hills are full of it).

Braemar! After all the strenuous (and wet) activity at Newtonmore, it was nice to be able to sit and enjoy some odd sports. We got to see dancing, log throwing, and a bunch of people running up a “hill” which looked more like a mountain to me. We got to see a glimpse of the Queen as well. Also, a note on chips (aka fries): traditionally served with vinegar and salt. Genius. Way better than ketchup.

We just got here yesterday, but I’m already in love. (Not as much as Edinburgh, though) As Jessie said yesterday “it’s quaint, everything is quaint!” Tomorrow we climb Catsbells or some such place and I think Wed. is pretty much devoted to Beatrix Potter. I’ll try to get some more pictures up soon, but I don’t have too many more than what I uploaded before.

loves,
April

PS. A note about comments. I’ve noticed that some people aren’t sure if I’m getting the comments, I assure you that I am. The thing is that the comments don’t show up on my page until I get on and approve them, so don’t worry if it doesn’t appear right away. I’ll try to get this fixed soon, but it will have to wait for another day.

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