Category Archives: England

country roads

Yep, those country roads have taken me home and I’m now back ensconced in the English countryside. I can’t say I’m particularly happy about this development, especially as I have absolutely nothing to do with my summer and I’m already bored out of my mind. I haven’t had a day to do nothing since God knows when, so I have spent the last two days pacing around my house looking for company (there is none) and sticking all my Theta/travel souvenirs up on my wall (naturally, I’ve lost most of them):

theta nation

I have also been ‘unpacking’ today, which is a million times harder than it sounds.

this is after a day’s work

As Sophie texted me earlier, it’s so weird because I remember packing everything so clearly and it only seems like about two months ago. I actually posted a picture last August of my packing process just before we left that probably looks almost identical to this one. Anyway, it turns out I have more suitcase space than I have wardrobe/drawer space which has posed quite the problem. I might literally have to pack for Exeter now and just store all my autumn clothes in a suitcase, which would be fine except for the fact that I forgot that English summer weather is QUITE so gross and I’m probably gonna have to wear it all between now and late August when I can move down there (not that I’m counting down the days?)

In the mean time, if anyone knows anyone that wants to employ me…send them my way!

Also there will be a reflective final post coming, we promise…I’m just not ready to leave the Virginia Monologues alone just yet!!!

B

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final daze

Well, we’re one final down and only one to go (not counting the two papers I also have to do) and campus has well and truly entered finals mania. Luckily, nobody has been trampled in Swem – although don’t count it out just yet. There’s still time. Sophie’s new laptop charger arrived this morning which means that, after three days, she has finally been able to leave the underground computer lab in Tyler, and earlier we even permitted ourselves some real fresh air and a trip to BerryBody. Yep, things are getting pretty indulgent. On a serious note, though, the work ethic on this campus never fails to amaze me and has also made me realise just how bad my own is. The more people around me work, the less I want to work, which is hardly gonna be conducive to that First that I really really want now, is it?

In other news, we have also been reluctantly preparing ourselves to leave and planning a series of events that we will use to say goodbye to our many legions of friends and admirers. Jokes, but seriously, this stuff is depressing. On the up side, though, since we got our student loans this weekend we used yesterday evening to actually book some of our epic travels, and so now it is set in stone that yes, we are leaving Williamsburg at 8:30 next Thursday, Charleston bound. This train journey is going to take seven hours. What is life?

And finally, it is exactly six weeks today till we land in Heathrow. MADNESS.

B

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the princess and the balding prince

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO OUR FAVE ROYALS

a goddess

To celebrate, we spent a good 40 minutes last night watching a replay of the royal wedding on TLC. At midnight. Why yes, we are spending these last days before finals productively.

B&S

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the final countdown (again…)

THIS TIME IN A MONTH WE WILL HAVE LEFT WILLIAMSBURG FOREVER.

This is literally incomprehensible to me. Obviously, I’ve always been aware that this year was going to end at some point, but I didn’t think it was ever actually going to happen. Ever since I was 17 and applied to Exeter to do this course that involved a year in the States (or at least since I found out I had got my grades) I haven’t ever really thought about what would happen after this year. Or actually, I did, but it involved falling in love with a handsome American cowboy, getting a green card, and masquerading as a genuine Amurcan for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, unless somebody sweeps me off my feet in the next three weeks or so (I’m thinking formal), it looks like this is unlikely to happen.

This time in exactly one month, Sophie and I will be Charleston-bound as we embark on our big old Southern adventure – and, terrifyingly, in exactly two months and two days, we will have already landed at Heathrow. Time difference accounted for, we’ll actually probably both be back at home (hopefully with my luggage this time, although I’m not holding my breath) and – even more terrifyingly – separated for THREE WHOLE MONTHS before we start our last year ever at Exeter. This is actually too depressing for words, so while everybody digests this thought, a musical interlude:

Anyway, since we’ve already covered the list of stupid things we’re going to miss (which, by the way, is rapidly growing to include such things as ‘the turtles in the crim dell’ and ‘the toothless woman in Sadler’ – all signs that we’ve suddenly got way too sentimentally attached), let’s lighten the mood a little bit with a list of some of the things we have to look forward to while we’re still on campus:

  • Mae’s arrival on Friday
  • A hilarious looking ‘sisterhood event’ at some sort of trampoline-filled room thing
  • Spring Formal
  • Kappa Sig Spring Formal (hopefully)
  • BLOWOUT
  • All the many Theta events dedicated to seniors (i.e us)
  • Trip to the beach (IT’S GONNA HAPPEN)

Also, I was inspired by this momentous day to go back in time and see what we were thinking exactly a month before we left for the US. This is what I found:

This time in a month we will probably flying over some sea on our way to JFK. Georgie will have no doubt killed herself already due to our sheer annoyingness and Bella will be moaning that she is bored or needs a wee and I will be moaning that I am cold and hungry…but then we will get the kids packs and should be ok! — Sophie, July 16th 2011

Adorable. And also, minus the Georgie part, entirely still applicable. Er, we have grown as people, I promise!

Finally, I just want to tell you all that in the middle of writing this post, I had to go to my modern poetry class and to be frank, I feel quite shaken. We spent half of class discussing the pope’s penis, and the other half mainly consisted of our professor – for the most part a meek and mild kind of poetic genius – describing in vivid detail the birth of his two children. Real life or caffeinated hallucination? WHO KNOWS?

B

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p.s

Just have to say happy birthday to one of my very favourite people in the world Will Higham cause he turned 21 today and I didn’t get to Skype booooooo HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILL I LOVE YOU (I don’t even think you read this very often…)

still funny.

Also, here is some vaguely inappropriate birthday loving in song form:

I know everyone was playing ‘champagne scrabble’ while I was in my 8am class this morning so I’m sure they’re having a wholeee lot of fun right now…wish I was in Exeter to celebrate with you guys!!!

BIRTHDAY LOVE

B xxx

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bewitching britain

I just found this blog (through our friend Amy’s). It’s called ‘Bewitching Britain’ and it’s full of pictures of picturesque places in England, such as this:

Stamford

This is a street in Stamford, Lincs. The blogger calls it ‘ridiculously Dickensian’ and stresses that it is 100 miles from London (I don’t think there are really that many places in England that are too much further than 100 miles from London so I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a selling point). Anyway, from what I can tell, this blogger is soon to make a trip to England. I don’t know if it’s her first visit or not, but if it is, I can’t help but think that she’s probably going to be a bit disappointed when she arrives to find scenes such as this:

Glamorous Luton

Nice, innit? I mean, not to say that there aren’t a lot of gorgeous gorgeous places in England, not to mention the rest of the UK – we live in Devon, we know it’s gorgeous. But it seriously bothers me that there seems to be a large percentage of Americans who genuinely think that England is literally all rolling green hills and Tudor style architecture and Dickensian men wandering about in top hats. I kind of want to drop them all onto, say, Bedford high street at 1AM on a Saturday night and then see what they have to say about the delightful British manners.

In other news…TAKE ME, SAN DIEGO

B

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FENTONNNNN

I just felt that everybody in America needs to see this:

B

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leaving on a jet plane

We’re in heathrow, soaking up the last rays of English airport strip lighting before embarking on the trip back to Williamsburg. My week in Exeter if I haven’t said it enough was PERFECT and to be frank it isn’t as exciting to be leaving this time around – actually the fact that we won’t be back on British soil till June seems more than a little depressing. HOWEVER I am kind of looking forward to new classes, the units, spring break etc etc etc. also I am writing this blind so apologies for any horrific errors.

WILLIAMSBURG WE’RE COMING

B

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farewell motherland

The sun is setting in the sky…sophie and bella say bye bye!! LOL

The sun is setting over the great English countryside and tomorrow we will be that little plane flying in the corner. Although we are not quite as painfully excited as we were last time (think that’s pretty difficult!) I think this semester will bring us a whole new set of struggles and adventures. First struggle – Bella’s train to the airport is an hour delayed. Woooo! I can only imagine what is coming our way tomorrow!

Bye Bye England and hello America

S xx

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hey jude

For about the millionth time since December 13th, I’m packing up all my stuff cause I’M LEAVING EXETER. To be honest this is probably a good thing as a) I seem to have caused havoc and wreaked destruction everywhere I have been this week – in a good way – and b) the amount of alcohol we have consumed between Nicole, Kate and I this week is probably enough to send the creators of GreekLife Edu to an early grave or mental institute.

That said it has literally been the best week of the year so far (lol jokes) – really though it has been AMAZING. I’ve managed to see everybody I wanted to see and loads of other people that I hadn’t even planned on and last night I did what I thought I’d never do again i.e GO TO THE BOP. And apparently spent a considerable amount of time sitting by the church. I also partook in Baywatch, properly, for what I think was the first time ever, and Hey Jude obviously, and I watched the Naked Quad like the good little clothes-guarder that I am. Then I spent a considerable amount of time sitting in a fish and chip shop – had to be done as this is England after all. Overall it was a highly successful end to what has been a highly successful week, in a good old fashioned messy-first-year-esque way.

I’d write more, but for some reason the blog is not letting update properly so I have to use this tiny ‘quick post’ thing which is USELESS. Tonight it’s time for Team England to be reunited at the Holiday Inn Heathrow for a major debrief and tomorrow – we TAKE TO THE SKIESSSSS for Williamsburg.

BYE BYE EXETER IT’S BEEN LITERALLY WONDERFUL AND I LOVE YOU

xx

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lets hear it for the ‘burg

YO YO YO C-DUBZZZ!

Have you missed us?! uhhh…yeah you have!

4 Days! Even if it is boring, it will be nice to be back!!

S&B

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the reunion

So as anyone that has ever spoken to me has probably realised I kind of like Exeter. Which is why I have spent the last couple of days in a sort of delirious haze of happiness. I’ve been so excited about this that I think some people were kind of worried it might let me down but WORRY NOT, it has literally been amazing so far.

The journey there, obviously, was not without its mishaps. I navigated Luton station, one train, and the underground fine – and was DELIRIOUSLY excited to be in St Pancras / on the tube – but then somewhere between the tube entrance into Paddington Station and the platform I managed to lose my train ticket. EXCELLENT. However luckily there were no barriers to get onto the actual train and then even though I then spent the entire journey making up elaborate stories to tell the ticket man / ways to make myself spontaneously burst into tears (and also videoing the GORGEOUS English countryside which I’ve never appreciated before, for your benefits – vid coming soon), one never came. I also had another issue as when I went to get off the train at Exeter I found that all my stuff was buried under a mountain of other people’s stuff but luckily a tribe of people came to my rescue and excavated it for me. Then the guy inside the station at Exe demanded to see my ticket and I gave him a Look and said I had no idea where my ticket was and gave him my seat reservation and he let me through so I didn’t have to spend the rest of my life on a train platform. THEN NICOLE AND PATRICK WERE THERE TO PICK ME UP AND IT WAS WONDERFUL.

Since then we have spent about four and a half hours in Monkey Suit having cocktails, went for lunch in Coal, explored the new Urban Outfitters and Waitrose and bought Primark ballet flats, played about six million games of Will’s excellent game ‘Killer Bunnies,’ watched a ton of TV, had a good old predrinking sesh, had literally a 25 minute trip to Arena where we danced with Indian men, spent all of today sitting on the same chair in the kitchen, made a meal for everyone and ended up all sitting for 2 hours looking up the history of our last names and our family crests and watching hilarious youtube videos. All in all this is a pretty perfect way to spend three days. And by the way I love love love their house. Tomorrow the medics have their AMK so Kate and I are going up to Streatham and then when they and Alex are done it’s time to hit TIMEPIECE BABY

back where i belong: the triangle car park en route to arena

I LITERALLY LOVE THIS PLACE

B

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one week (again)

It’s that time again – one week until we venture back to Heathrow and then onto the ‘Burg. My mum is already encouraging me to begin to pack so I don’t around wearing clothes that I want to take back to the States. Basically she is fed up of washing and ironing for me. Everyone is now back at uni and so Colchester is more boring than normal. I might even try and get ahead on my reading this week – there really is nothing to do!

Bella is in Exeter. I am jealous. I don’t like house deposits depriving me from seeing my College House Bitches. I am wearing the one item of Jack Wills I own right now in homage to Exeter – oh the land of gilets…you are missed.

Thinking back to last time it was a week before we went to the US I can only recall the hysterical excitement felt by Bella and I.  We were SO annoying. This time, whilst excited to go back, it just feels like I am going back to Uni…kindof. I dunno, it’s weird because as soon as we got back to England I know a lot of the Brits just felt like America was some weird dream that kind of happened…but not really. So going back I think will be kind of weird. I am SO excited to move into Theta though – I think that will make this semester quite different from last. Might even have to say goodbye to Bryan Basement!

Ok, I am going to stop with all this reflective business. I think I just need to get back with young people. Last night I had a dream about getting a new recycling bin…

S xx

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oh, exeter (is wonderful)

Today, two things happened. One, Sophie stumbled upon the blog of a girl from W&M who appears to (well, she has) have spent the last semester in Exeter. Two, Kate posted on our little FB group for next year with details of what we have to do in order to secure our house.

These things have made me realise: Exeter, Devon is literally my favourite place in the entire world. As much as I love, say, Williamsburg (lol) or Disneyworld or the States in general or that strange little piece of paradise that is Vale do Lobo or even my bedroom at home, Exeter is my place where I live(d) and at this point, I can’t imagine loving anywhere as much. The very idea of having a house there is pretty much the best thing that I have ever thought about. I haven’t really let myself look at pictures of the city itself since I left – that’s not to say I haven’t looked at my photos from last year and relived every moment over and over again – but Christ, I forgot how gorgeous it is. I physically cannot wait for Sunday afternoon to arrive when finally, finally I get to arrive at St David’s Station one more time and I’m even looking forward to the prospect of walking all the way from there to the Triangle, just a few metres away from my gorgeous Rowancroft (although I have to say, if Alex brings his car I probably won’t complain). I’m going to make the trip to Streatham at least once, yeah to buy Sally her requested Exeter t-shirt but also to go stand outside the Old Library/Roborough and look over the hills because that was pretty much the only sight that used to get me through those horrible, delirious, hilarious hungover Thursday mornings in semester 2 and it was definitely the only thing that forced me to get on with my life and finish reading the assigned parts of Pope’s Essay On Man in term 1. I’m gonna go to the beach and I’ll probably be freezing but I do not care. It’ll remind me of that one perfect Friday when we spontaneously went to Sidmouth where Amy and Mae went in the sea in their underwear and I sat on a rock and watched because the very concept of taking even my cardigan off was too much for my hungover brain to deal with (why yes, I was hungover for about 60% of my year last year).

THE view (although the vans/Bella's head kind of spoil it)

better view of The View (must have been taken by a better photographer...)

 

Nicole messaged me earlier saying that her and Will have created a food list for next week including a mixture of our old favourites from last year and ‘some exciting new stuff,’ which they have dutifully ‘examined’ for dairy stuff or anything that they think I will think ‘looks gross’…have I mentioned how much I love my friends? AND THIS TIME IN LIKE 72 HOURS I’LL BE WITH THEM IN MY FAVOURITE FAVOURITE PLACE DRINKING COCKTAILS THAT I WON’T BE ARRESTED FOR DRINKING IN PUBLIC OH MY GOD I CAN’T EVEN

B

Ps. Waaaaah this post makes me sad!! I wish SO much that I could go down to Exe but the financial Gods (and a huge house deposit) make the already expensive £75 train tickets even more out of reach!! I WANNAAA SEEE EVERYONE (I MISS YOU ALL) AND GO TO ARENA!!! S xx

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jetlag

I realise we have been somewhat lacking in content the last few days – sorry guys! Here is a random list of things that have happened to me since I have been home:

– After a BRILLIANT New Year’s with Emily, my travel joys continued when I arrived at Manchester Piccadilly to find that there was a body on the line at Alderley Edge and so no trains were going anywhere. Excellent. An hour later, luckily the first train to leave was one that was going to Birmingham (incidentally it was the same line I always use to get to Exeter – I was tempted to stay on) which I can change at, so after another 45 minute wait at New Street due to awkward connection times, I FINALLY got home and was actually allowed to stay there for more than twelve hours.

– Speaking of New Year’s, we celebrated in style. I’ve been in the US pretty much every NYE since I was about 15 so I’ve never really done it properly but well and truly made up for it this year with a proper house party that was, really, a bit like Skins. Kind of. There was even a really inexplicably muddy basement, in which we welcomed the beginning of 2012.

– My first solo trip out in British public left me standing in Cult, bewildered and overwhelmed, looking at all these pretty British clothes and wondering what language all these strange northern Hull natives were speaking. I got over it enough to go on a bit of an impromptu shopping spree, though, so don’t worry. I also made the mistake of greeting a stony-faced and entirely unresponsive cashier with an enthusiastic “Hi! How are you?” – if nothing else reminded me where I was, that did.

– I also purchased alcohol legally for the first time since August. I was fairly jumpy standing in the spirit aisle of Tesco, convinced the police were going to come and whisk me away any moment, and also had more or less completely forgotten what I actually LIKE to drink (months of Burnett’s and Natty have distorted my brain) and Emily and I ended up coming away with what looked like an alcoholic’s feast of champagne (a bottle of which we consumed in the car to Liverpool oops) and Vodka. I’ve just remembered that it was Imperial, although not from the Co-op, which possibly explains away certain effects…

– Only marginally less excitingly, I also made a highly-anticipated trip to Waitrose which didn’t disappoint. And, finally, had a real life meal cooked with actual food in my actual kitchen at home (granted not by me). I also found myself wistfully staring at cookbooks. Honestly, last year brought out such a chef in me.

– For some reason it is taking me FOREVER to get over the jetlag, possibly because what with all my travel woes and New Year’s hedonism I have yet to even try and enforce a sleeping pattern based around GMT. Not that it really matters, because my schedule for the next few days largely involves a whole lot of nothing, and I’m loving it.

– Another thing I’ve been waiting months and months to do: send out a message to my Exeter friends announcing my triumphant return and, basically, demanding their attention. They have obligingly arranged a fam dinner and a Timepiece Wednesday – could I ask for anything more?! (Except plans for the other days I am there, obviously. And a trip to the beach.)

– Tonight I get to see my home friends AND WE ARE GOING TO NANDO’S – America is seriously lacking in Nando’s and I can’t understand it. It was a major food group of mine through 6th form.

– Finally, I had a dream last night that we got to Heathrow only to find that a massive flood meant that we couldn’t fly (the way my luck has been going of late, I would not be surprised) and so we just had to be evacuated to the Grosvenor Hotel, where we saw Victoria & David Beckham. Here’s hoping.

B

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