Sunday, 21 October 2007

October Already?

Time is just flying by. I've been sick as a dog this past week, which stunk, but I'm down to just a hearty cough for symptoms now so it's getting better.

I've joined the Medieval Reenactment Society, which is quite cool as I'm learning how to use a spear. Today I got to try a sword out for the first time, but I think I like the ax at bit better, though the scram is still my favorite weapon. I'll have to remember my camera next week. :)

I got my grade back for the "Hey, You're Foreign" orientation course. I did better than I'd expected, which is lovely and is definitely boosting my confidence for the upcoming assessments.

So, for lack of anything better to share, I've got more pictures from London. Whee!!!!

The London Eye as seen from across a pond in a park near the Palace. The name of said park escapes me. :(

The only way to see the city is from the back of a bus.

That is indeed the clock you think it is.

Westminster Abbey.

Parliament. This is my favorite picture from London, and it makes a nifty desktop, I've found.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Back Again

This week has been quite hectic, from moving into my flat, to registering for classes, to writing this paper that won't end, I haven't been able to find much time to update. But I've stolen a few minutes now, since if I don't make time I guess I'll never find time.

I love my flatmates. We get along spectacularly well- I think we might be the happiest flat in the student village.

I've not finished registering for classes yet. This school is still on the old fashioned system where you have to go to each department (and then sometimes each professor) individually. Hopefully I'll be done by the time classes start on Monday.

For now, here are some pictures from Big Pit- the Welsh mining museum.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Sin City

The evaluation for the orientation course is based on a single 2500 word paper. I've chosen to write about the Sex Pistols and seventies politics. As luck would have it, Glen Matlock, the original bassist, was dj-ing tonight at the club Sin City. He shook my hand and answered my questions- my prof seems to agree that the Pistols were primarily about making money, which they did want to do, but it wasn't the primary concern.

The bandmembers wanted "to do something, but to make money as well." Still, the money was secondary. Thus, my thesis is not indefensible in the face of evidence, as I have a primary source. Who can say that? :)

Two blurry pictures of Matlock. I actually quite like the first one.

I have to get up in the morning as I hope to go to Cardiff to watch the world cup game. Goodnight.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Field Trip!

As part of this orientation course, we're being taken on three field trips. The first one was last Friday to the Gower peninsula, which is pretty close to campus. So, an hour bus ride will take me back here, to this lovely place:

It's been beautiful every day I've been here. Even this morning we had a bit of "Welsh Mist" (that is, very light rain) but it's cleared up already.

On the bus over, Angela, the coordinator, told a few stories about students who had been blown off the edge of the cliff and stuck there for hours. Along this coast, you see, there is one rescue helicopter which covers Scotland and Wales. She was obviously attempting to impress upon us the importance of caution.

With that in mind, what do you think I did when faced with this slope?

Yes, I did climb down it immediately after Angela stopped paying attention to me. It was excellent. Actually, there are a few places where it's pretty easy to climb- more of a steep hill than a cliff. There were a handful of people down there already, mostly fishing off the rocks. One group of fishermen attracted a guest who swam hopefully near them.

Adorable. I'm the only one in our group who got to see him because I didn't follow the crowd and just mill about.

Of course, while on my own I also discovered a patch of stinging nettle, which was much less fun. And later on Mike from my group and I went down to the beach to look for sea life in tidal pools. There wasn't much, and we were late getting back to the bus, but it was fun enough to be worth it. Nobody seemed to mind too much anyway.

Well, I have to get ready for class, so I'll be seeing you.

Monday, 10 September 2007

First Day, First Try

Well, actually this is my seventh day in the UK, and my fourth day in Wales, but it is my first day with internet access, so I think that's worth celebrating.

Here we go, just a test of this system to see how it works:

That is a random bus photographed last week on Kensington High Street. That street passes in front of Kensington Gardens, which surround Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived.