Tuesday, April 20, 2010

missing: sissy

funny name, right? well, it really isn't that funny.
this is the name of the icelandic volcano that has been erupting since thursday.
the result?? all airports in england are closed, indefinitely.
it sure has been fun to have the BYU students here longer.
but, my favorite older sister charlotte was supposed to arrive early this morning.
thanks to eyjafjallajökull, our fun plans for spring break have vanished.

i imagined that it would be more fun than our amazing trip that we took to disneyland last august for her birthday:

these were big dreams too, because that is a hard trip to beat. really really hard.

i had even bigger imaginations about what this week would be. we were going to go and see the west end musical the lion king. she was going to try all of my favorite places to eat... nando's, tortilla, hard rock, gbk and wagamama. we were going to visit hampton court and kensington palace. we were going to go to borough market, camden and portobello road. she was going to tell me how my cats are doing. she was going to bring me some spring clothes to mix my wardrobe up a bit. we were going to speak with british accents and people watch in hyde park. and we were going to go museuming. it was going to be the absolutely bestest week of the entire year. but, this perfectly wonderful week will never occur now. and it makes me so depressed.

last thursday at 5:15 pm, after finishing my culture and community final, i started getting really really excited about charlotte coming. this is how i felt:

i had heard that there was a volcano, but i never imagined that the airports would be closed for SIX days. i mean, seriously. now, after realizing that she really can't come i feel like this:

charlotte is supposed to be here with me.
i miss my sissy.

you are missing in the sissy picture. where are you sissy??

Thursday, April 15, 2010

finals. check.

i am DONE with finals. after i took my fifth and final exam this afternoon this feeling of freedom rushed over me and i had the realization that i have absolutely nothing that is due, there are no classes to attend and there are no tests to study for until august! it is an incredible feeling. also, after countless cokes and dr. peppers, late night runs to the food and wine, spontaneously dancing to william blake's cosmology, a lack of sleep, a facebook fast and a general loss of sanity at the center, i am excited that finals week is complete.

however, this is really sad news at the same time. the winter study abroad program is over. it happened so fast and ended even faster, i can't believe it. thanks to the volcano eruption in iceland my friends might be staying two days longer. you have no idea how happy this makes me. all flights to and from london have been cancelled. clearly this is a sign saying that we need more time together in london.

other than studying, this is what i have been up to...

i was in TWO places at ONCE. seriously. here i am at the prime meridian in greenwich.

baptisms at the london temple. it was so beautiful.

a visit to the houses of parliament, the cabinet war rooms and the winston churchill museum.

tonight i went to les mis for the second time. it was just as amazing and i loved it. anna and i were excited when we heard that barricade boy was still in the show, and he was as beautiful as ever. we decided to hurry out of the theater to wait for him at the backstage door. this was going to be great. he was going to be happy to see him, we were going to strike up a clever conversation and then he was going to offer to take a picture with us. after waiting for 15 minutes for him, we about had a heart attack when we saw him coming out of the door in all of his barricade glory. but, he was cold, aloof and unapproachable and our dreams were shattered.

also, i have also had to start moving over to the other side of the center, to my parents flat where i will be living for the next two months. it is sort of sad, actually extremely depressing. but i guess all good things have to end. maybe i will talk anna, arrin and karalyn into staying for the spring term. i don't think caroline would mind if they moved into our room.

Friday, April 2, 2010

five days up north.

i had been looking forward to the north trip all semester. it was viewed as one of our big trips as a whole group, and was also the longest one. i didn't really know exactly where we would be going, what we would see or what we would do, but i was still very enthusiastic about it. however, on sunday when i was faced with packing for our five day long coach trip with weather forecasts of winter weather all of my excitement was gone. i hate the cold, i hate the coach and i hate how i still have not finished any of my major school assignments. but, the trip turned out to be a great success and i loved everything that we saw. here is a really pathetically short summary trying to encompass all of the things that we did.

chatsworth house: a huge, eighteenth century estate house that is commonly known as 'pemberley' in the newest pride and prejudice movie. i LOVED this. not only because of my recent obsession with all things jane austen, but also because every single thing about it was incredible. the walls, the ceilings, the carpet, the guidebook. i loved everything. the only things that i didn't love were that we didn't have a whole week to spend there, and that it was raining and i didn't enjoy the gardens as much as i wanted to.

bronte parsonage: wuthering heights is a favorite book of mine. some people find this weird because it is a sort of dark, gloomy and depressing book, but i seriously love it. the story of heathcliff and catherine is so intense and emily bronte is a great author. going to her family parsonage was especially cool because it was exactly how i pictured it would be. it is located immediately next to this creepy graveyard and the moors, and it was a cloudy, foggy, gloomy and freezing day. just how i have always pictured the setting of wuthering heights to be.

york: this is such a great town. i especially loved walking around the complete and fully functioning roman wall that exists there to surround the city and looking around york minster.
fountains abbey: beautiful, old, enchanting.

durham castle: we stayed in the hotel this night. seriously. it was creepy and the cathedral bells woke me up promptly every hour throughout the night. i also am convinced that the castle is haunted. i think i have proof.

evensong: we went to evensong at durham cathedral and it was beautiful. the combination of the amazing voices with the magnificence of the church was a wonderful experience.

hadrian's wall/housested's roman fort: it was snowing, no joke. but this was one of the highlights of the week. standing on the wall, almost being blown off by the wind and screaming was so much fun.

dove cottage and rydal mount: the houses of the poet william wordsworth. so cute, such a perfect location, really explained why he wrote about the things he did regarding nature. i definitely enjoy his poetry a lot more now.

the lake district: i am convinced that this is the most beautiful part of england.

hilltop farm: the home of beatrix potter. the cutest place ever. i forgot home much i loved the tales of peter rabbit and jemima puddle duck and friends. those were some of my absolutely favorite stories from my childhood. the walk to the farm was so nice and i loved walking around the lake and up the hill.

church history in preston and the preston temple.

maritime museum and the international slave trade museum: both amazing museums.
beatles experience: i love the beatles, their music is great. seeing the music solely devoted to the beatles and their lives was one of the coolest things that i have done in a long time. i loved the feeling of having all of their songs blasting while i walked through the realistic rooms and buildings from their career. i loved every single thing about it and have been listening to their songs all day long.

quick summary of the trip: 24 hours on the coach. 4 authors homes. 2 hotels. 1 castle. 1 hostel. 4 churches. 4 great movies. hundreds of pictures. thousands of great memories. success.

i am happy to be back in london, it feels like home. finals are rapidly approaching and my time is getting shorter and shorter, which is really depressing. but, i am looking for the visit from jess in june! officially she is coming to visit me in london on the tenth of june, and i am insanely excited. we have a long list of things we have to do in the few days that she is here. i can't wait.