Thursday, April 29, 2004

Homecoming....

So, this weekend seems to be the weekend for coming home! This afternoon, we landed once again in Charlbury on Mad's doorstep.... tomorrow, I get to go home to Hamilton and see the crew there.... and on Sunday, I go home home! It's really quite difficult to explain what's going through my head right now... it's been such a short four months, but it's been ages since I've been home or seem any one from ontario!
Sam called the airport and confirmed our tickets, which is a good thing, I'm glad to be able to get home.... we've spent over 55 hours on trains in the past three weeks, I'd say that the BritRail pass is worth it!
So yeah, good to be "home," and looking forward to going home!

Joel just reminded me-- he has recently been injured in a dual of sorts, crazy dude by the name of Tom slashed him across the hand and has quite a wound to show for it.... poor boy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Hey there. We're still at Ron and susan's place in Ely, leaving today.... here's a pic of the three of us with the Ely Cathedral far in the background, on Rich's website. Have a good day!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Non Paulus sed Mulus sarcina portat

So here I am, in the heart of Ely, Cambridgeshire, at Rich's aunt and uncle's place, staying in the very loft that Rich himself occupied almost a year ago for a bit. Wow, has this every been a full two and a half weeks! And I don't think there's really any chance of saying all there is to say about the time right now.... I think it'll have to come in installments next week or the week after. The weather right now is AMAZING! for the past four days, we've had blue skies and temperatures of about 20 degrees, which is ever so much preferable over five degree rainy and windy weather! We're going to be spending the next three days in the "other place," namely Cambridge. (For those of you who don't know, there's a little bit of a thing between Oxford and Cambridge--competition and whatnot, who's got the better university, etc, but really, we all know that there's no question, Oxford wins hands down!) Hopefully we're going to learn how to punt, we didn't get the chance to learn in Oxford, as it really wasn't the season yet when we left, but maybe it'll be getting on that by now. (Oh, sidenote-- Dan P, I regret to inform you that you made more than a small mistake in the last issue of the crown-- you said that the quotes we sent you from England were from Cambridge--a-hem....)
So While I'm off gallivanting, life is moving along and all exciting for the members of my family.... My sister and her husband bought a house, my brother and his wife are having their second child in a month, and my other brother is graduating university and has procured himself a real job, and my may-as-well-be-sister just got herself *another* nephew! Everyone's life is so exciting right now....
So the choir is hopefully on the East Coast right now, if they stop in Moncton, Cara, don't forget to find them! :) Wow, it seems like sooo long ago since I've seen the ABU folks. *sniff sniff* And my dear Tina. Tine, we've thought about you almost every single day of the trip. Oh, and I think I still have that map, I'll bring it with me today when we head in to Cambridge.
So, four days and I will be back in Hamilton, six days and I'll be back in Belleville... I am *so* excited to be back home again and see everyone, but I don't know if I could say how much I'll miss this country. It's weather like this that really makes me forget that we had those two really gloomy cold rainy months in the winter.... So I'm torn in two. Anyhow, So much to say about the rest of the trip that I won't say anything at all right now, I'll sign off, and see a fair amount of you at Rob and Karen's wedding on Sat!!!!

Monday, April 12, 2004

South Hampton

Well, we spent two very chilly nights in Dover.... Three of us in a tent that can't be more than 3'X6', less than 3' high.... about 0 degree weather.... suffice it to say that I wore three pairs of pants (sorry, trousers), two pairs of socks and slippers, four sweaters.... and I was still cold. But, we walked along the white cliffs of Dover, and they were absolutely amazing. So huge.... Toured the Dover Castle and the secret tunnels and stuff inside the Dover cliffs where the Normandy invasion was planned and orchestrated from.... Became members of the English Herritage society, the recruiter who took our money welcomed me into the membership "May your camels prosper".... We went to Canterbury just cause we could, everything was closed but hey.... We're in South Hampton right now, at my cousins' place.... So nice to sleep in doors again! Today we went out to Stonehenge-- absolutely incredible! and to the Salisbury Cathedral for Evensong... then Sam chased some Swans and geese, and exclaimed, "I would take a duck to a pub!" All in all, first four days of traveling have been pretty sweet. Peanut butter and cheese sandwhiches really don't taste all that awful. Sam and Joel obviously haven't gotten sick of eachother yet, they're cuddling on the couch at this very moment.....

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Finished once more...breathing a sigh of relief

Oy Vay. The only thing worse than writing the last fifteen page paper of the semester is writing the last fifteen page paper of the semester over again. I thought I would be able to pack tonight, but no, here I sit at the table, in the same chair that I've sat in for the past four days, writing the same paper that I already wrote three days ago. (Deja vu?) The good thing is that Tina is also up tonight writing a paper, and she has decided that she will allow herself five minute breaks now and again, during which she gives me massages. I can deal with this!
I've eaten so much chocolate stuff in the past two days in place of meals that I am really starting to feel ill from it. Hence, on my way home from Oxford, in my state of pity, I stopped in at the "Eight Till Late" and bought a bag of frozen brussel sprouts. Strange comfort food, I am quite aware of this, but I was in need of real energy if I was to do anything else except plop into bed and cry. So Tina and I boiled up a pot of sprouts and had them for dinner. And I'm actually feeling quite chipper. Maybe that has to do with the fact that I was biting my pen. Anyone who has taken PSY 122 with Needham will know exactly to what I'm referring.
It's very possible that some of you would consider this great fun, having the opportunity to write two papers on the same subject in a very short amount of time, but ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you: I'm not enjoying this. Have you ever noticed that the later at night/earlier in the morning it is, the longer the pages seem?
I shall be greatly pleased to get back to Ontario time. Did you know that almost everyone here uses the 24 hour clock? When I'm in the kitchen, I have to translate the time from 24 to 12 hour, when I'm on my computer I have to translate time from Ontario to England (yes, I could change the clock on my computer, but really, I'm almost finished here anyway), and when I want to call someone at home and I'm not on my computer, I have to translate the 24 hour into 12 hour and translate the England time into Ontario time. I've gotten quite fast at it, I'm impressed with myself.
Little random note for anyone going to Enlgand: when you use the loo, the handle for the toilet is on the right side of the tank. And they don't flush the same way: whereas in Canada you can just push the handle down, in England there's a certain amount of skill to giving it the right amount of force quickly enough. Believe me, we had problems with that for the first month.
At 3:16 am, I'm calling it quits. 3,803 words, 12 pages, and, once more, my semester is finished. Thanks all for the prayers!!!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I *HATE* COMPUTERS!!!

I take it back. I *was* finished my papers. I came to the Bodleian this afternoon to edit the papers and email them off to the proper destinations, and I'm now sitting at this computer about to cry. I had to write two Wodehouse papers for my ISU, both of which have been finished for a little while, I left them to sit so I could write my other papers and come back and edit them after. Well, let me tell you my story. The first paper is 14 pages, the second 13. I finished 3/4 of my first paper and then moved on to my second paper, and wrote the whole of that. After I wrote that paper, I went back to my first, and upon finishing it, I saved it as the file "w 2 paper", because in my mind it was the second paper that I was finishing. Little did I know that I was saving it over top of my actual 2nd paper. And I just found this out. I know, I should have backed up the paper somewhere else, I don't know why I didn't, because I did for every other paper. So, with only the quotes that I have recorded, and a couple notes, I have to sit down and write this paper for the second time. 13 pages!! I can't believe I did that. If anyone wants to pray for me, now would be a really good time to do it, cause I have to get ready for traveling too. I'm going to go cry.
PAPERS ARE FINISHED! = MY SCHOOL YEAR HAS FINISHED!! = TIME FOR TRAVELING!

I have heard a grievous Evil under the sun.

So, it has just been brought to my attention that many of those in choir won't be able to return to choir next year due to conflicts in schedules. This is simply outrageous. Why in the world do they plan for the 300 and 400 level classes during the Tues/thurs 4:20-5:40 time slot? If anything, this is when they should have the 100 level cores. It makes me so mad. At first I thought it was just Jackie who wasn't going to make it back-- and that was a horrible prospect for me. Now, Naomi, Ben, and others are included in that number. (Rach, tell me you're still going to be in choir!) To put it quite bluntly, this sucks. I'm facing a dilemma, however, with my choice in courses for first semester. At first, I wasn't able to take the 400level Lit Crit because it fell during the choir slot; this has since been changed, and it's not on Mon/Wed. However, I also very much want to take the 400level creative writing course, which I'm currently signed up for. My semester already consists of my senior INT and PHIL, ENG 403, REL 131 (which, incidentally, scares me more than 400 level courses), and a 300 level PSY. The only course that I could take out of the equation and put off till second semester is PSY, and that means taking three PSY second semester. Too much PSY at once. So I"m stuck. I've been told that Lit Crit is the hardest course at Redeemer, but in that course will be all those that I missed taking courses with this semester (Sam appropriately named this group of people the "Bowen Brigade"). So I"m at a loss, quite frankly.
I have written more words in this weekend than I ever would have thought possible; and as a result, I am entirely ready for a break of four months from writing papers!
I am so near to finishing this paper that I"m writing that I can almost taste the victory (my reward for finishing all my papers = my last lindor chocolate), and by the time I post this I probably will be finished. Hurrah!
I bought 36 penguins today for only 1pound50. Not bad, eh?
Beginning on Friday, I'm going to have a twenty-some day absence from the world of blogging.... And just so ya'll know, apart from giving my highlights of the trip when I get back to Canada, I probably won't return often to blog. Let's face it, my life in Canada is not particularly blog-worthy. I don't walk past 700 year old buildings every day, I don't go to castles (apart from Casa Loma, I've been there once, and I'm sure everyone else has too), and I don't go to Spain. So just a heads up. (Sorry, Rob J, I feel like I'm letting you down. hey, are you going to be in choir next year??) Anyhow, I might get to an internet cafe every now and then and post a line or two, you can check if you want.
I can't believe that Tina's going to be home on Friday. It seems like such an odd idea, to be back in Canada. That'll be me in a month. But. Camping in Dover comes first. Well, first after figuring out traveling stuff and sending off papers and saying a tearful goodbye to the others and whatnot. It'll be an interesting next three days.
So this blog is a little old by now, but I'm posting it anyways because it has stuff in it that I don't want to write over again. Written on Sat, April 3.

It with a heart heavy with procrastination that I write this blog today. I sit here at the dining table, Wodehouse books stacked up to my ears on either side of me, a glass of wine by my side (I've had it there for four hours now and haven't finished it), and the sounds of Enya crooning in the background.
I have only part of one paper left to write for my independent study on the infamous Pelham Grenville, and then an essay on the Bard of England's King Henry V, both of which I plan to be finished by monday at lunch, thus marking the end of my semester. Following will be two days of touristing around my favorite sites of Oxford, packing my suitcases, and planning my three week travel. Right, and of course, the farewell party at Mad's. And then early on Thursday morning, I will once again lose the company of my third-cousin-once-removed, Ms Tina Koopmans. She will fly back to Canada as I take the train to Dover, and I won't get to see her until her moment of glory at her graduation.
This past Wed night, we went to our final play of the year, R&J. I am sad to report that it was not, after all, in the Swan Theatre, it was in the same theatre in which Macbeth had played. But, much to our excitement, our seats were on the main level-- no balcony!! Joel, once he took his seat, reported that on the way into the theatre he had spotted none other than Patrick Stewart, of Starship Command. There is a picture to prove it, but I haven't gotten any pictures from him as of late.
Thursday was an exceedingly sad day to us all, as it was our final dinner at Regent's Park College. They absolutely outdid themselves on the dessert (I like to think it was because it was our final day): think of one of those Tim Horton's speciaties, like a bowtie, now: double the size of it, put real whipped cream inside and real milk chocolate on the top. It was absolutely heavenly! Anyhow, we bid an almost tearful goodbye to the servers and thanked them for their excellent service through the past three months, and headed on our way back to the Bodleian. Speaking of which, I think I must have booked close to forty hours in that library this week. It's gotta be a first for me.
Tina and I were planning on having an relaxing study break tonight by turning on the fireplace, roasting marshmallows and having smores, but, as it turns out, there are no marshmallows to be found in Charlbury. Odd, really, because they can be found at any random corner store in Ontario, but are absent from even the grocery store here!
Anyhow, this paper is not writing itself, so I suppose I must help it out a little.

A woman's smile is like a bath tap. Turn it on, and you find yourself in hot water. PG Wodehouse