Friday, September 23, 2005

And I'm back in Leeds.

I have moved into my new house, which is so obviously a perfect party house!, and I have been spending time getting to know my new house mates, who I can confirm are lovely. All my stuff is in my new bedroom, which is probably the tiniest bedroom ever, and although a bit of a shock at first after last year's beautiful purple bedroom complete with real floorboards and skylight, has quickly become nice and cosy. Until Tim comes to visit and it becomes a miniature prison cell with no visible floorspace, probably.

Classes and lessons (what little I have of them - I'm a history student, remember) start next week. This year's classes are as follows:

  • Italian Merchants in the Twelfth Century
  • Special Subject: The Reign of Edward II
  • The Age of Chivalry and Knighthood
  • Dissertation: as yet, unknown

Doesn't it sound thrilling?!


Well, I'm excited!

Speaking of excitement, the university is simply abuzz (such a word?) with fresh-faced first-years. I remember what it was like to be a fresher - talking to absolutely anyone within reach who stands still long enough, whether it be on a bus, in a queue or in a lift, in order to make as many friends as possible, as quickly as possible. Just now, I was waiting for a lift in my department and two sprightly looking girls bounded up to me, and one asked what floor I was going to. I replied "Floor 3". She replied "Me too!". The three of us got into the lift together and the other sprightly girl asked the first one, "Are you a first-year? Are you off to meet your personal tutor?" To which the first girl replied, with the most energetic head-nodding I have ever seen, "Yes! Yes I am!". Then they both turned to me and asked me in unison, "Are you a first-year? Are you meeting your personal tutor?!" To which I replied, "No, I'm a third-year and I'm going to pick up my timetable" (to their obvious disapointment - after all, what fun are boring old finalists, ay?). They both then wandered off, happily chattering to each other, new best friends for life. No sooner had I picked up my timetable ( a mere 30 seconds after exiting the lift) than the first first-year ran up to me and begged me to show her how to get to floor such-and-such in building such-and-such for her meeting, which she was TWO WHOLE GHASTLY MINUTES LATE FOR, which I very kindly did, because I am that generous and kind a person.

Aw. Freshers. Bless 'em.

On a side note, may someone (most probably Marie) please explain to me how on earth Martha can be Alf's granddaughter?! She cannot possible be Duncan's child, as she is at least a year older than him, and to my knowledge, Roo (or whatever) does not have a daughter. After being away for nearly a month, I have astonished myself with how quickly I have got back up to date with all my fave soaps, both UK and Aussie based, almost as if I had never been away, in fact. I don't really know if this is a testiment to my soap 'skills' (as it were) or is a demonstration of how bad these programmes are, in that in four weeks nothing has changed. However, despite all this, the whole Martha-thing has me stumped.

And ALSO, I would like to make a H&A statement -


I would like it to be noted, in advance of when the plot unfolds, that I knew first! (Unless, of course I am wrong, then I shall deny all knowledge.) As of yet, I haven't figured out why she would be the stalker, although I think it will probably be Sarah-related.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!

If we're being technical, I got back on Thursday morning, but I have been far too busy unpacking and being very tired to update.

First of all, I am going to have to disappoint anyone looking forward to loads of pictures from my fabaroony Italy and Croatia holiday - my dearly beloved digital camera was stolen from my backpack (quite possibly while it was actually on my back) on the third day I was away. So imaginations will be needed (with a little bit of help from Google Images).

Here goes:-

Tues 23/8 - Me and Tim got the train from Colwyn Bay to Crewe, then to London Victoria, then the tube (no bombers, thank God) to London Euston, and then to Dover Priory. Then ferry over to Calais. I was all fit and well when I left home in the morning - and quite possibly dying upon arrival in France. Yes, after having an entire summer to get ill but without so much as a sniffle, I had a bloody throat infection the day I left for my fabulous holiday. We were only going to spend one night in Calais and then leave the next day for Italy, but ...

Wed 24/8 - ... the next day I was even worse. So we had to spend an extra day and night in a tiny B&B in Calais. Great start.

Thurs 25/8 - Woke up feeling quite a bit better so we got the train to Paris. Nearly started dying again trying to work out the Metro system with a huge bag and stuff, but we got on a train from Paris to Milan ...

Fri 26/8 - ... and got off at Turin because we got bored of the train. Stayed at a hostel overnight in Turin. Friday morning we left for Florence, but decided to have a little stop off for a few hours in Pisa. We walked around in the heat for the afternoon with our bags, which was crazy, but we had fun doing all the holding-up-the-tower photos (with a bloody disposable camera). It was here I noticed my camera was missing and had to report it to the police. Got into Florence in the evening.

Sat 27/8 - Spent the day wandering around Florence, looking at all the lovely buildings and things. Spent the evening on the Ponte Vecchia, eating ice cream and listening to a live guitar band. One of my most favourite bits of the trip.

Sun 28/8 - Got a train to Rome. Had dinner at a restaurant outside of the Colliseum, all lit up at night-time.

Mon 29/8 - Wandered around Rome. Walked EVERYWHERE. Saw the Colliseum, the Trevi fountain, the Pantheon and the Vatican. Amazing. In the evening got a night train down to Catania in Sicily. Didn't want to fork out for a bed on the train so we had normal seating. Wasn't too bad.

Tues 30/8 - Arrived in Catania. Tim's great-great-great-grandfather, Giovanni Verga, was a very famous Sicilian author, and still very famous now over there. His house is a museum now, which we went to see, as well a Piazza which is named after him. Crazy stuff.

Wed 31/8 - Went up Etna. We got a bus half way up, a cable car a bit more up and then walked as far as you're allowed to go because its active. Saw smoke coming out of the crater and everything! Got another night train back to Rome ...

Thurs 1/9 - ... but there were delays and we missed our connection the next day for a Eurostar to Venice, so had to spend 5 hours sat on the floor on a very posh train. How very backpacker-ish! Arrived in Venice in the afternoon. Ended up staying in a little hotel 5 minutes from St. Mark's Square and had to get a water bus along the Grand Canal to get there!

Fri 2/9 - Spent the day wandering around Venice. Fed pigeons in St. Mark's Square - and shouted at a child for picking a pigeon up by its head. Didn't get a gondola because they were so extortionate! Got a train to Trieste on the Italy/Slovenia border.

Sat 3/9 - Got a bus to Zadar in Croatia, passing through Slovenia, which took all of half an hour. Arrived in Zadar at about 10.30pm.

Sun 4/9 - Tim's birthday!! Had a massive mixed-grill brunch and then spent the afternoon on the beach snorkelling. Then had a very posh dinner and watched the sunset.

Mon 5/9 - Went to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Breathtakingly beautiful.

Tues 6/9 - Bus to Sibenik. Went to the beach for the afternoon.

Wed 7/9 - Went to Krka National Park, with massive waterfalls and swam in a big lake.

Thurs 8/9 - Bus to Split. We were really looking forward to going to Split, but it was like Benidorm - all neon lights and high rise hotels, and everywhere else we'd been in Croatia had been so nice. We also ended up in a horrible room with foam rubber mattresses (I'm severely allergic), so when no-one was looking, we did a runner and got the next ferry to an island called Brac. Brac is like stepping back in time, with vegetable patches, goats and log piles in everyone's back gardens. The lady whose house we were staying in was so nice and made us cups of tea when we arrived!

Fri 9/9 - Set the whole day aside to go to the beach - and it rained. Spent the afternoon, in the rain, messing about on the beaches skimming pebbles, catching fish and behaving like a pair of kids. Best day of the trip.

Sat 10/9 - Ferry back to Split (from which we 'split' very quickly) and got a bus down to Dubrovnik.

Sun 11/9 - Spent the whole day on the beach in Dubrovnik - in 45 degree heat!!

Mon 12/9 - Wandered round Dubrovnik. Its a very tiny place, but absolutely beautiful. In the evening got a bus back up to bloody Split. Got an over night train from Split to Zagreb in the north.

Tues 13/9 - Got a train from Zagreb to Salzburg in Austria. Then train from Salzburg to Munich. Then overnight train from Munich to Paris.

Wed 14/9 - Arrived in Paris at 6 am. Train to Calais. Ferry back over to Dover. Then trains back up to home, arriving 1 am Thursday morning.

Obviously LOTS more things happened, but I couldn't possibly fit them all in here. I just wish I had my camera, but never mind. So yes, that was my fabaroony backpacking trip!