Fun fact: They say both “Happy Christmas” and “Merry Christmas” in the UK. Contrary to what popular television shows and movie feeds us, both are accepted. In fact, some people just don’t say “Happy Christmas” at all, as that is reserved for New Years and would sound weird if used for both Christmas and New Years (or so they say).
I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. I’d like to say I have a good excuse, and in some ways I do. End of the semester had me busy with studying for my first Greek exam and going to Greece for my Art of the Body class. Both of those were…interesting. Did my first exam go well? Well, I haven’t got my grade back yet, but I do not have high hopes. My studying didn’t work out so well, and the parts I did study for were not on the exam. Professor Soothingvoice had dropped some heavy hints on what would be on our exam, but somehow very few of them were present on the test. Instead, the passage we translated from was from the one day I skipped. Hello, karma. I left a handful of parts blank, since I was trying to concentrate on higher-weighted questions. Before I knew it, the time had run out (cool). The professor did mention that there will be partial credit given, so I hope that saves me somewhat. At the very end there was a high-point portion where we translate from English into Greek (this is much harder than translating from Greek to English), I decided to try to concentrate on it since it was worth so much. Well, Professor Soothingvoice called out “5 more minutes” and I resorted to writing down random words that were in the same family, but definitely not the right order or form. So, instead of it saying, “The girls waited at the spring for their mothers to fill the water jars” it likely said something more like, “Wait spring girls and mother jar.” I’m hoping I get points for at least having sort of the right words. We shall see.
Greece is a blur. I feel like I hardly remember it. I was sick pretty much the whole time I was there; slightly fevered and in a ton of pain. I didn’t bring any medicine, so I had to rely on everyone else who came prepared with ibuprofen and cold medicine. The whole trip was chocked full of museums, historical sites, mini presentations from our classmates and professor. We walked a ton, which I normally wouldn’t mind, but I was so out of it and tired. Pretty much aching and asleep on my feet every day.
I went to Wales with Claire and her family, and it was the opposite of Greece – super laid back and lazy. We pretty much spent most of the time in the hotel rooms napping, and I’m completely okay with that fact. The town we were in was a quaint nothing sort of place, I don’t think they got many tourists very often. It had a little cafe called “Amanda’s” that we happened upon our first day in, and it was sweet as can be. The lady who ran it was super talkative, and somewhat hard to understand at times. I think everyone in the area spoke Welsh and English. Which I guess should be expected, but I’m slow and didn’t expect it. I didn’t think people spoke Welsh much any more (what the heck do I know about history and languages, anyway?!). All the signs were in English and Welsh, and I’ve decided that Welsh looks a bit like I’d expect troll language to look.
The only real event we had was going to Conwy to see the castle there. It was beautiful, and really well preserved. You are able to go inside the castle and walk up the towers and on the walls. It is amazing! I love history you can touch. Here’s a partial view of it from outside…
And from inside one of the tall towers (looking up and looking down)…
I came back to London on Christmas Eve and after going home and starting up laundry and packing myself new underwear, went to Claire’s to stay over until Boxing Day. And so, here I am, spending Christmas with Claire. Yesterday I attempted to make forgotten cookies (a Christmas tradition), but this morning I discovered they hadn’t dried all the way through. I’m blaming the weird British fan ovens. I put them back in for various times and temperatures until they were sort of done. Either way they still taste like delicious sugar. I should know, I’ve eaten pretty much the whole batch by myself.
We have watched a few movies – only one Christmas one, as not many others were playing. WHAT IS THE DEAL, ENGLAND? We popped crackers and got the little paper crowns and random “toys” (a pen and a pen holder – what fun! If a little kid had pulled those crackers they’d be painfully disappointed). Claire has been super good at doing homework, and I tried – I really did – to do my own. It’s just… I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING! I’ve started writing down random facts while trying to avoid plagiarizing, hoping it’ll get me going in some direction. I can talk you through what I think my paper is on, but doing it is a whole other thing. I haven’t studied a drop of Greek either. Ugh, I feel like I’m going to vomit. I’m not looking forward to going back to school, which is insane, because I like school a lot. It’s also still a few weeks away. BUT THERE IS SO MUCH I NEED TO DO!
I’ve tried to get some things together for Lizz to come in a few days. I need to clean (gag). I hate that I’m going to be so exhausted while she’s here. I’ve tried to put a few plans together, but I’m terrible at planning. I don’t know how to be fun! I’m boring and sleep mostly. I also don’t have a ton of money to be throwing on tickets to places, but everything needs a ticket in advance. I’ve gotten three things planned so far: ice skating, a tour of Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio, and tickets for New Years Eve. Buying tickets to a bar for the holiday is a new thing for me, and I can’t say I am a fan. Especially when they aren’t all inclusive (I am a cheap, cheap woman). I’d like to do the Tower of London and a tour of the Beefeater’s distillery, but I’m waiting to buy those… mainly because I don’t want to spend the money. I’ll figure this out somehow! I’ll be fun somehow – I SWEAR!