Don’t mind me…

Rawr. I’m typing this blog to…i don’t know i’m not avoiding any work (well, any work which i know of). I guess i am avoiding fail. I can’t draw zombies. But i need to draw them (i cant elaborate further, its a surprise-kind-of-thing if it turns out right). Damnation. I also need to make cake (i bought all the ingredients! i may make it with yellow icing! or not. that might look weird. oh well). Today i also bought a coat. It is very nice. And i now have to wear glasses- not like all the time but i am the teeniest it short sighted and the optician (who was very nice- but all the staff seemed very nervous at this place) wants me to wear them in case my eyes get worse. I mean veryslightly short sighted. Oh well. Its a shame my glasses won’t arrive in time for DAVIDTENNANTOHMYGODSEEINGHIMTHISFRIDAY!1!!! (i like leaving the accidental 1 in. no idea why) and yeah, I’m excited. But only very occasionally. Because i still don’t really believe its going to happen. So i will update you on saturday if i do get to see him. David Tennant.

I should get back to not drawing ladies and dancing to Hendrix. Dancing very badly.

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Into the…memories?

I have just watched Into the Wild which my brother has been trying to make the family watch for ages now- an amazing film based on the book which is the true story of Chris McCandlesswho decided to just hitchhike and live withoutmoney or security. I need to read the book. Its an amazing film. Chris has been criticised as being careless, without maps or compass and just a stupid idealist who had been born into a wealthy family but hated materialism etc. partly due to a having a messed up family life and that sounds so cliched but obviously that isn’t what I was thinking. I was just feeling an incredible yearning to just go and be on the West Coast Trail and visit Slab City and just to go do something and i hate myself because i am not going to. Ever. Ever ever. I’m hoping this is going to change one day. I’m hoping i can do it, and maybe find someone to do that with. Because Chris is all alone. And i think he eventually realised that he needed the other people to be really happy. Also it would probably be a bad idea for me to be travelling across america alone. America is just this big dream place for me. I don’t mean like magical, I’ve driven across too much of it and have seen way too concrete for that, but it never really feels that real when I’m there. Because its a holiday, because its really sunny and because the America i want to know is the America which is more wild, and i know my blog has been sounding very cheesy lately but you are just going to have to bear with me because i have been feeling very awfully painfully nostalgic these past few months which is something i am just not used to.

When i was 4, my family went to America for six months and we drove across an awful lot of places. I had my fifth birthday in the desert somewhere (i have the two presents i got that day on my desk right now: a dream catcher and native american sand painting. its okay when we got back to my grandparent’s house we had a real party and i had a chocolate cake. In the shape of a cat). We saw dinosaur footprints and visited Navajo Camps, just went around Indian Territory. We climbed Yosemite Falls (i remember that day we had a big bag full of really good chocolate chip cookies and so my main concern was that bears were going to steal my cookies). We went rafting in Moab and ate at this great diner (Moab diner i have just found outis “world famous”…well there was an awful large queue) and my brothers ate malted milkshake and i had freakin’ superman ice cream. Actually that river trip is mentioned all the time in my family because our boat was the best at what we called “swashbuckling” i.e getting in water fights with all the other boats which was so fun. We also went white water rafting down the South Fork of the American River- which i was just old enough to do. I didn’t even do anything i just got to sit in the front of the boat and enjoy. We went camping in Big Bend, Texas and almost got sprayed by a skunk (the guy camped next to us was trying to attack it with a frying pan), had to attend a talk on mountain lion safety (“no, once again i would like to say they are not going to eat you”…poor park ranger, everyone asked her about that) and we had to stay zipped in our tents to avoid some kind of wild boar…tusky thing. We even went to Las Vegas and stayed in the Circus Circus hotel. It was pretty awesome because of the big Adventure dome, which is the first place i really remember ever liking pirates because being so young the only thing i could really ride was one of those big swinging boats, so i would be sitting there talking aloud to the Captain, and i was first mate. My first lesson in not talking aloud to yourself in public which has become extremely useful. Though i do wonder what happened to me and Captain. I don’t remember what i said, though i believe it weas vaguely apologetic and the parrots were very rude about our sailing skills. The scurvy dogs. It mentions the boat on the wiki page! Sand Pirates: Zamperla swinging pirate ship. Zamperla’s version is known as the Galleon, and has 4 sizes available, which can hold 33, 42, 54 or 84 passengers. Awesome. I could actually buy one off the website. One of these days…

So yes. In conclusion i loved that trip, which will always seem like a dream to me because it just wavers in and outof my rain. And i want to run away. Sometimes anyway. Sometime maybe. I’m really worried about ending up in Coral Gables…which is apparently a real place. After reading one of David Berman’s poems i got really freaked out that i was going to be one of the peoples in this place called Coral Gables which i thought was a pretty good name to sum up that place he was describing. Well i look up today at my pin-board, to my map of the Nerdfighter Tour, and see Coral Gables. Its in Florida. Well good because i have some irrational hatred of Florida anyway. And now have a physical manifestation of my fears. But anyway. Unless…you’re me or telepathic, you won’t understand my fear of Coral Gables which isn’t your fault its my failure to communicate. Lets just say i’m worried the place will make me dead inside.

But speaking of running away… I was talking about this earlier. With a friend. And i don’t know if i get to call her my friend or say she means a lot to me because sometimes i don’t understand her at all but i really want to. I do. I was planning on making you chocolate cake with tracker bars on top this weekend. Because I’m not entirely sure what to say, and apparently actions speak louder than words, and so if it doesn’t seem like i care i honestly do which is what I’m trying to say by making cake. Though maybe not in the shape of a cat. Sorry.

Turkey and Tchaikovsky

Yays! Today is Thanksgiving! Um..yes i am in England but seeing as this is my mother’s favourite holiday (apparently because she just really liked drawing pilgrim hats. but not the shoes. she hates the shoes) and it was my brother’s 21st birthday yesterday so getting together today meant he could get smashed last night. It also means i get to make brownie! And give it to my history class because today we are starting coursework which happens to be on the New Deal so we can pretend its related. Also history is my smallest class so there is enough brownie to go round. Most importantly i guess i like everyone in my history class…the same can not really be said about my form group (yes, i willingly accept candy on their birthdays but never actually hand out my own. i just make brownie and I’ve it to my friends. And my biology teacher…i gave him brownie today in fact. whilst he was wearing Lycra…yeah never mind).

And it has been just a really nice day. I mean, not really because i get to do anything except have the ridiculously large meal (am recovering as I type. god i love turkey) but last night i went to go see Vladimir Jurowski conduct an amazing concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Starting with Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien y Debussy which was nice but nothing spectacular…and then Rachmaninov’s Second piano concerto and Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony, the pathetique. Oh my god words cannot describe how amazing it was to see those live. Sitting right next to the orchestra. Have now decided love the choir stalls at the Royal Festival Hall…they meant i could see Jurowski. Right behind the double-bassists as well. Who all have really nice hands. so does Jurowski. I could talk about his hands all day probably. Don’t get me started on his wrists. See, after seeing him preform (this is the second time I’ve seen him) such emotional, romantic music and actually controlling the music which made me sometimes forget to breathe (or maybe i’m just that stupid) and i was occasionally on the verge of tears (listen! i listened to it on CD before going, but it really isn’t the same) i now have this weird, completely non-physical (except the hands. he isn’t actually attractive…except on the front cover of the programme. he looks all smouldering and über-Russian) crush on him. I am just madly in love with his conducting skills.

So i was in this insanely good, stumbling around mood after for some reason getting home nearly in tears (no actual reason just feeling so bloody awful) and so i was in this blissful mood today. And just went around wishing everyone a happy thanksgiving in this slightly odd, nervous voice (“i…i want you to be happy…please accept my best wishes on this holiday which you don’t celebrate. and have no clue what its about…neither do i really”).

SO yes, i know this blog had no real structure or purpose i just wanted to say how much i love Jurowski and thanksgiving and sweet potato cooked with oranges (actually tastes really nice) and corn pudding (i have been wanting to eat this again for like 6 years- it did not disappoint) and yeah, to thank my friends. I think Suga is the only person who really reads my blog but if you guys stumble across it i would just like to say how amazing you are (yes, i probably should tell you that more often in person but it sounds so cheesy even now) and how you always make me happy in some way everyday. Except you know weekends. When we can’t be bothered to see each other. But hey. Thanks and i hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. ◊

The Mandibular Second Premolar Revolution

Gosh I’m sure you are all dying to know what I’ve been thinking of today. Today wasn’t very eventful, i went to my school “professional craft” fair and wasted my money on food and notebooks (one of them has an elephant on! with the skills i picked up from the Natural History Museum, i can correctly identify it as an african elephant. Me and my mum were having a discussion about how African Elephants totally kicked ass compared to Indian elephants). Oh, also Nicole (with the ice-skating party remember?) was there and we wondered around and she got a sweet henna tattoo and i now feel very guilty. Because she remembers we used to go to tuition together before going to our current school which i had totally forgotten and plus she also knew that i used to draw all over my rough book and subsequently she thought i was an art student or at least really good at art. I feel bad because i don’t know/remember anything cool or quirky about Nicole. I am going to find something out because she is just really nice, and we have bonded over the Rome trip and she didn’t give me a funny look today when i told her I’ve always wanted to wear more than one watch at a time and I’m glad people on the internet agree that that would be bitchin’. (I also want a leather jacket entirely covered in different watches…though watches that don’t work or else i would go mad from the ticking noise). But this blog needs order and bullet points:

  • I wrote the above paragraph several hours ago and have now calmed down after watching Einstein and Eddington- i swear all science needs to do is proclaim David Tennant its official mascot or something and people would watch anything. “ooh- a lecture on mechanics! SPEAKER: DAVID TENNANT! I HAVE TO GET TICKETS!” i hate mechanics- but my love for Tennant overcomes anything. Seriously, science foundations should look into this. They could raise a ton of money to fund their crazy little projects and we could grow lime trees on the moon. (i don’t know why we would want this, but i think cherry and lime trees would just look really good on the moon. i have to draw that sometime. then go off and make sure it happens! i could eat moon limes! how fun does that sound?). But on the programme itself- I think Tennant has a great face for that period. I think some of it was really quite cliched and annoying (“ooh look at me I’m Einstein, the fun-loving-sock-hurler of Zurich!”) but it really is quite interesting considering i had no idea about the whole thing and plus it was fun because i got to yell at Fritz Haber and my parents were impressed i knew he he was. Oh yes Haber, we studied you in chemistry and i hate your guts. (oh for some reason, earlier, the people in my head were saying “god! your howler-monkey-guts!” i have no idea where that insult came from)
  • I have also been thinking about blind people. My mother thinks i should volunteer for something and suggested reading to the blind. This means i have been wondering what my voice sounds like and whether i could read aloud well enough and oh my god what if i was reading aloud a really good book to someone but the way i read it just killed it for them? And how does Braille work? Can people read whole works in Braille or does that take too long? And i couldn’t wiki this because i was in a car! Okay…am on wiki now…very confused. Reading braille sounds awfully confusing and a lot of hard work. And of course the blind don’t just need to be read books. All kinds of documents! And does braille have a number system? So yes, i know have a blind friend in my head (my excuse for he rnot appearing before is that she moved to Toronto and things were just complicated okay?) who is called Amy and i know that sounds weird, but it means i will make more of an effort to find out about blind people…even though in my head its the future (okay, only like 4 years into the future but you never know what could happen in that time) so shes about to have her eyes replaced. Anyway. I will answer these questions eventually though probably not on this blog obviously.
  • Trying to find volunteer work in Sutton…not just with the blind for anyone…will update you on that. I am not really sure why i am interested (or my parent’s think i can do this?) because i don’t actually have any skills and am hopeless with young children (well not hopeless, just slightly scared because i have no interaction with them at all) and slightly awkward with the elderly. Oh well.
  • I have been thinking a lot about my chemistry teacher’s teeth. Yes i know that sounds really weird. But i just have this irrational hatred of his teeth. They are just so…nice and shiny and white and perfect. Maybe he had braces…but then again maybe not and therefore his teeth have become just another excuse to murder the prancing Abercrombie and Fitch clad doll. So to stop me from killing him i figured a stupid solution should solve the stupid problem. So i will forgive him if he gives a name to each tooth and put in on a clearly labelled diagram. Then make up stories about his teeth. It’s like he has a whole tiny world in his mouth! And his front teeth have teensy moustaches! Okay i’m not really talking about my chemistry teacher’s teeth anymore but just…teeth in general. Because i was making a story where the mandibular second premolars make a plan to incense the third molars with revolutionary talk against the maxillary central incisors, and then use a cunning plan to overpower the maxillary and mandibular lateral incisors to rule over the great united cavern…i just realised that i should just write a play about dental revolution which is just one huge metaphor about the fall of the Tsars and the October Revolution of 1917 etc. It would be great history revision! And i can use that plaster mold of my teeth! Wow. awesome. I knew i could find a cool use for that.

Bite Me

I had an awful awful morning. My brother was going to go visit a friend up North (well…she lives in Mansfield. Which is northerly) which involved a 4 hour bus ride. Only he never got on the bus because he’s an idiot (i know, i love him really) so my parents were yelling at him down the phone (he had been there 45 minutes without calling home or trying to ask directions. Seriously- he was at Victoria Station…trying to find Victoria Bus Station. He is an idiot) and then yelling at each other and then my dad felt guilty and drove up to London to drive my brother all the way to Mansfield. Gah. Which never happened- he just came home instead. But i had to go to guitar which i just didn’t want to do…so i cried…and me and my mum went to The Natural History Museum instead.

Yes i know it was a rather random whim, but a very satisfactory one. I saw dinosaurs! And the big blue whale! And ate a really really nice sandwich (i don’t often like sandwiches so this is a big deal for me). I haven’t been to that museum in years. Unfortunately, they replaced the mechanical-dinosaurs-eating-another-still-half-alive-dinosaur-thingy/exhibit which just one T-Rex. You wouldn’t think that was scary, but it is! It can narrow it’s eyes!!! You walk past it like “huh, dramatic lighting and roaring noises won’t scare me…yeah its looking at me so what?…ITJUSTNARROWEDITSEYESANDMEOMGWHATIFITSALIVE!?!?!?”. You can tell i used to watch Jurassic Park too much as a child, can’t you? Actually, i’m not sure if it was the dinosaurs which really scared me, or the bit where the RV is hanging off the cliff (which was actually in the second Jurassic Movie…i think that they’ve just merged into one crazy-long epic movie in my head). Wait…Jurassic Park was a book?! I should have known. Oh well. I now just feel the need to re-watch them.

But anyway. It was trouble going into London. I feel rather good successfully navigating with the District and Central Lines closed and not stopping at Green Park due to overcrowding. We got…creative. (Okay that sounds ominous. In reality it just meant a lot of changing lines for something which could have been so simple).

I bought a shirt! It says “bite me” with a print of a T-Rex skull. The actually skulls are really impressive, like 1.5m long! I got so excited seeing those dinosaur skeletons. And stuffed Giant Pandas and Yaks and Moose (yes! the plural of Moose is Moose! i have no idea who i was talking to that about but i hope you read this) and ZOMGWTFBBQ A GNU! I think i got some funny looks because i was  waving at the animals. So what? Stuffed animals are my friends. I wonder if there will ever be stuffed people in museums…like if aliens took over the planet (i don’t think that is likely but hey) or like in Planet of the Apes when Taylor sees one of his crew has been stuffed and put on display. Keep thinking about Taylor. Keep thinking about Abraham Lincoln coming back from the dead as a Zombie and me having to be his nurse and like…sew his limbs on for him (possibly because am now addicted to a new webcomic: Thinkin’ Lincoln).

Anyhow. Go to the museum! Not the creepy new section. That’s just ew. Oh and other events this week: I am a pathetic person once more serving drinks at Parent’s Evening. And we played the EU Farm Game (fun fun fun) in Geography. Bite me.

Indie Pete and Banana read Fuelled

Once again this blogger attempts to go girly (how do you spell that? my instinct says “girly” my spellcheck says “girlie”). And damn is my skin so smooth despite my insistence to slather tea tree oil on my face. I know i shouldn’t. And i know very well that it burns burns burns. But i think it might help. So i still do it. I also ate banana bread because i don’t know…it seemed to go with putting moisturiser on. Several kinds i might add.

Again, listening to a band which i have only just discovered but they’ve already broken up- in the February of this year dammit! The band being Kite Flying Society (I swear watching Rushmore was one of the most useful things i have done, all the time i get to go “hah! i totally get that!” which is nice because i don’t get to say that a lot) , who are adorable. I was flicking through this thread on what people were listening to on a Silver Jews fanpage and was like “huh…only heard of like 2 of these band…myspacemyspacemypsace”. Maybe it was because most of these bands were american…or I’m just not indie enough dammit. I also decided i like Gingerbread Patriots- though for some reason the vocals remind me of The Thrills…?

Speaking of indieness- am very excited that Roy in The IT Crowd will be wearing an Indie Pete shirt! As in Indie Pete of Diesel Sweeties.

The Indie Pete shirt

The Indie Pete shirt

Which is um…a webcomic about people and robots…and said people occasionally sleeping with said robots…and a whole bunch of other randomness. Indie Pete and his constant quest to only love what you have not heard of, Metal Steve the celibate metal lover with a mullet, Maura ex-porn star sleeping with Clango a rather adorable robot, Red Robot and his desire to crush all humans, Lil’ Sis the student of orthodontistry/megawhore and yeah…it’s drawn etc. by Richard Stevens III who is actually amazingly adorable (read his blog and you’ll see what i mean).

But i have work to do. about the digestive system. I just need to find out what goes on down there. In the large intestine. Because w had cover biology today so we had to write a freakin’ essay about eating a ham sandwich on wholemeal bread (though yes, i did make it ‘individual’ by adding butter to this mix. so i could talk about lipids and lipase and emulsifying and all that crazy shit). So fare thee well.

But thinking about February…looking back, on wikipedia, an awful lot has happened this year. Um…an awful lot of death and killings really. It seems like such a long long year. And i’m feeling guilty for no real reason.  A combination of studying War Poetry, watching The Dark Knight for the first time and thinking “wow, he looks so hot in that nurse outfit” then realising how insensitive that is might be the night-time talking but feeling vaguely helpless not only to get myself out of the stupid situations i’ve been in recently and know i will be in in the near future but the people around me and i just realise how awfuli am at trying to comfort people because i’m too busy thinking “huh, what would it be best for me to say…” then my brain rambles off into some crazy tangent which then means the awkward silence goes on…and on…like right now for instance, i’m trying to think about my friends but my fingers want me to right “by the way, i’ve reconsidered and have decided that actually i really like the song ‘Womanizer’ after all”. Seriously fingers- what is with that? I just end up staying stupid things to people. And trying to make conversation just makes me sound so…not me. Even imaginary me sucks at this. Even my Sims fail at communication. I mean how pathetic is that? I can’t get my Superstar Sims to go up a star ranking because they just can’t talk to people. Me and Imaginary me are jealous of Sim Me (who is called Julia after the love of Hoffman’s life) because Sim Me dates a guy who smokes a pipe. And wears a deerstalker hat. That’s what i want! Its what Imaginary Me wants- but isn’t going to get. She is too usy making awkward conversation for me to introduce a dashing stranger. Damnation.

…Pineapple.

Huh. According to GenderAnalyzer my blog is more female (57% certain) than Zoë’s (55% which may because her latest blog was addressed to a girl, but still very weird) or Imogen’s (51% which doesn’t surprise me because Imogen never really comes across as girlie and has an alter ego called Alistair)), but we are all pretty gender neutral. I wonder what the results would be if all my friend’s wrote blogs (or at least, blogs they didn’t mind me accessing). Hannah only has one entry on her blog written in march, according to said website, it is written by a man (70%). Maye i just don’t write about girlie enough topics…um…ohmygodSHOESandBOYSandWOWcheckoutmyBRA

whatamidoingonaSTUPIDcomputer?mustdashhavetoputonsomeMAKEUP…

(actually my bra today is pretty nice. I guess i could share this fact with the internet. It has stars on it 🙂 )

But sometimes i do feel like a girl fail. Last night when me and my friend’s went to Wagamamas and then to watch Love Labours lost (no, not with David Tennant unfortunately. But aren’t you impressed/scared that’s how some teenage girls spend their friday evenings?) and i have been a thinking that i just don’t act like a girl. I don’t dress like a girl. I…well okay i look like a girl but i could look girlier. I could pluck my eyebrows or put on makeup (i do sometimes) and buy a pair of straighteners and actually learn how to use them or stop wearing man shirts despite the fact that they are oh so comfy and make up most of my wardrobe.

I’m not going to do that. I have books to read (more Hoffmann! yays!) and i probably have work to do (hah). I was actually getting worked up about the EUs Common Agricultural Policy yesterday (its interesting, okay?). Maybe that’s because it has been a really boring week. Or maybe it was a good week and I’m just having a very boring weekend. But god am i having fun with the natural confectionery mini movie maker! Making little films! with sweets! Plus i totally got the Gone with the Wind reference (“frankly my dear i don’t give a…pineapple” which is why this post is called pineapple. I don’t even like pineapples except maybe in sweet and sour sauce and to laugh at) and the Singin’ in the Rain reference (“our love will last till the stars turn cold”). That is actually pathetic though. Spending Sunday “making” films (http://www.naturalconfectionery.co.uk/fun-stuff.aspx you know you want to).

Anyway. I will keep you updated if i find anything else to do because seeing as you are reading this then you also are probably bored and in need of some serious help.

(update: after posting this blog i am now 59% female! yays!)

My learning experience

This week i was fortunate enough to go through a new “learning experience”. This was the way my physics teacher describes the act and consequences of ripping up your physics test and walking out of the lesson. True, i have learnt that i need a lot of practice of storming out (i managed to drop my calculator which made the whole thing a lot less impressive) and that i didn’t get punished. The only thing i had to do was explain myself (“like…I’m under so much stress!”) and tape my test back together (this was quite relaxing, but unfortunately i was using shitty tape so it took a while). You may not think ripping up a test is a big deal, but it kinda is at my school because we’re always being told how emotionally mature we are and that we are one of the top schools in the country etc. and we’re a pretty strict all girls grammar school. So some (very nice, wonderful) people have called me a legend and i am Suzie’s hero and people want me to rip more stuff up. I only ripped it up because i hate physics. Oh so much. And i sucked at that test. And i think (judging by what people said) that everyone found it too hard. And it was first week back at school. And the test didn’t matter anyway. But still. It was very fun to have this opportunity to learn.

Anyway i need to wrap up a present (Looking for Alaska by John Green. 🙂 )for Nicole, and go ice skating! I am wearing very thick, sensible socks. They are so comfy.

But before i go: I also experienced the sweet taste of victory! I think i have written before about (according to this rubbish spellcheck, “about” isn’t a real word) this creepy-death’s-accountant guy who takes my bus who walks crazy fast? I managed to beat him home! Finally! Every time i get that bus i am racing him home. Well, he doesn’t know that obviously so it must look a bit weird to passersby to see some guy coolly striding ahead and some teenage girl desperately half-walking, half-running behind him. So hah. In your face bus guy- i beat you by a good amount.

Victory!

Yes! Obama has just won the election! Yes! I did stay up until 4am to see this! Yes! I did eat some brownie in celebration.

What more can i say? This is far too awesome for words.

Recovering from Italy

I would really like to write a big long blog about my trip to Italy, but somehow i can’t right now. I have managed to work myself into a state of a-feeling-which-is-almost-panic-but-isn’t due to reading David Berman which always puts me into this weird mood where everything i think is actually a poem and is therefore thought in a very slow, broken way because its all on different lines with stupid punctuation. And I’m listening to “Call Me” and its like “yay, this is a happy song…or maybe it isn’t because isn’t it rather desperate and full of unrequited love and just so much *wild hand gestures* longing no matter what that does to her self-esteem and dignity? oh god she’s me. only i don’t even have anyone to sing this song to. i should just sing it on the street and see who will call me. gosh, i hope its someone nice”

Speaking of nice, OBAMA. Elections! Whilst in italy i became très distressed whilst reading a newspaper, which unfortunately was in italian, turned to my friends and said “guys, i might be wrong but i think someones tried to kill obama”. Yes, yes they had. I’m rather worried for him because if he doesn’t get elected i’m worried that i’m going to still believe he is president because that’s just how it has to be. And i see his face everywhere. And i wave. And yes, occasionally giggle. And think about how much i just want to live in the White House with Lincoln, Clinton, Washington, Teddy and Franklin, Kennedy and Obama and be like…their snow white. Though they obviously aren’t dwarfs (but there are 7 of them).

Italy was lovely, very much so. Yet now i except everywhere i go to be a ruin, to observe ancient frescos and keep turning this way and that to see which angle would be best for a picture. My favourite things? Why- the excellent company of Hannah and Ellen and all the new people: first and foremost Namrata who excellently adapted to our funny ways. Then, though not really new, Nicole and Min Young. Countless others (okay there were 42 people on the trip including me but i am very lazy). And special mention goes to Zara and Vithya. These people may not read this but thank you for your conversation, for being bad at bowling with me, for the snacks, taking photos together, being tired of walking, being excitable, not telling the teachers i broke one of the hotel beds (it was a little camp bed with wooden slats…we were jumping up and down…), for someone else saying it was like they had a little tv show inside their head, the new discoveries, just for everything.

(ah…have just snapped out of weird mood. excellent)

Places (in no real order…this probably isn’t all the places we went to):

Colosseum: Isn’t it big and fantastic? We got followed around by some italian boys outside using hilariously awful chat up lines. Its odd to be outside it, it feels like a picture. Inside, everything has been stripped away and depressing….

Ostia Antica: So ridiculously beautiful. Not the most interesting of ruins (best preserved toilets of the ancient world!) but so magical. You can wonder for hours without seeing anyone through these ruins overgrown with grass and the sun was setting and it felt so, to use a word much overused by hannah that holiday, quaint. For example, we stumbled across some boy scouts receiving communion from a priest, some small children walking along singing in italian accompanied by guitar, we sat in the theatre which is just arranged so perfectly and, best of all, climbed up the stairs of a three story building with the most beautiful view across the whole place.

The Pantheon: Yes, it may just be a big ol’ concrete dome, but its seriously impressive. I didn’t understand until i actually saw it. We stumbled across it really, its not really that advertised although there were so many people. We sat staring at that dome for ever, in not-actually-that-silent awe.

The Vatican: I didn’t realise it was so…museumy. Wondered around lots of Egyptian artifacts and statues. rushed through the rooms leading to the Sistine chapel, was slightly surprised at how small The Creation of Adam is. much preferred The Last Judgement, that fabulous shade of blue. I think this unimpressed tone comes from having to run through rooms of disgusting modern art to see the chapel. Ooh! We did get free headphones at the Vatican from the audio guides, they tell you you can keep them because they’ll throw them away otherwise for hygiene reasons.

Monte-Cassino: The courtyard…the view…we were up their literally in the middle of the cloud and it was just such an awe-inspiring feeling. The actual tomb where St Benedict is buried is, I’m afraid, horrible. Very tacky shiny gold. But the whole building is only around 60 years old because it was bombed during World War Two and then rebuilt. We saw a Benedictine Monk! I know they aren”t technically tourist attractions but still…

Mount Vesuvius: The top was closed due to poor visibility!!!! Damnation. Bought some tacky necklace made to make up for disappointment.

Herculaneum: I guess going down into the city is impressive because its so far below its surroundings…and i might only think this because it was too hot a day…but i really hated this place. It is so boring, there is not that much to see, the place has no feel to it, you can see all these modern buildings surrounding it, it isn’t looked after properly (seriously, if you want to steal some ancient ruins go there. Flimsy, waist-high wooden gates aren’t much of a defense system) and the cool places were closed. Gah.

Pompeii: Waaay more impressive. Its so big and sprwaling, you can imagine what it was like because you can tell people actually lived there. AND OMG I SAW CAECILIUS’ HOUSE! It was right there!!! Unfortunately, you cant go in or even touch it because its being restored. But still. I did get to go into the Lupanare, literally The House of The She-Wolves, i.e the brothel. With some rather interesting pictures i must say. You can wonder around and always find some impressive house to see. I recommend a visit. Though please do not take pictures of the dead bodies, this seriously distresses me. Particularly in the Garden of the Fugitives, when one figure is looking over the rest, probably his family, and probably had to watch them die before dying himself. And there you people are snapping photos of him and being all “ooh-better turn off the flash or else the light will reflect off the glass”.

On a lighter note, we went bowling on Halloween- i did make several people scream with my zombie get up. Hee hee. We also spent two girly nights watching Dirty Dancing- i am now constantly listening to the soundtrack. So that is around it. It was fantastic. and now i have to go back to school. Wish me luck. No seriously, i have a physics test on Thursdayand history coursework to do. I need some luck, or at least someone to slap me and go “stop singing you fool!”.