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07 June 2007

Hello Everyone!

Sorry this entry is so belated. This will be my last entry, tear.  Well, I'm home.  Back in the U.S. and living in Manhattan!  This was the most extraordinary year of my life.  I learned so much about myself, Europe, discovered a new love for tea, met international friends and new Holy Cross friends.  It's pretty hard to sum up the abroad experience.  All I can say to those students who are considering studying abroad for the year is, well you have to do it.  There are ups, there are downs, but the experience is priceless and you have access to Europe, what could be cooler than that?

Here are some superlatives:
Favorite Place I visited: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Favorite Brand of Tea: Twinings English Breakfast
Favorite Restaurant in St. Andrews: Jahangir or The Grille House
Favorite Memory when traveling: This French Restaurant I went to with Courtney in the Canary Islands, our waiter was hysterical and had us order the special "big boy" chicken special, apparently in France they grow some chickens to the size of turkeys, we were laughing so hard, the chicken was amazing (unfortunately our personable waiter didn't tell us the price of the "big boy" special, 42 euros an entree)
Favorite Airline: Easy Jet (so easy, so fast, cool orange uniforms)
Favorite Night at St. Andrews:  Rob Cocuzzo's Birthday Party Bonfire on the Beach
Favorite Euro-Pop song: "LDN" by Lily Allen or "Love me or hate me" -Lady Soveirgn

Well it's time for me to head off to my internship.  I started last week and am having the time of my life.  I'm working at a company "Hollywould" and they sell shoes, bags, really cute clothes.  We're already planning a night in New York for all the people who will be in New York that we met at St. Andrews which is exciting.

End note:  Take each day as it comes, live, breath and never doubt yourself, you can do anything, life is limitless.  Thanks for reading my blog this year!

PEACE AND LOVE,

MICAELA ENGLISH

25 April 2007

Hola amigos. 

My weekend in Palma de Mallorca, Spain was the best weekend of my life.  Legit, best weekend of my life.  It started with the wonderful and beautiful Jane Woodfield (who is studying there and living "la vida buena" (which I think means the good life?)) picking me up for the airport and then a full day on the beach.  The beach that we went to (and proceeded to go to for the next three days) was spotless, crystal clear water with cute Spanish fish swimming around, just the best.  It was so fantastic to see all of the Palma kids, and let me tell you, they are having the time of their LIVES over there.  They were all fantastic hosts (Jane, Mikaele, Meghan W., Meghan C., Kelly, Ann Marie, Sydney, Rachele, Meghan B.) and there were other Holy Cross students visiting too.  There were Crusaders from Leon (so great to see you all) and Sussex (the intelligent and amazing Caitlin Lacroix) and then two VERY CHIC and COOL ladies whom I traveled with from St Andrews (Courtney and Carolyn Cody, best traveling trio ever)!  The most ironic part is that all of the non-palma Crusaders stayed in the SAME youth hostel, so we got to keep in touch and run around the hostel in our pajamas, it was grand.  Palma de Mallorca is beautiful.  The temperature is perfect.  There is fantastic shopping and restaurants!   In general it is just a fantastic place, and anyone who is going abroad next year MUST visit, this is definitely a "must" trip.

In other news my darling niece Grace Elizabeth had quite the baptism this weekend in Connecticut!  Congrats to Grace, Kevin and Lisa, I'm bummed I didn't get to see her in the little white dress (but there always is her first communion).  I can't believe that next week is our last week of classes at St Andrews and that I have to begin to study for my exams.  This year flew right by, and I am oh so sad to be leaving my jet-setting lifestyle behind and to be back in reality. 

For those of you who are coming to St Andrews or are going abroad in general next year, I am so proud of all of you and this year will test you in every realm of yourself.  Be safe, STAY HEALTHY (no mono, strep, anything gross like that, I swear germs in Europe are VICIOUS), keep an open mind and most importantly soak up every experience AND go to Palma de Mallorca. 

Song that fits my life right now...
Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega. (Cait, Court, Caro and I heard this familiar tune on the bus to "la playa" and I can't stop singing it.)

11 April 2007

Happy Spring everyone! Do you feel it in the air?  The weather here is so beautiful, and the flowers are blooming and today I even ate lunch on the beach!

I have recently arrived back from a really fun and relaxing spring "holiday".  My first week of break I went to Palm Beach, Florida with my Mother.  We had so much fun together and had alot of catching up to do. She kept me up to date on the latest details of life in Connecticut (my niece Gracie, my dog Tucker, her tennis and the latest MTV TV shows, yes my Mother watches MTV).  I kept her up to date on my life (trips to Madrid and London, new friends, good books I've been reading, etc) We had so much fun together and it was great to just lie in bed and watch TV.  Especially "The Office" which I believe is one of the funniest shows since "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Seinfeld", but I realize that is a bold statement and I hope I am not offending anyone.

Anyways, the majority of kids studying abroad did alot more adventurous traveling than I did, but my parents and I decided to be on the "conservative" side of things and really let me relax for a week.  Don't get me wrong, I am now an avid traveler, but my immune system is still so low from my mono from this winter (I catch a cold when a feel a rain drop) so this was the perfect chance for me to travel on the safe side of things.

Scotland_2The following week I met up with Courtney and together we went to Tenerife.  Tenerife is a Spanish Island on the coast of Africa with lots of volcanoes, gorgeous beaches, and the most amazing sauce I've ever tasted in my life.  That's right, sauce.  It's called "mojo sauce" and Courtney and I had it on this grouper dish we ate one night and Court was so intrigued she bought a cook book with a recipe for the sauce the next day.  Mojo sauce has a lot of garlic in it, some olive oil I believe, with avocado (okay it's really hard to describe, and you would definitely not want to wear it as a perfume unless fending off vampires, but believe me it is DELISH). 

Our daily routine in Tenerife was, well go to the beach.  I did some reading and a lot of people watching.  It was great to try and guess what language our fellow beach pals were speaking and seeing all of the different cultures that traveled to this exotic locale!  It was honestly one of the best trips I've ever taken in my life, really low key, perfect weather and Courtney and I have never laughed so hard in our lives.  In our hotel they had one of those "claw" arcade games where you reach with the scary metal claw into the sea of stuffed animals.  It basically consumed my life after 7 pm, and I am glad to say I am now the proud winner of a Fred Flintstone stuffed animal wearing a sombrero-esque hat.  I have properly re-named him Frederico Flintstone, since he comes from the Spanish Island.

This past Easter Sunday (I got back to St Andrews on Saturday), all of the Holy Cross kids went to Easter mass and then prepared a massive Easter brunch.   The boys made eggs and fruit salad, and the girls made pancakes. I brought some muffins I bought at Tesco.  It was so fun, we literally had a two hour brunch, chatting about our travels and Holy Cross next year.  Lots of the other kids had great stories from all over Italy, Prague, Austria, and England!

Ah, I have a very scary and intimidating paper looming over my shoulders due this Friday in my Meta-Ethics class on G.E. Moore and the idea of "The Good".  After I get this done though I will only have reading and presentations until the exam period which is exciting!  We just found out our exam schedules and I have two of the first exam times May the 12th and May the 14th which means I'll be flying home to New York on the 15th or the 16th.  I can't believe I am already planning my return flight home!

This summer is going to be a blast.  I'll be living in Manhattan again, interning for a shoe and clothing company "Hollywould".   I am very excited for New York, to see my family, friends and dog, but can't believe I'll be leaving Scotland.  Today, while walking to the beach to eat lunch (not something you can do in Worcester),  I passed a man dressed in a kilt on his bike delivering newspapers, and I thought to myself "How will I ever get used to not seeing these types of sights every day?".  I feel like I have finally gotten comfortable and adjusted to life here, and the thought of leaving this is so bitter sweet.  Okay, must get back to this paper.

EXCITING NEWS I will be in Palma de Mallorca next weekend (the 21st) visiting Holy Cross buddies, can't wait!

Micaela_court I'm attaching a picture of Courtney and me in Tenerife as well as the beach (you can see some volcanic mountains in the distance if you look in the distance).

12 March 2007

Hello everyone.

Great news about Crusader basketball I couldn't be more proud of Holy Cross.  Good luck to the teams and know that you're getting tons of support from everyone studying abroad. 

I know last week was spring break for those of you studying at HC and I hope it was relaxing and rejuvenating.

SpainMy life has been very fast paced lately.  Last weekend I was in Madrid with my friend Carly.  We had the most brilliant (yes that's right I say brilliant now) time, went to tons of museums (I swear Mom and Dad) and got a great feel for the city.  We were staying in a central part of Madrid in the Plaza Mayor which was "mucho" convenient because we were close to all of the tourist sites.  My favorite part of the city was the Palace (I'm attaching a picture; click for larger view) where Carly and I got our portrait drawn.  I've always wanted to get my portrait drawn and Carly was quite the trouper so we sat down with "Bruno" and 35 minutes later were presented with a rather disappointing sketch of ourselves, oh well, it was an experience.

It was great for me to see Spain.  Although I took two years of Spanish in High School, I barely got by, and was surprised that a lot of the city didn't speak English.  Thank goodness I had Carly with me to help order my lattes at Starbucks.  Oh, speaking of coffee, Carly (who is studying in Barcelona for the semester) also introduced me to the most delicious beverage in Spain, Cafe con Leche.   Coffee with milk sounds very simple, but the taste of the coffee was unlike anything I've ever experienced, truly life changing.

Turns out on my flight leaving from Edinburgh to Madrid there were two other study abroad kids, one from Connecticut College and the other from Emory, so we sat with each other on the plane and chatted, it was really great, plus they were on the same flight returning home on Sunday. 

Another great part of this totally spontaneous trip (Carly and I planned it 4 days in advance, the beauties of studying abroad in Europe) is that I ran into two Holy Cross friends.  We had planned on meeting up very casually but we just so randomly bumped into my very good friends Michelle Racine and Brendan Graf.  I was so speechless and shocked to see them that I ran up to them in the street not saying anything just jumping up and down, they finally realized, a. I'm some crazy person jumping in the street or b. it's Micaela English and probably recognizing my sunglasses it was clearly option b.  Brendan who is at Holy Cross this year caught me up on all of my "TELL ME EVERYTHING" questions, and it was so refreshing to see darling Michelle.

I arrived back at St. Andrews last Sunday ready to work.  I had a presentation with my friend Holly (a 3rd year student here who is from Wellington, England) on this philosopher Thomas Nagel's article "War and Massacre" and the concept of Absolutism.  I think we did pretty well despite the confusing topic. 

Our spring break which is two weeks long starts the 23rd of March. I am oh so very excited.  I am going to Palm Beach, Florida (yes, I'm in Europe and going to Florida) with my mother the first week and then flying back to Edinburgh and leaving for Tenerife with Courtney.  Hopefully I will be getting some color since this Scottish weather has done a number on my already pale complexion.   

I'm off to listen to my new favorite album "Neon Bible" by Arcade Fire (per my mother's recommendation, she's pretty hip) and do a little work on a 3500 word essay I have due before Spring Break.  GO CRUSADERS!

26 Feburary 2007

Happy Monday.

It pains me to say it hurts for me to look at the screen.  I'm sick again, viral conjunctivitis (pink eye, extreme), gross, I don't look like a beauty queen to say the least.  Anyways I'm on some antibiotics and some serious eye drops so hopefully this infection will be gone very soon. I had a very nice and relaxing weekend.  Dana's (a HC student studying at St. Andrews) father (Prof. Lincicome) and mother visited us (the Holy Cross crew) on Friday and took us out to dinner.  We had a blast. They took us to this swank pizza place (Pizza Express) and even came bearing gifts (the latest Holy Cross newspapers).  It was a pleasure seeing them and the pizza was delish.
 
Despite my pink eye I have been reading for my classes (lots of Plato and Hume for my meta-ethics class). I think ethics is a really interesting subject because it makes one do a lot of "inner searching" and is great for self reflection.  For example, I got into the habit of drinking a little too much coffee lately, and after one my ethics tutorials I realized my passions were most definitely taking over my reason and I really should quit. I've cut down to two grande iced sugar-free vanilla skim lattes with an extra shot of espresso, not a big improvement, but it's better than my previous two venti iced sugar-free vanilla skim lattes with 2 extra shots of espresso in each, right?  It's actually taken me about a year to perfect my order at Starbucks, I used to recite it in my head over and over before I got to the counter so I wouldn't mess up, I would often forget to say "iced" or specify "skim" milk, but now it's as fast and ingrained in my memory as my ABC's.  Sorry for digressing about Starbucks, I swear it is relevant to my meta-Ethics class.  This is so because Hume states that reason never wins out against our passions in terms of the will (this is however how I interpreted it) and so I'm trying to prove to Hume that look, I can get a smaller size at Starbucks and my reason is winning out (this however is not the case, obviously).  Oh well, it was a good effort. 

On to more exciting news than my Starbucks battle with David Hume (who by the way is Scottish, and his 'Treatise' is quite an enjoyable read for all who are interested), I am going to Spain!  My very first trip to Madrid!  It is going to be a short journey (I'm leaving on Thursday and returning on Sunday evening) and I'm meeting up with my good friend from high school, Carly, there.  She has been my friend since we were literally eight years old, and she is studying in Barcelona.  We always have exciting times together and she is a very dear friend of mine.  I will write again after my trip, hopefully while wearing my new matador jacket and fanning myself with a new abanico (Spanish hand held fan).  Sorry to say I have no pictures from the weekend since I didn't want to spread my pink eye to my camera lens.  Yet again, the moral of the week "never take you health for granted". 

Have a "bueno" (the extent of my Spanish) week!

20 February 2007

Wow.  I have had quite the day. I have to write everything down that I can say about it before I forget all of this Tuesday's excellence and funniness (I know that's not correct English, my apologies).  Ok, I'll start here.  Each semester in my dorm (Uni Hall) we have a random fire alarm, but they plan on doing these drills and really inconvenient hours.  So that's how my day began (6:30 am) a lovely and charming honk honk honk woke me up.  Well I don't know what conclusions to make about myself, but here is the situation. I guess when I am woken up and disoriented I grab the weirdest things.  I wasn't aware that it was a drill and I was out of it, so I only wore socks on my feet, brought my ipod(?), and tape.  Yes, tape.  Scotch tape, how fitting for Scotland right?

After that strange start to my day, it began to get more and more eventful and unexpected (I live for the unexpected). It was good to be up so early because I had my first day of work, well the first day of volunteering at least.  When a student at Holy Cross embarks on this journey of "Abroadness" they are encouraged and expected to engage in an I.S.P.(Independent Study Project).  You can do anything that strikes your fancy, or something that you would never have the opportunity to do at Holy Cross that somehow integrates you into the St. Andrews community.  Everyone planned out their ISP's with this amazing professor we have here (Rona Johnston Gordon, she is the best) while I had mono, so when I returned to St. Andrews for the second semester I felt really behind.

For some reason I also had a lack of creative ideas for what I could do my ISP on. Trying to brainstorm for ideas, I thought it would be really cool to learn how to make kilts and do a project on tartans (since I am uber interested in fashion and design), but I also wanted to do something that really helped me understand the community of St. Andrews in particular and something that would make this experience even more memorable than it already is.  Rona gave me the idea of volunteering at this Parish we have in town's "cafe".  Basically people of the parish on Tuesdays and Thursdays come in and can get scones, coffee, anything really for 1 lb.
 
So today was my first day, I volunteer from 9 am until 12 pm and am going to be doing it every other week. 

Ok, so I get to the parish (well first off I went to the wrong one, because I am so "with it" but eventually I found the right one) and walk into the little cafe, which is adorable.  The women who work there are so delightful.  The first thing that the head volunteer woman did was give me an apron, and asked me if I had ever waitressed before.  I was shocked.  I knew that I was going to be getting coffee for people and stuff, but a waitress?  I gave a huge scared grin and laughed nervously.  At the height of the "morning rush" there were probably like 7 tables of 8 people so it wasn't too crazy but it was definitely not what I expected, nor like any place I have ever worked at before. The clientele consists of men and women mostly over the age of 80, so thank goodness they were nice and understanding of my inexperience.  They were so excited to see a "new, young face" and asked me so many questions. "What are you studying?, How old are you? Are you married?".  Yes, the last question was slightly awkward to answer, and I said "Not to anyone in particular, just the idea of living life to the fullest." (cheesey I know, I'm sorry). Anyway, I am proud to say I can NOW carry 3 coffee mugs and plates of scones at the same time, without breaking anything.

Once the crowd died down I helped clean up and set up some of the lunch options for the next shift of the cafe.  This included cutting vegetables, which I must admit I really have never done before (I'm kind of a take-out person).  Ok, so this has been an eye opening experience (ESPECIALLY when chopping onions, I haven't cried so much since I watched "Free Willy") and I can't wait for my next visit.  The characters that are at this cafe are priceless and I am so excited I chose to do an ISP that really takes me out of my element.  Oh, the highlight of the other volunteers day was when I said "How do I prepare the "TOE-MAY-TOES" and they thought it was hysterical, well my pronunciation was at least. (since they say "Toe-mah-toes")

So next up on this lovely Tuesday, I got back to my dorm room to get tidied up before class (since I was covered in jelly, clotted cream and onions, not a pleasant stench).  The lady who cleans our rooms on the C-Floor of Uni Hall is more than a character.  Her name is Ann and when she comes on Tuesdays to vacuum my room we end up having 35 minute chats.  But today was longer.  I apologized about the condition of my room (it looks like Hurricane Micaela hit) and she started telling me she was going to take pictures on her cell phone of my messiness and send them to my Mom (she's really sarcastic, which I love, no worries, and Mom really it isn't THAT bad).  She is hysterical to say the least.  She is from the Island of Barra and sat down on my computer and google imaged all of these amazing pictures of her home land.  We chatted about it for so long and she convinced me to take a trip there.  The next thing I know Ann and I are sitting and going on Facebook, she told me to friend her. HAHAHA. I am laughing so hard just thinking about it.  So I just returned from my "Contemporary Moral Theories" class and went on Facebook and she already sent me a message saying, "Hi Micaela have you looked up the brittish airways flights from Glasgow to Barra yet. Dont you be using up good studdy time looking at all the photos of my lovely island." I love her, wow.

Picture_053 So a pretty life changing day here at St. Andrews.  I am attaching a picture of a house that's across the street from my Hall. (Click image for larger view) Classes, oh classes.  I have to write about them in another entry since this is getting to epic lengths.  Hope all is well on the Hill!

16 February 2006

Writing on a Friday evening. I am having a very low key night, doing laundry, lots and lots of laundry and cleaning my room.  Sounds really fun and exciting right?  Tomorrow is Cathleen Ryan's birthday (A gal who is abroad from Holy Cross, and who I had my initial flight to St. Andrews with) and I can not wait to celebrate with her.  She is absolutely hysterical and I am so happy I have met her this year.  I can't emphasize enough what a remarkable group of Holy Cross kids are here for the year, everyone is just having such a fun time, and we all mesh beautifully.
 
The big news on campus is, put on your seatbelts folks, there's a new SUSHI restaurant.  Sushi in Scotland?  I know it sounds fishy (double entendre).  But this sushi is really great, the salmon sashimi is fantastic (Courtney introduced me to it, at first I was scared, but it is amazing). 

There is a masquerade ball tonight which everyone wanted to go to but the tickets sold out in literally 3 hours.  Very disappointing. I love the idea of putting on a mask so no one knows that it's me and dancing ridiculously to Euro-Pop but I guess my dream won't come true. 

I have heard that you guys have had quite the storm in the U.S..  Hope everything is ok and everyone is safe!
Oh, and I would love to give a shout out to my mentors at www.ravinstyle.com, Biba, Eileen & Jill thank you guys so much for all of your entertaining e-mails and I can't wait to see you this summer.  If you don't know about ravinstyle.com it's a fantastic website with unusual and fun clothing and accessories.  Check it out.

No new pictures, but I will definitely attach one next week!

Have a great weekend everyone.

13 February 2007

North_sea Happy Day before Valentines Day!  Well I don't know if it's a "happy" day for everyone, but that's not the way I like to look at it.  There is so much love in this world, be it family, friends, animals, I think it's a perfect holiday to just think of the little simple things that these people do for us (or pets aka. "Hi Tucker" (my black Labrador retriever), I miss you my furry friend) and let special people know how much you appreciate them.  I appreciate my amazing Holy Cross friends, my new friends I've met at St. Andrews, the nice lady at Starbucks who makes my latte every morning with a smile on her face and my family who is always encouraging me to never give up and constantly making me laugh, thank you all and I love you.

On to some St. Andrews news.  Remember how I was bragging about the "sun" and the "spring-like" weather.  Well it left us.  It was inevitable after I write these blog entries about wearing my sunglasses and light jackets that the clouds covered the sun right up and it rained.  Oh, and it rained, it's been raining since Thursday night.  I am very sad to say that the wind broke my lucky umbrella (R.I.P. Leopard-print umbrella) and that the cheap one I have replaced "leppy" with is just not the same. 

Friday night my friends and I celebrated my birthday and we had a tremendous time.  Saturday Courtney and I took our friend Liz who was visiting from Oxford into Edinburgh (the train ride in was CRAZY, there was a rugby game between Scotland and Wales going on in Edinburgh so there were plenty of rowdy and kilted fans sitting next to us).  We went to one of the best lunches of my life at this restaurant named "The Witchery" and did some touristy things around Edinburgh.  Unfortunately we didn't get to do this one adventure that I still want to do.  There is this one booth where you and your friends dress up in these traditional Scottish outfits and pose and take pictures which I was dying to do, it looks hysterical, but the line was too long so we had to go to our next destination.  On Sunday, "my birthday", Courtney and I gave Liz a tour of St. Andrews.  We went to the Old Course/Links and I bought myself a new birthday present (this adorable stuffed animal bear in this hilarious golfing outfit named "Bentley", it's kind of sad that I still get so much joy from a little stuffed bear, but what can I say I'm a kid at heart) and took Liz to the North Sea (which was very scary, I have never seen waves so angry in my life).  The weather was not very nice, but it definitely made the St. Andrews tour more Scottish.  I was decked out in my hard-core wellie boots and wax jacket (things I am usually not seen wearing at Holy Cross) and tried to give the tour in a Scottish accent, which I still haven't perfected. 

My parents were too sweet and sent me an amazing Birthday package full of flowers and my favorite American snacks (Luna Bars and Kashi Oatmeal) and I got phone calls from all of my family.  The best birthday of my life.  I say that every year but it's true every year just keeps getting better!

Now on to classes, which have been going very well.  I have my first tutorial tomorrow in my Meta-Ethics class which I am a little nervous for but I'm sure it will be great.  Both of my Philosophy courses are dealing in the realms of Theory and Ethics which therefore always brings me to some soul searching.  They are very interesting topics and once I come upon some of my thoughts on them I will write about them.

Some of you may be wondering why I discuss what music I'm listening to or what playlists I have on my iPod so I thought it would be fair for me to inform you.  Anyone who knows me well knows that music plays a huge part of my life.  I remember dancing around to The Beatles when I was three, and singing Crosby, Stills & Nash in the car on our road trips when I was young.  I love everything, from jazz (Coltrane, Monk, Soulive) to Classic Rock (Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Doors) to Brazilian Jazz to Old School Hip-Hop to Alternative.  I just associate certain times in my life, the certain thoughts in my head and people that I'm hanging out with, with music and certain songs. The song I was listening to when I first arrived at Holy Cross my first day of freshmen year (which my Mom says I was smiling the entire trip up) was "Suite- Judy Blue Eyes" by Crosby, Stills and Nash and by far my favorite song of all time.  Hope that clarifies everything.

I'm attaching a picture of the gray North Sea right now.(Click thumbnail to view larger image)

My current song: "Young Folks" by Peter, Bjorn and John.

Have a brilliant week everyone.

05 February 2007

Sunset Hello everyone,

I just read my latest entry and forgot to say how totally EXCITED I am for Friday especially since a bunch of the Holy Cross Oxford students are visiting. I am jumping up and down just thinking about it.  Another thing I forgot to mention is the weather in Scotland is beyond beautiful. I just don't understand.  My mom and I skype frequently (skype is this internet free phone service, if you haven't already figured it out, I had it my Freshmen year at Holy Cross and my Father would call me ALL the time on it, "Hi Micaela, are you studying, I bought an apple today." it was pretty annoying (I love you still Dad) but we have managed a much better "Skype" relationship now, sorry I just want off on a tangent) anyways, yeah, she says that it is so chilly and frosty in the States, while here I am wearing my sunglasses and a light jacket.  Oh, the irony.

This is my "It's February mix" and I must warn it's all over the place (is it really bad that I've become addicted to Euro-Pop?), but is escorting me quite pleasantly to trips into town.  Enjoy. This is also a picture outside of my window, how pretty (click thumbnail for larger view). (Doesn't it resemble the cover of the film "Big Fish"?)

"It's February mix"
1. Everyone- Van Morrison
2. Crickets Sing for Anamaria- Astrud Gilberto
3. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood- The Animals
4. Brand New Set of Wings- Joe Purdy
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again- Bob Dylan
6. Diamond Day- Vashti Banyon
7. This Is How We Walk On the Moon- Arthur Russell
8. LDN- Lily Alen *(pure euro-pop)
9. Train In Vain- The Clash
10. Dream Machine (Downtempo Mix)- Mark Farina & Sean Hayes
11. Who Can It Be Now?- Men At Work
12. Again & Again- The Bird and the Bee
13. Sénégal Fast-Food- Amadou & Mariam

05 February 2007

Nottinghill_1 February.  I must admit my most favorite month out of the entire year, since it's my birthday.  I hope that doesn't sound too self absorbed, I just love bringing together friends and celebrating together!  My birthday is this Sunday, and I am excited to celebrate this weekend with all of the Holy Cross kids and our new St Andrews friends.

Oh I must tell you, we have so many new students studying abroad this semester which is very exciting for us Holy Cross students.  The new students are from all over too (Connecticut College, Georgetown, Columbia, Boston College, Sewanee, etc.) which we are all happy about.  I am so happy that I am here for the year though, it's strange how we have all adjusted and gotten used to the way things work over here.  I remember last semester I was feverishly looking up my academic buildings and nervous for classes, where as now we all understand the campus better and the good places to eat and what not.

So, let me tell you about my "reading week" vacation.  Well I had previously explained that I was planning on visiting London as well as Zurich, Switzerland (to stay with my Great Uncle).  Unfortunately British Airways decided to have a strike canceling my flight to Zurich a week in advance, so I decided to cancel my Switzerland trip and instead stay in London for some extra days.  The most annoying part of this process was the day before my cancelled flight was to arrive in Zurich, British Airways called off the strike.  On the other hand I had the most remarkable time in London so I really should quit the complaining.

I was in London for six nights.  During the day time I visited basically every museum (Madame Tussaud's, The National Gallery, Tate Modern, Victoria & Albert Museum) and did all of the other touristy adventures (for a second time since I went to London in the early fall).  I went to the theatre once, (I saw Porgy & Bess and basically was humming the tune 'summertime' the entire trip), and ordered way too much room service.  Some of the British television is absolutely hilarious.  There was this one show where Kelly Osbourne goes to Japan and takes on these various occupations, so funny.   One of the highlights of my trip was going to Portobello Road Market on Saturday with Liz. It was a beautiful and sunny day.  For those of you who have never heard of Portobello Road, it is located in Notting Hill, and is this street that on the weekends is transformed into this amazing market (full of vintage treasures, jewelry, clothing, toys, books, anything you can think of) and then there are fresh vegetables and flowers. Liz and I bought the most amazing cupcakes I have ever experienced (even better than The Magnolia Bakery cupcakes in Manhattan) on the train ride from London back to St Andrews I met a really nice guy who sat next to me. His name was Giles.  He had just finished up studying at Uni in England and he was a big movie buff (as am I) so we chatted about our favorite films and he gave me advice on vacation ideas for the rest of my time abroad.  Apparently he goes into Edinburgh quite a lot so we may meet up again. 

I've been back in St Andrews since Friday now, and it feels swell.  We had Superbowl festivities last night just like people do in the United States, except for the fact that we are five hours ahead.  Today classes began.  I am really excited for the meta-ethics class I met with today, it sounds like it will be very challenging but thought provoking (a pretty solid combination).  My second class meets tomorrow, and then I have tutorials for these classes on Wednesday and Thursday.

I am attaching a picture from Notting Hill.  I want to move into this pink house now, how fun is the color!  (click thumbnail to view larger image)

Enjoy the week!

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