Posts Tagged 'missing family'

And here we go!

I’m sitting cross-legged in cozy pajamas watching Sharaz play a ridiculous motorcycle and fire-pit filled game called Trials HD and I’ve decided that while I meant to write a post yesterday, now is as good a time as any. I’m going to pretend that I haven’t ignored this blog for the past year and just throw you into my life at the moment.

Lots of things are going on so I feel thrown in about a million places at once. For one, this time last week my mom was visiting from California; she arrived on Monday and stayed until Sunday morning, and it was beyond the word amazing to be able to see her. If she hadn’t been able to make the trip out, by the time I see my parents at graduation it would have been nearly a full year since I’d seen them, and that idea (which still stands for both my dad and my sisters) blows my mind. Missing someone becomes normal after a while, and you begin to forget you miss them – not in an impolite or unloving way, but in the way you get used to anything that nags you, like a small cut or a bug bite. It’s not until somebody points it out that you realize how painful it is, and now that my mom’s left, that’s how I feel. Two weeks ago I missed her inactively but now everytime I have chips or walk to Chapelfield mall I think of her. All the same, though, it was wonderful seeing her, and I wouldn’t trade her visit for the world!

That fact may or may not also have to do with the many fantastic trips we took. We spent an entire day wandering Norwich (the weather did a rather half-assed job of cooperating, but we had coats and as such survived): going through the Lanes, touring the cathedral, stopping for lunch in Tombland, & other Norwich activities. For my actual birthday, our family friends from Norwich were nice enough to drive us all out thirty minutes away to Blickling Hall, where Anne Boleyn was born. I may not have been posting on here very often, but I promise you, you have missed little-to-no travelling on my part, so that makes Blickling Hall one of the first English National Trust buildings I’ve seen, and it was fantastic! Again, the weather left a bit to be desired, but I must admit it gave the grounds a thoroughly English backdrop (mist, a bit of rain, ludicrously green fields, all against red brick and leaded glass). I shall show you a picture for effect!

Last Thursday we spent all day in Cambridge and luckily enough the sun finally pulled its thumb out and gave us a bit of blue sky and sunshine. We literally must have walked over five miles, wandering from the train station upon arrival to Kings College, across the street from our breakfast cafe, and then down to St. John’s (where we later had tea and scones!) and eventually the River Cam for a good old bit of punting.

Punting, for those that don’t know, is the Cambridge version of gondola-ing (not a verb, I know). It’s apparently a tourist must when visiting Cambridge, and seeing as we’d magically avoided the rain-showers and overcast skies of every other day that week, we shelled out the required £15 for the forty-five minute tour. Though the day got chillier as it progressed, it was all in all a wonderful day, and was especially appreciated once we saw the weather for our day of wandering in London.

London, I am quite sure at this point, hates me. I have NEVER been to London when it hasn’t rained. Every. Single. Time. Gray skies and rain. Sadly, besides a beautiful sunny ride home on the train Sunday morning, AFTER having dropped my mom at Heathrow, the weather was rainy. It rained on and off for the majority of the day, but my mom and I were fantastically determined to not let this affect our touristy agenda, and after girding ourselves with hot coffee and Krispy Kremes (which I insisted on getting as they, and any other decent semblance of a donut, are unavailable in Norwich) we hopped on the first round of our double-decker bus sight-seeing tour. After one stop of standing on the over-crowd, overly-humid first floor, we snagged a pair of seats in the coveted covered portion of the second floor and enjoyed the next hour and a half seeing all of the things you’re meant to see in London: Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, & etc. It sounds boring, but in my (rain-soaked) previous travels to London I’d never been able to see much of any of the above, so I had an amazing time. Besides, I was sitting next to my mom (who is one of the most amazing people on the planet) the entire time, so there was no way it was going to be a bad time!

We listened to the crisply-accented tour-guide for just over an hour and a half before getting off at Green Park, ready to make our way to Harrod’s for a bit of walking and copious amounts of window-shopping. We eventually made our way there (though not before being told by a French-accented man at the Ritz that we couldn’t take a peak at the famous tea room because I was wearing jeans) and quickly found ourselves lost among runway fashions, an endless gourmet food department, and the massive Egyptian Escalator (because even escalators get the fancy treatment at a place like Harrod’s). My mom and I decided most of the restaurants were a bit ridiculous in the price department, but we found a middle-ground cafe that suited perfectly and had lunch there. My mom had an iced coffee that, I swear, tasted of absolute roasted perfection. I would give my left hand to wake up to one of those iced coffees every morning.

After lunch we did a bit more Harrod’s-ing (you could literally spent a week in Harrod’s and still not know your way around) and then left off for Picadilly Circus so we could find the Comedy Theatre, where we had tickets booked to see The Children’s Hour. This particular play, which is by no means light-hearted, I picked for its cast: Keira Knightley, Elizabeth Moss, and Tobias Menzies (Brutus in Rome!!). If I’d been thinking at all I’d have picked something much happier for my mom’s last night in town, but alas, I was a bit starstruck and booked The Children’s Hour anyway. The play itself was amazing, though there was a young girl starring in it that acted a bit like a psychopath (so much so that by the end you certainly wanted her to get what she deserved, so I guess she did a good job!). I would definitely recommend it, as long as you don’t have plans the next morning to drop your mom off at the airport and then spend the next four hours alone on a journey home reading Never Let Me Go, yet another hardly uplifting story. But I highly doubt any of you would find yourself in such circumstances.

Weather, lack of sleep, and over-spending included, it was such an amazing six days that I can’t believe it’s already over and that now I have to wait another four months before I can see my mom again. But! It made me realize not for the first time how lucky I am to both have such an amazing, happy, generous, and loving mother and that she is not only all of those things, but also so in love with England that somehow it resulted in me living here!

On the note of living here, you might be wondering how much longer that’ll be going on for. Well, unless the government says no, I plan on living here for at least another year. I might be getting an MA at UEA (either in Creative Writing or Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures – I won’t be hearing back for another month or so probably), or I might be working – who knows. Either way, I think it’s fair to say that my near future is definitely Norwich-bound!

Sharaz has at this point moved on to Black Ops, so I think I might head off to bed. But I do feel that much better about myself having thrown 1300 words out into the ‘net, so I hope you enjoy!

So…reality. Yeah.

In my surprisingly stale life these days, I find I have little of amusement to report. My day-to-day life is still great, and I still have my fun, but I feel like I’ve entered that plateau-ish bit of uni (and adulthood?) where constantly working and constantly being skint prevent any sort of social life. Or fun spending. Both of which I could definitely do with.

I’ve recently made a list of jobs I’d be interested in post-uni. While I know that it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get any of them, or that I’ll get any high-paying job for that matter, I’ve acknowledged that I’m still stuck in the part of my youth that insists I will one day be rich. I had a discussion with two of my house mates about this and how money really shouldn’t be the point of working, but really, I don’t quite care. Of course it would be amazing to do something I love, and an even more extinct sort of amazing to get paid well to do it – but when it comes down to it, as unethical as it sounds, I don’t think I’ve really drawn the line for myself in terms of how much job enjoyment I would sacrifice in order to make good money. Right now I’m just telling myself I’m amazing as fuck and will find someone to pay me to simply be that way and write books. Little chance, I know, but if I can’t believe it at twenty, then when can I?

Then again, we have the fallback of marrying rich. Wouldn’t complain.

On a less financially-minded note: I got a first – and on a paper I wrote in one evening, the day before it was due, no less! It was a 75, which I am most proud of, it was my first first. This will make little-to-no sense to my American readers (unless they’re Laura Stricker or Maggie McBride) so I shall explain. The English university grading system works as follows: Anything above a 70 is a first, anything between 60-69 is a 2:1, anything between 50-59 is a 2:2, anything between 40-49 is a third, and anything below 40 is a fail. Firsts are really an achievement, especially in your second and third years, when they actually count towards your final degree. What am I talking about, do you ask? Well, when you graduate from an English university, your overall degree comes with an attached score – a First, a 2:1, a 2:2, or a Third. So basically, when you get your degree and then go to apply for jobs, everyone knows whether you slacked at uni or if you worked your ass off. Kinda cool, if you work your ass off. Granted that I’m now in possession of a second-year first, it’s looking pretty good. Here’s hoping my other coursework will go just a smoothly.

That coursework, by the way, is more than likely not going to be typed up on Konsuke. Nope, even as I write, it is on the foreign Apple-y laptop of Laura Wells. Why is that, you ask? It is because Konsuke has up an DIED. Yeah, DIED. Possibly in a resurrectable fashion, but even his temporary death is something to be mourned, especially considering I have around 6,000 words of writing that need doing sometime in the next twenty days. Fuck, writing that down makes it sound far, far more daunting.

On a better note, though, I still love having short hair. I’m promising myself right now that I’ll never go back to long hair, because honestly, every time I think of myself with it, I cringe a little. Generally speaking that means you shouldn’t go back. Having my hair this way makes me feel much more stylish as when you only have a few inches of hair it is about one-million times easier to do stuff with it and to make it look nice. Unfortunately, it also makes me want to go out and buy the entirety of River Island, specifically this bag, which I am in motherfucking love with:

Yeah. You might call it ugly, but I call it heaven. Along with every single piece of makeup produced by Urban Decay (all of which, coincidentally, I would also like to possess) and most every other item in stock at River Island. Essentially, I have realized something very strange about myself: if I had the money (which I most definitely do not, so I’m not even going to try) I would dress exactly like a younger, slightly edgier Cruella Deville (minus the crazy and the animal slaughter). Ridiculous, I know, but DEAR GOD HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE. I love animal prints, black, white, and red. I’m pretty sure the only thing I would miss would bet he color blue…but then I’d look at something leopard print and I would feel okay again. If I ever do get rich, that is seriously how I’m going to dress. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go see if I can find a copy of 101 Dalmatians and have myself a movie-tastic Friday night.

Thanksgiving was yesterday, and while it wasn’t anywhere nearly as epic as last year, it was still festive. There was pseudo-turkey (i.e. chicken) and there was pie, and there was an attempt at American biscuits. Sadly, the attempt was a failed one, as my ace recipe straight from my grandmother was thwarted by a small confusion involving teaspoons, tablespoons, and baking soda. Excepting that, though, and the fact that I wasn’t exactly at home in California with my family, it was pretty awesome.

So now, basically, it’s the wait for Christmas. I’m still not quite sure how basically this entire term has escaped this blog and my general attention, but hey, nobody is perfect, and time flies. Wish me luck on my 6,000 words – knowing me, you’ll be hearing from me soon on here. Nothing makes me hit up my transatlantic like the fever of procrastination.


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photo cred to myself and Maggie J. Moxie