Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘summer’

159. My Adventures in Italy!

I was supposed to post this quite a while ago. It’s been almost two weeks since I returned and what a whirlwind it has been…but more about that later! 

I have to begin with saying that it was such an amazing trip and a fantastic experience to end with before I start adult working life (that still hasn’t sunk in and I start tomorrow!).

We were based in Florence and stayed in a rented apartment. I had no idea how nice it would be because there was a mix up with addresses and I wasn’t sure that the one we booked was the one we’d get. Sure it enough, it wasn’t…it was much better. We couldn’t believe our luck when we saw how good the location was (literally one road from the Duomo!), how clean it was, how BIG it was and how it was furnished with pretty much everything we could possibly need. It was great having a space to ourselves where we could be slobs together and do whatever the hell we wanted. The only downside about the flat was that it was on the third floor and there was no lift. My legs got a good workout climbing all those bloody steps.

The weather was hot, just as we expected it to be. When we stepped off the plane, the heat washed over us in waves. However it was dry heat so it was far more tolerable; humid heat is the worst. Eurgh! Despite the generous use of sun cream, I still came back tanned. This would normally be celebrated but brown people have this notion that fair is beautiful. Personally I think the tan looks pretty good but my mum was like ehhh. What do you expect when we’re out for 12 hours every day?!

The food was really really good. We had a few concerns about whether Meeti’s dietary requirements would be easily met (vegan plus no eggs, onions or garlic) but it turns out Italians use few ingredients and what they say is what you get. A margherita pizza is literally just dough, tomato sauce and mozzerella but my god it tastes good. One of the best places we ate at was called the ‘OK- bar’ which is quite a self-deprecating name. It ought to be called the ‘Mighty fine- bar’ or ‘A lot better than OK- bar’. I had pasta or pizza every single day. So good!

It’s always hard to describe an atmosphere but Florence had a really good one. Obviously there were lots of tourists but it still felt calm and all the people we met were super friendly. The evenings were particularly special because Florence simply lights up, both literally and metaphorically. The cool air is so inviting that it brings everyone out and you can easily chat the night away. In contrast to the intimate town feel of Florence, Rome strongly felt like a city in the sense that it was buzzing with people and was so big. However it also didn’t feel as safe. Case in point- Meeti felt someone tug on her bag as she walked off the metro. We were on high alert for the rest of the day as we simply couldn’t afford to lose our bags. Pisa also didn’t compare to Florence. Despite its beauty and being the home of the leaning tower, it didn’t charm me in the same way. Every road you walk down in Florence has something that catches your eye and steals your attention. It is so much more than just the sights.

But speaking of sights, Florence is of course famous for its art and culture and for being the setting of Dan Brown’s book which excited Meeti to no end. Being a Maths/Science orientated person I am really not the most cultured person. I don’t appreciate Art in the way other people do; I don’t know what makes one painting better than another; I can’t talk about brush strokes and historical background for more than five minutes. But even I knew that some of the stuff I saw was really special.

Every time I see this, it make me squee!

The level of detail of some of the paintings and sculptures was exemplary and subtle things like facial expressions and soft eyes captured emotion in a way that I had never seen before. But being us, we weren’t serious for long and very soon we started adding our own silly captions to the paintings and copying the some of the really bizarre stances of the sculptures to great comical effect.

Mad skillz right there

Mad copying skillz right there

Medusa!

Medusa!

DSC06993

I have to say, back in the day the artists were seriously obsessed with the human body is all its naked glory. Boobs and pee-pees everywhere. It was quite disconcerting initially. I found it curious that all the men seemed to have abs of steel whilst the women were curvy, fat rolls in abundance, cleavage hanging out. Given the realism of the paintings I thought it was strange how everyone was hairless, even the guys (except for the mandatory man bush). I know it’s effort to add shadow but if they had time to include cellulite and butt dimples I figure it would have been a walk in the park.

DSC07394

Is it just me or does this position look really uncomfortable?

Check out the level of detail- the veins in his hand!

Check out the level of detail- the veins in his hand!

I couldn’t possibly list all the things I saw so instead I will talk about the highlights. The best part of the holiday by far was our evening on the steps at the top of Piazzale Michelangelo. It was one of those moments you read about in books. The sun was going down; the air was cool; there was a man playing classic songs on an acoustic guitar to an enraptured crowd; the view was spectacular. It felt magical to be there with some of my favourite people in the whole world, munching on our cheese and tomato baguettes from home. It’s definitely up there in the top five best evenings of my life.

The view from Piazzale Michelangelo, simply magnificent!

The view from Piazzale Michelangelo, simply magnificent!

The awesome dude who kept us entertained all evening!

The awesome dude who kept us entertained all evening!

Climbing nearly five hundred mismatched awkward steps up narrow paths and in dark conditions doesn’t sound great but the view at the top of the Duomo more than made up for it. You could see for miles around, even mountains in the distance and it was so bright up there that it was hard not to squint in all the pictures. The Boboli gardens also provided picturesque views with its fountains and paths roofed by trees. The sheer scale of the gardens was impressive and its famous path lined with sculptures and plants definitely lived up to expectations.

One of my favourite pictures I took on the trip! Look at that sky!

One of my favourite pictures I took on the trip! Look at that sky!

Dat view though!

Dat view though!

Here are some more pics from our trip!

Over and Out!

137. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.

It’s reassuring how even after something big like the death of a family member, life just carries on. I still have a bucketload of work to do and that’s not going to wait for anything. I am feeling a lot better- pretty much back to my old self. I kind of hit a point the day after the funeral where I just wanted to feel ‘normal’ again and with a bit of willpower everything sort of snapped back into place.

Since my last post, New Year’s has come and gone. I hope you all had a good one. I confess I didn’t do anything special but I did enjoy a rather impressive fireworks display from my bedroom window. Yay free seats!

There are only two things that I fiercely want this year:

  1.  To graduate with a First and to look boom on the day
  2.  To go on holiday again with my friends

I think both of them are achievable and I’m going to do everything in my power to make them happen… though I might need some help from Shakira and James with the second one. Anyone got any suggestions regarding good holiday destinations in Europe? Any advice would be much appreciated but please note we’re students and on a budget.

Anyhow I think I’m actively going to try and make the next few posts a bit more cheerful. I feel like I’ve been ranty, moany and upset in the last few. Numero apologies.

Over and Out!

126. So did I actually do anything on my To-Do List?

So I made a list of things I wanted to do over Summer and I thought it might be a good idea to check if I actually did any of them. I know it’s October but better late than never. Here goes:

  • Buy clothes for my internship (so that I look good while I succeed! )
    I had a very successful shopping trip with my dad. I managed to buy five shirts/blouses for under £60 so I was well chuffed! Shame I didn’t give two hoots about what I was wearing about a week into the internship.
  • Visit all my friends who I haven’t seen in a while
    I visited a few close friends but nowhere near everyone I hoped to see. GUILTY!

    akjk

    Me and JK

  • Buy clothes for my cousin’s wedding
    Ah ha ha the last minute panic that was my Paris trip. I really liked the green asian style maxi dress I bought- made me feel a million dollars!
  • Be nice to my cousin who doesn’t like me when she comes to visit
    This went surprisingly well actually. I think we both made a conscious effort to be warmer towards each other even though we don’t see eye to eye. I’m pleased we parted on good terms.
  • Think seriously about fourth year modules and start collecting past papers/ problem sheet solutions
    I dedicated quite a lot of time thinking about my final year and how I needed to boost my marks. I find it amusing that the modules I decided to do this term are exactly what I originally planned to do before all the scrutiny and over analysis of past papers. Sometimes it really is best not to overthink. I’m very happy with my choices.
  • Bake lasagna for my parents again
    Shockingly I got around to doing this. It was a real pain getting my parents out the kitchen but I succeeded in baking something edible. It was good but there is definitely room for improvement (more white sauce!)

    lasagna

    Om nom nom

  • Start writing down Mum’s recipes (step one of wife training)
    This didn’t happen… I’m clearly putting off wife training. I should just start apologising to my husband now. If he exists.
  • Organise a holiday somewhere in Europe for September
    I must have spent hours looking at potential destinations but did I go anywhere? NOPE. In part, I blame my parents because they were so reluctant. My mum’s preference is always to go to Pakistan to see family but that means never getting a chance to actually explore the country. My dad’s preference is to minimise spending and if he had it his way we’d be in a tiny self catering hostel and seeing lots of places but not actually ‘doing’ anything. Either way, not the holiday I was looking for.
  • Start reading A Game of Thrones
    Alas this didn’t happen either. HOWEVER I did manage to read quite a few books during my jury service because there was so much waiting around. I just love reading sessions- I really miss it during term time. Technically speaking I could read a few pages everyday but I find that very unsatisfying. I prefer to totally immerse myself into a new world not just dip in and out of it.
  • Spend a day baking
    I had a lovely day baking fairy cakes with my beautiful cousin Mele. They came out so soft and fluffy! I also whipped the cream by hand which required some serious elbow grease but it came out well. We decorated the cakes with flakes and sprinkles and gosh they were scrummy!

    fairycakes

    Who doesn’t love a bit of rainbow sprinkles?!

  • Go to Thorpe Park
    Hmmm I went to Alton Towers instead which was a real trek so I think it should count. NEXTTT
  • Watch: Hangover 3, The King’s Speech, Season 7 and 8 of House, the last series of Doctor Who…and all the other stuff saved on our Sky Box
    This was my proudest achievement. I watched it all! I’ve officially seen every episode of House. Totally cried when it ended.
  • Sort out all the papers and folders scattered across my room
    I dedicated an entire day sifting through the crap in my room. I don’t know how I amass so much paper. By the end I had a pile up to my knees that went straight into recycling. Now there’s more room for me to collect new crap. Huzzah!
  • Back up my files and wipe my laptop(asaurus) because it’s so damn slow!
    I actually wiped my laptop TWICE but I still haven’t bothered to copy my files over. Turns out all I really need is the internet!
  • Do some reading for my fourth year project- maybe even form an outline of how I want to structure it
    I was quite annoyed that I couldn’t do much for my project over the Summer but I wasn’t the only one so I don’t feel so bad. I have a truckload to do for it now though. Le sigh.
  • Finish furnishing my Neohome
    Neopets took a back seat this Summer. Am I growing up? NOOOOOOOO. (I still play the stock market. I will never give it up.)
  • Finish decorating the Disney Princesses wall in my room (I’m a grown up, honest)
    I did the colouring….but I still need to cut them out and stick them on my wall. It was surprisingly therapeutic just sitting there deciding which shade of pink was right for Aurora’s dress. #lifedecisions

    aurora

    See how well I kept in the lines. Such a pro.

  • Lose a few pounds or worse comes to worst, don’t put ON any more weight!
    I didn’t lose weight. On the plus side, I didn’t really gain anything either. In my books, that’s a win!
  • KEEP BLOGGING!
    I think I did just enough though I got super busy during my internship…

Overall I think I did quite well. Did most of the important things on the list!

Over and Out!

120. Can I go back to uni now?

I’m seeing posts and statuses everywhere about how excited people are to be returning to uni and I’m still sitting at home like a bum waiting for term to start. Most unis start in September; mine starts in October and whilst this is great if you’re actually doing something, it can get hella boring if you’re not. There is only so much daytime tv one can watch.

I can’t even work on my fourth year project because my project supervisor appears to be MIA. It doesn’t help that my project isn’t the traditional sort so I have no idea where to begin. Not good.

But it’s not like I haven’t done anything this Summer. I completed my internship. I got a job offer. I did two weeks of jury service. The thing is I’m one of those people who likes to always be working towards something and right now I’m not doing anything useful. If this is what being unemployed feels like, please God let me always have a job.

*sigh*

I’ve caught up on sleep. I’m rested. I am so ready to go back. I’d honestly prefer to be buried under coursework deadlines than be this dissatisfied with how I’m using my time.

Over and Out.

97. Thorpe Park!

It has almost become tradition for me to go to Thorpe Park after the university year is over! Someone complained that there were no new rides out this year… err are you telling me you’re used to going from 0-80 mph in under 2 seconds like you do on Stealth? I’ve been on it several times and I was still bricking it beforehand. Every time I get to the top and see just how high up I am, in what is essentially a clever little box, I question my sanity. Is this fear and precarious height worth the ‘thrill’? And every time the ride finishes, I think to myself ‘yes, yes it does’. I vote that every student should go on Stealth before taking an exam because my god it wakes you up like nothing else!

English: The roller coaster Stealth at Thorpe ...

English: The roller coaster Stealth at Thorpe Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year I fell victim to the lure of Tidal Wave. It’s just too fun- I have to go on it. Now I fully expected to get wet on this ride but even I was shocked from the complete and thorough drenching that I suffered. I was soaked from socks to underwear. I spent the next two hours waddling around awkwardly smelling of chlorine because I was so wet. I do this every year and each time I swear not to next time but I’m an idiot and don’t listen to my own advice.

hair plastered to my face

hair plastered to my face

I even went in one of those heater things which was deliciously warm but it wasn’t enough to dry my jeans. All five of us squished into the heat cubicle and at one point we were all just crouching to dry our butts. Nice and classy as always!

The good thing about going to Thorpe Park on Thursday at this time of year is that the queues are short. We didn’t wait more than half an hour for any ride and we managed to go on all the big rides. Some rides lose their charm when you go on them several times, like Slammer for example but Rush (essentially a huge swing) is always so fun for me which is why it is my favourite ride (Saw is second and Stealth third).

rush

RUSH

colossus

Colossus mid-ride

 

 

 

 

 

Our last ride of the day was Vortex and no-one wanted to get off. Everyone started shouting ENCORE and they let us stay on for another go! (They probably do that for everyone- shut up and let me feel special)

So gangster. So thug!

So gangster! So thug!

Some other pictures…

The only ride in Thorpe Park that makes me feel sick!

The only ride in Thorpe Park that makes me feel sick…the banana ride!

Leaving the park...I was sad to go :(

Leaving the park…I was sad to go 😦

Over and Out!

95. Mission Accomplished

The last few days have been super stressful but I’m really pleased to announce that I’m finally done with third year! HELLO SUMMER!

I handed in my projects (yup plural) yesterday and I also gave my oral presentation. Considering how little time I had to prepare for it, I think it went decently. I rehearsed as much as I could in the few hours beforehand, so much so that I think I strained my voice. The time limit was 15 mins so I wanted to be talking for at least 12 minutes but when rehearsing, I couldn’t get it over 10 mins 20 secs. Miraculously I made it last over 13 minutes for the real thing. I swear it doesn’t matter how much public speaking you’ve done, it doesn’t get much easier. I always feel like I’ve got my foot in my mouth and can’t get the words out.

I took a few pics because our projects looked soo beautiful when binded. I almost didn’t want to hand it in!

specialprojectbinded

Such Beauty

Shakira didn’t even want to let them go!

Can you feel the loovee tonight?

Can you feel the loovee tonight?

I was just in a state of delirium that it was all finished.

I don't even...

I don’t even…

Over and Out!

93. Summer To-Do List

Things I need/want to do this Summer:

  • Buy clothes for my internship (so that I look good while I suceed! )
  • Visit all my friends who I haven’t seen in a while
  • Buy clothes for my cousin’s wedding
  • Be nice to my cousin who doesn’t like me when she comes to visit
  • Think seriously about fourth year modules and start collecting past papers/ problem sheet solutions
  • Bake lasagne for my parents again
  • Start writing down Mum’s recipes (step one of wife training)
  • Organise a holiday somewhere in Europe for September
  • Start reading A Game of Thrones
  • Spend a day baking
  • Go to Thorpe Park
  • Watch: Hangover 3, The King’s Speech, Season 7 and 8 of House, the last series of Doctor Who…and all the other stuff saved on our Sky Box
  • Sort out all the papers and folders scattered across my room
  • Back up my files and wipe my laptop(asaurus) because it’s so damn slow!
  • Do some reading for my fourth year project- maybe even form an outline of how I want to structure it
  • Finish furnishing my Neohome
  • Finish decorating the Disney Princesses wall in my room (I’m a grown up, honest)
  • Lose a few pounds or worse comes to worst, don’t put ON any more weight!
  • KEEP BLOGGING!

Hmmm I tried to be realistic. Let’s see how much of this stuff I actually do!

Over and Out!