Friday, 29 February 2008

Cambridge mini-break

Finally, I got to do a bit more travelling. I'd been in the same place for far too long (6 whole weeks! Don't you feel sorry for me ;-) ?) In any case, this past weekend myself, Justin, and Olivia headed on down to Cambridge to spend a long weekend with Olivia's friends from middle school. I have a severe case of city envy right now. Lancaster is lovely, but it's very small and gets a bit dull rather quickly. Cambridge, on the other hand, provided far more entertainment. I absolutely loved the university and found myself wishing I had the ambition to attend such a school. Alas, I don't, so I just took pictures instead.

Here we are punting on the Cam. Turns out I'm a bit of a natural at it. I only ran us into one bush!

The view of St. John's college from our boat on the canal. Wouldn't mind living there (with numerous house mates of course. Any takers?).

We came across a jazz concert in the square accompanied by a german sausage stand. Turned out the whole thing was a benefit for Scientology (eek!) so we got our sausages and ran.

My personal favorite moment of the weekend: the chocolate fountain! One of the girls we were visiting just happened to have one. The men of the household were a little afraid when all the women rushed into the dining room squeeling with excitment. Yum!

Now for a bit of Norwich. I skipped out for 24 hours to go and visit my friend Lizzy in the neighboring (sort of) city of Norwich. Even more city envy. They had flowers blooming everywhere!

A bathtub I fell in love with and will someday have to have.

Norwich had an odd sort of obsession with Grecian architecture in its parks. There was also a sort of mini Taj Mahal. Oh England. I did have a good time doing the "one Grecian urn" routine from The Music Man though.

And now for two random pictures having nothing to do with either Norwich or Cambridge. Here we have a sort of family photo (i.e. my main group of friends here in Lancaster) and the poster for Macbeth (to be performed next weekend).

Plans for our spring break world tour continue. Looks like we'll be staying with a fellow named Ilias and his family in Fez. Mud huts and donkey rides in the countryside included. I am so excited! Hoping you are all well and warmer than we are. Much love, Kate

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

The new news

Hello all!

It's been a while. For me that is a good thing because it means I've been bust busy busy. It also means there's a lot of news and stories to share with interested parties. The most exciting of the news is that, now prepare yourselves, we've had 5 days of sunshine in a row! I cannot express how happy this has made everyone. Those lovely green fields that England is so famous for are now covered with lounging university students.

Here we have Justin, Olivia, me, Leo, and Faye attempting to study in the sunshine. No studying actually happened, but at least the papers and book bags are there to give the illusion.

Olivia and I enjoying the extra vitamin D (or is it E? I can never remember).

Rehersals for Macbeth have been keeping me rather busy. The cast are great fun and rehersals are generally much funnier than you'd expect a tragic Shakespeare play to be. The director has decided to go with what he calls a "Soviet/Medieval look" which seems to mean we'll all be wearing knee length boots and trench coats. I've never really liked quirky stagings of Shakespeare, but I'm just going to have to go with the flow. Should be interesting.

This is a picture from one of our first rehersals. Not really sure what I'm doing. I normally pay a bit more attention than that ;-)

In other news, I have just bought tickets for what may turn out to be the coolest spring break trip I could possibly have planned. About a week ago my friend Jen (from Berkeley, but she's studying near Marseille, France) gave me a call and we discovered we both had the same spring break dates. As she didn't have interenet she asked me to plan a trip for us. Using my crafty skills with Europe's various discount airlines I put the following together:

April 1-3 Marseille, France
April 3-10 Fez, Morocco
April 10-14 Frankfurt, Germany
April 14-18 Prague, Czech Republic

It's a bit random, but we're both really excited. Since we're both totally broke post buying tickets we will be couch-surfing in both Fez and Frankfurt. For those of you not familiar with this practice, there is an on-line forum where people from all over the world post available couches/beds for travelers in order to foster better understanding between cultures. Some friends of mine did it all through Russia and met some of the friendliest people ever. At first I found the idea a bit alarming but after reading lots of reviews and checking out a few of the prospective hosts it looks like a great time. One of the people who might host us in Fez lives with her family just outside the city walls in a series of mud houses. She advertises donkey rides in the mountains as one possible activity. Sounds good to me. It will also be really nice to get back to Germany and see if those language skills are still there.

So that's the news. Exciting stuff really. Hoping this finds you all well and safe. Oh, and happy Valentine's Day to all! Cheers, Kate