10:32 PM


Posted by Melody

Brooke woke me up this morning at 10:15am. It startled me half to death...twice...

Today was the day we would be taking a day trip to Ennis in search of traditional Irish music. I got dressed and packed my day pack. We caught a ride on the East Claire blue bus that picked us up at the resort at noon. He dropped us off at the Ennis bus station because we wanted to check the times and prices of the train to Dublin tomorrow.

We walked to the town centre and explored that which is Ennis. After an hour or so of walking around and looking at the different shops, we both decided that we were hungry. We finally found a pub called Brogan's that served the Irish specialty of corned beef and cabbage.

Brooke and I shared the plate since there was SO much of it. Even though it is called corned beef and cabbage, it does not have any of the gross connotations to it. When I personally hear of "corned" anything, I am thinking, "Ewww, it is mushed meat with sugar in it so you think it might taste good." I could not be more wrong in this case. Corned beef and cabbage in Ireland is like the American equivalent of saying two small ham steaks with cabbage, plus carrots and fries. No joke. The flavour of the pork was just amazing. It had to be one of the best meals I had while across the pond. Hands down.

After lunch, Brooke and I went around and looked at more stores. We went in this two euro store that had a whole bunch of bags of candy for two euros each. We got these little chocolate shell things that were not all that good after the 4th or 5th one. We went into this one little music store. It had all sorts of traditional Irish instruments (like the tin whistle and bodhran) and traditional Irish sheet music. I did not end up buying anything because all of it was either going to take all I had or more. I did enjoy flipping through the books and asking about the different instruments though.

We were a little tired after half a day of walking around, so we decided to go back to the bus station. I am sad that I did not get to hear the traditional Irish music I came to Ennis for, but I technically still have two days left in Ireland.

Tomorrow we will head off to Limerick and then take a bus to Dublin for the night.

New word of the day: bugger off = go away

Cheerio poppets!

11:30 PM

St. Patrick's Day In Galway

Posted by Melody

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I woke up at 7am and got my day pack together. We four girls got a taxi and set off to the Ennis bus station. Our bus for Galway came about 30 minutes later. About an hour and a half after that, we arrived at the Galway bus station.

We walked through the town and went in a bunch of different shops. I bought shamrock earrings in a shop called Tribes. How awesome is that, shamrock earrings bought IN Ireland ON St. Patrick's Day. That might or might not have been planned. While in the store, I heard a song that I really liked...but it never came to me to ask what it was. The chorus started out with "Ireland" and ended with "...and have a good time". We ran into some people from the group and walked together until after the parade. The parade lasted two hours and had some cool music in it.

When the parade was over, we walked around to see the Spanish Arches. Our group got bigger as over half of us ran into each other in another souvenir shop.

My group (plus Katie, Lauren, Drew, and Amber) decided to break off and go to the cathedral to have a look around. Upon entering, a priest gave us a little charm with a saint on it and then said, "If you would like to pray, Jesus is present over there," and pointed towards one direction. We walked around and observed the interior decoration. We sat for a few moments and talked about the cathedral. I noticed how green it was in the little circular skylighted dome. The ceiling was very colorful and decorated with mostly mosaic tiling.

We left and tried to find a place that served corned beef and cabbage. We walked in a bunch of places and was not able to find it, so we just settled for Subway since the pubs were so expensive anyways. I had a chicken tikka sub since I have never heard of that before. It was good. We left there and walked around the town some more. We left the rest of the group and we went to Spar to pick up dessert for the night plus spaghetti sauce.

We walked back over to the Galway bus station and waited for the bus to take us to Ennis. Once at the Ennis bus station, we hailed a taxi to take us back to the resort. We chose an older man in a black Mercedes to be our driver. We were choosing older people because we figured that they would be easy drivers and not try to kill us by speeding. Patrick, our driver, was super nice, drove like he cared about life, and even had a daughter our age. He had no clue where we were going, but we sort of knew the turns to take and we were good. We arrive back at the resort and got his card in case we needed him again.

We got inside and tonight was stir fry night. I boiled up both packages of brown rice and had the vegetables going. I had dinner finished and on the table about 30-45 minutes after I started it. The girls thought it was amazing, and rightly so since I am such a good cook. I rarely brag about anything, but my cooking is one of those things that I know I do well and I take pride in it.

We ate then watched Coronation Street and Emmerdale. The shows are British soap operas. We realized that the characters from Coronation Street looked a lot like those on Jeremy Kyle’s (like a helpful Jerry Springer without the wildness) 1000th show. After a quick Google search, we found that we were right. Part of the cast from Coronation Street played as people for the show entitled “I think my ex is sleeping with my brother.” It was hilarious. We put the food up and then Brooke and I headed off to bed.

New word of the day: solicitors = paralegal

Cheerio poppets!

11:57 PM

Cliffs Of Moher

Posted by Melody

I woke up at 8am this morning and got ready for the tour to the cliffs of Moher. I packed my daypack with my nutella and peanut butter sandwich (in a pink package with a lion sticker holding the seal), a pack of crisps, chocolate rice krispies treat, my Y-12 sweatshirt, and other stuff. I had a bowl of corn flakes for breakfast. Brooke, Sophia, and I walk to reception to wait for the tour bus.

Our bus driver arrived and all 22 of us (we three and the people from the resort, not the people from the group) got onto the bus for our day tour. We headed off toward The Burren and our first stop was some little castle. The driver told us a story of a lady who wanted to keep her estate after the death of her husband, and had to marry an officer to be able to keep it under the feudal system. So, she walked into the officer’s mess tent and asked, “Who will have me?” Oh, and she was naked…yeah.

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Driving along, we saw a lot of flagstone. Flagstone is a type of rock that looks like a concrete parking lot that has been left to ruin. Made out of the flagstone was this one burial area which once held 33 bodies buried in a weird style. The bones were laid out and allowed to be picked by birds, then the bones were stacked with the skull placed on top. Creepy. After that, we arrived at a circle fort. Basically, it was just a dirt mound that was sort of like a very short glass. There were raised dirt walls that could be walked upon (which I did do) and the middle was hollow. This one tree in the middle had a wooden head figure in it. Very odd.

Shortly after, we arrived at Aillwee Cave. I thought it was included, but it was 8.50 euro, so I decided to skip out. I work in a cave with the world’s rarest formations, waterfalls, and a huge underground lake...it would be hard to beat that. I took the opportunity to eat lunch and then went inside to get a cookie and some coffee. I sat with an older couple from the group and talked to them. They were from Florida. The group got all back together and we drove down the mountain to the shop to do some cheese tasting. They had 4 kinds including plain, nettle, smoked, and something else that I cannot remember.

We went along the coast and stopped at some well that was fed by three streams. People leave religious artifacts and offerings there. We kept going and stopped at a field full of llamas. All I could think about was the Llama Song.

We stopped along the coastline and the bus driver gave us 20 minutes to see the sights. The Ireland coastline was amazing. The swells of the sea were hitting the rocks and exploding into these huge geyser-like sprays. It was so awesome to see something like that. I could actually taste the salt on my lips after standing there for just a few minutes.

We left the coastline and went up this hill to see an old castle/lookout tower. It has been refurbished into a home owned by an American, but is rented out when the family is not there. There was a great view of the Aran Islands from there. At the top of the hill were the cliffs of Moher. They were so gorgeous. The sea was not as rough on this side as it was the other. We had about 30 minutes there until we were to be back on the bus.

We went back toward the resort. On the way, we circled through a beach town and the driver let us see the beach and sea. I went down the stairs that led into the sea. The tide was coming in, so I stayed about 30 feet away from where the water peaked before receding. I was getting some really good pictures with the water hitting the rocks. A bigger wave came in and the spray hit my camera. I wiped it off and stepped back another 10 feet. While lining up the perfect shot, a HUGE wave came in and I saw it on the camera screen right before it hit me. I jumped back as quick as I could, but the water still got part of my blue jeans wet. They were not soaked, but a little bit damp in places. My boots are waterproof, so they were good.

When I got back on the bus, I properly cleaned off my camera and lens. When I looked through the pictures, it was funny how it all worked out. I could see the wave approaching, it first crashed (where I realized I was about to get soaked), then it poured over (where I narrowly escaped). It was quite hilarious. I slept the rest of the way back to the resort.

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When we came in, Brittany almost had dinner ready. Tonight was spaghetti night! I helped her out by splitting the slices of French bread, buttering, and putting them in the oven. I plated the bread once it was finished and we all absolutely pigged out on spaghetti. It was nice. We all had hot chocolate and watched British television once we were finished. A movie called "The Green Mile" came on and we watched that until bedtime. Slightly weird, but interesting movie.

New word of the day: caravan = motor home

Cheerio poppets!

7:28 PM

In The Back Of Beyond

Posted by Melody

I wanted to get up around 8am this morning to take a shower, but ended up getting up at 9:30am. It was nice to sleep in. I dried my hair with the weirdest looking hair dryer ever. It looked like a little vacuum cleaner attached to a wall. After that, we all sort of waited around for a few minutes until the reception lady called us to give us a ride. Brooke went to reception earlier to get us internet and mentioned that we were going to walk to the grocery store. The resort people would hear nothing of it, so they said that they would take us into town anytime we needed it.

The manager of the resort, Gerr, took us into town so we could go to the grocery store. We got all sorts of stuff. We got two frozen pizzas for tonight (one cheese and one pepperoni), then stuff to make spaghetti and stir fry for the other days. We also got stuff for lunch and breakfast. Gerr drove us back and we put all the stuff up, then watched television until around 5:30pm. There is nothing to do at the resort, unless you pay for a game of golf or bingo, and it would take 30 minutes or more to walk to the nearest town. We are literally in the back of beyond.

After dinner, we realized that we had forgotten to pick up any sort of dessert for the week. We watched more television, including American Idol, Coronation Street, Hell’s Kitchen, and The Red Dragon (Hannibal). The girls went to bed and I typed up some stuff while Hannibal was finishing up. Creepy movie.

New word of the day: rubber = eraser

Cheerio poppets!

10:27 PM

England To The Emerald Isle

Posted by Melody

I got up at 8:30am this morning and packed up my stuff. I went downstairs to breakfast. I had a cranberry Activia yogurt, a chocolate pastry with chocolate spread on it, and hot tea. After that, we all walked down to the Hexham Abbey for the 10:30am church service.

The service was like any other liturgical Sunday service except that it was Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom and I got to see a little baby be baptized. The service was longer than expected, but they gave every woman a little potted flower. I walked back to Andy’s at the end of the service and the group followed shortly after. I went in and gave Cath the potted flower. She really liked it, and then I told her to expect about 20 more. Haha!

The group just hung out in the game room for a while until supper was ready. Cath had fixed rice and the choice of either chicken curry or chili. I had chicken curry first, but switched to chili for my seconds. I kicked a ball around with Drew and James for a few minutes until the bus was ready to pick us up. We all walked to the end and hopped onto the team bus. Not too many minutes later, we were checking in at the Newcastle International Airport.

Our gate opened up and we all went off toward the plane. We walked down the stairs and onto the tarmac to load the plane. I had a window seat, and I just kept my face glued to the window. It was an absolutely gorgeous view. It was partly cloudy outside and full of beautiful countryside and sunshine.

We land and all of us grab our bags. I leave with my Ireland group and go outside to hop onto a bus for the bus station, then onto a bus for Limerick. It was a sweet coach. The seats were real cushy and the headrests were soft. It was a little bit over a two hour ride. When we got to Limerick bus station, we hailed a taxi. We all got in and made our way to the resort with our taxi driver, Michael. Thirty minutes or so later, with a 60 euro tab, we arrived and found our little home away from home.

It is a two story space with the kitchen, living room, and a full bathroom downstairs. Upstairs is the two twin bed rooms and another full bathroom. We unpacked and watched television for a little while before going to bed.

New word of the day: knocked up = someone called early in the morning and woke a person up

Cheerio poppets!

12:03 PM

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall

Posted by Melody

I got up at 8am this morning. I go down to breakfast and had cranberry yogurt (the Activia kind which I have never had before, but is really super smooth) and then mango yogurt, hot cross buns (roll looking things with black currants mixed in) with chocolate spread on it (although Cath said that usually people put butter on them), and hot tea with sugar. It was a wonderful breakfast.

Andy walked us into town to look at the market and get some snacks before going to Hadrian’s Wall. I went to a pound store and bought chocolate rice krispies, galaxy minstrels, daum (like heath bars), a small multipack of chips (salt & vinegar, cheese & onion, and ready salted), and revels. I then went out to the market to look around before walking back to Andy’s house. I had an enormous venison burger with garlic mayonnaise on it for 2 pounds.

I went by this one stand with an old man selling homemade soaps and lotions. I picked up a few and smelled them. I asked him how he got into the business. He said that he and his wife started it a few years ago because his wife had psoriasis. She found that the soaps she was using had all sorts of harsh chemicals in them and would make her psoriasis worse. She made her own soap and it started clearing it up. Their friends heard about it and used it, then it all grew from there. I bought 4 soaps for dad for 10 pounds. I left there and went to the post office and sent the soaps off. I thought that would be a good gift for dad since his skin acts up a lot in colder weather.

I walked back to Andy’s house around 12:15pm. I packed my day pack with a sweater, some of the stuff I had bought, my little Radley umbrella, chapstick, and my camera. Cath drove us to and dropped us off at the at the meeting place for the Hadrian's Wall Illumination orientation. We filled out papers and got our stickers, had a demonstration on how to light the burners and flares, then got on the coach and was dropped off at our lighting point. It was me, the two Nathans, Laruen, and Katie.

We waited for over an hour for the van to come with our stuff. It was hilarious what all we were doing. We had a roadside lighting point and we were sitting there on the side of the road just laughing and talking about all sorts of stuff. We finally got our stuff and went to the other side of the fence (where the sheep were) to set it all up. The guys hooked up the burner and then took the flares and went up the hill to their spot. At 5:55pm, I turned everything on and lit the burner.

The flame at my position

Light across the countryside

Once the flame was lit, we noticed that traffic on the road started to back up like crazy. Our spot was in the back of beyond and there were cars as far as you could see. I walked up the hill to look over and see the lights. It was gorgeous. I could see how it climbed up the next hill and over the ridge. Amazing. We kept the flame on for about an hour or so and turned it off about 10 minutes after 7pm. Once the flame was off, it got real cold really quick. We got the stuff to the side of the road and waited there for an HOUR in the back of beyond with no cars or lights in sight. The coach finally comes along and we were the last stop they picked up.

Once we got back, we got off the bus and got our goodies bag. It had ale (called “Emperor’s Flame” which was specially made for the illuminating of the wall), Divine orange chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk, a fruit bar, sugar packs, and some other random stuff. Andy put us in a taxi and sent us home.

Not too long after we got back, dinner was ready and we sat down to lasagna, garlic roasted potatoes (since we all RAVED over them), and garlic bread. For dessert, I had sticky chocolate cake and cream. It was amazing. After dinner, we went into the living room and talked until it was bedtime.

New word of the day: back of beyond = middle of nowhere

Cheerio poppets!

10:52 PM

The Celebrity Treatment

Posted by Melody

I meant to get up at 6:45am this morning so I could take a shower, but my alarm did NOT go off until 7:30am. I got my stuff together and went down to breakfast around 7:50am. I had porridge and a hardboiled egg again for breakfast, but this time I actually finished it all…and a piece of toast. You know how people say, “All that and a bag of chips.” I just had the thought, what if it was, “All that and a piece of toast.” Haha!

After breakfast, I loaded my stuff onto the bus. Guys, sit down for this. The bus is the TEAM bus for the Newcastle United football (soccer) team. I was sitting in the same seats that the players from the team sit in. The bus is crazy awesome. There are LED blue track lights, a huge dome window at the front, both table seats and forward facing seats, a cappuccino/tea/coffee/hot chocolate maker, an oven, fridge and freezer, and bathroom (of course). Let us put it this way, when we were driving down the street, people were scrambling to pull out their cameras to take a picture of this bus. I cannot tell you how excited we all were to get to ride on that bus. Wow.

We made a pit stop in the city of York in England. I went to the York Cathedral and quietly looked around during the 12:30pm communion service. The York Cathedral is the largest gothic cathedral in England. After the service, I went to the city centre to have a look around “the shambles” and grab a bite of lunch. I stopped off in a couple of shops to browse as well. I went to this one trendy cafĂ© type place called Dusk. I had a chicken, mozzarella, and pesto panini. I stopped in there mainly to get an internet connection and see if I had any replies to the billion e-mails I sent out yesterday and the day before. I thought that Dusk had a funny internet password for the day; “the fun powder plot”. I left there and walked around more shops. I went into Lush to smell and see stuff. I only had a few minutes until I had to get back to the bus. I got back and we were off to Hexham.

So, we arrived in Hexham at the abbey to meet up with our host families. Me, Matt, Lauren, and Katie all have Andy. We rode in Andy’s BMW to the house, which was literally a 5 minute walk from the abbey. We go down the private, wooded drive, over the creek on the little bridge, and up the driveway to park. His house is 4 stories. Everything in the house was absolutely and wonderfully decorated, but in a nice home sense and not a “do not touch anything” sense.

Andy took us out to the “pub” (nicely repurposed 2-car garage) where we laughed and talked until Cath said that dinner was ready. We all went into the dining room and ate the most wonderful meal. Cath had fixed 2 types of chicken (plain or chicken breast with mushroom and a creamy sauce), garlic roasted potatoes, a salad, and a apple crumble or cheesecake for dessert. The dinner was so good. After dinner, we all went into the living room to sit by the fire while Cath (who would not let us help her) cleaned the kitchen.

Sam (their three year old, black and white cocker spaniel) came to see us and absolutely LOVED me. I joked with Andy that I might have stolen his best friend from him. It was hilarious. We watched 70s & 80s music videos until we were ready for bed.

New word of the day: jumble sale = garage/yard sale

Cheerio poppets!

11:55 PM

McClung Visits Cambridge 2010

Posted by Melody

I got up at 8am today and went down to breakfast. I noticed that we a nice surprise today, Mr. McClung had come to visit us! I threw Mrs. Sue through a loop by saying that I would have something other than my usual. I had a bowl of porridge and a hardboiled egg. When my breakfast came out, they had given me two hardboiled eggs. I knew I could never eat that much with my stomach feeling like it did, so I offered it to Matt. He told me that he had never had a hardboiled egg before. WHAT?! I tried to explain it to him as being like a fried egg without the oil and stuff…and in the shape of an egg. He tried it and liked it.

What do you like to have for breakfast?

I went back up to the room and checked my e-mail. I sent a lot of e-mail about my paper and random other stuff. After that, I started actually working on my paper. I went down for my checkpoint at 11:40am. After that, I went off to Homerton because I had received an e-mail from Dr. Burnard saying that she had me a DVD to pick up that would help me with my paper. I picked it up and went to the library to watch it. I did not realize that it was an interactive DVD that has to be played in a computer.

I left the library and went back to the hotel to do some work on the paper. I was a little hungry, so I made a stop into the annex. No one was in there and I finished eating what was left of my food (there was not much). I texted Dad and Ashley while I was sitting there. I went back to the room 10 minutes before 5pm to take my stuff upstairs. I came back down and the group decided to go to The Boathouse.

Mr. McClung was my 2 for 10 meal deal partner. We both ordered the Hunter’s Chicken. When the food came out, the entire group got theirs except for me and Mr. McClung. Ours came out as the group was finishing theirs. After dinner, the group split off and I went to my secret pub. I ordered a sticky fudge brownie with ice cream and a hot chocolate.

I got back to the hotel and packed up my stuff for Ireland. I am so excited for tomorrow because I get to stay at Andy’s house for my host home. After I had my stuff packed, I took my suitcase down to the annex. I came back up and went to sleep.

New word of the day: dotty = mildly disturbed

Cheerio poppets!

11:38 PM

Blessed With Jasmine

Posted by Melody

For your information: I have been notified that some people have been having trouble voting on the poll for this month. It seems that the site I was using has an error with their polls. I have used another site to host this month's poll. It is not as pretty, but does the same job. Thank you for being so alert with changes on the blog.

Top of the mornin' to ya! I got up this morning at 8:45am and went to breakfast. After breakfast, I came back up to the room and loaded my laundry into my backpack.

I washed a huge load of colors and a small load of whites (in two different washers of course). I got the colors out and put them in the dryer, then went back for the whites. I open the lid and ALL my whites were a reddish pink color. There were just little specks of blood red paper material littered all around the washer and all over my whites. Included in these whites was my favorite long-sleeved shirt from Old Navy and my V-neck short-sleeved top from NY & Co.

Does anyone have any suggestions to get my whites back to their normal color?

I notified the lady that something weird happened with the washer. When I loaded the washer, I did not see anything like that. She said that I must have left something in my pockets. I told her that I knew all of my pockets were empty because I use my backpack to carry around stuff since I bike. I asked her if she had any washing powder I could use to redo the load because I only brought enough tablets to do my two loads with. She was very understanding and put a cup of powder in a different washing machine, then put a little stain remover in there as well. All I had to do was start the machine.

We rewashed the clothes and they came out slightly less reddish pink, but still noticeable. I thanked her for trying it again and just threw them in the dryer so I could take them home without getting my other clothes wet. Matt walked in shortly after and I warned him to not use that washer.

I had an interesting interaction with a local while my clothes were drying. This guy walked in after Matt dressed in lots of reds and golds (like a guy from India would wear), but he was a UK English speaking person. I do not think he was a native of Cambridge because he did not speak in the same sort of accent like the people here do. The guy and Matt started talking and the man started asking Matt interesting questions like, "What do you want your page of history to say?" "Do you want to be the ink or the paper?" "Where is the treasure?" "How will you find this treasure?" etc etc etc.

I stopped and listened because it is not often that you run into the kind of people who will make you think in detail about random trivial (but with deeper meaning type) things. I folded up my stuff and right before I left, the man was like, "Hold on, I have something for you." I look around at Matt and we exchange this "what could this be?" sort of glance. The man searched in his bag and then asked me for my hand. He used a little roll-on thing to put Jasmine oil onto my wrist and neck. That made me feel awkward because Americans just do not like being touched by strangers. I did not say anything because, whereas it was odd, I did not get the "creeper" vibe off of him. He explained the oil and the properties it was said to hold (peacefulness, tranquility, optimism, confidence, etc.).

I thought about my initial reaction once I left. He had overheard the conversation I had with Matt about the laundry accident, so I believe that was his way of trying to get me to feel better about my laundry situation (peacefulness, tranquility, optimism, confidence, etc.). The Bible mentions perfume and oils. That kind of stuff was expensive and rare (still is today the closer it is to pure form), so it was an honor in those days to be the recipient of that (just think about the woman who poured perfume on Jesus). I thought that maybe it was his way of trying to bless me. I know I could not exactly help my initial reaction because cultural things like that are deeply ingrained, but I truly believe he was trying to be genuinely helpful and just did not realize the cultural difference there.

Now that we are done with that in-depth analysis, I came back to the hotel and got ready for the rest of the day. I finally finished up my paper for British History. I realized that I needed dinner if my brain was going to be of any use to me, so I went off to The Castle Inn (a pub) and had myself the castle burger and chips (fries) with tap water. After that, I went off to my secret pub that I go to for a little bit of quiet relaxation and coffee. The atmosphere of my secret pub is rustic and warm, sort of like a cabin retreat. I love it, and I love how quiet and tucked away it is. I ordered a mocha and a rhubarb crumble in custard. Both were great, but I am stuffed...really stuffed. I am really going to miss this place.

What do you like to do to relax and unwind a little?

New word of the day: electric fire = space heater

Cheerio poppets!

11:24 PM

Schedule, Schmedule...

Posted by Melody

I got up at 8:15am this morning and went off to breakfast shortly after. After breakfast, I came back up to the room and sorted through all the e-mails in my inbox, then started putting some classes on the online class planner thing for this coming semester (Fall 2010). I did not put them all because I had some questions about my senior recital and one class that I think Cambridge covers for. I e-mailed all parties included in those decisions and then started working on some homework.

I biked to class and we jumped into the the discussion of a theodicy on the magnitude and duration of evil. We did not even get through 5 pages of it, and there were like 20-30 pages. Apparently God thought He should smile down on me today because Lord Stephenson made some announcements about class that just made this week a lot easier for me to handle.

After class, I went with most of the group to The Cow. I ordered the Chicken Fajita pizza. I had a craving for crushed red pepper for some reason, so I loaded the crushed red pepper olive oil onto my pizza. I will probably wake up in the morning with tons of blemishes and oily skin, BUT MY PIZZA WAS SPICY! I sat around listening to everyone talk for a little while, then decided to leave and be productive.

I went to the library and worked on my Advanced Class Selection courses for next semester's schedule. Due to either the internet at the library being slow, the servers at Lee being slow, or both, I was sitting for at least 2 hours re-uploading, re-submitting, and babying WebAdvisor. A billion e-mails and Facebook chats later, I finally had my schedule up and ready for registration.

Here is what I have planned (not including the senior recital and applied lessons - I find those out about the 2nd week into the semester)...

Monday: Earth & Space Science10-10:50am
Intermediate Spanish I1-1:50pm
Intermediate Spanish Cafe2-2:50pm
Earth & Space Science Lab3-4:50pm
Tuesday: Senior Capstone9:10-10:25am
Methods - Elementary1:10-2pm
Methods - Vocal/General2:10-3pm

Wash, rinse, repeat...

Hmmm...wash, rinse, repeat...that could totally become another way to describe my never-ending homework. Haha! I know I will get this stuff done soon enough. By the way, the long scroll down was unintentional. I made a table to format my schedule here for you, but it decided it wanted to make a grand entrance.

What project have you been working on lately?

New word of the day: spot on = right on target

Cheerio poppets!

11:13 PM

Badger, Mushroom, Snake...

Posted by Melody

I got up at 11am this morning and felt dumb because I missed breakfast. I really did mean to go, but I just could not pull myself out of bed. I checked Facebook and decided to change my status to, "Melody Bolinger's plan for the day...think of the badger, badger song...now replace badger with homework, mushroom with blogging, and snake with thesis...yup, pretty much sums it up..." For those who do not know the "Badger, Badger" song, then you can get educated with the video below. Then you will understand my status more. I warn you, this song can be addicting because of the sheer randomness...

I chose that for my status today because my thoughts were that all I was going to be able to do today was homework, homework, homework. The way I thought it out made me think of the badger song, so there...and then I started on my homework. I took a break for lunch because my head was killing me, and I figured lack of food the last couple of days had something to do with that. I had beef stew with dumplings. It was a frozen-type dinner that I got from the Co-op (Co-operative Foods). It was a lot better than the shepherd's pie to be honest. It had real beef in it, instead of that nasty beef mesh substitute stuff that is normally in microwave dinners.

I started working on homework again and then finished up the blogs for this entire week. All caught up on the blogs now...awesomeness! Homework, eh...not so much.

New word of the day: knackered = exhausted

Cheerio poppets!

11:14 PM

Sunny Sunday

Posted by Melody

I woke up at 8:45am this morning and went down to breakfast. I came back up to the room and worked on all the London entries for this travel blog, including pictures and video, and doing some homework. It was an absolute gorgeous day outside. The sky was clear and the sun was out. I wish that I could have been out in the sun instead of stuck inside doing homework. Boo homework on sunny days. I ended up getting in the bed at 1am.

New word of the day: pilchard = sardines

Cheerio poppets!

6:52 PM

Sitting In Saturday

Posted by Melody

I got up this morning at 8:45am and went to breakfast. I came back and started working homework. I had 2 Cadbury dairy milk chocolate bars during the course of the day, and I had shepherd's pie for dinner.

Around 10pm, Manuel calls me and invited me to join the group at The Castle (the one beside of the Regal). I went and had some good conversation with everyone. It got me away from homework for a bit. We moved over to The Regal for a bit and then we all went home.

New word of the day: marrow = squash

Cheerio poppets!

10:52 PM

Virtue In Volunteering

Posted by Melody

I woke up at 8:15am this morning and went to breakfast. I came back to the room and typed up my checkpoint report to send off to my supervisors. So far, I have almost 5 pages of work (more in written notes) with an interview and tons of material to go through. While working, one of the cleaning ladies came to do our sheets.

I left for the library but it was busy, so I went to St. Paul's. They were a few minutes away from serving lunch. I had forgotten about wanting to volunteer, but I was glad that I was able to walk in and still help out. It is not my week, but I enjoy talking to the people. I went around and talked to some of the people, then served them lunch. I went into the extra room and sat with a couple of the older ladies and the women who cooked. We had pork roast with applesauce, carrots, leeks with cheese and cream, and brown gravy. For dessert, I had a chocolate tart with VERY creamy vanilla ice cream. The conversation with Diana (I nicknamed her Princess Diana) and her friend, can not remember her name, was very nice and refreshing. They were lovely ladies. After lunch, everyone cleared out so our group could have class. We start class and have our usual discussion.

After class, I went outside to get on my bike and noticed that someone had chained themselves to me. I mean, I know I am irresistible, but I needed to get to an interview. Haha! John suggested I go upstairs to see if one of the dancers owned the bike. They were having class, but I walked in because I had an interview that was in 15 minutes and it took at 10 minutes to bike. The teacher stopped class and I started explaining that someone had chained their bike to mine, gave a short description of it, and said that I was going to be late for an interview. A girl pops out and says that she was the owner, so we go outside so she could get her bike free from mine.

I got to Homerton College on time to meet with Dr. Pam Burnard. I sat down and gave her a short introduction into why I had chosen the thesis I did and what I was wanting to get out of the interview. We started recording and sat there for almost 20 minutes discussing different things. This interview was more casual and laid back than my first one. Of course, I was a lot more relaxed and comfortable this time. She was very helpful and gave me TONS of information that was relevant to what I am doing.

I biked to the library and found myself an empty study carrel, which was near one of the entrances to the room. I could not really focus because I kept noticing people walk around from the entrance. I noticed that someone had left a group study room and flipped the lights off. I waited for a couple of minutes sure that someone would come in, but they did not. I grabbed my stuff and went into the room. I looked on the wall and noticed that it had information about scheduling the room, so I tried. I needed to login, but I had no credentials to do so. I noticed on the site that you could only book the rooms during staffed hours. Staffed hours end at 8:55pm on a weekday. It was 8pm when I came in and no one had bothered me. It is also a Friday night in Cambridge. Pretty sure all of these students are doing something super fun right now instead of homework. Oh well, nothing chocolate cannot fix.

I stayed at the library until closing time. I introduced myself to two security guards I had not seen before as I walked out. All of the security guards know me because I am constantly in the library studying. They talk to me when they do their patrols and I talk to them when I do my study break walkarounds. I biked back to the hotel and got myself in bed.

New word of the day: buskers = street entertainers

Cheerio poppets!

7:52 PM

The Watermill

Posted by Melody

I got up at 7am and went to breakfast. I went off to the library after that to study. I got to the library and it was a little crowded, so I went to St. Paul's and studied in the little room upstairs called the "green room". I worked on my checkpoint stuff until around 2:30pm when I went downstairs to do my checkpoint thing with Lady Stephenson. I went back up to the room and studied until it was time to go to the Watermill for dinner with Dr. Melton as a group. Dr. Melton is the dean of the college of arts and sciences at Lee University. He was coming in place of the university president, Dr. Paul Conn.

I biked there, which did not take me long at all, so I walked around for a bit and then went in. We all get in and sit down. The restaurant had a great atmosphere about it. We got to sit in the room where the actual wheel was for the mill. They had it encased in glass to keep the cold out. Starters were served. I had the smoked salmon and prawn salad. It was really good. For dinner, I had the salmon penne. I know that sounds like a lot of salmon, but the other options (on paper at least) were not all that much to my tastes. The other two options (we were on a group menu by the way) were like pizza and some salad option. Although, I have to say that the pizza looked like it was good. Had I not been in a snazzy Italian place, I probably would have liked to have it. For dessert, we had this fruit compote crepe thing. It was good. After dinner, I went back to the library to study for a while.

New word of the day: bubble and squeak = cabbage and potatoes

Cheerio poppets!

6:51 PM

Wednesday Week

Posted by Melody

I got up this morning at 8:15am and went down to breakfast. After breakfast, I came back up to the room and read for my CS Lewis class. I had lunch and finished up CS Lewis. I biked to class, had class, and went to the library after that. I could not really focus all that well at the library, so I did not get everything done that I wanted to get accomplished. I came back to the hotel at 11:30pm and went to bed.

New word of the day: flats = apartments/condominiums

Cheerio poppets!

11:53 PM

Catch-Up Day

Posted by Melody

Today was a day off for us Cambridge students. Basically, that means we have a day to catch up on all the work that we did not do over the week in London. I got up at 8am and went to breakfast. I had the usual. I say usual because the older lady, I call her Mrs. Sue, started saying my order when I said the first item. She even remembers how I like my eggs cooked. Haha!

I got back to the room and worked until lunch, which was a chicken and cheese rollup in a roll. I forgot to say that I went grocery shopping yesterday. I need to find a different place to shop because they were more of a snack/food convenience store. I want fruit and vegetables! I came back to the room and turned in my 2nd case study for Global Perspectives. Then I worked some more until I ended up going to bed at 11pm.

New word of the day: ice lolly = lollypop

Cheerio poppets!

1:09 PM

Old & New Trivia Question

Posted by Melody

Hello there everyone! I know you have been anxiously awaiting more entries and I am working on getting those up, complete with pictures and video! As the end of the trip approaches, I am becoming very busy making sure that everything is good and ready to turn in before I come home. Thank you for being so patient and encouraging during these times. I do appreciate it very much.

Now, for the results to last month's poll! Thanks to all of you who participated. What did you guess? Did you get the right answer? Well, let us find out, shall we?

Question: The board game known as "draughts" in the UK is the equivalent of which game in the US?

Answer: Checkers

Seven of you (26%) guessed the right answer, good for you! It seems that Battleship was the popular choice with 9 votes (33%) out of the 27 people who voted. Sequence and Scrabble followed closely behind with 5 (19%) and 6 (22%) votes, respectively.

If you look over to the left-hand side of the page (where February’s poll was located), you will find March’s trivia question ready and waiting to be answered. You can find a hint in the song "Be Our Guest" from the movie "The Beauty And The Beast" by Disney.

Cheerio poppets!

1:09 PM

Tower Of London To Cambridge

Posted by Melody

I got up early this morning and packed the rest of my stuff up to have it in the lobby by 9am; then I had breakfast. After I got finished with breakfast, I put my stuff on the bus and we were off to the Tower of London. Along the way, I quickly snapped some popular places in London that I did not have time to see; like the London Eye and Big Ben...

Big Ben & London Eye

Big Ben

The London Eye

We got to the Tower of London and was processed through, much like that of an airport. We put our little "educational visitor" stickers on and were set loose to explore. I went to the area where you could walk along the wall and inside different places. There were many coins and the like on display, as well as pottery and figures that children would play with. One sight that I thought was pretty cool was seeing the Tower Bridge out of a window of the Tower of London...

Tower Bridge from the window at the Tower of London

I circled through all of the displays and saved looking at the Crown Jewels of England for the last part. The exhibition had panels hanging up telling the history of the people who used the jewels, where they came from, and how they were used throughout history. As I moved closer to the jewels themselves, I watched 4 videos along the way. One was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, following with videos about the various pieces seen from the first video played side by side with parts of the video where they were used. I then got to see the crown jewels, as well as tons of gold and other jewels. It was quite a sight to see. I do not think I could ever forget the punchbowl. It was almost my height, three times my size, and it was all gold. Even the punch scoop was gold...wow.

After I was finished there, I picked up a postcard for mom and dad and then headed back to the bus. Our bus had a problem with it, so we waited a few minutes on the replacement bus to come. We shifted our stuff and then we were off to Cambridge.

I put my stuff in the room and got a little situated, then went to Staples for some school stuff. After that, I organized my papers for school and reconnected my laptop via VNC. I went off to do laundry and I read some stuff for class while the load was washing and drying. I came back and put my laundry up, then checked my e-mail and such, and went to bed.

New word of the day: drawing pin = thumbtack

Cheerio poppets!