People and Places and Foods and Things and Stuff-2014

new year statues

It’s inevitable that whenever a year draws to a close, people feel the need to constantly ram down your throat how amazing their year has been and all the wonderful things they’ve done. It becomes annoying and unrelenting, so that’s why I waited for it all to simmer down so I can ram this blog post down your throats. Actually I just procrastinated too much over Christmas so much that this post wasn’t ready yet.

This isn’t actually a joke, this is what I did on New Year’s…but mainly because I like cheesecake.

But in all seriousness, I decided it would be a good idea to review what has been an incredibly interesting year…I also realise the only entry in my blog thus far is a rant about missing a train. So I’d like to share with you some of my highlights from the past year and tell you a little about myself along the way. Here we go.

edinburgh January

…what happened in January? I don’t even know what happened yesterday. I planned to review 2014 month my month but January to April escapes me. So after delving into the depths of social media I realised I went to Edinburgh. A deep freezer of a city where five layers of clothes are insufficient… and I’m from Newcastle. I really enjoyed exploring the city and catching? frostbite. Trying to cross the park in the city centre entailed standing still at one side, and letting the slight slope and frozen ground slowly carry you to the other side.

February 

This month is slightly more firm in my memory, a lot happened this month.

Firstly, of all places, I visited Hull with some friends. Hull you ask? Why Hull? (or if you’re from Hull “stop hating on Hull”) A friend was going for an offer holder today so a group of us went to accompany her and make a weekend out of it. *totally didn’t go for free buffet*

Hull actually exceeded all my expectations, well I had 0 expectations to start with so it wasn’t particularly hard. Their white phone boxes are pretty cool. There’s alcohol there. Enough said.

Also in February I took part in my school musical, West Side Story. I had a lot of fun and I’d like to get involved with something similar at Imperial-he says uncommittedly.

My highlight of highlights for February (if that is a thing) was a German exchange in Berlin. In 2013 I travelled to Freiburg with my school for an exchange but this one in Berlin was a first. My German partner and her friends visited us for a week before we joined them in Berlin shortly after. Berlin is a very cool city.

checkpoint charlie IMG_20141003_103549 east side gallery

One week of Schnitzel Brötchen, Ka De We and tequila simply wasn’t enough. I can’t wait to return to the city as soon as possible and visit the amazing friends I made there.

One more very exciting thing happened in February: I received an email inviting me to interview at Imperial College. The place I had written off for the past four months actually wanted to interview me.

picadilly london March

This is the month where my university-related nervousness reached its peak. March being the month where medical schools give out most of their offers (and rejections), checking my emails and scrolling through student rooms quickly took over my life. Amazingly, one week in I received an offer. In that moment sixth months of fear and anxiety disappeared completely.  Then the day before my interview at Imperial I received a second offer.

Travelling to London, I had no nerves at all, I didn’t need it. But within little time there I knew London was where I wanted to be… and anxiety quickly returned. I left my eight minute long interview not quite sure what to make of it.

April aphrodite's rock

I spent easter with family in Cyprus for some much wanted probably less deserved rest

Shortly after I returned to Edinburgh for a day, and to my surprise the place had warmed up a couple degrees.

Later in April my fear once again subsided when I received an offer from Imperial. I was quite awestruck that I would actually be studying medicine at Imperial College- he says modestly.

May

Early in May I returned to London but this time to travel to Germany for a kpop concert. Yeah you read that correctly, I traveled all the way to Germany for a kpop concert. Kpop is probably my favourite music genre (what do I mean probably, of course it is). Over the past two years it’s grown into a passion of mine, so much I was willing to travel to Düsseldorf to see one of my favourite groups (and stuff like this is pretty common in the kpop fandom) The concert was really cool and I got to spend the weekend in Düsseldorf and Cologne, which was really nice.

south ken houses IMG_20140915_105013_reduced cologne

Meanwhile, at the end of May I finally escaped 6th form.

2014-10-03 17.39.40_reducedJune

June was pretty uneventful. The majority consisted of A level exams. Bore. Bore. Bore. And then the usual things like Prom.

Perhaps the most exciting thing for me in June was joining au pair world. With three months of nothingness ahead of me I wasn’t really sure what to do, so I joined an au pair website. Within one week I was contacted by a family in Italy asking me to teach their children English over the summer.

 

July

After a few conversations over Skype and some organising, I set off for Italy, with no knowledge of Italian, not to return for seven weeks. At first it was quite strange living with a family I’d only known a couple weeks but it soon became normality. Living in Verona was amazing, it’s beautful, almost as beautiful as the food is delicious.

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At the end of July I accompanied my host family on their holiday in southern Italy. First we visited their family in Rome.

I’d visited in Rome twice before, but the ancient city somehow never gets old.  I got to see some of the things overlooked by a lot of tourists…I never knew you could actually visit the top of St Peters-the cupolone.

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Also I got to help prepare a five course feast… most of the Italian I know now is food words.

2014-08-03_1407085748August

Leaving Rome, we set off for Scalea, a small seaside town in the South. We spent the week by the beach and ate even more amazing food, with this amazing view from my bedroom:

Shortly after we spent the next week in Morcone, a little village in the mountains with the Grandparents. The village was so picturesque, with thin, winding cobbled streets and houses going back to Medieval times.

While there we visited Naples, my host family’s home town, and I was taught how to make lasagne by an italian grandmother!

 

 

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In my last few weeks there I was lucky enough to visit Venice, Florence and Milan. All very beautiful but different cities.

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While in Venice I also had my place at Imperial finally confirmed by UCAS.
Eventually it all had to come to an end. The food I’d tried and the places I’d visited were lovely, but even more lovely were the family that I’d become a part of throughout. They’re like a second family to me now and I was very sad to leave them.

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2014-10-03 16.44.11_reducedNevertheless, I wasn’t long back in England before I set off for Cyprus with my friends from 6th form. We shared a great week together before everyone went their separate ways off to uni.

September

September mainly involved me preparing to move to Uni. But somehow I ended up returning to Germany…for a kpop festival.
The visit was slightly ruined when the Korean man organising it ran off with everyone’s money and cancelled the festival. Yeah.
But luckily I hadn’t bought my ticket yet…so instead I used the money to visit Amsterdam while I was there.

I got to explore more of Düsseldorf, and visit a friend au pairing in Münster. I’ve ran out of adjectives at this point. So here are pictures. Look at them

 

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October

So finally after two weeks at home like a child waiting for Christmas, I finally move to London and start at Imperial. Fresher’s fortnight was perhaps two of the best weeks of my life *tries to avoid cliches*   I made some amazing friends, learnt and forgot a lot of names, and did a lot of damage to my liver.

Uni life is a lot different to 6th form but I’m really enjoying it. There’s always something going on, whether it be with a society at Imperial or an event in the city. London is a really exciting place and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.

freshers roxy

At the end of October I attended MCM/Comicon/London Expo/whatever you wan’t to call it.
Anime is another passion of mine, like Kpop, my relationship with anime is verging on unhealthy. Nevertheless I was super excited to see many of my favourite characters in real life, and spend money on stuff I didn’t need.
Halloween was a very exciting holiday to spend online. It’s probably my favourite holiday, when else is someone going to walk past you outside Sainsbury’s dressed as Willy Wonka (their child was an umpa lumpa!)  Personally I spent the holiday putting too much make up/face paint on.

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November

This month I attended another convention-Hyper Japan. One especially weird thing was managing to get drunk on free sake samples at 10am… that convention centre was spinning. I got to volunteer there on Sunday too, working at the marital martial arts area. I didn’t get drunk this time.

November was also full of concerts for me.

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One of the great things about Uni is being exposed to a loads of new music. Baby Metal, a great example, I ended up seeing in concert, which is best described as an experience, very different to other rock genres, but lots of fun nonetheless

My cancelled kpop festival was redeemed by a concert as part of the London Korean Film Festival. I got to meet a lot of cool people who make my passion for kpop seem like a casual hobby. There was a mini concert in Leicester Square, alongside a selection of Korean film

xmas dinnerDecember

Finally my blog went live, and for those who read my last entry they know I had a really traumatising journey on a train *still slightly scarred*
this was also the time where a very stress free first term became not so. Seven assignments due in the final week resulted in half the medic year locking themselves in their rooms. And everybody had between one and six people not turn up to tutorials or PBL because they were ‘ill’.
Never have I had so many Christmas dinners in one December. Hall Christmas dinner. Floor Christmas dinner. Society Christmas dinners.
And finally the assignments stopped and I returned for Christmas and ate an obscene amount of food and caught up with a lot of friends.

So looking back on all of this, I’ve really enjoyed 2014. It’s hard to avoid those inevitable clichés when it comes to a New Year, but I really mean it when I say it has been a year like no other *shudders at cliché*
There’s a lot of things in this entry that I could write endlessly about. But shouldn’t. So I’ll save them for another time.
This year I plan to get a lot more content on this blog, so go on, bookmark me. You know you want to.
Hopefully my future posts will be less procrastinated over…like a post about New Year’s over a week after New Year’s. And I’ll come up with more adjectives, and say amazing less.
But I’ll leave you with this, we are now just as far from 2030 as we are from 2000. I’m not really sure how to deal with this information.

new year's resolution

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