Wednesday, 16 November 2011

In Which Stratford Steals My Heart.

As some of you may know I work for Give It A Go, at my University's student union. This means I get to do cool stuff and get paid for it essentially. Last Saturday was my first proper proper day trip, to Stratford-upon-Avon. I wasn't originally looking forward to it, because I had no-one to go with, and so was planning to spend the day holed up in a coffee shop learning my lines for my upcoming shows*. However, when I got to Stratford I decided that I might as well see some of the sights before I did so, and I'm glad that I did.
First thing I found was an antiques shop that was selling all sorts of nick nacks and bits, and spent a good half an hour perusing their shelves. 
I eventually treated myself to some beautiful early 20th century leather bound books, which smell amazing, and a little pottery bottle just because it was particularly pretty.
I sort of love them a bit.
After dragging myself out of there (eventually), I headed for lunch at a pub that had originally attracted me because of its cheap prices** but actually had really good food (beautifully cooked fish and chips, yum yum) and very friendly staff. It was a really enjoyable meal for me, just because I felt very looked after and the food was GOOD. Can't want for much more.
With my stomach full and my spirits light I made my way back up Henley Street to The Museum of Wizardology which is just like Harry Potter world in Orlando. Only without the rides, and confined to the top floors of an old Tudor house. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and I walked around giggling the whole time. Oh and just so you know...
I'm officially a Wizard now. So you'd better just watch out.
My next destination was Shakespeare's grave, located in the Holy Trinity Church, some 20 minutes dawdle away. It was a very pretty walk though, lined with black and white Tudor houses and trees and generally lots of beautiful buildings. The church itself is also pretty spectacular, and I say that as someone who doesn't really like churches!*** Inside and out, it's a lovely place to cast your eye over.
Unnecessarily Arty-Farty photo, I know. But you get the gist.
I walked back towards the centre of town along the riverside, which was very peaceful and relaxing. The path takes you past two of the town's theatres (and who doesn't love a good theatre?) and ends up at the Swan Statue, where I found a man playing the violin to the afternoon gatherings. I sat here for a while and read my book, just because it was really relaxing. When it got a bit chilly to sit outside,  I found a little cafe in a Tudor building and treated myself to a hot chocolate with marshmallows, because sometimes it just has to be done.

Despite my earlier misgivings, I actually had a fantastic day out. It was nice to just be able to decide what I wanted to do and do it, without having to consult or convince anyone else, and it was a good thing to spend some quality time with myself-something I don't do much of any more. Most of all though, I fell a little bit in love with Stratford itself. It is so calm and serene and didn't feel like a big town at all. It's also beautiful-everywhere you go is some new sight to enjoy and appreciate. I made a resolution to myself-one day I am going to live there in a higgledy piggledy little Tudor cottage full of old nick nacks from that antique shop. I might even go as far as saying it's my favourite ever place. More even than Sheffield, and that's saying something. I can't wait to go back again, who wants to come?

So, from me, and from Shakespeare, Goodbye for now.
And what a goodbye sight this is.

*Have a quick plug-come and see our Xmas Panto! It's all for charity and it's fabulously funny!
**What I didn't realise at the time was that they were only Monday-Friday cheap prices, and so it cost me a little more than I thought it would. Ah well.
***I have an inability to speak in the required hushed tones, and generally feel a bit awkward in them. I have never understood that anyway-why can't churches be loud places?

Friday, 4 November 2011

I'm Grateful For...

Seen a couple of these posts and really like the idea behind them. So here are some of the things I have been grateful for in recent times. (In no particular order)

-A friend who lives 10,000 miles away so that she is awake at stupid o clock (my time) to tell me to shut up and go to sleep now.

Beautifully modelling a lift here.
-This lady, who is perhaps the best housemate I could ever ask for. She invited me to live in this awesome house. She gives me loo roll in times of emergency. She prints essays out for me when my printer has no cables to do so. She brings me Icecream. She texts me to make sure I am up for my lectures, and lends me her notes when I'm not. She's generally a mummy, and I would be rather worse for wear without her.

-My Nate, who has made my life so much better over the last few years. He makes me smile a lot.

-My Twinny, who never denies me a lift in her car no matter how much I deface it with my tongue. A lady who never says no to a favour, coz she's got a heart of gold. She wears stupid hats with me so I'm not alone.

This photo still makes me giggle-my Dad fails at taking photos at arms length
-The Parentals, without whom I would never have been able to afford to stay in university. And probably would never have gone in the first place. Sometimes I forget just how grateful I am for everything they do for me.

-This strange one, who has known me for all of her life and not got fed up of me yet. That's some achievement there I think. She's a bit silly. (I kinda like it)

-USLES, who have filled my university times with hilarity and awesomeness. Made me their principle boy and then their president. Would be so lost without them.

Thank you all, for being a part of my life. You've all been fabulous. And sometimes, so have I.

Until next time,

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Chivalry, Is It Dead & Does Anyone Even Care Anyway?

Some things in life make me cross. Generally being around 'the public' is one of them. (I'm not really a people person). But some things make me more cross than others-today for instance (you knew that was coming didn't you?). I was sat on a train, minding my own business, when it began to slow down to pull into my station. I put my hand on the pole to indicate (so I thought) that I wanted to stand up. All of a sudden the aisle next to me filled with blokes, all pushing and shoving. One of them nearly hit me in the face with his holdall. By this time we had pulled into the station, and I actually couldn't stand up because there was someone so close to my face, and I had no wish to scrape it along some strangers bum just in order to get off the train. It's not like I had masses of stuff (one fairly small ruck sack and a carrier bag), but I just couldn't get out of my seat. And you know something? Not one of the blokes jostling me waited for me to get out before they pushed past me. In the end I just shoved my way past the next person in line, muttering angrily under my breath.
So I ask the question, is Chivalry actually dead?
Now I know my feminist friends are probably going to be reading this in horror thinking "But Jenni, you're an independent modern woman! Why should you want men to wait for you?", and don't get me wrong-I hate the way men objectify and lust over women along with the rest of you. I think far too many men have far too little respect for women as a whole, and it's something that really does need to change.  But I actually find it quite nice when men show a little bit of courtesy towards me. In fairness, I would have been just as cross if it had been women stampeding past me on the train too, so I guess all I wanted was for someone to be polite enough to offer me the chance to get out before them, rather than shoving my shoulder out of the way as if I wasn't there.
But ladies, let me put this to you, as I am genuinely interested in your answers. Say you were walking along a corridor with a man you knew, a friend, a colleague, a boyfriend etc, and he stepped ahead of you to open the door for you and allow you to go through first. Would you feel pleased that he thought of you, or would you feel patronised that he felt the need to help you out? I personally have never felt offended when this happens to me, I see it as more of a compliment really. I don't think he's saying "You are woman, woman cannot open door", but more enjoy the pleasure of having someone do something nice for me. I have never objected if my boyfriend offers to carry one of my bags for me, or when he walks on the outside next to the road so I don't get hit by a runaway carriage. It makes me feel good, coz it's like he is looking after me. I don't understand why people take so much offence to it, personally.

But let me know what you think!
Is Chivalry dead, and if it is do you miss it/think it should come back?


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

My Week, The Highs and the Lows

Something different this week, because I am bored of posting more pictures than text. Here's a summary of my week, then.
Highpoint: Tuesday. Got inked. Have wanted this done for ages, and now I am falling in love with it a bit more every day. Good job really, considering it's on me for the rest of my life-eek.

Lowpoint:  Wednesday night (Technically Thursday morning.) Minor emotional breakdown at half past 5 in the morning. Very very grateful for having a friend in Australia who was awake to tell me that I was being stupid and to go to bed. Sound advice. (Thank you!)
Lowpoint: Thursday, busy busy.
Highpoint: Thursday. Sign Language class-first of the term. Hard work but very gratifying. I can now say elephant in sign language, and who doesn't want to do that? 
Highpoint: Thursday evening. Skype with Amycakes. Who spent a large portion of the conversation with a rubber duck (named Felicity) on her head. 
What can I say? My friends are weirdos. I also made her fall off her chair laughing 2 and a half times, because I am awesome. 
Lowpoint: Friday afternoon. A very stressful train journey for a girl who doesn't deal well with being surrounded by lots of people...
Highpoint: I got my cuddle. And then I went and spent a lot of time in Asda with Nate and Zoe and Jason. I bought nice clothes, and it was actually rather a lot of fun. Yep, we are that cool. 
Highpoint: Saturday/Sunday. LITTLE SHOW. Fabulousness. Dancing like a drunken old lady, being one half of the cutest Tweedles around, performing one of my favourite songs with 8 other wonderful voices, getting on stage without any costume catastrophies and actually feeling sexy in my corset. Never having to sing Katy Perry's Firework again, going wrong within the first 30 seconds of stepping on stage, and making everyone else in the cast giggle. Awesome people. It was, quite frankly, brilliant. 
Lowpoint: The end of Little Show. The end of me constantly being busy on a Sunday. All my friends doing North Notts and me being on the periphery watching, and hearing about it. Sigh. I know it's for the best and all, but I am gonna miss those guys/being busy. But I guess you can't have it all.

So for now, that's me.

Jenni x

Thursday, 13 October 2011

My Week In Photos Parts IV & V

"Jenni! We did not get a 'Week In Photos' post last week!", I hear you cry.
I know, I know, and I am very sorry about this. I have just not taken many photos recently.
To make up for it...I am going to give you a special, limited time only offer of TWO WEEKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE. Which is nothing but your time, so it's not much of a bargain, I am afraid, but here goes.

First day back at uni after summer, first lecture, first 9am start, first day of being perpetually exhausted.
I got through it, just, but it was a close call.
Second day of lectures, second 9am start, 2nd can of Relentless in 2 days...
Oh and this-
Give It A Go Chocolate Tasting. Best job in the world??
Wednesday was a looooong day working at the Fresher's Fair. 
By the end of it I was aching all over and all I wanted to do was sit in a hot bath until I was entirely wrinkly and then have a massage. 
It broke me!
After the Fresher's Fair was finally over, I limped my way to the USLES casting session, and was very pleasantly surprised by the vast numbers of people there to audition for us. So many in fact that we have ended up with two entirely separate casts for the Uni and the Kids cast shows. As President, I am VERY excited about this!  I am playing "Clean Dick", which also makes me jolly.
I went to my Nate's house after uni, and pretty much slept through to the next day, for I was a very tired girly!  I just can't cope with 4 9am lectures in a row-I am only a student after all!
I can't recall I did much of note, apart from went home (Nottingham home rather than Sheffield home) to prepare for dress rehearsal weekend. 
Dress rehearsals for The Little Show at the two venues. Hard work but good fun.

Presidential training-I am now qualified to say "We're not insured for that".
First USLES Committee meeting of the year.
First USLES rehearsal of the year-awesome times. Looking forward to our show very much!!
No lectures, which was odd and left me feeling a bit displaced in the world. 
Met up with Roz for a brief flying visit, which was a lovely catch up.
Saw The Wombats at the O2 Arena in Sheffield-which was pretty damn awesome.
Went Geocaching with Elita and actually found one!
Such a feeling of accomplishment! 
Rode the Paternoster with Elita and admired the gorgeous view from the top.
USLES's second rehearsal-get to know your characters!
BusyBusy-lots of lectures all crammed in on a Thursday for no good reason.
Bit more of a chill out day this one, spent a lot of time preening myself coz I am a peacock.
(Also coz my Nate was coming around and I am, somewhere underneath, a girl)
GIAG Yorkshire Wildlife Park trip. If it hadn't have been raining all day, it would have been a fab day out!
This is Casper, the only lemur brave enough to play in the rain.  A bit cheeky too!
Also went to Goose Fair with Nate and Zoe and Jason! Fun times.
No photos though, due to the rain and the chavs likely to nick the camera!

Final Little Show rehearsal, eek! Looking good though!

And on to the next week!
I realise this is very delayed-what can I say? Rubbish!

Until next time,
Jennibear x x

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Hello Sunshine...

I have, quite ironically, had this song stuck in my head today. I say quite ironically, because if you have ever spent any time in the mornings with me you will know I am a very grumpy person indeed. My housemate said "Hello Sunshine" to me at about 8.45 the other day and I actually growled at her. I am, I think it's fair to say, unequivocally not a morning person.

Another housemate sent me a picture the other day of "How to feel more alive in the mornings" or something similar. It was filled with nauseating advice such as "get out of bed and do 10 star jumps-the blood flowing around your body will really wake you up". It was clearly written by someone who already is a morning person-because I can't think of anything I would like to do less when I have just got out of bed. Apart from another one of their suggestions-"Have a cold shower, if you can bear it."-I can't, and neither can any sensible bear-like lumbering sleepy mass. My preferred way to wake up and be fairly able to tolerate the day is when the hour is at least in double figures.
However, this morning something fairly miraculous happened. After my 9am POINTLESS tutorial, which lasted for all of 10 minutes, I was cross, and grumpy, and veryvery tired. At which point me and a course-mate decided we were going to ride the newly re-opened Paternoster lift in the Arts Tower. Why yes, it is the tallest one in the UK. I have wanted to go on it since my first open day way back in 2007, but it has sadly been closed since I started at Uni. Not today though. Today we rode it all the way to the top, and got out to see if we could find a good view, which we did-in the toilets of all places. Thankfully, there weren't too many people around on the 18th floor at quarter past 9 in the morning, so we spent a good while just drinking in the sights across Sheffield. And oh what a view!
My city is, quite frankly, gorgeous.
The sun was streaming through the clouds, and we could see for miles. B-E-A-Utiful. And all of a sudden, I didn't feel tired or grumpy any more. It was just so lovely being up there looking out over the city which was still barely awake itself. If it wasn't so weird just hanging out in the girl's toilets, I would spend much more time there, just waking up.

So. There is my advice to you grumpy morning faces. Find something beautiful that takes your breath away, and you shed the grumpiness like an uncomfortable jumper.
On the other end of the spectrum, I am going to bed.
G'dnight x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Atheists; The New Evangelicals?

As you may know I am at university currently, woop and yay. At university, people join societies to meet with like minded people and to generally have a nice chat about it every once in a while. Also yay. Some of my friends at university are in the Atheist Society. Fine, no issues thus far.
I recently read this on one of their posts: "Child rape by Priests makes me feel physically sick. How anyone can be associated with this disgusting institution by calling themselves a Catholic is beyond me."  
Now this is where I find myself a stumbling block. I have no issue with people being in the Atheist Soc. I can appreciate that like minded people want to club together and chat about the things that they believe in (or not, as the case may be) together. My issue falls in the condemning of other people's beliefs just because of things that people in the organisation did. Don't get me wrong, I think it's deplorable that this has been allowed to happen within the Catholic church, but I don't think that people who worship as a Catholic should be tarred with the same brush. I don't think that Catholicism is a bad thing, and I don't think that anyone has any right to tell someone what they believe and live their lives by is wrong. I am an Atheist, but I don't begrudge anyone their faith. I don't rush up to people in Churches shouting that "God isn't real!" because everyone has to make their own mind and heart up. I totally understand that people draw strength, and wisdom and morality from their religions, and I don't think anyone from anywhere should be telling people that their belief system is wrong. Religions, as a whole, are very good at this. Anyone who believes in anything other than what they teach is, usually, damned. What intrigues me is that in this case it is the Atheists, the very people who go against major religions sort of...acting a bit like one. Evangelical Atheism...the very idea is terrifying. 

Monday, 26 September 2011

My Week In Photos the 3rd

Welcome to Intro Week
Well I just survived Intro Week (Fresher's Week for all you alcoholics) at my University, which was busy busy but very fun.

Unpacking shot number 1: I think I need a pen holder
Unpacking shot 2: I had SO much fun making my earrings look this pretty.

Cream Tea in the Leopold Hotel following a city centre tour. Yum.
That would be me sorting out David's boobs for him.
In other words, a perfectly normal USLES activities fair. 
Little bit gutted I didn't get to have a go on this..but I was in charge of the Top Gear-style score board!!

I watched two of my favourite people get married today. It was AWESOME.
Wedding of the Year, no doubt about it.


No photo, but first Little Show costume rehearsal. I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise!

Until next time then, 
Have a marvellous week!
Jenni x

Friday, 23 September 2011

Intro Week 2011

You know, I had forgotten just how much fun you can have in an Intro Week. Sure, they're busybusy times, but I am rather enjoying myself despite this. And although some people will find it hard to believe, I am enjoying it without having had a drop of alcohol, or going out once!
This is Felicity. Isn't she lovely?

I'm enjoying being around people again-I am in a house of brand new housemates, so it feels a bit like Fresher's week all over again as I am still getting to know them all. Not to mention there is 7 of them, so it's a busy house, but a nice one. 

As I mentioned in my coming home post, I enjoy the moving in to a new house experience. I still haven't got everything completely unpacked, mainly due to No More Nails related mishaps, (It doesn't do what it says on the tin.) but my room definitely has my own personal stamp on it and it makes me smile so much to spend time amongst the wonderful things people have given me. When it's completely done, I will take some photos to show it off.

I started my university job this week, working for Give It A Go. So far, it's been pretty good-especially the tour around Sheffield which took me to some places I didn't even know about, and ended with a scrumptious Cream Tea in the Leopold Hotel. Tomorrow I am supervising people racing a simulation of an F1 car, and I am really hoping I get to have a go myself, coz it sounds like it's going to be pretty fun!!

I bought two pairs of jeans for £20 (did I mention I LOVE Student Discount?), and some other bits and pieces and spent a nice afternoon retail therapying without really buying much. I did get a penguin T-Shirt that says Chill Out though, because it makes me jolly.

Today was the Activities Fair, and I was there with my society USLES trying to recruit new members for the coming term. I would say we did fairly well, as at the end of the day there were over a hundred new names on our sign up list. It was massively busy but I had lots of amazing helpers there with me, and I really enjoyed myself, as I always do when in USLES-company. 

This evening was an odd one-an Ann Summers party with the housemates I have barely begun to live with. It could have been very awkward, but ended up being quite fun and silly overall. However, I don't think the day will come where it won't still feel awkward to be encouraged to rub goo on your nipples in front of people, however close friends you may be. 

And so tomorrow rolls around, and I shall be heading straight home after work for a busy busy weekend, that promises to be just as fun as the rest of this week.
For now then,
Goodnight x x

Oh, about the duck. If you look very closely, you will see it says 'Intro Week 2011' on its front. My Union was giving these away for free today. That's how awesome it is. Sheffield SU FTW. And now to bed.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Books Vs E-Readers.

Yesterday I came across this rather interesting article, posted on Twitter. Reading it, I realised there were so many more reasons for and against E-Readers than I had ever considered. The author raises some valid points, that they are very useful for people who cannot physically hold up a book long enough to read it without being in considerable pain, which I had never even thought about before. On the flip side though, I think it would be a pretty disastrous  thing if they suddenly stopped publishing books properly (as I see it), and only "published" them in an E-Book format. Not only would they limit the number of people who could access and read their books, as the article points out, but I personally think it would take all the enjoyment out of reading. Holding a piece of electronic wonder in your hand would never be the same as holding a never-before-opened paperback, knowing that as you turned the cover you were the first person ever to be doing so. Books have a certain smell, a certain feel. Shelves full of books look so appealing, you want to run your finger over the spine, you want to pull them out and examine them, and curl up in front of a fire reading one. I love to get lost in books-when a book is so good that you have to read it without stopping, and whenever you have to put it down, all you want to do is start again. With an E-Reader you can't flick through the pages to see how long before the next chapter, when you really should go to bed. You can't easily flick back to a page where something was previously mentioned to make sure you get it. To me, it seems like you are one step removed from the book-reading process-almost like someone else is holding a book in front of you and turning the pages for you. It just seems so strange, such an alien concept to not have the physical thing, and I am sure it's much more easy to get lost in your imagination from a book than from a computerised version. My house is FULL of books. If anything we have too many, they are everywhere and so few of them get read nowadays. But I would never swap the mess and the clutter, and the simple lack of being able to find that one book that you really want to read for a tiny computer that held the same books. It just wouldn't be right, it wouldn't be home.
So no, an E-Reader most definitely isn't for me.
How about you?


Monday, 19 September 2011

My Week In Photos the 2nd


eBay parcels going out to make my fortune (?)
I have spent most of my day reading this book. It's very dark, and very good.
I spent an awesome day at White Post Farm with Rara.
I want a piglet. That sleepy one just there.
Met with team GIAG today in preparation for Intro Week starting Mon. Exciting =)

Choir Rehearsal for Kaye and Lloyd's wedding was pretty much my day today.
We sounded AWESOME.
No photo for you today folks.
I have packed up my life into hundreds of bags and I am going back to Sheffield tomorrow =D

Lotsa stuff headed for home =)

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Blue Skies Through The Tears In My Eyes...

...and I realise
I'm going home.
Extra Brownie points to anyone who gets the quote.
So. I am all moved in to my new shiny paint-smelling bedroom, and for good this time. I say all moved in, and I mean in physical proximity only- I have yet to unpack the thousands of bags that seem to have journeyed with me up here and find homes for all of the things that I doubtless need but brought anyway. This is what I should be doing with my evening. Instead, I intend to have a shower and then watch Doctor Who, after moving enough rammel* off my bed for me to get into it. Tomorrow I shall do the sensible unpacking things, and to be honest I am rather looking forward to the part where I get to make things have a place to live in my room-it makes it more mine. 
I love the whole process of moving in to a new student room, even though this is the third time I have done so and I seem to accumulate more stuff every semester. It's the claiming of the space as your own, turning it from that drab and dreary plain room into something that has your stamp on it, that is full of familiar things that are put in the places exactly where you wanted them to go. It's very therapeutic, and personally makes me feel quite proud at the end of it-when I can look around and marvel at what I have created. Once it's done, once it's finished, I will take some photos of it to show you and you can decide what you would have done differently. That's the best bit, it's entirely my own and no-one else would do it quite the same.
Until then, I am going to just enjoy being home again.

Jenni x

*Rammel is a word my mother uses to describe general clutter and stuff.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

My Life Changing Moments

Inspired by the lovely Amycakes's post, I decided I too wanted to challenge myself to pinpoint the 5 moments that have made me who I am today. I love getting lost in memories from time to time, and whether they be happy or sad they all affect us somehow. But how to choose only 5 that have shaped me into, well, me? I am, after all, only 21, I haven't finished university yet and I don't even consider myself to be a proper 'adult'. Even so, once I thought about it, and really thought about it, I could find those defining moments that put me on the path I am walking today.
So my 5 Life Changing Moments are:

- 7th July 2002
The day before my 12th birthday I had a fairly unique opportunity. Thanks to my drama school Theatretrain, I was standing at the front of the stage of Her Majesty's Theatre, London, belting my heart out at singing 'Do You Hear The People Sing' with 2 other girls. I realised how amazing I felt, and how much I wanted to do this forever. It sparked my desire to be on a stage, and gave me the best feeling in the world-that of being in a spotlight doing what you love. I've been in at least one performance every year since. I have a lot to thank them for.

-5th-19th November 2005
Simply put, I fell in love for the first time. Everyone remembers their first love, the magic, the fireworks, the constant desire to be near them etc etc. It was all that and more, and at the time was all I had ever wanted. It started me off in the right direction to becoming me, but I had a long way to go.

-14th August 2008
This was my A-Level results day, and things didn't quite go as I had wanted them to...That day and the next couple of weeks led to me, one way or another, having a gap year. At first I was a bit upset that I hadn't gone to uni that year, but looking back I am glad I did it, because it made me grow up a lot, in all sorts of ways. A lot of things would be very different now if I had got the grades I had originally wanted.

-7th-25th March 2009
This was a crazy couple of weeks. I learned that I was stronger than I thought and that I could stand on my own, which I hadn't known how to before. I realised that I had gone and fallen in love again, and I was so grateful to find out the feeling was mutual. I realised I wasn't happy, and what I needed to do about it, and most importantly what would make me happy again. What's been making me happy ever since. Best decision I ever made.

-24th September 2009
I was wandering around the Activities Fair on my own, a new university student still a little in awe of everything. I stopped in front of the theatre stalls, and asked what the difference was between the three of them. A strange man with long hair wearing a cape thrust a leaflet at me and began talking very animatedly to me. I liked him straight away, he was honest and funny. And so I joined USLES, and found my home at uni. We have the best of times.

And here I am, better for all of these times. I wouldn't be me without them, and then who would I be?
Can you pick out your five??

Until next time,

Friday, 16 September 2011

My Week In Photos the 1st

My Week In Photos (MWIP if I am feeling lazy) is a photo snap shot of my life for the previous week, as a sort of diary for myself. I am aiming to post one every Monday, although I cannot promise that there will be 7 photos each week. I have imported them here from my other blog because I feel this is a better home for them. GIAG Diaries is about doing new things and trying new experiences, Life and Times is more about me, about my life, about the ordinary adventures. Because every day IS an adventure really, so what better way to remember them?
I give you then, My Week In Photos.

This is my 'Before' Hair shot. Ignore the dodgy light and tired eyes.
was meant to get my hair cut today but the hairdresser was ill, so that didn't happen...
This is not an 'After' hair shot. Fright Night at the cinema. I didn't rate it.
I saw my Nate. No photo, coz I forgot!

Ditto for Thursday! It was spent tidying Nate's room.

Trev's Leaving Party, for she is going to London to be dancey and stuff
Spent the whole day with these lovelies! It was very giggly.

I spend all my Sundays with these weirdos. It's quite fun.
(Little Show 2011)

And there you have it!
I will see you next week,
Jenni x

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Lovely, rainy, crazy Edinburgh II

To start with let me apologise for these posts taking SOOOO long, I started them the day I got home but have slowly managed to forget about them due to the 5 resits I have just had to complete. Boo. However, they are now behind me (Woo!) so it is time to party on and get down to doing all the things on my to do list. Including finishing these somewhat delayed blog here I am!

We awoke on the morning of the 3rd August to see the sun shining brightly for the first time that week. We donned our summery clothes, and dug out our sunglasses from the bottom of our bags, and set off to climb this:
What that is is the Scott Monument which is a towering 200ft tall monument dedicated to the writer Walter Scott. It has 287 steps, the top set of which are decidedly narrow. So narrow in fact that I had to squeeze through almost sideways, and bring my right arm through afterwards...eech! However, it was VERY worth the uncomfortable climb because you could see for MILES due to the gorgeous weather. There were some absolutely beautiful views! We also found some graffiti from 1884 scratched into the walls, which we both thought was rather cool as vandalism goes.
Just look at this gorgeous city!
After climbing back down all those steps (and collecting a certificate for being awesome) we decided we had earned an ice cream, and went to sit outside the Scottish National Gallery to eat them. Rara promptly fell in love with a "Sexy Bagpipe Man" and sat there squeaking as he smiled at her, it was rather cute!
We spent much of the rest of the day awandering, sitting in the sunshine, and watching people rehearse in silly make-up for the Edinburgh Fringe. Oh and eventually we found this rather disappointing dog:
It was NOT worth it. Not at all.
That evening, we set about the near-impossible task of finding an Indian takeaway for our dinner. In the end we gave in, and resorting to getting the very lovely Elita to Google one for us. We ate our £25 tea at half past 10 that evening, with aching feet and hungry tummies. (Note to self: Next time just settle for the stuff you can find in restaurants, K?).

And so our final morning rolled around, with pendulous black clouds and heavy rain. We packed our bags and said our goodbyes to the lovely Travelodge, and set out to buy the last of our souvenirs and make the most of the short time we had left. We decided, as it was the day before the Fringe proper began, to indulge ourselves with some free comedy shows, just to say that we had. The first of these were the excellent Office Girls Gone Crazy, who made us laugh rather a lot with their naughty poems! Not sure Rara enjoyed being sat next to my over-loud laugh in the pub with only 5 other people in, but I can't help being loud and embarrassing, can I?! They even challenged us to a Limerick competition, and once I saw the first line, (There were some comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe...) I knew what had to be done. This was my effort:
There were some comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe,
With jokes that would make people cringe,
The blokes spoke of their poo
And the language turned blue, 
And the ladies all talked about Minge!
It was received rather well I thought, it's always fun making people snort because you used a naughty word ;)
After a very nice pub lunch for me, and lots of souvenirs for Rara, we found a nice man in the street with an umbrella, so we took a flyer from him and decided to go and watch him (and his friends) be funny too. They were the absolutely fabulous Three Blokes Tell Jokes , and they were so very good. We laughed until our sides hurt, I twitched and knocked a bottle of water over and got heckled by one of them, and it was a very amusing and enjoyable hour. Look out for them, because they are rising stars!
Then it was time for our very last few rainy hours in the beautiful Edinburgh, before boarding a train and heading homeward. I was very sad to leave, and I will be definitely be going back again! Who knows, I might even be performing there some day-watch this space!

So for now, from Edinburgh, from me, Goodbye. I will be seeing you soon, I don't doubt.

J x x 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Lovely, rainy, crazy Edinburgh I

My trip to Edinburgh a few weeks ago with my best friend Rara was my original summer holiday before Slovenia was even a twinkle in an eye. We wanted to go somewhere cheapish* that we hadn't been before, but that had plenty to do-and Edinburgh did not disappoint!
It all began on Monday the 1st August at stupid o clock in the morning. That's no exaggeration-our train was at 5.30am! After a horrifically cold shower, and a lot of grumbling we were ready for the off. Thankfully my new Sheffield house is only a twenty minute walk from the train station, so it wasn't too much hassle getting there. After changing trains at Doncaster we slept for most of the journey, thankfully! I did wake up in time to see the Angel of the North, and work out where we were crossing the Scottish border though, and our holiday had finally begun!
The minute we emerged blinking from the train station, (once we had actually found an exit that wasn't closed and was actually an exit!) we saw a traditional style topless bus pull up opposite us. As my mum had given us some money specifically to spend on "Going topless in Edinburgh**" we decided that's what we would do for the morning-see the city and decide where we wanted to visit. So we toured, we took photos, and we absorbed the beauty of the place we were to call home for the next few days. We ate our lunch in front of the Royal Yacht Britannia, just because we could.
That's it there. Yes, it appears to be in a cage.
By the time we had gotten the bus back into the town centre, we were definitely starting to flag due to lack of sleep, so we headed to our Travelodge, checked in, and HAD A NAP! We are so very rock and roll! We woke up a good two hours later, and with rumbly tumblies went foraging for food. We found it in the form of an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant near the station and boy did we take them up on that offer! Stuffed and happy, we headed back to the hotel for crap tele and sleeps.

The next day dawned bright and...chucking it down with rain. After all-we were in Scotland! This did little to dampen our spirits though (just for you, Mr. Matt), and we spent the morning perusing all the shops along the Royal Mileandabit, which were in turns very tacky and very expensive-but it was a nice relaxed way to pass the time.
Rara bought an AWESOME hat!
That afternoon, after soggy sandwiches in a shop doorway, we went to the Camera Obscura , which was pretty awesome as far as I am concerned! The Camera Obscura itself is a 160-year old lens which looks down at the people of Edinburgh walking past and used to freak Victorian ladies out, which is still pretty damn cool. The rest of the 'museum' is full of optical illusions and magic tricks and general fun stuff/stuff that makes you look generally unattractive.
A me and Rara hybrid. Voldemort nose anyone?
After the Camera Obscura, we headed up to the castle, decided not to pay the £15 entry fee, and went to that most important of places-the gift shop***!
On our way back to the hotel that evening, we bought ourselves a Scottish delicacy from the seediest chip shop in the world-a deep fried Mars Bar. If you didn't let yourself think about what you were eating, it wasn't entirely all that unpleasant. I don't think I will be buying one again in a hurry though, put it that way.
That evening, we ate at an awesome pub called The Jekyll and Hyde, which was decorated with all manner of interesting bottles and diagrams and pictures. Plus the toilets were hidden away in a sufficiently mad scientist-horror movie sort of way, so it was quite a fun eating experience all told. And for 2 meals for £8, it was pretty tasty food too!

So that was our first two days in the lovely Edinburgh...the rest to follow shortly.

Hope you have all had fun holidays!

*It was cheap to book at under £100 for 4 days, 3 nights. But NOT cheap to holiday there. I am not sure I even mind.
**Yes, that is exactly how she phrased it. She's filth my mother.
***Can't visit a museum and not the gift shop. It's the rules (Graham).

Monday, 27 June 2011

A Little Jolly To Europe.

So. A few weeks ago one of my favourite people rang me up to invite me on a random holiday across Europe. I rang my mum to check it was OK and then started planning.
17ish days later, on Sunday 12th June 2011, it all began with a bus journey. The bus took me to the train station, where I met with three of my favourite people; Amycakes, Gman and Mr. Matt,and boarded a train from Sheffield to Birmingham New Street. Another train and a weird tram-monorail thing and we were finally at the airport and ready to board the plane! But the public transport was not over yet, even as we arrived in Italy and were hit instantly by a wave of heat. The original plan was to take another two buses and end up in Slovenia, but the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry and all. We ended up at Trieste bus station peering at the time table, only to discover that the bus we had intended to be on left over an hour earlier. After some walking and grumbling, and frantic texts and phone calls, we finally had a place to stay for the evening* - a lovely apartment near the city centre.
Mine and Mr. Matt's room-heaven after all that public transport!
With our rucksacks off our backs and a weight off our minds, we went out into the night to find some food-and even though this was Italy at 10pm on a Sunday, we found a quaint little restaurant that sold delicious (proper Italian) Pizza/Lasagne and a Gelato parlour selling amazing ice-creamy goodness. To say that we weren't even in the country where we were supposed to be, it could have been a LOT more of an unpleasant evening.

The next morning after buying (and eating) brunch at the best Spar shop you will ever visit, wandering the streets and playing a few games of outdoor Uno**, we boarded the bus to Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. I spent the bus journey becoming acquainted with Mr. Matt's music collection and 'trying to use my boobs as a pillow but failing'. I woke up somewhere in the countryside of Slovenia with about half an hour of journey left to go. And oh my, it's such a pretty country! We were all a little awestruck just walking from the bus to the hostel, which was also a pretty decent little room! Had everything we wanted (except for a dehumidifier, but that's no big complaint.) and was all cosy.
What you can't see is the gorgeous brick ceiling...or the terrifyingly saggy bunk bed...
We spent that first night just being in Slovenia, laughing at the humorous foodstuffs*** and just enjoying being genuinely properly relaxed since leaving. Me and Amycakes managed to cook a truly revolting meal, but the evening was none the worse for it.

The next day dawned bright and...not exceptionally early, although we awoke to my second favourite alarm clock ever..."Umm...Chaps...It's 10 past 10..." Today was our day of being proper tourists, so we headed out and up towards Ljubljana Castle. We managed to avoid the tiny smattering of rain as we looked around every crook and nanny, before heading up the (many-staired!!) staircase to the top of the tower. I complained all the way up, but by 'eck the view from the top was SO worth it! You could see for miles!
Beautiful, Beautiful Slovenia!

That afternoon we went on a boat trip down the Ljubljana River+ which was the most relaxing thing ever. As a bit of a history nerd, it was nice to learn a bit about the old buildings and bridges, and just being on the water was so tranquil and peaceful. I would have happily stayed on that boat forever. During our afternoon wanderings we were accosted by crazy Slovenian clown people. We had NO idea what was going on, and I am not sure the actual Slovenians did either, but they did leave us with a confused expression and the most catchy-get-in-your-head melody, to be sung for the rest of the holiday.  The evening meal was a much more successful affair than the night before, as it's hard to get a baked potato wrong even in Slovenian.

The final day of our stay in this beautiful city was spent wandering in the sunshine through the town, with my shoulders getting gradually burned in a stupid stripy pattern, eating the most gorgeous lemon sorbet I have ever tasted and generally just enjoying our last day in a lazy sort of fashion. My best memory from that day was this:
Forever Friends.
In Ljubljana, there is a (fairly new) tradition whereby couples purchase a padlock, write their initials on it, and lock it to the Butcher's Bridge, running through (near enough) the centre of the city. They then throw the keys in the river, to symbolise their ever-lasting love. We all thought this was a fairly beautiful metaphor++, and after much searching (and possibly being mistaken for lesbians!) Amy and I found and purchased a padlock. That photo was taken just after we attached it to the bridge-you can see it in the middle of the group. It's my favourite memory because it is such a feeling of hope and friendship, and it summed up a wonderful (albeit at times incredibly bizarre) trip. I have made some memories and friends to last me a lifetime. Would I go back? In a heartbeat.
We dined that evening at a traditional Slovenian restaurant-seated at tables in the centre of the street, followed by what might have been the nicest ice-cream I have ever eaten in my life. I can't even describe what flavour it was, but it was GOOD!

The next day we sadly bade goodbye to Ljubljana, and hopped on a bus back to Trieste, where we spent our time dangling our feet in the Mediterranean and revisiting the awesome DeSpar for supplies. Then it was a short hop back to the airport, and a slightly longer one back to Blighty. And no matter how awesome the trip, I still got that lovely feeling of being home the minute we stepped off the plane. What can I say, I just love this rainy little isle.

So my first adventure draws to a close. And as they go, it was pretty amazing.

Until next time then,
Jenni x x

*Thankyou Mr. Matt's missus Becky, and the lovely Italian lady who came to help us out
**You know we're friggin cool
*** "The lady at the front desk wants to know if you would like some free Cocaine?" (It's an energy drink, but still)
+Not very imaginative with their nomenclature these Slovenians. But you can't hold it against them really.
++ Except Amy; "It's like marriage...but with padlocks!"