As I’m sitting here about to post yet another entry, I look out my window and I finally feel like I live in London. If the constant rain and overcast skies aren’t an indication I simply have to look at the temperature which is a barmy (ha) 12 degrees Celsius! It even got down to 9 degrees on Wednesday (funny funny – good one London)!
We’re about to start week 4 of uni so the work is picking up (as much as I don’t want it to). It has been really great to go exploring or shopping (probably a little too much) when I’m bored. I’ve worked out how to get a bus around the corner from my uni straight to Oxford street which is either very brilliant (well done self) or extremely dangerous. I think the latter. Primark has become my new best friend for cheap essentials – you can buy anything from sports wear to underwear for just 1.90! Oh and the best part…the tags on their underwear collection say “No secrets”. Direct play at Victoria’s Secret? I think so!!
So what exciting events have happened in the past couple of weeks you ask? Well last weekend was the first trip away with the exchange social programme. It was a two day trip up to York, Fountains Abbey and Hardwick Hall. York is absolutely stunning with the old medieval walls and cobbled streets!
We got to try York Pudding which apparently has nothing to do with chocolate (yes Mum I am a crunchy – no need to elaborate)! Anyways for those of you who like me had NO idea what it was, it’s basically soft pastry in the shape of a small basket. They then fill it with vegetables, gravy, stuffing and your meat of choice. Baked ham was the best decision I made all day! It was like an early Christmas day!
York is also known for its chocolate and lollies so whilst walking the cobbled streets, there was always that smell wafting around! Sadly we were too ‘stuffed’ (haha pun intended) from the York Pudding to buy anything else! BUT we were very good taste testers of the fudge!
Sunday we escaped further north to Fountains Abbey. We didn’t know much about the history or what to expect but it totally blew me away! It is THE most BEAUTIFUL place! We were so lucky to have the sun shining and fortunate that the rain held off (for the whole day – I couldn’t believe it). Even though it was partly destroyed during King Henry VIII rein it is one of the most well preserved Abbey’s due to its isolated location.
After being gobsmacked for about 2 hours, we got back on the bus to see Hardwick Hall. Now close you’re eyes…yes do it. No one’s watching, just do it. Imagine the house from Downton Abbey (if you don’t watch it, open your eyes and Google it – that’s it, select another tab and type in “Downton Abbey house”). Anyways, Hardwick Hall is very similar. It is one of the best preserved domestic houses still standing. It’s hard to believe a house like this was built during Queen Victoria I’s rein and that it’s in such a prime state. There’s an interesting saying about the house too – “Hardwick Hall, made more of glass than of wall”.
After exploring the house it was time to return home. It was a 3 hour trip back down to London (it still blows my mind you can drive most of England in 3 hours)!
So that was last weekend. This past week I funnily enough saw two cast members from Downton Abbey at the Apple Store on Regents Street. Sadly it wan’t Maggie Smith, but Joanna Froggatt (Anna Bates) and Ed Speleers (Jimmy Kent).
Thursday night we went to the taping of a new show called ‘Staying in with Greg and Russell’. What we thought was going to be an hour taping at max turned into 3 hours with another 1 or 2 on top of that waiting! All was going well, we even got to be on the stage with the celebs (Jack Whitehall, Katy B and Charlotte from Geordie Shore) until a little accident happened. Long story short, a cab ride back to London (we were out way past Wembley in the valley) was fully paid for us and a trip to the emergency room almost ensued. Looking back it may now seem funny and it’s one for the story books but at the time the following was going through my head. 1) wow this taping is going for a while, 2) crap it’s 10pm…tube stops in 2 hours and its a half hour trip just back to the tube station, 3) crap it’s 11pm…we’re going to be sleeping on a park bench tonight! All was well and good in the end. We got safely back to London. I would like to take this opportunity to also apologise to my parents who I may have scared into thinking I was in trouble..oops!
Anyways I’ll start to wrap it up now. I’m slowly making my way through my must see/to do list! Wednesdays, Fridays and the weekends have been dubbed “Kathryn explores London” days! This coming weekend we’re going up to Oxford so I’ll hopefully post about the shenanigans that ensue.
Thanks for reading!