Friday, October 31, 2008

The North Trip aka The Lake District

The North trip was so beautiful and I love going to the church history sights! These are some pictures from the trip and that is about all I can do right now! Lots of love!

A view from our walk in the Lake District. It was so green and beautiful!

On the banks of the lake where our hostel was... This was our view both mornings.

The River Ribble where the first saints in England were baptized in Preston.

The Missionary Tree that is in the River Ribble valley that was planted by the saints in the area for all of the missionaries that have served in the British Isles.

The Cotton Mill that we go to go inside of! It gave me a whole different perspective of the mill life.

A rock that I found on our walk in the lake district.

The Preston Temple.

The Preston Temple.

The Liverpool docks and the monument that the Church was asked to place there. It is a beautiful place.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

LIVID... Vent Time!


I am so mad! So I made a scheduled for the classes that I need to take and the times and teachers worked out perfectly... I am suppose to register for classes tomorrow morning and so I checked out my classes to make sure that there were still openings and such and see which ones I should add first and I realized that they canceled my History 490 from the teacher that I really wanted and for the time that fit perfectly in my schedule! I am LIVID!!! Now I have to rework my schedule and change a bunch of classes around and take classes from teachers that I dont want and I am so mad!!!!! I just want this whole situation to be gone and done... it is so upsetting!

Now instead of writing one of my papers that are due Saturday I have to figure out my schedule, again.

And I have to go and buy another bottle of laundry detergent because someone in the Centre used like half of my bottle that was suppose to last me all semester so now I have to go and buy another 4 pound bottle before I can do laundry that I havent been able to do in about 2 weeks.

Really frustrated and dont want to go to class... If we have a quiz that will officially make today my worst day ever!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Midterms: A very slow and painful process

Midterms test are mostly over but in the upcoming week I have 3 papers that are due, a book to read, old manuscripts to look at, three required performances to attend, and a required movie to watch so life is still going to be really busy.

I have almost caught up on my journal writing which was my goal for the weekend and it feels so good, like a weight being lifted off, at least partly lifted.

Our room was clean for like 5 min yesterday before we all got home but with unpacking there is no hope... it is a pig pen! 14 girls in one room is too many. I can't wait to get back and have my own room! Too bad I still have to live with people who are really messy... and want to get a cat.

Change is good

I was getting really sick of my blog so I decided to revamp and voila! I have to admit that I have been blog stocking trying to see what I liked and what I didn't and I am quite pleased with myself! I am sorry for everyone that just looks at my blog once a month because I change it at least that much so it looks really different every time but I really cant help it... read more often and then the change wont seem so sudden!

Monday, October 20, 2008


I might not be able to blog this week... it is midterms, a couple of papers and on Thursday I am going to Ireland! I will catch up on Sunday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oct 3rd

Almost caught up....

October 3rd was a very busy day! We started with a London Study to the Tower of London which I have to admit I have heard a lot about and yet did not know a lot. For instance I did not know that the Tower of London was more of a town then just a bunch of towers. So I was shocked to find that there was grass and gardens that the prisoners were usually allowed to go down and walk in during the day. And that prisoners were not the only ones that were brought to the tower but royalty before they were crowned were brought there to protect them before they were crowned. The Crown Jewels are within the Tower and I have to say that I "walked" past them multiple times on the conveyor belt that they make you stand on and have to say that they are some of the biggest jewels that I have ever seen in my life and I have pretty much decided that I want to become the Queen so I can wear The Crown! I also really enjoyed learning about those that had stayed in the Tower: Mary Queen of Scots, the two princes and Henry VIII's wives and how much liberty they had in their day to day lives as long as they stayed within the Tower and were in their cells by curfew. The Beefeater that showed us around were very entertaining and had some good stories to tell. And last but not not least, England will not fall! (We saw the crows!)

After the Tower we practically had to run to The Globe to make it in time for our second play as groundlings... The Merry Wives of Windsor! The play was very amusing and I have to say that I was laughing from the very first lines and continued to laugh until the play was well over. The characters and the play itself were hysterical and so well done! Even though I loved A Midsummer Night's Dream I thought that Merry Wives was so much better!

Sept 22 through Oct 1st...

Recap continued...

Sept 22 was our London Study day and we went and toured The Globe, as in Shakespeare's Globe! Well I guess that it was not exactly Shakespeare's Globe because it was burned down but it is the one that was rebuilt in 1997 in the way that they think the Globe looked. We had the chance to walk around inside and hear about how plays would have been done in Shakespeare's time. The stage is interesting and different because it is a thrust stage instead of a proscenium stage and there is not a backdrop or really any stage setting. It was really interesting to hear what they had to say about Shakespeare and about theater in the 16 and 17th centuries. Also there was an Exhibition that told about theaters, plays, life and London during the time of Shakespeare. I love The Globe!!! and of course Shakespeare's work!

Sept 24th as a program we went to a matinee of A Midsummer Night's Dream! This is one of my favorite plays and is a very entertaining comedy with some very witty wordplay. We were what they call groundlings... those that stood in the yard around the stage. It was a great place to be because you were really a part of what was happening on the stage but it was really exhausting to stand the whole time but luckily the weather was really nice with just a little cloudburst and it wasn't too cold. The stage had extensions to it so that the actors could move around more then just on the square stage. The stage was empty except for some flowers that were set up to symbolize the woods but the costumes and words that Shakespeare wrote are really what set the scene and made the play. The actors and actresses were spectacular! My favorite had to be Helena and how the actress that was playing her did it so well... it didn't seem that she was as pathetic as she is usually shown to be and that was almost refreshing. Anyone that has a chance should go to The Globe and be a groundling for a show!

Sept 25th there was a annual mystery conference in which one of the lectures was on Victorian thrillers. We attended because we have a class that is based on British mystery novels and one of the authors that we are reading, Anne Perry, was speaking on why she chose the time period that she did and why she wrote mysteries. It was an interesting lecture and it made me almost want to write... mysteries or historical... either would be fascinating to research and put together.

Sept 27th was one of the highlights of the program so far... The country walk with Brother Chittock! Brother Chittock is a member of my ward that I am attending and is also the one that is in charge of placing the BYU students in their wards within London.... and by providence he happens to know Bishop Connell because his son was taught and baptized by the Bishop when he was a missionary! Our walk in the country started with a train ride into Kent where we meet with Brother Chittock, his brothers, son and grandson who were going to be our guides for the day. The area that we walked was beautiful! We went through towns, fields, and country roads... along which there were blackberries that were ripe and ready to eat! We stopped at a Norman castle that had be built in the 1000's for lunch. It wasn't very big for the amount of people that would have lived there but the walls were really thick and tall and were about the only part of the castle that survived. After lunch we walked along a stream and through lavender and hops fields. We went about 9 miles so by the time we had made it back to the train station we were all really tired and I must admit that I fell fast asleep during the ride back to London.

Our second day trip occurred on
October 1st and was to the great college town of Blenheim Palace and OXFORD! Blenheim Place is not really a palace in that it is not a royal residence but is what they call a "country house." Blenheim was built for the hero of the Battle of Blenheim, the 1st Duke of Marlborough. Blenheim was also the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The grounds were beautiful but quite confusing... instead of going to the Secret Garden Danielle and I ended up on the opposite side of the property at the Rose Garden.

The next stop was Oxford... we were dropped off at Christ's Church and walked around town until we stumbled upon the tower for Magdalen college. Magdalen college was founded in 1448 and about then the construction on the tower was begun and ever since the tower has been an important part of the sky scape of Oxford. After touring Magdalen college we, Me, Danielle, Jenny, Natalie, Dasily, Ashley, Lindsey and Rebbecca, went down to the river and hired a punting boat and a boy to punt it for us. His name was Humphrey, in the classic English fashion, and he was born and raised in Oxford and was getting ready to attend college. This was his first time punting and he wasn't very good but he was really nice and it was an enjoyable time... I love punting!!! After punting we looked at some of the other colleges, the library and The Eagle and The Child (were J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis went when they went to Oxford). The last thing that we did was go to Evensong at Christ Church College, an Anglican service. It was an wonderful experience to have but half the time I really didn't know what was going on but it was really pretty singing by the choir.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update from Sept 10 through Sept 18: Trying to catch up!

I am sorry that I have not posted... Life has been crazy with school, field trips and LONDON!

We have been on quite a few trips...

The first was to Stonehenge and Bath on Sept 10th. I have wanted to visit Stonehenge since I saw it on the screen saver on our computer and of course I have wanted to visit Bath ever since I knew that Jane Austen had lived there... There have also been quite a few movies in which Bath has been used like the BBC version of Persuasion. I have decided that Stonehenge is beautiful and I am really interested to find out one day what it was used for and how it was built. When we were in Bath I visited Bath Abbey which has a beautiful example of fan vaulting. Then as a program we visited the Roman Baths and "partook of the waters." The waters was horrible and tasted really strongly of sulfur and minerals but I did taste it but I have no idea how people could come to Bath just to "take the waters." We also visited the Royal Crescent and then went into Number 1 Royal Crescent which is set up how it would have looked in the 1800's and saw The Circus. Both of these buildings were designed by the great John Wood and John Wood the Younger. We also visited Jane Austen's home and learned a lot about how her stay there influenced and appeared in her novels. In all it was a wonderful experience!

The next day, Sept 11th, we went and saw 39 Steps. The movie by Hitchcock, of the same name, is based on the play. This play only had 4 people that played over 50 different characters and man was it entertaining!! I have to suggest that everyone should see this if they happen to be in London!

On Sept 12th we had a tour of The Houses of Parliament aka the building attached to Big Ben! We were able to go inside the House of Commons and the House of Lords and saw a lot of their common rooms. We were shown how the parliamentary system works and how the monarch fit in with everything. The history of the building and their traditions within it were so interesting to become aware
of. I am really excited to see the opening of Parliament by the Queen in December!

Sept 17th - 19th was our trip to the West of England!

The first day we got up at about 5 am to eat breakfast, make lunches and be on the coach by 7am. From London we headed to
Stourhead house and gardens in Warminster, Wiltshire. Stourhead is an example of Palladian houses and gardens. The gardens, the lake, and the Temple of Apollo are shown in the new Pride and Prejudice at the proposal scene and it was just as beautiful as it was in the movie except it wasn't raining!

The next stop on the trip to the West was Thomas Hardy's cottage in Dorset. Hardy is a English novelist, short story, and poet which set his stories in this setting. The land was beautiful but the house had really, really short doorways and Professor Benfell hit his head quite a few times... you think that he would have learned as he does have his doctorate but it was really funny to observe!

That night we stayed in Penzance, as in the Pirates of Penzance, (don't worry I didn't know the story either!) in our first hostel! The hostel was a YMCA and it actually was not as bad as I was expecting... the sheets were in plastic that had been steamed closed and surprisingly that made me feel better. We arrived at the hostel at about 7pm and then decided to go out and see the town but it was really sad because everything closes in small towns at about 5:45pm so we walked along the levee and I touched the ATLANTIC OCEAN for the first time and I ALMOST slipped on the rocks and fell in... The breakfast in the morning was the classic English breakfast... croissants, baked beans, eggs, fruit and cereal.

Sept 18th in the morning we went to the Land's End Beach and went on a beautiful hike along the coast and thoroughly enjoyed the cliffs and the ocean! Along the path was a ton of blackberry bushes that had the most luscious berries that I have ever tried! This beach is also the place where the telegraph cable is buried that goes from England to the USA and was also a place where England was attacked during WWII because of the cable. The water was a little cold but we still waded and a few in the group went swimming.

The next place that we arrived was at St. Michael's Mount in Penzance. St. Michael's is an island at high tide but is attached to to the land during low tide. St. Michael has a castle and a village just like it did during the 13th century! The Mount is stunning to see from far away surrounded by water with just the silhouette showing. On the walk to up the hill to the castle their is a stone in the pathway that is shaped like a heart and the story goes that their was a giant that was terrorizing the people that lived in the village but was caught by a boy in a hole. Because the giant died within the hole it became his grave and his heart is said to have raised to the path... pretty good story!

From Penzance we headed to Exeter and ended up eating at this really cool restaurant that was along the channel 'quay' (pronounced 'key') with a beautiful channel and boats in the background. Me, Lindsey, and Natalie shared a margarita pizza (don't worry it doesn't have any alcohol in it... just sauce and cheese.) The hostel that we stayed in was out in the middle of no where so we played card games, did homework and chatted in the hostel for a good portion of the night... what do you expect with 40 girls and 1 boy.

The next morning, Sept 19th, we headed to the Exeter Cathedral which was started back in the times of the Norman invasion in 1066 and it continued to have construction until the Victorian times. The Cathedral was massive! In my humanities class we are learning about architecture and it was really interesting to see all of the different types of architecture building on each other and forming the building.

The final stop on our trip was in Lyme Regis. Lyme, as it is commonly called, was where the wealthy in Victorian England would go to holiday and look for fossils. We visited because Lyme is a significant place in Jane Austen's Persuasion. In Lyme we walked along the stony beach and along the levee and pretended to act out the scene from Persuasion when Lydia falls and hits her head but we didn't have a Captain Frederick Wentworth to try and catch us... just a Michael and he can only be in one place at a time. While in Lyme I also decided that I was going to try FISH and CHIPS... the British way. For those of you that do not know I am not a fan of fish and so this was a real adventure for me to participate in. The Fish and Chips came in the classic way... wrapped in paper. I added ketchup, salt and a little bit of vinegar and dug in! The fish actually wasn't that fishy and was the best that Professor Wimmer said he had ever had! I thought that it was quite good but am almost scared to try it again somewhere where the fish is not as fresh. But I will admit that Lyme fish and chips are delicious!