Posts tagged ‘O’Neils’

March 27, 2011

The week Danielle & Jess visited London

Monday morning for politics we went to the Science Museum. We went to the World Wide Web exhibit, and we watched this big make-up of small screens that stream live feed from public chat rooms. It changed information like usernames, conversations and key words and we were just watching a constant streaming of people’s conversations. It was a little creepy; the Internet in general is creepy. Monday night for theatre we didn’t see a show for class, because we had King Lear planned for Thursday night in Stratford. Instead, we had a group outing to the Royal Opera House to see Swan Lake. The ballet was so fun. Granted, we missed a lot of the story line because we were so high up (For example, we thought the main characters lived, because we never saw them jump off a ledge on the left of the stage to commit suicide). Regardless, it was amazing just watching how talented all of the ballerinas are. They literally spend the entire time on the very point of their toes. Everyone was extremely talented and it was a little excruciating to watch. Tuesday for Media & Society we went to the Saatchi Gallery, and we had a quick tour by an American intern from Wisconsin. The gallery is a collection of art that Saatchi owns, and honestly, it’s all a little weird. But it was interesting seeing the different styles and interests people have in all kinds of artwork.

Tuesday was a special day, because my best friend Danielle Fraser and her roommate from URI, Jess, arrived in London! I work Tuesday afternoons, so I met up with them in Covent Garden when I got out, and then showed them around that area, Trafalgar Square, and the area over by Embankment. We ended up having dinner on one of those restaurant-boats and it was lovely. The two of them brought gorgeous weather to London all week. After dinner we went back to my flat and then went out to Cornwallis with a group of Madhouse people. We stayed there until it closed and then headed over to the Rocket, which wasn’t open much later. Since the tube was still open, Danielle & Jess just took that back to their hostel, and prepared for their very busy next day. I work my long days on Wednesdays, and they spent their day doing the NewEurope free tour, rode the London Eye, did a Grim Reaper tour, and then met me at Holborn Wednesday night. In terms of my day, the annual budget announcement was on Wedneday, and I was a little surprised to see that it is treated with importance equivalent to our State of the Union. During our lunch hour the TV was turned on, and everyone had earphones plugged in watching live streaming. I’m not exaggerating when I say this week was the best weather we have seen in London so far, so I walked home from work to soak in as much sun as possible. We had our weekly meeting, got our calendars and itineraries for the weekend, and then I had time to organize myself and relax before meeting up with Danielle and Jess. Will wanted to go to a bar called Moonlighting for his birthday, but through a series of unfortunate events Danielle, Jess and I had bad luck getting into bars this particular night. We ended up at O’Neils, which is perfectly fine by me because they got to see our favorite bar! We were the last people to leave O’Neils, and since the tube had closed I was determined to send them home on a bus because they had an oyster card, which buses accept. Unfortunately, I’ve been living here for 2 months and have no idea how the buses work or which ones go to the area their hostel was in. After failing to figure it out, we all just grabbed cabs and headed home. Thursday morning was quite an adventure, as I woke up and went to their hostel to meet Danielle & Jess, but they were at King’s Cross station. Then we had to go back to West Brompton tube stop, but they missed their Easybus to Gatwick, so we headed to Victoria so they could catch the Gatwick Express to the airport. If it sounds confusing & chaotic, that’s because it was. It was actually really funny though and everything worked out in the end. It was so nice having visitors and I’m glad they had such a lovely time in London. J I headed home, showered, ate & packed for the upcoming weekend to Stratford upon Avon, Oxford, Bath, Salisbury and Stonehenge.



February 24, 2011

Successful week

This week was one of the first that I felt completely normal and in my same old routine-mode probably since I got here. With everything that happened with me so far it was absolutely amazing to go to the gym, feel great at work, have great classes and get relatively normal amounts of sleep. Monday for politics we watched the Prime Minister’s questions video. Every Wednesday at noon David Cameron answers questions from Parliament when the House of Commons is sitting. It was actually really entertaining & informative…take a look:

For theatre this week we had an extra long class because the star of Vernon God Little, the play we saw the week before, Joseph Drake, came into our class! He was the main character, Vernon, and he talked to us about the play, about rehearsals leading up to the show, his life, and how he doesn’t read reviews. He was so funny and it was great to get to meet him. I got him to sign my journal 🙂 After class we grabbed dinner right by the theatre before the show, and then we saw Penelope at the Hampstead Theatre. It was about an hour and a half long with no intermission, and it was probably the most odd out of all the shows we’ve seen. Don’t want to spoil it for you in case you ever end up going there, but I’ll just tell you the set was in the bottom of a swimming pool the entire show, and Penelope, the girl the play is named after, did not have one line. Our teacher is trying to broaden our horizons to all types of theatre, and all types of theatre we are seeing.

Tuesday for Media & Society was really fun. We talked about the history of radio and TV broadcasting, and then we went out to East Finchley tube stop (a little out of the city) to London Greek Radio. LGR used to be a pirating station back before commercialized channels still hadn’t expanded. We got a tour of the studio and got to ask Vasilis Panayis, the big cheese at the station, who’s been in broadcast for 25 years. I also got him to sign my journal 🙂 Work at Wriglesworth this week was great, I was constantly busy, well-rested and learned a lot. I helped with some press releases, surveyed people over the phone and did a lot of desk research. Wednesday after work we had a group outing to the British Library concerning their exhibition on the Evolution of English. Three professors came in to talk about the different dialects among all regions in the UK. After the British Library we went to O’Neils for Liz’s 21st birthday. Liz’s mom and godmother came to visit her for this long weekend, so we’ve seen them a lot and it is so much fun having moms/parents around! They’re staying at a hotel/apartment literally two doors down, which is so convenient. We got the tour of their flat and it’s a hundred times nicer than ours, but what are ya gonna do. We got the live band to give Liz a shout out at O’Neils and call her up to the stage! So far, birthdays in London are a major success.

Today I worked in the morning, I love when I come in for mornings because Wriglesworth provides cereal for all the staff 🙂 Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. I didn’t even need a jacket, and the sky was blue. We must be extremely lucky people because we’ve seriously only had about 2 rainy days, and they weren’t even that bad. Crossing my fingers that this luck doesn’t change when spring officially comes! For Pop Culture today we talked about a book named Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, which is a directory of prostitutes in the Victorian Era, and then we played a game where we had to act as members of parliament and pass/veto rules to regulate prostitution in order to control it. After class we went to the Museum of London where we saw the history of London from when it was just land to Roman times to modern day.

Tonight is yet another Thursday night before a weekend of travels. We’re headed off to Amsterdam this weekend, waking up at 3:30am to make our 6:55 flight. Thank you Ryanair.

Have a great weekend and I’ll give stories about Amsterdam Sunday/Monday!

Cheers 🙂

February 6, 2011

Brighton & Greenwich weekend

I’m going to make my titles more witty once I update this regularly, I promise. I’m going through my head right now everything that has happened since Wednesday so for now you’ll just have to enjoy summaries & stories 🙂 Prepare yourself for a relatively long post!

Thursday mornings at work are usually a breeze…3 1/2 hour days fly by. I had Pret for lunch at had an amazing sandwich, as usual. Finding that I eat a lot of avocado here (no complaints!!). For Communication, Diversity & Pop Culture we watched a programme (hehe) from the BBC called The Prisoner, it’s a series that has about 18 episodes. I tried to find a YouTube clip to show you all but I can’t find the episode we watched, sorry :(. For our outing we went to the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, a gallery that Princess Diana supported and was at a lot. The exhibit was by Philippe Parreno and has 4 films set up throughout the building. After the gallery we walked through Hyde Park and saw the Princess Diana memorial fountain, a fountain that’s supposed to represent her life and how it was similar to a roller coaster, lots of up and downs. It was dark by the time we got there so my picture is a little blurry, but when it’s warm out people can lay out by (or in) the fountain or you can walk through it.

Thursday night we had a progressive dinner at Madhouse (Madison House) and had an “Around the World” theme.

  • Flat A-Turkey: kabobs
  • Flat B-Mexico: chip, dip, salsa, layer dip
  • Flat C-Italy: spaghetti & meatballs, garlic bread, caprese salad
  • Flat D(us)-USA: ice cream sundaes
  • Flat E-France: french pastries

After dinner we went to a pub/club (=plub) O’Neils and had so much fun. The ground floor was just a regular bar setup, the second floor had a bar and a DJ, the third floor was a bar and a live band and then there was a rooftop for the smokers and a ground floor with a coatcheck. The band was a cover band and played some music we didn’t know and then all of a sudden played music that we LOVED, ie..Blink 182, Sweet Home Alabama, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cee Lo, stuff that we couldn’t get away from. Eventually, though, we had to leave and that was the end of our night.

Friday we woke up and took the train to Brighton. The Brighton trip was so much fun! We got there and went to the Royal Pavilion. Our tour guide was hysterical and the building was insane inside…no pictures allowed. 😦 After our tour we were set free for the rest of the day (minus the Children’s Lit class who had lunch with Emily Gravett!), so some of us went to the beach, played and ran from the waves and then went to a pub for lunch. After we ate we browsed a little bit, shopped, and then took the train back to London.

Friday night we went to a place called The Rocket, another place geared towards students. All of these places we’ve gone to have all ended up being within a 10-15 minute walk home, it is so nice having our house so centrally located with so much going on around it, especially when the tube closes at 12:30.

Saturday we took the ferry to Greenwich, which was about a 45 minute ride. We went to the old royal navy college, toured around there briefly, and then headed up to the royal observatory where we went to the prime meridian. We got to take pictures being in both the eastern and western hemisphere at the same time! We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Cafe Sol which was delicioussssss and then went to the Greenwich Market. I got a coin purse and a new satchel, and Erin got a churro injected with chocolate. The food at these markets is insanely good. Last night we went to Zoo Bar, a hyped up club that we didn’t really like. The boys had fun, but we weren’t particularly fond of the expensive drinks and 40yrs+ crowd, so we left and ended up at a pub called No. 7 for the rest of the night.

This morning we had to wake up for a group outing again but it wasn’t until 11 so we got to relax getting ready this morning. It was nice not having to chug down my coffee and actually sit and eat breakfast. 🙂 We went to Speaker’s Corner, a part of Hyde Park where people can come and speak their mind. We listened to a speaker talk about God/Jesus/religion and another one just had a conversation/argument with Sarah. He was up on a podium but not talking, and she heard that he had very strong views against women and got into a heated argument with our Politics teacher last week, so she basically instigated the fighting with him. After we left we found PRIMARK, which is the only place I will be shopping here from now on because it is dirt cheap. Pair of leggings, 1 pound. Shoes, 8 pounds. I can deal with that. Annalina, Erin & I walked home instead of taking the tube to explore and we ended up eating at a really good sandwich place in Soho on one of the off-the-map roads. We stopped in Snog, a frozen yogurt place, and then kept on venturing home. We had time to relax & nap, and then we went to the FMIR (Faculty Member in Residence) aka Joan’s house in East Finchley for dinner. The food we had delivered was incredible. We had pasta, bread, salad, lasagna, pizza and tiramisu. We snagged the leftover tiramisu and I’m actually eating it as we speak. Ah.May.Zing.

The weather this week has been relatively warm. We’ve gotten into a pattern of leaving the house saying, “Wow it is so warm out today” and then freezing when we’re out and about, but it’s really not that bad. Knock on wood but it hasn’t rained STILL! A little gloomy, but not complaining about the weather at all like I was expecting.

Looking forward to this week so much-my birthday and going to Italy this weekend!!

Updates soon