Sunday, 29 March 2009

Blow Out!

With University finished I feel so... aimless. I mean I never had uni on a Friday anyway but now... what will I do with my time? Miranda is long gone in Hull - that's right Miranda I'm pining! Waaah!

Tonight is the last night of term so there is a HUGE party down at the student union known as "Blow Out". It's pretty much the same as all the other theme nights throughout the year except that this one doesn't have a dress theme and has three times more people crammed into the same space. And also it costs a pound more than usual because of the F-grade celebrity guest... drum roll... Scott from Five! Five being the boy band that was huge about ten years ago. Five being the band that has FIVE members. Scott from Five... well... he looked a bit lonely up there on the stage. It was pretty funny. There were people talking beforehand saying that he had allegedly got really fat and so on. Well he hadn't got fat... in fact he looked much the same as when I saw him in concert (with Five) ten or so years ago. Tell me what you think. I mean try to get a feel with the terrible photo I took. It's just one camera battling against a sea of other cameras and drunken arms flailing about. Wow looking at my picture that excuse doesn't even cover it... Look him up on the internet. I felt kind of bad for the guy because before he came on there were "booooo"s. I wasn't one of the boo-ers. I was actually quite excited to sing some of those catchy songs which now are a guilty pleasure.

Out he came and everyone began their bouncing around and I got a bit jostled. Scott began singing some of the slower and lesser known Five songs which just got the "boo"ing people more aggravated. Then came the hits. Oh boy. The memories! Jumping like a loon to all those terrible hits like "Baby when the lights go out" and "Everybody get up". I was more amazed that both Srik and Andy knew all the words and seriously got into the dancing. Here are their expressions on seeing Scott.
Pretty amazing... And now a photo involving my expression on seeing Scott (note that Andy and Srik have somewhat swapped expressions?!)
I still remembered most of the words which was something. It was all in good fun though it was pretty crappy when he only played a medley of their hits and then left after about 15-20 minutes. I mean as a washed up singer what else had he got to do of an evening? Apart from trying not to drink himself into a stupor? I paid an extra pound! Bah! I still had a lot of fun though because they kept playing all the rubbishy songs from my childhood. I ended up drinking either too much or too little because the night ended far too quickly! It's quite silly because everyone turns up for these parties at 11:30 and they close the doors at 3... Not a lot of dancing time but oh well.
Oh great... now I'm about to go to bed and I've got a Five song stuck in my head... sigh... it's going to be a long night... baby when the lights... go out... babe I swear you will so come to me...Zzzzzzz

Royal Holloway - That's all folks.

This is the end! An end of an era... I had my last class at Royal Holloway - EVER - today. Very sad. As I stated in my last blog I was super nervous about the "viver" thing I had to do. A "viver" (however you spell it ... I mean no one knows how it's said let alone how to spell it) is where the lecturers ask you questions about your directing piece. It's like a job interview basically - you prepare not knowing what to expect and then don't use any of your preparatory notes. That's basically how it rolled.

It also rolled by me feeling a constant and severe state of nausea. I was fine writing the notes the previous night, walking to class but as soon as I pushed open the doors and saw other people waiting to go into the room of doom I was ready to lose my breakfast. My breakfast of Minstrels. Not a wise choice but I went there. May I just say that this is my third attempt at writing this blog because it, somehow, manages to keep deleting itself because of powers beyond my control. Hopefully this means that, for once, there is an editing process and might make more sense.

Back in line. The "viver" was only meant to be ten minutes for each person and because I was third the lecturers (of course) felt the need to take five minutes more of our time with their redundant questions. Redundant because A) they probably had already decided my mark and B) because the questions were all covered in the very first piece of paperwork I handed in about the piece. Sigh. They were holding this sessions in one of the dressing rooms which, I felt, made it worse because (being a dressing room) there are mirrors all around the room. This means that instead of only having to deal with two pairs of staring peepers I had millions. Millions! Staring, glaring, frowning, fake smiling and suddenly writing something in their notepads. I couldn't work out if I had said something good or bad when they each bent their heads down to write something. All good I HOPE. 15 minutes and at least 20 questions later I managed to blab my way out of there and was therefore DONE. The only thing I have left is my two demon assignments. I don't know if it's worse because I have 4 weeks to do them and therefore have loads of procrastination time or not... I guess time will tell.

Once again I had to say goodbye to all my classmates who I will hopefully see around next term and at the Summer ball! The tickets went on sale today but because I had class Miranda got some of her friends to buy ours for us (Miranda is in Hull). My goodness the people here are mad for tickets! Most people get there at 3 in the morning and wait for the ticket booth to open at 9. Even then the queue goes outside the building and the minimum waiting time is like 4 hours. Yikes! Hopefully I have ticket though because the Summer ball is supposed to be amazing! Well it darn well should be for 65 pounds.

But yes. I will miss all my Directing class friends. Had some very good laughs with these people. Thank you all so much... Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog - it features a D-grade (or less) celebrity! Woo!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Last Week of Classes!

Wow. Sorry I've left this so long... I will not get slack! I refuse!
So, I can hardly believe it, but this is my last week of classes! The last time I go to my two whole classes of the week. Soon the nine hours of the week I spend learning will be gone - vanished - bombarded with procrastination and travelling! Whoopee!

Now let me see... As you may know last week was a very full week for me with assessment attacking me in every way known. I did my seminar on Bulimia last week with Tamsin and that went fine and I also had my directing piece last week which went fine also. I was SO panicked when watching my scene though - sweating palms, frantically grinding my knuckles and teeth, flatulence. Okay not flatulence but it would be a pretty funny sight. Funny smell too... That all went well and this week I had to do my facilitation with Tamsin on Tuesday. Basically, the two of us lead some of the class through some games and what not for 20 minutes. That all went well and we got some really good feedback in which to write, ugh, 4000 words about. Not possible in my opinion but the lecturer remained optimistic. Though she doesn't have to write them. Tuesday was a bit of a sad day because it is the last time I will get to see the candle lit for class. Sigh. No more building cubby houses and drawing. No more safety cushions, soft tones or ... scepticism. It was a really lovely class though. I was in some other facilitations. One was funny because we had to make up a story as a group and draw the different parts of the story and my part was "the obstacle" so I drew a fridge which had "no cheese". That's the obstacle of my life. Then we talked about the assignment and played some final games before our inevitable final candle ceremony and the closing of Theatre and Therapy 2009. It was so sweet because we all wrote our names on sheets of paper and then went around to each others' sheets writing nice things about them and my sheet was pretty much full of "I love your accent" and "you stink" from Tamsin. Good times. Tamsin actually brought a little tea light for everyone in the class with our names on it and we lit them from our original flame and that was a really nice closing. I got a photo of my classmates and the holy candle for reference. It's sad because, realistically, I will never see some of these people ever again which is quite sad because the best part of this class was the atmosphere and the truly genuine and caring individuals. I shan't forget. Thank you for a wonderful term girls!
Still - last Theatre and Therapy class - Happy dance! Happy dance!
That night Miranda and I went to see a student production of "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". There was one girl in it who was AMAZING. Incredible voice and she easily got all the applause. It's a hard play because the songs are quite tricky but they all did a good job. Miranda and I got totally glammed up for it. We looked a touch out of place amongst the jeans and sneakers but oh well! We needed an excuse. I wore this black dress I got in Camden market and it looks awesome but it sucks having to cover it with a cardigan because it's cold at night. Actually it's cold all the time but hey.
Wednesday. Today I went to a theatresports workshop that was run by one of the guys who was at the Comedy Store who I saw in London. He's a funny man. Actually the funniest thing about the afternoon was the fact that there were about 25-30 people squashed into a room that was no bigger than a matchbox. Difficult to be physical.
Abysmal weather today. No... wait... just really weird weather. Sunshine, rain, clouds, sunshine, clouds, rain and sunshine, clouds, horizontal rain and torrential winds, sunshine and so on and so on! What's wrong with this place? Is someone messing around with the weather dial here? I can't believe I'm boring you with the weather! Yikes.
Tomorrow is my question time with the lecturer about my directing piece last week which will be the most nerve racking ten minutes of my life. It's going to be sweaty, smelly, grinding town all over again! Wish me luck!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Warwick, Stratford and Good ol' Bill.

Up at the crack of eight today. It's so funny because these tour groups pick up international students from all the various universities in the area and we are always the last ones so we can sleep in AND we always get dropped back first - GO RHUL! The... how many?... seven or so of us Royal Hollowayians piled onto the bus and we set off to Warwick Castle. You would think being an international student that coming to England seeing Shakespeare's grave and so on would be the most important thing to see... but I guess our group of internationals didn't seem to think so. Sadly, Leonore wasn't on this trip she was too busy being in Wales *shakes fist*. But we still have Miranda, Victoria and Tyler. It's crazy because Tyler is actually finished now and is heading home in just a week! I can't fathom that... I totally don't feel finished here. There's too much to see and do! It's a shame uni gets in the way of that at times...

Anyway! I get so off track don't I? On the bus for a couple of hours and we reach Warwick Castle. In England it's common to spell things one way and pronounce it another. Warwick is no exception. It's pronounced "warrick". Just like Egham is pronounced "Egg-am". Probably should have mentioned that earlier... So Warwick Castle! Wow. It's big. Built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It's old. It's also really awesome to look at.
Keep in mind that these pictures were all taken from inside the castle. It's very big. So this is the huge-ness from many different angles. Pretty impressive! We decided to take a walk around the walls which, in total, have 500 steps - whoopee! 500 steps which include awful tiny, narrow and dark winding staircases of death. I really want to know how many people back in the day actually died from falling down (or up) these ridiculous stairs. Judging from the tiny doorways people were a lot smaller back then. I mean even I was having to stoop to get inside the doorway. I didn't think about it at first and almost grazed the top of my scalp off. Pleasant. We arrived and the top of one of the many towers and observed the view of Warwick town. At the top we then asked a random stranger to take a photo of us all with this backdrop. I don't know how we managed it but we were all looking directly in the sun and it's not a very flattering image. Here it is anyway. It makes me laugh.
We look so squinty. We then trooped down and up many other flights of stairs and arrived at the exit and into the entry of a display of wax figures in medieval get up. These wax figures begged to be made fun of. So we complied. Tyler suggested that this was the new Madame Tussaud's and that all these figures were actually celebrities. I like to think that that's me next to a medieval looking Brad Pitt. Anyone? Maybe if you squint a bit? At one point there was a guy dressed up in medieval garb who said "good morrow" as we walked past and Victoria goes "Was that a real guy?" and the guy goes "I was last time I checked" and she freaked out. It was SO funny.
We then moved into another part of the castle which was inhabited by Winston Churchill at one point. It was very grand inside. I'd live there I suppose. I think the whole castle would make an excellent party spot. All that's needed is a jumping castle. Maybe there was one that I just missed... Henry VIII's royal jumping castle. Within this house were various bits of history. One such bit was the actual riding saddle of Elizabeth I! I saw the thing that her royal derriere once rested upon. Then we found a stuffed bear. I only found this out at this very moment in time but, apparently, the mascot of Royal Holloway is a bear! I need further research because I haven't heard anything about bears around campus. Are there that many bears in England?
Moving rooms we found ... *drum roll* ... costumes! Is this the best interactive castle or what? Most of the costumes were tiny sized (not that that would stop me) so we tried on many hats coming up with hilarious scenarios including me as a drunken spinster and Victoria and I in sailor costumes acting as Miranda's wee children. Tyler was Abe Lincoln. Next we trooped up a big hill and loved the view but particularly loved the sword in the stone which none of us managed to get out. Because we couldn't get the sword out we ended up in the stocks. Bummer. Change locations! After some lunch and a quick look through the quaint little town of Warwick we set off to Stratford. Stratford upon Avon! Birthplace of... ? Anyone? SHAKESPEARE! Woo Bill! For some reason we started with his grave. Here it is. One of England's most important people. It was pretty exciting. See the plaque about the grave? Shakespeare put a curse on his own grave. He was so scared that after he died people would bury him or dig him up and bury him in Westminster Abbey. I don't really see what's wrong with that but I guess he wanted to be near his family as the other graves next to him are his wife and daughters. The curse reads "Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To digg the dust encloased heare, Blest by the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones." In other words - Move my bones and I'll bone you.

We then went to have a look at his mansion that he bought and lived in in the last three years of his life. Funny story about why it isn't there anymore. Once Shakespeare died Reverend Francis Gastrell bought it and lived there only to have people knocking on the door day and night wanting to have a look inside the house of Shakespeare. People wanted to see the house and the garden 24/7 so Gastrell felt that the best way to put a stop to this was to burn the place down. That's the most sensible thing to do isn't it? The townspeople were so mad they ran him out of town. The garden is still there and this artist recently made abstract metal sculptures depicting symbols from various Shakespeare plays. We walked around and tried to guess each one. I was surprised by how much and how little of Shakespeare I knew. I was actually listening in school and university - who would have thought?

Finally, we took a stroll to see the house Shakespeare was born in. You could pay six pounds to go inside and have a look around but the tour guide said it wasn't really worth it. Instead we all trotted about the high street buying various Shakespeare souvenirs. Back on the bus and back to RHUL as we got dropped off first - woo!

This was an exciting day but also somewhat sad too because this is my last tour with our tour guide Susanna who is SO LOVELY. Over the past several months we've got to know her and about her husband. She's the nicest lady and she knows so much history but in a really accessible way. Thank you so much Susanna!
Now this blog is far too long and my tiny fingers are sore from typing. I hope you've enjoyed it! Bye!

And now for a lovely ramble...

Yes a jolly good ramble is in order. And by ramble I don't just mean like every blog where I talk and talk about the random flow of things that I remember of the day! By ramble, today, I use the English term which is to take a walk.

So today Miranda and I went for a ramble through Great Windsor Park. Now if you're memory is good you will notice that I have been to this park before. To give you some perspective of when that was - the lake that is in the park, last time I was there, was frozen. It's a beautiful park and there was blue sky and sunshine! I've never been so grateful. Have a look at the park's loveliness...

It was so lovely that Miranda and I burst into song and were belting out "I know you I've walked with you once upon a dream" from Sleeping Beauty until we rounded a corner and saw a whole bunch of people with a mix and dogs and children. Eep. No more singing.

Seeing all the doggies playing about made me miss my doggy, Daisy. Though I was thinking that even if she was here she would just be a pain because you can't trust her off the leash like these dogs could be. She would struggle and disobey... Hmm... mixed feelings for you Daisy doodles. It was funny watching little children interact with random dogs. There was this one little girl who wasn't use to being licked by a dog and as we were walking away we hear the mother screeching "Don't lick the dog back Lucy!"

There were all sorts of animals and such about the park. Different kinds of ducks and swans! Swans... how perfect. Swans skimming the shimmering yellow water of the sunset - how pathetically poetic. No wonder all the good literary individuals were English. They've got Gothic scary stuff and then beautiful poetic stuff. England is good all year round for literature.

The BEST part of the walk was ... the ICE-CREAM! Yes, dear readers, it was warm enough not to wear a coat and eat soft serve ice-cream. I haven't had a soft serve in so long so this one was perfection. Miranda and I were joking that because we are so pale that the ice-creams in our hands just look like our hands are clubs holding sticks (which was the chocolate flake). It's my ghost arms scenario all over again. See what you think...

I think this last photo is a bit club-like - handwise. It's so nice to wear sunglasses and not look like a fool because there is no sun. A very lovely walk overall and we've decided to go back next week sometime to explore the whole park - it's massive. By then there might be more flowers out. Now it's mostly daffodils. Tomorrow it's off to Stratford!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Total Eclipse of the Heart

And now what you've all been waiting for... Another video! An homage to the real video clip of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. If you get confused about our video - try watching the real one. It's way weird.

Featuring Miranda and Phoebe and guest starring the lovely Leonore!

Monday, 16 March 2009

York - Day Two

Woke up to the sound of bells ringing... Leonore's alarm clock. Packed all our goods together and hopped back on our bus. Oh I should make a mention of the bus actually - WHOA. When it rolled up yesterday we were all like "no, no that's not our bus" but it was and is. Double Decker. Oh yeah. It's a big fat dynamo which was having great difficulty navigating itself yesterday through York's delightful one-way streets!

We then had an hour drive to our first stop of the day which was Fountains Abbey. Built around the 12th century this monster of an Abbey dominates the countryside. It's all in ruins now which made it more Gothic and mystical to walk through wondering what rooms were what and then making up our own analogies. Who knew an Abbey had a bar? So I have to bring this up... Know why this Abbey is in ruins? HENRY VIII! That's why! You would think juggling his many wives would have occupied his time but NO he had to taint every little thing in England with his rule. The Abbey was awesome none the less. Once again photos don't really do it I don't think... They do, however, show the BLUE SKIES! It was the most beautiful weather when we were there! I wasn't even wearing my coat when we were there. Glorious.

Miranda, Leonore and I spent most of our time making hilarious movies around the ruins - more information of this soon!

The one thing that this Abbey has that none other in England (I think) have is.... a second story in working condition! Wow! The tour guide seemed pretty excited by this so I felt obligated to tell you. She was also telling us that if a monk did something wrong like broke their vow of silence they would have to make it up to God. The way of doing this was to lie in a doorway and have all the other monks walk over you. Seriously. It was a process of humbling yourself in the eyes of God. I turned to Miranda and said "Get on the ground. I'm going to humble you. Monk style".
It was an amazing place so I'm going to have to bombard you with photos.
This last one is pretty much me trying to take an arty photo... I just love the way planes make white streams behind them in the sky... It's pretty. The next photo is not anything in particular but you can notice my lovely English tan developing as my arms are the same colour as the white chair upon which I'm sitting. At first I thought I didn't have any arms.... I'm doomed to be pale!

After we perused the huge gardens I made a decision. I want to get married here. It's breath taking. An amazing garden. I fell in love with nature all over again. After a quick hike back to the bus (we get times when we must be back and if you're the last person you have to do the walk of shame back to the bus). We weren't the last... this... time. Onwards to Haworth which, for all you literature buffs, is the hometown of the Bronte sisters! Holy smokes I was excited. For those of you who don't know - tut tut - the Bronte sisters wrote many amazing novels which all had Gothic and dark undertones which is what really makes them. They said that the house and the town they grew up in (and died in) was what inspired the novels. Boy is that an understatement. You know how I was saying the weather in our last destination was excellent? It managed to be cloudy and cold in Haworth. I started feeling dark and Gothic just being there for a couple of hours.

The town of Haworth would have been awful to live in. You had a 50/50 chance of living beyond the age of six in this town because they, brilliantly, decided to build their well at the bottom of the town so all the dirty muck from the houses would trickle into the drinking water. That combined with the state of the graveyards. Because there were so many bodies to be buried the undertakers, or whoever, got lazy and just lay the tombstones on the ground instead of standing them upright. By doing this they managed to stifle the decomposing process of the body because the stone would crush the plants underneath trying to do their work and therefore making the ground acidic and disease riddled. So more people died. Fun times for the Brontes. At least Henry's not involved.

So here is their house! It still boggles my mind that we walked up the front steps that each of these amazing female writers stepped up on 200 hundred years ago... AMAZING. History is SO COOL. I don't care what anyone says.

We went inside the house and the first room you go in, the sitting room, there is a sign saying "this is the room and sofa in which Emily died". Wow! I was in the room that this amazing writer died in! No wonder it smelled funny. Passing the original grandfather clock on the way up the stairs I came to Charlotte's room - where she died. There's that smell again... The clock struck and it struck me with the wonderment that these were the sounds that these women were hearing. I could travel back in time and hear and see what I was seeing and hearing then! Cosmic... They had some of Charlotte's things in glass cases. They had one of her dresses and, my goodness, she was tiny. She would have only reached below my shoulder! Her tiny little shoes and gloves... I felt like a giant in that place. All the rooms were small and could just imagine myself lumbering around the house knocking over the delicates and causing a 19th century outrage. In this house lived Charlotte who is thought to have burned one of her sister's novels so it would never be published, Emily who would frequently walk about the moors alone, Anne who was... quite dull and Branwell their brother who was the family failure as he was a drinker and a drug user! We recreated the family photo - see if you can guess who we are!

We then took a ramble on the moors - just like Emily! These moors represent and are so frequently talked about in English literature I really had to see what all the fuss was about. It was pretty lovely actually. Didn't really feel that Gothic. I was expecting mist but we got there on a non-most day so at least we could see our feet and dodge the rocks. Soon the heather will bloom and it will be pretty spectacular. If I were stuck in that boring town I would probably spend most of my time out here too. Somehow I managed to go the entire walk without crying out "Heathcliffe!". Leonore didn't. She was very convincing too.
Then we got a super speedy lunch as we had to be back on the bus any minute. Miranda ordered some food thinking that it would be quick like anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, England runs on its own time and Haworth runs on its on time again... so Miranda made the walk of shame. Ah well. My turn will come... maybe next week when I go to Stratford! Wow pressure is on...
I hope this blog was entertaining and informative... mostly I hope it made sense because it's 2am right now... and my words aren't the best. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Yorkity Yorkity - Day One

And I awoke at... sigh ... six. Very early and far too early in my opinion. The hour of six and seven in the morning is not meant for anything more than a gentle slumber. But alas dear friends! I was cruelly woken by the "BEEEEP BEEEP BEEEEP BEEEP" of my cute pink (but ever so demonic) alarm clock.

Today is the day I set off for York! It's quite funny actually because yesterday or so Mum told me I had actually been to York before - Whoops. I'll see if anything jogs my memory (NOTE: it didn't).

Onto the bus and off to sleep. 4 hours later...

YORK! No rest for the weary as we were forced off the bus with sticks by the tour guide for a walking tour of the town. It's a lovely little town by the way. With the flowers blossoming everything looks lovely at the moment so... that doesn't really help. Maybe some pictures? All in good time, dear friend.
York is a rather old city. 2000 years old to be somewhat precise. Yep. This wee town pretty much predates history which is pretty cool. Hundreds of years ago York was considered as good as London - popularity wise and so on. I guess London had better grog so everyone went there over time? The town was started by the Romans and then settled by the vicious Vikings who decided to call it "Jorvic". Great to say. Eventually English tongues got lazy and so it became York. There was one little street which is known as The Shambles. And boy does that name fit. I mean look at the shops! They're all falling on top of one another. Back in the day this was the Butcher street and walking down the street would involve wading ankle deep in congealing blood, various organs and maybe and eyeball or two. I have to admit I'm quite relieved I don't live 'back in the day'.
One of the most monumental features of this sleepy town is the York Minster. It is an amazing structure. Very Gothic structure which was only aided in creepiness by the dead trees around it blowing in the extreme wind. I'm serious about the wind. It was crazy windy! As in I'm-probably-going-to-fall-down-how-embarrassing type wind. My cute new hair didn't just get a windswept look - it got a hurricane look. Which is not as attractive. I mean we're not in the 80s anymore.

Anyway have a look at the Minster. Around the big door you can see are a bunch of empty spaces. Little alcoves that look like they once hosted statues of saints and the likes. Well they did. And guess who's bright idea it was to go all Reformation on their stone hides? Henry VIII. Always shoving his big historical nose in everything and everywhere I go!

The inside was large and in charge. I have photos of the interior but it's hard to explain the atmosphere inside. It makes you feel tiny being in such a huge ornate place. I mean this thing took 250 years to build - 8 generations! Can you imagine building something you would never get to see completed? It was very mysterious inside because some choir boys started singing and the echoes mixed with their alarming high pitched voices gave me more of a small feeling. Then came the tower. 278 steps or so? Stupidly, Miranda and I didn't stretch beforehand - how I regret this! They only let people go up the tower in groups because there is no way one person can be going up and one coming down at the same time - you would get seriously stuck. The steps are tiny and very steep. That and they are very narrow and anyone who is claustrophobic should not attempt. I did though. The step climbing was more of an annoying experience for me as I had some guy in front of me who would keep stopping suddenly and I would be looking down watching my feet so I just ram right into his bottom! Most unpleasant. Half way there and we get out onto this rickety bridge thing - seriously - in that awful wind to go across to even smaller stairs! I was too spooked to get my camera out at that point so you'll have to wait until I get to the top. Huff puff huff puff. Hooray! A light at the end of this winding tunnel! And what a view. The wind and the walk meant nothing.

The air! Cold air whipping the very flesh off my face but still - revitalising air! The view and everything just makes you feel so small. I keep saying that but... that's how it felt. That and I wanted to be able to jump off and fly about the place. Stupid gravity and what not. Back down the stairs - taking it very slowly so I don't fall down and take everyone with me. We then had a look about the town - why do they make streets out of cobblestones? I mean sure they look sweet but they're a pain to walk on... And what about horses and carriages back in the day? Bumpy times.

We then trooped back to the bus and headed out to our hotel (Youth Hostel). Now I would have thought I would be slightly revolted at the sight of the dirty carpets, seedy showers and ugly curtains but no... I live in Founders! I mean if you multiplied this place 8000 times you might reach the grossness of Founders (the hall I live in back at Royal Holloway). The showers were actually the same style as the ones in Founders so it felt like I hadn't really left! We threw on more clothes as the temperature dropped and headed out to go on a ghost tour! Our little posse consisting of Americans, a Canadian and Me split and we went on different tours. I went on the tour that was more about historical ghost stories and Miranda went on one that was more modern ghost tails that had happened around town. York is apparently the most haunted city in England - I still haven't worked out why. Our tours both seemed pretty cool because my tour guide looked like Alan Rickman and Miranda's looked like William Shatner - a good evening. Take a look. One of the stories I heard was about a house (that we were standing right in front of) that had been reported as having the sounds of a child crying in various rooms. The mother of the family living in the house at the time went to tuck her son in bed when he said "Mummy please don't let that little girl sit on the end of my bed tonight. She cries and makes me sad". Freaky deaky. It's said that the very house contained a family who all died of the plague centuries ago. All the family except one little girl. The people who came to collect the bodies saw the little girl and panicked thinking that because she was alive she would infect them so they boarded up the house and painted a red "X" on the door forbidding anyone to come in. People would see the 3 year old girl looking out the tiny window and crying for help all in vain because of the "X". In the end she died of starvation and that is why her crying can still be heard even today! There were more but that was my favourite. Favourite isn't really the right word but oh well.

After a delicious dinner of pizza we waddled home - very full and slept. The pillows were amazingly comfortable and I soon drifted into sleep... Stay tuned for day two!