Reading week: Hemingway, Burlesque, Halloween, Food

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My neck and legs are in agony and it’s all my fault. I can’t even look down at a book without flexing and feeling a sharp twang behind my head. Did I sleep funny?

Oh yes, I do remember. It was the hair-throwing head spins, one slow and two high-speed rotations in the routine. How many times we did the routine, I haven’t a clue. A dozen times maybe.

For all my life, ahem in the context of orchestral warm-ups, I’ve been advised to never tip your head ‘too far back’, but ‘just enough to see the ceiling’. Last night I went so far back I could have thrown my head out the window and into London Bridge station. Who’d have thought that a burlesque class could put such strain on the human body? Continue reading

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Nice weekend: Sidney Sussex and Scottish Celebrations

The dawn of another week is approaching and I still haven’t finished my reading! Still, I’m able to share a little bit of my research. This week I have a very interesting Criminal Law seminar on the defence of consent and the extent to which it can be applied to negate the criminal nature of an act. Whether that’s consent to grievous bodily harm, rape or consent of the mentally-ill. All very controversial and fascinating, but reserved for another day, perhaps when I’m too inebriated to distinguish between law and ‘fun stuff’.

(Worth noting that I’ve never once blogged drunk and never intend to.)

Aside from law and the engulfing effect it’s had on many areas of life I am glad to say I had a great weekend. On Friday I performed in Cambridge as part of the Sidney Sussex music society orchestra, which involved sight-reading half of Elgar Symphony No. 1 a few hours before the show. Suffice to say it was the most uncomfortable I’ve felt in an orchestral performance in a long time; being outside second desk in Violin I (out of only three desks) and miming and grabbing hold of any feasible note is very, very stressful. At one point during the finale, I managed to finish pretending to play an ascending arpeggio run (which are absolute bonkers to play, just to add) only to notice the leader finishing a bar later. Clearly didn’t hit all the notes…

I enjoyed the free wine post concert, gave a fright to an old face from my children orchestra days and bought food from ‘The Trailer of Life’ which I devoured in the doorway of a jewellery shop before heading to Queen’s College to crash on the floor of an English student friend – she is actually Scottish.

On Saturday had tea and cake (a brownie; the shop had run out of the desirable ‘Duke of Cambridge’ delight) with another friend, also Scottish, who studies Music.

As if the weekend couldn’t be more Scottish, I spent Saturday evening at another Scottish friend’s (who is actually English but anyhow) who kindly cooked a Burn’s Supper for three! Amazing boy.

 
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How to make people jealous of what you’re consuming.

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How to draw a haggis.

Better head to bed. Lot’s coming up! Concert and the King’s College London Bar Society Annual Dinner. Bring on the red carpet.

 

 

October 1st 2013 – Progress in my adapting to university

The second week of lectures has started and I only have time and the mind to share two photos.

1) Criminal law dominates your reading list. Look at how pathetic the EU law reading list is compared to the scribbles which cover 2/3 of an A4 sheet? I am not used to reading entire chapters from several textbooks in an evening, nor am I accustomed to feeling so lost about writing my first legal essay, due next Monday, for which we have been given very little direct guidance.

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2) Making my own food every day is surprisingly fun. Isn’t tomorrow’s lunch pretty? The meal’s aesthetic presentation is enhanced further with the use of adorable tupperware bowls, which I bought as a set in the supermarket. The lids are coloured in rainbow. My official lunchbox has an acid apple green lid which, together with the delicious content inside, brightens most lunchtimes after sleepy lectures.

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The meal I prepared used leftover noodles and bacon from dinner this evening. I used scissors to cut the noodles and bacon into small slices. Then I cooked frozen peas and corn (in a bowl of freshly boiled water) in the microwave for 2 mins, drained them, and added them to the mix. A handful of sesame seeds, a few drops of olive and sesame oil and a pinch of salt. And ta da, you have a lovely lunch!

I always go by the principal that a colourful meal is a nutritious one, as it most likely includes veg, carb and meat, the fundamental components of a healthy meal. The photo above strongly supports this idea.

Making cheap, tasty and healthy food is doable if you use what have and what is provided. Like the microwave! What a life saver in the mornings when time is wiped away on every footstep. And colours! Be creative everyone, please. University life might be a stress and pain but it can be very (childishly) fun when you do things creatively.

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Up next: reading (surprise, surprise) and three orchestral auditions this weekend!

August 21st 2013 – Adventures to the mall and movie theatre!

This past week I’ve been on my laptop the whole time writing, receiving and forwarding emails to the four corners of the world. Of course having such a device is indeed a luxury for anyone. But as my only method of communication, I am growing tired of its use, and therefore kind of deluded.

University this, that, loan, rent, budget,  sending copies to Mum, Dad, and emailing far too many student societies asking to be part of them. Oh my god save my eyeballs from imploding! All made worse by the fact I’ll probably be using eBooks as study material for the next few years, I’ll be glued to this machine 24/7, and that frightens me.

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Not sure how the duo-spectacles thing is going to work out in the long term. Might have to invest in a pair of clip-on shades to fix onto my glasses, like the ones my Dad uses. He looks questionably cool…

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Church of Fot – EUCO Budapest Tour Part 4

(NYO have just published my post – have a read here.)

Meanwhile I have one batch of photos left. Don’t fret, this is the final post on Budapest.

On the penultimate day of the tour we performed in Church of Fot, at the unusual time of 11am. The church service concluded at this hour, leaving us barely any time to set up the stage and no time at all to rehearse! Outside the church, the sun shone fully on a very exhausted EUCO, the heat made worse by our black concert wear. We were all exhausted from the previous night’s antics…

But we still managed to pull it off! (Even if the maestro’s shirt was a bit creased.)

The Church of Fot photos are all courtesy of Michael Tang.

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St. Michael’s Church – EUCO Budapest Tour Part 3

On the third day we stayed in the centre of Budapest. The second concert took place in St Michael’s Church, situated in the middle of a street of restaurants, cafes and shops – tourist haven you could say.

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The Town of TaTa – EUCO Budapest Tour Part 2

A couple of weeks late, but here’s the EUCO tour continued!

The following day we travelled an hour from Budapest to the town of TaTa for our first concert.
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Goodbye Budapest

I’m currently sitting in Budapest airport, waiting until boarding time. I am strangely alert and content. Even after the antics of the last week (I’ve had less than 24 hours sleep these past four days) I still have enough adrenalin to keep me going.

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Four for now. More photos and words to come!
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‘I strongly encourage you to have a burger’

Today my mother and I went to a vintage car fair. You’re probably wondering how a field full of automobiles could interest me, so much that I spent half my day looking at them. Clearly I have ‘better’ things to be doing, as I am always told, and should be using my time more wisely. But I decided to go out into the sun and enjoy another exotic cultural excursion – or to admire the art and craft of the automobile – even at such close proximity to home.

Here are a selection of photos from the day!

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I was completely beguiled by everything. Unfolding bonnets and all sorts.

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The size of the cars! (Yes, she looks like me; but no, this is not me.) The little blue one opens up at the front of the vehicle!

 

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Wish we had a boot like this…

 

 

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Having a wee chuckle at the engine?

Ho, ho, isn’t she a beauty!

 

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Boo…

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This gentleman had his own vintage car, along with a working car-horn! According to the document in the wooden frame (below) his grandfather gave it to him.

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Heaps of cars…

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A very pungent stall, its toxic fumes smelt from miles away.

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Me, clearly outshone by the attractiveness of the vehicles.

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This elderly couple had just won 1st prize for their car! Everything about their look screams vintage; the pipe, the goggles, the lady’s real mink fur… Ahh!

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My mother strongly encouraged me to have a burger; as if the pastoral surroundings gave the food more health benefits or symbolic importance.

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Cars older than 100 years!

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…And to finish, a personal favourite from the whole day. I later saw it speeding down the dual carriageway.

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Hope you enjoyed my little adventure. Bed time now.

Wonderful things happening next week! Monday and Tuesday are rehearsals for the Edinburgh University Chamber Orchestra Budapest Tour. Then we’re off to Hungary for several days!

On that note, I shall see you in Budapest. Goodnight.