Monday, September 29, 2008

Hanging silverware and reflective castles

Some of you may have met Brigette, my extra large sunglass-wearing alter-ego who came about during my senior year of high school, though she now limits her appearances to late weekend nights when party guests start to move on with their evenings. Well, recently I met a real-life Brigette, who is mother to Marie, the new roommate to 10 Ellenden court. In other words, the honeymoon is over. Kathleen and I are no longer the only Queens of the Castle and the only residents of the second floor in this humble abode. Oh well. It will be nice to live with Marie’s French accent.

Last Wednesday, I attended the societies fair and got a taste of the types of clubs available at the University of Kent. It’s definitely a creative bunch of organizations, and it took a while to find the “normal” ones. I took pamphlets for the American Club (ha!), the Creative Writing Society, and RAG, which is the service organization on campus, so I’m sure joining them will help me start to make some friends, which has not come easy, as Ellenden Court is a bit secluded from the main part of campus. On our trip to the gorgeous Leeds Castle yesterday, however, we hung out with a nice group of Americans who are also visiting for the semester, making for a really enjoyable day. Leeds castle is absolutely spectacular looking, as you can see from the photo. It was a sunny day, so we strolled the castle grounds and abused our digicams before wandering through passageways to where Henry VIII had secret rendezvous’ with Anne Boelyn and Catherine of Aragon. Crazy stuff! We were then able to lounge on the grass overlooking an English golf course, wander (successfully!) through a maze, and brave the castle grotto. It was a great excursion for the day.

Prior to my Sunday spent at Leeds Castle, I trekked into London for Saturday afternoon. The two-hour bus ride compensated for some lost sleep, and revved us for our first Saturday in London. Needless to say, my hand was covering my purse every second as we attempted to shop on Oxford street. Verdict: too crowed. We met up with Kathleen’s friend from high school instead for a pint at the pub. I am a huge fan of the cider here. American needs to adopt the drink. After our afternoon happy hour, we Tubed to the Tate Modern, a very contemporary art museum filled with a variety of paintings and other forms. My favorites were the Picassos and the Jackson Pollacks. I can’t say I have the most learned eye when it comes to art, but I still felt very cultured as I attempted to find meaning in the paintings. The coolest thing we saw was a room filled with hanging metal objects. It’s hard to describe, so just visit me and you can see for yourself. It’s a free museum, too, so I must tell the truth and say that fact was probably the best part of my day.

Next weekend, I’m off to Oxford, Bath, Lacock, Stonehenge, Bibury, and the Cotswolds. Pictures and blogs to follow, of course. This week, something called school starts… What’s that about?!