Monday, February 1, 2010

Where it all began

All journeys come to an end at some point and it makes me sad to be drawing a close to this project.
Walking back from a usual day at Oxford I caught this shot just after sunset. The street lights had just turned on and I got a sudden feeling which reminded me of the first time I'd arrived at Hertford for my interview. I had dad's huge brown bag and walked through catte street with him, mum and Chesca. It was dark and cold like today but the warm glow of the sodium lamps invited me into the college. Behind me, is the interview room where I met Clive and Martin. There is also the bridge under which I took photos with the Japanese and the winding path of New College Lane which I love so much. The bod is silhouetted to the right and the rad. cam. around which we ran singing in the snow last year is in the distance. These are the places I have grown to love and associate with. It is humbling, however, to still be able to feel the same as I did the first time I arrived in Oxford. Taking this photo took me back to the start, to where it all began.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pre-birthay celebration

Woke up at around 6am and couldn't get back to sleep. I kept on worrying about the fountain pen I'd lost before term started and was determined, in my sleepy state, to go downstairs and find it. Luckily mum was awake too and convinced me to go back to sleep. I was later awoken by mum, dad, Chesca and Abu coming into my room singing "Happy Birthday" and carrying a caterpillar cake and presents! I was so delighted as last year M&S had run out of caterpillar cakes which wasn't too good... We all sat in my bed eating cake as I opened the presents and read the cards. Ok, so it's not my birthday yet, but I was so happy that we could continue the tradition while I was at home! Abu told me that she and Duado would hear mum and her sisters whispering "pretend you're asleep! They're coming!" from their rooms when they had a birthday to celebrate and she and Duado were carrying the cake down the hall. I hope to continue this tradition as it's so lovely and unique.
Afterwards, Chesca went to work and mum, dad and Abu drove me to Oxford. We quickly showed Abu the Summertown house and later Hertford before I had to rush off to a meeting at St. Aldates. This was pretty successful and I'm not considering wether I should go home on Tuesday too to see Abu again before she leaves. I'm so happy that she could come and stay for my Birthday especialy seeing as it's my 20th. I'm excited about turning 20 on the 02/02/2010. It's a new start and I can't wait!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Abu y la cena de 20 aƱos

Went back home today on the Oxford Tube and to spend some time with my family before my birthday. I had wanted to go out an eat together somewhere with good food. After weeks of no inspiration Chesca suggested today a tiny Italian place hidden down Ealing Broadway. We'd never been there before but now consider it a hidden gem. It's down an old alley and is a lovely little restaurant that serves delicious home-cooked food including Tiramisu. We loved it and have just come back after enjoying the delicious meal. Before going out, Abu was sat with Chesca and I in Chesca's room telling us about her life as a newly-wed. She was recounting stories of when Duado and her lived in the U.S. before mum was born. Mum then came in and told Abu to tell us about the time Abu and Duado had gone out to the cinema and left mum all alone as a newly born baby! Chesca got this picture of me and Abu today. I love Abu and wish I could write down all the things she's told us over these holidays.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pikachu Girl

Today was the big day of my pre-birthday party. The theme was "something memorable from your childhood" which, OK, is pretty broad but that's what I wanted. I hoped for people to be able to dress up in something that they remembered from when they were kids - favourite colour/animal/cartoon character/aspiration... Amelia had a brilliant The Hungry Caterpillar costume complete with 6 legs made from socks, Marja was Cruella DeVille, Alice a sailor (Mar and Amelia bought her the hat), Emily was Jess from Postman pat, Manasi Pocahontas, Talia a cat and I finally finished my Pikachu costume. Yes, I said Pikachu costume; complete with tail, ears and red cheeks! We started off in Summertown and proceeded to Hertford bar where we met other people including Jess (NYE 2010) and James S. from New College. The original plan had been to go out clubbing in Kukui but they were rubbish and didn't allow fancy dress so we went to Escape instead. I am SO wearing that costume again because, although I lost my ears by the end of the night, it was certainly a great success! The night was very, er, me and so enjoyable - a fun and relaxed way to reach my 20th.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Another busy day with lectures followed by a long cycle with Seb from AgeAid. Today we were volunteering at a centre past Summertown and the ringroad where they serve meals for the elderly every month. Seb and I helped serving, washing and cleaning up afterwards and it was quite enjoyable. In the evening I went with a small part fo the Beijing group to the Oxford Modern Art Museujm which is neatly tucked away in Pembroke street off G&D's. I had planned to just drop them off and cycle home until I found that part of the museum's exhibition was to dress up in gold space suits - amazing! I got all the Chinese teachers to do so as well and we spent more time posing in the suits than looking at the artwork (which was modern indeed!). Everyone had so much fun that we stayed until they kicked us out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

7:15am University Parks

Alice and I joined other female rowers from Hertford for an early morning run. We saw the sun rise above the morning mist and it was very brief but breathtaking all the same. I've been blogging and realised just how long my last few posts have been - oh dear.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Careers, future, graduation... eep!

I finished of my work for the presentation today (which turned out to be quite awful in the end - very frustrating) and met one of dad's friends who dropped off some family stuff. This photo is from a collection of the things he gave me - the picture is of my grandparents(right), great aunt(left) and great grandmother who is holding dad and my aunt, Fi, is the little girl sitting in the front. The best part of the day, however, was my meeting at the careers service with Clare the scientific careers advisor. She helped me sort out my CV and we talked about all these interesting future jobs and studentships. She did ask if I had considered teaching which was funny seeing as I come from a family of teachers! I know it sounds idealistic and probably very naive but I would love to work in the FAO or something to do with crop sustainability and food production. It's such an important thing at the moment and so very interesting that I would love to find a job in that sector.Maybe I'm just doing it because Duado worked with FAO too...Either way, going there made me feel so confident about what I can achieve and suddenly my goals didn't seem so impossible to reach.