Friday, 29 October 2010

Northanger Abbey Life

Okay, so, I haven't blogged for a million years, but here is one, at last, if only a very brief one (I feel that this will be brief, although, perhaps once I get going it will, in fact, be rather long!)

I never thought my third year would involve quite this much work! I think I'm doing double the work of last year, and I'm only doing 2 modules a term, rather than 3. Crazy! I'm enjoying them so much though; we're reading some fantastic books. Maria Edgeworth's 'Belinda' is awesome, and we're reading some fantastic Gothic fiction, also, including the books that Catherine Morland reads in Northanger Abbey.

I have realised that I am most definitely a Catherine myself (and no, that's not actually my proper name, before you ask). She just wanders around this abbey and imposes drama and romance upon it. I like to think that I'm not quite as bad as she is... but I'm not sure. I fall for people way too easily. While we're on the subject of confessions, here's something I discovered yesterday: I realise that when I exit an Internet page, I scroll to the top of the page before I click the X. Isn't that strange? Maybe.

So, Taylor Swift's new album is out! I bought it at the very first opportunity, of course. It's called Speak Now, and it's amazing. I have a new favourite song in the world, 'Sparks Fly'. I played it to my friend on the bus yesterday and he complained that it's too happy. But it's not, really. My fave lyrics are "I could wait patiently, but I really wish you would drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain; kiss me on the sidewalk, take away the pain." I guess I can identify with that... she knows it's sensible to wait, to be patient, but she really wishes someone would just take a risk on her and sweep her off her feet. Sigh.

However, that said, I am very aware that God is by far the number one thing in my life; or he certainly should be. We had our Christian Union weekend away last weekend, which involved lots of teaching, loads of Scrabble, and not very much sleep! In fact, one night I abandoned watching Beauty and the Beast (possibly my favourite film ever... certainly my favourite Disney film) after the first song, because I needed sleep that badly! Anyway, I was really challenged that we can easily make an idol of something when we take a good thing and make it an ultimate thing. I've been reading a fantastic book, too, called 'When I don't desire God' by John Piper, who writes amazing Christian books. If you don't know Jesus, seriously, get to know him. Sounds cliché, yes, but with him the rest of the world just fades into insignificance. I want to fall even more desperately in love with him.

So, what else has been occurring? I've been out to dinner a few times with various groups of friends. Been for cocktails too, and dressed up all pretty. We had our CU cocktail party, which is always great fun, mostly for the fact that you get to get dressed up--one of my favourite things :)
Tomorrow night I'm running a 'Light Party' at my church with some of my friends, for all of the kids, kind of an alternative to Halloween, celebrating all the light things in the world rather than the darkness. I'm excited about that; we have to dress up in our brightest, sparkliest clothes... sounds like a fabulous opportunity for glittery nail varnish! :D

In summary: loads of busy-ness, lots of fun, tons of food, plenty of cocktails, and God's grace in ABUNDANCE!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


I really like tea, and as an attempt to procrastinate work for a considerable amount of time, I've decided that I shall dedicate a blog to tea. Sophie, one of my housemates, is sitting next to me editing her novel. I'm sitting on the same sofa, with my new novel (all six pages of it...) open on my laptop and failing to write. And failing to work on my assignment that's due in at the end of next week. And failing to do any reading. Although, that said, the books that are most urgent for me to read haven't arrived yet because I tried to buy them on Amazon with a debit card that had expired... so mega fail, really.

I'm just thinking through my typing fingers, really, which I guess is what I always do when I blog, but I did decide that this should be about tea, because it's so often overlooked. I don't think anybody reads this blog anyway, so it probably doesn't matter... however, I did send the link of it to my Mum today when we were talking on Skype. She put it in her favourites, and I felt special that I was my Mum's favourite... as I'm an only child, this probably isn't much of a revelation.

OK, some things about tea:

According to Wikipedia, tea originated in China in around the 10th century BC. So, hooray for China! I commend you greatly.

Tea, apparently, contains more caffeine than coffee, although I know that this is quite a controversial statement. I've also heard that although it does contain more caffeine, it doesn't get absorbed into our bloodstream, although I would beg to differ, because I know how hard I find it to get to sleep if I drink tea after 9pm... but maybe I'm ultra sensitive.

My favourite type of tea I think is traditional English tea, as I am a traditional English lady. However, I guess it's not English, but, in fact, Chinese... even Yorkshire tea? Surely that's from Yorkshire? I'll look into it... to the Internet! OK, says that their tea comes from Assam, in Africa, and from Sri Lanka... so it's not Yorkshire tea at all, but is actually Sri Lankan tea... how do they get away with THAT one? Nonetheless, that is the best kind of tea.

That said, when I am in my fruitier, or more exotic moods, I like to branch out somewhat. I'm quite a fan of Roobois and vanilla Roobois especially, after reading the Number One Ladies' Detective Agency series of books, by Alexander McCall Smith. (If you haven't read them, check them out, they're really lovely, light reads). I'm also quite a fan of chai and vanilla chai. I'm sensing a theme her... perhaps there should be a vanilla Yorkshire tea, and then I would feel very happy. Maybe I should contact them about this. Maybe I could get them to sponsor my blog?

When I'm revising for exams or am stressing about anything else, I'm also a humongous fan of camomile tea. I discovered this during the first year of my A-levels, and it's amazing how calm it does make you. That said... a normal cup of tea makes me feel very much calmer in any situation. I'm very British in that if anybody is distressed, my immediate reaction is to offer them a cup of tea. Also as soon as anybody steps into my house I offer them a cup of tea.

I love spontaneous cups of tea. When you bump into a friend when you don't expect to and have a cup of tea together, or when somebody happens to pop by and tea drinking occurs. I believe that wonderful things can happen through tea drinking. Secrets are told more easily and problems are solved or discussed much more smoothly when a cup of tea is involved. Tea brings people together.

Tea paraphernalia is beautiful, too. I just Googled 'teacup' to prove this point, and I found this, which I absolutely love: (it's not anything to do with me, I just think it's pretty.) I really want to own a beautiful, matching tea set, but I'll wait until I move out of student accommodation, I think.

One of my favourite feelings in the world is when you've had a long day and you finally get to sit on the sofa and you can cup a warm cup of tea in your hands and breathe slowly. Sigh... that, I'm pretty sure, is a snapshot of heaven here on earth.

Sophie, aforementioned housemate, just called through to me, "Why are there sausages on the table?" and I thought I would share it with you, kind reader of my blog, so that you might have a glimpse of what life in my house is like. That more or less sums it up. On a similar note, I was Skyping my Mum today, which I believe I already mentioned. She went through to the kitchen and I heard her exclaim, "oo! I found parsnips in the oven!" Yes, my mother had, in fact, discovered some peeled, chopped, cooked parsnips in her oven.

So, now that I have ad-libbed for far too long about how wonderful tea is, I think I shall go and make a cup. And maybe cook the sausages that are on the table. Thank you for bearing with me, if you did. And if you didn't, well, then you won't be reading this