Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Spring is here :)


A beautiful friend of mine asked me to place more pictures on here, so I thought that as spring has arrived I would do so.

It's been beautiful in Aberystwyth recently, a definite change of season. And the beauty of it can be seen everywhere and it shines off everyone!

Everyone is so happy :) I love that when spring arrives, it seems to bring a spring in people's steps. People have been flocking to the beach and everyone is so happy :)

And nothing can take away from how beautiful the sunsets are...


How God has blessed me so!

    Just a little thought to leave you with:

'For God is not a God of confusion but of peace'
(1 Corinthians 14 vs 33)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

8 weeks and counting...

If the exam timetable doesn't change, in 8 weeks time I will have finished my second year!

I can't believe how fast this year has gone and I know that next will go by just as fast if not faster!

Soon I will no longer be a student (and will hopefully have a degree).

I don't want to enter the real world yet... I may do a Masters! That'll give me an extra year to avoid the world.

One benefit of finishing in 8 weeks is that I get a 4 and a half month summer! Woohoo! I'll be spending most of May/early June on the beach and enjoying myself...

Until I get kicked out of my house...

Then what to do...

So I've been trying to find a placement of some sorts since November, however I still have had no success. I'm currently waiting to hear back from Care about an Internship, which I would love. Though I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm also waiting for the application to open for a Stop the Traffik Internship, which I would also love.

I really want to make good use of this summer. To go into anything related to International Politics can be really though, and so many people have a substantial amount of experience - something I lack - so this summer will have to be put to good use!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Marseilles in Pictures

So, as I'm procrastinating, I thought I'd put up some photos from Marseilles.

Let me know what you think :)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sunshine and sleep

A week and a half after Marseilles and I need a holiday again!

After handing in two essays on Monday, I'm not happy that I have yet another two essays to write before the end of next week. It has completely worn me out! Though I don't think the essays are all to blame. The SUN!

The sun has been absolutely wonderful over the last week, really bright and warm... BUT when it comes to being woken up at 6.30/7.00 every day, it's not so great. I do love my window and my amazing sea view, but I really wish the sun would wait till 7.30/8.00 to wake me up! I'm looking forward to the clocks changing in two weeks time so this will be the case. I just want to be able to sleep! I try to be in bed around 12 every night (tonight I've been in bed since 9.30!) so I can get a good nights sleep, but I just don't want to be woken up before my alarm. It's nice every now and then, but not every day, and definitely not during essay period!

So, rant about the sun over, essays... So I've written an essay on conflict in Africa, which was actually really enjoyable to write, and an essay on on-line news sources, which wasn't so enjoyable, but now I'm writing an essay on the Rwandan genocide, and an essay on human trafficking. Makes for a pretty fun week, not! Though I do find it interesting, and maybe if I was getting proper sleep I wouldn't be so wound up.

However, on a more positive note, I had a pretty good weekend. Saturday night was Tom's birthday 'do'; 12 of us went to Pier Brasserie for a meal and then some of us went back to Tom's to play Scattegories and Jungle Speed. It was quite weird for me as it was the first time I've ever been the girlfriend for someone's birthday, so things like cake came down to me. I was actually really nervous. There was no way I was going to bake a cake as that would have made me so much more nervous, what if it went wrong and no one liked it?!, so a Cadbury Flake cake it was. Can't go wrong with chocolate!

Sunday was also a really good day. I spent the day with God. I came back from church, put some worship music on then did some painting while singing. I then did a bit of reading and listened to a talk while sat in my window watching everyone on the beach and the promenade. It was a beautiful day. I'm still working through Faith Like a Child and what I read on Sunday was really great. At church we were told to offer a gift that we have to God and ask him to use it. I had absolutely no idea what to write, and after a while I settled with empathy. One of the chapters I later read was on exactly that. It started off with a little story:

'I'm fond of the story about the young girl who took a while returning form the candy store. Her worried mother met her at the door and inquired, "Sweetheart, what took you so long?"
   The girl replied, "I saw a little girl crying because her doll baby was broken."
   The mother said, " That was nice of you to stop to help her fix it."
   "No, mommy," said the girl. " I stopped to cry with her".'

After reading this, I sat and wept. It was just beautiful, and I could totally understand. Several months ago Tom and I were watching Spooks, in the episode we were watching one of the main characters, Danny, died. The episode, and the one before, had been on torture. After this episode I sat and wept for about 2 hours! I was heartbroken at the torture. Just to explain, it wasn't solely because of Spooks, I was also doing a module on terrorism at the time and we had been looking at torture. I was gutted at the fact people torture and are tortured all around the world. This is a personality trait that I have and it is why I am doing my course, I cannot sit back and just let this pass by. Today I've been looking at human trafficking and the statistics are terrible! We cannot let things like this go on around us, especially as Christians!

Anyway, aside from the terrible state this world is in, I found Sunday really encouraging. God really spoke to me about the way He sees me. Galatians 3 vs 16 says 'Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "and to offsprings", referring to many, but referring to one, "and to your offspring", who is Christ'. Galatians 3 vs 29 says 'And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise'. These two verses are saying that when God looks at me (and you if you are in Christ) he sees Christ! He does not see me and my sin, but He sees Christ and His righteousness. Another real encouragement was found in Galatians 4 vs 6, it says 'And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"'. This means that when I am feeling distant and cold, the Spirit of Christ is still in me crying "Abba! Father!" ("Daddy, Father" - really intimate!). This is so encouraging, as I know that, even if I feel distant, God is called, by the Spirit, to look at me, and when He does He is filled with such love and joy because He sees His Son!

I just need to keep reminding myself of this fact, it is so easy to forget when living day-to-day.

Friday, 4 March 2011


Well today we awoke at 10, got ready for the day, had chocolate brioche for breakfast, then went to get a boat!

After walking around a very varied fish market we booked ourselves a boat trip to the island of Frioul and waited for it by enjoying a crèpe in a near-by French cafè. The boat trip out was fun, it was nice to see Marseille from the sea! Laura felt a bit sea sick, but apart from that all was well :)

On arriving on the island we realised it was not what we expected, but that wasn't an issue. We explored the island. It was full of old forts and was silent! It was very strange but interesting all the same. We sat and had lunch with our legs hanging off a cliffy bit in a cove. Some scuba divers came along in their boat, I decided they were pirates and narrated all their movements. As we were leaving we realised they were actually fishing for octopus/squid and were attaching them to a sort of belt around their waists. It was fascinating to watch. We then continued to explore the rocky island and chat about fears and God's strength and deep things like that. The views from the island were very pretty, and the sea was so clear! It really was beautiful!

Afterwards we went to a cafe and had sorbet and a drink while waiting for the boat back to Marseille.

The boat trip back was a little more 'interesting'. We learned that the island was attacked by the Dutch, the English, the Spanish and the Americans. We also, however, learnt a group of French men's capacity of English. It was at that moment that we wish we had guys on holiday with us. So when we arrived back to Marseille we rushed off the boat, ensuring they weren't following us, and went to the tourist information to find out what time restaurants typically open for dinner.

After exploring Marseille for a little longer we went back to our hotel to relax and get ready for the evening, we had intended to do some work but time just flew by!!

So, showered and dressed, we went back out for our evening meal. We walked around for a while looking at French menus, attempting to understand them, then chose a restaurant that was red with a pink sign (Laura strongly dislikes the combination of red and pink). The waiter was very nice and translated for us, though we felt increasingly bad, and the food was delicious! I attempted some French, and did well if I say so myself, while Laura, who is much better at French than me, shied away and spoke English! For pudding Laura had a lemon sorbet with vodka and we could tell that this was the case by the time we left.

On our way back we found a 'site'; palais du justice. It was very pretty and had some beautiful fountains but as I contemplated dipping my fingers in the water I saw a very large rat run past. It was time to move on.

On being back we have got into our pajamas, played some games and edited the videos from today and, now, written this blog.

It is time for some reading then bed.

Today has been really good fun and we're both tired from it. It is weird to think that we're going back to England tomorrow, it feels like we've only just got here. I think we're definitely going to go away together again!

So, bonnuit! Au revoir!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ou èst la plage

Rise and shine!

This morning we awoke nice and fresh; me at 7.30 (6.30 British time! :o ) and Laura at 10 - a much more sensible time! After getting ready for the day we went to a local grocery store, we picked sandwich stuff, crisps and some drinks then went to the till to be served by what we think was a Spanish man - he said sì! We also bought some bubble gum that had a tattoo sticker in - Laura has a pink person on her hand, and on my foot I have '@-', why, I have no idea!!! We came back to the hotel made sandwiches, ate lunch and faffed about with maps.

Then to explore...

We went back into the center and then went towards the harbour. We walked along the harbour and found some forts. We had to walk along and cross a very big fast road - I was a bit scared, but Laura was fine, she is obviously much braver than me. The view off one of the forts was pretty cool, we could see over most of Marseille and had a nice view of the harbour.

Ou èst la plage?

Then to find the beach! We walked along a long road and after a while we found the beach! We paddled in the sea and wrote names in the sand, then back off to explore.

With sand in our shoes we started back towards the center. On our way back we stopped into a cafe for a drink. Laura asked for a coke in brilliant French, and I spoke in Spanish - fail! After realising we were tourists we attempted at a quick conversation then sat to enjoy our drinks. After enjoying our drinks, having a rest and going to the toilet, we continued on our way.

The journey to the town was filled with photo-taking and laughs, some photos will be up here after the holiday. Once we were in town we went window shopping and enjoyed a crèpe in a nice French cafe. We seemed to catch the eye of the waiter so after our crèpe we were off to continue window shopping. We were disappointed to find so many British shops, but ecstatic to find sweet shops and a French food shop!! If we could, we would bring so much back!!

Believe it or not, it was now dinner time... so..."when in Rome"... we wanted a baguette...

We went for a little wonder and after a little while, found a nice looking baguette shop. We went in and were spoken to with very quick French. After, shamefully, saying 'inglès', the guy proceeded to speak in fluent English! We then wanted to buy the whole shop, he was so nice! We bought a baguette each and a cake each, said 'au revoir', and headed back to our hotel.

Since being back we have eaten, played plenty of card games, enjoyed receiving Facebook messages from our respective gentlemen, and are now going to do some studying before going to bed! Essays don't write themselves!

I've had a really good day, with even more memories to share. It's been really good fun finding out more about each other and relaxing together. I've realised I'm much better at Spanish than I realised, but no good at French. I think I'm either going to have to learn them both really well or be happy with just speaking Spanish. Going to have to think about that!

Anyway, I'm going to stop procrastinating and get some work done.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

3 countries in 24hours

So, here we are, sat in our hotel in the south of France....

The journey so far....

So straight after my 5-6 o'clock lecture I ran out to Laura's car, she had driven up to campus straight after her lecture. We were rather hungry so stopped off at McDonald's for some chicken nuggets, chips, and the toilet!

The journey to Laura's was made in record time with plenty of fun conversations. We contemplated how much Aber has changed us, quote of the night 'yeah, if you think about me' - oh dear!! I got to experience Laura's comedy comments when driving - she talks to herself and goes very weird ;P all the better to laugh with. :)

We arrived at Laura's just before midnight, Laura high on Red Bull, me struggling to stay awake. After re-packing and having a sad realisation that I could've brought my suitcase, we went to bed.

Nice and early this morning (6.50) my alarm went off to get me out of bed... a shower and an orange juice later we were off!!

The journey to the airport was fun. I found out that Laura's dad did international relations so we chatted about Africa, colonialism and the difference between a nation-state and a state-nation. Fun I know :) Laura was thrilled by this conversation!

At the airport we weighed our bags, sized our bags, and avoided talking about safety pins, bombs and machine guns when going through security, and then... waited...

After finding a 'the windmill' weatherspoons, we went a little bit crazy in a toy shop: Laura danced on a floor keyboard, I couldn't find hand puppets (they were right behind me), and we played catch. We then contemplated buying a real aston martin for £20 but realised we wouldn't be able to afford the insurance. Now for the search for shampoo...

'Laughter is the best cosmetic, so grin and wear it'

We found the Boots and found the travel sized shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, face wash and deodorant. After getting some snacks we went to the till, only to find out we could have a freebie item with our 'skin care' products, so we got a moisturising cream. Not only was this cream free, it also managed to knock 30p off our total! We discussed buying more to get our total to nought but figured this might not actually work...

Then for preparing to run to a gate when it was shown on the screens... after packing our products in our bags and getting our passports and boarding passes ready, we sat for a while. As soon as the gate came up we ran, I was impressed at how organized we were! We enjoyed going along the flat escalator things and arrived at the queue to be the second party there! WIN! The French don't seem to like to queue - one man kept trying to cut the queue.

We managed to get the seats by the emergency exits so we had lots of leg room, which was useful as neither of us really needed it as we both like to cross our legs.

The flight had quite a bit of drama. As we repeated French phrases, words and numbers off my 'teach yourself French' ipod mp3, babies around us were causing some issues. We had two very cute little boys sat behind us who we had been pulling faces at and there was a little girl across the aisle just behind them.

Drama number one: 'excuse me, can you help me, my baby has been scolded'. The youngest of the boys behind us had spilt tea/coffee on himself. After yelling down the plane, the lady continued to yell at the Ryanair people, attempting to blame them for the hot beverage. She tried to get Laura to act as a witness, Laura refused.

Drama number two: 'the baby has been crying for so long and the mother is doing nothing for it'. The little girl behind us was crying, we were coming to land and I can only assume that the child, who had behaved perfectly throughout the flight, was experiencing ear pain. I was too so I totally empathised. The passenger in front of her started yelling at the mum. This resulted in passenger, girl's mum and boys' mum participating in a yelling match. A Ryanair stewardess came over to see what was happening, kindly another passenger translated (quote above). She tried to calm the situation.

After landing we went through passport control and went to find a bus. After finding out how extortionate taxi prices are, we got on the coach. Twenty minutes later we arrived at Garè St.Charles, then for finding the hotel! We located where we were and where the hotel was. We were to walk down a really long road turn right and walk down another long road. We did and found the hotel without getting lost or asking for directions! :) WIN!

We checked in and freshened up and headed back out to find some food! We hadn't had anything proper to eat all day! Our 'lunch' consisted of a packet of crisps and a small bag of popcorn each (I had also had some grapes). We walked into the centre away from the side streets and suburbs that we are in. After finding the sea, we realised we REALLY needed food. We walked along the harbour looking for a cheapish restaurant but every time we tried to eat somewhere we were told they were closed - even though people were in there drinking. After walking around for some time we realised that we must have been too early for food! It was about 5.30. Too hungry to wait we went back round the harbour, enjoy the sights and looking into tourist stuff as we went, and decided to go to Haagen Dans for some desert and to pass the time away. After seemingly taking forever to decide what to have we ordered and enjoyed some delicious ice cream!! As we were too embarrassed to go back to the restaurants and rather fuller up (I know that's not grammaticaly correct) we decided what we really wanted was a slab of pizza and to come back to hotel to chill out. So to find pizza... we wandered the streets of Marseille and couldn't find pizza anywhere... until... we wandered down a, slightly rough, side street... PIZZA GALORE! Exactly what we were looking for! We ordered our pizza and continued to wander, until we got a little uncomfortable :S so we headed towards the center again and walked back to the hotel.

We have gotten into our pajamas and after me spending just under an hour writing this and Laura editing the video from today, Laura has just this minute drifted to sleep and I am going to do some reading then do the same.

Today has been so much fun and we have so many special memories simply from today!

So... 24 hours, 3 countries...

Let's see what tomorrow will bring...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Watch this space

Well, all packed and ready, one lecture to go then we're off.

We'll be staying at Laura's tonight so we've got a long drive. A long time to not get travel sick! I think I'll just sleep.

Tomorrow morning we'll be off to the airport and we'll be in the air by lunch.

I'll try and keep you updated with what we're doing through this blog... so... WATCH THIS SPACE
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