Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ollie's Graduation

Driving up to Durham was daunting. I don't know what it is but when I see that sign "THE NORTH" I quiver in my boots and watch the dark clouds loom overhead. As a proper country southern girl I felt like a hobbit leaving the shire. However, often The North beckons us to leave, as it did for my older brother, Ollie's graduation. 

After queuing to get into the cathedral and finding our seats we were eventually shushed. Men and women wearing tremendously ornate robes and gowns with all sorts of tassels hanging off and badges stuck on walked down the aisle, wisdom chiselled into their  stern faces and furrowed brows. Turns out they are some seriously esteemed academics, wearing some seriously funky hats. After a surprisingly short ceremony (with not too much clapping, fortunately) we were ushered out to reception drinks and photo-taking.

We all got a little bit too excited...
Anyway, we sifted our way through the nattering crowds of students introducing friends to parents who will probably never meet again into a marquee tent to take the infamous graduate-holding-degree-paper-tube-and-hat which actually is so far from the truth.
The "degree paper scroll" is in fact a cardboard tube whilst nobody wears the hat anyway... pfft ridiculous.
Anyway, not-camera shy Ollie couldn't resist. Countless creepy smiles later and we've finally got the shot.

We took a (quite a) few fam photos of our own before Ollie, his friends and I hit Durham town, including the worst nightclub in Europe, Klute. I personally thought it was a hoot.
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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Late Afternoon Roof-Top Cava

So if you've checked out my Double Locks post this is the follow up. If you're a bit of a clever clogs you'll also have read that I had an exam within the next few days... So taking this and the title of this post on board, you can deduce that indeed this was not the best idea. But those who know me well know that I am so sensible I am almost verging on boring, so I was persuaded by my tremendously persuasive house mates to tear myself away from my Italian verbs and enjoy the last of the sunshine in the afternoon after a lovely day of hard canoeing.

What a lovely way to finish the day. When I'm older I am convinced I will follow in my great-great-great aunt Queenie's footsteps and have a bottle of champagne a day. Why not?
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The Simple Things

I am without a doubt a home girl. There's something about seeing the sign welcoming me into Gloucestershire that makes me feel so....happywell, a word that Adam and I use, meaning absolute happiness and complete-ness, that feeling of being utterly content.

So what better than a beautifully sunny evening sitting by the lakes? Lakeside has to be one of my favourite places to have a bite to eat when the sun finally emerges from behind the clouds. They do a great BBQ/Pizza/Burger menu which is relatively well priced and perfect for a summer evening. After the first day of my month-long internship, Adam treated me to a delicious meal there (and a couple of glasses of chilled white wine!)

I went for the chicken burger. (This was before I decided I needed my bikini bod!) With the most enormous pot of garlic mayo. I was won over.

Adam went for the chicken. (Mine was better!)

You can go Water skiing and Wake boarding right next to the bar/cafe which makes for great entertainment during your meal!

There's this spot near my house which is probably one of my favourite places in the world. What is it? It's a layby overlooking a pig field. I realise how ridiculous this sounds but it's a place very close to my heart. Adam used to and still does take me here when things get tough. When I have my little moments, when I'm completely ludicrously silly and fussy, I get driven to see the piglets, almost in the same manner as someone being sent to an asylum. I'm swiftly distracted by their cuteness and I quickly shut up, sit down and stop whining.

Now you've seen the photo of the beautiful countryside I bet you don't think I'm that batty anymore..!
It feels like I'm in the middle of nowhere, un-contactable by phone, no signal. Feels kinda nice!

Sitting on top of the the sunshine with cool drink (and checking out the cute piglets) is an evening well spent according to me.

As I said.. I'm a home girl...It's the simple things isn't it.

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Double Locks

Before you say anything... I know. I have been on such poor poor form recently. I have officially not blogged for a long long time. It's one of those things I've been meaning to get round to do but I've been super busy recently- in a good way though.

Straight after finishing uni and being picked up with my -what seemed like- truck load of stuff and baggage I went straight into my internship and from then on been working 9am-6pm and on weekends as well, so I kind of feel like I've got a relatively valid excuse. Good news is that I've been bringing my camera round with me and taking some shots, saving them up for some upcoming posts. So here's the first one about two months delayed:

I wish I could remember the exact date...was late May sometime before my last Italian exam that the some of my housemates and other friends decided that we would rent some canoes and canoe down to the celebrated Double Locks pub in Exeter, which, as the name may suggest is a pub on a lock (I couldn't spot the other one!)

I braved taking my camera out on the water...

 Double locks had a BBQ stand so we helped ourselves to some burger and cheesy chips....

I love it when everyone's sitting outside basking up the sunshine...

Had a little nap in the sunshine before we headed back.

How often is it you see a British sky looking like this? Thought it deserved a photo

Team heads back home for organised cava and pimms on the roof

As a girl, can't really ask for a better view hey?

For those at Exeter or planning to head there soon I would highly recommend renting out canoes and/or bikes. You can do this from the quay but I would book beforehand because they get snapped up quickly.

Check out my next post for what we got up to afterwards...

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