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Oh for a book and a shady nook.

I like to read books and drink tea, preferably at the same time.

How are you finding Leicester! Where have you visited etc :) asked by Anonymous

Hello anon!
Sorry for not responding to this weeks ago!
Leicester is charming, and I’m relishing just wandering around and slowly discovering more about the place. I haven’t visited anywhere in particular yet, but have spent a lot of time walking and cycling around the city and suburbs. Although, today I cycled to Bradgate Park, which is a beautiful deer park just outside of Leicester with hills and woods, and autumn colours splashed everywhere at the moment. 
I actually just wrote a short text/photo post about how I’m finding Leicester so far, and I’m going to continue writing similar posts to document my time here. :)

Today (as in a week ago) was so lovely that I decided there really is no excuse for waiting any longer to start recording my time here in Leicester.

This morning, I bought a second hand bicycle, rode it around town and got comfortably lost. I flew over autumn leaves, felt the quiet hum of the wheels on wet pavement below me, and wondered why I’d never thought to buy a bike before. Bikes are really wonderful things, you know? I don’t know why I’m so late to the party in regards to cycling, but I think I’ve well and truly found the punch bowl and have settled in to stay. 

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I think I’ve named the bike Bessie. Too bad I’ll only have her for four more months. I’ll have to locate her cousin back in Melbourne. While I’m here I plan on taking many bike trips to nearby forests and parks around Leicester, and just generally around the city. Zooming around on my bike kind of makes me feel more part of this place. 

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Although, as soon as I arrived here I felt very much at ease, as if I were a local. I think it derives from the feeling of anonymity in a foreign country, and the realisation that no one actually knows that I’m not a local. I think, also, being an Australian has certainly lessened the feeling of distance. It honestly — and I can’t really avoid the cliche so here goes - feels like home here. I feel very much part of the environment. I walk around and soak everything up: the oak trees, the smell of wet autumn leaves, the squirrels, the endless hedges, the crisp October air, the cloud formations at sunset. There are aeroplane trails in the sky, and I realise that they’re not going to Sydney or Adelaide, but to Edinburgh, to Manchester. Every so often I re-rememeber where I am. It hits me in small doses. An accent, a numberplate, a bank note, and suddenly I’m in England oh my goodness.

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Anyway, university has also started, so my four month study hiatus has officially ended. I’m genuinely excited to start studying again though, especially as the content is mostly unfamiliar to me. I’ll be studying Chaucer, Renaissance literature, and Old English (which is fascinatingly familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. It amazes me endlessly that just as I speak English today, so too did someone in the 6th century speak English, despite the dramatic variance.)

This, this is why I want to learn Old English:
Þæt betweonweb het me hit gefremman.
"The internet made me do it." 

The campus itself at Leicester is lovely, leafy, and not too far from town. The majority of my classes are held in the same building - the Attenborough Tower - which features a paternoster: a never-ending, doorless elevator which you just jump on and jump off as required. While I’m not riding the paternoster purely for fun, I’ve spent many hours sitting in the library on the quiet top floor, which looks out over parkland, at sunlight hitting streets of identical red tile rooves, and at incoming storms. 

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In a few weeks time I’m going to Dublin, which will be fantastic, and Edinburgh in late November. It’s exciting just being here, living here, coming back to my warm room and planning trips - and importantly - making plans to not plan, to just go wandering and read. 

Life here in Leicester is lovely. 

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(I meant to post this weeks ago, but have neglected my journalling, caught up in everything happening here.)

My first glimpse of England was of clouds covering London in the early morning. I remember sitting in my plane seat looking out at the clouds and feeling such incredible relief that we were landing in half an hour, that I was so close after such a mammoth flight, that — though it was difficult to believe — England was below the blanket.image

Walking through Heathrow was absolutely surreal. After a temporary wave of worry when I couldn’t find the other students from Leicester, we drove into London. Apart from noticing that the road signage was in miles, I think perhaps the first true realisation moment occurred when riding the underground for the first time to Westminster, crammed among the daily commuters. And then again when we walked outside and were smacked in the face by the Big Ben clock tower, which loomed over us like a beacon as if to say, ‘Yes, you’re actually in London! This is real! Pinch yourself and see!’

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(By that afternoon, however, I hadn’t slept in over two days and felt like I was going to pass out. A good night’s sleep remedied my jet lag a little, however to be honest it took a week to really shake off. 24 hour flights are brutal.) 

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Wherever we visited I had the same recurring thought circling my mind on repeat, ‘I need to come back again’, particularly because we were in a tour group and had to follow time guidelines. In those few days I only just scratched the surface of London — Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge, the Tate Modern, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, the London Eye, the British Museum, Borough Market, and Camden Town (among others).

There is so much to see, and so much I know I never will get around to seeing. But I know to accept that — to think otherwise would be maddening. Likewise, this text and these photos only briefly skim the surface of my memories and experiences of London.

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I was thrilled by simply being there, thrilled to walk the streets and take in everything that was new, unfamiliar, familar, unexpected, and intriguing. All the incidental sights and sounds. So many months of preparation and imagination had finally become tangible. 

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London was bustling, vibrant, noisy, and the underground left dirt in my nose. It was scattered with pockets of quiet, with nooks, crannies, alleyways, quiet pubs and cafes. London was endless, and absolutely charmed me. I need to return — again, and again.

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  1. Learn to put on your bracelets and zip up your dresses by yourself. There will be times when you will be alone.
  2. Get on a long plane ride. Look out the window. Understand the immensity of our world. Understand your insignificance. Understand your absolute importance.
  3. Press the send button. If you don’t say it now, you never will.
  4. Do not sneer at happiness or roll your eyes at sadness. Be aware that apathy is not healthy.
  5. You are more than the amount of people who want to have sex with you.
  6. That pit in your stomach when he doesn’t text you back, it shouldn’t be there. No one should be able to control you like that.
  7. Shopping is cathartic. Buy the shoes and deal with one-ply toilet paper for a while.
  8. It will get better, but it will never be perfect. Learn to live through the small moments of happiness. When they disappear, remember they will resurface.
  9. I promise that cookie will not change anything (except that it will make you smile).
  10. Please, please, take care of yourself. You are everything to somebody. You are everything to your self. That alone is enough.

things to remember, n.m. (via owlsandwinter)

(via acidintimacy)

From home, before I left. 

In Camden Town.

In Camden Town.

My four month study break has ended. I’m okay with this.

My four month study break has ended. I’m okay with this.

Canola fields in Central Victoria.

Canola fields in Central Victoria.

stunningpicture:


How we beat the heat in Australia. Ice cold can on a warm belly.

stunningpicture:

How we beat the heat in Australia. Ice cold can on a warm belly.

(via dancewithyourghost)

This post is over a week late, but the point is I AM FINALLY IN ENGLAND.

London was amazing, Leicester is lovely, my house is cosy, and it still feels so surreal to be here. I really should make a long text post about it all.

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Introverts don’t get lonely if they don’t socialize with a lot of people, but we do get lonely if we don’t have intimate interactions on a regular basis.

(via sensualproverb)

Perfectly explained

(via youngblackandvegan)

(Source: shadowlands7, via sherlocks-one-friend)

Only one more week. 

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