Thursday, 11 December 2008

The End.

I am sitting here amongst the three large bags of things I brought to London. I have finished packing up my London life... and am trying not to think about the massive charges I will get for my overweight bags. But that's not really what's on my mind. I am thinking about all the million things I will miss here.  I have fallen head over heels in love with this place.  I love everything about it. Being here has changed me in so many ways. I have grown up so much in the past 4 four months, in ways that I didn't even know possible. I have met 42 amazing friends who are such wonderful people. I learn from them everyday. Coming here was a dream come true. I have always wanted to go, and here I am... 4 months later and I feel like I haven't woken up yet. This whole time has seemed like dream. England is magical.  Everyday I just fall in love even more.  

I love the random faces that I see on the tube. 
I love the beautiful parks that seem to be right out of a storybook. 
I love the london dogs, that are more like people.  
I love all the london animals, the sauntering squirrels, and the friendly pigeons.  
I love the architecture and being awestruck everyday by the amazing buildings, including the one I live in. 
I love the National Gallery, and the way that it taught me to fall in love with art. 
I love the greenest green I have ever seen... in all the plants and hills here. 
I love getting so excited to see an empty tube train and not having to fight to get a seat.
I love having dinner with 42 of my closest friends.  
I love the feeling of coming home after being away for a couple of days. 
I love the shows I get to go see.
I love my professors, who teach me so much and have helped to make this experience even more meaningful.
I love St. Pauls. 
I love  being so tired and sleeping so well every night.
I love 27 Palace Court. 
I love Shakespeare, and the RSC.
I love the tube and all the billions of places that it takes me.
I love my ward... and really loving and caring about people I hardly know. 
I love grilled toastie sandwiches at Bourough's market.
I love my roommates.
I love the opera, and the ballet.
I love talking about feelings.  
I love Tony the busdriver, even when he tells stories about war monuments while I am trying to nap. 
I love movie nights in the classroom. 
I love playing Spaz. 
I love being the only one in the room and finding a bit of peace and quiet.
I love having 12 awesome roommates, so that I can enjoy my peace and quiet.
I love walking in the city alone, and just being in the city alone.
I love the markets, especially Portobello.
I love searching for Peter Pan books, and getting to hold ones that are 800 pounds.
I love old books.
I love all the adorable London families. 
I love the little children's school uniforms, and matching hats, and backpacks and everything. 
I love Victoria station and traveling there every Sunday. 
I love talking to my mom on Sundays.
I love getting letters in London, and putting the letters I send in the pretty red mailboxes here.
I love the double decker buses. 
I love my camera. 
I love escalators. 
I love palaces and pretty places that we go visit. 
I love the Queen... even if I never got to see her, or meet her.  
I love pounds. 
I love Marks and Spencer, and Percy Pigs.
I love Monet, Van Gogh, Holbien, Turner, Renior, Constable, Degas, Cezanne, Rodin, Caravaggio, and all the other artists I have fallen in love with here. 
I love being so excited to wake up every morning and knowing that I will have an adventure every day. 
I love the person that I have come to be here. 
I love all the other millions of things I can't even remember right now.  

I just can't really bear to say goodbye. So I guess I'll just say see you later... 

I am in denial that I am leaving on tomorrow and I don't know if it will even hit me until I have woken up from my 48 hour post-London recuperation nap that I am planning to take.  I'll wake up with all the other things I love, my family, my home, Christmas, Kwazi, my bed, and 2 weeks of relaxation. And although I will miss my new home very much it is no replacement for my old home.  I am just so grateful to have had this amazing life-changing opportunity.  

I love you London... and I will miss you oh so very much. 

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Chapter Eighteen

Okay so I suppose my decision to forgo the blogging until I get home didn't last long, but I was taking a break from my essays and watching Elf so I decided to multi-task and at least catch up a bit on my blogging. So here goes. The past few days... er, the past few days of last, last week. 

Regents Park:
Okay so let's start with Regent's Park. The squirrels at Regent's are the most precocious squirrels I had ever met.  I was just pretending to feed one and then he decides that it's cool to climb up my leg... like shimmy up my leg, which is not cool, when you are a squirrel, or anyone for that matter. But hey, I don't think I have rabies yet, and at least I got this awesome picture out of it. 

Squirrel on my leg!

Jane Austen's House: 
Yay for Jane Austen! And yay for her house! There is only so much to do at Jane Austen's house so I saw it, and then we went and played at this awesome park that was across the street. They had the coolest swing thing ever. If only America's parks were this cultured and awesome... I mean Jane Austen probably played there too right?

a.k.a. We get all dressed up and go to tea at Kensington Palace.  What could be more American?  Well probably a lot of things, but I do think it's appropriate to do something typically British while celebrating Thanksgiving in Britain.  Although this is a little late I would like to take this time to give thanks for some of the things that I am thankful for.  I can't even believe how blessed I am to be here in London.  I love everything here, the shows, the parks, the museums, the history... everything! I have learned so much here and met so many amazing people. I am so grateful for all the awesome girls (and boy) that I live with... it is so fun to live with 40 of your best friends. Not to mention all my other amazing friends that I have at home... who I miss very very much.  I am so thankful for my parents and family and for all that they have taught me, and encouraged me in everything that I do, and for helping me to go on this program.  I am so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.... the church makes me so happy and I don't know where I would be without it, but I am glad I don't have to find out.  I am grateful for my bed... after being run ragged every day I really understand how glorious a good night sleep is... oh and I am grateful for naps too! Okay so those are the big ones I guess. I really am just so grateful to be alive and to have so many opportunities in my life. I am so blessed in so many ways.  

Chapter Seventeen

To my dedicated blog readers: 

I don't know if there are many of you, but if there are, please note, it is finals week and I am stressed. So there may be a lack of blogging in the next week until I go back home in 8 days and recuperate from the the busiest three and a half months of my life. I will be sure to blog about anything and everything Londony from my couch... I am sure I will be going through withdrawals and will want to relive every moment, and share it all with you.