Monday, 23 April 2018

Milan, Italy


After having studied Italian for nearly two years, I thought it was about time to actually visit Italy for the first time and give immersion a go. Although, as always, natives seem to speak an entirely different language to the one you've learnt in the classroom, I still had a lovely few days wandering around Italy! We visited Milan, got a spontaneous train (language skills came in handy here let me tell you) to a city called Pavia and finished off our trip at the infamously beautiful Lake Como. This is the first of three blog posts about my trip, so please do follow me using the links to your left (shameless plug) if you'd like to hear more!

To change it up a bit, I'm going to give you a few words of basic Italian vocab as I go along, so you can wow people with your cosmopolitanism and I can pretend I'm revising for my exams!

I fell in love with the beautiful coloured houses (la casa [sing.], le case [plu.]) with their window shutters and delicate balconies looking out onto the narrow, paved street (la via) below. I feel like if I lived here, I'd have to burst open the shutters and break into song (a la Disney) every day just because.

Milan's Duomo is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture (l'architettura) I have ever seen! Iy did a little bit of research and found out it took over SIX CENTURIES to build - can you imagine starting a project (il progetto) and knowing that not only would you not be alive to see it finished, but neither would your great, great, great grandchildren? 

The roadside flowers (i fiori) were beautiful and stopping gave me a chance to totally embarrass myself in front of some locals in my attempt to put together a sentence! Yay!

Honestly? I took this picture (la fotografia) because I thought it looked "edgy" (not even going to try and translate that one) with the Lana Del Rey lyrics next to a classic Italian Vespa (not even sure whether this is a Vespa but let's go with it)...

I asked Matt (the boyf) to take a photo of me and he took this lovely, perfectly focused gem but I guess I'll take what I can get! Looks like he was more interested in the motorbikes behind me...

ALSO if you follow my Instagram already you'll already know, but I chopped off 15 inches of my hair to donate to the Little Princess Trust to make wigs for children with cancer and alongside this, I am also raising sponsorship money for Coppafeel! If you're feeling generous or simply curious, click here to find out more about the whole thing!

Thank you (grazie) for reading and remember to follow me on Bloglovin'/social media to see more!
 
 
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Sunday, 5 March 2017

What they don't tell you about your first year at University


  1. The most common phrase in your vocabulary will be "first year doesn't count anyway".

  2. The most common words will be "shots?" and "pizza?". The question mark isn't really needed because you know the answer will always be yes.

  3. You probably came from the top of a small class. Now you're bottom of a really, really big class.

  4. You will argue with somebody about politics, and you will wonder to yourself how somebody so incomprehensibly stupid has got into University.

  5. "I won't go overdrawn!" Yes, you will.

  6. Snakes don't hiss, they tell you they haven't done the reading and then turn up to the seminar with 4 pages of colour-coded notes.

  7. There will be "essential reading" and "recommended reading". You will do neither.

  8. You'll hit a wall at around week 7 which renders you incapable of getting out of bed, going to lectures or handing in work.

  9. You will have to take a few weeks to adjust to British slang you've never heard before.
    Chirpse = graft, lid = haircut, rig = abs (blame the Home Counties)

  10. You will wear sportswear everywhere. Bit of a shame you don't have a gym membership really.

  11. VKs are amazing until you think about the sugar and chemical content the next day.

  12. If you study a language, everyone else on your course will be near fluent and you'll feel completely inadequate compared to them.

  13. Your lecturer will complain about how nobody ever turns up to the 9am class on a Monday morning. You will wonder how they achieved a PhD.

  14. You'll lose everything. Vodka left at pres, clothes, pens, your will to live...

  15. You'll encounter someone who has been on a "gap yah" and just really, really needs to tell you every detail about it.

  16. You will join a society in freshers which you will not participate in for the remainder of the year.

  17. You'll take your card out for "emergencies" knowing full well that means shots and chicken nuggets.

  18. All those friends who promised to come down and visit during term? Not going to happen.

  19. You will get homesick. Yes, even you.

  20. You'll get off with a fit rugby lad in the first couple of weeks and then awkwardly bump into them every. single. Wednesday. at the sports socials.

  21. You'll spend at least five minutes lying in bed every morning asking yourself whether education is really worth it

  22. Your mum will always call you at pres and you'll have to act sober.

  23. You'll break all promises you made to yourself about cooking balanced, healthy meals within the first week and for the rest of the term you'll live off pasta and overpriced Domino's.

  24. When you get ill you never really recover, you just learn to accept this new, lower standard of health.

  25. You'll plan out everything you have to do, then take a nap because you deserve it, right?!

  26. You'll regret doing so well in your GCSEs because now that standard is expected of you for the rest of your academic career.

  27. You'll get ambushed by every sports society on campus in your first week. Be prepared.

  28. You'll fall in love with somebody on a night out and forget to ask for any contact details. This, however, is probably a good thing.

  29. You'll spend half an hour on a polite, grammatically correct email to your tutor for them to reply "sure -Sent from my iPhone"

  30. Referencing. Need I say more?


As awful as all of that sounds, you do always have to remember that we're all in the same boat.
It's just... that boat is sinking. Rapidly. And we have no life boats.

Just a couple of photos you may enjoy of my University experience thus far:











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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

What it's like being Welsh at an English University



In honour of St David's Day, I thought I'd share with you what it's like to be Welsh and study at an English University. My hometown is Cardiff and I study at the University of Exeter, known for its middle-class, private-schooled, home county population, so it can't really get more typically "English" than that!

  1. You'll be greeted when you return home with "you sound posh".
  2. Don't even get me started on the sheep-shagger jokes.
  3. They'll go crazy when you tell them "microwave" is "popty-ping" in Welsh.
  4. Chances are, you have a far higher alcohol tolerance than them.
  5. They'll literally show the football in pubs instead of the rugby.
  6. They'll ask you to say "that long train station name".
  7. "Have you met Tom Jones?" No. Have you met the Queen?
  8. They'll only know Cardiff and "that place where Gavin & Stacey was filmed".
  9. You'll be more patriotic on St David's Day than you were in reception.
  10. You'll instantly befriend all fellow Welshies you come across. Unless they're from the Valleys.
  11. Yes, I can speak Welsh. No, I will not say anything in Welsh for you.
  12. You didn't study any on the same things at A-level, because all your subjects were on WJEC.
  13. You have to stay very, very quiet during Wales V England in the Six Nations.
  14. Uttering the words "lush" or "cwtch" will bring you unwanted attention at pre drinks.
  15. You can't avoid being obnoxious when Wales beat England at something.
  16. "Wales isn't a country, it's a principality". F**k off.
  17. If you tell a guy on a night out that you're Welsh, you get a certain kind of look back...
  18. You won't be able to buy Welsh cakes anywhere. Not even on St David's Day.
  19. We are not English.
  20. Dinner is lunch and tea is dinner and that's that.

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