Wednesday, May 24, 2017

sun & shopping

Hello! Another week has gone by and now I only have 2 more weeks left in the Notts. At times it has felt like I'm just trying to kill time and that these weeks before my last exam would have been spent doing something useful if I was already back home, like I would probably be working and preparing for the move into the new apartment (also it was raining for a week straight here and it was really warm and sunny in Finland, so that also didn't help). But despite all of that, I have been doing some fun things for the past 7 days.

On Wednesday me and Andrea went to the city campus to do some studying and honestly, half of our time we pretty much talked. We were also interviewed by a woman from the BBC. Still haven't found that fotage anywhere online, and I'm not sure I want to.

On Thursday I took the train to York, and on Friday André took me to see the new Harry Potter shop as he had promised. Honestly, it wasn't that special and it was very small, but I've also been to the Harry Potter World in Universal Studios, and I feel like that is almost the closest I will ever get to feeling like I'm at Hogwarts, even if it is in sunny Florida! In the evening we also took a nice walk around campus.

On Saturday we had planned a day trip to Leeds since the trip was only 30 minutes by train and tickets were really cheap. And I'm so glad we went because Leeds was a really cool city and great for shopping! We also had delicious southern barbecue for lunch and even if it started pouring rain at the end of the day, we were both very happy with our shopping. We also watched the semi-final hockey game Finland vs. Sweden, and well, Finland lost so there's not much to say about that.

The best ice latte I've had in England so far/Beautiful shopping places all over Leeds/My summer look (wish I could afford the hat but it was wayy to expensive!)

Pulled Pork, Fries, Sweet Potato Cornbread, Coleslaw and home made ice tea... YUM!
Ei menny iha niin ku strömsöössä...

Sunday was very mellow and on Monday it was time to get back to Notts. These past few days have been extremely warm so I've gone to the park twice now and I'm glad to say that I got my first tan line! Today I'm also meeting with some of the girls for some drinks and football (yes, a group of girls watching football, can you believe it?) but I'm most excited for tomorrow, because not only is André coming here, also my parents and Andre's family! Can't wait for them to be here, I definitely miss them a lot!
Sunday was spent saying bye to all the ducks at Andre's campus :)

I hope that Andrea will keep her promise of visiting me and Finland for the first time, and I definitely want to go and see her in Karlstad as well!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3 weeks

It's Tuesday which means that I have exactly 3 weeks left in Nottingham. With the pretty shitty conditions at my accommodation (like the cleaners not showing up for three weeks and people stealing food from the fridge) I've honestly been pretty done with this place and I definitely look forward to returning home. Still, I've tried to make the most of the things I do enjoy doing here - like hanging with my friends and André, which is exactly what we did on Friday with a little 'bar crawl'. We did just end up going to 2 places and most of the group went to a nightclub pretty early on to get in free, but me, André, Lisa and her boyfriend visiting from Sweden stayed at the latter place, Turtle Bay for a while longer. They have happy hour from 10 onward, which means delicious cocktails for affordable prices, who doesn't love that?

On Saturday it was time for the Eurovision finale which me and André watched from my computer in my room. The winner was ok in my opinion, not my favorite but then again I didn't really have a big favorite this year. One thing is for sure - worst. hosts. ever. That's one thing I think we can all agree on.

Sunday was the last day of sun before a whole week of rain, at least according to the weather forecast (and so far it's been right, unfortunately). We took advantage of it by playing some basketball outside, but for the rest of the night we pretty much just took it easy. On Monday André went back to York and with no lectures to keep me busy, I've tried really hard to avoid boredom. Yesterday after the gym I had a real pampering day - I bought a face mask and this hair lightening product to give my hair that sun-kissed look. My accommodation also organized a street food festival type of thing and they actually served Mexican food, ice cream and cake FOR FREE! So Monday was pretty much awesome.

Today I've been to the city center and done some shopping. I realized that my wardrobe mostly consists of dark clothes and that I needed some color in my life and eventually I ended up buying a red romper and a blue wrap around skirt. Tomorrow I planning on getting a head start on studying for my exam and on Thursday I'm going to York - and I've been promised a visit to a new Harry Potter shop that has opened there as well as a day trip to Leeds so I'm very much looking forward to the weekend!
Blurry OOTD

Thursday, May 11, 2017

T-R-E-N-T we are the trent army!

Terrific Thursday everybody! My week has mostly consisted of essay writing, which actually hasn't been that bad, especially if I compare to the stress levels of last May - I was finishing my Bachelor's thesis but also had three or four other essays on top of that. And not to mention that those essays had to be at least 10 pages long. This week I only had 2 essays to finish, both 2000 words (which equals around 5 pages) and I can definitely manage that! 

I did also have time to go and see some basketball. On Tuesday, the women's and men's teams of Nottingham Trent University (aka my uni) and University of Nottingham (the nemesis) battled it out in the Varsity Basketball game. I made my way to the Motorpoint arena at 5 to watch the women's game, and unfortunately no one else who had purchased a ticket could make it to that game. It was fine though, I really enjoyed watching the game and it made me want to return to the basketball court even more. I've actually messaged one of my old teammates asking if they have room for one more player for next season, so it looks like I'll start playing basketball again y'all. So excited!
There were also some performances by dancers and cheerleaders from both universities

Unfortunately the women lost, but luckily there was still the men's. The other's came a little before the start of the second game (thank god for that, I had to pee so bad but couldn't because I was a) by myself and b) holding our seats). The game was really intense and the atmosphere was great. And in the end, our Uni won!

After the game I rushed home because I really wanted to see the first Eurovision semi-final, where Finland was competing. I'm definitely a huge Eurovision fan and never miss it - unfortunately this year, Finland didn't qualify for the final, although I really think they should have. But I will still be watching the second semi-final tonight, and the main event on Saturday!

Currently I am sitting in the student's union building in the City Campus and I just finished my second essay! I was planning on working on it today and tomorrow, but I ended up finishing it now which means I don't have any more writing to do! 
A change of scenery did miracles to my essay writing pace, apparently

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lake District

On Sunday we took one of the most amazing trips during our time here in England to the Lake District. Although the whole day was wonderful, the morning (or rather the evening before) started with a bit of a bummer. Me and André had both bought some sandwiches from the grocery store, since we had an early wake-up and thought it would be better to have breakfast in the bus. Well, just a couple of hours after we had put our sandwiches in the fridge, mine was gone. Somebody living on my floor had taken it. I was super pissed off and even though it's just a sandwich, I bought it with my money! It's just so disrespectful to go and steal somebody's food from the fridge. What do I have to do? Put labels on everything?

Well, all was almost forgotten in the morning and quite honestly I didn't get much sleep that night but I did manage to sleep an hour or so on the bus. We were really lucky with the weather this time too - it was sunny and pretty warm too! When we got to the town of Keswick, we were free to do pretty much what we wanted. Some people planned on doing the harder hike up the highest mountain in England, but with my fear of heights I really didn't want to do that one. Instead, we opted for the Catbells walk, which had a beautiful scenery and a hike up as well, not just as hard as the other one. 

I'm really glad we chose to go up Catbells, because it was absolutely beautiful! There was one little part of the hike which seemed too scary for me, but once André had ensured me that it wasn't that bad, I made it up the mountain without any tears! We had lunch at the first peak of the mountain, after which we descended and walked back to town. 

How happy I was hiking up Catbells

A decent lunch spot

In town we still had some time before the bus would start making its way back to Notts, so we went to a pub to sit down. I didn't get anything in the pub since I was just planning on getting something from a grocery shop for the way home. Unfortunately everything was closed since it was a Sunday, and I have to say that that is one of the things which bothers me with England - everything (except in London) closes so early! Like the clothing shops close at 6 on weekdays and even earlier on weekends! And most big grocery stores close at 4 on Sundays... that's so crazy to me, as if people don't need to shop after that :D

Jassi approved!

Anyways, the trip was great and I highly recommend visiting Keswick and the Lake District if you ever have the chance!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Thai food all week long

Since I came back to Nottingham on Tuesday I've been trying to hang out with my international friends as much as possible, since it is my last month of staying here. On Wednesday we met up in the city center to go grocery shopping together because Elle was gonna prepare some Thai food for us. It was so delicious, although much more spicy than what I'm used to. We spent the rest of the evening doing pre-drinks at her house, before heading to Coco Tang at midnight. I had a really fun night but I was really tired and had a bit of a headache when we came to the club, so I left at a little after 1.

On Thursday I really had to start planning for my other essay, and I was set on just staying in my room and working on that for the whole day. But then Andrea asked me if I wanted to come to the city campus and study, and I thought why not, a change of scenery might do good. So I packed my incredibly heavy laptop and took the bus to the city. I got a lot done actually, so I definitely made the right choice.

On Friday after seminars I also met up with the girls for round two of Thai food. There is a food truck in town selling Thai food that Elle has been talking about for weeks so we finally tried it out. I had already had a salad at the campus so just went for some chicken satay skewers. It was really sunny outside so we sat down at the Old Market Sqaure and enjoyed our food, and we ended up sitting there for a couple of hours (or at least me and Andrea did). By the time it was getting colder it was time for me to leave, 'cause I had to pick up André at the train station. This weekend we are taking our 2nd citylife trip together to the Lake District, which is the biggest national park in England. So excited!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Valborg in York

Since the 1st of May was a bank holiday, last weekend was extra long due to the fact that Monday was the day off and I don't have classes on Tuesdays. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to visit York for a little longer than before, because usually I come on Friday after my classes and leave on Sunday evening. 

It also happened to be the weekend of Roses 2017 which is an event where University of York and University of Lancaster play against each other in different sports. The opening ceremony was on Friday, where they live streamed the basketball game which was probably the most anticipated game. There was also performances, music, street food and a light show to end the whole night. The event was really cool and there were a lot of people on Campus the whole weekend!

Happy but it was so cold in the evening! Luckily I got to borrow my boyfriends winter jacket :)

On Saturday we started by going to see some of the games which were being played across the Campus. We saw a little bit of football, handball and even netball which is a sport I've never seen before. As a basketball player I have to say that the rules were a bit strange, but it was really interesting to watch! In the evening we were thinking of maybe going to the Roses party but quickly realized that getting tickets would be nearly impossible. In the end, laying in bed and watching a movie together sounded much better, so that's what we did. We actually watched Get Out which I have been dying to see, and it was definitely seriously creepy. But there's a really strong message in the film, so I'd definitely recommend watching it!

On Sunday it was the night before Valborg, and I was definitely feeling homesick. Valborg or Vappu in Finnish, is celebrated on the 30th of April and the 1st of May and it is one of the biggest holidays in Finland. It's the time of year when I usually get to party with all my friends and spend time with my family. So I was definitely sad to miss it. The again the weather was awful on the 30th in Finland - it was still snowing! So I was glad to miss that, but I do miss home. But we decided to make the most of our Valborg even if we were in England, and bought tickets to go see the new Guardians of the Galaxy! Before that we sat at a terrace and had some coffee and just enjoyed the sun. The movie was actually really good, I would even say that I liked it better than the first one! Afterwards we had some dinner at a restaurant called Bill's, and the night ended with popcorn and Love it or List it. A different Valborg, but it worked!

Snap 'till you.. snap?

The river reminds me of my hometown.. Åbo ❤<3 td="">
Ducks for days

Monday was my last full day in York, and since the weather was still good we thought we'd walk into the city instead of taking the bus. Once we got to the city we walked the walls of York, meaning we basically walked around the city center on the historic walls which used to protect the city from any outside intruders. It was definitely really cool and a good free activity for anyone planning on visiting York. Afterwards we had lunch at a place called Cosy Club and we both had a really fresh tasting chicken and avocado burger. After walking home again we calculated that we had walked 11 km all together, and definitely deserved to stay inside for the rest of the day.

Cosy street by the Cosy club

On Tuesday it was time to head home, and I definitely felt this travelling back and forth was taking a toll on me. I'm really looking forward to finally moving in to our new apartment when we get back home, and that feeling only got stronger when I came back to my corridor (a little bit later than planned 'cause the train was delayed due to a cow on the tracks...true story) and saw that the kitchen was an absolute mess! The trash was absolutely full, there were dirty dishes everywhere, the hub was greasy and dirty... It didn't feel too good to return to that. But I'm keeping a positive attitude - I only have one more month here in England and I will try to make the most of it, dirty kitchen and all!