Ballet, Brum & BFFs

April 08, 2014

It's that time of year again. The days are getting longer, the nights are getting lighter... and exams are approaching. For the fourth year in a row the "Easter holidays" are a complete myth as I spend eight hours a day cramming a year's worth of work into my brain and promising myself that, next year, I will work hard from September and not end up doing this again. Anyway, moan over - for once, this post isn't really about me. 

My closest friends from home are all really great at something, whether it's making me laugh, singing, drama or academics - and ballet is Maddy's thing. When I first met her five years ago, it quickly became clear that she was more passionate about it than I have ever been about anything, and when she got into ballet school we were really pleased, if not at all surprised. Despite all of that, I am actually slightly ashamed to say that before this weekend I had never seen her dance. So, as she graduates this year, Helen, Karis, Chloe and I drove up to Birmingham to try and put that right. 

We arrived at Maddy's at about five and, after her and Alice dashed off to get ready for the show, we set about making ourselves at home as only we know how.. by shorting the electric circuit, burning the pizza onto an oven tray and setting the fire alarm off!

At seven, we headed up to Maddy's school to see the show. After the first performance that, although very well done, had some questionable dance moves in we were fighting back giggles - but that changed entirely as soon as Maddy came on stage...

video


She was absolutely incredible. We all shed a little tear as we watched her - although admittedly it doesn't take much for me - she was stunning. 

After the show, we went back to Maddy's and got dressed to go out, get drunk and celebrate. Previous nights out in Birmingham have had varying degrees of success - one ended up with us coming home in two feet of snow and another with me lying on the ground pretending to be a ballerina - so we were keen to give it another go...


Mr Taxi Man kindly let us take some drinks, including a nice wine glass to drink from, in the taxi - after charging us an extra fiver - so taxi fun ensued...



A couple of hours later, after being told I looked like Lorde (not my most favourable comparison - Amanda Seyfried anyone? Drew Barrymore??) we decided it was time to head home. 
However, a night out with these girls is never complete without a late night snack to head off the alcohol munchies and help ward off the inevitable hangover - in London, our favourite tradition is to go for a late night Chinese in Chinatown. The charcoal coloured pizza we had saved for this purpose wasn't quite as tempting - so half an hour later we were happily tucking into some takeaway curry. A Brum speciality apparently. 

We left, a little worse for wear, early the next morning. When I moved to uni, as much as I loved my friends from home, I was completely taken by surprise at how much I missed them. They say that uni is where you make your friends for life - but I can't imagine this group of girls not being around. Not having siblings, or kids (thank God!) I have never been as proud of someone as watching Maddy this weekend. Good luck honey - whatever you decide to do next year, you'll be brilliant! 



Bologna

April 03, 2014

So apart from the small matter of exams, I have officially finished my first year at uni. The only thing I was really sure about before I went was that I was going to love living in the city - and on that point, I was entirely right. There's just nowhere like London. The rest of my Fresher experience, however, has been a little harder than expected - but I've met lots of lovely people, consumed a LOT of alcohol and missed my fair share of lectures so at least I've done it properly!

Anyway, now I'm settled in London, I'm starting to think about the next uni-related adventure - my year abroad. My linguistic incompetence means I'm fairly limited in the places I can go, and after swiftly cutting out the boring options, I am pretty much left with just Copenhagen and Bologna. 
I was almost entirely set on Denmark (if you don't already know how much I love the Danes, my Copenhagen post should make it clear) but when I mentioned this to my my mum, it was clear that was not a choice she approved of. I know from previous family holidays, and my parents' choice of honeymoon, that Italy is one of mum's favourite places - having the chance to visit me there was not an opportunity she was willing to pass up. In fact, so determined was she for me to choose Bologna, she immediately booked a weekend away in an attempt to prove it really would be the best place for a year abroad. Which was how, straight after the end of term, I ended up on yet another Ryanair flight - this time to Italy.