Friday, February 27, 2009

This week...

So, what have I been up to this week? You might be wondering why I'm asking you this question; it's mainly because I can't remember. Let's see. On Sunday, I went to church and I did the powerpoint projecting, and then went to Bugsie's afterwards for Sally's leaving do. On Monday I went to a rather strained cinema lecture in the morning. It was all my fault, I suppose, since I didn't watch the film, and am, by default, the main contributor. Rollet did say two weeks before that she didn't want just a dialogue between me and her, so I took her for her word and completely forgot to watch the film for this week. But I've learnt my lesson now. After the lecture, I went to the Orangerie, an art gallery in the Tuileries garden (hence the horticultural name) with Isabella, someone from church who is on holiday at the moment. It was a very impressive gallery, much larger than I thought it was (much of it is underground), but by far the most impressive bit was the two galleries displaying the nymphea (waterlilies) collection by Monet. That was truly amazing.

On Tuesday, I went to a lecture about Let It Come Down by Paul Bowles, where we watched a rather bizarre extract from the film Naked Lunch, which involved, among other things, a typewriter eating another typewriter (one word: drugs). The rest of the day is a bit of a blur, so I can't really comment on it.

On Wednesday, also known as Lyleday, I had translation and then litterature de la fin-de-siecle (I apologise for the missing accents) which I enjoyed. It was about the play Ubu Roi, which I haven't quite finished reading, despite being very short, but is better than what I thought it was. I tried to watch it with Nicky, but the quality wasn't very good, and it was hard to hear what was being said. That is possibly the main contributing factor, because it's actually very easy to read. Afterwards, I went around Nicky's and Lucy's, after a bit of shopping, where we had baguette and pate, chicken curry and crepe, obviously not at the same time. We had crepe today to make up for not having anything on Tuesday, which was pancake day. Just to let you know, I have decided to give up for lent chocolate, snoozes, procrastinating and some time to read the Bible every day (as in, I read the Bible every day, not make a conscious effort to not read it).

On Thursday, I went to two lectures in the morning, came home, had lunch, read the bible, posted a letter to CAF and did some shopping. I briefly went to uni to email myself something, and then went chez Nicky and Lucy again to have chicken nuggets and couscous for dinner! Scrumptuous. I also got to briefly meet Nicky's brother, who arrived from London around 10 o'clock. He seemed very nice, on first impressions.

Today, I got up around 10-ish, did some washing, read the Bible, went to uni, and prepared for a presentation I have to do on Monday, then came home, had some soup, and updated this blog. Hope that was sufficiently entertaining for you!

How, for now!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quiz time!

Ok, so I was bored, and decided to write a quiz. If you're getting the first part of this on facebook, it's an idea I stole from my brother. I just thought you might like to read it, and have a go at the questions. Now, no cheating (despite me having to look up several of the answers myself...)! I've divided it into two rounds, to make it extra fun!

Acronyms, abbreviations, and anomalies
  1. What is the NIMBY effect?
  2. Why was SOS chosen as the Morse Code distress signal?
  3. What does 'scuba' stand for?
  4. When talking about weapons, and not role playing games, what was RPG originally an abbreviation of?
  5. What is Nazi short for? (English and German answers accepted)

Dates in history

  1. When was the last foreign invasion of England?
  2. When was the last occupation by a foreign army of any part of the United Kingdom?
  3. In which century was the earth conclusively demonstrated to be an ellipsoid?
  4. When was the last formal peace treaty signed to end the First World War?
  5. What date was land first sighted on Christopher's first voyage to the Americas?

And that'll do for now...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Taking Liberties

I've just spent the last hour looking at a very interesting interactive as a part of an exhibition at the British Library. It looks at various questions about our personal liberties, including English devolution, detention without charge, and NHS treatment. It has lots of information, including interviews with professors, MPs such as Tony Benn and activists such as Shami Chakrabarti. You can play too, the website is here!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm rich!!

I've just found this website on the blog of a friend of my brother's, which tells you how rich you are on a global scale. With my student loan of £4000, I am the 832,998,239th richest person in the world. In other words, I'm in the richest 14% of the world's population. And that's not including gifts I get from family, nor the small amount of money (I say 'small' hesitantly now) I earn doing odd jobs. In other words, I'm pretty rich. If you got 5 random people from around the world, I'd probably be the richest there. To make it into the richer half of the population, you need to earn just over a tenth of what I do, or £461 a year. A YEAR! That wouldn't pay for a month of my rent... Well, that's food for thought, isn't it?

Friday, February 20, 2009


You might have noticed the Amnesty International widget in the sidebar ----> I added it because Amnesty International is cool. In fact I'm a member, twice. I decided to join, and my parents decided to buy me a year's membership for Christmas. Either way I got a cool T-shirt and a pin. Yay!

Yesterday, Nicky and I went to Fontainebleau. It was a lovely day for it too: perfectly sunny without a cloud in the sky, which was particularly lucky since Wednesday and today are perfectly cloudy without a sun in the sky. And what's even nicer is that, since it's the French holidays, we got there for free, and we got into Fontainebleau for free too, except the 1€ to rent an audio guide where the people reading out the information pronounced Fontainebleau as "the shatoe of Fontayneblow". Apart from that, it was very nice, as were the large gardens, which we only saw a fraction of, missing the big lake and the canal entirely. How we managed that, I'm not overly sure, but we did. At least we didn't waste any money in the process. And here are some loverly photos...
After Fontainebleau, Nicky and I went chez elle to eat chocolate and drink champagne (well, sparkling wine) left over from Lucy's and my birthday meal a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hello Everyone

For everyone who has been missing my absence (all of zero people), here's a quick entry. It's 0:22 and I can't sleep, so I thought I'd write a quick post... So, here's the lowdown.

I went to England for the weekend, to go to my cousin Holly's wedding. It was very nice, with lovely food, and a lovely setting. Holly cried most of the time from happiness. My grandparents had Thomas and I a GIANT birthday cake made, and we only had two days to eat it. So, along with wedding buffet food and birthday cake, I think I ate very healthily over the weekend. The rest of the week I've been essay writing, website designing, and presentation planning. I also went to Pizza Hut on Tuesday night with people from church, which was cool. On Monday, Nicky and I tried to watch Ubu Roi. That plan ended in failure.

Tomorrow Nicky and I (being the only people from uni still in Paris) are going to Fontainebleau as it's the French holidays, so we have free transport throughout Ile-de-France. Yay for French transport!

I hope you're all well and happy, and for people who haven't been updating their blogs recently, please do. I know I'm a hypocrite, but hey, I never said I wasn't...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Mad Wednesday

This Wednesday was insane. Tuesday night I got a total of 3 hours of sleep, which contributed greatly to the sense of detached euphoria. It was Lucy's birthday. So, as a surprise, I was around Lucy and Nicky's apartment with a bag of croissants, pains au chocolat and pains aux raisins, at nine thirty, for a "champagne breakfast" (the wine wasn't actually champagne, but it was sparkling) with Lucy and Nicky. That was tres cool, as the French sometimes say...

Then I had three hours of lectures, which left me feeling as if I was experiencing an out-of-body experience. So I went home, and had a sleep for quite a while. I then tried to wrap Lucy's present, but realised I didn't have any cellotape, and I didn't have enough time to buy some. That teaches me for leaving things to the last minute. I think I did quite a successful job of it considering.

Natasha, Nicky, Lucy and I went to a restaurant in Montmartre with a pianist. And it was insane. Natasha took objection to one of the waiters calling English girls "legere", Nicky flirted with the Algerian crepe-man (Monsieur Crepe, as Nicky called him), and Lucy drank lots of wine. Fun was had by all. Monsieur Crepe even smuggled us each half a crepe.

A good, but slightly mad Lyleday...

In other news
Why does it have to have the largest snowfall in England for my entire life when I'm not there?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Snnnnoow!! Lovely, slushy snow!

Yes, as you might have guessed, it snowed last night. Quite a lot actually. Since it's raining now, it'll all probably be gone by the afternoon, but it's set to snow tomorrow too. At a guess, I'd say the snow is about 2 inches deep, but the majority of it has already been trampled into a nightmarish sludge. The roads look like they're earth tracks, and all the footpaths are fatally slippy. On the bright side, the Esplanade des Invalides is a nice white field. Pretty...

In other news...
I tidied my apartment on Friday! Yay! It's already becoming somewhat untidy, but nothing a bit of cleaning won't solve.

Saturday I got up early, posted some stuff, and then went to buy a book. I decided to get of at Châtelet and walk to Gibert Jeune (a book shop) at Place St-Michel by crossing over Ile-de-la-Cité. I noticed the queue for la Sainte Chapelle, a church on the island, was unusually short, so I decided I would go in. It cost 5€, and was definitely worth it, although I was somewhat disappointed the lady at the ticket desk (a hardened woman she was) wouldn't accept my 'histoire de l'art' student card, when they accept art and architecture ones. I'm quite sure someone studying 'histoire de l'art' has more right to get in free to a church displaying fourteenth century artwork (i.e. historical art) than someone studying plain old boring art. But, that said, the 5€ probably did go to the preserving the lovely church. As I didn't have a camera with me, I'm stealing a picture from Wikipedia.

The picture shows the upper chapel; Sainte Chapelle has two, the lower one, which is underneath the upper one. It was built to hold relics of the crucifixion, such as the crown of thorns, and it's famous for its stained glass windows and its ornate decoration.

After buying the book, I watched Fort Saganne, quite possibly the longest film of my life. It might not be the longest film in the purest sense, it's probably shorter than one, two, if not all of the Lord of the Rings films, but boy, didn't it feel long. I felt my life dribbling away in the library as I watched Gerard Depardieu swan between various parts of North Africa, Paris, rural France and the trenches of WWI. I knew I had stopped following the film when about half way through (about the time most films end), I noticed that Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve were having sex for apparently no reason whatsoever. The only time I'd seen them together in the film was at a press conference, and although Depardieu spoke very convincingly, it definitely wasn't enough of a reason for old Catherine there to jump into bed, even by French standards.

Yesterday, I had a very lazy day.