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Weather, Eurotrip Plans, and Mama Masi Visits Oxford!

February 12th, 2012 etmasi13

The past two weeks have been pretty low-key (except for the work, of course) especially because it’s been SO cold that football and rowing have been cancelled numerous times- a frozen river and frosted pitch don’t make for happy athletes. I’ve been holed up in my heated room with bowls of oatmeal and tea far more than usual. Let me just say- biking (or cycling, as the Brits say) is absolutely zero fun in this weather. On my way back from the gym I pressed my brakes in the parking lot only to skid on the ice and fall off my bike. That wasn’t embarrassing at all…. Also, cycling in the freezing wind/ frigid air is absolutely miserable. BUT, that doesn’t mean that hilary term isn’t amazing as usual. It just means it’s about ten times colder.

A few highlights of the past few weeks:

  1. Mansfield took a big trip to Gatecrashers, a huge club in Birmingham about an hour and a half away and it was a ton of fun. It’s always nice to take a mini-break from Oxford and experience something new.
  2. I had my first formal-formal! Formal hall occurs every Wednesday and Friday during the week and it’s an excuse to get in a little bit of nicer clothing, wear our college gowns, and get served a 3-to-4 course meal. Definitely a nice break from routine (although I haven’t been to a single one this term… gotta get one that!) What I have been to this term is ‘formal-formal’ which is extra swanky. It’s on the Friday of 2nd and 6th week of each term and Champagne & Chocolates is held afterwards in the chapel. The place-settings are fancier (candles are lit!) and the dress is black-tie instead of semi-formal, business casual during other formal halls. It was very cool–the food was top-notch and it felt like a very quintessential Oxfordian experience that I’ll definitely remember for awhile.
  3. My mom visited the first weekend in February and it was the absolute best. Granted, we got our first snow that weekend so it was a little tricky to take someone on a tour of Oxford while trudging through the snow but so much fun nonetheless. We saw the dining hall and cathedral of Christ Church College (where Harry Potter was filmed!), had a drink at the Eagle & Child (where JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis met nightly), showed off Mansfield’s campus, did some shopping on the High St, Cornmarket, and Queen St, had amazing Indian food at Majliss, had high tea at the fancy Randolph Hotel, and showed off some of Oxford’s best architecture. It was really, really hard to see her go- it was such a nice escape for a few days- but I will see her and my Dad in mid-April where we’ll be jetting off to London and Lisbon, Portugal 🙂
  4. The official euro-trip planning has begun! I have six weeks between the end of this term and the beginning of Trinity Term so that leaves me with lotssss of time to travel! The plan is (drum roll please): Budapest, Prague, Munich, Brussels (where I’ll be celebrating my 21st birthday!!!), Amsterdam, Florence, (and hopefully) Barcelona/ Majorca! Then I’m meeting my parents in London for a tour of London and Lisbon! I am so beyond excited. Planning travels is definitely stressful and definitely not cheap but I can’t believe I’m going to be exploring the world with some amazing friends. We’ve already booked our flight to Budapest and booked a super swanky apartment that will end up only being 60 euros a night (for 6 people at 10 euros each, I’d say we found a steal!) It’s all so unreal… but I have a feeling it’ll become pretty real once I see my bank statement 😛

Off to focus on some work… 5th week is approaching (oh-so-lovingly called “Fifth Week Blues”) but hopefully they won’t be as bad as their nickname suggests!

Much love xxx

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