Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Big Week

7th Week at Oxford was undoubtedly my Big Week.  I had my last papers for both tutorials, tech week and all of the performances for Noughts and Crosses, and Thanksgiving.  It was a busy week, at times a little stressful, yet still an amazing week.

Sunday was our first day in Lady Margaret Hall, rehearsing the play.  We had rehearsals through Wednesday, including the worst dress rehearsal I've ever been in on Tuesday night.  Wednesday night was opening, and the show was pretty good, it had miraculously come together at the last minute.

Thursday was technically Thanksgiving, but we did not celebrate then.  I called home, which was nice, and made cornbread dressing (basically a casserole of cornbread, chicken soup, sausage, and cooked veggies)- a dish I make every Thanksgiving.  However, there was no time to make cornbread, and cornbread can't be bought here, so I used pound cake instead- came out wonderfully.  I made half the recipe, left it on the stove, then ran to ChristChurch to watch Brie in a regatta.  I then ran back (it's over 30 minutes away) to finish cooking.  I then had my final Mythology in Literature tutorial.  Unlike my previous tutorials, this session focused on my own writing.  I had submitted a query letter, synopsis, and outline of the novel I started here in Oxford (I've written about 20 thousand words of the first draft).  It was a lot of fun, and I was a little sad when the tutorial was over.  We had a great performance of the show that night.

Thanksgiving Spread
Friday was one of the best days of my entire time abroad.  I came downstairs and worked on my novel, while we put an internet recording of the Macy's Day Parade on.  Frank, Brie, and Rachel were in the kitchen.  We then had a massive Thanksgiving celebration.  There were 8 people here from the beginning (including me and my housemates), and another two came later.  The spread was amazing.  Two turkeys, both stuffed; my cornbread dressing, which was one of the most popular things; sweet potatoes with orange and marshmallow; green bean casserole; mashed potatoes; jello salad; butternut squash; rolls; salad; cranberry sauce; plenty of wine.  Rachel, her husband Jacob, and her sister Tamara, had us write something we were thankful for on cutout leaves, then we read each others' leaves.  We ate and ate, then I went upstairs and spent an hour skyping my wonderful girlfriend Rachel.  After that, everyone here played some games ("families" - a fun game I had never played) before dessert- apple pie, magic bars, and carrot cake.  I then had a performance of Noughts and Crosses- we sold out that night, place was packed- and everyone from my house, plus Jacob and Tamara came and saw it.  They loved the play and we all went for drinks at Lamb and Flag afterwords.  On our way home, it passed midnight, and SoHee turned twenty-one, so we all sang to her.

Noughts and Crosses cast party

Saturday was crazy.  I had a matinee for Noughts and Crosses, then finished (still in the theatre) my final essay for my time in Oxford.  The cast ate pizza and then sang (everyone sang solos and some group songs).  Then we had our final performance, which was also our best performance.  The cast party was immediately afterwards, mostly dancing and fun times.

Covent Garden
On Sunday, I went to Londan with Rachel, Jacob, and Tamara.  We went out to lunch and then saw the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.  The show was wonderful, I had seen it once before years ago, but absolutely loved it- although it was odd to hear some of the lions with English accents.  We had gelato after the show, at a place owned by real Italians.  Then we walked through Covent Garden, looking at the decorations, before heading to the massive Christmas Market at Hyde Park.  It was honestly a little odd, though really neat.  I've never seen such a commercialized side to Christmas- Santa pubs, Santa roller coaster, Santa climbing the side of a massive Pirate Ship ride- the pics will explain that more.  We were going to go ice skating but it was too pricey, and was also pricey at V and A, so we ended up going to Jacob's house.  He's been living with a host family in a Victorian house on the outskirts of town.  He then told me we should go to church.  I know Rachel and Jacob are Christian, so I agreed to go to church.  We walked to the steepled building,  though the archway and into- a pub!  One of the most interesting pubs I've been to.  Had a pint and a double shot before heading to Alexandra Palace, for some great views of the city at night.  I then took the bus back (alone) to the tube, only to find that the Underground trains had stopped running for the night (It was midnight then).  Jacob came and helped me figure out how to take the buses back to Victoria, and I ended up back in Oxford at 3am.  This was a great week!

Hyde Park

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