Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Camp damp is a way of life.

I've made it to America. The trip was very good actually. I had a slight panic because I thought my baggage had gotten lost, but it turned out that mine was just the very last bag off the plane. Typical. I think the highlights of the trip was going on the silver line in Boston, which is an underground BUS. A legit bus which goes through these liittle tunnels under ground. IT was the weirdest thing ever. And there were these crazy signposts even though you could only go one way down these little tunnels. And clearly only the bus drivers go down there.

Another highlight was the little old lady I sat next to on the train from Boston to Kingston. Every cranberry bog we went past she gave me a full update about whether she thought it was well maintained or not. Which was pretty funny. I also now know the full life story of herself, her husband, her 6 children, and multitudes of grand children. What they did every summer since 1983 every house she'd ever lived in, whether the roof leaked and so forth. She also gave me some very melty cough drops from CVS which the paper is all stuck to and are currently residing in my backpack under my bed.

Being back at camp is great. Its slightly odd being a returner, because the new staff think that you know everything, and particularly since I missed staff training I don't feel like I know very much. Still it does feel very comfortable, like everything makes sense. And it's good to be back with all my friends, and it's really nice to meet new people. We have a really solid group of staff this year, they all seem very professional and still really fun. I think it's going to be a good year. Traditionally someone drops out every year, but I really don't see any of the staff we have this year having to drop out.

It's really hot here at the moment. Around 30 degrees everyday. We have a really heavy rain storm every couple of days and then it goes right back to being ridiculously hot. I'm not even getting tanned because we have to stay in the shade so much. Although on Saturday I went to the beach and got very sun burnt across my shoulders, but that seems to be dying down a little now. This weekend the staff trip is to Martha's Vinyard, which is where the President takes his holidays, also where Jaws is set. I can't decide whether I want to go, or whether I want to stay around in Plymouth. Half Pint's family is throwing a big party for July 4th and I've been invited, so I want to go to that too.

Because it's July 4th next week, it's going to be a really small week on camp, so there should be loads of counselors and not so very many kids, so we should get all our time off and stuff next week. It should be a little less manic than this week. Also the newer staff will be settling in more and so there will be less stress and tension around. Camp politics are starting to kick off a little already, which is sort of funny.

Today one of my kids got bitten by one of the fish in the lake. She told me and I didn't think it was true. But She literally has a bite mark on her arm. It drew blood and everything. The funniest thing about the whole situation was that she thought the fish hadn't done it on perpose and hadn't meant to hurt her. She's so adorable! We had to try to catch the fish and relocate it into the other pond where the kids don't swim.

That's about it for now. I'm going to post this and catch you all up on all the other news at the weekend! Hope everything is good wherever you are!

p.s. Indie if you're reading this, we miss you!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Do you talk to yourself when you are alone?

I just sat my placement exam for my French course next year. I can honestly say it was the weirdest exam I've ever sat in my life. Two of the questions were about sky diving into a field of cacti, one was about whether you talked to yourself when you were alone or not, and I think the answer to a third was 'it would have been better had she died in the car accident', mainly because the alternative answer was 'it was necessary that she died in the car accident'. Still I passed the exam, which means I can join any French class I wish. Hurrah!

(In case you were wondering I don't talk to myself when I am alone, but I do talk to inanimate objects when alone, so it probably sounds like I'm talking to myself...) 

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The time has come, the walrus said... talk of many things. This is promising to turn into an epic post, but I'll try my best to keep it from reaching such proportions that it threatens to overwhelm people and swallow whole planets etc.

Busy busy busy (essays, paperwork etc.)
First thing's first: apologies for having not posted in such a long time. Everything got a little manic at this end. I've handed in an essay since I last wrote (on the representation of labour in seventeenth century patronage poems, if you're at all interested.) This ate up my life for a good week or so. I've also been doing a lot less cricket at larking around and a lot more of actual degree stuff since I realised that this term my work actually counts. I'm currently getting started on the next essay, which will hopefully be on something to do with the representation of gender and culpability in renaissance drama, but you know how these things work, they tend to change shape a great deal. Particularly in the planning stages. I've also been furiously trying to fill out all the paperwork and other bits and bobs I need to get sorted before I go to America. I'm starting to feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. But I'll soldier on. The pile is slowly getting smaller, and I've been ticking things off of my various lists, and even crossing entire lists off of my master list of lists. (It's all getting a little ridiculous - but I don't really know how I thought I'd just kinda hop on a plane and spend a whole year in America without wading through all this gumph!)

Exhibit A. - My desk after DAYS of paperwork.

On Saturday I went to go see the puffins at Bempton Cliffs, where there is a bird reserve, so there are lots of places along the cliffs where you can stand and see the birds. We saw quite a few puffins. And tone of  the guys we went with had all the proper binoculars and had a great eye for spotting the puffins. I assumed puffins were quite big. I thought they'd be about the size of ducks or something, but in fact they're much smaller, I would say sea gull sized but sea gulls get quite big. Anyway they're really really cool with the painted looking beaks and the bright orange feet. I'll try to stick a couple of pictures in so you can see. It was a really lovely day, there was a van selling organic ethical food and ice-cream and everything. It was very sunny, and because of the sea breeze I didn't notice that I actually got very burnt. Unfortunately the resulting tan is peeling already. Sad times. I will have to get a proper tan at camp!
Puffin at Bempton Cliffs

Last night I went to go see an outdoor performance of Macbeth which one of my friends from cricket was in. It was really lovely. I went with a friend from my course and she brought blankets and a serious picnic and gin and tonic. It was a really lovely sunny evening. And the production was actually very good. The witches were amazing, although because it was an outdoor performance on York campus there were guest appearances from quite a number of geese, and we were sat in amongst the goose poo. But it was a very lovely evening. It got a little chilly once the sun had gone in, but luckily we had jumpers and Emily had brought her duvet for just such emergencies. Considering it was out doors in such a large area we could hear very well, and the actors did very well. There were a couple of parts which I think were supposed to be symbolic or whatever which I felt were a little contrived. But for a student performance it was very good. It's actually the second outdoor performance of Macbeth I've seen this summer, the first being in the Globe when I was in London. All things considered it wasn't half bad.
That's G&T I promise. Looks classy though.

At last it comes to the now seemingly obligatory cricket update. There hasn't been much actual cricketing, the weather was a bit naff for a couple of weeks, and everyone has been a bit busy. But there has been lots of social crickety action. We went out with cricket the other night to the student night in town wearing our rather attractive cricket t-shirts and tutus, we possibly looked a little unusual, but it was a very funny night out, and it was lovely to spend time with them all again. This weekend is going to be a big crickety weekend, as it's presidents, traditionally the old girls come back and there's a batch between old girls and current girls on the Saturday and then there's a big dance type deal on the Saturday evening with dinner and such, and we go out on the Friday night. I'm not sure how many old girls are coming, facebook would suggest just the one. But it's all been very exciting with the shopping for dresses and everything. It should be a lovely weekend. The weather's looking good for it to. But I'll let you all know how it goes!
Cricket social madness!

Summer fun
The weather has finally perked up a bit. Which is slightly sad as I seem to be spending more and more time stuck inside trying to organise things and sort out essaying and such. But I'm sure it'll all be worth it. Typically the weather is looking like it's going to be going downhill this weekend just in time for all the cricketing. Marvelous! Anyway. The nice weather has meant that all social time has been moved outside pretty much. Yesterday I played rugby in the sun which was rather nice. And in a minute once I've registered for classes for next year, I might go join my housemates in the paddling pool they've set up outside the house. They did originally have a foot bath so they didn't get grass in it and everything, but I think they may have given up on that a little. I'm watching them a little wistfully from the window.

My housemates in the paddling pool

Coming up...
I'm leaving for America pretty much this time next week. The plan is to leave York on the Thursday, and be home in time for dinner-ish I think. And then I need to be at the airport at around mid-day on the Friday. I'm getting really excited about getting there now! Before I leave I'm having some sort of gathering/party thing to say goodbye to everyone, but I seem to be spending a lot of time meeting people for lunch and such to say goodbye. Which is all very lovely. Although it is somewhat limiting my working time. Still, I met with my supervisor and she seemed pretty confident that I could do everything I need to. I'm going to hopefully have a loose kind of plan before I go. Think about exactly what I need to research while I'm in America, and then have a very detailed plan before I go to Mount Holyoke, so I can write it quite quickly in the time I have free while I'm out there.

That's all folks!
And that's about it! I shall spell check, and then get back to things that I actually need to be doing! I shall hopefully get to update this at least one more time before I go to America and then should be able to so some sporadic updates while I'm at Camp. Obviously after camp everything will get back to normal!