19 February 2012

Just a Random Update

Oh man! A second post? THIS MONTH? Crazy! But it's a Saturday night, and I am worn out from spending an early morning and the great majority of the day shopping in Manchester. Thusly, I figured I would try to uphold my oath of doing a better job at updating my travel blog... and avoid doing laundry (£3 per load.. and I have to walk so far away. I'm just being a lazy bum and can't be bothered with it.)

I find, now that I have started writing this post that I really don't know what to talk about. I don't have near 3 months of material to cover this time, so I guess I'll just ramble. Give you all an idea of some of my study abroad-related thoughts, goings-ons, and shenanigans. Or maybe just thoughts and advice... I haven't really done much since my last post, and I'm not really one for shenanigans, myself.

I don't think I have yet showed anyone what my room looks like here in England. Just in case you're curious:

The first picture is more of what my room looks like now (with a few layout changes. Duvet cover is still the same... had to show my American pride somehow. :P ...actually I found the duvet cover humorous, so I bought it from Primark for cheap. I actually really like it.)

Second picture is from when I moved in, but it gives you a GENERAL gist of my room. I took that one the day I moved in. I have obviously changed the layout quite a bit, and I now have 4 pillows instead of 1, and of course you can't see my sink and closet. I'd take more pictures, but that is another thing I am avoiding-- cleaning my room. I'll post more updated ones soon. I've re-arranged my bed and desk, and my room looks ten times bigger. 

I can't believe I haven't talked about where I live and my room sooner... For those of you interested in Keele, I live in Templar House of Hawthorns Hall. It's a bit different from all of the other halls/buildings in Hawthorns in the fact that we have six separate kitchens (one per hallway), there are only two floors, and we have six separate bathrooms as well (one, again, per hallway). Our rooms are a bit smaller than most, but that is okay. I don't exactly know how much longer Hawthorns hall will exist as a part of Keele, but I really really like Hawthorns :)... only issue is that it is about a mile from campus. There IS a bus, but make sure you always have your Keele ID on you when you are going to get on... because when you forget your Keele card, the bus driver makes you pay... or walk to campus in the rain (not bitter at all.) It is free to go to campus or anywhere around campus. Otherwise, it is £1.65 for students to use the 25 bus and go to Newcastle or Stoke/Hanley, and another £1.65 to return. (In all honesty, I haven't been entirely impressed with the bus system. But it's all you have, aside from Taxis... which can be more expensive or cheaper, depending on the number of people, where you're going, etc. When it is cheaper to take a taxi, I recommend doing it.)

Here is an idea of what a kitchen looks like in Templar House (Note: they are very different in other halls/buildings. But, it still gives you an idea.)

As you can see, we were playing Uno when I took these. But most kitchens have one table, a few chairs, stoves, refrigerators, a sink. They are also the general hang-out areas. As you can see.

Here are a few images of the area around Hawthorns:

I call these the 'Gingerbread Houses'... because I feel like Hansel and Gretel would live here.

Just behind the intersection of X block and House 1.

Hawthorns Bar-be-que pit and picnic tables. Quite a nice little area when it is nice outside. 

Parking lot across from the primary school, next to Hawthorns administration and Select and Save.

What the walkway to Hawthorns looks like when there are leaves on the trees. I miss leaves.

The upside of living at Hawthorns: We are closest to Starbucks, Burger King, and KFC. This is the road you take to get there.

Same road as above. :)

We are also closest to Sneyd Arms... which has amazing food, fun quiz nights, and of course drinks. A very English pub.

Cutest dog lives here. Some days he just sits and watches people from off of the porch. This is also where the bus stop is.

Lots of farms around Keele. Especially Hawthorns.

Main Hawthorns entrance and block A.

Now, for a few pictures of Newcastle:

I apologize for not showing these before. Sorry I don't have more. I will try to take a few better pictures of the area to give those of you interested in coming to Keele a better idea of the area.

Next off, I don't know if any of you noticed in those pictures... but there is no sun. That is about the normal sky in England. I never realised how not seeing the sun could really affect my mood. When you come from a place as absolutely sunny as central Texas, and go immediately to an area where the average amount of sunlight (found by averaging the average of each month in the year) is not quite 3 hours a day (the average amount in San Antonio, calculated the same way, is just about 8 hours)... it begins to wear on you a bit. I think the weather has been my toughest obstacle to overcome since I have been in England, because, no matter how much people say, "You're really going to miss this sunshine", you still don't think about it affecting your mood. However, all you have to do (and what I have done) is adjust and just mentally reassure yourself that you can still have fun and enjoy yourself, then make yourself to do things-- even on those dark, gloomy, cloudy, and rainy days when all you want to do is stay asleep in bed. I can just tell you, I will never complain about there being too much sun again. :P

But, things are still going great. I feel like I will feel much better once it starts warming up a bit. I have felt really good this week. It hasn't been what I would call warm, but it has gotten... less cold. And I can tell. It's beginning to feel and smell more like Spring (Until tonight... we are having random snow flurries/tiny hail, and it was actually quite cold as the day wore on) But it is almost March. I look forward to Spring so much.

I kind of disappeared to hang out with blockmates in the middle of writing this, so I kind of forgot where I was going... so I apologize if it seems a bit everywhere and disconnected. But hey, it is a journal post! Maybe I can do this more often. Not as painful this time.

111 days until I return from England... Kind of starting to freak me out. It's becoming that crunch time where it's now or never for me to do things. SO I am trying to make the best of it (I even bought 2 new dresses to go out in. I'm getting serious.) Hopefully we will go to Hanley and to the clubs next week... but we'll see.

Peace out, everyone. :) Until next time!!


  1. Why, thank you. :) I appreciate it!

  2. Hi Brittany,

    My name is KC Owens; I’m a college student who loves to travel! While cruising the Internet, I found your site and really enjoyed reading your posts. Personally, I think traveling is a necessary part of life as you’re exposed to all sorts of new cultures and experiences. While enjoying time abroad, I've found it's crucial to fully understand the dangers that you might encounter along the way. These mishaps are part of life and certainly part of travel but it’s always a great idea to take preventive measures to help ensure your safety while abroad.

    I was hoping that you would allow me to write a post for your site to share my travel safety tips with your readers? I put a lot of time and passion into my traveling and I would love to help others by offering safety advice as a result of the mistakes and triumphs I've had. I look forward to hearing from you!


    KC Owens