It's officially June 1st! Countdown 7 days until what I anticipate will be a somewhat disastrous final on Modern Literature. But let me not dwell on the negative...
This past weekend proved cold and wet...perfect weather to suit my lazy mood. The plus side of not doing much, however, is that the small moments become very memorable. Here are some highlights:
Thursday, after my last post, my housemates, some various internationals, and I hit the dance floor at Plug, sadly for the last time (probably). I finally got to witness chat roulette night which was somewhat scarring. Chat roulette is a website where people go on their webcams and are randomly paired with someone else on a webcam anywhere in the world. Either person can move on to another person whenever. I've never done it but Plug had a webcam facing the dance floor and the person we were 'chatting' with on tv screens around the room. I mostly ignored it since at least 50% of the site is used by creepy naked men. Yes, I know, too much information. But at least now you've been warned.
Sunday, Lilly and I had tea time at Cocoa, a delicious chocolate shop and cafe that looks like a doll house. We each had a cupcake which was sooo good but extremely sweet. And if the equal parts cake and frosting weren't enough, they also baked in a strawberry jam center to, I don't know, make it 'healthy'.As you see though, still delicious. We walked back through the botanical gardens where I saw these lovely flowers:
Lilly and I also decided, rather spontaneously, to meet up the next day for hiking in the Peak District. So, Monday we meet around 8am and took the bus to the train station. Our train got into Hathersage at around 9:30. Since it was so last minute we didn't really have a plan and were further handicapped by our lack of a map. Lilly wanted to see Stanage Edge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanage_Edge) where Kiera Knightly stood in Pride&Prejudice which is just outside of the town. We got a general idea from the map on the wall of the train station and headed off. The walk to the walk was quite a trek in itself but did give us a nice scenic tour of the area. I was a little camera crazy since I haven't taken many photos lately. We finally made it to the rocky cliffs which are popular with rock climbers. We walked along the ridge, ate lunch and soaked in the vast rolling hills and plains while trying to catch the patchy sunshine. After, we walked back into town and had tea outside a cute cafe. The plan was to then follow the river to Grindleford, another village. There is supposed to be a walking path according to a map in the North Face store. We tried taking a road to get there but ended up on a highway getting beeped at by oncoming traffic. Fearing for our lives, we decided to turn around and find another path. We never did find the footpath to Grindleford but did end up taking a nice hike along a river through Goose Nest Wood and some lovely farmland. Eventually we got back to Hathersage and took the next train out. Back in Sheffield, I stopped at Staples for boxes and bubble wrap. Time to send things home!
Today I'm desperately trying to study with little success. I ended up going to an Italian cafe up the road called Remo's for a latte and lunch. I'm in love with that place! The man who I assume owns it is extremely friendly and seems to know everyone. It's one of those rare places that creates a family of regulars but still feels welcoming to newbies. I got to talking with the owner who introduced me to some Americans who happen to frequent the place. One has been in Sheffield for 6 years and the other 12! A lady I talked to said Remo's is like home for stranded Americans in Sheffield, especially for the New Yorkers I met. The woman also had a ton of suggestions for places to see before I left and even gave me her contact info if I needed a travel companion or advice. So sweet! Being an Italian cafe, there was, of course, a grizzled, old Italian man who apparently makes and brings in lunch specials on certain days. He spoke mostly Italian but was able to educate me on the flourishing mafia in southern Italy, to which he apparently has connections. He said I'd be safe there as long as I don't own a lucrative business, but he could give me his name to drop in case I ran into problems. The owner kept winking at me but from the looks of this guy I am tempted to believe him. Either way, he's hopefully as close as I will ever be to the Italian mafia. Everyone was so friendly and insisted I come back often. I'll definitely be back Saturday afternoon to try the 'special' and meet some more colorful characters. Best lunch ever despite getting no reading done.
Now I'm trying to study and NOT think about travel plans. Planning and studying at the same time is stressing me out so I'm going to focus on one thing at a time. Besides, I'm trying to plan a relaxing vacation and stressing while planning sort of defeats the purpose. I wish someone would just whisk me away somewhere wonderful and warm...and perhaps pay for some flights as well. I'm trying to fly into Frankfurt my last week to visit friends but budget airlines don't fly directly there. That may be my big splurge, getting to Frankfurt. I still have to decide when I'm leaving Ireland and where I'm going. I may end up just touring the UK since there are tons of places I haven't been. And there are some nice beaches down south!
Well, tootles until next week most likely. Enjoy your summers!