A Birthday Celebration and a Visit to Hampton Court Palace
Hey! It's just Fi this time around, recapping what my third week in the Cambridge International Literature Summer School has been like.
If you've read earlier posts, you'll know that I was sharing blogging duties with fellow Adelaidean buddy, Brooke. Sadly, she was only staying for two weeks, and has since returned back to Australia. Now, I don't want to sound over dramatic, but since Brooke left Cambridge, the weather has been appalling. The skies are always grey and cloudy, and it's rare to go a day without rain. Suddenly, shorts have been put away and everyone is wearing coats and scarves. I looked down at what I was wearing this morning, and realised that it's what I would have on during a winter day back in Adelaide! I'm not saying that Brooke took the sunshine with her. However, I am implying it.
Perhaps it's fortunate, then, that most of my time this week was spent indoors. I'd been working on the essay I need to submit to qualify for credit at my home university. In contrast to the beautiful views I've been taking in over the last few weeks, this is what I had been staring at recently.
I'm also eager to see how I measure up to the Cambridge marking standard, and I'm not alone in this - there are plenty of International Summer School students who have even graduated, and are completing essays just to see! After submitting the essay on Friday, I went on an excursion the next day to Hampton Court Palace. Not only was I celebrating finishing my first essay, but also my twentieth birthday! I can't think of a better way to have spent it than exploring the lavish palace that was once home to King Henry VIII. Every part was spectacular, from the many varied gardens to the stately rooms and stunning courtyards.
There was also a chocolate kitchen, which spoke to me on a very deep level - as did the various wooden statues who had enjoyed the wine fountain a little too much.
The changeover of terms had also brought new friendships for us all; both with newcomers, and with continuing students who had yet to spend much time together. I felt very privileged to be able to share my birthday with these wonderful people. Below is a picture of myself with my friend Emily (whose birthday was several days after mine), cutting into the amazing cake that Jo organised for us. Thanks Jo!
As I head into final week, the fact that I will soon be leaving is starting to really sink in. Part of me is very eager to go home and see my friends and family, but this experience has been magical and I know that I will miss all the incredible people I've grown so close to here. Cambridge has really been starting to feel like home!
For now, though, you'll need to excuse me; I have some souvenir shopping to get done! - Fi
You can read more about my adventures in A Day in the Life...and Tips and Tricks for the UK!