Sunday, June 09, 2013

When Hollie met Penny

Anybody that knows me will inform you of my physical impairment. I have little balance, always seem to hurt myself and regularly fall over. A couple of years back I went out for a hike in the snow with two friends from school, managed to slip on the pavement that was not actually covered in any snow and fell into a bin that tipped over on my way down. My friends, being the lovely people that they are, laughed for about 20 minutes, while I repeatedly attempted, and failed, to return to my feet. This impairment has been an on-going battle throughout my life, one that I put down to the fact that my feet are relatively large in accordance with my height. So when I asked Lisa yesterday if I could borrow her skateboard for a trip to Virginia Waters, I was extremely surprised when she said yes (they obviously don't know me well enough yet). Dowse happened to mention that she had never walked around the entire lake before, so we decided that this morning we would get up early and kill two birds with one stone; Dowse would walk around the entire lake and I would break my leg attempting to skateboard.

The day turned out to be somewhat of a miracle, I believe I should thank Dowse for this as she was in fact a very gifted supervisor. It really did feel as though I was out with my mother, though in all honesty that was exactly what I needed. At times I was slightly overconfident and thought that, being my first skateboard attempt, I could glide down big hills, Dowse was not so confident and kindly told me that flat surfaces were probably more within my reach. Being stopped by the police and spoken to about my skateboarding skills was most definitely the low point of the day, apparently you're not meant to sit on the board, who knew?

The lake, however, was as beautiful as always and the walk consisted of lots of photo taking, chats with fellow walkers and dog owners, and of course the brief period of being completely and utterly lost. A moment in which asking a couple for directions caused them to have a slight domestic about which way they should be sending us... Oops. Having the time to try something new in the fresh air during the summer months is blissful and overall I think we had a very successful and productive morning.


Monday, June 03, 2013

A picnic kind of day

Picnic's are truly underrated. The beauty witnessed while eating yummy food in the great outdoors is not to go unmissed. Being a city girl, the opportunity to eat outdoors is restricted by our lack of parks and good weather. This week, however, has been a rare insight into the beauty of summer and sunshine combined.

I am currently studying history at university, situated in Surrey. I decided I wanted the full uni experience so applied for a room in residential halls for my first year and was blessed with some awesome flatmates. I never thought I would make friends like the one's I have found at Royal Holloway. I have been extremely lucky to live with some amazing people and although it is coming towards the end of the year, I know I have made some friends for life. They have become my second family and we frequently go on family outings; previous visits have been meals, cinema trips and weekly excursions to Tesco. This term has been a lot less sociable and a lot more work orientated, seeing as we have all had exams to revise for. Now, however, exams are over and we have a couple more weeks together before we all move back home for summer break. The decision was made to pack a picnic and spend a day at Virginia Waters, a nearby park with a huge lake at the edge of Windsor. It's about a fifteen minute walk from our Uni campus, and I probably could have taken more advantage this year of being so near to a place so beautiful.

We all met in the kitchen in the early afternoon and prepared food, for our Italian flatmate that involved cooking an omelette and wrapping it in cling film whilst still warm. Living in halls has really opened my eyes to the diversity of people's eating habits, Dowse's idea of lunch has previously been pasta with tomato ketchup. Regardless, we headed up to Virginia Waters, walking the scenic route through the edge of the forest and found a nice peaceful spot away from the crowds. Virginia Waters is always rammed to the core with people whenever the weather is nice, so today was certainly no different. It was nice to just sit in the sun with my book and have a really chilled out afternoon.

After a while the relaxing was put aside and me and Ellie decided it was time to go on a little adventure around the grounds. We wandered up one of the paths, which I was sure I knew really well as I spent a lot of time this term running that particular route. I was, however, mistaken and managed to get both myself and Ellie lost. I like to justify my bad directional skills by stating that the best adventures happen when you have no idea where you are or where you are going. Today my justification was proved correct when we stumbled across a Polo Club, which neither or us knew existed. We got to see all the horses and even had a failed attempt at sneaking in. After a nice sunny afternoon of wandering we found an ice cream van, bought some ice creams and managed to find our way back to the rest of the guys. We chilled for a little longer, listening to Bob Dylan and sleeping in the sun, before packing up and heading back to campus.

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