About time…

My voice is back to normal, which was about time. I’ve been sick for two weeks straight now. Let’s put it in the words of Paul McCartney: It’s too much for anyone.

Remember the two lectures I told you about last time? Well, I managed to attend both of them. Mark Watson: awesome, funny guy! He walked in there and the 90 minutes just flew by filled with jokes about himself, about writing, about publishing, … It was more entertaining than informative, though his manner of looking at these things was very informative in its own way. He ended his “lecture” (he was rather shocked that it was supposed to be one in the first place and that he was supposed to follow previous speakers such as Philip Pullman. “Kill me now”, were his reaction to that). Anyways, the words he chose to end his “lecture” felt as if dedicated to me: “If you want to write: Write! Don’t let fear stop you!” At that time I was a bit frustrated with my progress so far, but his words motivated me to keep on going. http://www.markwatsonthecomedian.com

I had to run from Gipsy Lane campus over to Headington Hill campus and sat down on a creaky wooden chair in the exact same moment as Alistair Humphrey said “Okay, let’s start”. He is an amazingly interesting man as well. He talked about his travels around the world and how he got there and what he learned from his travels. He cycled around the world in four years spending only 7.000 pounds overall! He rowed across the ocean with three complete strangers, but found out that he never laughed as much as during this time. Now he does all these microadventures, where he just goes on small trips within the UK and often uses his principle of “5-to-9”. It means that while you have to work from 9 to 5, the 16 hours between 5 and 9 are all yours and even in that short time you can go on small trips and camp outdoors or just go for a walk around your neighborhood, where you haven’t been before. You will be amazed at what you’ll find. He is a “self-made adventurer”, so he didn’t have years of experience or loads of money to finance his travels when he started. He was just a loser student, as he said. This gives me hope that I might get some traveling done as well during my time here in the UK. http://www.alastairhumphreys.com

Last week I had an appointment with my tutor who managed to calm me down a bit. I was a bit stricken with fear of failure in class. However, after talking to him I managed to relax a little and since then my writing was much better. I think, no to be honest, I KNOW that most of the pressure I feel is put on me by myself.

From Friday till Thursday morning I went to Mallorca with my parents, which was a nice, relaxing short holiday. And I finally got rid of my unwanted passenger: illness.

I enjoyed some great food, hiked on the Ermita de Betlem, drove to Colònia de Sant Jordi and Ses Salines, spent hours at the beach in Canyamel sunbathing and swimming in the ocean or relaxing at the beautiful hotel Can Simoneta. The weather was nice and warm, though a bit cloudy. But I was told in Oxford it was a heavy downpour all the time. Seems like I got the better of it.

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 Arta

Ermita de Betlem:

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(apparently I had quite some adventures as a child in this little hut…)

Canyamel: beach, lunch and sunset

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South Coast of Mallorca:

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Can Simonta:

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                                                                                         (I had a great massage here)

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 On the last day the weather was just perfect. (Canyamel)

On my last night we had dinner with friends at Sa Xarxa in beautiful Colonia de St. Pere (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup; Grilled gilthead with trampo and salad; Tonka bean mousse with angel hair and strawberries; strawberry lime).

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On another food-matter: Today I went to the “Brookes Food Focus Group”. We tried some new dishes that might be introduced to the cafeteria pretty soon. We were given the opportunity to give feedback on the current food at Brookes and suggest new ideas. Of course I mentioned to include more healthy food and longer opening hours, since the best counters are always closed by the time my first seminar ends (at 5pm). By the way, in 2003 Brookes became the world’s first Fairtrade University. Such a shining example!

On Sunday there is a TaeKwonDo workshop in Bristol, which I will probably attend. It’s the National Squad Training, where different TKD England Masters are instructing us on Kyorugi (fighting) and Poomsae. There will even be scouts to find the next big superstar! I think it’ll be very interesting to go and get more accustomed to the British TKD.

Apart from that I am starting to think about my essays and portfolios I have to hand in until December. Better start early! Though the emphasis should really be on “starting to think about”. I haven’t written a word yet. But while I am writing THIS, I can hear clattering from the kitchen as Kristi is baking some Scones! There’ll be another entry for my Scone-chart!

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