Tag Archives: Nottingham

Looking for summer in all the wrong places


It can’t be helped. Twenty-two years are plenty enough time to build up an image of what summer is supposed to be like. And for me that’s high temperatures and wild winds. Swallowing sea water and dancing in the waves. Long walks under the setting sun and coffee outings that end up to bar visits. Summer is crappy radio signal, family movie nights out on the balcony, fresh figs straight from the tree and fingers sticky from melted ice-cream. And, most importantly, for me summer is feeling the sun on my skin and seeing the world around me through a golden glow. Or at least that’s what summer was.

Fast-forward to now and Yours Truly spending most -if not all- her summer in Nottingham. With its max of 22 C, its on-an-off rains and…well…come on! I could be in a Greek island right now! Does it really bear comparison? Why don’t I fly over you ask? Save us all the inevitable whining? To which I answer, I do want a pretty (preferably above 65%) grade to my thesis. I’m too much of a stereotype I suppose. I physically need sunlight to feel well after a while and of all the givens of childhood an extended summer vacation is the one I’m having more trouble letting go.

So here’s to trying to stay positive and see what a British summer is like. Though, given recent events, England could have the same weather as the Maldives and I would still contemplate not staying. Yes, I’m upset. Yes, I’m scared. And yes, I’m incredibly frustrated. 2016 has been developing like a bad joke, the kind that has a chapter-and-a-half devoted to it in history textbooks and is in the SOS list for final exams. I am not looking forward to telling my future grandkids about the Great Crazy of 2016. And no, the awesome movie line up is not making up for it (no matter how much of a huge nerd I am).

Here I am then. Dazed, confused and far paler than I usually am by the end of June? Any suggestions?

And now I’m back from Dublin


Back and STILL sleepy. I don’t think I got a full twelve hours of sleep between leaving England and coming back…. Why, do you ask? Well…er had a starting time of 4:30 in the morning. So I figured the most sensible thing was to NOT sleep at all. The library stays open all night anyway so I just hang out there with a friend and we watched movies (Harry Potter of course!) until it was time to meet up with the others. And…

***Never mind, I’ll continue this in 20 minutes. I finally found the original Yu-Gi-Oh! in Japanese and I’m binge-watching***

And now I’m back! A few episodes and quick nap later. And the inevitable frustration that accompanies every waking moment when my laptop decides to act up with zero explanation. But one thing at a time. Where did this all start from? Ah, yes! My all-nighter. it was fun! I swear. Tiring of course and causing me to pass out during the (unfortunately) short flight to Dublin but for the biggest part of the day I was swinging between manic cheerfulness and that fugue-like state you are right before you fall asleep. And this dear friends is why there are no pictures in this post. Kind of hard to take them when you’re speeding through historical Dublin in less than 48 hours and having to consciously concentrate on forming words in the right language and accent. Yes. New discovery: the more tired I am, the more muddled the languages become in my head. In retrospect it’s kind of funny.

Dublin was lovely. Kind of chilly because of the wind but the sun was out all day, both days and not even a hint of rain bothered us. And yes, this is yet another city I’ve barely met yet I’m already sort of in love with. It doesn’t really help that my first introduction to the country was through the Artemis Fowl books (a stipple of my teenage years and I am STILL waiting on the movie!). I was going there prepared to like the place and I left determined to return for further explorations…

Of course, judging my the weather since I returned, Nottingham is a jealous mistress who did not appreciate my going off to a different city for any length of time. Look at this weather forecast! It’s supposed to be spring!

Capture weathre Here’s to hoping BBC is wrong. At which point I will stop as I just nearly broke my jaw yawning. I think dinner, then sweet dreams are in order for me. See you all soon!

In which I am apparently studying at Hogwarts!


And for the matter, Hogwarts is currently masquerading as the University of Nottingham. No, it wasn’t the fact that I will be spending a significant amount of time this semester over runic texts and/or books on Old English and Old Norse. It wasn’t the fact that if all libraries on campus are as large as the one I hang out in (Hallward Library for those in the know), then clearly Hermione Granger had an active involvement in their design. It wasn’t even the fact that part of the campus could possibly be the Forbidden Forest in miniature (although if anyone fancies looking for unicorns and/or thestrals, I’m up for it).

No, what go me (and a few friends of mine for the matter) suspicious is the sheer number of staircases, doors and corridors that seem to lead nowhere in this place. I swear, in Trent Building only there’s more corridors than actual rooms. Is that even architecturally possible? Not that we are complaining. I can’t speak for the others, but having spend a good part of my early teenage-hood fully expecting a Hogwarts letter to arrive I am simply glad to be able to indulge in a little fantasy play and pretend I’m a very studious Ravenclaw or a mischivious Slytherin (I could never quite decide which House suited me better…).

And with the first week of lessons not being over yet, I can’t help but feel like a little first year, star-struck with all the new experiences and spending a lot of time getting lost in one corridor or another. It certainly looks like it’s going to be an interesting year if nothing else. Normally I don’t judge places and people at first glance but this time I will hazard a prediction: the next fifty-one weeks are going to be unforgettable!

In which I share my first impressions


I write this half-asleep and so any rambling needs be excused.

Why am I so sleepy you ask? FRESHERS! For those who are/have been through a university degree, I do not think this needs further explanation. For those that haven’t let me put it like this: Think a week-long party (with the equivalent amount of alcohol) that is at the same time form-filling marathon (registration, yay!), an Amazon exploration mission (seriously the Nottingham campus is huuuuuuuuu-yawn-uuuuge!), a diplomatic dinner (what with all the people you meet) and possibly the week you spend a disproportionate amount of our budget on books and office supplies (or if you are me, more than usual). And I LOVE IT!

Especially since now I’m a postgraduate and therefore familiar with some of the ins and outs of university life. Sure learning a new campus/city can be rather daunting but the terror of being away from home for the first time is no longer there and I know how to cook now, so no more Tesco meals for me. (I am still amazed and not shooting my cholesterol levels off the roof that first semester three years ago.)

I wish I could say more but I’m not kidding when I say I keep nodding off in front of the screen. So if you’re curious about what this crazy girl is doing with her life now, tune in next week when I’ll have had my first few seminars and undoubtedly more to rant and/or gush over.

Until then, sweet dreams my ducklings!

Spring Trip 2014 – Day 12 – English Version


Today was the whimsical day, the day I woke up without an alarm clock, the day I wore my favourite dress for no reason, the day I wondered around and the day I bought that CD I wanted since I was fifteen. Normally I’d still be out, it’s blasphemy to be indoors with such a gorgeous sun, but unfortunately there’s luggage to be packed and a taxi to be booked (and quite a few pictures to go through). I’ll be out very soon, as soon as I’m finished writing this, since I need to find somewhere with Wi-Fi and tea to post this and kill a few hours until the tavern is open. Yeah, the one I went to the night before. I know I try to go to a different place every night but I won’t get to eat a souvlaki until I’m back in Athens so sue me!

I’m not kidding when I say today was my whimsy day. I had breakfast and then just randomly walked around with no map (or sense of direction). Mercifully I did not end up out of town again…. I did find a neighbourhood, however, that looked like someone had torn a page from a real estate magazine and pasted it over reality. It was the real deal: two-storey houses with stained glass over the door and blooming gardens, lace curtains and the occasional ceramic gnome. For once in my life I’m not snarking. I was a really nice road and, contrary to my expectations, not of the cookie-cutter variety.

Right… Yeah, not much to say, last day and all that jazz. Tomorrow I’ll post the last update from Norwich and officially announce what my next project will be. But for now, instead of wasting space talking about nothing, I’ll put up some of the pictures I’ve taken here in Nottingham.

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Spring Trip 2014 – Day 12


Σήμερα ήταν η ανούσια μέρα, η μέρα που ξύπνησα χωρίς ξυπνητήρι, που έβαλα το αγαπημένο μου φόρεμα χωρίς λόγο, που έκανα μια βόλτα χωρίς κανένα λόγο και που αγόρασα το CD που ήθελα να αγοράσω από τότε που ήμουν δεκαπέντε. Κανονικά θα ήμουν ακόμα έξω, με τέτοιον ήλιο είναι αμαρτία να μένω στο ξενοδοχείο, αλλά δυστυχώς έχω μια βαλίτσα να φτιάξω και ένα ταξί να κλείσω (και καμιά εικοσαριά φωτογραφίες να ξεκαθαρίσω). Θα ξανακατέβω μόλις τελειώσω με αυτό το κείμενο για να το ανεβάσω και να σκοτώσω λίγη ώρα στο ίντερνετ μέχρι να ανοίξει η ταβέρνα. Ναι, ναι, ξέρω ότι συνήθως πάω σε διαφορετικό εστιατόριο κάθε βράδυ, αλλά δεν θα ξαναφάω σουβλάκι μέχρι να γυρίσω στην Αθήνα οπότε….

Δεν αστειεύομαι όταν λέω ότι σήμερα η μέρα μου ήταν εντελώς ανούσια. Έφαγα πρωινό και άρχισα να περπατάω χωρίς χάρτη. Ευτυχώς αυτή την φορά δεν κατέληξα έξω από την πόλη… Βρήκα όμως μια γειτονιά στην βόρεια άκρη της πόλης που ήταν λες και κάποιος είχε ξεκολλήσει μια σελίδα από εκείνους καταλόγους που έχουν στα μεσιτικά γραφεία και την είχε κολλήσει στην πραγματικότητα. Ήταν πλήρες πακέτο: διώροφα σπίτια με βιτρό στην πόρτα και ανθισμένους κήπους, δαντελωτά κουρτινάκια και που και που κανένας κεραμικός νάνος. Για μια φορά στην ζωή μου δεν σαρκάζω. Ήταν ένας πολύ ωραίος δρόμος και σε αντίθεση με αυτό που περίμενα τα σπίτια δεν ήταν ολόιδια.

Μάλιστα… Ναι, δεν έχω πολλά να πω, τελευταία μέρα and all that jazz. Αύριο θα ανεβάσω το τελευταίο κείμενο αυτής της σειράς από το Norwich και θα ανακοινώσω τι θα είναι το επόμενο project μου. Αλλά αντί να συνεχίσω να μιλάω για το τίποτα θα ανεβάσω μερικές από τις φωτογραφίες που έχω ανεβάσει στο Nottingham.

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Spring Trip 2014 – Day 11 – English Version


Earlier today I wrote that as long as I am in Nottingham I will be posting in a day-late schedule. Considering however how much my feet hurt right now, I decided to chill at Starbucks for a while before walking back to the hotel. As for the background change…I wanted something more summer-y now that the sun has been shining even in England. Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, here is my day:

Remember my gleeful ranting about my hotel? Yeah, the points still stand but the other proverbial shoe has dropped: the Wi-Fi works only at the bar. Not only that, but their provider has decided to block WordPress because…reasons…We don’t ask and you shouldn’t either! Off I went to Starbucks for a coffee and to upload last night’s post and after that let the walking commence! I’m sure there’s a direct bus link with the campus (in fact several buses passed my on the way) but unless I walk an area I will never learn it. Not that I didn’t almost get lost or anything. My wander was nice however, Nottingham is much bigger than I expected but still well-kept. I know it sounds like I’m talking about a pet or a garden but it’s the best comparison I can think off. And with all those parks I think it’s rather apt.

I checked two of the university’s campuses (I’m pretty sure there’s a third one tucked away somewhere) and overall I’m pretty satisfied. The ground area is large, larger even than the Birmingham campus I dare say, but both the grounds and the buildings look good. Yeah, I think my potential uni master list looks like this, right about now:

  1. York
  2. Nottingham
  3. Birmingham
  4. Bangor

I want to check Edinburgh as well, but that will have to wait until I have money to travel again. Maybe sometime come December or January. We’ll see.

When I had finally seen all that I could see (and my feet were beginning to protest) I turned to walk back to town. Do I discern a self-destructing (or at least shoe-murdering) pattern here? Or at least I thought I was walking back to town. Thank goodness I asked for directions! Turns out I had been leaving Nottingham behind and was steadily heading for another town. My old fear of walking to a completely different city by accident nearly came true! I wanted to take advantage of the sun and wander around for a little longer, but after nearly eleven kilometres (seven miles for you Brits!) I couldn’t even stand anymore.

Hence my pit stop at Starbucks, this post and my plans with a bubble bath as soon as I can crawl back to the hotel. See you tomorrow with more news from Nottingham!

Spring Trip 2014 – Day 11


Νωρίτερα έγραψα πως όσο είμαι Nottingham τα κείμενα θα ανεβαίνουν με μια μέρα καθυστέρηση. Δεδομένου όμως το πόσο πολύ πονάνε τα πόδια μου αυτή την στιμή, αποφάσισα να την αράξω στο Starbucks για λίγο πριν περπατίσω μέχρι το ξενοδοχείο. Όσο για την αλλαγή στο φόντο… Ήθελα κάτι πιο καλοκαιρινό τώρα που ο ήλιος λάμπει ακόμα και στην Αγγλία.Τώρα που βγάλαμε τα βαρετά από την μέση, ιδού τι τράβηξα σήμερα:

Θυμάστε τους διθυράμβους μου για το ξενοδοχείο; Ναι, ισχύουν ακόμα, αλλά θα ήθελα να προσθέσω σε αυτούς ότι το Wi-Fi λειτουργεί μόνο στο μπαρ. Όχι μόνο αυτό, αλλά και όποια εταιρία κι αν έχουν αποφάσισε να μπλοκάρει το WordPress για…λόγους…Δεν ρωτάμε, δεν ρωτάτε! Κατέβηκα λοιπόν στο Starbucks για ένα καφέ και για ανεβάσω το χτεσινοβραδυνό post και μετά ξεκίνησα το περπάτημα. Είμαι σίγουρη ότι υπάρχει λεωφορείο που να πηγαίνει στο πανεπιστήμιο (με προσπέρασαν μπόλικα όπως περπάταγα) αλλά αν δεν περπατήσω μια περιοχή, δεν πρόκειται να την μάθω ποτέ. Όχι ότι δεν παραλίγο-χάθηκα, αλλά λέμε τώρα. Η βόλτα ήταν πολύ ωραία, το Nottingham είναι αρκετά μεγαλύτερο απ’ότι περίμενα, αλλά όσες περιοχές έχω περάσει είναι πολύ καλοπροσεγμένες. Και απ’ότι φαίνεται η πόλη έχει πολλά και μεγαλα πάρκα. Και δεδομένης της ζέστης που έχει τις τελευταίες δυο μέρες, τα χρειάζονται.

Τσέκαρα δύο από τα campus του πανεπιστημίου (νομίζω έχει άλλο ένα κρυμμένο κάπου) και είμαι πολύ ικανοποιημένη. Είναι μεν αρκετά μεγάλα, αλλά τα πάρκα τους είναι πολύ φροντισμένα και τα κτίρια -κοιτώνες ΚΑΙ σχολές- φαίνονται κάλα. Γενικά νομίζω ότι η κατάταξη των πιθανών πανεπιστημίων για μένα πάει ως εξης:

  1. York
  2. Nottingham
  3. Birmingham
  4. Bangor

Θέλω να τσεκάρω και το πανεπιστήμιο του Εδιμβούργου, αλλά το αφήνω για όταν θα ξαναέχω λεφτά για ταξίδι. Μάλλον του χρόνου τον Δεκέμβρη. Ή τον Γενάρη. Αναρωτιέμαι, αν κάνω κοτσιδάκια θα μου ανοιξουν να πω τα κάλαντα;

Όταν είχα πλέον δει ό,τι ήταν να δω στο πανεπιστήμιο (και τα πόδια μου είχαν αρχίσει την γκρίνια) άρχισα να περπατάω προς την πόλη. Ή σε μια κατεύθυνση που νόμιζα ότι θα με πάει στην πόλη. Πάλι καλά που σταμάτησα και ρώτησα ένα περαστικό γιάτι είχα πάρει μια λάθος στροφή και άφηνα το Nottingham σιγά σιγά πίσω μου. Ο πάλιος μου φόβος ότι μια μέρα θα καταφέρω να περπατήσω από μια πόλη σε μια άλλη χωρίς να το καταλάβω παραλίγω να γίνει πραγματικότητα! Ήθελα να εκμεταλευτώ τον ήλιο και να συνεχίσω την εξερεύνηση της πόλης αλλά μετά από μια διαδρομή περίπου έντεκα χιλιομέτρων δεν μπορούσα να σταθώ.

Εξ ου λοιπόν η στάση στα Starbucks, αυτό το post και τα σχέδια μου για ένα bubble bath μόλις καταφέρω να συρθώ στο ξενοδοχείο. Τα λέμε αύριο με περισσότερα νέα από το Nottingham!

Spring Trip 2014 – Day 10 – English Version



Right…Last stop before going back to Norwich and all that jazz…. I’m sorry I cannot describe the train ride here but as soon as I stepped on the train it was like somebody flicked a switch. I barely made to two seats and made myself comfortable before falling asleep. Good thing the girl sitting on the other side of the aisle offered to wake me up before we came into the city.

I had a bit of trouble when I arrived at Nottingham, as I was out of change and for some reason there was no cash machine on the station. It took a bit of walking, but mercifully there was a strategic line of taxis opposite of the first cash machine I found, so I didn’t have to walk all the way to the hotel. As I am sure you will have noticed by now, when I was booking hotels I went for “cheap”. Add to that the fact that my current “residence” is near a student neighbourhood and you can see why my expectations were rather low. Imagine therefore my pleasant surprise when I walked in my room. I dare say it is the best of the four! Comfy, spacy and it has a large bathroom. Jackpot!

Not that I stayed there for long…As soon as I was settled I went exploring. The city is well organised, divided in thematic/historical zones with – to my immense happiness – maps and signs everywhere. I went up to the castle (naturally!) and I might have to go back again, as when I arrived there was a tour to the caves below it about to start and, well, I couldn’t miss it! By the time we were out again the clouds that had been chasing me on and off before were completely gone. I am not ashamed to say that I spent the next thirty minutes laying on the grass, sunbathing.

Once I felt my batteries full again, I continued my walk, when another wild stroke of luck appeared. Not only did I find a Greek restaurant, but they also served great souvlaki (hurray!!). I was going to just going to sit for a quick bite but I got to talking with some people there and it was nine by the time we left, All in all I think I like it here. Tomorrow I’ll check the university, and from then on we’ll see.

Spring Trip 2014 – Day 10



Μάλιστα…. Τελευταία στάση πριν γυρίσω Norwich και τα λοιπά και τα λοιπά… Λυπάμαι που δεν μπορώ να περιγράψω την διαδρομή μέχρι το Nottingham αλλά με είχε πιάσει μια απίστευτη χλαπάτσα στο τρένο. Και όταν λέω χλαπάτσα δεν εννοώ νύστα. Εννοώ το πρώτο στάδιο της χειμερίας νάρκης. Χωρίς πλάκα! Είχα πιάσει δυο θέσεις και έριξα τον ύπνο του δικαίου. Πάλι καλά που η κοπέλα που καθόταν από την άλλη πλευρά του διαδρόμου προσφέρθηκε να με ξυπνήσει πριν φτάσουμε στην πόλη.

Είχα ένα μικρό πρόβλημα όταν έφτασα στο Nottingham, δεν είχα λεφτά στο πορτοφόλι και για κάποιο λόγο ο σταθμός δεν είχε ΑΤΜ. Μου πήρε σχεδόν ένα τέταρτο περπάτημα μέχρι να βρω κάπου να σηκώσω λεφτά, αλλά ευτυχώς είχε πιάτσα ταξί ακριβώς απέναντι οπότε γλύτωσα το υπόλοιπο περπάτημα. Όπως πιθανότατα να έχετε συνειδητοποιήσει πλέον, όταν έκλεινα τα ξενοδοχεία με ενδιέφερε κυρίως να είναι φτηνά. Κάτι αυτό, κάτι το γεγονός ότι η τωρινή μου “κατοικία” είναι κοντά σε φοιτητική γειτονιά, δεν περίμενα και πολλά. Τι ευχάριστη έκπληξη λοιπόν με περίμενε όταν μπήκα στο δωμάτιο μου. Τολμώ να πω ότι είναι το καλύτερο από τα τέσσερα! Άνετο, ευρύχωρο και με μεγάλο μπάνιο. Τζακ-ποτ!

Όχι ότι έμεινα και πολύ εκεί…. Μόλις ταχτοποιήθηκα κατέβηκα να τριγυρίσω το κέντρο. Η πόλη είναι πολύ καλά οργανωμένη σε θεματικές/ιστορικές ζώνες και προς μεγάλη μου χαρά έχει χάρτες και ταμπέλες παντού. Ανέβηκα και στο κάστρο (φυσικά!), αλλά μάλλον θα ξαναπάω για να το δω με την ησυχία μου, γιατί λίγο αφότου έφτασα είχε τουρ στις σπηλιές από κάτω του και δεν μπορούσα να το χάσω φυσικά! Όταν η γύρα τελείωσε τα σύννεφα που με ψιλο-κυνηγούσαν πριν είχαν καθαρίσει και δεν ντρέπομαι να παραδεχτώ ότι πέρασα την επόμενη μισή ώρα ξάπλα στο γρασίδι, κάνοντας ηλιοθεραπεία.

Όταν είχα ξαναφουλάρει τις μπαταρίες μου συνέχισα το περπάτημα, και για να δείτε τι θα πει τυχερός άνθρωπος, όχι μόνο έπεσα πάνω σε ταβέρνα, αλλά σέρβιραν και φοβερό σουβλάκι! Σκόπευα να κάτσω για ένα γρήγορο φαί και να γυρίσω στο ξενοδοχείο, αλλά πιάσαμε την κουβέντα με κάτι και πήγε εννιά μέχρι να το διαλύσουμε. Γενικά, νομίζω ότι θα μου αρέσει εδώ. Αύριο θα πάω να τσεκάρω το πανεπιστήμιο και από εκεί βλέποντας και κάνοντας.