Hey there everyone!! How are we all doing today?
As promised in a previous post, I said I would do a little blog on my two weeks of self-isolation just so that you guys can see what I’ve been up to during my first two weeks of living in England and anyone who wants to know can see that I am following the rules of isolation stringently.
To start things off, let me paint a little picture for you all so you can imagine what my metaphorical cage looks like, to set the scene if you will.
I’m staying in the South of England (which is apparently the best according to my university res friends), in what I would deem the countryside (not quite rural farms but definitely out in nature complete with animals, picturesque lanes and wide-open spaces). The house looks like a postcard with a traditional grey brick wall, thatched roof, a small lawn with colourful blooming flowers in the front complete with a low cobblestone wall.
If you think that sounds too delightfully Enid Blyton for words, then just wait. It gets better.
Out the back, there is an actual picket fence. Granted it may not be white, but those are semantics. There is an ancient apple tree bearing shiny, bulbous fruit that occasionally interrupts the ambience of birds and sheep by dropping to the floor with a resounding thud. Right in front of the apple tree are two wooden deck chairs that automatically bring The Wishing Chair to mind. (I may or may not have sat on one of them to try and see if it worked …)
Across the road is a field of sheep, who are neighbours to a herd of cows and everywhere I look there are brambles covered in blackberries.
Come on – how postcard-perfect does that sound?? I know some people may be rolling their eyes at their screen right now because of how elated I am by a simple setting, but to me, this is a whole other world exactly like some in the pages of my favourite childhood books so let me enjoy it.
Right. Now that you all have a scene in mind, my two weeks of self-isolation have been predictably uneventful. I mean as beautiful as it is, there’s only so much excitement one can achieve when you have to stay inside a house for 14 days. That being said, I did still get a lot done and have had a lot of fun doing so.
My mornings usually start by being woken up by two excited dogs, followed by a piping hot cup of tea as I watch the sun come up. That’s followed by a light breakfast, and then a day of generic household tasks mixed in with some university prep/blogging/writing. I then cook dinner and find some peaceful activity to keep me occupied until I go to sleep (which is usually reading a book, watching a movie or just chatting with friends).
As you can see, it’s quite plain and simple. However, just because it sounds (and has been) relatively uneventful that doesn’t mean I haven’t done some fun stuff. A few of the interesting things I’ve done include:
Battling some rather scary-looking spiders for some of the blackberries on the brambles in the back garden.
Apparently foraging for fruit is a big thing here and considering the number of blackberries, I couldn’t resist. However, I wasn’t expecting said berries to have eight-legged guards, and I am not a fan of spiders … I made it through victorious though (although my pulse was dangerously high for what should have been a relatively passive activity) and had a hearty bowl of fresh, juicy blackberries as a reward.
Baking a farm-style apple and blackberry pie.
I had already picked the blackberries from the garden and considering there was an apple tree less than three feet away, how could I not make a dessert with my fresh, hand-picked produce? It’s always interesting trying new recipes using ingredients that aren’t what you’re used to (you get used to certain brands that work for you but then have to figure it out all over again when you’re in a new place) so let’s just say it was an adventure. Thankfully the pie turned out delicious! I also discovered that Bramley cooking apples are sour … like unbelievably sour so if you don’t usually cook with them, please be aware of this. DO NOT MISTAKE THEM WITH GRANNY SMITH APPLES!!
Dorm room shopping (ish).
Okay so buying stuff for my dorm isn’t easy when you can’t actually go to any shops and you have to try and figure out how you’re going to get the stuff to your dorm in the first place (there were many complicated issues with this but it’s all sorted now). But, because we live in the 21st century, there is this magical thing called online shopping, so I have been scouring Amazon trying to find the best deals for all the essentials I need. Because shipping is a bit complicated, and I’d still like to see what’s available in the actual stores, I’m holding off on all of the fun parts of dorm room shopping (like which fairy lights to choose and how are you going to stylishly decorate within your budget in the tiny amount of space you have). I will keep you guys updated on this though and will definitely show you how my room looks when I finally get there and decorate it.
The start of online uni.
Well, uni hasn’t actually started yet, but there are a few things that we all have to do before we arrive, and the teaching starts.
*cough* reading lists *cough*
My programme didn’t actually have a summer reading list. I’m not sure whether I should be happy or sad about this … sad! I like prepping and being organised. What I did have though, was an online programme to help all of us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed incoming undergrads transition to what Higher Education is like. Safe to say I am definitely feeling slightly (read extremely) intimidated, but I’m still glad I did it because there was some useful information in there and at least now I am more prepared about what to expect. Fingers crossed that I don’t die under the overwhelming amount of work and pressure I’m about to dive into.
And that’s been my two weeks. I know it wasn’t roller coaster levels of excitement, but it was still a really fun, productive and peaceful two weeks. I got to read quite a bit (book review post anyone?? Would you be interested in that?), and I know I will sorely miss that reading time once uni and work start. I also got a bit of creative writing done – not quite as much as I could have, but a little is still better than nothing. Thank you all so much for reading my catch-up post today. As I get into the swing of university life, my posts will definitely start centring more on those topics but as always, if you want to read about a specific topic on the blog then just pop me a message in the comments section or contact me!
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Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx