Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Who to avoid in the library


Although it might not seem obvious but this is definitely part of my stress buster series that I have been writing over the past few weeks. First of all, by ranting about these stupid people, it is busting my personal stress that came to a head today. Secondly, it stops you from making the mistakes that I have done recently and therefore destroys your stress caused by the Freshers, ahead of it even arriving. Aren't I kind??

So if you find yourself sitting next to one of the following people, make sure you move as quickly as you can...

The one who comes in with a group of friends
This is the first and most important type of student to avoid. If a group of people come in and surround you, you must move away at once. They will talk, giggle, chuck notes at each other, get up and down and generally be distracting. They are most likely to be freshers, who are attempting to get through their first 'big assignment' with the moral support of everyone on their year, and they haven't yet worked out that even though the library is opposite to the students union, this is not an extension of their social area.

The one looking pretty
If someone has come in wearing their best dress, has perfect hair and are fully made up, you can tell at once they are not here to do any work. Only people who have bags under their eyes and their hair in dreadlocks from where they have been clutching it in frustration, are suitable companions...

The one with food
You do not under any circumstances want to be tainted with the possible suspicion of being the owner of the food, thus incurring the wrath of the librarians. Who knew that such sweet looking old people could be such dragons? Plus, why does food always involve packets?? The other day I was the table along from someone was eating salt vinegar crisps at 10am. Who has crisps for breakfast? It was just so loud and stunk out the whole floor.

The one who comes in alone
They WILL ask you to watch their laptop on the hour, every hour while they 'go to the toilet.' Like seriously, do they have a weak bladder or something? And do they really expect you to go chasing after the thief if one happened to wander by...come on.

The one who doesn't immediately put their headphones in
They are clearly not a library veteran and don't understand the protocol that we all go into our own little bubbles...on top of that there is a large risk that they will start talking at some point. And if they don't understand the protocol yet, as I suspect, the whisper will not be quiet enough.

The one who sits down next to a plug with no laptop
Again, this person is clearly a library newbie and doesn't understand the etiquette. With the lack of plugs and plenty of available tables, that's just plain rude

The one who drops off a pile of notes, asks you to watch their laptop and then comes back with a teetering pile of books
It might sound harmless enough, but they are going to encroach on your space in a big way. Papers are spread around you, your banging your arm on a book, and you have to keep on taking out your headphones to say 'Yes, I will watch your laptop' while they go off to get a few more books to add to the pile. And one at some point will fall on you, for sure. On top of that, it is most likely a fresher as they haven't learnt yet, that it's all about online journals and just not acceptable to reference that rather fascinatingly beautiful book from 1688. So get out of there quick, you will be pushed out before too long anyway.

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Haiku

Apparently today is National Haiku Day and in honour of that I thought I would write a blog post about them...

For anyone who doesn't know what a haiku is, it's very simple. It's a small three line poem - the first line has to be 5 syllables long, the second line has to be 7 syllables and the final line is 5 syllables long. For example...

Easter is here so
dissertations can piss of.
Don't care any more.
 
This was my inspired choice of wording that I came up with this morning and fits in nicely with my feelings towards these disgustingly long projects that I am partaking in. Can you tell that I am giving up a little on life? My slightly nicer haiku that I created a bit later on is as follows:
 
 
My heart beats faster
as you walk my way. You glance
at me and smile.
 
 
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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Frozen

I am now on stress-buster number 3.... and what better option could I have chosen rather than Disney. It never ever fails to cheer me up and although I was tempted to fall back on one of the classics (Beauty and the Beast, Lion King or Little Mermaid being the front runners) I thought it was time I involved myself in the crazy Frozen hype that has not stopped buzzing for the past few months.

And now I understand why. It was brilliant. Catchy songs were interspersed amongst an epically action-filled plot which kept the adults entertained. While, at the same time, not scaring the children who it was actually aimed towards (although that in itself is a huge debate. I will definitely explore it another time).

A cast of engaging characters is what really made this film a winner though...Anna, although overexcited and sweet who acted younger than her (predicted) 17/18 years, was very modern and had a certain amount of sassy sarcasm which made her enjoyably relatable. Elsa was a complex character and you couldn't really work out whether she was the villain or a heroine who both attacked and saved her sister...but she was definitely a valuable role model for children, showing how it's ok to have flaws so long as you learn from them and correct your mistakes.

The male characters were pretty predictable, with the bad good one who she trusts too quickly and the good bad one who tolerates her until they gradually realise their mutual friendship then attraction for the other. My favourite though (along with everyone else I assume) definitely has to be the naively overexcited snowman, Olaf who likes warm hugs. He is crazy but lovable and his deeply ingrained adoration for adventure and affection bounces you through the story in a really enjoyable way. He's a leader, a teacher, a hero and ultimately saves the day without you really noticing.

Throughout there are some similarities to Tangled (2010) namely in the main character's choice of partner and how she meets him. But what is more exciting is that the two films have been linked with a theory making the blog rounds that the sisters' parents die in a shipwreck while travelling to the celebration of Rapunzel's marriage to Flynn. Furthermore, Flynn and Rapunzel do in fact appear at the beginning of Frozen, and are seen entering Arendelle for Elsa's coronation...I know you are all going to go back and watch it again just to check I am right (although any excuse would have done really) so pay special attention to the bit where Anna excitedly comes out of the gates of Arendelle for the first time :D

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Knole Park


In another attempt to not let my dissertations drive me completely insane, I went to Kent this weekend for a few days of relaxation and fresh country air. Which inevitably led me to Knole Park in Sevenoaks.

Knole House is a grade 1 listed manor house and is one of the largest private houses in England with 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards. Originally built for Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the 1400s, it became the residence for many subsequent archbishops until it was taken away from Crammer by Henry VIII. Elizabeth I gave it to her cousin, Thomas Sackville whose descendants still live in it today, amassing in the meantime a huge amount of art and antique furniture.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to look around this stately home but I did have a wander through the beautiful 1000-acre park. What a beautiful place. I desperately needed to escape everyone and everything and this was just perfect for doing so. Although it was fairly busy on Saturday morning with plenty of dogwalkers and families around, there were long stretches where you simply wouldn't see anyone and it felt like you were completely alone. I loved it...the views were stunning, the walk refreshing and I became strangely excited about seeing deer. Coming from the countryside originally, you see deer fairly often but because I am short sighted I always ALWAYS missed them. However, it would be difficult to miss these. They were casually just chilling throughout the park, keeping a watchful eye that no one came too close, but otherwise not caring about the people who gawked at them.

Although it would definitely not be everybody's cup of tea, I would recommend everyone to visit this place. It was the perfect way to clear my head and is a very quintessentially English way to spend a day. On top of that, it has reminded me that however much I do adore my home in a busy urban town, a little piece of my heart always remains firmly within the southern countryside.

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