Thursday, 26 April 2012


Hello lovelies.
Today, I come to you from the apartment of my friend Michael, in whose debt I shall forever be because he has saved me from the streets of Ottawa. Ok, perhaps that's slightly melodramatic, but I'm still very very grateful to him and Genevieve for taking me in.
Yesterday, I bid my little room in Prescott House a fond farewell, but not before cleaning and throwing out all of the crap that my roommates left (thanks, guys). At one point I felt like Cinderella, scrubbing the kitchen floors on my hands and knees. And if you've ever seen our kitchen floor, you'll know that it wasn't a pretty task.
This weekend sees my final concerts with the wonderful Divertimento orchestra *sob*. We're playing the Schumann cello concerto and Rachmaninov's 1st symphony. The cello concerto isn't particularly inspiring - the greatest thing in its favour is that it's a cello concerto - but it's pleasant enough. The Rachmaninov is wonderful but devilishly hard, so I will most likely enter panic mode for most of it. It's also, apparently, going to be the Ottawa premiere of the symphony. So there you go.
After that, I head off on my adventures, about which I am very excited, even if my mother seems to be convinced that I'll get abducted or something.
I know that I've been very whiny lately about how much I don't want to leave, and it's true that I'm reluctant to leave this wonderful city and country and see the end of this adventure, but the thing about adventures is that if you spend too long on the same adventure, it stops being an adventure and just becomes life. I used the word "adventure" far too many times in that sentence.
So I'm looking forward to the next few weeks, because they're going to involve a whole host of new adventures, and then I get to go home and embark on the exciting adventures of finding a job and attempting to get a degree. Ok, so those adventures don't sound too exciting, but maybe if I convince myself that they are, then I won't lose all faith in my very existence. Speaking of getting a degree, I'm currently looking at two shiny A-s and two even shinier As (and since they were in my two full-year courses, it's comparitively like 4 As, or at least that's what I'm telling myself) so I'm feeling pretty content at the moment. My joy will undoubtedly be crushed when my Film Music grade appears, but, y'know, we can ignore that for a while.
So yeah, that's my life at the moment. All requests for tacky souvenirs should be put in now, although my backpack is currently VERY full, so I've no idea where it'll all go. Where there's a will, there's a way. Clearly I need to meet more people called Will.
Apparently there's some big hockey game tonight. We saw a sign outside a church yesterday that said: "THRU FAITH COMES VICTORY. GO SENS GO." Aside from the spelling error, I like the notion that God picks favourite sports teams. I also like the idea that if the Sens lose, it's the fault of the fans for not being faithful enough. I imagine young hockey fans being disappointed at the Sens losing, only to have their god-fearing parents tell them, "Well you know why they lost, don't you? It's because you touch yourself at night." My mind works in mysterious ways.
Anyways, I'm rambling. How out of character for me...
And, in standard fashion, here are some lolz to make up for my dull blogging:

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

It's oh so quiet.

Shh. Shh.
It's unnervingly quiet in this room right now.
Obnoxiously loud roommate left a few days ago, kindly leaving behind a camel-shaped toothbrush holder, a few bowls, a fridge-full of food and a mirror in the kitchen.
Nicole and Brittany left today. The only thing that kept me from sobbing uncontrollably before my exam was the promise that Brittany will be here when I get back to Ottawa in 3 and a half weeks.
Speaking of my exam, it was my last, and that's just about the only thing in its favour. Well, no. It wasn't awful. Like, it's not going to completely cancel out all of my A-/As that I've been getting. But it wasn't great. There were plenty of things that I did not know and plenty of films that I had not watched, but not so much as to render it a total disaster.
Ah well, the main point is that my second year of university is OVER. Like, what? I officially have one year left as an undergraduate student. Madness, I tell you. Not Sparta. Madness.
I'm now faced with the ordinate task of packing. I've started, don't worry, but still my room looks like it has more stuff in it than I've ever owned. Ever. My walls, however, are bare, which makes me very sad. I woke up this morning and didn't know where I was. Thie shade of beige really isn't an exciting thing to wake up to.
In other news, I went to a house party on Friday night, at which I played beer pong and flip cup for the first (and probably last) time in my life, and spent a lot of time saying, "What's going on?! I'm foreign and I don't get it!" Never let it be said that I'm a quiet drunk. I also fell asleep cuddling a dog called Guinness, so we can conclude that it was a good night.
Last night we went to The Works, which is always good times. By "we" I mean Brittany (roommate), Mike, Kalina (both live on my floor), Chris (Kalina's boyfriend and animal-wrestler) and me (see, I told you I have friends. And now they're gone. Sigh). We cruised around Ottawa with the windows down blasting Ke$ha, Carly Rae Jepsen and other musical delights, and engaged in such intellectual discussions as "what animal do I look like?" Apparently I'm a koala.
And now, a day of frantic revision and a stupid 7pm exam, I find myself alone in my room for the last time. I decided to watch Glee to avoid packing, only to find that the episode was all about leaving, so it didn't leave me particularly gleeful.
But alas, I have many adventures ahead of me.
But before that, there is packing and cleaning to be done.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

I'm not going.

Dear Canada,
I hereby refuse to leave your wonderful country.

I refuse to leave this country of wonderfully unhealthy food and friendly people.
I refuse to leave friends that I've only had for a few months.
I refuse to stop being the novelty Brit.
I refuse to leave the best roommate and friend that I could've asked for.
I refuse to pack up my things and take the pictures off my wall.
I refuse to go back to the real world.
I refuse to live in Newport.
I refuse to go back to a university knowing that almost everyone that I know will have left.
I refuse to be in my final year of university.
I refuse to start over. Again.
I just refuse.

Happy 100th blog post, everybody.
Now, to lighten the mood:

Monday, 16 April 2012

I hope I shall not offend you if...

I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.
Currently this is the only part of my Brit Lit revision that seems to have stuck. And the exam is in 8.5 hours. Oh well, I can at least hope that some knowledge of Williams Blake comes flooding back to me. I did spend the whole of year 13 studying him.
Tomorrow is, in my mind, my last exam. It's not, but since I have a whole week of being a tourist with my parents and studying and spending time with people and packing and saying goodbyes and other such things before my next exam, it may as well not exist right now.
Sigh. I really do dislike exams. Although I'm finding One Direction to be a wonderful study aid. Sadly, while they may be British, I don't think that lyrics like "The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed" really count as literature. Shame.
Oh well, it's a good thing that I am the queen of waffly bullshit. If I were a superhero, that would be my superpower. Needless to say, I'll never be a particularly successful superhero.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Food love.

Toaster strudel is possibly one of the best things in life. It's yummy and you can draw hearts on it with the icing. What's not to love? I'll tel you what: it cannot be bought in the UK. Which means that my recently discovered love of toaster strudel (which, until now, was the mythical invention of Gretchen Weiners' father) will be a short-lived romance. Sigh.
Also, Brittany just brought me KD, so I'm currently very much full of food love. <3

Thursday, 12 April 2012


So, I realise that I haven't really written much about what I've actually been doing with my life outside the confines of this room and my crazy little mind. Things have been happening. Honest.
St. Patrick's Day happened. It was a while ago, I know, but I forgot to blog about it. Fail. While most of Ottawa seemed to start drinking at about 10am, Brittany had to study, so I had a rather relaxed day, and went in search of green things to wear. We then spent the evening celebrating at the house of a friend of Ken's which was full of wonderful Irish people and wonderful Irish food, and the stew reminded me of my Granny, which always makes for a happy Hannah. I also made green and orange Skittles vodka, which made me extremely happy.
During the crazy week of random summer weather, I finally got to see Nancy, who was here visiting Jess. We had another mini-Team Team reunion, and it was lovely. We went to a pub and drank cocktails and played pool and darts and I discovered that I'm not very good at darts but I am very good at adding. I also learned that Nancy should not be allowed to handle darts when she's losing. Ever.
It was Kate's birthday last week, so naturally we partied it up Exe-style. We went to Patty B's, which is a realy nice bar with a dancefloor and live cover bands, so we spent the night dancing and singing like fools. It was nice to have a normal and enjoyable night out, without all of the showiness that bugs me about Ottawa clubs.
Classes finished last week. I was somewhat drained by the two weeks of intense essay-writing, but I managed to muster up the energy to drink bad sangria and go to Ollie's with two of my favourite Canadians:

My parents are currently in Canada, which is very exciting. They arrived on Monday, very jetlagged, and armed with this magnificent pile of chocolatey goodness:
Words cannot describe just how happy this made me. I was of course thrilled to see my dear mother and father, too. On Tuesday I showed them around the delights of Carleton University campus and they took me to The Works. Om nom nom nom nom nom nom nom. I had elk burger, which was really really good, and only has 7% of the fat that a beef burger has. Amazing. The parents have gone off on some adventures for a week while I sit my first 4 exams, but they'll be back in Ottawa on Tuesday for some touristy delights, including poutine and BeaverTails. On that note, I should probably add that BeaverTails are not actual tails of beavers. Canadians aren't that weird, but apparently some people in Britain thought that I meant actual beaver tails. No. This is a BeaverTail:
It is a thing of pure pastry wonder. Nom.
Before my parents return to Ottawa, however, there's the small matter of exams to contend with. I've had two so far: American Lit yesterday and Shakespeare this morning. They were alright. American Lit was ok - I actually managed to remember some of what was written in my notes, so that was useful, and I don't think I was entirely nonsensical, which is always good. Shakespeare was less good, but not awful. My revision wasn't entirely productive, so it's unsurprising really. Although, I did listen to this, which definitely counts as useful revision:
It's all funny, but the Shakespeare stuff starts at 2:50. It's also filthy, just to warn you, but hilariously punny.

I just about managed to identify the passages (although I had a really hard time figuring out which play the line "and Measure still for Measure" was from...). One of the passages was from King Lear and was Edmund ranting about his status as a bastard. He uses the word "base" a lot in that passage, and so I had this stuck in my head for the majority of the 3-hour exam:
Easily distracted? Me? Noooooooo...
So yeah, that's about the exten of my life at the moment. I have another exam on Saturday and another on Tuesday, and then I have a week off until my next exam. Next Wednesday my parents and I are having dinner with a relative of a relative who happens to live in Ottawa. It's a small world after all.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and curl up in a ball and Dairy-Milk (definitely a verb) my way into a diabetic coma. Goodnight.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


I stand by my earlier statement that I hate exams.
I particularly don't like them when I have to get up in the morning.
Especially when my body decided to wake me up with random stomach pains at 4am, and my brain convinced me that it was something to do with district 4 of Panem (Not obsessed with Hunger Games. Honest.) and left me wholly confused.
So, yeah, I hate exams.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Watch this please.

This is a video made by the wonderful Alexandra D'Sa, who is a fellow ESNA (English with Study in North America) student from Exeter, currently exchanging at Vassar, and who is a generally lovely person who has some very important things to say:
Before I went to university, same-sex marriage wasn't something that I really thought much about. I wasn't against it, and thought that people who were against it were essentially morons, but it didn't really cross my mind all that often.
For someone reason, however, it's an issue that now keeps cropping up in my mind. Maybe it's because I'm becoming more aware of the world. Maybe it's because the number of gay people and, more notably, gay couples in my life has risen in the last few years. Maybe it's because of the stream of "inevitable lesbian" jokes that accompanied my first year of university. I don't know and, frankly, it doesn't matter. I shouldn't need any reason to care about this issue other than it's really damn important.
I just don't understand why this is even an issue anymore. Have we not advanced enough as a tolerant and multi-cultural society to realise that gay people have just as much of a right to marriage as any straight couple? What do people think that legalising gay marriage is going to do to offend them? There seems to be some stupid notion that it "promotes" homosexuality, which is stupid for so many reasons. For a start, there's nothing wrong with being gay, so I don't see how "promoting" it is a bad thing.
Secondly, it's not something that can be promoted. It's not as if a straight woman would see a poster that says "Tired of sucking cock? Try vagina; it's delicious" and think "You know what? Maybe I'll try lesbianism." No. It doesn't work like that. It's not a choice; it's who you are, and the sooner people stop thinking that people can just choose their sexual orientation, the sooner we can all stop wasting time over what should be a non-issue.
And thirdly, legalising gay marriage isn't going to suddenly make gay couples appear everywhere. Gay couples will still be together, whether they can marry or not. They will still live together; they will still hold hands in public; they will still exist in our society, so what difference does it make if we afford them this basic right? Even if you are, for whatever reason, against homosexuality, refusing to legalise gay marriage isn't going to make gay people go away. Allowing these people to get married isn't going to change anyone's life, other than improving the lives of the people who just want to be able to get married like everyone else.
The gay people in my life are some of the best people that I know. They are kind, sweet, honest and loving. And do you know why that is? Because they are human, just like every straight person. And the love that I see between these people is just as pure, strong and true as that of any of the straight couples that I know, if not more so.
From a purely utilitarian perspective, you have no reason to not let gay people marry, because it will make a lot of people happy, and will hurt absolutely no-one.
But more importantly, try to think about this from a human perspective. All we want to do, as human beings, is to love and be loved. It's a cliche, but it's true. And traditionally, we express this love by marrying, and having a family, and growing old together. This is a path of life that we, as straight people, take for granted, but imagine being told that you can't? On top of worrying about whether or not you'll be able to find someone to love, you find out that you're not allowed to express that love in the most socially accepted and traditional of ways. That doesn't seem fair to me. Why can't we just let people be in love and show it? Why must we make it political? Because that's all it comes down to: love. And frankly, if we agree on nothing else, we can all agree that love is a wonderful thing. So just shutup and let them get married.
And this blog post, as per usual, has become a long and nonsensical ramble, and all of my points have been raised a million times by people who are far more articulate that I am, but this matters to me, and it should matter to you, too.
And I know that most of my readers are the tolerant and liberal-minded people with which I like to surround myself, but sometimes it's just nice to write things that mean something, rather than my usual vacuous ranting.
So watch Alex's video, read my words, and maybe record/write some of your own. There are probably so many people who, like my 16-year-old self, have no objections to gay marriage but don't really think about it either, but if more of those people thought about it and spoke about it, then maybe this wouldn't still be an issue.
The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

And just to avoid neglecting the other great things that the internet has to offer...

Here's a sad kitty.

The internet is a wonderful place.

It's the sort of place where you're constantly coming across things that are hilarious, or interesting, or intelligent, or thought-provoking, or entertaining, or cute, or that allow you to explore a new interest (or obsession, in the case of this fickle fangirl).
And then sometimes, the internet throws you things that you just don't quite understand. You know that you find it funny, but you're not entirely sure why. And then you begin to question how someone even came up with it in the first place. Things like this:

Most people find their faith in humanity through beautifully written words or acts of amazing kindness. I find mine in things like this, because they remind me that the world is utterly insane, but in a good way.

Happy happy happy face.

Tomorrow, a jet plane will be landing in Ottawa airport that, among other things, will contain copious amounts of beautiful British chocolate for this poor girl who can technically now eat chocolate because Lent's over but can't actually eat it because she can't afford to buy it. I'm so excited.
Oh, and my parents will be on the plane, too. I guess that's pretty exciting.
:D :D :D :D

Saturday, 7 April 2012

May the odds be ever in your favour.

The title of this blog post is appropriate for two reasons:
The first is that I have exams soon. Like, really soon. Like, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday soon. And then two more after that. And I hate exams. Well, that's not strictly true. Send me into a Maths exam, and I'm completely fine (I know, an English student who likes Maths surely can't exist, but here I am, darlings), but exams that involve intelligent, creative thought and large amounts of writing in a small amount of time make me horribly unhappy. Those of you who know me will know that I'm not one to get stressed out by academia. My ability to procrastinate more than most people I know and yet still succeed to a reasonably high degree means that I'm somewhat complacent about, well, everything. As such, I don't like pressure, and I don't like it when feels like things are going wrong, and exams induce both feelings. Revision and exam preparation don't stress me out, and I usually come out of the exam with a decent mark, but the 15 hours that I will be spending in an exam room over the next few weeks are my own personal idea of hell. I hate writing under pressure, and it's become apparent that people here write with far more speed than I do, because I will undoubtedly be one of a mere handful of students who keep writing until the 3 hours are up. And it stresses me out. Gah.
The second reason is far less upsetting: I read The Hunger Games this weekend. And by that I mean that I read the entire trilogy. In two days. It quite literally possessed me. As soon as I finished the first book yesterday afternoon, I had to read the second, but since Brittany had the actual book, I found a pdf online. By the time I finished it, I had to go to bed, but as soon as I woke, I stuck my nose straight into the third book.

Granted, I'm one of those horribly uncool people who hadn't even heard of the books until the film came out, and even had the audacity to watch the film before reading the books. But I don't care. The books are wonderful, and so is the film. I'm beginning to have issue with people who feel a sense of superiority by proclaiming that the book is always better than the film, when they are two entirely different art forms. You wouldn't go to a performance of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet and expect to hear someone declare, "Well I liked it, but the play was much better." No. And while film is undeniably much closer to written literature than music is, it is an unfair comparison to make. If a book is excellent as a book, and a film is awful as a film, then I will wholeheartedly support anyone who wishes to say that the book is better. However, the implicit argument of so many people always seems to be that the book is superior, simply because it is a book, which is, quite frankly, entirely nonsensical. And while I, as a student of the written word, am a huge supporter of books in general, I'm not about to bite your head off if you tell me that you like the Huger Games film, but haven't read the books. I will simply reply with "I agree. It's an amazing film. The books are really good, too. You should read them sometime. Y'know, if you want to." Enthusiasm for the written word does not mean that you have to look down upon anyone who hasn't had a chance to read something yet, or who simply doesn't want to, or even someone who didn't read a book until the movie came out. It's my fault that I'd never heard of the Hunger Games until now, so people have no right to go around acting all superior because they happened to be in the right bookstore at the right time, or didn't have the issue of having a million other books to read for their degree.
Anyways, rant over. Not sure where that came from. You'd think someone had said something to me, but it's more of a result of constantly seeing fans of just about everything berating others for only liking something now that it's mainstream. So what? Doesn't mean that I like it any less than you do. The point is, I adore the Huger Games. Just total admiration. And while they are clearly written for teenagers, they're still well written. There's enough lovey-dovey stuff to keep the hopeless romantic in me hooked, and enough witty humour to keep a punster like me content, but it's not at all an overly whimsical trilogy. It may not have been the most sophisticated book choice, especially since I should probably have been reading Shakespeare or something instead, but it reminded me why I love reading in the first place, and after a few years of putting off reading, be it necessary or recreational reading, I really needed that.
And, whatever your opinions on whether you prefer the book or the film, you cannot deny that reading the book does not allow to swoon over the beautiful Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Just sayin'.
*sigh* He's come such a long way since Neighbours!
So this has gone far longer than expected. Other news includes that fact that my parents will be arriving in Canadia in less than 48 hours. Happy face. Also, I'm developing a worryingly enthusiastic like/love of One Direction. Shameful, I know, but they make me happy, and after years of adoring wonderful British boybands who never found success in North America, the fact that I regularly hear "What Makes You Beautiful" on the radio here makes me kinda proud, in a weird way.
So yeah, Hunger Games and One Direction. I may only have a few months before I turn 20, but dammit I'm clinging on to the teenage years for as long as I can.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Final essays handed in after much procrastination.

Final classes ever at Carleton attended.
Exams imminent.
Parents arrive in 4 days yaaaaaaaaaaay.
Exams still imminent.
So tired it hurts.
Sunlight hurts my face.
Canadians wearing double denim. Stop it. Now.
This is about as much sense as I'm capable of making right now, but you get the idea.
1pm is bedtime.