Home, Reflection, Student, Uni Life

“What’d I miss?!”

As some of the eagle-eyed amongst you may have realised, the title of one of the songs from the musical “Hamilton”, which recently I have become absolutely OBSESSED with. I can wrap “Guns and Ships” almost perfectly and know near enough 70% of the words to the rest of the musical. However, some of you may also have noticed I haven’t blogged since November…last year…. I could make lots of excuses but the main reason has been that work in year 2 is a whole step up from that in year 1. The course this year contains a number of group projects so you can see why I have been slightly stressed and away! So in case, you were asking me….”What’d I miss?!” I thought I would share a few photos and things that I have been up to since November last year!

In November I turned 20… I was very thankful to have a very long birthday as I celebrated with my family and friends. For my party, I wanted to unleash my inner child so we headed to Playzone in Hilsea which was amazing!  We got the train and then walked which was a lot cheaper and a lot easier than getting a taxi and I would highly encourage it if you want to go but are a little low on money! I also managed to beat my nerves and go down the red slide, which was very scary but I would definitely do it again!

 

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My birthday “Millie’s Cookie”!

The lead up to Christmas was slightly mad, to say the least, but was probably the most enjoyable time so far! I was lucky enough to present the “Bingo” section at the Annual Members Meeting with Andy, the science faculty rep! It was good fun and I loved my time on the stage!

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Every weekend in December I disappeared back home to present “Radio Christmas”, a charity radio station that raises money for “Street Kids Direct Uk”. It was great to be back on the radio every weekend for two hours on my show that I named, “Tinsel and Tunes!”. The radio station was created in somebody’s house which was a very new to me  but an amazing experience  nonetheless and I want to thank everyone at Radio Christmas for their support and feedback!

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In the studio for Radio Christmas.

When I left University for Christmas and finally settled at home, the run-up to Christmas seemed longer than usual, but maybe the 5-year-old in me was still too excited!! I could write a whole blog post about the run up to Christmas and the days themselves but what I can say is that they were amazing and I was very lucky and grateful! I was so excited to see all my family, some who I do not get to see that regularly at all so was great to catch up with them. Below is a photo from Olympia the international horse show. Being a horse rider myself this always gives me so much enthusiasm and inspiration for the sport.

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Olympia- the horse show.

 

This year I am aiming to get fitter and healthier and beat my time in the Great South Run from last year and jump more confidently and higher on horses.

I will try and get back into a routine with this blogging businesses but until next time…

Rhi

🙂

 

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Christmas, Portsmouth, Uncategorized

Hello 2016!

Happy New Year’s everyone!

The New Year has finally entered as well as the second semester at the University. I personally had a great time at Christmas time and at New Years’ Eve, spending lots of time with family and friends. Unfortunately I was travelling from Cyprus to Gatwick on New Year’s as there either weren’t any tickets available on other days or they were ridiculously expensive 😦 However, I still managed to get back to Portsmouth safely by train!

So the semester has also officially started from this Monday (4th of January) and everyone as slowly getting back into their classes and daily studying routine, which I have to admit, can be difficult after coming back from a holiday break! Some people are already back but some students, from what I’ve heard, are still in their perspective countries. I personally wanted to make sure that I was back in time for my lectures and seminars as I already have to prepare a project about promoting an app as well as having an assignment that was due today. (7th of January). So busy times wait for me ahead!

Nonetheless, I truly have missed being in Portsmouth, around my friends, classmates and going to all the cool places around Portsmouth that aren’t available back in Cyprus., such as Primark or H&M (a girl’s gotta shop right ? 🙂 ).

So, are you excited or nervous about this new semester? Tell me what you did during your Christmas and New Year ’s Eve as well!

Here are some pics from my own Christmas break 🙂

XOXO Ntina

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Christmas, Free time, Travels

…so this is Christmas!

Oh Oh Oh…

It is already Christmas time! All the mince pies and warm mulled wine around. Yet, I would expect to be colder in December. Not yet, though! But still, no one can deny that Christmas spirit is now set up.

All around the UK, I’m finding lots of Christmas Markets. They are just lovely! I know that originally they are a German custom, but it feels like it is part of the UK now. I loved the Winchester one. It suited the town so well, it almost seemed that it was part of it all along. And it has an ice rink!!! No doubt that Winchester is a beautiful place to visit and hang out, better if you have lots of wood sheds with Christmas lights and sweet smells floating around. It is amazing the creativity these guys have. You can find lovely things in these markets. Just beware of your finances and don’t get crazy!

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we had some pizza and cider for lunch

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A nice place for those of you who would like to try the >60 varieties they have

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The Winchester Cathedral 

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Just right beside the Cathedral, people gathering in the Christmas Market

After Winchester, I had a small trip to Southampton. I really liked it there. And again, there was this massive Christmas Market, with loads of food and handy craft sheds. Lovely! I met a french woman selling family owls, made by her with tissue, and personalised for each customer. They were so, so cute!  But Southampton sure deserves the hour trip. With about £11 you buy a return train ticket from Portsmouth and then you can discover all the wonders the city has to offer, including the SeaCity Museum with an exhibition dedicated to Titanic’s story. It is a walled city and you can find several “bits” of it all the way through, if you allow yourself a good stroll until the sea front. There are, as well, excellent shops and even an Ikea! Handy for those of you who still need some pimping up their bedrooms/flat.

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The original gate to Southampton

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During the World Wars, much of the city was destroyed

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parts of the wall that you can still see

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Santa’s sleigh making the wonders in another Christmas Market

I’m off now, heading to Portugal again, to meet my family, friends and boyfriend. It seems forever now that I had them just in front of me, and I’m missing them being around. I guess, even for those who don’t believe in the Christmas tradition, that it is kind of inevitable not to be filled with love feelings during this season. So I hope you have the opportunity to be with your loved ones. If not, try to be surrounded by friends, and allow yourself extra time to do some skyping with family.

Now that classes are over, it seems a long time until examinations and assessments during January. But beware! Time flies away when you are enjoying yourself, and sooner than later you will be returning to your routine, with the extra need to refocus quickly. This is dangerous and it is not a good feeling to be rushed back to study after a long pause. While I was an undergrad I always tried to study a couple days just before and after Christmas, so I wouldn’t leave everything to do after New Year’s Eve. It is complicated, yes! It doesn’t feel like it, yes! There are a bunch of better things to do, yes! But no one else is going to make you succeed in your upcoming tasks and it would be a bummer if you failed after so much effort. I advise you to keep up with your studies and don’t be amazed by the free time you have during this season.

 

Enjoy your sweets and your holidays, and see you soon,

 

Inês

 

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Christmas, Portsmouth, Uncategorized

End of a Semester!

Hello from Cyprus!

So, my last project submission was on Friday (11th Dec.) and I have just arrived back to Cyprus to start my Christmas holidays, which I really can’t wait to celebrate with family and friends!

However, that means that this is the end of the first semester of my university studies which makes it bittersweet. I had the pleasure of meeting so many people from different cultures and formed friendships with classmates, people from my accommodation floor, or just random students at cafes 🙂

Additionally, I have learned and grasped so much from my classes this semester and it has truly been an educational and worthwhile experience. Even though it took a lot of work and many hours of studying, everything was well-worth it at the end.

The overall experience of these first 3 months was so unforgettable and rewarding in every aspect. I cannot wait to see what the next semester will bring, hopefully even better things 😉

Happy Holidays everyone! Don’t forget to tell me what you’re planning for Christmas !

XOXO Ntina

 

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Year Abroad

Celebrating the Holidays Abroad

We didn’t get any days off for Christmas this year because they don’t celebrate it here in China. So both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I had normal classes with dictations and homework. It wasn’t too bad, though, some of my classmates wore a Santa hat and in one of our lessons we did presentations in Chinese on how we celebrate Christmas (or New Year’s Eve for people of other cultures) in our home countries, it was really nice. We also did a class Secret Santa and I received a lovely candle holder from my Kazakh classmate. On Christmas Day my friends and I got together for a little Christmas party in my friends flat. It’s really cool to get to know so many people from all over the world. New friends pop up weekly from other countries and it’s always great fun.

For me, my biggest fear of the holiday was New Year’s Eve. We had five days off for this occasion and I was afraid I would get in a lazy mood and miss my friends and boyfriend back in Portsmouth too much. I’m happiest when I travel and explore new places so I decided I wanted to go somewhere fun to celebrate. So on the 30th of December three of my friends and I flew off to Hong Kong!

Hong Kong and Mainland China are like two different worlds. China is not a bad place, but Wuhan is one of those cities that has recently seen effects of the rising Chinese economy, and the whole city is undergoing a revamp. It’s a bit difficult to explain what it is like here without having seen it yourself, but believe me when I say Hong Kong and China are not the same. Going to Hong Kong was like coming back to Earth after five months on Mars. Open Internet access, ocean, cleaner air and the fact that everything was so organised. You can really tell that the British has had an influence in developing the place, they even had Cadbury chocolates!

We saw many of the major sights of Hong Kong, and we even went on a day trip to former Portuguese colony Macau. It was so strange to know I was still on Chinese territory but here is a little part of it that looks just like a European village where they all speak Portuguese.

The countdown to 2015 we spent standing on a rooftop in Hong Kong watching the fireworks. The new year started off quite well and I hope it will be a good year. Happy New Year everyone!

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Year Abroad

Wuhan Update

Days here in Wuhan are going by so quickly, I can’t believe we’re almost in the middle of December already! I’m guessing all of you back in Portsmouth are finishing off your essays for the year and preparing to go back home for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Meanwhile, I will have Chinese class on Christmas Day and be preparing for my exams in January. Might sound awful to have classes during Christmas time, but to be honest they don’t really celebrate Christmas here and there is nothing here reminding me of Norwegian Christmas so my Christmas spirit is non-existing. We do, however, have five days off for New Year’s! And yesterday three of my friends and I booked a trip to Hong Kong (and Macau)! New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong, I’m buzzzzzing! And just a month later I’ll start my one month holiday and go back to Portsmouth for two weeks. Exciting times ahead!

Even though we have a lot of homework and are busy studying, we do have some free time to explore the city and do some activities. Wuhan is home to 8 million people, so it’s quite big here with lots of things to see and do:

Shopping:
Wuhan has a lot of shopping areas, so there are plenty of shops to pick from. I really like Hanjie shopping street and Optics Valley. Hanjie even has a Madame Tussaud!

Madame Tussaud, Hanjie

Madame Tussaud, Hanjie

Wuhan Provincial Museum:
The university organised a class field trip to Wuhan Provincial Museum, home to the local and Chinese history. Even the outside is worth a visit, the museum was so pretty with the garden in front of it.

Wuhan Provinical Museum

Wuhan Provinical Museum

Music performance at Wuhan Provinical Museum

Music performance at Wuhan Provinical Museum

View from Wuhan Provinical Museum

View from Wuhan Provinical Museum

The garden of Wuhan Provinical Museum

The garden of Wuhan Provinical Museum

Celebrations:
We’ve done a few celebrations here already. Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday and some of my friends’ birthdays. For Halloween we all dressed up and went to a karaoke party with my friend’s (who is a teacher) students, who are all Chinese. They got to practice English and we practiced our Chinese. A lot of fun!
I celebrated Thanksgiving this year with my American friends. We had no turkey or Indians, but still managed to have a good time.
My birthday we went out for dinner and out to a bar. A lot of fun, too.

Halloween

Halloween

My birthday

My birthday

My birthday

My birthday

Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving Meal

Visiting temples:

Everywhere you go in China you will find temples of different sizes and characteristics, also in Wuhan. The most famous temple in Wuhan is called Guiyuan Temple, however my favourite temple so far is Baotong Temple, just one metro stop away from the CCNU campus. Baotong Temple is very colourful, it’s built upwards on a hill and at the top is a tall, narrow pagoda which you can climb from the inside.

Guiyuan Temple

Guiyuan Temple

Guiyuan Temple

Guiyuan Temple

Guiyuan Temple

Guiyuan Temple

Guiyuan Temple

Guiyuan Temple

Baotong Temple

Baotong Temple

Inside the Baotong pagoda

Inside the Baotong pagoda

Rollercoasters in Zhongshan Park:
Zhongshan Park is one of the major parks in Wuhan, and it has a small theme park inside where you can ride roller coasters all day long. I’ve been there twice now and it’s a lot of fun! Just maybe avoid going there in the weekends and holidays, it gets very busy.

Zhongshan Park

Zhongshan Park

Zhongshan Park

Zhongshan Park

Chinese Opera Mask Painting:

Our university has a kind of society which organises events for international students, and one of them was to paint our own masks Chinese Opera style. Chinese Opera is nothing like Western Opera. It’s actually more like a theatrical play or show than an opera. It has different characters, a lot of costumes, mask-changing, and a special kind of singing. There are also different kinds of opera depending on where you are in the country. My favourites will have to be Beijing Opera and Sichuan Opera and I would love to go see it sometime.

Mask painting

Mask painting

Here is a short video about Beijing Opera:

Exploring the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge Area:

In the heart of Wuhan lies the Yangtze river, and the view and scenery around here is breathtaking. The Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge is the oldest bridge crossing the Yangtze, and they say if you walk across it with your boyfriend or girlfriend you will be in love forever. My friends and I decided to walk across, have a look around in one of the parks and a temple by the riverbank, before crossing the river back by ferry. It was such a great day, Wuhan is so pretty in the nice weather if you go to the right places.

Yangtze River Bridge

Yangtze River Bridge

Yangtze River Bridge

Yangtze River Bridge

Yangtze River Bridge - View of the Yellow Crane Tower

Yangtze River Bridge – View of the Yellow Crane Tower

on the ferry

On the ferry

Dayu Myth Park

Dayu Myth Park

Temple by Yangtze River Bridge

Temple by Yangtze River Bridge

Yangtze River Bridge

Yangtze River Bridge

I think at the end of the year I will write a proper student guide to the best places in Wuhan. I hope you will all enjoy your Christmas and eat some roast on my behalf.

– Marie

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