Friday, 28 August 2015

Portugal travels!

Last week I went straight from work to Gatwick airport and hopped on plane to Faro in Portugal! 
The boyfriend has a house out near Burgau and I was invited to stay with him and his family! As I've already taken a lot of time out with my Athens trip and my dig at Pewsey, I only went out from Saturday to Tuesday. 
Despite it only being a short trip, I got to explore quite a few different places which was great as I've never been to Portugal before! We ended up going to Sagres, Burgau, Lagos and quite a few beaches between!
I got to see a Medieval fort, a Roman fort, small villages and towns which gave me a great whistle stop tour of the country and I'm very grateful for being invited to go out there!
I love travelling so being able to tick off another place that I've seen is great!

There were a few people parachute gliding off the top of the cliffs!
I would love to try it one day!

A strange fog that covered both ends of the beach on the West Coast!
The slate cliffs were incredible!
The view from the Roman fort near Joe's house.
Sunset on the beach near Joe's.
The flora in Portugal is incredible - fennel, olives, almonds and figs
 were growing in abundance all along the roads!
The beach 10 minutes walk from Joe's house! 
The water had some strange greenish foam in it...
It's really satisfying to watch the sea come in and make half of your legs disappear! 
I didn't get a lot of photos of the food but everything there was so nice and I wish I got to try more! 

Apparently  I can't go anywhere without having some form of pastry!
The best chocolate croissant that I've had.
Seriously yummy chorizo, ham and bacon pizza and my favourite cider I only had in Athens!
I was rather excited when I found it again in the shops!
I'll end with a couple photos of me and Joe! 

Sorry about the photo spam, I can't really do the place justice with words, it was amazing and gorgeous! 
It was such an amazing trip and I will aim to go there again to explore further! 
Jess xx

Friday, 14 August 2015

A Year of University.

A year ago today I received my A level results, also meaning that University has been a part of my life for an entire year. It's absolutely flown by, it feels like I've been at uni for years though! 
I thought it would be a good time to do a massive look back at all of the major parts of this year. I stopped blogging in January after hitting a major creative block and therefore you guys have missed out on hearing about the last 6 and a half months of my uni experience (basically 2/3 of the academic year...) 

Got a room for second year, February. 
I was originally going to go into a flat with my old roommate Lucy but I wasn't given a place so I decided to go into a private halls and try out a completely new group of people! I'm quite glad that I'm going into halls again as I don't need to worry about paying bills due to it being an all inclusive contract! I just hope that my flatmates are nice and I get on with them better this year (it ended up that I was only truly friends with Lucy, the others were bearable to live with but I wouldn't have out of choice again). Me and some of my course mates have already decided to live together in third year so I'm excited to see what that will be like! 

Went to Athens, March. 
This trip was incredible. Athens was always on my list of places to go so I jumped at the opportunity to go with the Archaeology society in the Easter holiday! I became closer with people in my year and the years above as well as making some new friends which is always a good thing! I got to see so many of the famous sites such as the Parthenon, Hephestaion, the Agora and some of the many museums dotted around the city. As I studied the Greeks in A level and 5th Century Athens this year, being able to see these places and things in person was almost surreal. The statues in the museums were far more beautiful in person than on paper and I throughly recommend a visit if you can afford it! If not, the British Museum houses some good examples of Greek sculpture which begins to scratch the surface of their beauty. 
A picture post of this trip will be posted soon as it's such a gorgeous place!

Passed first year, June. 
I ended up with 2 modules in the 50s and 4 in the 60s, giving me an overall mark of a 2:1 which I'm incredibly pleased with. I could have tried harder this year but as its a year for learning and understanding how university works, I'm happy I got to see what learning methods work for me, the best ways I write essays and how I revise the most efficiently. I've been given a reading list this year for some of my Autumn term modules so I'm trying to do as much of that as possible whilst writing notes down that I can look back on whilst I'm working during the year. 
Last September I was unsure whether I was good enough for uni and if I really deserved to be there so it's refreshing to know that the work I put in has proved that I am capable! It's a relief to know that I do suit University and academic life!

Boyfriend, June. 
You guys have seen how useless I am at keeping relationships and the one I was in when I was last writing fizzled out sometime around February. Before we were official, my current guy and I dated for a month and a half or so before to get to know each other and get comfortable around each other. It seemed to have worked well as we've been together about a month and a half (roughly since May overall!) and I'm joining his family out in Portugal for a few days of relaxation between work shifts at the end of the month which is exciting! This is going really well and I'm really happy with him so fingers crossed it stays this way!

Dug for 3 weeks in the Vale of Pewsey, June/July. 
The dig is a second year module but is also open to the public to volunteer and join. For the last 4 years I volunteered at the old Reading University field school which closed in 2014. This year was a new dig which obviously brought excitement and nerves as it was unfamiliar to me. Luckily it was equally as fun as the previous year's and I've gained several close friendships with people in my year from it which I'm grateful for. I love my friends in other years but expanding my friends in my own year is always good as I'm with them for the next two years! A Neolithic human burial was also found in one of the trenches which was incredible to see and just highlights the reason I love my degree - the thrill of not knowing what will be found is the best feeling when it comes to digging! The BBC also covered it and you can read more about it here.

This academic year has been challenging and at some points difficult, but I've really enjoyed myself and it's obviously paid off! I'm excited to see what next year brings for me and I hope it goes as well as this year!
Also, congratulations to everyone who received their results yesterday! I hope you all got what you wanted and are successful in doing what you want come September! 

Jess xx