Since coming here I’ve never felt quite so genuinely, unrestrainedly happy and optimistic as I did over my last weekend. I know this will probably come as a surprise to some who know me; but it is amazing how after having experienced an unexpected stark contrast you realise how forced, how unnatural some part of the progression of things have been.

I love it here, I really do, and a lot of it is for the usual reasons – the sights and smells and everyday little errands, shopping at Tesco’s, buying a new pretty table lamp, walking out in the cold cold air and counting leaves and watching the sky grow way too dark way too early, having the liberty of taking a bus and passing by quaint little shops and homes (which suddenly reminds me of taking bus 157 along Bukit Timah Road), looking at sheep at the distance and seeing button mushrooms instead…  but what caught me off-guard was that people don’t come a very close second, so unlike how it was at NTU.

So it was and still is quite a very big surprise to me that since coming here I’ve felt somewhat like an emotional zombie, like I’m incapable of feeling real flying-hug, throw-my-arms-around-you kind of affection for anyone except friends from some time ago, who, if I had a choice, would teleport over here to stay with me and experience absolutely everything together with me. All my declared galpals! My make-believe little families, bonded over 7th-floor washroom trips and late-night suppers, over organising camps and sectionals. So silly of me, I know, it’s like I can’t wrench myself out of my past, right? Haha…perhaps so, but I doubt it, truth be told, because I think I know why I feel this stilted. I mean, I care, and I am grateful for certain people, but it just feels different- less free, less unbridled.

Ahh. Despite all that. I am so happy I am here, and last weekend is almost like a climax of all happiness, put and compacted with a spoon in one little box that is last weekend. Hopefully it is a beginning of much love to come! (: I don’t usually detail things that happen every hour of every single day (because I find that the most special things get overshadowed when you ramble on too much about everything else but) but today I feel like unapologetically recording my Friday to Sunday.

On Friday after a good day of braving rain and cold with my flatmates to watch the boys play in 5-a-side football and awesome carolling practice (more on that later), I settled down to a nice hour or so at the Kami Lounge (some student bar with nice comfy seats) with my flatmates, which was fun fun fun because as usual the boys did and said funny things and the girls poked fun at them! 😀 I will

So
So
So

miss them in my second year whe I’m not living with them anymore.

Long post and pictures, after the jump.

Ricky makes a confrontational pose

Ricky makes a confrontational pose

That’s Ricky reacting to my camera 😛

On Saturday Claire, Yong Long, Ian, Shenting and I went to Bath!!

We walked around the city centre for some time on foot, bought some pastry, then boarded a minivan, a space on which we paid 20 quid for, for a tour to the ever so famous Windows XP wallpaper, the Stonehenge, and then Laycock, a little village where a famous scene in Harry Potter (where his parents were killed) was shot. Along with other movies like Wolfman! Apparently the residents get paid like 200 pounds each when the film company comes to make a movie.

Bath is a very very beautiful city – it is quaint, and old, and charmingly chock-full of history, with a great view overlooking the slope of a hill. I LOVE it. It almost exactly fits what I described in my blog profile (which is due for some major updating, I know). I didn’t get to see enough of it, in fact, and I really long to go there again- perhaps in the summer, when days are long and I don’t have to rush to fight the impending darkness! Although it probably is a very tourist-y city, it doesn’t feel as commercialised at Stratford is, somehow.

Pictures!

Around Bath

Around Bath

Bath had many cute little lanes like this.

Inside Bath Abbey

Inside Bath Abbey

Where It Overlooked the Slope

Where It Overlooked the Slope

More of Bath! The Sweet Shop

More of Bath! The Sweet Shop

Got some nougat from here…and I regret it. Next time just get Golden Baronia nougats.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Where our fingers nearly fell off from the cold! NOT FUN being out in open space when it’s about 2 or 3 degrees.

...Where Potters Parents were Murdered

...Where Potter's Parents were Murdered

Inside the Church at Laycock

Inside the Church at Laycock

Laycock!

Laycock!

And on Sunday! We had carolling on campus, as a pre-dinner event for Singapore society, where we sang a wonderful repertoire of Christmas carols. All the ex-choir people did a version of Oh Happy Day! Which was so incredible, because we did sound pretty amazing, and the song in itself is already so uplifting and full of joy! I love black gospel music!

And it was amazing not only because I was singing such great songs, but because I loved the company of the people I was singing with, which is something I’ve not had for a very very long time…Chamber Choir is good, but not amazing when I don’t really fit in (thank goodness for Claire and Sophie, though). It is quite tough being virtually the only Asian in a roomful of British people, really… and so back to what I was saying – carolling was incredible. And it’s so nice being in a roomful of singers where I don’t feel embarrassed or inhibited when expressing myself and having fun with the music!

Also, I did my first solo since 2005 – having been in a choir for so long and so intensely for the past two years, it felt odd singing on my own and being in the centre of attention. And the last time I sang, I had a group of people playing instruments onstage so it didn’t feel so awkward. So come to think of it…I haven’t been onstage on my own since…I was 11? 12? Goodness.

Technically this wasn’t onstage though, it was just in a room to about 20 people…but I felt so liberated after the song, in the words of someone, like breaking out of a cocoon! I love singing really, and you have to like listening to your own voice if you want to sing comfortably on your own. I guess that’s what I’ll have to get used to- listening to my own voice alone instead of listening out for how it blends with the voices next to mine. I sang one of my very favourite songs – All I Want for Christmas, the Love Actually version. (:

A couple (+1) of pictures from carolling:

Pre-Dinner Carolling Decor

Pre-Dinner Carolling Decor

The Carollers and Shuki the Amazing Singer (:

P

Me Shyly Making a Introductory Speech 😛

After this we all trooped to the Benjamin Satchwell in Leamington for dinner – a nice with turkey, cranberry sauce, yorkshire pudding, christmas pudding for dessert and the works. It was great fun! In between waiting WAY too long for food we took lots and lots of silly pictures, threw crackers over the stall dividers into the boys’ stall (I secretly threw a pea HAHA). And I was genuinely having fun and letting my hair down and being my cheerful, madhatter self for the night – I guess I haven’t been so exuberantly happy here in ages, because when I came back all my flatmates thought I had been drinking, when all I had was a glass of Pimm’s and Lemonade.

My Awesome Pimms and Lemonade

Table Picture!

Table Picture - 1!

Our Graduation Picture! Hahahaha

Our Graduation Picture! Hahahaha

Table Picture + 1!

Table Picture + 1!

Fooling Around After Coming Back

Fooling Around After Coming Back

All hail Ricky! Ricky: COOOOOME ONNNNNN.

AHAHHAHA.

Well that’s it. A nice and long record of my weekend which took me hours to finish. Sort of.

Happy! (:

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