This Monday marked the beginning of Freshers’ Week at uni, and let me tell you, catering on the front line in Freshers’ week is no laughing matter. It’s nice to be busy, the hours go by a lot quicker, and lots of the Freshers are very young and sweet and naive – some of them don’t even know what granary bread is… bless them. So it’s nice to have done some socialising and personal projects alongside working.
All in all it’s been a busy few days. I had my hair cut even shorter on Friday, I don’t know if this crop is a step too far, but I do love how it can be styled in so many different ways. I had a birthday party to go to on Saturday, which was even more nerve-wracking than usual for my introverted self as it was a pretty intimate family party for a friend of my partner, who he knows through his role playing group. They’re all lovely people several of whom I’ve met a few times before, but I found myself sticking for dear life to the vaguely-familliar faces and being entirely unable to get the courage to engage the new faces in conversation. Which is a shame as the partner of one of the guys runs an amazing bespoke Steampunk design company, and was wearing a devastatingly gorgeous corset dress, I didn’t manage to get close enough to her to chat all evening, and I couldn’t possibly have just walked over, that was never going to happen! She also had a friend with her who looked exactly like Jane from Tarzan, so that was cool and really made me want to watch the film again!
On a completely different and unrelated note, look what I found in my multi-grain hooplas (Sainsbury’s own-brand Cheerios):
What the hell is that? Some Hoopla paste that missed the mold I think, I nibbled on it a bit and it didn’t seem like something inedible, but it was a bit alarming, that monster’s about 5cm across!
This week I have also been carrying on with my self-improvement. I watched a video a while back of this 17-year-old who can speak some crazy number of languages, and I thought, “this should not be a year of time wasting, it should be a year of self-improvement” and to that end, I’m learning four things:
- something which will remain secret for now
- basic calligraphy
- Mandarin (both speaking and writing Chinese characters, traditional, not simplified, yes I have certainly bitten off more than I can chew hear)
- basic braiding for bracelets and such (for which I have already shown you some of the fruits of my labours)
My calligraphy is coming along, it’s still a bit inconsistent, but good enough to go on cards for friends, and the calligraphy pen has also come in useful for my Chinese flash cards
L-R, top to bottom the symbols are ‘shi’ – to be, ‘yingguo’ – England, ‘qingwen’ – may I ask…, ‘putonghua’ – Mandarin, ‘yidianr’ – a little, ‘hui’ – can, ‘ma’ – an interrogative particle; we don’t have this in English, it’s pretty much a word that means ‘yes/no?’, ‘shuo’ – to speak
I bought 200 flash cards to help me memorise Chinese characters, I’ve coded them for parts of speech (nouns, verbs, descriptive words, everything else – there are only four colours!) to make my life a bit easier, but it’s far from easy. I really need someone Chinese to explain the ideographs and pictographs to me to make them easier to remember, e.g. I know the symbol for ‘good’ 好 is the symbol of a woman next to a boy – or son, which makes it easy to remember.
I’m also writing whole sentences I’ve learnt from an audio learning tape called Pimsleur’s Mandarin Chinese. I’m really chuffed with the lovely notebook I’m using, it was bought for me in Hong Kong by my uncle and I could never work out what to write in it, so I’m glad I’ve found something fitting 🙂
I hope my thirteen followers are all having a nice week. Especially Kellie, I love your blog and can’t believe you’re following me, congratulations on the baby announcement x