Sunday, November 30, 2008


We visited Jane Austen's house and Winchester Cathedral for our program's last day trip together. It was all very interesting, but I think the best part of the trip was the playground we stumbled upon. Before you criticize, Answer this for yourself... Don't you remember what it was like to be a kid?

Jane Austen's House-- it was pretty big. In comparison to other cottages we have visited, she makes Hardy and Wordsworth look like paupers. I can see why she turned down so many suitors. She wanted it all to herself!
(Left to Right) Lauren, Alison, Hailee, you know, and Anna.
Alison in action
The biggest hit of the day.

Yellow coats are so hot right now.
And Winchester Cathedral is the smart place to wear them.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Remember Thanksgiving

Afternoon Tea at the Orangery in Kensington Gardens.

Peppermint tea... I'll have a few lumps of sugar with that!

A cucumber sandwich fort.

Scones with clotted cream and jam. 
Me and L.C.
Celebrating Thanksgiving abroad was great. Of course it wasn't same without American football, mom's candied yams, a million pies to choose from, and all the family around, but it was still a great time. We went and had traditional afternoon tea at the Orangery in Kensington Gardens. It was so much fun! Everyone dressed up, and I finally got to wear my vintage gloves from Portobello Road.

At night, we had a small devotional, sang "count your many blessings," and had a traditional thanksgiving feast. The Schulers (the couple who runs the BYU London Centre) really went all out. There were five turkeys! Sister Schuler even got pumpkin pie, which is pretty unavailable here. There was a lot of merriment at dinner. We even broke out into singing "God Bless the USA." haha.

After dinner, a few girls and I went and saw the musical "The Lion King." It was so good! I absolutely loved it. The costumes and the ways they created the animals were so awesome, and the music is still as great as it was when I was seven years old. I'm not gonna lie, it kind of made me want to watch the old animated version again.  Loved it.

It was a really great Thanksgiving full of fun and merriment. I have a lot to be grateful for this year.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Off to Parry to See More of Yurrup.

I am hours away from my trip to Paris. Soon I'll be on the chunnel beneath the English Channel to get my first taste of France. I'm very excited to see the Eiffel Tower, try es cargo, see the impressionist masterpieces, and explore the Louvre. I've also devised the perfect Paris playlist on my ipod to get me in the proper mood. Paris here I come! Bon Voyage!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Head for the Hills

This was Brigham Young's thinking spot when he was a missionary in England.
I feel so alive right now.
Bunkmates 4 life.
The hills are alive.
And the sun broke through the clouds.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court was a lovely little day excursion. Henry VIII lived in this palace, so it was interesting to imagine what life would've been like for him and the six wives he had throughout his lifetime. It is said that he ghost of Catherine Howard still haunts the palace, and her shrill screams can be heard in the halls. She was the wife who was very young and flirtatious. she confessed her lack of faithfulness to the King, and was beheaded at the age of 17. It wasn't easy being Henry's queen. That's for sure.
The Palace.

Clock Tower.

The V.I.P.s of Hampton Court
The grounds were absolutely gorgeous!

Loved these gardens. It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.
This is Alison in the Hedge Maze that we completely lost ourselves in.

"How do we get out of here?"
Everyone takes cute jumping pictures, so we decided to be original and take a not cute one.
The Birthday girl and I

The gang climbing on the garden fence. 

JUMP! I went a little too soon.
GO!!! oh wait... false alarm. [Everyone falls]
Hold hands!
We Love Hampton Court!

Take two.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tate Britain

I took a trip to the galleries at the Tate Britain today, and particularly enjoyed these Pre-Raphaelite Paintings. It is so fulfilling to learn about these in class, ad to actually go and SEE them-- in real life!! There is also something about this period in art that is so entrancing. I also got to see some nice paintings from the Romantic era, including William Blake. He is also one of my favorite poets. Later, I explored the old old old texts and manuscripts at the exhibitions in the British Libraries. I'm talkin the original copies and drafts of all the great legends of  science, music, religion, and literature. Pretty phasing. After dinner at the centre, Anna and I waited in line for an hour to get tickets for the play, "Brief Encounter." We barely got in at the last minute, and it was terrific! Biting! Heart-wrenching! And it had a few good laughs! Thoroughly enjoyed this day, folks.

Leighton, Flaming June
Rossetti, The Annunciation
Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tintern Abbey

FIVE years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur. -- Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration: -- feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: -- that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on, -- 
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft -- 
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart -- 
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all. -- I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye. -- That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur, other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompence. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear, -- both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul 
Of all my moral being.

Nor perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance -- 
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence -- wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love -- oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

--William Wordsworth

Monday, November 10, 2008

Have I Fall in Love?

A few days ago I took a walk by myself through the lovely Kensington Gardens. As soon as I walked through the gates I wondered why I hadn't taken more time just to cross the street from my neighborhood and enjoy this park! With Autumn in all of her glory, the scene is absolutely breathtaking. London does Fall right. Mesa, Arizona has nothing like it. It also happened to be a very cloudy, misty day with light rain. It was late afternoon and there weren't very many people around. The cloudy atmosphere and the stillness gave the park an almost eerie feel to it. Eerie in a mesmerizing way. Mesmesizing in an unforgettable way. The perfect autumn day in Kensington.