Thursday, January 9, 2014


"Notting Hill" has always been one of my favorite movies, and yesterday I found myself walking the streets there after all of these years. It felt really surreal to be there, and I enjoyed every moment of it!

Anna, Matt, Sam, Megan and I had our registration appointments on Wednesday morning (Jan. 8) and met up afterwards to take the tube to Notting Hill. My appointment went really well! I was nervous because I wanted to switch two of my classes and when I told Nicola, my Westminster adviser, what my back-up classes were she checked and all of them were either full or clashed with my other two classes. I was starting to get discouraged but we figured it out and my schedule seems like it'll be great now. I only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays which will be so perfect for traveling. I have each class once a week.

On Tuesday morning I have Photographing the City: London on the Harrow campus from 10am-1pm. I will then take the tube back to Oxford Circus and walk to the Regent Street campus for my Modern America: Social and Political Change 1850-1920 from 1pm-5pm, with a break between my lecture and seminar from 2pm-3pm.

Portobello Market has really great shops and food.
On Thursday morning I will be back at Harrow from 10am-1pm for Film Theories: Hollywood and Genre. I'll take the tube back to the Wells Street campus for my Writing London: Creative Writing About London class from 2pm-5pm.

All of my classes are level 4, which I've heard is not too demanding. Level 4 is what most first year students here take so I'll probably be with students younger than I am.

Okay, so now I'll get back to Notting Hill. We got off the tube at Notting Hill Gate and walked to Portobello Road. We saw all of the pastel colored houses and as we got further down the road we started to see the shops and kiosks. Many of the products sold at Portobello Market are very touristy, but they also have a lot of handmade jewelry, bags and clothes, as well as fresh fruit and vegetable stands. I got some asparagus, grapes, and baby spinach. I'm really excited to cook now! I was so tempted to buy some of the dresses I saw which were only about 5-10 pounds. I'm already going to have to ship a ton of things home so I don't want to keep adding things to my inventory. I'm sure I'll cave by May.

I ended up back at my room for a few hours so I did a load of laundry, showered, and ran to Tesco Express around the corner for some more groceries. Laundry is really annoying here because the machines only take certain coins and they're really finicky. A load of wash is two pounds and 60 pence and a load in the dryer is one pound. I'm definitely going to have trouble with that this semester.

After my laundry and shower were out of the way I made myself a PB&J sandwich and planned to meet up with Anna, Megan, and Matt at their campus by 7:30pm to see a free comedy show nearby. I was on my way down the stairs at the Baker Street tube station and I saw the train there with it's doors open. I wasn't going to run for it so I kept walking, but the two women near me started to run. I figured maybe I should too. I was literally and inch behind the second woman and the doors of the tube hit me from the side. Don't worry, it didn't hurt, but it knocked me over a bit and everyone was laughing at me. I guess I was bound to embarrass myself in public sooner or later. Oh well, at least I have a story to tell you all now. Ha!

The comedy show was great and we saw a lot of funny people. One of them was an American woman who lives in France, so that was really cool. There was even an elderly woman who said some really dirty jokes and had us all laughing pretty hard. I also had a Briska pear cider to sip on throughout the show and it was so good. After the show I caught the tube back home and got ready for bed. I Skyped with my dad for a little while and couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to write in my journal.

Tonight I have a boat cruise on the Thames with other Westminster study abroad students. It should be a lot of fun! I can't wait to see the sights from the water.

Since I shared my "whoopsidaises" tube moment with you, it only seems right to leave you with some dialogue from my favorite part of "Notting Hill"...

William: Whoopsidaisies!
Anna: What did you say?
William: Nothing.
Anna: Yes you did.
William: No I didn't.
Anna: You said "whoopsidaisies".
William: I don't think so. No one says "whoopsidaisies" do they? Unless they're...
Anna: There *is* no "unless." No one has said "whoopsidaisies" for fifty years and even then it was only little girls with blonde ringlets.
William: Exactly. Here we go again.
[He falls off the fence again]
William: Whoopsidaisies. It's a disease I've got. It's a clinical thing. I'm taking pills and having injections. It won't last long. 
Notting Hill (1999) was actually filmed in London! According to Wikipedia: Richard Curtis (writer/developer) chose Notting Hill as he lived there and knew the area, saying "Notting Hill is a melting pot and the perfect place to set a film"

I'll definitely be using this for grocery shopping from now on. Love it!
Write soon!
xo Sheila

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