Beyond London



I am done with my first week of classes at Queen Mary. I had my first Health Psychology class, which really seems like it’s going to be a interesting course. I thought that the class was going to deal with and discuss mental issues, but actually the class is about “mental health.” The class focus’s on how a person’s beliefs and attitudes affects things like what triggers someone to go or not go see a doctor, people adherence to medical advice, and how one reacts to and deals with illness. My two other classes are both in the Geography department. One is called, Society, Culture and Space and seems like it will be a typical sociology course, dealing with and trying to find answers behind stereotypes and stigmas in England. The other class is called Environment, Nature, and Society and really ties into the sophomore year writing class at Lafayette that I took called Agriculture, Ethics, and the Environment. I was really into that writing class, and I think a lot of the information I learned from that class will be applicable to this one.

London has been having an indian summer, on Thursday the temperature broke 86 degrees, which broke a record from 200 years ago! So, Julissa, Kelly, and I decided to take advantage of the great weather and our class-free Friday to explore the West End of London. We went to Portobello Market in Notting Hill and walked around for hours. The market has a bunch of different things, like antique jewlery, silverware, and diningware, relics from WWII, clothing, and an amazing farmers market! It was so much fun walking around in the sunshine, browsing through the different stands. I ended up buying some fresh fruit to bring back to my flat, some local strawberries and figs. I also walked past a Greek food stand which had over 10 different types of marinated and stuffed olives. I absolutely had to get some, and my favorite ended up being the green olives that were stuffed with jalapenos. All of this was so good, so fresh, and so cheap. I got it all for under 5 pounds! I’m such a frugal shopper 🙂

The great weather continued so yesterday the girls and I, along with four of our British friends (Angelo, Dan, Will and Josh), decided to take the train to Brighton, which is a beach town just south of London. It was an hour and a half ride and we got to the beach at 9:30 am. It was so nice to get away from the city and just lounge on the beach all day. It felt like an beautiful August day at the Jersey Shore, not an October afternoon in England! Brighton reminded me of two cities back in the States. The beach and streets surrounding the shoreline reminded me of Coney Island in New York, by the way the pier looked and the type of music that was playing. It seemed straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. The city  of Brighton looked a lot like San Francisco, with it’s big hills and winding roads. Brighton’s beach is on the English Channel so now I can officially say that I swam in the English Channel! The only thing I would change about the beach is sand, because there was none! The beach was a pebble beach and my feet are sore today from running around all day. We stayed on the beach until about 4 pm. We walked around the town and got some quintessential fish and chips before we took the train home. I have uploaded some pictures from the beach trip, so check them out!

This coming weekend, Julissa, Kelly and I are going on our first traveling adventure to Barcelona! It’s the first trip that I’ve ever booked and planned entirely on my own, so I’m excited to see how everything pans out. (Hopefully it all goes smoothly) I’ve never been to Spain and this is one of the cities I had definitely wanted to visit while I live in London. I’ve also been craving some Spanish food so it’s looks like I’m in luck. Only four more days! 🙂


One response »

  1. Katie, your courses all seem interesting and the psych course especially so. Your weekend trip sounded like fun. Was the water in the channel cold? Are you now ready to try to swim to France? Don’t you think the English fish and chips are better than any others you’ve had?
    We hope you enjoy your trip to Barcelona. Go to a tapas bar and try the squid in it’s own ink—yuk!

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