24/1/08
Hi Guys!

Maggie’s out at the moment, attending a gathering for former exchange students. Ironic isn’t it 🙂 I think she should have taken me with her… reasons not to go on exchange, things will follow you home 🙂

We arrived at Keele – Maggie’s Uni – on Sunday night, and I quickly made friends with Maggie’s room mates, and later with members of her hockey team. They’re a great bunch of people. Basically I haven’t gone out too much yet, but Maggie has made quite an effort to show me as much of the region as possible, but she has Uni full time Monday and Tuesday. It was even sunny today 🙂 We took the bus into town and had tea at a quaint English tea house. Then I dragged Maggie into ‘Pound Land’, which is like the two dollar shop, but since a pound is worth about $2.40, there was more stuff 🙂 I’m going to have to be careful because everything seems so ‘cheap’, but I keep have to remind myself that 10 pounds are $24! Ahhh. I can’t handle it! Anyway I had to get some salt and pepper because their unit doesn’t have it. And now you can get a picture of where I’m living. Apparently I’m supposed to like bland English food…

28/1/08

Sorry, got cut off again. Ok. On Friday we went to this old English Spa town called Royal Lemington Spa – because we wanted to see some Lemmings.. yes, I know it’s very childish. 🙂
It was beautiful. We explored the park gardens, and tried scaring the pigeons. Unfortunately the pigeons in England are so fat they can fly any more so they just sort of tried hopping away. After lunch we walked through the museum which was based in the old spa building. It was very cool! It showed the Turkish baths, and what they used in the olden days to ‘cure’ things. I guess its good they had something, but I would probably give it a miss, bathing in water that smells like rotten eggs is not really my thing..

Then we had afternoon tea, and explored the town itself. Of course when Maggie spotted the Lolly shop we had to go there. and after making a quick trip to the post office to get stamps for a post card, we drove home. Maggie treated me to a burger at the ‘2 for 1 place’ 🙂 We had to get a early night because Maggie had Hockey on Saturday morning. She was probably the only one on the team that wasn’t totally hungover.. They still won, somehow, probably because they where versing the worst team in the league. After that we went to the pub where everyone (except Maggie and I) started downing Fosters because it was Australia Day, and the English take their Australia Day very seriously. Maggie didn’t drink as she had to drive down to the shops to get snacks for Sunday, and I didn’t because no, I can’t get into drinking after being awake for 3 hours.

We rejoined them after dinner, and I celebrated Australia day with 2 glasses of Australian wine which was give to us by Maggie’s dad, and then stayed with vodka. I got ‘penalised’ for breaking the Keele drinking rules though,- I drank with my right hand.. and had to ‘down a pint’ of beer, and I can do it better than Maggie apparently 🙂 I am legend 🙂

On Sunday – yesterday – we all when to the English Indoor Hockey finals. I seriously feel like I live in this little bubble where Hockey is the most important thing in the world. It’s very strange! It was very fun though. I really got into supporting my favourite teams, and the sound effects helped too 🙂 They had the ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ song for short corners, ‘Relax, don’t do it’ for penalty cards and for goals they had either ‘simply the best’ or you know that theme song for Toyota – ‘wo who!’ or ‘Can’t touch this’ by MC Hammer 🙂 It was awesome. The team we supported for women’s won 3-5, but the men’s lost. It was 4-5 so not too bad. Maggie managed to eat two bags of caramelised popcorn. She worked out that it was 1600 calories.. does that sound right? It was cool because we got great seats and because the finals were on national TV we suddenly get a text from Maggie’s Dad saying ‘Just saw you guys’. They gave out free blow up clapping sticks, but they kept going flat. I literally went through about 6 pairs! so environmentally friendly.

Now Maggie’s back doing uni, basically its what she does when she’s not playing hockey. I’d better get this email sent off because it’s beautiful and sunny outside and I’m still in my pyjamas. What’s going on? 🙂

Sarah

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