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This week has been filled with good things of all kinds.

Staying in England to do my research project is going to be incredibly expensive, especially with the exchange rate from dollars to pounds being nearly double at this point. So I applied for three different grants to help pay for all of my expenses. An email last weekend let me know that I've received a 400 pound research grant from my college, once I present my receipts. This is incredibly good news, because at this point I don't know exactly how much the actual equipment and such for my project is going to cost.

Then on Monday, I got an email from my research advisor; I've somehow managed to convince the Nuffield Science Bursaries to fund my project, so that's another 1,360 pounds. You can't even imagine how stunned and thrilled I was...That's a ton of money, guys. Money that I will never have to pay back. A ton of money.

Then I got a letter from our college Accounts Office, telling me that I've been awarded the Overseas Hardship scholarship, for an additional 300 pounds. I can't even begin to say how happy and grateful all of this makes me. It's such an utter relief; a great weight off my shoulders. This whole time, I've been anxious over how my family would be able to afford something like this, on top of all my regular school expenses. But it seems like I was able to solve the problem on my own.

On top of the letter from the Accounts Office, I also received an awesome "get well soon" card; thank you, Chris! You utterly spoil me with all of your letters and packages. Speaking of Chris' packages, he sent me something wonderful, and I want to share it with anyone else who's interested.

Doctor Who 2006 Cardiff Concert- A Celebration (77.71MB)

It was hosted by David Tennant, and contains music from the latest three seasons of Doctor Who; nearly all of it is purely instrumental and choral, and it's incredibly beautiful. You definitely don't have to be a fan of the show to appreciate this music.

Here are a few tracks, for those of you who'd like a small taste before you go through all the trouble of downloading the whole thing:

Prologue (1.24MB)
Rose Sequence (Melancholy) (3.48MB)
Lady Cassandra Theme (1.65MB)
Clockwork Men Theme (2.44MB)
Doomsday (4.82MB)

On Thursday evening, I went to see a production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband with Clare and Farhana, and it was wonderful. I love Wilde's plays; they're so witty, it should be a crime. The play was held out on the lawn of Trinity college, so it did get a bit chilly; but they served hot drinks and provided us all with blankets, so it wasn't too bad. All in all it was a lovely evening, and I'm so glad I went.

The farewell picnic in the Botanic Gardens yesterday was great, too, and I really needed a break from exam revision. It's so sad that everyone's heading home until our exams, but I understand. If I had the chance, I think I'd spend the next few weeks back home. But in a way, I'm glad I'm staying. The weather is finally starting to feel more like summer, and all the irises and such as in bloom. I think I'll head back to the Gardens again sometime; it's the perfect setting for a relaxed lunch.

And now on to family matters. They're all coming to visit me here in England for two weeks. Well, only some of the time will be spent in England. I have my exams on Wednesday and Thursday of 9th week, and then they leave for England on Friday. There rest of the two weeks will be a blur, no doubt.

They're going to spend a few nights in Oxford, but then we're off to tour London, then Paris, then back to London. We're planning to rent a car from Oxford and drive over to the west coast of Wales, passing through Cardiff; then we'll take a ferry over to Ireland, see Blarney castle (and the Blarney stone, of course) and continue driving up through Ireland until we reach Dublin, then further north into Belfast.

We'll take a ferry from the northeast coast of Ireland over to Scotland, and see the sights over there (Loch Ness, etc.), including a night's stay in our ancestral castle (this one, in case you were wondering). The rest of the trip will be spent driving down through England, seeing things here and there as we go (such as Alnwick Castle, which was used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies). Then they're back in London just in time to catch their flight home.

It's going to be amazing. ♥
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sangre_fria

May 2008

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