I have been slack about posting, but for good reason!

To be fair, I have been a busy, busy bee! I got all moved in to my dorm/room in the residence hall last weekend. I’ve spent all of this week trying to settle in, as well as attend a week’s worth of workshops, seminars, etc… for the international students. I’ve also been running around trying to take care of things related to finalizing my visa, getting ready for my classes/getting fully registered, and just basically gearing up for this school year. In addition to that – let’s face it… I’ve moved to a new country AND am in a part of London that I didn’t know very well (I’ve visited Greenwich once,) so I have been trying to get out every day and explore and familiarize myself with my new “hood.”

Let me just go on record as saying that I am completely blessed beyond measure to be here – and this place is absolutely beautiful. Just a few steps from my residence hall lies one of the oldest parks in London – and one of the Royal Parks at that! Greenwich Park. It’s huge, lush, green, and gorgeous. Oh, and there’s this little ‘ole thing called the Royal Observatory up atop this pretty steep hill where there lives a thing called the Prime Meridian… but also, it’s one of the best vantage points to look out over all of London. And this is literally at my back door, people!!

View from atop the hill at the Royal Observatory, overlooking Greenwich Park and showing a view of London near sunset.

Then if I walk the other direction towards downtown and the Cutty Sark area, I can get the most splendid views of the Thames… where I can sit and watch the boats glide past. It’s really quite calming for me! I have a feeling that will be my “go to” place when I am feeling stressed!

Sun setting over the Thames as I look out over the water, and out at London.
Sun setting over the Thames as I look out over the water, and out at Greenwich, London.

The campus itself is, of course, strikingly beautiful. The history one feels when one strolls along past these buildings… some of which were designed/built in the 1600’s… well… it’s pretty awe-inspiring for sure! I’m beginning to get a handle on which building is what, and I feel confident about where my classes are to be held, so that’s a good thing!

University of Greenwich campus
University of Greenwich campus

And I’m really loving my actual residence hall, this old building has a lot of charm. I have an exposed beam in my ceiling, as well as some brilliant storage up in the rafters over my en-suite for my luggage. Even our mailboxes are adorable! 🙂

If anyone ever mails me anything, this is where it will go!
If anyone ever mails me anything, this is where it will go!

I’ve even begun to personalize the place a bit – make it look a little more like home. 😉

It wouldn't be Janni's room without a little geek/nerd culture!
It wouldn’t be Janni’s room without a little geek/nerd culture!

And I am learning ways to save money. For instance, I can use a kiddie bowl to have my cereal out of in the mornings and it makes a box of cereal last a WHOLE lot longer (smaller portion sizes.) I can also look for meals/food that’s near its expiration date at the supermarket and get it REALLY cheap (just have to be sure to eat it in time!) I have to find every way I can to cut costs!

Breakfast of frugal uni students!
Best breakfast for this frugal uni student!

And speaking of money – I am hard at work perfecting my CV so that I can get it out there and try my best to find a part-time job. I am only allowed to work up to 20 hours a week on my Tier 4 student visa, but I need to work every bit of that if I can. I’ve got to earn as much money towards next year’s tuition as possible! I am also still looking into any scholarships that might be out there that I haven’t found yet, so if anyone finds any – please forward the information my way?

I’ve had a lot of start-up costs – many of which were unexpected (I guess I SHOULD have expected some of them, but just didn’t.) Any time one moves to another country though, I guess one will run into things they didn’t count on.

I still have my GoFundMe campaign going if anyone wants to help out there – it will go towards next year’s tuition, etc…

I could also REALLY use gift cards! Especially to places like Sainsbury’s, Waitrose… I get groceries from those places. 🙂 ALSO – THIS IS A BIGGIE: Gift cards/certificates from Amazon.co.uk are also quite useful! (One can find darn near anything on Amazon, and I know I will be needing more books for school in the coming weeks and months… Amazon’s a GREAT resource for those because I can get them cheaper than I can in the school bookstore!) I also shop at ASDA (which is like Walmart here, it’s owned by them, actually…) but sadly, you can’t get gift cards for ASDA online anymore, according to their website. So… anyway… I’ve had a few people ask if there were ways they could help, or which particular gift cards might be handy – those are all good ones! One other gift card possibility might be Argos (they pretty much sell anything and everything… reminds me of the old Service Merchandise types of stores we used to have in the states years ago, where you put in the catalog number then go pick it up at a counter…) I have bought things like my printer, and my small desk fan from them. Argos is right next door to ASDA, and just a short bus ride away, so it might be handy now and again. But the other places (like the grocery stores and Amazon for my textbooks) would be much higher on my personal preference list. 😉

Many of you have asked about a mailing address for me as well. I don’t really want to post that here on the blog, but if you know me and would like to send me something, just drop me an email and I will be happy to give it to you!

Well, I guess I will close for tonight. It’s been a busy week and I plan to kick back tonight and get some rest. I will be working on my CV this weekend, and hoping to try and find a part-time job as quickly as I can. That will be the focus for this next week for me. It will be Freshers Week (and since I have sort of already had my own kind of version of that with the international students welcome week, I think I can skip a good bit of it. LOL!) Right now, I need to focus on the job hunt so I won’t have to worry about it as much when classes begin.

Until next time… signing off from breathtaking London!



Beautiful autumn weather in London…

Today I did nothing but just enjoy the gorgeous weather we’ve been having over here in London. It got up to around 68 degrees (I’ll never get the hang of this Celsius thing, but I think it was about 21C?) It was sunny out all day, and breezy. I walked down to Camden Town first thing this morning, had a bit of a late breakfast/early lunch, and then hit up a comic book store I’d been wanting to check out. I picked up a cool Deadpool book, and a vintage Journey Into Mystery print for my new dorm room (or residence hall flat room, maybe I should start saying…) and then caught the Tube back up to Belsize Park. From there, I walked back down to my hotel room and hung around for a couple of hours there. I know, I know… seemed like a sin to go back inside on a day like today, but I had a few administrative tasks with regards to school and banking and such… and I needed to get them done after 2:00 pm (when my bank opened back in the states.) I took care of those things, and got the first part of my registration completed for school! I am really excited about my classes this term:

  • Culture, Theory and Context: Fictions and Visual Narratives
  • Applied Drama
  • Modern Stages
  • Shakespeare, Then and Now 
A little fun reading in the park...
A little fun reading in the park…

After finishing all of that online stuff, I DEFINITELY went back out! This time, I went up to Primrose Hill, armed with the new Deadpool book, and curled up on the grass to read for a while. Sure, I probably should have been reading something really deep and insightful for school… (snickering)… but in my defense, I have already read SEVERAL of the plays from our reading list for this semester, so I felt as though I had a little playtime owed to me. 😉 Anyway… it was glorious. Until it wasn’t. Haha! What I mean by that is… by the time it got to be about 5:30, the lovely “breeze” turned into some pretty gusty winds and it began to get a bit chilly to this girl who was clad in a thin, short-sleeved Doctor Who tee. It was time to pack it up and head back. I stopped by a little take-away place on the way home and brought a light dinner back to my room. I spent about a half hour (after I ate) emptying one of my suitcases and putting all of my dirty laundry inside of it. I plan to get up super early tomorrow and run around the corner to the local laundromat and knock out my washing. The brilliance of this plan is that I can just pack it all, nice, clean, and folded, back into the suitcase (which has wheels on it) and roll it back to the hotel. I’m checking out on Saturday morning and moving into the residence hall, so it will be nice to do so without a bunch of dirty laundry going with me, eh?

After I finish my laundry tomorrow, I’ll hop on the Tube and then the DLR and head down to Greenwich to complete the second part of registration (which has to be done in person.) I don’t know when I will complete all of that, but I thought I would have a look around while I’m there – to sort of see where I need to show up on Saturday with my plethora of luggage. That sort of information will be good to know, I think. 😉 I’ve made a friend on Facebook who lives in my residence hall and who has offered to meet me to show me where it is. So lovely of her! I’ll just see where the afternoon takes me, but if I get back in time, I would love to walk up to Hampstead and go visit Keats’ house. I wanted to do that the last time I stayed in this neighborhood and I ran out of time. Hoping I can make it happen this time. If not, then I will just have to run back up here another time and do it. I’d quite like to see Hampstead Heath as well – I guess it will all depend on how much time I have. If this weather holds out, I’ll try to MAKE the time! I check out of here on Saturday, and will head straight to Greenwich to move in… then I’ll go to my friend’s house to pick up a bag I had sent to her this week. I’ve affectionately named that piece of luggage “Stonehenge” because it’s REALLY tall and really heavy! (Gigglesnort) I put all of my winter wear and school supplies/books in it! I definitely could not have managed it on the way over here with the two airplane rides, etc… It was crazy enough keeping up with the three suitcases I had with me!

Okay, well, it’s time for me to log off of here. I’ve been up until 3 am or so just about every night. I need to start getting into the actual “London Time” routine at SOME point. Haha! Although… it sure is tempting to stay up late again and see if I can catch this week’s “Geeks Who Drink” episode (SyFy Network) with Zachary Levi on Amazon. But alas… I may have to wait and watch that one tomorrow night. (sigh)

I still have to pinch myself when I go to bed at night and when I wake up in the morning to believe all of this is real. I’m really living in London now, and I am about to start school! Holy SMOKES what a miracle and a blessing!

Goodnight, all!