Friday, September 24, 2004

The House

Here's my long awaited introduction to my neighborhood, my house, and my room.

If you want to see a map where the house is, click here. Or find it yourself, my address here is:
Elliot DeRemer
56 Prince's Gate
London, UK

Here's the neighborhood, and what I see everyday...

A view of down the street (south) of the house. On the left is the Victoria & Albert Museum, and on the right is the Natural History Museum. (Both are literally 100 meters away)

The northern view, across the street on the right is the house, and on the left is Imperial College (the MIT of England), and about 2 blocks north is Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

The front of the house, with our keyless entry door (we have RFID cards in our wallets, so we just have to wave it in front of a sensor on the right. The basement is where the student lounge is with a TV, kitchen, and computer lab (along with a few rooms). The ground floor (1st floor in America) is all offices for administrators and a nice library. The first floor (2nd floor in America) is where I live, it has 4 guy rooms, I live on the other side of the house though. The second floor (3rd in America) is the girls's where i spend all my spare time ;). And the third floor is the faculty housing (I never go up there!!).

Above left: This is the back of the house, and the second floor windows on the right (remember, 3rd floor in america!) is my room. Above right: This is the park that's immediately behind the house, so we can just go out onto that patio and through the gate and be here in this super nice park. This also happens to be the view from my window.

And finally, what you've all been waiting room!

Above left: My desk, duh! Above right: The OTHER side of the room, where my messy roommates have yet to clean up their stuff. (and yes, i do live with 4 other guys, it's hell, trust me)

And my bed (I'm on top, Ethan's below me). With my dresser to the right of the bed with all my stuff on top.

Yeah so that's pretty much it, the student lounge is cool, i'll get some pictures of that soon. It's decorated really funly (yes i made that word up, get over it dad). Oh, and here's something you Republicans might get a kick out of...

That's all of us first time voters with President George W. Bush's aunt. I forget her name, but she's President Herbert Bush's sister. She came one day for our convocation and tried to get us to vote for Bush. We had a student debate over Bush vs. Kerry, but of course Pepperdine invites Bush's aunt to come and talk to us and shmooze... Where's Kerry's aunt?!? Anyways, sorry I just don't like to be brainwashed and it really annoys me when a school says that it's open and free, but blatantly obviously pushes their agenda on you.

Alright this is enough for today!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

It's 1:30 AM here, and I'm wide awake....

Our neighbors have been having a wicked party all night. Too bad I didn't go over and crash it...

So this weekend I'm just hanging out in London. I tried to go up to York, but a train ticket would cost me $130, and I honestly don't have that money right now (hint, hint ;). So tomorrow we are going to visit Buckingham Palace. We have to tour it before Sunday because the Queen moves back in and then it's closed to visitors for a long time. I guess she's been spending the summer in Scotland or something.

I've also got to visit the tower of london and see the crown jewels. I'll also try and visit the Natural History Museum - it's literally down the street from me like 100 meters. I'll also take some pictures of the house and my room and such. You'll get to see a glimpse of my normal day-to-day life here in England. I honestly have no idea who's reading this, or if you want a picture of anything or have any questions. If you want pictures of something, post a comment and ask or just leave me some feedback, tell me where to go etc etc.

Must get some sleep... or try

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Stonehenge... as small as it is

All eleven of us at the Roman Bath... from left to right, starting in the back: Elliot, Dap, Ethan, Matt, Justin, Matt. (2nd row) Taylor, Annie, Allison, Michelle, and Brecken

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Weekend in Bath & Stonehenge

Alright mates, I trust everything is going great with you? ...Excellent!

This was my first weekend abroad that we could do whatever we and go wherever we choose. I went with a group of 11 people to visit Bath in southwestern England. We left early on Friday morning on a charter bus to Bath. It took nearly 4 hours to get there because we got caught in traffic outside of London. But I really didn't even know because I was asleep for the entire time. The night before I had been up till 2:30 Am and then woke up at 6AM. So you can imagine how tired I was.

We arrived in Bath around noon time, and after we ate some pretty bad food at a local pub, we spent the rest of the day exploring around the town. Bath is actually a pretty big city (roughly 80,000 people), however the area we were in was the tiny touristy area. We didn't see much of the city at all. The main attraction of Bath is the Roman public bath that they built atop a natural spring. The structure is entirely Roman, but built by English, so there's traces of both in the architecture.

This is me and my friend Brecken at the Roman bath.

The tour of the bath was interesting, however a little boring at times and very overpriced. The town itself was more interesting. It had a local church that was about 500 years old. There were a lot of little shops, including a San Francisco fudge factory that is very famous. Apparently it's so famous that our guide to all of England mentions it. And I admit, it was really good fudge, but I figure if want some more I'll just drive up to San Francisco and get the real thing. ;)

We spent Friday night at a local hostel called the Bath Backpackers Hostel. Hostels are really nice these days, they provide bunk beds, sheets, pillows and covers, all for 13 pounds a night. We really didn't get that much sleep that night, all of us were out all night at a local pub called The Pig and Fiddle and when we got back to the hostel we were all still wired so instead of sleeping we all just stayed up half the night joking around and pulling pranks on the first people to fall asleep.

Anyways the next day we hired a tour van to take all 11 of us to Stonehenge. Stonehenge is actually much smaller than you'd think, or at least what I thought it would be.

From left to right: Me, Brecken, Michelle, Ethen and Allison at Stonehenge.

This little village called Bradford on Avon. We stopped there for 15 minutes to visit a local church and take pictures.

Alright guys, it's getting late and I have to read 3 Acts of Romeo & Juliet. Hope you guys are doing great. Email me sometime!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

First Day of Classes

Today was the first day of classes. I had to wake up bright and early at 8AM to get breakfast and then class at 8:45. And that's a really horrible thing when you only got to sleep at around 2:30... Here's my schedule just in case you guys were wondering...

Monday -
ENG 420 8 45-10 45
Fine Arts 240 11 00 - 12 30
Astronomy 1 30 - 3 30

Tuesday -
Convo (I hate this school for making me go to these) 11 30 - 12 30
History 390 1 15 - 3 15

Wednesday -
ENG 420 8 45-10 45
Fine Arts 240 11 00 - 12 30
Astronomy 1 30 - 3 30

Thursday -
International Experience 11 00 - 12 00
History 390 1 15 - 3 15

Astronomy is horrible because the professor is a monotonous BORE. Everything else seems alright so far.

Tonight I'm off to see an outdoor play of Romeo & Juliet. It's going to be cold. The past couple of days the weather's been cold and dreary. I'm looking out the window right now and it seems to have cleared up a little.

Monday, September 13, 2004

London Eye

Hey guys. I don't have much time to write, but i'm going to put up some pictures so you guys can see what I saw today. Today and tomorrow our class assignments are to go somewhere in London (we have a list of 12 museums, sights, and touristy places), take pictures, and report back to the class on what we saw. My group consisting of Matt, Laura and some other girl (I forgot her name...), we went to the London Eye. The London Eye looks like a big ferris wheel, however the Brits get a little offended if you call it a ferris wheel, it is an observation wheel. And the biggest observation wheel in the world.

The London Eye, right next to an art museum.

The best part of taking photographs in London is that your almost never in direct sunlight, so you get a really nice overcast even light. Also your always guaranteed an interesting sky in the picture.

The view from the top, approximately 135 metres above the water below.

Afterwards (it takes about 30 minutes for the wheel to make one revolution) we walked around Westminster and Victoria. We wandered past Westminster Abbey and the Parliament House.

Parliament House with Big Ben

Alright guys, I gotta take a nap. This jet lag is killing me. And I have a presentation on what I saw today in about 30 minutes. So I just need some Elliot time, just me, my music, and my beloved pillow...

A rather cool (I think) shot of Westminster Abbey

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Greenwich & Beyond

Well if your from America you'll read the title and say "Greenwich" but if your in the UK you'll pronounce it "Grenich". If you don't know Greenwich is the zero spot for longitude, so now I can say that I've been at 0 degrees 0 minutes longitude, other wise known as the Prime Meridian. It's the reference line for east and west. Basically it's the zero spot for time also. All timezones are relative to Greenwich, so California is -8 Greenwich Mean Time. They have a laser at night that shines directly down the line, and this huge brass line in the courtyard so you can take pictures. Of course I had to take a picture...

And just for Kent, I was on the east side of the world, flashing East Side ;)

So touring around Greenwich took up most of the day, mainly because we had a guided tour that lasted entirely TOO long. I can only take so much dry British humor... Afterwards, we had a free all-day pass to anywhere in London on the Underground, so my friends and I decided to just go to some place random and see what's there. So we stopped at the London bridge and walked across. London is absolutely beautiful at night.

Well time to go, time to socialize with my housemates...

Greenwich England

Just in case you were wondering what an English pub looks like, this is the typical pub. A lot of them have the hanging gardens and they are actually really pretty on the outside... but the fun's inside!! =)

St. Paul's Cathedral at night. We stopped here accidentally on our wanderings through London...

Saturday, September 11, 2004

My friend susie stuck in one of those horrible red phone boothes.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Outside of St. Paul's Cathedral

Close up of the Prince Albert Memorial

Prince Albert Memorial on Kensington Road

London 101


If your reading this then you probably know who I am, and you should know that I am currently residing in the UK for this semester.

I'm trying this blogger thing just so I don't have to write as many in depth emails about my daily life. This is for you guys my loving and caring friends and family, so you can keep track of my comings and goings in London, throughout England, and in Europe abroad. I hope you don't find this too boring or monotonous.

Today is September 11, 2004. My heart goes out to all those who knew someone in the towers. I'm saying a prayer for you right now. We took a tour bus all around London, seeing all the sights that the regular tourists would see...while we were driving around the embassies, we stopped next the American embassy. Right next to it is a large park, with a statue of Franklin Roosevelt on one side and a gold eagle flying towards him on the other side of the park. However the most touching part was the newly created tribute to 9/11 (or 11th of the 9th, as the call it here). It's a small gazeebo-type thing with a small enclosed room where, I assume in a book or on plaques, are written all the names of the British and American citizens who died in the attacks. I believe there's going to be a ceremony there tonight, however, I won't be able to attend.

Anyways, off that somber note. Our bus ride lasted about 3 hrs and took us all around London, so many places that I can't even name. We went to Trafalgar Square, Big Ben (which is actually the name of the BELL, not the clock...), to the outside of Buckingham Palace and many other beautiful places. Tonight the whole group of us (40 students and some odd faculty and family) are going to the Condensed Shakespeare play in Piccadilly Square. And after that, we are on our own. Knowing my group we'll probably find a pub.

Well I'm off to the play. I'll upload some pictures of St. Paul's cathedral and other sites around my house later. Until then. Cheerio!