Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Oxford's workload.. and Matriculation

In the weekend I have been matriculated. This is a very big deal here in Oxford. You dress up in sub fusc and go through this ritual, waiting at each step. Should be quite okay, as long as you are not stressing all the time about being sent away because of inappropriate dress.

This morning, while getting ready to go, Angus came by and literally looked perplexed at me asking me is I was serious. Why wouldn't I be serious wearing jeans and nice black all-stars? What's the problem with that? Apparently everything..
Spent the whole ceremony hiding between the rest. Luckily my friends felt pity for me and shielded and guarded me from the view of the supervisors. Jack had eagle eyes spotting them, thanks for that!
So I made it through that, and then it was Matriculash. I much preferred that part for sure.
Went to a pub, Tesco, party in Simon's room, pizza and then Number 9. Was a really good night =)
Coming back, I had lost my keys so we stayed in Simon's room. Literally till the morning. Having a post on the bed, I was able to sleep intermittently. Everytime I became aware of my surroundings and heard the conversation they became weirder and weirder.
Proper Matriculash I would say.

Since Monday, the working spirit has come down on Keble. People in libraries, pulling all-nighters and drinking coffee to stay awake. Basically catching up with all the work that has been pushed aside.
I have mainly been busy practicing piano, cause tomorrow I am gonna audition for the music scholarship. The competition is quite tough.. So quite nervous about it, but I'll just give it a go. I will play Deux Arabesques and a Sonatine. we'll see how it goes.

today I went to Richard's room (music student) who has a piano in his room. He has loads of good music books, and is incredibly talented. He could just play my Sonatine without ever having seen it before, and even improved it at some points. I am jealous and admirative at the same time..
Called with my sis and Jerome, which always makes me feel good =)
Then just randomly listened to music, till Mike came stumbling in back from his Chemistry blinds. I told him after a while to go to sleep, which he did. A few minutes later though he came back dressed in a suit on a knee and proposed!
I got married =)

That's it for now. I might get some sleep, so I'll be fit tomorrow for the audition.
Next time I'll elaborate more, sorry for the shortness of it.

xx Foxy

Thursday, 13 October 2011

From your lovers

Dear Marielle,

These are your fans. We love you so much that we did some infiltration. This is Jack, Lucy in the Sky With  Diamonds, Bathsheba, Pippin and Jess. We want you to be here. We're harmonising. It's so great, I'm so happy. See you tomorrow my Foxy Noxy naughty sausage.



Btw, Owen is the best computerscience guy that could exist. He is actually social =O
Just kidding, you're the best ;)

loads of work - loads of friends - loads of alcohol - no sleep..

So I finally found a little bit of time, during one of the room parties on a typical thursday at a ridiculous time. That's basically the way of life here. This blog has been officially sponsored by Jack, the best host in Keble. He can make jagerbowls, toasties, has good chocolate cake when Keble provides nasty, disgustable cream.

Since last time there has been a massive change. Saturday there was the BOP, which is actually everyone just dressing up in the theme My big fat gypsy wedding (didn't know that show..) and getting incredibly lashed and have an amazingly good time. After the BOP, the party went on at my dad's room (Xan) and it kinda got very late. I gradually lost all my accessories somewhere, but hey it was worth it.

 I have actual lectures, serious tutorials and work to do.. Also books to read. Pile is nicely adding up. First lectures were really horrible though. A math lecture with a lecturer who really scares the hell out of you. I thought I was good at math, appears I'm not so..
Then a tutorial with Simon Hunt. Luckily we had dance sport at night. I've learned to Waltz with Simon (It's a lot harder than it looks people.. ) The girl is supposed to dance backwards, who came up with that?! It's an accepted fact that guys can't lead (except for Jack ofcourse) Okay, I need to acknowledge that Simon didn't let me bump my head against walls or so.
After that we learned the chacha. Most amazingly funny dance ever =) Truly so easy actually. Within 2 minutes Jack and I were chacha-ing through all the room. He kinda surprised me though, he is very strong! So this hilariously fun night made up for the rest =)
Probably there was a party at someone's room afterwards, I just can't keep track of them anymore.. So it probably was fun.

Next morning we had lectures again, beginning to feel incredibly tired and useless during those.. Therefore I decided to not work and hide myself in the wonderful music room =) Thanks to Owen, (currently called Peppin ) I knew how to get in.

Yesterday Bea had a party at her room, fucking hot. Literally I mean (before everyone starts ridiculising me again) Went to bed, couldn't sleep. Mike came and we had a 3 AM tea in my room till 5.30 AM.

This morning there was a fire drill.. Like at 8 AM. Sleep is seriously a rare thing around Keble. I literally ran down in my pyjama's feeling really cold and ridiculous since everyone else was dressed. Where's the joke in that..? I literally thought I was gonna be deaf of the alarm, there was no way you could pretend not to hear it.. Following that were lectures till 4 PM. And practicing a bit of piano for the recital tomorrow that I decided to do this morning.. Oh yeah, and another Tutorial. We actually need to work a lot. With we, I mean the Science people. The others just don't have lectures and annoy me when I need to go. The BASTARDS can sleep in late. Just joking, they're lovely ^^
Tried to make rice in my kettle, big mistake. Spent an hour trying to get all the little rice thingies out of it and failed. I can't make tea anymore =(
Then to the Biomedical Societies Drinks. Free wine of course, and lots of people to meet finally for real. Normally only saw them quickly during lectures and lost them again since we biomeds are an endangered species..
Wanted to work afterwards, but decided to head to the bar and have fun instead. And ofcourse I ended up in Jack's room. Finally taking some time to update this thing.
The English people are making fun of it though..

Basically I am going to amend my rythm and do some work eventually I hope.. And have fun too =)

PS: Bea is amazing!
PPS: Samrita is so much fun =)
PPPS: Kirsty is the loveliest sub representative you could wish =)
PPPPS: I hate you Simon ^^

Friday, 7 October 2011


Seems like ages ago that I last wrote something. So much has happened, it's hard to keep track of everything. So I'll try and do my best in not forgetting anything (quick look at the schedule..)

Tuesday we had an informal social meeting with our coming tutors, meds and biomeds together. It started off a bit weird, given the fact that I hadn't really mingled with them yet and I was afraid of leaving a bad impression with those geniuses. We got a free labcoat, which actually isn't as huge in size as those at the Stedelijk Dalton Overkampweg neither as dirty as those.. So happy with it =)

nibbles, drinks, interesting science, we were bound to end up having a good time. Afterwards we went to the subject dinner, meaning that for once the Fellows (our tutors) wouldn't exclude themselves and sit at High Table (which really is raised 5 cm!) but sat amongst us common folk. I sat next to Simon Butt (English people tend to really have funny last names =D) who is the neuroscience guy. It was great talking to him. He was actually a student at Keble in his days and has travelled around the world and now has come back again. Reaallly amazingly interesting, and very nice as well.
Later on I had a chat with my main tutor (also the Dean) which was incredibly motivating. Unlike my expectations, we talked a lot about social stuff as well. There is an immediate bond created, which is necessary to get you through your first tutorials without dying from stress..

After dinner, get changed (I had literally 5 minutes to change from a gown and appropriate smart outfit to a UV Bubbles theme white dress and all.. My amazingly helpful friend Hannah helped me =)) The club for tonight would be Park End, which is literally so huge that you can easily not meat the same people twice the whole evening. There were seperate dancefloors with different kinds of music and themes, which was really cool. The only downside was the ridiculous amount of time you spent waiting to be able to order a drink. It was sooo crowded! I literally got pushed back and forth and sometimes got seperated from my Keble People (luckily there were others where this migration of the crowd brought me)
At 2 AM we headed back and I ended up at Giacomo's room (which is really great!) with some English students, previously mentioned Simon and Bea. I might not have mentioned Bea, but I should have. She tends to be my talking point after we went out and I am watching QI =) She's crazily funny! Also a 2nd year, Owen, crept up amongst us, without us realising it. But he's cool, so that turned out for the best =)
I dunno exactly when, but at some point (after that I learned all the awkward silence breakers) we headed back and I could indulge in some QI to finish of this perfect night.
Ended up not sleeping at all, since it was too late for that when I realised my situation.

Wednesday we head this library tour through the Radcliffe Science Library (I WILL need to spend some time there) Kirsty, the best subject representative imaginable, and her friend Marisa, the German med student I talked about a long time ago helped us getting all the relevant and useful textbooks for our course. They even helped carrying it back ^^
In the afternoon we went chilling in the park. It was supposed to be sports, but since it got quite cold and I was kinda tired we just hung out. Good fun, meeting even more new people.
Barbara organised a little party at her room with some noodles and rice and drinks. Really nice. Only point was that there was some home-made chili in the rice, which totally set my mouth on fire! I wasn't able to think about anything else than that burning in  my throat.. Measures needed to be taken quickly. I went back and drank a litre of milk, and gradually it soothed and went away. My god, next time I'll think twice!
Then getting ready for Camera (club). This involves a process. First, the most important thing is to get pre-lashed (voordrinken). Everyone wore our Keble College T-shirt (saves a lot of work getting ready) and we went. Nice club, more room, but steaming hot! I was wearing trousers this time and I cannot imagine how all those guys survive with trousers in clubs (some even in whole suits!)
ANddd....... tadadadatada: Emma Watson was there! Ofcourse everyone massively went crazy. Poor girl..
I went back quite early, and noticed that Hannah was back too. So we sat down and had a wonderful cup of tea and finally I had the opportunity to really talk to her. It was such a difference with the hectic of fresher's week, really a moment of calmness. After I think 2 hours of this, we started being tired and decided to go to sleep. That is, I was going to, but then a sudden urge let me put on my laptop and watch QI again. Only just when I started the show, Simon came ruining Foxy's (my nickname) QI and we Bea came along as well. Had great fun, in the early morning hours. Bea can be such a genius =)

Next morning we had tutorials at 9 AM. This turned out to be quite a shock, given the sleep deprivation.. I was in the nick of time, and a little later =P I don't know why but suddenly I had forgotten where my tutor's room was.. Luckily I wasn't the last to arrive.
In the afternoon we went to the Fresher's Fair. This basically is like the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, but then for societies, groups and everything social. I signed up for so much, incredible. Took a long time though, since it was really busy!
Back at Keble, loaded with lots of flyers, we went up to the Chapel Roof. You basically go up at an angle of 80 degrees and get a magnificent view over Oxford with the Dreaming Spires and Keble itself.
Fair at the College, much less crowded and much more likeable =)
Then I have started doing some work for the first time. Got out a new math's problem sheet and worked through it. Angus is a genius in explaining all the problems I couldn't solve myself =)
Dinner in gown again, and that night there would be a band playing live for a little while in the college. It didn't really appeal to me, and even though people tried to get a party started in their room, that does take some time.
Luckily Arthur (Dutch, doing Arabic in Wadham) proposed I payed him a visit =) And it turned out to be really cool! Had a wonderful night, people nice, good live guitar music =) Definitely not the last time! When I got back, I literally stumbled upon my dad, Xan. Had a laugh with him, he got my shirt back ! Soooo Happy with that =) and then off to Eleanor Watts's room. She had a nice party going on there, my brother Ed was there as well. After a few embarrassing moments (I never change..) I went back to watch some QI. I had literally just clicked on the internet icon when Simon happened to arrive in the staircase, with a friend George whom I met at his birthday. Bye bye QI.. But it was fun. Listened to really cool music which I never even heard of. I was sooo tired that I fell asleep in someone else's room though... Is that a sign I should stop trading sleep for QI?

Well, briefly, today I met a few other biomedics briefly. Then I've done some preparatory work for an individual Tutorial and I really liked it. I am getting excited about the course, but I do see the pile of work and stuff I need to do growing alarmingly quick...
Having drinks with my mum and then a Family dinner =)

So I'm off now!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


So a quick post before I go away again.

Fresher's has officially started and it's even more chaotic than I thought. Probably met a few people a couple of times without knowing..
By the way, really awkward if someone does remember your name and you don't theirs. I feel really bad if that happens.
Basically I helped my neighbours moving in a bit (I might have carried 4 bags =D ) and then there was this huge meeting at the JCR where everyone seemed to try and fit in aka impossible. Luckily the weather here is still mad so that we could move the the grass of the Hayward Squad (best place of Keble ^^)

Almost everyone had arrived but my very own bathroom-sharing neighbour, my 3rd course buddy and my Keble brother. My neighbour is called Hannah and is totally nice. My brother is Ed, doing arch  & anth and I'm proud he's my brother =)

We had a family pub meeting at the Lamb & Flag. Only problem though is that our parents just didn't show up, leaving us orphans.. When they finally did arrive though, they turned out to be the coolest parents ever. So I guess I'll forgive them that. My dad, Xan, totally is a legend around here. Everyone says that my mum is like really smart, so I'm gonna be fine =)
It was reaaaally crowded at the pub though, no space for moving. Still some bikers decided they definitely wanted to travel through the crowd -.- One guy even managed to pull an entire kart with stuff through..

Afterwards there was this dinner in the hall. And then I understood why my 3rd course buddy wasn't there yet. Andrei is actually coming from Washington DC. So yeah, pretty international here. I'm probably of a quite mainstream background.

Quick clothe change and then of to the Thirst bar. Too much people, too much crowd but really fun! Apparently some of the students have read my blog and recognised me, how cool is that =) I felt really flattered. The music guy, Richard, fell asleep after dinner and woke up when we got back. Hilarious! Well, I'm not gonna bore you with eeeeeverything.
Got back, watched QI, slept an hour or two and was asked to join for breakfast by my lovely neighbour Hannah but wasn't quite ready yet.. So went later.

Fire Saftey Introduction thingy talk. And now I've got a little time to get myself organised. (Which I WILL do sometime.) SOOO Happy Angus is my neighbour =) I totally lost a few papers with meetings with the Chaplain and all, and they had just been telling us how rude it is not to turn up. (Politeness is really important here, if someone bumps into you YOU are supposed to say sorry) -weird English..-
So Angus showed me the timetable and I'm at 4.15 PM luckily. Got my bike registered and my card activated. SOMEHOW the system was programmed to activate my card in 2012.. (I was looking really stupid trying to open a gate with the card and it gave this red puppet.. 3rd years had a good laugh)

PS: My mum gave me her phone cause she didn't have a purse. At some point I lost her in the crowd and never saw her for the whole night.. Thought about calling her, but no.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


As I was walking towards my bike, it needed to be covered with pidgeonshit..
Reaaallly pissed off by that -.-

Fish(es) & Freshers

So here's another post, just before it wil really start.

What's happened since thursday.. Well life gets more relaxed as I'm discovering the useful places and getting to know more people helping me out.
One of the 3rd year students I talked to was telling me a whole story about the fact that he always made sure he was away for the day when his room was cleaned. I dunno why, but it kinda makes sense when you think about it. It would be a little weird having a strange person vacuum cleaning under your desk while you're facebooking..
So I decided to do the cleaners this favour. Friday morning my room is scheduled to be cleaned. Therefore I decided to make use of the Fish Spa in the Clarendon Centre (shopping mall) where they actually have these boxes full of fish (one fish, three fishes but a lot of fish). The Garra Rufa. They nibble on you and are supposed to rejuvenate your skin by eating all the dead skincells. I heard of them quite often but never got interested enough to try it, nor the possibility.
So I went down town and got the Early Bird Special, basically that's a deal for which you pay 10 pounds and you can let the fish eat you from 9 till 11.
It is a really weird sensation. At first you feel like there's a million hands tickling (noo idea of the good translation of "kietelen") and the immediate reflex is to just pull away from the fish. After a while though it is actually incredible relaxing and it feels really nice! I brought a book with me, and I had a wonderful time while the fish were feasting on me =)
At a certain time (I guess I ran out of dead skincells) they started attacking my blisters and little cuts and all. And I can tell you, that HURTS! The mean little things made me bleed and stuff..

After spending the whole day scattered around Oxford leaving my room empty for cleaning, I must say I was a little disappointed when I got back and discovered there was no change at all..
Could have imagined though that the cleaning staff only works during term time..

Then I started my new addiction to QI (Quite Interesting). It is a really great and funny show! Everyone who hasn't seen it should at least watch one episode =)
So in the end I only went to bed at like 3 AM. Wouldn't have been a problem if I had remembered to close the blinds so that the sun wouldn't wake me at 8 AM...

And then yesterday. Other people start flocking in and invading my castle little by little. Up to the point that suddenly the door of my staircase was opened and my neighbour on the first floor has arrived. He's German and has a mustache.
That's a little short sighted. He is going to read PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economy) which is a veeery popular course here at Oxford.

At 7 PM all the freshers were gonna meet at the JCR (our common living room or Junior Common Room) for pizza and tv. When I entered we turned out to be like 4 freshers and a bunch of second year students all coming to look at us and all =P The other 2 were Canadian and American, so I am actually NOT really foreign around here. There was this guy who suddenly started to speak Dutch! (This really shocked me guys.. an Englishman actually voluntarily learned Dutch, the world is going to its end) Turns out he had been travelling all over the world, speaking 6 languages and all.
They were all really cool. We just hung out, and talked and had a nice evening =)

I actually wanted to go to bed quite early because I hadn't slept a lot (remember QI) but that was of no use ofcourse (the intentions are there though)
And the last thing I'm going to bore you with is this really annoying habit of mine. I always had a bed on the left side of the wall. Here my bed is placed against the right wall. This doesn't seem like anything serious, untill you find yourself constantly banging your head against the wall when you turn.. Unfortunately I am unconscious when I sleep so I can't overrule my instinct by saying that there's an obstructive element. So I'll either have to adapt and change my neuronal pathways or just be doomed to have a bump on my forehead for the coming 3 years. (I did some reading =))

That's it for now, I greet you from the reaally sunny continent of Britain and wish you all a great week!