So, I had my first exam, Theories of International Relations, on Thursday. Yeah, an exam for the class that ended back in December. I was nervous going into it, nervous taking it, and then positively fried afterwards. In fact, I think I could safely classify myself as 'pretty pathetic' afterward considering that I was sick and then went to Westminster Abbey and cried for 45 minutes. Yeah, it was that bad. (I've attended weekly services at the Abbey since September and so the staff recognizes me. I think this is probably the only reason that I didn't get thrown out because, let's face it, 45 minutes is a ridiculous amount of time to spend crying.) And today I had my second (and last ever!) exam, which turned out a little better than the first, mainly because I had predicted that there would be a question on Hardt & Negri's 'Empire' and I was right.
By Friday evening, I had recovered from my post-exam 'funk' enough to drag myself out of my flat and up to Finsbury Park where my friend Natasha made me my first (vegetarian) Shepherd's Pie. It was absolutely delicious and I fully plan on recreating this (albeit probably not as nicely) at home in the future.
Afterward, we headed down to Covent Garden to Foundations Bar, a new underground venue that opened in February, for a final cross country get-together before I left. From the website description, I was expecting something a bit quaint. The reality was a huge surprise: graffiti (intentional) on the walls, Lego doors and tables, nice music remixes. It had a great vibe and I was a bit bummed that I hadn't heard of the place earlier. Over the course of the night, I got to say goodbye to Francesca, Frankie, Emily, Penny, Natasha, and Tom from the cross country team. It was these people who helped make my running experience so great this year. Not all running groups are so welcoming (as I myself have experienced in the past) or supportive. I will really miss them.
I was incredibly touched that everyone came down to say goodbye! It's exam time and so everyone is super-stressed (I know that I am), and I know how hard it is to find time in the schedule to get out. I really appreciate it and it was an absolutely lovely evening. (If anyone fancies a visit to Washington DC, simply drop me a message! I'd be more than happy to have you!)
I also had one of the best cocktails I've ever tasted. Now, I'm not a heavy drinker, by any mean. But when I do drink, I tend to stick to what I am comfortable with: cider, whisky, and rum. (Yes, my drink preferences are more characteristic of an 80-year old man. I refuse to recognize that there is a problem with this until the moment comes when I start carrying a hip flask.) I don't really do cocktails. But the drink options on the Foundation's menu sounded intriguing (especially as they come served in jam jars and teapots), and so I opted for the Fortune Tea (Gin with peach, lemon, and Earl Grey tea) and the Eternal Flower (Hibiscus Syrup and Prosecco).The Eternal Flower was merely ok, but the Fortune Tea was wonderful. It combined the best elements of well-made Jungle Juice - it did not taste like alcohol and was an intriguing color - without being served in a sketchy plastic bucket (as Jungle Juice typically is).
It was a wonderful night and really helped lift my spirits up in advance of my second exam. A great way to spend one of my final nights in London. Thanks everyone!
(All photos taken by Natasha)
|Natasha, Francesca, and Me|
|Francesca, Tom, and Tom's friend Ben|