That is where I have been. For three whole week-a-doodles! And I enjoyed myself SO MUCH, and met SO MANY wonderful people that I very nearly showed human emotion upon leaving. Not quite, but it was close.
While I enjoyed my new freedom and courage, I managed to have a wonderful collection of adventures. Which may or may not have largely involved a certain rugby team in all their glory.
My initial flight was somewhat uneventful, save for the epic hour-and-a-half queueing before getting onto the plane while EVERYONE had their hand luggage searched. I think that the woman checking my bag may have been a little confused about my age. She found my teddy in my bag (which does seem to suggest someone under the age of 94), and proceeded to jokingly refuse me entry to the plane until I produced a passport for said teddy. Since I had spent the previous hour standing in a line listening to every kind of complaint imaginable, I was not feeling as smiling and cheerful as I otherwise might have been, and as a result the response I gave her might not have been quite as cordial (substitute orange squash as appropriate) as it could have been.
To discuss all of my adventures and 'scapades in the greatest depth with Jonah and co. might take approximately 3,000 years, so instead I am going to briefly skim over most of them. I spent so many nights just thinking how you did me wrong and I grew strong...and I slept on your bedroom floor. This seemed to be something of a theme. Except without the wrongdoing, and instead a lot of rightdoing. And fetching me food and sneaking me into the dining halls when no one was looking. There were board games, there were Sangria Thursdays with singing and guitars and the amphitheatre in the middle of the night. And there was So. Much. Rugby.
Rugby certainly deserves its own paragraph, maybe even two, we'll just have to see how the first one goes. I had anticipated returning to a truly awful rugby team to watch them run around and drop balls on the floor for three weeks. And I was mistaken in so many ways. So many ways. For one, they let me train AND play matches with them which was fabulously useful because now I am the queen of fitness and scariness just in time for Roses. Also, they are no longer the most abominably awful thing in the universe! Perhaps that language is a bit strong, but it sounds so much more exciting than 'they weren't very good'. BUT...they are now! Enormously better than they used to be! Which I am pretty sure is owing to two things:
1. New coaching. From the fabulous Laura, and assisted by Adam. They 'don't take no nonsense' and really seem to know what they are talking about which is nice nice nice. And because Laura played in the back line she has re-vamped the whole attitude to the game, and included the concept of STRATEGY! Shock, horror! C'etait marveilleuse. Or somesuch.
2. Social probation! Rugby has cut socialling with alcohol completely this year and as a result: gone are the players who were only interested in the beer and obnoxious singing! Which means, a rugby team who actually have a chance of taking the game seriously once in a while. I am ecstatic.
After three weeks (and three different positions) I hope that I am a little bit better than when I left. I have one sad knee, but as I am SUPERRACHEL I am impervious to pain. And I can fly. So with any luck everything will re-learn to function in the next couple of weeks. I would be most grateful. Any York ruggers who are reading this, please don't tell on me. Obv there is nothing wrong at all.
Bien. So I have spoken about rugby and wine, but seem to be missing all of the talkies about my very epic roadtrips. One of the bestest things about returning to the fatherland was meeting NEW people. That is not people who are newly born, as they tend to be in hospitals rather than attending college. I was actually referring to people who I had never met before. Of whom there were many. For example, little Allie who (poor darling) thinks she is huger than me. Which, of course, is impossible considering how HUGE I am. Obv the hugest of the shopping centres. But we will let her keep pretending, eh? She can eat a pie if she would still like to be a puppy, I suppose. Also I have finally met the baby sister of my fake girlfriend at last, and she is a beast (quite appropriate considering that just this afternoon she will be on her way to the BEAST of the East which I am tragically excluded from, considering that I am now on the wrong side of a very large ocean). And then there were three. Amber was my road-trip buddy, and I had many an adventure in the back seat of her HUGE red truck with flames on. Including one particularly special outing to the dollar store which we left with the most attractive fake hair known to man, and also smelling rather too strongly of old ladies.
I am British. Which can mean one thing only: that I am obliged to write about the weather. Which was tres bon by the wayside. We even had one day where it was 32 degrees. That, of course, is in celcius, because I am British.
And what does hot weather call for? That's right, it sings a merrie song about sky juice. And it just so happens that at Mount Holyoke there is a lot of sky juice collected together in two places. These places are called Upper and Lower Lakes. And while Lower Lake contains hepatitis and the plague, Upper Lake seems to be relatively clean. And there is a dock sticking out into it. It does seem that a logical follow-on from running around in absurd temperatures would be to leap off said dock into said lake. So we did. Willy nilly and with gay abandon. It it was wunderbar. And then we had to sit through a very damp dinner. However, I still maintain that it was well worth it.
There is one significant occasion that cannot escape this blogination fo' sho'. And that would be my troublemaking adventures with a certain Miss Violent Violet. Violet needs a couple of mentions, actually, because she also fed me fish. Which I liked. A lot. At the time of these adventures I was sleeping in Violet's room. It came to evening and we had nothing with which to entertain ourselves. Sad times. So we plotted. The end result was two people dressed all in black, with tights on their heads. If you have never put tights on your head, it is difficult to explain just how absurd it looks. I highly recommend that you try it and look in a mirror. Anyway, we left the room so attired and proceeded to visit people. Most of them were a little surprised by our appearances. We even managed to persuade a sad and poorly Hannah stinky to join us on our mission possible. Which was fairly short-lived actually, and entailled putting a hat on the skeleton of the giant sloth in Clapp, and hanging a bra in its mouth. Both items of clothing were extracted from free bins. We also obtained a shirt which claimed, 'I think your tractor is sexy'. I have yet to understand this. The t-shirt has been saved for further havoc-wreaking in the not-too-distant future I hope. When I have located my camera cable, photos from our adventures will accompany this post. Until then you will have to imagine them.
Last but not least, was the flight home. A very wonderful Dumbleplunk assisted me in locating the bus station from whence I made my way to Boston Logan airport only 3 hours too early (which I suppose is infinitely better than three hours too late). My flight was on time, no problems etc. Dinner came round which was advertised as ginger chicken but upon opening the container turned out to be some sort of beef casserole. Pretty much the same thing, though. And then the man sitting next to me took it upon himself to tell me his life story. And that of each of his five children. I now know how old they all are, where they went to college, what they studied, who they married, where they live, what they do for a living and how many languages they speak. He was going to a business meeting in England, and was very excited about his afternoon off to visit a castle in Kent. I was so excited to hear this. ALL of this. And as a result I never saw the end of the film I was watching. Unsurprisingly, this man is not my new best friend. Perhaps we can just remain acquaintances for now? The kind of acquaintainces you want to hunt down and lock into a small, soundproof box. M'kay?
And alas I must depart to commune with the fishies, they are calling my name from afar.