June 23, 2005

Goodbye Warwick – I'll be back!

Well, sadly the time has come to say goodbye, I'm off home tomorrow. I've had a great year here at Warwick and really want to stay in touch with all the lovely people I've met (YOU!).
Unfortunately I won't be able to access my blog anymore, would have been fun to add entries on what's happening in good old Germany so that people know what I'm up to. Never mind.
Take care everyone, and I'll definitely see you again soon -I'll come and visit!

xxx Corinna


May 25, 2005

Oxford

I've added some of the pictures of my recent trip to Oxford to the gallery – I somehow don't seem to find the time to write an entry about my impressions right now (exams coming up far too soon…), so just go and have a look at the pictures if you feel like it.


May 11, 2005

Liliane Lijn

I bumped into Pete and Jimmy yesterday, and after having had a coffee relaxing in the nice comfy sofas of the Arts Centre together with their friend Maria, someone (I think it was Pete) got the idea to visit the Mead Gallery (Modern Art..) They have a Liliane Lijn exhibition on at the moment (not that I had heard of her before) which basically is all about cones. Cones made out of different materials and in different colours, I was going to say 'different shapes', but I guess that would have been wrong. They also have these really cool sort of constructions with mirrors and prisms so that you can see someone who is standing in a right angle to you as if he was right in front of you and stuff. Awesome. The exhibition includes drawings "of other worlds", as it says in the leaflet. One of the pictures is about this world though I guess since it is called "Earth Anus". Lijn also constructed "poem machines", which however weren't plugged in when we went and weren't that much fun after all. We really got into the whole cone thing though somehow. We left the exhibition feeling slightly confused but very cultured and got arty. You know how they say that you can't relate to Modern Art and all? Well, that certainly wasn't true in our case. We felt really "cony" and took the inspiration even further, buying ice-cream cones and doing a live exhibition in front of Lijn's massive "Koan" in front of the Arts Centre involving said ice-cream (Cornetto Passion is just a coincidence here, we are not (yet?) promoting a particular brand) and human bodies. The passers-by clearly weren't impressed but hey, you can't expect everyone to have the mind of an artist… Anyway, we got into a really happy mood experimenting with different constellations, the most notable involving Jimmy standing on his hands (sort of) imitating a cone (sort of).
As with all ingenious inspirations ours went as quickly as it came. Exhausted but pleased with ourselves we decided that Mead Gallery will certainly be delighted to feature our "Cone Impressions" in their programme -> see Gallery – Warwick Campus for more pictures! Since we weren't yet ready to go back to study we decided to look for that legendary tree that Bill Clinton planted on his visit to Warwick together with Tony Blair a couple of years ago. Apparently it is under CCTV surveillance – I can see why there could be people out there wanting to chop down the thing, hehe. Anyway, we looked around for a bit but all we could see were other sorts of plants, but no trees of the right size. I suggested that maybe he had planted a Bush. . .


April 22, 2005

Le Tour du Monde en 80 Jours?



create your own visited countries map

I thought my record would look a tad more impressive than that, but well…I just once more realized that Europe is such a tiny spot on the map! Instead of working on my essays, this map makes my mind wander off to faraway places… I can't quite make up my mind as to what would be on the top of my list if I was free to travel just anywhere (in terms of money and time), but I can definitely say I want to go and see these countries some time in the future (in no particular oder):
Norway, Iceland, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Nepal (not at the moment though, for obvious reasons…), India, Kenia, Brasil, Australia. I definitely could think of some more countries but I'll leave it to that for now. I also want to go back to some of the countries I have been to already but loved and would like to see more of, namely Canada and South Africa. I had better get a job which earns me loads of money but leaves me a lot of time for travelling as well (80 jours?), which surely won't be that difficult to find, will it…...???Please, someone confirm ;-)


April 12, 2005

Yorkshire Pudding and Scarborough Fair


I've just come back from a trip to Yorkshire. It wasn't the epic adventure I initially thought it to be because I started to panic about my essays (2 of them, due within the next weeks, 5000 words each) and went for three days only. But, although quite short, it was a great trip! York is very beautiful indeed. I am very impressed by Museum Gardens, St. Mary's Abbey, all the "Roman stuff", the ghost stories, the river pubs ("Biergarten" -atmosphere in April already), by all those students rowing on the Ouse, by the World War II section in the York Castle Museum (not really, that's an English thing again),by the very many little picturesque streets, AND by the lovely sunshine I happenend to have throughout, a rare sight indeed.

I enjoyed Scarborough very much, too. It was a lot like I expected it to be: Lovely views on the sea, especially from up the castle, and the inevitable English seafront, consisting mainly of places advertised in big flashing letters as "Casino", "Games", "Children's Fun Forest", and, least I forget, "Scarborough Bingo". It is an English thing really, unparalleled by the most appalling sea front of, say, Rimini. But hey, I loved Scarborough. Remember, the song…?

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For once she was a true love of mine

Have her make me a cambric shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seam nor fine needle work
And then she'll be a true love of mine

Tell her to weave it in a sycamore wood lane
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all with a basket of flowers
And then she'll be a true love of mine

Have her wash it in yonder dry well
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
where water ne'er sprung nor drop of rain fell
And then she'll be a true love of mine

More pictures in the gallery.


January 28, 2005

Hill and Mountain Walking–in search of the SUBLIME

Writing about web page http://www.warwickmountains.co.uk


To avoid confusing people from back home, I thought I'd briefly comment on the pics I put on "Galleries: Warwick – Hill and Mountain Walking".
No- I hadn't done any mountain walking or scrambling before I came here-just never occurred to me.
Yes- in a desperate attempt to get involved in the uni's social life I joined the Warwick University Hill and Mountain Walking Society (see webpage above- hint, hint!), amongst others. Probably the best decision so far! I have been to two trips to Wales and had a really really good time! Check out the pics and you'll know what I mean: beautiful scenery, fresh air, some exercise and lovely people! Not to mention the romantic and "spiritual" side to it ;-) -see poem below.
On the week 3 trip to Llanberis (pronounced "Kchlanberis") some time in October I went up Yr Wyddfa, better know as Mt.Snowdon, on the first day. On the way up, I was seriously contemplating spending the rest of my life in the Netherlands, but once I had arrived at the top (completely exhausted but happy) this plan somewhat dissolved and I started to truly appreciate the beauty of the place.
I know what you will be thinking now. It's probably something along the lines of "come one, what's the issue, Snowdon ist more of a hill than a mountain", and in fact, you're right, it is tiny by world standards and is of course particularly so for us continental Europeans. But Snowdon with a height of 3560 ft (should roughly equal 1100 m) is the highest peak in the British Isles outside Scotland. Consider that we climbed the peak starting from about sea level, and also consider my lack of exercise…I am sure you can picture the situation…
Anyway, I did enjoy the walk very much indeed and felt I had undergone a truly Wordsworthian experience. Check out the old boy, constantly looking out for the Sublime and beautiful:

William Wordsworth: The Climbing of Snowdon (1804)

In one of these excursion, travelling then,
Through Wales on foot and with a youthful friend,
I left Bethgelert's huts at couching-time
And westwards took my way to see the sun
Rise from the top of Snowdon. Having reached
The cottage at the mountain's foot, we there
Roused up the shepherd who by ancient right
Of Office is the stranger's usual guide,
And after short refreshment sallied forth.

It was a summer's night, a close warm night,
Wan, dull and glaring, with a dripping mist
Low-hung and thick that covered al the sky,
Half threatening storm and rain; but on we went
Unchecked, being full of heart and having faith
In our tried pilot. Little could we see,
Hemmed round on every side with fog and damp,
And, after ordinary travellers' chat
With our conductor, silently we sunk
Each into commerce with his private thoughts.
Thus did we breast the ascent, and by myself
Was nothing either seen or heard the while
Which took me from my musings, save that once
The shepherd's cur did to his own great joy
Unearth a hedgehog in the mountain crags
Round which he made a barking turbulent.
This small adventure (for even such it seemed
In that wild place and at the dead of night)
Being over and forgotten, on we wound
In silence as before.

With forhead bent
Earthward, as if in opposition set
Against an enemy, I panted up
With eager pace, and no less eager thoughts.
. . .

That's the first bit of the poem, could not be bothered to type all of it. I especially like that last sentence though.

Anyway, I did a more gentle walk on the second day up to Moel Eilio (2382 ft) and some other, smaller, peaks. A fun walk with excellent views including the attempt to squeeze 13 people into a (bright orange) survival shelter on the summit and Aston leading the group in doing the "Hokey Kokey" – basically a very silly but highly amusing children's dance.

Summing up, I enjoyd Wk3 trip so much that I went on th Wk 13 one last weekend as well-to Snowdonia again, this time to a place called Capel Curig. We stayed in the North London Mountaineering Club Hut, which was quite basic but alright for a weekend.

On the first day, I did the walk up to "Moel Siabod". On the Walk list, it said in the description something like "Picturesque hill with an excellent view from the top. Walk leaves and returns to the hut. Fairly easy walk, quite short, with a moderate amount of ascent. There is the possibility of including some scrambling – which would be perfect for beginners". Thought that would sound like my cup of tea-only that the walk turned out to be a bit different from what we expected.Indeed, scrambling could not be avoided everywhere and we ended up doing a good grade 1 scramble! Want a definition of scrambling? According to the walks list, "Scrambling is ascending routes which require you to use your hands-basically easy rock climbing without ropes"... Sounds a lot more scary than it actually is. And don't get me wrong, I really thought the walk was great and I am glad I had the opportunity of trying out scrambling, and have even started to like it. I have to admit though that I do get scared when it comes to ridges with a sheer drop on both sides-luckily,it wasn' that bad. And also, Mike was a great guide. We eventually made it to the top (which was covered in snow-beautiful) and started our way down again-or rather, slid down the snow-covered grass on our bottoms…A great walk!

The second day's walk was a nice ramble with guide Jimmy through some Carnedds in the sunshine completed by "Cream Tea" back down at the village, a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.

That's all for now, thanks everyone from the society, and I am very much looking forward to some more trips!


December 30, 2004

The Red and the Black

Book front cover
Title:
The Red and the Black (Penguin Classics)
Author:
Stendhal
ISBN:
0140447644
Rating:
Not rated

I finally want to get this book review thing started-let's see how long I'll think it an enjoyable thing to do and stick with it.
The Red and the Black, published in 1830. Well. I can't believe how long it took me to get through that novel. What has happened to my readings skills, one Middlemarch-sized novel a day, if necessary? Somehow I didn't find "Le Rouge et le noir" as gripping as some other 19th century novel, which very probably is due to the embarrassing fact that I don't know a thing about post-napoleonic France - quite a disadvantage, considering the historical dimension of that novel. Probably it isn't the best idea ever to read an English translation of a French novel either. But then, considering the deterioration of my French...Speaking of translations: interestingly enough, one of the English editions is called "The Red and the Black, the other "Scarlet and Black", and not only the titles but the texts themselves vary considerably the one from the other. I haven't studied both texts and the French original (yet?) but maybe that would be an interesting thing to look at-maybe not, maybe I am just being a bit fussy. However, according to my dictionary ("Oxford Advanced Learner's", but maybe some native speaker of English would like to comment on this), Scarlet means "bright red", which is more than just red, if you see what I mean. Also, I've got the impression that the colour Scarlet is even more likely to have something dodgy about it or rather is more likely to refer to something dodgy than just plain red, but I wouldn't be too sure about that bit- here again, can anyone help?
What do the colours stand for anyway? I am not too sure about this. Does _red _ or scarlet stand for Julien's "republican conviction", and does black refer to his "priesthood", as some critics suggest? The use of the word Scarlet (bright red) would then put an even stronger emphasis on the republican ideas in the novel - or Julien's republican ideas? I somehow cannot agree with the latter. To my mind, Julien is just an over-ambitious ruthless hypocrite, but the fact that he admires Napoleon because Napoleon, the "self-made man", made it to rise over his station in life and become the most powerful man in France and that Julien tries to follow that sort of career does not necessarily mean that he is a conscious republican in the narrow sense of the word-for him, it could be any political system, he doesn't care, the only concept he is interested in is power. What about red or _bright red _ characterizing the glorious and bright napoleonic past and black the grim reality of the hypocritical society Julien finds himself entangled in at present? I like that idea. Maybe I even do like the novel after all- I am especially impressed by the representation of Mme de Rênal and Mathilde, the two (very contrasting) women in the novel who, although one might feel that they are a bit of "cliché" in the beginning gradually emerge psychologically and become round characters. Good job, Stendhy :-)


October 13, 2004

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