I flew back to the UK on the 5th of September, after being away for over a year. It was a bizarre feeling; moving yet again but this time to a place I was already familiar with, no anxiety of the unknown save for the fact that I hadn’t visited my flat yet. The trip went fine. I was a bit uncomfortable and it was long and tiring, as most of my trips generally are. Fortunately, when I arrived in Bath it was at least sunny, despite the traces of rain on the cobble stones. I took a cab from the bus stop to my new flat and Amélie greeted me briefly before leaving for her shift at work. I went out to Primark and Waitrose to pick up a few necessities before they closed and happened to bump into Enrico near the Abbey! It was great to see him again although I must’ve looking pretty rough… I spent the rest of the night chilling at home: dinner, shower and tuck myself into bed for a very much needed sleep.
The next morning I had to wake up early to go to the housing agency to sign the physical papers and get my keys for the flat. It was quicker than I thought, despite having a bit of trouble finding the office since it’s actually a private house. I then came back home and waited for Jason to arrive with his van. He’s the one who’s helped me move my stuff in-between years. He arrived with his dog Raff, which would not stop barking until it eventually calmed down and settled onto my lap. The drive to the storage space in Stroud was spent updating each other on the past year (as per) and debating Brexit. Picking up my things and terminating the contract was quite fast and straightforward, so I will definitely store with them again in the future if need be. Jason drove me back and – thankfully- carried my boxes up the many flights of stairs up to my flat and spared me the effort. I spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and sorting out my things – I was amazed by the amount of stuff I had actually stored in there! A lot more than I remembered, particularly concerning clothes… My wardrobe is now full to the top. I then joined Amélie and Liam to go to Lidl and ASDA on Liam’s car (so convenient to have a car omg) and do my massive first shop. The price different is considerable so I will be going there from time to time to pick up my groceries… Once back home, Liam cooked a massive and tasty roast dinner and we all watched Moana while eating. Not a bad way to end my first full day back in British soil.
On Friday after lunch I met up with Megs. It was a lovely sunny day and she had her dog Finley to take care of so she brought him along and I accompanied them on a couple of errands (Finley got all the attention at Lush, I must say). We then went to the Royal Crescent and sunbathed for a bit on the grass. It was lovely to see her again and catch up, even though we hadn’t been apart for long! #erasmus
Then rehearsals for In The Heights started. The first week was absolutely intense and I have barely had any free time out of rehearsals. We started with a little language workshop on Spanish which I actually found really interesting. I’ve never taught Spanish before and hadn’t realized how hard it is for English people to pronounce certain letters. Attempting to explain the position of the tongue is not as hard as it sounds either… But they are getting there! This whole week I’ve pretty much spent up on campus. Arriving the first time again after a whole year away was weird – it’s changed but not, both at the same time. I had to familiarize myself with the location of the buildings and rooms again, and how Lime Tree works now. Aside from that, rehearsals have been intense and tiring but a lot of fun. There are a lot of harmonies and hard songs, streetstyle and salsa, so I’ve been struggling to pick up some moves but nothing that practice won’t fix! Numbers are already coming together which is amazing! Everybody has been working their butts off.
On Sunday I had my day off so I slept in and cleaned (you know, the usual adult responsibilities). I spoke with Moni for a bit and it was great to catch up with her, hopefully we can organize a meet-up sometime this year. And then I did a bit of work and got ready for dinner with Megan and Connie. Bath was pretty empty and the sunset was really nice despite it being quite cold. We went to Aqua and I had some stuffed chicken with pasta that was pretty good – I’ve been spoilt in Italy, that’s for sure. It was nice to catch up and talk about the incoming year and our expectations – I can’t believe this is our last year at Bath! Where did time go?
I also met with Elena, an Erasmus student from Siena who is here for the year with another girl. I actually think she was in Lingua Francese with me, which is so bizarre. We went for coffee at Society Café and she’s really nice. I gave her a few tips on Bath, which is super different from Siena so she was quite nervous and concerned about the first week. I reassured her because everybody here is so helpful – I felt the same way when I first arrived so she has nothing to worry about! I’ll probably meet up with her another day as it’s also good practice for my Italian.
And, finally, on Friday night we went for a pub crawl ‘Gary and Glitter’ themed with the BUSMS bunch to celebrate Lorna’s 21st. Guys dressed as Gary, girls with glitter all over. We hit a few pubs and had to complete challenges like serenading or rapping to a stranger, fit all of the group in a cubicle, make a human pyramid, find a Gary,… It was a tonne of fun and eventually it was more about keeping the group together than completing the challenges, as a few people drank a bit too much… I had a great time though!
This time, FW has a lot of rehearsals on the agenda, as well as Sports Day and the BUSMS returners’ social on Thursday, so it’s looking like a promising last week of ‘freedom’ before the actual start of the semester.
I will keep you updated.