Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A fortnight of firsts

It's been a hectic few weeks, having finished all my exams and essays, and conseqeuently my degree (despite still barely feeling old enough to even be doing a degree, let alone finishing one). While it's a sad time with many things coming to an end (for example, I am handing over the Lifestyle Editor reins to the wonderful and talented Farrah Kelly), I'm still finding plenty of time to live my life (all the more for having been chained to the confines of the library for the past few months) and try plenty of new things. It's been a fortnight of firsts, as there are many things I have done for the first time.

I had my first ride on the Pepsi Max ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Although it wasn't my first time in Blackpool, having visited with my family when I was about four, it was the first time I was big enough to go on most of the rides, and they didn't disappoint.

When my friend Steve* invited me to stay with him in Blackpool, I was a bit dubious, not normally being very good at the whole spontaneity thing, but spurred on by my new found freedom I agreed, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made, resulting in this article. It was all going well until I experienced....
I also got to meet the Tetley man!!

The first time I nearly sank in quicksand. Leaving the Pleasure Beach on a wonderfully sunny afternoon, we decided to take a stroll on Blackpool's lovely sandy beach, and were having a great time paddling through all the shallow puddles, until we began to sink in one. Luckily we got out pretty quickly, but it was all a bit hairy for a second.

The week after I returned from Blackpool, the rest of my coursemates had their final deadline, so we made an inaugural trip to Betty's Tea Rooms. You may or may not have heard of Betty's - it's a semi-famous tearooms based in York, with prices best reserved for a special occasion. Personally I had never heard of it until I moved to York, but the hype around it and the queues I'd seen outside suggested it was worth a visit. As I explained in my article for The Yorker, it was massively overhyped. My second trip to Betty's followed in quick succession to the first, meaning that I am leaving York feeling like an absolute pro at this afternoon tea business.

Some of the linguistics crew enjoying Betty's finest offerings!

My friend Helen and I then went on to our first attempt at making rainbow cake, inspired by this recipe. Sadly, ours was not as bright and colourful as this one, but it tasted yummy (although was very heavy!)

Not as colourful as we'd hoped, but the decorations made up for it!

In a slightly less cake-based occasion, I attended my first hen night (not my hen night, you understand, the hen night of Caroline, now wife of Steve of Fixated On.) I was relieved to find it was a relatively tame experience (I won't say too much, in case the groom is reading this!!), but it resulted in me experiencing the wrong side of the bar for the first time (fear not, it was a cocktail making party - we were each taught how to make a cocktail of our choice. Cosmopolitan for me, naturally.)

A week later I went on to have my first experience of a stag night (yup, you read that right- and no, I'm not a stripper). Being a fairly unconventional groom (he wore trainers to his wedding!), Steve invited guys and girls to his stag do, a tame meal in a local pub, enjoyed by all.

This culminated in the first wedding I have been invited to as my own person (ie. rather than being invited along with my parents), and it all felt very grown up. Following weeks of high-street based trauma finding a suitable dress, it was a very enjoyable occasion. Unusually, instead of having a top table with close family, the bride and groom sat on a small table alone in the middle of the room, with all the other tables forming a circle round them- a great idea.

The wedding! Me with some of the closest friends
 I've made during my time in York!!

For now though, I'm just making the most of this free time, having a well-earned break before graduation and the real world kick in!

*Cheeky plug: Steve Gallacher of Trespasser Films, who you should definitely check out because they are awesome and their first feature film, Nothing Man, is due for release soon.

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