Don’t Blink.

I can’t help but smile/chuckle when I think about the title of this next post. Partly because of how big of a nerd/Whovian* I am, partly because of the song** that immediately pops into my head, and partly because of how silly it is of me to be sitting here, having not even written anything yet and to be cracking up at myself… alone in my room…. in London…. on a chill Saturday night.

Yup. You heard me right. ALONE IN MY ROOM ON A SATURDAY NIGHT IN LONDON. And you may call me foolish, lame, boring, etc. but I actually am so relieved to finally just be sitting here with my computer and my words.

I’ve been rushing around so much this past week and a half, it’s hard to find time to just sit here and write – and I LOVE sitting, and I LOVE writing and so, yes, I have found myself here on a Saturday night and I honestly couldn’t be happier.***

It seems like a good idea to update you all – and as I said in my first [or was it second?] post, I won’t be boring you with every little detail and thought that has gone through my head. In fact, that would take me a ridiculous amount of time to write out and try to remember – much more time than I have or would be willing to spend – and a girl needs to sleep, amiright!?

PS. It’s before midnight here, but only just and….. OH DEAR.
I HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT MY LAUNDRY!
BRB.

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(OK so I can’t prove it to you, but 22 minutes has gone by since that laundry related revelation of mine and my laundry is now all hung up on the rack to dry and I’m once again settled into my writing trance and it is now past midnight here but I will press on.)****

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Right where was I? Rambling? Ok. Let’s move on.

I haven’t given you really any information here since my FIRST Sunday and seeing as I have since lived through an entire 13 days beyond that post, I have quite a bit that I’ve learned and experienced that I haven’t told you about. The lucky ones of you that get to be my facebook friends, or that happen to follow me on instagram or Twitter [insert shameless plug for @christelvtucker] get little updates of my trip through my witty comments or the vast amounts of pictures that I’ve been periodically uploading, but my (very infrequent) tweets, updates and pictures can only say so much…

So I’ll let you know in writing that in the past 13 days I have:

1. Wrapped up my time at “The Manse” near Putney with my lovely friends Kirsty, Laura and James (but I didn’t leave before I cooked them a meal and let’s just say it was a big success making “Taco Pizza” for them!)

2. I have met [again] my roommate and moved into my homestay in northern London, in Zone 4, very near to two separate Piccadilly line tube stations. Now I know that Zone 4 is not SUPER close to the central city, but being out here in Zone 4 definitely has perks (mainly the fact that I am close to some of my favorite hangouts and also that my school transit pass reaches this far out and I will therefore not have to pay extra to go out into this zone if people wanted to hang out here in the boonies). My home is nice and comfortable and has the cutest tiled front and inside walls. The family is very kind and Caludio and Sara make the most EXCELLENT dinners (SALMON! STEAMED VEGGIES! POTAOES! HOMEMADE PIZZA! PASTAS! WINE! PUDDINGS!*****). I live with quite a few people and now that I’ve been here for about 9 days, the initial awkwardness that might have existed has evaporated and we all get along quite well, talking about travel and work and music and film and television and food and we get on as if strangers living in your home were just the most normal thing ever. (Which by the way for this family, it is. They’ve been having students live here with them for more than 6 years – my sister Elise stayed with them back in ’09). Oh and did I mention that I am so happy I am with the roommate that I’m with!? She’s super cool and I can tell we are gonna be having a lot of fun together! Shopping and trying new restaurants and going out and *cough Copenhagen cough* lol

3. I’ve been soooooo very fortunate to have spent time with KELSEY RACHAEL TAYLOR finally!!! We met up last Wednesday – me, Kels and her mom, Nancy. Then we met up again Thursday evening. Then we met up again Friday afternoon. Then again Friday evening. Then again Sunday morning. Then again Sunday evening. And that’s when I had to say goodbye to my beautiful best friend and her generous/kind/funny mother. We packed a lot into those brief moments we got to spend with each other: A bottle of Prosecco, a walk through our favorite area (Hampstead Heath), a meal at our favorite Thai restaurant (The Little Thai), a pint at our favorite pub (The Flask), a Tom Butler Band gig, a visit to Hillsong, another bottle of Prosecco, some delicious kettle corn (thanks for getting me hooked Nancy!), some fun stories and laughs and youtube videos. I was so happy to see her, and it seemed as though we hadn’t lost any time these past 6 months. I wish she were staying here with me, but I will grudgingly relinquish her to you all for the next 9 weeks. Give her a big welcome home for me!

4. I’ve officially begun my actual “Literary London” program and course work (we are done with the first week now). We had two days of orientation (some classroom time and some exploring the city with Peter Buckroyd) and I knew from the start that my classes would be an absolute blast and that I’m gonna be learning SO MUCH over the next 2+ months. I have 4 very passionate, smart, funny professors, a boatload of interesting course material, and a beautiful city in which I am studying.
I wish I could pass on to you everything that I have already begun to learn, but it would honestly be kind of hard to explain everything without you HERE to SEE it all. A lot of what we do is walking around and truly observing the city around us: the art, the architecture, the language, the unspoken social rules, the many identities that are rooted in this place. It’s fascinating and eye opening and it’s making me fall in love with London even more (uh-oh).

5. I’ve seen my first****** play in London! It’s called “The Nether” and it was thought-provoking and visually very unique and beautiful to watch. The subject matter was a bit edgy, but almost in that over-the-top borderline annoying way where the writer was trying TOO hard to be edgy, ya know? So, of course, it deals with morals and sex and family and….. the perils of the big bad INTERNET (dun-dun-duuuuun). Still, an interesting production to watch, and it is available to read if you are curious. Warning: it deals with some seriously not very light subjects….

6. I’ve met a ton of people, I think I’ve got almost every person’s name in my program memorized (big emphasis on the ALMOST but hey! I’m working on it….). Everyone has been cool and we’ve all seemed to gel really well. We’ve already started impressing our professors and I’m pretty sure this group of students will keep that up. [We were the first group in a while to not call one of the professors our first weekend here with concerns about broken bones, falling down stairwells, etc!]

7. I’ve started making plans for my breaks! Two words: Copenhagen. France. #watchoutworld More plans will be in the works soon…. Dublin? Scotland? Italy…..? We shall see and I am open to suggestions from experienced travelers!

8. I’ve gotten more settled into the church. This particular fact brings a big smile to my face! God has been answering my prayers (and I bet the prayers of my sister Valerie and my Oma. For some reason I think that their specific prayers have had particular impact on my situation….). I have some friends that are part of various Hillsong teams, and I’ve introduced them to two of my school friends (Eunice and Elisa). They are including us in their community and I seriously could not be any more grateful. Hillsong is something else, guys. I’ll be going to a Hillsong connect group on Thursday night with Elisa and Eunice, and the three of us are also planning on doing a little bible study together! I never imagined that I would meet people from HOME that would actually want to go to church with me each week, let alone do a bible study! I’m so thankful for everyone’s prayers and I’m now looking even more forward to the next 9 weeks. God is providing for me in so sO SO many ways!

Before I leave this post I figure I should explain the title, huh?

I’ve already been gone 20 days. That just completely baffles me! It’s felt like a breath. So I’m reminding myself to not blink and not take any of this for granted. I won’t get to live through this specific experience ever again and I want to soak in every single second!!!

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GO EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD AND TELL THE GOOD NEWS TO EVERYONE.” -MARK 16:15

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*Blink and you’re dead.

**Every now and then, I love me some Kenny Chesney.

***Actually, I would be substantially happier if I had a cup of tea with me right now, but alas, I do not. #BritishFail

****Since it is now past midnight I have every right to wish you a Happy Easter!!!! YAY! Jesus is risen!

*****Pudding refers to all desserts in general here, jsyk.

******Technically my first play was Richard III last summer….. #brilliant #martinfreeman #bilbobaggins #wasthatreallife?

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Happy spring! Hope you enjoyed my update! More to come soon*******!

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*******Within the next 13 days lol.

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