I have exams this week, starting Monday, -- like, *the* exams, the ones which I need to pass to begin my dissertation. Kind of a big deal. And, I had company all last week, so I've been a little busy, which is why the blog has suffered.

I opted to come down to St. Ives, Cornwall on the south coast of England to have a relaxing, distraction-free place to take my exams.  Plus, I love, love, love the ocean -- so it might have also been an excuse for some beach time...maybe. I rented a tiny cottage on the beach and the Canadian joined me this weekend after spending the last week in Canada with friends and family and also work.

As a side note - The Canadian's tinerary:
London to Toronto. Drive an hour to Waterloo, Ontario.  Make a presentation. Sleep. Interview all day. Drive to Niagara Falls to see parents. Sleep. Go to Ottawa to see sister, brother-in-law, cousins and nephew. Sleep for 2 days. Fly to Thunder Bay to see Aunt, Uncle, friends and Grandparents. Sleep for 2 days. Fly to Toronto. Fly to London to see wife. Get on a train 2 hours later and take a 5 hour train ride to St. Ives.  (He went from Thunder Bay, Ontario to St. Ives in 21 hours.  That was one tired Canadian!!)

So, we've been stuffing ourselves full of seafood this weekend (and maybe some scones and Cornish clotted cream and tea...), and wandering the crooked and hilly streets of St. Ives.  The water here is mindblowingly beautiful and actually, in some places it's even warm (and I am a total wus about cold water).  I'll post some pics later when I can get them off my phone.  And, I love how the restaurants here try and locally/seasonally source everything -- it's inspiring.

I'm also learning, by being here in St. Ives (and the other places in England I've traveled), that some of the discontent I experience as an expat is endemic to London, not England. I can't put my finger on it entirely, but, London is just a difficult place to live -- even though there are many individual things I love about it, it's just not for me -- at least not long term.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to live in England, so I'm not really knocking London, but being so happy in St. Ives for the last two days kind of underscores my some of the minor depression I experience in London.  That said, I've learned some 'discontent management' tactics in London -- going to parks, meeting friends, cocktails at this AWESOME cocktail bar in my 'hood called 'The Shop' -- because I refuse to sit around being sad and waste this incredible opportunity either.

I think I would love to, someday, live the smaller village life in England -- particularly here in Cornwall.  I was here back in 2004 and was completely fell in love with it.  Now that I'm here again, I remember why.  Plus the clotted cream!!!  It's like crack.  For real.

Click the photo for a blog post on Cream Tea complete with scone recipe!
10/16/2011 04:23:25 am

Good luck on your exams. I can't think of a better place to study and take them. Cornwall is BLISS!

We'll have to celebrate with some "Thank goodness I'm done with this s*&#!" cocktails when you get back.

7/5/2012 08:41:13 pm

Talking about the final examination is really great because those are very important for you. I think people should like it . I like this information too and also i am waiting for some new updates.

10/16/2011 08:32:17 pm

Good luck on your exams!

10/16/2011 11:56:24 pm

Good luck with your exams and your studying!! Exams I don't mind, sitting down and studying pains me!

St Ives sounds idyllic. I shall have to make sure I visit next year!

London really can be soul destroying. I found it so in 1995, when I was here for 8 months. I agree, the rest of England can be completely beautiful and I have grown to love this country (and the rest of the UK).

10/17/2011 07:45:23 am

Yes, like everyone else says, 'good luck with the exams!!'

I lived in Bethnal Green and Whitechapel for almost 8 years and I have to say I really loved it... until I had a child. then it suddenly became a very difficult place to live. But, even if I never had a child I would not have wanted to stay there forever and I really love living in the north Essex countryside. And people in Essex are so friendly! Waaaaaay friendlier than London. I think THATS what I like least about London: people aren;t unfriendly so much as simoly lacking in friendliness. Makes sense? I'll bet you know what I mean. Anyway, enjoy Cornwall and all that lovely, gorgeous clotted cream!

10/24/2011 07:12:03 pm

I hope your exams went well. PS- those scones look so scrumptious that I'm heading out right now to find one!


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