An Unexpected Journey

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“Seven weeks have flown faster than Smaug and I have already immersed myself in the life of a new university which is vastly different to Durham.”

This blog for me is a diary – a chance to document my adventures from the year in as much detail and embellished grandeur as they deserve. I would draw comparison to myself and Bilbo Baggins, though my feet are not hairy enough to be those of a hobbit, it certainly isn’t my 111th birthday, and I don’t possess a ring of immense power. Continue reading

Sport in China

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“We are honoured and humbled by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award Beijing the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

China has redefined itself as a sporting nation, or at least as a nation able to pull off great sporting events with aplomb (exhibit a: the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games). The nation seems to be capitalising on this success by competing against Kazakhstan to hold the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and, as of a few weeks ago, winning. When Harry was here over winter, we visited the impressive Olympic Park and witnessed firsthand the lengths that China are going to advertise itself as the perfect candidate (click here for our Chinese skiing experience) – as anyone who watched the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony will remember, the Chinese don’t do grand public events by half. It is an opportunity to impress the world and its wife, not only by throwing money at an event but also by showing the nation’s manpower and ability to coordinate (or coerce) its citizens to mobilise.

Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium

Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium

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Sport

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One of my aims for the year abroad was to improve my fitness and join a sports club. Unfortunately joining my company’s basketball club wasn’t such a successful idea as it was mainly frequented by 6 foot+ men, many of whom had previously played professionally. Despite this, France is really perfect for all kinds of sport, especially the southwest. Pau is an hour away from the mountains for hiking, skiing and snowboarding and an hour or so away from the beach, for surfing, sailing and canoeing – perfect! You just need a car. Good thing I have some nice friends. Continue reading

Skiiing and Heat

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Reading week is over and my exams are almost upon me. Some friends decided to come and visit me during reading week. I had a mad four days trying to get all of my work out of the way before they arrived. I didn’t really manage it, but I did get a lot done. It was great to see them, and made me miss home a bit. We all decided to go skiing, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made since I got here. It has been 14 years since the last and only time I have tried skiing.

Canada-39

-Skiing Continue reading

Vancouver’s top 7….

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Vancouver’s Top 7….

Over the last two semesters at UBC I have been lucky enough to explore Vancouver – and what a place it is to explore! But instead of pursuing the usual cliches of the ‘breath taking views’ and ‘friendly Canadian atmosphere’ I thought I’d attempt to put together a quick bucket list of things to see and do in and around the city for anyone who’s heading over here, and hopefully include some things we’ve stumbled upon which are slightly off the beaten track and not in the Lonely Planet guide!   Continue reading

Whistler Wonderland

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December was definitely a tale of two halves! The first being that of the dreaded final exams. Admittedly the extent of these exams did come as a little bit of a shock having spent the year convincing myself that the Canadian style of continual weekly assessment would result in little more than a pub quiz at the end of term. In the end however, the exams were not too bad, and the fact that I had been forced to review content throughout the term meant that revision for the final exams was not as traumatic as usual.

Difficult to take a bad picture in these conditions

Difficult to take a bad picture in these conditions

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