The Weekly Hufflepuff #66 // I’M HOME

I’M HOME

live footage of me on the flight back home (also when i picked up my mom at the train station)

Sorry for the radio silence, but as I mentioned before my mom came over so I’ve been busy showing her around, and then of course packing everything up (including 16 plushies* I have a p r o b l e m) and getting back home. Manchester Airport was pretty chaotic, especially the security part which isn’t fun when that part already gives you lots of anxiety. And then our flight got delayed – but apart from that everything went fine and we got home safely.

* 1 I bought for my mom, 1 my mom bought for a friend and 1 I had brought from home but still adkbjfs

Since my last wrap up I started and finished Starfish, which I would’ve finished a lot sooner if I hadn’t been busy with my mom. I definitely could’ve read it all in one sitting – definitely worth the hype!

Today I finished Sugar Lump which was,,, disappointing. It’s centered around a mystery in a small town and boy was I let down by that ‘mystery’. I just expected a lot more.

I picked up Moxie for four pounds (if you’re ever in the UK and nearby an Asda – go go go they have a small YA section and really cheap prices it’s heaven) and started it on the plane, but I didn’t get very far as I was exhausted. I’m excited to continue though!

As I already mentioned I spent my last week in Manchester with my mom. Since Love, Simon came out last Friday and it takes forever to come out in The Netherlands* I HAD to go see it of course.

* Sometime in June like yyyy I was really lucky to still be in the UK when it came out

I really have no words I loved it so much. I still tear up just thinking about it it was so beautiful and just??? perfect?? Brb crying

me pretty much the entire movie

I realise this sounds like I immediately went to see it as it came out, but since we had tickets to see Hairspray the same day we went to Love, Simon the next day. Hairspray is my favourite musical so when I found out it was playing in Manchester while I was there I knew I had to take the opportunity. I’m so happy that I got the chance to see it – and it was SO GOOD. The entire cast was just so talented and cute and just sdfhgv

Of course we did and saw a lot more than this, but I’ll leave that for future posts that I’ll hopefully get around to soon. Classes start this Tuesday and I still have two essays to write. I was planning on starting yesterday but uhhh guess what

I’m really excited to write those posts though – I’ve been meaning to write some of them since FOREVER as I wanted to post about the things I saw and did while still in Manchester, but oh well.

💛 I wrapped up March or more like promoted Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album
💛 I reviewed Lady Mary, which is an interesting look on future Queen Mary, daughter of Henry VII, and the affair between the latter and Anne Boleyn

💛 Olivia @ Purely Olivia wonders if standalones get enough credit
💛 Iona @ Dragon Waffles shares some romance tropes that melt her heart
💛 Chiara @ Delicate Eternity talkes about why she didn’t love Let’s Talk About Love
💛 Sarah @ Written Word Worlds wonders if star ratings should be replaced by gifs
💛 Andie @ Andrea’s Nirvana shares what she wants to see more of in YA
💛 Vivian @ Writing With Style shares how she outlines her novels
💛 May @ Forever and Everly talks about privilege in the YA online book community

Have you had the opportunity to see Love, Simon yet? Have you ever seen your favourite musical performed live? Let me know in the comments!

Michelle in Manchester: I Went To A Football Museum? And A Cathedral Straight Out of Sleeping Beauty

It’s finally time for another Manchester recap! I’ve been meaning to write this up for ages, but I just couldn’t find the time or energy haha. I’ve written three posts before, but I only count one as an actual recap and the others more like ‘updates’, but if you’ve missed any:

Greetings From Manchester! // Manchester Week 1: A Beautiful Library and Town Hall and RIP My Wallet I Found The Disney Store // A Not So Quick Update From Manchester: I Continue To Be A Cryptid

I just realised that my line break is really appopriate? Like I chose it because bees remind me of Hufflepuff, but it’s also the symbol of Manchester haha

This week classes started. Like I said in my week 1 post, I didn’t have my timetable yet, and I didn’t have it until Thursday I think? I had half my timetable on Wednesday, which wasn’t very helpful. Thankfully all the teachers were super nice and understanding about it.

For anyone who wasn’t following my blog during my very stressful time as I was waiting to find out if I was accepted or just missed those posts, I’m doing my minor in history here. We’re allowed to do something completely different from journalism and as I’ve always loved history, I knew I had to take this chance. Thankfully I got all my four top choices (though all classes were interesting) and I’m following Slavery and Civil War, From Manchuria to Hiroshima (a class about the Pacific War), Women in Power in Early Modern Europe and Vox Pop Every Day Voices From The Ancient World. Women in Power is my favourite, but they’re all incredibly interesting.

me in all my classes

Unfortunately I also got sick this week, but somehow it only lasted a few days? Usually when I catch a cold it lasts longer than that. Despite my cold my friend from the exchange students group and I went out on our free day. We weren’t sure where we were going yet (except that I needed to buy a new hair dryer as there was smoke coming out of the the travel one I had brought from home) so we just looked at the map of the free shuttle busses to see where we could go. She really wanted to go to the National Football Museum and since it’s free I figured why not. Gotta try new things while I’m here right? 😂

My mom put a hand to her chest and was like ‘I’m in shock’ when I told her where I went haha. I only took this picture while there (which she found so typical lol):

I mean,,, this is adorable. I don’t really care for the other stuff, but fish playing football?

okay exaggeration I don’t love fish that much but it’s still cute

After that we walked to the Manchester Cathedral, which looks straight out of a fairy tale

 

Look at that gate?? Straight out of Sleeping Beauty

me with the Cathedral

The inside was magical too, especially the stained glass. Entrance is free and it’s right next to the Arndale Shopping Center so if you’re there to do some shopping you might as well pop in 😜

Right around the corner is Shambles Square, of which I had already shared a picture in my week 1 post, but I couldn’t help take another picture as I’m just in love with it.

At Arndale Shopping Center we tried out Nando’s, which I only knew from the memes haha. I really liked it though and we ate there again a few weeks later for lunch. After that I got THE BEST hair dryer like I’m in love?? It’s so strong and fast* and it dries my hair in such a short time? I HATE drying my hair because it takes forever (I have a lot of hair) but now?? I’m actually okay with it??

* Am I describing my hair dryer or a supernatural being lmao

And that was our day! Since I was also sick, was still getting used to things, finding my routine, starting new classes etc. I didn’t really do much else. Also my best friend from back home was supposed to arrive on Saturday, but due to some trouble at the airport she couldn’t fly until the next day, so I didn’t really have any plans for Saturday and just ended up doing some grocery shopping*

* I feel so accomplished and adult-like every time I go out for groceries haha

Next up: the Town Hall again!

Do you like football? Or would you be like me and only like the fish haha. Any pretty cathedrals you’d recommend to me? Have you been travelling lately? Let me know in the comments!

A Not So Quick Update From Manchester: I Continue To Be A Cryptid

Sooo things didn’t exactly go as planned. It’s February and I haven’t wrapped up anything 2017 related, I’m pretty sure I’ve missed three monthly wrap ups and while I wanted to write at least weekly posts about Manchester I uh failed that too

I’ve been busy adjusting, exploring Manchester, my best friend stayed with me for a week, I was busy watching Netflix, and uh got caught up in trying to figure out my family tree, something I’ve tried to do multiple times over the years but I never got that far. Meaning I didn’t get anywhere. I’ve decided to put things on hold as it was giving me quite a headache to get farther as I hit a bump in the road. Of course at the point which I’ve been most curious about pretty much my entire life, namely my great great great (? I’m terrible at ‘great great great’ stuff it’s so confusing) grandmother who was Indonesian. Of course that makes it a lil bit harder to find stuff out because ya know colonisation. But hey at least I found out what my great grandfather was called, something my grandfather didn’t know as he just always referred to him as ‘opa’ (which is Dutch for grandfather) so at least I could tell my grandfather what his grandfather was called. I’ll try to find out more when I get back home.

I’ve been slowly getting back into blogging (I’ve been reading a few blog posts!!) and I’m starting to get excited about blogging again, so hopefully I’ll be able to write some posts soon (I do have a review coming up for an ARC so I felt enough pressure to get started on that)

So with those excuses out of the way, let’s hope I won’t disappear again after this lol If I do I’m just gonna pretend that didn’t happen okay? Just pretend with me I don’t want to write a post like this every few weeks haha

Some other things I did/happened to me I want to share:

💛 I cut my finger open on a box of washing powder, got a piece of my phone’s screen protector stuck in my thumb and my other thumb started bleeding randomly MY FINGERS ARE NOT SAFE
💛 For the first time in what’s probably three years I’m borrowing books from a library?? It’s been even longer that I actually borrowed books that I actually wanted to read. The uni library doesn’t have THAT much fiction I want to read but it’s something and I feel so blessed is this how American bookworms feel
💛 Today was the first time I saw one of my housemates in like,, 2 weeks
💛 So basically I’m continuing to be a cryptid*
💛 In my defense my social anxiety just gets a lil bit too bad to go out in the kitchen/living room while there are people there, especially more than one
💛 But other than the usual (social) anxiety that honestly should’ve been expected but I didn’t really think about before coming here (which is a good thing because I might not have gone if I had) I think I’m doing pretty okay? I’ve gotten adjusted to things, gotten my routine and am less homesick
💛 My friend and I went to the refresher’s fair mostly because we were promised free pizza but we got one tiny slice #betrayed
💛 I uh… I bought more plushies *hides*
💛 I will show them in their respective posts (well, one of them hasn’t arrived yet) but hint: it’s Stitch dressed as the Easter Bunny and a super cute Dobby**
💛 The fire alarm goes off pretty much every week and lemme tell you it is not fun I get a panic attack everytime and apparently fire alarms are now a trigger for me because I had to mute B99 when the fire alarm went off on there!!
💛 Speaking of B99 have I mentioned before how grateful I am for this show it does wonders for my mental health really as most of the time it can make me feel better so guess who’s rewatching
💛 I found my precious seaweed rice crackers at a supermarket in Chinatown, gasped and started to whisper sing ‘Hallelujah’ – I really hope the guy behind the counter didn’t notice
💛 I’m still not cooking because the kitchen is still gross but I cleaned the oven (which was also gross!!) so at least I can get oven meals like quiche and spring rolls
💛 I also finally caved and became Cinderella and vacuumed the hallway, kitchen and living room because I couldn’t stand it any longer
💛 Today I suddenly heard someone vacuum the hallway??? It wasn’t me?? Shook

*  I just realised that I’ve kind of been a cryptid in the blogosphere as well *mind blown*
** I mean obviously Dobby is always cute but have you seen the official Dobby plush?? I’m sorry but no

Wow that list was a lot longer than I expected. Anyway, I’m going to Oxford tomorrow with my friend through the International Society, so hopefully I won’t be too tired on Sunday so that I can write a few posts, as I really really want to

How have you all been?? Any exciting news?? Posts you’re proud of that I MUST read? (Please give links!) Tell me everything!!

Manchester Week 1: A Beautiful Library and Town Hall And RIP My Wallet I Found The Disney Store

So in my previous post I said I might talk more about my first few days in Manchester in a weekly wrap up, but I decided a separate post would be better – so here we are!

WEDNESDAY

I had to get up early to catch my flight, but unfortunately it turned out my flight had been delayed. Check-in times and such hadn’t been changed though, so I still had to leave early. I hadn’t brought a book with me, since that would take up extra space and weight, but since I had to wait about three hours I ended up buying It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne at the airport. I’m glad I did, because I was stressed enough and if I had to wait three hours I needed something to keep me distracted.

I was supposed to fly at 10, but in the end I flew at 13:30 and arrived at my room at 15:00 UK time. I had planned to unpack, get some groceries, explore the area and then write the post I now wrote on Friday, but since nothing went according to plan* I didn’t really have the time and energy for that, so I just unpacked, got some groceries, face timed my mom and watched Power Rangers 2017**

* Not just the delayed flight, but a broken handle on a suitcase, apparently I had only paid for one suitcase so I had to pay extra, my dumb ass who had flown I don’t know how many times had put scissors in my carry-on and who knows what else
** Bless UK Netflix

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY

On Thursday and Friday I had my introduction days for international students. I had first gotten an email that said it would start at 10:30, but then another one that that was a mistake and I had to be there at 11:00. Except when I arrived a little before 11 almost everyone was already there?? Thankfully I didn’t miss anything though.

We got some general information and a police officer who talked about safety and traumatised me, but when I told my friend back home she was like ‘you’re from Amsterdam no one needs to tell you to be careful’. She has a point but my anxiety was like ‘ALERT ALERT STAY IN YOUR ROOM AFTER DARK’. We also had a library tour which was of course a lot of fun.

After the introduction I went grocery shopping with my new friend, but we were mesmerised by a pretty building that turned out to be the Manchester Museum. There weren’t any grocery stores that way (maybe if we had walked any further but it was basically our first day there and it would get dark soon, so we didn’t want to get too far away from the campus) so after looking at the courtyard next to the museum (which is part of the other university) we went back to campus and went to a convenience store there.

Friday was a lot more fun, since we got a tour through Manchester. Unfortunately it was only an hour – the guide had so much to tell I just want to kidnap him and bring him with me everywhere*

* If there are any cops reading this I am joking

Seriously everything was so interesting and I’m afraid I’ve have forgotten everything.

After the tour my friend and I went back into the center and did some shopping.

Me: is worried about money
Also me: *buys Hedwig pillow*

In my defense, I’ve wanted this pillow since forever, but they never sold it at the Primark back home? So yeah I caved

We also went to a pound shop where I made some sensible adult purchases*

* And skittles and chocolate

The Town Hall at night

SATURDAY

Since I had the day off I wanted to take this chance to explore the city a bit. I still didn’t have my timetable though, so I went to the students union since nothing else was open. I still don’t have a timetable as I’m writing this, but thankfully the programme leader is super nice and sent me when all the lectures are and seminars that I can join for now until I have my timetable.

I don’t remember what this building is but it’s pretty

Our tour guide from Friday had told us that the Town Hall will be closing in two weeks for six years and that it was worth a visit, so since I didn’t know how busy I’d be once classes start, I decided to go right away.

You can easily walk to the center from the campus* and the weather was nice, so why not?

 

* Though I’m definitely thinking of getting a bus pass because it’s all fun and games now but soon I’m used to my surroundings and I’ll just be suffering in the cold

Before I went to the Town Hall I decided to visit the Central Library* which was absolutely gorgeous. They also had a small exhibition related to Harry Potter so obviously I had to check that out.

  

* Surprise – not lol

I went to every floor to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but of course not everything was super exciting.

Afterwards I finally went to the Town Hall which definitely is worth a visit. It’s such a shame that most of it is closed for the public, because I wanted to see more haha

 

 

I considered doing some more sightseeing, but I didn’t want to do too much in one day and I also wanted to go back to the pound shop since my socially anxious self wanted her own mug and bowl  because I was too scared to ask if I could use any of the mugs and bowls in the cupboards. Besides, when I got here the kitchen was… It wasn’t THAT bad but it was certainly dirty and it made me think twice about using anything there. Thankfully my third roommate arrived Sunday and suddenly things were a lot cleaner and cleared up, but I still don’t want to use the kitchen*

* I also don’t want to ask if I can use anything and if I have to actually cook there I’ll have to spend more time there which will increase the chance of running into someone have I mentioned I’m pretty much Cath from Fangirl right now

The pound shop is inside the Arndale Shopping Center, which I had explored a bit with my new friend on Friday, but today I ended up in a different part where uhhh I discovered the Disney Store

All together it was eight pounds, I doubted the Christmas Tsum Tsums* would be there for much longer and well, I couldn’t resist the other Minnie Mouse (she smells like Apple Blossoms omg). And now I’m going to save my money to hopefully buy an Easter Stitch that will be sold starting this February 🙈

* Which were on sale!

 

After looking around a bit more at the shopping center I started my way back home and once I got there I was really glad I had bought Cup a Soup the other day because I was too tired to go out again. I managed to avoid my housemates yet again and am now convinced that they must think I’m a ghost or something*

* I met two of them on Friday and then awkwardly left to stay in my room all night

Sunday wasn’t too exciting – I cleaned, vacuumed, did some grocery shopping and then stayed in all night, rewatched One Day At A Time and tried to cry silently at the finale. If you haven’t watched ODAAT yet, please do so. It’s such a gem and season 2 will come out later this month so you’ll be right in time

All in all, this has been an eventful, stressful but I guess also fun week. It’s weird to be away from home, especially without any family or friends. By the time this goes up I’ll have had my first classes and I have no idea how busy I’ll be. It does help that I can be home within five minutes haha. Anyway, I hope to at least tell you guys about this coming week next week and read some blogposts, but I can’t promise anything. I’m trying to keep my Instagram updated if you want to check if I’m still alive, but uh I kinda suck at Instagram.

UPDATE: I know updates are usually written after a post has gone up, but I hadn’t gotten around to scheduling this yet before classes started, and just wanted to let you guys know that I met my third housemate and she’s really nice

Have you studied abroad? And/or been to Manchester? Tell me all about it in the comments!