Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year in Review: 2006


It's nice to be home. We had a great time in Switzerland - beautiful scenery, lovely town to stay in, great weather too! My brother and I weren't too keen on the lack of snow, but we were still able to ski every day.

Anyway, it's nearly a year since I started blogging, and 2006 has been pretty eventful. It struck me, for example, that October was the only month when I didn't go abroad! Here then are some of my unashamedly hedonistic highlights, month by month. Some of the pictures have been on here before.


I flew to Canada on the 2nd, and spent the first week or so settling in to life at York University in Toronto. At first everything seemed pretty normal and not as extraordinary as people had led me to believe. At least, that was until I started meeting Canadians...


Still in Canada. Still freezing cold. In our "reading week" - ie. week off - Kate, Nat, Jay and I (all exchange students) went to Quebec, Montreal and Ottowa to have a poke around. Quebec was great, very French in some ways, very Canadian in others. Montreal was quite nice... more like Toronto but with a French accent. Ottowa was just cold.


Developed some great friendships in a surprisingly short period of time (for me). I enjoyed attending GFC nearly every week, despite the early start and overly tall preacher! The international student office organised a day trip to the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival - a very odd little town about two hours away. I bought some syrup.


The term at York finished early in the month, and after my one exam (!), a week or so of exploring the city more, going to the pub with hall-mates and frenzied packing at the end, I left Toronto (sniff). For the next four weeks I was in the USA - starting in New York City, then flying to California where I rented a car and drove all over for a week... (continued in May!)


(from April) Still in the USA, I took a 57 hour train journey across the country, and then a succession of buses to visit friends in the Midwest. On the 23rd I finally made it back to the UK! Seeing family and friends again was very nice!


Southampton uni finished at the start of June, and I went away with some of the lads from the CU to Italy for a few days of basically bumming around and playing board games. Good fun!


England crashed out of the World Cup, and I spent four weeks on short term mission in Poland as an English teacher-cum-general summer camp dogsbody. It's exhausting stuff, but very worthwhile and I think some of the kids were spiritually impacted by the talks and Bible studies.


A relatively quiet month... started working on my dissertation but had to stop soon afterwards; worked for a week at the university on the admissions hotline; evangelised at the Reading Festival; oh, and spent a week in France with my parents!


Away for two weeks in Europe (yes, again) firstly on a fieldtrip in Berlin: I got to know some coursemates a lot better than I'd had chance to before, and discovered the true face of "cultural geography"! Straight afterwards my friend Steve and I went driving around Europe for a week. I set a new land-speed personal record of 203km/h on the Autobahn (while listening to John Piper!) amongst other exploits.


Started doing something called "studying" again after 6 months off. It was rather strange, as was moving back to Southampton. As you can see, the marks of Canada are still with me...


Working hard at uni, both on academic and CU grounds. One day three of us went on a jolly to France to buy vast quantities of cheap wine for the CU carol service. It was also my 22nd birthday and 7th birth-again-day (is there a term for this?) during November.


Lots of coursework deadlines to meet in the first two weeks, along with the CU carol services, which were a great success. I've just come back (today) from a week skiing in Switzerland over Christmas, which was both very enjoyable and rather foolish given how much work I still have to do!

All the best for 2007. I don't imagine I'll be doing quite so much travelling, but the year could turn out to be pretty interesting. Happy New Year!

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