After a mad week celebrating the end of the semester we were all brought back down to reality pretty quickly coming Monday morning. I had the release of my take home exam for one of my Geography modules coming out tomorrow morning at 9am. Luckily this week was SWOTVAC week so there were no contact hours allowing time for modules with take home exams and revision for upcoming exams. Coming with the start of exams our accommodation, Urbanest, are kindly providing free breakfast every day throughout all of the exams. Came just in time to replace free breakfast club at campus! So Monday morning we tested it out all meeting downstairs with our bowls and spoons and were met by a large selection of cereals and types of milks. I always stick to Weetabix (Weetbix for Aus) and very rarely change so it was nice to try some random aussie cereals and mix them altogether.
It was my first experience of a take home exam so I was a bit apprehensive so I decided to spend today gathering my notes from the module and revising a few bits. The exam was released Tuesday morning at 9am and then it has to be submitted online by Midnight on Thursday so it meant I had three days to complete it. So on Tuesday I spent the day in the library deciding which short questions and essays I wanted to complete and drafted my answers. In the evening there was a huge storm with thunder and lightning so we all got the duvets out and decided to watch a scary film; you could call that pathetic fallacy!
Then on Wednesday my course mates and I had booked out a study room on campus in the afternoon to be able to do some group work on the exam. Our lecturer had actually advised us to all meet up in groups and discuss the different questions and various aspects of approaching the topics. It was actually really useful to get different peoples perspectives of answering questions and we had a good few solid hours of studying. In the afternoon I met up with the girls in the library whilst stumbling across a ‘procrastination station’ in the hub, University of Adelaide you spool us! The area was filled with slot machines, bean bags, colouring in, nail varnishes and board games-the perfect little break away from the downstairs of the library. Also love how they are aiding people in their procrastination!
After a long Thursday finishing my take home exam I submitted it in the evening which was such a good feeling! One down two to go! My two exams were on the 12th and 19th so I had 6 days till my first exam so today I got going with revision for that module which was on international migration. The gaps between my exams are really ideal leaving me 6 days to revise for each exam so that I could solely revise on just one module at once, keeping it simple for my little old brain. We had a lovely afternoon break to the uni bar to celebrate lots of our hand-ins and one of my friends didn’t have any exams so she had finished! We had a cider in the sunshine and also had the first viewing of this years John Lewis Christmas advert which I must admit made Becca and myself cry.
It was so weird seeing the Christmas advert as it sort of marks the beginning of Christmas and we couldn’t have felt any less Christmassy sat on a balcony with a cider in 30 degree+ heat overlooking all the pretty purple Jacaranda trees that blossom in November. It’s going to be a very different Christmas from what I’m used to! On the way home we all walked home along the river lapping up the outdoors as between Urbanest and the library we only seem to be indoors at the moment!
On Saturday I had arranged to meet up with Meredith my ‘Experience Adelaide‘ family for a day trip. I thought it would be really refreshing and beneficial for me to get out of the city for the day and have a break so I would come back to revision and exams refreshed. So for the day she was taking me along the coast to see lots of the beaches, no better way to escape the city than by sea air!! She had kindly offered me to bring along a friend so I invited my friend Becca as she applied for an experience Adelaide family but didn’t get matched to anyone so I thought she would enjoy the day.
Up early we headed out and met her outside a nearby hotel for her to pick us up and we were off! First stop was at Port Willunga where we walked along this beautiful long beach to an old jetty which Meredith told us is really famous for weddings. Its a local tradition to come down to the old jetty for your wedding photos or to even have the wedding. Coincidentally, on the way up the steps from the beach a bride was running down towards us bare foot hitching her dress up the side with her bouquet in one hand and a bottle of corona in the other; couldn’t be anymore Australian.
Next stop was Sellicks beach where there was a massive buddha statue on the hill overlooking the beach which was put there to bring peace, harmony, wealth and prosperity to South Australia-it was huge! Then onto Port Elliot which is Meredith’s favourite place. On the way we went via a bakery in Middleton and got meat pies which are very famous in South Australia and then Meredith selected some famous desserts for us to try. We then headed to the beach in Port Elliot and found a picnic bench to have lunch at. Meredith had brought a little picnic hamper with plates and tea towels for us to use as place mates, it was very sweet. The meat pies were amazing and the selection of desserts were gorgeous!!
Afterwards Becca and I climbed up some beautiful orange rocks around the bank at the end of the beach which gave us some beautiful views. I decided to climb this rock for a photo but made the mistake of looking behind me at the drop resulting in the pose you can see in the photo; whoops. Next stop was horseshoe bay where we overlooked at from a viewpoint looking over towards Granite Island where we went on a University trip to on our first week in Adelaide. Then we carried along our drive heading towards Goolwa barrage, the car scenery was so beautiful. Here we walked along the barrage with lots of birds and pelicans and managed to spot a fur seal lion basking in the sun. On the way back we spotted a yellow snake in the bush and I leaned in to take a photo which resulted in the snake jumping and swirling up towards me leaving me screaming and jumping back. Lesson learnt. Next stop was Hindmarsh Island then onto the River Murray mouth which was really fascinating to see. It was so nice driving through all the beautiful scenery but Becca and I kept nearly nodding off and had to apologise to Meredith, its all those long library days!!
Next stop was Mill lake in the Alexandrian lake areas which was quite a hub for families to come on day trips and mini holidays with day huts, lots of greenery and the lake for all the fishermen! We walked along and paddled in the fresh water then went and looked at the fish being caught. There were huge fish and we were told they are bad for the water ecosystem so it is a good thing for them to be taken out of the lakes.
After some afternoon fruit and some exploring we drove to our last stop at a town called Strathalbyn, here we spotted another wedding in the beautiful open parklands. We managed to spot it at the vowels so basically attended the wedding in the park. Then we went to a beautiful cafe where Becca and I brought Meredith an Affogato coffee which is a scoop of frozen ice-cream poured over with an espresso, definitely will be trying it next time!! Becca and I indulged in a gorgeous iced coffee which is so popular in South Australia, coffee is just so good here!!! We enjoyed our coffees until the cafe closed at 5 then we started the drive back to Adelaide.
It was such a lovely day exploring the coastline, its so strange to have been living somewhere for a few months and not know much about the surroundings of the city so it was amazing to go exploring. It was also lovely getting to know Meredith she is such a lovely inspirational women being a single elderly women and going on so many adventures in Australia and travelling abroad in group caravan holidays. She made me realise that being old doesn’t mean you still can’t travel and live freely and you don’t need a man to be able to be happy.
Feeling sky high we headed back to Urbanest to absolute chaos; there was water everywhere and workmen all over the place. Someone’s sprinkler in their room had been triggered and flooded their room and the whole floor level. What made matters even worse was that their room was on level 1 and was right above the whole buildings electrical system and the water had leaked through so it had shut down the system. Everyone’s keys to their room wouldn’t function and we weren’t allowed anywhere apart from the social area due to safety reasons as the fire alarm system was down. 4 fire engines, 2 fire alarm specialists and a news camera crew later we were evacuated for 6 hours. Urbanest kindly made up for the evacuation by ordering 50 dominoes pizzas and providing drinks. Afterwards we headed down to river to get some sun and get away from the chaos. With the news of people being allowed back in we headed back finding out they had flown in a security crew from Sydney to man every corridor through the night as the fire alarm system was still down so it had to be monitored. Such drama!
Kicked back into heavy revision on Sunday with temperatures reaching 37 degrees in the afternoon I attempted revising outside. I was just on the verge of melting when a couple of our Australian friends messaged us inviting us to head down to the beach with them so we were so relieved of the thought of running into the sea. So Sophie, Allie and myself were soon picked up with country music playing in the car heading to the beach, couldn’t have come at any better time! As soon as we arrived we ran straight into the sea which was so refreshing even if the temperature of the water was in the late 20’s!! We swam out to a sand bank in the distance then came back in and kicked a ball about and I attempted some gymnastic tricks with the girls, as you do! This evening is literally why I love Australia, the spontaneous outside lifestyle with everyone being so friendly and happy. Can’t wait to do this more frequently in a couple of weeks when I’m free to do what I want to do (yes I just sang that out loud).
Then back to Urbanest and we all had a lovely night in at the girls flat watching tv and catching up. I decided to bake a crunchie cake to cheer everyone up and give everyone a much deserved treat, safe to say everyone was very happy and it tasted amazing (damn it now I’m hungry).
Reed in Radelaide