Well, I suppose it's about time that I actually uphold my resolution to blog about this little exchange affair to Cornwall. Goodness knows why it's taken me this long, but know that every word written here only exists because of your nagging, dear readers.
This part will be purely for anecdotal purposes, so feel free to overlook the following for report purposes.
However, it is of severe importance for me to note that the airplane trip to London was very possibly be the most excruciating I have ever experienced. Mark this, should you ever have the misfortune to travel with me. I put particular blame on the fact that I was flying alone. Also, that I forgot to take the gravol pills prior to boarding the plane. As well, the fact that my eyes had been burning out of their corneas from a tearful farewell, and I banked on my fatigue to bring the blessing of unconsciousness once seated. This, coupled with my well-known phobia of airplane atmosphere (not the fear of flying or crashing, mind - that would only be a release from my suffering), and the vomiting that always ensues without fail, made for a hellish 9+ hours.
Imagine me, doubled over on myself, rocking back and forth and every so often spasming violently as restless leg syndrome wracked my tired body in the middle of the night, while clawing out the burning orbs of fire my eyes had transformed into. And seated between two complete strangers, no less. Needless to say, two barf bags later, I was sick enough that I was willing to throw any amount of money away simply to get to my hotel room and hide under the covers until the end of days.
In this desperation of course, I had completely forgotten to break up my 20 pound notes, and as such made no friends with the cab driver when it was time to pay fare and he had no change to give me. I cannot stress enough how important it is to book accomodation ahead of time - I would have been exponentially even more of a mess otherwise.
Luckily for me, I had also arrived during a time where Britain had been experiencing the coldest weather in 20 some odd years; it was so tempting just to curl up under the covers, clothes, barfbreath and all, and simply sleep away my woes. Only through pure, Green Lantern levels of willpower that I pulled myself from the bed to go and ask for directions to the coach I would take the next morning. The fear of missing my bus was fresh in my mind, and I wanted every bit of preparation. I also wanted a shower, and that was the best decision I made all day.
It turns out that when you fall asleep at 7 pm however, you tend to wake a bit earlier than usual. Perhaps this was also the jetlag speaking, but I awoke at 4 am with nowhere to be and nothing to do until at least 9:30. Even then, I was 2 hours early for my coach, and spent it all sitting in the cold and sketching with luggage cumulating to the weight of about 80 pounds.
Riding the coach was a considerably more comfortable journey - possibly my experience with buses and tour buses speaking, but despite sharing about the same amount of legroom as an airplane seat, I am able to fall asleep with ease. I also ended up striking a conversation while waiting to board - ended up sitting next to him as well: a young Polish man named Emil who was headed to Plymouth. Very kind, even allowed me to borrow his cellphone when I was attempting to call my landlady about the details of my pick-up. The bus ran late, and darkness had long fallen by the time my spot arrived - I secured a good nap inbetween those times, and was contented.
Clarissa, my landlady, and her husband Ra may very well be the most hospitable people I have ever met. And by this I mean unreasonably hospitable. Ridiculously hospitable. I've already come to think of this house as my second home. Thsi is not to say, however, it is perfect: the building itself is over a hundred years old. The day I arrived, they made me soup, realizing halfway through the meal that the boiler had failed. As well, the Internet connection had been down for several days (which justified my attempts to phone them), leaving me disconnected from home. Then, the dining room light bulb exploded and the record cold and frost caused their pipes to burst, along with dozens of other people in the neighbourhood. The joke was I had brought this spell of terrible luck to Falmouth, so I became the resident white witch.
More on Clarissa and Ra: it's astonishing how young at heart they are despite living through extremely hard times. Clarissa herself had survived the war, and lived through the horrors and hardships, sometimes described to me through their stories. Both are old enough to be my grandparents, but are independent enough to self renovate the house: the new kitchen, complete with scavenged granite countertops, the fireplace, the discovery of the sealed attic, so on. And I've been trying to learn a few Hungarian dishes while I'm here. Both of them are exceptionally generous and open-minded and above all, hilarious. Perhaps this is what happens to artists in their golden years; they are eccentric and a joy to talk to. I really feel as though I lucked out on this flat. Sure it may not be as party-hardy as a shared student house, but it really feels like being in a family here.
It's very easy to get a sense of the town - all the stores are within the same district and streets, making for a cobblestone strip of shops within walking distance from the house. Not to mention the view - Harbour Terrace overlooks the inlet, so you get this gorgeous sight every time you step out the door. However, the awe does diminish somewhat when you scale the hill down towards the moor and realize that when you walk back home, you'll be doing so with bags full of groceries, praying your eggs don't break as you huff and wheeze upwards.
It is a calming break from city life though - while there may not be as many spectacles and sights as any of the larger cities, Falmouth has a charm about it that made me fall for it immediately. I'm not really sure how to describe it any other way, really, but I imagine that inside, I'd always fancied living in an old, cozy house overlooking the coastal waters in a rural town.
However, the school is an altogether different beast.
Signing off for now.