Tag Archives: Rhodes University

Good ol’ G-Spot, EC

It’s been nearly a year since I finished up in Grahamstown. I was rather keen to leave, when the time came, but I miss it now. It’s the same as missing school though. You know, best days of your life and all that.

Now, I wasn’t particularly fond of Grahamstown. I was a city girl, from Johannesburg, and I somehow ended up in one of the most poorly run provinces of the country, in a town that didn’t even have a McDonald’s. Or a Woolworths Food. When people asked me if I was enjoying it, I would tell them how much I like the University, my course and the overall student life. I would explain how convenient being in a small town was because you can literally walk to any destination worth your while in the town. You hardly needed to worry about having a designated driver, the only time you really wanted a car was when it was raining or when you had to carry your 5L water up the hill (which is closer to 25L by the time you get to the top!). And this is where I would start talking about the problems.

We had no water. We would go for weeks with no running water. In my residence, we had 73 girls all sharing 2 toilets. There were minimal washing facilities – you could go to the gym, but that was so busy and eventually dirty and they ran out of water pressure too from trying to meet the demand. One benefit: the university paid for 2L of bottled drinking water every day. If you were smart, you would let this accumulate so you didn’t have to drink the tap water, which was sometimes brown, sometimes smelled like a chlorine factory blew up.

Water protest gif

One of the water outages was so bad, we held a march in protest. The truck that was meant to come fix the situation went missing, and then was found to have not even left Johannesburg yet. When they got to Grahamstown, they could not install the pump because there was no electricity. The electricity problem was another bad one. Slightly more liveable, because you don’t have to live in each other’s filth, but not cool when you are trying to study. Most of the power failures happened during exam time, naturally. Sometimes even in the middle of your exam. It was tedious, but I guess we all learned to live with it.

High street

The High Street, one of the most lovely views of the Cathedral and the quaintness of Grahamstown. Along this road you will find most of the restaurants, plenty of pharmacies, and plenty of dodgy car guards

I suppose, if anything, it taught us to be grateful. We learned to appreciate when we did have certain things, like water and lights on at home, because after all, these are luxuries that many people do not have access to at all, obviously in Grahamstown, but even in South Africa in general. But, you know, perspective only comes after the hard times… I’m very glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore, but I have new problems that have come about with living back in the city. Now I can just reminisce about the beauty and quaintness that was Grahamstown. I learnt a lot from being there, I had a fabulous experience, met the most amazing people, and met a lot of different people with different backgrounds and different opinions. We were all shoved into one teeny backwards town, forced to live alongside each other, and that is why Rhodents are generally so open minded and fun (but also well-rounded and responsible individuals).

IMG_7000

Once you get over the gnawing absence of things that were once a staple sight in a civilized town, you start to notice the beauty of the old buildings, and the heritage that came along with them. You eventually realise why people would want to keep making the trip down every year for the National Arts Fest (apart from general art-appreciation, of course).

Cnr High Street and Cuyler Cathedral with Jacarandas

Grocott's

Grahamstown is home to some lovely old buildings and some significant South African Heritage. The old newspaper buildings could have something to do with the Rhodes School of Journalism’s reputation perhaps?

High street court

Provost

Provost coffee shop was established here shortly before I left. While I wasn’t a massive fan of their coffee, their location was great – set in an old battalion-related building (or something like that), as were their delicious freshly-baked croissants

Grahamstown grows on you. But that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to stay there forever. I had an awesome time while I was there, great memories, but I am happy to be moving onto other things as well now in my life. For now, I think I will go have a reminiscent mare up in Northam.

Hidden South African Gems – Port Alfred

I officially graduated from Rhodes University. I am no longer a Rhodent, I now part of the upper echelon of Old Rhodians. Supposedly. But #Rhodent4Life!

My gran was supposed to come down to South Africa from the UK to celebrate my grad, but her goat attacked her. How’s that for an excuse? It was a pretty bad injury, and I’m glad she stayed home and rested and recovered, though it did make some of our “grad-weekend” plans seem a bit dull…

Port Alfred

We figured we could make a beach weekend out of a weekend in Grahamstown, so we booked in a B&B in Port Alfred that was absolutely stunning, right on the beach front. PA is only 40 minutes away (30 if you’re one of the students I tutored last year who did the trip daily), so it seemed convenient at the time. It wasn’t really, because we spent most of our time in GHT, so it was a little bit wasted. But gorgeous nonetheless.

I know my mom will probably hate me for putting this up, but she is beautiful and it's her birthday on Saturday, so all my love to her, lying on some super comfy bed in a really neatly and perfectly finished B&B bedroom

I know my mom will probably hate me for putting this up, but she is beautiful and it’s her birthday on Saturday, so all my love to her, lying on some super comfy bed in a really neatly and perfectly finished B&B bedroom

I was glad to have the opportunity to visit PA again, as beach trips were seriously under-utilized in my time at Rhodes. It made for a great day trip, though one that was difficult to over do, because it was just that little bit too far away. I do regret not spending more time checking out Bathurst as well, which is a quaint little place.

Taught mom how to take a selfie. Not sure if it was a mistake to have done that or not...?

Taught mom how to take a selfie. Not sure if it was a mistake to have done that or not…?

Port Alfred is basically just another one of those gorgeous small towns along the South African coast. It is especially beautiful because it is situated in the Eastern Cape, and somehow most places there are beautiful. It’s a stunning coastal visit that still holds it’s small-town simplicity.

Rock pools

The kind of place that makes you want to attempt to capture each crashing wave and the incredible rows of shells, and the crystal clarity of the water, but its just too beautiful to ever adequately do it justice

We got a local’s recommendation to check out the Three Sisters rock formation just up the coast from Port Alfred, about a 15 minute drive. We were about 45 minutes too late, but if you ever get the chance, make sure to go just before and for the duration of low tide. It truly is a wonder to behold.

This seemed like a good idea in the time before I did it. Then I realised that I am pathetic and spider webs can be icky but it was too late to turn back...

This seemed like a good idea in the time before I did it. Then I realised that I am pathetic and spider webs can be icky but it was too late to turn back… I promise I didn’t Photoshop that sky either.

Port Alfred is just another one of those places that reminds you just how beautiful South Africa is, and how lucky we are to have such simple yet breathtaking places right on our doorstep, and a reminder to take advantage of it before we as humans do the inevitable.

Eastern Cape life – Grahamstown Flower Festival

Who doesn't love a goodie bag of free stuff?

Who doesn’t love a goodie bag of free stuff?

My gran lives on a farm. My mom seems to love the farm. My brother wants to live on my gran’s farm in England because it is so clean. And I’m over here like, “Ooh look! A plant!” Meanwhile it’s actually a weed, not even part of the flower show.

All the pretty flowers

All the pretty flowers

Ok, I am exaggerating, but I consider myself to be very much a city girl, and this farm-life is not one that I am used to. I went to the flower festival motivated by the fact that I knew that a certain coffee company was coming to town, and their coffee is pretty amazing. I figured that if they were going to be there, there was bound to be other delicious goodies and interesting stalls selling loads of useless things that I will fall for and spend far too much money on. I was not disappointed, but I was also pleasantly surprised by some of the things that I found.

Some girls were selling some hippie pants

Some girls were selling some hippie pants

There were flowers, of course, and a number of other plants that I won’t even try begin to name. In short: plants. Some local Eastern Cape greenery in celebration of summer (the first day of the festival was a real stunner) as well as some flowers that I do actually recognise.

This is an example of the types of sales-folk surrounding the local Botanical Gardens

This is an example of the types of sales-folk surrounding the local Botanical Gardens

Gorgeous sunflowers being sold out of the sun...

Gorgeous sunflowers being sold out of the sun…

There were getups that I know would look great in my house… My house that I don’t have… So I settled for a cute succulent in a teacup and saucer. It now belongs on my windowsill, and is the closest thing to a pet that I have ever had to look after independently. Writing that just reminded me that I have yet to water it. Clearly it’s not looking too good. It is cute, nonetheless.

My new plant!

My new plant!

There were R5 pancakes (sold by a dear bunch of women), bacon and egg butties [‘rolls’ for those of you who need the translation] (that I purchased from the Dean of Students, and they were amazing!), and a Chip’n’Dip too (which I thought was majorly out of place, but hey). And then there was the coffee of course, truly splendid coffee.

Unfortunately I did not buy another bag of their coffee because I haven't opened my first one - their sample sachets were great, though, and they also supplied Lindie's brownies, which can be seen on my Instagram feed

Unfortunately I did not buy another bag of their coffee because I haven’t opened my first one – their sample sachets were great, though, and they also supplied Lindie’s brownies, which can be seen on my Instagram feed

I also ended up buying myself a few necklaces, and a gift for a bestie back in Jo’burg.

New jewellery! Because I basically have none

New jewellery! Because I basically have none

I did not attend any of the talks because I do not own a farm and I don’t garden just yet. I probably won’t for a while, and whatever I need to know when I do decide to make my plants all pretty (and keep them alive) will probably be available on the Internet. I do think the presentations most likely went down a treat in this little town of Grahamstown, because there is quite a substantial farming culture in the Eastern Cape, from what I have gathered.

Lovely water feature and plants for my house of the distant future

Lovely water feature and plants for my house of the distant future

These are just adorable to look at

These are just adorable to look at

Overall it was a lovely day. Day 2 was a bit wet and rainy, but a decent event overall. Farmers’ markets are quaint, but I look forward to returning home to my Metropolitan Johannesburg in the next seven weeks.

Beach day with Demarte Pena

You’ve really got to love spontaneity: this past weekend it took me to the beach in Port Alfred, a mere 45 minute drive from where I live. I had a charming ocean stroll, then went for some lovely fish lunch on the Kowie river where we casually bumped into friends. And the featherweight EFC Africa champion, Demarte Pena. It really isn’t every day you get to hang out with the top MMA fighter in Africa, is it?

MMA beach soccer team, Demarte Pena is the third from the left in the back row

MMA beach soccer team, Demarte Pena is the third from the left in the back row

I met Demarte recently through his trip to Grahamstown to train up the Rhodes University MMA (mixed martial arts) club. We have a mutual friend, and I was fortunate enough to get to interview Pena for the student newspaper, Activate. Apart from being an incredible athlete, he is also a really nice guy, and I really enjoyed interviewing him, and had a jam partying with him in one of Grahamstown finest establishments that is Friar Tucks. On his last day of his visit, he and the rest of the MMA club went through to Port Alfred, where they had lunch and a casual game of beach soccer.

Beach soccer in Port Alfred

Beach soccer on East Beach in Port Alfred

Here are some of the interesting things Pena had to say in our interview:

Demarte Pena, EFC Africa Featherweight Champion, with me, Kendra Dykman at Haricots, Grahamstown

Demarte Pena, EFC Africa Featherweight Champion, with me, Kendra Dykman, at Haricots, Grahamstown. (Photo by Sekata Ramokgopa)

On his evening at Friars: “It was different. Normally just so restricted because of my training through the year, so hardly have time to really go out, so, it was good.”

Pena trains in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, with Richard Quan as his head coach. Because of the multiple disciplines involved in MMA, he also works with a number of other trainers. He has been a professional fighter for two years. “It’s been great. I started fighting when I was back in Pretoria, and I eventually moved to Jo’burg where I joined my current team.”

Pena started with Judo and Karate back in his home country of Angola, but didn’t fight as much when he came over to South Africa. “I lost a little bit of that love and passion for it for a while, but when I was in high school, I met a few other guys who were training as well. At that time when I started training again I was doing Muay Thai and a little bit of Kung Fu. We would mess around after school, train together. We learned about UFC.”

“I didn’t actually want to be a professional fighter. But one thing led to another: the opportunity came to fight for EFC Africa, the promotors here. They called my trainer and said there was a chance for me to fight. I was like ‘alright, let’s do it’.” Pena weighed in the 62-66kg category, and won his first fight, even though he hadn’t been training for the fight. After a second fight, Pena was granted the opportunity to fight for the title, where he beat the top contender in his division. “It’s been quite a speedy journey to the title. After I became champion, I decided to work on my training.”

At that time, Pena was studying towards a BComm in Entrepreneurship, at Tuks University, which he gave up and moved to Jo’burg, in order to pursue his his fighting career. When he moved to Johannesburg, he didn’t have a place to stay, so he stayed at the gym from Monday to Saturday, where he says he needed to stay and train.

He defended his title for the first time, and managed to “hustle” a place to stay. “The more you win, the more you get paid. You still get paid if you lose, but it’s half, so it’s a b****.”

“I became the third guy in history to defend his title for the third time, and recently, on the 19th of July, I fought and I defended my title. I am the only guy to defend his title for the fourth time in the history of African MMA.”

“It’s getting better as the sport grows. The fights are shown live in, I think, 111 countries worldwide.”

“For now I just want to establish myself more as an African fighter, but maybe in two more years time, hopefully, I can fight overseas. Just get more fights in. I train very hard and I put so much work in, in two more years I think I will be able to fight overseas and be more competitive there. So, just keep fighting and just keep pushing hard.”

“Guys normally retire around 35/36. You can open your own gym, or you can coach, but for me, right now, I do other things as well, like businesses as well. So I don’t need to rely on my fighting. I’m young still now, and I have a lot of time, so the cash you make from the sponsorships and the fights, you can do other things. So when I stop fighting I can live off the businesses and other things.”

On the things he enjoys most about being a fighter: “For me, the biggest thing is self-progress as a man and as an athlete,” said Pena. “It doesn’t just build you as a fighter, it builds your character; it makes you a stronger person. Not to be able to bully someone to enforce your own will, but self-confidence as well and the way you conduct yourself.”

“It’s not a sport for me, it’s something that I do, that I love and that I enjoy.”

“It is painful, but obviously you need to put in the hours. It’s rough but it’s not as bad as it looks. You want to make sure that you’re so well-conditioned that your body is ready to take that punishment.”

“We train Mondays to Saturdays, roughly four or five hours every day, and we train in many disciplines. So we train in the ground game, train in the kickboxing, training in wrestling, you’re doing lifting, general conditioning, sprints, jogging. So it’s so many things you’re training in together so you can compete at a high level of the sport. It’s not that just anybody can do it, this type of sport you have to really like what you’re doing. Because once you’re in there and you’re getting hit, it has to be something that you actually enjoy doing.”

“For me, I’d rather take the guy down and control the guy. It’s easier because you get hit less.” This comes from Pena’s past wrestling experience, but he makes sure that he’s not predictable as a fighter by utilising other fighting styles as well.

“Ever since I became champion I’ve tried to promote the sport a lot.” Pena coaches kids in Joburg as well. The sport is still relatively new in South Africa. Even at Rhodes it has only really starting to take off in the most recent years, however Rhodes is the only University with a club like this. “There’s still that stigma that it’s cage fighting, that it’s brutal, that it’s violent.”

He came to Grahamstown to promote the sport and share his knowledge and get a few more people excited about the sport here. “Who knows, in a few more years, or less, we can get a champion coming from here.”

Alex Awolaja, a member of the club described his experience. “The fact that the number one fighter in the EFC is here and willing to teach us is such a learning experience. I’ve trained alongside him in Jo’burg, but being coached by him is way better: I’ve learned a great deal more. Also going out and chilling with him is great.”

Pena worked with the Rhodes club over a training weekend over this long weekend past. “Just getting back to basics, showing them a lot more grappling and wrestling techniques. If you have a good base then everything you build on gets better. The guys are very motivated and they want to learn. I’m pushing them very hard. They’re not just giving up, they’re actually appreciating my time here. It’s exciting when you go somewhere and the people are passionate for the sport that you love as well as you are. It makes everything worth it. I don’t want to go to a place where the guys are slacking and you can see they don’t really want to do it. So I’m really impressed with the people who have been coming to the seminars.”

“The world is so unpredictable, and if I can play a little part for someone else, maybe they can mention me and they can say that I was one of the factors for them becoming champion or succeeded in the sport, then I’ll be happy.”

“For me, the biggest thing is to leave a legacy, just to be remembered you know, because we’re just passengers in this world: you don’t know when your last day is. This sport is so great because it gives me the opportunity to be an inspiration for someone else, not just specifically in Mixed Martial Arts, but anything in life. It’s a challenge to train that hard. You also get criticised a lot, obviously, when you’re fighting a guy, and his fans are swearing at you at times, and a lot of people don’t believe that you can accomplish something. So it’s not just a physical battle in itself, but very mental. It’s the challenge that I love.”

“The thing that I enjoy the most, is when someone has been underestimated and they overcome, that’s the thing that I live for in life. I was once watching a show, America’s Got Talent or something like that, and this one guy walks up on stage, and he was a chicken farmer. Like a rough-looking kind of guy, and as soon as he started talking with his funny accent, everyone started laughing and judging him like a trailer-trash kind of guy. So when the judges see him, already in their minds they were like, ‘This guy can’t sing, he can’t do anything.’ Obviously everybody would expect him to fail. And then when he started to sing, it was so brilliant that every single person that had doubted him before just stood up and applauded him for that. That’s the thing I live for: when people say you can’t do it, and you’re not good enough, and you’re this or that, and you overcome.

“When people underestimate you, that’s when you must do everything possible that to show them that you can.”

Dining Hall dinners can’t be all that bad… Can they?

Dining hall dinners are the biggest challenge for the fussy eaters in Res. You can have chicken, or something whose name you don’t recognise… And more often than not, people will order anything, and just grab slices of bread to make a sandwich, or they will organise something in their room, like microwave pasta, 2 minute noodles, or take-aways. At least the lunches aren’t quite this bad.

This is a collection of most of the dinners I experience on our two week meal cycle.

Week 1

Chicken stew and dumpling (but actually it's just a ball of flavourless dough that apparently tastes ok if you add stuff to it)

Chicken stew and dumpling (but actually it’s just a ball of flavourless dough that apparently tastes ok if you add stuff to it)

Tuesday: Bean wrap (vegetarian option)

Tuesday: Bean wrap (vegetarian option)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday: One of the good ones: Grilled sirloin with cheesecake (some of the best we could know)

Wednesday: One of the good ones: Grilled sirloin with cheesecake (some of the best we could know)

Thursday: "Grilled chicken strips" with health bread (pretty darn good bread)

Thursday: “Grilled chicken strips” with health bread (pretty darn good bread)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday: roast chicken again

Friday: roast chicken again

Saturday: Chicken schnitzel. One of those meals that reminds me of home. Generally the rice is also done quite nicely as well

Saturday: Chicken schnitzel. One of those meals that reminds me of home. Generally the rice is also done quite nicely as well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday: tuna wraps with tomato and mozzarella cheese. This one is quite delicious if you like tuna

Sunday: tuna wraps with tomato and mozzarella cheese. This one is quite delicious if you like tuna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2

Monday: chicken stirfry (looks just like the grilled chicken strips, but ok) with a wrap and an apple crumble-type dessert

Monday: chicken stirfry (looks just like the grilled chicken strips, but ok) with a wrap and an apple crumble-type dessert

Tuesday: chicken curry. This was definitely on a bad day, not the most appetising piece of chicken I've seen

Tuesday: chicken curry. This was definitely on a bad day, not the most appetising piece of chicken I’ve seen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday: Sweet potatoes with grilled soya sausages (yes vegetarian option). It comes with chocolate mousse. This one is a good one, especially because you score some cheese with those protein-packed viennas

Wednesday: Sweet potatoes with grilled soya sausages (yes vegetarian option). It comes with chocolate mousse. This one is a good one, especially because you score some cheese with those protein-packed viennas

Saturday: Cape Malay style mutton curry. This can be a good meal, but one can be put off sometimes by the fatty or gristly bits that occasionally put a dampener on the meal

Saturday: Cape Malay style mutton curry. This can be a good meal, but one can be put off sometimes by the fatty or gristly bits that occasionally put a dampener on the meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday: Mexican enchiladas. Basically another vegetarian bean wrap. But hey: cheese is always a win

Sunday: Mexican enchiladas. Basically another vegetarian bean wrap. But hey: cheese is always a win

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2

I suppose when I look at it like this it really isn’t that bad… But the lunches are definitely better. I also feel that they really skimp on the vegetables. When I ask for lots of vegetables, I get a normal sized serving. When I ask for less rice, or a small amount of rice, they halve it, and I still end up getting served more than I would if I had dished it up myself. I only have a few more weeks in this town, not many more dinner cycles left. I will enjoy my last days here! The food isn’t bad enough to change that.

Also be warned that I need to review just about every restaurant in this town before that time is up, so much delicious content is on its way.

Classiest treats in Grahamstown

Haricot’s deli and bistro is definitely one of the classiest little cafés in town. Situated very near campus, right across the road from The Rat & Parrot, a local drinking hangout that makes truly fabulous pizza, Haricot’s provides the quaintest little treats and meals. However, for “sophistication” such as this, you really do pay rather heftily in some cases. I went there for a “first date” last year, and (apart from the school children who were out with their families) it was a really romantic venue to take someone for that kind of thing (where it really is a treat) It’s not all expensive, though, so a student can really make it work out for them.

Their cookies are delicious: chocolate and white chocolate chip. They go really well with the hot chocolate

Their cookies are delicious: chocolate and white chocolate chip. They go really well with the hot chocolate

Haricot’s makes the best hot chocolate in town, as far as I’ve had (and I have had quite a few). It’s really cosy in there, and I’ve decided that that’s where I like to get work done, if I feel like working in a coffee shop (which I do, of course). It is also a competitively priced hot chocolate.

I could really sit there all day working, so long as I had a steady stream of that fluffy, creamy goodness

I could really sit there all day working, so long as I had a steady stream of that fluffy, creamy goodness

I went there for breakfast with a friend of mine over the weekend. I had French toast, she had a croissant with jam and cheese. While her croissant was a fair bit smaller than my meal, it was about a third of the price.

More hot chocolate as we try decide from the numerous great options

More hot chocolate as we try decide from the numerous great options

Croissant with jam and cheese - note: it is smaller than it looks in the photo, but big enough

Croissant with jam and cheese – note: it is smaller than it looks in the photo, but big enough

They are also makers of wonderful different breads, which explains the unusual choice of bread in this French toast meal. It was also the first time I had maple syrup: I can't say I'm a fan as it tasted too much like plant (like tree bark or something)

They are also makers of wonderful different breads, which explains the unusual choice of bread in this French toast meal. It was also the first time I had maple syrup: I can’t say I’m a fan as it tasted too much like plant (like tree bark or something)

They do cake, of course. The cakes are pretty, sometimes they are extravagant, but all the time they are  really pricey. Granted, they are large slices, so maybe it works out well if you go there and share a slice with a friend. But when you’re paying the same price for one piece of cake as you are for a full take-away burger with large chips and a drink, you have to question your sweet tooth. I tend to stick to their cupcakes, which are more reasonably priced, and which are also really delicious.

Cutest and fluffiest little chocolate cupcakes

Cutest and fluffiest little chocolate cupcakes

The cupcake they have a solid reputation for, of course, is the red velvet cupcake, and it really is amazing. Make sure you get it fresh, otherwise the buttercream frosting (it tasted like buttercream more than cream cheese frosting, but I could possibly be wrong) will go a bit too hard, and their fresh frosting is light and fluffy and delicious, so don’t miss out.

This cupcake cheered me up after a very bleak morning today. Thank you, Red Velvet Cupcake, I love your fluffy sweetness

This cupcake cheered me up after a very bleak morning today. Thank you, Red Velvet Cupcake, I love your fluffy sweetness

Kettle baths and loads of laundry

(This post originally featured on my other blog, but I don’t post from there anymore)

The water supply was dodgy from Sunday lunchtime, something we became aware of as we were served our lunch on polystyrene plates with plastic knives and forks. This is becoming more and more of a problem, as it is now Wednesday, and we are still unable to flush our toilets, or have a shower.

Luckily, we have rainwater tanks behind our building. Unfortunately, it hasn’t rained in a few weeks, so this supply is dwindling as well (unsurprisingly, as it has to cater to the water needs of 73 girls), and our neighbouring building of 88 boys has run out of their rainwater supply completely, so I hear.

I had my first kettle bath yesterday. I am fortunate to have a sink in my room: I don’t know how I would feel about bathing from a sink in the bathroom where people come, do their business, and leave, unable to flush after themselves, and leaving a horrible smell behind them. You come into the building, and you are just hit by a wall of odours, emanating from bodies who, like me, have been unable to shower as often as they might have, and who, apparently, don’t know how to fill up a bucket of water to flush the toilet after themselves. It is severely unpleasant.

This morning I decided the kettle bath wouldn’t work for me, so I went down to the gym where there was rumoured to be water. Apparently I was not the only one to have heard such rumours: the change rooms, which are normally otherwise fairly empty at 6:30 am, was full, the floors wet, as ladies endured harsh conditions. My shower was brief: it was cold, with little water pressure (a huge disappointment, as the gym pressure is normally exceptionally good). One of the showers was blocked, verging on flooding. But I got to wash my hair, and my whole body. I now wait with anticipation for the water to come back, dreading the possibility of it not returning before my Spinning class that I have to instruct later today (the uniform for which I have to wash by hand, again).

My laundry is piling up: it was my intention to do laundry the other afternoon. I could have done it in the morning, but I was procrastinating. “It’s fine, I’ll do it this afternoon!” I had thought. I will never put off doing my laundry again: I am nearly down to my last set of underwear, and I am running out of laundry “shelf” space (the laundry basket was full a very long time ago).

Hold thumbs that pressure returns the water to us on the hill soon, and I am able to clean myself before I return home on Friday: we wouldn’t want my mother thinking I am unable to look after myself at university.