Catching Up Before Leaving Again

1 Jan

Less than three weeks ago, I was in California; and on Thursday morning, I’ll arrive in England. Over 6,000 miles of traveling in only three weeks. It’s a little overwhelming. My winter ‘break’ hasn’t exactly been the respite I would have liked it to be, given the hectic side of the holidays and the anxiety of getting ready for studying abroad. I barely finished unpacking my suitcase and now I have to repack.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of my Christmas vacation was the fact that I didn’t get my Wii on Christmas. It’s not entirely my parents’ fault…they tried, but they also trusted that the local Wal-Mart would have it in time. So instead of opening my Wii on its release date like the loyal Nintendo fanboy in me wanted to, I may not even be able to open it until the end of June when I return from England (unless I fly home for part of spring break, but that is still up in the air).

Making the lack of a Wii slightly worse is the fact that I got three games for Christmas (Zelda, Red Steel, and Call of Duty 3, if you’re interested). Granted, I wouldn’t have had much time to play them anyway. Besides, I still have a bunch of games on GameCube, PC, and Game Boy that have remained unfinished for years…whether it’s my Yankee aversion to wastefulness, or a mild case of OCD, I’m stressed out by the fact that I have all these unfinished games. Moreover, I really want to catch up on all the games I’ve missed over the past couple years…and I need a bloody DS, too.

My gaming woes aside, I have enjoyed being back in New England and out of Los Angeles. I’m always taken aback by the incredible peacefulness here when I return, especially during winter. While the temperatures have been above average for this time of year (whether it’s global warming, El Niño, or a natural climate fluctuation, I don’t like it), at least we’ve gotten some snow. The other day, I hiked up to Inspiration Point to take in the view of Bristol in wintertime. The snow-covered forest was so peaceful, and the only other footprints on the steep path were from animals. Quite a contrast from LA.

Anyway, I now have in my possession a photograph of Bristol as seen from Inspiration Point in three different seasons:

Summer:

Fall:

Winter:

Everything seems to make more sense when you can experience the changing seasons. Now I just need a photo in springtime…

I also filmed downtown Bristol the day after Christmas while riding in Brynie’s car…a short video that I decided to put on youtube for no good reason. Anyway, you can watch it here:

Bristol, New Hampshire

I regret not being able to get a video of the town centre before Christmas at night, with all the lights. It’s always beautiful, but also difficult to capture on film (or…digital…-ness…). Also, with the leaves gone, I can see the house lights across the lake at night (provided there’s no fog), which is a very lovely and comforting sight.

I think the lake is usually at least partially frozen by this time of year, but due to the above average temperatures, it’s still blue and watery at the moment. A comparison of a photo taken in May with one taken recently does show the stark contrast between late spring and early winter, however:

See here for more photos of Bristol.

Of the many various projects that I intended to work on during this brief vacation, one of the few at which I succeded was scanning some of my old photos into digital form. Although I still can’t find some pictures, I’ve compiled an album dedicated entirely to “le petit Grégoire,” which you can see here. I also came across some old souvenirs from my elementary school days… I’d like to eventually scan all of that someday for posterity’s sake, although digitizing everything would be rather time-consuming. And time is clearly something I need more of.

I was also hoping to transfer our (cassette) home videos to a computer, especially the geocaching footage from last summer, but I’ve yet to find an easy way to do this without completely eating up hard drive space. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. Hopefully, the AP French movie from last year will be put on DVD tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

At the moment, I’m just anxious about England. I’m worried about getting all my stuff together, making sure I don’t forget anything, and then settling in smoothly once I’m there. And I’m worried about my courses, too, of course (no pun intended). I’m sure the anxiety will pass with time, but it seems like it may be having a physical effect on me as well. I’m feeling slightly ill, maybe even mildly depressed…just generally not well. I can’t wait to be in the UK, I’m just stressing out over the details, as usual.

I’ve been kind of irritable and tired…I didn’t even watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. I just lay in my bed. I hope I don’t have an actual medical condition (which would be the last thing I’d need before going overseas)… I was worried because I had a terrible back pain the other day, but I think it was because I accidentally slept on my remote control.

Things are looking up for 2007. 2006 started off ok…I had my favourite college classes yet in the beginning of the year, and I got to see Les Mis in Boston for my birthday, but then I hit a major, serious low point. However, I recovered more quickly than I expected and the middle of the year was great — definitely the best summer in years. The return to school was another curve downward, and the end part of the year was just stressful and generally crappy.

However, 2007 is looking to be the best year in a long time. Provided the world doesn’t blow itself up or anything.

As one last hourrah before I leave for Old England, I’ve made a symphonic-like youtube tribute to New England:

New England the Beautiful

In the coming months, my focus will shift from New England to Old England and Europe in general, which will necessitate the creation of one or two new blog categories (for those of you who actually read this on wordpress). My next update will indeed be from across the pond.

Bonne année à tous.

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2 Responses to “Catching Up Before Leaving Again”

  1. SquamLoon 2 January 2007 at 09:20 #

    Ne sois pas déprimé mon pote — t’as l’Europe qui t’attend!

    Et pour quand la région te manquera, je te passe ce lien à mes photos:

    http://www.flickr.com/gp/82117239@N00/427m4t

    Be happy.

  2. botogol 20 January 2007 at 06:05 #

    SNAP!

    Have a good time in England. Don’t catch any buses

    http://www.blog.greenideas.com/2007/01/on-clapham-omnibus-yes-really.html

    Good pics by the way.

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