I hope it's not too late but congratulations on $12+ million raised for THON 2013 FTK!!!! I knew Penn State would top last year's total. But surpassing it for nearly $2 million? That was beyond my expectation. I am incredibly proud of every single individual who has dedicated their time, energy and resources to this great cause.
Shout out to everyone who has donated even a penny, stood on street corners for hours with cans, bought one shirt or raffle ticket, ran booths, doing the PR work, danced for 46 hours, supported the dancers in every way possible, delivered live news coverage (yay for College of Communications), and/or wished us good luck.
I wasn't able to be there in person but I was thinking of THON at all times over the last weekend, asleep or awake. It has inspired me to be more involved next time. The #1 item on my senior year bucket list is to be in BJC for the THON finale. I have only been able to watch the last 3 finales on my computer but I definitely want to see it in person.
This past week has been a very eventful one, considering how much of a homebody I am.
On Sunday during the THON weekend, fellow Penn Stater and fashionista, Fuli, invited me to go to Clerkenwell for apparently the biggest, most extravagant vintage fashion fair. The overall quality was nice, but a lot of the items were way over my budget. It was quite a journey from Central London but it was fun to look at things and hear stories about the pieces from the sellers. The Clerkenwell fair is a monthly event and the admission is 2 pounds with a valid student id.
On Tuesday, I went to visit Fuli, who was helping with running a booth at the Design Marketplace fashion fair and a Forest Hill Fashion Week catwalk show nearby. Unlike the name suggests, it was a very cozy, at-home-y experience. Forest Hill seems to be an area where up-and-coming fashion and interior designers and artists establish their ateliers/studios/workshops/shops. It is a quirky area to explore but unfortunately I may not be frequenting here because of the lack of options for transportation.
Then later that night the heating system in my dorm building broke down--again. It was my second time not having hot water for more than 10 hours. I had no other choice but postpone a shower until next morning, thinking hot water would come back soon since it is quite usual that the water does not heat up when it's past certain times at night.
Wrong. By the time I woke up in the morning, the whole room was cold. I waited for hours upon hours until noon for hot water to no avail. I decided to use a random gym's shower. I couldn't wait any longer because later on that day, I was supposed to be meeting up with a recent Penn State and Belly Dance Club alum, Katie, for a trip to Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio. When I rang a nearby gym on Baker Street, the representative said I would have to pay 20 pounds for a one-time access to the facility. I grabbed a 20-pound bank note, toiletries and change of clothing and rushed to the nearest shower. But when I got there and explained my situation, they let me in for free. I don't know when exactly it was fixed.
The heating incident aside, Wednesday couldn't be more magical! Katie and I decided to meet each other at Euston railway station but neither of us could text each other because of the bad signal. But we were able to find each other in the crowded station and got to the studio with no hassle at all. It was wonderful catching up on what happened recently after the last time we saw each other. She seems to be having a somewhat relaxing time after her graduation in December, traveling around in Europe and visiting old friends in State College.
The studio tour took us through the actual sets and props used during the filming of all 8 movies and live reenactment of iconic scenes (dueling with a Death Eater, anyone?). The tickets are on the pricey side, but I would recommend this to anyone who considers themselves to be hardcore Harry Potter fans. If you have read all of the books, seen all the movies and liked them, it is worth a visit. This is the place to be if you can name most of the members of the Order of Phoenix, the main Death Eaters, and/or Dumbledore's Army, can recite more than 5 spells, know more than 5 magical creatures besides wizards and witches and have a particular House to pledge your allegiance to. Try to have a taste of butter beer while you're there too (someone told me after I came back about this)! There are so many photo opportunities so don't forget to bring your fully-charged-and-ready-to-shoot cameras!
I think I had never spent more money in one day before London Fashion Weekend rolled around. It was the fanciest, blingy-est and most glamorous event I have attended besides the LOFT x Marie Claire College Front Row Challenge catwalk show in Fall 2011. The spring/summer catwalk was full of striking color combinations (splashes of neon against neutral backdrops) but at the same time versatile and wearable. The shirts, dresses, jackets and jumpsuits were all breezy, effortless and not over-the-top costume-y.
Before the catwalk show started, Fuli, her friend Mariya and I explored the shopping stalls. Many of the items on display were very costly, with three-digit numbers in GBP being the norm, but there were occasional grab-any-for-£5 jewelry deals. The price range for the scarves was bearable. I dished out what is about a little over $100 (oops) on the goodie bag, a shiny new Kate Sheridan backpack, a few baked goodies and dinner at a posh Turkish restaurant nearby. Uh oh. I hope having lived as frugally as humanly possible my entire college life up until this semester will justify this. I really do. From now on I will try to live as cheaply as possible until Easter/spring break because I will need money for traveling.
Thank you for reading! I hope you'll have a nice day :)
P.S. I will try to post pictures as soon as possible!