Gees, it’s been so hectic here I’ve barely had a chance to write everything up!  I have luckily managed to keep a wee diary of what’s going on so I don’t forget anything.  I won’t bore you with everything but here’s a wee bit of what happened in November…

16th November 09

Yep, it’s mid-term time and things are fairly frantic here!  In between galavanting to My Canadian friends all feel the same though and apparently Queen’s I thought it might just be me who feels like they’re doing the doggy-paddle trying to keep up with everything, but all my Canadian friends say they feel the same way.  I’ve been told that Queen’s is notorious for working you hard.  It’s not too bad, it’s not the difficulty of the work, just the workload.  And the good thing there is that the assignments are actually enjoyable since my classes are so interesting.  It’s still really cool to be taking different classes to back home!  Something about being on exchange makes it more fun J lol.  And the other thing is, I’m cramming my work in during the weeks so I can go away in the weekends every now and again, so I kinda get a reward at the end of it all!  It all sort of builds up at this point, but once I’ve got the script for the play me and a partner wrote written and handed in by Thursday, I’ll get a wee rest before exams and final assignments!  Yeeey.

I managed to get to Montreal a few weeks ago which was sooooo beautiful, it was mid-Autumn (or ‘fall’ as they call it here), and we went through ‘Parc de Mont Royale’.  We didn’t have a map so just trailed through the woods for ages amongst the beautiful multicoloured trees and leaves, we had SO much fun!  There’s a lovely lake there, too.  Montreal also has an old town area filled with georgeous wee shops and restaurants, it’s quite like a historical village in the south of France, I’d definitely recommend it.

Weather-wise, it was absolutely BALTIC about 5 weeks ago when I was really, really unprepared, because of course I’d only brought summer clothes with me in my little suitcase and didn’t expect it to get cold so quickly!  It warmed up again after that though and I’ve been going around in jeans and a sweater.  Oh, and I went to one of my Canadian friend’s the week before Halloween (which, by the way, is a MASSIVE deal here, it’s like every house and shop exploded with Halloween).  We went to Wonderland for ‘Fear Fest’ which is a Halloween festival at this theme park which has the biggest rollercoaster in Canada!  That was a really cool experience, and since it was late at night it was also very spooky!  AND I CROSSED INTO AMERICA!!  Ok, it was very exciting for me, we crossed the border when my Canadian friend’s family took another French exchange student and I passed Niagra Falls into New York state for the morning.  We went shopping in Marshalls (which is like the US equivalent of TKMaxx) and I got all kitted out for winter after the little freezing spell!  Won’t be caught out like that with all the gear I got, I’m decked out in a ski jacket, sallapettes (‘ski pants’ here), a kind of mountie-hat and a pair of ski-goggles for when I get to take advantage of the mountains when it snows.  I may look like a giant puff-ball, but I’ll be warm!

Haloween weekend was great fun too, basically the night before Halloween is as big as the night itself, and the NEWTS (exchange and transfer students group I spent freshers week with) guys had a party so we could have a massive reunion, so that was great fun.

I have to say actually, that a major reason for me managing to have a balance between work and fun is joining the Outdoors Club.  They offer a huge variety of outdoors activities and opportunities.  They sometimes even do multiple trips in the weekends to cater for everyone’s interests so they’ve offered kayaking trips to Wolfe Island, Thousand Islands, ice-breaking canoeing, a hiking and camping trip, a wine trip to Prince Edward County (which also included going to a cheese factory which sold maple cheese – sounds gross but was soooo good!) and I’ve just come back from a Wilderness and Remote First Aid trip run by the red cross where I received a first aid certificate!

Ah well, that’s enough info for now, I’m just off with some friends to see a Queen’s football game – woo hoo!  Hopefully I’ll catch a spare minute to update sometime soon J


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