International food evening

Pictures from yesterday's food eve at school. I was SO full. Good food, and wonderful desserts!

Fish and chips with good people

I've had another wonderful evening. This time with my lifegroup. Oh wow, I am going to miss them. Big time. We went to Exmouth, bought fish and chips (only chips for me since I'd had dinner) and drove down to the beach. The weather was lovely, just perfect.

Guys, you're wonderful. Thank you for everything. I'll come back soon, for sure! Don't worry!

Best pub night ever

This is how it looked like when we went to 'The Imperial' yesterday for a pub night. Last one for me. A great, great evening.

The very last week in Exeter

The last Sunday is gone, the last Monday, the last pub night, and tonight: the last life group. We're going to Exmouth beach to eat chips and just hang out. So looking forward to it, although I will be very sad saying goodbye to all my friends from church.

Other plans this week are: International food eve tomorrow, meet Jess one last time on Thu, go to Sidmouth Fri afternoon, and a last eve with the friends from school! And then leave on Sat afternoon. You see, the week will be gone before I know it.

I have mixed feelings. It feels weird, sad and good at the same time.


Goodbye Toby!

Yesterday was my last Saturday in Exeter, which meant my last trip with 'Toby Tours'. This is Toby's minibus that I've been travelling with almost every Saturday since in the beginning of March.

Yesterday, we went to
Dartmouth and Salcombe. Salcombe was a pretty town with nice shops and a beautiful view of the sea.


We stopped by Torcross on our way to Salcombe. It was worth driving on winding roads to get here. The view from the minibus was s t u n n i n g.

Just look at the old couple. I get really dreamy when I see old couples. Can't help it. Isn't it beautiful?



And a few things I bought :)

A young castle

A nice afternoon like this, a trip to the village Chagford and Castle Drogo was perfect.


By Castle Drogo

This view over Dartmoor took my breath away. The pictures can't show what I experienced. It was a m a z i n g.

This castle is England's newest castle, only 100 years old, and it kinda looked like a prison from the outside, to be honest, just because it's quite modern. But the view, the atmosphere and the garden made me more dreamy than ever. To sit in the grass, sunbathing and looking out over the moor: that was an unforgettable moment.

The garden

I think my new favourite flower must be rhododendron.

Buona sera!

Yesterday, lots of people from the school went to the Italian restaurant Carluccio's for a last party for Angelo, who's leaving tomorrow. It was a nice eve! :)

Laura and me

Laura, Angelo and me.

The life of a dreamer

In my mind, I have my own rooms of imagination, where I go when I'm dreamy, sad, happy or just have too many thoughts. Some of them are connected to nostalgia, like childhood memories. Some seem to be from bedtime stories, foreign, fairytale-like places. And some are totally made-up places, filled with so much joy and beauty that I can impossibly describe it for you. These shelters of my mind help me flee the reality when I need it. Sometimes I have to read a book or listen to specific music, but somewhere outside. In the sun, on a walk, on a field, in the woods. Wherever the beauty is.


I think few people really understand this part of me. It is incredibly difficult to explain all this without sounding like a freak, so I usually just describe myself as a 'dreamer', which still is a bit confusing for some people.


Obviously, this dreamy personality causes some changes in my mood. Both good and bad. And when the sad, depressed or dramatic feelings take over... well, then I am sorry to announce that I allow myself to stay in that mood for a few hours, or a whole day. It may sound pessimistic, but let me then tell you that Anne of Green Gables and I think alike. She says in one of the episodes: ”I don't want to cheer up, I'll rather be miserable.” And I am sorry to tell you that I sometimes can relate to that.


Whereas in times of happy dreaming, my heart overflows with love and joy!


Lucky me

I am so lucky. I should not forget that. Do you want me to explain why?

Well. I thought about it today, and realised how easily I can forget about all the good things around me. It's so easy to start being tired and used to things, and to start thinking "it's not very special". But you know, I mustn't think that. Let me give som examples:
- My school is great. People like my hostmum says that they've never heard anyone complain about the school or the teachers. And I can just agree. I've improved my English a lot, and I've been much more confident in speaking it!
- My hostfamily is amazing. It's like living in a hotel, and my hostmum is really sweet. Former students have asked to come back to this family because they've liked it so much. How wonderful isn't that?
- And last but not least, the church. I've felt so incredibly welcomed by this people, and I've enjoyed the services and the life group so much. Wouldn't have been the same at all without it.

And on top of that, all the wonderful trips I've had the chance to go on. Have to pinch my arm now and then, or look back at the pictures to really believe I've been to all those places. It's easy to start believing you're dreaming!

So, naturally I am going to miss all this, whilst I'm at the same time looking forward to going back to Sweden!

Summer flowers and black swans

The weekend passed by very quickly. I guess time flies when you're having fun?

Anyway. My parents came to visit, as I said. On Saturday we went shopping in city centre (my parents are good at shopping, I promise you!) and went on an afternoon trip to Killerton House. They loved it as much as I did the first time!

(The house in the background is not Killerton House, if you're wondering. It's another house nearby)

Midsummer flowers. Wonderful!!

Can you see they're already overblown? And it's in the middle of May! I'll have had a long spring this year. Coming to England in March and see everything's blooming, to later on return to Sweden just in time to see everything start blooming there! :)

In the evening, we went to a lovely Italian restaurant, Zizzi.


After breakfast, we made the decision to go to Powderham Castle, where I've never been before actually. Just been nearby! It was indeed a lovely experience, and just the right thing to do with my parents! (At least my mum, haha)

Powderham Castle

And an absolutely beautiful deer park! SO many deers!

Lunch and coffee after a guided tour through the castle!

The gorgeous rose garden. Smelled soo goood.

After that, we went down to Dawlish, spontaneously, to see the black swans... :)

In the eve, I took my parents to the church I'm attending, and I actually shared my testimony that evening.

Thank you so much for this weekend, mum and dad! I really enjoyed it! <3

Parents are visiting

Mum and dad arrived to Exeter today, and will stay here until Monday morning! It feels so strange to welcome my parents into this life, that is completely different from the life i had in Sweden. But it's so great to see them. To laugh at their silly comments and jokes. To be embraced and loved by people who know me within and without.

A very special feeling, and probably the most important feeling for me right now, is to notice and know that I have changed. And to see that my parents notice it as well. They should see it, if anyone, since I usually live under the same roof as them.

Anyway. Today, I showed them my school (even the inside of it!) and my room. We had cream tea, and as the wired family we are, all of us had to take pictures of each other and publish on Twitter ;). Returned to their hotel to relax, and then to finish the day with a meal in one of my fav pubs - The White Hart. In between, we talked more than ever, about everything. Pics tomorrow!

Tomorrow, we'll be going to city centre after I'll have joined them for breakfast, and eventually take the car to
Killerton House in the arvo. It'll either way be another lovely day!

Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul

I'm all at sea
Where no-one can bother me
Forgot my roots
If only for a day
Just me and my thoughts sailing far away

Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to
All at sea

Now I need you more than ever, I need you more than ever, now
You don't need it every day
But sometimes don't you just crave
To disappear within your mind
You never know what you might find

So come and spend some time with me
We will spend it all at sea
Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to
All at sea

Let me go home

I think we should call it a countdown.

It is strange how the mind kinda gets used to the fact that I'm leaving England soon. It prepares me, and I can't help but start counting the days. I've been enjoying every minute from my first day here, but now, I just feel finished with this. I've learnt what I was supposed to learn, and I've experienced the things I needed. Now, I just want to go home.

I do look forward to the weekend though. I will have my mum and dad over to visit me from Friday to Sunday. It will be nice showing them Exeter, and it's a perfect time for it, because I am sure I'll be reminded of how lovely everything is here, and how much I know I am going to miss it as soon as I've come back to Sweden.

To sum this up, I'll give you
the song I've listened to the whole day today.

She & Him

New blog design

It was definitely time for a new blog design! New background, new header and some new colours! Might change it a little bit more when I have time :)

The day I saw a shark for the first time in my life

After a night out with a few friends yesterday (Saturday), I was totally knackered this morning. But I'd payed for going on the trip to St Michael's Mount and St Ives today, so I hadn't any choice really. 'Up you go, and be ready for a looong day!' I told myself. Luckily, I slept like a baby almost the whole way to East Cornwall (approx 2 h 15 mins).

(Historically, St Michael's Mount was a Cornish counterpart of
Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France, when it was given to the Benedictines, religious order of Mont Saint-Michel, by Edward the Confessor in the 11th century.)

Aaaand, I've been to that Mont Saint-Michel in France! :) Anyway. Pictures!

Notice: high tide. We had to go there by boat, while on our way back, we were able to walk on a path that earlier was hidden under the water!

One of the highlights of the day was definitely this. A basking shark floating around near our boat. Look closely and see how huge it is! The long black shadow under the water. So cool!

From the castle, we saw Land's End.

And there's the footpath from the castle. The water disappears quickly!

The tide was still a bit high though, so we had to take off our shoes to not get too wet. I have to inform you that the water was freeeeezing.

Only for my dear brother-in-law Joann. Kite surfing!

After St Michael's Mount, we continued to St Ives. A pretty town on the other side of the coast. We walked around and up to the hill. I've never been to a more windy place in my life. The birds were not able to fly! They just blew away! :)

3 weeks left

You know what? I have three short weeks left in England.

In 9 weeks I have:
- been to 22 places outside of Exeter
- eaten around 60 small packs of crisps (one every day in my lunchbox)
- met 24 different nationalities
- walked at least 320 miles (200 svenska mil)
- had around 12 different host sisters

The most important thing though, is that I've changed SO much since I came here. You can't even imagine the experiences I've had, fantastic as well as tough, but I don't regret these months a bit. To get away from home, be forced to become independent, and accept the fact that I actually can't lean on anyone, is something I needed so badly. I'm feeling free, I'm feeling renewed, and I'm feeling good. I thank God for placing me here, for giving me courage and strength, for believing in my ability to do this, and for having patient with me. No way I would be the person I am if it weren't for him. Words are not enough to describe my thankfulness.

No boundaries

God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
There are no boundaries to his greatness!
Psalm 145:3

The moment I wake up

Forever good. Especially tonight. It's been a 60's music's night.

Dinner, Settlers and Swedish cake at Simone's

People: Tom, Simone, Olivia
When: Yesterday
Where: Simone's new flat
What: Swiss meal "Raclette" and a cake I made from one of my mum's delicious recipes
How: Settlers and laughter

Polzeath and Tintagel - King Arthur's birthplace

In England, they have so called "Bank Holidays", which just basically means a public holiday = a day off. The first Monday in May for example. That's why we went to Polzeath and Tintagel today. A nice day indeed!

First, we went to Polzeath, a town by the seaside. The town itself wasn't the main reason we went there, but for the wonderful view from the footpath by the seaside! But oh dear, it was SO windy. I almost blew away, for real! It wasn't cold though, and the view was worth the 2 hours walk!

After that, we continued to see the ruins of King Arthur's castle, where he was born and grew up. It was not really how I expected it to be, but I wasn't disappointed either! The ruins of the castle were on an island with two parts. Between, there were steps and bridges. It was a stunning view, and a really cool place!

Time for school tomorrow again, after a looong weekend. See ya!

Pudding in Topsham

Yesterday, the weather here was quite unreliable, so me, Tom and Simone decided to go to Topsham! Topsham is a small village just 10 mins by car from Exeter. A pretty place with a few really picturesque streets.

We went to an old pub to get something to eat!

Simone and Tom ordered some scary food - small fishes, look! Uuh ;) Since I'd had dinner before, I decided to try out an English pudding for the first time! Stodgy I tell you, but good!!!

There were some really beautiful houses in Topsham. But incredibly expensive!

Hello Oxford!

I've been to Oxford today! WOHO! :) When I decided to come to England, I actually chose between Oxford and Exeter. The reason I chose Exeter was partly because of the prices. Much more expensive in Oxford.

Anyway. Oxford met my expectations. I loved the city and its lovely atmosphere! I walked around all day by myself, which I actually prefer when it comes to visiting new places. No rush. Take your time.

To walk up to St. Mary the Virgin's tower was the first thing I did, to get a nice view of the city. Look at all the old buildings: those are colleges or universities.

And then I walked down to Christ Church College, the most famous college in Oxford. The scenes for the first two Harry Potter films were shot at Christ Church (The Dining Hall), and the author Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice's adventures in Wonderland, was a mathematician here and became inspired to write the books inside the college and outside, in "Christ Church Meadow".

Beautiful, isn't it? Imagine the atmosphere!

The Thames!

On the opposite street of CCC, I found this Alice shop, where I bought some cute Alice in Wonderland stuff!

The famous Dining Hall! Very touristy... but cool! Imagine being a student here and have lunch in this hall every day! Luxury!

Radcliffe Camera - a "reading room" for the Bodleian. Only smart people may enter..

Lincoln College

Bodleian Library - the oldest library in the world with over 3 million books!

I took lots of other pics, but they are too many to upload here. For you in Sweden who are interested, I'll show you when I come back! Anyway, the last place I went to visit was one of the best things of the day. I went to "The Eagle and the Child", which is the pub where J.R.R Tolkien, CS Lewis and co gathered every Tuesday for many years, to talk about their books over a pint! Such a wonderful atmosphere in there. Wow.

"C.S Lewis, his brother W.H Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Charles Williams and other friends met every Tuesday morning, between the years 1939-1962 in the back room of this their favourite pub. These men, popularly known as the "Inklings", met here to drink Beer and to discuss, among other things, the books they were writing."

A PERFECT DAY! Now I'm totally knackered, and it's late. Off to bed!