Friday, March 29, 2013

Torpids - Rowing on the River

Back in February, it was torpids season in Oxford, and all anyone could talk about for over a week was rowing. Seriously.

Torpids is a kind of rowing race where the whole purpose is to bump the boat ahead of you. If you bump the boat ahead or their cox concedes  then you stop rowing and quickly get off to the side so everyone else can keep in the race. That is a very basic, bare bones explanation from someone who most definitely does NOT row. But, I have friends who do, so I wrapped up and went down to the river to watch.

St Cross doesn't have it's own boat house/team - instead, we share with Wolfson, our sister college. Wolfson has the money and facilities, so it's technically Wolfson Boat Club, but the members are split almost 50/50 between St Cross and Wolfson. Lindsay and Roos row on the Women's 2 boat, and Mike rows for Men's 1.

Torpids went on for a solid week, but I only managed to get out the last weekend for the final races (thanks homework, spoiling my fun). I don't know anything about rowing, but anyone who knows me knows that I get insanely competitive, especially when I'm not actually participating. Seriously, I am awful during the Olympics, yelling at the TV and being ridiculously patriotic. So of course, this promptly extended to watching torpids. GO WOLFSON!!!

There are a short list of colleges that I hate on principle, so I of course wanted Wolfson to kick their asses, despite the fact that Wolfson wasn't actually chasing their boats. Whoops, next time then.

Izzy did NOT want to be photographed.
A St Cross blade on one of the Wolfson boats.




The W2 boat (with Roos and Lindsay) "rowed over" both days, meaning that they didn't bump anyone but also didn't get bumped themselves, so they stayed in the same position. Izzy and I met up with Lindsay and Roos to cheer on Mike and M1.

England, sometimes you are really lovely.

Just around the river bend...

M1 also did well! They were bumped on Friday (a rather contested and controversial call), and rowed over on Saturday.

Since it's Easter hols all the rowing chatter has died down a bit, but at the end of next term, it'll all spark up again for Summer Eights, which is apparently the same basic rules but both boats, the bumper and bumpee, have to stop rowing. At least the weather will be much nicer then - time to break out the Pimm's! I'm really looking forward to Summer Eights because I think it'll be the closest I can get to tailgating in England. And I really love me some tailgating. 

The famous Oxford-Cambridge boat race is this Sunday. I"ll be sporting dark blue to cheer on Oxford! Which blue are you?

Jane xx

Benefit Makeover

Before I begin, yes, these next couple posts are just me playing catch up, but hey! better late than never is pretty much my life motto.

Way back when, I purchased something at the Benefit counter in my local Boots (their Brow Zing! kit if you're wondering), and the lovely saleswoman invited me to bring a friend and get our make up done. So I dragged my friend Mary out in the freezing cold with the promise of professionally done make up and a good ol' G&D's bagel and latte afterwards. I can always win Mary over if there's a G&D's bagel and latte waiting at the end (get the cream cheese with chives, you won't regret it. We're addicted).

Before this, I'll admit that I hadn't really used Benefit make up, and didn't know much about the Brand at all. My mind automatically associated Benefit with their Bad Gal Lash mascara (with which I was seriously obsessed for a period of time), but I couldn't name you any other product of theirs. However, after our little make overs, I was really impressed and have since cultivated a mini-Benefit collection of my own.

First off, the Benefit counter is so brightly colored and fun. Music is always blasted from speakers under the display stands ("Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus!!), and it's so indicative of Benefit - young and fun. Definitely not boring or dull like other high end make up counters.

I was really impressed by this foundation - felt like I wasn't wearing any, but gave great coverage.
Action shot!

A really lovely girl named Robyn did our make up, and we both wanted more neutral looks that incorporated a bit of color. We were really pleased with the results!

Since our little make overs, I've definitely paid more attention to Benefit as a brand. I'm becoming such a fan of their box blushes - I have Sugarbomb and Bella Bamba, and end up using either one most days. Plus the Brow Zing! kit is just amazing.

If you're in the UK, you can buy Benefit products at Boots and Debenham's, and in the States you can buy it from Sephora and Ulta.

I know this was a total detour from my usual blog posts - nothing explicitly Oxford or England related, but I think it's fun and well, I don't always have blogworthy things to say about Oxford/England. Sometimes it's just boring and cold here. Not exactly exciting blog fodder. So, yeah, I think that, as I've said before, this is going to become more of a lifestyle blog, especially in terms of content. Hope y'all still enjoy!

As always, if there's anything you want to know about, let me know!

Jane xx

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Are You Blogging or Not?!

Remember a month ago, when I said I was going to get back on track with this blog and post lots of interesting stuff, and generally be a lot better about updating this thing?

Yeah, I know. I know.

But the thing is, it's now the end of 8th week here and things are getting tense. I'm tense. I have a massive essay due Monday and a blank Word document silently judging me. My motivation is at an all time low, and my stress level at an all time high. You see my problem.

I do have so much to write about, I promise! 1D and make overs and boat races, oh my! I have lots to say and will say it, just bear with me until I have the time to do so.

I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't totally fallen off the bandwagon again - but until this essay is turned in, I won't even pretend like there will be updates. So just, hold tight for a few more days (you've already waited this long, amiright?) and I'll have some fun stuff coming.

If I survive, that is.

Jane xx