Bernie on Tour

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

New fridge and first snow?

Today we've got a new fridge because our old one refused to do its job any longer. The new one is bigger! I've never thought that I might be that happy because of a new fridge. But I think everyone who has ever shared a fridge amongst six people knows the reason. Let's see how long this feeling lasts. I'm afraid everyone will just buy more stuff and in a few days it will be the same mess as it has been before ;-(

So it seems like we've got more ice in our kitchen than outside. In Scottland and Wales there is lots of snow - and it seems like they guys up there are not used to driving their cars when there is snow ;-) But down here in Oxford there is absolutely nothing. Some guys told me about some snow yesterday. I actually didn't see any...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Igor + Christina visiting Oxford

Today our friend Igor (another student from Linz) and his girlfriend Christina were visiting us. We went to the city centre with them in order to show them some of the most famous buildings in Oxford. Afterwards we went to our flat and had dinner together. After having one or two glasses of red wine it turned out to become quite a nice evening. We really enjoyed ourselves - but as a matter of privacy I won't reviel anything about the things we were talking about. I thing some guys (Jakob?) will prefer some details not to be mentioned ;-)


@igor+christina: I'm really looking forward to seeing you in London or finally at "Christkindlmarkt".

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Warwick Castle + Stratford upon Avon

Today we went on a trip to Warwick Castle and to Stratford upon Avon where Shakespeare was born. This means that we got up at a time where every reasonable human being is still asleep (7:00 on a Saturday!!!). A few hours later (10:00am) we arrived at Warwick Castle after hearing some historical facts about it on the bus. It was around Warwick where the English finally managed to retain the Vikings from capturing the south of England. Inside the castle we could see loads of waxworks by Madame Tussauds that showed some aspects of life in the middle ages. "Some aspects" because they had nice figures of the Churchill family and soldiers preparing for battles on the one hand, but on the other hand there were no figures in the dungeon or the torture chamber.

After freezing for 3 hours (if finally got f***in' cold in England as well) we got onto the worm bus again and went on to Stratford upon Avon. I don't really like all these typical "tourist-photos" but I've included one to proove that we do have visited the house where Shakespear was born in 1564. (I hope my parents will be proud of my cultural engagement ;-))

It was in Stratford as well where we spotted the "Red onion marmelade" you can see in the picture. I looked it up on the Internet thinking that "red onion" is the special name for something at least slightly different from onion. But they indeed seem to have marmelade with onion and vinigar - a fact that (again) prooves that god must have overlooked the English when he gave the sense of tast to human beings ;-)

So after all it was quite a nice trip that finally lead us to our favourite pub in the city centre.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Trip to Reading

Today I went to Reading. Since I was offered to go there I was interested in what the Uni there looks like. And I have to admit that I´ve been impressed. Whereas in Oxford all the students and buildings are spread over the whole city the Uni in Reading looks like a little village on its own. There are lots of signposts that show where the buildings for the different subjects are. And they offer many of them! (in the photo you can see the computer science building)

But when I went there I was confirmed in my opinion that the English go mad as soon as regulations are concerned: I went to Reading by train. And when I wanted to go off the train the doors did not open. After a few minutes the "train-manager" - as he called himself - told us, that the doors won´t open at all. WHY? Because the train had 9 carriages and the platform where it was standing was only long enough for 6 or 7. So instead of just opening all those doors that where accessable via the platform they wanted to move the train to anoterh platform!!! But after about 10 or even 15 minutes they realised that there was no other platform available due to regular traffic. So they finally did the only reasonable thing an opened all the doors except those of the last two carriages. So we were finally released ;-)


Saturday, November 19, 2005

It´s high time to post some new again. But I`m afraid there is not very much to tell. On Wednesday we went to Fobar once more. Fobar is one of the two students' parties that take place every week (The second one is every Saturday).

On Friday I had to give a short presentation in my engish class and Iam very glad that this is done. Because now there is only very little work todoy within the next three weeks. Well and after this three weeks there are some exams but I guess they won´t be that hard.

Yesterday in the evening we were at Bubbly's again. This is an arabic style cocktail bar. A guy from our english class who is from Jemen told us about it and it seems like this may become the regular place to go out for the people from this class.

I heard that there is already some snow in Austria. Here we had frost the last two nights - but there are still all the leaves on the trees so it doesn´t look like winter at all. We have talked to the enlish guys about their weather as well. We came to the conclusion that due to the oceanic climate in Britain the winter will be warmer than in Austria. I wonder if there will be any snow as long as I´m here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Busy days again

Today Jakob and I had to hand in the design paper for an addon to an existion open source project. The task is to implemente a webserver that allows the administrator to remotely view log-files and change configuration files of the existing application (Web-filter: dansguardian).

Since we dindn't start until there was very little time left, we had some quite busiy days now. Yesterday night we finished our paper and handed it in today. So hopefully the mark will be worth the effort ;-)


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Guy Fawkes Day

Yesterday it was Guy-Fawkes-Day. It is an English holiday where they celebrate that an attempt to blow up the parliament (and the king) was anticipated.

About 400 years ago - where the English already had their own church (Church of England, where the king/queen is the head of church) Catholics where discriminated against. A group of Catholics wanted to start a kind of revolution. In order to do so, they wanted to blow up the parliament while the king was about to meet the members of parliament there. But they where caught in the basement of the parliament with loads of gunpowder before they could conduct their assassination. After all they were killed themselves and the king was saved.

The holiday is named after Guy Fawkes who was member of this group of revolutionists. It is celebrated by having fireworks and bonefires. There was a very big event in Oxford as well. It was probaly the biggest and longest firswork I´ve ever seen. I think it lasted about 20 minutes and was very well done. Afterwards they had a huge bonefire. And there was even a littl funfair.

Actually we would have had to pay 6 pound for the entrance to the park where this event took place. But we were as lucky as to spot a whole in the fence of the park. So we slipped through the fence and saved some money ;-)


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween party

Yesterday we went out for some Halloween parties. First we wanted to go to a bar at Parkend´s but it was so crowded there that we moved on to the Purple turtle´s again.

(On the bus a girl was quite sick. Although she really tried hard not to vomit - (and she succeeded longer than we had thought) - she threw up in the middle of the bus. A bus that was so full that the driver, didn´t allow more people to get on it. Nevertheless we saw her heading towards a pub a little later.)

At the Purple turtle´s there were lots of people very nice dressed up for Halloween. But our favourite ones were the Ghost-Busters. Unfortunately we stay too long for me to get up in the next morning in order to attend lectures ;-)