Searching for blog posts tagged with 'lewes'

Reflecting on Lewes Bonfire Night

Nov

15

Bonfire Night is the one must-see event everyone talked about during international orientation.  On the 5th of November, hundreds of students and area residents walk, bus, drive, or train into Lewes for a spectacle that nobody can really prepare you for.  My friends and I chose to walk with the University of Sussex's walking society through the back paths and farmlands of Sussex.  It took around two hours to get to Lewes through the dark and mud.  It's a fun time to chat with your friends and build up the anticipation of the actual parade and bonfire celebration, although it was rather long and muddy - proper walking, all-weather shoes are a must.  Once (finally!) in Lewes there were just hordes of people lined up along the road for the parade to start. The atmosphere and energy is unmatched from any parade I've been to before. We watched a small procession of bonfire societies go one way, then there was a break until the main procession began.  Every walker in the parade was in costume, even the little kids, and they all had torches and fire crackers, chanting, and music.  Be prepared to hear loads of loud popping when you least expect it - these society members are fearless.  

After the parade we proceeded to one of the several bonfires in the area.  It cost 5 pounds to get into the actual area of the bonfire, but I believe it was well worth it.  Once the bonfire was lit it warmed everyone up, and the firework displays began.  Since so many bonfires were close together, we ended up seeing four huge firework displays that rival Fourth of July celebration fireworks back home.  It was truly an experience I won't forget. My advice for anyone in the dark about the whole event as I was is to dress in many layers- it's cold! Be excited and energetic; have fun!  Stay with your friends and look out for one another as it is a big event with lots going on.  Read up on the cultural significance behind the event, you'll appreciate it much more, and always "remember, remember the 5th of November."

Confessions of a wannabe QC part 7

Nov

28

My head is most definitely not in the game at the moment! For starters, I miscalculated the dates so dramatically this week that I actually forgot to start an essay that is due on Monday. My normal routine would be to have the bloody thing written by now, so this late starting feels distinctly out of character. Add that to the fact that, now I have actually started, I think pretty much every word I am writing is utter piffle! I'm bored reading it back to myself so, heaven help the poor bloke charged with marking it.

   Most of this week has been taken up with something far more unusual... If last week's theme was carving up the country into a new federal order for a public essay (which incidently was considered a sensible idea last night on the BBC news) this week has been all about Billy Shakespeare! Ok, context... After a very stressful blur that was Saturday morning, by the skin of my teeth I crawled into the Finals of the Criminal Advocacy competition. This was a major deal as, when I started out I didn't expect to last past 'boot-camp,' and now I've gotten all the way through the live shows and the numerous evictions and I'm standing at the end, ready to go to real court at Lewes. This feels pretty mental for someone who's been studying law a mere 3 months! Anyway, part of the deal for the last workshop is to perform a monologue, in my case The Quality of Mercy from the Merchant of Venice! As someone who ditched English after GCSE due to its over emphasis on terrible poetry anthologies, I have not read, let alone performed any Shakespeare since I was fifteen. My greatest knowledge of this speech is either an episode of the detective drama Lewis, set around a performance of The Merchant at an Oxford college, or its use by one of the most talented advocates I have ever seen in a closing speech in a rape trial. He ad-libbed like a pro and was one of the most warm and charismatic people I have ever seen in the profession... I am a long way from emanating him! So, not to be deterred in my quest for reaching warmth and charisma akin to my advocate-idol, I enlisted expert help- that's right: thesps! My friend is an actor turned drama teacher and decided to help out given that he considered it infinitely more fun than marking any of his student's work. Apparently the whole 'enlist an actor' thing is pretty common, he's had to assist in humanising doctors when dealing with their patients and so I'm hoping he's been able to do the same with me and juries. I know it's not a popularity contest but, as I have witnessed, likeability helps! Judgement day is Monday, and I sure hope it works because I think everyone in my course reckons I've cracked, as I seem to be muttering this speech under my breath everywhere I go. Maybe I have... but I would like it known, for the record, that I held up under GDL torture conditions longer than most! Haha!

   After around 3 months of knowing one another, the GDL-ers are taking our relationship to the next level and partaking in an actual social, that's right... we're getting a table at Law Ball. Oddly enough, the first we heard about this was actually from Mary in a seminar, not sure if I've ever had a tutor that actively encouraged going out and partying before so, this was new territory. I mean, for people that want to be lawyers, our ability to collectively make a decision is shocking... it took nearly a week to decide that we wanted a table and to purchase tickets. This does not bode too well for our futures! Haha. But, as I see it, it is an excuse to put on a too tight ball gown, a pair of shoes I can hardly walk in and have someone try to tame my hair into submission, and those are always great days!