Thursday, September 29, 2011

It begins

I've been sick with an ugly cold this week which has rendered me useless to enjoy the Edinburgh heatwave of blue skies and warm winds. Summer has struck now instead of in July. I head off to Durham tomorrow for the first of a series of Inductions. I'm nervous, but who wouldn't be with a low-grade temp and a nose full of mucus?

This morning I couldn't breathe through my nose. My options were the netti pot or a bowl of steaming water. I weighed my options. The bowl of steaming water meant going down to the kitchen and there may be mice. The netti pot would require assembly and it might not even make it all the way through my nasal passage. I had visions of my choking and drowning and coughing and spluttering. Steam seemed less painful, so I pulled on my wellies and went downstairs to brave the mice.

Fortunately there were none and I sat for an hour with my head over a bowl of steam (I must looked ridiculous). The funny thing is, it worked, and not only that, but made my face feel wonderfully porous and oil-free. I recommend it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sept. 24, 2011


- Thing 2 has invited me to his birthday party. Logey Gym, here I come. I wrote him a limerick.
- I cannot find the usb- card reader for camera. Grrr.
- My advisor for Durham emailed me back and I meet her and commence at Durham on Oct. 3.!!!
- I am nearly down with Eichman and the Holocaust but non-fiction doesn't inspire me the way fiction does. Why is this?
- Indy tried to jump over the garden wall last night. This bothers me immensely. I want them to be house-bunnies again.
-My copy of Brideshead Revisited arrived in the mail. Commencing of my email-bookclub with Amanda today.

Going to Sweden

Sanna and Me in Uppsala, Sweden in front of a king's barrow. July 2009.

I found super-cheap flight to Sweden to visit Sanna! I go when Thing 1 and Thing 2 are on fall break. As I was praying about whether to go or not, I was reminded that this will be a time of creativity and encouragement. So often when I attempt to dabble in the arts (writing, sewing, drawing, painting) I'm confounded by my own ego saying "you're not nearly good enough." But Sanna suffers none of this, and when I'm with her, I'm most wholly myself. That aside, the food in Sweden is the most wholesome, delicious stuff on this planet! Eating bread is a whole new experience, and I even like sandwhiches over there. They have 'tea' or 'fikka' all the time which just means one is constantly eating. I'm excited to be going in the fall as this experience will be wholly different, and perhaps even more beautiful, than my summer escapades in July 2009. Huzzah!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nannery: IV

Yesterday, I nannied for Thing 1 and Thing 2. Sometimes Thing 2 likes to hit Thing 1. When this happens, I give a warning and then sentence ten minutes in 'the red chair', ie-- a timeout, for when we got home. At home, Thing 2 suddenly improved his mood, voluntarily sitting on the red chair (without a bout of shouts) and being v. nice to Thing 1. Thing 1 came and sat with Thing 2 on his red chair, and shared his timeout with him. Isn't that so sweet?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lost Gardens: II

Later that day, the weather was grand. F decided to fish again, and I took the bunnies to meet him. While out on the headland, I took some of the best pictures during our entire trip.

Port Quinn

Indy and Felix

Fran on the headland
Fran grilling his catches

Goals for the Semester

I am in a flurry.

First meeting of the Knitting Society. I learned how to cast off and completed my first ever scarf. Goal for term: knit mittens. Goal for life: Knit a sweater

First meeting of Yoga Society. I can't make any of their meetings, but hope to make their socials. Goal: to complete a box set of classes, ie: go to Bristo Yoga School and attend one class per week for ten weeks.

Literature Society: Not sure about this, but hope it will be good... Goal: to read
And the Land Lay Still and to find a friend to go with. Other literaturites can be so intimidating!

Harry Potter Society:
Go when possible, but its a little strange...

Tomorrow: First meeting of homegroup for the year! Yay yay yay! Holyrood, the Macleods, Anna Murray, Alex, Mary Stay. Life is good!

Durham Medieval and Renaissance Postgraduate Discussion Group: Attend their fortnightly meetings.

Durham: Go down every Monday and Wednesday for one month. Goal: go to my first conference this semester. Goal for life: present a paper at a conference.

Babysit: For free for the Inces once every fortnight.

Bunnies: Give them time outside for at least 20 mins each day. Goal: find newspaper for free to change their hutch and possible help Fran in completing the run before the weather turns sour.

Sketching: to do a little every day. Goal: to do a series on shoes. Goal for life: to paint my dad a picture of a durian.

Nanny: Three times a week. Job. Check.

I think I do better with more on my plate. What are your plans and goals for the semester? Do you like a heavier or lighter ECA load?

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan were created in the 19th c. by Victorians with a love for botany. Unfortunately due to the World Wars the gardens fell into decay. Only within the last twenty years have they been restored and they are brilliant and magical.

Can you make out the troll?

Fran, his mama, and grandmama entering the flower garden

The interior of the walled flower garden.

A greenhouse in flower garden.

One of the walks around the acreage.

This was in the vegetable garden. If you look closely, its a pear tree that has been crucified.

This trip was completely inspiring. My new goal in life is to make oodles of money so I can buy land and have fantastic gardens like these. What could be nicer? I can't think of anything.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Bunzos, as F likes to call them. The bunnies are now happily situated in a hutch outside next to the garden wall.

They like the space outside and the chance to eat more green things. They love the tall grass. However to let them run around the garden, I must put them on leads and they dislike putting these on and off. But they love the freedom it gives them.

However, I have noticed things that begin to distress me. My handling of the rabbits in a hutch is only to pick them up or down and rabbits HATE being held. I'm afraid I'm being associated with a bad-guy. Second, to train the rabbits to come when called or eat off your lap you must sit down and spend time, but these rabbits don't want much to do with me when they have so much space. Hoping to have them as house bunnies again one day.

Each day I've let them run around the garden for 20 minutes, generally about dusk. They seem to love this, and then I feed and water them. It gives me discipline in my day and routine I didn't have before, which is a good thing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Boating for Fish: Fail

This is a series of posts regarding a recent trip to the South of England. Just now, we are in Cornwall.

F wanted to fish. One day we drove for an hour to find a good fishing rod. Found and assembled, F thought we'd get a better catch if we went out into the sea.

He tossed me a wetsuit and inflated the boat. I didn't realize before that I had a fear of wetsuits and water, but as I struggled in to the clingy suit, I felt indestructable.

But we had made a tiny mistake. The tide was coming into the port and we wanted to go out of the port. After struggling against the tide for 20 minutes, in which both oarlocks broke off the dinghy. So we just let the tide take us back into shore and fished off the rocks.

When F caught his first fish, the look on his face was priceless. It was a pollock and big enough to eat.

Even though the lighting is terrible, this is a picture of F with his first catch in his hand. We gutted, filleted, and cooked them that night for dinner. De-Lic-Shous!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Day


a- Jimmy and Rab scared the daylights out of me on the street.
b- Thing 2 and I made sock puppets of the book, How to Train Your Dragon
c- Thing 2 gave me two Dinosaur Cove books to read
d- F has begun to build a rabbit run in my backyard.
e- all of the above?

Glastonbury Abbey

This is a series of posts on a journey we took from Birmgingham to Cornwall. At this point, we are in Glastonbury.

F with Felix, just before we set off to Glastonbury from Bristol.

Glastonbury is wonderful because it has several very Medieval conotations. First of all, Joseph of Arimethea was supposed to have founded it. [This story was made up in Middle Ages, hence Medieval conotation.] Secondly, its supposed to be 'Avalon' or the place of the Celts where the faeries live, and third, its the burial place of King Arthur. His grave and bones were 'discovered' there in the reign of Henry II.

My Arthurian Legend class talked about Glastonbury constantly. Its hugely associated with Arthurian Legend and going there made me giddy with happiness.

This was the kitchen.

When I told people I was a Medievalist, they kept saying, 'You know King Arthur isn't real and the bones are gone, right?' I was indignant with fury. King Arthur is the Once and Future King

This is a photo of us taken by Geoff Corris.

While we were there, we were approached by a group of photographers asking if we'd like our picture taken. Boy! They just wanted us as models in the backdrop of the beautiful grounds. We stood for 15 minutes posing for FREE smiling away and they kept making us do awkward poses and act super coupelly. Completely jinxed.

However, loved Glastonbury and would highly recommend going to anyone, especially if they drop by for the music festival.

Monday, September 12, 2011


This is a series of posts on a trip from Birmingham to Cornwall to Southampton. At this point, we left Birmingham and stopped in Bath to meet up with Fran's brother, Will and his girlfriend Megan.

This was my first impression of Bath and it does look remarkably like the Persuasion settings.

this is the cafe Megan selected we go for lunch. wonderful, organic, wooden benches. so nice.

These are the baths! Real hot water and all. Unfortunately, you're not allowed to swim.

Listening to an audio-guide.

I am pleased to announce that above the Baths, the Pump Room does actually exist! It is an (American) mecca for a Jane Austen shrine. I wish I could magic F out of the frame, but unfortunately this was the only shot the showed the entire room. High ceilings, chandeliers, an orchestra playing, and white white white linens and windows.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Car Boot Sales Convert

This is a series of post regarding a 3-week adventure F and I had where we hardly spent two nights in the same place. This is of our time in Birmingham.

car boot sale: n. a place where people gather, where sellers display their wares out of their 'boot' or trunk of their car, usually in a large field or parking lot, similiar to the American garage sale.

F loves car boot sales and I was so skeptical coming in. Not only did I think it a waste of time, but I thought everything would be grotty and just rather gross. Not so! It was fascinating. People milling around, haggling, bartering,

We made a game of it and set ourselves a budget of ten pounds. We got a dvd player (4 quid!), PG Wodehouse (1 pound), a picture frame (1), an atlas (50p), and the prize of the day-- these two beautiful leather suitcases-- two for a fiver!

One needs fixing up pretty good, but overall it was an adventure and we only went over our budget by 1.50. Not bad!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back in Bursledon

We made Sangria, lemonade, and played chess

F picked up the violin again

We picked apples

and picked pears

and collected them in this basket

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Around the Hotel Olivii

The view from my window

F prancing about in his brand new swimming trucks

Every night before dinner we had drinks: Will and Megan

Drinks before dinner

Anna and Ms. Karen

F fixing to dive

And this is what we did all week. Nothing.

The Pontoon

We spent alot of time by a pontoon on the lake surrounded by mountains

This is the Goodison crew swimming from the pontoon to a small island

Will and Megan

The Boat Ride on Lake Garda

One day we rented a boat and went out on the lake-- probably my highlight of our time

Me and Anna on the helm

I think these are the Cliffs of Insanity from the Princess Bride

Good looking F

Prof. Karen, Dr. Simon, and crew

A view of Malcisene

We had a picnic on the lake and afterwards all dove in. We played catch with a tomato which was a really good ball as it stayed afloat every time we missed.

Lake Garda, Malcisene

In the city of Malcisene

a ferry that we did not take, but had an old-fashioned wheel, like something out of a Mark Twain novel

F on the lake surrounded by mountains

The scene from the hotel-- beautiful

A moment in a restaurant

yachts on the lake

I wish I could say more impressive things, but I think the photos speak for themselves. We did nothing very much but enjoy the sunshine and eat.