Saturday, September 27, 2008


I'm writing this on my phone. Awesome. I apologize for the capitals. It likes to do that.

Yesterday I spent two very fine hours in the steriotypically dingy-dark SU bar. The prof who was supposed to show up and tell us about cvcs didn't. Show. But instead I hung out with a group of my fellow MFAs, of both years. I made friends! I got mobile phone numbers! I learned a bit more about my program.

Today, despite being there more than half an hour early, I did not beat the line up at the bike station. I was about 7spots from the front when they ran out of bikes. Sigh. Maybe next week...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

the class

technically i'm in school now! i'm a student. a POSTGRADUATE student no less. very exciting.

this afternoon we had our first painting & drawing department meeting. the painting & drawing school includes the printmakers, intermedia, tappistry, and (of course) painting and drawing. there's 25 of us in the two years. and a very multi-cultural group. i'm the only canadian in the bunch. there are four (i think) U.S. peeps in their second year, and one in first. a very small handful of proper scots. a girl and a guy from norway. fellow from taiwan. lady from sweden? and a bunch a can't remember... basically lots and lots of accents.

we learned about our course. basically there's a LOT of studio time, and the occasional other scheduled things... a weekly course called 'CORE' which sounds like a 'how to' for research, professional practice, etc. etc. and some sort of theory thing on fridays. and painting and painting and painting...
unfortunately, unlike in edmo-town, we do not have 24 hour access to the studios. i think they close at 11pm on weekdays, and something silly like 4pm on weekends. that'll be an adjustment for sures.

we were assigned our studios. i'm in F7, 17. in case you're ever wandering through... the studios are nice and bright, with lots of windows and high roofs. basically they're largish rooms, divided into four (with those standard makeshift walls that studios love to sumch), and then each quarter is shared by two individuals. i share my space with a girl named daniella. she's from chile. i believe she said she was doing intermedia. her husband is a phD student somewhere not too far away. she's been in scotland for a year. she says her work is rather small. that's good. the studios aren't SMALL, but they certianly wouldn't be classified as large. by any means. ours has a sink in. awesome.

and now, NOW? i'm not quite sure what to do with myself for the rest of the day. i'm hungry to get started, but can't really do much until i've bought wood, and built some stretchers, and the school isn't in 'working hours' yet, so i understand the woodshop is closed for the day already. sigh. what to do? plan, i guess. plan and plan and get excited.

i am. excited.

Monday, September 22, 2008


don't tell anyone. but i seem to be getting free internet from this cafe... shhh!

i bought two hours worth the other day. they give you a little paper with a number on it. you give it a password, then you can sign out and in again as you like. i used up 40 minutes or so. then i came back and took my total remaining down to 48 minutes. sigh. but then. THEN! i came back again. and when i signed in my countdown clock read 1hr22min. what? umm.... shhh. okay. that was yesterday. i used up some time.

today. guess how many minutes i had when i signed in? 82 is how many. a.k.a. 1hr22min. again!

i don't get it. but i certainly will not inquire into the glitch. awesome-pants-town-face!

oh, and the other day i found £2 in a phonebooth.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the flat

i will post pictures soon. i promise. once i can get my computer and the internet to be friends...

meanwhile, this blog seems to be turning into the 'people who are nice' blog. today: the mardale guest house and my new landlord.

when i found out that i was getting my flat on saturday i was super-pumped, but also a touch nervous. my booking at the mardale only took me as far as thursday night (checkout by 10 on friday...) and it was already thursday afternoon. trouble. so. i sent the good folks at mardale a quick email saying i'd chat with them once i'd returned that evening, but might they be able to keep me for one more night, please please please? i remembered that when booking online they had not had vacancies beyond my three nights, but i hoped.

when i returned later that day owner dougie and his wife popped out of their suite as i entered. hi hi! all very friendly. they explained that they had received my email, and hadn't planned on having anyone in the hotel over the weekend. they had a family wedding (their eldest daughter, i believe) on friday. they had much to do, and so on. but, BUT, they'd be more than happy to have me stay the night all the same. they very very sorry to say they couldn't promise me breakfast on saturday morning, because, well... wedding the night before. didn't actually require any explanation. yay! so i settled up my bill after breakfast on friday morning, and wished them well with the wedding. that night i came home to a fully tidied room. (they really didn't have to. i'm sure they had planned not to deal with hotel stuff at all that day, and lord knows i can stay in the same room two nights in a row without needing things refreshed.) they also left a little breakfast - granola bar and banana, along with the daily provided shortbread biscuits. all very thoughtful. so. if you're ever in town. you should stay with them. they're great. thanks dougie and wife (sorry i never learned you name...)

and my landlord(s). technically jim is my landlord, but his sister handles a lot of the house stuff, too, and was the one who showed me the flat. they had arranged two (two!) big bouquets of lilys in the windows for my arrival. and. a loaf of bread. half pint of milk. butter. packet of tea. (actually two packets. one caffeine free.) box of biscuits. sugar. and a brand new, still in the packet set of bedding. sigh. i'm waiting for the horrible landlords i hear about all the time. i'm waiting and i'm scared. because i've had two years in a row of awesome landlords, and before that uncle peter who we can't really call a landlord, but was great to rent from for sure... it just seems too good. but i won't complain.

the bike station was also full of nice people. but sadly not full of (available) bikes. i didn't get there till about 11:20am, and they open at 10:30. seems you have to be there around 10 to get a decent place in the que, to allow for any option at all... next week i will be there by 9:30. just to be sure. because man i have the most sore of shankles from all this walking.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


edinburghites (edinburghians? edinburghers?) are suffering from an epidemic of niceness. i suspected as much when i was last here, but my day yesterday confirmed it. everyone is nice. or kind. or cordial. sometimes all three, even!

O2 employees? nice. bankers? nice. construction workers? nice. cats? nice! (one even followed me, purring, for two blocks.) gruff looking men cleaning their apratment window? nice.

and so on and so on.

i actually have not encountered one person who hasn't been nice. not one. which is both shocking and delightful.

oh. and i have a flat. as of saturday. yes. i do. hoooray!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

the rain and snow

no. there's no snow. just joking! about the snow...

i am in edinburgh in the very same internet cafe i did all my from when i was last here. i found it right away with no problems. i knew i would.

the flights went very very well - except for a bit of a delay leaving london there were no problems at all. my luggage arrived. both peices. in just the same shape as they left me. yay! i spoke with a very friendly and helpful young lady at the 'shuttle' booth, and she recommended i take the bus (cheapest) into edinburgh centre, and even pointed out on a map where i'd want to go from there. about a 5 minute walk, she said.

it was raining, but not very hard, when i got off the bus at wayverly station. i consulted the map i'd been given and started off with my some 115 lbs of luggage. as i suspected the walk was not at all five minutes, but rather closer to 30. no worry, though. it was a very fine walk and there were tons of people on the street. i only saw two chavs (i believe they call them 'neds' here) but they were immediately followed by a group of four very stylishly dressed young women, all smiling, and lauging.

sigh. when i arrived where i had been told my 'guest house' would be, though, it wasn't. there. not there. there was the youth hostel instead. another consultation to the map (and a comparisson with the map i'd printed and showed the shuttle girl with the hotel address on) showed that she had sent me in exactly the wrong direction. it was probably a good hour and a half walk - without luggage - back to where i should be. sigh. i took a cab.

home! at least for now. the hotel is warm, and friendly, and wee. i got settled and forced myself to stay up until 9:42pm. then to bed.

and now i'm out of internet time...

Monday, September 15, 2008

hold steady

i am at the airport at my gate with just a little less than an hour till boarding.

they didn't even weigh my luggage. after all that. so. that counts as a definite point towards awesome-town.
and they went through both my carry-ons very carefully, but they didn't mention either the size or the weight. they were very nice. the lady was very impressed with my ability to fill EVERY spare space with socks. she couldn't get it all back in. i showed her. but not in that 'i showed YOU!' way. not like that.

i've had a muffin from starbucks (thanks mom and dad) which has mostly stopped the swirly-ness of the stomach caused by too much coffee and too much excitement and too many nerves. i was shaking and shaking while i ate. but that seems to have stopped.

i'm listening to the hold steady. stay positive... i do not think listening to emma's playlists right this moment is a good plan. i will wait for the plane. somehow crying on a plane is easier than crying in the boarding zone. along with the sappy movies and the free wine. yes. YES!

bye edmonton. thanks for the good times. i'll see you at grimas!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

don't panic

this is easier said than done. the not panic thing. but with only 5 days left in the edmo-town, things are not, actually, so out of hand. my emotions are. but 'things'... alright!

today my passport returned to me complete with its shiny new student-visa-sticker. and. AND. it came through with permission to work. there's no reason why it shouldn't have, except that things don't tend to go smoothly when you absolutely need them too.. so. hoorays all around.

now, once i've finished that last commission, and gotten paid for the last of my design work with josh i am GOOD TO GO!

except for the packing. and the weighing of weighty suitcases.

and the finding a place to live.

and the becoming a MASTER.


welcome back, the irish diet readers!