Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Bath Cats and Dogs home. Second visit.

As promised both to myself and others, I went back to the rescue-shelter yesterday, much more prepared than the first time. Because of recent snow(!) it's incredibly cold here right now. Which meant that before I left home I made sure to wear many many (MANY) layers of clothing, including a thermal(spelling?) shirt originally made for hiking.



For this visit I had been offered to meet up with a member of staff named Janine, so instead of simply finding my feet like I did the first time I went to the shelter, I now planned to properly start listening to people and taking reference photos.

With two layers of gloves, I was also preparing to actually sketch!

So!

Walking down the same path again, but now with a sheet of ice over it, I had to tread -very- carefully in order not to slip. Was absently thinking how the dogs would cope with this record-breaking cold while shuffling along.



Arrived at the shelter with the familiar barking greeting me.



Once again entered the main reception building and asked the receptionist for Janine. The main hall that you step into is a quite large circular (hope that's the way to describe it!) welcoming space with glassed-doors to offices along the walls. If you looked closely, you could see pretty much one dog inside every office. Some of them peeking out through the window, and some others too busy investigating the carpets.

Janine came out to greet me and lead me into one of these offices where I was instantly enthusiastically received by Sky, a small staffie-terrier cross who was the friendliest dog I had met so far. She wasn't vocal at all (which surprised me), but so affectionate that I found it hard to believe that she was actually at the shelter in the first place.





For more information on Sky Click here!


Sky took up at least 10 minutes of my time before I even started chatting with Janine properly. I can't emphasize enough how friendly this dog is. But after tearing myself away from her and finally getting on with business, I was offered a proper tour around the home (which included going to areas that would be closed off from the public normally)

And so we were off!


The Cat and Dogs Home is much larger than you initially think. Even though the outside kennels show any newcomer that this is a substantial animal-shelter, there are even -more- buildings dotted around the area. We briefly visited one of the main catteries which was a modern and fresh building, a place that I definitely will go back to draw later. Then went on to the quieter part where the more nervous cats and the kittens are kept. You normally need a member of staff with you there. Any of my cat-loving friends would probably melt if they saw what I saw. I'll give you a clue: Pawing kittens with big eyes wanting attention :)

Janine continued the tour by going to the small animal shelter which was in an indoor building that needed a bit of updating. One of the last buildings needing work. When we entered I immediately saw one large birdcage in the corner with one very very small male budgie sitting on his own, huddling up and keeping mostly quiet. Instinct went: 'Take home to socialize!' but I held myself back! The same room also held rats, chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters and so on. It was kept heated with a plugged in freestanding heater.

The heating bills for this home must be daunting during this cold spell.

While I still pondered the heating bills (gosh, so grown up these days!), Janine took me past another area that was kept separate and not usually open for the public. The stray dog kennels. One particular dog really got to me. It was a border collie, such an intelligent breed, lost and cooped up in an unknown place. When we passed it was going absolutely nuts, jumping and barking. One of the most mobile dogs I'd seen in the home. Hope the owners come and claim him. :/

I won't go on about all the different areas, because I could be rambling on for ages, but in short we also went past the feral cat colony. An area that is a little bit outside where feral cats come in to keep warm and to eat. These cats will most likely never be re-homed. They are just not social enough.

After the tour drew to a close, I was given a little badge stating that I was just there to take photos for reference and then the staff allowed me to toddle around the kennels with a camera. Something which is going to be invaluable when I start drawing the dogs properly.

This time I DID try to sketch outside, but again, it was very cold. I only managed to sketch two dogs which were quiet and still enough to allow me to.

Meet Freya and Isis:





Just like a lot of other dogs in the kennels, these two were not there because of some behaviour problems or other fault of their own, but one of their owners had recently passed away and the one left couldn't cope, so they had come to the shelter.

Freya looks like the big sister. The one protecting Isis who is more nervous and uncertain of all the kennel noises. These two old dogs haven't got a bad bone in their bodies, seriously.



They were happy to be touched and fussed and spoken to, so they must've had a life of close human contact before arriving at the shelter.


I found this case kind of hard to deal with, because Isis didn't look like she was coping very well with the kennel-life and like she didn't understand why she was there in the first place.

I sat next to the kennel and drew them for a while until I couldn't feel my bum anymore and had to get up. I had been walking around the other kennels, taking photos and checking out the dogs, but the vast majority of them were so excited or anxious by my presence that I couldn't have them settle down to be drawn.


'Who are you!? Get off my land!'

And as I walked past Talik's home, I wasn't surprised to find it empty.



I had been asking around for him at reception and approaching staff. All of them told me to seek out his personal carer Holly. So I was on a side-mission to find this lady.

Then I found Cherry. or.. At least I think it was Cherry. I will undoubtedly be corrected if I'm wrong next time I visit the shelter :P Here is more information on her anyway: Click me!



A german shepherd (what is it with me and this breed!?) who wanted nothing more than to play fetch.



She came up to the bars with various balls and toys and dropped them by me to get me to play. I was very tempted and probably would have tried to take the ball if it hadn't been for the big sign hanging off the bars saying:
'I might look cute, but don't put your fingers through the bars as I might bite!'

So my hands had some respectful distance from Cherry's mouth.


Instead, I took out my sketchbook and began to sketch her. She was one of the other dogs that didn't seem to mind people coming close.

...That's when I noticed a white shape at the corner of my eye.

I glanced to the side and saw a woman standing with a large white german shepherd, chatting with a member of staff. The dog stood calmly by the lady and waited patiently for the human conversation to finish.

I just dropped everything (Sorry Cherry, I WILL come back to you!) and moved over to the small group. My first words almost blurted out was:

'Hi! Is this Talik!?'

The lady holding the lead looked over to me, perhaps just sliiighty surprised by this strange and excited Swedish person just popping her head in to the conversation. She confirmed my suspicions.

'Yes, this is Talik.'

...

I was instantly spellbound. I had been from a distance, but up close, this dog was just incredible. Everything that had been said about Talik was true. He was a gentle giant, and even though I was new to him, he instantly greeted me with a sniff and a little cuddle when I kneeled down.





In the midst of my slight cloud of utter adoration, I spotted a member of staff that must've been Holly, because of the way Talik was around her. We didn't get to speak in length, but maybe I can catch up with her later (if it WAS Holly..!).

The lady holding the lead must've seen my fan-girly behaviour around Talik and offered me to tag along as she was going to one of the areas where they let the dogs off lead. I of course accepted this offer and prepared to walk a bit with them.

This turned out to be perhaps a half hour long talk with a woman who had been walking Talik for over a year and the only reason she hadn't taken him home was because she already had two dogs. She was clearly in love with this dog and the german shepherd trusted her implicitly.

Before we headed off to the area where they allow the dogs to run, I was still kneeling down to nuzzle Talik and got two nose touches from him while the lady exclaimed: 'He likes you!'
I replied without hesitation: 'I like him too.' ... While I was thinking: 'A lot. I like this dog A LOT.'

What she said afterwards gave me mixed feelings.
'He was reserved yesterday.'
She probably saw my disappointment (I am not good at hiding feelings) and said: 'You could still put a reserve on him, even if there already is one!', but when I explained my house situation, we both agreed that it would not be fair for a big dog to live somewhere that doesn't have a garden. (This is also why me and Tom are currently viewing houses to buy WITH gardens)

The lady continued to talk about Talk soon being off to a new home, as we began to walk. She was at one stage fighting back tears.

Talik was let off lead and went to explore while we chatted.



The life of this dog has been terrible up until he was rescued. And now with a reserve put on him (finally), he was going to head off to a much better place. But it was clear that the lady was unsure about the entire thing.

I won't go on about it all, but it was heartrending.

Finally as we walked back towards the kennel, we actually realized that we hadn't introduced ourselves at all. The conversation had just been flowing without any formalities whatsoever.

The lady's name was Leslie-Anne (I hope I got this right! I am so rubbish with names).



After parting ways, I went back to Janine to thank her for the tour and the opportunity, and also to say that I would be back.

I got to be in the same room as an adorable puppy who was going to be off to his home the next day, but I have to admit I was still thinking about the conversation with Leslie-Anne.
And I was thinking about a white german shepherd.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bath Cats and Dogs home. First visit.

Hello my lovelies!

I haven't been able to update my regular journal due to my life being pretty much dominated by my art-jobs ever since graduating from University. So while this journal has been collecting dust, my arty-blog has been updated on an almost daily basis.

But let us change that!

Ever since our project at University called Reportage Drawing was handed to us, I've been finding myself looking around at different places I'd like to investigate.

In an nutshell, reportage drawing is when you gain access to a place where the public would perhaps normally not be allowed, you spend time there and record everything you see and experience. At the end of it you hopefully come out with a coherent reportage that other people can read and get a glimpse of what the chosen place might be about.

Moving to Bath, I've seen plenty of areas that I'd like to visit with a sketchbook, but one particular place did not only catch my eye, but (beware of cheese) also tugged at my heart-strings.



The Bath Cats and Dogs Home. http://www.bathcatsanddogshome.org.uk/

It was bitterly cold today when I walked there from the bus-stop. So cold that the BBC weather people have given weather warnings about incoming snow. You could hear the dog barks from several blocks away, so I knew I was on the right road.



Sadly, this was the last photograph that I was able to take today (any photos after this one are from the shelter homepage). I'll explain why further down. :)

When I arrived at the shelter, I could instantly see kennels peeking out from behind the main reception building, and the dog-barking was incessant. Having been at dog-shelters before (Bristol's Dog home being the latest one), I wasn't really surprised by the noise. It is a known fact that dogs behave differently when in kennels (it is also why some people may be a bit intimidated and choose not to go for a shelter-dog).

I approached the receptionist who had a little black dog trotting around behind her. I didn't get enough time to see what breed, but might've been a young boxer.

I explained to her why I was there and wondered if I could just had a little wander about with my sketchbook. Contrary to the strict 'no go without a trainer' rules that I'd experienced at the Bristol shelter, the receptionist simply had me sign in and then pointed me in the direction of the outdoor kennels.

Before I even exited the main building, I had to backtrack and find a member of staff to ask if photographs were permitted. Didn't want to snap away and frighten animals to death. A lady explained that they normally didn't allow photographs to be taken due to the risks of the photos being shared and the dogs stolen. Also, some dogs are part of legal cases for cruelty, so you can't photograph them while investigations are going on. But, she also said that if I wanted to come back a bit later, they could have a member of staff with me who could basically let me know what was alright to take pictures of.

Hearing about cruelty cases makes me a bit uneasy, but after putting my camera away, I replaced it with my sketchbook and finally went through to the outdoor kennels.

The first thing you notice is the noise. There are over 100 dogs there at the moment, so just imagine having most of them barking at the same time. :P The area itself is a large grassy plot of land with rows and rows of kennels. There is also space for smaller animals like bunnies and guinea pigs. I did not see the cat section, so I'm guessing it is indoors somewhere. Will find out at a later date.

Because it was my first visit and also so bloody cold, I wasn't able to properly draw anything that I'd want to scan in. Instead I spent my time checking out all the dogs and saw plenty of other people doing the same. There was a gardening project going on while I walked around as well, so the place was buzzing, even through the bitter cold.

Many dogs were incredibly nervous. I had checked some of them out online before visiting. One dog that caught my eye on their homepage was Hoolio: Click me for info on Hoolio!. I've always had a soft spot for smaller dogs.


When I found him in a separate kennel with his little coat on, I was instantly a bit weak at the knees, but his home was decorated with various signs, telling people not to put their fingers through the bars as he might bite. Also advising people not to stare at him straight into his eyes since he is very nervous.

I kept my distance a little bit and tried not to appear too threatening by kneeling down, but he was still clearly agitated by my presence. Terriers are kind of known for being defenders of territory, and I guess Hoolio is no different. I want to go back to him again though, armed with sketchbook and camera.

Another dog that I had seen online that had sparked my interest the most was Talik: Click me for info on Talik!
A large white german shepherd.


It is a bit unlike me to go for larger dogs, and -especially- german shepherds after an incident with our old dog Fabian in Sweden. Our neighbour's german shepherd attacked Fabian unprovoked, sending him bleeding to hospital, but luckily he managed to recover. After that, my mum's been very cautious of that particular breed of dog, and I've been as well.

I'm not entirely sure -why- I was so fascinated by Talik..! But this article about him just made me want to throw all my money in his direction and make sure he lives an awesome life: Gentle Giant Seeks Soulmate

So! When I finally found his kennel, I was hoping he would be outside to show himself, but he was hiding away. I think I could hear some half-hearted barking coming from inside his 'house', but for the entire time I was at the shelter, Talik never showed himself.

Instead of being disappointed, this only made me more determined to go back to the shelter and draw draw draw. Many of these dogs are at the shelter at no fault of their own. Talik is only one out of many cases of cruelty. According to the article, he has spent most of his 5 years living in a crate.

After walking around the kennels, I went back to the reception area and spoke to the staff. They had a look at some of my previous reportage stuff, and after I told them a bit more about what I do they said their fundraising department would be happy to have a chat with me. So I intend to go back to the shelter early next week, hopefully with permission to take reference photos and to find out more about the place.

... And maybe to catch a glimpse of Talik.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Haven't had time to ramble about my life in great length for ages!

Art blogs, websites, forums, twitter, communities...!
They take up pretty much all my write-about-life time nowadays!

But to be fair, when my life's pretty much been 'Holy shit I have to draw to earn money to pay the rent' ever since finishing Uni, it's kind of predictable that my art-blog has seen the most activity and my etc-blog has been gathering dust.

I mean to do regular small comics about daily events, but it never seems to happen! Right now I'm thinking: Commissions, graphic novels, exhibition work, commissions...

Whenever a 'chill out' moment is needed, I tend to leave my desk and go outside.

As I did today, to explore and photograph (some for research for a commission.. But.. Err.. I was KIND OF having a break! *face palm*).

Anyway!
Still find it incredible that I actually LIVE here. Even if it comes with the stress of 'will I make the rent'. It's so worth it. Bath is amazing and cozy.


Little alleys like this with shops are a regular occurrence. So are flowers.




This one leads out towards one of the bigger streets. There is almost always someone playing an instrument around there. Today a guy (who looked younger than me) was playing the sax.


Entrance to one local pub.


A friend of mine and Tom's who also lives in Bath told me about 'The Guildhall Market'. This was a place I hadn't been to before and I didn't know where it was until I stumbled upon it today. It is where my friend buys his coffee beans.




... I think this is where I will buy my coffee beans in the future as well. Just need to buy the grinder.



One of the things that really impresses me with this little city is the artwork/sculptures/etc that keep on cropping up! A pig. next to the cathedral. Oh my!


And the Cathedral itself in all its glory.


With some scary robed men on it.


And angels that literally climb a ladder up to the heavens. I was trying to get an upskirt photo of an angel. Not sure if I managed to >:P


One bit of one of the doors to the cathedral.


And right outside it is a man playing the violin.



An example of the type of architecture you'll find in Bath.


Ah my little alleys~ With shops~


British sweet shops are very nice to look at (and this one has a cute illustration), but their sweets are... Err. Not so pleasant. Can only eat a few things like the fizzy bottles. :D


Signs! Signs!


This one didn't come out very well. I was trying to capture the green hill in the very horizon. Oh well. :P


Extraordinarily happy here. Even if I can't really find my way around properly yet, and I haven't been able to find a printer. ... Or a hairdresser.
But we'll get there!

Now to fetch a cup of tea and continue painting.
Oh! And me and Tom have been invited to a wedding in a castle in Germany where the guests are asked to wear formal traditional garbs..! I.. So.. Want to go..

We'll see. We'll seeeee..

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Reporting from the city of Bath, my new home!

We haven't got the internet set up yet, so I'm currently using our neighbour's wifi (with their permission, of course! :P).

Took photos of the house a day after we had moved in, and will take some more photos when we've sort of finished unpacking, so you can see a 'before' and 'after'. We've been spending several days just playing tetris with the furniture, boxes and random stuff (mostly art supplies). This flat is much smaller than our previous place and has less storage space, but I already prefer it.

In a way, this feels like a completely fresh start. A bit like when I first moved over to the UK. I've graduated and I've switched city where I know absolutely no one. All Uni friends have scattered across the country (and world). Still waiting for the infamous post-uni blues to hit, but I think waking up and finding myself in Bath is distracting me from missing the Uni days. I'm sure that when the blues smack me, I'll be right on here to whine about it. :D

This will be a short entry since I need to go eat dinner and watch Season 4 of the Wire with TomTomTastic!

But in summary: I'm alive. I have a roof over my head. SUCCESS.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A brief break from packing and some news.

Arrghh! I haven't been very good with blogging. Week has been spent packing and preparing lots of boring grown up things that I just won't go into because they are -that- boring. :D

But between all of this moving hassle, we had a little break!

... And went canoeing!



Where Tom was very happy going through the trees rather than actually staying in the middle of the river. (yes, that's me ducking by simply lying down)




I can assure you there was a lot of loud protests here :D





<3

Oh yes! And in the end we took a dump in the river!



So! All of this was very fun and energizing. What could possibly go wrong?

It was only when we arrived home later, completely shattered, that I noticed something out of place on the Internetz. Namely this:
Insomnia Publishing To Cease... Publishing?

To quote my reaction immediately after reading that post:

'FUCK'

This isn't half of the stuff that's going on behind the scenes. At this moment, because of lots of contract and legal agreements, I can't actually explain too much on this blog about what's happening, but let me just very honestly express my feelings about the entire thing:

Insomnia introduced me to some amazing people and amazing networks of comicbook creators. For that I'm grateful.

I can't wait to go pitch Butterflies and Moths to some other publishers with Corey. Things are looking to become very exciting from here on! Again, can't say too much yet, but rest assured that things are bubbling under the surface.




... Not to mention we've got the keys for our new home in Bath.
I love life. Terrifying as it is at times. :D

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

And so she returns with a bandaged arm!

Wonder how long I can use the excuse 'my arm is too weak' for things like dishes, laundry and cooking >:D



Having anesthetic was fascinating. It took literally 30 seconds for it to take effect and I couldn't feel a thing. Very strange.

Doctor shoved a large needle with the implant up my arm right under the skin. When I remove the bandage in about 48 hours I should be able to poke it!

If this thing works, I shouldn't have to worry about contraception for 3 years. Possible side effects are the usual irregular periods, weight gain, mood swings etc, that I had with my pills as a teenager.

I really hope they don't come back since they were the reason I stopped with the pills.

We can only wait and see. :D

Time to go cut my arm!

No, I'm not self harming :D

I'm about to go have a contraceptive implant. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous. But if this works, it means absolutely no hassle in the future with any other contraceptive stuff. Yay for medicine!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Finding things in London, with the help of El :P

Decided to scan the map I was given by El to find a few things in London.

Click me for map!

Pigfaces are so cute!

To visit El's blog Go Here!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

The final show in London. The final moment with Uni.

How many times can I repeat Final? The Final countdown to the Final show. Final meetup with uni friends. Final project. Final. Final.

I think you get it. *nodnod*

Came home from London yesterday afternoon after a week spent in the capital.
A week of craziness that I won't forget in a hurry!

Here's a sort of summary:

Monday

Got up at about 4:40am. Rich had slept over at ours because he was pretty much homeless. His contract in Bristol had run out and he was going back to the midlands after the final degree show.

We got ready and headed off to Uni where the morning was spent packing everything into a hired coach with the rest of the class. After the little spate of chaos, we were off to London!

Arrived and spent more hours setting the show up in the Coningsby Gallery (still trying to get photos of it, so watch this space).

The private view/opening night was that same evening, so we HAD to get everything done. It was quite mental, and to top it off, the small exhibition space had no air-con, making it chokingly hot.

With just a few moments to spare before the opening, I went to meet El and managed to get in to a department of her University in the centre to change into my 'opening night clothes'. Dressing up feels strange. Heck, wearing a dress still feels strange.

And then! Woosh~ Straight back to the exhibition space to be at the private view! I had invited friends to come and act as my 'family', so in the end, I had Ellen, Corey + girlfriend and Matt + girlfriend there with me.


(Corey on the left, Matt in the middle, a bit obscured by me on the right)

It was nice to finally have a chat with Corey again (the writer for Butterflies and Moths), to reassure him that I will continue working on the graphic novel as soon as the show was over. And it was also very nice to meet Matt who has approached me about a possible future steampunk graphic novel. I am in competition with two other artists for this project though.

After many hours of chatting it was time to pop home to El's place where I would be staying for the first few nights.

Got home to hers and just collapsed.

Tuesday

Day of messing about!
Went to museums, coffee shops, regular shops, foody places, frozen yogurt places, comic book shops. Met up with Rich while lolling about in London with El and together we sketched lots!

It was nice to just relax.

Slept over at El's place again.

Wednesday

The day Tom was arriving for his very belated birthday/christmas/something-important-I-should've-organized-sooner gift!

As a side note, I've noticed I'm becoming much more confident with the various things in London. Like the tube, and finding places. Insert pride here. >:D

... If we ignore the fact I went to the wrong station to pick Tom up, so he had to wait for a little bit. That had nothing to do with my navigation skills!

That afternoon we met TimTim and hung out with him in an icecream parlour that specializes in making icecream look like regular food. I got icecream shaped like a pasta dish. :D Fricken awesome.

Later on, me and Tom went to see the musical Avenue Q! That was my gift to him. The musical itself was brilliant! Remember the song: 'the internet is for porn!' ? It's from that show. A lot of swearing. A lot of rude humour and even some puppet sex in it all. I recommend it. >:D

After the show, me and Tom went home to Tim where we spent the evening chatting with him and his Irish composer girlfriend (Irish accents are so hot)

Thursday

Since Tim and his girlfriend actually have a job to go to (shock horror!), me and Tom were given a key to their flat and then left to our own devices for the rest of the day. I decided to show Tom the final degree show, now that it was a bit calmer there, and I had also promised to invigilate it for a bit.

Only one problem:

Period pains.
Quite major ones.

I'm 24 and I'm still having such issues with the pain I get pretty much every month. It's tiring, but what can one do, eh?

Nevertheless, we went in to have a look at the exhibition. I had no appetite and felt sick at this point, so after a bit of 'arghh', I simply called El and asked her if I could come over quickly. I didn't want Tom to be stuck with a boring me, wailing, so I told him to enjoy London for an hour or so while I went to El's place to just get some painkillers etc in me.

Got to El. Walked in the door with hands on belly, hunched over and groaning.

Quote from El: 'Oh dear... THAT.'

Then she sprung into action, boiling the kettle to get me a hot water bottle, filling the bathtub so I could have a bath, and checking whether I would want some tea to warm up my insides...

TIP FOR YOU LADIES:

If you suffer from period pains, DON'T eat or drink anything cold. Also, don't refrain from eating, even though you feel crap, as period pains tend to get worse on an empty stomach. I find hot soup is the easiest option when in pain.

Anywho!

One hour later, painkillers, hot water bottles and a bath had done the job. I got up and was ready for action again. Tom came over to El's place to pick me up. I suggested we go to a place to eat where I'd buy El some food, simply because she is awesome. She's always there for me!

We met up with Rich in town and went to nomnomnom.

Later on in the early evening, we met up with Tim and I said my byebye's to El and Rich :(
Then home to Tim where he cooked us dinner and we chatted for a long while, mostly about the freedom of information/products on the internet. I went to bed quite early due to the lady-pain, but Tim and Tom stayed up well after midnight, talking about Tim's future in the musical industry.

Friday

Last day in London. Up early, feeling quite poorly still, but not at all as bad as before.

The original plan had been to stay in London until the evening when the show was taken down in the gallery, then grab my art, catch a bus and go home.

This plan was shattered when 1: I was painy and 2: we had about 5 bags already. We physically couldn't carry my frames as well.

Luckily a van was coming to pick things up from the gallery and shipping them back to Bristol, so we were saved and simply went home much earlier in the day by train.


Saturday

I can't believe it's over?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

EDITED: From Swedish apple cake to at least six different curries!

I've just gotten home from the last uni party at the tutors farm house. Would normally write lots of stuff now, but am absolutely knackered, so I will post pictures and will explain more tomorrow! (EDIT: Better late than never. Time to actually explain what the heck has been going on! I got home from London yesterday (will write a new post about that), so I've been unable to update until now.)

Yesterday could be summarized with this picture:



Friends came over for Swedish apple cake with custard :D
They liked it!

The day and evening after was booked up for one thing, and one thing only:
Last party with the class at the course leader's house...

... Or should I say MANSION? Naw. Farmhouse, really. But it was huge! She has a three story main house, then a separate cottage, then like... three barns, AND lots of fields around it all. This is very expensive stuff in the UK. Having LAND.

Not to mention 7(!) horses, three dogs (two of them huge great danes that had to be locked up when we arrived because they get a bit funny around people), and two cats.


I've always had respect for horses. Not because I'm a girl and I find horses beautiful and cute, but because they can kill me way too easily. They are fricken scary.


The inside of the house(s) was, as expected from an arts teacher, very strange and arty. We found lots of oddities around and enjoyed exploring (even her bedroom which sported a huge mahogany bedframe).


"You know you've made it when you've got a SOFA in your BATHROOM" :P Yes. And that was only one of them. You can also see a hint of some etchings on the left wall as you walk into the loo. Lots of art everywhere.


I've always loved farmhouse kitchens. This was no exception.


With the AGA. (For the Swedish peeps: En typ av ugn/spis som ar valdigt gammaldags)


Peering out the front door to the greenery. This place was very remote, but so lovely. I haven't even started talking about the people yet. Don't worry, I will :D


Oh! Well! Whaddaya know! There we are! A few of us. From the left:
Charlotte, Rich, Sara and me in a pink WTF blanket (a blanket with arms! It wasn't mine. Promise!)
People had brought stuff with them to camp in the teacher's backyard.


Oh dear~


A view of the front of the house with Pearl, Rich and Emily. My studio mates and close friends.


Oh my darlings! How I will miss you all when Uni is over. I can understand when people say you will get 'post-uni depression'. It's been brilliant. It's been inspiring and I've met so many lovely people.


The atmosphere of the party was very chilled. We had two guitars being played by various people (damn multi-talented folk) throughout the evening.


A back view of the main house, and some slightly chilly people! From the left: Pearl, me, Emily :D We got to borrow Emily's blankets when the sun deserted us.


After having eaten incredible curry that even the students coming from curry-cooking-countries approved of, we took a moment to thank each tutor and gave them some gifts. Sadly I don't have any pictures of the curry table since I was way too busy just EATING my brains out.


As it got darker outside, the house inside took on a new character as well. Cosy or creepy?
Our course leader is very passionate about horses, so there are plenty of sculptures of horses around. I find it a bit eerie to see so many horses heads in various places.


Not to mention the old suitcases. I think I saw about six of them around. (and creepy illuminated horse!)


And then the night approached. We made a huge bonfire in the nearby field, brought the guitars and some light-sticks. I stayed for a while with this, but soon my taxi, along with five other students came to the farm house and it was time for me to leave.


<3


And that was how the last party of the class ended for me. *sob*

If I manage to get more photos of the actual food or anything else, I will add it to the blog.