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.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Lip-spots and Malaria. Another day in the UK.

I've had a strange tiny spot on my upper lip for several weeks now. It hasn't been very noticeable... Until yesterday when it decided to really blossom up into what now looks like a fully grown zit. Maybe it was the deadly combination of fajitas, vodka and Trials HD on the Xbox with Tom and his cousin? Maybe it was born out of my end-degree stress? A lovechild of me and my coursework?

I may never know. But it looks fricken AWFUL.

It feels a bit silly to complain though, considering my friend Nadia has caught malaria. I'm not even kidding. She spent a while in a slum in Nairobi, volunteering at an orphanage. Saw her yesterday after she had come back to the UK the day before (what was she doing even walking around!?), and she looked rough to say the least.

Basically, she had gone to Kenya with the usual malarone pills that everyone gets when they travel to a malaria-zone (Tom got them when he went to Nigeria for example). Eat pills. Stay healthy. Simples? Not really. There is a small risk of infection, even if you take malarone during your visit. It's just not very common. Nadia got eaten by mosquitoes in the slum and soon began showing signs of malaria. Cramp in her calves. Shivering and sweating at night. Peeing blood (apparently a sign that it's spread to your kidneys). Finally giving up and deciding to get on a plane back to the UK, her symptoms got even worse. An onboard doctor had to sit with her and at one point wanted the pilot to do an emergency landing in Egypt when her heart was racing, but she said that she wanted to get to Europe at least. So unless it was very very bad, she didn't want to land anywhere else. I also think she took an overdose of malarone at this point to be able to do the last push to European airspace.

She's crazy! But anyway. Managed to land in the UK, now going to a tropical-disease hospital, and recovering. We met yesterday in the local coffee shop where she told us what had happened.

It's a bit scary. You don't think that things like malaria will affect anyone close to you, but there you go.

<3 to Nadia! WOMAN OF STEEEEEL