“I'm not dead yet.”
Church - 36 new
Newcastle - 51 new
Christmas in Scotland
Oh look a wee bit o' commentary...
Christmas in Scotland is the best ever. There was snow everywhere, really just perfect. The trip I took was with a company called Haggis Adventures. If you know what Haggis is you will understand my amusement at the fitting title. They offer a wide range of trips but the Christmas one was the one I took. Five days in the Scottish Highlands. I honestly can even give detail every where we went there was so much, that, and I can't remember all the Gaelic names.
We went to Loch Ness at Inverness, stayed in a castle two nights, saw scenery like no other. Went to the Isle of Skye and saw Kilt Rock, stayed at Morags Lodge, listened to plenty of traditional music. Danced a Ceilidh, saw some kilts, met Davy Holt, saw three waterfalls, and truly winter wonderlands. Ate Scottish snow, saw the battlegrounds of Culloden, learned about the vast inaccuracies of Braveheart—which I have never seen. Met a real Highland coo named, had real Scottish whiskey, ate real Scottish Haggis. That Haggis was amazing! Saw a castle used many times in James Bond, passed Ian Flemming house, passed Hugh Hefners Scottish house, passed Loch Clooney named after George Clooney. Met some Kiwis, some Aussies, some Alaskians, and plenty of Joe.
We had a tour guide named Kyle and our grumpy 60 year ol' bus driver was Joe. Both were absolutely fabulous, and really funny. Technically Joe was not supposed to talk, just drive, but I am so glad he did...the stuff that he would say. I sat right behind him and when ever someone would try and pass us—not fast enough to Joe's liking—he would curse up a storm. And sometimes he would tell Kyle some random facts and then segway into some random rambling... Kyle and I would just look at each other and bust a kidney from laughing. Sometimes from the fact we had no idea what he said, but most of the time it was from what he said. Joe is from the Island of Barra so he was raised on Gaelic.
Here is a joke for you, from Joe...one of the clean ones mind you. What is the difference between Irish and Scottish languages... Scots speak Gaa-lic, but the Irish are Gay-lic.
I swear though the two of them had some great jokes...
But not this one... We stopped through a town called Calender. And Joe said that's where you take all the girls for a date. After a few moments of silence on the bus he, of course calling the entire bus some fanciful words, explained the joke.
Calender is also where some of Monty Pythons The Life of Brian was filmed. There were two Monty Python references on this trip. That one and another when we were at a place which I don't know the name. But while there Kyle and another guide, Fergus, told us a story about the faeries that live under the bridge and a viking princess. Well as Fergus is telling the story the princess, Kyle, comes galloping down to the stream. Yes, yes they were a pair of cocoanuts.
But wait there's more... As Fergus is telling the story about how the princess was injured and her beauty destroyed the faerie of the stream comes out and tells her he has a cure to restore her beauty. Now you might be asking where is Joe? Well as Fergus tells of the cure to beauty Joe saunters down by the steam. In the story the Faerie tells the princess to hold her head under the water for 10 seconds and her beauty will be restored and last forever. There we see Joe, with his head fully submerged in this frozen stream...ice cold water. Of course then they tell us we have to do it too...it wasn't that bad actually. Joe is a beast though...a beast.
One more silly story. While at Morags Lodge Kyle and Fergus were in the same room. Well Kyle woke up the last morning to a very cold room and strange cooing noised. He rolls over and sees Fergus talking to a squirrel. A red squirrel at that, who was sitting on the ledge of the window.
"Fergus, what are ye doing?"
"He is so cute and cute..."
As he is talking and petting this squirrel he KISSES its ear! Kyle said he was saying sweet nothings to it as well. If that wasn't enough after while talking his shower Kyle said he was signing "I kissed a squirrel and I like'ded it."
I nearly thought I would die from laughing so hard. The whole bus was in tears. Of course once we calmed down Joe adds his own loving comment about Fergus. *read sarcasm* this of course sets us all into giggle fits again.
Then there was Hammish. Oh sexy Hammish. You will ner meet such a fine beast as this. Hammish is a highland coo (cow) and he is a sexy sexy beast. He can eat a whole apple at once, really just a great creature. Very gentle too as he has been raised by humans after he was abandoned.
All in all a great Christmas trip, really just the best. If your wondering I will be leaving early on the 6th of January. Should prove fun. I am starting to slowly pack up. But tonight there are fireworks!
p.s. the Deep Scottish Love comes from the trip...but basically its when you just can't contain your love for the Highlands...haha.
“The ice age is coming,
the sun's zooming in
the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running,
but I have no fear
Cause London is drowning
and I, live by the river.”
Well a cookie if you know the song, no cheating. Back from London and it was Amazing! But was it expensive, and I even took the cheep route. I was there from Thursday morning to late afternoon Saturday. The cheep route included hostels, taking my own food (minus two meals) and only paying for one tourist attraction. The biggest cost was the coach down, under 50£, the hostel around 65£, and my bus/metro pass which was 18£. London is not cheep.
I got to see a lot, think of it this way I took 650 some digital photographs and two and a half rolls of film.
I got there early Thursday morning and nothing was open so I just wandered a bit toward Buckingham Palace. Literally the only people there were a few walking to work a army unit taking pictures. This is the sheer reason lone the photos have no one in them at the beginning. At one point during the day before the changing of the guard there was the sound of bagpipes coming from the inner wall area, which I assume is the gardens.
I met an older gentleman who was feeding the squirrels. Okay I hate squirrels. BUT, I got to hand feed one. There were also pigeons missing feet. The squirrels were called Suzie and the pigeons Hoppy. ...yeah.
The changing of the guard was just as boring as I expected. But it was at least more lively then the Arlington National Cemetery one. I could have died of bordom at that one. Here though they played music and rode horses. Better trade I think. The music, I kid you not, was Indiana Jones and the Imperial March from Starwars. Also, just fyi, I didn't listen to my mother...and didn't stand at the gate... Did I regret this, yes. There I said it. Now go stuff your Turkey.
Oh I did see the Queen. hehe. Albeit it was her hat...lol. There us more to this but that is the best part.
Later on after some annoying issues with the hostel I went to the National Gallery in Trafagar Square. Too many painting for a 3 hour tour. I saw Van Gogh's Sunflower vase.
It's even uglier then I expected.
And I knew it was ugly. I swear on all the products its ever been on it looks better. Ugh, there was NO depth, the flowers are just one solid chunk of UGH!—or yellow—with no details to the seeds at all. Even in Starry Night the moon has more variety of color.
After that adventure I went to Her Majesties Theatre. What for? Phantom of the Opera of course!! I think I drooled the entire time. This Phantom is my favorite. I saw it in Columbus, have seen the movie, love the music, and own the book, but this Phantom knocks the others away. His emotion was spot on with how it should be. I told him he was excentric after the play...yes there is a photo! By far my favorite.
To bad he is not starring in the new production of the Phantom called Love Never Dies. Will it live up to the original...ooo, I don't know.
What else. I saw Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abby, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye. Funny enough they don't look that big up close. It's amazing how movies and pictures have illusoned us to think they are double the actually size. Still impressive but not as menacing.
I attended Mass at Westminster, which was neat and very pleasant. But quite honestly St. Paul's Cathedral is so very much more impressive. I went up into the dome and the views are amazing! The dome from the inside is just at beatutiful. I also got the blessed chance and opportunity to stay for evensong. I got to even sit up in the choir's area, next to them. Wow. Thanks God, because that was cool.
Picadilly is a neat area filled with theaters and shops. At one point I was in a book shop holding a book from 1809. I was this close to getting it. --> <-- If anyone tells you that Piccadilly is like New York Times Square they are full of it. They are nothing alike. Just fyi. It's stil cool though.
All in all the trip was great even with the few hiccups here and there. I really enjoyed it. The only thing I didn't get to see was at Earls Court. I didn't know about this till Sunday, but there is a TARDIS shaped police box there. A near replica to the TARDIS in Doctor Who. UGH!! I was so close to that! That almost makes me want to go back...another life maybe.
Now the pictures.
London (160 pictures)
Keswick (79 pictures)
Newcastle (25 pictures)
There you go.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!
November the 5th, Guy Fawkes in England usually equals fireworks and bonfires. If you don't know what this means that's okay, frankly neither do I. I know what is talked about in V for Vendetta, a movie from 2005, but mostly just that guy Fawkes in 1605 tried to blow up parliament. I think this is the only celebration I know of that celebrates something that did not happen.
Tonight and still going, as I see out my window, fireworks are being let off. My flatmates and I went to go see a showing nearby. It was fun but there was no bonfire there...but that's okay.
Now for photos. Some of my photos are still uploading but hopefully by the time you do read this, when ever that may be, they will be all up. Pretty much I am going to link you to each one individually so you can decide where to go. there are a few that will be updated occasionally and I will be sure to let you know and provide a link. Also if there are any new sets I will of course link you. So if you want an image to be bigger just click on it.
Guy Fawkes Day
Newcastle upon Tyne
Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle
There you are.
edit:gah the size of the type won't stay put. grr
Priority is my book, then travel. It has been busy around here so this will be fairly brief. Classes just switched out so now I just have a branding project and my history class. Granted I still have to do a bit more on my animation and finish my book. For so little work there is too much to do. But last weekend I did go with the Christian Union to Blaitewaite House. That was good, I don't have too much to say on that, but my flatmate Debbie went with me. That was interesting, I am glad she got to go, she said she had fun. I say her during the seminars but I roamed around mostly. I met a shepherd and asked him about his sheep's wool and where I can purchase it. He said that I would have to go through the Registered Wool Commission or something that sounded like that. Apparently all the shepherd in England are required by law to do that... So I will need to look into that more. So tomorrow is the 5th of November! Bonfires and Fireworks! If you don't know what this means go watch V for Vendetta. It explains is fairly well in a odd way, great movie though. I will put up something in regard to that tomorrow. Now, regarding the pictures. I had to switch my photo hosting site because Flickr was frustrating, more then tribbles even. Suffice it to say I now am putting everything up on Photobucket. Sorry to say that means you will have to link to it from the blog. Each place I have been has it's own folder. Newcastle is the largest and you will just have to bear with it... they should be newest to oldest. Not all the photo's have been relocated yet, I will try and do that tomorrow when I am on campus. Last thing I want to say than you to everyone who has been supporting me so far! I really appreciate it. I know some of you just read the blog and some of you just stalk the blog but either way I am thrilled your getting cultures. Nya! I think this sums up so far my trip, no the video is not mine, but the churches here sing it and I think it is a beautiful hymn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=627zCglxaMAweeblylink_new_windowChema
Stranger things have happened...
Bit of advice; If you can't go insane while in another country find someone who can do it for you. I did. Their name is the Royal Shakespeare Company. More on that later though.
So Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island. Interesting trips but to quote a fun movie “it's too fucking brief” sums up the trip. No really it was way to short. We only had an hour and a half to wonder around the Island and Lindisfarne Castle...yeah. But what I did see was nice enough. Loads of sheep and stones. But the neat thing about the island is you can only go to it when the tide is out and that is a neat sight to behold. It looks so desolate on the sand because the water is about a mile out but comes in that far. Creepy really. Also on the island they used to make limestone (?) and there are bit cauldrens that you can see.
Bamburgh castle was alright not much to say
Mostly though I have been taking a crap-ton of photos for my book, which today I learned my classmates think they need the backround removed from. ... But I have taken photos of my flatmates and classmates and a girl from church. So letsee: Amy the English, Janek, Verena, and Fabian the Germans, Paul the American, Linus the Swede, Michael the Mesopotamian, and Alex the Scottish. I still need one more model and I will be done with photos.
The only other really big things were going with the Christain Union to Durham, which one of the sessions me and another guy skipped to go wander around outside. for shame I know. And then the play.
As yes the play.
On Thursday I saw two things, first Tim Brown from IDEO visited the school. Sweetness! And then As You Like It with the RSC. That was hilarious! I really don't think I can do this play justice it was so funny. I sat next to these school boys and we had to careen over the edge to see, but hey it was only £5. At one point one of the characters Jaques come out singing, well I might add, and was prompting the adudience, 1/3 was primary and high school students. So he is interacting with us and at one point he says “I can suck melancholy out of a song like a weasel sucks eggs.” I honestly nearly wet myself from laughing so hard. Just the way he said it...haha!!
Later on at the beggining of the 2nd half two of the characters are on stage wait for the scence to start and interacting with the students. Well one of them, the farm keeper, pulls out a real rabbit and skins it.
Of course the boy students were all excited by this and cheering or groaning...I couldn't decide. At one point the second character on the stage brings out these signs and they said “Meat is Murder.”
Finally towards the end two of the charcters are moving through the crowd, one of them being a woman in a short skirt. Emphasis on short. Well to help her get past of the audience members this older gentleman totally cops a feel of her butt.
Great play though. so funny!
I need sleep.
Why? Because I am an college student. Not because I have been partying, not because I have too much homework...no it because as a Uni student you always need sleep. So here is my disclaimer...there are going to be spelling errors, get over it.
This week has been a little less travel. mostly because of homework. I have three projects due in the next two weeks. Animation, Web Design and Experimental Image Making. The last being the one I want to work on the most. It is a book designed around the body. When it is done I will post images. Some of the images i am going to put up in this update relate to the book. the ones of my models Amy and Paul mostly.
Speaking of images...if you want to see any of the back images from previous pots you can just go on My Flickr and click the link for SETS and you can see them, they are in groups by the date taken.
This week though I have been to Durham Cathedral, the Newcastle Castle Keep, and just more wandering around the area. I am not going to go into great detail about this week as I have mentioned I am sleepy. Plus I have to be up at 6:30am on Saturday to catch a coach to Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island.
I think I need to start expanding my wanderings to like jesmond and Sunderland...but the bus prices and the metro are a bit...and the metro doesn't go to Sunderland...of course not. But, I did go West out near where there is an abandoned ship building site. That area was a bit creppy, there were some shanty houses like what I would expect to find in a ghetto...I might get a group and go back, cause they were cool.
So lets see here... Durnham. That was cool. The Cathedral is amazing! It is HUGE! But of course you can't take photos. Really? ugh. Well in some places you can...like the cloisers/courtyard and on the tower. Oh yes, you can climb to the tower. All 250 odd stairs. 250 stairs on a Spiral Stair Case. A narrow one even. But the view was worth it. also with in the cathedral out in the couryard a guide reminded me that some of Harry Potter was filmed here. “How cool!” you say.
But at one point there was a orchestra rehersing for a concert that evening and got to listen along with whoever else was in the church at the time. I totally took a picture of that, rules be nulled. The acustics were really beautiful.
Newcastle Castle is small on the outside but HUGE on the inside. I swear it's a TARDIS (look it up.) The whole interior is like a maze at first you have to thing about where you are it was SOOO COOL! But it was funny because the King's chambers are smaller then when I live in Columbus...haha.
Other then that it has been homework...photoshots, litho printing, and drawings. Tomorrow shouls be interesting as should Sunday.
Deadlines in the far off distance equal bad things for creative people.
Warning: there are a crap ton of images this time. They extend far down the page and are newest to oldest at the bottom.
Each current post will dictate the photos. All previous images will not be shown.
I have my play-doh with me and let me tell you what even though Northumbria is not intense it drains you. Not in a bad way, in a way that you have far too much time on your hands. That is not a good thing as a creative person. Other then that the classes are nice, but like I said in the beginning I am here for more then the school.
I have been have done many things in the past week. Alnwick Gardens and Castle, Glasglow, Tilted the Millenium Bridge, and meet the widest range of people in my flat then I ever have in one place. I am only going to touch on some of the places I have went, in another week or two I will tell you about the projects. One of then is on the second page linked above for web design.
Alwick Gardens. They have a treehouse. Frankly that is all that needs said. It was a great trip, it was so nice out sunny and all. Alnwick, pronounced Anick, is still a family home to the Duke and Duchess and their three children (all grown.) It is 30 miles south of the Scottish Boarder and is well kept. The pictures do it more justice then I can write. There is so much to see, the town right outside the gate, the gardens just a three minute walk away, the treehouse, and the castle. I took this trip as part of the One Planet trips they offer at the school. there are two more coming up soon and both should prove to be just as intense.
Tilting the bridge. The Millenium bridge is the only one of it's kind in the world. It doesn't rise or fold, it literally tilts using hydraulics. It is a one a one of a kind treat if you get to see it. But it is a whole 'nother if you get to tilt it. There are only three guys who operate the system and one of them was more then happy to show me the pump room! I was already excited before that because they showed me the varieties of the light shows. But then I got to see the pump room which is a rare and privileged sight. Even the other two guys mentioned that. The pump room is sweet and the actual hydraulics are cool (yes there is a picture.) That was so cool to see. But it got better.
I got to push the button that makes the bridge tilt. I don't think I have ever been more excited to push a damn button then I was then. I am still on a high from that days later. I mean really, the Queen pushed that button in 2004—just thought I'd mention that.
Parkour kids and the area. I met two lads who are training in Parkour (free running if you wish.) They were jumping from some of the ruins in the area, the Black Gate. I talked to them for a while then continued wandering around the area. Newcastle has really cool sights if you just roam, like the traveling gnome. I tend to find and get into places I shouldn't but there are really cool places to explore here. Seriously I was in a gallery taking photos, I know for shame...bad art student. Pfft, there are worse things...and I wasn't even using a flash.
Priory. Dude this was sweet. The past two times I have went to the coast this place has been closed, finally I got in. It was so worth the 3 pounds! It was a really nice day and so worth the trip. Before I went the the priory/monastery/military watch post I stopped at the market. I was actually looking for some macrame, seriously they had old stuff and its a port city. But instead I found an Olympus OM-20/G 35mm camera. How much? 25 pounds. Best buy so far? Eh...damn close with the fruit. But it came with a 135mm lens, a bag, and the lens holder. Niiice. you better believe I used it at the priory.
Wandering around the priry was great, but it was so windy. I mean it was dangerous. Right when I was leaving they said they were closing due to the wind levels at which they were aloud to operate. Yeah it was strong and well past the levels. The parts of the building that are still standing are amazing. I would have loved to be there when it was all one castle. Oh how beautiful it must have been. There was one spot that was fully intact. The chapel. I am telling you what, this chapel, this is what I came to England to see. The pictures won't do it justice but they are close. The sun was nice out and it shown in the stained glass and woah. Even if man built that chapel it was purely of God.
Glasglow, speaking of God. I went with a local church in the area to there monthly churches meeting. It was cool...evangelical, but cool. Before we left, by 'bus', the group of us—about 17-18 ate at the pastor/mister's house. That was fun. They took turns asking questions to myself and another American girl, Missy from Seattle. Once we left the views were so cool. I learned from other riders what the highlands and the lowlands in Scotland are. We even saw a rainbow, again the sun was shining so the grass was uber green. More green then in Spring in the states. Can we say sheep? Once in Glasglow Missy, the pastors daughter, and I went and got, I kid you not...a deep fried Mars bar. I don't like Mars bars but that was the best fried food I can honestly say I have ever eaten. It was scary good. So good it should be illegal. On the way home I sat next to the Pastor and another older member of the church, Tommy, and we talked about politics and places I should visit. Why politics? I have no idea. Oh, and the moon. It was a full moon and it was bright and huge!
There you are. I have been in Newcastle for three weeks. It's only going to get better.
btw, there were Germans, Swedes, Russian, Dutch, Mesopotamian, and American in the flat all at once. Small world indeed. Oh and I discovered you actually can cook macaroni noodles in a tupperware container in the microwave.