Christmas Day 2014: FaceTime, Family, and Drugged-Up Unconsciousness.

To You,

I hope everyone is feeling somewhat rested and de-bloated following holiday festivities of lounging in your PJ’s, stuffing your faces with dish upon dish, and enjoying exhausting enjoyable catch-ups with family members near and far. This year was a bit of a dooze.. not because of the people I spent it with, but more so because I took a Robax muscle relaxant in the morning due to a three-day ongoing headache and neck stiffness, and apparently my stomach was just empty enough for it to hit the bottom of my tum, and knock me out on and off throughout the entire day. So I slept, woke up in time to watch the first NBA Christmas Day match of the day, eat dinner, fall asleep for another two hours, wake up again to accompany my sister to the GO train station in Oshawa, drive back, and fall asleep again in the late evening. I kind of screwed that one up.

My day was a little sore, with me missing my husband terribly. I miss him so, so much I honestly cannot express into words as to how much I miss his presence. We scheduled a rendez-vous on FaceTime in the morning so that myself, my mum, and sister could watch my step-daughter open her gifts from the Canucks, and so my husband could be there to see my mum and sister open their gifts from him. It was great that we could at least arrange that. The day carried out there-on afterwards with a Skype session with my brother and his gal pal in Australia, and then the muscle relaxants took effect.. was not pretty. My mum gave out her packed up stockings which contained the traditional goods – chocolate dollars, toothbrushes, little gift cards, and little other tidbits. I opened mine enthusiastically, yet horizontally.


My yearly gold-wrapped chocolate dollars. Thanks ma/Santa.

In the afternoon, the family tradition of watching the NBA Christmas Day pair-ups commenced, although it was a little uneventful as the only games our TV package allowed us to watch were not as eventful as years past. Oh well. Food, however, is always the peak of the day, sitting at the table eating an English roast dinner of beef, veggies, Yorkshire puddings, and English trifle desserts. Always so damn yum. In the early evening my sister was headed back to Toronto, and so we all drove her to the GO train station in Oshawa (a good hour away)… my sister drove my car there to give me time to drink more caffeine and normalize my alertness, we dropped her off and I drove home. I was due to work bright and early on Boxing Day, and so I headed back to my flat in the evening to then FaceTime with my husband-face so that we could open our gifts with each other. As usual, we kept it small and personal. It’s those gifts I cherish around the holidays. My husband knows me more than anyone, and so I know his little gifts for me will be sweet and thoughtful. I was also surprised with a little package on Christmas Eve from Idaho from another dear friend packed with a lovely mix of homely tidbits.

A little box filled with things of "home" sent from Idaho - from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

A little box filled with things of “home” sent from Idaho – from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

So yes, that was my Christmas Day. New Year’s is approaching, and I will post a typical, expected reflection post in the days to come… but for now, Christmas Day was simple, yet sweet. I’m lucky to be able to spend it every year with family, and next year I look forward to experiencing the little moment of simplicity in person with my husband. I know I’ll always be away from someone in my family, and that truly sucks, but I know time is needed and due for me and my husband-face.

Much love,

Love from, Vic Louise

What I Be Doin’, Fools.

Michaelmas Term is over.

Unbuckle, stuff belongings, train to London.

SURPRISE! I greet my family in the London Heathrow underground.

SURPRISE! Miners singin’, ballet boys dancin’. Billy Elliot in the West End.

Unbuckle, stuff more belongings, train back to Durham with family in tow.

Arrive in Durham, snifflin’ n sneezin’.

Tomorrow, Christmas holly and jolly for a Son family celebration.

Monday, see ya big bruv. 3 Sons left in Durham.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – Durham, Durham, Durham.

Unbuckle, stuff belongings, passport in hand, training back to London.

Oxford Street shoppin’.

Deck the halls and tra-la-la. A Dibble/Son 25th of December Christmas.

Rest and awake. A Tran/Son Boxing Day reunion.

December 27th. Passports in hand. Heathrow bound. And all my lovin’, I’m sending home to you. 🙂 xxx


Coffee, Cake, and Vintage Books – A Walk Down the Durham Alleyways

Softly the sun rays peak through the curtains as the combination of morning light and my alarm ringing awaken me.

The last sight I saw before this moment were the stars sparkling over the rooftops as I lay to bed with hopeless dreams floating about, no energy left to spare.

With a chill outside seeping through these old window frames, I wrap up warm in a cardy, scarf and plush jacket before grabbing my cognac-coloured purse and fumbling with my keys out the door.

The air through town whispered by my ears, and the smells of stale cigarettes meeting the winter chill encompassed me.

My boots hitting stone-tiled roads and walkways, the Christmas market stalls crowding the square, and singers and musicians hitting a chord as coins fell at their feet.

Up the side alley, I stand close to the wall as if I am its supportive beams, as other pedestrians flow in the opposite direction.

I sit in the patio garden of this small, busy cafe with a milky latte frothing at the rim of its glass, and a holiday slice of raspberry sponge cake – all I was missing was a book to flip through.

With that thought in mind, I finish my tea-time snack, and head to the new bookstore in the attic. Small uneven steps lead you up the winding path until you’re standing in a small, intimate space of literature.

Books placed in paper bags, I leave after discussing art history with the owner for a few brief minutes. Down the winding blue steps, and back into the alley way. I shuffle through the tight crowds as vehicles squeeze their way through the narrow paths.

The walk was short, but peaceful. And now, on my couch, the sun is starting to set through the winter sky and everything in my flat seems still.

A Tale Full of Chapters Untold: Weeks filled with Laughter, and a Coffee Filter with Mould…

To you,

My hiatus has been a long one, as mentioned in my brief post a few days ago. But with very good reason, as November has flown by without a moment of flickering acknowledgement. I have decided though, since my exhaustion has still ceased to disappear completely from my mind’s functioning capabilities, that I will update you with my days past in a few separate postings – or ‘chapters,’ if you will.

So let us consider this to be Chapter 1, entitled:

Chapter I: Winter Holidays are Upon Us.. or something of similar ranging cheese-factor

For those of you whom are unaware, I shall be spending the Christmas portion of my winter holidays in England – something of which I have not done since 2005. But even more rare of an occasion is the fact that my entire family will be spending it together – myself, two siblings, and me ma – something of which has not happened in, oh, I don’t know, 5 or 6 years perhaps? I know, crazy, right? But alas, it is all of true tales. And I suppose if we are going to stay correct within the designation of dates, and with the 25th of December technically being the official celebration of Christmas (although, let’s not kid ourselves – we all know December being the month of Christ’s birth to be somewhat incorrect.. 😉 ), technically we are not spending Christmas Day together. Instead, on the weekend of December 16th, the Son family will be celebrating in Durham with complete ignorance to the fact that it is not the 25th. I mean, let us evaluate this situation, shall we? In the modern, western world, what is the celebration of ‘Christmas’ so to speak, apart from the religiously affiliated reasoning? Is it not considered a time to be with family? Is it not a time to appreciate your loved ones? Is it not a time to feast on a delicious spread of roast veg, Yorkshire pudding, and meat? Or a time to run around mad amongst visiting friends and family? Is it not a time to be giving the gift of good tidings, and great joy? (Do I need to include a clip of the Vicar of Dibley’s Christmas lunch? Um – YEAH! YOUTUBE INTERMISSION!!)

Well, then – how will December 16th through 18th not be considered Christmas? To be honest, the religious affiliation with the way the holiday is spent is somewhat (and sadly) lost in western tradition, and in my household we don’t always have a Christmas tree, and we don’t really give gifts to one another. We spend it together, as Hallmark intended it to be spent – according to their cards, at least. And no, this is not an anti-religious message, but more so an explanation that the Christmas holidays are very important to me, but more so because I can spend it with my family, of whom live near and far.

Another question you may be pondering – why the 16th?? Well, dear friends, my brother will be in the land of Aussies on the 25th, and so to avoid another missed Christmas together, the 16th it is! And you know what I am finding to be an odd ‘adult’ realization? I am hosting our Christmas this year. In my flat. In Durham. How weird is that? Most kids go home for Christmas – the Sons are coming to me this year… another new one for the books! I am very ecstatic though, although I am also very sad to be missing out on the Trentonian Christmas Eve dinner tradition with one of my best lovelies back home, and the fact that my dear puppy is back in Canada as well. Spending some winter time in England with my family will be awesome, and I am definitely looking forward to it 🙂 We will remain in Durham until mid week before we head to London to visit with my mum and dad’s families for the 25th. It will be my ma’s first Christmas in England in nearly 30 years, so for her, a definite special one!

Now, as for New Year’s. Slightly different plans. I will in fact be returning to North America for a fair amount of time before my next term commences in January to spend the latter portion of the holiday. I am beyond excited. I could be going anywhere in the planet, as long as my one reason for visiting was present with me, I would still be beyond excited. Location is completely irrelevant, and just like the holidays in general, for me, its the people you get to spend it with – not the events, the presents, the expectations, etc. but rather the people. I just recently purchased my plane ticket, and I am counting down the days 🙂 I am definitely hoping to see a few other friendly faces, but one in particular… well… 🙂

So that is my news on the upcoming winter holidays as my Michaelmas term slowly crawls to an end in a couple of weeks. What other chapters will follow? Well, the content will jump around from being inside a 17m-high snow globe in the middle of Durham Marketplace, a week-long apprenticeship consisting of 12-15hr work days, new photographic participation (the nerd inside of me lives on), and a day in the life of my life in Durham – I really want to illustrate the scenery of which I walk everyday, the atmosphere surrounding me, and life as an eternally confused Durham postgraduate student.

Until next time, and Chapter II of my tales, take care and speak soon.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo