Pic-chas.


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

I Have Returned From Whence I Came. Well, Not Really, but I Was Hoping for Some Kind of Dramatic Proclamation of My Blogging Return.


To you,

Yes, I have been rather rubbish at writing for the past couple of weeks. For many different reasons I took a slight hiatus from the blogging-sphere, and now with the assistance of returned power to my lovely MacBook Pro, I am briefly here to proclaim a continuing existence on this little diddy.

Reasons for my hiatus: well, they vary somewhat. From the emotional and mental to the electrical, my oh my what a tale of such woes and fury these thoughts could dispel. Okay, not as such, but what a great description for my futuristic romance novel debut if I ever decide to choose that authorship path in life, eh? In all honesty, there were emotional, mental, and electrical dysfunctions of sorts but none so woeful and filled with fury. I have been having some on and off bits of stress and worry causing my moods to hit a rather low slum. I obviously miss those back home, but there are some definite significant kinks in my situation of which make living so far away that much harder. I’m still kicking though! Also, the battle of landing employment on this side of the pond has been rather frustrating, to say the absolute least. I have lived the past four years only being able to work a legal set amount of 20hrs/week as an International student in the U.S. and now here, I am fully legal to work whatever I can manage. And I have not been able to find anything past 20hrs/week. Having struggled for the past month being here without working – it truly has driven me mad some days – I have now found a ‘Casual’ position within catering at Durham University which is providing me with substantial wages to live. And when I say ‘live’ I by no means mean food, coffee, mobile phone bill (although that’s probably the least of the three). I of course mean rent, and rent alone. So I can live indoors, but I’ll be skin and bones. 🙂 I am rather pleased to have found work though finally, because the few of you of whom I’ve spoken to most definitely know that my mood has suffered. So to those few, I will send you my employer’s address and you can mail him a letter thanking him for my halt in depressing phone calls and messages 😉 .

In addition to said employment, I have also landed a week’s long gig of which I am extremely enthused with. I managed to secure a position as a Project Apprentice with the upcoming Lumiere Festival, which is a huge light-based art event in Durham. With local, national, and international artists collaborating and creating numerous light installations throughout the city, it is organized by a creative projects team from London and I’ll be working with them while they’re in the city. It also includes numerous workshops which will give further insight into what working within artistic related events on the grand scale entails. This apprenticeship alone pays almost a month’s work at my other job, so I’ll be banking a decent penny and working with people within the arts sector. Big air high fives all around!!

Apart from my employment updates, school is going well – the readings are still somewhat foreign to me and I’m having some difficulty with the fact that I am so academically behind these young grad students, having never studied European political history, or any political history for that matter. I’m indulging in some academic lectures of which I’m enjoying, such as the David Miliband lecture, and the lecture with the head of the Human Rights UK. More are approaching next week regarding the Arab Spring and other relative matters.

Having mentioned this to others, and possibly within my writings as well, I feel as though this was the year of all years thus far where me living on my own has been the right move. I’ve always wanted to experience living on my own, but have never had the financial means or opportunity to do so. It’s still a stretch here regarding finances, but I’m managing. I’ve definitely hit emotional and mental realizations in reference to the healing processes of which I’ve never given myself the time to ponder over in regards to numerous occasions tracing all the way back to Purdue (2003) and possibly even prior. I feel like my mind is slowly realizing that I have no roadblocks in making my way through the healing process – no roommates, flatmates, awkward unannounced interruptions, etc. I’ve a schedule, and I’ve my own space and time. Its been most definitely difficult the past couple of weeks, in trying to sort out my post-postgraduate plans because there is so much I want to start experiencing without hesitation, but unfortunately many of my dreams take place in numerous varying locations, and do not correlate with the others. Its been a struggle, and quite a significant one causing many days of feeling quite grey.. neither here, nor there. And as I mentioned, I have very significant things of which mean the most dearest of all my experiences right now and it can be very challenging to experience said things with my current set of events, a.k.a studying in Durham. I hate to be one of those people, but yes, I am sadly and pathetically complaining and crying over all the wonderful things occurring in my life right now. Go on. Looooaaaathe me. But to be quite honest, I think I am coming to realize and witness the surfacing of much hurt and pain that I’ve experienced over the past many years, which is refreshing to see it come to light, but not quite an assisting factor with all other stress occurring in the present! Oh well, one can’t control everything… or at least I haven’t discovered how to do so just yet..!

So that’s me right now. Part-time employed. Fantastic opportunity coming up in the next couple of weeks within the arts sector. Financing the dream of living indoors. And spending such a dream moping in said indoor space. Oh, and I’ve mailed out a bunch of letters, and more will be sent in the next few days. Watch those mailboxes people. I’ve yet to create my postcards, so you’ll have to settle for the even more old school letter writing. Pen and paper. My two most loved tools 🙂

To add a brief catch-up to the not-so-brief tale of my woes and sorrows, here’s my latest timeline to catch you up even further!
Oct. 14 – Oliver (bruvah) and Georgina (pesty bestie) came to Durham in two separate yet highly coincidental visits
Oct. 17 – interviewed for Lumiere Festival, and received an offer 🙂
Oct. 19 – Human Rights UK lecture (awesome awesome awesome)
Oct. 21 – went to Baltic Contemporary Art Centre for the Turner Prize exhibit in Newcastle
Oct. 21 – David Miliband lecture (fantastical)
Oct. 28 – did some temp work in a kitchen and was oddly offered a catering/front of house position literally as I stepped in the door
Oct. 29 – went to London for Oliver’s 29th birthday shindig
Oct. 30 – mysteriously misplaced my laptop charger in Oliver’s apartment only for it to be found after I had returned to Durham, therefore eliminating all computer usage until today
Oct. 31 – started my new job
Nov. 1 – discovered a small contemporary gallery in Durham which was to open an exhibit from the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico featuring one of my fave printmakers, Jim Dine’s pieces
Nov. 4 – my grand return to this blog thing, and my first night working a Durham formal dinner
Tomorrow – I shall longboard my way to the gallery to gaze at the Lithography featured pieces and attend a lecture from some art folk from London and abroad
Nov. 14 – 21st – Lumiere Festival and Apprenticeship take place
Dec. 7 – completion of the Michaelmas Term
Winter Hols – ???xoxoxoxox????

That’s me. How’s you?

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

It’s Been a Long Week. Here Are Some Pics In Lieu of Words For Now.


 Durham City from Wharton Park

Durham City from Wharton Park

A 6-year gap reunion!

Best friends since the mid-90's, we met up after 6-years of no visits :o) Now, she in Oxford, me in Durham, and not an ounce of cool between us.

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Durham City Market

Durham City Market

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Paella... lots and lots of Paella

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

A brief note To You,

As mentioned, its been a long week. From last Saturday to today, what has occurred is the following: a weekend visit from my brother simultaneously added with a rendez-vous between best friends whom hadn’t seen each other in over six years also referred to as the Epic Reunion of Ariana (me) and Karazlactim (G); 2 full days working on my feet for the Durham University Careers Fair; 2 days of modules; 3 job interviews with 1 offer and 2 call-backs; a trip to Newcastle to apply for my National Insurance Number and a check-in at the Turner Prize 2011 exhibitions; a lecture through my department with David Mepham, the Director for Human Rights in the United Kingdom; and a lecture with David Miliband, MP for South Shields. Brilliant week, but a long one. Hope the photos suffice for now as I must run, because I’ve a bun in the oven – literally.. I’m baking bread as we speak… the metaphoric translation would make this a rather busy week with loads more gossip to share than I care for at the moment.

🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo