Packing Boxes, but Not Yet Moving Home

To You,

There are people out there who hate moving. They hate the chaos, the packing, the sorting, the re-sorting, the mental frustration and emotional rollercoasters. Right now I’m in the midst of packing boxes of bits and pieces, artwork, books, records, clothes, etc. as I prep for yet another move in the story that is my life. You see, most of my adventures revolve around a move. And this one adds a rather depressing, melancholy tale to my immigration woes as I am yes moving out of my family home to help clear the clutter as my mum preps for her own move abroad, however I am not yet moving to my husband.

I am in an awkward head-space right now as I get my shit together in a depressive mindset knowing that although I am married – and happily so – I am not yet able to move in with him. And for two people who have never had the opportunity to share a home due to long distance and international dilemmas, we have always made our individual abodes a home for the other, even if we would step into said space a mere couple times per year. While dating, my husband (well, boyfriend at the time) had an extra key made for me to his apartment – and its pertinent to note that I was living in England at the time doing my Master’s degree. And whenever I’m in town visiting, he lets me redecorate and make it homey for me – he even purchased a pillow for my side of the bed, and when accumulating the days I’m able to visit, I’m usually there for about 1-mth per year, maybe 2.

This upcoming move into my own flat again is bittersweet. I enjoy living on my own – I did so for the first time during my postgrad degree in the UK and loved it, in fact I really wanted to enjoy that single studio-living lifestyle again. However, I never pictured that after being married I would then be given the opportunity to do so again. It throws me off, it makes me sad, and it just doesn’t feel right.

I miss my husband like mad. People say we’ll drive each other nuts when we’re able to move in with each other, and yeah, that may be the case but bring it on! Phone calls getting dropped drive me crazy, opposite work schedules drive me crazy because we can’t find the times to talk, bad phone lines drive me crazy, and having to Skype at the local Starbucks due to limiting satellite internet service at home drives me crazy – so you know what, bring on the crazy that I get to deal with in person!!

But for now, it’s back to packing boxes. I’m trying to stay excited about having my personal space again in my small Victorian bachelor space. But I miss my husband, and I would love to be packing these boxes and shoving them in a truck to head south of the border to arrive at our home.

Home is where the heart is. But I’ll do the best I can to make it homey for me and him since it makes me imagine a life with him rather than away from him.


Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Durham Sits at Number Seven, and it’s Shortly Onto Number Eight

To You,

I’m feeling uninspired. Rather tired. A little on the blah side of things. This weather for sure doesn’t help. Neither does that the fact that I have the first chapter of my dissertation due this Friday. I feel mentally drained for the most part. I think my mind has been flying overtime (which is truly no rare feat in my life), and I’m exciting myself, as well as worrying myself, over all that is about to end and all that will then begin.

Flight is booked, I am to move back to North America at the end of July, which means I am leaving Durham around the 23rd so that I may spend my last week in the UK in London, my second home. I will try to see as much family as my time allows me to, and then it’s back to Canada. However, before I settle down in a Canadian town I will be heading south to Indianapolis to finish up my dissertation and bid adieu to traditional academia for the time being (oh Lord, I cannot wait). I figure while I have the time and freedom to do so, I will spend some extra time with my adored few in Indianapolis as I know many of the said few are planning to jump ship quite shortly following. And since I have this little dissertation to construct, and landing a full-time job in the midst of that would deem a teensy bit stressful, I’ve decided to spend some time with them before my life becomes rather grounded again. Who knows – it may be the vacation I’ve needed, to settle down before I do something crazy and the circle repeats itself πŸ™‚

Overall, I am ready to head back. And more than that, I am ready to live in my beloved Canada again – shockingly enough, and a fact that makes me feel rather old, I have not lived full-time in Canada for almost 10 years. I could not believe it when I broke the numbers down, and I have missed my homeland and my home friends dearly. I feel like I’ve learned so much about the functioning of other countries of which I was residing in throughout that decade, however I feel rather lost and out of touch with Canadian culture and society – I’m not always good with catching online news updates, and I’m much better at learning from experiencing within. So back to Canada it is, forever my home of all homes. I kind of just wish I could be there already. πŸ™‚

But yes, less than two weeks left in Durham – mad how it’s already come to an end. These next two weeks I’ve loads of writing and researching to accomplish, and loads of photographs to snap. My digital as decided to go wonky on me and so I will be resorting to shooting with my new little Minolta film camera for the time being. I will be writing a few last letters, and packing my flat up. I’ll be sad to leave this flat. It’s been my own, and in the time that I inherited it from the previous tenant, I was very much in need of something all of my own as I felt like such a concept was out of reach.

Anyways, that’s it for now. Speak soon πŸ™‚

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

And so the Countdowns Commence

To you,

I feel as though the past two months have escaped my attention, and somehow it is mid June and my time here has nearly run its course. I am officially departing from this home of mine at the end of July, having ended my lease a few months early to save the financial ruins that is my savings account. Tomorrow I have a 5000 word essay due, of which I will celebrate for a day or two before cracking down on my dissertation. Having met with my supervisor this afternoon, we have decided that I will hand in a 4000 word (minimum) chapter in 3-weeks time. I have three shifts left at my job, of which I am anxiously ready to fly through, and so after 10 o’clock on Saturday evening I will express a sigh of relief and satisfaction that I survived my Master’s while holding down a part-time job. And then in 11 days and 17 hours my final visitor of the summer (and whilst I live in Durham) will arrive: my lovely beau, my handsome dude, my Mr. Beard-face, this guy I kinda know and like.. kinda πŸ˜‰

So the countdowns have commenced. 24 hours to hand in my last essay, 3 days until I am done with work at the university, 11 days &Β  17 hours until Mr. Awesome arrives, 3 weeks to write a dissertation chapter, and 1.5 months left living in Durham.

At least it’s all spread out rather evenly… right? :/

Time to crack on!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

This Place

To you,

Here in my flat I sit, surrounding by clothes, luggage, books, and papers… apparently I’ve opened up a thrift store by the looks of it. Well, a quite sad one at that since the amount of clothes I own could easily fit in a medium sized suitcase, my books I’m not willing to part with, and the papers are rather financial and official than anything of interest. Either way, I’m sitting amongst my Durham-life’s belongings πŸ™‚

Outside, the sky is blue with white fluffy clouds slowly moving across the endless planes, hovering above the rooftops of the little terrace houses, row upon row. The sunlight is leaking golden hues into my apartment, and at this time of day the beams are lighting up my fireplace, illuminating my books and objects laid upon my mantle. It’s all rather lovely.

I think my life here is all rather lovely. This flat is very much my home, added to the tiny list of places of which I’ve felt a strong connection to to call ‘home’. I’m very comfortable here, very content, and I truly will be sad to move from here in a few months when the time comes. I’ve become so at ease here, and it’s been very refreshing as a whole living on my own in this little flat. I truly did luck out, since I’ve heard from many others how impossible it was to find one-bedroom or studio accommodation here in the market place. Somehow, from abroad, I managed to snag myself a little home. I’m definitely a loner at heart, and although I do enjoy the company of others, I’m not comfortable in it at all times, and so living on my own has never been as intolerable as many expect it to be. I really do enjoy it, with no hesitation in stating as such! In a few days, I leave Durham until my return at the end of April, and throughout the summer I will be very excited to show off one of my ‘homes’ to the visitors expected to be coming and going within the sunny months.

Anyways, back to packing. It’s been a nice day. Organizing, book shopping, coffee grabbing, chit-chatting, and now pack to the start of that list.

Speak soon,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Dreaming of those Burger Eating Yesteryears

To you,

Being me – that is, being the worrier at times, the over thinker, the ‘GIMME SOMETHING TO DO!!’ person – its been slightly hard the past week readjusting to life here in Durham. I love living on my lonesome, and my flat is absolutely adorbs that I wouldn’t change that either, but, again, being me, I have had far too much time the past couple of days that I keep obsessing over the idea that one week ago I was eating a burger with someone whose company cannot be replaced and that I wish I could see everyday (oh, did I mention that I was a hopeless romantic? no? wellll now you know). I mean, you know you really enjoy being around somebody when you’re devouring an amazing burger, and that person still tops that delectable experience (also, if you didn’t know that I loved food – I mean really loved food – then again.. now you know). Anyways, the past few days have been long, empty, and ridiculously boring. I truly am enamoured with Durham, but when it gets pitch-black dark at 4:30PM, living on your own can get very lonely.

I’ve decided to make a list (under the pressure of my loving mother with whom I’ve been calling every night for the past few nights to just chat away the hours) of things to occupy my time. I figure I have 2 months here before Easter break. So let’s make that seem shorter, and specify 8 things to schedule in before then. Friends to visit. Places to travel to. Assignments to start on. Let’s go. Because people, I am not lying. THIS BOREDOM IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. No. Joke. I feel really down, I miss my close friends and my absolutely amazing best friend with whom I couldn’t ask for more (and as a bonus, he’s rather easy on the eyes πŸ˜‰ ), and I miss meeting for coffees, and coming home to see someone that is happy to see me, even if it’s just to go out and eat a burger. I even miss that burger. 😦

I don’t do well with masses amounts of spare time. It has been the hardest transition since being here as a traditional student, and no longer an art student. In art school, yeah I had my papers to research and write, and exams to study for, but with studio assignments you did not sit at a laptop or in the library and get stuff done. You carried your books with you, placed them down amongst your design, concept, installation plans and got your hands busy. Printing images. Testing experimental processes. Getting high off paint/spray adhesive fumes. Sitting in gallery spaces for hours on end plotting out your exhibition. Installing at 2 o’clock in the morning. Spending hours watching a massive car accident unfold outside your gallery space, whilst standing atop a ladder wondering if the tarp on the pavement was covering a corpse or just left behind on accident (and it was the latter, thank god..). THAT was busy. Don’t get me wrong – I am so thrilled to be here and take time to just research material, and formulate an argument based off such research with my art theories, and I do not regret taking a year to study as a traditional student. But sitting in a library or in a coffee shop or in my flat does not feel like working. I mean I could carry around a can of spray adhesive for old times sake, but I don’t think that encourages a healthy habit.

So anyways, that’s me. I’m bored. Severely and grumpily bored. And my mood’s been down in the dumps and homesick because of it. sigh.

Until next time,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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.

Questionably Odd, yet Described with a Self-Termed Synonym of ‘Endearing’

To you,

So for the weekend, of which I thought I would have to force myself to find things to occupy my spare time with, I have ended up sitting here at my re-arranged and reorganized work setup hoping that I will be able to complete everything before my exhaustion kicks in. First of all, my adapting to this whole living on my lonesome deal is going somewhat the way any new found relationship does. It’s all rather new and exciting with moments of giddy butterflies mangling each other inside your tummy-tum-tum, and smiles and wide-eyed thoughts dreaming of all the brand new experiences to come. But then once in a while, your mind starts to ponder on the effort and re-evaluation of all things new and prior which will affect your new found love. To clarify with points of which I am sure to expand on in the coming weeks and months –

Point A: Eating habits

The cliche yet poignant ideal as to how one cooks for oneself – emphasis on the ONE. I’m not sure as to what my battle within this topic will be. It will be either not eating due to not needing to cook for anyone else, or the complete opposite being that I will be making large portions still out of habit, and in turn will eat twice the portion as to what I would typically. I mean, no one’s watching me. My appetite can finally be expressed in all its glutenous glory. Thus far, its been the prior. My fridge currently houses a loaf of bread, a tub of Greek yoghurt, butter spread, a half empty bag of mushrooms (the healthy kind, not the fun kind), and milk. My freezer: ice cubes. My pantry: pasta galore, cans of tomatoes, salt and peppah, granola bars, nutella and peanut butter, and cooking ingredients for bread making. No meat. No snacky yum yums. And might I mention that I just went grocery shopping today… and yet this is all that I have. In one day, I ate nothing but toast, yoghurt with strawberries, and Wheatabix cereal. I made myself cook the other night – and mind you, I absolutely love to cook and I am sure that I will dive into it as the winter months ensue and my stomach craves the warmth of all things baked. But right now, I am adjusting. On one hand, I am eating healthy, although perhaps not enough of my healthy indulgences as I should be. I’m pretty sure I’ve already lost weight – my freshman 15 always seems to be the opposite as reputed. Anyways, let’s move on to –

Point B: Foolish celebrations

Within my first few days of settling into my flat, everything I did would be followed by the declaration of “I can do this, because this is MY apartment. MINE!” I kid you not. I would actually express this in an audible fashion with a firm, slightly crazy but let’s just say endearing, assurance. I’d be doing the laundry – “I can do this at midnight, because this is MY apartment!” Arranging my decorative tidbits – “I can put this on the mantle because this is MY apartment!” Eating biscuits and tea in bed in the morning – “I can be here, because this is MY apartment! MINE!!” This one would slowly follow by the depressing realization that it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and I was getting crumbs everywhere… “I can bitch about my crumbs, because they’re MINE!” Endearing. Oh, so endearing. Right? But in all seriousness, I would do this and am still doing this when I purchase something cute for my flat, or rearranged my furniture. My schedule is mine. My grocery list is mine. My spare time is mine, and oh my God do I appreciate that! Although it can get a little lonely, wishing I had a familiar face to call up and visit, but alas I must adjust. I think I’m dealing with such in an okay manner, however. A therapist may say I have possession issues, but that’s a whole different conversation πŸ™‚

Thus far, I think I’m rather happy living on my lonesome. I’ve managed decently as well, I think. I found a flat in a perfect location with all the amenities of which I require through my own online hunting and researching from across the pond. I arranged my bills, internet and phone installation from abroad. Set-up my bank account, and researched my options for a phone plan. I figured out the bus system – something of which I have always failed to do in every previous location of which I’ve lived! Today, I organized my office with my new printer which I’ve already used to print out around 200 pages worth of reading lists, seminar schedules, syllabi, etc. I am really rather comfortable here, and I’m very, very pleased with this. I think now more than ever I was truly in need of some space and time to think to myself. I don’t plan on being a recluse as such, but I definitely needed something of my own.

Anyways, lets cut it here for now. I’ll have more to update on soon as I start my courses this week. I already have my readjustment thoughts bubbling regarding that, and I’m sure to expand on that tomorrow evening πŸ™‚

Much love and peace.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo