Sunday, December 31, 2006

the brontes make gtg sad

hellooooo it's me, it's cathy i've come hoooommeee ooooh etc. *wails*

haha guess where i am??? england is still cool though i am everybody's favourite asthmatic again *squeaks* i forgot about smoking in pubs and restaurants.

currently staying with the lovely caroline (who is currently checking her blog) and went on a nice drive today round to historical sites in the peak district including a prehistoric stone circle, several stately homes (though closed cos new years but fab views) and eyam, which is that plague village _the year of wonders_ is based on. that was a little sad/creepy, but it was a very pleasant day and i feel all sort of settled in time now, y'know.

had lovely chrissie with tofu and the hard farmer which consisted almost exclusively of eating masses of wonderful food and reading the huge stack of books we had between us. v. g. books for christmas. had some very nice rambles round the lake district and had a quick tour round dove cottage (william wordworth and his harem lived there). very small and dark. huzzah for that romanticism subject i did last year.

went to haworth and stayed in a YHA which was this enormous mansion-style building built in 1884. and went to the parsonage. oh it was so sad. so sad. but wonderful to be there and see charlotte's tiny dress and their writing boxes and keeper's collar and all the old manuscripts. oh it was lovely. did my only souviner shopping (england is *expensive* plus). the parsonage is sort of stuck in the graveyard, and all the gravestones mossey and off on angles. we went for a bit of a wander on the moors and i feel over and got genuine haworth mud on me. very atmospheric. we tried to have lunch in the pub old bramwell drank himself to an early grave in but it was so smokey we turned up our snotty noses and left. tofu and HF also crook, poor things. hope they are feeling better for their big day.

had another quick day in york. oh, i didn't write about the first one, did i? oh, yorkmister is *fabulous*, just stunning. we went on a tour given by a little nun and learnt such a lot. it took them 200 years to build it and you can see all the different styles of architecture. beautiful carvings and stained glass. we stayed for evensong, which was good.

lots of photos, will do later. good to see all commentors, sorry i don't have time to reply individually. but am still alive and stuff and having a fabulous time. not really looking forward to getting back to work, i'm enjoying this history, literature, eating, rambling, gazing-in-awe business far too much.

love to all

Friday, December 22, 2006

london is cool


eee! spent entire day sight-seeing, what fun. have been on lots of red double-decker buses and been on the tube and seen bobbies in hard hats. it's kinda like travelling on a big monopoly board. ooo, went to paddington station too. anyways, today i went to trafalger square and saw the lions then to the portrait gallery. the portrait gallery was *amazing*. the benefits of a (post) colonial literary education. i was muttering things like "_pamela_ sucked, you know" and "ooo, they left all the good bits out of that george elliot blurb". and i saw the brontes, poor old things, and masses of tudors. god the paintings were fabulous. lots of good elizabeths and baby kings and hundreds of henry VIII's wives. a bit dusty but.

then i went for a bit of a wander down the thames (cold and foggy, which is appropriate), over the bridge with a quick gawk at big ben, and to the tate modern, which had some very cool stuff in, including these enormous slides people were going down. then i went for a wander over to teh globe theatre but it was closing so i walked over the millenium bridge and up to st pauls, which was pretty speccy. and then i managed to get the tube home and change lines and everything. good ol' london a to z.

now i am tired and have a lovely stack of postcards. we head off to york tomorrow, very early. very lovely to be back with the girls.

p.s. sorry photos are all out of order. they are all of things i've seen today, so you can match them up yourselves. . .

Thursday, December 21, 2006


guess where i am!

london is cool, the girls are fab, going to art galleries tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

i am doing so much better with this flight than the last one. i remembered to confirm my flight (100% improvement) and am packed already:the pile on the left is for taking on the plane (the little clear plastic sealable bag is to put my less than 30ml of liquids in). note the smallness of the other bags - less than 15k! huzzah!

and this was going to be a sort of reflective pre-adventure sort of shot but it didn't really work. so i am putting it in cos i like how weird looking my arm is. enjoy!

travel details

dear all,

as i may have mentioned once or twice i'm skipping *this* country tomorrow. yeah. i'm leaving here on the 20th in the arvo and arriving in london 21st midday (local times). back in canadia on the 5th of jan.

i expect interweb access will be intermittent, so don't be worried if i don't post too often. i'll do my best to keep the blog up and running. otherwise look forward to masses of photos when i get back!


Monday, December 18, 2006

more winter wonderland stuff

those mountains are so cool. nothing on HF's, of course, but this was taken from the eng dept window. it is only snowing up high - raining downtown.

stunning views of places that are not here III

this is the hard farmer looking interprid on her mountaineering trip to switzerland. fabulous mountains and spectacular amounts of fitness. the mountain in the background (Weissmies) was 4023 metres!

thanks HF!

in other news, i am informed by the parental unit that we have more aunt-types on board. welcome! hello to mrs darcy from healesville, fb from Eltham and mb from kalorama. and also mc, who is not an aunt but is still very welcome. please do comment - the more the merrier!

i have been pottering round downtown doing last minute things then stomping back through the snow to an increasingly deserted university to potter round my room. rereading the bartimaeus trilogy, which is fab - you all must do likewise. that is all.

[one degree and snowing]

Sunday, December 17, 2006


occasionally i get the urge to join a soccer team.

then i get over it:have been having pleasant dull at-home-time, with mending and cooking and reading. nothing blogable.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

i'm dreamin' of a white christmas

also, dunno if ppl might be interested in this:

it's the movie website for the movie of pullman's _his dark materials_.

emily carr exhibition

i braved the record breaking winds today and went downtown again. after stocking up on maple syrup and other goodies (and getting a nice coriander laden vegie burger from a hole in the wall "gorilla food bar", which sold organic vegan raw food) i went to the art gallery and saw the exhibition of emily carr's work they have up at the moment. she was a bc artist who did lots of forests and totem poles. my favourite is the first picture below. it was odd looking at the forest paintings, because they are so emotive and bold, with big swirls of colour and i could see that they were beautiful, but they were just so foreign.

there was a couple of other fun exhibitions upstairs, including some very weird installation art, which is always fun, and some nice portraits.

"Forest, British Columbia," oil, 1932, 130 x 86.8 cm.

" Kitwancool Totems", 1928.

"Indian Church". 1929. Oil on canvas, 108.6 x 68.9 cm

Friday, December 15, 2006

"dad always weighed our packs on his fish scales before we went anywhere and we used to laugh at him, but now i'm doing it i'm all 'oooh, i wish i had a little hook to hang my pack on!'"

fascinating news

a'right, so what's been happening?

went to the vso christmas concert last night, which had opera singers and orchestral music and sing-a-longs. good clean fun. it was held in the uniting church, which is a big stone church downtown with vaulted ceilings and stainglass windows. this was with the other MAs. we went out after and had some interesting grub at "tom + jerrys". they're all heading off in the next day or two for colder parts of canada.

have spent the last couple of days wandering round downtown and the drive, buying presents and books and fruitlessly trying to get my shoes resoled. beginning to think i should bite the bullet and buy a new pair of docs in the uk - the current ones lasted eleven years, which is excellent value for money. the brown boots may yet find a repairer, just a bit tricky cos "rossi jumbucks", y'know. . . anyway, i know nobody else is interested much in my boots. what else exciting?

gave chrissy cards and tacky koala clip-ons to friend-types, which have been well received, so there to ppl who said they were tacky! i would be very pleased if someone gave me a tacky moose clip-on. winifred says i am spreading the myth that if you go to australia you can cuddle koalas. this all at eleanor's goodbye drinkies tonight, which i just got back from. oh and bumped into anne at my favourite second hand bookshop on the drive, which was entirely cool. we did coffee and she bumped into a girl she went to class with. so very cosmopolitan, we are.

the snow gave up after about half an hour, boo, and it's been bucketing down rain ever since. supposed to be a huge storm tonight. hope everyone's flights leave okay. they've been evacuating people on the island cos the electricity's been down for a week. i seem to have arrived in time for some serious weather. this is a recap of events from the globe and mail:

"Even before this latest storm hit Thursday, it's been a violent and early start to the winter season. On Vancouver Island, some residents have lost power three times in the past two months. In November, residents along the edge of the Chilliwack River in the Fraser Valley were washed out of their homes, and homeowners in West Vancouver were forced from their cliff-side residences when trees threatened to slide down into their bedrooms.

The gales and rainfall created landslides into the Greater Vancouver region's drinking-water supply, forcing an unprecedented 12-day boil-water advisory for one million residents. It was also the snowiest November in Vancouver's history."

interesting stuff, eh? oh and i got my vapouriser thingy working and am working my way through all eight essential oils i have lined up on my desk. it's so lovely. i can smell it when i walk in the door. (this cos i'm not allowed incense or candles cos of smoke detector of doooooom)

there, aren't you glad you asked?

Thursday, December 14, 2006


it's snowing again.

*fakes nonchalance*

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

stunning views of places that are not here II (currently accepting submissions)

bbb (left) and my uncle "on top of Mt Ossa, highest mtn in Tasmania – about 1600metres, cf Kosciuszko approx 2200m. In background are Barn Bluff on left and Cradle Mtn on right."

speccy, no? much summit ambition. good work!

i feel all weird and loose-end-ish


working out marks smells like cheese.

it's blowing up a storm outside.

i'm going downtown!

grot's surprise bush b'day party

looks fabulous fun!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

orright, whose idea was this?

very cute, thankyou! i shall call her "wombat" after the muddle-headed wombat.

cards just right - very tasteful. ta!

other ppl

hellos and hugs to those coping with bushfires and smoke. thinking of you.

hi to caroline, my friend with the silly accent, and good luck with the texans. also ta for chrissy card. it came yesterday!

also big thankyous to jt for *two* fabulous packages! the beanie and mittens are fab - they fit just right and are warm and stylish. and then fab smelly things! in scents i like! also impressive packaging. now i can take australia where-ever i go. . .

i'm back!

i'm baaaack! *and* i'm just about finished! i got that essay done - woke up at 3am realising i hadn't answered the question i posed with such rhetorical flourish in the introduction, but couldn't do anything to the essay without redoing all the formatting i'd spent hours on, so. why do i always insist on using illustrations??? years out of my life. . . they are pretty though. nearly exploded the communal printer getting them on paper. heh.

got the marking done with brutal efficiency then promptly collected another pile twice as high. invigilating exams is excessively boring. marking them was okay though, cos the TAs got together and had an exam marking party. we made pizza and gossiped and i got nearly all my marking done! huzzah!

i leave in eight sleeps. eeeee! so very very exciting! plans for the intervening period include doing everything i've put off over the last two weeks (dishes, shoe repair, groceries, find a plant sitter, reply to lovely emails, chase up books for next semester, etc.) and oh, there's a word i want, um resuscitating? my "explore vancouver" project, which i'm really looking forward to. i'm going to go back out to kits, round more of downtown than robson, back to the art gallery, into stanley park, down main street, oooo, so many possibilities. especially now i have the coat of fabulousness (TM). and also seeing humans again.

just finished "p+p" and "jane eyre" and have started elizabeth gaskell's biography of jane eyre. now to find a nice book about the tudors. had my first strawberry margie (from a slushie machine!) since i left, which was sort of comforting and familiar. . . this was at a mexican themed christmas party. at which i met lots of nice people, including a child_lit woman i'd been in contact with before i left. i also encountered my first mocker of australian accents, which made me really mad, especially as i was in dinner party mode and just nodded politely instead of telling him where to go. next time, my friends, next time. i have become increasingly desperate for australian accents (had a good chat with the ausn at the friday party) so am listening to triple j and r via webstreaming (fabulous interweb, how i love thee).

Saturday, December 09, 2006

itchy has found the cockroach!

itchyfingers is THE BIG WINNER!

she found the cockroach where i had hidden it, in alanis morisette's pocket, along with her hand.

where will that pesky cockroach turn up next??? see itchy for the next thrilling installment!

(i, on the other hand, have 3,500w and have resumed breathing)

help pls

also, having been raised heathen, i need some help - what would you call this picture? jesus washing the feet of the disciples? is there a common name for this?

it's for my essay


aaargh! slept in! (carefully set alarms but neglected to turn either on) shouldn't have gone to party! though party was fun.

all i have to do is mark all those essays and write one of my own. and organise sixteen million illustrations for essay. by monday morning.

marked six essays before breakfast.

doooooooom. . .

Friday, December 08, 2006

stunning views of places that are here

this is part of a panorama of vancouver. it didn't work very well, but it's still an okay photo. i didn't take this one, stole it. the white thing on the left is the big stadium, possible where i saw that footy game, and you can see the science centre in the middle there (the golf ball covered in sparkly lights).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

stunning views of places that are not here

jt took these photos of a lake in wondonga. it's so hot the water has all dried up. the smoke and the strange orange glow are from the bushfires in victoria. from here, where the snow is melting on the ground, it looks like another planet. i recommend clicking on the photo to get a bigger view. they're stunning. thanks, jt!


i got the children's lit scholarship! debt be damned! huzzah!

learning, growing and procrastinating

urg. tired. but i've discovered the first volume of harry potter as an audiobook on the shared music thingie and i'm going to go to bed and listen to more of that. crying out for a good editor.

managed to avoid doing any of my own work today, which is an achievement. marking is the perfect procrastination tool. i did a whole class-worth and feel very proud. actually i feel like i've achieved stuff with some of these students. we've learned and growed together.

spent all morning getting screwed round by beauracry. it's been a while, y'know. this time it was banks who swore black and blue over email and phone that i could apply for a credit card but in person laughed and snorted. except for the bank branch that had mysteriously moved to another location - one the bus driver had never heard of. waste of a bloody morning.

i always thought it was easy to get into debt. . .

had our last asian-canadian lit class night, which was sad. it's been a very mind-extending sort of course. and such fabulous books. i have half a dozen authors to look out for now. ended with a whooooooole lot of food, oh so much food, and the prof handing out old books related to the course. it was a lovely way to finish, and now i have reading to look forward to when i finish this essay.

hmmm, essays, one down, one to go. plus marking then invigilating and marking the first year exam. then sleeping and stuff. yeah. oh and another international jaunt.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

hide the cockroach!

i have hidden a cockroach somewhere musical. dear new players,
this is a virtual variation on a game itchy and used to play in brunnie. one person hides a cockroach and the others have to guess where it is. clues given at reasonable intervals. the winner gets to hide the cockroach next (if the winner doesn't have a blog i'm happy to host, or i'm sure itchy would too). you would be surprised how vindictive a nice game of hide the cockroach can be. enjoy!

previous guesses include:

that weird guy who denounces psychology on swanston st?

doing laps of the deep fryers at TBs

up the skirt of the hula hoop guy on the swanston/bourke corner?

In AP's coffin?

in the mouth of one of the three statue guys on the cnr of bourke/ swanston?

hiding amongst the chocolate frogs in haighs

in that hideous all singing, all dancing clock near the shot tower?

and the actual answer was:
my cockroach is indeed with the south american band at the Vic market. Currently he is trying to convince them to let him be a stand in pan pipe player, but all he can play is 'la cucaracha', so it's unlikely he will fulfil this dream.

last renaissance class

"whenever you've got three men you know you've got some kind of crazy-ass new testament parable thing going on."

we had our last renaissance marvellous class last night, which was kinda sad. it's been a fun subject. last night we were discussing _the tempest_, bacon's "the new atlantis" and four critical articles. there's been a lot of reading for this one. . . i don't get why shakespeare criticism is all about shakespeare criticism. drives me up the wall.

anyways, we had nice quiche in the break and the prof's partner brought in their little boy to say hi, and i spent all class nursing my new special friend:

then we all went out after and had nice red. very good night.

it has stopped snowing and gone back to grey and miserable, but only light rain, so the snow is still thick on the ground. nice warm eight degrees.

christmas trip keeps getting more exciting!

now i'd best go get going on this essay due in two hours. . .

Sunday, December 03, 2006

i'm bored of studying

so here are some fantastic guineapigs, c/o the gaurox:
also check this out:

it's a hyperbook, a new medium for storytelling. very interesting. c/o child_lit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

congrats to tofu and the hard farmer!

i have the perfect bridesmaid's gown earmarked on ebay:
sorry, i couldn't find any apricot taffeta. will this match your frocks?

Friday, December 01, 2006

happy birthday, grotty!
have been doing study and socialising and stuff, so no posting. here are some more pics of snow. purty. we had another night of snow and since then it has been clear and warm (2 degrees yesterday!) but the snow is still around. the trees have sprouted fairy lights and look very beautiful against the snow.
handed in my proposal, started working on the essay. taught my last class, it was okay, bit subdued for my noisy group. leaving for the uk in nineteen sleeps! got not one but *two* postcards from the the girls - they'd been hiding in the international student society rooms. the postcards, not tofu and the hardfarmer. that would be silly.

dinner at winifred's place tonight, with some of the gang, then b'day drinks with the other MAs downtown. essays be damned! i love my coat like a mongoose. maybe more.