Looming…

I am having a bit of a hard day. Things just don’t feel right and I have been vaguely anxious about everything. I am getting tired of not knowing where we will be going next year, and, honestly, even though I am really excited to have a break from school, I am a bit scared of my lack of having a plan, job wise. In general I am quite excited to move, but today it just seems like a lot of big, scary, emotional, overwhelming work. Not that I have do anything concrete yet, but in some ways that makes it worse. There is this big looming change in my life that is, well I said it already, just…looming.

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Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blue.

sunlight

Miraculously, the clouds parted and the sun shone down this day upon the people of Toronto.  “Hallelujah!” they cried. The world was white and blue.

blue and white

Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Grey.

I love winter, I really do. But to be quite honest I am ready for it to be spring. I am ready for the world to be green and lovely again as opposed to uniformly and uninterestingly grey. Right now all I see when I go outside  is grey sky, grey slush, grey salt stains and grey dirt-covered snow. Winter, I am so over you.

Green! (Fence-building in my back yard in early summer)

Published in: on February 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trout and Other News

So I made a pretty delicious dinner this evening, if I do say so myself (and I do). Rainbow trout marinated in lemon juice, rubbed liberally with garlic and fried in butter on a bed of cooked spinach, carrots and onions.

The other news is that my boyfriend received word that the Other British University that he wanted to go to accepted him (woot!) but they seem to want him to accept or decline his offer of admission rather sooner than we had anticipated. Much sooner in fact, as they wish to know before he finds out about funding from either university which, (it being the case that they both have hefty international student fees and the exchange rate is not in our favour) is a bit stressful, to say the least.

As we wait on further details from both institutions, emailed sporadically or delivered by post to our door,  I am getting better at answering people’s questions about what I will be doing next year after I graduate. I am getting better at not answering the questions with “I am not really sure yet, but the BF is going to grad school in England and I am tagging along” and then feeling lame because I don’t have a more solid, more recognizable plan of my own. And I don’t feel as though I am just tagging along, anyway. Going abroad  is a decision that the BF and I made together (I have to keep reminding myself). It is our plan and will be a great opportunity for me as well. I will get to have some time to think about my next steps career-wise and school-wise while being in a beautiful place that is much closer to my family in France  while having an adventure with a man I love. I won’t be able to fall into a boring me-out-of-school-in-Toronto routine. Even if I have a crap job at first it will be a crap job in an interesting place with plenty of opportunities to meet new people and try new things. There, I just gave myself the pep talk I needed. Go team. We will rock the UK thing. woot.

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Resolutions…

Dear Internet, please witness these resolutions for 2011:

-I will write more (blog/journal/thoughts/stories/poems – whatever, just more of it).

-I will exercise regularly because it makes me feel happy and way less stressed and way more competent.

-I will finish and send off my application for my British passport so that I can prove my citizenship (through my british father) which will allow me to work in the UK and EU.

-I will see my grandparents and extended family up Ottawa-way more frequently until I leave for England.

-I will find some way of making money that I love (note: this does not necessarily have to be the ONLY way I make money, or continue to make money).

So there. Those are my goals for 2011. The last one is the scariest one to write out because it is the resolution that I am feeling the least optimistic about at the moment. However, I am going to try really hard to stay optimistic and open to possibilities and to trying new things. This seems preferable to deciding preemptively that my only recourse after I graduate will be serving sandwiches to Cambridge students (a rather depressing thought I have been entertaining of late).

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Grandparents’ Farm

Morning at the farm: the view from my bed

Happy New Year!

I am back from a restorative visit with my grandparents and aunt at their farm. It was so nice to see them. My grandfather seemed to be doing a bit better, which was really good to see. My grandparents’ farm is one of my very favorite places in the entire world. Here are some pictures:

Old barns

My grandparents have a lovely (now, due to age, rather eccentric) stove. It is great beacuse it is a wood burning stove on one half but has electric elements on the other half. Perfect for extended power outages and winter storms. When I was little I would always try to get up early with my grandfather so that I could help him light the stove in the mornings in winter. He would direct me as to how to place the logs and the kindling so that the fire would burn steadily. Considering how old it is, it is still in quite good shape despite the fact that you have to set the oven so that it reads 100 degrees higher than the intended temperature.

The farmhouse stove: half wood burning, half electric.

My aunt’s three dogs: Riley, Panda, and Tula playing while on a walk through the fields.

From left to right: Panda, Tula, Riley

Below is the view of the farm from beside the bottom of the quarter-of-a-mile lane  running from the road to the farmhouse. My grandma told me that the house was originally built right up at the road, but the original  owners got tired of being bothered by peddelers and so rebuilt it as far from the road as possible.

The farm house: view from near the road

Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas Canadiana and Other News

Lovely woolly Canadiana

One of my favorite things that my boyfriend or I received for Christmas this year was a wonderful hudson bay wool throw. I am stupidly excited about it and plan to spend as much of the winter months curled up in it as is humanly possible.

Tomorrow I am going to my grandparent’s farm which is situated about an hour outside of Ottawa. Their farm is one of my favorite places in the entire world. My grandpa is still not doing very well after his fall and concussion and although I want to see him I am also a bit apprehensive about having to fully face the condition he is in at the moment. Things have changed so much for my grandparents in the short period of time since his injury and I have not seen either of them since my grandpa’s accident. I still picture my grandfather as perfectly healthy and happy and part of me does not want that to be replaced by images of him as old and tired and confused. I am looking forward to seeing them though and I know that it will feel good to be able to help them out a bit while I am visiting. They have both done so much for me over the years.

In the mean time, I am gearing up for 2011 which is looking like it will be a big exciting year. Happy (almost) 2011!

Published in: on December 31, 2010 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Holidays…

Hello my dear little neglected blog,

So I survived my last fall term of my B.A. and have been enjoying a bit of a break. Sadly I have lots of school work to do over the next two weeks till spring terms begins, but for now I have been taking it easy.

Over all I had a lovely Christmas. It is a busy time of year because my brother has his birthday on the 23 of December and we usually have a little family dinner to celebrate and then we are full fledged into Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrations.

detail of our Christmas tree

I decided to try and make as many Christmas gifts as possible this year to suit my currently unemployed student’s budget. I made a (more or less) traditional steamed Christmas pudding for my mother-out of-law, many fig christmas cookies and some clementine marmalade which I had never tried before but ended up quite liking.

Plum pudding, ready to be steamed

Fig-filled Christmas cookies!

Making clementine marmalade

All in all Christmas was pleasant. No major family blow ups and no disasters. I received some nice presents and gave some nice presents. It was good to spend time with my family and our family friends and eat lots of good food together.  Next year I will probably be celebrating my Christmas across the Atlantic Ocean in England. I am grateful to have had such a nice Christmas here at home.

Published in: on December 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Trying to finish Joyce’s Ulysses

A daughter, voluminous manypaged ratherdullcolored skuffcreased book  in hand, attempts to read not one but three segments (Eumaeus, Ithica, Penelope) of wordrattling, soundprattling soundouting Ulysses by that most venerable author JJ. She wades through words, waitingly. Waitingly, she stumps through text, ploddingly. She mouthes the shapes of words never before known to her, soundlessly.

And what was she feeling at the time of the reading?

Sore from exercising yesterday; anxious at the knowledge of impending examinations involving said text; worried that something important has been forgotten; sad about her ill grandfather;  hot from two sweaters; cold from the draft by the window; guilty for letting her mind wander.

Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 7:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Snowfall, Essays, Monty Python

Toronto woke up to snow this morning! I am so excited for winter!

The view from my window

I like the cold grey weather because it is much more conducive to  spending vast amounts of  time indoors studying than when the weather is fine. I am entering the last two hellish weeks of (my last!) fall term at U of T. No time to contemplate major life changes /my greater purpose in life/ how I will make a living after I graduate.

My brother reminded me of this Monty Python sketch, below, which I quite like. As usual I am writing a paper and I currently feel rather like one of the philosopher football players wandering about, thinking, and not actually kicking the ball. Hopefully my “Eureka” moment will come soon.

 

Published in: on November 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment