Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Does anyone remember when I lived in Canada?

Well it is now two weeks since I arrived back on the continent feeling a little worse for wear having travelled through three countries and four airports. It wasn't helped that afterwards I was subjected to an hour tube ride during which I tried not to fall asleep despite my lolling head as I sat on my rain soaked luggage and probably looked like I had wet myself, but I was home(kinda) so I didn't care too much. At St. Pancras I went to M&S and bought my traditional pasta salad and after that it was pretty much like Canada had never happened. Even after all my time away I still recognised a few of the staff which was partially comforting and partially embarrassing. I always seem to be there with a silly amount of luggage and thrust change (POUNDS!) over the counter with tears in my eyes as I try not to drop anything. If you drop anything in London you are screwed. Nobody will help you. It's a dog eat dog world. Last year when I moved out of Exeter I had two suitcases, a camping rucksack, my laptop bag, and a handbag and I was sleep deprived, dehydrated and hadn't eaten anything. By the time I got to St. Pancras I was pretty much dead and I semi-collapsed by the lift to train and in true Londonian fashion everyone just trotted on past me, but when I got to Kent everything was good again. It was like that again - minus collapsing. I felt pretty rough though by the time I got to Chatham so I figured it was probably necessary to put 'feminism' on the back seat and sigh noisily until one of the station guards offered to carried my cases up the stairs for me. I only expected one to be carried, but my sigh was even more powerful than I had first imagined and I got it all carried for me. Hurrah. When I left the station where Charles picked me up in his car. I remember being a bit disorientated by the fact that I was allowed to sit in the front (last time I was there he was still a learner), but to be honest the rest of that day was PRETTY hazy. I know I had a pretty excellent 1hour nap that mutated into a 3hour nap and I had to be dragged from bed against my will to give my sleep pattern any hope of becoming normal again.

I have reverse culture shocked a number of times:

- Cars driving on the left (one time my mind jumped into a minor panic as I thought Charles was driving on the wrong side of the road and leading us to an untimely death)

- Pounds coins. 5ps are the size of 10cent pieces, but 10 is not 5. Madness.

- TAX BEFORE CHECKOUT!! I bought a Yorkie and it said it was going to be 65p...and....and it WAS 65p. I wanted to hug the cashier, but I thought that might overstep some boundaries and would not be appreciated.

-General cheapness.

-Everyone having an English accent.

-The gocompare adverts:

- Being in a car.

- Access to iPlayer!

- Not being a novelty item :(

There have been a lot more, but I have a pretty short term memory so I have forgot most of them. I had intended to start this blog soon after my return to the motherland and slowly add things to it, but then I figured it would be easier to play playstation until my eyes bled and eat and drink items....from...a...Fridge!! Who knew how great an invention the fridge really was?!

I have had a good time since coming back. I played the 2p machines and had cider at a beach pub in Whitstable (had to throw away MOST of my winnings from the machines as I'm pretty sure they were in there since the beginning of time. They were sweets with writing on them...most of which were either "Happy Birthday" or "Big Boy" and I didn't understand what they were doing in the same packet). I've eaten chip shop meals, pizza express, pizza hut, Indian, TOAST! We went to the zoo and I fell in love with the Javan Langur monkeys:

I saw Matilda the Musical which was also quite a life changer. I felt inspired:

Basically, Canada has very quickly become a memory. This means no disrespect to fine nation of Canadia, but I've been doing so much and I have slipped back into my routine (Pointless, the Apprentice, sometimes leaving the house) it kind of feels like I never left, except for the fact that the top of my suitcase if filled with tacky Canadian souvenirs. Flags, hats etc. The bare essentials basically.

During the trip I did feel some sadness, in fact I teared up a couple of times. But I think that had more to do with my hatred for flying and that no matter how far I felt I had got in my journey I still appeared to be a ridiculously long way away from my final destination. I looked out over the Toronto and realised that I had no idea when/if I would see Canada ever again and it felt a little strange, and then I went on to the entertainment system and realised there was no bejewelled which pretty much pushed me over the edge emotionally. I did manage to numb my mind with an insane amount of film/tv - an hour of We bought a Zoo, 500 days of Summer, Futurama, Bob the Builder (obvs), the Descendants, Harry Potter 7 part 1 (the only Harry Potter I hadn't seen...and I kind of wish I hadn't. It would have sent me into a coma if the turbulence insisted that I stayed in awake for when the plane crashed). 

I do feel nostalgic for chipmunks from time to time and it does confuse me that other ESNA people are still in North America and that I saw some people pretty much everyday for 8 months are still there and I may not see them again. But...you know..I'm fairly fickle. I've got months of Pointless to catch up on and red pesto in the cupboard so I'm pretty much cool with being back in Europe and Canada....you are a good memory, but a memory nonetheless.

Well. Now I'm going to go sit on my sofa in Luxembourg and wait for someone/ANYONE to come here and entertain me, or most likely just hang around for a month until my summer actually starts. On the plus side I am most likely going to Spain...because Europe is compact and beautiful and it's all just a hop skip and a jump away, unlike you Canada you huge beast!

Happy 100 posts.

                                                                      Miss me Canada. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Self-indulgent P.S.

Post nigh.

Well. The end is no longer nigh. The end has come. I am currently sitting in ottawa airport alone as Jess had to go through US customs/check in and my first flight is in Canada, so I thought I would write something. I have books to read, but I have had sooo much to read this year that I'm kind of looking forward to a few days of mindlessness. I think I will most likely pass out on my flight with my Moose pillow (Thanks Alyson!) pretty early on..or that's the plan anyway. I'm exhausted. I slept possibly about 3 hours in total last night. Not through choice. I was woken up at regular intervals throughout the night, many times by Eli, but as it was people's last night in res I decided to lie in bed and bear the burden like the martyr that I am. There was talk of all night raging and whatnot, but in true Grenville fashion people drank fast and hard, screamed for an hour or two, kicked over some rice and some beer and crashed by about 1am Unfortunately, those who avoided this early exit from consciousness found a vuvuzuela and gave the floor occasional concerts. I wish I could say that I am going to miss residence life...but that would be a lie. I do like the social aspect to some extent, but I'm so old and decrepit and after two years I'm just like...I NEED SLEEP. I was also 3 years older than some of the people and have been legally allowed to drink for 5 years so I guess it makes sense. I probably sound arrogant and think I'm more mature than I am, but pah. Who cares. I think I'm cool. I nearly wrote "super" arrogant. I haven't picked up too much North American additions to my vocabulary but super has been trying to make its way in for a LONG time. It has failed. I might find out that I do have a few more when I get home and I am among my people. It is going to be so weird to hear everyone speak in a British accent. I'm not even close to home yet and I am suffering from reverse culture shock.

The last day or two have been pretty hectic. We spent an awful lot of time packing, throwing things out, cleaning, getting paranoid about suitcases being overweight when actually we were both underweight by a good few kilos. Good old paranoia. Paranoia took Jess's rucksack and frisbee from her. It was cruel. Yesterday we had our final exam and successfully woke up early and went to our first caff breakfast in eons. I was pretty spaced. I looked at the stands and noticed that the all day breakfast bar wasn't running which I thought was weird, then I remembered my plebbishness as EVERYTHING was breakfast but I kept it to myself...until now. The Renaissance exam was...meh. I wrote things, but as we had 6 mini essays to write I barely had time to think and blabbed and blabbed probably without any purpose. My first answer was WEAK, because I'd lost 10 minutes going through the questions and choosing so I panicked and wrote a selection of LIES about why I think this course was a valuable university course. It was a bit of a weird question to have on the exam - "Is this a good university course?" I felt I had to lie and back up the subject which he had dedicated his life too. Also, the only reason I had to dislike the course was that it bored me right down to my core of being, but I didn't really have too many supporting arguments. I feel quite tense writing this, a big sniffer dog keeps coming over. Well, I assume he is a sniffer dog, but he seems to be a  sniffer dog with some form of ADD. He has come and sniffed my stuff like a million times, panting like a maniac to the point where I think I might be a drug baron, but because I'm so tired and spaced right now I have forgotten about it.

After our exam we went to Haven to get rid of books..well all of them that they would take. 4/5 of my American Lit anthologies were gone, but one of them was randomly blacklisted. Oh well. I hope the Canadian Diabetic charity like Sylvia Plath,, Tom Sawyer and Balzac which are a few of the authors which I shoved in a plastic bag and ditched it in a pile of bedding. Jess and I also ditched our cheap Canadian phones, but I'm pretty sure that free is too high a price to pay for them really. Ottawa was crying on our last day as it poured down in Downtown and we could barely get our final view of parliement with the rain blowing in our eyes, but I'm pretty sure it is still there. We had a rain doused beaver tail and bought a celebration cupcake with enough icing to decorate a whole cake, but after 3 hours of straight writing it felt deserved. The rest of the evening was mainly packing and saying our goodbyes to Cathy in the caff. I went and socialised a bit during the Carleton festivities, but being sober made it all seem rather loud. I didn't participate in the water fight as I only had one outfit left and I was not re-arranging my case for anyone. Also, as I've said - I'm old, mature and possibly God. I shared a dance with Meredith to the sweet melodies of One Direction which was probably the highlight for me. After that it was mainly lowlights as I tried to sleep as people had a fight in front of my room. The guy told the girl to be quiet, but she was so determined that she was in the right that she didn't care - "I don't care if people hear! You hurt my bitch!"
I wanted to hurt her, but again..didn't fancy getting arrested for assault on my final night, and I didn't know who it was so if I was going to assault someone she wasn't top of my list.

So yes. Now I am at the airport, all moved out and my room empty. I left my bust up ethernet cable and I hid an owl somewhere in my room so that my spirit (or probably lack thereof) shall live on in Carleton well after I am gone. I can go and check in pretty soon so I will bring this all to a close. I don't know how I feel right now. Mainly exhausted, but this is just the beginning :( Someone just weighed themselves on the airport scales and wandered on. He i wearing a bandana and biker gear. He is my hero. I am really excited to go home and see Charles, and his bath and his dog (when I have energy to play which could take some time). I won't miss Carleton itself that much. I liked some of my profs, but I prefer the Exeter workload and the Exeter campus and 50 people in res is like water torture at time. I did meet some nice people, but I know myself and I am terrible at keeping in contact and as many of the people I spoke to were guys the chances of staying in contact are heavily reduced. But as the old saying goes, who needs life long friends when you have a hat in the shape of a maple leaf and a double bed waiting for you at home.

Goodbye Canada for the final time.
See you on the other side.

Kate - Ottawa Airport. 25/04/2012

WED 25APR      OTTAWA ON           TORONTO ON             1700     1803
               OTTAWA INTL         PEARSON INTL
NON STOP                           TERMINAL 1             DURATION 1:03
WED 25APR      TORONTO ON          REYKJAVIK IS           2110     0625
               PEARSON INTL        KEFLAVIK INTL                   26APR
NON STOP       TERMINAL 3                                 DURATION 5:15
                                                        NON SMOKING
               EQUIPMENT:BOEING 757-200
THU 26APR      REYKJAVIK IS        LONDON GB              0740     1145
               KEFLAVIK INTL       HEATHROW
NON STOP                           TERMINAL 1             DURATION 3:05
                                                        NON SMOKING
               EQUIPMENT:BOEING 757-200


Tuesday, April 24, 2012



Monday, April 23, 2012

The day after tomorrow...

Well it is the penultimate night of Canada and nearly time that I put an end to this night as I have to get up at 7.15 for my exam tomorrow because even if I am going to do terribly on this exam I at least want to do it while being squeaky clean.

After I wrote my blog yesterday pretty much nothing happened. Actually I completely overlooked Sundae Sunday in my post yesterday which is pretty much a crime because Sundae Sunday is probably one of my favourite things about Carleton. It probably doesn't speak volumes for Carleton that this is one of my favourite things, but I'll cope..and if Carleton hates me then I'll be out of it's hair in a mere 42 hours. The final sundae sunday was one to be remembered. As there are fewer people in the caff these days...but there are security in case the shit kicks off (to be fair judging by some of the people working there I wouldn't be surprised if one of them lost it and started beating students with cups which had been stacked in the incorrect fashion). Anyway, this meant that there wasn't the usual sundae sunday stress as you feel pressured to throw stuff into your bowl in a mad panic as the eyes of those behind you burn upon your neck. No. This time we got to leisurely fill our CEREAL bowls with carefully chosen delights and even a cookie or two. It was the perfect way to end the year.

An extremely IMperfect way to end the year is with a Renaissance exam. I've never felt so down about an exam. It's silly. I think I know quite a lot of the stuff and I have studied a lot (and built up some strength from all the procrastinating I had been doing in the days leading up to it), but this class has drained me and has made me lose faith in my degree. I was skimming my notes a few minutes ago in a mad Renaissance frenzy and I came across the notes from one class where my prof had said that he would never tell us if he thought this class was worth teaching or not. If he wouldn't flat out say that it is worth teaching, then I expect he has his doubts. I have massive, massive, doubts. If I could I would set fire to my anthology at 12.01 tomorrow (to give me time to amble to the front and find my book), but alas this would not be financially viable to me so instead I will wheel it to Haven along with about 30 other delightful books in the hope that someone will be as foolish to take renaissance and will buy this evil from me.

The next 42 hours are going to be pretty hectic. Exam at 9am. Haven. Downtown for beavertails and cupcakes (obviously), cleaning rooms and bathrooms, final packing, final caff meal (I love you Cathy) etc. etc. I might even spend time with some people before I leave...just a little bit though. I wouldn't want to risk forming emotional ties this late in the game. I have a dangerously infectious personality and I don't want anyone to become too attached to me because I can't guarantee I will find time in my busy procrastination schedule in the future to reply to any of their love letters. I did spare a thought for my friends back home who I have been terrible at staying in contact with as I hit up Dollar It today and filled my basket with Canadian tat which I ashamedly had to take to the checkout like some canada crazed tourist..which I kind of am...but I didn't want anyone to know. I would say more about what I bought, but then it wouldn't be a surprise for the people I am inflicting these gifts upon treating with these incredible gifts, so photos and whatnot will have to wait for another time. I did buy myself a sens flask, because clearly the one game I went to made me a die hard fan and I needed to waste more CADs on merch.

So yes. This is where I stand on my penultimate night in Canada...lying in bed, contemplating sleep and churning facts around my heads about monstrous births and Sanskrit texts...exactly how I thought my year abroad would end.

See you tomorrow for one of my final Canadian blog posts when I will hopefully be more happy as I will be free from the beast that is Renaissance and I will have transferred my stress towards packing/preparing for going home. That being said I am getting pretty excited. Start the BATH running Charles, I'm coming home!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

3 days.

Well it is currently 11.30pm and I have just retired from my day of on and off revision which started at around midday. I mean there has been a fair bit of off, but also a hideous amount of on that has made my soul hurt. My body feels like it has been hit by a truck of renaissance mumbo jumbo. I have made some progress though. I have realised that I have been calling the panchatantra  a Sanskrit frame-story of animal fables from the 3rd century BCE, pancetta..an italian bacon. Whoops. Well you live and learn. No, but really the stuff for this course is so tedious I have that horrible hollow feeling in my stomach like one you get when you find out your pet has died with someone. Folk Tale and Fairy Tale SOUNDS like it would be interesting, but that is the biggest fantasy that I have experienced in this course. We have read 55 stories this term and right now I have the brain capacity of a peanut. It doesn't help that my notes make little sense:

"We need virgins."
"I like spunky girls."
"I bet this is Patrick's doing."

Also I have heard the expression "beleaguered princess" enough times to last me my whole life..and I had to get google to spell beleaguered for me because Carleton has stopped me from knowing how to spell (Yeah.That's my line and I'm sticking to it.)

Yesterday, with the departure of Alyson it felt a little strange, but I knew that I had to man up and actually do some revision. I recall doing some...I don't know what the outcome was. I also was one of the lucky ones who got a steak dinner in the caff as Jess who went 2 hours later was subjected to donairs after I had promised her steak.

In the evening I went out with some people from my drama class. I was about to write some girls from my drama class, but I think that the guy that was there might have been a little bit offended. It was nice to leave the Carleton compound after a hard few days locking myself in and procrastinating..and I got the joy of looking sophisticated and European with my glass of wine dreaming of returning to the motherland/continent where wine is a fraction of the price and I can drink it on a doorstep like a bum probably while pulling party poppers or playing with some other great poundland treats. I also got some more signatures on my flag which is good, so when I come home I can create the illusion that I am cool in Canada. Also I needed some  more messages to divert away from one guys message which said "Hooters Rule" which was supposed to be an owl pun..but it kinda just seemed weird..and made it look like we have some kind of in-joke about boobs which is definitely untrue. That guy also just came to my door with 6 condoms which was great especially as there were other people in the hallway. The condoms were not for me, but for a friend at home who had jokingly said before I went that she wanted Trojan condoms. Of course "these are for my friend" seems like the biggest lie in the world so to the rest of the world it probably looked like I was preparing myself for a wild return to England. This is a lie. When I return to England I will be exhausted, sweaty and with vile stomach cramps. I am going to bathe and pass out on the bed for several days like a beached whale (and no Charles. This does not mean you can call me a beached whale.) Anyway, yes. To go back to the main topic I had a nice evening out. It was certainly 'educational' as I learned the drama (ha. it's funny because it's a drama class) which occurred the one class that I took off, and as I am nosy and love watching drama that doesn't involved me I was sad that I missed out on the main event. But it was nice to be filled in

so to those who came "Thank you angels" (REALLY?!??!)

Life after that got fairly bleak. I went to hang out with Adam and Eli, but it didn't take long before they decided they had to take advantage of my kind British soul and commanded me to "help" to clean the fridge. I resisted for a long time, but eventually I caved. It wasn't that bad...except for some disgusting brown goo/gunk which had attached itself to the bottom of the fridge and which took an industrial standard helping of cleaning fluid to even begin to remove it. Eli says that if he can't find a place to live that he will take to the wild..and from whatever it was in that fridge it is apparent that he will have no problem living life like an animal. Then once the fridge was clean, the hob nobs depleted and Eli left practically comatose from the realisation of his errors this year I went of to sleep.

And that is how we come full circle to the wild revision happenings for today. Tomorrow looks to be relatively similar, but I am taking a dollar-it break at some point and also doing some serious packing as to do it all last minute shall be a little sad. As Jess says..tomorrow I will be going home the day after tomorrow and it is kind of blowing my mind. Will had about 10 people take him down to his taxi when he left, but I don't think this is likely to happen in my case. But that is ok..I'll have my Canada hat and my owl globe and that will be all that I need...and then the race to Reykjavik is on. I'll see you there Jess.


Decidated to Alyson Davies - Gone, but not forgotten.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

And then there were two...

Well. It is a cold, grey and unpleasant Carletonian day right now. But even worse than that I woke up (for the 2nd time this morning) at 11.30 to the realisation that Alyson's side of the room was empty and that she would never return. It felt poignant. More poignant than it did at 7.15 when I was bleary eyed and dazed from only having been asleep for a few hours. However, now I am awake and have my Bagel and Raspberry Lemonade (only 4 more days of me talking about this!) I can fully appreciate the gravity of the situation.

But I suppose first we should take a trip back down memory lane to when Alyson was still hermiting it up in Grenville. I had big plans to crack on with my revision yesterday..and I suppose I did more than I normally do...but given I had done no revision up to that point the bar was set rather low. I've made good headway on my notes even though they are scatty and basically consist of various profound statements which are entirely disconnected from one another and which are never explained. There are also quite a few notes about how many minutes of class there are left and a fair few about Patrick's Aristotelian, Nietzschen, Jungian brainwaves. Aswell as a few more vicious ones about the boredom he inflicted upon us by asking about stemma. Although I am quite far into my notes, I am yet to build a concrete idea of what is going to be on the exam. It's all a bit vague. We could have to explain the historical relevance of a dragon, or we could have to draw a dragon...who knows. He says that the most obvious things will be in the exam but MOST of what he talks about is his dysfunctional family and spunky girls. On the plus side I finally managed to make my Children's Lit prof happy and achieve a decent A on my essay. I finally managed to stop misusing my modifiers I guess....whatever that means. I read the essay back this morning to try and work out what I did right. As per usual going down the cheesy route wins the day...this is from my closing sentence:

they will always be connected through the maple trees which exist around them and which exist within them. "

It makes me feel ill to read it and I can't believe that these cold, British hands wrote those words. 

So after a long 3 hours of on and off revision I headed off to South Keys to meet the man who wanted to buy my flute. He called me in the morning which was amazing because it was the first phone call I've had all year..apart from when Olivia called me at 2.30 am demanding that I let her in. I was a little dazed and confused as what trouble I was causing by lying silently in bed, but it turned out she just called the wrong number and I was allowed to crawl back to my lair. I had some communication issues with this man so I decided it would be easier to meet at South Keys. He said he would be in a Green Something Car. He said the make of the car, but the only words that meant anything to me were Green and Car so I decided to stick with those. I went to meet him and got my money which shall keep me going for the next 4 days (and by keep me going I mean it will fund Canada hats and Cupcakes!) After I got the money he said he was going by Carleton anyway so would I like a lift. As he was a middle aged Peruvian man who was a complete stranger to me I decided that the best idea would be to get in his car. I like to think I'm a good judge of character and I was pretty sure there was going to be no abduction. I'd like to think even an actual sex pest would have to look at me and say "I think I could do better" so I am never really in fear of being kidnapped and sold into the sex slave trade. Also, if I was abducted as long as I was found and not brutally murdered I would probably have got a hefty compensation cheque from the insurance people so it was a win-win really. 

A few hours later after I had weighed everyone's suitcase a good few times (I have discovered a love for the suitcase weight. I pretend I am on world's strongest men) we headed off for the Farewell Works Meal. We stopped off on the way to leave Alyson's case with someone and her dogs. I wanted to play with them, but deep down I knew just how lazy I was. The toilets at the Works were downstairs and I just couldn't see myself making the perilous journey downstairs to wash my hands before my free Tower O' Rings. So...alas I could do nothing but stand with my hands in my pockets as the dogs clawed at my legs and I complimented one of them on his Big Bird nappies. 

The Works itself was heavenly..of course. I felt for Alyson as she had to pick a burger when there were a few she liked the look of. I had been there several times and had got to experience all the burger joy that I wanted, but she was in a Sophie's Choice situation, except she was choosing between onions and bacon. Finally..she chose both. 

We then came home. Listened to the usual playlists. Wrote goodbye messages. Drank small amounts. My favourite was Jess and her CAN of Smirnoff Ice as if she was preparing to return to the UK and immerse her self in Chav culture. We also went to the Lounge for a final (or possibly first?) socialise of the semester. Yesterday was the big 4.20 celebration so it was quite a low key, quiet celebration with one guy who spent most of it with his head in his hands and punched the air when his friends wanted to go home. A lasting memory for Alyson and her last night I am sure. I also felt a bit sick after being in there as it stank of tar and finality. 

And then before I knew it...my alarm went off. 7.10 am. It proceeded to go off at regular intervals just to remind me that time was running out and then we watched alyson haul her incredibly packed bag down the empty corridors as Grenville. As she reached the final door she did the all important turn back for one final glance at me and Jess. Then poofff. Alyson was gone and only Jess and Kate remained to fight on till the very end.

To be continued...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Say it ain't so!

Well. Tomorrow marks Alyson's final full day in Ottawa and we are celebrating/commiserating the separation of the British-hermit society with a meal at the Works. I do obviously care about the whole Alyson thing, but this blog isn't about emotion. This blog is about superficial things which make my heart sing and get me out of bed in the morning. So I would like to thanks The Works burger for having got me through the tough times this year and keeping my spirits up in the good times.

I've shared onion ring towers with my family, I've waited in the cold for a table, I've dined there with a person from my school in Luxembourg in a bizarre turn of events, but it kind of made sense that it happened as The Works as it is more than just a place to eat. It is a place which unites the world. So yes. The Works. Thank you for everything...especially the free onion ring tower voucher which we will take full advantage of in less than 24 hours...


The final stretch.

Well as my exam draws a day closer and I realise that I am fairly ignorant to an awful lot of what we have learned this semester that I should really buckle down and do everything but study. I may leave Carleton a failure, but I will at least have all my belongings packed and improving my packing skills is pretty much what I came here for. I won my scholarship by comparing the year abroad to packing up my life and I like to think that in "packing" endlessly I am just proving my devotion to the cause and showing the BUTEX people that they have made the right decision. 

Thus far today I have added even MORE books to my "To be taken to Haven collection". I am pretty sure I'm developing some serious arm strength from all the times I have lifted that beast onto the bed in the last week. I weighed it earlier and it is already at 19 kilos..4 more kilos than my 1st suitcase for taking home. It took me some time to realise this though as I am a massive pleb. I used the luggage weighing thing, but because my case weighed exactly 15kilos it obscured the number 15 and the only thing that I could see was the weight in pounds and because of my plebbish nature I read the pounds as kilos and was sent into a state of despair and bewilderment that my case could be in the 30kilo region when it was less full than when I came out and also I could left it fairly easily. Luckily about 15 minutes of sadness later I realised the plebbish nature of my ways and looked at the kilos and all was right in the world. It all works out well. I don't have that much left to pack in terms of clothes and whatnot which means there shall be plenty of room for owl globes, panda toys and Canada hats which are all essential in their own ways.

I have also being re-organising my money. I have 19 dollars in Canadian change (well in silver coloured change. Copper change shall never be spoke of) which is pretty good. I'm thinking a lot of Raspberry Lemonades going to be coming my way (Raspberry Lemonade plug number 1 of the day). This will also go towards beaver tails and extravagant cupcakes and help me to find food/entertainment during my 3 boring hours at Toronto airport in....SIX. DAYS. I don't have big money plans for the rest of the time here. I am going to the Works tomorrow, possibly out on Saturday, buying some Carleton merch of some sort, cupcakes, souvenirs and then I'm out of here. Although, all of this coming to light does rely on the mysterious man who wants to buy my flute. His name is Jorge and is known in the area for his Latin American music and his involvement in some sort of housing scam (he was the scammed, not the scammer.) I'm sure he is a perfectly nice man, but I'm always a little wary of people who write all their emails in capital letters and spell because "becose", but hey if he funds my final days in Canada then I will even go as far to let him spell great "gr8". shudder. 

So it is all looking pretty good and pretty FINAL right now. I have collected up my euros and my pounds. I have spent the last few minutes simply marvelling at the sheer weight of the pound coin:

Isn't it just one of the most satisfying looking coins in the world? Doesn't the thickness and the weight of one of these bad boys make you feel like a king?? Isn't it AMAZING that you can go into poundland and buy cheap tat for A POUND...like an actual pound...none of this added tax at the checkout stuff??? One pound is worth 36 party poppers, 3 packs of fajita mix, an unauthorised DVD about Katie Price!!!! And all of this exists in one small yet beastly coin. 

Jesus. I'm getting overwhelmed. I think I need a raspberry lemonade (plug number 2). 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Love is sweet

Just one last Tim Hortons raspberry frozen lemonade plug for the day but then I'll get a life I promise. I've just been thinking about them for the last few minutes and I need somewhere to share my passion:

Right. Done. Out of my system. Now I can go and get a life...and by get a life I mean eat Feta flavoured crisps and watch Britain's Got Talent because I am a culture vulture...

Night real world. 

7 Days.

First off I would like to apologise that my blog has become a massive spam hole. I don't know why it suddenly wants you all to join a dubious dating website, but you know maybe these things happen for a reason and you should sign up to appease the blog gods.

I was going to write a blog yesterday, but then my desire to do absolutely nothing kicked in and I decided to spend the whole day dossing about and drinking catnip tea instead. Catnip tea sounds like it should be vile and the work of the devil, but actually it is kinda nice..if you don't mind a sort of Feline aftertaste, which apparently I don't. Right now I am eating sundried tomato bread and drinking a frozen raspberry lemonade from Tim Hortons and it has left me in a state of serenity. The only thing that upsets me is that Tims has brought out this amazing drink so late in my time in Canada that I will barely have a chance to appreciate it before it is ripped away from me. It is also making me into a hideously boring person as I am finding it physically impossible not to tell people about how much I like this drink. I don't know why Tim Hortons hasn't hired me to promote them.

I currently only have one exam left. The final exam is renaissance..but even though it is a real subject and it is probably the subject that I am likely to do the worst in (largely because I have no idea what is going on) I am finding it near impossible to get into the revision mode for it. In my head it isn't a real course, and more of a thing on the side that I might do a bit of work for if I get the time...and besides 24 hours after the exam is over I'll be going to the Airport so what do I care? I should care much. This goes towards my final marks and therefore it goes towards my overall 2nd year grade with is a third of my final degree marks. But you know...this is REALLY good lemonade. The only thing that I have managed to absorb for my renaissance revision thus far is that Basile's collection of Folk Tales was called Lo Conti de le Cunti and it doesn't take a genius to realise why this is the only thing that is sticking in my immature head. So if that is the only question on the exam I am golden. However, I find this unlikely as he says there will be 6 "thirty minute essay questions". I'm not quite sure what a thirty minute essay it, but I cannot see this exam going well.

My Children's Lit exam was more successful though. Well. I say that, but that could be just me thinking I'm great and then eventually ending up with a sad little B- and feeling horribly embarrassed and ashamed. The questions were pretty ok. I think some people would have struggled as through group works it became apparent that most people thought reading the books was a bit of an effort. I however did not have said problem. I had also adopted the habit of repeating the names of authors/protagonists of texts to myself as if part of some terrifying ritual. However, it all paid off for the question section anyway.
One of my favourite questions was

"Does public school mean the same in the UK as it does in Canada? True/False." I imagine she chuckled to herself for a while over that one. Oh us crazy brits and our language that doesn't make sense. Whatever. Not making sense is cool. Or if it isn't..it's what I do regardless.

She also made life a lot easier for us by giving us the exact same quotation she gave in class which she had marked and sent back to us with how to get full marks on that question. Excellent. The essay was also...ok. But this is where I may have invented the doing well part. She gave a stern warning about "mortality" being an abstract topic and the importance of being clear and not using value judgements. I took it to believe that she was probably trying to trick us and I'm pretty sure my essay is abstract value judgements from start to finish. It did feel a bit strange that in a Children's Lit exam I was writing about mortality as being one of man's best attributes. I thought it was going to be all sorting hats and yellow spotted lizards. Alas not.

Apart from that it has mainly been procrastination. We went 5 pin bowling last night and once again I lamented the absence of the other 5 pins. I came last every time, but I felt it was a respectable last. I hit the pins every time..just not the high scoring pins and not very many at one time...and when there are only 5 pins and you are still not hitting that many..it isn't very good. But luckily when it comes to bowling I'm happy go lucky so I was still content.

I also did my final south keys trip today. I breathed in that walmart/loblaws air for the last time and waved goodbye to it as I walked back towards the O-Train. It was a little sad. Not REALLY sad, but just a little bit. I was quite partial to Loblaws world flavours crisps section and Walmart did provide me with a cheap and adequate suitcase for the long journey home next week.

Well. I've got a UK railcard on order and an empty case to be filled so it is time to prepare for the journey home (and avoid Renaissance at all costs).
Lo conti de li cunti...

Monday, April 16, 2012

One moment in time..

This is a picture of the mygrades section on Carleton right now:

It is beautiful because it combines the first letter of the alphabet with one of my favourite mathematical symbols and it is all mine.
However, I am aware this is the calm before the storm. It is as if Carleton has handed me a pack of fruit pastilles and at the top they are all there are only red and purple ones, but at the bottom they are inevitably going to be all green and yellow - the untermenschen of the Fruit Pastille hierarchy.
I am aware that I shall be waving goodbye to my A plus average in French lit fairly shortly given the fact that I wrote an awful lot of the exam with my eyes half closed. I spent a long time flicking through the dictionary and absorbing the new book smell. It was a treat for the senses, but I can't help but to think it probably didn't benefit my exam too much. Alas, I am proud to have clung on to it for so long that 90.05 has been a glorious friend.
American Lit. Well. Yeah. Never going to happen.
Children's Lit. I could either do average or do well. I'm going to put my money on average. I haven't got my final essay back yet, but since she's a grammar nazi and I refuse to comply to grammatical rules on moral grounds I am pretty sure I am going to get docked around 10 percent before she has even come to marking the content of the essay. This isn't even an exaggeration. She is a big fan of concrete nouns and my essay is pretty much 100% figurative. People are trees. Trees are people. Blah blah. Look to your roots and find yourself. Just lots of stuff I don't believe in and which I have explained terribly. So you know. Outlook is bleak. So probably saying adieu to my A in that aswell, though hopefully the exam gods will be kind and at least let me keep an A-. There were burgers at lunch which I always consider to be a good omen, but every now and again I do question my belief in the Carleton Cafeteria as being some sort of oracle.
And Renaissance Lit. That's just a blank. So far I'm at a cool 0%. And with my poor knowledge of virginity preserving Dragons, rapist tuna fishes and arrogant hedgehogs...I can't see it going to well.

Oh well. Only 10 days until I can curl up in a double bed in England and all I will have to worry about for a while is how many bags of popcorn I'm going to buy to feed the animals of Amneville zoo.

Children's Lit Exam in 3 hours.
Let's go.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

10 Days.

I really have nothing to say. Today I sat in my room and revised, and procrastinated, and revised, and revised, and procrastinated etc. etc.

But for the purposes of filling blog space I am becoming very very aware that I am going home in 10 days and I'm starting to get pre-hometime butterflies. I have been talking with Charles about doing stuff when I get back for some time, but before it was idle conversation, and now it is gradually becoming a reality. I'm coming for you monkeys of Kent! Arriba!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Two hours later...

Ok. Some time has passed as already the cracks have begin to show in regards to the Voice. I'm still enjoying it, but I'm also growing gradually more frustrated.
Obviously one of the main reasons is the staged judges banter. I hated it on the X Factor and I hate it here. Luckily it is on youtube so I can skip an awful lot of the dross.
The patronising "we're the fools for not turning our chairs around" and "I can't fault you". You can't say you are perfect, but we don't want you. These two statements do not mesh well together. It is just sugaring a pill.
Also, lots of the time it seems the judges are feeling more pity for themselves than for the people who have just had their dreams crushed and their confidence knocked.

Oh shit. This blog was supposed to be about my experience in Canada and not just angry ramblings about UK reality television isn't it?

Erm. Maple syrup. Beavers. Eh?

11 days.

I wasn't going to post a blog today, but I'm getting ever further from the big 99/100 goal so I know that I need to step up my game. If I fail I know that the only person that I will have to blame is myself. Also, I suppose this will be a good way to document my final days in Canada before the inevitable amnesia kicks in.

I was going to write that I have been struggling to write anything because since my Dad has left I have been doing essentially nothing. In many ways this is true, but I did go out last night for a final Jess,Alyson and Kate night out. I mean..there shall be more evenings. There shall be caff dinners, 5 pin bowling, dinner at the works, bickering about skype, guitarless singalongs (waaaah) etc. etc. It was a good night..although at first it seemed like it could be some what disastrous. When we first arrived at Patty Bolands the dance floor was empty, and it was like 11pm so it seemed unlikely that it would get more crowded. It became even more tragic when the awkward people who had clearly come out alone took to the floor. However, there was a minor miracle and when the band started to play it started to liven up. This was probably because pub bands basically all play a mixture of the same popular cover songs. By the end our problem was kind of the opposite of the beginning as we were slowly crushed by the deltaalphabetaphipidimiackaiecioe sorority / bachelorette party. When (or I should probably say 'IF' as I don't know if I'll be able to trick anyone into marrying me in this lifetime ) I get married, I would have a bachelorette party, but I would have to reject an awful lot of this tacky, bachelorette scavenger hunt, shouting "IT'S MA BACHERLORETTE BITCHES!!" and if I did I would not inflict it on the general public. The number of times I was stepped on by the party so they could go up and take a picture of themselves on the stage made me resent humanity as a whole. I also suppose that watching a guy take her garter off with his teeth was supposed to be crazy and exciting, but it just made me feel a little awkward. Although, they made me feel less awkward then most. A highlight was people jersey turnpiking (a phrase I learned this year, and a dryhumping act dance move that I have come to despise) to Linkin Park. It was so inappropriate that it was also kind of beautiful. There was also a couple who kept pushing up to the front simply to stand statically and sway as the guy tried it on with the girl and she gave a half-hearted response. Anyway, when it became almost entirely impossible to move we decided to head home with our dignity and most of our money which was nice.

Even though I didn't wake up with a raging hangover today, I decided to pretend like I did as I procrastinated happily until about 3pm.

Apart from my exciting revision schedule not much has been going on. At dinner we did spend some time discussing the surreal nature of the year abroad. It does feel a little bit strange that we'll go home soon and then quickly this whole year abroad will quite quickly begin to feel like an invention. It feels weird while I'm out here that I have a life at home and in Europe..even though obviously I know I do. It is hard to remember that there was a time not so long ago where I didn't even know Carleton existed. I talk to people at home now, but it feels weird to imagine that I was with them in person and that I will be with them again. It even feels surreal talking to Charles. Even though this year hasn't damaged our relationship, I have just become accustomed to him being an image on the screen so if sometime told me that he had never existed and he was just a hologram...I would initially be a bit surprised, but I would probably come round to thinking that was probably the case. Hopefully that won't happen though, because I am rather looking forward to going home and seeing him (and others) in ELEVEN DAYS! I guess when that happens it will be Canada and the canadian public (or the 4 of them that I actually have made the effort to speak to this year) who will become images on the screen.

Well, I fear I am venturing too far into the psychological and it is making me doubt what is real and what is a creation of the mind when really all I want is some more doritos and mindnumbing television - cue The Voice UK. I am enjoying it thus far (I say thus far..I'm 30 minutes into episode one, but it is still satisfying) and as I am a stupid girl I tend to get excited goosebumps every time they press the button and the chair turns. I am living vicariously through them. I want to punch the air every time. It just seems so satisfying. Oh! and now they are playing One Direction over the top - wonderful! The only thing that I really take issue with in this show (thus far. It won't take me long to find many things to dislike it because I am wonderfully abrasive) is Will.i.am. Seriously? What are you doing on a show all about the quality of the voice. Have...have you not heard yourself?? If you want to teach people how to speak like an auto-tuned robot then yes, but I don't see what you have to give to these people who want respect for their voice (well..who want to claim that they want respect for their voice before they inevitably sell out, release a novelty single and go on some Celeb reality TV show). There may be some die-hard will.i.am fans who think I have just spoken blasphemy, but seriously...nobody in a sane state of mind could defend this absolute monstrosity:

No further questions your honour.

Friday, April 13, 2012

12 days.

 There will be some things that I will miss about the Canadian lifestyle and there are definitely places I wish I could have gone to if I had had more time and some more wonga, but there isn't too much point dwelling on what could have been. I mean yeah. Obviously, I'm going to dwell on unchangeable things - that is pretty much what this whole blog has been about, but I think it is best to only dwell on tiny, insignificant things to cement your status as a whiny, western brat.

However, there are some reasons why I really need to get myself out of here pronto!

Top 5 Reasons for Kate to leave Canada.

5. Alyson sold her guitar today and nothing fills the void.

4. I said "boddum" earlier instead of bottom. I felt sick to my stomach.

3. Today a board about your favourite/least favourite/things you'll miss etc etc. went up in Grenville and it is going to be so hard to resist the temptation to write some sort of witticism which would no doubt cause offence to a confused Grenvillian readership.

2. I seem to have packed nearly all my clothes already, so if I stay here too much later I am going to have to start going around nude and no man,woman or child deserves to be put through that level of distress. On the plus side I probably won't be able to take all my stuff home with me so there may be a chance for the vultures out here to scavenge from my (figurative) Canadian carcass...I hope they like owls.

1. And the top reason is this:

I have listened to this song three times today. THREE. TIMES. Before I came out here I was an avid One Direction hater, and now look at what Canada has done to me!! It has broken me. I'm a shadow of my former self. I'm humming it as I walk to class, when I'm in the shower..sometimes I don't even realise that I'm doing it and then I catch myself and I have to look in the mirror to check that it is still me and I haven't started going all Benjamin Button and gone back to being 12 again.

And there you have it.
You see Canada. It just isn't safe for me to stay here. I can't do it. I just can't.

Only 12 days till I take to the sky.
Tick tock...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Unlucky for some.

Well. Here I am. Somehow alive after yesterday's ordeal. I went to sleep at 4am yesterday. I didn't really want too. I wanted to go to sleep straight after my exam, but I was just enjoying (the illusion of) freedom so I decided to stay up until my eyes started to melt. My intention was to sleep indefinitely, but apparently Orange had different plans as they sent me 4 texts at 8.30. I looked at my phone in despair and went "Oh shit. I'll never get back to sleep after thzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz" and off I went again til 11.30 or so. The result is that I'm a little sleepy right about now, but I have basically done nothing all day so I should uphold my commitment to this blog which I created all those months ago in Luxembourg, before I had even found a suitcase to bring with me to Canada. Now, here I am 8 months later and with a mere 13 days left of the Canada experience. Alas, the next 4 of those Canadian days will be spent cooped up in my room revising for my Children's Lit exam as my brain is being a little selfish and seems to have forgot pretty much everything after february. I have been making progress towards going home though. Today I started packing. I probably could leave it til later, but I don't want to be doing all of this stuff right at the end so I thought I should get a headstart and the under 2 week mark seemed appropriate. So now I have packed away all the clothes that I don't want to wear in the next 13 days, a few toys (yeah. I'm 21 bitch.) and my "the more I talk to people, the more I like cats sign"...so you know, just the bare essentials. I have also put my flute up on kijiji which is good because I can probs get some money to spend on tacky Canada merchandise, but mainly because the word kijiji entertains me. Kijijijijijijijijijijijijijiji.

I have also noticed that I have been getting quite a few more Candian views so I would just like to say that
Canada is perfect and so is every Canadian.

I could write about my wild day of cartoons, battleships and lindtt lindor balls, but it would probably be more appropriate to talk about the last few days with my Dad finally manning up and doing touristy activities. The day after the last day that I talked about (yeah, my syntactical are pretty poor these days) I carried on with my early morning wake up training and managed to rouse myself from sleep at 9am in preparation for Wednesday's big 7am start. 9am was substantially more bearable than 7am, and I possibly felt more awake than I had for a long time. I than ambled on over to the War museum to meet ma Pa. I'm not the biggest war fan in the world (I mean fan of learning about war as well as being a fan of the act of war itself), but I found the war museum fun. Some of the highlights were the models:

Although, I do have an irrational fear that these models may just be people in disguise/they will somehow come to life in Night at the Museum fashion and I shall cry.

I also enjoyed:
 The opportunity for dress up time
 Beavers looking fierce

I found seeing Hitler's parade car fairly interesting. It was a little beaten up, but I figured that it was nothing that Gavin from Autoglass repair couldn't handle.

I also did a brass rubbing of a fighter plane. Most of the children were looking at the exhibits, but you know..arts and crafts are fun no matter what age you are. I also took the "could you have been in the army" test and failed on almost every account. I also learned that my feet are a bit on the flat side. It was a poignant moment in my life.

After a few hours of war and about 20 minutes worth of peace we went on down to the Civilization museum to watch an imax film on the history of the Rocky Mountain Railroad. It wasn't as good as the orphaned orangutang film, but I'm sure if the train film had been narrated by Morgan Freeman too it could have been about a piece of fluff and people would have enjoyed it. I did enjoy the film though as it is something that I am pretty ignorant about and I got to live vicariously and see western Canada through  those who were responsible for the construction...however the irony there was every five minutes the narrator said "...and this crew of men all died." I'm not sure if it was deliberately made to seem like this, but both my dad and I seemed to think that that the edit was both comical and border line racist.
The narrator would keep saying things like
"400 men died that night."....dramatic pause..."most of them were Chinese". I can't really explain how it was done via text, but the way it was said, it almost seemed as though what he was really saying was "400 men died that night ....BUT most of them were Chinese" as if everyone could breathe a sigh of relief. 

Later that evening we went to the works. I don't really need to say much about the works. It speaks for itself. It is heavenly. The burgers, the mash, the onion rings, the fruit crush...why oh why must we part so soon Works burger :( Luckily we are making one more trip there before the final adieu. I'm pretty sure Jess and Alyson will have to drag me as I hold on to the door handle screaming and crying. On the plus side we got a voucher for  free onion ring tower (SUCCESS!) which I delivered to Jess in a Christmas card because it was a cause for great excitement which had nothing to do with the fact that I had christmas cards left over and felt like using some of them up instead of throwing them all away. Nothing. At. All.

Then I went home and nursed my food baby until the next day where I cracked on with (i.e. started) my French revision for the next day. Luckily, just at the moment where I was on the verge in slipping into a Quebecois induced coma I was summoned to Rideau by my dad to get my Birthday gift. We wandered around the jewellery shops of Rideau. I feel a little uncomfortable in shops like that. I was there with my free exeter hoodie and my three pound primark bag surrounded by pieces of jewellery that cost more than my whole wardrobe combined. It was intimidating. As is the rule of shopping we went to various places and then ended up at the 1st place we saw where a Lebanese woman tried as she might to force my Dad into buying the lifelong warranty for my necklace. My Dad explained that getting a lifelong warranty when I only had 2 weeks left in Ottawa might be a little bit pointless, but she was adamant that it was necessary. She said that maybe I would come to Canada again, because destiny had brought me here. I didn't want to burst her bubble, but it definitely was not destiny that brought me here. I chose a course with a year abroad which had 3 Canadian options. Exeter and Carleton's exchange agreement brought me here, not destiny. She also suggested that maybe I would meet a Canadian man who I would fall in love with and then move out here to live with. Well...Canadian men..you have 13 days left to woo me and convince me to stay, and if you do you owe the woman at the jewellery store about 100 dollars. Thanks. Oh yeah. And I think Charles would be a bit peeved. 

On the plus side I did get a nice necklace:

I mean it doesn't look great there, but that is due to my terrible photography skills. I was originally going to get something a bit smaller and discrete, but we figured that even if it wasn't "destiny" and the will of God that brought me to Canada that it would be nice for me to have a present that would mark my 21st and be a constant reminder of my year in Canada. So here is an inuksuk with his Canadian diamond chest, and even though I will probably rarely wear this necklace from fear of breaking it when I do wear it I shall be reminded of my year in Canada and all the people animals that I have met along the way.

Well, I'm going to go and enjoy my evening of freedom before I put my revision hat back on tomorrow.

Night night Canada. See you in 2 weeks England. See you in TWO! WEEKS!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gone but not forgotten.

Well, here I am - exams finished for the day and somehow still alive. I do have more to say about the past few days, which I will write tomorrow perhaps on my day of self-indulgence, without any revision.

When I was in school I have up to 8 classes of 45 minutes a day and I often spent my free periods catching up on work and then went home and did a bit more work before I went to bed, but since university my body seems to go into shock when I put it through any academic strain. Like I said before exams take so much energy out of me so my 6 hours of exam today means that in my mind I have been up for over 24 hours! I mean...a fair few of these hours are figurative and invented, but god they feel awful. I did have a brief nap of about 40 minutes, but I woke up kind of feeling like I had been hit by a bus and like I wanted to vomit which was pretty unpleasant. But a slice of pizza and a package from Grainne (thank youuuuuuu) later and I found enough energy to at least amble on over towards the Field House (once again) and put my self through another gruelling three hour exam extravaganza. I can only assume I have brain damage because I swear my mind did not used to go as blank and confluffled as it has done during exams here.

I also realise that I am talking about my second exam as if I had also talked about the first one, but I realised that I only wrote a blog about that in my head. My blogs are much better in my head. Once it comes to writing them down it all becomes a bit messy and I forget everything that I have ever learned. Pretty similar to my exam technique I suppose.

My morning exam was ok. I was towards the back of the hall and either the acoustics were terrible or my mind was distorting all sounds as it was trying to atune itself to being awake pre-10am, but everything the man said over the microphone just sounded like background announcement sounds in the train station. I am pretty sure he didn't say anything too important though and I heard most of it again in the evening exam. I'm pretty sure this invigilators get some weird sort of power rush in the exam situation.
"Do not speak to anyone.
Do not listen to anyone.
Do not look at anyone.
These are exam conditions."
Right. Number 1 seems fair enough...but don't listen or look at anyone. Well, given you have put me in a room with hundreds and hundreds of people I am going to find not looking at anyone pretty bloody difficult. Why even say that?! and how exactly is me looking at someone, before the exam papers have even been distributed cheating or disruptive. I mean yes, I have established some cord of morse code style winking system with someone else in the room, but to be honest with all the effort that would take I think it would be easier for me to do the revision myself.
I also didn't appreciate the exam nazis who prowled the rows and told 90% of people that there phones were in slightly the wrong position. I also saw him angrily take one boys pocketless jumper to the front of the hall. The boy had come in wearing the jumper and at this point it was not an illegal item, but the moment he removed it and hung it over the back of his chair it immediately became a contraband item which had to be removed from the exam area in case it suddenly contained all the answers to all the maths questions.

The American Lit exam was as I expected. People started saying their farewells to the Field House about an hour and a half in when I was on the intro of my 1st essay (after text identification) and I sat there shaking my head and wondering how this was humanly possible, but luckily this semester I was prepared for the shock of it so there were no tears, just black oppression and overindulgent Americans. On the whole I think the exam went "meh. Yeah ok. Maybe. Or maybe bad. I don't know." I know I identified all the texts correctly, but I also know that in the essay section I decided to change the questions to the essays that I wanted to write which I am pretty sure will go down a treat. I also started to panic in my 2nd essay that I wouldn't finished so I think by the end of the exam my sentences abided to no grammar laws on this earth. But you know, he says grammar doesn't matter so I was just calling his bluff I suppose. I am pretty sure at one point I called Langston Hughes a 'she', but Nancy says that he was a secret homosexual and perhaps he wouldn't mind so much that he was confused about his gender role in my essay.

The French exam was along the same "meh, Yeah, Ok" lines. I am 100% sure that I changed the questions in that exam. On my second essay there was a bit which he wrote which told you to make make sure that you took into account that the text was from 1982 and therefore a long time after the tranquil...something. I didn't know what he was on about so I did the mature thing and crossed out that line of the question as if I had never seen it and continued on with my essay. My 1st essay was substantially more coherent, but that isn't saying much. The question was about the relationship between the two main people, and my essay was about how there was no relationship so I'm sure that will go down like un ballon de plomb, mais potate. I didn't have too much planning time for my 2nd essay and by this point all my energy sources were depleted so I decided the best thing to do was to wing it and make up the plan as I went along. I'm still not sure what I wrote, or how the essay came to be, but I managed to cobble together 4 pages of almost entirely disconnected paragraphs which I'm sure my prof will thoroughly enjoy ploughing through. There was a sad moment where I looked back at my paragraph and realised that at one point I had started writing in English. I just shook my head and tutted at my own plebness. Luckily I had my super pen with a rubber on the end and all was not lost! I mean..obviously I have lost loads of marks from writing shoddy essay, but not ALL the marks so that's nice. French was one of the few modules that I was still doing consistently well in, but you know...as the ole saying goes - it's always best to go out on a horrible, harrowing, heart-breaking low point.

By the time the exam was over I was pretty much a zombie. I could feel my limbs losing their energy and I felt like drooping my arms and walking out of the room like a shaved Gorilla, but I was carrying too many books so sadly that idea never came into being. I did, however, walk for some of the way with my eyes closed in a attempt to somehow powernap my way out of the exam, but my plan was foiled as I walked into one of the desk with some vigour. Some people gave me a funny luck, but you know I only have 2 weeks left at Carleton. I will walk into all the tables I want to over the next few weeks. It's my year abroad and I'm going to do what I want dammit.

Yes. Well I think I have rambled on MORE than enough today so I'm going to indulge in some Lindtt balls and slip into a waking coma before I go to bed without having to set an alarm. Bliss.

(Also, like I said. 2 weeks left. LOVE ME.)

Morning has broken (me).

Well I was supposed to write more about the wild happenings of my life, but unfortunately my demanding social life (with my dad) and my hectic study (procrastination) timetable have kept me pretty much booked to the point where I have just wanted to hide in a hole where nobody can find me and sleep there for a month or so until this whole exam fad blows over.

Against all odds though I did wake up at 7.15 which means I have only been up for 35 minutes, but I can already feel myself starting to slump. Waking up was somewhat like this:

and then the initial "OH yeaaaaaaaah I'm up early and I can do anything! Cue the rocky montage people!" kind of thing. Then a shower. Then get ready and then and then. Shlump. Goodbye energy. Hello tiredness and fear. I would always have been tired, but I like to think I would have been slightly less tired if some Grenvillains hadn't awoke me at 3am. I don't understand why Canadians speak more loudly than people at home, but every now and again this question becomes the bane of my life....until the next thing irritates me anyway.

I feel fairly confident for my American Lit exam. Well.. I have to be, because I'm pretty sure my research essay was written by the 5 year old inside of me and the 5 year old lacks some basic essay writing abilities. Dumb blonde. So this exam could go either way. I could get energy burst 2 and write for 3 hours about how the melting pot was more of a limp looking salad or maybe I will just stare into space for 2hrs59 then in the final minute burst into song. Both are possibilities right now.

At least after my exam is finished I can come home and snooze....oh no, wait. Nope. My Dad is coming out for our farewell lunch (at the Carleton caff) and for me to give him some of my crap and a form to get me some more luxembourgish gold.
At least after my Dad is gone I can come home and snooze...oh no, wait. Nope. I have to revise for my French exam which the cruel mistress of Fate decided to space at 7pm this evening. Yes. 7pm-10pm. Which means when the exam starts I will have been awake and full of resentment for almost 12 hours. Recently I have been going to bed earlier and getting tired earlier, but a 3hr exam takes about 6 hours worth of energy out of me, which basically means I should be falling asleep during my French exam. Excellent! Carleton, sometimes I despise thee..
I think I will inevitably have to have some kind of nap before French otherwise I think my brain might decide to make a getaway and curl up in bed before I leave and leave my stupid body in the driving seat for the French exam and the results could be fairly dire.

Well...all this talk of naps, sleep and exhaustion seems to be making me even more knackered, so I should probably go and find every pen that I own in case everypen I own but one stops working in the exam, or at least I can be the crazy pen girl in the exam. Then in 15-20 minutes, to the Field House where the party shall commence.

Oh America....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another cheat.

Once again I am cheating by not really posting a blog at all, but by giving a preview of what is to come. As the rains fell over the magical land of Ottawa we bid farewell to nature and searched for excitement elsewhere.
It was just war, stream locomotives and towers of onion rings...

Parliament on a wet afternoon in Spring. 
 The Boer War.
What I fear most in society. 

I would also like to add (and as I am the sole writer of this blog I can add whatever I like so really this goes without saying and all this superfluous rambling is the reason why I shall probably get no higher than a B on any of my essays. If I get a B. They just politely ask me not to come to my exams or perhaps send me back to kindergarten for some basic training skills) that I have been sitting in bed with the book "Beloved" for the past hour, but despite Toni Morrison's inquisitive gaze burning deeply into my retina from the corner of my eye the book remains unopened.. The good thing about denial and procrastination is that it really fills the days up. The bad thing about denial and procrastination is that they are bad things, especially given my exams start on Wednesday. Of course I will make up for it tomorrow with an all day study sesh...or perhaps I will wake up late, go to the supermarket, come home, do 5 minutes work and then amble on down to downtown where I will receive belated birthday gifts and fine food and drink. Yes. Yes I think that plan will work better. As the wise Jeremy says "I didn't go to university to get a degree." and I tend to think that he is a rather good role model.


Sunday, April 8, 2012


I just had a realisation as I was reading some of my notes aloud to myself (like the crazy that I am) that in a matter of weeks I will no longer be a novelty item. I won't get attention just because I have a different accent and that I'm actually going have to rely on my personality to get by in life. How tiresome. I guess until then I need to go into overdrive with the whole British thing. Ride a swan to my exams, say crumpet every other word and perfect my 'British accent'. However, I will certainly not be using this lady any time soon:

Oh Canada..

Well. It is 13.27pm. I have done a grand total of 45 minutes of revision this fine day and I am already contemplating a nap. I did wake up at 10am, but then I obviously had to shower, eat bacon and go on skype for an hour or so before I could bring myself to open any of my books. I have read through my American Lit notes twice so far and I have discovered that they are boring. I think I know quite a lot of the stuff, but I also think that this may just be a lie that I am telling myself so that I don't feel like I have to revise as much. I also have spent quite a lot of my revision time trying to work out what my notes mean. Every term I write little abbreviations and codes to mean things and always when it comes to revision time I have literally no idea what any of them mean. Apparently I though SoS was pretty self-explanatory at the time, but alas I just spent 5 minutes staring at it blankly.

I am also very aware that my exams start in 3 days. This is a somewhat horrifying thought, but I figure that denial is the key to success. I also saw that my 9am exam on Wednesday is in the Field House. I can only assume that they have laid on a chauffeur for me, because the chances of me being able to drag myself over to the Field House at 8.30 are pretty slim. I haven't seen 8.30 in a long, long time, but my memories of it are less than stellar. On Wednesday I will only have 2 weeks left in Canada which seems kind of obscene. I am in a sort of strange state where I'd like to be able to see/do more and am a bit overwhelmed by the fact that it is all over already, but on the other hand I am really looking forward to going home (or to Charles's home) and feel like it isn't soon enough. The moral of the story is that I will never be happy - I'm so human it's insane.

Education aside, life has been pretty good as of late. I, like the groundhogs, have come out of hibernation and have seen the outside world on a fairly regular basis. It is pretty nice actually. It makes me regret having so much time hibernating, but you know...at least it meant I got my terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE essays in on time so that my profs can mock them and tear them to pieces with their red pens and hand them back to me as I go into the exam and kick the confidence out of me so I cry into the exam paper for 3 hours etc etc.

On Friday I had to go straight into revision mode which was a little bit on the grim side. I went through my American Lit notes and found EVERY page number I have heard him say this semester. It was such a long and tedious exercise it sort of made me question the point of a university education and made me think that there was more to life, but then I finished and I was pretty much indifferent again because I was going out for Pizza with my dad. It was a nice meal and on the way to meeting him I am pretty sure I also met every homeless person in Ottawa. One guy tapped it on the shoulder and I turned and said "Hi! There you are..." thinking it was going to be my Dad. It was somewhat awkward.

Yesterday, I ticked another thing off the Canada bucket list and hit up Gatineau Park. It took me about an hour to work out how to get there as on the STO website Gatineau Park is not listed as a Park but as a "Tourist Attraction". I thought that perhaps as a fucking massive PARK it could be placed in both categories. My Dad also tried to find out some info at the Ottawa transport place. Their advice was "It's nice there. You should take a car." Real helpful. With my insane googlemaps skills I finally managed to find a way into the mysteriously undersignposted park. We walked up..and up..aaaand up to Pink Lake and had a picnic at the lookout point. It was pleasant, although the experience was somewhat tainted by horrible skateboarders. Canadians talk more loudly than British people on the whole, which I accept, but you know..I really do not want to hear a discussion about whether you use the same wad of toilet paper when you have a wank then do a poo on the same toilet trip. Sadly, they didn't stay around too long to debate life's unanswered questions for too long. I assume they were off to a MENSA meeting or something. On the way out of the park I saw a grass snake too which was cool. It kind of looked like the love child of a worm and shoelace, but I've never seen any snake in the wild so it still made me happy.

After the 10 mile walk my feet felt a little bit sad, but I got to have my 3rd bath of the year at my Dad's hotel room which felt like bliss..after my feet had their initial cry. Afterwards we went to a nice Steak restaurant. It was at the lower end of the expensive range, but still I place I would never have gone to on my own because I am stingy. But as I wasn't paying I 'reluctantly' ordered a steak with various add ons and a cocktail. After only having had cafeteria steak this year...it felt a little bit like heaven. Two nights in a row when I have gone to a restaurant with my Dad they have lowered the lighting shortly after our arrival, I guess they wanted to hide me from the view of the other customers in order stop this reaction:

Anyway, that was all good and everyone was friendly (lol. of course they were. we in canada, eh?) I was a little taken aback at the end of the meal when the waitress said to me
"Do they have Easter in England?"
I was thrown a little off guard by the question, but I told her that we did.
She replied: "Oh yeah...I thought they probably did..but Easter is a religious holiday so I wasn't sure..."
Yes. Because Religion has not yet reached England and with the Puritans came over to North America they did so because they were avid atheists. Oh dear Canada..oh dear.
I guess, even if it isn't always positive, at least you never fail to surprise me.