Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

As the year comes to a close today, I thought I'd better reflect on everything I've done so far!

-2012 started out for me in my family's house back in Canada. Jim was visiting and we were going on crazy skiing adventures and eating lovely things all the time!

-We then had to go what is still the worst flight I've ever had to be on, and I was sick, and we had to sit around in the airport for at least 30 minutes until Jim's nerves had calmed and I felt able to stand again without being ill.

-I applied for a Research Grant!

-Jim went back to Wales and I was very sad, but had to get on with uni work. I also had to take a taxi home from the airport on my own, which I never like.

-Got accepted to study at Durham University for the academic year of 2012/2013. Moving to England!

-Did archaeological illustrations for academic publication, and got paid for it. Looks who is breaking into a field~

-Was turned town for my research grant, but put on a waiting list, and began to get worried about how I would finance my 3rd year.

-Miraculously was given the Research Grant! Suddenly I had to actually get my project pulled together and prepare for working in Wales and Ireland.

-Turned 20, and went to the zoo and the Kensington Pub with my lovely Calgary people

-Finished my second year of university, and thus half of my degree was finished! Whoa!

-Went back to my family's house for a few days to pack before leaving for Wales.

-Worked in Wales on my research project, before going to Ireland with Jim to be supervisors on an archaeological field school. This job took us to the Isle of Man after two weeks, where Jim was a supervisor in the graveyards again while I went off and acted as a project illustrator/learned AUTOCAD enough to seem like I really knew something about it! (I can make maps!) Headed home after 2.5 months of all of that.

-Spent the rest of the summer compiling data and writing a paper, while working at the Henna Hut.

-Had my wisdom teeth removed, and had an anxiety attack in the doctor's office. Yay me...Also, Christina came to visit and we had coffee in some lovely cafes!

-Went to Vancouver Island to camp with my family, and spend some time in Victoria with my friends from Elementary School. It was so lovely to see them all at once again~

-Convinced Kelsey to get a visa and come live with me in England...

-Some things ended, and they were very hard to get through, and would have been worse without the support of my very close friends. We're all friends now, and it's getting better with time :)

-Road trip to Vancouver with Kelsey! Got her visa application sent away, drove through the mountains in a storm at night because Peachland was on fire, met up with Steve and Ryan.

-Moved to England, and made it all the way to my new house on my own!

-Started 3rd year at Durham University, and managed to figure out the buses and everything. (I'd never been on a city bus on my own before)

-Didn't have extreme anxiety before a presentation in front of one of my classes. Again, go me!

-Managed to hand it work, do more work before it was due, learn how to do some GIS, work with crazy archaeology machines, and sign up for an extra group thing that is helping to create a conservation management plan for a railway museum. Winning slightly at this~ ;)

-Signed up for a 5 day archaeology trip to Malta in March! It can be a birthday present to myself or something.

-Went to Wales for Christmas with Kelsey, and had a lovely time! I even got to climb up a mountain in a rain storm because I was determined to see some round houses on what used to be a hill-top settlement.

...and now it's New Years Eve Day! I think over this year, I've learned a lot about myself as an individual. It seems cheesy to say, but I think I've grown a lot. Really! I have learned how I react in certain situations, and have more confidence in my abilities as an archaeologist and researcher. I know a lot about the fields I'm involved with (including museums!) and I'm learning a lot by being in England now about the fields I'd like to be in one day.

I'm so grateful to everyone who has stood by me this year, family and friends both, it's been tough in some spots, but I think things are going to come out on top.
They always do, right? Right.


Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas in Wales

A pile of video clips that I have mashed together from the week that Kelsey and I just spent in Bangor, Gwynedd. We stayed with Jim's family and all had a lovely time! Thank you so much for having us!

I'll have to put up pictures of the massive amount of sweets and a lovely blanket and things that I have brought back from the adventure.

Sorry I haven't been updating very much, it shall get better! (more instant stuff on my tumblr though, if you'd like)


Saturday, December 15, 2012

House Christmas, or The Feast of Many Meats


Yesterday we held House Christmas, because Davina left this morning to head home for the holidays. Friday was the last day of academic classes for the semester/term/whatever as well, so it seemed fitting.

In the morning, between writing things I'd forgotten about and working on my resume I baked corn-muffins. I didn't actually have any cornmeal though, because that doesn't seem to be a thing that happens over here (and I may have forgotten to look very hard), but I had corn flour! So it was attempted, and actually turned out pretty well! They are very light and fluffy and Kelsey is determined to put strawberries and cream all over them.

By the time I got home from classes, the chicken was already in the oven and various other things were being prepared. Mike was putting the gammon (that's ham, everyone) into a pot to boil because we didn't have enough oven space to roast it for the entire time. Davina was getting the small meat orderves ready to go into the oven as well. I got the veggies on to boil while Kelsey bacon wove her bacon plate. (I also attempted one, but not in the oven so it fell apart pretty quickly and I ate it). Potatoes were pealed and mashed and roasted, and parsnips were roasted beside the chicken. Mike prepared gravy and the bunnies got all the peelings from the carrots!

Eventually it was time to put our insane amount of food out on the table and find loads of champagne flutes. I said before we ate, I needed a group picture of us all at the table, because that is what my family always does at home and I wanted to get one of everyone here~

The food was wonderful, and we all wore our little paper crowns and ate far to much. Mmmm~

After dinner we cleared the table, and retired to the living room under piles of blankets with wine and opened Christmas presents. It was very lovely! (thank you family!!).
We have the Hobbit board game now...which will go perfectly with us going to see the Hobbit tonight!

Merry House Christmas everyone! x

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Wed.

Apparently I look amish today, and Kelsey said she is going to take to calling this cardigan my amish sweater. Truth be told, I may have planned this outfit (floor length grey dress and all) a day or two ago, specifically to wear today.

Today I went to the Darlington Head of Steam Railway museum to take a look around and assess things, because of that conservation management plan..thing I'm in. I like dressing for museum venues just as much as dressing in my field clothes and stomping around in the mud, but they are very different sets of clothing, that's for sure!

I also had an illustration session for a while, then went to Tesco with the house to get supplies for what has become the 'house christmas of many meats' because we definitely have...a lot of meats. It's actually crazy!

Tomorrow I have a surveying class at some point, but other than that I'll just be reading books and eating things. Crisps. I'll be reading and eating crisps. And telling my insides to hush and digest the nice crisps because they maaaay have a bit of wheat on them, which wasn't checked up on til after we got home. Oops.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Robyn Looking Triumphant , and winning at geology.


Today we went on a glorious adventure to Newcastle...after doing a load of shopping in Durham first! Christmas is right around the corner, right? So I'm allowed to buy things if they are for other people...right? I think so!

So when we eventually got up to Newcastle, Kelsey split off to go shopping some more, and my dad and I went off to the Newcastle Great North Museum. They have some pretty fantastic galleries, guys! And admission is free so if you're in the area even as a broke student there is really no reason to no go!

The Galleries are split between very children-oriented with large interactive touch screens and animals, dinosaurs, and live tanks with animals in them, and very archaeological exhibits that go pretty in depth. The arky exhibits also have created characters from...I think evidence of people that actually existed, to make these large people projection type things that have a small caption underneath of the person speaking to you.
And in the Hadrian's Wall section, you can read about the Romans carving their initials into stones and putting them into the wall, followed by an interactive exhibit where you enter your own initials into a computer, and an absolutely massive projection on the wall shows a Roman soldier walking to the wall and putting a section of stones on the wall with your initials into the construction! And it stays up there too, for all to see, or at least until the wall gets build more and shifts over on the screen.

Newcastle, I applaud you! Nice work!
Also, I was really impressed with the walk through tunnel thing in the Egyptian galley, and your impressive in-case lit..cases... that sentence got away from me, but yes!
Totally worth the visit if you are in the area~

As for the is all just me looking a bit triumphant during the day!

1. on the train

2. beside a large foot! Yay!

3. THAT STONE. There are a load of columns in Durham Cathedral made of that stuff, and while I was in there not too long ago, I heard a woman say 'They have such nice marble columns' and patted one.
And I thought 'They aren't marble. Marble is metamorphosed and can't have HUUUUGE FOSSILS in' And I wanted to say it was oolitic limestone, but I wasn't totally sure about the limestone so I hushed myself and shuffled away to look at gravestones.
BUT TODAY we saw that stone at the Great North Museum, and here is the label:

"Frosterley Marble: This rock is called frosterley marble,. it is nor actually a marble, but is a limestone full of fossils of solitary corals. These corals lived over 350 million years ago." -Newcastle Great North Museum.

I win, random lady, I win.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Post and Bunnies


So yesterday, we headed into town to see the Christmas Market in Durham. We weren't totally sure what to expect, other than the usual throngs of people that come with a festival going on. Though it is Durham, so you could still walk around with relative ease. Newcastle was more crowded than this, and I don't think much was going on while we were there last being saturday?

The Christmas Market was pretty neat! Kelsey got us some hot chocolate with baileys, because apparently that is what you do with it, and we wandered around looking at fancy food that I can't eat...until we found a cupcake stall.
I love cupcakes. Everyone should know this.
This stall had gluten free cupcakes! AHHH!! I was overjoyed and bought one to save for later (and when I ate it later it was wonderful and I was a very very happy Robyn!). The woman said she's there every saturday, to which I said 'Oh now don't tell me that, that's dangerous!'

Then we headed up to the craft fair and Kelsey bought a stuffed reindeer, and we saw some real reindeer, and wandered back into town to go to the outdoor store. I wanted to get some of those...tread things for walking on ice, that you put on the bottom of your shoes? Less intense than ones for glacier climbing, but they will be useful when the ground turns to an ice sheet, which it apparently does in front of my department all the time. We'll see how silly they look, but I intend to use them!

Then bunnies were purchased, after an hour or so of driving through the countryside to various small villages in search of a petstore that actually..sells pets. The journey took us to Crook, where the petstore is lovely and helpful, and we left with two rabbits! They are called Harriette and Naryn Columbun, and the mood of the entire household has gone way way up since their arrival! Nothing to relieve work stress like furry animals~

While we were sitting around in the evening with rabbits, eating dinner, there was a knock on the door. Kelsey went to retrieve a package, and said 'Robyn do you know someone named Jess, in BC?'
Of course I do! Jess, what had you mailed to me?!
So I opened the package, and saw the adorable box pictured above, and opened that to see the goodies stuffed inside..yes, including the awesome korean poop socks. I am totally going to wear those soon! And the letter inside was written on a little puzzle, and because I'm me it took me way longer than it should have to put that puzzle together! (but I have and read it, and it was lovely!)

Thank you so so much Jess! I shall have to reply now! :D

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Robyn walked to Durham

The other day there was a lot of flooding and traffic was really terrible, so I walked all the way into Durham!
I say all the's like 3 miles. But I hadn't done it yet, so it became an exciting adventure and needed to be documented for the future generations!

or you know, you guys~