Friday, 5 September 2008

Week 1 over, red fish, and I getting my first packages!!!)

Friday 5th September

So it's been an interesting few days with it's ups and downs! I am actually glad it's Friday and for the first time since Hans went back to England I am not dreading the weekend!

As I mentioned before it has been the first week of my courses, it was the heavy going 'design metodikk' class... and it's been an experience! I am planning on including the work I do on my course within the blog, but this was all discussions and research and with a presentation at the end so if I do go into detail you will probably never read the blog again (however good your intentions are!) All I will say is it was tough going at times (particulary with all of the lectures and discussions being in Norwegian) it was interesting theory behind the lectures and the lecturere has sent me a briefly translated copy in English so it will be useful for future reference. It was more the method behind coming up with a concept and writing a brief, as opposed to solving a brief - so a completely different point of view to what I have been used to.

I guess if I am honest the most interesting aspect for me has been getting to know 1 or 2 people on my course, and working within a group (in my group their were 4 of us, all girls) It has been reassuring in a way because I have realised that the group dynamic was the same pretty much as any other group I have worked in before, you have people naturally falling into distinct roles and here it was no different. I don't know why I feared it might be, I guess just nervousness. But in the end the language wasn't as big a problem as I thought (obviously I couldn't jump in with suggestions when they were discussing things in Norwegian) but overall if there was something vital that I didn't understand the could tell me basically in English anyway.

An example of a really quick collage (they call it a mood board here)
that I put together for the presentation - I wanted to get across a general 'feel' for 1920's cinema.

Only one of the girls in the group I was working in is actually on the same (Visual Communication) course as me - my desk is directly opposite hers - and although we didn't speak much the first couple of days, now we have talked a bit more, and today went and had lunch together - she is called Maria and she is very nice! Anyway, she asked me today what I was doing at the weekend, I said (trying not to sound like a loner and completely failing) that I was just going to catch up on sleep and relax, and she very kindly invited me to dinner tomorrow night. I graciously (and gladly) accepted, and thanked her as it is a very kind gesture. I hope it all goes well and to plan, I am really looking forward to it - she lives with her boyfriend and a few other family members (including a couple of children) so it should be fun and easygoing. She is cooking fish, or to quote her directly; 'some's red', and I love fish so I am sure I will like it... whatever the case she made it sound so mysterious, I really can't wait! Red Snapper maybe? I don't know...

I actually went to Ida's house on wednesday evening too - after helping her to clean her apartment for 2 hours (which I WONT go into, but it was the reason I was so tired yesterday) and I was treated to my first homecooked meal since arriving in Bergen (some kind of chicken casserole which her dad had made for the first time) He was super happy because I had 4 servings - including 2 huge chicken legs!!! and I mentioned every time how delicious it was (I know that sounds alot of servings, but anyone who knows me well knows how much I eat anyway, particularly when the opportunity to have a homecooked meal presents itself!) I was very pleased with myself that night too, because we basically spoke only Norwegian (just occasional English to clarify things) and my confidence was boosted because they understood what I said and were really impressed with my language skills. Anyway, it was lovely and they said I am welcome to stuff myself with food there anytime :-)

Anyway, the only other thing I will talk about today is MY PACKAGES YAY!!!!!!!

Basically all week I have been waiting for letters from Hans and my brother - Hans posted his last Saturday so they took nearly a week to arrive but they have FINALLY made it! I have been rushing and home and checking my postboks every night, only to be dissapointed with an empty space (yesterday was even worse - I was sure that at least one letter would have arrived, and ran from the bus and opened the postboks and there was nothing there but a little sheet of paper - I looked at it and it was an invoice for over £500 for the rent) I was so deflated that I had to go and buy an icecream to cheer myself up.

So, they have arrived today and they have made me so happy (so get writing friends and family!) My brother Rob sent me a very humourous typed letter and a 400g bar of chocolate (lovingly smashed into bite size chunks by the various people that have handled it between Sheffield and Bergen) and my angel Hans has sent me some very thoughtful little gifts that made me cry a little and smile alot! He sent;
  • A mousemat - I only had a piece of cardboard before!
  • Some feminax (for those times that only a woman can understand)
  • Some earplugs (I live above 'Klubb Fantoft' and have very arguementative neighbours)
  • A little packet of chilli (to spice up my life even when he is miles away I guess:-0))
  • A fridge deodoriser (I won't even go into what the fridge smelled like when I first moved in!)
  • some newspaper clippings - one about some London ads for my graphics influences and one about alot of English people not being able to make roast dinners or bread anymore (I guess because I make a smashing roast!)
  • Some wine gums! - this is particularly sweet (no pun intended) Before we left for Norway I hid lots of little cards and packets of wine gums around the house for him to find (he loves wine gums!) he has eaten all but 2 in the packets and then twisted the ends up to make little wine gum sweeties! I knew before I opened them they would be they black ones as they are my favourite, and whenever he eats wine gums he always lets me have the black ones :-)
  • And finally, thank you SO much Hans - 2 cds with various films and series that I can watch, and a couple of excercise tutorials.
I didn't miss it at first, but I have been longing to watch some TV for the last few days. I even (this is so embarrasing) watched an episode of Eastenders on youtube that Rob told me was good (it was the one where Jase dies and had loads of complaints) it was chopped up into 3 seperate 10 minute segments hahaha. I don't even watch it normally (well occasionally when there is nothing else on I might!) So tonight I am going to curl up in bed with my chocolate from Rob, a nice cup of coffee and watch a film from Hans!!! Woohoo!!! The only thing wrong is that I'll be snuggling with Hans the Penguin instead of Hans my fiance... but I guess you can't have it all!

My pressie from Rob - thankyou!!!

And my lovely, thoughtful gifts from Hans! thanks angel :-)

It's all little things like this are keeping me going while I am over here, and friends and family that I love are reminding me why I am doing this and keeping me strong - thanks to everyone who calls, emails and writes, but a special thanks again to Uncle Andy for the no-nonsense emails when I'm struggling and sending all of the comics for me to read at my laptop - and also to Hannah who seems to be there waiting whenever I need a friend to talk to... I promise I will buy you some new ears when I come home Han Han!

Anyway, wish me luck for the weekend - and all being well I'll let you know how the meal went - I am sure that is enough waffling for now!!!

Much love to everybody xxx
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