Saturday, 13 September 2008

Saturday blues, and subsequent muse!

Saturdays are really tough every week - even if I know I am doing something later on in the evening, I always get pretty sad and homesick. Maybe because it's the longest period of time I am here and on my own, I don't think it's just that though...

I think about Hans and what he is doing, and I wish I was there. I mean, Friday nights are ours almost without fail every week, we eat tacos or something else relatively 'treat based' and we watch all of our series and maybe a film.. It's a proper 'cuddle up and watch tv' couple night. Then saturdays we kind of do our own thing in the morning; I will normally clean and have a late breakfast, Hans will have a bit of a lie in and then prepare class stuff for the MMA session. We train, then afterwards we either go into town and do some shopping or just drive to Marks and Spencers, get some snacks for then and food for the evening, and go home and relax... I think my favourite is going to town, because we will normally spend an hour or 2 walking around holding hands, & almost always without fail visiting holland and barratts, games workshop and forbidden planet :-) If I am lucky Hans will agree to sit and be bored to death while I have a coffee somewhere, and if I am extra lucky Rob and Lorna will meet us for a coffee with my nieces... I love and I miss it so much.

I think that it's a culmination of things; yesterday I thought alot about Evan Tanner who I posted about - and situations like that always hit me hard; people are taken away so suddenly and so many things are left undone and unsaid. Then also, being away from Hans, and thinking about the things we do together normally makes me sad too - and even though I know it's not forever (98 days today by the way - double figures!) it sometimes feels like it is, and I feel like I will never get those days back.

Even though they are simple, routine things - that is what is important in this life. Spending time with the friends and family - the people you love, just being yourself and being happy, that is what this life is all about. Your job, education, all the other stuff yes it matters of course it does, but at the end of the day I think love is the most important thing in this world. I know I have spoken to some friends and colleagues who think I am silly and naive for believing in true love and soulmates, love at first sight and all that (I mean, I didn't until it happened to me so I don't blame them) but it's not silly - there is somone out there for eveyone and even though I am sad and feel so far away, I know I am lucky. We are both lucky to have each other..

..and that is it - that is the essence of the frustrated feeling I have here - I know how lucky I am and how important every minute together is because it can (god forbid) be gone in an instant. Even though I am doing this for me, us - our future together - it feels like I am sacrificing such precious moments to do this.

I love you Hans, and Rob and Lorna and the girls and mum and dad and ruth, ryan, rox, Josh, Beth, Junior, Bobberty, Tiny, Fluffy, the Nogueiras and Renzo, and Hannah and Phil and Andy and ...ok this could go on for a while - all of my family, and all of my friends I miss you all. But especially you, Hans - I love you forever!

Believe in the Power of One - RIP Evan Tanner

I felt like I just wanted to make my own tribute to Evan Tanner, a great fighter and a great person. He had thousands of friends and fans all over the world and will be really terribly missed by many - for those of you who don't know who he was, just look him up and you will surely gain some inspiration... RIP x

"Now you may ask if I regret it, if I would do it differently if I could, if I would take it back. NOT A CHANCE!!!!! I went for it. I put it all on the line. I always will. I knew what the consequences would be if I failed, and I was willing to accept them. So any of you reading who might be feeling a twinge of sympathy, don't. I made my decisions, and I accept the consequences. I'm no victim. And to those who are thinking about preaching at me, don't bother. I won't hear you. I haven't accomplished anything in this life worth remembering by playing it safe. That's boring to me anyway."

- Evan Tanner '07

Friday, 12 September 2008

Pictures, work, etc

Just a few photos today - not going to write! can't be bothered! doing quite alot this weekend so i will write after when I have some interesting news to report!


This is a photo of the finished 'shelter' we made for the shelter project in the Rom:Space
course we had this week - see the post below if you want sort of an explanation to it!

This is a photo of the sunny, yes that's right SUNNY park in Bergen close to the school -
I sit here sometimes on a little wall and eat my lunch

I think this is the finished letterhead for my friends at the PA Team!

And lastly, I think this is the finished business card for the PA Team too!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Space, light and black eyes - 100 DAYS TO GO

100 days to go to the end of my course here! (you know the calendar I made on which I cross off the days?!) well, last night I crossed off 101, so after tonight we are into the double figures.

Today has been pretty good - after finally getting into work yesterday I was quite looking forward to the next task; we were being put into pairs (although I ended up going in a 3) The task (again something COMPLETELY different to the kind of thing I am used to doing) was to work together to build a scale model of something that represented 'Shelter' in some form... I think that is the general idea anyway, again it is all in Norwegian but I had the advantage today of working with other people :-)

Anyway, after discussion between us we came up with an idea pretty fast - I suggested that I had been thinking of the atmosphere, as that is earths ultimate shelter - without it we wouldn't be here. So taking that idea and blending it with their own thoughts we came up with having shelter in 3 parts (I find this hard to explain, sorry!) Basically though, we wanted to represent the atmosphere (the sky) as the ultimate shelter, a house within it as a man made shelter, and within the house would be the person with their own comforts and private thoughts as we each have, sheltering us from the world......(!?)

Anyway, the 2 people I worked with were people I had not met properly before, and they were both really nice (one is in my class too) and we worked hard, and worked really well together and ended up almost finishing the model (which takes up half a room!) we are not meeting until 10:00 tomorrow instead of the usual 9:00 so I get a lie in too, yay!

Anyway, here are a couple of pics of what we have done so far, to give you a general idea - the material used was very important as we wanted something that would allow the sunlight through, but kind of diffuse the light into the colours at the sametime; we got the effect we wanted and the light felt hazy and comforting, and inside the 'house' where you sit it was very secure.

The hardest part was definately making a structure to build the house!

Starting to cover the 'house' in the white material

The pureness of the material and sunlight in the 'house'

After we had added the 'atmosphere' - almost finished!

So that is what I have been doing today! I am actually really glad I have done this course as it is something I would never have chosen to do normally, and it has made me more aware of space and light and I really think I can apply this to my designs - or at least be able to think about the issues with more understanding.

I am looking forward to the weekend - the party on Friday with the 2 girls from my class should be good, as I said before they are both really nice. I think we are having food and wine and just hanging out... should be good. I need to talk to Hans about it though - I am sure I heard them talking about tacos :-( I made Hans promise that neither of us would eat tacos until we met again - it's our special meal!

Talking of Hans, last Friday he inadvertantly got 'caught' in the eye with Luciens heel when sparring, and over the last 6 days we have been photographing his black eye.. here is the end result!

The first night it wasn't particularly 'black' and you can't tell from the phots properly but it was really swollen, poor thing. He really doesn't mind though, and I know what he means you don't mind injuries from sparring so much it's all part of the sport, but it's not nice seeing someone else with the injuries!

And here is another picture too! I got another letter from Rob today (thanks Wobbie! I love it!) I got an album I have been hassling him about for ages, the soundtrack to one of my favourite fils - 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' and.........some ELF EARS!!! So I have been indulging my inner geek tonight pretending I am an elf from Lord of The Rings (did I really just say that?!) I actually think they really suit my features so next time someone asks me if I would ever have plastic surgery and on which part of my body now I know what to say! I would like to have elf ears - big, pointy ears!!!

Ta ta for now! xxx

Finished piece - Unititled

As promised, a photo of the finished piece from yesterdays work.

It's on 'my' wall now by my desk at school - I'm pretty happy with it (see previous post for explanation)

Bek xxx

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Feedback for 'Rom' assignment (Light and Space)

Well the work I showed on my blog yesterday seemed to go down really well when I presented it today. I was a little worried at first as i was nearly last to show my work and all the others that had been discussed were really really good and alot more 'interactive' than mine. I thought for a while that maybe I had misunderstood the brief! A couple of the other students had really good ideas that appealed to me (particularly as they were things I never would have thought of myself) and I think I'm going to ask if they mind me photographing them for my influences file.

When my turn came though, I explained a little about what it was, and read out a short 'poem' I had written to explain the feelings and the reasons behind it - the feedback I got was that it was a very strong image, and it evoked emotions of fear. They also liked the element of the ropes that I had chosen to represent the story and how I used the shadows to make them distorted and appear as bars. They want me to type up the text I wrote, and put them together as one piece on the wall, so people can look at it - when have done this I will take a photo and add it to the blog. One of the lecturers came up to me afterwards and asked me to keep hold of the piece, as they would like to talk about it further...

Anyway, as promised I will elaborate on what I made! As Andy rightly guessed, it was an abstract depiction of the memory of my first thai boxing fight (well, not the fight in itself, the moments leading up to the fight and the intense emotions involved) This is another pcture of the mock-up - I haven't managed to photograph the fianl piece yet. So here goes, my work as presented today;

"I have waited for this and now I'm here;
but my eyes don't see what you see - my ears don't hear what you hear.

Adrenalin courses through my body and I see only a white square;
everything else is black - the people and their noises disappear
and the only sound is my heart beating.

The bright lights cast shadows and the ropes become bars
- my own, self-made prison
Time stands still as I climb in and I know;
I cannot leave until I have served my sentence"

I keep referring to this in my head as my 'ring piece' I really must stop :-) Think I will just title it - 'self-made prison' or 'my prison' or something like that. Any suggestions on a title, or comments (or even constructive criticisms) on the work will be welcome. Personally, this feels like I am expressing how I felt before my first fight really well - I never felt quite the same the other times. I doubt I will feel the same if and when I fight again. I should also try to say 'competing' as it kind of ruins the mood when the lecturers think you mean your first FIGHT in the street or something :-)

Anyway, I won't say too much more tonight - I will however have a moan about the place I am staying at;

WELL, I had a letter stuck on my door last week to say they that a pest company would be routinely 'bug controlling' my room today(!?) After much deliberation I decided that I would leave my laptop here and just use the security lock Hans bought for it and hide it under stuff. All I knew is they were coming between 9-3pm.

I arrived home from uni at approximately 4:00pm, and to my horror my door was left completely unlocked! I have my laptop in here, art materials, passport etc...I was fuming!!! and to make matters worse I came and looked around inside and a load of toiletries had been knocked off my bathroom shelf and left lying on the floor! I was asked to remove the bed covers and nothing else so I don't know what business they had in the bathroom anyway! I was so mad about this and have written an email to complain - I will let you know what I hear... I am getting really fed up with this place (as in Fantoft, not Bergen) my stay here would be much easier if I had a nicer home to stay in :-(

Anyway, lastly I want to mention that our eldest hamster Junior has been poorly and not himself the last few days. I am not going to go into it because it's pretty personal and not really anything to do with the exchange - but at the same time this is supposed to be an honest blog about how I feel and so I'm mentioning it because obviously it's really sad. I can't be there obviously, so kisses to little Junior


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Finally started working...

This week I have actually started to get a bit more hands on with stuff, which has felt good. The course I am doing now is called 'Rom: Space Lab' or something along those lines. It is completely different to anything I have ever done before really - maybe I would have worked similarly if I had done the art foundation year of my degree? Who knows?!

Anyway, I have found (most) of it pretty interesting so far; yesterday was a day long seminar - some of which I found very interesting and inspiring, and some of which went over my head or just didn't interest me I suppose.

Today, we began talking about space, and how light affects space - we were shown some great examples of work by artists such as 'Metzer' and 'Turrell', and we were given 2 opportunities today to think about how we can use light as a material within a piece of work... the first task was to make some kind of a structure (individually) using only one piece of card, that somehow utilised the daylight coming into the room, and 'played' with it in a way and turn it into art - I wont go into huge details about any work I do on my blog as it must not be interesting at all for some people! But anyway, below are the 2 structures I made - Columns and Circles;

The point of these was to use the light source in someway, so bearing this is mind I made 2 things that would take advantage of the fact that the light was from the sun and constantly moving - the shadows would move and change shape and in particular, the circles would almost endlessly be manipulated. Obviously ignore the execution of this - I had no ruler and not much time to do this - it was mainly for experimentation purposes.

The second task which I have not completed yet (and much more to my taste) was to think of an experience or memory of your own (preferably that had something to do with space) and recreate it using light and dark and in an abstract way, to express the emotions and retell the story of the experience - this was a little more open and you can make use of other materials if you wish (though mine will be very simple) and I have made it yet as we are continuing tomorrow... I have however done a mock up on Photoshop to get a clearer picture in my head of what I want;

When I make this, the white and black will still be flat I think, and I will try and make the objects casting the shadow in 3d... I will confirm this with the lecturer though as I don't want the shadows to be 'normal' I want them distorted, to better reflect the feel of the experience. All of the elements you see are vital to the meaning; the white, black, shadows, mood, etc... particularly the fact that the white is square (or the square is white)

If anyone reads this before tomorrow and want a guess at what this is feel free to comment (no cheating Rob and Hannah) Though when I put my finished piece up I will offer an explanation!

On a personal note (though just a quick one as I am still not feeling quite myself) I feel a bit better than yesterday, but not quite right still. Of course I am missing Hans, and of course I see the benefits of what I am doing but it is still so damn hard. Thanks for comments again guys, oh, and yes Andy, I have heard about Evan Tanner (for those who don't know, he is a UFC fighter who died at the weekend) it is so very sad and as it is obviously a terrible tragedy it intensifies my feelings in a way, but probably more so as it makes me painfully aware of how precious time is and makes me even more want to be around the people I love.

But on a cheery note, I have been invited to a small party/meal/housewarmingtype thing on Saturday by a couple of the girls from my course, so at least I will have a chance to get to know them better and have plans for the weekend to keep me occupied.

Anyway, off to make a peanut butter sandwich ...had to be frugal with my shopping this evening; I bought a small plastic tub of salad at lunch (which wasn't priced as they go by the weight) and when I got to the till to pay it came to about £7.50!! ouch... poor purse. Paid 2 months rent today too so really feeling the pinch :-(

Much love



Monday, 8 September 2008

Fed up

I just want to go home again today... I am fed up and just want to climb into bed and snuggle up to Hans and forget all about everything that's happened.

But I can't can I??? Not for at least another 103 days.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

It was Sea Trout!

It was a good day yesterday!

For the first time in I don't know how long I didn't wake up until 11:30! I must have been so tired from the first week at school. Then I worked on the design project for my friend throughout the day, chatting with various friends as I went! I actually had a chat with one of Hans' aunts on MSN too, which was a bit strange - apparantly they just bought a pc and are now on line... she said she may be online again today along with Hans' mum so I shall keep one eye/ear open for noises coming from MSN! A friend also called on Skype which was a surprise, and it was really good to talk to her again too.

Anyway, as planned I was picked up at 6pm by Maria and her boyfriend. We picked up her sister from work and drove to their home - I wish so much I had taken my camera; they had an absolutely gorgeous house and garden, with amazing views across the water and to mountains in the distance - they were situated partway up a mountain themselves so you could see for miles. Their garden was full of fruit trees, it was sunny and warm and there wasn't a cloud in the sky! They also had 4 gorgeous cats - 2 siamese and 2 oriental - but I discovered that they are actually the same breed, but siamese cats carry a specific gene which gives them their famous colouring. They were beautiful cats though, the whole place was lovely and they had a very relaxed feel to the place.

The house itself was a typical, red wooden house as you see all over Norway, but it was different to all the others too. The owner of the house has kept adding on parts so it has a unique look and feel to it; maria lives in one part of the house with her boyfriend, her sister, sisters' boyfriend and their little girl live in the top part - and then the house is kind of split down the middle and other people live there. I didn't meet them as they were away on holiday - but I did meet a few different people, and I can't remember who they were, what they did or where they were from! I am terrible with names and didn't bring anything to write them down. I will ask Maria nicely next week for a recap on the names and edit this post later!

I sat in the garden with them and a lovely cup of coffee and we chatted and drank coffee, then it was time to prepare the meal!

The meal was absolutely delicious, but the preparation of it was something new for me too - I shelled and beheaded (i don't know the term for it!) a big bowl of shrimp, I have never done this before; I ripped of their heads and pulled all the shell off and gave them a quick rinse under the tap. The whole feast (because it was a feast really) was a complete sea food delight - for starters we had the shrimps, and some whole crayfish (again something I have never eaten) all still in its shell with head and everything, and all it's eggs attached (also edible) there was also a crab shell in the centre of the table with lovely sweet crab meat inside, and to round it all off was a lovely sauce and a salad made with lightly roasted aubergine slices, garlic and grated cheese. It realy was delicious, and when we had eaten the starter we sat back with a glass of wine and waited for the main course -

I was so intrigued as to how the main course would taste - i had seen the fish earlier - a huge thing lying on a tray, very fresh, and then when I had finished my coffee earlier and come back in from the garden in place of the fish was a huge mound of rock salt. I have heard of this being doe but again I have never seen it - apparantly cooking the fish covered in salt has 2 main benefits, it retains the flavour and alot of moisture, and also it is supposed to take the skin of with the salt later on. Anyway, the fsh was roasted in the salt for not even half an hour, then it was brought to the table along with a hammer (for the salt which goes rock hard!) and i sat mesmerised and watched the fish being dug out of the salt.

I was given the first piece, again we had the same nice sauce, a different salad, some potatoes and vegetables. I began to eat it and it was honestly some of the nicest fish I had ever eaten - it was sea trout apparantly, which is different to freshwater trout. The colour and texture was much like salmon but it had a sweeter taste - but being sea trout it had a very fresh, 'sea' taste to it. It was delicious anyway, and I helped myself to seconds when I had finished and the whole time I ate I was silent, just really enjoying my food!

For dessert we had ice cream and hot berries from the stove - something I have had a few times here before. Another cup of coffee and a small tot of a really nice, smoky cognac finished the evening off. I was kindly driven back to Fantoft, and was so full and tired when I got home that I just managed a quick text to Hans and then tried (to no avail) to watch an episode of Flight of the Conchords, and I drifted off into a satisfied sleep. I had a great night, and I'm very grateful to Maria for the invite and to the family for making me feel so welcome!

And here we are today - I feel much more rested as for the first time I got here I slept ok and didn't wake up once in the night. I woke up really missing Hans though; even though I am making friends and it's getting easier to be here I still really miss him - and all the new people I meet and the nice things I experience I always wish he was a part of it too... maybe apart from last night - Hans hates fish and passionately hates aubergines so he would have been a bit stuck! haha...

So, I am going to go and do some washing in the launderette now, then finish off some of the graphics work (hopefully) and wait for Hans to call later. Then I shall prepare for the beginning of my next course tomorrow. I forgot to buy food and milk yesterday (the shop is not open on a sunday) so i need to be very frugal with my coffee, and try and salvage something to eat tonight!

Fun and games, bye! xxx