Saturday, 20 September 2008

The Last Week of ROM: Space Lab! (91 days)

Well this week has been pretty busy and as some of you know I have been REALLY up and down which is why I haven't posted much. My mood has improved alot now, and I realise that I just have to try and think more positively. At the beginning of the week everything just got to me; I was really missing Hans, I was sick (therefore stuck in my room), I decided to spring clean and realised how dirty the kitchen actually was, and I think (a big factor actually) is that I hadn't trained since the Thai Boxing trial session...

I gave the gym a go on Thursday night, it was pretty good actually I am going to join on Monday - the really nice guy at the reception let me have a trial session for free (actually I think I interupted whatever he was listening to on his headphones and he just couldnt be bothered to talk to me!) So I had a good workout and really cleaned out the last of the sniffles and alot of stress. I was annoyed with myself afterwards, whenever I get down or stressed I am so frustrated with trying to find out why, and every time I fail to remember that excercise will REALLY help. Especially if you are used to doing alot anyway - I remember when I used to train Thai Boxing nearly every day (pretty much every day apart from Sunday actually) and go to the gym and run, then I got a knee injury and had to take a break and I got really depressed. Your body gets so addicted to the endorphins and to just stop like that makes you go on a real downer. Looking back now I have never managed to get to my original level, I still do some form of training nearly every day but its not as intense. I think I am scared to get back to that again... who knows. I am also alot busier though - and happier generally. I remember starting Thai Boxing when I was living with my ex and having a very hard time personally - I needed to start building my life up ouside of my usual routines and it worked - increased confidence and fitness, made new friends (and met Hans!) so it was meant to be, and I think maybe I just don't need it as much anymore.

Anyway, slightly waffled on there and lost my track :)

So, where was I? Oh yes, thinking positively - I need to do that more. I think I am hassling Hans a bit too much to come and visit me at the minute; my reasoning is that if he comes for a long weekend at the end of October that is 6 weeks away and something I can look forward too (less than 6 weeks now actually) and then after he goes home it will only be another 6 weeks until I see him again at Christmas. When I actually write that down I realise maybe it's pretty selfish - it's alot of money and hassle and time of work just for a few days, and even though 12 weeks away seems alot to me at the moment its not that long. Maybe I should just leave him alone and if he wants to come, he can come. I dreamt last night that I went home for a weekend so when I got up this morning I started to look at flights; annoyingly I think Sterling have stopped flying to East Midlands from Oslo, but one random german company flies from Bergen to Birmingham, which is a short and cheap train ride away. I dont know though, the cheapest I could find would set me back around £280 and I really dont have money to spare. If I did go though, I would go in the 2 weeks here that aren't technically part of your course and I would maybe go for a week or 10 days so it would be worth it - then again on the other hand when I got back it would be 6 weeks til it's over and like I said earlier - is it really worth it? I mean, of course it is - to see Hans and my friends and family anything is worth it - but I mean is it worth it just a couple of months before I come home anyway? Who knows. I'll talk to Hans - maybe I am just torturing myself again for no good reason.

So anyway - actual uni work. I haven't spoken about it this week, we were still working last week on the course about Space (as in spaces around us and not the thing with all the stars, planets and darth vadar) The last project lasted nearly the whole week (though I was sick for 2 days so only got just over a day to work on it) Luckily though I had had ideas and sketched them out at home, I could have joined another group when I got back and took credit for their work but the teachers liked my idea and said I should try and make it.

The task was to build a speace representing your daydream (I think) When the class were asked as a whole to think about what they daydream about, I decided that a really relevant thing for me was becoming fluent in Norwegian; I said I daydreamed about the day when I could walk in to a room and understand everything being said around me - and when someone cracked a joke and everyone laughs I can laugh along because I GET IT and don't have to stand there smiling awkwardly. I want to watch the news properly, and listen to the radio and really get to know people properly - and that is what gave me my idea. Even though I have met some lovely people and tey have become friends - there is a lways a barrier there - almost a physical wall. Neither side can say what they really want to say and be very descriptive, so I feel alone in a sense - trapped behind a wall from where I can see and hear everyone, but not yet be a part of them. Every day I am chipping away slowly at the wall and a few more holes appear - and one day it will be gone! It was actually a pretty accurate metaphor, and the way I built it could really reflect my personality - for example the holes I made in the wall were small and precise and that showed brilliantly my perfectionist traits - someone else who was less bothered about doing things correctly might be ripping the wall down with their bare hands and therefore destroying it much faster - but not me.

Full view of the finished 'walls' - my personal barrier with the Norwegian Language
and ability to communicate effectively with those around me

A view from the other side - here you see less 'holes'
(progress made)
and also Maria

A guest lecturer we had in the class wanted to try it out - Odd ΓΈstbyx -
he really loved the idea and offered me a cookie, perhaps as a reward?

What the 'barriers' look like from inside - pretty
cool structure I think

Finally - a distorted view of the outside from one of the openings -
people I can see and hear but not quire reach - YET!

I was pretty please with it in the end (yes I know it is made out of tape and cardboard but I only had 1 day!) I got really good feedback for and it was even suggested I leave it standing and then every day come and make a new opening - see what happens! Its a good idea, I may just do it! It would ceratainly be a good ongoing project to document whilst I am here.

Anyway, I am going to go and wash my hair - I think I am seeing Maria and Anita again tonight for some food (hopefully) I am very glad I met them both, they are very kind and really nice people and its friends like that who are making it easier and fun to be here. I hope I keep in contact with them when I come home...

Until next time


Wednesday, 17 September 2008

94 days... FILTHY!!!! Arrrggghhh!!!!

Still in a bad mood, very low - so not much of a post again i'm afraid ('hooray', I hear you cry) I am going back to uni tomorrow, I feel better enough. So bored again today that I decided to have a real go at the cleaning in the kitchen (3rd time lucky)

Just as proof as to why I have been whinging about the state of the apartment so much, see pictures below;

This is the bucket of water after I had cleaned the front of
all the wooden doors in the kitchen

This is the gap between the kitchen counter and the cupboard -
years of grim, grease and food in there :(

This is the light above the kitchen counter -
it is just baked on grime I have tried cleaning it twice

After I moved the blue cushion this is what i found in the handle of the bench -
click to enlarge (note the nail clippings)

I read the contract and it says that the cleaning department are supposed to make sure its suitably clean before the next tenant moves in... I might complain. I have cleaned most of it now but thats not the point.

Anyway, I have made the concious decision that I will try and be more positive tomorrow - I know the happier I am the faster it will go and the more I will enjoy it anyway. I will try, I have just been ill and had a tough few days - it will get better! The school is great and the people on my course are really nice, I have made some lovely friends... it could be so much worse than it is! There is just one, big thing missing (clue: its shaped like a Hans) Ha ha ha.


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

BORED & SICK! (95 days)

I have been bored stupid today; I wasn't feeling particularly great last night and woke up this morning to a horrible headache and sore throat. I thought I might have just had a bit of 'morning grogginess' so I had a shower and stuff, but that only seemed to make my headache worse!

So I decided to stay home today and I didn't go to school; after I had emailed a couple of people to tell them I wasn't coming in I went back to bed and fell straight to sleep again - then at around 11:00 I was rudely awoken by the alarm they sound before they make an 'explosion' in the tunnel (I don't know if I have mentioned before but they are building a metro system and the tunnel they are blasting through the rock happens to be right outside my apartment) I had to dive out of bed and shut the window and then dive back into bed and pull the pillow over my ears - it's horrible! So loud that it hurts your ears but it's not really the sound it's the blast - you can actually feel the force of it through the walls and windows and everything. Anyway, it was the worst one by far today, the whole room shook like I was in an earthquake and the blast was huge! It was really scary to feel the floor shaking to and fro! I am surprised this Fantoft hasn't collapsed or something :)

Like I said before, the apartment is bearable but really not very nice and Fantoft as an apartment complex is awful! It's pretty depressing coming here everyday and thinking of my cosy flat with Hans back in Derby - but at the same time I think I will find it funny later on when I look back at this - it's like going to stay at Guest House Paradiso or something! As well as the manky, 40 year old rooms and ridiculously small kitchens you have a laundrette that looks like something from a horror movie and daily explosions to cope with!

Anyway I couldn't get back to sleep after that, so I ate a small lunch and started work on the icons I am doing for my brother Ryan;

Just a few so far - but he wanted a simple and colourful style that was universal for everyone and is happy with these - I have quite a few to do so when I have finished I'll upload them all.

Anyway - my friend is coming over for some well needed cheering up - so just a short one tonight!

Thinking of you all xxx

PS: Hans - the image on the actual photo used in the icons is one of the ones from Finnskogtoppen! How cool is that?

Monday, 15 September 2008

96 Days! Reflections and daydreams!

I don't know how to start today, erm...

... Saturday was really nice (after my depressing post I mean!) I met Maria and we walked to Anitas house where we had loads of tacos, beer and wine (Hans generously said he didn't mind me eating tacos bless him - I feel like such a hypocrite!) Later on the other girl from my class came (Kristine) It was really nice actually, and it was good to get to know them all a little better. After we had eaten and had a few drinks we went t out (which was a surprise for me as I had obviously missed that part of the arrangement!) But nevertheless it was a good night... I haven't drank for ages though so I can't remember too much of the club, but I remember enough!

Some pictures of the girls from saturday night

The funniest part about saturday night was getting home (I can't really remember it to be fair) and then sitting at my laptop trying to email people at 3:30 in the morning! I think I emailed my brother a random quote from Flight of The Conchords and then then next thing I knew I woke up at 4:30 at my laptop, with really bad neck ache :-)

Sunday again was really nice - I just recovered... I mean relaxed in the morning, and then in the afternoon 2 friends (other exchange students that live at Fantoft) came over and we ate pasta and LOADS of ice cream.. Nom nom nom. They are both really nice and fun girls (Yvonne and Anne) so it was a laugh - hopefully we are doing it again soon and Yvonne has promised mudcake..nom nom nom....apparantly it goes well with icecream..NOM nom nom....ok, stop drooling Bek!

Sunday night though (last night) I had a pretty bad night sleep; I fell asleep with the lamp on and then woke up around 2 and I didn't have a clue where I was - it really scared me! It must have taken about 6 seconds to remember, then I looked at my phone and saw a picture of Hans and it hit me all over again that he was far away and I was here on my own. It was quite upsetting and I couldn't sleep for a while, and subsequently woke up at 8:45 when I was supposed to be in class at 9:00.. oh dear!

Anyway, today at uni we had a psychologist come in and give a talk (I would have struggled to understand it anyway) but I basically missed most of it due to being late. Anyway - it was about daydreams and the next task has something to do with our daydreams - what do we dream of and what do we want. I THINK the task is that we must now desing a space similar to how we did ast week, but apply it to our dream... I am not really sure I understand but I will give it a go!

I said that my daydream was obvious really - I think alot about being fluent in Norwegian and being able to understand everything that is said to me and to feel like I am really talking to people and letting them know who I am, rather than just struggling through sentences. It made sense I think! I have a few ideas, but I need to have a think about how to move forward with this - I may be working in a group with 2 other girls so we shall see.

I went for a coffee at lunch with Anita, and that was really nice - we managed to talk pretty well together (in English and my bad Norwegian) She seems to understand alot of what I am going through and is very empathetic (as well as being very sweet) so I think I am lucky so far in that everyone I have met is really nice. It could be much worse than it is so I need to keep feeling positive.

When I arrived home, I decided to treat myself to buying dinner from the hot counter in the store so I didnt have to cook (dauphinoise potatoes and a pork chop!) and went to check if I had had any letters - I was IMMENSELY happy to find 2 packages; one from Rob in which he had sent a copy of his favourite poem and some mini pens! Thanks Rob!!! And one from Hannah whch was a really lovely surprise; a relax pack for Bek! It contained a sample olay face mask thing and a really beautiful 'buckwheat cold therapy' pack to put on any aches and pains, and also a matching 'linseed cold therapy eye patch'. I have to stress that my clever mate has handmade these herself and they are beautiful (and in my favourite colour Han Han! thank you!!!) she has recently realised her own talen and has set up shop (online) so if you fancy any beautiful home-made goods take a look on She makes all kinds of things, doorstops, bags etc. She is very talented!

Hannahs gifts - beautifully handmade!

Letter from Rob - thanks Rob :-) ur weekly correspondance is much appreciated!

I also got a book from Hannah on friday so now I happily have something to read (in English!) and I love reading books anyway - they temporarily take you away from everything.

Anyway, I shall leave it at that for now, I am pretty tired and I think I am getting a cold. I feel heady and achy, really hope I don't get one! I dont need that on top of everything else!