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~

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What? I actually made a video?!

I apparently did!
Talking about the computer, and my walk into town, and a bit about a project I've joined?
Mostly I just like watching my hair. It's a bush~

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Adventures with Dell.

Have a photo by Kelsey! I still can't do pictures from my camera til my computer is better~ But the other night we went out for a little pub dinner, and Kelsey took that picture of the castle lit up at night! and by night I mean..oh..5pm?

Here we go~
I had a lovely little picture and things lined up of myself being pleased about my computer, but I was cheerily type-typing away...the computer shut off again.

I just sat and looked at it...slightly unable to understand what was going on.
"Computer...why?" I said, looking from it to Kelsey, who was happily curled up on the couch in the living room, giggling over something she was reading online.
Kelsey looked up, a bit worried, and asked what was going on.

"Nothing. It's dead again..."

and so I had to call Dell again.

Lets give a bit of back story on this one:
I don't like arguing with people. I don't like confrontation, or angry and tense situations. I avoid them, and do everything I can not to find myself in the middle of one because it's just a terrible place to be! Frustration isn't handled well in my little world, and usually ends with tears (or at the very least, watery eyes) because I just don't know what to do anymore. It's not a good way to react, I know, I know...but that's just what happens. This is why I take breaks while working, and don't get angry often..things like that. Frustration is not my friend!

So well on the phone with Dell, I was getting very, very frustrated. Mike and Kelsey were both sitting in the room with me while I talked to them, and went from making jokes in the background to silently watching the scene unfold as my sentences became a little more clipped than usual..until I looked at them in a bit of a fluster and handed the headset (called over skype) to Kelsey.

Kelsey took over for me, and with her being a computer/technology person she knew exactly how to handle the man on the other end of the phone, and just...destroyed him.
Thank you to Kelsey! They are sending a repair man today sometime with a load of parts to try and make it work again, and there was no mention of charging me for it...because they made me pay for a new motherboard yesterday that apparently did nothing at all.

The outcome of this is pretty much that if they can't fix my computer, not only me, but everyone is my house is very close to tossing the thing out of the loft. It's been a very expensive paperweight for weeks now, and if the man can't fix it today..well...lets say Dell is not getting my buiness again.

Is that enough of a post for today?

Oh, and my 3000 word paper is at...2995 words? I think that will do! Meeting with the prof. on monday morning, and we'll go over it and things, and then I have to actually do the citations properly instead of just jamming random reminders everywhere, and put all the images in instead of going (IMAGE) where I intend to put one! It's going well though~ Then I have another 1500 word paper to do before christmas, and some artifact thing in Newcastle the week after next?
Oh, and my dad is coming to visit soon! :O yay!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm bad at blogging I just figured out now that I can use image URL's off of facebook and things to upload photos onto the blog. Huh!

Sorry I've been terrible at keeping things updated lately, a lot has been going on, and I still don't have my own computer back! (Thank goodness Mike has two...really!)

What has happened since I last posted anything?
Well, I did say I had to do a presentation. It went very well, despite people almost being late, and we were all in various stages of being ill (I'm no longer ill, by the way!), and our presentation was about 3 times longer than everyone else's that day because we were a group of four people with apparently a lot (30 minutes worth) to say about shops in 12th - 17th century England. And for someone who hates being up in front of people doing a talk, that is a long time to stand awkwardly...especially when your reading bit was in the first 10-15 minutes. Teeerrible! But this was the least nervous I've ever been before / during a presentation, so I'm making some progress here people!
That's what this year is about right? Growing, and experiencing new things, and meeting people, and adventuring! And university...I guess that's pretty important too~ ;)

The next day I had a class in the Old Fulling Mill, which is also called the University of Durham Archaeology Museum! It's a lovely spot, way down below the castle right by the river. You'd think it would just be magical, and it is...until the director hazarded to mention that because it is a mill the river runs right underneath the collections storage. Everyone who knows something of conservation, I can feel you cringing in horror! In the 1800's, the building was a museum as well, but after countless floods into their storage areas they decided to move and the building was used for other things...til my department came along, wonderfully forgetting of the floods, and moved a pile of artifacts back in! Thankfully they have learned what the Victorians already found out, and this is the last few months of the Arky museum being located in a building that is occationally 1/4 full of water.

What else has happened lately?

Oh maybe just something KELSEY MOVED TO MY HOUSE!
We went on a mission at 10:30pm on wed to the train station, as a house, to pick her up! It was great seeing her again after two months, and now she's all moved into the loft-fort and sees to be loving it! We did try our best to clean it, I promise. We're had two excellent days of adventuring around Durham and doing a bit of shopping (I needed new pants quite a bit) and eating tasty things, and going to tesco! Kelsey took the two pictures I used here on her fancy Iphone5. The top one is in the Continental Cafe, which is still my favourite, and the bottom is me in the graveyard at St.Oswald's Parish Church. It's my favourite~

All and all, it's been pretty good! I've being doing..more work than I was a few weeks ago, but still not as much as I knoooow I'm going to be doing in a couple more months! gawd.
I've got to write most of a paper this weekend. Dr.Graves is letting us modify the essay topic from Sex and Shopping to be about just what we each researched for our parts of the I get to go look at and write about moooore floor plans for the next two days!

Also, tomorrow there is a lecture by Paul Bahn. Oh yes...that Bahn. :D

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Again, I'm sorry for the absences! Because I can't seem to really use my computer still (And Dell is currenty being a butt about it..making things difficult! garg!!) I can't really put up photos!
If you have my facebook, you may have seen some pictures from a hike and a bonfire. These were uploaded from Mike (my housemate) 's camera/phone thing...but It doesn't work from my camera.
Also, there are more often things on Tumblr than there are on here at the moment...

Firstly. Thank goodness for Obama. I was busy trying to figure out how not to return to North America for 4 years, but that plan doesn't need to be put into affect yet, clearly!

Secondly. I'm supposed to be working on a presentation thing at the moment for my class titled 'Sex and Shopping'. We're looking at the development of shops/workshops/warehouses from the 12th to 17th century. My group is focussing on Chester and London, and I'm doing the floorplan section of London.
But clearly at the moment, I'm blogging. Bad Robyn! Go eat your crisps and write a presentation, and be pleased that going back to the americas won't be the worst thing ever.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Hello there!
Sorry for the lack of photos, as my computer is still dead.

There were a hopeful few days where it working in the mornings, and then it just stopped turning on again. I'll have to give the dell people a call tomorrow during the day or something, and hopefully they can get everything fixed!
Because I miss my poor computer/huge paperweight.

So this weekend,Bailey came down from Glasgow for a visit! She arrived on friday evening, and we went back to my house for a monoploy/cake/wine evening~

On saturday Bailey, Mike, and I went into town to find a huge food festival going on! Bailey and I are probably the woooorst people in the world to eat out with, since she's vegan and I can't have wheat or dairy. It was pretty fun though! Cathedral was explored, sweets for eaten, Bailey got cold, and we all went home to drink tea.

Sunday was pumpkin carving day, and the house gathered in our lovely living room for a few hours of carving adventures. Mike and Davina had never carved a pumpkin before, so it was a pretty exciting thing!
I'll get up a picture when I can, but the carvings in list form are as follows:

Bailey: Dinosaurs
Davina: tradtional pumpkin face
Mike: Ironman's mask
Robyn: the bug monster from 'Quatermas and the Pit'


Today Bailey and I decided that we needed to go into town before my class/her train and get material for cross-stitches, and then go sit in a cafe all afternoon and learn how to make pretty folksy art! Mine is going to say 'You always want cake', and Bailey's says 'Riots not Diets'.
We're kind of cool ><

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lindisfarne Continued

I made a small pile of video clips of our trip to the Holy Island.
As you might notice from the second half of the video...I really like Lime Kilns.
I should probably look into how exactly they worked, because I'm a bit fuzzy on that, but they are just really cool structures!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012



Today I was a moment away from calling the Dell people to have them fix my computer. Then my housemate Mike picked up my laptop and turned it on. was on.
And it's still on, and I'm on it right now!
Laptop is back! I really hope so at least!

Those pictures are from the Holy Island of Lindisfarne! Jim came up from York, and together with Mike and Davina, we had to drive two hours north, to the coast, and timed it perfectly to drive across the causeway just as it opened for safe crossing (still a bit of water!).
You can hike all the way up to the castle on the rock there. It used to be a fort and even still has some the spots where the guns would have been to defend from the Scots!
Pretty awesome!

I'm so glad I have people around me that have similar interests and want to travel and explore exciting places and do crazy things. Sometimes I suggest slightly eccentric things for us all to do, or places I want to go that seems silly for the amount of time it takes to get there, but it's so great to have people around that are willing to adventure!
Adventure is important, without it my soul would be grounded.

So lets travel! I'll get some heavy knits and leather boots, and wool socks. Lets grab some old gloves and a backpack for lunch. We can hop on a bus, or ride bikes and explore. Lets take lunch in a huge tree, and build a campfire on a mountain top.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Guys, I went to Beamish. (pictures and video)


The first picture there is my favourite of the day.

Me and my housemate Davina went on an adventure to Beamish, the living history of the North! It's pretty fantastic, and huge!
You have you ride around on some of the massive selection of vehicles to get around in good time. There were buses, trams, electric buses, trains, horse carts...etc. It was neat, and we probably spent half our time riding around on things!

The Beamish ticket was 13 pounds for a student, but it is valid for 12 I'll be going back! Jim wanted to go at some point, so hopefully we can go up when something interesting is going on..(apparently they have events and decorations and things around Christmas time, that might be fun? skating!)

Tomorrow will be a day of reading the last few chapter in a history book that I got out a few days ago...or at least the last few chapters that could be useful to me... Studying is way different here, and is made even more difficult by mysterious lack of archaeology books in the library at the moment! They are being moved to a new location and are all in boxes. Ugh. Making my life difficult, library. At least it looks like something from a movie...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I have classes now!


So it's Thursday now, correct? I've nearly made it through my first week of classes!
(cue gasps, I know we start late over in the magical land of Durham. I'm going to pretend its because everyone is so entranced by the cathedral to remember we have to do work)

My first lecture was on Monday, and it was a topic in the module called Specialized aspects of Archaeology...'Sex and Shopping'. It's urban archaeology, looking at how towns developed, and how the common man lived and stuff. We got to look at maps and figure out where the outskirts of old towns were based on the location of things like the Cow Markets, and stuff, and it was really cool!
In that class I feel like I'm a wee bit behind everyone, because all British stuff and occasionally comments are made such as 'And you'll all remember this from X class in first year'...but I'll pester the prof until I know everything. And I guess go to the library and read everything too. ;)

Second lecture was bright and early at 9am (Calgary folks, there are no 8am lectures here! People seemed shocked by a 9am one!). Museum Archaeology. I'm a bit ahead of the class I feel, from what she was saying about what we are going to 'begin to look critically at exhibitions' and such. Coming from my museum-studies background at home...I am going to be comfortable in this class!

We also had to go around the room and talk a bit about ourselves, and I didn't feel like I was going to die. So...That's good! Progress people, Robyn is making some speaking-to-more-than-one-person progress over here!

Third class, which wasn't til 4pm on Tuesday (I went home and came back) was Archaeological Illustration.
I really don't need to say more about it that just installing the image of me grinning like a crazy person and/or silently shreeking and clawing at things from excitement. DRAAAWRING THINGS! No essays, no presentations, not tests. Drawing things. And I begrudgingly admit that Harold and Kate's making me learn some Autocad this summer is going to be super helpful in this class as well...even though I don't like it much, I've got some stuff down pat for map making! Go me!

I didn't have lectures yesterday, but I did get loads more food from Tesco, and then met Davina in town to go visit a mildly Socialist bookshop (it had some cool old books!) in an attic. That's when I took those pictures as well. Then we got some Chocolate, came home...and started watching Wolfman! Partway through, newest housemate Mike came home, and...none of us moved from the couch for the next few hours. We watch Wolfman, Sweeney Todd, went to the shop for snacks, made popcorn, watched Indian Jones, and the first half of the extended LOTR Two Towers.

Well...that's enough writing for today I think!
Maybe I'll get some books out of the library or something today. Or...or look at the Cathedral. :D Then get books?

Monday, October 8, 2012

This was 80% the reason the ereader.


When buying my tiny ereader, here were my reasons to why it was a good idea:

1. I can't bring piles of books home in my suitcase, because there is just no room!

2. I want novels for reading and hauling around on trips and things, but they are heavy and again, take up a lot of room.

3. Lots of research is on pdf's which I hate reading on the computer (screen hurts your eyes after a while), and printing takes up sooo much ink. Put it on the kobo thing, problem solved!

4. I have an illustration in a published article, and I wanted to see it on the ink paper.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

A little visit to York

So on Thursday this week, I jumped on a train after doing a couple things in town and road over to York!

Jim met me at the station, and after dumping things off at his house we went on all sorts of lovely adventures. Look everyone, I made a little movie about it!

I've actually just returned from York, and was really excited to see that Kelsey had drawn me a picture and mailed it over, and my shiny new Kobo Mini had arrived! It's so small and cute!
But more on it later~

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Woes of Module Enrolment


Nice things that happened today:
- I got to cook food with my lovely housemate! We made cake, and burnt white chocolate, and stared in horror at our liquid caramel creation before shoving it in the fridge in a hope that that fixes it.
- I got a package from a friend in New Brunswick! More on that later, because Jim hasn't seen what it is yet... He'll find out soon though...
- I bought train tickets to York..for tomorrow! Ah yeah folks, I'm leaping on a train to go visit Jimmy in the old town of York tomorrow til...probably Saturday?! Apparently he lives right down the street from where my great grandfather went to school, so I'll probably pop over there to take a little look (hah, father, hah! I win
-Got to play on a pretty excellent playground.

Less nice things that happened today:

- Well folks, who's ready for a story?

Today I woke up at my usual time, and stumbled downstairs to put the kettle on and find the last of my GF chocolate filled...pastry things for breakfast. With my tea in hand I shuffled back upstairs and turned my computer on for the daily reading of emails and the general internet.

Things were going very well! I saw an excellent email from WHSmith saying that my Kobo Mini had been shipped to me and I'd be getting it in 3-5 business days, which of course means that it will be here either on friday when I'm in York, or while I'm in class after the weekend. Maybe it will come on Wed, when I have no classes! That would be handy...I want to play with it! Anyways.

Things were going well and I was reading emails. Then I saw one from Durham uni's people. 'Oh,' I thought, 'a lovely morning email from my shiny new university!'
And so I happily opened this email. And was met with this:

"Our records show that you have not yet become a fully registered student. If you do not complete all the relevant processes, your IT and Library access will be withdrawn and you will be unable to access DUO."

No, university. I dare say you are wrong! I dare, even, to say that I've completed every single thing you listed in the email and that your own computer system of complicated paths and tunnels and mystery is at fault.

So without even another bite of my lovely breakfast, I grabbed all my identification and a coat and rushed for the bus stop.
A few minutes later and I was walking very meaningfully into the Palatine Centre and demanded the secretary's help. This secretary pointed out that maybe I should go to my department and see if they knew anything, because it looked to her that my modules hadn't been approved...even though they were appearing as if they had. (they had been approved already...)

Eventually, the lovely lady in the Arky Admin office re-checked the box in the system to say that the modules had been approved by the department...even though as I thought, they had already been officially. She gave me a paper stating all of that, and sent me on my way. By the time I got home, I'd gotten an email saying that my enrolment was now totally finished, and they'd gotten the module-approval thing...the second time around at least!

- Oh goodness, did you think the uni issues were over? Hah! This is a complicated web of admin and department miscommunication errors, my friend. They are never untangled.

I eventually went back onto the Duo system to look at the few modules that had their Blackboard opened. There was a new one open, my Specialized Aspects class! But oh, would you look at that? One of the topics I'm enrolled in isn't currently listed...and the other one is at a different time than I was told.

Really? I think they may have last years stuff up..because some of the Due Dates for papers are for March 2012...yay... But that doesn't totally explain where my 'Sex and Shopping' Class is.

I've emailed people, and will go speak to them tomorrow to sort this out before I head to York (among other errands tomorrow! It's going to be a busy day)

Look what you've done, uni! I've put myself in the corner for a while~

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Small adventures


Sorry for the lack of writing, chaps! I haven't been up to anything particularly exciting lately.

I had a quiet weekend, where I cooked things and was irritated at the lack of buses on a sunday.

But on monday, our latest housemate arrived! Her name is Davina and she is just lovely, and does some archaeology as well! We sat around chatting for ages, and when I cam back from a nice pub dinner with Beth (hi beth!!), we planned adventures to Beamish and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne for the next couple of weeks! Jim is coming on the Lindisfarne adventure, we confirmed this yesterday (as long as we go the week that isn't the Battle of Hastings!'s not!) And I think Davina's friend is coming too?

It's going to be awesome, and I'll take loads of pictures!
(since I haven't been lately!)

The missions into town today consisted of trying to find my classrooms (check), trying to find me a calendar (not check), getting me loads of notebooks (check!), and finding John's (landlord) scarf (check!).



Also, it looks like I may be going to York in a few days to see Jim's place! yay!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A weekend of nothing much.

Except cooking!

Guys, I totally cooked things!
Well..kind of. Sort of?

Yesterday I made some pretty excellent fried rice! I even marinaded the chicken beforehand so it tasted sauce-y than normal~ mmm

Then I wanted to bake cookies, but there were no cookie sheets I satisfied myself by making Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake!
Oh my goodness it was good~

Then today as I was out on errands, I picked up a baking tray and proceeded to make peanut butter cookies when I got home! Not too bad!
(except for the bit where one of my housemates walked into the kitchen saying 'Do I smell burning peanut butter?' and I was like 'yah...probably...')

And then...I ate more leftover fried rice, and wondered where Beth and I are going for dinner tomorrow.

Nom nom nom food~

Friday, September 28, 2012

Comic making


A comic about me in the Cathedral.

Today I had my visa checked by the university, and gained a small eraser in the shape of a book from an information booth in a thing being held for international students.

I then bought some olive oil and went home.

On Monday, I'm having dinner with Beth! Yay!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

There are kippers in my freezer!


Yesterday I made sure I was enrolled in all my classes (check!), got my student card (check!!), bought things I probably didn't need as well as another pillow which I did need, and then went to meet up with Jim!

Jim was in York getting housing sorted for his Masters degree..year, which starts the same time my course starts. Exciting stuff, school for everyone! Trains were delayed and things due to the flooding, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to bus into town! The road from thing was actually closed for most of Tuesday night.

The water had drained away by morning and I managed to get into town and Jim managed to get to York, and then up to visit me for a bit! And brought kippers that are now in my freezer waiting for Jim to come back up, so we can eat them. nom nom nom

Today we headed back into town and did...typical things that we graveyards, and other assorted old sites, and poke around in the dirt, and sit in cafes making faces.
It was a pretty great day, I think!

I have more errands to get to tomorrow, and some sort of meeting things that will involve me interacting with many people at once. Noooo I say, I am a small hermit person! Luckily there are louder people out there than me, and they will probably introduce themselves before I feel too awkward. Or perhaps natural conversation will flow!

Either way, I'm getting better at going into a town on my own..on a bus. Getting better! Go Robyn go!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The roads are gently flooding

So..Durham is flooding a bit. The River Wear is rising, and bits of the city near it are on flood-alert now.
Where I live is pretty far from the river, and up a little hill so hopefully it will be ok!

It's mostly irritating because I need to get into town tomorrow to sort out more things with my modules...and the road may be closed. Hope not! But it might be. ugh.

I need my wellies! Jim!

If you'd like to check the river level, jump on over here, to a webcam on the banks! So much water!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Oh Hai

Today I dragged myself out of bed, already knowing that the rain was still pouring down. It's fairly amazing that I can't hear it from my room, come to think of it!
(Kelsey, you'll have a fun time in the loft with the two skylights!)

There are no breaks in the clouds, and the forecast is saying there will be rain for a few days at least. Good thing I have to go into town almost every day this week... yippie!

I got totally soaked.

Hopefully the video explains what I was up to this morning, but the basis was: I had errands to do.

-Hand in forms
-get Campus Card
-talk to arky people?
-open bank account
-buy bacon and onions

What really happened though...

-hand in forms
-was told I can't get a campus card til the 26th. gah!
-couldn't find anyone in the arky building
-made an appointment with the bank for tomorrow. (they had an opening at 1:30, but I was there at 12:30 and didn't want to hang out in the wet anymore today..)
-bought locally produced bacon and onions!

So..some things happened.
I've got a meeting with an arky person for tomorrow after the bank appointment, actually, so that's kind of getting sorted now too!

Jim is coming up on Wed, after his house viewing in York (yay!), so I'll be meeting him at the train station in the late afternoon. Hopefully before that I'll have gotten my elusive campus card, and won't have to pay for buses anymore!

I think they fixed the holes outside...which is good, because with all this rain they were starting to look like the trenches! arg!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Not a lot today.

I'm not really doing a whole lot today.

The last few days have been spent remotely sorting out my enrolment to Durham as best I can, and working on my article.
Unfortunately there is only so much one can do from a computer, and after pretty well getting through everything with only a few minor confusions (ie: 'Middle Name Wrong' ...what? pretty sure I know my middle name!) I think I'm all set to back to campus on monday and make sure everything is fixed.

Especially my schedule. I need to be in that illustration course! Really!!
I think I am in it, but still...need to make sure...

I've been working on my article about the summer's research and field work and things, and it's actually taking shape now! The goal is to have the roughest of rough drafts finished today sometime, and at the moment that is looking fairly likely! It even has some tables in it, which I am pretty darn proud of (excel, we're not friends), and a picture or two.
It's not a particularly long article (maybe just over 3000 words when I'm finished?), and I would really like it to be longer, but I don't want to babble about it...and really, the chart of compiled data is pretty much the entire thing. I could write a paragraph explaining it and be happy...really!

In other news, Jim is coming to Durham this week~ Cathedral adventures, here we come! Also, I get a quilt! :D

Friday, September 21, 2012

Talking about Tesco

Probably the most eventful thing to happen besides that today was..oh...being allowed to start the online enrolment thing for Durham! Yaaay..oh wait. universities are bad at making things EASY. Enrolment is mostly done...but I'm going to go to campus on monday and get some help with bis.
They couldn't just makes it simple...? No? fine.

Other interesting Tesco finds today were:

-Gluten free chicken nuggets, with local chicken. Yay!
-a spare sheet for the bed. (it's purple!)
-Gluten free soy sauce finish eating my lunch, and get to work on that article! D:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I like sweets!


Today I woke up feeling a bit sad. The house was cold and empty, and it was raining outside. Grey clouds hung over everything, and it was a bit gloomy. Not the best way to start off a day of adventures, that's for sure!

But then things got better!

I headed out into the rain with my little bright raincoat and white toque and caught a different bus than that goes right to my campus! Got on the bus successfully (I'm going to be an expert at this soon, you guys) and even got off at the stop I meant to...unlike the other day when I panicked and jumped off the bus, and had to walk for an extra 15 minutes to get home. oops.

About 1 minute into the bus ride, I did this:
" -humming to self- O_O "
Forgot my camera. SORRY!!

Got off, and found the Archaeology building within..maybe 2 minutes? On a map, the city looks pretty spread out from the campus, and I was a bit worried it might be too far to walk. After all, at home if things are spread out...well, that really means it!
On this map, I was thinking 'my goodness, how long will it take to walk back to the cathedral from here?!'...until I noticed the scale bar. Campus and the historical area of the city are a staggering...500 metres apart.

This place is tiny.

What about my college though, that's really far away, in the other direction!!
500 metres too.
So...I walked.

Walked to my college and got some forms to fill out, because I can't print them at home..becaaaause I don't have a printer. Went to an awesome cafe that is full of food for people with insides that just don't seem to like me! They have loads of GF and Lactose free things, and I have chili con carne on a baked potato and a latte with soy. Happy Robyn's tummy!

Wandered around a bit, found a scary medieval pathway (there was a metal plaque stating it was medieval!). Found a sweet shop and bought those packets you see there! Strawberry bonbons and giant gummy strawberries. (after coming home and eating two of each, I've hid them from immediate view so I don't eat them all at once)
((it would happen too, I love gummy things...))
Also got that body butter stuff from the Body Shop. Half price! go me! Getting it involved a long talk from the shop keeper on how dry my skin is. I had to tell her that actually, this climate is way more damp than it is at home. She looked a bit terrified! Where could this strange-speaking fluffy-haired girl have possibly come from?!

Then I got on a bus, came home, made tea...and am sitting at my desk contemplating starting the second season of Modern Family. Yah..lets do that.

*somewhere in the day I also was in a graveyard with long grass and my shoes are wet now. But the graveyard was fantastic! Sandstone from the 18th century, and you can still read it?! Gah!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A great conversation, between neighbourbood children

-enter scene. Children standing around the orange barriers and hole outside my house-

child 1: We don't have one of these by my house.

child 2: Get out, you're going to get told off!

child 1: I'm not. -runs-

...I'm not sure if that really counts as a conversation, but their little accents made it all the better!

ps: there is still a hole outside my house :o

Holes in the Wall


As I'm sitting here writing this, none of my housemates are home but there are people downstairs.

I had to get up early because of some electrical work being done to all the houses, and someone had to be home to let the people in. They need to come in to get at the electric stuff piled up by the door, and they are currently drilling holes through the wall. Yippie? I'm just anticipating the sudden lack of electricity when they go to actually change things (other than the wall, that is!)

Ah! Well, I just spoke with the people downstairs, and they are off to drill various other holes in other peoples' houses, and will be back later. Soooo I can't go anywhere til they are done. daaarn it!

I was planning on going to my campus today, but by the looks of things that might not be happening, since these guys won't be done til 2pm or so. (on British Time, as one of the housemates says. So really..whenever! haha)
It's not really too late to go into town, but it kiiind of is for someone who has barely any idea where she's going!

We'll see though...we'll see.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More videos!

Look, I filmed my house!
Sorry for how quiet it is. I aaaam actually saying things, but you might need to crank up the volume if you want to hear anything! I wasn't sure if people were asleep for some reason or not. Also...the camera doesn't pick up sound all that well.
(darn it's fantastic waterproof casing~ haha)

Anyways, enjoy seeing the inside of my house!

ps: toilet paper solution solved...I bought 18 rolls. :D

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm in England now!

Excuse the not-so-great transitions between the film didn't want to agree with me today.

I'm in England now, in my new home! I managed to not die, and even went into town on my own today!
I met up with my housemate Sean, who showed me around a bit, before wandering off to film things and buy loads of food because..well I didn't have any at home, and my tummy was being sad about that.
(we also don't have toilet paper, and I should probably go get more...)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Here we go!

I wanted to put up a picture of me hiding behind my suitcases, but thaaaat didn't work out for some reason.
Just wanted to say...

At dawn, I ride!

Tomorrow morning starts my adventure abroad! Unravel the Turtle moves to England!
Should I include that in my banner? Probably.
Will I forget to do it for weeks? Almost definitely.

ps. Oooo I did the html for that correctly first try! Go me :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An outfit for once!


See those boots? See how excited I am about those boots?!
You should all remember those boots from the last...few years? (has anyone stayed with this blog that long??) I got them in Florence when I was in grade 11. My family visited Italy and they were the best thing ever~

After a number of years of wearing constantly and prancing around like a little elf person, I managed to wear all the way through the heel onto the leather underneath.
Try as I might, duct-tape just doesn't cut it for shoe repairs sometimes!

Luckily a cobbler in town replaced the heels for me, got the salt stains from Calgary out, and put a protecting spray on them. It took him 4 days...and costs a mere $26! Best!

so I wore them today!

The lesson here is buy quality shoes, and have them fixed instead of replaced.

And then I bought another suitcase, because...I'm bringing two on this move. :D


I want to go wandering.

I know, I know, I'm going to the UK for at least 9 months in...oh look, it's in 3 days!
But that's not just what I mean.

I want to be on the move all the time, in a car or on a train. Maybe with just a backpack! I'd have to pair down my clothes and things, but I don't wear more than about 4 different things anyway~

I want to go with one or two people who mean a lot to me, and we can set off and travel the world at whatever pace we want. It would be magical. We don't have to bring a lot of money...heck, we may as well do odd jobs for cash along the way! I'm sure there is a way to do that, right?

I don't like being alone very much, and I know I'm going to be for a while as I get settled into my new home in a few days. There are a few roommates that I'll get to know, but because it's 3rd year all the students at the uni are in their final year, while I still have one more to go. They'll be in their groups of friends and I'll be the newcomer trying to make her way.

This isn't a super new concept to me really. I've moved so many times that leaping up and going to live around the world doesn't seem like too much of a difficult thing, but I know making friends is still a really difficult things to do. With all the things that have been happening lately, I've got to try and be positive about everything, and meet as many people as I can.

Take every opportunity, right?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Adventures to Vancouver


Just returned from a jaunt to Vancouver. My friend Kelsey is moving in with me in the UK a few weeks after I get there, and we had to do VISA things down in the big city. It was a pretty exciting adventure, and our first little road trip together!
Fun times!

After VISA things were sorted, and we'd gone on shopping trips that resulted in chocolates and soaps, we headed off to meet up with my friend Steve! I know Steve from sailing a few years ago, but we'd not seen each other in a year and a half or so. Naturally meeting up for dinner was pretty fantastic!
Kelsey and Steve discussed their love for David Tennant as the 10th Doctor...a conversation which was continued the next morning when we all met up again for breakfast in Abbotsford! This meeting was joined by my friend Ryan as well, who didn't actually know I was going to be there, and looking veeeery confused. :D

Kelsey and I got home safely via the more scenic route (other road was on FIRE) and Kelsey dyed her hair~

I leave Canada in 4 days, with a lay over leading me off to the UK for the next 9 to 11 months! I'm not sure when I'm coming home again actually...if I get a job over there I don't have to leave until the end of August sometime! Pretty exciting! I hope I can get some kind of archaeological job...

It's exciting and scary, moving to the other side of the world on your own. I can't wait, but I'm also terrified about everything!
I have people over there, but it will take some getting used to, that's for sure :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Portrait shots


Today I got my hair cut, which was pretty necessary since I'm still growing it out and things. The back was really a lot longer, and pretty heavy. My hair is so thick!
I decided that getting a fringe would be good too, so brushing my hair out of my face will no longer be a full-time job! I'm pretty pleased with the cut, I haven't had a proper fringe in a while (I haven't had my hair this long in a while either)

Oh and the cats...I thought some pictures of them were needed on here again! It's been a while since a cat-post, hasn't it?
Olive and Neptune, ladies and gentlemen!

In other news, I head off across to the pond in T-minus 9 days. Jim is meeting me in London to help with what I will call the 'Struggle of the Suitcases', and from there we will..go...somewhere? Wales? Straight to York / Durham? Dunno yet!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The World is tough.

I spend so much time worrying about what I'm doing, that sometimes I forget how much it might effect other people. And what other people are going through.

There will be no more of that.

Right now I need to put aside what I'm worried about (because it will all be fine) and be there for the people in my life that need my support. Because that is so much more important~
I will be there for the people in my life that I love, and who need me, no matter what.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Camping films part 2 & 3

I've finished the other two videos of all my camping footage!
Hope you all enjoy it!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Return from Camping!


Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I was on a little holiday! My family and I (that's my brother in the photos!) went on a camping trip to Long Beach, Vancouver Island!
There was surprisingly nice weather, and we did lots of hiking and beach walking and drinking a few times too!

I sent Jim a cool card, and slept in a tent.

Then we went to Victoria and I got to see friends from elementary school and we had a fantastic time, and bought too many things, and ate a load of food!

It was a good trip, but I am pleased to be home again and able Jim! :D
(and Jim, here is the video!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012



Yesterday I went through the terrible ordeal of having all four of my wisdom teeth removed from my face.

I now look like a hamster...dang.

Also, crackers are hard to eat now! Poop!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday morning!


I'd like to draw your attention, dear reader, to the massive amount of freckles on my face! They are often hard to see, but if I turn the contrast up on a photo a lot, they are everywhere! Pretty much just my entire face is covered in freckles, after working outside pretty much all summer! I can't say I don't love it~

I have to drive to the largest airport in the area today, an hour away, to get my family! They are returning from a trip to look at universities for my brother and have been away for three weeks~

In other news I've been working on my article. I'm going to submit to the Society for Historical Archaeology hopefully they like! (first I have to finish it).

Yesterday marked my last day at the Henna Hut for the summer. I was going to work next week as well, but I'm getting my wisdom teeth out on I won't be able to work. Gross. I'm not looking forward to that.

And finally, THIRTY FIVE DAYS til I leave for the UK! Ohhhh my goodness it's so soon! Kelsey and I pretty much have our house and everything too!

Monday, August 6, 2012

So yah!
In other news my long lost copy of Bloody Jack was finally returned to me on saturday from my friend Dekar, who had had it for...two...years... But that's ok, because eventually it came home! (This is good because I never saw another copy of the first book after buying that one...anywhere...)

That's all I've been doing recently!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A henna related VLog

A small rant-vlog about my work. Well, some of my work...the summer one?
The non-archaeology one...
(and not really the work, just some types people who come though! I do like doing henna!)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Some little things


Hello all!

So I wanted to point out some little things I like today.

First picture: Hot Air Balloons. I love hot air balloons...possibly a little too much, but that's ok! My parents ordered this shirt for me (brother dear has the same one) because it is just covered in the lovely little floating things! I don't know how many people are aware of it but Transport Canada, the people who do licencing that has to do with things that move, has a hot air balloon licence...that I dearly, dearly want to get one day! It would just be so cool...

Second picture: There are two things in this picture. One is my favourite tea mug. We were separated for months because I was silly enough to leave it in my flat in Calgary, and my roommate Katelyn just mailed it home to me! I was so excited to get it back, and when I picked up the box from the mail it seemed heavier than just a mug...because she's bought a LUSH bath gift box, and had them wrap the mug up inside amongst the soaps! Katelyn, you are the best!!
The second thing in that picture is my WHS archaeological 4 inch pointing trowel. It came to me this summer, and it's my very first trowel! I don't know if you can see it in the photo but there is some iron age soil still crusted to it...from the one day I actually got to dig on the IOM this year (I was there for illustration, remember?). I feel like a pro with it though!

Third picture: Tea! I needed some good old Twinings (dang it UK!) when I got home, so I picked up this little variety pack...and after trying them all, I had to rate them...because I really don't like Lady Grey. It seems like it should be so nice too, with citrus and stuff in it, but no. Really no. Jim said he likes it a lot though, so I'll just mail them all to him at some point! Would that be good, Jim?

So there we go!
In other news, I have finished all the charts I need for my project and can actually start writing the report for the people who sponsored my work this summer (yay! I'm nearly a professional!) and then write some more awesome articles for a hopeful publication or two.
I've also started watching Game of Thrones after many prompts from people, and it's good so far! I've had to hide during various horrid scenes of blood and gore..but that's normal for me.