Thursday, February 28, 2013

Surveying in Durham Castle

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When I looked out the window this morning, there was frost all over the cars and grass. This was alarming, because it was another outdoor-for-ages surveying day. I bundled up, and was able to wear my warm hiking boots this time (don't have to worry about metal if you're surveying with a pencil) and got a ride into town with my friend Mark (thank you!). Good, I hate waiting for the bus when it's not even 8am yet, and the bus is late..and I probably could have slept a bit longer.

Got into town, and adventured to an interesting graveyard near Claypath that had some gravestones being terribly looked after, but the piles of vines made them look like Daleks in hiding, and a small chapel that was filled with windows and nothing much else. Met up with the rest of the surveying class, and we all headed into the castle.

I was far, far too excited to go in there! You have to get a tour to go in it seems, unless you're with someone who lives there...and so this was my first time actually get to go inside! Oh and it was just fantastic. We got to go into an area that students aren't usually allowed to be in as well, where one of the Bishop's (I believe?) garden used to be. We were surveying a wall that is currently being restored because people a while ago re-pointed said wall with materials harder than the sandstone bricks..and they are just in a terrible state now. But you could see various stages of building along the wall, as well as different periods of restoration to the building. It was really cool (both meanings) and not unlike all the site-planning I did in Ballanorris in 2011...which was nice because I had a bit of background, unlike with the geophysics machines last week!

It was a really fantastic day, and after lunch which I ate in the company of a load of small birds which joined me on a bench, we got to take a tour of the castle with another fellow in the class who lives there and is one of the tour guides as well! It was amazing, and we got to go all the way into the C12th Norman chapel, which is what I'd been wanted to see since my very first day in Durham. I loved how high the ceiling was, compared to the relatively small room~ Unfortunately we weren't able to take photos inside the castle, but I can say that we found out that the Great Hall of the Castle was used in Harry Potter too. Aw yeah~
Also, the Castle has the country's oldest still-working kitchen! The screen in front of it is from the end of the C15th as well, which is cool. I was grinning for the entire tour~

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snowing again!

I bring you...the houses across the road from me!
It has been snowing all night..again. It's nearly March, what are you like Durham? :D

Upsides: It's pretty, and I don't have to go out in it til Monday
Downside: I have to go out in it on Monday. Hopefully the buses will have learned to cope with it by then!

I'm working on my Death and Burial paper at the moment, babbling about gravestones and..gravestones. And inscised crossed from the early medieval period! gravestones.

Forgot I had chips in the over...veeery very crispy chips now.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Relaxing Weekend~

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This weekend I was taking a little break from mass piles of work I've been doing! There are only two things left to do before reading break, and I've started on them already...should be good! Rather excited~

So during this relaxing weekend, Jim came up for a little visit to escape York for a bit (not to mention his house with the collapsing roof). We had tickets to the University's production of Terry Pratchett's 'Thief of Time'. It was in a lovely little theatre that was apparently restored fairly recently, which you can see in the picture that they did a pretty good job! It was lovely, and I'd never been to a play that used audience blinders that was a new thing!

We had gone to Flat White for lunch beforehand, and it is still fantastic~ Just being in that place is lovely, and it's got such a great atmosphere to it! Also, sometimes they have gluten free baked things, which are just the best thing in the world to me! It's so hard to find food I can eat sometimes. (Malta should be an adventure!)
We also went to find Jim some new shoes, pictured as well, because his old ones were...falling apart.

Today we did a lot of knitting and watched loads of Game of Thrones. Also, we attempted to make Tiger Brownies which are horrendously complicated! Shortbread with cookie bars sided with brownies. We cut it before it could set, however..hence why it looks just soooo goopy. Though if the carmel stuff we made before is anything to go by, this might never set!

At this point, seeing on the funding and things I miiight go down to York for the weekend leading up to my birthday. That would probably be something fun, and by that point I'll have finished my work (like I wouldn't have a paper done the week before it's due ;) ) So hopefully that works out and myself and Jim and his lovely housemates can find cupcakes and have nice things! Should be a fun time!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sock storm

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I have been working my way through the massive list of assignments and things that I have to do before Easter break crashes down upon us (it's coming up really quickly)!
As a reward for getting work done I have been bribing myself with knitting (along with..knitting in the mornings and things before classes...)
So last night I finished the first sock! According to the pattern, the ribbing wasn't supposed to actually continue all the way across the toe area, but I thought it would look neater that way so I continued it to the end!

I probably could have made it about a cm longer...but it still fits this way, and I don't want to rip the toe out to fix that! I'll get the second one right, and if there is enough leftover on the ball of wool, I could make a third that fits perfectly~ haha!

Now I just have to make the second one...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

York: Gallery, Knitting, Public Art

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Myself working on my knit-graffiti bench piece! Headed down to york at 8:30 am today for the 'Yarn Bomb' event, being executed by the York Art Gallery. They were closing for refurbishment and created this really fantastic event to send the gallery off with a bang as well as get people to interact with the space.

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My completed bench weaving! It took ages to put onto the bench, and if I'd known how far a ball of wool (each of those colours is an entire ball of wool!) actually went on the bench..I probably would have used at least two more! It worked really well though, and people came over to look while I was putting it up.

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I, as a person who occasionally dabbles in knit graffiti, was really pleased to see how many people actually got involved in the project! Streamers and knitted flags, hats and little creatures adorned everything across the square. There were even tiny flowers tied all over the cord on the pay phone (a personal favourite of mine!).

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Inside the galley, there was something very exciting going on. It was open art exhibit that was solely based on the public and their participation and interactions with the space provided. The rooms were littered with buckets of chalk, pens and pencils, markers, and charcoal, and you could draw whatever you liked across any area of the gallery walls. It was fantastic to see so many people exploring the art gallery and getting involved with the project. I'm sure it helped raise awarenesses of the gallery as an area of York.

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The walls of the gallery were different colours as well, so you could see different uses of that in people's work as well. Here is a viking man that Jim drew! People were utilizing the walls, the lower wall areas near the floor (mostly by children), and the sloped area where I can only imagine there was probably museum labels describing the works of are on display. It is wonderful to see people becoming so engaged in their involvement with a museum/gallery!

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Lunch break, and we were off to the House of Trembling Madness! I'd never been in before, but we had to go..because it's a medieval drinking hall and who doesn't want to have lunch there? What I ordered was off the 'snacks' menu...and it was definitely too much food for me to eat at once! Pictured here is the lunches, with a Jim bursting into the photograph...

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After lunch we returned to the gallery to see how things had progressed (and to add a few crocheted sea-animals to a pillar). Fantastic! The walls were riddled with art work done by people of all ages, and everything fit together on the walls as if it was all meant to be part of one larger image. A brilliant last use of the space.
I was also particularly pleased to see how many people were using the 'leave your comments' section on the way out, comprised of colourful post-its and rainbow pencils hidden in the wall~ I know how important visitor feedback is to a gallery/museum, and seeing so many of them being used is heart-warmings~

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Finally, the last thing I drew in the galleries today was a series of scary looking bald people, that were all drawn with one continuous line. One line drawings are very fluid, I find. Unfortunately I used such a dark pen that it was hard to see it on the bluey-grey wall. After lunch we came back to find that someone had highlighted the drawing with white chalk, bringing it all to life! I thought this was a good example of the nature of this interactive gallery exhibition, allowing the public to interact with other's artwork in whatever manor they deemed fit, and to alter and change it to fit their interpretations.

All and all, it was a fantastic day out! I'm very glad the York Art Gallery put on this event, and I hope their re-fittings go smoothly~

Friday, February 1, 2013

Knit Graffiti York!

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My uniform of late, stuffed full of things for tomorrow!

I am going to an event being put on by the York Art Gallery, which is being closed for restoration work, that involved a lot of knit graffiti / yarn bombing to happen outside the gallery in exhibition square! It's all terribly exciting, and I'm going to weave a bench or something! That is what I've planned at the very least...hopefully no one snags the bench I have in mind before I get there... (my train is at 8:30 or something...I don't think they will!)

Anyways it should be a pretty exciting day, and I'll take loads of photos and everything. And then come back and work a load because I haven gotten nearly as much done this week as I wanted to. (I say that..but I've done 2 GIS assignments and a presentation, and various meetings, and an entire day of wandering Stanwick enclosure. More things than I thought!)