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Archive for September, 2008

Parkwood

 

It’s been a week since I arrived in Parkwood. Obviously my new life involves a lot more noise and alcohol than it used to, and I still have to find the right balance between lonely work in my room and social life on campus. It’s great to live with four other students, and none of us is a fresher so we have somewhat similar needs: we sometimes have to work, we don’t want the appartment to become too messy, and we’re already quite independent. In fact, I’m the only one who’s absolutely new here, and who has to learn where everything is. I tend to sort things out on my own, because when I go to organized events I either get bored or lose sight of the group (happened yesterday afternoon during the library tour, then again in the evening when we went from pub to pub). I also forgot to meet my coordinator this week. So here’s where I live, a lovely but not very modern brick house in Parkwood, west from campus.

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Ugly things

I’ve been living on campus for two days now and it’s a great place, with lots of trees and rabbits and squirrels and green English grass. As expected, my room is quite small, although being square, it has enough space to contain everything I need: a cupboard, a small couch, a desk, a bedside table and a bed. Although I was quite destitute when I first arrived (I spent the first night without even a quilt, freezing) I’ve now arranged things rather nicely. However, there are flaws here that I’ll just have to pretend to ignore from now on. They hurt my mercyless sense of aesthetics, and yet I’m going to have to share my private space with them. So here they are, for your own appreciation.

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Canterbury

I like this city very much. It’s quite small, but not too small, and the streets are just lovely, what with all the traditional houses, narrow canals, and little cafés that look quite cosy under the September sun. I’ve been walking around for the last few days, trying to become more familiar with it, to create a plan in my mind in which to place the few pubs and shops I’ve already visited. I can guess that some of them will become important to me, in a day, a week, a month from now. I think about what I haven’t discovered yet, that walk along the fortress, the park I had only a glimpse of, the wide countryside. I’m trying to make some of these places mine, to relate to the city, to find my own space.

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London shopping

This shopping list is probably of interest only to my sister, I do realize that. But I took pains to make nice drawings and am commited to posting every single page of the journal, for better and for worse. And worse, let me warn you, tends to happen quite regularly. For instance, I spent last night in a very nice double room on the first floor, with someone to keep me warm, whereas tonight I’ll have to sleep on my own on the third floor (heavy bag, no lift), in a small single bed with my cold little blue dog. At least I have salt&vinegar crisps, darjeeling tea and a bathtub.

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Goodbye Mr Rabbit

 

Goodbye Mr Rabbit

I realize I’m not much of a city girl. I wake up too early. I fall asleep too early. I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like enclosed spaces. I hate crowds in enclosed spaces. I prefer Hampstead Heath to Brick Lane, and people-watching to sight-seeing. What I enjoy most is the details that make the place foreign to me. Accents, smells, tilted pavements and fat grey squirrels. Smog, tacky candy bars, columns, and bad continental breakfasts. The diversity of people and places, the tireless pace of London life. But after a few days, I feel both excited and exhausted, and now I look forward to a change of scene, knowing I can come back here if I want to. And then leave once again.

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First entry

Hi everyone! As I’m leaving for England tomorrow morning, it’s time to get this started. Scones and the Queen is an illustrated journal which will keep you up to date with my academic year abroad, at the university of Kent, where I’m going to live and study for the next two terms. I’ll draw whenever I remember to and post pictures of each page as soon as I complete them. I’m not a very skilled artist, but hopefully my contributions will get better as I go along. In case you don’t find me too boring, please leave a comment.

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