Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Show and Tell

I took a calligraphy course this weekend where I learned how to write the lower case letters in an old typeface called Foundational. I realized it's tough writing in calligraphy when you're left handed mainly because you have to write like you're right handed to make it look right. Anyway just wanted to share that with ya'll.

I would also like to thank Kristin for sending me a kick-a package containing Halloween candy, a sweet card, and my evening entertainment for the next couple days. AND it arrived on Halloween! Brilliant.

Kristin I salute you! I'm pleased as punch.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Last night a bunch of us went out to a pub in Liss and played skittles! For those of you unwilling to click through to the link let me give you a run down of what this rainbow coated candy game is. It's basically the father of bowling, except there are 9 "skittles" (or pins) that are wooden and you throw a much smaller ball down the unwaxed lane to knock them down. You get three rolls and if you knock down all of the skittles before your third roll the skittles get put back up so you can have a possible high score of 27 points per turn. (this never happens, but it COULD if you were an exceptional skittler)

As for me my first try I only got 3 points for my team, as in I only knocked down three pins, that's an average of 1 pin per roll. (I'm real good at math). Or in other words I suck at skittles. There were about 16 people on each team so that meant loads of down time between turns and the opportunity to fill up on drinks and chatting. By my third try I was up to 6 skittles so things turned out pretty well. All in all a great evening. I'll be sure to post more of the skittling pictures asap because Sonia got some good ones.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dream Dream Dream

Have you ever had a dream that was so real you expected it to be that way when you woke up. Last night I had a dream that Megan was alive and that her death was a really mean joke. I'm not telling you this to make you sad or feel bad for me or anything like that. It's just that I haven't told anyone at West Dean about her and I can't bare to tell people, but I needed to tell someone about that because it was so unreal. Anyway, I woke up thinking I would be in Plano or at my parents house and it was so strange. Just had to get that off my chest.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Meet n' Greet

I figured all of you would want to see the people I'm always talking about, so here they are:
This is Harm:
Ok, here's what he actually looks like:
And this is Catherine:
I don't actually have a picture of Sonia so I'll have to work on that. There are a couple other people I usually hang out with, but I never seem to have my camera when they are around. I'll have to work on that.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Trip to Fishbourne

Today me, Catherine, Sonia and Harm went on a little trip to a place called Fishbourne. We left at 10 am "at the dot" as Harm says and it was pretty cool. It is the site where the Romans built bathes when they were in occupation of England. I found out how to tell if a mosaic was made by a good or poor craftsman (by how big or small the pieces are), and I also liked that when the ground moves the mosaics move in the same way. So some of them have big dips where the pieces of the mosaic just followed the movement perfectly.

All of this was great, but I think my favorite part of the day was when we all got back in the car to leave and Catherine turns to me and says in a hushed voice "Kristi..." at which point she covers up the westsus and the .com in the web address on a bag saying http://www.westsussex.org in order to show me the word sex. I couldn't stop laughing. Man I'm immature.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Harold & Maude

This woman named Karen...who sometimes claims she goes by KG has a movie night every week at West Dean. (First let me just mention that when she tells people her name is KG all I can think of is KG and the power of three of Mean Girls, after which I start singing All You Sucka MC's in my head and stop listening to what she's saying) But anyway, this week we watched a film called Harold & Maude and it was pretty sweet. Maybe you have already seen this one, but I wanted to share this information with you in case you hadn't.

Here is the plot outline from IMDB:

Harold is a depressed, death-obsessed 20-year-old man-child who spends his free time attending funerals and committing suicide in front of his mother, but he does not die. At a funeral, Harold befriends Maude, a 79-year-old woman who has a zest for life. She and Harold spend much time together during which she exposes him to the wonders and possibilities of life. After rejecting his mother's three attempts to set him up with a potential wife, and committing fake suicide in front of all of them, Harold announces that he is to be married to Maude. However, Maude has a surprise for Harold that is to change his life forever.

I realize this movie sounds a little morbid and freaky, but it's hilarious. It's kind of a dark humor type of film, but it's really funny if you don't take it too seriously. If you can find it I suggest you check it out.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Slip Slidin' Away

Well yesterday I finally got my lazy butt up in time to go into London. This slide is a current exhibit in the Tate Modern. It is the work of Carsten Höller who I believe is German. He used this quote by the French writer Roger Caillois who described sliding as a ‘voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind’. Höller askes these two questions about slides: How might a daily dose of sliding affect the way we perceive the world? Can slides become part of our experiential and architectural life?

Well Carsten I say h yes, bring on the slides. Had the queue not been five miles long I would have gladly taken a trip down the slides to see how my perception of the world was changed.

I love London. When I'm not there I miss it every once in a while, but going back yesterday just brought memories flooding back and made me wish I was living in the city. Don't get me wrong, I love West Dean...who wouldn't love going to school in a castle (I know I told you guys that this place is a large British manor...that was a load of bollocks, it's a fing castle), but I just love London. I love the people rushing around, I love the smells (even the bad ones), the sounds, the crazy things you are bound to see. Take for instance my dinner which I chose to eat in Kennsington Park. While sitting on my bench I saw three different men singing to their dogs, it was pretty funny.

Yesterday I managed to visit Borough Market, walk the Thames walk, visit the Tate Modern, shop at High Street Kennsington, eat one of Ben's Cookies, walk down embassy road and have Cafe Diana while sitting in the park. All in all an amazing day. And the weird thing was the second I set foot in the Victoria tube station I felt like I lived there again, it was amazing. I know you are all tired of me talking about London and hey I can't really blame you, but I love this place and if it weren't for the lack of 32oz Diet Cokes I might stay here forever.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dear Readership,

This morning a chicken ran straight towards me pecking. I screamed and ran. Just had to share that.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I received a text message from a girl in the Chichester ward on Monday inviting me to attend institute on Tuesday night at 7:30. I made a bold choice and decided to take her up on the offer and we made plans to have her pick me up at 7. The ride to the church pretty much terrified me out of ever wanting to attend this ward.

First of all last Sunday they had 20 people show up! 20! Then she told me that the average age in the ward is somewhere around 80! 80! As in 20 minutes away from taking the great dirt nap. She then went on to tell me that the ward used to be bigger but several people had died recently causing their numbers to shrink. (These are not things you say to a person who is already dreading going to church!)

So we get there and I find out that institute is me, Victoria (the girl that picked me up), and her sister....that's it. The three of us and Brother Kent, sitting around a table for an hour taking turns reading scriptures....which by the way I didn't even bring a set (oops).

The sad thing is when I arrived back at West Dean I stood around outside for 2 hours talking to a group of people that were hammered at 8:30 on a Tuesday night. I am very torn about what to do in this situation because I feel out of place with the alcoholics and the religious fanatics. Just had to put that out there. Comments and advice welcome.
Dear Jackie,

I think the winner is an American named Sara...her liver is toast.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Week 2 of the West Dean Story

Well week two has come and gone for me and lots of things have happened, here are the main events of the week:

1. Monday and Tuesday we had lots of lectures and not much practical work. On Wednesday mornings the metal, furniture and book restoration departments combine to have a science lecture with the books tutor (aka my tutor), David. Wow! I haven't had to sit through a science lecture in a l--o--n--g time and man was it a little painful. One consolation was the fact that Rachel, a fellow student who we sometimes call "the knitter" sat there in front of David knitting a scarf or a sweater or something! Right in front of him! I would never have the balls to do that in front of a professor, good night nurse! Ok, just had to get that off my chest.

2. Wednesday I went into Chichester with Sonia in an effort to purchase a watch (because I never know what time it is) and a mirror (because there is not an electrical outlet in my bathroom and I dry my hair based on nothing but faith that it is turning out ok). After several hours of walking around I came back with a NEED to purchase the new Killers cd...which I later bought, a package of Hob Nobs, and a bottle of nail polish remover.

3. Wednesday night I went to a bar with some other students and listened to a live blues band which turned out to be quite fun.

4. Friday we took a field trip to Chichester Cathedral Library and we all got to pick some new books to work on. It was pretty amazing. I saw some of the biggest books I have ever seen in my life. We're talking bigger than that big dictionary that libraries used to have on it's own stand. Friday night I watched Everything is Illuminated with some people and once again thoroughly enjoyed it. I left a while afterwards when everyone started taking shots of absinthe.

Tomorrow I'm going to London alone which is ok with me because I can't wait to go. The question is what to do while I'm there...way too many options!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Excerpt from an email I just sent

It's weird here because most of the people in my program are older, there is only one guy younger than me and he was born in 1982, which is only a couple months younger. Here is a list of people I like to hang out with so far...

Sonia: She is SO funny, she's English but has been living in Ireland for the last 5 years. She used to restore old maps and paper so she's pretty experienced in paper stuff. She's 41, which you would think would be weird, but it isn't at all. She keeps asking me to say things like ya'll and partner it's really funny

Jenny: An american from Virginia who went to school in Washington, but I don't remember the name of the school. I guess it's a place where you don't really have to pick a major and everything is pretty free thinking...Evergreen? that might be the name I'm not sure. She studied conservation for a year in Boston as North Bennet Street School which is a really good conservation school in the states. She's 28 and really smily.

Katherine: She's studing furniture restoration and is from Ireland. She is HILARIOUS! She is always doing differend accents and her American accent is pretty good.
Ham: His name is pronounces Harrrm. He's from Holland and is slowly learning English from all of us. He is also studying furniture restoration. Sonia always makes him laugh a lot and he usually ends up having to walk away because he's laughing so much. We taught him how to say "lovely" on Saturday and us used it many times correctly...sometimes incorrectly.
Those are just a few of the people I like to hang out with so far on the course, there are many more but I can't go through all of them.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This is the place I get to go eat breakfast in every morning...unreal.

Well my first week at West Dean has come an gone and it went fast and at the same time very slowly. It feels like I've been here for a month sometimes which is really weird. I think it's because my schedule is so rigurous here. I haven't had a schedule this structured in a long time.

I thought I would share several of my favorite moments from this week.

1. On my first night here we had a get to know you cocktail hour followed by dinner, then on to the pub in the school and finally more drinks at my dorm....I'm not in BYU anymore.

2. I didn't actually meet any of the "bookies" as we're called at the meet and greet, I somehow got caught up with the fine metal workers who are quite quiet.

3. I started working on my first project which was to reattach a coverboard to a book from the Chichester Cathedral Library that is from 1658. And I actually did it! And pretty well!

4. We took a trip to an old used book shop to get books to work on. I bought two books, on called Christie's Old Organ (I couldn't resist) and another called the Cigarette Papers, we'll see how repairing those goes.

5. We had a get to know you bbq on Friday night. I gotta say it was the second most interesting party I've been to in a while (first being the gay party with Steve). As one of the few non-drinkers I got to single handedly witness the slow steady decline in soberness. The school provides 1 bottle of wine for every two people at the school...I know, it's crazy. Anyway, the drinking started around 7pm and continued for some time, I left around 11, but I heard people out until around 1 or 2am.

6. Yesterday I went in to Chichester in the afternoon and went into WHSmith, a couple chocolate shops, Army Navy, Lush, and the Chichester Cathedral, it was a good day.

Ok, I'm done for now just wanted to give my readership an update. I miss you all!