Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Home

but i want to go back.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Here and There

Mom is right, I should be writing in this just for the sake of having some written documentation of my last week here. I mean...lets face it, my memory sucks. I barely remember yesterday, let alone what I did last year! So here's the skinny:

Last weekend Andreas drove me to Thirsk and we went to the James Herriot Museum! I have wanted to see it ever since I came to England, and since my plan to seek out David Attenborough and give him a hug doesn't look like it's going to pan out, I'm glad to have accomplished the other important thing on my 'must do in England' list. We left after lunch and didn't get back until seven; I always get the scale mixed up. I think, okay England is way small, it takes barely any time to get anywhere--wrong! Anyway, the museum was really nice, it was cool to see the house he lived and worked in, and now when I read the books I can picture it all in my head how it really was! Andy had invited me for festive supper at Botton Farm, so we got back just in time, had a nice supper and...accidentally fell asleep at 9:00! We had intended to go to a gathering at Rowan, the last hurrah for Ben, but, well, oops. Woke up around eight the next morning and Andreas cooked me a nice egg and bacon breakfast and we lazed around until 11. At that point I figured I should go home since I hadn't been there in 24 hours. Things in Rock House are going really well, Lucie and Jonas are really cool, and actually just before writing this I had a nice talk with Lucie. It's cool to have young houseparents who can relate to how I'm feeling. Lucie and I had a long talk about life and love and relationships coming and going in our lives last week on a day I was feeling particularly distraught about leaving Andreas behind me.

This week I had planned on doing a detox diet. For two days I cut out dairy, sugar, gluten (which I obviously shouldnt be eating anyway), caffeine, and alcohol. On the third day I drank just vegetable juice, and the plan was to do so for three days. I felt totally fine with my first day of fasting, not even very hungry. Good willpower too. I even resisted the mother of all chocolate bars. The second day of juice, I woke up feeling like a drug addict in rehab. I was shaking and nauseas and for a brief moment thought I had swine flu and then realized this is a sign of toxins leaving the body. I decided to eat some porrige and go back to being gluten/dairy/sugar free for two more days. Clearly my body has some crap to get rid of, but I think this is not the time or the place to be so incapacitated. Ok, time for farming. Today is the last day to see Geno, he goes on holiday tomorrow, so tonight we are going shooting together! :) Later.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I know

I've lost most of, if not all of my audience. I have been a very bad blogger. But hte truth is, these days I need to ever more involved with the here and now, and thinking about the there and then (aka going home) is immensely painful. Its gotten to the point where my emotional fragility causes fits of crying at the slightest thing. We went to the cinema last night and saw a violent movie that I thought would be kind of violent but still good (Public Enemies, Johnny Depp) and after a while the voilence really got to me...I mean...I was like DAD! I was gripping Andreas's arm so hard I hurt him! Anyway, thats never really happened before, and after the film I was still feeling a bit shaken up, which led to negative thoughts which automatically led straight to 'oh my god i dont want to go home.' My top secret plan of getting pregnant didn't work (just kidding...) but I dont like kids much anyway, so it was kind of a bum plan. So I have to go home. I know it. But I cant face it right now, and writing to all of you back home just reminds me of leaving and that leads to...well, we covered that. So do pardon the lack of entries. I apologize if this poos on anyones blog parade. Wish me luck with this whole coping thing....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Its that time of year!

Hayyyymmaaakkkkiinnggg.

we farmers. we make hay. justin cuts, attilla turns and rows, justin bales, we the people grab the bales and make big stacks, then i go and bring in the cows and milk them and wash up all the milking machines, then we the people unload the bales into the barn.

we started wednesday afternoon after the saint johns picnic. everyone else had the whole day off, but it was so nice out all the farmers were like go go go!! i had really bad stomach pains the whole day on wednesday, no matter what i ate (and i didnt touch any gluten), and last night i felt so awful i was nearly puking, and this morning I was in bed and had nothing but a bowl of porridge all day. I went late to the farm, just barely pulled myself together enough to milk and stack bales in the barn. eventually the fresh air and movement seemed to help because i got pretty much better. we finished everything at half past eight, justin gave me a lift home, i had some more porridge and now here i am at botton farm and now iäm going to shleep. nighty night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

the worst of the worst

basically...the worst thing that can ever happen to a 21st century human being happened to me. my computer crashed last week, just after that last post. i lost everything. i took it to the IT guys here and they spent a whole morning trying to recover stuff, when i'm sure they have better things to do, and when i went to collect it after lunch pete, the main IT guy (and posible lover of Donna, the woman who covered Bracken and broke her foot while Paule and Nick were away, remember?) told me I might want to sit down for this news. I thought he was kidding. he wasn't. i cried. a lot. donna hugged me.
all my pictures. all my music. all my school documents saved as keepsakes. but the real bitch is the pictures. documentation of Paris. when am i ever going there again? never. thank god i püt a few up on this blog...at least i have some proof. the one i miss the most is the one i took of the homeless guy after I gave him a sandwich. the ones of botton were mostly landscapes, which i am trying my best to replicate.

i lost the camera, then the computer crashed, then my iPod started malfunctioning. Bad luck comes in threes I guess. The ipod thing is simply a bad headphone connection, costs me 12 pounds. for now i'm using andy's computer and trying my best to keep in touch. i should have the iPod back by the end of next week and the computer as well i think....pete ordered a 250G hard drive for me (an upgrade from 80 G!) and it was like 60 quid...i thought it would be like 200! so thats all okay. i'm over it. Im growing and all that. hope you guys didnt give up on the blog! i know theyve been fewer and further between as of late.
love to all.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I found it! The internet!!

There is internet in the sitting room! Woot! Now I just have to keep up with this blog. Seems like more of a task now that I'm out of the routine of daily writing. So here's whats up:

I moved to Rock House...wow, ages ago I guess! Things were pretty hectic at first, it was har to get into the swing of things with morning gatherings for Whitsun, a week of duty driving and other things. But now we're getting there. There are three villagers, me, and Lucie and Jonas and their two-year old daughter Nouria. The villagers:

Jean is a 42 year old "small lady" who loves pink and sparkly things and tells me I am beautiful all the time and is generally complimentary and kind. She is sometimes a bit of a drama queen, squeezing out the water-works every now and then for a bit of attention. Oh, and she is Tom Woodward's long lost sister or something. I have never heard a more monotoneous voice.

James is 27 and...really annoying. I know this sounds just a smidge hypacrytical, but HE TALKS SO MUCH. HE NEVER STOPS. And he goes on and on and on for ages about politics and global warming and religion in the most annoying voice and he DOES have a learning disability so he says weird things and inappropriate things and just NEVER. SHUTS. UP. Don't even get me started on him and Bible Evening. It's hell. I'm sure he has some good qualities....I just can't find them yet.

Fiona is in her 50's, and I don't know her very well. Neither do Lucie or Jonas, so we're getting to know her slowly. I'm supposed ot give her a shave every morning (she has a beard) but it doesn't work out so well. Plus her shaver sucks and I don't know shit all about electric shavers so....she remains hairy.

My room. It's amazing. On a trip to the beach with Ben and Andy I lost/someone stole my camera, so I don't have any pictures of it, but I just ordered a new camera today and when it comes I will go crazy with pictures of this amazing house and my super duper amazing room!!! Oh and me, because, well, I look good too. Hehe. No but really, at least externally I feel pretty great. My hair is healthy and loonnnggg, I haven't had a single pimple in like, three months, my broken toe is un-broken, or at least painless, and I haven't been compulsively cracking my neck and back nearly so much. Internally, things could be better, but it's my own fault. I love gluten, okay? I don't love the subsequent belly pain and farting and lethargy, but sometimes it's worth it, okay? okay?! :)

I have to say, as this is something I have been thinking a lot of recently, I am not going to be fun when I come home. Leaving here means a lot of heart-breaking goodbyes, and while I absolutely LOVE my friends back home, and I do want to see you guys, I gotta say, I'll be in a right state when I get back, and I think curling up in bed and being depressed sounds optimal. But then again, I can see myself partying it up with Molly and elke and Liz and Aimee Olivia and all these wonderful wonderful people I havent seen in forever. And I can see myself going mad with turning my house into a home and bringing all this Camphill stuff into my life and using my new found cooking skillz and home-decorating enthusiasm and getting up at half five to walk my dog and weed the garden....all in the three weeks before classes start. right...do I have to pick one?

I'm going to the Mount this weekend, leaving Friday morning and coming back Sunday evening. It's a youth conference south of London; a bunch of young co-workers from Camphills around the UK coming together to eat, drink, play games and talk about Camphill. A right good time. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009


A few weeks ago Andy and I went to Whitby. The next day was my farewell with Tourmaline and we went to a garden with an outrageous cactus collection.



at some point i will write to you

But i still dont have internet in my room, i lost/someone stole my camera, and my cute german left me for a week. Next weekend i'm going to The Mount, a camphill place south of london for a youth conference. Well, its a bunch of young people sitting round a fire drinking and chilling out DISGUISED as a youth conference. We have three houses here for a big Arabian afternoon with amazing food I can't eat. This gluten thing is making me severely grumpy and whiny and angry and depressed recently. I just want to eat a fucking sandwich!!!!! Anyway, I gotta go pretend to be social. Pppttthhht.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

cant find the time

or the place, to write a new blog entry. rock house is amazing (it rocks! hehe) and lucie and jonas are the coolest, and nouria (their 2 year old daughter) is super cute but sometimes annoying but thats just cuz im not so much a kid person. theres no internet in my room so im on andys and now we gotta go set up the IVS hut with a new sound system.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yooooo its like you dont even know me.

I went hunting with Andreas Sunday evening and we shot bunnies. It was sweeeet. I couldn't see through the scope so I didn't actually shoot anything, but the first one he got was twitching and kicking so we ran over and he showed me once again how to properly break their necks. See, I was walking through the woods on Saturday and found a little dying rabbit and I wanted to put it out of its misery and I tried to break its neck but i think I just broke its jaw instead and I was like "AHHH I'M SO SORRY!!!" Because, much as we want to kill them and keep them off the fields, we dont want them to suffer. So after Andy finished it off I carried it around the whole time and cuddled it and named it Fuzzball. I want to go again and possibly shoot something, or at least try. I know. Seriously. It's like you don't even know me. :-P

Rauiridh and Kathryn got back from Denmark last night; they've been gone since Thursday morning and Lisa and I ran the house. It went fine really, no big problems. Sleeping in my own bed was weird though...
Oooh and I move to Rock House on Monday!! Gonna move some clothes now though, no space up here!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Gotta Love that Bank

Its another bank holiday weekend! I'm not entirely clear on the whole bank thing though...is it so all the bank people get a day off? Whatever, i guess I shouldnt look a gift horse in the mouth.

Thursday evening after milking and supper I was just gettin out of the shower when there was a knock on the bathroom door. Andreas was like "helooo there are a bunch of people waiting for you in the car what are you doing!??" And I was completely confused and having no idea what he was talking about. Apparently a pub outing had been planned, and Lukas or Andreas were supposed to call me but they both thought the other was doing it! So they were getting all in a huff in the car like where the hell is she she is always late lets go without her, but oooo they put their feet in their mouths!! We always have illegal numbers of people in the car, so I sat on Lukas and tried to squish him a little extra every time we hit a bump, and later I made Andreas buy me a drink. :-P
Friday afternoon I went back to work, loading branches and covering muck heaps and milkin and doing the dishwash. Got home around 7:00, had some supper and a shower and went over to NBF (New Botton Farm) where I promptly fell asleep.
Saturday morning got up, went home, did chores and had lunch and hung round and went to the coffee bar for a few minutes before heading over to HBN for milking. Justin asks me to do one evening milking on a bank holiday weekend. I hurried home, got changed and hustled up the hill to Sherwood, where our whole house had been invited for supper. After a lovely meal with lots of food I went over to Lusmore for Geno's birthday barbeque. Music, people, and more food. Andy and I left around 11:30 and once again I was out like a light. Not sure why I'm so tired.
Sunday morning we got up at quarter to nine and I very descretely used NBF's shower (so sneaky) and had some breakfast and we met up with some other long term co-workers and a Eurythmist and went to Great Ayton Quaker Meeting! It was Andreas's first Quakery experience. I think he liked it, but his lapsed Catholic conscience was probably thinking 'THIS is a religion?'
Afterwards we went to Pinchinthorpe Hall for a beautiful three course meal. Got home full and tired and took a brief nap. Well, brief for Andreas, who had to milk and got up at 3:45. I, however, slept until half past six. Went home, had a shower and some supper and went to the hall for a Eurythmy performace from a group from Stuttgart. A nice fairy tale, but a bit long.
When it finished we went to Skylark for beers and games, which was SO much fun!! We played MAFIA!!! I had no idea it was an international RPG!! The murderers won every time, but everyone had a good laugh. Then, when some people had left, we played Clue, which of course Andreas won both times. He's annoyingly good at that kind of mind game stuff. I lost by the hair of my neck and almost threw a tantrum. Almost.
As we were leaving Andreas couldn't find his shoes anywhere, we search the whole first floor and got nothing. So he took someone else's shoes and just as we were going out the door I saw the shoes: hanging from a hook on the wall right in front of us! A little trick courtesy of Lukas we were sure. So he'll get his soon enough....
Yesterday was the laziest day in the history of Botton. Dreary outside, so we stayed in bed aaalllll day watching films. Got up one time to go home for lunch while Andreas got fish and chips from the fish and chips van. No one cooks on Bank Holiday mondays, so the fish and chips van comes and everyone queus for hours on end. By the time I had gone home and had lunch and washed up and sorted my laundry out and got some films for the afternoon Andreas still hadn't gotten his food. So we went back to NBF, ate some greasy food until we almost barfed and then spent the rest of the afternoon digesting and watching O Brother Where Are't Thou and Chocolat. Came home at half seven for a house meeting to discuss the upcoming week. Ruairidh and Kathryn are going away from Thursday to Monday and Lisa and I are running the house. Should be fine, just lots to remember. Grabbed another film (Failure to Launch) and went back over to NBF. Seriously, it's like I live there. I wonder sometimes if it annoys Ben and Valeska. I mean I dont think it should, it's not like I'm taking Andreas away from any house responsibilites or anything. Anyway, it was a great weekend full of relaxation. But now I'm totally wracked with worry about Dylan, who has a mysterious disease that keeps getting worse. If you pray, pray.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not so Bad

So I saw the doc and got this thing sorted out. It's called Costochondritis, an inflamation of the cartilage under the rib around my heart. And the rest of the breathing problems he chocked up to nerves, which is probably true; I mean, this shit is painful enough that I kind of live in fear of the next attack. He said to take some ibuprofen twice a day and also gave me some stomach things, like antacids or something to try to calm things down in that area cuz he did feel some swelling in the stomach/intestines and such. I had two attacks this morning so I'm chilling at home for the afternoon but I'm gonna go milk the cowsies in a bit cuz the walk will be nice and its a lovely day and I love cows and it's not such heavy work.
And shit! Dylan! If you're reading this, hope your crazy disease goes away right now!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Uhhhhnhealthy

So a while back I was getting this chest pain thing, pre-cordial catch syndrome. Can't breath, gasping, pain, popping sensation in chest and then it's over. It sucked. It pretty much stopped happening though. Until Thursday. Since I got back I've been having six or seven incidents per day, I'm shaky all the time and can't take deep breaths without a bit of a pinch at the end. Sunday night just as I was falling asleep I had two heart attack/spasms in a row and I was panicking a lot and Andreas was like ahhhhhh what do i do!!??? I went to the health centre yesterday and talked to Veronie and Karen and they told me I should see a doc right away, but I didn't want to miss work on the farm. Justin's really struggling right now without Luis, even if he doesn't show it. So I went to work, and okay, it was a bad idea. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest the whole time which made me hyperventilate and feel dizzy and panicky and then I had another heart attack thingy and was spontaneously crying from the stress and poor Geno was totally freaked out and worried about me. He said it's so strange to see me like this cuz my cheery moods are always so infectious. He spent the whole afternon trying to make me laugh and feel better. Eventually it worked. I spoke to Justin about my weirdo health problems and he said I should take some time off from the farm and figure it out. So I'm going to the doctor's today, and considering the symptoms I might get some chest X-rays or whatnot.
The second, kind of separate issue is my whole ruddy digestive system. I haven't had much of an appetite since I got back, and when I do eat I feel nauseas...oh wait, this is exactly what happened last year. I'm thinking it's all the Parisian gluten catching up with me. I've been really good the past few days and plan to continue. But basically all I want to eat is my gf toast. Even the smell of cooked food makes me gag a bit. Weird. Okay, finished with the annoying health problem complaining.
I cooked a nice lunch today, complete with good timing. Woot.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Berry Botton Birthday

The day had nothing to do with berries, I just like aliteration.
At breakfast there was a beautiful flower arrangement at my place with a candle in the middle and when we sat down instead of a prayer everyone sang happy birthday to me! I was so surprised and embarassed but it was great. Spent the morning cleaning, doing my laundry and Mike's jobs since he's on holiday. Lunch was really nice, and the cake delicious. Around 2:30 I went to Hall North and helped Lucie and Jonas move a load of stuff to Rock House. So I finally got to see the house!! And my room!!! WHICH IS FUCKING HUGE!!!!! ITS THE BEST ROOM EVER!!! I even have my own outside door!! On Tuesday I'll go and clean it up and figure out how I'm gonna arrange it and everything. There was a bit of thunder and then it started pouring right as we were moving the stuff.
Then I went over to NBF and got Andreas up from his nap and we took some stuff to the IVS Hut to get set up for the party with Magda. Went back up to the house, got ready and off we went to Kirby Moorside! It was such a cute little town. We got some chips (french fries) since we hadn't had any supper (andreas and i, evryone else had) and then went to the Town hall for the folk concert. The first act was really loud drumming, and one of the Botton School kids who I used to have lunch with in Bracken twice a week came over and forced me to dance with her. I mean really. It was so embarrasing. Lukas and Lisa and Andy and I went outside for a while and Lisa and I walked around the block--the piano in the drumming group was REALLY loud and hurting our ears a bit, so the fresh air was nice. The next act was the funniest guy I've ever seen. I haven't laughed so hard in a really long time. I was crying! Actually half the room was; we were all totally losing it and falling out of our chairs. He was a singer/songwriter and had some nice quiet tunes as well as these funny ones with actions to do along with the words. Just ask me about it next time you see me and I'll show you, cuz if I describe it it's not funny. By the end of his act I was pretty tired and ready to go, but the next one was good too. A group of older people recently formed into a folk group. Thye sang a really beautiful rendition of Scarborough Fair though.

We got back and got ready for the party, all dressed up in our tackiest outifts and went down to the IVS Hut. The party was SO great! I got everyone dancing and so many people came and went crazy but not too crazy and I got pleasantly intoxicated and had a blast.

Came home just in time for lunch today. Starting to feel like maybe I spend a little too much time away from the house, but it never feels like enough (time at NBF) either.

Anyway, gotta go watch a film.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pictures!!


Why my stomach has hurt for three days.


Eating snails!


The Louvre


Broken Statues behind Malmaison


Eiffel Tower


Up top!

19 in 2.5 hrs

It's my birfday. :-P

Kathryn's making me a birthday lunch complete with cake. Yum. Going to a folk concert tonight with the house and Andreas and Lukas (couple central: houseparents, andy and me, lisa and lukas) and two villagers. Come back, have a crazy co-worker party. The theme: tacky dress, bad taste.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back!

Phew! It's nice to be back. One week was just the right amount for sure--too much city and I go a little stir-crazy, needing that good ol' country air back in my lungs.
I spent the last full day, Tuesday, wandering around the Latin Quarter and looking at all kinds of great things. I had no problem with the metro system this time, knew where to go and how to get there, so that was a nice feeling. Came out of the station on Rue de Rivoli and easily found my way to the Seine, following it to the bridge by Notre Dame and crossing over to the Latin Quarter. I ended up getting a bit turned around in those streets. Cross-walks every which way and streets here and there, so tightly packed the names don't fit on the map. I found a huge cathedral, Saint Sulpice, then figured out where I was and went on to the Pantheon. I didnt plan on staying for very long ut it was so fascinating I was there for at least an hour and a half. Then I slowly worked my way on to the Arenas (stopping for a nosering and the best gelato I've ever had), some Roman ampitheatre ruins now used as a sort of park. Watched some kids play football for a bit, then kept walking; through the Luxembourge gardens and into the park around the Natural History Museum. Took off my sandals and walked the place barefooted. Got a few strange looks. Got myself a ticket for the zoo and walked all around it and saw a bunch of very cute animals. I have mixed feelings about zoos. For instance, some of the animals seem happy enough, but then...the vultures, the owls, the macaws, these birds are meant to soar in the sky and feel teh wind in their wings, but they can only flutter from perch to perch in their big outdoor cages. The galapagos turtles had hardly any room, indoors and noisy and hard concrete. The orangutans seemed to be having a ball though. Perhaps these creatures are inherently fun-loving and can create fun in any setting. I stayed with them the longest. For some reason I am moved to tears every time I encounter orangutans or gorillas. I had a revelation. I will continue the animal science path, but before going to vet school I MUST go to borneo and do research with orangutans.
OH! AND A BIRD SHAT ON MY HEAD!!! That sucked.

I'm cooking in Tourmaline twice a week starting today, so I gotta go do that. More later!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Paris V

A VERY long day! Got up at ten past seven and got something to eat and all pretty and dressed and eventually, with much prompting, Teddy got up and got ready for class. Phillipe drove us to the train station and we got on and went to La Defénse, the business district where Teddy goes to school. From there I got on a metro and, after getting on the wrong one and getting confused and asking random people for help and trying not to get run down by fast-paced business suits I got to Châtelet, the stop I was told to get off at. Unfortunately, I came out in some weirdo mall area and got completely turned around again, but my main concern was how badly I had to pee!!! So I spent a good portion of an hour running in circles trying to find a bathroom. I stopped in a beautiful old church (there are a LOT of those in Paris), looked around, but alas, no toilet. Finally I found a little café that had a toilet...with no seat. I could have gone into a nice place, but I felt awkward about it cause most places look too fancy and like they'd say very complex things in French and turn me away.
Outside the café I sat down and tried to figure out where the hell I had ended up, and I must have looked severely confused, because a man came over and said something in French, and in response to my even more confused face, he said, "oh, I said 'do you need help?'" He spoke English very well and gave me the simplest directions to Notre Dame: go two streets down, turn right, go straight to the Seine and turn left and follow it until you see big bell towers. So I did, and I found the place. But before I went to Notre Dame I walked past Saint Chappelle, a really famous 13th century church. I was told I had to see it, so I bought a ticket and went in and DANG it was the most incredible church I've ever seen. 15 20 meter high stained glass windows tell the story of the Bible from start to finish, and one giant Rose window depicts a prediction of the apocolypse.

So then I went to Notre Dame, and after the stained glass I'd just seen, nothing seemed quite so impressive. But it was still really cool, and there was a service going on while I walked around inside. Then I bought a sandwhich and some water and gave it to a homeless guy and his two dogs I'd seen on the way there. I took their picture as well. Figured it wasn't rude since I'd just given them a meal. Then I walked back to the Louvre and lazed about in the sunshine in the Toullerie gardens. I fell asleep...and got sunburned. :-/

Then I walked back across the river to the Musée d'Orsay, a 19th century art museum, but it was closed. I met two ladies from Texas and Oregon who had grown up in Pittsburgh and have friends in State College--what a small world! So I walked back the the Champs Elysèes and up to the Grande Palais. After waiting in line for at least 45 minutes I got into the Andy Warhol exhibit. It was really good. I remember going to the AW museum in Pittsburgh in middle school, but it was great to see it again.
So then I was completely knackered, but still had to get home. Feeding that guy must have given my karma a real boost, cuz I had no trouble getting to Saint-Germain en Laye where Maguy picked me up.

We had gluten free pasta for supper and I am stuffed and tired and sunburned and getting up at eight tomorrow, so I gotta go to bed!

Love to all.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Paris II III and IV

So, back to Friday. I took tons of pictures at the Place de Concorde and then walked back up the Champs Elysèes. On the way down I had seen a homeless guy laying on the ground and I thought I should buy him a sandwhich to re-boot my karma. I used up the good stuff travelling here. Unfortunately the homeless guy was gone by the time I got back to where he was, so I bought some chocolate for myself instead. :-P But then I gave a euro to an old woman with a cane and a cup in her outstretched hand.

Maguy picked me up back at the Arc de Triomphe and we drove to the Seine and got on a nice big boat with oodles of orange chairs. As we meandered down the river the voiceover told us about all the historic places on starboard and port in a dozen different languages. It got a bit chilly towards the end, but it was a great way of seeing the sites. We passed the Louvre, Notre Dame, the first castle in France that was later converted to a prison which held Marie and Louis before they were beheaded, the Eiffel Tower, and many others.

Maguy had a doctors appointment at 3:00, so she dropped me at the Eiffel Tower and went to do that. I waited in line for a while and listened to people around me (pretty much the only thing one can do when travelling alone--eavesdrop) and saw a woman sucker a few Euros out of a kid. She didnt even look very poor, and it was totally unfair of her to ask a kid who couldnt have been more than 12. After the usual security hurdles and more queing and ticket-buying, I got myself into a lift full of excited people and went up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. The view was wonderful. After walking all around and taking pictures for people (met some nice kids from LA and New Jersey) I qued for the next lift to the top floor. Hol. It was higggghhh!!! The lift was the only really scary part...got that voice in the back of my mind saying ooooo this better not break!! You can always spot the English kids in the crowd--the ones without coats. They would always rather freeze and show off their fashions than be sensible and warm.

Maguy picked me up at half past five. I was getting a headache and feeling a bit ill, due to a combination of gluten intake, squinting in the sun ( packed my sunglasses and forgot to wear them), and city air. So I fell asleep in the car and took a nap when we got home. The plan was to go out for chinese food, as Maguy and Phillipe do every friday night; but upon waking I felt even worse. So I stayed in and slept the night through.

Woke up at ten and read a bit and got up at half past. I have no idea what happened next...total mind-blank out right now. But I know we had lunch in...oh but we went out... got some gluten-free bread...but I did something before that...cant remember what it was. Great. Swiss cheese brain. Anyway, after lunch Maguy drove me to Versailles and got me all set up with an English audioguide and left me to explore. Dang that place was crazy. Glitz everywhere. Yikes. Beautiful though; I cant imagine building it, the amount of work that went into it is mind-boggling.
I rang Maguy and Phillipe when I was finished and we arranged to meet at a restaurant/tavern place just down the street. I found the place but it was way early, so I strolled around Versailles in the rainy foggy weather (made me feel all cozy...thank you England) and bought some ovverpriced hot cocoa from some nice french guys and then found the cutest little shopping place ally type thing with amazing little stores and boutiques and restaurants. And one store was the best of all. A TEA SHOPPE!!! Thè et Cafè. It looked closed so I kept walking, but then went back to check again because, well, I love tea. The sign said they should be open for another 10 minutes, but the key was already in the door. I could see a little old man inside so I knocked on the glass and waved and he smiled and came over and said bonjour and I the same and I asked, in french, if he spoke english, and he said NOOO! But then he smiled and said, "a little bit." So I asked him what his favorite kind of tea is and said I would like some of that. Then I asked him if he had any lavender scented teas and he said, " one moment," and left the shop. He came back a few seconds later with another man, presumably from next door, who spoke better English and served as a translator. It was so great! I got some really nice Russian Earl Grey which I tried last night and it was delightful. Oh and then I got some chocolate because he recommended it and this little old man was so precious I would have bought anything.

I had a lovely meal with Maguy and Phillipe--I ATE SNAILS!!! They were delish; kind of earthy. And a salmon salad and creme brulée and a very nice white wine. Came home full and went to bed.

This morning I got up around nine and Phillipe said if I hurried he could take me to Le Mal Maison (home of Josephine and Napolean) on his way to tennis. So I did, and I gave myself a tour of the mansion and the grounds and educated myself with a bit of French history. I suffer through daily quizzes from Phillipe about everything I saw and what did I learn and I'm expected to remember the name of every friggin thing and the history behind it and its just impossible and makes me feel stupid. Maguy picked me up and we met Phillipe at the Hippopatomus restaurant and i had the biggest burger you've ever seen and loads of bread rolls and yeah, I felt kind of sick afterwards. But it was so cute, all these things happen in french tat I dont understand, and then theres a big suprise! Like Phillippe was talking to the waiter and Maguy said he was negotiating about getting us a cup of coffee, so I thought okay we'll have coffee. Wrong! We got espresso and chocolate mousse and creme brulée! Yummmm.
Then Phillipe gave me a tour of the Opera (beautiful!) and took me to the Louvre.

I walked the grounds just a bit, then went into the big glass pyramid and down the escalator and got my ticket and walked around and saw the Winged Victory and the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper and David and Goliath. But then they started closing things up and I looked at my ticket and it turns out they close things at 5:30...so I wroked my way back outside, stopping first at Starbucks (dont judge me) then at a gourmet chocolate store where I got a small bag of champagne truffles for €13.26. Again, don't judge. Then I walked barefoot int eh Toullerie Gardens for an hour or so, basking in the sunshine with everyone else.
Phillipe picked me up with Teddy, whom he had picked up at the train station just before. Teddy's cool. Yummy supper, writing this, now time for bed. Yawn.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Paris II

Yesterday was big. Big statues, big boat ride, big BIG Eiffel Tower.
I didn't bring an alarm clock, and my room doesn't have a clock, so I wasn't sure what time it was when I woke up. Just to be safe ( I needed to be ready to leave with Phllipe at 9:30), I got up and went downstairs. It was half past six! Phillipe and Maguy were already up; she had to teach at half past seven, and he's an early riser anyway. So I ate some toast and drank some juice and, with nothing better to do, went back upstairs to bed, where I was promptly joined by Putz the Cat, who kneaded her way along my legs while I drifted back to sleep. I had to keep getting back up to check the clock downstairs, and around eight I officiqlly got up and showered and got all dressed up in my new Paris outfit. Jeans, beautiful brown leather boots, green mini dress (with pockets!), white cardigan, blue and white linen scarf and pink peacoat. Woot. In an attempt to be french I put my hair in a loopy little twist thing and threw in some pearl earrings for kicks.

Phillipe dropped me off at the Arc de Triomphe, where I proceeded to do the tourist thing and take loads of pictures from every angle, immersing myself in a herd of Asians making peace signs and grinning ear to ear. I took the stairs under the road and came up underneath the Arc, and I think I was suppoed to pay for a ticket or something but I went up the exit stairs and didn't pay a thing. Heehee.

On I went down the Champs Elysèes (Shawms Eleesays), making my first stop in a delicious smelling bakery called Paul. I snapped a few photos of the goods before being told off by the woman behind the counter. Any feelings of negativity towards the place were immediately squashed when I sank my teeth into an almond croussaint. Mmmmmm gluten be damned.

My next stop was Sephora. Now, I'm not a huge fan of perfume. Get stuck in a lift with a heavily scented woman or two and one is likely to feel a bit nauseas. But I figure, I'm in Paris. I want some Parisian perfume. Having never given any thought to perfume until this moment, however, I was suddenly confronted with a large task--what do I want to smell like? Flowers? Fruit? Love Hurts? Lust? Midnight Poison? Dark Goddess? One Chance? I sprayed and sniffed for at least '( minutes until I found something I liked that was reasonably priced. Perfume is friggin expensive! The one I liked the most was €100, so I opted for the €38 Amor Amor "Sunrise" scent. Doesn't smell much like sunrise to me, but who am I to judge? Waiting in the que I met a woman from Massachusettes. She put two sons through Villanova, so she knew PA pretty well. This was her first big travel experience, her first time in Europe. She was really nice.

Feeling a bit pressed for time ( I was to meet Maguy back at the Arc at 12:30), I continued down the Champs Elysèes, taking pictures of all the gorgeous architecture: the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, lovely gardens and fountains and everywhere I looked and listened, people from different places. Spanish, Polish, Russian, French, English, American ( two different languages), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese--it was fun trying to guess people's origins.

Eventuqlly I made it to the Place de Concorde. This is the place where Marie Antionette and Louis the XVI were beheaded, among many others. From there I could see lots of things that I will have to tell you about later because I need to go take a shower and go to Versailles!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I have problems with travel.

I should start by saying that I did make it to Paris; in case the title is worrying anyone. But let me start from the beginning. I went with the duty run to the Danby train station along with Marietta's mom and Jana's sister, both of whom had been visiting Botton. While waiting for the train to arrive I rescued a sheep and a lamb from becoming smears on the tracks by shoving them back through the fence...in my nice pink peacoat. You can take the girl out of the farm...

Upon arriving in Middlesborough I sat on a bench and struck up a conversation with an old woman named Esme. Esme used to drive herself around the UK, but must now rely on public transportation due to a torn achilles tendon. She wore a beautiful purple scarf tied round her head like a babushka (sp?) and purple eyeshadow and a purple paisley dress; she was on her way to the Lake District to see her family.

On the train to York I sat across from a buggy little man of forty-something reading a newspaper. Halfway to York I checked my tickets to make sure I had everything in order. I didn't. I had the print-out tickets for London St. Pancras to Paris, but not the ones for York to London! Where were those!? I remembered that I had given myself plenty of time in York for lunch, so I wasn't completely panicking yet. So when I got to York, I did what I do best: talked to people. I went back and forth to tons of different people, all of whom were extremely nice and kind and helpful, and they let me use their computer to try and print it out again, and since email couldn't be accessed on the computer ( to encourage a working environment) a station guy had me send the tickets to HIS email and he found a printer and printed it out, but the York part still wasn't on it!! But we found a booking reference number, and I took that back to one of the first people who had helped me, and he discovered the problem: I had thought that it was an "e-ticket" because I had purchashed it over the internet, but it was separate from the London-Paris ticket because that's from another rail company and blah blah blah but woohoo! we figured it out. I was gonna be really pissed if I had to buy a same-day ticket to London--it would have cost around £100. So, with my tickets all sorted, I sat in a cafe and munched on the trail mix I had brought with me, and sipped a hot chocolate. I bought a pre-packaged brownie labeled "gluten free" but upon reading the ingredients discovered that it had wheat in it! Right underneath the ingredients it said Allergy allert: contains soya, milk and wheat. What. The. Hell. People are stupid. Anyway, I got my money back and went back to reading Travels With Charley and watching all the British people be British.

The train to London was long and tedious, made better by the nice English gentleman sitting beside me until Peterborough, and made far worse by a bunch of head-banging drunken idiots playing AC/DC at top volume out of a laptop and cursing like sailors. Okay I know, I sound like a grandma; but there WERE grandmas around, and little kids, and I was trying to sleep! When my iPod ran out of batteries and I could drown them out no more, I asked them to please turn their music down, or, preferably, off. They were not so pleased to be told off by a little American lass, so of course they ignored my request with a "it's the middle of the fuckin' day, she wants to sleep, tough shit." The older woman to my right gave me a wry smile as if to say, "thanks for trying." When we arrived at Kings Cross, there were many murmers of "I am SO glad to get off this train."

From Kings Cross I followed signs pointing me across the street to St. Pancras, where I proceeded to walk around and take pictures and spi a glass of wine, thinking I had oodles of time. But I didn't. I failed to read the fine print on my print-out ticket that said I needed to check in half an hour before departure. Shit. So I missed my bloody train. After rushing through the security and passport checks ( at least I remembered my passport) I went to the counter to ask if I could still board, and was promptly turned down. Even thoug he looked a bit grumpy, the man behind the desk bumped my ticket forward and put me on the next train to Paris--free of charge. I had a non-refundable non-flexible ticket. To change it would have cost over £200. This grumpy man is a saint, and I will remember him forever. My next good samaritan was a guy on his computer. I didn't bring mine, and I needed to get to my email and find Maguy's number to let her know I would be half an hour later than planned. This guy loaned me his laptop, another guy let me use his pen, then a woman showed me where the phones are, and I was able to leave Maguy a message and pray that she got it.

The train ride itself was very quiet. I shared a car with a dozen Koreans (Whenever I see Asian people I just assume they're from Korea since most Asians I know are Korean...) eating sushi, and after purchasing a salad (the only food I'd had since breakfast besides the trail mix, and the only gluten free food available), I dozed in and out of sleep. I didn't notice going underwater. It's really strange; on land the train went through a lot of tunnels and my ears popped like crazy and it was relly uncomfortable, but underwater they were fine! When we came out the other side, since I'd slept a bit I wasn't sure how long we'd been in the tunnel and therefor unsure which country I was in, I kept looking for french signs. What finally clued me in was people driving on the correct side of the road. ;-)

When we got to the Gar de Nord I followed everyone to the exit and immediately saw Maguy. SUCH a relief! She had waited for a while before checking her phone, but she got the message in the end. She drove me around the heart of Paris and told me absolutely everything about it and was like my own personal tour guide all the way home. Phillipe was already in bed, but Maguy and I stayed up talking for a while, and she fed me a stuffed tomato with rice and pork and a glass of red wine. Dee-lish! I'm staying in Elizabeth's room, which has a nice view into the backyard, and into the neighbors as well. ;-P I awoke this morning to the sound of a chainsaw, only to look out and see two strapping young men hacking down a tree nextdoor. Fell back to sleep, woke up later and had a nice hot shower, then went downstairs and had some toast. I have decided that while in Paris I will toss aside my gluten-free diet and say poopoo to the consequences. But I did bring a loaf of gluten-free bread for breakfast. And theeennnnn...we went shopping!!! It's been a long time since I went shopping, and it was funnnnn. But first we went to St. Germain en Laye, the birthplace of Louis the 14th, and Maguy gave me a little history lesson. Then we shopped qround and found a very cute little store called Promod, where I proceeded to try on absolutely everything. I bought three dresses and a bag. Yay! I am not saying how much I spent. But it's completely guilt-free cuz it's my holiday money from Botton! We got some flan and tea from a little cafe, and then went on to a more mall-ish place where I found the most wonderful boots in the world. Mommy this was my treat from you, so you can definitely borrow them sometime :) Then we got some Haagen Daas and came home. And now I'm gonna go eat some lamb. Yes, you heard correctly: lamb. It's like you don't even know me anymore!!

Tommorow I'll see the Champs Elysées, the Latin Quarter and the Boul' Màch. Saturday we'll all go out and see some museums. Haha, SOME museums.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Landscape I meant to Post a While Ago

My new Home

Bah

My computer is full! I've deleted things I don't need, from applications I don't use to old documents I won't read. The thing is, I don't even have that much stuff on here! I think my computer just doesn't have much memory. I remember we bought the one with less memory or ram or whatever, but I didn't think it would fill up this fast. True, I do have 3,897 pictures and 20 gigs of music. Anyway, I need to get an external hard drive.

This picture was taken up on the moors on a walk last weekend with Nastaja Lisa Ben and Matt.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

sorrysorrysorry!!

I'm a terrible updater. No okay I refuse to take blame for this. There is no time in life. Ever. For Christs sake I didn't have a chance to call my own mother for a month! Ooh, it's Holy Week, probably shouldn't say things like that. Anyway, things in Tourmaline are still going really well. Kathryn is so great, the other day she straight up asked me, "So how's your romance with Andreas going?" Um, it's going fine, in case anyone is wondering. Actually we broke up. But not really. Whatever. Actually I was supposed to meet him a few minutes ago. Seriously, there is no such thing as free time.

Oh I should mention that Luis left. Asshole. I'm now the only real co-worker on the farm, meaning I carry the work and the questions come to me and blah blah blah I fucking miss him he was so wonderful. He's doing the farm training in Germany now. And working things out with his ex-girlfriend/girlfriend/whocaresican'tbelieveheleftme. :-(

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Settling In

Whoa. It's done. I'm out, and it feels good. Yesterday morning was really awkward and horrible. I packed after breakfast and tried to avoid Paule as much as possible and think of something to say to her as I left. Eventually everything was ready to go and Sebastian and Lan (Eurethmy student who cooks in Bracken) and Paule and I were in the kitchen and I was like, "Okay, so that's it....by Paule.." I walked over to give her a hug and she sternly put out her hand and said "Actually I don't want a hug from you. You are leaving us in a mess." So I shook her hand a little and said, "And I am really sorry about that," and she said, "well not really, but okay." And I turned around and left. Sebastian drove me and my stuff to Tourmaline in the pouring rain. Upon entering and seeing Kathryn (my new housemother), I knew things would be fine here. She has a completely different vibe about her, much more open and motherly. We lugged my bags up to the loft where I'll be living; a nice little space with potential to be even nicer. But man is it small! Also there seems to be a bit of a moth problem. I need to spend some time cleaning it this weekend. Ruaridh (rory) is fine so far, and I think I can deal with his mood swings just fine. The villagers are so independent compared to Bracken, it's amazing. We just had help-yourself breakfast and it was so great. Because we still eat together, which is good. Walking to the food centre now takes about a minute, and going to Honey Bee takes 15...so my day is a bit turned around, but I got back at 6:06 last night after milking, which means I'm getting really efficient with milking and getting home in time for supper shouldn't be a problem. Okay, 8 minutes to 9. Time to get ready. I'll put up some pictures soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Move on Up

I finally know how it ends! The whole plan, start to finish. On Monday I move to Tourmaline, a house in the centre of the village complete with a dog, three villagers and a housefather with a temper...and Lisa! The choleric mood swings of the housefather will be challenging, but I think I can handle men's attitude problems more than womens....I seem to be more intimidated by a woman, and with a guy I get all woman-power self-righteous stand-up-for-myself and am able to express my discomfort more freely. Anyway, I'm looking forward to settling in there. It's a tiny loft space, but it's only temporary, and I've always been a fan of small spaces anyway. I was feeling like I might be a bit useless since there are only three villagers and now four co-workers, but the houseparents are going away for a week and they needed someone to help Lisa--so here I am! Also I'll get a bit more opportunity to cook, and probably with Lisa and a bit more help and encouragement...the few times I had to cook in Bracken I was basically on my own. I will continue to work on the farm, it'll just be a long walk home at the end of the day and I'll be very late for supper. Oh! Tourmaline has 'help yourself' breakfast every day. How awesome is that!?
This morning Lucy, the housemother in Hall North, came into the food centre and asked if I would like to come for a meal next Thursday. I've never even been in Hall North and I love going to other houses for meals, so I said sure that would be great. I'd never really spoken to her before, so I was sort of suprised. A bit later Jane Balls came in and told me the master plan! I will live in Tourmaline for a bit. Lucy and her husband Jonas (J=Y) are moving to Rock House in mid-April, getting settled, and then going on holiday in the beginning of May. When they return, I will move to Rock House and be their co-worker! Rock House is supposedly one of hte most beautiful houses in the village. I've never been in it, but it's really incredible on the outside. The villagers in Hall North are alright, and I think there's only three of them...one guy, Michael, is always yelling, "Where are YOU going? What are YOU doing? Where are YOU working today?" when he sees people on the footpath; Jean Fraser is a "small lady" (Down's sydrome) who loves pink and chocolate and jewelry; and Simon is an avid cook and generally sweet guy. Anyway, I gotta go, but that's the big news! It feels good to have things come into place.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dropped the other Shoe

I went into the laundry to take my clothes off the line. Paule was folding tea towels. She told me that she had a conversation with the house parents in Tourmaline, and that's where I will move for a few weeks. I will have to move again soon. I said okay, sighed and said I hope I'm doing the right thing. We got into the deep stuff then. She said she thinks I hold a grudge against her for that first incident where she freaked out. I said that's not true at all. I said we've just never been meeting on the same level, just missing a beat and not connecting right. She said, "When you move, you take yourself with you, and really you are not an easy person, it's not just me," or something like that. I hate that she keeps saying things like that. I consider myself a very easy person! I don't hold grudges, I'm flexible, empathetic, gregarious, and a bunch of other nice things and what the hell, my workshop masters seem to recognize this, and she doesn't. She said every time she corrects me for something or gives me a criticism, I get upset, and she said it in a way that made it sounds like my reaction is unreasonable. I should have told her that maybe she should change her approach, but I didn't. I told her I'm intimidated by her, and she said, well maybe so, but it's not like my work improves if she's not around. Whatever.
She wasn't sure when the move will happen. We talked about how we tell the villagers, and I said Claire suggested we just tell everyone at a meal that I will be moving to a different house. Paule then said, "I think we should be honest though, and just tell them that actually you don't like living here." I was like whoaaa hold on no way. I once again told her that I don't want to label this experience as an unhappy one and we shouldn't say I don't like it here. I said we should say I'm moving to experience a different house, which isn't untrue by any means. She said she'd think about it. Whatever.

I'm going horseback riding with Micky in 15 minutes. I'll keep you all posted on the move.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If You're Reading This

Can you just hollaback with a comment so I know I'm not just talking to myself?

Also, I just watched Australia and HOLY CRAP I HAVEN'T CRIED THAT MUCH SINCE I SAW KING KING. Also, things in the house are so fine right now it feels weird to be moving. But there is still the undertone of uncomfortable-ness for me, and it will be a relief to be rid of that feeling. I still have no idea where they'll put me, and if my work will change or not. Should find out by next week.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Moving Out

I'm moving to a different house. Nothing in the works yet, but it's been established. Nothing crazy happened, just a few conversations with Paule that made it clear to me that things have not improved, and we tried our best but it's just not working. All the houses have co-workers, so I'm not sure where I'll end up, and it might mean that I leave Honey Bee and work somewhere else, which would suck big time, and also Luis might leave to go do the bio-dynamic farm training in Germany...in 20 days. He hasn't told Justin and Tracey yet, he just found out three days ago that the training program wants him to come, but he would need to leave in 20 days. Anyway, big things are shifting. We'll see...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Six Months

Monday was my six-month anniversary! I can't tell if it feels like a long time or nothing at all. Anyway, I didn't give a lot of detail about last week because I was running around so much and didn't have chance. So here are some pictures!


Carnival was Tuesday night--AMAZING! I have never seen such incredible costumes! The theme was "Fancy Dress," which basically means dress however you want and look as crazy as possible. Most of the men dressed as women.


This is Max. He and another dog were hanging out at the pub while their owners downed a pint or two. He sat patiently on his stool until his owner was thoroughly engaged in conversation, then hopped down and came to join me while my people were out for a smoke. They came back inside and Lukas was like, "The dog took my seat!"


There was a party at the back of the dale hut Saturday night. Nice setting, nice people, but it wasn't thrilling. Slept on the floor by the fire, beautiful in the morning. I mean the weather, not me.

Okay that's it for now. I'm late for work.

Friday, February 27, 2009

sorry for the suspense

She tore a ligament in her foot. She's on crutches and hobbling around, but still a big help with supper and of course lovely to have around. Gotta go faarrrm.

Oh PS last night at the pub there were dogs. Best pub night ever. I'll explain and post pics later!

Monday, February 23, 2009

If it was hard before...

It's about to get harder. I came in from the farm at ten past six and poked my head in the kitchen to find Donna limping around. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she fell on the stairs. She lifted her trouser leg and revealed a HUGE lump on her foot. It was so big I thought it was a joke, like she had stuffed a rolled up sock in her sock or something. So I gave her a double dose of Arnica, some ice, and an Arnica compress. Her "friend" Pete showed up (she was expecting him, I wasn't) and he called Alma (old lady/Anthroposophic nurse/matriarch of Botton) and Alma came and assessed the damage and eventually Pete took Donna to the hospital. Chances are, she broke her foot. Shit. Now what.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I sort of forgot to express any feelings about my current situation in my previous post. Basically, I'm the house mother. Everyone is coming to me with their problems and expecting them to be fixed, needing attention from me, the one at the head of the table. It seems Paule's seat at the dining table holds a certain amount of power. I'm receiving all the little phrases from Flips that she always seemed to reserve for Paule. Besides cooking lunch today and washing up after breakfast, Phil is actually more of a hinderance than a help. He antagonizes Anthony and bursts into a rousing chorus of "soggy sausage sandwhiches" (an Emily invention) on a regular basis. Donna is here for emergencies and to do the medicines, and she helps with things, but I have to be the one to start supper or do the store order or anything really because she doesn't know it needs to be done or how to do it, and Phil is just on another planet all together. I'm due in Rowan in a few minutes. I love that I can be so honest with Donna!! She knows about Andreas so I was like, hey is it cool if I go to Rowan? Sure. Okay I'll be back...in time for breakfast! Laughter insues. So nice.

Sunset from the Woodwork Shop

Housemamma Mia

Whoa. Life.

After the Poole's left, I finished doing some chores around the house, then cooked a lunch of cabbage and spaghetti and carrot salad. Anthony came home around half past 11 freaking out and crying and I figured someone had told him off in the woodwork shop (a regular occurrence) but I eventually understood that he was furious about Nick and Paule leaving. He was totally confused and upset and I spent ten minutes placating him and trying to explain that Nick and Paule are only gone for a week and he will be taken care of in the meantime. Eventually he calmed down. Then we had lunch, then I washed up, then I gave Stephanie a bath and dried her hair, then I did my laundry, and then I had a bit of time to go for a walk. I stopped by Rowan to say hello to Ben and he and Andreas were just about to take a short drive to a nearby town to get some petrol for Andreas's motorcycle. So I came along and Ben and I went to the Co-op and got some vodka and Red Bull and wine and chewing gum. Andy had to milk when we got back, so Ben and I went up to the woodwork shop and he showed me some stuff he's working on and made me a gnarly candle holder in like ten minutes. There was an incredible sunset, and the colors were so undeniably anthroposophic, it looked like the eurethmy students' paintings.

I came home and Donna still hadn't come even though it was ten to six and we had told her to come late-afternoon. So I gave Felicity her bath, and then Donna arrived and helped me make supper and I showed her how we do things (every house is so different in the details, she basically learns anew every new house she sits) and Andreas came for supper as well. After supper the house was going to watch a film, but when I tried to set it up it wasn't working and we thought we were missing a cable, and the next thing I know Phil is shouting at me at the top of his lungs about which bloody cable I DO have and what sort of cable I still need! He was totally out of line and shouting like such a maniac!! Everyone was like whooaaaaaaaaa what the fuck Phil chill out. Eventually Donna found a button on the side of the TV, and it worked. I needed a shower, and also to chill out after this weird Phil-shouting thing. I just HATE being yelled at, no matter the circumstance; it makes me go all shaky and silent for a bit while I freak out in my head. Andreas watched the film (Handcock) with everyone while I showered, and we left around 10:30 to go to Rowan. I got absolutely trashed with one small vodka/redbull and conked out on a couch, only to wake up totally wired around 2:00. I heard Ben say at one point, "Oh look, Robin's asleep, now we can speak German!" I listened to them for a while, stuck in a half-sleep state. Slept at NBF, and woke up at 7:00 to walk home (in the daylight! It gets light around half six now!) and didn't go back to sleep. Made breakfast, ate breakfast. It was a glorious day outside, so after a bit of ironing and laundry work I borrowed Phils canteen, filled it with coffee (second cup of the day), borrowed Phil's backpack and hiked over to NBF. On the way I saw Ben sitting on the patio at Rowan, basking in the sunshine in his PJ's. We talked for a bit, then I went on my merry way. When I got to NBF, Andy was of COURSE still sleeping, but I eventually persuaded him to go hiking with me, disguising it as "walking," to make it easier to digest. We didn't go very far; we ended up sitting in a field drinking coffee and talking for a while and enjoying the lovely sunshine, and then going to our separate homes for lunch. My lunch is sitting in my belly and making me sleepy, so I must now have a nap.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

AND SHEEEE'S OUTA HERE!!!

Emily just left to go Amber for the week. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! The Poole's leave around ten, and I'm cooking lunch and looking after the house and being at large and in charge and I LOVE IT!! Ben called to invite me to go to Middlesborough with him around one, which would mean missing lunch and not giving Steph her bath, and I need to do the laundry and all that, so I said no. He was like come ooonnn and I said, "Hey dawg, I'm being responsible." So here's to a responsibility-filled week! Honestly I think I'll miss the Pooles a lot! Especially at meal times...Donna, the woman from the office who house-sits for the village, is really really nice, but actually too nice! David will show her one of his paintings and she's like "Ooo good job dear!" And Nick would be like, "That's rubbish David, my dead dog could do better!" The teasing in this house is what makes everything so funny! Ridicule is the key to a good laugh. But everyone loves Donna, and Pat Peirson, a friend of Paule's from Castleton, is coming to cook every morning, and she'll help me with the laundry too. Well, better get working!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Translations, for Fun


I thought it might be nice to attempt to convey Felicity's speech. Here are a few common phrases.

"How likka wa?" > "How's the little one (Selma, the granddaughter)"

"Ah mekka ahs," > "I'll ask someone else."

"Moalik," > "Good morning."

"Ugh, is like a misery," > "It's miserable outside."

"Ah you billy," > "Are you being silly?"

"Days Tuesday." > "Today is Tuesday." Flips loves to tell us what day of the week it is, and sometime's it's really helpful! Also she'll tell you where she's going for lunch and supper; she goes out for meals a lot, visiting friends in other houses.

"Fide." > "Fine."

"Thas mah bottom woman!!" Self-explanitory: Flip-flops loves having her bottom smacked, and no matter the gender of the person doing it, this is phrase.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not a Rave Review

But I don't suck. They don't want to send me back. I met with Paule, Claire, Justin, Magdalena and Paul Abel (representing the foundation year people) at High Farm for my review. Paul had a sheet with some basic questions on it, and frankly I was terrified because I didn't know what to say about my difficulties with Paule! I wasn't sure how honest I should be or how honest she was going to be about her feelings towards me, so I felt pretty awkward. When asked about difficulties I said that it took a while for Paule and I to get sued to each other due to personality differences, and that in the beginning I made a lot of mistakes and bad judgments but I learned from them. Paule said that I had a lot to digest when I came here and it has been a slow process for me to be settled in. I agreed. Both Magda and Justin had nothing but great things to say, and both feel they can give me big responsibilities and sure about it. Justin also praised me for asking questions about things and having an awareness of when things aren't right either with the villagers or something on the farm. We talked about my wrist and how the physical side of farming has been difficult, but Justin said we'll just work around it (the wrist problem) until it gets better. He also said I'm a keen milker and I have a very good relationship with all the villagers. Woot. Paule also said that I'm very good with the villagers in the house and I've taken on Stephanie quite a bit and been very dilligent with her teeth brushing, so much so in fact, that the dentist has been extremely pleased with the improvement in her gum health. Woot again.

But then there was the horribly awkward and scary part where Paule said that I never take initiative in the house, for example, I never go into the laundry and hang up some clothes. She also said that I made it very clear from the beginning that I worked so hard in my workshops I was too tired to do any work in the house. And I thought--HEY! I never said that! If she were ever to ask me to do something I would certainly do it without protest! AND I seem to recall a certain Saturday afternoon I spent cleaning the kitchen windows and then the floor-to-ceiling windows in the entryway which were so beyond dirty I worked for over an hour. But I didn't say anything to defend myself. I just sat there, mortified. Luckily, Claire is my heroine and savior and came to my rescue with a cheerful "soooo what you're saying is, you'd like some more help in the house, and Robin from what I understand, it would be helpful to you if Paule would vocalize this need more often." Or something like that. I had talked about how I suck at active listening and I'm trying really hard to get better at it and be more aware of things but I do really just need her to say, "hey it would be really great if you could ___" So it was really awkward but I think very good. In the end we all agreed that we feel confident giving me solo responsibility at times. Honestly I thought Paule was gonna say "actually no I don't think she's responsible enough," but she didn't. So now I have to go to co-worker supper and foundation course shtuffs.
Onward and upward.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sweet Love

Crazy busy day. Made breakfast, had 20 minutes to myself in which I attempted to sleep while Emily periodically knocked on my door, then took Emily to the church service, which was boring. I didn't fall asleep though, because I had to be hyper-aware of Em the whole time. She sneezed and got snot all over her hands and I didn't have a tissue for her and I couldn't really get up and go get one, so she just wiped it all over her hands....classy. Home for 45 minutes (shower/stare out the window) then off to the hall to help prep for Sweet Love, the Eurethmy students' valentine's day fundraiser. I came a bit too late and ended up with half a bowl of soup and a piece of cheese for lunch. The entire afternoon I was running around setting things up, and then MCing with Marc Antoine and being all on-stage and hammy and "thank you all SO much for coming you all look SO beautiful!!" Got home at 5:45 and had a five-minute cry in my big comfy chair( not really sure why, just needed to let it out I guess) prepared supper with Paule and then ate and then came up here to my room to write this. I was going to go to bed but I just realized I didn't iron my clothes. Bollocks. Also Andreas went to the Grange (another Camphill place near Stroud) for a week-long course in Astrology for his farm training. In his absence I vow to go cigarette alcohol gluten and chocolate free. The dude smokes like a friggin chimney and I admit I am weak willed and have taken to smoking somewhat regularly. I still never feel like I need them or crave them or anything, so a solid week without them should be easy. Just a good way to strengthen my will. Honestly the chocolate part will be harder. Okay, laundry time. Night.

Oh! I almost forgot: Nick and Paule's son Sebastian is here for six weeks, and after this coming week they're all going to France (the whole family, so Ben and Lisa's house parents as well), so Donna, one of the office ladies and house-sitter extraordinaire will come and stay with us. And best of all, Emily will go live in another house for the week, so we'll be FREEEEE!! Paule told me yesterday that on April 19th Emily will leave Botton for good. They've given her parents a legal two months-notice kind of thing, essentially expelling her from the village because we jsut can't handle her. So come April 19th, Paule and I will be free from our little ball and chain. Phew.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Recently

We went to the pub.


We hung out at Ben's.


We went back to the pub.


And took entertaining macro shots.


Then we had a going-away party for Jan and Yongju.



Oh, and it snowed a lot.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sometimes

Sorry for the lack of update, the internet never works when I want it to.

So how am I. Good question. I think the basic answer is...tired. I'm sure my wonderful mother has told practically everyone, as she tends to do (it's okay mommy I think it's cute), but I suppose it's time to go officially blog-public and say that Andreas and I have been dating for like...two months. I never said anything on the blog cuz, well, that's awkward, but in order for you to understand why I'm so friggin tired all the time, you kind of need to know that. He lives in New Botton Farm, on the other side of the village, and because we have to be all stealthy and not let the villagers see me sneaking out of his house, I have to get up at 5:30 and walk home three or four times a week. And of course I don't get to sleep until 11:30 (at the earliest) regardless of where I sleep.

On top of being tired, I'm getting fat. OK I know you're all rolling your eyes and saying YEAH RIGHT, but seriously, I think eating meat somehow gave me a fat ass and quadrupled the size of my muffin tops. I don't fit into my jeans properly and I can't even begin to get into my shorts. So that's not exactly a self-esteem booster. I'm going back to being a veg and cutting down on chocolate.

I realize this is becoming a litanny of complaints, but I also have a sprained tendon in my left hand/wrist, and my wrists continue to feel (and sound) as if they're made of peanut brittle. The doc is sending me a brace; it should be here by tomorrow.

Let's see, anything positive? Ummmm. Oh one of the cows calved, but she rejected it. It's a female shorthorn, so she'll stay at Honey Bee Nest and eventually join the herd. She's the most beautiful calf I've ever seen; she almost looks like a fawn! She's a rusty chocolate colour with a white triangle on her forhead, and in the middle of the triangle is a red circle.
Another nice thing is that Lisa Marie comes to work with us on the farm three days a week now. She wants to do the farm training but she'd been working in the press every afternoon and going insane with it. Ben is also leaving the press to work on a farm--the workshop master in the press is a nutjob.

My review is coming up soon, and I'm scared. It's still hard to put a finger on how Paule feels about me. I think things are better and we're getting along and she's being looser and more talkative but then she's telling me to wash out the sink properly (after I'd wiped down everything and just forgotten to rise the basin) and then I forget to put some apples away after making apple puree and she's all "Finish the job properly, it's not finished until it's finished!" and shit like that. I just hate how these little things seem like a big deal to her. Okay, so someone put out the wrong number of plates for supper--who cares!!?? It's not stressful!! But she's heaving a big sigh and making a snippy comment about it and I'm like COME ON why is this a problem, have some perspective! At the same time I have SO much freaking respect for this woman. She's amazing! She's been doing this for so long and she must be SO tired, but she just keeps going!
Anyway, it's definitely time for sleeping. I was in bed this morning with a headache, probably from lack of sleep.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Old Group Pic


(L-R) Luis, Se-jin, Yungju, Seo-jin, Monic, Minae, and Yukari.

The Lisa's.


On the left is Lisa Marie from Tourmaline, and on the right is Lisa from Rowan. Just so you can have an idea of who I'm talking about...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Notes from Tuesday's Anthroposophy Lecture

The Fourfold Human Being

-We're all the same, but all different

humanity-race-nation-family-self
-we often make judgements based on the first four, stopping before we know the person's self

1. Heredity
-appearance
-abilities
2. Conditioning
-influence from parents/environment/social class/education
3. Reincarnation
-your spirit body comes in and out of the world

Mineral: no cyclical rhythm, inorganic

Plant: cyclical, organic, evolving

Animal: parent/child relationship, evolution, cyclical

Human: has roots in non-material place, evolves by making something out of life on earth and using it in next life (Karma)

4. Zodiac
-animal circle
-the "I" is outside the animal, "looking down" so to speak, the ego never comes to earth, so animals are pure, unburdened. But every animal has personality, preferences, character, and are certainly not inferior to humans (perhaps they're better, we can envy them in some respects)

Questions: can cows reincarnate? Can a palm tree? Where is the line?

I LOVE ANTHROPOSOPHY. But I'm chewin' on it, don't worry.

God and Good Eatin'

So I finally went to Meeting! Ruth Caplin, a longterm co-worker currently managing the Cottage, picked me up at Bracken on Sunday morning. Already in the van was Charlie, Matt, and Celine. The drive to Great Ayton was beautiful, but basically everywhere one drives around here is bound to have some gorgeous scenery. A cute little town, Great Ayton once played host to a large Quaker school. The school has closed down and been turned into flats, but the Meeting house remains.
It's strange how across an ocean, Quakerism remains a constant. I'm sure it's like this with most religions, but I was awe-struck by just how similar this Meeting was to ours at home. I mean, the people were just British versions of the people in State College! There was such warmth in that place, in the people's eyes and hearts. The building structure was completely different than any meeting house I've seen, but the feeling, the vibe, was certainly..."Quaker flavoured."

After a few introductions we went into the Meeting room and spread ourselves out among the benches, which had one thick cushion at either end, and foot stools underneath. The benches could easily fit more than five people, but since there are so few people in attendance (usually 9 or 10), there are only cushions for two. Floor to ceiling windows made up one wall, looking out into a graveyard with dozens of identical graves, none of which had any writing on them. Huge trees full of personality and character loomed over the yard.

Two women spoke, but I didn't quite understand what the second message was about. The first was about the BBC and its coverage of Israel/Palestine and how sometimes when we try to cover things up they end up being more obvious than before. I thanked this woman for her message afterwards and we got to talking all about the meeting and Quakerism and just how Quaker am I and oh the trees are beautiful and oh yes I think so too but people are getting in such a twist about them and I'm on this committee to sort it out and oh yes those Quaker committee's take ages don't they and oh dear let's go get some coffee before it gets cold. This lady was great. Portly with a puff of grey hair going white and a face full of make-up. And a brightly colored outfit to boot.
After much socializing and coffee-sipping with the members, we departed with many a "do come back!" and "we certainly will!"

Then we drove back to Botton, picked up two villagers from Ruth and Matt's house who would otherwise be without Sunday lunch, and drove to a local pub called the Blakey. The Blakey sits at the highest point on the moors and is often referred to in conversations about the weather. "Ay, 'twas nigh minus six upata Blakey! Bloody 'ell ya shoulda seen the snaw, twas up to me bleedin' ears! And the wind was blowin' sommat ferocious!" No I'm dead serious that's how the locals talk. I love it so much.

I'd never been to the Blakey before, so I was really excited; and my excitement was appropriate! The place is amazing. Stone walls, room after room after room through so many passages and turns, all filled up with tables of people and a bar with all the trimmings and candles on every table and oriental rugs. And the food. There was so much food. Nobody does food like Yorkshire. The portions are enormous, even the "child sized" Sunday lunch would satisfy the appetite of say...Cody Abbot. Weird example, but I was trying to think of someone who eats a lot and loves meat, and Cody came to mind. Anyway, the prices are amazing too! The Sunday Lunch Menu had a few starters (Yorkshire pudding, melon with fruit, soup of the day, prawns with sauce, etc) and below it the main meals were as follows: Lamb, half a chicken, pork roast, beef steak, or nut roast, all of which come with two vegetables plus two kinds of potatoes. The child sized portion cost £8.50 and the normal size was £13.50. I went with the child-sized portion as I was told it would be more than enough, and I got melon and berries for a starter, followed by a giant chicken leg with two kinds of potatoes, beet root and mashed parsnip. And then Matt and Charlie gave me some nut roast. Oh, and at the bottom of the menu is stated, "Help yourself to the dessert table." So I did. There were custard parfaits, cakes and muffins and puddings and fruits and after my first piece of tiramisu cake I said, "Um, does 'help yourself' mean you can go back for seconds?" We agreed that is does, so I had some key-lime cheese cake minus the crust since I didn't want to OD on gluten. And I wasn't even grossly full, I was nice and contentedly full! Which I found a bit bizarre since I hadn't done anything but sit all morning. I suppose all the spirituality exhausted my body or something.

So that was that. The rest of the afternoon I hung around at home and ironed my clothes and prepared supper and chilled out.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bad News Blues

Saturday was a good day for the most part. After lunch I rode my bike to the coffee bar and hung met up with Ben and Lisa. They invited me for supper in Rowan, and I called Paule and she said that's fine. So I didn't have Bible evening, which was pretty nice. We hung out in Rowan around a fire and read papers and talked until supper, which was delicious. After supper we helped Ben prepare some food for Sunday lunch so he didn't have to do it all Sunday morning and could therefore sleep in. Around 10:15 we started walking down to HB Hall for a party. We got Marietta from Lusmore and Ben grabbed a group of people from High Farm and we all went down together.

About 10 minutes into the party Luis told me, "Ah, something very sad...Violet broke her leg and will have to be--(killing motion)" He likes to pull my leg about these things sometimes, so I didn't believe him at first, but then he explained what had happened. Violet is in heat, and two of the biggest cows jumped on her at the same time. Her legs just buckled out from under her. We were in a crowd of smokers outside the back door of the hall, and as we weaved through everyone and headed up to the byres Lisa Marie saw us and ran to catch up. Luis explained, and she came along. It was so sad to see her in so much pain. She was standing, breathing shallowly and drinking a lot. Her leg wasn't obviously bent at an odd angle or anything, but she wasn't putting any weight on it either. I stood with her and tried to connect with her and let her feel some love and peace for a bit. I cried a lot.

The rest of the party was not so fun cuz my mind was completely with Violet. So I came home around 1:00 and went to bed.

The next morning I went to a Quaker Meeting in Great Ayton, and that was WONDERFUL. I'll tell you all about it later, but now I have to go to work.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An Explanation of Thursday

Thursday was somewhat eventful.
Magdalena had to leave the food centre early to go home and cook lunch for her house because her house mother was at the hospital with her house's new villager who dislocated his elbow and broke his arm slipping on ice. So from 10:30 on it was just me and the villagers, which I'm used to by now and feel confident about it. Stephanie was ironing and I went into the wash room to check on her and she was super clingy and wobbly and said she had pains in her head again. It looked exactly like what happened last week, this sort of internalized fit in her head that makes her go all wobbly and mute and floppy, so I turned the iron off and took her by the arm and we sat down in the tea break room. She leaned over me onto my lap and after 10 minutes of her groaning and wimpering and her glazed eyes seeing nothing I asked Andrew (another villager who can luckily read) to dial the Health centre and hand me the phone. He did so, and a nurse came up shortly. By the time she got there Steph was coming around but was still wobbly, so I called Nick and asked him to come pick us up. It was nearly 12:00, so I told the other villagers they could go home for lunch. Nick came and got us, and at home I got Steph in bed for a rest.

I brought her some lunch and she was looking better. Nick had to be in the press for the afternoon, and Paule wouldn't come back until 7:30-8:00, so I called Justin and let him know I would be home for the afternoon. I thought it would be a quiet afternoon at home, puttering around and tidying things and cleaning the bathroom and doing little useful things, but around 1:50 Steph stumbled into my room and showed all the signs of another fit thingy. I walked her back to her room and layed her down and told her to just rest and try to relax, but she kept grabbing onto me and being totally clingy and not letting go and I was actually getting pretty annoyed by it. I eventually detached from her and told her to stay in bed and I would come check on her in a bit. The rest of the afternoon was crap. She kept getting out of bed and coming to find me in the house even though she could barely walk, and at one point I found her sitting up in bed putting her slippers on and I very sternly said, "Stephanie WHAT are you doing. I told you you have GOT to stay in bed; you have to REST. I'm sorry this is happening, I know it's not fun, but there isn't anything anyone can do about it right now." She just stuck her arms out and wimpered at me and tried to grab my hands for a hug and I was just so fed up I told her that she was a grown woman and she didn't need to hold my hand and hanging on me was not going to make her feel better at all. And then I figured out she needed to go to the bathroom so I walked her there and she was so beyond wobbly I went in with her and helped her with everything but in the end she didn't have to go so that was a waste of time and the whole situation was just stressing me out and also making me very annoyed because she couldn't talk she would just nod her head at yes or no questions but not consistently and I was getting so frusterated with her because over and over she got out of bed, one time just to come downstairs to the kitchen to tell me she needed to go to the bathroom, and when I asked her if she could manage on her own she said yes! And I'm like, "Then why did you come down here?! Stephanie, the ONLY thing that you can do right now is rest. STOP coming to find me, I will come check on you! If you need to go to the bathroom and you can do it yourself then GO! You don't need to come tell me about it!" She seemed to get the message, because she went to the bathroom and then bak to bed and I didn't hear a peep for a while. I went to look in on her and she was laying in bed and I asked her if she wanted tea or water or anything and she said no, as she had all the times before.

I had a bit of peace and quiet then, sitting on the aga reading my book. Ben works in the press in the afternoons and saw me through the window on his way home. He came in and we talked about maybe going to the pub after supper. The phone rang, and it was Steph's mom on the other end, calling to talk to Paule about coming to pick up Steph for the weekend to go to the pantamime. She didn't know about Steph's recent head pain/fit things, so I told her about them (the incident last week and the one in the food centre, and the seemingly continuous one of the afternoon). As we were chatting I heard footsteps on the stairs and then Steph was before me, looking obviously better. Her eyes were clear, she wasn't wobbling, and when I handed her the phone she carried on a conversation with her mom.

I prepared supper with her leaning on the aga, and everyone came in from work. She went back up to bed and I brought her some soup and bread for supper. Paule was due back around 8:00 with Emily, so I wasn't sure if I should go to the pub or not. I felt like I should be home for Emily's return and chances were Paule would be really tired and I could put Em to bed. Andreas called and said he had the car booked for 8:30 and he would come over when he got the car and we would see then if Paule was back whether or not I would go. Paule was back by 8 with the Sauerkraut and she was still amazingly chipper and said she would put Em to bed. So I went to the pub with Ben, Andreas and Lukas, the new farmer at High Farm and a friend of Andreas's from when they were here together four years ago. It was really nice; we sat around the little fire in the Fox and Hounds and I had a rum and coke which I always thought was yucky (tastes of mom's made me wrinkle my nose and say ew), but I seem to have developed a fondness for alcohol and found it quite enjoyable. We were there pretty late, and I haven't been sleeping well for a week or so; I wake up four or five times a night worrying that I'm late for breakfast or missing something or I forgot something and shit like that, so I was really exhausted yesterday.

Briefly, Friday I was asleep on my feet all day but managed. Got a lift to the centre in the morning with Terry Bogg, this guy who drives people around all day and looks exactly like one of the bad guys from 101 Dalmations but is actually really nice. Walking still sucks, I think I need to see a doctor this week. Business as usual in the food centre, High farm for lunch and a chat with Claire. I told her about my conversation with Paule and then helped her with her lines for the Mystery Drama play she's in. Harvesting swedes on the farm in the afternoon we had Lisa Marie (Tourmaline Lisa not Rowan Lisa) helping us and got to watch two guys Justin hired search and destroy rabbits. They had four ferrets, a black and tan welsh terrier, a whippet, rifles and belts of amo. Hardcore. I didn't actually see them kill the rabbits which is weird cuz they were literally ten yards away from us, but suddenly there were four dead bunnies in a pile. I asked them if I could have one to dissect and they said they were going to eat them. I tacked on the "I want to be a vet" explanation so they didn't think I was crazy, and then told Lisa that my dad sometimes talks about how great rabbit fur lined underwear would be. Hehehe.
I milked and almost got kicked in the face again by the same cow who apparently just doesn't like me, and now I'm permanently scared of getting my lights punched out and every time I go for a teat I'm thinking oh god oh god oh god please don't kick me you are a beautiful cow, good cow, nice cow, be nice. So that sucks. White Bean's mastitis is so gross, this one teat, the one you always need two hands for, is so full of gunk; you pull/squeeze the udder and then the teat in one motion, and out comes these big yellow strings of infected milk stuffs and curdled milk. Poor girl, I'm sure it's not comfortable. Luis got 27 pounds of milk out of Lassie and he's so proud of himself. When I put the machine on her I was like come on girl, let's beat Luis! Gimme 28 pounds girl, you can do it!! But I only got 20. Poop. She's a "more in the morning" kinda girl anyway.
After supper Nick gave me a lift to the centre and I spent a few hours in the coffee bar singing folk songs with Marc Antoine and Peter Van Vliet (Magdalena's house father) and playing the guitar. I didn't do any solo songs, just strummed a few chords along with Marc Antoine. I'm missing a large portion of my right thumbnail, which is not exactly condusive to guitar playing. Afterwards I went to the school with Maisaa, Gabby, Lisa Marie, Ruth (eurethmy student) and Jan (yan) and Rafael, a new french co-worker who is SO cool and such a hippie and she plays the acordian SO well and it is SO amazing and it reminds me of Aimee! We had a little dance party at the school with Lisa on the viola and Rafael on the acordian and Gabby made rice pudding and we danced around the room like idiots except Ruth is actually an amazing dancer so WE all looked stupid and she looked graceful. Rafael even played a song from Amelie and I was like oh maaaan Aimee would love this.
Time for lunch!