Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lady Emma Hamilton a Couple Portraits by George Romney

George Romney, Lady Hamilton as Circe, 1782

George Romney, Emma Hamilton, 1782


and apparently for being a post-grad at Glasgow University, ranked in the top 100 Unis in the world, I can't spell pictures.


Picutres from the Botanic Gardens, and Random Thoughts.


So yesterday turned into an interesting day...I don't want to go into it on here...but I have a feeling I'm going to get a little loopy for a while...everything works out for the best though, as it always does. Just gotta trust in the universe...

The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy for me it looks like. Ashely is coming to visit starting Next Monday (so so so incredibly excited to see her, even though we became friends this summer, I've missed her like crazy and can't wait to see her and have her around for a week). Plus next Friday is Halloween (i'm doing it easy...just a pirate. I have my corset, I have the boots...curl my hair...wear lots of eyeliner...pretty sure i've been a pirate almost 3 years running..minus the one year i was a gypsy (same difference) Yesterday I turned in my Decorative Arts Room Project Proposal, and I decided I was going to do a room for Emma Hamilton who was a mistress (rumored prostitute), lady to an ambassador, friend to the Queen of Naples, Actress, Muse, etc. Very cool woman, plus she seemed really pretty too, with a good sense of fashion and fun about her. I also figured that she would give me some creative freedom to create a bedroom that was eccentric and eclectic. I found her in a book of Mid-Late Georgian Portraits, and there was this little blurb about her in the book. I figured, ok, so she had Admiral Nelson's kid, no big deal, married Sir Hamilton. Got it. Check. Didn't think there was that much written on her, ya know? I hadn't heard of her even though some of her portraits look familiar.

So in class yesterday Pam asks, "who are you doing your room over?" (She knew i was looking fora portrait), and I go, well I found this portrait of Emma Hamilton, and I read this little blurb about her, and I thought she would be fun to create a room for with her in mind.

Then my professor, Sally Rush (love her), chimes in alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll of this information about her, along with Pam (apparently I was a bit out of the loop with this Emma lady) And, no joke, for the rest of the lecture and study session, it was Emma Hamilton this, Emma Hamilton that, I felt like such an idiot. I had no idea there was this much information on her, and I really wanted it that way so I could have some creative freedom...now I feel like I'm going to get forced to accurately create her exact room, which is not what I had originally intended...I wanted a chance to get creative...i hope that it's still there. Even though it was great how interested Sally Rush was to tell me where all sorts of information about her is....just a bit overwhelming at 10 am.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on campus till after 7. The weather was miserable and I needed to try and get some studying done. Fredrik met me at the library around 4. Then we went back to my place so he could pick up his stuff that he bought from Ikea (and left here), headed back home, and I had dinner with Heloise.

Whenever Heloise and I have one on one time, she never ceases to surprise me. The things she tells me, I never expected to hear come out of her mouth. Let's just say we have a great deal in common than one would expect (Mom if you catch my drift), and I am actually able to talk about the side of me that I seem to keep hidden away a lot of the time. Originally I only thought Kelly would be the person I could talk to about those things, but it seems Heloise has somethings to say as well. She was telling me how well she remembers her dreams...and I was a little envious when she told me...I mean, she has focused on remembering her dreams her whole life basically, and now she can remember all sorts of details. She's also able to do some lucid dreaming which is really cool as well.

There is a store called Opal Moon that is past Byres Road, on the way to Fredrik's, that talks to me everytime I go by it...maybe today I'll actually go. I feel the need.

So I wanted to post some pictures on here that I took at the botanic gardens when giulia came to visit! So I'm gonna stop rambling and start posting a string of some of the pictures I like the best (i guess?). It was fun to preten I actually have some sort of artistic talent when it comes to photos (even though I have no idea what I'm doing...I figured it was good to practice on plants) :)

and finally, I wanted to throw in this picture I took of myself at Hopetoun. I really liked the clock that (still works) is in the shot...it's myspacey...but i thought it was a bit fun to do a "myspace self-portrait" in a house hundreds of years old. Speaking of working clocks...I feel as though the houses talk (whoa hold up abby's getting weird...hold on tight skeptics) to me when I'm there. I've noticed that it seems every room I go into, a clock (mostly 18th century ones) immediately start chiming. Of course, there is everyone else in the room as well..but I've never been treated to so many beautfiul songs walking into a beautiful old home. I don't really know how to explain it, but I really feel like the houses are welcoming me back, and saying hello. It scared me the first time it happened...but I feel like it's a little joke between the homes and I.
When it comes to houses being "alive" or not, Hopetoun was pretty dead...of course the family still lives there in one half of the house...but it was no where near as happy and alive as Dumfries was..I could have stayed in Dumfries forever...of course it was basically in my favorite period ever. Just an extremely well-loved and happy home. Beautiful without a doubt as well. I would love to throw on a Riding Habit and ride the 2000 acres. Scotland has to be one of the most breathtaking places.

Another thing I wanted to share, that I think you lovely readers would appreciate is the invention here in Scotland known as "Ha-Ha's" (not kidding). They are sunken fences for sheep! It's hard to explain unless you see it, but it's absolute genius both for design and for practicality. Instead of having fences place above ground and ruining the views around the beautiful country homes (which would have been a tragedy during the 18th century). Robert Adam (I think..not sure...correct me if wrong) either took this idea from Europe or came up with it himself, dug trench like areas into the ground. One side is gently sloping while the other side is at a 90 degree angle or so. This way, the sheep can move all around the pasture, and down the sloping side, but they can't get out because they're blocked by the 90 wall in place in the ground. Also, as I'm writing this, it was probably good for keeping the sheep safe as well...it would have detered any preditors from getting to them at least for a while I would imagine. How they recieved thier names is a trip too..one obnoxious socialite writer (can't remember his name) wrote about these fences and called him Ha has because when people would stroll the grounds and they fall off into the ha has, people would point and go HAHA! :-P thank you 18th century sense of humor.

Alright, I'm feeling better in my blogging department especially since I've been miserable about updating for about 2 weeks, and I don't want to stay behind in that sense.

Oh, I've downloaded tons of Christmas music...and I'm really excited about it. Today is the 21st. It'll be 2 months till I'm home for Christmas. How bout that as a mind trip? 61 days or so.

<3 <3

Monday, October 20, 2008

i suck at updating.

hey lovers,

ok so i'm going to try and keep this as brief as possible since I have to go to class like..really soon.

Anyways, life has been busy and not busy here...if that makes any sense at all. I've been busy with school work and going places for there. We went to Dumfries house (hour south of glasgow) and it was absolutely my favorite place i've been so far. We spent all friday there, and it's out on 2000 acres...so Kelly and I were very happy to be out in nautre and in the woods. Ironically I saw my first California Red Wood...in...scotland...the family had them transported to their estate back over 100 years ago.

the house was neo-classical design and fabulous. I loved every second of that tour. Plus, the ticket includes tea, cakes, sandwhiches etc at the end of the tour which was very lovely.

I pulled a me on the tour, and volunteered myself and my gown to any charity/fundraising functions they might have at dumfries house. I really liked the curator and I just gave her my little bit about Colonial Williamsburg, my gown, etc. :) Hopefully I will be able to do something there...I just wish my gown was silk instead of linen/cotton blend!

Social/Love life is going well. Fredrik and I have been dating over a month now (for those of you at home keeping track). It's been fun getting to know him better and seeing what we have in common (sense of humor and stubbornness...we're both tauruses) and what we are learning from eachother..it's been fun..bar fights and all. ;) Heloise is doing well too..her flatmates suck at life and they're not very nice to her at all, but she and I have a blast when we're together!

Giulia's visit went well...that was a crazy week in general, and I think she enjoyed herself well enough... we went to the botanic gardens here in glasgow one afternoon and i had a great time taking pictures of the plants...they're on my flickr page www.flickr.com/photos/abbyelyn because facebook is being lame at life.

Ashely McClure has finally corssed the pond and I get to see her on Monday! On the 30th we're doing Tea at the Willow Rooms in the City Centre that were designed in the early 20th century by Mackintosh (famous glaswegian artist/designer), and it's still exactly the same as he designed it! I'm super stoked to see her!

Ok, I need to go to class!

<3 <3

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Really? Did that Really Just Happen? Holy Hell.

Hey loves,

So i haven't posted like...at all this week because Giulia has been visiting from Italy, so I have been busy hanging out with her. It's been pretty chill....a lot of trips to the city centre for shopping, etc.

I have a crazy busy day tomorrow with class/trip, I'm going to Hopetoun House and it looks like a Conservation studio as well..hmm...interesting.

the most interesting event from this weekend was definitely friday where Fredrik, Markus and I got into the most ridiculously random bar fight. ever.

here is how it happened. I get furious thinking about how stupid this is...so bear with me.

Fredrik, Markus (not Mark from Canada, but Markus, a friend who is also from Sweden and pretty good friends with Fredrik) and I go to Cheesy Pop at the QMU. We were meeting Heloise there and Giulia was supposed to meet us there but due to mobile phones being stupid as hell, it didn't happen. --anyways-- The three of us started the night at Fredrik's house where we were drinking and playing guitar hero (some college activities are always the same) and around 12:30 we decide it's time to go to Cheesy Pop. So we go, meet up with Heloise and just hang out dancing around (trying desperately to get ahold of Giulia...no such luck) and whatever. Having fun.

Around 1:30 or so Heloise decides to go home and off to bed. I pout, per usual, but let her go. Fredrik decides he wants to go into the main crowd of the dance floor. (why I don' t know. I don't really like it...but he's so freaking tall I don't think he gets how many bruises I can get from that...plus most of the time it's so cramped I can't really move/dance) But, anyways, it wasn't miserably crowded, so we work our way through. We find a spot and not 20 seconds later there are these 4 incredibly drunk boys with their arms around eachother, stumbling around....to the point that they just..fall over. no one pushed them or anything...they seriously just fell over. not kidding.

they stand up....and I've come to guess that because Fredrik is so tall, and all 3 of us were staring, the 3 drunk boys decide that it was Fredrik's fault they fell over...? (i told you this was stupid.) So this one guy is just screaming at Fredrik, and Fredrik (who, admittedly was not...sober...but that's not the point) just started screaming back (what would you do if some random person just started cussing you out for no reason? You'd get pissed off as well i'd imagine) So Markus is trying to get the other guy to back down, and I'm screaming at Fredrik to pay attention to me and not to him. I get his attention, remind him that I'm there, and he turns to walk away from the argument. I want to reiterate this: Fredrik walked away. He was not violent at all. Then, apparently, (the rest of this is fuzzy to me..it happened really fast and I got scuffed up in it as well...not badly.) The friend of the guy that was yelling at Fredrik, decided (as Fredrik put it, like a coward) to jump on Fredrik from behind (yeah..cause that's the badass way to do it) and starts hitting Fredrik. This happened really fast, and since it was from behind he couldn't get Fredrik really well...but he did get him enough. Security finally does something (really irritated that they were slow to act) and I guess (assume) the guys got taken out. Fredrik is lucky to not have a black eye, but he's banged up pretty bad on his face...the guy drew blood and Fredrik said that his face was really sore yesterday. I got knocked in the lip, and I have a bunch of random bruises, but I don't really know where they came from exactly...

I realized that I always seem to put myself between the threat and my friends/loved ones. Fredrik is a foot taller than me, ex-army, completely able to take care of himself, and me, his 5'4" girlfriend conciously put herself between him and the other guy. I know this is why I got knocked around, because the other guy was not paying any attention at all, and was completely unaware or ignoring the fact that I was between them. Mom says I come by that honestly...that she's the same way. I'm not surprised...I don't exactly think that our family is known for just letting others deal with things...I can't imagine Paw Paw or Mamie for that matter not being protective of their friends/loved ones...and I know Teckla would be exactly the same way. Dad too...the only difference is dad would have followed the guys out of the bar, and jumped them in an ally. ;)

I'm goign to cut this shorter than planned...giulia has gotten up and it's time to get the day going...i don't know what's going on...all i know is i need to study..bad.

where did my weekend go? :(

<3 <3

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Italian Invasion

Giulia has come to visit for a week on very short notice, so that means I probably wont be blogging for about a week or so...probably next tuesday...which means it will be a hella long blog.


I'm fine. I'm happy. Life is good.

<3 <3


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Simple Weekend.

So this weekend has been a super chill one so far...Fredrik is off spelunking (UKish=potholing...) in England somewhere for the weekend, so basically this is kind of the first weekend I've spent without having Fredrik around...which just sounds incredibly bizarre to think about...on many levels.

It's weird to have people refer to him as my boyfriend, and also for me to hear the term boyfriend again, meaning my boyfriend. Fredrik and I don't really call eachother boy/girlfriend yet...mostly because even though we spend all of our time together, we haven't been together for that long, and also I guess they take the term "boyfriend/girlfriend" a lot more seriously than we do in the states? Anyways, everyone else calls us that, but we don't really call ourselves that yet...only on occasion (aka when this random girl kinda creeped on him (hardcore) asking him to go out with her that night and it was a, "no I'm with my girlfriend" because saying "the girl i'm dating exclusively but yet to call her my girlfriend because it's still too soon" is a little lengthy. :)

Anyways...I guess this is just a bit of a reflection post. It's just weird to be seriously seeing someone again..I really haven't done that since Mario and I broke up over a year ago. Going from being in such a committed relationship to being so incredibly single is a big change...and I'm surprised by how use to being single I was...I sometimes feel like I'm learning this dating/relationship thing all over again (maybe a slight cultural awareness as well? probably). Back to my point, tonight Heloise's flat (even w/ those flatmates) had a party, and of course I was invited, and of course I went. However, I now remeber why I am so greatful to have a...err..partner (?) in those situations...being a girl and not having a guy around makes you really vulnerable...and it gets irritating. I mean...with differences in cultures (aka most compared to america) getting stared at is really unnerving. Some guys just got too close for comfort, and even though I had met some of them before the party, or that some were aware that I'm not available for dating...sometimes a few of these guys just got really too close...and I was totally having "ugh I wish Fredrik was here so I didn't have to deal with this" moments.

So I left the party after only being there for a couple of hours because it was far too crowded and loud. I never do well in parties like that (i'm sure most of you know) and I just was feeling really clausterphobic and wanted to get the hell out of there. I felt bad leaving Heloise...mostly I think because I knew she wanted to leave with me as well...I don't think she was really enjoying herself either (being the only person who cares about the condition of the flat in the morning does that do ya). It was just not a party I wanted to be at for very long...plus people kept trying to get me to drink, and I just didn't want to tonight...I have a paper to write tomorrow and the last thing I want is to be hungover. Blah.

Today was domestically productive. I finally cleaned and put away all of my laundry! You can acutally see all of my floor now...which hasn't been possible really since I moved in. I even vaccuumed as well. Plus I was on such a clean kick I vaccuumed the rest of the common areas of the flat, and ironed some clothes.

(completely off topic, my friend dan just skyped me and we're having a hilarious video conversation right now...omg. serious lols)

He's so freaking special.

So I was really productive today, and I had a wonderful conversation with my flatmate Ige who is from Nigeria. We talked about all sorts of random things from dating to racism..and it was just so amazing the things that came out of his mouth...I mean it was just fascinating his perspective over things like slavery, inter-racism, and the n-word. He was really great to hang out with...plus i taught him how to cook up ground beef...which was hysterical.

yesterday was chill as well..i went to a lecture about jews in pow camps in world war 1 (was led to believe ww2...incorrect) but i fell asleep during the lecture. (oops) then I went over and met up with Heloise at Lydia (girl from germany)'s flat for dinner. I got to meet a bunch of newpeople and talk to them. Lots of people from Poland, spain, germany (always), Scotland, Ireland and America. I got drilled about America and American culture, but it was in a postive sense...a lot of them seemed really curious about what it was like in America etc etc. I went to bed after that and allowed myself to sleep in today...which was nice.

Tomorrow. 1500 word paper to write, and no room/laundry to clean and distract me, but I do believe Heloise and I are getting lunch at the Goat tomorrow (pub next to flat). They have good burgers. :)

<3 <3

Thursday, October 2, 2008

un petit post

I don't know why I decided to title this post in french, but whatever, I'll blame it on the fact I spend the vast majority of my time with Heloise and French is rubbing off on me (not that she ever speaks it...just her being French makes me feel more French...I get assumed French now whenever people talk to her first...then they ask me if I'm French and I laugh. hehe. :]) ok, well that was a lovely little sidetrack story..

Back to actually posting something other than nonsense...it is Thursday which means my weekend has basically started... I only have classes Mon-Wed, and so Thursday and Friday are study days. So today I spent most of the late morning/early afternoon in the Heatherington Research Club (Post-Grad club ONLY! makes me feel special..but i'm definitely the youngest there!) Heloise and I were there first, then Pamela (from my MLitt Program) ran into us for lunch, and Fredrik texted me so he came by as well. So we all ate lunch at the Club, and then Heloise and Pamela left for class/study and Fredrik and I chilled for a while longer...and I showed him how I have the coolest laptop ever (it's a tablet which means you can write on it, etc cool things like that). Then we had this massive group of older..slightly awkward girls come and sit at our table....and all I heard was awkward conversations about bathing, dieting, children, and children with B.O. I think it took a lot for Fredrik and I to not laugh. (speaking of, he and I had the BEST "Overheard" moment ever...we were walking across campus and all we hear when we walk by these 2 guys is, "I smashed someone's head into a wall once..." I died...I couldn't stop laughing the moment I heard that.) Eventually Fredrik and I left so he could go to the bank, and I could get information for my homework assignment that's due tomorrow and to finish up typing the notes to the readings for my dec arts class on monday (which i also have a 1500 word paper due Monday...blah i hate papers)

This past week was spent going to class and just relaxing for the most part. I studied all day yesterday as well before and after my 10-12 lecture. Then yesterday Fredrik and I decided it was his turn to cook us dinner, and of course Heloise joined in as well! it was very good (even though I did the bacon and Heloise did the pasta...but whatever..;])

The other night we had dinner at Heloise's flat and she cooked this delicious baked savory cake thing with rice and salmon. It was really really good..and then we had wine, cheese, and cheesecake to go with it. (apparently in france it is part of the meal to have a strictly cheese course...I knew I loved France for a reason..). The night got interesting though at the end. Heloise's roommates (mainly the guys/guy in particular/3 out of the 4) have been giving Heloise a hard time. The night before she had told me about how they had zero regard for her belongings, her feelings, and made fun of her accent (I'm sorry, but an Italian should not be making fun of a French woman's accent...that is just stupid.) Plus, his English is miserable. He tried to tell Heloise that she was "jealous with her things". Anyways, she was upset the night before, and the night of our dinner, guess what happened? One of her glasses had been broken, and it wasn' her that did it. She was upset, and I was pissed (we all know how I get protective of my friends...). They used her glass, didn't take care of it, and the reason why she didn't want it to be used in the first place is exactly what happened.

Well, they show up at the end of dinner, and Fredrik and I were there. I had told Heloise before, that I had zero issue being there when she confronts them, and I'll personally do it if that's what she wanted. Her roommate (the italian guy) is the BIGGEST ASSHOLE I have EVER met, and for 23 probably one of the most immature 20-somethings I've ever met either. He made fun of her, blamed the broken glass on her, and basically told her she was stupid and selfish. Clearly after it was apparent he was just pushing her around, I stepped in. Then he and I got into it (with Fredrik standing behind me a little wide eyed I believe..). He wasn't listening, and got a serious attitude with me (or tried too...anyways...). Then he made the biggest mistake of his life, and called me baby. I flipped my shit. [I told Fredrik later that if we had been in America, and I didn't risk deportation, I would have slapped that guy right there.] It took everything I had not to slap him acutally. Anyways, I got extremely angry and said, "the only person in this flat who is allowed to call me "baby" is standing behind me." Then Fredrik stepped in, and being 6'4"+ (italian guy only like 5'8") the guy started to listen to reason plus he told me later that he thought Fredrik was going to "kick his ass" [which again, is funny, cause Fredrik is one of the most laid back guys ever. Even though I heard how angry Fredrik was in his voice...which was eerie.] Anyways, after Fredrik got invovled...amazingly the jerk started to calm down and played nice...kissed up to Heloise and tried to kiss my ass (didn't go over well). Trying to say, let's all go out and be friends etc etc bull bull bull, i'd prefer never to see him again. thank you very much.

I had not been that angry in ages...I mean, I was entering the scary black out angry... but I hope the encounter will help Heloise with her situation with them (knowing they can't bully her around) and I'm proud of her for standing up for herself too...I know how scary that must have been for her...especially once I met the guy and how just ignorant and self centered he was.

That has basically been my week up until now, and tonight is Boston Legal night with the girls, and then going to The Primary for International Student night (Fredrik will be meeting us there with Markus [other swede] and I imagine a lot of my other friends will be there as well!)

Yep, that's my un grand post...so much for it being petit. :-P

<3 <3