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I don’t want to leave but I can’t wait to go home

Hello, neglected blog. I thought it appropriate to write a farewell sort of post. I can’t remember when or what the last post was but thanks to my inability to not join any new social network, I’m sure you’ve been kept up to date in some way. I must admit that I update Instagram the most, so if you’d like to see more photos of what I’ve been up to, feel free to follow me on there (my username is amypagey). 

So I leave Montreal in eight days, which I’m struggling to get my head around. After nearly ten months away from home, I’m obviously ecstatic to go home and see my beloved family and friends again, but at the same time I will be enormously sad to leave Montreal. This has been a life-changing year for me and I am so grateful that I’ve been able to have this experience. I feel so blessed and privileged to have been able to study abroad, which I know not everyone can do. 

What’s also hard is writing about this year without bombarding you with clichés and tropes. The thing is, they’re true. You do grow up a bit and mature, discover more about yourself, experience new things that make you reconsider your worldview, beliefs and values, get a taste for a new culture that helps you think of your own in a different way, you make wonderful friends, meet fantastic people, see incredible places and learn about the meaning of the word ‘home.’ 

There’s also the academic side that I’ve harped on about before; it really is fascinating studying in a different country. Specifically, the art history department at McGill is way more progressive than the one at Glasgow. I got to study things that I wouldn’t be exposed to at Glasgow and from a different perspective. It was also interesting being part of an institution that has a lot more money; McGill has amazing resources and most professors are leaders in their field, which is true of Glasgow to an extent but it’s on another level. However, I cannot wait to be back at Glasgow uni, as I think it has a healthier and happier work ethic. The free time I’ll have! I’ll actually be able to think about and research an essay in ample time! Bliss. 

Being away from Britain for ten months has only increased my love for it, especially for London and Glasgow, both of which I miss dearly and can’t wait to go back to. Of course there are aspects of Canada that I wish I could bring back, but Britain really is Great (badoom tsh). For example, there is a more ambitious and aspirational attitude in North America and aiming high is encouraged if not expected, which I find lacking in the UK. In Britain there is the attitude that you mustn’t get above your station, which is borne of our messed up class system. Living and studying here for a year as given me a lot more confidence and belief in my abilities, which I am grateful for. 

I heard someone say that when you go to a new place, you are prepared for the culture shock to an extent, because you are expecting it. But what is hardest, is going home expecting everything to be the same, but things will have inevitably changed, be they friendships, places or the voice of the lady on the tube (that threw me so much when I came home from uni and realised this). This is neither a good of bad thing, it just is. When I was missing home greatly, I found it hard not to dwell on the things that I was ‘missing out’ on. This never lasted long, because I would tell myself that one day I would miss Montreal and I didn’t want to then miss out on the present, when longing for an imagined alternate reality. I will admit that I’m gutted about missing certain exhibitions, plays and the life events of friends, but it’s ok. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. 

Good byes are always difficult, and I have a feeling that my homesickness will make it easier to leave, but I just know that once all is fairly normal at home, I’ll be longing for Montreal. It has been an incredible experience, and it has shaped me in ways known and unknown to me at the moment. I can’t wait to see you lovely people at home, and I will dearly miss the great friends that I have made here. Now it’s time to say so long to my life here. 

Encounters with Strangers

I have come to the conclusion that I must have an approachable face or disposition, for strangers frequently want to strike up conversation with me. Either that or the words TALK TO ME PLEASE are inscribed upon my forehead. The frequency of these encounters has risen since coming to Montreal, and I thought I would share some with you.

Art Enthusiast in Second Cup

This story begins how many of these stories begin; my quest to acquire a coffee. One morning, when I had not been in in Canada all that long, I ordered my coffee, only for the aged gentleman in front of me to whip round and exclaim “you’re from ENGLAND?! My! How WONDERFUL, how refined!” (Then, impersonating me) “One coffee please! Ooh so elegant!” He went on to ask me how I had come to be in Montreal and made the ‘my, my, how fancy’ face when I told him that I went to McGill.
“What might it be that you are studying? I bet it’s the arts!”
“Yes, actually, history of art.”
“My, I studied the arts too! I was in THEATRE!” (Which came as no surprise, really.) “Have you been to see the Impressionist exhibition yet? It’s WONDERFUL. You know, I once stood in front of a Monet that was so beautiful I CRIED!”

Franck from Cote-D’Ivoire

One humid, rainy afternoon I decided to take refuge in Starbucks, for I was drenched by and unprepared for said rain and had had a bad morning. Whilst reading I was interrupted by Franck, one of the baristas, who decided to join me while on his break. This turned out to be because he thought I was beautiful and wanted to go for a drink sometime and talk about the UK, a country he was very keen on visiting apparently. The gentleman also decided to take my phone that was on the table and call himself from it, later texting me “just to say i Like u so much see u.” Reader, I never replied, nor have I returned to that Starbucks…

Creepy Moustache Man from Suffolk

I saw in 2013 at the most hipster party I have ever been to. A blanket fort in a loft, people drinking whiskey from jars, vegan brownies and quinoa on offer, many an artist in attendance. I spoke to a man from Suffolk of all places, primarily because he was English and it seemed like a novelty. It ended in him drawing a moustache on my face, then trying to wipe it off with his spit. I ran.

Medic who liked my pens

A reprieve from awkward men came in the form of a girl I unfortunately can’t remember the name of. She liked my pens. We talked about obstetrics. She thought I was brave for leaving home and wished me all the luck in the world.

Alex from Athens

One busy afternoon in the university canteen, I shared a table with guy who was one of the most polite people I have met in a long time. He was Alex from Athens and quizzed me about studying abroad, for he wanted to go to Belgium. He also had about four courses for his lunch, which I found odd, but it is difficult to get upset over that when someone is so polite.

Mohammed from Egypt

More recently, whilst doing my readings in Second Cup, I met Mohammed from Egypt who was probably in his 70s. He kept touching my arm and was worried for me being cold, because there was frost on the inside of the window. Seizing the opportunity to have a conversation, he showed me his scars from The War and proceeded to tell me about the life and times of his family. If you were wondering, most of his family is now dead and he much prefers Canada to Egypt.

Hipster who drank my coffee

One of my favourite coffee shop encounters was with an anonymous, handsome francophone in Starbucks. I was reading a fascinating article about a family in Russia who have lived in isolation for 40 years, when he turned to me and pointed at my coffee.
“Escusez-moi, eez zat your coffee?” Puzzled, I replied that yes, it was.
“I am so sorry, but I just drank from eet. Can I buy you anozer one?”
I tried to keep it together and control my laughter. He was so embarrassed and afterwards did not respond to my attempts at conversation. Quel dommage.

There are the other less memorable conversations too, such as those by people whose faces simply light up upon hearing my accent, and exclaim “you’re BRITISH?!” then proceeding to ask me questions about Downton Abbey and the Queen. Sometimes, I just want to order my coffee. That’s all.

In the end, they are all people, hearts possibly heavy and aching with loneliness, wanting to make a connection with someone else. One of the greatest things I have heard is to “imagine others complexly.” Mohammed from Egypt was not necessarily a creepy old man, but someone who probably lives alone, where encounters in coffee shops are his only reprieve from isolation. Boundaries must still exist, but I try not to shun strangers too strongly.

What are your favourite encounters with strangers? I know you have some golden ones, friends. Comment with your best and I will compile them!

Any Other Business

Firstly, I would like to thank you all for you response to my last post. I’m so glad you liked it and that other people on their year abroad could relate.

Secondly, for those who are interested I wanted to tell you about the classes that I’m taking this semester. They’re very different to the ones I took before Christmas which is good but ever so slightly disorientating. Last semester was more contemporary, this one is more historical.
So in the ‘Fall’ semester (autumn is a much nicer word than fall, honestly) I took:
- The visual culture of the Dutch republic
- Canadian Aboriginal art and culture
- The body in art 1960-today
- The black subject in western film and television
- Brushwork in ancient Chinese painting

This term, the Winter semester I’m taking:
- Intro to East Asian art - I thought it would be nice to take a survey course and I wanted to study Japanese art, which I have not let been able to do so far, only Chinese. It’s broad and challenging but very interesting!

- The Medieval City - this is a three hour lecture taught by a Francophone Dr who has a German accent when he speaks English. He is entertaining but it’s quite dull. Main attraction of the course: it has no reading, huzzah!

- Methods in Art History - this is a compulsory one for me and I was warned of its difficulty and how boring it is, but I’m really really enjoying it. Learning the theory is making a lot more sense of other things that I have learned and I just love critical theory.

- The visual culture of travel & tourism - this is probably my favourite class, a seminar on looking at why we as humans travel, artefacts, maps, postcards, tropes, voyages, theory and travel writing since the Renaissance. It’s so interesting and the discussions we have are really stimulating.

- Women in Europe 1350-1700 - I was finally granted permission to take an elective so this is a history course looking at the role of women in different sectors of life: the home, work, politics, marriage, the church, art, theatre… The lecturer is a feisty woman in her 60s who clearly enjoys what she is teaching.

I hope your curiosity is sated, those of you who care about this sort of thing. My workload last semester was middle and bottom heavy, whereas this semester my exams and assignment are really spread out. This is a good thing in that I don’t have them all at once, but it does mean that there is always something to be working on, on top of the week’s readings and response papers. I will probably be grateful for this come the middle of the semester!

Also, join me for Frugal February! Well, it will be frugal March, April and May too but I’m trying to implement better spending and saving habits. Talking to other people, many are struck by how much money is wasted and how many things are bought that are so unnecessary. I want to be more present when I make purchasing decisions and to be more responsible with what I have. If you have been feeling similarly, consider doing a thorough budget to see where your money has been going and outlining strict spending plan to regain control over where it is going to go. Easier said than done but incredibly worth while (saying this to remind myself too!)

Not the most interesting or profound post but I feel we’ve accomplished some housekeeping. Wasn’t it fun?!

The Fear of Regret

You know that feeling on Christmas Day, or even New Year’s Eve or your birthday? When you want to make it the Best One Yet and you plan and plan and plan, carefully constructing each moment, because you don’t want to waste a moment?

Because you only have one shot, or at least until next year, and you don’t want to regret what you did or didn’t do. You even start to look forward to the memory of it. Do you ever feel like that?

Studying abroad can feel quite similar, especially with so many people watching. When is the next time that I will get to live in another country? When is the next time I’ll be in Canada, in North America? I should be doing MORE! I should make a list so I don’t miss out! I used to feel this quite frequently, comparing my adventure to the adventures of other people I know who are living abroad. I would feel down because I wasn’t Making the Most of It, and would have an urge to book a trip somewhere or do something spontaneous and so typical of Montreal, so classic!

I would then remind myself that everyone goes abroad for different reasons. That everyone is, in fact, different (you’d have thought I’d have learned this by now). There is no use whatsoever in comparing yourself to others in anything, be it grades, bodies, lifestyles etc. etc. For me, this year is about learning who I am, what I am capable of and what it means to be Amy Page. I’m sort of cringing whilst writing this, but I think it’s true.

I have learnt and experienced so much just from living and studying in a new culture. Academically, McGill has torn down everything I thought I knew and forced me to rebuild it all, piece by piece. It is teaching me how to make the most of the hours in the day (still learning this bit) and to really push myself. Life-wise, I have learnt how to unblock a toilet, how to prepare for winter, what quinoa is and much else besides. I have learnt that I am capable of so much more than I thought.

I know that for me (and I’m being rather honest here) my motivation for coming abroad was along the lines of wanting a break, in order to get away from everything and to have (another) fresh start. I also wanted to explore and experience new things and all that, of course, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and feel different things.

I am not someone who suffers from cases of wanderlust, in fact, since leaving home I have suffered the opposite. I am often overcome by a strong desire to build a nest, stay put and have a place to call my own. So why did I decide to move to another country for 10 months? I couldn’t tell you what I thought when I was applying because I’m not so sure myself, but I can tell you now that by going further and further away from Home, my idea and appreciation for what and where home is has been renegotiated. When given the opportunity to do so, it is something incredibly valuable.

Being in a new place has allowed me to think about who I am without the backdrop of my past, accompanied by people who only know me as I am now. There is no box for people to put me in, unless I make the mistake of allowing these new friends to do that. This has given me the liberation to think about my potential, to think about where I want to go and how I want to get there, without the limits and expectations that I may have at home. The time and space to think about what God has called me to do and how I can live a life of freedom that is good and pleasing to Him. How I can do what I’m passionate about but serve others too.

Of course I get dreadfully homesick and have days where I want to be anywhere but Baltic Canada, but then I think about the times when I’ll be back in la vie quotidian in the UK, longing to be in Montreal again. This brings me back (albeit having taken somewhat of a detour) to what I started this post by saying. This fear of regretting how I have spent my time here. Fear of not having made the most of being here.

I tell you this in order to tell myself: that way of thinking is utter bollocks.

I have already gained so much from this experience, and I still have five months to go, five months of things I can’t even begin to imagine. No, I won’t be going on the Great North American Road Trip, but that’s ok. My adventure and (forgive me) my journey may not be so photogenic, but it is no less valid nor wasted. I am incredibly grateful (so grateful) that I have had this opportunity. You could even call it life changing.

~NEW YEAR, NEW YOU~

Today is the last day of the Christmas holidays and tomorrow the first day of class. I haven’t been looking forward to going back to university as I have gotten used to being a lady of leisure. I am reluctant to swap lazy days reading and playing cards for class, hundreds of pages of reading a week, deadlines and exams but alas this is the case.

However, I am thankful that my attitude to university was altered at church this morning. Rather than being filled with dread at the thought of obstacles and challenges, why not be thankful for them? They are times to grow, change and learn and there are few things more satisfying than the feeling of accomplishment and endurance through tough times. So, I have decided to look forward to the next 16 weeks and enjoy having an interesting varied period of life. I am still battling with administrators to sort out courses and money is incredibly tight at the moment, but this does not mean life will suck over the next while, which is how I was feeling over the holidays. Glum feelings were heightened by homesickness and getting over the flu/cold and I let them take over.

It is a nice feeling to be starting this semester having done it once before. As I’ve mentioned many, many times, the workload here is a lot more intense than that of Glasgow’s, and last semester was tough, but I DID IT. I can even do it again! What a radical thought! I could even do it BETTER. Who’da thunk it, dear reader.

In other news, it feels like Narnia here. Montreal is beautifully covered with over a foot of snow after the blizzard last week but it just doesn’t stop snowing. It hadn’t occurred to me that with so much snow, it won’t thaw for months, because it rarely goes above freezing. I better get used to Narnia then. I am no longer fazed by seeing -15c temperatures and the fact that it will go up to 2c this week seems crazy. Heat wave! I jest.

One of my goals for the next semester is to keep in touch a little more (i.e. replying to emails), which I will try my best to do but please forgive me if I fail in this. My vague resolutions for the year (I’m not particularly a big fan of making New Year Resolutions) are time management and self-control, if you were curious. I feel that 2013 will be an exciting year and I look forward to sharing it with you, dear friends.

It is with great excitement that I can tell you, friends, that I am free! For nearly three weeks, I have no more work! Exams, essays and classes are done and I feel liberated. Over the past four months I have worked my butt off and adjusted to a new work ethic, which is definitely a good thing, but a hard thing all the same. The thousands of words written and pages read have stimulated my mind and taught me a great deal of things, but the time had come when enough was enough. My brain and body were tired (especially due to the nasty bout of flu I got during exams) and I was ready for rest.
The day before my last exam my Mum arrived to stay for two weeks which was glorious. I enjoyed waiting for her in Arrivals, watching people have Love Actually moments. Many hugs, kisses and tears were shared, and some of the tears were my own. We have been catching up, resting and I’ve shown her a few bits of Montreal. Some plans have been scuppered due to the snow, ice, slush and cold, but never fear, we shall overcome.
For the first time that I can remember, whilst on holiday I thought to myself “what am I going to do with all this free time?” That’s CRAZY! I had a sudden urge to have a project of some sort. I’m a changed woman I can tell you that. You’ll be glad to hear I have not set myself a project or anything of the sort, but have been catching up on some admin stuff etc. which is truly riveting. I also I have to start thinking about my dissertation and submit a proposal soon which is exciting but also in equal parts terrifying. 
Next week is Christmas which is obviously very exciting, especially as I am in a new country. I must say Canada can do Christmas well, but it is not quite the same without the Radio Times, mince pies and the abundance of mulled wine. The snow and all the lights around the city more than compensate however. Also next week, Mum and I are going to Quebec City for a few days, which is one of, if not the oldest city in North America which will be delightful.
Over the holidays I will endeavour to catch up with the lovely messages I have received over the past few months but have not had the head space to reply to, for which I do apologise! So, watch your inboxes, unsuspecting friends. Until next time…
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It is with great excitement that I can tell you, friends, that I am free! For nearly three weeks, I have no more work! Exams, essays and classes are done and I feel liberated. Over the past four months I have worked my butt off and adjusted to a new work ethic, which is definitely a good thing, but a hard thing all the same. The thousands of words written and pages read have stimulated my mind and taught me a great deal of things, but the time had come when enough was enough. My brain and body were tired (especially due to the nasty bout of flu I got during exams) and I was ready for rest.

The day before my last exam my Mum arrived to stay for two weeks which was glorious. I enjoyed waiting for her in Arrivals, watching people have Love Actually moments. Many hugs, kisses and tears were shared, and some of the tears were my own. We have been catching up, resting and I’ve shown her a few bits of Montreal. Some plans have been scuppered due to the snow, ice, slush and cold, but never fear, we shall overcome.

For the first time that I can remember, whilst on holiday I thought to myself “what am I going to do with all this free time?” That’s CRAZY! I had a sudden urge to have a project of some sort. I’m a changed woman I can tell you that. You’ll be glad to hear I have not set myself a project or anything of the sort, but have been catching up on some admin stuff etc. which is truly riveting. I also I have to start thinking about my dissertation and submit a proposal soon which is exciting but also in equal parts terrifying. 

Next week is Christmas which is obviously very exciting, especially as I am in a new country. I must say Canada can do Christmas well, but it is not quite the same without the Radio Times, mince pies and the abundance of mulled wine. The snow and all the lights around the city more than compensate however. Also next week, Mum and I are going to Quebec City for a few days, which is one of, if not the oldest city in North America which will be delightful.

Over the holidays I will endeavour to catch up with the lovely messages I have received over the past few months but have not had the head space to reply to, for which I do apologise! So, watch your inboxes, unsuspecting friends. Until next time…

On the ninth day of the last month of the year, Wei-yin and I sat talking by lamplight. Outside, the north wind wailed with cold, and frosty moonlight overlay all the earth. The shadows of trees formed fragmentary patterns on the windows. The two of us, sometimes talking, sometimes silent, dozing and waking again - a thousand years of the great world, with its moments of glory and of shame, were only dimly recalled stories and did not defile our teeth and tongue. People call me a simpleton and an eccentric, and since that’s my nature, and I’m satisfied with myself that way, why should I alter my principles because of what people say?
Ni Zan, 1362

End of November

First of all, apologies for the lack of updates on here; I will endeavour to update more frequently, even if it’s just a few lines. In the past month I’ve had to write 10,000+ words, so I could not abide the thought of writing in my free time! I just wanted to look at pretty things and talk to people. 

My birthday feels likes it was ages ago now, as does arriving in Montreal. I feel rather at home here, which is definitely a good thing, but it can be a little befuddling sometimes. Thanks to the Internet, I’m able to keep in touch with people more easily, but it also means I’m being kept up to date with what is happening at university in Glasgow, at home in London, in the UK in general, what friends are up to on their year abroads, which is amazing but disorientating! If I’m tired when I’m walking home, I’m often confused as to who I’ll see when I get in. Places feel so normal here now that I forget where I am. 

In the past almost two months since last writing, I’ve had a lot of work (surprise surprise), a visit from Grandma Page, Auntie Jenny and Leah who were visiting family in Toronto, which was lovely, been to exhibitions, made friends, tried new foods, had late nights in the library, gone to gigs, explored new parts of Montreal and learned so much, both academically and in terms of life! It’s hard to sum up a period of time where so much has happened but it’s also a time where not much has happened at all and it’s just been normal day-to-day life. 

Montreal is getting colder but I try not to mention it or complain because people only say “ho ho, it’ll get a lot colder than this!” We had one brief evening of snow, but it hasn’t snowed for real yet, although its forecast for this week! It’s bizarre checking the weather and seeing ‘-4c, feels like -14c.’ It’s crazy! I like the cold however, and I have a wonderfully snug coat.

On a practical note, I have three exams and two big research papers and presentations left then it’s the holidays! Safe to say I’m counting down the days, after a 15 week term with no break whatsoever. Also, mum is coming for Christmas!!!! I’m incredibly excited. Last week marked me being here for 3 months and I have around 6 months more here; I’m so glad I chose to come for the year and not just a semester. 

I don’t feel that this has been the most interesting update, but at least you know know I’m alive and well and loving life (except for when I’m in the library). I’ve put a splurge of photos on Facebook and will try to do little and often with photos as well, rather than masses in one go! Ciao ciao. 

beccaandthebox:

I HAVE A DESIGN UP FOR SCORING ON THREADLESS!

This gang of cats steal the hearts of all who meet them, they also steal their wallets and televisions.’

If you like this design, please go and rate it highly, then it’ll be made into a t shirt that could adorn your body! Signing up to the site takes only like 30 seconds if you haven’t already.

Any reblogs or general promotion would also earn you my love forever.

Do it.

Turning 21

Thank you everyone for your lovely well wishes and for the deluge of notifications I’ve had today! I had to get up before 7 and hand in an assignment but its been a good day. I went to see a film called The Untouchables which you really should try and see some time, it was wonderful and Ludovico Einaudi did the soundtrack which made me very happy. Emily then treated me to Thai and I’m now sitting with a coffee reading my book and having a think. Me, Cat, Beth and Emily (my flat mates) are going out for a meal tomorrow and we’re having Thanksgiving with friends this weekend, so much to look forward to.

I feel so loved today, but the downside to hearing from all the people you care about is that it can make you miss them a bit. So I’ll admit I have been feeling quite homesick today, or rather people-sick. I also feel bad that I haven’t done something crazier to mark the occasion, seeing as it’s my 21st. But then I remember my wise Mum’s words that she wrote in my card; this whole year is essentially a celebration of turning 21 and growing into an adult. Although this actual literal day hasn’t been one big party, I will be doing things with friends over the course of the next few months, doing things I’ve never done before and going on adventures (like New York at Christmas!! :D); they are all little celebrations of my womanhood and marking the big-but-not-actually-that-big-when-you-think-about-it two-one. Also I had a beautiful send off in August which filled me with love for where and who I was leaving and excitement for where I was going.

This is all very well but you may be wondering why I’ve included this photo of a chalkboard (I would). This is the chalkboard that hangs in our hallway that was written long before I moved in, but it is something that embodies my hopes for this year and the positive mindset I strive for. So I wanted to share this with you and thank you all for making me feel proper loved like!

Last Day of September

I realise that I have not updated this in far too long, I will endeavour to update it more frequently, friends. 

I woke up this morning for church and as I was about to leave, I checked the website for directions and discovered that it was not on this week, and the other church I had been going to had already started. So, I decided that seeing as I was up early(ish) I would make the most of it. I walked along Victoria, passing the comforting smells of the Jewish bakery, the succulent fragrance of fruit and the pounding hip hop of the phone repairs shop and went to Second Cup (a Canadian chain of coffee shops - Starbucks isn’t as popular here!) to do some reading. So I’m sitting with my pumpkin spice latte and croissant listening to Mumford & Son’s new album, writing this before I knuckle down and read bout the six laws of Chinese painting. 

I’ve started classes since the last update so have been incredibly busy, which probably explains the lack of posts. I’m really enjoying them and its really stretching my brain. Four weeks have never gone by more quickly than these. There is so much reading to do (up to 300 pages a week sometimes) but it’s amazing what you get used to! The classes I’m taking are: 
Visual Culture of the Dutch Republic
Canadian Aboriginal Art & Culture
The Black Subject in Western Film & TV
The Body in Contemporary Culture since 1960 and
Brushwork in Chinese Painting.   
So VERY different to what I would be doing in Glasgow, which is a good thing. Midterms are coming up which will be hard work but it will make time off after that so much more sweet! 

My flat mates are still incredibly lovely and loving and I’ve nearly finished decorating my room. Thank you everyone who has sent me things for my wall! It’s looking beautiful. Please do continue sending things, just ask for my address! The cat has taken a liking to me, especially as Emily (whose cat she is) is away for the weekend. This means her terrifying me in the middle of the night by lying on my legs or appearing next to my face, ominously starring at me, purring loudly. She also woke me up the other morning for her morning feed at SIX AM by pawing at my arms and hair. I’m not sure I’m so happy with her new-found fondness. So I barricaded my door with my bin last night muwahahahaha! I slept very well in case you were wondering.

Anyway, I’m still having a fabulous time which is naturally patterned with homesickness every now and then. I’m making friends, going to interesting talks, getting to know Montreal and planning exciting trips. Also IT’S NEARLY MY BIRTHDAY which I’ve suddenly gotten excited about, because I had forgotten about it (can you believe it? No, you probably can’t. I LOVE my birthday). I’m a little sad I won’t be home for my 21st, but I’ll always remember that I turned 21 in Canada! Autumn is upon us which means many lovely things, including SOUP. Once I’ve done my reading, I’m going to make a sweet potato, butternut squash and parsnip soup, which is a cheap, hearty meal that just keeps on going, so that’s lunch for the next few days too. Look at me go!

Until next time kids xx

Here are some things

Today I…

- Was pleasantly surprised by my Visual Culture in the Dutch Republic course.
- Learnt a lot about Canadian Aboriginal art.
- Queued for over an hour for a metro card.
- Paid $245 for my course packs, which hurt.
- Got some exciting news regarding my role as a writer for Artfinder.
- Listened to a business meeting at the table next to me that constantly switched between French and English, which I found fascinating.

And it’s only 3 o’clock in the afternoon. There’s a slice of my life for you all!

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