Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Olympic Mail

Did you guys watch the Olympics? For the first time in my life, I actually own a TV and was able to follow the games from the opening to the closing ceremony. It was so cool to experience the games while living in England. There was such a buzz in the country! I can't wait for the Paralympics to start tomorrow! Have you seen this and this brilliant video?
Postcards to: Brenda in the US, and China
I'm happy to report that I managed to get my hands on a few official London 2012 cards. They're so colourful; I really like the design.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Harlaxton semester no 1

On Friday I got up at 3am to pick up 150 students from the airport. Our fall semester has officially begun and I am excited and a teeny tiny bit jealous of our students and the wonderful experiences they will have here over the next couple of months. I studied abroad in China and the US before getting my degree in England, so I'm only too familiar with the ups and downs of living abroad and how much it shapes you as a person.
This weekend was full of orientation activities and I have only just found the time to sit down and take a few deep breaths. There is still so much to organise and sort out, but I'm calling it a day and will be spending the rest of the evening watching 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and sipping on a glass of elderflower cordial.
Have you – or are you planning to studied abroad?

Me at Lake Michigan Fall 2006

Monday, 13 August 2012

Writing Letters

I love postcards. They are short and sweet and the thought of writing one is a lot less daunting than writing a whole letter. Letters are work-intensive and require more reflection and 'planning'. For me anyway, because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and need everything to be just right.
Nevertheless, I really want to try and write more of them in the future, not only because sometimes it's great to send longer messages and be able to include little goodies (like poems, or newspaper clippings), but also because I've recently discovered my love for envelopes.  
Envelopes add another layer to a letters. They're a great medium for mail art and can convey a message in themselves.
Here is a one I recently sent to my sister for her birthday:
I am now on Twitter! Feel free to follow me @anchorandsing

Friday, 10 August 2012

A poem for the weekend

Green tea by Dale Ritterbusch

There is this tea
I have sometimes,
Pan Long Ying Hao,
so tightly curled
it looks like tiny roots
gnarled, a greenish-gray.
When it steeps, it opens
the way you woke this morning,
stretching, your hands behind
your head, back arched,
toes pointing, a smile steeped
in ceremony, a celebration,
the reaching of your arms.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Art in my mailbox

Let's face it - for us fans of handwritten mail, the biggest problem is usually not finding someone to write to, but getting someone to write back. Even though most people greatly appreciate a handwritten letter, they often - for various reasons - won't write back. That's why I'm a big fan of postcrossing, a project that enables people to write postcards to folks all over the world and - for each sent postcard - to receive one in return. Here are a few art cards I have found in my mailbox since joining the project:
Postcards from: the US, the Czech Republic, Poland and China

Monday, 6 August 2012

A rather British afternoon

What did you get up to this weekend? It was nice and sunny here for a change, so my colleagues and I took the opportunity to do something very British and spend Saturday afternoon in the garden with lemonade and a few games of croquet.
We all started jobs here at the same time and all come from different countries (Ireland, England, America and Germany). It's been brilliant discovering the local area, hanging out and working together, trying to give our students a fabulous study abroad experience. This cool bunch are the main reason why I feel so happy and at home here.
Croquet was lots of fun (or as my Irish colleague Caroline would put it "Great craik")! Have you ever tried it? I can't wait to play it again.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Settling in

It's been over two months now since I moved into Harlaxton Manor. Living in a 200-year old listed building is an amazing experiencing and I still get all giddy whenever I drive towards the house and can make out its silhouette in the distance.
Settling in has been easy, especially now that I'm not getting lost as much as I used to in the beginning. Embarassingly enough, I had to be shown the laundry room three times before being able to locate it myself. These days however, I can confidently go exploring without having to worry about missing dinner, because I can't find my way out of a certain corridor.
Harlaxton is a little like Hogwarts - there are hundreds of rooms, secret passageways and other nooks and crannies - I could swear some of those staircases move! I haven't spotted a ghost yet, but who knows, they might just show up when you least expect them.
There are so many lovely details in the architecture and furniture of this place. I could take pictures for days.