Laura's World Travels &

Other Earthly Delights - A Blog


31 October 2006

I thought I would post a few pictures from Halloween 2006. Grad. students (and some significant others) got together in the JDUC 3rd floor lounge and partied hard, watching Rocky Horror Picture Show (I think it's the 5th or 6th year I have watched it in a row, but the first time I haven't watched it in live production in a while). We also drank boxes and boxes of wine. Or should I say tetra-packs?


1. Kyle dressed as a [rather drunken] tree. Eustace the monkey lives in the tree. 2. Eustace fed Kyle all night. Like this cucumber. Chips too. He also held Kyle's glass. Sadly, as the evening wore on, Kyle became more abusive and less respectful towards Eustace. Poor poor Eustace. 3. Karen went as a Maenad. She even made her own thursis.

4. Joy (a fellow Classics grad. student) dressed as 'Cleopatra'. She bought the costume only a few hours before from 
Dollarama. Isn'tDollarama great?

5. Joy and I in our Classical-theme costume (not manditory). I'm dressed as Livia (the emperor Augustus' second wife). I don't think she is as evil as Robert Graves painted her in I, Claudius. Besides, she married Augustus, what a catch!

6. Joy and Zeyd ('Anthony and Cleopatra') pose in a numismatic pose (I mean that they look like portraits on coins). I love the back light in this photo.

7. Yolande (from Grad. residence) dressed as pirate. I love her outfit (and her wicked grimage). Arrr indeed.


18 October 2006


Sulpicia is the only Roman poet that we know of, and her poems only survive because they were preserved Tibullus. In fact, up until recently, people thought that her poems were written instead by Tibullus. Like Ovid, Propertius and Catullus, her poems address an elegaic lover (Ovid = Clodia, Propertius ="Singular" Cynthia, Catullus = Lesbia) Cerinithus, although that probably wasn't his real name. Lovers in in Roman Elegaic poetry traditionally have pseudonyms as a part of the persona created by the poet.

Sulpicia was surrounded by the literary world. Her uncle was Valerius Messalla Corvinus, who was a great statesman and the patron of an esteemed literary circle.

Last year I translated her poems for a latin reading course I was taking, and essentially forgot about them until my recent birthday. I started to think about what she was saying, and happened to agree. To me, her voice is nostalgic, mournful, and filled with a gloomy longing for love, not unlike my own on occasion.

I submit here for your reading pleasure the latin and my own translation of Sulpicia's first poem (more to follow, hopefully) to accompany my self-portrait study of a modern Sulpicia.



Tandem venit amor, qualem texisse pudori
quam nudasse alicui sit mihi fama magis.
Exorata meis illum Cytherea Camenis
adtulit in nostrum deposuitque sinum.
Exsolvit promissa Venus: mea gaudia narret,
dicetur siquis non habuisse sua.
Non ego signatis quicquam mandare tabellis
ne legat id nemo quam meus ante, velim,
sed peccasse iuvat, vultus conponere famae
taedet: cum digno digna fuisse ferar.



My love is come at last, greater my shame for hiding
than revealing myself to anyone for fame
Pleading my case to Love in Verse
she brought him to me, laid him in my lap.
Venus kept her promise: let her be the author of my happiness
In case any woman does not share in it.
I would not want to entrust anything to sealed letters,
so that no one can unfurl me before him,
except that it's fun to be indiscreet; I'm so tired of
matching my face to my fame: I hope they
think I am a lover worthy of a love.


19 September 2006

For those of you who still actually follow this blog, and those of you who may not, I thought I would post a quick update. I've been back from Europe for just shy of one month now. I still haven't really even tackled editing and polishing my photos (to make them shiny). What I have done was to post a few of my favourites (thus far) on a different online website, since I've had such a frustrating time trying to load photos to blogspot (it's okay for the occasional photo, but not such an amount). The link for the site is [here].

I find myself often recalling moments in Europe or strange cultural customs that confused me more and more in my daily life ("if I were in X now, they would be doing Y). And since I am on the other side of the country, I suppose that it is easier to imagine myself in an entirely foreign land on the other side of the world than to imagine myself where I am right now. Things aren't so different here in Ontario. Just enough.

"What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? O let them be left, wildness and wet; long live the weeds and the wilderness yet" (Gerard Manley Hopkins).

This quote is from a poem (I assume) by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Scottish writer of Victorian prominence which was inscribed in stone for the wall of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. And I have to agree entirely. I think (and this might just be my personal preference) that he is referring to the Highlands. For where else is it so wet, so wild, and are there so many weeds (i.e., thistles)?


29 August 2006

I went hiking, back in August, with my friend Zerah in Waterton (Alberta). Here are some of the photos.



14 August 2006

Photo of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument in Rome. Many people believe it's a huge eyesore, but you can see cool things from in (like large groups of tourists in orange hats. Yes, indeed).

Since I am safely back in Canada, and finally settled at home, I thought, to finish up this blog, I would upload photos from the last leg of my journey...


1. Fountain of Trevi, Rome (near sunset); 2. Unused entrance to theMusei Vaticani (I secretly think that is where the Pope Mobile ejects from); 3. Dome of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. 4. Foot of theColossus from the Musei Capitolini5. Passage way overarching entrance to Musei Capitolini from Forum Romanum6. Interior courtyard of one of Rome's many museums (my favourite, it was nearly empty!); 7. Church in Venice. From this photo you might get the impression the Venice was not full of tourists, don't be fooled, they are just afraid of the rain;8. Gondoliers in Venice; 9. Pigeons in Venice (almost as populous as gondoliers, but better well fed). 


9 August 2006


As it seems, all roads lead to Rome, and so here I am. Since I have last updated, I have visited Genoa, the Cinque Terra, and Firenze (Florence, for those of you outside of Rome). My efforts to get to Genoa were very mangled, and since the train to Genoa from Paris was cancelled, I took many very indirect trains to get there. First I took a TVG (Train Vitesse Géant? I don't know) from Paris Gare de l'Est via Mulhouse (and a few other small towns) to Basel in Switzerland. I changed some £ I had left over from Scotland in to CHF, Swiss Francs (roughly the equivalent of the Canadian $) so that I could buy dinner, and really delicious Swiss Chocolates. Sorry, there are none left.

Then I booked onto a night train from Basel to Florence. The train ride was good until Bern, because I had a six person compartment to myself. Then an American family from Dallas boarded the train. There were two children, a boy and girl (18 and 21) and the girl's friend, and the mother. The girls were so incredibly annoying, complaining about everything from free breakfast (I did not have to wander around Florence trying to find something) to the heat of the compartment (that is what happens when you sleep fully clothed, and don't drink enough water). The brother did not complain, and seemed embarrassed to be travelling with them. I was too, but then again, I was not a member of the family. The mother had a lot of questions (many people not travelling alone themselves are surprised I am travelling alone!) about my trip, but generally tolerated her daughters princess-ness.

From Florence I took a train to Pisa, then transferred onto an IC from Pisa to Genoa. ICs stop in nearly all cities in between, and there are many cities in between. When I arrived in Genoa, I took the bus to the hostel and got settled there. The HI hostel is at the end of bus #40, at the top of a long winding road uphill. It has a beautiful view of the harbour. I spend the following day exploring the labyrinth that is Genoa, and bought some pants/capris that are also now too big (will need to buy an Italian leather belt maybe) and a skirt at 
H&M, and a tank top at Promod. The city of Genoa is beautiful, and there are many picturesque sites down many roads that are as narrow as rabbit burrows.

The next day I took the train to Riomaggiore, where I started to hike the 
Cinque Terra. The Cinque Terra is a UNESCO world heritage site spread out between five fishing villages. It takes about6 hours to hike continuously between each villages (it is up and down, up and down, along a high and cliff-filled coast lin). I did not finish the hike from Vernazzo to Montorosso, as it was late, and the rain was getting bad. There were a lot of rocky "beaches" along the way pack with tourists in two pieces, or wearing board shorts.

1. View of my seat and compartment on the train from Paris to Mulhouse; 2. View from my hostel room in Genoa. It's a beautiful blue day; 3. View from road in Genoa (it actually over looks the city, and I'm not quite how it works). Can you see the moped?; 4. Coastline trail of Cinque Terra5. Cat from Cinque Terra hike; 6. View ofVernazza on Cinque Terra hike at sunset and after a huge storm; 7.Duomo in Firenze; 8. Shopping in Firenze with friends from Greece; 9. First Aid officials in Firenze outside the Ufuzzi gallery; 10. View ofForum Romanum (near the Rostra); 11. Flavian Ampitheatre, aka theColosseum12. Roman soldier speaking in sign language to a tourist near the Colosseum Metro stop.


1 August 2006

I am currently awaiting my train to Bale, or Basel (in English) where I am going to take the train to Milano then Genoa tomorrow. This was not the original plan, but the trains to Genoa from Paris are booked for the next week. Of course this would only happen to me.

Here are few photos:


1. Laura at the British Museum on July 30;
2. Mom and our stuffed Highland Cow "Stuart" at Breakfast in theMeadows Park in Edinburgh; 3. Mom by "DANGEROUS CLIFFS" on the Isle of Skye (July 13) near Portree;

4. Ruins from Elgin Cathedral on a day trip from Inverness;


5Skara Brae on Orkney Island (north of the town of Stromness); 6. Mom in the Bishop's Palace (once owned by an evil Earl by the name of Patrick Stewart. How perfect is that?); 7. Ruins of the 'family Castle' (Sinclair Girnigoe Castle);


8. Laura eating fish and chips (including strange ketchup container and mushy peas) in a Banff-equivalent on the way to Perth, Scotland. Yes, those are the eyes of a travel crazed maniac!; 9. Mom on a ledge at Stirling Castle10Notre Dame de Paris, France.


11. Laura at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. A long day of Museums and walking. Such a hard life!; 12. Clock from the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. You can see the huge Ferris wheel, the Louvre, and Place de la Concord13. Mom at Versailles, where we accidentally bought the audio tour. It certainly made more sense this time than without the audio tour five years ago. The Hall of Mirrors is under construction though. There are way too many tourists here! [It's often hard to believe we are related, no?]

14. After my mom left Paris, i met a guy from Turkey who is my brother's age and it was his first day in paris. Our common language is French, so I have been speaking it a lot. His name is Oguzhan, or Olson. Here we are at the Panthéon.

Last picture:

15. Laura in front of the East Wing of the Bibliotheque Nationale de Francois Mitterand. It is perhaps my most favourite site in Paris -- I went back twice! -- and it was such a beautiful day with the rain. Damn hard to find. The Metro for it is not obvious. But it's only 3euros for a day pass -- how can you pass that up?

I hope that all sates your hunger for photos of me (or of the exotic locales i have visited!)


27 July 2006

Bonjour tous le monde! Je suis en fin capable de vous donnez des nouvelles!

Don't worry, this whole post won't be in French. Besides, I'm not even on a French keyboard right now. So, this is my third day in Paris.

On the first day (i'm not counting the day I arrived in the Beauvais airport) we went to Ile-de-la-Cite, where we saw Ste. ChappelleLa Conciergerie (for history buffs, this is where Marie-Antoinette and other prisonners through the ages were held until their executions. For M.A., it was at the Place de la Concorde), and Notre-Dame. Since we didn't arrive early enough and I didn't want to stand in a line around the building, I didn't go to the top of the towers. I have been before, and my Mom is not too keen on heights.

We also visited the Eiffle Tower (again, not going to the top) and wandered around the Quartier Latin. Highlights of that area include "Shakespeare and Co." books, La Sorbonne, Les Jardins de Luxembourg. For those of you who are not intently watching the Paris weather reports, I would like to let you know that it was +38 C here that day.

My second day in Paris was even warmer. I'm not made for temperatures like this! It's difficult to be outside. And that first night (after flying in from Glasgow), I'm not even sure we slept, since we had to keep the window open in hopes of breeze (no luck) and so we heard everything from the street. We are staying just outside of the main city of Paris in the Boulogne the Billancourt (south west on Metro 9, direction: Pont de Sevres). So this morning we spent in theLouvre. Most of the Greek Antiquities were closed, but I saw some pretty cool stuff.

And even stuff I didn't have the time to see in high school. We stayed until about 3 pm, then decided to take the Metro over to the Musee Rodin. Mind you that it's +40 C out, so the outside gardens, although picturesque, felt like a death trap, where could hardly breathe or move without sweating a bucket. I wanted to buy a fan the other day, but my mom said my money would be better spent on water. We enjoyed the Musee Rodin very much. Then we went back to theLouvre. We ate dinner at the Carousel du Louvre shopping centre cafeteria. It's a posh version of the food court in a mall. Then we went back and did the last half of the museum, since the museum was open late (until 9:45 pm). Sorry Andrew, the Mesopotamia part was closed yesterday, so we couldn't see it.

Today (thus far): Late breakfast at the hotel. Metro 12 to Abbesses. Walked up to Montmartre. I can't believe it (and Andrew, neither will you), but Mom went up the tower at Sacre Coeur. Yes, that's right. Mom went up the tower (well, it's more like a dome). She was freaking out, but she did it (because you had to go to the top before you could go down the other way).


We were harassed by North African immigrants selling braided bracelets on the walk up to the Basilque Sacre Coeur, and no matter how persistent you are in ignoring them, they still pursue you. Just keep walking (my philosophy). We plan to visit the Musee d'Orsay later this afternoon, and then stroll along the Champs d'Elysee this evening. It's not as warm today because there was a massive thunderstorm last night. It was terribly windy, and the loud clashes and bright flashes danced across the sky until long after we were asleep.

So, in other news: I've been reading as voraciously as one can whilst travelling (Ian McEwan's Atonement, P.G. Wodehouse's Something Fresh (John, I recommend it!), the Devil Wears Prada, Matthew Pearl's the Dante Club (Rob, you would enjoy this, if you have time), and currently Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting. I've sent out a few postcards. Hopefully the intended recipients have been receiving them. You can never tell with the Royal Mail. I am really looking forward to my time in Italy, and have been enjoying my time in France.

I can recap quickly (as internet time is running out) what I've been doing since I last updated:

July 13-14: Isle of Skye,
July 15: Inverness and Ullapool
July 16: Elgin Cathedral, Brodie Castle, Cawdor Castle, Brogehead Pictish Hill Fort
July 17: Dunrobin Castle, Latheron (near family farm on my mom's paternal grandparent's side of the family), Scrabster
July 18: Ferry from Scrabster to Orkney Mainland: Skara Brae, Brochs of Birsay, Skaill House, Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness, Kirkwall
July 19: Ferry from Stromness to Scrabster, Sinclair Castle, Bower Graveyard (found grave site of John and Helen Sutherland Clyne, my great-great-grandparents), Inverness.
July 20: from Inverness through Aviemore to Perth (watched "the Lake House")
July 21: Perth and environs (watched "Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest" -- another sequel!)
July 22: Stirling Castle and Argyll Lodging in Stirling. Attempted to find second-hand book store called "McCutcheon's", but it had closed down last year
July 23: St. Andrews: Castle and Cathedral
July 24: Flight from Prestwick Glasgow via Ryanair to Paris Beauvais. The air plane was really noisy, and the children on it were very loud!

I hope to update soon with interesting stories.


11 July 2006


Okay, here is a brief update since I last updated.

July 6th: Edinburgh: Arthur's Seat (hike) and National Gallery.
Early in the morning we woke up and got ready to hike up Arthur's Seat. As the hill is accessed from Holyrood House Gardens, we took our usual route to the Royal Mile, and then East down the Royal Mile towards the House and the Scottish Parliaments (a neat building). This time the streets were nearly deserted, and the few souls who were out and about were on their way to a Garden Party with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen at the House. It was quite warm out already, so I was thankful that the path was in the shad eof hilly peak. From the slow ascending path we could see the queue of guests outside the south gates, and we got a great view of the peculiar shape of the Scottish Parliament from above.

The view from Arthur's Seat is outstanding, and the hike did not take as long as I expected. After lunch out doors we found the Brass Rubbing Centre in the old Abby just across form the Museum of Childhood we visited earlier in the week. It was just down Chalmers Close. Closes are small alleyways between tall buildings in Edinburgh's Old Town area. I made two rubbing, one of St. Margaret, and another from the Book of Kells, a 6th century text.

Later we visited the National Gallery of Scotland. The Scottish collection was the most impressive part, as the other stuff seemed more like downgraded versions of what I saw in the National Gallery in London.

Okay, I'm running out of internet time.

July 7th, 2006: Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh.
We saw the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Camilla. Also, shopping along Prinecs Steet.

July 8th, 2006: Bus to Glasgow, Bus to Prestwick Airport. Rental Car!!!
Let's just say that I would rather be driving than my mom. I make a rather good (and modest) co-pilot. We haven't had an accident yet.

July 9th, 2006: Depar
t from Ayr. North from LochLomond to Fort William.


6 July 2006

This is my third full day in Scotland, and my Mom and I are enjoying ourselves quite a bit. You'll have to excuse any spelling errors as this keyboard is rather sticky.

So we're staying in a hostel in Marchmont, a district build in the mid 1800s for those who could not afford to live in "New Town" (the suburb expansion built when "Old Town" filled up). We have visited a lot of things so far, but the most notable thing about our visit to the
Royal City of Scotland has been the Royal presence. We meant to go to Hollyrood Palace on our first day but it closed due to the Queen being in residence until the end of the Week. Everything in Edingburgh has been bustling because of her visit. Today she was at Edinburgh Castle (where we were yesterday) to open up the new Royal Scots Dragoon Museum.

Tomorrow is our last day in Edinburgh and we plan to visit the Royal Scottish Botanical Gardens, Calton Hill and some other small-ish museums! Then we travel to Ayrshire (Ayr) where we will hopefully pick up a rental vehicle for the remainder of our trip.

I apologize for the brevity of this entry but the keyboard is so sticky, it is annoying to type on!

I hope to hear from you all soon!


1 July 2006

So this is the first time I've updated outside of the country, and I am quite excited to do so. My mom and I are currently sitting in the basement of some Italian-ish cafe in London near our hostel, which is just north of Kensington Gardens. Of course our time here has already been a whirlwind, but it has also been a lot of fun, so allow me to summarize.

Day One: A really long plane ride, a train ride, a bus ride and an underground ride. Apparently Dr. Cousland was also on our flight. We discovered this at Gatwick Airport while waiting for our luggage. He is here to deliver a paper on Adam and Eve (some literaturey thing) in Edinburgh.
This probably doesn't come as a surprise to some of you, but he suggested a really good place to test whiskeys near Waverly Station in Edinburgh. When we arrived in London (and after a nap on my mother's part (-1 point for over napping)) we walked down Oxford Street (full of shops, think Robson Street x100) to find a meal. We also did some browsing, and were intending to get to Piccadilly Circus, but didn't turn down Regent Street when we should have at Oxford Circus (Circus= a bit round about in the middle of the road which is very confu sing to cross at) so we didn't see what we wanted to see, and saw more of the same (shops and tourists).


Oh yes and somewhere in between we walked through 
Kensington Garden and maybe even part of Hyde Park. While sitting on a bench, we were harassed by a local bum with an empty mickey of something or other. It was great. I love London (my mom laughs, and corrects me that we were sworn at, and it may have been us, since we may have been sitting on his bench (was his name on it, no!)).

Day Two: The British Museum. Yes, imagine me in a museum with stuff I'm interested in. You know how I get about these things. My Mom thinks the Elgin Marbles and all stolen antiquities should be returned (note: to the officals and British Authorities who may be reading this (how unlikely), this is her humble opinion as a private citizen of Canada, and not actually a threat as a member of an international antiquities repatriation league).


Day Two, later: We walked down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace and spent some nice time in Regent's Park. It was evening and all the ducks and tourists were out. At a certain point I begin to wonder whether or not there are any people here who are not tourists. While rounding Buckingham Palace (sorry Ashley and Sara, no Princes today), we noticed Newfoundland Gate (which is right next to Canada Gate, Australia Gate, West Africa Gate, etc.). I found that humorous, but then again, it was its own commonwealth "country" (I use that term loosely) during the Victorian years. After Buckingham Palace we walked towards Westminster AbbeyBig Ben, theParliament House and #10 Downing Street. Of course, none of this stuff was actually open for viewing when we were there, which is good, because we would have to pay an arm and a leg to get in! When we were in Trafalgar Square later that evening we happened upon London's Canada Day celebration. Yes, you heard me! Canada Day 2006 in Trafalgar Square featuring the musical talent of Ron Sexsmith (!!!) and the Heavy Blinkers (?? -- actually, they were pretty good, so check them out). It was an open beer garden (yes, people can wander around with open liquor outside pubs without getting harrassed or arrested) with lots of people, and not all of them were Canadians. You could tell who was because they sang along to the Great Big Sea song on the jumbo-tron. All in all, our busiest day.

Day Three: Eat your heart out all ye English Scholars! We travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon (Ah-von, not eh-von, apparently). We arrived at our bus barely on time, and this morning I managed to spill (not my fault, damn underground, stopping so efficiently at stops) scalding English Breakfast tea on my mom on the Circle Line to Victoria Station (-10 points for Laura, +10 to mom for not complaining). The bus trip was quiet and my mom napped. She does that a lot. It cuts into our touring time, especially since most stuff closes at 4pm around here. (she wants to point out she only did this once, and I reminded her that it could potentially interfere if she continues). We ate lunch with my mom's co-worker Amy and her fiancee Ian at the Rose and Crown in Stratford. It was a quaint pub with superb food (rare, I know). Then we saw Julius Caesar at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. No, Patrick Stewart was not in it because they changed the casting list a few weeks ago. We were so sad :( :( :( :(. The play was amazing however, especially the performances of Cassius, Portia and Antonius. I was unconvinced about Antonius, but by the end of this "Friends, Countrymen..." speech, I was convinced! After the play we mosied on over to Shakespeare's Grave site inside Holy Trinity Church. It was rather solemn and beautiful. I have pictures, I promise, Meredith.


Well, my MOM is reminding me that it' 23h21 here and that I'm making her sit downstairs at some Italiah-ish cafe off Bayswater and Queensway (near our hotel) north of Kensington Gardens. Tomorrow will be a busy day (and our last one in London before we take a 9.5 hour bus ride to Edinburgh).

I hope this update has whetted and sated your appetite for my travels thus far. Goodnight and goodluck!


21 June 2006

And for those of you who are just joining us ... there are only 7 full shopping days remaining until Laura leaves for Europe. That's right, only seven full shopping days remaining.

Since my last post I have been organizing my room (rather dull-like) and my belongings so that when I return from Europe (August 20th), I will be fresh and ready to move to Kingston. Speaking of Kingston ... I was finally notified that I was accepted to live in 
Residence. Move in day is September 3rd. Graduate Students' Orientation is September 6th, the Departmental meeting is September 7th, and Professional Development Day is scheduled for September 8th. The first day of classes is September 11th (though my Grad classes might not begin yet then). All of this is just too too dizzy-making.

I'm feeling rather nostaligic for the days of Residence right now, when roommates were around at all hours of the day, even when you were out, to recieve and sign for your parcels. (Yes, I got a parcel (well, parcel residue, you know the "while-you-were-out" slip they leave) and yes, no one was around to sign for it ... since we are all either working or schooling during the day).

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Jen, who introduced the idea of a game centred around the 
Oxford English Dictionary. Now, with all my internet searching, I cannot find it; however, I trust Jen -- it must exist!

So that's the news.

[EDIT: Miss Jen just sent me an e-mail giving me a link to the Oxford English Dictionary Game, which is actually called the Oxford Dilemma. Sounds like something we would all be interested in, eh Meredith?]


16 June 2006

Sad news today. My Aunt Sharon, my mother and I are travelling with Tara the Bouvier de Flanders to High River, for the funeral of my great-uncle Jim (James Hart). It's funny, on the High River website, on the front page, there is a flood warning ... much like last year, I suppose it is because we have had a wet season. But that is beside the point. Today we travel to High River (high river or not) to celebrate and remember the life of great-uncle Jim, a man I've only met a handful of times, but whom my mother and my aunts deemed fit to visit more than their father in the past years (well, when grandpa was alive).

He was my grandmother's brother, and pictured here, they are together in this photograph with their father (great-grandfather) and the family's sheepdog (actually used for that purpose).

I'm going to bring my camera along to practice taking pictures, and to try to capture the country my grandmother loved.

This was the country she loved (below), and this particular photograph is an amazing example of the photos she took back in the 1940s while riding her horse around the prairies and into the mountians on her days off.

Again, a sad day. We truly mourn his passing.


9 June 2006

So, yesterday my father and I went browsing for my grad gift (I just recently graduated from a B.A.). Our first stop was McBain's camera. The lovely and very helpful Jeremy Ullman, who I suspect is one of the Ullmans of Ullman Photography Ltd. in Red Deer, brought out some bottom end SLR Cameras. He brought out the Canon Digital Rebel 350XT and the Olympus E-500 Evolt. He also said that nothing else really compared to these (at this price range). Jeremy reviewed the benefits of both cameras, and gave a recommendation: Olympus. Of course, I've been crazy about the Digital Rebel for a while, and was rather impressed by the one Melia brought with her to grad. But the more he praised the Olympus, the more I listened, and understood that there was more than just one entry level SLR Camera. So we took his business card, and went to look around at other stores.

The sales person at London Drugs was essentially useless. She didn't know much about SLR Cameras (Jeremy was successfully able to convice my father that non-SLR high end digital cameras (of essentially the same price range, a higher number of megal pixels (instead of 8.0 MP like the Digital Rebel and Evolt, they had 10+), and a lower quality of pictures) were a bad idea since their sensor was so small (as opposed to the SLRs which had decend sized sensors))), and other than that both the Digital Rebel and the Evolt were "high-rated cameras", she only voiced the opinion that it "depended on your preferences and your own experiences". So she convinced us not to buy our camera there (also, same price as McBain).

Next we went to Future Shop, because I wanted to check out a connector for cameras to IPods (in hopes that I could transfer my pictures from device to device to store them while I am in Europe, in case I can't get Zerah's portable harddrive to work). The sales people there were not only totally ignorant, but absolutely useless and unhelpful. There were threr employees in the digital camera sections (none in the MP3 player section), and two of them were "stock boys" who insisted they couldn't help me. The one who "could" was busy. The good thing about going to Future Shop was that we noticed that the Olympus was on sale there, but only until the 8th, so the sale ended at the end of that day. It was 8:45. Future Shop is open until 10 pm, Mc Bain's is open until 9 p.m. So my father phoned Hank (the guy he has known for ages who works at McBain's) and asked if they would match a competitors price and if they took American Express (why he uses AE, I have no idea). They did. And by the time we got to McBain's, the camera was ready to go, the bill was drawn up. The only remaining thing to do was for me to pick a bag and a CF or XD memory card -- which I did.

So the lesson of today's length story (about last night) is this:


4 June 2006 (redux)

It occurs to me that I haven't explained the domain name of my site. It essentially translates to:

cursum conscendo | I embark on the journey.
I took the latin quote cursum perficio (I finish the journey) and modified it to fit my needs. I was just googling the quote to see where it came from, and apparently there is an Enya song of the same name. Who knew! And now I can't seem to find the actual latin quotation. How strange-making! It is also the clan motto of the Hunter Clan, which they translate as I pursue the chase.

Durr, I can't seem to give this up. I knew I read it somwhere. I'll be stubborn and keep searching the internet until the cows come home (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Wikipedia apparently mentions something about Vergil/Virgil, but when I click the link, it only displays 
this page, which is (oddly enough) not so helpful.

No, now, when I read the Google search page properly, I understand that Vergil comes up much later in the page (hence the ... elipsis).

Today's Roman Date (sorry, I found this in my random searching) is: DIES SATVRNI A. D. XI KAL. IVN. MMDCCLIX A.U.C. (Julian Calendar, Roman style) .

Remember that: I = 1 | V = 5 | X = 10 | L = 50| C = 100 | D = 500 | M = 1000 |a


4 June 2006

I feel very annoyed this evening. I spent the day at work running around and taking calls and recording numbers for the River Clean-up, which is fine, since my dad organizes it, but it was really tiring. Then I had a last minute "beaver" themed birthday party, so I worked an extra 1 & 1/2 hours more than I really needed. Except that no one else is properly trained/willing to do birthday parties. So the responsibility and the "pleasure" falls to me.

When I came home, I was hoping (based on a call I received from mom about 5:00-ish) that dinner would be ready. But no, she was holding off on making dinner until I returned (since I didn't give a firm time). So I was already tired, annoyed, and hungry, all before 7 o'clock. I set aside tonight to do some more trip planning, and I had been looking at hostel, etc. sights this afternoon during my break. Mom and I booked out bus trip from London to Edinburgh ($128), our bus trip to Stratford-upon-Avon ($72 + $91 tickets to Julius Caesar), and were looking at a London Travel Card (if we even need it) and a Paris Visite Card (we definitely need the 5 zone card). We looked at trains/buses from Edinburgh to St. Andrews, Dundee, and Aberdeen etc., and the cost of the Gatwick Express. I always knew that everything would be very expensive, and I feel horrible about every extra expense we need, especially since mom is paying for the first month of the trip. After that, I only have to worry about my own expenses. And besides, we haven't even factored in our car rentals, food, and our accomodations for the other three weeks of the trip (oh yes, we only have about 2.3 weeks booked so far). This is going to be WAY too expensive :(

So those are my thoughts today. And despite all of this, I feel so excited about all the places I am going to get to visit. Right now my London plans include: London Sightseeing Tour (day one), British Museum (day two), Stratford-upon-Avon (day three), Kew Royal Botanical Gardens + other stuff (day four). That's it. I know I should start looking at Edinburgh stuff, etc., now, but that is theoretically mom's job, though I know she will be overwhelmed, and is not too knowledgeable with this whole internet thing.

Wow, I didn't intend for my rant to be this long. I guess I just needed to voice it (and not to her).


29 May 2006

Dear Friends,

I began this blog with a quick introductory post modus operandi and some quotes to set the tone. I begin this blog with the optimism that I might actually be able to update it along my journeys. I know that in reality, my updates will be less frequent than I desire. But what can a solitary traveller do?

So far, I have only been planning things. And aside from my recent excursion of Vancouver so that I might "gradumacate" (word courtesy of Zerah), my life has been uninterrupted. I would like to post a few quick pictures from my trip, featuring a few of my friends, and of course my seven-hour hiking trip to Manning Park with Zerah.

"The View"

"Caufield Cove"

"The Ludtkes at Andrew's Graduation"


20 May 2006

As I Wing my way across the Sea, I am sure there are those who would like to follow my flight path, and on my spiralling journey around the land, they too will want to spiral along. This is for them.