Life, the universe and ... oh, whatever ...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My plans till Christmas:

I thought I’d just share my schedule with you guys, just in case someone is planning on coming to visit or something!!

I’ll be in Norway from the 19th to the 30th of October, mostly spending my time in Solör I hope. The 16th of November I’ll be going to Playa Del Ingles (Yes, I know, AGAIN – just having a fab time each time I’m there so have to keep going back till it’s not so much fun any more) – I’m hoping to stay for a week but don’t yet know if I’ll get the time off from my Monday and Wednesday night lectures, if I don’t then it’ll only be 4 amazing days!!

Surprisingly, I guess, I’ll be heading back to Norway for Christmas as early as on the 30th of November. This is because of the living situation that I described in another posting here, and which now allows me to save a months rent for December if I’m not here during that month – and as my final lecture before Christmas is on the 29th of November I don’t see no reason to stay here and spends lots of money on rent when I don’t have to.

I’ll be in Norway till the 8th of January when I do hope on my arrival to England to move into the house I’ve really come to like so much.

Those are the plans that I know of so far, and plans are good. I have not really been longing for home so far, but I guess this might be because I know that it isn’t really that long till I’ll be heading back to Norway again. I find that the weekends are tougher than the week days, because during the week I go to lectures, I read, I write, I work on exercises – I spend a lot of time hooked up on the wireless at the university chatting to friends. On the weekends though I’d really like to hang out with friends and chat and drink beer and things, like we would have done if I’d been in Norway – but I haven’t really made so many friends here yet and I don’t like to go out on my own to pubs and so on, so I tend to spend the time at home watching movies, which is ok – but beer with friends would have been better, yes? I was actually invited to one of the women in my “class” last Saturday for dinner. It was excellent, we ate and drank red wine and talked, a lot, about writing and everything. I guess eventually I will make more friends here and there will be more opportunities to go out for beer or what ever….

Enter here:

This is the road up to the University of Chichester from Chichester centre. I just kind of like the walls, every time I pass them I wonder why they’re there. I’ll have to try to find out some day….

And this is the view when you walk back to the city again.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hard days….

So, I had a very trying day yesterday. I was walking around Chichester and it isn’t that big really, nice, but not very big – and as usual my walking took me past HMV which to my horror advertised with up to 70% off on DVDs and CDs. I kept telling my feet to just walk on by, but they would not listen. I am now the proud owner of:

  • Jurassic Park – The ultimate collection
  • The company of wolves
  • Big Fish
  • Jarhead
  • The Chronicles of Narnia

On these 5 items I spent a total of £45. I could’ve spent a lot – A LOT – more but I managed to escape before I’d totally ruined my economy for the next months!

What I was really looking for in Chichester yesterday was a mobile phone, I’ve been meaning to buy a British one so that it’d be cheaper for people from Norway to call me (well cheaper for me anyway, as when they call me on my Norwegian mobile when I’m here I end up paying about 6 NOK pr minute) and I sort of figured that it would be cheaper for me to send sms and call Norway from a British mobile phone as well, especially if I got one on a contract and not the ones on “pay-as-you-go” deals. Well, I got a bit disappointed. Granted, I did only go to one store, but the salesman informed me that yes I could get a Nokia N73 at the price of £35 a month which seems to be just the right price from what I’ve seen on the net. The phone would then be for free, and this price would include 300 call minutes and 300 sms pr month – great I said, I’ll be calling and sms’ing to Norway a lot so…. Oh, no the man said, none of the monthly contracts you get on mobile phones include calls to other countries, for that you have to pay extra! For a sms it’d cost me 24 pence, about 3 NOK, I pay 4,50 NOK with my Norwegian mobile to sms to Norway. So, suddenly not so happy about this deal. Because, I know I’ll be making friends here eventually, but still, most of my calls and sms will be to people in Norway – and then I’ll have to pay a lot more than the £35 a month and maybe not even get to use all that’s included? So yesterday I decided that I’d just stop thinking about mobile phones for a while, after all I did get the official letter from the letting agent yesterday saying that they would be happy to let me rent the house I’ve been looking at and that I should come to their office at the 4th of October to sign the contract and get the keys. Once I’m in the house I’ll have a landline I thought, I might not even need a British mobile then.

In the afternoon I got an email from the letting agent asking me to come to their office this morning, I thought to go over the details. That was yesterday….

Today I got up at half past 7 (which in my universe is dreadfully early, almost in the middle of the night) to get to the meeting with the letting agent at 9. When I got there the agent was very sorry but had to inform me that I would not be able to rent the house from the 4th of October anyway. The reason being that the people who own it, the reason why they’d be moving was that they’re buying a new house – and after two months of negotiating, and yesterday they were about to put the money on the table and sign the contract, the seller of the other house decided not to sell anyway. Obviously they need the house I was supposed to rent a bit longer. They are probably going to buy another house on the same road as the other house they were originally buying, but this won’t be available till late December. Both the agent and the couple that owns the house are of course very sorry. So was I! It turns out though that this couple, they’ve got some friends who have a house no more than 2 minutes away from them – they have an attachment to this house, a small cottage: 1 bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom. They usually only let this out in the summer to people coming for the Festival Theatre, but they would be willing to let me rent it for a couple of months until the other house that I was supposed to rent from the beginning of October becomes available. I saw it today, it’s ok – a bit small, but it will only be for a couple of months anyway – and I’ll manage – so I guess I will take it. I’m really longing for a place where I can store and make food now. The B&B I’m staying at is really really nice, but they only serve breakfast there so all other meals I have to buy when I’m hungry somewhere in the city or at the university – getting a bit fed-up with that now!

So, back to the mobile phone business. There is no landline in this small cottage that I might now live in for a while, so now I’m thinking mobile again – but “pay-as-you-go” this time, a cheap one, just so that people can call me without it costing me anything extra and oh well… and I have actually found this thing on the internet, with the company O2, they’ve got in their pay-as-you-go deals something called “Bolt Ons” and “International caller Bolt On” and from the tariffs there it seems like it will cost me only 10 pence to send sms and 30 pence to call Norway – so I’ll be heading down town soon now to check this out with the stores here – there are PLENTY of mobile phone stores, 10 or something I’d guess.

Anyway, movies, mobile phones, homes that comes and goes – that’s mainly my life these day – if nothing else, it sure gives me a lot to think about, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Edwin Morgan

On last Wednesday lecture a couple of poems by Edwin Morgan were played to us, and this man is excellent, I find him so enjoyable and just thought I'd do a posting here to let others out there discover him as well. But, his poems are much better when you listen to them than read them so this is why I'm linking you to a page where you can hear them, and then read them.

The Loch Ness Monster's song

The first men on Mercury

Miss me?

It’s not because I’m not inspired that I don’t blog these days. Actually I’m more inspired than I’ve been for a really long time, but I write other stuff, I work on my novel, I write poems, I think about short-stories and I do exercises that we’ve been given at the lectures – and I actually feel myself growing as a writer, and this after only 2 ½ week here, it’s amazing.

So, I guess that’s were all my creativity goes these days. I moved out from Bognor campus on Thursday, staying at a hotel in Chichester from Thursday till Sunday when I moved into a B&B which is really nice and only 5 minutes from the campus in Chichester. I have found a house that I will rent from the beginning of October.

I’d say that just for now life smiles at me for a while, and it feels great! And even more, the sun smiles as well, except for a couple of rainy days the weekend I got here, every day since then has been sunny and warm. I’m having a great time.

I will try to use something more useful than this in a couple of days though, perhaps a story or a poem? And there might be some photos of the cathedral as well as soon as I get around to take some!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

How cute am I???

There are lots of squirrels and rabbits around here, both on campus in Bognor that I can watch from my window and in the park just across the road. I photographed a couple of them in the park yesterday and thought I’d share it with you.

I am sorry I don’t post more often on here, but when I don’t have internet access in my room and have to go to the IT room to get online well, I guess you all know how it is. Fortunately it does seem like things will get better not too far into the future. I got an email yesterday saying that my offer on a property (to rent of course, not to buy) has been accepted by the landlord and that I get to move in on the 1st of October getting a contract till end of August next year. I don’t take anything for granted though; it’s amazing how many unexpected problems can turn up when you’re a foreigner over here (probably is the same the other say around with foreigners in Norway as well!) and I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best till the contract is sign and the deposit is paid, then I’ll tell you more about it.

Yesterday I managed to open a bank account, also a bit of trouble because of rules and regulations – and for a minute I thought that the thing that was going to stop it all from happening would be my passport. I’ve got an old passport, from 1998, and the man at the bank was very perplexed at seeing a hand written passport. He had never seen a Norwegian hand written passport before, so he had to call in to some main office and then put it under some kind of special light and he was very doubtful there for a while if this was good enough. I was by then thinking: is it possible to get a new passport through the Norwegian embassy here in England or do I have to go back to Norway to get one? Fortunately I did not have to find out, they did accept my old hand written passport in the end – and I’m now the proud owner of a British bank account with Lloyds TSB.

I have been to two lectures so far and it’s been everything I’ve hoped for and then some. It’s so great and so inspiring I can hardly wait for the next lecture to happen – I just love it!

And on that thought I’ll be leaving you for now, I’m going to go for a walk around Bognor – and I might even be doing some shopping: I can’t remember the last time I did as much walking as I’ve been doing this week and now I think I might be in need of some new sneakers.

Here’s another photo of a squirrel, will try to get some photos of the rabbits real soon as well so that you can help me decide: are they indeed rabbits or are they hares?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The rumours of my death….

No, I have not gone to England and died – I’ve just not had any internet connection for my laptop – and have also not been able to locate any internet café’s in my local area so that’s why I’ve been so quiet. Now I’ve got my login information to the university’s web system, and I’ve also been given access to their wireless connection when I bring my laptop to their IT-rooms. Won’t get any access from the room I’ve got on campus though, so for now I’ll have to do without that in the evenings. Hopefully I’ll find a flat pretty soon. I saw one yesterday, and I really liked it – unfortunately the estate agent had misunderstood the landlord and they were not going to let out the flat furnished – and I just can’t be bothered with renting something that’s not furnished, that will just be too much of a hassle.

It’s been some hectic days since I got here. We had registration and our first short session on Saturday, and on Sunday we had our first real session at Uppark. This is a large mansion from the 1600s, and it was rather excellent walking around there for inspiration and then working on the exercises that we were given. By the end of the session the whole group (we’re 11 persons) sat down and discussed what we’d done.

I am doing an awful lot of walking these days. I could of course be using a taxi, but I like to walk to get the area, both Bognor Regis where I’m staying now and Chichester where I’m studying and will hopefully find a flat soon.

Well, I’ve got work to do – got to check the net for available flats and then go see the agents!

I’m including a picture I took yesterday of my university.

And oh – yeah, one of the most excellent things with being here is that it’s still summer. We’ve got about 20 - 25 degrees, and coming from an autumn in beginning in Norway that’s just great!