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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

I met a lot of new people on my trip to Canada. Because I’m determined to write up this trip soon thereafter, unlike my last two bouts of travel, which, while they remain mostly in my notebooks (fondly called “brains”), are gradually coming back to life, I’ve been thinking a lot about the life pseudonymic. Not everybody likes their real name being used online, others don’t like their photos appearing, and some don’t want either to happen. So I made a habit of asking people if I could post their photos online, and if they would prefer that I don’t use their real names online. Most were fine with my use of their real-life identities, while others wanted no photos published, and others, I suspect out of a sense of whimsy, suggested a name. (more…)

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I flew to Toronto on 18 September, and spent just over two weeks in Canada, splitting my time between Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward County, and dear old Toronto. It was a much-needed, most enjoyable holiday, which sadly ended on Monday of this week. As I went back to work the day after I returned home, and as my sleep patterns remain decidedly bizarre, I have had little time to write anything here. Until I have such time, then, to write and to sort out my many, many photos (for me at least; a paltry number compared to those taken by one of my hosts), here are some of the things that I learned: (more…)

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Trinity College, Downtown Toronto (St George) campus, Toronto University.  My photo, 19 September 2014.

Trinity College, Downtown Toronto (St George) campus, Toronto University. My photo, 19 September 2014.

Canada plays quite a part in this blog; Canada is one of the reasons for this blog’s very existence! So it is with great delight that I realised today that it is five months until my next visit. My first trip was entirely for the purpose of library research and presenting a paper at the Ninth International Conference of the Book, with the exception of a full day at Niagara Falls, but I knew that I wanted to return to see more of Toronto, and of the whole country. (more…)

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The centre of the labyrinth, Cathedrale de Notre Dame, Chartres (My photo, May 2014)

The centre of the labyrinth, Cathedrale de Notre Dame, Chartres (My photo, May 2014)

I’m frequently asked, most often by bemused family members, why the Middle Ages? What claim does it have on me? There is no easy answer to that question – I’ve loved the architecture, art, and stories so long that I cannot identify a single moment or monument that began my medievalist life. That said, the labyrinth is one element of medieval life that I cannot resist. Fortunately, many still exist, and the one I know best is at the heart of Chartres Cathedral. I don’t remember if we walked it on our first visit – I was three, perhaps four, and according to my mother, constantly rushing off to look at the Cathedral’s treasures. But it seems likely that it was covered by chairs, as it was on my most recent visit, when I took myself off for a wee holiday round Brittany and Normandy in May of this year, when I took the photo on the left. I was very disappointed at not being able to walk the path of the labyrinth, but it’s just another excuse, were any needed, to visit Chartres and its cathedral again. (more…)

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La Belle Iseult (1858) by William Morris (1834-1896).  Oil on canvas. Tate Britain.

La Belle Iseult (1858) by William Morris (1834-1896). Oil on canvas. Tate Britain.

I’ve always been impressed by the (first and second wave) Pre-Raphaelites’ many talents. They were not just artists, and as a lifelong student of languages (medieval languages in particular), William Morris’ work in translating Old French and Old Norse romances and epics, is of particular interest. When I first began researching the use of original medieval works by the Pre-Raphaelites, I was focusing more on such use in their art. Morris’ only painting, of Janey Morris as La Belle Iseult, is an obvious example (look to the left). (more…)

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Readers mine, I live in Scotland once again! Life since May began has been decidedly hectic, when I handed in my notice to Sotheby’s Institute of Art, where I have been the Assistant Librarian since January 2008, within a week of returning from France (the two events are not causally related, merely temporally adjacent). Since leaving work at the end of June, I was packing up and saying “Cheerio, not goodbye!” to the six and half years of my London life, and for just over a week now I have since been living in Scotland once again. I didn’t leave the Institute to work elsewhere in London; I left it as part of a larger change in lifestyle. Having been asking myself the question “where do I want my life to be, in the main?”, for a couple of years now, and the obvious follow-up question, “what then must I do to achieve that?”, moving to Scotland was the first part of the answer. It’s about life, not just about work. London was never a permanent move, I always knew that, and I cannot express how strongly I disagree with Samuel Johnson’s famous quote as given below

when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

There is a significant difference between not wanting to live in London and being tired of it. It’s always accessible, always there, and I’ll never stop visiting it. I’ll never stop missing my friends who live there. But there is so much to do, so much to see, here in Scotland. Besides, I needed to get back before September 18, after which the borders will of course be closed :). I jest, of course, but it’s definitely an interesting year to be in Scotland, and I want to be able to have a say in the future of my country. (more…)

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What means VIB, I hear you ask? I got a lovely, and most unexpected, tweet two days ago from Kat at I Saw You Dancing (the brains behind December’s #reverb12). She nominated me as a Very Inspirational Blogger! I blush. I stutter. I beam. (more…)

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