Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Keep Calm, I Just Didn't Feel Like It.



Hello there Strangers.

It's been a l.o.n.g. while since we've visited with each other. I thought it was high time I take a few minutes and type out a few words to mark time for my future self, and to share a bit of what I've been up to over here in Jolly Ol England.

It's not that we haven't been up to much these past six-weeks, it's rather quite the opposite. Life got real and therefore busy for me (yay!) = less time to blog. When I have had down time I just didn't feel like writing. It happens in fits and starts for me, and being that I have such a wee-little readership, I can get away with not writing for long spells and you, lovely readers, stay loyal (Thanks parents!)

Now, we all know I love me a bullet list, and seeing that so much time has passed and many things have happened in that time I'm going to crack out a beauty for you to read through.
Future self who loves documentation? You're welcome.

Work & Volunteering

  • I finally started volunteering as an Art Therapist at Addenbrooke's Hospital, pediatric wards in late February. So far, so good! I spend about 7 hours there on a Monday, and work mostly at the bedside with patients and family members making art. Sound familiar?  Well it is. I enjoy the volunteering role there, and the kids are so dang cute. 
  • Forgive me if I've told you about this before. Back in February I was hired as a school counsellor for a great organization called Blue Smile. It's a clinical placement, so I get free supervision (which is equivalent to being paid in a therapist role), and will have 1-3 school-age clients, one day a week. They use a play and arts based approach to therapy so I'll have my own therapy room complete with art supplies, puppets, and sandtray. I couldn't be more excited or pleased to have landed this placement. I'm in orientation and training but will start with my first clients at the beginning of May.
  • Things continue to go really well at Maggie's Wallace Complimentary Cancer Care Centre. I have a few drop-in group art therapy projects going in the centre's living room; a Knit & Crochet Community Blanket, Mandalas for Meditation, and a Community Journal. Recently I was asked to pilot an individual art therapy program for clients who are interested in trying a more intensive form of individual art therapy and have started seeing one client a week in this new format. I continue to value and feel humbled by my experiences there. I truly believe in the mission of this organization and hope that communities world-wide can benefit from a similar organisation model. 
  • I haven't been at Hospice recently due to a break in their and my schedule. I start back up next Tuesday and will be part of their Day Therapy Creative and Diversional Arts team, providing activities and therapies for patients who are referred to Hospice for day treatment. I truly love volunteering at the Hospice House and look forward to continuing to spend time there.



Adventures & Visitors
  • I visited The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to see an exhibition of the work of Quentin Blake, artist and illustrator. You may know is illustrations from the books of Roald Dahl. The exhibition was tiny, but gave a nice if structured glimpse into his process and work. 
  • The Science Festival dominated Cambridge for just over a week with a plethora of free talks and interactive exhibits by students, professionals and professors. I attended a couple of talks, one on ADHD and another about Creativity and Imagination. Devin's Lab, The Sainsbury Laboratory had a large booth set up with many hands-on activities for children and families. When I stopped by the tent one afternoon it was bustling with children dressed up like fuzzy bumble bees, crawling through a flower (toward candy) and getting sprinkled with glitter to mimic how flowers become pollenated.  This was one of many exhibits (not the one Devin was working at), but by far the most adorable scene of the festival.
  • The month of March brought bitterly cold weather to Cambridge but it also brought our dear friends Wes and Katelyn!! Yay! We had a really lovely time with them, despite that the time was too short and a visit from the Turkish Revenge. I'll spare you the details. If I can wrangle up some of Katelyn's photos I'll share them with you via this post. Thank you Wes and Katelyn for coming! We so enjoyed having you here in our humble abode!
Devin and Wes sipping espresso at Cafe Nord

  • Speaking of friends, two lovely Norwegian friends recently moved away from Cambridge as their time here was up. Ida and Hakon, we are bitterly jealous that you are now spending a chunk of time in Argentina without us, and want you to come back to Cambridge immediately so you can make us tasty-homemade baked goods, and teach Hayley how to knit that oversized that sweater (English translation of Norwegian pattern appreciated) We hope you both completed the marathon/half-marathon in Marseilles without much ado!

They look nothing like this. I'm not even sure that's Hakon.


Easter Weekend: London Style


  • Easter weekend Devin and I decided we needed a break from the pastoral landscape of Cambridge and headed for a two night stay in London. We stayed in a flat-share at a lovely home in Central Hackney. We did many, many wonderful things and truly feel like we "got away", which was nice as we hadn't really gone anywhere since the Canary Islands in January (feels like a lifetime ago). Listed below are a few things we did.








Last morning in London. Cheers!


And now we've somehow found our way into April. How on earth did that happen? We are very much looking forward to spring arriving, and are crossing our fingers that it arrives sooner rather than later. We've had two days of sunshine (yesterday & today) which has been lovely. The giant down coat is still in high rotation though. It might be June before I can wear a coat that doesn't weigh as much as I do . . .

In the meantime, I head to New York City in 20 days to spend a week in the good ol US of A. Some dear friends of mine are getting hitched on the 28th and it's important for me to be there. Devin is going to stay here in the UK, it'll be our first time apart since we moved here 7 months ago. We're already trying to figure out what I should bring back with me in the suitcase. Semi-sweet chocolate chips? Cheaper athletic gear? Face soap and toothpaste from our favorite groovy grocery stores? So many decisions.

To sum up: All is well with us. England continues to be amazing. We're not in love with the weather, but we anticipated that when we moved here. We are busy. We are happy. We are thankful. We are glad we've decided to live here for the time being. We will soon travel more and have more visitors. Will you be one of them?

Thanks for reading!