The Princess's Diaries

Friday, March 31, 2006

Living the Luton Dream

Stumbled across this website today: come nobody's told me about it yet? Lol, oh well! I've found it now.

Initiated by the wonderful people at the Luton Churches Education Trust, it's a brilliant idea: "Tired of Luton being dubbed a 'crap town' and excited about it's regeneration? Join locals Living the Luton Dream and make a difference in the town."

"From the 22nd to 29th of May 2006 we hope a network of projects, activities and actions will be built across the town. Visible, practical, relevant, a demonstration of love as lavish as the kingdom should be. And we want you to take part..."

You can tell i'm in dissertation mode, what with all the quoting going on, eh?

Anyway, I'll be doing my bit - try and think of something relevant from far away in the North...aside from committing to living the Kingdom dream more and more wherever i am; I've been praying lately about being more generous and more compassionate, and working to put it into practice. Let me know how I'm doing!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sometimes it's a chicken; sometimes it's a chair; sometimes it's a piece of cheese suspended in the air

Happy birthday to my brother Tom. The title is in honour of you.

Tonight's Dinner: Chicken and vegetable casserole which i made three portions of last always tastes better the next day, doesn't it? I also like the fact that if you makes lots fo the same thing you can subtly change each day's dinner to find out the nicest way to flavour that meal...tonight i added nutmeg, chilli powder and a bit of milk...definitely better than yesterday's boring version.

Academic Thinking: Dissertation: immersive installation and the embodied-transcendent experience. Hmm. I'm finding Merleau-Ponty very hard, as usual, but researching the artists is very interesting. My dissertation is about arguing in favour of a meaningful, in-depth, resonant encounter with art, and how immersive installation makes such an encounter available by changing our viewing habits.

Jesus Thinking: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; But fools despise wisdom and instruction...The fear of the Lord is to hate evil."

Observation of the Day: The bi-weekly Farmers' Market in Lancaster is certainly worth buying your veg from. I bought a week's fruit and veg for £3.88 today! And i can be content in the knowledge that it is produced locally.

Good Friends: Luke, despite the fact that he ate my cheese.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Now I'm the King of the Swingers...

That's just a little quickstep tune wootling around in my head! I passed my bronze ballroom and silver latin medals this evening, scoring Highly Commended (the top grade) in each dance!!! I had to been too chicken to pre-book into the exams; i was only there to dance with my partner Greg so he could be assessed for his silver in latin. During practice i decided i might as well get assessed with Greg, especially as they would let me skip the bronze and go straight to silver. Then we thought we might as well do our bronze ballroom too...before we realised we don't know a waltz routine that is complex enough but not too complex! (waltz and quickstep being the normal dances to do for bronze) i had the bright idea: "why don't we do our foxtrot routine?!" You gotta understand that beginners rarely dance foxtrot cos it's pretty difficult to get it right! But I love it to bits so we did it anyway, and i was so nervous that i forgot my steps and had to start again, but the examiner told us we had 'perfect rhythm' and that's the best compliment i could have asked for in the foxtrot! Oh and the latin silver medal was fine - we danced jive, cha cha and rumba routines - i was surprised to be told i had clean foot and leg actions when they felt like they were quaking with fear! Wibble!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Self Questionnaire...Lazy Way to Blog...

Tonight's Dinner: Pasta with baked beans, cheese, bacon, sweetcorn and carrot. Odd but good! Could have done with a bit of tabasco sauce or something for more of a kick.

Academic Thinking: My art practice; I've gotta hand in three different artist's statements tomorrow - it's great cos it really makes you think about your practice and what you value in art. Namely immersion, physicality, the temporal, self-awareness and resonance. Oooo.

Jesus Thinking: He's the Way, the Truth and the Life. I was considering the testimony of when i first decided to follow Jesus. I already believed in Him and what He'd done, and i remember thinking: "If i choose this now, it's all or nothing. I know if i decide to follow him, that's it forever, and it's all of me." That was a big deal to me and the first time i was faced with that choice i declined it. Too hard. Later i realised that, knowing what i know about Jesus, i can't not choose Him. This week he has reminded me of the seriousness of following Him. It's still all or nothing, and because it can't be nothing, it's all.

Observation of the Day: See below! Also, Hobnobs are nigh-on irresistible. Furthermore, it is very funny when end-of-term-ness begins to show in normally flawless art professors!

Good Friends: Joe, whose tender heart and humorous ways always makes me smile. Anna, who i wish i had longer to get to know because our hearts beat such a similar rhythm.

Found 'em!

Sit on the top deck of the bus. Then you can see over the hedges...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Where Have the Lambs Gone?

T’other week I was enjoying my usual morning bus ride to campus when it suddenly became doubly or even triply enjoyable because the field to my right was bedecked with frolicking little lambs! Oh you should have seen them frolic! If a lamb doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I don’t know what will. But now they’ve GONE. The fields are empty. No lambs. No sheep. One field far away in the distance had some white dots yesterday. I presume they are sheep. Possibly lambs too. Perhaps they got lost in last week’s mist. Watching the lambs has been a staple of my university experience for the last two year – why deny me this pleasure in my final year?? I’ll never see them again. We don’t have lambs down south, only wheat. Wheat doesn’t frolic nearly so prettily.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A World of Whiteness

A week ago in the midst of our 3 day snowy season, whiteness descended on Lancaster. I was bussing it home from uni, and for the first three quarters of a mile or so, the road runs through countryside. The relevance of this is that there are few buildings to block the line of sight stretching into the distance. But last week one could barely see further than a few meters in either direction because the air was all white. It was super eerie. It made me wonder: what if the air was always so white, everywhere? Imagine if we lived in a world where you could never see further than a few meters around you. Imagine standing at a high point – a hill or the top of a building – and looking down to see nothing but a blanket of whiteness. Imagine not having aerial photographs or pictures of the earth from space, because they’d just be all white. Our maps would probably be different, and we’d experience the landscape very differently because we wouldn’t have a general overview of the lie of the land in the back of our mind. Thank God that he made the air see-through so we can see his creation!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


i'm just eating my gorgeous lovely dinner and it's so good i want to share a bit of it with you

it's wholemeal fusili with garlic, black olives, cherry tomatoes, pancetta, spring onions and curly kale...sooo good...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Three Weeks Before The End Of Term Alina Is Thinking About...

  • Snow! Yes, i know everywhere else has snow so it's not big news, but i was just rejoicing about the arrival of the sun and bragging on the phone to my mum about how it's really spring time here, when suddenly along comes snow! Ho hum!
  • Handed in a chapter of my dissertation this week and got very encouraging feedback. As long as i put the effort in i think it's gonna be a winner. It doesn't have a title yet but for anyone who's interested, it's about the nature of immersive installation and why it encourages the embodied transcendent experience.
  • I really want my art work to have significance. I want it to be used and i want it to enhance people's lives somehow.
  • Daffodils...crocuses are old hat now, but there are acres of daffodil stems+leaves visible, just waiting for the flowers to arrive!
  • Curry...mmmm...
  • Jesus, lots. I've been asking him to give me some kind of accurate picture of him - not in terms of appearance but what he's like...i know it tells me a lot in the Bible but i want to get a good feel for what he's like as a person, like when you remember a friend. Appearance-wise, he often looks like Aragorn in my mind, but he'd never ever have that sad, hopeless face that Aragorn has when they come out of the Paths of the Dead...