Year: 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Here, there and everywhayr

Hi! It’s been a while since I wrote a blog but I’ve just been so busy with all kinds of things – working at the Artisan Lounge, going on several day trips and of course I had to do a bit of studying as well. A recap in pictures:


I’m so happy I’m on the ‘right’ side of the campus – I mean, who doesn’t love a view like this?!


I wrote a few postcards to my friends back home and to read the whole text, they had to be together. Should’ve known that would only work weeks (!) later.


Ayr library’s got windows. I like windows, especially when they look like this.


This, by the way, is my view when I’m working at the restaurant! You probably can imagine how hard it is for me to resist those empire biscuits…


I mean, LOOK AT THEM. Yum.


Classmates in the sun <3


I went with ISUK (International Students UK) Tours to Bamburgh, a village on the east coast of the UK, just over the border from England.


They had seals. Live ones. Wild ones. I don’t think I ever saw one before this close!



Next stop: Alnwick Castle! Harry Potter fans like myself unite!


This is why.

Those who recognize it, say aye!


Also, the Duke of Northumberland (the family actually lives there in winter!!) is the proud owner of one of the biggest tree houses in the world.

I had a magical time.


Marc and Ben did too, I think.




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See how much we’ve learned?


I really enjoyed those five minutes of sunshine.


Last stop: another castle which I completely forgot the name of.



Bought myself a nice wee souvenir :-)

And I made some friends too! This is Awwal.

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Awwal sent me this picture. Up!

Screenshot (8)
Skyping while Hidde, Abel, Lilian and Susanne were playing Super Smash Wii U is probably one of the best and worst ideas ever. Miss those guys and I forgot how chaotic that game can be.



Since a few weeks we have TV Studio classes – my favourite time of the week!


Sneak peek for our River project…



Still wondering about the Gaelic language. I thinks it’s awesome though.


Ionad taisbeanaidh.


Playing cool games (I was miffy and I didn’t guess that in my first try HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE).


TV Studio again!



Second ISUK Tours-trip: Gretna Green! The marriage capital of Scotland. You can see why.


Next stop: Durham Cathedral! Lovely city and a wonderful cathedral as well!


Not only because it is Harry Potter-related, by the way.



They even had a model made out of Lego blocks!



I paid a pound to build a small part of it. Cool marketing idea!


Rewarded myself with the best cupcake ever afterwards.


Final stop: Angel of the north.


Working on the River project again…


Wifi outage of four days? No bother: just play Monopoly over and over again. Apparently, they have a cat!


Dear Susanne sent me mail! Loved it.


The river Ayr. Wonder where they got that name from.


More games at Eglinton Terrace!


Made some sort of hipster sign for the restaurant last week. Got loads of compliments on it :-)


And I saw this jolly fellow on my way home! Didn’t know what to do so before I could decide if I had to call anybody, it ran off. Hm.


And, at the moment of typing, I’m sitting in The Project Cafe in Glasgow – waiting to meet up with Lana and go to the airport afterwards. Yup, I’m flying home for a few days! Can’t wait. See you next time (and hopefully sooner, sorry about that…)!

Life in Septembayr

Pardon the pun, but it’s just too easy. Not a day goes by without me (or anyone else) thinking of a new pun which includes the word Ayr.
Anyway(r), good to have you back on my blog!

19-09 / 20-09
So my weekend mostly consisted of me and Jildou going to the swimming pool and putting a lot of make-up on our faces. Not at the same time, of course.

The university has its own gym! It’s really small and they don’t have all the machines I’m used to, but at least the machines they do have, are very motivating.

Franzi and Jildou invited me over for dinner with their flatmates and since they live very close to the beach, we couldn’t resist taking a walk – which resulted in this pretty picture.

I don’t know how Fraser’s butt ended up on this lovely picture of me, Helen and Jildou.

There’s the Eglinton Terrace-crew + me!
From left to right: Alice (France), Susan (Slovakia), Helen (somewhere around here), the best Dutchies in the world, Fraser (also a Scotsman) and Franzi (Germany). I really like hanging out with those people.

Very special moment: I got my first mail here in Scotland! The lovely Lilian sent me this lovely postcard, saying she hopes I haven’t needed my raincoat yet. I haven’t. :-)

…because the weather is still looking like this! Bit windy but I’m not complaining.

Although…. when I looked over to the other side, I saw these clouds. Scotland, make up your mind!

Games night at the union! Don’t think I’ve played this many games of Jenga before…

There always seems to be something going on at the uni! This time: Freshers fair (offering all kinds of information). Still don’t know why they didn’t go for Freshers Fayr, but maybe that’s just me.


Yay! My parents finally got Skype working! Had a good laugh about the composition here.


Thursday consisted of classes. I had to go in from 10 to 17 so it was pretty tiring, but it all sounds like I made the right choice picking this masters’ degree!


White t-shirt-party at the union! I drew this wonderful piece of art on Jildou’s back.


This may not be the best picture ever but the dancefloor was actually well-stocked! And since everybody was writing on each others shirts, I met a lot of new people. I like new people. :-)



Oh, Lilian? It started raining on the way back to the campus…


On Friday morning I’m following the module ‘Producing Factual Formats’ – which is exactly what I want to do with my life. !!!
And, the other good news: in the afternoon I was working at the vegetarian restaurant called the Artisan Lounge! Second restaurant Abel and I went to, two weeks ago, and that turned out to be a very good decision. Wanna see what ‘we’ (ha, that sounds good) sell? Go and take a look on their Facebook! Be aware of excessive saliva.
Oh, and this picture above is taken in the Morrisons, and it’s just to show you that Scots take their Irn-Bru VERY seriously.


So, yesterday, it was my first ‘real’ working day over there. It’s been great! I made some coffee, did some cleaning, did a lot of chatting. The Artisan Lounge is a small restaurant (they have six tables) so it’s really personal. It’s great to get to know some locals and improve my Scottish at the same time!
Also, it was just me and Garreth, the chef – which made me this perfect halloumi salad for lunch. I LOVE THIS PLACE.


It’s next to the Auld Brig so there’s a pretty nice view as well… :-)


How could there not be a squirrel in this blog?


Short sleeves and sunglasses! To all those people who asked me why the hell I would want to move to Scotland: HAH.


So, that was about it for this week. A few last things:

Things I am getting used to:
– Scottish (everyday I’m understanding more, and otherwise I’ll just smile and nod, hoping that’s an appropriate answer)
– The coins (very useful!)
– Looking to the right instead of looking left when crossing the street

Things I am not yet used to:
– I’m not too sure about this one yet but I think I’ve heard people say things like “Is that you going away?” and “There’s you using the oven” (meaning: “Are you going away?” and “You can use the oven now”) but this just sounds too strange – I’m doubting myself at the moment.
– The cashiers at the supermarket wait until you leave before they help the next person in line. So inefficient.
– When Dutchies say “Half 9”, they mean 8:30. When Scots say “Half 9”, they mean 9:30. Confused the hell out of me.

If you want to hear more about my Scotland-stories (love that word), you can add me on Skype! The name is (how surprising) hiSuzyQ. Or, you could wait until next week when a -already- third blog will show! See you then.

First days

Hi everyone!
So I’ve been in Ayr for more than a week now: I already have seen some of the surroundings, my English (oh, strike that, Scottish) is getting better by the minute, first days at uni provided a lot of excitement and hope, and I met some lovely people!
Alright, that was about it. See you next time!


Ok just kiddin’, here’s some extra information and pictures to enjoy:
– I’ve got four flatmates called Joe, Elena, Rhona and Aaron. They are really nice and I’m looking forward to living with them this year!
– Scottish people are the friendliest I’ve ever met. Seriously. For example: when Abel and I were on the boat to Arran we had some trouble paying with our Dutch debit cards – and the guy standing next in line immediately offered to pay our lunch for us! Unbelievable.
– It’s about 500 steps from my front door to uni. Good thing when I’m running late, not so good when I want to win my Fitbit challenges.


I wished I could just close the lid like that and take her… Heart-breaking to leave Moortje and Balthazar behind.


Off we go! Remember how I made jokes before leaving about having 40 kilos to travel with? Yeah, that came right back at me. It’s wasn’t nearly enough, so I guess I’m gonna have to do a bit of shopping here…


The sweetest people in the world all came to say goodbye! Those waving people are my lovely friends, parents and one of my sisters but one of my other sisters and Abel’s family was also there. I’m so blessed. From left to right: Elise, Philip, Lilian, Ineke (my mom), Tamara (my sister), Hans (my dad), and Hidde.


Actually, I’ve got great parents-in-law! Look at what they gave me at the airport: it’s the best chocolate in the world! I’m not even kidding, even the Scots around here think that’s true.


So this is the campus I’m on. You cannot actually see my flat because it’s in the left corner, all the way to the back, but it does give a good impression. Every flat has four or five bedrooms and one kitchen/livingroom.


Abel and I immediately decided to explore Ayr and walked via High Street to the beach, and look: the sun does shine here! Well, or as Abel said: it shines over there.


Fish and chips with a pint. First night in Scotland, so how could we not?


What you see here is my room and the view from it. As you can see, I’ve got nothing to complain about! Loads of compartments to hide my things in, and it’s really bright!


Scottish breakfast (compared to the English breakfast, this one has got tattie scones). First breakfast in Scotland, so how could we not? Wait…
On this day we did some shopping to decorate what will be my home for the following year, so that isn’t interesting enough to share.


We decided to go to the Isle of Arran – the one you can see when you’re on the beach in Ayr! Abel and I’ve done a lot of travelling around by train, but this was definitely one of the coolest rides: the train tracks are next to the sea! Awesome.


In the tourist information centre of Arran (mind you, there only live around 4000 people on the island and there aren’t many tourists either) we suddenly heard some Dunglish next to us! Seriously, those Dutchies really are everywhere, aren’t they?! We got into talking with her, Jildou, the blonde girl you see here, and it turned out she and her German flatmate Franzi are going to UWS at Ayr as well! Franzi is even following the same course as I am. They decided to hike with us to Glen Rosa (a glen is a valley).


I think they made a good decision.


It didn’t even bother them that we were planning on walking for about 25 kilometres and that the sun was nowhere to be seen. How could you be bothered with this kind of view, though?


My flatmate Joe told us “Glasgow is famous for the rain, even in Scotland” and unfortunately he turned out to be right.


Yup. It rained.


And it rained some more. We decided to visit a cinema so we finally saw Inside Out. Absolutely LOVED IT! One of my all-time favourites, I think.


Abel did his best before we went to Glasgow to make a list of all the vegetarian and vegan restaurants they have. The Flying Duck had some veggie burgers!


Another day in Glasgow! We went to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and even though I liked the exhibitions, being the magpie I am, I was most impressed with their shiny, sparkly, rainbow-y ceiling they had (caused by many layers of glass or so. I actually have no idea but I liked it).


Glasgow’s got not one, but many TARDIS’es! I liked that as well.


They’ve also got a pretty cool cemetery. Or is that something you cannot say about a cemetery? (It was, though)


We even saw the botanical gardens!


In the category of unexpected things to see in Glasgow: this business centre in the middle of a park.


Another vegan restaurant: Stereo. They served vegan haggis!
Yeah, alright, I admit: our relationship is mostly based on food.
In the evening we went to the students’ union so we met Jildou and Franzi again, their flatmate Fraser and a few other pretty cool people.


One of the saddest moments of my -not very long yet- life: Abel had to go home again. There were loads of tears (mostly on my side) and loads of saying “it’ll be alright, we’ll see each other soon” (mostly on Abel’s side). He’s right though.


I actually have no idea what I did on this day but there was a squirrel involved.
And I remember something about an international night with quizzes on Scottish words (I failed at that) and some Scottish line-dancing (which Fraser and I got a compliment on). One of the funniest things ever. I mean, look at this and you’ll know what I’m talking about: It also went on for, like, ever.


This is one side of my university’s building. It’s so light and new and clean and I LIKE THAT. We had a meeting with all postgraduate students and we had to make short videos about our first impressions of the uni. As I said, light and new and clean.


In the afternoon, we gathered with all of the University of the West of Scotland-students. We’re from Ayr, but there’s also a UWS-location in Paisley, one in Hamilton and one in Dumfries. No, I didn’t make that name up.
Next to all the information the uni was handing out, we could also play some darts, eat cotton candy and ride the rodeo bull. Franzi was actually pretty good at that!


Time for home-made pizza at my place! Here you see me, Marieke (another Dutch girl who was staying at Jildou’s for the night), Fraser, Jildou and Franzi.

And then there was this morning. When I got to uni, there was this guy in a kilt, playing the bagpipes. And since I was a little late enjoying the advantages of living this close to uni, he was playing the bagpipes for nobody except me. It was as awkward as you probably imagine right now and it still doesn’t make sense in my head.


Another shot of the uni. I really like it here. They even got a ping pong table (where you can see Franzi and one of my other classmates David) and apparently I suck at that.
Oh, by the way, that video I told you about earlier? It had to be finished today so if you wanna see the final product, well, here goes nothing:


I know the weather in the Netherlands kinda sucks at the moment so not to brag but I haven’t seen any rain in Ayr yet (knocking on wood at the moment)! This is the riverside of the uni.


I went into town with Jildou when all of a sudden we found ten pounds in the street! And since it was Friday afternoon, we decided to immediately spend that on a cocktail pitcher and some grilled halloumi.

So yeah, as you can see, I’m already having a blast over here! For those of you who do not know, I also have a Scottish cell phone number now (please ask if you want to have it) and a very Scottish address (ditto).
Hope the post wasn’t too long but since you’re reading this, you haven’t fallen asleep yet. So I guess I’ll see you next time!

Stijlen spotten: Team Im vs. Team Ex!

De woorden zijn al bijna dezelfde, en dan zijn ze ook nog eens uit dezelfde tijdsperiode: het impressionisme en het expressionisme lijken lastig van elkaar te onderscheiden. Gelukkig niet voor lang meer! Na vandaag kun jij namelijk de stijlen onderscheiden als de beste.

Impressionisme: werkelijkheid
– Eerste avant-garde beweging, zette zich af tegen de standaard (classicistische, dat komt een andere keer wel) kunst van de Academie;
– Hoogtepunten in Frankrijk aan het einde van de negentiende eeuw;
– Kenmerken: Impressies van vluchtige momenten met weinig detail (ook heel veel in de open lucht!), thema’s uit het alledaagse leven, licht is belangrijk.

Expressionisme: onderbewuste
– Moderne beweging die voortvloeide uit het impressionisme;
– Hoogtepunten door heel Europa heen, aan het begin van de twintigste eeuw;
– Kenmerken: Gevoelens/ervaringen worden uitgedrukt door sterke kleuren en overdrijvingen, vaak krachtige verftoetsen, ‘er bestaan geen wetten’ (en dus ook geen vaste vormen: alles is mogelijk).

1876 - Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Le Moulin de la Galette

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bal du Moulin de la Galette, 1876.
Alsof het impressionisme al niet rebels genoeg was, riep dit schilderij ook allerlei andere controverses op: deze scène zou zich afspelen in Montmartre, een arme volksbuurt met veel prostitutie. Dat is niet echt wat je hier in het schilderij ziet: alle mannen zijn Renoirs vrienden en iedereen is super gelukkig. De meetup die hier plaatsvindt is natuurlijk wel een heel alledaags thema, en aan de vluchtige verftoetsen kun je al gauw zien dat het een impressionistisch schilderij is.

1885-1887 - Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire

Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1885-1887.
Cézanne sloeg een brug tussen het impressionisme en het kubisme (komt ook later nog wel eens, beloofd, maar je kunt je er vast iets bij voorstellen), wat je hier al ziet. Hij ging regelmatig met zijn schildersezel, palet en pas uitgevonden(!) verftubes op pad en heeft dus heel veel schilderijen het de buitenlucht als thema gemaakt – iets typisch impressionistisch. Ondanks dat dit schilderij al iets abstracter oogt, kun je je nog steeds goed voorstellen hoe dit landschap er in de werkelijkheid heeft uitgezien. Super impressionistisch dus.

1897 - Edgar Degas, Ballerina's in het blauw

Edgar Degas, Ballerina’s in het blauw, 1897.
Ik verwacht nu eigenlijk wel een beetje dat jullie de boel beginnen te begrijpen, maar toch maar even voor de zekerheid: dit schilderij van Degas is een impressionistisch voorbeeld bij uitstek. Je ziet direct dat dit een beweeglijk moment is met een hedendaags thema (dus geen religieuze afbeeldingen of heldenverhalen), heel vluchtig weergegeven alsof de danseresjes elk moment van het schilderij af kunnen hupsen. Ook is de lichtinval weer spot on (ha, pun intended).

1906 - Claude Monet, Waterlelies

Claude Monet, Waterlelies, 1905.
Hoewel het pure impressionisme alweer op zijn einde liep en opgevolgd werd door bewegingen als het postimpressionisme, waar ik jullie nu niet mee zal vermoeien, bleef Monet altijd een pure impressionist. Hij schilderde ongelooflijk veel in zijn achtertuin, waar hij speciaal een vijver met waterlelies voor had laten aanleggen. Hij heeft dan ook heel veel schilderijen gemaakt met dit onderwerp, en werkte vaak aan meerdere schilderijen tegelijk: het licht van de dag verandert tenslotte continu, en dat moest natuurlijk wel juist zijn.

1893 - Edvard Munch, De Schreeuw

Edvard Munch, De Schreeuw, 1893.
Een kunstenaar die al vroeg als expressionist gezien kan worden, is Edvard Munch – jullie hoogstwaarschijnlijk wel bekend. Munch heeft een lastige jeugd gehad vol familieleden die doodgingen, liefdesverdriet en depressies, dus dat hij zijn gevoelens op deze manier uit is niet zo heel gek. De Schreeuw is een zelfportret van Munch’s onderbewuste. Super zielig, en super expressionistisch dus.

1910 - Wassily Kandinsky, Zicht op Murnau met Kerk

Wassily Kandinsky, Zicht op Murnau met Kerk, 1910.
Voor Kandinsky echt abstracht ging werken uitte hij zich al met felle kleuren en duidelijke verftoetsen – zoals een echte expressionist betaamt. Gelukkig is het schilderij niet echt natuurgetrouw want anders zou die kerktoren van ‘m omvallen, en ook klopt er weinig van de kleuren en verhoudingen. Dat geeft allemaal niets in het expressionisme, want wetten bestaan niet en elke vorm is mogelijk. Ook scheve kerktorens en knalrode luchten, dus.

1913 - Oskar Kokoschka, De Bruid van de Wind

Oskar Kokoschka, De Bruid van de Wind, 1913-1914.
Op dit schilderij zie je Kokoschka zelf liggen met Alma Mahler. Deze vrouw was de liefde van zijn leven maar helaas bleek dit niet wederzijds. Ze hebben wel een wilde romance met elkaar beleefd, maar daar bleef het dan ook bij. In dit schilderij kun je Kokoschka’s gevoelens bijna zelf voelen: de hele wereld draait om hen heen en mengt zich in de omhelzing. Hoewel de kleuren misschien niet zo fel zijn als bij de voorgaande schilderijen, spat de expressie van het werk. Zie je ook alle verftoetsen naast elkaar liggen? Ik zei het toch: expressionistisch.

1953 - Francis Bacon, Studie naar Velazquez' 'Portret van Paus Innocentius X'

Francis Bacon, Study after Velazquez’ Portret of Pope Innocent X.
Alles is mogelijk in het expressionisme, zo veel is nu wel duidelijk. Het onderbewuste komt naar voren en de werkelijkheid boeit niet zo veel meer. Vooral Bacon is hier een goed voorbeeld in geweest: hij wist echt zijn gevoelens uitstekend over te brengen. Dit deed hij door zijn fascinatie voor monden iedere keer weer naar voren te laten komen (echt waar, kijk maar eens naar andere schilderijen van hem!) en willekeurige vormen te verdraaien of te bedenken. Bij dit schilderij gaat het overigens niet om specifieke (donkere) gevoelens tegenover een paus, maar wilde Bacon gewoon de kleur paars graag gebruiken, en zijn gevoel zei dat een paus daar goed bij zou passen. Vandaar.

Dus, alles duidelijk? Mooi. Dan kun je nu beargumenteerd kiezen:
Ben jij Team Im of Team Ex?

1882 - Édouard Manet, Een Bar in de Folies-Bergère en 1914 - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Portret van Gerda

Édouard Manet, Een Bar in de Folies-Bergère, 1882. | Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Portret van Gerda, 1914.


Suzanne’s schilderijenuitleg: J.M.W. Turner

23 april 1775: de geboortedag van Joseph Mallord William Turner. Al op vijftienjarige leeftijd ging hij naar de Royal Academy of arts, en na één jaar studie werd een van zijn werken geaccepteerd voor een tentoonstelling. Inmiddels staat hij vooral bekend om zijn landschappen met schepen of treinen, en kun je zijn stijl uit duizenden herkennen. In 1851 overleed Turner en liet een enorme hoeveelheid werken na.
Hier zie je vijf kenmerkende schilderijen mét speciale Suzanne’s schilderijenuitleg zodat je William Turner nóóit meer vergeet:

1796 - Fishermen at seaFishermen at sea, 1796

1801 - Dutch Boats in a GaleDutch Boats in a Gale, 1801

1822 - The Battle of TrafalgarThe Battle of Trafalgar, 1822

1838 - The fighting TéméraireThe Fighting Téméraire, 1838

J.M.W. TurnerSnow Storm: Steam Boat Off a Harbour’s Mouth, 1842


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