The further(er) grad-about misadventures of Erin (MA).

Day 4, 10.42PM (12.42AM, Hamilton time).

I return to Cowtown, AB, somewhat sadly. I wouldn’t have minded staying another day (wish I’d planned this voyage a little more coherently). Also wish I hadn’t been remiss in recounting my misadventures of the past two days. Such are the demands of conferencing!

On Thursday, Supervisor-mum and I went exploring about the harbour, and downtown Victoria. Our weather was not quite as nice as the forecast witches promised (we expected 14 degrees, and sun, and got somewhat colder, and ocean-foggy), but we walked about at a rapid pace. At the harbour, admired the houseboats and the local fauna (the most enormous seagulls in existence, herons, and crows). Made our way down Government Street to various shops (I bought my lovely new satchel at this time). Walked down Fan Tan Alley (about half the size of any regular alley), and visitied more (cleverly concealed) shops (we bought lovely new scarves at this time). Pet the local (domesticated) alley cat. Upon exiting the Alley we presently stumbled into China Town, which we walked through (Supervisor-mum bought tea at this time). Making our return to Merchies, we encountered a Grand Old Milliner’s Shop, wherein I purchased a Hat (the which I now wear, and feel it lends a delightfully jaunty air to my person). At Merchies, Supervisor-mum bought more tea, but I, with my tendency to become Most Ill at the drinking of tea, instead explored the available coffees (I am returning home with a  blend once commissioned by the Canada Broadcasting Corporation, Radio: the recipe of which, I have been told, is Most Secret. We also had cappuccino, and scones with clotted cream, for our tea. Walked about in the infamous Empress Hotel, and then to Emily Carr’s home (as it was closed, we explored the gardens, and then made a quick visit to her boarding house).

At this point Supervisor-mum left to meet with an Acquaintance, and I wandered about on my own. Purchased an umbrella in expectation of rain on the morrow (it ne’er arrived), and then to Munro’s to explore the books (bought Pushkin and Hoffman, and received one of their famed bookmarks: it is of Utmost Prettiness).  Took my books to a nearby establishment where they served local foods (had mushroom-cauliflower soup and eggplant-artichoke sandwich), and ciders and ales. Returned to hotel for coffee with arriving Conferencers.

And then we conferenced. Which generally means attending panels and delivering papers. But also means sharing food and drink and Renaissance-related humour with many various academic-y people whom I quite like (both in work and character).

Today: I talked about Jonson and city comedies and was, for the first time ever, entirely comfortable doing so in a formal way. Was pleased that audience laughed at certain of my terrible jokes (I’m working on a looser and livelier way of writing!). Returned to Cowtown with one of Supervisor-mum’s old friends,who spoke very encouragingly about my future work. A number of Conferencers suggested materials for my project, which makes me think I may be pursuing a not entirely dull topic.

Am tired. Shall be more tired by the time I arrive home. But truly, all is well.

Shall see you in the morning, my dear Hamiltonians (including the cats).

English grad student.

23 October 2010 ~ Calgary


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