2020 Blog #2

Hey Everyone!

Greetings from Nottingham, UK.

Well, I've been here for just over a week and am starting to get settled in nicely. I spent a few days when I first arrived in the UK at my friend's place in the suburbs of London before coming up north to Nottingham. Coming from small-town Ontario, I must say that London is a truly daunting and overwhelming city. At 3 times the size of Toronto, I would say that it is the most sensory overload I've ever experienced. That being said, however, It is steeped in history and is beautiful. I tried to see as many of the sights as I could, the tower, tower bridge, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye etc. I'm hoping to go back to London when I have some time off to explore the museums that it is so famous for. 

I negotiated the rat's nest of English train systems and arrived in Nottingham 5 days ago. Nottingham is obviously famous for Its connection to Robin Hood however, what remains of the famed Sherwood Forrest is actually about an hours drive from the city. Nottingham is a very industrial city, at one point it was the lace-making capital of the world, and also had factories producing bicycles and tobacco products. The historic Lace Market is about 10 minutes from where I live, and still has all the old factories, now repurposed as shops and pubs. 

My class schedule is very relaxed here, a full course load is equal to 3 classes per semester. I will have my work cut out for me however with some of the projects I have to do. In my composition course, we have been tasked with composing a score for a silent film, as well as a choral piece. In my collaboration class, my group and I have been commissioned to put on a 'musical experience' at the Nottingham Justice museum. The Justice museum is a decommissioned prison from medieval times, and we need to create some sort of experience for the tourists that visit the museum. 

Other than that I bought a guitar yesterday at a local music store, and am hopefully going to get down to the lace market to busk if I ever get a day with no rain. I also joined a Facebook group for Trad Sessions downtown, so I'll be bringing my fiddle to the first one of those on Sunday. 

Thanks for checking back in! I've been posting some photos to Instagram, they should be available to view in the "Photos" section here on my website. 

If anyone has any recommendations of things for me to do in the midlands please let me know!

Conor

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