Monday, August 13, 2012

Puppet shelf.

No blogs for two months and now two in one night; what's that all about? I've been feeling guilty, and I've really missed blogging. Remember in May (no) how I said that once May was over, I'd have a lot more free time and would be on here more? Lies; all lies. I'm full of lies, apparently. You see, May was nuts, but everything went swimmingly, and resulted in a new job and a new house, which just lead to more craziness.

In the London Tube

Tower of London

South Park, Oxford
Like these people visiting me. Mom did a better job blogging about the visit here.            

So that was June, and in July I was working every single day, going between two jobs, at the end of my contract at the Bodleian and the beginning of my new one at The Story Museum. I'll back up.

Speaking of magic (see last post), I have a magical new job. It's technically only a summer job, but it could possibly continue after September. I'm the new duty manager at The Story Museum (I know, right?)- the most magical place in Oxford. This place is sort of hard to explain, although some days I feel like all I do is explain it to people for hours on end (not complaining). Basically, The Story Museum is going to one day be an amazing place for young and old to come and enjoy the power of stories in all their varied forms. At the moment, until they raise enough money to fix up the building, they can only do temporary exhibitions in the warmer months of the year, before the building becomes an ice box. There are two exhibitions on at the moment, that I oversee, Rochester's Extraordinary Storyloom and Tea with Alice. I won't say too much about them as not to spoil the surprise to those of you who have yet to see them. Click on the links and check them out; they are both basically amazing and well, well, well worth a visit. Here are a few taster pictures:

My friend Rebecca's son Oscar in the Storyloom.

View of the courtyard on the private view night.

Tea with Alice, Riddle Me room

Storyloom control center.




The exhibitions are amazing, but my favorite thing about working there is the building itself. It's this bunch of buildings all surrounding an odd-shaped courtyard, in true Oxford fashion, each with their own unique history. Parts of it used to be a dean of Merton College's home, parts were once a few different pubs, the rest was all once the old post office, and the first telephone exchange. There are tons of rooms of all shapes and sizes, ranging from little glass cubical to a massive room on the very top floor, complete with a dinosaur. It's like every single one of my childhood and adult interests leaked out of my daydreams and built a place for them all to live in harmony.

There is no working elevator, no heating, hardly any light in places and no air conditioning. There are holes int he walls, things that need ripping out and things that need putting in. Every door has a different key and a special way of opening or closing it (pull hard; slam; be gentle; push with shoulder; keep trying till it works). From the top floor you can almost see across the city, through the dreaming spires and beyond.

I usually go on about The Story Museum all day (my friends are getting sick of me), so I'll stop now. But needless to say, it's a dream job. If it ends in September, then I will always have had this one, magical summer. If it continues, then the future will be very exciting indeed, and my life will be practically perfect (barf, I know).

My friends and I graduated.

My weird, replacement family.

Other things that have happened:

I went to a real Oxford ball.
Played carpet croquet.
Saw the Olympic torch.

Saw it again on my road.

Braved London to see some Olympic stuff.

Went to the Caucus Race.

Curiouser and curiouser.    

Kitchen. I miss the blue one, but it does the job.

Rose and I moved to a new place with our friend Jonno. Not every room is ready for the camera, so stay tuned, if you care.
The awesome shelf in my room.

Much smaller bed, but whatevs.

Back to The Story Museum.

 And that's it. If anyone needs me, I'll be at The Story Museum till the end of September at the very least. I know I said I'd stop, but I can't help it: I LOVE this place so much. I haven't loved a job so much since I worked on my grandparent's Christmas tree farm when I was little. I wake up happy every day, excited to go there. I get to spend my day talking to awesome, interesting people, most of which are artists or writers or both, brainstorming ideas for the museum, life, and the future. New friends = people who haven't heard me rant about the evils of Twilight yet, which = happy Maria.

I've finally found Neverland, and it's just as fun as I thought it would be.



beth said...

You get to wear an apron to work?

Maria said...

Yep! They rule, the pockets are really handy. Everyone loves them.

dolores said...

OMG...that's are NEVER coming home! Don't blame you!:)

Is that a new bike?

Shirley A.W. said...

You are damn adorable. Loved your salute to Ray too. One of these days we'll make it across the pond and you are our first stop!
PS: Story museum looks bad ass. Enjoy your amazing romantic life. ;)

Lynz said...

You sound so HAPPY! It bubbles off the page in big, shiny ....bubbles. *facepalm*

And your new, smaller bed is perfick for your quilt! See, stuff works out. *g*

P.S. And you looked AMAZING for your ball!!!

dolores said...

BTW....turn that quilt around!;)

Maria said...

That's not my new bike, that's a volunteer's bike that she's using to promote us, because she is awesome. There were three bikes left in our yard when we moved into our new house, so there are now more bikes than people, so I might take one of them.

Hootie said...

stsBoerOK, first, I agree with your Mom, turn that quilt around! It is so wonderful. Second, you sound just like I felt the ENTIRE time I worked in the quilt shop. I sure miss that feeling and all the customers and staff there. Will keep my fingers crossed that it lasts longer than Sept.
Hootie aka Karen

Rosemary said...

Your new job sounds FABULOUS! Hope you get to stay on after September.