Monday 10. October- Sunday 16. October

This week has really been rainy and stormy. The first days were wet and slushy. At the same time weather was very fine in Denmark with sunshine and mild temperatures. Now it is better here and the trees still have beautiful colours.

Nothing much happened the first days of the week. We screened some absolutely odd films Wednesday, some Dadaistic and surrealistic films which didn't make any sense at all and basically was a waste of time. Maybe you have heard of or seen An Andalusian Dog by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. It is quite funny and very strange playing with taboos and like a stream of consciences you find in dreams or just associative thoughts. There are ants coming out of a mans hand, a man suddenly gets a woman's armpit hair as a moustache! Basically it a love story between a man and a woman and they fighting and quarrel all the time. There are all sorts of strange fantasies and things in their room as f.ex. rotten mules at the piano, arm and hands shaking a bottle through the door and so on. Really weird, really odd.
Our screening in French cinema Thursday was interrupted by a fire alarm. I guess it was a test because there was no fire! But everybody had to get out and all classes were interrupted or cancelled, so I just went home.

Friday was a real films day with first some Czech film introduced by Guy from the class.We saw a Czech film called Closely Observed Trains. It was an excellent opportunity to see films from a country I am not used to see film from (except the sweet Kolya you maybe remember about the Czech musician who suddenly gets a foster child.

We, in the French cinema class at least, are all keen on these Friday arrangements where each close one or two films of special interest and introduce them (I am planning doing something on Dogma next year). It a nice way to be social, see unknown films and get knowledge and discuss films and be together.
After the screening some of us spontaneously drank espresso at Guido's place. Guido is from Italy and lives very close to me in Marchmont. Dean, Li Wei, Chris and I met at his place discussing the film and just talked about the study. That is really what matter and it is so important. I really hope people are in for doing these events.
Unfortunately I had to leave because I was going to see a very good and moving documentary from South Africa "The man who stole my mothers face".

Saturday was the big trip day. Finally I got the chance to go out of Edinburgh. I have not been claustrophobic until now, because the town is so beautiful and you can easily get out to green areas and spacey neighbough hoods. But with ISC we went on a trip to the little village Falkland which has a nice renaissance palace where Mary Queen of Scots and several James and Charles (all kings of England and/or Scotland) has lived. Now there is a keeper (egentlig vogter) there (it has been a tradition for many years to have a keeper of the palace looking after the buildings and land) living with his family and therefore many of the rooms are at the same time open to the public and private home for the keeper. Unfortunately is it forbidden to takes photos inside and many of the rooms are also quite dark, so you will have to do with the beautiful scenes from the outside, the garden, the orchard and the castle itself as well as the village (when my USB- problems are solved)
For those of you who are familiar with the very small village Nyord close to Møn in DK there is some kind of the same spirit and atmosphere in Falkland. Falkland too is closely built and the narrow alleys and street go up and down. The houses are built in different levels as in Nyord. Falkland is certainly bigger and more noisy (although there is much quit) than Nyord, but there are some similarities.
After the village and palace we climbed East Lomond Hill just outside Falkland (Falkland is about an hours drive north from Edinburgh in the Kingdom of Fife, Fife is a region). The area is very interesting with East and West Lomond Hill of "just" 400-500 metres, a nice little walk up the hill, not particularly difficult or exhausting. There are mountains of over 1000 m in Scotland and if I get the chance to go to Isle of Arran I will probably do Goat Fell at 874 m).
It was nice to sit at the top looking beyond the landscape and Falkland. Suddenly within 2 minutes everything got misty and foggy. The fog like came over the landscape in big drifting flakes.
Downtown Falkland it was clear but it just shows how very quickly the weather changes over here.

This part of Scotland I think mainly is a combination of farmland and hills/mountains surrounding the fields, villages and small towns in the valleys. It it pretty much as Funen (Fyn) in some parts, some parts of the roads are lined with stone fences or stone walls surrounding old meadows with oak trees, beeches (bøg) and thicket (buskads). It is the same as driving along the walls of Knuthenborg Park for those of you who remember that (and Knuthenborg Estate indeed is inspired from English gardens and parks)
There are big areas of heather (lyng) with thickets of small birch (dværgbirk) and wild juniper berry (enebær).
Some narrow roads in the country side with high beeches along the roads and slopes down toward a stream are just like driving at Falster or Lolland. And yet suddenly you see the hills or mountains as it is according to Danish conditions, in the distance and it is certainly not a Danish landscape.
So the soft, rounded, brown green grass mountains are what really make the difference.

Well I'll go out and get my Sunday paper. See you next week.