Saturday morning at the Banff Centre.

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I got up early this morning (early for me, since Saturdays are usually for sleeping in) and had breakfast with Jim Olver and his daughter. It was well worth it – they’re both great breakfast companions, and we had a lot to talk about (including a little business talk, since Jim and I are in related fields).

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There are some interesting things going on here right now – apparently, the Banff Centre is taking delivery of new mattresses to replace the old ones (yay!), and Jim was expecting to meet the truck this morning. There’s also the CBC Radio-Canada Evolution program running right now – five Canadian composers are here, working on new pieces.

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There’s a big concert in a couple of weeks, and Jim was saying that it will be broadcast nationally. I’ll have to tune in. The composers are blogging about the experience (mostly in French, it seems, but there are English translations). Go have a look…the concert will be broadcast online, too, and it looks like there’s a contest running.

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I had dinner with Jo Going last night, a poet and painter from Alaska, and learned that no, the northern lights do not come closer if you whistle to them. Darn. Jo’s working on poetry right now, and she’s just a couple doors down from me here in Lloyd Hall. She’s a really neat person – and I keep bumping into her. There’s something comforting about a cheerful hello as I pass by.

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The construction continues outside my window. It’s a bit like watching an ant farm…the construction guys are swarming all over the building, and they’re always up to something. I’ve taken to calling it my mant farm. I saw one of them dancing a jig yesterday afternoon…and darn it all, I didn’t get a picture.

The view of my mant farm.

Jim tells me there’s going to be some rock breaking on Monday – maybe – and he might be able to find me some alternate studio space for the day. Fingers crossed…there are some pretty great spaces on campus. My room is great (and I do love my mant farm), but the idea of trying out a different studio space is exciting. We’ll see.

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My meal plan balance seems to be holding its own, too. We’re budgeted at $22.36 per day. Breakfast in the dining room runs at $6.35, lunch at $8.17, and dinner at $14.19. I might need to top myself up by Tuesday – I eat three meals a day, or else I get weepy and pathetic. The cost can be cut down, though, by skipping a dining room meal – usually dinner – and having a sandwich instead. But the dinners are the true crowning glory of the Banff Centre kitchens…good eating. I had trout last night (some kind of lemon buttery sauce to go with), and prime rib the night before. Yum!

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I am here to write, though. Not just to watch the mant farm and eat. I’m working on that vampire short story, but I think I might put it aside for today and work on something of my own. It’s hard not to feel artsy here…so surrounded by people talking about all things creative. I went for a walk after breakfast this morning, and I think I’m going to head down to the library for a bit.

Me again!