Three plane journeys

Where does the time go, eh? Almost a month has passed since I left for my whirlwind trip to the northern hemisphere…and a whirlwind it was.

I spent ages uuumming and aaahing over whether I should go to the UK or not in July – I had a couple of reasons, but it’s a very long way to go from all the way down here. But then my best friend told me he was getting married and suddenly I had the excuse I’d wanted. Wedding of the Year: UK Edition!

First thought, I flew Air New Zealand internationally for the first time and it was amazing. 10/10. Would recommend. Every other airline I flew was absolute pants but I digress. Because there’s a direct flight from Auckland to Vancouver, I decided to stop off there for a couple of days. I always try to go somewhere new when I travel, otherwise I feel like I’m wasting time somehow? I don’t know. Only so many leave days in the year. Ugh.

Vancouver was very pretty. And very overcast. I could not find a decent coffee anywhere and it made me very homesick, even though I had only gone for two days at that point. What can I say, when you live in the natural habitat of the flat white, you get used to certain standards. And when you’re boyfriend is a barista, it’s hard not to link coffee with fuzzy happy feelings. I mean, coffee has always given me fuzzy happy feelings but that’s beside the point.

My favourite part of my Canadian layover was visiting Grouse Mountain – hopped on the shuttle from downtown and spent a very foggy morning hanging with the two resident bears Coolah and Grinder. It was freezing. Summer is a lie. The fog lifted a little towards the end of my visit but it was actually just really nice wandering around the woods. Very atmospheric. And then I rounded off the day by walking around Stanley Park, a huuuuuge public park that borders downtown Vancouver and surrounded by Vancouver Harbour. In complete contrast to the mountain, it was gorgeously warm and sunny in town. All round lovely day.

I set off to London very little fanfare and spent the flight next to the most annoying man ever who kept turning my overhead light on and off while I was trying to sleep. I’ve decided airlines should let you choose whether you want to sit next to men or women on planes. It’s been my experience that men take up way too much space and don’t even try to fit into their surroundings. It’s tedious.

London was a delightful blur of friends. I caught up with M for dinner on my first night and we also went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour. The Hogwarts Express is there now! I was so excited! Even though I’d been before, it was still a lot of fun. And it was just awesome to hang out with M who’d only moved to London 4 months ago and it really seems to be agreeing with her. Yay!

Of course, on my second day it was time for Wedding of the Year: UK Edition (insert crowd cheering) What an absolutely lovely day. Just perfect for the couple, and filled with so much love and good will, I could barely stand it. It’s like your heart will just burst with the good vibes, you know? Could not wish for a better day for such a great couple and I’m just so grateful to see them surrounded by wonderful people. So thankful I got to share it with them.

And I got to spend loads of time with the groom the following week! Woo! We had pizza and played card games and it was almost like nothing had changed at all. I so desperately wish we could just hang out like that more often, so easy and relaxed, but no, of course we have to be a 34 hour plane ride apart. Life is hard.

I also got to meet my other bff A’s brand new baby boy! You can read all about him on her blog. It was so nice to see her and just catch up. We’ve come so far from where we were when we first met each other what must be 10 years ago but it’s so awesome that we can just pick up where we left off when we see each other. Even if we are actual adults now. The horror.

No trip to London would be complete without a gig – Twin Atlantic at Scala which was effing amazing and intimate and everything I love in life. I managed to catch up with some friends from my former work beforehand and it was so, so nice. It’s weird how you can still get on with people and just really click even though you only see them every two years and maybe exchange a Facebook message every eight months or so. I was also delighted to squeeze in a theatre visit with my friend V who had just gotten back from holiday. We used to be theatre buddies back in the day so, again, just like old times! The play was quite different and I found it fascinating…and it randomly had Matt Smith in it. I miss my UK friends so much. They’re good people.

Because rest is for the weak when on holiday, I crammed in a day trip to Paris because some of my lovely Sydney friends happened to be there and it was J’s birthday. I’ve been to Paris a couple of times so I’m pretty chill about wanting to do things, so I think that helped make this such a great day. I could just catch up with everyone and just go with the flow, really. Plus it was a gorgeous day, sunny, warm, and I love the way Paris sparkles in the sun. I always feel so grumpy when I first arrive (cause let’s face it, it’s dirty and it smells) but then I walk along the Seine and I get to the Latin Quarter, and all I want to do is rent a loft and write for three months. Such romanticism. It doesn’t suit me.

Just like that, it was all over, and I had to come home. Downloading Pokemon Go just in time for the journey to the airport…and the many hours I had to spend there after the flight was delayed. I was so stressed. I had a three hour layover in San Francisco but the delay quickly meant we were actually only due to arrive as my connecting flight was set to depart. And then they had issues with the in-flight entertainment when we boarded and I was about ready to lose my mind. But we got to San Fran and we were met by a lovely staff member who rushed us through security (wtf America, you need to chill) and we didn’t have to collect our bags so I count that as a win. Still had to run to the next gate though so arrived nice and sweaty as the plane was boarding. Who doesn’t love getting on a 13 hour flight drenched in sweat? I have never been so relieved to land in Auckland but alas, my joy was short-lived, cause they promptly cancelled my connecting flight to Wellington. I was so done by this point. I hate layovers and two is too many for me. That last leg from Auckland when you’ve already been on a plane for 24 hours is killer. And it was 5.45am and my rebooked flight was at 1pm. How about no? I managed to get on a 9am flight. Home by 10, collected by the lovely boyf, and at work by 12. Go me!

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The whole trip feels like a lifetime ago – it’s just been so manic at work. But it was a lovely trip. After all, what’s better than catching up with good friends?

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Southern Road Trip

One of my work perks is that I get to go to as many rugby games as I could possibly want, including All Blacks games. This year I decided to take advantage of this and use it as an excuse to go to Dunedin, a city I’d not yet visited, and also fulfill my ambition of seeing a game at the super cool enclosed Forsyth Barr Stadium – it always looks so fun on the old tv. I couldn’t resist. So, a couple of weekends ago, the boyf and I set off down south.

The South Island is arguably the prettier of New Zealand’s two halves but it’s about as pointless as comparing Liam and Chris Hemsworth – both are pretty in slightly different ways, depending on your preference. (In this analogy, the South Island is Chris because it’s colder and snowier and therefore suits his blondeness while Liam is the North, slightly darker and a bit edgier.) It’s also the less populated and pretty much hemmed in by mountains everywhere and more often than not you have to fly teeny planes into places like Dunedin or Queenstown, which makes it stupidly expensive to get there. So we flew to Christchurch and made the 4.5 hour drive down instead. We weren’t alone either, there were more than a few All Black shirt wearing passengers on the plane and we passed one memorable group in their campervan more than once on our roadtrip.

It was actually a lot of fun. We aren’t really strangers to these random long car journeys, having made the trip north to Taupo for my birthday last year as well as trips to the Hawke’s Bay where his mum lives. Long car journeys are kinda just par for the course down under (in which I lump NZ with Australia yet again, risking affront by everyone I know. We should have an EU type agreement people! But I digress.)

Along the way, we stopped first at the Cookie Time factory in Christchurch for a kilo bag of choc chip cookies because sustenance is important, then dawdled along to Timaru to drop in on a friend for the lolz, and had a tourist stop at the Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach. The sun was just starting to set and the tide was coming in, but still very worth the stop. My fave was the one that looked like the Death Star and I couldn’t help thinking it’d be pretty cool if they were giant eggs of a dragon or some such. I just think it’d be cool if something mythological like that turned out to be real, after all this time. Maybe I’ve just been watching too much Game of Thrones.

Dunedin itself was pretty cool, if freezing. It’s like a mini Edinburgh really, which is pretty much how it was designed so I shouldn’t be surprised. It has a real provincial feel though and it all felt very much southern hanging out at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning – incidentally the best place to get a coffee in Dunedin as all the cafés we’d tried up until that point had been rubbish.

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After wandering around town taking photos of their ludicrously pretty buildings, we managed to cram in a visit to Tunnel Beach. Getting to the beach involves shambling down a steep path that cuts through someone’s farm and then clambering down some super slick steps down a tunnel carved in the rock, which my claustrophobia did not enjoy. We timed it perfectly though as the tide was out so we could wander around the beach for a bit before clambering back out and hanging out on top of the tunnel rock, eating M&Ms. Of course the horrific part is that you have to then climb back up this steep path to get back to the top where you left your car, and I can tell you that neither my legs nor my lungs thanked me for that. But it was worth it so whatevs.

As for the rugby, well we trounced Wales 46-6 so that’s always fun. The stadium is one of those almost vertical ones and it was a lot louder than Wellington – I still find it really weird how quiet kiwi fans are at rugby games. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad to have done it.

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The drive back to Christchurch was a bit dreary as it was alternately foggy or bucketing down. We left some time to hang out in town as neither of us had really spent any time there. I was pretty shocked by the state of the place. Five years on and the devastation of the earthquake is still there in the gaping empty lots and crumbling abandoned buildings, looking like they’d withstood heavy bombing. Very sombre and odd and sad. But out of that there have been some cool things, like a thriving street art scene and the cardboard church and the storage container shopping mall we briefly hung out in. Rebuilding is a slow journey.

So yes, yay for roadtrips! I’m currently in Vancouver airport, waiting for my flight to London, so there will no doubt be ramblings about that at some stage.

A wild Jen appears

Oh hey, I still have a blog. Who knew? I return to the land of wordpress pretty much a year after my last post which is indicative of the year I’ve had. Chaotic. Stressful. Overloaded. Intensely busy. Amazingly fulfilling. It’s been a rollercoaster basically.

I guess the biggest thing is that I’ve decided to withdraw from my PhD and focus on my work. Which is quite a 360 from where I was last year, or even 6 months ago when I was having a nervous breakdown, but changes are happening at work and I think my job is going to be at least marginally more manageable so…yeah. Let’s see where it takes me. At the end of the day, the company is pretty cool and even though I may not love my job 90% of the time, it could be worse. There is sadly just no way to complete a PhD and work full time though so I’ve had to choose. After all, I can always do a PhD later, right?

It’s been a very full year and things have taken a turn that I never really would have anticipated. I feel settled here and I think, fingers crossed, next year will be a lot less volatile. Here’s hoping anyway. I can’t even remembered all the crazy shiz that went down in 2015 so I’m just going to trawl through my photos and hope that’ll jog some memories!

January

A long visit home to Perth included a trip to Margaret River and burgers on the beach for my last night at home. I miss my dog more than anything! The month rapidly descended into madness though with commercial shoots. No rest for the wicked!

February

I’d like to say work got particularly busy in February but in retrospect, it might just be it’s normal pace. Slightly terrifying! Anyway, there was many a trip to Auckland, fun at a launch event, Wellington Sevens and many a late night in the office. Three cheers for the noodle place across the road! Liz also came to visit which was loads of fun as always and in our various wanderings around town I discovered my dream home (which was actually on the market in October – oh, the horror!)

March

Things got off to a great start with mum visiting me for a few days and summer putting in one final stellar appearance before the long dark of winter. I went to my only gig of the year, shock horror, at San Fran (Parquet Courts) and started a weekly pub quiz crew which some of us take way too seriously but is always a stupidly good time. And we often win, so that’s always a plus. I also became a proper Wellingtonian by becoming obsessed with cheese scones and flat whites. As you do.

April

Made a flying visit back to Perth to cuddle my puppy (valid motivation for most things), get my hair done and soak up as much warmth as humanly possible. Work was just going through the motions of covering rugby games every weekend so was looking for bright spots of entertainment like a Simpsons themed quiz night at a cafe near my flat. And then of course there was the big Anzac Day commemorations which I spent at the then-new Pukeahu War Memorial – complete with a moving light display.

May

Ah May. A month in which I despaired at how many meetings I had, and at how much uni work was building up. It’s also the month I helped my work wife stalk Prince Harry – and then we ended up sitting next to him at the rugby. I dragged the work wife out for cocktails and fell even more in love with this quirky little city.

June

Everything fell apart. I’m not even kidding. Full scale stress breakdown. There was just too much happening on all fronts and I had no support. I walked into HR and said that I had every intention of quitting when my manager got back from his 4 week holiday and I meant it. There were crisis talks. I was sat down in various rooms and asked to talk through my issues. And then I swore at a very problematic contractor and was given a disciplinary I thoroughly deserved. I also got the weekend off though which meant French toast at my fave cafe and walks along the beach. Times were tough. Morale was at an all time low. On the flip side, my aforementioned work wife finally let me hang out with her dogs. We went to see half a play. Our quiz team won first prize and made some dinosaurs out of play-doh. This is also the month I developed a crush on the guy at the cafe near work. June was a real turning point for me. I was so close to walking out on all of this. So close.

July

Of course you can’t have a meltdown without then having to deal with the meltdown. I started counselling – it helped a lot. I took a leave of absence from the PhD to try and get my head on straight. I started hanging out with cafe guy. I took lots of walks and cuddled other people’s dogs. We had a home Super Rugby final and it was nice to see the city buzzing. Work was still hectic and I was seeing more office sunrises than I’d have liked, but there was support. I started thinking that I might just be ok.

August

Everything started to shift towards Rugby World Cup in August as the international season rolled on. My work wife and I accidentally wore the same clothes for something like eight days in a row which cracked us up and weirded everyone else out. But come on, we’re adorable. We had a fancy high tea to talk about holiday plans and I spent a lot of time in places I don’t really have any business being…like stadium media rooms, suburban high schools and Parliament. Then the parentals came to visit for a week and I joined them for a trip to Auckland for the final Bledisloe Cup match which we thankfully won. I don’t know how we’d cope without the Bled in trophy case. It takes up so much room.

September

At work, there was nothing but Rugby World Cup. It was all consuming. It was all hours of the day. It was exhausting. We had an office kick off party where you were supposed to dress up as a country and the work wife decided Romania = vampires. It was fun. It was also the first work event I took the boyfriend to because yes, I now had one of those and yes, I was horribly, hopelessly in love. I might have lost my mind if I had nothing but work but there were date nights and dog walks and bootcamp at 6.30am which it really wasn’t warm or light enough for just yet. But c’est la vie.

October

More of the same as the war machine rolled on. The team was storming through the RWC though everyone was on our case about not being good enough. SIGH. We had so many staff activity events, it was ridiculous. One involved a trip to the Botanic Gardens to see the tulips in bloom…another involved representing a region of the country. Work friend and I panicked on the day about our shitty team effort and invested in some cow onesies – a very comfy investment as it worked out. I went to see a great play with another work friend, and the work wife and I continued to accidentally dress the same. Halloween was, unfortunately, a non-event as the RWC Final meant an ungodly 5am start the next day…

November

…and we only went and won the whole thing! All very exciting but also very stressful as we scrambled to welcome the team home and have the appropriate celebrations and what have you. It was an incredible experience but absolutely exhausting for a poor little introvert like me. But at least I have learned that I never want to be famous. No thanks! Football season had begun so I was dragged off to the stadium yet again. There was an impromptu trip to Sydney to hang out with mum and have dinner with my lovely Sydney friends – annoyingly didn’t take any photos, wtf self. It was so, so nice to see everyone again! Then it was off to Lake Taupo for my birthday. A much needed long weekend and a gorgeous part of the country. Cake courtesy of my work wife, of course.

December

And now it’s December and somehow it feels like both a long time coming and waaaaaay too soon. We had our work christmas party the first weekend. Circus themed. I went as a lion tamer, the light up hula hoop I acquired was the star of the show (good for clearing dance space that everyone wants to be in. Who knew?) And last Friday I was up in Auckland again for awards season. Pretty sure that wraps my work commitments for the year though and it can’t have come soon enough. Only a week left in the working year and lord knows I’m limping towards the finish line.

Bring on the holiday! Bring on summer!

What happened?

Google ‘terrible blogger’ and you’ll find a photo of me. It’s been an atrocious year for doing things I said I’d do, like blog, or you know, be around. I’d like to claim that I’ll be better but I’ve realised claims like that are counter-productive…basically, I have no free time so I doubt 2015 will be a better year for blogging. Waaaaah.

Regardless, I’m here now and lord, do I have a lot to catch up on. Where has 2014 gone? What exactly happened? I did not authorise any of this! I need an adult! (Apparently I am an adult now, I also did not authorise that. Double waaaah.)

My whole life is upside down since my last post. Things were insanely busy, what with the broken wrist and never ending uni work and moving countries. Again. I know, I know. T’is mental. So, in order, this happened:

Broke my wrist
Already blogged about it. But it went on for ages and was a massive pain in the ass. Not fun. Wouldn’t recommend.

Visited the UK
Was fun. Would recommend. Not with a broken wrist though…well, technically not broken but I was told it needed to stay in the splint for the journey so…that was something. It did mean I got a lot of sympathy on the plane though, which was handy since I had developed a fear of flying shortly before leaving (I was flying Malaysia airlines, so, self-explanatory.) But yes, I went to London and got to hang out with my BFFs and have an amazing time. I went to Paris for a day with V, Ireland for a day of Game of Thrones adventuring with Abbi and spent five glorious days in Iceland which is definitely in best holiday ever contention. It included a flight over a motherflipping volcano! It doesn’t get more awesome than that.

Moved to Wellington
Surprise! In a bit of a long, drawn-out procedure, I applied for a job as a bit of a joke in May and three months later ended up getting it. But because I’d broken my wrist and was essentially useless, I couldn’t start when they wanted me to but for some inexplicable reason they decided they were happy to wait and so at the end of September, I packed up my life and moved to the land of the long white cloud. It’s been a little over three months and I absolutely love Wellington, it’s a cute little city with a hipster vibe and more coffee shops than any caffeine loving fiend could hope for. And everyone is so nice. Mum was with me the first couple of weeks as I settled in and then M came to visit for my birthday. Lots of fun was had. The job is challenging and extremely busy, and I’m still finding my feet. I’m worried about how it’s going to fit in with my PhD (yes, still doing it, long distance) and I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep in the foreseeable future. But my manager is great and the team I’ve been adopted into is really nice. I already have what I’d call one good friend so that’s always great. Another girl always takes me out with her, so I’ve been to more soccer games than I ever thought I’d go to and the League grand final and lots of other random things, like the santa fun run. It’s really sweet of her to invite me and hey, it’s fun. Overall, it’s a pretty cool organisation to work for so, you know, I’m just letting it play out at the moment and not making snap judgments.

In other news, my ironic love of One Direction is no longer ironic – both worrying and hilarious. I’m also obsessed with Taylor Swift. Queen Tay! Oh well. Pop music is fun y’all. I really really need to listen to more new music though, I’m woefully behind on albums released this year. But where does one find the time? WHERE? That said, I have found the time to become obsessed with Teen Wolf (up to season 3!) and get up to date with Vikings after everyone told me to watch it (really it’s just a show for people who like Sons of Anarchy but not Game of Thrones, and vice versa.)

I haven’t read nearly as many books as I’d like, excluding uni reading of course. I’m sitting on 9 for the year, but I read one twice (The Gone Away World, so good) and I’ve also reread three Harry Potter books (currently on The Deathly Hallows). Just finished The Queen of The Tearling on the plane back to Perth for Christmas and it was soooooo goooooood. Agh. I hate reading unfinished series though. I’m too impatient. Look at this A song of ice and fire fiasco, this is where series reading gets you! But I digress. I’ve just downloaded The Maze Runner for the flight back to NZ, looking forward to that one. And no, haven’t seen the film.

That’s another area that’s been woeful this year, film watching. I just tried to make a list of things I watched this year and it came to 24, excluding re-watches of course. Pathetic! My fave films released in 2014 that I’ve actually seen: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Edge of Tomorrow and The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies because I am lame and Middle Earth is everything and no, I didn’t see it twice in the space of 3 days, what are you talking about? In related news, Guardians of the Galaxy was lame. Laaaaaame. I also finally saw Only Lovers Left Alive which is basically everything I ever wanted in a film. 

So yes. That’s the last few months in a nutshell. In 2015 I want to read more, whine less, write more, finish Sons of Anarchy, organise my time better and be an all round bad-ass that gets shit done. Bring. It. On. No doubt I’ll be in a corner crying and muttering incoherently about my thesis by the end of January.

Music: Blank Space – Taylor Swift

Faded jeans and faraway eyes

I know, I know, it’s been ages. There’s so much going on in my life at the mo that I can’t really see myself doing a proper update but just as a general fyi, not dead. I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to London where I got to hang out with all my friends and it felt like no time had passed at all. I had so much fun and I don’t think a day will ever come that I don’t miss them all terribly. I also went to Ireland for the day, to go on a Game of Thrones day trip with darling Abbi, and went to Paris for the day with V. AND I went to Iceland for five amazing days and proceeded to have the best time ever. Such a fascinating country, so many mind-blowingly awesome experiences. I really loved every second of my trip and I will get round to blogging about it properly at some point, hopefully!

Before I can do that though, I have to finish my PhD candidacy stage (not much time left at all, eeeeeeep) so I really need to stop procrastinating. And, big news, I’m also facing some major upheaval because I’m moving to Wellington, New Zealand, in…well, a week. Sunday! I was offered a new job there and even though it kinda goes against everything I had planned for the next four years of my life, I couldn’t turn it down. So, yeah, so much change. It’s exciting and absolutely terrifying! Hopefully won’t mess everything up and/or lose my mind from stress.

But yes, that’s why I’ve been basically awol. I have so much to panic and freak out about. I hope to one day be a half-decent blogger again but fear it may not be any time soon. What’s the point of life without change though, eh?

Mayhem

I don’t want this blog to just turn into the odd random post about the food I made weeks ago. The end of April was marred with drama (I fell over and took most of the skin off my right arm and my dog got stung by a bee, promptly going into anaphylactic shock) and it was a crazy ol May, so I’ve been slacking (and I will probably continue to do so for as long as I have panic attacks about the impending disaster that is my PhD) but just to prove I’m not dead, here’s what I’ve been doing –

Redecorated with new bookshelves for my room – an always dreaded visit to Ikea delivered lovely dark wood bookcases and now I’ve got loads more space to acquire books I don’t have time to read. Yay? I also kinda started redesigning my wardrobe but then got lost in the apathy and deep depression that comes from trying to make sense of measurements, and so…stopped. But! Aiming to sort it out this weekend cause we’ve got two spare racks sitting on the deck, pissing everyone off and inviting spiders to make their forever homes in them.

Because of all that, mum and I found a load of stuff we no longer wanted and decided to get up stupidly early on the first Sunday of the month and go to a car boot sale. Absolute crazy mayhem. I nearly punched a lady for honking at me before we’d even started selling, so that set the tone. We did really well though and I felt quite pleased that we’d bothered to do it…after all, it was stuff I was just going to chuck out. It’s not quite as profitable as selling junk on ebay, but it is approximately 1000 times less hassle – seriously, if postage works out more than I quoted a buyer one more time, I’m going to cry.

But that’s boring. Much more excitingly, Em came to visit and I played the role of extremely bad tour guide with no idea where anything is and a shit GPS. But we had loads of fun all the same. There was much eating and drinking across the Swan Valley, CBD and Fremantle. We also re-enacted the Amazing Race by nearly missing the last ferry to Rottnest Island and so having to run like maniacs down the dock. It was a day for ferry adventures, the last ferry back to the mainland broke down so we were stuck there for two hours post departure time, waiting for a rescue. It did mean we got to see the sunset though which day visitors don’t normally get to see. After a day cycling along the deceptively hilly island though, we were ready to park ourselves on the couch with pizza, wine and the Eurovision finale.

It was a really lovely weekend and I wish she was here all the time so we could do stupid things together like we used to!

Then of course there was the Bali trip organised for mum’s birthday. This was an absolute delight and I can’t even tell you what a great time I had. I was so relaxed when we got back, I felt like a whole new person. It was very much needed and rejuvenating, as cliche as that sounds. It felt way too short, I had at least another two lazing by the pool days in me, but it’s only a three hour flight away and stupidly cheap, so hey! Positives!

I imagine many more trips to Bali in my future.

Most out of character for me, I joined the girls from my office to take part in the HBF Run for a Reason around the CBD. We had to get up waaaaaaay too early, stand around for waaaaaay too long and then queue for busses back to the starting point once we had actually finished. Let’s just say there was a lot more waiting around than actual running…especially when we decided to go for breakfast afterwards and chose the world’s worst cafe that took over an hour to serve us already prepared toasted sandwiches and coffee. The hospitality industry, you’re doing it wrong.

Last Friday, I accompanied two girls from work on a evening of learning and drinking…the best combo. The Western Australian Museum has a very cool Dinosaur Discovery exhibit on featuring really well-designed life-size animatronic dinos. Cool, right? But it gets better because they’ve got a cretaceous pop up bar set up in the space for a month, meaning you can drink amazing swamp vodka mojitos and look at all the cool stuff without loads of people (ie kids) around. It was actually really fun, and we rounded the night off with more cocktails. Always with the cocktails.

Other than that, I’ve just been attempting to catch up with uni reading and make sense of the quagmire that is my thesis proposal. And of course I’ve been taking the usual evening walks around my hood and taking a stupid amount of photos of my dog. As you do.

I expect this trend will continue this month. Sigh.

Music: Bring it on – The Gaslight Anthem

Quintessence

If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.
Stay in it?
Yeah. Right there. Right here.

This is so important. So relevant. And poignant.

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If you’ve lost, or travelled, or felt the pangs of wanderlust, or have an instinctive understanding of fernweh, or if you’ve written your life away, or worked damned hard and got trapped, or dreamed of something beyond the normal existence you regularly find yourself in…if you understand, watch this film. Yeah, sure, maybe it’s a little saccharine but it’s also beautifully made, and relatable, and painful, and sweet. What more could you ask for?

It reminded me of this quote I found once, years ago. It was attributed to Hemingway but I sincerely doubt that somehow (I’ve never been able to find the source and to be honest, it doesn’t really sound like him – but it’s a good quote all the same)…

To stay in places and to leave…to trust, to distrust…to no longer believe and believe again…to watch the changes in the seasons…to be out in boats…to watch the snow come, to watch it go…to hear the rain…and to know where I can find what I want.

Music:Hinnom, TX – Bon Iver