Some pictures

I have to say, 2014 has been a very nice year thus far. I’ve done some cool things, and look forward to doing even more! Currently everything just seems to look up and up, it’s a beautiful thing. I once feared adulthood, but I’m slowly learning to embrace it. Job, bills and all.

My homesickness has reared it’s head, and I am traveling back to Canada next week. If only for a short period, it will be sweet. I can’t believe it, but it’s been nearly a year since I left. And this month of last year was when I officially left Ottawa. So I’m really excited to be going back to see everyone! I would love to bring each and every one of them back to the UK with me, but alas, we all have carved out different paths.

Here is a collection of ┬ávery random photos I have taken over the last few months…some in Brighton & Hove, some in Shoreham-by-sea, and from our recent trip to Italy for Dave and Maria’s wedding!

 

Jack and his bicycle in Hove

Jack and his bicycle in Hove

Hove

Hove

A photo I took in my old flat

A photo I took in my old flat

Homemade scones

Homemade scones

Things I found in a tesco

Things I found in a tesco

Shoreham

Shoreham

Shoreham

Shoreham

Shoreham

Shoreham

Shoreham - photo by Jack

Shoreham – photo by Jack

Jack in the evening

Jack in the evening

My flat

My flat

Room with a view in Italy

Room with a view in Italy

Dave and Maria's wedding was held in this magnificent place

Dave and Maria’s wedding was held in this magnificent place

Jack in the flowers, Italy

Jack in the flowers, Italy

Hiking outside Rome

Hiking outside Rome

Roma, April 2014

Roma, April 2014

Roma, April 2014

Roma, April 2014

Escaping the busy streets of Rome

Escaping the busy streets of Rome

Snapshot of my balcony, 52 mm

Snapshot of my balcony, 50 mm

Experimenting

Experimenting

April 2014

April 2014

Feet in my flat

Feet in my flat

Out for a walk in Brighton, Spring time.

Out for a walk in Brighton, Spring time.

West Pier

West Pier

Cruising in my neighbourhood

Cruising in my neighbourhood

Mid-flight, candy clouds

Mid-flight, candy clouds

Jamie sleeps, Nicole chills, Alex texts

Jamie sleeps, Nicole chills, Alex texts

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How to celebrate Valentines

This post comes late, and I apologize, but I’ve been so busy living that I forget to leave a trail of my words behind me. I’m very much caught up in the moment, with little regard to what’s ahead or behind me.

Last weekend was valentines day, and I’m not really the sappy type but for some reason this year was tugging at me, reminding me. Maybe because I know so many couples…but then again I feel I always have. Valentines day often reminds me of this time when I was 16 and received a massive bouquet of roses from a boy I had been desperately trying to avoid. This time of year makes me feel mostly… awkward. That’s the best way to describe it probably.

So it was completely amazing and perfect that Jack got me tickets to see Of Montreal. Probably one of the weirdest bands to witness live, and also one of the most fun! So we did the usual dinner thing on Friday, but come Sunday night I was feeling pretty jazzed about getting on down to the Haunt and dancing with a beer in hand.

The beginning didn’t make sense but that’s the point I guess. All the band members, excluding Kevin Barnes, came out on stage. Rebecca started saying things but her southern twang was so strong no one could understand what she said, yet agreed enthusiastically with anything that sounded to be posed as a question. I can’t decide if this fake accent was funnier because we are in England…I also wondered if maybe people thought that’s how she actually spoke…

Then Kevin Barnes, ‘the greatest singer in the world’, was called onto the stage and we screamed. We clapped. We tried to prepare ourselves for the magic.

Of course wacky costumes were intertwined, Kevin was wearing some sort of cape that made him look like royalty. We danced for a couple of hours, watched the odd animations flicker beyond the band on the back wall, cheered loudly and managed to get an encore out of it. I was pretty much dumbstruck and starry eyed the whole time, that’s how awesome they are. Kevin managed to remove his cape and white shirt throughout the show, and then re-entered wearing a silver sparkle sequin jacket and some rather tight psychedelic looking trousers.

I think we were all pretty happy with the evening. I left smiling and giggling and bursting with excitement.

So that is how I chose to celebrate Valentines day weekend. With beer, Of Montreal, and a really cool boyfriend who understands my strange musical obsessions.

M

Eurotrip collection

Hey! So during my travels through Europe I was often taking a lot of video footage. I had been working on said video at the end of June, but when my camera was stolen, I suddenly stopped going back to my work. I started focusing on other things. I really miss making videos! So I finally did it, I finally finished it.

So here it is! My adventure in film. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Remember, remember, the fifth of November…

November the fifth is a memorable day, one where I usually find myself watching V for Vendetta with a big bowl of popcorn and some friends. But now that I find myself on the Coast of England and just a half hour away from the Bonfire Capital of the World – well, I decided I had to check it out. So last week, we did just that!

We headed to Lewes on the train after waiting in a relatively short queue. We even managed to snag seats, we seemed to be in the clear, and I wondered just how packed this celebration would be. It was packed. I’m talking 30,000 people. It was incredible, the tiny streets filled with crowds of bonfire goers, from tots to teens to grandparents. We made our way towards the parade, dodging drunks and people with flaming torches. The parade is made up of several bonfire societies, all of them dressed in different costumes. Some were simple, just striped shirts and maybe some face paint, while others were dressed as the Pope or Native Americans with massive headdresses. Basically, if this were to happen anywhere else in the world, there would be havoc and a lot of ridicule. But it’s been a tradition here for so long it’s just something to look forward to each year. And a good excuse to drink in public. How outrageous the event is is what draws the massive crowds. Also, it is a lot of fun, so long as you don’t get too offended.

Now, I had been warned about bangers but wasn’t sure what to expect. Until one landed next to my feet and exploded. I shrieked, covered my head and wondered what had just happened. Oh yeah, get used to that, it’s going to happen. A lot. Eventually the heat from all of the flames and the noise from all the bangers and fireworks blended into the night…it just became natural. And it was amazing, I really couldn’t believe my eyes.

So, if you were to go to this event uninformed about why they do it, you might be a little shocked at seeing burning crosses and the like. But if you know that November fifth was the uncovering of the gunpowder plot back in 1605 – yes, Guy Fawkes and his crew had plans to blow up the House of the Lords but were thwarted. So now we burn effigies, set off fireworks and get a little rowdy. It’s also quite anti Catholic, hence the burning/exploding Pope. Mind you, it’s definitely not as violent as it used to be, and I’m glad for that. Also, in terms of the offensive parts, it’s all meant to be in good fun, but I guess it would depend where you stand in terms of your religious and political views. I tried to not think about it and just experience the event with an open mind.

Here are some photos from Jack’s iPhone, quality isn’t best, but photos couldn’t do justice to how grand it truly was in any case!

Parade on Bonfire Night

Parade on Bonfire Night

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Excited

Excited

Big bad baby...

Big bad baby…

We ended our night at Commercial’s bon fire. They had several effigies, including the Pope, Guy Fawkes and what I believe was either Kim Jong Un or Kim Jong Il as a giant baby. It had missiles strapped to it’s giant pram. Everyone threw their torches at the massive pile of wood with Guy Fawkes sitting on the top. It had to be three storeys high. Eventually it was billowing a lot of smoke. Next came the fireworks, and the effigies blew up in a rather comical fashion. And the fireworks, they were amazing. Better than anything I had ever seen at any Canada day or Fourth of July celebrations. Sorry North America, but bonfire night really kills it in the fireworks department. And that was only ONE bonfire society. There were several more around the city.

All in all, a successful night. The train ride home was less than comfortable, as we waited for over an hour in a massive line full of drunk teenagers. But I was still basking in the glow of a great evening. I really would like to encourage everyone to make their way to Lewes at least one November in their lifetime to experience this evening. Just don’t take it too seriously. Oh, and have a few beers. Dodge some bangers. Laugh.

-M

Cambridge

Upon arriving back in the UK after my trip to Istanbul and Berlin in late June, I went to Cambridge for a couple of days. I have always been impressed by the thought of the place, so finally going there and looking around was definitely a treat. I especially enjoyed a short history lesson while punting along the canal. The tales of Prince Charles’ time at Cambridge are rather hilarious. I think we have all heard that the Queen gave a rather large sum of money in exchange for his acceptance into the school. Can’t argue with that I guess. Also, his body guard is said to have also taken all of the exams that Prince Charles did. He also got a higher score than Prince Charles. Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to get the degree.

Cambridge is truly charming. I also enjoy a good scholarly setting, I just thrive within it. In fact, after just a few hours of seeing students with book bags and bicycles, I felt a sudden longing to return to school. I really am a nerd at heart. No matter how happy I was to have graduated, there is something I love about school. I’m constantly wanting to learn new things, but also, the thought of going to Cambridge is rather romantic.

Perhaps I will be inspired enough one day to do a master’s degree somewhere (likely in Canada). Until then, I’m pretty keen on exploring!

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I also had the pleasure of seeing some friends who live just outside of Cambridge, Erin and Caleb! It’s always comforting to see a familiar face in a different country. We had a lovely time drinking wine in the park one sunny afternoon. Our punting trip was almost cancelled until one fine fellow decided to stay past his planned shift and take us on a special tour.

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For some reason, summer in England has been better than usual. Or so I have heard. We’ve been lacking rain and instead having an abundance of sunshine! I like to think Erin and I brought the weather from Canada. You’re welcome, England. I’ve been having quite a time, especially since I live right on the Brighton seafront now.

Until next time.

-M

Saturday exploration

Despite the fact that I work almost every day, I try to make time to do a little exploring! Yesterday we got out of Brighton for a day trip to Bramber Village, a cute little place in West Sussex that happens to also hold remnants of a castle! I really do love castles, and even though there isn’t much left of this one, it was still really cool to see.

While some people might find this mundane, I am amazed. Mainly because we don’t have anything this old in Canada. Bramber Castle was built around 1070 by William De Braose. That’s a long time ago. It truly astounds me that some structures were built so long ago, and are still standing. Buildings built just a few decades ago can be found rusting and deteriorating, where have we gone wrong in the 21st Century?! It was a similar feeling as when I visited the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. With such limited resources and technology, I can’t even imagine how these places were built.

There is something so wonderful about exploring these historic landmarks, I always try to imagine what has happened there in the past, what people were like, what they were doing, and how they lived. Sometimes history makes me feel so small and insignificant, my existence is really just a blink, a quick flash in the universe.

So even though it was a dreary day we had fun! In fact, a bit of rain might even add a bit of charm in my books. We’ve had plenty of sunshine in Brighton, so I didn’t mind. I have learned to never leave the house without an umbrella in my bag. After all, this is England.

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After our castle exploration and mini history lesson, we obviously went to the pub. I’ve become a big fan of a local brewery, Harvey’s, located in Lewes. There is also a really cool castle in Lewes, FYI.

I was doubtful of ales, but once I had Harvey’s, I was impressed. A big thanks to my friend Dan for encouraging me to try it. I should never have hesitated!

So what goes best with a pint? My very first Bangers n’ Mash! I have fallen off the pescetarian wagon my friends, but for good reason. I decided that while I’m traveling I should probably give new foods a chance. Meat happens to be fairly popular here and in Europe (Sunday roasts, for example). I couldn’t bare to miss out on all of the wonderful dishes, so after well over a year without chicken, beef, or pork…I have indulged. It feels good to be back in the game, although I do still cook veggie dishes on the regular.

That was my rainy but lovely day in Bramber Village!

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-M

When I left Canada

My posts have been lacking but if you follow my tumblr, you will know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have merely been exploring it. Now I am finally settling in the UK, where I got a job in an awesome beach town called Brighton. It reminds me of home in quite a few ways, however, the lack of familiar faces has taken some getting used to.

My adventures were great, and there are more to come in the future, but for now, work experience is what I am after! That and some fun here and there, exploring Brighton and other parts of England, including Cambridge, Seaford, and London.

In the meantime, here are some snaps from my adventures the last couple of months! These are some of the last photos I took before my beloved nikon was stolen on Canada Day in London. At least we have the memories!

Iceland Fun with sister

Iceland Fun with sister

The first day exploring Brighton in May

Padlocks of Love, Paris.

Padlocks of Love, Paris.

Paris

Paris

Brussels

Brussels

Leiden

Leiden

Hamburg

Hamburg

Berlin

Berlin

Essex

Essex

Istanbul

Istanbul

Hagia Sofia in Istanbul

Hagia Sofia in Istanbul

More to come!

-M