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  very 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!

 

When in Rome…

I normally hate cliches but in this case, it just cannot be avoided.

We found ourselves hating the weather here in the UK, which, by the way, in September is truly not that bad. I would even argue it was quite nice. But the English do love to complain, so sometimes I will chime in as well. What’s the best way to cheer yourself up as summer comes to a close? Obviously go to Italy!

It was my first time, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously some amazing Roman history and kick ass architecture, but seeing it right before my eyes was something else. Another cliche, but a photo just cannot do this city justice. It is beyond grand, and even a little overwhelming in terms of how gorgeous and perfect the city looks. Being a massive tourist destination, it was very clean. Yet I didn’t find it to be overly busy, this stood out mostly in the evenings. The streets were quiet, after the sun set people seemed to disappear to their corners. That is unfortunately when the rats come out, and I was unlucky enough to have dozens of sightings. Ick.

Moving past my disgust with the rats… we were lucky enough to have an amazing flat to share with a couple of friends just outside the walls of Vatican City. Despite being so close to a major destination for people from all over the world, our little area was lacking obvious tourists, except ourselves of course. We managed to stumble upon some amazing restaurants that travellers probably rarely get to see, so we indulged a little. The pasta was out of this world, and one particular restaurant owner gave us some sort of shot which we drank happily.

The Vatican

The Vatican

When we weren’t lazing beneath palm trees, stuffing our faces with gelato and pizza, or drinking 2 euro bottles of wine (which taste WAY better than the bottles I pay 10 pounds for in England), we were exploring the city and taking tours.

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Wandering

Blue skies featuring Jamie

Blue skies featuring Jamie

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Courthouse

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Laying beneath the palm trees

The colosseum is the first obvious destination. And I was originally thinking of just looking at it and moving on, but we couldn’t resist having a tour inside. I am mostly fascinated by the bloody history and learning more about gladiators and all that jazz. Once inside I was truly amazed by how massive it really is. Seeing it and being there made me feel so small and insignificant, just a blip in time really.

Inside the Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

Just being tourists

Just being tourists

After our tour of the Colosseum, we went to the Roman Forum, some amazing ruins that reminded me of my time in Greece. It is really baffling to think about how these structures were built. They are massive and were built with pure man power. It makes today’s architecture seem so boring and mundane.

Tourists in the Roman Forum

Tourists in the Roman Forum

Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus

Rome has everything you could ever want! Amazing food, friendly people, and gelato at every corner. So yes, we indulged. I think I gained five pounds but it was totally worth it.

I also did that thing again where I make my way to a cemetery, because the ones in Europe are so damn awesome. Also, it was the Protestant cemetery that is home to John Keats’ grave, however, it does not bear his name. It was really eerie, but definitely worth the trip.

I was missing the sunshine immediately as I boarded the plane back to London…but I have photos to remind me of the warmth…

Somewhere in Rome, about to eat gelato again probably

Somewhere in Rome, about to eat gelato again probably

In the Church of St. Ignatius

In the Church of St. Ignatius

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps

 

-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

OSHEAGA & life

Osheaga was awesome. I was mighty dirty by the end of it, but it was well worth it! The heat was intense, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. I love Montreal too much. When I am no longer just a short bus ride away, that might be devastating. But Ottawa won’t be my city forever. I’m afraid I will be following the mob to Toronto by next year.

What a wonderful weekend off. Now it’s back to the real world. Job hunting and figuring out life for the first time.

In other news – I did have a job interview. I don’t know how it went, but I feel pretty good about it. Just trying to build up my experience, that’s pretty key right now, being a graduate and all.

Hoping to get some more new things up in the coming weeks. I’ve been lacking inspiration due to sudden changes in life. I’m adjusting quite well. But I can’t believe summer is coming to a close! It feels like it was just yesterday that I was pulling my bikinis out of storage! I need to soak up some more sun before fall hits. And I have some great summer pieces that aren’t ready to take a break! Although I must admit, I do love a chunky cardigan and some knee high boots…

-M

Radiohead

The band I have loved for…decades? I suddenly feel old, but at least I was only a toddler when I rocked out to My Iron Lung.

It’s happening!

I get to see Radiohead  tomorrow. It seems like it’s been forever since I bought the tickets. Tonight I head to Montreal for hangouts with a special boy. And tomorrow I hope I hear this song. He can hold my hand while we listen, maybe.

I’m also hoping for some other random and weird songs, like Talk Show Host, but I don’t have my hopes up too high.

Happy Thursday!

M

Time to start again

I often fail at blogging. But Multimedia has inspired me to keep going.

I can’t give up yet.

I wanted to update, I swear, I did.

So now, I will. First I’ll start with the things I meant to post months ago, but could not find the time.

Awesome experiences of times I miss now. Summer felt like a long time ago so lets have a flashback, shall we?

It will be like in the movies, when the character is going through terrible times in life ad thinks about the days of freedom. In my case, I am reverting back to summer 2010 to forget about this paper I should be writing, the ideas I should be cooking up for later this week, and the stress levels that will be dissolving within a month’s time.

Okay, so I’ve heard that Arcade Fire was one of the best concerts of the summer here in good old Ottawa. Can I just say I agree? Because being at the front of that show with 15 of your good friends makes for something amazing.

We must have waited for hours. We camped out. We watched everything get set up. And waited some more…

When it happened I think we all screamed. I couldn’t even think about taking proper photos because I could only dance and sing and be happy. And that was probably one of the best nights of my summer. Come to think of it though, I don’t really remember any surrounding events of the day. I think I was with my friends. I think there was commotion. I think something bad happened to someone. I think I was on my bicycle going as fast as I could.

But I know where I was headed. And the destination for the evening was really all that seemed to matter. Work all day and Arcade Fire all night. The End.

 

But not really the end because this is just the first part of the journey into the past.

My sister and dad came down during Bluesfest as well. So obviously I had to take my younger sister to a concert! How could I not? Hilarity ensued, since we were with obviously amazing people who happened to be drinking big gulps. I think their tongues turned purple or red or some other colour not natural to the human mouth.

Anyways, we saw Stars. We missed Blonde Redhead. But I was okay with this.

I really, really like Amy Milan.

But I’m not going to lie. the first time I saw stars at the Bronson Centre about two years ago definitely trumped this show. It was far too tame for my loving. But still enough for my intense liking.

I think I slept really well that night. And my sister happened to meet a boy (man?) who would later turn out to be a big loser (in my books anyway). She learned…

I still remember the intense eyes comment that he made to Zoe. “Bitch eyes” is what he called them.

I laughed a lot. I think we all did.

And then we rolled our eyes. A lot.

My final Bluesfest Adventure was with my dear Julia. I almost sold my Weezer ticket. Almost. Then I didn’t. It was a good decision because I got to see Rivers throw garbage on the crowd and roll around in the garbage can which said garbage was once in. Entertainment at it’s finest. Really.

Unfortunately, due to being so far away, my pictures look like..well, garbage.

Fortunately, due to being so far away, I didn’t get anything dumped on me..like, well, garbage.

Basically people hate the new ablum and wanted the good old days back. Kind of like what I’m doing now. Luckily there was a pretty good mix of new and old to keep the crowd happy. Lots of sing alongs too. Could have guessed that though, right?

Bluesfest was amazing, but let me tell you, Folk Fest was a lot more chill, and therefore, at time, sometimes a little better. We laid in the grass for three days and listened to nice music. What more could I ever want? It was a perfect weekend with perfect music. The only thing that got to me was the commute. Once I was in Britannia Park, I was not leaving until the end of the day. But I did get to enjoy Bruce Peninsula several times that weekend. And other awesome bands. I have stories.

Including the best live performance of Crabapples I have EVER seen. Literally. He was on the ground. I wanted to be on the ground. I wanted to jump for joy. It was beautiful.

See?

There was a lot of stomping in that tent. There weren’t too many people though. I was surprised because I love this band, so, so much.

Later we had The Acorn who I will actually be seeing in a few short weeks once my assignments have washed away.

One of the things I liked most about Folk Fest was the collaboration of bands. They would get onstage together and just go for it. Incredible.

It was kinda like this.

Hoots and Hellmouth, the Hidden Cameras, Arrested Development, Bruce Peninsula, and I believe Jill Zmud.

I might be missing something. My memory is foggy due to it being blasted with amazingness all summer long.

I discovered something new and different this summer. It was called Namgar. I can’t quite explain it, but it was amazing.

Before I try to explain it, experience it…

Yeah, I know. It was amazing. I’ve never heard anything like it. and what she was wearing was incredible.

If I ever have the chance to see them again, I will not miss it! Remember the name NAMGAR!

I also saw The Hidden Cameras that weekend, as well as Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Horse Feathers, and Bahamas. I actually saw Bahamas the other night too, which I will get to later. There’s always a good story at his show.

Ramblin’ Jack was getting angry at photographers. It makes him lose his concentration. I refrained from taking photos, but others just could not seem to hold back. There was flashing all around. And Jack was not happy.

I also went and saw a movie about him the week before. It was really interesting. He’s had a strange and bumpy road. But it at least sounds like it was a lot of fun.

That weekend was quite rainy. I remember being in the rain with my umbrella. And I remember the schedule being changed. It was upsetting because it messed up my plans of seeing ALL the bands in their entirety. Jack was cut short, I’m afraid.

Here are some Hidden Cameras photos. I was dancing a lot. Next to the guys from Horse Feathers. Naturally, I don’t even have the guts to tell them how awesome their music is. I love their music so much. I think I might have explained this here before.

After a nice walk along the beach, through the grass, and so on (I also ate plenty of pad thai) I got to enjoy sweet, sweet music. Yes, more music, of course. How can I resist. Horse Feathers was practically a religious experience, and Bahamas melted my heart. You may have heard rumours he can be a bit of a self absorbed prick, but the man has a heart, and a beautiful soul, I’m guessing anyway. His songs make him seem like he does.

Funny story he told us…he wanted to swim. So he took off all of his clothes and ran into the water.

The water was up to his ankles. And he was wearing no clothes. There are PEOPLE around. I laughed a lot.

While I have no photos of either of these lovely bands, I can share this video of awesome via youtube. Thanks, youtube.

After this, I ordered my Sufjan Stevens Ticket. And then I proceeded to wait a few months to get blown away. I still can’t believe it has come and gone. I wish it could have lasted forever. I thought it might at one point, when he played Impossible Soul. I really did think it would never end.

The Opus Magnum of Love songs

The best show of my young adulthood.

I had basically devoted a few months to listening to The Age of Adz and All Delighted People EP. I mean really, I hardly listened to anything else. And I was surprised that no one knew any of the songs. But I guess I shouldn’t have been considering the album came out the day of the show. (I can’t resist, I pre-ordered it anyway so it’s not even stealing…)

All I can say is I’ve never been moved so much by one person. I don’t think anything he makes will ever disappoint me. And I really hope he’s back in this area again so I can re-experience the magic of Sufjan.

oh and…he danced.

And I captured it on video. you can thank me later.

 

Well, I guess that’s enough nostalgia for one night.

I better move on to present times.

I actually saw Bruce P. again last month. I really can’t get enough. Also, when I went home I was lucky enough to have an encounter with Ruby Coast. I seriously adore these boys from Aurora. I was really sad I missed them in Ottawa BOTH times these past few months.

As for my Saturday night with Bahamas…well, that included Afie taking a girls phone and hanging it up before telling the person on the line she was busy. It also included him doing a final pose for the photographers before they stomped off.

“Now you can ask that pretty little lady to dance and you won’t have that clunky camera between ya.”

Solid gold, Afie. Solid gold.

I also met a pretty cool band this weekend, unfortunately I didn’t get to hear them perform. I just got to drink with them. They’re from Saskatchewan and they’re called Violent Kin. It’s not really what I listen to but I have to admit it’s good. Hopefully they will come back so I can actually see them on stage!

Check it..

 

I think that’s enough.

 

-M