Travel, World

Köln – July 2016

13575958_10210001011284647_8954873265929576139_oIt’s been 5 years since I was last in Germany, and being there again recently entirely
reignited my love for the country.

Meeting my assigned exchange student in 2011 was terrifying; I had no idea if we would get on, or whether I would be a good enough host. 5 years later, we’re talking about weddings and babies and careers. It’s been a magical journey so far, and I hope I don’t leave as big a gap this time…

Day 1

Köln is a beautiful city, but we didn’t spend much time in the city centre as before. Our first achievement was… [read more]

Life Experience, World

I’m IN.

I haven’t said anything on social media about the EU Referendum. Sure, I’ve talked about it to the people around me, and I’ve got a pretty good idea of what most of my circles think. But I don’t really like it when people push their views on others online, with post after post about being in or out, and why you’re a fool if you vote either way, or if you don’t.

Well I’m IN. I’m in because separating ourselves as a country in times of tribulation is a bad idea.

I’m in because we need to band together, and work together rather than just abandon countries who are supposed to be on our level.

I’m in because the leave campaign is a fear mongering thunderstorm condemning non-British people and it’s getting tiring.

I’m in because why would we want to condone hate for other people? Why would we even think that leaving the EU would somehow widen the sea between us and the rest of Europe?

Racism, separation, division, hate and fear will not progress our world, it pushes everyone away and it makes me sad to think that people want to regress back to a disconnected world where power rankings are more important than love.

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Entertainment, Film, Life Experience, University, World

Camerimage Film Festival, Bydgoszcz

After five nights of an ungodly low amount of sleep, six days of films and one hundred pounds, I am now back in York and it is bloody freezing. I have just been on a trip with uni to Bydgoszcz in Poland to visit the Camerimage Film Festival which celebrates the talents and the career of cinematographers. It’s a week filled with seminars and screenings and people from all nationalities and it was truly fascinating. As well as getting to see lots of cultural films that we wouldn’t normally think twice about we also got to sample authentic Polish cuisine and nightlife and let me tell you, it’s a very different way of life to the British.

We saw lots of amazing films, including a very French one called Augustine which had lots of naked lady bodies in it. We also got to see the new Coen Brothers film called Inside Llewyn Davis which is about a folk singer/guitarist who just can’t make it in the business. I really enjoyed this one and it was so beautiful to look at. Which you would hope because it’s a cinematography festival… Other films included Wicked Blood, the first film to be shot in Sony 4K about a girl whose family is involved in the drug business and she is trying to find a way to escape becoming one of them. We also got the chance to watch the music video competition including videos from 30 Seconds to Mars which was great, although we had to sit on the stairs because apparently the festival organisers had limited concern for fire health and safety. Sometimes it was manic. Sometimes people were sitting in the aisles and on the stairs and on the stage. Shaking my head.

Every night when we weren’t watching films we found the time to go for dinner in lots of different restaurants and I tell you now, the food in Poland is cheap. Approx. £6 for a massive pizza that would cost you £12 in England. All of the food was amazing, there wasn’t a meal that I didn’t enjoy; however, it seemed that the food didn’t agree with me at all and unfortunately I was poorly for a good portion of the holiday. Not as poorly as those who went on the lash and rolled into the hotel at 8am, just in time for breakfast.

The city of Bydgoszcz in itself is a very industrial place with a strange part known as the old town that is pretty and picturesque. It’s strange to see the two contrasting sides of it; you literally walk over a bridge and the whole atmosphere of the city changes. It’s just not a tourist area, which is a shame, because not many people there understand English and you kind of have to be local to know where to go and what to do. Unless you want to go to a museum about the history of soap and dirt which is quite well advertised.

Overall, it’s been a great trip and I may put some photos up which I should ideally put on this post but I’m getting sleepy and the words aren’t really making sense to me anymore; I just wanted you to know that I had a great time, however, I am very, very glad to be home! Yorkshire will always be my home and it’s wonderful here. You should visit York, not Bydgoszcz. Jokes.

Latez.

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Film, Life Experience, University, World

Camerimage!

I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned, but I’m going to Poland tomorrow with a few people off my course to visit the Camerimage Film Festival in Bydgoszcz! It’s going to be awesome, we’re going to watch lots of new films like Gravity and old ones in 3D like Top Gun and we’re going to see lots of short films as well. There’s going to be seminars and talks so we’re going to learn things and we’re going to sample Polish life for a while six days! Hopefully if I can access the internet I’ll be updating on this blog what’s going on and at the end of it there’ll be lots of pictures. The only thing is we’ve got to be in uni for five in the morning…….yippee.

Life Experience

So much to say, so little time…

Well ladies and gentleman, yesterday night I returned home from my second country, Germany. I wonder if you recall my previous post about me flying over there by myself and to be perfectly frank, I was absolutely bricking it. It only really hit me on the way to the airport and I suddenly thought ‘Oh my God, this is actually happening’. Which was a massive slap in the face to realise that I’d be getting on a plane by myself. A PLANE.

But anyway, all fear and nerves aside, I made it on the plane and then to Germany, all on my lonesome. Still bricking it at this point. But, as I’m sure you’re delighted to hear, everything went perfectly smoothly from the Thursday night to Wednesday night just gone. I have had one of the best weeks ever, I loved it so much and, you know what? My German skills have gone through the roof – it’s a pity that I couldn’t have taken my exam now just after going to Germany. But no matter.

Speaking of which, lords and ladies! As many of you know, earlier today on 18.08.11 it was results day for all A Level students! And, you’ll be please to know, that I have finally risen above the shocking behaviour previously demonstrated within my German grade of a D and I’m now on a beautiful C for the A2 level. I will admit to you now; however, I’m sure you’re aware: that a B or even an A would have topped off this year, but I’m not all that bothered because I have achieved what I wanted – I managed to scrape myself from the floor of the D up into another grade and, perhaps more importantly, this morning I received my confirmation letter from York St John University saying that I have a place on my Film and TV Production course 😀 Erstaunlich!

So it would seem that I’ve settled in to German life quite nicely, and I’m hoping to go back some time next year; I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t breathe that Deutsch air every now and then. How sad. It’s a shame that some people, particularly some English people, I’m afraid to say, don’t care for Germany, because it seems that there’s a certain stereotype that is held over the German people. Well. I’ll have my chance to change the world at some point. As Morgan Freeman would say, “One act of random kindness at a time” (Evan Almighty, 2007).

But enough of my prattling for now, all you need to know is that I love my grades today! For those of you who don’t know: Media Studies – B, English Language – A, History – A and German – C. So, I suppose we’ll just see what happens with university in September…I just have to enrol now, fun fun fun!! 🙂

Well done to everyone who got their results today and all the best for your futures,

Brittany 🙂

Life Experience

Lions Club Youth Exchange to Germany

I care not for who reads this, but I need to share my experiences somehow… the past week spent in Witzenhausen with the various German Lions Clubs has to be one of the top 3 highlights of my life so far. Just going to Germany shatters the ridiculous stereotype that people have of Germans, and perhaps reinforces the stereotype that some English people are ignorant of Europe and its wonders.

I’ll fill you in, faithful reader; the Garforth Lions and other clubs around the Leeds area are involved with Lions Clubs in Germany and they alternate their visits each year. This time, I got a shot at accompanying them, providing that I and my friend Mark helped out when they needed us to do so.

I kid you not, the sheer amount of people that I have met in the past week was staggering and they were all so amazingly kind and nice and friendly! I loved them all!

I think what I got most out of the trip was the responsibility that was given to me and the awareness of disabled people, young and old, because, to be perfectly frank, I’ve never encountered disabled people until now and I’ll admit that I never understood what being disabled was all about, how it felt to look after someone etc etc.. and… yes, it’s crazily hard.. but definitely worthwhile.

I’m telling you all this in order to promote awareness of the Garforth Lions and Leeds District Lions etc because I don’t think enough people know about them; I certainly didn’t have a clue what they were all about, never mind knowing about these trips to Germany every other year. Those people who know me will know that the German language is one of my passions, but I beg you, don’t roll your eyes…because this genuinely is a fantastic thing that the Lions do for disabled people.

This past week I’ve made lots of new friends for life – English and German – I’ve visited the more unknown, but amazing places in Germany, flown in a tiny plane(!), fulfilled myself as a person and generally had the time of my life…so I’m asking you, please get involved with the Lions, even if you just show you’re support for them, they really do do a huge and fantastic job for people of all ages and of all kinds.

Anyway, thank you for putting up with me if you got this far, much appreciated 😀

Brittany x