Travel

London!

11225077_10207052715189268_8371024550101015735_nThis time last week I was rushing around like a headless chicken, trying to fit the dentist in Castleford around posting a
parcel and travelling from York to London.

Miss Lisa Cooke, my partner in crime and best buddy lives down there with a few others including another bestie of mine – Alice. Now, in no more than one word those couple of days were absolutely: fabulous!

It’s always a treat when you get reunited with such good friends and to us it felt like no time had elapsed at all. Everything felt normal and just as it always had done, except this time we were further south than before. It was wonderful though, as well, to actually see London for the first time since I was about ten years old. I remember going on the London Eye and round the Natural History Museum, but that’s about it. This time, I got to see all the wonderful things that London has to offer.

We spent hours walking around South Bank, got to see St Pauls, wandered in a few famous stores, things like that. We went in a couple of the museums there, which were just great and had a look around Camden Market. The big thing, however, that not everyone does when they go to London, was visiting The London Cat Village. A little cafe, tucked away in East London, you book an appointment and go sip tea alongside lovely little kitties. Yes, real cats. It only lasted an hour out of the two days but it was really magical and something truly unique. I’ve only heard of a few cat cafes but I’m adamant that there should be some more. I have never felt more relaxed and oh my goodness they were all so adorable and fluffy!

I literally had the best time in London and I was really sad to come home. Leaving good friends behind like that is never nice but I suppose I’m lucky for the world that we live in, being able to stay in touch so easily.

I’m really glad I’ve been able to experience London properly, however, it did make me realise I am a bit of a country bumpkin – mainly when more than three people across both days couldn’t understand my Yorkshire accent. It’s an incredibly fast and busy world down there, I don’t think I would be able to keep up. I think I’d like to keep the novelty of riding on the tube just that – a novelty – and not a commute.

Next time, I’m determined to go see a show and I’m sure Lisa wouldn’t mind coming along with me…

Here are some pictures from my visit 🙂

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Life Experience

I miss…

A video showed up in my Facebook notifications from nearly four years ago, back when I was in first year at university. Even though I’m only in touch with two out of the eight or nine people in that 30 second video, I miss a lot about that year.

It was a difficult year, though, with an awful lot of wasted effort and hard work on relationships, romantic or otherwise, that turned into nothing. It was a year that taught me about people, and how to deal with different personalities, whether they clashed with mine or not. That year taught me how to love someone and how to deal with their absence and the way they crushed out relationships. It also taught me that not everyone is truthful and that people are quite capable of being hurtful without too much of a conscience to hold them back.

What I miss, however, is spending time with different people every day, not knowing who would rock up that evening or who you’d be staying up late with, sharing secrets and chatting about anything and everything. I miss the ridiculous fancy dress outfits and (in a weird way) the drama that surrounded daily life. It’s an interesting psychological challenge to try to suss people out.

I miss going to lectures and learning new things, I miss going to different people’s houses/flats for dinner and I miss going out at least twice a week to let down my hair and party with whoever I was friends with at the time.

I’m an entirely different person to who I was in first year, in 2011/12. Anybody that I knew then, you probably don’t know me now and there’s a chance that we would get on now after we’ve all changed through the last three to four years. Many times, I think about reaching out to those I lost touch with, but then remember it’s probably not worth it. This time in four years I will likely miss the peace of living with friends and the freedom of not having a proper career. Who knows where I’ll be, or even who I’ll be.

So for anybody just starting out at university in their first year, treasure it. You might find it hard, you might find your best friends, you might even find yourself, but take lots of pictures and make lots of memories. Just enjoy the feelings of knowing anyone in the world can impact on your life at this very moment.

Life Experience, University

A Guide for Freshers

I’ve just spent the last couple of days entertaining my baby sister who came to stay with me in York and it’s been great – we’ve done loads of shopping, eaten some quality food, watched a film or two and had some worthy discussions. Except, she’s not my baby sister anymore. She’s 19 and about to go to uni in two weeks in Liverpool. That’s far.. It got me thinking about how scared I was before I went to uni and how many emotional breakdowns I had before I even got there. It’s a really, really stressful and daunting experience and I’m afraid that there’s no one out there who can tell you what it’s going to be like. No one has the exact same experience at university and unfortunately there isn’t a rule book or a guide telling you what’s going to happen or what to do. What I have managed, however (and I’ll be passing this onto Mols) is a vague guide of what to generally expect and what opportunities to jump at. This is the director’s cut of the original list that I ended up writing:

  • Always carry an umbrella and some change
  • If you have a 3 hour class at 4pm, take a can of energy drink – you’ll really need it
  • Sometimes you’ll be in the library til it closes (or until the sun rises if it’s 24 hour) and that’s okay, you’ll feel great
  • Get to know at least one tutor well
  • Absolutely no one cares how you are dressed in lectures
  • Sometimes the syllabus says you need to buy a textbook and the tutor says you don’t – check before you buy! (also, it’s probz in the library)
  • Having a 2am – 11am sleep schedule is okay
  • Don’t take drinks from random people
  • Take notes by hand – it sinks in better
  • Always keep an emergency stash of loo roll in your room for your use only
  • Jump at every opportunity to do something fun – don’t leave yourself out, you deserve the fun
  • Go to every event with free food
  • Stay up talking til the sun rises
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Be yourself

I know there’s lots of people around the country, around the world at this moment still shopping for uni supplies, still stressing about making friends and I wish I could tell you exactly how it’s going to pan out, but you are the only person who can take this journey and you will be the only person who affects your university experience at first. When friends come along, things change and you’ll watch each other develop into functional adults (even though it doesn’t feel like it).

I sometimes wish I could start university all over again, but when I remember how much I was dreading it and how scared I was, I’m glad I’ve already done that. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world, though. University has made me who I am and has given me the friends that I need. Best decision I ever made to go, hands down.

Life Experience, Misc.

Hairy Scary

If you live in the UK, you’ll know about the vicious weather we’ve had in the last few days. To put it simply; it’s been vile. Yesterday, however, was something special. Rain, as it does, appeared out of nowhere and before anyone had chance to think, everywhere was pretty much flooded. Luckily, Sam and I missed the flooding as we were driving from Castleford to York but we didn’t miss out in being in the middle of torrential weather.

Coming onto the A64 dual carriageway, we experienced something that I never knew could happen to a car (and we’re still not 100% sure on what actually happened). It felt like a huge gust of wind started pushing the car from right to left, completely turning the tires and affecting Sam’s steering. The car, trying to get itself to lose control locked the wheels into the left position and Sam had to force it back over to the right. Because of this, the car flew from one side of the road to the other many times and, honestly, I thought that was it. I thought we were done for. Luckily, it was over pretty much as soon as it began and Sam got the car under control again. It’s just a good job that it was late Saturday evening and there were barely any other cars on the road. Had it been a different time of day, the story might have ended a lot differently.

When we got home, I told Sam that I loved him because even though nothing happened it was still bloody terrifying! All is well, however, and everyone is ay-okay!

Life Experience

Retail Experience

I have a fairly diverse range of experience on my CV but I’ve always been lacking in retail experience. Until now.

I’ve started working at a small boutique store in the centre of York, on one of its most popular and oldy-worldy streets (not The Shambles) and that means the shop reflects the bricks on which it stands.

I seem to be doing alright. It’s pretty much exactly what I expected it to be except that working in a small shop is *kinda boring*. Even though the street it’s on is a reasonably busy street, full of tourists, crammed with shoppers – it’s a difficult one to navigate if you’re on a mission – the shop can be pretty quiet for long periods of time. And when that happens, time stands still and I suddenly feel under an awful lot of pressure to look like the best shop assistant evar. No. I don’t want to bad mouth, I don’t want to complain. I’m still in the phase of comparing it to my last job at the school and that’s a no-no. The jobs are 100% completely different to each other. I just….

I don’t feel challenged.

I don’t feel like my brain is being pushed, I don’t feel like my creativity is reaching its limit and I’m scared that I’m going to lose my drive. I’m not stimulated, I’m not motivated. You’ll notice I’ve started lacking in writing on my blog and I’m often finding myself sitting at home and staring into space when I’ve finished work or even on a day off.

I’m grateful for the extra dosh it’s giving me. And I’m grateful for the experience that I didn’t have before that I can now place on my CV. I just know more than ever now that I need to move on and kickstart my career. It’s time.

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Current feeling
Life Experience, Misc.

New Digs

Last Tuesday we got the keys to our new 5 bedroom student house in the centre of York. In the last four years, I’ve lived in a total of 5 houses but there is something wholly different about this one. In my third year I lived in a brand new build, had an en suite and a massive living room – it was awesome. And this one isn’t far different. It’s older, meaning that like a lot of buildings in York it’s actually a little bit wonky and it’s a little smaller, with far more nooks and crannies that you wouldn’t find in a new house. But I love it. 10 minutes from town, Waitrose and Morrisons up the road, what more do you need?

I’ve never seen a student bedroom so big in all my life, but mine is what you would describe as massive. I’ve actually struggled placing everything that I have because there are so many options. We have a dining table in the kitchen – a luxury that most student houses don’t provide or have the space for, and there’s an extra toilet downstairs which is useful when there are six people living in one house together.

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A funky panorama of our new bedroom (before everything was unpacked)
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A slightly blurry panorama of our new living room – complete with something weird on one of two TVs

I’ve also had a lovely twenty minute walk to work (by work I mean to the lift to work) by the riverside, to the Millennium Bridge in York. It certainly beats walking down lots of busy main roads when you’re still half asleep on a morning; this gives me a chance to wake up.

IMG_20150713_065631Having said that, I’ve only got 3 days left at school. And then that’s it. This whole year which I’ve occasionally documented to you via this blog is coming to a sweet end. I don’t want to say I’ll be glad to leave, but let’s just say I won’t be too upset.

The task now is to find a job in York which I can use to pay the rent on my new house!

Life Experience, World

Homes for a Graduate?

Looking for a house is hard, especially when looking for a student house, because they all disappear before January is out05-sep14. The reason being that student agencies push naive students and frighten them into believing that they have to sign up before they’ve even known people for a decent amount of time otherwise they’ll be homeless forever and ever amen. I mean, this wouldn’t be the case if everyone took their time to decide who they would live with – because believe me it goes horribly wrong if you end up with the wrong people…awkward…hi girls, if you’re out there btw.

If you’re a first year, in the most selfish way possible, the general rule should be to wait until around March or April when you’ve actually become reasonably familiar with your future housemates which would then allow the second and third years and graduates to get on with finding a decent house together and live happily ever after, the end.

But, alas, this is not the case and we are struggling. York is pretty much lacking in letting agencies for students – maybe that’s my calling in life – and the ones that are there aren’t doing a great deal for us. I mean, is it that much to ask to get a five bed house for some gorgeous graduates in July? No? Didn’t think so… We have a viewing tomorrow at a nice house and all I can do is hope.

Education, Entertainment, Film, University

Never Stop Dreaming

If working in school has taught me one thing so far, it’s that I don’t want to be a teacher.

Bear with me.

Yet.

Working with kids here has made me realise that I’m not ready to teach yet, I’m not ready to pass on the knowledge that I have to the next generation. I’m 22 and I still want to learn myself. I feel like I should be the one sitting behind a desk, absorbing what somebody says and either agreeing or challenging it. I’m still selfish. I still want to progress my knowledge, not somebody else’s. I still want to learn about the world (of film) and find out everything that I can. I want to come out of education with more than just a degree.

Now, before you bite my head off some people are ready to teach by the time they pop out of uni. They’re raring to go, to enhance the teenagers and children of today. But not me. Yet, anyway. I don’t know. I’ll be honest here, because what is a blog without honesty? I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know if I want to be a teacher, or a filmmaker, or a writer, or in marketing or what. I just don’t know. I do know that I want to lead my learning even further and broaden my options even more because my plan, as it currently stands, is to try as much as possible and take every opportunity that I can.

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Woah there. What a turn this has taken. Here I am, in the midst of writing about what I want to do with my education and I have literally just received an email telling me that the course is being cancelled….um awkward…

Now what? That was going to be my one reason for staying in York, for progressing my knowledge and love for film. And it’s just been halted right within a few seconds. If that wasn’t a punch to the gut then I don’t know what is. Talk about being at a loss for what to do now…

I’ve run out of steam. I’m deflated. I suppose I’ll sign off now and find another way to resolve my career crisis. Um, yeah……

Maybe you should update your website or something so people don’t get their hopes up…

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Life Experience, World

Christmas spirit, or lack thereof

York, England, lunch time. Two days before Christmas. Going into town is possibly one of the worst decisions a girl can make but yours truly did it anyway. Pandemonium is the only word for what I experienced I think. And there were two categories of people: those who knew that they were shopping for and those who didn’t. The latter were the most difficult to work with, constantly stopping and starting, turning around and being surprised when they found you standing behind them, stunned that the movement of the packed path had been stopped by someone away with the fairies.

I understand that Christmas is the most stressful time of year for a high street in a city centre and I have had my fair share of stress so far but what got me most today was how rude people are…like, really rude. So much that I had one person growl at me in the ear and swear when he came running out of a shop and almost crashed into me. Look where you’re going, hello? We don’t have traffic lights for pedestrians, you have to do the looking yourself, idiot.

The Christmas spirit just isn’t there when people are shopping. I resorted to doing most of mine on the Internet a few weeks ago because it’s incredibly challenging to try to face the crowds in the town centre, everyone either dashing somewhere or looking gaumless at all the shops. Where has my Christmas spirit gone? I’m not entirely sure. It’ll be back come the 25th though…

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