City Living

I’m usually the first to sing the praises of countryside living. I love not hearing traffic in the night – or ever, really. I love that there’s space to roam about and explore. I love our proximity to nature.

But today, as I sat and ate my carrot sticks and tzatsiki, listening to geese flying overhead while the sheep in the fields butted heads, I felt an itch for big city living. Or, at least, medium city living. My city living.

As much as I love coming home, some days there’s nothing better than being wrapped in smog and being a two minute walk from most of your friends. Some days just call for the city.

Okay, so this picture isn’t of my city per se, but you catch my drift. My laptop is a bit low on pictures after a recent tidy-up, so this will have to do.

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hello there.

Doing a ‘Hijab Challenge’. I wore my hijab all day yesterday, and actually quite enjoyed the experience!

Hello, again.

I know, I know, I haven’t updated my blog in like a month and that’s just not okay. I know. It has been pointed out, most notably by my vaguely furious sister. So here I am: updating. Filling you in. Carving a little hole out of the silence.

I thought I would do a ‘Currently’ post as a means of catching up, only for all intents and purposes we can call it a ‘Recently’ post, as it will be talking about a bit more than just my current happenings. How’s that?

So here goes. A recently post, just for you:

Working on: A film! A story! A performance! I’m doing largely creative modules for this final semester, which has been really great fun. It’s nice to take a break from a mountain of essays, even if it does mean having to learn completely new skills in a very short space of time. Final Cut Pro isn’t easy to use – who knew?!

Watching: Oh so many things…I’ve probably spent a bit too much time glued to a screen lately, but it has been entertaining. I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries, including ‘Queen of Versailles’, which I loved. I also watched ‘Wreck it Ralph’ last night and still haven’t quite gotten over how good it was. So funny! And adorable! “Who doesn’t love a girl with dirty hair?”

Anticipating: So many things! In the short term, I’m really looking forward to tonight. It’s a big night for quite a lot of my friends, and will determine the future year or so for some of them. I’ve been crossing my fingers that they’ll get the jobs they’re hoping for, so I’m excited to see what comes of things tonight. In the long term, graduation is pretty high up on my list! And finishing all of my university work before then…it seems like it’s rushing up on me, but is also a million miles away as well. It’s a strange place to be. I’m also very excited to move this summer: first of all I’ll be moving back home for a couple of months, then will be moving to Switzerland later on in the year. I can’t wait to be closer to my family and to finally get to live in the country that I most attribute ‘home’* to. It’ll be an interesting change of pace, and that’s exactly what I feel like I need at the moment.

Eating: Can we just talk about how good raw fruit and veg is for a second? I mean seriously. I’ve been craving all manner of fresh food lately and it has been amazing. I love having a plate/ lunchbox/ whatever crammed full of colour! Today I have been snacking on mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and cucumber, as well as some hard boiled eggs for good measure. Eggs are the best. That being said, I’m sitting here eating some cheese and onion crisps as I type, and have big plans of going for a burger after results night later. And I ate half a cake yesterday…so I guess I am still myself in the food stakes.

Reading: Nothing! I’ve just finished Katherine Boo’s ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’, and am still waiting for my new book to arrive (it was neither available as an e-book or in the library, sad). I’ll be sitting on a train later, though, so I may have to treat myself and start ‘The Book Theif’…’Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ was originally recommended to me after I did a book review of ‘Shantaram’ (back when I still had red hair and a different blog). It was interesting, and I enjoyed reading the real life stories of people in one of India’s biggest slums (it’s non-fiction). That being said, the writing style was quite to-the-point and never particularly poetic, which is something I usually look for in a book. It lacked atmosphere at times because of that, I felt, but all in all it was a good read, and I would recommend it if books about India are your thing.

Enjoying: My new climbing course! Though ‘new’ might be a bit of a stretch – we’re over halfway through already! It’s been fun learning a new skills, and I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some people who I can’t believe I’ve never run into before. I’m still being a bit of a wimp (scared of heights), but it’s been a good challenge and I definitely feel excited to go every week, and exhilarated when the class is finished. I’m hoping to invest in some of my own climbing shoes so that I can go bouldering with my dad sometime.

Right, I think that may be all I’ve got for you right now. I’m currently sitting in an editing suite needing to learn how to use software to make my film and accepting anything as a distraction. I’m more interested in watching how my friend’s film develops than in actually doing my own. Oops! One of these days when I understand film making a bit better, I’m going to get into it. I just hope that day comes soon…

For now, it’s over and out from me! Hope you have the loveliest of lovely weekends.

* Speaking of home, Danielle from Sometimes Sweet (who also started the idea for these posts) recently wrote a really interesting post about what home is to her.

Currently // Radio Silence

Changes are in the works around here. On a more minor note: I’m currently working for a few weeks, and that accounts for part of my recent silence. On a more major note (for me, anyway): Liam is moving. Not down the road, but to the other end of the country. I know I shouldn’t complain – some relationships span continents, for crying out loud! – but this is a big change for me. He’s been a constant companion recently, and I don’t know what I’m going to do without Liam to adventure with every weekend, and sometimes even during the week.

So yeah, there’s been that.

Next week, work will stop and life will return to an element of normality. I hope to be posting a bit more again, and documenting my solo adventures (or adventures with friends…I’m making myself sound like such a loner, geez). Prepare for an overload of pictures from the park, as that’s about as far as I’ll be able to take myself without Liam’s driving.

Until then, I hope you stay dry and warm, whatever this winter weather has brought to you. I’ll be enjoying little bits of snow after work for as long as it lasts, hooray!

Currently.

Today is a day for doing work. And messy hair with big glasses. And playing on Lightroom because doing work is ever so dull.

Watching: Kirstie’s Vintage Home on 4od. I love Kirstie; her programmes are completely addictive and are particularly compelling because she’s learning, too. While she knows more than anyone should about vintage or antique shopping – and loves to talk about those things – she’s also learning different crafts on screen. I love that this showcases other crafty people and that you get tips from people who really know what they’re talking about, but more than all that I find watching Kirstie make mistakes or get excited to see the outcomes of her projects endearing, and it makes me feel like I can do them too. I’m just going to go out and say it: sometimes I wish that I was Kirstie. There, I’m done.

Loving: Kirstie’s Vintage…just kidding. I’m actually loving lots and lots of reading, which isn’t unusual but is still always nice. Liam spoiled me this Christmas with a tablet, which means that when I’m traveling about as I so often am, I can read without breaking my back under the weight of half a bookshelf. Lately I’ve been coupling my reading time with tea as well, which is unusual for me. Caffeine makes me sick, so I used to just avoid tea like the plague, with the exception of camomile sometimes, and only when drowned in honey. Well move over camomile, I have discovered that there is so much more out there and am enjoying everything from mint to that strange bag of pink flowers I found in the cupboard. Delicious!

Listening to: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I can’t have background noise when I work (or at least not music) because I find it really distracting, so I tend to sit at home in silence when I need to get things done. Sometimes it gets a little depressing, but other times – like today, after a very people-filled Christmas – it’s really nice to just zone out.

Going: On short walks through muddy fields! I’ve been on a hunt for animal bits these last few days – scraps of sheep wool and feathers – and there’s nowhere better to find them around here than tangled in barbed wire fences or stuck in a hedge. I’m lucky that I live in the countryside so that when I need these natural bits for little projects, I know I can nip outside and find a ton that have been shed somewhere in the fields. It helps when these walks mean squidging through mud, too – I love a good mess.

Making me happy: Making little gifts for friends. There’s yarn everywhere! Everywhere, I tell you!

As ever, this post was inspired by Danielle.

Currently.

IMG_1454

This picture may be out of focus and a few weeks old, but it sums my current emotions up pretty perfectly. This is a happy, happy time.

Watching: Christmas films! I’ve just watched ‘Elf’ with my sister and her friend, and it was so much fun to curl up and enjoy a festive film while the first heavy snow of the season fell. I’ve also been watching little bits of  ‘Stranger than Fiction’ every day. I’m kind of enjoying dragging this one out and enjoying it piece by piece rather than as a whole film. I watched up to the ‘flours’ part today, which made me laugh as I remembered B’s present of flours for my birthday. She knows me so well!

Listening to: Mumford and Sons. We’ve just been to see them live and they were absolutely amazing, so I’m happily reliving the experience through youtube clips. On a less musical note, I’m also completely obsessing over Piff the Magic Dragon who performed with Mumford – his show was hilarious and Mr Piffles (his chihuaha sidekick) was absolutely adorable. Seriously, check him outand Mr Piffles too.

Planning: Our university is currently promoting Disability Awareness, so I’ve been planning and planning and planning some more for that. We’ve had loads of activities going on and I’m really proud of myself and Caz for what we’ve managed to pull together! It’s been a great success so far – and has been a lot of fun to do. My favourite activity so far was trying on a variety of visual impairment simulating glasses – it was really interesting to get a better understanding of a range of visual impairments, and it’s just incredible to think of how much people can achieve with those kinds of impairments. It made me really thankful for my eyes – which is a change as I usually curse my poor vision.

Thinking about: Christmas! And, on a less exciting note, the amount of work I need to do over Christmas. I feel like there won’t be much of a break to be had this year, and that’s definitely putting a downer on my excitement for the holiday. I am, however, still counting the days for carol singing and finally chopping down our own tree! My mama made me an advent calendar (we will never let her stop doing this, ever) full of festive socks and tubes of glue, and the little surprises I’ve been getting every day are keeping me excited for Christmas time.

Reading: I’m still reading Midnight’s Children actually…is this the slowest I’ve ever made progress through a book? Probably. But I’m loving it and taking my time over it, so I just don’t care. I know I can’t make a conclusive judgement yet, but I’d seriously advise you to pick it up if you haven’t already. It’s a good’un.

Making me happy: Fun evenings with friends, followed by waking up to snow. It’s really starting to feel like winter here, and while I regularly complain about the cold, I am really enjoying the change of seasons and the excitement that comes with it. It’s also making me look forward to times spent by the fire while watching the cats jump around in the snow…perfect winter moments.

 

I haven’t forgotten that I owe you a post about Cardiff Castle…I’m just being a bit slow in creating it. It’ll be up the next time I have a second, and you can look forward to enjoying it’s absolute beauty. For now, have a great Wednesday night!

And thank you to Danielle for the inspiration for this post.