3 August 2014

It's been a month. Well, just over a month, since I've been back on home turf, English soil, my stomping groud - whatever you want to call it - but home.

I'm feeling a little restless and anxious. Everytime I think that I've adapted and settled I will remember something, do something, say something that sends me back into my Amsterdam dream. I'm hoping it will pass because it's making me feel uneasy. I can't work out if it's Amsterdam I miss & the people or if I feel this way because Bristol is pretty dead right now - everyone is away, at festivals or just busy. Either way, it's not a nice feeling to wake up with on a Sunday. I kind of wish I could go back and just say a few last words to my friends there, just one more evening together, one more beer. I don't know.

Anyway, I was in London Tuesday. It was kind of a day out/see my uni day with my mother. We got a super early Megabus up and arrived right in the throng of London & it's people. It's put me in a good mood, and whenever I get down about being back here in Bristol I just think about moving to London and how amazing the city is. I get to move away, live in New Cross, get the tube and meet loads of new people. Everything will change again, and I'm a big fan of change. Anyway, my day trip there got me all excited to go to Uni, have some direction in my life and just be a part of something - living & breathing - which sounds cheesy, but, well, I am cheesy.

I went out friday night and did a lot of crazy Dutch dancing with my friend Beth - I don't remember but apparently someone came up to her and told her that I was 'amazing & fabulous' so I'm pretty sure I was having the time of my life.

I also played some badminton on Thursday and still hurt but more on that later. 


22 July 2014

Do you like the tea cups? I certainly do. I can't wait to own my own place and get my hands on vintage bits and pieces. I have a few bits already that I've picked up from car-boots, markets and jumble sales. I am counting dow the days until I can buy china to my hearts content. I plan on collecting plates with cats on, and pretty cups & saucers and displaying them on walls - kitsch, and tacky, I know. I love it.

These teacups are all English bone china and printed locally by a local artist in the heart of Bristols Cultural Quarter. This is in conjunction with the People Republic Stokes Croft (PRSC). The PRSC is a group that aims to provide benefit to the local community. It's a group created by the people, for the people, and always aims to improve the local area by generating sustainable enterprises. Walk through Stokes Croft and you'll see what the fuss is all about and why it is deemed Bristol's Cultural Quarter.

Stokes Croft, though small, packs a hell of a mighty punch in the centre of Bristol. Teaming with bars, cafes and independent shops, the place is buzzing with an air of excitement. It's as if we're on the brink of something huge all the time. It's a place where people support one another, where community really means something to the people. It's walls, covered in beautiful graffiti and street art are almost as colourful as it's characters.

It's things like that that make Bristol such an amazing and exciting place to live. Moving back has reminded me of that. There is always something to do, on my doorstep, and most likely very very reasonably priced.

&some more henna. This is what Raina and I did the night before her birthday. I think it's pretty fab.

14 July 2014

I've had a crazy few days, with so much going on it's been difficult to sit down and update this. I’m home, as you know, and actually having a nice time. It’s easy to forget that there is so much to see and do in Bristol when you're away. It’s such a great city.

I went to my old school as they were having their annual summer fête saturday. It's only, luckily, round the corner from my house and seemed like a brilliant excuse to have a snoop around. 

It was so strange to be back! Last time I was there everything seemed so big and high up. Coat hangers seemed so huge and high up, I remember being on tip toes at one point to hang things up. Now they dangle, redundant at my waist. It was strange, almost a bit emotional and teary. But on the bright side the School fair was absolutely lovely. They had cake stands, a bit of bric-a-brac and lots of games and such. They ever had a stall with henna, so I treated myself to that.

Bristol has a crazy party place lately - there is never a dull moment. So far there’s been St Pauls Carnival, Bristol Pride and this weekend it’s the Harbour Festival. Of course all these festivals are punctuated by parties, jumble sales, impromptu roast dinners and such, so it’s been a really nice few days.

Lately, I’ve just been hanging out with my crazy friend Raina. Wearing colourful clothes and going to Pirate Parties.

I’m trying to be proactive and sell lots of shit on ebay and get a job. So far it’s been ok but I am getting a bit bored not having a proper job! Hmm..

Will update soon,


7 July 2014

All good things come to an end

It's true what they same.

All good things come to an end.

I'm currently writing this in my bedroom in Bristol. I've been home for a handful of days and already miss Amsterdam incredibly.

I miss all the brilliant people I met and all the great times we shared. I miss de Spuyt and knowing I always have somewhere to go.

I miss the football fever and watching the games in orange.

I miss cycling wherever you want and not being afraid to be hit by cars and buses and pedestrians.


Roll on Bristol..

21 May 2014

I just have to put it out there that the weather is superb! It’s such superb weather - I’ve packed away my knitted jumpers and replaced thermal leggings with shorts! Yay! I’m also rocking some seriously bronzed arms, so I don’t look deathly pale/slightly ill which is always a good thing.

The picture above was taken in Vondelpark whilst I was showing off my no handed cycling skills. 'It could be a movie poster' is the comment I heard shortly after. 

Last month I decided that I need to take more pictures, especially since I’m leaving kind of soon. I need to get over my photo phobia/embarrassment and just go for it. Because of this I purchased a decidedly retro disposable camera so I could actually have real pictures - not the ones that stay on your iPhone for months at a time and never go anywhere. I want to be able to look back at my time in Holland with fond memories and I think that having real photos for a photo album, or to stick on my wall, will be nice. 

I love everything about disposable cameras. I like the way that every picture has a warm tone to it - every picture is tinged in nostalgia even though it’s only a few days old. I love the way that people can’t ask to look afterwards and sneakily delete the photos. I love the excitement you get going to get the photos developed,  the giddiness of receiving the prints back, and laughing at all the times you accidentally cut off someones head. 

Anyway, I got a few really nice ones this month. I’ve got another camera rattling about and I’m sure that I will buy at least two more before my time here is over.

As I said, the weather is great. I am starting off my days sitting outside drinking coffee in the morning sunshine and it’s a great way to start a working day. At the moment it’s a little grey but still really humid, kids are swimming in the canal and reporting back that it’s ‘echt lekker’.

I’ve decided, that with only 6 weeks til I’m back in Bristol, I need to get on top go my looks and health. I’ve started, alongside my running. the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels, the squat challenge & the plank challenge. I’m also trying to eat a lot better, or at least just be mindful of what I’m putting into my body - it’s almost bikini season!

Speaking of bikini’s, last Sunday I went to the beach - that’s how hot it is! I even went swimming in the sea and loved every second of it! 

Ijburg is pretty far from the centre of Amsterdam, and was pretty quiet in the winter. Now that the sun is shining the island has really come alive. Blijburg, the city beach that I went to on sunday was buzzing with people and music - finally.

Winter is voorbij.

5 May 2014

A new month. Finally, May is here. Roll on random bank holidays and long warm days.

Again, let me apologise for updating so sporadically.

This weekend was like all the others. Friday I saw Angus DJ, saturday I went to a museum, and Sunday I had a lie in, a delicious brunch and a Cadburys Creme Egg to top it all off.

Everything is slowly beginning to fall into place, and it's funny because now it's coming up to the end of my time here in Amsterdam. I'm on the cusp of booking my flight back to the UK for good, I've got a place at my chosen University and a reading list as long as a piece of string to prove it.

It's a funny feeling, knowing that I've got so long, yet not long at all, to go. There are so many places I still want to go, so many things I still want to see, so many bars I still want to drink in, yet the realisation that this isn't forever is creeping up on me. 

Only 8 weeks to go until I have to say goodbye.

Goodbye to the city that has become my home, knowing the map of canals and side streets like the back of my hand. Goodbye to the people who have become like family to me, people who have invited me for dinner and parties, people who I've seen almost every weekend for the past year. People who have taken me under their wing and made me feel so at home. 

I don't really know where I'm going to start or how I'm going to thank them for everything. 



19 April 2014

I suppose that I should firstly apologise for going back to my so-non-frequent-that-it-practically-doesn't-count-as-blogging ways. My mum always says that when I don't email her it's because she knows I'm super busy doing loads of stuff so she doesn't really mind, which I suppose is the same reason I am so infrequent with my blogging, I just get caught up in doing shit too much. 

But, yes, to sum it all up, I have been been having a lovely lovely time lately, which means I have loads of stuff to write about so maybe this will be a super long post. Hang in there.

I went to Foam museum, on Keizersgracht a few weeks ago, and also recently with my friend Amie. Foam is a contemporary art gallery, which showcases a lot of photogrpahy which I really like. I think out of all of the arty places in Amsterdam, Foam is my favourite one of them and I reccomend it to almost everyone. I really like the contemporary feeling and exhibitions they have and, personally, I would be more than happy to go there every week, wander around, have a coffee and flip through the old issues of the Foam magazine.
Anyway, at the moment there is a brilliant 'The Enclave' collection installed by Richard Mosse. If you haven't heard of it, the feature centres around the conflict in Congo and uses an impressive infrared film, meaning everything is fuschia. I am no art buff but in my opinion The Enclave blurs the line between photojournalism and photography, perfectly. 

A few weeks ago I went to the Ij-hallen Markt, same as I do every month to expand my wardrobe, this time was a little different as I was with a big group of au pairs, which I never, ever do just for the sheer fear of having to make small talk with people whose name you keep forgetting, but actually it was loads of fun, and they were all really lovely so maybe I this will sway me to do more big group things. Maybe.

Later that evening, in all my fresh new second hand garms, I went to a grime night in De Toren - Grime, in Amsterdam. I know right?! Crazy! All English DJs and even a bloke from Bristol that I've seen before, which was kind of nice, felt like a little bit of homeaway from home. But of course, with English DJs comes English crowds, I haven't been around that many Brits since Xmas, ha!
Anyway, I had a great time. I drank a bit too much and probably danced like a dickhead and embarrassed myself, but really, isn't that what life is about? On the way home I slipped off my bike and messed up my ankle so Sunday was spent hobbling and feeling sorry for myself to be honest.

As I said earlier my friend Amie came to stay which was absolutely heart breakingly wonderful. We did some museums, ate in some nice places, went to the markets and just had a really nice weekend together. I think I stayed out the latest I've ever stayed out in Amsterdam on Friday with her and a few of my Spuyt friends. We ended up getting the first trams home and being with people going to work and stuff. We were also really hungry and had to go and raid the Albert Heijn in Centraal station for some food which we ate at the back of tram stifling the giggles. Dear oh dear....

This is a beautiful snap of some of my friends in De Spuyt before we all went out dancing.

Anyway, It's satruday, I'm free, the sky is blue and cloudless and I need to get out of the house. 
Cheers for reading and I'll update soon