I should be on my way to Glastonbury festival right now.
Waking up at 3am, taking a final long shower, packing up the car, triple checking the dry shampoo supply, listening to early morning radio, watching the sunrise, catching a glimpse of Stonehenge, making our way through Frome, hitting local traffic, passing Castle Cary and remembering that one time we took the train and it took forever, crawling into the field to park, crossing our fingers that the queue isn’t too long, palming responsibility for carrying the tent onto whoever I’m with, queuing, singing, queuing, singing, getting the wristband, finding our pitch, greeting old friends, pitching the tent, a celebratory tin of cider.
Two days of quiet Glastonbury before the madness and mayhem begins on Friday. That first walk alone in front of the Pyramid stage before it’s fully constructed. That special feeling I’ve only ever experienced at Glastonbury. It’s a magical place.
Instead I broke my leg and had to give my ticket back – but thank goodness for excessive coverage on the BBC. You’ll find me camped out in front of the TV this weekend in a homemade den this weekend. Bring on Blondie.
Every so often you come across a blog that grabs you. You inevitably find it at 11pm and before you know it it’s two in the morning and you’re greedily reading every post they’ve ever published.
The Humans of New York blog is one of those blogs. It’s a simple concept executed to perfection. Uplifting, inspiring, thought-provoking… all those adjectives that don’t come close to describing how you really feel.
I love it when a small piece of a New Yorker’s life appears in my blog reader during the day. Sometimes it’s just the distraction I need to focus.
“I was never once afraid to fight. I was a brawler. A bull. I even fought in Madison Square Garden. But it knocked me out for a whole year when my mom died.”
“Saddest moment? How am I supposed to choose between losing my parents and seeing my friends die in Vietnam? I don’t categorize those things. Listen, a person is like a rubber band ball. We’ve all got a lot of bad rubber bands, and a lot of good rubber bands, and they’re all wrapped up together. And you’ve got to have both types of bands or your rubber band ball ain’t gonna bounce. And no use trying to untangle them. You know what I’m saying?”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” “A mom.” “What’s going to be the hardest part about being a mom?” “Bath time.”
“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?” “Be kind and thoughtful.” “What’s your greatest struggle right now?” “Being kind and thoughtful. Because I’ve got some friends that are driving me freaking nuts.”
It was my final term of university and things were getting stressful. One morning my close friend and housemate popped her head into my room and said she was going to Sandbanks to escape for a while, and would I like to go too?
Minutes later the three of us (best friends and housemates) dropped everything, got into the car and ate chocolate covered marshmallows as we drove to Sandbanks, one of the finest places on the south coast. It was uncharacteristic behaviour for us all (we had exams to study for, dissertations to write, books to read…) but without realising it we all desperately needed a break and some quality time having fun together.
We were so excited to see the sea and skipped along the beach for ages before stopping for afternoon tea and cake. After more time on the beach we drove to Corfe Castle where we ran up and down the hills, posed for pictures, danced and sang. We’re an easily pleased bunch.
Afterwards we wandered around the area and saw a steam train. Then we found a lake in a field and sat by it for a while, lying back to gaze at the sky and zone out. When it got cold we drove back to Sandbanks (at which point I snapped the picture above), treated ourselves to dinner and drove back to our house.
This was one of the happiest afternoons of my life. I’m not sure what made it so wonderful, but looking back at the pictures from that day I’ve honestly never seen us look so good. Rosy cheeks and wispy hair really worked for us that day! Spontaneity had paid off and we took so much pleasure from the simple things in life that day – friendship, tea and fresh sea air.
Each Thursday I post a photo from the past, usually with a few words about where and when it was taken.
As a teenager I was lucky enough to spend a week in the city of Boston. I flew over for a family celebration and on my last day there my cousins kindly took me on a trip around the city. I think we grabbed some lunch in Quincy Market and I must have taken this photo, of buildings reflected on a building, on our way there.
If you know what this building is, or can name the reflected buildings, please let me know!
Last week I said goodbye to London and took a little holiday in Harrogate. We had a fantastic time wandering past the old buildings, eating breakfast at Betty’s and even paid a visit to the Turkish baths.
Thoughts about Harrogate: the air is fresh and clean, the people are incredibly friendly and yes, even in the most expensive Northern town around, house prices are a lot cheaper than in London.
When we were in Rye (yeah, I’m still going on about that) we decided that once the Royal baby arrived we would ‘celebrate’ with a traditional cream tea. For some reason we needed an excuse and that was the most apt reason we could come up with.
The baby didn’t arrive during our time in Rye. So on our last afternoon we tucked into scones, jam and clotted cream for no other reason than we really wanted to. On doing so we questioned the proper way to prepare a scone: is it the cream or the jam that goes on the scone first?
I romanticise New York all out of proportion. So much so that I dedicated a large chunk of my studies to the city as it fascinates and excites me. When I was younger there was no where else that I wanted to live.
As I’ve grown older and wiser my love for the city has started to fade. I’d like to visit again, but it is no longer at the top of my list. As for living there… well, I think London is more suited to my tastes. Which is just as well as I love my life in London and why risk trading that for the fantasy of a place I barely know?
Sorry for the hiatus – I’ve been travelling to the exotic, exciting, cultural, incredible and beautiful city of Istanbul! Can you tell that I loved it?!
We were there for a week but still needed much more time to explore the historic city. There will be a post to come with pictures and I’m also thinking of putting together a travel guide blog post to Istanbul based on our time there.
There is so much to see and do in Istanbul; from the historic palaces, Ottoman influences and stunning mosques to the modern museums, independent shops and incredible restaurants, diversity and adventure is guaranteed.
I’ll be back on the blogging bandwagon in the next couple of days, but don’t forget to name your dream London location to win £200 to spend in London in the meantime. You can also check out a guest post from Hilary Osborne about her London life, guiding you through what Tottenham Borders can offer.