it’s about time: healthy happiness.

it’s about time: healthy happiness.

Since the 1st of January 2017, I’ve probably written a gazillion to-do lists in various notebooks and mobile phone apps with things I want to achieve. Okay, I’ve been doing that since my teenage years and have wanted to become a better person for both myself and those around me… and I’m not yet where I want to be. I’ve done well at meeting my academic goals, my adventure goals, any form of “bucket list” goals I have… but regarding my fitness, health and nutritional happiness, I can’t seem to leap the first hurdle, let alone cross the start line.

The fitness industry is booming with more people, particularly women, achieving the “look” of being fit, toned and healthy and I want to be part of it. In May last year, I was the closest I have been to being comfortable with the physical ‘me’ in a long time. I was going to the gym at least twice, if not three, times a week, and had been doing hour-long personal training sessions for three months. I could tell I was getting stronger and fitter even though I still grumbled and huffed when I had to do an exercise I didn’t like or if I was just feeling downright grumpy. What can you do? 😀

When I moved to Sheffield in September, I bought a gym membership but have only used it about ten times. It’s maddening. Even when I have it written in stark black ink “START GOING TO THE GYM” or “DO ANYTHING EXERCISEY ONCE A DAY” or more recently, “DO TEN THOUSAND STEPS A DAY”… I’ve hardly hit the goals. I give in to staying within my comfort zone but I know that every time this happens I’m putting off what I really want. And, that should be incentive enough.

Nevertheless, a friend of mine recently posted her fitness goals, her aims to get fit and I know that if I don’t start at some point (I.E. now), I never will. I have tried to keep it as simple as possible because I know that overwhelming myself with pressure will just send me to the nearest McDonalds and a sofa. My incentive is that I share this with you, and will continue to, so then I won’t let my little blog down so-to-speak. So, my goals aren’t to achieve the transformation that girls do in the movies, or imagine I’ll ever be an “instagram” girl standard. (I am not digging at myself here.)

I just want to know and feel that no matter whether I have had a cheeky cheat day or a holiday, I will have confidence to proudly stand in front of people I either know or don’t, in a ridiculous onesie or a bikini, with makeup on or makeup off, and be happy with what I eat and that I’m fit and healthy. 😀

I’m going to use a fitness programme by a now vaiiir famous instagrammer from Sydney: @kaylaitsines as well as doing a variety of exercises that my personal trainers taught me. I’ve chosen to do her programme (because I handily have it off an old friend (thank you)) and more importantly because it can be done anywhere. This may require a few adjustments at times but it means I don’t have to rely on gyms or which country I’m in to do it! This is great for me as one of the challenges I face is my knack for not staying in the same place for a good long period of time… so hopefully, as long as I have my trainers and some form of sports kit, I am good to go!

As another incentive to start, but also to do something that’s close to my heart, I’m raising money for MS Society UK – it is raising money for research for multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease which affects the nerves anywhere and possibly everywhere in your body.

My Grandpa was diagnosed with it, and since with Parkinson’s, and although my role is only tiny, I want to do something (as well as mowing the lawns and feeding his birds of course 😀 ) The rest of my story is on my fundraising page

MS Society has launched a campaign, ‘Let’s Kiss Goodbye to MS‘ for May and I’ve jumped onto the bandwagon! Some are giving up alcohol or wearing makeup whereas I’m going to give up chocolate (cries inside) and train to run in Nottingham’s Wollaton Park Run on the 10th June. Two birds with one stone! Yay?

Xo.

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beaches and views: cornwall in 48 hours.

beaches and views: cornwall in 48 hours & a reunion

In November last year, Jessie and I had promised to see each other in the new year of 2017, aiming for the end of March. In January I found myself on Flybe’s website booking a flight to Newquay airport in Cornwall after working out that it was cheaper to catch a train to Manchester Airport rather than drive myself [for five hours omg] or catch many trains for 7-8 hours with awkward journey times. I couldn’t believe I was going to go to Cornwall!

Soon enough, Sunday 2nd of April arrived and I was heading to Nottingham Train Station to catch the 11:44 train to Manchester Airport. Jessie moved down to Cornwall a year ago to pursue her dream of living in a place she has spent her life going on holiday to with her family and got a job at one of the local and top brand hotels in north Cornwall near Newquay. I admire her for making the move to somewhere new and taking on the challenges of adulthood face on. I boarded the little plane that would leap across the British isles to my destination and found myself considering the topic of adulthood and what it entails. I seem to keep coming across articles or things that talk about us ‘twentysomethings‘ and our lives here and now. Nevertheless, I let those thoughts dance away and attempt to emanate relaxed vibes instead.

At 17:30 I arrived at the tiniest little airport I’ve ever seen. It was one building the size of a town hall and the baggage reclaim was the size of a lounge in a standard semi-detached house. As I had no luggage, I was in arrivals in about 39 seconds. Wow. 😀

Ten minutes later Jessie and I found each other and we were soon zooming down the winding country lanes talking about her car as it’s very similar to mine! Seat Mii / Skoda citigo cars are obviously the cool trend at the moment… 😀

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Mawgan Porth Beach, Cornwall

We stopped at Mawgan Porth beach, removed our shoes to feel the sand between our toes, and walked out towards the crashing waves and the sea beyond, sharing our most recent updates and tales. The water was rather icy and a bit of a surprise to our little toes but that couldn’t ruin the 360 view that surrounded us. The sun was low in the sky, warm light cascading down over the green coast that disappeared into the distance on both sides of where we were standing. It was one of those moments where no cameras are used, where you really take it in and experience it 100%.

Once back at the car, Jessie drove us to where she lives in St Eval and gave me a little tour of her three bedroom home that she shares with her 19 year old brother. I think if I lived with Harry, we would drive each other mad… Nonetheless, their house was lovely, cosy and the pet hamster was a cute extra housemate that loved to loudly chew the bars on its cage. In the evening we went to a

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Polzeath Bay, Cornwall

pub by the famous beach in Polzeath called the Oyster Catcher for a drink and some light food. Given that I was by the sea, we decided to share two starters: moûles frites and prawn skewers. Yum.

I made it my challenge to eat as much seafood as possible during my forty-eight hours in this Cornish land. By hour four: we were back home, relaxed on the sofa, and planned for the next day…

At 10:45am, hour seventeen, we arrived at the Headland Hotel by Fistral Beach on the south side of Newquay for a relaxing few hours in the spa. We donned big plush dressing gowns and complimentary flip flops and made sure to make full use of the facilities. 😀 The swimming pool area had different shower areas, one had different settings such as “tropical storm” which douses you in cold water to eventually add hot water to give you a “refreshing” experience. My response to that was just pure shock at the water temperature. I hope I never get stuck in a real tropical storm… There was a relaxation room which was the best part of the spa facilities with big loungers, fluffy blankets with complimentary sweeties and tea. We had lunch at 13:30, hour twenty, and I kept to my challenge, having battered seafood, which meant I ticked squid, white fish and more prawns off my seafood checklist. Double yum.

At 15:30, hour twenty-two,  we sadly gave back the robes and got back in the car to head to Padstow, the home of Rick Stein, which was a lovely little port dotted with shops and a panoramic view of a channel running inland from the sea. After ducking and diving into the little local surf shops, seeing three pasty shops sitting side-by-side [talk about competition, eh?], we decided to get scallops from Rick Stein’s take-away fish and chips place, go to Tesco for ingredients to make a salad and head home for a feast. My list of seafood eaten was going well, and I am so proud. I also feel like my body was thanking me for it as fish oils and omega 3 are good for us!

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By hour twenty-eight, the fresh sea air and good food had me in a sleeping slumber that I haven’t had in a long while… On Tuesday, we woke to a rather gloomy looking sky, but unperturbed headed out towards Port Isaac to the north. It is the site where the TV series Doc. Martin is filmed so I definitely had a picture in front of the Doctors house!

We had a lovely wander up through the narrow steep streets and admired the colourful houses that sit in the side of the sloping cliffs and those that are also standalone. We had lunch in a pub with a table looking out over the dock, and I finished my seafood list with a mackerel pâte and sourdough toast. Triple yum! 

We ended the trip as we started, walking onto Mawgan Porth beach, where the sun had once again broke through the clouds and lit up the blues in the sea and golds in the sand. 

Hour forty-seven: the little building that is Newquay Airport came into view. 

Although Jessie and I only ever manage to see each other a few times a year – if that – it is great to just settle straight into easy conversation and giggles. True friendship just makes the world go round.

And with that, my 48 hours in Cornwall have been the first mini-break with an adult touch involving spas, good food and wine. I hope I’ve given a good impression of the stray section of land that makes up the British Isle.

Thank you to Jess for a fantastic two days. Here’s to more adventures everyone! 

Xo. 

Wrocław in 48 hours.

As a mid-semester “break” three friends and I decided to take a trip outside the UK, giving ourselves the challenge of going for a cheap weekend away to escape the repetitive student lifestyle of sleeping, eating and studying (or trying to).

 As a mid-semester “break”, three friends and I decided to take a trip outside the UK, giving ourselves the challenge of going for a cheap weekend away to escape the repetitive student lifestyle of sleeping, eating and studying. Searching on google flights, we found three places that were the cheapest = Copenhagen [Denmark], Poznań [Poland] and Wrocław [Poland].

Continue reading “Wrocław in 48 hours.”

A French Christmas #3: nantes then northbound

The first adventure of the day was another trip into the centre of Nantes. This time we headed to the famous Île de Nantes that sits in the centre of the river Loire. We caught the tram from the stop called Plaisance (after turning down a few wrong streets eh Léa? 😉 ) down into the centre. After crossing a bridge onto the island, we arrived at one of Nantes most famous attractions. Every year the city commissions artists and similar folk to create works or attractions across the city and it is a very popular.’Les Machines de L’Île’ started as an idea for one of these summers and has turned out to be a permanent feature. It was started on the old docks and the warehouses are still used in both summer and winter for shows and other displays in the afternoons. 

(This is the link if ya wanna see it in full: http://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/ )

The best way to show you it, from our walk around, is the pictures I took. I have to say, the elephant was just huuuuuge. 

We also walked further along the side of the docks, passing a gigantic crane, and seeing another feature which is a set of rings that run down one long side of the barriers by the river. It was time to head back to the city as Léa’s dad was picking us up for our two hour drive north to visit another set of grandparents. As we were crossing the bridge I heard Léa say “oh that’s our tram” making it’s away towards the tram stop 100 metres from us. 

“Shall we run?” 

“LET’S DO IT.” (obvs me embracing the thrills in life)

Of course there was a set of traffic lights between the tram stop and us… but with luck on our side and completely embracing the concept the j-walking, we ran across it as cars zoomed towards us and managed to make the tram. I think I saw the tram driver look a little amused by our little sprint and took pity by waiting those vital few seconds for us. 

Well, what’s life without a bit of excitement? Hehe. 

We walked through the streets on the western side, stopped at a famous bakery for an éclair and pain au chocolat, and headed up to our meeting point. Fabulous. We also passed through la Passage Pomeraye that was so picturesque with it’s blue Christmas trees and lights. 

Again, more pictures 😀

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Just after 2:30pm we were on the motorway heading north to Rennes then towards Saint-Brieuc for one more Christmas feast and to see Léa’s Grandpa and [same] Uncle [& fam]. The journey ended up taking about three hours. We also stopped by the seaside to take a short walk along the promenade and breathe in the fresh salty air. The Grandparents house was like a cottage in a fairytale movie. It looked adorable. 15801013_10153872304656706_1974967493_n

We unpacked, changed into “fancier” clothing and headed downstairs. Soon enough, the appetisers appeared, then we seated ourselves for dinner, and to tell you the truth… Léa kept saying “oh, wait for boxing day, that’s going to be the feast” and I kept thinking “Pah, woman how can you have more than five courses!?” 

Oh boy, oh boy: I was wrong

People. If you ever have the pleasure of being invited for a French Christmas, prepare yourselves. Your willpower will be tested and I suggest you were stretchy jeans and not a tight skirt…. unlike one silly blonde girl… 😀 

From the first appetiser to dessert, it was awesome. 

To start, we had mackerel pâté with gingerbread cake, smoked salmon with cream cheese on a macaroon and a ‘cocktail’ of mussels, prawns, tomato and scallops. Is your mouth drooling yet? Mine was.

The second course was oysters. I had three (I didn’t want to let you down mother [she loves oysters]) while the three men of the family [coincidentally all related] devoured atleast ten each. This was served with a light white wine. 

Third course: fois gras with fig and more gingerbread cake, also served with bread and a sweet white wine. 

Fourth course: chapón (basically a chicken that is actually a cockerel which is the same animal but just a little bigger and has male parts [I’m typing this following Léa’s and my short but stubborn argument in Spanish]) with beautifully soft potatoes and sweetened water chestnuts. Our drinks changed to red wine from this course onwards.

“Oh, what about dessert and cheese?, you ask”

That’s right folks. This dinner was longer than five courses. 

The fifth course included four strong cheeses and bread. Having overshot on the first four, I took it easy on this course and had a nibble on the goats cheese. It was fresh and delicious. 

Last but not least, the dessert arrived as our sixth course. My stomach suddenly seemed to jump into action at the two ice cream logs placed before us and I was able to devour a slice of each. The first is chocolate and caramel, and the other mango and raspberry. 

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While the French chatted away downstairs and Lisa messaged her family, I was asleep first. Shattered, very well fed and in a sweet slumber.

Xo.

an aussie, a brit on a nottingham adventure (aka being tourists)

an aussie, a brit on a nottingham adventure (aka being tourists)

A lazy morning was happily welcomed on the Sunday 11th December. Lisa hadn’t tried baked beans before so we excitedly made an English Breakfast.Well, sort of. We didn’t have any tomato or mushrooms or has browns or sausages…. oops.

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But we were close enough! We even added a bit of salad to feel healthy. (One can dream.)

With the clock showing almost 1pm, Lisa and I got into my car and headed out on an adventure. Our first stop was the University of Nottingham Campus to show her how Ningbo looks as it does. We were layered up in warm clothes and walked around the lake and up the the iconic Trent building where we attempted to take an identical photo to one we took in Ningbo! 

Only one more campus to go… See you in Malaysia Lisa?

The second stop was Wollaton Hall, also known as Batman’s House in the Dark Knight Series. We walked up to the impressive building and around the gardens, stopping to take pictures of squirrels (for Lisa) and the Hall itself (for both of us). It was a short but sweet visit! From there we headed into Nottingham City Centre to see the Castle. Unfortunately it was a rather overcast day so the view from the Castle Rock wasn’t the prettiest. Nevertheless, we took the cheesy photo in front of the Robin Hood statue, headed to Ye Olde Jerusalem Inn that sits within the caves under the Castle. 

15595961_10153840095671706_381307795_oTo save ourselves from the cold we headed to the board game café called Ludorati. We ended up staying there for four hours playing games, including Machi Koro and Forbidden Desert (which is a co-operative game). If you haven’t been to a café like this, I recommend it! The amount of games on offer is awesome and the atmosphere is so lovely. Just after 7pm we headed to Revolución de Cuba for 2-for-1 cocktails and tapas! And we definitely had a feast! 

Two hours and a few brilliant and deep conversations later… it was bedtime. 

Wait, no. We loved the Forbidden Desert game so much that Danny bought it and we played another round once we got home. And we won this time! What a way to end a brilliant weekend. I love having the opportunity and the honour to show wonderful friends this country and the places I love. I am just too lucky 😀 

[ … ]

On Tuesday 13th December, Lisa and I headed to Sheffield for another short adventure. Sadly the rain decided to pour… however the city did have a couple of Christmas stalls and lovely lights so we did have a nice wander around. 

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In front of the Sheffield Town Hall with Christmas lights behind us!

 And once the day was done, we relaxed at my house in Sheffield, watched some netflix and before long, our alarm was already buzzing for us to head to Sheffield train station… Her next stop was Edinburgh! 

15595628_10153840095771706_340184278_oIn only four short days Lisa had appeared and vanished off into a train heading northwards. Is it weird to say that I missed her Australian twang? (i.e. accent)

She’s reminded me of the adventures we had, the happiness we experienced and the people that surrounded us. Although you never expect someone to have such a profound affect on you… (even though I am one of her insta no. 1 fans, haha)

I’ve loved having her here and being reunited in person rather than through a screen. I’ve noticed how I’ve changed over the past year and however many days. It’s made me reflect rather a lot since (even though it’s only been a week since I saw her! & I’m seeing her again in four days…).

Thank you for inspiring me to be happy. To laugh, to smile, not just on the surface but deep down. Your bright and amazing spirit has reminded me of the quote: “don’t take life too seriously, otherwise you’ll never get out of it alive“. 

I hope all of you out there see some inspiration in the quote too. It’s meant to make you scoff a little, smile to yourself, and remember that happy is the best thing to be. 

Xo.

 

A Canadian in Town #3: London-bound

It’s a bittersweet ending to a ten-day adventure! Michael headed off to Manchester on the Sunday 25th September to meet a friend for lunch and head on to the airport to fly to Edinburgh. Whilst I resumed the university working life, he went off to see the Scottish sights. On Wednesday I knew Michael was due to catch a flight to London at around 10:30 in the morning. so reached out to him when he was due to land in the country’s capital… to receive this: 
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Note: visa means visa debit card – I thought he meant his visa into the country (even though Canadians don’t actually need a visa to get in due to the commonwealth etc. etc.) I guess it is a “fun fact” if you guys didn’t know! 

Anyway, drama aside and in a true “michael cloney fashion”, he booked a plane for the following morning and had a cracking extra day in Scotland. 

On the following Saturday Danny, Karmen and I had booked tickets down to London to see Michael before both Ayisha (his cousin) and him were to fly back to Montreal on Sunday morning. 

We set out for London at about 9:45am, stopped at a new favourite coffee shop of mine called 200 degrees by the station, and boarded the train easily. We arrived just after midday and met them at the Phoenix Hostel near Edgware Road. It was a slightly weird experience to see a hostel in your own country. Even though I have stayed in multiple hostels in various countries it doesn’t feel normal to have one in our own capital city. It felt as if this hostel should look or feel different to all the other ones I have been to however, as a normal person should expect, it’s exactly the same. The difference is is that I can actually understand everything written down around me. Now that is a novel experience. 

We headed to Brick Lane near Shoreditch first where they all took hipster style photos by the graffiti and ducked and dived into vintage markets. We also stopped at a hipster shop for a quick cuppa, waited for a friend to join our crew, then headed on to wander a little more. 

This is the point where the day turned into a little mathematics “game” of addition and subtraction. The first to arrive was Danny’s friend:

+ Chris

Next, we caught the 26 bus towards the Strand past St Paul’s Cathedral to show Michael and Ayisha Covent Garden and the more central parts of London. I love taking the buses in London. Why? Even though they can take longer than the underground…

  • sometimes it means you don’t have to change lines
  • sometimes the journey lengths are the same
  • you get to see the streets of London in all their glory whether they are bustling or empty
  • you learn more about the city’s layout
  • it’s actually cheaper than the underground so saves that student $$
  • if you get the front upper deck seat, you have a first class ticket to London sights my friend. 

(I’m not being sponsored by London transport, by the way, I’m just rather enthused by the buses over the underground… as you may be able to tell!)

Once we arrived we quickly popped into the courtyard of Somerset House and waited for a few more people to join us. After about ten minutes:

+ Georgia

… who I have to say was wearing the nicest rain coat (Danny and) I have seen in a long time. It’s a jacket made by Rains which is a Danish company.

Our growing group of seven headed towards the very busy and popular London borough Covent Garden where our party grew once more to eight people:

+ Christine

… who, by sheer chance, had her birthday that day! 1st October. She had returned from Reading where she is studying a masters to celebrate with her family but also, seeing me as we hadn’t crossed paths in aaaaaages. (I’m full of fun random facts today aren’t I?)

We walked around the markets but Christine, Georgia and I (being London regulars) went on ahead to find a coffee shop to escape the crowds and to be able to chat a little bit easier. Danny, Karmen and the others roamed around the markets a little longer looking at all the little trinkets and memories the stalls have to offer. I found a place tucked away called Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and it was so good

Everyone else joined us and we were soon sitting, sipping our drinks and chatting. I love being part of bringing people together and watching us all somehow enriching our lives by meeting someone new. 

When you think we couldn’t add any more people, another arrived. 

+ Dave

However, this is where the subtraction takes place…

Georgia

– Christine

(Let me just make it clear that they weren’t leaving because of Dave, but with prior commitments and birthday dinners, they had to head off 😀 )

From the coffee shop, we walked towards Leicester Square, added a…

+ Huy

And you’ll be glad to know that’s the end of the mathematics “game” I mentioned earlier. Wait, I lied.

– Dave 

As it was a Saturday night in London, and I hadn’t had the foresight to find somewhere and book a table for our large crew of … i don’t know how many.. eight? All waiting times were around an hour. I advise anyone who has more than four people in their group to look up places beforehand! Or go to eat at around 5:30 instead of 6:30… the crowds were hScreen Shot 2016-10-05 at 19.58.41.pnguge. 

We ended up in Shoryu Ramen Restaurant in Kingly Court, Soho and gleefully stuffed our faces with noodles and other little nibbles like edamame beans and gyoza. Once stuffed (exactly like this little image to the right –>)

Unfortunately, it was suddenly close to our train time home and I couldn’t believe the day had flown. 

Michael’s visit has reminded me of the value and opportunities that travelling gives us. It’s made me look at my own country and see all the fantastic places worth visiting without having to hop on a plane. Although I want to go travelling to all different continents and places, it’s a reminder of the little things that can be so marvellous without the realisation that they are.

Friendship can mean so many different things and have a variety of meanings. I used to think that best friends were those who share their lives with each other 24/7 when in fact, the 24/7 doesn’t matter. It’s the effort regardless of the distance that does. The fact that Michael and I, wherever we are in the world, manage to see each other, or just send a WhatsApp or have a quick skype call is priceless. 

This also applies to many other friends that I have made (you know who you are), both in the UK and abroad, that I share this type of true friendship with. 

So… I guess I’m saying: Thank you for coming to visit me, Michael. It’s been an absolute ball having you here and I already can’t wait to see you again. 

Until we meet again mon ami. 

Xo.

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Happy Sunday Everyone! 

Si el camino que sigues es difícil, es porque vas en la dirección correcta.

If the path you follow is difficult, it’s because you’re going in the right direction.

To start, a quote I found a year ago that has re-appeared and I just find it so fantastic, I had to share it again!

So it’s a Sunday morning and I’m lying in bed in a thick hoodie, thick pyjama bottoms and socks because it’s below freezing in the UK already. It’s the first day in a while that I’ve booked myself in a for lie in as I’ve had a very busy few weeks starting my new job as a Sports Assistant at the Univeristy sports centres. As well as working for the Univeristy as an Ambassador, going to lectures and fitting in what I am supposed to be doing in fourth year: studying.
When I first went on to Facebook this morning (as the majority of people do..) I saw a friend had shared a post about ‘learning languages the hard way’. The article made sense, was clear and I agreed with the fact that to learn a language, you need time. However it completely criticised the use of textbooks and apps for self study for anyone who has a go at picking up a language. The author of the article is correct about the face that the use of time is key in learning a language. It is “a skill, not a subject”. But instead of finding it inspiring, I found it to be a sales pitch…. It was slamming the use of products like Rosetta Stone (as they are quite expensive I agree) but then promoting reading his book about “learning languages the hard way”. This polyglot dude, who yes may have had a lot of success with his blog: sensiblechinese.com, is basically preaching that we read his book.

Do you know what mate? We already know that languages is flipping difficult. Otherwise we wouldn’t have a decrease in students studying it for GCSE, A-Level etc would we? I wouldn’t have to go into schools and share my passion for these languages I love. ARGH.

I apologise but he really got my goat (an english expression for annoying me) (… I hope that’s the correct expression I’ve used..)

ANYWAY. In short, I’m ranting about this because I found it was just a sales pitch. I know he’s not exactly selling anything, rather giving us a free resource. And it may be inspiring to some people but writing a book in which the first step is to “speak to people [in the chosen foreign language]” is just bonkers. I shouldn’t assume but I believe that most people reading this book would be inspired in that moment but when it comes to finding people to speak to, or practice with, it is beyond daunting! Thus, the use of apps and programmes such as Rosetta Stone (there are many free/cheaper ones online now) are necessary to find people to communicate with or build up the speaking confidence in the first place!

I apologise for the rant but I didn’t feel inspired. Instead, the emotion was slightly  bullied by the article.

Feel free to have a read for yourselves and see what you think and I’d love to know if you feel different to me! 😄 I have signed up to the email mailing list and will see what it turns out to be…

***

 

Day trip to London for Dave’s birthday

 

On a happier note, final year is a blast. It’s exhausting and time is passing way too quickly… We only have three weeks left of this semester: WHAT!? But I am loving life.

As I am a people person… I am genuinely like a kid at Christmas with all the new people I’ve met and am spending time with this semester. I’m not going to name them because it’s just too… Cheesy/soppy?Anyway; the people I’ve met at mandarin corner and in my mandarin class (and some others who I’ve just met and come to know) have really made being back in the UK fantastic. I was worried that I’d come back and find life difficult without the friends who have already graduated being here. The irony is that I feel like I’ve seen them more often in the past two months than I did in the two years of us living together! The saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder” must be true…

Yes, final year is stressful and scary. The workload is high and daunting. I definitely have done more preparation for my essays than I’ve ever done in my life. But, this may sound strange, I’m so grateful to my tutor (shoutout to Kapcia right now) for keeping me sane. The few moments where I have almost lost it and wanted to hit the “eject” button, he put me back on the straight and narrow. We have to have time to relax, to do something good for our sanity, to give our bodies a break from the effects of ridiculously high stress levels. I have to remind myself that I’m so lucky compared to so many with what I have in my life. And I am beyond happy for it all.☺️

 

with my girlies in london, Georgia & Chloe

 

“you’re a wizard harry” – kings cross station with Alice and Hannah

 

London meal for Dave’s birthday

 

Chloe’s visit to Notts

  

Nottingham decorated in Christmas lights!
  Another McDonald’s date with Luis


A Friday evening involving ridiculously spicy chicken wings and good company ☺️
Happy Sunday everyone,

Big love!

Xo.

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Year Abroad #Madrid: J’adore la Ciudad (city guide)

Seeing as I’ve been here a month, I have decided to share what I’ve learnt about this fantastic city and give anyone, who may want it, a few ideas of where to go and what to do if they were to come here for a few days!

Así… ¡Bienvenidos a Madrid! 

#1 … Primero.
Madrid is a city that runs at a slower pace than London and other major cities in the world. It is not slow in a sense that everyone walks in slow motion, work less, do little.. but they have a very relaxed attitude compared to uptight Britons etc. Continue reading “Year Abroad #Madrid: J’adore la Ciudad (city guide)”