It’s all so quiet…

I realise that, yet again, I have neglected the blog – I really am awful at providing you all with regular updates on my life. One reason for my sudden quietness though is probably my lack of excitement. Ever since my return from the Highlands life has been nice but quiet. I headed to the Glasgow Mela two weekends ago which was good (but quickly turned into a pub crawl round the West End!) and then finally went to my first BBQ of the summer last weekend for Ricarda’s birthday which was actually a really good afternoon/evening. Apart from that though, I have nothing to report.

I’ve been feeling a little homesick of late. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie as I don’t actually miss home at all (sorry Mum!). I am however missing my friends immensely. While I absolutely love my job and the people I work with, outside of work life is just a bit dull at the moment. To me, only going out socially once or twice in a week is nothing – I’d be out every night if I could and given half the chance, I usually am. Furthermore, after living with friends for the last three years, I’m used to being around people all the time so I didn’t even need to leave the confines on my flat to be social. If truth be told, I don’t like living alone as much as I thought I did. So many people I know on Facebook, twitter etc. are jetting off on holiday, going travelling or heading to festivals etc and enjoying the summer, while at the moment it just feels like I’m stuck up here alone.

Money’s a bit tight at the moment as well so unfortunately I canny go down and visit people etc to fill my time. What with only having so little time left in Glasgow now (66 days to be precise!) I’m also really reluctant to go down to England if it’s not something really special – I feel I should be up here, making the most of Scotland while I can!

Sorry for this massive moan but I promise you, it’s really not all bad. My friend Hannah is hopefully coming to stay this weekend and July is looking like a busy one – I’m potentially down in Manchester, Lancaster and London all in the space of two weeks which is exciting! Won’t be so exciting when I review my bank balance at the end of the month but hey ho, it’ll all be worth it I’m sure ūüôā

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Spring has sprung!

I decided to take full advantage of today’s glorious sunshine and go for a wander round Bellahouston Park, which is only a short 10 minute stroll from my house. The park itself is quite extensive and is also home to¬†Charles Rennie Mackintosh‚Äôs ¬†House for an Art Lover, as well as some formal gardens and lots of¬†leisure¬†facilities. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go round the house itself but I did manage to take a nice wander round some of the park and the walled garden.

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House for An Art Lover

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I imagine that, when spring has fully sprung, Bellahouston will be lovely and I look forward to heading down there more in the summer (if Scotland actually has one!). The park also host big outdoor concerts, with Eminem playing in August, so fingers crossed they’ll have some decent artists on that I can go and see. All this recent sunshine is making me very very excited for summer – I can’t wait to no longer have to wrap up every time I want to leave the house and spend most of my time in various beer gardens or parks! I already have some exciting plans for summer including a weekend in Edinburgh in August to hit the Fringe fest amongst other things. I’m also hoping I might be able to fit a cheeky city break abroad ¬†into my¬†schedule¬†although I’m not sure how realistic that’ll be (plus I need to find someone to drag with me!) Either way though, I have a feeling that this summer is going to be pretty good ūüôā

London 2012.

I know this blog is meant to be about my adventures in Glasgow but I couldn’t resist posting about my recent trip to London, mainly because it was absolutely amazing! I’m lucky enough to have a close uni friend who lives just outside the city so I thought, before I head off up North, I’d take a trip to the South and hit the capital one last time (for the foreseeable future at least!)

I arrived there Wednesday afternoon and was immediately whisked to the beautiful Hummingbird Bakery, which is famous for its gorgeous cupcakes. I treated myself to a lovely Red Velvet Cupcake (their best seller) which was simply wonderful.

Me outside The Hummingbird

A beautifully packaged cake

Our next stop was the Natural History Museum. I’ve been to London many times before but¬†never¬†actually got round to doing many of the major museums (too busy¬†shopping probably!) so I was really excited to finally visit NHM – safe to say it did not¬†disappoint! I got to see the giant blue whale, dinosaurs, go in an earthquake simulator, see an actual¬†human¬†brain and do some optical illusions. All in all a cracking few hours! The buildng itself is also beautiful, so it’s well worth a visit if only for that.

Natural History Museum

No trip to London is complete without a cheeky visit to Harrods, so that was our next destination. We spent much of our time there in the food court, drooling over all the¬†fantastic¬†things on offer! We then decided to head up to Hyde Park as this was another landmark I hadn’t managed to visit before. It was a lovely summer evening so I definitely picked a prime time to go! Definitely one of my new favourite places in the capital.

Harrods

Hyde Park in the Sunshine ūüôā

On our way home we passed through Kings Cross Station so, as a Harry Potter fan, I just had to have my picture taken with the Platform 9 3/4 sign! So much fun!

By far the best thing about the new Kings Cross

That evening we just chilled at my friend’s house, attempting to cook a sophisticated meal for the family and pampering ourselves with face steaming (!) and face masks. We used to do this semi-regularly at uni so it was a lovely end to a¬†fantastic¬†first day.

Casually just steaming my face.

However, it was the Thursday that was the really big day – we had tickets to go and see the Paralympics!! I was so unbelievably excited, not only to see the athletics but to also visit the Olympic Park. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful London morning and as soon as we reached Stratford the atmosphere was just electric. I literally cannot describe just how epic (and massive) the Olympic Park is – its actually unbelievable.

The Olympic Stadium

Our view of the stadium!

We got to see some fantastic athletics, including the amazing British athlete Hannah Cockcroft who stormed her heat for the 200m race and the fantastic Li Duan, a Chinese blind Triple Jumper who really knows how to create a show for the crowd. Like I say, the atmosphere was just electric and, to say the tickets were a bargain at £10, it was well worth every penny, just for the sport alone!

Once the session had finished we decided to have a good look round the Olympic Park. It is actually massive. You also, as was to be expected, have to queue for everything. Apart from that though it is brilliant! There is just so much to see and do everywhere Рthey have buskers and street performers entertaining the crowds, lots of lovely food and drink places (especially the rather cool Street Market section which has a ridiculously good selection of grub), a London 2012 megastore for souvenirs, a park area which shows live paralympics action on two big screens outside and various art installations and other general attractions for the masses. It really is a day out in itself!

Souvenir megastore

Tapas!

The world’s biggest Mcdonald’s apparently

Street Entertainment

Outside the Velodrome

Outside the Orbit


After a very exciting day at the Olympic Park we then made our way further East to the Royal Emirates Docks to have a trip on the new cable cars built over the Thames. There are some amazing views of the city to be had, definitely well worth the £3 for a single trip, even if just for the experience alone!

Cable Cars

Millennium Dome/ 02 Arena

There’s also a tiny man-made “beach” next to the Docks so, of course, I just had to have a little paddle in the Thames.

Never thought I’d end up in the Thames

To round off the day we then headed to Tower Bridge (yet another landmark I’d never actually been to!) and Southbank, where we ended up watching more Paralympics on a big outdoor screen. When we won a gold medal everyone clapped which was cute!

Paralympic Symbol on Tower Bridge

All too soon however it was time for me to dash through central London and get the coach back home to Nottingham. I absolutely love London so this was the perfect way to start rounding off what has been an amazing summer. I definitely see myself going back again multiple times and, if I could ever afford it, even living in the capital at some point in my life. For now though, this will probably be my last trip for at least a year so I’m glad it was such a memorable one! ¬†Weird to think my next couple of trips to ‘the capital’ will involve heading to Edinburgh instead!

Days until the big move:8 (AHHH!)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

As a new blogger, I thought it’d be fun to get involved with this week’s photo challenge – I’ve broken the rules slightly though and chosen a picture that wasn’t actually taken this week. Oops. I promise I’ll do better next time!

Anyway,the OED¬†defines¬†a free¬†spirit¬†as “an independent or uninhibited person” . Based on this definition alone, I decided to choose the following picture for this week’s theme.

For those of you that aren’t aware, this is my face. This picture was taken on Monday 28th May, the date I finally finished my degree. My last exam finished at approximately 11.30am and as soon as it was over I was straight on a bus on the way to the train station to head home and celebrate. I was treated to a beautiful 3 course meal (and a cheeky cocktail as you can see!) at my favourite restaurant, Jamie’s Italian. It was a¬†gorgeous¬†summer evening so we sit outside in the so-called ‘secret garden’, which is possibly one of my favourite places in the city. After weeks of exam stress this was my first chance to properly unwind and, as the evening drew on, it¬†occurred¬†to me that, for the first time in my life I had no plan. I had hopes and dreams and half-plans but nothing immediate or concrete. I was, possibly for the first time in 21 years,¬†truly¬†free to do whatever I pleased with the rest of my life. I was¬†independent. I was uninhibited. I was, by that very definition, a free spirit.

There were a number of other pictures I could have chosen, taken from various travels, that would also¬†encapsulated¬†this theme. I have pictures of Byron Bay, Australia which is most definitely a large community of free spirits (and one of my favourite places in Australia by a mile). Likewise, I have pictures of breath-taking scenery that would again fit this brief and would probably be more fitting or “appropriate”. But, for me, that evening and that moment, are the closest I have ever come to being a ‘free spirit’ and that is why I chose to share this particular photo.

Days until the big move:12.

Playing the waiting game…

Currently I spend most of my time on the sofa, snuggled up under my massive duvet watching a selection of Channel 4’s greatest programmes (namely Big Bang Theory & Come Dine With Me, FYI). While this is all well and good, I am starting to get rather fed up of having no actual direction or purpose in my life.

I never thought I would say this but I actually miss education. I miss learning new things, I miss sounding semi-intellectual and I miss that feeling of accomplishment whenever you complete a project and achieve something you can be proud of.

In fact, even more than this, I miss doing something “productive” with my life. This is the first summer since I was 16 that I haven’t had a part-time job, so now not only do I have a¬†severe¬†shortage of money, I also have a lot of free time on my hands, which as anyone in a similar situation knows is frankly quite dull. Even though I moaned constantly when I worked full-time in retail last summer I’d take my job back in a heartbeat, just so I don’t constantly have to try and fill my days with things to do.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a brilliant summer. In fact, probably because I have had so much spare time to enjoy with my lovely friends and family, I’ve had the best summer I’ve had in years and made some wonderful memories I’ll genuinely cherish forever (soppy I know, sorry!)

But now, as we slowly draw to the end of August and my overdrafts draws ever nearer to the £1,000 limit, it is finally time for the holiday to end. I simply cannot wait to get back to work and sink my teeth into a new challenge. Roll on 17th September!

Days until the big move:18.