Last But Not Least: Day Twenty-Two

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-26 um 14.12.03

Our last day. I was wearing my favourite dress today, and it’s now damp and rumpled; a bit like we are. A bit tired and a bit ready to go home, and a bit sad-looking because we’re not ready to say good-bye. Not to those red doubledecker buses, not to the tea, not to the bookshops. Not to each other.

But, my friend, I have loved being on an adventure with you, loved it so much I wished it would never end. But I think you’re fast asleep, and it’s only another three minutes until tomorrow, and this diary is all that’s left of today. A bunch of words that fail to describe a feeling. Like trying to catch a beam of sunlight.

But, friend, I think we caught it.

So let’s just start again.

(Quote: John Green)

Here’s to all the places we went:

Day One: London
DSC_3359_1024

Day Two: London
thumb_DSC_3391_1024

Day Three: London
DSC_3534_1024

Day Four: Winchester
DSC_3571_1024

Day Five: Brighton
DSC08004

Day Six: Stonehenge
DSC_3746_1024

Day Seven: Oxford
DSC_3817_1024

Day Eight: Stratford-Upon-Avon
DSC_3887_1024

Day Nine: Bath
DSC_4073_1024

Day Ten: Cardiff
tardis

Day Eleven: Bristol
DSC_4216_1024

Day Twelve: Cambridge
DSC_4241_1024

Day Thirteen: Cambridge
thumb_DSC_4269_1024

Day Fourteen: Norwich
DSC_4317_1024

Day Fifteen: York
DSC_4353_1024

Day Sixteen: Lincoln
DSC_4427_1024

Day Seventeen: Durham
DSC_4475_1024

Day Eighteen: Edinburgh
DSC_4632_1024

Day Nineteen: Loch Ness
DSC_4697_1024

Day Twenty: Glasgow
DSC_4777_1024

Day Twenty-One: St. Andrews
DSC_4847_1024

Day Twenty-Two: London
DSC_4972_1024

Last But Not Least: Day Fifteen

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-25 um 20.07.14

I’m wearing a T-shirt that says Buy Me Some Peanuts And Crackerjacks. We’re walking along the moat and we find the ruins of a cathedral. I think I like ruined cathedrals much better because you can actually see the sky, and maybe god sits up there in the clouds or maybe he doesn’t, but the sky is so big and vast and full of wonder that it makes me feel tiny and giddy with joy to be alive. We’re dancing tot he music on the street. We find a bookshop. We have lunch in the backyard of a tiny café. Our laughter is still ringing in my ears. I finally buy my own peanuts. And ice cream. I’m sure heaven is paced with ice cream.

(Quote: J.R.R. Tolkien)

Last But Not Least: Day Thirteen

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-17 um 15.16.36

Everything is a little out of place here. The shops, the advertisements, the tourists, me. The streets probably haven’t changed since the middle ages, and it startles me to think that some things still remain after everything that has happened. You would think the world should have gone up in smoke by now, but there are ancient buildings that some architect came up with eight hundred years ago, and no one has ever dared touch them. I don’t think we are quite capable of not caring about art and beauty, and maybe that’s why we can never be fully destroyed. Because there will always be that one street that stays, unnoticed maybe, but filled to the brim with memories and heart.

(Quote: Maggie Stiefvater)

Meet: Anna

Bild 31

Anna in three words: Reliable, Funny, Thoughtful
Anna’s dream dinner party guests: The Queen, Matt Bellamy, J.K. Rowling
Anna’s favourite post: 10 Years of Lovely Letters
Anna reads: Top with Cinnamon

DSC08807

Hello lovey-dovey folks! ’tis I, Noemi, and I am so excited to introduce you to one of my favourite bloggers, Anna! Some of you already met her when we were doing Blogmas together; so of course I could not resist and asked her for an interview. She did a really good job, as you’ll see, so pop over to her Blog and say hi.

Anna and I met in High School seven years ago where we were friendly but not friends. We had, however, the same two best friends, and they decided to leave us in the gutter and go on exchange. You can see where this is going, right? Around that time I had just discovered my love for James Blunt and when I found out he was doing a concert in Switzerland I wanted to go so bad! Alas, my best friend was busy partying in the US – BUT ANNA WASN’T! She agreed to go, and I in turn wound up going to a Hurts concert with her. Actually, she’s dragged me to at least three – but thus, our friendship was born. Heart warming, isn’t it?

Anna’s blog is called Tiny Trinket and it launched in 2014. It contains the bits and bobs of everyday life, thoughts and inspirations that haunt every twenty-year old, cat loving journalism student. She loves writing without having any reason to do so; and when you study something as fancy as JOURNALISM AND ORGANISATIONAL COMMUNICATION you are probably given LOADS of reasons to write, and I bet they’re not all as entertaining as observations of people at the gym or tellings of easter adventures at chocolate factories! On her little internet niche Anna is free to ramble, and she loves it!

175986_302155559890996_457547180_o

Anna, apart from writing beautifully, is an amazing baker. In fact, I’ve already hired her to make the cake at my wedding (who needs a husband when there’s cake, right?). Back in High School we only had two classes together, and I remember those wednesday mornings in history, when she’d present me golden cupcakes and raspberry slices. She really made me love history classes! In the future Anna would love to post more recipes, and when she does I’ll volunteer to be the test eater and review them!

If Anna had the entire world’s attention for just one minute she would tell people to stop fighting over economic interests or religion. Afterwards she’d blush to a tomato sort of red because the entire world is watching her, and then she’d blush even more because she’s blushing, and then… well, you get the picture! Anna is all for the world being a brighter place, which is why she would love for Harry Potter to come to life. He fights for a good cause, doesn’t he! (although The Independent did call him a «whiny sprog whose main achievement is not dying» … lol… what?)

Every summer Anna goes somewhere new with the friends she met when doing equestrian vaulting (that’s right, she can do friggin’ stunts while being on a horse!). Some of her favourite memories derive from these travels; for example that one time in Prague when they came out of a club at five in the morning and it was raining so hard they had to take off their shoes, and they ran through the Old Town back to the hostel, laughing all the way. Another time the girls were backpacking in Ireland and had an AMAZING meal in Letterfrack. Anna just remembers being so, so hungry after an entire day of cycling, and that pasta tasted, in John Green’s words, «like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes»!

anna2

Anna’s just this really sweet person, wrapped up in smiles and bubbliness and all things pretty. She is the personification of a tiny trinket! And she can throw around smart expressions like no one – I asked her what her favourite word was, and it’s «Endoplasmic Reticulum». Try and bring that up in a conversation!

I love Anna and I love her blog, and you, too, should go give her some L-O-V-E! (and now I’ve got One Direction stuck in my head – «well if it was me/I wooouuuld!»)

unnamed

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Last But Not Least: Day Twelve

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-10 um 17.57.34

My goal has been to write at least one sentence a day, and so far I have always written more than just the one, but I keep thinking that maybe one sentence might have said it all; yet, if I let this sentence stand alone, it is not going to help me remember Cambridge very well. When did my diary become a place of endless rambling? I’ve got Inga for that. Not to self: this is the reason you don’t travel alone!

Three days ago I was being poetic, today my brain is vomitting all over the place.

It’s really pretty here (wow, what a precise description!), and I had a Nutella/Marshmallow crêpe, and the guy selling it to me flirted a little bit which, in turn, made me feel pretty. And every person I see on the street might be part of the Brainy Elite. They must have the sort of brains who can keep their shit together.

I should probably talk to Inga now and stop rambling to myself. #SOCIALISE

Last But Not Least: Day Eleven

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-03 um 16.26.22

I never knew I liked cider. Until today.
It’s only cider, but it puts my life upside down. Well, maybe not exactly upside down. Maybe it just shook the ground I built my life on a little bit. Like a tiny, drunk earthquake. What if cider is not the only thing I thought tasted awful but actually turns out tob e rather delicious? Didn’t I have the same epiphany with ginger ale in Matamata two summers ago? What about all the books I promised myself never to read? It scares me that some day in boredom I might pick up a copy of Shades of Grey and like it!

It’s really weird to love something I swore to hate. It makes me want to raise my glass to changes of the heart, to second impressions and to my mind doing its best not to be set on one opinion. Cheers to the earthquakes that make me think.

All About Love by Bell Hooks

I am extremely excited about having finished the third book from Emma Watson‘s feminist book club «Our Shared Shelf» All About Love. New Visions by Bell Hooks; I mean I finished it, and it‘s still March! Yuss! I‘m on schedule!
Sorry. That‘s not why we‘re here.IMG_20160322_233624I never read the blurb because if Emma Watson gives you a book to read you don‘t go questioning it, all right? But I‘m not Emma, so I might as well give you the blurb:

«The word „love“ is most often defined as a noun, yet… we would all love better if we used it as a verb,» writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people and a society bereft with lovelessness.
As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explore the question „What is love?“ her answers strike at both the mind and heart. In thirteen concise chapters, hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society‘s failure to provide a model for learning to love. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the „100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life.“ All About Love is a powerful affirmation of just how profoundly she can.

To be honest, I had some trouble getting into the book, and at times also to keep reading. For one thing, the autho‘s big on generalisations. Right from the beginning she declares that love means something inherently different for men than it does for women. I generally disagree with feminists who claim that the difference between men and women is purely in the testicles because obviously testosterone does to a certain degree define how prone someone is to violence and other traits we claim as «manly.» Still, to say that «men» see love as such and such and that this would contradict any woman‘s point of view I found difficult to accept. She doesn‘t really leave any window open for cultural norms (I‘m sure that my male Honduran friends have a different idea of love than my male friends from New Zealand), nor does she really mention that her theories could apply to both genders.

Bell Hooks is also quite quick in drawing conclusions based on her own subjective opinion on the matter. For instance, in one chaper, she states without any lead-up:Bild 28I would have liked a little more information or reasoning as to how she came to this conclusion.

There were a number of other things that I‘m not going to go into detail about; such as the fact that she continuously contradicts herself or the beforementioned subjectivity. I still rated it four out of five stars, because from 20,000 ft viewpoint I agree with her overall message. In fact, many of the things she says can be life changing if applied in day to day life.

One of the things I‘m finding most inspiring is the notion that love is a choice. If we want to be able to love we have to let ourselves be loved. I feel she‘s sort of going into what we learned from Stephen Chbowski that «We accept the love we think we deserbe.» Well, actually, what we deserve and what we don‘t is our own decision. We can decide that we deserve the best ever treatment from our friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, parents, etc. Or we can accept abuse as a norm. What is important is that it might be a bad idea to value romantic love over friendship.Bild 29Abuse is not love, the author stresses. It‘s just that sometimes we confuse it for love, especially at a young age. But I completely agree on the fact that if somebody makes you unhappy in any way it is okay for you to leave the realms of this relationship.

Over all the book tries to lay the groundwork for a more loving society. And love appears in so many different aspects of our daily lives; honesty, justice, care, nurturing, forgiveness, selflessnes… the list goes on. Essentially, these are also the foundation of peace.

I hope the sun is shining where you are and I hope you have a lunch date, as I do right now, and I also hope that you know you‘re totally and completely worthy of love, you sexy noodle!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Last But Not Least: Day Ten

Bild 25

The best part about today, I think, was the sun. To be looking up and having to close my eyes because all the light is blinding me. To sit at Cardiff Harbour and eating pizza and seeing the sea glitter like a million little crystals stretchin out into the horizon. To catch a glimpse of the Tardis in the distance as if ready for take-off.

Cardfiff felt like going back in time just a bit. The castle and the streets and the language, and it all was bathed in golden sunlight and our giggles. And I wrapped the story up so that time could not hurt it and so that rain would never chase the sun from that day.

(Quote: Steven Moffat)

An Evening with Aleksandar Hemon

On wednesday I was lucky enough to attend a reading with Aleksandar Hemon. Literally, the only reason I went was because one of my professors at uni fangirled all over the place the other day, and naturally I had to see this phenomenon of a writer!

fangirlAleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian-born American fiction writer (as Wikipedia puts it). His stories are largely influenced by Slavic literature and treat the issue of Bosnian immigrants in the United States. He pretty much got stuck in ‘Murrica when he was there holidaying and suddenly a war burst out in his home country. But he‘s still there now, some twenty years later, publishing what sound like incredible stories.

20080522140127_horizontal main

Despite his native language being Bosnian he writes in English, and he writes a lot! When a member of the audience asked him how he deals with writer‘s block, he replied, «I don‘t get writer‘s block. I have a condition that I call writer‘s diarrhea!» He is currently working on three books simultaneously, while it‘s been taking me six months so far to hand in a 10-page thesis paper! I mean, WHAT?! He‘s so cool that he didn‘t even tell his agent he was writing a book called The Making Of Zombie Wars. Have you ever seen that book in a store? Well, it‘s pretty friggin‘ huge! And he kept it secret until it was finished and he could ask his agent, «So, when would you like something new?» And apparently she went, «Umm… how ‘bout June?» And he said, «Well, how ‘bout right now?» And he presented to her a brandnew manuscript. Look, all I‘m saying is that if an agent asked me to write a book until bloody June, no matter where we stand in the year, I‘d probably go, «Yeah, but you do mean June 2047, right?!» Right. And this is why I‘m not a bestselling author.

e8e6a3b40fa04ee32c1bc0d100bc1995As you can probably guess from all this, and if you don‘t already know Aleksandar Hemon, he has published quite a number of books and short stories and essays, and what have you. On wednesday he read a bit from his latest book, the cheekily written The Making Of Zombie Wars which sounded okayish, and then went on to read from his memoire, The Book of my Lives. And boy, was that a hit. It was beautiful, it was funny, it was smart – and then my fangirling professor went on to say this really nice thing about opening up a new book from Aleksandar Hemon: «It‘s like doing the Ice Bucket Challenge!» And, you know, I believed him. This man can make you feel so much, simply by rearranging 26 letters over and over again. Plus, the other thing my professor said made the books even more intriguing: «You must not read Aleksandar‘s stories to feel better, that‘s not what they are for. But his stories, they do not accept the world we live in as the most acceptable one. They offer us an alternative. Not an escape, but an alternative. And in my opinion, in this world we‘re living in, this is the best literature has to offer us.»

I can‘t wait to get my hands on one of his books. As always I‘m going to let you in on my oh-so sophisticated thoughts on the matter, but for now I just want to leave you a quote from The Book of my Lives which I thought was absolutely beautiful and deserved a mention here:

Bild 24

Last But Not Least: Day Nine

Bild 18

There was this angel, trying to climb up a ladder all the way to the top of the cathedral. I watched it for a while and I started to wonder why it wouldn‘t use its wings. It had wings, but they hung uselessly from the angel‘s back. Were they broken? Or worse – were they fake?

It was an endearing sight, rather than a pitiful one. Climbing, climbing, one step at the time. Maybe wings work like a parachute. Maybe the angel has to make its way to the top on its own. Maybe it has to know exhaustion and pain before it can unfold the wings and soar. Maybe every good deed is hard work and then flying high on hope.

I wonder if that little angel is still there, still climbing. 

(Quote: Jane Austen)