I first started this blog when I was 19, curled up under a duvet in my bed, inside a dingy cold room in my grotty student accommodation. I had my gloves on as I tapped away on my laptop, the air so chilly I could see my breath in it. We would only put the heating on for a few hours a day to save money, but suffice to say I was missing the feel of a warm radiator, as my single-glazed windows welcomed in the unforgiving January weather.
I kicked things off with a small space on Blogger.com, with a basic template and a little profile picture of myself grinning into the camera, still looking like a child. It started like a diary, and I just loved having a space where I could write things – not in just an old notepad where nobody would ever see it – but online, where everybody could.
Writing on here felt so freeing, and it forced me to be creative in all sorts of ways, as I encouraged myself to bash things out on days when I wasn’t really in the mood.
I was rarely ever consistent, writing about one subject one day and on the next, something completely different. My timing was never quite on point either; months would elapse between some, while, on really good days, some were uploaded within only a few hours of each other. It all depended on what I was doing that day, week, or month, whether I had a job or deadline or something to keep me distracted, or whether I had a lot of stuff on my mind that I just had to get out.
Saoirse Ronan as “Lady Bird” and Beanie Feldstein as “Julie”
“I remember seeing Boyhood and thinking: what’s this but for a girl?” said Greta Gerwig when speaking about her new movie, Lady Bird with the Financial Times last week. Her directorial debut has been scooping up accolades and nominations left, right and centre since hitting the big screen in the US last November, and after finally seeing the movie for myself on Wednesday, it’s really not hard to see why.
Set in Gerwig’s hometown of Sacramento, California, the story follows Saoirse Ronan’s Christine, a.k.a. “Lady Bird”, a pale, outspoken, misunderstood teenage girl with pink hair and a complex love-hate relationship with her mother, played by the brilliant Laurie Metcalf.
When I told a friend I’d been to see this film and she asked me what it was about, I wasn’t really sure how to describe it to her. Lady Bird is a story that fits neatly within the classic “coming of age” genre, and Lady Bird’s (the character) journey to adulthood does feature those traditional elements of friendship, romance, sex, identity, being different, being weird… and yet there’s still so much more to Gerwig’s screenplay than meets the eye.
In autumn, as the leaves on the trees turn yellow, orange, brown,
They fall the way snowflakes do, dancing in the breeze.
They crunch underfoot, freshly toasted,
Or like cornflakes in a bowl,
Sharp, crisp and golden.
But when it rains, they turn moist,
As though the milk has gone in,
But left to sit for too long,
The crunch, gone.
Just a wet, sloppy mess,
Scattered across the pavement,
On a wet November day.
Our first breakfast in our new flat, after realising that we hadn’t yet bought any bowls
Something pretty big happened this weekend, and it’s something I guess I’m sort of still coming to terms with.
I moved in with a boy.
And not just any boy either – one I’m quite fond of. Like, really fond of.
It’s a big step, but one we’ve been actually talking about for over a year; it’s just taken us a while to actually do it. Partially to blame for the delay was the location – I worked in one part of the country while Michael worked in another (these days our offices are only a few tube stops apart).
Also to blame was the headache of finding somewhere decent that didn’t cost the earth: somewhere that didn’t have extortionate up-front fees, wasn’t in a horrendous part of London and wasn’t so foul that even rats would question residing there. Neither of us were in any big rush to move out of our parents’ homes, either, where the rent was cheap, the meals came cooked, and the heating and water bills were covered.
But there does come a time when you get fed up of being the ones that have to leave the party early to make the monumentally long journey home, and the ones stood on the platform at 7 o’clock in the morning waiting for a train that is running late, again.
And while we are lucky to have two sets of parents who didn’t mind us both hovering around the house at the weekends, constantly saying “mine or yours?”, when all we really wanted was our own space, was becoming a little tiresome, too.
A pretty cool-looking tower
Last Friday, Michael and I hopped on a 7.01 Eurostar and headed off to Paris for a five-day trip, something we’d been looking forward to since we’d arranged it last October.
To say I had been excited about our Parisian holiday would be a mild understatement – I mean, I’d installed a countdown app on my phone the minute I’d found out we were going, and driven my colleagues and friends mad for the best part of nine months with tales of what we’d do when we eventually got there.
Finally, the time had arrived! And it was so worth the wait, because it was more than we could have ever hoped for. Here are just a few highlights.
#1 The sights
The Louvre, the world’s largest museum
We got stuck into all the proper touristy stuff as soon as we arrived – from the Eiffel Tower (obviously), to Sainte-Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe, and lots, lots more. There’s a lot of these to tick off in Paris, and I think our five-day visit was just the right amount of time to get most of the big ones in.
The thing to bear in mind is that there’s obviously huge numbers of tourists at most times of the day – as is the case with any enormously famous landmark – which means that to get inside anywhere involves at least some queuing (but we Brits are quite good at that). Getting there first thing in the morning is advisable, but because we’re lazy we didn’t quite manage the early starts… not even once. Hey, we were on holiday! View Post