Sunday, 29 June 2014

A Weekend Break in Edinburgh!

While playing a game of 'I have never' a friend of mine realised she had never been to Scotland and with our university city only three hours away from Edinburgh the Scottish capital, a plan was born. 

We managed to pack so much into such a short trip and man were my feet killing! It was so crazy to grasp the notion that we had passed into another country and to see the Scottish flag instead of the Union Jack, I feel like we hardly ever use the solely English flag. We were spoilt for traditional architecture and beautiful sites. I loved seeing the way the natural countryside transitioned into city. On our first night we climbed Calton Hill where the skyline was breathtaking. The clear development of civilisation reminded me of all the accounts in The Book of Mormon in which people would migrate, colonise and create whole new cities within the wilderness. It was such a beautiful concept to see illustrated. 

The castle while beautiful was certainly different than those I am used to. It seemed more a cluster of homes or a village set on the hill instead of a grand unified building. To make the most of our short trip we decided to walk everywhere. Not personally being able to drive I have realised how much more of the world we take in when we walk. The wonderment of the simplicity. Driving through an area always makes it appear different. There seems to be so much of an authentic connection and knowledge of a place when we walk. (Saying that, there are of course times when I would love to be able to drive!) The streets were full of performers, tourists, the Scottish accent and sunshine! We expected the weather to be pretty grey and were so pleasantly surprised when the sun came out to play! Although we definitely didn't pack light summer clothes! We'd all brought jackets and jeans!  

The hidden history of Edinburgh is one in plain sight. Along the main streets, particularly the Royal Mile there are small street or 'close' signs lower than the average height of a door placed peculiarly along the whole street. These where all once 'closes' where people lived. We went to a tourist attraction called The Real St Mary King's Close, at first I was apprehensive incase it would scare me! But it was absolutely brilliant! 

We were taken underground to visit one of the old 'closes' that than been built over. It was so dark and cramped, it's crazy to imagine people used to live there. Our tour guide was so dramatic and engaging. We were taught about the Black Plague (something I barely remember from Primary School), the different social and economic classes, ghost stories and much more. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos due to the ownership of the land. On the rest of our visit we would stumble across such signs for old 'closes' that were now walls of stores, etc and be mega excited marvelling that it was once a narrow street of homes! 

J K Rowling visited Edinburgh a lot while writing the Harry Potter books and we were lucky enough to eat at the cafe where she wrote the first book! While she initially came up with the idea on the train from London to Manchester, The Elephant Cafe seemed to become a hub of activity for her story writing. With a clear unique brand identity and Scottish menu it seemed an unlikely place until you went into the toilets. Small with whitewashed walls they were completely covered in brightly coloured graffiti or 'letters' for want of a better word. It was amazing!! People had clearly travelled far and wide to leave a message for the author of such a beloved book that was our childhood. The plumbing even carried messages, with a pipe stating 'SNAKE IN THE PIPES', references to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes U-No-Poo and many with heartfelt messages. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Celebrating Our First Anniversary | The Lake District

On the 30th of May, Bernard and I went to the Lake District to celebrate the day that marked one year since our first date. So maybe 'A Year of Happiness' would be a more appropriate title. Because that it certainly is. 

Our relationship is wonderful. The love, growth, happiness and honesty are all key and glorious parts to what we have. He is my best friend and so much more. I am astounding grateful to have been blessed with him. The Lord knows us more than we know ourselves and helps us meet special people along the way. 

In Young Womens I was taught that a relationship should be like a triangle. At the top is Heavenly Father and at the two bottom corners is yourself and your partner. The closer you draw to God, the closer and more united you become in your partnership. But it is the duty and responsibility of both parties. Some of my most cherished moments are those where we have felt the Holy Spirit together. 

While this may seem a strange concept to some, it is a widely believed Christian concept that God plays an active role in our lives and that we, as his children, can have a relationship with him and be given great guidance and comfort through his gift of the Holy Spirit.

 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:26-27
We bought a walking map at the tourist information centre and had a whirl at trying to follow the National Trust paths. It was so glorious to simply spend the day together in nature. We hardly ever get a day completely to ourselves, making it even more special. We had milkshakes, smoothies, scones and sandwiches in the small village and later ate such a delicious dinner at an unassuming restaurant. I'm usually very cautious with ordering chicken dishes in restaurants (other than Nandos of course) but this one impressed me SO much! While it was abit more pricey, but it tasted divine! 

Considering how close our university city is to the Lake District it is quite frankly ridiculous that I had never been there! We explored Windermere and Bowness. I just wish we arrived  a little earlier in the day to have gone to the Beatrix Potter museum and on one of those little boats! (Although the latter may have terrified me considering I can't swim.) 

We had such a glorious time. I love looking back on how the dynamics and interactions in our relationship have developed. In the beginning there was the thrill and adrenaline of figuring out who the other person was, now we have the content, love and joy of knowing one another so well and simply being able to experience life together.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


The last week was one of the most stressful, hectic and horrible weeks of my life. It was also pretty wonderful. Almost two weeks ago I finished university... and I'm still recovering. My undergraduate degree is complete and in July I'll be graduating! Over the last month I endured crazy study hours, hardly any sleep, a hell of a lot of take away, hardly any fruit or veg (this has got to be one of the saddest), and countless hours of Netflix.  

I studied (creative) advertising, which no is not like marketing. It's basically a degree in ideas, words (copy) and visual representation (art direction). It is a way of lateral thinking and helping others to see things differently. (and yes, of course, it is a form of selling.) And man is it hard, but it's flipping satisfying. I love it.

So we don't sit exams or write essays. We have a ton of projects (coursework) and a degree show that needed to be done. It looks a lot like an art gallery but with advertisements instead. A great deal of my work is 3D and very 'craft and design' focused. 

I'm so proud and happy with what I've created. Because of the craft like nature I used a lot of the uni resources in getting my show ready: the laser cutter, woodwork, papercraft, vinyls, posters, ettcccc. I loved being so involved in so many departments of our 'School of Art, Design & Performance' instead of just the Advertising Studio. I just feel sad that it took me until the end of my time here to take full advantage of it!! I strongly encourage all students to make the most of all the resources and skilled people around them.

University has taught me so many things, a lot of which are not related to my course but are life lessons! (How ominous..) I have loved it. Since I was four years old I have been in education, and now I am not. It's going to take some getting used to. Yet some of my best memories and exciting moments have been things I've experienced or achieved during the crazy long summer holidays we get. So basically, life is now a massive summer holiday to fill with wonderful opportunities, and I'm pretty darn excited.  
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