Category Archives: Uncategorized

Let Me Go Home

I haven’t written here in a while. My reason is, I miss home too much.

I’m sitting here crying because I can’t find a picture of me and my mum. It seem silly, but I just want to see a picture of me and her, together, probably drinking wine and talking in faux French (because that’s what we do). 

I’m trawling my Facebook pictures and my photo folders, and I can’t find one. And it’s making me cry.

I’ve been in denial this last month. Everything has been a little bit hard. At home someone very close to me is going through a very dark time. I feel like my family needs me. My friends miss me. I haven’t made any really good friends here. I’m lonely. Not sad, but lonely. And in these moments, my homesickness threatens to overwhelm me. So, I’ve been in denial. Because if I don’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist.

But I miss my family. So much. I haven’t managed to speak to my brother & sister-in-law since I left (apart from the odd email or Instagram comment). I want to hang out with my sisters. I want to drink a bottle of wine with Mum. I want to have a D&M (otherwise known as a Dad & Mandy) on the couch with my daddy.

I want to be with someone who knows me. 

An hour long Skype chat is good, but by the weekend I’ve forgotten the vents, the anecdotes, the little stories that I had to tell during the week. It’s not the same drinking a glass of wine by yourself. It’s my birthday in a couple of weeks and I won’t have the family birthday dinner, or my dad saying ‘happy birthday, birthday girl’ every single day for three weeks in the lead up to it.

I don’t want to go home. I love Brighton and I believe my path is here. But it doesn’t make it any easier when you feel like you should be with the people you love.

Admitting all of this makes it feel so much worse than ignoring it. But it’s been building up. And I still can’t find a picture of me and my mummy.

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

 

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An Apology – A Nation’s Great Shame

An Apology – A Nation’s Great Shame.

From one of the great women of Australia.
I have never read a post that I agree with more. Steph, you’ve said it all for me.

Becoming a Brit 101

I have been honoured to guest post over on She Said What!
Check out my burgeoning British-ness, and read some of Steph’s other wonderful posts while you’re at it!

Q: When is a kite not a kite?

A: When it’s a bat, a shark, a little octopus, a giant octopus, a sting ray, a tiger, twin polar bears or Carmen Sandiego.

So yesterday I went to the Brighton Kite Festival!

I went because, really, who doesn’t love a good kite festival? But I also decided to go because my lovely sister has scampered back to the southern hemisphere, and I thought it was time I left my little comfort zone and tried my hand at making friends.

I found this website called Meetup where you can join groups of similar interests and go to their meets. So I joined a creative arts group and found them at the kite festival. 

I think somehow in my head I had imagined that if I was brave enough to tackle the world of going to random gatherings solo, that somehow the universe would reward me with a kindred spirit immediately and we would be BFF’s forever. Okay, so I didn’t exactly figure it like that, but you know. 

There were some nice people there, don’t get me wrong, but no ‘instant friends’.

Anyway, it was worth the trip out just to enjoy the sunshine, the kites, and a beautiful slice of lemon cake that one of the ladies in the group was sharing round.

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Little octopus. For all it’s simplicity, I think it was one of my favourites at the festival.

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I think this ones name was Bruce.

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Na-na-na-na na-na-na-na BAT KITE!!!!!!!!

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Centipede kite.

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Twin polar bears with their mama bear (who is struggling to get off the ground due to the lack of wind)

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Awesome flying tiger. Another favourite of the day!

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Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? I found her! She’s in Brighton!!!

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Proof that pigs can’t fly. At least, not in kite form.

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Much better looking than any stingray I’ve seen in real life.

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Giant Octopussy looking sad because he can’t get up off the grass.

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But feeling better when he finally made it!

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There were kites flying in tandem….

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….. and flags flying everywhere.

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You could even go fishing.

It really was a lovely afternoon. I love kites.
*walks away singing Mary Poppins songs*

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Brighton Belonging

It’s been almost an entire month since I posted last, and all sorts of wonderful things have happened. Not fairytale sparkling fireworks wonderful, but that comfortable, cup of tea, sense of home wonderful.

Firstly, I got back from Paris (I do have some more photos to upload, but that’s for another post). In a whirlwind of a week I moved into my new place, got myself a job and ran out of money! Let me tell you about it…

The Place – I love it. It’s in East Brighton, between Kemptown (the gay quarter) and the Marina (shops, cinemas etc.). I share this cute little two-storey townhouse with my lovely landlord who enjoys Eastenders, The Apprentice (which I watch with her on a Wednesday night) and her cat. We both tend to be out a lot, and keep to ourselves, but once or twice a week we usually end up spending an hour or so over a glass of wine talking about the world’s problems. The bus stop within 30m of my front door, and there is a Lidl (like Aldi) supermarket down the end of the street. Also, I’m about a 5 minute stroll from the seafront, straight down to the end of my road. My place rocks!

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My very cute, sunny little room. And of course, my teddy bear who has always travelled with me wherever I move.

The Job – A couple of days after I got back from Paris and moved in, I figured it might be time to apply for a job. Wednesday evening I applied for 12 jobs online. Thursday morning a recruitment agent rang me and asked me to come in that day to meet him and talk about a position. Thursday evening he rang me to see if I could interview with the company the next morning. Friday morning I interviewed, it seems kind of perfect and I really wanted the job. Early Friday afternoon I get a call from the managing director asking me if I was sure that I was staying in Brighton, as he was worried I was going to get homesick and leave. I assured him I was staying for a minimum of two years, and he replied that I should take the weekend to really decide that I was happy, but if I wanted the job on Monday morning, it was mine. And so, I had a job in 48 hours.

I started a few days after I accepted the position, and it’s been fantastic. It pays well (comparatively, for a job in an office in England) and the people are fantastic. Last week a couple of us went for an ‘after-work drink’ at 6.30pm when we finished. Apparently here ‘after-work drink’ means getting home at 2am. I feel like I’m learning quickly, fitting in well, and everything has just slotted nicely into place job-wise.

The (lack of) Money – Basically after I got the new job I realised I was down to my last £120 pounds. Yes, I probably should have been checking my bank statement more often, but in all fairness I was using an international cash card thing, and it took up to 72 hours to update after you made a purchase. In England they pay monthly, and I didn’t have my bank details in for payment on the day they paid at work (my third day working), so I am waiting again until the 26th of the month to finally get some money!

I’ve had to scrounge and borrow, and I’m living off about £2 a day. Actually, I have to be honest, it’s probably about £4 a day, because I haven’t been able to give up my morning coffee on a weekday which is £2.30 by itself – I just can’t make it through without it! Anyway, it’s meant no alcohol*, lots of porridge, no takeaways, and plenty of cheap frozen food (which I love but is so bad for my butt).

What’s funny though, is that through the stress of not having money, not being able to go out and do anything except walk around and look, being worried about how I’m going to pay rent mid-month, or how I’m going to pay for next week’s bus pass – I still love Brighton!

Yes, I really do. I feel home. I feel like I belong. I’ve moved around a lot (I think I’m up to about my 29th move?) and nowhere have I felt as accepted and peaceful as here. I’m not even weird here!!! I would have to be about seven times more kooky than I currently am to even be a blip on the weird scale. I love that there are constantly parades and festivals, bubbles being blown, free roses handed out, people dressed as sexy aliens, men who are dressed normally except for their pirate hat and feather boa, cross-dressers who don’t even try, 50’s-themed girls being pushed around on rolling step-ladders and more street buskers than you could even imagine. And most of this happens on a normal Saturday.

A few photos as proof… the ‘Children’s Parade’ which opens the Brighton Festival every year. They chose a storybook theme this year, every school in the area with a different book. I only saw about 15 minutes of the parade, and have probably about 50 photos. I can’t imagine if I actually saw all 70+ schools!

I didn't know that the Statue of Liberty was in a story, but sure, why not? Also, love the Lego man in the background.

I didn’t know that the Statue of Liberty was in a story, but sure, why not? Also, love the Lego man in the background.

They actually have a sign somewhere in there saying 'Let's go fly a....' and every kid has a giant kite!

They actually have a sign somewhere in there saying ‘Let’s go fly a….’ and every kid has a giant kite!

Who doesn't love Dr Seuss?

Who doesn’t love Dr Seuss?

I. Love. Brighton.

*I’d like to shout out to my Aussie friend L who has also recently moved here, and on the occasions that she has visited Brighton to see me, has shouted a few pints of cider. The alcoholic in me really appreciates it, and I swear when I get paid it’s my turn!!! xxx