Tag Archives: family

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Life, lately.

What’s that? You’re desperately wanting to know what I’ve been up to in the last month and a half?
That’s what I thought you said.

I’ve had so many good things happening lately: I had a birthday, holidayed in France, took up baking, went back to yoga and other exciting things!

So here it is, bits and pieces of what I’ve been doing in the last little while.

Visiting Eastbourne
One drizzly Sunday I decided to jump on the bus to head to Eastbourne, home of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, a wonderful movie which you should put on your list to see if you haven’t already. It was a lovely hour bus ride, driving through some gorgeous scenery like the Seven Sisters Country Park, which I want to head back to and photograph soon. Eastbourne had some cute little markets along the seafront, a small but surprisingly interesting Royal National Lifeboat museum and the Wish Tower (small defensive fortress) on top of the hill which was built in the early 1800’s for defence in the Napoleonic wars. Eastbourne is known locally as ‘God’s waiting room’, and there is certainly a large proportion of older people there, but I was happy because I found some great ‘old lady skirts’ including a very cool lavender pleated skirt for next to nothing in the charity shop!

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Little beach houses and the life guards along the seafront.

Birthday Celebrations
At the end of September I had my 28th birthday, and to celebrate I bought myself a title. Yes, a title. You may now refer to me as Lady Amanda.
I am the proud owner (well, not owner, it’s actually dedicated in my name, but whatever) of two square feet in the Lake District! I am going to build a paddle-pop stick castle and cement it to my holdings.

I know that the English believe this to be terribly crass, but I actually don’t care. I’m claiming the non-classy Australian part of me here and saying it’s well cool!

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I am now known at work as ‘Lady A.D.’

Holiday in the French countryside
A few days after my birthday I flew to France, to spend a week with my great-aunt, and I had the most amazing week with her and her partner, plus a couple of their friends. They live on a small farm called Guimondiere in Saint Aubin du Désert, in the Pays de la Loire region of France, and it’s just a stunning area.

We lounged around the gîte (the holiday house that they let out during the summer – check it out, you can stay there too!), ate huge amounts of fresh baguette and cheese, drank copious amounts of wine, cooked with all homegrown vegetables from the vege patch (one of my favourite parts of the holiday!), crafted at the local Stitch & Bitch club (it does have another name officially, but it’s long and in French), attempted to go to a few different markets (where every time we ended up getting lost or rained out, until the very last day!) and generally just soaked up the beauty of country France.

Every day we visited a new little town or village, and I got to see Alençon, Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, Frênes, Lassay-les-Châteaux, and a bunch of other little places that we drove through. Here are some photos:

My felting craftiness at the Stitch & Bitch club. It has bells!!!

My felting craftiness at the Stitch & Bitch club. It has bells!!!

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Chapel of Saint Céneri

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Saint Céneri, looking down at the village from up at the church.

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The chateau of Lassay-les-Châteaux. I’ve decided that I want to live on this side of the lake so I can look out of my window and see this every single day.

A chateau in ruins at Sillé le Guillaume. I thought it looked a bit like the mermaid lagoon from Peter Pan. So pretty!

A chateau in ruins at Sillé le Guillaume. I thought it looked a bit like the mermaid lagoon from Peter Pan. So pretty!

Twilight at Sillé le Guillaume

Twilight at Sillé le Guillaume

My aunt and I, hanging out near (yet another) chateau in Frênes.

My aunt and I, hanging out near (yet another) chateau in Frênes.

Other bits and pieces
Since my little holiday I’ve mainly been working, yoga-ing, baking etc. But yesterday I decided to head into town to visit the Royal Pavilion, built as a summer holiday palace (because why would you have a holiday home when you can have a holiday palace) in the late 1700’s for the Prince Regent George, who would become King George IV. He was widely known and often hated for his lavish parties and love of all things edible (he had his world-renowned chef throw a dinner for a few people with 100 dishes on the menu!!!), and basically ended up dying from being too fat.

I spent two hours walking around the palace, and sadly they don’t allow any photos inside (such a shame, because it’s amazing!), but below is a picture of the outside. Keep in mind, this palace is smack bang in the middle of Brighton, and they have the grounds open to the public (which is where I often spend hours sitting and reading), they’ve converted the stables (which are huge, and in the same style as the palace) into a museum and also a performance space. My favourite part of it all was that the palace was used as a hospital for the Indian soldiers who were wounded in the first world war (almost a quarter of a million soldiers from India and Nepal fought for Britian!). Also, that Queen Victoria (who inherited the palace later) was disappointed when she came her saying it was a ‘strange, odd, Chinese looking place, both outside and inside’, and hated the fact that it was so close to the sea but she could only see it from one window. I think she was being a bit fussy, personally.

Yes, this building is in the middle of Brighton. And even though it's Indian on the outside, it's Chinese on the inside!

Yes, this building is in the middle of Brighton. And even though it’s Indian on the outside, it’s Chinese themed on the inside!

So, this is what I’ve been up to. I’m getting super excited about Christmas here – there are already lights up over the street in Brighton, and little craft fairs are starting to pop up everywhere. I seriously start to bubble over with giddiness when I think about scarves, mulled wine, Christmas markets, roasted nuts, coats and Michael Buble’s Christmas album.

I’m planning a few more little outings here and there over the next month or so. There is Día de los Muertos (better known as the Mexican Day of the Dead) at one of my favourite pubs which includes theme dress up and face painting, a Fairy Tale Fair complete with a vintage tea room and Guy Fawkes celebrations in Lewes (the biggest in the UK!). I’m also thinking I might catch a bus out to somewhere in Kent soon, because it’s only one county over, it’s known as the ‘garden of England’, and I’m thinking it’s going to be incredibly beautiful in the autumn. If anyone knows of the best places to go in Kent, please let me know!

Until next time I will leave you with a photo from my Saturday night selfies photoshoot (what else is a girl meant to do on a Saturday night?). This is me and Karl, the bird I bought home from France.
Au revoir!

Karl, the only bird I like because he won't fly in my face.

Karl, the only bird I like because he won’t fly in my face.

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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