Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

Oops.

Friday, December 4th, 2015

So another month has passed and I am now three months into My Life in Manchester Part II. Every day I think “I should write a blog post” and then I do the copious amounts of uni work and work-work instead. I have decided to take a little time out to write about little old me again. I miss writing my blog posts and I’m certain you miss reading them. Ha!

Uni is seriously great. Never before have I been so excited about the fact that I have to write a 6000 word essay. It would appear that studying something that you actually love is really rewarding and inspiring – even if it does involve group work. My poor group members have had to deal with “grumpy old Jess” as their team leader and have had to learn what my frowning face means. Next Saturday, however, the class pop-up exhibition that we have been working on for the last semester is going to happen. I’m terrified – there is huge potential it is going to be dreadful. However, I am lowering my expectations so that I will be pleasantly surprised, and anyone who is planning on visiting the exhibition should do the same.

rain

Rainy day blues

Winter has been trying to arrive over the last couple of week. It has been raining a lot which doesn’t do much for moral – lucky the Christmas markets are on! Not. I have managed to escape them this year as I no longer live in the centre of town. Saying that, I did manage to find some festive cheer the other Saturday and I bought myself a hot, giant stroopwafel. It made me love Christmas just a little bit.

I really shouldn’t leave this blog writing for so long because I have lots of things to talk about but my inner professional writing nerd knows that no one really wants to read long blog posts. So I’m going to go now. I promise to write again soon.

Two-month-iversary

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Today I have been back in Manchester for two months which currently seems like the longest two months in the history of time. So much has happened in those 60-something days that it feels like I have really been here for at least a year.

Things are settling down nicely now – I have steady work, uni is really great, I’ve been going out lots and continuing to have many adventures. Fun times!

University of Manchester

Blue skies at the University of Manchester

Last night my housemate, Alice, and I went to the Royal Exchange to see the latest show, Pomona. It is a dark and gritty tale about an underworld that exists beneath Manchester and an abandoned plot of land called Pomona. This area actually exists and I used to run past it when I went along the canal towpath, and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if organ harvesting really was happening underneath there. Anyway, it was a great night of theatre and if you like swear words, sexual references and a bit of blood and gore then this is the show for you!

On the weekend I went for a walk in Delamere Forest in Cheshire with Garden Boy (Jon) to make the most of the autumn colours and to forage for mushrooms. The trees are incredible at the moment although some recent rain has meant the footpaths are now covered in very soggy leaves that are making their way through the soles of my boots (because, of course, yet another pair of my shoes now have holes in the bottom of them. Bah.) It was nice to get out of the city and wander through some woods, although I did keep pointing out to Jon that this supposed “escape from the city” did include seeing lots of other people and hearing the motorway. We also didn’t find any mushrooms which I entirely blame Jon for. Calls himself a Garden Boy…

Delamere forest

All the pretty leaves.

And in other news, I have signed up for the Manchester Marathon in April next year. Oops.

Happy Birthday, You Delicious Nutty-Chocolate Delight

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

A very big congratulations and happy birthday to my good friend, Nutella who turned 50 years old this week. We have spent a lot of time getting to know one another and I feel our friendship has grown from strength to strength. I have consumed this wondrous, gooey hazelnut and chocolate spread in Australia, France, England, Germany and various other European countries, with each country offering a slightly different flavour sensation. No two countries deliver the same product – the ratio of chocolate to nut and the consistency can vary significantly. It is smoother in France than it is in the UK, and a lot more chocolatey in Australia. Despite it being an Italian invention, I give the award for “Best Use of Nutella” to the French who spread copious amounts in hot crêpes creating chocolate volcanoes that ooze down your chin. Simple culinary brilliance. I will, however, give the Italians the “Invention Prize” for the Nutella flavoured gelato that I had in Bologna. WOW. Just wow.

Mmm… nutella gelato...

Mmm… nutella gelato…

I have consumed Nutella on bread, in crêpes, as ice cream, in cakes, in little plastic tubs that are designed for kids but loved by adults, in a calzone and, I am willing to admit, licked off the end of a knife. The excitement levels that I am experiencing while writing this post almost scare me and I am currently envisioning swimming in a vat of Nutella. Clearly my love for this product and dedication to the consumption of it, despite its affect on my health and waist line, means that Mr Ferrero should definitely make it happen. Or at least give me a free jar.

The most Nutella-ful crêpe that I have ever consumed. It was freaking awesome.

The most Nutella-ful crêpe that I have ever consumed. It was freaking awesome.

Happy Classroomiversary to Me!

Friday, May 9th, 2014

You know I love celebrating anniversaries. Any excuse to potentially eat cake. So here’s another one! Today is one year since I started working in The Classroom office space in the Northern Quarter. A lot has happened in that time – I have done some work, spent a lot of time checking email and being distracted by the internet, and I have met some interesting (and weird) people. The atmosphere in the office has changed over the year as different personalities have come and gone and it has grown into a fun, vibrant and friendly place to be. I really enjoy coming to work – it is far more entertaining that checking Facebook at home alone on my couch. I would have brought in cake to celebrate, however it is Friday, which means there’s hardly anyone in here because who does work on a Friday? Ah, the joy of freelance.

Working hard in the classroom

Working hard in the classroom

A Year Passes

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Time. It’s a magical thing. I don’t think we will ever really understand how it works and why it works that way. Speeding up and slowing down without warning and generally disappearing before your eyes. You may have noticed by now that when I start talking about time it is due to the day being of some sort of ‘anniversary-like’ significance in The World of Jess. Today… wait for it… my One Year UK-Versary!

On this day one year ago, I dragged two suitcases and a backpack from my apartment in Paris, caught two trains and crossed a large channel of water to eventually arrive in a surprisingly sunny Manchester. And there I stayed for 365 days making a new life for myself in ‘The North’. So what happened in that time? What was achieved? What were the pros and cons? Do I have a Mancunian accent yet? Let’s reflect.

  • I found, moved into and will soon move out of an apartment in a really cool part of the city
  • Thanks to my very-extended-cousins, I visited many ye olde houses, castle ruins and generally cool places
  • I saw a lot of theatre and developed an interest in Shakespeare
  • I met a great, yet slightly odd, variety of people who I am honoured to call my ‘friends’
  • I went to Croatia for my birthday
  • I am starting to learn the difference between ales, bitters, lagers and stouts (etc) and have developed a taste for whisky
  • I met the Queen (from a distance)
  • I ran a marathon
  • I became a waitress and then quit as soon as possible
  • I got a job as an IT analyst (fancy-afied IT Help Desk phone answerer) and was then fired
  • I set myself up in a communal office space where I now have friends
  • I learnt how to ‘network’ and now don’t completely hate it
  • I went to Wales twice
  • I went to Sheffield quite frequently and got to hang out with my big brother a lot (Win.)
  • I saw Goldfrapp and Fanfarlo and Sarah Blasko
  • I stalked Paul Hollywood
  • I ate a lot of great food and some not so great food
  • I watched numerous parades in Manchester
  • I volunteered in the Manchester International Festival and got to see free things
  • I learnt how to respond to the locals’ “Y’orrigh?”
  • I became older and wiser.

That will do. The last dot point I actually believe to be true. This past year I have felt strangely “adult” as opposed to “just some kid who can’t settle down.” Moving and living in another country on your own is tough and I’m quite proud of my achievements and the fact that I haven’t gone completely insane. Living in Manchester has been a lot easier than Paris for many reasons – language, politics, administration etc. But mostly because of the close proximity of my family members. It has been a huge relief to be able to spend time with my brother and with my very-extended-cousins who have accepted their long lost Australian relative like a daughter.

So now what? Another year (well 11 months now) awaits full of exciting adventures and potential. I have no idea what is going to happen and that’s great. Bring on round two.

Hello Manchester!

Hello Manchester!

Six Months as a Mancunian

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

By now you should know how much I love significant dates. A birthday, an anniversary. I will even celebrate the monthly progression of something if it means I can go out for dinner, drink a glass of wine or (of course) eat a piece of cake. So imagine my shock when my six-month-iversary of living in Manchester almost passed me by due to excess work and general busyness? Shocked to the core, I was. But once I remembered I grabbed a pear cider from my fridge and sat with a box of peanuts and a book by the side of the canal. My only companions were some threatening Canadian geese and mangey pigeons but as the sun set behind the old mill buildings and people walked past me on their way home from work, I was a happy lassie.

Cheers! Here's to another 1.5 years in the UK!

Cheers! Here’s to another 1.5 years in the UK!

So I think you know what time it is – Six Month Reflection Time!!!

What has happened in the last six months? What has been good? What has been ok? What has been less than ok? Ready? GO!

  • I moved to a new country, city, language, way of being, dinner time, general outlook on life. Manchester is NOT Paris. This is a fact.
  • I found myself an apartment in one of the coolest and most convenient locations in Manchester. From here I have explored the city and seen most of my neighbours in the apartments across the road in their underwear.
  • I got a job as a waitress at Artisan. This has resulted in me realising that I do not want to be a waitress for the rest of my life and that I should hurry up and finish this book.
  • I finished the third draft of my book about Paris. It hasn’t progressed much further than this.
  • I went to Wales.
  • I ran a marathon in Paris. Whoa. Cool!
  • I made lots of friends in a remarkably short period of time.
  • I experienced Manchester in snow, rain, sunshine, hail and general grey.
  • I attempted to complete 108 challenges, thought of 76 and completed 34.
  • I climbed numerous hills.
  • I completed a fantastic jigsaw puzzle of the Queen.
  • I served tap water to a famous footballer (Apparently. I didn’t know who he was but everyone at work informed me that it was Marouane Fellaini.)
  • I had a photograph published in a Chronicle Books book. Neat!
  • I rented an office space in the Northern Quarter.
  • I volunteered for the Manchester International Festival.
  • I met even more of my very extended British family members. There are a lot of Davieses in the world.
  • I learnt how to ‘network’ and have even started to enjoy it.
  • I ate a lot of excellent, good, average and terrible food.
  • I outplayed the supermarkets and learnt to buy loose bananas rather than the pre-packs as the loose bananas cost half as much.
  • I started calling everyone “Love”.

So that is a general summary of my last six months and I have to say they have been highly enjoyable. There have been moments of panic, moments of woe and moments of What Am I Doing Here? However, overall I am really liking life in this grungy, rainy, slightly depressed city. I might even get myself a tattoo and a fake tan just so I can really fit in with the locals.

Manchester, I love you.

Manchester, I love you.

 

One Year and Counting

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Greetings from sunny Perth! What a difference a 20 hour plane flight makes. I went from sunny yet frosty Paris to even sunnier and oppressively hot Perth and it was certainly a shock to the system. I hadn’t felt the burning sun sensation for over 360 days and as I stepped out of the Perth International Airport and headed into the concrete car park, I reeled back and almost ran into the air conditioning again. The jeans, long sleeves and boots that I had worn for voyage to the Paris airport and the excessively cold plane didn’t quite suit the 38 degrees I found myself in.

Today is a landmark occasion in my life as it is exactly one year since Tom and I arrived in Paris. I’m sure you’ve realised by now that I love anniversaries, count downs and dates of significance and so I am a little bit sad and disappointed that I am in Perth for this event. Really, I would prefer to be in the minus temperatures that Paris is currently experiencing, heading to the stairs of Sacre Coeur to have a ceremonious Nutella crêpe. It is the only way to celebrate this sort of day. I am more just disappointed that I can’t really say that I have lived in Paris for an entire year, because I haven’t. I missed out by three days. Three hundred and sixty two days does not a year make. Anyway, I’ll get over it.

Tom and I had planned on celebrating early on the evening before I left for Perth, however I had managed to give myself quite the impressive upset stomach that I couldn’t actually eat food. This is potentially one of the worst experiences of my life. Usually if I am sick, I’ll still eat something. Dried crackers, rice, bread. This time – nothing. I’m back to normal now but for awhile there I thought my life was over. No more food?? This can’t be true.

I have been to the beach three times since my return to Perth and it has been utterly wonderful. I now realise why people fall over in amazement when they discover Perth beaches – they are truly special. On Monday morning at 7am, I dumped my towel on the sand at North Cottesloe beach and ran into the water like a crazy lady. I feel like I have washed a year’s worth of grime from my skin and my insides are all cleansed and sea-salted. In the past year I swam in Greece and Portugal but nothing compares to the Australian coast.

Returning to Perth hasn’t been so bad. I know I whinged about having to come back, and I will continue to do so as it is becoming a excessive financial drain for something that really could have been done in France, however I am definitely finding the positives of being in Australia. I get to wear skirts and sleeveless tops; I have rediscovered my old clothes and shoes; my mum cooked me chicken and asparagus for dinner; and plums and nectarines are in season! Life is good.