One of my favoure areas in London so far is definitely the canals on the border of Stratford and Hackney Wick,
partly because being close to water reminds me of home, and partly because I am endlessly fascinated by the barges moored along the canals and the people who inhabit them.
I would quite like to live on a barge myself, as I'm definitely short enough to still be able to consider a barge spacious. Although, knowing me, my barge would probably sink due to the amount of books I'd try to bring on board.
Business owners in London are also very creative when it comes to barges. There's an ice cream barge close to where I live, as well as a record store barge. Near King's Cross there's even a book barge that I've been meaning to visit for quite a while now, but I think that might have to wait until after I'm done with my exams.
From what I've heard, though, life on a barge isn't all smooth sailing (oh the puns). Barges without home moorings have to travel a certain distance a year in order to keep their license, and if they don't comply to the regulations, they could even end up getting their barge smashed. The people living on the barges close to where I live seem to be leading quite peaceful lives, though, and I quite like to take an evening stroll past them every now and them to see what life on a barge looks like.
Since today was a ridiculously warm and sunny day inLondon,
I decided to head out for a walk along the canals with my DSLR camera.
This is probably as close to a proper workout that I've gotten since I moved to London, as I ended up in several unconventional and compromising positions while taking my photographs. I even ended up in a patch of nettles at one point. Luckily I was wearing jeans, but as they're ripped at the knees (well, they're supposed to be anyway, but for me it's more like at my shins) I still ended up getting stung by the nettles. I also sat on a very questionable bench perched partly over the canal, which meant I came quite close to taking a dip at one point.
Anyway, enough pointless chatter. Here's the pictures I took in this corner of London I've learned to call my home.
waiting to board the flight that will take me to Stockholm, where I will switch to a different flight that will take me back to London.
Coming home over the Christmas holidays has been a really weird experience.
I realised quite quickly that home doesn't feel like home any more, but neither does London, really.
At home (well, home home, as I usually refer to it by), it's mainly the people that make me feel like home, meanwhile in London it's the familiarity of living in a place and exploring it extensively for months. I've got a routine set up in London, which I don't really have any more when I'm in Finland.
Seeing my friends and family again was, of course, really nice. I'd missed them all half to death, especially my dear cat. At the same time I missed my friends from London, though, and all the shenanigans and mischief we usually get up to.
It's like I'm being torn in two, and I think I will simply have to get used to the fact that from now on, wherever I am, I will always miss someone or something about the other place.
(I also realised I forgot to blog about the Counterfeit gig I went to before I came home before Christmas. I shall get around to that at some point after my exams are over next week.)
Today we started the barbecue season in our family with some homemade burgers.
It's -7℃ outside and it's snowing, but my dad still braved the cold weather to barbecue burgers for us.
It reminded me of summer, as we barbecue basically everything in the summer, and it's especially nice that I got a homemade burger during my Christmas break because I didn't really eat that many homemade burgers last summer.
In about a week it's time for me to go back to London.
Coming home over the holidays has been a very weird feeling, because home doesn't really feel like home any more. Or rather, it feels like I've got two homes.
Compared to the perpetual energy of London, this town feels quite dull, dreary and drowsy,
the only upside I can think of of living here is that this is where the people I hold dear reside.
Before I go back to London, I still have a few blog posts to share with you,
Jamie Campbell Bower is a man I've been looking up to for quite some time now.
He's an incredibly talented actor (yes, despite having been in Twilight. sigh) and musician, something he's proved recently by combining both talents while playing Joe, the football coach, in the Bend It Like Beckham musical here in London. Other than just being a very talented human being, he's also a genuinely nice and humble person who seems to respect and appreciate his fans immensely. He's the kind of person who can make anyone smile.
I'm happy to announce that Jamie's band Counterfeit
(previously The Darling Buds) released their first EP this morning, and the title track is already in top 10 of the Alternative list on iTunes! Hunger Magazine also released an exclusive video for the title track Come Get Some (see video above), and it looks amazing!
I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing these guys make some noise live in December!
Jamie's stage presence and energy are apparently the stuff of legends.
Fun fact: I may or may not have had a slight fangirl moment this morning when Counterfeit favourited my tweets about the Come Get Some EP.
My view from the kitchen of one of the buildings on campus. Love it!
Hello my lovelies!
I'm finally beginning to settle in here in London and I'm getting into the routine of going to lectures and seminars.
I have a solid group of friends, which I'm so very thankful for, and my flat mates are all lovely.
I haven't starved to death, been mugged, been killed or hit by a car yet, so everyone at home can stop worrying now.
My first weeks here have been full of exploring London, the international welcome events, induction events and a few house parties and pub quizzes. So far it's been so much better than I ever thought it could be, and although the lectures and seminars seemed scary and difficult at first, I feel like I'm finally starting to get into this new way of studying. The massive workload is starting to catch up on me, though, so I suspect I'll have to spend my day off on Thursday and later on the weekend just reading.
I'm currently sat at Strand campus, waiting for my Academic English vocabulary lecture to start (optional course), and I reckon I'll be home at around 7 pm tonight. I was going to spend my long breaks today studying, but alas I brought the wrong material with me and can't really be arsed to make the almost one-hour-long journey home to go get the right course pack, so I thought I'd update my blog (hi mum!).
On a completely unrelated note, I'd like to finish off this post by sharing with you the amazing music video to Troye Sivan's song FOOLS from his new album WILD. If you haven't listened to the album yet, you definitely should!
Only fools fall for you (only fools) Only fools do what I do (only fools fall)
Last Friday, before we went to see Bend It, Nicola and I went to London Zoo.
It had been a long time since I'd been to any zoos (that I could remember, I know I went to lots of zoos when I was a child), so it's fair to say that I was pretty excited.
The animals I was the most excited about seeing were the owls,
but most of the owls looked terrifying and murderous. I found one super cute owl, though, that I think was a tawny owl. Nicola, on the other hand, was definitely most excited about seeing the giraffes. Apparently you can feed the giraffes if you book in advance and pay extra for it. Too bad we didn't know that before we went!
The tigers were definitely very awe-inspiring.
There were only three tigers on site while we were there, the youngest tiger was in another zoo.
They were huge, though, and not as easy to spot as you'd think. One woman had quite a lot of trouble spotting two of the tigers that were hiding behind some grass and trees, and it didn't help very much when we tried to point them out to her.
This picture might look a bit dodgy because I've edited two separate pictures into one.
Apart from this board, the gorilla part of the zoo also contained a scale that measured your weight compared to that of a full-grown male gorilla.
While we were walking through an area of the zoo designed specially for children
with e.g. a petting zoo, we noticed these tunnels. Curious to see where they went, we decided to crawl in. I could almost stand properly with my upper body folded forward, but Nicola's a bit taller than me so she opted for crawling.
On the way in it honestly wasn't that bad. The tunnels lead to a glass dome where you could study the meerkats up close (which I, sadly, didn't think to photograph), but while we were making our way out we concluded that perhaps it hadn't been such a good idea after all. It was definitely tough work, crawling through those tunnels!
All in all, I had an amazing time both at the zoo and the Bend It Like Beckham musical last Friday.
I'm so glad I met Nicola, I feel like she's definitely someone who understands my weird obsessions (and especially my love for Jamie Campbell Bower). She's always there for me and she means so, so, so much to me, that's why it's a bit sad that she's moving to Kent just as I've moved to London.
Today hasn't been very eventful, except for the fact that I went exploring a bit of central London together with a friend. I've wanted to see Shad Thames (to the right in the picture above) for quite a while now, but exploring is just no fun on your own, so I finally managed to drag a friend along.
Before we went in search of the Blackfriars Bridge, we stopped for some Nando's. Anyone who knows me knows I love my Nando's (much thanks to being obsessed by the youtubers Jack and Finn Harries a few years back).
Shad Thames is a street (along with the surrounding area)
that runs along the south bank of the river Thames. The street consists of old, nowadays converted, warehouses that once housed large quantities of tea, spices, coffee et.c. The commodities were unloaded from here, and then loaded onto river boats by the river. I find the area particularly interesting due to the small bridges that run between houses over the street. I imagine they were once used to transport commodities, but today they seem to serve as balconies to the residents living in the area, with potted plants and armchairs placed on some of them.
On my request we also went to see Blackfriars Bridge,
which played an important part in the Clockwork Princess book that I just finished. It's the place where two of the main characters had their first properly romantic moment, and it's also where we leave them at the end of the book. I wanted to see the bridge for myself, and I must say I'm rather unimpressed. The bridge looks quite washed out (it's not even nearly as red in real life as it is in the pictures if you Google it) and I don't think anyone actually uses the benches in the alcoves that have now been added to the bridge. Well, except for me, while I was taking this picture. Because I might or might not have been too short to see over the edge otherwise.
Whichever bridge you stand on,
though, it's a powerful feeling to have the Thames flowing underneath your feet. The river may look peaceful and tranquil, but its power is not to be underestimated. The currents are strong, and if the flood gates malfunctioned and the Thames flooded, much of London would go down with it.
Despite not being the cleanest or most beautiful river, it is a river to be revered and a river that has had a huge impact on shaping London into the city it is today. It's a river that will never cease to fascinate me.
you probably already know this, but if you're not - Troye recently released his second EP!
It's titled "WILD", and it's just as good as (if not even slightly better than) TRXYE.
It is, in fact, so good that people like Taylor Swift and Adam Lambert have even tweeted praise for it!
Personally, I'm so very proud of Troye for being so open in his writing. His music is regular pop music, but with the pronoun "him" instead of "her", just as it should be. Troye doesn't write music to please anyone else, he writes music for himself, music that he can really stand for. I like that about him.
Have a look at the music video for the title track:
Fun fact: by the time I woke up today, some people had apparently already run half a marathon somewhere in London. Oops.
Hello dear readers!
Today has been another quiet day for me, I'm still in shock after meeting Jamie Campbell Bower.
I spent the better part of the day in bed, but towards the late afternoon/early evening I decided to put some make-up on to turn myself into a decent human being and go outside.
Since I love reading outside, I went to Regent's Park to sit down and read.
On the way I stopped to get some food to bring with me, which I ate by the boating lake while reading.
I'm chuffed to bits that the weather's starting to cool down a bit here in London, so I was able to wear my hoodie and my leather vest without sweating profusely.
I managed to finish Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare,
which is the third and last installment in the The Infernal Devices series, which in turn is part of the Shadowhunter Chronicles. It's taken me, what feels like, eons to finish this book, but now that I did - ouch! My poor, poor heart. City of Heavenly Fire (the last book in the The Mortal Instruments series) spoiled things a little for me, but it didn't make things any easier to bear.
Having finished Clockwork Princess,
I turned my attention instead to The Bane Chronicles, also by Cassandra Clare, which is also part of the Shadowhunter Chronicles. For those of you who don't know, Magnus Bane is the (very eccentric and flamboyant) immortal warlock who figures in both The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments, despite the series being set two centuries apart. The Bane Chronicles is a collection of short stories about his life and debauchery. Magnus is one of my favourite characters out of all the books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles, so it'll be interesting to find out a bit more about him.
One thing I apparently won't be finding out, though, is what actually happened in Peru...
Have you read any of the books from The Shadowhunter Chronicles? If so, what did you think of them?
Last night was undoubtedly one of the best nights in my entire life.
The entire day, which I spent with my dear friend Nicola, was actually one of the best days of my life,
but the evening was definitely the best part.
Nicola and I started the day by going to the London Zoo, which I'm going to tell you more about (and show pictures of) later. Around 6.30 pm (after having walked around in central London for faaar too long to waste some time) we started making our way toward the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road where the Bend It Like Beckham musical would be shown.
Nicola and I are both huge fans of Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays Joe, the football coach, in Bend It. Nicola got two tickets to the musical as a birthday present from her sister, and she told me I could tag along, which I am so immensely grateful for.
The musical was amazing, the actors were all phenomenal and the music made me want to get up and dance.
Even though I'm not Indian and I don't play football, I could still relate to some of the struggles Jess went through,
and I like the message of the musical, that you should go your own way and follow your dreams.
The best part of the evening happened after the show, though. We were lucky enough to be able to catch Jamie on his way home, and he signed our programmes.
The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: Hi, Jamie, sorry! I know it's late and you probably want to go home, but do you think you could sign our programmes?
Him: Abso fucking lutely, love.
Us: Thank you, you're great.
Him: Have a great evening, guys.
Always so humble, always so kind. He really seems to appreciate his fans, which is something both Nicola and I love about him. I'm also so incredibly proud of him, because he's improved tremendously as an actor lately.
He looked genuinely happy on stage, which made my heart sing.
I was going to provide you with a proper picture taken on my DSLR, but alas, I seem to have forgotten to bring the SD-card for my DSLR camera, and I can't be arsed to spend money on a new one right now.
In the picture you can also see the beautiful Morgenstern family ring replica from Hebeldesign that Nicola got me. Love her!
After frantically packing all of my belongings into two only barely large enough suitcases last night, many difficult goodbyes and a fitful few hours of sleep, I am now finally sat in Turku Airport waiting for my flight to Heathrow via Stockholm Arlanda.
I'm thankful that my mum and dad are with me and will remain in London for a few days before they head back home.
Without my dad I would have had to carry my heavy suitcases on my own, and without my mum my tickets et.c. wouldn't have been even nearly as organised as they are now.
Apart from missing my family and friends, what I'll probably miss the most is my cat. Sadly, I didn't even get to say goodbye to Whiskey, as he was nowhere to be found when we had to leave for our flight.
But three months will pass quickly, and when I get home for Christmas break I'll cuddle him (nearly) to death.
Truth is, I don't know whether I'll be happier in London.
I don't know if that's where I belong (even though British ground feels like home soil to me, I can feel it in my bones). There are many things that worry me and that make me nervous about living in London, but there are many things that make me overjoyed and excited, too.
One of the main reasons why I decided to start my blog back up again
is the fact that I now have a proper laptop to work with, and not just some worthless Chromebook.
About a week ago I marched my arse off to the closest store that sells Macbooks and got myself a Macbook Air 13'' for uni. I also got AppleCare for the upcoming three years, which means I won't have to pay outrageous sums of money in case anything happens to it while I'm in the UK.
The verdict? So far I'm loving it! After the initial shock of "This is different to a PC, this is really weird, HELP" died down, I've discovered that it's actually really easy to use. It's quick, sleek, portable and everything else I've been looking for.
I'm in love!
After I got my laptop, I decided I needed a case to protect it.
I'll admit, it was a bit on the pricier side, but the shipping was free and I consider it well worth the money as it protects your Macbook from both damage and theft. Anything with the Apple logo on it will surely attract the eye of a thief instantly, but disguised as an old book it's not nearly as taunting.
Actual conversation I had with a friend after I ordered the case: - Plus, it looks like an old book, so no one wants to steal it.
~A blog about being born in the wrong country~
I'm a 19-year-old Finno-Swede, but I'm British at heart and in love with all things British.
Potterhead. Sherlockian. Merlinian. Hunger Games-fan. Whovian. Divergent. et.c. The list could go on forever.
I'm moving to London to study English at King's College in September 2015. In the future I want to work in publishing.
I'm a creative spirit and a huge supporter of LGBTQ rights (or, as I like to call them - HUMAN rights).