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A Day Out

23 Sep

 

Sometimes all you need is a day out, a day off. To wake up and only then decide where to go, to get in a car, heading off for somewhere. What you need is a day of mid-May sunshine and heat, walking up the steps of an old, ruined castle to find the coolness waiting inside, the stonewalls crumbling under the weight of so many years.

 

 

Maybe it would be a monday and most people would be at work, so it would just be the two of you, carefully climbing the spiral staircases, watching the uneven stone steps and walking through the passageways. You would try to sneak photos of each other without the other one seeing but the slowness of adjusting the settings on your old film cameras and that loud, mechanic click of the mirror as you press the shutter in the empty, shelled out castle, would give you away.

 

 

A warm breeze would catch you from the open, barred windows, as you walk step by step all the way to the top and into the open air beneath a blue sky. The view from up there, looking over the old city; the spires of the cathedral on one side and the river with its bridge and its piers on the other. People sitting on the grass in the shade under trees on the lawn below.

 

 

That’s the kind of day it could be. Lunch eaten in the shade of a coffee house while looking at people passing by and the traffic of that particularly busy street corner. A walk down the street afterwards, finding Edwardian and Georgian coins in a small, quirky shop, the imprint and the edges worn smooth with use, and three old postcards from three different places, written and stamped by people you’ve never met from a very long time ago; that feeling of having found a treasure. At the end of that street a bookshop, first seemingly small but extending to the back and up narrow staircases with creaking floorboards, through row after row and shelf after shelf of once-used books. A whole maze of these little passages of tall bookshelves, where you would find on one of them an old book about the streets of Edinburgh as they had been walked in once in the 20s, the red clothbound cover faded and worn.

 

 

And that is how the day would end. In the car home, looking through the open windows at the fields outside the city seen from a winding country lane and the treasures of the day put down on the table in the living room once home. It would end with the light and memory of that day, of the two of you sitting next to each other on cold stonesteps on a spiral staircase. And it would end with writing about it a few days later in order not to forget. How lovely it all was.

 

 

A small creative writing piece I wrote about a day trip to Rochester Castle, along with photographs captured on 35mm film.

 

Travel Diary from a Holiday in Denmark and Sweden

24 Aug

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November Moments

15 Nov

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November and I, we don’t get along. Growing up in Denmark, November meant the most grey, the most gloomy and melancholic month of the year. Long-browned leaves fallen of the trees, leaving the branches naked and stark, no school holidays, nothing to look forward to except Christmas and an even colder January. Just endless, boring days of thick, grey clouds hanging over the world that would make me feel melancholic and restless. The days that held any kind of sunshine could be counted on just one, maybe two fingers.

It’s not quite as gloomy here in England. It’s generally warmer (although as I write this, it’s unseasonably cold) and there is a lot more sunny days, even if this light is weaker, more delicate. The leaves are at their most colourful of the entire year and are still hanging on the trees, just yet. An explosion of colour before it all goes, a farewell party to an old friend.

This November already feels different. I feel calm but not sad. This summer working at the castle felt long and busy, so I am okay with the fact that it’s ending and that a more quiet time has arrived. Now that my first season at the castle is over, I have time to catch up on all those things I didn’t have much time for in the rush of summer;

  • Picking a new book from my stack of unread ones to prepare for new ones that might arrive with Christmas and feeling happy about having my own little library
  • Slow mornings making myself hot porridge with cinnamon sugar, eating it under a still-warm duvet on the sofa, as the trees are being shaken outside my window
  • Having time with Daniel again, taking the time to cook each other’s favourite food, watching films in the evenings and going exploring with our cameras, seeing new places together for the very first time
  • Having my parents visit and being able to take time just being together without having other commitments, discovering new places in London together like Dennis Sever’s House on Folgate Street, between drinking pots of tea and eating cake in our favourite cafes in Bloomsbury
  • Mornings spent writing in bed or by my desk, listening to the scratch of the pen on the paper and seeing it filled with words that were not there before I started; enjoying finally having real time to write and to edit all the little pieces I wrote over the summer.

I know the light is dissapearing and that from now on photography will be tricky until Spring arrives but still. I can hear the kettle boiling in the kitchen and in a moment I will get up and make myself a cup of hot chocolate, the good one my parents bring me from home. So November and I might actually get along this year.

 

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