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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.

 

Celebrating 4 Years of Living in England!

16 Sep

 

Today is a special day. It’s a day that will always mark a before and after for me. Because 4 years ago on this day, I woke up one morning in the bedroom of my childhood home and left it with just a suitcase and a cabin trolley. I drove to the airport together with my parents and then I got on a plane, alone. A plane that would take me to England and to a whole new life here.

Even today, I still can’t believe I really did that. That I uprooted myself like that in a way that is so shocking and was so instantaneously; to have everything in my life change with a 2 hour flight. To leave, within the span of just a few hours, the security of my hometown, my family and everything I knew and swap it for a new home, a new city and country, a new school, a new community and friends, a different language and a very different way of life.
That first year would become the best of my life, the most amazing and exciting; the most scary and challenging year of my entire life.
I did it for me, because I had dreamed for years of trying to live in England. I never realised how much I would end up sacrificing when I moved. Or how much I would gain.

 

 

In this country I have built up a life of my own, a life completely of my own making. I sometimes forget that but when I do remember it’s the most empowering feeling; it makes me feel like I can do anything I dream of. I have received and completed an international Danish and English education, I live a shared life with my boyfriend where before I was single and I have a job looking after the heritage of an English castle. I no longer have the social, culturally rich life in London where I lived with my friends and classmates and walked to Chinatown or the museums whenever I wanted. Things have calmed down a bit and while I miss living in London and my life there, now four years later, I do think that the more homely, cosy life I live now is more me.

 

 

I only meant to stay here a year and have ended up being here for four. I still say what I said from the beginning, that I will take one year at a time and then we’ll see where I’ll be.
For now I’m going to celebrate my 4th anniversary of living here with spending the day in Canterbury with my friend Claudia, who I met in that first year.  And tomorrow I will spend me and the boyfriend’s anniversary in London, going to our favourite bookshops and maybe a museum.
And next year? Who knows, I might still be here.

If you didn’t read my blog from the beginning back when I first started writing when I moved to England, you can start right here and read through all 10 months or you can skip straight to the end in June 2014, when I tried to write a conclusion, as that special year was getting to a close.

 

Travel Diary from a Holiday in Denmark and Sweden

24 Aug

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