For 4 years, I fought my way through university. Even before I started, I wondered if I would be smart enough; if I would be able to keep up with the reading; if I would be able to learn to write academic papers. This self doubt was my biggest enemy through all of those years, more so than the towering piles of novels, articles and theory books that needed to be read, the complicated and abstract theories that I needed to get my head around, all the deadlines and the papers that needed writing.
I am going to be so poor. The reason? I love, love shooting with instant film for my Polaroid camera. I have already build up quite the gallery, considering that I have only had my camera since Christmas. Currently, there is 1 last shot left of my third pack of film. My graduation is coming up and I know that it will mean that I will be unwrapping my fourth pack.
But that said, shooting with instant film has become a very careful and selective process for me. Because of the expensive price of film, I only take pictures of those moments I really want to capture for the future and of those motives that have been ideas in my mind for a very long time. So different from the mindless shooting I am guilty of doing sometimes with my smartphone camera or even when I use my digital SLR and don’t have to think about the price of film or getting the shot right with the first click. It has made me so much more conscious of what I want to capture and how. And even more importantly, why.
I’m not the most spontaneous person, I’m a planner; I love to write packings lists, to do lists and make plans. I like to know in advance what will happen tomorrow, in a week or in a month’s time. But you can’t plan everything in life! So it’s really nice to have a boyfriend who is much better at doing impulsive and spontaneous things than I am. It gives me experiences I wouldn’t otherwise get.
If you read my Christmas post you will know that my boyfriend gave me a Polaroid Spectra camera for Christmas. I was so excited and a bit awestruck about finally owning my own instant camera and it has really inspired my creativity and given me lots of fresh ideas for new photo projects. Almost every night I go to bed with some new idea of a picture I want to take, how I can use my camera or how I can turn my polaroids into special art projects.
I find it really hard to get outside during winter. It’s so much more tempting to stay inside under my soft blanket in my favourite reading chair than to go outside when its cold, windy, rainy or gloomy. But lately I have been trying to make an effort to get outside more, so when the sun suddenly broke free of the clouds the other day I quickly grabbed my camera, put on my green wellies and went outside for a little adventure around my neighbourhood.
I love presents at Christmas. I love the secrecy and excitement about finding just the right present for someone I care about and receiving something just as thoughtful in return. And I love wrapping them all up. So I hope this doesn’t make me seem petty but when I prepared myself to have my first Christmas away from home, I was dreading the little pile of presents that I expected would be under the tree. Because how would my family and friends be able to get my presents to England, when posting them would be so expensive!
As you might have noticed it has been pretty quiet on the blog lately. The past couple of months I have been struggling to find the energy, inspiration and motivation to do the things that normally gives me energy and make me feel happy. I haven’t felt like blogging, even when I had things to blog about and although I have been working a little bit on two new writing projects I haven’t been consistent with it.
I have always been a person with many dreams. Big dreams, like studying at University, owning my own house and getting a novel published someday but also smaller ones, like getting a rabbit or spending a weekend or holiday a certain way. My parents have always encouraged this dreaming, even when my dreams were a bit (ok, a lot) unrealistic, like when I was 12 and really, really wanted to become an actor and it has encouraged me to always go for the things I want in life. Those dreams may not come true (you may not even want them to) but you will experience things on the way you wouldn’t have otherwise.
I ended up taking quite a lot of little snapshots on-the-go when I was back home in Denmark a couple of weeks ago and I thought I would write a little post about all the things I got up to.
It was quite a busy week and because I didn’t have any studying to do for once, I spent almost every day catching up with my family and friends and ended up going to Copenhagen four times that week. It was the perfect antidote to my rather solitary summer spent researching and writing on my own and a great way to unwind after the stress of writing the dissertation all summer.
It’s strange, you can live your whole life in the same place and never really discover it before you move away. Ever since I moved from Denmark, my parents and I have tried to make an effort to go out and discover new things, both in England and when I come home. It has meant that we all look at Copenhagen differently and that we make an effort to get out more.
There are many different kinds of secrets in the world and in a big city like London most of them have already been discovered by someone. There are tourist guides that will help you find these so-called “secret places” of London but how secret can they be if thousands of people buy the book and they all go on the same trips to discover all the same secrets?
I recently discovered a place in the middle of the city which is not only a well-known, very public secret but also one that has been discovered by millions before me. Yet, when my friend Claudia and I went to Holland Park last week, it really felt exactly like we were discovering a hidden secret, as if no one else has ever been there before us to realise how wonderful it is. Unlike many of the other much bigger public parks like Regent’s Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Holland Park wasn’t a very busy place when we went to see it and it felt secret exactly for that reason.
I have mentioned a couple of times on the blog that I feel really grateful for the experiences and opporturnities I have been given in London. I have not only been lucky but I have also been encouraged while being in the city to really put myself out there, to be brave and participate, and it has resulted in some pretty memorable moments for me.
Last year I volunteered to be a student speaker at a conference for the Bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution at UCL which was a really fun experience to prepare and be a part of and which also got me invited to a dinner with the Norwegian ambassador. Last Summer I also won a competition to attend a Peirene Supper Club, where I got a chance to meet Meike, the publisher of Peirene and Norwegian author Hanne Ørstavik. And this year I have had the pleasure and honour of being a tour guide at the V&A.