Friday, 7 December 2012

The big, ripe, crunchy apple

Embracing my inner Carrie Bradshaw 

I'm THE worst 'blogger' ever. Blogger is in quotations because I can't even call myself one anymore. I write a few posts about my life then leave it for a while. I wish I had an excuse for the lack of posting but I really don't. The first week I did cos I thought "I'm home, I'm jetlagged and busy.." then the second week I was the same.. and now we're into the FIFTH! I can't believe I've been home for over a month now! Seems crazy.. and then I was looking through my photos and realised I haven't even uploaded or even EDITED my most recent New York photos! I'm a sick excuse for a Carrie Bradshaw fo shooo.

I'd like you to find someone who isn't in love with New York. Whether you hate to love it, or love to hate it, there is literally a place for everyone in this beautiful city. It's full of tourists and teens ready to begin their lives to 'be somebodies' or just live the American dream. I know I want to.
These past 5 and a bit months, I've accomplished so many of the 'dreams' I wanted to live before I die that were on my mental bucket list. Visiting New York City 3 days after I arrived in the United States for the first times was a huge tick off of that, but going for the second time? Unbelievable. I always thought, although in hindsight it's not actually that far away from home, New York would be one of those things that would never happen - like going to the moon or.. being skinny HA. I am so grateful I've had this life changing opportunity to do it twice and I can honestly say I will be coming back!
It's the city that makes you feel like you're a somebody even though you're not. When I was strolling (hobbling) down 5th Avenue at around 7pm when it was starting to get a little darker as the night beckoned, I felt so happy. I was in this big place where I knew no one but I was so glad I was there, and it was comforting knowing there were hundreds of other girls at the exact time thinking and feeling the same. I want to live there.

Across the 4 days I stayed there, we managed to cram quite a lot into each day so I'm satisfied of what we achieved doing there, and I'm not actually sad that I didn't get to do everything I wanted because I know I'm coming back; whether that's in 6 months or 6 years from now, I truly believe my heart belongs in the city. CHEESE PLEASE! But that's why I chose and fell in love with Nottingham for Uni too - it just had the same vibe :)

Blogspot is now being gay so I can't even upload my pictures right now :( cryyyyy. I'll try again tomorrow xxx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Southern Comfort

A few weeks ago (3rd - 7th October) I went to Greensboro, North Carolina to see Emma and her college friends at UNCG! I was so excited to finally experience the 'college life' and see if it really was like how it's portrayed in movies; mainly she's the man..
Before me and Caitlin (Emma's cousin) drove down, we visited Caitlin's best friend Sara and her toddler Sonia who I've kinda fallen in love with cos she's such a cutie!! It was nice to have a little catch up with her cos she's such a down to earth person and reminds me of the girls back home :)
It was a 5 hour drive to Greensboro, but luckily me and Caitlin love a sing song so it was practically just a 5 hour karaoke session before we arrived on campus and met Emma and her room mate Katie to unpack and tour round!!
American college life seems to be on the other end of the spectrum in comparison to English Universities and their student lives - luckily I've now experienced both of them! I don't think I could handle sharing a room with someone constantly though cos I do like to have my own space every now and then. American dorms fit 2 people to a room and in Emma's case, 'Mary Foust House' was a 2 floored big student hall which has a girls and boys bathroom on each floor (so you're sharing all those toilets, sinks and showers..) and ONE kitchen!! It was hard enough keeping track of everything whilst sharing a flat with 5 other girls, let alone the whole of the student block! 99% of the college students eat at the 'food hall' for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it all seemed to be really fattening food so it's not as simple as in the UK where you have your own shared kitchen and cook for yourself. In that sense, I felt like it wasn't as independent as when I was back in Nottingham where you had to sort of fend for yourself and make yourself cook, so I think I do prefer Uni back home rather than here but it's just like a whole new world!
After Emma introduced us to all her lovely friends, we went to her favourite coffee shop called 'Tate Street Coffee' which is this rustic little coffee shop along the student strip of shops really close to campus. The only way to describe it is it had the same kind of feel and atmosphere as the Lizard at home and Spanky Van Dykes in Notts! So I loved it but it was so small and obviously I don't like coffee.. haha. One of the nights it hosted Jazz night so we went along to that and that was nice and chilling :)
Whilst there we also went to a vintage shop which was amazingggg, the cinema to watch Pitch Perfect (the second time for me because it's so bloody hilarious - Rebel Wilson is definitely going to be huge) and we went to downtown Greensboro which has a really unique musuem called Elsewhere!
Elsewhere is a museum of things hoarded by an old lady for years and when she died her grandson took all her collective pieces and put them in a shop for people to explore. It's $1 to get in and you can touch and move things about wherever you want to. The best bit about it though is that it has no glass windows at the front and there are 3 swings so we were swinging in the shop window haha it was so weird. The whole of downtown Greensboro seemed so rustic and I've never seen so many vintage and antique shops in my life! It was lovely though and is such a pretty little town.
On the last day we were there, literally an hour before me and Caitlin set up to leave was when I fell over and fractured my ankle so that was a nice ending to match the beginning where Emma needed an emergency root canal hahaha so dramatic. It was a lovely trip though so can't complain about anything else, although I'd have appreciated my time there a lot more if it wasn't for my injury!!

Greensboro in snaps.....

Life couldn't be more different here. So excited to be home in 5 days :)

Stay tuned for NY!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Casting a spell

Originally, I wanted to blog about my time spent in North Carolina with Emma, but I've got a huge headache from the painkillers I've been taking which make you feel sleepy and nauseous so I'm not in the best state to be uploading and editing pics, so I'll tell you about my ankle.. ha!

I'm so upset that it's happened because 
1) It's super expensive - missing the NHS
2) I'm bed ridden feeling sorry for myself
3) It's going to be painful hobbling around New York and the Whitehouse
4) I might not be able to fly on time
5) I can't get a Christmas job when I'm home
6) I might need surgery
7) I'm stuck down in my room cos I have to crawl upstairs and go downstairs on my bum
8) Not only did I miss my Dad's birthday for the second time running, on his 50th when all attention was supposed to be on him, I took all the limelight and had to break it to my parents that I had a cast on my ankle. HA.
I could go on, but I don't want to seem moany.. ;)

Basically, it's a huge inconvenience - have you ever tried having a bath with only use of one leg? It's not fun.

When I explain what happened, it seems so boring and pretty hilarious but it was literally the most dramatic thing ever to me and I've never been in so much agony :(
I was on Emma's bed, getting ready to leave and it was just me and Katie in the room cos we were gona carry some stuff to the car cos Emma and Caitlin drove it closer to the halls, so I literally slid off her bed which was quite high and I already had my shoes on. When I got off, because of the rubber on my Vans, it caused some friction on the carpet and I must not have picked my foot up high enough to step ha and I tripped and at that the same point I heard and felt something click/pop in my ankle and I fell to the floor. That's it. I FELL :| needless to say, because of the crack I felt, I came over all faint and sick and nearly passed out. Caitlin, who works at a physical therapist place and is studying for it, propped my foot on a chair higher than my heart and iced it for a good 2 hours, which made us leave later to get back to VA. When I attempted to put weight on my foot I literally couldn't, so Emma found some crutches in the library and that's how I slowly got to the car ready for a 6 hour journey back to Reston! 
When I got back, my ankle was ridiculously swollen so we just iced it until Jen took me to a walk in clinic yesterday morning to get an X-ray. It was so scary waiting for the results and this Indian doctor came in who I could hardly understand and the same with him to me told me I've 'spiral' fractured my fibula and I might need surgery. HOW WONDERFUL. I had to then go to a different clinic to have a temporary cast put on and tomorrow have an appointment with a specialist doctor to have a proper hard cast put on and to see about if I can still fly home when I'm supposed to and whether I need surgery.
This is so shit and I wish it could've just been this time next month when I'm home with free health care!! It's so annoying and I've been sleeping all day cos of my tablets and feeling sorry for myself :(

Here's my X-ray. The right bone beneath my ankle bone is the fracture :(

Sat in the car yesterday whilst waiting for Jen to finish shopping in Giant. Gutted I couldn't go in cos I love any chance to go to the American supermarket haha :(

Wish me luck for tomorrow! I'll blog about UNCG when I can be bothered xx

Monday, 24 September 2012

Nice to 'sea' you


In these past couple of weeks I've mainly been working in the office here, editing photos, completing orders, writing in the blog and occasionally looking after Lauren the 3 year old going on 13!
I've pretty much had my hands full but during this time I went to Barrel Oak winery again as it's harvest season and I saw the owners Sharon and Rick pour tonnes and tonnes of grapes into this huge juicer thing and got to taste the grape juice before it fermented into alcohol! Very exciting.
Because Jen is their #1 photographer for their advertising and business, she and another lady called Jenna have been working on photos and videos of the winery for over a year so that night was a celebration of it all being finished and I helped hang up all the photographs on the walls for an exhibit!

Quality's not great - but these are some photos from the winery and then the mini adult house party we went to afterwards where they had a hog roast! The grown men were chugging on the beer kegs and I was sipping beer out a red cup - America at it's finest!

I also went on a shoot with Jen in DC for a portrait session with a huge family and their 2 little children. One of the babies was just over a year old and was the cutest thing I've ever seen! He kept smiling at me too! I don't usually go all lovey dovey or melt at babies because to be honest they kinda freak me out, but he was a chubby little ginger baby called Gabe! I wanted to steal him.
It was so hard working in the DC dry heat that makes even your nose hairs want to sweat, so luckily we were only there for 2 hours and that was enough! I love any chance to go into DC though cos the way we drive in, we always go past all the monuments and everytime I see them my heart melts!

Last Wednesday I met up with my friend Caitlin and we went for dinner and to the movies.. how romantic HA.. and we watched Lawless. Oh. Dear. God. If you like hot men with Southern American accents using guns and all sorts, this is the film for you. I'm beyond in love with Tom Hardy and I'm so proud he's a fellow Brit! What a dream boat ahhhhh. Be warned: it is super gory though haha definitely wasn't expecting all that blood, but an awesome film nonetheless.
We ate at a place called Uno's and I was drinking Shirley Temples which is like a non alcoholic super sugary, super addictive cocktail. Nom.

On Saturday I went back into DC but this time I was working for a different photographer who needed an assistant for a magazine shoot. Basically what I was doing was making sure all the models signed their releases and helped with scenery, lighting etc. Another thing to add to my CV :) I'm working with her again next month so I'm excited for that cos I think we're going to a cattle auction in West Virginia! How random haha.
beautiful DC:

Next month I have loads of plans which include seeing Emma at her college in North Carolina for 5 days, working with Vanessa in West Virginia, shooting a wedding with Jenn, having a Sunday roast with Caitlin and her family cos her dad's English (YAY), going to New York for 4 days, Halloween and then 4 days after Halloween I'll be flying home and landing back in London town on the 5th November which is bonfire night for Weytown so it's gona be the first of many messy nights out to come to mark another amazing year!!

Watch this space xxxxxx