When I got my first job in speciality coffee at the beginning of 2016 I was living in York and pretty oblivious to how the public’s interest in a well-made cup of coffee had grown. A few months prior to this I had a gotten a V60 in a student deal run by Pact coffee and that’s how my personal interest began but the culture surrounding all things home-brew was invisible to me until I had to learn how to answer people’s questions regarding what we serving as pour over and what beans I would recommend they buy. When I came back to Liverpool later that year I was only aware of one shop in town that was serving up speciality coffee in the way many places in York already were; The Perky Peacock, Spring Espresso and Kiosk, to name a few. It seemed that the growth of coffee culture was slow in my own home city. The likes of Leeds and Manchester were already establishing themselves as cities full of cool independents to visit and yet it hadn’t quite spread here.
Last year I somehow ended up going to a salsa class, something that truly threw me out of my comfort zone so what better way to kick the year off than to do pretty much the same thing but with the addition of a pole and a lot more bruising. As much as I love to exercise, I’m not a social exerciser. Running, yoga and even going to the gym are things I thoroughly enjoy because they involve being alone and not talking to anyone. So, going to this class was less about a physical challenge and more about putting myself in a situation that makes me uncomfortable and pushing myself out of my comfort zone and guess what? I actually had a great time. Continue reading I went to a pole dancing class!
This week’s blog post is dedicated to one of my oldest and closest friends, who is about to embark on the experience of a lifetime so most of this will be directed to her but, hey you other people might get something from it! Bon voyage, Helen!
The months that lead up to my move to Barcelona were nothing particularly unusual or anxiety inducing. I had been accepted for my TEFL course way back in the February and wasn’t actually leaving until the end of September, it was all so far away. Four weeks before I was set to leave with flights booked, course paid for and accommodation sorted I still wasn’t quite feeling it, it didn’t really feel like I was leaving to start a new life in a new place where I knew nobody but that’s what was about to happen. It wasn’t until the few days before my flight that nerves set in, mostly just my fear of flying to be honest because really, deep down I was just excited.
In the time that lead up to me leaving I had so many people call me brave for doing such a thing and ask me if I was scared and I thought it was odd at first that I kept getting asked these things because I wanted to do this. That is why I applied for it in the first place and planned it all meticulously for months before I even applied for my course. This is what is important to remember about times like this, times where you are about to throw yourself into the unknown and feel that twinge of nervousness. You have to remind yourself that no one is forcing you to do this, you chose to do this and in a year from now you’re going to get to say to people who you have travelled to all these amazing places, met some incredible people and maybe best of all, you got paid for it at the same time. Doing something like moving to another country, travelling or (as you’re going to do, Hel) working on a cruise ship is going to be one of those things that you look back and realise how it helped shape you and make you grow. Isn’t that insane? Isn’t that beyond exciting to know what lies ahead of you is not only going to give you some unforgettable memories but serve as a way to better yourself even more?
Personally, I know that I felt like I had already come so far before my own little adventure; I wasn’t sure how much further I really had to go from there but experiences like this will propel you towards who you are meant to be, that best version of you, in ways you cannot fathom yet. You are going to have a wonderful time, I can guarantee you that and I can also guarantee that home will still be waiting for you when you return and we will all be loving and missing you from it.
If it isn’t already clear to those of you who have been following this blog for nearly a year now (wow) or you haven’t read anything about who I am from way back in my first post; I am an English Literature with Creative Writing graduate. For my dissertation, I had to produce a piece of creative writing with a critical commentary and I chose to start a novel. Now, the trauma of tackling something as large and important as a dissertation has meant that I have neglected this piece of writing for quite some time and I did try to return to it when I was in Barcelona but other bits of writing have gotten in the way. But here I am again, thinking about this piece that I was so excited to get to when I first started planning it out and now makes me wince a little when I remember it or look at the date I last edited it.
We are back! As I am going to France next week and will take a week off from blog writing (nothing new at the moment, let’s be honest) I thought I would throw another Inside my Diaries out so I have sufficient time to recover from the embarrassment whilst I enjoy the isolation of the French countryside. Here we go again: Continue reading Inside my Diaries: Part Four (2006-2007)
I often think about
The nettle stings on your legs
when I pushed you from my lips.
I didn’t want anyone to see us
Locked together, in love.
Even then I was afraid of what bound us
and even now
I’m still thinking about then
and your prickled calves
hands shaking but my mouth laughing
and all of my body was wrecked.
Tense and stretched from my stomach
that pull, the tether that connected us.
But now I don’t feel you
Seems like everyone is really enjoying the hilarity of my young self lamenting about my lack of boobs and “falling in love” with a different person every week so here we go again. If you haven’t read the previous post about this check it out here it might even make you giggle!
Sunday 2nd April 2006
Sorry I didn’t write to you on Friday. Anyway, my PE kit got stolen on thursday while I was having my lunch. My Mum knows but I feel like I’ve really let her down! 😦 I went 2 Amber’s* house yesterday and Polly’s* party was gr8! Bye!
The ticking hands of time and
Many miles more than before is what lies between us now.
But still, I find myself in this place
That’s so similar to what I once called ours.
So I sit on a bench in the same way I did before
And let my hand creep into the empty space that was yours.
The earth smells different to how I remember it but what I remember most is you.
Your hand chained to mine, like I was your anchor.
I had to stay on the ground while your eyes drifted away to the solitude in your mind.
I always felt like they should shine brighter, your eyes
But they were suffocated under the shadow of your sadness.
I found comfort in the smell of the tree-tinged air
The feel of the earth in my palm waiting for me to create something with it.
It wasn’t me who kept everything down
And I was never meant to be an anchor.
As if it wasn’t great enough that I am having a piece of fiction published for the first time in Salomé’s first issue (check the post ‘I can finally tell you…’ for more info) I am also getting published over at The F-Word for an article I have been working on for the past month!
I wasn’t joking when I said exciting things were happening, I just couldn’t mention the other one until today! So my article should be up here in the next few hours and as for my piece of fiction – head over to Salomé and purchase a digital copy to read it. You’ll also be supporting a fantastic new project in the process so there’s that!
I apologise for how short this post is but I am currently using free train station WiFi on my phone in Figueres on my way back from the Dalí museum but you now have my published things to read! Go on, it’ll make me more than happy, even if you hate both pieces.