Next Stop the Future

I think I might be the world's worst blogger. I promised a post weeks ago and I have yet to deliver, please pardon me while I go hide my face in shame and embarrassment. 

Not to excuse my sluggishness in getting a new post up for everyone, London has sucked me back in to her apparent state of timelessness. One moment I feel as if time is ephemeral, like I have been back three months, and another it seems as if the sun is perpetually shining on a brisk Sunday morning. 

After a rough couple weeks adjusting to being back in town, I have successfully re-assimilated myself back into conventional society- or however conventional it can be here in electric London. 

My coursework has been equally electrifying the last month. Working around the brief of defining what the future for media will hold, moreover how it will effect the future of the fashion industry and fashion itself. Now, if you ask me that is a pretty blanket statement to cover, when faced with the future it is indeed an interesting and awesome thing to try and fathom, there are infinite possibilities to what the future could have in store. Alternatively one could be largely specific and presume most of our futures most certainly hold death, but that was just a little too macabre for me. 

Where does one even begin to decipher what the future could be like? It has been an interesting journey to discover my own thoughts on the matter. One that has led me to books that discuss time relevancy, the Universe from Nebulas to Black Holes, human connectedness and the possibility of a disconnect. I have read Stephen Hawking, watched films, seen art galleries, and studied photography styles and experimented with a few as well. The amount of research one can do on a single topic is endless. Each new strand of information contributes to yet another strand that builds upon a massive web of knowledge and inspiration to create a project on and bring personal understanding to something otherwise incomprehensible. I will let you know when I come to a definite conclusion; although that is a bit of a loaded statement considering one is always learning and growing throughout their life, so to say there is a definite conclusion to anything would be almost adverse. 

 On the social and adventure front, there has been a lot of exciting experiences that I have the pleasure of getting to share with you all. 

I had the great delight of getting to accommodate and see my lovely friend Marie from back home in the States one weekend. She is currently residing in Newport (near Shropshire, for clarification, since there appear to be several Newports around) for a term-long study abroad. I'm always one who enjoys seeing a familiar face and it was thrilling to get the chance to see Marie. I set off to plan a weekend to show her the city without becoming too overly "touristy." 

I gave her the true London experience on Saturday, after awaking from a night out for perfectly cooked chicken and crisp beer, I took her venturing down the long stretch of the South Bank on the Thames. Big Ben, the London Eye and general people watching were all in order. The real kicker was the weather; 32 degrees fahrenheit, rainy mixed with a bit of snow for fun and we were set. Marie and I did not let that deter us, continuing our exploration on through St. James's Park and over to Buckingham Palace to have afternoon tea with the Queen. 

Ok so there was no tea with the Queen, but we wistfully imagined what it would be like as we took shivering pictures through the barred premises. We did however, get to enjoy the warmth of Gourmet Burger Kitchen (a increasing favorite of mine, so naturally I had to introduce Marie). Filled to our capacities with burgers and still some of the best fries around, we trekked back to my flat where we promptly took a three hour cat-nap. 

Rejuvenated for Sunday festivities, we took the day to explore the museums of London (walking with the Dinosaurs) and inadvertently found Smith's restaurant, along with some of the best pancakes/waffles/french toast I have ever had the pleasure of eating. If you haven't guessed by now that I have a bottomless pit for a stomach, surely by the end of this post you will have an understanding of how much I eat. Since I seemingly couldn't decide between the three options, Smith's so kindly created the Lumber Jack Stack, where I was able to get all three... Perfectly adorned with maple syrup and a bit of bacon on the side, it was what I could only label as the breakfast of champions. Marie settled for a stack of the pancakes complete with bacon and scrambled eggs which looked quite delicious as well. Don't worry Mum, I made the clean plate club on this one. 

No English meal is complete without a good cuppa tea.

The holy grail of breakfasts.

Natural History Museum.

I had to bid Marie adieu on Monday morning and get back to the daily grind of classes, always delightful to see a friend, and have the chance to be a bit of a tourist in my own city for a change. Throughout the week I had the anticipation of another adventure to keep me (conveniently) distracted from coursework, and that was a day-long get away to Cambridge with my sweet and close friend Anna. 

We woke up early Saturday morning, grabbing our coffee from our favorite cafe, before making our way to the Liverpool Street Train Station to catch our departing train. With plans to mosey around and get lost in the historical town, we also had plans of a mini, experiential photo-shoot working with Polaroid film. We couldn't be happier with the weather that greeted us that day, slightly chilly and a thick blanket of fog that clung so closely to the ground it looked like one could scoop it up with their bare hands, truly an ethereal setting.

We had a humorous train ride over, landing in the train-car full of boisterous Aussies, only to later find out they were the Australian National Rugby team on their way to play a game against Cambridge. It was jokes all around the whole journey over, also getting an invite to join them at the pub later in the evening, we sadly had to decline due to not wanting to miss our return train back home. 

Once we arrived, we set straight out to explore and get lost along the way. Stumbling into beautiful campus courtyards, weekend markets, and also narrowly avoiding getting run over by the copious amounts of bicyclists that zoom from place to place, it was shaping up to a memorable day. 

We ended up getting convinced to hop on a river tour, which in the end was not a horrible decision. Anna even got to drive a bit, before she rapidly ran the boat into the side of the canal. Learning a slew of "fun facts" from out boat driver along the journey, such as my personal favorite: "When Lord Byron attended Cambridge he was accompanied by his pet dog, to which the school said he must be rid of immediately due to the rule of no domestic animals on campus. So he promptly returned with a bear." 

We snapped Polaroids throughout the day, each of us falling in love with the style of photography. The frozen-in-time effect the photos give, and the instant tangibleness of the photograph were just a few reasons. What I truly loved about the Polaroids was the thought we had to put into each shot, due to the fact that the film was expensive and limited, the photos instant and therefore could not be edited. The composition, frame, etc all played a part in deciding just how each shot was meticulously planned out. 

It was a truly enriching day, ending over coffee and purposeful conversations while waiting for our return train. Thankful for the day-long escape, but equally thankful to be able to return to another spectacular city at the end of the day.

Snapshots of TIme.

I'm crossing my fingers that this post was at least worth the unnecessary wait. Love to all,

Haley x

I'll Send You My Words...

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Write. What is the one thing I can do countless times, over and over again? Write. When words escape my lips yet appear in a wondrous abundance at the tips of my fingers? Write. When literally all else fails me. I write. 

Talking about all else failing, I am now penning (or more appropriately keying) this post at the early hour of twelve am because I have been stuck with a creative block for a couple of days. Some might say it's inevitable for the creative mind to get stuck once and a while, and I say to that: what a load of rubbish. The mind is not stuck, one just merely has to exercise it in a different way to stretch out the other overused "muscles" (basic gym knowledge here). In an attempt to get creative juices flowing again I am taking up my keyboard and writing. Just writing, whatever comes to mind I am typing without (much) thought. 

Writing and words. Lines of different characters uniquely and artfully strung together to create some of the most beautiful prose, poetry, stories, written memories that sometimes can be more vivid than any photograph ever could. A beautifully written sentence is like the softest notes played out on a piano. Melody, music, harmony.

People can hide behind words, just as easily as they can be seen through words. Spoken, or written down, it is the most befuddling and beguiling language. People feel connected with words, just as easily as they can be torn apart. Words teach, they torment, they encourage. They can bring tears, they can bring laughter, they can light a heart on fire. They are tender they are rough. Words are the strangest contradiction if there ever was one. 

Consider that a bit of a short essay, more of a blurb. I hope you all found it at least somewhat amusing, and I do promise a real blog post within the week. 

Love to all,

Haley x

Photo: Property of Haley Sieben. Calligraphy Work.