Saturday, 26 December 2015

Two-Thousand-and-Fifteen


I'm finding it harder these days to distinguish the years and their events from the next. 1999, 2008, 2015... I can barely remember what happened and these numbers mean little to me when trying to recall the emotions I felt, the people I cared about and the places I visited. 
This is why photography is so powerful; that frozen capture of a singular moment can bring back a forest of memories, heart aches and butterflies in the same way that smells and songs do, for me. 
In the future, I'll look back at 2015 and it will feel monumental. 2015 is the year I got engaged. It should feel like an enormous, life changing event that paves the way for my future - but the truth is, that it doesn't. Nothing has changed, George's and my relationship has remained the same, except that now we get to plan a wedding (which quite frankly, we both always knew was on the cards). I am glad of this however, for I don't think I want our relationship to change. We want to marry because we want it to stay this way; secure, loving, gentle and full of play, adventure and goofing around. I want to promise my best friend that I'll stick with him forever. 
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Sea Foam and the Wild, Winter Winds


Wind Sailors | Velella : A carnivorous, free-floating, hydrozoan of the cnidarian, ocean surface community. Often blown in from open sea in certain wind conditions, velella use their rigid spines as sails to catch the wind and often find themselves at the mercy of the wild, prevailing winds to move about the sea. They have tiny tentacles with which they use to catch their prey (often plankton) and their toxins are not generally harmful to humans. Having said that, you oughtn't touch your eyes or mouth after handling one. 

When we slipped and stumbled down the treacherous coast path to our favourite cove, we were greeted by a beach decorated with glistening sea foam and tiny, night-sky-blue wind sailors. The winds were up, the waves were churning and the mist was rolling across the cove, carrying the foam with it. 
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Great Indoors


The rain drummed against the thin window and its droplets ran like miniature rivers down the glass and slowly, they filled world outside so that it was an underwater world. She sat by the sill and pressed her face up against the window, peering out into this new world where the fish swam along the roads instead of cars and little crabs and clams scuttled across the garden. 
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Friday, 11 December 2015

On Serpentine Shores Style Swap


And finally, BREATHE SARAH. The madness has ended. This week has been a very therapeutic week in contrast with previous weeks/months. Although the weather has been moody and changeable (which doesn't bother me one bit), the Ocean listened to my pleas and took pity on me; as I couldn't make it home to Cornwall, it sent Cornwall to me. On Saturday, George's family came to visit and this week, my dear friend Alex from the On Serpentine Shores blog caught the train all the way up and stayed at our little flat with us. 
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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Moments in Between: November

 On Saturday came the first day of Winter. I stepped out the front door, and the sharp icy wind caressed by face like the hand of a long deceased someone. It sent chills down my spine and blew the last few tattered leaves from the spindly trees that stood solemnly in the city streets. I sneezed and pulled my scarf up around my face - remembering what my family always told me about catching a chill. Too late guys, the flu found me already. I walked out into the crisp, wintry world, dodging puddles (left overs from the storm) and reeling off things on my to do list and enjoying the precious moments in the sun.
I mentally prepared myself for a long day at two of my jobs and thought about emails I needed to send, tweaks to extracts from my University work due Tuesday. I sneezed again. Most of my days have been like this.





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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Our Engagement Story


George and I have been together for almost four years now. Technically this October marks when we first started 'seeing each other' four years ago. It started with a cheeky lie on his part that he was an experienced Banjo player and so I challenged him to bring his Banjo over to Falmouth where I was at art school for a Folk Jam. I lugged my Accordion on the bus and carried it around Uni all day and waited for his bus from under an autumn tree on Falmouth Moor (just a street, not a real moor guys) and soon figured out after a few minutes of 'jamming', that he couldn't do much more than play deliverance and strum the chords :P It's okay, I was still pretty impressed because he knew the lyrics to my favourite Laura Marling songs and he was really good at folk dancing and after a few Monday nights of ceilidh together at the pub, I realised that this boy was the damn coolest thing in this world - I mean, I kinda already knew that when I first met him but you know. It just confirmed my suspicions :) 
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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Witching Place


When we arrived in Edinburgh, the skies were wild and ferocious and the last few leaves of this seemingly forever autumn were clinging to the trees. Time seemed slowed down, in the same way that the leaves floated slowly from the trees and every moment was stretched to it's own afternoon with every step feeling like a mile. 
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Friday, 23 October 2015

The Tree Museum


When Alex first invited me to join in on her trip to London, the first thing I asked was if we could go to Kew Gardens. I knew that Alex, a fellow plant-lover would be as excited for a trip to Kew as I was because this beautiful arboretum is like Disneyland for the botanists! Just picture - a whole park celebrating nature and botany hidden within the city next to the Thames. 
Back home in Cornwall, we have the Eden project which attracts tourists year in year out and charges a pretty penny in doing so. I've been a couple of times to the Eden sessions festivals with my friends and twice with my Dad when I was younger. I'm not sure what it was, but it didn't really enchant me. It's beautiful in its way, and filled with glorious plants from all over the world fooled into thinking they're somewhere else in their contained climates, but it was missing something, and I think that something that the old romantic inside of me gravitates towards - charm and whimsy. 
Kew has charm and whimsy in abundance, it was like stumbling into a not-so-secret garden, a realm of tended to and much beloved plant life and nature. At every turn there was a beautiful victorian greenhouse, a glade covered with a carpet of autumn leaves and canopies upon canopies of trees decorated by fall. And, then there were the Peacocks. 
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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Woodland Creatures




I don't want to talk anymore about counting time, or seasons or counting rhymes. Let its serene workings speak for itself through photographs for a little while. Although nature and change is endlessly enchanting and fascinating, I fear I may talk it to death and so lets look at the moments within moments. Time within time, frozen in a journal entry to be relived and relived until they corrode. To be experienced by others and shared and interpreted. Let the years not be years but merge into one timeline- our timeline. Time is free flowing and no two seasons are exactly the same. Oh darn, I mentioned the 'S' word.  
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Thursday, 8 October 2015

A Gust of Wind



I had never seen mountains before - least not on the British Isles anyway. Sometimes our hills get pretty big down Cornwall, and Glastonbury Tor always catches my eye as we drive on by on the route home, but nothing prepared me for the beauty and awe of the Welsh mountains, for Snowdonia. 
I wish I could write you an account filled with photographs of the mountains and how we traversed them and beheld the view of the seemingly tiny island from the summit - perhaps one day I will. But not this time. September threw up my quiet life like a pile of fallen leaves in a gust of wind and rather than share one of my typical rambles about a specific day or place - today, I deviate just a little bit to round up what has been a whirlwind autumn. To touch base with my family, my friends, and you dear readers and look over those moments I have managed to encase in a snow globe to look at forever more. 
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Friday, 11 September 2015

A Letter to September


Oh September. Our relationship with each other is rather a complicated one. You put my beloved trees to sleep and chill the winds oh so slightly,  you tell me that the summer I love so dearly, that I had hoped to be endless is finally at an end and that winter will surely come soon. You are the beautifully-lit window between changing phases of the seasons, a last lull of peace and freedom before I must return to the city of chimney pots. I resent you, because I fear what you bring but how can I not utterly love you? You paint the flora and fauna magnificent colours of burned oranges and golds as you cover them in their autumnal sleeping dust, you empty the beautiful sands and seas of the hubbub of the summer so that I and others who call Cornwall home can dance upon them and splash in the sea peacefully and appreciate the last warm days in quiet. You spread heather over the cliff tops and fill the skies with hazy silvery and mauve sunsets that only September can bring, and you fill the air with the loamy smell of earth and foliage. September, you mark a season of bonfires, sparklers and spiced cider so who am I to fight like a child and cry for summer when you wrap your arms so tenderly around my shoulders and give me the most beautiful few weeks of the year? September, you are perfect and peaceful, and despite the bittersweet sadness you bring to me, I am eternally yours. 
Sincerely, 
Sarah 
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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Sea Spray, Ocean Mists & We

The Seafog has rolled in early this year, it normally waits till September. But that's just fine with me for I won't be around a lot in September and the mists are one of my favourite types of weather.
The thing about the mists, is that there are so many different types of them, and each are beautiful. 


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Monday, 10 August 2015

Bristol Balloon Fiesta


On Saturday I finally managed to cross a goal off my summer bucket list; Visit Bristol's annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
Ever since I came to study in Bath, I've been dying to get over to Bristol in August for it's balloon festival as it boasts being the largest in Europe and has been running every year since 1979. This year, it was happening between the 6th - 9th and best of all, it's a free event for anyone with an interest in balloons to attend!
I've always had a fascination with hot air balloons, so much so that I'm even working on a YA novel about a boy who lives in one! The last few years, there had always been reasons why I couldn't get to the balloon festival - work commitments, accommodation difficulties and prior commitments but this year, George and I were due to move into our very first flat together and the move in date happened to coincide beautifully with the festival! It was meant to be.

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

On Losing Lore


"Ladybird Ladybird Fly away home
your house is on fire and your children are gone
all except one,
and her name is Anne 
and she is hid under the frying pan

-A Nursery Rhyme-  

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Friday, 24 July 2015

OOTD: The Rainy Creek





I'm writing this as the rain pours down outside this bedroom window and the smell of wet conifer and soil sneaks in through the open crack. 
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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Little Islander


As everybody knows full well, I am utterly, 100% in-love with my home county of Cornwall. So much so, that it's possibly a little unhealthy, weird and yes - I am one of those odd proud Celtic types that signs my nationality as Cornish on important documents and rejoiced when we were given our own minority status. Yep. I know - I'm lame. Now, you will be shocked that I don't know all of the words to 'Trelawny', I have Devonshire friends and I adore cultural diversity (Not all the stereotypes of Cornish people are true!) but what is even more shocking, is that in the twenty four years that I have enjoyed living in this tiny county at the very bottom of the British isle, I have never once hopped over to the weeny archipelago that's just off our coast!

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Monday, 6 July 2015

The Ocean Road Home


It finally happened - the day I had been waiting for the last four months. The day of the road trip, the big exciting one - the one that heralds the beginning of my summer adventure.


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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

OOTD: Quiet Evenings Watching the Boats go by

Life isn't always about the big moments. I've spent this year learning to make the most about the little moments in between - those precious few hours after work, or before class that normally we ignore and do trivial things we've already forgotten about by the next day. I've been working on filling those 'in-between' moments with things like reading in the park, walks on the river flower hunting, or trips to the forest. I want to fill my life with beautiful quiet moments - saturating it with memory and joy so that I can never look back and say I wasted my youth. It's surprising what you can squeeze in, in those few hours after work, especially in the summer when the days are longer. I've taken to spending my breaks, sitting in the courtyard by the abbey people watching and listening to the Buskers. 




Top: Bershka France | Skirt: FatFace  
Shoes: Second Hand |  Necklace: FatFace 

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Saturday, 20 June 2015

Photography, Snaps & the Salty Sea!


Ta-dah! That Photography post that I had been asked for which I have been putting off for a very long time. Thank you so much for bearing with me and sending over the questions that you'd like answered :)

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Meadow flower




Hello again beautiful writing space. How are you doing today? Marvellous I hope :)
It's certainly been a busy June! No wonder it's flying past me like a flock of ducks in the summer sky.
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Monday, 1 June 2015

Dragon Flies & River Dwellers

More than just Mayflies and Otters can be found on the river. There are entire beautiful communities, people that live and trade entirely from their boats and station their gardens in little secret woodlands by their moorings. I have stumbled across such places; wonderful secret places where laundry is hung in the trees and dens are made between the roots. Children leave their toys scattered across the earthy floors and run about barefoot, the same way you would see toys left around a yard. Plant pots and twinkling garden lights decorating the roofs of the barges, makeshift balconies and old bicycles oddly but lovingly placed in the heart of this kingdoms old and peaceful world. 
Like roads, people can travel around the rivers networks snaking around this leafy isle but never leaving their own private world, a world that is invisible and unseen by so many, the separate world that exists only on the river. 
Fisherman, travellers, musicians, storytellers... they all have voices and tales for the camp fire about their mysterious and beloved rivers.  







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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

We live by the River

I've had a realisation recently that I am utterly disillusioned by eating out in restaurants. I'm living on a rather tight budget (as my car has thoroughly drained my finances) but I still want to be able to enjoy life without scrimping and passing off opportunities for fun and adventure. After a recent restaurant visit to celebrate the end of my academic year, I was left feeling as though I had paid a ton of money for something that I wasn't going to truly remember and think 'Hey, that was worth trading hours of my time spent working in the shop for'



George and I have made a rule: this summer we are going to replace eating out with cheap picnicking. If we are out for the day, we will pack our own food and a rug and eat it alfresco - which really, is more appealing and exciting to me anyway  ^.^
Today, a few friends and I took some sandwiches, fruit and drinks to the Bath boating station where people can rent punts, canoes and old fashioned rowing boats or sit in the beautiful gardens, have a picnic (like us) read a book and soak up the very English-Countryside atmosphere. 
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Friday, 22 May 2015

The Ongoing Adventure


May has whizzed past me and my final Uni deadline has come and gone. It's the end of the academic year and this should feel big - I should feel free, liberated, wild and filled with energy and excitement of the wide summer and promise of adventure spread out before me. Nothing feels different, nothing at all. Perhaps it hasn't sunk in yet. Perhaps it won't until I take the Ocean road homewards on the 30th June. I am counting down the days. 
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Monday, 18 May 2015

Explore: Shoreditch, London


Sometimes, I forget that living in Bath, things become so much closer and accessible. The average trip to London on a direct train takes just 1 hr 40 mins which is the same journey as Redruth - Plymouth for a shopping trip. In the 3 years that I've been been a student in Bath, I've been to London a handful of times with various friends in various weather conditions (Normally wintery) yet we always seemed to head to the same sort of places over and over (The sights obviously - Piccadilly, Trafalgar, Leicester Square, Soho, Natural History Museum etc). I'm no expert, as I barely know anything about this vibrant city but I think it has helluva lot to offer beneath the tourist traps, overpriced restaurants and cheesy waxworks. 

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Merry Month of May


I find that there is something powerful and magical about the month of May. It occurred to me this morning whilst I was strolling down the canal path, under the warm sky with butterflies fluttering around me and the hedgerows filled with flowers and dandelions. There was something in the air, something mystical and filled with nature and wonder that was especially powerful. I was reminded of stories such as Midsummer nights dream, George and the Dragon, Flora and May day festival back home and one of my favourite plays ever, Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth.
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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

HELLO! this is my attic






































As we are all aware, the end of the academic year is creeping closer. We either know this because we are students ourselves, or our academic friends are filling up our news feeds with phone snaps of their all-nighters and dissertation-frenzied spontaneous pajama drives to the Chinese take away. I am guilty of partaking in many a frenzied-work-avoidance activity over the last few weeks ranging from the classic 'CLEAN EVERYTHING IN SIGHT IT MUST ALL BE CLEANED' to 'Let's go out for cocktails with my friends the night before the deadlines when the essay isn't even done', an impromptu hike along the Avon Trail River from Bristol to a Bowie fuelled and incredibly brilliant birthday party at my lecturers house where I met all sorts of amazing individuals and learnt about the existence of something called 'the mile high club' from one of it's members. It was great.

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Graveyard Tales

I grew up an only child, which meant alot of playing by myself and taking refuge in my imagination. One of my favourite things to do to amuse myself were invent worlds. I grew up in a village called Illogan in Cornwall (Some of you Poldark fans out there might realise that yes! that's Demelza's home village too! :P ( Weirdly, my road was even called Poldark Road!)) There is a beautiful graveyard in the Churchtown at the heart of the village where I spent alot of time playing when I was supposed to be visiting my mum. The thing that I loved about the Graveyard was that it was so peaceful, I could have it all to myself. There were so many little pathways to explore, creatures to befriend, tall leafy trees fat with apples to climb and dark and dangerous parts wild with brambles and blackberries that fueled my imagination with ghouls and witches. I would pretend that I lived in the graveyard, that I had been forgotten and left there, or that I was a ghost that haunted it. I grew up to be fascinated with the macabre and austere and a fan of Gothic literature. Not that I actually find graveyards dark and austere anymore, They are a sanctuary of peace, of rest and quietude. There's nothing chilling about the silence, it may be a garden of corpses but for me, it brings back memories of balmy summer afternoons snoozing under the apple tree and listening to the church clock tower chiming away the day. 

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

OOTD: We played it on the Gramophone

Have I ever mentioned, I have an extreme affinity for swing music? Whether it be 1920's, gypsy or the good ole footstomping N'Orleans swing - there's something about it that makes me wanna skip about and dance. George actually did a GCSE in Dance and has taught me some of the moves but I take 'foot-stompin' far too literally and end up 'stompin' on peoples feet. Occasionally, the touring 'White Mink' speakeasy event comes to Komedia in Bath (an excellent venue with great artists!) and for one night, everybody dresses the part and dances the Lindyhop, Charleston and Walkabout to brilliantly revived live swing music! Another great pub in Bath, if you're an enthusiast for live music is 'The Bell'. They have such an eclectic and vibrant selection of artists playing from blues, bluegrass and folk to world music, reggae and ska. George has a record player, and although it's not quite a gramophone, we love the sound of vinyl and there's something oddly satisfying about playing a record. 

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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Joie de Vivre

Joy. It's simple, it's pure, it's weightless and liberating. Joy is easy to find and yet often sometimes we struggle to hold onto it even though it surrounds us. Often, we forget how or where to look. Without joy, we only exist and experience a anaesthetised, dulled and meager morsel of what life has to offer. How can we live without joy? How can we learn to find it and when we do, hold onto it? 

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Among the Flutterby's

I read somewhere once, that the old English word for Butterflies was Flutterby's. I'm not sure how true this is, but I have no intention of learning otherwise because in my world, Butterflies are hereon known again as Flutterby's; the little pieces of fragile decorated living paper that they are, drifting about in the spring breeze like sycamore seeds. Another little snippet of trivia (this one completely true) is that the french word for a moth is 'Papillon de nuit' which translates as 'Nighttime Butterfly'. I love moths, for they are beautiful, silly little creatures who are slaves to the bright light and they remind me of autumn, camping and lamplit evenings in the garden. Alot of people are frightened by the little creatures, but for me they bring happiness, nostalgia and a sense of peace. When I see butterflies and moths, I know the weather is warm and balmy and that right now, I am most probably outdoors and very content indeed. 

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

OOTD: Forever a Country Kid




 Today I steer away from my usual adventure spots & whimsical thinking to take a look at something fundamentally girl. As mud-loving, tree-hugging and scraggly haired as I normally am, there's no escaping that I am in fact a lady (despite being raised by a single father and often displaying many boy-ish traits).
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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Warm Winds on the Lake

This last week, some strange breezes have been blowing about England. Whilst folks in the North are still reporting snow, we've been enjoying some bizarrely warm afternoons. Some days, I'd be almost tricked into believing it really was spring but by the time evening came and the sun set, the bitter cold came back to remind us that it was winter, and it hadn't given up on us yet. 
The last few weeks have been challenging, as it always is this time of year. The cold begins to get to us, chill our bones and numb at our energy and enthusiasm turning us into quiet, withdrawn ghosts of ourselves. Let's not even mention University deadlines. This afternoon, after poetry, George, Jess and I had decided that it was time for a Friday adventure. Enough was enough, we had been battling through work and assignments and there's only so long you can shut yourself indoors for before you go totally mad. The sun shone beautifully today and it was warm enough to brave the outdoors with just a jumper. We packed up a quick picnic and headed to our local lake in Chew Magna for some fresh air and escape from never ending bus journeys. 


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Sunday, 1 March 2015

OOTD: Peculiar Fortune

There's a well-known phrase that goes along the lines of 'Everything happens for a reason'. I'm a particularly clumsy human and as far as winning things like raffles, tombolas and lotteries my luck is pretty dire. I lose at most board games and if I have a fifty fifty chance to picking heads, I'll pick tails.



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Friday, 6 February 2015

We Followed a Map

It seems that Friday adventures have become a tradition for George and I over the recent weeks. On a Friday morning I have poetry class and today we were all about the Sonnets. Don't get me wrong, Sonnets are all wonderful if you're madly infatuated or William Shakespeare, but the best part of today's lesson was scuttling together as a group to workshop our 'masterpieces' that we had been set the task of creating the week before. Needless to say, nobody was particularly thrilled with their Sonnet baby. One person even went on to write a Sonnet that openly mocked all Sonnets ever written and that was my favourite. My contribution was hurriedly scrawled at 8 am this morning onto some scrap paper. I had been tearing my hair out all week about what to write about and when I looked out of the attic this morning over the stooping chimney stacks I thought 'Bugger it, a Sonnet about Chimney Pots it is then!'. The ending result was a Sonnet named 'The City of Chimney Pots' and it vaguely follows the musings of an individual who lives on the roof tops of an old city, among the chimneys and has the pigeons and thatchers for friends. They like to watch curiously the lives of the world below but their dream is to escape the city and sleep in a meadow. Yeah. 

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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Cloudlands

Have you ever  had that feeling of absolute calm? There's a place I sometimes find myself; It's not a dark cave or an empty desert. It's just a wide open space where sky is infinite and the clouds are floating mountains that seem almost touchable. Sometimes I find myself lost in this chaos of trivial worries and obsession with consuming. Things, all of these things; gadgets, ornaments, clothes & accessories for life, all coming with a promise to improve your existence somehow. It never works though, does it? Nothing fills that void. 

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Friday, 23 January 2015

While We Are Young

I know I'm not alone when it comes to struggling through January. It's an incredibly still month and it feels for a moment as if like all the leaves and puddles, time has frozen, holding us here in this frosty limbo of pale skies, bony trees and dead meadows. Everyone tends to get incredibly excited around autumn for hot spiced drinks and jumpers and Christmas but after the come down from celebrations we're left to return to our jobs/studies and endure the coldest month of the year whilst begging for spring to rear its sleepy head. 
Back home, by the sea, I enjoy the quiet months because it means the coastline is peaceful, free from emmets and often stormy.
But we are young, even if the seasons do make us dizzy as they pass us by causing us to feel like we've seen it all. Last night, I lay in bed looking at Georges wonderful face and we talked about being old one day and I wondered how differently we'd look then, on that day, George's twenty one year old face  would just be a memory and so would mine. There will be dozens more winters to come (if I am lucky) and it seemed foolish to waste them wishing for spring. This is now, life is happening. I am twenty three and my existence is spread out before me like a blank map, a path waiting to be explored. 
I may not have a log burner to huddle up next to, I may not be close right now to the crashing waves and howling winds that I love about the cold months and I may not be in a snowy white wonderland. Winter here right now is basic but that doesn't mean it can't be relished. I have two working feet, the world around me and the company of my best friend and so why shouldn't I cherish winter moments? Let time slow down a little and let my head empty itself ready for all the things that will surely fill it when the flowers come back. 

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Thursday, 15 January 2015

Wizarding Villages

 I'm going to let you in on a dodgy secret of mine. Well, it's not that dodgy, but when you're on a Creative Writing course, despite what they say, you are in danger of being judged on what you read. You run the risk of being plopped into stereotypes; The fantasy obsessive (they obviously worship Game of Thrones), The Feminist Writer (doesn't wear a bra), The Sci-fi Fanatic and The Horror Enthusiast (basically might as well be a goth). Now obviously we all know that's utter rubbish. I've been known to not wear a bra (or pants for that matter), participate in a hardcore Game of Thrones marathon and once I did dye my hair black and pink (oh to be fifteen again). I don't believe in categorising people, nor judging them by what they read. I have an enormously varied taste in literature, but ONE thing I always begrudge admitting (yet I shouldn't) is that yes, boys and girls, I. AM. A. DEVOUT. POTTER. FAN. There. I said it. judge me, go on. Since the age of nine, when I was plunged into the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter, Like thousands of other children, I waited eagerly in vain for my letter on my eleventh birthday (that obviously never came) and I religiously followed the books and films, crying and laughing with Harry, Ron and Hermione, hating Snape, then loving Snape, hating him again and then realising that he's basically awesome. That world, as fantastical and absurd as it is, is a massive part of my childhood. The infinite imagination involved. It made you see everything differently, and I would have amazing dreams about playing Quidditch in the highlands, having incredible wizarding duels and battling dragons (you have no idea how much I'm cringing writing all this). People can endlessly critisise the Harry Potter books all they like, and that's fine, because we all have individual tastes and quite frankly, it sucks to find out that we're all Muggles. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to be exposed to that world, only to be dropped with a painful thud back into this mundane reality where food doesn't miraculously appear in abundance on plates. Well, this world isn't truly mundane. It's flipping wonderful. And years down the line, I still hold a great attachment to my favourite childhood books; Harry Potter, the Edge Chronicles, The Graveyard book, The Fantastic Five. They still inspire me, and make my world magical. Sometimes I even still get dreams where I'm living in the trees in the Deepwoods listening to yodeling Banderbears.

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Friday, 9 January 2015

ADD, Blogging Worries & A Profound Understanding Of Ones Self

Deep breath Sarah. 

I'm not really sure how to begin this post. It's a difficult topic to approach whatever the situation but perhaps I should explain why I'm choosing to share this on something so public as a blog in the first place. 
Upon starting this little blog, years ago (probably about 5) when it had a totally different name altogether and was under a different URL it was just a place where I talked about my art work, experimented with my early photography and essentially kept a journal so that my family could keep up with me. You see, I'm a bit of a nomad and I don't spend alot of time in one place or with my family which is something that makes me sad. I wish sometimes I could stay in one place, spend quiet afternoon after quiet afternoon with the people I love that raised me. I don't spend even a quarter of the time that they deserve and this makes me feel so incredibly selfish and horrible but somehow for some reason, I just can't stay for long before I'm off again, outdoors, drifting about my own odd world. A bit like Snuffkin from The Moomins, I suppose. 
The blog was a way for me to share that world I inhabited with the people I loved, a sort of apology and poor consolation for my rubbish inability to stick around. I wanted to try and make up for the lost time, because despite how it appears, they mean alot to me and I value everything my father and grandmother have done for me over my life and I'm so grateful for their selflessness as parents. 
Back to the point (because I'm drifting now), this blog was essentially something personal. It grew; grew to involve more of my photographic endeavors, a place to feature my love of outdoor adventures and recently under advice and pressure to 'grow it even more' I began to worry about things that weren't anything in the slightest what I valued, and I worried that I was beginning to portray myself as somebody who was further from myself than I was comfortable with. Sure, sometimes we want to be other people and escape our skin, but this blog wasn't about doing that. I didn't want to create an alter ego, this blog was about communicating my world that I inhabit with (originally my cherished ones) and later, anybody interested who perhaps was of similar ilk and possessed the same values.  
Before I go onto talk about ADHD, I want to make somethings clear about my values and priorities and the worries I had about exposing myself to the outside world through blogging. 




My values: 
Will always be, without a doubt, the road to self acceptance, understanding our own natures and the best way to create a harmonious relationship with the world around us. In my case, nature. I am a jumpy creature and would probably liken myself to perhaps a Hare (but lacking the grace). I adore the arts with everything I have, whether it's performance, visual, literature... I believe that the arts are our way of releasing that which sometimes gets lost inside of us. Without them, we would be very frustrated and angry creatures indeed (which for some, seems to be the case). The city can often frighten me (although I'm working on learning to love it) but the sea and the countryside and often the world we can create through imagination and dreaming are the realms I inhabit and cherish and endeavour to share through my blog. 

My fears:
My biggest fears in blogging, is succumbing to vanity and narcissism. It's a delicate business, talking about ones self whilst not trying to appear narcissistic, and when I began thinking along the lines of 'Oh, perhaps I should look at fashion a bit more because lots of blogs do it' I scared myself. I was worried because first of all A) although I adore pretty clothes, I don't consciously seek out fashion nor harbor a particular interest in it. I'm more than happy to share some of my favourite wears but in no way, do I wish to insinuate that I am an authority on the matter, that I consider myself fashionable and worthy of imitation.  I admire other peoples blogs and styles, but I also value individuality and comfort in ones own skin and I certainly am not comfortable dipping into a realm I know nothing about. My other fears, were losing sight of how personal and close to myself this blog was meant to be. My journey to self exploration was in danger of losing sight of my original values and that had to stop. 

This year, I've found my path again and through blogging I hope to focus more on self exploration through photography, illustration, story telling & creativity. I want to share with you this journey and world, if you're interested :) Thank you for bearing with this hulking chunk of writing, I'm going to move onto the next part. 



A D D 

What is ADD? I'm not sure I fully understand myself. On Monday morning, I had an appointment with an educational psychologist to undergo a variety of tests & get to the heart of my various mental health issues. 
These included:
Constant loss of time due to spacing out - as a child, my school reports always whined that I was a pathological day dreamer. I could not be stopped. I'd phase out for hours, lose focus of what was happening around me. It wasn't just the type of day dreaming that we all experience though, when I 'phased out' I would no longer be conscious of what was happening in the room. I'm not entirely sure where I went, but I went. They said I would grow out of it, and that it was a phase; I didn't. 
Hyper emotions: 
I know we all feel this way sometimes, and often it's related to hormones. One minute we're on top of the world, and next minute we're crying into our Ben and Jerry's cookie dough. But for me, this was out of hand. I could never inhabit a middle ground. I was either permanently existing on cloud 9, with far too much energy and disregard for what is deemed 'socially acceptable', or lost in a stormy arctic desert where everything felt numb and white for no reason at all, and ridiculous things like (this is a true story) the bus stopping at traffic lights reduced me to fits of tears (George found this hilarious). Sometimes, I felt like everything around me was extremely far away and I had lost some connection with my body. I couldn't feel things properly, I was spending 80% of my time being spaced out and was constantly paranoid that everything was a mirage and that I was trapped inside a human body, desperate to exist only as the wind, or the sea. Reality felt anesthetised, like I was only getting half of the experience. 
After taking the set tests and her bringing to light lots of other issues like my inability to hold my attentions to something, constantly taking my shoes off in public places and putting my feet up without realising and interrupting conversations/finishing peoples sentences the psychologist decided that I was a class A case of someone living with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). I was a little shocked and indignified. First of all, I felt ashamed, then I felt stupid and afterwards I felt helpless. She explained that it was to do with chemical levels in my brain, and despite there being  direct mental disability sufferers within my family, it wasn't hereditary. These issues that I had with myself, that I had thought were downfalls of my personality, issues to be resolved and worked on were suddenly explained as traits linked to this disorder. It had seemed before as if I could somehow get over them eventually by disciplining myself but now, it was something I had to live with. I wasn't sure how I felt about this (and I'm still unresolved). She explained how the way to deal with ADHD was to pave your life and environment to accommodate your difficulties. In my case, rather than holding down one 9-5 job, my future career would be better suited to many part time/freelance jobs that were regularly changing and avoided ritual. I would need a patient partner supportive of my hyper emotions (crying over stepped on snails), and see student support to help learn ways of focusing and finishing assignments and tasks. Luckily, I have George as a partner who also (conveniently) has ADHD although his traits vary largely from my own. I am a part of two families where thank god, no-body is conventional or 'normal', perhaps explaining why my anxieties and odd habits had gone so long unchecked. 
I feel a little fragile, bringing this to the surface but I am a great believer that we are all somewhere on the spectrum (just at different points) so normal is merely a label, a concept that doesn't really exist and if you base it on what the 'values' of 'normal' are, I would say it encompasses the minority. But is anybody truly 'normal' and thus by (my own) definition 'boring'? I don't like to think so :) 
I would like to apologise to anyone I have ever possibly startled by being 'over enthusiastic' and list my own personal symptoms that were addressed by the psychologist as characteristics. I'm working on not feeling 'defined' by the ADHD branding, and continuing believing that these are just quirks that encompass who I am. I'm sharing them with the hopes that A) They'll help you to understand me better or B) Perhaps if you can relate to this, it may bring you comfort knowing that some things really are caused by brains being a bit random and rather than trying to change ourselves (which quite frankly is nastily exhausting) we should accept ourselves and build our life around it, embracing our quirks. 

Over enthusiasm 
Anxiety 
Inability to retain train of thought
Struggle to follow conversations/retain attention when people are talking
Difficulty completing tasks 
Forgetfulness
Poor organisational skills 
Poor understanding of social conventions (ie. butting in, talking to much)
Fidgeting, constant hand/foot movements and inability to sit in a chair without putting my feet up
Skew-wiff sleeping patterns
Spacing out 
Lack of concept of danger (putting myself and others in dangerous situations without regard)
hypersensitivity 
trouble retaining motivation
poor at dealing with frustration
insecurity 

I was also told I have dyspraxia (which to me seems like slapping a label on uber clumsiness) and it's possible some of those things cross over and often come hand in hand. If you have been brave and have a better ability than I for staying focused, well done for getting to the end of this. I hope, if you know me personally that you accept my apology for every time I've ever done something a little bit weird. If you don't, I thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and who knows, perhaps some of you guys like me, have a few odd habits :) 
Lets celebrate oddness (when it's not harmful of course) and surround ourselves with the wonderful things that make us feel comfortable and happy. Whether it's nature, food, god or the ones you love. Let there be more of it, and lets embrace the little joys in our individual wonderful lives ♥









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OOTD: These Old Streets

Today, was the day of freedom at our house. With essays and Dissertations finished and handed in and the sun shining outside, we were finally free. Free to skip about, explore all the old windy streets and kick up leaves in the park. If you are like me, and enjoy windy cobbled old streets and have a very romantic view of how cities should be, then Bath is paradise. I am utterly fascinated by medieval history and when I discovered that Bath (post aquae sulis) goes back beyond Georgian times, back to medieval I was so excited. I wasted no time in exploring the oldest parts of town, the old tunnels and dark age vaults to the river and soaking up the quirky little left-behind remnants of medieval Bath. Part of the reason why I was so in love with Edinburgh was because I was utterly enchanted by the 'Old Town' with it's chilling graveyards, stopping eerie buildings and ominous castle. Bath's medieval quarter can be found in the Walcot street area which is also the quirky artisan section where you'll find some great little caf├ęs, the best pub in Bath (The Bell which has amazing live music) and great vintage shops. 


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Friday, 2 January 2015

Moments of 2014

Another year has flown past without me realising and this makes me scared because I'm 23 now and time is going faster and faster and I suddenly feel as though I'm stuck on a carousel with no way to jump off. It was only when I started browsing through snaps from 2014 that I realised how it felt like five minutes ago that I spent an endless summer of wild camping with my friends, watching shooting stars and singing bonfire songs and that was 2013. Some memories are so distorted time-wise in my head, that if I haven't taken any photographs of them I can't even remember if they were last year or the year before or a fortnight ago. 
This really scares me, and it's made me realise the importance of taking photographs and writing a little something every day to remind us because each small day is as exceedingly important as the big days. 
This year, I think I'm going to run a journal of photographs and focus on making every moment count. I don't want to do it for blogging, I don't live to blog, blogging should just be nothing more than a scrapbook of little adventures, a mood board for things I love and a way to promote an adventurous life spent outdoors. That isn't to say blogging isn't important to me, because it is. I just want to make it grow without it interfering with enjoying each day as it comes.  
I'm not planning on really making any resolutions because I'm finding it hard at the moment to distinguish one year from the next and therefore perceive it as a fresh start. The only way I can perceive it, is a new folder in my documents because I categorise all of my photographs into separate folders under months of the year. 
Time is a flurry of snow, and it bamboozles me. I'm going to endeavour to understand time and immerse myself in creation, natural beauty and all things arts. I'm learning to stop spacing out and clear the cobwebs that fill my dusty hibernating mind. I need to stop being a drifting cloud and find my feet. This year, is about waking up. 
Here are some 'little moments' of 2014. 


'The day the floods came. The rain covered everything and I was delighted to find that I was surrounded by what felt like a still ocean. As I sat on the train back to Cornwall, I stared at fields that were once farms that were now endless mirrors of water. The pretend ocean almost covered the tracks and for a moment I could believe I was being Spirited Away. After a while, we stopped and for half an hour I could just stare through the train window and marvel at the beauty. There was a sadness in that beauty, because countless folks had lost their homes, their lands and their possessions to that beauty and for many, my dream was a nightmare. I felt guilty for enjoying those moments of peace because it had cost someone else so much. After that half hour was up, the train turned around and went back to Bath because the track had been lost. I had to take many buses to find my way home, but I did it, and when I did, the storms greeted me.'



Tea parties to celebrate my friends birthday, and walks in the countryside because we were pining for home. I'm lucky in some ways, that two of my best friends have moved as well and we all live near each other (so close in Jesses case that I can holler down the stairs at her) We all struggle with being parted from the sea, but we struggle together. 




'This day, we visited the beach and there was detritus and gifts from the sea as far as the eye could sea. Beautiful trinkets, driftwood, shells, rubble from boats and salt-faded nets. I gathered as many mussels as my pockets could carry for I love mussels as they remind me of the nights sky. I try to paint them and create tiny milky ways but I could never paint the way nature does.'



Trelissick Gardens, towards the Roseland where we had a beautiful picnic, drank wine and watched an outdoor performance of 'The Tempest'. I want this tower to be my home.





Down our way, there are wonderful vardos. How I would love to live in a vardo, or have one to renovate and take it somewhere secret and pretend I lived that way. Actually, my friend really did live in this very vardo once upon a time, but it had seen better days back then!



And then there was my fascination with chimney pots, and my many attempts to climb out of attic windows to reach them.


Days spent by the sea with my favourite people


The canal ways of Bathampton are among my favourite haunts when I'm in the city. Another of my dreams is to live on a barge. George, who considers himself somewhat more refined and in need of creature comforts doesn't quite agree of their appeal, but maybe one day I'll rent a boat for a while and write and write and write.


'Spring found us eventually, and we were glad of it. We were able to take off our coats and scarves and feel the warm air on our bare feet once again.'





In the summer, Jegan and I went wild swimming at a wonderful swimming hole called 'Warleigh Weir'. It took clambering through several fields, over a train track and canal way to find, but it was worth it. It was one of the most perfect days of the summer and for a moment, I forgot to miss the sea. 



Many evenings of our last 3 years together have we spent on the wonderful Helford. The Shipwrights is one of our frequent haunts, and Niki's band often play there. Sadly, they have begun to price themselves out of reach for locals, but every so often they'll have 'JellyJazz nights' and BBQ's and the place will come alive as the surrounding villages get together for a party on the river.


 Climbing waterfalls in the Glen near Tintagel. Another one of my favourite memories from the summer


This wonderful invention 


 A trip to Weymouth, a seaside experience totally different from our usual.



On one of the first nights I came home for the summer holidays officially, George and I went to Chynalls in Coverack and sat on the headland. We read fairytales aloud and played with the ponies that graze there. The sunset was perfect and I wanted to build a little hobbit hole there and stay there always.  



 Some days it rained, but that didn't matter.


And some days we built bonfires and played music by the river.


And then there was the fairy ball. 


And not to mention a surprise trip to Paris! our main mode of transport were bicycles which is by far the best way to sample that wonderful city.




Wildflowers by the sea


Being barefoot 


Local events, like the annual church fete! 



Roaming in the wilderness with Louis and the Sanger clan 


Trips to St.Ives for lazy afternoons 


Watching plays at the incredible Minnack Theatre 



Our last evening by the sea, before George moved with me back to Bath to start his teacher training! 


Thunderstorms on the night we arrived. How is it somehow that I always seem to unintentionally chase storms?



Autumn happened, and the leaves began to fall



And soon the pubs were serving my favourite winter drinks again!




Outdoor fires became more necessary



And once again we found our way home. 


 2014 has had it's wonderful moments, and it's difficult ones. The biggest and best moment was changing degree from Photography to Creative Writing. Although I love taking photographs and they are exceedingly important to me, so are a hundred other things. I came to University to learn, and I have learned so much from just six months of studying CW! Luckily they let me skip the first year so in the end I will have completed four whole years of university. With a little luck, I'm either going to do an MA in Edinburgh and travel around the Highlands and Islands or look for creative work. Although I'm dying to come home to Cornwall and live permanently again, I know that my hobbits journey isn't over yet. I want to explore my fascination with islands and mountains and it's for that reason that Scotland beckons me. I want to fully embrace this rainy isle that is my home, and love every bit of it.

H a p p y     2 0 1 5 

To the next adventure





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