Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I love you. I love you not. I love you...

A Gap Year experience just wouldn't be complete without the complementary holiday romance. Falling in- and out- of love is all part of the experience. Or so Hollywood and countless WH Smith travel novels tell me. Nevertheless, even this cynic has managed to feel the love. Wait, maybe love is a too strong a word, let's call it attraction.

Warm sunny days spent flirting in parks, a good night out at a pub or spending the day trawling through flea-markets is almost enough to make me forget about those bleak, sludgy days that make me want to strangle every last person trying to squeeze into the already over crowded tubes. Yes, the past two weeks has seen this romance blossom as the days become longer and the nights warmer. Flowers are springing up and I am finally free to enjoy frolicking in the sunshine.

Sunshine and flowers, flirting and frolicking, you must think I've gone barmy. Actually, it isn't a London lad that's set my heart aflutter but Lovely London itself. That's right, I said lovely. And it is, really.

Practically royalty...
After a cold, grey winter spent shivering on buses then sweating on tubes only to be splashed by sludge from passing cars, the sun is finally making a regular appearance and London is like a different place: smiling, friendly people run, walk and ride their bikes- as opposed to the miserable people who run, walk and ride their bikes. And although this won't be my first summer here it has been my first full winter and it has been hard to imagine that it would ever end. Alas, it nearly has and how I look forward to when it finally does: walks along the river, a visit to Regents Park, daylight till 10pm, oh I'm excited already! On that note, maybe talk to me in a few months time when the tourist season is in full swing and I'm still sweating on the tubes- there'll surely be another grumpy complaint on here...

I say, old chap, a fair weather lover indeed!

Hardly the overcrowding I mentioned!
Just a few hours of snow- Xmas 2010

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Taking a Tumble

Today I came down from the proverbial high horse. Well, not so much came down as fell down. All it took, dare I say it, was one Facebook comment and I seem to have spent the entire day brooding about it. About me.

My (Facebook) friend back home, someone I studied with, I call him a friend because he is one of the few that does stay in touch and likes to keep up with my travels. Now and then we have a good banter about our whereabouts- mine in some weird country doing some weird thing and his, well his is usually his cubicle working on the latest ad. 

Today I made a jab at him: he was just jealous because I'm taking cool pics while he's just fiddling around with pixels. Need I say, that was quite the bitchy remark and he didn't take it too well. In the greater scheme of things it did make me realise though, that I may need to cool down on the free-spirit, why-grow-up kind of thinking. I mean, that's fine if I want to rebel against the 'system' but that doesn't mean everyone has to or wants to think the same. I think I may have got a little too serious about this anti-average Joe, two and a half kids, white picket fence rebellion that seems to be a travellers undercurrent. Or maybe that's just my ego. Either way I want to put a lid on things and enjoy my choices and what I'm doing- which means leaving others to do the same.

It's no wonder I didn't fall off...
.... after spending a truly Spanish Friday afternoon in
Malaga (2010) with this sweet landlord...

.... playing this...
... and drinking (lots) of this...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Too Good to Title

What happens when left handed people try snowboarding with the right handed majority.
We're like clueless beached whales on snow!

Austria 2010

Friday, 4 March 2011

I'm sorry. Not.

Sitting on the tube today I picked up the the daily newspaper, (read: overnight sensationalist stories rather than cutting edge journalism) and came across yet another celeb article containing yet another annoying 'tweet' about how sorry (insert less than famous celeb name here) is about (insert appropriate scandal eg drunk incident/catty remark/extra-marital affair/shooting an intern).

Now, this tweet (I'm still asking why a post on Twitter is not called a Twit?) led me to ask whether social media sites are fast becoming the cowards way out for wrong doings- for those in the public eye at least. From trivial panty flashing to extra-marital affairs these glorified status updates- surely dictated- seem to appease fans and I'm asking 'Why?!'. Not to say it has no place but all this hiding in a virtual world seems to me that the days of genuine, public apologies are long gone. True strength of character, sincerity and the makings of a strong public figure has now become a Smartphone screen and 160 characters.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I take pleasure in others' humiliation or even care for these celebs and their wrong doings but I do question their sincerity when it comes to these social sites. Are they heartfelt apologies or just another string tugged by management?