Monday, 26 November 2012

Oh to be a fly on the wall...

Oh to be a fly on the wall in a day in the life of me... Was my first day of placement at another new school today, and after mad panic and a bedroom turned completely upside down in a bid to get ready as quickly and efficiently as possible all because I thought I was running half an hour late, I made my way in a torrential downpour. The sound of Count Basie in my ears combined with a collapsed umbrella encasing my entire upper body, and the puddles in my shoes while I stormed along the road, I felt rather like someone should have been following me with a camera creating a black and white farce film. I must have looked quite a site when I arrived... 15 minutes early. My walking pace never ceases to amaze me.

Started my Christmas shopping on Saturday (thinking of my walking pace), and what a successful day it was! The horror of having to venture into town on a Saturday was quickly overcome once I realised just how hilarious the hoards of people really were. I think John Lewis has to be my entertainment highlight (yes, I know it was ridiculous of me to even enter the shop in the lead up to Christmas) where there were least 2, if not 3 bands of musicians playing Christmas carols both inside and outside the shop. This may have been an attempt at a peaceful and calm ambience but it was definitely drowned out by the buzz of customers who despite the Christmas cheer clearly still wished to pummel each and every other customer around them, all in pursuit of the finest festive hamper. Made a quick escape and ended up spending my entire shopping trip around Elm Hill, St Benedict’s and The Lanes. I really am a bit of a Norwich snob these days, mostly avoiding the high street end unless absolutely necessary that I pay a visit to Topshop or perhaps the Forum. Had a posh fish finger sandwich for lunch (still can’t really believe I actually paid for a fish finger sandwich!) which was pretty exciting – saw a couple walking away from St Andrew’s Hall with one in hand and couldn’t resist finding out where it had come from. Found the sandwich, along with some other very exciting Italian treats at Amaretto Deli (most famous for the ginormous slices of takeaway pizza) and this wasn’t just any fish finger sandwich, oh no. This was a cod goujon fish finger sandwich on ciabatta stuffed full of plenty of healthy leaves and tartar sauce and it was HUGE and made me very happy – I can’t help but feel that a day doesn’t feel quite satisfying enough until good food gets involved. Sitting on a soggy bench surrounded by shopping bags with white flour billowing around me every time I breathed out, goujon dropping out of the bottom of my ciabatta – classy weekend clearly set me up for a classy start to the week. 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

My name is Laura and I am a ring addict.

Back to Norwich for a few weeks in the early hours of tomorrow morning, and although the thought of bare cupboards and having to look after myself again is less than appealing, I must admit I just got a little excited for my return – though perhaps not for the right reasons.
My name is Laura and I am a ring addict.
It’s a problem I’ve been ‘struggling’ with for a few years now, and the collection has almost reached 200 – I mean obviously I wouldn’t call it a problem, or be concerned with any struggling! But according to my friends, and one in particular who every year threatens to send me to RA (rings anonymous) I’m a cause for concern. However, they do say the hardest part is admitting it, and I am fully aware of the situation... as is my purse, currently also struggling with my vintage bag and jumper addiction, CD buying and other general shopping wants. While at home I’ve only been in the company of a selection of ‘school appropriate’ rings. This selection consists mainly of those that aren’t too sharp, pointy, huge, or generally a health and safety hazard, so I just got VERY excited at the prospect of being reunited with the rest of my collection (I MISS MY ELEPHANTS)!

Finished my block placement today, hence the return of the knuckle-dusters, and we received a lovely send-off from the children and the staff – even got myself a rather nice pot plant. Only three weeks left of uni and Norwich until we return for the last week of term and the lead up to Christmas. Very excited for school play performances, school Christmas dinner and of course the overabundance of glitter! So beyond the ring collection, quite excited to be back for a few weeks of nice wintery things; late night shopping in the dark with the Christmas lights overhead, lots of food in cosy places with friends, and mulled stuff. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Baltimore's Fireflies

Went all the way to Norwich just for a haircut – had reached point of absolute desperation! As much as I hate the never-ending X1 bus journey, there is getting to be something oddly nostalgic for me about my trips as I sit on the upper deck right at the front to watch the world go by (or rather to enjoy the sight of my own reflection for 2 hours when the dark sets in). Of course by my return journey it was pretty nippy, so the bus was massively steamed up upon its arrival to pick me up and take me home. Initially, at the sight of the steamed up windows I couldn't stop thinking how unhygienic it must be but in fact once I’d forgotten about the germs circulating their way around me, eventually I found myself mesmerised by oncoming lights in the misted window.

So many tracks I can’t stop listening to at the moment and I love how some music suits certain times of year so well. In fact I think the songs that I can’t stop listening to in the winter are the best for me, because they make the cold and dark outside seem that much more cosy. Take this for instance, now in its third year of repeatrepeatrepeat on Laura’s iTunes. Started playing it again as soon as there was a slight chill in the air,

There’s nothing better than sitting on a bus or a train with noise cancellation headphones in at night when the acoustic suddenly sounds that much better and you’re in your own little world. Music's playing in your ears, hopefully the road but perhaps your reflection is ahead of you, you're wrapped up in everything warm you have with you, and there's an impending sense of excitement at the thought of home and bed (if you're like me you might even be doing a little bus rave, blaming it on the bumps in the road and the swaying of the top of the bus when you suddenly remember that there are in fact passengers behind you). The X1, oncoming lights through misted windows, and Woodkid’s Baltimore's Fireflies made for a pretty content Laura, even if it was the last bus.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

When someone asks me what I like to do, I always struggle to come up with an answer beyond shopping. Though oddly enough, I actually have quite a few interests – it’s just I’d probably call them ‘quirks’ instead, so don’t always openly admit to them.
Seems to me if someone starts a blog they usually have a theme, and I just wouldn’t be interesting or interested enough in writing if I was to stick with one thing! So maybe my theme is a multitude of themes?
I’ve just started a PGCE, so the urge to ramble on about school children’s amusing tales and adventures is overwhelming. Yet at the same time, I’m determined not to become one of these people who can only talk about my career; although I’m sure I’m not always going to be able to contain myself...
So then there’s music. But would that be me as a musician or as a listener? I started playing my first instrument when I was 6 and I’ve worked my way through 7 instruments to finally settle as a singer, oboe player, and pianist. I’ve just graduated from a music degree but no, my PGCE is not leading towards me becoming a music teacher. As a music listener, my taste is pretty eclectic but when it comes to genres I’m pretty flummoxed – so I can talk about what I like and love and maybe even why, but I certainly can’t talk about music with much wisdom.
How about travel? I’ve done a fair bit of that! But then is that only interesting as and when you do it? Currently a blog would be consumed by my turmoil over potential travel plans for the coming summer – would I rather go here or there? Who would I like go with? When am I going to go? Will I actually have any money left?
Then of course I’m an avid foodie, but I’d rather do the eating than the cooking. I’m a huge lover of vintage clothing and antiques, but again I know absolutely nothing besides the fact that I should have been around in the 80s and that vintage tea sets look pretty. I love tea and teashops and most things quintessentially British like the trips to the seaside in all weathers, romps in the woods, wellington boots and bonfire night, but how much is there to say beyond, ‘Enjoyed a spot of Earl Grey at Biddy’s tearoom to warm the cockles after battling the wind and rain on the coast’?

Actually though, rambling on about what I’m not well informed enough to ramble on about has given me some potential inspiration. Yesterday I found myself in an old shop that sold vintage postcards, stamps and coins, and I spent absolutely ages rummaging through them all, reading the messages on the back from ladies called ‘Carrie’ and ‘Ivy’ from the 40s and 50s. It brought me to realise that the art of writing a postcard really has been lost. Most of these cards were written for the purpose of delivering simple messages alerting friends to their presence in the town,
‘Dear Mavis, expect me for tea on Thursday afternoon. In Norwich for the week. Love, Dorothy’.
Nowadays they’re an excuse to boast about how wonderful, jam packed and valuable an experience your holiday is, and the picture on the front bears very little resemblance to what you’ve actually seen! Seeing postcards used for such a basic purpose seemed really sweet to me.
So, a decision has been made – my blog, effectively a selection of virtual postcards containing the small pleasantries one may or may not be interested in regarding the plethora of ‘quirks’ that encompass my days.