Monday, 24 August 2015

KODAK MOMENTS #19



Finally I am back in Belfast, all moved in and just starting to settle in!! WOOO (took long enough like...)

I have to admit it currently feels like I am living in a really nice hotel, what with having a crisp clean new everything and a bad-ass en suite. I haven't got that 'I don't have to pack up and move house for a looooong time' feeling yet but damn I am looking forward to it.

Starting to get myself prepped for heading back to uni, buying bits and bobs and dusting off old texts. I think I chose the perfect time to return to studying, as I am feeling really good about it, and for once I am actually pretty stoked to be knuckling down and doing something productive. I am definitely a part of a minority who actually want to study after a summer with a lack of sun.

Coming up before then is TWEEDFEST. If you're from NI and you missed out on all of the festivals of the summer (like me) then you should definitely be getting off your butt, dig out that dodgy-mouldy-rotten tent of yours, hit the offy and jump on the train to Ballymoney and throw some shapes in a barn to some top-notch bands. What's that I hear you say? 'Agh I'm too skint to be heading to a festival, between entry costs, camping, drinks, food, and travel' - Good job this festival is only EIGHT FREAKING QUID then ey? 

& sure whilst you're up north you could easily check out some amazing sights. I recently took the boy up to visit a few places and he loved it. There's something class about showing local beauty that you have seen so often that it doesn't phase you, and yet when you show someone it for the first time you can realize just how much you take it for granted as you see through a new set of eyes just how impressive it all is. We visited Murlough Bay, which is a short but daunting drive outside my hometown, which involves driving down a windy cliff-side road and praying that you don't meet another car. We also visited a few Game of Thrones locations, like the Dark Hedges (Bregagh Road) and the Ballintoy Harbour. Personally I am not all that into GOT, but Decky is! I can't wait for another Northcoast adventure, have any of you got a favourite Northern Irish spot that you enjoy visiting? 

Friday, 21 August 2015

VENT // TRAVELS TO ITALY





The last time I was on here, I was travelling to Italy to work as an au pair to a family of two kiddos. My experience was cut short as I became reeeeally unwell and unfortunately had to travel back home (which was an ordeal in itself..)

Despite this major hiccup, I really enjoyed my time and I'm so appreciative of the adventure I had. I spent a fortnight living life as an Italian, eating delicious food, immersed in their culture and surrounded by such beautiful landscapes. I was living with a family who couldn't speak English well, except for the mother and I was having to learn a lot of Italian from hearing it within conversations rather than from a textbook or tutorial. It is incredible how much you can learn in a short space of time when you have limited conversation in English - some of it useless, like the names of household items, rooms and phrases such as how do you say (come se dice?)..but i also learned some important words, such as dickhead, and other rude genital words.. I mean, when will that NOT be an important part of learning another language?

The house I stayed in was on the side of a mountain, in a very mountainous location just outside of Trento (a small town built by the Greeks, about an hour away from Verona). The area was very quiet, old fashioned and even basic transport was a bit of a nightmare, but all worth it as the area was filled with such untouched beauty, it never grew old to open a window and see the views.

I was quite nervous when I met the family for the first time (ofcourse this was over-shadowed by the relief I felt as I got off the aeroplane in one piece. They were very sweet and despite the kids being unpredictable and a bit of a rowdy handful at times, I loved them all. I helped the children learn English through making colouring in worksheets, and doing various different arts and crafts with them, like making real cute clay hedgehogs! It has definitely made me want to pursue a career with art therapy with children after spending quality time this way and I can't wait to do it again in the future.

When I left Belfast I promised myself that I would try all new experiences, I sat and watched the meteor showers on sun beds at an ungodly hour, I trekked half way up a snow capped mountain and I tutored English to kids. But the most rewarding of all new experiences was trying new cuisine - uncooked ham, all the ice cream, 1000s of different and frankly weird cheeses and sausages.. &Did I mention that Italians drink SHEEP MILK. Weird.

All in all, a fantastic time to look back on fondly and I would definitely be interested in heading out again on a new adventure... Maybe France next time!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

HOW TO : LACE UP YO' WINDOW

When I moved into my new house, I found that there was an odd looking wire window leading from my bedroom to the hallway. This might have been some peoples cup of tea but I personally did not enjoy how it looked along with all of the new furniture I had bought and wanted to plaster the thing up. 

Then my friend Rebecca told me of a way that you could still lace fabric to the window to create pretty privacy, and all that you needed was cornflour.

Yes, cornflour, as in the flour you add to thicken up your gravy. This magical ingredient allows for you to stick the fabric to the window without it being permanent or a tough removal. When you grow bored and want to change it up, simply rub it with a bit of soapy water and ta-da..you have your old window back!

WHAT YOU NEED :
-cornflour
-large piece of paper/or a few sheets of paper and tape (like me)
-scissors (preferably fabric scissors)
-paintbrush
-water and a saucepan

STEP ONE :
Obtain ugly window.


STEP TWO :
Measure the window and create a template of it using paper. I used a few here and stuck them together using glue - how crafty!


STEP THREE : 
Use the template to cut around the lace fabric - it is much easier if you pin the paper to the fabric!


STEP FOUR :
Make the glue. I am sure there is a specific measurement that you could look up, but I just put a cup of water in a sauce pan and added about six heaped spoons into it until it turned clear and was bubbling sticky-ness. 


STEP FIVE :
Use the paintbrush to apply the glue to the window (BUT WAIT UNTIL ITS COOLED YOU MAD MAN!). Then comes the messy part. Use your fingers to push the fabric into the glue until it is in place. 
Put another coat of the glue on top of the fabric to be sure that it is saturated and won't budge down the line.


STEP SEVEN :
Paint your walls white and as pure as your soul and take in all the glory of your beautiful work. You are a genius. 



Sunday, 2 August 2015

KODAK MOMENTS #18


As I write today's blog post, I am making a blatant attempt to ignore the fact I am about to board a flight to Verona. 

I have already used the usual tactics to chill out, listening to music, watching asmr videos, and even attempting to read, but none of which is working very well. For a brief ten minutes I decided to have a look at all of the Duty-Free stores and something about the ever so minor discounts, and bright lights really lures you in. I was two moves away from buying a pair of Ray bans for £200 as for some reason, within this magical land where buses can fly; money is no object, and I appear more than happy to spend about £3 on a bottle of water. So, shopping is out of the question.

In a few hours I will have met my new adoptive family for the month to follow, and settled into my bedroom in a new country. It's very exciting but a lot more daunting than I had imagined. I have been whatsapping them all morning and the children have a surprise for me when I land... Apparently! 

Packed with me, a few disposable cameras, countless dresses and a big all multi-pack of Tayto Cheese and Onion so that these boys will know the meaning of flavour.  I also have brought my new favourite fashion accessory - a bumbag..or fanny-pack if you will. It is big, ugly and the likely reason as to why my boyfriend will dump me, but boy she is handy! I will be doing a fair bit of trekking and walking when I am away so this wonder-sack is the ticket!

Next time I write I will be living in Italy and i cannot wait to share the experience with you!
To keep more up to date, check out my Instagram at www.instagram.com/vent.threads - wish me luck!!
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