Freckles, An Excuse for Abuse!

I suppose it comes hand in hand with being a ginger, the confirmation that you will never rock a natural tan!! Still clinging to the hope that a bronzed look can be achieved by numerous freckles merging together, plastered in factor 50 still didn’t prevent sunburn and the throphy of a peeling nose.

Freckles, they supposedly give people a valid excuse to transform your arm into a dot to dot. However when your freckles can be modified to the formation of the Greek flag, you instantly become a greek thrýlos (greek for legend). Every cut, scratch or scab that I have ever had is highlighted greatly when my freckles make an appearance as they avoid those spots, to leave splurges of white, so that time I face planted the floor whilst playing curby at the age of 8 will always be very apparent. But to a Greek, freckles are something to be intrigued by and even earn you a watermelon for breakfast at the small cost of allowing a picture of your forehead to be taken!!

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The worst part is upon leaving a holiday, you can’t leave the freckles behind, they last for about 3 weeks even in tropical temperatures of Thornaby. Upon boarding the plane home, the air hostess did the usual welcome aboard, then decided to make it like a scene out of  Gossip Girl, where Queen B stamps all over your parade. ‘Oh there is a slight delay today, counting your freckles will pass the time’, erm yeah thanks, great!my dreams of a sun-kissed glow shattered by nothing like someone stood there in perfect makeup to which I am only jealous. As any shade of foundation is no longer suitable or capable of muting the so called (by my mother of course) ‘angel kisses’.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’am off the find some shade.

Kaliméra, Greetings from Greece!

Greece, one to tick of the life list, didn’t disappoint! After the an extremely bumpy landing, Crete defiantly knew we had arrived due to the orchestra of screams coming from the cabin! We visited three islands in the space of seven days, a short but very sweet trip! Every good adventure requires a base, so we spent the majority of our time in Greece in Hersonissos.

Crete

IMG_20150801_102315A small, picturesque Cretan town is something Hersonissos defiantly isn’t. Home to luxury hotels, shops and beaches, the town is surrounded by a series of smaller villages (Koutouloufari, Piskopiano and Ano Hersonissos). The beaches here were and the easy access to transport links for other adventures where its main reasoning for visiting.

The sea quickly became my playground! However screaming when you see your first tropical blue and orange fish isn’t an advisable idea, one because who the hell can hear you apart from the fish that have now been scared away and two you have just inhaled half of the Mediterranean sea!! Snorkelling became part of my daily routine, following fish around the coral was amazing until you finally decide to lift your head out the water and realised that you have floated ages away from where you planned to be, thank god I can swim!

Hersonissos was home to very loud crickets or some kind of insect, they were the loudest thing ever I mean you would have to shout to actually be heard over them! The wildlife of the island caused me further annoyance as I gained three large bites, I eventually gave in and spent 24 euros on bite cream!

Chrissi Island 

The most southern island in Europe, translated the ‘Golden Island’ .IMG_20150801_102945

Protected as an area of ‘intense natural beauty’, the island was one of the most prettiest sights I had ever seen. Every-time I witness the wonders of natural beauty, I relate back to my profession choice and come to the same conclusion, things that create such presence and awe cant be planned. As a planner and designer nothing I will ever produce will be of such perfection, however considering the reactions that such places create inspires a way of thinking encouraging me to design to create experience. Geeky, I know that even when I am adventuring I come to think about my future discipline!

Docking on one side of the island we tracked to the other to be greeted by the ‘Golden Beach’. Never have I ever seen sea so beautiful, the water was crystal clean (I know how very cliche), I think we spent around five hours on the island, three and a half of which I spent in the sea! Swimming from the most eastern to west point of the island, I tested out my new snorkel! If only sea water wasn’t so salty I would happily snorkel forever!

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Uninhabited it was illegal to spend the night of the island, but at 44 degrees, perhaps the day was enough!! Although it did cross my mind more than once that by staying I could become a real life Robinson Crusoe! The boat ride back led to more excitement as a pod of dolphins decided to swim alongside the boat for the duration!

Santorini 

Oia, inhabiting the most southern point of the island, was an image of what is associated with traditional Greece. Built on a steep slope, dwellings nestle in bundles into the volcanic rock, pure white buildings are topped with colourful roofs and hugged by vines and flowers.

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Twisting narrow streets, allowed for me to get lost, meandering up and down staircases I wasn’t phased by the fact that I had no idea where I was with only ten minutes to make my bus transfer.

Witnessing the panoramic view of Caldera, the volcano I significantly decreased my available memory on my phone as I couldn’t help but take way more than necessary photographs.

The donkeys well they don’t stop for no tourist, led by the locals who were completing there daily tasks it was evident just how many people fleeted to this small own to take in the views. When I was offered a room for the night for only 600 euros, yep that’s ONLY 600 euros I became aware of how much such visitors had changed the historic workings of such a picturesque village.

We then boarded a boat and headed to the hot springs surrounding the base of Caldera, jumping from the boat it was a short swim to the hot springs! Bathing in volcanic ash filled water was I have to admit a quite strange realisation but one I won’t forget. Returning back to the boat, on the sail back to the port we passed a huge watch named Topas which upon arriving home a quick google search confirmed that it belonged to the Manchester City owner. Also I have decided if I can ever afford a boat I am so getting one, sailing around with a slight breeze is something I could defiantly get used to!

So after a week in 40 degree plus heat, it was time to return back to real life arriving to rain at Newcastle airport. Welcome home! Its the same feeling, after ever adventure the ambition to travel and see every nook and cranny of the world is ever increasing! Making me wonder and question decisions, how is one meant to decide whether to travel, cement a career or what the hell to do at 23! Starting a career I hope aims to finance my ambition to travel, as I promise to myself that I will make time for adventure! So such revelations led to an impromptu purchase of ‘Love, Travel, Plan’ off Amazon.

It’s the Final Countdown!

Start date for grown up job officially received!! Finding a house, updating my wardrobe from uni scruff bag to work-place acceptable are just the start of my to do list! I suppose I have always been the same I never am actually convinced things are going to happen until they actually do! Sometimes excitement is often overcome by the prospect of delving into the unknown, a new job, a new home which is currently of an unknown location makes people instinctively braver maybe more than they may believe.

Each step taken now is another one confirming the commencement of adult life, beginning to discover answers to life questions and realising that change cant be something that is easily learnt, but is a part of the on-growing process to betterment. The thought of re-packing my belongings in to an array of boxes is currently causing me the most concern. And the thought of even saying goodbye to the dog, well don’t even go there, who is going to finish off my muller yogurts now!

For now though, apart from flat hunting which takes more time than you think, heres to my final full summer in the land of smog!!

Gan Canny, Graduation 2015!

I mean who doesn’t enjoy the day you get to pretend you are an extra on the set of Hogwarts. The past three years have seen three graduations and three free buck’s fizz’s to keep my Granny happy. Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 13.30.06

Seeing many faces for the final time, kind of cements the fact that uni is done and helps in the process of moving on! A card I receive stated that ‘Graduation is not the end it is the beginning’, so cheers to that! Having your family on campus is a surreal feeling as they sit and sip coffee’s leaning on a pool table which you used often as a make shift beer pong! The ceremony went swiftly even in my ‘i need to be a lady’ high heels, I managed to avoid face planting the stage and remembered to go in with the right hand for the handshake. A splendid day with family, topped off by a few splendid gins, with my fave pals, led to an unpredictable and unforgettable end.

Gan Canny, or go carefully to you and me the motto of the NCL graduations didn’t even last me 24 hours as I missed the last train home! Well I blame the national rail app actually who knew that it required internet to update and inform you of cancellations. All of the rational thoughts that should go through your mind in such a situation failed to do so, and the fact that a taxi all the way home would only cost £40 was an out of bound action to me because the fear of having to create awkward taxi man chat for a whole hour was unbearable.

No longer did my student card expiring in September secure me an extra three months of student discount but it allowed me to still have 24 hour access to my studios. With my phone dead, a strike of genius I returned to campus to charge my form and stop Mama Hez from a heart attack consequence of my non-return and tell her I was staying at a friends. I then  shoeless, yeah sack the lady likeness when you can no longer feel your 3rd toe, headed back to the station. The walk down against the crowds who had, had a few too many too early and were all converging towards the 24 hour McDonalds put a smile on my face, chuckling away to myself this experience cemented to me that perhaps it is time to move on, Newcastle wont change but my place here is not one of being a student anymore and my future awaits.

Upon arrival at the station with shoes in hand, probably looking like some lost drunk, a ‘can I help you madam’, allowed me to meet the comical ancient station master, turns out I wasn’t the only one who missed the last train and in a small office with two other we sat and chatted over a hot chocolate until the first train back at 5:25am.

Newcastle, its been my pleasure!!!

Tequisal, a Saturday night tradition!

Yes, its so divine, it deserves it own blog post! A regular feature of my Toon life, a plastic pint cup half filled with cider, half filled with larger with a splash of blackcurrant and a shot of tequila added in for good measure.

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My first Saturday back home, unaccompanied from the water polo gals, it was time to show my Dad and his pals in the local social club what they had been missing! An activity that dad’s head was no so fond of the next day!

So Long, Farewell!

Okay, so this whole finishing uni and moving on thing, is yeap just as difficult as it sounds. Or perhaps as difficult I have made it sound! As if saying goodbye to your friends isn’t hard enough, me being the sentimental type means I have to say goodbye to all of my favourite places. Giving me a valid excuse to spend the remainder of my student loan on cocktails till sobbing about the fact that I will never ever get another student loan!

Packing things into boxes, taking photos down from the walls left an empty, plain neutral coloured room. Squeezing all my belongings in to boxes and bags, I discover things that I had convinced I had lost, not that I am complaining I did become quite attached to my ‘100 best dance moves’ book. Filling cases it became apparent that the fifth year haul of freebies was first-rate, making me come to the realisation that I should have started packing prior to the day before move out day! Getting everything into the car, was like playing a real life game of Tetris, having to constantly restart over and over!

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Closing the door on my university life, it hadn’t quite sunk in that I was no longer a inhabitant of the toon! Meaning uni pals were no longer on my doorstep, suggesting that friendships are no longer about being inseparable, but about being separated and nothing changes. I value the fact that I have experienced something so valuable, that it has made saying goodbye so difficult!!

Well Newcastle, I’ll be seeing you in a wee bit pet!