Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Recent Reflections

This weekend I took a brief visit back to Bournemouth, leaving London for a couple of days to visit the family and attend my friend's engagement party. I wouldn't normally head back so early into term, but it was a lovely opportunity to hang out with the mother and sister, and visit the coast. On Saturday we drove east to a local little market town called Lymington, and poked around in the stalls and shops. I bagged a bargain, and picked up a Hilary Mantel book for just a pound! and bought some beautiful prints of Dorset to remind me of home whilst at Uni.

Saturday evening was spent with friends celebrating the engagement of one of my oldest friends and her new fiancĂ©e  There was lots of pizza making, cake and charades. Very, very fun, and great to be together with people that aren't often in the same place at once.

Before I had to dash back to the City though, there was time for a quick trip over Hengistbury Head. Still one of my favourite places, with it's view over Bournemouth and Christchurch, the choppy sea, and the rows of beach huts. It is one of the things I miss most about living in East London where wide open spaces are hard to come by, and are inevitably surrounded by offices and ugly high-rise housing. 

Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth
I was fortunate enough to make a coach that got me back to London in time for church, which was just exceptional this week. The preach was all about stories - how our lives are stories, and yet we're invited to live a bigger story, a more exciting adventure, by becoming characters in God's story, in the great story of all the earth. Anything to do with literature is obviously going to get me from the start, but it was just the most beautiful look at the invitation God gives to his people to live as part of something that is so much bigger than any one individual. We were looking at a passage in the Gospels where Jesus calls the disciples, and I was blown away that he didn't offer them safety, or worldly security, but he did promise them adventure through a relationship with Him. 

The evening was finished off with some student training on working out what you want to do in life. Always helpful, and always needed. As a result, some friends and I grabbed some wine, some chocolate and our notebooks and went and chatted and dreamt about the lives we want to live. It was the best end to a lovely weekend. 
Wine and chocolate to inspire dreaming
And yet there was some incredibly sad news I heard over the past couple of days too. Not directly affecting me, but someone I'm very close to. And in amongst all my reflections on life, I've been faced with the unexpected, by the fact that life is not infinite, at least not in this world. And neither are we masters of it. 

In the face of all that, a quote from Lord of the Rings which was referenced in church on Sunday, has stuck with me. Our stories are always going to involve conflict, they would be very dull tales if they didn't, and yet in the face of conflict, there is hope; a promise of grace. 

“I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself! Is everything sad going to come untrue?” Samwise Gamgee speaking to Gandalf.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

January. Ew.

It's getting towards the end of January, and though I've been doing rather a lot of writing, it has unfortunately not been for my blog. Woops. So I'm back. Feeling a little guilty. Please forgive me. 

Christmas and holidays feel like an ancient memory, what with being in the depths of the new year, full of ice and snow and slush, however, they were quite exciting - one of my oldest friends got engaged (yes, I have apparently become that old!!) and I got to spend lots of time running around the countryside with the family. 

My return to London was somewhat hindered by being unbearably ill, and suffering from the flu, which was an unwelcome start to term, but did allow me to watch an unnecessary number of Harry Potter films. I also had a number of evil deadlines that crept out of the woodwork and were a bit of a shock to the system. 

Still, it's been a good couple of weeks, with a couple of nights of dancing, baking, and a visit from friends to see the new Les Mis film, which, might I add, is wonderful. Take tissues. 

Highlights include a night of cocktails and boogying at The Foundation Bar in Covent Garden (a friend has just started organising events, and this was the first, which was huge amounts of fun!) and then an electro-swing night at The Book Club in Shoreditch, which is the home of hipsters and all things fun. I had a cocktail that involved lots of elderflower syrup. Om nom nom. 

Anyhow, here are some photos from the start of the year, and I promise to endeavour to write more often. 

(Last night I went to a writing workshop, and despite my busy schedule, I would love writing to be a bigger part of 2013 than 2012, and blogging seems to be a good way to do that.)

New Years Eve

Bournemouth on New Years Day


House friends
Kahaila, a favourite coffee shop on Brick Lane.
Time with two of my best friends.

Electro-swing night at The Book Club
Snowy Street
Brunch at The Breakfast Club
Writing Workshop and Walk Along the Southbank.

Keep warm amigos, love xx