New Home

Home

Well, I’m back in the UK, and back to my final year of University.
Back to the old family home, and a shiny new student house.

For any long-time readers (hi Mum and Dad), you’ll know it’s been a long old year.

But, September rolled around again, and I took the nostalgic flight from Belfast City Airport to the tiny Exeter International. I’m already back studying English and Film here at Exeter, and with plenty of re-homing practice, I’ve set up my little university room in record time.  I’m getting to be a pro at living away from home. Still keeping an eye out for some new bits and bobs to brighten up my wee room, it’s looking a tad sparce.

Final Year 

Flowery bedcover

Second Year  Throwbacks

My (admittedly mid-essay) desk and bed in second year. Lots of little bits have survived from my second year home… I think a couple of essays down the line and my new room will look just as note-strewn and hectic!

.

It’s great to be back

I live in a cosy five-girl house, tootle up to campus for the occasional English or Film lecture, and bask in the Forum space when I’m supposed to be reading. It’s nothing as crazy as China was: there are no passive-aggressive dorm wardens, the campus isn’t a death-trap of rickety bikes commandeered by always-late students, it’s distinctly lacking the dull roar of a city of 23million people – nor the snot clogging smog that accompanies it.

Exeter’s clean, crisp, and particularly English.

I wonder if I’ll ever miss living in Shanghai.

Till next time.

Signature

Advertisements

Little Adventures: “Since I Can Remember…”

Grandparents

Ever since I can remember, my grandparents have set out their breakfast on a tray the night before. 

Certain things are changing as they get older; they’ve updated from pixelated ceefax to a swish Ipad, can skype and facetime like no-one’s buisness, and are getting pretty nifty at the ol’ internet banking. But at the same time, they’ve downgraded from two cars to one, their friend circles are smaller (and shrinking), important information gets misplaced, and little things are getting more and more difficult to remember.

Now that I can’t just pop in the car and round the corner to see them, when I do, I find myself cataloguing both their routines and it’s changes. It’s wonderful seeing my grandparents adapt the 21st century, but simultaneously surreal – and sometimes terrifying – to see their habits curbed and memories get buried as time goes on. Perhaps paradoxically, I feel closer to them than when I was younger and around every weekend; I am both more in love with the moments in their house that crystallise my childhood than ever, yet also, more in tune with the people they are now.

Wherever I travel, I like to know my grandparents’ routine is still going; it’s one that’s kept them prepared for tomorrow. I know there’s museli under the saucers, with a shake of white sugar, the kettle filled ready to boil and tomorrow’s half-cup sufficiency of tea is perpetually on the way.

.

.

Original post on

9873370

From the ‘Little Adventures‘ photoblog.

Follow on Bloglovin

China: 798 Art District, Beijing

.

“That is a nice black sculpture.”

Finally, I’m back in Beijing for my last free day in China before I hop on a flight back home for the remainder of summer. I decide to spend it getting my fill of modern art at the 798 Art District, Beijing. Unfortunately, my love for adventuring on Chinese buses (marvelling at their cheapness) means that I spend an hour getting there, while my backpacking partner takes ten in a taxi… However, I adore walking around the art district complex, it’s a very cool, relaxed space, dotted here and there with gargantuan outdoor exhibits and the odd, painted-up alley, and it certainly makes up for the time-consuming task of travelling there. Although you have to dodge the kitsch and tourist-orientated gift-shops, there are some great exhibitions on offer in the free galleries here – even the various print shops have a wealth of classical Asian reproductions on offer. It’s not as wacky as a media art gallery in Chengdu were we watched a woman vomit water, cook sushi with it and feed it to her friends – all on video, of course, so it’s art, not a nasty trick –  but if there’s one gallery not to miss in 789, it’s Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art. With free entry for students, and for everyone on lucky Thursdays, it’s a gallery where you can easily spend an entire afternoon. Open Tues – Sun, 10AM-7PM (last entry 630PM).

Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art
4 Jiuxianqiao Rd.
Chaoyang District
Beijing, China
+86 10 5780 0200

Check out my guest post Artist Profiles (2 in 1) for ‘Razz My Berries Online Magazine for a few more words on the artists featured at Ullens, Sanrath Banerjee and Wang Mai!

.

I’m relieved I didn’t miss this last check off my China trip; as I head back on home with my (quite dirty) rucksack, it’s gained weight from its original 5kg to 10 and it’s filled with mementos, presents, clothes, and odd bits and bobs from around my travels.

I’m finally headed home.

.

.

.

Original post on

9873370

Follow on Bloglovin