Thursday, 30 December 2010

first christmas away

i'll write a monologue later (as always) but right now there's some banana bread that i need to go and claim....

Thursday, 23 December 2010

photo diary: nights in lake louise

now when the sun come up i'll be there to say what up in the morning brush my teeth find that clip i've been lookin for since last night i feel so caught up in a bud i float somehow in my bedroom turn around see myself in the mirror i guess i'm cool and 
those happy thoughts, in my head, i'm feeling like i'm peter pan minus the tights and the fairies happy to see how far i've come to the same place it began my dreams and imagination perfectly at peace so i move along a bit higher

i'll be up up and away up up and away
cuz they gon' judge me anyway so whatever
i'll be up up and away up up and away
cuz in the end they'll judge me anyway so, whatever

Sunday, 19 December 2010

my walk to work

(The top photo is my house, if anyone was wondering! I'm gonna do a more detailed post of where I live at a later point.)

I am so friggin lucky, right? And I'm only just beginning to appreciate this opportunity I have - if I'm honest when I first got to Lake Louise I absolutely hated it. I spent the first week hiding giving myself salt burns on my cheeks I cried that much. At the time I would've been embarrassed to admit it - well, I'm still kind of embarrassed now if I'm honest - but now I've moved on from that it seems ok to talk about it. It sounds strange, but it's taking me a while to accept that I have to settle down now, even though when I first got here that's all I wanted... For the first two weeks my life was going at a million miles an hour, I slept for maybe three hours a night so the days felt like forever, and something crazy and exciting happened every day. I went to sleep sometimes feeling like absolute shit but always in anticipation of what would happen next. It means I completely understand how people catch the 'travel bug' - I think the excitement would have been more intense if I wasn't always like WHAT THE HELL I'M IN CANADA ON MY OWN WITHOUT A JOBBBB and instead was just travelling the world with my best friend (which is gonna happen one day, I'm making sure of it) so I've been slightly apprehensive about what my life is going to be like now - in a moment of madness I was thinking, now I'm settling down life is going to get boring.

Um, no. :)
It's more just like I need to accept that I'm making a life here, I'm not travelling, so some days are going to be off days and things may get monotonous. But one thing I am now totally sure of is that I am so friggin' glad I came here. I cannot imagine being sat on my arse back at home working full time at maccies. Even if I had gone to uni I feel like it would not beat this... The idea of having responsibilty, hahaha :) ! I'm NOT looking forward to going back to education... I'm scared I'll just end up back like the workaholic zombie I did back in college. It's going to be a strange transition - at this moment in time I really don't want to go! Maybe I'll crave education after a year of chillinzzz but I'm not so sure about that... When I was 16 all I saw in life was education. Go to school, go to college, go to university, get a good job. It was almost like there was nothing else to life except that - and that thought is something I had a massive issue with in the last year of college, and one of the main reasons I took a gap year. I've met so many 20-29 year olds who have never even been to university and have just travelled and worked everywhere, and it sounds so exciting... the boring part of me goes blah blah blah it's not sustainable what're they gonna do when they hit 40, but they seem so happy with their lot it makes me envious...

Oh dear, I've gone all 'I'M ON MY GAP YAHHHHH' on you already, and I've not even been here a month yet! Please forgive me!

So I was chatting with Sophie yesterday and we were saying imagine if my blog was still a fashion blog - it would go something like this:

Monday: So today I got up and it was cold and snowy so I put on my walking coat and boots
Tuesday: So today I got up and it was cold and snowy so I put on my walking coat and boots
Wednesday: So today I got up and it was cold and snowy so I put on my walking coat and boots

... you get the idea (:
I LOVE that about here though. Don't get me wrong, I miss my clothes back home, but I don't miss that horrible competition I used to feel with my friends - when you have as fashionable friends as I do (who also have more disposable cash than me, hah!) it can be really difficult because, let's be honest, there's a certain competition... like, we all shop at the same shops so sometimes it's almost a race to see who can get the item first and it can be so horrible when someone gets something you wanted. it's so good to get away from that -for one, I live in the middle of nowhere, the nearest mall with normal high street shops is three hours away! And I don't have the cash anyway - I would much rather spend my money having a good time (aka SNOWBOARDING!!!) than clothes... Although, I am going thrift shopping in Banff on tuesday with Grace! I am SO excited - hoping to pick up some crazy shirts, because I left all mine at home... All you British lot might appreciate how much better and cheaper american bloggers seem to have it when it comes to thrifting, and I can second that for Canadians! I had a glance in one of Banff's thrift shops whilst I was there and it looked awesome. It'll be funny 'cause when I come home it's likely I will have no idea what is currently in fashion and won't have anything current from topshop, so I'll probably swagger in something hideously tie-dyed etc...

I love fashion, but back home I think it was becoming an unhealthy obsession for me. I enjoyed it but I worried too much, and I wouldn't want something that is so rooted in consumerism to be my focal point in life. (Argggg, I sound like such an arse, I'm really not!) I'd like to come home and still love fashion, but be a lot more chilled out about it. Fingers crossed! 

Getting my nose pierced soon! (Um, hi dad, yes I haven't told you about this yet... er...) I cannot wait, I have wanted it done for three years now but haven't been able to because of restrictions at school/maccers. It's gonna hurt though - not the piercing itself, but the stud in the cold... when I'm walking around my ear cuff kills!

Speaking of my dad, I'm gonna give a big up to my old man :D Haha he was saying about how he was sad that I hadn't mentioned him on my blog yet, especially on the post where I said about staying overnight in London and I didn't mention him even though he came with me (and we spent like, two hours in some strange heathrow area-suburb trying to find a legit taxi) so yes, hello dad :D !

One more thing - I've finally got a board!!!! Bought second hand off some Austrailian girl for $90, which is a friggin good deal. Slightly worried that it might be an incy bit too long, but Grace said it'd be alright so I'm trying to trust her. It's a beaut though, I love the design, I'll take a photo of it at some point but the colour theme is black & white with green & pink accents. Now I just need to get everything else...

So my schedule for the week: Tomorrow I'm off, hoping to hike up to lake louise and go ice skating on it :) Maybe going with a guy I met on the ski hill called Pat (who, wonderfully, is ginger) and is from Harrogate, the toff hahahah. Tuesday I'm going to Banff and on Weds I'm working + then going christmas grocery shopping in Canmore... 

So yes. Thank you for reading, if anyone does (: !

Speak soon, love!

Alsos, happy ten months jam, i miss you (:

Monday, 13 December 2010

get me some sausage rolls woman

so the bonfire party last night - oh dear god. it was actually a christmas party that happened to have a fire pit out back... it was at the lake louise rec centre and we were told it was a locals party, so as we are all technically local we assumed it'd be full of people like us. um, no! i felt like i'd crash some 60th family birthday party or something, it was so awkward! but as with canada, the people were so nice to us group of dirty youths, and there was free food and everything - consequently, we stayed...

but it was really quite lame. got chatting to a girl from quebec there though called grace, i'd already met her in the rental store when she fitted me for my snowboard! she's half indian and half french canadian and is the only person  i've ever met who can pull a bull ring off. so yea, that was pretty good. we went cross country skiing today, which was so so so good! basically you ski... but on regular ground. we went round by the river (cannot remember the name for the life of me) which may as well just be normal terrain - it's pratically completely frozen over and as it snows so much you can't really tell that it used to be a river! i fell a couple of times, but it's to be expected! at one point we strayed off the trail - completely bad idea, and ended up in snow up to the top of my knees, i am not kidding!

the snow here is so much nicer than in england. it never melts, so when it snows again it just builds up - this worries me slightly as to what it will be like in a month! it's so dry that it glitters, i've never seen anything like it. a lot of it here is so untouched as well, due to snow not being a novelty. one of my favourite things to see is when the snow on a branch gets too heavy and falls in a cloud of dust (:

i've got a day off tomorrow which i was gonna spend chilling, skyping and exploring lake louise, but i've just been offered a lift to calgary which i'm kind of desperate to go to - i was supposed to be going on saturday with my friend brooke but i can't afford the $75 bus tickets, i am reeht skint! can't decide if i'm gonna go though because I AM SO TIRED literally living on three-four hours of sleep a night, but there is just so much to be doing (well, kind of. i want to do everything!) they're going at 7am so i'm gonna wake up at 6 and see how i feel. funny, back in the day waking up at 6 traumatised me but seeing as most days i'm up at 5 for work, i'm getting used to it! i don't think they do daylight savings here like in england because the sun doesn't rise til past eight and sets past five. i prefer it that way though!

bit of of a rambling post, but i really need to get some sleep. speak soon, love!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

wanna die and have no fear

me on my first day of snowboarding (: more on this later, (don't i always say this?) i'm in a rush out to get to some kind of bonfire party? i don't really know if i'm honest, but it sounds fun...

(a very sparse and rubbish) photo diary: first two weeks

i like that here, the sky is always blue.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

a tribute to room two-oh-nine

Today i finally got my netbook (: although my house as yet doesn't have wi-fi, this will make everything easier. I am hoping to post a lot more... once again, so much has happened! I feel like I've been here for months, not two weeks. Anyway, I'll talk about my current situation later. Right now i just want to dedicate a post to THE best room in the HI hostel banff, room 209...

Last week gave me some really great memories. 209 is actually the room next to the one me + will stayed in (211), but was the room that we hung out & and pissed everyone off in at night. 209/hi banff moments : $3.75 drinks and dancing the night away in your walking boots, seven people crammed into an old-ass 1980's mercedes listening to tupac at 3am, one two many youtube videos, cranking up the dub at 4am, cheap beer, dancing in stairwells, happy rums, movember moustache shavings, waking up germans, THAT tweed jacket, there's an elk outside the window, bus rides with small children and the daily, "fucking canada."
I met so many great people at that hostel and it's wierd to think that the majority I'll never see again. I suppose that's the thing with hostels though - you say hello and you say goodbye, and everyone moves on.

As I'm writing this blog technically for my own future reference and don't want to forget anyone, here's to Will, Mark, April, Ellisa, Charlie, Bron LETS THREAD OUR BROWS BITCH, Andy, Isla, Joe, the two Germans in our room, and the girl that drove us home that I saw in Safeway today (cue awkward moment). It was a really fun time that I didn't fully appreciate 'til I came to the snoozetown that is Lake Louise - but more on that later...

Speak soon, love!

a boy called karl henry.

this post is about a boy called karl henry, who on a wednesday night in a canadian hostel overheard a girl at her lowest crying in the laundry room and was kind enough to come and say hello, are you alright? a boy who spent two hours chatting to a nervous wreck about british vs canadian rivalries, strange people in alaska and kayaking in the yukon, who reminded me why hostelling is brilliant and that even when it feels so bad you're thinking of giving up, there is always something around the corner to surprise you.

a boy i'll never see again, but i'll never forget. thank you so much. 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

kraft dinner & pop tarts

Hello englanders!

So I really wish I could write everyday, because when I actually do get round to writing, I don't know where to begin because so much has happened! Ive been here a week now, but it feels like so long... I also wish I would take more photos, but it is so cold outside that it's effort to press the shutter button! I think once i get my own netbook it'll be more likely that I'll post often, as opposed to now where I'm having to use crappy hostel computers :Z

On the topic of cold, I'm finding my bookface feed so funny right now! Everyones like WTF IT'S SNOWING AND IT'S LIKE MINUS TEN, Britain is such a fail when it comes to snow! Here, it's constantly snowing and the locals call -15 'warm'. Everything here still functions, the buses run on time, the shops still open... bloody brilliant! One sad thing though was that the snow here isn't an exciting novelty like it is in Britain, and you don't see snowmen or anything like that because it's actually too cold to pick the stuff up. However, I did see two deer outside my window two days ago padding across the snow, one of the most amazing things! The whole place is amazing - I can't remember what I wrote in my last blog post but after a 14-hour greyhound ride, I am now living in Banff! Was a really nice journey actually, the views were breathtaking and i got more sleep than i had done the whole time I was in Vancouver! 

Banff is amazing. I can't describe the thrill of looking outside of your window and seeing a mountain - it could almost not be real, like a painting. I'm excited for summer where it actually, in my opinion, becomes more beautiful as the snow melts to show bright green grass and hills, but still with snow-topped mountains and blue skies. SO EXCITED TO GO KAYAKING AND GO TO YUKON SADJGHASKD more on that later!
One of the reasons I've been so busy is the dreaded job hunt! I've been stressin outtt like my usual self - it's not just me though, literally every day since we got here me, will + andy (two boys that i met on the flight that are at the hostel with me, we're all 18) we spend at least an hour thinking, what the fuck are we doing here and who thought it was a good idea to come to canada with no job and no money. Well actually, I lie... andy doesn't stress at all. He's one of the most laidback guys I've ever met in my life, it's quality! But basically, we were glorified bums.

However, I proper got my head in gear and applied to a gazzilion jobs on Sunday and went round handing out resumes in the cold on Monday. I wasn't actually hoping to get anything back because there have been people here FOR WEEKS that haven't found anything, but in the end (well, so far) I've ended up with four options! On Monday when I went to hand resumes out I got an automatic interview at a hotel in Banff, for housekeeping. Pretty much could've had the job there and then but I was slightly apprehensive because in housekeeping you spend most of the day on your own, and I really enjoy working with company! It's funny because at the time I was so like YES and really thought I was going to have to take this job... so glad I didn't! The next day, I got two emails offering interviews. One for Tim Hortons, which is like a coffee shop chain that's as big over here as Starbucks. It's not as classy as Starbucks, like with sofas and that, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, because they sell an amazing variety of donuts and they are delicious! The second was for a job working in a deli/bakery in a place called Lake Louise, which is a ski resort about 35 minutes north of Banff.

Both of the interviews were in Canmore, a town 25 minutes south of Banff, so yesterday it was back on the greyhound and I headed there! Both interviews went really well, but SO frustrating, due to the fact that both jobs WOULD'VE been perfect... but they weren't, bar one thing. The Lake Louise deli job is my ideal job, it's not a chain so it's got a bit of quirkiness about it, and staff accom is included. But it's in Lake Louise... apparently it's really quite small and there isn't even a proper food shop there, and everything is really expensive anyway. And I quite like Banff. As for the Tim Hortons job, well the people were so friendly and it looked like a really fun place to work, the store I would be working at is in Banff so it'd be ideal... except it doesn't include staff accom! In the end, the Lake Louise had to win because even though I love Banff, staff accom is really quite necessary, as Banff is a really expensive place to live - that is, if you can even find accom! It's around $600 a month + a deposit, whereas staff accom is $300... 

It's true what they say about canadian people, they really are lovely. I haven't been served by anyone rude the whole time I've been here. There's been one or two that weren't overly friendly, but like I think I only noticed that because everyone else is so much - like, if they'd've been in the UK. they would've fit in! Whereas it appears to be the norm here to just be pleasant. For example, whilst in Canmore I was slightly lost trying to find Tim Hortons, so asked the help of a woman passing by with her young daughter. Tim Hortons ended up being a 30 minute ride away so she offered me a lift instead! I mean, you just wouldn't get that in England - and even if you did, you probably wouldn't want to take it. Then, when I got to Tim Hortons, the woman serving me ended up being a Londoner, got really excited and sat me down with a free hot chocolate for a chat! She's been in Canada for two and a half years and would never go back. She was also really interested in how I got my visa, as she wants her 24 year old son to come over and work for a year, so I was really happy to help!

Just realised I haven't talked about the social side of things - well, despite the inevitable wobbles I am much happier here than in Vancouver. I've met so many brilliant people! Was a bit strange to discover though that I was sharing my room with a 40 year old Romanian man. And no one else. He was really creepy... started asking me if I had a boyfriend etc, which as soon as a man asks me that I know it means trouble. He then went on to ask like 'what would you do if you caught your boyfriend having sexual relations with another girl?' and told me i was narrow minded when i refused to answer! i was just like, he wouldn't, i trust him 100%. and he kept saying I don't mean that, I mean hypothetically... whatever! So Will was a darrrling and moved in with me because I didn't want to sleep on my own with him :) He ended up getting on really well with 'Tibi' (tiberio!) but that was inevitable because he gets on well with everyone... although the first thing Tibi asked him was "are you lovers?" (about me + will) to which i just rolled about laughing... I wasn't in the room at the time but apparently Tibi thinks we like each other and despite having a boyfriend I was 'open'. WHAT WHEN DID I SAY THAT but he ended up being so amusing, especially when during a late night conversation he came out with 'so on average, in the UK what age do people become sexually active?' Hahaha. He was comedy - he's moved out now, and me + Will had the room to ourselves for two nights, which was really good cause it meant we didn't have to be quiet and everyone could come chill in our room! Two Germans have moved in now though, pooooo.

The title of this blog post refers to the awful diet that we've been living on as of yet. Haven't eaten a veg since I got here... anyway, I only have ten minutes left of my time so I'm gonna have to wrap this mammoth up! So in summary, Banff is fun but on Saturday i'm off to have 'nodge' in Lake Louise... (Cannot believe I just wrote that, Will made me do it, but it doesn't mean penis contrary to how it sounds.)

Speak soon, love!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

pull your balls out of your purse and get on with it

greetings from canada!
i don't really know how to start this, so much has already happened! everything is so overwhelming, it's finally dawning on me that i am out here, on my own, having to find a job and somewhere to live! currently i'm staying the the samesun hostel in vancouver, i've never stayed in a hostel before so it was really quite strange!
if i'm honest it was a pretty rough night last night, i stupidly didn't think that i would get homesick but bloody hell, i am! i basically cried constantly haha. it doesn't mean i did sit with people and socialise though, i tried to laugh through the tears! i came on a group flight with other people from england and i've really got to know (well, as much as you can in two days) some of them + they've been great with me. a lot of them are post-grad, so like 21+ and all seem a lot more sorted than me! but actually, they've turned round and said that they are really impressed that i'm doing this as they couldn't of done anything like this when they were 18. them saying that mean a lot!

i'm so tired! not adjusting to the time change well at all. I tried to stay up last night but ended up falling asleep at about 7pm, then woke up at 5am and couldn't go back to sleep. i was feeling quite sad so went to get some change ($1 - loonies!|) to use the computers as i knew it would be empty. however what actually happened was that i went downstairs to seem them preparing the breakfast thing and ended up having 5.30am chats and jam toast with the hostel staff! some nutters are in this hostel i am telling you! a boy with us, call Will, well last night he got absolutely wasted (because like me he is 18, so daft) and ended up peeing himself in someone elses bed, then he peed on someones laptop. then got lairy and started on the hostel staff. i mean, you just couldn't make it up could you... absolutely hilarious. he got kicked out with all his stuff at like 4am, but lost all his stuff and spent the night wandering the streets of vancouver. got his stuff back this morning, luckily, but i mean, as if you would do that on your first night! :)

canada is so weird. for one thing, they don't include tax when you pay for things, so say if you buy something for $10 when you get to the counter you actually pay around $12.47 or some wierd number (and they are always wierd numbers) it's so stupid because you don't actually know the proper price of something! apparently it's so the shops can be showing you that it's the government that's making you pay that and not them, but it's just ridiculous.
also, everything in vancouver is so expensive! their mobiles networks are shit. you get paid to take an incoming call, no matter who it's from or where you are. and in the same way that if you rang a phone outside of the UK from the UK, you would be charged long-distance, they have that here but as with cities instead, so if you ring banff from vancouver you get charged loads.
AND AND AND the deals are awful! in the UK, for £10 i get unlimited texts and 300 minutes. here, for $19 you get 50 minutes and 50 texts. i actually almost had a tiff with the mobile lady cause i was whinging about how ridiculous it all was. i mean WHAAAAT.

anyway! i'm not homeless anymore! well, for two weeks anyway. currently i'm in vancouver but on saturday i'm going on a 14 hour bus journey to BANFFF! so excited. vancouver's nice and all but i'm not really big on cities, and i came to canada to live by a lake, so i think that might be a reason why i'm feeling quite sad at the moment. i'm going on my own though, so it's scariness once again!

tomorrow it's Chip's birthday, so tonight we're going out to celebrate! not sure how well that's gonna go tho as the age over here is 19 and i'm 18... think we're just going to bars though so i might be ok!

sorry about the mammoth post, i'm not expecting anyone to actually read all of this but if i'm honest i'm keeping this as a travel journal for myself!

speak soon, love!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

i was here but now i'm gone

hello strangers! time has flown, the past week has been crazy. in three hours i begin my journey! i have to check in at heathrow at 10am tomorrow so tonight i'm staying at a hotel in london. while i'm away i'm going to try and post once a week, but i don't actually have guaranteed internet access as i'm not taking a laptop or anything, so we shall see how that goes! obviously the blog is going to shift it's focus, for seven months i'm just going to use it as a travel journel really so everyone back home knows what i'm doing :)
here's a few photos from the past couple of weeks:

While I'm away my brother will be staying in my room, and I'm not sure if my family will move or not so I decided to try and pack away my room - a decision which pretty much failed, apart from I took all the memories off my wall, which was actually a really sad occasion for me and now my room doesn't even look like mine. This is what it used to look like:

and now it looks like this:

the blue tack ball that came off the wall! :O

i'm leaving for london in two hours and i haven't even finished packing yet. i absolutely hate packing with a passion and i'm so worried that i've packed too little/packed too much, that i should've taken a rucksack instead of a suitcase etc etc...
i'm so excited don't get me wrong but ridiculously scared. i'm 18 years old and have never lived away from home and in two days i need to wash and cook and clean for myself. not to mention find my own accomodation and a job!
i wish i could write more really but i think i need to go finish packing... ARGGKAJDHAKDAKJ

part of me doesn't want to leave. i'm going to miss everyone so much.

speak soon, from canada!

ps: this is christmas monkey, he's coming with me. you'll be seeing a lot more of him :)