Why I Envy A Myth (Relationships)

Oh boy, a dating post. I am in no ways a dating blogger, or  someone who reads a lot about relationships. This post therefore may seem like a non-conventional dating blog post. If you want to see a really good dating blog though; hit up http://evegreenow.com

Also I’m 24 now so it may be time to actually try and figure out what that life stuff is really about.

(Although I may just take Douglas Adam’s advice here “The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied.”)

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DISCLAIMERS:

 * Let’s begin with saying that I’m not going to reference any single relationship I have had. I had an ex that wrote a derogatory post on a university blogging site about his ex’s and what they thought about him and the way he went about it. Well lets just say he put us all in a group chat and asked us to say what we thought of him in the group chat. As you can imagine it did not turn out well as he did cheat on every single one of us with someone in said group chat. Not cool or clever. 

I am also not saying that ALL men are toxic. I know women are just as bad (cough Cardi B) so if you feel that some of these aspects apply to women too, I totally understand that as well.

Like most people, I feel like I have had a cocktail of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to relationships. Some ended well, some not so much, but with each one I have learnt something at least. But this post isn’t here to razz on my bad relationships, it’s merely commentary on 21st century dating, and why is sucks…. SoooOoo bare with me friends (please) as this may get weird… *

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Let’s backtrack society a little bit. Back to the Ancient Greeks.

Helen of Troy. I’m sure the majority of people reading this have heard about her; whether it’s from Greek mythology, reading the tomes of the Odyssey and the Iliad, or whether it is by watching the numerous films and tv series about her. (We won’t even start on the movie Troy as I have so much to say… Brad. Pitt.)

If you haven’t heard of her, here is my quick synopsis of her myth:

Now, Helen was supposedly the most beautiful woman in the known world. So much so that she was kidnapped by Theseus, the King of Athens, then rescued by her brothers Pollux and Castor to be married to the King of Sparta, but oh it doesn’t end there.  She was then awarded to Paris of Troy by Aphrodite, which led to a war between Sparta and Troy lasting for years. Some say this war is the reason for the saying that she had “the face that launched a thousand ships.” And with all mythology there’s some strange origins, and shapeshifting and questionable bestiality between Leda, Helen’s mother and Zeus in swan form, but that’s not something I’m willing to dwell upon.

Without knowing the full myth behind Helen, the saying that a woman has a face that could “launch a thousand ships” – can have several connotations here. Thinking about this after reading the Odyssey and the Iliad, much to my father’s delight, I came to my own conclusion about ancient Grecian beauty standards. Either, dearest Helen had a face so repulsive men couldn’t stop themselves from fleeing from her; meaning that this repulsion could indeed mean beauty – Or it is a siren’s song in the form of a face. A twitch of radiant a smile so insatiable, it would make men go on arduous quests to slay gorgons, and retrieve shiny sheep to show loyalty and affection.

Back to the dating. (not even dating)

Where does Helen of Troy fit into my dating life? Well the first people to call me beautiful I happened to believe that they were perfect for me. Oh dear, was I so wrong. as a tenneager, I was not the smartest. Definitely naive, so I was terrible at dating and relationships. (For the good people that dated me that I just messed up being the mess I was: I am sorry, it wasn’t you. The bad people. I won’t even say what I am thinking.)

Plot twist. This isn’t 500 B.C. anymore…

Now as a better, not-as-messy-human, if someone told me that my face could launch a thousand ships I would probably laugh at them*. Romance like that is dead. No one is going to fall hand over foot to get the reciprocated affection. Long gone are the days when people would go on grand adventures or make grand gestures to show their love**. Somewhat tragic really. Yet, also quite relieving as I don’t think I could deal with that nonsense anyway.

The way dating works today, especially how it’s evolved so quickly in the last century, is quite frankly frightening. The invention of dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble (I’m not even going to start about snapchat.), hath cometh the rise of random hookups with strangers. A main consequence of this is the changed attitude of dating. Normalisation of one night stands doesn’t hold a light for the hopeless romantic, or give a majority of women my age any respect in dating. receiving messages that say “DTF” is not what I or any girl want, even if we do choose to be on a dating app.

You would think that with the progress of society, there would be the same level of respect in dating. We now recognise that women are people too, after all this time (surprise). And thankfully kidnapping is not the best way to win a woman’s heart – Yet, this progress does not boast total positivity in the light of the dating case unfortunately. Some men are still acting that it is indeed their god-given right to have whatever they choose. (Not just in the dating sphere. (Hollywood Imma looking at you)). It may not be a necessarily to a “Theseus” situation by means of kidnapping the “Helen” in question; but dragging the girl away from her friends in the club, following them home or surreptitiously sending them inappropriate messages does seem to be the 21st century answer to the Theseus/Helen debacle. But in the original at least Theseus was a king. Nowadays you won’t be so lucky. (Unless you receive that email from a Nigerian Prince).

The main issue with this behaviour is the retaliation. I have had my fair share of awful nights out where I have been physically grabbed by men to dance with them even though I resist and say no. They are relentless. And I didn’t realise how much of a struggle I put up until the next morning and saw my arms were bruised where the man was grabbing me. Saying No doesn’t mean No apparently. It is a gateway for the person to just insult and berate you. Saying No does not make you a whore, so don’t call us that.

At this rate women can never be free from the trash floating around in the sea full of “fish”.

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Now a positive bit:
I have had some really good dates with people via dating apps, and also made a few friends on the way. Not everyone on there is out to get you which is nice, but you do have to go through a lot of filth and trash to get the better stuff. I know many people who have also found love on these apps and now have families, so they can’t all be that bad?

Maybe I just need to be kidnapped….

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The *****s

*It has happened though and I did laugh. Well not the exact words but along those lines

**On that note however, it must have been so easy back then to just ignore someone.then No fast transport or instant messaging. Simple way to get someone to go away would suggest they needed to show their love by going on a crusade for months or maybe years. 

Normal Canadian Things I find Weird #4

Tis 2019. Tis back.
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Normal Canadian Things I find Weird #4: The Right is right.

Let me explain this a bit better, as it may be more proficient to title this piece, Normal Canadian things only British people and some old British influenced countries, as the rest of the world agrees with Canada on this one… As it is to do with behaviour in the non political sense.

Roadways

Back in November 2017 I got my Canadian driving license. As a U.K. citizen all I had to do is go down to a drive test centre with my license. Here they get you to sign some forms, take a quick eye test, take your mugshot and then you pay $90 for a beautiful new driving license. And well. I look like a murderous potato in my picture.

It seems fair that I didn’t have to take a test or anything as I’ve held my license since 2013 and I like to think I’m a safe driver…. and I have never had any points on my license. Just a plethora of parking tickets. ( I’m sorry parents it won’t happen again). BUT… in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we drive on the left-hand side of the road. I would love to say we are the original drivers and therefore left is best but it seems to just be a tradition we have carried since the 11th century. Typical Britain stuck in it’s old road time ways amirite or amirite?

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Back yonder centuries ago, the passing of left to left was a self preservation thing.  Most travellers were right-handed and scabbarded their swords on the left. Around the time of 11th century, people were not necessarily friendly to strangers. During this time, England was constantly warring between houses, as well as constantly being invaded by the Danish and Normans. This meant when passing a stranger in these feudal societies, you could easily defend or attack a passerby as well as not whacking anyone with the scabbard. Makes sense for 1000 years ago… why does Britain continue this tradition did when 65% of the world did not?

Fast-forward around 600 years to the 17th/18th century. Here we have the expanding european empires, and with them their expanding economics. In America in particular, mass farming meant that transporting goods needed to be bigger and better. Hauling large quantities of product meant larger wagons, and with larger wagons, larger teams of horses. naturally when driving horses you want to be able to control them by flashing to the left, meaning the driver sits to the left on the horses. To prevent clashes with other wagons the drift of driving on the left to the right began.

European right-side drivers began around the same time in Russia. As Russia had grand relations with the other country’s high societies, when driving on the right became official in the 1750s, other countries such as France followed suite. The rest of mainland Europe can be blamed on Napoleon. Conquering nations such as Belgium, Netherlands and Germany  meant implementing laws, including the right side driving principle.

Britain driving on the left naturally meant the majority of her colonies also drive on the left, including that of Malta, Australia and South Africa being countries that choose the left. Japan however has its own reasons of driving on the left, nothing to do with Britain, but kept their 17th century tradition to today.

 

So why is it weird?

I am completely used to the left. I grew up with the London Underground etiquette of sticking the left. I learnt how to drive on the left hand side of the road. Driving and walking means to the left. It is common knowledge that you keep to the left in the UK, but not in Canada. Walking on the left is outright Anarchy. I have walked into at least 40 people due to my unconcious leftness. Walking up stairs I have received so many dirty looks as I took the left hand staircase. Completely bemused by this I have tried to change my ways.

After being in the Canada for over a year now I am used to the whole right side of the road driving malarky, being in the passenger seat of a car is no longer as traumatic. But walking on the right has been a mental strain for me.

Back when I was driving in Europe, I’m looking at you France, I did find it very difficult to get used to driving on the WRONG side of the road. So many times I ended up just sticking left… normally no one was about. I hope. I had to make a mental checklist when taking turns to make sure I didn’t turn and just end up defaulting to the left lane. And Roundabouts. I won’t go there. I’m sure I am not the only awful Brit who has terrorised the roadways of the continent and I won’t be the last either.

Anyway… Now I am consciously aware of the left and right flow of travel I can’t unthink it so I find myself panicking when I’m just walking along the sidewalk minding my own business and drifting to the left. There normally is not anyone around to see my blind panic of moving back over to the right…

It’s not until I got to Canada, I understood the rage of walkers. Now, I am not a fast walker, and having only one functioning leg may have something to do with that, but I am not the slowest walker either. The amount of pavement/sidewalk rage I have received from people in Ottawa is simply bewildering. People walking side by side would rather stick at my pace and make passive aggressive remarks than overtake me. I have to physically move myself out of their path for them to walk past me. Totally not necessary and quite rude to be honest. Then again it may just be a British thing to wander at my own pace…

So maybe this is not that weird really but I just made it weird. 10/10 me.

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Thanks for reading and stay warm!

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Normal Canadian Things I Find Weird #3

And so the saga continues. After being introduced to various aspects of coffee in Europe, see back to my Café and the Continent Post, I thought it may be good to share my thoughts on the Canada Coffee culture as its certainly…. different.
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Normal Canadian Things I Find Weird #3 Canadian Coffee Culture

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So I can not say Briony anymore when it comes to ordering coffee at starbucks as no one can spell it so I go for Molly. Which isn’t always heard right…

Ordering Coffee – The Fast Food Coffee

(Not sure if this is just an anxiously awkward me thing or something others have faced as fearful foreigners.) 

Ordering coffee is a simple transaction. This statement has been challenging to me for a few months of being in Canada. Some uniquely Canadian thing, you can not escape from is the Double Double. What is a Double Double? It happens to be a coffee served with 2 cream and 2 sugar. Logical, if you understand the ordering system in this country. I wondered for a while why people would perpetually give me the funny look when I just wanted coffee.

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What I did not know is that in most places in Canada that do the coffee put the milk or cream and sugar in while they make it for you. This is madness. As someone who is used to getting the coffee and faffing about with sugar packets its completely mind blowing. More words to say at the cashier?! Outrageous. 
However, I understand the reasoning behind the order the sugar and milk; it does save the individual the faffing time… yet it is still a concept I need to get used to. And admittedly it does stop the days where you accidentally pour the sugar in the bin, and the paper into your coffee. This does happen more often than I would like to admit…

Roll Up the Rim Season

I mentioned this briefly in my previous post and I don’t understand the hype behind it. It’s all about the chance of winning – winning a doughnut, a coffee of a Honda Civic on a years lease. As I don’t understand it I asked my Canadian friends their thoughts…

“Roll up the rim is a Canadian classic, a Canadian pass time and overall a gamble to begin your day. Even though the coffee may be anywhere from weak coffee like water to week old cigarette butts juice the gamble of getting another coffee or pastry keeps us going.” – Mirre

I am like the wrong person to ask haha I hate Tim Horton’s! Even when I go and its roll up the rim I still get cold drinks. But I think people like it because it is cheap and good (I guess). And People love Roll up cause its like the chance to win on something you would probably buy anyway. It’s like if tampons came with a prize people would be like – This makes buying these more enjoyable hahaha – Maggie

I tried this phenomenon and did not win anything. Plus the whole concept of rim rolling is confusing and not easy to do if you haven’t heard of it before. Where is this hidden message? How do I unravel the secrets of the cup? One should not overthink these things.

The Rival $1 Coffee

So what I noticed while this whole rolling rim shenanigans is going on, across the road in McDonalds, there is a $1 coffee promotion. Coffee for $1. Thats basically 55p. Why would you go in for a roll lot of disappointment when you can have a large $1 coffee that actually tastes nice? Additionally you can collect the stickers on the cups so when the season is over you have copious amounts of free coffee. Thats a win win situation!

Cafeteria Coffee

I’m not sure if this is just an Algonquin College thing, but it kinda blew my mind. So there is a large variety of flavoured coffee. Not like vanilla lattes and caramel macchiatos… Nay, as in its flavoured coffee beans and that is something I’m not used to seeing regularly. I’m sure it exists elsewhere in the world but not as open as this.

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Some fancy coffee art from Bridgehead

*And finally*

French Vanilla

Why do we not have this back in the UK; and when we can get it, why is it so expensive?! I don’t know exactly what is in french vanilla, except for the vanilla of course, but it is pretty much a hot drink that rivals the godly status of hot chocolate on a cold rainy day. I suggest to anyone who like sweet things to go out of their way to try french vanilla as they will not be disappointed.

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I am an avid coffee drinker, and these weird Canadian coffee credentials seem to make the experience smoother and more enjoyable so I don’t think I can complain too much!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the nice weather before 6th winter comes!

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Normal Canadian Things I Find Weird #2

After getting positive feedback on my potty post, I thought I would continue my series of awkward britishness abroad and bring you the second of the series…..
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Normal Canadian Things I Find Weird #2 Precipitants

So I found a definition of precipitants on the Met Office website and now am slightly alarmed: 

The definition of precipitation is any form of water – liquid or solid – falling from the sky. It includes rain, sleet, snow, hail and drizzle plus a few less common occurrences such as ice pellets, diamond dust and freezing rain.

Weather is weather right? Wrong. From my experience as a seasoned British person I can confirm the weather stereotypes are true. Having issues with engaging conversation? Talk about the weather. Need something to complain about? Talk about the weather. Need an excuse for something? The weather. See the unfurling trend?

The average annual rainfall is apparently around 133 days for the whole of the UK which amounts to around 36% of days are rainy. But this indeed varies from area to area, for instance Wales sees 167 days (45%) of rain, and that is when the sea doesn’t want to be part of our world.

I can safely say I know rain, hail, sleet and snow as the staple precipitants. And sea water if you want to talk about coastal living, but again that is a different kettle of fish. So why do I find Canadian precipitants weird? Well. Buckle up because I just experienced my first Canadian Winter. And survived. (edit: I apparently it’s not over yet…)

Snow

The most magical of precipitants. We all know the drill in the UK that a small white dot falls from the sky masquerading as snow and the whole country gets its knickers in a twist and literally shuts down. Panic Stations everyone, its started again. Bring on more snow and it’s just a mess. There are bread shortages and crisis after crisis, people put milk in their tea before the water; generally not a good thing.
As a younger human I did enjoy the idea of snow and doing the snow things as school would be cancelled, like tobogganing and snowball fights. A snow day was a magical thing that came out of the blue. Well the grey.

BUT snow is not the same in Canada and people just carry on with their lives as they muscle their way through 20 ft of snow on the sidewalk as they need their Timmy’s as its roll up the rim season. I should also mention that when it snows here in Ottawa, it is not bad as other places in Canada.

My issue with snow is that it is deceiving and tricky. After settling being all nice and fresh and dusty the temperature will drop, freeze your eyelashes together and turn the snow into a nightmarish hell. It looks so innocent, being all untouched and bright but do not be deceived by its siren like appearance as that sh*t hurts when you do the slip and land in it. AND the snowbanks. Yes the Canada is efficient at clearing the roads and sorting out the sidewalks and doing the grit thing but it mounts up to a wall between cars and people. Crossing the road doesn’t get tougher than this.

Then there’s the snow removal. Just overnight teams just clear up the snow into big trucks and it disappears. Where does it go? Is it recycled as icebergs? Do they sacrifice it for a milder winter? I am sure there is a rational explanation that I am not asking the right people for…

One last thing about snow. When it goes to the blue sky sunny days the snow blinds you. If you don’t have sunglasses you might as well be staring into the abyss of hell as it freezes over.

Freezing Rain

I was warned about freezing rain and I merely laughed it off. My relationship with rain and complaining about the rain made me believe I could handle anything rainlike coming out the sky. Until I got caught in freezing rain. At first it was just like rain, refreshing, wet and very much rainlike. And then it changed. It disguises itself as normal raindrops until it lands. Then it reveals its true icy form as it changes roads and paths into skating rinks and physically freezes your clothes in place.

The best way to describe freezing rain to people who have never had the horror of experiencing it, would be to say it’s backwards hail. Hail comes down as ice and melts when it hits the ground. It does sting a bit but it just leaves places damp. Freezing rain is the opposite. It comes down damp and freezes everything it touches.

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What is the best bit about freezing rain? It ruins lives. That may seem a dramatic response, but it does form icicles in a blink of an eye weighing down trees and plants and powerlines. Something that can be potentially dangerous. And it doesn’t runoff like water. Once it hits the ground, it sits there. And as its ice and not snow, plowing does little to tame the behaviour of it.

I thought I had a good understanding and relationship with rain, but now I doubt going outside when the heavens have opened. What if it’s that fake rain malarky again?

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I could quite happily talk about the weather for another 1000 words. Maybe I should have gone in meteorology…
Until next time friends, make sure you make the most of the sunshine!

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2 Months of Canadiana Living

To be truthful it’s been very hard to put into words the transition of Europe to North America, so apologies for the delay, and enjoy this rambling read…
As a Brit moving to Canada didn’t seem that much of a move from the U.K. Oh how I was proven wrong. Of course the normal things of knowing that the British accent is loved were expected but a few things have thrown me slightly.

The best way to describe Ottawa is that someone has taken my memories of England and France and shifted them to the left a couple of inches. Pieces of Architecture from both cultures entwined with the modern city scape make living here easier than I expected.

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Language barriers

Unlike the conventional language barriers that are common in Europe, the Canadian Language barrier is more like a language hurdle that you can definitely have a laugh about. My usual experience with language barriers is with the complete inability to understand the noises someone is making. Over here it is as if someone wanted to make life more interesting and  just took a few words in the dictionary and switched the definitions and watch the chaos unfurl. As a Brit you could imagine my horror when I was told to come into work with no pants, as pants in Britain are underpants, not what the North Americans refer to as trousers. Again just small changes of words from mobile to cell, pavement to sidewalk and my favorite, courgette to zucchini. One of my favourite phrases of the UKadian night out that I definitely know not to ask is “Can I bum a fag?” This harmless whimsical slang of politely asking to borrow a smoke can be considered  as a bit unruly and may be seen as homophobic and not politically correct.  Many of my british english speaking friends also have encountered awkward language borders, a fun favorite is during classes; “Can I borrow a rubber?” which of course makes sense. a rubber to rub out your pencil. But alas, this does mean condom in the North Americas hence the perplexity and shock one receives from this statement.

“That’s a great British accent you have, how long have you been practicing?”
Oh my dear, if you didn’t figure out I was British from my accent I think we have an issue. My accent accentuates every little consonant to the extent that you may start to feel sorry for the letters being attacked and I have a habit of elision. However I have noticed something horrifying in the way I talk now that would make any elocution teacher shiver. My British Ts have digressed into Ds. (Send BBC Radio 4 care packages.)

But I notice some words I say are definitely different to the majority of people around me.(*Trigger Warning*)
Here is a list of words that I shall no longer say in fear of my own sanity, well being and integrity:

Aluminium
Vitamin
Schedule
Aubergine
Garage
Basil
Oregano
Corriander
Tuna
Yoghurt
Fillet
Route

One day we will be able to talk about you again.

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Shops, Pubs and Public Convenience

Shops are shops wherever you go, like you can buy your groceries in shops and markets all over the world and there is not much of  difference as the idea is ubiquitous. But lets look at our friend Ontario the province that I find myself in. Alcohol is not necessarily sold in supermarkets. There is no chance of going to the corner store to score yourself a bevvy. After living in Wales for the last 4ish years it is a bit of a surprise when you have to plan a trek to the local beer store or LCBO to buy the booze and not just pop down the road to replenish your liquor stocks. Okay, I see the pros for the government of monitoring alcoholism and things but also where is the equivalent meal for one deal you can get from M&S with microwave dauphinois potatoes and a bottle of prosecco?! I don’t think Canada has a M&S or Waitrose equivalent. (Why am I here again?!)

Lets move onto the purchasing of your groceries. I’m not sure If I am just an awkward or a rude person but in my experience of the Great British Shop, you don’t communicate unless its essential. This goes for retail and restaurants as well; there is no idle chatter. In my Canadian experience,  around 98% of the time, no matter the establishment, you’ll get someone saying “Hi” and engaging in conversation. *Panic stations* There is no way I would be prepared for this in the U.K. and usually would result in my abrupt walk away as it is an unspoken rule that this interaction is frowned upon in British society.

I would love to say Pubs are Pubs wherever you go. However, this would be a lie. Although, A bar is a bar wherever you go. If something claims to be a pub outside of Europe then I be prepared to have your idea of pub reformatted. Pubs are restaurants, and everything is on a tab. Pubs serve food always. And you usually pay at the table at the end of the night. And you tip. You tip a lot. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

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The City, The Town and Suburbia

I can’t really compare cities across the world only ones I’ve been to, so the majority European, the likes of London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Paris, Lyon, Caen, Geneva, Salzburg, Riga, Brussels, Eindhoven and many other European Cities, and of course a smattering of cities in North America. And there is definitely a stark contrast between European Cityscape and North American.
I can’t say I hate the differences as they are just that different.

North American cities and towns seem to operate on a grid system. This is super handy to navigate and get around. It makes sense. The roads don’t have weird windy one way systems that make you want to drive off a bridge or lead you to somewhere miles away from where you need to be. The newer towns and cities seem to understand that roadways and sidewalks need to be wider for the regulation of road and foot traffic so there isn’t fear of death. *cough oxford street*.
However. There is a significant road feature that I miss. The humble roundabout. Europeans love it, the Americans don’t know how to use it, the roundabout wins hearts and eases traffic. Okay the last one was a lie, lets look at Milton Keynes and Swindon here for killing the roundabout. Yes, the roundabout is not a feature commonly use in Canada and well, it’s not exactly needed as most interactions are one road crossing another, not a knotty mess of 6+ plus roads crossing each other that seems to be a recurring feature throughout the European countries.

Onto the Suburbs. The place for commuting? I’m not quite sure why suburbs exist and how they exist and quite frankly they frighten me. Subdivisions are like council house estates in the UKadia but they seem to lack the integrated public conveniences and park space, just a twisted residential lattice with shopping centres located around it. It is definitely something I have not come across before in the Europes and something I’m not keen on trying out. I think I’ve watched too many suburban horror films.

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That’s what I make of my moving experience so far – Thanks for the read, leave me a star, a comment or a share and I’ll repay the favour.

 

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Snapshots #12: Welsh Riviera

I love and hate having friends across the world, some closer to home than others, but always there to visit and talk to. North Wales is no exception to this rule, seeing as recently I’ve almost hopped over the border to England. This trip took me right onto the North Coast to Rhyl and Llandudno.
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To say I had a Rhylly good time would be an understatement as betwixt the majority of elderly and unruly youths, the Welsh Riviera really is a great place to visit. Luckily, We had the warm weather, mediterranean blue skies and beautiful sea. The couple of days were filled with window shopping, retail therapy and just aimless walking and chatting, the kind of thing you need with good friends and a pretty looking place.

However how lovely Llandudno is, it isn’t for those who have a fast pace of life. For one, the speed of the place and the people is around 2mph. The place is catered to this speed, and the accompanying age of life, so is not necessarily a place that is “up and coming” for the young adult, graduate or anyone with ambition. To be trapped in this Purgatory, much like my time serving at Aberystwyth University, would be ideal during the summer season with plenty of work being offered, to save for the inevitable escape, but throughout the winter and colder months, to be trapped in the icy grip of this place would be a total disaster.

 

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So many opportune photo moments here from taking symmetrical images to please my aesthetic eye, to getting the long seascapes that I’ve grown to love and hate with my time living on the coast. Another thing about Llandudno is that it boasts colour. All the details of the town seem somewhat French, with iron railings, weird parking habits and the flow of rooftop to rooftop. The pier is a remarkable blue and white, blending perfectly with the mediterranean sky, sultry sea and airy clouds so even on an overcast day, the two punctual colours stand out.

 

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Down the coast is the town of Rhyl, currently under a lot of rebuilding, the potential seen in this place is remarkable. The flats of the sands reach out to the handful of wind turbines on the sea that make a remarkable sight. Unlike the usual reaction of “wind turbines ruin the landscape” they add to the flat seascape in a way I’m not sure I understand. The roads are lined with terraces, all the same yet unique with the odd change of colour of doors, windows and windowsills, throwing a sense of colour to the beige. The promenade in Rhyl is a great walk, really showing off the Northern coastline of Wales and perfect to do on a sunny or rainy day.

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After my negativity towards the place, I do encourage people to visit this coast line for a few days. It shows the vast beauty and contrast Wales can offer from the Old Victorian holiday resorts to the green and blue rolling hills and seas, castle ruins and winding roads in a small area. As well as doing good crepes at Fortes, damn they were good.

Have a great day and thanks for the read!

 

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Photography Tips #13: Prone to Target

*Little Blog Post on life and photography*

Archery is not my first target sport. You could say that when I was younger I was attacked by paper, so now I shoot it in various ways, but to totally honest I don’t know why I do target sports.

It all began back in the day of the skinny weird teenager me. I was introduced to rifle shooting, firstly by air rifle and later to .22. Every Friday was taken up by shooting tiny targets at 25 yards with a rifle that was more like to do damage by using as a club than as its manufactured use. For the first few years of my shooting life, I was, I admit, convinced the only safe and practical way to shoot a rifle was lying down. Yes, it is a very safe way of shooting and arguably the stabilist way to shoot, but it is not the only way. Proof that I was not a smart child…

From Friday prone shooting, I moved to Monday Sports shooting. By the time I was 17, my parents got me the best gift I could ask for at the time; my very own Ruger 10/22. Nothing flashy, just a .22 sporting rifle perfect for the competitions I endeavoured to compete in. (disclaimer: By this point I did have a Firearms Certificate and been part of the club for around 3 years, so my parents weren’t being irresponsible. If anything they were encouraging me in a sport I was starting to flourish in.)

With my rifle club, there was opportunity to shoot larger calibers at longer distances bi-annually at the NRA shooting ground. These competitions were a bit of fun, nothing serious and a way to be introduced into full bore and the fun side of target shooting. Usually I participate when I’m free but the recent years have seen my time for rifle shooting dwindle, being replaced with archery, photography and just adult life.

Target shooting is a sport that relaxes me. It’s a hobby where you can do as much or as little as you like, for example I know many people who load their own rounds, and I know people who prefer to buy them. I know people who shoot for fun, a way to just socialise, let their stress out and people who are all for competitions. The range of people you get is astounding – different backgrounds, jobs, lives and even nationalities, it’s not just a sport for people burdened with money. (Although it does help sometimes).

Thats about it for my shooting love, looking forward to getting the time to get back into shooting!

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The photo bit that y’all came for…

I’ve reverted back to the 6D for shoots where there is no need for a fast shutter as it is a superior camera. (my own opinion.)

So the shoot was on a relatively overcast day, nothing too white-out grey horror show all photographers fear, but close. Due to the way I was taking pictures however, the sky wasn’t a main feature or focus. Mainly because shooting is a lying down sport.

Another thing about shooting is that it lacks a lot of motion so there isn’t going to be epic running shots or jumps. It’s just lying there, squeezing a trigger and reloading. I also found that people prefer the upper body shots (camera not gun) to whole body shots mainly because it can be awkward. My golden rule of 45 degrees works in this instance too!

Have a great day, thanks for the read and take a look at my things!

Links to my sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brionymollyphoto/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brionymollyphoto/

website: https://www.brionymolly.photography

Chronically Me #1: S is for S*it Happens

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few years now, but somehow I have never had the confidence or drive to commit to typing it. I may have glossed over in passing posts about it, but it’s actually time to explain what is actually wrong with me. (or right, depends on perspective.)

In 2010 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. After suffering months of unexplainable pain in a variety of my joints, affecting my ability to walk initially to not being able to horse ride to the more serious inabilities, such as not being to raise my arms, open doors or flush toilets. At first I don’t think I realised the severity of RA and well, sh*t happens and so I continued as best as I could.  7 years later I am still suffering from severe flare ups turning me from an able-bodied individual to a curled up mess that can’t lift the kettle for a cuppa. And my point still stands of sh*t happens.

Before we go any further I want to remind people that I do not want sympathy, empathy or any of that. We are all given hands in life, and I seemed to get the jokers, but we play with what we have (and I’m doing okay. (seriously, worse things happen at sea.))

So what is actually wrong with me?

I often crack the joke (and my joints) that I am an 87 year old with the looks of a 22 year old, but RA is far from the arthritis we see in the older generation*. Rheumatoid is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. This means pain and swelling for the most part, but can lead to serious and severe side effects. Amidst the swelling and pain there is fluid build up that can lead to infection, dislocation and in some unfortunate cases slipping of tendons. Unfortunately, this is regular for me. I suffer from rheumatoid in the majority of my joints, large and small.
*(Rheumatoid differs from Osteo (the old people one) as it’s not due to wear and tear of the joints. It’s a bit more tricky to explain and to understand…)

Some days I am fine, I am able bodied and pretty much the same as anyone else. Other days, (I can’t say when exactly as it hits you in the face like a wet fish) I am really not okay and need a little bit more help when it comes to the simple things. Things like opening doors, standing up, walking down stairs and brushing my hair. It really is a mixed bag of “what’s my body doing today” and some days I become the embodiment of the white girl saying “I can’t even.”

It’s okay though, I get to play all these exciting games like rock, shelf, tongs, alike to rock, paper, scissors but with bent fingers and the ability to measure right angles perfectly. What can your straight hands do, eh?

Why write this now?

We have all been enjoying the hot weather, (finally blue skies!) but for me it has been stormy and full of turbulence as my joints refuse to behave in the heat and humidity causing me to look a bit like a lobster that’s been run over, and be as useful and active as such.
While everyone is out there getting their tan on and enjoying the beach or lying out in the sun, I am trapped inside physically by pain and my wavy mental state. I need to get some thoughts, feelings and opinions out of my brain so I can join y’all!

For my mental state, it’s a little bit more complicated than others, but I am happy for the most part and believe that “I got this gurlllllfriend” but there are times where I am a complete shipwreck.

Women both old and young have a constant pressure of looking good, with “beach body ready” and constant fashion pressures to adhere to ridiculous standards of beauty. With a physical deformity it’s even worse. I can’t change the way I look. I can’t have surgery to straighten out my feet and hands as it may do more damage for me later in life. I can’t adhere to conventional standards.
BUT…
I can still do the things we don’t think about doing, like standing up from a chair, opening doors and dressing myself. I can still drive with my windows down and do the air dolphin thing. I may have clawed hands and a beautiful bunion, but I still CAN and that’s more important than some cow laughing at how I look. (And EVERYONE should love themselves.)

Anyway, the sun is shining, my crochet is calling and I have a day to rest my over-dramatic joints before I can (hopefully) return to normality and get on with this whole life business.

Up where they walk
Up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wandering free
Wish I could be
Part of that world

 

Have an amazing day!

Links to my sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brionymollyphoto/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brionymollyphoto/

website: https://www.brionymolly.photography

Aber-geddon: Rugby 7s

My fourth and final Rugby 7s as a University student. Time flies and it’s quite hard to believe that I’ve come this far in terms of photography and getting back into sports!
From 2013 Rugby 7s in Aberystwyth, equipped with a 450d, a tamron 70-300mm lens and no proper grasp on sports photography to 2017, with a canon 6d and canon 7dii equipped with a 70-200m f/2.8 lens and a 25-105mm f/4.0 lens. My technique, understanding and equipment have brought me into a whole new level of photography and looking back at Rugby 7s makes me nostalgic, thankful and slightly embarrassed of my photographic and sporty origins.

From working with the Archery “Hawkeyes” to Tarannau’s “Squirtle Squad” and “7UP”, it’s been a laugh.

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Progress is beautiful and I recommend everyone to reflect on how far they have come. If you are having a bad day, know that you are better than last year’s you, even better than 2 year ago you, and a completely new level from 3 and 4 year ago you. Yet there is still more work to be done as every opportunity is another learning experience to capture. Push boundaries, and if you feel its not working go back to basics. A wise friend of mine who has coached me with photography and my life reminds me how far I’ve come and not to worry. We all need that friend.

Anyway onto the actual weekend of Aber 7s 2017….

Promising to be not as windy or rainy as the previous years have been, this Aber 7s brought together students, locals and ex-students from across the country and in some cases, the world.
After Squirtle Squad’s triumph last year of actually winning something, this year was full of determination to maintain silverware. Alas, it was not to be. After being unstoppable on the Saturday, the team’s momentum diminished by Sunday.
Usually, I masquerade as a photographer, but my final year I decided to have a go at playing. I had been training on and off and a good understanding of the game due to past experience watching and documenting 7s and 15s rugby. Coupled with my stupidly fearlessness and simple disregard for me being breakable, who could deny me for trying.
Unfortunately, I got tackled quite hard in a game meaning I had to continue as a spectator – for the best really, but hey I played rugby 7s! (and loved it)

Anyway Thanks for the read – I’ll update my sporting ventures soon after I’ve properly moved!

Have a great day!

 

Links to my sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brionymollyphoto/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brionymollyphoto/

website: https://www.brionymolly.photography

 

 

Photography Tips #12: Weddings

I’ve freaked myself out over wedding photography. After honing my instagram feed to inspirational photographers (who obviously use many assistants and lighting apparatus) I am geared up to add Briony-Molly Photography to the inspiring list. Alas – I do not have a plethora of assistants or a comprehensive flash, let alone an ample lighting set. Good start.
However, what I do have is a Canon 6d with a f/1.8 50mm lens and a 7dii with a f/4.0 17-40mm or 25-105mm lens. The 7dii needs a flash regardless of the lighting indoors which is not great, but the 6d can work without flash to very low lighting. Bit of an odd pairing but it works!

As I’ve only ever been to 3 weddings one being family and the others being a plus one to the other half, so I had no idea about weddings from a photographers angle. I think I read wayyy too many posts on how to make the special day magical, how to work the lighting, how to organise the day and it just disorganised me more. If anything it’s furthered my ambition to work with horses more, as a wave of a cap gets their full attention.

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Here’s my ideal run of doing wedding photography

Consultation

It may be a Briony-thing but I prefer to meet people before I have a shoot with them. Albeit an hour before with a cuppa and a biscuit, getting to know the subjects and what they want to achieve out of my presence is somewhat imperative.
Say a couple want to have a documentary style or a more alternative style; you need to know this. Some couples may want more black and white. Some may just want the staged family shots. One thing is right out all the things you can do and get them to say what they prefer and want. People love choice. Its worked so far for me…

Be Prepared

Like any photography situation you need to be prepared. But in this case, have spare batteries in pockets and at least two cameras ready to take the candid f/1.8 shots and the more wide angle group shots. With the venue, do the research- visit it if possible to scope out the good natural light and the pretty spots. Maybe even google the venue and weddings to see what others have done – proof of my initial cluenessless.

Lighting changes constantly, so do people so be agile!

Be Bold
Confidence is key. Relatives and alcohol is not a great mix so stand your ground be firm but nice and get people in the shots. Tell people to move and take multiple shots until you are happy. They will thank you later.

Have Fun
Don’t do a Briony and worry yourself over nothing. Getting stressed shows in your work. The more relaxed and fun you are having will reflect in your work when you are in post-production.

Be Yourself
We all have a unique style so don’t try and be someone else. People hire you for you not someone else so if they want a certain twist then thats acceptable but if you physically can not do someone else’s style, don’t do it and be clear to them about that.

Don’t worry, smile, get a coffee on the go and have a chill day!

Links to my sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brionymollyphoto/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brionymollyphoto/

website: https://www.brionymolly.photography