Month: January 2016

Bright Spots | Week Four

+ an entire weekend to myself, Friday to Sunday – an introvert’s dream + the sneak peeks into windows riding the top of the bus, particularly good in Hampstead and Pimlico + London, really feeling like home these days + meeting, by chance, a Regensburg friend-of-a-friend and reminiscing together about bike rides and beautiful buildings + admiring flower stalls and their explosions of colour, a January antidote (came home with white roses) + a Saturday night South London adventure – to me, west Londoner born and bred it feels as foreign as another country! + a deep winter clean: the floors are mopped, the bookshelves dusted, the cupboards stocked + cycling through lamplit streets at midnight, empty of cars, the streetlights reflected in the scattered black puddles in the gutter + a certain someone’s planned visit in not-too-many weeks (!) + the end of January, the worst of all wretched months (though it really was not so bad this year) and the fact that February – birthday, month of love and end of winter – is nigh + a Saturday …

Remembering In Berlin

I was seventeen, the first year I came to Berlin. It was February, the month a comma in the death sentence of an unending German winter. It was bitterly cold and I did not recognise the memorial when I stumbled across it. Rushing through the web of grey pillars I stood – dizzied – at its centre, wondering where I was. The Holocaust memorial, I later discovered – a vast network of concrete stelae, 2711 hulking lumps of stone. Germany is no stranger to remembrance, and this is Berlin’s answer to its history: the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The further one ventures into the vast network of concrete stelae which compose the monument, the fewer the reminders of life outside endure: the external sounds of the city dwindle, then vanish. Birdsong, traffic, the laughter of children turn to silence, just as life can turn to death can turn to stone. 2711 slabs of stone. The stelae sit in central Berlin, prime real estate, and a place where past paints present. Just round the …

Left My Heart in Bavaria

I don’t talk about Regensburg here as much as I once did (I present to you, ladies and gents, exhibits one, two and three) but I still hold a candle for it in my heart just as bright and am always secretly planning my next visit (or full-blown, up-sticks, drop-everything return!) It’s my favourite city as well as the namesake for this blog and I’m so happy to be waxing lyrical about my city soulmate – Danube! Gelato! Bike rides! Spires! – over on Atlas Addict. I’d love it if you’d take a look and even more, if you’d consider visiting Regensburg (with room in your suitcase for me, danke.) It’s the best place on Earth, truly. Guide to Regensburg, Atlas Addict | (photos) on film & digital, 2011-2015

Bright Spots | Week Three

+ winter’s colour palette of blues and greys: day’s cerulean skies followed by the black shroud of night + a Saturday bike date hugging the river, under cloud-flecked skies + Friday night fish tacos with my sister (photo booth pictures, included) and the impromptu sleepover that succeeded it + finally alighting upon the perfect headline at work + reading this haunting novella on the tube + the January light, blue, fragile + swapping duck down for knee-length wool one day this week; feeling transformed from human sleeping bag to ballet dancer + a fridge full of extra-strong cheese (thanks mama!) + a spontaneous dinner date with the guy I love + on Saturdays I volunteer with a tutoring group housed in a church, and this morning the slate steps were littered with violet confetti – remnants of a Friday winter wedding – and the thought of it made me smile + the fact that this list could quite easily be three, five, ten times as long

City Slicker | Guide to Glasgow, Scotland

Happy day! Today I’m so delighted to introduce 2016’s first City Slicker, Melissa, who keeps an enviable blog and takes photographs just as evocative as her sparkling words. She takes us again to Glasgow, her Glasgow, for rainy days sequestered in coffee shops, hunting for literary treasure in secondhand bookshops and to the banks of the River Clyde. Melissa is the founding editor and designer of Quotidian Literary Magazine (so worth a read for elegant writing by Scottish students) and, if that weren’t enough of an achievement in itself, is also midway through writing a contemporary coming-of-age novel. She pens beautiful letters over at her observational blog, Something I Noticed. Take a look! You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook. Q: What brought you to your city? I was actually born in Glasgow, in the Southern General Hospital. But even though I was born here, and I’ve been studying in Glasgow since 2009, it wasn’t until last September that I came to live in the city. I’m doing a PhD here (in Creative Writing) so it just made sense last autumn to move …