Monday, 30 September 2013

RUN FORREST RUN

Oh hey guys it's me Brogues Gump 

This weekend, something quite miraculous occurred. I, as no more than a complete amateur on the running circuit (pardon the pun), somehow managed to get myself on the podium at my first Spanish running competition, as the second lady past the finish line out of a good few hundred. To say I surprised myself would be a pretty sizeable understatement.

Don't get me wrong, I can certainly be a super determined and driven young lady when I want and need to be. However, for me, running acts as a counterbalance to my perfectionist proclivity; it's a purely pleasure-driven pastime, a time of escapism in which I can get lost in a sweet playlist and plod along at my own little pace.

 

But, right before Saturday's 10K, my host mamá (who I might add has never seen me run, not once) said to me: "sabes, tienes posibilidades de ganar un trofeo" ["ya know, you have a possibility of winning a trophy"], to which I chuckled and replied something along the lines of "no waaay, Jose!"; I hadn't won a trophy since my childhood football days at Dulwich Hamlet and Southwark Caribb FCs (ahh). 

For some reason, though, her words sorta stuck. So when the starting pistol fired, I just went for it, practically sprinting the first 25 minutes. There were of course a bunch of steep inclines when my legs were like "NAHHHHH". But then that little internal voice kicked in: JUST. RUN. So I did. And I placed for the first time ever. Haaaallelujah. What the mind believes, eh...

Ta-daaa.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Call me Dora

w a n •  d e r • l u s t
[won-der-luhst]
N O U N
The strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.


Totally apt; thank ya Björk.

Columbus I ain't, but I do love a good wander; for me, this impulse is all the more forceful when cruisin' along completely foreign soil. As the wise Mr J. R. R. Tolkien once proposed, "not all those who wander are lost," and yesterday was one of those formative occasions when I replaced fear of the unknown with curiosity* and roved my (little) legs off for hours.  

 *credz to Dany Gokey for that one. No more vomit-worthy clichés I promise.

Maps and guide books jettisoned, I headed to Toledo, a picture perfect and near untarnished historical city set a mere hair's breadth from super developed Madrid. The capital of autonomous community Castilla-La Mancha (hey Don Quijote), Toledo comprises of some seriously breathtaking scenery and un montón of petite and adorable winding cobbled streets. Another perk, as a language kid anyway, is the potential to prattle on in español amongst a population of sparse English speakers. And even those who can speak it un poquito fully favour conversing in their native tongue. Fruitful, if not a lil bit daunting at times.

Anyway, pictures...



Beautiful, ¿no?

This little attic room, please.
Coral casa.








Wander supplies.
Continuing the day's spontaneous sentiment, I thought I'd offer my (conversational) services at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas right before I left.
So there we have it. Discounting the four different male stalkers I managed to acquire on my travels (SCORE!), I had a truly lovely day of pensive thoughts and impulsive rambling. It really is better to travel well than to arrive*.
*that one belongs to Buddha. I'm sorry, I did promise. Couldn't help myself.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

¡I need a bebida!



It was only going to be a matter of time before I'd wanna go on my coffee shop hunt here, so I used my free sábado [Saturday] to scour Madrid city in search of potential caffeine hit haunts. Amongst some other things, obviously. 

I'm sure I'll fashion some kinda Madrid guía [guide] à la the Berlin one I made earlier (once I feel knowledgable enough to do so of course), but in the meantime I shall just waffle about individual finds I come across on my little Spanish adventures.

So! My favourite and best spot so far: Toma Café.

Off the tourist track on Calle de la Palma, this pequeño but perfectly formed coffee/cake hangout (or 'casa de cafés & espressos' as it prefers) is a laid-back and lovely lugar [place] with a chilled atmosphere, sweet tunes, a cool clientele and a resplendent array of sugary treats. With its rather unorthodox but nonetheless super cute seating set-up and very aesthetically pleasing interior, not to mention its amazin' bebida [drink] presentation, Toma Café has gone straight to the top spot. It also has a bicycle theme; I'm not totally sure why. But I like it. 

Iced latte. Coz it's SO HOT here. Sorry.
I know the whole putting-drinks-in-jars phenomenon is a bit of a Marmite situation, with haters assigning it the all-pervasive 'pretentious' label. Hmm. Personally, I embrace an alternative vessel in which to store my bev of choice. And I think it's fitting for this kind of place; it enhances the overall experience and adds to its cute, quirky charm. But that's just me.

A floating bicicleta; why not.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mi casa es su casa


Ahh London, all pequeñito.

Tomorrow (at about nine in the a.m.) I'll be waving adiós to lovely(!) grey, cold Londres in exchange for the sweet sunny climes of España. For the even sweeter duration of six months. Did I mention it's currently 33°c there? ¡Eeeee! 

Seeing as I won't be having siestas in my own bedroom any time soon, I thought I'd take a lil bunch of photographic reminders; wanted to have a slice of mi casa while I'm away, ya see. Bit sentimental I know. Also a chance to test out my freshly mended DSLR lens - kill two birds and all that. 

¡H a s t a  p r o n t o!


La puerta [door]


I'll miss this little guy.













How moody.

Final sleep in my little room. ¡Dulces sueños!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Bob's your...hair?




I only went and did it. 

Yesterday, I took the super spontaneous decision to swap my signature bird's nest barnet for an above-the-shoulder bob 'do. DUNDUNDUNNNN. Yeah, I know, hair is seemingly a très trivial topic to have a bee in ya bonnet (in my case beehive) about, but it's actually kinda crazy how much a hairstyle can come to define you in one way or another. But, as India.Arie might say, I Am Not My Hair. And you are not your hair either. Even though it is lookin fresh today.

Having looked exActly the same for the past six-ish years and refused to have a professional haircut throughout this entire period, I (out of absolutely nowhere) decided I would just. do. it. But it had to be spur of the moment, and I couldn't tell anyone, or else I knew I'd totally overthink it and cluck my way out of that hairdressers like a big ol' chicken.  

Stumbling across this photograph on Pinterest influenced my decision though, I think:

Oooh.
 So yeah, I got a good ten inches chopped off. And actually, in a superficial sort of way, I feel pretty liberated; it's so easy to get stuck in a rut (hair related or otherwise). It's also a healthy mane for the first time in GODKNOWSHOWLONG.

 But the flower is staying. The flower is definitely staying.

My little hair monster, bless it.

Ahh, and it turns out it was quite a timely trim! The bob is soo Autumn/Winter 2013-2014, don't ya know.






Monday, 9 September 2013

Developed



After my initial post-Berlin panic that the film from my trip had gone AWOL, it was in fact hiding under a chair in my London bedroom. Of course it was. Bein' a bit of a photo nerd,(temporarily) mislaying a whole week of captured memories gave me streeeess. As it transpires, I needn't have worried. Doh. So here's a lil selection, developed:


WIR BLEIBEN ALLE | VANITY TEEN
Oderberger Straße | Bauhaus Archiv für Gestaltung

CastingCarrée-Festival N° 1 | Flea Market Boxhagener Platz


The Shit Shop, Rückerstraße | Mauerpark Flohmarkt
Kein EGO keine Probleme [no EGO no problems]
Exposure experimentin' at The Michelberger
Rocket man, burnin' out his fuse up here alone
Día de los muertos-esque skull | THISISANADVERTFORMYLATESTPRINTOFTHESAMEDESIGN


Café Kauf Dich Glücklich, Oderberger Straße | Core Tex Records courtyard
Double exposure Augen, Jivamukti Yoga
Fountain of Youth | Favourite little corner in The Michelberger
Bein' bookish
Revaler Straße | BERLIN HUSTLES HARDER