Wind chime of collected junk

 

A few months ago I finally made my wind chime, my sacred wind chime of rubbish I’ve collected from all different places, and of course it’s not and may never be finished.

I couldn’t actually start making it till I had enough stuff collected, not that this was a thought nor a plan, but in my mind I was building it every time I found a new treasure. I probably had enough items months and months ago though, to be honest, but it was June when one morning I woke up and decided to go collect sticks and start. And, like I said, there wasn’t much thought then either, and if you carry on reading you’ll see my failure in having no plan.

If any of you have seen the film Harriet The Spy (just to let you know I was completely obsessed with it as a child) this was inspired from the junk yard where they play. To think of all the things that could capture your imagination – it’s the freedom of junk.

Look up some photos, you’ll understand.

It hangs from my door and truly jingles. I want to move it but I haven’t got a place yet. When I have my own house I want to have it in my garden.

So what is on my wind chime?

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My Mum had collected old keys from past houses, old locks, or sheds etc, and I think I had a few from the past too. Why it feels so wrong to throw away keys, we will never know.

I dripped them into little pots of fence paint that I bought for 10p each (so it’s water proof). I did it on a very hot and sweaty June day (remember that heat rise?) and I struggled in finding ways for them to dry – as you can tell by the photos. I also got my first sun burn of the year, which was a massive cross on my back because of my bikini.

 

(I have photos of the process because I naturally document a lot of things I do, whether I share it or not)

I also have shells and a starfish from all different beaches from all different countries. I didn’t drill any holes, I purposefully searched for ones with existing holes. My favourite shell is the one in the first photos with sand stuck on it.

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And stones, one with a natural hole in and one without a hole.

I was experimenting with some shells and the hole-less stone that I picked up on a beach where my friend got married in Zante, and I ended up gluing the sting to the stone. Everything else is tied.

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When I was making my wind chime I also made this wall hanging below, just to hang in my bedroom rather than outside. It has the same collected junk on: keys, stones, shells and another real starfish. Because this one looked great with natural wood, I made my wind chime with natural wood originally. Which, if you’re ready for it, is the big failure!

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It was just so wrong! It’s from a horror film. I took so many photos, in different places, in different times in the day, from different distances, just to try and make myself like it. After everything was I just going to throw it all away?! So frustrating.

It reminded me Mexico’s Day of the Dead. I sent photos to a few different people and the stories I got back, oh deary me, one person said it’s like people have hung themselves, and another said its the keys from people who have died.

Like, great stories but nooo I wanted something pretty. Luckily, my friend (the one that got married in Zante) suggested painting it white and although I really wanted natural wood I just had to do it.

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Luckily, it’s perfect. In the imperfect sense.

I have so many stones and shells, with holes in, scattered in different corners of my life which I have yet to add, so in the future I hope to just keep tying them on.

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I also have lots of other stones, shells and bits and bobs without holes, and therefore will not be tied up. (I collect random other stuff too, one being corks). I’ve brain stormed some ideas of what I want to do with them, although I do like them just sitting around on my window sill and surfaces. The main idea was to fill a jar or vase with them, and write each location on each layer – but I don’t remember which things came from where anymore. That idea is gone, for now.

So I’ll have a think and if I come up with something you’ll know where I’ll come to!

 

Side note: don’t you think it’s weird that I’ve technically hung up dead sea creatures for decor?

 

 

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Summer is nearly at an end, so let’s chat goals

I write this on the 30th of August – so to anyone who went to an English school, the end of the summer holidays. The end of the summer essentially.

I had summer goals that I wrote down to make them final and legit and also to experiment whether you get more satisfaction physically ticking something off a list, compared to living your life carefree and goalless.

So this experiment is almost a failure..

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..my original post already had things ticked off, and other than plans that didn’t work out (like buying the kite but there never being wind), my list stayed unticked and staring at me from my cork board – telling me I’m a failure. You’re a failure, Emily, you failed.

BUT WAIT!

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I mean, other than my life not being about counting my failures and successes – who has time for that?! – I have done more things this summer than I think I have any other summer. I mentioned in a few blog posts ago that it was never a goal to go to so many beaches – it was a goal to go to a beach – and if it were my goal I doubt it would have happened.

We went to 9.

It was also a goal to ‘plant those seeds’ (meaning seeds I had and always forgot about when it’s the right time of year to plant them). I deemed it a success, worth ticking off, because I didn’t know if they’d grow and I planted them well too late – I think July some time. But low and behold I have plants. Probably won’t produce any vegetables. But I can’t untick my list now. And the fact I did this all by myself feels amazing (other than my little brother helping to repot).

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I explained the flying the kite one, ‘do extreme sports’ and ‘watch the sun rise’ – well, I just hadn’t had time. Sure I’ve had leisure time, but when you do you want to sit and eat chocolate, not really go white water rafting and stay up for 24 hours. But this leads me on to the question – when does the summer really end?! Officially. Well, Google says (I quickly Google):

Friday the 22nd of September. 

Hooray! Still have nearly a whole month.

Doesn’t mean I’ll get everything ticked off, I don’t like pressure. The kite one though! I have nearly a month to fly a kite and tick it off my list, before the list just goes into the bin anyway.

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Now lets talk about what I proposed in my original post about goals, whether you get more satisfaction from a list compared to just doing stuff. To compare this I had to just do stuff, and later on work out of the things I did which was worth comparing to crossing off goals.

Obviously, didn’t really reach any summer goals, but all summer I still had to-do lists that I was ticking off daily, and oh my God, that was satisfying. I think when you’ve done so much stuff that you’re confused on whether you’ve done anything, then get to tick it all off and see what progress you’ve made.. that’s the money shot right there. That’s the high five to your ego, it made me feel good. (Things like ‘Google this idea’ ‘paint this’ ‘put this on ebay’).

As my summer goals were so vague (they didn’t say ‘book an extreme sport’ ‘do the extreme sport’ etc) there was less satisfaction. I don’t think there was any actually. It’s more just a reminder. It wasn’t a to do list. Just a reminder to play or do things I haven’t before. It was like subliminal messaging.

I got excited when we planned to go fly our kites, it’s the build up, it’s the planning. It’s like a ‘everything in our lives has led up to this moment’ kind of feeling. Whereas if it was spontaneous like other activities we did, there’s no build up. Then again when you spontaneously do things you get such a thrill and adrenaline rush, and people always say the days you don’t plan are always the best ones. I think because you haven’t preconceived anything, anything can happen. And, if you’re like me, when you plan a day you imagine what conversations you might have (social anxiety) or what it might feel like doing that activity etc, then sometimes when it doesn’t go that way it’s disappointing. Say we decided to fly a kite on a whim, would we be more or less disappointed if it didn’t work out?!

Days we didn’t plan, like The Cuckoos Trail or going to Bewl water, were satisfying is a completely different way. In a ‘look how good life is!’ way. I believe that’s where a ‘good summer’ comes from. I also realise now that I can’t plan things, so my friends plan events well in advance but tell me about it last minute because I’m more likely to go – I panic about long term, dunno why. I wonder if it’s also because I know I get a better feeling this way too, and I’m all about feelings unfortunately.

This all being said, I think having goals in general are wicked. It naturally puts you in a mindset to do more. Keeps you present. With out meaning to sound dramatic, it’s like giving you reasons to live, even if you don’t keep to them. It’s a reminder than life can be an adventure.

For me, not so vague goals feel good to tick off simply because they’re easier to tick off, and then inspires me to keep going. Big goals I can’t keep to rigidly because that turns into pressure and I just want to run away, but having them there is enough to push me into the right direction anyway.

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Wild seals on the beaches in England! Horsey Gap, Norfolk

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Day 2 of camping in Norfolk. The sun, again my friends, had come out to play. Like I said in yesterdays post, I write my travel diary’s as I’m living them but this one is written from the comfort of my bed, with a sun burnt face – thanks Norfolk! Told you the sun was out again.

Also, like I said yesterday, I don’t like to tell a story once it’s happened so I’ll be brief. Woke up, as you would expect, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.. (Ohhh it’s another game of name that reference. I particularly enjoy playing it with James, because he knows none of mine. But lets be real for a second, there’s no way I brushed my hair.) So got up, got out of bed THEN put the tent away, as we had to be off site by 10. (Doesn’t rhyme). That’s a tight schedule for someone like me and my family – no breakfast for us then. But that’s a slight lie, once we got to Horsey Gap we sneakily cooked our breakfast at the back of the cars. I also had a pee there. Not as the same time.

If you’re a reader of mine you’d know that I’m new to camping, this is my 3rd trip. Already I’m in love with it. As a teenager I used to go on caravan holidays with one of my best friends, which would always be in the summer holidays (and we actually went to Newquay and Hastings, which is the other two places I’ve camped. Odd. There must be something subconscious behind that). So being on this campsite next to Hemsby beach, in the summer holidays, was a massive throw back to the atmosphere on the caravan holidays.

There was a group of teenagers next to us that were so cool, and only because they weren’t in the slightest – for their age group – but as a 26 year old it’s cool when someone younger dresses how they want and goes against the system. Can you remember the peer pressure when you were that age?! That’s cool. It’ll probably be an offence if they knew I said they were cool though, so lets keep it between us.

I love to stare at people, but nothing is weirder than me sitting in my camping chair and staring at a group of teenagers that is only 3 metres away, so all I could manage was side wards glances. This one chick was dressed like an explorer, and I really hope my mind isn’t deceiving me, but she was wearing a khaki body warmer (a bit like Nigel Thornberry) and a bandanna ruching up her short hair. I could only hope her pockets were filled with exciting instruments for her adventures. And a book. There would definitely be a book. A classic. On The Road, perhaps. Or maybe Alice in Wonderland.

I’ve gone off topic. My point was how it was a massive throwback to being 16 again, where, and I’m trying to say this really delicately (I’m rather blunt), the outsiders fit in. I don’t know what school is like nowadays, but these teenagers are my people. This was us. I had blue and pink hair when I was 16 and Sophie and I went on a caravan holiday to Newquay. They’re my people. They spoke about books out loud. When we were in Newquay we queued up at midnight for the last Harry Potter book – though I hadn’t read them at that point. 21 July 2007 is the date google says. See what I’m saying? It’s refreshing to see people playing ball games, having conversations and being themselves. I don’t know how else to explain it.

So Horsey beach. After breakfast and a wee, both behind the car, we walked 30 minutes to see the wild seals.

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This trip was a massive throw back for me – when I was 16, in Newquay with pink and blue hair, the seal was my favourite animal. They’re so fucking cute. There was two playing together where the waves crash. Magical.

It’s a very peaceful beach, understandably. I mean, peaceful till my little 4 year old brother came along, thinking he was wolverine and was running up and down doing flips. The seals didn’t react to him, don’t worry, and obviously you have to keep a distance. I read online they have their pups in the winter so I really want to come back then. Then I could possibly do the walk along the beach from Hemsby to Horsey like I wanted.

Highly recommend.

Thanks for visiting!

Clearing my mind with the ocean and camping – Hemsby beach, Norfolk

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I am very happy to say I have visited many beaches this year. More beaches than I have ever done before in one year. It was never intentional, and I recon if I put it down as one of my Summer Goals it probably wouldn’t have happened. It just happened because it did. Which makes it even better actually.

It started with Dunkirk beach in April, then Newquay beaches in May, Hastings beach in June and now beaches in Norfolk. And how many of those times was the sun shining? I know that’s what a lot of people really care about. Only this trip to Norfolk, actually. But I suppose because none of these trips were ‘lets go to the beach!’, we had never planned to sit in the sun, the plan was always to travel or camp etc, and therefore we’ve never been disappointed when there was no sun. Plus, it’s England – what do you expect?!

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In past posts I’ve shared my travel diary on these trips and this camping trip to Norfolk was… I can’t say ‘going to be the same’ because I’ve never really planned my travel diary’s – I take my notebook encase I get inspiration, then when I’m back home I re read it and make it into a post. Something about travelling inspires me automatically, I just know what I want to write down. It’s about the day and what we are doing, obviously, but I do know my ‘style’, I know what I like to document and avoid any fakery (I’m really not a sugar coated kind of gal), and somehow as soon as we step into our car and on our way, each time I’m back in that zone. I love that zone. I need to work out what it means psychologically because if I could have that drive when I’m at home EVERYTHING on my to do list would be done. I think I understand it, travelling clears my head and makes way for the things I deem important – and the negative stuff which stops me in day to day life just fucks off.

So this trip was no different, as soon as the day arrived my brain changed and I was mindful and chill and wanted to document our time. For some reason though, and I think it’s got to be because I was in such a bad way before we came away, I didn’t get enough time to write anything. I just revelled in the fact my brain wasn’t as foggy. I still took photos, and I have a few words from the drive there which I will include next. Other than that – that’s all folks!

 

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10/8/17

And so the next adventure starts with some typically English and Mumsy, despite not being a Mum (other than to my plants), words: ‘Now it’s a 3 hour drive, we better go to the toilet!’

‘Nah, I’m alright,’ James said, and I couldn’t change his mind that it’s a good idea. ‘Well, if we have to stop in half an hour-‘ I let the end of my sentence trail off as I walked to the toilet. Truly because I didn’t have an end. He’s driving. If he wants to stop he’ll stop. But in need of a good ‘told you so’ moment, I thought while I have my wee I’ll write this passage on the toilet for evidence. That’s right, I’m writing this on the toilet.

 

11:53 we left the house. Spoiler alert: we didn’t stop at all. Damn.

Our first stop is two minutes down the road to a garage, in hopes of getting James’s radio fixed. This is how we work – we pack the car the morning we go and we get the radio fixed in the morning we go. To be fair it’s the same amount of effort doing it all on the day and the rain yesterday was so ridiculous that most roads in our town had turned into outside swimming pools. We no longer have to go to Herne Hill for a lido. If we packed the car the night before our camping gear would have been drenched – even in the twenty whatever steps to the car.

Looks like we have half an hour of no music till we get the code for the radio – thank you James for letting the battery go dead! Now we have to talk to each other! Yuck! Instead we are going to play spotify through his phone, problem solved. We do like each others company, I promise.

And 12:57 we have radio! That being said James put on his ‘new’ CD that he bought from a charity shop for 49p – 2007’s Now 68. The second disk only. First song Plain White T’s, Hey There Delilah.

 

15:10 we arrive and James cracks open a Stella. I, on the other hand, has a sudden headache and belly ache. So, as James keeps calling me recently, Sulky Emily is waiting for her pills to kick in before we put up the tent. It’s probably anxiety thinking about it, it takes many forms. But the sun is shining and the beach is only a short stroll away.

Put tent up and we chill and I feel great. Also beer. I’ve had a huge cloud fogging my mind the last few weeks and I feel like these camping trips clear it away, like it’s my medication.

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And that’s all I wrote this time. I could tell you what I did past tense but I can’t write it half as interesting when it’s already happened. Plus my memory is shit.

Thanks for visiting!

Some summer goals

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If any other English summer is to go by – our summer will probably end by July. It seemed like it was at an end when we came out of the heat wave in June but the weather is hopeful again and at my little brothers sports day yesterday I roasted my round face red. The dooming greyness won’t get me down, I still have goals to achieve. Now, I sound like the kind of person who is super organised and plans her life, I’m sorry to break your heart but I’ve tried and failed at being that human. My hair will always be knotty and I will always ‘forget’ to brush it. These goals are literally conversations I’ve had with people that I’ve miraculously managed to remember and a list has built up in my mind. Let’s start with number one because that’s the first one… that was dumb. I meant lets start with this one because I can already tick it off.

Go to the beach with James. 

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I’m happy to tick this off because I have done exactly that. Gone to the beach. With James. A few times. And wore the same clothes every time, for some reason. I would like to spend a whole, hot day on a beach with him, but is that going to happen? I’m satisfied with this.

Fly a kite.

I don’t have any memory of ever doing this. Maybe I did at some point.

Do extreme sports. 

What’s extreme? I’m not constantly active and sporty, so maybe any sport is extreme for me. I did badminton last night, is that extreme? Dude, that rush when you hit that shuttlecock, nothing like it! No? We have rock climbing coming up this week, I really, really want to do whitewater rafting and also stand up paddleboarding. The rock climbing will hopefully become a frequent hobby but the other two are probably a one time thing. James and I also lack balance. Good luck to us. Also kayaking, nearly forgot that one. We’re fucked.

Actually plant those seeds! 

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This one is on the way. I have to tick it off now, I can’t wait for the end product because what if they don’t grow? What if I fuck it up? I definitely planted them too late. I’m doing my best. I love a plant though, as you’d know because of this weird post. Very weird.

Stay up and watch the sun set then rise

Don’t really need an explanation for this one do I? It’s challenging only because of James’s and I work schedules. I actually wake up for work before the sun has risen – the photo below was from last week. You know what they say ‘red sky in the morning, shepherds warning.’ It was a crap day nonetheless. At least I got to see this.

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I am very sure that I have said other things I’d like to do, so maybe if I think of any I’ll do an update post but my memory is a bag of shit. Remembering these five things is good for me.

I wonder if you get more satisfaction if you have a list of goals. Like a bucket list. Not just having the list, obviously, but ticking off the list, actually achieving the goals. I know a few people who are ticking away at their bucket lists. I don’t have one, I just know general things that I want to do. But with the satisfaction of completing a race or even like picking your spots (ew), I wonder if you get an added bonus feeling when you are physically ticking things off. Completing it. But I question why are you (not necessarily you) waiting so late to do these things, why are you waiting to have a list before you do it and you generally only make a list as an adult when you start freaking out you haven’t done these things. Though, I still get it, I recon I’ll get a tattoo at 40. I’m trying to convince my Mum to get matching ones with me currently, because I know I won’t regret that, but seeing as I’m failing in convincing her I recon I’ll get to 40 and be like why the fuck haven’t I got one before?!

I tell you what, let’s do an experiment. I’ll have to rely on my bad memory for it unfortunately. I’ll compare the feelings I get when I complete something on my goals list to just any other activity I’ve done. The reason I’ll have to rely on my memory of past things I’ve done is because the whole point is doing it without purpose. I can’t purposefully do something without purpose. It’s hard to deem what I can compare them to though, when they weren’t ‘events’. Do I include drinking in a park? Or scooting at midnight? We’ll see. I’ll work it out. Let me write these goals down right this second to make it physical and go from there.

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All we know of camping so far is rain

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Recap; Hastings, camping, beach, chips, seagulls. Now for day 2.

The day started with a full English breakfast made on our stove. For those who aren’t English, it is a mess of beans, sausages, bacon, fried eggs (give and take whatever else you want) and you would hate it. It’s amazing. English foods all seem to be just a pile of goodness that’s terrible for you. Others will never understand the beauty of cheesy beans on toast. As the only veggie here I got my food first – I was going to quote that rhyme kids sing, till I remembered it went ‘first the worst, second the best..’ I suppose sometimes it was ‘zero the hero, first the worst…’ so I could be a hero. I am the one not contributing to killing animals after all. I say as I am typing this eating left over pizza made with cows milk. Reminds me of Lil Dickys song Pillow Talking – fucking brilliant. Go listen.

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Turns out Dad was giggling last night and saying ‘camping is fun. Let’s sell our house and live in a tent.’ So that made my Mum laugh and my brother is four and so he just laughs if anyone is laughing. A lady approached my Mum and asked if my little brother was her son, she said yes, the lady said ‘aww, he’s so cute! And it’s he’s birthday!’ So turns out the little evil genius has been telling the children in the park that it’s his birthday today – it was 3 months ago. The lady said that’s so clever, she’s going to try that one.

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James and I were all packed up by 10 but my Mum and Dad have decided to stay another night. I think they’re cool with camping, even though it’s raining now. It’s all we know. Give us 30 degree weather for two weeks and there’s mass hysteria. We don’t understand sweating. It rains and we all calm down, we get this, we are familiar with this weather.. but commence the whole of England complaining about that now. Why are you never satisfied?! I personally am okay with any weather, see vegetarian and doesn’t complain about the weather?! Zero. No, damn, I meant hero.

We learnt from last time and stayed in flip flops in the rain. I wore my Birkenstocks in the Cornwall rain (which I didn’t think anything of because I basically live in those bad boys) (and it really is that Lil Dicky song now, but I got them before I was a vegetarian) and they stayed wet forever. Same with any other footwear – you’re outside constantly pretty much, so you and the rest of the campsite just gets wet. Everyone stays in their shorts, hoodies and flip flops – we give no shits, we are campers. Bad boys for life. The only people that weren’t like that actually were my parents, my Mum in particular who was wearing a jacket and wellies. Oh bless her and her over prepared self. At least she remembered the oil, unlike us. Without that no mountain of English breakfast goodness would exist. Thank you Mum, for I have sinned.

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Now something I don’t think I’ve really done, and don’t plan to do often so don’t get used to it, is a little thing we call giving advise. Advise. Makes me feel sick saying it. Here it is. I had a blow up bed from my days of festival camping and James’s brother was getting rid of a mattress topper. Combine the two together and you get a super duper nights sleep. Trust me, I’ve camped twice now. Expert.

Now my mother, who loves a tip, loves advise, loves a welly, made some notes which I will include now;

  • Saturdays are the nosiest night
  • don’t pitch tent too close to tent groups
  • always have a plastic festival mac handy
  • don’t pitch opposite a playground
  • always take a jacket with a hood

Camping notes from a middle aged couple. To be fair I would definitely read that blog.

 

The era we are in seems to be the era of festivals of every kind. Every couple of metres on the sea front there’s an advertisement for a festival. Festival of music, of beer, of fish, of food, of gin, of zooquarium..? What’s zooquarium? Oh how I could google right now but I won’t. Put festival in the name and I for one am tempted to go. I’d have no money or holiday left at work if I went to everyone I’ve seen advertised. They’d all be disappointments too to be honest, especially as I wouldn’t have any money left to spend there. That being said I do have a talent of having fun in any situation. One of two of my talents. Which is handy right now because the rain stops you doing anything normal. And you know me, all I want is normal, I scream normal. After getting drenched while walking from the arcade to the car, we began to drive carpark to carpark to see the sites. My two year old nephew called it a ‘parcark’ the other day – that never stops, two year old nephew, you will do that for the rest of your life. Anyway, you get to people watch while feeling they can’t see you this way, highly entertaining – especially when a seagull is stalking a bunch of girls for their lunch, and we wait in anticipation for him to dive bomb.

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Now I know you’re wondering what my other talent in life is. It is that donut people love me. I don’t know how I do it. I love them back equally, to be fair. Ever since I can remember I would go to buy donuts and they’ve always given me more than I paid for. At Thorpe Park, when I was 14, they gave me a whole extra bag free. I don’t understand this power but I mustn’t misuse it. So, I’ll set the scene, grey miserable day, everyone is drenched through other than my Mums toes in her snug wellies, and they decide what they need for a pick-me-up is good ol’ fish and chips. I don’t always eat chips from the chippy because sometimes they use the same oil for everything, so I said ‘no, I will get myself some donuts,’ and left them. I was pushing against the wind and rain to the first donut stand and it said ‘4 donuts for £2.50’ and I though ‘that’s a bit steep isn’t it, I’ll walk to the next one.’ So off I went again, against the wind and rain, to the next stand where it was exactly the same price. So I was like ‘that’s clearly a standard price and I’m just a cheapskate, so I’ll buy them here,’ ‘4 donuts, please,’ ‘that’s £2.50.’

I walked away. They had given me 7.

I had to tell one of my best friends because she’s often been there to witness these events. But wow, amirite? What a day.

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I didn’t write a whole lot more in my notes, and after visiting an old pub – which I just googled about – we just went home. I won’t google about ‘The Ghost of Dunkirk’ or ‘1066 country’ or ‘zooquarium’ but I will google a pubs history. Apparently that’s the kind of person I am. I wish I didn’t though, apparently not a lot is known about it’s history but it seems it’s not actually from the medieval age, but rather a post war build. One website went as far to call it ‘a fake’. That’s my whole Hastings visit ruined!

On my post about the first day I mentioned that there were so many strawberries and cherries for sale on the side of the road, then there was a whole bit about cherries being a chimney sweep compared to the strawberry which is a Lord. You should go read it. I thought I counted 7 of these stands, James said I was well off. So we genuinely did a tally chart on the way home.

Tally Chart of Strawberries and Cherries being sold (including eggs and any other produce) (not logs, but there was loads of them)

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16. That’s right. And please ignore the ‘wanker’, it’s not directed at you and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was in reference to. Probably ourselves for being the kind of people that make a tally chart counting how many produce stands we drove past. You probably can’t read my writing anyway, not many people can. I shouldn’t have brought any of this up.

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No English person goes to the seaside without saying ‘I can see the sea’

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camping hastings

There’s something so satisfying in having more knowledge this time round camping. James and I were like a production line packing the car yesterday, there was no guessing or double checking. No stress, just very natural and for some reason that feels very cool. Not in the sense that we are cool. Would others think I’m cool with these giant sunglasses on and my adult scooter? Probably not. Hipster comes to mind. Just to justify my life choices to those throwing up in their mouths; scooters are so much fucking fun. I bought them for James’s 27th birthday two days ago and we have lived the dream ever since. Depression? What depression? Age matters? Who’s age? I look like a prick? Who looks like a prick? Hipster? Who’s a hipster? Need anything else in life now? Definitely not. Just more money to buy scooters: I’m a junkie.

I should mention where we are heading: Hastings. We’ve been on the road for 19 minutes out of this hour and a half car ride and we’ve hit traffic already. Although that’s got to be frustrating for James The Driver Man, though I won’t ask because nothing is more annoying than when someone asks if you’re annoyed, I on the other hand am still revelling in satisfaction. I want to live in a van, that’s no secret, I threw that idea into the world long ago, and with this satisfaction of everything having a place in the car because we are now machines of camping is just wonderful. I want certain things at close reach and others can be tucked away, so this notebook, camera, water needs to be in the side pocket of the door. My phone, purse, rucksack close by but not as easy because I don’t need that shit in my life right now. It all working effortlessly is the goal. I get travel sickness so I can’t rummage and shake myself about just to get a pen.

Today, Friday, is the coolest day we’ve had in two weeks. We are coming out of a heat wave, but to us poor English that don’t ever get weather like this in June, it feels like we are coming out of an oven. To cool on a rack before the icing goes on. A whole week of 30 degree weather. I love that when the weather is like that it’s acceptable to look disgusting, it’s excused. It’s hot out so you can wear next to nothing and look a sweaty, greasy mess. Everyone is like that, yes? The downside to the glorious heat? Other than sleeping in an un-airconditioned house, the bites. I have been bitten. I have luscious blood that bugs love to suck on, I can’t help it. So if you see a girl scooting down the street, dripping in sweat, not wearing enough clothes and covered in bumps, so much so that you’re sure she’s diseased – it’s me. Come say hi. I won’t bite. Just the swarm of mosquitoes surrounding me will.

Driving past signs for free range eggs gave me an idea. I said to James maybe we should do a challenge when we go camping of not bringing any food with us but stopping as everyone of these signs and buying fresh produce. On the way to Cornwall there was loads, as soon as you come out of London everyone seems to sell strawberries and cherries on the side of the road. Strawberries I understand, but why is cherries advertised right next to it? It feels wrong. It’s not worthy of being on a sign with a strawberry, they’re incomparable, it’s a lower class, it’s like a Lord and a chimney sweep. The Lord will taste better, the chimney sweep would be covered in ash and get stuck in your teeth. I do love burnt marmite toast though. I like me some charcoal but not the point! There must be farm shops too that’ll sell meat for James – we would just have to bring my veggie shit.

Another challenge – visit all castles on the way to somewhere. They’re everywhere.

Welcome to 1066 country‘ don’t know what that means other than a reference to the battle of Hastings. It could be advertising ‘0 800 00 1066’. I guarantee all English people sung that number in their heads. Oh the power of advertising. That and ‘go compare’. Come to think of it, I want some cherries now.

At 1:47 we have made it. I get out the car and instantly have to put a jumper on. Not a good sign for someone who only packed for hot weather.

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There’s us getting cocky, though not James because he doesn’t see what I write in my notebook (it’s all bitching about him), about being pro campers after camping once before.. We forgot mugs, tea, oil and chairs. Luckily my Mum, Dad and little brother are coming to join us later in the day so I will inform them of our fuck ups. James also forgot his phone charger but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I literally have a phone because I feel like I have to have one otherwise I’ll miss out on my friendships. But we are different people. Different ideas. Different interests and that’s fine. We definitely haven’t had that conversation before.

Hot dogs were meant to be on the menu for lunch but after forgetting the oil, pot noodles it is then. Even though James spilt so much of them over the cooker. I also licked my fingers after adding the soy sauce and saying ‘salty’. I blame the giant gin and tonic I’m drinking for the stupidity. It’s delicious though, I feel fabulous. I’m very up beat today.

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While exploring the town there was a sign with something to do with Dunkirk – like ‘The Ghost of Dunkirk’. I have these moments, quite often actually, when I just don’t understand something. I read the whole sign but even then it made no sense to me – I generally over think and read into things that aren’t there, therefore complicating the simple. So no idea what this thing was about, something to do with a ship saving people at Dunkirk beach (I will Google it at some point). The reason I mention it is because it’s cool to think that we were in Dunkirk, France, on the 2nd of May. Now here we are, on the opposite side of the channel on the 23rd June.

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This made me laugh so much. Even now as I’m typing. Paybacks a bitch. Now you might be thinking ‘that’s cruel, Emily,‘ but that lake behind him, where there are rowing boats and what have you, is blue. The water is blue. You can only tell slightly in the photo below by the colour of the seagulls legs. It’s like toilet bleach. I have a theory that they’ve poisoned the water to kill off the seagulls. I’m not so much the bad guy anymore am I? James thinks it’s to do with bacteria, or something, but I’m sure I’m right.

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It’s 18:56 and we have parked next to the sea, listening to David Dobrick and Jason Nash’s new podcast, while James has fallen asleep next to me. It sounds like I should be bored, I think others would be bored, but sitting here watching the waves roll it, sipping a beer.. For lack of the right words, it’s so good. When I lived in Malta I spent loads of time on these rocks by the sea, just sitting there. I would be sitting in the sun too right now, alas! It’s all run out for this trip. For me, water is a reminder to stay present. Cities like London are fun, for sure, but coming to the coast and just looking out is almost like a reality check. I think some others would understand this but I definitely think that’s a personality trait. Not something you can change. I feel very connected to the Earth but James doesn’t feel like this, it’s just not in him and it’s funny because when I try to explain it I can hear how I sound like I’m talking so much bullshit. I sound like I’m out of touch with reality, where as it’s the opposite. It’s real. It’s just different people isn’t it. That’s a good thing.

Now time to wake him up and scoot.

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Mum, Dad and brother turned up in the evening and we had an event in putting up their tent. My Mum was a child camper and my Dad was an only child so you can imagine how that went down. Luckily pro camper here, with two camping trips to her name, took control. They have personally gone from cruises to camping. That’s the lowest of the low, Mum. I kid! I kid! She was saying how it used to be seen as a ‘poor people’ thing, back in her day, but how it’s a choice. It’s a good choice. Everyone should give it a go.

I think they like it so far at least, definitely my little brother is enjoying it. He is four after all. Everything’s an adventure. As James and I were drifting off to sleep we could hear them three giggling into the night.

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