Sunday, 25 October 2015

Mount Victoria - Wellington


All year my friends and I have been saying that we must walk up Mount Victoria together, and a couple of weeks ago we finally got around to it.

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It is such a lovely walk that isn't actually too strenuous, with an incredble 360˚ view from the top. I discovered when we reached the top that you can just drive up there, but, let's be real, it is so much more rewarding to walk up.

Friday, 23 October 2015

12 'Open when...' letter ideas for friends

Salutations all!

In my hall of residence we had this activity recently called 'Secret Admirer', which has been lots of fun. We were given the name of someone in the hall who we didn't know very well, with their favourite colour, snacks and music/films/books, with instructions to shower them in love for a week.

I decided to make a series of letter for my admiree, using the template of the 'open when...' letters. I have seen lots of ideas for this on Pinterest, but most of them are for significant others, and I wanted to do it for someone that I didn't really know at all. 
So I had to be a bit more creative, and I thought I would share what I did, for other people who want to use this cool gift idea for people other than their significant other.

So here are my 'open when' ideas for friends/acquaintances:

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Must watch Web Series - Lovely Little Losers


So, about a week ago I discovered this web series called Lovely Little Losers created by the Candle Wasters, and I have developed a slight obsession with it. It is based on Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost.

Now, how I discovered it is quite a cool story.

This semester I took a practical theatre course (which was loads of fun by the way) and on the course Facebook page a fellow thespian posted about auditions for a web series she is creating next year, and linked to the previous web series she has made. That previous web series was Lovely Little Losers.

I clicked on the link, not with the highest of expectations if I'm honest. The main reason I clicked on it was because I saw that someone who I knew (from the monologue feedback session we had for theatre) was acting in it, and he had done a really funny piece about applying to work at Burger King. Also, the girl who posted about it was also at the monologue session, and she seemed really lovely (I have since talked to her more and she really is very cool) and she co-directed/co-wrote it.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the first few episodes. In fact, there was one about shower caps and loofahs that had me cry-laughing! It was also cool to watch something set in the city I'm living in; Wellington.  Then I realised that this web series was a sequel to a series they made when they were still at high school in Auckland, called Nothing Much To Do, based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. And so of course I had to watch that one first.

Both series are done in a vlog style, similar to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. They are both hilarious, full of laughter and music. Did I mention the music? There is lots of incredibly well-written original music, both as a part of the plot and in the background. My favourite song is Stay. Nothing Much To Do sticks fairly closely to the plot of the original Shakespeare play, whereas Lovely Little Losers is more of a loose interpretation. Both are brilliant in their own way.

Another really awesome thing about them is the casual NZ references they have, which I realise are possibly more interesting to a New Zealander, but for anyone else, it gives you a little insight into Kiwi culture. Both series showcase the city they are filmed in fairly well, Lovely Little Losers does this better than Nothing Much To Do I think. If any of you guys watch LLL you will be able to see some amazing shots of the city I'm currently living in.

There is amazing cinematography, clever scriptwriting, engaging acting and all the ships. So many ships. #pedrazarforever
And really, what more could you ask for in a web series?!

Anyway, I just had to share them, because I love them, and I needed someone else to obsess over them with, so why not the internet?

Here they are :)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Looking back


It's been a while, I know. But hey, I'm here now.

Classes have finished for the year, and all I have left are two exams in November. I can't believe that I have nearly finished my first year at university! It's been a wild ride, and I know it is a bit of a cliché, but I have learnt so much about myself this year.

I couldn't possibly tell you everything that has happened, but I will update you in a bit more detail over the upcoming posts.

For now, here are some pictures. :)

Some of the things happening in these pictures are

  • a protest about raising the refugee quota in New Zealand
  • a performance of improvised TED Talks
  • a photoshoot
  • a trip to the museum
  • a walk around the botanical gardens
  • and a trip to Auckland

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Grown-up vs. adult (day 7)


I have been thinking quite a bit recently about the concept of adulthood, now that I am an adult in the eyes of the law. At the moment I am both a teenager and an adult, and really, teenager is probably the label that suits me the most.

I also started thinking about the difference between grown-up and adult, despite not really feeling like either of them, and I came to this conclusion.

Grown-up is the word you use when you are a child, and adulthood seems like a far-away idea that won't happen to you. Grown-up is for people who have grown up (yes, obvious I know), people with experience and knowledge that comes from existing in the world for years. Grown-up is the word used by those who are least grown-up to describe those that are. Grown-up is almost more childish than adult, even though it describes to me a person more mature. Grown-up is whimsical and almost unattainable, because the idea only really exists when looking from the outside in. Once you are a grown-up, you don't feel like one.

Adult is more clinical, more technical. Adult is for people who have responsibility, people who pay tax, people who don't have someone else telling them how to live their life. Adult is the word used in contrast to child and legally to describe anyone over 18. Feeling like an adult gradually creeps up on you, as you realise how much more you control everything in your life.

Grown-up and adult are almost synonymous, yet also not at the same time. The difference is in the memories attached to them.

What do adult and grown-up mean to you guys?

Also, I can't quite believe that I managed to post everyday this week. I certainly won't be able to keep it up, but it has definitely reminded me how much I love blogging.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Home (day 6)

At midnight I dance down an empty corridor, alone yet surrounded by people.
I leap and spin, balancing precariously but never quite falling.

I reach the end of the corridor, floor to ceiling glass. I stand on tip-toe, nose pressed against the glass, daring it to give way.

Outside the city is alive and pulsing, a great vastness spread out beneath my feet. The specks of light go in and out of focus to my tired eyes, and I sit down cross-legged in front of this world.

My reflection is also in the glass, overlayed onto the city. I am a part of this world. I am in the great unknown.

Here and now.

This is what comes after.

Laughing so hard my belly hurts, sneaking around the hall with friends in the darkness. When it seems like the vastness might just swallow me up, holding someone's hand at 4 am so we can pull through together. Weird inside jokes that make me feel a part of something.

I gaze out, a small dot of darkness in one of many windows, in one of many buildings. I am far above the city, and yet I feel that if the glass weren't there, I could just reach out and touch it.

My new home.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Making plans (day 5)


When I make plans, I imagine them in my head. I think we all do.
I visualise them, imagine how they will pan out, and all the possibilities that could happen.
What I will say, what the people around me will say, what I could say in response. The things we could do.
The possibilities are endless when the plan is still just a plan, they all exist simultaneously.

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The one possibility I don't account for is that they could be cancelled, and yet, when they are, it feels as if I always secretly knew that they weren't going to happen. All of a sudden it seems an impossibility that those plans would ever have taken place, and perhaps they never existed at all. That it was all in my head after all. It is like I am telling myself, 'I told you so.' It was just wishful thinking to imagine that they would come to fruition. Because all of those possibilities that were coexisting now will never be.

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The loss is bizarre, in that it almost feels embarrassing. Because I had imagined all of those possibilities, and as such was invested in it happening, even if I thought that I didn't care either way. And there is something awkward in that. I want it to seem as if it doesn't matter to me, I want it to not matter to me, because, most of the time, it really doesn't. But countering this is the thought that now I will never know which of those possibilities was going to become a reality. And that leaves behind a funny feeling of loss, embarrassment and vague confusion.

It is all a bit melancholic really.

ps. thanks to Madison for walking with me to take these photos. :)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Attitude is everything (day 4)


For me, attitude is a huge part of my view on life. Having a good attitude towards things I have to do helps me to enjoy what I might not otherwise enjoy.

And I know this is a contentious idea that many people don't subscribe to, because they don't believe you can change how you feel about something, and that emotions aren't something that can just be switched on and off. Yet, this idea is littered throughout our culture.

"Fake it 'til you make it!"
"It's all in the perspective!"
"To be happy is a choice we make!"

I think it helps to view this idea in a scenario.

The other day, a friend and I had a seminar in town, about half an hour's walk away walking quickly. It was at the train station in fact! But anyway, the weather that day was terrible. It was about 8 degrees, but felt like 3 degrees with the wind chill, stormy, spitting, and extremely windy. This was the day that one of my friends on campus was dragged back up a hill by a metre when the wind picked up the guitar she was carrying and lifted it into the air. The sort of wind where you not only can, but have to lean into it to cross the street.

Now, the way I saw it we had three options. Number one, we could not go, write it off and desperately hope that another compulsory seminar came up sometime soon. Number two, we could go, but complain bitterly the whole time about how awful it was and how much we wanted to be back in our rooms with blankets and the heater on. Or number three, we could treat it as a great adventure, because how often do we get to experience such incredible weather! Even if it is incredibly stormy.

My friend chose option two, and I chose option three. You can probably imagine who had the better time.

I see attitude as a choice about how I approach a particular experience. By approaching the stormy walk through town as an adventure, I was looking for the excitement and the adrenaline in the situation; the positive elements. While there weren't many, there were some, as there are in every (pretty much, I mean, barring extremes) situation.

I'm not saying that having a positive attitude towards something will immediately make you happy about it, but I have to say, looking for the positives in life sure helps.

Do you guys also do this? How do you feel about the whole positive attitude thing?
I know that it really helps me, but some people I know think that it is a ridiculous and even harmful notion.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

How to organise your workspace (day 3)


I spend most of my day sitting at my desk at uni, and so it is really important to me to have a clean, functional workspace. My desk is where I study, write, create, and do everything really.
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Here is the way I organise my workspace;
  1. Having a clear space in the middle where I can put my laptop or books to work on is probably the most important thing.
  2. Then along the back of the desk I keep pens, pencils, and other writing utensils.
  3. Here I also keep a my workbooks, notes and some novels. If your desk isn't as wide as mine then I would recommend putting these either in a drawer or just on one side of the desk.
  4. Another important thing to have handy is scrap/refill paper, to scribble on when need be.
  5. Above the desk I have multiple calendars, inspirational quotes, and reminders of things that I need to get done.
  6. I also have a to do list on the desk, so I can tick off everything that I need to do that day.
  7. And finally a study snack off to the side, and speakers for music to make life more fun!
 photo Workspace2_zpsq5hlw5w3.jpg  photo Workspace3_zpszztvcodr.jpg  photo Workspace5_zpsyqqvnlw9.jpg  photo Workspace4_zps22k5oso7.jpg  photo Workspace6_zpsshstsik5.jpg  photo Workspace7_zpsqs2qqk7t.jpg  photo Workspace8_zpsxeyjfeps.jpg

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A day in the life of a uni student (day 2)

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0815 - Wake up. Stumble out of bed and down the corridor to have a shower.

0840 - Stumble in a slightly more awake fashion down to breakfast, make a piece of toast to go and have a drink while the bread is toasting.

0850 - Leave the hall of residence, braced for the bitterly cold wind with a big scarf and coat.

 photo arrow_zpsygmpx8nb.png0900 - Sit down in the blissfully warm lecture theatre for 50 minutes.

0954 - Leave the lecture theatre, because the lecturer ran overtime, again.

1000 - Arrive in the tutorial room, out of breath from dashing across the road to make it on time.

1050 - Leave the tutorial, after learning about the comparative form in German through the use of a golf ball, a blow up Earth and a drawing of the Sun to represent the Solar System.

1100 - Flop onto bed, and watch an episode of a tv series.

 photo music-note_zpskmpgxiye.png1200 - Head down to lunch, desperately hoping that not only does lunch taste good, but also that friends will be at lunch.

1230 - Sit down at desk to study. Snacks nearby and Rent soundtrack playing.

1400 - Wake up from afternoon nap. Run/walk very fast to English tutorial that starts at 1410.

1410 - Find 30 Gothic features in 'Music of the night' from Phantom of the Opera.

1510 - Sit down for a Theatre lecture. Be prepared for anything, including being the heat from an oven to demonstrate an improvisation game.

1610 - Last lecture of the day, English.

1700 - Shake sore hand from writing at a hundred miles a minute. Those English lecturers sure can talk!

1730 - Dinner time! Luckily tonight dinner looks pretty good, spaghetti and meatballs, and very excitingly, broccoli!!! (no sarcasm, broccoli is a cause for celebration now)

1800 - Return to bedroom and finish study for the day.

2030 - Visit friends on another floor, and sit in the common room semi-watching reality tv shows, semi chatting about anything and everything.

2130 - Watch another episode (or two) of netflix, and read before falling asleep.

Rinse and repeat. :)

ps. I''m actually doing this! Day two and going strong. :) pretty pictures from here.

100th post (day 1)

Here we are.

100 posts.

It is now August, and I haven't posted for two months.

But I'm still here.

University, it's big, you know?

There are so many people to see, and things to do, experiences to have, mistakes to make. Crushes and colouring-in, dancing and drinking, eating and exploring. This bizarre mix of childhood dreams that we can now fulfil without grown-ups there to tell us not to, and adult realities.

On the same day doing grocery shopping and making sure we have time to do the laundry, and then that night making a blanket fort and eating all the chocolate we can find.

Working late into the night, or solidly all weekend to get our work done, and making fairy bread as a study snack.

Volunteering for a high-school competition on the same day as the ball and then rushing to get ready in time together, listening to Disney soundtracks, dashing around with shoes in hand and dress hitched like a princess from the music we are listening to.

Nearly getting blown over while running through town to a seminar on global leadership in the Railway Station.

Making music videos to promote energy saving by sneaking around campus late at night.

Meeting the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia. Just. What even.

Being able to wear nail polish all the time because there is no longer a school dress code.

Meeting one of our most favourite people ever and getting to listen to them play live, because we live in the big city now.

Playing hopscotch on the waterfront and then going grocery shopping (again).

Spontaneously inviting new friends around and jamming in the music room, just because we can.

Going for walks in the evening, exploring the world of the big city.

And somehow in all of this, my blog has got lost. It is something that I am so proud of, and have put so much effort into, and I want all of you to experience my journey too.

I am stumbling through the great unknown at the moment, and I want to share this with you.
Everyday here I discover something new, or learn something I had no idea about.
There is something quite marvellous about being surrounded by people who are all so enthusiastic and fascinated by learning.

So, in celebration of 100 posts, this week I am going to be posting every night.
I'm coming back guys!

These posts might not be my greatest work ever, but they will be something, and hopefully they will help me to get back into the blogging groove.

I've missed you guys,

Thursday, 4 June 2015

In between the lines of April and May {part 2}

Salutations friends!

So, it is now tomorrow (pretty much), and here we have the second part of the post. Look at me actually posting when I say I'm going to! Hopefully this will be a continuing trend.

May was a very busy month for me. None of my papers this semester have exams, so all of my work had to be done before the end of semester, which basically meant lots of assessments due!

8th May
This book I have been looking forward to for a while. Carrie is such a inspirational person, and I love the way she writes. And also excitingly, this arrived in the mail because I ordered it online, and receiving something in the mail here is like Christmas.

9th May
The view from the six floor of the university library. Lovely, but a bit distracting from study if I'm honest.

16th May
This was an opera of Cinderella, which was absolutely stunning, and surprisingly funny, because of the addition of subtitles for the Italian. This was at the end of a very long day, where I got up at 6:15 to collect my brother from town in Wellington, and was then didn't really sit down until this.

23rd May
This was a collection of four dances by the Royal New Zealand ballet. The NZ Army band was playing, and the last dance they did was one of the most powerful dances I have ever seen. If anyone reading this has the opportunity to go see it, absolutely do.

28th May
This was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life so far. Two friends and I were able to go to Parliament and meet the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia. This is the ceiling in one of the rooms there.

Bonus picture, here is all of us with the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia. :) (he's the one in the middle)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

In between the lines of April and May {part 1}


So, it is nearly the end of the semester now. I'm sorry I didn't do a post at the end of April, I was just so busy with university.

But the first semester is nearly over, which is a really bizarre feeling, to be honest. Just one more week of lectures left!
I have really settled into university life now, everything and everyone here feels like a second home.

5th April
Easter!!! Fun fact about that Easter egg, I didn't actually eat it until halfway through this semester. Yes, I am one of those people that somehow manages to save chocolate.

9th April
Writing my short essay for Theatre. It was a bit of a learning curve to have assignments during the break, but as they tell us, it is a break for study, not a break from study!

16th April
This was the night I saw the local production of Hairspray back home, which was amazing. But at the same time it was nostalgic because  all of my friends were onstage, but I wasn't with them. There is something about the adrenaline of doing a show that makes it hard to sit in the audience when you feel as if you could be onstage.

19th April
I helped out with the make-up for the aforementioned Hairspray, because I couldn't not be at least backstage. And this is the adorable award and chocolates I was given for doing so.

22nd April
This was the night we went and saw Singing in the Rain in Wellington (can you tell I like musical theatre?). It was one of the most incredible performances I have seen, even apart from the fact that it actually rained onstage, which they use around 12,000 litres of water to achieve!

25th April
We visited the National War Memorial for ANZAC day, where they were projecting a light show in remembrance. For those of you not in Australia or New Zealand, it was the 100 year anniversary of Gallipoli this year, and so it was an especially significant day.

April was a pretty incredible month really, most of it I spent at home, which was lovely and relaxing. I was definitely excited to come back to university though, there is an amazing atmosphere here, and there is always something happening.

I hope you have all been well,

PS. I have decided to put May in a separate post and publish it tomorrow, because otherwise this post would be a novel!!!

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