News from the Trail

Got to the Top of the Mountain and It Was All Down Hill from There

My first munro

Okay so not everything has been down hill since, but the pun was too good and it did kind of work since after my weekend trip I had the pleasure of jumping right into revising (studying) for exams (finals). This post is incredibly late but about 2 weeks ago on the weekend of the 28th of November I had a little adventure up into the Scottish Highlands to where this picture was taken at Glen Affric (close to Loch Ness). I went on this Christmas trip with the mountaineering society from Friday to Monday and managed to keep up for one of the hiking days making it up to the top of the mountain while the second day I got to take this picture while doing some light walking and making it back to the cabin we were staying in, to do some writing of my own while having the joy of looking out of the window and seeing a picture that looked like it was taken from the lord of the rings or some other fantasy land. IMG_2218The cottage

I kid you not, this place made me feel like old Sophie trudging through the wastes from Howl’s Moving Castle while I slowly trudged up the hill pushing against the wind always following a bit behind the rest of the group hunched over and thinking “I am too old for this” even if I’m really not, just too out of shape for it. Sophie’s line “when you’re old, all you want to do is sit and look at the scenery” constantly ran through my head along with “I’m fatter than ever yet the wind blows right through me.” All that aside, it was absolutely beautiful with good company and great weather (for Scotland).

Watching some of the other people on the trip practically be able to run up the mountain, I couldn’t help but think that I’m the type of person who will write about adventures and intensity, while the people I’m with will be the ones who actually live them and I was in awe. I realize I love the physical activity and adventure, but I seem to prefer to take pictures and do things like admire the way the clouds form in the sky and how the mist consumes everything. I spent the weekend looking up to people my own age and just admiring their immense confidence in themselves and what they were doing. It felt almost like I was in a movie, but a supporting character instead of the main which I am completely okay with because it means I get to come along for the ride, enjoy it, and just concentrate on showing myself a really good time. Overall an extremely inspiring weekend to then go back and start studying…

one last picture. IMG_2170

People Think I'm a Tourist Stoping to Take Pictures

Really I just lose focus

Stopping in the middle of the pavement (sidewalk) to take pictures of trees or sunsets I do get some weird looks.

Maybe I am acting like a tourist but it makes me think, why can’t I be a tourist where I live? Seems to me all tourists are doing are admiring the place and seeing it brand new and to me, that seems like a pretty great mindset. I don’t see why I shouldn’t appreciate where I’m living and really look around instead of taking it for granted. Before I came here, the idea of coming to Scotland was just kind of a dream idea – some sort of unknown Narnia filled with everything perfect, but then I’m actually here and a lot of people here seem to say that about California. It made me think about why we can’t appreciate the thought that maybe we are already in Narnia or Hogwarts; we just have to realize it. So yes, I am going to act like a tourist and take pictures and enjoy the fact that I’m here, suffering through torrential rains and then being able to appreciate the calms afterwards when this picture was taken.

Although there is always school work to be done and lectures and tutorials to get to, there should always be time to smell the roses, pet the dogs and cats, and appreciate a sunset.

The poem could have been better but also could have been verse.

The amount of time needed to write a decent tribute to halloween did not manage to show itself yet time moved on and there are new stories to tell. As Vonnegut would say, so it goes.
On a side note, the photo here is from the window coming out of my music lecture and every time I’m leaving the lecture it seems I want to photograph it all over again so this time I finally did.
Last night I went to my first poetry slam (just watching not reading) and it was beautiful. Being in a room full of people knowing they all appreciate the way words can somehow line up together to make something beautiful is on its own inspiring. Listening to others share their thoughts and words in forms that sound like how chocolate tastes is inspiration to a new level for me. I wanted to be up there, but I also was so delightfully happy to listen. I realized that I’ve had lines running through my head that needed to be written down for weeks if only I had the time and last night, after the end of the slam, after listening to a beautiful rant about vaginas that made me laugh, and think, and relate, I stood in the cold night air and wrote and I was happy. This was what came of it..

Your eyes look like starlight.
Don’t tell me I’m wrong. You tell me.
You tell me at two in the morning,
Lying in bed, struggling to remember your breath no one will love you for you. I do.
But maybe I’m no one to you.
Maybe I’m just a girl you pass on the street.
The person you meet
At a bar Friday night because you’d rather be there
Than alone with your thoughts where
sleep threatens nightmares.
So maybe I am no one, a stranger
But when the voices whisper
No one will love you
I’m here to say that’s not true
You make faeries come out to dance
And fire blaze bright in the night
Your smile could match that of a child
In Disneyland.
You are a miracle.
You can’t deny
That’s why
You’re parents named you that
And even when
The harsh words they send
Cut deeper than any knife to your skin
And the voices scream no one can love you
They’re wrong.
Because believe it or not I am not
No one
And I love you.

It's a windy day so I shouldn't leaf my coat at home

Scattered around, there are these seemingly random huge piles of leaves that the winds have swept together that can get up to maybe a foot deep. Of course, the best thing to do with these piles is to run through them, kick up all the leaves, and harness the five-year-old within.
I’ve found it amuses me to no end to watch peoples’ reactions after seeing a girl in overalls (dungarees) walking down the street, hair out of control blowing all around her head, clutching a large bag of spinach and a bag of sugarsnap peas, wearing the biggest grin you could imagine. This is my life and I am just fine with it.
As a side note on the picture, my shoes are down under those leaves somewhere…

What did the North Sea say to me? Nothing, it just waved.

On sunny Friday afternoons I can never deny the feeling of being blessed. Every Friday I have my English tutorial (like a small seminar we have once a week) from noon to 1 and my music tutorial from 2 to 3. They are about a block away from each other but both on the other side of town from my hall and lunch so instead of walking all the way back to get lunch then again to my music tutorial I get a packed lunch and have my own private picnic by the water. Every time I have been able to choose a different, beautiful spot with a view of the rolling waves and every time I can’t help but feel like the luckiest person in the world. I just get to sit (as I am now while I write this) and watch the ever crashing waves in complete peacefulness and I get to realize how lucky I’ve been to get to grow up on a coast and now how lucky I am to be able to walk to it. Although I know I have just read out the most terrible piece of criticism I’ve written about a book of literature and most likely made a fool of myself and will soon be lost for answers to questions about what music was played in the Baroque period or what key this melodic scale is in, in this present moment I am listening to waves some can only listen to through speakers and I’m finding it normal to sit and read in a place tourists come to take pictures of. Eventually I will have to worry about that essay due Wednesday or how to talk to people without overthinking, but in this present moment, everything is too beautiful to truly care.

With love,


Why didn't the bicyclist win the race? Because she was two tired

I think the hardest part about riding a bike in the UK is going to be learning to drive in the US. Seriously, I was having issues with it before, now not only am I going to have to look out for cars, try and obey traffic rules now my instructor will also have to continuously be telling me “KEEP TO THE RIGHT.” I have found a new respect for people who bike huge distances, I have an even bigger respect for people trying to bike in San Francisco (either that or I’ve lost all respect I had because of how crazy an idea it is), and I have realized that even if you have a bike, if your class is across town you cannot leave your room five minutes before class starts and expect to get there on time. On the other hand, you can expect to be outrageously early every other time.
Some things I have found I want to do more often here are go on nature walks, watch the sunrise on the beach, go on recreational bike rides, and dance in the rain. I am missing my camera back home which I’m realizing did take nice pictures but I’m trying to make do with an Iphone (the picture here was taken by an Iphone and it was my favorite from my nature walk)
Lastly, I am constantly wondering if maybe if I ignore the school work for long enough it will go away but the metaphorical piano hanging over my head would probably say otherwise so I am steadily trying to work through it.

Never Make Fun of a Scotsman's Traditional Garb

You could get kilt that way

I apologize for the terrible pun my Scottish friends. I like the idea of starting of with a pun though because as I take after my dad, I think puns are hilarious.

Starting up this blog, we’ll see how far I get but I figure it may be handy to keep people updated (who wants to retell a story 50 times? me!)

As a sum up of life so far across the pond I’d give it a solid 9.8 out of 10 – loosing .2 from the getting soaking wet walking in the rain but please Scotland, don’t pull a “stick-it” movie moment and have every day be rainy just yet.

From plane ride, to horrifying car trip, to dorm, to freshers week, to classes, to Wuthering Heights, to accapella, to rock climbing, to Great Expectations, to The wasteland, to poetry, to now I’d say I’ve had quite an adventure and it’s only 6 weeks in! I don’t think I could succeed to write in six weeks of description so, as the pessimist would say, probably shouldn’t try but as the weeks tick by on this increasingly less exotic feeling adventure I’ll to what I can to share what’s happening.

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