Friday, 13 April 2018

what I've been...#6









First of all, it's crazy to think that April is now in full swing and the spring and summer months are fast approaching. The arrival of Spring is a double edged sword; the warmer weather and longer days are ominously overshadowed by the fact that exams are one step closer. I must admit, March was an okay month. Nothing amazing happened but as I look through my camera roll (the one and only way to gage an opinion of a time in your life, apparently) I had some good days.

what i've been doing-
So, the start of March brought my Spanish oral mock which went well. I also submitted my History coursework on the 11th which was like a massive weight being lifted off my shoulders and even though I was shaking and felt sick to my stomach as I finalised my bibliography, typed in my full name and candidate number and clicked send, it was soon washed over with pure relief. It also snowed super heavily at the start of March (and sometime in mid March) which was a little bit of a shock but I made sure I spent every day making the most out of it. This sounds terrible but I don't know if there'll ever be another episode of heavy snow here in London in the new future as global warming and rapid climate change are, indeed, very real. 

On the 14th, I took a 5 hour coach to Exeter for an offer holder day and apart from arriving to the talk super late and it raining heavily throughout the day, it was a really good day. It even opened up more questions in my mind about which course I want to do exactly. A few weeks later, I received an email on my UCAS track telling me that Durham had not offered me a place. I was at Ambra's house and her sister had just asked me if I'd heard back from them when I got the email to say that there had been an update. And whilst Ambra and her sister, Fran, were like "yeaaa you've totally got an offer!!!!!" something inside was like nah. Thankfully the brutal Oxford rejection helped a bit (never thought I'd say that) and I kinda brushed it off as a 'it was not meant to be' thing and it's true. I decided to show Ambra the wonder that is CMBYN and immersing myself in the depths of romance and everlasting Italian summer (and crying at the end scene...again) was more than enough to take my mind off things. Ever since then, the idea of a gap year has been at the forefront of my mind. It has been something I was considering since October/November but now it's all the more enticing and I'm already planning what I might be doing.

At the start of the Easter holidays, we spent a few days away in the countryside which I wrote more on here. Although we had originally planned to go abroad, this short road trip 2 hours away from London was more than enough. I also spent Easter Sunday in Brighton with a few friends (Lexie, Katie and Libby) which was so lovely and reminds me of all the good things that have come out of my blog, like genuine friendships and discovering new places together. I'll save the photos for a full post. I've been spending most days of this holiday in the quiet area of my local library in preparation for my final A-level exams which has been as enjoyable as you can imagine.

I've said it on twitter before but browsing Ryanair and then going onto AirBnB to look for apartments is my favourite pass time and lets me escape a little during those revision breaks. I then found tickets to Venice for £55, texted my mum to tell her that I would be going to Italy from the 2nd till the 6th of July and then booked it which adds another city to my summer! I've already made a Pinterest board for Venice as well as Madrid and Marrakech and it's safe to say that I am very excited to float around the canal ridden city, get lost in winding streets and take in the Italian summer- think gingham, flowy dresses, red lips and big sunglasses. I may also try and go to Milan and stop off at Crema for a few hours too and live my CMBYN dreams to full potential, who knows. A few days ago I went to my friend Aina's art exhibition (wooooo!!!) and roamed around the Brick Lane and Shoreditch area before deciding to make the 20 minute walk home instead of taking the bus. 

On Tuesday, my sister and I spent a whole day in Soho for free, unlimited ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. It was a day very well spent and the weather came through. I'm so excited for the 20+ degree weather next week. 







what i've been reading/watching-
Oh how excited I've been to write this section! I finished Where Angels Fear To Tread by Forster and I mean, there's a reason why he's my favourite novelist. I also read Call Me By Your Name (no, I will not shut up about it) early on in the month and reviewed it here. It's safe to say that it is my all time favourite book. Then, on a Friday afternoon, I decided to go and watch it at the cinema alone. I had wanted to watch the film for months but always told myself that I should read the book before doing so and then by the time I did that, most of my friends had already watched it. I don't know why there's such a massive stigma around going to the cinema on your own because you're essentially alone throughout the film anyway. I adore the film and have watched it once again, ever since.

I also read When Breath Becomes Air after Eleanor recommended it which was an amazing book and so interesting to read as it explores a real story of a highly-esteemed neurosurgeon advancing from being a junior doctor up to the best in his field and then his diagnosis and subsequent conversion from being the physician to the patient. Perhaps what I liked the most about the book was the fact that the author himself had a few detours in terms of his academic path. He studied and graduated with a degree in English Literature and then moved onto route of medicine. As someone who has thought of studying on either side of the spectrum (History and Spanish or Biological Sciences/Medicine) it did offer some form of reassurance that I just because I go down one path, it doesn't mean I can't go down the other later on in life.

I then read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which was slightly anti-climactic given all the hype it's gotten recently but nonetheless a really nice read and it was a great way to just disconnect a bit and read something that wasn't so emotionally demanding. Then I read Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso as a more light-hearted read but motivational nevertheless. I took out Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes as I figured it'd be a nice read and quite relevant to my Spanish studies. I bought two books from a tiny Oxfam in a small town from £2.50 each: Purple Hibiscus by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie and 100 years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

In terms of films, my sister and I had a rota on for last week so we watched Coco which I loved so much, Ferdinand which was equally as good and actually works as a source to cite if I have a question about the cultural heritage in Spain in my oral exam lol and Paddington 2 which was adorable. I cried at all three films, naturally. I also watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E and was pleasantly surprised when I saw Armie Hammer on screen again- I'm not one for spy films but this one was so well done and the actors and soundtrack were perfect. I decided to watch Lady Bird too which I enjoyed but ultimately don't get the hype about. I am, however, obsessed with saying "l'enfance nue" in a terribly American accent and having my mum correct me and then questioning me on why I keep muttering the words naked childhood over and over again. 



what i've been listening to-

There's this Italian song from the late 60s which I have literally been listening to for hours, non-stop since Easter. I discovered it through a random playlist on Spotify and am so thankful I did because it's such a beautiful song and I love being able to see how far my Spanish will stretch and try to mentally translate Italian. You know, just normal things. It's called 'Che Vuole Questa Musica Stasera' and I've inserted a link down here if you'd like to listen to it. I'd also recommend you lookup the translated lyrics! I also love the CMBYN (instead of a drinking game for each time I mention my history coursework like in my last instalment of this post, take a shot each time I mention CMBYN)  soundtrack on spotify and here are a few songs that I really like: Mystery of Love, Une Barque Sur L'ocĂ©an, Futile Devices, Love My Way, Visions of Gideon (if you know, you know), and Plastic. I would 10/10 recommend you listen to said songs, I've linked my spotify playlist here if you'd like to check the songs out. Oh, and the song that the band is playing in Lady Bird is also really good, yet another link if you'd like to listen.



what i want-

I would really like to visit Barcelona for a few days at the end of summer. I don't really want many clothes but I've seen a red long wrap front polka dot dress in Next and a black polka dot dress on Asos which are fab. Do you spot (ha) a trend here? I went to the Brandy Melville sale yesterday as they had reduced everything to £5 and whilst I only came out with a few items (it was chaos in there) I think my spring and summer wardrobe is pretty much sealed. I did see a pair of mules on Zara's website but think I'll pass on them considering the majority of my blogger friends heavily rebuke them and my insta poll showed that 52% of viewers despise them greatly. enemies of progress. 
what i've been anticipating-
My actual, official, real real real Spanish oral at the end of this month. I am simultaneously bricking it and also pressed at the fact that last years cohort didn't have to do theirs till mid/late May.

I've been wanting summer more than ever right now! I finish school for study leave on the 25th of May which is almost a month away, it's crazy to get my head around because it officially marks the end to the rigid structure you follow blindly all the way from primary school. We have a leavers event called 'Strawberries and cream' which is exactly what it says on the tin. You eat strawberries and cream in the courtyard with your whole year group and dress in semi-nice clothes and pretend that you're going to miss everyone dearly. Woo!

I'm going to end this here because this post is hideously long and one more paragraph and I would basically be giving you my whole life story. I've also realised how much I've linked onto here so as if this post wasn't enough the links you click on will lead you to more of my blog posts, my friends' blogs and new music.

What's been going on in your life?
-Dalal

recent blog posts! 
CMBYN book review
The end of an era
Feeling stuck 
A few days in the countryside- photo diary and stories
Cards and stuff

22 comments:

  1. Call me by your name is amazing - I'm in love with Timothee Chalemet!! So jealous of you booking a city break to Venice...

    Florence | Beyond Imagination

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm such a huge fan of the book and film, Timothee is such a dream too. I can't wait to visit and share all the stories and photos on here!

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  2. Loved this! So glad to see someone else who loves Call Me By Your Name too, I hope you get to live out the Italian life to the best while you are out there in the summer xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm a massive fan of CMBYN, it's my favourite film and book so far. Haha, I'll keep the blog updated on my thoughts on the Italian way of life ;)

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  3. Oh this was fabby! I love these kind of posts!! Sorry about the offers tho, i remember that stage and it could be tough! A gap year could be a really great idea - i took one with project trust - volunteering & stuff and it was one of the best decisions i ever made! :) hope it all works out for you!

    Anne // www.basifpa-and-did.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much Anne, I'm glad you liked it. It's okay, I've just shrugged it off because I've realised that they just weren't meant for me so I guess it's true that everything happens for a reason. That sounds amazing, I may end up emailing you to find out more if you don't mind!

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  4. Oh Dalal how I love your posts, they're like a breath of fresh air. I'm sorry to hear about the Durham offer but I'm sure there are greater things ahead and a gap year would mean you could travel and visit Spain and like the comment above me mentions, volunteering also would be amazing. I'm so pleased you liked When Breathe Becomes Air, after you read CMBYN I picked it up and loved it as well so thank you for your recommendation! With A Levels ever looming I hope you're staying sane and positive <3 x

    eleanorclaudie.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Eleanor, that's so lovely of you to say. Weirdly, the Durham rejection didn't hurt much as ultimately I knew that I didn't really want to go there but tried to convince myself to want to. I have so many ideas about my gap year buzzing around in my mind, I'm going to have to sit down and organise it all some day.

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  5. All these photos are so pretty, really enjoyed this post Dalal! So jealous that you're going to Venice, I can't wait to get some savings stacked up and take a leaf out of your book and scroll through cheap Ryannair flights. Sorry to hear about Durham, but everything happens for a reason (hate that phrase but I like to believe it is true) and you have so much time to figure things out g :) I'm excited for your strawberries and cream day, sounds pretty classy and tasty- the perfect combo! Hope April is a good month for you x
    constantlylibby.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Libby (and thanks for showing me the magical app that is Huji- tis a life saver!) I can't wait for the trip to Venice, super excited for it. You should definitely browse through Ryanair, their tickets can be so cheap- especially if you're travelling off-peak which is perfect for you and your gap year. I will be sharing pics from the strawberries and cream event on here ;) Sending you lots of good vibes!

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  6. I want to read more books this summer, I used to read so much and now I'm lucky if I even read one book (outside of school) in a year. I need to go to a charity shop, their books are always so well-priced.
    And everything $5 in Brandy Melville!? That is wild cheap!!

    - Iona
    asweetdestination.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my situation for so long and I realised that if I keep putting it off because I 'don't have time' or 'I'll leave it for summer' I'll never end up reading as much as I want so I would say just do it! Oxfam is super good, also just local libraries too. They had a big sale as they're closing down to refurbish so everything was super cheap as they're trying to get rid off stock!

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  7. These are my favourite type of posts, i loved this!! I hope you had a fab time in brighton, when you next come down I’ll have to say hello!! CMBYN is incredible and I need to spend my summers in Italy from now on because it’s so loooovley - barcelona is also on my list to visit this year actually! Good luck with your exams!

    Phoebe x

    itsphoeberose.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're my favourite posts to write, I'm glad you liked! It was so lovely and I'm already planning to return in the summer so I'll let you know if that happens. Ahh CMBYN is so beautiful, I can't wait to visit Italy this summer! Barcelona is so high up on my travel bucket list. Thank you, Phoebe!

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  8. I love this series, Brighton looks amazing!
    http://sputniksweetheartn.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Although none of the photos in this post are from Brighton haha

      Delete
  9. These photos are so fab!! I love hearing about what you're up to; and I'm glad your friends exhibition went went!! The photos looked so cool on your ig. I think a gap years should be a rite of passage, when we're so young we need to enjoy and experience our youth before its too late; cannot wait to follow what you get up to! Find it so inspiring that you went to the cinema alone btw, it's something I'm far too scared to do (much like going for a meal alone), but I want to do it so bad...! Good luck with your spanish oral and all your exams, it will be past you before you know it. Sending you love and good vibes xoxo
    p.s I loved the mules, I'm a sucker for weird shoes

    www.lexiealexandra.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lexie. It was so good and I'm so proud of her! I can't wait to start planning the gap year, although it'll probably be mostly done during the summer when I have more time. The mules were so nice but I'm not sure spending £50 would be the best idea when they're so hit or miss haha. Lots of love!

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  10. I love chatty posts like this, it's so interesting to read what you have been up to lately! Your photos are amazing, I'm so jealous of that Ben and Jerry's though! Planning a gap year sounds so exciting, sorry to hear about your rejection from Durham but as you said, it just musn't have been meant to be and better things will come along instead. Also have the best time in Venice! x

    Erin // Everything Erin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed- they're my favourite to write! Ah it was amazing, a whole day of free ice cream, could it get any better?

      Dalal <3

      Delete
  11. I'm sorry to hear about the durham situation but you're gonna do amazing where ever you end up, trust me! Loved the photos too!

    Lucy | Forever September

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay! It definitely wasn't meant to be- it's just a waiting game and gives me a lot more time to actually think everything through. Thank youuu

      Dalal <3

      Delete

stop procrastinating and just comment already
jk
funny comments get extra points