Manchester on Film…

 

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Funny how a city can host a personality before you’ve even visited. Alive in a picture of people who’ve existed there, bands rooted there, a history learnt though documentaries on times long passed.

Manchester begins in dribs and drabs of estate housing and graffiti-ed red brick, a lineage of its industrial past. But there’s a certain warmth in the grottiness, maybe it’s the familiarity to me, that I can relate it to the streets I grew up in back in Newcastle.

I meet Amy and we play a game of musical chairs: alternative bars and cafe eats, vegan diners and dive bars, catching up on the year that’s passed like no time passed at all. A friend like a sister, a soul piece, a revelation. We’re well and tipsy and happy to be in the city discussing the deepest things in life: love, ambition, purpose and growing up. It’s been six years since we were let loose on the world, finding a grounding companionship on that first night of university. We haven’t changed much but then we’re completely different people, it’s a weird place your twenties.

Film camera tour stops, another cheeky brew at Jimmy’s, spontaneous tattoo’s and canal side goodbyes. It’s short and sweet and nothing spectacular at all yet I leave a piece of me there in the heart of Manchester and watch as those same red brick factories and terrace houses pass me by.

There’s something very humble about being back in England. An appreciation I failed to have before but I’m proud of where I’m from, not for the politics, for the societal decay but for the people up in these Northern towns, of the grafters, the artists, the people who paint the streets with their wild. We’ve got a riotous little core and theirs pride to be had in that.

Love & Light, N x

Mount Moments 08…

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21.05.18

Summer lingers in licks of sun kissed skin,  layers hang uncomfortably on the stubborn bodies of the suns children but the morning air is crisp now. Autumn is gentle in her arrival, aware of the bleakness her time foreshadows. But she knows her time has come as she approaches us shyly, nervous of our reception.

24.05.18

I might be aright in a new place. I should move. I need to move.

09.06.18

Today I feel so in flow. My energy is in tandem with the day. Work with the girls, those light smiles and delightful conversations. You forget, sometimes, the power of getting the music right when the weather is right and the energy is right. Sun shining from morning til evening, cheesy nineties hits, a good mug of coffee and a steady flow of lovely customers. In this I find my happiness, such an easy thing to ask for yet so rare. Even the unavoidable loneliness of the evening brings its own charms, a recharging vinyasa flow, the space and time to cook in the kitchen, the discovery of a new favourite album. And all the while anxiety buds somewhere deep within,  it’s gripe is with the fragility of happiness, the inevitability of a downward spiral and I do my best not to allow it to beat me.

10.06.18

You’ve got a soul that craves the whole world not just a corner of it. A spirit that creates chaos because it knows its worth. There’s something cosmic in your make up, so lively that it rejects the norm and pushes you toward the peculiar. This human world is built on the wild notions of individuals, so why should you disregard your own? It’s not valuable to be one specific thing, not valuable at all to be just one more person doing what everyone else does. And in this life it’s exhausting to defend yourself to the ignorant ones but its oh so important to persist regardless.

Light & Love, N xx

15/08/2018…

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My blog these past few weeks has been a little quiet. There have been shifts in my life, both place and state of mind, that have dominated my time. But I’m back at it and feeling a little reflective. My favourite posts have been the Mount Moments series for a while now, a very raw and honest look at life and travel. Now I’m back “Home” in Newcastle, England, and I want to keep that same uncut, artistic, feel to this space. Of course there will be more journeys and certainly more coffee’s but I want to embrace every element as a means to create.

In saying that, here are some very standard, amateur, shots of some pretty wildflowers found on a hike in the Cumbrian countryside.

Light and Love. N x

Mount Moments 07

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05.05.18

How do people make time to settle? Months clip by like meagre days and there’s no second-guessing when your life is passing you by, no settling for a job you hate, a place you can’t grow, people who don’t inspire you. How can you even begin to feel contentment if you don’t give yourself the fundamentals? Surely a basis to bloom, create, go mad with passion and love for all elements of your day to day life, that is the most important ingredient to self-love?

‘If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet.’

08.05.18

Deep chats with empathetic souls. El feels trapped too, wants more than whatever the present has to give. We grab drinks up the road and I chat her ear off, it’s all about idea’s and feelings, the topics that make me think and leave me feeling renewed: politics, feminism, youth, travel, work, philosophy. El is a refreshing change. She’s intelligent, self-aware and she just gets it. I don’t feel pessimistic when we discuss things, more contemplative. It’s the same for all the ladies surrounding me right now. At work, they’re all a force to be reckoned with.

12.05.18

Barred, enclosed in this paracosm,

grey world ignited in rose illusion,

tinted scenes from a novel land

embraced in a fairer story.

14.05.18

You are HERE, in THIS place, with THESE people and THESE opportunities. You have THIS face and THIS body. THESE are your words and your thoughts. NOW is where life is and I hope so ardently that you won’t waste too much more of your life away in that hopeless yearning for another self, time and place.

18.05.18

They approved my second-year work visa, I met the news with no such excitement. Everyone around me is overjoyed, they know how much effort and money went into the application, how daunting the six week wait was to find out the result. But it obviously isn’t what I want. This proves that. But where to next? Home? What’s there?

 

Light and love, N x

 

Mount Moments 06…

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18.04.18

Now, do you realise the power of ‘yes’?

New friendships on short road trips, explorer walks and real-world enchantment. Up in the skies with rebel waterfalls, droplets strung like fireflies in buttery setting suns, captured by a pause in time between forests and streams. The sort of moment that flaunts fantasy and encourages you to second guess all you thought you knew.

21.04.18

Loneliness is sweet with time,

and in her spaces, I think you up in a myriad of disguises,

from Prince Avenue to Grey Street…

23.04.18

You say you despise cigarettes

but you’ll never miss a break

a brew in one hand

and the patience of a saint

lulled by the jagged tuning

and the whispers off that delicate tongue

twisting words to rhythms

like language has never been sung.

25.04.18

Waking up easy, lazy light through gauzy curtains, slow sips of coffee in a warm bed, early Dylan tracks humming, gently encouraging my mind to wander, my thoughts to spill, my pen to write.

Light and love, N x

 

A Promise to 24…

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You’ve exhausted yourself poor girl. Unable to create yourself like everyone else, unable to stop craving otherwise. You take your circumstance for granted that’s true but it isn’t you, it’s her and still you fail to make peace between the two of you. Of course you only want the best for yourself, a rich tapestry of life. Late nights with the ones you love, to get lost in grand cities, to feel so utterly insignificant that there is nothing to you but complete freedom. You want the world to ravish you and you’ve succeeded mightily at times but this is the year we try to make it stick. – Journal entry

Twenty Four is my wild year, the year I push and push until the paralysis crumbles under the pressure of my ferocity. Every day I’m taking minute steps toward it. I’m hungry for liberation, I never suited this timid creation, not with all of this abundant aspiration, this urgency for living, this need to seek out the characters in the crowd and befriend them.

“I never really understood New Year. To me, my birthday was always my chance to start over or keep on with the good.” – My work boss.

Wellington reminded me of all the things I love about living. Scattered routine, talking late into the night with exceptional humans, dancing around completely oblivious to reality, shitty places painted pretty in shades of memory. I missed my friends, I missed the adventure I came here for. The past few months haven’t defeated me, I’ve defeated me. But I’ve had some crazy reboot, less to do with a birthday and more to do with getting away for a couple days. I never knew a place could be so claustrophobic.

Light and love, N x

Pieces of: Lake Tekapo…

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Lake Tekapo was always just a stopover place when I was planning the South Island, a moment to gather myself between the lively scene of Queenstown and the end of the route in Christchurch. In fact, it ended up being, like many of the smaller stops on the way, one of the most memorable. I suppose it has to do with limiting your expectations. As a daydreamer and a romanticist I tend to put too much hype in the way of future plans. Lake Tekapo didn’t strike me as spectacular so all it could really do was surpass that and surpass it indeed it did.

I make friends with another solo female traveller on the bus between Queenstown and Tekapo. An intimidating look sets on her face and I’m apprehensive to start up conversation on the drive. She speaks first though and she’s bloody hilarious, a girl from Finland roaming around a couple countries before she devotes herself to the army back home. We clamber up Mount John, a small forty five minute hike, and chat like we’ve known each other for years. We even scout out vegan food in the village together and are reluctant in our farewells in Christchurch, just the next day.

The scene of it all is something magical all on its own and you’d think that by this stage I’d be over the remarkable natural treasures of the South but nope, each stop has something that sets it apart from the others. Here it’s the sprays of Russell Lupine’s, a wildflower that has quick become my favourite and one I’ve only spotted here in New Zealand, blooming around the still glassy surface of the Lake. Up on Mount John’s peak we take in the full view of Tekapo, tones of purple, pink and turquoise, accented in that lush evergreen that trademarks these lands for me. There’s an observatory up top which we both skipped out on. As with most activities here, it’s pretty pricey and we fancy a free, mellow, star show by the lake later anyways.

On the drive in, our tour guide gets us all stoked for clear skies filled with constellations. For most of the night we aren’t at all fortunate and everything is instead blotted out by thick clouds. Luckily after a restless couple hours trying to sleep on a squeaky bunk, I get up and go for a walk in the early morning hours, I’ve never been so grateful for a sleepless night. Of course I didn’t have my camera with me and it’s not like it would have captured the site all to well anyways. But the sky was filled with stars. I grew up in a city and other than a couple camping trips where the light pollution was left behind, I’ve not had such an opportunity to really see them. It frustrates me some, that such a simple sight, should be so rare but simultaneously renders me speechless that such a small moment could leave such an imprint on me.

Light and love, N x

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