El sueño de ser un madrileño

This is meant to be a 'Year Abroad Blog'. We'll see how it goes eh?


my name is thembi. dont pronounce the 'H'

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann

for years my granny had this hanging in her toilet, and i used to read it as i..went about my business… and now i’ve found it and I love it even more. 

soulrevision:

[For more on social justice, follow me on Instagram: soulrevision , Tumblr: soulrevision , Facebook: soulrevision , Twitter: soulrevision]

There was a lot of talk today about the media’s failed coverage [read: non-coverage] of the 234 Nigerian girls, thus came the #234WhiteGirls hashtag.

No, none of us wants any white girls to go missing. We just want these Nigerian girls to get the same amount of coverage that white girls get (or would get), because EVERY girl matters.

#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS

couldn’t have put it better myself! 

(via thecompanionsdoctor)

25th March - 5th May in 492 words

I’ve just realised that my last blog update was in march! Well it wasnt IN march but it was about March. WE ARE NOW IN MAY. i knew it! i knew this would happen! i am sooo rubbish at keeping a diary. Anyway so things that have happened since the 25th March(the day i got back from anniversary) 

Sat 29th March Jo left :( the only constant in my flat/life since october, i literally was soooo sad *cough* crying in the airport *cough*. We had a lovely leaving dinner and made a massive card…

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WAIT OMG ive just realised i have a draft of a blog entry that i made on like the 22nd of april….ok i’ll add it in chronologically. 

Then there was a couple of weeks of chilling, including the 30 day squat challenge, mother’s day in which i sent the wrong cards to my grandmother’s oh well. 

On thursday the 10th April i flew home for easter…

forgotten blog draft: "Ermagawd i havent blogged in so long, what a failure. i have no excuse… i just spent 12 days at home which was absolutely fabulous (loved that show). spent the first weekend in London: Chilled with Zik, we watched Captain America which is sooooooooooo good. Like I cannot begin to quantify how much better it is than the atrocity that is the first movie. I would highly recommend. Seamless action sequences, a good plot and decent acting. As superhero movies go, it was great." 

I then went and saw my honeybooboo dee, and we went out for dinner, with Kat and then went to heaven with Cal and his boyfriend who is an absolute darling. 

Spent saturday watching troy and eating fried eggs on toast at dees, and then went to see the G-ma. Ate home cooked food, went to church the whole shebang. 

The monday me and zik travelled down to somerset to see the Mothership, and enjoy the countryside which never disappoints. 

Spent Easter weekend (easter sunday was mama’s birthday) in the Lake district, hiking and sleeping in a yurt. Let’s just say it wasn’t unpleasant. :) 

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yes we climbed that!



Anyway, since i got back (22nd of April) I’ve had three exams, one of them an oral final. So thats my real excuse for not blogging. I actually have one tomorrow too, but i’m procrastinating. 

I did go out with a whole load of dutch people (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME) for Kingsday which was ok. image

and got a portrait done by a drunkard image



And sunday just got went for the most delicious curry, do not know why we don’t go there more often. The freshly made naan is an excuse enough. image

OK i sped through that and I know its kinda cheating but who gives a shit about what smoothie i ate yesterday etc (strawberry banana and peach if you were wondering) 

I’m going to Suisse this weekend so I promise to blog when I get back xx

Anniversary 21st March

I’m soooo behind on all my blog updates I’m doing them ALL tonight! 

5 years! Isn’t that insane. Like wwwwwwhheeeeeeeee. 

We had been planning and looking forward to this trip for so long, debating on places/countries, where to stay etc. Also long distance relationships are a bitch, so it was nice to have some timeout together. 

Finally we (hah i mean I) decided on Annecy, a beautiful lake city near the french-swiss border. It was romantically picturesque, cobbled streets and buildings with shutters and iron balconies. 

Our flat was just as gorgeous.

We’d decided on an apartment rather than a hotel because then we could save some $$ by cooking some meals rather than eating out. We used housetrip.com which i’d really recommend, easy to use, have some great accomodation. Our host was really lovely, told us the good places to eat and responded very quickly to all our enquiries. 

Obviously not going into detail, but we had the most wonderful weekend. I dont know whether it’s luck or design or I’m just blessed but finding someone who (at the risk of sounding like Bella and Edward) is the other half of you, the person who becomes your everything, is just amazing. I still get breathless thinking about it. 

Memorable events: mostly food related 
Anniversary dinner: La Ciboulette. Michelin star. Beautiful food. Really fresh flavours, most things didnt have creamy sauces so I was very happy. 

if i get a smile a day i’m lucky…what a scowl! looking dapper though.

Burger Place: starving one lunch time, we stumble across the most FUCKING INCREDIBLE burger bar. 10 eur for like an enormous burger, a crate  of chips and a drink. It was so good, we went TWICE. 

that portion of chips is for ONE PERSON!

my favourite picture of the whole holiday haahaa

Bakeries: i’m sorry but its france. bread, tarte aux poire, croissants, PASTRIES. yummmm. like WHY is it so good. seriously. there’s a bakery every 50 metres and they are all excellent. In fact i’m  glad i dont live in france, I would be like 30 stone. 

Walk by the lake: Pictures can say it better

Market: a little expectant that we’d just wander around and find it, we ended up looking lost and getting pitied by an old later, who it turned out was going to the market to do her shopping. Ziks rudimentary (actually pretty decent) french came into play and we made it there. Homemade cheese, macaroons, ham, olives, more cheese, fondue, fresh fruit and veg omg it was like thembi heaven. 

The only downside was that France was expensive. Obviously not as expensive as london but having been living in Spain, i was used to cheap good food. So that was the one surprise I wasn’t expecting. Well…not the only one ;)

Por Fin! 15th March San Sebastian

Oh lordy, its taken me over a week to even sit down and begin the second half of the San Sebastian blog post

Recap: Decided to go to SanSeb via Burgos, almost missed the train, saw a pretty cathedral, had two delicious meals.

After that delightful breakfast, we made our way to the station via taxi, so scarred from the hysterics of the day before that we arrived VERY EARLY for the train. But at least there was no running involved. The train journey was as every 3 hour train journey is, long and not-quite-comfortable-enough-to-properly-fall-asleep. The scenery however, was stunning.

We were greeted by rain once we arrived and decided to get a taxi to the hostel. Stupidest waste of money ever. The city is small and everyone walks everywhere, not to mention the one way system so it took longer to drive than it would’ve if we’d walked. Even the taxi driver told us it was a waste of money…thanks mate.

The hostel was nowhere near as nice as the one in Burgos, it was like a surfer dude hostel with bunkbeds etc and it smelt of sweaty boy/wet dog. Pleasant. Our room wasn’t ready and we were starving so went in search of food. After a minor altercation about where to eat, (hunger=grouchy) we settled for this Italian place which had terrible service but delicious pasta.

Back to the hostel for a quick nap. The weather wasn’t being so friendly (grey, cloudy and windy) so we snuggled down (trying not to breathe the smelly duvet) and got some winks. It was a bit early for dinner so we went exploring and in search of cheap vodka. We soon found the main high street and obviously ended up doing some serious shopping, fake eyelashes, cute tops etc. 
We stumbled upon ANOTHER cathedral, although at night this one really was breathtaking. 

San Seb is very pretty, the buildings are clean, and the sea air is fresh and tangy. no lie. 

So we hurried back to our flat after having FINALLY found the supermarket and stocked up on the essentials: vodka, redbull, juice, crisps and cookies. 

After battling with the other hostel-goes for the shower, seriously it was like new zealand rugby, we dolled up and went for dinner. Seriously yum, although my tortilla was disappointing. 


Then back for some predrinks and off to the clubbb.We’d chosen BATAPLAN, a beachfront club that was really nice but shit music. 

whata beaut :)

Nightlife in Spain varies from city to city, in Madrid by maybe 2am the night has got going (i mean clubs are free entry/cheaper until 1.30) in San Sebastian, at 2am it WAS DEAD. like NADA. but we were cold and although the beach was beautiful decided to go inside. We danced, we drank et la et la. We leave, as we are getting our coats at 5am there are still PEOPLE QUEUING! people checking in bags. LIKE WTF go home. the club closes at 7! (sorry lots of capitals). 

Woke up the next morning bright and peppy, and went for yet another tasty breakfast; toasted brioche, earl grey, croissants etc. YUM. 

Then hit the beach. Ohh it was beautiful. Hot sun. Cold water. Speakers blaring. Raspberry Sorbet.

In fact reliving it now makes me want to go back. We ambled about, just soaking up some rays. Then decided to get some sandwiches for lunch. I am GUTTED i didnt get a picture because it was one of the best sandwiches ive had for years. Grilled chicken with roast aubergine, courgette, peppers, onions, with ras-el-hanout and morrocan sauce. and it was enormous. like wowza. 

Anyway we went back to the hostel, grabbed our bags and went and chilled by the canal waiting for the train.

I mean 5 hours on a train is pretty hellish. and we were absolute menaces. shrieking with laughter, throwing things, playing footsies. I feel sorry for the people in our coach. Not sorry enough to stop at the time though. hehe. 

All in all, it was such a great weekend. And i would highly recommend San Seb, for the beach alone (and the amazing toasted sandwich) 

really havent updated in a while, will defo do a fill in later on today or tomorrow. ahhhh london on thursdaay.thank fuck xx

14th March – Madrid to Burgos

Oh so I intended to write this blog post last week but I couldn’t be bovered and I wanted to do it justice. I’ve split the posts up so they wont be too long, and also so I don’t have to write it all in one block…sneaky I know hehe. 

We had been planning to go to San Sebastian for a lonnngggg time, and it was one place that Jo (who’s leaving this week) wanted to go to.

We had originally intended to go on a road trip, hire a car and stop off at Burgos on the way. With this in mind we booked our hostels, one in Burgos and one in San Seb, before sorting out the car (I was AGAINST THIS!) So obviously we end up not being able to get a car, wahhh, but managed to book coaches and trains for a €50 round trip. This was all going peachy until a few days before when we found out the coach company was on strike, so we had to refund our ticket and then book a train instead (actually worked out cheaper).

 

So Friday dawns, we make our packed lunches (and our bags), and chill in the afternoon thinking we have all the time in the world. We leave the flat, and wind our way to the metro, only to discover that it takes a lot longer to get to the big train station than we thought (its 17.15, the metro takes 20 minutes and the train is at 17.40) Not to mention that our train leaves from the intercity side of the station which is a 5-10 minute walk away from the metro exit. and so… we ran.

Like RAN!

I mean suitcase in my arms like a baby, weaving between those slow-walkers who just turn up to thwart you when speed is essential, bashing granny’s out of the way (I am really sorry whoever you were) (oh god, I’m a granny-basher).  17:36pm

Chest heaving…

       Lungs burning… 17:37pm

           Armpits sweating…

               Eyes searching the boards for a hint of a platform number. 17:38pm

19. Got it. Shout it out to the others behind me, oh no, they thought I said platform ten. NINEEETEEEEN GUYS. Phew they’re following. 17:39pm.

On the platform. Oh. There’s a small queue. They are still checking tickets and scanning bags.

17:41pm – on the train, it’s moving. Great, now to spend the next hour breathing heavily, coughing frequently and trying to ignore the sweat trickling down my back.

-

BURGOS

We arrive in this quaint little city after dark, the station is deserted and there doesn’t seem to be a taxi in sight. Hmm. Well, people are standing here, so er, lets just stand here too and wait for… er something to happen. For once that actually paid off, and we ended up on the bus that took us to the city centre.

Our hostel is cute, well cleaned and wonderfully situated

(view from the room).

After the 2 ½ hour journey we are hungry and curious so go on an exploration. We find a cathedral, 

and some lovely food. And wine for €1. Really tasty wine. Its almost midnight by this time, so back to the hostel for some winks to catch our train the next day. 

Unfortunately for Ilon, she was in a room adjacent to a very horny, articulate, exclamatory couple who for TWO AND A HALF HOURS, played “doctors and nurses”

Up at the crack of dawn in search of breakfast, which happened to be in the cutest cafe that looked out onto the cathedral. So here’s a day picture.


And a scrummy breakfast.

Then off to the station to catch a train to San Sebastian, where the real parties are at.  

Ciao Burgos. 12 hours was enough. 



Sunbathing and Speed-reading

So last weekend was literally a weekend of absolute laziness. like gluttony but with doing nothing. 
I have fridays off, so i decided to sleep in and then go to the park.

Brandon Sanderson has released the second book of a series which I had on pre-order to my kindle and got on thursday. It was 1088 pages, and I am proud to say I absorbed/inhaled/devoured/decimated it with a ferocity that scared my flatmates, and even myself. There is something about fantasy as a genre that I just adore, its addictive, some say its escapism but who fucking cares. 

To lie in the park, on Friday, Saturday, and a litte of Sunday, sunbathing and reading an incredible novel was just the epitome of decadence. We had ice tea, beer and strawberries, portable speakers and pasta salad. And I of course, had my book. 

I think my flatmates finally saw the anti-social side of me (usually you cant shut me up). My conversation was made up of grunts and occasional nods, my replies clipped and short.

I’m sorry, but books beat people. Always!! yeah i said it.  and i’m not even an “introvert” or whatever. 

I wont even justify my statement, because if you disagree, you’ll never understand what i’m talking about. 
Anyway I did manage to converse a little in the evenings, when the sun had drained me and reading was too difficult for my heat frazzled brain. But i finished the little fucker. and loved. every. bloody. page. ugh. now two years until the next. 

 I did get a message from my dad last night saying "They just killed $%!"^*, Oh my word….Shit". I really wanted to reply saying “you know nothing john snow” but decided against it. I can’t wait til he finishes and we can gossip and speculate about it. over and out xx

Lost with Leeper

So it’s friday and my weekend has started (technically it began thursday at 2.30pm) wooo!! and the weather is hot! i’m talking no clouds, 21 degrees. 
If only it had been like this when katie matie was here last weekend. 

Speaking of, it was absolutely wonderful to see her, and the most relaxing weekend i’ve had in a while. She is one of those friends who i dont see/need to see often, but when we meet up its like word vomit x100. So much to say, stories and gossip to talk about, gasps of surprise at every turn, and of course, good food and wine.

So i picked her up from the airport, (after a slight confusion with the arrivals gate) and took her home to my flat for a bag drop. We’re already nattering away about this and that. She looks great though, especially dem eyebrows. 

We monged about for a bit, and then headed out for some lunch spanish style (2.30pm haha) and ended up eating Paella.  It wasnt the best i’ve had but was pretty darn tasty. 

During this dinner, we get into the reallllly deep stuff: “dating and guys”. Honestly, Katie’s life is novel worthy. Not to say mine isnt, but she does stuff us mere mortals wish we had the guts to do, but in the end are just too pussy lol. It is also hilarious, tales of terribly dull dates, that can never not be funny. We are also unrestrained in our language because you’re in a foreign city, and everyone in the restaurant seems spanish. SO as this major (NSFW) life update is going on, the couple sitting behind us get up and turn around. they’re old, LIKE 70-80 old. AND then turn to us and say " you’re really unique you know, actually having conversation instead of that texting rubbish." Supposedly they’d heard me mention Somerset and thats where theyre from so just wanted to say hi. 
Then they turn to leave and the old lady turns to Katie and says "don’t worry we didnt, hear a thing about the boy stuff". I literally went tomato colour. Katie had been telling a really ehem naughty story in quite a lot of detail and it was sooo funny/embarassing. FOR ME. i dont even know why the hell i was embarrassed. oh well. 

We took a scenic route home, past the Royal Palace and Plaza de Espana. And then went home to just chill. We were meant to be napping, which failed completely because we (me) couldnt stop chatting. about what you ask: well everything. It’s like when you havent eaten for ages and you almost inhale your dinner. But this was like a roast with the trimmings. IN the end I went to the bank and left Katie to nap, otherwise she would’ve been dead for our night out. 

We ordered sushi for dinner, and then hung out and got ready to parrtyyyy. Obviously when you have friends visiting, the club you want them to see is Kapital. 7-floor superclub with different music on every floor from latino, to top 40 to rnb. I for one really like it because it allows you to choose what you want to dance to, and mix up you’re night a bit. 

It was actually really fun, there was maybe 8 of us, and we danced the night away. People left in drip and drabs and me and katie stayed quite late 5ish?. When we finally left, we sort of turned in the wrong direction and ended up on the M4. Katie was the one with Maps, so i totally blame her. There was lots of hedge jumping and climbing, WE WERE ABSOLUTELY FUCKING LOST. and the signs were like “zaragoza” or “barcelona” umm no thanks. 

 but finally we got back into suburbia, found a cab and made it home. 

Saturday was again pretty chilled, the weather wasn’t that great. We did a little bit of shopping after nomming some bacon and egg baguettes. And then went into this vintage cafe that has the nicest tea i’ve had in spain! it’s really sweet looking and has comfy chairs. 

Back home and we watched ” Blackfish” which i HIGHLY RECOMMEND. it was bloody brilliant. A documentary about SeaWorld and how they hunt and catch Orca’s and cause psychosis in them meaning they attack the whale trainers. Very teary eyed at the end of it.

Dinner at Lateral. Yum. This nouveau tapas place which does delicious food. And then more late-night shopping. And chilling. And chatting. 

Sunday morning was quite sunny but still nippy, we decided to forgo breakfast for the roast dinner I was going to make for 1pm. Pork loin, on apple purée, with sautéed cabbage, roast potatoes and carrot, and red wine gravy. It was quite tasty actually. There wasn’t time for much except walk along gran vía, and then Katie had to leave. I feel bad because she didnt see THAT much of Madrid but she said she came to see me, and not the city. Awwwwwww :D.

I am literally obsessed with this burned velvet material omg. #bmburnedvelvetskaterskirt @blackmilkclothing #sosilkysmooth

Word Jumble

Time seems to be flying by, and I seem to have neglected my blog slightly. Its been 10 days since I got back… and life just seems to be a bit of a blur. It just fluctuates between uni and the weekend (partying and sushi), and everything in between is just perpetual fatigue. I just want to blow all my money on a one-way ticket to new zealand, but some have advised me against it. 

And there is a constant worry in the pit of my stomach about passing my exams (because who the hell wants to do retakes in late june?) I know all i have to do is pass, but that 50% line seems miles away. 

In other news my bmclothing arrived and although the customs fee was extortionate i CANNOT WAIT TO WEAR IT OMGOMG. probs tomorrow night!

And katie is flying in tomorrow for the weekend, which will just be so nice, especially as it’s coinciding with CARNAVAL2014 in Madrid. 


Lost Passports, Stolen Kisses

I feel like the title of this post is a pretentious album name. 

Annnnnnnnnywwayyy, i havent blogged properly in a while? Cant quite remember when ..oh 11 days to be precise (amazing what you can discover with the scroll function) 

Sooo..my ma is the funniest person i know, and that is unlikely to change in the near future unless i meet…i dunno mr bean. 

She lost her passport when she was meant to come and visit me, and then missed her flight…what a mare. (said passport turned out to be in the scanner part of our printer HAHAHA)

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BUT  she then bought me a flight for the next day to come and see her :). I am secretly (not so secretly) glad this happened, because I got to see her, Zik, Lola, my cat and my baby cousin all in one weekend. Not to mention go on a long country walk in the rain, 4 BLOODY HOURS, and endure a powercut from a storm. 

4 days so 4 sentences

Friday: So ma picked me up from Gatwick, we drove down to B-town to meet Lolski for lunch (thai, it was delish) then chilled and drove down to Somerset. 

Saturday: went to get the cats from the cattery (one pooed in their basket on the drive home, yes i wanted to throw her out of the window on the motorway),decided to go on a country walk, the highlight being beautiful views and rainbow, and rounded out the day with some shopping in taunton and chicken cacciatore for dinner. 

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Sunday: Up early, drove to Weybridge to see this chubby monster, ate lunch and then got the train to see Zik, which was just … Perfect. 

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Monday: Woke up sleepy and satisfied, lounged in bed all morning eating fruit and yoghurt, then zik took me to the station, said goodbye, got to Gatwick, ate sushi, flight, home, bed. 

Wahey I actually managed it, er grammar is a bit suspect but who cares.

Never seem to get any photos of zik, too busy i guess hehe. 

these are my new crush… i need a new pair of DM’s aswell… :’(

Muahahahaha additions to the collection!

all mine!  gutted about the zigzag pinafore though :’(  blackmilkclothing

Dilemma

I dont know what to spend my blackmilk voucher on…..theres so much I want. waaaaaaah. 

in other news… i wore a skater skirt on monday and spent the whole day preserving my dignity…IT WAS SO WINDY…note to self, always check the weather before getting dressed!