Monday, June 29, 2009

Random me

Since blog camp, I've been finding it a bit hard to blog. I think it's the realization that, as Polly said, there are, indeed, real people behind the blogs. People who will like what I write, or won't, who may understand or not, who are sometimes in a receptive good mood, or in a silly negative one. I know what you're thinking, this is silly, because, of course I kind of knew all this before. Maybe, but now it's real.

So, to ease me back into it, I'll start with some randomness about me, me, me! Ali tagged me on the 7 things meme, so I have to tell you 7 random things about myself. Here they are:

1. I don't cook. Like never. I really wished I could cook, I wished I found it relaxing, I wish I was patient enough to do properly. I love to entertain, I love to create a home wherever I am. But cooking is the one thing I won't do. I'd, basically, rather use my time for other things. Lucky for me, boyfriend cooks and enjoys it! He even makes his own bread!

2. I have a collection of mugs from most of the places I've been to and I buy a new one in every place I visit. I can't remember how this started but I now have a huge collection. Most of them are at my parents, waiting for me to get a house where they can live permanently.

3. I look much younger than I really am. Sometimes people still ask for my ID when I try to buy alcohol or get into a club! And I AM 30! Although, as people have been saying since I started complaining about it, this would be a good thing when I turn 40!

4. I'm also quite short. But I decided long time ago that this was "cute" and got over it.

5. I love eating bread on its own. As a child, I could eat a whole baguette before we sat down for lunch, and my Mum had to buy two every day.

6. I used to be able to read more than one book at once without getting confused... but no more. I have to stick to two maximum, and even that gets confusing at times.

7. I don't have a TV. I know most of you know this already, but RWP (Real World People) get so surprised when they learn this, that I thought I'd throw it in here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Corner view: Music, Oxford, UK

One of the things I really like about Oxford is how many shows are always going on. Theatre, comedy... and of course, music! Walking around the town last week, I noticed many posters for different music spectacles.

From reggae, always present in Cowley Road, the most multicultural part of Oxford (which doesn't really mean it's that multicultural):

To classical music in the Hollywell Music Room in the centre:  
With anything you can imagine in between: 
For more musical corner views around the world, visit Spain Daily.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blog Camp Bloggers

You've heard about Blog Camp, you've seen the previews, many of the preparations and some of the details in the Blog Camp blog, as well as first impressions in the camper's blogs here, here, here, here and here. Julie has already started posting a series on what happened, so I'm not going to do the same, unless I discover that we have completely different versions!
Blog Camp 1 was the first time that I'd met any fellow bloggers in real life and I jumped at the chance from the beginning. But then, I got nervous, first about what they would think of me, and then, just a little bit, about what they'd be like.
Bee had told me that, in her experience, bloggers tend to be like their blogging voice. This was true... and, at the same time, it wasn't. Having the person in front of you instantly changes your idea of them, or at least it did for me. Suddenly, they weren't only words and photos on a screen. They were people, with their personal gestures, voices and mannerisms. I very quickly adjusted, we all did, and commented on how we all sounded very much like our blogs but later we wondered: Do we really sound like our blogs? Or have we changed our preconceptions of each other in light of the real us?
Were there any surprises? Only good ones. Ours was a eclectic blogger group. Some have been blogging for a long time, while others have just started. Some will post every day and will touch lots of different topics, others will post when they feel they have something to share about a particular book or film. Some talk about life, others about hobbies, pets, or relationships. Some are positive and others are sarcastic. Blogging shows many sides of you, but rarely the whole picture... You choose certain topics to blog about, and we of course all go through phases where we have less time or less energy for blogging.
So, yes, we discovered that Extranjera was "actually quite pleasant" (her words) and could crochet and knit, and that Polly is a model in the making, and much more funny in real life. Who knew that Seaside Girl would actually like to marry a Danish man and that Kristina would come sans Vigdis? Julocka? Actually, no big surprises there, she really is like her blog!
I'm not saying that you can't get to know someone through their blogging, because you certainly can, and we did before Blog Camp and we'll continue to do so. But you see many other sides of someone face to face. Which is, of course, why there is a Blog Camp UK in the making, and a Blog Camp 2 in Denmark to come!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I only exist when I'm online or at Blog Camp

There were bloggers... they all were like their blogs... but even better!!! We did talk a lot about our blogging and real personalities. Are we like our blogs? More on this tomorrow...
Not the best photo, but I wrote: I only exist when I'm online or at Blog Camp on Julie's table. We all left our mark! Another one:

And, of course, the real reason why I wanted to go to Denmark:

If you want to know how the experiment went, we're taking questions over here. I'll tell you something, there is a blog camp UK in the making so... you guessed it! We loved it!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blog camp is real

The people behind the blogs

They are real. Julie's house is real (and amazing!). We are in Denmark, for real! And Blog Camp is REALLY hapenning. It still seems amazing that we are all here blogging together, twitting together, taking photos together. And soon, we'll be on video together. Do come and visit us at Blog Camp.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm officially 30!!!!

I'm officially 30!!!! I was born at 11.20 on a Sunday, 17th of June in 1979. If you follow me on Twitter, you'd know that birthday celebrations started on Saturday, with a fabulous party that boyfriend organized for me (as if I needed any more proof that he's the best boyfriend in the world!). Lots of people came, including some surprise visits from Spain. There was a BBQ, a masseur, cupcakes, chocolate fountains, good weather, and lots and lots of presents! I had a fantastic time, but I'm still recovering, so today will be spent lazying around, walking around the river in Oxford and if it doesn't rain, we'll have a nice picnic outside. I was organized enough to get the week off from work and am having a great staycation at home!

I'm expecting maturity to kick in any moment now. I'll be all grown up, I'll know what I'm doing with my life and I'll suddenly discover what I want and how to get it! That's how it works, right? RIGHT?

In the meantime, I'm worrying because I haven't finished the book for the Hermit Book Club yet, and I have to pack for Blog Camp! I'm incredibly excited!!!!!!!!! So I won't be here much until next week, but I'll be over at those blogs. Come and visit us there!

Friday, June 12, 2009

5 questions

Sussanah (of Unravelling and Ink on my fingers fame) invited us all to participate in this game. She sent me five questions that I'm answering below and I'll send five other questions to those that want them. Just leave me a comment if you want to play!

1. If you had to be stuck in a lift with someone, who would you choose?
I'd rather not be stuck in a lift at all, but if I really, really had to, I'd have to choose my boyfriend, he's great when I panic (and I would!) and of course, there is none I'd rather spend my time with, lift or not. Or maybe Keanu Reeves in his Speed incarnation, because he'd get us out of there in no time.

2. What's your favourite day of the week and why?
Definitely Saturday. I love the feeling of having whole two days to do what I want to do. Unless we're going somewhere, Saturday mornings are always a slow and lazy time in my house. It will more likely include breakfast in bed (yes, I have a great boyfriend), some Internet surfing, reading or film watching. Then, we'd go to town for lunch, to the park, or will have friends coming over to visit.

3. You have £100 you have to spend right now - what would you buy?
No problem, leave me in Borders for half an hour and the money will most definitely be gone. Although, because I want to belong at blog camp (7 days to go!!!!), I'd probably have to go and buy some chucks.

4. What's your superpower?
I can pretend I'm listening to my colleagues when I'm in a meeting while planning my next post here at the same time.

5. What compels you to keep a blog?
I started my blog as a way of creating a writing routine and an outlet where I could post all kind of things and be as random as I want. This is still one of the best things about having a blog. But what really makes me continue writing is you, the people I've met through this blog. You live in the UK, Denmark, US, Canada, Japan, or South Africa and yet, I can connect with you almost everyday. You do different jobs and are of different ages, and still we can always find something to talk about. I've met wonderful people and fantastic blogs online and I'm going to meet some of those people for real in only a week! We've started a book club that got me reading interesting books that I may not have picked up otherwise, I can see different corners of the world every wednesday... Do you need more reasons?

So, do you want five questions?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Simple things, happy things

Yesterday, I spoke about small details and today, it's all about the simple things that make us happy. Christina, over at Soul Aperture, invited us all to make a list.

This is my simple list of things that make me happy:

  • An entire afternoon spent browsing a bookshop
  • Having a whole day to do nothing but read a book
  • Reading other people's blogs and thinking: "That's exactly how I feel!"
  • Coffee in the morning
  • A hug and a kiss from my boyfriend, that's when I love him the most
  • Slow Saturday mornings
  • Sunny weekends when I can go out and play
  • Rainy weekends when I can stay in and read or make things
  • My new camera and the photos I'm taking with it
  • The excitement of starting a new project

What would you put in your list?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Small details

We're back from the lovely Cotswolds town of Woodstock, not to be confused with Californian Woodstock, this one is not as hippy. We've spent a relaxing two days celebrating the boyfriend's birthday. He's turning 29 so of course, doesn't get my whole "I"m turning 30" crisis. He's still in his twenties after all. And, yes, my own birthday is in a week and a half, so we're both Geminis, plenty of drama and multiple personalities in this relationship!

While there, we had plenty of fun with our new camera, which we are carrying EVERYWHERE with us at the moment. Last week, in an attempt to overcome the frustrated state I was in, I gathered some friends from work who are also interested in photography. We're going to choose a topic every month and go on a lunch expedition taking photos. This month, the topic is small details and, while on Woodstock, we were trying to focus on these small details too. These are some of my favourite:

My new favourite shoes. They are yellow! This is my new profile photo, have you noticed?

Wreck this journal

I haven't been feeling great lately. I feel rundown, always tired, and very, very unproductive. I can't seem to finish anything, or, in some cases, start anything. I'm full of ideas though, and this makes the whole thing more frustrating. There is so much I want to do, all these ideas are dancing around in my head, but I can't seem to grasp them for long enough to do anything about them. I'm frantically making lists, writing sentences, phrases or single words in my journals, but I can't even sit down for long enough for a proper journaling session.

Maybe it's inspiration overload, maybe it's all part of the process and my brain is trying to absorb all these ideas, maybe it's pure laziness.

Whatever the case it seems fitting that we're starting the Wreck this journal bookclub today (Yep, another book club blog, I don't have a life outside the blogospehere). It's scary, even paralyzing, but I think it's probably what I need. This book is way out of my comfort zone. This is a journal with instructions such as:

*Ask a friend to do something destructive to this page (Oh! The control freak in me won't be able to cope!)

*Climb high, drop the journal (Drop? And what do you mean high? How high?)

*Rip it up! (But I was told to take care of books!)

*Spill your coffee here (My coffee? I need to drink my coffee, every single drop!)

*Burn this page (What???)

*This page is for tongue painting (Gross!)

*Tear this page out, put it in your pocket, put it through the wash, stick it back in (OK, no)

If doing things like these doesn't unlock my brain, nothing will. So wish me luck!

Oh, and if you want to join us, go here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Corner View: The beach, Oxford, UK

Time for another Corner View! The topic for this week is "The beach". Unfortunately, Oxford doesn't have one, but we do have lovely parks where people behave as if they were on a beach. Examples:

The first time I saw a scene like this, way back when I first moved here, I had a bit of a culture shock. I come from Spain, a country where summer is always sunny and hot (and that's how it should be!). We have more than three months of guaranteed good weather and so we tend to shy from it a little bit. In fact, unless you're actually on a beach or a swimming pool, you avoid the heat as much as you can, staying indoors until at least 8pm, when you can enjoy a nice temperature.
British summer, on the other hand is not to be taken for granted. It's never, ever guaranteed. It can be sunny today and rainy tomorrow. In fact, it can be sunny now, and rainy in an hour, so here, people make the most of it. At the first sign of sun, we take over gardens, parks, streets ... everywhere is a beach!

Don't get me wrong, I understand and in fact, now share this behaviour... I just wasn't brought up that way.

Corner View is hosted by Spain Daily, and you can visit more beaches at the these other corner views around the blogosphere:

caitlin, joyce, ani, kim, a day that is dessert, natsumi, epe, kaylovesvintage, trinsch,c.t.,jeannette, outi, schanett, ritva, dongdong, francesca, state of bliss, jennifer, dana, denise,cabrizette, bohemia girl, dianna, isabelle, amber, a girl in the yellow shoes, mister e, janis, kari,jgy, jenna, skymring, elizabeth, audrey, allison, lise, cate, mon, victoria, crescent moon, erin,otli, ida, caroline, lisa, dorte, kimmie, la lune dans le ciel, nicola, malo, vanessa, britta, virgina,april, rebecca, b, sunnymama, kyndale, samantha, karen, kristina, angelina, dorit, goldensunfamily, sophie, janet, nicki, ruth, mcgillicutty, desiree, di, travelingmama, aimee