Quintessentially English Novels

I love the word quintessentially. It sounds like such an English word itself, so when used to describe something very much English I feel like dressing in tweed and plaid, and having a cup of afternoon tea. (Have actually just polished off a cup of Earl Grey. Oh and I’ve discovered Tetley tea in my local Spanish supermarket. EXCITING TIMES). I also wouldn’t mind a scone…

Anyways before I start daydreaming about all the British foods I’ve been missing, I feel like my blog posts recently have mainly been all about Burgos. Which isn’t bad. But I also like writing posts where I simply tell people “Go read this book!” So you’re in luck. This post is of a handful of books that I feel sum up England pretty damn well, and reading them is like experiencing the mild weather, the people, and the cities and countryside as though these authors have managed to breathe England onto paper.

 

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The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

I feel like any of his novels that are set in England give off a beautiful English mood and tone, but this one shines. Told by an elderly butler in a post-war England, it explores with both nostalgia and optimism the changing identity of England from aristocracy to more socialist ideals. The narrator travels across the country, and Ishiguro’s depiction of characters and landscape captures what it means to be English in the beautiful poetic language I adore from this author.

 

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Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

Hardy seemingly wrote this novel with a determination to portray the Wessex farming countryside he knew and adored so much. And it shows, as the language he uses to describe the countryside evokes romantic sensations and appreciation of what is all around us, that you may want to go outside and feel the rain fall on you, or like Gabriel Oak be able to look at the sky and know what time it is. Or perhaps milk a cow, whatever floats your boat. Either way, this novel admires an agricultural way of life so deeply integrated into English identity.

 

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One Day – David Nicholls

Moving away from the countryside and into English city life: this novel is a sweet but honest portrayal of aspirations regarding love, careers and life meeting reality, and sometimes painfully meeting. I could relate with the character Emma, not only because she is from Leeds, but because her self pride combined with self doubt made her completely believable. And her worry that London had swallowed her up, well, anybody can find the capital overwhelming at times. A modern novel of modern English people, and not a novel to be left forgotten on bookshelves.

 

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Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

Another novel depicting modern life (or, modern life in London in the 90s), and so brilliantly funny it makes you proud of the British wit. This shows what being a Londoner really is: not Made in Chelsea, or being able to afford to get on the property ladder, but living being in a pokey flat with nothing but a hangover and cheese in your fridge. I exaggerate, but whereas some novels boast characters of good fortune, manners and usually quite glamorous lives – Fielding reminds us what it means, and what it’s like, to be human. In other words, suspicious of being a disappointment to your mother.

 

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Union Street – Pat Barker

Perhaps the most unheard of from this list to finish things off (because why not be hipster and all “oh it’s a great novel, but you probably haven’t heard of it”). I studied this novel at university for a module in modern realist literature, which consisted mostly of gritty, working class northerners. In other words I loved it. This novel depicts the lives of women of all ages living on one working class street in the North East of England. Worlds away from the poetic beauty of The Remains of the Day and Far From the Madding Crowd, but still the same country that is shaped by many identities. This novel characterises the many hardships faced by the working classes, and by women of England – revealing the country not just to be one of countryside, tea and royalty, but also of problems including social and economic inequality. Yet found within this bleak outlook is the appreciation of simple things, and most importantly – community.

 

So, do you agree? Any other deeply English novels to recommend, or better yet, what novels do you feel depict other countries with beautiful accuracy? It’s an economic and interesting way to learn about other cultures through literature!

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10 Pains of Being a Girl

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Starbucks…hugs…twerking…the worshipping of Ryan Gosling. Whatever comes to mind when you think of girls, we’re all quite different from one another. But there are a few things that unite us all. Annoying things. Things that make us tell ourselves that we deserve that drink/chocolate/item on sale/sleeping in til noon. Because we really do.

Hair Everywhere

I don’t know how it happens, but wherever I look I find strands of long, brown hairs. On the floor, in my food, all over my clothes. And after a shower I wonder if I can’t surely have a bald patch somewhere. And then I panic that all my hair is falling out and I am destined to a life of wigs and I look for said imaginary bald patch, of course to find none.

Losing Hair Slides Everywhere

I usually lose them in my hair. Don’t ask me how, but there’s a reason my friends called me Medusa in high school. Otherwise they get lost in toiletry bags, in other people’s houses etc. We depend on them though, and spend probably more than a justifiable amount on replacing them.

THAT Time of Month

Which according to EU law is a time of luxury. Ha. Sure. Personally I love the pain that makes me want to curl up into a sad little ball and/or tear out my uterus by hand. It is like a luxury spa retreat, really. Also it’s largely taboo to even talk about something that is common among half the world’s population. We have to be ashamed of our reproductive organs functioning as they should.

Pressure to be Girly

Have I ever attempted contouring? Of course not. I only apply foundation for nights out or fancy events. I’ve never watched a make up or hair tutorial. My make up bag is minuscule. You never see me in heels. And is there something wrong with me, or any other girl who isn’t a stereotypical girl? I like to think not, let’s just be comfortable in our own skin.

Judged for being “frigid” or “slutty”, there is no in between

Since the sexual revolution women don’t have to pretend to be “pure” anymore. Because if they are, they are what society now deems as weird. Unless you’re too comfortable in your sexual freedom in which you should really learn to cross your legs, dear. It feels like we can’t win. You can’t make everyone happy with your life choices, so you might as well just focus on what makes you happy. But y’know, be safe of course.

We judge each other, constantly

We are our own worse enemies. There’s a truth acknowledged that women don’t dress for men, they dress for each other. Yep, hence why some fashions repulse men but are worshiped by women. We know men don’t really notice tiny details, but we know for sure that other women do. And we’ll be damned if we feel second place to others. It’s a sad, bitchy world out there.

Feel guilty for wanting to be single, feel guilty for wanting to be settled

The fear of being asked by others, usually family members, of how’s our love life was brilliantly satirised by Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. Does being in a relationship mean you’re more successful than your single friends? No. On the other hand, it is seen as anti-feminist for wanting to be settled with a house and kids and a dog and your own home grown herbs. No, feminism is about choice, and your relationship status is entirely a personal choice.

The wonder that deep down we might actually be crazy

The constant memes on the internet that suggest that your girl might chop your head and your manhood off if she sees you texting another girl…. probably won’t happen, but it’s true that jealousy can infect anyone easily, and then paranoia kicks in. And sometimes we might doubt our own sanity. Well in the words of Lewis Carroll: “We’re all mad here”.

Feeling like the world is against you

All the statistics about men earning more and having the top jobs, and the cultures in which women are treated like second class citizens can make you feel like life for women is a marathon that you know you’re going to lose before you even begin. And although nobody chooses their gender, inequality is deeply cemented into society, history, and sadly the future.

Selfies

You can pretend all you want that it was just a casual snap, we all know you took time trying to find the best light/angle/filter. Nothing like the carefully curated world of social media to make us compare ourselves to friends, celebrities and strangers, right? I love that by taking a selfie the person feels good and they deserve to show off, but at the same time it just makes our self esteem completely dependable on how many likes we get.

Still, I love being a girl. We’re pretty fabulous, even when we’ve drunk a little too much and perhaps are crying over a slightly sentimental advert (if it has a cute dog in it I’m sold. Every time). And I doubt it’s a walk in the park being male either.

Pueblos de Burgos

Fun trivia fact: apparently the surrounding area of Burgos has one of the highest amounts of villages in Spain.

So when I was invited to go along with some of the fellow teachers from the school I work at to walk around some local villages and then eat a local bean dish, of course I said yes. An opportunity to explore a part of Spain perhaps less available to tourists, and to get to know my colleagues outside of the classroom couldn’t go ignored. If I was a decent travel blogger I would have taken note of the village names (one was San Miguel…something or other. Only remembered due to resemblance to name of a beer).

When I say an area lesser known to tourists, I’m completely ignoring the fact that Burgos is part of the Camino de Santiago, and so the places we visited are on the route. But as they are tiny villages they are hardly thought of by those who head to Madrid, Barcelona or Benidorm!

I had a few opportunities to live and teach in a small village in Spain. Although it would be a truly authentic Spanish experience, and my Spanish speaking would come along in leaps and bounds I am glad I am living in a city! These villages are incredibly pretty but definitely suited for day trips!

There was a definite church theme for our visit. I love visiting churches in countries like Spain and Italy: even the smallest of churches are beautifully decorated. Although I’m not religious I can appreciate the serene atmosphere found in places of worship – even if I am scared to make any noises when visiting!

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The baptismal font pictured is a medieval artifact, from the 13th century I think! It’s carvings represent the Kingdom of Heaven that will be shown on Judgement Day. The statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus mark the point in the church where the beauty can begin – behind the statue the rooms are apparently bare.

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Next we visited a museum that holds information about the local forge and mill – two major forms of economy for the area throughout history. It also had access to where the local priest used to live, and many farming tools!

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(Where they used to wash their clothes!)

We then visited the mill which was demonstrated to us how it works. Of course throughout the day all talks in Spanish completely went over my head but my fellow English speaking teachers did their best to translate for me!

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After we moved on to a section of the Camino de Santiago. We went up part of the walk to a small church built into the rock! It was incredible to see, and the views were beautiful too. I am so used to seeing Spanish landscape as brown and dry, but here there were green fields and it reminded me a little of England.

Anyways back to the church… The one we visited was built for men, there was another for women but it is now inaccessible. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the church but I assure you it was dainty and beautiful! That’s what is impressive about Spanish churches – no matter how small or frequently visited, their altars are always spectacular pieces of work. Some of the teachers who come from small villages told me their churches altars were the same. They certainly take pride in Catholicism!

Afterwards we went to a hostel that hosts the pilgrims of the walk. It was cosy but modest, and also had a small chapel that we gathered in for a short prayer session (slightly awkward for the non Spanish speaking non believer, but although I hate religious believers forcing their beliefs on others I also hate atheists showing disrespect to the peaceful practice of religion). They also played what sounded to me like Spanish country music, which was slightly bizarre to hear.

 

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Thankfully it was then time to eat – and I was starving! I was told we would be having a local dish that was a type of bean stew. When I was served a plate it reminded me instantly of feijoada – a Brazilian dish that consists of beans and pig meat (depending on the cook this could be anything from normal pork to pig ears!). It was essentially the same – beans with pork, and a chorizo. However although I am not a fan of feijoada because I think Brazilians add far too much salt to the dish (and make it taste of nothing but salt – grim!), I really liked this because it had a lot less salt and I could taste the different flavours. Sadly I took no photos of the food because I couldn’t wait to tuck in, and I’m a firm believer that food should be eaten and enjoyed rather than being photographed. We enjoyed it with appetizers, salad, wine, bread, morcilla (a local black pudding), dessert, coffee and a local digestif that tasted a little like fruity sambuca. Wasn’t quite sure about it… But the rest was delicious, and that combined with the tour and a morning coffee amounted to a very reasonable price. The Spanish certainly do food well!

 

So yes, quite a jam packed day and resulting blog post! Muchos gracias if you took the time to read all this! I’m quite liking the new picture layout options, quite fun to jazz it up a bit!

 

The Sunshine Bloggers Award

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Muchas gracias to Vivid Narrator for this blog award! Go give her blog a read!

 

The rules for the award-
Thank the person who nominated you.
Answer the questions from your nominators.
Nominate eleven other bloggers and give them eleven questions.

 

What was one prime reason for starting your blog?

I wanted to improve my writing skills, and experiment with different ways of writing blog posts. With my own blog I have more control than if I just submitted things to online magazines, or my old university’s media outlets. Writing has always been a hobby!

Your favorite food?

Oo. When I was a child it was sausages. Nowadays I’m not sure. Maybe potatoes…? There are many different ways to cook them. And I am a total carb lover. Toast too, toast is always good.

Is there any book/ film/ TV show that changed your perspective towards life?

I love a book that when you finish you can just breathe “wow…” to yourself! I think maybe The Phantom of the Opera helped me to step away from (secretly) loving cliches. I love the musical (and even the film adaption), but it turns the Phantom into a romantic Byronic hero. Whereas in the original novel he’s abhorrent. Plus Christine is silly, and Raul is plain wet. And yet it is still a tragic story. I can treasure the novel even though it doesn’t play to our human desires for likable main characters. You see beyond that and understand their flaws on a deeper level. I was 15 years old when I first read the novel, expecting a Hollywoodesque story line and instead I matured as a reader and lover of literature (which is arguably my life).

Your favorite travel destination?

Tough one. One I’ve visited in the past? Well within the UK I would love to return to my lovely London again, or to see Whitby in all its gothic seaside majesty. I am super keen to travel around Italy again – it has history, scenery, the people and of course the food. I am also hoping to visit Chicago and Prague again, I loved those (very different) cities!

One Hollywood star who you think needs a serious style check?

God, who even are they these days? I’ve lost track… Lady Gaga has calmed down hasn’t she? Maybe Miley Cyrus…? She just annoys me with her desperate bids to appear ‘rebellious’. Also includes her clothes.

Blogging or shopping? what do you enjoy more?

Blogging! I hate shopping, I can only stand it for a short while before I want to hide away from shops forever. Plus I’m a total cheapskate with money, which puts a dampener on shopping.

Subject you hated in school?

I could never learn to enjoy physics. Biology and chemistry I was okay with, but physics confused me a lot.

One phone app that you cant live without?

Probably Instagram, if I can use Facebook on the computer. I never thought I would enjoy Instagram, I thought it was horribly fake, but here I am now using it and I love it.

Favorite day of the week?

Friiiidaaaaay! Everyone always seems to be in a good mood on Fridays. And Saturdays, because it feels like I can do anything I want on Saturdays.

Social networking site on which you are most active?

Hm… I go on Facebook a lot but I rarely post or comment, sometimes I like things. I’ve been tweeting more often than I used to. I’m one of those people who takes a back seat on social media, but I’m still there.

One change you think you can bring to the world or people around you?

I think I can often offer a bit of perspective…? I guess I’m a very laid back person, at least compared to others. I tend to view things with a step back, rather than being caught in the middle. So when everyone around me are losing their heads I can sit them down, calm them, and help them realise that things aren’t as catastrophic as they think. And I think the world needs less drama queens blowing things out of proportion!

 

In turn I nominate…..

  1. Tapas and Travels
  2. Como Perderse En Espana
  3. Sophia’s Ramblings
  4. What Would Sophie Do
  5. Sarah’s Bookshelf
  6. Adventure Cass
  7. Sadies Been There
  8. That Samantha Girl
  9. Been There, Seen That, Got the Postcard
  10. Globe Trotting
  11. Wanderlust: Becoming a Traveler

 

My questions:

  1. Would you rather explore the depths of the ocean or space?
  2. What is your favourite aspect of blogging?
  3. Where is your next travel destination?
  4. What quote inspires you a lot?
  5. What was the last thing you ate?
  6. Is there somebody you miss right now?
  7. What object do you own that has a lot of sentimental value for you?
  8. What is a personal style essential of yours?
  9. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
  10. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  11. What’s your opinion of hipsters?

Autumnal Burgos

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Following up from landmarks of Burgos, what captured me on the day I was taking photos was the autumnal vibe the city was giving. With so many trees shedding their leaves it was hard not to feel autumny, and a very different experience to the U.K’s perception of autumn with pumpkin spiced lattes (which I have to say I’m underwhelmed by), soggy leaves and muddy paths!

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Instead the air felt crisp and fresh, and the days when the sun is still shining feel amazing to soak up the city.

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There are a few statues depicting beheadings…

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Although my favourite season is summer, autumn still has a magical feeling as it is filled with the warm colours of red, orange and gold, and the anticipation of Christmas begins!

Burgos Landmarks

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The other day I walked all over the city centre with my camera, having fun as a shameless tourist. I took loads of photos, and so I decided that rather than one long post and expecting you lovely readers to sit patiently for all the photos to load, I would instead divide them into two differently themed posts.

So this one is very touristy in that it is of Burgos landmarks! There are many more to see and visit, so here are just a sample.

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First up we have two in one: The Arco de Santa Maria in the foreground with the cathedral behind.

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Further along the rive we have one of my favourite viewpoints of the city. Along a bridge with imposing figures, the foliage and again the cathedral in the background makes a very picturesque scene. I previously photographed this scene at sunset.

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Crossing the bridge takes you to the Plaza Mio Cid, and the Estatua Del Cid depicts El Cid: an important local, historical, military figure. At the Plaza is also the Teatro Pricipal, and where many people catch their buses.

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Here are a couple of street photos. The waiter above at first I couldn’t tell if he was real or not! If you threw money into his bucket he would change to a different position. Staying so still in that position looked impossible!

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The amazing cathedral! Every time I see it I cannot help but admire it, and I swear it becomes more beautiful with each glance.

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In a small plaza to the side of the cathedral is a fountain that was fun to snap at different angles.

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Behind the cathedral and up quite a lot of steps leads to the castillo, which I am yet to visit. However there is also a viewing point that allows you to observe all of the city from above.

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This is the Plaza Mayor with shops, cafes, restaurants, and where many people meet their friends and family. In the evening it can become very lively!

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And finally I returned to the Arco de Santa Maria to take some close up shots. The impressive design is great to examine in details.

I’m hoping people are feeling curious to visit beautiful Burgos!

Photography Tips 101

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Not that I can consider myself much of an expert. Just the other day I was out with my camera and a couple with a fellow Nikon asked me to take their photo. Obviously assuming I would take a decent photo. Nope, it was too shadowy and I wanted to explain that I am still a novice. Always experimenting, always learning.

But that’s the beauty of any hobby or art form- it’s always a learning curve. And below are a few tips for fellow amateurs who are keen to improve their photography.

Know Your Camera

Read up on the manual, learn what all the buttons mean, understand its functions and how it behaves. DSLRs in particular can be confusing, and take time to understand, but it’s worth it to dedicate the time to learning and becoming the master. Because once the camera is your oyster, the whole world is your oyster.

Read Up on Photography

There are loads of magazines, online blogs and articles readily available to provide you with insight into photography: from the technical details to the composition of photographs. I underwent a photography course and it was worth it, because I finally understand manual mode! Examine other photographers in the fields of photography you are interested in, to see their style and what inspires them. Once you have bigger background knowledge you become more aware of your own goals in photography.

Walk Around Slowly

Get your inner flaneur on. Even if you’re heading to a particular destination you know is full of photo opportunities, still take the time to observe all your surroundings. For example if you’re in a new city, take your time in the small streets. Often these better represent the city then its most famous landmarks. I’m a bit of a lone wolf at times, but I find it helps to explore a place with my camera on my own. When I am with others, even if they are interested in taking photos, they still have different interests to yourself and you may feel pressured to move on from a scene before you’re ready.

Take Everything In

Before you take a shot, observe everything that is within your viewfinder and beyond. You might find you’re not noticing a small detail that will blemish your photograph. Be aware of around the edges, every person that might enter the frame, and even a solitary bird crossing the sky. Try to pause before you take the shot.

Be Patient

Sometimes there may be a person or vehicle in the way, and you have to wait before they move. Or a change in the light might work wonders. Waiting can be the key to a perfect photo, rather than hurrying along to the next scene.

Restrict Your Shots

All professionals recommend you to not snap away completely at liberty, in the hope that one or two photos might turn out well. Instead they recommend you carefully construct your shot, and plan what a single photo will entail. Hence why many love instant photography – the limits that film provide ensure that the photographer is careful about their work. Personally with my DSLR I aim between 1 and three shots of the same thing. Sometimes the first shot allows me to see what I need to correct, but I always consider carefully what is going to be captured.

Consider All Angles and Viewpoints

Don’t just go for the obvious. Maybe a slight change in angle or viewpoint will be what makes your photo interesting, and makes it have something to say. Especially for famous locations, which everyone has seen photos of before. Be creative!

Revisit Places

Apparently morning or before sunset are prime times of the day for photography. So maybe revisiting a place at a different time will mean the elements work in your favour, or sunset will create polar opposite mood to a photo of the same place in the afternoon. Or in different weather, because not all photos have to be about sunny days. Or sometimes, you know what you would do differently for a photo, and so re shooting the scene will make significant improvements.

Be Self Critical

I find it can be so hard to judge your own work: one day a photo might impress you and you marvel at your own photography skills, the next day you see nothing but flaws. But if you start to become more aware of common mistakes you commit, you become more aware of how to avoid them.

Practice

It’s what teachers and professionals always say: practice makes perfect! There is no better way to develop a skill, and if its something you enjoy then it’s not really much of a chore to practice. Have your camera on you as much as possible, as you ever know when an opportunity might arise!

Can Cultures Benefit One Another?

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I have just stumbled upon this quote, and I think it’s quite brilliant. Languages are deeply ingrained into each country’s culture – and even though no two countries that speak the same language have the same culture, it is an excellent platform for gaining deeper insight into a culture. And when you have looked and and experienced a foreign culture, you begin to see your own through a foreigner’s eyes too. All in all: it creates a greater sense of empathy.

My own personal experience is fairly limited: my Spanish is poor and I’ve only been working as a language teacher for a month. Whereas this combined with my experience of travelling and immersing myself into other cultures has helped me look beyond my habitual British mannerisms and to understand and begin to empathise with cultures not too dissimilar, plus those alien to my own.

There’s no point denying all cultures have their good and bad points. Take the British culture for example: we’re very polite and sometimes this is good – when I’ve experienced Latino bluntness I’ve sometimes felt the need to explain what was just said is very insulting. Yet us British folk are too scared of hurting feelings, and so we (nearly) always think before we speak. However at times the politeness can be frustrating. I find British people are perhaps too indecisive, for fear of coming across as too bossy. And I know that I for one am an incredibly shy person, and in the classes I teach in Spain I can see all the students are not afraid to speak out, answer questions etc. Whereas looking back at my own school experience I can see how much more reserved some British school children are, and perhaps this hinders their confidence from developing and growing. The teachers I work with in Spain however disagree: they think British school children are much more well behaved!

I think Spain has a bad reputation for being rude. At times I can see this of course, but it comes from their language and their more direct way of speaking. It is not intentional, far from it because the Spanish are incredibly kind and will happily go out of their way to help you. They are very warm and affectionate with their body language and the way they speak to one another e.g. calling each other ‘cariño’, which means ‘darling’. In Britain you might get called ‘love’, ‘pet’, or ‘duck’, depending on your location, but in some places affectionate nicknames are reserved only for friends and family. And unlike Spain, in Britain people will rarely touch your arm when speaking to you. And god forbid you try to kiss both cheeks in greeting!

To me the British culture is a characterisation of a culture in which the people are reserved, whereas the Spanish culture represents the more open Latino cultures as a whole. And I think a happy balance between the two could make a person wonderful. So I’m going to try 😉 I’m hoping this year will help me come out of my shell more (but not too much because I am not one for the limelight). I’ve never been one to give away hugs freely, but who knows maybe soon I’ll be all over friends and people I’ve just met (in a respectable way of course).

And it’s not just about living in another country forever or for a while. If you’re lucky enough to make friends who come from all over the world their culture will rub off on you and yours will rub off on them. And I think being able to sympathise with other cultures, and realising how your own culture appears to others can help people in becoming more empathetic and understanding, but also kinder and more open minded. I have spent time with people from other countries, whose automatic response to “how are you?” is to complain how tired they and and how much they’ve been working recently. A lot, and all the time. And I, being the lovely person that I am, think to myself “oh boohoo, you work hard like every other person on the planet” or wonder to myself if they actually wanted to socialise, or whether they’d rather be having a nap. But being British I refrain from saying those things out loud. (Also fyi, sarcasm like my first response is largely understood by British people, less so by others I find). But I know that whereas Britain has a culture where we take pride in enjoying ourselves (hence the constant uploads of photos of food to social media), other countries don’t have this culture and instead take pride in spending all their waking hours studying/working to provide for their family. So rather than thinking that the person is rude or boring, it helps to know that there are different customary ways of answering to “how are you”. (British people will say “fine, thanks” even if their house has been burnt down, their dog has been kidnapped and The Great British Bake Off has been cancelled).

So, can cultures benefit one another? Well, to some up this entire post: yes. Cultures, like people, do not come without flaws that differ from one to another. And by experiencing another culture it opens your eyes to these imperfections, and you may treasure them as part of your quirky culture, or you may think that another culture has a better way of handling things. Through experience we learn and our personalities grow. And this is achieved by taking pride in ourselves, and having admiration for others.

Sunset

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This was taken on my first day using RAW format on my camera, and I experimented with Photoshop for the first time ever too. I’ve just started a free trial of Photoshop – I figured it could really help with advancing my photography and making things look glossy and almost professional. But at the same time can I be bothered paying a subscription for a hobby? The most basic subscription is very affordable but I’m also very tight with money. Thank god for free trials.

I must say all the technology behind digital photography makes me appreciate even more the simplicity of Polaroid photography. It didn’t help that my first attempt downloading Photoshop made my laptop run super slow, and all the editing tools on Photoshop I’m sure are awesome but I hate trying to master all the little things. I’m a very old soul when it comes to technology…or just unwilling to learn.

I don’t know if anyone has any constructive criticism? I’m cautious about editing, for example on Instagram when you don’t want it to be obvious you’ve edited and added a filter (and I’m convinced when I see people’s selfies with #nofilter that it is all LIES). Anyways… yes, it’s hard to judge your own work!