Hastings

Yesterday I took a train from London, heading up to Hastings, to meet the always lovely Grace Latter.
I haven’t seen her since February (when she took me to a pretty book shop in Islington and recommended a bunch of books) and a lot has been happening since then.
This time she got to show me around her local town Hastings, which reminds me a lot of Brighton, and I adored it. So many cute cafés, cool houses, and plenty of sea. I love that there’s loads of vegan and vegetarian places to choose from and Grace, with her contagious smile, happily greeted everyone as we walked through the town.

Grace met me up by the station before taking me to a corner and a cute café, where we had lunch, yum. We then continued down to the beach, walked and talked, and I took my camera out. I’m so happy I brought it. We went to the old town, I took more pictures, and we finished the day with a drink at The Crown, a lovely little pub that smelled of pancakes and jam.

I love the occasional trip outside of London. Places like Hastings, Brighton, Edinburgh, and Cornwall release another kind of creativity than in London and I instantly want to write, or read. It is very peaceful, and I’m looking forward to more trips to the coast.

Thank you Grace for having me! edit1
It was a misty day, and we could barely see the mighty water surrounding this island we live on. But we saw a lot of seagulls.

edit3Grace, shining brighter than the sun.

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Cute streets in Hasting Old Town. I loved it there.

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Thingz.

edit9The Crown at Crown Lane.

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Beautiful Grace.

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“Let’s have chips before we go”

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Oh yes. They are better by the sea.

Books to read.

I’ve been sitting in front of this screen several times today saying Blog god damnit blog! But I have had a hard time getting started. I have a few topics to write about, but I feel like I need time to plan them properly and write them well. So for now, I’ll write about what I’m about to start reading!

Like I’ve mentioned before, I need to get better at reading. I keep buying books, but I haven’t had the time or the energy (to be honest I’ve only been watching rubbish Swedish reality shows) during my last months of studying. Now, I have to get started and, more importantly, I want to.

I am currently reading my beautiful lecturer Leone Ross’s short story collection Come Let Us Sing Anyway, which is awesome. It is interesting, provoking and sexy. Loving it.

Other books I have waiting for me:
How To Stop Time by Matt Haig – I bought this today after reading some good comments on it, and after reading a little I knew this is a book I can disappear into.

Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins – Nope, I haven’t read it yet, and actually just go it today. I love reading books from London, so I’m excited about it.

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood – I have it on my kindle but haven’t started reading it yet. My wonderful Saskia says it great so I’m looking forward to reading it.

Girl Up by Laura Bates – Laura wrote the oh so great Everyday Feminism which I read, related to and go infuriated by. It also made Dennis fume with anger and he could not believe the stuff women go through everyday. So I bet this one is equally good.

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – A YA book that Grace Latter recommended. I want to read more YA books because I want to write one some day, so I’d say this is the only way to start; to read more of them.

Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoy – I got it for Christmas, but in Swedish. It might be good to start reading Tolstoy in my native tongue though? And then I can work my way to English and finally Russian. One day.

I will also try to start writing reviews or reflections of what I am reading. I haven’t done that since I was like 14 so it will be a good exercise for my slow and tired brain.

And if you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments. I read most genres.

 

5 Things About Me.

I was thinking that I should do a little “get to know me” post. 5 things about me? I’ll give it a go, let me know if you like it.

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  1. I have always wanted to become a sport journalist. My family loves sport and it is a big part of our lives. My grandfather was an athlete, my dad has played football since he was little, and my mum used to work at a football club. We are the kind of family that sits, watching high jump, and clap along with the audience on site. This, and my love of writing, has lead me into this dream of becoming a sport journalist. Ideally, I’d write about football, but I have started to  more and more sports as the years have passed.
  2. I read way too little. I love reading, and getting hooked in a book is the biggest treat. When that happens, I don’t let it out of my hand. Unfortunately, the times I find myself hooked are rare and I miss being addicted to a story. I think the reason I read less frequently is the stress of university and the ticking bomb that is social media. I find it so easy to disappear into my phone that I forget about what I actually should be doing. I need the amazing Grace Latter to teach me how to read and do it effectively. However, now when I have finished uni I will find more time to read, and my reading list is long and lovely.
  3. I used to be a social butterfly. I really love people. I do. I love meeting new people, learn about different cultures, listen to peoples stories, and making people laugh. My main mission in London used to be ‘make as many people as happy as possible’. But I kind of forgot to make myself happy on the way.
    I used to attend every event, meet up with everyone sort of close to me, and I tried to maintain every relationship I ever made. With this mission came anxiety and I felt like I had to deliver; be the happy and funny one, all the time. In the end, I fell apart, and I got very ill.
    Now, I try to focus on my own mental health, and I try to not feel like I have to please everyone. I hate it sometimes. I feel like I’m missing out and I have had so much fun being out there, but I have learnt that I can’t keep that up if I want to stay sane.
  4. I’m a vegetarian. I must say I’m a shitty one though. I still eat fish, and I find it hard to turn down a meal that contains meat when I’m invited for dinner. Although, most cooking I do at home is plant based and I have tricked Dennis into enjoying dinners that are fully vegetarian or vegan. This world need to eat less meat and I’m encouraging anyone who are trying to reduce their meat intake. I have some great cookbooks that I can recommend!
  5. I have never been outside of Europe. I can’t wait to explore the world outside the European boarders, I have so many places I want to visit. I want to go to Brazil, to see Fernanda, eat the food, enjoy the weather, try to speak portuguese, and hang out with the beautiful people. I want to go and see my little Emma who lives in New Zealand. I want to go and see Hobbiton, and explore the landscape. I want to go to Russia, visit the Red Square in Moscow and tour St Petersburg. I want to go to Japan, to experience the chaotic order and the beautiful culture. I want to do it all.

A community of writers.

I started studying at University of Roehampton three years ago. I knew no one. I was (and still is) the annoying *I have an opinion* teachers pet, (yes I enjoy the company of teachers) and sometimes felt lonely.

I found my group of friends, uni buddies, and enjoyed it, even though I didn’t hung around much after class. But I soon realised the beauty of a writing community; I could pretty much text anyone in my creative writing group and they would give me feedback on my writing. It was not at all the same in the journalism class, there it has been much more competitive, although I have my little group of journalism editors today.

In my creative writing group, there are so many ready to reach out a helping hand, and I appreciate that enormously. But funnily enough, I feel like I could reach out to any of my lectures as well. Yay, the loneliness has payed off! The same goes from writers I have gotten to know elsewhere, bloggers I admire or friends studying something similar.

This week has been a bit mad, I feel like I have been way behind with one of my assignments, and I have gotten the best support and feedback from both fellow students and lecturers. I messaged a friend of mine, who I haven’t actually hung out with at all, but always had good conversations with, and he got back to me straight away with great notes on my work.
I am so grateful for how everyone has helped me, and I think this is the best thing that has come out of university.

What I also love about this is that I would do the exact same thing. I love editing others work! I love taking someones work, add something or change something to make their words even greater. I can get a text saying ‘Hey, can you have look at this?’ and I’d let go of everything to do it, because it is so much fun. I love my community of writers, and it is expanding by the day.

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X Mags the Spot.

So, I must have mentioned this before, but this term I, and seven other Roehampton Students, have been creating a sex magazine.

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It has been amongst the toughest things I have ever done and my stress level has hit the roof. Our 24 pages magazine went to pint on Wednesday the 2nd, together with three other mags from our course, and after hours and hours in front of a computer and indesign we were done and we could send it to the printer. I cried. The exhaustion hit me then and there and I couldn’t hold it back, we had worked so hard.

A week later, Wednesday the 9th, we held a pitch to four experts from the industry (including Paula Akpan, Sagal Mohammed, Dominic Mills, and Laura Kelly Dunlop) to prove that our magazine deserved to win. But, I’m sad to say, we didn’t. But I am so proud of what we have done and how we finished, our pitch was great. We made everyone laugh and finished the term in the way we intended to, we made people talk, and we made people talk about sex.

Writing a sex magazine has been so inspiring and challenging. We have had to be very careful, there is a fine line between sex and porn in this industry, but we managed it very well.

Also, we had a erotic short story on the back of our magazine, written by me. It was quite odd to have some of my favourite lectures sitting there reading about a woman’s sexual fantasies that I had jotted down. But they liked it, and I am both proud and embarrassed. I asked one of them, shoutout to Chris, if he was blushing reading it, he said he didn’t and asked if I did, and yes, yes I did.

Thank you to my team, my wonderful hardworking team mates, who took care of me at the brink of breakdown, and to Alison who has helped us through this process.

And finally a MASSIVE congratulations to D_RT Magazine who won the pitch, you truly deserved it (shoutout to my girls Saskia and Ola, you are queens).

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The artwork is made by my wonderful and talented friend Diana Verba @verba_art and the pictures features members from X-Magazine and D_RT and the great Sagal and Paula.