Monday, 27 June 2016

Happy Mondays #23


Monday again! This week has gone really, really fast. It was a good week of chill, catch ups with lovely friends, earning cash dollar and the weekend that dreams are made of. It was also a week of really, really horrendous train delays which made me want to scream, shout and lose consciousness. It was the week I lost faith in Britain, a nation which has not shown itself to be at all 'Great', and the week I felt more European than I ever have. So, I've spent much of this week fantasising about a time when I never have to travel on Southern Rail ever again, weeping over Brexit, and also trying to prepare myself and combat my travel nerves for South Africa. It's the beginning of the "so, I guess I'll see you when I'm back in August then" and that feels so scary and real and I don't feel like I'm ready. But hey, who's ever ready? Last week felt like the end, kind of, the end before the beginning of an adventure! And boy, was it a good end. 

The things that have made me happy this week...

1. Thursday night cocktails
There are times in your life when you learn who your real friends are. The friends that you can talk to about anything, and the friends you can go months without seeing and everything is exactly the same the next time. Thursday night was a lovely evening spent sipping cocktails in a cosy pub until closing time. It was a chance to catch up on everything and have the most philosophical of life chats with someone who knows you, cares about you, and you share so many viewpoints with. It was great. It's made me realise that those are the people you've got to keep closer, the ones that you always need to make time to see, because they're the ones you really don't want to lose! 

2. The 48%
"The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all" (JFK). 
Waking up on Friday morning, I felt like I was in a dystopian novel. For a start, it was 5.30am and I did not know what was going on; and then the 'breaking news' Brexit notifications all over my phone screen made me want to curl up and go back to sleep again. But, instead, I spent an hour scrolling Twitter. In all honesty, I never thought that Brexit would happen. I never thought that were people selfish, narrow-minded and stupid enough to buy into Boris and Farage's disgusting and hateful campaign. I am certain that there are some 'out' voters who voted based on reasonable and thoughtful concerns, but I am certain that there are plenty more whose votes were driven by xenophobia, empty (and quite frankly ridiculous) promises and sheer idiocy. Now that the leaders of the Brexit campaign are coming out, already going back on their promises of NHS funding, and supporting the single market (and the inevitable European immigration that comes with it), I'm feeling a bit smug - because the 48% of us saw this coming all along. So although I am hurt and disappointed by the outcome, I am grateful for the 48%, combatting the hate, embracing the European community and being the people that so many leave voters are already wishing they were. 

3. Date day/night
Last weekend was my last full weekend in the UK for 4 weeks, and we wanted to do something special. The organisation was left up to Simon, and he smashed it. The day begun with a lazy breakfast in bed, before heading into the city to explore St Paul's Cathedral. I kind of knew you could go and look round St Paul's Cathedral, but it wasn't something that I'd really looked into - so it felt like an extra special treat to be surprised to something that wasn't already on my 'to-do in London' list. It was so good. The cathedral is beautiful inside, and even more enormous than it appears from the outside. We were both really keen to go up to the top, the gallery looking over the inside of the cathedral, before the platform on the dome outside. Turns out date day is leg day - so. many. steps. But it was worth it, a beautiful view over London in wonderful sunshine, watching the rain slowly come towards us in the distance. We visited the crypts, and learnt some more about the history of the cathedral, and how it's fared (or not fared) against the many fires it's faced! We lit some candles for our loved ones, before heading out at closing time. It was really, really good and I'd 100% recommend it. A snack pit stop to keep us going, followed by a bit shopping, soaking up the London Pride vibes and hiding from the rain carried us until the evening, when we sat down to an amazing Thai meal at Rosa's Thai in Ganton St. I think it was the best Thai food I've ever had, and the calamari blew my mind. We'll definitely be returning! A leisurely wander back to Victoria turned into an impromptu trip to Hamley's, before heading home to a warm, cosy bed! I want you forever, Saturday. 

4. Adventure Team Sunday
There's never a day with the Adventure Team pals that isn't absolutely excellent. A last minute change of plans led us to Beaver Water World in Kent...and what a place. It's not a farm, but it's also not really a zoo. It's a centre with a lot of lizards and budgies...and beavers. It was a really odd place, with a really odd vibe, and a really odd collection of animals, but it was pretty cool. We saw a beaver eating some sweet potato, a meerkat who looked like a jewellery box ballerina, a 15 stone tortoise, and an overweight raccoon. It was quite a magical experience. After all that excitement we were ready for a pub lunch, and headed further into the depths of Kent for a roast, in a pub garden, eaten whilst wearing sunglasses. If that's not a British summer then I don't know what is. It made me wish I went out for Sunday lunch every weekend, and vow to do it more often. A game of Boggle in the garden, before heading home to a dinner of cereal and an early night...what a weekend. 

Today, I have so much to be happy about. 
I hope you do too! x

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