Winter Wonderland in Chamonix

My dear friend Juliette has been inviting us to her family’s holiday house in the Alps for as long as I can remember. And somehow we’ve never managed to organise it. But unemployment is bliss in that it gives me all the free time in the world to do some travelling and spend time with friends (granted the flights are cheap) so I don’t have to think about the fact I’m unemployed.

A couple of weeks ago, Megan and I finally stepped into Juliette’s Winter Wonderland. We spent a weekend wrapped up in blankets by the fire, playing boardgames and drinking Nutella hot chocolates while the sky would not stop pouring snowflakes.

Crisp and airy waffles for breakfast, red wine spiked stews for dinner and some fondue savoyarde along the way, I must say I was in heaven and wished for the weekend to go on. But as ever, I have the photos that take me back to the cosiness of that living room, and of course the epic igloo we built.

 

Late postcard from Copenhagen

It’s nearly December, and everyone asks me if I’m feeling Christmasy yet. The answer this year is “no”. Partly because it’s been Christmas in London since September 30th, partly because I didn’t attend my college Christmas Oxmas dinner this time, partly because I’ve been brooding since I’ve gotten back from Vietnam.

Instead, I already count the days to summer.

I roll my eyes when someone claims to love winter, and the layers, and the hot drinks… As much as I love hot chocolate, I’d rather have an iced latte on a hot sunny day and take long walks past 8pm while the sun sticks around a bit longer.

It probably doesn’t help, but this I-hate-winter-and-my-life-is-a-mess mood has made me dive into old photos from August. Julien and I travelled to the land of HYGGE for our very first time and spent a few days exploring Copenhagen, sipping Joe & the Juice cups (how authentic!), cycling around and gaping at the prices (and that’s to say, coming from London!).

My friend Jess recently pointed out how I/we have a tendency to talk about, judge and mock “tourists”, systematically excluding ourselves from such a group when most of the time we ARE tourists. Well Jess, I’m not going to be a hypocrite this time! I fully embraced the tourist experience in Copenhagen, and it was great.

Julien and I walked along Nyhavn (which I still can’t pronounce) too many times, we had a look at the statue of the Little Mermaid, cycled around Kastellet, spent an afternoon on crazy rides in Tivoli, had breakfast at Grød for the sake of Instagram, climbed up the tower of Church of our Saviour, got in and out very quickly of Christiana, enjoyed some -super expensive- street food on Papiroen, kayaked along the canals (that was an adventure the bumps on Julien’s head will never let me forget) and visited the Hirschsprung collection.

A video of the trip over there :)

And the photos over here … (all shot on film)

     

Port Meadow

I’ve been on holiday for 2.5 months, and yet can’t seem to have found time to upload anything on the blog. Time… should I say motivation? I think I completely crashed after finals… I spent the first half of the year being the most productive person I had ever been and letting the pressure go kinda backlashed. It doesn’t mean I’ve done nothing all summer: I did some travelling, I’ve been taking photos, I’ve even thought of loads of content to share on this blog. But anything that seemed remotely like a constraint such as making a to do list, writing a post, sticking to an uploading schedule was somehow too much effort for me to deal with.

So here we go: after 2 months of having the photos developed, in my laptop, edited and ready to go, I am finally sharing with you some moments I captured from my last month living in Oxford. I particularly like how these photos turned out. Maybe I’m the only ones who sees it but I find the film gives on some of them an impressionistic look which I’m obviously very fond of, and which I hope encompasses the idyllic vibe I tried to capture.

 

I’ve written about Port Meadow before, a wonderful place where many Oxford students escape, including myself. However the tight coursework and revision schedule  I had only allowed me to go on 30min walks, perhaps 40min top. This was no longer an issue after June 3rd which meant I was able to properly discover Port Meadow. I say “discover” because it was only after I went on a 3.5 hour walk by myself that I realised how much more there was.

 

After passing the Perch, I walked along the Thames, passing by many cows starring at me from the other side of the water before  reaching the ruins of Godstow Abbey, a very exciting place for a medievalist like me, as it is where Rosamund Clifford, Henry II’s mistress was buried – and allegedly where he hid her from his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine!

 

I would have loved to be in the company of friends to grab a pint in the sun and by the water at the Trout – but I know I’ll come back.

Crossing back the meadow on my way back and walking alongside horses munching on grass was the most peace I reached all summer. No noise (not even music), fresh air, sun, green grass, horses, cows, ducks, the water, just me and nature. Part of me wishes I could stay in Oxford, and go on these walks once a month to recharge. Perhaps I should be more proactive at finding such a place near where I live. In the meantime, I have the photos to reminisce over this happy place, and of course share it with all of you.

 

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Oxford, a year in the life: Spring

I’m not going to lie, Spring in Oxford is all a bit of a blur now. Between coursework deadlines, revisions and finals, it’s hard to remember anything else that happened. Usually I can tell when going over my photos and looking back at moments I’ve captured but this Spring has been pretty skimmed. So this is it:

There was the shoot we did for the Oxford Women International Society where a few of us wore the traditional dresses of our respective cultures.

There were many pre-library breakfasts at the Missing Bean.

There was a lot of #wisteriahysteria.

Basically, I tried, whenever I could, to get shots of beautiful Oxford and its colleges in between revision tutorials, and library sessions to have something to remember this Spring by other than work.

More Nice on film

Something stupid happened: I dropped my Pentax (not from very high) on the carpet of my room. It works fine but the fall managed to disconnect the ISO/shutter speed button and the lightmeter meaning there was no way for me to know if my photos were properly exposed. So during my short stay in Nice, well I just had to wing it. The few pictures I had the courage to take didn’t come out too bad, so here there are !

I hope the bright blue of both the sea and the sky give you a sense of how lovely it feels to walk along the pebble beach and breathe the fresh air of the Mediterranean. I never get tired of it.