Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 149, Liverpool - Random pictures from Liverpool

Hello there! Long time no see again, I know. I'm not a good blogger. So last time I wrote we were in Sweden enjoying the snow and cuddling with the cat. My cat might be one of the most spoilt creatures on earth btw, but reversed. He only eats his dried catfood. Even salmon and tuna is rejected. We have tried EVERYTHING, and all he eats is still the cheapest crap available. Stupid cat. Anyway, since then I have managed to finish 3 essays for uni, they were short but as usual I started late. Hopefully they will score alright. I've also been appointed team captain for my riding team which is very honouring and will probably end up being lots of work...

Now, back to the real topic I had on hand. In June I went to Liverpool for the first time, and actually managed to get some pictures taken. As you all know my blog is not very picture heavy, manly because I am not very good at transferring my pictures to the laptop. Now I managed to finally do that, so here are some pictures for you!

 This is Museum of Liverpool and its located by the waterfront, just by the Albert Docks. We were a bit unlucky with this, since it closed just as we came by. I am yet to actually go in there and have a look, but I had to put up this picture anyway since I like the look of the building. It is actually really long but I only captured the end of it.

 These are the Three Graces, from left to right they are the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building. These are also by the waterfront (the museum is actually to my right) and the place is also known as the Pier Head. Its an UNESCO World Heritage Site, so luckily all these three are well protected.

Now the pictures are coming a bit at random, which is because I uploaded them and then failed royally at rearranging them. You have to forgive me. Here we have the Liverpool Cathedral, or the Anglican cathedral, one of the most magnificent buildings I have ever seen. This cathedral belongs to the church of England, and the road you can see leads right up to the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral via Hope Street (Where 60 Hope Street is, the restaurant I got to go to for my birthday!). The Metropolitan cathedral is catholic, and holds a crypt that is supposed to be absolutely amazing. Unfortunately I have no picture of the  but its a sight to behold. We didn't get to go down into the crypt when we visited because it was closed (Of course...) but its on my list.


Here we have the magnificent Albert Docks, which are several buildings built around a dock, you can go in and have a look at the basin it creates, which is what we have done here. These buildings were the first to be built using only bricks, stones and cast iron in Britain. The buildings held warehouses making it possible for the ships to offload straight into them. lately the ships used are too big to fit in through the opening, but it is still used for cargo.


This is the River Mersey and it is an impressive 112 km long! It holds the Port of Liverpool where the infamous White Star Line were based. I was hoping that this meant that Titanic went in here down the Mersey since Port of Liverpool was the home port of Titanic. However, Titanic never actually went here, but was merely registered under this port because of the WSL base. Might be worth mentioning that the RMS Lusitania, famous from the WW1 also had her home port here.


Port of Liverpool building

This one is interesting, it used to be a church, the Church of St Luke, built 1811-1831. During the WW2 it was hit with an incendiary bomb causing the inside to burn out completely, leaving only the shell. It is now commonly known as the bombed-out church and you will even get directed to the proper wikipedia page if you type in that on Google. The shell is still standing (as seen here...) and is covered with vegetation on the inside. I desperately wanted to go inside and see what it was like but all the doors were locked. Earlier this year a man was found hanged in here. If the bombed out shell wasn't creepy enough that surely sealed the deal.

 This is the entrance to the Anglican cathedral, I was interested in catching the little chapel in the front in a picture, unfortunately that godawful banner in front ruined those plans.


I meant to write inbetween these pictures but blogger wont let me so here goes: the first picture is a big marble tile on the floor of the Anglican cathedral with the architects name on. Its so very beautiful with the beams around and the marble stone I just had to take a picture. The picture is also in a way a tribute to David since he is also an architect and I felt I really wanted that picture. The second picture is a part of the ceiling. Its blurry, I apologise for that, but look at that perfect symmetry! So impressive, I'll never get over the awe I feel when I see huge constructions like this, knwoing how old it is!

These two are really interesting! Huge as the Anglican Cathedral is, it was supposed to be even grander. This is the model that shows how it was supposed to look like. Unfortunately, the money ran out and they had to make do with what we can see now. However, just the model in itself is a work of art. Its so intricate, with the smallest details right down to the stained glass windows cut out. I was mesmerised by this, walking around it several times to look closer.

Complimentary artsy shot of David admiring the ceiling. The light really hit here, hehe.

 I tried to capture the beautiful windows but it was no use with merely a Iphone camera. You can see them a little in the first one though!

 Here I wanted to picture the beautiful rainbows the windows create when the sun hit through the coloured glass. See how it glimmers on the walls? The effect was absolutely stunning in real life,  but of course impossible to capture for me.

So, thats what I had, hopefully I can manage to take some more pictures on a sunny day!

M xx

Friday, January 4, 2013

My 2012


This was a fairly slow month for me. I wasn’t very motivated with Uni, or with anything really. Sweden’s dark winters really drag me down sometimes and I felt quite tired. I was working quite a lot and had very little energy. I turned to crafts as well, making jewellery and writing fiction with a friend. In just a few months we wrote over 500 pages. One of my oldest friends had a Pretty in Pink party in the middle of the month, which was great fun. She also took me out to the stables and I got to ride a horse for the first time in months, a lively 4-year-old mare that almost bucked me off, but with great gaits. I was also training BJJ at Prana, which was damn hard work but still fun.


I cut off my hair! After trying to let it grow out after the 2011 black haired phase I had to face the fact that it was too damaged. More than 4 inches chopped off and it felt strange! Good for training though.


What to say about March... probably one of my best months ever. On the 10th I was at a big BJJ competition where I could not compete, and did live commentary on our Facebook page, all great fun and so nice to be part of that team, all love for Prana. Later this month I also flew over to London to meet my friends Gina Freya, and stayed at Gina’s place for a week. It was meant to be for a weekend but I missed the plane home. All rather embarrassing, I thought I was going on a Tuesday but it was Monday. All I could do was to buy a new ticket and go back to Gina’s house for another two days... This is also the month where I met D. I was merely looking for more LFC fans to follow, Gina followed him and I thought why not. That he was terribly cute didn’t really hurt... He started talking to me almost immediately, turns out he had already been following me for 3 years. Huh. I also bought my first ever pair of Louboutins, at the Louboutin store at Selfridges. I think the pair of shoes the guy who helped me wore were worth more than  ten of mine, but it was a great experience and lots of fun. To this day the shoes I bought have been used twice, I take very good care of them!


Another exciting month, this is when I applied for and got accepted to Leicester University for an exchange year, and suddenly everything sort of fell into place. This is also the month where I had to sign up for another module at Uni because I needed to have it done before I went to England. With double modules at Uni plus work I almost burnt myself out, and had to sacrifice something, it ended up being training, something I wasn’t too happy about but I simply didn’t have time. This is also where the girls of the Student Lawyer Association threw the Gentlemen’s dinner, where only men were allowed to go and the girls served and entertained with song and dance dressed in black with sparkly masks on. A great success!


This was in many ways an amazing month as well. David came to visit me, a great gamble since we had only talked on the phone and some video Skype, but he was brave and booked a plane ticket to Stockholm to come and see me, with no hotel booked or anything. In the end it was the best weekend I could have wished for. Late May we had a brännboll (sort of like softball) tour against the economy students and when I saw a picture of me on Facebook I realised something had to be done, I was getting quite big, a lot bigger than I wanted to be. Not training at all had not been a good decision, obviously.


Straight after the end of term I went to London to visit David, and we also went up to Liverpool to visit his family, where I got to see Anfield for the first time when david took me on a stadium tour! Looking back, it really went fast with all of it, but it was also very right. After I got back, I missed him so much I asked if he wanted to come over to Sweden again to see my family, and so he did! Midsummer celebration at my cousins summer house, with games and activities. All lots of fun and so much laugh, but I also realised how out of shape I was! I started talking walks, one hour every day, and with smaller portions, the weight dropped off me. It was something I had to do for myself and I succeeded. Almost two stones (about 12 kilos) later, I felt a lot better. With the nice weather, there were also several good days out in the sun with friends.


It felt like all I did was work, work work work. This is also where I realised I was going to move to England in a foreseeable future, and the so the packing commenced. Boxes everywhere. Papers to fix. So. Many. Papers. I tried to cram in as many fun days as possible, but it was hard.


It started out ok. My apartment was rented out, everything started to fall into place, I had my flight booked, all was good. I had a lovely day with friends at Gröna Lund, going on roller coasters and having a great time. Then it all fell apart. I got attacked at work by one of our costumers, who got angry because I told off her son, got spat in the face and kicked. Crying, I locked myself into the office while she was screaming by the counter. The guards were there almost immediately, but I had to wait for the police. I sat there for hours, and when they finally came I felt numb. I had no replacement so I had to close up, and looking back I should have closed up straight away when the police left. Luckily enough, my dad drove to Stockholm as soon as he found out, taking me home. The support I got from friends both in real life and on twitter was like nothing else. I was meant to work for another two week but I was put on sick leave from my doctor, who didn’t want me to go back. I still haven’t been back to the restaurant to work, only to get some papers, and I doubt I will. Its still haunting me, and I worry a lot over the trial coming up. Later this month another disaster hit. I found out that I didn’t have enough credits to qualify for a student finance aid, and without that I wouldn’t be able to go to England. Chaos ensued. I had two possible exams I could take, one two days after I found out and one a week later. I had to cancel my flight, and start studying, with that pressure hanging over me. I took the exams, and the same day as the last one, I flew over to London, not knowing if I could stay or not. I missed David’s birthday which was what hurt the most, but in the end it was a wonderful month.


We spent September in Liverpool, in a sort of state of limbo. On the 2nd I got to visit Anfield again, when we went to see Liverpool play against Arsenal. They lost, but I had fun anyway! We didn’t really do much during this month; I was worrying a lot over my student finance and had some meltdowns when it all looked grey, especially when I found out I had failed both my exams with 1 point and 4 points respectively. Even though I knew I hadn’t had any good preparation with only days available, it still felt like a punch to the stomach. I couldn’t do any real planning because I wasn’t sure I would get to stay, and we had to cancel our much-awaited Italy trip. When I submitted the cancellation I cried. But, this was also the month of my birthday, and David managed to cheer me up a lot with wonderful gift and a surprise dinner at 60 Hope Street where we had some really amazing food. At the end of the month it all sorted itself out when my dad got me a bank loan instead of the student funding, I got to stay! In a bit of a haste we drove down to Leicester and ended up signing for a student room, not exactly the apartment I was hoping for but with this late notice it was the best option. I got my own bath and lovely flat mates!


This is where it all really took off. Uni started, and the first month was all confusion for me. Everything was new, and even though a lot was similar I still struggled. Tutorials were different, case law different, lots of things were different. But it all started to work out eventually, soon as I got into it.  I also managed to get a letter from Leicester Uni stating I had earned some credits here, and so, the student finance was solved. Big sigh of relief! I enrolled with the Equestrian club and had to do a trial to see if I got on the team. Luckily my dad was visiting me that month so I had some good support, and made it to the team! I also managed to miss the first week since we had tickets to two Liverpool games, so when I came back I had missed the intro lectures to all of my modules. Living on the edge. Luckily, in this organised country, everything was available in handouts. Thank God for that! We also had our first social with the equestrian club. Dressed as zebras we partied all night. With face paint. As you do.


Had my first competition with the riding team! It didn’t go as well as I had hoped, for me individually, but our team did well, with Alex winning the overall individual. Jumping an entire course scared me to pieces, but I ended up doing a clear round with ok scoring. Uni went better, and I also got to see my 4th Liverpool game. Overall we’ve had some really good luck with tickets, especially considering we only have regular membership and no season tickets. I also helped out at our A teams competition, and again jumped an entire course, this time over 90 cm fences since that’s what the A team compete over. Nerves! We also had another social, this time cowboy themed! We found out a little late that the theme of the nightclub we were going to that night was Pirates, but whatever!


The first two weeks of this month were spent at Uni, then I called it quits and left for Liverpool for some well earned rest and another Liverpool game! We celebrated a lovely Christmas with Davids family, and on the 28th we flew over to Sweden to celebrate new years, where we still are, for another week or so.

So, that was my 2012. It feels like it has just flown by, it’s been a great year despite all the turmoil. I’ve had some wonderful people around me through the rough times, and the good times have definitely overshadowed the bad. For 2013 I wish for less drama, and much love. I have another semester left at Uni, exams to pass, I have to figure out where to be during the summer, and this autumn I start on my final year at Uni, with my dissertation coming up before I can get my Swedish LLM. That’s as far as my plans go, after that it’s blank! Hopefully we are going to Portugal during Easter, I really need some sun!  Anyway, thats it for me now, but I’ll be back!

M xx

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 129, Storvik

Hello there!

So, uhm, sorry about the long absence, I just... forgot?

Anyway, quick recap, I've been studying like a good girl at Uni, on the 11th December I threw in the towel for that semester and went back to Liverpool to have a well deserved Christmas holiday with David and his family, which was fun and a bit different, even though I had a pang of homesickness on Christmas Eve when everyone else was celebrating at home. On Christmas day it all got better though, with good food, gifts and all the relatives coming to the house to visit. It really does feel like a second home and I'm really feeling like a part of the family.

Uni is different, but fun! The common law system is very different from our civil law system and sometimes I forget myself and try in vain to argue for my (wrong, in this country) opinion until I have to give up. After 3 years learning a system its hard to try a new one! After I went to my first Criminal law tutorial back in October I went home crying because it felt like I didn't know a thing. Then I figured out the system and changed my way of reading up for the tutorials, and then it clicked.

I've been competing twice, with the team finishing third both times, so I even got ribbons! I was absolutely terrified the first time I was going in to jump, the fences are about 85-90 cm and I haven't been jumping since I was 13. I cleared it though! On my second competition I missed a fence and got eliminated, earning quite a lot of penalties for our team, clumsy! Turns out I'm a good rider on my own horse and not as good on stubborn ponies, haha.

For now, we are in Sweden visiting my parents house, the plan was to go and visit my friend for NYE but unfortunately we couldn't go and ended up being home for a quiet evening together, toasting the new year in cider. Probably the most laid back NYE I've ever had, but I didn't mind, I have many more left to come!

I have planned to do a resume of my year during my time here, but I probably shouldn't promise to much since I've been neglecting this blog so much...

Until then, take care!

xxx M