Gig // The Magic Gang at Rock City Nottingham 29.09.18

Friday, April 5, 2019

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(I wrote this in early October.)

Dear diary,

I lost my Nottingham gig virginity.

I was going to say hopefully plenty more to come but to be honest, there aren't many upcoming gigs in Nottingham that I am interested in. Jorja Smith is playing on the 14th October (she is sold out absolutely everywhere and not surprised because she's fucking brilliant) but I'm not in England at that time which is more important (although being in Iceland wins over Jorja Smith unfortunately.)

(Update: That was the only gig I remember seeing in Nottingham- sad)

I've heard of The Magic Gang because they were playing in Brighton earlier that week and my friend in Brighton asked if I wanted to come down. I think The Magic Gang are such a happy dose of indie rock and it reminds me of when I'm back in high school being a bit more carefree but with an angsty flair.

I find them quite easy to listen to. Check out 'How Can I Compete', 'Getting Along' or 'Jasmine' for reference. To boot, they're great live and the crowd whilst lively was too young for my liking.

Funny story: Some girl asked me if I could buy a drink even though she said she had the money for it and I kind of froze (mainly thinking like why don't you just buy your own drink?). The guy I was with told me no. It was then that I realised she was underage. That was a very awkward experience for the both of us.

I also copped some merch as you do. A 5 pound poster that is sitting happily on my wall as well as a forest green windbreaker that I'm glad my friend convinced me to get because it is such a unique piece and I love windbreakers.

The Magic Gang poster hanging proudly on the wall behind me during the whole semester - aaaah

And first Nottingham gig! Woo!


Currently Listening to: All This Way // The Magic Gang

p.s. I'm listening to them again as I'm editing and oh my lord the pale dark-haired guy is fit! I should get my poster out again to have a look haha.

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Gig // Arctic Monkeys at FlyDSA Arena Sheffield 21.09.18

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

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When I heard the Arctic Monkeys were touring the UK, I so desperately wanted to try and see if I could get to one of their shows. The problem was mostly that I wasn't in the country (they toured mostly early-mid September in the UK) or more importantly, they were sold out.

Alex Turner is a babe 

Realising they had 4 shows in Sheffield, I tried my best to get a ticket and chose to go on Friday (the only other show I could make was Newcastle but that wasn't really worth my time).

Arctic Monkeys in their home town! 15 year old Clarissa would not believe me. They were my favourite band when I was in high school. Honestly, I think Arctic Monkeys did change my life. It is because of them that I got into indie rock and were a huge influence to which music artists I listened to.

I hopped on a train from Nottingham for about an hour in the early afternoon and was able to explore the town for a bit. Sheffield is a cute town. I was only there for about 2-3 hours but was able to go to an art gallery, explore the main town, see both the universities in town (they just happen to be along the way), shop, vintage thrift shop and eat a hearty dinner (KFC is not quite the same in England as it is in Australia). As I stayed overnight, I stayed in like the only hostel in Sheffield which had a proper comfy bed. I thought I had my toiletries stolen such as makeup remover and my holy-grail toner, the Lush tea-tree one. I purchased all of these the next day when I had an hour or two to check out the shops before heading back on the train to Nottingham.

Turns out I never brought my bag with me, it was on my desk the whole flipping time.

I had a seated ticket to the gig but I loved it- going to big concerts solo and standing can be daunting. I was able to secure a seat and it happened to be front-on so it was a really good view of the stage. Being a fan since I was in my young high school days (I'm talking 14 or 15), seeing them live and knowing all these songs was amazing. Hearing their original bangers such as 'I Bet You Good on the Dancefloor' or 'The View of the Afternoon' and 'Mardy Bum' was amazing. They played songs such as 'Brainstorm', 'Arabella', 'R U Mine?" that we all know and love as well as songs from their new album such as 'One Point Perspective' and 'Star Treatment'.

Trust me, if you don't like the new album- it will grow on you.

I also blew a fuckload on merch. I bought a white keychain that says 'Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino' which is perfect to never lose my keys (I would be more sad losing the keychain than the actual key- can confirm I did end up using this keychain for my dorm key at uni) as well as a big tote bag, shirt, poster and the most comfiest sweater ever that says 'Monkeys'. Don't ask me how much it cost because the answer is: too much.

My rating for this gig? Four stars out of five. Was that too corny?

Currently Listening to: Four Out of Five // Arctic Monkeys (<3)
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Photo Diary // Return to the United Kingdom and Heading to Nottingham

Monday, April 1, 2019

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18 Sep 2018 

This day is important to me because it's the day I headed back to the UK from Greece. Greece was amazing but I wish I let myself a little bit more loose because I was getting a bit stressed about all the admin stuff that I needed to arrange like accomodation and courses and I was pretty fed up of travelling in a suitcase for a month. The day started off with me being asked if I wanted a refund for my flight at the airport in Athens to which I replied f u c k no. I didn't actually say that but I might as well have.












Who did it better?

Tottenham Court Road Tube Station (Left) or Artwork in Tate Modern (Right)

I didn't actually head up to Nottingham until 2 days later but it was nice to get to explore London a little more for a day and a half. I remember heading to Tate Modern and checking out St Paul's and the Millennium Bridge. Heads up- this area of London is absolutely gorg!!! I think it's seriously underrated because I don't really hear a lot of tourists mention it. I also remember sitting outside my hostel for a while calling my friend who conveniently had no battery on his home phone so he gave me his work phone but the international dialling code was stuffing up how it entered on my phone.

My hostel was Clink 78 in Kings Cross. I should make a separate post about this hostel because I stayed there a lot but it's super convenient to get to and very affordable. The point I'm making is it used to be a courtroom/prison cell so the rooms are not the nicest and at the time I was in the basement so I got like zero reception and sunlight.

Anyway, I managed to get a hold of him and finally met at around 10pm. We had a cheeky Wagamama around Charring Cross from memory which was super nice and we got to catch up about stuff.

20 Sep 2018

12 noon. That was my coach to Nottingham. I was super excited and bought a book for the 3 hour coach journey. I also ordered a double sausage and egg mcmuffin at McDonald's but they didn't have it so I was offered 2 single sausage and egg mcmuffins. Score.

I got an uber about 50 mins before my coach but I seriously underestimated how bad London traffic could be that I spent the whole journey glued to my phone checking my app and google maps. I got to Victoria Coach station at about 11:58am running all the way down with my suitcases to have the coach leave i n m y f a c e. 

So that was shit that I had to get my ticket changed and wait an extra 2 hours eating my sad mcmuffins (I think karma got me that day). That was when I learned that coaches in the UK are on time! So instead of arriving in Nottingham around 3pm I got there around 7pm. It was dark, it was raining but I got to go into my dorm room for the first time so at least I slept happy. This was going to be my home for the next few months.

I slept on a bare mattress because I didn't buy bedding beforehand. Not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be but then again I'm a deep sleeper.



             

Currently Listening to: Blue Lights // Jorja Smith
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When in Roma

Friday, March 29, 2019

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I was fortunate enough to head to Italy and visit Pisa, Florence and Rome. I'll only mention Rome because I feel like I didn't spend a lot of time in the first two cities. Rome in the summer is h-o-t. I remember we arrived in the afternoon and were going to go on a walking tour but what were the odds of the metro breaking down? I believe there was a fire which meant I got a lot of walking done that by the time we arrived at the Colosseum it was pitch black. And I was tired out.





I think the Spanish steps just shows you how many people were in the city during the day. My only regret in Rome was that I didn't get a nice picture at the Trevi Fountain (this is Instagram me talking haha). It is seriously packed and I can't blame them because this is where dreams are made of. I did watch Lizzie McGuire before I got to Rome- I'm not going to lie.



However, to make up for it, I really like this picture of me at the Colosseum. Before you ask, yes I did wear pants in the summer but that was because I went to Vatican City in the morning. As a sign of respect, it is suggested you wear pants and preferably a long-sleeve shirt. Look at me breaking the rules. I do remember how hot I was and this picture does not highlight how sweaty I am. The Colosseum is an absolute must- whilst it is absolutely stunning from the outside, it really is worth going inside too. This place is all about not only the glory and the gladiators but the gore and is so important to Ancient Rome. There are heaps of people trying to approach you asking if you want to go on a tour. My initial reaction is to ignore them but I think they are genuine. However, you have to consider if you want to go on a 1.5-2hour tour in the boiling sun.

Don't get me wrong- I can see why guided tours are valuable but I thought it would be better to save more than half the price and just buy a ticket to go inside. The line was long but I don't remember it being ridiculous so I think that's your best bet. However, in saying that, do be wary of scammers.



Also if you didn't get pizza or gelato, did you really visit Rome? There is a gelato store that has 100 flavours and it's literally magical.



Dumb Travel Moment: I thought this was an important image to capture. I took the train from Rome to my next destination in Athens. You can read more of it here. I was going to go on my platform being super confident and also proud of myself to only have the guy scanning the tickets to say mine wasn't valid. Turns out my ticket was for the 15th of September 2018 (The date at the time was: 5th September 2018). I only have myself to blame for not double checking at the self service machine but I couldn't be bothered to go through the massive queue to ask for a date change because I had a flight to catch. So I paid another 14 euro for a new ticket. However, a taxi/uber is 70 euro so who's laughing?

Currently Listening to: Honey (Medasin Remix) // Kučka



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Nice is just the Nicest

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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Nice is honestly the nicest. I travelled to the French Riviera early September as part of a short tour I did over the summer before I started at the University of Nottingham. Since it was a short tour, I was only in Nice for 2 days (but it included a sick trip to Monaco in the afternoon/evening). However, I felt that was adequate. Did I mention Nice is the nicest? 

This view boys and girls!



Promenade des Anglais is a must! It is the main strip of the city and you get this gorgeous view of the beach. It is beyond stunning. It is also a pebble beach which was interesting to me because I'm used to golden sand beaches but I really enjoyed it. Sure, it's not the most comfortable but hey, at least you don't get sand everywhere. If you go to the end, there is a tower you can climb up and look out to the beach and there is also the 'I Love Nice' sign. 





Old Nice is also b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! Massena square is the main square and is checkered and has all these red Italian-style buildings and gorgeous palm trees. I'm looking at these pictures from more than 6 months ago and going wow! I feel like this really encapsulates my summer and how carefree and nice it was and I would do anything to go back. I remember having pizza and gelato and going to this bar at night where they played live music and everyone was screaming (I mean singing) along and jumping on tables. 

I think that's why I was so determined to go and study abroad because I knew it would be a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for me to be able to go to another part of the world and have an absolute blast whilst still having it count towards your degree. You're also so young so I wanted to take advantage of that. I have incredibly fond memories of Nice and would definitely recommend going especially during the summer. If you're looking to go to other places apart from Paris- I would highly recommend. It is so different to Paris and in a good way. 

Currently Listening to: Need Somebody to Love // Ady Suleiman

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Cereal Killer Cafe Shoreditch // Review

Monday, March 25, 2019

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Shoreditch is known to be the hip and trendy part of London- I like to think of it as the English version of Newtown. My friend and I decided to check this area out as well as this cafe which is known for its breakfast selection of different cereals. At first I thought it was totally gimmicky because we were there at 4pm and my brain was immediately like- 'why are we having cereal but this is Shoreditch and this is trendy so why not'. Classic millennials am I right?

I've just done some research and the owners decided on selling breakfast cereal as a kind of hangover cure around lunch time for a sugary fix. That I think its genius and the fact that these guys did their own marketing research highlights the importance of understanding consumers and their wants. They also have a store in Camden in addition to Brick Lane.

I actually remember this day quite vividly because it was the day of the Notting Hill Carnival (Yes, I know that was in August- I'm just very, very behind in my posts). It was a bit of a mess of a day because it was completely rained out but coming here was a nice ending to the day.



I went for the Unicorn Poop cereal and it was absolutely divine! I was pretty much set on getting the Salty Balls as a kind of joke but I'm so glad about choosing Unicorn Poop in the end. Any belief that I thought the cafe was gimmicky was gone. I would stay away from the cereal chillers though which were malted milkshakes. We both got cookies n scream and we both thought it was underwhelming buttttt I'm positive that maybe the other flavours were better. Having a cereal and a drink will probably set you back £10 which is a very decent price.

I also loved this cafe because you're paying for the experience. I was in love with the vintage decor. As a Simpsons fanatic, I was obsessed with the vintage retro game machine they had. I'm pretty sure the bill came in an old VHS covers.  There were also beds at the back of the cafe which played into the  retro atmosphere.

I love absolutely everything about this. Nothing compares to old Simpsons


My final verdict? Breakfast is totally acceptable to eat in the afternoon. Eat it!

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Afternoon Tea at Sketch London // Review

Friday, March 22, 2019

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If you have Instagram and you haven't at least seen this then you might be living under a rock. I was so excited to try this place out and fortunately was able to reserve high tea for 2 on a Saturday. You need to book this place ages in advance (I'm talking 2 months to be on the safe side haha) and it was under renovation for a couple of days prior so I was really lucky to visit in my first week in London.  Sketch is a unique restaurant in Mayfair, London and is most famous for its afternoon high teas in the pink gallery but it also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and the rooms for those are just as exquisite.


This place is a dream! I would definitely come here for the atmosphere- the room is just oh so pretty with the pale pink and velvet chairs. The artwork is amazing- you kind of feel you're in an art gallery.  The bathrooms are an absolute must if you could not already tell. The egg-shaped bathrooms (are they pods?) and futuristic vibe with the coloured glass on the ceiling is absolute genius.




It is very fancy so you've been warned- dress appropriately. The high tea will set you back at least £60 pp but the desserts are exquisite and you are also paying for a very unique but playful afternoon tea experience.  I think this is where Sketch delivers. I've never had a tea quite like this before and the waiters were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and whilst the experience is expensive, you don't feel incredibly out of place or inferior (anyone know what I'm talking about). 

I would love to come back to London to this place with a group of girls or a boyfriend for a special occasion and squeeze a few cheeky selfies.





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