Zoos, Coffee Shops, Prostitute Fights and Sex Shops.

So I’m back in England again. Hurrah. After a brilliant and, somewhat bizarre, ten days in the Netherlands! The first five days were spent on literally the easiest field trip I have ever had. We went to four zoos- Burger Zoo, Rotterdam, Apenheul Primate Park and Amsterdam Zoo- did a little research, but spent the rest of the time wandering around, enjoying (although in some cases, not so much) the animals. Some highlights of the trips were having a squirrel monkey jump on my arm, seeing a family of elephants and watching a manatee swim under us.

monkeyseflie

And then, after a hard week of visiting zoos 😉 we went to Amsterdam!!!

Now, I have seen some creepy men in England. I’ve heard some interesting lines. I even wrote a post about it.

But wow. The Dutch are even weirder.

We left our hostel (one star, outside covered in graffiti, living the high life) and had literally walked a few houses when a strange builder man shouted at us:

“OOGADY BOOGADY BOOGADY”

Whilst making, what I suspect, were booby motions with his hands. Nice.

Another of my faves was this big, black guy walking towards us. He was huge. You’d expect a deep, manly voice. Nope. Instead we got.

“Hello babies!”

In a really high pitched, girly voice. Bit of a shock. It sounded like he was on helium.

Amsterdam was just so surreal. Sex shops and coffee shops everywhere. The red light district. I can officially say I have touched a prostitute from the red light district. A couple of them were having a row, and one of the women came out from behind her window in a ‘shit’s got real’ type of way, and bumped into me. We also saw some, clearly lady-boys, trying to cover up their blue light to pretend they were just women. Imagine the shock! Unfortunately also got to witness a very old man going into a very young girls window and a very young boy going into a very old woman’s room. Kind of need to scrub my eyes out after this holiday. The sex museum did also not help.

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Now I’m not condoning drugs in any way. I’m mostly anti-drugs. But Hell, when in Amsterdam 😉 Just some words of advice if you do decide to try it.

  1. Do not mix weed and alcohol. Especially space cakes. As my friend found out when she had no idea where she was or what she was doing.
  2. Space cakes are much stronger than a joint. So for your first go, don’t have a whole one. And don’t just eat loads because you feel it isn’t working. It can take about 2 hours to kick in. As I found out when everyone else had fallen asleep, just as the effects hit me!
  3. Weed in Amsterdam is much stronger! Wouldn’t push your luck!
  4. Finally, there are sooo many different types its unbelievable. If you get stuck, just ask the person who works there. Everyone speaks English! Heck, most people are English!

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Another pretty cool moment in Amsterdam was that we- without realising it- turned up right before a mass pillow fight outside the Palace, for International Pillow Fight Day. We didn’t have any pillows, but after about ten minutes of fighting, pillow cases scattered the floor. So we grabbed ourself some cases, re-stuffed it, and joined in on the fun! Smacking strangers round the head with pillows was surprisingly good fun!

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My highlight however, was Anne Franks house. We queued for about an hour and a half, but it was worth every moment. If you ever go to Amsterdam, it is a must see. Such a tragic inspiration, at such a young age, it was haunting to see the place in which 8 people hid, for two years. Surreal to see her actual diary, that actual bookshelf, the actual marks on the wall her mother made to record her growth. A truly moving and humbling experience, I would recommend to anyone.

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Seal Dancing and Tumble Drying

I am pleased to say that I am fully embracing student life again. Yesterday, I made a clothes line using the cord on my blinds and my pin board. Today, I blow-dried my clothes with my hair-dryer. We have a shit tumble dryer that keeps beeping at me and telling me to “empty the water.” I HAVE!!! Anyway, the one guy in our house that might be able to fix it was out so I had the choice. Go kickboxing in wet clothes or whack out the hair dryer for half an hour. In all fairness, after 15 minutes of the warm up I would be soaking wet and drenched with sweat anyway but I didn’t want people to think that I was so unfit that the walk was making me sweaty so I opted for the latter.

It’s crazy. I still feel far too immature to be renting a house. A house! Just the other day, I was crying with laughter because my housemate was doing a “seal dance.” This basically involved lying on the floor/ on top of my other housemate and wiggling, whilst making seal noises. She’s going to be twenty in two days. When I was a kid, twenty seemed adult. It seemed mature and grown up and old. I feel none of these. I feel the same as I did 5 years ago when I was doing my GCSE’s, just slightly more confident and slightly taller and slightly blinder. But I still don’t feel mature. I don’t feel much different.

But, I guess, when I really think about it, a lot has changed. I am more confident, even this last year I can feel it growing. I’ve lost that crippling shyness I had as a kid, the same one that made me hate secondary school in the beginning. The same one that led to me not having many friends when I first arrived. Relationships have also changed, moved on, gotten stronger. You realise who your true friends are when you leave your hometown. You realise who you actually care for and who you actually miss. Sometimes it is really hard. Sometimes missing them makes you almost wish you never left. But you have to, or how else will you get anywhere in life? And, against all odds I can actually cope living on my own- surprisingly well. Even better so this year, now I can actually cook slightly more meals than frozen pizza and spaghetti bolognese. And I can improvise… I might have a shit tumble dryer, but my hair dryer is Nicky Clarke 😉

YOLO

This blog post was inspired by another that I recently read, What do you want to be when you grow up? by subtlekate. 

Every time I meet up with my friends recently, conversation always seems to turn to the future.

Oh God, we are going to be twenty next year, that’s only ten years until we are thirty, then we are halfway to sixty and practically dead, ooh our life is over- we are so old etc. etc. 

But seriously, I know we aren’t at any age to be moaning about being old, but life is flying by. In a few years time we will be getting proper jobs, have to pay taxes, get a house, a family, settle down. Shit.

When I was little this all seemed so far away. In year two I remember doing an assembly on, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I said an RSPCA inspector… Not a princess or a footballer or a doctor like a normal kid but an RSPCA inspector. I still don’t really know what that involves now to be honest, nor, I think, did the teachers, but I was pretty adamant and so they let me get on with it.

As I got a bit older, I went through a variety of jobs that I wanted to do, including being an author- I wrote a fascinating story called “Charlie the chimp go’s (lovely grammar) on an adventure!” and a pop-out book about a “Scaredy-cat mum.” My longest dream, however, was to be a vet. This lasted until my sixth form induction day when I realised that there was no way in Hell I would ever be able to take Chemistry at A-Level and thus was not clever enough to become a vet and so, my Wild at Heart dream was, sadly, over.

My amazing story ❤

Then I took Psychology at A-Level, adored my cute old teacher and was in love with my Irish one- so much so that I became a complete arse-kissing teachers pet, yet still trying to be the loudest and funniest person in the class, whilst aiming for none less than one hundred percent in every essay and exam and going to every after-school revision class he did. It worked, I enjoyed the subject and was good at it and so a new dream was formed- I wanted to be a forensic psychologist!

For two and a half years I exercised this ambition- but always at the back of my mind I had my doubts- I had spent my whole life wanting to work with animals, but now I was changing to work with people? I hate people!

*Only a slight exaggeration.

My year at uni was great, I really enjoyed it and made some wicked friends but when I got to the stage where I didn’t bother going to lectures, was so unmotivated to revise or do any work I realised that I wasn’t really passionate about the subject, couldn’t see myself making a career out of it. I know, first year of freshers, who does work? Who goes to lectures? Well, I’m a massive geek. When I like something, I like to learn about it- when I did psychology at A Level I memorised two textbooks, all my class notes and additional powerpoint slides my teacher made. Sad, I know, but I’m too much of a perfectionist to learn the bare minimum.

So now I’ve gone back to what I have always loved. Animals. I imagine myself in the future abroad somewhere. I’d love to go back to Costa Rica or somewhere else in South or Central America to do some conservation work. I want to travel. I want to get everything done before I have kids. Hell, I don’t even know if I want kids!  I’ve written a bucket list that I want to fulfil, preferably whilst I’m still young. Yes, I’m going to be mainstream- YOLO- you only live once. And I intend to make the most of it.

There has to be a Harry Potter joke somewhere.

Today, I can’t be bothered to write much.

I don’t really have much to blog about today so instead, I thought I’d upload some photo’s 🙂

If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that I have a dog. A very stupid, but very sweet Golden Retriever called Harry. And I sometimes like to wrap him up in a duvet. Just, you know, for the jokes.

But doing things like this makes him go a little weird. Actually, he just does this anyway…

It’s so irritating when he decides to roll around like this when you take him out on the lead -_-

I’ve also got four cats, one of which is still a kitten really, who has currently been banished to my room for being annoying. She keeps doing this…

Poor kid’s just trying to sleep!

So now I have her yowling at me as I type :/

And I also have three younger brothers (kill me now). Sometimes they can be sweet…

CUDDLES!!!

Samuel is the one on the left, he’s three years old and William is the one on the right, aged one.

A lot of the time messy…

Don’t ever feed kids chocolate cake…

We play in the park…

William playing on the swings 🙂

Samuel pulling off the pink 😛

And pose for pictures 😛

Sometimes regularly they get grumpy…

Attitude problem already!

We read stories…

Avid reading… not at all posing 😉

But, the best time of the day is BEDTIME!

Urm… cute?

I wish…

I wish I wasn’t such a closed book. To people I don’t know, this suits me fine, but to the people I’m closest to it bums me out that I still find it so difficult to talk about stuff. So many situations would have been sorted out quicker if I just had the courage to talk. This was the hardest thing I found about cognitive behavioural therapy as well. I mean, I can hardly talk to my best friends let alone some psychologist guy I’ve never met! Ironically, I can talk for England about rubbish.

I wish I didn’t repress emotion so much. Has anyone ever seen The Holiday? Well, you know the character Cameron Diaz plays who can’t cry? Well, that’s me. Not as bad, I mean, put me in front of The Lion King and I’ll weep like a baby for hours, but real life? Nah. Crying is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I hate it when you have those people who cry over the slightest thing. My God, man up! But, I would like to be able to express emotions a little better.

I wish I could make time stand still at certain moments. Things are changing too quickly for me. I could really do with a Bernard’s watch. There are just some moments that are so good, that you just want to freeze time, but too quickly, they fade away.

I wish I had something, a talent, that I was really good at and really motivated towards. This, I know, is my fault. I do seem to be one of life’s quitters. I used to run, swim, play football, do Taekwondo, all to a fairly high standard, but do I do any of these anymore? Nope. I am starting to get back into stuff, and hopefully I will stay committed this time. I WILL stay committed this time!

I wish people didn’t care so much about appearance; I wish there was less stigma over mental illness; I wish TV shows like TOWIE didn’t exist; I wish there was no poverty; I wish animals were not being killed for money; I wish the rainforests weren’t being destroyed; I wish, I wish, I wish…

We all wish. But do we actually do?

Hide and Seek

Why is it cats always decide to get themselves into the strangest places?

Like boxes that are clearly too small for them…

Elliot chilling in a very narrow box…

Not sure how she didn’t get stuck…

They sneak into cupboards, washing machines, under the patio in the garden (still boggles my mind) and the scariest… when your lying in bed and they burrow up from the bottom of the duvet and stick their head up next to yours on the pillow. Shits me up.

That was meant for storage, Tilly, not for cats…

Having fun lying underneath my pants, Frazzy?

Imagination.

I step deeper into the jungle, my feet crunching on the dead leaves, as a giant, hairy, deadly tarantula scuttles towards me. I kick it away before it can sink its fangs into my leg and infect me with its poison. I creep forwards further, it’s getting darker now, the trees closer together, the brambles thicker. I pick some berries and greedily shove them into my mouth. Without sustenance I won’t be able to go on much further. Now I need water, I must quench my thirst before I get too weak. I listen carefully and can just about hear the roar of running water… there must be a river around here somewhere. I move towards the sound when suddenly, I make out another noise. The noise of branches shaking, leaves rustling and the deep rumble of a growl. Tiger. I catch a quick glimpse of the creature through the trees as it stalks towards me. A majestic animal, walking towards me with a grace and power and quietness I would never have dreamed possible. I slowly pull out my bow and nock my last arrow. I must be brave, I only have one shot. Sweating, I close one eye and let go of the string, launching the arrow towards the tiger where it buries itself in its leg. I don’t want to kill the animal, merely wound it and distract it long enough for escape. The beast lets out a ferocious roar and I turn around and run, run as fast as I can, jumping over fallen trunks and swinging myself from vines. I’ve somehow made it to the river! The water is very fast flowing and full of dangerous piranhas. I can see that further downstream it turns into a massive waterfall that would surely kill me if I fell down it. I glance behind me. The tiger is over its shock and is closing in on me! If I could just make it over the rapids then I could escape! I take a leap of faith and manage to grab hold of an overhanging branch. I cling onto its slippery surface for dear life, the piranhas jumping up at me, trying to tear my flesh off with their sharp teeth. I try to swing my legs up, I can feel my fingers slowly slipping! Sudden-

“COME ON, IT’S TIME TO GO HOME NOW, YOU’RE FILTHY AND NEED A BATH BEFORE BED!”

“Coming mum…”

Imagination. I want to be a kid again.

“Children see magic because they look for it”

– Christopher Moore