home

From Prague to Budapest and home again

  • by

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKGcq9iAAZm/

My partner and I spent the last two weeks cycling through Europe – specifically, we cycled from Prague to Budapest, via Vienna. Outside my familiar milieu of Amsterdam, work and chores, time seemed to stretch. The two week gap between finishing work and today somehow feels looser, as though time were a straight line that suddenly became a puddle.

Read More »From Prague to Budapest and home again

Home, in three parts

9364329131_a7b798816b_z

Image by Richard Heyes, used under a CC 2.0 license

I

Over Christmas I spent two weeks in Manchester. It’s the longest I’ve been back since I left over two years ago. I mean really left, and not the temporary severing of university. As usual when I go back to Manchester, I kept asking myself the same question: why don’t I love this place? The answer should be straightforward, there are plenty of places I don’t love, that’s just the way it is. I’m not sure why I keep returning to this question, but a part of me feels that I should love it, should feel some sense of attachment.Read More »Home, in three parts

Where are you from?

  • by

2014-05-29 20.11.19x

Where are you from?

I get asked that question a lot these days and I usually have to pause for a moment. Am I from the UK? Manchester? Amsterdam? What about all those other places I have lived in and that have shaped me – St Andrews, Cornwall, Nottingham? It feels wrong to leave them out. I realise that when people ask me, they don’t want my whole life story. When you ask someone where they’re from, you’re asking because you’re trying to get a read on them, because even if you have been separated by thousands of miles your whole lives you will still try to find some connection, however tenuous. Ah yes, my sister’s husband once worked in a town not too far from there. Or, I’ve never been there, but I read an article about it in The Guardian a few years back, sounds like a lovely place! And sometimes, every once in a while, you meet someone from a place you have absolutely nothing on.Read More »Where are you from?

A Sense of Place: trains and train stations

  • by

2014-04-03 18.47.24x

I recently started a new job in Tilburg (yay!), which means I’ll be spending a lot more time on trains. So, it’s a good job I like train travel. In fact, I like most forms of public transport, even buses and especially trams. I know I’m not supposed to. I know I’m supposed to complain endlessly about how cramped, smelly, dirty, expensive, slow etc. they are. I agree, public transport can be expensive. In fact, in my second year of sixth form, I stopped using Stagecoach buses in protest against the constant price hikes, and walked the hour and fifteen minutes there instead (I like long walks too). Public transport can also be very filthy at times – I’m looking at you, East Midlands train service between Manchester and Nottingham. And slow. I’ll admit even I got bored after eight hours on the train going from Cornwall to Manchester.Read More »A Sense of Place: trains and train stations

A Sense of Place: Penryn

  • by
Penryn harbour

Penryn harbour

In January I visted Penryn, the small town on the south coast of Cornwall that I lived in for six months whilst studying my MA. It is situated on the Penryn River and rises up from the harbour. The older parts of Penryn – those little white cottages and winding, narrow lanes we associate with Cornwall – are mainly focused around the lower parts of the town and the town centre. The exception being a few newer apartments built along Budock Creek, which feeds in to the Penryn River. Read More »A Sense of Place: Penryn