A Night in an Airport

The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems that I am 21 years old but have never been on holiday without my family. But within 24 hours, this will have changed. It is time to cast away my cares and dismiss long sleeves! Now that my exams have finished and my year abroad in Strasbourg is technically over, what better way of filling my last few weeks ‘on the continent’ than gallivanting around the south eastern coast of Spain with the gang.
I have packed up my bag, thrown away the shrivelled carrots in the back of my fridge, decanted my shampoo into 100ml and told my boyfriend that he can watch the next 2 episodes of Game of Thrones without me while I’m away which I’m already regretting. Almost as much as I’m regretting my grand plan to spend a night in Basel airport alone. Sometimes I am surprised by my own brilliance at concocting such horrible plans.

My flight out to meet my chums in Alicante is at 6:10 in the morning and so in order to save time and money, I have set up camp in a comfy chair to make the most of the free wifi and warm surroundings.

  
There’s a man nearby snoring as though his life depends on it and a lady with shoes off, feet on the seats and not a care in the world. The building as a whole is quiet and dark, not too bad a place to get a couple hours of kip before my flight tomorrow morning. I’m going to set a few dozen alarms to make sure that I wake up in time and don’t render this whole exercise a waste. I know some people sleep in airports fairly frequently, but this is new territory to me, as is mainland Spain – I have never experienced either and I’m excited to get this first objective done and move onto the next one!

Now playing: nothing, it’s nap time!

Advertisements

“Is that even their car?!”

I believe a month ago today, I first arrived in Strasbourg. A month which has been exciting and terrifying and painful and thrilling in equal measure. The systems of administration and the hoops we have had to jump through have been atrocious but the city itself is gorgeous and makes up for the lack of clarity in these situations and the lack of toilet seats in France in general. Concerning, I know.

I will not be pretentious and say that ‘I discovered myself and who I REALLY am on my year abroad’ because let’s be honest a) I have been here only a month and b) no one likes that kid. But I have found some of the most excellent friends I could possibly imagine and in my book that’s even better.

The following was written when I got in from a night out this morning at around 6am and I think perfectly demonstrates the fun that has been had with these exceptional people so far in Strasbourg. Sorry if this is one of those ‘you had to be there, man, it was hilarious!!!’ moments. Spell-check can wait another couple of hours. Read on, dear friend, read on!


The time is 05:42. I have been awake for 23 hours. I have only just returned from a night out. My limbs are like ice poles and I can’t feel my fingers; typing is a struggle and the coldest setting on my tap feels pleasantly tepid.

Everything about the night I just experienced just seems completely absurd looking back on it now…yes! That’s it, it all seems absurd!

The night started innocently enough: I was my standard half an hour late for pre-drinks because that’s generally who I am (sorry) and after several minutes, me and the other excellent attendees were passing around a large bottle of grass flavoured vodka…not drinking it…just smelling it. The smells registered ranged from “cinnamon” to “pain”. There was also a large blade of grass in the bottle…what’s up with that?!

After many jokes and laughs, we had found the ideal balance between being raucous and having a laugh while still being able to walk in a reasonably straight line.

We found the bar easily and ‘bon soir’ed and smiled dopily at the bouncer while he checked our ID and walked in…only to find the room dark and loud but almost totally devoid of patrons. But as the enterprising students we are, we immediately marched across to the bar and ordered a round of jagerbombs.

In the UK, jagerbombs (a shot of jager in about half a can of Red Bull so it’s the perfect volume for downing all in one swift action) are a staple of every night out because they’re so cheap. You can often buy 4 for £10 which pleases me and many other penniless students greatly. In France however, we have discovered that they are too big, too cold and too expensive. If you can drink a French jagerbomb in one go, you are a champ.

The bar filled up and our night continued. We danced, we got lost on the way to the loo, we laughed, we tried to understand what the French people were saying to us and we somehow gained lots of glowsticks.

Eventually it was time to leave and due to the fact that I live so far out from the centre of town, we needed kill time before the trams (which don’t run between 00:30 and 04:00). We walked our very drunk friend home and probably woke up all her flatmates as we sat in her room and stole all her food while she almost fell asleep on her bed.

She’d bought the most disgusting flavoured Pringles you could imagine and we ate them all. If you ever see the emmental ones for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY do not buy them. They taste of socks and get progressively worse with every bite. They were just completely awful.

We ate them all, raided her fridge and made our exit. On the way to the tram, we encountered a group of boys and the most bizarre situation. They were standing around a silver Renault Clio which was at 45 degrees to the parking space it was meant to be in which piqued our curiosity. They gave a cry of “un, deux, trois!” and heaved the rear end of the car back towards the space. But this was not enough and my two male friends were enlisted to haul again, the rear of the car into the space.

Why the car was sticking out of its original space by 45 degrees at 4 in the morning is beyond me. Why they felt the need to move it baffles me. I just don’t understand it and it confuses me still as I remember doubling over in hysterical laughter at the expressions on my mates’ faces as they gathered around the car.

We had a fantastic night and all of these events of the night may not seem funny at all when I wake up, but the words of my friend Phil of “is that even their car?!” just contributed the excellence of the night and provided a well-deserved break from reality. I can’t wait to see what the following months bring us here in Strasbourg.

Now playing: Jamie xx – Loud Places

One Saturday Afternoon…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Moved to Tears.”

I’m an incredibly emotional person and I’ll cry at a great deal of things, both sad and happy, some of which are quite stupid. I shed a tear when seven years ago, I met my new-born baby brother for the first time and I got ridiculous happy wet eyes when my rugby team won a competition last year.

I cry when I tell people about the scary thoughts in my head, and even harder as they hug me and tell me it’ll be ok. I cried as my heart was stomped into a thousand little pieces over and over and over and I could only helplessly watch.

I had tears streaming down my face as I watched Rhod Gilbert’s stand up comedy piece about Henry Hoovers for the first time and was absolutely hysterical when a mate of mine tripped and knocked over a girl in a night club and then proceeded to try it on with her while they were both in a heap on the floor. Now THAT was funny!

I was so upset reading the ending of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (so shoot me if you think it’s a terrible book, I disagree and think it’s beautifully written) and the most recent time I sobbed my heart out was last night watching the season five finale to Game of Thrones. 7/10 would not recommend watching it. My parents were moderately concerned until I sobbed out what was happening…they rolled their eyes and continued watching the news.

But when I saw the prompt yesterday asking me to describe the last time I cried at something beautiful, I was puzzled for a few minutes until I was transported to the exact moment that I was told such beautiful words that I couldn’t help but give myself over to the emotions that followed.

Allow me to take you back a few weeks; it was late afternoon one Saturday, deep in exam season and I was spending a few precious hours with a precious friend. We were talking, laughing, discussing life. We were incredibly, hilariously, sublimely happy.

The conversation took a more serious turn and we each aired our fears for the future and my uncertainty at my ability to cope with the rocky road of terrors laid before me. He took my hands in his, clasped them tightly and murmured the words: “I’m so proud of you”.

The simplicity of these words and the conviction with which they were delivered was the most beautiful thing I’d heard for a long time. It left me stunned and I took in the tide of calm that washed over me. The tears built up as I looked intently into his eyes and whispered “thank you”, words that never quite seemed adequate for the importance of the moment. Then I was vanquished by the hand of emotion and left damp spots on his tshirt as he gave me a comforting hug.

This may not seem quite as beautiful as a breathtaking landscape or carry as much emotion as your child grabbing your finger for the first time, but for me, the overly-emotional twenty year old, this was magnificent and gave me the strength required to go forth and take on the world. I was a happy Lizzie that day.

Now playing: Avenged Sevenfold – Seize the Day

HOOVERGATE

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mad as a Hatter.”

‘Mad as a Hatter’ was the writing prompt for today and this incident immediately sprung to my mind. It’s something of a legend in our friendship group. Allow me to share it with you. But be warned, Lizzie + rage = swearing, if you’re overly sensitive to that kind of stuff maybe this post isn’t for you!

Now, if you know me even a little, you will know that I’m not an angry person – you can find me in the easy-going, ditheringly cheerful category. The sort that needs supervision in the kitchen when handling knives; on my second ever day at university I sliced my thumb on a tin of beans. Blood everywhere. No beans for Lizzie that day :(

There’s some background to why rage is particularly out of character for me, now to the event.

Last year, I was living in university halls with my brand new and awesome friends aka, my Canterbury family (LOVE YOU GUYS!). Any of you jolly splendid people reading this who have ever lived in halls know that they’re not the most soundproof of places to stay. You have to be pretty tolerant when your neighbours make noise as chances are, a skype session with your family of what seems like a decent volume to you, could be torturously loud for the poor soul living next door. As a student, you are wary of your volume, so you turn down your music slightly, but not too much because your mate next door likes to play guitar at half 11 at night and you CAN HEAR ALL OF IT.

On the night of the incident in question, I was already tired, I had a couple of assignments due soon and so had been working on them all evening, so when it was a reasonable time to call it a night (so after the thought process of ‘is 9:30 too early to go to bed? …maybe. I’lll leave it a bit longer’) sleep came on stealthy wings and transported me to dreamland where I was perfectly happy and comfortable.

And then it happened.

3am rolled around. My flatmates got back from an evening ‘working’ in the library…they keep strange hours, I know. They made noise and a helluva lot of it. They ruthlessly dragged me back to reality with their jeering and it disrupted my snuggles. I was not a happy bunny. Not at all. Bitches don’t interrupt my sleep!

But this was fine, I’d certainly made my fair share of noise late at night after a couple of drinks and they hadn’t flown into a frenzy then.

A couple minutes passed and I thought the drama had subsided and was drifting back to the land of unicorns and Channing Tatums but oh no, this was premature.

A certain house mate of mine by the name of ‘Louis’ had been locked out of his room by our dear friends ‘Joe’ (from a couple of posts back, remember?) and ‘Carl’ and decided that the only thing he could do to remove them from his room was to TURN THE HOOVER ON.

fuck-meme_00370790

I know!! I don’t understand! Did he think he could use the suction of the machine to suck them out?! I have no idea! Clearly it was the stupidest idea that anyone has ever had, so needless to say I flew into a rage and exploded from my room like an arrow loosed from a bow and poor Louis was about to feel my wrath.

“What the FUCK are you doing?!?!” I screeched mercilessly in his poor unsuspecting face. “It’s 3 in the morning and you’ve TURNED THE HOOVER ON TO GET THEM OUT OF YOUR ROOM?? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!?!”

Needless to say, Louis shat himself and Joe and Carl emerged from his room looking pretty sheepish. They all mumbled apologies and left me to stalk back into my room in a fit of rage with a cartoon storm cloud above my head.

In the morning, Joe and Carl thought the whole fracas was hilarious and Louis appeared terrified of me for about a week afterwards. But it all turned out for the better and the four of us are thick as thieves now and they do the washing up whenever I ask them to, for fear of a repeat of Hoovergate.

So concludes my tale of anger and hoovers and lack of sleep. It may seem like an irrational thing to rage about, but anyone gets in the way of me and a good night’s sleep without good reason runs the risk of my own personal Hulk coming out and scaring you witless. You have been warned.

Now playing: Shinedown – Devour

Best. Valentine’s. Ever

You may or may not be aware, but last Saturday was Valentine’s day.

Don’t panic, I’m not going to go off on a romantic tangent about the as yet undiscovered love of my life or highlight why Valentine’s is the ultimate social construction designed to make the proletariat spend money. Instead I’m going to describe to you what I’d consider to be the best Valentine’s I’ve ever had. I spent it with one of my dear friends Katherine and 9 men. Oooh err, Lizzie, get in there! ;)

Relax, on Saturday night, I travelled an hour or so from Canterbury to the O2 Arena in London for one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of the year so far; the You Me At Six and All Time Low co-headline tour! When I told my house mate about this tour and how amazing it was to get two of my favourite bands in the world on one bill, he called it the rock version of the 2011-12 Kanye West and Jay-Z tour…he doesn’t understand my music but the sentiment is there.

The tour was a short 5 date affair hitting some of the biggest arenas in the country including the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff and the Birmingham LG arena and finishing in the O2 on the 14th of February.

From the pictures and comments I’ve seen on various social media sites, the other shows were as fantastic as the one I witnessed on Saturday.

Opening the show was Walk The Moon, a small four-piece from Ohio, who were completely pumped and unbelievably grateful to have been given the opportunity to play a venue with such prestige as the O2. They buzzed around the stage during their short 6 song set and interacted well with the audience who were gracious enough to give them the time of day considering that no one really cared much because what was to follow promised to be full of excitement. Realistically, it could’ve been the band that plays in the pub down the road from your house jumping around up there and people still would’ve been happy. But Walk The Moon entertained us well with an infectious mélange of pop and rock with a dash of gyrating hips courtesy of the front man Nick Petricca…seriously though, the guy has MOVES and his hips have their own twitter account!

I was already familiar with these guys and they did not disappoint! I first heard of them through a friend who sent me an acoustic version of their own song ‘Anna Sun’, which they played to end their set and which firmly set us on the road to good times.

After a short break, we were antsy for All Time Low and they took to the stage in a frenzy that has become synonymous with an ATL show. They jumped around, interacted well with the audience and made a lot of dick jokes. All Time Low have a really unique ability to be able to take one of the best songs from any of their albums and turn it into something even more powerful and fantastic. The example that immediately springs to mind is the song ‘Weightless’. This song is the ultimate pop-punk anthem and is the reason that I and I’m sure many other ATL fans got turned onto them in the first place. Now, on the record ‘Nothing Personal’, it’s a stand-out track and a real crowd pleaser. But on this particular night in the O2, Alex Gaskarth introduced the song saying that they wanted to try something new and what followed was magical. The song was given a new lease of life through a beautiful acoustic-sounding first verse until the chorus when it took off and became the song we all know and love. ‘Therapy’ was also an emotional highlight for me. This song was just Alex alone on the stage with his guitar, his voice and a spotlight. This song is stunning anyway, but between Alex and the audience (all of whom were singing along) the arena became one of those rare places where you really feel as though you’re in the centre of the world, where thousands of people are united and the room is pregnant with emotion. The phone lights were out looking like stars and Alex even said at one point ‘wow you guys are going to make me cry!’

All Time Low

All Time Low

However, this wasn’t the only such moment from the night. You Me At Six brought the whole of the feels parade and marched it around the arena so that there was not a soul in the whole place left unaffected by the emotion of the songs ‘Crash’ and ‘Fireworks’. These were just two of the highlights of YMAS’s extraordinary set. They’re blistering, powerful and take no prisoners as they command the stage and make the whole of the arena swirl like a living creature during songs like ‘Loverboy’ and the ferocious ‘Bite My Tongue’ . The jumping people down in the pit look fucking cool from above.

Every time I’ve seen YMAS live I’ve been staggered by how good they’ve been, and particularly on this occasion. You can really tell that they’re on the cusp of something huge and especially with the success of their latest album ‘Cavalier Youth’, you really get the sense that YMAS will continue to climb.

You Me At Six

You Me At Six

There are many points in the night in which we are reminded of the significance of such shows for both of these bands. Alex particularly highlights the hard work and dedication required of bands of the sizes of YMAS and ATL to make it into venues such as these in a world such as this where rock tends to be shoved to one side. He is right when he says that there is a core of huge bands who can get songs of the radio and play arena tours with complete ease (think Foo Fighters status) but for these comparatively young bands, the way is not paved in gold and they have to work incredibly hard for such opportunities. This evening was a display of the hard work and dedication of these bands and the shining future that lies ahead of them and hopefully the others alongside them charging down the bolted gates of the segregated compound to which they have been previously been designated. The musical revolution is coming.

Now playing: Mallory Knox – Heart & Desire

My friend ‘Joe’

I have a friend…I know right, astounding!

For argument’s sake, let’s call this friend Joe. Hi Joe!

Joe is the most loyal, kind-hearted friend you could ever want or need in life. When I’m feeling down, he’ll comfort me using what has now become a running joke: he looks at me and says; “Lizzie…dick.” To which I reply; “…Big dick.” It can go on like this for a while and we change up the words sometimes. Silly, I know, but it always puts a smile back on my face.

If I’m struggling with university work, he will either a) get me to talk it through with him until a navigable path through those complicated essays becomes visible, or b) he will go to the shop and buy the pair of us some pick-me-ups which can vary from Haribo Tangfastics (the best variety, I’m sure you’ll agree) to a punnet of blueberries and a Yop.

Every morning at about 7:20, he acts as my alarm clock and wakes me up so we can trek the 20 minutes or so of the winding road to campus in order to be in the library at 9am where we work in companionable and dedicated silence for around 40% for the time we’re there. The other 60% is filled with banter, sex jokes and DMCs (that’s Deep Meaningful Chat, for those of you who haven’t heard the wonderful phrase that I’m claiming was first coined by our friendship group.)

My friend Joe cracks bad jokes on a regular basis and takes bad pictures of everyone which he very much enjoys sharing. He makes us all smile with his dopey grin and the fact that he thought Thailand was pronounced ‘thigh-land’. This caused endless amounts of hilarity at the time and still does now.

My friend Joe is one of my best friends.

But yesterday I had to tell him about something I did, a bad decision I made as the result of being exceptionally vulnerable and slightly too intoxicated. It was a long time ago but that doesn’t make it much better.

I watched his face fall and a flicker of disappointment flashed in his eyes momentarily.

I hated myself at that moment for letting him down.

But still, he hugged me and said that it’d be fine and that he wouldn’t go anywhere and let me cry on him for a little bit.

My friend Joe is the kindest and most loyal person I’ve ever met and will most definitely stay in my life for years to come.

This has been my most honest post to date I think, if you’d maybe like to follow suit and describe one of your dear friends or perhaps a bad decision, go for it :)

Now playing: Lower Than Atlantis – Words Don’t Come So Easily

‘Reckless’

I saw this on another blog, and decided to try this musical challenge :) Play along if y’fancy, I enjoyed it. Just copy and paste the questions into your own note and fill in your own answers.

RULES (NO CHEATING!) –

1. Put your iPod, mp3 player, or music library on your PC on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

3. You MUST write that song title, no matter how weird it sounds!

4. Post your thoughts after the title of the song

.lets-do-this-rt1b0w

What is your personality? ‘Creeper’ by Mallory Knox……. Oh cripes, off to a good start, eh! I like to think I’m not a creeper…except in my tendencies to enjoy a good Facebook stalking but I think everyone’s guilty of that!

What’s important to you in a mate? ‘All Of This Has To End’ by We Are The Ocean. Oh blimey! I’d like to clarify to my friends that I definitely do not feel this way about any of you! If I did not have my friends then I would have struggled enormously in these last couple of years. I’m lucky in that I’ve met some amazingly loyal people and we’re all as mad as each other really! I love my friends.

How do you feel today? ‘Learn To Fly’ by Foo Fighters. That’s quite apt really: as I write this I’m doing something new and learning to sunbathe. I burn very easily so we’ll see how this goes!

What is the meaning of life? ‘Early Retirement’ by Handguns. Ok, this song is SO much fun! And again quite apt – from the perspective of someone who hasn’t started ‘real life’ yet, it seems like the meaning of life is to be constantly working in order to better yourself and the people you love, a career game if you like. Promotions and pay rises. I imagine that early retirement sounds good to lots of people.

What philosophy do you live by? ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ by 30 Seconds to Mars. I always think that this song is weirdly atmospheric, particularly at the start. I suppose being a stranger in a strange land is how we all feel at some stage of life – I know I did when I moved away from everything I knew in September last year and began my uni adventure. Not a philosophy as such, but definitely something I can relate to.

How do your friends feel about you? ‘Morte et Dabo’ by Asking Alexandria. Oh jeez! The translation of that means something along the lines of ‘by death I shall give’ or ‘the gift of death’ (Latin ed. does anyone know Latin and is qualified enough to verify? Cheers!) and I really, REALLY hope that my friends don’t want to kill me! Especially after the nice things I wrote about them above!

How do you feel about family? ‘Picture a Knife Fight’ by Biffy Clyro! Hahahaha! Oh dear! You can’t make this stuff up :D Granted sometimes it is like this in my house – literally, picture a knife fight and you’ll get it! Nah, I’m joshing, we’re pretty tight knit, so much so that whenever I left home this year to go back to uni after various holidays it brought a tear to my eye. Every time.

What do you think about very often? ‘Back & Forth’ by Foo Fighters. I’m a very indecisive person, I change my mind about everything and overthink like crazy, sometimes to the point where I do go mad. This works – I go back and forth between every decision I make, the options and consequences and it often feels like I get things wrong at the time. Eventually things work out though, that’s always something for me to remember: things do work out, calm down.

What song would you put on repeat for a road trip? ‘Scream’ by Avenged Sevenfold. Fair play! I think if I had it on repeat for that long, I could sing along to every single nuance of the guitar work as well as all the words…who am I kidding, I’m basically there already!

Describe your life. ‘My Last Breath’ by Evanescence. Hmm, an odd one, iPod. The song has always seemed to me to be a ‘I will love you until my last breath’ style jobby and we are NOT getting into this now… Either that or we could think of it as having a living life to the fullest message and living every moment like it will be your last. I wish I was more like that.

What do you dream of doing some day? ‘Five Colours in Her Hair’ by McFly. Oh dear, we were doing so well on the music front! But it’s no secret that I love McFly so I don’t mind and hopefully you don’t! So, what do I dream of doing some day? I’ve always thought that the idea of having a song written for/about me would be rather jazzy. That, and I’ve wanted to dye my hair for ages but every time I’ve been close to doing it, I’ve chickened out. One day, maybe.

What will people say when you die? ‘Not All Heroes Wear Capes’ by Ocasan. Now that WOULD be thinking too highly of myself! But I do enjoy helping people, just not on the scale of jumping around buildings and stopping cars from falling on buggies. I tend to lean towards the shoulder to cry on method.

What do you enjoy doing most (hobby)? ‘Where Did The Party Go’ by Fall Out Boy. Genuis. I’m not a heavy partier, but there’s something really sociable in what others might perceive as a negative trait of our partying/drinking society – going out and having a really good time with friends is what I do it for and there have been many a good memory created on a night out. I’ll only go out if I’m going with people, no one likes the person stood in the corner of the room on their own because they came out alone! And they don’t have fun either…unless they manage to pull with a bored expression and sad ‘no one came out with me’ face. BTW, if anyone is sceptical about getting this album, DO IT! I was too, and now it may be one of my favourites.

What’s your biggest fear? ‘Walking Dead Man’ by Black Tide. Ooh, fair enough. I wouldn’t say a zombie apocalypse is one of my greatest fears but I don’t like the idea of it! That, or the idea of being all alone in life – the song goes “you are nothing, you have no one, you have no heart, no mind of your own” I guess I’m afraid of being like that.

What’s your biggest secret? ‘Days Are Numbered’ by Black Veil Brides. I’m generally quite an open person, partly because things get to me so much that I have to share them. Although, I have a tendency to forget lots of things so there’s probably some secret buried deep within my mind that could number my days if it got out…can’t think what though. Eeesh. Great song though, featuring Bert McCracken from The Used.

What do you think of your friends? ‘Here’s The Thing’ by Don Broco. Yeah, here’s the thing, guys, I don’t actually like you. Awks. Teehee, but seriously, my friends are my absolute world, not like the girl about which this song is written.

What will be the title of this post? ‘Reckless’ by You Me At Six. Good shout, I always feel a bit reckless whenever I blog, I don’t feel like I should be trying to write or talk to internet people :D

What’s your ‘after posting’ celebratory song? ‘With You’ by Linkin Park. Really not a celebrating song, but quite appropriate because I’m completely alone right now and there are people I miss and would love to be with right now to celebrate/hang out :)