Friday, 18 January 2013

Snow: We Can't Deal.

Here I am... having been send home early because of the snow.

Everything is grinding to a halt; shops are closing, traffic is piling up and people are being send home from school or work.

We (British) are so inept when it comes to dealing with snow. But then again, Britain is known for the rain and not the seldom snow.

I'm pretty sure the Russians and Canadians are laughing at us for staying home because of an inch of snow but really, we are never prepared for this.

Step outside and watch people attempt to drive their cars on the icy roads and you'll realise that most Brits haven't heard of the concept of snow tires or snow chains.

Five hours later, the main roads are still icy and snowy after the first snow fall and you start to realise that no one from the city council listened to the weather forecast and decided that it was a good idea to prepare the gritting trucks.

There was even a time when we actually didn't have enough salt to grit the roads and it became a really big deal for very obvious reasons.

Many of us are so freaking cheap too; we don't want a high energy bill so we send the school kids home... on the contrary, I'm sure it's more to do with health and safety.

Poor squirrel looked confused by the snow 'what is this?'.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Grieving Notes.

When someone young dies, you realise how vulnerable you and the people around you really are. The insignificant stuff fade into the background and you start to appreciate everything a whole lot more.

Death hits you. It hits you like a high speed train.

Death reminds you that you're only visiting or passing through this phase and that you can go onto the next phase at any moment in time. We are all visitors. We're all here temporarily. We all have some mission or aim. Some will do more than others, others will do a whole lot less. Some people will never leave anything behind.

I'm not unfamiliar with death, but each experience I've had with it has been different. The circumstances, the relationship with the deceased, their age, etc. has made every experience different. Nonetheless, all deaths I have experienced have been difficult to comprehend. The way how I dealt with them all was also quite different.

My brother's passing has been the most debilitating for me because someone who was here everyday, is suddenly not here and won't ever be coming back.

There are moments when I'm just hoping he'll appear out of the kitchen with his food or he'll be sitting behind the computer watching live football. It's something I struggle with daily. I'm still in the disbelief stage. Somedays I'm like 'damn, did that really happen?' and then you get home and see an empty and quiet room, clothes folded neatly and untouched, then reality hits... 'it did really happen'.

Everyday is a struggle. Everyday is a reminder that I'm getting older but my brother isn't getting older alongside me. My heart aches like it's been ripped out and pulled apart right in front of me.

I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I'm always ready to punch someone in the face. I'm always ready to tell someone 'try being in my shoes, what you're caring about is nothing'. 

Everyday I live with the worry of, what else is life going to throw at me? What else will I have to endure? 

Don't ever take anything for granted; your life and the people in your life. Live everyday to be the best person you can possibly be. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Exam Season.

It's exam season.

And I'm now eating, breathing and sleeping cancer biology.

It's four days until my exam (it's on a freaking Saturday, can you believe it?!) and I'm sort of procrastinating. There are so many other things I want to do right now other than studying. I could be finishing off blog posts or articles that I should be writing or perhaps even colour coordinate crayons...

I have to keep reminding myself that I chose to continue my education so I should just suck it up and continue lying in the bed I made. Of course education is very rewarding and all that but sometimes you can get so frustrated and tired of it.

I'm just going to have to continue acquainting myself with this:

And this...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Netherlands pt3.1: Amsterdam! Rijksmuseum

Disclaimer: Late post. Oh well. Part 1 and 2 of Netherlands are here and here

IAmsterdam: Did you know that this is one of the most photographed spots in Amsterdam? 

I had a really great time that day. The weather was also very amazing, it was probably 29 degrees Celsius that day. 

I've always wanted to go to the Rijksmuseum and so my lovely friend took me there. 

Unlike the National Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum is not free to attend (ticket price was €12 - 14 when me and my friend went). 

We were also 'allowed'* to take photographs in the Rijksmuseum which was quite surprising to me because the National Gallery in London has a strict no photo policy... I suppose it's to protect the art so it was strange to me that it was allowed in the Rijksmuseum.

The Rijksmuseum is also a whole lot smaller than the National Gallery in London. When we sort of got to the end I was like 'this is it?'. Nonetheless, I had a really wonderful time and I'm so glad I saw De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch) in person! 

*I remember reading on the Rijksmuseum website that you can't take photographs but the security there never stopped anyone from taking them. 

Inside the Rijksmuseum:

I like this portrait of current Dutch Queen Beatrix by Andy Warhol. 

At primary school (I went to primary school in the Netherlands), we did history and learned a bit about Dutch art so I was really glad to see this painting in person!

This is an Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian inspired dress (Mondriaan was a Dutch painter who painted some abstract paintings and the dress was based on that).

Visit the Rijksmuseum if you're an art lover. Also visit other museums in Amsterdam such as the Van Gogh Museum, (I'll definitely do this next time!). Sightseeing and checking out museums is a great way to familiarise yourself with Dutch culture.