Photo Diary: Birthday in Barcelona

 

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First off, I hope everybody had a really lovely start to the new year, if you’ve already seen my Instagram and Snapchat spams then you’ll all know that I blooming had the best start to the year!! My family only went and took me to Spain for my birthday! Like what?!?! Absolute crazinesssssss! It was the best birthday of my life, besides the fact of how old I was turning – but let’s not dwell on that…
I can’t thank my sisters and brother-in-law enough for taking me – also for being my personal photographers and videographers – had to keep up-to-date with OOTD’s guys! This post is kind of a lengthy one but only because it’s jam-packed with pictures and very little writing so for now I’ll shut up and let you enjoy my little(ish) gallery of all the places I visited and things I did in beautiful Barcelona.

Saturday 7th January (My Birthday!)

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We stayed at the beautiful Vincci Mae Barcelona Hotel  which is situated towards the centre of the city and walking distance from a lot of attractions. The staff were so lovely, always greeted with an “HOLA” from the desk every time we were leaving or arriving and the rooms weren’t too shabby either!

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Sunday 8th January

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Barcelona Zoo

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Camp Nou (New Camp) Stadium

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So, I’ve never been much of a football fan apart from when something big his happening in the footy world like the World Cup or something, but oh my, I fell so in love with the Barcelona football team – and the stadium too! Now, I’ve always been a fan of Lionel Messi, he’s one of the few footballers I know (and that’s only because he’s the greatest footballer in the world, debatable I know but he’s the best in my eyes). Anyway, we were able to see all the many, many, many, MANY trophies and cups that the Barcelona team have won over the years, many photos of the footballers too 😉 Then there was the chance to walk out onto the sidelines of the pitch, visit the press pit and even take a gander into players’ locker room!

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ALSO, it’s not every day you get to have an Outfit of the Day photoshoot in an empty football stadium – apparently I had amused one of the tour guides by taking pictures whilst sitting on the stairs rather than using the pitch as my backdrop… he clearly did not understand the ways of an OOTD shoot.

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Monday 9th January

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Sagrada Familia

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All I can say about this building is that it is so so sooooo beautiful, I cannot even express in words or do it any justice in pictures of how beautiful. My sister (Adeeba) and I had already visited it the night before – only being able to see it from outside – but even then when we could just see it in the light of the street lamps, it  quite literally took our breaths away. You just don’t expect something so grand and gorgeous to be in the centre of all the hustle and bustle of the city. Just from looking at the pictures I remember how bad my neck hurt from having to crane it all the way up to take in all the beauty… so worth it though. Gaudi, you bloody genius.

Gothic Quarter

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Park Guell

To carry on with the Gaudi guide, we visited Park Guell. Just see for yourself how amazing it is…

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I still remember making my own little fantastic and strange building out of clay from studying Gaudi in Year 7 Art and from then on, I’ve always wanted to travel to Barcelona to see his work in real life. Also, when I was younger I was a huge fan of the Cheetah Girls – please, please tell me that people remember the Cheetah girls –  and to this day I still remember the scene they filmed in this very park in their second movie – anyone else remember? It was basically my 10/11 year old self’s dream come true, so of course I geeked out – but I was totally here for the art and culture too, not just because Raven Symone had been dancing on these stairs, okay?

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Tuesday 10th January

And this was the sad, sad day where we had to say our goodbyes to Barcelona and head home 😦

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But oh my word, it was such an amazing trip, the perfect birthday and the best start to the year. I cannot thank my family enough for spoiling me and all I keep thinking about now is…

“Where are you guys taking me next year?” 😉 😉 😉

 I .. x

*All photos taken with an Olympus PEN

Photo Diary: A Weekend in Whitby

From light breezes to blustering winds, drizzly spells to torrential rainfall and times where you are just simply left breathless – and I’m not just talking about walking up and down those hundred and ninety-nine steps several times – but whether it be in the warmth of the golden sun or through blurred vision because the wind has struck you and you’re crying rivers, Whitby is still without a doubt, breathtakingly beautiful.

You see, writing can get so overwhelming and stressful at times that a break is needed to avoid the risk of one becoming a sectioned patient. Luckily for us, our amazing creative writing tutors understood this and organised a weekend retreat to Whitby where we able to escape, to write, or to just take in the lovely sights that Whitby consisted of where inspiration was lurking on every cobbled corner. And it was definitely a wonderful break indeed! Minus those killer steps of course – our hostel was situated on the cliff top and the easiest way to get into the town was to go down that bugger of a staircase – but no pain, no gain right?

We arrived at the hostel and I’m sure the first question asked was “what’s the WIFI password?” (I may or may not have wanted to know that myself.) So once all that important stuff was out the way we had our chance to explore! Yes, we were at the seaside but let’s not forget it’s November (and this is Britain) so I basically wanted to wrap up so much that if I fell and hit the floor, the goal was to bounce straight off the ground and get back up again! (Fortunately I didn’t fall but that meant I was never able to test that theory.) So, hats, scarves, boots were the basics, obviously gloves were out of the question because then I wouldn’t be able to use my phone. #FirstWorldProbs

Whitby has always been a special place from a literary perspective as its mesmerising scenes has influenced many great writers – Lewis Carroll and of course, Bram Stoker are just a couple. Now, it was OUR time to become inspired! We had the pleasure of walking through cemeteries where the gravestones looked more like props stolen from a movie set (except there were actual real people buried underneath these ones.) We took a gander round the little town, discovered tiny coffee shops that seemed only fit for hobbits – there was a lot of “Mind Your Head” signs about it – I met some overly friendly donkeys and I think I probably made friends with more dogs than I did with people 🙂

We had a night dedicated to the students for their chance to read out what they had written over the course of the first day, I just have to say, I was surrounded by some crazy, mad talent in there! Being in the company of such a lovely group of people, bonding and meeting some amazing new friends has definitely been the highlight of the trip! Okay, soppy moment over.

And I think that’s it in a nutshell! So, here I have created a little photo diary of my time over the retreat. I switched into photographer mode quite often, okay, very often (I got a little excited at the Abbey ruins as you may be able to tell) and of course, there’s plenty of selfie action!

Somehow all 199 of those steps seemed to have had some kind of inspirational powers because writer, Michael Farber has wrote a whole novel about them. I don’t know what he was on whilst he was walking up (and down) them, but I want some of it. The point being, I intend to read his novel that is, oh shocker, called The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps to try and find some positivity from the devil that made me feel like I’d done three straight days of leg-day at the gym! Okay, I’ve never been to a leg-day session in my life but if I did, I imagine it would feel like that.

Also, a massive, massive thank you to the Creative Writing Team at York St John! We had a blast!

Follow @YSJWriting on Twitter for more pictures of how the trip went down.

Relaxed Retreater out x

Nature Photography Shoot

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Hey!

So my photo-shoot from the Nature Trail my sister and I ventured upon last week is now uploaded!  Here’s a little background information of the journey:

We went to Potteric Carr Nature Reserve right here in Doncaster! (From living here most of my life I had no idea something so beautiful was so local!) It consisted of a long walk – approximately 3 hours to walk round the whole reserve – but completely worth it. There were shorter routes available to explore but we were determined to view it all.

We began by crossing a few bridges, and stumbled upon a beautiful lake with a small pier. The whole place was crawling with wildlife, although majority of the time we just saw ducks and geese, the birds never stopped singing and chirping. There were fantastic natural structures; vines made into arches and stones carved into caterpillars, also, when you reach the woods they engulf you. I felt like Red Riding Hood on the quest to reach her sick her Grandma (fortunately there were no Big Bad Wolf) and the atmosphere creates this feeling that you are in something so deep and magical it is as though you have been transported into another world.

It is inspirational as much as it is scenic and influenced me to write my own short story (see previous post ‘The Valley of Vines’). The pictures I took were a massive success, I tried my best to do the scenery justice through my digital eye so I hope you check it out – Just go to the Photography Page and click ‘Nature Shoot’ to view the gallery!

Hope you like them!

Putting a Protest to the Test

 

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There’s a first for everything. This was the first time I had received a gig like this.

The atmosphere was tingling with passion and excitement as I strolled onto the streets of my first protest. I was the ‘Photographer’ (well it said so on the bib I was wearing). I was part of a team, part of a movement and now that I looked the part I had to play the part. The cold air bit harshly onto any exposed skin, the drizzle from the sky dampened the roots if my hair, dewdrops settling themselves upon it.

The pickets were up! Diving into my role as ‘photographer’ I was lucky enough to capture the emotion that pulsed from these motivated and determined workers. Their devotion towards fighting for what they have been stripped off made my job a whole lot easier, as they thrived upon the inspiring speeches and the support they gained from their fellow workers.

Crowds are great aren’t they? Being able to capture action shots is so thrilling. The angry fist pounding, whistles blowing and shrieking with enthusiasm and frantic banner waving are just a few scenes I witnessed through the eye of my lens.

News crews were all lined up as I sandwiched myself in between them, barely visible but I didn’t miss a second. My all seeing digital eye could reach heights and angles that was not visible to the human eye. The shutter clicked rapidly. It finally ceased fire 362 shots later.

The sun peeked through the dark clouds, almost as if it was showering a blessing upon the crowd, presenting its love and support to the union.

This was fun.