Sickened by Tourist Spots

There it was: Notre-Dame. An impressive cathedral. You had to be impressed by the Gothic architecture, with its towering presence, rows of statues, and incredible detail, as you stood outside with hundreds of people from all over the world. You had to be impressed by it. It’s Notre-Dame.

We took two photos and then joined a long queue. Unlike those encountered at airport security, French customs, and the RER ticket machine, this queue was quick-moving: free admittance. The herd of humans pushed in.

I enjoyed studying the effects of tourism in my Geography A-Level, and I found the issues flicking into my mind as I approached the world-famous landmark. Environmental damage, or environmental protection…etc. Someone bumped into me from behind.

‘Which is this?’ I pondered.

As soon as we reached the entrance, I wrapped Rach’s cardigan around my waist, out of respect for the ‘No Shorts’ sign. No one complained. I was aware of it as I walked around though, keeping as much of my legs covered as possible – not that my shorts were as short as a couple of the skirts that made it in! Disrespect for locals’ values.

We studied the signs and each little chapel, and were in awe of the stained-glass windows. Cultural preservation. I wished that more people would Continue reading

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Flying for the First Time

Monday 4.9.17

The aeroplane has just taken off. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to love it or hate it – I can understand why people are divided about flying. I’ve decided that I love it. My ears hurt a little though, unsurprisingly; this is the girl who can’t do jumping jacks without her ears trying to explode.

I’m chewing a mint, which Rach gave me, to help with the air pressure. She’s already snoring next to me. My ears are crackling, and I’m slightly peeved that a man stole my Continue reading

Being Kind to Yourself Won’t Kill You

‘Today, I’m going to focus on being kind to myself,’ I announced to an empty room, on Friday morning.

What a shame that it had to be said!

I removed a few things from my to-do list that didn’t ‘need’ to be done, and set about writing in my journal instead – little, ‘unimportant’ thoughts and observations.

I had already done my Morning Pages (two pages of freewriting as soon as I wake up) during which I realised that for the past couple of days I’d been Continue reading

Silence and Silliness

We sat on a bench on the prom, overlooking Llanelli Beach, with an assortment of food beside us. We weren’t hungry, and neither had we particularly wanted to go out again, but we dragged ourselves out of the Travelodge at 7pm, to make the most of the day. Our last evening.

We picked at the cheese and cocktail sausages, and mustered some enthusiasm for the chocolate-caramel doughnuts. The sea was advancing across the bay and the sun sinking towards the horizon. It was like a race, watching which would reach the finish line first! We were still. We were silent. To move or to speak would have burst our bubble.

I was tired by that point. When I’m at home, I usually escape to my room at the earliest opportunity! We had taken it easy for a lot of the trip, but I was still feeling slightly over-socialised and my mind over-stimulated, not helped by broken sleep. There are many advantages to being slightly introverted, but the lack of social stamina can be frustrating at times. Somehow, this week, it didn’t matter so much… Continue reading

Opposite Statements Can Be Equally True

I was standing in the community centre kitchen on Sunday morning. There were already five people squeezed into the small space; I pressed myself into the alcove by the door, keeping an eye out for whether my help was required.

Two proverbs came to mind:

‘Many hands make light work.’

‘Too many cooks spoil the broth.’

I smiled as I considered the apparent contradictions between these statements. Continue reading

The Wrong Amount of Time for Writing

When there are exciting things to write about, I don’t have time. When there is time, I don’t have much to write about. It’s quite a dilemma!

My brother, who has recently started a daily journal, has found this too. The other morning, he was sitting in bed and trying to scribble down everything that had happened the day before, which had been too busy for him to journal. I often have to catch up like that.

Many great stories or ideas come from the busiest parts of life. It pains me to experience so many stories, people, comments, sights, and events, and not be able to capture them on paper. A non-writer might encourage me to ‘live in the moment’, rather than trying to write it all down, but that doesn’t consider the fact that, for me, writing plays a huge part Continue reading