Friday, August 19, 2011

600 Kissing Giants

Yesterday was a quite successful day as far as British days go. I spent the morning and afternoon wandering around the North Laines. My main mission was to find the graffiti style work of the mysterious Banksy whom I spoke about last December in my pop culture blog. This particular one is called Kissing Coppers and lives underneath the Brighton Train Station and is encased in glass against "vandalism" to the vandalism.

On the way I was pleased to find an amazing fudge shop that almost rivaled the homemade creations of Bathurst's 'a few splinters', a neat vintage toy and model train museum and a camera store that had Polaroid 600 (www.the-impossible-project) film which has been impossible to get for the past 4 years (I wont mention that it was almost 30 bucks for 8 shots.. heh)

At night, my housemate Mariangela and I journeyed to a bar on London Road to see a band called the Nordic Giants. They were this theatrical compilation of feathers, live video, strobe lights and smoke machines.. very over the top and interesting. It was totally original and weird.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Rabbit Hole

Tonight, I put aside all of my wallowing, homesickness and heart-brokenness for a minute to be grateful for what I am doing here in my life. During the walk home from a lovely dinner at Wagamamas restaurant with new friends, I contemplated for a moment the vastness of my life and tiny moment of it in which I live. All around me the world is going up in flames.. families are being broken, people are dying just an hour away in violent riots and tragedies continue to go on in our own backyards (or gardens I guess). But here I am, safe in this tiny seaside corner of the world, hidden from violence and divorce and rehab and death and reality. For the first time, I didn't think about being home but being here and never leaving. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Spiritual Journey of Bath and Stonehenge

Yesterday I took a day trip into the English countryside. I left my house in the wee hours of the morning to catch a bus from London at 8:00 am and head out for a two hour drive to the marvelous tourist attraction that is Stonehenge! For years I, like many others have pondered the mystery of these impossible rocks that jut up against the flat rolling hills of the country. After walking around them and getting a full 360 degree view of this wonder of the world I came to one conclusion.. They aren't beautiful, or colored, carved or creative. They don't have any definite historical value and frankly, theyre just rocks. But there is something about the ambiatic presence that gets to you, makes you think and question and believe. It was almost a spiritual experience that I'm very glad I did.

After I got back on a bus and drove another 2 hours to the city of Bath. Home to the ancient Roman Bath houses that were once an important part of society. A place to socialize, do business and of course, bathe. A beautifully modern museum built to float atop the ruins. I found it to be very interesting and defiantly something to see and experience. The water is, however, in desperate need of some chlorine and algicide.. being still for 500 years really does a number.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sous le Ciel de Paris

Last night I came home from what I can honestly call the best weekend of my life. I spent 3 days in Paris. I didn't want to leave.. everything was so amazing and beautiful.. the buildings, the people, the music. I loved it all. 

On the first day I got to glimpse the Eiffel Tower and take a river boat cruise along the Seine. After that I took a bus tour around the city and saw all the major areas. That night I took a walk to find the graveyard of Jim Morrison but unfortunatly the gates were locked:( On my way back to the hotel, my new friend Amanda from LA and I stopped for dinner at a cafe called L'Artiste.

Saturday I woke up early (and after a good breakfast of cakes and chesses) went go visit the city of Montmarte. There I ate even more pastry before getting a bit lost on my way to the Moulin Rouge. After that I took a journey to the Palace of Versaille to not only see lots of history.. but the site of one of my fave flicks, Marie Antoinette! (If youve read my other blog you know how much i loovee kirsten dunsts and sofia coppola). That night I returned to the Eiffel Tower with some friends for more pictures and a climb to the top. The view of Paris and the lights were amazing!

On Sunday I went the louvre museum for a full day. I saw almost the whole thing and even avoided the 3 hour  waiting line to get in.. hehe :) It was an amazing weekend and I can't wait to go back.. hopefully next time with means to do some real Parisienne Shopping ;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

faith from upstairs

After being here in the UK for almost a month.. this morning my homesickness got the better of me and I let myself go into breakdown mode. Leaving for Swap with emotional ties to home was probably the biggest mistake of my trip. But letting go is even harder. Letting go of the hope is even worse.

But after I pulled myself together (sort of) I knew what I had to do. I went into about 5 or 6 tattoo/piercing places trying to find someone who would squeeze me in (also I forgot my ID at home and apparently I don't look 18). Finally I gave up. I sat down on a street corner in the busy north laines of Brighton and almost started to cry. In a request to God that I keep my composure, I looked up to the sky. Blocking my view was a building. In the upstairs window was a small sign that said ' Tattoos upstairs'.

So I now am one tattoo heavier.. a small cross on my right inner ankle. It is to remind me to always keep faith in life and myself.. even when all hope is gone.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lori's Swapper Tips

1. I recently picked up a Kodak disposable camera. I've taken a few candid shots.. its kind of a relief from the perfection that digital photography has come to. I recommend to anyone who is traveling to pick one up.. they are a lot of fun: You are way more picky about what you snap and you get to look forward to remembering all your great moments when you get home and develop them!

2. The Wooden Belly is an all day breakfast cafe half a block from my house here in Brighton. I have become a regular since I arrived.. it's great to go somewhere where they know your face and even know that I'll be ordering (orange juice, two fried eggs and white toast!). When you move to your new home, find a restaurant you like and frequent it until you feel at home:)

3. England is a very wet place. I brought a rain coat with me which has already paid for itself but I recently got myself some Hunter Wellies. Yes, they are fashionable, expensive, Kate Moss has a pair and I've wanted them since I first saw them in Nylon Mag... but they are also extremely practical in this climate! So wherever you end up.. dress for the weather!

4. Most countries have their own version of Vogue Magazine.. wherever you are, invest in one! Although they are a great way to check out the country's styles, it will also have lots of stuff you need to know about your new culture, like slang, events and what to do, where to go and what to see!!