A look back on a crazy year

2016 will go down in history as one of the most defining years of this century – that is to say that the events that occurred will undoubtedly be written about in our children’s history textbooks (namely the election of trump)! Don’t even get me started ! as a US citizen  this was the first election I could vote in and wow was it quite a turn of event.

Anyway 2016 will be remembered by me as the year I completed A-levels, traveled the world and began life as a University student. I achieved so much but it was not without its hardships. I decided to spend the days after New-Years flicking through the Polaroid pictures I had taken to record my travels. But the most poignant thing I looked at was my bullet journal. Through the struggle of: two sets of exams, an EPQ, choosing between universities, planning travel, keeping up with blog posts, making revision pretty, dreaming about the future, attempting to be motivational, geeking out over history and discovering a love of poetry, it helped me through it all. It is now stuffed full of quotes, doodles and random bits and pieces I collected on the way. Fueled by wanderlust and my hatred of exams (an intense desire to do anything else but revise!) I thought there would be no better way to sum up the year then to share a few things I picked up along the way as well as a couple of pages.

Favorite Quotes I discovered this year …

I have not changed my mind about a particular topic and have felt no need to give it more or less attention

– J.M.Roberts

Cinderella never asked for a prince she asked for a night off and a dress

– Kiera Cass

you don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the walls

– Jawaharlal Nehru

Quiet calm deliberation detangles every knot

– Harold macmillan

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning

– Albert Einstein

“There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.” 

– Ernest hemingway

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try!”

– Seth Godin

“A ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it’s built for.” 

-Albert Einstein

It’s not all quotes I promise … this is what happens when you study history you can’t help but write down the odd quote or two every other day.

A few year defining pages …

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Notes from my interview – I wouldn’t be at univercity today without it. Dr John McNab mentioned here is my Human origins lecturer and Dr Yvonne marshall teaches me archeological and anthropological theory – both amazing lecturers who inspire me every week.   I am also really good friends with one of the other interviewees who is also now studying at Southampton. who would have thought?
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These scribbled notes turned into the best week of my life. with the little money I had saved from my birthday I traveled with three of my best friend to Paris then onto Amsterdam and finally to Berlin. We left the Day after our A-level results (or at least the morning after our celebrations) ; as you can see I was quite excited and still a little amazed I was going to Univercity.  I can honestly say  it was the first time in months I was really happy and it was a great trip to mark the end of our school days together.
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So, yes I like to doodle some pretty headings and banners from time to time it helps to make revision look ess like revision. The less neat page with all the lines though is more significant however. I had very little hope that I would ever get into uni so to be buying stuff to fill my room with seemed like a dream. However I now have a little collection of cactus, all sorts of desk organisers with an array of stationery bits and bobs (including a pencil case i made from an old pair of levis)
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As part of my EPQ I attended a conference in London about the ‘Destruction of Monuments and memory in the Middle East’; this mess of a page is only 2 of about 30 pages of notes I made. Organised by the Iran Heritage Foundation (which were really excellent and all the talks from the conference can be found on their youtube page) I really couldn’t of completed the project without the insights it gave me. It also really inspired me to look into a career in journalism (stay tuned).

and yes my handwriting is actually that appalling (blame the dyslexia) !

Poems I lived by  …

Do not hold your breath for anyone, Do not wish your lungs be still, it may delay the cracks from spreading but eventually they will.

Sometimes to keep yourself together you must allow yourself to leave, even if breaking your own heart is what it takes to let you breath.

– Erin Hanson

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.

Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

-Rumi

we have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains.

93% stardust with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names. 

-Nikita Gill

These spiritual window-shoppers, who idly ask, “how much is that? oh, I’m just looking”. They handle a hundred items and put them down, shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping. But these walk into a shop, and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment, in that shop.

Even if you don’t know what you want, buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow. 

Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah . It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you. 

-Rum

Just some pretty pages …

Between clever quotes, poems and essay notes I did find some spaces for doodles, and pretty things … there was a lot of inspiration from pinterest  with most of these.

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so why keep a journal?

For me it helped me through a tough year. I vented my anger, expressed my fears, explored my desires using a pen and a notebook. It motivated me to get to where I am today … there are pages with sticky notes with positive messages like “think of summer” covering up rants about how hard A-levels are. To me 2016 will be about the good times, the silly quotes I collected and the dreams I reached. I can look back and smile, I can see just how much I’ve grown and how much 2016 has shaped me.

 

So thank you to nearly 600 of you who visited this little  blog last year and came with me through the tough times it really means alot. I hope to continue sharing my passion throughout 2017 so to keep up to date posts please subscribe !

 

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Ljubljana

I went on about how excited I was to visit this wonderful city in my last post …. a few months later, sat in my Uni halls, thinking back to the amazing summer I had that all started with my trip to this stunning place.

This is a little photo diary of my time there; seeing the sights and being a proper tourist. This was the first time I toured a foreign city on my own so I made the most of it and honed my photography skills. Please enjoy

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Guess Where I’m Going …

I am very excited about the end of exams – more than just the simple fact I will no longer be taking exams and panicking about their impact – I will be of to a place I have never been before and I cannot wait!

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and and for a city with such a rich and diverse history it is amazing I hadn’t heard of it before. The Ancient Greek myths of  Jason and the Argonauts were said to have established the city after fleeing from the King of Aetes having stolen the golden fleece.  Having encountered a dragon whilst there the city’s “dragon bridge” is named after Jason’s victory over the monster – I will be sure to take a selfie!

However most accounts state that the city began in the 1st century AD as a Roman one ; highlighting on the trade route between Upper pannonia and the northern Roamn colonies of Norcicum and Aquilia. Roman walls and dwellings give physical evidence of this period unlike the supposed Greek settlement. Before the trade route was utilized the area was populated with celtic tribes since around 2000 BC ; the ground was largely marsh and dwellers were subsistence hunter-fishermen.

 

 

The germanic occupation began in the 6rd century; with them came rapid growth. I look forward to visiting many of the city squares of which most are from this era. The city developed despite battling to eventually come under Habsburg rule in 1335 and suffering a huge earthquake 1511. Rebuilding under renaissance style it will be interesting to see the contrast in architecture as the city changed hands frequently in the middle ages each bringing a unique style – that is if any of it survived through several earthquakes!

Since its founding the citys geographical position has made it strategically vital. The deterioration of the Western Roman Empire saw the destruction of much of the city as the Huns invaded. There are still early christian churches that remain – again more photo opportunities! the best example of it strategic importance would be the building of Ljubljana Castle in the late 15th century. This was in reaction to the threat of the turks who wanted control of the well connected city. The Castle is probably the thing I am most looking forward to visiting – who can resist a good medieval castle !

Ljubljana is a City where Slovenian nationality began. The Slovene language was said to be established here. The rich culture of the city is argued to have been established with the philharmonic in 1701. However it was not until more recent history, the 1860’s, that it truly became the slovenian cultural centre . The city gained true power status and recognition as it hosted the four members of the holy alliance in 1821 who met to discuss the democratic revolution and national movements of Italy and how to suppress them.

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My favorate Ljubljana dweller by far is Tito ; the infamous Yugoslavian leader of the state post WW2 . The first World War had passed the city only indirectly affecting its residents ; the outbreak of the second would drive its path of history to the Right. The city was encircled by the Fascist by a 30m high wire fence to keep it isolated – commemorated in the path of Remembrance and Comradeship  I am aiming to walk around the city following it. Tito died in the city leading to Yugoslavia’s unraveling –  a tension during the Cold War straining the state’s relation with the USSR.

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For a city with such rich history it is amazing I had not heard of it before ! I’m revising hard so I can pack up and go already  … if you have ever been to this amazing city, live there or know someone else who has please leave a message or find me on twitter I would love to hear from you.

I will be posting videos and blog posts during my time there (at the end of the month) so be prepared and subscribe !