Europe, Travel

The Prodigal Son Returns

April 8, 2015

A lot has changed since my last post back in October. I spent three months in the United States working for a workforce development non-profit organisation in Boston, Massachusetts, and at the beginning of February I moved to Madrid for 4 months to work with an education charity in the north of the city with the aim of improving my Spanish and turning my milk white skin into caramel perfection.

If the experience in Italy was a terrible dark cloud, then the entirety of this year has been the most unexpected of silver linings. It was a detour from my university career that I never expected to have to take but it is one where I have so far learnt so much more than my previous two years of academia combined. With this in mind, I thought the best way to reintroduce the blog is with a list of three inane things I’ve learnt during the period in which I abandoned this page.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

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Europe, Travel

An Italian Spanking

October 14, 2014

The final dinner with Olivia had been eaten, the tearful goodbyes and last kisses shared. The last drunken night out with friends was done and dusted, the intoxicated farewells on filthy Soho street corners had. The time had finally come, to board an early morning flight to my Italian dreamland. I was like a meerkat pup leaving the burrow for the first time, extremely overexcited but also terrified of the unknown.

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London

A Very Masculine London Daycation

September 19, 2014

Every so often, it is important to remind yourself of what your hometown has to offer. Londoners are awful at this. They complain and grizzle about the weather, the prices, the tube and most of all, everyone else that isn’t them (often stubbornly negative). With all these minor annoyances preoccupying us so much, it is easy to forget all the reasons that convinces millions of people to brave the rain and come to London each year.

As professional man child Ferris Bueller warned us: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it”. With this in mind, it was time to overcome the shame of carrying a camera around Central London and go on a “daycation”. I grabbed my friend, Mo, and headed into the land of tourists with the Royal Academy as our starting point.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

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Food, London

Christmas in September?

September 13, 2014

Being the obedient and fantastic boyfriend that I am, I agreed to go and follow Olivia around as she shopped her way down Regent Street, offering my highly valued and often unnecessarily harsh opinion on everything she so much as glanced at.

We met for lunch in Soho at a Korean restaurant called Bibimbap (I’m still really struggling to remember the order of the syllables in that word). It is a little canteen style restaurant that specialises in a Korean dish called (funnily enough) bibimbap. A word that translates as “mixed rice”. It is a mixture of fresh vegetables, rice and sliced meat (there is a choice of chilli chicken, spicy pork, beef and many other options). It is served in a boiling hot stone bowl, in which you mix up all the different ingredients and hey presto! The perfect light lunch is served. The food arrived very quickly, the service was great and and best of all, it cost us £8 each for lunch and a drink. If you’re in Soho and want a quick, cheap and delicious lunch then this is the perfect pitstop.

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Europe, Travel

A Diabolical End

September 13, 2014

The time had come to leave the speedos, super yachts and general decadence of Hvar behind and head to somewhere a bit more relaxed for the final part of our little Croatian tour. The last stop before heading back to London was the small seaside town of Bol on the island of Brač. The army of English and American tourists that had swamped Hvar and Split had dissapeard , and given way to the occasional overweight jolly German wearing socks and dangerously practical sandals, (some stereotypes really do have a grain of truth in them). Bol is the idyllic summer beach town, children play on the street, elderly couples sit on benches along the pier sharing an ice cream and best of all, there isn’t a perfectly tanned Brazilian in speedos anywhere in sight.

After a long afternoon of travelling, we headed out in search of  food and stumbled upon a small restaurant on the waterfront, located in a little bay opposite a dominican monastery.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

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Europe, Travel

Speedboats and Speedos in Hvar

September 12, 2014

Europe is a continent that is famed for its style and elegance. It is the home of the majority of the world’s leading fashion labels. However, go to any beach south of the English Channel and something is disastrously wrong,  you are entirely surrounded by men in tiny speedos. Style and elegance are replaced by bulges and bum cracks. It is is almost like many men believe that as soon as they don these tiny briefs they will be transformed into a David Gandy-esque adonis. Part of me admires their confidence, I remember being mortified when my primary school forced us to wear little red speedos for our swimming competitions. Choosing to wear such an item is the ultimate sign of being totally comfortable with your body, it is as close as a man can get to nudity without whipping it out.

Olivia and I had arranged to go on a speedboat trip to the islands surrounding Hvar, a day of swimming in hidden coves and free drinks. We were joined by a group of  seven Brazilian men. As we pulled away from Hvar at speed. The samba music started, the tanning oil came out, shorts were ripped off and speedos revealed. We’d somehow ended up on a gay Brazilian cruise.

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Europe, Travel

Dalmatian Perfection

September 11, 2014

After an early morning catamaran journey from Split, we arrived in the beautiful town of Hvar. We disembarked, eager to start exploring this idyllic little island, pushing our way through an army of bleary eyed and hungover Australians that were still suffering the effects of their previous night.

We dumped our bags and set out with towels in hand, looking to discover the perfect little spot to set up camp on the beach. After walking for a mile we realised that the coast of Hvar is entirely made up of the sharpest and craggiest rocks known to man. Olivia being the fanatical beach lover that she is, was unperturbed and so we took a spot on what felt remarkably like the bed from The Addams Family. After about an hour, we suddenly realised that about twenty yards around the corner was a place that was quite possibly the most relaxed place on Earth. Falko is a little beach bar that is nestled between the trees and filled with hammocks, bean bags and sun loungers. Charming waiters stroll around brining drinks and fresh greek salads to your table, Spanish guitar plays in the background and best of all, when you get to hot, you simply walk to the end of a dock and dive into clear blue water. If only my local pub was like this.

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Europe, Travel

The Milk Bottle That Went To The Beach

September 9, 2014

I’ve never been good at Summer beach holidays but as the sunny August days abandoned London and gave way to a drizzly and chilly early September, it was time for this giant milk bottle of a man to brave the sun once more. We had already planned our escape from this rainy old city a few weeks earlier, and so Olivia and I packed our bags and headed to Croatia for one final taste of Summer. A last hurrah before wintery weather takes its grip and those long Summer evenings become a distant memory.

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