The Cambridge ‘Time-Eater’

My first impression of Cambridge is the staggering amount of bikes. I left with a bizarre feeling of wanting to cycle to work in a suit. I hate bikes. Then I realised cycling is no real effort here as Cambridge is very flat!

Instead, we booked a leisurely punt trip down the river Cam. My friend and I agreed that our punter seemed the most competent and had the best local knowledgable on the water, and for an added bonus we had the best seats on the boat.

We floated under the Bridge of Sighs, a Grade I listed building, and apparently a favourite of Queen Victoria’s. The bridge was built in 1831 and named after the bridge of the same name in Venice. Myth has it that the bridge of Sighs was originally named for the sighs of the condemned as they went from the court to the prison over the bridge, later to be emulated by students as they cross from their accommodation at St Johns college to receiving their grades on the other side of the river.

Looking for a fantastic more authentic, less touristy, momentum of your time in Cambridge? Keep an eye out for artists Signature JT outside Kings College selling handmade wooden landscape designs of Cambridge skyline.

We came across an amazing clock outside the Taylor library at Corpus Christi college. The Corpus Clock with the Chronophage mounted on top, literally ‘eating time’. The inventor Dr Taylor told BBC News, “I wanted to depict that time is a destroyer – once a minute is gone you can’t get it back.” The Chronophage is a gothic beast that reminds you that your time is ending every second so don’t waste it!

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George Bernard Shaw

I am staying with a good friend for the weekend in her home in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, famed for the U.K.’s first ever roundabout…yes, honestly! I will endeavour to take a picture of the roundabout before I leave. We planned to visit George Bernard Shaw’s house close by (both being literary geeks).

George Bernard Shaw bequeathed his home in the quiet village of Ayot St Lawrence in Hertfordshire to the National Trust. The house at Shaw’s Corner has therefore been left as it was at Shaw’s death in November, 1950. George was born in Ireland and he and his wife, Charlotte lived in London, but increasingly spent their time in their home in Hertfordshire. Charlotte’s bedroom (on her request) has been turned into a museum room, the best part being the Oscar (for Pygmalion) and Nobel prize safely tucked away in a glass cabinet and under a thick green velvet robe. I have never seen either of these prestigious awards before. The house is nestled within an extraordinary large garden, with an enclosed wood cutting area, important in all the modern homes back then apparently, and a shed at the bottom of the garden with a simple desk, typewriter and even a cot bed, when you just need to lye down and think about what you are writing. I need one of those…one day ‘sigh’!

 

Grab Your Media Pack!

This is the kind of life I always imagined for myself; travelling to other countries and writing. I love to travel, but it is good to have a reason as to why you are travelling. I always find that this way, you are more likely to find unusual, less touristy destinations, that you may never have discovered unless you are travelling for work. This weekend I am in Salou in Spain, just an hour away from Barcelona. I am the Copy Editor of the Paintball Magazine and we are here to cover the big international paintball games, called the Millennium Series.

Salou, Spain

It has been great catching up with a few people I met at the last Millennium Series in France last year. A writers life can be a very solitary existence, so it is great to get the opportunity to get out and interview people for magazine articles…and I find people are always happy to talk to the media! 🙂

A New Travel/Literature Blog

It has been a year this month since I last posted an entry on this blog. It hasn’t been a year since I wrote anything, on the contrary my short, ‘River of Blood’ was published in Bunburry Magazine and will be published in print in an Anthology later this year. I finally gained the courage to send off a short story, and I am glad I conquered my fear of people reading my fiction. As Eleanor Roosevelt states,

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

Bunburry Mag

Bunburry Magazine

But sometimes you just need to switch off, and write for yourself. In September I started a Masters at Exeter University in Creative Writing and English, which has got my fingers tapping harder than ever before. So, now I think it is time to write in the open once more…

Aur Revoir…for now!

It is sadly time to say goodbye to A.J Writer Experience. I have been writing this blog since December 2012! My original aim was to keep practicing my writing skills and most importantly to have fun. It has been an amazing journey and an incredible thing to have people from all over the world reading and contributing to my blog. Thank you to all you lovely people out there, you know who you are!

Don’t worry, if you enjoyed this blog and want to read more from me, and let’s face it why wouldn’t you? Then please follow my continued writing adventures at Writing Times.

Au Revoir…for now xx

Is Your Life a Fight?..

 “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. The life I am forced to endure is the culmination of someone else’s past. I want to delete it and start again. Life is a fight, a constant battle to get what you want. Maybe we push too hard.  Don’t hold on so tightly, we have no control over our lives. We are born on a construction line. Our lives are mass-produced. Happiness is the hardest thing of all to endure, and the hardest lesson to learn.

How everything you ever love will reject you or die. Everything you ever create will be thrown away. Everything you’re proud of will end up as trash.

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

So many lives are simply a repetition of the same day. There is nothing to learn from order. The worst moments of your life can truly be the best things that could have ever happened to you. If only we could give up, stop trying to control every moment. What would happen?

   “This is your life and its ending one moment at a time.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Have fun every moment of your day, this is your life and it’s ending one moment at a time…

An Unlikely Pilgrimage

As Rachel Joyce eloquently states in her book The Unlikely Pilgrimage, it makes sense that if we keep putting one foot in front of the other we will eventually reach our destination. But sometimes for a person like me who suffers from depression, the hardest part of our journey is to keep going, to put one foot in front of the other. To face the mundane.

“People were buying milk, or filling their cars with petrol, or even posting letters. And what no one else knew was the appalling weight of the thing they were carrying inside. The superhuman effort it took sometimes to be normal, and a part of things that appeared both easy and everyday. The loneliness of that.”

Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

It’s a lonely life pretending to feel normal, to feel a part of the people and activity going on around you when you have always felt separate. When I meet new people I wonder if they feel like I do. Closed in inside their bodies, watching me from within, as I watch them. A body is designed for human touch, but a faulty design has meant I am hidden inside a body that has become desensitized. When this body is meant to cry, it wants to laugh out loud. When it is expected to laugh, it pretends, embarrassed that it is sad. A human body at fault.

bw-charles25

“The least planned part of the journey, however, was the journey itself.”

Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

But the journey can be exciting, the best part is the unexpected twists and turns that happen in our lives. You never know what is going to happen next, especially if your are open to the wealth of new experiences that make this world so beautiful and being human, even a broken one, so worthwhile.