orangeroots

Brit Invasion

Brief interlude

Time has escaped me of late, and I will update you on details of my California adventures soon enough. But for now I want to direct you towards my favourite singer of the moment, he takes me back to the gentle soul sounds of the seventies. His voice envelopes me, and diligence with which he delivers his music is mesmerising. Feast your eyes, and your ears, on Michael Kiwanuka:

x

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Six: an ode to procrastination

Today, I found this:

Wasn’t that lovely?

 

Five: an ode to liking.

 

Just a few of my favorite things at this moment in time. Now back to studying.

XxX

Four and a half

Okay, so this is a little side note and a bit of a plug. So while I’ve been over here in the gorgeous Orange County my best friend’s little brother has been recording and re-recording music tracks. The first time I heard him sing was actually on a YouTube video posted by a mutual friend. It is him (Josh Bannister) covering a Deaf Havana track called ‘I’m a Bore, Mostly.’ A beautiful song by all accounts, and the lyrics are fantastic. Although the original song is delightful Josh brings it into his own, creating calming acoustic waves that prick your eyes with salty tears, raise your arm hair with excited goose bumps and will have you humming along without even realising you are. Feast your eyes and ears on this sweet:

Wasn’t that just gorgeous?! 

 

On a further side note, lately I have become obsessed with David Bowie. This has been ever since a rumour has been flying around that he could be headlining Glastonbury 2013. If this is the case I am very excited. Here’s my favourite Bowie track of the moment:

 

Until next time my hot Californian quesadillas!

Four

Well well well I am getting better at blogging aren’t I? This is the second within a month. Mad lady.

So, what’s happened since good ole new years in Vegas you say? Well, a tremendous amount: a visit to Venice Beach, The Edison, witnessing the ‘epic’ Blake Griffin dunk during the Clippers’ last home game… the list continues.

This weekend just gone my lovely friend and ex-housemate Natalie came to stay and experience her very own slice of SoCal homemade pie, which a sprinkling of sugar and a cherry on top. She came in bubbling on Friday evening, jetlag soon hit and she was in bed by 10pm sharp. However, the following day life was back on track. Natalie and I bunked a ride with my gorgeous American housemate and three other international exchange students to venture in Venice. That’s right. Venice. This ain’t no gondola ridden backwater though, this is the glorious grassy smells and funky talented Venice Beach, Los Angeles. The city itself gets more beautiful the more you go, Venice is almost as strangely admirable as Las Vegas. To live in Venice must be a surreal experience that only few can handle and stay relatively sane, same goes for Vegas. These two places go hand in hand when talking about crazy America. As I am yet to visit the Deep South I will keep comments above board. It is a truly fascinating place and I urge you to go if ever you find yourself with nothing to do in the city of angels. After our Venice adventures we got back into the car (a fantastically white people carrier, featuring a ukulele and a tape deck) and bombed it down to Melrose. This street is a beaut when soaked in the warm L.A sunset. The boutiques are cute, the people are cuter. 

The view as you walk towards Venice Beach.

The next day I took Natalie to Fashion Island. The place to go if shopping is all you desire. I’ve never seen a happier woman. She felt right at home in the land of plastic surgery, miniature dogs in pink apparel and tight pants. And, of course, Forever 21 was raided by both of us with all the energy we could muster.

Huntington Beach was on the cards for the next day, a gorgeous beach with  a gorgeous town centre to match. Huntington is the home of surfing, hosting the Surfer’s Walk of Fame, and surfing brands and stores line the sidewalks boasting their surfing talent to all that want to hear. It’s not unusual to see a man casually donning a pair board shorts or a wetsuit on the side of the road before sauntering to the beach. It’s not unusual to see groups of teenagers discussing the difference in versatility between their newly purchased Vans trainers  and their old(skool) ones. Huntington is one of my favourite places, it’s gorgeous and just lovely to be at.

Huntington Beach

On Natalie’s last night in the OC we took her out of the county itself, to Los Angeles no less. We went to see the last home game of the Los Angeles Clippers (basketball, for those who don’t know). The Clippers won with over 100 points, and we got to see the ‘dopest’ dunk in Clippers history by none other than Blake Griffin. I wasn’t aware this moment was so glorious until I returned home to find an email from a friend’s little brother expressing his envy that I got to witness it firsthand. So, yes, history in the making it would seem.

 

So there you go, my adventures since the last blog. I’m sure a lot more has happened but I can’t think of it right now. But such is life. More to come my little chickpeas! Take care, E x

Three

Hello fellows and fellowettes,

Since December 29th I have been back in Orange County and up to the usual messy behaviour…

In true American style a bunch of us International Students ventured up to Las Vegas, the notorious partying, gambling and marrying scene. Vegas is surreal. No other word can describe a city that has been built up entirely on the tourism trade… in the middle of a desert. The neon signs, the lit up fountain displays, and the sparkly gold and red casinos can all be found within half a mile of each other. Experiencing Vegas on New Years Eve is another thing altogether, it is mind blowing. The main strip is cordoned off to traffic, allowing party goers to wander in the middle of the road taking in the vast array of commercial billboards and brightly lit hotels. We stayed way downtown in a cheap motel/hostel combination right by the infamous wedding chapels and across the road from a 24-hour strip club. ‘Only in Vegas…’ was a phrase uttered from our mouths on an hourly basis, and only in Vegas could you have found all these things in one place. It is truly extraordinary and I urge you to go… now. Go now, and go every weekend you have free, it’s is truly worth the money.

In other news, saying goodbye has been a big theme of the past week. Being an international student can be hard when the ones studying for only a quarter have to leave, and that is what happened on Thursday. Although, in true American style a surprise going away party was planned, shots were offered, refused, and promptly downed by the person offering. Beer stealing, beer chugging and beer spilling ensued, until the loud suggestion of going to Woody’s Bar in Newport was adhered by all and we swiftly left. It was the classic messy goodbye to end all goodbyes, as previously stated in my last blog these things never pan out quite as expected by nevertheless this was possibly the smoothest I’ve ever been involved in. Pat on the back for me.

Other than that, the weather in Irvine and Newport has been gorgeous of late. As I still have not got the hang of this Fahrenheit business I shall stick to Celsius readings for now. On Thursday a glorious 28 degrees slapped us in the face, causing us to sunbathe by the pool for three hours of hot, sticky success. I am now brown with the classic dodgy tan lines, always a good comparison angle I think. Moreover, we are now truly Californian girls (or ‘gurls’ as Katy Perry would write it) with tanned skin and shorts in January. Where else in the world could this happen? Honestly, I am the luckiest girl in the world. I love everyday I’m in California, truly I do.

Let’s end it on that note before I get teary  and bleary my California lovin’ chickens. Ta ra for now babies x

Two

Okay, so it took me a while to post another blog. Apologies. But time = drama. And what drama I’ve had.

I’m home in England for winter break (Christmas holidays, everything in brackets is the British phrasal equivalent – just a heads up, American fellows), coming into contact with devastating rain storms, enjoying a lot of what my American friends would call “driving stick” (driving a manual car), and refilling the hotwater bottle at least seven times a day.

Jet lag more than ruined my life last Sunday but we won’t get into that, instead I’ll talk about my week visiting uni friends in Canterbury. I took along Peter The Anteater, the UCI mascot and he had a wild time, here’s the evidence:

And there you have it, Peter anteating his way through Canterbury and the surrounding area.

In other news, I got a new car: a Mini Cooper. Yep, very British and very cool. Her name is Jill – after the erotic novelist, Jilly Cooper. Who else would you want to name a vehicle after?! She is a babe of a car, unfortunately no photographs have been taken in her short life thus far but there will be some in the future, never you fear!

The last week of Winter Quarter at UCI is a painful one. As all Americans (and very few Britons) know, the last week of a Quarter, Semester or Term is called Finals Week.

This is a devastatingly horrendous week filled with exams, term papers and coffee. More coffee than the usual 5 or 6 a day. If you are to encounter Finals Week in your life do not expect a) sleep, or b) a balanced diet. In fact, any food at all is a bonus. To encourage us further into an academic whirlwind of panic the sororities and fraternities paste every inch of blank space along the walls of the footpaths with notions of good luck. Now, I’m not a student who has ever felt particularly stressed or had an overwhelming feeling of panic over an upcoming exam but everyone casually chatting about Finals in a pseudo-carefree way can have an enormous effect on an individual such as myself.

But enough about that, it’s all about the end of term party that comes as reward. This part of Finals Week is not just restricted to American students, every country has surely experienced this. It’s the idea of drinking excessively and partying hard. But it always fails… to a degree. One goes into these situations expecting their lives to be turned upside down, for destiny to intervene and make magic happen. But that almost never happens. Instead, you’ll end up going to a dismal gathering, drinking excessively just for something to do and partying becomes harder. This was kind of how our night panned out, we did the classic OC night, hanging out at the lifeguard hut on Newport Beach and ending up at a random Christmas sweater (jumper) party. A typical way to end your first quarter at UCI.

In other news, I’m broadening my music tastes. Well, maybe I’m just delving further into my favourite British music acts than I have previously done. These acts are mostly Rizzle Kicks, Stornoway, Snow Patrol and Ed Sheeran. You will most likely have heard of Snow Patrol because of their famous single: Chasing Cars. Rizzle Kicks are my favourite Brightonian act since The Kooks, a cheeky pair of lads who rap over remixes of Jessie J, Arctic Monkeys and Ed Sheeran. Of course, they produce tracks of their own, these are the ones that got them to the dizzy heights of musician royalty. Ed Sheeran has become the most popular musician of 2011 in England, a man America needs to get to get cosy with immediately. Last but not least, Stornoway. A band formed entirely of Oxford graduates who are close friends with my best friend’s sister. They produce a raw, folky sound that  fits perfectly with every mood and season.

Rizzle Kicks: Harley and Sylvester x

Stornoway. Playing football with a baked potato?

Ed Sheeran - second fave ginge x

Snow Patrol have never released an album I haven't loved ❤

So that’s been me for the past few weeks. I know it’snot wholly informative but I didn’t want to bore the chickens off you! If I don’t post before Christmas then have a good one my loves! x

One

Hello and welcome to the best thing you’ll ever read. I joke, it’s just me attempting to document my study abroad in the mighty California in the US of A. Orange County to be precise. That’s about forty miles south of Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, plastic surgery and Ryan Gosling’s Morrocan restaurant: Tagine.

In order to stop an endless, and possibly poorly punctuated, description of my entire life I feel a procession of images that sum up my being will ultimately be more interesting. Feast your eyes on these lovelies:

Brighton: the city by the sea where I've spent many a lovely day and night.

Submarine: the film I watched on Saturday evening and fell in love with. It is blissful, charming, immaculate in every way.

Starbucks: the place that's going to slowly destroy my financial stability.

Andrew Lincoln: the man with the perfect voice. Many will recognise him as Keira Knightly's admirer in Love Actually, others may know him from the much loved TV serial Teachers. To me he is perfect.

The Woman In Black: the best selling book turned suspense riddled sell-out play turned promising film re-make starring Daniel Radcliffe. Excited doesn't begin to cover it!

Adele: the world's latest obsession. This magnificent woman has captured the hearts of a generation, and I'm so proud she's British.

Echo: the dog I've shared my house with since I was fourteen. She's a terror and an angel all at the same time. This is a terrible picture.

There you go, a summary of parts of my life. Hopefully that’s enough of an insight. Keep those images in mind when reading future blog entries. It might help make sense of them, but it might not.

Until next time my little chickens!

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