friends

The boy who moved away

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things,
trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself,
changing yourself, changing your world.
You’re doing things you’ve never done before,
and more importantly, you’re doing something’

– Neil Gaiman

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Sitting atop Mt Ngauruhue with my mascot, Khaleesi

In my 2015 year review, the boy who started to live, I finished my post with the above quote by Neil Gaiman. If anything, it is more relevant for 2016 than in any year previously.

Why? Because over the course of this year I have made mistakes. Some were negative, but others did lead to positive outcomes. That is just on the surface though. If we look at it as some sort of checklist then;

  • Making new things? Check
  • Trying new things? Check
  • Learning more about the world around me? Check
  • Pushing yourself? Check
  • Changing my world? Check
  • Doing things I’ve ever done before? Check

If we measure 2016 against this then, without doubt, it is my most successful yet. That shouldn’t come as a surprise though. I may be extremely fortunate to have ended up in my current situation, but it didn’t come without sacrifice and hard work. So, as the year pulled into its home strait and the emotional goodbyes were had, there I was. One a plane bound to New Zealand. Now here I am in Australia, my home for the foreseeable future.

When I say it that way, it just seems to cap off a very strange year. Not so much for me, but just in general. Those working in the newsrooms have certainly earned their keep in 2016, because when there wasn’t tragedy striking at the heart of Asia, Africa or Europe, then there has always been another high-profile death. There was no such thing as a slow news week either because, if there was nothing new to report regarding the above elements, then the various forms of media outlets could always fill their boots with Brexit and the rise of Trump.

As I said, 2016? A very strange year. On a personal level though, I have to admit, it’s been pretty great… which is probably an understatement.

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(Untitled thoughts of one who is drunk on New Years Eve)

Tonight my best friend’s 5yo cousin told me she was going to marry me without a hint of uncertainty in her voice. How precious is that?

It’s a sort of rash boldness, a sort of certainty that we lose as we get older. With each coming year we become more bashful. More shy. The straight talking occurrances become few and far between and that is disappointing. It’s almost like becoming more aware of things – such as consequences – becomes more detrimental in relation to our lifestyle.

On the other hand, I felt a sort of peace tonight. Whilst I was in a taxi drinking a beer on my way to my friends house for New Years Eve, I felt contented. Honestly. Thoughts of the entire year raced through my head and I was at peace with everything.

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The boy who started to live

‘Open your eyes, look within.
Are you happy with the life you’re living?’
– Bob Marley

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At the start of the year I wrote a post titled the boy who began to grow up, which reviewed my 2014 and outlined what I hoped to achieve by the time 2015 came to a close.

The focus for 2015 was to forge an environment in which I could reclaim my life as my own, creating a plethora of stories and memories along the way. This is something I truly believe I have managed to achieve. I would argue that 2014 provided me with a disjointed roller-coaster ride, replaced by a 2015 which – for the most part – was relatively smooth-sailing and ended with a trip of a lifetime.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt. 5 Prague, Czech Republic

‘In Rome the statues, in Paris the paintings, and in Prague
the buildings suggest that pleasure can be an education’
– Caleb Crain

Day 11: Prague 26.08.15

Plan of Action:

  • Find our hostel
  • Bungy Jump
  • Visit Prague’s Cathedral

06:40 wake-up calls are not fun. Especially when they come after an awkward sleep on a night train. Still, despite our tiredness, we found our way tot he hostel with ease as there was a tram directly from the station. The place we were staying was a beautiful hostel called The Czech Inn that was everything you would want from somewhere and more. Plus, the prices were unbelievable!

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(Untitled thoughts of one who is travelling with a heavy heart)

I left on the 15th August 2015, boarding a flight from London Luton to Amsterdam Schipol at 07.35, the plane due to leave at 07.55. It has been 20 days since then. And there are 10 days until I return.

This is the single longest time I have been both out of the UK and away from people I love since I was 14 yeard old and went on a 23 day trip around Europe with the scouts. That was 8 years ago.

Since then, the longest amount of time I have spent out of the country is probably 14 days. Of course, that was with my family.

I’m not going to pretend I am not enjoying myself. There are aspects of the 30 days journey interrailing around Europe that I don’t enjoy. But these are counter-acted by many facets that I love, or I am learning to love. Yet, that doesn’t stop it being hard. And believe me, it is hard. In fact I’d say both emotionally and physically that this is one of the most challenging things I’ve undertaken. Sometimes I feel like I’d rather be writing my dissertation or taking my A-Level exams all over again.

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When Four Became One

“The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you” – Elbert Hubbard

In June of this year, I moved out of the house that I – along with three others – called home. This August I moved away from the city that introduced me to these people, nearly four years ago.

The first of the three I met in September 2011, during the first night of Fresher’s Week. The evening ended in unexpected circumstances as we witnessed an ambulance called up to campus as another student had drunk so much she passed out on the cold pavement.

The second I met a little over a week later in my first Wednesday seminar for ‘An Introduction to Theatre History’. However, it wouldn’t be until a week or two later during a class discussing ‘Lysistrata’ that we would actually speak to each other. Of course, an instant bond was formed.

The third I introduced myself to at the end of the first term. The ‘diversion’ I had to take led me to being late for my class but no harm was done. A couple more meetings and a few months down the line we sat down to play Halo [either Reach or ODST] one evening, not stopping until the game was complete, by which time the sun had risen.

Over the last (almost) four years, these three have become some of the most important people to me, so it was with a heavy heart that I left our house for the last time and handed the keys back to the letting agency in June.

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