happy

#107 – Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant

‘To Callum
Good luck and phone your mum.
Brum love
Glynn Purnell’

The countdown to my leaving the UK in 2016 for an unspecified amount of time was under way and, as part of my goodbyes, I was treated by my mum to a meal at the restaurant of one of my favourite Chef’s, Glynn Purnell.

The menu of choice at his Michelin star restaurant? The 9 course tasting menu.
To put it simply, it was a phenomenal dining experience.

Cornwall Street in Birmingham is the home of Purnell’s Restuarant. It is actually quite an understated building and, if you aren’t looking out for it, it is somewhere you could easily walk past without a second thought.

We were greeted immediately upon arrival, our bags and coats put to one side, and allowed to push the conversation (more…)

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#32 – Win a photography competition

‘Photography is the story I fail to put into words’ – Destin Sparks

This one is a particular favourite of mine, because I never actually expected it to happen! No, it wasn’t a “professional” competition. Yes, it was an internal competition for my photography society rather than an external competition. No, it was not in the “advanced” category but instead the “intermediate” category.

Even still, I was the youngest member in the society and – in comparison to plenty of others – very inexperienced and limited in my techniques, especially when I first began.

What made my results at the start of the 2016/2017 season so surprising was my poor performance at the end of the 2015/2016 season not long after I joined. I mean, I was learning new tips and tricks every week that I could utilise and spent more time working on crafting and staging a photo rather than just “taking” one, so I felt even more energised by the improvement in my scores as it meant that I was further developing and improving as a photographer.

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Callum’s 2016 Adventures: North Island, New Zealand pt.1

‘New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep,
three million of whom think they are human’ 
– Barry Humphries

The back end of 2016 saw me begin the biggest adventure of my life thus far; moving abroad. The destination? Australia. My flights were booked, my visa paid for and granted. I was all set to go. But first there was somewhere else I needed to be. New Zealand.

Beginning in Auckland, I had given myself just shy of 6 weeks to travel through both the North and South Island’s, finishing down in Christchurch. It was a lot to fit in in such a small space of time and help was definitely required.

After my success with Oz Experience whilst travelling up Australia’s East Coast the previous year, I made the decision to book myself onto a Kiwi Experience bus pass. Fortunately – due to some fantastic discounts on offer at the time – I was able to purchase the ‘Whole Kit & Caboodle’ pass, which included the additional passes for the Bay of Islands, Milford Sound, and the Deep South.

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Callum’s 2016 Adventures: Paris, France

‘Paris is the only city in the world
where starving to death is still considered an art’
– Carlos Ruiz Zafón

If you haven’t done so already, I would really encourage you to take the Eurostar. Not only does it visit plenty of destinations, if you pick the right trains it can be very inexpensive. For example, my return trip to Paris cost a grand total of £61 – and that includes a £3 booking fee.

The purpose of my visit to Paris was to see a friend of mine – Heather – who I had met in my hostel in Edinburgh. As I had mentioned in that earlier post, I had just clicked with everyone I met in that hostel and – with my upcoming trip to the other side of the world – it felt like an opportunity to good to turn down.

Rather than stay in Paris, I booked an Air BnB in Fourqueux, which can be reached via Saint Germain-En-Laye. I’d 110% recommend staying here as not only is it affordable, but the host is just one of the loveliest people you will meet.

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Callum’s 2016 Adventures: Edinbrugh, Scotland

I always feel that when I come to Edinburgh,
in many ways I am coming home – Alan Rickman

I’m not really sure that I can call a trip up to Edinburgh an ‘adventure’, purely on the basis that I have been there so many times when visiting my family. The thing is though, with each visit, I experience something new about the city. It’s always the same and yet… different.

My long weekend trip back in June followed the same trend.

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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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