Monday 30 June 2008

words (palabras)

sometimes just aren't enough

sometimes make things more final than you want them to be

sometimes hide themselves when you really need them

and fall out your mouth when you'd rather hide them

to contradict and confuse.

you keep demanding them and they do not surface from the tangle of jumbled fragments of thoughts and feelings deep inside of me. instead, with glazed eyes i apologise. it's not even that i'm thinking in another language. i wish that was the reason. or maybe i am, but not in a language as it is taught in school - memorise a paragraph to pass the french GCSE. Language is so much more. it' about you and it's about me. and being open. and ready to make mistakes. and learning constantly. and tone and pitch and accent and slang. and LISTENING. and confidence and wanting to communicate. communication - so much more than words. and yet words is what you ask of me. i cannot summarise a person, nor a relationship, nor a country, nor the last 9 months in a few sounds shaped out by my tired tongue. to really show you, if you really actually wanted to know the answers to you questions (or are you just being polite?), i'd have to take you there. to the places i have been, literally and in my thoughts and feelings and dreams. and that is not possible. i don't think. because that would mean going backwards and then how do i keep looking forwards and being here today if you keep asking me to go back. Yet it is not just you. i, me, am the one who obsessively writes everything down all the while doubting the capacity of the scrawled characters to convey what i want them to convey. maybe i just need to learn more words, widen my vocabulary? i'm sure there's a lot more of them out there waiting to be found, fitting my requirements a little better. And it is I, not you, who keeps looking back, doesn't want to forget a thing, records her life in words and pictures. 2-D. a whole missing dimension? i don't know why. maybe i am worried that today won't be enough without the presence of a whole lot of yesterdays. or that I am not enough without all the me's I've been before to back me up and make me a little more interesting. even though i know that's a search without an end because i will never be enough until i surrender it all to the One who is more than enough and give Him some space to Be that in me.

i really do like to ride a bicycle and it doesn't even have to be mine...

Friday 27 June 2008

so much!

i just read what i just wrote.

i have SO incredibly much. materially, and opportunity-ally, and friend-ally...

i don't know how i should feel about it. not that feeling something about it will change the situation. if the situation even needs changing. but feelings can lead to action, if any action needs taking. i don't think it's about 'need', necessarily.

an overwhelmed mixture of mainly gratitude but also some guilt, knowing i could present an argument regarding such feelings from several religious/moral/(non)western/(non)materialistic viewpoints (because this is what we do as students...) is where i find myself right now.

i also find myself very tired and supposing that my bed is probably the best direction at this present time. and leave the ponderings for another day.

Thursday 26 June 2008


Yesterday at the last minute i decided to go to London for the afternoon with 2 very dear friends of mine. I don't know why i called them "dear", that's something i would never say, but the truth is they are DEAR to me. ANYways, it was nice. :o) Since i've finished my work AND I HAVE A HOUSE FOR NEXT YEAR!!!!!! Amazing!! (more about that another day...), i don't have anything i NEED to do. just yet. so, that's how i ended up in London...

...Wondering to Leicester Square to find cheap musical tickets and ending up buying them over the phone direct from theatre (o well!)...

... eating our boots meal deal picnics on the grass in the rose garden of hyde park, lying in the sun...

...having nachos (third time in less than 2 weeks!) and a drink at a very busy Garfunkels...

...sitting in our not-just-at-the-end-of-the-row-but-properly-on-the-edge- discount seats at the Palace Theatre to see BILLY ELLIOT the musical...

...and then catching the train back to Brighto while Jen and Paula stayed the night in London. I seemed to get some allergic reaction on the train and spent whole journey sneezing with eyes running, attracting funny looks from surrounding passengers (sympathy/disgust/annoyance/discomfort?)

'Billy Elliot' was enjoyable but nothing special in all honesty. Like i didn't walk away with the sense i'd been impacted by anything, like i do sometimes from the cinema or theatre. Although to be honest i don'n know how often that happens after a musical. I've only ever seen Les Miserables! I think i prefer the film. Our "restricted view" seats may not have helped and the sound seemed quite bad - often couldn't work out what they were singing (and no, this wasn't because of their geordie accents!). But there were a couple of really good dance scenes which i really enjoyed. So yeh, wouldn't be in a rush to reccommend it, but it's not bad either. Next time, i want to see STOMP...

Wednesday 25 June 2008


i finished.

to celebrate, i lay on brighton beach in the sun catching up with an old friend on the phone while taking photos of the sky. happy day.

i also wondered whether the weather really was hot enough (in english terms) for half of brighton's male population (and probably some female!) to walking around topless and for people to actually be swimming in the sea. my heat sensors have definitely been dulled. a bit like what happens to your taste buds after going to India. Don't get me wrong, it was very PLEASANT, but in no way did the temperature make me want to strip off and enter the sparkling waves. this coming from someone who will swim in anything regardless of time of year, cleanliness of water, state of dress, etc.

I also may have done bit of gentle stalking of anyone that i heard speaking spanish. I'm scared i will forget it!!

Monday 23 June 2008

last minute

i always leave things to the last minute. i stopped fighting it when i realised it's how i'm made. i always tell myself it'll get done, because it has to. And generally, it does.

Not today.

8000 words is a LOT.

Thank God for 24 hour 'late admittance allowance'. Although i'll lose 10 percent. 3 months of work and i miss the deadline by minutes.

yet i still wish i cared a bit more. it would mean i was fixing it up and finishing it right now. but the rest of life ~ living, loving, resting, people, God ~ is a lot more important to me

Saturday 21 June 2008

results day! (not mine)

everyone did really well... 2.1's pretty much all round and a couple of firsts. amazing! i helped celebrate with champagne and strawberries curtesy of the university, then burgers and an samba band (see clip) and later on much tasty food and some wine with old housemates and 'associates'.

Then a few of us went dancing. to the place that without fail has an empty dancefloor when we walk in and a very random selection of people... (the giraffe-suit guy was there but this time in a metallic all in one suit) but always ends up being fun. I went with Jo, my housemate from first and second year and partner in dancing crime to all kinds of different nights, me in my blue coat and Jo in her red, where we've attempted to copy the general style of dancing then given up and continued in our own unique 'enthusiastic' style. Last night some girls asked if Jo had any pills. That kind of jumping around arms flailing enthusiastic. Love it! But it's been months since i've gone out and i'm quite unfit! But yeh it was a good way to end - JO-KaT dancing and then the walk home through the lanes in the rain.

Friday 20 June 2008

library sustenance/work avoidance

i have discovered two beautiful (yet pricey) items of nourishment in the union shop this week.

1. Innocent Smoothie: MANGO, COCONUT and LEMONGRASS flavour. A-MAZING.
2. Salty Dog Crisps: Salt and Black pepper flavour.

hmm i really will write about anything to avoid doing the work i SHOULD be doing! i'm on 6300 words roughly (out of 8000). which isn't too bad. still got the weekend. fun times.

managed to change degree to cut out some literature courses which could have slowly killed me and instead do a course in Human rights (next year). score.

my friends all get their final results today. Can't believe it's the end for them. 3 years just like that. bam. and i've still got a year to go. i don't feel ready to finish academically (still don't feel i have learnt a whole lot - probably my fault), or socially - still got some quality hanging out to do with some quality people, but i do feel kind of 'old' being on campus, in that i have gone away and done 'the next step' as it were - going and making a life for myself by myself - only to feel like i'm taking a step backwards by re-entering student life.

i'll get over it :-)

Thursday 19 June 2008


last week in Oxford at a friend's 21st birthday party i went go-karting for the first time. It was much fun! I think i am too wimpish/careful (?)/UN-reckless to ever become someone who's good at driving things really fast. I'd like to be a little less like that, but i think its just the way i'm made! At least i stayed within the cones, unlike my twin sister...

Wednesday 18 June 2008

more things

coconut yoghurts, bombonas, longlife milk, tostadas, 'baila chiki chiki' (spanish eurovision entry), balconies, rooves that you can sit on, big skies, olive trees, empty roads (outside the city), panic when it rains...

Tuesday 17 June 2008

bits and brighton bobs

it's great to be in Brighton, that "fresh sea air"... (less hayfever!) but much more because i get to see some wonderful people, in between struggling with 8000 word spanish dissertation in the library.

i'm now blond, via unwanted detour into ginger. i was born with ginger-ish hair and my theory is every time i dye my hair (which hasn't been that often) those ginger roots are determined to express themselves. i then burnt some of said newly blond hair on a candle in a pub in brighton. someone smelt it burning and warned me. oops. thank goodness i wasn't wearing hairspray! but yeh, my thinking was... new season, new hair :o)

its weird not seeing many familiar faces on campus; bumping into friends was one of the things i loved about uni before. now nearly everyone has finished and is graduating. crazy! altho there'll be a 'good bunch' around next year too. thankfully.

you know you're on sussex campus when you pass a guy dressed as a giraffe holding a boom box with music blaring out and no one bats an eyelid. love it.

we went to a spanish restaurant on sunday night to celebrate a friend's birthday. it was cool being able to order in spanish, but the tapas were SO expensive! rip off! no more albondigas (meatballs) for 2 euros. £4.35 my friend, £4.35. here ends my eating out habits of the last 9 months :o(

right, now off to see if i can change my degree again. haha! they must love me. well, if they do have such an unflexible structure they've got to expect it... basically i think doing a course in 'european prose' in my final year may kill me, so am trying to do something about avoiding it!

hasta luego.

Sunday 15 June 2008


on a more positive note, today is Fathers Day (in England anyways).

and i just want to say that i couldn't be more proud to be the daughter of Philip Pike and couldn't ask for a better Dad.

Thank you.

I love you.

grey skies

i guess it's easier to feel 'peaceful' and OK in the midst of goodbyes because afterall you are still with the people, and you don't yet know what it will feel like to not be with them. and it's easier to feel content when the sun is shining and the sky is blue (literally).

it's harder when you're not there anymore. when your country lives up to its stereotypes in grey skys and cold weather (yet still hayfever!) and in general not massively warm people (on the surface anyways). when what you've come back to isn't the same as what you left and neither are you. and when the people you miss are far enough away you cannot drop round for the afternoon.

not meaning to sound miserable, i know it will take time. i know everything will be ok. and i knew it wouldn't be a 'walk in the park'. maybe today i just wish it was like that. BUT i prefer this to feeling relieved to have left, which is what i might have felt earlier in the year. i don't want to waste time feeling sorry for myself, i've done that before; i don't want to lose the joy i found the last few months, but it might just take some searching, some actively looking for or even creating the good, and it might just take some time.

Saturday 14 June 2008


"i do not concern myself with great matters
or things to wonderful for me.
But i have stilled and quietened my soul..."
Psalm 131:1b-2a

i think this is the kind of wisdom that appears like foolishness to many. too often we live the opposite way: concerning ourselves with things we do not understand and never resting, never be-ing. its the way of the world i guess, and hard to step away from. but i'd like to.


Wednesday 11 June 2008

the little things i'll miss

sunshine and golden evenings and coffee and sitting outside and people walking dogs and the bread shop and dressed up ladies and palm trees and jamon and beer and red wine and cola cao and vino tinto de verano and children staying up late and sunday afternoon strolls and plazas and benches and parks and fountains and old man bars and tortilla and tapas and flan and piercings and gel-ed hair and tight tops and skinny jeans and heavy fringes and high heels and random concerts and fiestas and pedestrian crossings and shops closing for siesta and late nights and 10 minutes of tv adverts and gossip and telenovelas and talk on nationalism and futbol and flamenco and ferias and beaches and campo and buses not trains and garlic and tomatoes and flats and lifts (apartments and elevators for american friends!) and olives and accordians and reggaeton and tuna and 'menu del dia' and men shouting 'guapa' and family and taking your time ...

the last week or 2

goodbyes, youth events, new friends, dancing in the plaza, surprise goodbye party, leaving badajoz...


sometimes i'm not sure if i'm feeling "at peace" (which, i'm thinking is very christian-y thing to say...?) or just numb. the way i feel when i say goodbye. i'm always the one leaving... i've got kind of used to it. and i feel like most people i'll see again one day. so it's more like 'hasta luego'.

within a week i will have said goodbye to two worlds and said 'hello again' to two more. (Badajoz-Sevilla-Oxford-Brighton) 4 worlds in a week, each one so very different but each one playing a significant part in my life as i play my small role in each one of them. make sense??

it seems this peaceful/numbness is a bit like a protective layer as i move from one world to the other which let's face it is not going to be the easiest of transitions but right now on my last night in Spain, in Sevilla back where i started, i'm just fine. actually. and more than anything overwhelmed by how BLESSED and privileged i am to have done all the things i've done, seen the things i've seen, been the places i've been and moreover met the people i've met these past 9 months.

and, knowing that it definitely has not been 'all gravy' and rose petals and whatnot, to me it seems a gift to already look back and smile and be thankful.

Wednesday 4 June 2008


...left in Spain...

therefore i think i'll leave the meaty posts till i get back so as not to spend too much time in front of the computer instead of making the most of the last few days.

life is full and good.

*and this hits the over-one-hundred-posts-mark! impressive!