Posts Tagged ‘ essex ’

A walk through Witham

Today, I went for a little walk through and around Witham to enjoy the sun and explore the surroundings, and subsequently got lost. It turns out you can’t stay lost in Witham for a very long period of time! I also noticed that, for a beautiful warm day in April, there weren’t very many people outside! Maybe because it’s Easter..

Anyway, a tiny selection of today’s walk below. More to follow soon.

Chrisje x

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Ketjap Manis and Skittle Bombs

This weekend has been the proverbial sunshine after a heavy storm for me. Last weekend, my partner of 2,5 years and I decided to go our separate ways, and even though it was a joint decision, I’ve felt pretty terrible throughout the week.

Luckily, I was invited over by my good friend Natz  and her boyfriend Steve to spend the weekend over there. I thought having fun and going out were the last things I was interested in, but the contrary seemed true, and I’ve had a fantastic weekend.

The Friday evening was spent on the sofa, watching a bad Valentine’s Day themed film with Cookie Dough ice cream, and talking about my past, present and future. Luckily Natz is a great listener so I had the chance to pour my heart out.

On Saturday, Natz and I went into town to check out some shops, after which Steve joined us and we went for lunch at Sloppy Joe’s, which is an American-styled diner type place, including the stereotypical menu you’d expect in a place like that. The food was great though, and the whole look and feel of the place made me feel like I was in one of those themed restaurants that you find in Disneyland.

After a quick stop home, we decided on a trip to Waitrose to pick up some shopping for dinner, and because it was such a beautiful afternoon, we took the route through Castle Park, earning me a few stunning pictures on the side.

The Castle in Castle Park

I’d never been to a Waitrose before, but I was told that they sell Ketjap Manis, which is an Indonesian Soy Sauce. Indonesia had been part of the Dutch Colonial Empire, and their food is almost as important to us today as curry is in the UK. I was so very pleased to find a connection to my native culture – this is certainly making my life in the UK a bit more like home!

Steve made us a lovely home made pizza and unfortunately after that the fun was over for me – my homework had to be done this weekend. After trying for a few hours, I realized I couldn’t even bring up the urge to type a word, let alone an essay, so down to the pub we went for the legendary ‘one drink only’. ‘One drink only’ turned into ‘I’ve never had ale before, and I don’t really like it, so this doesn’t count as one drink. I need a new one, and that one can be number 1.’ Which turned into three drinks because the previous drink was so good. Then all these people came to introduce themselves and you start chatting and before I knew it it was 1 o’clock in the morning and we were making plans to go to the next pub.

To cut a long story short (it did turn out to be a very interesting evening), I didn’t wind up in bed until about 10 to 5. Needless to say, I didn’t touch the essay anymore that evening.. To my surprise I also found myself wide awake at 9 o’clock the next (well, the same) morning. The rest of today has been spent trying to get rid of the aftertaste of my last drink of the morning (Skittle Bomb) and finding a hundred excuses at once not to finish my essay. So far, with the help of Frasier, breakfast, Facebook, travelling, blogging and watching a film, I’ve managed to lay it off for quite some time.

Tomorrow will be dreaded start of a new week and also Valentine’s Day, which I will try to avoid having to acknowledge at all costs. I’ve never really been a fan before, but being ‘freshly’ single on a day that everyone else is using to emphasize that they’re not, really doesn’t ease the heartache there. Hope I will survive!

Chrisje x

Uprooted tree

Yesterday I saw this uprooted tree on my way home.
You might not be able to see it in the picture, but that chunk of land & roots was huge!

xx Chrisje

How sea lions turned me into a little girl

Yesterday I turned into a squealing little girl for a couple of hours again; we went to Colchester Zoo. I very rarely get to go to the Zoo, so when it’s finally on the agenda, I’ll go all out. Obviously unintentionally, because I feel quite embarrassed for running ahead of the group and taking pictures of everything and staring at animals with my mouth half open.

The party consisted of myself and my boyfriend George, his mum and step dad, his little brother and little sister, and our good friend Dave. I took quite a few pictures but I shall not be boring you with those (a small selection should do fine), and unfortunately I can’t show you any of the short videos either. After I’d uploaded them I came to the conclusion I will need to download a programme to convert the videos into something more suitable. Alas.

We had to walk through a tunnel to see the sea lions swim next to and over the tunnel; they were playing and fighting and jumping out of the water and back in. Just standing there in that tunnel made my little girl dreams come true. I wouldn’t have minded standing there for the rest of the day, just watching them do their thing.

I also very much enjoyed seeing the wolves (weirdly enough these were brown/ginger-y, and one was black. I expected them all to be black), the giraffes (I will have to try and dig up the photos from our trip to the London Zoo), the penguins (I cant explain this) and the fish (I’m terrified of them, but amazed at the same time).

At one point, I can’t remember if this was in the sea lion’s tunnel, or when we were watching the exotic fish, but Dave proposed us to go to an Aquarium, which I’m very much looking forward going to, even though we haven’t made any plans yet.

I was a bit disappointed after trying my hand on this zoo photography. The glass in the inside enclosures, and then the bright lights, seemed to get in the way a lot. Also the reflections in the glass and the fact that the animals move didn’t make it an easy task. I am not yet defeated though, hopefully we can go back in the summer, when the animals are mostly outside, and I’ll give it another go then!

As for the photo’s, I’ve deliberately kept the photo’s as I took them, no editing has been involved, and no cropping or resizing or cutting parts off.
Can I ask if anyone has got any tips for me, or good examples of animal or zoo photography?

xx Chrisje

A beautiful winter’s day

This picture, taken on a bridge in Witham, is the main reason I’ve started this new blog. The beauty, the serenity, the simplicity, together they took my breath away. Now, ever since I moved here [to Witham], people have tried to convince me that this town is ‘a sh*thole’, ‘a stain on a map’, ‘not worth it’s space’, but to be quite honest with you: I love it. Witham, to me, is synonymous to peace and quiet, to safety, to weekend, to calm.

A short introduction. As you could have probably guessed by my name, I am not an English national. I was born in the Netherlands, in a city in the county of Brabant, in the mid-south of Holland. I grew up in an unconventional yet loving family of four: my mum, my older brother, myself and my younger sister. My mum’s side of the family is rather large, with one aunty, four uncles, and their spouses and children.

I remember my mum being a lawyer and a writer. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I was brought up to respect the elderly, respect your superiors, but to never give respect to those who demand it. Another lesson learned very young in life, is to always speak my mind. My mum used to do this by actively contributing to the local newspapers by writing in, engaging in politics and reading up in encyclopidia.

Feeling very mature and confident in my abilities, I swapped my home country for England, to spread my wings, to make it big, to prove myself, to find a meaning in life. A year and a half on, I’m slightly surprised to find myself settled, not in London, where I thought I would find it all, but in Essex. It is here where I have been given a chance to prove myself, to find my way.

Every single day I find myself in situations, places, conversations I’ve never found myself in. Situations, to keep it short, that make my blood boil in anger, or make tears well up in my eyes from happiness. And everything in between. For a very long time, I have put this down as (inter)cultural differences, but with every new situation, it makes me see it is down to pure ignorance, stupidity, bias on one end, and heroism, bravery and intelligence on the other.

Apart from my daily struggle to make sense of [British] culture, my hobbies include reading, history, the arts, photography, cookery and travelling. These are the subjects I’d like to write about, obviously not limiting myself just to these.

That will be all for today, then. Thank you!

xx Chrisje