Guess Who’s Back

…back again.

Hello, there. Four months since my last post, it was only really polite that I peek over the parapet to let everybody know that I’m still alive. More importantly, I’m rather keen on continuing this blog.

Barcelona still confuses, frustrates, and delights me in equal and copious measures. The Sun is out, and therefore life is grand. I’ll let you into a little secret – I’m like a very, very fickle plant. Give me warmth, sunlight, food, and drink, and I may as well put down my roots. Not to say that I don’t practically squeal with delight every time the plane lands back in London…I doubt very much that anybody else has ever been so excited to see Luton.

Between rigorous day drinking and party making commitments, I do manage some studies. There’s just no pictorial evidence.

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…and in case you hadn’t already, meet Ted. He’s gorgeous, hilarious, and insane. I think I’ll keep him around.
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Obligatory “New Year post”

Woo, 2014.

For all the excitement of 2013, I’m oddly excited for the fresh start that always comes with a new year…I’m just delaying that gratification. I haven’t joined a gym yet; I’ve carried on eating and drinking like there’s no such thing as a pair of scales (you can pop your jaws back in their rightful positions, now); nor am I sure that I’m capable of doing good or kind things for humanity on less than five hours’ continuous sleep; but I suppose those are the typical promises one makes to oneself given the excuse of a brand new, shiny year. As we all know, I do not do typical, but I might as well tell everybody my entirely subjective goals for feeling better in myself and as a person. That way, someone, lovelier and more dedicated than I, might feel up to the Herculean task of keeping me accountable to myself.

I’m not one for moderation, so really, everything I want is centred around, well, staying on a relatively even keel. If I were feeling more New Age-y, I’d refer to it as “balance”. For starters, I might as well try keeping going with my studies, with a lot more zeal and passion than I devoted to them last semester. Striking a balance I haven’t really had to before, between abstinence and unabashed hedonism. Trying not to alternately ignore, then pick fights with people because I miss them – a painful reality of distance.

I want 2014 to be full of more experiences, but having well and truly earned the epithet of “Polly the Crazy” gets really old, really quickly. My life isn’t one long “story to tell my friends”, but I’ve made my way through rather a few, mostly inadvertently. By now, I could probably write a book of them, God help its readers. I don’t think “Polly the new Gwyneth Paltrow” does either, so. There’s got to be a happy medium, right?

What it boils down to is that I’m bored, and want to try something new – for once, not going to extremes. Lord knows my appetite for the in between will probably last until my next night out, but until then…bring it, 2014, and I hope that it brings everyone else as much happiness and fulfilment as I’m hoping for. xxx

Barcelona: Three Month Update

Hi. I still exist, don’t worry.

This was going to be in the form of a video, but I have been struck down by “princess flu” (ok, a cold…). Safe to say, the camera lens isn’t exactly my friend, unless it involves Snapchat’s handy time limit function.

Anyway, in this hypothetical video that will no longer exist, I was going to talk about how I’d found Barcelona after three months of living there, why I’d been so quiet, and, most importantly, how good I’d looked whilst steadfastly not making any party. HA!

Let’s take these burning questions in their rightful order, shall we?

1. Three months into a nine-month residency – are Barcelona and I still madly infatuated?

Well…no. It’s not a big city, I haven’t yet developed a love of football, and my longstanding love of avoiding any remotely tourist-filled spots means that I’ve done an unbelievably poor job of seeing the sights. Whoops.
More than that, though, being an Erasmus student is a really, really strange experience. You’re not a tourist in the traditional, DSLR around your neck, screaming “HONEY WOULD YA LOOK AT THIS” at the Museum of Erotica sense; although my language skills have picked up, I could never pass for one of the gabbling locals; and even being at the university equals being part of a clique you don’t really remember signing up to.
My solution? Make far too much party.
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2. Why’ve you been so quiet?

Wait, that wasn’t what you wanted? My apologies, I know better than to answer a question with a question. I’ve been quiet because I didn’t really want to write about what was going on with me. It’s an open secret that I was seeing someone just as I left for Barcelona, and out of respect (and in the interests of my own dignity), I won’t divulge the whole, ugly story. Safe to say, it doesn’t make either of us look particularly good, depending on how you look at it.

Being in Barcelona has been a huge, huge shock to my system, above that. I don’t know how my friends in Latin America are coping with the changes, but I went more than a little bit crazy and found myself being not very happy at all, especially latterly. Again, in the interests of my dignity…I didn’t really want to share just how utterly exhausting it can be to forge a brand new life. It’s not all that easy to be single and twenty, much less when you’re surrounded by the kind of culture that puts tiny clay figures of men defecating behind their nativities, and does such a terrible job of mangling “Polly”, I’ve given up and adopted Anabel as a Starbucks name.

Other than that, who really wants to hear about me being a typical university student? Really? It involves Grecolatin Thought, reading leaflets about the common cold, and fending off the advances of Spanish men everywhere. They are a law unto themselves, they are…or just lawless. I’ll get back to you on that one.

With all that said… you can see how it’s much easier and less painful to pop up carefully curated images that show me having a fabulous time and soaking up all sorts of culture (and cava). That’s the beauty of a blog, no?

3. Stuff all that, I’m here for the pretty stuff.

Now we’re talking. I envisaged endless trips to Sephora upon my arrival, already laden down with all the goodies from those meccas, the European pharmacies. That wasn’t really the case. I did go to Sephora, but my first purchases actually took place in New York.
Products I have used and loved since I have been in Barcelona:
Caudalie micellar water – I took this with me to Marbella first, but bought another bottle to take with me to New York.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Avene Hydrance moisturiser – I spent one week on five flights (two long-haul). My face would practically have been filo pastry if I’d just left it to do its own thing.
Urban Decay Naked Basics palette – just that. All the nudes I need, and it’s petite enough to fit in my carry-on toiletries bag.
…and I’m looking forward to taking my new baby back with me – the NARS and Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion palette. NARS has no link, I’m afraid.

For clothes, all that needs to be said is that Zara has my debit card in a very well dressed stranglehold.

As for how I look? I think I mentioned before that I hit goal weight just before I left for Barcelona, in the nick of time basically. Since I’ve been in Barcelona, I’ve drunk too much, made a half-hearted attempt at flirting with the notion of exercise, and then, when things got stressful, discovered stress eating. It’s therefore safe to say that I’m now human size, rather than Polly Pocket-sized, and I’m trying my hardest not to stage a giant-sized meltdown. That bit takes so, so much dealing with, and there are lots of days where, not to sound dopey as anything, but I can’t even. That’s probably to be saved for another whinge, though.

Before anybody thinks that I’m unhappy to be where I am, doing what I’m doing…I’m not. For every time I’ve wanted to throw a tantrum on La Rambla (or just given up and done so…), that my heart’s been tugged at if not outright broken, or I’ve just wanted to pack it in and flee home, I remember that actually, I’ve “lived” more in the last four months than I did in the eighteen that preceded them. I wouldn’t swap that to be anywhere in the world, even London.

Life

…as expressed in a pithy image. This is probably better suited to Tumblr, but this bunny reminds me of the one I had when I was younger. It’s also so stinking cute that it makes up for the fact that I want to do exactly the same thing right now, less than seven hours before my first exam. University is determined to get on my bad side, it seems. As are tourists, but that’s another story for when I’m not completely immersed in linguistics/Girls/Candy Crush/overthinking.

I’m Back

(kind of)

 

Yeah, it’s been a while. I’m sorry. Life has more than got in the way, and every time I thought about sitting down to write or take photos, something else came up. I’m in Barcelona and couldn’t love it more, but the last two months have been…um, turbulent. So have a couple of pictures to try and fill the gaps. xxx

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Oh Heck.

Here we are. Almost three months ago, I was far, far more secure in the knowledge that I had simply ages to get my head around the idea of studying abroad. All I want to know now is not, in fact, how on Earth I will survive, but how that time passed so quickly. It isn’t, after all, as if I’ve spent it with my fingers studiously poised at the keyboard, blogging about all and sundry, for all and sundry. For all my big talk earlier this summer, it fell down my list of priorities because really, I just felt that I had nothing to talk about. My work is off limits as a topic of conversation, there are certain aspects of one’s social life that shouldn’t make it on to the Internet, and I can only talk about my side of the bathroom sink for so long before even I wonder which would be the most effective at shutting me up.

As we are probably all aware by now, I am a procrastinator by nature, and I did not disappoint when it came to the absolute mountain of “life admin” that suddenly crept up on me. Thankfully, I have flights, a flat, and almost anything else an absolute liability with delusions of grandeur could hope for when she goes global…including enough meat on her bones to satisfy the doctors.

So, about that…it took far longer than anticipated, far more tears, and far more willpower than I thought I had in me, but apparently, somewhere along the line, I hit goal weight. I would love to be able to tell you that it feels amazing, perfect, and everything it ought to.

Actually, it feels average, and a touch awkward. Where do I go from here, exactly? What do you mean, that’s it? My head doesn’t feel as if its gone back to how it used to be, though! It’s a good thing that I’m six all-too-short days away from having to establish a new normal, because I’m not sure what on earth this one is.

…and that is where my head is at. In the coming days, I will tie up loose ends with a couple of reviews and perhaps some more babblings to tide everybody over while I get settled in Barcelona. For now, everybody should have some big, sloppy besos from me for their love and patience in all regards. You’re all fabulous xxxxx