Making a familiar place strange

Location: Coffee shop

Look at what people are ordering, do they drink what you’d expect, is there a pattern in what people have? Consider if coffee is worth it or could you have made instant coffee at your flat? Try to describe the smell of the coffee beans, take your time, spend too long finding the right word. Disregard that word, it doesn’t feel right.

Count the seconds of steam that is created with each cup of coffee, or find an odd layer of beauty in the time taken for it to disperse, absorbed into its surroundings. Concentrate on the sound it makes until it becomes white noise.

Watch the staff behind the counters, decipher any habits they may have. Do they reach for a certain appliance in a certain way, do they lean on a certain counter when they’re tired? Carry on watching then. People watch, and if you don’t know how to then this is a great time to learn. Coffee shops are good for that. Start with the person ahead of you. Notice the timing of their pen hitting the table. Tap… tap…tap… then occasionally there’s a pause then tap… tap tap… pause once more. Let yourself imagine what they’re working on. Are they a student? A professor? A member of the public? If they are a student what do you think they’re be studying? Take note of the lighting. The light is to the side of them, it’s not too bright but it casts a shadow. Sometimes a piece of dust floats by, focus on that. The smallest of things can be the most intriguing.  Continue reading “Making a familiar place strange”

Learning to be alone

One of the best decision I made was going to a university that was away from home. In the near by towns to where I grew up there were a few university that weren’t too bad, it would have been a lot easier to enroll with them. But I didn’t, instead I made the decision to travel over the border and swap gloomy England for even gloomier Wales.

I expected the move to be hard, so many people had told me that the first few weeks would be the worst, that I’d be so home sick. But this wasn’t the case for me. Sure, on the first night after I’d said goodbye to my mum and brother I did have a little cry, but after that I took to university life extremely well. There wasn’t this painful transition that I’d be warned about by so many. I loved living alone, I loved having control over what I did that day and if I didn’t want to go out then I didn’t have to (unless I had classes).

I was studying for my dream job, I had amazing flatmates and new friends, I loved it. Loneliness wasn’t something that crossed my mind… until it did.

Continue reading “Learning to be alone”

Things I’m grateful for – pt5

It’s been far too long since I’ve done one of these posts. Life has been a tad manic with Christmas and January assignments. There hasn’t been all that many opportunity’s for me just to sit down and think. But now what I’ve got a few minuets to myself, I think it’s time to revisit this series.

If you’re new to this then don’t worry, the title is very self explanatory. Throughout the past year I’ve been creating a collection of things I’m grateful for. They don’t make the most exciting blog posts in the world but I like taking the time out to be thankful for what I have, and I always encourage you guys to let me know in the comments three things you’re currently grateful for.


Continue reading “Things I’m grateful for – pt5”

A familiar stranger book review

Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing A familiar stranger by Matthew Williams. I was given a copy of the book for the purpose of being reviewed by Matthew. I’m not getting paid to write about it, and the fact that I was given the copy of the book won’t impact my review of it, so don’t worry you’ll still be getting my honest thoughts.

The collection is based around the realities of living a modern day life. It covers topics from mental health to politics, big life events and day to day encounters. There is at least one poem in there for everyone.

The author isn’t afraid to play around with layout and stanza length to, it’s a contemporary collection. You’re not going to get bored with this collection, every poem has it’s own unique spin. It’s a credit to Matthew’s ability as a poet.

The layout of this collection is very well thought out, it add to the pleasantness of the reading experience. There’s four chapters within the collection, off of which could be their own collection as they stand if I’m honest. These chapters, living, loving, falling and rising, will then be the theme of the poems that follow. Continue reading “A familiar stranger book review”