Attitude of Gratitude

“For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.”
~ Unknown

May I apologise for the lack of updates over the last few weeks. My computer, which I purchased just before moving to London in 2006, died on me in August. Luckily I had my backup Mini (which I obtained for on set film purposes) but funny enough about 3 days later it also died. So there I was, without a computer, or TV, or radio… I was… bored.

Luckily my mini was still under warranty and so I sent it off and about a week or so later it came back. Then life got busy, but good busy and I am so incredibly grateful my smile is bigger than than my face can handle. I must look like a tan Joker to the world but Gotham…. err London has nothing to fear for I hold no mal intentions though I must admit if a Batman wanted to start a little tiff I wouldn’t be opposed to some spandex man wrestling… err where is this post going?? Oh right….

During September my dear friend Elizabeth turned 27 and it also coincided with our 4 year anniversary of first moving to London… so how did we celebrate? We took a trip across Switzerland!!!!

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My return to Geneva filled my heart with so much joy I could barely contain it. I remembered why I wanted to move to Europe in the first place. The clean air, the pristine water, mountain views that pleased the soul and but of course… the men!!!

I firmly believe that the people of Switzerland are 100 times more attractive than the English, in fact the majority of continental Europe is more attractive than the common socially inept Englishman. Please note that I am purposely leaving out the Welsh, the Scots, and the Irish (Northern and Republic) as they too are much more attractive than the English.

Ohh lala… if Elizabeth wasn’t around the things I would have wanted to do… oh boy it is going to be difficult for me to keep this post G-Rated… but I will!!! :)

We spent one night in French speaking Geneva where we stayed in a really nice (and cheap) hotel near the central station. We didn’t do much outside of relaxing, eating, and strolling through Old Town and some parks. The only complain I could possibly have is that ‘Love in Blue’ the brothel across where I used to live, was no longer there and was now going by a different name. Now you may be asking yourself why am I so affected by a brothel? Did I frequent this brothel? No I did not, but I did spend hours staring out of my window and seeing countless men walk past, contemplate, walk past again and then when they thought no one was looking they would enter. Little did they know… I was looking…

The next day we took a train to German speaking Zermatt where we celebrated Elizabeth’s birthday.

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The biggest “accomplishment'” was when we climbed* to the top of the Matterhorn. It was amazing to see how high up we were, looking down at the speckle of a town in the valley. That night we had birthday dinner at a Chinese restaurant and stayed our final night at the hostel with loud Yawny man who slept next door to us.

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The following day we travelled to Interlaken and walked around for a couple of hours not at all accomplishing our goal of sitting by a large body of water. This was most likely due to the fact that the town sits in between two large bodies of water but doesn’t really border either of them. We did however discover a beautiful dam, and overall I loved the 1960’s feel to the town. Although the town itself was historic (like much of Europe) the town centre obviously developed in the era of boxy buildings with V shaped decorative support structures. Even the people seemed to be from another era. The  town is known for its aerial sports, and though I did not partake we did witness quite a few paragliding landings. I always like watching such landings as the men usually take their sweaty shirts off… oh there I go again… do you see what Europe does to my libido? (I must mention that I’ve started writing this post while seated on the Eurostar in Paris.)

Afterwards we took a train to Lucerne where we found a ginormous lake just outside the central station. We didn’t even bother exploring, just found a place to sit by the water and stared out for a good hour or so.

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We then hopped back on a train and headed to our final destination: Zurich. Back when I studied in Geneva in 2005 I visited many other cities and countries but I didn’t actually go west of Geneva in Switzerland so was quite surprised at how different Zurich looked from the rest of the country. It was dirty, seedy, and actually felt a bit unsafe. We walked to our hotel and found it was actually a part of a bar. Elizabeth was not amused and secretly hoped they didn’t have our reservation so we could stay somewhere else. We got up to the room and discovered that our bathroom was actually in the hallway across from our room and we would need to use our key to access it. First impressions were not good and considering this was our last stop, a bit of a disappointment.

We tried to make the best of it and dropped off our belongings and headed off to explore a bit of the city. We walked around for a bit, ate some Subway (as most food places were closed) and called it an early night.

The following morning we left the hotel and headed into the heart of the city. We discovered some cute shops, an amazing lake (though not as amazing at Lac Lehman in Geneva) and we made our way to the Movenpick Pavliron Restuarant. For you Londoners think of the Hagen Das restaurant in Leicester Square but with Movenpick ice cream instead… it was very yummy!

We spent the rest of the day pleasantly surprised by what Zurich had to offer and just relaxed by the lake. There was a mother and daughter who were feeding some ducks and at one point the little girl snatched the bread from her mothers hands and ate it herself… I love moments like that.

The day after I got back from Switzerland I fell into a deep depression. Post holiday blues sank in hard… very hard. I realised how much I was actually aiming for Switzerland but ended up settling for London instead. Of course it didn’t help that while I was away my flatmate had decided to tell me (via text message) that he wanted me to move out.

I tried to keep my mind of life’s problems and just started focusing on finding a flat. Things with work have been going great, and for the first time in a very long time, I have a permanent full time job in my field (although it’s a bit of a cheat since it’s in TV) with a lot of potential for growth and some promising years ahead. Considering that’s what I moved here for, I can’t complain can I?

I realised how good I have it. I might find myself in these really awkward situations of no job/no money/no where to live etc etc but I always land on my feet and my friends are always there by my side to help me along. Always.

I met up with a friend, who I barely see about once or twice a year, and had a really good catch up. We talked about our lives, how we both got lucky on one particular job that opened up the doors and now we see what it was all for. I am grateful for what I have and am also grateful for the journey that brought me here. The only regret I have is not being able to tell my friends how much I love them, miss them, and will always remember what they’ve done for me… regardless of what continent we were/are on.

October has come quickly and is already half way over. With it came my birthday (the last of my mid twenties) and my trip to Paris.

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This was my third trip to Paris and by far the best. The first was one of youthful (I was 20) self exploration that luckily didn’t go as bad as it could have and the second was one of misguided emotional instincts. This time I went for me, for my birthday, to remake my memories of one of my favourite cities into something that I am proud of. My friend Elizabeth joined me on this trip, just like Switzerland, and we went with no plans but to relax.

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We ate about 15 crepes (seriously I lost count), the last being from a street stall vendor who responded to me in Spanish when I ordered in my broken French. Elizabeth and I laughed and I carried on having a conversation with the woman who I take it was from Central or South America. An Italian woman came up to the Stall and and stated “water” to which the vendor did not respond lightly and a conversation ensued on the importance of saying “hello”… regardless of what language you speak. She was Sassy and Brilliant…  I loved her and she was probably Elizabeth’s favourite moment in Paris.

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For the first time I was able to witness Notre Dame without any scaffolding around her. So beautiful and majestic, she is the only cathedral to have ever touched my heart, mind, and soul. Probably has a lot to do with my love for Hunchback (original book and Disney versions). The night before my birthday I entered the cathedral which was only lit on the inside by candle. Walking into a nearly pitch dark church by yourself and walking down the aisles with only a few patrons in the stalls was a magical experience. I lit a candle and thanked God for allowing me to return, 5 years from my initial visit. The only thing I have never been able to accomplish is to enter the towers and see the bells, something I stated I would not do until I could see her outside of construction work. This being the first time I’ve seen her in a natural state I set off to enter the towers but alas time was not on my side and so it will have to wait until my next trip to Paris.

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Now that I think about it, Paris trip #4 will have to take place in the distant future as I have so many more places to check off my list.

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Birthday in Paris.

 

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Amazing.

 

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Grateful.

 

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Back in London.

 

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Working.

 

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Grateful.

*by climbed I mean we took a cable car

All pictures taken with my Fujica STX-1N on either Fuji (colour) or Ilford (B/W) stock

Attitude of Gratitude Attitude of Gratitude Reviewed by Unknown on 19:12 Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. wow! the pics look even better on here. So happy and grateful we got to have these 2 wonderful experiences together.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Geneva and Zurich are the finest destinations to visit for travelers with enchanting serene beauty and scenic views with clean city environment and restaurants.

    ReplyDelete

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