Blog: Lib Sequences, Spankies & The European Union

November 17, 2012 by  
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It’s been little over a month since my last personal declaration.

Reading back, I can’t actually believe it. My emotions are swinging from nervous-excited-petrified-numb… I’m suffering from `Carpe Diem` whiplash. Just ask my Facebook friends. Quote/un-quote: “You have so many bloody interviews!”


Welcome to Pixie’s innermost. Follow me…

So the first thing I absolutely HAVE to get off my chest is my obsessive LOVE for my cheer team, the Teesside Wildcats. I’ve always been poor at sports, but nothing compares to this one. I wake up wanting to train, I sit in my lectures wishing to train and I go to sleep aching from training. Ever since my chair, Becky, wrapped me in her pre-heated kitty blanket, I’ve lived and breathed for it.

I live for Teesside Wildcats

Cheerleaders are like multi-talented mass amazing athletes- and I respect every one of them as I understand just how hard they work. We leave on a Saturday night with half broken spines and bruised wrists- but the thought of hitting that reload to extension or knowing that the bruises are in fact finger prints from a kick-ass basket outshines it all.

I am SO excited for the future ahead with the Wildcats. In just two days we’ll be in Newcastle with our poms, shorts and our American football team, The Teesside Cougars… and as Game Day Captain I’m learning the art of non-bullet inducing cheer chants. In the months to come we will be sweating over choreography, breaking more spines and getting measured for our super cute new uniforms in prep for comps early next year. The kitties are like sisters, mummies and hardcore friends all rolled into one. Peace!


Politics is actually really invigorating

So secondly there’s university. It’s a million times tougher, crazier and more motivating than I ever believed it to be- my degree is a killer! I’m doing multimedia journalism and Spanish language, which is bang on for my career. 80% of it is politics, but to be honest (I can’t believe I’m publishing this) I find it really invigorating to know what’s going on beneath the surface! The rest is made up of playing with cameras, mastering computer software, newswriting and social media (AKA everything at the opposite side of the spectrum to me). My Spanish and working on my website softens the edges- but I still have to take a few deep breathes at the end of my week!

I love it dirty- hello Student Union!  

Last on my list but very prominent on my mind is the bits of news I have received recently. I’ve just got a job at my Student Union as bar staff- I had my first shift last night and it was so warm and laid back. Within 10 minutes I was already `awww-ing` and pawing over sparkly tshirts and having far too much fun with the fresh orange machine. It’s a major relief to have money though (all students can vouch!) and I never thought I’d get it- 130 applicants replied to the ad!

News numero dos… visiting my course leaders in their offices and discussing Erasmus forms for my second year… and judging by the nature of the chat, it went rather well! So by the 6th of December I will know if I’ve been put forward to study in an American or Spanish university. Me encanta!

International Business Times UK didn’t set a restraining order

Last but not least (are you bored yet?) is my interview to be a social media intern for International Business Times UK. I’ve wanted (pleaded, harassed, begged) these guys for an opportunity since writing travel for IBT NY last year. I’m majorly scared about this one… and in just 11 days, I will have to present myself as a social media evangelist superhero. If all goes peachy, my summer will be set up!

On a final note, I can honestly say that the commands of my heart have been followed as of late.


Departure: Hurricane documentaries in my student halls.


Destination: Disaster reporting in the US.


Well if Zuckerburg can stem ideas from a dorm room…

Work & play hard,

Love Pixie xx

Blog:Pixie Sprains A Wing

October 12, 2012 by  
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Fight or Flight.


If it was the right season, and I were a creeping zinnia, my pollen would spread like wildlife. I am that passionate.
Despite my passion, when things get tough, I automatically conform to `flight mode`. I run away. This is especially true when I am pursuing my work. I am in love with so many things, so many areas and niches, that I don’t know what to do with myself. Fiction. Travel. Weather. The World. Communications. Languages. People.
So this said, I try my hand at each niche. I write fiction for hours on end, candles and coffee on tap, until the sun rises. I begin to master a storyline, I become my 1st person character, my grammar improves. But then I hit a slump. Who is going to read this? Why is my writing so dated? Am I completely messed up, because I write about space and purgatory when I zone out? How will I make enough money to live if I pursue this, anyway?

Am I not creative enough for this?

Then I flitter back to travel writing- my absolute forte. I log back into my website, I write some personal blogs… I reminisce about my days writing in Tenerife and Georgia, I begin to write travel pieces for a newspaper in New York, and I even bag a summer internship for said newspaper. But then that voice hits me again. I’ve never been to New York. How do I know it’s the City of Dreams? My writing is too fictional to be travel. I’m an amateur. I’m not good enough to go freelance and be paid for it, despite the fact I’ve already written features and been paid for them. Oh, and it’s been two weeks since I’ve submitted my intern application for the newspaper, and still, nothing.

Am I not experienced enough for this?

And then the big one hits me. That little vision that I carry around with me everywhere I go. America. My future home.
So I develop a love affair with natural disasters and weather, and my thoughts progress until I am hooked on the American Dream… to be a broadcaster in The States. And oh, what a fantasy it is. So I go through college, progress onto higher education and endeavour onto a degree in Multimedia Journalism. And then suddenly, the voice becomes so loud and so persistent, that I can’t think straight anymore. Broadcasting is viciously competitive. I need strategy. I need balls. I need to stand out. I need a background in science and geography and oh, I will need a few languages behind me as well.

So am I not smart enough for this?

And so… this is me now. Little journalist Leonie- aspiring travel writer, stuck in a rut. It seems that I have abandoned my talents and my own niches in favour of trying to better myself under the influence of other people. It’s sabotage to the soul.
My all-time motto in life is `Follow Your Heart`. Have I been doing that? Absolutely not. This makes me an absolute hypocrite.
I tell myself to Follow My Heart, and that’s what I shall do.

Cue coffee, muffins and a serious brainstorming sesh.


Love Pixie,


xx

Twenty Four Hour Costa and Black Cabs

October 30, 2010 by  
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It’s really early and I have such a nervous tum! I barely consumed my breakfast through the excitement.

It was strange emptying the entire hotel room (bye bye, 302!). I am relieved to say my bags were under the weight restriction, at least I can avoid the same dilemmas I did on the way over. I am sitting in my black shift munching Oreos and the other Interns are busy tapping away at their lap-tops. It was incredibly hard saying good bye to the little brunettes, but all I can hope is to see them soon!

It’s 33 degrees and I am on the 343 to Tenerife South airport. I can see the western- like Spanish land flick past the windows. I am happy here- but also very happy to be going home; does that mean I am happy within myself?

Days like this- flying days, you have to take each part as it comes. Oh so hectic I find. I am pretty sure this is one of my day dreams- tottering in heels directly through an airport whilst pulling a suitcase. I would really like more of these moments!

I secretly giggled my way through customs at the security alarms going off on everybody including myself; and swapped 30p into cents with some old ladies in order to buy a much needed bottle of water!

I am leaning over the railings waiting to board the air plane; my hair is tied in curls, my legs are tanned against my white 50s heels and I am holding my boarding pass with the pretty purple monarch signs in the background. Surprisingly I am getting used to flying alone; to me it is just like boarding a train.

Apart from the sketchy connection bus and some freak turbulence, the flight was perfect. Gold lights mapped out parts of Britain, much like the appearance of planet Mars in Christmas. Everything looks more beautiful thousands of feet up.

After the long routine of Passport security, the UK border and hauling my luggage from the conveyor belt; I met my much missed boyfriend in Arrivals. It was wonderfully weird seeing him after a month, we had so much to speak about over our Costa coffee and Panini’s (thank the lord for 24 hour Costa Coffee). We got a classic black taxi to Crawley (with a taxi driver in a full on suit opening our doors for us!). It’s bitterly cold in England, but I am so glad to be home. Our hotel room was amazing, set in old England, a Premier Inn with giant fluffy pillows and purple interior.

That’s all from me… mwa x


Watching The Waves

October 30, 2010 by  
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I just battled the majority of my packing- unsuccessfully making it as light as possible!

Nicholle (my lovely boss) and I went to cutesy vegetarian restaurant `El Limon` for stuffed crepes and croissants. We went to the Marina to watch the waves which were massive. It’s breathtaking standing completely still watching these boisterous beings crash below us. We wandered around the unseen bits of Puerto with our cameras and maps like cheesy tourists, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my last day!

I am too excited to contain myself as my family and boyfriend are speaking about the arrangements for tomorrow, (home day!). It’s already 7pm and I have 19 hours till I am on the bus to the airport.

The little brunettes and I, (Steffie, Amy and a few others minus little brunette Nicholle) went to the harbour and indulged in red wine in the dark by the water. We ended up running away from an angry stall lady and I waved goodbye to the `Fish Lady`.

I will go back to England remembering that playing Hide & Seek in the hotel with the little brunettes was seriously funny!

Mixed Emotions

October 30, 2010 by  
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I went to Playa Jardin and fell asleep on the black sand for the best part of the morning with the little brunettes. I am now condemning myself to my little desk to try and finish my last city guide.

Some of the boys and I went to the local bakery for some heavenly pastries and hung out for ages. It’s weird how I’m just getting used to being with these people and now I have to leave.

I keep listening to Ellie Goulding- The Writer. It takes me back to that eerie moment I was waiting on air side at Gatwick airport ready to board for my Internship. It seems so long ago now- like back home has been moving with the times but I have been stuck in a time- warp. I really miss my family- it feels as if I have been here 3x as long. I am more than ready to go home, but sad it’s about to end. It’s going to be a shock to the system going back to my life in England, just as shock worthy as immigrating to Tenerife to be a Journalist for a month. This experience has definitely been a taster of what life could be like- and it has pushed my confidence barrier to make me even more independent.

Besides the mass of work I’ve had to endure, my average days of climbing Masca mountains, shopping in Santa Cruz, taking on my boat phobia; tucking my toes into black sand and boarding that flight have been incredible. I’m going to miss mornings at City Cafe and being able to hop on a bus to visit a different city- gah. And Puerto- Puerto de la Cruz has rapidly changed from being scary and alienated to my home. The hiper dino, Don Camilo’s, the hotel… oh, and the weather. Waking up in pure white sheets to the sunshine with the knowledge I have lots of writing to get done that morning. For once I have no idea what will happen after I touch down in London. All I do know is that I’ve seen a better quality of life. I just wish I had a crystal ball…

I have a feeling in my chest as if someone has whacked me directly in the centre. I’m physically scared I will stop feeling happy and fall back into my life as a doomed bartender at home. Yikes. My evening Mojito’s temporarily solved these emotions…

Looking Up

October 30, 2010 by  
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I woke feeling really refreshed. My cheeks are warm and plumpy from the morning sun and I am feeling even warmer inside. My fluttery mood is making it next to impossible to concentrate; the other Interns seem to be writing 3x the speed of myself and I am aware of every inch of my fidgeting. I got out early for breakfast at City Cafe, there’s something about the chandeliers, bright furniture and collages that cheer me up.( The chocolate croissants are pretty good as well!)

I like looking into the collage of NY and thinking, `one day`. Whatever I am working at now is the beginning of my career, and you have to start somewhere. I am working my ass off in a 2 star hotel room with the sparky plugs, rushing out to get coffees… aiming towards merrily sitting in a big city Starbucks; cuddling my skinny decaff latte while writing for a plush newspaper or as a feature blogger. The pyramid of success in careers is simular to the pyramid structure of a newspaper article. The important short, snappy beginning leading to the end result.

I have a complete 2nd wind today, I don’t know if the barista sneaked an extra shot of coffee in- but I am itching to work. Tottering down the steps of the cafe I stopped for a moment. I. In Tenerife. Hearing the sound of fountains. As a Travel Journalism Intern. It wasn’t long ago I was thinking `I’ve always wanted to be a writer but it’s sure as hell hard to get into` and now here I am, bounding down a street in Spain in my aqua blue smock with a massive grin on my face.


Inspiration

October 30, 2010 by  
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This morning began with a big stroll around Puerto in my shades and grey shift. I indulged in plenty of dark chocolate to lighten my mood.

Checking my emails is becoming nicer by the day. It’s a great relief to open feedback and find only a few grammar mistakes! It creates a feeling that you’re going in the right direction, and makes hours of hard work worth it.

In my eyes, inspiration is an important part of motivating yourself to achieve your goals. Everybody has those moments of thinking they don’t want to get out of bed, or feelings of inadequacy. It’s not that you are worthless, or incredibly bad at what you do- often it’s a state of mind. It goes back to taking criticism as a way to improve rather than a harsh blow to your self-esteem. It may be a role model, a magazine article or a song that relates to your life; but inspiration plays an important part often without you noticing.

My inspiration comes in the form of Stephen Fry, Jameela Jamil, my incredible parents and most recently- Lindsey Kelk (author of `I heart New York, I heart Hollywood, I heart Paris). Every time I feel like pacing around in a confused state I read Lindsey’s books; she gives hope to the minims who aren’t blessed by the paparazzi and media everyday but want to make it in life regardless. I feel as if I could be Angie- a ditzy romantic blogger lost in love trying to save her career. My boyfriend is Alex the band guy, the complete parallel to my personality. And I feel if I read long and hard enough, I can eventually follow her footsteps and end up where I have always imagined myself- in New York.

The point is- it’s OK to have bad days, bad pieces of work or moments where everything is going wrong. It’s not down to fate or bad luck; you are in charge of your own fate. The point is to find the positive end and work with it and more importantly- learn from it. Life’s way of throwing you a lesson; not life’s way of messing with you.

Las Mercedes Is A Fairytale

October 30, 2010 by  
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Las Mercedes- the last of my three favourites. It is also the last city I am able to visit before I fly back to England *sob, so I am hoping for a good ‘un.

Morning…

The butterflies in my stomach were as present as the beautiful butterflies I was hoping to see in Las Mercedes. I think I suffered from pre- Mercedes jitters, just reading about it made my mouth fall open in awe. Butterflies, fairytale forests… miniature crossing bridges? It certainly tickled my fancy, and I was more than happy to accept a wander around.

Steffie and I arrived early morning, so this little village had no excuse to blame its peace and serenity on siesta. It was deadly silent but in a positive sense- the birds were singing tunefully and the unmistakable smell of oaks and pine filled my lungs with a relaxing draw of air. Bizarrely it was chilly in Las Mercedes, and being in the area felt nothing like being in Spain. The roads were lined with wooden logs and the only vehicles that passed through were white worker’s trucks and a handful of buses. There was no definite path so we feared an overexcited bus driver may come horsing around the corner before we had time to bolt out of the way.

The gigantic trees towered over us, leaving me with a similar sensation a high school sweetheart would have when her love interest immersed her within his oversized jacket. I wandered how long it took for these descendants of nature to grow.

Steffie and I stumbled across what appeared to be the entrance to Mercedes forest. The ground of the forest was coated in layers of autumn leaves, there were broken tree trunks resting on each other to form barriers. The cross bridges were sculptured from logs, I have never seen so much unspoiled natural beauty in my life. I secretly wished visitors who travel to the area in the future would get to know about this little gem, I felt blessed to have found it myself.

The village of Las Mercedes was decorated in colourful banners, I assumed there must have been a fiesta some days before and these were the remnants. Apart from the religious church with the `large square bell tower that you can see for miles across Las Mercedes`- the village presented itself as an average residential area. I imagine most of the people here commute to work; it doesn’t have much going on.

While Steffie and I were perched on the side of the pavement waiting for a bus, I spotted the first- and only resident I met in Las Mercedes. I carefully made judgement of the resident and decided to take a risk. I crossed over to the road parallel to where Steffie was sitting, and bent down to held out a hand. No matter how approachable I tried to make myself look, the stray dog turned on its heels and trotted away down the street. Charming.

Afternoon…

This afternoon I went to my fave, Don Camilo’s- I REALLY need my caffeine hit. I can feel my words swaying towards sounding half reasonable as I down my super strong, super sugary coffee. Ok, so I was lucky for my fatigue to only just catch up with me; but with the travelling and writing I can’t slow down, I feel if I rest a moment I will miss something. The sun is pounding down, the twinkles of Spanish music are calming and I am trying to `wing` the first part of my Las Mercedes blog. Oh dear.

Evening…

I am cuddling my prize ice pack, surrounded by a cute kitsch decorated table containing olives, apples and water- I’ve probably had 15 hours sleep and 3 meals max over the last week, I’m shaking with overtired adrenaline; but these factors have little effect on my mood. I love running up the sets of marbled stairs to see how fast I can get to my room before the automated lights go off  (A lot of cred goes to the hotel for thinking about the welfare of the earth- hooray for energy saving!).

In Limbo

October 29, 2010 by  
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It’s 7am- I love this time of the morning due to nobody being around; it’s so dark and still.

Morning…

I racked my brains for a little bit of content for my newspaper article, it’s really easy to do with concentration fully present.

My little LG net book has 100% bailed- leaving me condemned to the vintage Spanish desktop in the corner; welcome to the 90′s! *sigh*  Not to mention it has Spanish keys and Google ES… (note to self: go for a Vaio next time). Despite my buggered laptop, I am busy winging writing about art galleries with fancy words. The notepad and pencils are out- so this is what Journalists in the old days had to put up with? (Admittedly I prefer this method; a bailed pencil just needs a sharpener not a full restoring session, right?!)

Afternoon…

Compared to my first week of adventure, losing weight and browning skin; I am now spending all of my time writing in the hotel. Added with copius amounts of chocolate biscuits and lift using; causes for pale  English skin, added podge and a numb, ache filled body. Dismissing all knowledge of my chocolate biscuit binge, it is sufficing for comfort food. I can’t work out who will get a sample of my bad British tongue first, the restaurant PR’s or the pervy Spanish men. I am not in the mood…

Evening…

I went out for an Intern departing do, and spoke life, cupcakes writing and love stories with my boss for hours. We found a sweet little route back to the hotel via traditional Puerto streets. My boss told me a lovely old lady had shown her that route before and she had remembered to show it to me.

At 12.30 pm I am sitting at the ghastly 90′s tragedy; I am typing up the rest of my newspaper article- my hair scruffed up and paired with giant pink socks. I am displaying my signature writing style- the art of `winging it`. I am so knackered I spelt teddy with an `e`.

I am waiting for the new English Intern to arrive (she’s bearing the likes of HEAT magazine, I love her already). There is a creepy guy asking me to accompany him for a beer, I am innocently pretending I can’t understand any Spanish in the hope he will leave quietly without a fuss. He only pulled the night receptionist in as his own personal translator…




Falling Asleep With A Tummy Of Blushy Rose

October 29, 2010 by  
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Apparently I am the `cute cocktail expert` for tonight’s events. If you remove the `cute` and `expert`.

Cocktails… now they are a territory I am familiar with. Existing as a peasant like `bar maid` back home has it’s perks;  such as  having a real excuse to make beautiful drinks instead of wasting their purposes by sliding them across the bar to a few ill mannered business men or uni kids. Young Intern girls in Tenerife seems a pretty feasible excuse for mixing some pink drinks.

Once the recipe was decided  a few of the other girls and I went shopping- the three small brunettes, aww! I feel so comfortable with the other girls, it’s crazy how some of the best friends you will ever meet can be thousands of miles apart from you. But I suppose when you are travelling you can expect it- therefore making the most of your time together and accepting them as memories as opposed to everlasting friendship.

I am now falling into a deep sleep with a tummy full of blushy rose and chocolate mousse, it’s only 10pm but I can’t help myself. The heat is closing my eyes for me involuntarily and the church bells are lulling me to sleep. I’m pretty thankful of my sudden snoozing- perhaps I’l be up and at ‘em tomorrow with some extra shut eye.

I think I’m gonna miss drifting away with the Canarian sun after a hard day’s writing.

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