How many languages do you speak?

I have been all over this app called duolingo the past week or so, I have decided to finally step up my language game and try to learn a new one. What better time learn than when stuck in quarantine? The free time shouldn’t be wasted.

I have decided on Portuguese (I will explain my choice in a moment) and although just getting through the basics it is very fun so far.

I can confidently tell Portuguese speakers that I am not a shark but I do eat bread.

DSC_0001

I always felt that learning a new language would be amazing, I just have never got round to actually starting. And I never knew what language to choose. But when I travelled around Brazil in 2016 with friends from São Paulo, I learned the very basics and thought it would be nice to keep the ball rolling. I didn’t keep the ball rolling. But I still wanted to learn and when I heard of this app I gave it a try.

It is a very convenient way to learn. I have been doing it daily in short bursts, and the thing with this is I don’t have to focus at certain times of the day in classes. I choose when and where I learn and this is a game changer for me, even if it takes me a little longer. I can imagine so many people are enjoying learning a new language in this way, the app states that more people are learning Irish around the world than there are native speakers.

I am not learning due to a career or for better career/financial prospects, more so because it sounds like an exciting challenge and it is great brain training. So thank you Brazil for helping me decide on a language to learn about. And similar to the US and UK variation of English, I would be interested to learn the differences between Brazilian-Portuguese and Portuguese-Portuguese.

I hope to keep it up. It’s like learning an instrument, real progress won’t happen overnight but with gradual steps. And I know a few of you do speak more than one language, I would love to know how many and what made you choose. If you only speak one, what one would you pick if you could?

Speak to you all soon! (in English for now).

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

img_4182 (2)

I filmed a walk through London during lockdown (video in post)

Today I spent the afternoon chopping/editing some footage I collected on my GoPro on Saturday. It was a video of my walk to the shops that I posted about here. Usually this isn’t the most exciting thing to capture on film, but during a pandemic this might be footage I show to my grandkids in decades to come. I was going for groceries and made a couple of stops, so it was allowed.

I have marked Old Street on the map below, so you can get an idea of where I am in London. Very central on the border of the boroughs of Hackney and Islington. From my starting point I face south and head down beneath the roundabout, then turning west and coming back up onto Old Street Road. The whole walk pretty much takes place in the little highlighted circle below.

Capture

At the start of the video I walk through Old Street Underground station, it is almost empty. Over 20 million people head through the ticket barriers annually, however in the video it looks more like an abandoned station. An announcement can be heard advising those that aren’t key workers to stay at home, and all the businesses that trade down there are closed. A simple message of Stay Home, Don’t Travel, Save Lives. A huge contrast to how it looked when I took this shot earlier in the year.

DSC_0202-2

I head a little further, you will notice I say a few words to those I engage with on the walk. Yes, I do speak sometimes!! For anyone curious as to what I sound like, here it is. I speak to two homeless people, a couple of shoppers and the shop assistants. One day I may do a video where I speak to viewers directly, however I am still way too shy for that. And also this video was made purely to document what London is currently like during this lockdown.

I hope you like the footage, it was filmed on a GoPro Hero 7 Silver in 4K. I am so new to uploading videos (this is only my second upload on my YouTube channel) I have no idea how to upload with the best quality. The same during editing. So this is practice more than anything… it isn’t as crisp right now, but maybe it is still processing. We shall see.

I thought this would be my blog post for today, a little insight as to where I live and what London life is currently like.

I hope you enjoy!

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

img_4182 (2)

An escape from the flat

Thank you all for the love you have shown me in my last post, I appreciate it. I have just responded to the comments there and I feel so lucky to have this amazing WP community to engage with every single day. It is a blessing right now for all of us to be able to engage in isolation. We are lucky to have technology allowing us to communicate to each other across the world, what a fortunate time to be alive.

Yesterday I went to the shops. That really is an exciting story in 2020. I had to go to four in total as each one I went to didn’t have everything I needed. I needed mouthwash (currently sold out in supermarkets, so I had to visit the pharmacy), that was store one. Store two had no chopped tomatoes, but it did have turkey mince. Store three didn’t have chopped tomatoes either, but it did have straws that my flatmate asked me to get.

Also whilst I was buying flavoured teas I wanted to share this. Did you know that the company Twinings has this message on their packaging…

‘By appointment to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’

This is because Twinings supply goods to the Royal Family, and have done since the 1800’s. They have a shop over 300 years old in London that I will blog about when I can visit. A cool little fact I wanted to share with you all.

Store four was my little local shop that had everything. So far these smaller groceries have been the best for stock, most people emptying the supermarkets it seems. I got chopped tomatoes, passata and today made a banging chili. That will last me a few days until I have my next crazy adventure.

Just a little travel update, until the next…

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me!

Have a blog you want to share? Introduce yourself here!

Also, I would love to grow on Instagram, please give me a follow over there as I will have plenty of London shots coming your way. Any help would be amazing as photography is fast becoming a passion of mine. Click here for onechancetoseetheworld on Insta and thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me.

img_4182 (2)

Some more winter shots…

Here are a couple more winter shots from around London, these were taken in the Soho area, close to Piccadilly Circus in my previous post.

t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0711

These were taken on my GoPro Hero 7 silver, a fairly new model when I bought it. I really wanted to get a camera that would take good video and timelapses, but I also wanted to experiment with the images I could get from it too. It has more of a fish eye lens meaning a lot can fit into the screen from close proximity.

Some decent shots can be taken on the ground (literally putting it on the floor with it being waterproof) and getting the ground, buildings and sky all in one shot for a more all round photo.

t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0713

I also used this in Edinburgh, catching some nice shots of the local sights. It is a great camera for still shots, with objects appearing so close you can almost touch them despite capturing so much behind it too. My sister being the center of attention in the first shot!

t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0372GOPR0368t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0380GOPR04712

If anyone is interested I have linked the Edinburgh post right here, it really is one of my favourite cities and one I never get bored of walking around. Both the architecture and landscape is stunning and I couldn’t recommend it enough. You may recognize the last picture as the one I use on my Instagram and at the bottom of my website when scrolling down. Despite the Walter Scott Monument being in Edinburgh I haven’t found a picture I want to replace with it yet in London. So it will remain for a wee while!

Just a couple more shots I wanted to share with you, more tomorrow and hopefully more time too. I have been fairly busy today, despite not leaving the house. My flatmate and I are currently watching Tiger King as well, which so far has got us both hooked. For someone that doesn’t watch much TV, I have surprised myself for sure.

Has anyone been watching it? It seems to have everyone’s attention.

No spoilers though please!!

😀


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me

Click here for my social media > Instagram   Facebook   Twitter   

Want to reach out to other bloggers and find new blogs? Introduce yourself here!

img_4182 (1)

Don’t try this at home

Walking underneath the skyscrapers in my previous post, I came across this interesting piece of art.

I think this is what causes pandemics…

DSC_0237-2

This is ‘Crocodylius Philodendrus’ by Nancy Rubins. On the website sculptureinthecity.org.uk it tells us a little bit about the artwork:

As part of her series Diversifolia– which in the scientific names of plants indicates a single species possessed with a considerable variety of leaf, Crocodylius Philodendrus employs clusters of bouquet like arrangements comprised out of a variety of animal forms that explode into space in all directions. Her calculated compositions employ a structural property called “tensegrity,” wherein individual parts are arranged in balanced compression and secured with tensile cables, that galvanizes the aluminium crocodiles, hogs and deer, cast iron tortoises, and bronze zebras into purely formal, abstract components as they propel into space due to their aggregate momentum. Circumnavigating her towering assemblage reveals the transformation of found objects and industrial refuse into expertly orchestrated abstractions that are fluid and rhizomatic in nature.

Lots of fancy words there. And lots of cool animals that can’t be found in London so I stayed there for a while staring at it from different angles.

DSC_0242-2

The website displays many pieces of art that are currently dotted around the city centre, but also reminds everyone during the pandemic to refrain from looking for them for the time being. But at least I can show you this one, and if this kind of art is your thing, more can be seen in the link at the bottom of this post.

It takes me back to November 2017, walking along the coastline in Sydney whilst Sculptures by the Sea was taking place. Similar sculptures and if you want to check them out I have linked that post too. And who doesn’t like ocean pictures?! 😉

What do you think of this piece of art? Let me know!

www.sculptureinthecity.org.uk

Sculptures by the Sea– A day on Bondi to Coogee’s coastal walk

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me

Click here for my social media > Instagram   Facebook   Twitter   

Want to reach out to other bloggers and find new blogs? Introduce yourself here!

img_4182 (1)

Learning not to hate each other in lockdown

It seems we are all struggling to stay sane right now, who knew staying indoors would be so difficult. It is certainly more difficult when told to do something compared to when we have the choice.

I for one certainly took my walks for granted.

t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR0837

I have always loved walking, and always dreamed of walking down new streets in a new location. I guess I took being allowed to do so for granted, not seeing anything on the horizon that would take this right away so fast.

92236023_2959800877440429_7562999540635140096_n

But before you know it something is on the horizon, and moves like a shockwave taking you out. We are all being hit by that shockwave right now. But attempts are being taken to reduce the effects such as staying indoors, although being stuck with each other in such a small area is having an effect too.

DSC_01151-2

My mum, sister and I all live separately and we all enjoy video calling everyday. We aren’t constantly under each others feet and I think in the long term this will be beneficial. Not that I want to be in isolation for a long time and of course I miss my family a hell of a lot, but we can do each others heads in after a little while. We all have our habits and do things that grind each others gears, and this is normal. I hope.

So although I wish we were all together to get through this, I am feeling grateful for technology allowing us to chat anytime. A time that we all agree on and we can’t be pests at the times when we just want some alone time. The best of both worlds really. I have a flatmate that I don’t see too often and we chat on the odd occasion but that’s it. I worry if I moved in a little earlier and we were a little closer by now we would be much more prone to annoying each other. I am also working which breaks up the day and allows me a change of scenery, something that has kept me in a good state of mind for sure.

How are you finding isolation? Who are you living with and are you ripping each others hair out yet? I hope not, although this is perfectly normal for families!

 

Sending love to you all.


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me

Click here for my social media > Instagram   Facebook   Twitter   

Want to reach out to other bloggers and find new blogs? Introduce yourself here!

img_4182 (1)

Every frustration is a story

This is the first time I have noticed queues outside of the stores. Not sure how long this has been the norm but down the road the supermarkets had these lines, thankfully no more than four or five people.

img_4233

My mum messaged me from the family home up north, saying that the local Asda supermarket had a line that went all the way to Morrison’s (another UK supermarket chain). This would involve crossing a main road, so I wish I had a photo of this as it sounds pretty crazy. A queue that has a two meter rule will stretch a lot further than it usually would, especially if the number of people allowed in the store is limited.

My flatmate asked if I wanted to join her in having a walk today, as we are currently allowed out for one bit of exercise a day or to do a food shop (the latter to be done as infrequently as possible). Being in pairs with someone in your household is currently okay. We headed to the local park which wasn’t too busy, there was more than enough space for those exercising to keep a safe distance, so we did a walking lap. She needed to buy groceries on route back, a local organic shop was open and seemed fairly popular with five people waiting to go in. The sign said there was a ten person limit, although another sign read ‘one customer out one in…’ so it was a little unclear. I could see some in the queue scratching their heads as they reached the entrance. I stood on the other side of the road and waited as the path was a lot wider and less walked.

When the queue disappeared altogether I got a closer look. They have installed a hand wash outside that I haven’t seen elsewhere in London so far.

Maybe it is more common in your area? For me this is a first.

‘Foot operated’ message on the wall to help assist those in line, with a funny foot diagram to help even further.

The below shot was seen on the store window next door. The window can be seen behind the couple waiting in the first shot from this road. It looked closed, maybe this was stuck up before they had to shut completely. Maybe it is open certain days or for take-outs.

I prefer to see times like these as an opportunity. As much as it is a pain, an annoyance, and of course a danger, if we don’t take these moments and use them to our advantage, they can really take advantage of us.

It is an opportunity to share our stories of what life is currently like, an event that may not reoccur in our lifetime. The photos of the new restrictions and restricted freedoms. The signs telling us how to adjust to a new normal and what we are no longer allowed to do. The little things like an A4 piece of paper stuck in a window will be a big story to tell when we get out of this, looking back in years or decades to come.

Of course this differs depending on where we are. We are all going through the same thing, but with slight variations depending on where we call home. This is what is bringing us all together, we have an excuse for conversation again. Not just because we have the same story to relate to, but each of our stories has different chapters. Differing experiences and characters. And I will for sure be looking out for these stories online in the weeks to come.

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me

Click here for my social media > Instagram   Facebook   Twitter   

Want to reach out to other bloggers and find new blogs? Introduce yourself here!

 

img_4182 (1)

Where would you go?

All this free time has got me thinking. Thinking more than doing actually. I would usually kill for this amount of time off and now I have it, I feel lost at sea. I don’t have the small windows of free time in the day before or after work. Before the virus hit I could manage what free time I have that day and decide what to do in that time. I have 30 minutes free? Write a quick blog post. An hour? Cook. Now I have all day and I am crippled by indecision.

I should let you know about my work situation before anything. I work in a luxury residential building and as I have to be present at work for fire checks and security in general, I am still required to go to work. I have been provided a letter by my company to show the police if they ask why I am outside. It is classed as essential/key work as someone needs to be in at all times. I work with a team of about 15 or so, however due to the outbreak we have put a skeleton rota out and limited the amount of people working at any one time. So I worked four shifts in a row, and now I am off for nine days. This will be the case for the foreseeable future.

I feel fortunate, I don’t mind working as it keeps me from constant isolation. I am not getting transport to work so human interaction is minimal. I probably walk past three or four people on my way to my shift, even before the lockdown. Most of the residents have either went back to their home country for a few months or are self isolating, so I have minimal contact at work with people. I have gloves and masks if I choose to use them.

Everyday is seeming more like a Sunday. In and out of work. The photos I took in January and February couldn’t be further from what the areas must look like now. Busy tourist areas are just a memory now.

DSC_0061-2

After sitting down and (finally) deciding on my activity for today, I tried to get a little more savvy on Lightroom from Adobe. For those that don’t know, Lightroom is a piece of software that allows you to enhance your images. Change the lighting, shadows, colours etc. You can also set your preferences to keep a certain theme for photos, making sure a collection of photos has the same lighting and colour schemes, great for platforms such as Instagram. It keeps a portfolio consistent and gives your photos an identity. I am still working on that identity.

I really like the above photo, I saw a girl directly in front of me and centered her right in the middle of the shot. Piccadilly Circus provides the backdrop with a street performer in between. Street performers will be feeling a little lost right now I am sure. As will everyone in the shot. I really want to visit Piccadilly Circus during lockdown though, it is London’s little version of Times Square and a place known for bright lights and constant activity. The complete opposite of what it is now.

If I had to choose a place to visit during a lockdown, it would probably be Times Square. It would be so eerie to walk the abandoned streets, car horns replaced with quiet bird song. My footsteps being the only human intervention in an area known for being full of life. The huge advertisement boards flashing without anyone to gaze up at them. I have always loved abandoned places purely because they had a history which is a complete contrast to what they have become.

If you had to choose, where would you like to visit in a post-apocalyptic style scenario? Knowing you would be the only one there to take it all in. I would love to know.

Speak to you all soon,

Sam

 


 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!

Sam


 

Connect with me

Click here for my social media > Instagram   Facebook   Twitter   

Want to reach out to other bloggers and find new blogs? Introduce yourself here!

img_4182 (1)

The start of a new normal

I walked by this little cafe/restaurant/bar on the way back from the shops today. I would usually walk by such a place without turning my head as London is crammed with so many places to eat and drink, it is hard for something in such a crazy busy city to catch my attention. But tonight it did, as our PM has requested bars and restaurants to close this evening and not open tomorrow. We are entering crazy times.

img_4198

And when I say ‘we’ I am referring to the world, not just my little corner of it. That is the strangest thing to me. It isn’t like I am texting family and friends asking why that police helicopter is hovering above our streets or something. I have had friends in Brazil and the US reach out to me and we have talked about how we are all being affected. It really is a small world and I am feeling it more than ever right now.

For good and bad reasons. Bad as many people are being affected, the good to come from it (hopefully) is that we all ride this out together. We forget our differences and see how we are the same. I am hoping so anyway.

Will this be the last time that little cafe will be open this month? This year? Forever!? I saw people hugging inside, it could just be friends a little intoxicated, it could be the owners saying goodbye to regulars. You never know. But it made me sad thinking of how many businesses are going through trouble right now, how many lives are being affected, how our lives are being disrupted. I know it could always be worse, but it doesn’t stop me being sad when life could always be better.

Such a crazy time for all of us. We can only see what comes of it and where this virus takes us. But thankfully we can all see this through together.

Have the best weekend possible everyone.

img_4198