Kellie and Rachel

Once upon a time it was 2003 and I moved into a dorm room with too many people in too small of a space on a big ol’ college campus. And in that dorm were plenty of nice girls, but only a few that I still love with all my heart and who return my affections, even knowing how completely stupid I was when I was 19. And 20. And 21 (loooord, 21, when every “good” American girl really comes out of her shell and spends more nights than anyone should spend in cheap bars). And so on and so forth. Rachel lives in North Carolina now, Kellie’s still in Columbus, but Rachel drove over to hang out and tell old stories and eat brunch and walk around with Kellie and I (and Jon, that wonderful partner of mine who doesn’t mind baring witness to friends catching up and telling all the same old tales of embarassment and youthful revelry).

These are the people most used to me and my ever-present camera. (Plus Lindsey, too).

While walking back to our cars after brunch at Tasi-Columbus people, go there! You will love it!-we came across this giant metal Ohio sign outside one of the antique shops. It obviously once belonged to a car dealership, and I wish I had had the space or expendable income to purchase it. Surely it was only outside anyway because it was a game day. The attempt of O-H-no I just another-O is now permanently ensconsed in (digital) film.

O-HO!

OHO!

Ah dear friends. Till we meet again. It won’t be soon enough.

Firepits and friends

We spent not one, but two nights last week soaking up the smokey goodness that is a solid backyard firepit. Both Nia and her dude, and Evie and her dude have this little slice of backyard heaven in their respective abodes, and Jon and I were more than happy to join them for drinks and s’mores and all that good stuff. Two nights in a row! Woo! Thanks you guys!

At Nia and Jeff’s we made s’mores with hershey’s kisses because that’s what we had on hand. They have a crazy cute puppy that is 3/4 English bulldog and 1/4 something else not bulldog but still totally adorable. And that little dog is a freak, and loves beer so much that she jumped on Jon’s lap to grab his bottle with her tiny paws and have at it.

Nothing like a good fuzzy picture via manual settings in the dark with a DSLR.

Evie and Nick had us over for dinner the following night. Homegirl can make a hella good chili/cornbread combo, and I will never stop swooning over her exposed-bricked mid-century awesome house, coupled with her ability to always have her hair up in interesting and fabulous ways (coming from my long hippy-haired self, I wish I took the time to cultivate such skill). Reading that back it sounds incredibly superficial, but um…it’s not? It’s not. I wish we had Evie and Nick doppelgangers in Brighton to hang out with. They are wonderful people.

Ghost-face Evie.

Not to be a broken record-I’m totally a broken record-but it’s thinking over nights like these that at once make me so homesick for a life in Ohio with evening hang outs and chit-chat, and at the same time so fucking grateful for friends that will invite my transient ass over to their beautiful homes when I am in town. I am so lucky and thankful for their love and conversation and presence.

Ohio so far

Three days in and I am loving it.

Goodale Park Columbus Ohio

My phone says all these things have happened. I’ve drank beers and eaten delicious things, saw some bands and gone to two festivals. I’ve seen my mom, dad, stepmom, sister, niece, cousins. I’ve seen my friends. I’ve slept in a seedy hotel and driven on the highway and gone shopping at Target. It’s been three days. Ohio is the best. I love it here.

Visitors from up North

Penny, Dave and Stainless (aka Richard) all made trips from Nottingham and Bristol down to our modest anniversary party last weekend, and we were pleased to have their pretty faces in the vicinity! The five of us have a Korean connection due to our time spent living there-which is where most of us met, excluding the dudes, who have all known each other since university-and it’s nice to able to still see people that can relate to that crazy time half way around the world, eating kimchi and living it up, yet also know what it’s like to have normal lives again. And Penny and Dave are even roommates now in Nottingham, which is fun. While they were here we had a party (obviously), but we also spent the next day feeling hungover and walking around by the seafront, which is still quite a novelty for people from the land-locked cities of Nottingham and Bristol, and then going to a late lunch/dinner. I loved having them around, and I’ll be talking Jon into going up north as soon as possible, even though as a good southern (southeastern?) boy he hates the north and everything in it with a passion. So he says. I think it’s all lies. We’ll see.

It’s nice having someone else around who takes even more pictures than I. Hi Dave!

She’s definitely instagramming that picture.

We even made a stop by the fresh seafood stand, where you can buy local, fresh goodies for cheap in little pots, right on the beach. Penny was feeling brave and purchased a bit made of essentially all tiny octopus. It…did not look appetizing.

The stall and its vendors were covered in leftover rainbow bits and pieces from the previous day’s Pride festivities.

Not appetizing.

After we said goodbye to Richard, Penny and Dave, Jon and I carried on walking down the seafront back to our place. It was chilly and gray and undeniably autumnal, and only a few people were around. The feeling of wind-whipped salty air in your face is a good way to both knock out a hangover and say goodbye to summer. I think I’ll like the fall and winter days of Brighton even more than the summer ones-no tourists or summer students everywhere you turn, no weekend visitors taking up all the space and being loud and drunk on the weekends then going back from whence they came, not cleaning up their trash behind them. Not that I mind most of it, but the idyll of a sleepy off-season city by the sea sounds irresistibly appealing to me these days. We’ll see how naive I’ve been come November-I’ve never been in Brighton, or in England for that matter, at that time of year. Maybe it’s a loud, cold mess, who knows? Still won’t be as cold as the states though. I’ll miss snow this year.

Seafront playgrounds with baby pools, abandoned in the colder climes. Although with temperatures for the weekend cast in the high 70s-maybe 80s (!), it’ll probably fill up again, at least this one last time before the true chill sets in.

Brighton kiddie pool seafront

 

Celebrating

After Jon and I were married in Ohio we kept saying over and over that we were going to have an English wedding, or at least a party or something over here. And it took us a full year of marriage to plan that something. Our friends came, we had Pimm’s and cupcakes and many drinks and a dance off or two, and some people even got us gifts, which was beyond nice. It was a really great little party and I’m so glad we have people who love us on both sides of the Atlantic.

(Photos taken by the belligerent Dave)