Showing posts with label sun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sun. Show all posts


California Soul...

It's been a long time coming, but here is it, my first blog from sunny California.

I touched down just over a month ago, raring and ready to start this adventure to immediately be put to at an abrupt halt in New York airport. Due to bad snow conditions the airport was at a standstill, and my connecting flight to the sunshine of L.A looked like a distant dream. Told I could not get a seat on another flight for three days, and with no hotels available I received my meal tickets, made friends with the caretaker, and took up residency on the airport floor. New Yorkers are notoriously rude, and the ones I encountered were no different. Apart from one. A young woman at the flight desk offered me her spare room to use after she finished her second job at the hospital that night. I was touched by a strangers kindness. (Obviously I didn't take her up on the offer....she could have been an axe-murderer for all I knew), but it warmed my heart in a somewhat chilly airport.

After sobbing to flight desks and sobbing to my boyfriend back in London (o2 phone-bill LOVED that one!) I finally managed to get a standby seat on a flight a day later. Heavy heart lifted, I arrived in L.A, got to my hostel....and then it sank again.

I was on Hollywood Blvd. At night. Now if you guys have ever been to Hollywood, you will know it ain't like the movies! It's not a good place to be at night, and the colorful mix of crackheads and prostitutes make it even the more uninviting.

I kicked myself into action (after all I was not going to leave the sunshine for cold back home quite so easily) and I quickly found myself a place to live. With a heated pool, jacuzzi, gym and my own balcony I finally started to feel like I was in L.A. And the best bit about it all? The woman I live with. 'Moma' Linda is like my black American mom. She listens loudly to Aretha Franklin, cooks the best homemade burgers, gives me donuts for breakfast, and when I get a job says things like 'Baby Gurl I am so proud of you!'.

And I have been working hard. On my tan. Bearing in mind the last time I was properly in the sunshine was one whole year ago when I was living in Australia, this has been a welcome break. L.A has peak tanning from 12 - 2pm so regardless of wherever I am, I try to get out at this point and expose any flesh I can to the sunlight. Envision baby turtles scuttling to the sea to survive...well that's me at midday running into the last patch of sunlight on pavement. The Californians think I'm stark raving mad... "it's the winter dude?!" but they just don't understand what its like for us sun-deprived Brits. 

But apart from the tanning I quite seriously have been working too. On a few American Film Institute short films, a 'tinder' documentary (which co-incidentally is filming back in London in March... if anyone wants to be on it hit me up!), and had several exciting meetings with Production Houses out here. I have also been working with some lovely L.A photographers on several fashion shoots (pictures soon to be on the blog!)

One thing which has come to me as a huge eyeopener is the large gulf between the rich and the poor in America. Due to my fear of driving on the right hand side of the road, I've been exposed to it more then most whilst taking the public transport. And let me tell you, taking public transport out here can be a rather scary experience. Unlike in London where everyone and anyone uses the tube, out here only crazies, drug-dealers and Mexican cleaners seem to be on the bus. And that is no exaggeration. The bus drivers are like the toughest people I've ever seen (especially the ones with the Hollywood and Downtown LA routes), and they have to be.

When I'm not getting harassed at the bus-stop for cigarettes, or trying to ward off the weed fumes coming from the gangs hanging around, I witnessed a rapping man the other day. He just would not stop rapping. To no-one and everyone. I couldn't figure out if I was impressed or scared (a little of both I think) but all I kept thinking in my head is 'this is so #america right now Emily'. Yes, I hash-tagged in my own head. I kind of wanted to look, but I didn't want to be drawn into like a bus rap-battle as I didn't need to show him up with my own rapping skillz. (I see my friends rolling there eyes here...oh god is white middle-class Emily drunk and trying to rap again?)...moving on anyway....

Macklemore was not lying, I've been popping tags in the thrift shops out here! They are awesome, and before my time is up I plan on dedicating a post to the best thrifty's here in this big ol' city. And there is a lot of them. You can tell a good one by the smell of bad breath... the worse the smell, the better the bargains.

It's taken its damn time and a lot of frozen yogurt, but L.A living has seriously won me round. The sunshine each day is just so uplifting, as is the positive attitude of most of the people out here. The TV is trash, there's a Starbucks on every corner, and there are free refills on giant size sodas. Everywhere. I also have come across quite possibly my new favorite food. I use the term 'food' rather loosely here (I could eat a plate of it) but I'm sure most other people would see it as a *ahem* dressing. Ladies and gents I present, RANCH DIP. Creamy, garlicky and oh so good (bad), I will be filling my suitcase home with bottles. To every other American its just 'raaaanch man', but to me...well its been an eye-opener let me tell you. On what us Europeans are missing out on! (friends you will be re-educated back home).

My hair has gone darker yet again due to the hair-dyes 'ash brown' color coming out jet-black, and due to me using a permanent dye, well there isn't really much I can do about it. But now I'm tanning the color of what I'd describe as 'stained wood' I figure looking more Mexican can only aid me on my frequent bus rides out here. So really, the positives outweigh my hair faux pas (although my forehead still has a black-stain a week on...)

I guess I'm kind of on a sabbatical out here, and I tell you what....I thoroughly recommend it. Book that ticket, and get on that plane. Life is just too short. You have a dream, chase it. It's that simple. Or at least it was to me.

And I don't regret it yet...
Emily x


Graduating, tanning and dreaming...

So here I am, 26 years old and finally a graduate. Never one to win a race, predictably I did it 5 years later then my parents wanted. And predictably the weather was a heatwave, the Graduation Hall had no air-con, and I was sliding around inside my gown. Which was about 3 sizes too long and permanently falling off my shoulders. Cue me asking any random I could to "pin me in". But the sun was shining, the parents were happy(ish), and I even got my own shout-out due to my course no longer even being a degree (yes Leeds realised it was a hopeless course mmm about mid-way through me being on it). Nothing like good money wasted! I also got asked by several students 'what the job market looked like'. Whilst it made me feel rather self-important, I also felt I was looking the closer age of 30 and settled this unease with a few Peach Bellini's in the Union afterwards. De-light-ful #newfavouritedrink (yes i hash-tagged!). And whilst my mum got drunk and threw scathing remarks at my divorced father over the Union table I still couldn't help but think all in all it had been rather a successful day.

Back to London and a few days later I went for a highly anticipated high-tea at The Savoy with my godmother. And I have two words for you. STALE SANDWICHES. I may be from the North, but a high-class hotel can't fool me, I know if my breads been out in the sun a bit too long. And my finely cut sarnies were slightly tough around the edges. But the cakes were tasty, and no eyebrows were raised when I substituted my choice of tea for a coca-cola. But still, should have gone The Ritz...

The weather in London is currently amazing, and this long long heatwave makes me feel great about the fact that I can't afford to go on holiday this year. Being a freelancer I'm working on a rewarding project at the moment called tanning. Its currently looking good.

Apart from graduating, eating stale-ish sandwiches at The Savoy and re-hydrating this heatwave with Pimm's, I've been having some wholly sunny thoughts about the future. Sunny thoughts which involve moving to LA in January and working there for a few months. Just to ward off the cold winter blues in London, and to split up Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes (joke!) (well...kinda). I've always wanted to be one of these people who work in LA for a few months of the year, and then London the rest so I've decided I'm just going to do it! Flight is getting booked the minute my bank account starts to resemble the plus side.

Hope everyone in the UK is enjoying this glorious weather!

Emily x


'BITCH IM FROM THE SW12' : A load of air from the Big Smoke

So as per life has taken over, and my blog has suffered terribly as a result. Sorry blog. But it's the Easter weekend, I have a few days to myself (albeit to nurse hangovers) so what better way to make myself feel better then to write about my life?

So I moved down to London mid-January amidst the snow. And here I am end of March still amidst the snow. As yes, England has not warmed up, and this elusive spring is still looking very elusive. I don't need to hear about how "it was 25 degrees this time last year", all I am very aware of (whilst I place layer over layer to leave the house) is how it most certainly is not right now. The only part of my body which is cheering this freezing weather is my lungs. I have cut back ridiculous amounts on cigarettes as when weighing up whether to turn into a block of ice for a hit of smoke, I choose not.

Since moving to London I've moved house, moved jobs, and lost numerous valuable items. I've fallen asleep on tubes, fallen down tube stairs, made some amazing new friends and caught up with amazing old friends. I've learnt to never trust my navigation skills (ending up in Guildford instead of Picadilly Circus can do that to you), but to always walk with purpose: even if your getting on the tube going north when you should be going south. (It just makes you feel more clued up). (Even though your obviously not). I've had a huge shock at the price of things here in regards to my meager wage, and whilst trying to live the high-life have been surviving off free Nutella sandwiches at work. Everyday. For about 6 weeks. I've been drunk in more bars then I can remember names, yet still haven't scratched the surface of London's nightlife.

All in all I LOVE IT. I love it! I can't express the natural high I still get when I get out at Piccadilly station each morning to be surrounded by grand buildings, theaters, statue's and London's iconic red buses. Maybe its because I was away for so long, but I cant help but feel proudly British for our wonderful, vibrant, buzzing capital. I love the accents, the cheek, the banter and I have wholeheartedly fallen for this city and been swallowed up by it. My itchy feet are itching a lot less now I'm living in the Big Smoke.

I'm living South of the river in the most beautiful house in Balham. Resigning myself to the fact that I would probably be searching for a place to live for weeks, view numerous pokey rat infested flats, and end up living with a strange old Latvian man in a damp room, luckily my experience could not have been more different. I put up an ad, had a response, went to view the house and BANG love at first sight. With the house and housemate. Trying not to be too rash (I'm always far too rash) I thought I can't get the first house I viewed, but left the property with myself and Lisa (my housemate) gushing "I shouldn't say this but I really want to live with you". So after working out ze old finances I did. No rats or strange old foreign men in sight, my new house comprises of myself and three other lovely creatives. Working in PR, Fashion and Film we all just clicked. We also all like dancing. A lot.

 Job-wise I moved from my original role at SpliceTV to Rushes Post-Production house. Whilst getting on thoroughly well with everyone at both Splice and Rushes, I have had to come to the conclusion that Post just isn't for me. I much prefer being part of the initial creation and organization of a project, rather then the tweaking of the end result. Being a hater of someone that sits and moans about a situation rather then changing it, I have decided to shortly leave the world of Post and go freelance. I've met some lovely people in Production down here so it should all work out. Hell I've been living off Nutella sandwiches for the last month, so living like this for a bit longer can't hurt too much.

And that's that. The shortest summary I could make of my last two months down here. I don't intend to leave it two months till the next post, and I don't intend to write quite so much in the next post. More pictures, less writing. On some frivolous fanciable subject hopefully. (Or as my mother would describe : "the internet thing you do with bad grammar where you post pictures like no-body ever had the idea to turn a pair of jeans into shorts before?").

Happy Easter everyone!

Emily x


Is this the worlds most attractive television studio?

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Blue skies, green grass, warm sun, palm trees...yes its the Channel Nine studio! Ive spent the last 8 weeks here on placement, and I've loved it. Had a crack at reporting, followed the President, and can now class myself as queen of the autocue.

Sadly its my last day today as I'm off to Byron Bay to bask in more blue skies (fingers crossed!) and cold ciders on the beach over Christmas.

So for one last time, Darwin, thank you and goodnight.

Emily Duffield, Nine News.


G'day to y'all from oz!

Top: American Aparal dress, Trousers: Garage sale, Boots: Liverpool market

And welcome to my blog! Its been a long time coming, but as I am uselessly computer illiterate i have been able to get my mind (and fingers) around the world of blogging! Its still a work in progress…so were see if this post even makes it on the blog! 

Im writing this from Darwin - the very top tip of Australia. Its a sunny day, and I'm sitting here in 35degree heat. I don't mean to make those at home jealous, but I'm very aware that my friends back in the UK will be shivering around a fire round about this time of year! Heres a couple of pictures from the last few months in the Northern Territorys hot hot sun...

Emily x