Brighton • Oliver

The week after Copenhagen, we as a group collectively decided: “Yep, it’s time we took a break from flying into the EU”. We wanted to explore a city close to our campus city. Funny thing is – there was a larger town close to Bath called Bristol: 15 minutes away by rail. After researching options such as: Cornwall (very beautiful – disappointed I couldn’t visit before disembarking the UK…) and Manchester (a tad far…) – we decided on Brighton; one of the most noteworthy cities to visit while in the UK. We somehow implicitly believed it would be close to Bath…

3.5 hours of rail later, we’ve arrived! It’s a coastal city, and we felt this right when we stepped out of the rail station. The air was filled with the sandiness of the beaches and freshness of the roaring waters. The day we went wasn’t the best as it was grey skies and mild rain; albeit this unpleasant weather, I do not regret this day trip. It progressively  introduced me to hidden gems that were scattered throughout the UK.

Brighton is a city of wonder. There are numerous small shops, delicious restaurants, and a mix of tourists and locals. We aimed for the coastline as we had seen the beautiful pictures of the Ferris wheel and amusement park by the sea.

B115E46C-F19A-47F5-8FF7-931C40F483FD.JPGThe Regency Restaurant right by the coast is what I would recommend to all whom pass by Brighton. It is a seafood shack that cooks up delicious grilled or iced seafood. Out of all the seafood, paellas, and spaghetti dishes I’ve consumed over the 4 months – this restaurant tops it all. I think it might also be the cheese that is slathered on top! Other than eat, we frequented the little arcade that lay right outside the carnival park. I think we spent about 1.5 hours in there, playing games until our hands tired and our jaws sore from belly-laughing, and ultimately- winning a Brighton snow globe.

A funny little story is: I had been told by a friend that there were rainbow huts on Hove Beach, in Brighton. I googled it and led our group in circles beyond circles. When we walking along the coastline, I had a sinking feeling we were going in the wrong direction… but I kept going. It was fun not knowing if we were going the right way, but as I had everyone with me – it was okay. Just thought of it as time together.

After googling intensely a bit more, I realized… there was Brighton and a Hove Beach with rainbow huts – in Australia. We asked around some more and realized the rainbow huts were a bit of a secret – only locals knew of this little strip near the coast.

Here’s some rad pics of us jumping up and down… and up and down – like maniacs high on colour. That day became more sunny (and hot) as we walked up and down the few strips that lined this city.

Brighton remains one of the top cities I would go back for. Not only for it’s quaint and calming city-sphere, but also the feels of being by the sea.

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When I look at this little beauty, I think of our times there. Times where we grew closer by chatting with each other, getting to know each other’s pasts, and having fun at another city explored.

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Children of God

This past weekend was our church’s annual summer retreat. Though I had my reservations about attending, I must say, the uncertainty that I initially had, was completely uncalled for. Having the opportunity to attend this camp was truly the highlight of my Summer. Being able to talk with and also hear from Dr. Sean Ho about being children of God was the awakening I needed.

Life is often full. Full of everything one wants to fill it with. Loved ones to be with, appointments to tend to, and even needs that oneself wants to be filled. In the midst of all that, we may lose out on who we are. Who God had initially called us to be, but we brushed to the side, because of our own grand plans; our dreams; our “callings”.

We are lucky. That we even know of Him. That we were given the privilege to follow Him. That we are able to love and be loved by Him.

Words truly cannot describe my emotions that I have felt through the endurance of this camp. I can only say: Thank-you Lord for letting me attend. To letting me be amongst the midst of others who love you greatly. To be able to worship, praise, and also pray with them was a blessing. So thank-you Lord.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. [Galatians 3:26-27]

So take this heart, Lord
I’ll be your vessel
The world to see
Your life in me.

Music Works

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I am truly blessed to have been surrounded by music when growing up. I find making music is an art, a skill, a release, and a love. It is one of the few things in life when I feel as if there are no limitations. Although I have never come to be a composer, I am proud of my friend and their accomplishments.

Take a listen if you merely want an upbeat and energetic tune to cheer you up!

Blessings,

G

Inspiration + Passion = Motivation

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La vie n’est bonne qu’à deux choses: à faire des mathématiques et à les professer.

Another 4 months has almost passed of this new/old year. We are approaching midpoint of 2015! I am thankful for all that has happened thus far. The relationships formed, the faith restored and renewed, the thankfulness that comes from living each day.

It is amazing to see those whom have passion within what they do. They hold themselves up with the utmost confidence, love, and care that they have for their work. It just seems as if inspiration radiates off with their every word and step. At times, I wonder if I may one day become one like them. It is amazing what can happen when one puts their mind into it. Not at ease, but under challenging strains, we all can do great things.

I have never truly felt comfortable with the academics. Though many around me may think me to be one of “those” whom fly through academia and take it with a grain of salt, I am one who works hard. Seeing those in their comfort zone of educating what they have accumulated over the years of knowledge, still manages to awestruck me, time and time again.

My rambles do get rather confusing over time. However, the main take-out from this beautiful day of today, is that passion is what drives many to do great things in this world. Don’t let comfort or uncertainty scare you away from doing great things! I hope you will take that next step, no matter how fearful it may be, and be one step closer to your goal.

And above all, no matter where or what you may be doing at this moment, remember our Lord is with you through any and everything. This has been my pillar of strength in all that I do. He is the one who knows after of that before we even knew existed, let us give our worries over to Him.

Blessings,

G

Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

So, I had a semi-Narnian-marathon with my friend last night. Sitting on the couch, eyes glued to the screen, at times when I glanced over, I often chuckled at her every expression in response to each of the exciting, sad, happy, and devastating parts of the film. For those of you that may not know, “Narnian” movies are the  set of movies based on the acclaimed series by C.S. Lewis. Written over 50 years ago, it has become a series that is loved by generations of all ages, little children merely learning to read to elders on their rocking chairs, flipping through the pages, devouring the plot line as if they were plagued with literary hunger. Though I was multitasking at the same time and not entirely focused on the movie, I still caught the beauty and story line that came with the dramatic sound effects and intense acting on the characters’ parts.

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There were many parts where subconsciously the elements of Christianity raided my thoughts. I am often one to look and prod for the deeper meaning behind certain parts in the plot. Moments such as where the White Witch tempted Edmund with the riches and splendor if he would take her hand and abandon his title of King on the ship, is reminiscent of the hold that the devil has on certain people in this world and their deep desires. Even Lucy’s wish to become Susan, whom some may deem small, had her realize she forfeited her desire to being Lucy Pevensie and believed she could toss it all away for the mere beauty of Susan’s that she was ever so jealous of and yearned to possess.

Sometimes we humans don’t remember, or think of the many blessings that we’ve been given in this life of ours. Always looking towards the riches of others who possess qualities of being prettier, smarter, taller, thinner, we see so many things that we lack… and just wish we could have it all.

God wants us to be proud and happy with whatever we may have. There are people out there who have to constantly worry about having enough food for the day, or enough clothes to wear to keep warm at night, or even whether they would survive to see the next day. Maybe we’ve been so fortunate to have all our limbs intact, our loving family members alive and well and at our sides, plentiful meals to nourish our bodies by everyday, and things that keep us happy throughout the day, that we forget not everyone is entitled to these basic things that we so easily take for granted.

Be thankful.

For when one day God decides to take it all away, would you still look towards Him with the love and happiness you have now?

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