The Generally Confusing Election

Generally, my style as a blogger tends towards the simpler and lovelier things in my life; various travels, silly puns and a lot of idealistic photography.

However, in recent days, an event occurred that everyone, privately or publicly, has had an opinion on…The General Election. Now, for the most part, I try to avoid getting ‘blogged’ down in the black hole of comments and criticism any controversial topic on the internet receives. However recently, I have strongly felt that I should not resist writing about these things due to a fear of internet loudmouths. But I am not going to write about them just to get a reaction either. The General Election, and the public’s reaction to it, have fascinated me the past couple of weeks. This post is more about my own process of working out the politics of my country, addressing my own freedom of speech to an electoral result that, while it was the majority decision, has left many disappointed and disillusioned about the future. Also..Matt cartoons

After reading a lot of articles, engaging in many discussions with my flat mates, and reading some of the outraged status’ on Facebook, politics has been flying around my brain. Mainly due to the amount of information and opinions I encountered. And strangely, none of this wealth of information seemed to clarify anything for me. If anything, it left me more confused, frustrated and entirely distrusting; “The Tories raised our student fees..” “No, it was the Lib Dems who pushed that..” “First past the post is the worst system ever” “The NHS is going to be made private…” “David Cameron was a member of the Bullington Club, can’t trust a word” “Death to UKIP” “Our politicians can’t do anything.” “Our votes don’t even matter”. Just a few of the opinions I encountered during this process.


So I became considerably concerned that I place my little cross in the right place.

Now let me state a few things:
a) I am a bright, educated young woman at a top 10 university in the UK. Despite my position as an Arts student, I do not believe in ignorance and so I make an effort to hold myself to a standard of understanding about contemporary topics in my society and the wider world
b) I believe the act of voting is important and no one should abstain from it
c) I believe as a woman, voting is especially important. Women fought and died for our right to vote. Simple. Don’t disrespect that.
d) I also believe in human nature and the fact that people love to complain, love to be controversial and that whatever the outcome of the election had been, there would always be people on my news feed ranting and raving about how this country is going down the drain.
060515-MATT-web_3292799aSo what was I to do as the election loomed? I felt bombarded by policies, accusations, memes and information. None of it seemed very positive.  To my mind, it appeared the country had decided that there would be no good outcome (see point d). What I also noticed, especially amongst my generation, it that voting Tory is pretty unpopular. I suddenly felt guilty about my right-wing leanings and that has only increased since the results. Despite what people might publicly say about the Conservatives, once they got to that poll booth, the majority of the country saw fit to keep the Tories in charge. So why should I feel guilty about my decision to vote for them? I feel I made this decision out of knowledge, out of an understanding of the options open to me and because I feel this party should be given another chance to continue what they have started to implement since 2010, although this time without the Lib Dems pushing their own priorities. I am not claiming to be an expert, but I should be able to be proud of the informed personal decision I made. I may never understand the intricacies of government, but I will not be running for parliament anytime soon (or ever). Yet the outrage at the results of our democratic process has worried me, particularly an article in the Independent and various comments from my own peers. Did I make the wrong decision? Is the predicted doom and gloom of our nation now foretold with the continuation of a Conservative agenda? The writers, the bloggers, the activists and the opinionated would have me lose all faith in our political system. A petition even popped up on Facebook stating ‘The 2015 General Election has shown once and for all that our voting system is broken beyond repair.’ It calls for a fairer system, a ‘more proportional voting system which ensures that seats in Parliament match the way people vote.’ I am once again highly confused. Surely the people did vote and the majority vote has won? I do not feel anyone asking this has explained how they would change it for the better (And Google only goes so far). All in all, the general feeling is pretty bleak for many.
080515-MATTLIBS-we_3296440aAnd finally, despite my stated belief, I am still surprised as to why people are so set to complain. We are incredibly lucky to live in a country that has democracy, resides in the top wealth bracket of the world, allows the freedom for internet trolls and campaigners to express their sometimes frustrating opinions, and a country that on the whole, has solid leaders not oppressing the people. Proportionally, the UK voting system is a far better one than many countries. Proportionally, it is not just a right to vote in this country but a privilege. And absolutely, I am grateful to live in a community which encourages us to vote. That we have that basic right. And despite the confusion, the inconsistency, and even the hatred I might get for adding my voice to the post-election commentary, I revel in the freedom and right that I have to examine ideas and participate in the future of my country.

Politically yours

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Beautiful Days in Prague

Hello lovely readers, new and old! Once again I am truly sorry for my lack of posting. The months of January to March have been not been the greatest, nor the most liberated time of my life as the big finale of my undergraduate degree sort of swallowed everything, namely my dissertation. Months of Tintoretto research finally resulted in the 8,000 word, properly bound and printed little booklet, an underwhelming testament to my activities of late. Naturally, after this was finished my lovely friend G and I felt we must get away and jetted off to a new European city: PRAGUE.
DSC_0301Oh my goodness, it was breathtaking. Full of history, cheap eats, friendly people and varying architecture everywhere. Needless to say, I am in love. G and I explored the sights, including of course Prague Castle, the Astrological clock in Old Town Square, ate traditional Czech food, which was hard for poor G as the Czech diet is very meat heavy and she is a solid vegetarian. But she managed to find some things she liked and we discovered that Prague actually has an extensive range of cuisine. We even discovered an amazing (and busy) little vegetarian place, which may have been the best meal we had there (bless my meat lover soul). We were so fortunate enough to be there during the Easter markets, so the square was filled with little huts covered in colourful ribbons and selling some unpronounceable twisty donut which G and I discovered is delicious! We drank cheap wine in an underground jazz bar (headaches followed), made friends with the locals and I took a million pictures. We discovered Kafka and the Jewish quarter, drank coffee in the square and put the worlds to rights. It was a completely perfect break for so many reasons and if you ever get the chance to visit, GO!

DSC_0077DSC_0084DSC_0087DSC_0090DSC_0115DSC_0137DSC_0170DSC_0231DSC_0315DSC_0415DSC_0423IMG_6054Similey times at the colourful John Lennon wall.

DSC_0095 DSC_0347 DSC_0371 DSC_0515


Enjoy the photos and if you ever get a free ticket to Prague, because you might be lucky enough to have that kind of life….seriously go.

Czech me out,

Posted in Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life According to Instagram

Unsurprisingly, many of my latest Instagram’s picture share a similar ‘Venetian’ theme (take me back). I had a fantastic and busy ten weeks there and I want to keep sharing the places I discovered, the coffees I drank and the beauty of the city with all of you. For now, here are a few snaps of my time there according to Instagram.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 23.36.46Top row from left: 1) A perfect morning coffee from Bar Al Verde, the cafe down the street where I went almost every day (addict?) 2) Using sweets instead of actual chips for poker night. 3) Fior de Latte & Sicilian Lemon ice cream from Grom. 4) Beautiful bridges over the canals of Venice. 5) The decorated portal to the Palazzo Ducal

Middle Row from left: 1) J and I eating pizza the size of your face. 2) Myself in front of the Rialto Bridge. Classic. 3) San Marco Square in aqua alta (flooding). 4) Funky coloured fish eye overlooking the Grand Canal. 5) Two lovely housemates in front of a big BIG statue

Bottom Row from left: 1) Hazy view of Santa Maria del Salute and gondolas. 2) Our arrival into Venice by water taxi. 3) (Before Venice) Pom poms at Hauser & Wirth exhibition in Somerset. 4) ‘Rainy days are the best days’ graphic made by me. 5) Super close up of Photojojo dinosaur received with iPhone lenses.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 23.36.38


Top row from left: 1) Back in England so I get a personalised Starbucks to sooth the transition. 2) Photo wall in my Venice room of tickets and arty postcards. 3) Amazing platter of meats and cheeses on our last meal out in Venice. 4) Bare tree against wintery sky on a walk with the dogs. 5) Sweet Nahla excited to be going on a walk

Middle row from left: 1) A rather spotty coffee from Al Verde. 2) Evidence of panetone and essay stress on housemates. 3) A night in with Nutella and true Italian panetone. 4) Essay writing and tea drinking. 5) My parents came to visit me and it was wonderful.

Bottom row from left: 1) I love my  housemates (#FZF). 2) Gorgeous gals enjoying breakfast in Rome. 3) Fisheye friends in Siena. 4) A sneaky Siena selfie. 5) Town hall in Siena

I hope you enjoyed my Italian Instagrams!
Ciao bella


Posted in Photography, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Island Brights – Burano’s colourful complexion

In the lagoon of Venice, a quick vaperetto stop away, is the gem island of Burano, where there are kaleidoscope coloured houses lining the canal.  It can be overlooked due to the clear beauty and variety of Venice, but a day trip for a local like me (ha) was wonderful. Here are some arty photos of the various pairings of colourful homes. I would have a mint green one for sure. Enjoy










Stay Colourful
Anna xx



Posted in Travel, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Avoid the Tourists – The start of Venice

A couple of weeks ago, we arrived with an unreasonable amount of luggage to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in the uniquest environment, eager to get to the little apartment that would be our home for the next ten weeks. We climbed into a bobbing water taxi and were sped towards the waterways of Venice. And our apartment was amazing, our local area friendly and our fellow students all around. Venice, similar to most of Italy, is a city of fast coffee and slow dinners. Venice is early to bed and early to rise and throughout the day there is a constant hustle and bustle of the restaurants, mask vendors and of course the thousands of tourists that flock to the tiny lagoon.

So we are avoiding the tourists, finding the back alley shortcuts and have learnt our most  important Italian word: “PERMESSO!”. Shout it through crowds, the Italians part and the rest of the visitors halt in pure confusion, enabling you to dodge around and continue on your way.

venice food

Needless to say, photography wise, it is wonderfully overwhelming. Across every bridge is an amazing view, around any corner there might be a decorated church. I forgot how inspiring Venice is, how easy it is to simply get lost. But you are never truly lost as sooner or later you will hit a familiar landmark. My day now starts with a coffee and a meander through new streets and over new bridges. I feel there is so much I want to do, and so much I want to do all over again, I have remind myself I am here for 10 weeks (yikes) and I HAVE TIME. Not an easy task for a spontaneous gal with itchy feet…persanmarco

I am loving discovering the city with my hilarious (and gorgeous) housemates. Already we have conquered the Campo, braved the Aqua Alta Bookshop and become poker pros. I am shocked at my lack of blogging in Venice but it mainly because I have been loving the down time (and the Downton time) with the house.
pastaboxes blogboardthreeDSC_0893And of course, I am still unsure as to how I got so lucky to end up in one of my favourite cities in the world with my favourite person in the world. Sorry J, you are getting a mention so I remain grateful.
blog diptyicYay. I hope this has given you a little snapshot into how life is forming for me here. Trust me, there are plenty more arty photos to come and more Venetian musings.
All the Venetian greetings and love.
Anna in Venice



P.S Also, how fun that this is my 60th post? Good topic to achieve such a landmark on!

Posted in Photography, Travel, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment