normal life

I've been back in my normal life for two weeks now - whatever normal life means these days. I guess it means working, at least semi-regularly, on weeknights? And then chatting with Johanna (who is back from Visby for a month) before going to bed. :)

Normal life these days also means travelling on weekends. I've spent both weekends since I got home travelling - one weekend for a gig at Stockholm Blues Fest, and then back to the UK for a lindy festival. I never ever thought I'd get to live a life where I travel almost every weekend, and it certainly isn't going to last forever, but I'm almost disgustingly happy right now. Everything is just so exciting all the time?! And fun and new and great and challenging and tiring! I need to get more sleep! I'm going to get more sleep. I promise.

Obviously, I got a cold after coming home from my six week trip abroad, as I always do when I relax after a period of excitement and newness. So I've missed out on most of the lovely summer weather we've had here lately. And then when I was well (I thought ...), I went dancing in Hull for three nights in a row. Too soon, Kristin, too soon. Now I'm at home sick again. Boo! So yeah, more sleep is definitely needed.

The next few weeks will mean spring concerts on all of my different singing teacher jobs before summer break, a couple of really fun gigs and some photography work, two dance weekenders - one lindy, one blues - and five days in Spain, before I'm off to the UK for summer. It's a very, very good life. :)

Håkon Kornstad | Oslo

sunday at london lindy exchange

At the very end of the six weeks I spend abroad, we went to London! Because London Lindy Exchange.

I didn't take any photos on Friday or Saturday; too busy dancing in the evening and being lazy in the day, so this is all Sunday. By the way, I've got a post coming up with my thoughts on dancing in the UK compared to back home, as soon as I've gathered my thoughts a little bit better. But let's just say this for now: I love dancing in the UK. I have the MOST fun, every time. LLX was no exception.

It was summer and sunny and we went for a walk.

Met up with these crazy people

Did some more walking

The way everyone starts talking with their hands so much more when they try to act natural in front of a camera. :)

Then we went to a Pimm's party with this view.

But everyone there except the people I came with was new to me, so I didn't want to stick my camera in their faces the way I do with people I've known for, say, more than an hour. :)

The reasons for the unusually large amount (even for me) of photos taken of Liam this day: This was our last day together after almost two weeks in a row. And more time together does NOT make it easier to say goodbye. Even though I didn't notice I took more photos of him while I was doing it, what ends up in my camera is almost always pretty representative of how I was feeling. (But also, just look at this gorgeous human.)

Gordon Webster played the after party at Loose Cannon. I like his swing sets, but what he played here was not music I like to partner dance to. However, I hope I will remember their rendition of Mercy, Mercy, Mercy forever. It was the highlight of my evening.

I don't know how this happened. :)

We stayed until they closed at five, and then we walked to Blackfriars where I took the train to the airport to go home. But first:
- Look at that light over the bridge! Will you come with me so I can take photos? I said.
- Of course, he said.

It was a magical moment.

the xx | Intro

more larking around in northern england

After my two weeks in the States, I arrived at Gatwick airport and promptly took the train north, to spend another ten days with Liam. Because I can, and because everything is better with Liam.

I felt I had run out of photography a little bit after having seen so many new things and taken so many photos lately, so I only got a handful of photos in those ten days. Here they are:

To be honest, it's going to be a while before I tire of taking this man's photo.

We went to Mersey Swing's 5th year anniversary in Liverpool. It's probably the warmest, friendliest dance scene I've ever been in. They are doing a lot of things right.

I sang a couple of songs with David Broad, so much fun!

The next day we went to Manchester to see the Hallé Orchestra perform Thrills, chills and spills, which was lovely. I really enjoyed it. And it was very comforting, for me, to be in an environment as incredibly familiar as a concert hall with a symphony orchestra, in this strange country that is not my own.

Afterward we went out for the most delicious cocktails I've had in a long while.

Sunday dancing at Tipple Step in Manchester.

I love this overgrown garden!

And here's me!

the Schwings | Is This Love

two more days in new york

The drive from the Blues Experiment in North Carolina back to New York was SO GREAT. I only took this one photo (<3) but the whole day was the same amount of fabulous. There's just nothing like spending a whole day intensely hanging out with amazing women. We did ALL the talking. I'm so grateful to have my crew: Virginia, Laura, Isabelle and Emily.

And later, when we drove into New York, Virginia offered to drive as slow as she could so that I could take this photo. True love right there.

The day after, we had some more New York time!

I had the company of these lovely ladies.

But after a little while it turned out that they mostly wanted to go shopping, which is one of the most MEH things ever in my world, so I said goodbye and went for a walk instead.

I decided on Central Park, because pretty.

All the spring everywhere!

I liked walking slowly and reading the signs on the benches. This one was my favourite.

In the evening, this lovely man took me out to dinner. Thanks for being a wonderful host and all around awesome person, Loren!

Then I went dancing! It was the start of bal week in New York and I couldn't miss that, could I?

I didn't take any photos of the dancing, but this is what I looked like! I had so much fun. :) Photo: Nina Galicheva

Spring continued the next day (who would have thought).

I met up with Isabelle in Bryant Park for a goodbye lunch, since she stayed for a few extra days. I'm really glad I got to travel with Isabelle. She was the best company I could have wished for.

After that, I decided to spend my last few hours in New York at the Met, one of my favourite art museums in the world.

This exhibition was so fabulous and inspiring!

This. Yes, yes, yes.

Then I did some more arting:

But too soon, it was time to say goodbye to New York and head home.

And by home, I apparently mean Chester.

Marthe Wang | Til deg