Episode Eighty-Two – Old and New


I’d like to tell you a little story. A little while ago, I was filling in a very demanding job application that required a list of every job I had ever had and of every trip abroad I had ever taken. As you can imagine, this was a complete pain: I had to trawl through emails from years ago, searching for flight confirmations and clues from years-old conversations to pin down the exact date I started X job or moved to Y address.

In doing this, I realised that the emails that I sent to my long-distance partner during that time served as a sort of running commentary on my life; not just on the milestones but on the little things too. Everything was there: my good days, my bad days, my self-depracating humour, my crippling weaknesses, my hopes and dreams for a phantom future I would never, it turns out, live out. It’s comforting to have this log of experiences to look back on, so I can trace what happened when, which decisions I made and why, and how I got to be where I am today.

Since the relationship ended, I have kept no such record of my life. For a whole year, all of the people who were closest to me actually lived close to me – just along the hall or at most a bus ride away. So we would just talk about things in person, and I never had to write it down. But now things have changed again. I’ve moved to Madrid, most of my friends are far away again, and in the meantime I somehow seem to have got involved with another American, who is now back in America. And so today, when I came home from an exciting day of discovering my new home city, my first instinct was to write him an email and tell him all about it. I guess old habits die hard.

But then I stopped and thought for a minute. Why was I relying on him to be the reader of this micro-auto-biography? After all, my incredibly exciting and inspiring day essentially amounted to eating a sandwich and taking a book out from the library. And while I’m confident I could have composed an 1800-word email about it all, was I really doing it because I knew he would be dying to hear my news? Of course not: I was doing it for the simple cathartic release of writing it all down. I was doing it for me. And then I remembered that I have a blog called A Trail of Breadcrumbs whose explicit purpose is to document all of these little things, allowing me to express myself without wittering on to my long-suffering American boyfriends about my mediocre days-in-the-life, and to have a written reminder of what happened when and how and why, so I can read back over it later and trace how my life got to where it is today.

So instead of an email, I’m writing a blog post. A blog post that, of course, didn’t turn out to be about the delicious roast beef sandwich I bought from a food truck at a pop-up street fair, nor about the peaceful library right in the middle of the stunning Parque del Retiro where I obtained my Madrid public library card and borrowed a book by Javier Marías just to force me to go back again. Instead, it turned out to be about everything that’s happened since I stopped writing in here, and everything that’s happened since I started writing in here, and everything I hope might happen if I start writing in here again. Because five years ago, a lost little 17-year-old girl at the start of an exciting new adventure had a premonition: that she would always be a lost little girl, looking for reasons and connections and explanations about her life, and that she would need a blog like this to help her remember where she came from and guide where she was going. And she was right.

Seriously, though, it was a damn good sandwich.

Seriously, though, it was a damn good sandwich.

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Episode Eighty One – Plate Piled High

So, Masters degrees are stressful. There’s a lot to learn and only one year to learn it – and when the subject at hand is a skill like conference interpreting, a year seems like an impossibly short amount of time to pick it up. But I’ve been progressing well enough, and at the mock conferences we’ve been running these past few weeks I’ve really surprised myself with how much better I do when a) I’m interpreting a live speaker as opposed to a recording, and b) there’s an audience sitting there and actually relying on me to understand what is being said. The good news: That’s exactly what interpreting is like in a professional setting. The bad news: It’s not what it’s like in the final exam. All in all though, I’m feeling pretty confident.


Sometimes I take pictures of the lecture slides.

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Episode Eighty – Hello again

Hi everyone.

It’s been a year since I last posted. I think that makes 2014 the only year in the archives with a single post to its name. Guess that must mean I haven’t been up to much, right? Guess again! 2014 was a very important year for me, and one that took me further away from the blogger you used to know than any other – that’s right, more so than the time I moved to Costa Rica, more so than the time I graduated from my degree and entered the world of (unpaid >_>) employment. Continue reading


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Episode Seventy Nine – Home At Last

This won’t be a very good post; I can feel it. I’m rusty. It’s been months – perhaps longer than ever before. But I’m in a writing mood, and especially after all this time, I can’t let that go to waste; maybe I can use it to gain some momentum, warm up a little. Continue reading

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Episode Seventy Eight – I’m Sick

Hi guys.


I’m sick today. And since this apparently makes me incapable of concentrating for more than five minutes on anything other than feeling sorry for myself, I thought I’d share a short post with you about some observations I’ve made in the course of my sick day.


First up, Superdrug: thank you for being the only chemist open on a Sunday. I bet half your weekly revenue comes in on the one day every other pharmacy in the area is closed: that’s smart business practice right there.


Also for you, Superdrug: as if being open on a Sunday weren’t helpful enough, I also observed that you had the consideration to put a warning on your boxes of tissues, reminding me to ‘Please check all paper tissues have been removed from garments before washing’. It’s things like this that let me know you have my back.


Finally, to Cadbury’s: thanks for equipping your large 120g bars of chocolate with a resealable opening, but let’s be honest here: you needn’t have bothered.


Well, that’s my concentration span exhausted for just now. Better get back to my essay, which is due tomorrow and which I have no motivation – and I mean none whatsoever – to complete. :(


I’d say hugs and kisses but you don’t want to come anywhere near me, so a wee wave goodbye will do.




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Episode Seventy Seven – Even More on Writing

I’ve been quite quiet lately because I’ve been “busy”. For me, that means oscillating between periods of utter apathy, Words with Friends and alarming quantities of snacking; and moments where all the important things I must achieve put so much pressure on me that I work frantically on one whilst feeling guilty that I’m not doing the others. If you look over my shoulder and observe me typing up an email to a translator, politely asking how one enters into the specialty of translating cookbooks (my current life goal), you can be sure your nose is brushing the angel that sits there screaming in my ear, ‘you have two essays to write this month what use is it knowing how to get a job if you fail your degree because you were too busy jobhunting to study you imbecile‘. Yet, when I am studying, the angel decides this would be the perfect time to take the entrance exam for the internship I applied for last week, and criticises me for being too much on-paper and not enough on-the-ball.

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Episode Seventy Five – More On Writing

I should be reading La Fée Carabine right now. I was doing so well: I read half of it yesterday, and then today I managed 50 pages before lunch and 50 pages in Starbucks before translation club, which leaves me with 60 pages left to read before class tomorrow. Two hours’ work, tops. The light appears at the end of the tunnel, and I’m so close…

But there’s one problem: I have PMS.

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