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Hello everybody!

My name is Aston Berry and this is Very Berry Blogs.

Primarily dedicated to documenting my travels/adventures and poetry, this blog is simply a compilation of literary ideas and opinions that I wished to share with those who would show interest.

So, a little context, perhaps. I am an English 19-year-old and I am currently studying Animal Studies at a wonderful Agriculture University. I survived my first year with sufficient ease and am now tasked with my Placement Year, which I have chosen to execute in Georgia, USA. More on that to come, however.

I have always had a knack for the arts and began my affinity for writing at a young age. A talent that was put on the shelf for many years and as time went on and I began to age, it gathered cobwebs and began to wither. Alas, it has been rediscovered, dusted off and the cogs are in full motion, once again.

Please let me know what you think of my nonsensical ramblings and follow along in my journey as you please.

 

AB x

 

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Florida

What would a roadtrip around America be without a little stop at Florida’s Disney World and Universal Studios?

We spent a week hopping from one park to the next and the experience is absolutely incredible, something I would recommend to anyone and everyone from any age demographic to invest some time and money in. However, due to the soaring prices of the parks water and food and the beaming Floridian heat, one spends most of their time sweating like a fat infant in a sweet shop and running on about as much sustenance as a mole-rat.

Disney World was beyond what I could imagine, more than one park and all tremendous in size. It certainly brings out the nostalgia and makes visitors of any age feel like a child again. The buildings were themed and coloured, like they had ,themselves, jumped right out of a story book. Wide streets led down to the famous castle which towered over the park, a size I could never have even began to imagine and not only that but it was accessible with multiple stories and rooms. A real Disney castle!

The parks were littered with breathtaking water features, topiaries and statues, each as extravagant as the last. Wide, lilac cobblestones paved the park and classic lampposts lined the streets, it was entirely surreal. Each park had it’s own theme and the design, buildings and staff followed that theme immaculately: For example, animal kingdom had an African section which held beautiful dances and musical ensembles throughout the day and the Asian section which had small parades of beautifully dressed people and melodic music. The most impressive section however, in my opinion, was the newly introduced ‘Pandora’, in reference to the Fantasy world created by the Avatar film series.  As you emerge from the trees, it opens up into a beautifully decorated, wide expanse consisting of fantastical and fictional plants, animals and sounds. Hovering over which, is a huge floating ‘island’, meant to resemble those in the films. It is a literal FLOATING ROCK. It is of inconceivable size and beauty. Difficult to differentiate from the real, living nature surrounding it. Truly breathtaking. Almost as breathtaking, in fact, as the ride itself.

Many recent rides at Disney have taken on 4D as an influential factor, an initially fun experience, but one that grows weary with each repetition in a different disguise. The Flight Of Passage, however, differs to such an extent that it feels almost dreamlike. You ride an ‘Ikran’, the dragon-like creatures from the film and fly through the fictional world of Pandora. The 4D has the usual features like the wind, water, movement and smells but this goes above and beyond anything I had ever experienced before. The seat you ‘ride’ moves and breathes, the movement is smooth and thrilling, the water and smells are perfectly timed with that of the picture and the image is crisp, wide and absolutely beautiful. It’s an experience that simply must be felt and is beyond explanation that words can provide.

Universal was more of an adults Disney, less nostalgic but more rides to be genuinely enjoyed by those who seek a more thrilling adventure.

Arguable the most significant sector, that was done incredibly well, was the Harry Potter section. It was far more detailed, expansive and in depth than I could have imagined, with Diagon Alley, containing Gringott’s bank: Goblins, dungeons and multiple impressive crystal chandelier. Olivander’s wand shop; wands upon wands upon wands and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop; Nosebleed nougat, puking pastilles and fever fudge. With magic wands, butterbeer and fire breathing dragons, it certainly does the make believe world of magic proud.

As an englishman in America, one is very much aware of the skewed and stereotypical view America generally holds towards the make up of the country and the people. But the Harry Potter world absolutely smashed it, to point where it almost triggered some home-sickness. It was exactly the same from the streets to the building and the organisation of the street, truly feeling like one was walking the streets of London. Moreover, London Kings X station had similar walls, paths and steps and even included a station store selling Kettle Chips, Mars Bars and other English treats. A real Hogwarts Express Train was truly the icing on the cake, one could ride between the parks on the train with a very lifelike train experience excuse the Dementors, of course.

All in all a truly wonderful trip that I can say with certainty I look forward to experiencing again in the future.

 

 

Precede And Succeed

     University:  A way of life that succeeds childhood and precedes adulthood.

     An awkward and equally restless and helpless situation that 69.2% of secondary school graduates willingly thrust themselves into.  A brief interval separating two different lives of order and discipline and containing its own anarchy, a far cry from the life that preceded and the life that is yet to succeed.

     An only child, with little experience with others my age, school was always a struggle for me. I was never really prominent or exceptional within any social groups and wandered like a tumbleweed more often than not.

     Once puberty hit, my harmless aimlessness became rebellious tyranny, causing mayhem for anyone in a position of authority, in attempt to make my ever unmentioned name somewhat more appealing to my comrades. I considered myself something special, a rare case of exceptionalism and singularity. I used humour and nonchalance to try to carve myself into a confident and comedic talent when under the veil I was far from that, entirely.

     All this changed, of course, when a series of events triggered the development of a previously dormant Anxiety Disorder. In hind sight, I had more than enough support considering the position I believed myself to be in. Learning, ever so slowly how to cope with this new addition. My nonchalance became more organic and my personality began to relax, despite. I found my small group of friends who truly cared for me and shared my metaphorically monstrous weight between them. Through thick and thin, they stuck by me and did not see my affliction as tiresome, but simply an extension of my person.

     The end of my time at school arrived quickly and unlike most, I was beyond thrilled to be leaving a huge section of my life in the dust. I was ready to grow up, fast, become individual and independent and reinvent myself without previous dirt to cloud judgement. Of course, I brought my little misfits along with me for the joyride.

     Due to family matters, we had moved to the USA, so my summer was a new and very much improved experience in itself. However, this meant that my growing up would have to occur a little faster than expected. As, not only would I be leaving home, but that home and my world that is my Mother would be in another country rather than a train ride away. I would then conduct my first flight, my first move in, and of course my first day at University, alone.

     I arrived at my small and unsubstantial 5 room house with my wonderful 5 roommates. Immediately, we all got along, none of that predictable female abrasiveness. First of all,

Ella: Sexy, mature and great eyebrows.

Caryss: Classy, Intelligent and responsible up to 2 glasses of Gin and Tonic.

Elin: The crazy Welsh, the epitome of ‘Next Level’.

Finally, Chloe: Classically beautiful, selfless, and to my dismay, High School Musical Soundtrack obsessed.

     Many a wild night were had in that house, and my experience there could never have been as enjoyable as it was without this unique ensemble.

     It is rare that someone were to struggle to fit in at university, we are all new, we are all confused, lost and thrown into the pile together. Whether you like sports, video games or pimple popping videos, there is almost always someone who’s quirks compliment your own. There will be some who get along with the majority more than others but with such an eclectic mix of personalities, even the most unique can find their spot in the jigsaw puzzle. Don’t be anyone other than yourself because you’re afraid of being branded a misfit, it is selfish to neglect the opportunity for your matching misfit to find you. Furthermore, taking initiative to face such an immense life change and future life changing choices alone would be intolerably arduous let alone detrimental.

I knew I would make friends and find my way into a clique but I couldn’t begin to believe I would find what I can only begin to describe as my soulmates. Two beautiful blonde bimbos that I didn’t even know existed 1 year ago and now mean more to me than the air I breathe. After being under the radar for so long to having a truly heartwarming mutual love for someone is the most intense and inconceivable feeling. Unfortunately, they are simply too intricate to describe in this post.

It’s the small achievements that you seem to take more heed of. Like how long you can wear the same jeans without beginning to smell like an old hobo’s beard debris.  Or managing to evade food poisoning after drinking month-old lumpy milk. Or rewarding yourself after attending a lecture despite sleeping through the entire thing.

I was never a napper. If I was going to sleep, I was going to sleep and I would be dead to the world for a good 7-8 hours. This experience will teach you to nap whenever, wherever for 30 seconds-30 minutes.

     Beware the Freshers Flu. It will knock you off your feet and debilitate you faster than a 12 tonne truck. This is unlike any flu. Imagine Rocky on steroids brandishing a fancy set of brass knuckle dusters investing in an intense, passionate yet unfavourable 8 week long affair with your face, lungs, stomach and soul. At which point, one will truly understand within oneself that recovery is futile and acceptance of this evidently perpetual state of deteriorated health is everlasting.

     University is like a 4 year long New Year. In the way that one will make insurmountable promises and resolutions that will last little more than a week.

I’m going to start working in an hour.

I’m going to save my money this month.

I have food at home, I don’t need McDonalds.

I don’t need that 3 litre bottle of vodka, so I won’t buy it and drink it all this week.

     You will not do these things, you are weak, as are we all. You will drink the last drop, eat the last fry and read no more than the percentage level of the bottle of poison you buy that week. Maybe you will pass, maybe you won’t. Maybe you will gain 2 stone, maybe you won’t. Maybe you decide university is not for you, maybe you will stick with it and persevere. Maybe you will listen to your mothers advice and study hard, or maybe you will do what we all do and learn from our mistakes the following September.

     Work, if you can and work hard. But remember, University is an experience to be experienced not endured. Enjoy yourself and mold yourself into a person you can truly admire.

AB x

Fool’s Paradise

It differs from lust,

Some fit together like a ship to the ocean,

More than a collision of desire.

It differs from lust.

Infatuation is its name,

Though it goes by another.

All the more intense,

All the more mundane.

Chemistry they call it,

Not false,

Though just as physical as one’s own pulse.

A reaction that will reach its end,

No matter how one preens and tends.

Love is a concept,

Created by the naive

Who seek security in nothing more than fate.

Of course to say it does not exist is not to say one cannot be happy,

Only one does not need fairy-tales and nonsense to find it.

All the more sincerity in organic delerium

When not labelled as Divine.

The inevitable is far less devastating

When universal completion is honoured.

Rather than indulging in the idea that

Fate created Love created Forever.

AB