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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

What It's Like To Be A Twin

What It's Like To Be A Twin
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
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For some reason whenever I mention my brother and people cotton on to the fact that we’re the same age they have an instantaneous, and almost identical, reaction that goes something along the lines of a squeal followed by a look of amazement as they exclaim “ooh you’re a twin?!”.

Well yes, yes I am.

To be honest it’s never seemed like a big deal to me. We obviously grew up together and so it just being the two of us was normal: shared toys, shared bedroom, shared birthday. As we grew up we went to school together, then we didn’t, then we did again. The only time our twinship was made glaringly obvious to me was when I joined his school at 16 and was given the delightful nickname of “girl Tait” (Tait being his own nickname). Thankfully people got bored of that after a while and learnt to call me Liza.

I honestly don’t think there has been much of our childhood that was different from any siblings with a close age gap, aside from the obvious birthdays. Although when I celebrated the only birthday I have ever had by myself in Abu Dhabi last year I didn’t like it – I’ve never been used to having the full attention and it was just too strange.

I guess the most interesting part is the whole being in the same womb thing, although apparently we weren’t very nice to each other – I used to kick him all the time! We were also created by that magic little process called IVF, so I like to joke that we’re fake twins, although to be honest I’ve enjoyed it so much that it makes me sad the genes don’t run in our family. The one thing I do know is that we were very expensive to create, and we’re yet to determine who was the buy one and who was the get one free…

Receiving grades at the same time can be tough. Most of the time people don’t compare us but being given letters on a sheet of paper at the same time makes for a side by side contrast. Luckily we've chosen different career paths and he’s incredibly supportive of me which I am always grateful for, plus I’m equally proud of him and often brag to my friends that my brother is a medical school at a highly selective university.

I definitely appreciate him more now that we don’t live together. We’ve gone from spending the majority of lives around each other to barely seeing each other four times a year and I think we’re a lot nicer to each other for it.

The absolute worst thing, though, is when people ask if we’re identical. It's just not biologically possible, and if you don't understand why you'll be in for a nasty shock when someone shows you.
On a more serious note I like being twin. I like that we grew up together, went through everything together, and now we’re living life at the same rate together. Sometimes, when he’s being protective, he feels like my big brother. Sometimes, when he’s being a dork, he feels like my little brother. But mostly he’s just my twin.

And the coolest part? For our 21st birthday the geek bought me a DNA helix for my charm bracelet; so I’ll always have a bit of twinny genes with me.
Friday, 13 March 2015

Sailing Down The Seine

Sailing Down The Seine
Friday, 13 March 2015
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Sailing down the Seine, drinking champagne in Paris, France.

Dinner down the Seine

Main course on Seine cruise, Paris, France.

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Seine, Paris, France.

Looking at the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero, Paris, France.

The Arc de Triomphe at sunset, Paris, France.

You don’t understand the beauty of Paris until you have floated through it, eating the most delicious food imaginable and sipping white wine. And yes, that is how I spent my afternoon last weekend.
When my lovely long distance boyfriend decided to pay me a visit from New York, I figured we needed something special to do to celebrate being reunited and the Christmas present I had received from my mother for a lunch boat cruise seemed like the perfect romantic activity in the perfect romantic city.

Embarking on the boat in front of the Eiffel Tower set the scene for a lovely afternoon, and being served champagne as we sat with a full view of the banks of the Seine confirmed that it would be as amazing as we thought.

As we started sailing down the river, a tablet flashed facts about the sights and our waiter added some additional information including the, presumably fictional, point that he lived in the Louvre. Everything that we saw as we gently floated through the city I have seen before, but there is something very different about the view from the water. The Musee D’Orsay looked even more majestic, the Museum of the Legion D’Honneur looked even more dignified.

Oh, and the food was to die for.

To start we both opted for the Pressé de Canard which looked slightly odd but was full of flavour, and I swear I almost melted when I tried the caramelised onions. We also both went for the pork belly (we don’t always choose the same I promise!) and if I thought the starter was good, the main course blew me away. The meat disintegrated as I sliced my fork through it, and the imaginative potato and apple combination perfectly complimented the pork and black pudding.

Unfortunately by dessert I’d consumed a little bit too much wine and got a little bit too lost in conversation meaning I completely forgot to take a photo! But the pear and madeleines that I devoured were equally amazing and as we docked back in I delighted at the view.

Having started by the Eiffel Tower we naturally finished by the Eiffel Tower and so a stroll underneath seemed like the logical next step. Wandering through Trocadero, boyfriend-turned-cameraman snapped this little shot of me as I reflected on how lucky I am to be in Paris. It sounds trite but trust me I’m thanking the universe every day for my good fortune, and it felt even better to have him beside me.

A lazy stroll down the streets of Paris took us to the Champs Elysee just as the sun was setting, which gave me a chance to play around with my camera some more. I’m really proud of how this turned out, and excited to see how my blog is improving my photography skills.
Some weekends are just too perfect I guess.

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