Sunday, 18 January 2015

Hello 2015!

Hey guys,

Been a while! I'm hoping the desire to write comes back but still I don't feel it. I have a desire to write about online dating but this is a different platform from here and at the moment it is just notes and there is not a lot of energy behind it.

Since Christmas my desire to create art has also faded a little. It is strange. My brain is craving action, travel and experiences. The winter is a difficult time after Christmas because you have those few months where everything goes quiet and work becomes more the focus and staying in and keeping warm becomes the priority. But my brain craves action and adventure and whilst I need rest I don't want to stay still. I felt the same last year in Tarragona and I know as the summer creeps closer I will feel better and then that is how Tarragona's magic works...the winter months are tedious but as the summer comes, Tarragona is like a possessive octopus whose tentacles tighten around me and entwine with my heart making me feel as though I am unable to leave.

But I'm going to leave. It is going to be very difficult but I'm desperate for more adventures even if it means tougher challenges and stress and all those negative things that also come with change that are frightening but so exhilarating and rewarding in the long run.

I look back at the moment and I feel I should have kept a blog dedicated to Tarragona. I should have poured all the secrets and experiences into this blog so that someone might come along and read it and have ideas of where to start and what to do. It would have been good for me too - something to look back on.

But I have my memories and photos and well...I was too busy living my life. That is what tends to happen with writing I guess. It is why I never wrote much in my University years. I was too busy getting on with things. Sometimes I'm just not disciplined enough either and I know art sometimes requires this but who is this art for? If disciplining myself goes against the grain when it is meant to be expression then I'm not so sure what I'm doing. I like going with the flow....but maybe I have more to learn yet.

Anyway...2015! What does it hold? Maybe you'll get to hear...and maybe there will just be memories captured in photos. xxx

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Ah dormant blog...

I have left you too long. But you see, the thing is...

...I didn't feel like writing. I felt like doing other things. Maybe I will never be / can never be a true writer...or an artist...or a teacher... or anything. I can't stick to one thing for-ever. I love variety too much.

But then...I suppose, just because you are not doing something for a period of time, does not mean you aren't this thing. Maybe you are always a writer, an artist, a teacher...but well, you are a bit like a rotating rubik's cube or that He-Man baddie whose face keeps revolving...different sides for different days. But this doesn't work in the career world. You can't be a doctor one day and then think - I want to try my hand at something else for a few months...and then go back to being a doctor... (apart from a sabbatical but you probably can't do this continually)

But that is the career world... and some careers are more rigid I suppose. I've deliberately chosen a profession that is flexible.

So here I am studying like a fiend for my forthcoming exam in a week and a half and I've learnt so much about the world of English Language teaching and it has all been very fascinating. And yet...I've been a grumpy bugger with my kids. Stress hasn't made me the nicest teacher, or the most sensible teacher and I've wondered if I still even want to be a teacher - all the while enjoying the studying for career development.


Maybe I am just enjoying the learning (Not the time-consuming studying with an exam which hangs over your head like a Damocles sword warding off any potential opportunity to have fun ((and when you do choose fun over studying you feel guilty so it isn't 'true fun')), just the is a shame they come hand-in-hand). Anyway...who knows? It feels like change is in the air.

Change...sometimes it feels like the enemy but right now I'm yearning for it. Last time I stayed in the same place for three years was ten years ago at University. I need new stimulus and adventures. I'm excited about them. My friends think I'm mad. My tune has totally changed from 'I want to live in Tarragona forever and I plan to go and come back and buy a house with the money I make...' to 'who knows? Maybe I will come back...maybe I won't.'

Because I realised I don't know who I'm going to be in another few years time. I may be a totally different person with a whole new set of dreams and ideas. It is possible. I am seeing so much change around me these days. I guess it is my age. Babies are sprouting like nobody's business. Friendships that once seemed so close at one point in time are now so far away and yet others have reappeared and developed. Family dynamics change, jobs change...the world changes.

Stories I hear, experiences I have had now tell me that nothing is guaranteed. It can all change in one day, one minute. Your perspective is continually changing and updating. Today I feel stronger, tomorrow I may not, but I am keen to seize on my strength whilst I can and propel myself forward into the unknown.

After this exam I will have time to focus on what will be next. Until is concentrated focus with the reward of a family Christmas at the end. Hope I don't leave the next entry for so long... Hope you are all well too xxx

Friday, 5 September 2014

I suddenly had the urge to write

Funny that...but good to still have my little blog here for these moments.

I guess I just want to stop and record my current thinking so I don't forget it.

I started my DELTA course this Sunday gone and currently I am not too stressed as I am not working and I am getting adjusted to the work and course website in my own time. I keep reading that it is going to be HARD and I can see there is a lot to digest and get my head around, but I am surprised by how positive I am about it all and laid back.

I hope I can maintain this chilled-out probably won't remain when my social life starts rolling again when I'm back in Spain next Tuesday, and then work steps up a gear at the end of the month. Still, I tell myself it is two months of intensive work before Christmas and then I can replace the academic books with art materials and I can go out again in abundance!

I also know that despite the mild fear of stress and workload, I am really excited about the learning challenge. I can literally feel my brain expanding and the course is forcing me to address areas in teaching that I have shrunk away from in the past like strange foreign foods. Phonology has always been daunting and has looked like a whole load of hard work but now I have the phonemic chart on my iphone and I am practising the sounds daily and getting familiar with the symbols. It is all good really.

In the meantime, because I am now slightly constrained and I know I have to be disciplined, my reckless, fun side has piped up a bit also having been mildly repressed. Suddenly, after ignoring my kindle for months and not reading for pleasure when I had the chance, now I want to delve into a whole number of light-hearted books and literature such the hilarious as How to be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (which I am reading as a reward in quieter moments).

I'm also taking advantage of 4od whilst back in the UK and watching lots of odd documentaries on serial killers, phone sex and drug experiments. I have to say I think TV seems to have plummeted a bit on the intellectual level and quality. A lot of these documentaries, despite fascinating material, are dishing it out quite slowly and you can quickly pick up on the entertainment techniques they use to keep you watching or to create suspense - which actually has the effect of making me switch off as I'm like 'yeah, yeah...stop being dramatic, just get to the point!' Maybe too much has made me that way... maybe with the quickness/shortness of the web and its content, my attention spam has waned? I don't know...

I'm also embracing the idea of hedonism more and more these days and accepting that, despite feeling like my life plan should fall into the society norms of having a family, getting a mortgage etc etc, it clearly isn't going to go that way for me (well, not as far as I can see currently) and I am really appreciative of my job and situation because of all the opportunities and great adventures that I could choose to seize if I so wish.

When I look to the future and daydream words like 'Barcelona', 'Nepal', 'tropical islands', 'Burning Man Music Festival', 'Art Projects' and 'meeting new people' colour my thoughts and feel like they are within reach. This is the future potential and it excites me.

Of course, I could sit and worry about the security aspect of it all - and I was for a while - but I realised over some frank conversations with friends that such worries were sucking the life and joy out of the present moment. I realise it is wise to be aware of more serious things and to try and take the necessary steps to be prepared but there is only so much I can do right now. I guess it will all happen all in good time.

So that is where I am. I don't think I have been quite this positive for a long time. I'm intrigued as to how the next academic year will go and I am ready. It is a good feeling. xxx

Thursday, 28 August 2014's been a bit quiet of late!

It is a bit crazy really. Last year was one of my most prolific writing years for this blog and this year...zilch! I have no inspiration.

Things have been happening but my drive to write has vanished and been replaced by the need to paint and to socialise and I also really want to learn to DJ and in a few days time my DELTA begins. There just isn't room or need to write so much currently.

Maybe this will change later down the line. It is always hard to strike a balance and you have to ease up on some things to make room for others. I want to continue to grow and to develop and this means my attention is directed elsewhere.

I think this might be true for a lot of bloggers as I look down my right hand bar of my blog and see that many of you haven't posted for months - some years already!

So...I can honestly say I don't think I will be around here much for a while. I'll try and pop in and I may be back with new energy but I don't know. I love this little space where I have written for many years and I don't want to lose it but at the same time...I need to let go and let loose for a while. There is a wealth of thoughts and life in this little blog and it is a special, personal place. It has been a really positive thing for me and has helped me think my way through some big problems and challenges over the years.

I have also met some lovely fellow bloggers and blogging has been infectious - it inspired my sister to get involved and helped launch her new career. I have read some life changing and amazing posts and I have been inspired by ideas and pictures and kind words and the friendship of strangers. I miss some of my fellow bloggers who have also disappeared off... to focus on other things too I guess. I suppose we had our time and space together once and now we have moved on...

Maybe we will find it again but we are all forever changing and adapting in this crazy world of social media.

Anyway...for now...I'm signing off with the permission to come back when I see fit...

Take care of yourselves and keep doing the things that make you happy...Lots of Love xxx

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Beautiful London...

I'm can argue with me all you want...but summer in England is just simply beautiful...London especially...It is so green and gorgeous...
Summer school is whizzing by and I have almost completed my third week. Being in Richmond I have been able to see lots of friends and catch up with family, whilst revisiting my favourite places and parts of London....
These are a few of Richmond for your pleasure...(and it was a pleasure eye-witnessing them).
Right outside the school is the view above and when I have finished working I like nothing better than to grab a drink and sit on a bench and watch the sun go by. Sometimes a local band plays guitar and people walk their dogs. This area is a very rich and affluent one but for 6 weeks I don't need to be rich to enjoy living in this particular part of London!
And Richmond Park is also a 2 minute walk away so there are all these fields to explore and wildlife (deer!) to see...and the weather has been so glorious!
 Further into town you have the Thames which is also very picturesque and enjoyable to read the newspaper by when I have time off...

And below you will find the building I'm currently staying in...not bad really - even if it is a bit shabby inside and could do with a bit of revamping.

And we get to go on excursions so...recently we spent some time near Trafalgar Square and St James' Park
Hello Nelson!!! 
I still remember the first time I met you when I was six and my parents took me up to London for the day. I remember eating soup and having to be on my best behaviour in a restaurant and they bought me a multi-coloured umbrella in Harrods...thought I'd have preferred a toy and the umbrella quickly blew inside out once back at school rendering it useless....
And then there is The Shard - my break-up tower. My ex and I have been broken up almost four or five years now and I remember when it happened you were just being built. I decided to place a wish on you that once you were finished I would be well and truly over my ex (knowing how long I can take to let-go) and it worked!! ;)
Being down on the Southbank in the evening for engagement drinks after work on a Friday was favourite time of the week when I used to work here...
I hope to write more soon but now off to meet some more friends...Hope you are having a lovely summer!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Forcing myself to write something...

Ah...I don't want my blog to die...but I am struggling to find the motivation to write this year. Last year was rather prolific and this year...less so. I was writing more last year because it was a very reflective year. This year has also had its moments but I guess I've been busy with other projects and ideas.

I'm at boarding school now and at a different company and location from the last two years and it is interesting to note the differences. Here it is more relaxed...and yet paid better! The excursions are far better and Richmond is beautiful.... (photos to follow) I also don't feel like I'm in such a Big Brother set-up which is very pleasant...but then it is only week 1 out of 6.

On the downside, the canteen is not as plush (though they do have soft drinks -whether this is good or bad is debatable) and I'm not sure if I can discipline too much without it being an issue -and I have a class that certainly need some discipline!! (Imagine paper planes, and students lazing in chairs half comatose or on their phones...a scene that niggles me rotten). I also have a bedroom next to the shower rooms and the light has a fan which drives me nuts in the late evening when I want to go to sleep and it keeps getting switched on and off. I'm going to have to switch rooms when the student numbers start to subside because I'm just not getting enough sleep.

But hey! Swings and roundabouts...

Last night we took them all to see Wicked in the West End, which I have been keen to see for a while as it is based on a book that was written by a guy called Gregory Maguire and I used to know him as a kid (before he made it big) and I would chat away to him at dinner parties because I wanted to be a writer when I grew up and I knew he already was one. I'd get him to read my budding stories! was good to finally see it.

The fan is buzzing outside my room now and my head hurts with tiredness so I am going to stop now. I have all this pre-course reading to do still and it keeps getting put off...Another excursion tomorrow and not long before my day off. A more interesting post to come at some point I

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Advice from a teenage me...

So I'm back at home and I'm unpacking and repacking and sorting out old bits and pieces and trying to de-clutter a little.

I decided that this summer is the summer that I will throw out most of my uni files. Finally. After almost ten years. I've only managed one so far (there is a whole plastic box of them in the garage to wade through still) but as I was pulling papers out of plastic sleeves and quickly skimming them before throwing them in a bin bag, I marvelled at the handwriting and language recorded on them.

'Who was this person?' I asked myself. And many a time I also thought: 'Wow, this person was an academic genius compared to who I am today!' All the jargon, the wording of the essays...I don't know it now and I don't use it anymore. But the sheer volume of it is impressive. I was impressed by my younger self. I'm not sure I could go back to being that person. I'm wondering that now as I embark on the pre-course reading I must do for my DELTA module that will begin in September.

I sat down today and read one chapter of a book titled How Languages are Learned and it was hard. I'm very fidgety and it took me more than an hour to read the chapter with breaks to make tea, go to the toilet, a quick check on Facebook etc etc. But I must persevere and get back into the habit. this week showed me a glimpse of my young self in my early twenties. We're talking almost ten years ago now. This week also presented me myself another ten years back in my early teens....

A school friend is back in the country. She normally lives in NZ but her father died suddenly (but peacefully) so she was home. I haven't seen her for maybe three years and the other friend who accompanied us for maybe seven years. And yet we feel like we know each other's lives quite well from Facebook.

Still, it was lovely to be reunited and to have a drink and chat. Anyway, this said friend brought with her some findings from her chest of draws of correspondence we used to have as young girls at school. It was all very funny but the best was a list of off-the-wall advice I wrote at thirteen or fourteen. I'm going to note it down here for you now. Some of it I recognised, but other ideas struck me as rather random and highly imaginative and again I was impressed by my once former self.

It just goes to show that when we are living in the moment perhaps we are sometimes our worst critics and we don't recognise our amazingness... Anyway, food for thought....I'll now hand you over to my former (crazy) thirteen year old self.

1. Always eat cheese.
2. Vote for hair extensions.
3. Eat your breakfast with a fork.
4. Do your homework in the dark.
5. Don't forget to sleep every day.
6. Only fancy cute guys.
7. Don't let ugly old witches fool you.
8. Always pay your lawyer by oral sex. (!!)
9. Play the banjo if you are bored.
10. Don't whatever you do criticise socks!!! They have very sensitive feelings.
11. Don't ever marry a cow.
12. If a hippo ever asks you for a snog always be suspicious.
13. Trust your instincts.
14. Don't drink poison or perfume!
15. Wear goggles on a Saturday.
16. Don't smell people's farts unless they are fruity.
17. Don't look in a pond with the moon shining on it EVER!!
18. When leaving your body make sure your silver cord is safely still attached.
19. You can never wear enough blue eye shadow.
20. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
21. Always worship me.
22. Never believe anyone who tells you Pamela Anderson is beautiful. She's just a witch with make-up on.
23. Ruby Wax is nearer to you than you know...
24. Always wear flares!
25. Always sing loud.
26. Always believe in yourself.
27. Be beautiful and enjoy life.
28. Don't die yet.
29. Don't let your brother ever become a pop singer.
30. If you see burglars in your house, don't call the police, offer them a cup of tea.
31. If you shag your bed don't tell anyone.
32. Never buy a goldfish who has cancer.
33. Never stop believing in Santa Claus.
34. Never go to the toilet outside the house.
35. Always pee in a milk bottle and sell it as lemonade.
36. Never lick up, always lick down. (If you know what I mean)
37. Don't step on my blue suede shoes.
38. Never tell your boyfriend you know that the truth is he has no hair  and its just a toupee he is wearing.
39. Have sex on a pink Scoda at least once.
40. Always drink vodka with an egg.
41. Never smell your dad's pants unless they've been washed twice.
42. If your pet penguin dies blow up the rest of its family or they will hunt you down and burn your eyes out.
43. If Sonic ever meets Mario recommend him a counsellor immediately.
44. Batman is really Elvis Presley.
45. Always remember the female is superior.
46. Make your husband kiss butt daily.
47. Read your book backwards on a Tuesday.
48. Kiss a girl at least once.
49. You can never eat enough prawns or cherry tomatoes mixed with chocolate.
50. Don't sleep with your mouth open.
51. Never get caught snogging Mr Bown (our drama teacher).