Thursday, 24 July 2014

Beautiful London...

I'm sorry...you 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 lush...my 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!
 xxx

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! Anyway...it 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 hope...xxx

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.

Anyway...so 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).

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Summer Kicking Off

I'm back in London already and so much has already gone before that I could relate but I'm too busy enjoying it all and this isn't a time for reflection...it is a time for doing. It is all going to fly by and then my course starts in September so it is going to be a busy half of the year.

I could list you all the fun things I have been doing like Sonar and Picnic Electronik in Barcelona or tell you about my trip to Port Aventura but these topics really shouldn't be brushed over and I should offer  bit more detail. As for the dating scene it has been like buses...a long wait and then suddenly way too much all at once. As they say in Spain 'A Primavera o sangue altera' - which means blood runs high in the spring time...and it is very true! I would like to write my musings here too.

Anyway...it is Sunday and my family are gathered at my sister's house for lunch and I really should be interacting with them and not my computer, so I hope you don't mind me disappearing off. I hope to be back sometime soon.

Lots of Love xxx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Being Self-Centred

If you sat down with me in the plaza today and we had a coffee and a bikini (cheese and ham toastie in Spanish), we could talk until the cows came home. Or more correctly, I could talk until the cows came home if I so wanted and you so let me but I doubt that would be the case...unless you were my paid counsellor!

I have a million little stories, gossips, opinions, dramas and anecdotes buzzing at my fingertips and on my lips. And these little stories adapt and change their tune dependent on my mood...or if extra information has come in...or if time has passed significantly...or if I am feeling particularly eloquent and ready to embellish. And as I tell my little tale, I enjoy the sound of my own voice and I can see all the pictures clearly and this is all a great experience for me because its helping me to either:

a) reconfirm my opinions
b) readjust them or reflect

and your attention is also providing me with a feeling of being seen, of being worth something, of connection...

...but you might be downright bored or thinking 'who is this weirdo?' whilst smiling and nodding over your cup of coffee, and internally making all your own assumptions and gathering all your own notes etc etc so that you can then go away and possibly do the same as me with someone else. Or maybe you're just waiting for the right moment to butt in, take the conversation hostage and begin your own process that you also need to carry out for similar reasons to mine...or different ones.

We are all somewhat self-centred. It is kind of difficult not to be. My mother sometimes calls me this...she knows it narks me and I protest but...

...when I sometimes think about the unnecessary dramas that befall me and I reflect on others who appear to be less in a tizzy about such little things, I realise that yeah...I am. I am self-centred.

I draw and pull everything I see around me, everything that happens, back to me. If someone gets married, if someone goes on holiday, if someone does this or that...(Thanks Facebook for offering up so many more opportunities for us to see such things!) how does this affect ME? How does my landscape shift? What does it all mean to ME?

And sometimes I get a bit insulted. Sometimes I think 'Man! That person is being really thoughtless. How can they be so thoughtless, how come they can't see how that affects and upsets ME?!'

But I forget that they may be doing the same thing I'm doing and that my own seemingly innocent actions are also affecting them in ways which I cannot see or fathom - despite all my best intentions to sometimes tread carefully.

It is true, you only have to hear someone say: 'Everyone is having babies on Facebook. Will everyone stop having babies! (subtext: because I haven't had one yet and I don't know how I feel about this!)' or everyone is getting married, buying a house, or going on holiday or going to some party that you can't make etc etc etc....

So, next time I get upset or disgruntled or uneasy about someone's behaviour, I want to remember that I'm making it a self-centred issue. I'm drawing it all back to me and ACTUALLY, it has got nothing to do with me really...at all.

I sat meditating on all this this morning and I was looking for a solution to my grotty mood and a way to by pass all my complicated emotions and to not make my current niggling situations worse and the words from the Beatles came into my head 'Let it Be.'

I'm not saying this is going to be hallelujah-ground-breaking advice for every occasion but it comes from the thought that we can choose to react or not to react. I need to choose to not react so much.

HOWEVER...I'm one of these people, like my mother who can't just sit on an emotion. If I do, it acts like putting a lid on an ever bubbling volcano. Eventually...BOOOOM! So I need to find a side door for the lava to trickle out of some place...That's the next thing to address...and that is why I am sitting here this morning piling some of it out the funnel through my blog.

Thanks for letting me do basically what I described doing when I first started this blog entry. I'm sorry we didn't have the coffee and bikini in the sunshine and I know I didn't let you get a word in edge ways...but I promise to stop by soon and provide you with the audience to let you do the same.

Have a great day xxxx

Monday, 2 June 2014

When someone ignores you...


I just left a friend's house and I was listening to New Slang by The Shins on the Garden State album (great album). The song makes me want to twirl and sway in the street but there are still too many people around even on a Monday night at 11pm, I have to contain myself.

I was going to go home but the air was warm so I took a turn around the old town and I felt like I needed some head space. I went to see this friend because, for about a month now, a mutual friend has been ignoring me and I just finally needed to know why so I could take it and then move on.

Have you ever been ignored? It isn't very nice. Don't do it kids....

...But as I walked and reflected on what our mutual friend had to say, I began to feel like I understood the situation better. 
This person, who is ignoring me, up until a week before this all kicked off, was pretty much my best chum in town. It is kind of ironic because I was on my holiday in Berlin and I was singing her praises so much to my travel companion that even he, a boy, joked that he was jealous of our friendship. Then I got home and it all began...

The stupid thing is, I didn't really do anything wrong. The reason the situation is as it is, so I realised to a better degree tonight, is because, whilst we have many things in common, we are fundamentally different in one way. I use words to fix things and she uses space and distance. I want instance fixing and she doesn't mind not having a sell-by date on the matter.

The thing is...it has gone too far now and it is broken. You can't really call someone a friend anymore if they haven't returned your messages in over a month, especially over something so small. If you were to ever be friends again, what would happen if you had a bigger disagreement? It isn't worth imagining and the trust has gone now anyway. And I don't want to wait forever and a day on the off chance that enough time and space will bring her round. Life goes on...We could have sorted this out ages ago and be having fun, which I would have preferred, but I didn't have much choice in the matter. I do have a choice going forward though.

I don't feel so bad about it anymore, I know it is her loss and I'm ready to let go but what I have been made aware of, once again tonight, is that we all tick and function so differently. We have our ways of doing things and sometimes we're like wrong ended pieces of jigsaw with absolutely no hope. We may be part of a whole bigger picture, but no ramming in whatever-which direction is ever going to make the pieces fit, apart from the one way that they are meant to go.

I could cast blame, I was casting blame and judgement only hours ago, but when I take a step back, I realise it just is what it is. I am me and she is she and we do things differently. My way is foreign to her and her way is foreign to me. All I can do is try to have a bit of understanding. I can recognise that I did all I could and I also now know (and I wasn't to know then) that my efforts were inadvertently subversive... If I ever have to deal with such an occurrence again, hopefully I can take check on my nature and proceed with this newly acquired knowledge (she mutters under her breath - well, I hope so - because I know how impulsive, blinkered and swayed by my natural nature I can be at times) and after that I just have to accept things.
This lesson may come in handy also with Internet dating and boys who go quiet on you when they realise they can't get the one thing they are after or they have succeeded in that one thing... (if you get my drift). Stupid boys...This is another story for another day on that one I think...

Anyway...the morals of the story are...

Don't be a coward and ignore people. Man up and have those difficult conversations - have them a few times if you need to to sort the situation out properly. Stop thinking about yourself and consider how the other person might be feeling from your coldness (well, that is my view anyway from the receiving end!!).

And...

If you are being ignored, realise that this person is just doing what comes safe, natural and protective to them - it might not be that you've done anything much wrong at all and unfortunately you're just going to have to let them be and get on with other things. Don't message them to try and fix things...it only makes it worse. Then, if they do eventually come back...well...deal with it then... but be prepared...you may be waiting forever...

Hmm...not the most eloquent of posts but...it all seems quite clear in my head. Until next time...xxx

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Blogging...is it on the decline?

Maybe it is me. Maybe I feel blogging is on the decline because my desire to blog has also declined recently. But I also look at the old blogs I used to read and I notice the writers post less and many have faded away. It is hard to keep up such a venture for so long.

I feel I need to write and I write most prolifically when I have problems that need resolving in my head or when something inspires me. When I am busy getting on with life and life is very full with events, I actually blog less because I have less time to sit down and tell my stories. It is kind of annoying as these are often the things that make ideal blog posts. Well...sometimes...sometimes they are just merely a catalogue of what I have done and Facebook can document this adequately with all the photographs anyway...

Lately life, whilst it still has it ups and downs, has not provided me with the oomph to want to blog. I have a recent painting I've finished which I'm proud of so this will go up along with this post and it is good to know that whilst my writing may be quietening a bit, other creative areas are flourishing.

I don't know how you feel about it. My sister, who now works with many bloggers, would probably say that blogging is still big and popular as ever but when I think about the bloggers she deals with, I kind of view these people as polished superstars who came at blogging in a very professional manner, full throttle and with a clear idea in mind...they are the new magazines of today. They seem like a new generation...

Whereas most of us oldies, many whose blogs I read and used to read, just began to write because we just wanted to try it out and have a go, maybe connect with some people and simply keep a diary of our life or our crafts and cooking. We didn't start with any particular agenda to make it 'big'...We didn't begin with snazzy banners and smart layouts...these came over time as we saw others experiment and revamp their sites. These are just my thoughts - you can speak for yourself and correct me here if I am wrong. I'm sure we all began for different reasons...

Anyway...I worry about how dependent I have become on social media and the web...Sometimes I feel like I want to disconnect from it completely but I don't think I can. Sometimes it all seems so shallow and empty in places...and it didn't always feel that way.

Anyway...these are just feelings...they come and go...But if you do ever read my blog, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these things...xxx (Painting will follow tomorrow perhaps)

PS I just googled 'blogging dead' and 'blogging on the decline' and I found some interesting articles... see here...and here and here.