I'm lacking the inspiration to create a good post title today so this is what you're getting folks!
I hope all is well with everyone. I'm aware that quite often, I pose that question and then write some banal text about how great life is when actually, not everyone is as fortunate, and maybe things aren't that well.
I didn't even know where this post was going until I started writing. But let's discuss homelessness.
You've probably heard of something called Crisis for Christmas, which is a UK based charity that provides shelter for the homeless over the Christmas period. Let's just think about that for one second. The year is 2014, we are living in probably one of the most affluent countries in the world, yet there are people living on the streets. I find that a hard concept to wrap my head around. How many times have you walked past someone on the street, asking for food or money and you've just ignored them, put your head down and kept walking? I'm no saint, I'm guilty of it too, but if I look deeper the reason I do it is probably because I feel uncomfortable at not doing more to help the situation. Think about how much money you earn, or think about the richest people in the country... Having £10m in the bank surely can't feel good when there are people out there trying to find somewhere to sleep while the temperature drops to freezing at night. I sound harsh but sometimes it's important to confront these realities.
For the past few years, I've volunteered at Crisis and it's a real heart and eye opening thing to do. There are different volunteering roles available at different centres across London (where I'm based) so you can be involved in anything from making tea to manning the drug outreach rooms, to serving dinner to just *being* with the guests. I've met some truly inspirational people. A lady forced to live on the streets after her and her husband divorced and she wasn't able to earn enough to support herself and her children. A man who'd left the army and a) found it hard to re-acclimatise to being a civilian (I can't remember the real term for that) and b) was unsupported by the government and so ended up on the streets. The saddest I will always remember is the chap whose wife and son had died in a car accident 8 years previously and he just couldn't.get.over it. He'd become an alcoholic and was homeless because he couldn't move past his grief and didn't know where to get help.
The thing is, throughout the various struggles, some of the people I've met still find the strength to smile and find happiness despite their situation. How inspiring is that? Makes our day to day stresses and issues seem minute now. I'm not trying to trivialise anything serious that people are going through, it's just important to keep perspective.
Thankfully, Crisis offers help, support and shelter to people in need around Christmas time. Hundreds of volunteers come out around the festive period to get stuck in and help, and so I guess I'm ending this post with a big, fat and totally obvious.. Plea? Suggestion? Please get involved if you can! If you can't spare the time, then please spare some cash as donations go a long way to keeping Crisis going. The website is www.crisis.org.uk.
If you can spare neither time nor cash, then please stop and talk to someone in need next time you're walking down the street. They're human, and all humans need warmth and interaction, even from strangers.
This must be some kind of silence record for me, right? Well let's get a cup of chai and have a catch up.
What's new? Lots is new and different in my world. I'm now a resident of Holloway! Yes, that's right, I've moved from the borough of 'ackney and am now a fully fledged Islingtonite. I likes it in Holloway. Holloway isn't pretentious, it's just cool in it's own way, and I'm now the perfect distance to Camden so I can get my weekly fix without getting sick of it. My new place is a gorgeous Victorian house on three levels with a big kitchen and a big bathroom with...wait for it... A HUGE BATH! A little weird mayhaps to get excited about the size of a bath but the tub in the old place was gross and not good for relaxing and soaking your cares away. Interestingly, since being able to have a bath here, the aches and pains I'd been feeling for months in my legs from too much dancing and yoga has completely gone, aided and abetted by this amazing arnica salve from Neal's Yard. My getaway sticks feel transformed! No more limping and no more shin pain. S'nice.
The other new thing is a new job which I started about four weeks ago. I'm enjoying it a lot! It's been good to challenge my brain and feel busy and useful again. It's so easy to fall into the trap of doing something because it's easy or because there's little expectation of you, but I think that's a dangerous path to tread. You end up stagnating, and feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Who wants that? Seriously?! Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning and to feel as though they've achieved something by the end of the day. It gives life purpose!
Back-tracking a little to the new house, we have a garden here which Bo loves! He got into a fight the other day with one of the neighbourhood cats but only came off with superficial scratches (phew!) but the vet had to shave his eyebrow to have a closer look. As you can imagine, he was SUPER happy about that.
"I hate you so much right now"
See...SUPER happy. He's been tentatively venturing into the garden again but I think he has his marching orders as he doesn't wander far before coming back home. There's another black and white cat who comes into our garden who could possibly be the scratchy eyebrow perpetrator, but on a dark night, it's impossible to tell difference between them. I've stood at the door calling Bo when Other Bo has appeared over the wall and then Real Bo follows shortly afterwards...I like to think they're playmates but who knows. One of the other neighbourhood cats has also made herself at home inside the house a few times...Apparently she's popped in and eaten the old housemate's sausage in the past. That's not a euphemism. Time to get a microchip activated cat flap methinks!
I don't want to bore you COMPLETELY to death (though I realise that yes, I've just written about houses, jobs and cats. Soz).
Next post will be about something more interesting...maybe...possibly... Let's just hope!
Yes, that it the question of the day. Hi internets, how are you? All good I hope. I write to you this morning with Dave Brubeck playing in my ear and with sleep still in my eyes having overslept and arriving half an hour late for work.
So yes, the question of the day (or of this post really) is: could I live on a bus? Let me fill you in... You might want to grab a coffee and get comfortable.
I want to start off by saying that I love living in London. I love London itself! It's a beautiful city; not all cars and smog and busy tourist areas like a lot of people think it to be. It's green and grand, and full of great parks and markets and places to visit and things to see. It's diverse and brimming with different nationalities and personalities, a big melting pot of life. There are, of course, darker sides to London which I could delve into, but I won't.
So yes, London is wonderful, but it's also very draining. I very much absorb and consume the environment around me, and for someone who hails from the almost-countryside; city life can prove to be quite fatiguing. I know you'll all know what I mean when I say that travelling on the underground can turn even the calmest person into the Incredible Hulk. It brings out a self-centred side to people that I'm sure we wouldn't even know existed were it not for public transport. People pushing, shoving, stealing seats, standing in the way of people trying to exit the train (I think this is my number 1 pet hate on the train/tube) and the one I think I will never understand, which is steadfastly holding on to the rail when people are trying to depart, lest you should lose your spot. Is it illegal to karate chop people's arms from the pole? If not, I'm totally using that one next time.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the point of this post. My yoga teacher, Mark Freeth, and his wife Anna (is there a more lovely person on the planet? I don't think so...) live in Tunbridge Wells and have recently opened a yoga studio on the High Street (go check it out...it's awesome!) Mark used to live on a groovy bus that he converted years back, which he now uses mostly for weekend breaks. I wish I had a photo so you could see just how groovy it is! It's fully functional with a bedroom, shower, toilet, kitchen, living area; pretty darn cool if you ask me. On my last visit, Anna and I were talking and she made a comment about me moving back to Kent and living on the bus, and then teaching and practicing yoga at the studio. I responded with "Anna, if you honestly said I could live on the bus, I so would" in a half-joking, half-serious kind of way. Anyway, 10 minutes later as I was in the car with my Dad driving back to Tonbridge, Mark texts me to say "come and live on the bus...seriously".
So...could I live on a bus? My initial reaction was "it would be SO.COOL! and so ME." I started to imagine a dreamy life living on the bus with my cat, Bo. Taking everything back to basics, living in the countryside with the fresh air around me, living yoga, living a calmer life, seeing my family more often...but I have a tendency to imagine the very best dream-situation where everything is rosy and happy, and nothing ever goes wrong (and I'm sorry, but life is life, and sometimes things don't go like we planned). A bit like Stepford Wives I guess, but with less robots. It's the hazard of being a dreamer! My thoughts then came back to London. What about swing? What about troupe?! What about my friends, and adventures at my doorstep, and my lovely London life? And it IS lovely, despite the ups and downs. So I spent weeks agonising, thinking, pondering and wondering whether I could upheave myself; and my decision? For now, I'm staying put. In my heart, I don't think I'm done with London yet, and I don't want to move and wish I hadn't done it and be yearning for whatI had before. I know, I know, life is an adventure and change is good for the soul, but I'm a firm believer in trusting my instincts and they are currently telling me to stay where I am.
To answer the question: could I live on a bus? Not right now. But some day, maybe I will :)
Hello internets! How the devil are you? It appears to have been eight months since I wrote on this blog and in all honesty, I completely forgot it existed, such is the passing of time, and life. And wow, haven't things changed a whole heap.
Where to start? Work wise, I began temping for a company near Regent Street in October/November time last year and I am now a permanent member of staff. Yep! All that talk of the freedom of temping, but actually, I had a spate of illness over Christmas and being ill & off work = no pay, which = no rent... As beautiful and freeing as temping was, security had to come first. But thankfully, I like the company, my colleagues are lovely and treat each other respectfully, and even better, I get to teach yoga every week!
My love life is non-existent but I'm currently navigating my way through dating websites and you know the old saying, it'll come along when you least expect it... I'm not sure I have the capacity for a relationship at the moment; I'll come back to that shortly.
About two months ago, I adopted a sweet little cat called Bo. Here's a photo of the little beauty:
He's such a sweetheart; he's really affectionate and playful, and he adores having attention heaped on him in spades. It's really lovely having a pet in the flat; like having family to come home to. (Cat Lady probably springs to mind right about now)
Now onto swing and yoga... My big passions in life. Honestly, since 2013 started, I've been feeling very up and down and can't seem to muster the enthusiasm and energy to do either with any passion... and here's what's really happening with me this year. Depression.
As is common with depression, I've been trying to fight the feelings (a useless task) and pretend that it hasn't returned, but I had a therapy appointment yesterday and The Lady confirmed that I'm depressed again. This time though, I feel totally hopeful and optimistic about it, because firstly, I've taken the right step in getting help for it and secondly, I know that the way depression makes me feel isn't REAL. Depression is a big fat liar, but a liar that needs dealing with. So yes, I may sit feeling low, anxious, and sometimes like I want to cry, but I can deal with those symptoms, because I'm taking steps to deal with the cause.
In the appointment yesterday whilst discussing my symptoms over the past few years, I felt a little silly, because for about 18 months, I'd been feeling happy and joyous and more positive about things, and in that joy, I thought that the depression was fought and beaten! Smug probably sums up how I felt. HA! Goodbye depression, I've beaten you and you can NEVER return! How wrong I was... Now what I feel is humble; humble that it has returned and that it has taught me to never feel smug again. Now I want to accept it and work with it.
So that is me, right now, in a nutshell. Do I want to feel depressed? Of course not. I want to enjoy life, feel joy, and feel my passion return for the things I love. And they will...it'll just take time and patience. Some people feel really uncomfortable discussing mental health issues because they're invisible to the naked eye and somehow intangible. Physical pain is easier to deal with than mental pain, and yes, maybe I'll wish I'd never put it out there on the internets for all to read, but if my experience reaches out to just one other person, then I can't ask for more.
Harro! Well it's been a lot longer than I realised, I last wrote a post in June; doesn't time fly when you're having fun!
I write to you on a cold, wet, windy October day, sitting on my sofa in a big thick cardigan surrounded by tissues and hot drinks from having a stinky cold. Lots of changes have occurred recently. I finally left my job at the engineering firm and am now temping and loving it! Without wanting to get too deep on y'all on a Monday morning, I feel so free having decided to stay true to myself and do something that makes me happy instead of letting the fear hold me back. I'm trying to learn to go with the flow and to stay positive and hopeful that things will work out which I'm sure they will.
I wanted to write something fun and lighthearted so here's a list of things that I'm loving at the moment:
1940s fashion...that's right.. I'm embracing a new look :D
I hope you've all been having a smashing time of it lately and are enjoying life, whatever it's throwing at you. I'm hoping to get back into blogging more regularly again but the best laid plans and all that...
Have a great week and Happy 1th October everyone! :)
Trapeze session in Regent's Park! It's not until August but I'm crazy excited about it, mostly because I get to monkey around and spend two hours hanging from a trapeze. Who wouldn't want to do that :)