Category Archives: art

HAPPY. CONTENT. POSITIVE. SHOULD BE STRESSED?

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Grey’s Bay, Bowen

Lately things have been kinda stressful, especially if I take a step back, looking from the outward in, but from my point of view, (especially or mainly due to the daily yoga practice I’ve been doing since January 1st) I don’t feel stressed, although I know there are some pressing matters that I should probably feel pretty darn stressed about.

Do you ever feel like you should feel stressed, like almost society says you should be stressed out by something and so you kind of play it out?

I haven’t done that so far, apart from acknowledging that I am in a potentially stressful place if I choose to accept it. I’m going to be brutally honest here.

16559132_10155123903552868_13656560_nI have less money in the bank than I am comfortable with, although I have no debts, no credit cards, no mortgage to pay off, so in many ways I am in fact free-er than the average home owner. (except I don’t have the joy of owning a home!)

Last year I earned more money than I think I have any other year of my life, I felt rich! I had a steady income, worked my butt off and was very happy. I’m glad for that as it helped me to make so many precious memories and journeys. I have lived work-free on and off for many months, living a life of luxury!  (Mainly because of lack of work not from choice!)

However, I have a visa to renew before November costing nearly $7000 aud.

It is looming over me.

I am working to a bit of a deadline, but there is a need that I must fulfil, I have to make it happen as no one else can. So, here goes, I’m gonna do my darnedest to create the life we want.

The biggest problem I’ve faced so far is that being on a working holiday visa, commonly known as a backpacker visa, means that any full time work I apply for is instantly rejected and so I am constantly applying for jobs, and if I get far enough then going to interviews and finally  being rejected when they find out my visa situation. It gets slightly disheartening, but I won’t stop trying!

It’s a catch 22 situation, no work because of my visa and no new visa applied for yet, because I don’t have the money to apply for it.

Anyway, my point is that I am trying out this new thing, called “Not freaking out about things.” I am just trying my best, staying positive, and taking whatever casual work I can to keep us afloat, which will hopefully lead to something more permanent. I have found that keeping tabs on my positivity levels and staying happy and thankful for what I have, makes me way more productive and likely to be able to get through any challenging times.

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Murray’s Bay, Bowen

After my visa comes through (Please accept me Australia!), we have big plans for the longterm. Buy a property to renovate eventually, (possibly where we are living now, in Bowen, possibly not) have our own boat and live in North Queensland with some beautiful dogs in a GORGEOUS place near to the beach that we’ve made our own. Our door always open to parents, siblings, friends and naughty nieces & nephews to visit.

Oohhh I can just see it all!

Side Note: (Say HELLO to ZEUS, the little puppy we are adopting, who will be ours on Saturday!)

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Our new family member, Zeus

So that’s the dream! We’ve found our little piece of heaven in each other and now it’s time to make it our home!

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Dingo Beach

Definitely a time to remember that making your dreams a reality isn’t always easy, but it’s worth a try.

You just gotta take it one step at a time.

My top five stress relieving tips:

  1. Daily exercise routine. No matter how much time you have to spare, take a little time out of your day even if it’s just 10 minutes to do a short relaxation yoga or meditation video on Youtube, or going for a short walk. You’ll often want to do more than you’ve planned on once there, and if not that’s okay. This will also help you sleep better as it really clears your mind and is a natural stress reliever. I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene’s videos.
  2. Following on from the last point, Sleep! I can be a terrible sleeper especially when I know I have something important to do the next day. It always seems to be once my head hits the pillow all of my worries crawl out of the shadows. I try to encourage a good nights sleep for myself by being productive during the day, keeping a notebook and pen beside my bed to jot down anything I remember I need to do and preparing what I’ll need for the next day – even just laying out my outfit and shoes, or re-organising my handbag helps me. A cup of tea also helps me to unwind and chill out. If I wake up in the night or can’t sleep, I go to the toilet, drink some water, write down whatever is bothering me and try again.
  3. Talk to someone. I find just voicing my fears or troubles to someone close to me can help to understand things from another perspective and it also helps to feel supported, receive suggestions and to help come up with solutions. It really helps to feel less alone. Everyone gets stressed out and if you meet up with a friend to do something fun such as go out for a walk or lunch for a chat, or have someone over for movies or drinks, then you can feel some clarity whilst having fun, which can help to eradicate negative emotions surrounding you. You may also realise that your positive friend has some stressful situations going on in their life and that can put your issues into perspective
  4. Tidy up your life. If you’re already stressed, it certainly doesn’t help to be surrounded by chaos, and I find that organising my clothes or even just hoovering and cleaning a little helps to make me feel less stressed out. You know where everything is and it feels calming to be in a nice environment and while that certainly doesn’t fix the reason you are stressing out, it definitely helps you to focus on what is important. Writing lists, making a bullet journal, buying a fancy new notebook to make plans in or even just pampering yourself a little can definitely help. I bought a new Doona cover the other day from Woolies on sale for $10, it has brightened up our bedroom and I definitely have been feeling happier and more relaxed from such a simple difference.
  5. Change it up. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” I’m a big believer in moving out of your comfort zone, even if you don’t like it, at least you tried. If you are scared of flying then maybe book a fun trip with friends, if you  hate your job or where you live then why not go volunteer or teach abroad for a few months, if you are sad about being unfit why not join the gym or make up your own fitness regime. Sadly it can be easier to come up with excuses. Something that sometimes helps me, as strange as it sounds to say it, I think of life like a challenge. I don’t want the game to be over and for me to still be on level one. I want to have felt emotions, been places, met people, been scared, got stronger, pushed myself. There is a danger of living a slightly boring existence full of regrets if you don’t push out of your comfort zone. And remember that it is NEVER too late to start. Sometimes when life is frustrating and you feel you are getting nowhere, you have to light it up yourself. You’ll be waiting a long time if you expect anybody else to make a change happen aside from you.

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope it helps if you are feeling a little stressed out at the moment.

Lots of love,

Hippy Hoo Ha x

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Bungalow Bar Forever ✌

When I was 18 years old I walked into my favourite bar for a remedy. I was young, unemployed, living with my mum, studying music and this bar was our favourite college lunchtime venue. We would come here and have a few pints at lunch break from college and play pool before our next class. This place was a rock bar called the Crow Bar. I came in with my friend Muzzy and solemnly asked for a drink, the guy behind the bar asked me what was up and I told him I had been looking for a job but to no avail. This guy turned out to be the manager, Steven and he asked me to come in for a trial shift on the weekend. I was bloody overjoyed. I had never worked in a proper bar before (I worked in a tennis club bar but that doesn’t count, this is rock and roll!) I remember the first night I stepped behind that bar I felt like a rockstar. It was like being onstage. So many cool people in one room, it was dark and dingey and the music was grungey. The drinks were dirty and the chat was great. I moved out of my mums house a few months into working there and into a flat, sharing with my brother. Before this I had only been friends with my school mates and I guess I felt a bit anxious about moving away from my close circle of friends in my home town. I worked in the bar and made many friends who are still my good friends to this day. One day at a lock-in (where you close the doors and have a cheeky party in the bar, if you have never experienced one you have missed out) I met a guy called Alan who was a musician and we went on to have a long relationship, which has since ended amicably. I became close friends with the sound guy Stevie, the other bar maids were ace and the bands became friends too. I was the singer in a punk band throughout college and we regularly performed in the venue.

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I’ll never forget dancing on the tables to the Nine Inch Nails with all the girls at the end of the shift on the weekends. As much as I loved working here, I had travel in my blood and I decided to go travel. The Crow bar eventually closed down whilst I was away which was sad for everyone who loved to frequent this popular venue . Whilst I was in Spain, Alan, Stevie and some other friends decided to bring the Crow Bar back to life by incorporating a legendary Paisley venues reputation.
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The Bungalow was a music venue in Paisley which  played host to The Buzzcocks, Echo & the Bunnymen and many more amazing bands due to a punk music ‘ban’ in Glasgow during the late 70’s. It had since shut down and is now a spanish restaurant. Inspired by this venue and it’s reputation the Bungalow (mark two) was opened whilst I was living in Spain and i would regularly visit and be made to feel more than welcome.
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They brought live music to paisley. More than just a pub with live music. They made a venue from hard graft with musicians who could build to help out. Plumbers, builders, electricians who played in bands crafted this place, everyone got their hands dirty. I returned from my travels and bagged a job at The Bungalow. We had so many amazing nights, The Complete Stone Roses was a favourite busy night along with Madchester club nights, many amazing independent and touring artists also chose The Bungalow as their favourite venue.
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We became a family, the clientele, the bar staff, the management, the bands. We became intertwined and we became one massive family. We were all always welcome.
We hung out, we worked we listened we learned. The mantra at the bungalow was always love and peace and happiness.

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We had problems but we always overcame them TOGETHER. I left The Bungalow last year and came to Australia with my boyfriend Stu. I miss my Bunga family so much and have recently heard the news that it is closing. I feel like a massive part of my last 10 years is somehow based around this building and its people. This one massive room managed to get me through so many turmoils and was the reason behind even more fun times. This place was the basis for my whole adult life. This place is my friends and my family. They taught me morals and manners and social etiquette. (Obviously aside from my family) They are my loves, my mentors, my confidants. My silly fuckers, my girlies, my guys, my lows, my highs. Fuck, I’ll miss them.
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I dunno, maybe because I’m abroad its harder for me to see, but this feels like the end of something really, REALLY special. So special that I cant explain in words. I love this place, I love what it stands for and I wish that people in Paisley had paid more attention to it. I feel like there will be an empty space now. This is where as an 18yr old I met all of my role models, my best friends, my inspirations and my partners in crime. My extended family who never judged me and who always made sure everyone was always welcome. Infact more than welcome. Everyone was a friend unless they proved otherwise!
You don’t know what youve got till its gone and you sure as hell dont make friends like this many times in your life. The Bungalow peeps loved and supported me. They were forgiving and kind when I most needed it. This was more than just a bar for many people. Bungalow fam, I love you!
I don’t know how many folk who barely made the effort to come down regularly will now be sad because it is closing. It was up to the people of Paisley to come together and support it and be welcomed into the family. I’m not blaming anyone for the close of it because obviously there are many factors involved BUT it would have been good for more folk to choose Paisley over Glasgow and to be totally honest I feel like the council has a big part to play in the future of local businesses, especially encouraging independent businesses by lowering rates and working with them rather than against them. People would choose Paisley over Glasgow if there were more thriving bars and a better night life. Independent businesses like this need support from the locals and the council.
I bloody loved this place and all of the people that fuelled it.

There is a teeny tiny, but significant hole in my heart today.

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Long Overdue Update

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I’ve realised I have been so preoccupied that I have forgotten to write a blog since we arrived in Australia! So here’s the last five months condensed into one blog post.

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Apologies for the Instagram Screenshots 

We flew to Adelaide on the 4th November, stayed there for a night and then drove to the Riverland where Stus parents live in a very small place, funnily enough called Winkie. It’s wine country out here, surrounded by vineyards, wineries and the River Murray. There’s the gorgeous aptly named Lake Bonney, in a small town  called Barmera, five minutes down the road. There’s not a whole lot to do around these parts unless you have a tinny (small motor boat) as many people do, and partake in water based activities on the lake or river such as wakeboarding, paddleboarding, water skiing, fishing and jetskiing. There’s also an array of flatlands, perfect for skooting about on a motorbike or bicycle.

We spent our first three months here enjoying having time to ourselves, visiting nearby places such as Wilkadene, a picturesque woolshed brewery on the river, and Stu and I have enjoyed many a beautiful summers day down at the river for bbqs. Both Christmas and New Year were spent down at the river at Katarapko Reserve and I have to say, it was one of the nicest, most peaceful NYE’s I have experienced.

One of our main priorities was to find a car as you can’t get very far in Australia without one, especially in these parts. We constantly checked online and on Gumtree for any local 4×4’s on sale but eventually realised we were going to need to got to Adelaide to find something worthwhile for our money. We borrowed Stus brothers van and went road tripping down to the big city with about four cars we had in mind. We drove all over the city from one end to the other for a full day and by the evening had decided that without a doubt it was the first car that we had seen in the morning that was to be ours. We managed to get a great deal from a private seller on a  Landrover Discovery.

We found super cheap accomodation in the heart of the city through Air BnB with a lovely, if not maybe too intense host called Bradley. He offered to have us stay again free of charge and seemed to particularly enjoy phone conversations woth us once we had left.

Now armed with a car, we had so muh more freedom and we began to apply for local jobs at the surrounding wineries for the Vintage season to help us fund our trip. The vintage is the time of year when the grapes are harvested and the wineries produce that years wine and typically runs from February to the end of March. It is very labour intensive work and generally you end up working every day for this period. The money tends to be good and is a very popular job opportunity for both backpackers and locals.

We applied to many wineries, managing to secure a couple of jobs and began work in the first week of February.

It’s hard to say but I think there’s probably another 3 to 4 weeks left of vintage and Stu may be getting kept on for a little longer afterwards as he has a lot of experience already. We need to make all of the money we can get.

A few other opportunities have also come up: We started making some music with one of Stus old friends Duncan who works in social work. I mentioned to Duncan that I would really love to get involved in some youth art projects and he has managed to find me an opportunity for after vintage and he managed to get the school to agree to pay for my police check.

There’s a local gallery who happened to see my artwork and they have offered to put some of my work up in the window of their shop, so I am super excited about that and definitely need to get some more paintings done!

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Once Vintage is over, we will be getting our last odds and ends sorted, tinting the windows of the car, buying our double swag and a car fridge. We will head off on our adventure around Australia around April/ May, so keep posted for the latest travel news!

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Grass is just green.

I don’t know where to start.

I leave for Australia in 45 days and I have begun to pretty much stress out subconsciously.

I have been experiencing anxiety attacks pretty often and have been sleeping real bad.

So, I’m not sure what to get into in this.

I’m gonna start with coping techniques and hopefully form something that could be helpful for someone in a similar position, be it moving house, moving country or a change in circumstance.

The first thing I did when I realised we only had 100 days left in Scotland was I bought a new pair of running shoes and I decided I was gonna run every single bloody day, not necessarily far, but just go for a run. Enjoy the scenery, look at the cute dogs in the park, and hopefully chill my frantic mind the hell out. I have been successful at this so far (55 days),and it is now a form of relaxation that I now cannot deny myself.

I have a mental list that I need to write out and add to as I remember but this includes:

  • re-homing my rescue dog
  • essential overdue dental work
  • health check
  • seeing everyone I care about before I leave
  • clearing out a very full house
  • re-homing artwork
  • re-homing art accessories
  • finding year long travel insurance
  • saving a good sum of money
  • finding a storage place for priceless items, letters, drawings, memories & photographs
  • timing all of this so that I don’t end up in a cold bare house with nothing
  • dealing with my emotions over leaving my family
  • trying not cry about my family, friends, dog, flat etc.
  • reminding myself how exciting life is and that this is what I want!

Okay this feels good.

I hadn’t done this kinda list yet.

I like it.

I also made a total faux pas of thinking that in the 100 days left I could on top of everything else have the mental capacity to write a 100 day blog of my days. So yeah that definitely backfired on me.

I just need to give my pal Paddy, a chef at my work ‘Velvet Elvis’ in Partick a shout out because he is an awesome chef and he told me he was secretly hoping to get a wee mention on my 100 happy days as he has made me some super duper vegan meals whilst at work. So thank you Paddy!

On that note, I’m gonna leave this blog as un-insightful as it is, and I suppose the only thing I’ve really suggested that is possibly helpful is that exercise makes your body feel good, but it makes your brain feel better.

I’ll be back with more soon.

Thanks for reading and sticking in there with me.

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When did it become okay to tell someone you don’t like how they look?

NEVER.

It never became okay!

I’ve noticed a recent increase in people commenting on how I look and giving me their quite frankly unwanted opinions on my personal decisions.

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So let me clear this up: this is for all the unwanted hair-touchers, prodders and outspoken opinion makers who I’m sure we have all encountered, and maybe if you realise you have done this you can see how rude and inappropriate you have been.

Respect is the biggest lesson to be learnt here.

Here’s 5 things all arseholes don’t realise:

  • Touching a strangers hair is inappropriate & unwelcome attention.

I cannot really find anyway to make touching a strangers hair an appropriate way to greet someone, so first of all please don’t  do it on a whim because you don’t understand it, and second of all please just don’t ask to do it. Go home and Google it or something. Most people are happy to answer any questions you have, but please don’t interrupt my private conversations. The amount of times I’ve been interrupted by a random hair toucher is unreal! I would NEVER interrupt someone to ask a dumb question so STOP IT NOW!

  • Just because I look different doesn’t  mean I want to talk to you about it

You cannot comprehend how many times I have been asked ‘What do your tattoos mean?’

I don’t ask what your hairdo means or your clothes, really please just leave me alone.

To me it’s mainly decoration, and any that I have that do mean something, what do I owe to you to tell you?

It’s not a strangers business so back the fuck up.

  • People with tattoos think its a way to relate to me:

Okay, so you have tattoos, I have tattoos, that’s great, I still don’t want to talk about mine, so please stand here and tell me for hours about how and when and where you got yours and I can try slowly slither away out of earshot. Holy Christ. I don’t wanna talk about it.

(This one is probably the bane of my life.)

  • You don’t like my hair/tattoos/piercings/image/style and feel an unbearable need to let me know:

I don’t judge you or comment on your life, so please keep your thoughts to yourself. I have a partner and I am very happy and content. I don’t need your approval and I am very aware of my life choices. It doesn’t bother me if you don’t like something about me, but I would certainly never feel the need to tell anyone friend or stranger something about their image that I personally didn’t like. Keep it to yourself! How rude of you! Live and let live!

  • You need to let me know that I’m probably going to regret that:

Oh yeah, so I never realised until you mentioned that it’s permanent.

Yeah I’ll totes regret it.

I hate your face!

(jokes)

So, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t understand why people think its okay to comment, is it because they think I want the attention? I genuinely think that some people assume that if you have tattoos and piercings and ‘mad’ hair you are doing it for attention, well you are very wrong.

I along with most other people who are seen as alternative are just being who we are.

I understand why people ask about these things but most of the time I get asked in a very rude manner. I worded this post in a jokey manner to try keep it fun. I am never rude to people who do ask me about things, but I would live a simpler life without this hassle as I’m sure a lot of people would too.

I choose to live my life this way and I like to decorate my body, I would never dream of asking someone why they don’t have body modifications so please give us a break and realise that we don’t all live our lives  in the same way!

* as a back note I’d like to say that I understand genuine human curiosity and that I can respect that and I can tell the people who are genuinely curious from the invasive rude people! Most of you are just lovely, it’s just a small percentage that lets us down.

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I just want to make a house, with our hands.

I just want to find a place, a beach.

I just want to make a house, with our hands.

I just want to hold the earth and squeeze it tight.

I want to hold you in my arms, surrounded by the ground that we made into a home.

I want to see you everyday.

I want to taste new tastes with you.

I want to wake up with you.

I want to wander around.

I want to wonder.

I wonder.

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Lets wander the lands whilst we can, and please, kiss me.

Always, kiss me.

I love you and I want you to hold my hand forever.

No-one else can hold me like you do.

No-one else can make me laugh like you do.

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“A critic must be knowledgeable in several fields, practices, and mediums. Brushing off art that they personally don’t understand, is not a critique.” ― Justin K. McFarlane Beau

I used to get annoyed or angered by others negativity or attempts to get a rise out of me.

With time I have learnt that the best way to deal with things is without anger, simply give your side, stand up for yourself and let it go.

We’re all human and we all make mistakes and nobody is perfect.

Other beings personal decisions are of no real concern to you, so focus on your own life and happiness and let others continue with theirs.

If people would like your opinion, I’m of no doubt they would ask.

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So before you judge me, remember that you don’t really know me.

You know what I let you know about me.

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“I am a Master Pretender”- First Aid Kit

(Firstly. I wrote this listening to this song on repeat. Put it on or your most insirational tune and then begin to read for the full effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51BgWFciimQ or type into Spotify First Aid Kit – Master Pretender)

Like most people I can really suffer from low self esteem.

For some it is extreme and for others sometimes it’s just a wee dip, but we all feel a wee bit of low self esteem sometimes.

Over the years I have developed techniques to make me more confident and I’ve tried to compile some of them for you.

First off, the most important thing is that YOU LOVE YOURSELF, but of course you don’t feel like you do.

So now we have to pretend a bit.

I like pretending, we were all really good at it as kids.

By this I don’t mean lie. I mean we can pretend we have confidence until it becomes more natural.

Who seem to be the most naturally confident people? Famous people! Many who are ACTORS  and models. Being a pretender is their job! They’re pros!

So here’s some tips.

Remember, that it’s not selfish,

You deserve a wonderful life.

It isn’t selfish at all.

You are a unique and beautiful being.

Walk with pride and embrace that your thoughts, movements, ideas, aims, are different from others round you.

Everything is perfect.

You can be anyone or anything you want to be.

Carry yourself high.

Be proud of yourself.

Here are the things that I really like to do:

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  • If it doesn’t inspire you, tidy it away: Leave things around your home that remind you of people you are proud of or honoured to have as friends and who know and who respect you. If you cant find anything or don’t have photos like this, then put up a certificate or a reminder of something you have achieved. Make it prominent.  If you have made things, display them, if you have tickets or memories of good times put them out on display on the wall or on a notice board.  Get creative and make sure that when you wake up everyday you are reminded of your greatness, no matter how small importance it may seem. I have definitely surprised myself with how great it feels to see a picture of a happy time on my wall in the morning and I think, “Wow I remember way back then, I remember, how I never knew that I could ever be where I actually am now in my life, and now, look here I am, and look at all I have accomplished.” Sometimes that is all it takes… Sometimes our past achievements can feel like dreams. It’s almost hazy and we wonder how we ever did them… Keeping them out and rotating them every so often keeps this fresh and keeps us WANTING to do more to change it! I like to put my own art in my house, and I have a notice board in my kitchen which I put photos of my close friends and family, or just even random good times. I rotate this every month or so, and put new and often old photographs of fun times up. Sometimes it really helps you to remember to get in touch with someone you had forgotten about or remind you how great your friendship was. I like to hang jewellery I love that inspires me, in areas of my house, I only use mugs that are bright and colourful, I try to only be surrounded by positive objects and everything else is tidied away in cupboards/drawers. These things inspire me, and make me happy so they are displayed.

 

  • Have a music supply readily available in the areas of your home that you spend the most time in: I find that when I wake up and head to the kitchen to put a kettle on, hitting the ON switch on the radio is the best thing. I listen to tunes first thing, I have a wee sing song and a dance round in my Pj’s. I salvaged a digital radio last year that my mum was gonna fling out and it is now my favourite. I set it to a good reliable station, so there is always nice positive background noise, and personally I find this ESPECIALLY important first thing in the morning. It sets the mood for the day and is always great later on as the kitchen is the social area in my house, where everyone gets together and has a good laugh. It reminds me of laughter and good times. It makes me feel social even if I’m by myself. I even respond to the radio presenters. Ha! Personally this makes me feel like I have company when I don’t and builds my confidence for the day.

 

lollllaaasss

 

 

  • Get a pet: I am very lucky, in that I can have a dog, and don’t get me wrong, it can be really hard work, but I chose a very mellow, chilled out breed well (Greyhound in case your interested! ) Having her around can be really helpful for my self esteem.  This wee pooch loves me and gets excited by my return to the house. She wants to hang out with me, share my food and my bed and basically we are best pals cos I wanna hang out with her too ( I’ll skip on sharing her food or bed though!) You don’t need to feel bad though if your circumstances mean you can’t have a dog. I also have a fish.  She’s a character. She murdered the other two fish in the tank. ( I did have three!) She also gets excited by my presence as the food dropper. It’s therapeutic. You can buy a fish, it’s something to concentrate on, put a little energy into. You make a friend, you have a wee character in your life. I have ‘Sharon the mad wee fish that ate Seana & Dan’s eyeballs out’! I can leave her for days and she’s cool, she doesn’t need walked, but she’s there and she needs me and that’s great for self esteem. She’s over there right now as I write this in my kitchen and I don’t feel alone at all.

 

 

  • Create a cosy, welcoming environment: Whenever I’m feeling down, it is reflected in my house and/ or bedroom especially. When life feels manic, my room is insane. Creating an organised system and having a friend to help you out at first if it seems too hard/overwhelming by yourself to manage is brilliant. When my house is tidy. everything seems better. I sleep better, I know where things are and it’s easier to keep that way. Never be ashamed to ask a friend for help or to explain to them you are struggling to keep on top of things. We are all only human and think how you would respond and if they were in the same position. My best friend Micaela would often come round and help me tidy when I was in a really bad place.

flat

 

 

  • Clear out unhelpful clutter: Bad memories and bills etc can really clog up your energy so store everything unhelpful away, give them a place, make it a drawer and keep  them so they aren’t out on show. This also counts for clothes, or keepsakes that have a negative memory. Throw away clothes that do not fit you. If you lose weight do you really wanna wear something that has been sat in your wardrobe for three years. No. Throw it out. Treat yourself to something new.  Do you really wanna be reminded everyday of your past heartaches?  No. Keep them, respect them and put them aside in storage. I like to keep memory boxes, I fill them and store them away and when I feel ready I like to have a look through at old photos and memories. Sometimes it’s good for a cry. Then you put them away again. No point in torturing yourself.

 

  • Love your body: Appreciate your body. It is a beautiful vessel. Look after it and respect it. I can be pretty lazy sometimes, but I do try to eat well most of the time. Everyone has their own thing. Something I have learnt is to stop worrying about thinking . FULL STOP.  If you worry you’re too fat or too thin to do something, or that people are judging you based on that,  I know for a fact that I have been stick thin and worried that people thought I was too fat and I have been hanging out with really ‘cool’ people thinking I wasn’t cool enough. What are we thinking!??! ALL, AND I MEAN EVERY SINGLE BLOOMIN’ ONE of my friends are my friends because they are the most lovely people.  I  could not give one care to what they look like/ how cool/skinny/chubby/awkward/awesome they look because I love them and I love WHO THEY ARE. It really actually doesn’t matter, no one is thinking about us what we think of ourselves, and even if they are, so what?! Let’s get over it! Somehow I still struggle with this one. I often feel awkward  and this is where I normally put the next bit of advice into action.

 

  • Positive affirmations:Look at yourself in a mirror before you go out, and complement yourself. About anything. Your clothing choice, your smile, your nice teeth. your cute squinty nose. Find something, anything about yourself that you think ‘That is actually pretty cool, and it’s unique to me!’ Find it and have a wee laugh in the mirror and feel high that you are you, even just laugh that you are sitting in front of a mirror doing this.  Learn to laugh at yourself. embrace bad photos where you don’t look great because the memory was good. You can write down your affirmations an put them somewhere you will see them daily. Even simple things like ‘I am a good person.’ I also made a ‘Treasure Map’ which is a collection of images that I compiled to create one large image of how I want my life to be and the things I most value and seek. I set this as my desktop photo on my laptop, so I see it everyday and I am reminded of what I am aiming for. I noticed a massive positive shift in my life since I did this.

kayls

 

  • Fuck them: My big sister taught me this. She probably doesn’t know that I use it as often as I do. But I call it ‘The Fuck You!” She told me that when she felt vulnerable in the street late at night, if she clocked some lurkers in the street, she would play ‘Rage Against The Machine- Killing in the name of’… in her head, and stride to it, with a bit of feist in her eye. Well, I like to do this, but I’ve expanded it’s use, I use it when people make me feel intimidated, or try to hurt me, or are mean to me, I put on the biggest goddam smile and I sing that song in my head and I stride away as the better man. With a great tune in my head. And ten times outta ten I forget I was even mad or feeling vulnerable. Plus, I’m smiling.

 

  • Smile and laugh: When times are hard, I like to force laughter. I chat away to my dog, I make daft videos, I send funny messages to people, leave ridiculous voicemails, I try to cheer others up. Take the focus away from yourself. Find an activity, find new people where the chat is lighthearted, if your relationships with friends are stale and negative, then change it up for a while. Start something new, sometimes friendships are so close they become negative because you are so comfortable. Have some time apart. Book an adventure. Be better at something. Organise a meetup, create a new group of friends. Don’t let fear hold you back.

 

I know I am a good person. I know you are too. You know you are, really deep down too. What makes you feel good? Do it more. Find more things and more things that make you buzz! Writing this makes me feel good about me.  This is my release.  And so I have one more….My last, last, very last tip to help boost your self esteem is to help other people:

  • Admit you’re wrong even when you really don’t feel you are.
  • Tip people/ give someone the last of your change that you might need.
  • Give random people compliments.
  • Instead of making up an excuse, tell the truth about something that scares you.
  • Listen.
  • Appreciate your friends and be there for them.
  • Ask questions about others in conversations and focus on other peoples lives during catch ups rather than your own.
  • Smile.
  • When you laugh, let yourself go.
  • Experiment with laughter, laugh loud, laugh little, laugh high, laugh low.
  • Have fun, I came outta the shower last week and danced round the kitchen naked whilst my flatmate sat there giggling. Life’s too short. I wasn’t worried for a moment about the size of my butt.
  • Wiggle, jiggle, laugh, relax, have fun.
  • Make others laugh, don’t worry about looking silly.
  • Give something back, become involved in your community and positive about where you call home.
  • Share everything you have. You will always get it back tenfold. Give food, give laughter, kindness, generosity, your truth, give in to everything. It is the most empowering thing you can do.

 

Thank you for reading this.

I actually wrote this blog in particular for a few of my girlfriends who are going through a hard time. They are beautiful strong women and I love them and I haven’t been able to be there quite as much as I maybe should have. Each one of them has taught me a part of this. Mostly to laugh wholeheartedly and to smile and care and share…

I bloody love these girls.

Raquel, Kayleigh, Gaynor, Chelsea, Mac

 

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“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I asked a mate to borrow her ukulele a month ago.

I picked it up and strummed, I was totally rubbish.

But I picked it up again.

And then the next day, again I was drawn in, and intrigued by it.

I’m naturally inquisitive.

As are we all.

Those moments you have between things. Where you’re sitting waiting to go somewhere, or do something. In that time I decided to pick up the ukulele.

I left it outta its case.

In a familiar place.

In my kitchen, where I like to hang out.

I pick it up every time I’m there.

I lose time with her.

I’m not a great ukulele player.

It’s been a month and i can strum it.

I feel free.

And i realise….

I am better at playing this ukulele than I was one month ago.

So imagine a year from now. Imagine 5 years from now.

uke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a great way to approach your life.

I see that ukulele.

I see the comfort in how I hold her.

I see how strange we were before.

All it takes is your own will.

And

You…

You can be whatever you wish.

The power and the drive is within you.

You can be whatever you want to be.

 

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The love of creation is my motivation.

mooon

“The two terrors that discourage originality and creative living are fear of public opinion and undue reverence for one’s own consistency.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am trying to be an artist.

I am an artist.

Am I an artist?

What the hell.

I draw. Not as much as I’d like to. The art of acknowledging that there’s always distractions, but the ability to get on with it anyway.

I know I can draw. But I think I am similar to a lot of other creative people who suffer from a lack of faith in their own abilities.

Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) 001

The Ambition: To be a full time artist.

The Reality: I sit in a room with paper and pens and try to find anything else I can do instead. Even the dishes needing done seem more appealing at times.

I have a pile of unfinished drawings.

Money is not an incentive for my art. In fact sometimes it hinders my abilities. Money is not my motivation.

The love of creation is my motivation.

No matter what you create, we all need motivation to get it done. Whether your meditation is cooking, drawing, dancing, cycling, sailing, walking or whatever else, we all need to be driven to do it, often the struggle of doing it is highly outweighed by the feeling of achievement or satisfaction.

I’m just finding it to be a struggle at the moment and it feels like I have so many commissions to do, and I really need to start planning and get an organised system in place. Is this just supposed to come naturally to me?

Well, no, I’m pretty sure it is supposed to be difficult, because I’m learning that all of the best and most worthwhile things in life usually are.

sail

So, I’ve changed things up a bit lately. I’m not at home just now because I ran away to a beautiful place called Plockton in Wester Ross, about three weeks ago. I love my hometown and all of my friends are the most fantastic, funny and beautiful people. But I had to get out. Sometimes you get stuck in a bit of a rut and need some breathing space, a change of scenery, new faces, new places (and some sailing races.)

seol

As I’m writing I even feel like my writing isn’t even flowing as well as normal, and I’m really forcing it, but this is what I’m talking about. It’s hard and you have to force it sometimes to get the natural flow back, kinda like unblocking a drain i guess.

palms

Plockton is an amazing, friendly and beautiful place where my mum and dad met 40 years ago.

Maggie, my mum, was working in the Plockton Hotel and my dad Peter, was a storm-bound sailor who went to the pub to sing a few tunes with his guitar. Getting plied with booze from a member of staff who was obviously a wee bit taken with his folksy tunes and rugged beard, Petey and Mags soon became a bit of an item!

Ever since I was born, I’ve been coming to Plockton during the holidays with my family. It’s a beautiful sailing village about four and a half hours away from Glasgow. It’s full of lovely folk and there’s a great sense of community and security here. The bay is nice and sheltered and full of boats, not to mention the beautiful palm trees lining the main road, Harbour Street.

plockers

When here, we usually stay here with our second family, The Mackenzies. Calum runs Calum’s Seal Trips and this trip, I’ve been staying next door with two of my friends, Malcolm and David. This year Malcolm was the Commodore, which basically means the president of the sailing club, so he was really busy during Regatta, which is a series of sailing races that take place over a two week period. The regatta is ended of with lots of celebrating: a concert, awards presentation and ceilidh in the village hall on the last Friday, and then the next day a Ragamuffin race

raga

(A fun race for the local kids where they design their own topical sails and are judged on them) followed by dancing in the main street, into the wee hours, where everyone ends up in the local Inn jumping around to the sounds of the local fling band.

I love it here and although I haven’t been super creative, it has been really great to be out in the fresh air, socializing and being far out of the way of Paisley. I’ll be home next week though, motivated and refreshed and ready to put my plans into action.

Sometimes it is okay to feel like you are doing nothing. More often than not, that is exactly what we need. Time to reflect and look at what aspects of our lives aren’t serving us anymore and what areas require change. I think we are made to feel so bad sometimes by society for not doing certain things. We all need a break from the daily pressures of modern life.

walk

Follow your heart, feel no guilt, and be honest and kind. You never know when your time is up so don’t waste it on negative emotions. Worrying is a waste of time.

Act with kindness and love and you simply cannot go wrong.

Most definitely one of my favourite and yet one of the simplest affirmations to keep in mind every day:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

Much love and light from beautiful Plockton.

You can get in touch with me about artwork through the blog contact page or have a look at current and past work on my Facebook page.

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