Category Archives: blog

Stu’s Birthday & Dreadlocks Update

It was Stu’s 33rd birthday a couple of weeks ago, as you may have read in my previous post I’m not rolling in pay cheques at the moment so I wanted to make his birthday really fun without splashing the cash.

I decided I would make him an Alien cake as he is so into UFO’s Aliens and the unexplained. I looked online for some inspiration and found  beautifully crafted realistic (as can be I suppose) Alien cake.

It definitely didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped and was a bit more out there than I was going for but hey these things are supposed to be fun! I had fun making it, although I did cheat and made the sponge from a box mix as I wanted it to be red velvet inside to resemble the inside of an aliens head. You can see his reaction in the video I made below:

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If you have been to or live in Australia then you will know how breathtaking the Whitsundays are. I pinch myself every day waking up to another day in this place! On Stu’s birthday we did pressies, played with our housemates dog and then went down to a one of our favourite local Bowen beaches (Grey’s Bay) for a morning swim. Showered and changed we then drove out towards a beautiful (I’ve heard) beach resort in Gloucester Passage called Monte’s, and it was closed! We were gutted as it was 40 minutes out of our way and we were absolutely starving, but instead we went to Dingo Beach Pub, only 10 minutes from Monte’s. It turned out really nice there, and Stu still enjoyed the birthday lunch he was looking forward to.

We were pretty tired by the time we got home after an early start so we had a quiet one, with the guys enjoying some alien cake after some traditional happy birthday-ing.

Happy birthday to my fave human around!

We also decided to cut Stu’s dreadlocks, well he decided that he wanted them to be shorter, they were way past his bum and causing his neck and back to hurt (plus they were dangerously close to dipping in the toilet!) so we took 10 inches off each dreadlock! They are still long but it definitely relieved him of some of the weight!

I decided I was tired of being stuck with the one hairstyle a few months before and finally I brushed out my dreadlocks, which is definitely a better option than shaving your head! It is more time consuming, but so is growing hair!

I enrolled a very kind friend Emma who helped me brush some out and then every day I would tackle a good handful by myself, a LOT of hair came out but apparently that is the hair that would have otherwise naturally fallen when you brush your hair. It was super frizzy and broken, I don’t have any pictures but I do have photos of my hair now post dreads. I would say it has taken about a month after brushing the dreads out for my hair to feel super soft and shiny and healthy again.

Me being me, I put a semi permanent blue dye through my previously blonde bits cos I can’t handle too much beige in my life.

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I loved having dreadlocks at the time, but now I look forward to having more versatile hair style. Sleeping was definitely a problem, and especially living in such a hot climate as North Queensland, it is truly delightful to dip your head in the ocean sans dreads.

Having dreadlocks was a cool experience and part of my journey but now I look forward to some loose hair adventures!

If you have dreadlocks or are thinking of getting them then please know that it doesn’t have to be for forever.

Much love,

Hippy Hoo Ha

x

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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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Living the happy life.

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Mindil Beach Sunset, Darwin

As our four month anniversary of ‘donga’ living (basically a small container with enough space to swing a carrot) whilst working on the Sandalwood plantation drew closer, myself & Stu began to feel more and more claustrophobic and grew tired of the repetitive work on the plantation. The planting season had passed, and the novelty of a five or six hour round trip each weekend to the nearest supermarket had worn off. The work available to me fizzled out slowly as I was not willing to work or be exposed to a chemical (Glufosonate) used widely in farming (which in my opinion should be against the law for it’s detrimental effects on the environment and it’s inhabitants.) However, the company we worked for were understanding of my choice and did make a huge effort to provide alternative work for me in the last couple of weeks. Finally, during one of our trips to Darwin (most weekends from the plantation at Douglas Daly), we managed to organise a place to stay and a part-time job each. We handed in our notice, and bundled up/organised four months worth of accumulated nonsense from camp into ” Lil’ Rover”

We now live in a beautiful house on stilts in the Stuart Park area of Darwin. It is within a 20 minute walk of the CBD and a cycle away to anywhere I could dream of going in Darwin due to it’s pocket sized city status and plentiful cycle paths. I just had to buy a bike! A $50 Gumtree bargain, AND it’s purple with a basket on the front!

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Date night at Nirvana, Darwin

Darwin is an excellent city, it is still catching up with the rest of the world as far as vegan options go in my opinion, ( although it is exciting to think maybe we can maybe get together with others to organise a vegan food/beer festival next year) but saying that, there are many options at the local markets, and I seem to always miss the chance to get to them! I am also eagerly awaiting the day that I am in the right place at the right time and get to try one of Petra’s Raw Cakes: They look out of this world! (Stu if you are reading this…it’s my birthday next month..Please get me a slice! ) I haven’t made it around a lot of the cafes which have vegan options as we usually just eat at home, but I did have an outstanding Acai bowl at Cafe Eco one morning, and a beautiful meal at Nirvana, my new favourite restaurant. I have also organised a vegan potluck down at the beach next month, something a few years ago I would feel too low in confidence or un-motivated to do! Darwin is definitely working for me!

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Cafe Eco: Delicious Acai Bowl

Since moving to Darwin, I have gone out by myself to gigs and events by myself a couple of times, something I would never do back at home, and through doing this I have made many friends. The funny things is, since my last blog post who would have thought we would be where we are now?!It acts as a great reminder that keeping these blogs going is such an excellent means of keeping tabs on my progress over many weeks, months and years! I definitely recommend starting a blog to anyone who feels they need somewhere to put their thoughts. I have so many drafts of things I just had to write down at the time, but will probably never share, and sometimes if I feel I want to, I go back, finish or edit my drafts and publish them. For me it is very therapeutic.

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At Chippo Live, a brilliant music venue in Darwin

I have also been making videos of my time here, and even made a video for a charitable cause to help publicise a friends charity event. If you’re interested in seeing my videos, my Youtube is here, and I intend to film and upload more of my adventures. I really enjoy the process of creating these little snippets of life and look forward to having them to look back on at a later date.

On that note, I also have been thinking a lot about what it is I really want to do. What really makes me happy. Travel is definitely up there, and I’m definitely doing that! The whole genre of creating things is also where I’m at, I love making something that wasn’t there before. I was thinking about how I want to find a tattoo apprenticeship again as i had a bad experience back in Scotland at a studio I worked for. For some reason I let this one bad tattoo shop owner belittle & bully me for how I looked/ my tattoos etc until I left my apprenticeship and it has forever tainted the whole thing for me. I know in my heart it is what I want to do, it is my dream job and I know that I am good enough and have the skills to do it, so I am going to. I don’t quite know where or how, but I am putting it out there and I am being pro-active, and currently working on creating a proper sketchbook of my art. My 30th birthday is rapidly approaching, and rather than let the feeling of age-ing hold me back, I am going to embrace it and put everything I have into creating the life that I wish for.

Thanks for reading, I hope you follow your dreams too. Don’t forget to put your wishes out into the universe!

Love, Morv

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If you wish to see my artwork my Facebook art page is here.

 

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The Top End

I will forever be thankful waking up everyday to the beautiful combination of a deep blue sky lighting up a rugged red dirt landscape filled with lush green palms.

The Northern Territory really is something else. The saying up here goes “If you never never go, then you’ll never never know” and I am so happy to be here and to have the opportunity to find out for myself.

The land is lush and dusty all at once, (that red dirt I speak of gets everywhere & into everything) the rivers and creeks are all croc-infested,  the mozzies are brutal, Crocodile Dundee was filmed up here and you understand why once you see some of the wild crocs roaming free.

We are currently working on a Sandalwood plantation in a region called Douglas Daly, about two hours South of Darwin. After three months work I am now an accomplished tractor driver and myself and Stu are the marking team, using tractors to paint mark the layout of the Sandalwood. It is a parasitic tree and therefore needs host trees to feed off as it grows so the layouts can get pretty hectic as some of the plots need to be in a pattern, planted in a certain angle,(so that the rows look pretty and so that the Sandalwood can reach the roots of the hosts).

It is two hours from camp to the nearest shop for groceries so we often spend a whole afternoon going to get our shopping for the week. We have had the opportunity to travel too, as there are plantations situated in Katherine and Mataranka further South again. There is so much to do around here, especially in nature, Stu enjoys fishing, and we often go camping and on adventures with friends in the local area. We are so glad we invested in a 4WD as without it, many places would be impossible to get to.

I made a video to show what we’ve been up to which is probably easier than me trying to explain everything.

Internet is hard to find in these parts so we make the most of it when we can, hence why posts are few and far between recently, although it is fantastic being able to enjoy life without staring into a phone or computer screen everyday.

Who knows what we’ll be up to in the next three months!

 

 

 

 

 

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Quick NT Update

I spent about an hour earlier writing an email home of our latest adventures and figured I may as well share some of it on here as it condenses our last week or so travelling to the Northern Territory.
Me and Stu are in Darwin today(It’s lovely!) staying at a Novotel for the night. We’ve just arrived after a 2 & a half hour drive which is our weekly commute to the nearest shop for groceries, so we thought we’d make a trip of it after work this morning since we are off tomorrow. We left Stu’s mums on Tuesday avo, and only drove about 3 hours to a place called Crystal Brook, SA, where we stayed in the swag. It was a really lovely night so we left the mozzie roof zipped without the full canvas outer on so we could see the stars. We woke and it was spitting rain so we pulled up the canvas but didn’t zip it round and then I woke up at 4am Wednesday thinking I’d pee’d myself as the tent was wet and then realised the WHOLE SWAG was soaked through. It was bucketing down and because we hadn’t zipped it up properly we got absolutely soaked through. It was pretty cool in SA so we were freezing in the dark trying to heat up in the car and find a way to make coffee while the sun rose. We wrapped everything in bin bags and drove a full shift, finally stopping in a place in the middle of no-where called Cadney Well. It was just a service station with a small shop and bar and some solid iron ground to try park your swag. The flies were crazy here, just persistently wanting in your eyes and we had to hang our swag mattress and belongings all over the site to dry. I was slightly worried at this point that this was setting the bar for the flies to come further North, although they have never been as bad again.
Thursday we managed to cross the Northern Territory/S.A border after a 10 hour drive. We had passed through Alice Springs that day, but didn’t stop apart from to fill up on fuel as we were aiming to make it to our work place on Friday evening to have time to settle ourselves in before commencing work. We saw a sign for a place called Wycliffe Well with a UFO on the sign and as Stu was so tired and the sun was setting, we decided to stop at that campsite for the night. Possibly THE CREEPIEST place ever. It sells itself as the UFO capital of Australia and the WHOLE place was very well painted/graffiti-ed up with Alien murals EVERYWHERE. There was an old unused kids railway and lots of creepy buildings. It was kind of like a set for a movie where an old style fairground has become run down after aliens landed and the alien teens graffiti-ed the place. And then haunted it forever. There was just a weird vibe and we heard a gang of Dingos howling close to us. The natives were having a grand old time buying beer from the servo there and were all drunk and driving and fighting next to the campsite for the majority of the night. Must have been a full moon.
I actually had an amazing sleep here and the swag is so super cosy and comfy. I love that you can see the stars when you fall asleep. It’s magic.
The next day, Friday, when we were leaving Wycliffe Well we went in to the campsite office and saw all these articles about this guy who had killed backpackers in the middle of the outback and apparently one of them is buried there. Heeby Jeebies. We exit-ed pronto!
 
We went up to the Devils Marbles about an hour or so away and took a few pics and then hit the road again planning to smash in some more km’s to take a chunk outta our journey hoping to possibly arrive early Saturday morning at the latest. The car temperature started to rise and rise very early on and at 12.30pm we pulled into a roadhouse called Renner’s Springs as we were worried we might be low on coolant. The engine was really worryingly hot. We basically broke down here, we couldnt leave as the car temp was in the red even after leaving it to sit for hours. We were so lucky we stopped when we did as we were in the middle of nowhere. Not knowing what was wrong with it we called the nearest mechanic (90kms away) and he quoted us $650 just to tow the car to his workshop less than an hour away. We politely declined. He also suggested it was most probably the head gasket…I think his pupils must have dilated into dollar signs when we called him.
We started looking into getting the car transported by a road train freight to the next big town (about 600kms)which they quoted us at $800-1000 and that wasn’t including us travelling also in the price, so we’d be split from the car. We talked to truckies  asking them if they knew anyone who could fit us on their load, asking other drivers if they could tow us, people were stopping and trying to help us find and fix the problem, but to no avail. We kept our heads up, figured we would work it out and wrote lots of lists and plans. My organised sister would have been proud! We set up our camp there after a long day and night of expensive public phone box calls, as there was no signal, and we finished our night with a little hand-holding ask to the universe to try to help us out. Hippys 4 Lyfe.
 
When I woke on Saturday morning (another awesome sleep) Stu was up looking at the car drinking coffee and a fellow camper, an older gentleman came over and helped him through the possibilities of what could be wrong. Turns out taking the thermostat was the best idea ever, and it only went and bloody worked didn’t it!!???
Absolutely relieved we cautiously got on our way and tensely drove on-wards, Stu barely looking up from the temperature gauge. We drove for about 5 hours to Katherine, the last town with shops, food etc before Douglas Daly where we are working. Stocked up on food we headed into the beautiful lush and humid forest land.
The place is beautiful. There is a phone signal sometimes but absolutely no internet round there. It is nice being so secluded.
The drive up here was amazing, we had so much fun and it was interesting seeing the landscape change as we headed North. There was a lot of orange roads and blue sky for hour upon hour mind you. We are so happy we decided to do this trip. We missed out Ayre’s Rock as it was an extra 500km round trip, the petrol was so expensive out there, it was going to mean an extra day driving, ALOT of extra fuel (who buys a V8 anyway!) and the day was overcast so we made a joint decision to skip it which was just as well as the car would have broken down way out that way.
 
The job is cool, we’ve made lots of friends and we’ve already been promoted! Stu is now driving tractors which are run by GPS and they squirt paint out where the trees are to be planted, but as the computer isn’t that smart, myself and a lovely Canadian traveller Danica are the line-marker girls. We have somehow fallen into really important jobs and we line up all of the marks and make sure the tractor is in the right position for the start of each row. It’s hot hot hot working in the blazing sun for at least 8 hours a day and I have felt a bit melty at times, but we are drinking a power of water all of the time. It’s crazy how much you drink before you even pee. Sorry I’ve mentioned pee two (now three) times in this email. How inappropriate!
We have already made it to overtime rates this week so we will be making good money here! Stu’s happy as he has made lots of fishing fanatic friends.
It feels so alive here, the wildlife is thriving, wallabies and birds, bugs, turtles, crocs, fish…it’s buzzing with life and it’s really cool.

An Open Apology

“This is a blog that I wrote as a draft way back in December. I read it tonight in my massive draft archive of blogs that I’ve never posted and I thought ‘Yeah I’m gonna publish this’ so here ya go! Why be afraid to express yourself and how you really feel or have felt? To feel is to be alive and to express that is to inspire so I hope one person can relate to this.”

I’m sure everyone has felt at some point that they wish they had said certain things to certain people.Be it ‘sorry’, ‘I love you’, or whatever. I find it hard at the moment to sleep well at night due to all these thoughts running through my mind, and I have an overwhelming urge to write some of those thoughts out.

No-one is perfect and we cant always be right, we all have times in our life that we look back on and cringe at what we did or said. I definitely feel like there are many people worthy of an apology from me. It’s a bit crazy to suddenly apologize to people you keep in contact with and who to be quite honest may not realize you feel so bad about a past situation. So, this blog post is not just about apologizing to others,it is about apologizing to and forgiving myself. I’m speaking openly to everyone I have ever hurt and seeking (though also giving) forgiveness in the process.

I have been in a really up and down place over the last few years (maybe nearly 5 years), and I realized the deeply personal implications of a long term relationship deteriorating, breaking up and then literally turning my whole world upside down. Alcohol & drug abuse, anti-depressants and coming off them suddenly in a place where there is no-one to confide in, eating disorders, losing my job, using others to make me happy short term, being used, trying to work out if I am doing the right thing & what the hell the ‘right thing’ is,  plus all of the ‘What am I gonna do with my life‘ & ‘Am I gonna be alone forever‘ moments….over and over and over.

Until, BOOM! I would end up in the same place as always, curled up and cosy in bed questioning who the hell I was, alone and confused and ashamed of who I think I had become and all of the things I had done.

I have let who I think I am and who I think others think I am become who I am over the last few years. Too shy to be openly me, always trying to fit in, desperate for recognition, desperate for comfort, for someone to want me for who I am if they could give me a chance to open up, or someone to sit with me, cuddle in and tell me I’m okay.

Desperate, sad little old me. 

That is true, and that is who I was.

Desperate, lonely and very, very sad.

I thought when you hit rock bottom, it could only get better after that. I must have hit rock bottom hundreds of times thinking ‘Okay, this is bad but it can only get better right?‘ but it just got worse and worse and worse.

This is not for anyone to pity me, this is an explanation and hopefully some form of apology to people who encountered me on my rock, rock, rock bottom trip. This is also to help people who feel like I have felt to see that it doesn’t last forever, things get better, you get stronger and you can be yourself again. To all who I interacted with on such a low level emotionally and sociably, all I can ask is that maybe you read this and understand a little more, that we aren’t all who we seem. We all experience struggles and pit falls at many points in our lives, caused by many factors.

I may have been an absolute disgrace or maybe I wasn’t in your eyes, but (in mine I was) I wont sleep until I get it all out.

I’m sorry if you got more than you bargained for from me, if I was a handful, a pain in the ass, or over the top. I’m sorry if I wasn’t enough, if I disappointed your expectations or I was weak. I’m sorry if I pressured you, pissed you off, or gave you a wrong kind of hope. I am really genuinely so sorry.

I made plans to sort my hectic self out and on the way I met an amazing partner. Now I am on the other side of the world with the love of my life. We are balanced individuals and make each other happy every day. Without him I feel happy and with him words can’t explain. If it wasn’t for all of the madness I wonder if I would have met him.

Words of advice to anyone who feels like I felt: Make a change!

You can’t keep doing the same things and expect a different result! Make plans, write lists, know deep down what you need to be happy.

I came across a book called The Spiritual Guide to Attracting Love one day going cheap in The Works. I bought it and I completed one of the suggested activities. ( I bought this book as a general well-being book not as a search for a partner) This activity was to make a page up of pictures of what you wanted your life to be like, be it career, relationship, lifestyle etc. I decided to a general lifestyle with what I imagined my life to be like, including how I saw my future self in a happy relationship. I set it as the wallpaper on my computer so that I saw it every day.

The similarities in my compilation of images to my current life are uncanny and I couldn’t be more thankful. I met Stu in October 2014 after making many necessary changes to my life.

I’ll never stop being thankful of how far I’ve come and the people who stood by me when I was a bit crazy.

I am by no means perfect but I am truly the happiest I have been in at least 5 years. Be thankful everyday for what you have, who you wake up next to, be aware of who you surround yourself with and never settle for less than you deserve. To this day I still feel very shy in social circumstances, unless (& even sometimes when) I am around close friends or family. I’m working hard to overcome this fear of being judged by others and writing this definitely had helped me release some of my emotions surrounding my past.

Your past does not define you.

 

 

 

 

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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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A New Chapter

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Our time in South Australia is coming to an end!

We finished up working at the winery and enjoyed a blissful week off without enduring 12 hour shifts in the now colder nights. Using Gumtree to search for jobs in Queensland mostly we applied to endless amounts of openings in tractor driving/Au-pairing/ seeding etc and it ended up we decided we would have to widen our search. Yesterday an employer got back to us about our application to work on a Sandalwood plantation, where they grow the trees to produce Sandalwood oil. We were definitely up for it as it fits in to the criteria for me to qualify for a second year visa, although it feels like i did 1000 days in that bloomin’ winery! ( In order to extend your one year working visa, you must do at least 88 days of paid agricultural work) The job is well paid , but it is actually in the middle of the outback in Northern Territory!

We agreed to the job but we have to be there in 10 days and it is a very rural 3000km drive from where we are now so there’s a fair amount of organizing to be done! This will be us on the road for a year or so now so we better be prepared! We bought a double swag (to sleep in under the stars) online so hopefully it arrives before we need to leave on Tuesday morning! Also today we bought an awning for the side of the car ( it’s gonna be pretty hot out there!), a UHF Radio as I don’t reckon we can rely on a mobile phone signal, spotlights to spot and hopefully avoid the ‘roos and we are getting the dual battery fitted tomorrow along with all of the wiring for the spotlights and radio.

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Drawing our route from bottom to top (via Ayre’s Rock)

We still have lots of things to stock up on, like blankets, storage boxes, a fold-able ‘outback kitchen’ table, food and some other bits and bobs. It’s gonna be a tough game of Tetris fitting this all in!

As I want to document our trip in all its glory and stunning scenery, I may or may not have purchased a Go-Pro… Okay I DID!!!I plan on making some kick ass videos of our travels and also I CAN FILM UNDERWATER! Hell yeah! My fingers and toes and bangles and bows are all tied in anticipation that it arrives before we have to leave on Tuesday morning!

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I made a quick out of breath video earlier whilst I was out for a run, so I’ll link that if you fancy a watch of me explaining all of this in a more vague and distracted manner..

Much love to you all, thank you for reading my blog and check out my You Tube and Instagram all of which I am known as HippyHooHa. Hope this wasn’t too dull for ya and I’ll try really hard to avoid getting eaten by any crocs so that I can continue my blog. And my life in general too ‘cos life is great.

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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