Category Archives: fashion

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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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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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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Suspicious minds.

I just wanted to share a little experience I had today. 

I phoned a taxi after work, (I work in a bar/restaurant in Glasgow’s west end called Velvet Elvis) to my home in Paisley, which is a good 10/15 minute car journey depending on the route.

The taxi arrives and I get in, always hoping for friendly chatty taxi drivers, before I’d even got fully into the car, this driver says ‘How you doin’?!’ in such a friendly way that makes me very pleased.

I get in, tell him where I’m headed and he starts with all these Elvis puns,

“That’s you left the building”

So I was giving them back,

“I know this rain’s really messing up my blue suede shoes”

We had a wee giggle and then chat gets onto music, he’s in a band who play every Saturday in The Trossachs and he’s from Luss. We chat about some music and then he tells me a story.

He had a wee granny flat attached to his house, which just became the dumping ground of the house. Him and his wife really wanted to turn it into a hospitality area with a bar for them and their friends (I don’t imagine the Luss nightlife to be particularly wild!), and he had asked two guys he knew who were labourers if they could do the work for him. Obviously the cost of all of the fixtures and fittings and labour would be massive so him and his wife decided not to go ahead with it and leave things as they were.

Then he said the labourers got in touch with him and said that they had been laid off their jobs and that they had all the stuff to do the project and would only ask for £400 each for the whole job. He only had £600 to his name at this point but said yes to them, and that he would find the rest of the money somehow. It was to be a surprise for his wife’s Christmas. He bought his wife the most dull gifts for Christmas, knowing that she would love what he had actually done. She’s a teacher, so the workers would come in while she was away at work. There was a skip outside the house and he asked the neighbours to tell her, sorry but it was theirs. He kept all the blinds drawn once it was ready, and on the 26th December, he invited over all of her friends from work for a party and unveiled it to her.

Now, he showed me photos of this place, it was amazing! This was back in 2008, but it looks so modern. There’s a bar with the proper fitted fridges like you would find in an actual bar, he has a wee studio set up and sofas, a massive telly, karaoke, swanky bar stools, hardwood floors. He’s obviously added to it over the years, but this guy was the nicest, friendliest, happiest most grateful guy I have met in a long while and I just felt like he deserved it.

He told me he didn’t worry about the little things, he was lovely and kind to people even if they weren’t the same to him and it all made sense. The guys who did the work for him obviously could have got more money elsewhere, but they could see it was a great project and a lovely thing to do that would make him and his wife be happy. And after all, £400 is better than nothing if you’ve just been laid off. It was a lovely story and it really looked like a wonderful place!

We talked a bit about how when you are kind, positive, honest and happy in general, even when the shit hits the fan, your life is generally better.

The whole trip to Paisley we were smiling and laughing,and he very kindly gave me a lower fare than it should have been. As I was getting up to leave, he said

“Ohhh would you listen to that! There’s Elvis on the radio!”

And it was.

Bloody Elvis on the local radio station.

🙂

Have a lovely day! Try smile a bit more at all the bad things and you’ll notice there’s a lot more good stuff surrounding you!

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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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The love of creation is my motivation.

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“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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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

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(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.

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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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LOVE.

I love you. I love all of you. I love your skin and bones and flesh and moans. I love every little part of you and if I cannot love myself then I’m not sure I can ever be loved back.

There’s something funny been happening lately. I’ve been hanging out with some seriously beautiful, kind, gentle and insanely funny people. It is so, so, so true that whatever you put out into the universe you get it given right back at you! And that’s definitely what’s been happening.

I made a promise to myself a couple of weeks ago to smile everyday, to let go of my insecurities, to enjoy life, to not sweat the bad stuff.It is tough, but sometimes you have to just suck it up and stop being selfish and self indulgent. You don’t need a bottle of wine or a holiday to make you feel better, you need GOOD PEOPLE.  Real people, not even a long term pal. You need a chat in the local shop, a smile at a passer by, a cuddle in the street with someones dog. Just be kind. You need to let your hair down. You need a great chat. You need a twenty second cuddle! They’re my favourite, I hug everyone for at least 20 seconds, and here’s why: http://www.happyologist.co.uk/fun/the-shocking-truth-behind-hugs/

Shake yourself, dance, laugh, just bloody laugh. Smiles and laughter are definitely the best therapy.

Kiss, cuddle, stretch, eat well, dance badly.

I am so grateful for everybody who has been around me the last few months. This hasn’t been the easiest time and I reached such a point that all I had left to do was to give this a chance. I just changed what I was doing. I simply changed my thoughts. You are always creating your reality. So, I smiled more, I stopped getting hurt by comments or conversations by strangers and by friends and realised if they have a problem that is all theirs and all I can do is accept it and be forgiven.  If you’re also going through a rough patch the best advice I can give you that I GUARANTEE works for me anyway, is to:

*LAUGH.

*SMILE.

*LOVE.

*LISTEN TO GREAT MUSIC.

*SHARE YOURSELF, SHARE YOUR FOOD, YOUR DRINK, YOUR LOVE, YOUR JOY.

*FORGIVE.

*LIVE IN THE MOMENT AND ENJOY EVERY SECOND.

* SEE THE BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING AROUND YOU. FOCUS ON THE LIGHT INSTEAD OF THE DARK

* STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF.

*REMEMBER YOU ARE IN CONTROL AND YOU CREATE YOUR REALITY.

*CONNECT WITH NATURE. TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF, WALK IN THE EARTH, BEND  YOUR BODY, STARGAZE, OBSERVE THE MOON, GO FOR WALKS, BREATHE IT IN.
SEE THE BEAUTY IN THE BANAL.

*CREATE.  ANYTHING:  DRAW, COOK, DANCE, KISS, WRITE, SING.

And remember that nothings real, nothings too much, too bad, nothings worth being depressed about, it’s all fixable and do-able.
You’re a beautiful unique being. You have control and you can choose whether or not to let other people affect your reality.

I used to sit in my room and cry alone because I felt like i deserved it because times had been bad. But it does NOT help, it doesn’t fix anything. You’re just enhancing and encouraging the negativity. It perpetuates the cycle.

Go out, get dressed up or down, whatever you want, be comfy in your skin, go meet people, be interesting, be the person you’ve always wanted to be. We are so flexible and we can change and adapt and evolve.

And YOU have the power to do all of these things.
It’s ALL about the journey not the destination.
This life is so exciting and full of opportunities so GO and make the most of it. Enjoy every day.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. – Greg Anderson

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Often we are made to feel that our achievements are merely the end result of our hard work when, in fact the most enjoyable,  meaningful and memorable parts of our lives are often not the milestones themselves, but rather, they are what we discover during the process.

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I don’t know many people who would talk about the day they graduated as the best experience of their lives. On the contrary, I know many, many people including myself, who would talk about how much they loved their time as a student, the friends they made, the nights out, the partying, the laughter at their failures, looking back at the foolishness of leaving assignments to the very last night before they were due, the exam panics, their frantic love lives, nights in, nights out, the joy of student discounts, working out how to pay bills and wash clothes without mum, summer holidays, wearing the same (hoodies & jeans) clothes most of the time, surviving mainly solely on cheap pasta and lager, keeping fit by walking all over town up and down stairs from class to class, not worrying about too many responsibilities and just being happy & grateful to make it through to another school year.

Some things never really change, we keep going through the same challenges our whole lives, always hoping one day we’re going to make it. There’s no end though. What are we looking for? You could have the longest most impressive CV ever written, you could have climbed up snow topped mountains, parachuted out of planes, or cycled across the Arabian desert (that one would be really impressive)!

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If you didn’t live within that moment though, if you didn’t stop to take a deep breath, if you didn’t focus on the present, let yourself go and immersed yourself in it, with no flicker of guilt of what you did yesterday, and no worries of what could have happened tomorrow. If you spent your time dreaming of what else could be happening, wishing you were somewhere else, younger, older, fitter, kinder, meaner, faster, more successful, more like that guy you heard about, more like your mums neighbours daughter who’s jet setting all over the world on a huge wage for a successful company, feeling jealous, feeling like the grass is greener elsewhere, dreaming about “if onlys” then you really haven’t made the most of the present. It doesn’t matter. We should be trying to be bettering ourselves not trying to be better than others.

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We’ve forgotten that in fact nobody has reached their destination. Every body is on a journey. Focus on that journey. Trust me, its the best part. If you’re unemployed, spend your time wisely and make the most of your spare time because trust me when you have a job you will pine for the times you didn’t have to work, and will wish you had made the most of it. As is true from the other perspective, as money does not provide us with happiness, but quite often a unique purpose does and we are too often reliant on others to provide ourselves with a purpose in life. The most fulfilling thing you can do is to get up and give yourself a purpose, use your potential. It doesn’t have to be a massively impressive purpose. Feed it and it will grow.

Believing that “Once I have a baby, my life will be better” or convincing yourself that “Getting married will fix our relationship”,  that bagging your dream job, losing the last of that Christmas weight or winning a huge sum of money will make you happy will not help you to succeed in seeing the full potential in yourself. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting these things, but if you are looking for these things to add more to your meaning in life without being already able to see the beauty in your life NOW then it is likely to be a short term gain. You will still have the same issues, and the lack of coping mechanisms. It is just as hard to be a failure as it is to be a success. You deserve to realize your potential now. Let’s stop worrying.

“Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

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“Writing, someone said, is turning blood into ink. Whatever, the idea of suffering is so natural to both writers and runners it seems to be a common bond.” – Running and Being, Dr George Sheehan

A few weeks ago, my brother’s wife Sarah shared a link online about a challenge called 5×50. I looked up the website www.5×50.org to see what it was all about. This challenge meant signing up to a website and then agreeing to run, jog, walk (or equivalent) a 5 kilometer distance every day for 50 days. It sounded a bit overwhelming!

I didn’t want to sign up to the website, (that’s my inner rebellious streak showing) but I decided straight away that I wanted to do this challenge myself!

One of the reasons I didn’t sign up to the official challenge is because I wanted to show how it’s possible to challenge yourself and use your own progress as an incentive. I also wanted this to become a habit in my life, so if I was doing the official challenge maybe I would feel relieved for it to be over after 50 days, whereas this way, I can use my intuition  and I know that I am finding ways everyday to make sure I fit my life around my workout. Also the faster and fitter I get, the less time my workout takes up out of my life! Only around 2 weeks in and I already feel like I now need to get out for my wee run or a nice long walk everyday to function properly!

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I downloaded  the Map My Run app for my Samsung (Android) phone and I started using it straight away! The actual 5×50 challenge started officially on Sunday the 30th March, so although i started a week early trying and testing all the walks ahead of time to make sure I felt I could commit to it, I’m officially 13 straight days into it so far!

If you want to see my progress/ keep up to date/ join in then you can find my app uploads on www.mapmyrun.com by searching for Punk Morvs. You may need an account to access all the information though, but it would be great if you have an account, then add me as a friend! I’d love some running buddies, wherever you are in the world!

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I got my Nike running shoes, my super comfy and warm black leggings/ yoga pants ( with reflector detail) and my cute little training socks all at Sports Direct on Paisley High Street. My sports bras were pretty good value too from Primark. I usually wear any old t-shirt with the rest of my gear, plus I tie my hair up in a cute bandana so it’s outta my face. You don’t need to break the bank buying running gear and you don’t need to wear nasty sportswear ( I love my tacky pink and blue trainers!). You can still totally dress like yourself, which in my case is just a bit strange, but who cares! As long as you feel comfortable that’s the most important thing!

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Myself (looking very sleepy!) with some lovely ladies, including my sister Cat, just before we ran the Barcelona Half Marathon last year!

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I would never have thought I could run a half marathon, nevermind a marathon (which definitely seems more realistic now!) so it was a really fulfilling experience! If you just sign up to these things, even just a 5km race or 10km race with your friends you will get through it and feel so proud!

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I just recently moved house so it’s been great to get out and about to discover the local area, plus with the GPS function on my phone the app it shouts out tells me when I have completed each kilometer and it records it really easily afterwards, uploading it online to the map my run website with the simplest push of a button. It records a full map of my route, saves the route in case I (or anyone else) want to do the same route again, and records all of my splits too so I can see what areas of a workout need to be, well, worked on! Plus, if I ever feel lost I can easily work out on the map where i am and feel free to adventure knowing i can get home okay and vaguely how far away I am.

You can view some of my routes here.

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Lola relaxing in Barshaw Park after a long walk. Greyhounds are notoriously lazy!

Lola (my rescue greyhound) is excellent company during our long walks and she can certainly sprint when given the opportunity, but 5km+ runs are not her bag, so if I feel I need some quality time with my girl or if my legs are tired, I just walk with Lola for between 45minutes and 1 hr & a half to get in our daily walk instead of a run. Lola’s a major sniffer and stops a lot to do so, so she makes walks very slow, whereas a 5km run can take as little as 25-30 minutes out of your day when you are alone and focused.

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I think the other lovely thing is that it feels as if spring has sprung! The weather has been so beautiful and I hate sitting about in the house when its so beautiful outside!

It is hard. It’s really hard. The key is to stop thinking. Just put on your shoes, get excited about the breeze in your face and THAT feeling you get afterwards. It’s not about being the best. It is about doing the best for yourself. I read a really good article about the fact that it is hard or uncomfortable when you are running at times, but if you just keep going from that point and don’t give up, you realize it never gets worse than that, you just get used to the feeling, or it goes away/ becomes less important and then you lose yourself in the moment. It’s a bit like taking out the rubbish, after a run I feel like I’ve thrown all of my worries and tension into a bin and it’s no longer my trash to carry around!

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My sister Cat & I after the Nike Cursa Bombers in Barcelona a couple of years ago. It translates as the Fireman’s Run, where the firemen of Barcelona run the full 10 km race in their heavy fire fighting suits. They must have been boiling, it was so humid! I made wee silly fiery hair accessories for it and covered my face in glitter, so they would chase me ( justified this in my head that I would maybe look on fire and that they would chase me trying to put me out)!

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It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”George Sheehan

The one other important factor for me personally that I am reluctant to mention too much, but which I think others may find helpful, is the effect on my mental health since I started making a real effort to spend time with myself doing physically and/ or mentally demanding things everyday. My self esteem has increased, as has my self worth. My symptoms of past problems have pretty much been shot out the water because i have no room in my life for silly problems anymore. I am full of natural highs and a feeling of being connected to nature, my old negative and unhelpful thoughts barely cross my mind anymore. There’s an awful lot to be said for losing your thoughts whilst running through nature. It’s about taking the bins out every day and not letting the rubbish mount up in your mind or on your shoulders.

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When I lived in Castelldefels near Barcelona, my favourite runs were either the run down to the beach where you were rewarded with the sea breeze and sandy feet or the cooler more secluded run through the forest with all of its hills and trees shading the sun.

Whilst in Barcelona, I also participated in a really fun session of Laughter Yoga during an Improvised Comedy weekend getaway with some pals. It was basically hours of full on playing like children and getting back to letting yourself be free of judgement of others, allowing your creativity to flow like it did as a child. It was brilliant fun, we were so sore from laughing so hard and absolutely exhausted too!

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Laughter yogis after a sticker fight.

I found it really fun and useful and I have found some classes in Partick, Glasgow, with a place called Joyworks. I’m not sure if they will be taught in the same style as in Barcelona but I’m definitely excited to try it!

There’s a class on next Thursday night (17th April) if any body is interested coming along with me?

The details of the event are here.

Leave me a comment or contact me through the contact page if you have any questions.

Thank you so much for reading and I really would love to hear if I’ve inspired you to get out and about in nature or just out and about more aware of the present moment.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my blog.

“It is never too late to become what you might have been” – George Eliot

 

 

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I Was Never The Girl Next Door.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

ImageI LOVE a good wholesome chunk of R.W.Emerson knowledge in my life every so OFTEN. It’s so important to keep yourself seeing and focusing on the positives in life as these are the things that grow and create new and better things. By fixating on the bad, we only see and create more negativity. Being aware of this is the only thing necessary to change the pattern. I often stop myself mid way through thinking or ‘feeling’ something, as I realise that I’ve really only been focusing on the bad stuff. But that’s good! At least you realise it, even if you still did it, you’re aware! That’s real good! Don’t beat yourself up about anything. They are only thoughts in your mind and you can easily transform them into positives with simply a change of mind set.

So, as I mentioned in previous blogs I was a finalist in The Miss Scottish Pin Up 2014 pageant,( under my model name Delilah Cocklepop)  which was being held at The Scottish Tattoo Convention in The Corn Exchange, Edinburgh on Saturday the 29th March. I am not a very competitive character so I found this an especially challenging task to undertake it, but I’m proud I did, so please read on and see how it all worked out.

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I had been so nervous that I had creepily contacted one of the other girls who I had figured out was also a participant, and y’know I had a real good feeling about her. That girl was Molly Spartan aka Louise Marshall, who was basically the babe who held me together all day. We had a total laugh and I’m so glad to have met her. She just happens to be kick ass and has a big part in the running of ICW (Insane Championship Wrestling) so NOT ONLY is she a hot pinup babe, super organised, friendly & funny, she’s also bad ass! We had a proper giggle, and we went out for a cheeky wee dinner at The City Cafe afterwards, with her beautiful pal Suzie. It was so American diner stylesque and we even got there in time to have our own booth! It was brilliant! A wee roll and mug of soup went down very well after a busy pinup day. It felt like I had ended up at the right place with the right people.

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Suzie, Louise & I all relaxed after a busy day…

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The day was excellent, the other girls were all fantastic, inspiring and friendly and the pageant was hosted by the beautiful freshly wed ( merely a few days beforehand in New Zealand so slightly jetlagged) Rachel Renegade, who is a member of the Pretty Things Peepshow cast!

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The very beautiful Miss Nikki Pozo and I got photographed by The Sun photographers and we were featured in The Sun on Sunday the very next day!

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The pageant itself was really nerve-wracking as we hadn’t been on the stage before and it was the very first time the pageant had taken place (plus most of the girls first time ever doing something like this) so we were all super nervous. We walked out into the BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ of tattoo guns and we realised pretty quickly that probably the punters were much more interested in the tats getting done at stalls than us, so once we had done our wee posey swimwear round, I think I speak for a lot of the girls in saying that we felt much more confident after that.

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The next round was Eveningwear, followed by a short interview. I was brickin’ the interview bit. I just end up always saying the most wrong/ most innapropriate /crazy things so this was a bit of a nervey one too, but everyone aced it!

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God, these girls looked good and could talk the talk and walk the walk!

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I took a risk and decided to wear lots of colours and patterns, plus black lips for the evening wear round. I know it may not be traditional pin up but it’s what pin up is to me so I was true to myself and I can see that I’m not fitting into the classic pinup style. I’ve always been a bit  out there.

The thing is too, I’m not just a pin up. I’m a mish mash. One day I’m a punk rocker, next I’m rockin’ 50’s classic style, next day I’ll be wearing black lipstick and a rock tee. I see STYLE as ever changing with YOUR mood, which is a beautiful thing. As opposed to fashion which is just what magazines want you to buy full price in the shops. Stop giving into fashion and just explore what you love. Sorry boy readers. But this can apply to you too! 🙂 There is nothing better than a man with his his own personal style!

I got these shoes for only £10 in The Cooperative shop in The Paisley Centre. Whaaaaat?! I’m in love, They’re so much better in person. Best bargain. PVC, Bright, Comfy. Awesome.

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Photo doesn’t even do them justice! 🙂

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It’s a blurry photo, but you get the idea, hopefully!

By this point I think everyone was knackered! Even the photographing friends!

We then had a good wee break until we were back up for the announcement of the top 3, the 1st, 2nd & 3rd!

Which was……

*DRUM ROLL*

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In 3rd Place: My beautiful bestie Miss Molly Spartan

In 2nd Place: The Fabulous Miss Nikki Pozo

And in 1st Place, was the lovely Miss Edith!

Edith was so beautiful, kind and friendly all day, as were all these luverrrly chicks.

All the runners up received a beautiful fresh single red rose and a badge.

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I ended up having great banter on the train home too! Being sober on Saturday night train is awesome!

Thank you so much for your support and for reading my blog !

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Whether or not you’re a pinup, a goth, a ned, a hippy, or a WHATEVER. Let’s not worry about that. Don’t let any fools let you down in any way. Take part in life in a fun and loving way and enjoy all of the experiences you need to deal with. People are great, loving, fun, but they can be mean and harsh. The best thing you can ever do is just to remind yourself of the FACT that only what matters is your opinion of yourself. Because that is what others tend to base their own off. So make yours good. Make it positive. You’re a star and worth so much than you believe.

The Pinup Contest scared the shit outta me, that’s why I did it. I didn’t hope to win as an achievement, because for me, just even turning up and daring to bare my flesh was an achievement personally. So don’t you ever feel intimidated by anything or anyone. You are all powerful and if you just go with the flow, it’ll see you alright. The pageant was brilliant! It wasn’t too scary or any of the things I could have imagined it to be. I learnt a big lesson in why not to over think these kinds of situations!

What a brilliant selection of artists there was! Much love and please post your tattoo photos from the convention if you can!

Cheers!

Lots of love & happiness

Morv x

 

 

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