Category Archives: Food

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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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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Vegucation

Since everyone is always like ‘Oooh, but what do you eat?’ when they find out I’m vegan, I just wanted to clarify that eating vegan is just like eating ‘normally’ I guess.

It’s very tasty ( in my opinion) you’ve just gotta be creative, but simple lunches such as avocado on toast which I have most lunchtimes ‘cos I’m lazy ( and it makes me happy!) are brilliant too 🙂 I think of being vegan as being less selfish to what I am told is tasty by advertising and taking hold on what I know is actually tasty and cruelty free food. If you don’t agree with people eating dogs then why is it okay in your mind to drink a mother cows milk (meant for her calves btw) and also to eat chickens and basically their eggs (or periods depending how you look at it). We have been taught from a young age that these things are okay but did you ever stop and question it? You can eat vegan and still be really unhealthy, many unhealthy highly processed foods are vegan, but for most vegans avoiding processed foods and featuring as many fresh, healthful foods is key!

Most vegans feel that by not eating meat or dairy, or buying any animal products they are making a sacrifice that has a somewhat small impact on the lives of other beings on this planet. Some people feel that vegans force their views on others. In reality most vegans are trying to support beings that have no voice. I can’t speak for every vegan out there but I know that, without forcing it on others, I feel that my choices do have a positive effect on the animals of this world and the environment. No matter how small one persons choices are, ultimately these build and DO eventually make an impact.

I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a massive divide between meat eaters and vegans, and I understand if you love your steak, as my boyfriend loves his meat, but he also accommodates for my vegan diet when we spend time together, and I respect his diet. We aren’t some mad race of lunatics who criticise other people who are different from us every move. I fully embrace people who just make a change that can make a difference. Cutting out dairy for instance can make a huge impact. Or even just lessening the amount of meat you consume. It’s better for your health, the environment too!

Please don’t hate us!

I am vegan because I love animals. I love my pet dog, Lola. I started to feel ill from consuming dairy products and I researched it and I realised what was going on. I stopped eating meat when I couldn’t see a difference between my beloved dog and a cow in a farm. Why is a horse better than a cow? Why is a dog better than a sheep? Why is a dolphin better than a whale or shark? Are we judging this on looks or what? I’m not sure but things need to change!

There’s this whole protein argument, but there are healthy natural ways to get protein rather from killing and consuming animals.

Please think about it next time you buy a steak, and when you buy a pizza, that cheese was made from milk meant for the cows calf which was taken from it just after birth. I’m not exaggerating,  this is TRUTH.

Why are we being hated on for being good people.

It’s time to stop being so selfish.

If you love bacon or eggs, then that’s okay give up something you find easy to at first.

It took years for me to become a full on vegan, you cant just become vegan overnight, as you’ll definitely stumble. Cutting out things as you educate yourself is the way I found best. I watched documentaries and found I no longer could stomach certain foods.

I consider myself an ethical vegan but I certainly reap the health benefits.

It takes years to learn, and adjust.

It is a little to give up for a lot of happiness worldwide.

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I thought I’d make some points:

  1. It’s very cheap to be vegan! A weekly shop for me will be something like: bread, avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, squash, lettuce, cucumber, many bananas for smoothies, tomatoes, Vegemite, lentils, chickpeas, agave nectar, frozen peas, rice.
  2. You feel good: You are eating fresh unprocessed food, I’m pretty sure every diet book you ever read encouraged this!
  3. You lose weight: Your body understands the food you’re eating and can digest it well. It took a few months but I started to lose weight after keeping at it!
  4. You have more energy: As long as you make sure you take vitamin B12 every day( a necessity) and keep your iron levels high (that’s why its so important to not eat junk vegan food! You must eat healthy natural fresh food!) you will fell great, you will naturally lose weight and being slim is much easier than ever before.
  5. You feel closer to the world around you.
  6. You taste more: Plain simple foods taste amazing! You have less need for sauces and salt. I had a big bowl of mashed potato for dinner and it was delicious.
  7. Educate yourself and find your own path. If vegan-ism sparks an interest in you then explore it. Don’t be ashamed of it and follow your own path 🙂 Your choices no matter how big or small make a difference!

My boyfriend makes a mean Vegan Dahl

Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is outta this world and I’ve enjoyed this with many meat eating pals

Vegan Sushi is my go to easy meal

And if you can’t let go of your favourite junk foods, here;s a must follow for your needs!

Accidentally Vegan who bring you all of the foods you never knew but always hoped were vegan!

If you don’t want to be vegan or you think I’m talking rubbish, that’s okay and I wont take offence to it 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

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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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“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

We all know what will make us happy and successful in the long term, but we often choose the quick, easy & temporary fix.

For example, sleeping in real late ( I’m so guilty of this) rather than getting up and doing things that long term make our life easier &  feel good and less stressed out.

If I write a list of what I really want and what makes me happy, none of them (really) involve lying in every day, it should be a nice treat and I know that deep down.

I think it’s important to write down the things that make you really buzz and feel ALIVE in order to head on the path to your dream life.

So here’s my list.

*Everyone’s is different, but here’s a wee snippet of some of mine*

  • Being around my friends SOBER, giggling a good hearty laugh, hanging out with my boy & the obvious 😉
  • Babbling over numerous cups of tea( especially with my pal Dani, long overdue mate!) for hours on end, and not realising the time.
  • Exploring new places & travelling the world. The beaches, the sun, the language, the flavours. Feeling the heat on my skin, the smell of a tan, and the feeling of freedom and opportunity.
  • Drawing, creating unique art, showcasing your vision of your world. Writing and inspiring.
  • Burlesque, watching performers, performing and creating routines. The buzz of the stage, it gets me every time and I remember why the nerves were worth it.
  • Running & yoga. I bloody love these two things ESPECIALLY. Why am I not doing them regularly?!
  • Eating fresh, healthy, earthy cruelty free food & nourishing my body. This was one of the key factors in my recovery from numerous almost fatal eating disorders and I could not be more thankful for my path on vegan-ism.

We are all connected.

One person making a few changes in their life which alters their happiness & therefore changes their perception of the world without a doubt also affects the people around them.

So, me changing a few aspects of my life can then in turn easily affect my parents life for the better. They know that I feel good and they have one less thing to worry about or feel responsible and more to feel proud of. In turn, surely their friends/partners/relatives/colleagues notice this change and it acts like a sort of  chain reaction. My encounters with everyone would also be much more positive and so it would spread to people they meet & know too.

If I am down and not taking positive steps forward in my life, then when I have say, a negative encounter with a customer at work, then I may be more susceptible to take that personally. If I am truly content and secure, then I will have the clarity and the ability to know that the customers negative actions are in fact not at all my fault or responsibility and therefore will not affect me. In theory, preventing anybody else’s troubles becoming or adding to mine. This makes perfect sense (to me, anyway). I hope you’re still with me.

The best thing to do to be happy and fulfilled is pretty obvious and we all know deep down….

Do the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled.

(On a side note, when I write these things, it’s kinda like I’m teaching myself what I already know,but don’t put into action. I’m not writing this as if I’m a pro and do all these things, but really instead as a collection of my thoughts that I know I need to collect and articulate and share, to help myself. This is my therapy, and hopefully it helps you too. )

So here’s some tips. 

  • If you dislike your current situation, write down things you often do & how they make you feel both long-term and short-term. For example: ‘I work hard all week so I go out on a Friday & Saturday and get absolutely blootered’ (Scottish for drunk, very drunk!) and note how you feel at the time and then how you feel by Monday. Long-term, is that sustainable and are you reaching your goals through repeating that every week? Focus on the ones that make you feel good both short term and long term, they’re keepers!
  • Do you justify your actions because ‘everyone’ else does it.? Truth is, everyone else probably doesn’t. At least not the successful ones.
  • Think of alternatives. If there’s things you can change to give yourself a happy balance, then work on that. Don’t cut out everything you love if it doesn’t have good long-term gain. Go out one night a week instead of two, you’ll appreciate it more, just like that lie in. Change your job to one you enjoy more even if it’s less pay. You’ll be happier in general and not be spending so much money on material crap to try make your life bearable outside of work.

I’ll leave it at that for now, but I’ll maybe revisit this topic again soon!

I hope this helped you to focus on being a wee bit more in control of your life and reaching your goals.

Much love ❤

 

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A fair point.

An open letter to you on why I do not consume eggs/dairy/meat.

Please keep reading even if you think ‘pfft… vegan arsehole’

You should be educated in what you are consuming and the activities that your consumption perpetuates. If you read this/ watch these and feel happy to continue then feel free. I believe that every body’s opinion is valued, no matter what.

We are individuals and we choose how we live our own lives.

I would never judge anybody for any of their life choices. This is your experience, and I would certainly not attack any body for their personal choices. BUT I am allowed an opinion and this is my blog after all. 🙂

I do believe however that it is very important to be connected to your food and the truth of its production.

So many people are disconnected from the true source of their food by supermarket packaging.

This video is very interesting.

The general public seem unable to connect that sausages are made from pigs….

I was vegetarian as a child for many years and then eventually started eating meat again as a teenager. My parents never really ate a lot of meat anyway, and I never particularly enjoyed red meat.

Then many years of on/off vegetarianism ensued and eventually whilst living in Spain and consuming waaaay too much milk I felt ill and looked up some documentaries on what was actually going on with the dairy industry.

I tweeted in 2012 that after watching a certain documentary, I would never touch dairy again.

I was truly disgusted.

Just because it seems normal, doesn’t make it right. There is ALOT wrong with humans consuming milk meant for baby cows.

And so dairy was the first to go.

I felt much better after cutting out dairy from my diet and didn’t miss it, although I was never a massive cheese fan. (I feel for those of you who love it and want to give it up)

Then I watched a lot of documentaries about animal treatment. Funnily enough a lot of the foods that vegetarians eat are the worst ones. Eggs and dairy.

You love animals? You wouldn’t eat a cat or dog.

Why?

If you can answer that and justify that you would eat a pig then I’d love to know. Are they cuter?

I used to eat meat and I would say that the reason why was because I hadn’t been educated on what actually goes on with factory farming.

I have friends who hunt. My boyfriend eats meat. In fact he ate the biggest steak the other day in front of me. It doesn’t bother me. I’m not trying to convert you. I’m just asking you to question or ask yourself why you eat meat?

Our ancestors did it? (P.S. They did a lot of questionable things)

The problem I guess is that the younger generations just see sausages as sausages and pigs as cute or funny, eggs as food not baby chickens (male chicks get crushed in machines btw as they can’t produce eggs)

They see cows milk as yummy and a great source of calcium, rather than milk from cows that are kept pregnant in a shed for their whole life pumped full of hormones to keep them pregnant and giving birth to baby cows who they see for 20 minutes and are then taken away and slaughtered as veal.

(Cows are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, their milk contains pus and blood and you can get more calcium from green vegetables than from dairy milk.)

Don’t forget that the dairy and meat industry is worth millions.

Would you let your dog be pumped up to a machine all day and have its babies taken off it and sold as meat? It is a cow or a sheep or a pig but they suffer just as you or your dog or cat suffer. Animals ultimately want to survive and they pain when their young are taken away from them.

If you get angered by this, then I can only assume you are in denial. If you are going to eat meat then stand up proudly and say ‘Yes, I understand fully what goes on in this industry and I am still happy to eat it.’

If not then you are disconnected from the earth you stand on. If you cant kill it then maybe you shouldn’t eat it. Farming is not as rosy as you have been told it is so, please educate yourself.

Then feel free after that to shout at me for not being like you.

Just because I don’t eat meat doesn’t mean I want to convert you, I don’t need you to point out the flaws in everything I do. I’d like it if we could just get along.

I’m just trying to show you a truth about what you consume and maybe never thought to question before now.

There is so much suffering occurring in order for humans to obtain meat and dairy.  I consume neither and I am full up and healthy.

I feel better than I ever have.

Please watch this.

With an open mind and an open heart.

Please remember I don’t want to argue, I just want to share and if you don’t agree then that is totally cool.

Thank you.

Love you,

Morv x

 

 

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Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one — himself.

Battles.

I don’t often feel like opening up too much online about really private affairs, but I feel like I need to vent and be open so I am going to do just that right now. I found this poem online by a poet called Kelly Zion and I could instantly relate to what it was about. I knew straight away that it was the right time to talk about this.

I’m not talking about this in order to get any sort of sympathy, but instead, simply to share my experiences and thoughts and to let other people in a similar situation for whatever reason, realise that they are not alone.

This isn’t easy to write about.

For me this poem touches me because it is more about a lack of love for myself and the lack of being able to give it out, rather than other relationships. I do believe that loving yourself and having a strong sense of who you are gives you the best chance to becoming really happy.

I haven’t gone into too much unnecessary detail about some of the things mentioned in this post. There is a lot more to these issues and illnesses and I don’t mean to skim over a lot of things, but I feel that otherwise it would be really unreadable, and inappropriate.

Crying Crisis

Loveless, love your hatefulness
tell me to take a walk, I won’t be missed
Aren’t I God’s prayed for gift,
break my heart, you made me exist
kill me with your bitterness
All the times I almost made it,
I could’ve found something better than this
I could’ve found unconditional
unfictional
something that made any sense.

Take my heart, I’ll take my knife
cut it loose and give it to my true love
who I love no matter what
cause real is real and this is not
and take me out, my bitter love
my heart my heart has broken enough
last day on my broken earth
last time I’ll be standing stranded here
wanting to tell you why you are wrong

but then I start to cry because it hurts so much
this, this hurts so much
this crisis
there is no love.

-Kelly Zion

 

I have been ‘suffering’ from depression for many years now, and this last year I would say that it has really propelled and become a case of massive self hatred. To the point where more recently the simplest of things like getting out of bed is difficult at times, even showering, looking after myself in general, working, walking the dog, exercising, cooking. Even just being kind to myself or my body. Getting out and socializing  means  putting on a brave face especially as I have always been a very happy and positive social person and I often feel huge pressure to be fun and entertaining. I feel like I can no longer convince every body that I am okay. Because I’m really not. I’m really not okay.

It was triggered when I was about 20 years old whilst living in Barcelona on my own for a months holiday. I had heard a few mean, but lighthearted comments both at home and abroad about my wee belly and I stupidly  took them to heart, deciding that I was going to shed a wee bit of weight. I was by no means overweight at all, and until this point I had never really thought about food, I ate whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted it. I had good intentions to improve my body image and feel better about myself.

On that holiday, I stopped eating certain things, I started living mainly on fruit, veg and diet products and I moved out of my mums house when I got home into my own flat, which meant that I had the freedom to control exactly what I ate, or rather more accurately, what I didn’t eat.

I started college and  found it really stressful and so I filled my spare time with a grueling timetable filled with trips to the gym every other day, for hours at a time, obsessing about the perfect numbers on the machines, walking everywhere and  taking the stairs wherever I went. I packed strict lunches to take to college with me.  My energy was totally sapped, I would cry and get so worked up about college work, I was falling behind on everything and I just couldn’t see a way out. I could barely pull heavy doors in the building open as I was so weak. When I did end up giving in and eating foods I had banned or too much, I would beat myself up so much about it. I would instantly ‘see’ the weight pile onto me. Constantly body checking and feeling for the fat to arrive. I barely went out anymore. I would get massive anxiety about even just going out for dinner to a restaurant, or to a friends house, or ordering a takeaway with friends. I couldn’t enjoy it, because I would be plotting how to burn it as soon as possible. i would cry at the gym, I would lie in bed whilst my friends were out and make up excuses not to go so that i didn’t take in excess calories and could be up early to work out the next day.

Eventually my weight dropped really low and I began to have panic attacks. Somehow, I managed to hold a long term relationship together in the meantime, and to be honest if it had not been for him and one of my closest college friends, I would not have been able to see a way out of it. I was diagnosed with Anorexia and put on a waiting list to be given therapy and a dietician. I kicked and screamed and hated the thought of having to give up all of these mad behaviours and anxieties, with this total feeling of stress, anxiety and horror at being pressured to eat certain things or quantities. It was my coping mechanism, my focus and a way to deal with stress. I look back at photos now and I remember how much I hated myself and how disgusting and massive I felt at the time, whereas now I think ‘God, you looked great! What a waste!’ The other thing is that because I barely went out and it caused me so much anxiety I barely even have many photos from back then. I would just torture myself over them, seeing a totally morphed image of myself, picking out flaws and thinking of things I could do to lose a bit more weight, even though my clothes hung off me.

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Now, you might look at these photos and be thinking,

‘Mate, you were not even that skinny! Shut up!’

And that’s fine, but the real long lasting damage that anorexia causes aside from physically,  is, in my case, mentally. I feel like some of the thoughts & behaviours I created will never be fully gone. It was all about having total obsessive control of my life which felt so crazy. I am genuinely sad that I wasted so many years of my life on this.

And so this leads me to the next issue. Whilst in therapy you are convinced about how you’re thought process is inaccurate and  the aim of the game is to put weight on and eat ‘normally’ again. Which is really bloody hard to try comprehend, when your whole life has become an obsession with food and weight, based upon a totally morphed self image.

So the inevitable happened, I began to put on weight and I managed to begin to let go of my obsessive behaviours, after a lot of determination and tears.  But what they don’t  tell you is that you can learn to deal with the eating of the food, but not the weight gain. So what happens? You eat and begin to think, ‘well I don’t wanna get fat again’ so you throw it up. Then you maybe realise that you are really, really great at this game and it means you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight. It’s not as simple as that though because then the madness in your mind comes back and soon you’re in a total messed up cycle of ‘eat, throw up, eat , throw up, eat, guilt, low self worth, hunger, eat, throw up’. You mess up your teeth, your face and belly get swollen, you’re moody, exhausted and nervous. You have an even more messed up view of yourself and with food. You feel absolutely out of control. Again.

So once again, I was sent back to therapy and we worked on these issues. I actually ended up getting kicked out of my most recent programme this year  for not showing up, because I felt so depressed and tired of talking about eating disorders and trying to work out why I did it, that I couldn’t face getting up to go talk about myself in a room again with someone taking notes and analyzing me. I was really hurt that I was just left to get on with it myself once they removed me from therapy (instead of calling me to see why i wasn’t making it along), but to be honest, it was the best thing that could have happened. I finally took responsibility for myself and my actions and I realised that I could decide to change my behaviours by myself. It took a lot of work and maybe therapy really did help me because I was so sick and tired of trying to explain to someone else why I was doing this to myself that i couldn’t wait to get better,  it was like Groundhog day, and near the end I would just completely avoid the subject during sessions. I became sick of it defining me.

Finally, I have come out the other side of these  eating disorders. There will always be some need for control with me, and I do still get anxious around food sometimes, it never fully goes, but I’m not starving myself anymore and I’m not binging or purging. I’m no longer either anorexic or bulimic.

Thank god for that.

Actually, no…..

Thank me for that.

Thank my family and my friends for that.

Thank the doctors and the healthcare and everyone who was concerned and helped me to get the right support, for that.

Thank you.

 

So you may ask, ‘Well why the hell are you feeling depressed if you don’t have an eating disorder anymore? You should be ecstatic!’

Great question, really great question.

I have no right answer.

I suppose I’m not fully over it all. It’s not so simple. I think years of self abuse has caught up with me. I still feel helpless a lot of the time in life.  I have panic attacks and anxiety still sometimes. I panic at forms that need filled out, I panic with bills and money and commitments. I panic about exercising too much or too little, even though I try not to get stressed about it all and I try to just be humble and kind. Sometimes I feel useless, I feel like giving up because sometimes it feels like I have failed, that my life is a massive mess and there is no point anymore. This is not true. There is meaning and a point to these hardships. I panic that people won’t like me, that they’re are judging me. That they can see all of my insecurities. That they think I look stupid or say stupid things or that I’m full of myself or not cool enough, too fat, too thin, boring, ugly. That no-one will love me, hug me, kiss me, accept me or laugh at my truly shit banter. There’s definitely a trail of destruction left behind in my life by it all.

The thing is everyone feels like this at some point in their life.  No doubt sometimes you panic too and think ‘What the bloody hell am I doing here? I’m awful! I’m failing, I’m rubbish.’

I can’t fix it straight away, but the way I’m trying to look at it is that I might look a bit rougher round the edges than when I was 7 stone and running everyday, but I’m way closer to fulfilling the life I want to lead. With the right kind of help, a great attitude, a life balance and the knowledge that whatever I end up doing in a year will be freaking fantastic, I have total faith in myself. It’s been 8 long years of battling with this disease. I am definitely older and wiser and have learnt to cope with it at last.

I have faith in you too, no matter what your battle may be. You may even be affected by similar issues.

 

It can be really hard to talk about these things, especially because you don’t want people to make fun of you or disown you or talk about it behind your back. I really don’t care anymore. It’s time to talk about it, so I can really move on. Judge away. If I help one other person see that they’re not alone in this then it is totally worth it.

The best advice I could give you is to open up to people around you.

Share your fears and struggles with someone you trust.

I wish I could have chatted t o someone who understood what I was going through at the time.

If you’re having any issues, and you would like to talk to someone who understands, then feel free to contact me. I promise I will respond.

You’ll get through this. It doesn’t always feel like it but there is always a way.

I think the key is to learn how to cope with who you are and accept yourself rather than trying to change or fight who you have become.

We need to accept our pasts and our presents and not concern ourselves with worries of the future too much. What we should have or could have done is irrelevant. Learn from these mistakes and situations. They make us and shape us and we come out stronger. You are not alone. You are not the first, and you certainly wont be the last.

Just don’t give up.

Hippy Hoo Ha

Greater in battle
than the man who would conquer
a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer
just one —
himself.

 

 

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Oh, I love London Society!

 

“Oh, I love London Society! It has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.”

Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband

On Thursday of last week I went down to London by train, on a wee adventure to meet my friend John. We had tickets to see Rodriguez at The Hammersmith Apollo, or rather the Eventim Apollo as it’s now called. If you’ve never heard of Rodriguez, I don’t blame you at all as unless you have seen the documentary “Searching for Sugarman”. If you are a music fan (Is it even possible to not like music?) then you have 111% gotta see this film.

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Basically in a nutshell, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, from Detroit, Michigan made two albums in the 70’s,  which never really took off or gave him much fame at all and he ended up just getting on with his everyday life. Meanwhile though in South Africa, he became a household name. Two South African dudes in the 90’s ended up coming to Detroit to try and find him, filming the search as a documentary, and so the movie “Searching for Sugarman” was made. Since the films release he has started touring again at the age of 71. WHAT A LEGEND. So we HAD to jump at the chance to see him play live!

Rodriguez at Hammersmith Apollo

John had gone to see him play previously in Birmingham on the Tuesday (superfan) and I met him on the Thursday in London straight off the train. We Were staying near Earls Court, which was cool and we were pretty close to the gig. I was really pleasantly surprised by London.

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People were so friendly and chatty with us. But the crowd were hard at the actual gig, hardly anyone moved down from near the bar and there were people in the corridor! We arrived just as Rodriguez was coming on so it was perfect timing, but we were stuck next to the bar and underneath the balcony and you could not hear properly. I’m no expert but the sound wasn’t reaching underneath the balcony. So I took a big gulp and me and John attempted to swagger through the tight crowd, we got about 3 feet, and had to sheepishly retreat as folk literally just would not let us through. It was so senseless! There was loads of space on the main floor further down! A couple of minutes later a group managed to create a sort of snaking effect through the crowd which us and many others joined ( much to the dismay of some of the other punters: “You better not stand in front of me mate!”) A few elbows to the stomach and bitchy comments later and we were in a lovely spacious area not too far from the stage, and we could hear! Although, overall I did think the sound was pretty bad. My mate Stevie, The Bungalow sound man extraordinaire woulda owned it. I totally felt for Rodriguez cos things seemed to keep going wrong for him, like his guitar didn’t work so he had to swap for an electric guitar from the guy in his band, and his guitar strap kept falling off during the performance. The crowd were very supportive though and overall it was a brilliant gig!

Instead of doing a boring day by day account of what we did in sweet lil’ London town, I’m just gonna mention some of my favourites!

  • Camden.

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I’ve always found it a really interesting wee place to wander around, even though I tend to get a bit overwhelmed! There’s so much to see! After a while you realise that most of the stalls and shops are selling the same things, but here are a few of the things that I found that I loved!

 

When we first got off the underground and arrived, we were absolutely starving! I bought a dress at a stall on Inverness Street to wear to The Miss Scottish Pinup 2014,   but I wont share a photo of that until after the pinup thing ( hopefully it fits cos I had to try it on over a jumper!) John noticed a Brazilian restaurant so we thought we’d give it a bash! It was called Made in Brasil.

Made in Brasil, Camden

 

The food we had for lunch was excellent and it was super great value! So refreshing to try something different and it totally reminded me of my South American travels. It seemed like very authentic food!

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The tin Camden High Street sign above was one of my purchases (it’ll look great in my kitchen, as well as a Beatles ‘Help’ tin sign which I’m gonna put in my bedroom or lounge. They’re really quite big and sturdy! I love the Camden one cos it’s all rusty and looks proper like someone’s ripped it off the wall. i got them both for £20 at an indoor stall.

We also went into The Hawley Arms in Camden, which I believe is where many a famous head has reared their fame head, including Winehouse, Docherty, Fielding and Brand so we had to give it a visit. The weather was amazing and boy did we need a seat after walking around all day so we got a drink and headed up stairs. They have a beautiful outdoor sun trap of a terrace but it was mobbed and not a seat free to be seen ( It was Saturday and nearing St Paddys day!) So we sadly didn’t stay long!

It was still a great wee place.

I saw this when I went to the toilets. I really did love Amy Winehouse. She was totally magnificent and it was cool to be somewhere I knew she used to hang out. (Creepy,  I know)

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  • Coconut Water

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Ohhh…. if you know me at all, then you know I love this stuff! I could move to London just for the fact that they sell this in ice cold 500ml cans for £1.49 at pretty much every corner shop! I fell in love with a brand called Foco,which was coconut juice not just water, so that means it had extra added bits, probably why it was so moreish! They do sell lots of lovely flavours of pure coconut water too though! Their coconut juice had pulp added so it was like wee lovely bits of coconut floating about in it. I dunno, maybe that sounds horrific to you, but I fell in love! You can buy it on Amazon by the crate…. YUM!

That Aloe juice stuff in the photo was a bit much, even for me, but I’m sure it was probably really healthy. I’ve heard great things about Aloe. It was just the taste, the texture, the gloopiness and bits in this product: It just wasn’t for me.

  • Shoreditch Grind

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We stayed just off Old Street in the East End and it was brilliant! There was an amazing wee coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night just two minutes away from our accommodation called Shoreditch Grind and it was excellent! I would really recommend visiting this place if you’re in the area. Plus, they were so busy they forgot to make my cocktail so I got a second one for free which was very kind of them! They also make coffee based cocktails which I wish I had tried!

My cocktail of choice here was a Negroni. It’s made up of three parts: gin, semi sweet vermouth (rosso) and Campari served with a lemon rind and ice. Beautiful!

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  • The Night Jar

We found a total gem with this one by simply asking a local for a recommendation for a good place t0 go out and they told us that The Night Jar was a must do! From my experience travelling I have learnt that it is so much better to talk to people and find out what the locals do rather than fall into the usual tourist traps or big franchise type business void of character. This was definitely worth it!

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We went by at around 9pm and they said it was £7 cover at the door and as we hadn’t booked it would be unlikely to get in. The lovely bouncer told us that if we swung by around 11.30pm we would get in for free but the jazz band would have finished by then and we would still not be guaranteed a seat.  He also claimed that it was the second best bar in the world! So we were sold! And very intrigued! We came back at around 11pm, only queued for around 10/15 minutes and we got a table to ourselves and a very interesting cocktail menu.

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It wasn’t too fancy or overly expensive, ( I actually thought it was super reasonable compared to say TGI’s and the presentation was always unexpected and out of this world) although the cocktail menu included some very interesting ideas and ingredients!

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I don’t know if you can see but seaweed air is one of the ingredients in a cocktail! I obviously picked it out of curiosity!

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The staff were lovely, accommodating and attentive. The surroundings were lovely, and was very atmospheric. I would definitely recommend this place to anybody visiting London. It’s just 2 minutes walk from Old Street underground station.

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John ended up shunning the cocktails for some lovely craft beer, Blue moon in fact, which is delightful! ( We have it on tap at The Bungalow) They even put blood orange in it instead of just your normal average orange slice!

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The thing is that the ingredients listed for the cocktails sounded really interesting, but you didn’t know what you were gonna get. A cocktail I ordered came out with a full meringue, a mini whisk and fruit on top, and the other one I had came in a huge bamboo cup with rum soaked Madeira cake with a melted chocolate on top! John ordered one that came with a full milk chocolate spoon! They were so brilliant and creative!

  • Poppies

We found this amazing little fish & chip shop called Poppies on our wanders and fell in love! It was all vintage and lovely. Full of memorabilia and the staff were all in cute pinup outfits! (There’s also one in Camden and i was so tempted to revisit!) The food was great, the setting divine and just what we needed after a big traipse around town! John even broke his pickled egg virginity!

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  • Brick Lane

We headed down Brick Lane way toward Spitalfields for some vintage bargains, and I was right in about it! Within two shopsworth of browsing I found a beautiful blue mohair vintage cardigan that I loved! It has two Paisley pattern scarves running up each side and I HAD to get it OKAY! 🙂

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After we’d been here I lost my mojo a bit, I’m not one for loadsa shopping and neither is John so we wandered our way back home. We were parched on the journey and there shined a shiny shiny beacon of hope right in front of us! The Commercial Tavern!

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This place was cool! It was so shabby it was chic. Wallpapered doors, distressed furniture alongside deluxe chaise longues, drippy paint work, eclectic tiled bar, vogue cuttings on the wall. It was just cool okay.

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I almost forgot! I found a Lola ( my greyhound) just off  Brick Lane and I got so excited!

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After our stay in the centre of London we headed to a lovely wee place called Berkhamsted where we stayed with John’s mate Dave. He was cool and we had a good few nights there!

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They were all really cool, and Dave was a great host! I even did a 10km run one day along the canal, I got lost among the forests too,  it was so beautiful!

So that’s about all I have to mention on my wee trip away! It always feels like way too much stuff for me to write, nevermind the amount there is for  someone having to read it. But I hope you still enjoy it!

Let me know about your travels! I love to hear your comments and your experiences in similar places!

Lots of love

Morv

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