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Stu’s Birthday & Dreadlocks Update

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

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

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

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

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

Happy birthday to my fave human around!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,

Hippy Hoo Ha

x

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HAPPY. CONTENT. POSITIVE. SHOULD BE STRESSED?

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Grey’s Bay, Bowen

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is looming over me.

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

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

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

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

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Murray’s Bay, Bowen

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

Oohhh I can just see it all!

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

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Our new family member, Zeus

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

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Dingo Beach

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

You just gotta take it one step at a time.

My top five stress relieving tips:

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

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

Lots of love,

Hippy Hoo Ha x

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Living the happy life.

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Mindil Beach Sunset, Darwin

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

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

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Date night at Nirvana, Darwin

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

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Cafe Eco: Delicious Acai Bowl

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

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At Chippo Live, a brilliant music venue in Darwin

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

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

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

Love, Morv

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You know what I let you know about me.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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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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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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Happy Friday, Cherry bombs!

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It’s Valentines Day apparently, when we are forced upon the idea that we should all be in happy couples living together and giving each other copious amounts of junk to prove how much we love each other and to show other people how happy we could be are. But I actually think it is maybe just a nice time to remind yourself that you should give yourself some love. Maybe give some other folk some love afterwards too. I don’t think it’s about selling out or buying a girl or guy flowers or material crap to win their love, (although if you have done so already, I’ll take ’em)

No, instead of all that rubbish, I’m loving myself today by going to get a sweet new tattoo from my mate Annmarie Shand at The Ink Pad, in Saltcoats :

Annmarie’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annmarie.shand.7?fref=ts

The Ink Pad’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theinkpadtattoo.saltcoats

Plus I’m working all weekend so I’m just gonna have a great time dancing away to live music and having a laugh with all the punters 🙂

Annmarie’s an excellent artist and has done lots of work on me in the past year.

She did this piece on my arm, way back in December:

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And more recently she did the neck piece ( the rose) that you can see in the first photo. She’s brilliant and I’d really recommend her, and although she has only been tattooing for a year, I love everything that she has done. She’s also great banter and you can’t beat a wee seaside train trip to Saltcoats! Patrick, who owns the shop is a brilliant artist too,so I would definitely check out both of their work if you are thinking of getting some ink work done!

The shop is literally only 3 minutes walk from Saltcoats train station and you need to book an appointment first.

I will post photos very soon of what I’m getting done today!

Remember to do whatever makes you happy today (and everyday) and don’t judge others for doing what makes them happy and gonna just go and share a wee smile and a dance with some folk tonight please?! That shit’s infectious!

Spread that love!

This day IS about love but not just in a couple/ soul mate sense, this is about loving yourself, your parents, your pals, your pets, strangers even.

Love yourself pal, you’re gorgeous and unique and don’t need someone else to buy you something to realise that. Just listen in to what people say to you, they’re probably telling you a lot of the time. 🙂

Much love to you and yours and thanks for taking the time out to read! Love Morvs x

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2014 Favourites so far

That’s us nearly half way through February already, (how the heck did that happen so fast?! ) And it has been a pretty eventful year so far. Just before Christmas I moved into a new flat, got it done up real nice, ended a long term relationship, endured endless Christmas songs about how rubbish it would be to be single at that time of year, and I became a doggy parent. It’s not all bad though, change is good and these things just make you stronger. In all honesty things haven’t quite settled down yet and I’ve been a bit of a stress head so far this year. My motivation to get stuff done has been at an all time low, but I’m working on it. I think that everyone at some point in their life has suffered from some sort of mental health problem, and I think the best thing to do sometimes is to admit these things and be honest about what you’re going through. I would like to touch on these issues and my ongoing experiences of them in another blog another time, so please let me know if you think you would find that helpful.

Anyway, because I haven’t written anything for a really long time and I feel I have so much to share this may be quite long!

So firstly, I would like to introduce you to my beautiful greyhound Lola.

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I adopted her through the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary in August 2013. She is a 3 years old brindle, and an ex-racer. I filled out a form on their website http://www.scottishgreyhoundsanctuary.com/ once I was sure that I really wanted to be a responsible dog owner and that I could give her all the love a dog would need. Then they came to my flat, and discussed my lifestyle and what kind of dog I would be looking for, ideal age and if I could cope with a dog who barks/ has issues with other dogs. Greyhounds have really got the most beautiful caring natures though and Lola is so docile and cuddly and she never barks. She is patient and loves to play, and sleeps even more than me! Having a dog was really important for me as I don’t enjoy being by myself and Lola has added a lot to my life since I got her. It is a huge responsibility though and has affected things I can/can’t do, things you don’t even think about, like just trying to get a taxi to take both of us!

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I spent some time before I got her looking for a really nice collar for her and I ended up finding this beautiful purple renaissance style one, I’m not sure what seller I got it from on Ebay, but I also found this shop called slouching hound http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/slouchinghound and they are all so beautiful! I’ll definitely be purchasing one from their shop. Have a look if you have a dog and want something a bit different from your usual collars and leads, and they are pretty affordable too! People comment on Lola’s all the time.

Me and Lola moved house just before Christmas, as I said, and it has been brilliant having the freedom to pick wallpapers and style it myself ( with help from my mum of course!). I picked a really beautiful 70’s style paper for my room called Trippy by Superfresco Easy. You can get it here: http://www.homefeaturewallpaper.co.uk/item/5800/wallpaper/superfresco-easy/-/trippy-15195/?productTargetID=59644995052&gclid=CKui6Z-4xrwCFbPItAodlQYAFQ

I’ve changed it around a wee bit since these photos and bought an amazing old dresser from one of my favourite Aladdin’s caves for cheap retro furniture, which I’ll share in another blog, as I’ve bought so much of my home stuff from it!

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It’s a total bargain price for such cool wallpaper, and now I love my chilled out psychedelic orange sleeping cave! The throw on my bed is actually one of my dads old curtains, but I love the poppy pattern and thought it added to the overall vibe.

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I’ll take photos of the rest of the rooms and show you the other brilliant wallpapers I picked in another post! I never thought I would get so excited by decorating!

One of the other amazing things about this flat is that it has a communal launderette, and honestly I think it’s a great idea, you don’t need to take up space in your house with a washer/ dryer/ hanging clothes up and it is a great, super fast & efficient way to get all your stuff cleaned, as the machine can hold duvets and pilows etc, (they are huuuuge!)

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The other thing that I love is that you get to know your neighbours and have nice wee chats with each other whilst you watch each others undies slosh around in the machines. Brilliant!

A few other things that I have really been loving lately:

Forever 21.

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I went and did a total massive haul here in January, it was my first time in and I came back with so many awesome things. I’m actually scared to go back because I’ll spend too much, but this jumper with this kick-ass back detail was one of my favourite purchases. (excuse the state of my room here!) I also got monochrome leggings, with sharks and ones with bones on, leopard print shorts and a sleeveless leather look jacket. Still haven’t had the chance to wear half of it, bring on the warmer weather!

Coconut Water.

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This stuff is so tasty, hydrating and has less sugar than your average fruit juice but still really sweet and tasty and full of vitamins and is totally natural too! I drink gallons of the stuff. The brand that I would recommend is Go Coco, and you can get it at most Tesco stores. They also sell Vita Coco, which is 48p more expensive and personally I much prefer the taste of Go Coco. Give it a try, but drink it ice cold!

Marcus Raynal Hislop.

This guy is insanely talented and I just bought an A3 print of one of his pieces of Iggy Pop. I absolutely LOVE it and can’t wait to put it up!

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Definitely check out his work and I guarantee there’ll be something there you will fall in love with. He also does commissions. You can see his stuff here: http://www.thenotoriousgasolinecompany.com/

or get him on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/marcushislopdotcom

Have a great week!

You can follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hippyhooha

and also on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/hippyhooha

You may be confused that I have a Facebook account again… I did delete my personal account, but I made an art account to help me to share and sell my work, and I try to keep it as art related as I can. So there you go. You really can’t get by without using Facebook after all!

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