Tag Archives: life

The Top End

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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Bungalow Bar Forever ✌

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

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

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

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

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Grass is just green.

I don’t know where to start.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay this feels good.

I hadn’t done this kinda list yet.

I like it.

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

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

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

I’ll be back with more soon.

Thanks for reading and sticking in there with me.

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Suspicious minds.

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

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

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

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

“That’s you left the building”

So I was giving them back,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it was.

Bloody Elvis on the local radio station.

🙂

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

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

NEVER.

It never became okay!

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

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

Respect is the biggest lesson to be learnt here.

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

  • Touching a strangers hair is inappropriate & unwelcome attention.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah I’ll totes regret it.

I hate your face!

(jokes)

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

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

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

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

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

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Don’t let your emotions rule you.

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The day these photos were taken are very important.

This was my 26th birthday party in September 2012 in Barcelona, and most importantly, the morning before these photos were taken, I wanted to kill myself.

I look at these now and can see that I do not look like someone who felt that way, but I did.

At this point, I had reached rock bottom, again.

I want people who feel like ending their lives, to know that tomorrow is always better, and if you don’t believe me then hold off cos there’s next Tuesday, next month, next year or something to look forward to, and slowly but surely you can build your life back up. If that’s not enough imagine how many people will suffer because of you.

Suck it up and stay alive.

Don’t do it, because life is full of ups and downs and it is a chemical imbalance. You aren’t thinking clearly and lets suppose you have one chance at life on earth so you better try make the most of it. Who knows what you’ll miss out on.

Please don’t do it.

The ones who love you save you.

Sometimes you cant see them but they are there.

For once I don’t think I can write any more about this so I’ll leave it at that, and with the thought,

‘Our greatest glory lies not in never failing, but instead rising up everytime we fall’

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

I just want to find a place, a beach.

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

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

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

I want to see you everyday.

I want to taste new tastes with you.

I want to wake up with you.

I want to wander around.

I want to wonder.

I wonder.

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

Always, kiss me.

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

No-one else can hold me like you do.

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

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The earth laughs in flowers.

People always say “Aww just do what makes you happy.”

Actually I gotta disagree.

Doing what only makes YOU happy is not the solution to a happy life.

Making a conscious effort to ensure that not only yourself but ALL OTHER BEINGS are happy is.

Sorry for tonight, but I don’t feel like writing long things.

Just think about the following and make your own conclusions.

Suggestion to help your brain get moving:

Look up something fictional, that you loved, but never thought could exist, then search it on-line, find all of the evidence for or against that you can, and believe in your self of being capable enough to accept that maybe, just maybe that could be true. We’re not saying it definitely is or isn’t, but by the very act of accepting that it could be possible (thinking outside your human constraints and belief system), you are working out your brain and your pineal gland

You have just expanded your mind and your consciousness.

You’re not crazy.

Goodnight.

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My brain 23:25.24 05/03/2015

The society we live in is so mixed up.

People competitively eat and are obese, whilst others starve.

Others are so lonely and depressed in a place so full of people and communication, that they kill themselves.

Does this happen in places without television, politics, money,?

ARGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you all see that this is wrong?

We are so far detached from what is true.

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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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