Wednesday, 12 June 2013

It's been a while....

What can I say... Where have I been.

Well that's far too much to update on but life seems to be taking an interesting turn without me having to do a great deal. 

What do I mean with such a vague statement....let me try and explain. 

The last few years (4) I have almost always has regular things in the diary after work. Items such as classes, volunteering, meeting friends etc. Now after what feels like a long time, things are slowly dropping off. Some drop offs have been easier than others, but all in all its just happening with little effort on my side.

This might sound a little airy fairy, especially for the non believers but I feel like all this space in my life is being created for something or someone. Who knows.... Watch this space. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Racism in 2013...... Seriously?


I'm seriously pissed off and I'm hoping that blogging about this will make feel a tiny bit better.
 
Basic background: I volunteer weekly at a London hospital. I have so, for almost 4 years now.
 
I'm in the isolation room with a fellow volunteer, the patient and her parents.
 
We are entertaining the patient and also having a friendly chat with the parents. Normal small talk and they explain that they have been transferred to this hospital because there was a superbug outbreak in their previous hospital that forced wards to shut. I then ask if other patients from that hospital are here too? The mother replies, “Yes,  one that needs a bone marrow transplant.”
 
I then tell them something that I'm extremely proud of. "Oh, I'm on the bone marrow registry"
 
The father then replies, “It's very painful you know!”
 
I come back with, “Yes I know but I'm happy to endure pain for about 8 days if I've then contributed in saving someone's life. Also my body will replenish the marrow so really it's a win win situation”
 
He then replies, “No I’ll never do it... maybe I would do it for my (son/daughter).... ok I would do it, but only on the conditions that I would give it to an English person.”
 
What the fuck is that all about! If any of you know me I could have really given him a mouth full. I wanted to ask him what his definition is of an English person. Is that someone who is born in England... Or is that a white person born in England of English heritage. Who the fuck knows?
 
This man is sick and twisted and we didn't need to spend an extra second there.
 
We (my fellow volunteer ad I) progressed our evening and spent time with other patients and families.
 
After seeing another 4 patients, my blood was still boiling about what had just happened so I spoke to the nurse near by. I explained that he was racist and that maybe that family should remain in a private single room to save the potential grief that other families may have to put up with. The nurse agreed with me and told me I needed to tell the other nurse in the previous bay.
 
When speaking to her she confirmed that they too were finding him rather difficult and she apologised for what had happened. I told her it wasn't her fault that he is the one with a problem but that it would be a real shame if he made other patients and families upset.
 
As I'm writing this I'm not sure what it is specifically that's upsetting me.
 
Is it because he doesn't like my skin colour or my colleagues for that matter?
 
Is it because this is 2013 and this is United Kingdom & Great Britain?
 
Is it because if was sick I wouldn’t want his racist bone marrow?
 
Who knows.... I guess I'm just disappointed with the situation as whole. I've endured ignorant stupid people my whole life but I wish it would stop.
 
For my final closing notes. 

Firstly the Anthony Nolan Trust is an amazing trust and if you register and then happen to donate you have no say in who it goes to. You will not meet that person. (After 2 years if both parties agree they can meet but this normally doesn’t happen)

This entire experience reminds me of a chain mail that was going around years ago. There are various variations but below is one I found that gives you the gist. I was thinking of this when walking out of the hospital side room.  


A white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man. Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.

"What's the problem, madam?" the hostess asked her

"Can't you see?" the lady said - "I was given a seat next to a black man. I can't seat here next to him. You have to change my seat"

"Please, calm down, madam" - said the hostess "Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I'm still going to check if we have any."

The hostess left and returned some minutes later.

"Madam, as I told you, there isn't any empty seat in this class- economy class. But I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn't any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class." And before the woman said anything, the hostess continued "Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class. However, given the circumstances, the commandant thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sat next to an unpleasant person." And turning to the black man, the hostess said: "Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to collect your hand luggage, we have reserved you a seat in the first class..."

And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.

Friday, 1 February 2013

What I hear on the tube

So I've just been on the tube for the last 20 minutes listening to a young couple in their 20's.

It's quite amusing. They work at the same company and its obvious by their conversation that she stayed at his for the first time last night.

While the rest of London is trying to get to work these two are trying to establish basic things like 'so, where do you live?, How long have you been at the company?'

I was seriously trying my best to not laugh at them.

Then she goes on about how she is only going to be 30 minutes late work after she goes shopping first. She needs to buy clothes so that she doesn't look like a dirty stop out.

I'm not judging that they shagged, or that they don't know each other, or that she doesn't have clothes to wear to work.

My gripe is having to listen to the whole thing.

(Look, we've all had to buy emergency clothing at times in our lives. If you haven't, then you haven't lived)

The difference here is.... I didn't go out and tell the world!!

My rant is over!

ps. Lets hope that they remembered to use protection!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Driving tips for Londoners

Right! So this entry is absolutely necessary for those who are in experienced driving in the snow, ice or slush. Aka most Londoners

The rules according to moi:

1. Clear your car of snow! That means all the snow, not just tiny patches around the windows. This includes the roof of the car. When driving at fast speeds the snow on the roof either ends up on someone else's windshield or often on the rear glass of your own car.

2. Switch on the lights at all times in the winter. It makes it easier for others to see you.

3 When having to break. Pump your breaks. Pump pump pump! Don't slam the breaks. You'll soon be surprised where you end up.

4. Most cars these days have ABS. Read up on it and use this in your favour.

5. When starting a new journey. Start your car first ( make sure it's in a safe gear) while you shovel a path for your car to get out. Yes! You heard me correctly.... Shovel a path out.

6. Don't be an idiot and flood your car with gas when it's not moving. The reason it's not moving is because its stuck dumbass!

7. When driving and if you loose control don't for the love of god over correct yourself. You'll end up in a ditch killing yourself or someone else. Stay calm, breath, and steer along slowly towards the original direction but don't suddenly think you are batman and you can get out of this situation as quick as you entered it.

Happy driving folks.
When ever in doubt. Ask moi...

xx

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The gifts that can keep on going


So as this festive season approaches you might be wondering what you can give someone for Christmas or maybe a gift that will last their entire life.

How about something that is free and can give life.

So here is my big idea that is worth some food for thought.

Register with The Anthony Nolan Register. Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer. Every day, they match remarkable donors willing to donate their blood stem cells to people who desperately need lifesaving.

I gave my DNA sample 2 years ago. I haven’t been called as yet but the universe knows I’m there to help if the time ever comes.

Another easy peasy lemon squeezy thing that you can do is give blood. Its fast and quick and our bodies replenish it rather quickly.

Just 2 weeks ago I had a friend who had an op. There were some complications and he was very close to having a blood transfusion. Imagine if there were not enough stocks…… (he’s is now recovering well)

Take it easy people and don’t take your health for grantedever!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Jacintha Saldanha


Before I carry on I would like to add that everything I am about to say are my thoughts only.

So this weekend has been odd. Major thinking… too much thinking. I’m hoping that this quick blog entry will somehow make some of you think a little differently today.

It all started on Friday afternoon when I was driving home from work listening to the radio when the news came on. I was in absolute shock / horror when I heard that Jacintha Saldanha had taken her own life. ( I would like to add that the coroner report has not come back yet and it is a long process. The cause of her death is still unknown)

From this last comment of mine you may guess that I actually have had great deal of exposure of suicide and I know those that have chosen to ‘check out early’. Sadly I guess I need to say known because they are now dead.

This radio hoax is awful but my initial thoughts and current thoughts are about how fragile we are as humans. Mental health is such an important and neglected topic and why? What is the point on blaming the hosts or anyone else? We all need to take some accountability in each other’s lives as a collective, we are all to blame.

People are angry, very very angry. So am I but I’m not on the twitter bandwagon like so many saying that they the DJ’s have blood on their hands. That is such a strong statement and clearly those that are saying that don’t know anyone who has taken their own life. I do and I am very close to those that they left behind. People that choose to take their own life are in a bad way that I personally feel is too difficult to put into words. They want out, that is all they want. 

I’m just so sad that the media and news have not addressed any of the background to Jacintha and her mental health.

During the days prior to this event the BBC interviewed a lady who had similar symptoms to Kate’s pregnancy etc. Since Jacintha’s death I have not seen a single interview or comment from the wonderful people that work at Mind or Samaritans. Charities where people try…..

The flowing is a small extract from a fantastic book called Conscious Loving: The Journey to co-commitment by Gay Hendricks PhD and Kathlyn Hendricks.

In the realm of emotions, many people are functioning at a kindergarten level. There is no need for self-blame. After all, in your formal education, how many courses did you take in dealing with feelings? Personally, we cannot remember one minute spent on learning about these key issues in school, whereas hours were spent on memorising the geography of South America. It is incredible that we have such a societal blind spot. No one ever landed in jail or a mental hospital because of a difficulty with geography, but both institutions are packed with people who have difficulty with their emotions.

(I found out about the book on goop)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Aren't we all strangers

So every once in a while I'm so pleasantly surprised by strangers. This can be like minded thinkers or someone off the street who has decided to do something nice for a stranger.

Last night I was watching BBC question time while tweeting and waiting for the following show called the week. Camilla Batmangaligh was on the show discussing the report published last week about the London riots. Some how or another I ended up having a twitter conversation with a person who has like minded views and also wants to volunteer at her charity called Kids Company. Yeah for people that want to volunteer. Even if they don't do it immediately it stems from the want. I knew I wanted to volunteer for Radio Lollipop and 4 years later I did. I'm going on my 3rd year now and loving it.

I wish I could tell you all about the kids but obviously I cant. All I will say is kids are kids and they are just as funny when they are sick vs healthy. There are so many studies out there that explain that play and distraction can alleviate pain. It's true, I see it weekly!

Now for the next pleasant surprise this morning. I had just gotten off of the bus and heading to the tube station when I clumsily dropped my iPhone. It bounced and ended up under a car that had stopped at the red light. The driver rolled down her window and I explained that I dropped my phone under that car but that I would wait until all the cars left. Then suddenly out of now where batman arrived. No really it was just a sweet teenage boy who jumped onto his front and slid under the car and got my phone in a second. I was in shock and just said "Oh my god!" making sure that the driver wasn't going to drive away. It literally took him a second and he handed it back to me an said 'here you go Madame'. The whole thing happened so quickly that all I managed to say before he jetted on his merry way was 'thank you so much'. I hope he heard me and I hope somewhere deep inside that I'm wishing him well and that he made my day!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Austria

Firstly,

I'm going to try and blog for the second time using my iPhone and hopefully this won't be full of spelling mistakes or rather my phone trying to spell things for me!

I'm only one sleep away from returning home after a mini holiday in Austria. I've been staying with a friend from the Camino (see my September 2009 entries).

All in all the trip has been good but the highlight will have to be just hanging out with her 18 year old son and his friends. At the ripe old age of 33 it's really refreshing seeing life through someone else's eyes and also how different it is for a male vs a female. I suppose it's one of those things I took for-granted when going to an all girls school. It's obvious that boys and girls think and behave differently but it's amazing how different they are. As I'm writing this it's also necessary to say that really boys and girls are the same. We are all part of this human existence and really, we all want the same thing.

I sound like I'm contradicting myself but I'm sure you get it!

Anyhow.... I'm rambling as usual. I had a great time with a great person and as I've told him countless times in short time that I've met him. I want great things for him.

As we hugged goodby he told me to loose control an I told him to gain some!

Folks, I'll keep you posted

xx












Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Moral obligations - drinking & driving

I wanted to blog last night but my time management can be shocking.

So I was at the 24 grocery store last night at 22:40 when the couple behind me were so drunk, loud and still buying more alcohol.

I was livid as this grocery has a hugh car park and the likely hood they were using public transportation was slim.

As I walked out of the store with my flat mate ( all he wanted was to go home at this point) I asked the security guard what do they do when they have a customer who is clearly inebriated yet now purchasing more alcohol and is intending to drive.

He replied that they won't serve them and then carried on with. 'Oh is it that couple, I've already refused them. 'I can be cocky as hell when I'm pissed off so I replied 'Oh, we'll there buying more now and pointed towards the tills further along'. He was about to dash and I said I hope to god that they are not driving.

Of course once I'm in the car in the parking lot (Canadian English brain: car park vs parking lot!) I have my eyes peeled on the exit.

Guess what, not only did the fuckers park in the disabled spot near the exit they got into thier fucking car!

I wasn't having it! I wish I was a big scary hairy bloke who knocked on thier window and delayed them till the cops came.

Sadly though, I just don't have those balls (and yes readers- no balls! I'm a girl) I called 999 and gave the description of the car and licence plate. You can get a ticket for being on the phone and driving so I actually parked for this call and wasn't able to follow them etc. Who knows what the Met police will do but I feel I did my part although is feels very insignificant.

Too many people die in the name of stupidity and I'm tired of it.

I've been to more funerals then a 33 year old should have to go to by the time I die! Enough is enough.

Society and people, take better care of each other.

And finally for those that think drinking and driving is acceptable, GROW UP!!!!



Sunday, 8 January 2012

Earthlings has changed me


Wow wow wow!

What can I tell you! I feel really positive and excited. It could just be the aftermath of the New Year or maybe returning from a trip where I’ve been forced to realise that I am loved. Who knows why I feel this way but its great!

So a few moths ago I was considering becoming a vegan. It had to have been almost a year ago when I was watching Alicia Silverstone on Oprah. In the UK, Oprah is months behind and I don’t often get to watch TV in my home. My flatmates are permanent fixtures in the living room. But that day she was talking about her new vegan cookbook. I thought it was interesting and that one day I might give it a shot. My mother is a vegetarian so there were many days in my life where we would go without eating meat. I think I started eating it more once I moved out etc. At this point it was just a book that I one day wanted to buy.

Then as winter was approaching and I was getting into my hibernation mode I thought I better not get too comfortable. I was just about to get the book when I discovered another one called Appetite for Reduction. I know its bad to judge a book by its cover but I loved the take on the Guns & Roses cover so I bought it. The book arrived in Dec 2011 but I knew that it was going to be tricky to be a vegan during Christmas especially knowing it was only a week away.

Since returning from my trip, I‘ve been picking a day to really give this thing a shot. I knew I needed that little extra moral thing to get me on my way. The thought of being healthy should be enough but I know me, I need more. I tweeted the author and asked for a suggestion of a good documentary to get me on my merry way.

That was a few hours ago and although I don’t want to jinx it I think I wont be buying meat, dairy or seafood again ever. I have food in my freezer and I’ll have to decide what to do with it.

This life-changing documentary came out in 2005 and is called Earthlings. It can be viewed in its entirety on http://www.earthlings.com I’m pissed off that I haven’t heard of it before. I’m pretty clued up on most films and documentaries and have seen the rare and obscure ones. Joaquin Phoenix narrates Earthlings and the great soundtrack is by Moby. I have always been a fan of them both so why haven’t I heard of this before. The film has a twitter feed and a facebook one too!

After watching it I had a quick look on YouTube and came across the Ellen Degeners interview where she explains that the doc brought her to veganism. In her interview a book and another film are also mentioned. I love how Ellen says that the other doc Food.Inc is a Disney film compared to Earthlings. Earthlings is very difficult to watch and to mentally digest but as I’m sitting here typing at 1am I’m asking myself if I’m hungry (yes I’m always hungry!) but no party of me desires meat. I think I could even have a cuppa with no milk!

The book is called SkinnyBitch and might also be on my future purchase list.

I can’t wait really. I’m not at all over weight but I would love to loose some and feel healthier.

I feel like suck a twat discussing my love for bacon in yesterday’s blog. Oh well it’s another day right? RIGHT!

Laters
Me

xx

Saturday, 7 January 2012

2012 and Blogging

Well its pretty safe to say that I'm shite when it comes to blogging but I'm going to give it a better shot this year.

I'm not really sure that recapping the last year is worthy of having any readers so I'm going to skip it. It would be an interesting yet depressing chapter in autobiography - that is, if I decide to write one.

I can tell you that I had a lovely visit to the motherland this Christmas and my mom was able to have her 3 dispersed children under one roof for the first Christmas in 11 years!!! We were together in August 2010 but it was xmas.

No dramas either, pretty smooth trip. If I ever move back though I will have to live in the heart of the city and nowhere else. Suburbia is frighting. SCARY!!!!

Its hard to explain, during the London riots I was asking myself seriously for the first time in my life. "What the fuck are you doing here?". I'm still not certain but I'm just rolling with it, so far so good. Mind you the riots were scary, I didn't go to work for 2 days for fear of not being able to get home if the bus and tube weren't running. These were the few moments when I thought that maybe a big city is not good for me. A few days later, I came to the conclusion that I was just panicking.

Back to the motherland trip. I ended up seeing my 77 club. 3 fantastic people all born in 77. One of the them (male 1st initial Y) I met Y on my flight to London 11 years ago. We spoke for 6 hours and that was the begging of a great friendship. Every-time I'm home he does his best to entertain me. We hung out a handful of times but it was great how the effort to meet was mutual.

Then there is K who got hitched in May, I was invited to the wedding but sadly couldn't make it. We met for a long breakfast and I ate all her bacon. Nothing beats Canadian bacon... I also learned that pregnant people cant eat bacon. (mental note - no bacon sounds like a form of birth control) K is great and her oven is growing. The bun will be ready in feb 2012. Incase you're wondering K went to my high school but we were a year apart and somehow we started talking once I moved to the UK. I think it was stalkerbook that helped. I still despise stalkerbook but it has its uses.

Lastly there is the lovely L. We grew up a couple of houses away yet we were not friends or enemies. We knew of each other but it was just a friendly nod between 2 families. That is until we ended up in the same program in University. We were both lucky enough to be in the same sound class and Daniel Feist was our teacher. I explain more about him later. Back to L, she's so cool! Years can go by but when we get together its like no time has passed. I really wanted to go to a super cheesy drinking establishment and man did she pick a beauty. It was a place where everyone is called Jean-Guy and I would say its in Poutine Ville. Sorry folks - I cant actually say where it is, I quite enjoyed being one of 2 tables. I wouldn't want it to get busier, I know I'm being selfish. Looks like the inhabitants of Poutine ville don't fancy a pint when its minus 20. L and I discussed her love who was at home with a cold. I've yet to meet him but he's making her so happy and I'm chuffed for them both.

I didn't end up seeing the people I spent so many years with. These are the friends from elementary, high school, cegep and uni and my jobs. ( I had the coolest jobs, McDonals, The Gap, The Bay, and Blockbuster! impressive if I may say so myself. In case you're wondering I now have a grown up job - minus the happy meals) Its just the way the cookie crumbles and they know where I am and how to reach me. I find myself saying this often, "it is what it is".

My first few visits home in the last 11 years were really different. My best friend S, lived there but now she's in Italy, alot easier for me to see. Also I would go and see Daniel. He left Concordia and moved a few times with his family but kept up with his radio show. Luckily on one of my visits he was back in town and I remember hanging out with him in the radio station of Mix 96. Daniel was an amazing man and a brilliant teacher. I still miss him immensely. You can read a little about his battle with cancer here

I better get to bed. I'm failing miserable adjusting to the time difference. I took today off as last minute annual leave and stayed in bed until 4pm. Now I'm still up and its 2 am. So typical of me.

Be good you random readers

me
xx

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Oh dear....

So folks

Its been a while...

What the hell happened with Gordy.... and more importantly why the hell did Clegg side with Dave????

I should be in bed by now but I really feel the need to rant.... and twitter cant fit it all in!!!

Any how, now the only thing that we can do it try and stay positive even though it might not work..... Dave did say that volunteering is good for society etc and I have to agree. Its been over 3 months since I've been volunteering weekly at the children hospital and I have to say that its been so rewarding.

I've been meaning to write a post on what love looks like in a pediatric hospital. Eye opening stay tuned..... ( I'm skint this month so I'll have more time to write! going out costs)

As for this evening I've had a fantastic time with some great people that think out of the box!! An old Uni friend is moving back to Canada so she had some friends get together for her last night in the UK.

Met some fascinating people, and discussed everything from call centers to salt content in food to HPV vaccine for young girls etc. Sometimes I think I forget that there are so many people that are doing great things...

a random Yanni quote that kinda applies

That everything great that has ever happened to humanity since the beginning, has begun with a single thought in someone's mind and if anyone of us is capable of such a great thought then all of us has the same capacity, capability, because we are all the same.

be good speak soon

PS. I told everyone off that didn't vote! Its necessary to exercise our democratic right!!

Laters
me

xx

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

You never know what is around the corner‏

Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 9:28:23 PM
Subject: You never know what is around the corner

Hi All,

so this is my 3rd email to you all and its far different to the others. If you are missing the first 2 let me know and i´ll send it across.

So when I last wrote I was on the verge of giving up! Thank you for the lovely text messages and emails, they have gone a long way.

I am bed bug free and I feel a trillion times better!

let me tell you why.....

So as I mentioned earlier Verena ( my camino buddy for the first 10 days) told me about her friend Rebekah who recently bought a house in Spain along the camino and has decided to create a guest house of sorts. A day before I was in the area Verena sent me a text that she had emailed Rebekah that I might pop in.

So the following day I walked over 30 km to Moratinos and was going to pop in for a cup a tea. I had every intention of popping in but all I was hoping for was a cup a tea.... but as soon as I walked in Paddy said, "you are staying aren´t you?" How could I refuse!!!

Reheka, Paddy´s wife is not around as she is doing a week of the camino but they are expecting me and my beautiful room was ready for me!

Brian the American builder is also staying here. He has a bit of broken heart so I am giving him counseling. Its a bit of whirl wind romance, he has fallen for the Spanish girl next door. The whole thing feels like a movie. A movie with a good soundtrack! Paddy and Rebeka have a fantastic music collection so we are always listening to amazing stuff

I´ve walked the dogs today and gone out to the chickens and collected the freshest eggs I have ever eaten.

I jumping ahead so I have to tell you how I arrived.

On the evening of Sunday the 13th I stayed in convent Albergue in Carrion de los Condes. It felt like my old high school so I felt safe. It was also nice to not have to sleep on the top bunk. The problem with the top bunk is that you never sleep because you think you are going to fall off, and sometimes you don`t even have a ladder. Its a hard life when you are only 157 cm! Although the place was nice I didn't sleep a wink that night. It was day 3 of making sure the bugs were gone so I went to sleep with all this pressure of wondering if they would come back or not. I was up every hour going to the bathroom to check for new bites. Its almost like getting bit by a mosquito. You still itch even if you were bitten ages ago. The difference is the fresh bites are red and the older ones tend to fade. I still have loads of marks and it looks like I have had chicken pox! The mirror in the bathroom is really for you face so I had to stand on the chair. Luckily no body came in while I was stark. It was also so cold that night, I was in my silk liner and I had 3 blankets on top too! Finally is was time to get ready and leave so Dorothy and I, had breakfast, and got on the road. The first part of our walk was going to 17km with out a pit stop. We spoke for an hour or so and then parted as we walked at our own pace. ( I tell you about Dorothy later... really cool lady)

It was 2 I had to make a decision if I was going to check into the town where I was so if I was going to walk to Moratinos and see if they were home or not. At the time I had no clue if they were expecting me to really turn up or not. Nobody really makes plans on the Camino because things are always changing. I decided that I would make a go of it and see what happens.

As some of you know I am petrified of cats and I can be a bit iffy around dogs. Some dogs are different and for those of you that don`t already know I am the proud auntie of Dawson (Kirsten´s greyhound).

I approached the sleepy town and it was siesta time, 14:45. There was not a soul in sight and I was still along the yellow camino arrows. At first I thought I would knock on a door and say "American Rebekah" (Verena said that would be enough) The first few homes were abandoned and had no roofs, so I continued to walk a little and then I saw a farmer in the distance. I got his attention by waving my walking poles and running towards him. "American Rebekah" worked and I got directions, I was only 2 streets away. I approached a stunning yellow house that had building work done to it. The closer I got the barking began! I was really worried because prior to doing the camino I read so much on the dangers of Spanish dogs! 2 dogs came at me and I was armed with my poles. Within a few seconds Brian and Paddy greeted me. They told me that the dogs just bark and that they are harmless. He was absolutely right and now I have some more canine friends.

We sat in the front garden underneath the umbrella and Paddy offered me a cup of tea. I had not had tea since leaving England as tea anywhere else in the world is not tea. Guess what Paddy had..... PG tips. A real cup of tea. He soon offered to make me an omelet and it was divine. I told him it was the best food I have had since I left England and I was not exaggerating on bit. Shortly after lunch Brian brought me a tub of warm water for my feet to soak. That was the first time my feet had had a soak since I began the camino. The only buckets you find are full of dirty mop water or you will find tubs that are used for hand laundry.

After a few hours chatting outside, we made our way inside and it is such an homely inviting house. After a short while I thought I cant enjoy this amazing place on my own and not let the others know. The others are my Camino family. Kim, Australian nurse 24 and Juliane, German University pharmacy student 21. ( I made sure first that Paddy was ok with a few more strays- us!)

I texted the girls and Kim texted back that she was ill, vomiting and had a fever. She was only 15 km behind and I just couldn't leave my fellow pilgrim be ill in a albergue. I spoke to paddy and and asked how much a cab would be. He said around 8 euro which was nothing so I texted Kim with the info and she replied that she was too unwell to even find out about a cab. She would try and make her way here the following day. I explained this to paddy and we started to think about who could drive Rebekah´s car. Paddy cant drive anymore due to his eyes. I suggested Brian´s love interest and was told that was a bad idea. Paddy then asked me if I can drive a stick shift and I before I knew it I was in the car with him and dogs and we were on a mission to go and save Kim from her misery. I went in the albergue and she was on the bottom bunk in her sleeping bag. We collected her things and made our way to back to the Peacable Kingdom - the house´s name.

Kim was so pleased once she got here and things have been great. I had a bath today and also did a load of laundry too. I´m already sooooo sad that I will have to leave tomorrow but this place has done the world of good for me. I am so rested and chilled. Everything will be ok!

This email has taken me ages to write and I have had loads of time. I´m not sure when I will send another one again but once again thanks for the texts and emails

Love ya
Leena

xx

PS there is blog about this place

http://moratinoslife.blogspot.com

Sunday, 13 September 2009

September 9th & 13th 2009

Have a look at this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEagV1NbXx0

keep in mind that camino clothing is not that flattering LOL


Sept 9th:

Hi All,

So here is my next update.

Today has been interesting as we walked 30km but it was not planned. We arrived in what we thought would be our destination but the Albergue was full so we had to walk back. Luckily it was only 2.5 km so not really a big deal.

Tomorrow I will be in Burgos so I might check into a hotel and have a swim in the tub!

I have met so many people and I don't know where to begin.

Verena ( an Austrian high school teacher) spent the vast majority of my first 10 days with me but sadly she has returned to Austria because she has to go back to school.

I didn't realize how many people actually do parts of the Camino and not necessarily the entire thing in one go!

My Spanish is horrible but my broken french has come in useful and I often speaking in french. There is also an handful of people from Quebec so I often talk to them as well.

I thought would be on my own more but I seem to attract people that want a bit a of chat. (Verena is an exception as we had fantastic chats)

I thinking that my quite time will soon begin in a day or 2 when I am walking in the Mesta, its about 4 days in the flat plains and I been told that many people have there light bulb moments.

All in all this trip has been great and its just a confirmation that you cant control things in life. What ever will be will be. Sometimes shit happens.... and sometimes wonderful things happen. Either way I know that I can and will always be able to handle both!

The first few days were hard for numerous reasons... I have already explained my toe but my heavy bag is another contributing factor.

I left Stanstead with a bag that weighed 11.5 kg and that was not including food and water. After walking up and down the mountain in the rain i decided it was time to part with unnecessary things. I left a compass, socks, a belt, bungee cords to fasten extra things to my bag etc.

That still was not enough so a few days later in Pamplona I sent back 2.5kg

and a few fays after that in Logrono I decided that I needed a new bag and a new sleeping bag. Both items had to be significantly lighter.

I now have a bag that is less that 1 kg and my sleeping bag is 65 g. I have posted the rest on.

Life with a bag that is under 6 kg is a real treat and I am able to get through the day with our being in so much pain.

The food has been ok but i need to be more careful. I had a single calamari and well its safe to say it was a very bad move on my part. Its been 2 days now but hopefully I will be felling better tomorrow. None the less it has not stopped me one bit!

I not sure what else to say other that all is well

speak soon
Leena
xx


Sept: 13th

So since the 9th I have had my most difficult days and I was very very very close to returning to the UK.

I caught bedbugs and people were treating me like I was a leper. It was awful but in time people also helped me. I spent the day in Burgos getting everything cleaned at the dry cleaners. the 2 ladies there were so nice, they bought me a hot chocolate and even brought me to the bus stop. I was going to sports store out of town to get a silk liner. Since then I have not had any bites but it was so so horrible. It was worse than all the other physical pain I have gone through. The bugs are gone and I have had 2 nights bite free. I need to get 3 nights free and then i should be in the all clear. I also now have a rep of being the Canadian with bed bugs.


Also some stupid french woman started yelling at me last night for no reason. Its sad how people just take out there problems or issues on innocent bystander's.

Every second here is a learning lesson. I said I was sorry but I should have just told her that she has no right letting it rip. I was a clear case of her having a very very bad day... but its still no excuse

This trip is so strange and great, its difficult to put into words, but everyone you meet has an amazing story. Its like life but so much more intense.

I will be nice to see you all and tell you about it in person.

Although I want to get to Santiago I still don't know if I will, All I can do is take one day at a time and go form there. Guess that another life lesson.

it is, what it is.

And as cervantes said, All in good time

Oh and when I was going to give up yesterday this Irish lady, Imelda told me what her mother dad told her her whole life.

You are, where you are meant to be.

Imelda said that once I accept this everything else in my life will come together. I have always known that everything happens for a reason and I am a lucky person, but now I know that I am where I am meant to be.


Anyhow guess i should get on with it, need to but water for the long haul in the morning

be well and send texts

004479!@£$%^&*

xx

Monday, 7 September 2009

Big Toe 07/09/2009

Subject: big toe
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2009 10:04:06 +0000

Hi All,

Hope you are all doing well.

I have now walked over 180 odd km towards Santiago and only another 4 weeks to go!

Its been an adventure so far.

The first day through the mountains was very difficult and also very dangerous. Its advised that people should not walk it in rainy or foggy conditions.....its also 18 km without passing another town, house etc. many people have died at some point along the camino and one year 3 woman broke their nose as the were approaching Roncesvalles from st jean pied de port.

As I´m sure you have guessed..... I walked it in the rain. Its was horrible but quite an accomplishment! I could only see 5 meters ahead and it was difficult seeing the yellows arrows etc but I made it in the end.

Today I am in Santo Domingo de la Calzada

I have met so many lovely people and every day I have learnt something else about my self.

Some days are bigger than other but its all good

easy lesson: I have never bought delicate fabric clothing because I thought hand washing is not really washing but I seem to be quite good and washing my laundry in a sink and well when I return to London I might start buying dedicates

bigger lesson: I have also realized that my body is much stronger than I thought. I can walk over 33 km a day with a bag on my shoulders and still not collapse!

I also thought that if I get injured It might be a bit problematic.... but its not so bad!

Kill Bill moment.... Think back to the film when Uma Thurman is in the pussy wagan talking to her toe

Its now been 5 days and I have no feeling in my left big toe. Its actually a little scary as the other 4 toes are lugging the dead weight along. I have also decided that my big toe is a male so I talk to him. after day 3 I thought I should see a doctor as its not getting better. My the nice Spanish doctor in the Emergency room in Logrono said that its just a bad case of tendinitis and when I'm back to London it will get better. As I am walking so much daily I wont really feel it while I am here. She has given me a prescription of ibuprofen so that helps a little.

I have so much more to say but I have to go but please send me texts and emails if you have time. I would love to hear how you are all doing

Be well
Leena
xx


PS sorry about the spelling mistakes

Friday, 2 January 2009

The Reader - Film

So I'm off to see The Reader - Film. Its one of the few books I read years ago when I was in high school. I'm a massive fan of the main actor, director and producer so its safe to say that I will be expect alot! I'll update you in a few hours...

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Its a new day, its a new dawn!

Happy New Year!!! This year feels better already!! I know that its early days... actually not even a day has gone by but it feels rather good.

When I get a chance I need to learn how to ad links to my blog. It will make things alot easier when I'm yapping on about issues that I think are important.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

its that time again!

So I seem to fail miserably when it comes to holidays. I turned 30 in 2008 and other than having a nice birthday vacation in France, every other holiday is shitty!

I dont get it! I manage to have a rather boring or non exist - Christmas - new years - easter - valentines - Halloween! Maybe its me or maybe as I child I had some fantastic holidays and nothing else has been even remotely close! - Enough of my whinging. I have been invited to little dinner party but its miles away and traveling alone on newsyears is depressing and occasionally dangerous!

The good thing about today is that its finally the end of what is or rather was the worst year of my life.

There is far too much to go into but I can say that I have grown and learnt from almost all of it. I'm stronger, better and greatfull

So I guess I'm saying that in some ways this year might have been one of the best years when it comes to learning! Another fantastic discovery is that I am soooooo much calmer these days. Its like I'm sedated on some serious drugs ( although I'm not a drug user) I dont let anything get to me the way it use to. I still feel and I still care but its just different now. Different in a good way! ( I know its a steel wall of armour around me - but for now - I like it!)

Well I am going to get back to my cleaning frenzie! I am binning everything - and I mean everything. I'm going to enter 2009 and as a minimilistic person. It will go in the bin unless I am going to use it, I wont store or keep rubbish. ( binning to me includes donating to the charity shop and recycling)

Essentials that I'll always have near by is the ipod! I could not live without music.

Before I carry on with my essentials! I'm going to bin a few more things prior to the big hour!

Monday, 29 December 2008

updates coming soon

Hi All,

So I have been out of work since October 28th! I pretty scary out there but I can complain too much. I went on holiday to India for 2 weeks and that was fab. My mom and sister then came so see me for 4 days (the live in Canada and the US). Since then All I can say is that I have been making loads of soup and watching fantastic US tv series. I have to recommend The Wire and Dexter. I will put up a link when I figure out how to!

Oh and lets not forget! I am looking for a flat mate! Have a look at gumtree.com to see what out there.

Will post again soon