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I am a Canadian who has been living in London UK for the last 14 years!! How did that happen?

Friday, 17 March 2017

March 2017 update

. I've spent 16 years now in north London and finally things are starting to aline. Many of you from small towns will probably take this completely for granted. If you were to talk to someone about a product that you bought or a gym class or your dentist. You might actually know what the other person is talking about or where to find it. You might live in a town that only has one Tesco or one Sainsbury's. This is not the case for me. I live in a big city that is populated with millions of people. My circles until now have never crossed.

Have a listen to all the 'crossing' that's been happening since March 1st 2017. A lot of this is North London but I feel that I've finally arrived. I don't know how else to explain it. Most of these stories all happened at the recent wedding in Israel.

When I worked at the NHS there was a guy in IT. At the wedding someone who knew I worked at this specific NHS trust asked if I knew him. She then went on to say that her neighbour's daughter was to marry him. Random, but I actually know who he is.

I'm talking to a guy about yoga and reiki and he tells me that he has had reiki done by Carly Garce. I then burst out with, 'OMG! Carly is my reiki master!' Wow! We then go on to talk about the infrared sauna at the yoga studio he attends. I've never been, don't have a membership, it's more than I can fork out at the moment.

I'm taking to a guy about veganism and he says that his favourite restaurant is vegan (although he is not) and it's Vantra/Vitao. I'm like, OMG! I'm going there on Saturday for the first time. It's my friends hen party.

At another point I'm talking to the groom's cousins husband and my first job in the U.K. comes up. I use to work at JD Sports on Oxford Street in the 90's. He asked if I knew Kofee and Pam. YES! Pam was my boss and Kofee was her partner. He grew up with Kofee in east London. Random again!

At one point I'm messaging a friend and randomly we are taking about favourite animals and he says once it was a wolf. 🐺 2 days later at breakfast I'm holding one of the wedding guests gorgeous baby son. His name is wolf in Hebrew.

There is just umpteen things / comments that have happened. I often forget how educated I am when it comes to religions and faiths. I took classes in Judaism in college. (As well as Islam and Catholicism - also went to catholic school runed by nuns). If I had a buck / pound for every time someone asked me if I was Jewish I would be rich! They would only ask me once we were talking, as I'm quite aware of customs words traditions etc.

On the last day at breakfast I had a load of people stopping me because they loved my tshirt. I've had it a few months and it's never got so much love before.
It reads:
Race: Human
Politics: Freedom
Religion: Love

Friday March 10th 2017 (still on annual leave)

I started my day off with the necessary adult duties of laundry. Once I had a load washed and hung, I headed out to my friend Ellie. She's a new friend however our conversations and thoughts are so aligned. I've never been to Ellie's house so I met her south of the Thames. She's doing an online tarot card course so she pulled a load of tarot cards for me. The message that kept on coming over and over was to just chill, let go, stop thinking and just be. This is the story of my life but I feel that I'm always need reminding.

Ellie is fortunate enough to have a infrared sauna in her spare room. (Lucky ducky - I'll get one, one day) the medical benefits of infrared sauna's are really amazing. It's very different to a normal sauna and far more powerful. Towards the end of my visit I sat in there naked for 45 minutes and even had a nap. She was doing paperwork work downstairs, plus she uses the sauna for 20 minutes daily. Very few places in London have these types of saunas. There is a place in Notting Hill that charge £38 for 20 min! Yikes! I know I won't be able to use Ellie's sauna often but it was a delightful treat. Thank you x

Now let's talk about the universe and money. I'm surviving but not flourishing financially. I would like to pay off all debts, flourish and give more to charity. (Since the age of 16 - I give to charity).

The day before I was flying out to Israel, it dawned on my that I actually need some jewellery to wear with the dress. I was rushing around town and by the time I finished buying all the bling it was £80. I only wear real jewellery so fake stuff is a one off. Once I was in Israel, on a free day I went to the local mall and found much better and cheaper things that I purchased and used instead. So yesterday I did some returns and got £62 back! Thank you universe.

For a while now the bottom corner of my phone cover/case has been broken. So when I drop my phone on that corner, it's completely exposed and not protected. The cover that I had was an apple original product. They are expensive in my option but I love that they are silicone (vegan) and no slip, good grip. I've decided recently that it's high time I get a new cover seeing the last time I dropped my phone the corner got chipped. I walk into apple and picked a new cover. While chatting to the girl who is taking my payment I point to my existing cover and say, I hope it doesn't break here again. She then asked how long I've had it. '11 months and I have the electronic receipt!' Her reply was, 'Well then, we'll just swap it free!' Thank you universe for just saving me £35

I've had a swatch watch since I was a teen. I don't always wear it, but I own it. The battery in my swatch stopped about 2 years ago. I was about to head over Timpson's as I passed Swatch. I walked in to see what they charge. Free for all swatch watches! Thank you Universe (worth noting that Timpsons and Greggs the baker hire ex convicts / criminals and people with spent convictions. I believe in reform and support these companies)

I'm walking around town and bumped into my old housemate. He moved out in February and only lasted 3 months. That's very short. Most of the guys I live with stay for about 3 years. This guy was in a bad place and I suppose we both thought that it would work out. Well it didn't and it was a relief when he left. He's got some major stuff to sort out in his life. None the less I wished him well when he left, and knew nothing about his new movements. It was nice to talk to him for a couple minutes and he's doing better. Although he too was released back to the universe and no longer in my life. I was still curious. Now I know he's ok ish.

Saturday March 11th 2017 - Bride number 2's hen party

This was quite a interesting group of people. From the look of things, I think the bride has a variety of different circles of friends. Pro's and cons. Many knew each other but I'm guessing few know her. That's not the case for me. We met on a residential yoga retreat in Portugal in 2013.  Since then 80% of our catch-ups are walking around parks. Nothing beats a good walk and talk.

Anyhow, back to this group. I was not feeling it at all. Many were super bitchy, even when they were trying to be nice it was so forced. I survived as I always do, however it's unlikely I will socialise with this crew. I did a whole lot of people watching and observing. Occasionally I had to speak up when it came to the vegan stuff.

Might as well start with that. The bride is not a 110% vegan like me. She's probably a 60% she tries but also eats a load of non vegan food. Fish, dairy meat etc. Why I've given her a 60% it's because she's does full vegan meals often and sometimes does full vegan days. Anyhow, the point of this explanation, is that it was the bride who picked the vegan restaurant! NOT ME (thank you universe none the less for delivering)

Before the first activity - scavenger hunt even began. One of the girls was complaining about the evening meal. What's wrong with people. She hasn't even gone there yet or looked at the menu. Her negative energy was constant throughout the day. And would you guess who had a shitty day? HER! Serves her right. During the scavenger hunt she refused to wear the 'Where's Wally / Wanda?' hat and glasses 👓. The rest of us all made the effort. Her day got worse when we went for dinner. Due to her making loads of harsh vegan comments, I was able to give her some back, in a kinder gentler way. Other people had loads of positive comments and I would reply. 'Thank you for being understanding and excepting, what I'm doing is for myself and I'm not telling other people what to do.' You could tell that the meanie knew that message was intended for her. She's gone now, I've released her back to the universe immediately.

Let's talk about passing judgement / opinion. Is it humanly possible to not have some kind of opinion on most matters? I'm careful to avoid confrontation and keep my opinions to myself. We are all entitled to our own thoughts.  - At the same table is a pregnant lady. She was 2 people away so although I could hear everything, I wasn't involved in the conversation. Her parents are abroad and she only wants them to come once the baby is 3 weeks old. She is hiring a night nurse!
You guys should live in my head for a few minutes if you can handle it. Let's recap what's going on in my head. 'What the fuck! A night nurse! Seriously!'
I'll stop there. I don't want to loose any of my faithful readers. Thinks that's only one or two people. Lastly, when it came to the same person. We were talking about where we live. Her reply was the beginning of her post code. What the fuck again! Seriously! I know my London postcodes, I also know it's one, if not the most expensive postcode in the country. Who fucking cares! Just say where the fuck you live. Man some people really piss me off.

Sunday March 12th 2017 - full moon!!

The wonders of Mother Nature are on display at Columbia Road Flower Market. Such a special place on a Sunday morning in London. I've got flowers for my bedroom, the office at work and some for the house. Pictures on Instagram

Later that day, I met up with a friend and her daughter. I don't see her often and we have little small talk. Her life, childhood, upbringing and employment is so different to me. It's very hard to relate. So when we talk, I ask real questions. If I wanted to talk about the weather. I would talk to my beloved father. (He still mentions the weather in 50% of all our conversations, texts and emails)

Anyways. A few days later I've received a text from her saying: Yes I'm fine, thanks. I don't know how to say this diplomatically but I didn't enjoy our last meet-up, as so often happens after seeing you i ended up feeling interrogated and judged. I do genuinely know you don't mean to, but this seems to be the dynamic that has developed between us. Apologies if this comes across as harsh, I don't know how else to put it...

Oh well, what can I do. I see it like it is. If you don't want an intelligent emotionally deep, caring, loving friend. Then there is not much I can do.

If there is only one word on my grave stone it would read 'Friend' and one day I hope it changes to 'Loved'

While we are talking about the friendship cull. Let's talk about another friend of mine. This one is a male. I've known him since 2004, that's a while ago now. Anyways, he kind of wants me but can't have me. He's not my type but he is a great friend. He hasn't tried any real moves over the years. He did once hold my hand in the cinema before I pulled it back. I really don't want guys getting the wrong impression. I'm not a player, it's wrong to give people hope when there isn't any at all. He's got a lot of crap going on in his life. I've learned a lot in the last few years. I don't take on people's 'stuff', if I can help with my friendship then I will. That's it, that's all. So last month I had a really painful bacterial chest infection (think I might still have it). So I was texting him and tell him and his asshole reply was 'I can rub your chest for you'

Seriously! What a stupid fucker! There's another person off the list. He doesn't have the balls either to confront his stupidity. I didn't reply and haven't heard from him either

Think I'll end there, this is getting long

Laters

Lxx

Monday, 6 March 2017

Vegan? Seriously? YES!!!!!

Hi all, where to begin.

Let's start with the whole Vegan thing. It seems to be causing a whole lot of shit amongst people and I just don't get it?

What ever I may be doing, I'm doing it to myself. I'm not hurting anyone or anything. I may be posting lots of things on Instagram but that's social media. I'm not walking up to you or anyone telling you what to do. You have your own lives and I have mine. There is plenty of literature out there to help you form your own decisions.

This now brings me to stupid things people say.

This morning at the hotel restaurant, I did my standard thing and go to the chef to let he or she know that I've arrived. Another lady severed me and was going to the kitchen to pass on the message. I explained that I'm a  Teev-oh-NEET which is vegan in Hebrew, (boys are Teev-oh-NEE).

Even though restaurant/ kitchen staff should have a basic understanding of what that is, I quickly run through it with them. No meat, dairy, eggs, seafood etc. She then looks at me and says in English 'So you don't eat anything?'
She kind of threw me off so my reply was, 'I eat vegetables'. Even as the words were coming out of my mouth I was thinking, 'whoa, you eat way more than just veggies'. I then immediately came back and said, I eat lentils and was about to carry on but she got it. She cut the conversation and went to order my food.

Now lets progress to the insensitivity of some shit-heads that exist out there. I posted a picture of what I think to be a very cute piglet wearing 4 red wellie boots. I wrote, 'What a cutie, how could anyone want to eat him?'

Some 'not so bright spark' replied with, 'Very easily and with ketchup!'

How can people be so rude and confrontational. Why? Haven't people learned to keep thier offensive options to themselves.

Next on my rant. My family are coming to London in the next few months. I have told them that my home is vegan and only vegan food is allowed. This simple request has turned their world upside down. My sister is now complaining that she can't afford a hotel. - what the hell? All I'm saying is eat vegan when you're in the house. If you fancy eating dead animals. Do it elsewhere. My dad has now asked if he can eat takeaway in the shed? Seriously? These people sound like they have never gone a day or meal in their life that didn't contain meat, dairy, eggs etc. Have they forgotten that my mom has been a veggie for over 30 years? This is just exhausting.

For my closing note, I found this on the internet. Shame that I've struggled a lot at times.

The modern Hebrew word for veganism is tiv-o-NOOT, which predates the word "vegan" by almost a decade, making Hebrew possibly the first language to have a word for the vegan diet.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Open your eyes

All you/we/us have to do is open our eyes.

There is so much love out there if you just look. Look 👀

For the sake of this blog, A's groom / husband is call G, his mom, from the previous entry is S.

I'm so happy that the Bride A is marrying into this family. There is so much love even though they want to ring each others neck sometimes. That's normal. Last night after 14 of us went and watched the the light show at the Tower of David. After it ended we needed to make our way back to the hotel. Some of us wanted to walk. (I love sightseeing) and others were beyond shattered and a taxi home was what they needed. S wanted to walk and so did I. Another 4 joined us while the others cabbed it. Before G made his decision he asked his mom if she wanted him to walk with her. S isn't old but she does stumble occasionally and the pavement is old. Very old in parts of Jerusalem.

I could tell that G wanted someone to be with S, and he was happy for that person to be him. I was also happy to be with her so I told him 'I've got her' I grabbed her arm and we lived happily ever after.

No, but really, even our subconscious mind has the ability to love. G, just puts himself out there for the people he loves and cares about. I'm just so happy that A has found her penguin. [side note of when I knew that G was right for A. Even before they met, G's father had died. During his last year of his life G went to the hospice every day to see his dad. - My last birthday was a bit of shamble. I invited a million people and only 5 people came. 5 important people. As the evening unwinded G had to go to another party and he said I could come along. (I was dressed up for a party) A was tired and went home. At the restaurant with his friends we all ordered our meals. Once the food arrived, one of the others girls dishes was wrong. He offered to swap his food with her's. That kind of kindness is not seen all that often. I knew then that he was a keeper. ~ a lot of my friends have chosen to be with people that that I'm just not sure of. My gut is unsure. - I'm sure about G]

I'm jumping around a lot, need to make this speedy as I've got to get up and head out soon. I'm going to walk to Temple Mount as the sun rises.

The group of wedding guests so far are so diverse. Diversity is so amazing, we need to embrace it more and stop being fearful of the unknown. The party so far contains guests who's home country are; Canada, Romania, Brazil, Poland, United Kingdom. As well as more diversity when it comes to our skin colour and sexual orientation and religion. There a black girl, and a Muslim gay guy too. The world is full of so much, so let's mix it up.

In less that 2 hours I will visit a historic sight that millions have fought over for centuries. All 3 large faiths believe bit is theirs. - the answer is, everything.... is everyone's.

Peace out
L xx

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The adventure begins

So I'm starting this entry on the flight to Israel.

The next 9 days are are going to be full on and a whole lot of fun.

So far one wedding guest has not made it on the flight. She didn't do her online check in with the budget airline and the flight was over booked. Hopefully she'll be on a later flight today.

This morning I took a cab to A's mother in law 'S'. She's got a big heart ❤️ and a big mouth. I'm sure she won't mind me saying that. She can talk for England. I was struggling to even stay awake at 3:30 am when I hadn't even slept, while she was yapping away. Despite being sleep deprived, I find humans so interesting and fascinating. This might have to do with awareness of myself and my own thoughts. S is a worrier and she worries to a whole new level. She lets small things wind her up and can get worked up very quickly. The taxi to the airport was late, and she was not at all pleased. I don't know her that well and it's rude for me to tell her what to do, so I just listen and support.

Back to people watching (my past time)

I'm now with A's parents as we are about to go through immigration and her mom is having a go at her dad for loosing the kindle. She's not yelling at him but is clearly upset and saying, 'I know better than to give you things, you always loose my stuff'.  (She gave the kindle to her son to hold.) When she did realise she apologised to her husband, and was genuinely sorry. That's a start for sure, more people must say sorry and mean it.

I wonder what I'll be like, when I grow up (yes I know, I'm grown). I like to think I'll be chill. I'm getting there through lots of conscious thoughts. I really try hard to not sweat the small stuff. I succeed most of the time.

I still want to kill my housemates for how badly they wash dishes, but with very very deep breaths. I rewash the very dirty dishes and move on.

I use to tell myself that all the bad stuff is in the past and now it's smooth sailing, I'm pretty damn sure I'm right. The amount of 'life stuff' that I have lived though and experienced is vast. I think because there has been so much,  I deal with new things very quickly. Almost anything will come up and it instantly goes straight on the scale of life:

Does this really matter or not?

And guess what folks, the answer to most things is: It's doesn't matter.

It's just a tiny part of the picture. Focus on the big picture. Who cares if some of the megapixels of our life's image is a bit fucked. If you just stand back and have a look at the picture, everything is as it should be. You don't even have to squint.

I'm going to end this, with one of my favourite old school quotes. 'There's no point in crying over spilled milk'

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The universe

I'm so sleepy so this will be quick but I want to say a few things. 

It's might have taken me my entire life to really whole heartedly start practicing what I preach. BUT I'm doing it! I'm doing it a lot, I'm doing it constantly.

This doing is just being grateful! And the more grateful I am, the happier I am. And the happier I am, the people around me are happy to.   The more I give, the more I get back. 

Here is a snippet of this week. 

A colleague came to me at my desk and said that she could feel the positive energy coming from me and my desk. WOW! Other than the normal things, I had some blueberry and raspberries on it. 2 crystals,  amethyst and calcite. And a bottle of dōTERRA essential oil that I'm using on a spot. (When will I stop getting spots!). I didn't even know how to answer her, I just told her that being a vegan is the way to go and that that crystals are fun. Maybe I could have come up with a better answer but it was all I could think of. 

Normally I don't get stopped to much by strangers although I don't mind at all. I often just stop and help tourists when they look lost. Well I was almost at work when a young girl (18ish) stopped me for directions. She was looking for the local disability Center. She had a printed map and her iPhone but was struggling. As I was talking to her I could tell that she had a disability herself. (Learning disability possibly) she asked me if I was walking in that direction. I soooo wanted to take her there myself but i didn't. I can't fix the world, and I did need to go to work. I did the next best thing. I encouraged her, that might have been all she needed. I pointed her in the right direction and gave her instructions to go to a landmark as then ask again as people will help her. Me just telling this stranger what to do actually helped her. She thanked me and I told her, 'you can do it, you'll be fine!'

Today's been fun. 

Background. I don't spend a lot of time with females. I am a girl and have very good friends that are girls, however they are all busy and just text. (Boring)

I live with 2 guys and spend most of my work life either talking to guys or going to lunch with my guy friends / colleagues.

I actually miss girls! I didn't think I would ever say that but it's true. (Went to an all girls school) Girls do have the ability to be bitchy but they also tell it to you strait. Girls are also great at complimenting each other.

I started my day having hair ripped out of me. Also known as visiting the waxing lady. I've known her now for more than a decade. She really messed me about last week with changing the appointment times etc and cancelling. I could have confronted her, or I could just leave it. Sometimes leaving it, is actually better. We had a good chat about other things. She's the age of my mother but has always asked me for advice. I told her straight, she needs to love herself more. Love is the answer to everything. 

Back to the Universe part. Just this week I binned an old bra. I hate throwing away old bras. They are so comfortable, but when there is no real point in even wearing the bra. It's a sign that it must be replaced.

I walk into Victoria Secret to find a lovely notice saying. £10 off all bra's today! #thankyouuniverse

The lady was so nice and we were admiring my beautiful breasts. Not in a lesbian kind of way but in a cool girl way. I'm just chatting away telling her that I love my breasts and calling them my bad boys. (Yes I know I'm nutty) by the time I left, she too was calling my boobs bad boys! Well! I was telling her that I've lost so much weight since I've become a vegan 110%! That's why I need new bras. She was telling me how she's gained and I've told her to give veganism a shot. I was also telling her how much happier I feel too. Anyhow! I'm amazed with what size my new bra's are? 
Guess!
Go on, guess? 
32DDD 
Seriously? 
What the hell! 
How did that happen. I mean, I have had these pups for a while, but I suppose I thought some of my breasts were fat or food. Who knows. I've lost weight in other parts of my body but not my breasts. Again! Lucky girl, #thankyouuniverse

Then I get a call from my cousin's wife offering me a free ticket to join her to see Shakespeare's Love Labour Lost. Why the hell not! It's been ages since I've seen a play. Shakespeare English does throw me off at times but I got the jist of it. 

Prior to meeting her I grabbed a quick vegan burrito and fancied a chocolate brownie. I turned around, and not only did I find a vegan brownie (I wouldn't have bought it otherwise) it was also gluten free. #thankyouuniverse
Whole foods also had Karma Cola. I've pretty much weened myself off of Coke Cola but I do miss it. Karma Cola is fair trade and all of the ingredients are readable. (We shouldn't eat foods if we can't pronounce the ingredients, nor know what's in it)

Back to my cousin's wife D. In august her husband T, died after drinking himself to death. It's been hard and I took the week off to sort out his funeral. (Much too much to explain). The nice thing today was seeing her doing so well. She misses him, but is also embracing her time here on earth. She's going out and living again. For years she had/chose to take care of him and his addiction. Now she goes to the theatre to see plays! Her new job had brought good people into her life. I'm so happy for her. 

After the play I went to get some bits for A's wedding. 
I'll keep this short. Bought vegan makeup (feel so good about my decisions).
I was served by so many nice people. The nail polish lady wants me to come back and show her pictures! 

Just a nice day and I'm so thankful 

Peace out 
L xx

Friday, 25 November 2016

Oops that took a while

Hello people,

It's been a while a long ol' while.

Well today I finally got some news and it was good.

I'm got a new job whoop whoop! It's only taken 3 whole years! Of could I could have looked externally but there is something about security, long service and a good pension. I'm staying put and will join a new department. Same money too but I'll be happier! I'll do everything in my power to be happier. I promise myself that. I promise you too.

How are you all?

I can tell you I'm ecstatic that 2016 is almost over. I don't want to jump the gun nor do I want some bad shit to happen in the remainder of 2016 but it's been tough. Really tough.

There has been quite a few stories here and there. My goal, my aim and want is to live a live drama free. I do struggle though when shit happens around me or in the world.

Let's rewind a bit. I was seriously messed up when Jo Cox was murdered. Democracy is a beautiful amazing thing. Express yourself that way. Don't go killing people.

When the nightclub shooting happened in Florida I called brat face (the bro - (gay but that shouldn't matter)) crying my eyes out saying 'why do they want to hurt you! Nothing is wrong with you!'

I love my bro and sis and everyone. I just want everyone to stop hurting eachother.

Anyhow. I'll end this very very late entry and say that I hope to do better with blogging. I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you and the ether.

Peace out peeps
Be good to each other.

I've leave you with an amazing entry from a Leonard Cohen interview in the 60's and the song of the year. Or better know as my song of the year.

Leonard Cohen 1967 CBC interview

Interviewer: A lot of your poems have to do with love. Or what do you think about love? Do you have a kind of an impression of what love is? A kind of definition?

Leonard Cohen: Well, I like to be taught. You know, that's I think that's what I want everybody to do, is to teach me about that. You know, I think that when you meet a person, at any moment you want to be taught about love because there's so much evidence to the contrary. We have the word it's in the air you know, but there's so much evidence to the contrary. You look around you look at the lack of generosity. In yourself. You know, the things you are unwilling to concede that the many ways that you can't love. So that, I'm continually looking for someone to tell me about it. And I try to provoke that exchange by perhaps writing a poem that says you know like, "where are you Judy where are you Anne?" You know, tell me.

Show me love.

The final part of this entry is thanks to my boyfriend Shaun W Keaveny on BBC 6 Music. If you haven't already been listening to him you should. He cracks me up and sends good tunes my way.

He introduced me to the house martins and the caravan of love. Beautiful song. Listen and enjoy.

Oh and incase I haven't mentioned already. I'm going to Glastonbury for the 5th consecutive year in a year. I rock and I'm luck as fuck.

Love love love
❤️

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Suck it up Buttercup

Hello All,

Suck it up Buttercup is going to be my self-motto of 2016!

I am going to make a real conscious push to not complain. Of course all my complaints are 100% justified and valid however I’m going to try really hard and just not complain. I can hear some of you already laughing at me.

I made a whole lot of decisions towards the end of 2015, that I wanted to implement in 2016. I suppose you can also call them goals.

One of the really, really big ones is to get out of debt for good and live within my means. This means not purchasing anything at all on credit. I have to have the money or else I just can’t have it. Additionally while I have to live with what I have, I need to pay for all the things that I already have, that includes the credit cards. Now I am a lucky ducky and have ‘shit hot’ credit so the banks are always offering me the best of everything. I’m in a very privileged position to say that I’ll be paying this all off at 0% yippee!!! I did a balance transfer in November, which has prepped me for my 2016/2017 plans. It might take a while but I’m on board.

I have wanted to sort this out forever but just never got around to it. Who likes those people that are all talk and no action. Not me! but that’s how I was behaving.

So how did I make this 360 degree change, you ask? It was this crazy American guy called Dave Ramsey. I’ve been listing to his podcast daily and watching a whole lot of Americans on Youtube. He talks about zero balance budgeting. Every dollar/pound that comes into your account needs to have a place to go. It needs to be allocated. He also talks about the cash envelope system, which is something else that I’m doing. I’m not going to write much on this as all you have to do is Google Dave Ramsey and his baby steps. I’m on baby step 2! I’m going to have to cut back on holidays, shopping etc. (Warning: I would like to say personally there are moments I find it difficult listening to him. He’s really religious, gun loving, anti Obama redneck. If we ever met it real life it would not go down well. None the less, his opinion on money is interesting a worth a listen)

Lucky for me I have a few exciting things lined up that I purchased in 2015 for events in 2016. This year I will be gong to Glastonbury for the 4th year on the trott! I can’t wait!!! I also managed to bag tickets to see Adele, Coldplay and The Maccabees this year. Puls I have one big holiday in March. It’s not a place that I have ever had on my list, its not really my bag… but I’m going to Las Vegas to get hitched! No not really… It’s my moms 60th birthday and of all the million places in this great world of ours, she wants to go to Vegas. So being the worlds best child ever, I’ll tag along. My brother and sister will also be there with a few of my moms closest friends who are willing to indulge in these shenanigans. I think I might have mentioned this before but I’m not very British when it comes to drinking with my family. I absolutely hate being around my folks when they drink, they rarely get drunk but its not fun. Who knows how I’m going to survive this trip but wish me luck. I’ll be in Vegas over Easter.

After the above list of fun things, I have nothing else lined up at all. I’ve heard this term that makes me laugh but will also be very relevant to me. It’s called ‘The Summer of Suck’. I’m going to have to find fun entertaining things to do that cost almost nothing. No trips abroad, camping weekends maybe?

Oooh I have found a new pastime activity that I like. I’m upcycling furniture and making things. You should all check out Annie Sloan. She’s British but way more popular in the US. Her thing is chalk paint. Last weekend I painted 2 old IKEA kitchen stools and then waxed them one night this week. I’m pretty good at painting and have painted almost every room in this house. While on the topic of houses, this last November, house and I celebrated 10 years together! Can you believe it! I’ve been a homeowner for 10 years!! Kinda cool don’t ya think. There is still so much to do when you have a home that is 119 years old! Its time I get a new kitchen but… I’m sticking to the plan. Finish the baby steps and then see what money is left, I would also like to pay off my mortgage by the time I’m 45. I have no idea how I’ll find that extra money but I’ll try.

In the past I have spoken about aging but thought I would say a little more about that. I like aging. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of it. I’m so much more resilient about so many things and I’ve learned so much over the years. People occasionally still manage to hurt me but less and less so. I have also learned to live with different kinds of relationships. Long gone are the best friends. I might use the word out of habit but I don’t have best friends anymore, they are all busy doing their own thing. Some of them call me from time to time. Some of them make the effort to see me, some don’t. Either way… its ok. I’ve made a life of my own. I so rarely get board these days, I enjoy my own company so much. I’m growing into me, life just fits better. There is no change in actually knowing what my bright future holds but its bright. I don’t know what will be… but it will be.

The same things that make my world go round from the beginning remain. Love & Music… that’s it, that’s all.

I know a few people that don’t listen to music very often at all, almost never. They listen to BBC 4 and that’s about it. They both have very good jobs (doctor and teacher) but I don’t understand how they do it. Not a day goes by where I’m not listening to something or another. This brings me to the very sad death of David Bowie. I was sitting at my desk at work 7am when it was announced on BBC6 Music that the musical creative ledged David Bowie had died. World wide reactions might be dramatic for some of you, but music is such a powerful visceral thing. Bowie songs is / was the soundtrack of our lives. How can you not hear a song and be brought back to the time in your life when…..

I’m a massive movie fan so soundtracks to movies are very powerful for me. Only since David’s passing have I realized how I knew so many of his songs without knowing it was him, who sang it. I’ve seen Reality Bites and Pretty Woman so many times over the years, both have Bowie in the soundtrack. There are so many films that have his music.

Last thing before I go, the composer of the soundtrack for Hateful Eight was totally deserving of its Golden Globe award. So was Brie Larson for Room and Leo for The Revenant. (Yes folks, I’ve seen it all. If I’m not listening to music I’m in a theater watching a film)

Be good kids, I hope to not be so much of a stranger. Its one of my goals! If you get a chance listen to the Dave Ramsey podcast #7875 where he talks about goals

Laters peeps

Lxx

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Nothing makes sense

I would like to start with nothing makes any sense to me. 

Everyday seems to be a bit of an opposite of the day before. 

There are days where my theme song is I am a rock by Paul Simon. Listen to the lyrics. I don't need anyone.... I'm an island.
Then the next day I'm all about Joe Cocker With a little help from my friends. (and for those music trivia buffs, I do know this song was a Beatles original. Joe did it better)

Now ladies and gents, the million dollar question is... Do I need friends or do they continue to hurt me. Or is it me letting them affect me. I'm still working on this. 

I have not really seen or spoken to A for over 2 months. It's sad and complicated.

Other friends have really turned up which has been really nice. Really, really nice. This now brings me onto the next topic. I've said it on this blog a gazillion times but I'll say it again. It's something I was told on the Camino and it's so true. 

There are only 2 kinds of people in life. Those that turn up, and those that don't. 

I have this friend J who I met in 2011. We hung out for a bit and got to know each other. Then in summer of 2013 his behaviour was really odd, weird and he wasn't very nice to me. I know I deserve better, he was toxic, so we stopped talking. Over a year later he called me out of the blue but I was far to poorly to deal with anyone. Let's not forget this was the stage where I had a uni dread and took a shower every 5+ days. I was too weak. 

Anyhow, in late September 2015 J was surfing in Australia where he had a stoke and was also in a coma. (He's out of the coma now and talking) After being in an Australian hospital for a few weeks he has been transferred back to the UK. He's been back in the UK for about 10 days and I went to see him last night. (We still have a load of mutual friends and acquaintances who informed me about what had happened)

Let me tell you that it wasn't an easy decision to go visit. I thought about it a great deal. I'm still pissed off about his behaviour towards me 2 years ago.  But I also know what it's like to be sick and alone. I know how bad hospitals can be. I know what weak feels like. These are the reasons that made me decide to go visit him. 

Story Detour: 2 nights ago I went to the pub with my housemate S (he's the other teacher. Not D who's also a teacher and lives with me) S heard the whole story and agreed that J behaviour was odd. Well now I'm drunk at the pub with S, I text J to see if he wants me to bring him anything tomorrow. I suggested a nice blanket. Hospital linen is soooo bad. J says a warm blanket would be good. Once home I look in my trunk of great blankets and picked a massive wool one. Natural fibres are the best.

Right! So now the actual visit, when I get to the hospital he has a huge beard. By the time the night was over my brutal honesty was in full fledge. I told him he looks like the Amish. He went bald in his 20's and with the beard at that length it's  funny.

When I arrived I gave him the wool blanket and said hello to the 3 other visitors he had. One of whom I know and the other 2 know a bunch of my other friends.  One of them made some chocolate moose, another went to the pharmacy to pick up some massage oil. I guess they were all trying do their bit. We all chatted and the list of visitors he has had came up, it's been quite long and impressive. Lots of nice folks that I know loosely.

Due to the stroke he is currently paralysed on his left side. There are still dong tests but intensive Physio is on the programme. I have no clinical knowledge nor do I really understand our brains etc. However... I feel that he will get back to where he needs to be. Fit, healthy and occasionally pissing people off. How's that for good ol'fashion Leena optimism. I can just feel that it's going to be ok. 

After the visitor friends left I was able to be myself more. It's funny how in my old age I'm not as comfortable in groups. I started tiding up and asking more important questions. One of which was why was he wearing these god awful green, thin pj's. He's not really sure where his blue pj's are but the rest of his clothing need a wash. 

Warning readers: this is the part where I inflate my ego and bitch about the world. Where the fuck are practical people. What the fuck has happened to common sense and helping your neighbour. Why does everyone only think about themselves, their kids and spouse. That's it, that's all. Why aren't all these smart kind visitors actually asking the right questions? Who's cleaning your flat, where's your missing passport? It's not in the envelope where you think it is. Are you cold at night? Should I bring you a blanket? Why don't I take your laundry home and wash it. 

Well folks! That's what I did. After over 2 years of not talking to this guy, there I was last night washing his clothes. I'll return them to him tomorrow.

I would also like to add that boys can be real pricks sometimes and it's totally good and necessary to call them an asshole when needed. I've called plenty of guys assholes in my time and they actually love me more. Really, go ask them. Once his friends left, I called him an asshole. I might have even called him a fucker too.

I would like to end this entry with the fact that I will always be a forever optimist. I know the world has some major issues going on but I still have hope that there are a few more people out there like me. (Preferably a hot male with a good sperm count)

So last week S (house mate) had a bag full of clothing that he was going to give to a local charity shop on the high street. I stopped him immediately and said,  'No, it's going to the Syrians.' S is totally cool and replied 'Sure but there are loads of ties in the bag too. Will they want it?'

My optimistic reply was, 'They are eventually going to get jobs and will need a tie for their interview'

The end
Peace out
xx

Sunday, 16 August 2015

May, June & July

Its been a while!

I was going to recap month by month but it’s just a bit dull. So here are the highlights.

In May I found the most amazing Chinese doctor. I was seeing him weekly but I’m feeling so much better that I now go every 2 weeks and eventually I’ll see him less and less. For those of you that are skeptical of TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine, try it first. Yes acupuncture might not be that comfortable but I feel so much better. I end up having acupuncture, a massage and herbals teas if I need it. It’s making a massive difference.

I went back to my happy place. Glastonbury… my true love. There is really nothing in the world that is as amazing as Glastonbury. I can never say it enough; everyone must try and go, It’s so special.

A few days after that I went to Italy for 5 days to see Steph and the kids. At the time she was heavily pregnant, her daughter was born earlier this month. It was a good visit.

Early August was the one year since Mark died. I decided I didn’t want to be at work so I took the day off. It was a really sunny day and nice day. Since he’s died I really only think about the good stuff. His younger brother and I will meet up for dinner in early September. I will be the third time I’ve met him. At least this visit will be a bit more normal. The first time was at Mark’s funeral and the second was at Mark coroners’ inquest into his death.

Seeing I’ve just brought up Marks death this brings me to a suicide related event. A few weeks ago I accompanied a friend to a SOBS open day. SOBS stands for Survivors of Bereavement of suicide. The friend I went with lost her fiancé to suicide. We’ve known each other a long time so she was comfortable to ask me to come along for support. It was lovely but sooo strange. Imagine being in a room with about 80 people that have lost someone to suicide. Everyone had a colored badge on, each color represented if that person was a parent, partner, spouse, child, sibling or friend of someone that had taken their own life. It was heavy. I pray that none of you reading this ever have to go though such a horrible experience. The London group use to meet monthly and now they have to meet every 2 weeks as there are so many people coming. What’s happening to the world?

There was a presention done by Angela Samata. She made a documentary on the BBC in March 2015, its called Life after Suicide, its on youtube  I highly recommend it. Yes it’s not a happy topic but mental health affects us all. She interviews family members of the deceased. She herself lost her husband to suicide. At the end of the afternoon those who wanted to chat could meet up at the local pub. We were talking about a few things for a few minutes, she was sooo nice to me. She told me how I was a gorgeous wonderful person and hugged me. Humans just amaze me sometimes. She has been though so much and can still see the beauty in me and in life. Amazing, just amazing.

There was a lot of people there and I wish I could tell you their stories but I cant. I know you understand.

Oh and the most important thing I leaned was from the documentary itself. It was about the state of the persons mind when they choose to take their own life. It shed some light into Mark’s state of mind. There is this professor in Glasgow who has been doing work inthe field. Watch the documentary.

The above is the recap. I can’t believe that we are in the middle of august. I honestly don’t know where time has gone this summer.

Here is a little bit of the current. My dad’s brother died last week, I wrote the obit for my dad. I really am the best! No I’m not, but I wanted do something to help him and seeing I’m so far away it’s all I could do.

Lots of really nice things are happening these days. Small things but they all make a difference.

The other day I went to a department store to purchase a suitcase and finish the collection. I had the hand luggage and the largest suitcase but needed the middle one. Well I was really too late because the line has been discontinued. This nice girl checked the systems and managed to find me one in the middle of the country but they would send it to me free of change. On top of that it was on sale too!

The locks to my front door stopped working so I had to get the emergency locksmith out. An expensive day, trust me. While the locksmith was working on the door I was sitting on my stairs having a chat with him. I mentioned that I wanted to put up a picture but needed an extra set of hands. Just as he was about to leave he asked to see the picture and where I wanted it. He kindly put the picture up. I had no money on me but I offered to nip out and get cash or transfer some money to him. He declined both and said it was ok. How is nice is that. Its just soooo easy to be kind. I offered him tea and drinks as soon as he walked in. All the world needs is tea.

This now brings me all the way up to this weekend. Last night I went to a BBQ, somehow I was there for almost 12 hours. It was a bit slow to begin with and I was more or less ready to go after a few hours and then I didn’t. Let me explain, from as soon as I got there I was standing the whole time. I should have just sat down but the only people I knew were standing so my options were to sit alone like a loner or stand and talk to people.

The host of the BBQ works for Google. Google have a policy where they will match the amount of money raided for a charity so it was chairty BBQ to raise money for https://www.savetherhino.org

Anyhow, the host has been having annual BBQ’s for years now, sadly though I haven’t been able to make them for the last few years so the last time I went to her BBQ was 5 years ago. At first I was quite disappointed with how this BBQ was going. Everyone seemed be having a nice time but a lot had changed in 5 years. The crowd was older and everyone was just more or less talking to people they knew, it was very clicky. There wasn’t any real mingling. Its either that or none of them were drunk enough.

I suppose that I’m pleased about 2 things. The first was I finally sat down on the grass and felt so much better, that led to other great thing. I ended up talking to other people that were nearby. I then spent the rest of my night walking around looking for a spare seat and striking up a conversation with fascinating people. It was a great night. (Also my night bus journey was so smooth. The bus wasn’t full of drunks nor did it stink of puke)

I should really sign off but I’ve been trying to think of what else I’ve been doing for the last few months. It’s not the most exciting but its really rewarding. I have been sorting out loads of things of things at home. Every week now for weeks the recycling bin has been full. I’m throwing so much out. My bedroom is almost tidy! I called my mom the other day and said now that its really clean and organized what on earth am I going to do with all this time? She replied, find a man and have some babies. Thanks mom!

Last but not least, what have I been listening to?

Lots and lots of Tangentially Speaking by Chris Ryan. This is podcast that I highly recommended.  He has a series called TOMA talking out of my ass. Its true stories about his life, he really is someone that you want to bump into and just start talking to.

When I’m not listening to him and other podcasts such as The Moth I’m really loving everything that The Maccabees have ever done. Their 4th album was just released a few weeks ago. Its fantastic

Hope you are all well

Lxx

Thursday, 2 April 2015

NICE

Hello Hello

So! Things at work and my health are kinda the same so we wont talk about that today.

We will talk about how it’s been such a nice day despite a death. Yes, someone died today. Alison’s grandmother was 2 weeks short of her 90th birthday and she died this morning. Very sad for Alison and the family. (The condolence card is in the post)

But let me tell you all about the nice people that made today so great. Adam, David and Jane.

Adam is work Adam, former manager and now just a good friend. Shame he lives at the other end of the country or else I would go visit him and his family more. I’ve been off sick since last Wednesday and made an appearance today. I sent Adam a longish email and he sent me a lovely reply. It’s always important to know that people care and that they are there for you. In life you don’t always need people to fix things, you just need kind people that care. Showing kindness is so easy. Thank you Adam xx

I also returned to work with lots of hello’s and emails inviting me to lunch. I must be a loud mouth because they all know when I haven’t been there for a few days. Prior to arriving at work I got a text from my colleague telling me that I should really go see Colonel Sanders and he can fix me. They all know I’m a vegetarian but think chicken is the answer.

The next person who made this day really good is David. Well David and his wife Julie. They are strangers, I have never met them, nor is it likely that I ever will.

Last Thursday while I was off sick and feeling shit I decided that I couldn’t eat chocolate any longer and it was time to visit the grocery store. So I’m in the parking lot of Tesco and as I’m swinging into a free parking spot I accidently crash into a blue Honda Civic. OH MY GOD!!! I so desperately wanted to get the hell out of there and fast. SERIOUSLY I WANTED TO RUN AWAY. I didn’t because its not the way I role. I’m a good moral-ish person that was raised by pretty great parents. Instead I fixed my mal parking attempt, got out of the car shaking, checked out the damage on the poor Honda and searched for some paper and a pen. My note was simple, I was sacred shitless and had no idea what to write. How about,  ‘Hey, I’m a fucking idiot. Sorry’ I opted for ‘Hi, I hit your car. I’m very sorry, please call me to sort 07***.


While in Tesco I needed comfort food and purchased some shortbread biscuits. Times like these are when you need all butter and calories don’t exist.

Now I knew that these people were going to call me soon but I was petrified. The call could go in so many directions. The possibilities are endless. Lucky for me Julie called, she and her husband were at the car and were wondering if I was still at Tesco. I explained that I wasn’t and that I was sorry etc. They needed my details which I texted and they replied with a the following. I was also explaining that I was going to the hospital later that day and might not answer. (I will blog hospital stuff soon)

‘No Worries Leena, these things happen, thank you for leaving the note, we appreciate it. Etc etc. ‘

How nice is that! In the proceeding days we both made calls to garages and I sourced a new Honda civic bumper that would arrive in 2 days. I opted to fix this situation by not going down the insurance route, need to save my no claims discount. I spoke to David a few times and sent emails etc. All correspondence has been great. I don’t know if our greatness was bouncing off each other but man, has this whole experience been so pleasant.

So today David texted me, to let me know that the repair was completed, and it was fine to call the Honda garage to pay for the labor costs. Once I did, I texted him “Thanks David, they are all paid up and I have emailed you the receipt for your records. Thanks Leena”

His final reply was part of my great day! He wrote, “Back home now. Thanks for your honesty and being proactive. You’ve restored my faith in human nature.”

How nice is that? Seriously! What a nice nice nice text. (David and Julie’s Thank you card is in the post) I’m not trying to be wet but I need them to know that they too have restored my faith in human nature. There was never an ounce of drama or raised voices etc.

Now for Jane. Jane is Met police officer. I’m very Canadian when it comes to my street, my  community and I am the coordinator for the Neighborhood Watch on my street. The Met email me and I then email the other residents on the road. Today the council were coming with the police to meet a few residents who were available to discuss the security on our road and things that could be improved and looked at. Street lighting, wheelie bins, securing gates etc. I had met Jane last month and the neighborhood watch meeting and we had a little chat then, but today we got to talk a little bit more. After the official stuff was done it was just girlie banter. The others were still talking and so I invited Jane in. I asked her to have a look at the rear of my house from a security point of view. (I will be making some changes shortly). Right from the second she walked in, she said how my house had a really good feel to it. She said it a few times, she is right, it’s a good house. It’s why within the first minute of viewing it 10 years ago I knew it was the one. She also commented on lovely smell lilies as soon as you walk in. 

Here is a pic of them, they are from Columbia Road Flower Market.




While she was over I asked her to find me a nice guy, I poured her some Robinsons Orange Squash, discussed sex, boys and love (it came up), gave her a tour of the house, and cut and wrapped up a piece of Teach’s Orange cake. (Teach is one of my flat mates who is getting me fat! He’s a great baker and chef.) In the middle of our yapping she stopped me to tell me how nice I was and how it was such a change from her normal day where the public are just shouting at her. How nice was that! I was just being me and she liked me. The police are nice people, we should all be nicer to them.

And well guys, that was my day, made of nice people being nice. Nice nice nice. As they end every episode of Sesame Street.  - Today’s episode has been brought to you by the letters N I C E. 


L xx

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Brat Face

So! We know why Steph has gone a bit AWOL. She is preggers with baby number 3. I'll go see her in August when the baby is born. When number 3 will be born her eldest will be about 5 1/2. This makes me think of Brat Face. 

Brat Face is my brother, he is actually dashingly handsome and quite popular amongst many. I'm a fan most of the time but he is still a lazy brat. 

Anyhow, this story is about him when he was a baby and toddler. I was 11 when he was born so I can remember all of it. 

I hope most of you have seen new borns. They are kinda gross but if you are lucky that changes quickly. So this baby was really welcomed into our home. There was no jealousy really, my mom raised him with us. My dad was there too but I don't have very many memories of my dad when we (3 kids) were growing up. He worked a lot and did night shifts too. I can't complain too much, as we have aged, we see and speak to him a lot more. (Divorce may be a factor)

I'm diverting, back to Brat Face. For as long as I can remember I've always had long philosophical debates and discussions in my head. I tend to analysis and dissect everything. 

So I knew I loved him, I knew we all loved him but I was curious if he knew that. At what age would he know what love is, when would he start using the word. When would it mean something to him. 

Because I'm the smartest person in the world. ( yes I know I shouldn't start a sentence or paragraph with because) I had a theory that I was going to test out and use. I was sure that his conscious mind knew that I loved him but I wasn't sure if his unconscious mind knew. So the only way to test the unconscious was to knock him out. No! Just joking. I would test my theory for many years from as soon as he was speaking. 

In the middle of the night for years I would go to his cot / bed and shake him awake. Not violently, just so that he was awake in a groggy state. I would ask him 'Brat face, who loves you?' He would then reply 'Leena, you love me'. It was all I needed to hear and then he would be asleep in seconds again. {I used his real name}

No I didn't do this all the time. There was no rhyme, reason or schedule. It's was, as and when he would pop into my head or when I was thinking about love. ( you guys know I'm always thinking about love, even when I was a kid myself)

I'm trying to remember when this waking him up business stopped or why. It stopped when I moved in with my dad, he and my sister stayed with my mom. He was about 5. I wonder if he remembers me waking him. I suppose I should ask him. He and my sister don't read this blog, they have the details but no interest. Each to their own I say. 

I doubt I'll ask him anytime soon, maybe when I see him next but not sure when that will be. Possibly my dads 70th in October but that's a blog entry in itself. 

The bro is off this weekend to see his in-laws. He has met his diplomat partners parents before but never at their home. (I use the term in-laws but they aren't hitched. Maybe one day)

Here is a great blog entry from Ellie talking about gays and adoption. A great read and I use the word retard a lot. Former managers have told me off plenty, it's not the done thing in the UK. Oops!

Let's end this entry with a pretty pic of Steph and family on holiday in the desert. You can see baby too! 


L xxxxx