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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, 27 June 2014

Kind people at Glastonbury

Morning all, thought I would say hi while Emma sleeps for another hour. Once she is up we will go find some breaky.

Yesterday was simple day. No live music until 8pm and so we walked, talked, ate and drank. 

What I noticed the most about yesterday is how friendly and kind people are at Glato. I don't think it was do with being drunk or stoned either. 

Everyone is in a good happy caring place and well... You can see it.

Yesterday morning on my way get a soya hot chocolate there were 2 guys asking some attendants for directions to the car park. I knew where they had to be so I helped. The attendants were on their way somewhere and so they carried on. The boys and I were talking and they showed me a wallet they had found. They wanted to find the owner and give it to him so they could see his happy reaction. Both of their mobiles had run out of juice so we used mine and tweeted @glastoinfo. As we parted we said our goodbyes and then one of them added, you have a kind soul. 

It might be a random thing to say or something one says at Glastonbury... But I thought it was nice (I also think it's true)

Later that day, we (Emma, I and our glasto family (people we met last year)) met to drink, talk, walk and eat. You have to get me in the right mood to drink but when I'm there.... I'm there. Only 2 pints of cider to get me merry and once you add the third I'm drunk! I sure am lucky that this can happen for under £20 bargain! 

Being drunk also helped with the rain situation. Although I was cold and wet... It still not so bad. 

As I'm writing this now, it's raining. Looks like it might be raining all day. 

Here is a picture of the view from my tent looking towards the pyramid stage. 

This next picture is what I've been using to sleep. Quite different from last year when I took national express. Bringing the car means you can bring those creature comfort things.

My bright strippy down pillow. (About a 300 thread count, 100% Cotten from Sheridan.com.au)
My lightweight Quechua sleeping bag that traveled with me on the Camino. 
The next 2 are from Glastonbury. Although at home I sleep with a. Duvet I love blankets. When I learn to knit I'm going to start with making a blanket. Glastonbury has these stalls where you can buy just about anything. The blanket stall has tons and tons of blankets all for £5. They are used but there are some fantastic finds. 

The wool blanket is massive and it hasn't been attacked my those pesky cloths moths not does it have that awful smell of moth balls. (I hate the smell of moth balls). The star blanket is just warm, fluffy. It's makes me happy!

Oh and last night Em and I were sitting on a bench while I was eating Cotten candy (candy floss) and these nice people offered me their chips that they couldn't eat. I eat their chips and we chatted. Rely nice people 

Em will be up in 15 minutes and then we will be off on our adventure. I've never been to festival in the rain so this will be interesting. I have a cold and it's getting worse so I'll have to head to the pharmacy here and get some meds)

Peace out

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Middle class... Really?

To many this picture might just be of loo roll in a plastic bag. 

But really it's much more....

I was packing for Glastonbury and it finally hit me. Not only was I going to the best music festival ever... But I'm also middle class. 

I've had internal debates with the class system for donkeys years. 

What am I? What are my folks? What was I growing up? And what were my folks growing up?

Working class, middle class, upper middle, lower middle, skint class, plain out poor? You get the drift. 

I don't actually have the time to go into this for too long but the picture sums it up. Ikea good quality plastic bag with velvet quilted loo roll. And this will be used at the middle class festival. 

More pictures to follow. 

This is the view the people in the queue to charge their mobile phone. (I'm am also)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

It's 2:53 am. Confirmed insomniac


Work is pretty bad as mentioned in earlier posts. 

It's affecting my sleep and well I can't really sleep past 3 hours. Raccoon face is probably in full swing. I'm avoiding looking at mirror at all costs. Either way I have enough colleagues that will kindly tell me I look like shit! Oh the joys....

Anyhow! I've been up since one. I styled in bed until 2 and then came down to prepare the BBQ food for Monday nights BBQ. All are welcome. It will be at Michales Mead camp ground in Glastonbury.... The best place in the world!

I'm praying that for the next 6 days I don't think about work at all!

I went to yoga tonight and man can you see the stress in my body. My shoulders are so high and my poor neck is feeling the brunt of it. I really must learn how to not let stress manifest in my body. Enough of the misery. 

Here is pic of the food. I'll try and post loads while I'm away. I quite like this blogging jazz.

Be good and be kind to one another 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Every time the sun comes up

There will be moments when I won't blog, particularly because I find all the thinking exhausting. I also don't want to loose my limited readership. I might bore you beyond 

What I will do is let you know what I'm listing to. 

Music is the only thing that ill ever need need. 

There might be other things I want, but music is need.

I'm really started to get super hyped about Glastonbury. It's a blessing really seeing works is pants. 

The 3 best songs of the day were

At last by Etta James 
The Greatest by Cat Power
Every time the sun comes up by Sharon Van Etten

Thursday, 19 June 2014

What do I want? Suggestions welcome

Today has been a bad day. 

Work is a bit crap and I'm not sure how to fix it. Those that care about me and that includes some management want to know how they can help me. What do I want to do? What would I like with my future, career prospects etcetera. What do I enjoy doing?

Listen up folks! I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE!!!!

I am very capable, smart, intelligent and most important I get things done. All good qualities that have kept me in respectable employment my entire life. 

Despite this it hasn't produced an enlightening career. (Just a good pension)

Today someone asked me if I want to be a bus driver? He was only helping. He has 3 sons and just started listing things off. No disrespect to the bus drivers out there but that's one job that I know is not for me. 

Then there is the whole malarkey of school and going back into education and re qualifying. Aside from the the fact I don't know what I want to do I also have a mortgage. Yes I'm grateful for the roof over my head blah blah blah but have you ever thought of the word Mortgage. Mort is dead in French. Only another 21 years to go! Once the house is paid off then that might be a good time to change jobs! Eeeek I want to scream. 

So that's been my day. It's doing my head in. Even talking about it is pissing me off. I'm sick of my own voice and I have a nice voice. Every once in while I'll even get a compliment on it. 

I made some decisions pre Camino 2009 and then when I returned I out them in place. All well and done but I can't walk every-time I have to make a decision. 

I would like to add that despite me feeling a little sorry for myself and tearing today I still have great perspective of my life at large. It's only the little picture that's I'm concerned about. 

This sums it up. I bumped into an old  colleague at lunch today and asked him how he was. Vast majority are a little dismayed with the situation but that a blanket feeling. He didn't even have to answer the question but have me a look. I replied with I know and he smiled. He then took out a staff ID swipe card for another guy with his picture on it. He replied, this guy (pointing to the pic) has 6 months left to live, so really I'm ok. 
I replied I know what you mean, I volunteered at a paediatric hospital for years, so I too know I'm ok. 


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Missing… to miss

Is missing a verb? I’m pretty sure it is.

I can’t actually believe how much I miss Steph and vice versa. We both spent today feeling really sad. The boys at work were worried about me. Sad Leena is very very different to normal Leena and even more of a change to happy Leena. (Work is also getting me down big time) Steph and I can go almost a year without speaking. We just send whatsaps and emails, but we have a Skype date tomorrow.

I’ve always been a misser. I wouldn’t say that I live in the past, I live in the now. Despite this I still miss so many people, things, moments, memories, parts of my past. Some days I miss them more than others.

Missing must be like love because it feels different every time.

Do I miss her, the time we spent together, how she made me feel, how I made her feel… I think I miss it all.

On a slightly different note but still relevant, is our perceptions of ourselves. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I’m always going on about being kind to one another yet we fail to be kind to ourselves. My iphone email signature actually reads ‘ Be kind to one another”

I went to my first yoga class tonight since July 2013. I thought I was rubbish and Nita the teacher told me how well I did at the end of the class. At the beginning of the class I told her that I was worried because I’ve gained weight, she actually told be I looked good and she thought I had lost some. Who knows… but why do I care! I don’t know.

This evening soundtrack is a few songs from the album Caustic Love by Paolo Nuttini followed by Beauty by the Shivers on loop. Its just a beautiful song

Love Button

So I've been trying to figure out what Chris Martin has been wearing for months! Some kind of button but what is it???

Well after some googling I discovered it's the love button. Check them out folks.

I orderd them from the US. 

Here are some pics.

The card was so touching... I'm a sucker for kindness or anything mushy xx

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

I miss my friend

I miss my friend and I’m sad. I’m even too sad to send her a whatsap as I know she feels the same way. When I landed I looked at flights to go back next month but they are too expensive. I would even fly a budget airline but still pricey.

I should probably be telling her this and not you (people on the web). I’m quite a wise one and I know Steph got a lot out of our chats. She had a load of light bulb moments, epiphanies and realisations. We both kinda ran away from our former lives, and I love that we have known each other in our former life aswell as the current. 

She also gave me one the best compliments of my life. I really should actually tell her this. The other night she told me how I have such great awareness of myself, my life and others. Its true and its taken bloody long and hard to get here but I’m in a really good place. Its nice for someone that has known me most of my life to see this and to tell me straight.

It amazes me how sometimes I can be so affected by someone’s passing comment. I’ll always play it down or pretend its no big deal, but it is a big deal. Last year I received a comment that actually brought me to tears because it hurt so much. I cried at home kids, nobody saw. (to me it’s the meanest thing anyone has ever said to me) I was told that I’m like marmite; you either love me or hate me. Now I know I should get thicker skin and not be so sensitive but the thought that people hate me hurts.

Anyhow… its bed time now (or an episode of Orange is the new black)

Soundtrack to this entry as I type is Vivaldi.

Last nights entry actually ended with some Radiohead.

Thoughts on my journey home.

This photo is of the view from the balcony. 

I'm writing this one from the plane on my journey home. 

I'm missing Steph and the boys so much!

This morning I got up early while they were all in bed. I had a shower, got ready, emptied the dishwasher, and stripped the bedding. Then the the 2 year old woke up and once he is up the rest of them followed. 

Most young kids are funny but hers are a hoot. The 4 year and I had a chat this morning. I told him that it's been a great visit and I'll miss him. He replied with. Yes, Leena I had fun, but now it's time for you to go. :-)

So my ring.... I have it and it's on my finger. I still took the nice jewellery box and bag but I had to put it on right away. Unfortunately it's too big. Real bummer since we (Marco my jeweller) measured my finger on Saturday. Next time I'm in town he'll adjust it for free. It's quite a stunner. It's massive. Picture to follow soon. Other than the welding the whole ring has been made my hand. The setting is in white gold and the band is in rose good. It's is an unusual contrast but it's works well and most important it works for me! It's also a very subtle change in the 2 colours of gold and doesn't look weird. 

Did you guys pick up on the fact that I addressed the jeweller as my jeweller and not the jeweller. I've now added him to the list of My. It's takes a while to find a good person in any trade.

So far I have the following, where I think of them as my.

Yoga teacher
Eye brewer / waxer
Hair dresser 
And now jeweller 

My friend Emma once said to me, Leena, you're the only person that has their own osteopath. Of course Shital is other people's osteopath too but I like think she's mine. You get the idea. 

Getting back to the visit, I keep replaying the conversations we had. This is very normal for me and if I ever have a meaningful conversation with anyone I replay it in my head afterwards. To me is all food for thought. 

We were in the kitchen last night after the boys were in bed and I asked her what her most favourite emotion or feeling is. I then told her mine. I won't disclose either of our answers but how fascinating that neither of our answers were Love or Happiness. 

Oh and another thing that I concluded is I might have to put back my Camino trip a few months. I really want to do it but it's going to be tricky with annual leave and upcoming holiday. I have Glastonbury, then in August I'll be in Portugal and I'm also going to try and get away to stay with Reb in the cottage in France in September. 

Additionally I have to pay bills, pay for this rock on my hand and save. 

Most people will tell you that May and September are the best months to walk the Camino as it's not too hot. I'll aim for May I think..... But I really want to get on the road ASAP!

Don't be surprised if I nip off in September and even walk for a few days. Reb said she would join me if I want. Seeing I'm not doing the whole thing and just a tiny snippet then why not say yes to some good company. 

How can someone love walking as much as I do. It really feels like a drug... I'm in need of a fix! 

My last night in Italy

Wow! I cant believe I’m going home tomorrow. Its been such a great visit for both of us, for so many reasons. (us being Steph and I)

Our lives are sooo different in so many, many ways but despite this we are both going through similar things. She is married with 2 children while I on the other hand am single with 2 flatmates. We are both trying to do our best in this world for ourselves and our people. When I use the term our people, I’m meaning our children, friends, family, society etc.

What I find fascinating is for the last few evenings we have had different conversations that are all about: Our past, our parents, our kids, being a kid, being a daughter, being a daughter in law, watching our loved ones die, living for someone who has died etc.

I suppose you could say its all pretty heavy stuff but really, its life. Its just the way it goes. You can’t really avoid these things in life. You just have to live. One of my favourite little saying sayings is, Its just the way cookie crumbles. We need to just deal. I do have a major bias here but I think we are both doing rather well. Of course it’s a work in progress but if you think out it, that’s what life is all about. It’s a work in progress. I’m not quite a Renoir yet, but if you stand back far enough and squint you’ll see good things!

I would love to go into more detail of some of our conversations… but this is the Internet and I respect privacy.

I will tell you something that I find funny, that came up in conversation. (its about me) Its actually a big deal and has been a big deal for me for a very long time. Many, many moons ago when I was 5/6 years ago I failed grade 2. Yes… there, I said it. Now you would think this is absurd as I’m a brainiac.. but no really it’s the truth. I was young, I was in French school and most of all I was not at the maturity level to be in school. My mom didn’t want me to stay in the same school when my school mates would move to the next year so she moved me to a new school. Smart decision, that’s also how I met Steph but all honesty I felt like a failure for years/ decades. What kind of kid fails grade 2? That kid is me. Don’t worry though.. its all worked out. I went to university, bought a house in one of the biggest and best cities in the world at the age of 27. As I write this I’m further amused by the fact that some things in life take much longer to get over than others and it isn’t  always about how significant or insignificant that ‘thing’ is. These ‘things’ vary for all of us.

Anyways guys, its bed time now.. I’ve just had the entire bottle of Fragolino (5 euro). It’s the strawberry version of bucksfizz. Cheap and cheerful… another good saying

PS. I pick my the rock tomorrow….aka my new ring! Sooooo excited!! whoop whoop

PSS. I’m going to start telling you what I’ve been listing too as I type, Today’s soundtrack is Lykke Li – who is also playing at Glastonbury this year…Can’t wait!!!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Girly Girl and Jewellery

I’ve never been a girly girl. Even now when I make an effort its really just for fun. Getting dressed up is a bit of laugh. Sometimes it puts me in a good a mood, sometimes its for meetings or sometimes its just because I have the time that morning to make an effort. Additionally I can go weeks and months without dressing up. When I say it’s a laugh its really can be. I’ve lived with this body of mine my entire life and I actually know how to live with it. I know what my assets are and I know my not so great parts too. Cleavage and legs good. The parts in-between… not soo good. Luckily I’m of a normal ish size. I can fit into airplane seats! No really. I’m just normal. Now back to the laugh sometimes my dresses are a little too low or they just produce cleavage. The funniest thing ever is when I’m talking to men at work and they are so worried about looking that they then don’t actually look at me when speaking and focus on something else. Its just funny. Oh and something my mom said that is sooooo relevant. Never, never expose both. You can do low ish top but then the bottom cant be short. You can also do the reverse but the moment you do both its just slutty.  I don’t even know why I’m talking about this. This entry was going to be about being a girly girl.

I went to an all girls school. ( soooo grateful for this – another blog entry one day soon) I had no one to impress and didn’t give a rats ass about how I looked. My mom did insist on a few things that we had to do to keep the peace, brush your hair, we had to be clean, and our clothing had to be clean and ironed. She was also a stickler for making sure we moisturised our face. (All good advice). Other than doing what I had to…… I did zip. I never fixed my hair, wore makeup or nail polish. I didn’t even get my eyebrows plucked until I was 20. (Should have started the brows earlier – they really do open up a face in a natural beautiful way)

It was only in my mid 20’s that I started to do a bit more. Mainly because it wasn’t too difficult. Once in a while I’ll get my nails done. I truly wish I could do them myself but I can only paint the left hand. If I attempt the right hand it looks like a child has done it… Actually a child could probably do a better job. (Typing at work is more fun when you have a little colour on your hands)

The make up thing was a bit of accident too. I knew I need to get some eventually, but I really didn’t want to go down this road at all. I remember in high school there were so many girls that had cake face. For those of you that don’t know, cake face is when you have so much makeup on that it looks like icing on a cake. Gross. The problem is that most makeup that teens can afford comes from Boots or Superdrug. Ladies if you cant afford the good stuff in department stores then just go without. Save your money until you can afford nice things. Unless you are makeup artist, cheap makeup looks cheap. Back to the high school part. I was a tiny, tiny minority who did nothing and made no effort, what I found interesting is the girls looked their best in gym class or when they had no makeup on at all. High school was between the ages of 12 and 16. Some of them had acne and other hormonal teenage skin things happening, best bet was to have you skin heal and breathe naturally. Back to makeup. I’ve never the same shade for too long, as soon as I’m in the sun I get darker but also healthier. You can tell if I haven’t had any sunlight for a while.

So when I reached my mid 20’a it was finally time to go get some good makeup and you have to start with a good concealer and foundation. I went to the Giorgio Armani makeup counter and have never looked back. The bestest (not a real word) part about my first makeover was I looked great but it was so understated but elegant. I still looked like me!! Yipee. Armani said it best - Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered.

Now… there is a reason I’m yapping away. All this background to explain me and jewelry! I don’t wear a lot. If I do it has to be of a simple design and real. I have had my ears pierced since I was 3 months old and have warn earrings my whole life. They have always been gold and I’m allergic to everything else. So when the other girls when to Claire’s Accessories or Accessorize I couldn’t buy the earring without having a very swollen ear afterwards.

All the jewelry I do wear has been well researched and has taken years to get. The earrings that I wear too 3 years to find. The necklace decades to find and well the new ring has taken only a year.

Lets start with the earrings, some background first. Both my folks did not come from any money at all. When you hear the word poor, that’s really what they were both like in their formative years. Both their respective families worked hard and did well to get to where we are all today. Other than my moms engagement ring she had never had diamonds. Every girl needs a diamond so when my mom turned 50 I got her diamond stud earrings. I’m not making the big bucks, so really you need to use a magnifying glass to see these bad boys in her ears, but nonetheless the girl has some diamond earrings. This then got me thinking…. Its about time I get some too so for my 30th birthday I finally found a pair that had to be mine. There are from an independent jeweler on Camden walk called Ruberg. Kamilla the designer is from Copenhagen Denmak. What I love about them is that they are so unique, classic, simple and original. Not a circle but oval shape. When I buy something I like I have zero need to change it. I’ve been wearing these earrings for years now.

Next… the necklace. This is a very cool one. I was on twitter and saw a tweet from the singer Adele (I’ve seen her live, she really is great). Adele had just had a necessary made for her with her own handwriting. I thought that was so original and always kinda wanted one with my own name but didn’t want a boring font. The fact that Adele has approx £45 million how the hell am I going to be able to get a necklace from the same designer? Well ladies and gentlemen…. There is no reason to think like that or judge a book by its cover!

I contacted the jeweler LaVerne and my experience with Cherise was amazing! What a nice, genuine, down to earth lady. I took the train to Hove and met her in a coffee shop. Here we discussed what I wanted and how rose gold looks warmer and more natural on my skin. Her pieces are affordable. A few weeks later and Ta Da! How cool that myname is now on her website! Super cool!

And lastly.. the ring… Oh the ring.

I bought a very very very thin eternity ring when I was 21 and I’m still wearing that but I wanted something bigger. I colored gemstone in a solitaire setting. I have been looking everywhere and that includes trying on crazy stupid priced items just to see if I like them. The good thing about me is that when it comes to looking, money makes no difference to me. It could cost nothing or everything. If I like it, I like it. If I don’t, then I don’t. I didn’t find a thing. While being in Italy I was telling Steph how I’m after a ring, but it needs to be a few things, other than the above. I wear my jewelry day in and day out, dishes, swimming, painting, everything. I never take it off unless I have to and that doesn’t happen often. (I was on a course recently and jewelry was not permitted. It felt so strange not having any on) So on Saturday morning while on holiday in Italy I went to see Marco. I told him roughly what I was after and he told me to come back at 15:30 and he would have some gems. Here I was presented with loads of different shapes, colors and cuts. I chose what I think is a little piece of beauty. It’s an aquamarine square-ish cut. I’ll have it on Tuesday and I’ll make sure to find out what the cut it called. I’ll even take a picture of it for this blog. I’ve never designed a ring before. It was so much fun. Oh and how about this! Aquamarine has all these healing qualities that I never knew about.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

How the other half live

(As mentioned in previous posts, I'm visiting a good friend and her kids. Staying in their home and not at a hotel)

As a adult we really don't get that much insight into the way other people live and how they manage their homes and family. 

When we were kids and we stayed over at our friends house for sleep overs, that might have been the first time that I realised that other homes operate in a completely different manner. 

Now as adults we rarely see others in their homes. Going over for lunch, a visit or even a BBQ is not the same. It's once the door is closed you see the differences between your home, they way you grew up and the way others live. 

I'm not passing any judgement. Unless you are in that person shoes you can't really know what it's like. Almost everyone I've ever met is just trying to do right by the people they are surrounded by. Most often my their off spring.

All I'm really saying is it's really interesting so see how the other half live. 

Flying in style

Firstly can you believe it! This is my second entry on day! I don't think this has ever happened before. (this should have posted on (12/06/2014)

I spent so much of last week talking about my blog, now all I do is write. Unlike having the normal think about a topic, I seem to now narrate thoughts in my head that would read well! Help!!!

As a child we would only ever fly British Airways and Air Canada. Nothing else would do for us. (but really they were the only 2 airlines that flew direct Montreal to Heathrow) Those were the days, would would dress up and we all felt kinda special. 

Since my childhood budget discount airlines have made their mark and although flights are cheaper than rail in the UK the flying experience has lost it's pizzazz. I've flown countless flights with Ryanair and sleezy jet. 

I'm not a very good daughter if you were to measure how often I make the effort to see my folks. I do speak to them at least weekly and in my early years of being in the UK I would speak to them daily. I've always insisted in having a good call plan and so my calls to Canada are free (£5 a month plan).

So last year I decided a needed a plan... How can I see them without actually having buy a ticket. The answer is British Airways American Express. Good in soooo many ways. (I pay my bill in full monthly)
The more I shop on the card the more I benefit. Everything from groceries to petrol goes on the card. It does take a while to accumulate avios points but in one year I have enough for a one way flight to YUL (the airport code for Montreal) By next year I hope to have enough for a return!

Today's flight ladies and gentleman is on BA. I'm back in the high life. I think I've been ruined now as I don't want to fly a budget airline ever again. 

Check in was lovely, used my iPhone app to do almost everything. Yesterday from the comforts of my bed I chose my seat and checked in. When I arrived at the airport this morning the BA luggage printing machine read the code off my phone and low and behold the label came out. I love how these things work. 

And get this..... I was under weight on my checked in bag!!! Whoop whoop!!!! Have you ever gone to the airport and seen people with open suitcase and they are taking things out and are either trying to squeeze it into their hand luggage or give items back to the people who brought them to the airport. Well that's me! Last time I was in Montreal and returning to London I was so over weight! Luggage.... Not me! My poor dad had to stand there with a bag of things that I just couldn't take back. 

So! Guess how heavy my check in luggage was. Remember my allowance is 23 kg. 23, nope, 22, no, 21, no try again, 20, keeping on going. (I'm probably going to loose readership so I'll cut to the chase!) 16kg!!!! World record for me!!!

My suitcase is also very light, strong, durable and even a little stylish. The range is called Helium by Delsey Paris. John Lewis had the best price, I always shop around and research.  For the London shoppers out there. If Selfridges and/ or Harrods also stock your item of choice it's probably going to last and be pretty good. Haven't you noticed how rich people complain loads. High-end stockists tend to sell reliable goods. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Up up and away

In a few hours time I will be reunited with my bestie. Steph and I have been friends since the ripe old age of 7! Can you believe it, we are still friends after all this time. 

I often wonder what keeps us together or even what it is that keeps us in each others lives. I left Canada when I was 21 and Steph moved to Italy when she was 24. None the less I've gone to see her many a time regardless of where she is. She also spends part of her year in Abu Dhabi due to her husbands job.

Back to my question at had. I'm pretty sure I know the answer and have also had a conversation last week with a colleague friend who spoke of similar things. 

Without sounding too dramatic, it's big dramatic, often life changing experiences that either bring people closer or further apart. 

Steph and I were both 11/12 when our respective mothers popped out another turkey. We each had new brothers. Mine is my only brother while this was Steph's second brother. (I also have a sister). I still have pictures of when she brought her baby brother to school, it was the good old days of elements school. (She didn't bring Jason in on her own, her mother Barbara was there too)

It's funny because to date I don't remember us having that many conversations about our baby brothers but that was probably because we were both too busy changing their diapers. We are both the eldest of 3 and very responsible. 

The birth of the boys was a nice thing to have in common but it was the events in our later life, that to me, are the glue to our friendship. 

Quick Camino digression. Linda a Camino friend told me something that feels so true. It's such a simple statement. - There are only 2 kinds people in life. Those that show up, and those that don't.

When I was about 16 some bad family shit went down. Stephanie and Ashley were there less than hour after the ambulance had left. (Big story guys, that will never be blogged, so don't wait for it)
Oh and Ashley is my sisters best friend from possibly the age of 4 or 5.

I was also around/ish throughout Barbara's unsuccessful battle with the big C. She died of a brain tumor. I was already in London for all of this but I called Steph a lot and when I was in Montreal I saw her and her mom. When Barbara died I was so close to going to the funeral, but Canada is a tad bit far at times and last minute flights aren't cheap.

I have been there for some more fun times too, I went back for Stephanie wedding. I visited her first newborn about 10 days after he was born and then flew back a few moths later for his baptism. Last year I made it to Abu Dhabi to see baby number 2 although he more of a toddler then.

So anyways folks, in a few hours time I'll be making more memories with my oldest friend and her 2 very handsome sons. (3 & 5 ish)
When of the best things about talking to someone who knows you, is they know all the shit that got you to where you are. It's not all shit either, some of it is really good to.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Shout it out.... or damn well try

Do you ever have one of those moments when you want to shout just to let it out? I’ve never been a shouter or a screamer. I’ve always just been a walker. Instead of shouting it out I would just walk it out….

If I still feel like this in the morning I’m going to walk to work. This is good for so many reasons. I’m off to Italy on Thursday morning and I feel like a Canadian moose. I actually think I might even resemble one right now too. It’s tough being a girl especially when I love food and have a fantastic wardrobe that happens to be about a dress size or 2 smaller than what I actually am. Luckily for me I can loose it quickly enough if I put my mind to it. Back to walking, it’s also a fantastic time to think.

One of the things I need to decide is, when am I getting back on to my yellow brick road. (The Camino de Santiago)

I want to do the whole thing again. Originally when I walked it the first time I told myself that I should do this every 10 years. I thought that sounded like a great milestone and a good round number. Now only 5 years have passed and I feel that I need to do it again. I can’t even explain why I NEED to do it again but I do. I just do.

The first time around it was so incredibly special. I know it will be different this time but I hope it will still be special in a new way. I called Rebekah in Spain last night and spoke to her for 45 minutes.  She was very adamant and clear when she told me it will be different. New things will come up as I walk, this is probably a very good thing.

Back to actually doing it again. Do I walk the French route or should I try another one. The French route is the most popular and the most catered for, however there are so many other routes that are apparently even more beautiful and untouched. Then this fear comes over me again. I was scared shitless the first time and the idea of doing another route is terrifying. I hate being scared and if I could grow a pair I would. (Just joking! I’m happy being a girl)

Reb suggested walking upwards (also know as North but you get me) walk up. This route is called Via de la Plata from Sevilla via Salamanca to Santiago de Compostela.  Actually as I’m typing these words I feel calmer. This might be the answer.

But before I jump on the bandwagon I have to remember a few more things. I actually have a job that I still need to make the occasionally appearance. I really need to look at my annual leave and see what I can manage to take off and when. I’ll be in Portugal for a week and maybe instead of flying back I could just take a train from Faro to Sevlille on the 17th of August. Most people would melt walking in that kind of heat but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be ok. The next thing I need to really think about is that most of the Spanish people have August off. They too will be walking and the path will be busy.

Another thing that I need to factor is a recent invitation to spend some time in an old farm house in France with Rebekah and friends. I don’t know any of them but that’s never stopped me.

Oh… and back to the annual leave thing. I need to factor in that I actually have a family that love me. Yet I almost never ever go visit any of them... (I’ll think about that too when I walk)

On a final note – I’m going to try and get back to writing more regularly. I find it therapeutic and it’s a nice way to vent, ponder and think out loud. I read a great book a few years ago that talks about writing a journal and how it gives you the answers to the questions you have. Journaling is more personal but even this helps. I do highly recommend the book. It’s called WritingDown Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within byJanet Conner.

Be good kids and be kind to one another