Thursday, 27 October 2011

Mistakes: Jazz Hands

To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all. 
 
Peter McWilliams
 
Haha, I always try to avoid mistakes, but I still make them!! My day yesterday was very much like a roller-coaster ride, I was up and down, but eventually after a soothing hot bath I had a massive cry and today I feel a lot lighter.  Lovely. A massive thanks to Aaron for always being there for me and picking up the pieces! I love you.
 
More about mistakes:  we can all make silly mistakes like getting a fine on public transport or acting a bit silly when we're pissed.  The mistakes that I generally try to avoid are the ones that hurt other people, although unfortunately sometimes I am still a slave to my emotions and can even be aware of how angry I am and why it is unreasonable, but still act on it or lock myself away or try to avoid people that I will take it out on. 

I suppose I will need to change my thinking on this, because if I think I need to avoid others when I am feeling angry or anxious then I will continue doing so instead of dealing with my actual emotions.  The easiest idea is to not pre-empt anything going wrong but take away all assumptions I have and live from a "clean slate" everyday.  It can be easier said then done, especially when dealing with extremely traumatising experiences or feelings. 
 
Also part of letting go of feelings about the past can be forgiving yourself for hurting others through your mistakes. 

So, I think I will be going to counselling to help with those experiences, I am especially interested in somatic therapy after reading about it yesterday, and after some of the funky sounds coming out of my mouth. There are some good articles and coping techniques on Helpguide which is a free non sponsored resource. 

Having some form of anxiety about making mistakes is natural, and even more so in current conditions, where some people feel they need to be perfect to be accepted into society.  This can be seen through excessive dieting or consumerism which is seen as acceptable behaviour leading to happiness.  However deep down, being skinny or having loads of the latest gadgets or clothes isn't going to make you happy.  

Obviously there is no straight answer as to what will make one happy, but I started looking at what things I enjoyed as a child and as I was growing up and tried to incorporate those into my world instead of just learning things to get the best paying job.  Of course now I am not currently working, but studying something that I find intensely interesting, humans and their society. 

And then there is of course, not taking life too seriously. 

Let's listen to some morning jazz; which I think helps to be light hearted even about the hardest situations. Big Joe Turner and the Pete Johnson Trio's
 
And Fats Waller

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Stress ding-a-ling

Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose.

Maureen Killoran  

Man, am I having a case of the blues today.  It feels like I have gone 360 back round to how I was feeling this time last year (which was BAD!!).  And the only thing that helped me then was having the support of good friends and AA.

I was meant to be doing studying and various other things today, but I really don't see myself going out of the house.  So I think I will try to have a relaxing day looking after myself.  I think I'll have a bath, put on a face mask, pluck my eyebrows and then do my hair in a nice 50's style.  I've been looking on youtube for tutorials, I am glad to find loads more than there was 2 years ago (when I was very much inspired by and a collector of vintage clothes and style).  My favourite (this is the first video of two):




To try and cheer myself up I also made some playlists on spotify....a jazz one and a 50's one.  Some of the songs from the 50's one are below:

 




Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New post new post new post


Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day.

Melody Beattie

Not feeling my best today, seem to be succumbing to some past memories....I think I'll do a meditation this morning to try and help me let go of past feelings.  I suppose I am not feeling exactly down in the dumps and suicidal like I do sometimes, but I am feeling a bit resentful.  

I think my resentment usually comes down to some sort of fear, especially when I relate it to my past experiences, I fear not being good enough or being ugly and fat compared to other girls, of not being loved or good enough.  Ultimately I think this comes down to my own confidence and self-love, which can only be improved slowly. 

What I can do to cheer myself up today and live in the moment; see my friends, take some photos, make something (papier mache - amazing website here), read, go to the gym, get other bits and pieces done around the house like arranging my car boot sale bits.

I can also add my resentments and fears to my piece of paper to burn over halloween.  

I have some really beautiful clothes that I cleared out of my cupboard, I was going to sell them on eBay, but I am now thinking of going to a clothes swap, namely Mrs Bears one, which is good as I can have a look around first and then if I see anything I would like for me or someone else, I can swap.

Maybe I'll also go and get the figs to make jam with. For christmas this year we are planning to make a small box of food and bits for presents, as to not buy in the consumerism of christmas and to celebrate with food.  I have thought of loads of things to make, fig jam, crackers, bread, pie, apple and pear jam, apple sauce, cranberry sauce, biscuits, cheese biscuits.  The list goes on!! 

I was also thinking that I would like to put reusable water bottles like this picture below in, filled with juice or wine or something that people can then have 'for life' instead of plastic water bottles.  And I would also like to put napkins in place of using paper kitchen towel....we'll see.  It all depends on if I am organised enough with my time. 




I had a wonderful dinner last night at my friend Callum's, we had stuffed tomatoes and mushrooms followed by buckwheat noodles with tofu, pak choi and sea bass fillet, and then the most wonderful chocolate mousse for pudding.  Lovely, it was also energising to see some people I haven't seen in an age.

One of my favourite Analogik songs below...because it is sinister, funny and reminds me of some good times I had when I was travelling



Monday, 24 October 2011

Open

“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”

Buddha quotes

I had a wonderful weekend, we made goat curry, went to Balham farmers market,  then  all day at Bloomsbury Festival yesterday and came home to a wonderful vegetarian pie we got at the farmers market.

This week is half term, yip yip!  Ermm yeh basically that means still more reading and updating to the draft work I have done, basically for the first units of each subject.  I was thinking this morning, the reason I am getting so stressed about it is because I want a distinction, but seeing as they are my first essays I think I should do the best I can and if I don't get a distinction then that's OK.

I made a pact with myself that I will go to the gym everyday this week so that when I go back to college I will still go.  I think today I want to do core training and then some cardio. I also managed to get a morning and evening yoga DVD to help refresh my yoga knowledge so I can do some of that too.

Not much else to up date on or talk about, I need to get the library before 12 today and tidy up a bit. 
 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Success Weekend

Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself. 

~ Robert Collier

The idea of believing in yourself is something I come across on a regular basis....it can be a hard thing to do, and to some it comes naturally and others its harder. I do believe it is important.
College was cancelled at the last minute yesterday, so I went to see my friend for a relaxing mooch around Brixton, we had lunch in a Colombian restaurant Coma y Punto, which doesn't have a lot of write up on the internet, but a cool write-up here.  I had an empanada, but I didn't enjoy it.  I dream after the empanadas that I had in the Galapagos Islands.

The food is really tasty and at a great price of £6 you get soup of the day, meal of the day (usually salad, rice, plantain, beans and a choice of meat) in a massive portion and a drink...and pudding!! Can't really argue with that for a big lunch in London.

I feel like to should have spend more time studying as I had a surprise day off, but I really enjoyed having a relaxing day and soaking in the Brixton culture.  We made baked potatoes for dinner, which where a bit of a disappointment for me as they didn't live up to my dreamy buttery, cheesy baked potato that I had imagined, I probably could gave added more of everything but I can't eat loads of high fat food all the time. 

This morning I am going to start marinading goat curry,yum.

I just wrote a much longer blog, but something went wrong with blogger, even though I saved it....so sorry but now I don't have to time to re-write it!! :)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Road to truth: poetry

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
 
Buddha
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I managed to get a book on Buddhism yesterday and am really looking forward to reading it over half term....saying that I think I have 3 books that I am reading outside of college books at the moment and I have about 3 that I would also like to finish over the half term, so after I have finished my essays I will be dedicating a large portion of my time to reading. Maybe I can try and read in a different location with a beautiful view so it makes the reading seem a bit more varied?  Although I truely hope I enjoy the books so that reading them won't be so hard.

Finally I finished by anthropology draft yesterday and will finish my sociology this morning and psychology tonight, so then they can all be checked and then edited and handed in after half term....leaving me with time to read up on the second units.

We have been looking at poetry online recently and came across these inspiring poets:




Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Reasons to be happy: fixing biscuits.

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” 

- Unknown

Reasons for me to be happy today:

  1. I have had a good morning so far; nearly half way done with my sociology essay.
  2. I am going to have coffee with a friend. 
  3. It is sunny and the Autumn leaves look beautiful.
  4. I am looking forward to cooking myself lunch.
  5. I enjoy learning about the subjects I am learning about.
  6. I am going to do some more leisurely reading today.
  7. I am fortunate enough to not have to work at the moment, and am enjoying the freedom.

I know it's so annoying to have happy blogs or even happy facebook updates, so I could go on about how annoyed I am about the building works next door and how they are noisy and detrimental to my concentrating on studies, but I would rather not.  I might as well accept that there is the building works and there is me and if I get really bothered I can put my headphones in and listen to relaxing music or go to the library.

Which, by the way, is something I was surprised at: Battersea library in Clapham Junction is beautiful.  I will take photos of it soon. Sometimes I walk in there and pretend it is my private library in my manor house. 

I made some biscuits yesterday and used my newly acquired alphabet cutters.  There is till some dough left today so I am going to use my robot cutters and make some more....I might even try to buy some chocolate chips to put in them. Wooo.  Hopefully this is the start of the biscuit trails needed for the biscuits that we would like to make for christmas presents this year.  These biscuits are nice, but extremely buttery and apart from that rather plain.

In between studies yesterday I managed to clear out my clothes cupboard and am now the proud owner of one ebay bag for selling, one jumble sale bag (now amongst others in the cellar) and a bag of bits that need fixing or can be used for other projects.  If I muscle up the power today I will sort out my patterns and fabric that have been collected over about 10 years and maybe even get out the sewing machine to do the fixing.

Oh, also as I am trying to stop using extra tissue and kitchen paper towels for the sake of the environment I might try to sew some napkins and such.  

Now I am going to see if I have any chickpeas to soak for din-dins a chickpea and pumpkin curry with delicious salad and brown rice.  I can't wait.


Another video that I came across that combines a wicked tune by Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip with stop motion video


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Commuunn; In conflict, be fair and generous.


In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.
 
- Lao Tzu 

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College was enjoyable yesterday, but I keep on getting an achy back and shoulders from everything that I carry around - and guess what, yesterday I packed two folders for classes I didn't have!  So I need to do something about that today.  I think that essentially I need to take in a ruler, two pens a pencil (with rubber top) which makes my pencil case lighter, and then for each unit for each subject, just take in the unit notes and notes from the books in a smaller file, thus saving on weight in my bag, and damage to my back...I think yoga will also help with that.

I also need to get some second hand books for college, oh yes, and I need to get all my draft essays done for Thursday!  I have good ideas and basing in most of the essays now so I am a lot more comfortable with the idea of finishing them.

Now as I am interested in sustainability and fashion I would like to know more about sustainable fashion, when searching this morning I came across Commuunn.  I really like the designs along with the idea behind the company, they seem to be focused on having a environmentally friendly and sustainable brand that is not a "gimmick". Cool.















Although, similar in ideals to Vivienne Westwood the collections are also pretty pricey!  There are some of the designs for sale here.  

OK, I'm not against good quality clothing being sold for a higher price especially when it takes into consideration the things I am passionate about; however how is the average Joe (like me) meant to be able to be passionate about sustainable practises if the prices aren't a tad reasonable?

I suppose the point to remember is that I don't need new clothes all the time and the bad points of buying clothes that are mass produced and done so with a large amount of pesticides that actually do poison and kill people, as reported further here and here.

The problem for me is that sometimes I still get caught up in the idea that buying new clothes will make me happy, and sometimes I will impulse buy and initially enjoy the clothes (such as recently with All Saints) but then feel guilty.  

In the future I would prefer to only buy new clothes when I REALLY need them (although that can also be questioned, do I really NEED something unless I have nothing else?) and try to buy from charity shops and make some of my own clothes or re-fashion them into something I want to wear.....it's an idealistic view, but satisfies both my worries about consumerism and the environment.  Also it could keep my space de-cluttered and help me to be a little more creative. Which brings me to another thing to put on my general(i.e. not urgent)to do list:

  • Clear out clothes (should I try to live with 100 items or less?)
  • Find a boot fair and someone with a car to help me. 
  • Organise patterns and fabric that I recently found in the cellar.
  • Get sewing.



 






 

Monday, 17 October 2011

More better

The early bird catches the worm

Meaning

Success comes to those who prepare well and put in effort.

Origin

This is first recorded in John Ray's A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678:
"The early bird catcheth the worm."
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I changed my routine slightly this morning and had a shower and got ready before I wrote my blog, which I am hoping will make me be a bit early for college this morning and therefore not late like I was last week, hence the early bird catches the worm, I am the bird and the worm is college.

It's not that I have been late a lot, but it's hard to predict how long a bus will take with London traffic, and last week I got the class timing wrong, but that's a whole different story.

Most mornings I find it easy to get up early, but I do know some people who find it extremely hard, or make a massive fuss....oldies and young un's. When I read how to be free, Hodgkinson said that it's good to laze around in the morning and nap until you want, and in some ways I do agree, but then I think I'd never get anything done, or if I did, it would be late....and then there is the dilema of doing what feels right for you and not rushing but offending someone else and not respecting their time. So anyway, the conclusion for the meanwhile is to get ready first, do blog or something else I enjoy second and hopefully not disrespect my teachers and class mates. Reeeeeessppeccccct.


On Friday after school I went to the illustration cupboard to see the danger mouse and mr benn exhibition.  It was lovely and very inspiring, which of course means I now want to be an illustrator (yes, really). 

In particular the illustrations by Maurice Sendak who also had work up in the gallery.  The detail that has gone into the different markings and also the poses and expressions of the illustrations are the best!! 



The rest of the weekend was spent eating and doing school work and going to bed early, an exciting life for me....

On Sunday we went to Brixton farmers market, which is now there every Sunday and bought our veg for the week and some lovely lamb, which Aaron cooked for dinner....it was the tastiest dinner I have had in a long time.  The recipe is here

The salsa verde from the recipe is lovely, tasty, scrummy good.  So good I just made a similar one to put on my brown rice for lunch today (and now have coriander in my porridge).

I also managed to upload the photos from my camera over the weekend, and after long last have some of the pizza and other foods we made, which I would be posting here but the sun is moving further into the sky and the up loader app is not working.





Friday, 14 October 2011

Selfish: TFIF (thank fingers it's Friday).

“I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultiv

  Dalai Lama quotes

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I think I am very good at being selfish, and I expect a lot from others and myself.  I find it hard to see through my own needs and selfishness sometimes, I end up feeling  embarrassed at my disregard for other peoples feelings.

Woooo, it's Friday, and that means that it's time for weekend fun time.

If money was no object and I didn't have three essays to hand in over the next two weeks and a lot of research to do for them, I would (and in all honestly will probably fit in some of these):  

Love to try this ethical restaurant - the clerkenwell kitchen . (ethical in the sense that it is supporting sustainable food production, fairtrade, and traditional farming methods).

Go and have a laugh with these guys, who have a great write up in timeout:





I'm actually going to: Dealing with toxic people by Innerspace, I hope this week is as good as last week...or if possible, better.

I would also go and see art at the museum of everything exhibition no.4 in Selfridges. 
  
Do some sewing, specifically something Vivienne Westwood-esque, there is one idea here, a good article here and a helpful copy techniques video here. I would like to make this dress:



And I would go and admire cool photos at the serpentine gallery garden weekend show. 

Take some fantastic photos at the Diwali fesitival of lights show at Trafalgar Square.

and last but not least visit mind over matter exhibit.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Desire, Sustainable Fashion

Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
 

Mario Andretti

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Hmmmm I want success, but in many areas, so I suppose sticking at it will have to do for today.

I would also like to be able to make myself some Vivienne Westwood clothes as I cannot afford them at this present moment, but also as I think it would feel rewarding and would be fun....here is the write-up (which is great, as it fits into caring for the environment) and some photos for the gold collection SS12.  

THE COLLECTION has 3 main influences : China, because I hope their traditional wisdom and experience from a culture going back to Confucius may help us to save the planet; the desert because of climate change; and 17th century corsets.
 
When I was in Nairobi I met Mr. Xijia Wang who is working there with the United Nations. Our conversation left me with the wish to sum up my ideas. The result is the World Family Tree which you will see printed on Tshirts and bags. Mr. Wang wrote my name and the words “Green economy” in his calligraphy and I incorporated this in a print taken from Chinese flower painting.
 

There is a blow-up oversize jacket called the Mao jacket and I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution. Perhaps our love of uniforms comes from a wish to look alike, be part of a group – and maybe a group not happy with the status quo.
 
The desert inspired me to look at the Berbers with their burnous and the Tuaregs with their layers and their sunlight blue. There is a lot of black, indigo and copper fabric plus whites. Dresses are long. Something I always do is mix up historical dress with ethnic clothes and new shapes or it could be a torn scrap of dress worn with court shoes and a chic handbag.
 

For some time I wanted to do oversize historical corsets. I thought I could give them a feeling of armour, worn as a jacket they would look touph – like a soldier or biker. The corsets we chose to oversize are from the England of Charles II; those beauties who, in their portraits dressed themselves in the sheets and satin covers pulled from the bed.






Wednesday, 12 October 2011

environment is important: oil spills

Thought of the day
 
I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security.  Defence of our resources is just as important as defence abroad.  Otherwise what is there to defend?  

~Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985

A great quote that truly fits in with my thinking: what is everybody saving money and consuming for when there there will be no world left to enjoy!

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There is the recent news of the oil spill in New Zealand, which is thought to be the worst oil spill for the environment in a long time, and although it is on the front page of some news websites, there is not enough cover on this subject.

With 350 tonnes of oil now in the sea, and a  uncontrollable amount of oil still spilling into the sea, it will be some days before the intensity of the immediate damage of the oil spill can be seen, years to see the full impact.    

Oil spills (more info here) harm and kill birds, fish and marine mammals and can even effect our food chains....but still nothing much seems to be done about awareness of oil spills and finding an alternative to oil.

It has been rumoured that there has been mass control by the oil industry to stop progress without oil in the automotive and technological world as they would then stop earning money, as  documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car" reports.

Where are the multimillion dollar oil tycoons when the world needs help? And do they care? Apparently some of them are even fuelling (sorry for the pun) rumours that climate change does not exist, as Greenpeace reports.

And although BP has been fined for past oil spills, do the oil companies really learn their lessons?  BP are already planning another venture - shown here in a easy to understand chart by the independent, which should be taken with a pinch of salt, as obviously we do not know if there will be a leak.

I feel like; we can't trust what the media says, we can't trust what the oil companies say, we can't trust the government. What can we trust? Maybe our gut instinct, mine is certainly telling me that this is not right.

So, time for positive change, we can vote against offshore oil drilling (more info and links here) and read up on the subject at the priceofoil.org.

There are also small changes that you can make to use less oil in your daily life, for example, trying not to buy and use plastic bottles and packaging - and you can find more ideas here.

Also if you are local to an oil spill you can volunteer to help clean up.  

Less oil based stuff = more life (and world left!)


 


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

favourite

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

- Buddha

--------------

I did a Buddhist meditation last night and after reading the Buddhism book a while back I was thinking this morning, I really like the idea of being a Buddhist. 

I listened to a radio broadcast about capitalism from the BBC last week which I thought may be of interest for some. Episode one can be found here

Diplomats Son: One of my most favourite songs ever


I was looking for stop motion films for inspiration a while back and came across these videos


Sinbad's stop motion was done by Ray Harryhausen, even though it's old, I think it is amazing for the time it was made. 


I like the simplicity of this one. 

Pez's video below is AMAZING (thanks to Lauren who showed it to me!)




This video is great - it's not stop motion, but I used to be a big fan of heman...and it makes the song a bit more bareable. 

Loads to get on with today, thinking about making pumpkin korokke for dinner - a bit like croquettes but in a disc shape. 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Positive Thinking

I can forgive, but I cannot forget" is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive."
 
Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note--torn in two and burned up so that it never can be shown against one.
 
Paul Boese

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Sometimes I find it hard to forgive, it seems like the whole feeling or situation is out of my minds eye and then, BAM, within 1 minute I am raving angry about something that happened over 6 months ago. Now, I'm no doctor, but I am sure there is a way around this... 

The Innerspace talk I went to yesterday was all about this; Letting Go and Letting Come. An hour and a half long talk with a guided meditation about how to let go of old feelings and labels of ourselves, to let in for the new. 

The crowd was greeted with Om Shanti which is a yogi saying and translates to I am a peaceful soul: it can be said on meeting others instead of hello to wish them a peaceful soul too.  It can also be used as a mantra for when you are feeling stressed or have racing, negative or wasteful thoughts. 

I have so much I could write about the talk, so to get to the point the best parts: to let go of everything, to forgive yourself and others is to know yourself.  Without knowing yourself you cannot have self respect or self love. 

When you forgive someone else, it is not for their benefit! In some situations, do you think they really care if you forgive them or not? It is for your benefit.  You should question why you don't want to forgive the person, are you scared of letting go? Equally what do you gain by holding on to the event or judgement you have?

To know who you really are, you need to be able to see yourself without labels. Labels like: I am a teacher, I am a good daughter, I am a criminal, I am a nice person, I wear Prada.  These labels can also be applied to other people and your preconceptions with them. To let go of these labels and preconceptions for yourself and others is to be free of expectation and free to accept that person for who they are on that day.

Thoughts are what create your feelings, and your thoughts are the only thing you have control over.  You cannot control another persons behavior no matter how much you try, you cannot stop a nuclear war (that doesn't mean not to campaign)..but I am sure you get the point. If we control our thoughts, we should make sure they are positive and not wasteful.

Wasteful thoughts can be going over and over again about a situation that you wish was different, reminding yourself what you have to do later that day, worrying, over thinking...loads!  If you live for the day and take your lessons from the past and not worry about tomorrow, you are free to enjoy your life.

Haha, after re-reading this through I realise it might sound pretentious, but honestly I have seen the benefits of letting go (more of labels and preconceptions of myself and others) over the last year....it has been eye opening and I have got a lot more of what I need in my life. 

I know it's a lot to take in (at least for me) but, I found it helpful and inspiring. I am grateful that I was brought up in an open minded household. 

Innerspace does loads of FREE meditations, short courses and Sunday talks all tailored around improving your life.  

If you are super stressed or have low self esteem or just want to relax a little more...I recommend them.