Thursday, 19 January 2012

Crafty. Gossip

Ah, well, the truth is always one thing, but in a way it's the other thing, the gossip, that counts. It shows where people's hearts lie.
Paul Scott 

A good thing not to practice - gossip!!  I don't know one single person that hasn't been hurt by gossip and I am also sure that most people would say that they don't (or didn't) want to purposely hurt anyone.  Therefore, gossip should be kept to a minimum, or not at all.  It might seem like a random way to start this blog, but I feel it helps me keep on track of practices I want in my life (plus it was mentioned in an email I got this morning!). 

I have done a mighty job of procrastinating and giving in to "all is lost" feelings the last two days. But, I forced myself to listen to some Buddhist talks about compassion, did some yoga and tried to eat healthily.  I also finally managed to get an appointment with the psychologist/NLP practitioner at my local GP - it has taken about 3 months, but couldn't have come at a better time.  I am excited because I will be able to talk to someone impartial about some of the depression and other difficulties I have. 

On another exciting note, we have moved our bedroom around and are starting to organise new furniture in order to have a place for both mine and Aaron's belongings.   Hopefully this will help me become a tidier person and make our bedroom a peaceful room to rest in. 

Also, we have started clearing out the cellar so we (my mum, Aaron and I) can start to use it as a hobby/craft room.  It will be an on going project as electric sockets need to be put in, painting needs to be completed and a lot of stuff has to go to boot-fairs/auctions.  This is not only great progress because we will have creative space - but means we are learning to work in a team and communicate with each other.  Which is a part of my mothers and my relationship needs improving. 

Here is to a wonderful day. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Let the first impulse pass, wait for the second.
 - Baltasar Gracian

I feel upset and angry today.  And, I am trying to blame my feelings on everybody else.  Occasionally the thought that these feelings will pass pop into my head.  So I suppose this feeling will pass.  It seems impossible for me to get anything done when I am in a bad mood, I don't communicate nicely with others, I overeat and I want to sleep.  So I started reading 10 ways to over come a bad mood. 

I think doing some yoga (even though I really don't want to) will help, a healthy breakfast and then school work...that's the plan then.

Oh yes, I was going to up date on shooting.  Last weekend I went clay pigeon shooting - which is basically using a shotgun to shot at clay discs that are thrown (by a machine) at a variety of angles.  It was extremely fun, although I don't know how I would feel shooting an actual animal, unless I was very hungry.....

I just watched this video and it made me laugh

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Grades and Spades

"Be wise today; 'tis madness to defer. Next day the fatal precedent will plead; thus on, til wisdom is pushed our of life." 

~ Edward Young

An imperative quote for me today - and probably for the rest of my life.  I managed to defer handing a draft essay in yesterday as my teacher was off sick, today I need to update and actually finish my draft.  Instead I have been looking through photos of flickr and posting them to my new Tumblr blog.  There is legitimate reasons for me doing this - I am a keen photographer AND I need to learn how to illustrate hair, so I also posted many hair illustrations.  

Maybe I can do some hair illustrations during a short break from my school work.  For which I have received some grades back - for the first units at college, out of 9 marks I have 3 distinctions, 3 merits and 3 level 3 passes. Of course as I am such a criticizing nut job, I think these grades aren't good enough, but they will do and as my grades should get better as the course goes on, I don't have anything to worry about (unless of course I just continue writing this blog instead of doing my homework). 

I have also recently been distracting myself with card games - top trumps, texas holdem' poker and others.  Aaron got an amazing pack of cards for his birthday that are made of PVC and are see through, they are amazing.  So of course now I have to see what other similar cards are available.  So far, I like the zoo cards below found here
Beautiful and the cards have a good purpose!

Also: a quick up date on living sustainably.  We have now been going to the farmers market to get the bulk of our food for about 3 months.  It has been a wonderful experience so far because not only do we get to buy organic food straight from a farm for the same weekly budget we spend at the supermarket - we also get to meet up with the same stall holders every week, have a friendly chat, learn more about where our food comes from, get new recipes and we also try new vegetables too.  Rating on sustainability = high.  We are supporting local companies and eating mostly organic food which is sustainable for the earth with regards to the chemicals not being used. We always take our rucksacks and other bags in insure we don't use any extra plastic bags, taking our eco points higher! I know it's not a competition, but I am proud. 

We have been rather successful in our 90% vegetarianism, for those who are wondering - it is a bit like eating 9 Linda McCartney sausages and with 1 pork sausage - JOKE!  When I actually sat down and did the maths, a 90% vegetarian would only eat 10% meat, so with 31 days on average in a month, that would be 3.1 days to eat meat.  We are actually eating meat more often than this - although meaty meals have been cut down, we are having about 1 - 3 meals with meat a week.  Maybe that kind of works out as 3 x meals a day over 31 days = 93 meals. 3 meatylicious meals a week = 12. 10% of 93 is 9.3 (12 - 9.3 = 2.7)so we are about 2.7 meals over my first projected percentage of meals allowed with meat in.  However, in comparison to our previous lunch and dinner every day meatylicious meals - this is amazing. 

Next blog:  we went shooting (with a gun, not a camera!)


Friday, 13 January 2012

Go Oprah. It's your birthday!

"If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough."

Oprah Winfrey

I really like this quote, apart from the fact that it's Oprah!  I don't know why but it seems that the quote doesn't seem so legitimate.  I suppose it is because Oprah is on TV and she may have been scripted the above quote...and therefore it doesn't belong to her.  But I guess none of the quotes I post belong to me either.

I am extremely happy to say that I received a distinction in the unit I got back at college for my study skills class yesterday!  I have now been set a research assignment for which I have to produce a paper and give a presentation.  The ideas that I have come up with so far are obvious for me (consumerism, capitalism, waste, recycling)so I am going to try and come up with other ideas that will be surprising topics or have twists that I can present to my class in order to not come across as repetitive with my ideas.

It is Aaron's birthday today, so I am going to make a card to take to him with his breakfast in bed...I think I'll try to find a picture of a girl with a bike.

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Compassion: Iceland

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
- Dalai Lama

Yesterday I got completely sucked up by unhappiness, despair and fear.  To cut a long story short I got the idea into my head that I was never going to be able to get a part time job to support myself whilst I study, and then of course I thought I wasn't going to get top grades on my course that I need which eventually turned into - I might as well give up and stop trying.  My thoughts where along the lines of "might as well give up now, as it's never going to work out, capitalism has ruined the world.."

I think was I feeling too sorry for myself, projecting to much into the future, comparing myself to others and only picking out my bad qualities. Whenever I practise meditation it is in order to help me create awareness of my thoughts - both positive and negative.  By being aware of my thoughts I am able to try and change or not attach myself to my thoughts. 

This morning, I feel much better and am doing a short meditation to help set up the day with the right start.   

Here is a really cool video about a girl who hiked through Iceland solo - it is beautiful.

MADE IN ICELAND from Klara Harden on Vimeo.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

What I have learned

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
Albert Einstein

What a week it has been.  I have been furiously working on my sociology essay "To what extent is educational attainment determined by ability?" 

I want to write down what I have learned from doing this essay last minute (again..) so hopefully I will not put myself through this again.
I should read the notes given to me in class and highlight them and make notes the week that I get them!!  I should make further notes and do research on the subject that week - that way I will not be behind when it comes to writing the essay.
Ever since I can remember I have approached my school work in slap-dash way, and now I think it would be best to try another approach that doesn't leave me stressing about the last minute for the details but rather the style and content of my work.
Repeat to self: I will not leave reports to the last minute.  I will not leave reports to the last minute.  Well at least the ones that will be due for the next unit as I still have 2 more subjects due assignments within the next two weeks (I think...)!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Letting Go

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.

~ Lao Tzu
I still seem to be having a problem getting my school work done.  I think it is because I am still overly worrying about the outcome of the essay rather than putting my knowledge into it.  I know that I can't control how my work gets marked and what grades I get.  I know that if someone from a developing country had this same opportunity as me, they would most likely put their heart and soul into reading the articles, chapters and doing the research to write the essay. 
The ultimate truth is that even if I do well on this essay, there is no knowing if I will pass the rest of my course or get into my Uni of choice.  I think I need to re-draft my essay to be written with a subject I am interested in, in order to have passion about writing it, instead of just trying to put generic information in to get a good mark.
On another note, I did some yoga this morning and listened a a good meditation which gave me good insight on how to try and let go.   It is to not have any expectations.  This is something I definitely need to do more work on, but, I can see how it releases one from disappointment.  As without pressuring myself to meet my expectations, which in reality I have no control over.   Even if I do get into every Uni I have applied for and get the marks needed, I may change my mind.

Today I will be happy that I am learning and trying to show my knowledge through writing.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.
 - Og Mandino

I managed to get half of a draft essay done yesterday.  Today I hope to get the other half done and then make changes to it after a break this afternoon.   Unfortunately I am not really enjoying writing the essays as I am thinking about my marks and therefore putting all my effort into worrying instead of studying.  

So, today I will try and focus on doing my best on the essay and not the future.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year

Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.

- Cecil B. DeMille
I am finally feeling better after being ill for about 6 days.  Now I can start my much needed studying (7 days before the essay is due) and little bits and pieces that need doing around the house.  But first my New Years resolutions:
1. Volunteer on a regular basis. (once or twice a month).
2.  Go to the gym three times a week in January.
3. Take my camera EVERYWHERE with me. 
That's it for now.  I thought about doing 10 or 5 resolutions but 3 is enough for me.  I started a Tumblr blog up whilst I was ill - you can view it here. It is photographs, illustrations and whatever else I find interesting or creative that I like....I suppose it's the picture blog and this is the thoughts blog.
OK, now I have to write my to do list today and get a studying, otherwise it might never happen.