Well, it's been a funny old week. In several ways it's been great - I've been off work so have been able to indulge in checking out some exhibitions and museums (The Institute of Sexology; very interesting. The Canal Museum; a bit disappointing.), getting outdoors (courtesy of London Fields Lido and the Regents Canal towpath) and, of course, a bit of editing and painting. I FINALLY finished the painting below and made a start on a couple of others - hopefully I won't stall so badly over these ones....
But then, of course, we had the general election. I make no secret of my disappointment at the result, which I put down to fear felt by the general public following a lot of scaremongering over the economy. Whilst economic stability is important, I firmly believe in helping those at the bottom of the social pile rather than feeding the fat cats at the top, and it worries me immensely that the services that support these people will be further squeezed - and those with next to nothing will end up with even less.
However, as my yoga teacher pointed out, whilst I felt like crying on Friday when the result was confirmed, it is important to look at the situation with clarity - and, rather than stress about it, I should either put my worries to bed - or do something about them. So, whilst I am worried about what the future holds for the people I serve at work and myself as a public sector worker, I am going to focus on what I can do to alleviate the problems we face.
So, whilst there is part of me that wants to wallow in grief, I'm not going to. I'm going to pick myself up and take action. What action that turns out to be has yet to be decided, but, when I feel my resilience wavering, I'm going to remind myself of the words of Maya Angelou. And, if you ever feel the world is starting to get to you, I invite you to keep them to hand as a little self-affirmation.
Still I rise.
Still I rise.
Still I rise.
I must apologise for not blogging to you all last weekend - after a 14 mile hike with my dad and his cronies I was a wee bit tired!
Yep, as always it's been all go. This weekend I compensated for my trek with a massage and facial followed by afternoon tea and shopping with my ma. I've also been keeping myself busy with my "hobbies"; swimming, writing, yoga-ing, sewing and painting.
Why? Well, I guess you could say I choose life.
Yes, I am quoting Renton's rant in Trainspotting, which I saw at the King's Head in Islington last week. It was a fantastic, brave production, which I strongly recommend you see if the company take it anywhere else.
But why choose life? What's the meaning of it all? Why bother with all these extra-curricular activities? Well, I admit, sometimes I wonder. But then I know that if I don't engage in the process, I'll never find out why I am really here.
And I guess I'd quite like to figure that out.
... maybe not always as easy as 1 2 3, but it sums up my last week quite nicely! Let me explain...
A is for... Alcohol Abstinence!
Yep, I've nearly finished Dry January, all in the name of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Why the MNDA? Well, take a look at my Just Giving page to find out! Or if you just want to throw caution to the wind and support this amazing charity (and inspire me to see out the rest on the month!) text GOMB99 £5 to 70070. Simples!
B is for... Blogging!
Well, duh! But not just here - I've been writing about how my beloved London has kept me entertained during the first 31 days of the year. Yesterday I ticked off three of my own suggestions with some art exhibitions, a walk along the Southbank and a trip to the cinema. Read more of my sober strategies here...and then check out my latest review for Operation:Pizza to see how one of the biggest chains compares.
And C is for... Crafting!
Okay, so I made the bag above earlier this month, but it was a birthday present for my cousin and I didn't want to spoil her surprise! This weekend, however, I finished off my latest upcycling project, turning two pine stools I picked up for £1.50 into Shelly Berry Originals - check it out!
And D? Well, when the clock strikes midnight on Saturday it will be for... drinking!
Okay, so maybe I have a problem...
Happy Friday everyone!
Apologies for the lack of blogging last weekend but I was rather busy indulging in a bit of R&R. It was a welcome break from the mania that has been my life of late (that pesky day job!) but I had a lovely time pottering around Nottinghamshire with ma and the Derbyshire/Cheshire border with pa. In fact, it was so lovely, I thought I'd dedicate this blog to some photos of my rambles...
Look out for my Anglo Info blog in the next few days - and have a great weekend!
So, it’s Saturday night, there is nothing on telly and I have just overdosed on Kettle Chips, wine and Cadbury’s chocolate fingers. This would be less of a problem if I intended to spend the rest of my life sat on my arse as it gradually grew bigger and bigger and my life span grew shorter and shorter.
However, it would appear that I have a bit of an internal conflict when it comes to these matters.
Despite my occasional best attempts to become Waynetta Slob’s less glamorous sister, there is a part of me that likes to do things. Physical things. No, not that, but being active. Outdoors. And walking – even running – long distances.
Take last Sunday. When I should have been snuggled under my duvet in the land of nod (Jonny Depp’s presence in my unconscious optional) I got up at 7am to join my dad and his walking group on a 13 mile hike across the Peak District. It wasn’t easy – there were hills, streams, and stupid amounts of mud, often all at the same time – but, despite being knackered at the end of it, I quite enjoyed it, and had a lovely time with my dad and fully intend to do it again.
Then, take my choice of holiday in May.
I could go to Spain and sit on a beach for a fortnight, or go to Dubai for a long weekend to blow my savings on a five star hotel and six too many fake Chanel handbags. But, oh no. I am in the process of booking a trip to Peru – with a trek of the Inca trail included. Yes, I really want to do it, and, okay, this makes me slightly bonkers.
But my level of insanity does not stop there. Last week I entered the ballot for the Great North Run in September. When I wasn’t successful, there was part of me that was a little bit relieved. Actually, very relieved. But then I got an email from the Alzheimer’s Society inviting me to join in the fun by registering directly with my chosen charity. Needless to say, I said yes, and am now having to come to terms with the fact that in 7 months time I will be putting myself at risk of a cardiac arrest as I huff and puff around Newcastle.
So, why do I do this to myself? I’m not quite sure, but I put it down to two things. One is my inability to do nothing – a handicap at times and a bit of a conflict with my man (who sits at the other end of the spectrum) but something that I don’t beat myself up about as long as I keep it in check.
The other reason? Well, a couple of years ago I decided to try a new mantra; Fuck It. Okay, so perhaps a little crude, but so far it has worked wonders. It helped me build up the courage to finally learn how to ride a bike (at 30), finish my novel, set up my website and try to sell some of my arts and crafts on Etsy and at Christmas markets. Okay, so some of my pursuits have gone better than others, but at least if I never get a novel published and end up walking around the whole 13.1 mile course in September, I can say that I gave it a shot – and will have some fabulous photos of Machu Picchu and a few less toenails to prove it (I lost half of one after my hike on Sunday – ouch!).
So, if you see any tall blondes hobbling around London cursing themselves between now and the fall, have sympathy for them. They just suffer from Fuck It syndrome – and wish they knew how to downgrade it to Maybe Tomorrow disease...
Here you will find my latest news, including what I have been up to and what I have been writing (and making). Hopefully you'll like what I have to say - and perhaps I will motivate you to get creative too...