Thankful for Geeky Friends

I am never, NEVER, going to agree to pick up someone’s work load when they are not at work, ever again!! I have got to that point of sleep deprived/work over load/ stress mess that it’s not that I don’t know which way to turn, it’s that I don’t even know which way to think. I know that it is appreciated (sort of) but it has been so tiring the last few weeks that all I want to do is spend the weekend in bed with my laptop, but I can’t I’m baby watching and working thing-y-ing (on a weekend, it’s criminal) and oh yeah I have a dance exam and show case to participate in.

Is adult life always this hectic? Where the do you put a social life in all this chaos, actually scrap the social life where do you put sleep?

The only thing that has got me through the last few week s is my university friend from Scotland! We met in the first year and lived together in our final year. We bonded over shared nerdery (is that a word, oh well I’ll make it one) of film and books and comics. We would spend hours with hot drinks and cakes, geeking out over Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy. We would discuss and argue over the TV we had watched, fandoms and life. Between the two of us we created a world that was filled with just wonderful things we loved. Together we held two Harry Potter Christmas feasts, we discussed which Jane Austen man we loved most and there flaws, we made plans to build time machines. She has strong political ideals and a belief in always being true to one’s self and convictions. She is the woman I desperately strive to be with her fierce passion, excessive compassion and appreciative eye. She is also an incredible talented woman running her own shop on Esty continuing to make wonderful things.

She was in London for the Marxism Festival and while there was doing some sightseeing with her family. She took some grainy and simply awesome photos and tagged me in them so I could appreciate and geek out over them. These photos had the ability to make me smile and remind me that I need to call her so I can release my inner nerd to someone who will embrace it and enjoy it. I also really, really, need to tell her I finished the novel MistBorn even through that was ages ago as it was she who first introduced me to the series. She’ll be so pleased and it will be something else for us to indulge our inner geek over.

 

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“All our dreams can come true” or what Disnay taught me

I’ve always had a soft spot for Disney, one of my earliest memories is me and my brother arguing over Aurora dress colour at the end of Sleeping Beauty. I not a huge fan the Disney Princess thing; I was always more of a Jungle Book, Lion King, Lady and the Tramp and everything Pixar sort of girl. Now I’m older, despite the problems I have with Disney, I find the films undeniably beautiful, I went to watch the Lion King in 3D and found that as a child I had missed how visually stunning it was.

Like I said I have problems with Disney, as a child I always felt they had ruined many of my favourite stories and fairytales by not being faithful to the original material I was familiar with. Nor I could ever really relate to Princess who all seemed desperate to find love and be swept off their feet. Then I got older and found a whole new set of issues (got to love age and cynicism.) There is however a couple of things I learnt from Disney.

  1. If nothing else I have learnt that love is important and that it comes in all shapes

    This was on my 10th Birthday cake I had in America, I have kept this plastic decoration all these years as I can’t bear to let it go.

    andsizes. Lilo and Stitch has a small and broken family but it’s “still good” and Belle only has a father. I watched parents do anything for their children; it helped me understand my own. I watched friends in Disney help each other, I watched lovers heart-break and then rejuvenate with a kiss. Love and relationships are pivotal in Disney, because it is the thing that gives us most joy in life, our family and our friends make us happy but it’s more than that love is also about the sacrifices you make for the people who mean the most. The older you get the less you take love for granted.

  2. From the moment Mufasa died it dawned on me: Life is hard. None of the characters in Disney have it easy, Cinderella, Hercules, Pocahontas, their lives are difficult, they are faced with arduous decisions and challenges while trying to do the right thing and make their lives better. Disney has the lives of their characters change and often it is beyond their control and they are simply trying to do their best and keep their head above water. The older I get the more I understand this feeling and how much harder it can become.
  3. Hope is a very powerful thing, it is the only thing that can defeat pain. Hope is everywhere in Disney:  101 Dalmatians, Fox and the Hound, Aladdin, the characters and the audience never gives up hope for a happy ending. Hope is the thing that characters hold on to when all else is lost, it is part of them that never dies, the last candle in the darkness. The older we get the harder it is to keep the hope while in life I’ve learnt that the candle doesn’t always stay lit; Disney does a pretty good job of showing how significant it is in life. H.O.P.E : Hold On, Pain Ends.
  4. There is such thing as magic, the world pretty awesome place and if you take the time to see it ,magic is alive and well and if not…. your toys come to life when you leave the room. It is also in our dreams and wishes, Snow White wishes in a well, Geppetto on a star and Peter Pan fills Wendy’s dreams, these are thing that these character hold on to and fuel their life. They are a source of amazing strength and that is magic.
  5. The greatest thing I have learnt from Disney is that you are your own hero, you can save yourself. The characters fight and despite all the Princess having Princes they do a pretty good job at fighting for themselves. They fight for what they want, they fight to have their wishes and dreams and to protect their hopes and the people they love. Love is important so fight for it, life is hard so fight for the life you want, hope is important so fight not to lose it, fight to keep the magic in your life. Simple.

The thing about growing up is that things become less black and white and become more about different shades of grey. Disney may not be the shinning white sceptical I remember it being, but that doesn’t tarnish the lessons I’ve leant. Mainly everyone can exist, the good and the bad, but you have to fight to live the life you will be proud of, you will have to believe in yourself even when others don’t and you have to dare to dream and go after that light no matter how dark it gets.

The Disney Princess at their film ages by Taijavigilia

An Old friend in London Town

What I’ll remember most about yesterday was the soaring temperature, the dry air and sticky skin, fidgeting and grinning from overwhelming excitement and anticipation and the shear relief of hearing an almost lost voice and having a hug I have missed. The last time I was in London was a little under a year ago and last time I saw Kat was a little over 2 years and 2 weeks ago. I love both immensely, for wildly different reasons but I don’t see either as much as I would like.

Kat was my roommate while I was studying in America, I hadn’t shared a room since I was eight and despised the idea of having no solitary escape. Kat made having a roommate not only bearable but a wonderful part of my experience in America. She made what had been a sparse and gloomy room, home by filling it with trinkets, colour, noise and friendship. When I finally returned to Britain and my own room, I felt like someone had ripped away part of my being, she had been such a big part of my life it was odd to now have a life and a room without her.

I can’t remember ever really doing the tourist thing in London but who could say no to that chance and seeing an old friend?? London has never disappointed me but to look at everything through the eyes of a traveller was incredible. No one cares that it is over crowed, with people rushing or the expense; we were idle and easy going, swapping stories, answering question (seriously who knew I could regurgitate so much crap about the Royals) and filling her in on a whistle stop tour of London and Britain’s culture and quirks.

We started at London Bridge before following the South Bank of the Thames to the Globe. I love it at the Globe there is so much history there and the white round architecture always amuses me. We than went next door to the Tate, which I have to say is an extraordinarily ugly building considering it houses some beautiful art work. Yesterday they also had a BBQ outside, expensive but good. We followed the burger with a walk across the Millennium Bridge (the one that gets destroyed in the Harry Potter films) to S. Pauls on the opposite side of the river. This is a stunning building and the  gardens at the beginning of summer smell fantastic. We strolled up The Mall to Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Trafalgar Square where we people watched whilst discussing education, politics, art, music and sports just like when we were hiding in our room pretending to work.  We found time to squeeze in a visit to  St. James Park, Piccadilly Circus before it got dark and we arrived in Leicester Square  it got dark and finally we ate at a proper English pub (or at least as proper as it gets in London).

I loved every moment of it even when my camera died, particularly that I was acting like a complete  tourist. When I go to London I go to shop, to the theatre or an exhibition, for work, I don’t see London, it’s just another city. I adored yesterday because I felt like I was seeing bits I had missed and because I was with amazing people. I was with Kat and in a prolonged moment of a day, doing all those things was so much better. So here is the upside to being a bit older, I can afford to go to London and buy my friend dinner. I can spend the day doing nothing and it be a wonderful guilty pleasure because I can drop everything and still go to work the next day. I’m now old enough to have a friend from years ago who lives in a different country and maintain it.   

Where I am the best version of me.

Is there a place where you feel like a different person, or perhaps where you feel like a superior or ultimate version of yourself? Somewhere that brings out your greatest aspects, diminishes you faults, somewhere where you excel. Mine is my old university town. I have yet to find anywhere that can make me feel safe and peaceful; it is where I formed some of great ideas about literature, art, friends and life. Aberystwyth in Wales lives in its own dazzling bubble, with little crime, vice or evil one can quite happy forget there is a big bad world beyond it boarders. It was a place where I could just be, just live and be happy.

I went through a lot of pain there but I never felt isolated or lonely. It wasn’t just the incredible people I met there, the place itself stood by my side, it laughed with me, stood close by me when I cried in the dark and stopped the world to comfort me. I miss it, I miss the people I love so much I cling to them as though I’m afraid they are a wonderful dream that will slip through my fingers. I miss the person I was there, the better, smarter, prettier and happier person. I miss the conversations about politics, books, comics, films, music, love, passion and life. I wondered if it was just me who had a place like this? Or does everyone have a place where they are the person they could be?   

Tumbling Pretties

White dresses and a level up in the game of life.

My friend has moved her wedding forward by a year from September 2013 to September 2012. I’m sorry to say I was first in there with the unoriginal question ‘Are you Pregnant?’ I couldn’t help it. I am vastly ecstatic because they got engaged and then the wedding seemed so far away, now it is the highlight at the end of my summer, let alone theirs. The bride is a wonderful friend from university and her fiancée is fab, I spend a large amount of time in their spare room when I’m visiting friends in trade for a bottle of wine. I have spent many happy hours with them and I can’t wait to see them marry, I plan to cry a sea of tears and drink way too much in their honour. They are a couple that is so established in my world that if they separated I’m sure the universe would rip at the seams.

 

White dresses

The dresses

I’m not going to be a bridesmaid; however I spent the weekend wedding dress shopping with the bride to be and her mother. Would you believe it, the first dress, in the first shop was just perfect and nothing else after could measure up. This didn’t stop her trying on lots of dresses, I watched her try on white gown after white gown and started to feel, well, a little odd. I have never really wanted to get married, I was always in the train of thought that if you loved someone and wanted to spend your life with them just do it, why do you need a piece of paper to prove that you do or will. It’s not like in today’s society it means a lot, every marriage seems doomed to fail before it has started. Despite my cynicism and my generation’s apparent determination to devalue marriage, I always feel overwhelmingly happy when someone tells me they are going to tie the knot, I think it’s because in that moment that person seems incandescently happy. In the bridal shop, staring at mountains of white, cream, ivory, satin and lace I started to wonder if I wanted a big white dress? I can’t imagine thinking I could spend the rest of my life with anyone, let alone wanting or even choosing someone to do that with. Just because I can’t imagine it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like it, it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t make me content, it just means I have to do some serious revaluation of what makes me happy.

Everyone around me is in long term relationships, engagements and marriage. Me? Well I joined a Facebook group called ‘My friends are getting married, I’m getting drunk’, yes this is probably childish but it feels like I’m playing a game and I just went up a level in difficultly. It feels like I’m getting old and this doesn’t sit well with me, do I have to start checking for glinting gold bands on the left hand every time someone I am remotely attracted to starts talking to me? I am going to start getting sympathy looks every time I say I’m single, watching a small flash of fear in their eye as they panic I’m might burst into tears over my singleton status or even worse they might catch singletonitis? Or heartbreakingly worse am I going to be deserted, left behind by my friends? Is there room in married life for the single girl chasing a Neverland dream? If I fight to keep my friends will they accept me, chasing happiness that’s not like theirs or will we just drift apart on different tides??

Dancing feet

  I definitely have dancing feet and they are the best thing I have. I can talk for hours about getting the perfect line, movement or position but I’m not going to, as much as I may like chasing the perfect performance that’s not why I love dancing. I love dancing for the sense of freedom, the joy, to feel beautiful, to completely lose yourself and be yourself all at once. I believe that life is not about waiting for the tempest to pass it is about learning to dance through the rain.

Dancing is part of my soul, there is nothing better than dancing like no one is watching or dancing a night away until the sunrises and your feet ache. Dancing is everything and it’s all about dreaming. It’s about good music, feeling like you can fly and go on moving forever. I dance to music in my head anywhere any time, I dance in shops and streets as music is pump out. I will always be the first on the floor and the last. I will always allow a rhythm to infect me, I will ask partner after partner until someone will dance with me, I will always chose to get lost spinning with someone special for a moment, than hours sitting together.

Almost every society and culture has dancing; every child knows that the only thing to do when a song comes on is to jump around like a fool. It is sad that as we get older some of us stop and worry what people will think. When I was 16 I saw two elegant elderly widows, wrapped in scarves and coats gracefully dancing to a band in the park, they laughed their way through dances from their youth and flashes of their early days reflected in their faces. I decided then that if I got nothing else from life, I am going to be a woman who dances in the cold, in the open air, achy and weathered to smile and be happy.

Got any good memories about dancing?? When was the last time you danced like no would care??   Tumbling Pretties

It’s good to get lost once in a while

No one likes to get lost, that’s why we have maps, sat navs and 5 year plans. Getting lost is unnerving and frightening; it puts us face to face with the unknown, the unpredictable and unsettles us. Everyone likes to be in control and it is comfortable to always know who and where you are. The thing about getting utterly lost however is that we can learn valuable lessons and occasionally it does us some good. Getting lost can be a wonderful experience.

There are some places where it is good to get lost, the best example of this is Venice. The only way to truly experience this labyrinth is to throw your map into the Grand Canel and go for a wander. Get lost among the ancient street and find all the riches that are hidden in this city. I think to truly know the rhythm of a city you have to get lost in it. Paris will always be a mystery until you found that one cafe tucked away down a forgotten street that you and you alone adore. One of the things that is on that list of things in my head I have to do is get lost in New York just for a little bit and watch the city rush by in all its vivid colour.

There are the times you get lost by accident, lost in listening to music that sings to your heart and in art that speaks to your soul. Everyone at some point has stared into space and meander through thoughts, lost, roaming over hundreds of ideas as the world has just slipped away. You can get lost in your own excitement and interest reminding you what it is like to be truly passionate about something. Then there are moments, moments when the world stops, you become lost in an instant that lasts an age, it fills you up completely and removes you from time and space, and you vanish from the earth.

Getting lost is about gaining a new perspective, strolling off the beaten track and finding your own individual way in the world, to look through your own fresh eyes and not through the used eyes of hundreds of people before you. Getting lost means you can find something new, something unique, it’s how you find that beach with no one on it, that shop with the amazing nik naks, that place with the chef who creates the best food and that view that you don’t need a photo of because it shines brilliantly in your mind.

The really good thing about getting lost is not just losing yourself in something because of your zeal, but just losing yourself completely no matter how terrifying or daunting that is, because losing yourself means you can find yourself. How are you meant to know who you really are until you lose everything you think you are? Sometimes you simply, for the briefest of occasions, have to lose yourself and for a scary time not know who you are, to then find that fantastic thing that is the authentic you.

Maps are great and plans are excellent, the problem is they don’t help us when there is an obstacle in our way. They don’t teach us not to panic when we are lost or come up against the unexpected, that sometimes you have to embrace the unknown, navigate the unpredictable, to throw away agony and just see what is around the corner. Plans and maps don’t change but people do and it is people who have to alter the maps and the plans. If you don’t get lost once in a while how will you ever know where you really want to go?    All things lost on my Tumbling Pretties