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Life in E2 taught me I’m enough, and to keep icing the cake

10 Aug
The cake being my catalogue of reasons for self-love and the additional icing being love I allow in from others.
Shoreditch has been home for the last 18+ months, London’s hub of culture, art, fashion and food. You can buy errrrythang from fresh fruit and flowers to furniture, pastries and antique collectibles. Sometimes known to others as that filthy Eastend patch full of top-knot adorned dickheads…
For me, my experience of living here gave me three awesome things: 1. Lots of incredible nights I can’t remember, 2. Immunity to bullshit (although this may have been innate), and 3. A rebuilt sense of self-worth at a time when it was a little shaky – otherwise known as ‘early twenty-dom’.

Moving time shoreditch view from my room

Thought patterns I used to have before moving here:
  • What makes me happy?
  • Am I enough?
  • Am I desirable?
  • Is this as good as things are going to get?
  • I’m unhappy in my job
Thought patterns I had after having lived in Shoreditch for some time:
  • I like the way I dress
  • I’ve met and welcomed some incredible strangers in to my life, now my friends
  • I’m fun
  • I’m attractive
  • I have great friends
  • I work damn hard
Some questions I’m still figuring out the answers to:

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People watching, summer in Shoreditch

26 Mar

London’s my favourite city in the world, this comes with no bias because I live here, it genuinely is. There’s a rumble and a roar about London when summer hits. You can hear the audible stampede of workers darting out the door to spend the maximum amount of time outside. Pretending just for the length of time it takes to guzzle a pint that life is carefree.

Summer in London’s also the best time to people watch, but if you don’t have the art down, you risk going from the peeper to the peep-ee. Lucky for me I was able to pap from my balcony on a ‘light jacket weather’ kind of day in Shoreditch 2015. Here are some of the more interesting scenes and people I captured…

Where’s your favourite people watching spot?

Borneo, Malaysia: Going it alone (kinda)

23 Nov

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2, Sunday 19 October, 2014. Oh god, this is a heavy backpack. Crane my neck up to check the board. Hugs and kisses goodbye to the family and boyfriend, and I’m off.

Heathrow Terminal 2

I’ll skip through the boring flight bits, lalala Dubai, zip, BOOM! 13hrs later, we land on the island of Borneo. Oh no wait, it was Singapore first. Right, yes, Singapore then Kuching, Borneo, BAM! I’ve landed.

Brain: “Fuck sake, there’s only a bloody Starbucks! My god it’s humid here.” *Eyes desperately scan around for a ‘Matang Wildlife Centre’ or ‘Project Orang-utan’ t-shirt*

Brain: “There she is!”

Natasha Beckerson, General Manager, Matang Wildlife Centre is there to meet me. I’m one of the last to arrive, we head to a lodge in central Kuching to meet the other 10 or so volunteers (who are also spending two weeks at the Matang Wildlife Centre) we share some drinks, get to know each other, then it’s off the next morning to the jungle (around 2,200 hectares of it.)

Skipping any other boring anecdotal observations, I’m cutting straight to my top five picks from my time there:

  1. ALL THE FOOD!
    I love soy, and in Borneo it’s a common ingredient in most dishes. There was this unrefined tofu dish that I forget the name of that basically changed my life. Also, what Borneans can do with plantain and breadcrumbs is magical. Just trust me on this one, it’s all delicious. Malaysian Borneo also reawakened my passion for coconut water, so now every time I find myself drinking that Vita Coco stuff, I’m instantly transported back to a Bornean beach with sand in my hair, laughing my lungs out, just intensely happy.
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    Yes this is a real place. Damai Beach.

     

  2. The people
    A real mix of people were drawn to the volunteer experience at Matang: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Aussies, Germans, they were all bloody brilliant fellow journeymen.
    However, I really enjoyed meeting the locals, who were always extreme in everything they did; whether it was the abundance of knowledge they had to share about local plant life and indigenous animals (like orang-utan, sunbears, crocodiles, gibbons, frogs, snakes etc…) or in their insistence of sharing local rice whisky with you (many a good night was had.We’ll say no more.)

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    Faye, Dom

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    Richard, Emma

     

  3. Wildlife
    Matang Wildlife Centre near Kuching rescue orang-utans, macaques, sunbears and various other beasties. Most have come from the pet trade where people have surrendered them because they’ve become too big and dangerous to keep as pets. The staff here do the best they can with what they have. They make every effort to rehabilitate animals and give them a good quality of life. Major props to all who give up their time and salary to work here!
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  4. Wellington boots
    A strange pick I’ll admit, but this was the last item you’d put on before you trudged off on a day’s work up the farm, mucking out animal cages or just general manual labour, and I loved every moment of it! OK, not the time I got a leech on my leg in the middle of the jungle, or that time I scraped the back of my leg with a scythe and thought I was going to develop septicaemia and die. But all those other times were immense!
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    leech, borneo, matang, matang wildlife centre, kuching, lundu,
  5. Treks
    From night hikes spent discovering the wonders of phosphorescent moss, day hikes to waterfalls strong enough to blast your pants off (literally) and mountain journeys to fairy caves.

    Oh…and one final thing:
  6. Education
    I learnt more about animal cruelty-free tourism by actually taking a trip than any ‘share and vent’ Facebook article could tell me. Let’s just say, I won’t be riding any elephants, visiting tiger temples or holding wild animals any time soon. Oh and I’ll be doing my best to avoid buying products that contain unsustainable palm oil as best I can.

If you’re curious about other cultures, exotic animals and landscapes. Go to Borneo. Here’s a link to the oran-gutan project I went to if you’d like to read more about it.

Early Learning Centre: Rorschach Psychological Assessment Art

11 Nov

Inspiration: For weeks upon end I kept visualising creating some kind of art with paint, repitition and some element of fading.

Like most other unreasonable women the name of a product is a major factor in the buying process. A prime example of this is make-up, and brands like Topshop make-up and Barry M cosmetics have got this art down to a ‘T’.

Another influence to this piece were the pictures used in psychological assessments – which I have since found out (thank-you Google) are named after Swiss psychologist Mr Hermann Rorschach; appropriately named ‘the Rorscharch test’ or simply the inkblot test, designed to reveal the details of our subconscious (see below).

The Rorschach test

The names I gave each finger print stain are pretty self explanatory, but I just wonder what they say about me. Do let me know what you see through your own eyes in these ‘inkblots’.

Project: Whip up some simple paint, one part poster paint powder, the other simply water. Place on a flat surface (a plastic plate works well) dip your finger in and press down on five different points along in a line on some paper. Place pressure on different parts of your finger each time, then leave to dry and write down the first thing that comes to mind.

TOPTIPS: When choosing paints, keep in mind that bolder colours tend to be the best for inkblot tests, evoking passion and emotion the most.

Shedding Some Thoughts

11 Oct

I’ve felt a significant change in the air of late. The days seem to drag, it seems strange, unnatural even to be waking up to darkness each day. The summer sun has closed its shutters, while autumn’s claws claim the pavements.

In the political arena we are seeing much promise from mp’s of late. Just last week – the main party conferences came to a close, with new hopes and plans to be delivered pending their victory. For the most part audiences were shown old policies with the dust blown off, but still there is the illusion of new things.

Over the weekend lots of families the world over saw in the holiest few days of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur – a chance for growth and reflection. A chance to sit back and consider what it is exactly one wants to be remembered for.

The monumental event that stirred up all this contemplation was the clear out and demolition of our garden shed. Something that has existed since we had moved in to this house 13 years ago, in my mind it symbolises the acceptance of new things.

Here were some viewpoints from the day:

 

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Seriously Bitchin’ Kodak Retinette – Plus Learn to Speak 50’s

7 Sep

Ok, so I have recently stumbled across quite a 1950’s gem…it’s only a stunning 35mm Kodak ‘Retinette’ wind-up camera.

What I like most about it however, was the price £5 leather bound case and all from a charity shop in Romford.

The 35mm ‘Retinette’ was a camera range made by Kodak AG in the late 40’s early 50’s in Germany, a more ‘cost effective’ version of the ‘Retina‘.

This particular version allows for a flash sync to be used when screwed in to the top, another unusual feature is the wind-up lever that is on the bottom.

It is very rare to find a winder at the bottom end of a camera, those dreaming up the shape and functionality must have been careful to craft a piece of machinery that was  a dream for the owner to use.

The slightly worn targeted view finder on this sweet 50’s Kodak Retinette transports you back to a hazy time, full of mid length skirts and brylcream.

It forces me to stop and wonder what sights were seen by this trusty handcrafted camera – perhaps cheerful picnics at the beach, days out and about looking at all London has to offer.

Perhaps she has even travelled overseas, breathed in the misty atmosphere of the Rue du Seine of Paris.

That’s the beauty of foraged items such as this, you can create any kind of tangible history you please.

You can so clearly tell the era that gave birth to this unique model of Kodak camera (1950’s) the steel finish and traces of art deco make it a real swell find.

So in honour of  50’s culture and style here are some seriously bitchin’ phrases I thought I’d and bring back.

Let’s do it in public (Knitting)

1 Apr

I remember when I was a lot younger my Nan (or Nanny Greenpeace as she’s fondly known) taught my cousin’s and I to knit, and I wasn’t half bad!

Somewhere along the way the knowledge fell out of my head, and I made room for other things like; food, Vogue magazine and boys. However, thanks to a little inspiration from the boyfriend’s mum at the craft party I recently held (she kindly lent her knitting expertise) and of course the wonder that is Youtube, particularly the ‘Threadbanger‘ channel I have regained confidence with needles and yarn.

I even went as far as to bring my knitting on the train and ‘did it in public’. I would advise everyone to try this, you get a few weird looks but it’s such a rewarding pass-time. I was literally in Stoke one moment and at London Euston station the next.

I’ve chosen to use a cheerful custard yellow springy Merino wool as my weapon of choice, I might mix it up with a mossy green colour soon. That is certainly my top tip though, invest in some good quality yarn, you’ll thank me later when you’re not scratching off a layer of neck skin due to being a skin flint. Happy knitting!

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