It’s oh so quiet…

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Does it ever happen to you that you think you haven’t done something for a while and then you realise it is actually even longer than you thought? Happened to me today with this blog. Knew I hadn’t posted for a few days…but a week?! Oh my how did that happen…

To be honest its been a bit of an odd week. Something has simply not felt right. Not the usual over the top anxiousness or the sad depression that sometimes still hits me. This was more an absence. A feeling of not being quite here. Of detachment.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with their dark moments. I have a few. My main one is to switch off. I shut down and step away. Let whatever is up with me pass. Usually it is quite a conscious decision, this time though it kinda felt outside of my choice. Still I went with it, had an absent few days and now feel like a little more of me is back.

So an odd week as I said. My mental health can still throw me a curveball after all these years of living with its ups and downs. What is it trying to tell me this time?

Writing my list for living…

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First of all let me say wow. Let me say thank you for all the wonderful responses to my post ‘the life in your years’. Clicking that publish button was seriously hard. The response I got here and on social media made all the doubts and tears rolled up in that post more than worth it.

Did you wonder if I would actually write my list for living? I know I did. Yet I have. It has moved from a hey-that-is something-I-ought-to-do kind of idea into more than an idea. My list has life.

I wanted to share it with you, partly so you knew I hadn’t forgotten about it. Partly to make sure I stuck to it. Partly to encourage those of you who said to me how much they shared or understood the feelings in that blog post and the need to live this life.

So here is my list so far, be gentle with it as it is still quite young and has space still to grow. And then grow some more. Like me.

As they say on Strictly Coming Dancing, in no particular order…

MY LIST FOR LIVING:

visit the very tip of the Mull of Galloway

buy some posh vegan cheese

go on a Segway

try painting

go on a Buddhist retreat or course

go snorkelling

climb a mountain (a small one…)

try pottery

ride a horse

go snowboarding

see a volcano

do our road trip across US

go sea kayaking

publish my own book of photos

Once I make the move to my own self-hosted site (coming soon!) , my list will have its own section where I can add to it, tick things off and see where it takes me. Join me and lets live this life together.

Photo from Pixabay

 

Vegan cakes in the Lakes

Are you a city person or more at home in the countryside? Last week I got to go from my home in rural Cumbria down to London for the night and then back up for a night in remote Lake District. Talk about contrasts!

The trip down to London was a whistle-stop visit to see Adele at Wembley Stadium with my mum (potentially amongst the last people to see her perform live as she cancelled the two remaining nights after ours!). Whilst I’m not her biggest fan, Adele can certainly belt out a tune with her voice and her interaction with the crowd is some of the best I have seen. Plus my mum was happy so that for me = time well spent.

Being in London is odd for me now. Being a south-eastern girl, I used to visit London all the time. It felt comfortable. Now it is quite alien and uncomfortable. And I’m not quite sure why. I don’t think it is the current countryside living I am indulging in. I felt this way about London when I returned back from our travels. London has changed for me.

Whatever the reason underlying this odd unhappiness with London, I was relieved to be away from it again (though it was lovely to see my little mum!). Excited too as we were heading to my first vegan festival the next day and a night away in our little camper – always one of my most favourite things to do.

Cumbria Vegan Festival was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There was so much tasty food there to try. I had my first experience of jerk tofu, pulled jackfruit and a vegan meringue that was utterly amazing. Too amazing. It is seriously a good thing I don’t live near the bakery. This was all good. Thing was though if you don’t have much money to spend, there was not much else there. A few talks and films showing and that was pretty much it. I was kinda hoping for more advice and information on the vegan lifestyle. Paying an entry fee to then just buy things seems-well-a-little-rubbish to me. Maybe I expect a little too much.

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The good news was that the shop in the centre has an amazing selection of beers including the Samuel Smith brewery which does vegan beers! So we stocked up and then set off for Haweswater Reservoir on the edge of the Lake District. Bumping along single track roads in search of a spot to spend the night reminded me so much of our travels in Scotland as part of our Big Adventure – oh I want to do that again! We had hoped being a little cut off from the rest of the Lakes would mean it wouldn’t be so busy there. We were wrong.

Thanks to a little bit of patience and some fast manoeuvring, we got ourselves a perfect little spot overlooking the reservoir tucked at the end of the valley. Once the walkers (people who were walking the fells not the undead I hasten to add) had cleared off, peace and isolation reigned. And the weather rained.

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Tucked up in our cosy little home, this didn’t seem to matter and we chatted the evening away over our beers. We woke up to spells of sunshine and people arriving to enjoy the hills by foot, bike, 4×4 and motorbike (some nutters even turned up at 4am!) as we packed up and headed home.

Strolling up the hill/mountain/steep thing behind our camper was the perfect antidote to the unease of being in London and gave the perfect opportunity to take some more Haggis and Horse photos too. I regret that it has taken us till now, when our time here is running out, to explore and sleep more in our little house on wheels.

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Introducing Haggis and Horse

 

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Yes I know I am an adult. And to some people that may be too old for soft toys. Especially soft toys who travel with you. Well I am here to say no it is not. Why? Because I said so. So ner. *demonstrating my point with a seriously grown up response*

So who are Haggis and Horse? Or should that more be why?

The story starts with Horse. Well actually before Horse. The story starts with the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Thanks to our obsession interest in all things Japanese, we started collecting little squishy Japanese versions of the zodiac animals. We always had the animal for the current zodiac year on show. It was the year of the Horse in the year we started travelling. So we took Horse with us because that is obviously what you do when you go travelling.

Horse lived in the camper keeping himself to himself…until we meet Haggis in Scotland. This little fluff ball of a wild haggis starting creeping into photos and encouraging Horse to do the same. They became part of our adventures and made us smile.

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They kept fairly private until we all got bored at our airport motel in Auckland. A ceiling fan got involved and the cult of Haggis and Horse was born (cult = slight interest from our family and friends). Ever since then they have clamoured for more recognition and so we have started a page over on Instagram for them. (this has nothing to do with having way too many photos of them that amuse us).

Take a peek and give them a follow. You will want to. I mean look-at-them. See Horse’s jaunty angle and Haggis’s bemused, confused face. How can you resist?

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If we were having coffee right now…big news time!

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Hello! How are you? It is good to catch up again after 5 whole weeks since our last coffee and chat. What is your drink of choice for today? I feel a slight fraud with the title of this post as I am actually sitting here sipping a cup of tea…

If we were having coffee right now, I would be bursting to tell you our big news. We are going to be on the move again – yep – finally! The roots we put down in Cumbria have turned out to be only surface deep. First planned stop is back ‘home’ to Tokyo. Where we go after and whether we do head there first remains to be seen. ‘When?’ I hear you ask. Fingers crossed October – November time this very year!

If we were having coffee right now, we would talk about how this time round it is going to be different. How this time we will not be storing our possessions. Well not many of them anyway. I would tell you how bogged down we felt after our travels by the sheer amount of stuff we have. How tied down and overwhelmed. So this time we are selling most of what we have accumulated in our 22 years together. If or when we settle again, we will start again. Start afresh. I would tell you to let me know if you have your eye on anything of ours!

If we were having coffee right now, I would sadly tell you I will be closing down Mr B’s Button Jamboree in the next few months. Partly because of our plans. Partly because I feel too stretched with the writing, blogging and microstock photography. I would share my disappointment that I never got to develop it in the way I planned and pride in actually doing it in the first place. It took more courage than I actually thought I had. I would tell you this may not be forever, we shall see.

If we were having coffee right now, I would finally give you my exciting news about my blog. I have chosen its new name and am now designing its new look! No you are not finding anything out about it now! Patience!

My! What a catch up this has been with all sorts of big news from me! I feel I have monopolised the conversation slightly…what’s your news? What have you been up to?

 

Photo by ColobusYeti

My Friend, the Inside of my Head

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Me and the inside of my head are very good friends, we hang out all the time.  Nothing happens in my life, from big events to small daily activities, that we don’t spend time discussing and assessing.  Some might say we spend too much time together, that the inside of my head is a bad influence on me.  And I would probably agree with them.

I like spending time with the inside of my head…or at least I used to.  Being an introvert, a thinker and an analyser, it allows me to think things through and get quiet time from the rest of the world.  At some point though, the inside of my head started taking over.  We spent too much time together.  I started hanging out in my head all the time and not in the real world.  Like a possessive partner, it started distorting how I look at the world and myself.  I became the silent friend in the relationship, the friend of a bully who kept me down all the time so it was the powerful one.

I recognised in time my friendship with the inside of my head was not a healthy one and I began to distance myself from it.  It did not want to let go of me though, there was and still are arguments over how to see the world and my place in it.  Our friendship has become toxic and I need space from it.  Yet I still need that friendship, it is my refuge from a world that I find too much sometimes, it is a place of processing and protection.  So I am trying to build bridges with the inside of my mind, to find a partnership with it where we are equals not enemies.

 

Image from DasWortgewand @ pixabay

What’s in a name?

At the moment I am stuck. My whole life feels stuck. I keep feeling I am on the verge of doing big things, making big changes yet never actually taking any steps forward. Ever since finishing my last deadline I have felt unanchored and drifting. I feel the weight of all our plans and my work closing in around me, not knowing what to do or how to do it.

I don’t know if it is the reason for this blocked ‘meh’ feeling or a symptom of it but this blog seems to be a big tree blocking my way at the moment. Or more specifically its name is. My blog’s focus has moved away from my little button jewellery business and deserves a new name. It is about me now – my fears, adventures and hopes. So I want to refresh it, give it the new start that I working so hard towards.

Can I think of a new name though? Nope, the inspiration boat has well and truly sailed leaving me stranded here. I have been stuck thinking about this for weeks. I have read articles on choosing blog names, written lists of words, thought about my aims and goals, all that sort of jazz. Yet that name is still hiding from me. I keep getting tantalising feelings like the perfect name is about to pop into my head…and then it doesn’t. Or I think of a good name only to find that someone has got there before me.

Maybe I am resting too much on finding this name and that it is why it is hiding, fearful of the pressure I am placing on its shoulders. All I know is that I am one frustrated blogger at the moment…please if you have any ideas or suggestions, save me from this misery!