Sunday, 15 January 2017

What a slacker!! (Pt. 2)

Continuing on from my being a lazy butt post previously....

Whilst I have been absent from my blog I have also been exploring London and practicing my guitar. My housemate and I have attempted for the past few weeks to go to an open mic night, however, we have as yet been lucky to find one close by that was actually on.
We did end up going to a restaurant instead one week and an interesting bar the next. 
The restaurant was called the Blues Kitchen and it was actually pretty cool, the food was really good and they had a live band playing, which, was just amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve heard live music at a restaurant. 
The bar we ended up at also had live music which was why we decided to stay rather than go home. That particular night we were there they had small up and coming bands that played, some were really good, some...not so much, but hey, they were up there playing so gotta give them credit for that. Both evenings turned out to be not what we had planned but still great nights. We have planned to go to another area this week in the hopes that they will have an open mic night going.

I would like to one day perform at one of these open mic nights so I have therefore been practicing my guitar quite a bit and have come up with a bit of a repertoire. I have been playing songs such as “Zombie” by the cranberries, a few songs by Kasey chambers, a few songs by Ed Sheeran and I have been attempting many more in particular songs by The pretty reckless, Tonight alive and Paramore.
I do also have an ever growing list of songs I want to teach myself which will happen soon hopefully! I might even put the list up here to keep track of my progress :)

I have been looking at doing a short course in beginners guitar which I might do just to give me some technique. It’s a 10 week course for 2 hours a week and who knows, I may just meet my future band members or life long friends there! Haha If nothing else I might make some friends who enjoy music as much as I do :)

What else have I been up to? Oh! The set of shelves in my room were broken and I have been meaning to replace them for quite a while now so I did that. Built them all by myself! I don’t need no man! Haha!

Not much else has been going on, just mainly doing my thing. I guess my goal from here is to assist with make up when I can, practice my guitar and keep writing songs but mainly to work and then travel. I’ve got a bit of a list of places I would like to go while I’m here. I think Scotland and Ireland will be my next destination. I'll look at Europe for in the summer perhaps when it's a bit warmer!!
It been snowing the pst few days, but London is too warm for it to last long so it just melts shortly after it falls. The snow that falls onto the roads just turns into a sludge in the gutter which is kind of gross. It is pretty though when it does snow.

Housemate and I have decided to go for a run two times a week so we shall see if we actually do that or not! we have decided Tuesday will be the first run we do so we shall see how that goes...or if it even goes haha! 
Wish us luck!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

What a slacker!! (Pt.1)

**Blog post due today**
**Blog post due today**
**Blog post due today**
**Blog post due today**

On a weekly basis I have a reminder in my diary and phone to write up a blog post. Every week it goes off, every week for the past month I have acknowledged it and then forgotten about it. This week it ends!!! 

So what I have been doing while I carelessly ignore my reminders? Quite a fair bit actually! I have worked the most hours I have ever worked in my life, I have quit a job and got another one, I have travelled to Iceland and spent Christmas there, I have explored a bit more of London and have been cooking more interesting meals. Oh and I also built some furniture all by myself! J

After my last post I spent a week working just about every day for nearly 2 weeks as 2 of our team members quit and I took up extra shifts. One of our two supervisors walked off the job with a days notice leaving our other supervisor having to fill in for their shifts as well. The manager was on leave with his newborn and his wife so he was unfortunately unavailable. I showed myself that I can, if I need to, work 100 hours over 2 weeks. It might not seem a lot to some people, I know some who work 60+hrs in a week however for someone who has never worked more than 40 hrs in a week I felt like it was a big achievement. I also handed in my notice that week as I had quite a few issues working there and decided that it was best for me to leave. It was definitely for the best.

After I finished my last shift I was to go home and leave for Iceland!! How exciting! This was the plan…
2am – get home from work
            finish packing, have shower and food and call cab
3am – take cab to train station
3:30 – Train to airport
4:00 – arrive at airport
            check in, security, find gate, eat, relax etc
5:45 – Board plane
6:15 – leave

How it actually went….
2am – get home from work, pack, shower, food, call cab
3:00 – cab to train station arrive
3:15 – get to station go to buy ticket, however the strike has started a day early and this service no longer runs. There is a train at 4:00 the takes 45-50 mins that I have to take. Buy ticket and wait for train. Board train at 3:40.
4:00 – train not leaving….
4:10 – a lady got off, had an argument with staff came back on board and told us this train was not leaving either and we had to take cabs to the airport.
4:15- about 20 people order ubers to take us to the airport
5:15 – get to the airport, at the wrong end of the airport
5:25 – arrive at other end of airport after taking shuttle train
5:30  - baggage drop and RUN!!!!
5:35 – get caught at security because of I forgot to put a liquid in the clear bag!! Ahhhh so not gonna make my flight!!
5:40 – Run through duty free, up the escalators and dodge all the people!!!

So I did make it to Iceland..just! I think it was definitely the most nerve wracking and anxiety provoking experience I’ve had. The worst part was the uber ride to the airport from the station as there was nothing I could do but look at the time and come up with a plan for if I missed my flight.
But anyway, made it safe and sound to Iceland which was an amazing experience. I shall do another post all about Iceland as I got up to so much I think it would be too much to write it all now.

New Years came and I went with one of my flat mates to her friends’ party just outside of London. It was a lot of fun and I met quite a few new people, we had a few drinks and sat around talking and watching fireworks as they were set off. It was very cold though, different to spending it on the beach watching the fireworks that’s for sure!

I have been on the look out for another job since I quit my last one and I have an interview on Monday for waitressing, which hopefully will go well. It is with an agency which I think is good for me at the moment as it allows me flexibility with when I work and how much I work as I would like to travel more this year and with make up assisting.

Speaking of Make up assisting, I have done a fair bit of that in the past month or so, the most exciting was this week when I spent 6 hours with 3 other people using crystals to create drag make up on a drag queen. It was pretty amazing. When I get photos I will share them J

I have a Pt. 2 to this post which will be up tomorrow....actually! haha!
For now that is all, ta-ta!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Pancakes, Fruit and Veg!

In the past few months I have been trying out some new recipes and have found quite a few that I enjoy on a regular basis either taken from actual recipes or made up myself. I have been trying to find quick and healthy meals that I can make in advance and keep in the fridge/freezer.
So far I have tried these recipes….

Butternut Squash, Lentil and spinach soup!
This one I kind of made up as I went, I had butternut squash that I had to use and some red lentils and I added some spinach for a bit of colour. I also had onion, pepper and salt and a bit of water just to thin it out. It was easy to make a batch and then take to work for dinner!

Buckwheat and banana pancakes!
These have become a really easy regular that I have probably 2-4 times a week and I just change up the toppings. I can usually make these in about 10-15 minutes, (including washing up!).  I also make the batter and keep it in the fridge so that the pancakes are always fresh and not just heated up. Toppings I use have been cranberries, almonds, cashews, nut butters, cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice, banana, kiwi, pear and apple. All natural sugars in this one too which is a bonus!

This is what I will have if I don’t have buckwheat pancakes. I add oats, almond milk, cacao powder and banana together until it is creamy and then top with any of the above-mentioned toppings! Very quick and easy to make and I can have it made in about 10-15 minutes as well (including washing up too!)

Zucchini Noodles
These are also another staple, a quick lunch or dinner. Zucchini noodles with capsicum, tomatoes, onion and pesto! Sometimes I add carrot but I prefer it without.

Lazy breakfast!
When I want eggs and am being lazy…..the following happens…. Scrambled eggs in a mug yes, I sink so low as too make eggs in the microwave! My add ins are usually spinach leaves, tomato and cheese. I will also have some fruit, an orange/apple/kiwi etc as well as a tea gotta fit in with the brits somehow! haha


Just your usual carrots cucumber and hommus with some biscuits….and chai tea. The we have fruit salad! Yummy yummy!

Lazy Dinner!

Lazy dinners for me mean no washing up, an example of one is below. Cheese and tomato on rye with cucumber and garlic bread. It was very nice cheese! I have found cheese to be very cheap over here compared to back home.

Not so lazy Breakfast, Lunch or dinner!

This is always a filling meal when I have this! Eggs on toast with avo, tomato, sauted onions and a pine nut pesto pasta salad from Marks and Spencer and then steamed broccoli with side of carrot and orange juice. I must admit it was too much as I didn't eat the broccoli and ended up taking it to work.

All in all I've tried some good meals and am trying to add to it! I would love any suggestions of quick and easy healthy meals and snack :) But for now goodbye or Ta-rah! as some of the english would say! 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Musicians, Music and Me

Today was an interesting day! My housemate L and I went on a bit of an adventure. We had to go and get her bag repaired and ended up having to travel about 1.5 hours to find somewhere that would repair it for her. We took the tube and the overground and stopped briefly at a station to catch a connecting train and I found Keep Cups!! I was so excited because I left mine back home and have been thinking about getting a similar sort of cup from Starbucks or somewhere so I can take tea to work. It was nice to find something from Australia over here in a non-touristy area too.

So we ended up finding the shop and they took her bag with no problems whatsoever! We then had to make our way to Tottenham Court Rd as she needed a mute for her violin and I needed to buy some more picks for my L has told me I am a true guitar player now as the first thing I say whenever I start to practice is I've lost another one! so I now have a bit of a stash just in case I lose anymore! I hope I don't though!

I also picked up some sheet music at the same shop, it is a compilation of the best of David Bowie and I can't wait to start being able to play some of his songs. I'm going through a bit of a Bowie phase and I also picked up a documentary about him as well as a few other things.

While we were in TCR I decided to see if any of the music and guitar shops were hiring as I am currently really not enjoying my job and would prefer daytime hours as opposed to evening/nighttime hours. Unfortunately most of them don't have any vacancies as of yet but they said to send my resume in and something might pop up in the new year when their Christmas casuals leave, so I am hoping it does!

We left the TCR music shops and headed to the tube, Along the way we decided to stop in a this shop that L has been telling me about for ages! It is a shop that sells music, DVDs, books and gift items and they are really cheap. It was massive! 3 floors! I ended up coming out with quite a lot of things.......

Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and David Bowie posters to hang on my walls.

Documentary/Biography movies ....

Becoming David Bowie
Super Duper Alice Cooper - welcome to his nightmare
The man who fell to earth
Eight days a week the touring years, The band you know the story you don't
The rolling Stones - Stones in Exile.

The Soundtrack to The Man Who Fell To Earth

I decided I needed to stop there as that would be more then plenty enough to keep me busy until next year! We escaped and took the bus home, made dinner and then collapsed in a heap from our long day. I was definitely tired and ready for bed!

To Add to my collection of musicians I am interesting in learning about I bought some books off Amazon a few weeks ago as well....

Hero: David Bowie (By Lesley-Ann Jones)
Led Zeppelin - When Gods Walked The Earth (By Mick Wall)
Jimi Hendrix - The Man, The Magic, The Truth (By Sharon Lawrence)

I have evidently been filling my spare time with reading and watching Music legends as well as practicing guitar. I want to keep reading and learning about many more musicians and fill my room with books, posters, movies, music all related to them. Learning what makes their music theirs while figuring out what my own style is while I am learning is going to be a fun long journey and I wish to pursue this as much as I can!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Positive, Negatives, Emotions and Logic....and Bikkies :)

Ahhh! I can do this! Consistency! Positivity! Come on! You got this gurl! I hope you're all ready for a long post, so grab a cup of tea, some bikkies and a comfy sitting position! :)

I know I have not been at ALLLL consistent in posting on a weekly basis and unfortunately I have let things and emotions get in the way of me actually making ANY progress with my goals which is why I moved half way across the world and left my friends and family and my Cat (Yes my cat is very special to me and I have missed her a lot of late :'( ) However, I have realised something in the past day or two which I believe will help me on my way to my goals! My short term and long term ones.

So many things have been happening in my life lately that I have let have a negative impact on me. However I recently read what a friend wrote about positives and negatives and realised, like really understood, that I have been going about life the wrong way. I have been letting the negatives take over the positives. Its not something I haven't been told before, its not something I haven’t tried to do before, but the way said friend wrote about it and explained it made me actually understand it. When it all comes down to it there are positives and negatives and if we dwell on the negatives we forget the positives so why not just focus on the positives as much as we can? There are always positives you just have to get creative in finding them or make them yourself and then focus on them. 

*Gasp* So many "positives" and "negatives" in this post, I think I need a thesaurus!

Everyone everywhere has low moments in their life, its unavoidable. If we didn't have lows then how would we know that we had highs. A lot of the time we focus on the bad things because they are easy. "This person made me feel this way", "This failed because of something other than me", "Its too hard/difficult/boring/tedious". Tough bikkies I've started saying to myself! Tough bikkies! (haha such a strange saying, but it works!) I have found that it is easy to slip into the easy way of blaming someone else or something else because you made a mistake or have chosen to dwell on a bad feeling. We all do that and it is fine....for a little while. But I have found that it does not do well to focus on these things for too long because these thoughts inevitably leads to spiral which only causes you more frustration/anger etc making it harder to get back to the happier things in life. 

Reading what my friend wrote I realised that I can take these situations catch my thoughts and find the good in the situations. What opportunities can I see now that this door is closed, have any others potentially opened up? Can I learn from this and apply it to other things in my life? Can I become a stronger person emotionally or physically because of this? If I can learn to manage my emotions and how I react towards other people and scenarios then I believe I can have a more happy and fulfilling life. I do not mean to put a blanket ban on negative emotions, but just allowing myself to acknowledge that certain situations make me feel a certain way and to not make any rash decisions while I’m feeling this heightened emotion. That way I can gather my thoughts and come up with more sound approach to the situation and respond logically and respectfully rather than emotionally.

It does take some mind training to start with to realise and catch yourself in these emotions, then to talk yourself out of reacting emotionally. Really have conversations with yourself (you probably think I'm crazy here haha but oh well :) However, if you can catch yourself in the moment thinking “It’s too hard, I don't want to do it, I can't do it" talk back to yourself, challenge yourself. Ask "well why is it hard to do? Am I just being lazy, if so (Insert fav saying along the lines of "Tough Bikkies"), a lot of things in life are hard and I can be proud of myself for not giving up." If there is something getting in your way how can you remove that? Then you can be proud that you worked through the problem rather than give up! J

For me, sometimes getting through a particular work shift I am proud of because my inner me is just saying walk out, leave, its too difficult, the customers are too irritating or horrible or difficult. However I stop myself and say, no. you have to do this, you will let others down, you will let yourself down and by getting through this shift without giving up or being rude to that lady who is telling you how to do your job you are allowed to be proud of yourself. And I am :) It’s only a small thing but I can be proud of it. 

The same can be said for if someone "makes you feel a certain way".  We all have natural reactions to other people’s actions which can cause us to become emotional. The important thing is to feel these things but try not to react emotionally on them, from experience it usually ends up worsening the situation. Usually. I find in these scenarios that talking to myself about why I feel this way helps. "I am really frustrated by what this person has said/done, I can't believe they did that, I would not have done that, I wish I could just say/do this back, but I know if I do I will be disappointed or I may regret my actions/words." Distract yourself just long enough to once again gather yourself and then react logically and thoughtfully rather than emotionally. Once again the positive is showing yourself how you can handle things well, being proud of yourself! 

Having said all of this, distinguishing between emotional reactions and thoughtful/logical reactions can be difficult to start with, I am still learning that myself, however I think I now understand the principal and will be able to see it a lot more in myself than I did before and subsequently be able to have better relationships with others as well as myself.

Ah so how are we all doing? Got a bit deep there I know, I'm terribly sorry if you got bored but hey, you made it to here, so can't have been too bad :) I hope my 3am ramble has given you something to take away if not the fact that I can write more than 200 words on a blog post! 

I am going to focus on more positives in the future and I am going to re-evaluate my goals, long term and short term. I think you can expect a post on these in the next day or two but for now.... I'm off to sleep!! 

Goodnight lovelies! Stay positive :) Xx