Where has my creative flair gone.

13 Aug

As someone who spent years making soft furnishings, drawing, writing, singing and dancing, I suddenly find myself creatively inert. I keep telling myself, “just sit down and sew” but apparently I’m not listening. I’ll suggest to myself, “join a dance studio”. BORED NOW. I do wonder if my creativity is being somewhat quashed by my life being so hectic, but that has never stopped me in the past. I thrive on pressure and being busy. It’s when I’m bored that the problem seems to kick in. So what the heck is causing this creative vacuum?

Well, about a week ago it hit me like a wet kipper (not literally but you get the picture), the lack of creativity is coming from the lack of creative projects in my work and life. When working in retail, I was regularly on buying trips, so was able to use my creative flair to select the right stock for purchase. When working in property, we did up so many homes I was able to employ my love of interior design. When I had my Home Interiors store, I made a lot of products which sold well. So, you’d think as a Business Consultant I would have to use the creative part of my brain, and of course I do, all the time, but it would appear it’s not ruddy helping; it’s not the ‘right’ kind of creativity.

So, as of today, a good friend (the very handsome Kevin Maxwell) and I are starting a business that sparks that certain kind of creativity. Today is the launch of Actorium -a hub for people in the Performing Arts. Be you an actor looking for where the latest auditions are being held or a singer trying to find an open mic night to attend, we will be here to help you. We will also let you know where all the good shows are, what’s on at the movies and what bands are playing, where; with the occasional critique thrown in for good measure. We really hope you enjoy joining us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

So, creative problem solved. I might even make a cushion cover tonight…how rock and roll am I.

Forgiveness (or not)

14 Nov

Forgiveness. It’s an interesting word, and one that disappoints me regularly. Why you ask (well, at least if you have asked I know I’ve engaged you, which is a start)? Because for all the talking people do about how they can forgive but not forget, how they have forgiven their ex, their parents, their blah blah blah, the truth is they are generally trying to persuade themselves that they have forgiven, when in fact they have done no such thing.

Forgiveness is not as simple as that, nor is it something most people deep down actually want to do, because you see, the more wounded we are, the more we have to hang on to; the more to feel sorry for ourselves about. If we let go, we ultimately feel empty; or do we? Personally, I spent years forgiving people who have hurt me. Why? Because, if I don’t, I will carry this heavy baggage to my grave (I don’t like carrying my shopping, why the hell would I want to carry baggage for the rest of my life). I agree that it’s nigh on impossible to forget without a frontal lobotomy, but you can let it sail, and as time passes you will find it loses potency and becomes something that you can no longer remember the finer details of, thus making it less and less memorable/important.

I find that forgiving makes me look at things with a very different perspective, it also allows me to look at the person who hurt me in a different light, and sometimes (not all the time), I find I like what I see. You see, and this is an important one, so perk your ears up, because I am only going to say this once (god, I sound like my mother), everyone has baggage, and everyone hurts someone because of that baggage, be it intentionally or not. So what do we do? Live in a isolated bubble, in the hope that nothing can hurt us? No, didn’t think so. You can -if you wish-, carry your baggage until it ages your face; until it wedges itself between you and the people you love and until they burry you with it. I guess then you will no longer care. Or you can take a closer look at what it is you are carrying and work out if it is something that you need help unpacking, or if it is something you can say ” that is soooo not important any more” either way, you should look at it and you should deal with it.

~ Forgiveness and letting go are steps on our road back to happiness. ~

Here is an example, imagine as a guy you went out with a girl and that girl really really hurt you. She cheated, lied and treated you badly (switch genders if you are a girl reading this, it’s pretty generic). You bump into that person 15 or so years later and they are married with kids etc. and you think, “you seem really sorted. Damn!”  So many people revert to being angry at them for how they hurt you so long ago and to add insult to injury” they seem genuinely happy and are a really nice person t’boot. Now you really hate them. This doesn’t seem right, does it? Why not look at the person and, oh I don’t know, THINK! Maybe, just maybe, you were also at fault; you just did not work; you were too young or maybe you were not sexually compatible. Whatever the maybe, it’s done, it’s past. It’s now up to you to decide if you are going to continue being a wounded soul, or if you are going to stand up and shake it off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it’s easy.

Look in the mirror and think about who you have hurt, take a look at your face, are you frowning? wouldn’t you rather be smiling? Then stop hurting because of what someone, somewhere did to you, and think, “If this is how I am feeling, I wonder how they feel?” Maybe then you will be able to let go, and even if they don’t feel the hurt you do, is that a reason to keep the hurt? I don’t think so.  it’s you that matters. Move on, let go.

Relationships – Construction and Deconstruction.

19 Oct

Construction.

As love blossoms and the first bit of nookie has been had, we blissfully move into stage two – The Relationship.

And so construction of the relationship begins. Conversations are had and boundaries are set – or so they should be – to guide the couple to a point of contentment. We look into one another’s eyes and with utter bliss, whisper the words, “I love you”. Away, we go through the next however long, learning new things about each other, with the occasional fight along the way to reset those boundaries. As contentment sets in and we have suitably moved into one another’s lives, we find ourselves sighing with relief that the search is over and we are now settled.

Relationships are odd little cookies though, in that they are all so different. How many times have you been out with friends and thought, “why is he with her” or visa versa. Or, “I bet he speaks to her like that at home too (poor girl)”. Or, “I bet she gives him the odd smack round the head. We don’t do that, do we dear????????”.

We analyze the hell out of other people’s relationships (well, at least I’m honest enough to admit it) to see if our own is good enough. We forget though that others do exactly the same to us. What do they see? What do they say?.

If you could have someone video tape a week of your life, without you knowing, would you want to watch it? Or would you be too concerned as to what you might see?

As we get older we become much more complicated. We gather things: lamps, beds, crockery, children… It makes things a little more confusing. Think about this: If you and your partner owned nothing other than the clothes on your back, had no mutual fiends and had no children, would your relationship still exist? It’s a tough question huh? And one I would wager a large amount of money on, that you are not willing to ask yourself.

As I mentioned in my post about Love, there are no promises, and the same goes with relationships. We can say all the vows we like on our wedding day, but there are no guarentees that we can hold down our end of the bargain. Life is just not that simple. Some people live together for over 50 years and on the surface look wonderfully in love, and we say looking at them, “Aww, look at that they still hold hands after all theses years.”, but how do we know that she is not waiting for the old bastard to pop his clogs so that she can run away with Chet who’s 20 years her junior. We don’t. What we can say for certain is that they “seem” happy.

Deconstruction.

This part is most definitely not the fun part.

As someone who has had long term relationships end, I can speak from experience that it gets so much harder depending on, a. the longer you have been together and b. the older you are.

Deconstructing a relationship is not as simple as saying I no longer love you, so I am leaving. Chet may be at the garden gate in his BMW roadster, waiting to sweep you off to the greener side of the grass, but he knows not of the pain in the two peoples hearts (even if they are no longer in love) there is as they tear their lives apart from one another. The things we fear can only be described as a cruel and unusual punishment: the thought of being alone; the fear that this is all just a big mistake, the dating pool (I mean, lets face it, it’s not much fun). Am I too old? Am I interesting enough? Some women need to get jobs after years of looking after the kids. Some men fear losing their virility; while others fear the fact they have lost half there hair, and after just seeing Chet (at the afore mentioned gate), have realized there are some young men out there with virility coming out of their…y’know.

It does not matter who is to blame for a relationship break-down, as both parties go there separate ways they will inevitably go through the deconstruction period, which can be lengthy and terrifying. I firmly believe that that is the reason there are so many unhappy marriages. Well, that and religious pressures of course (but that is a whole different can of worms I am not opening just now). People are so scared of what it will be like to be alone again that they just stick, and many moons later gripe and snip at one another until one of them pops off to never never land, leaving the other wondering what the hell to do now.

None of this is scientific proof of course; they are merely musings, based on personal experience and information gathered from friends of all ages who have ‘been there’. It was quite surprising to me how many people said when the relationship deconstruction was over, how much happier and freer they felt. Some mention loneliness. Some fear being single until the day they die, but all said they were happier not being in that relationship.

Moving on will never be easy, but it can be made easier by being honest with yourself as to what you want in life. If Chet is the one, then damn well chase him over that grassy knoll.

But don’t forget, if you can remember why you fell in love with someone in the first place and there is an inkling that they are worth fighting for, then get your bloody boxing gloves on and give it all you have got, because the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Love, and all its pretty colours.

8 Oct

Love, love, love? What is it about that word that makes us happy and anxious at the same time? Why is it that some of us become shrinking violets when faced with the word; some people cry and others run in fear at the thought of the commitment they believe it must entail. Why would the word ‘Love’ be such a terrifying thing?

Some of us are blessed enough to have been in love and been loved in return many times, while others have never experienced the wondrous feeling one receives.

I find that love is something I give out quite freely. As someone who falls deeply, I find it hard to give love in half measures, Yes, for some this may be hard to be on the receiving end of, but I am surrounded now by people who appreciate that love and understand why I give it out in such large measures. My best friend is a girl I consider a sister. I love her, and although there are a little less than 6000 miles between us, I know she knows it; and appreciates it. My other friends know that when I say I love them it’s not in a ,”I’d like to rip your clothes off and have my wicked way with you” kind of way, it’s in a, “I care about you and you are in my thoughts” way.

The love of a child is something new to me and it is an experience all people should have, whether the child is from your loins or not. The love a child gives is so innocent it can only be described as pure. I won’t go on and on about children because for those who are childless it is probably somewhat tedious.

The love of a good man is a different story, I cannot be bothered with half measures and have left men in the past who -although claim they love you whole heartedly-, have no ability to show it (I am not psychic you know). It makes me cross that people would let a simple (all be it strong) word like ‘Love’ be a deal breaker. Hell, if you feel it, say it, it’s nothing to be afraid of and can be the most incredible experience.

Opening one’s heart up can be risky. There are no promises with love. Sometimes it finds us and tears through us with no thought for the end result, leaving us destitute. Other times it crawls inside our soul and holds on with both hands to our heart. I believe, if I don’t keep my heart open I will miss out on these experiences and where would be the fun in that.

Personally, I love to be loved, and even if that love is short lived I would rather have it than not. What’s the saying? “It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” (I am sure that that is not the original saying, these things do get changed to suit over time). Ask yourself this, if you could experience raw emotion every day, would you? Raw emotion is at the root of love. It’s what we feel when we first fall in love; the butterflies in the tummy, the spinny head when we think of that date tonight; the whoosh of excitement we get at the first naked touch. Would we choose to have these emotions 10 years down the line in a relationship? I don’t know if we would; relationships last because the love changes from lust-love to companionship. It’s wonderful too, but how wonderful would it be, to once a week get that rush. Maybe we are not supposed to be with one person for the rest of our lives. Do our bodies live longer if they experience that feeling more often, or is it too much for them, thus resulting in an untimely death due to love (not good).

I question the ferocity of some people’s denial that they need love. We all need love in our lives: weather it be from a friend, a lover, a husband, a parent or a child. It makes us whole. And a loveless world -in my opinion- would be a cold one.

Cod, haddock, peas and pie.

7 Oct

Fish with peas, yup, one of my favorite things. I care not if the fish is fried, poached or in a pie, it must be accompanied by peas. Now, don’t worry I am not going to write a whole post on fish and fricking peas. No, I am going to write this post about food preferences. What I like is not necessarily what you like, food is a funny thing, why is it that I love fish pie, yet it makes my husband pull a face that only his mother would love.

I spent the first 25 years of my life with a love of food and an inability to cook. I spent the next 12 years learning how to cook and now consider myself a rather good cook (do you think I could say cook a few more times in the same sentence).

I know there are a number of people on this lovely planet of ours that the thought of beef stroganoff makes their gag reflex twitch, but for me (made right) it’s pure heaven. The thought of muscles makes them resume the fighting position, for me the thought of sharing them results in the same position. So, the question I ask, is why do we all have such varied likes and dislikes?

I come from a family where if you did not eat what was on your plate, your dad would steal it. If you weren’t fast you would starve, so you really did not get time to consider what it was you were eating. There was also a lot of fun with food. Nothing was taken too seriously and if you wanted mushrooms on your toast and jam in the morning, you could have it. I think this has resulted in me liking anything that is put in front of me. Saying that, I know the difference between good and bad cooking. A steak cooked until it has forgotten it was ever an animal is not good. A Bolognese sauce made with ketchup is going to make me barf, and if you think I am going to pay for a sandwich made with Mighty White, you can think again. But some people like these things, and I am not going to try and tell them they shouldn’t. I am just interested as to why they can happily eat those things and I won’t.

The taste buds are obviously effected by smoking etc, and having never smoked I am lucky enough to have a set of working taste buds that set off little red alerts when crap food enders my mouth.

There will always be something about food that fascinates me, there is so much to explore, and having been in most countries in Europe I have tried a lot of local foods, Italy being the favorite so far and Bulgaria being the least (I don’t fancy eating brain ever again). I want to keep discovering new things to put in my mouth (any guys reading this that choose to take that to an obvious place, need not comment). So, bring it on, recipe suggestions are always well received.

My theory with food is; if its new and scary, try it. At best you will have found something you love, at worst, you vomited. You’ll get over it.

Shove your minimalist. I am a Shabby Chic girl.

15 Sep Kitchen-Shabby-Pink-Green-HTOURSS0507-de-47494399

I have re styled my blog today (its not quite there yet, but, until I persuade my web designer husband to design me a new blog, it will have to do) to reflect my favourite style (for many years), Shabby Chic.

I don’t love everything retro. No, in fact many retro looks offend me greatly, and much of what is classed as retro, is not. So much of what is and has been going on in the interior design world is a mish-mash of ill-considered styles claiming to be retro, and sadly people are buying it.

So, I stick firmly to Shabby Chic because it does what it says on the box (if it came in a box), if you want to do it quickly and easily, then all you need to do is look out for some badly beaten up pieces of painted furniture and buy a bucket load of Cath Kidston bits and pieces and you are sorted. On the other hand, if you wish to be more considered about it then there is a time investment required, personally its taken me over 10 years to collect what I have and even then a move of country and a purging or two and I am now seriously low on my Shabby Chic collection. Also, my husband veers closer to modern styles (the two really do not go hand-in-hand), and although he very kindly gives me (almost) free reign to do as I wish, I still do not want him to hate where he lives, because, quite frankly,  its all too damn girly. I have managed to style my daughters room Shabby Chic but no other part of the house is there…yet.

Its fair to say it was a lot easier when living in a Victorian home built in 1891 in Scotland, there is the choice, you see. However, living in a circa 1950s ish home in Canada is ever so slightly more tricky, not because of its age, but because of what has been done to it in the last 60 years. Also, there are no reclamation yards here and the antique shops have more 1970s stock than anything else, in my lay(wo)men opinion: if it ain’t pre 1960, it ain’t Shabby Chic.

Shabby Chic:

Not Shabby Chic:

So what do you do? Well, you can buy lots of the, “I bought a nice table, painted it white, then took an old piece of my husband’s sandpaper and carelessly scrubbed away at said paint until it looked Shabby Chic”. BOLLOCKS! (Sorry, will do my best to keep the expletives down to a minimum). Or, you can hunt properly for the items that although limited, are genuinely so much nicer and don’t look like you bought it at a car boot sale/garage sale because someone decided that their failed experiment might, if lucky, fetch 5 bucks (even though the table cost $30 the Paint $10 and it took 4hrs) because they are now going to take the money they make at their boot sale and buy a genuinely Shabby Chic piece.

If all else fails then a home project is in order, You Tube has a whole heap of how to videos.

If you like the Shabby Chic style, then check out these guys.

http://www.cathkidston.co.uk/

http://www.shabbychic.com/heritage/

Politics and Politeness

28 Jun

Although I am not a dedicated follower of politics,  I am one of those people who picks up snippets along the way, all to often second hand information that I choose not to discuss with anyone, I don’t watch political events on TV , I don’t switch over to Prime Ministers Question Time,  I am strict on the no politics or religion discussions at dinner parties, yet somehow I still find myself absorbing an inordinate amount of dull as dishwater politics, why, quite frankly I don’t know, the only thing I can put it down to is politeness, when someone wishes to gripe about their local politicians lack of activity in the community, I listen gracefully with one ear, when the radio presenter is talking about the G8 summit my brain absorbs more than I asked it to, when I am sitting at a dinner party and someone has broken the no Politics or religion rule , I nod politely in acnowledgement of their inappropriate rant about why Obama has not done more about the oil leak (sorry I did not realize he was a god with a great big effing cork) .

So my synopsis is, politeness, I cant help listening no matter how much I wish to shut it out, polite conversation apparently requires a base knowledge of what is going on in the world of Politics, and my tiny little brain knows this, so, I politely listen to the goings on going on and regurgitate it when forced to do so.

I may just have to accept that I know more about politics than I wish to, and go back to pretending I don’t.

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