Two Incidents – Equal, And Opposite

Got home from work last night, ditched my bits (including my mobile), and went straight out to the chippy for some supper. It had been a long day of telly watching and I just needed some fresh air. I got my portion of chips, some curry sauce, and I headed straight for the park where I lay out in the sun eating my food and enjoying the unexpected dose of vitamin D. It was so nice to just sit and do nothing for a while, to take a break from everything going through my brain, and just be; if only for a moment or two.

On the way to work this morning I obliterated a pigeon! I didn’t do it on purpose. It landed in the middle lane of the motorway, tried to get out of the way of the car coming towards it, and promptly flew into the path of my car. I saw a flash of grey, heard a THUNK, and looked in my rear view mirror to see an ever expanding cloud of feathers appearing in my wake. Got to work to find some very unsavoury bits of bird spread around my left rear wheel well. Now I have to go to the car wash.

One day you’re basking in the sun, and the next day you’re a pigeon murderer. Life does have it’s ups and downs, does it not?

A Lot Can Happen In 7 Days

Ok, let’s see what’s been happening this week?

Well, I was on retreat last weekend. My annual Tai Chi weekend at Braziers Park. All went by fairly quickly and quietly (for me, anyway), and I’m happy to say they made a real effort with the food this year.

vegan only!

When I got back I put my car in for repair. Took them 3 days (I had to get the train in to work Friday which sucked ass) and cost me £400, but they did a good job and I was quite pleased. I say was coz the rear bumper is scratched again already! What the hell, man? 😦

Also had some life coaching this week. It was… interesting. Not gonna go into too much detail on that as it was for my benefit only, and if I’m honest I wouldn’t know how to define it anyway. Suffice it to say it gave me a few things to think about, and it was as helpful in ruling out what I don’t want to do as it was in helping me decide what I do.

Thursday, one of my pics got ‘explored’ on Flickr.

'fromance *explored*

It garnered me loads of views, 18 favourites, and even a few new followers. Pretty satisying considering the day before I took it my views, comments, and favourites for that day were a big fat zero! And I only went out with my camera because I was bored and had been stuck in the house all day. Just goes to show, eh?

Other than all that I’ve just been online, monkeying around. Came across some choice stuff on Found Magazine including this dude, the A1 prom magnet of all time!

Prom Magnet

And I’ve been listening to what I affectionately refer to as ‘hillbilly radio’ from WMMT 88.7 in the Appalachian Mountains in America. It gives me a chuckle to hear traffic reports from some small town I’ve never heard of. It’s a whole other world. And my favourite quote so far?

“When you’re fat your chances ain’t too good. But when you’re fat and ugly you’re in trouble.”

Now ain’t that the truth! 😉

No developments on the big trip front yet. Hope to make some inroads this week. Going to have to call Canada, as they obviously aren’t going to respond to my e-mail. Then once I get paid I can start booking flights.

Also, hand my notice in at work in a week’s time. Can’t wait to do that. I’ve had it up to here (holds hand way above his head) with watching TV for a living!

“How About A Nice Game Of Chess?”

First of all, I just watched WARGAMES for the first time in ages and I have to say, if you haven’t seen it recently, do! It’s still brilliant.

Beautifully written, good characters, simple storyline, great effects (for the 80s), and not an ounce of fat on it (production wise that is). Still a favourite of mine after all these years, and a quintessential lesson in how to write a screenplay.

(WARNING: only watch the clip below if you’ve seen the film or if you’re sure you’re not going to watch it again any time soon – it kind of gives the game away!)

I found the ‘what’s your next move’ motif very fitting when considering my life at the moment.

I’m somewhat stuck. I’ve made a few inroads towards where I want to be, but I’m now waiting for other people to get back to me, or simply for time to move forward, so there’s nothing I can do to advance my situation except wait.

The I-Ching tells us that a wise man knows when to move forward, when to retreat, and when to stand still; but knowing it and doing it are two different things, and right now I’m finding it a little frustrating.

It doesn’t help that some asshole side-swiped the back end of my car the other day whilst it was parked outside my house, denting the wing and smashing the tail light. It’s cost me £54 to get a new light (which won’t be here for 5 days because of the jubilee) and then there’s the wing to repair. God knows what that will cost me? I am not amused! So, as you can imagine, very keen to move out of London at the moment.

list - done!

Now that I know what I want to do, I’ve realised there’s two things I want to achieve before I go away; finish writing my book and build a vegan food blog (and I’ve got just 3 months to do them in). Now I did intend to do both at the same time, but I think concentrating on one (the book) is best until it’s done, then I can do the other.

After all, I can do the blog when I get back fairly easily, it’s just mechanics. But the book needs thought and creativity, and after several months abroad I might not have the focus it requires to get it done. Besides, I want to be able to re-write while I’m away, and I can’t do that unless I’ve written. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time off to write. it’s all work at the moment, be it housework or work work.

So that’s where I am at the moment, stuck in limbo (kind of) unable to move in any direction. But like all things, this too shall pass. Then you watch, pretty soon I’ll be complaining that it’s all going too fast, that I need to put on the brakes, slow things down, make some space so that I can get everything done, lol. Daft I know, but you know I’m right! 😉

As they say; be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. 😆

Getting The Ball Rolling

So, yesterday was a busy day. 🙂

I sent off an application for the yoga TTC (teacher training course) in Austria in September, and I e-mailed the Sivananda Ashram in Canada about going there as staff for 2-3 months after the TTC. No word back from either of them yet, but at least I got the ball rolling.

a world of stress

Couldn’t have done it a couple of weeks ago. My head was full of ‘not quite what I want to do’ thoughts. I’d let too many people stick their well meaning oars in, and ended up with this ‘plan’ that wasn’t what I really wanted to do.

But then I realised it’s like when I bought my car. I knew which one I wanted, but I allowed myself to get confused with thoughts of cost and insurance and fuel efficiency. It was only when I decided to ignore all that crap and just get the car I wanted that I was able to move forward.

kiki's new car

And I’m so glad I did in the end. Ok, so the car I bought has cost me loads in repairs, doesn’t get the best milage per gallon, and costs me quite a few quid in insurance coz it’s a 2 litre, but I love it! And driving it makes me smile; so no matter the cost it’s an absolute winner!

Same with my plans. I can do what other people suggest, but if it’s not what I want to do I’ll just be faintly dissatisfied all the time, and that’s no use is it? As it says in the Bhagavad Gita (apparently; and I’m paraphrasing massively here also) ‘Better to live you own life and make mistakes than live someone else’s life well.’

So now I’m just waiting to hear back. But it’s nice to have tossed a few balls out there, and be waiting for them to return. And it’s like with the art project I started recently, throw your intention out into the world and if it’s got legs it’ll run. And if not, maybe you should be doing something else. But ultimately, there’s only one way to find out isn’t there!

so, fingers crossed eh? 😉

Ups & Downs

Well, it’s been a roller coaster start to the year, a week of ups and downs. In no discernable order…

1. Picked up Bebel Gilberto’s 2nd album in the library for only £1. A real bargain! I’m well chuffed.

2. I discovered that Robert Rankin writes drivel. I got about a third of the way through The Da-Da-De-Da-Da Code and gave up; it was shit!

hairy - before & after

3. Finally had time to get me a new haircut. I needed it! I was getting right wooly.

4. Got a flat tyre on my car, had to get the train to work for 2 days, then had to fork out loads to get it fixed. What a pain.

chocolate swiss roll no. 1

5. Set my mind to making a good vegan swiss roll. The sponge tends to crack as it has no egg in it. The results so far are quite… average.

So y’see, there it is, up down up down trundle along the middle. Just an average week in the life of me. Next week tree planting, ice skating, and a possible trip to Portsmouth. Let’s see how that goes eh? 😉

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Dramas not withstanding, this could be my last post of the year, so I wanted to take the chance to wish you all a very merry christmas.

snowy globes

Just got back from visiting my family for an early christmas (I’m working 24th to 26th again this year :(). Took the train as I bought my new car a bit too late to drive up, and I already had the train tickets. Probably a wise move considering the amount of snow we’re getting at the moment. Anyone who says we’re not experiencing climate change I offer you exhibit A: the weather outside.

Mum made some lovely date cake using the egg replacer I’d left there last year, and I knocked up a nut roast on Sunday which mum and dad both had a go at, so there was plenty to eat. I also got to have a few fry-ups as well as a chick pea stew thing that mum and I concocted.

Came back first class again, but properly this time, not like last year where it was a weekend upgrade. This time I got free tea, a free hot meal, and a peaceful carriage with a big comfy chair. It was bliss. I tell you, I don’t want to get all elitist, but first class is the way to go.

Looking forward to 2011: A new year, and a new beginning. A new way of making money is definitely called for, and to facilitate that I’ll probably need a new place to live for a while too (somewhere cheaper, probably outside of London). I know what I want in my life, and what I need to move away from. And someone to share it all with would be lovely too, but that kind of thing seems to happen when you’re not looking, so what can you do? 😉

Expect big things from me next year, I know I do! ‘Til then, have a marvelous christmas and a fantastic new year.

Cheers y’awl! 🙂

Merry Christmas Mr Kiki

Look what I got myself for Christmas!

kiki's new car

Cool or what? I’ve been after one of these for ages. I know it’s not the car for everyone, but I think it looks great. Kept grinning as I drove it home (it was an 8 hour 300 mile round trip mission to Derby to pick it up!) and singing the ‘New Car Song’, which goes a little something like this…

I got a ne-e-e-ew car, it is a Chry-y-y-ysler, na na na nu-u-u-uh nuh.
I got a ne-e-e-ew car, it is a Chry-y-y-ysler, na na na nu-u-u-uh nuh. (repeat)

It’s not the most fuel efficient vehicle in the world, and it’s got the turning circle of a drunk heifer, but I don’t care I think it’s great. And we are going to have so many adventures together. Now I just need to think of a name for it. Any suggestions?

NB: Spot the in-car koala on the dash? She’s my new traveling buddy.
kellie and priscilla
Great company, but rubbish with maps. Got us a little lost on the way back. Still, what can you expect from a psychedelic koala bear? Not the most reliable of creatures.

Week 19: In which our hero takes up gambling

the winning ticket

Well, as you can probably tell from the illustration, I ain’t a winner (yet). I know, I know, the chances of winning the lottery are astronomical, and really I don’t expect to win, but as a way of exacting massive change in a very short period of time the possibilities can’t be denied. But then again, that’s why everyone does it I suppose.

Actually this whole gambling thing came about initially as a way of getting me a car. I figured that the easiest way for me to get mobile would be to win myself a vehicle, as it’s going to take me ages to save up for one. A quick search online found loads of competitions that you can enter for free, so I went for it. Of course my inbox won’t be happy with me when the spam starts rolling in, but such is the nature of these things (there being no such thing as a ‘freebie’).

I also put in half a dozen entries to the Fuller’s Brewery to win a mountain bike, seeing as I’d drank the beer and had the bottle tops anyway. I even hand delivered them to save myself some money. I’ve already got a bike, so if I win one I’ll probably sell it and put the money towards a car. Also it seemed right that I should get something from the last lot of beer I had in the house. There’s a certain balance to that somehow methinks.

Still off the drink. It’s been ten days now. It hasn’t been easy, as everywhere I turn there’s something that’s stressing me out. Seriously, home, work, play, all of them are giving me aggro at the moment, and I’d give anything to be able to switch off just for a while and relax. But I know I’d regret it the next day, so I’m sticking to my guns.

Did a few more days meditation this week, which is good. The more I can do the better. And I had my first meeting with the guy who’s going to have a go at designing my board game for me. It was all very positive. Now I just need to do a bit more research and we’ll be on our way.

So it’s going ok for the moment. I’ve also done a new recipe this week, as it’s been a while, and maybe next week I can get back to doing some script work. Been in a bit of a funk this past month or so and it’s time I dragged myself out of it. Being in a funk really is an unproductive way to be.


Week 16: Chryslers, cash and crapulence

What on earth is that title about? Well…

1. I’m going to buy a car. After getting lifts home with a lad from work these recent weeks I’ve come to the undeniable conclusion that getting public transport with a bunch of mouth breathing mumblies really sucks ass, so I need a vehicle to get me from A to B: And that vehicle will be a Chrysler PT Cruiser! Why? Coz I like ’em, and no other reason. For once I’m going to buy something because it’s what I want, not just because it’s the sensible option, or because I can afford it. I think they look cool, and I think I’d look great driving one, so I’m gonna get me one. Now If I can just find one for under three grand…

2. Y’know I said I was going to do the week without any money, well it turns out that that ain’t as easy as it sound. Not that I really had to buy anything (see point 3. for further detail), but just having no money in your pocket is kind of weird. It’s much more comforting to have just a little something jingling about down there, just in case you fancy a coffee or something when you’re out and about. So I cashed in my coppers jar – a whopping total of seven quid – just so I’d be liquid again… and then promptly spent most of it on booze. Which brings me neatly to:

3. I’ve got to give up drinking! Not that I’m a raging alcoholic or anything, but I do enjoy a drink now and then (more now than then) and I’m well aware that it’s not good for you in any way, shape, or form. Also, I did manage to do a bit of meditating this week, and alcohol is not conducive to the practice of mindfulness (and anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves!). So if I want to reach Enlightenment before I die I need to put it aside. But more than that, if I want to get out of bed in the morning without feeling like crap I need to give it up. Whichever way you slice it it needs to be done.

So, I’ve got a few things to be getting on with. I also this week did a new recipe with I’m very pleased with (see my previous post) and I’ve been enjoying lots of pictures of purple things (yeah, I find it a bit weird too!) so it’s been an interesting one. Next week more fun, with a trip to the theatre, some sound financial planning (man I’m getting old) and more musings no doubt. Stay tuned.

A steep learning curve

Ok, so here’s what I’ve learnt from my first week of blogging:

1. Don’t make proclamations you want to be true but which never will be.

ie: I ain’t giving up booze. I could barely last a week without a drink. First thing I did when I got home yesterday was go out and buy some beer. Much as I would like to not need the odd drink now and then it just ain’t gonna happen, so let’s just deal with that fact and move on. Maybe one day, when I’m more spiritually enlightened I’ll pack in drinking, but not today.

The point is to not get bogged down in this stuff. Things like drinking, or listening to your iPod, are just tools for separating yourself from the world. Cocoons to hide in that keep you ‘safe’. That’s what I want to do less; less hibernation. I want to deal with the world more, not hide away. So that’s what I’m going to do, not a blanket ban on things, but just less, with more of other more constructive things taking their place. That should prove more effective than what I’ve been doing so far.

2. Don’t be a slave to your blog.

As the strangely rambling post below about Buddhism shows (now deleted because it was complete gibberish), whilst it’s ok to want to write something every day, some days you’re better off just leaving it ’til tomorrow, when you’ve got something to say. Or when you’re not on dial up. Or when you’re not getting interrupted every five minutes. Your blog deserves your full attention, but only when it’s convenient to you.

3. Focus, damn it; focus!

Your blog needs a goal. It’s no good to ramble on about whatever’s in your head, you need to have a clear purpose, otherwise why would people read it. So, with that in mind, here are the new blog/challenge rules, as of now:

First, this blog will last a year, starting January 1st 2010. By the end of it I will have

a, a home (bought, or rented, but out of town and with a decent view of some sort)

b, a new revenue stream (so I don’t have to spend my days broadcasting second rate porn to lonely Norwegians)

c, a missus (kids optional)

d, a car, and a dog (non-essential)

Since pretty much everything in life centres around money I’m going to focus a bit on that. I’m going to work on my script writing, the simplest way I have of making a lot of money quickly without major effort on my part. If I work every day I’m not working at my ‘real’ job, I should be able to do one every two months fairly easily, giving me 6 complete scripts in 12 months to approach agents/producers with.

I’m also going to work on veganising my favourite recipes, two a week, so by the end of the year I’ll have a fairly decent cook book of over a hundred recipes. Another possible money maker.

As well as these two ideas I’m also going to continue doing something new every week, as well as the odd random weekly/monthly challenge I’ll set myself just to spice things up a little and thereby increase my chances of meeting Miss Right. The results of all this I’ll be putting in my weekly report, published every Sunday, summarising the results of my actions.

I think that’ll do for a start. I’ve got the rest of the month to mess around with the format, fine tune it a bit, but come January we are good to go.