Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

Well, the pigeons got their revenge!

After my accidental obliteration of one of their brethren a bunch of them got together and decided it’d be a good idea to sh*t all over the hood of my car. Not a problem you might think, just get the car washed. But no! Pigeon poop is like acid. Take that, plus one of the hottest days of the year so far, and you get a lot of dropping shaped damage to your paintwork. I’m hoping T-Cut will be able to sort it out, but if not we’re looking at a re-spray.

Talk about instant karma (not that there should have been any. I didn’t kill the pigeon deliberately).

Had a few Olympic moments this past week, from seeing the torch come over Kew Bridge,

torchy torchy

to weird adverts in foreign languages appearing on the side of double decker buses,

got drink?

to seeing the opening ceremony on Friday night.

My quick capsule review: not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yes a lot of silly English in jokes, but done well I reckon. Got a bit confusing in places, like when the Arctic Monkeys showed up after the parade of athletes, but all in all hats off to Danny Boyle for producing something pretty decent. It was a lot better than Slumdog Millionaire anyway.

Still no major changes to my plans yet. I keep striking out on finding places to go do some volunteer work. Looks like I’m going to have to cast a wider net. Still waiting to hear from the TTC in Austria, see if I can stay on there after the course, help out for a bit; and if not I might try France, see if they need anybody.

I can’t believe I’m having such a hard time giving my time away. I’m willing to work for free, full time. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? Yes I’ve had one or two offers of places if I’m willing to pay, but that doesn’t work for me. If I’m paying (and it’s not a course) I want a holiday. If I’m working I’m worth the board and lodging, and I’m not paying for the privilege. Simple really.

It’ll all work out eventually. Whatever happens in life, you always end up doing something. And you know the bit I’m looking forward to the most? Putting all my stuff in storage. I can’t wait to divest myself of all this clutter and just travel light for a while. It’s gonna be a blast! 🙂

Plans Within Plans

Ok, so I wasn’t going to blog about what I’m up to until I’d sorted myself out, but then I realised that I’m never going to sort myself out properly (if I haven’t in 38 years I’m unlikely to do it in a few weeks now am I!) so I may as well get down to it. Here’s where I’ve got to so far.

First up, I handed my notice in at work last week. Was a bit of an anti-climax if I’m honest. Maybe it’s because my trip is still 2 months away, maybe it’s because my leaving was the worst kept secret in the whole department, but there was no drama to the whole thing. Just a feeling of steady inevitability. Who knows, maybe I’m maturing (unlikely, lol). Anyway, I guess I shouldn’t complain. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of dramas along the way before the year is out.

So I finish work at the end of August. I’ve told the landlord that I’m moving out. Just need to sort out storage of all my stuff, and the ending of all contracts/services/etc., and I’m good to go. The TTC is booked for September. No flights booked yet, that’s next on the agenda, but I can’t do that until I know what I’m doing after Austria.

The ashram in Canada is proving most elusive. I’ve tried e-mailing (no response) and I’ve tried calling, but the woman I spoke to was new and so completely unable to help me. I was getting frustrated, but then I thought maybe there’s a reason for it. Maybe I’m not meant to go to the ashram. And do I want to anyway, stuck in the Laurentian Mountains during a Canadian winter? So I’ve changed tack slightly. Just e-mailed the Sivananda yoga centre in Toronto to see if they need someone for 8 weeks starting in October. Just waiting to see what they say now.

Still plan on hitting Oz in December. Not sure the dates yet, but I’ll start off in the east, heading west towards the end of the month to spend Christmas at my boyo’s place. After that I might end up back near Sydney, I don’t know yet. 2013 is where the plan gets a bit wooly.

So that’s where I’ve got to so far. Not a lot of movement since last time, but still a general push in the right direction. It’s just the post TTC stuff I need to get sorted. Once that’s in place everything else will soon come. Also, there’s still room for a few surprises here and there (I have one of two ideas) but I’m keeping them under my hat for now.

Until next time… 😉

So… Where Was I?

Right! Regular readers out there will know I’m well past due an updated on my life changing plans and blah blah blah. Well, let’s see shall we?

the death of analogue

As I think I mentioned previously work have decided to turn down my sabbatical request. It seems that spiritual development, charity work, and visiting family overseas is insufficient reason to give someone time off. That, or they think I do a shit job and will be glad to see the back of me. Either way, see the back of me they will. If they don’t give enough of a damn to want to retain me services I’d be a damn fool to stay there, wouldn’t I.

So I’m gonna book the yoga teacher training course in Austria in September, which will cost about £2000. Quite a hunk of dough, but I can afford it. For one thing, I’ll be moving out of my flat at the end of August, and putting all my stuff into storage, so that’ll save me £5-600 quid.

morning reflections

It’s been a cosy place to live, cheap, warm, free from aggro, and it’s meant I could save a lot of money up to go do stuff with. But it’s also quite small, and a bit damp, and it needs decorating, and there’s crazy neighbours, and mice, and all that kind of things. So I may as well take the opportunity of being away for a month to make a move, and hopefully end up with something better (with more than one room, lol).

Basically, though a big part of me feels sad at having to say goodbye, this place has been good to me, it’s time to move on I reckon. Otherwise I’ll turn round one day to find myself a forty-something bachelor living in rented accommodation with no view and a kitchen where half your stuff ends up on the floor coz there’s nowhere to put it all.

sneaky shot 2

And that’s the other reason I’ve got to jack in the job and get out in the world again too, wimmin! Shift work is not conducive to finding, starting, or having a relationship. You’re off when everyone else is working, asleep when everyone else is awake, and even your friends don’t call as much as they used to because you’ve had to say no one too many times.

So for my own sanity, my own future, and for the warmth of my own bed, I need to make a change.

a guide to the girl guides' maze

Hmm… kind of feels like I’ve gone a bit off topic there, so let’s recap.

Jack in the job end of August. Go do TTC in Austria. October/November I want to spend in an ashram practicing yoga/meditation/etc. Then off to Oz for a month or so in December, to just travel and have a bit of a holiday. And then after that, who knows?

I have got this idea brewing that I’ll spend a year writing. I’m not sure where yet, but it’d be between my 39th and 40th birthdays (8th of February 2013/2014 respectively). I’d bookend it with riding an elephant and seeing the northern lights, the two things I want to do most in the world. I just think that, if I really want to write, I should have a good go at it, see if I’ve got what it takes. I mean, I know I can write! But can I get published?

if only...

So that’s where we are at the moment. Still a little vague I know, but there should be some clarification in the coming weeks. A friend of mine is a life coach, and we’re going to do a little exchange of services. In return for my teaching her some Tai Chi she’s going to do some exercises with me to help me understand what I do and don’t want to do. Hopefully once that’s happened I’ll have some more news for y’awl.

It’s all very exciting, and a little nerve wracking too. But aren’t the best things always that way a little? Butterflies in your stomach as you approach the girl at the bar. Packing your things to move somewhere new, not knowing how things will be when you get there. It can be difficult stepping out of your comfort zone, giving up the apparent safety you’ve built up around yourself. But if you only do what you’ve always done, you’ll only have what you’ve already got; and I don’t know about the rest of you, but there’s only so many nights I can sit at home eating chips and watching DVDs before I start to wonder if I’m wasting my life? (top tip: the answer is… yes!) 😉

A Flying Visit

So much has been going on lately, both in the world and in my life, I must apologise for my blog negligence (“blognigence”?).

First of all I am alive and well. My thanks to all my friends worldwide for their concern when the whole riot thing was going on. I dunno what that was all about but I can assure you, not only do I not live anywhere near where riots might occur, but momma Dickinson didn’t raise no fool; if I even thought a riot was heading my way I’d get the ‘f’ out of there sharpish. I mean I’m all for civil disobedience and that, but that ain’t the way to go about it man. You idiots achieved nothing.

Secondly my summer missions, which started with the Sivananda Yoga Retreat and ended with Go Ape last Wednesday have now come to a close. I’ve got a few little things lined up for September, but for the most part my major (planned) undertakings have come and gone. I’ll be blogging the Buddhafield/Green Man festival thing shortly, once I figure out how to get the pictures off of my phone, but for now I’m settling into a planning/creating phase that should lead me into the start of next year and hopefully yield some interesting results.

With that in mind, I’m starting to get an idea of what/where I want to do/be, instead of what I am doing at the moment. Decision time on the job/flat is still the end of September, which gives me a month to formulate a proper plan, but I think I know what I’m going to do next, I just need to figure out how I’m going to do it.

So it’s all change in the life of Kiki. I really feel like I’m finally moving towards something new, something interesting, something worth getting out of bed in the morning for. Om everyone. Stay tuned for further developments. 🙂

Stone Cold Sober

May seems to be an auspicious month for me for giving things up. I don’t know why, but all of my many abstentions seem to have begun in or around the month of May.

Maybe it’s something to do with spring, the return of the sun, an eagerness to move on to new things, but the major changes I’ve made and stuck with all seem to have taken root at the same time of year.

At midnight on the 23rd of May 2005 I made a solemn vow to give up tobacco.

In 2007, after dancing around it for nearly a year, I committed to going fully vegan.

In 2008 I realised I wasn’t going to be messing about with any highs, legal or otherwise, anymore.

And in 2010 I finally swore off alcohol.

Been totally sober, animal product, and stimulant free since then, and I like it. It’s better for your body, better for your head, just better all round really. I never have a stinking hangover, never get into fights with my friends on a night out, don’t have to worry about paranoia attacks, food scares, or anything like that. I just go about my day, doing my thing, and it’s all good.

If you’re thinking about giving something negative up, do. You could make a solemn vow, like I did with tobacco; or you could take a week off, then two, then three, then a month, etc., like I did with alcohol. It isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth the effort. No attempt at positive change is a waste of time.

And don’t wait until some special set of circumstances kicks in, like New Year’s Eve. This is your starting point, right here, right now. Don’t put it in the future, because that is where it’ll stay. Make it something you do today, and eventually you’ll do it forever.

Stranger Than Fiction

“Little did he know…”


You don’t often get a movie that is truly original, yet at the same time very familiar. In many ways that’s the perfect balance that you strive for as a writer, to write something that no one has ever seen or thought of before, but that no one sits there watching scratching their head wondering what the hell is going on. So it is with Stranger Than Fiction.

Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is an average man. An auditor for the tax office, he leads a very dull, very organised life. His is an efficient world – one of numbers, time keeping, routine and unending loneliness – until one day one simple incident sets in motion a chain of events that will ultimately culminate in his death.

We know this, as does Harold Crick, because we and he can hear the writer narrating in his head.

I can’t really explain this film (nor would I if I could). Instead let me just mention one scene that really struck me when I first watched the movie. Harold is having dinner with a friend. He knows, thanks to the narrator, that he is going to die, but he doesn’t know how. He asks his friend, “If you knew you were going to die, what would you do?” His friend tells him, “Go to Space Camp.”

What struck me was, even though Harold is referring to his own imminent death, the question remains valid for each and every one of us. We are all going to die. Without exception. I guarantee it. So why don’t we act accordingly? Why don’t we chase our dreams every day with the same vigor as we would if we knew we only had six months to live? Why does it take a near death experience to shake us out of our apathy?

I watched this film tonight because the woman he becomes involved with in the movie – the gorgeous and incredibly sexy Maggie Gyllenhaal – is a baker, and the thought of jacking in the day job and opening up a bakery somewhere is very enticing to me at the moment. But so is becoming a writer, and teaching yoga. So which should I choose? Or do I have to choose?

Can I do it all? Maybe. Will I do it all? Maybe not. Will I kick myself up the arse enough to get out there and at least do some of it? God I hope so. I’m 37. In some lives, I’d be over half way by now. In others I would have died years ago. What’s the point of living if you don’t enjoy your life? And if you don’t change it now, then when?

This is a brilliant movie. Simple, clever, thought provoking, and very, very moving. I don’t mind admitting I cried a little at the end (and this is about the fourth time I’ve seen it too). It’s given me a great deal to think about before I go to bed tonight, and I think it will you too. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.

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! 🙂