I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

So it’s probably time for an update on the big plan to change my life.

day 29 - international kiki day

I’ve heard back from Austria and, all being well, I should be fine for staying on there after my TTC (Teacher Training Course). I’ve sent the application anyway, so now it’s just a question of seeing how both sides feel during the TTC. I want to stay for 8 weeks, doing 8 hours of karma yoga (work) a day. That shouldn’t change, I don’t anticipate any problems, but you never know. I’ll be booking my flight back for the 25th of November anyway.

After that I’m going to start making my way round the world. I think maybe 3 weeks in California (San Francisco), with one of those weeks on silent meditative retreat at a cabin in the woods.

Then it’s off to Oz on about the 19th/20th December to spend Christmas at my boyo’s place near Perth. Stick around there until the new year, then head east. See some friends, chill out a bit, find some retreat to go to. 2013 is where the plan gets ultra vague.

the warlock of firetop mountain

I’m not getting too stressed about organising the after Austria part of the plan. That’s just stuff I can book, so there’s nothing needs doing on that apart from laying down the cash. I might not even book it until I come back from Austria. In fact I won’t unless there’s significant savings to be had. That’s something I need to check out this week.

Been delayed in my planning because of work. On the last of my night shifts this week and, man, is it tiring! I mean they were hard enough before, but now I know I’m leaving I can barely keep my eyes open. I just want them over with.

Got just two more to do, then 2 weeks of mid shifts (7 shifts, 11am-11pm), and that’s me done. I finish on the 23rd of August, which gives me 1 week to pack, move, dispose of my car oop norf, before jetting off to the Alps for 3 months. Crazy huh? Been planning this Brand New Life for ages and now it’s finally happening!

I don’t know what the future will bring (who does) but I look forward to finding out. Just 27 days to go and the adventure begins! Wish me luck. 😀


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! 🙂

Very Excited…

Got an e-mail today from the Buddhafield Cafe. They’ve accepted my application to volunteer for them at the Greenman Festival in August.

For those that don’t know (and why would you?) the Buddhafield Cafe visits UK festivals year round serving vegan eats and treats to the festival goers. It’s run by a Buddhist group who also organise their own festival each year, and it’s all about promoting Buddhist ideals, veganism, and having a good time.

I applied just coz I want to get out and meet more like minded people, as well as learning how something like that is run, and the mechanics of feeding the general public vegan yum-yums for a whole weekend. I went for the Greenman Festival coz of all the cool folk acts that will be playing. Check this out for a list of who I’m gonna see (for free).

Iron and Wine
Fleet Foxes
Laura Marling
Alessi’s Ark
Noah and The Whale

to name but a few. I can’t wait! 🙂

Week 23: In which our hero falls apart (physically, at least)

Man, what week. I’m exhausted! It started with a couple of night shifts (always fun) and ended with a long weekend Tai Chi retreat (which really is always fun, but also very tiring). Along the way I had a filling fall out, my right leg decided it was no longer going to work properly – giving out whenever I tried to put a lot of weight in it suddenly, I got bit on the head by some unknown insect that stayed icky for days, and my hay fever finally kicked in for the year with a vengeance. I don’t mind admitting to you, I’m pooped!

regine in repose

We had our regular yearly retreat at Braziers Park, a residential college and experimental community deep in the Oxfordshire countryside, where beasts run free, the lawns are comfy, and the (veggie) food is excellent. Actually, you hear some of the descriptions people give of it, and read their own literature, and it sounds far more hippy dippy than it actually is. In fact it’s quite a well run retreat centre, and an absolute pleasure to visit each year. The staff, both permanent and visiting, are always a lovely smiley bunch of people, you get left to your own devices pretty much, and there’s always a big stack of wood for the bonfire when you need it. What more could you want?


There’s also invariably a cute girl or two to be appreciated all weekend, and this year was no exception. And as always, it never fails to bring home to me the fact that I’d quite like someone to share the old trials and tribulations with. But this year, thanks to my soberness (still haven’t touched a drop, and this will be the last time I mention the not drinking thing I promise), I have had the chance for some reflection. Quite simply, if I want to meet the kind of girls they get volunteering at Braziers Park, I need to go the kind of places those girls are known to congregate. Obvious I know, but never the less, a fact I obviously needed driven home. So I’m on the look out for opportunities – volunteering opportunities I suppose – to go places and do stuff that will be give me the chance to meet my future would-be missus. I’ve got a few ideas, but I could always do with more.

And I really need to go for it too. Faint heart ne’er won fair lady, and no one ever got lucky humming and harring about the place and being a candy ass about the whole thing (I’m sure Shakespeare could have put it better, but not any truer mark my words). That’s how I was, but no more. It’s time for a new me.


NB: Ate my first egg for 2 years while I was away too. The chickens were very well looked after so I didn’t think I’d be accruing any bad karma by having one (or two). Tasted great too! You can always tell quality from the rubbish you get in the shops.

Off work this week just chillin’ with nothing to do. Experimenting with cutting out nightshades from my diet and hope to do a wee bit of writing. Also plan on doing a few recipes while I have the chance. Will report on all that in seven days time. Til then, keep on grinnin’. 🙂