Poem: Home

Writing

Where is ‘home’?

Is home my little brick house by the sea, corroded by gale gusts and seagulls?

Is home the place in my mind, that place noone else can see of?

Does my heart lead me home, where my parents still reside?

Or if migrated, is it instead the place where I first began life?

Tell me –  ‘home’?

Is it just a little place that we dream of?

 

What if I said that I had no ‘home’?

Would this be a joy or tragedy?

A nomad has no set land of their own.

So does this mean that they must live life tragically?

 

Why do we feel the need to call a certain location a ‘home’?

For a sense of security, comfort and shelter?

If we were to all lose our homes tomorrow,

Would it be for the worse or for the better?

 

 

 

 

Hunting

Writing

I’m currently looking for a new place to live here in London, having lived here for almost three years now, it’s safe to say I’ve done my fair share of moving around. From Golders Green to West Ham and places in between. I’m someone who likes change and I think as my rent will be put up even higher this year it’s time to move once again.

 

I’ve never seemed to have any luck with estate agents here in the capital, when I first moved here after graduating from university in Bristol I was quite naive and ended up turning up to places like Brick Lane and Hampstead expecting to view a property for £600 per month. Yet instead found myself stood up, the property never existed. I now have a better idea of what properties are realistic and what cowboy estate agents are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. Personally I find the rent here in London far too high, it’s pretty much extortion. But I guess with the attraction that the city has to so many of us, you’re always going to find people willing to pay eye wateringly high prices, after all competition for homes is rife here.

 

In addition to dodgy estate agents, I found myself in a rather unfortunate situation with flatmates too. I swear I’m cursed with property hunting. When I initially came to London I managed to stay with a live in landlady who was shady af. She only accepted the deposit in cash, never online (so there was no evidence that I ever paid her the money in her eyes, also she wouldn’t be taxed on it this way), I remember her also strictly enforcing that I had to deep clean the entire flat every week, if I failed to do so she would charge me a £20 fine each time. It’s not that I’m allergic to cleaning, I just don’t feel like I need to ‘deep’ clean weekly! Also I don;t know if this is legal but she said if I ever brought ‘visitors’ over she would charge me £15 per night! Hhahaa is she some pimp or seedy hotel owner? I never did bring anyone ‘over’ as she so vulgarly put it. The weirdest thing of all though was when I was awoken to the sounds of loud banging on my bedroom door one night, like after 11pm. I opened tn and to my surprise there were two men in leather coats speaking what sounded like an eastern european language. They asked me where the landlady was to which I distinctly remember her saying a few days prior that she was off for a few weeks ‘holiday’ (fitting timing). I told him this to which he replied ‘tell her I want my deposit back, I was the previous tenant of your room and she hasn’t given me my money back’. He then signalled to the apple mac which was on the table in the kitchen to which I said it wasn’t hers, it was another flatmates, which was true. He then told me  that he would’ve taken it if it was hers as a result of her refraining from returning his deposit. The scary thing here was that he did not come alone, another man was with him and that he had cut keys to gain entry into the property. Let’s remember he wasn’t standing at the front door he was inside the property. Shortly after this occurrence I left the flat and ofcourse I never got my deposit back either. This is a thing you have to look out for when renting, dodgy landlords aswell as estate agents who can try and steal your deposits.

 

After this rather frightening encounter I moved in with workmates from a media company I initially worked for when moving to london. All was fine until one of the guys came back high on cocaine with a bunch of other guys and proceeded to tear up the living at 3am in the morning, I was so scared I literally barricaded myself in my room out of fear of not knowing what they’re intentions were whilst off their heads. I was the only female in the flat at the time of this. And certainly didn’t go back to sleep once they made their presence known in the living room next to my bedroom. So you can see where this is going, I moved again. I often think to myself are my expectations too high for housing situations here in London, personally I don’t believe so, I just want somewhere which isn’t the size of a matchbox or has less light than a cave. Equally so if the flatmates weren’t trying to steal my money or peel the skin off their own faces while overdosing on class-A drugs then that would be a nice thing too. Not asking for much you know.

 

So on I go in my search for a new apartment, I’m a a seasoned veteran at flat hunting now, which is both a good and bad thing I guess. I hope you’ve never had to experience any of the things I did above, and that you’re home hunting has been smooth sailing. I think it’s time to get back on with the hunt then …wish me luck please, I’ll need it!!!!!

 

**If you ever need advice on some recommended places to live here just let me know! I’ve learned it the hard way hahah!

Pet Peeves

Writing

We all have them, even those amongst us who have the patience of a saint can fall victim to loosing their tranquil facade in the blink of an eye when faced with the the continuous grunts, chews and swallows of the gluttonous pig in row G. Oblivious to the world, they munch their way through what can only be described as the meal deal combo, all before the opening credits of the latest Tarantino flick has even begun.

 

Don’t pretend you don’t temporarily hate people too!

 

What inspired me to write a post on pet peeves you ask?

 

Browsing the junk food  aisle down at my local supermarket a few days ago couldn’t have came  to a more abrupt ending than with the aggressive sounds of the ‘snot sniffing stranger’ lurking over my shoulder like the grim reaper himself. That has to be one of my biggest pet peeves – the sniffler. Although it’s one thing having the sniffles, it’s another thing snorting with conviction and then making that terrible gulping sound afterwards. Like nails on a chalkbard, this was the noise I was greeted with by a fellow supermarket customer. It’s safe to say I made a haste exit to the checkout while giving him daggers. Blow your damn nose you unhygienic freak (I mutter internally ofcourse)!

 

This experience  got me thinking of all the different pet peeves that either I have or that people have in general, from the suggestions below, which of the two scenarios would you rather be stuck with:

 

1) The Coach Journey

 

The constant cougher who sits beside you for the whole 3 hour journey, never thinks of clearing their throat once and for all. Instead, they mix things up with a timely selection of tiny dry coughs inbetween the whooping hacking kind.

 

Or

 

The continuous knee shaker, restless leg has gotten the better of them, they keep shaking their leg so much it makes your chair shake also for the entire travel time.

 

2) Standing In A Queue

 

The guy infront of you just can’t stop yawning and as a result everytime he yawns you reciprocate. But that’s not all, he has to make sound effects each time, and finishes each one with ‘cutesy’ mouth smacking noises.

 

Or

 

The wind-bender, they’ve ate something bad and make sure you know about it, if they’re not burping into the back of your neck they’re sending a wet one up your two nostrils. The line isn’t moving, have you got any air freshener handy?

 

3) At The Restaurant

 

You’re at a friend’s birthday meal, problem is you don’t know many of the people they’ve invited. And it seems like you don’t want to either, for as you try your best to strike up a conversation with the person opposite you you’re met with a mouth full of teeth, tongue and 30-day matured steak churning around at the speed of light as they bang on about the weather. Yes, they’re one of those, the criminals who chew with their mouths open.

 

Or

 

The other suited stranger to your immediate left still at your friend’s birthday meal, he answers his phone call, you soon find he speaks with one of the most obnoxious tones of voice you’ve ever heard. I stand corrected, he’s not speaking he’s a phone ‘shouter’. Not only do you know that he’s just landed the new job, which promotes him to a six figure salary but so too does half the restaurant. Keeping things mute isn’t in his forte, although deafening you certainly is.

 

Us humans are so great in many ways, but nature’s little flaws have made us test what it means to be patient to the max, I’m sure you would agree.

Ghost Stories

Writing

With the sight of my monthly electricity bill giving me enough of a fright, do I really need to attend an 80 minute interactive theatrical horror performance this weekend? I think not.

 

But as my sister loves all things which strike terror into our  very souls, I decided I’d tag along for the lols. Have a look at this trailer below? Does it entice you to attend or make you wanna run for the hills?

 

 

You know, I’d much rather be tucked up in bed watching countless ASMR videos rather than shrieking at the top of my lungs while simultaneously sh*tting myself. I must note that I paid £25 for this, so the bargainer within me wants my money’s worth which means part of me wants to get scared out of my mind. My other side says this is a totally stupid idea, fretting that I might have paid for permanent mental scarring.

 

Unfortunately I  can’t give you too much info about the actual play itself, simply put there isn’t much info on the plot on their website, I guess if there was then the element of surprise wouldn’t be as impactful. I’ve no doubt if you do enough digging you’ll retrieve some insider insight to the show but I don’t want to ruin the fun even if that means my blood pressure skyrockets as a result.

 

Anyway, I’m off to do some light breathing exercises now in preparation for the big show, I’ll report back early next week if I’m not traumatised by the whole fiasco.

 

Pray for me please!

Poem – My Red Mustang

Writing

Counting the pennies,

I just helped rescue from the jar.

It won’t be too long,

Till they’re exchanged for a car.

 

A red shiny mustang,

With matching interior.

With a waxwork shine so dazzling.

Making all other dull cars look inferior.

 

Counting the pennies in the jar.

I won’t have to count for too long.

For mum’s just turned out the lights.

So my red mustang will be but a dream once more.

How To (Not) Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Writing

Not to sound like the village idiot or anything but am I the only one who doesn’t get all giddy inside at the thought of celebrating on New Year’s Eve?

 Sure celebrating the fact that I’m here to see yet another year through is grantable but is the off key singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ into my face by the word-slurring stranger at the local bar really warranted? Not to sound like a party pooper but I’m sure you’ll forgive me for giving the folly a miss in replacement for the priorities below:

  1. Washing My Hair

At the top of every hermit’s list no doubt, the moments between you and your hair are precious and need no disruption from partygoers. As the clock strikes 12am, you need only 1 thing – a deep conditioning treatment for 15 minutes exactly, no more and definitely no less #birdsnest.

  1. Counting The Coins In The Piggy Bank

 

January is bills month for most of us unfortunates, so taking a hammer to Mr. Porky couldn’t come at a better time wouldn’t you agree? With a grand total of £3.25 that’ll be more than enough to pay off the mortgage.

  1. Playing A Friendly Game Of Solitaire

No better way to welcome in the New Year than whooping Mr. Chang’s ass in a quiet game of solitaire, minesweep and let’s not forget pinball.  Mr. Chang is currently serving time in prison for accidentally falling on and consequently crushing his dearly beloved wife and their pet dog Tofu. He’s a great guy.

  1. Binge watching ‘How It’s Made’

If you’ve never heard of this show, then you must live in more of a metaphorical bubble than I do. Have you never wanted to know how cactus pear puree or racing pulley systems are made? Shame on you! Join me tonight in watching my favourite one –‘ How It’s Made –  pre-packaged sandwiches, traffic signal poles and Teflon pans’.

  1. Try Out The New Pickle Popsicle Recipe

Sure to tickle your pickle with this salty treat, briny gherkins are bad as they are in their natural form, and probably worse when frozen, so perhaps I should put this theory to the test on this final day of 2018.

While you’re cackling with the crowd of drunken and doped, I’ll be the one having the last laugh!!! (Or not)

Kidding, I love celebrating the night with none of the above I must emphasise!! Hope you have a great New year’s Eve too!

Happy New Year!

beauty judge attractiveness

Can you really judge a book by its cover?

Writing

When your mother use to tell you to put on your ‘Sunday best’, was that really for God or for the fellow church dwellers?

Time and time again I have been proven wrong, I look at someone thinking ‘oh they’ll be friendly’ and instead I’m met with a look as if they’ve been sucking lemons all morning. Whereas you run a mile from the local hooligan and perhaps they may be the ones to call an ambulance as you trip over the pavement on your escape from them. My point being, whether we like it or not we all judge a book by its cover. Biology has meant we don’t read between the lines, atleast not initially, and here’s why:

Biology study

Blame our ancestors for all the sudden judgment and stereotyping. Putting it this way – with neurons devoted to visual processing taking up 30% of the cortex as oppose to 3% for hearing and 8% for touch. We really get a ‘feel’ for someone through our ‘eyes’.

But maybe don’t blame your judgmental self too quickly, for as ‘bad’ as it is to stereotype, it actually is a ‘good’ thing. Humans have to be quick in sussing out other humans out with immediacy – are they a threat or non-threat?

Some pre-conceived judgments we make

  • A trustworthy face – Studies have shown that humans make a judgement on the level of trust they would have in another person just based on their face alone.

 

  • The halo effect – We view ‘more physically attractive’ people as being ‘higher achievers’ across the board than people deemed ‘less physically attractive’. So if you’re hot then the world pretty much thinks you’re the next Einstein.

 

  • The voice effect on leadership – higher pitched, slower speaking voices deemed to lack leadership qualities that a person of a lower-pitched and faster pace of speech would have. (When voices were the only thing to base judgement off of.)

 

  •  The uglier the criminal the harsher the prison sentence – the judgment bias on attractiveness when sentencing.

 

I love posts which make me feel all self-conscious about myself. I guess the moral of the story is blame science for our judgmental stereotyping selves! And know that beauty and ability are really internal qualities of ourselves.

Why We Should All Be Bi-lingual (Atleast)

Writing

 

Since the year of dot I have struggled to pronounce my own name never mind ‘el gato, le chat or die Katze’. Yet, despite my struggles, my interest in languages outside of my mother-tongue has never wavered.  From fable attempts at school to self-taught trials through online resources, my ambition to pass conversation in another language has always been a dream.

I think as a native English speaker it can be wrongly assumed that there is no need to speak another language as English is so universal now. But to me, this would be an absolute mistake. To speak another language doesn’t simply mean you have a different word for the same object, but instead, you have another door opened into a world of new cultures, new people, new entertainment and learning.

I’m a fan of many languages, especially foul,  but one that’s had a special place in my corazon is Spanish, with approximately 437 million people speaking it you can see the appeal. But it’s not solely the popularity of the western romance language which gets me all romantic about it. I think a big part to play is my love for the music genre – Reggaeton.  Artists which I’m particularly a fan of are J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Anuel AA to name but a few.

The language is sensual, rhythmical and flamboyant. What’s not to love? Whether Spanish is your desired language of choice or maybe you have another, here are some reasons why you should maybe want to start getting those language lessons in:

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease Delayed

Studies have shown that multi-lingual people may be able to delay the onset of degenerative diseases of the mind by approximately 5 years. Based upon the theory that being a lifelong mutli-lingual could increase our ‘cognitive Reserve’. Cognitive reserve being the brain’s ability to improvise if need be to complete a task.

  1. Your Native Language Skills Improve

Who doesn’t love reciting grammar repeatedly till their blue in the face? A benefit to this rather monotonous task is that you’ll actually improve further in your native language. Because in a way you are re-practicing the grammar structure of your first language and using that to learn the second.

  1. Improves Your Memory

You lower your risk of developing memory problems as outlined by this study. I quote the study ” Researchers discovered that those people who spoke four or more languages were five times less likely to develop cognitive problems compared to those people who only spoke two languages.

People who spoke three languages were three times less likely to have cognitive problems compared to bilinguals.”

Eventhough learning a language requires time and dedication. If the above details don’t make you want to become fluent in one then I don’t know what will. It’s highly attractive too! How many more positives do I need to list!
los idiomas son fantasticos!

 

Bullying In The Workplace

Writing

Being bullied is never an easy thing to deal with, and compounding the matter is dealing with bullying from someone at your place of employment. In this situation you really are stuck between a rock and a hard place, for alot of us, we can’t just get up and move jobs or tell the bully how we really feel about them. Showing annoyance to the bully could make us look like the aggressor infront of other colleagues or just fuel their taunting even further.  So what to do?

  1. Try Ignoring It

This would be my initial advice, there are twisted individuals out there who get a rise out of making good people feel like victims. If you don’t show them the irritation they are looking for from you then in some cases the bully moves on.

  1. Try Reasoning With Them

The saying that ‘hurt people, hurt people’ is true sometimes, perhaps they are irritated with something about their own lives and they’re taking it out on you. Perhaps patience and trying to understand why this person is acting a certain way towards you may be a step in resolving the situation. It must be noted that this can’t be said for everyone in my opinion and in no way should someone’s past be an excuse for abusive actions. But trying to settle things by talking to someone may be alot easier than escalating the situation further. Ofcourse this depends on the kind of behaviour the bully is exhibiting. If they are assaulting you or being verbally abusive then reasoning may not be an option. Instead I would take step 3.

  1. Seek Support And Guidance

If you feel like the bullying isn’t ceasing up, you should  seek help. No one has to tolerate abusive behaviour from another person. I would seek advice from a manager, if the manager is the bully or just generally unhelpful  then I would suggest contacting Human Resources or an external helpline not linked to the workplace.

Being on the receiving end of a bully at work, I found it difficult on how to confront them in this environment while still defending myself. If you are being bullied do not accept it. Seek help.

Why Being An Adult Isn’t Fun

Writing

Gone are the days when finger painting and daytime naps were as common as the cold. Instead , replaced by finger tapping and continuous bouts of the common cold! If only we knew as tiny humans, the pure agony that lay before us in the adult world. Let me list just a few for you:

  1. Bills Bills Bills

Anyone who gets giddy at the sight of a £10 decrease in their electricity bill because they forced themselves to have ‘luke warm’  instead ‘hot’ showers all Summer knows full well that they have reached adulthood.  Having to pay your rent, water, electricity, mobile and Wi-Fi bills every month means giving up a tiny piece of your soul with every transaction. A tough trade off but then again who really can live without Wi-Fi?

  1. The Rat Race

Remember at school when you felt a long day was waking up at 10am and finishing at lunchtime? Didn’t your heart just sink to your stomach the first time you experienced the dreaded moonbeam illuminating your face through the office window? Yes, that’s right ‘the dayjob is just so I can get enough money to really enjoy myself with the little time I have to myself’. Just keep telling yourself this.

  1. The Cardigan

You were going so well up to this point. You kept on top of the latest fashion trends, you even set a few of your own but then the adult moment hit you like a lightning bolt and since then you’ve resorted to the tatty woolly throw over which would pass as your dead grandmother’s favourite shawl if worn in just the right light. The point being you now dress like an old crow since the first sign of crow’s feet set in. Word of advice, if you want to stay fashionable then get some damn wrinkle cream because heaven forbid the granny cable knit cardigan moment strikes you when you’re vulnerable!

  1. Topics Of Conversation

You now find yourself conversing on why you prefer courgette over mushroom in your spaghetti Bolognese, where instead in the midst of your youth, you’d be out getting laid. It also now feels weird to use or hear other ‘adults’ use slang words such as  ‘dope’ and ‘amazeballs’ (who uses this last one anyway?).

 

I guess there is one thing to look forward to when you reach adulthood. Retirement.

Places In London To Chat To Other Creatives.

Writing

Such a big city with big opportunities to get creative. So what places do I know of which offer just this:

1) The Southbank Centre – home to festivals, dance, comedy shows and exhibitions. You’re guaranteed to get those creative juices flowing at the centre. With wide open spaces you can meet with others for a coffee or even a rehearsal of your next show.  From panel shows on how to get a literary agent to workshops on how to play Gamelan instruments, you’re spoilt for choice!

  1. Go Think Big – I should really pitch up tent outside their offices, for I never seem to be out of them. They offer a real smorgasbord of events, activities and workshops for creative young people. Not so long ago they had a workshop on how to handle stress and an upcoming one is based on vlogging as two examples. The breadth they cover really does mean whatever creative flair you have will be encouraged to grow. Infact they even have what looks like a really good networking event coming up very soon here. Give it a go!
  2. MeetUp – so not conventionally a go to ‘place’ to meet other creatives but this site aims to get people together to create based on a similarity in hobbies and so focus groups are created which host events all over the city. From graffiti art walking tours to special effects makeup for horror films, the site has an abundance of groups to join and get creative.
  3. ERIC Festival – last but certainly not least, our very own ERIC! Having attended several of their festivals hosted at the Hospital club from music to musical theatre, I’d definitely recommended anyone who has a creative bone in their body to shimmy on down to their next event. You might even get a job out of it, that’s what happened to me! You meet a contact who could eventually become a colleague, you just never know!

 

I hope the above help you mingle till your heart’s content. In addition to these, London offers a real range of hidden gems also, perhaps venturing off the road most trekked on once in a while will lead you to a creative revelation. If not, just go back to bed. Kidding!

**Please note this article is intended solely for ERIC Mag, and I will link to the article on their site if/when it becomes live.

A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

Writing

My second time uploading this because no one seems to like an introduction! (*Cue introductory moody af facial expression ) I know breaking the ice is awkward but let’s just make a start on finding the chisel, eh?

What’s the blog about?:

A lifestyle blog intertwined with a few off topic rants and the occasional poem or two.

Hot Topics:

  • Daily Observations
  • Location Reviews
  • Fashion (eventually, I’m currently p*ss poor so can’t buy any new gear, pray I make a hasty recovery back to the world of financial stability please).

I enjoy writing more than I enjoy reading, so I hope you enjoy reading what I write! If not (cries myself to sleep)…….c’est la vie!!.

Oh look, here’s me below again, yes I am a real person and not a robot looking to steal your pin number. Now smiling because you took the time to read my intro!