Sunday, October 23, 2016

New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions... is it way too early to make those?? I can't believe 2017 is around the corner.
This year.... well, what can I say. It wasn't easy. Far from it. I went through some major lifestyle changes. Here's a list of things I'd like to focus on to make 2017 an easier, smoother year for myself.

  • Find a Palma based yacht to work on (easier said than done... God, I hope something comes up. I am still unemployed, snatching up any day work I can. With no money coming in I am honestly freaking the fuck out).
  • Sell wedding Dress
  • Forgive Sam.
  • Learn to trust again.
  • Edit my 2nd novel, The Other Woman. Send it to literary agents. Get published???
  • Work on my 2 other book ideas, The Eulogy and Take Me Anywhere.
  • Do NanoWriMo 2017
  • Finally attend a yoga class...... regularly
  • Meditate often
  • Visit Ireland and India
  • Reach 1500 youtube subscribers. If you want to help.. please go and subscribe to my channel right now:
  • Cook more.
  • Surf more.
  • Read 50 books.
  • Write a journal every day... I've never been able to do this one!
  • Start blogging PROPERLY again... will that ever actually happen???
  • Make friends.
  • Remember that I'm not perfect. No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. Just accept.... and smile.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Writing Prompts: Day 20

This is purely a work of fiction - a small piece of writing I am doing to prepare me for NaNoWriMo next month. It was written in about 30 minutes with no prior planning ... but I just had to get some sort of writing out of me again!! 

Writing Prompts: Day Twenty
Include these three things: The sound of rain against glass, darkness, a recording.


I am holding the coffee mug firmly, the palms of my hands pressed against either side of the warm ceramic. I'm desperate to try and keep warm. It's grey outside, the clouds coating over the town in one thick blanket of darkness. Pattering rain drops fall against the windowpanes. 
I sit on my stool, foot twitching as I watch a stray cat, drenched from the downpour,  scurry past my front door. I am restless. I can't seem to get him out of my mind. Him. I wonder what his name is. I'd seen him again today, on the train, as always. He was wrapped up in black trench-coat and scarf. Battered leather boots, scuffed as the toes - I stared down at them, using all of my concentration to restrain myself from glancing up at him. He always caught me. 
Biting my plump bottom lip with the struggle, my hazel eyes darted to the shoes of every other passenger on board the train. Tattered jeans had slopped mud and water through the passageway, if we weren't careful one of us could easily slip. I turned beet red just thinking of it. Of course it would be me that would slip, right in front of him most likely. Everyone would laugh at me, splayed out in a catastrophic, painful splits across the floor. I'm always embarrassing myself like that somehow. 
Shaking the thought from my brutal imagination, I clutched onto the neck of my acoustic guitar for support. It was like my safety blanket. My eyes trailed up his legs now, uncontrollably. They found his belt buckle, his hands and finally his bearded neck. I stopped there, staring at the unruly mess of facial hair. The word rugged came to mind. I have no idea how long I had stayed there, staring at that hair - but I was suddenly forced from my daydream by the lurch of the train at it made to move forward again after another stop. Some of the passengers who had been standing, fell forward and grabbed quickly for something to steady themselves on. They laughed nervously to each other, sharing a joke I just didn't get. In the process of the lurch, he had been jolted forward in his seat and his face, his eyes, now lay perfectly in my line of vision. It took me a second to realize he was staring back at me, his mouth parted in a wicked smile - as though he was trying to share one of those jokes between the other passengers, just with me. I frowned at him, turning to my left and then my right to make sure he wasn't smiling at someone else. No. It was me. He'd smiled at me. 
The recording of the train announcing the next stop, his stop, whistled through my ears. He raised from his seat, winked at me slyly and departed the train. He always did. I wondered where he was going, who he was seeing. A girlfriend, a mother, a father? Work? 
As always, I drifted away with my imagination which always made him come and plonk himself down in the open seat beside me. He'd introduce himself and we'd fall into easy conversation. Flirtatious conversation. We'd exchange numbers, arrange a date. A real date. One which required me to chuck on a little black dress and do my hair nicely - and he'd see me from across that cloth covered table holding onto a glass of wine and he'd smile at me, thinking, 'wow, she's beautiful.'
Maybe one day... but for now, we were just strangers on a train. 

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tell Me What To Do

It's one of those days where I just want to pull the beige knitted shawl from Zara over my head, cradle a cup of green tea and try to forget the world. Nothing is going right. I'm beyond the point of sadness now. Moving to Europe and giving up everything in my old life was a tough decision - and now I'm not even sure if it was the right one.
I've always been a good worker. I'm motivated, driven and like to be proud of what I do... but I just can't seem to find a boat or a crew that stick. I have aways had long term jobs, my colleagues become my family. It's different in this industry. There's so much booze, sex and drugs and that's just not me. Don't get me wrong... I'm not a complete bore. I would just rather be outdoors, fishing, surfing, hiking or throwing a dinner party for my friends than getting wankered in a dingy old bar with people that scream over God-awful music so loud its a wonder half the yachties aren't deaf.
I had some day work on some boats over September and it felt so good to work again. Without work I get irritable. I like to know that I've done something with my day - feel useful, you know? But now it's back to the drawing board and the scary thing is that the season is almost over. There's little to no work here now unless you want to do a crossing to the Caribbean - which I don't. I never thought I'd hear myself say that... travel is my everything... but I've set up a new life here in Mallorca. I've got a cozy little home, friends, a guy that I've had a really wonderful couple of months with. But even that is getting strained now. Maybe it's me. Maybe I mess everything up intentionally when things get serious. Or maybe not... I told him I loved him on the dance floor, my arms wrapped around his neck as he was swaying with me to Sail Away by David Gray. It felt so right... and he'd said it once before over text (I hadn't known he'd been so drunk when he'd said it...). But when I said those three words... the words that scare seven types of hell out of me after Sam pretty much destroyed my heart, causing me so much hurt and stress that I broke out in Psoriasis and shut myself away for months becoming a complete heartbroken recluse... he took a step back and looked at me. Not the good kind of look. He stared at me for a moment and sort of sniggered.... I stood staring back at him, feeling my face flood with redness and regret. Why had I said it?? Up until this point I had been pretty sure I would never let love interfere with my life again. Fuck it, right? All it does it kill you in the end. Eventually he opened his mouth and the words that came out of his mouth brought me to instant tears. "Don't expect me to say it back. Don't expect anything from me."
The first time I decide to chance it again - to let love in... to let my guard down. Shot down instantly. I was so confused. Why had he said it when he'd been drunk??? Things have been really sour between us ever since and I have no idea what to do. We've created some gorgeous memories and have been really happy for a while now - but is that all over?? Everything comes to an end eventually. I know that. I'm not naive. But it always hurts when things end.
To top it all off, my mothers trips to the AA meetings seemed to be going well - but it was all a lie. She's still drinking. Somehow the doctors think her liver is A-OK. God knows how with the amount she's slicked back over the past few years from 10am till 2am. Every day.
My brother smacked my car into the gate too. I miss having my independence and transport so bloody much. I hate being this useless version of myself with no job, no money, no car... no nothing. What am I supposed to be doing in my life???? Should I even be in Mallorca? Before moving here I was in such a stable, good job in the gallery. I had my car, my flat, my life. But I gave it all up for this bright new world but it's just been one massive thunderstorm.
I just want to know that someone out there loves me. That sounds so ridiculous.... I know. But is it really that hard to find someone willing to love me and hell, bring my a bloody flower????
Yes, I know I say I hate flowers as gifts but it is the thought that counts. Granted I'd rather have a bonsai.... something I could nurture and watch grow rather than a flower that no matter how many times I water it will just wither and die in the end anyway. And what about this stupid Facebook lark? I just can't find someone willing to publicly say they are in a relationship with me. That sounds stupid too.... but I see other couples putting on their relationship status' every single day... but me??? No one ever wants to. Am I being stupid??? Them wanting to hide me online so they can chat to all these other women etc.... it's been my life story for as long as I can remember. I'm over it. I just want commitment. Love. Happiness.
I just don't know what to do with myself anymore. I have options. Endless options.

1. Stay in Mallorca, try to find work on the yachts, forget about love because it's becoming infinitely clear that I am in fact unlovable... plod along sporting a very nice tan.

2. Go to Manchester and invade my poor cousins life... look for work there. Lose aforementioned tan. Probably spend my measly savings getting drunk on beer in a dark and dingy pub (minus the yachties... thank God).

3. Crack open my savings account and go to India. Call an ashram home for a while.. try to find peace of mind, peace in my soul. Yoga. Meditation. Silence retreats. Art. Really fucking hot curry. Yum.

4. Buy a one-way ticket to Ireland, the place I have always wanted to go. Sign up for Wwoofing so I can get free accomodation, shovel some cow shit around for a few hours a day in exchange for a bed and a meal... Probably spend my measly savings getting drunk on beer in a dark and dingy pub (minus the yachties but plus the sexy Irish accent that makes me swoon...)

5. Why didn't I say this before? Go back to South Africa. See my cats that I am really starting to miss... my dogs. My family??? Get my car back. Probably try move to Cape Town or somewhere out of the shitty little town of Knysna. Find a job doing something... anything. Why didn't I say that??? Because I've left South Africa behind me already. That was a big move... I can't just go back. That would be like life winning and me failing....

Any other suggestions??? Please tell me. I need to know what the hell to do.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Inspiration from Grant Achatz for Nanowrimo

I've been wondering if forcing yourself to write when you just aren't in the mood for it is actually a good idea. You could end up resenting it even more than you currently already do. 
* Side-note... as I started typing this, the bloody next door neighbours turned on a saw loud enough that it must be possible to chop down the fecking statue of Liberty. HOW do you write and get creative with that kind of noise?! This is useless.... 

Nevertheless... I was overwhelmingly inspired yesterday by a man who, needless to say, is a huge inspiration. Grant Achatz. He's the owner and chef of a restaurant in Chicago called Alinea.

I've been watching this tv show sometimes on netflix when I'm too bored to do anything else with my unemployed ass - it's called The Chefs Table. It's a brilliant show based on the biographies of some of the most world-renowned chefs. Yeah - I don't really know why I watch chef programs when I still struggle to flip a friggen omelette but hey ho... I enjoy it.
Anyway, so this bloke, Grant Achatz... it was so fascinating to watch how his mind worked... I could almost hear it ticking, thinking up new beautiful creative ideas to do with food. I adore seeing the passion people clearly have for things in life, such as Achatz passion for food. Such as Jordy Smith's passion for surfing or Sasha Alsberg's passion for the unbelievably sexy Scot, Jamie Fraser from Outlander. I have that same passion for writing - it's THERE... I'm just struggling so hard to connect with it right now. 

I've been doing everything to get inspired, to have something new and exciting to write about. I moved to Mallorca all by myself, leaving behind my friends, family, cats and dogs. I started scrubbing rich Russian's excrement out of crappy (pardon the pun) toilets for a living... and you have no idea how much I wish I could be doing that right now... God I never thought I'd hear myself say that!! But when you're jobless, homeless and shit out of luck (pardon the other pun there!) that's how desperate you get. 
I started learning Spanish (I can now successfully order myself a gin and tonic.... and add a please at the end of that order.. and if you're really lucky I'll even throw in a thank you). I've been reading religiously, especially after discovering the joys of Amazon which means I can order all the latest and greatest books that all these fabulous booktubers rave about online! My credit card currently hates me. Just saying.
I started fishing and even gutted what I caught too, luckily I don't have a weak stomach.. I'm kind of partial to blood and gore... and if that could have been said in a non creepy sense believe me I would've said it that way.... I love me some Grey's Anatomy.... and not just because of McSteamy either. I promise.
I've started doing yoga again and meditating in between swatting a dozen mosquito's to death - very tranquil I know. I've been tugging on a pair of trainers in the mornings (OK, 2 mornings to be exact...) before the sun has risen and I've been going for runs sporting my 'Gym and Tonic' yoga pants and oversized hot pink headphones. I look pretty daft but I literally don't give a fuck - if it gets me inspired to WRITE SOMETHING again I am actually willing to do anything and everything. 

So although I've opened my wee world up to such new and exciting prospects, I appear to still have this blasted writers block that has been my constant companion for the past year since my heart got broken. Funny though how just turning on the television and seeing Grant Achatz's love and never-ending passion for food, has fuelled my desire to write again.
As spices, vegetables, herbs and meats are his ingredients that make up his passion, the letters on a keyboard are mine. A all the way to Z... they make up my world... and I need to open my world to them again, one step at a time. 

Nanowrimo is coming up in November - just over a month away... and I plan on conquering that national novel writing month. Beating the shit out of it in fact (I'm sorry, I don't know where all these pooey referrals are coming from today!?). I am going to write a novel in a month, whether it be 50'000 words or more.... but definitely no less. And when I am finished, I will send it off to agents and publishers and try once again to make my only real dream and ambition in life come true.... to have my work published. To walk past a bookstore and see my novel sitting there in the window. To watch someone pick my book up and read the blurb on the back and see them smile, see them relate or connect to the story I told. 
To just hold my work, my creation, my LIFE, in my hands. It's by far the best feeling in the world. I can only imagine how incredible it must have felt for Grant who went from being a cook in other restaurants to realizing that he needed to break away from them in order to freely express his creativity for food - and when he took that leap, that plunge, he succeeded in ways I bet he could never have expected or imagined. Hearing his story of how his dream became reality kicked my unemployed butt into gear.... and I think I just realized that I need to stop referring to myself as unemployed because although I may be broke and not actually earning a penny (scared shitless currently....), a writer is never unemployed, are they??? A writers brain never shuts down. Words, thoughts, stories and ideas constantly swirl through my mind even while I sleep. I just need to stop my shit (that's the last time I promise!!) and start writing again.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hearts of Broken Glass - a song by Jade Lee Wright

I say sorry to my heart, the pain
found out you will never love me, today
all my hopes and dreams, fade so far away
and its there they stay, in the distance

So if I could, I'd shed my heart of you
I'd coat myself in armour, too
Just forget us, forget us, 
Forget us

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

But you will always be my past...

Encapsulated, we were in the cold and dark
A twisted forest, as rough as the tree bark
But it was fragile stuff, almost broken from the start
How it lasted as long as it did was an art

Forgot it was all just temporary,
'cause everything comes to an end eventually
Just forget us, forget us
Forget us

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

But you will always be my past...

You taught me so, so much
You became my fucking crutch
Wish I'd seen it coming now
Would have stopped it all somehow

But then I ask myself the question,
Would I really have done anything differently, upon reflection
Could I really just forget us, forget us
Forget us

Could I really say...

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

'cause you will always be my past

These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

You set me free, 
Got my whole life ahead of me
and so I learned today
Sometimes your heart breaks in the right way.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Whole Seabass Recipe and More

As always, my plans to write daily and publish something.. anything.. on this blog, isn't going to go very well this weekend. I'll be busy, away from wifi and from my beloved laptop. Fishing, kayaking, camping up North and paddle-boarding. 

Before I head off, I thought I'd stick to my word and share with you how we cooked the seabass I caught. 

We didn't have a pestle and mortar so we shoved all the following ingredients into a nutri-bullet to pour both inside and outside of the fish.

  • 3cm ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 chillies
  • handful of coriander
  • 2 squeezed limes
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

We put the fish onto a well oiled piece of foil on a baking tray, basted the fish in the above sauce while the oven was pre-heating at 180 degrees and then slid it in to cook for 30 minutes while we started watching a brilliant horror movie called Hush starring Samantha Sloyan. It's about a woman who has severe hearing loss after catching bacterial meningitis at age 13. She lives a very isolated life  as a writer (I liked her already) in a cottage in the woods (I liked her even more... love cottages, love the woods, love writing and love isolation...). BUT what I don't love is when some creepy psychopath in a mask decides to pray on her for the night.

It was a brilliant movie I found on netflex, very gory and horrific with one of those endings so subtly strange you are left thinking WTF. 

Do you ever find it strange that the things you think about or let into your life suddenly show up after you think about them? I don't really know how to explain that any better. Like, for instance, I was thinking of Stephen King and suddenly I walked past a bookstore that had one of his books in the windowsill. Then I am reading that book, Maybe Someday, about a deaf woman and the movie I watched was conveniently about a deaf woman. I am learning so much about the life of those who suffer from hearing loss and what they have to go through on a daily basis. 
Another way I could explain it is someone had a dream of a friend the other night and then they randomly bumped into that friend on the beach a few days later. Do you get what I mean?? What you think about you attract into your life. That's what I mean! Ding ding ding!! 

Anyway - enough pointless rambles for the day. I'm off to a local Spanish truck-stop / Mallorcean restaurant for breakfast on my way up North to camp and catch some more fish for dinner. 

Start your day off with this song if you have time today: 
Blue Boy - Remember Me (Original Mix). 
It's pretty cool. 

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Catching a Seabass, Bookshelf Feng Shui and Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

After writing about writers block yesterday and having gotten a lot off of my chest, I think I've figured out what I need to do. 

I need to write every day. Write anything. Thoughts, feeling - document my days like an online journal for the world to see. I am not writing it for anyone else but for me and I truly don't expect anyone else to take the time to read it - but I thank the four bloggers who have been there to read my words since almost the beginning.. Lindsay, Launna, Sonia and Ginger. Writing isn't something I want to let go of and you four have given me some sort of inspiration I'm grasping hold of. I'm trying. 

So these words and these posts aren't going to be ground-breaking. Hell, the writings probably going to be pretty shitty if I'm honest... but it's a start so that I can venture back into words and creativity and eventually rediscover that passion that I have for it. I just hope to God it comes back to me before November as I desperately want to take part in Nanowrimo which is a national novel writing month. Basically, you have a month to write 50,000 words - a complete novel. I have always wanted to take part but it's always been my busiest time at work so this year, finally, I'm going to do it.

So I guess what I'm going to do right now is write about my day so far... which I'm sure won't interest you at all but I'm doing it for my benefit to help my writing. You don't have to read it if you don't want to. It's a free world and all that... 

I woke up early, guzzling a coffee down my throat before dragging the kayak down to Cala Major beach which is where I live these days, on an island called Mallorca in Spain. 

After netting some live bait, I took a long paddle around the caves watching the sunrise with two rods cast out and trailing along behind me. It took some time for the first bite to come but when it did, it was a huge fish! I have no idea what sort of fish it was, I tried to reel it in but ended up losing it. I was pretty gutted as I unhooked my little bait fish who had lost all its scales in the process of the predator attack. I chucked the little fish back into the water and it hid beneath my kayak, hiding away until I paddled off with one of its friends now dangling off the end of my hook (sounds horrific and so inhumane.... I know!).

When the next bite came I was determined to catch it. It was well hooked and after a bit of a fight, I managed to reel it in. I'm still amazed by how strong fish are. 
It turned out to be such a beautiful catch too! A seabass. What would have cost me over 50 Euro at the market, I got for free with a wonderful morning paddle, fresh air and a salty breeze. Good eating too - and I plan on eating it tonight for dinner. I'm sure I'll share the recipe and pictures of the meal with you tomorrow. 

As I am currently unemployed for pretty much the first time in my entire life - I scoured the internet for jobs on the yachts for most of the morning after getting back from the beach. Once I'd applied to a few jobs here and there I decided to get down and dirty in the kitchen. And no, I'm not being kinky. It needed a deep cleaning. So I put on some youtube videos and listened to them in the background while I scrubbed away the grease for an hour or two. It felt so good to see the kitchen sparkling again that it drove me to do some feng shui around the house too! 
The bookshelf (which holds none of my books by the way... my books are still taking up the majority of my clothing cupboard space!) has been bothering me for a while now. Call me OCD but there was just no order to it. It was messy, dusty and didn't look 'proud.' So.... I redecorated!

The cookbooks are now all together and not scattered about around the house. The surfing / fishing / diving / boats and travel books take up the second shelf and the novels have all been alphabetically arranged by the authors surname on the third shelf. 
Do you notice a bit of a difference?

Speaking of bookshelves and books... I FINALLY picked up a Colleen Hoover book. Maybe Someday. She's an author I have been interested in for some time after all of the great things I hear about her work both through Booktube and Bookstagram. 
I'm almost 100 pages into the book now (it's the 26th book I've read this year so far,) and I am loving it despite the fact that the cover makes me want to vomit. 

One thing about the book I like is that it has a soundtrack - which is very much like my own book, The Other Woman, which has every chapter titled with a song. I thought my idea to accompany music with a book was quite unique but looks like Hoover beat me to it. Damn.

Her book is nothing like mine so far though. It's a gorgeous story about a girl who finds out that her boyfriend and best friend are screwing each other on her 22nd birthday. OK, that parts not so gorgeous but... there's this guy that plays the guitar on his balcony from across the courtyard and she is so enraptured with his music on her own balcony that one day they start communicating. It turns out that he needs help writing lyrics for his music. Music that he can feel - not hear... because he's deaf. That is quite a lot like Pete Tong really, the Ibiza DJ whose love for music even after he went deaf completely inspired me (see!!!! I need that same sort of love these musicians have back for my writing!!) but at the same time it is nothing like crazy Pete Tong at all. It's a romance... I think (it's still early days). It's gentle. It's pure. I'm just thoroughly enjoying it. 

Since I've joined the booktube / bookstagram community I have been reading some pretty amazing books. Two that have REALLY stood out to me so far over the past few months are Asking for It by Louise O'Neill (watch my video review on that book HERE) and All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven which I haven't had a chance to film a review on just yet. 
I'm so happy I've been able to find a place where I can share my love of literature... the written word. 


The weathers not great today. It's still ridiculously humid, but the clouds have hidden away the sun... so for the rest of the day other than religiously refreshing the Palma Yacht Crew facebook page in search of jobs, I plan on listening to Of Monsters and Men which has fast become my new favorite band (sorry Mumford!!!!) and reading. 
Later on I'm hoping to go fishing again too before slapping the seabass on to cook. 

That's what a day of unemployment looks like for me right now I suppose. 

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Writer That Doesn't Write... I am an Enigma.

Hey guys (the 0.01% of you that actually read me...), been a while.

The writer that doesn't write... I heard those words a few days ago, five different words of the English language, arranged to describe me perfectly. 

Just to open up this long ago abandoned blog, I had to crack open the wine. Can I even call myself a writer anymore? I look at the two books I have written, bound in paperback - I can hold them and I can feel them. The thickness of the spine. The breeze from the pages fluttering close to my face as I run my thumb along the corners of the book. They are mine. I created them... those worlds, those characters, those stories. I did, didn't I? So why doesn't it feel like it right now? It all feels so surreal. When did I find the time, the energy and the patience to DO that? Where did I get the inspiration??? I look at the neglected document lying in my MacBooks desktop - my third novel. Possibly my best novel. I know that even though it's only a few chapters in. It's some of the best writing I have ever done and I remember when I'd been working on it, it had given me shivers it was that good. Then this writers block came and has taken away the last thing I was proud of in my life. 
I can feel it is still in me somewhere - that deepness, those words... it's swelling up inside of me somewhere but I just can't find where. 

Why is it that when your heart breaks and your life as you know if gets destroyed in one, quick fluid movement, you take it out on what you used to love the most. I'm the only one to blame for my writers block. I've wasted an entire year of my life avoiding putting my fingertips back onto my keyboard now - a year!! I only realise now how much writing I could have done it that time. 
I remember when I was writing my first two books, one of which I wrote while still in school (which obviously explains my terrible school reports actually...). I'd always make time for writing, because it was the one thing that was always mine. It was the one thing that could never hurt me. I'd shut my bedroom door, drowning out the awful sounds of my parents alcohol-induced arguments and I'd write. I'd tap away at my keyboard until the sun would rise and I would get such a shock at how I just lost myself in my imagination and words. It's the only time I have ever felt passion like that... and now it's gone. Or it's hiding. I want to call out and find it again. I miss it. I want it. But I can't. Or maybe it's because I'm telling myself I can't... 

When does it all get better? When does the pain and humiliation go away??? I try so hard to forget about it and be OK - I smile at everyone I see and I laugh, a laugh that isn't exactly false... but it could be better. It could be better if I had my writing back. That's why I am writing this... because maybe if I just write something, even just mindless rambles of someone who lost her fiance and had her life ripped away from her right before her eyes.. someone who has run away from her closet at home that holds her wedding dress she'll never wear.. someone whose given up on ever finding someone who will truly love her... because she hasn't heard the word 'love' for the longest time unless you factor in her mother.. but a mothers love is by default.. so maybe if i just write, even if it's shit, even if it's THIS... maybe somehow, digging through all these words is like draining the water from spaghetti. I'm draining out what I don't need, so that I can get to the good stuff. 

Someone told me today that I remind them of the female version of David Duchovny who plays Hank Moody in Californication... and although I like to think that I am unique, I do see things in his character that are so like me. I went onto google and asked it to describe Hank's personality to me to see what exactly it is that we have in common. First and foremost, he's a writer. So we have that. But besides his ridiculously cool profession which I wish I could have too (God, imagine just taking a year off to write a book..... that would be my dream. If I had the money, I would)... Hank (and I) are complex individuals.  We are enigma's. We create a facade so that no one can get to know the real us. 

It's safer that way. We are family orientated even though our families are as broken as you can get. We don't let people in. We have a hard exterior but those close to us are as loved as you could possibly ever be. Reckless (I'm trying so hard not to be the reckless me I have always been lately. I have overcome so many hurdles from my past with the wrong crowds and bad decisions...), impulsive and passionate. We are kids that refuse to grow up. We believe in creative freedom (I'm just not practicing mine right now...). Futhermore, we are eccentric. We are free. No one can tame us. He is just like me in so many ways.

There's another character from a different show that I also find myself relating to in more ways than one. Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill. Fucking hell she's been through a lot. She and I are Creative, music-lovers, different and quirky... people always fuck us over so it's just easier to push everyone away... we know we push everyone away but we can't help it... we get scared. Because if we get to that stage of trusting, of putting our faith into you completely, we know it is bound to come to an end anyway. Nothing lasts forever. Everything is temporary. It's important to know that in life. 

God, I don't even know why I wrote all of that. I just had to get it out. 

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Rape, Slut Shaming, Victim Blaming

This is the best book I have ever read... and I have a lot to say about it and what it is about (rape, slut-shaming and victim-blaming):

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Island Girl

I guess I'm officially an island girl. 

For about a month and a half I've been sculpting out my new life on the island of Mallorca, Spain. It hasn't been easy, although the photographs I take will tell you otherwise. 

Not long after the passage from Italy to Spain on the 32m motoryacht I called home for a month of my new life and world, I quit. I'm not really at liberty to say what happened, nor should it really matter - it just wasn't where I was supposed to be. 

Quitting the boat was a combination of both the toughest decision I have ever made, and yet the easiest. On the one hand, the job was perfect for me. It was permanent, with a fantastic salary and it was (is) based in Mallorca.... so I would have been close to my man who is based here too. 
There were so many postives to the position but at the end of the day I had to make risky sacrifices for my overall happiness. 

As much as I miss the stability of a job with an incredible salary  both in summer and winter, money isn't a big thing to me. OF COURSE there's so much I want to do or buy that requires money (that mint green VW campervan....), but I had to to walk away.

In 2 months I had made more money than I had ever thought possible for me but even so the thought that at the end of June  there would be no more money coming into my bank account frightened me. I tried to take a few days for myself.. catch up on my tan, finish reading my latest book, do yoga... but I couldn't relax. 
I needed to find a job. 

So I got to work polishing up my CV, taking a ridiculous yachtie photo to stick on the front page and refreshed the Palma Yacht Crew facebook page about a million times a day searching for jobs as a junior stewardess on the yachts. I was picky though. One thing I decided had to be compulsory was that the boat must be based here on the island. My relationship was (and is...) to new for me to be away for the entirety on Summer. 
Like I said, sacrifices. 
I could have found a stew job on a boat offering a great salary, I could have been off traveling the Med and perhaps even to the Caribbean, but I wanted my relationship to work more. 
So, almost too conveniently, a job popped up onto the Palma Yacht Group facebook page in between my constant refreshing and it seemed that it ticked all of my boxes: based in Mallorca, family orientated with a few charters in between, a small and friendly crew and so so so relaxed to top it all off.

I think one of the main problems with my last boat was that I was thrust into the deep end way to quickly. Coming from a tiny village in South Africa where I literally didn't even know what a pair of Havinanna (did I spell that right??) flip flops were - to this grand luxury and downright crazy lifestyle.... it was overwhelmed me completely. 

I snatched the calmer job up in a heartbeat and although it is sadly only seasonal which means I am going to need to make some kind of a plan to survive on the island through winter - I'm happy. The boat gave me a bicycle with a little basket on the front and a bell I can use to warn the pedestrians to get out of the way (more often than not they ignore me anyway. Bastards.)
I cycle from home in Cala Major (possibly one of the most wonderful places I have been on my many traveling adventures, to Palma, every morning and evening. 
There's a special cyclists path which is such a great thing to have. It's just so different from back home in South Africa. 

My jon consists of making up the bedrooms, setting the table, food and drink service, assisting the chef, window cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, laundry, stock take, waxing / rinsing / shammying the boat, cleaning the fenders, putting the fenders on and taking them off, unclipping the clip and adjusting the handbrake on the Bow, lines and MORE that has slipped my mind right now.... I am sole stew and deckhand. The experience I am gaining is so beneficial and best of all, I am loving, it. 
It's SO different from my usual 9-5pm desk job.. it's a new world.
Yes it's tough. I haven't had a day off in 3 weeks and there isn't a day off on the horizon for the next few to come... it's exhausting. But it's also amazing. It's hospitality. You've got to be happy and smiley and chatty - and that makes my smile continue all the way back home to my boyfriend. 

After work most nights I dash down to the beach and rip off my clothes, crashing into the atlantic ocean in nothing but a pair of bikini bottoms. After the dip I get back to the beach bar filled with a bunch of South African friends and my boyfriend passes me a gin and tonic. It is absolute BLISS.
Like I said before though, it's not as perfect as it looks or sounds. 

To be very honest, my confidence has taken a ginormous knock. 
I am not used to relying on others. I am so appreciative to have my boyfriend and i know without him I'd be lost right now. 
I'm just used to the comfort of my job, my income, my own transport and flat. My own TIME.... 

A different life. 

The adjustment seemed so east at first but gradually it started eating at me that I've become so reliant on others. I know soon I'll have established a bit of savings and I'll be able to rent my own car (although learning to drive on the other side of the road is going to be a whole other story!!) and afford to do things like treat my boyfriend out to dinner or buy him little presents. He's done so much for me and he is truly such a wonderful man. One of the most generous, giving and kind guys I know. I just hope he, and everyone else that has helped me through this crazy life change of mine (mid-ish life crisis?!) knows just how grateful I am.

So that's me. 
The new me.
The new life I'm adapting to that is so polar-opposite to what I am used to and what I used to write about. 
It's different worlds.

I'm still struggling to write. 

Since my engagement ended and my heart got broken in ways I am only recently realizing and remembering (back then, I blocked it out. All of it. The pain, the suffering, the humiliation..........). 
That's a big part of my confidence knock too I suppose.
I try to write - like now. But it's hard. I just can't bring myself to putting pen to paper anymore. Maybe I will one day, but for now its still too hard. My heart still has a lot of healing to do first. 

"Love is like a spiders silk... it is within us, and infinite. From the spinnerets of HOPE, we can weave love again, even after the web of our heart has been SHATTERED."

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: A Book Review

Wow wow wow! Just finished reading the absolutely incredible book, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

How do you actually sum up your favorite book??? How do you do it justice?

I had tried to read this book a number of times when I was younger and just couldn't get into it - although I'd thoroughly enjoyed the movie. 

I have no idea what took me so long to finally pick such a gem of a book up and enjoy it totally (perhaps because it starts with her being miserable about her divorce and lately I've been battling my way through my failed engagement) but I am so happy I finally did. What an inspiring piece of writing! It was fascinating to read about all of the places I have already been fortunate enough to visit like Italy and Bali. 
In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed the Bali section of the book and it was mind-blowing to read about the Balinese healer Wayan Nuriasih in Ubud who I actually visited during my travels there last year. If you are ever in Bali, please pay this wonderful woman a visit. I have linked my travel story on Bali down below which has a whole section purely dedicated to Wayan and my experience with her. She is unbelievably talented at what she does and I was overwhelmed and a bit spooked out at how accurate she was at diagnosing things that were wrong with me back then! I kid you not, I had a lump in my left breast and I hadn't told anyone about it. This tiny Balinese woman took one look at me, shook my hand and told me straight up, 'You have pain in your left breast.' They were her first words to me. Spooky!!! Read to find out more!!! 

Also just read Eat Pray Love if you haven't already. I wish it hadn't ended. What a book!! 

There are so many messages and quotes throughout these pages. It offered me so much closure and peace and calmness with my current crazy life situations. There are SO many lessons and situations / feelings to relate to. Elizabeth Gilbert will feel like one of your closest and oldest friends by the time you are finished with it. I look up to her like a sister now and can only hope and pray that one day I am lucky enough to really cross paths with her. She is definitely on the list of people both living / dead that I would want at one of those fantasy dinner parties... right along with Chris McCandless and Cheryl Strayed. 

One piece of criticism I would have to say is that I felt like the India section was too educational. There was a lot of spiritual history which yes is wonderful but I would have liked more of her personal story there instead of telling us so much about the history of what she was getting up to. This is possibly also because India is the one place from the book I have not yet been to and I really enjoyed hearing about her experiences in the places I have been to. While I felt that Italy and Indonesia also had heaps of history weaved into her story (which is great) I felt like those sections were more personal??? If that makes any sense at all. But that in no way reduces my mark of a freaking million out of five stars!! :) 

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

I'm Moving to Europe!!

The last month has been an absolute whirlwind. 

Right now I am supposed to be a wife. A barefooted housewife pottering around the kitchen preparing dinner for my hubby in a humble log cabin nestled in a tiny town in South Africa.
When I envision this, I am already one month pregnant. Probably a son. 
I'd have called him Maverick (no, not after the strip club which said hubby would more than likely frequent... after a wave. A very big wave to surf in California. There's the surfer girl coming out in me!)
Instead, I am more free than I have ever been.

"Don't ask her why she needs to be so free... she will tell you it is the only way to be."

I have paid off all of my debt, snipped up my account cards, resigned from my job of three years, given notice at my gorgeous flat where I can lie in bed and listen to the ocean roaring at night. I opened up my life savings and instead of doing what I normally do (buying flights to some exotic paradise like Siargao in the Philippines for a little traveling holiday,) I spent the majority of the money on training courses and medical examinations which I have now completed, leaving me fully qualified to go and work on yachts and cruise ships! 
I made some absolutely wonderful friends during the two weeks of training and we all became very close:   

From there, everything happened so fast that I am still trying to catch my breath. 
I landed a job on a drop dead gorgeous yacht with what seems like an amazingly friendly crew and the next thing I knew, my one way flight to Italy was booked. 
I fly out in exactly 21 days (whose counting?) and have to work at the gallery practically every day until the day before I fly. Hard work pays off though. Always remember that. 

Should it stress you out that at 25 your life is starting completely anew? 
Is it stressful that I now have no home, no address and will be living out of my suitcase as I travel the Med all Summer long (probably even indefinitely), working hard as a stewardess along the way?
Maybe it is. 
Maybe it should be stressful... 
But it's not. 
Because this is what I have always wanted. 

I am extremely excited to crack open the spine of my beautifully decorated travel journal and document my experiences both working as a stewardess on a yacht and also to focus my attention back onto the travel section of this blog. 
I adore sharing my travel stories and photos with people who are just as passionate about travel as I am.
I love reading other travellers stories and become so inspired by their words and moments captured through a lens. 

So I guess all I have to say is....
holy SHIT guys! I'm moving to Europe!!!

21 days and counting.

Bye bye South Africa.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Baked Salmon and Asparagus Foil Parcel

Last night I made such an incredible, tasty, quick and easy dinner (my usual meal for one saga.....) I just had to share it with you all. 

What you will need:

- Salmon (or your preferred fish)
- Asparagus
- Black Olives
- Lemon (thinly sliced)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Rosemary
- Aluminium Foil

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Holding your asparagus spears in your hands, bend them until they naturally snap at the point separating the tender top part and the tough bottom part.
Tear a generous piece of foil from the aluminium foil roll and fold in half, placing it in the middle of your baking tray. 
Curl the edges of the foil to form a square just large enough to lay your asparagus in.
Drizzle some olive oil over your asparagus spears once they are in the tin foil. 
Mince up a clove of garlic and sprinkle it over the asparagus, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Slice the sides off of some black olives - removing the pips- and scatter them on top and around the asparagus.
Baste your fish in some olive oil and lay on top of the bed of asparagus.
Crush and mince your second garlic clove, scattering it on top of the fish. Season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice your lemon and layer on top of the fish as a garnishing. Squeeze your desired amount of left over lemon over the fish to add some more flavor. 
Finally, put some sprigs of rosemary of the fish and wrap it all up in the foil to make a parcel.
Place your baking tray with the parcel into the oven for 15 minutes (it won't take long for the fish to cook in the foil). 

Remove and carefully unwrap your parcel to enjoy it! I eat straight out of the foil but you can remove it and put it onto a plate if you want to.

Bon appétit!

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

What I Want To Do In Life

There comes a time in everyones life where everything falls apart. 
It's how you deal with it that defines you. 

When my world was turned upside down I became an absolute train-wreck. I handled everything so wrong. It's funny how it takes a couple of months to realise what we should have been doing all along, rather than wallowing in self-pity and drowning in gin and tonics.

My fiance had disappeared. My wedding was booked and paid for. My wedding dress was dangling in my cupboard, the diamante's sparkle hidden beneath its bag. I had framed photographs that seemed to pop up left, right and centre. Cards and letters, memories of my life and the life I should have had that floated around my life in a bubble of confusion and regret.
For months I wondered what I had done so wrong. How could this have happened? I blamed myself completely for not being good enough; for not being able to make him happy. I went through a colossal amount of self-doubt and I let it take over for so many months.

I don't know when it all changed.

Somewhere along the way, I got over it. Through all of those gin and tonics, the late nights dancing on tabletops and early mornings crying on friends' shoulders. Through all of those award-winning break-up mix-tapes I put together and ice cream tubs, chocolate cake and copious amounts of any kind of wine imaginable - I healed.
Not only that, I found a joy I had never known before.
A joy that is me.
Over the last couple of months since returning from South East Asia, I have become more me than ever before.

My entire life up until this point had revolved around men. I gave up so much for these long relationships that do not exist in my life anymore. I cancelled my plans to move back home to the UK when my ex told me he still loved me and didn't want me to go. I stayed in this tiny little town in South Africa for 18 years, chasing after someone else's dream and never my own.
I can't believe it took me so long to see that.

I have been in this oblivious comfort bubble, sugar-coated with fake love from men who at one stage or another go on to pursue their dreams without a second thought of me and my plans when I had given everything up for them.

It feels so incredibly refreshing and liberating to finally be able to focus on myself... to put myself first. It is such unfamiliar territory for me. Here I sit, in this beautiful little flat I rent by myself with the money I earn, sipping on a cup of rooibos tea sweetened with raw honey and listening to the sounds of my fridge gargling away in the kitchen.
I never thought I'd live alone.
I never thought I'd be alone.
But I am.... and you know what? I love it. I love it so much and I cannot understand why I had been so scared to be alone for all these years.

I have been working so hard, keeping my head down and gathering up some savings to do something just for me - without having to include or consider anyone else in my ambitions... and just recently I discovered what it is that I want to do with my life. I think I've known for years. Anyone who is a regular on this blog will know that what I want to do will of course involve traveling. "Travel is life..." that is my life motto and it always will be.

Even before I left school all those years ago, my mother kept trying to persuade me to go and work on the yachts / cruise ships. It had always appealed to me - but I'd been so caught up in romances and settling down at the horrifying age of 17 or possibly even younger that I passed it off as something I would never do.
So for the past eight years of my life, which is an extremely long time if you ask me, I have been plodding along, driving the same streets every day to get to my 9-5 desk jobs. Every day. What kind of a life is that!?

So many people consider that to be a normal life - and that's fine. It's completely your choice to think whatever you want - but for me, now, I have woken up. I want MORE.

I'm not just thinking about it anymore. I'm doing. I'm acting. I'm living.

I'm taking chances and taking my life back!

To work on the yachts you need to do your STCW '95 and have an ENG1 medical examination. There are plenty of other courses that you can do as well, but they are the basic mandatory ones for positions like a Stewardess etc.

I booked and paid for my course and medical exam last week.
Next week I will be packing a suitcase and heading to Cape Town to train. The course sounds so exciting, with fire-fighting and first-aid among other things included in it.
I am so ready for this change. I am ready to embrace the future and get away from working behind a desk... to see the world and meet new people. I KNOW life as a stewardess isn't as glamorous as it seems - people tell me you are basically an upper-class maid... and you know what? I'm fine with that. In fact, I want that.

If you'd asked me a year ago where my life would be today - my answer would be the furthest thing from this. Today, I should be married. In fact, I'd probably be on my honeymoon right now, making babies with a man that would have ended up hurting me somewhere down the line. But instead, I have found the most incredible friendships and support systems, I have spent my life savings on getting a qualification to work on the yachts and see the world. I am creating an entire new life for myself.

My life is changing and I am changing with it.

Last night I started packing up my life. I am simplifying everything, being ruthless and chucking away all that no longer serves me. And soon, I will be gone. Traveling to a foreign country and living the life I know I am meant to.
The life that is calling for me.

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