Onward and Upwards…

It has, again, been a little while since I have posted. It seemed to me that life here in Melbourne was normal and everything I did here was boring. I got a job in a cool cocktail bar, I managed to score a house with a ball pit inside and I bought my second bike because I fell off and totaled my first one. I have finished a novel (I am on my fourth draft) and I have been a part of two group art exhibitions whilst I have been here. Saying this now in this setting, it makes my life seem more interesting that I had thought it was.

The last time I posted was around Christmas time, I was having dinner with my family here in Melbourne and I made gingerbread houses (they were sh*t), but so much has happened since then. I guess I just lived my life here without thinking that I could inform other people of the mundane day-to-day I was living and it would be even a little entertaining to them. I just felt that here in Melbourne, I was doing the exact same thing as I was doing at home and it was the same sh*tty weather. F*ck me was that boring.

I had a little epiphany the other day, and I realised that I do (almost) the same thing everyday – I am an insane, lazy creature of habit. I like the find the best way to do something and carry on doing it that same way. I take the same route to work, I park my bike at the same place, I go to the same cafe to write, I am saying the same phrases over and over again and I just need a change.

I am surprised that I even made it through the year here in Australia; I didn’t think that I would make it, but now I have six weeks left and I have just booked my ticket out of here. The end is nigh. I wouldn’t say that I hated my experience, I made a lot of amazing friends, I have eaten amazing food, but I didn’t explore. I am going to Sydney and Brisbane and down the Great Ocean Road on the back of a motorbike, and the only reason I am doing this now is because I have found people who will look after me in those places. I couldn’t’ve afford to do it by myself because I spent all my money on brunch!

My first stop is KL, I will start another leg of my journey in South East Asia and hopefully I will have more to tell you guys. I have a few friends that are living in Asia and I am hoping to reconnect with them. I don’t have a solid plan, I love to just go with the flow and meet people along the way. I will post more in this so that you can see what I have been up to and I can keep a diary of my travels as well; but I guess the main reason I hadn’t been writing is that it was hard here for a long time, but it is almost over.

Stay Herbyliscious…

January Blues…

January, will it get better?

It is almost the end of January and I keep thinking back to the beginning of the month and how I was really excited about the year to come, I had a lot of projects on the horizon and I had a job. Turns out the horizon is a lot farther away than I thought and jobs come and go as they please; never staying long enough to mean anything in the long run.

I am still currently working on a couple of projects at the moment:

  • I am working on a one-day-only pop-up gallery at a bar on Brunswick Street called Baxter’s Lot at the end of February. I work on small sized canvas boards using mainly pen and ink, producing ‘mandala’ and ‘zentangle’ designs, focusing on geometric shapes as a basis. (I guess that is what I would label my work as). I take a lot of inspiration from nature and shapes, gathering patterns from the internet and my own imagination to fill in the shapes in unusual and eye-catching designs.
  • I am also working on a fictitious novel. I finished a loose first draft before Christmas and with the pressure of the gallery I haven’t had a chance to work on it since. I did send off the first draft to family and friends and I am nervously waiting for a response from them (I am chewing my nails in anticipation, psyching myself out with thoughts of extremely negative feedback). I didn’t finish the whole story because at that time I was getting tired of reading the same things, but I think that I am now in the right frame of mind to tackle it again; I am just waiting to finish my pieces for the gallery before tackling another big project.

So I am juggling creative projects with the need to survive and splitting my attention between creative (some would say frivolous) projects and not necessarily focusing on survival. I had heard that January was a rough month for life but I guess I have always been lucky enough not to have been through such hardships. The whole theme of this post is analysing what went wrong in this month and what went right. There were many factors in the month that lead it to being a low month:

  • Jobs falling through.
  • My family here went on holiday and were gone for a while, so I didn’t have a close support system.
  • My roommate went away for a while as well.

So I was alone in a foreign country with basically strangers (whom I care for deeply) around me and focusing all of my attention to creative outlets (which definitely kept me sane). As the month progresses, it is getting easier, my family are back and money is coming in; but I guess it took my by surprise when things started to go wrong and I am not equipped to look after myself; after a cleansing breakdown I am ready to take on Melbourne, the world and myself to get through in one piece.

Australia Day

As I am writing this it is Australia Day here. In the run up, I was quite excited to celebrate such a commemorative day in Australia’s history, but as the date neared I learned the truth about the day; January 26th. It is in actual fact, a very depressing and insulting date to celebrate the birth of Australia. That was the date where the Aboriginals were overruled and killed in mass genocide which is largely forgotten to this day; but not by the Aboriginals.

I have read about the Aboriginals before coming here and everything I have read is negative (the media and the Australians want to paint an evil picture of these native people so that others will see it as a positive note and not something evil).

I equate ‘Australia Day’ or ‘Invasion Day’, as it is so colourfully called, to Thanks Giving in the US. It is the same thing, celebrating the birth of a nation, where the cost of that birth is at a detriment to a whole other, ancient nation, just to show power and strength. I think it is really sad that the brainwashed many are still believing in the power of their false nations and completely disregarding the hardships and pain that the indigenous people still suffer through today.

It is insulting and shameful, so I decided to pass on this ‘holiday’ and stay shut away from any celebratory events. I cannot condone such behaviour, but can equally do nothing to stop the Australians from celebrate it, but educate them in their history. Will they be so proud when they learn of their ancestors actions and in turn the English history?

I have watched a few videos online today about the history of this holiday and I would like for you to watch them and educate yourselves:

Melbourne – New Year 2016

It was that week between Christmas and New Year’s where everyone is lost and I was not immune to the effects of, lets call it “The Lost Week”. I spent three days after Christmas sitting on my butt doing nothing; well I was drawing and watching some TV, but I certainly didn’t shower or leave the house (a lot of food ordered to my door and awesome tv shows did the trick).

After those three days I decided enough was enough, I got myself out of bed, showered and decided that I will leave that house! So on one of the hottest days of the week (high of thirty-seven degrees) I went for a cycle ride to the seafront. The initial cycle to the first beach took me an hour to get to, I bought with me a book that I was reading, but failed to bring any water or food. I arrived at the seafront but there was no shade and I hate sitting in the sun, so I decided to cycle further down the coastline, following a beautiful cycle path that followed the coastline. I rode down the bike path for forty-five minutes before I thought to myself that this was a crazy endeavor and I needed to turn back . When I did turned back, I was getting a little tired and the temperature was creeping up to the mid thirties; I knew I was in trouble. Desperate to get back to my house and shower, I rode fast to the first beach that I  stopped at but knew that it would take me another hour to get back to my house. Hungry, thirsty and tired I started to make my way back up St Kilda Road but only rode halfway down it before I almost passed out.

No lie guys,  I genuinely almost passed out, I couldn’t see s**t, I was fumbling with the lock on my bike, I accidentally dropped my keys and I was panting so rapidly, I looked around to see if there was a dog near me. I managed to get out of the sun and into an air conditioned building but I couldn’t find food, I was so blinded by lack of energy that I didn’t see that there was a cafe open not a hundred feet from my bike. I managed to get some food and water, but it still wasn’t enough, my muscles were screaming for a respite, and I knew that I had another forty-five minutes of cycling left before I would arrive home.

I mean, I made it, but only just, never again guys; never again.

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My first glimpse of the sea…
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A view from the coastal cycle path…
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My favourite road leading into the city…

On New Years day I was working down in the Docklands until one o’clock in the morning. The day before I booked myself a ticket to get to a reggae event near my flat so I had that to look forward to afterwards.

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My chalkboard display for work…

It was a good shift, there were a fair few people drinking and it was nice to serve them and all of a sudden, there was a bang…FIREWORKS!

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FIREWORKS!
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FIREWORKS!

We were right next to an area that was setting off fireworks and it was amazing! It lasted for around ten minutes and I was mesmerised; I was turning on the spot and all around me were fireworks displays all around the city, that set off at the same time and ended at the same time. It was magical! I loved it!

After work, I cycled back through the busy city, choked full of party goers and exclamations of “Happy New Year” or more like “Haffy Yew *barf*” it was disgusting. But I made it to the Northern Suburbs in record time, singing “Let’s Roll by Yelawolf feat. Kidd Rock” all the while.

It was really good, I went by myself and I went to the bathroom and I asked one lady in the stall if she had any friends, and I, of course,  found the one person who knew everyone here, and she introduced me to all her friends and it was really good. I also spent no money, well some money, but I had four drinks and I was happy; well it was five o’clock in the morning and I was really tired, but I powered through because I was promised a pool but it was really a glorified paddling pool, but I was fully rewarded by a stunning view of the first sunrise of 2016 and it was SPECTACULAR!

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First sunrise of 2016…

So it was half past six in the morning when I cycled the 8 minutes too long journey home and lay my weary head to sleep, knowing full well that I was going to see my family tomorrow (worst idea ever).

It was a good day actually, I managed to power through to eleven at night before calling it a day, a coffee at eight o’clock at night truly helped.

Thank you for reading and as always, stay Herbaliscious!

Leibster Award

IMG_0046I was recently nominated for the Leibster Award, I have had a semi-manic weeks but here it is. I was nominated for the award by Hitting the Road with Jack and I am answering the questions that she has asked.

1. What inspired you to start your blog?

I have always wanted to start a blog, I have been threatening to start one for years, but this year, I embarked on a big trip to Australia; I thought that this would be the perfect time to start a blog, so I did.
2. How long have you been blogging?

I only started this year, in September, when I first left for my travels. I remember I started my first draft a month before I posted it, I am procrastinator but when I put my mind to something then it gets done.
3. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

I love the audience, I can get my nonsensical ramblings to a much wider audience that are actually interested.
4. What is the one thing you cannot travel without?

I cannot travel without a pair of good trainers, before every trip I buy a new pair, I have to be comfortable otherwise it is not worth it. I always buy a good pair so that they last a long time, it’s my favourite part about the days before a big trip.
5. What is on your playlist for a long road trip?

I don’t really have a playlist, but I like to listen to Clavin Harris or 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying. I have a reggae playlist that I have cultivated since spending three months in Jamaica last year, but I listen to a mixture of things that I have on me.
6. Where would be your favourite place to visit?

I am waiting to head to Alabama, it sounds random but it is for research purposes, I am excited to see such a religious culture and speak to people who cannot/will not travel and what drives them to stay or to see whether or not they want to leave. It is for a book…
7. What have you found the hardest when travelling?

Not staying in a place long enough to build roots, I am currently in Melbourne and I will be here to make s0me roots (maybe, maybe not) but I hate moving on after a couple of days, just when you find someone or a group of people.
8. Are there any home comforts you miss when travelling?

I miss my bed the most, I leave for my first destination and the first thing I think is I miss my bed. My bed it awesome, but that is just superficial shit. When I get home I always go to bed and have a nice sleep. I love it.
9. If you could give your pre-travel-self advice what would it be?

Don’t think it will be easy, it almost never is. The people you meet will be fleeting so take everyday as it comes, and it is alright to just chill out and not leave the hostel room for a day or something, do what feels right and don’t be fake.
10. What is the main thing you will take away from your travels?

Live your life like you want it, do not conform to the norms, do not go back until you really need to or want to. Do no let those jealous friends hold you back from really living your dream and just have fun.
11. On your travels, what is your go to snack?

I love a bit of avo and crackers me.

My nominations go to:

As told by Dana

Miso Travels and Climbs

Living in a Smile

Acts of Style

Maud Travels

My questions are:

  1. What is your earliest memory?
  2. What is your favourite place to visit?
  3. Who is the best/your favourite person in the world, in your mind?
  4. What is your favourite mode of transport?
  5. Do you like city-life or something a little more relaxed?
  6. Where would you ‘settle down’ or at least live for a while?
  7. What is your dream job?
  8. Are you working that at the moment?
  9. Are you creative?
  10. What’s your favourite food substance?
  11. Do you like ice cream (I love ice cream)?

I look forward to hearing your answers and thanks again for Hitting the Road with Jack for nominating me.

Melbourne – Christmas…

Hi guys,

It has been an eventful week, I have experienced my first Christmas in Summer and it was surreal.

In the days leading up to Christmas I met this really cool English chick, who was traveling with an equally cool Swiss dude and we hung out a lot. They had recently met in India where they partook in a retreat to help you figure out life (I think), they helped me see that I cared too much about nonsensical things; that I needed to just chill out and not care so much (I have always thought that I didn’t care all that much, but I guess I don’t care about the things that matter, instead of not caring of the things to don’t).

It was sad to see them go, but it was really nice to chill with them when they were here.

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Sam, Olivia and I at the Rum Diaries.

I was also invited to a Christmas house party by a Brazilian friend of my mine that I met at a tram stop on Halloween. We reconnected when we met again not long ago and we exchanged numbers; he invited me to his Christmas party and I agreed to go.

I arrived first (naturally), but it was really nice to speak to just him for an hour or so before other guests arrived and I also helped cook (I was head chef) the food that he had single-handedly prepared. It was really tasty, there was a lot of different kinds of food and it was all delicious. I met a lot of people there and it was nice to meet more people in Melbourne.

I also, naturally, fell over and really hurt my arm, I have such a big red and black bruise on my arm, it literally hurt to move for the first few days.

 

Skip forward to Christmas Eve (the day after the party). I have family in Melbourne so I had the chance to spend some quality time with them. I made some mini gingerbread houses to put on top of cups, this is what they were supposed to look like:

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Actual mini gingerbread houses…

They are dainty and cute and so golden that look unreal, this is how mine turned out and I would like to say that I am very proud of them because I didn’t use a template and it shows…

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My gingerbread village…
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How they balanced precariously on top of our cold drinks (it was 30 degrees outside)…
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My cousins and I posing in front of my abominations…

Needless to say, they turned out to be a complete and utter shambles, but I enjoyed every minute of making them and I especially enjoyed the whole 30 seconds it took for me to eat mine.

At the same time, the girls were making a bigger gingerbread house, this is how it turned out:

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Bigger ginger bread house, with chocolate reindeer and sleigh from Aldi…

It looked much better than my mess, but their mother did put it together and they just decorated it (very nicely I will add). It was also my first time attempting to build gingerbread houses and I am sure I will get better next time.

 

We then went for a walk around the neighbourhood and saw some of the Christmas lights that people put up.

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A couple of doors down my cousin’s house, there was this abomination…
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A block down, was this atrocity…

There weren’t many houses in the area that had bothered with lighting up their houses; some of the lights were tasteful, but there were others, like the two above, that took it to a whole new level.

There were also a lot of families that were out on Christmas Eve, either walking, or driving, or riding their bikes, around the neighbourhood to look at all the lights, so we weren’t alone in our madness.

 

Christmas Day promised to be a good day, it dawned bright and clear and the weather forecast threatened of a 34 degree day, and it followed through on that promise, it was HOT!

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The beginning of the day, clear blue skies.

It was a good day, a little stressful because of certain family issues but I had a lot of fun hanging out with my extended family and getting to know them. I had a lovely Christmas lunch and an equally nice Christmas dinner (it was in no way the same as as home, but it was still, nonetheless, delicious).

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I saw a cockatoo, it was really loud.

One of my cousins found out that Santa wasn’t real, she caught her mum eating the cookies and drinking the milk (HA) and she had a hard time afterwards, tensions were high but the day ended on a good note; my uncle grilled some ribs on the barbecue at eleven o’clock at night, so we had ribs, a beer and went outside to smoke a doobie and watch some Key and Peele, fucking awesome night!

 

On boxing day I organised a massive Skype session with England; a lot of the kids (I say kids, but the youngest of kids is twenty years old) wouldn’t be at home for Christmas. My older brother is in New Zealand, my sister is in the Canary Islands and my youngest cousin was in France with her boyfriend. Through the power of sheer will and determination, I managed to get everybody on a conference Skype call from all corners of the globe! It was nice to get everybody there together and talking and hopefully we can do it again soon.

I have come to that age where I will not spend every Christmas with my family in England, but I was really glad to have family around me this Christmas, it will make the transition easier in years to come.

The next big event is New Year’s, I am actually working on New Year’s Eve and spending New Year’s Day with my family again, so it should be chilled (although I say that now, who knows what will happen on the day!)

Thanks for reading, and stay Herbalicious!

Melbourne – Christmas in Summer…

I would like to firstly tell my three readers that I am very sorry for the delay! It has been hectic here and I haven’t even thought about posting a blog for ages.

This is a brief overview of what I have been dong lately:

I have moved out on my own, I live in a nice two bed flat with a lovely room mate and I have a balcony. I am not going to lie, the balcony is the best thing in my life at the moment. As I write, I am actually sitting on it, enjoying the almost forty degree weather…in December.

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My jungle view from my balcony…

Work has been hit and miss since I have gotten here, and just when I thought I had a full-time job, the place gets shut down and goes into liquidation, I know right? What are the odds? But I do still have a job to go back to in January, a bar on the Waterfront, exciting times!

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My view from the rooftop bar that got shut down…

Summer. The only way I can describe how I am coping in this fucking heat is to channel my inner Olaf! He was so naive; bees they will buzz, kids will blow dandelion fuzz, no on does that because they are too busy DYING! I thought summer would be a breeze, you know, it’s t-shirt weather all the time and the nights are cool. NO! It is naked weather all the time and the nights are just as suffocating as the day. But then again I am in a heatwave at the moment and Melbourne’s weather can never make up it’s mind because, well…it’s Melbourne.

 

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How I cope with this heat…badly.

Christmas. It is just around the corner, a week away. It had definitely crept up on me, I get confused with the hot weather, my brain keeps telling me that it is July when it is in actual fact December. I don’t feel Christmmassy at all, there needs to be snow on the ground and lung-freezing air, not parched dry grass and eyeball melting light winds. The heat sucks…I have made a mistake.

I haven’t traveled anywhere other than Melbourne yet, and I don’t think I will, I am saving to go to America this time (ish) next year so I need to save for that and I can’t afford to be gallivanting through this hot barren land anyway; I can barely got out of bed!

I went to see Yelawolf a few weeks ago, it was my first gig, I went on my own after work on a Sunday and it was actually pretty fun! He himself was a ridiculous person and he kept of throwing beer and spitting on the floor for no apparent reason, but he did play my favourite song of his just before the end so that saved it. But live music isn’t the best, I think I would have had more fun if I stayed in listened to his music in the comfort of my own home, instead of in a beer soaked, drug filled room with burly men covered in shit tattoos getting shirtless. Anyway, rant over.

I have been writing a lot more lately, I have nearly finished the first draft of my first novel so things are looking up I guess.

I haven’t had time to draw because I have been writing so much, but maybe soon. But I do enjoy the writing and it is all going towards something. Although I would have a chance to show some of my stuff in either Jan or Feb, so maybe over Christmas and New Years, when I will not be writing, I can get some of these pieces done so that I can show them…yes I will. ( I will keep you updated on that one).

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A couple of pieces that I have done…

I bought a bike and I am loving it! Cycling in Melbourne is so chilled! I have taken to cycling for a minute, maybe a minute and a half around the corner instead of walking the five minutes, I know crazy right? But I love it and it is such a nifty little thing to get about in.

And finally, I am going to be making a gingerbread house this year with my family, I am soooooooooooo excited it is ridiculous. I wanna make my own individual one but I am not too sure if I will have time, you know how it is a week from Christmas. Oh well.

Well that is it really, I am sure, I have been doing other writing so I haven’t had time to concentrate on this, but hopefully I have kick-started it again and you will see more of me soon.

 

Thank for reading , and as always, Stay Herbaliscious!

Writing anxiety

I am in the middle/start of writing a book and it is getting me down how much my ‘education’ has curbed my confidence and my imagination. All I want to do is write my book but all I hear in my head is ‘Why?”. The teachers are always asking:

“Why was this done?” “Why have you used this word, instead of that?”

I remember at school all the teachers would question why you had done something, why did you use this imagery, why did you use this word? It is annoying when I am trying to write and I am constantly questioning myself and my words. All I want is the confidence to carry on with my work and not constantly second guess myself.

I have all these ‘amazing’ ideas in my head and the ability to get them out on paper, be it with pen and ink on a coloured background, or with words for people to create their own imagery with. My creative outlets are blocked by the whiny voices of all those awful lessons that constantly ask you to analyse each word, explain each sentence and breakdown each paragraph so that everyone can understand it.

Sometimes things are not supposed to be understood. Sometimes it is up to the viewers discretion what they see in things, the author, artist, poet, whomever it is that has created it, can only do so much  and the rest is up the audience. One person can interpret the same thing in many different ways, it is in the audience that the criticism and the analysis lies, not in yourself.

That is what I am trying to tell myself; that I cannot be the only critic (and I am obviously my worst critic), I am not the most important critic and that I should believe in my abilities and not to stop because I think that no one will like it. Not everyone will like my work and I am learning, throughout my life, that there are people out there that do like my stuff and people are all different.

I am a realist at heart, I know that not everyone is the same, some people would look at my work and think that it is disgusting or ugly, or crap but I know deep down that I have worked hard on it and that at least one persons will like it…that is what keeps me going!

Anyway, rant over…enjoy your Sunday!