Hi all, just a heads up that I might not be blogging for a few weeks as I’m going back home for Christmas and I might not have time/will to update. I might occasionally upload but I just don’t want to commit as I’ll be on holidays and I want to focus on spending time with friends and family. I can’t wait!
Have a good break everyone 🙂

Grass For Dinneris taking a break

Zero Waste toiletry bag

I’m flying back home in eleven days and I’ve already packed three times. This is what I’m taking with me in my toiletry bag. It’s not 100% Zero Waste but getting there. I haven’t included things like soap or toothpaste as I’ll be staying with friends and family so I’ll be borrowing from them, these are just the things that I can’t do without.

The flu made me write this

I’m home sick with the flu and I’ve spent the last five hours looking at flats for rent on SpareRoom in London because I’m being nostalgic as fuck. I’m trying really hard to remember what I didn’t like about London, to resume the feeling I had towards the end of my stay, the itchiness for leaving and travelling and discovering new places, but it just doesn’t come back. I know that when we decided to move overseas I simply I couldn’t stand living in London anymore, but now that I’m here I wonder what the hell was I thinking. Here in Wellington, it feels like I’m stuck in a snow globe and I can see everything happening in the outside world but I can’t take part in it. I mean, I know a lot of shit is happening in the world and this is probably the safest place I could be and people are trying to get away from Europe and the States because of all the horrible things happening there, BUT. I liked being in the middle of everything. As much as hated commuting and Oxford Street and  overcrowded places, at least I was close to the rest of the world. I could fly home in half a day. I just watched a bunch of old videos that I made when I was in London and they reminded me of how cheap food used to be, and yes I know rent was crazy expensive and doing stuff was crazy expensive but you could easily survive on £20 of groceries a week and I could afford to buy books even on a super low wage and this image of myself keeps on coming back to my head and it’s a happy me. The most recurring one is from when I used to live in Homerton and I would cycle into town via London Fields, in the autumn fog. And then, the more I think about it, the more I realise the things I miss are the things I never had. White tiles. Wooden floors. A fancy apartment. Succulents. I have this idea of London that was never real life for me. I’ve always lived in crappy flats, shopped at Primark, had to cycle not because it was cool but because I could hardly afford a Tube monthly pass. And I know that if I were to go back to London, I would find myself in the same exact situation. It would be a thousand times harder to get a job, and I would again end up living in Zone 5 and spending the majority of my time on a jam-packed train. Yet, I long for good old Europe. I miss it. I miss my friends and family. I miss old stuff. Red brick buildings and the smell of history. I miss Broadway Market, and Victoria Park, and the houseboats on Camden canal. I miss Foyles and Paperchase. I miss Cass Art and the record stores. I miss the awareness that if anything cool had to happen in the world, it would happen right there where I was. Here, all I get is quiet and nature. Which I do like, but nothing ever freaking happens here, and I can go for walks and hikes as much as I want but that’s never going to make up for the fact that I do miss city life a freaking lot. And the fact that I’m so far away from my family is really starting to weigh on me. I’m going home in 23 days and it’s going to take me 37 hours to get there. And after a month I’ll be here again, with no idea when I’m gonna go back again. I miss my friends and family so much. In spite of all the good friends I’ve made here. This is so freaking far away.

The MBAWYAO Series – Episode Two

Disclaimer: I’m not using the word “Manifest” in its strict meaning (“the ability to convert the energy of our thoughts into a newly materialized form”). I’m using it as a way to find out what I want out of life. For more clarity, see Episode One here.

November is here – in spite of me struggling to believe it – which means December is only a month away, which means New Zealand is about to shut down. Christmas time coincides with summer holidays here down under, and during the months of December and January everything is closed and Kiwis disappear.
As a consequence I decided to take a break from sending CVs since I’m pretty sure nobody would get back to me anyway. I’m actually ok with this as I was in need of some time to figure out what I want to do with my life, which partly means trying to determine what my ideal job looks like.

Therefore, welcome to the MBAWYAO Series – Episode Two.

I wrote down a list of all the requirements that my idea job entails and the only thing I learned from it is that my ideal job is a big fat pot of contradictions. I mean, look at it:

  • No set location
  • Human interaction
  • Stable income
  • No dress code
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity

I’m not sure how this is ever going to happen. But this is the space where I let it out, just for me to define my priorities, in the hope that they will one day materialise into exactly the kind of existence I want for myself.

Anyway. My dream job doesn’t have a set location. I wake up in the morning, check the weather, and decide if I want to work outside in the garden or from a cosy café. I get bored really easily, and although I do like a bit of routine, I also need to spice things up and keep things interesting.
My dream job involves creating content. I love writing. And making zines (although I haven’t done that in a while). I’d be sitting at my computer, typing away – about veganism, Zero Waste, travelling, self love – pretty much anything I talk about on here. I’d be creating a community of people who want to talk about the same things I’m passionate about.
At the same time I’d also be able to get off my butt and go for a walk and be active any time I want. I can take a break whenever I feel like, have a day off whenever I feel like, go on holidays and take my work with me if I need the income or say fuck off for a while without the need to report to anyone.
I can wear yoga pants and flip flops or dress up if I feel like it.
In all this, I’d also have a stable income. One thing I don’t like about my current job is being paid by the hour, and never working the same amount of hours every week, and therefore never knowing how much I’m going to get paid. Having a set payday and a fixed (or at least minimum) salary gives me a sense of security.

I know what you’re thinking: get back to planet earth, young lady. Nobody has a job like that!
Well you know what? Some people do. And if I have to dream, I might as well dream big.
Now, problem is: all this seem to imply that I should be self-employed. Unless I find somebody willing to employ me and then leave me there doing my own thing. Unfortunately, I know I don’t have it in me to be my own boss. I struggle at self-motivation and absolutely suck at marketing myself.

So the solution I’ve found for the time being is writing a book.
In my head, this means that I can take my time to do the writing, then either self-publish it or even better have it published by a mega super cool publishing company, and after that I can spend the rest of my life being an acclaimed author, going on tour, writing more books, hosting book signings at Waterstones, and living off royalties. HA.
This combines me doing my own thing and somebody reminding me to do my own thing.

Now that I think about it, being a writer has always been my dream. I guess I’d temporarily gave up on it just because I am aware of how freaking hard it is to get published. But I’ve never stopped writing. And the point of this MBAWYAO Series is to figure out what’s important to me and go do it.
Hope you’ll do it too.

Book review – Motherest

Disclaimer! Minor spoilers.

On my bedside table: Motherest by Kristen Iskandrian

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Why I picked it up: The summary on the back cover mentioned the words “college”, “90s” and “Nirvana”.

What it is about: Agnes is eighteen and in college. Her mother is gone. Already grieving the recent suicide of her older brother Simon, now Agnes has to navigate through her first year of college dealing with another missing piece in her fractured family.
Agnes settles down, and her days are spent going to class, working at the cafeteria, and writing – but never mailing – letters to her absent mother.
She makes friends, like her roommate Surprise, who turns from an inexperienced virgin to resembling a middle-aged woman within one semester, and Joan, a quirky dreadhead who grew up on a farm and makes her own bread and lemonade.
Agnes also starts dating a guy nicknamed Tea Rose, in a relationship that only exists when they are alone, together, but not in the real world.

Things unfold way too fast as Agnes finds out she’s pregnant.
With what seems like not too much reasoning she decides to keep the baby, possibly because she can’t face getting rid of it having been abandoned by her own mother herself.
After college is over, Agnes moves back home to live with her dad. Bearing the loss of a son and wife, Agnes’ dad seems to live in a constant state of hold, for which she feels sorry, sad and pitiful. The two of them share a relationship dotted with inside jokes and affectionate traditions, but they also make sure that inconvenient questions are not asked and uncomfortable topics avoided.

Agnes endures her pregnancy with no idea what to expect. Struggling to accept the evidence, she skips doctor’s appointments, refuses to buy baby supplies, and is confused and terrified by the changes in her own body. Her only source of comfort is Alicia, another teen girl who is also pregnant. The two of them form a temporary bond on opposite sides of the spectrum: Alicia thrilled to give birth to a baby girl, Agnes foreseeing the worst.

Would I recommend it: Yep. This was actually a really good book, although it’s hard to explain why. It’s not eye-opening or mind-boggling, yet I devoured it in three days. It’s an easy read, but it will leave you with a bittersweet feeling and probably a knot in your stomach.