Monday, 9 November 2015

I want to grow up... Happy

When I was in sixth form we regularly hosted dress up days for charities. One that sticks in my head vividly had the theme of what you want to be when you grow up.

To be honest at that age I had no idea what job I wanted to have when I was older, but I knew one thing. I wanted to be happy in whatever I was doing. I didn't want to persue something that didn't make me jump out of bed. I wanted to feel excited about going to work. I also knew that work wasn't the be all and end all. The life I saw for future me wasn't just about work, it was about life. I wanted a lifestyle that would make me happy not just a job. Life is about family, friends, experiences, hobbies, interests and so much more as well as work.

So I chose to customise a tshirt. I drew a massive smiley face on it because when I grew up I wanted to be HAPPY!

At sixth form that day, so many professions were covered. There were farmers, vet and doctors. My friend dressed up as a magician. But I was singled out that day by teachers. I was asked what on earth I'd dressed up as. Yes, maybe it wasn't clear. I explained. Once I had told them, I was told it wasn't a valid aspiration. Asked what I really wanted to do, as if happiness wasn't enough, that it couldn't possibly just have the that as an ambition. That my ambitions should be higher and further than just being happy. I was told I need to find a career. I needed to choose I job that was academic. That wanting to be happy wouldn't get me anywhere in life. 

Is this the message we want to giving to children? That academia is worth more than someone's happiness. That being seen to be 'successful' in a job is more important that emotional wellbeing.

Don't misunderstand. I have a job I love and am passionate about progressing and improving, but I won't be doing that at the expense of my own happiness.

Kate xx

Friday, 6 November 2015


When life gets crazy and pressures build up I always take myself to the beach. It calms me. Maybe it's the assurance that whatever happens in life, waves will come in and out. They will still crash into the sand, drawing pebbles back into it's depths. I look out to the sea and see the white topped waves crashing closer and my troubles seem to wash out with them. As the waves break onto the shore they also break into my thoughts. Swirling them round and taking them away until the sounds of the lapping lulls me to calmness.

It could be the enormity of looking out to sea. I am so lucky to be able to look out onto the North Sea. I know that the next land is France. In relation to the forces, power and magnitude of the sea my problems and worries seem insignificant. I am a small dot on the surface of the world. I think it's the feeling that you are not the centre of things. It's a place to get lost in whilst staying still.

When I stare out to sea I feel my mind is blank. This is good. It means I'm not worrying or pressured, I'm just me.

I think it's important to find somewhere to be calm. Where's your place to be calm?

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Sneek Peak in my Scrapbook 6

Today's sneek peak seems to have a lot more colour than last time and it definitely more simple. I think I was in the mood where I just wanted to get something down on the paper. To cover the whiteness with colours. To take away the blankness and give meaning. I like the use of negative space in the first. The last page includes a Haiku that I wrote. I have written a whole post with Haikus which you can find here. I find they are a short way of being creative that I can definitely finish!

How have you been creative recently?

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Edinburgh Adventures Part 3

On our last full day in Edinburgh we went to Holyrood Palace which is the Queen's official residence in Scotland. Included in admission price was an audio guide tour. This took us through the ornately decorated rooms of the palace. I found it helpful to have information on each room and there were even options to find out more. However it did feel a little like a zombie tour where every moved in silence not communicating with anyone else. It made it difficult to share the visit with others you were with.

Once we had been led through the palace with our audio guide it was time to explore the surrounding gardens and ruined Holyrood Abbey. The Abbey, as with the rest of the house was steeped in history and we took a moment to quietly contemplate the past here. Walking round reading the names on memorial stones always makes me think of the stories behind the names (see this post as I've been thinking a lot about this subject). Autumn has really set in now and the gardens were subtly colourful. Summer brings in your face colour whereas autumnal colour wows in a less obvious but just as stunning way and with Arthur's Seat as a backdrop it was a lovely way to finish our holiday.

I had a fabulous break in Edinburgh and break is the best term for it. I have been feeling run down and exhausted the last couple of weeks and a break was necessary. I always feel calmer and more myself away from the daily stresses of life and being able to do what I want in my own time.

Tell me about your last holiday...

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Everyone Has a Story

I've learned that everyone has a story. Depending on how much they trust you they might tell you their story. It might be someone you've only just met who decides to tell you their story. It may be that you have to slowly gain their trust before they tell you.

You may sit for long hours whilst they tell you all at once. You'll hold their eye contact and see the sorrow in their eyes. You'll need to hug them tight so they know someone cares. You'll hope that they never hurt as much ever again, but ultimately how much they hurt right now is out of your control. The want and need to help will keep you awake at night, but the only thing to do is be there. There are problems in the world that you cannot fix, but can make better.

There will be other people who will drip feed their story. A reference there, a clue here so you'll have to piece it together yourself. A jigsaw of memories that build up a bigger picture. Still one to keep you awake and working out the best version of the future.

However some people will never tell you their story. It's theirs to choose who to tell. Don't assume it means that person has nothing to tell. Every human has a fragility. The most outgoing of people may be hiding the biggest sorrow. Secrets are kept by everyone. We must be mindful of this in our relations with others. You don't know how others will react on the inside. People bottle stories and send them out into the sea of the mind, but some day the waves will wash back and you have to deal with them.

If they trust you with that story hold it close to you. It's a precious sign of confidence in your relationship. It will bring you closer, but value it wisely.

Everyone has a story you just may not know it yet.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Edinburgh Adventures: Part 2

Day 3 consisted of a visit to Edinburgh castle. There was lots to see from regimental museums to the great hall. As we went in it suggested it would take about 2 hours to see everything but we must have been there for nearly 6 hours! We managed to choose the best day for weather for our visit and the sun stayed out all day and we even got some great sunset shots as we left.

Some highlights of the castle were seeing the crown jewels of Scotland. There was a huge queue for these in the middle of the day, but when we got to them later in the day we walked straight in and were given plenty of time in the room to look at the impressive crown, sword and sceptre. There were views across the city. We looked across to Carlton Hill where we had been the day before. Before watches and clocks were common the citizens of Edinburgh used these two landmarks to tell the time. At 1pm a white ball fell on Carlton Hill and a gun was fired at the Castle. Whilst the ball no longer exists we were there at 1pm when the gun went off.

For lunch we just chose to eat cake because we were on holiday and you're allowed to! I can vouch for the yumminess of both the carrot cake and chocolate truffle muffin. As we left the sun began to set and by the time we had walked to Princes Street Gardens and looked back to the castle it was dark.

How stunning is Edinburgh? I loved my break here. Have you been? Please share your adventures.

Kate xx

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sneek Peak into my Scrapbook 5

My scrapbook always seems to reflect how I feel at the time. I did these two pages a few weeks ago when I was feeling low. They seem busy and chaotic which is exactly how my brain felt. The colours reflected my mood which was dark. Although it documents a really difficult point in my life I actually like these pages for their layered effect. I will have these to look back on, when I'm feeling better.

Does your art reflect your moods?

Kate xx