Thursday, 24 December 2009

Only a woman??

Following a tour of Tanzania and Zanzibar, I have now arrived in Malawi. As lovely as it is there is one thing I have found hard to accept while I have been in Africa.......The low status of a woman.....To quote "As a woman you as less important to a Masai than a cow."

I have always prided myself on being one of a long line of strong women, my mum rules the house and as kids she was the disciplinarian, the financial expert, the one who organises all the small things and she is given respect for it.

As a western woman I have always been treated as an equal, I am not lesser than a man, I can do anything i want, have any job I chose, have children if I chose or not.....Here your role is to have a child and look after your husband and be satifised with that. I have seen the behaviour of my tour guide having affairs with his western clients and then trying to justifiy his behaviour as ok because he is "Freelancing" despite being married but being unable to accept that a western woman can "freelance" as well if she choses.

Maybe I am finding it hard to accept another culture and only looking at it through the eyes of a western professional woman, maybe I should not be so resistant to other ideas?.......The women are so friendly and happy here.......Maybe I have no right to make judements on another culture??

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Tourist Genesis....

So I although I have been enjoying my trip and have seen some amazing things..... There has been one thing that have managed to astound me over all others.........The stupid things tourists say......

Its 5am, we are all on a walking safari, the sun is rising over the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Zebra are running on the horizon......Suddenly someone spots a footprint.....A big and fat one.....We had spent all the previous day looking and photographing hippos....."Is it a hippo?" someone asks the guide..... Before he can answer, someone shouts "Is it a bear?????" Hmm, I'm pretty sure there are no bears here.....
The following day we are on a game drive and see our first giraffe.....Eating grass. Then we see Wilder beast....Eating grass. Then we finding some Zebra, we position ourselves, cameras at the ready....As we observe th
em unsuprisingly eating grass someone asks "What do Zeeeebra eat?" Genesis!

I decided to do a balloon safari over the Serengeti....Amazing! We watched the african sunrise and the colours spread out before us. As the the balloon flies higher and higher someone asks "Would we die if we fell from this height??"

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rwanda

So I have reached Rwanda "The land of a thousand views" and it is so right! We have been to the Genocide Memorial which was very moving.....It is strange to think everyone I meet who was alive in 1994 has experienced something so terrible and yet they still smile and are so friendly (especially to women) I have noticed some of the houses still have the red cross on the walls of their homes which indicated it was the home of a Tutsi.......Apparently it is how taboo to talk about it now but the memorial with its mass graves are now used to educate people.

We have been to see the Gorilla's today AMAZING! The best thing I have ever done! Even though I trekked for an hour and a half....I have some amazing pictures but the internet here is so slow so I can't upload them yet! boo!


Being eaten alive by the mozzies, so I went into a the pharmacy to get some cream but they only speak french here so after a misunderstanding about Malaria medication......I stuck my bare leg on his desk brandished my 30 mozzie bites on my ankle.....And the cream appeared!! Its amazing what a girl can get if she flashes a bit on leg! lol!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Story so far....

Its only been a few days and I have already done so much! Seen all of the big five already, been into a school where the children had never seen white people before and were convinced my hair was an umbrella! We have already travelled from Kenya to Uganda. Its funny because they are the same but very different! I found it amusing how many "Hotels" there are alone the roadside, its funny because they are little more that wooden hunts that look like they are about to fall down, but they all seem to be able to offer you the ability to "top up" your mobile phone on any network you can imagine.

Uganda is lovely, green tea plantations as far as the eye can see. The soil is so red and the people farm almost everything and anything. The children wave at you as our "Monster Truck" goes past and the adults nod or just plain share.

I went on a chimpanzee trek the other day......nearly killed me! I'm so unfit! We did eventually get to see two wild chimps but we were wondering around the jungle for two hours before we saw them. It made me laugh though because at first I couldn't see them as they were so high up, so I innocently asked the group "Where is it?" A german guy replied "There behind the green leaf!" Hmm........

Today we were travelling to another campsite on the "Monster Truck" for about five hours when we pulled into a garage for a toilet stop. Naturally they have petrol pumps, "Car Wash" "Air" and amusingly "Lubrication" after finding this funny and taking a picture. I then realised that a bunch of Ugandan nuns where having there picture taken right in front of it! Classic!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Arrival.....

So I have arrived, feeling a bit fragile seen as though everyone else seems to be seasoned travellers and I'm not. Starting to think 60 days overland was to much for a first trip and I haven't even started yet.

I have made a friend though who appears to have all the same issues as me, "Did you cry on the plane?" I asked. "Hell yeah" she replied. She makes me feel so much better about all this, but it turns out she is only doing the tour for two weeks and I'm doing two months!

On the plus side there have been some amusing moments...like the fact the the electricity in the hotel keeps randomly going off...leaving us all sitting in pitch black until someone kicks the generator! I have also had my first experience of building African styley.....they just throw mud at the wall until it sticks in a very fun looking fashion! Also and most amusingly when I walked in to main reception on my arrival, who should they all be watching on the TV but a football match between Liverpool and Manchester City....I couldn't help it...."That is where I am from!" I said... a lot louder than I realised....(Crazy looks from random people!) Oops!

Tomorrow the tour begins, I have butterflies just thinking about it....Trying to stay as positive as I can and not think about home......

Friday, 20 November 2009

The Journey begins.......

Today is the today, I'm off around the world!.....Next stop Nairobi! I'm not excited, just nervous and I still have a million things to sort out round here first!

I have to say, I never realised what amazing friends and family I have until now! A girl could rule the world with the support network I have! My nan always says "Count your blessings" I never realised that my friends and family are number one!!!

Love you all,

See you very soon xxx

Monday, 16 November 2009

Weight Limit 10kg....Yeah right!

Well four days till the big trip, I have had the leaving party which was great, makes me realise what amazing friends I have! I have to admit though, I still feel like I'm not ready. I would say I am not excited, more apprehensive.....Is that normal?

I have tried packing my bag....Its sooo heavy and I have to sit on it to close it already! Some editing is required I think......The thing is I don't know what to take out! I'm thinking clothes.....but how many clothes do you actually need?
So far I have....


Waterproof trousers and jacket

Fleece x 1
Safari type shirts x 2
Vest top x 3
Trousers x 3

Shorts x 1

Bikini Bras x 3
Knickers x 7

Socks x 4
Cardigan x 1


Anyone any advice on what to take out?.....All suggestions welcome....


Also, I have had an unexpected bra issue....I know this is a girl thing, but how many bras do you take and what type? Sports, bikini, push up, wireless, under wired?
My friend Alison laughed and said "Depends how sweaty your boobies get"......Classy! (Told you I would blog about it!)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

For the Fallen....


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Maybe....

Maybe, just maybe things are actually coming together. Admittedly, I seem to be spending more money than I realised, but maybe and its just a maybe.... I am more organised than I thought I was......

Packing has been a bit of an issue, I'm trying to (as my friend put it) "be brutal" I'm not usually a girl who knows how to "travel light!" Also, how cold does it get in Africa at night?? Warm you would think....Apparently not....

I'm in London at the moment on the hunt for a visa, its more difficult than you would think. Firstly, there was the postal strike...Very inconvenient! It has meant I have had to take a few traumatic car and train journeys lately.......I nearly cried when I missed the train and had to have words with myself to regain composure! Secondly, the opening hours of all the High Commission's are really annoying, 10-12 to drop off your application, that's if you find the embassy in the first place.....I seem to have a knack of getting lost (even without the aid of Becca) Thirdly, you have to wait three days for it to be processed and can only collect your passport again between 2-3pm. Hence I'm stuck here till Friday!

Moaning aside, it has been interesting... So far I have been mistaken for my little brother's cleaner, met the world's most irritatingly vocal cat and have been to see where my brother is working now.....In an office with the most impressive cityscape EVER, you can't complain when you can see St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster and Canary Wharf from your office window! I'm not jealous... Honest!


Roll on the weekend and my leaving party! ;-)

Sunday, 1 November 2009

The Leaves of Autumn

I watched the leaves of autumn from my window as they rained across the sky; as the mischievous wind danced among the trees calling to the leaves to fly by.

I watched the leaves of autumn play a happy childhood game; as the sun beams shined upon their face illuminating them like a flame.

I heard the leaves of autumns laughter, as they squealed with delight; their childhood game which pasted my window was a rich and colourful sight.

I watched the leaves of autumn play, as the trees looked on with a parental eye; as the leaves of autumn played chase with one and other, whilst the cold wind drove them by.

I watched the leaves of autumn feel sleepy as their game wore them out; as the earth beckoned them to a restful spot, until the playful wind felt bored.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Sometimes.....


Sometimes I feel that I have so much love to give, yet no one to receive it.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

More Tea Vicar?....

I have always known my friend Alison was the daughter of a Methodist Minister but in my ignorance to all things religious I had pictured her dad to be a non dog collar wearing, long haired, hippie type who possibly shouted for all to "praise the lord" at regular intervals...... How wrong I was.

A few days ago during one of my spontaneous moments, I arranged to visit Alison and motivate her to find a job after her recent return from Ghana.....

At first I giggled to myself when Alison introduced me to her mum for the first time "This is my mother" she said, "Teresa" but when her father arrived fresh from a funeral, looking surprisingly very like a vicar, complete with dog collar.....I realised immediately I had entered an alternate universe. As he politely introduced himself and tried to recall whether he already knew about my arrival and had forgotten, I heard my mum's voice as clear as day telling me to "Behave, don't you dare show me up!" and found myself standing up a little bit straighter and being a little bit more polite than usual. To my relief he told Alison he was off to get changed......There I was hoping that like me, when he got home from work he took his uniform off in favour of something more comfortable......I was partly right......On his return he had amusingly slipped into a big woolly jumper.....Over his dog collar.....A true man of the cloth if ever I saw one!

On discussion with Mother Teresa, Alison and I innocently decided to visit the local glass factory. However, as the Vicars daughter and I wondered around the factory her dirty mind surprised me and provided moments of laughter.......

Firstly there was this....



For those who don't know why this is funny....
Click here

Then there was this........


For those who don't know why this is funny....Click here

On our return to Alison's house Mother Teresa asked if I wanted to stay for tea, I immediately felt like a kid again, said thank you for the invitation and played upstairs with Alison until tea was ready.....

Dreading that they would know I never say grace, I told myself not to say anything bad or offensive while we ate. As I plucked up the courage to join in the conversation, I began to tell a work story and suddenly there it was......Spoken before the words could be stopped..... "Yeah" I said, "They were like, for God's Sake".........Well done!......Blasphemy, while having tea with a Vicar! Typical!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Becca, Are we lost?...

My friend Becca and I should really stop trying to be spontaneous, It NEVER works.....We always end up having that conversation....You know the One.... "What do you wanna do?" Silence, followed by a response of "I don't know, what do you wanna do?"

We have had a few disastrous "Day trips" recently.....


We planned a trip to Tatton Park, the idea being we would take in the country air and rent bikes to cycle somewhere.....What actually occurred was
lazing by a lake watching the planes fly over head, getting lost on a country path and the random purchase of cheese from a farm shop.

We tried to go and watch Justin Lee Colins at Granada Studio's, following the collection of another friend we proceeded to get lost with the help of Sat Nav. So instead we ended up playing pool and shooting virtual cows in an amusement arcade, only to be repeatedly told "You shot a cow!".....Did I mention we are both 28 years old?

Today, it was sunny for once, so I text Becca (I should have known) we attempted to arrange a day out of the city. It would have been a good plan if it wasn't 3pm by the time we left her flat....Following considerable irritation on Becca's part at an unnecessary lorry that inconvenientely drove slowly right in front of us the whole way, we gave up on our plan to visit the Hope Valley and stopped at a random English Country Pub that was unnervingly empty...

After being stared at my the locals for "not being from around h
ere" Becca placed herself conveniently in front of the open fire, declaring loudly "I'm cold" only to have the local hunchback immediately scurry over from some hidden part of the pub with logs for the fire....

On a plus side and obviously in a none pervy way, we watched as the local "fit young bloke", proceeded to chop wood for us in very masculine fashion place them on the fire and smiling as he did so........Following brief consideration we decided to stay of tea.....It was only fair......

Naturally we got lost on the way home and found ourselves in Chinley Village. Being city girls we found it highly amusing that the local teenagers were attempting to intimidate the locals with their hoodies and a park bench......We immediately dubbed them the Chinley Massive and laughed at the fact that we should make a Chinley Massive facebook group in honour of our trip.


A few hours after I got home and forgetting about our Chinley Massive adventure, I logged on to facebook.....There it was, an invitation from Becca to the
Chinley Countryside Massive facebook group it actually exists! Priceless! ;-)

The African Adventure

For all my friends who keep asking me where I will be around Christmas this year, here is my itinerary for the Africa section.

Day 1 Nairobi (21st November 2009)

Prepare for an epic adventure.

Day 2 Lake Nakuru

Pitch in at the Kariandusi School Community Project and explore flamingo-filled Lake Nakuru.

Days 3-4 Eldoret/ Kampala

Camp in Kenya's green highlands.

Days 5-6 Kibale Forest National Park

Look out for playful chimpanzees gorging on figs. Hike beneath trees and listen out for the sound of overhead monkeys.

Day 7 Queen Elizabeth National Park

Try and spot hippos and fish eagles while cruising the Kazinga Channel.

Day 8 Lake Bunyonyi

Swim in the glistening lake or explore the waters in a dugout canoe.

Days 9-11 Gorilla Trek

Spend a magical hour with wild mountain gorillas.

Day 12 Lake Mburo

Walk through secluded acacia woods to spy antelope, crocodiles and waterbirds.

Days 13-14 Jinja

Camp at an exclusive riverside retreat near Bujagali Falls.

Days 15-16 Eldoret/ Nairobi

Visit Kenya's cheese capital.

Days 17-18 Mto Wa Mbu/ Karatu

Tour a Tanzanian village for a glimpse of farming life.

Days 19-20 Serengeti National Park

These legendary grasslands are a haven for the Big Five.

Day 21 Ngorongoro Crater/ Karatu

Photograph a wealth of wildlife in Africa's 'Garden of Eden'.

Day 22 Marangu

Visit a home for street kids. Experience Chagga village life on Kilimanjaro's slopes.

Days 23-24 Usambara Mountains

Meet friendly villagers and wander pristine forests in the Usambara Mountains.

Day 25 Dar es Salaam

Welcome to Tanzania's tropical port city.

Days 26-28 Zanzibar

Be enticed by spice plantations, cobbled bazaars and palm-fringed beaches.

Day 29 Dar es Salaam

Return to an idyllic beachside camp.

Days 30-31 Iringa/ Chitimba

Try to spot elephants, buffaloe and giraffes in Mikumi National Park's woodlands.

Days 32-33 Lake Malawi

Relax by this enormous, fish-filled lake.

Days 34-35 Luwawa Forest Lodge

(Christmas day)

Discover welcoming villages in the remote forests of Malawi's Viphya Mountains.

Days 36-37 Chipata/ Lusaka

Cross the Luanga River into Zambia.

Days 38-40 Livingstone/ Victoria Falls

Thrill to thunderous spray from one of the world's mightiest waterfalls.

Days 41-42 Chobe National Park

(New Years Eve)

Enjoy a rewarding Chobe River safari. Try to spot hippos, crocodiles and paddling elephants in the river's waters.

Days 43 Bagani Community Camp

Recharge in Namibia's peaceful Caprivi Strip.

Days 44-45 Okavango Delta

Ride a pole-propelled mokoro through lily-filled streams.

Days 46-48 San Bushmen Camp/ Gootfontein

Go tracking and gathering with the San Bushmen, who've lived in harmony with the desert for around 20,000 years.

Days 49-50 Etosha National Park

Nocturnal animals are easy to spot by the floodlit waterhole.

Days 51-52 Spitzkoppe

Experience awe among the beautiful rock formations decorated with ancient San paintings.

Days 53-54 Swakopmund

Admire olive-coloured Cape Cross seals. Get adventurous in an old German colonial town.

Days 55-56 Sesriem/ Sossusvlei

Scramble to the top of Namib Desert dunes. Soak up breathtaking sunrise views over a vast sandy sea.

Day 57 Fish River Canyon

Inspect iconic quiver trees and enjoy sunset panoramas over this enormous canyon.

Days 58-59 Orange River/ Western Cape

Relax by the Orange River's banks or choose a canoeing adventure downstream.

Day 60 Cape Town (19th January 2010)

This epic journey ends amid Cape Town's vineyards, townships and modern cityscape.

Next explore the Garden Route until the 3rd Feb, then Bangkok and Asia!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunday Quote

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles ~ Christopher Reeve.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Up

When I was little I had an obsession with the cartoon The Little Mermaid.......I can still watch it and tell you all the words from start to finish! Yesterday a couple of friends and I went to watch "Up" the latest offering from Disney and Pixar.....I fell in love all over again! You have to watch it! It is poignant but hilarious......Here's to living your dreams while you still can!....Go see it!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sunday Quote

True strength of character is the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings and forgive quickly.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Help! Its Swine Flu!!!

Nothing annoys me more than bad journalism, especially when it is in relation to the NHS. Maybe I have a one sided view?.... Yes there is some very bad practice. Yes, there are many faults and improvements that need to be made but why is it that you never hear anything good? We work so bloody hard! Why is it that you never get any thanks?

So today when I read this article "Swine Flu Kills 'Fit and Healthy' Woman" in my local paper it got my blood boiling and I wrote My first official complaint letter!......

(Interestingly this picture was removed from the Internet article!)

The picture in your article of the Coroners report is quite clear in the information that it gives in relation to this ladies death. Sad as it was, it is clearly documented as pulmonary embolus complicated by swine flu, not swine flu itself.


As stated on the NHS website regarding swine flu “For most people, the illness is mild and self-limiting. The virus has caused severe illness in a minority of people, most of whom had an existing serious condition.” Therefore your Headline "Swine flu kills 'fit and healthy ' woman" is incorrect.


As a medical professional I would like to point out that if you had effectively researched Pulmonary Embolism prior to publication of your article you would have easily discovered that Pulmonary Embolus can cause sudden death in previously healthy individuals of all ages. Also individuals who have been on long haul flights and take the contraceptive pill (as this lady possibly did) are at a higher risk of developing this condition. However, the article published in today’s paper does not at any point reflect this.


I feel that it is journalist’s responsibility to present an accurate and objective account of the situation. However, this articles miss information is the reason numerous anxious individuals with the common cold will undoubtedly present in our local Accident & Emergency department causing a back log on already stretched service.


I feel as a Newspaper that distributed throughout the city that the Manchester Evening News has been irresponsible in its publication of this article and has therefore unhelpfully contributed to public panic in relation to swine flu. Yes the death of such a young lady was sad, but surely it would have been more helpful to advise people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek medical advice, not anyone with flu like symptoms.


Finally let me ask you this....How would you feel if you or a sick relative were made to wait hours to see a doctor who was already tied up dealing with a hundred people with the incurable common cold?


Rant over.



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Sunday, 4 October 2009

Shihoko, My Friend.

Last night I decided to look through the box I keep under my bed of tokens from my childhood......I hadn't thought about her for years and suddenly there she was, in the picture like it was only yesterday....Shihoko, My friend.

When I was ten a family from Japan moved into my street, their arrival sparked an interest in the local children mainly because of Shihoko, their daughter. She was little and shy, sweet natured and kind, interesting and different. Shihoko's father was working at the local University and Shihoko was put into my class at the local school. My teacher thought I should be the one to help her with her English and it was arranged with our parents that I would help her after school. Despite the language barrier and with the enthusiasm of ten year olds we found a common love of my little ponies, barbie and my grandmother's pet dogs and we quickly became inseparable. I remember how she would make me origami swans and frogs that could leap in the air as a token of friendship and how we would giggle for hours playing with them.


I vividly recall how clever she was
and how impressed I was at the speed she acquired a completely new language. Only now as an adult, do I see how difficult this must have been for her and how alienated she must have felt. I remember how fascinated I was by her family, who were so different from my own. I remember how dignified and respectful we were. I smile as I remember my surprise at the way they would sit on the floor to eat.


Then six months after she arrived
she left, her father had completed his work and they returned to Japan. I missed her at first, she would write to me, but I didn't write back...I regret that now. As I look at the cards she sent me all those years ago, I am fascinated by how beautiful they are. They feel like silk, the art work is so detailed and the effort that must have gone into her writing them intrigues me. How they were wasted on a ten year old.


I wonder how her life turned out? I bet she learnt English fluently and in a way the would put my Japanese to shame.
I will probably never see her again, but I hope she is happy, maybe I should write to her after all?

The Sunday Quote

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. ~Alan Alda

Friday, 2 October 2009

Future Me....


Sunlight *, originally uploaded by [Zakkalicious / Mikael].

Who am I?

Recently I have been thinking about who I am...and more to the point who I want to be..... I keep hearing this person talking....in fact, moaning. Mostly about negative stuff, like about how men don't like her, about how she is overweight, how she is miserable at work, how she is sick of most of her work mates incompetence bla bla bla.

I keep feeling the emotions of someone who is angry at everyone for her dissatisfaction with life, someone who is nervous about the future and scared of the unknown. I want to tell her to stop moaning; does she not have anything good to say? Can she not see the bright side? Then suddenly I walk past a mirror and see this red faced individual, in the worse NHS uniform in the west, someone who needs her hair cutting, someone who everyone else is avoiding or sniggering at....Oh No, It’s me!

The thing is the person I want to be I keep locked inside, the happy, positive, kind, loving, outgoing, confident, bohemian me. I have this picture in my mind of another me in a parallel universe.......She is in the countryside or in a park, wearing a summer dress and sunglasses, long hair flying everywhere, going somewhere on a bicycle with a wicker basket on the front filled with flowers, she a smiling, she says nice things about people, she is content, she is bohemian, she is happy, she is me!.....

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Before you're thirty says Google

I will be 28 in exactly 10 days.....28! How did that happen? I feel like I'm still 16! I must say that is far to close to 30! I remember my mum turning 30, I remember that my grandad gave her a gun shaped lighter because she said everyone should be shot at 30......I remember thinking about what my life would be like when I hit the big three zero, I thought I would be married , have at least one child and have a pretty house somewhere....Oh now wrong I was!

During the wee small hours of one of my night shifts I got thinking about what I am supposed to have achieved by 30 and with the help of the gospel of google I found this......

Here, we cut out the non-essential experiences and present the definitive list of 30 Things You Really, Really Should Do Before You're 30.

Dye your hair/have an unwise haircut/shave your head: Often as part of an unwise identification with a particular style of music, such as punk, goth or Nu-metal.

Move out of your parents home: obviously! Maybe even be on the propety ladder.

Women: purchase your first pair of Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo shoes. Men: purchase, then dispose of, some deeply unsuitable footwear: Cowboy boots, winkle pickers, brothel creepers ...

Lose a fight: After 30 you should be able to settle things amicably.

Attend a wedding/funeral of a contemporary: Both important reminders of the fleeting nature of time.

Start writing a novel/film script/slim volume of deeply embarrassing poetry: ... which will haunt you from the bottom drawer.

Spend a night sleeping outside: Whether it's on a Greek beach, or in a London doorway after a particularly damaging night out.

Stay up for 48 hours: Believe me, you will never be able to do this after you've turned 30.

Have your heart broken: If this hasn't happened by the time you're 30, you're clearly emotionally subnormal.

Kill an animal: A bird, a fish, a terminally ill family pet.

Drive a sports car extremely fast while wearing sunglasses: Get it out of your system before the grey hairs appear.

Lose a week's wages in a casino: See above.

Make your first million: Wishful thinking, perhaps, but if you plan to be seriously rich, it's good to start early.

Have a pregnancy scare: An important part of the emotional maturing process.

Have a one-night stand: See above.

Have an office romance: See above.

Have sex somewhere peculiar: Aeroplane lav, boss's desk, pod on the London Eye, the central hall of Tate Modern ...

Be naked in public: Streaking, skinny-dipping or just simple forgetfulness.

Have, at the very least, a flirtation with a minor celebrity: It's important to be able to point at the television screen and say: "I've snogged him/her." NB this does not apply to Blue Peter pets.

Give up a well paid job to find yourself: ... before succumbing to a life of soul-eroding wage slavery.

Have a quarter-life crisis: Probably as a result of the above.

Do a McJob: Something deeply menial but soul-improving.

Be so short of cash you have to sell something: Record collection, family heirloom, kidney, sexual favours.

Work your way around Australia: It takes a while, and you can't get a permit to do casual work once you're over 30. Other continents are also acceptable.

Grow out of cannabis: Youthful experimentation is all very well, but a fuddled thirtysomething with a passion for Pink Floyd and a hunger for Frosties is just embarrassing.

Get arrested: For a minor offence, obviously: something like disturbing the peace, which suggests you're not a terminal conformist. At the very least, you should have been breathalysed.

Get a tattoo: Absurd if you're over 30.

Start your own dotcom: ... and see it fail. You'll have a chance to bounce back into a proper job.

Drink yourself unconscious: And wake up with only the haziest, shabbiest memories of the night before.

Have embarrassing photographs of you posted on a website by friends: Possibly as a result of the above.

It made me laugh, I still have a few to tick off yet!.....Next will be my bucket list!........

Monday, 21 September 2009

My first award!

What a nice end to a hard day....I have my first blog award! ;-)
It may be a small thing to you but to me it mattered....Especially when I was considering deleting my blog as I thought it was boring! Who would want to read about my life???? Well thank you
The Girl of Make Believe you made my day! ;-)

Rules:

1) Add the logo to your blog

2) Link to the person from whom you received this award


3) Nominate 5 blogs


4) Leave a message on their blog – letting them know that they are ‘One Lovely Blog’


Nominees:

madnessandbeauty
because she motivates me to have my own adventures!

Letters from a College Student because you are so funny!

Missing Bacon Butties
because your are witty and you don't know it!

Bookends because your story of ant survival made me laugh so much!

About What I Said
because you are so honest!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

To the people I am yet to meet....

Remember in school when you had to stand up in class and say something about yourself in order to "break the ice" I am feeling that sense of dread now, that deep in the pit of your stomach dread that makes you feel nauseous, but I am also excited.........Are you?

I feel I should maybe introduce myself, I would really like us to be friends, to enjoy this trip of a lifetime together, even if we only spend two minutes together and never see each other again. I hope I leave a good impression.... My name is Dolly, I am a 28 (in October) year old Nurse from Manchester, England. Well, I say I am a nurse......I have given all that up recently because of the stress, observing the unhappiness of others I have worked with who have nursed for years, my own unhappiness and the lack of management support has driven me out. Therefore, I am returning to University in September to pursue another career but I don't know what that is yet. Maybe you will inspire me? Maybe I will inspire you? Who knows...


Maybe I am running away from something, maybe you are too? Maybe I will find what I need on this trip, maybe you w
ill too?..... Yes, I am shy. Yes, I am reserved. Yes, I am a deep thinker. Yes, I am generally not a positive person. Yes, I have confidence issues.....but when I let my guard down, I am fun loving, caring, intelligent and funny ;-) Just a little warning though, I am the emotional type.....I cry at chick flicks, talk in my sleep, love a nice peaceful bath, I love my Friends and Family to bits and will probably miss them like crazy, so I will probably tell you that a bit to much.....I am way to honest about my feelings, maybe you're not?.....

I have never done things the right way round in my life, I stayed at home when everyone else went away to uni, when everyone else moved out, I stayed were I was waiting for something to happen. I got a job when everyone else went travelling, I remained single and planned to return to uni when everyone else was settling down......So this is the first time I have really been away from home.....


In my head I plan to be adventurous, outgoing and interesting... In reality I'm not sure this is the going to be the case.... I have travelled a bit, though I was 18 but I was so homesick and I couldn't wait to get home. I am the home comforts type,
when we are going to be camping, I am unfit when we are going to be trekking....but I need I challenge, I am bored with the fact that I am standing still when everyone else is moving forward. I am wasting my life, when I want to live it to the full!....Maybe you can relate to that?

Apologies in advance for my short temper and obsessive cleanliness, but may I point ou
t that I am also generous, a clear thinker, a peace maker, great in emergencies and your on hand medical professional ;-).....I really hope we become great friends and not just travel companions.....

My Nan says "Strangers are Friends you don't yet know" Here's hoping she is right ;-)

I look forward to meeting you soon,

Dolly x

The Cat-Dog...

Dear Dillon,

I hate to be the one to break this to you, because obviously my friend doesn't have the heart...but you are in fact a cat! Therefore, if the usual rules applied you should be self reliant, independent, unpredictable and mysterious. If usual rules applied...being a self confessed dog person, I should hate you. However, I have recently discovered that you are in fact a Cat-Dog, you play fetch, wag your tail when happy, you
like to have you belly tickled and you come when someone whistles at you, the only thing you don't do is bark.....

Dilly my friend, you may actually be the only cat I have ever liked!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

My Itinerary...

Guess what?? I have my final itinerary (at last) I'm getting excited now!


I fly from London - Kenya - Uganda - Rwanda - Tanzania - Malawi - Zambia - Namibia - Botswana - South Africa - Thailand - Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia - Oz - LA - London!

Its all so crazy but I'm hoping it will be everything I want it to be and more! Going Gorilla Trekking & Volunteering in a School! Roll on November!

Next finalise flights and get my Visas!! ;-)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Decisions, Decisions....

So I have three options to include in my impending travels and I can't decide which one I want to do the most......

See the Gorilla's in Uganda,


Volunteer teaching in Cape Town,


Or Visit Beijing and Shanghai.



Anyone any ideas??
......

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Happiness...

Seen as though I feel like I have done nothing but moan in my last few blogs, for the past few days and I been thinking about all the things that make me happy, even if it was just for a second......So here goes.......

Clean washing.

Sunday roast.
The smell of the rain.

Sunshine on my face.

Sun beams breaking through the clouds.
Postcards from my friend.

Conversations with my nan.

My mum's eyes when she gets excited.......Oh and her over dramatic wave.

A baby's laughter.
Smiles from Miss Molly.

The smell of winter.

Flowers.
Carousels.
The fairground.

Crunching ice under your feet.

Snowball fights.
Lying in a field on a hot summers day.
Having picnic's in the park.
Ice cream.
Chocolate.

Playing fetch with a excitable dog.

Driving down old English country lanes.
The beech.
Pubs in the winter with an open fire.
Campervans.

Cuddles on the sofa.
Driving and singing very obviously to a great song.

Feeding the ducks.

Relaxing into a hot bath.
My hair after its been washed.
Giving someone a massage.
My bed.

Good food and great company.
Musicals...Especially on the Westend!

Laughing till it hurts.

A great book.

My slippers.
The beep of a text message.

My pink backpack.
The way my dog wiggles her bum when she is excited.
Trying on the perfect outfit.
Dancing to a great song.
Hitting that perfect note.

Sitting in my nan's back garden.
Walking on crunchy leaves.
The Woods.
Live music.
Sitting by the river.
A great view.

Taking my shoes off after a long day.

Driving ho
me from work with the windows down. Sunday mornings when no one else is around.
Candle light.
The chill of a church.
The countryside.

Daffodil's.

Finishing a painting.

Capturing that great moment with my camera.
Chick flicks.

Soft skin.
That clean feeling after a shower.
The smell of soap.
My hand cream.
Having the day off.

Blogging.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

I dunno......

Today was the day! The day I was supposed to go off on my travels....I was on Flight BA269 leaving in ten minutes. Hmm....don't know how I feel about that.

Do I regret postponing my flights until November? Dunno. Did I postpone it out of fear of the unknown? Dunno. Will I be homesick and want to come home? Dunno. Will I run out of money? Dunno. Will I be too quiet and not make any
friends? Dunno. Will I be safe? Dunno. Will it be the best decision I have ever made and change my outlook on life forever? Dunno.

All I know is roll on November! ;-).......
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