Monday, 19 August 2019

Barbados - Codrington College Visit

I've just come back from the most amazing visit to my country of birth, my little gem in the Caribbean Sea, Barbados. It had been 3 years since I'd last seen my mum and if you know how close we are you would know that 3 years without a hug from her is a mighty long time.  

Although the island is small, if you're a lover of nature then you'll find so much to do in Barbados.  The beaches are breathtaking and there are many opportunities for water sports such as diving, snorkeling, jet skis and so much more.  



Despite being born there and having many visits it's still always a pleasure for me to tour the island and either revisit or discover places that I've not yet had the opportunity to experience.  One such place we visited this year was Codrington College in the parish of St John.  






Set in beautiful grounds which alone are a great reason to visit, Codrington College was founded in 1745 on the grounds of 2 old plantation houses, Christopher Codrington had requested in his will that they be used for the purpose of Christian teaching.  They are therefore now used as a college of theology.  The buildings have undergone many works over the years and had to be recovered from a devastating hurricane in 1831 and then in 1926 a fire gutted the college.  Thankfully generous donations were made to return the building to it's former glory and  in 1879 the Government overtook the running of the college.  




There is a small fee to enter the grounds of the college (around 10$ BDs for adults and 2$ BDS per child) but this is totally worth it.  

Being the absolute nerd that I am this is probably one of my favourite places of my visit this year and somewhere that I will definitely go to again due to the beautiful scenery and relaxing atmosphere that can be found here and echoes of exactly what my little island is best known for.  

Have you visited Barbados before?  What were your highlights?

Friday, 8 February 2019

Something Wonderful

Something wonderful has happened, and when something wonderful happens it's only right to shout it out and let the world know.
What is this wonderful thing you might ask?
And I'd be embarrassed to tell you that the wonderful thing is SLEEP.  I know that might not be so wonderful to everybody, but for someone like me, who's suffered with an anxiety related sleep disorder which started in childhood, this is a very huge deal.

I don't want to get all righteous or religious but the fact that I have a renewed faith in God might have something to do with it.  

The other night, as I set my bible aside and lay down to sleep, I questioned myself.  What's happened?  Why am I so relaxed?  I haven't felt anxious about sleep in a long time.  Even my self questioning didn't bring on the anxiety I thought it would and I drifted gently off to sleep.  

The bible itself says, 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to god.  And the peace of god, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

So I am feeling very thankful today.  I believe in answered prayers, even if sometimes I have to wait a little longer than I'd like for the answer.


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The story in a 4 letter word


Crumpled on the floor in a heap the phone rings and down the line a friend would ask how are you?
You answer firmly. Fine.
Are you sure they'd say, I'm fine, I'm sure,
and how are you my friend?
They'd relay a list of woes and your unselfish heart would
rush
to their aid.
It doesn't matter that you're carrying the burdens of loss,
inadequacy,
loneliness
even when surrounded by a sea of faces because, you told them in no uncertain words, heart wrapped in bubble wrap, devoid of air, I'm fine.
And when they saw your face, despite their woes they say, "you don't look right."
You promise with your weakest smile and tired eyes, I assure you friend I'm here for you, I'm fine, really, I'm fine.
You walk the corridors at work with the don't approach me smile, telling everyone you're happy in your own little world.  You have friends outside of their circle and with that, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.
Collect the little ones,
I'm fine
Cook dinner for the family,
I'm fine
Serve dinner, clean up, eat
I'm fine, yes , I'm fine, I said I'm fine
Finish the unfinished workload and reload the washer as there's always more
C r a w l into bed and battle your anxieties
I can't sleep but it's fine, I'm fine.
Crumpled under covers in a heap, the phone rings and down the line a friend would ask, how are you?
Fine.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Writing Again

Hello old friend, I've missed you.
I'm sorry I've not written much.
This however has always been my truth, my hidden truth, the secret that I reveal to many yet keep to myself. A juxtaposition I know.
My writing processes echo very much what goes on in my mind.  
Sometimes I'm in the moment, loving life, happy, full of ideas that need to find release.
Other times, times I'm often afraid to mention,
I'm withdrawn.
Deep in thought, considering the possibility of disappearing from existence under a bubble of cloud and smoke.
Now? 
Now I've been wanting to write, my mental pen has been scratching ideas, looping along the neurons of my mind.  I've been told I should write, I've been forced to write for CPD and so, today, I've made the decision to just write.
So hello old friend,
I'm pleased to once again meet your acquaintance.
I have no promises to offer you.
No extraordinary gestures.
Just me.
Saying hello.
Writing.
Again.



Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Agenda

"When words fail you start with a picture?"



I don't know if I'm quoting anyone there but these were the words that came to mind when I approached writing this post.  What story is it that this picture tells?  

For me it tells the story of an uncomfortable believer.  I didn't go back to church because I heard the voice of God calling me, I didn't go back to church because I felt sad and I didn't go back to church because I was worried about where I'd go after this life.  My reason for returning was for the fellowship.

I missed connecting with people on a level that went deeper than surface level.  I missed singing worship songs at the top of my lungs with a group of people who were singing at the top of theirs.  Hence feeling slightly uncomfortable, I had an agenda.  However once I'd met that agenda, I realised that I was exactly where I needed to be.  




Sunday, 30 September 2018

Life and Coal Mirrors

The other day I posted a picture on my Instagram page with the self quotation, "I evolve, I grow, I change, I'm a series not an episode, all my stories aren't the same."

Life is a complicated thing filled with many happenings, that with them bring a myriad of emotions.  So much has changed in my life in such a short time but with the change has come growth.  Whether that be something as minor as hair growth or something as profound as spiritual growth, in this season of my life I seem to be encountering a lot of it.

Losing loved ones and friends has taught me to embrace now.  This is because my 'now' will always contain the people and things that hold the most value in my life at this present time, because you take care of the people and things that matter the most to you in your 'now' and they in turn take care of you.  The past always holds great memories, great sadness, great laughter and great pain but what the past can't do is change your present, unless you want it to.

I've never really been one for going out on a school night but when invited to the Saatchi Gallery for a private viewing of the new collection 'Black Mirror' I thought why not?  It was my chance to do something I've not done before and to bring a friend along for the journey.  It was also my chance to have a go at interpreting some of the modern art that though some may find profound, I often find confusing.

Two of my favourite pieces of the night were Alejandra Prieto 'Coal Mirror' and Steve Bishop's 'It's Hard to Make a Stand'  

I've not read up any of the background of these pieces which left them completely open to my own interpretation.  I guess because of the place I'm in in my life coal mirror appealed to the part of me that thought, "What is it you see when you look in the mirror?  What if that mirror showed you nothing but coal?  Is that what you would see?"  

The truth is as I stood in front of that mirror making up interpretations in my head, what I saw was imagination.  Within me lives a dreamer, capable of creating something out of nothing.  I created ideas and with those ideas come vision.  What is important is not what we actually see in the mirror, but what our minds create from what we don't see.







My interpretation of Steve Bishop's piece was much less profound.  I just really loved the fur!  The fact that the horses face was hidden to me meant that he, or she, didn't want to be seen.  He was wrapped up in fur and plastic, forbidden fruits of the world and fashion, yet he perhaps wasn't brave enough to show his face and say, "I like this stuff, so what?"

There were of course lots of other fabulous pieces of art, but I'm choosing to be a little selfish and keep the rest of my photos private so that you have to make the journey and interact with the art yourself.








Sunday, 26 August 2018

All Men Are...

This is probably a really bad thing and I shouldn't taint all of the male species with the same brush but...
Are all men just absolutely unreliable?  I mean my grand father was probably the most reliable man I know and I won't have a bad word said about him, but as far as the other men in my life go most would score between 0-3 out of 100 on the reliability scale.

Take this weekend for example 3 of my male friends had said they would be coming to visit.  

Friend 1: I can sort of excuse this one, sort of.  He was travelling home today so had very limited time and the fact that he had only met his girlfriend 2 weeks ago and was now leaving the country means he should definitely have spent as much of the time left in the country with her.  Why I say sort of is because I didn't ask him to come and visit me, he told me he would be coming to visit and I would have liked him to take something home for my mum.  Did he call, no, did he send a message, again, no.  Common courtesy dictates that if you make arrangements and you can't meet with those arrangements at least let a sister know.  That being said he's still my homie.





Friend 2:  This one has absolutely no excuse, unless he's ended up in hospital yet again (just checked, he hasn't).  He's someone that I've known for a good 14 years and again someone that obviously has either lost the use of his hands, his voice or is just plain rude.

Friend 3:  The ex, this one has absolutely no reason to stick to any arrangements made, apart from the fact that he shattered my heart into a million pieces but will still look me square in the eye and tell me he loves me.  I probably made that sound worse than it is, he didn't cheat or lie or any of the usual BS, he just needs to work on his demons and that I can fully understand, we all have things we need to work on.  At least he made an active effort to send me a message with his apologies, not that he replied to my response but that's another story.


Thankfully I didn't rely on any of them to show or I would have had the most boring of weekends.  Instead I invited my FEMALE best friend over.  Not only did she come with her son to keep little man occupied but she also came bearing the gifts of alcohol and business inspiration, got to love an entrepreneur.
She never smiles in pictures and will probably kill me for stealing her photo

So what have I learnt from all this?  I've finally realised that people will only treat you a certain way if you accept it, so I'm done accepting it.  From this day forward, I pledge to live an amazing life doing me with a few reliable buddies.

Phoning a friend