Your proposal has made me so happy and your sunshine playlist too!
I realised how important it is to smile and spread happiness.
So listening to your playlist I went in search of pictures, where in my life I could truly say I was happy. I want this to be my personal imprint. The imprint that echoes through eternity.
Love to you all!!
Im sitting, on a humid, thick grey Saturday on a bench at the train platform. Its bleak and its dark, just how Im feeling right now. But at least Im alone, at least I can breath without being told breath, at least I have the right to decide whether I get on a train to get out of here or if I jump.
I never thought of suicide before, but in the moment of misery and despair, I looked out at the track and understood the feelings of those people who felt so hurt, in such pain, that they just wanted to run away, to escape, and that for some the only place they wanted to leave to was heaven. I also understood for the first time that it wasn’t the event of suicide that was wrong, but all those little things leading up to the event that were wrong. Those gratuitous harmful, hurtful, torturous things that we do to one another.
I wandered for a second what I would say to someone if they asked me, why I was so upset, crying my eyes out on the platform edge. I dont think I would make much sense right now, Im so traumatised I can barely move, let alone speak, the fact that my fingers are pitter pattering on this keyboard is a miracle. But yet people dont stop, they dont even realise, they walk past and ignore me, immersed in their phones of infinite distraction, like I am indeed immersed in my only solace, the laptop in which I write.
I got up and walked away.
I followed the concrete street, speckled with white gum marks. A group of sporty boys over took me and I looked at them asking myself was I attracted to them. Some time ago I would be all coy in the presence of broad shouldered boys, and they would puff their chests in a courting manner in my presence. Now nothing. With my youth and my health, went my attractive charm and sex appeal. So long.
The grizzling street, spat dirt and rain water up at me, so I turned to walk through the green, following a couple with a dog. Before I knew it I entered a cacophony of bird song. I looked up the wet tree, to spot the little singing robin. He caught my stare and embarrassed, went quiet and flew away. In the other tree a family of bluebirds hoisted up and down the branches. These birds were the target of my endless curiosity when I was a child. The one wild thing to animate, my dead urban environment.
I followed on. I thought I knew were I was going. I walked slowly, taking in the fresh new green shoots coming up through the decomposing leaves. I took in the creepers climbing up the tree and the birds, whose song changed to their charged alert as I walked through their habitat. Before I knew it I was lost and I found my eyes had dried up. I was lost and yet I was found. I was calm once again and at peace.
Everyone says that in life you should follow your passion and if you love your job you will be the happiest person in the whole entire world. But then why do people stay in jobs they don’t like, waiting for those golden years of retirement to really live out their goals and dreams. For me I’ve come of the realisation that any decent dream worth its salt will take risk and a lot of hard work, so when is the optimum time to do it? Now. Before you are too old and its too late. Im 27 and I’m satisfied that I’ve given working life in London a good go, I’ve tried my best, Ive gotten my fingers burnt on multiple occasions and ultimately the office life is not for me.
So far, I’ve worked in estate agency, advertising, tourism + tech — you may look at that as extremely indecisive or think how incompetent I must be to not keep a job for longer than a year, however for me variety is important
(a) because I don’t like to ever be put in a box
(b) because I have an avaricious appetite to learn as much as possible.
That aside, it is true that I’ve had many down moments, I’ve been fired and I’ve quit my job on quite a few occasions. However ironically, the more I got used to endings, the easier it was to pick myself up and carry on. I think its fair to say that I’ve gotten stronger, more resilient and more optimistic about change. I liken it to love. The first time you experience heart break — its horrific. With the ending of the relationship go all ones dreams and fantasies for the future and its easy to sink into despair. However after a certain point in time, you realise that incredibly you have survived and that in actual fact the ending is also a new beginning.
So for those people wanting a career change, but too scared to do so. First you have to learn to master your fears. Fear of failure, fear of being shunned and fear of making the wrong decision. And once thats over, a veil will lift and the world will suddenly appear a lot brighter, as its tones of opportunity will now be in touching distance!!
For more inspiration on conquering fears, follow Richard Branson, who continues to defy social attitudes and the self imposed limits people have put on themselves.
Defining Life Moments
a) Tender moments, helping Grandpa in the garden
As an introverted and sensitive youngster I often felt isolated from people, I felt misunderstood and unloved. I enjoyed the company of animals, but not people. However there was a shining star growing up in the form of my grand father. Although it wasn't the generation of giving hugs and saying I love you, he was clearly very fond of my sister and I. When we visited him in Dorset on weekends, we were his number one priority. Mornings started with feeding the pigeons, followed by getting dirty picking vegetables, heading to the sweetie shop in town and then sitting down for lunch, where he would tell us epic adventure stories of when he visited the far off lands of Africa and India — inevitably in each of his stories my grandfather was met unexpectedly by a Prince or a Lion of some kind — exaggerations, but not not fabrications of his real travel stories!
Obviously as one grows up its difficult to remain close to ones grand parents, one goes through those awkward teenage years. However since he passed away I have thought of him on many occasions and feel very strongly that he must be guiding me in my life.
For me what my grandfather represented was warmth and generosity. Generosity in giving his full attention to the person in front of him, in entertaining at the dinner table and the importance of food, as not only something to be savoured and enjoyed in the company of others, but as something to nourish the soul. I realised that Grampa Bu’s garden was not only his sanctuary away from the world, but his connection to it too. Because of his love for food and curiosity about people, he could strike up a conversation with anyone, regardless of their background and nationality, and had tones of friends all over the world.
b) Learning to cook at the Orchards Cooking School
After a stint at a startup, I felt really warn out. For the past year I had been on a roller coaster ride. I had project managed a lovely team out in India. But I was getting painfully used to my bosses abusive behaviour, public embarrassments and temper tantrums. He was only one year older that me at the time and I couldn't stand his spoilt behaviour — prancing round the office with his latest Dior ski jacket and skyping in from the Maldives, while we were all hard at work. I was really sick of it, and when I was given the sack I felt in immense sigh relief.
At that point in time I dreamt of the sun. It just so happened that my sister was out in Rio at the time and our family friends living out there needed someone to run their beautiful house as a BnB!
I enrolled in the Orchards cookery school and spent a week cooking very heavy meals, designed for mountains. During that time it dawned upon me how little I knew cooking and also how enjoyable it was. Its not something that can be explained, it has to be experienced, but there is something so exciting about preparing and putting together simple ingredients, smelling them as they cook and having the reward of a beautiful meal at the end of it. Its so basic, but yet it teaches us so much about the pleasure of work, how to create and about appreciation — lost values in this instant gratification world we live in.
I was angry that my Italian mother had never taught me the secret recipes of the nona, allowed me to get dirty in the kitchen or cook together. And, although my the expectation for her to be cook was there, with my father sending his beautiful new, but high maintenance wife to cooking school, so his wallet could rest from outing to restaurants, I feel there was a kind of feminist rebellion going on against “women belong in the kitchen”. In fact growing up, my mum really resented mundane chores. She was always complaining about always having to make dinners for us and as a result most our meals were Marks + Spencer ready made meals or some take away!
It’s a shame. We all are aware of the benefits of eating healthy food — organic vegetables and our 5 a day. That we should try to stop eating refined sugars, fried junk food and saturated fats. That Obesity and diabetes is on the rise, especially in countries like America. However, there is no real practical way that we are tackling this.
I truly believe that people should take an interest and children should be educated at school (regardless of their sex) on where food comes from, basic nutrition and how to prepare basic meals! Luckily, I’ve already seen some programs doing this at schools, such as kitchen gardens. However, there is still very long way to go, till we truly understand the saying “you are, what you eat” or even better the saying “food is my medicine”!
c) Drinking Gorgeous Fruit Juices in Rio De Janiero
Living in Rio was the dream. If I could sum up the spirit of Brazil it would be "life is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed"! I remember the feeling of warmth and belonging as I entered Rio, with the large Jesus standing on the rock with open arms. My first few days in Rio was exquisite, I remember heading one evening to Ipanema beach for a game of beach volley and being struck with the most incredible and beautiful sunsets. To me everyone looked beautiful and confident with their bodies. Even the larger women, in fact, especially the larger women, would walk with such a swag, and such tight fitting clothes, that was absolutely stunned by their confidence and radiant vitality that comes out of Brazilians from the inside out. It was only the first week, but I was already in love with Brazil and intoxicated with the country.
As my time rolled on, I was very keen to get the beach fit body and inner glow that all Brazilians have so naturally. And it wasn't long till I discovered what their beauty secret was. It was the abundance of vitamin rich, sun ripened fruits, that were so tasty they would blow your mind. From the coconuts, to the mango, pineapple, papaya, star fruit, passion fruit and acacia.
In now made sense to me why people glowed from the inside out and also why there was a feeling of celebration in Rio. As such an abundant city, Rio must of been paradise for the first black settlers who entered Brazil as slaves. From the drought and dry plains of Africa, to the abundance of the tropics, Brazil must have seemed like paradise on earth. And all because of the abundance and fruit and vegetables — the sun and fertile rainforest lands.
d) Restorative Weekends out of London
Returning to London from a year in Brazil, was quite the reverse culture shock. However I was prepared to knuckle down and focus on work. For next year or two I hardly took any holiday and dedicated everything to the task in front of me. My only relief from the pressures of work life was to get out of London and be in Nature. Unable to afford or handle boozy weekends, being in nature was a wholesome, clean way for me to rejuvenate in fresh air and return back to the London smog all rosy cheeked.
In 2016 I spend most of my weekends on buses and trains out of London, leading me to the middle of nowhere. It was a great fun adventure, and since my boyfriend at the time was foreign it was even more exciting to introduce him to things for the very first time — whether that be an old english church or some dame good scones and clotted cream! We also had some disasters! Getting caught in torrential rains and spending the journey back soaking wet, or running into knee high deep in the port..! For some reason I though the silt like soil would make a fantastic facial mask, however turns out masks aren't just mud, they are treated and for good reason, mud is haven of bacteria and if like me you aren't fighting fit, its easy to contrapt an infection, which I did. Yuck!
However, what I did love was watching the seasons go by and I have to say I was so excited for Spring to finally come. At this point I remember spending my entire salary on gardening materials, where I grew my very first veg patch and on painting things, and created my very first painting with blue acrylics and gold dust, and named it Spring!
For anyone looking for a nice retreat out of London, here some of my favourites!
I spent a beautiful summers night in the extraordinary Soho Farm House, for my 27th birthday! We stayed on Sunday night, which was the best idea ever, as although we were delighted to see lots of celebrities, such as Posh and Becks, and some C list celebrities complete in country guerre, we could not wait for them to leave, along with their children, who were running all over the place! When they did finally leave, my boyfriends and I had the whole place to ourselves. We took out bicycles and toured round, swam in their outdoor pool, got the log fire in the cabin going and had the longest ever bath, in the biggest ever steal tub, outdoors overlooking nature. It was romantic bliss!
is incredibly magical place. The flowers and plants are so alive with colour and vitality as they grow in managed wild fashion, from the meadow, to the knot gardens, touring the Dixie gardens is like gardening theatre, a show that promised tones of drama and surprise!
The best kept secret in London. Petersham nurseries is an organic, rustic Micheline star restaurant, nestled in a delightful kitchen garden and with an accompanying elegant and rustic shop of home and garden items. Its absolute heaven and there’s really no where like it!
The best luxury, organic lifestyle brand, from the Cotswolds and now a international household name. Founded by the self proclaimed perfectionist Cassie Bamford, the brand is a luxurious example of purity and perfection, heaven on earth for the puritanically health conscious.
The Unsavory Truth
Already by this stage in my life, a dream and fantasy started to take hold. I envisioned a simpler rural life, where I would wake up at the crack of dawn to the sound of roosters and birdsong, and would head out to collect fresh eggs for breakfast. I imagined a homestead, which would be a hive of activity and community. A place where people would come and share a passion for learning lost skills:-
- cheese and bread making
- building sustainable housing
- pottery and painting
- caring for animals
- singing and live music
- cooking and alfresco dinning
A retreat, a place of safety and belonging for more than just myself. A place to strip away pretentious, debilitating, materialistic values and to rediscover the simple things that really matter.
However had it just been for a sweet dream or fantasy I don’t think I would have ever make the leap to becoming a permaculture farmer, for fear of becoming a lost and delusional hippy.
No, the main reason for this change in life, is an anger, brewing inside of me. An anger at the injustices towards people, the land and animals. And an intense belief that if people, like myself, don’t begin to forge a new path of society and economy, our civilisation will collapse into famine and war, just like the highly sophisticated Mayan and Aztec civilisations past!
Suicide Seeds in India
“Seed is the basis of agriculture; the means of production and the basis of farmers’ livelihoods. In less than two decades, cotton seed has been snatched from the hands of Indian farmers by Monsanto, displacing local varieties, introducing GMO Bt cotton seeds and coercing extravagant royalties from farmers. Since Monsanto’s entry into India in 1998, the price of cotton seeds has increased by almost 80,000% (from ₹5 — ₹9/KG to ₹ 1600 for 450 gms). 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide, trapped in vicious cycles of debt and crop failures, 84% of these suicides are attributed directly to Monsanto’s Bt cotton.”
The Ageing population of farmers in the US
“The average farmer age increased 10 years from 47.6 years old to 57.1 in a short four years (2003–2007). Nearly 30% of all farms are operated by people 65 years old and older.
The new demographics of an ageing agriculture industry presents many questions as well as calls to action for both business and government — here are just a few:
Less than 10% of the nation’s 2.1 million farmers have transition plans to pass their land and business to the next generation, yet in coming decades this will represent one of the single largest transfers of real estate and related wealth in history — how will that affect future generations, land prices, land development, farming operations and production?
Is the end of the family owner or owner operator farm here? Does this mean an increase in the opportunity and future shareholder value of large corporate farm operators?”
Civilisations rise and fall at the hand of land fertility
“Soil fertility was a mystery to the ancients. Traditional farmers speak of soils becoming tired, sick, or cold; the solution was typically to move on until they recovered. By the mid-20th century, soils and plants could be routinely tested to diagnose deficiencies, and a global agrochemical industry set out to fix them. Soil came to be viewed as little more than an inert supportive matrix, to be flooded with a soup of nutrients.
This narrow approach led to an unprecedented increase in food production, but also contributed to global warming and the pollution of aquifers, rivers, lakes, and coastal ecosystems. Activities associated with agriculture are currently responsible for just under one third of greenhouse gas emissions; more than half of these originate from the soil.”
“Permaculture is spreading. People are catching on, cooperating with each other and nature to repair the damage we’ve done to the planet. Unlike standard organic gardening, which is an improvement (but can still work against nature sometimes), permaculture can make deserts turn into oasis again, it thrives on creating new “food” forests rather than removing old ones and its goal is sustainability by design. What’s more is that everyone can do it in some part, from a DIY kitchen herb set-up in a fourth floor apartment to rooftop gardens to suburban yards to massive acreage of permaculture systems that support small communities.”
“Around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban farms already supply food to about 700 million residents of cities, representing about a quarter of the world’s urban population. By 2030, 60 percent of people in developing countries will likely live in cities.
At Food Tank, we are amazed by the efforts of hundreds of urban farms and gardens to grow organic produce, cultivate food justice and equity in their communities, and revitalize urban land. Urban agriculture not only contributes to food security, but also to environmental stewardship and a cultural reconnection with the land through education.”
“Slow Food was initially founded by Carlo Petrini and a group of activists in Italy during the 1980s with the aim of defending regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life. In over two decades of history, the movement has evolved to embrace a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics and culture.”
“According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Monsanto and Syngenta, along with two other companies, control more than 70% of the entire proprietary seed market. The top eight companies control 94% of the commercial market and the USDA report adds that these shares will likely continue to rise.
When commercialised, both hybrids and genetically engineered seeds have to be repurchased every year because they won’t render consistent results if saved and used in subsequent plantings, or because they are protected as the “intellectual property” of seed companies. Those who control seeds ultimately control food
The solution to this challenge has been placed almost entirely in the hands of conservationists who manage ex situ (out of place) collections, such as Icarda and the global seed vault, and repositories that hold genetic material ranging from microbes to honeybee sperm, plus field collections for plants that are not cultivated from seed (such as apples and grapes).”
The Venus Project
“The Venus Project proposes an alternative vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straightforward redesign of our culture in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable. Anything less will result in a continuation of the same catalog of problems inherent in today’s world.”
One’s career and life purpose should be one and the same. Without spending the time to really think about what your life purpose is and what your legacy will be, you are effectively wasting your life. I believe there are many parts of life that are enjoyable, however I dont believe the goal of life is happiness, I believe it’s personal fulfilment. And for me whether your a woman or a man I believe fulfilment can only be achieved by fighting for what your believe in and care about. Making a positive impact in the world and offering yourself to the service of others, to create positive change and lasting impact.
Hi Guys, For the past year I've been working as a project manager in London. Its been tough on my health..I got a lip condition, skin issues and had an extra long period. However during this time my spirit was never broken, I would spend weekends out of London in nature and spend evenings at home with my boyfriend exploring all the things I am fascinated by. However, then I went on holiday. I went to the most incredible place in Italy called Argentario. Its completely wild, the sea is beautiful, you can see a full vista of the stars and will have the company of wild cats and wild boar (pig). It may sound slightly scary, but I've been going since a child, so its like home. Its a place that my grandfather discovered and helped to develop into what it is today. He is passed away now, but I felt his presence and his desire for all the family to be there united enjoying this place together. Unfortunately my parents are broke, so they couldn't come so I spent x1 week there with my boyfriend and x1 week there by myself. I loved every moment, I took masses of pictures and I also really bonded with some extended family who were there at the same time. When I came back to London I was super excited to give my presents to everyone. The day after we went for dinner and my mum threw a scene and ended up in the car crying. Apparently my parents were reaching breaking point financially and my sister said my mum had been hitting my dad quite a lot when I was gone. I had come back to London in a heat wave and the next couple of days I was invited to hyde park quite a lot by my sister for a picnic and by my boyfriend who lives nearby. However I did not enjoy the experience at all, after being in real nature, this felt so inadequate.. My first day back at work after the holiday was horrific. I had just been been moved off my old client, onto a new client because the former of 10 years had moved to another job and I was far too unqualified and prepared for the job. My new team of developers all stated how they were concerned and I too. So that morning I mentioned to my boss that I really did not want to work on the account. On the way back from work I had a fight with my boyfriend who I felt was always negative and complaining. That night the IBS started. I had some dinner with my boyfriend and my stomach completely seized up with cramps. The next morning I felt so ill and fevery. I handed in my notice and soon after I was making my way home, to my mum who is the best nurse carer in the world. I spent a couple of days in agony getting cramps and deep sweating till I would nearly pass out. I didnt know what I had at this stage but I was already taking laxatives and other things because nothing was coming out at all. However this was exhausting so I stopped. My parents were worried that I had lost so much weight and accused me of anorexia, to which I got furious and my sister suggested I see the doctor, who was only so helpful and very expensive. He suggested I take depression pills, to which my mum refused. And after realised the deep connection between nerves and anxiety and our gut. I think I was processing so much negative feelings about being back in this reality after the holiday, my gut completely shut down. The constipation after that changed to excreting this horrible jelly, which really freaked me out, which then turned to diarrhea. This morning I felt so depressed. I have completed flopped at home these recent weeks, allowing my mum to do everything and this morning I didnt want to get out of bed I just wanted to stay in a ball in bed. So as usual I made my way like a sick zombie to work. When I got to work, there was my chair. The were the tasks that Im familiar with and colleagues I know. Somehow I feel better here. I know that I want to work for myself on this app idea I have and that I want to live in nature - i.e. I dont want to work somewhere like this, with the horrid commute and stress of London. But all my family are here in London and I love them very much. However I do feel bad living at home, maybe being cared for all the time is not that constructive and being told by my controlling mother which direction in life to move in is not helpful either.. I am so confused right now! I hate being depressed! If anyone can intuitively help me on this or is willing to help me heal please me know! Franki!