moments to memories

I am fully in the Christmas spirit now, I had my first Christmas party yesterday and I’m feeling festive. I surprisingly did not wake up with a raging hangover but felt pretty fresh.

The last week or so I have been thinking about my favourite memories I’ve made in the last year. I have, overall, had a crackin’ 2017. Sure, there have been some terrible, terrible lows but I can look back on the year and see where the good times are and smile.

Here are some of my highlights from 2017

Dis-day 2018.

you cannot beat starting the new year off with Mickey and co.

 

 

LA KINGS Game

i finally, finally, finally found myself out in LA in season to go to an ice hockey game. it did not disappoint.

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Arlo was born.

my adorable second godson/nephew who isn’t my nephew but is was born. he is a dream.

 

Irish adventures.

one of my favourite countries in the world, the sexiest accent in the world and some of my favourite people in the world. i can never go wrong with a trip there.

going back to my old job.

the best decision i have made this year. swear down.

 

star wars day

friends and star wars. i don’t think i really need to add anything else to that, do i?

 

 

Nick Lashaway day

the best day with my American familia, celebrating one of the best! on a day that could have been so so so sad we all managed to smile and laugh through the tears at memories of Nick and i certainly learnt more about him on that day. the strength his whole family have shown, none more than his mama, is incredible. it was a beautiful day filled with love and i am so privileged to have been a part of it.

 

 

london zoo 

my two favourite chicken nuggets took me to the zoo for my birthday because they know i love that shit. i love spending time with them playas. couple of the year.

Passenger concert

the first of my two favourite memories based at Kew Gardens this year. i have loved Passenger and his music for a wee while and i was finally able to go to see him live. in typical british summer style it was absolutely pissing down but as soon as he hit the stage i forgot about the rain. what a gem.

Brighton 

in the summer my best pal, my 2 nephews and i spent the day on brighton beach watching The Lion King. hashtag winning

Kew gardens 2

i spent  a lovely day here in the summer with my pals amy and byng. we went to see byngs younger brother in The Wind and the Willows. the sun shone, the play was super cute and we laughed. loads. i really have great friends.

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annie

tomorrow, tomorrow, i love yaaaa, tomorrow! for my sisters birthday we all went to see annie in the west end. miranda hart played miss hannigan – she was a scream. i enjoyed it so much – i normally cry at the theatre and this was no exception. a great day.

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NYC

back to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of to celebrate momma sophs birthday. we hung out with old friends, julie came down from boston for a day, it was magicallll.

 

montrose days

i always enjoy trips back to montrose and this time was no different. whilst mark and i were driving around montrose singing along to some pop song, i had a moment where i just thought, yeah. i like my life.

mj

this time last year my nephew and i really weren’t pals. this year we made friends. he’s just a wee dote. i love him.

 

xmas party

the last minute entry was yesterday’s xmas party. i bloody love my work collegues, i bloody love my boss. i just bloody love my job. don’t get me wrong it does my feckin’ head in from time to time but i have great people around me to lean on if it gets too much.

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2017 isn’t quite done yet, i know but it was fun thinking back over the last year and what i’ve got up to. some is here, some isn’t. with a busy december coming up i’m sure i will have more memories to add to these by the end of the month.

i hope you have a december filled with festive cheer.

until next week,

M xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

shantaram – pt.2

 I posted about the book Shantaram a few weeks back but due to my crazy I stopped reading, primarily because I could not concentrate on it nor lift my head off my pillow to read a sentence, let alone a page. I am still about half way through but am determined to finish it because, in case I didn’t mention it before, I adore this book.

 It never fails to amaze me just how powerful words when combined in the right way can be yet when we see them in a dictionary alone they seem powerless. We have to use them wisely because they can empower us but also destroy us.

I shared before some of my favourite passages from the story, but that was just the beginning. The more I read the more food for thought this story seems to give me.

Read on below to see some more words of wisdom.

 

I think suffering is a matter of choice. I think that we do not have to suffer anything in this life if we are strong enough to deny it. The strong man can master his feelings so completely that it is almost impossible to make him suffer. When we do suffer things, like and so, it means that we have lost control. So I will say that suffering is a human weakness.

 

Is it not true that some of our strength comes from suffering? That suffering hardship makes us stronger. That those of us who have never known a real hardship and true suffering cannot have the same strength as others who have suffered much?

 

I think that when we grow up and learn that happiness is rare, we become disillusioned and hurt. And how much we suffer is a mark of how much we have been hurt by this realization.

 

When we act, even with the best of intentions, when we interfere with the world, we always have a new disaster that mightn’t have been of our making, but that wouldn’t occur without our action.

 

Some of the worst wrongs were caused by people who tried to change things

 

The worse things that people do to us always make us feel ashamed. The worst things people do always strike at that part of us that wants to love the world. And a tiny part of the shame we feel when we’re violated, is shame at being human.

 

Lovers always find their way by such insights and confidences; they’re the stars we use to navigate the ocean of desire. And the brightest of those are the heart of breaks and sorrows. The most precious gift you can bring to your lover is your suffering.

 

Men reveal what they think when they look away and what they feel when they hesitate; with women it’s the opposite.

 

At the moment most of our ways of defining the unit of morality are similar in their intentions though different in their details. So the priests of one nation bless their soldiers as they march to war and the imans of another country bless their solders as they march out to meet them and everybody who is involved in the killing says that he has God on his side. There is no objective and universally accepted definition of good and evil and until we have one we will go on justifying our own actions whilst condemning the actions of others.

 

If you turn your heart into a weapon you always end up using it on yourself.

 

Sooner or later fate puts us together with the people who show us what we could or shouldn’t let ourselves become. Sooner or later we meet the drunkard, the waster, the betrayer, the ruthless mind and the hate filled heart but fate loads the dice of course because usually we find ourselves pitying all of these people and its impossible to despise someone when you honestly pity and to shun someone you truly love.

 

My hate is what saved me. Hate is a very resilient thing you know, hate is a survivor. I had to hide my hate for a long time, people couldn’t handle it, they got spooked by it so I sent it outside myself. It’s weird that I was a refugee for years, I still am, my hate was a refugee just like me. My hate was outside me. My family were all killed, raped and butchered and I killed men, I shot them, I cut their throats and my hate survived out there. My hate got stronger and harder and then I woke up one day working for Khader with money and power and I could feel the hate creeping back into me and it’s here now, inside me, where it belongs and I’m glad, I enjoy it. I need it, Lin. The stronger I am it’s braver that I am, it’s stronger than I am. My hate is my hero.

 

 

 

I mean… *insert heart-eye emoji here*
Xoxo

Micks

28 things you might not know about me. 

Where I am: sitting in Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice latte in a mug next to me (I’m so basic sometimes, it hurts)

Listening to: Mariah Carey (it’s really hard to not start singing at the top of my voice)

so, update time – after my post about World Mental Health Day i received a lot of messages of support from friends both near and far and so i’d just like to say thank you for that, i really appreciate that you all took the time out of your lives to reach out. thank you to those of you that shared your stories with me, it really is overwhelming just how many of us are touched by mental illness.

i have started therapy now – it’s weird but i’m hopeful it will be have a positive impact on me. i try really hard to not let it dictate my life.

i had a number of people message me to say that they would never had imagined i suffered, that had i not posted about it then and previously, i would be the last person they would have thought had depression and anxiety.

 

off the back of that, because we all know how egocentric i am, here are 28 other things you may not know about me…

  1. i will always be jealous of everyone that can play (competently play) the piano and violin. growing up my parents couldn’t afford for me to have lessons so it is something that i never learnt but always wanted to.

 

  1. my favourite seasons are spring and autumn. they are both transitional seasons and they feel just like starting over to me. spring is full of hope – everything is new. autumn clears my mind, when the leaves fall and so do the cobwebs in my head.

 

  1. i’m much more a ‘bunch of wildflowers’ girl than a ‘bunch of roses’ girl

 

  1. the best sounds in the world are my nephews laughs (all three of them) the sound of the waves crashing is a close second though.

 

  1. i am a bit of a tea snob – i take mine milk, no sugar. Preferably it will be a Barry’s tea bag or a Yorkshire. To end the debate once and for all – THE MILK GOES IN LAST.

 

  1. i do not like wine. Or champagne. i really wish i did. It looks so sophisticated, but it all tastes like vinegar to me. i do however enjoy a nice glass of Bucks Fizz and can stomach a glass of Prosecco but that’s as sophisticated as i get.

 

  1. if i were to ever design my own home and you told me i could have either a really big closet or a really big library i would choose a library every time.

  1. i really do want world peace

 

  1. the most perfect place i have ever been is the Island of Capri at sunset

 

  1. i really want to live by the seaside

 

  1. my friend Steph once bought me a notebook with a map of the world as a cover – she brought it for me to document my travels in. now, whenever i visit somewhere that requires me to board an aeroplane i always pick up a postcard from the destination and stick it in that book.

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  1. most girls i know have thought in great detail about their wedding and what they want it to be like. i have not. i have, however, thought a lot about what i’d like my funeral to be like (morbid, i know)

 

  1. although i was christened COE when i was a bubba and i’m not overly religious now, i do still believe in God. i’m not sure in which sense – i don’t believe it’s a big dude sitting on a cloud, but i do believe in some kind of higher being. i also believe that Karma is a very real force in this world.

 

  1. If i could have anyone narrate my life i think i would choose either David Attenborough or the guy that narrates Come Dine with Me because he is a sarcastic ray of sunshine.

 

  1. i am obsessed with Crime documentaries and stories (i’m not sure what that says about me,really)

 

  1. yes it’s true, i was on the telly not once, but twice. autographs are 50p. per letter.

 

  1. i am a musical freak. my favourite is West Side Story.

 

  1. if i watch friends with you i will most likely quote at least 50% of the dialogue at you. if you’re really lucky it may be more.

 

  1. unless it is work, a medical appointment or something like a wedding or funeral I will be at least 10 minutes late. at this point i’ve realised it’s just who i am as a person.

my friends know.

  1. i love Cliff Richard!! – i grew up watching Summer Holiday and The Young Ones (see no.17 musical freak) and i think this is why i love him.

 

  1. most people are scared of clowns, rodents, snakes, spiders… not me. i’m scared of Octopus and Squid. i’m shivering just thinking about them now. Eurgh.

 

  1. i will put ketchup with pretty much anything. there isn’t many dishes that a squirt of Heinz can’t make better.

 

  1. want to know if you matter to me? find out if i have a song/songs attached to you. music is in my heart and if you are too, there will be a song for you.

 

  1. my favourite handbag designer is Kate Spade. And, unpopular opinion time, i do not like Michael Kors. at all.

 

  1. i really love Caroline Flack. i want her to be my friend. the same goes for Dawn O’Porter

 

  1. i have a bit of a crush on Gary Oldman. especially as Sirius Black

 

  1. my favourite accent in the world is the Irish (Northern > Southern, soz guys)

 

  1. one of my earliest memories from when i was very young is someone walked past me in the town, burning my left hand with their cigarette. that’s how i learnt my left and right.

shantaram – pt. 1

where i am: montrose, CA

what im listening to: tori kelly- unbreakable smile

can i just say this holiday rocks! i haven’t been this relaxed in so long – i haven’t eaten  this much in forever – i am constantly full up. its got to the point where i may need to book an extra seat on the flight home to accommodate my increasingly large arse. not only that but i am getting the chance to write so much, i haven’t written in my notebook this much since the beginning of the year when i was a bum. the more i write, the clearer my head feels, always.

today’s post is a little different from the norm in that i’m going to be giving you someone else’s words and thoughts and not my own.

i am constantly fascinated with people, their stories, their lessons, their thoughts and views on life and everything that happens to us. 

if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you’ll know i can be quite sensitive (i pretend i am not “i don’t have a heart” is a favourite line of mine) but actually i am really sensitive and i feel everything probably a bit more than i should. i am that girl that can burst into tears over a book, a song or even an advert on the telly (yes, i’m a loser). 

i was recently lent a book by a friend called ‘shantaram’ by gregory david roberts. i am obsessed. there are so many truth bombs in the text, so many statements that make me really think and so many that resonate with me. i’m going to share some of them here. also, i’ve called this part one because i can guarantee i will end up sharing more from this book in the future. you’re welcome. 

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant. The choice you make between hating and forgiving can be come the story of your life”

The best thing in the world is power… love is the opposite of power, that’s why we fear it so much”

“She loved the guy. She did it for him. She would’ve done anything for him. Some women are like that. Some loves are like that, from what I can see. Your love starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self respect and your independence. After a while you start throwing people out, your friends, people you used to know. And it’s still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking and you know it’s going to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of girls here. I think that’s why I’m sick of love.”

“There’s a truth that’s deeper than experience. It’s beyond what we see, or even what we feel. It’s an order of truth that separates the profound from the merely clever, and the reality from the perception. We’re helpless usually in the face of it; and the cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love, is sometimes greater than any heart would willingly pay. It doesn’t always help us to love the world but it does prevent us from hating the world. And the only way to know the truth, is to share it, heart to heart…”

“I think that we all, each one of us, we all have to earn our future. I think the future is like anything else that is important. It had to be earned. If we don’t earn it, we don’t have a future at all. And if we don’t earn it, we don’t deserve it. We have to live in the present, more or less forever. Or worse, we have to live in the past. I think that’s probably what love is – a way of earning the future”

“One of the reasons we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you”

“Fate has every power over us but two. Fate cannot control our free will, and fate cannot lie. Men lie, to themselves more than to others, and to others more often than they tell the truth. But fate does not lie”

Reality – as you see it, as most people see it – is nothing more than an illusion. There is another reality, beyond what we see with our eyes. You have to feel your way into that reality with your heart. There is no other way”

“Justice is not only the way we punish those who do wrong. It is also the way we save them”

“It’s forgiveness that makes us what we are. Without forgiveness, our species would have anhilated itself in endless retributions. Without forgiveness, there would be no history. Without that hope, there would be no art, for every work of art is an act of forgiveness. Without that dream, there would be no love, for every act of love is in someway a promise to forgive. We live on because we can love, and we love because we can forgive”


i mean…  wow, right? 

some of those i read, and re read, and read again. i copied those down in my journal and annotated them, i added my thoughts (i haven’t done that here because i don’t think it’s necessary and would probably take away from the original message) some of those made me really sit and think. others brought me to tears. does that make me weird? most likely. i’m ok that. 

i’m about halfway through the book and i’m excited to see how it turns out. if you’re looking for a new book to read i can’t recommend it enough. 

xoxo

Micks 

feeling the love

oh hey.

it’s 6am in LA. I can’t sleep. so y’all are getting a post (2 in as many days #sorrynotsorry)

so, quick background on where i’m staying and who i’m staying with.

one of my best friends from university (hey, Jade) is from LA. Her mom (Momma Sophs) dad (Wilf) and god mom (Lisa) all live together in a beautiful house (her dad did a beaut of a job on it, he’s so talented). I’m staying with / visiting them. Jade isn’t here- she lives in Finland with her fella. My Irish pal is here too, though. I know, I know… it’s complicated.

i’ve know Jade for 9 years nearly, and her folks for maybe 6/7 of those. They have all known me during my struggles with depression and anxiety, they housed me for a summer so Jade and I could road trip west coast >> east, they housed me this January  when I had my breakdown over going to Australia or not. 

they know me well.

they know not to talk to me in the morning because I’m grumpy. They know I’m pretty laid back about most things – one of the reasons Jades mom likes to travel with me. They know I can be a sarcastic little shite. They know I’m obsessed with music; if I’m not listening to it, I’m reading about it. If I’m not reading about it, I’m singing. 

when I come here to visit it feels like a home from home. I feel so relaxed, there’s no pretense, no bullshit. 

they remind me that friends really are the family we choose for ourselves. I think to myself on every trip how did I luck out and meet Jade and then gain an extra family? a family that is genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

yesterday morning I was in the kitchen and Momma Sophs and I had this conversation 

S “Oh I’m glad you’re here by yourself, I wanted to talk to you alone”

M “ok, whats up?”

S “are you ok, sweetie? You’re not feeling anxious, your depression hasn’t come back?”

M “no, I’m ok at the moment. Maybe a bit anxious with work but I’m fine”

S ” ok good, I just wanted to check because you’ve been really quiet this whole trip and I was really worried”

DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY AND LOVED I FELT WALKING AWAY FROM THAT CONVERSATION? 

Having conversations like that with anyone that has a history of mental illness is so, SO important. 

Knowing someone is looking out for you… priceless. 

This email from the universe is true 

I’m feeling the love 

Xoxo micks 

Just like John, I’m so tired. 

where i am: Los Angeles with my American fam.

where my head is at: who bloody knows. when it stops spinning I’ll let you know. 

It’s happening, friends. I’m getting old. I can feel it in myself. I realise 28 isn’t really old in a numbers sense but I’m not talking about numbers and years. I’m talking about in my mindset, in my head. 

I’m feeling old. I’m feeling tired. I’m feeling the need to slow down and take some time for me, myself and I. I’m feeling like I want to start being selfish with my time. Since I was 20 or 21 every single holiday I took from work has been filled with trips here, there and everywhere. One of the first lines people say to me when they see me is ‘Where’s your next trip?’ Or ‘Where are you going to next?’. The self confessed free-spirit of my family, the traveller, the nomad I have always been the adventurer. I have loved it. I do love it, still, but I’m tired.

I have done some of the most incredible things on these holidays – I have had tomatoes thrown at my face during La Tomatina in Spain, seen the sunrise across Bryce Canyon in the US, got lost in the caves in Postonja, Slovenia. I’ve climbed Mount Vesuvius, sang and danced my way down the Champs Elysées, had my heart broken walking around Anne Frank House. I stayed out until the sun came up with friends I just made in NYC, felt the flames of Fallas on my face (not literally) in Valencia, visited Obama at the White House, swooned over the views at Giant’s Causeway… and so much more. 

But I’m tired.

I’m really fucking tired.

I was talking to one of my friends about this recently. I said that after my trip to India I have no trips planned. For the first time in a long time, I’m totally ok with that. It’s a very odd thing for me to say. I’m always looking ahead to the next holiday, the next adventure. Sure there are loose plans, but nothing confirmed.

My friend agreed it was odd and I said how tired I was. I said how I feel like I’m always travelling and that I have minimal time at home, to spend my time just being with the people I have in my life in England. My friend said to me that it’s ok to be selfish with my free time. That sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes, instead of flying off to visit someone when I have rare time off work, it’s ok to be selfish and say either ‘you come here’ or simply, ‘no’. I’m taking this time for me. I’m taking this time to be at home, to sleep in and see the people in this country. 

I realise this may post may rub people the wrong way, it may come across as ungrateful; you may be thinking I’m a brat. I promise you I’m not, that’s not my intention. I am aware how lucky I am to have travelled as I do, as I have. 

I’m also aware that I may change my mind on this (hello the sometimes fickle Gemini mind), perhaps I’m feeling this way as I’ve only had one week off since March. 

I’m just saying that right now, in this moment, I’m tired.

I’m currently visiting friends in the US. I go home, have 5 days at work and then fly to India for 2 weeks. After that, aside from work, my time is my own. 

I can’t fucking wait 

Xoxo Micks 

The One With The Nostalgic Traveller.

Facebook ‘on this day’ kindly reminded me that this time last year I was in NYC having a fucking ball.

This year I was on a train at 6:20am. That got me all nostalgic for adventures before and excited for travels to come.

One thing I realised as I was scrolling through was that I travel differently now, that the reasons I visit places has changed. When I was in my early twenties I travelled because I could, I travelled to places so that I could see what was out there and maybe find my place in the world. I would never have dreamed about going back to the same place twice, why would you? There is so much world to see, I was always worried that it would never live up to my previous experiences. That view worked for a while, until it didn’t.

I’ve become a much more nostalgic traveller, I long to visit all of the places I’ve been to before BECAUSE I know they will rarely live up to my previous experiences; normally they surpass them.

When you first visit somewhere you’re a little bit blind to what to do, where to go, what is a must see vs what is a tourist trap. The second visit is a much truer version of the place – you know where you are, you know the things that you want to do rather than the things you feel you need to do because of the numerous ‘things to do in….’ lists in travel guides and on websites.

Travel has always given me a new perspective on things, there is something about being in a new place where you don’t know anyone that makes me reevaluate my life. The anonymity and no expectations of anyone that you meet or see (except those you’re with, but even those relationships feel different) give you a sense of freedom; or at least they do for me.

I have travelled a decent amount, not a much as some but definitely more than others. I’m so grateful to have those experiences and those friends that have come with me.

Here are a few of my favourites.

Valencia – The One That Changed It All

There is no way I could start this list with anything else. This temporary move to another country in 2010 with 3 girls I didn’t know is the one that changed it all and makes my heart smile the most.

I met my best friend in this city, realised that the Spanish really make everything better, fell in love and left a part of my heart behind.

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Derry – The One With The Hangover

This city is a home from home now as my Irish brother and mama live here, anywhere they are is home for me. The trip to celebrate St Patrick’s day way back in 2012 reminded me why I don’t drink much and that the Irish can party like no other. Highlights of this trip include me dancing by myself in a club with the flag wrapped around me and having to sit down in the shower the next morning because I felt like death.

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Barcelona – The One Where I Remembered How Much I loved Spain

When I got back from VLC after a week everyone, in the most passive aggressive ways possible, told me to shut up talking about it. When I went to Barcelona in 2011 with Momma Sophs, Jade and Wilf I remembered that all the reasons I kept harping on about Spain and the Spanish were valid and real. IT IS THE ONE OF THE BEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD AND YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND ON THAT OK.

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The American summer – The One That I Needed.

June 19th – Sept 10th in the USA with some of my favourite people. This trip was the one I needed. The break from life we all crave sometimes I was lucky enough to have. I realised a lot about myself, what I wanted, my limits and it gave me time to reflect on things that had happened and let go of things that were never meant to be. The house of Rincon Ave became my safe place that summer. We saw so much that summer it is hard to pick just one thing that makes it stand out. Without a doubt the best trip I’ve ever taken. Just wow.

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Paris 2015 – The One With Disney.

 That’s all you need to know really. 2 of my best friends. Disney. 5 days. It was perfect, I laughed so much, rediscovered my inner child (which is never really far from the surface) and met Peter Pan. Life was perfect at that moment.

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Cape Cod 2014 – The One Where I Realised Family Really Is Everything.

 The best part about this is that I wasn’t even with my family. Mark and I hijacked my American fam’s vaca and it was the best. They are such a big family, and their love for each other is bigger. I love being surrounded by them, hearing their in jokes, laughing at each other and being let in to their homes and making memories with them. They remind me that family is what really matters, the world may be chaotic but so long as you have that little hub to come back to it’s all ok. I just need to remind myself of that when my family piss me off!

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There are so many more trips that I could list but unfortunately I am running out of time as I gots places to be. I’m off to make memories with my family in the best country of all, the one I call home.

Happy Easter, pals

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